[Ed. note: We continue with Week 3 of 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.]
Brenda Novak, Stop Me
2009 RITA® Finalist for Romantic Suspense
“Having one of my books final in any contest is an honor, but being nominated for the RITA® is especially exciting. This year my book is featured along with the books of so many authors I admire. Many of them are my good friends. I'm sure I can speak for all of us when I say it's wonderful recognition for the hard work that goes into a story. I'll be nervous on awards night but I really can't lose--because I'll be thrilled for anyone who gets to take home that statue.”
About Stop Me:
Who was the real killer?
Romain Fornier lost his reason for living when his daughter was kidnapped and murdered. He used a cop's gun to mete out his own justice and spent the next few years in prison. Once he was freed, he returned to his Cajun roots in small-town Louisiana. But now he learns that he might have killed the wrong man.
Jasmine Stratford, a psychological profiler, is convinced his daughter's killer is still alive—and that she and Romain have something in common. She believes the same man kidnapped her sister, Kimberly, sixteen years ago.
What happens next?
Jasmine is determined to track him down when she receives an anonymous package, postmarked New Orleans—the bracelet she gave Kimberly for her eighth birthday. She approaches Romain because she knows he can help her… if he chooses.
But searching for the man who irrevocably changed both their lives means they have to rise to a killer's challenge:
Jennifer Morey, The Secret Soldier
2009 RITA® Finalist for Best First Book
2009 RITA® Finalist for Contemporary Series: Suspense/Adventure
“While many entrants of this prestigious writing contest kept phones nearby on March 25th, 2009, I was at work and the significance of the day had completely dropped off my radar. I had no idea that Romance Writers of America® was going to start notifying the finalists. The RITA® is the romance industry’s highest distinction, sort of like the Oscars for romance writers. I did have a good reason for my distraction, though. Just the day before I received a call from Maureen Walters at New York’s Curtis Brown, who offered me representation. Curtis Brown is one of the most established and respected literary agencies in the business. I was already above the clouds. Nobody could have slapped the smile off my face! Imagine what it felt like to find out about dear RITA®...
On that Wednesday in March, I checked my personal email as I do every day. I was not expecting to see one from Romance Writers of America® telling me my debut novel, THE SECRET SOLDIER, is a finalist. And not only am I a finalist, I am a DOUBLE finalist! I was nominated for Best First Book and best Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure. After reading that email, I was amazed and awed and incredulous. All these thoughts went through my head. How crappy of a writer I was when I started doing this 11 years ago and all the hours I spent working to hone my craft—this on top of a 40-hour/week day job. I thought of all the brutal contest comments I forced myself to learn from. All the agent/editor appointments and the subsequent cold-hearted rejection letters. Years and years of heartbreak and hard work had led me to this point. Sitting in front of my computer at work, I started crying. This level of recognition was overwhelming. For the first time since getting published, I felt closer than ever to making my dream a reality—quitting my day job and writing full time. I am hoping the RITA® will give me the boost I need.”
About The Secret Soldier:
The powerful stranger broke down the door and saved Sabine O'Clery from the terrorists holding her hostage. But her secretive hero was forbidden from revealing his identity. Until enemy fire forced them to crash-land.…
Of all the covert military missions, being stranded on a Greek island with a beautiful woman is one that Cullen McQueen never imagined. But their stay in paradise was all too fleeting. He had to take Sabine back to America, or risk blowing his cover and losing everything he'd fought for. Yet memories of one passion-filled night haunted him… and when danger followed Sabine home, the stealth soldier knew he would break all the rules to keep her safe forever.
2009 RITA® Finalist for Historical Romance for The Spymaster's Lady [in tote #7]
2009 RITA® Finalist for Regency Historical Romance for My Lord and Spymaster [in tote #10]
“Getting nominated for the RITA®, I feel like I've joined an elite group -- the SEALs, maybe, or Barnum and Bailey's Clown School or Temperance Brennan's band of dysfunctional forensic examiners on 'Bones'. Have you looked at the names of those RITA® nominees? If we were career criminals, instead of romance writers, this would be the Ten Most Wanted list.
Getting nominated was a pleasure; it was a shock; it was an amazement; it was a fist-pumping War Dance of a moment. It was total weirdness and flopping down in the chair and staring at my dog in profound bemusement.
It's an honor to be in such company. I am so proud.”
