Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Unveiling the Covers

Cover reveals appear to be quite popular, so I figured I'd throw my hat in the ring and divulge upcoming book covers as I find them. I feel it's a fun way to discuss books that are coming out and guess what they're about. Some are beautiful and some make you smile. So if you haven't yet seen them here are some of the covers you have to look forward to:

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I really like the look of this one. It has so much going on. Yet another yellow and orange cover. It seems to be such a huge trend this year. I like the waterfall and the birds flying in the background. Plus, Aryal and Quentin look a little bit at odds with one another. Makes you wonder how these two are ever going to get together.

'Kinked' (A Novel of the Elder Races) by Thea Harrison is scheduled to shift into stores November 5th.

Book Synopsis:

Two opponents must confront the cause of their obsessive fury in the latest Novel of the Elder Races…

As a harpy, Sentinel Aryal is accustomed to dealing with hate, but Sentinel Quentin Caeravorn manages to inspire in her a burning ire unlike anything she’s ever known. Aryal believes the new Sentinel to be a criminal, and vows to take him out as soon as the opportunity arises. But the harpy’s incessant wrath has pushed Quentin to the limit, and forces him to make a deadly vow of his own.

To put an end to the conflict, Dragos, Lord of the Wyr, sends them on a reconnaissance mission to the Elven land of Numenlaur. Forced to work together, Aryal and Quentin’s mutual antagonism escalates. Each fight draws forth more passion—culminating in an explosively sexual confrontation. But when their quest reveals real danger, Aryal and Quentin must resolve their differences in ways beyond the physical, before the entire Wyr is threatened.

Once again we have a touch of orange and yellow on the cover. Possession. Hmmm??? Not one of the seven deadly sins this series started off naming its books after. We've got chains and an angel wing. I have no idea where this one is headed. I must say, however, I do feel a bit compelled by those eyes staring at us. Is it just me or are those bedroom eyes that say I want you? :)

'Possession' (A Novel of the Fallen Angels) by J.R. Ward, comes out October 1st

Book Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward explores what really happens when good and evil toy with humanity in her new novel of the Fallen Angels, as the salvation of a doomed soul depends once again on a crossroads...

When Cait Douglass resolves to get over her broken heart, throw off her inhibitions, and start really living, she’s unprepared for the two sensual men who cross her path. Torn between them, she doesn’t know which to choose--or what kind of dire consequences could follow.

Jim Heron, fallen angel and reluctant savior, is ahead in the war, but he puts everything at risk when he seeks to make a deal with the devil--literally. As yet another soul is unwittingly caught in the battle between him and the demon Devina, his fixation on an innocent trapped in Hell threatens to sidetrack him from his sacred duty...

Can good still prevail if true love makes a savior weak? And will a woman’s future be the key, or the curse, for all of humanity? Only time, and hearts, will tell.

Charlaine Harris and Amanda Stevens (her name may be barely there, but it is there)  are teaming up to write a book together? Gah! I want it. What do I have to do and whom do I have to bribe to get an ARC of this book? lol Okay, after my initial happy dance I looked a little farther into this one and it looks like the book is divided into two stories--Dancers in the Dark and The Devil's Footprints-- each story being written by one of the two authors. Oh well, I'm still dancing. *grin*

'Dead of Night: Dancers in the Dark\The Devil's Footprints'  is set to be released on September 24th

Novella Synopsis:

Dancers in the Dark by Charlaine Harris

Layla Rue Le May is no ordinary dancer, her partner, Sean McClendon, is a three-hundred-year-old redheaded vampire. When Layla Rue acquires a stalker, she's forced to face the music…and wonder if this will finally be her last dance.

The Devil's Footprints by Amanda Stevens

Years after her sister's unsolved murder, Sarah DeLaune is haunted by the mysteries of her past when two mutilated bodies are found near Sarah's New Orleans home, the crime scene desecrated by cloven footprints. Sarah has always believed that her sister was killed by a man named Ashe Cain. But no one else has ever seen Ashe. Until now.

I'm a little worried about Xandra. She's always wearing the same clothes on her covers. I know I've occasionally had an outfit I just adore, but really? Don't you think she could afford some new threads? lol If you haven't tried this series, you may want to. I love how they didn't erase the British flair attached to the writing of this series. For me, it adds something a little extra to the story.

