RITA Winners

Romance Writers of America (RWA) announced the winners of the 2016 RITA® and Golden Heart® Awards on July 16 in San Diego, California.

I’m a little late with this, but the winners of the Golden Heart and RITA Awards were announced over the weekend.

As always, I seem not to have read any of these books…

You can read more HERE.

Best First Book Winner

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, ImpulsePriyanka Krishnan and Rebecca Lucash, editors

Contemporary Romance: Long Winner

Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan Sarah Morgan Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

Harlequin, HQN

Flo Nicoll, editor

Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length Winner

Carolina Dreaming by Virginia Kantra Virginia Kantra Carolina Dreaming by Virginia Kantra

Berkley Publishing Group

Cindy Hwang, editor

Contemporary Romance: Short Winner

Christmas on Crimson Mountain by Michelle Major Michelle Major Christmas on Crimson Mountain by Michelle Major

Harlequin, Special Edition

Gail Chasan, editor

Erotic Romance Winner

Off the Clock by Roni Loren Roni Loren Off the Clock by Roni Loren

Penguin Random House, Berkley

Kate Seaver, editor


Historical Romance: Long Winner

No Mistress of Mine by Laura Lee Guhrke Laura Lee Guhrke No Mistress of Mine by Laura Lee Guhrke

Avon Books

Erika Tsang, editor


Historical Romance: Short Winner

A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen Kelly Bowen A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen

Grand Central Publishing, Forever

Alex Logan, editor


Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance

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


Paranormal Romance Winner

The Pages of the Mind by Jeffe Kennedy Jeffe Kennedy The Pages of the Mind by Jeffe Kennedy

Kensington Publishing Corp.

Peter Senftleben, editor

Romance Novella Winner

Her Every Wish by Courtney Milan Courtney Milan Her Every Wish by Courtney Milan


Lindsey Faber, editor

Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements

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

Romantic Suspense Winner

Repressed by Elisabeth Naughton Elisabeth Naughton Repressed by Elisabeth Naughton

Montlake Publishing

Charlotte Herscher and Christopher Werner, editors

Young Adult Romance Winner

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



2017 Golden Heart Winners

Contemporary Romance Winner

Penelope Leas “No Man Left Behind” by Penelope Leas

Contemporary Romance: Short Winner

Susannah Erwin “Job Opening: Billionaire’s Wife” by Susannah Erwin

Historical Romance Winner

Christina Britton “With Love in Sight” by Christina Britton

Paranormal Romance Winner

Kari W Cole “Constant Craving” by Kari W. Cole

Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements Winner

Pamela Ferguson “Wings of Love” by Pamela Ferguson

Romantic Suspense Winner

Meta Carroll “Semper Fi” by Meta Carroll

Young Adult Romance Winner

Jennifer Camiccia “Listen” by Jennifer Camiccia

Twenty Years of Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling

Yes, I’m a day late (it was first published on the 26th of June), but it is the twentieth anniversary of Harry Potter.

I was at the end of my schooling when Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone came out. So, I wasn’t exactly thrilled by a book craze about a little wizard boy and his magic wand, complete with cutesy illustrated covers.

I moved to London shortly afterwards, and was watching live on television when the casting for the first movie was announced. However, it was also the time the first Lord of the Rings movie was released, and I was accidentally in Leicester Square the evening of the world premiere (which meant I got to watch all the red carpet arrivals, even though half of them weren’t famous yet – Orlando Bloom? Viggo Mortensen? Who’re they?!).

The media in England set up a fan war between the two franchises, with plenty of British newspapers printing long lists of “evidence” J. K. Rowling plagiarised J. R. R. Tolkien. I believed it at the time; not anymore.

Eventually, my boss made a deal with me: she’d read my Lord of the Rings books if I gave Harry Potter a chance. I was about twenty, and not that interested, but in the end I did actually enjoy them (though I never finished the series).

Viktor Krum Harry Potter Movies

My favourite character was that Bulgarian (? – Hungarian?) wizard guy who was Hermione’s boyfriend for about three seconds. I wanted them to end up together!

My boss HATED The Lord of the Rings (I don’t really blame her); she couldn’t get past the first twenty-thousand pages describing all the Hobbits. I didn’t hold it against her that she didn’t finish.

