At their Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas, last week, the Romance Writers of America handed out statues to the winners of the Rita Awards. This was the first year that self-published books could be entered, and, as I reported in my Blog post of May 21, six of the 77 finalists were self-published books.
Although many more finalists were admitted to the categories of Contemporary, Historical and Paranormal, there was only one winner in each of the nine categories. And one of those was self-published. It was Carolyn Crane’s Romantic Suspense novel, OFF THE EDGE. Congratulations, Carolyn, for being one out of nine.
Here’s the complete list:
** Best First novel. THE SWEET SPOT. Laura Drake. Grand Central Publishing, Forever.
** Contemporary Romance. CRAZY THING CALLED LOVE. Molly O’Keefe. Random House, Ballantine
** Erotic Romance. CLAIM ME. J. Kenner. Random House, Bantam.
** Historical Romance. NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED. Sarah MacLean. Harper-Collins, Avon Books
** Inspirational Romance. FIVE DAYS IN SKYE. Carla Loreana. David C. Cook.
** Paranormal Romance. THE FIREBIRD. Susanna Kearsley. Sourcebooks.
** Romance Novella. TAKE ME, COWBOY. Jane Porter. Tule Publishing, Montana Born.
** Romantic Suspense. OFF THE EDGE. Carolyn Crane. Self-Published.
** Short Contemporary Romance. WHY RESIST A REBEL. Leah Ashton. Harlequin, Kiss
As I mentioned last time, Contemporary Romance was the largest category with eighteen finalists. Among them were Nora Roberts, Penguin’s Queen of Romance, Bella Andre, possibly the Queen of self-published romance writers, and Christy Ridgeway, a USA Today best-selling author, who is a member of my own RWA chapter, San Diego. Sorry, Christy, but take some comfort in the fact you had a lot of competition and neither Nora nor Bella won that category either.