'Long Live the Queen' (The Immortal Empire)  is anticipated to make it's debut on November 1st

Book Synopsis:

Xandra Vardan thought life would be simpler when she accepted the goblin crown and became their queen, but life has only become more complicated. Everyone -- vampires, werewolves and humans -- wants the goblins on their side, because whoever has the goblins -- wins.

Queen Victoria wants her head, Alpha wolf Vex wants her heart, and she still doesn't know the identity of the person who wanted her blood. What she does know is that a project from one of the 'secret' aristocrat labs has gotten free and she's the only one who can stop the perfect killing machine -- a sixteen year-old girl. With human zealots intent on ridding the world of anyone with plagued blood and supernatural politics taking Britain to the verge of civil war, Xandra's finding out that being queen isn't all it's cracked up to be, and if she doesn't do something fast, hers will be the shortest reign in history.

So the title combined with the picture made me chuckle. Well, if he isn't lucky, he sure does look like he's about to get lucky. Lindsey's name blocks any chance we have of seeing the face of the woman behind the man on the cover. What I'm trying to figure out, however, is why she's so much taller than he is? Is he giving her a piggy back ride or is she standing on something or what? At first glance I wondered if the lady was attempting the Heimlich maneuver, but after a second glance, I think it's a different type of maneuver she's trying to make. What do you think?

'One Lucky Vampire' (An Argeneau Novel) will be stalking bookstore shelves on September 24th

Book Synopsis:

Luck be a vampire tonight . . .

When Nicole Phillips agreed to hire a housekeeper, she pictured someone a little frumpy and almost certainly female. Instead, she gets gorgeous, unmistakably male Jake Colson. The man is proving indispensable in the kitchen—and everywhere else. Except Jake might not be a mortal man at all.

. . . and every night

Who wouldn't want to be a tall, dark, powerful vampire? Jake, for one. He's barely had time to adjust to his new state before he's roped into a family favor. Still, secretly playing bodyguard to sweet, sexy Nicole is turning out to be the wildest ride of his life. First he'll put a stop to whoever's targeting her. Then he'll prove that this kind of love, and luck, happens only once in an eternity.

There are  two very different, but interesting covers circulating for book three of The Taker Trilogy. Is that smoke or fog beneath Lanore in the first of the two covers? She appears to be asleep or dead. I wonder which? With the title 'The Descent', will she once again be pulled into Adair's dark lifestyle? Hmmm...the book description makes it look like she may end up descending to the under world. This could be an interesting twist to the series. The second cover seems to capture a sense of longing and separation. I love the tag line at the bottom that asks, "Can love ever die?' I can't wait to see what Ms. Katsu has come up with for us in her third book. This looks like it's going to be good. :)

'The Descent: Book Three of the Taker Trilogy' will tentatively be descending upon bookstores January 7,  2014

Book Synopsis:

Lanore McIlvrae has been on the run from Adair for hundreds of years, dismayed by his mysterious powers and afraid of his temper. She betrayed Adair’s trust and imprisoned him behind a stone wall to save Jonathan, the love of her life. When Adair was freed 200 years later, she was sure that he would find her and make her existence a living hell. But things turned out far different than she’d imagined.

Four years later, Lanore has tracked Adair to his mystical island home, where he has been living in self-imposed exile, to ask for a favor. She wants Adair to send her to the hereafter so she may beg the Queen of the Underworld to release Jonathan, whom she has been keeping as her consort. Will Lanore honor her promise to Adair to return? Or is her intention to reunite with Jonathan at any cost?

Of all the forces of the universe, the most mysterious, confounding, and humbling is the power of love. The epic story of love and loss, magic and destiny that began with 'The Taker' and sparked a chase around the world in The Reckoning comes to a surprising conclusion with 'The Descent'.

Remember what I was saying before about the water theme on covers? Here again is a nice example of such a cover. The dress is gorgeous and I love how it flows into what appears to be a stream of water. Could we have a mermaid or water nymph on our hands? I almost missed the butterfly, but those blue lips are a little odd. Gorgeous is the word I would use to describe this cover.  

'Black and Blue' by Gena Showalter is scheduled stream into stores near you on October 22nd

Book Synopsis:

He is every woman’s fantasy…

Corbin Blue is a man of many talents. One of the most powerful otherworlders ever born, he is wealthy, a professional football star, and a legend in the bedroom. But only a select few know he is also a black ops agent…and there is no better killer. When he and his crew are attacked and separated, he’s forced to turn to his boss’s daughter for help—a woman with even more secrets than Blue.

