[Ed. note: We continue our RITA® giveaway with our next tote. 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.]
Jean Brashear, “Our Day,” in The Valentine Gift,
2009 RITA® Finalist for Romance Novella
“This is my third time to be a RITA® finalist, but the thrill when you get that call never lessens! When I received this one, I was sitting in a house on the edge of a canyon, and my cell phone reception was terrible! RITA® calls have always been on Sat. in the past, so I wasn't expecting this, though I knew they'd come that week. My phone rang, but I couldn't answer--and when I saw the unfamiliar area code and thought I heard a garbled 'RWA,' I bolted out of my chair, wondering...then raced through the house, out the back and up the hill, shouting all the while, 'Please don't hang up!' It took four calls to be sure what was going on, and I kept saying (as each other year) 'Really? Really?'
This time it was particularly astonishing to receive because 'Our Day' was my first-ever attempt at writing a novella, and I was worried that I didn't know how to do it. Brevity has never been my friend ;), so color me astonished to receive that phone call--astonished and thrilled!”
About "Our Day":
Every Valentine’s Day is a gift.
A day to celebrate your love—and the hope, the belief, that it will be everlasting. In "Our Day" by Jean Brashear, love gets a second chance.
Lilah Marshall and her husband Jake are entering a new period of their marriage, a transition many couples can't survive, one in which he's become too occupied with his career and she's been too involved with their children, who are now flying the nest. There are fears that they don't discuss—Lilah's, that they've lost each other and the closeness they once took for granted; Jake's sense of time passing without his ever having made his mark on the world. It's not until a crisis erupts that their eyes are opened to what they truly mean to each other and what each is willing to give—and give up.
Anthea Lawson, Passionate
2009 RITA® Finalist for Best First Book
“PASSIONATE is a Victorian-set romantic adventure, up for a RITA® in the Best First Book category. We started this story after Anthea read a romance that promised travel, love, and adventure in exotic places, but failed to deliver. ‘We could do better than that!’ she said, and leaped immediately into a sea of words, pulling Lawson headfirst in after her. What a great journey it has been. Not only did we learn how to tell a 320 page story, we learned how to appreciate each other’s strengths as we crafted a novel together.
PASSIONATE is like a beloved child that has grown up, moved out, and made a place for itself in the world. The RITA® nomination is the letter home: ‘Hey, I've found work and made a lot of wonderful new friends. I'm doing ok out here.’
We couldn't be more delighted.”
Before she must wed, Lily Strathmore decides upon one final adventure--a botanical expedition through the wilds of North Africa with her uncle and his family. In search of a fabled bloom, James Huntington soon joins them. Handsome to a fault and rakish to boot, he has the maddening habit of catching Lily at her most improper. And his sensual kisses are only the beginning of their passionate intimacy...
Huntington finds the beautiful Miss Strathmore impossible to resist. With each passing day, their desire for each other grows. And in his wildest dreams, Lily is his--and his alone. Forever...
Lori Handeland Thunder Moon
2009 RITA® Finalist for Paranormal Romance
“I am so excited to be nominated for a RITA® for my novel Thunder Moon. To me the RITA® is the Oscar of the romance industry. Given by writers to writers, the RITA® is a mark of excellence in our field.
I'm particularly thrilled to have Thunder Moon singled out. The first book in this series, Blue Moon, won the RITA® in 2005 in Reno. Thunder Moon is the eighth and final book--at least for now--in this series and I've been extremely excited that it is being recognized with a nomination as well.”
