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Romance Writer’s of America Announces 2016 Rita and Golden Heart Finalists

RITAAWARD-130x300The 2016 RITA® and Golden Heart®Awards finalists have been announced the Romance Writer’s of America (RWA). The awards are considered the ‘Oscars’ of the romance genre and represent unique storytelling. 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 The Golden Heart recognizes excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts.

With over 2,000 romance novels entered into the competition annually, it is quite the honor to become a finalist. Winners are announced at a black-tie awards ceremony on July 16 at the 2016 RWA Annual Conference in San Diego, California. Congratulations to all the nominees and finalists!!

Here is the list of this year’s finalists:

2016 RITA Finalists


Best First Book

Altered by Marnee Blake
Entangled Publishing, Embrace
Candace Havens, editor

Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn
Entangled Publishing, Teen
Liz Pelletier, editor

Night Hush by Leslie Jones
HarperCollins, Witness Impulse
Nicole Fischer, editor

No Better Man by Sara Richardson
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Megha Parekh, editor

A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter
Baker Publishing Group, Bethany House
Raela Schoenherr, editor

Pairing Off by Elizabeth Harmon
Harlequin, Carina Press
Kerri Buckley, editor

The Strongest Steel by Scarlett Cole
St. Martin’s Press
Elizabeth Poteet, editor

Viking Warrior Rising by Asa Maria Bradley
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Cat Clyne, editor

 


Contemporary Romance: Long

Brokedown Cowboy by Maisey Yates
Harlequin, HQN
Margo Lipschultz, editor

Fire Me Up by Kimberly Kincaid
Kensington Publishing Corp., Zebra
Alicia Condon, editor

Love Me Sweet by Tracy Brogan
Amazon, Montlake
Kelli Martin, editor

Love Somebody Like You by Susan Fox
Kensington Publishing Corp., Zebra
Martin Biro, editor

Once Kissed by Cecy Robson
Penguin Random House, Loveswept
Sue Grimshaw, editor

Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne
Harlequin, HQN
Gail Chasan, editor

Searching for Beautiful by Jennifer Probst
Simon & Schuster, Gallery Books
Lauren McKenna, editor

Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis
Grand Central Publishing
Leah Hultenschmidt, editor

The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak
Harlequin, MIRA
Paula Eykelhof, editor

 


Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length

A Cold Creek Christmas Story by RaeAnne Thayne
Harlequin, Special Edition
Gail Chasan, editor

Dances Under the Harvest Moon by Joanne Rock
Harlequin, Superromance
Adrienne Macintosh, editor

Falling for Mister Wrong by Lizzie Shane
Self-published
Kristan Andrews, editor

Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Self-published
Edie Danford, editor

Just Say Yes by Elizabeth Hayley
Penguin Random House, NAL
Laura Fazio, editor

Love After All by Jaci Burton
Penguin Random House, Berkley
Kate Seaver, editor

The Marriage Contract by Katee Robert
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Leah Hultenschmidt, editor

Not a Fairy Tale by Romy Sommer
HarperCollins, HarperImpulse
Charlotte Ledger, editor

Once Pure by Cecy Robson
Penguin Random House, Loveswept
Sue Grimshaw, editor

Romancing Miss Right by Lizzie Shane
Self-published
Kristan Andrews, editor

 


Contemporary Romance: Short

A Bramble House Christmas by CJ Carmichael
Tule Publishing
Sinclair Sawhney, editor

Carter Bravo’s Christmas Bride by Christine Rimmer
Harlequin, Special Edition
Gail Chasan, editor

Chance of a Lifetime by Marissa Clarke
Entangled Publishing, Lovestruck
Liz Pelletier, editor

Heated Moments by Phyllis Bourne
Harlequin, Kimani Romance
Glenda Howard, editor

His Lost-and-Found Bride by Scarlet Wilson
Harlequin, Mills & Boon Romance
Carly Byrne, editor

The Nanny Plan by Sarah M. Anderson
Harlequin, Desire
Stacy Boyd, editor

One Night with Her Bachelor by Kat Latham
Tule Publishing, Montana Born Books
Sinclair Sawhney, editor