She becomes his only obsession…

Evangaline Black has always been wary, guarded. No man has ever breeched her walls. Until Blue. He has never been denied something he wants, and now, he’s decided he wants her. As he sweeps her into his double life of seduction, intrigue, and danger, he helps her see beyond the darkness of her own past. But as an enemy closes in, Blue will have to let Evie go to keep her safe—even though he'd rather die than live without her…

What a great picture of Elena. She's looks sexy and dangerous all at once. Kind of like a dangerous looking playboy bunny. The placement of her weapon of choice is an interesting position. Could it be meant to represent she's ballsy? I wonder?
'Archangel's Legion' (Guild Hunter) will be flying off the shelves October 29th
Book Synopsis:

Angels are falling from the sky in New York, struck down by a vicious, unknown force.

Vampires are dying impossibly of disease.

Guild hunter Elena Deveraux and the Archangel Raphael must discover the source of the wave of death before it engulfs their city and their people, leaving New York a ruin and Raphael’s Tower under siege by enemy archangels.

Yet even as they fight desperately to save the city, an even darker force is stirring, its chill eyes trained on New York…and on Raphael. Rivers of crimson and nightmares given flesh, the world will never again be the same…

So according to  Monsters and Critics (on lower left hand side of cover), this is  "A series worth watching." Well, that's nice, but what I want to know is if it's a series worth reading? Being that it's written by Ms. Caine, I'm going to guess it is. Love the graveyard look in the background. Oh, and look the female lead wears her sunglasses at night. At least it looks like night. You don't see too many covers with sunglasses on a person's head unless they're going to the beach. Interesting choice. Do they hold some significance?

'Terminated: A Revivalist Novel', A Revivalist Novel, by Rachel Caine will hit bookstores on August 6th

Book Synopsis:

Already addicted to the pharmaceutical drug that keeps her body from decomposing, Bryn has to stop a secretive group of rich and powerful investors from eliminating the existing Returné addicts altogether. To ensure their plan to launch a new, military-grade strain of nanotech, the investors’ undead assassin—who just happens to be the ex-wife of Bryn’s lover Patrick—is on the hunt for anyone that stands in their way.

And while Bryn’s allies aren’t about to go down without a fight, the secret she’s been keeping threatens to put those closest to her in even more danger. Poised to become a monster that her own side—and her own lover—will have to trap and kill, Bryn needs to find the cure to have any hope of preserving the lives of her friends, and her own dwindling humanity…

Have you noticed lately there are a lot of covers with a guy up, facing down at a girl who is laying below him? They do tend to make for rather intriguing covers, don't you think? So I'm guessing this is a case of boy meets girl in another world. Could be fun.

'Alienated' is tentatively planned to invade book shelves  February 4th 

Book Synopsis:

Interplanetary relations have never been more exciting! The first in a funny, romantic YA sci-fi series.

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

Hmmm.. Cute cover. So I can't help wondering if  in order to run with a naked werewolf, do you need to be mostly naked yourself? *Asks wide eyed with a devilish grin*

'How to Run with a Naked Werewolf' will be streaking it's way to shelves near you on December 31st

Book Synopsis:

Caleb Graham is a werewolf by nature, a tracker by profession. He uses his “extra gifts” to find people, and not always in the most legal or ethical manner. He doesn’t care what they’ve done, or who wants them found, as long as his considerable fee is paid. He likes his life simple and uncomplicated.

Anna Moder, former physician to Caleb’s pack, happens across Caleb during a particularly violent “negotiation” that has left him bloodied and unconscious. She helps him, despite the fact that he’s cost her a car, so he insists that she stay with him on the road for a while. As they grow closer, Anna looks past the gruff exterior and and the questionable job to thoroughly decent werewolf underneath.

Anna – who is careful to edit her involvement with Caleb’s pack from their conversations – doesn’t talk about why a nice girl wants to live in the middle of frozen nowhere, but she’s obviously on the run from something. When Anna’s past collides with Caleb’s current assignment from one of his sleazier contacts, Caleb finally has to make a choice—protect his job…or his potential mate?

*SIGH* I love the latest covers for Ms. Garwood's latest books. You so seldom see guys in attire I'd attribute to being dressy. While no tie on this guy, it makes me yearn for the years we used to see guys dress up to go to work. 

