Celebrating RITA Finalists - Contemporary Single Title

I'm so pleased to share today's list of RITA finalists in the Contemporary Single Title category. This is an amazing group of writers AND stories -- so enjoy. A few of the authors may be able to join us, but they're getting ready for their big night July 28th, and some are already traveling to Anaheim. I wish them all the best of luck. Watch for our celebration of the winners here on July 29th.
 Starr Ambrose
 Pocket Books
 Abby Zidle, editor
 The Larkin sisters are used to hearing whispers behind their backs. Being raised by hippie parents in the small resort town of Barringer’s Pass, Colorado, they were always considered oddballs, and for a while, they did everything they could to earn the name. But now, older and wiser, they're discovering that it's not so great to be the wild child, and are struggling to earn a new place for themselves in town.

When Maggie Larkin resists the come-ons of a sleazy actor in town to shoot a film, she pisses off more than a pretty boy and his manager. Turns out that Rafe DeLuca isn't just a movie star...he's possibly a killer, and Maggie's landed herself in more trouble than she could imagine. Enter Cal Drummond, cop extraordinaire, who's been trailing DeLuca himself for weeks, convinced that his recently murdered sister is one of Rafe's victims. He's determined not to let another woman be victimized by the dangerous Rafe, and if that means sticking like glue to Maggie, so be it.

Maggie and Cal seem like perfect opposites, but as we all know...opposites attract.
Visit Starr's Website

Lisa Dale
Berkley Publishing Group
Cindy Hwang, editor
Thea Celik has devoted herself to running her Newport coffee shop, to parenting her daughter, and to being a meaningful part of her in-law’s loving family. Her life is mild but satisfying—she’s sure of her place in the community and in her family. But when her childhood friend and husband Jonathan uncharacteristically cheats on her, her certainty about her role in the world is shaken.

Now as Thea strives to rediscover herself and remain close with the only family she knows, Jonathan’s brother Garret vows to exile her from their lives once and for all. Garret has never forgotten his history with Thea, and he hopes Jonathan’s divorce from her will mean he can reconnect with his brother at last. But his increasingly frequent encounters with Thea—and his unresolved feelings for her—threaten his relationship with his family now more than ever before.

SLOW DANCING ON PRICE’S PIER is the story of one woman’s determination to rediscover a new life while trying to maintain the old. The book asks, When the bonds of friendship, family, and love are tested, how long will they hold?

Jacquie D'Alessandro
Berkley Publishing Group
Cindy Hwang, editor
Sisters are known to share many things - but not the same boyfriend. The most basic “girl code” states that you never date a friend’s ex—so wouldn’t it be obvious that a current boyfriend is really off limits—especially to your own sister? Apparently Jamie Newman’s half-sister Laurel didn’t get the memo. Leaving behind New York—and the humiliation—Jamie heads to the tiny barrier island of Seaside Cove, North Carolina, for a quiet summer of healing her broken heart and reassessing her sudden disaster of a life. But instead of solace in a cozy beach cottage, she finds a run-down bungalow complete with stray cats and a leaky roof—and of course it’s raining—and the repairman M.I.A.…
Strays and colorful neighbors are nothing compared to her next visitors. First her drama-prone mother barges in. Then her angst-ridden teenage niece arrives. And the grand finale of the crazy storm is the arrival of Laurel, who’s been dumped by Jamie’s ex. And of course there’s the repairman, who’s finally shown his face—and is way too good-looking for Jamie’s own good. It’s clear there’s more to him than meets the eye, and Jamie would like to know what, but with the family she tried to escape now crammed in her ramshackle cottage, she may never get the chance…  

At Hidden Falls
Barbara Freethy
Pocket Books
Micki Nuding, editor
Mysterious dreams draw costume designer Isabella Silviera to Angel’s Bay, the California coastal town where angels occasionally dance above the waves. Bestselling author Barbara Freethy enchants again in this emotional and compelling tale of family secrets, abiding friendships, and heart-touching romance.
Isabella’s drive to Angel’ s Bay would have ended in tragedy when her car slid off a cliff if she hadn’t been rescued by Nick Hartley. As he helps her to safety, she realizes he is the man who has haunted her dreams. Nick, however, is committed to reconnecting with his estranged teenage daughter, refusing to respond to his powerful attraction to Isabella.
And Isabella’s police chief brother has his hands full with a missing mother, an abandoned baby, and an unknown father. What is Isabella’s role in the mysteries — both past and present — that swirl around the town?

When she starts helping at the Hartley family theater, all the pieces begin to link together. Loves found and lost, heartbreak and happiness, courage and betrayal are all part of the patchwork quilt of the community — and of life. Isabella’s gift is seeing the patterns …
Visit Barbara's Website

Jane Graves (Double Finalist)
Grand Central Publishing Forever
Michele Bidelspach, editor
A good girl can be bad for one night . . .
Bernadette Hogan doesn’t make mistakes. Not when it comes to caring for her mother, and not at her job protecting Texas’s most eligible—and infuriating—bachelor. Maybe that’s why she’s overcome with guilt after one tiny indiscretion: a passionate fling with her boss that’s left her confused, intrigued . . . and pregnant.

