After a brief break we’re happy to announce that this morning five Special Title Lists are open for new submissions: (1) Spies, P.I.’s, & Warriors; (2) War; (3) Cons, Burglars, and Pickpockets; (4) Amnesia…or not; and (5) Rakes and Rogues.

We look forward to seeing your submissions for these lists starting today Monday March 17 and going for the next two weeks ending Sunday, March 30 at midnight. As a reminder, any additions to the list have to be: (1) the best of the best, (2) stand the test of time, and (3) actually fit the list for which they were submitted.

Amnesia…or Not.  This list is so self evident that it doesn’t even have a description! Last updated in June of 2009, this is the place for great romances featuring heroines or heroes with amnesia, or who are pretending to have amnesia.

Spies, P.I.’s & Warriors. This list was last updated in February of 2010 and features romances with heroes or heroines who are Spies, P.I.’s, Warriors, and other Men (or women) in Uniform. The heroes and heroines you will find on this list are those where being a Warrior (or Spy, Cop, PI or In the Armed Services) isn’t just a job description; it’s a state of mind, a part of who they are. A romance won’t make the list if the hero is a Marine, but it plays absolutely no part in the story, either in the hero’s actions or thoughts. Being a Marine (or Spy, Cop, PI, etc.) must be integral to the character’s state of mind and/or to the plot. And considering how it sometimes seems every other romance features a Regency spy or Navy Seal hero, please restrict your nominations for this list to the most excellent among the excellent – otherwise we’ll be swamped!

War.  This list was started in November 2001 – because during that year we felt very strongly that it added an important category to our Special Titles Listings – as an extension of the Spies, P.I.’s and Warriors list, and was last revised in April 2010. The heroes and heroines on this list have are living through or have lived through war, and it has a huge impact on their lives. They may be scarred inside and out, they may have lost loved ones or their home. But with all the sadness and horror, this list contains examples of people rising above themselves, of caring and of healing. There may be a few overlaps with the list above, but when you nominate a book, could you very kindly consider whether the novel’s main focus rather is the war situation and its aftermath (the War list), or whether it rather is the soldier profession (the Spies, P.I.’s and Warriors list)? And could you please, in the field “reason for submitting”, indicate which war the novel is about?

Cons, Burglars, and Pickpockets.  While the heroes or heroines in these books may be nice, their occupation definitely isn’t. Yes, this list — last updated in January of 2010 — features heroes or heroines on the other side of the law.

Rakes and RoguesThis list, last updated in April of 2009, features heroes who are a “rake” or a “rogue.” While these terms are often used interchangably, they are not the same. In romance novels, the rake is used as a term for a ladies’ man, a bon vivant and possibly a libertine while the rogue is used as a term for a scoundrel, a man considered dangerous (perhaps he is a smuggler or is thought to have murdered his first wife), a man who may be acting outside the law or the prevalent code of honor. On the other hand, if he is an actual con artist or criminal, he should go on the Cons, Burglars, and Pickpockets list (see above).  Rakes and rogues are a romance staple so we hope you will nominate those heroes that touched your heart so we can highlight the best this category has to offer.  Often a man labeled as a rake or rogue is only a pretender, but for purposes of this list, you’ll still find him here.

As with the Young Adult Special Title List last month, we’re continuing to use an external site (surveymonkey) for your entries. Instead of one big blank space in which you list everything, we have divided the ballot by the titles you submit. You will enter in separate spaces for each book the title, author, the list you are submitting it for (Two-Hanky, Spies, etc.), the subgenre of the list, and reason for submitting the book. The ballot has space for you to recommend up to 20 new titles for the lists. Have more than 20 recommendations? Just fill out a second ballot. Please note that you do not have to recommend 20 titles. If you have only one recommendation, complete the information for it, and then scroll down to the bottom of the ballot and click on the “DONE” button. Once you have clicked on DONE you will be directed to a standard surveymonkey page. Be assured that if you end up on this page, your submission has reached us.

When we first began updating the Special Title Lists in September of 2012 we asked you to tell us which lists you wanted to see updated first. After we worked our way through your most requested lists we asked you to pick your favorites again. We’ve slowly worked through most of your favorites and are now down to the remainder of the lists that just a few of you wanted to see updated. So, we’ll admit to being a bit nervous: just how many submissions will we get for these five lists? We hope you have read some wonderful books that fit into these categories and we look forward to your submissions. You will find the criteria and submission ballot here.


Cindy, Rike, LinnieGayl


Dabney Grinnan
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Impenitent social media enthusiast. Relational trend spotter. Enjoys both carpe diem and the fish of the day.