About Thunder Moon:
There's something in the air tonight…
Practical, skeptical Grace McDaniel was not looking for romance. The Sheriff of Lake Bluff, Georgia, and the granddaughter of a Cherokee doctor, Grace's hands are full with the daily trouble of small-town life. Arriving in the wake of a freak storm is Ian Walker, a mysterious stranger who blends modern medicine and traditional Native American cures. Even though she is wary of his ideas, Grace cannot resist what his touch awakens in her. But Ian is hiding a terrifying secret. And only he knows the truth about a creature stalking the citizens of Lake Bluff. A creature who preys on the dying…and then on the young, the living, the vibrant…Now, to save her people, Grace must put her faith in Ian's haunting power and succumb to her wildest passions-before the rumble of thunder fills the air, and a relentless evil strikes again…
Crystal Green, Falling for the Lone Wolf
2009 RITA® Finalist for Contemporary Series Romance
“Ever since joining RWA, the RITA® nominees have inspired me. I would read a lot of the honored books, and all the stories would consistently blow me away. I would even recommend the novels proudly to people who didn’t read romance, because I knew these representatives of the genre would win them over. As a nominee, I can’t believe that I’m listed in the same breath as those books I loved!”
About Falling for the Lone Wolf:
Go-getter businesswoman Jenny Hunter was used to living life on her own terms, and there was little the beautiful, brainy blonde couldn't conquer. But with her career skyrocketing, she'd decided to put love on the back burner—except for a little innocent flirtation with a hunky loner at her neighborhood Laundromat.
Although Liam McCree had nursed a crush on Jenny for months, the wannabe Web entrepreneur was convinced he was no match for the woman of his dreams. But when she faced an unexpected health crisis, Liam was there to boost Jenny's spirits and to send her heart rate soaring in the process. Would these two opposites find that love was truly the best medicine?
Cindy Gerard, Take No Prisoners
2009 RITA® Finalist for Romantic Suspense
“Many moons ago, when I was a wide-eyed innocent about all things having to do with publishing, I set out to write a book. It was pretty horrible. Then I heard about RWA, joined and through the generosity of regional representatives and classic articles printed in the RWR, I learned how to write a book that might actually sell. For three years running, I entered the Golden Heart and any number of contests brought to my attention by RWA. I benefited hugely from the critiques and actually managed to final in the GH with my third book. I can't tell you how excited I was! Over the moon excited! I didn't win but the validation I felt as a GH finalist was exactly what I needed to keep me working and writing and eventually selling.
Since then I've sold 43 novels, finaled in the RITAs® 6 times and won once. Each time is a unique and individual thrill. Just being listed in the company of some of the very same writers whose work I love and admire is astounding to me. Finaling in the RITAs® this year with TAKE NO PRISONERS, is no different. I'm in amazing company with writers who set the bar for excellence and I couldn't be more proud. IMHO, the RITAs® are the ultimate validation from a pool of judges who are my peers. It's a very satisfying and humbling experience.”
About Take No Prisoners:
A dangerous attraction . . .
Abbie Hughes no longer trusts men, but despite her cool indifference, her long legs and showgirl face still draw plenty of advances. Between working as a Vegas blackjack dealer, going to school, and keeping an eye on her younger brother, Cory, there’s no time for romance—until the night a sexy, mysterious stranger places a wager at her table.
Spurred by revenge . . .
Sam Lang left Black Ops, Inc. when tragedy struck his family. Although he’s determined to retire his M-16 rifle and K-bar knife to lead a quiet life on his ranch, a vengeful quest will send him on a dangerous manhunt for the ruthless international crime lord who murdered his sister.
. . . Reveals a savage threat they can’t ignore.
Though Sam suspects Abbie is in on a lucrative gem-smuggling deal her brother made with the enemy, their attraction is undeniable. Now Cory is missing, and together they search the wild backcountry of Honduras to find him. With evil on their trail and bearing down, they must trust each other completely or face certain death alone. . . .
IMHO: That's it for this week! Have a great 4th of July Independence Day (since we don't barbeque, my family and I will be engaging in our annual viewing of Will Smith's Independence Day sci-fi flick).
Remember, winners of this week's tote bags will be announced on July 5, Sunday, and the winner will have a deadline to respond, so be sure to check back if you don't want to lose out on a chance to take home one of this week's tote bags. Sorry, only mailing addresses in the US and Canada are eligible to win. Tune in all next week for more featured RITA®-nominated finalists!