This year’s RITA winners are….

Romance Novella Winner

Her Every Wish by Courtney Milan
Lindsey Faber, editor

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/K



Contemporary Romance: Long Winner

Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan
Harlequin, HQN
Flo Nicoll, editor

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/K



Young Adult Romance Winner

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Harlequin, HQN Teen
Margo Lipschultz, editor

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/K

Historical Romance: Long Winner

No Mistress of Mine by Laura Lee Guhrke
Avon Books
Erika Tsang, editor

Buy Now: A/BN/iB/K



Romantic Suspense Winner

By | 2017-07-29T14:06:39+00:00 July 27th, 2017|Categories: Romance reading, RWA|Tags: , |8 Comments

Talking with Lenora Bell at #RWA16

Lenora Bell was remarkably sunny for a woman who’d flown across the world–she lives in Switzerland–to attend RWA, arrived, and found her luggage had been lost en route. Especially given that, after RWA, she was headed to a small town in Alaska–she grew up there–for a family wedding. Her suitcase–lost most likely in the London airport–was full of Swiss chocolate and other spoilable treats she’d plan to give out at RWA and share with her family at the wedding and, of course, all her clothes. Trust me when I tell you Lenora is the type of fashion maven who can walk into the nearest Nordstrom and come out looking like a total boss. The day we met, she was wearing a funky dress I wished were mine and to die for shoes she’d just purchased that suited her perfectly. The woman is a survivor.

By | 2017-05-24T17:32:36+00:00 July 29th, 2016|Categories: Authors, Dabney AAR, Interviews, RWA|Tags: , |3 Comments

Talking with Kristan Higgins at #RWA16

IMG_1570-001The best part of RWA for me is talking with authors.

This year, I was able to chat with quite a few of them and I’ll be sharing those interviews over the next few weeks. (I asked them all the same set of questions–I thought it would be fun to compare the answers!)

First up: The gracious Kristan Higgins.

Kristan’s book If You Only Knew is one of my favorite reads of last year and I’ve read and enjoyed her Blue Heron series. Her books make me happy–in each of them, her characters remind me to love and to laugh.

We met in a nook in one of the Marriott Marquis vast lobbies and talked for an hour (and took a selfie!). Kristan smiles readily and talks with ease about her life and her writing. She shared stories of her fireman husband, her childhood, and what interests her now. We laughed a lot.

We also, somewhat startlingly, talked about death. Kristan’s books are often informed by tragedy which […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:07+00:00 July 20th, 2016|Categories: Authors, Dabney AAR, Interviews, RWA|Tags: |5 Comments

And the 2016 RITA Winners are….

The 2016 RITA winners are:

Best First Book

Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn

(From School Library Journal)

Dunn’s brisk-paced debut dystopian novel begins with Callie and her friends anxiously awaiting their 17th birthday, on which they will receive a memory from the future. This important vision will affect their lives, their careers, and all aspects of their destiny. Callie’s day finally arrives, and she finds out that her future self will one day stab her clairvoyant little sister. Horrified at seeing herself kill the person she’s closest to, Callie turns to Logan, a friend from long ago, who helps her escape. Trying to avoid a future in which she’s imprisoned for her whole life by a government organization, Callie follows Logan to a community in the woods where others like her live to keep their tragic visions from happening. Feelings between the two spark. Callie […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:08+00:00 July 19th, 2016|Categories: RWA|13 Comments

Midweek Minis: RITA nominees Part Two

tmkcpfqv-600x323In advance of RWA2016, AAR staffers have been taking a look at some of the books nominated for RITA awards.  In our post yesterday, you’ll find a number of mini reviews of some of the titles featured in the various Contemporary Romance categories.  Today, BJ, Caz, Maria Rose, Sara and Shannon review some of the other nominated books.


By | 2017-06-23T08:30:08+00:00 July 7th, 2016|Categories: BJ Jansen, Caz AAR, Maria Rose, Mini reviews, RWA, Sara AAR, Shannon AAR|Tags: , |8 Comments

Midweek Minis – RITA nominees Part One

tmkcpfqvIn advance of RWA 2016 next week and the announcement of the winners of the RITAs,  the AAR team has taken a look at some of this year’s nominees.  The full list of nominated titles can be found here.  Have you read many on this year’s list?  And if you’ve read the same listed books as we have, what did you think?

