2017 RITA and Golden Heart Finalists

Romance Writers of America Announces 2017 Contest Finalists

Romance Writers of America (RWA), the trade association for romance fiction authors, announces the finalists for the 2017 RITA® and Golden Heart® Awards. The RITA — the highest award of distinction in romance fiction — recognizes excellence in published romance novels and novellas. The Golden Heart recognizes excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts.

Up to 2,000 romance novels are entered in the RITA competition. A novel may be entered either by the author or by the book's publisher in one of the contest categories. After the first round of judging by published romance authors, entries that meet the qualifications to become a finalist then advance to the final round.

The winners will be announced July 27 at the 2017 RWA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Congratulations to the finalists!

 

 

RITA Finalists

 

Best First Book

Alterations by Stephanie Scott Stephanie Scott

Alterations by Stephanie Scott

Bloomsbury, Spark

Meredith Rich, editor

Before Goodbye by Mimi Cross Mimi Cross

Before Goodbye by Mimi Cross

Amazon, Skyscape

Miriam Juskowicz, editor

Close to You by Kara Isaac Kara Isaac

Close to You by Kara Isaac

Howard Books

Beth Adams, editor

The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt Natalie Blitt

The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt

HarperTeen

Annie Berger, editor

Once and For All: An American Valor Novel by Cheryl Etchison Cheryl Etchison

Once and For All: An American Valor Novel by Cheryl Etchison

Avon, Impulse

Priyanka Krishnan and Rebecca Lucash, editors

Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods Darcy Woods

Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods

Penguin Random House, Crown BFYR

Emily Easton, editor

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Contemporary Romance: Long

Always a Bridesmaid by Lizzie Shane Lizzie Shane

Always a Bridesmaid by Lizzie Shane

Self-published

Kristan Andrews, editor

Hot in Hellcat Canyon by Julie Anne Long Julie Anne Long

Hot in Hellcat Canyon by Julie Anne Long

Avon Books

May Chen, editor

Make Me Sin by J. T. Geissinger J. T. Geissinger

Make Me Sin by J. T. Geissinger

Montlake Publishing

Maria Gomez, editor

Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan Sarah Morgan

Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

Harlequin, HQN

Flo Nicoll, editor

Pansies by Alexis Hall Alexis Hall

Pansies by Alexis Hall

Riptide Publishing

Sarah Lyons, editor

Snowfall on Haven Point by RaeAnne Thayne RaeAnne Thayne

Snowfall on Haven Point by RaeAnne Thayne

Harlequin, HQN

Gail Chasan, editor

Tender Is the Night by Barbara Freethy Barbara Freethy

Tender Is the Night by Barbara Freethy

Hyde Street Press

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Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length

Back in the Saddle by Karen Templeton Karen Templeton

Back in the Saddle by Karen Templeton

Harlequin, Special Edition

Gail Chasan, editor

Barefoot at Midnight by Roxanne St. Claire Roxanne St. Claire

Barefoot at Midnight by Roxanne St. Claire

Self-published

Kristi Yanta, editor

Carolina Dreaming by Virginia Kantra Virginia Kantra

Carolina Dreaming by Virginia Kantra

Berkley Publishing Group

Cindy Hwang, editor

Fast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell Megan EricksonSantino Hassell

