poll It seems hard to believe, but with the start of July we are now at the halfway point in the 2012 reading year. Many of us made resolutions back in early January about the reading we were going to do this coming year. Well, in the midst of polling for the best of 2011 romances here in AAR’s Annual Reader Poll, we pollsters made a resolution to do some sneak peeks for some categories that will appear in the next Annual Reader Poll. We decided we would focus on a few of the more problematic categories in the 2011 poll.

Every January AAR polls readers for their favorite romance titles and characters. We also poll for the Best Debut Author. Some of you may recall that the notion of a debut author is getting trickier with each passing year. Many authors change publishers or genres, and when they do so, they often write under a new name. That is why Thea Harrison (aka Amanda Carpenter, author of 16 books) was ineligible for the award in the 2011 poll.

Other times, books released late in December are actually January releases. A perfect example of this occurred when many readers voted for Cecilia Grant as their favorite 2011 debut author for A Lady Awakened. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble show the publication date for her book as December 27, 2011, but the book’s actual copyright page shows January 2012. This means Cecilia Grant wasn’t eligible in the 2011 poll as a debut author, but she will be in the 2012 poll when voting begins in January of 2013.

What’s a voter to do? We thought it might be fun to start a discussion now of some of your favorite romance authors who have made their debut in the first six months of 2012. We realize that many wonderful authors may make a debut over the next six months, but this will get the discussion started, and get us all looking out for outstanding debut authors. And if you haven’t read one of the authors who have debuted already, and think their book might be interesting, it will give you six full months to read the book before polling starts in January of 2013. To get things started, we’ve prepared a preliminary list of authors who have made their romance debut so far in 2012. We’re not saying anything about the quality of the books written by these authors — that’s up to you decide.

Right now, the authors we have found with 2012 debuts are:

Kristin Callihan – Firelight
Manda Collins – How to Dance with a Duke
Tracey Devlyn – A Lady’s Revenge
Julianne Donaldson – Edenbrooke
Alyssa Everett – Ruined by Rumor
Cecilia Grant – A Lady Awakened
Erin Knightley – More Than a Stranger
Ruthie Knox – Ride With Me and About Last Night
Roni Loren – Crash Into You
Sara Luck – Susanna’s Choice
Cathryn Parry – Something to Prove
Anna Randol – A Secret in Her Kiss
Jordan Rose – Perpetual Light
Heather Snow – Sweet Enemy
Simone St. James – The Haunting of Maddy Clare
Jillian Stone – An Affair With Mr. Kennedy
Joan Swan – Fever
Beatriz Williams – Overseas

We initially thought the following authors made their debut in 2012, but have discovered they were actually published previously:

Emma Cane (also writes as Gayle Callen)

Amanda DeWees (published in 1990)

Samantha Grace (published a short story in 2011)

Have you read any of these 2012 debut authors? If not, do you plan to? Are there other authors who have made a debut in 2012 that we’ve missed?

– LinnieGayl, LeeB, and CindyS, your AAR Pollsters