Our mini reviews cover titles listed in the contemporary, erotic, historical, paranormal and romantic suspense categories, and are spread across two posts.  Today, Maria Rose, Sara, Heather,  BJ and LinnieGayl take a look at the various contemporary romance nominees; the others will be covered in our second post tomorrow. […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:08+00:00 July 6th, 2016|Categories: BJ Jansen, Caz AAR, Heather AAR, LinnieGayl AAR, Maria Rose, Mini reviews, RWA|Tags: , |7 Comments

Defining Romance: Does RWA finally have it right?

RWA logoOn April 4, a message went up on the Romance Writers of America (RWA) blog: Important Message Regarding 2005 “Definition of Romance” Survey. Here’s what it said:

At the November 2015 Board of Directors meeting, one of the issues discussed was an RWA survey conducted in 2005. Though this occurred eleven years ago, the ill effects of that survey still linger for many members. The survey was included in the Romance Writers Report and asked RWA members to vote on whether romance should be redefined as being between one man and one woman. The survey responses were never acted upon, and RWA’s definition of romance was not changed.

The survey, however, sparked a discussion that compelled our LGBT+ members to justify their existence to others and to participate in debates about their humanity and their capacity to love. This incident was a low point from which RWA’s reputation has never recovered. The organization later reaffirmed RWA’s commitment to making sure that “any definition of romance […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:11+00:00 April 5th, 2016|Categories: Anne Marble, Defining Romance, Publishing, RWA|10 Comments

Julia Quinn: The #RWA15 Interview

My final RWA interview was with Julia Quinn. Ms. Quinn was beyond lovely to take the time to talk to me. She’d just finished giving the Keynote address at the conference. That address was wonderful. (You can watch it here. She starts right before the twelve minute mark.) Given the context, my questions were brief. She answered them all with warmth.

Dabney: Thank you so much for talking with me. Your speech was lovely.

Julia: Thanks.

Dabney: So tell me about your most recent release.

Julia: It’s The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy.

Dabney: And it’s about…?

Julia: The short version is the hero needs to marry the heroine very quickly but the heroine doesn’t know why and neither does the reader.

Dabney: What makes the hero tick?

Julia: He’s a good person who made a bad decision for good reasons. A lot of the book is about what that means and what do […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:17+00:00 August 21st, 2015|Categories: Authors, Dabney AAR, Interviews, RWA|Tags: |1 Comment

Eva Leigh/Zoë Archer: The #RWA15 Interview

I’m impressed by authors who write as more than one persona. To a non-writer like me, managing to come up with one distinctive fictional voice is cool. Creating multiple successful writing selves is a coup. Eva Leigh is one such writer. She’s already garnered awards and fans as paranormal writer Zoë Archer. This fall, she’ll introduce romance readers to another of her writing selves: Eva Leigh, historical romance novelist.

Dabney: What book would you like to talk about?

Eva: Forever Your Earl which comes out on Sept. 29. It’s the first in my new series The Wicked Quills of London. The series centers around three female writers in Regency England.

Dabney: Tell me about the hero of Forever Your Earl.

Eva: He’s the Earl of Ashford and is known for his scandalous exploits. He leads the life of a rake but is becoming dissatsiatified. He’s looking for a purpose.

Dabney: And the heroine?

Eva: She’s Eleanor Hawke, […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:17+00:00 August 14th, 2015|Categories: Authors, Dabney AAR, Interviews, RWA|Tags: , |5 Comments

Eloisa James: The RWA15 Interview

The world of romance novels is crammed with women of astonishing accomplishments and abilities. Sift through the life stories of those who write the books we so love and you’ll find achievers of all kinds.

And then there’s Eloisa James. As I was preparing to interview Ms. James, I checked out her Wikipedia page. The word that came to mind immediately was daunting. Ms. James is a year younger than I am. In the span of less than half a lifetime, Ms. James has attained degrees from Harvard, Oxford, and Yale. She’s a tenured English professor who’s chaired her department and headed its Creative Writing Program. She’s written twenty-four best-selling historical romances (her Desperate Duchesses series was just chosen by NPR as one of the 100 most swoon-worthy romances), as well as a memoir. She married an Italian knight whom she met on a blind date and they and their two children […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:19+00:00 August 1st, 2015|Categories: Authors, Dabney AAR, Interviews, RWA|Tags: , |18 Comments