But can a bad boy be good for a lifetime?
To self-made millionaire Jeremy Bridges, women are like fine wine: if held for too long, they sour. But one wild night with Bernadette changed all that. She makes him laugh, she makes him think, and soon she’s going to make him a father. For the first time, Jeremy wants to be a one-woman man. So how can he convince the fiercely independent Bernadette he’s ready to change from partying playboy to dependable dad—and become the loving husband she deserves?

Jane Graves (Double Finalist)
Grand Central Publishing Forever
Michele Bidelspach, editor

He's the man of her dreams. . .
In a world full of frogs, Alison Carter is determined to find her prince. Maybe her dating past is more Titanic than Love Boat, but she's seen enough happy marriages to know that true love is possible. No matter what, she won't give up on happily-ever-after. If she can't find Mr. Right, she'll simply hire someone who can.

She just doesn't know it yet
When Brandon Scott inherits a successful matchmaking business, he thinks his prayers have been answered. Set up a few lonely ladies, collect the fee, how hard can it be? No one needs to know he's not really a professional matchmaker--especially not his first client, the beautiful, spirited Alison. Soon he's falling for her--and her dreams of kids and carpools. But Alison is getting close to figuring out his secret, and if she learns he's deceived her too, she'll walk right out the door, taking Brandon's heart with her.
GLIAS interview

Carina Press
Charlotte Herscher, editor
Matilda Geoffrey risked it all for love. She left Australia to be with Barry-the man who had swept her off her virtual feet. Now, wearing a wedding dress, she's alone on Main Street in small-town Wisconsin, and things aren't working out exactly as planned...

In town for his annual family visit, Marc Olsen had never seen a bride quite like Matilda-staring into a storefront window, holding a tottering wedding cake, and looking desperately in need of a groom. He may not have any warm feelings for his hometown, but meeting Matilda just as she discovers she's been scammed by her online "fiancé" stirs something in him.
Visit Fiona's Website

Lori Wilde
Avon Books
Lucia Macro, editor
 Caitlyn Marsh stopped believing in happily-ever-after when high-school sweetheart, Gideon Garza, left for Iraq. Now she raises her small son while her matchmaking gardening club members drive her crazy. Then Caitlyn's world turns upside-down when Gideon swaggers back to Twilight.

Gideon left town in the middle of the night with threats ringing in his ears. A lot of things have changes since then. This bad boy-turned-Green Beret bears scars from the war, the timid girl he loved is an idependent mother, and the father who refused to recognize his son in life has, in death, left him a vast cattle ranch.

He still aches for Caitlyn, and now there's a dark-haired boy who looks exactly like Gideon did at that age. Could the child be his? And can this war-weary soldier overcome the scars of the past to claim the family he so richly deserves?
Visit Lori's Website

I hope you enjoyed getting to know about this year's finalists in Contemporary Single Title. Please join us tomorrow when Heather will present the nominees in the Historical Romance category. 

Happy Reading!


JOIN THE RITA® CELEBRATION by leaving a comment for each category between July 11th and 28th (multiple comments = multiple entries, with the exception of Romantic Suspense). GLIAS will be drawing for winners on Sunday, July 29th and posting along with all the RITA® winners announced Saturday evening in Anaheim, California. 
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. If an INTERNATIONAL name is drawn, mailing the book or supplying an electronic version will be the decision of the donator. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.
JOIN US tomorrow as RITA® Week continues with the best HISTORICAL ROMANCE category. Don’t forget to FOLLOW us on Twitter #GetLostStories or LIKE us on Facebook.


  1. wow all of this sound wonderful thanks for the chance

  2. Congrats to the finalists. I'm so happy to see Barbara on the list. I love her Angel's Bay series.

  3. I have heard of some of these books before, while others are new to me. Thanks for bringing them all to my attention! (I can never hear too much about good books!)

  4. Congrats to all the nominees. So many great books!

  5. Congratulations! All the books sound lovely.


  6. Thanks to everyone who visited today! Remember to comment on all our featured blogs this week and next. Winners will be drawn on July 29th!

  7. These all sound great. Thanks for sharing!

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  8. wow fingers vroosed for every one congrads

  9. congrats all nominations, just wish all of the authors can win :)

  10. I've read Jacquie's, Fiona's and Lori's work before. I have BLACK TIES AND LULLABIES on my TBR pile!

    All of these books sound like my kind of enjoyable reads!

    johns lake at usa dot com

  11. This is another favorite genre of mine and I have read several of these stories and they were all wonderful.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  12. Apologies that I could not be here sooner, but I wanted to say what an honor it is to have my book named in such distinguished company! I've read them all, and am glad I don't have to choose a favorite!

  13. Good luck to everyone listed here :) I don't read much contemporary, but this looks like a great list to try some more.