Sandy’s Take

Results are in and the dust is settled.

The headline for me is I had fewer WTF reactions than in previous years.  Still:

  • No Blue-Eyed Devil?  Are they kidding?
  • Ditto Linda Howard’s Death Angel?
  • Are they absolutely certain they didn’t somehow get the names and titles mixed up in the It Happened One Night anthology because the stories nominated are the exact two that general consensus around here found w-a-a-a-a-y less worthy than the Hern and Balogh entries?
  • I’m all about spreading the love, but three nominations for Stephanie Laurens?  Reports are the author has never been nominated before, but, geez, some control here, people!
  • Why was The Spymaster’s Lady included in the historical category and not Regency historical?
  • I can’t help wondering if Rita voters get stuck in the same old ruts that Emmy voters do because…well, honestly, some of those perennial names on the Rita list seem to be stuck in ruts, too.

Now, what am I happy about?  The historical nominees contain every single title I wanted to see there and I honestly can’t remember the last time that happened.  It’s going to be a battle of titans (titanesses?) and I can’t wait to see who triumphs.  I’m delighted for Sherry Thomas who scored in both the historical category and Best First Book for Private Arrangements.

But I’ll also consider it a victory that I wasn’t WTF-ing every ten minutes yesterday.

-Sandy AAR

Lynn’s Take

In the past, I’ve read over RITA news in passing, but this year, I was at my desk as nominees were being announced and I found myself getting sucked into it as RWA posted nominees in little bits and pieces. I plan to actually go to RWA this year(my very first conference – yay!), so I wanted to see who would be waiting for the big announcements at the RITA ceremony.

Sandy and I both read historicals, and like some of the same authors. However, our tastes diverge somewhat from there. Sandy could have a very intelligent conversation with you about contemporaries, for example. I, on the other hand, consider it an accomplishment if I can contribute something to the conversation beyond the occasional Nora Roberts read. My reading interests are varied, but most of my contemporary settings tend to come with series numbers on the spine.

So, while Sandy is noticing the absence of books like Death Angel and Blue-Eyed Devil, I’m scratching my head and wondering, “Where’s Your Scandalous Ways? And why the hell isn’t Broken Wing listed under Best First Book? And why all the babies and ding-dong dillionaires for series books – what about Nocturne or the Steeple Hill Historicals and Suspense lines? There were some good books there last year.”

When I got to the historical categories, I couldn’t help feeling a little confused. RWA has a category for historicals, but they also have one for Regency-set historicals. That’s all well and good, but then they go and stick books with Regency settings in the regular historical category. That made little sense to me – plus I happen to be a champion of the “ANYTHING but the Regency” setting, so I didn’t entirely like seeing Regency England take up so many slots when it already has its own category. Still, I was happy to see some books I really enjoyed, such as The Spymaster’s Lady, To Seduce a Sinner, and Mr. Cavendish, I Presume all get nominations in the various historical camps.

After the historical lists, I found that with other categories, I felt happy for some of the authors who made it even as the rest of the list left me scratching my head. For instance, I was thrilled to see Nalini Singh’s book on the paranormal list and one of Karen Rose’s on the romantic suspense list, but I have to admit that I haven’t read most of the other books that made it on those lists – and two of the ones I tried I found…well..very putdownable, let’s say. Now I will own that my reading tastes are idiosyncratic, but I was somewhat startled to find myself familiar with so few of the RITA books.

Ah well. Just as the Oscar nominations make me put together a Netflix list of things I haven’t seen, I suspect that the RITA nominations will have me putting together a reading list – not to mention mining my TBR pile. I’ve already found 2 RITA nominees in there. So, what’s your take on the RITA nominations?

-Lynn Spencer

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