[Ed. note: be sure to leave your comments on the posts for a chance to win. One tote per winner will be awarded, but you can comment on any post throughout the contest period.]
Jessica Andersen, Twin Targets
2009 RITA® Finalist for Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure
“Ten years ago (!), Dalton Diaz and I sat in the audience with Suz Brockmann’s family as Suz graciously accepted a staggering number of RITAs®. When the ceremony was over, Dalton turned to me and said, 'Okay, we’re making a pact here and now. Whichever of us gets nominated first is bringing the other one to sit up front as her date.' Five years ago, I was able to make good on that promise. I might not have won the RITA® that year, but Dalton and I were sitting up there front and center! This year, I had the pleasure of attending the RT convention and cheering as Dalton took her place at the front of the room, having recently become an EC author. Although she won’t be in DC to cheer when the cover of Twin Targets flashes on the big screen, I know she’ll be just a phone call away, waiting to hear whether the third time is the charm for me.
So I guess that being nominated for a RITA® means two main things to me: it’s a wonderful and humbling nod of ‘well done’ from a handful of judges who might not be my usual readers, but who found something exciting, sexy, or otherwise relatable in a story that means a great deal to me … and it brings me a sense of continuity and community, of another year passing and all of us taking another step forward as writers … and as friends. Best of luck to all of us, in the RITA®s and in the year to come.”
About Twin Targets:
FBI agent John Sharpe was closing in on a criminal he'd made his life's mission to put away for life. So rescuing Sydney Westlake from the churning ocean was a distraction he couldn't afford. But then he learned the beautiful scientist had escaped his target's clutches and could hold the key to closing his case, so John wasn't letting her out of his sight. Sydney claimed she was more than willing to help, especially if it meant securing her twin sister's safety, but danger threatened every move she and John made together. Would the same hold true once their barely contained attraction was finally released?
2009 RITA® Finalist for Romance Novella – “Penance” in Aftershock [in Tote #1]
2009 RITA® Finalist for Paranormal Romance for The Healer [in Tote #2]
“Having a book final in the RITA® competition is, for me, a huge affirmation from my peers. For a writer, having our books praised/critiqued is somewhat like a parent hearing praise/criticism about one of our children. If it's good, we're elated. If it's bad, the emotions run from hurt to indignant. It's a 'how dare you say my child is ugly' kind of thing, although we do survive regardless, and hope that the next book we write will connect in a positive way with our readers...
'Penance,' a short story in an anthology called AFTERSHOCK, is about a young woman who, after being shot in the head and surviving, realizes she has developed psychic powers. Through some emotional struggles with her own reluctance to admit this is true, she finally learns how to use it to help people, and during the telling of her story, helps find a kidnapped child before it's too late.”
After being shot, Nicole Masters's "penance" for cheating death dictates that she must help others—even if it means putting herself in danger. Now she and Detective Dominic Tucci—a neighbor determined to make Nicole accept her new gift—team up to rescue an innocent child before time runs out.…
Sherry Thomas, Private Arrangements
2009 RITA® Finalist for Best First Book
2009 RITA® Finalist for Historical Romance
“The RITA® nomination means, in the most practical terms, that if I actually receive the award, everybody will see what I'm wearing. So for the first time in a very long time, I have purchased a new dress!
But seriously, it is a humbling honor, to see the august company on the nomination list, and to get there with my first book. That is the stuff dreams are made of.”
About Private Arrangements:
Love has designs of its own.…
To all of London society, Lord and Lady Tremaine had the ideal arrangement: a marriage based on civility, courteousness, and freedom—by all accounts, a perfect marriage. The reason? For the last ten years, husband and wife have resided on separate continents.
But once upon a time, things were quite different for the Tremaines….When Gigi Rowland first laid eyes on Camden Saybrook, the attraction was immediate and overwhelming. But what began in a spark of passion ended in betrayal the morning after their wedding—and now Gigi wants to be free to marry again. When Camden returns from America with an outrageous demand in exchange for her freedom, Gigi’s decision will have consequences she never imagined, as secrets are exposed, desire is rekindled—and one of London’s most admired couples must either fall in love all over again…or let each other go forever.
Cindi Myers, The Right Mr. Wrong
2009 RITA® Finalist for Contemporary Series Romance
“Being nominated for a RITA® is a great joy and honor. Writing is a lonely business. Yes, I have my characters to keep me company, but for the most part, it's me and the computer screen. I love my stories, but will anyone else love them? This is why fan mail is so appreciated. Hearing that my books have touched a reader is the ultimate validation. The judges for the RITA® are readers as well as writers. I am very honored to know they have judged my book to be among the best in its class.
Being nominated for a RITA® is also humbling. I know that many other wonderful books did not make the finals. And I am aware of all the nominees who have gone before me, some of them authors whose works I adore. I'm grateful for this nomination and hope to live up to the honor.”
About The Right Mr. Wrong:
This follow-up to Marriage On Her Mind takes readers back to Crested Butte, Colorado where the town’s Casanova, Hagan Ansdar, meets former Olympic ski racer Maddie Alexander. Recovering from a career-ending injury, Maddie has joined Crested Butte ski patrol, hoping to figure out what to do with her life now that her dream of competing at the Olympics has been destroyed. Hagan is content with his no-strings-attached life until he meets Maddie and discovers how empty his life has been without her in it.
Jean Marie Pierson, No Good Girls
2009 RITA® Finalist for Best First Book
2009 RITA® Finalist for Contemporary Single Title
“Being nominated for the RITA® for Best First Book and Best Contemporary Single Title Romance means that my family and friends are officially off the hook. I thought they might be liars. I mean, sweet liars going to great lengths to spare my feelings. Here’s how my mind worked through the whole publishing process:
1 - Workshop friends liked it. I buy them beers while we read. They’ll like anything after happy hour.
2 - Agent liked it. It’s her job to pump me up. Can’t sell a sad romance author.
3 - Editor liked it. She’s working on so many books at the same time. Maybe she got me confused with another author.
4 - Family gets first copies. They liked it. They HAVE to like it. They are thanked in the credits. Besides, I get a Disney discount through work. Their kids love me.
5 - Submit it RITA® Awards. The ones who write the best romance in the world judge you. Gulp. Double Gulp.
6 - Become a finalist. Ok. They’re not just being nice.
Now it’s not that I have horrible self-esteem. It’s that up until you get a book published, the writer’s life is filled with so much rejection that you buffer yourself at every turn. You wait for the other shoe to drop. For me, being a finalist in the RITA® means that stiletto is firmly planted on my foot. And it’s not going anywhere other than with me to DC.”
About No Good Girls:
Geri O’Brien is having a bad-hair life. Her last date was with a guy who’d rather make tracks than make love; she works for a publisher who actually thinks a kids’ book on the Donner Party is a fun idea; and the closest she’s ever going to get to her dream man is seeing him on the side of a bus.
When Geri started to write her latest screenplay, she never thought that the fabled New York minute was ever going to come into her life or the lives of her friends Maria, Emmy and Sally. But when one of them got dumped, one got shot and one threw up on a 4-star restaurant window, they had a run of luck you need to read to believe.
But it all just proves what they say: Every time a woman complains that there are no good men out there, a great guy out there is complaining that there are no good girls.
IMHO: That's it for today. Be sure to leave a comment for our authors if you want a chance to win this tote and tune in all week for more featured RITA®-nominated finalists.