[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.]
Jacquie D'Alessandro, "Only You"/It Happened One Night
2009 RITA® Finalist for Romance Novella
“I’m absolutely thrilled that my novella ("Only You" from the book IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT) is a RITA® finalist—not only because it is an honor to be recognized by my peers and to be in the company of such accomplished, talented women, but because this particular story was a complete joy to write. To have the opportunity to participate in an anthology with the incredibly talented Stephanie Laurens, Mary Balogh, and Candice Hern was like being served a double chocolate fudge sundae. For my story to be a RITA finalist—that just put a sweet cherry on top of an already delicious dessert. “
About “Only You”:
It Happened One Night . . . and nothing was ever the same again!
Once upon a time, four superstar storytellers -- New York Times bestselling authors Stephanie Laurens and Mary Balogh, along with Jacquie D'Alessandro and Candice Hern -- came up with a delicious idea. What if they each wrote a story about a proper young lady stranded at a remote inn away from society's constraints? What would happen? And how long would it take for her to give in to desire?
In these four amazing tales, four heroines will come face-to-face with the men who got away . . . only to discover that, instead of anger, there is still a passionate connection that cannot be denied. And while each of their lives is quite different, and their pasts utterly unique, they will all make a common discovery -- that one night can change everything . . . forever.
Kerry Connor, Strangers in the Night
2009 RITA® Finalist for Contemporary Series: Suspense/Adventure
“As a new author, I can only imagine that having any of my books recognized in any way will always mean a great deal. But I have to admit that having STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT in particular be a RITA® finalist feels extra special. Even before it became my first published book, this was a story that meant a lot to me. It's one I cared deeply about and wrote without considering what I could get away with, just writing what I wanted. (And as soon as I was finished, I started worrying about whether I could get away with a lot of what I'd written :-> ). It's also one that had a long road to publication, and there was a time I gave up on ever seeing it published. So to have this book acknowledged at all, let alone final in two categories, has meant the world to me.
I'm really thankful that not only did the judges like the book, but that more readers may discover it as a result. As a series romance, it was only available in stores for a month, and I'm sure many people hadn't even heard of it. The chance to have a story I loved possibly be brought to the attention of readers who might have missed it when it was released is as exciting as the nominations themselves.”
About Strangers in the Night:
It was dark, it was late, and they were total strangers
Caught in a Chicago alley crossfire, Allie Freeman was running for her life when she slammed into Gideon Ross. A hardened bounty hunter, his job was to discover why this stranger no different than the girl next door was so highly desired. But unraveling what made Allie so special would take more time than he had....
Being drawn into this wanted woman's life had turned Ross into the hunted. Allie's hidden identity exposed them to a relentless killer one, inexplicably, she was willing to die for. But she didn't know the lengths Ross would go to keep her unharmed. He wasn't willing to share her with anybody, and in this game of survival, whoever keeps their secret the longest, wins.
Susan Grant, Moonstruck
2009 RITA® Finalist for Paranormal Romance
"Moonstruck was a special book from the first chapter. I was initially writing another story when my muse refused to let go of THIS story. I was thinking of it day and night while the one I was writing was going nowhere. I got permission to change with only seven weeks to go on my deadline. It was my 11th book, but wow, I lived this one, it gripped me. And when I wrote the last page, I felt chills. That's how real the characters and story were to me. I was so glad for the experience because I was in doubt I'd feel that way anymore after all the books behind me and not a huge amount of excitement at the marketing level for the bastard-stepchildren-type of books I write, SF Romance, a narrow niche with a small but hugely loyal fan base if not gung-ho publisher support. If nothing else came of the experience but happy readers, I'd have been pleased, but to be nominated for the RITA® was...is...so amazingly gratifying and thrilling!"
