RWA: The Rita Awards

Barbara Vey -- August 1st, 2010
Christine Merrill and Katy Lee

Christine Merrill and Katy Lee

After all the parties on Friday, everyone is moving kind of slow.  There’s still plenty of workshops and the remaining publishers offer up free books at their author signings (NAL, Sourcebooks, St. Martin’s Press, Grand Central).  One of the workshops, Talking the Talk: Writing Historical Dialogue, was about giving tips for keeping character’s conversations from sounding artificial or antique.  Tip…remember to be consistent and be careful of anachronisms because someone will catch your mistakes.  Forsooth!



Jacqui Lyonelle, Kathy Crouch, Dawn Cartier, Devon Alexander

Jacqui Lyonelle, Kathy Crouch, Dawn Cartier, Devon Alexander

I was on a panel with author Rebecca York, Borders Romance Buyer Sue Grimshaw and Circle of Seven CEO Sheila Clover English.  We discussed Successful Promotion: Saving Time and Money While Reaching Your Goal.  Sheila’s best tip…Be consistent, be honest, be passionate.  I couldn’t agree more.




Cassondra Murray and Dianna Love

Cassondra Murray and Dianna Love

Now it was time for the event everyone gets all dolled up for…The Rita Awards.  First the Golden Heart is given out for unpublished romance fiction manuscripts and the Rita’s for published romance fiction novels.  The emcee this year was Sabrina Jeffries who’s running gag was her trying to snatch a Rita from whoever was near.  There were even some photos of her sneaking into Nora Roberts’ home for one of her’s because she has so many, it wouldn’t be missed.


Slides were shown of past Rita events and you could hear the oohs and ahs as people remembered when they happened.  Because it was the 30th Anniversary of RWA, there was also a dinner this year (while everything was lovely…please…no more chicken for a while).


Now it was time for the awards.  And the winners were:


2010 Golden Heart Awards


Young Adult Romance
Unchosen by Erica O’Rourke
Inspirational Romance
Unforgiven by CJ Eernisse Chase
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements
A Place at the Table by Patricia O’Dea Rosen
Contemporary Series Romance
Fake Fiancee, Real Love by Cat Shield
Contemporary Series Romance Suspense/Adventure
See Jane Run by Angela Platt
Historical Romance
Between Heaven and Hell by Jacqui Nelson
Regency Historical Romance
A Most Improper Gentleman by Elizabeth Beatty
Paranormal Romance
Bloodborn: Book One in the Light Blade Series by Kylie Griffin
Romantic Suspense
The Yard Man by G. Jillian Stone
Contemporary Single Title Romance
Songbird by Lizbeth Selvig

RITA Awards
Young Adult Romance
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Inspirational Romance
The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander
Novel with Strong Romantic Element
The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O’Neal
Romance Novella
The Christmas Promise by Molly O’Keefe
Contemporary Series Romance
A Not-So-Perfect Past by Beth Andrews
Contemporary Series Romance Suspense/Adventure
The Soldier’s Secret Daughter by Cindy Dees
Historical Romance
Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas
Regency Historical Romance
What Happens in London by Julia Quinn
Paranormal Romance
Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole
Romantic Suspense
Whisper of Warning by Laura Griffin
Best First Book
One Scream Away by Kate Brady
Contemporary Single Title Romance
Too Good to Be True by Kristen Higgins


Barbara Vey, Debbie Macomber, Barbara Bettis

Barbara Vey, Debbie Macomber, Barbara Bettis


Debbie Macomber was awarded the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award.  She looked lovely (and you’ll see why in the picture) as she talked about being dyslexic, starting her writing career on a rented typewriter and thanking all her agents (yes, she has several).  It was announced that another Mrs. Miracle movie will be shown on Lifetime and Debbie will have her own line of yarn out soon.  Amazing the empire that can grow out of writing a good story.

Nancy Berland and Lori Keizer

Nancy Berland and Lori Keizer


At the Sabrina Jeffries after party, I found out that I wasn’t the only one who wore matching outfits.  Sabrina herself had a duplicate and so did Nancy Berland and Lori Keizer.  I’m still waiting for Sabrina’s brother to send me the picture, but I thought we could play…Who Wore it Better?


