Monday, March 31, 2014

Book List: RWA's 2014 RITA Award

Since January I've made an effort to try and vary my reading material up a little. Getting out of my genre ruts means exploring and sharing titles and authors and subjects that I wouldn't normally choose. However my first love will always be romantic fiction. When I was a tween I discovered old Harlequin novels. You know the ones: around 200 pages, sexy without being explicit, and invariably involving handsome, hunky millionaires, innocent and intelligent women, and easily solved misunderstandings that led to true love and happiness. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized there were romances with more complex plots, often with subgenres involving history, sci-fi, vampires and werewolves, and even steampunk.

Yet, as much as I love romances, sometimes I'm at a loss for what to read. There's just SO MUCH out there. A quick Google search shows that in 2008 over 7,300 romance novels were published (1) and the various subgenres boast a readership of 29 million fans. (2) It's understandable then, that I sometimes get overwhelmed by the selection and don't know what to read next.

That's why last week's announcement by the Romance Writers of America (RWA) made me so happy.

RWA announced the finalists of the 2014 RITA Award on March 26th. This is the most prestigious award for romantic fiction. (3) The traditionally published and self-published titles that final in the contest have been evaluated based on the romance, the plot/story, the writing, and the characters, with a total possible score of 50 points. (4) Only titles that score 45 points or higher advance to the final round of the contest.

When the finalists of the 2014 RWA RITA Award were announced I was excited to see some of my favorite authors on the list, but I was even happier to see names and titles I've never read before. My Goodreads to-read list is about to expand...


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