The Prince She Never Forgot by Scarlet Wilson
Harlequin, Mills & Boon Romance
Carly Byrne, editor

Tempting the Knight by Heidi Rice
Tule Publishing
Kelly Hunter, editor

Three Nights Before Christmas by Kat Latham
Tule Publishing
Sinclair Sawhney, editor

 


Erotic Romance

Break Me Down by Roni Loren
Penguin Random House, Berkley Intermix
Kate Seaver, editor

For Real: A Spires Story by Alexis Hall
Riptide Publishing
Sarah Lyons, editor

Say My Name by J. Kenner
Ballantine Bantam Dell, Bantam Books
Shauna Summers, editor

Sugar by Seressia Glass
Penguin Random House
Cindy Hwang, editor

Three Little Mistakes by Nikki Sloane
Self-published
Lori Whitwam, editor

 


Historical Romance: Long

Bella and the Beast by Olivia Drake
St. Martin’s Press
Jennifer Enderlin, editor

Earls Just Want to Have Fun by Shana Galen
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Deb Werksman, editor

If the Viscount Falls by Sabrina Jeffries
Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books
Micki Nuding, editor

Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist
Simon & Schuster, Howard Books
Beth Adams, editor

Tremaine’s True Love by Grace Burrowes
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Deb Werksman, editor

 


Historical Romance: Short

Falling into Bed with a Duke by Lorraine Heath
HarperCollins, Avon Books
May Chen, editor

It Started with a Scandal by Julie Anne Long
HarperCollins, Avon Books
May Chen, editor

Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare
HarperCollins, Avon Books
Tessa Woodward, editor

Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress by Theresa Romain
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Deb Werksman, editor

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn
HarperCollins, Avon Books
Lyssa Keusch, editor

Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt
Grand Central Publishing
Amy Pierpont, editor

 


Inspirational Romance

A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade
Baker Publishing Group, Bethany House
Charlene Patterson and Raela Schoenherr, editors

Mistletoe Justice by Carol J. Post
Harlequin, Love Inspired Suspense
Rachel Burkot, editor

The Mountain Midwife by Laurie Alice Eakes
HarperCollins, Zondervan
Becky Phillpot, editor

A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter
Baker Publishing Group, Bethany House
Raela Schoenherr, editor

The Rescued by Marta Perry
Penguin Random House, Berkley
Ellen Edwards, editor

 


Paranormal Romance

Midnight’s Kiss by Thea Harrison
Penguin Random House, Berkley Sensation
Cindy Hwang, editor

Must Love Chainmail by Angela Quarles
Self-published
Erynn Newman and Jessa Slade, editors

Possessed by a Wolf by Sharon Ashwood
Harlequin, Nocturne
Ann Leslie Tuttle, editor

The Shattered Court by M. J. Scott
Penguin Random House, NAL ROC
Jessica Wade, editor

Soulbound by Kristen Callihan
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Alex Logan, editor

Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts
Penguin Random House, Berkley
Leslie Gelbman, editor

Viking Warrior Rising by Asa Maria Bradley
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Cat Clyne, editor

 


Romance Novella

All’s Fair in Love and Scandal by Caroline Linden
HarperCollins, Avon Impulse
Lyssa Keusch, editor

Blue Streak: A Blue Series Novella by Jules Barnard
Self-published
Shelley Bates, editor

“Desert Heat” by Merline Lovelace
in Course of Action: Crossfire
Harlequin, Romantic Suspense
Patience Bloom, editor

“Her Secret Prince” by Madeline Ash
in Royal Holiday
Tule Publishing Group
Laurie Johnson, editor

“Let It Shine” by Alyssa Cole
in The Brightest Day, a Juneteenth Historical Romance Anthology
Self-published
Arynn Nichols, editor

Nice Girls Don’t Ride by Roni Loren
Penguin Random House, Berkley Intermix
Kate Seaver, editor