Peace was for little girls
And Coalition starship admiral Brit Bandar was one tough woman. A mere intergalactic treaty could never get her to trust the Drakken Horde. There was too much bad blood between the Coalition and the Horde and, for intensely personal reasons, Brit wasn't sure that she was through spilling it! But now a peaceful accord had made Finn Rorkken, a notorious Drakken rogue, second in command on her starship, and through some grand cosmic irony front and center in her thoughts...and her heart.
Either title sat easily on Finn's battle-hardened shoulders. Though second in command to "Stone-Heart" Bandar? That one would take some getting used to. Peace required as much sacrifice as war so he'd comply even if his reaction to the gorgeous admiral fell decidedly outside protocol. But would he end up kissing or killing her if the galaxy's tentative truce turned into all-out war?
Tina Ferraro, How to Hook a Hottie
2009 RITA® finalist for Young Adult Romance
“I once heard an actor say he was an overnight success...if you considered overnight his entire adult lifetime. That sums me up beautifully. It took me 20+ years, about 200 short stories and seven completed manuscripts to become a ‘published author.’ Along my journey, I had many goals and dreams, but being a RITA® finalist was not one of them. Because I considered RITA® finalists to be the-best-of-the-best. And I was just trying to hone my craft to be ‘good enough’ to catch the eye of an agent, an editor, a reviewer, a reader. ‘Best’ was out of my reach.
So to see my name and book included on the list of this year’s RITA® finalists is an astonishing experience for me. I am dazed and dazzled, and enjoying every moment of this didn’t-dare-to-dream-come-true.”
About How to Hook a Hottie:
At 17, Kate Delvecchio has one goal in life: to become a millionaire before the age of 20. And as far as she’s concerned, college will only slow her down. Unfortunately for Kate, the one thing her parents do agree on is that they totally disagree with her strategy. And so the deal is born. If Kate can raise five thousand big ones by graduation day, her parents will hand over the balance of her college account to invest as she pleases. No college, no degree, and no way she’ll ever be able to pull it off. But when Kate accidentally agrees to go to the sports banquet with the hottest guy at school, she stumbles upon a possible cash cow. The rest of the junior class is amazed that no-nonsense Kate could hook such a hottie, and one by one they approach her for help hooking their own. She doesn’t know anything about getting guys, but for $100 a pop, she’s more than willing to invent a six-step plan for How to Hook a Hottie. And how could that possibly backfire?
Deeanne Gist, Deep in the Heart of Trouble
2009 RITA® Finalist for Inspirational Romance
“I attended my first RWA® national conference—and thus my first RITA® award ceremony—as an aspiring author in 1996 (New York City). I was on such a shoestring budget that I ate peanut butter and Graham crackers in my hotel room every evening—except for award night. Back then, the ceremony included a formal dinner, a fully staged set, a live orchestra, a live camera showing the winner leaving her seat and approaching the stage. I will never forget the wonder of that night. It was like attending the Oscars.
I can remember sitting there thinking, “Someday, I want to be a published author who’s called onto the stage.” Fast-forward thirteen years to 2009 when I received the call letting me know I’d been nominated. My mind immediately carried me back to that magical night in 1996. I may not be called onto the stage, but I am completely sincere when I say that I am thrilled ... humbled ... awestruck ... to even be nominated. It is truly an honor I will cherish forever."
About Deep in the Heart of Trouble:
A Texas-Sized Tale of Unexpected Love
Essie Spreckelmeyer is the last woman anyone in Corsicana, Texas, expected to see with a man on her arm. Independent and outspoken, she's known more for riding bicycles in outrageous bloomers than for catching a man's eye. And the last man who seems willing to give her a second glance is Tony Morgan, newly hired at Spreckelmeyer's oil company. The disinherited son of an oil baron, Tony wants most to restore his name and regain his lost fortune--not lose his heart to this headstrong blonde. She confounds, contradicts, and confuses him. Sometimes he doesn't know if she's driving him toward the aisle or the end of his rope. That's how life is...Deep in the Heart of Trouble
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 Thursday for more featured RITA®-nominated finalists.