'Hotshot' will be gunning for a place on your shelf August 6th

Book Synopsis:

Peyton Lockhart and her sisters have inherited Bishop’s Cove, a small, luxurious oceanfront resort, but it comes with a condition: The girls must run the resort for one year and show a profit—only then will they own it.

A graduate of a prestigious French culinary school, Peyton has just lost her job as a food critic. Out of work and in a bad place personally, a year doing something completely different sounds wonderful.

There are countless challenges and too many people who want to stop the sisters from succeeding. Among them are Peyton’s contentious cousins, who are outraged that they didn’t inherit the resort, as well as a powerful group of land developers who have been eyeing the coveted beachfront property.

It’s soon apparent to Peyton that their efforts are being sabotaged, but she refuses to let the threats scare her—until she’s nearly killed. She calls on her childhood friend and protector, Finn MacBain, now with the FBI, and asks for his help. He saved her life once; he can do it again.
Julie’s previous two titles, The Ideal Man and Sweet Talk, both debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list.

This is such a fun cover. A little too green for me, but still pretty. Could this be a case of someone being green with envy? Is our herione trying to coax someone into chasing her? Perhaps she already punished the good Duke and fears or hopes he'll retaliate in kind? Her expression seems to say, "Catch me if you can." I love the mask on the step. I always look forward to reading Ms. MacLean's books. I sure hope I catch a copy of this one.

'No Good Duke Goes Unpunished' (The Third Rule of Scoundrels) will be making its way to stores on November 26th

Book Synopsis:

The third book in New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean’s Rule of Scoundrels/Fallen Angels series featuring four dark heroes that will steal the hearts of their heroines and readers alike!

In 'NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED', the mysterious Temple is at best an inveterate womanizer who ruined his father’s future duchess, and at worst, a cold-blooded killer who murdered his future stepmother.

No one has seen Mara Lowe since she disappeared from her bedchamber on the morning of her wedding twelve years ago—leaving behind a drunken Temple. Despite vehement claims of innocence, Temple was exiled from society, stripped of his funds and left to survive on his own.

He is the brawn behind the Fallen Angel club, and has given up on ever returning to society, until the missing Mara shows up and begs for his help.

Do you feel the heat? If you haven't tried Jennifer Bernard's Bachelor Firemen series you are seriously missing out. I adore this series. It's smoking hot. lol Why does the song 'Come on Baby Light my Fire' always dance through my head when I see one of Ms. Bernard's covers? I just can't explain it.*smirk*

'How to Tame a Wild Fireman' (A Bachelor Firemen Novel) will be heating up the bookstores on September 24th 

Book Synopsis:

The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel have a rebel among them, and there's only one woman who can put his flames out. 

Firefighter Patrick "Psycho" Callahan earns his nickname every day. Fast, fit, and a furious worker, he thrives on the danger which helps him forget a near-tragedy that changed his life forever. But when his off-duty carousing gets out of hand, Patrick is sent back to Loveless, Nevada, where the wildfire threatening his hometown has nothing on sizzling Dr. Lara Nelson.

Lara would rather be thought of as the physician who returned to Loveless than as the misfit brought up at a hippie New Age commune. But right now she's focused on her job at hand, patching up injured firemen...until the past hits her in the hard-muscled, blue-eyed form of Patrick Callahan. Now, the embers of their decade-old attraction have ignited into a full-on inferno, as the bad-boy firefighter and the good doctor take a walk on the wild side they'll never forget.

Boy, Hard as it Gets....A Hard Ink Novel....with a guy's rock hard abs showing and someone reaching for those rock hard... I have simply no idea what this books going to be like. *blinks innocently while grinning like a Cheshire cat*, but I've got a copy so I won't have to wait long. Being an Avon Addict Alumni does have its privilges. *Smirk*

'Hard As It Gets' (A Hard Ink Novel)  will be tantalizing bookshelves on November 26th

Book Synopsis:

Tall, dark, and lethal...

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome—pure catnip to a very jaded Nick. He's left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander's daughter. Loyalty won't let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too.

With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn't expecting to want him so much. As their investigation turns into all-out war with an organized crime ring, only Nick can protect her. And only Becca can heal the scars no one else sees.