One Little Kiss by Robin Covington
Self-published
Nicole Bailey, editor

The Resurrection of Sam Sloan by Erin Quinn
Self-published

Toward the Sunrise by Elizabeth Camden
Baker Publishing Group, Bethany House
Raela Schoenherr, editor

 


Romantic Suspense

Barefoot with a Bodyguard by Roxanne St. Claire
Self-published
Kristi Yanta, editor

Barefoot with a Stranger by Roxanne St. Claire
Self-published
Kristi Yanta, editor

Facing Fire by HelenKay Dimon
HarperCollins, Avon Books
May Chen, editor

Fatal Frenzy by Marie Force
Harlequin, Carina Press
Alissa Davis, editor

Flash Fire by Dana Marton
Self-published

In the Waning Light by Loreth Anne White
Amazon, Montlake Romance
Charlotte Herscher and JoVon Sotak, editors

She Can Kill by Melinda Leigh
Amazon, Montlake Romance
Charlotte Herscher and Anh Schluep, editors

The Strongest Steel by Scarlett Cole
St. Martin’s Press
Elizabeth Poteet, editor

Target Engaged by M. L. Buchman
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Deb Werksman, editor

 


Young Adult Romance

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
Macmillan, Feiwel & Friends
Anna Roberto, editor

Followed by Frost by Charlie N. Holmberg
Amazon, 47North
Jason Kirk, editor

Rikki by Abigail Strom
Self-published

Unspoken by C. C. Hunter
St. Martin’s Press, Griffin
Rose Hilliard, editor

 


 

heart

2016 Golden Heart Finalists


 

Contemporary Romance

“An Education” by Brooke Salisbury

“Façade” by Susan Bickford

“Off the Rails” by Monique Headley

“Shelter Me” by Gabrielle Luthy

“Smiling Underwater” by Sydney Carroll

“The Sniper’s Second Shot” by Tracy Brody

“Sometimes You Need a Sexy Scot” by Melonie Johnson

“Soul Song” by Rayn Ellis

“Surrender to the Movie Star” by Melanie McCarthy

“Welcome Home, Katie Gallagher” by Seana Kelly

 


Historical Romance

“Besotted with the Viscount” by Susanna Malcolm

“A Curious Correspondence” by Amelia Ridley

“The Earl and the Pussycat” by Elizabeth King

“The Impetuous Miss Milton” by Renee Ann Miller

“My Lord Mercenary” by Tracey Amey

“Taming the Earl” by Elizabeth King

“An Unbridled Gentleman” by Eileen Emerson

“Undone” by Elizabeth Rue

“Wild Women and the Blues” by Denny S. Bryce

 


Inspirational Romance

“For the Love of Termites” by Kimberly MacCarron

“One More Breath” by Pamela Kopfler

“Scottish Warrior” by Laura Stolmeier

 


Paranormal Romance

“Better Dead” by Pamela Kopfler

“Constant Craving” by Kari Cole

“Don’t Call Me Cupcake” by Tara Sheets

“Kissed at Midnight” by Ainsley Wynter

“The Mer Chronicles: A Duty Too Far” by Kate Ramirez

“Taxing Courtship” by Janelle Lohr

“WØLFF: Rise of the Valdyr” by Alison Pritchard writing as Alyson McLayne

 


Romantic Suspense

“Escape from the Harem” by Diana Belchase

“Four Tragedies” by Layla Reyne

“In the Wrong Sights” by Tracy Brody

“Love in Hiding” by Diane Holiday

“Ruby Red” by Melanie Novak

“The Truth Is in the Tango” by Arianna James

 


Short Contemporary Romance

“Breaking Her Rules” by Sarah Hall

“In the Fast Lane” by Evie Anderson

“Rescuing Riley” by Carrie Nichols

 


Young Adult Romance

“The Accidental Boyfriend” by Lori Freeland

“The Beekeeper” by Meg Kassel

“Between Never & Always” by TL Sumner

“The Expedition” by Mary Sullivan

“Field Guide to a Girl” by Nicole Hohmann

“The Other Cheek” by McCall Hoyle

“Senior Tag: The Underwear Games” by Sheri Adkins

 

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