Debbie Macomber

Barbara Bettis

Barbara Vey


Nancy Berland

Lori Keizer


Vote in comments because blog won’t let me put in poll, sorry.

Bottom Line: Best thank you speech…”I’m going to Disney World!”

65 thoughts on “RWA: The Rita Awards

  1. Amy J. Fetzer

    Both groups look great. I think its a crack up that three of you wore the same. Good taste all around!
    I had that happen to me at a Marine Corps Ball. Three of us with the same gown but different colors, so we made the best of it and we posed for a photo Like the Lennon sister. (I know, dating myself, huh?)

  2. Jacqui Lyonelle

    Barbara…It’s always so good to see you. I knew you were a busy social butterfly but hadn’t realized just how busy! Not surprised as you are such a kick to be around :) And it’s not surprising how you three ladies have great taste :D . Hugs!

  3. Nancy Lee Badger

    I will be kind and say Nancy wore it best ONLY because I am a good friend of Lori Keizer and was the one who told her to “Go tell that woman how spectacular she looks in your dress.” Sabrina hosted a lovely party and we all were happy to meet such fabulous, well-dressed people after the annual RWA awards. Watch out…maybe Lori and I will be nominated NEXT YEAR!

  4. Kathy Crouch

    It was an amazing ceremony and I am glad that I had the chance to come and be a part of it. It was wonderful to see you Barbara…just wish we could have spent even more time hanging out. We didn’t get a chance to make Joysann sing at Karaoke night with the Divas. There’s always next year! All the ladies were gracious, generous, and most definitely lovely.

  5. Dawn Chartier

    What a great time. I learned so much. I met such wonderful people. If I can make it next year, I’m already looking forward to it. And I was so glad I could see you again, Barbara. I can’t vote, because everyone wore those outfits with such big smiles on their faces. They all win if you ask me.

    Now do I remember correctly that you said you had something for me? It’s all such a blur.

    Hugs, Dawn Chartier
    (known as “Cartier” to Barbara, which I like much better.) :-)

  6. Phyllis Cazares

    Barbara, It was great to see you again, if only for a moment. It was a fantastic conference–since it was my first national meeting, it will be hard to beat. How you do all you do amazes me. BTW, you said to remind you to put my name in for the missed drawing items.

  7. Dianna Love

    Ah, Barbara you did a great job of capturing the evening. It’s really magical. I had so many buddies who won GH and RITAs, but a few more who did not. You want everyone to walk away with the gold on that night. Too funny about you three in the same jacket. Thanks for the fun shot of me and the fabulous Cassondra, but where is the picture of Mickey and Minnie in their formal dress?

  8. Sarra Cannon

    They both look amazing. What a stunning dress! And what a fun way to end a great conference.

    Barbara, it was so nice meeting you at the after-party. Hope to see you again next year in NYC!!

  9. Liz Kreger

    Love it that you and three others wore the same outfit, Barb. Good taste. LOL. I thought that the panel you were on regarding promotion was one of the best that I attended.

    This was a great conference and I enjoyed seeing everyone and meeting new people.

  10. Helen Brenna

    Seems like I missed seeing so many people down in Orlando, including you Barbara. Glad you had a good time. I sure did!! The awards ceremony was wonderful. Great way to cap off a great conference.

  11. Rgottleib

    “The convention was sold out. A testament to the fans, authors and organizers. Congratulations.

    My client Sherrilyn Kenyon’s signing line was so long I wondered if she would get the last book signing done before closing. She got it done to everyone’s amazement. What a trooper! Thank you Joan Johnston, Dianna Love, Kat Martin, Brenda Novak and all our wonderful authors for coming to the Trident party. It was a great time. Kim Whalen and I are looking forward to seeing you all next year.

    Congratulations to Cherry Adair on your New York Times bestseller. It is well deserved.

    Thank you to the organizers for letting me give a talk and to those who participated. The questions from all who attended were all welcomed and enjoyed. It was a pleasure to be of service.

    Robert Gottlieb
    Trident Media Group

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