Desire is the easy part. Love is as hard as it gets. Good thing Nick is always up for a challenge...

Notes: Book Synopsis found on Goodreads

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Early Review of Flirting with Texas (Deep in the Heart of Texas #5) by Katie Lane

Jenna Jay Scroggs is the type of woman who fights for those who can't fight for themselves. When she sees an injustice, she needs to step in and try to make things better. As you might imagine, she isn't everyone's favorite person. By revealing things which others wish to keep quiet, she's made herself quite a few enemies. 

Beau is about as Texas as they come. In New York City for a rodeo, he's living life like there's no tomorrow. He's trying to see and do as much as he can, but Jenna throws his plans in a tizzy. Asked to find out her address by someone back in Texas, she intrigues and amuses him as he tries to follow her to acquire her address. Even though he knows she's in a serious relationship, he can't help but make his attraction for her known when they meet. When the two end up kidnapped in close quarters, however, right after she's had an argument with her now ex-boyfriend he can't help but take advantage of the situation and make sure she is privy to all his good qualities--like his rock hard abs, his toned body, and smile that has coaxed more than one woman to his side over the years.    

While the two try to figure out which of Jenna's enemies may have had it in for her and a means of escape, the two begin to get close and Beau's good nature and charm start working their magic. 


This is the fifth book in the Deep in the Heart of Texas series, and while I didn't read the first four books, I didn't feel lost in any way. It was definitely set up so it could be read as a standalone, but written in a way to tempt and entice you to read the rest of this fun and sweet series.

A year ago, Jenna Jay Scroggs and her family had a falling out. They didn't like the man she was dating, a man she'd been dating for years, and when it came to a 'him or us' type of situation, she chose him. But the Scroggs hail from a small town in Texas called Bramble. Bramble isn't like New York where Jenna now resides. To the people of the small town, The Sroggs are family, and when one of its family members is hurting they take action. Knowing Jenna's mom is suffering from the estrangement with her daughter, the town folk decided to take matters into their own hands to set things right. Now the misguided, but good intentioned citizens will attempt to make Jenna remember all the good things about living in a small town where everyone knows your name and business.

Add in a mystery about Jenna's birth, plus an additional romance taking place on the side, and you've got one fast paced, lighthearted, and extremely fun tale that had me grinning, laughing and shaking my head. Overall, I gave this one 3 1/2 out of 5 roses. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Order of the Deep in the Heart of Texas series:

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The 2013 Golden Heart and RITA Award Winners

Last Saturday night at the RWA's annual convention, the RITA and Golden Heart awards were presented. I was lucky enough to be one of the many individuals in the audience who witness this special event. Let me just say, the room was filled with so many smart, intelligent, and talented writers that it was awe inspiring. I am glad that I wasn't one of the individuals who had to narrow the field down to just one winner per category, I would have had a hard time choosing. All the nominees were worthy of the honor,and I was glad to see many of my favorite authors were nominated. A few even won a RITA. Yay! 

For those of you who have never been, I would liken the RITAs to to Oscars, complete with golden statues, which in this case hold a book and golden quill. The authors and guests get dolled up in beautiful gowns and evening attire. A little bit of trivia, I was informed by the very talented and award winning, Mary Jo Putney, that four of the RITAs, one of which was hers, were flawed and did not contain a quill in their hands. These lovely golden ladies will eventually be replaced by those which do contain the quills and the recipients will get to keep the flawed ones as conversation pieces. 
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The night kicked off with the very talented Christie Craig Emceeing the event. Armed with a devilish gleam in her eye, a charming smile on her face, and a warm and lovely southern accent that could melt an icicle on a cold winter's day, she presided over the event. Using her wonderful humor and quick wit she talked of the perils writers face when attempting to get published. Reading some of her own rejection letters and talking about her struggle with dyslexia, which incidentally, resulted in one sentence's whole meaning being altered when she inadvertently left off the letter 'r' in the word shirt. She had us laughing while inspiring and encouraging us to not let such things detour us from our calling as writers. I didn't get a picture of Ms. Craig in her evening attire, I did manage to snag a picture of her at a books signing earlier the day before.

While I tried to get pictures of all the winners, I only managed to get a handful. Many went off in search of a quiet space to call loved ones to let them in on the good news.  I did, however, manage to snag pictures of both the first and last award recipients of the night.