About The Spymaster’s Lady:
She's never met a man she couldn't deceive...until now.
She's braved battlefields. She's stolen dispatches from under the noses of heads of state. She's played the worldly courtesan, the naive virgin, the refined British lady, even a Gypsy boy. But Annique Villiers, the elusive spy known as the Fox Cub, has finally met the one man she can't outwit.
Lilian Darcy, The Children's Doctor and the Single Mum
2009 RITA® Finalist for Contemporary Series Romance
“It was a real thrill to be nominated for a RITA® this year, firstly because I’ve now written over fifty Medical Romances for Harlequin, and of all of them this was my personal favorite. I loved creating a heroine who was a little different – she’s plump, and she’s a single mother of five children – and then finding a hero who loved her for exactly who she was. It means a lot to me that the RITA® judges responded to the book’s combination of warmth and humor and medical drama.
The other big reason I’m excited about this nomination is that for the first time, my husband will be attending the Romance Writers of America® conference with me, and will be able to come to the award ceremony and maybe understand just why I was so terrified and actually praying not to win, back in 2003 in New York when I received nominations in two different categories. On that occasion, my prayers were answered, and I was able to remain safely in my seat in the darkened auditorium, rather than having to go up there in front of over 2000 people, take that heavy gold statue without dropping it, and remember to thank everyone without bursting into tears or having to be led trembling from the stage. This time, I feel a little more prepared. I suspect I’ll still be praying not to win, but if I do, my feet may successfully carry me up there, comprehensible words may even flow from my lips, and I’ll be so proud to have my wonderful husband watching.”
About The Children's Doctor and the Single Mum:
The doctor takes a family!
Tammy is an excellent neonatal intensive care nurse – she’s also a single mum of five children! There’s simply no time in her life for relationships – besides, she’s sworn off men for good! Especially her gorgeous colleague – neonatal specialist Laird Burchell – a playboy, way out of her league, and not the kind of man who’d think about taking on five kids.
But Laird’s been bowled over by Tammy’s warmth, her sense of humor and her gorgeous red hair.
He might be daunted by the prospect of fatherhood, but there’s so much about Tammy and her lively young family that makes him think she’s a woman worth risking everything for…
Tamara Leigh, Faking Grace
2009 RITA® Finalist for Inspirational Romance
“What a joy to receive ‘the call’ from Romance Writers of America®. Yes, in the writer’s world, ‘the call’ refers to a publisher on the other end of the line saying they want to publish the breath-holding writer’s work. That ‘call’ can just about send a writer to the moon; however, the call I received from RWA® to tell me that my inspirational romance, Faking Grace, was a RITA® nominee, landed me on the moon. It meant that the story I hoped was worthy of publishing and that my publisher thought was worthy of publishing, had found an audience that believed in its message. But there’s more.
Having had seven mainstream books published before I answered another ‘call’ to write for the inspirational market, the RITA® nomination serves as further confirmation that I’m where God wants me to be (even though it took me a while to pick up the ringing phone). It is an honor to be a member of RWA® and a RITA® nominee. I’m thankful for the judges, the readers, my publisher, my family, and God who made it all possible. And thank you, TJ, for the opportunity to share my joy and excitement.”
[IMHO: You’re welcome, Tamara!]
About Faking Grace:
All she wants is a job. All she needs is religion. How hard can it be?
Maizy Grace Stewart dreams of a career as an investigative journalist, but her last job ended in disaster when her compassion cost her employer a juicy headline. A part-time gig at a Nashville newspaper might be her big break.
A second job at Steeple Side Christian Resources could help pay the bills, but Steeple Side only hires committed Christians. Maizy is sure she can fake it with her Five-Step Program to Authentic Christian Faith–a plan of action that includes changing her first name to Grace, buying Jesus-themed accessories, and learning “Christian Speak.” If only Jack Prentiss, Steeple Side’s managing editor and two-day-stubbled, blue-jean-wearing British hottie wasn’t determined to prove her a fraud.
When Maizy’s boss at the newspaper decides that she should investigate–and expose–any skeletons in Steeple Side’s closet, she must decide whether to deliver the dirt and secure her career or lean on her newfound faith, change the direction of her life, and pray that her Steeple Side colleagues–and Jack–will show her grace.
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 Wednesday for more featured RITA®-nominated finalists.