So, I’m no Harry Potter fangirl, but this was definitely an important Book-World anniversary to mark. We need another quality book franchise for the next generation. Maybe next time everyone won’t be raging misogynists and will let the female author publish under her real – feminine – name.

The Week: 15th – 21st May

Such a spectacular week in Canberra! Well, we won’t mention Friday (but there is something nice about a rainy autumn day, as long as you can spend it somewhere like a pub – as I did!), but the rest of the week was gorgeous.

I always say summer is my favourite season, but this autumn has been incredible. I might have to change my mind.

This week was the anniversary of Stalin’s ethnic cleansing (some call it genocide) of the Crimean Tatars. It’s yet another Kremlin atrocity nobody ever mentions.

Massive Harlequin News

Born Sexy Yesterday

Catching Up

My review of The Disappearance of Lady Edith (The Undaunted Debutantes #1) by Christina McKnight

My review of No Other Highlander (The McKennas #2) by Adrienne Basso

My review of Claiming His Highland Bride (A Highland Feuding #4) by Terri Brisbin

Massive Harlequin News

Stunning news out of Harlequin in the past day or so. It’s not uncommon for them to close book lines and open others, but they are closing FIVE lines in one go – some of them what I would call significant lines.

Amongst them is the staple of quality contemporary romance: Superromance. The first Harlequin book I ever read was from this line, and with its longer word count and more complex and realistic storylines, it always turned up some interesting books (and some of my favourite authors!).

The one that is causing the most drama in America is the cancellation of the Kimani line, as that is essentially an African American line. I am guessing the argument (if not the reality) will be that these books can be integrated into the general contemporary romance lines, but I doubt that will happen very often… I am actually just finishing one now.

One I’ll also enormously miss is the Love Inspired Historical line, as – despite the random praying – it has shown consistent quality for lighter historical romance. In the past few years I’ve gone out of my way to download ALL books in this group that have turned up for review. It wasn’t usually TOO religious, and so you were left with sweet Western romances that I really did so often like.

The other two? I think it’s incredibly shortsighted to discontinue Nocturne, the only paranormal series the publisher runs. Sure, it’s not the money-maker it was in the days of Twilight vampire stalkers, but surely it will be back in fashion soon. Could they not have reduced the number of releases each month instead of eliminating an ENTIRE genre of books?

And Western (was it not recently renamed “American Romance?”). It was revamped recently, and I was a bit annoyed about that. There have been some good books, but I was angry that they went from accepting general “Western” books to only accepting books from the United States. Suddenly even Canadians were too “foreign”, apparently. I think they ruined the line, but I don’t think this was the way to go…

Here I was, hearing for years that nobody reads their Medical line anymore – where is that in this drastic action? I admit to being too squeamish for some of those books, but there was some high quality there. Perhaps the original Mills and Boon (in the UK) had a say, as it’s one of their older series? I’m only guessing about that.

Harlequin stays on top of the world, it seems. However, this cull seems brutal. I know I – someone who is auto-approved to basically review whatever they put out – am going to lose MANY of the books that drew me to that publisher.

I was going to ask:

What in the world is going to replace these?

However, I then saw Courtney Milan had shared most of the official announcement, and discovered they’re NOT replacing them with anything:

Scary that entire subgenres are just gone forever.

If they discontinue the Historical line (which has been discussed before), then I might just be done.

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

I have an Irish surname, so…

For St Patrick’s Day, here are some books I can think of with an Irish main character, or are actually set in Ireland:

The Summer Bride by Anne Gracie

The Summer Bride (Chance Sisters book 4) by Anne Gracie

Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare

IGNORE the AWFUL cover and trashy title! It’s a very good book.

Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare

Secrets in Scarlet by Erica Monroe

Secrets in Scarlet (Rookery Rogues Book 2) Erica Monroe

Deception on Sable Hill by Shelley Gray

Deception on Sable Hill by Shelley Gray

Finally: If you want a book with a hero who came from Ireland centuries ago, you could always try this very popular vampire read!

Midnight Awakening by Lara Adrian

Midnight Awakening by Lara Adrian