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The first and only Golden Heart award winner I was able to find was Miranda Liasson (picture below). Her story,  "Baby on Board--Help!",  (something I could relate to when I was a new mother) won her a Golden Heart for the category Contemporary Series Romance.
If you notice the gold heart shaped necklace Ms. Liasson is sporting, that is the Golden Heart award. Imprinted on that heart charm is the image of the woman the RITA is fashioned after--complete with book and quill. As you can see Miranda's holding the case to the necklace in her right hand and that is how I spotted her among all the other award ceremony attendees. Let me just say the Ritas were much easier to spot than the Golden Hearts. :)

Along with Miranda, the following authors received Golden Heart awards. I should point out that many, if not all, of the Golden Heart nominees are unpublished, but as I managed to meet quite a few, they were happy to inform me that many of their nominated stories have now been picked up by publishers. So while I can't give you a synopsis of the stories nominated, many will be finding their way to bookstores in the near future, quite possibly under different names. Congratulations ladies!

                   Author                                       Story                              Golden Heart Category          
Krista Hall Reynolds                    Broken Places                Romantic Suspense
Jane O'Hanlon                              Objection Overruled       Contemporary Single Title Romance
Joanna Shupe                                Drawn to the Earl           Historical Romance
Amy Jones writing as AE Jones   Mind Sweeper                Paranormal Romance
Darcy Woods                                 Summer of Supernova   Young Adult Romance
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Now, of course, the big awards of the evening were the prestigious RITAs. Everyone was waiting patiently in anticipation of finding out who would win. As nominations were read, you'd hear many attendees clapping and displaying their approval and support of the nominations. It was fun seeing whole tables getting excited where nominees were sitting.

Author Sarah Morgan was the evening's first RITA award winner. Unfortunately I could find no picture of her. Her book, "A Night of No Return" (The Private Lives of Public Playboys), won in the category of Short Contemporary Series Romance.

Book Synopsis for 'A Night of No Return':

Money, charm and sensual skills don't make up for a heart colder than ice….

Wild parties, wanton women, relentless work—nothing helps tycoon Lucas Jackson escape his dark and haunting past. Arriving at his rural castle in a snarling snowstorm, he craves only complete isolation.… But it seems oblivion can take an unexpected and highly intoxicating form!

Personally delivering the vital file left on her boss's desk, secretary Emma Gray starts to seriously regret her dutiful overtime mission. She never expected the dark side of the usually controlled Lucas could generate such a primitive, powerful—and entirely inappropriate—reaction.
The Second RITA award of the night went to Karen Templeton for her book, 'A Gift for all Seasons". It won Karen the RITA in the category Long Contemporary Series Romance. Again, I have no picture to share of the author. I should note, however, she also received entry into the RITA Hall of Fame. According to RWA, an author who wins more than one RITA during her career is rare. For those outstanding authors who win multiple RITAs, RWA needed a special way to honor them, so they created the RWA Hall of Fame. Upon receipt of her or his third (formerly the fourth) RITA Award in the same category, an RWA member is inducted into the RWA Hall of Fame for that category. I think I'm going to have to check Ms. Templeton's books out.

Book Synopsis for 'A Gift for All Seasons':

Hiring Patrick Shaughnessy to landscape her new inn was strictly a business arrangement. Until April Ross got to know the war-scarred single father …and his irrepressible little girl. Patrick made it clear he wasn't looking for romance. Neither was April. But could she make him see that some risks were worth taking?

The lively, widowed blonde might be the most tempting woman Patrick had ever known, but the returning vet knew a happy ending wasn't in the cards. Still, that was before April started working her magic on his daughter …and on him. Maybe this Christmas was a time for new beginnings — if Patrick had the courage to go with the powerful feelings April had awakened in him….
The third RITA award recipient of the evening was a newcomer, Simone St. James (great name by the way). Her story 'The Haunting of Maddy Clare' won in 2 categories, hence the two RITAs she is proudly displaying in her picture below. The first, was in the category Novel with Strong Romantic Elements and the second was for Best First Book. This is definitely an author to watch. I can't wait to see what she'll do in the future. Talk about making an entrance in the Romance world, Ms. St. James could give us all pointers. :)


Book Synopsis of 'The Haunting of Maddy Clare':