Fast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Self-published

Lone Heart Pass by Jodi Thomas Jodi Thomas

Lone Heart Pass by Jodi Thomas

Harlequin, HQN

Brittany Lawery and Susan Swinwood, editors

Off the Hook by Laura Drewry Laura Drewry

Off the Hook by Laura Drewry

Penguin Random House, Loveswept

Junessa Viloria, editor

Once and For All: An American Valor Novel by Cheryl Etchison Cheryl Etchison

Once and For All: An American Valor Novel by Cheryl Etchison

Avon, Impulse

Priyanka Krishnan and Rebecca Lucash, editors

Tell Me How This Ends by Victoria De La O Victoria De La O

Tell Me How This Ends by Victoria De La O

St. Martin’s Press, Swerve

Eileen Rothschild, editor

The Turning Point by Marie Meyer Marie Meyer

The Turning Point by Marie Meyer

Grand Central Publishing, Forever Yours

Megha Parekh, editor

Wanderlust by Roni Loren Roni Loren

Wanderlust by Roni Loren

Penguin Random House, Berkley

Kate Seaver, editor

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Contemporary Romance: Short

APB: Baby by Julie Miller Julie Miller

APB: Baby by Julie Miller

Harlequin, Intrigue

Allison Lyons, editor

Breaking Good by Madeline Ash Madeline Ash

Breaking Good by Madeline Ash

Tule Publishing, Holiday

Sinclair Sawhney, editor

Christmas on Crimson Mountain by Michelle Major Michelle Major

Christmas on Crimson Mountain by Michelle Major

Harlequin, Special Edition

Gail Chasan, editor

Falling for the Rancher by Tanya Michaels Tanya Michaels

Falling for the Rancher by Tanya Michaels

Harlequin, American Romance

Johanna Raisanen, editor

Far from Home by Lorelie Brown Lorelie Brown

Far from Home by Lorelie Brown

Riptide Publishing

Gwen Hayes and Sarah Lyons, editors

His Stolen Bride by Barbara Dunlop Barbara Dunlop

His Stolen Bride by Barbara Dunlop

Harlequin, Desire

Kathryn Lye, editor

A Malibu Kind of Romance by Synithia Williams Synithia Williams

A Malibu Kind of Romance by Synithia Williams

Harlequin, Kimani

Shannon Criss, editor

Overwhelming Force by Janie Crouch Janie Crouch

Overwhelming Force by Janie Crouch

Harlequin, Intrigue

Allison Lyons, editor

Searching for Disaster by Jennifer Probst Jennifer Probst

Searching for Disaster by Jennifer Probst

Pocket Books, Pocket Star

Lauren McKenna, editor

Two Doctors & a Baby by Brenda Harlen Brenda Harlen

Two Doctors & a Baby by Brenda Harlen

Harlequin, Special Edition

Susan Litman, editor

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Erotic Romance

The Dirty Secret by Kira A. Gold Kira A. Gold

The Dirty Secret by Kira A. Gold

Carina Press

Libby Murphy, editor

The Master by Tara Sue Me Tara Sue Me

The Master by Tara Sue Me

New American Library

Claire Zion, editor

Off the Clock by Roni Loren Roni Loren

Off the Clock by Roni Loren

Penguin Random House, Berkley

Kate Seaver, editor

Ravenous by M. S. Force M.S. Force

Ravenous by M. S. Force

HTJB, Inc.

Linda Ingmanson, editor

Three Sweet Nothings by Nikki Sloane Nikki Sloane

Three Sweet Nothings by Nikki Sloane

Self-published

Lori Whitwam, editor

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Historical Romance: Long

Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase Loretta Chase

Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase

Avon Books

May Chen, editor

How I Married a Marquess by Anna Harrington Anna Harrington

How I Married a Marquess by Anna Harrington

Grand Central Publishing, Forever

Michele Bidelspach, editor

No Mistress of Mine by Laura Lee Guhrke Laura Lee Guhrke

No Mistress of Mine by Laura Lee Guhrke

Avon Books

Erika Tsang, editor

Susana and the Scot by Sabrina York Sabrina York

Susana and the Scot by Sabrina York

St. Martin’s Press

Monique Patterson, editor

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Historical Romance: Short

Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare Tessa Dare

Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare

Avon Books

Tessa Woodward, editor

Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt Elizabeth Hoyt

Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt

Grand Central Publishing

Amy Pierpont, editor

A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen Kelly Bowen

A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen

Grand Central Publishing, Forever

Alex Logan, editor

Left at the Altar by Margaret Brownley Margaret Brownley

Left at the Altar by Margaret Brownley

Sourcebooks, Casablanca

Mary Altman, editor

The Study of Seduction by Sabrina Jeffries Sabrina Jeffries

The Study of Seduction by Sabrina Jeffries

Pocket Books

Micki Nuding, editor

Taming the Highlander by May McGoldrick May McGoldrick

Taming the Highlander by May McGoldrick

St. Martin’s Press, Swerve

Elizabeth Poteet, editor

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Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance

