Every year around this time, thousands of romance writers are sitting by their phones waiting for “the call.” Not the one from an editor or agent, but from one of the members of the board of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) telling them their manuscript or book finaled in either the Golden Heart® (unpublished) or the RITA® (published) Awards.
These prestigious contests are sort of like the Oscars of romance, complete with a ceremony emceed by an author-celebrity, lots of fancy gowns, and a golden statue for the RITA winners. The only thing missing is the E! reporter.
I can tell you from experience that there is no day so nervewracking as finalist announcement day. (Okay, except the actual awards ceremony.) I’ve been through it twice (2010 and 2011) so far. You think you will distract yourself with writing, but find that you’re constantly checking the RWA web page, Facebook, and Twitter to see if your category is done. And every time the phone rings your heart skips a beat.
Several of us at Kiss and Thrill suffered through the suspense again today, and I’m happy to announce that Sarah Andre and Sharon Wray are both Golden Heart finalists in the Romantic Suspense category!!
We’re so proud and excited and can’t wait to cheer them on this summer in San Antonio!
And now on to today’s winner…
You’ve won the digital copy of Avery Flynn’s newest release: High-Heeled Wonder.
Please click on the Contact Us key and let us know where to send it.
Thank you ALL for stopping by and adding to our eyesore-fashion list!
Congratulations also to the 2014 RITA Romantic Suspense nominees:
Toni Anderson: THE KILLING GAME
Carolyn Crane: OFF THE EDGE
(Frequent K&T guest!) Julie Ann Walker: THRILL RIDE
Erica Spindler: JUSTICE FOR SARA
On Tuesday, April 1st, Sarah is posting the first sentence of each of their books! Please stop by and read the lines, see their covers and check out their bios. She’s invited each of the nominees to visit, so please come and congratulate them!
While several of my Kiss and Thrill sisters are off having a blast in Atlanta at the national conference of Romance Writers of America®, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight this year’s finalists in the romantic suspense category of the Golden Heart.
From RWA’s website:
The purpose of the Golden Heart contest is to promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding romance manuscripts.
Approximately 1,200 romance manuscripts are entered in the Golden Heart each year by writers who have not accepted a publishing offer for a work of original fictional narrative prose of 20,000 words or more (by the contest entry deadline).
The contest is near and dear to all our hearts here at Kiss and Thrill, and this year we are especially excited to have two of our own among the finalists, Krista with BROKEN PLACES, and Sharon with two manuscripts, JULIET’S ROGUE and ROGUE’S REDEMPTION! To celebrate all the finalists’ achievement, we are sharing with our readers the finaling manuscripts’ first lines.
Huge congrats to all the finalists! All of us at Kiss and Thrill hope you have a wonderful time at the awards ceremony on Saturday night!
And now for Tuesday’s winner of the print ARC of BODY OF EVIDENCE: TrishJ
To collect your prize, within ten days please use the contact page and be sure to provide your U.S. mailing address.
We here at Kiss and Thrill would like to take a teensy moment to congratulate 2 of our own: Sharon Wray and Krista Hall!
Sharon and Krista have finaled in the Romantic Suspense genre of the uber-prestigious 2013 RWA Golden Heart® writing contest! Sharon is actually a double-finalist. Yes, thank you, we think she’s awesome too! Let’s hear the gossip:
How many Golden Heart® nominations have you received over the years? SHARON: This year the two finals are numbers four and five. (It seems so strange to write that.) KRISTA: I have three GH noms as Krista Reynolds: 2007 Single Title for Enemy Hearts, 2011 RS for Borderlands, and 2013 for Broken Places. I plan to use Krista Hall as my writing name.
And the manuscript name? SHARON: The title entries were Juliet’s Rogue and Rogue’s Redemption. KRISTA: Broken Places.
Can you give us a ‘peek’ into the exact moment you got ‘the call’? SHARON: The entire family was on day 11 of the flu. I have to admit I was waiting/hoping for a call, but when the phone rang I was in the middle of taking my daughter’s temperature while making another cup of tea. I tried to answer as calmly as I could but my hand shook so much I spilled my tea on the counter, then I started coughing. Luckily, Leslie Kelly (the RWA Board Member who called) was really sweet about it. But when she told me I was a double finalist, I started to cry. Learning that two of my manuscripts (which combined had been rejected close to a hundred times) were finalists sent me over the emotional edge. Again, Leslie was really nice but I ended the phone call as quickly as I could so she wouldn’t think I was out of my mind.