Sarah Piper's lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis-rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts- has been summoned to investigate the spirit of nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who is haunting the barn where she committed suicide. Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah's task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a deperate struggle. For Maddy's ghost is real, she's angry, and she has powers that defy all reason. Can Sarah and Alistair's assistant, the rough, unsettling Matthew Ryder, discover who Maddy was, where she came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance-before she destroys them all?
The fourth RITA award winner of the night was Elizabeth Camden. Again I wasn't able to get a picture of her with her RITA, but I was able to find this photo of her on Goodreads:

Book Synopsis of 'Against the Tide':

Love and Lives are Threatened in Camden's Latest Offering

As a child, Lydia Pallas became all too familiar with uncertainty when it came to the future. Now, she's finally carved out a perfect life for herself--a life of stability and order with no changes, surprises, or chaos of any kind. She adores her apartment overlooking the bustling Boston Harbor, and her skill with languages has landed her a secure position as a translator for the U.S. Navy.

However, it is her talent for translation that brings her into contact with Alexander Banebridge, or "Bane," a man who equally attracts and aggravates her. When Bane hires Lydia to translate a seemingly innocuous collection of European documents, she hesitantly agrees, only to discover she is in over her head.

Just as Bane's charm begins to win her over, Lydia learns he is driven by a secret campaign against some of the most dangerous criminals on the East Coast, compelled by his faith and his past. Bane forbids any involvement on Lydia's part, but when the criminals gain the upper hand, it is Lydia on whom he must depend.
The fifth RITA of the evening went to author Laura Griffin. She won for her book 'Scorched' in the category Romantic suspense. This one has been on my to read list since it came out. I need to make time to read it. She was gracious enough to pose for the picture below. 

Book Synopsis for 'Scorched':

Kelsey Quinn set out to trace a murder victim.
Now she may become one.

The dead don’t speak, but Kelsey knows their secrets. As a forensic anthropologist at the Delphi Center crime lab, Kelsey makes it her mission to identify bodies using no more than shards of bone, and her find at a remote Philippines dig hints at a sinister story. When Kelsey’s search for answers puts her at the scene of her ex-fiancé's murder, only one man can help her. The same man who broke her heart just months before, and who is also a prime suspect. Faced with an ultimatum - Kelsey or his job - Gage Brewer did the only thing a Navy SEAL could...but that doesn't mean he stopped wanting Kelsey. Now Kelsey is running for her life and Gage is her last line of defense. As the threats escalate, Kelsey realizes this conspiracy goes deeper and higher than they could have guessed. With the clock ticking down on a madman’s plot, the slightest misstep will have unthinkable consequences....
The sixth and eigth Ritas went to Eloisa James (below on right) and Sarah MacLean (below on left). FYI, we were really close to the stage which were emitting a red glow on the dynamic duo. So that is not the red hot glow of victory you see on Ms. MacLean and Ms. James. Although, who's to say for certain? lol Both were decked out in shimmering evening gowns and looked gorgeous.

Eloisa won for her short story 'Seduced by a Pirate' in the Category Romance Novella. 

Book synopsis for 'Seduced by a Pirate':

Sir Griffin Barry leapt out of the bedchamber window at age seventeen after a very disappointing wedding night, drank a bit too much at the pub and woke to find that he'd joined the crew of a pirate ship! Years later, he has become one of the most feared pirates on the high seas, piloting the Flying Poppy, a ship he named after the wife whom he fondly (if vaguely) remembers.

What happens when a pirate decides to come home to his wife — if she is his wife — given that the marriage was never consummated? And what happens when that pirate strolls through his front door and is met by... well, that's a surprise!

Sara MacLean won for her book, 'A Rogue by any Other Name', in the category Historical Romance.

Book Synopsis of 'A Rogue by any Other Name':

What a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel gets...
A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London’s most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance—including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury.

A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage, and a longing for something more. How lucky that her new husband has access to such unexplored pleasures.

Bourne may be a prince of London’s underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness—a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything for them... even her heart.
The seventh RITA award winner of the night was the talented and wonderful Barbara Freethy. She won for her book, 'The Way Back Home', in the category Contemporary Single Title Romance. She proudly displays her Rita below.