The Color of a Promise by Julianne MacLean Julianne MacLean

The Color of a Promise by Julianne MacLean

Self-published

Pat Thomas, editor

The Depth of Beauty by A. B. Michaels A.B. Michaels

The Depth of Beauty by A. B. Michaels

Red Trumpet Press

Rachel Daven Skinner, editor

The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel Weina Dai Randel

The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel

Sourcebooks, Landmark

Shana Drehs and Anna Michels, editors

Now That It’s You by Tawna Fenske Tawna Fenske

Now That It’s You by Tawna Fenske

Montlake Publishing

Krista Stroever and Christopher Werner, editors

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Paranormal Romance

Bayou Shadow Hunter by Debbie Herbert Debbie Herbert

Bayou Shadow Hunter by Debbie Herbert

Harlequin, Nocturne

Ann Leslie Tuttle, editor

The Beast by J R Ward J.R. Ward

The Beast by J R Ward

New American Library

Kara Welsh, editor

The Champion of Barésh by Susan Grant Susan Grant

The Champion of Barésh by Susan Grant

Self-published

Mary Moran, editor

Enchanted Warrior by Sharon Ashwood Sharon Ashwood

Enchanted Warrior by Sharon Ashwood

Harlequin, Nocturne

Ann Leslie Tuttle, editor

Ghost Gifts by Laura Spinella Laura Spinella

Ghost Gifts by Laura Spinella

Montlake Publishing

Alison Dasho, editor

The Leopard King by Ann Aguirre Ann Aguirre

The Leopard King by Ann Aguirre

Self-published

Sasha Knight, editor

The Pages of the Mind by Jeffe Kennedy Jeffe Kennedy

The Pages of the Mind by Jeffe Kennedy

Kensington Publishing Corp.

Peter Senftleben, editor

Where the Wild Things Bite by Molly Harper Molly Harper

Where the Wild Things Bite by Molly Harper

Pocket Books

Abby Zidle, editor

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Romance Novella

Her Every Wish by Courtney Milan Courtney Milan

Her Every Wish by Courtney Milan

Self-published

Lindsey Faber, editor

“The Husband Manuever” by Karen Witemeyer Karen Witemeyer

“The Husband Maneuver” by Karen Witemeyer

in With This Ring

Baker Publishing, Bethany House

Charlene Patterson, editor

Let It Snow by Jeanette Grey Jeanette Grey

Let It Snow by Jeanette Grey

Grand Central Publishing, Forever Yours

Megha Parekh and Lexi Smail, editors

“Let Us Dream” by Alyssa Cole Alyssa Cole

“Let Us Dream” by Alyssa Cole

in Daughters of a Nation

Self-published

Nina S. Gooden, editor

Searching for Mine by Jennifer Probst Jennifer Probst

Searching for Mine by Jennifer Probst

Evil Eye Concepts

Liz Berry and M J Rose, editors

Tycoon by Joanna Shupe Joanna Shupe

Tycoon by Joanna Shupe

Kensington Publishing Corp.

Peter Senftleben, editor

Wild in Rio by Lyssa Kay Adams Lyssa Kay Adams

Wild in Rio by Lyssa Kay Adams

Self-published

Elaine Kulhanek, editor

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Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements

Close to You by Kara Isaac Kara Isaac

Close to You by Kara Isaac

Howard Books

Beth Adams, editor

Keeper of the Stars by Robin Lee Hatcher Robin Lee Hatcher

Keeper of the Stars by Robin Lee Hatcher

Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Ami McConnell and Leslie Peterson, editors

