The Golden Heart Calls Go Out Today

The biggest contest in RWA for unpublished hopefuls, the Golden Hearts will be awarded at the National Conference in San Francisco on Saturday, August 2, 2008. I’m hoping to get emails from those who final and list them here. So, spread the word and Best of Luck to everyone who entered!

The categories are taken from


CONT. SRSS            Melissa James, REDEFINING MR PERFECT

                                Becky Clark, BORROWED STILETTOS

                                Diane Stoddard, SHE’S JUST RIGHT

CONT.SRS: S/A        Kelly Ann Riley, KITTY’S FIRE

                                Lynn Raye Harris, HOT PURSUIT

CONT. ST                 Amy Atwell, PUBLIC RELATIONS

                               Sarah Castleberry, BEAUTY AND THE GEEK

                               Theresa Ragan, BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

                               Susan Seyfarth, THE PRINCESS PROJECT

                               Susan Seyfarth, MONEY, HONEY

                               Shelley Coriell, THE LOST

HISTORICAL            Kathryn Parker, MOSS SQUARE

                               Kris Kennedy, THE KINDS OF WANTING

                               Kris Kennedy, WANTING FINIAN

                               Beth Trissel, THROUGH THE FIRE

                               Courtney Milan, BREATH OF HONOR

                               Cindy Nord, NO GREATER GLORY

                                CJ Chase, EARTHBOUND PARADISE

INSPIR.                    Susan MAson, WYNDERMERE HOUSE

                                Denise Meinstad, THIS TIME FOREVER

NOVEL W/SRE        Liese Sherwood-Fabre, HEADS UP, ST. ANTHONY

                               K. McMorris/L. Yoshida, FLAHERTY’S CROSSING

                               Cathy Perkins, THE PROFESSOR


                               Kelly Gay, BEDKNOBS & BROOMSTICKS

                               Jennifer North, THE SEXTANT

                               Helen Scott Taylor, THE MAGIC KNOT

                               Kerry Allen, WISH LIST


                               Darcy Burke, GLORIOUS

                               Anne Barton, MIDNIGHT PROMISES

                               Pam Bolton-Holifield, LOST IN LOVE

R/S                         Kim Howe, ONE SHOT, TWO KILLS

                              Theresa Ragan, FINDING KATE HUNTLEY

                               Robin Perini, TRUTH AND CONSEQUENCES

                               Joan Swan, SAFE IN ENEMY ARMS

                               Rachel Grant, MURDER IN SITU

YOUNG ADULT       Amanda Brice, PARTY LIKE IT’S 1899                            

                              Catherine Chant, WISHING YOU WERE HERE

                              Kelly Gay, BLIGHTED

                              Kay Cassidy, THE CINDERELLA SOCIETY



                                   Vickie Taylor, ANGEL AND THE HELLRAISER

                                   Sylvia Day, MISCHIEF AND THE MARQUESS

                                   Maureen Child, CHRISTMAS CRAVINGS

                                   Jennifer Greene, BORN OF MY HEART


                                 Rosemary Clement-Moore, PROM DATES FROM HELL

                                 Kelly Parra, GRAFFITI GIRL

                                 Helen Brenna, TREASURE

                                 Emily Gee,

CONT. SRS                Kristi Gold, FALL FROM GRACE

                                  Nina Bruhns, NIGHT MISCHIEF

                                  Elaine Grant, MAKE-BELIEVE MOM

                                  Natasha Oakley, THE TYCOON’S PRINCESS BRIDE

                                  Kelly Hunter, SLEEPING PARTNER

                                  Heidi Rice, MILLIONAIRE’S BLACKMAIL BARGAIN


                                 Cindy Dees, THE MEDUSA SEDUCTION

                                 Samantha Hunter, UNTOUCHED

                                 Raeanne Thayne, HIGH RISK AFFAIR

                                 Merline Lovelace, STRANDED WITH A SPY

                                 Helen Brenna, TREASURE

CONT. SIN TTL           Toni Blake, TEMPT ME TONIGHT

                                 Leslie Kelly, SHE’S NO ANGEL

                                 Kristan Higgins, CATCH OF THE DAY

                                 Diana Holquist, SEXIEST MAN ALIVE

                                 Jennifer Greene – BLAME IT ON CUPID


                                Jade Lee, TEMPTED TIGRESS

                                 Madeline Hunter, LESSONS OF DESIRE

                                 Laura Lee Guhrke, AND THEN HE KISSED HER