Book Synopsis for 'The Way Back Home':

In the small California town of River Rock, the river is always there—sometimes unpredictable and wild, sometimes a source of comfort, always a part of life. Bestselling author Barbara Freethy will capture your heart with an emotional story about love, family . . . and fighting for what matters most. Ex-Marine Gabe Ryder is fulfilling the last request of his best friend, Rob, who was killed in a firefight during their final days of service. He promised to help Rob’s family— especially Rob’s twin sister, Alicia—with their struggling river rafting business. Gabe has a hidden past with Alicia, though. She’s the woman who taught him that love might exist, yet he walked away from her.

Alicia has more than enough on her plate with her brother’s death, her father’s injury from a tragic rafting accident, the entire town turning against them, and a series of dangerous attacks on her business. She doesn’t need this rugged loner who broke her heart. But passion flares between them, and this time, they can’t walk away. Alicia can’t help wondering: did Rob really send Gabe to watch over her—or did he want her to show Gabe the way home?
The Ninth Rita Award of the evening went to Kresley Cole for her book, 'Shadow's Claim', in the category Paranormal Romance. It should be noted she also was inducted into the RITA Hall of Fame. One of her comments as she accepted her RITA was, 'Lothaire will not be happy." *chuckle* Ms. Cole's book 'Lothaire' was up against 'Shadow's Claim' competing for the coveted spot.

Book Synopsis for 'Shadow's Claim':


Trehan Daciano, known as the Prince of Shadows, has spent his life serving his people—striking in the night, quietly executing any threat to their realm. The coldly disciplined swordsman has never desired anything for himself—until he beholds Bettina, the sheltered ward of two of the Lore’s most fearsome villains.


Desperate to earn her guardians’ approval after a life-shattering mistake, young Bettina has no choice but to marry whichever suitor prevails—even though she’s lost her heart to another. Yet one lethal competitor, a mysterious cloaked swordsman, invades her dreams, tempting her with forbidden pleasure.


Even if Trehan can survive the punishing contests to claim her as his wife, the true battle for Bettina’s heart is yet to come. And unleashing a millennium’s worth of savage need will either frighten his Bride away—or stoke Bettina’s own desires to a fever pitch. . . .

The tenth RITA of the night went to Emily McKay for her book, 'The Farm', in the category Young Adult Romance. I just got my copy and look forward to reading it. 

Book Synopsis for 'The Farm':

Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…

Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race...

The final award of the night went to the lovely and talented Ms. Mary Jo Putney. She was gracious enough to pose with me for a picture. She won the RWA Nora Robert's Lifetime Achievement Award.   

Mary Jo Putney was born in Upstate New York with a reading addiction, a condition for which there is no known cure. After earning degrees in English Literature and Industrial Design at Syracuse University, she did various forms of design work in California and England before inertia took over in Baltimore, Maryland, where she has lived very comfortably ever since.

While becoming a novelist was her ultimate fantasy, it never occurred to her that writing was an achievable goal until she acquired a computer for other purposes. When the realization hit that a computer was the ultimate writing tool, she charged merrily into her first book with an ignorance that illustrates the adage that fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

Fortune sometimes favors the foolish and her first book sold quickly, thereby changing her life forever, in most ways for the better. (“But why didn't anyone tell me that writing would change the way one reads?”) Like a lemming over a cliff, she gave up her freelance graphic design business to become a full-time writer as soon as possible.

Since 1987, Ms. Putney has published twenty-nine books and counting. Her stories are noted for psychological depth and unusual subject matter such as alcoholism, death and dying, and domestic abuse. She has made all of the national bestseller lists including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USAToday, and Publishers Weekly. Five of her books have been named among the year’s top five romances by The Library Journal. The Spiral Path and Stolen Magic were chosen as one of Top Ten romances of their years by Booklist, published by the American Library Association.

A nine-time finalist for the Romance Writers of America RITA, she has won RITAs for Dancing on the Wind and The Rake and the Reformer and is on the RWA Honor Roll for bestselling authors. She has been awarded two Romantic Times Career Achievement Awards, four NJRW Golden Leaf awards, plus the NJRW career achievement award for historical romance. Though most of her books have been historical, she has also published three contemporary romances. The Marriage Spell will be out in June 2006 in hardcover, and Stolen Magic (written as M. J. Putney) will be released in July 2006.

Ms. Putney says that not least among the blessings of a full-time writing career is that one almost never has to wear pantyhose.

It was a fun and fabulous evening.
To all of those who won, Congratulations!  :)

Special Notes:
Book synopsis' found on Goodreads.
 Mary Jo Putney's biography was found on her website.
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