Rita Nominees: Focus on Novellas

With the Rita Award Nominees announced, romance readers as well as those curious about the romance genre have an opportunity to discover writers and/or stories to consider. One popular category is the Novella category. Some of the best known books in our culture are novellas, including Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, and the deeply ingrained Christmas classic, adapted again and again in stage, screen and animation, Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. (The latter was also self published.)

Novellas are between 20,000 and 40,000 words. Accordingly, novellas appear as either stand-alone short books, or as part of an anthology.

The following Rita nominated novellas are available directly as stand-alone short books:

The Bridesmaid by Julia London
(Sourcebooks, Casablanca; Deb Werksman, editor)

Getting her to the wedding on time is the least of his worries…

Kate Preston just moved to New York, but she has to get back to Seattle in time for her best friend’s wedding. Joe Firretti is moving to Seattle, and has to get there in time or risk losing his new job. But fate’s got a sense of humor.

Kate goes from rubbing elbows on a plane with a gorgeous but irritating strange (doggone armrest hog) to sharing one travel disaster after another with him on four wheels. Joe thought he had his future figured out, but sometimes fates has to knock you over the head pretty hard before you see what opportunity is standing in front of you…in a really god-awful poufy bridesmaid dress.

 

How to Marry a Highlander by Katharine Ashe
(HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Impulse; Lucia Macro, editor)

With seven troublesome half sisters to marry off, Duncan, the Earl of Eads, has one problem: he’s broke.

With the prospect of marriage to the pompous local curate, Miss Teresa Finch-Freeworth has one dream: to wed instead the handsome Highlander she saw at a ball.

How does a desperate lady convince a reluctant laird that she’s the perfect bride for him? She strikes a wager! If she can find seven husbands for seven sisters, the earl must marry her.

Duncan has no intention of wedding the meddlesome maiden, and he gives her a deadline even the most audacious matchmaker can’t meet—one month. But Teresa sets terms, too: with each bridegroom she finds, the earl must pay her increasingly intimate rewards . . .

How to Misbehave by Ruthie Knox
(Random House Group, Loveswept; Sue Grimshaw, editor)

What woman can resist a hot man in a hard hat? RITA finalist Ruthie Knox kicks off her new Camelot series with this deliciously sexy original novella, in which a good girl learns how to misbehave . . . with all her heart.
 
As program director for the Camelot Community Center, Amber Clark knows how to keep her cool. That is, until a sudden tornado warning forces her to take shelter in a darkened basement with a hunk of man whose sex appeal green lights her every fantasy. With a voice that would melt chocolate, he asks her if she is okay. Now she’s hot all over and wondering: How does a girl make a move?

Building contractor Tony Mazzara was just looking to escape nature’s fury. Instead, he finds himself all tangled up with lovely Amber. Sweet and sexy, she’s ready to unleash her wild side. Their mutual desire reaches a fever pitch and creates a storm of its own—unexpected, powerful, and unforgettable. But is it bigger than Tony can handle? Can he let go of painful memories and let the force of this remarkable woman show him a future he never dreamed existed?

Mine Under the Mistletoe by Kat Latham
(Carina Press; Angela James, editor)

Thanks to a transatlantic house swap, California girl Ashley Turner is finally going to fulfill her lifelong dream of a proper English Christmas. Her holiday plans did not include a sexy stranger climbing into her borrowed bed in the middle of the night. But in the light of day, Ashley can’t help but wonder if Santa has delivered early…

Game designer Oliver Stansfeld can’t wait to leave dreary London—and all its difficult holiday memories—for sunny San Diego. But a freak ice storm and a grounded plane have forced him back to his already-occupied flat. To make up for the mix-up, the least he can do is show his pretty houseguest where to get the perfect Christmas tree before he leaves.

The more time they spend together, the more their attraction grows, and soon Ashley is tempting Oliver to give in to the spirit of the season and snuggle up for the rest of the winter. As the ice melts and flights start taking off again, he must choose between giving in to the past or risking his heart on a chance at love.
Take Me, Cowboy by Jane Porter
(Tule Publishing, Montana Born Books; Tessa Shapcott, editor)

When Jenny Wright’s fiancé leaves her standing at the altar in a Vera Wang bridal gown she can’t afford, she’s humiliated and heartbroken. To have Marietta hero bull riding champ Colton Thorpe witness her shame – makes the rejection even more devastating.
Jenny and Colton grew up in the same rough neighborhood and they both left home right after school to pursue big dreams. Now they’re both back, with Colton as the celebrity chair for the 75th Copper Mountain Rodeo, and Jenny in disgrace.
Sexy, rugged Colton didn’t get to be a national champion by chance. He’s a man that takes risks and goes after what he wants. During the rodeo weekend, Colton makes it clear he wants Jenny. Flustered but flattered, Jenny finds it difficult to resist his charm. But what happens when the rodeo ends and Colton leaves town? Will she dare to dream again?

Take What You Want by Jeanette Grey
(Samhain Publishing; Jennifer Miller, editor)

She needs an escape…and he’s exactly what she had in mind.

College senior Ellen Price spends every spare minute studying to get into medical school. Until spring break yawns before her, as empty as her wallet.

With no money to hit the beach, she fills her empty to-do list with a plan: for just one week, she will become the kind of take-no-prisoners woman she secretly wishes to be, starting with the hot guy at the bar. It’s a no-risk situation: at the end of break, he’ll head back to his campus, and she’ll go back to hers. No muss, no fuss.

At first, Josh Markley isn’t sure what to think when the quiet, intense beauty from his pre-med classes approaches him for a night of casual sex. Even more mystifying, she doesn’t seem to return his recognition. But if she wants to play “strangers in a bar”, he’s game.

 

And the following are available in multi-story anthologies:

 

“Defending Truth” by Shannon McNear in A Pioneer Christmas
(Barbour Publishing; Becky Germany, editor)

Journey along with American settlers who learn that despite where the trail takes them or how primitive their lodgings may be Christmas is all about the heart. Determined to honor Christ’s birth, these pioneers find a way to make Christmas happen in places like a cave, a tipi, and a dugout.

Modern readers will enjoy a peek into life before commercialism took over the sacred day, distracting us from the true blessings of faith, hope, and love. Enjoy nine original novellas of Christmas romance as penned from many of today’s leading Christian authors, including Lauraine Snelling, Margaret Brownley, Kathleen Fuller, and Vickie McDonough.

 

“Imagine Me and You” by Maisey Yates in Animal Attraction
(Harlequin, HQN; Margo Lipschultz, editor)

Four of today’s most popular romance authors introduce four sizzling new tales of finding love unexpectedly–with a little help from man’s best friend. Includes an all-new Buckhorn Brothers story from New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster!

The authors are donating all of their proceeds from Animal Attraction to the Animal Adoption Foundation of Hamilton, OH, a charitable organization.

Anthology includes:
Buckhorn Ever After by New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster
Imagine Me and You by USA TODAY bestselling author Maisey Yates
Gimme Shelter by USA TODAY bestselling author Heidi Betts
Partner in Crime by Jules Bennett

“Too Fast to Fall” by Victoria Dahl in Be Mine
(
Harlequin, HQN; Tara Parsons, editor)

For Jenny Stone, driving is her escape—from her past, her problems, her quiet life in Jackson Hole. But after Deputy Nate Hendricks stops her—again—for speeding, she could lose more than just her license. She could lose her heart. Nate seems to think that Jenny should replace her love for fast driving with something even more…heart pumping.

And despite her need for speed, Jenny’s never been one for defying the law.

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