My Hope Next Door by Tammy L. Gray Tammy L Gray

My Hope Next Door by Tammy L. Gray

Amazon, Waterfall Press

Amy Hosford, editor

Trust My Heart by Carol J. Post Carol J Post

Trust My Heart by Carol J. Post

Amazon, Waterfall Press

Erin Calligan Mooney, editor

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Romantic Suspense

All the Dead Girls by Rita Herron Rita Herron

All the Dead Girls by Rita Herron

Montlake Publishing

Alison Dasho, editor

Atone by Beth Yarnall Beth Yarnall

Atone by Beth Yarnall

Penguin Random House, Loveswept

Sue Grimshaw, editor

Field of Graves by J. T. Ellison J.T. Ellison

Field of Graves by J. T. Ellison

Harlequin, MIRA Books

Nicole Brebner, editor

Killer Countdown by Amelia Autin Amelia Autin

Killer Countdown by Amelia Autin

Harlequin, Romantic Suspense

Carly Silver, editor

Mr. and Mr. Smith by HelenKay Dimon HelenKay Dimon

Mr. and Mr. Smith by HelenKay Dimon

Penguin Random House, Loveswept

Shauna Summers, editor

One Minute to Midnight by Nico Rosso Nico Rosso

One Minute to Midnight by Nico Rosso

Carina Press

Rhonda Stapleton, editor

Repressed by Elisabeth Naughton Elisabeth Naughton

Repressed by Elisabeth Naughton

Montlake Publishing

Charlotte Herscher and Christopher Werner, editors

Tall, Dark and Damaged by Sarah Andre Sarah Andre

Tall, Dark and Damaged by Sarah Andre

Self-published

Anya Kagan, Touchstone Editing, editor

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Young Adult Romance

Affective Needs by Rebecca Taylor Rebecca Taylor

Affective Needs by Rebecca Taylor

Ophelia House

Maya Packard, editor

The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt Natalie Blitt

The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt

HarperTeen

Annie Berger, editor

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout Jennifer L Armentrout

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Harlequin, HQN Teen

Margo Lipschultz, editor

Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods Darcy Woods

Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods

Penguin Random House, Crown BFYR

Emily Easton, editor

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Golden Heart Finalists

 

Contemporary Romance

Kimberly MacCarron

"Always Sunny" by Kimberly MacCarron

Priscilla Cook

"Far-Fetched Love" by Priscilla Cook

Susan J Bickford

"Framed" by Susan J. Bickford

Kelli Newby

"Mounting the Marquis" by Kelli Newby

Penelope Leas

"No Man Left Behind" by Penelope Leas

Melonie Johnson

"Sometimes You Need a Sexy Scot" by Melonie Johnson

Alexis Daria

"Take the Lead" by Alexis Daria

Jeri Black

"Tempting Fate" by Jeri Black

Christina Hovland

"Things I'll Never Say" by Christina Hovland

Jo Anne Banker

"This Child Is Mine" by Jo Anne Banker

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Contemporary Romance: Short

Susannah Erwin

"Job Opening: Billionaire's Wife" by Susannah Erwin

JoAnn Sky

"A Love Wide Open" by JoAnn Sky

Catherine Stuart

"Princess of Meridian" by Catherine Stuart

Kimberly MacCarron "What Would Ginger Do?" by Kimberly MacCarron
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Historical Romance

Scarlett Peckham

"Confess, Your Grace" by Scarlett Peckham

Jennifer Henderson

"The Governess's Glance" by Jennifer Henderson

Diana Lloyd "How to Train Your Baron" by Diana Lloyd
Laurel Kerr "Lord Lion and the Lady Publisher" by Laurel Kerr
Suzanne M Turner "The Lost Chord" by Suzanne M. Turner
Emily Sullivan "The Price of Desire" by Emily Sullivan
Elizabeth Rue "Unmasked" by Elizabeth Rue
Christina Britton "With Love in Sight" by Christina Britton
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Paranormal Romance

Janet Halpin

"Beryl Blue, Time Cop" by Janet Halpin

Heather Leonard

"Bless Your Heart and Other Southern Curses" by Heather Leonard

Kari W Cole "Constant Craving" by Kari W. Cole
Grace Adams "Fire's Rising" by Grace Adams
Kate Ramirez "The Mer Chronicles: Love's Diplomatic Act" by Kate Ramirez
A.Y. Chao "Soul Affinity" by A. Y. Chao
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Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements

Dianna Shuford

"Dangerous Exposure" by Dianna Shuford

Laura Conner Kestner

"Fair Haven" by Laura Conner Kestner

Pamela Ferguson "Wings of Love" by Pamela Ferguson
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Romantic Suspense

Lynnette Labelle

"The Fire Beckons" by Lynnette Labelle

Sarah Morgenthaler

"The Guide" by Sarah Morgenthaler

Patty Hoffman "Seductive Strokes" by Patty Hoffman
Meta Carroll "Semper Fi" by Meta Carroll
Tracy Brody "Shot Down" by Tracy Brody
Diana Belchase "Vengeance" by Diana Belchase
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Young Adult Romance

Kimberly MacCarron

"All the Feels" by Kimberly MacCarron

Jennifer Camiccia

"Listen" by Jennifer Camiccia

CR Grissom "Mouthful" by C R Grissom
Nicole Hohmann "Swimming through Fog" by Nicole Hohmann
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