I didn't make it to the annual Romance Writers of America national conference this year. It was this weekend in Atlanta, and last night the Rita and Golden Heart awards were announced.
A Rita is the romance industry equivalent to an Oscar. This year, two Windy City writers were nominated - Margaret Watson and Susan Carroll. Margaret was nominated for best long contemporary with her book Hometown Girl, and Susan Carroll was nominated for best long historical with her book The Dark Queen. Unfortunately, neither took her category.
Each year I try to scour the list of finalists and winners and plan to read as many of them as I can. Of particular note to me was the winner of the Paranormal category, Gabriel's Ghost by Linnea Sinclair. When I saw her cover, I knew instantly that something looked familiar. So I hunted down her other works and realized that I had read her An Accidental Goddess a few years ago for the (now defunct) Windy City Choice Awards. I thoroughly enjoyed An Accidental Goddess then - and was thrilled to see it take first place in the Windy City contest - so I'm looking forward to reading Gabriel's Ghost.
Sadly for me, by not attending the conference, I missed the opportunity to hear Windy City member Susan Elizabeth Phillips accept her Lifetime Achievement Award. I love Susan's work, and she has said very encouraging things about my own writing in the past, so I wish I had been there to support her.