Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Congratulations to the 2013 RITA WINNERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


For those of you who don't know about the Rita Awards but always wanted to here's the gist of it;
About 1200 titles are entered either by the author or the publisher and then is judged by a panel of published romance authors these judges narrow the field down to about 100 where another team of judges determine the 11 category winners and they are announced at the annual awards banquet at the end of the RWA


Young Adult Romance: The Farm  By Emily McKay

Best First Book: The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James

Contemporary Single Title Romance: The Way Back Home Barbara Freethy

Historical Romance: A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

Inspirational Romance: Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden

 Long Contemporary Series Romance: A Gift for All Seasons by Karen Templeton (see below for my review courtesy RT Magazine)

A GIFT FOR ALL SEASONS (4.5) by Karen Templeton: Patrick Shaughnessy is home from the war, but he’s left with injuries both evident and invisible, especially after his wife leaves him and their daughter Lili. April Ross has realized her dream of turning her grandmother’s home into an inn, thanks to her late husband’s estate. Now, a hunky yet scarred landscaper is making her feel things she never has before. Both have secrets that can destroy their future, but that’s only if they aren’t brave enough to believe in a little holiday magic. With its wounded warrior hero, optimistic heroine, witty narrative and touchingly emotional love scenes, Templeton’s tale is a gift indeed.

Reviewed By: Debbie Haupt

 Novel With Strong Romantic Elements: The Haunting of Maddie Clare by Simone St. James

Paranormal Romance: Shadow's Claim by Kresley Cole

Romance Novella: Seduced by a Pirate by Eloisa James

Romantic Suspense: Scorched by Laura Griffin (see below for my review of Scorched)

 Forensic Anthropologist Kelsey Quinn while on a dig in the Philippines finds skeletal remains of a homicide that gives her pause. Looking for answers she sends samples to her ex-fiancĂ©e Blake, an FBI agent. But answers is the last thing she receives when her ex is murdered, she’s the next supposed victim and has to run for her life, with no where turn and no one to trust because the killer wears a badge.
Navy SEAL Gage Brewer is blindsided by the two FBI agents waiting for him on his return from an op. It seems he’s high on the suspect list of Kelsey’s ex’s murder because of their past relationship. But Kelsey’s just as high on their list it seems and what really scares Gage is that no one’s seen Kelsey since before the murder, now his only concern is to find her alive because she still means the world to him.
Together Kelsey and Gage will be a united front against a formidable foe whose plot is beyond belief terrifying. They’ll also discover that their feelings for each other did not die with the end of their relationship. But love comes at a cost and if they survive the threat against them are they willing to pay the price.
Laura Griffin has amazed me before but this time she went above and beyond. I could not put this down, it kept me up late and glued to the pages as my heart sped and my pulse pounded with each new and frightening development, each new threat and each time the passion was just as affecting as the violence. Her characters Gage and Kelsey were so enigmatic, so engaging, and so real. Their stories so empathic that there was never a good guy or bad guy only lost chances that I could only hope see turned to second chances. Her storyline is as A-typed as her characters, it’s fast paced and angst filled and kept my stomach in knots and my nails bitten. The best thing about Laura’s Tracer series is both the fact that they read well as a stand-alone and that we get a glimpse of our old friends and their new lives as we go.
Thank you for an awe-inspiring romance and a fearful thriller in one read, it’ll take a while for my distress to lessen, but by then I’ll be more than ready for your next roller-coaster ride.
If you like the novels of Nelson DeMille, Lisa Gardner and John Sandford. I think you’ll really love Laura Griffin.

Short Contemporary Series Romance: A Night of No Return by Sarah Morgan ( see my review of A Night of No Return below courtesy of RT Magazine)

A NIGHT OF NO RETURN (4.5) by Sarah Morgan: On a snowy night, Emma delivers papers to her boss, only to find him lost in grief. On the anniversary of his daughter’s death, Lucas Jackson succumbs to sorrow, but for one night he seeks sanctuary from his loneliness in the arms of his assistant. As Emma and Lucas travel to the opening of his newest project, they realize that returning to a strictly professional relationship isn’t possible. But they will have to conquer the pain of Lucas’ past before they can build a future together. Lucas and Emma are a bewitchingly perfect pair in this heartfelt and masterful forbidden office romance.

Reviewed By: Debbie Haupt

The Golden Heart award is for unpublished manuscript authors judged by the general RWA members who narrow the field down to around 100 who then get the final judgement by editors from romance publishers


Contemporary Series Romance: Baby on Board by Miranda Liasson

Contemporary Single Title Romance: Objection Overruled by Jane O'Hanlon

Historical Romance: Drawn to the Earl by Joanne Shupe

Paranormal Romance: Mind Sweeper by Amy Jones writing as AE Jones

Romantic Suspense: Broken Pieces by Krista Hall Reynolds

Young Adult Romance: Summer of Supernova by Darcy Woods

One of the highest honors bestowed on romance authors by RWA is the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, it's given to a living author in recognition of contributions to the romance genre.


MARY JO PUTNEY-author of over 29 books since 1987. She is a nine time RITA finalist and has won two RITA's. She is also on the RWA honor roll of bestselling authors.

RWA Emma Merritt Service Award is presented for the the accumulated body of work a member has contributed as a volunteer to RWA and is intended to honor major commitmets of service to RWA.


NANCY HADDOCK- Nancy is the award winning and bestselling author of the La Vida Vampire, Last Vampire Standing and Always the Vampire. She's been a RWA member since 1984 and has been on the Board of Directors and the History Committee.

RWA Serivce Award is given to honor major commitments of service to RWA


JULIE HURWITZ- Served RWA at the local and national levels since joining in 1988 she writes unde the pen name Chloe Devlin

ELOISA JAMES - is a top five NYT bestselling author of 22 historical romances as well as her memoir, Paris In Love. A membe since 1998 she's served on the RWA Academic Grant Committee.

DONNA MACMEANS- a CPA since 1977 discovered her alter ego romance writer 20 years later. A member of RWA since 1996 served her local chapter. She also writes under the pen name Donna Richards.

TRISH MILBURN- writes contemporary romance for Harlequin American Romance and for Harlequin Nocturn and has been a member for 17years. She served as editor of RWA eNotes and served on the Board.

RWA Steffie Walker Bookseller of the Year Award is presented to on special bookseller who provides outstanding service to romance readers, supports romance authors and the romance genre.


CATHY GENNA, Barnes & Noble- Cathy is the Community Relations Manager at the East Brunswick NJ B&N. She made her store one of the bestselling stores for romance in her region. She hosts very sucessful romance author programs, reader programs and author signings.

RWA Librarian of the Year Award is awarded to a librarian who demonstrates outstanding support of romance authors and the romance genre


SARAH WHITTEN - is a librarian at the Bangor Public Library in Bangor ME. She's known as the voice for romance fiction at her library and she has presented the importance of romance in libraries at the local and state library conferences.

RWA Vivian Stephens  Industry Award is presented to one or more professionals in the romance publishing industry who not as a writer has contributed to the genre.


BETTE-LEE FOX - is celebrating her 41st year with Library Journal where she is currently Managing Editor. She also edits LJ's Video Reviews and e-original romance reviews. She attended her first RWA conference in 2004 as a guest and as they say the rest is history.

Visit the RWA Website here for all other awards, reciepients and anything you need or want to know about the organization.


  1. Thank you so much Debbie! It was such an exciting evening and I was very lucky because the competition was FIERCE from amazing authors.

    1. Hi Sarah, are your feet touching the ground yet. Congrats and the competition may have been fierce but there's no one who writes romance as well as you do.
      your biggest fan :)