KRISTA: The Call came while I was in the shower. I never heard the phone ring–not the landline, nor my cell. I got dressed and headed to work, which means I walked downstairs to my office/laundry room. I was trying to forget that RWA would be announcing the nominees that morning, but my work emails weren’t keeping my mind on, well, work. Since it was Tuesday, I clicked over to our Kiss and Thrill loop saw that Sharon had two nominations. Yay, Sharon! I figured this wasn’t my year for a GH nomination. Again. I posted my snarky slogan on the super hilarious blog post you and Darynda Jones wrote and felt cheered up enough to go back to my work emails. A few minutes later, I decided to check my phone for messages. The first message was from an 817 number. Thought it was probably another poll or canned political message. It was Diane Kelly! With good news! I called her back–it wouldn’t feel real until I talked to her 🙂 (QUICK PLUG: Diane Kelly is our guest next Tues!)
Will you be attending the RWA Awards at the Convention this July? SHARON: I am going to Atlanta! Just not sure yet who’s watching the kids or how I’m going to get there or how I’m going to pay for it. (Can the hotel sleep eight women in one room?) But I am definitely going! KRISTA: I don’t know if I’m going to Atlanta. Still trying to decide.
Where are you in the process of getting your work published? SHARON: I am in the process of revising Juliet’s Rogue for my agent. Once it’s done and we both love it, then it will go out on submission with all sorts of praying and crossing of fingers. KRISTA: I’m finalizing edits on Broken Places while Bob Mayer’s voice is still in my head. WRW hosted him for a 2 day workshop on Saturday and Sunday. After 10 hours of Bob Mayer, he sticks in your head like super glue! [I DON’T GET IT?] [REALLY? WHY?] [WHAT’S THE PAYOFF FOR THE READER?] It’s a good thing, right? Then I plan to query agents. But mostly, I’m trying to stay focused on the writing. I have the last third of Broken Places’ sequel to finish and another one to start. My goal is to have my trilogy completed by the end of the year.
When you stand at the podium and accept the coveted Golden Heart® AWARD, what secret sign will you give K&T readers as code that you just said ‘hi.’ SHARON: I will tuck a strand of hair behind my ear–casually and with a cryptic smile, of course! KRISTA: I’ll use a code word: “WORKSHOP.” 🙂
Congratulations again, Sharon and Krista, best of luck!
Surprise! Darynda Jones could not narrow it down to 1 winner, so we have 5 winners and a GRAND PRIZE WINNER! Each of you has 10 days to respond and claim the Darynda Jones novel of your choice. (Please use the Contact Us tab at the top and let us know how to send it to you.)
SNARKY SAYING WINNERS:
LAURA BAIRD: Your Choice, but personally, I’d go for the light.
ANGELA TRENHOLM: My nagging is a sign I still care. My silence is a sign that I’m plotting your death.
STACY SCUDDER: No, I can’t go to the gym. I’m in the fitness protection program.
MICHELLE GORE: If this coffee were a person, I’d get naked and make love to it.
RACHEL KROGEN: Be nice to your sister. One day you may need an alibi.
AND OUR GRAND PRIZE WINNER: (pay attn winners, it involves you too!)
JENNIFER BRAY-WEBER: Never let someone drive you crazy. It’s nearby and the walk is good for you.
Congratulations, Jenn! Not only do you win your Darynda Jones book-of-choice, but also a $25 Amazon gift card AND Darynda wants to buy each of the winners above one of YOUR NOVELS!
Each of the 5 winners: please choose the Jennifer Bray-Weber book of choice too! Titles and descriptions can be found at
CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN to Laura, Angela, Stacy, Michelle, Rachel and Jenn!
Diane Kelly writes romantic mysteries featuring feisty heroines, quirky sidekicks, and sexy leading men, with humor that leaves readers laughing out loud.
Diane’s manuscript for Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure won the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart award. Her manuscripts have received more than two dozen RWA chapter awards as well. Diane’s fiction, tax, and humor pieces have appeared in True Love Magazine, Writer’s Digest Yearbook, Romance Writers Report, Byline Magazine, and various other publications. See you all then!