                                 Elizabeth Hoyt, THE LEOPARD PRINCE

INSPIR.                      Linda Goodnight, A TOUCH OF GRACE

                                 Susan Mae Warren, TAMING RAFE

NOVEL W/RE            Allison Brennan, SEE NO EVIL

                                 Emily Gee,


                                 Linnea Sinclair, GAMES OF COMMAND

                                 Linda Winstead Jones, PRINCE OF DARKNESS

                                 Linda Winstead Jones, RAINTREE: HAUNTED

                                 J.R. Ward, LOVER REVEALED

                                 Christina Dodd, TOUCH OF DARKNESS

                                 Stephanie Rowe, HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME HOT

REGENCY HIST.       Anna Campbell, UNTOUCHED

                                Anna Campbell, CLAIMING THE COURTESAN

                                Julia Quinn, SECRET DIARIES OF MISS M. CHEEVER

R/S                          Karen Rose, DIE FOR ME

                               Allison Brennan, SPEAK NO EVIL


                               Kelly Parra, GRAFFITI GIRL

                                Melissa Marr, WICKEY LOVELY


192 Responses

  1. fingers crossed everyone! I’m hoping for a Judi Fennell sweep! (did you enter more than one?!)

  2. Of course, Jen! 😉

  3. Here’s hoping the good news continues, my fingers are crossed too!!

  4. Good luck Judi,

  5. Good luck to all the GH entrants!
    Cheryl Wilson

  6. oooh, good to know! Thanks for letting us know 🙂

  7. Wishing you ALL the best, Judi!


  8. Good luck to everyone who entered this year. 🙂

  9. Is it that time already? Wow! Time flies when you’re having fun. Doesn’t it?;)

  10. Hey Judi — a familiar name from, here! Thanks for keeping track… I’ve entered one, and my heart rate is going 100 mph. 🙂

    Sarah C.

  11. Good luck to all the contestants.

  12. Good luck, everyone! Judi, I’ll be checking back all morning. Hope you’ll keep us posted!


  13. I’m so nervous, more than once I’ve caught myself typing in all caps because I hit Caps Lock instead of Shift. Doh! I wish they’d call earlier than 1:00 Eastern time; as it is I think I’m too nervous to eat lunch today.

    Good luck to everyone, especially my VFRW Sisters!

  14. Me, too Carla! My fingers are shaking all over my keyboard!
    Good Luck Everybody!

  15. Do calls for the GH go out starting 1 Eastern? I thought they could start at any time this morning?
    Fingers crossed for everyone!

  16. Sarah —

    Calls can go out at any time today.

    Someone over at Romance Divas posted like about five to ten minutes ago that she’s a finalist in the GH Young Adult category.

    An RWA board member posted there last week that just because we start seeing finalists in some categories to not assume that all finalists in that particular category have been called. A board member may have a couple contemp finalists, a couple FF&P finalists, etc. on her list, so the calls could go out all day long.

    Also, this same board member said that she’s probably isn’t making her calls until her lunch time–and she’s on the West Coast.

  17. Prolonging the agony, then. Thanks! 🙂

  18. YAY! Congrats to Julianne – well deserved!

  19. I just emailed you, Judi. My PARTY LIKE IT’S 1899 finaled in Young Adult. 🙂

  20. My fingers are crossed for everyone out there! I’m entered in the Historical category for the RITA.s This is like having a baby but without labor pains, thank goodness!

  21. Yes, I touched base with National – calls can go out whenever the Board member gets up, dressed and has her coffee! 🙂

  22. My critique partner, Kathryn Parker, finaled in the GH in the non-regency historical category with “Moss Square”

    (Bragging on your CPs is the next best thing to having good news of your own!)

  23. Good luck to everyone! I can’t wait to hear who else is a finalist! I read some excellent entries in the category I judged and am sure some of them will final!

  24. Thanks for doing this updated list/blog, Judi!

    Much more fun to watch results come in like this.


  25. Good luck to everyone. I admire your courage in entering such a tough contest! Like Amanda Brice said, I also read some excellent entries in the category I judged. I expect to see at least two of them in the finalist list.

  26. Hi Judi,

    Wishing everyone good luck! I just had a call from the lovely Terri Reid letting me know my novel ONE SHOT, TWO KILLS finaled in the Romantic Suspense category.

    Congrats to all the finalists in both the RITA and GH!


  27. This is so exciting .. I’m already seeing familiar names 🙂 Way to go!

  28. Congrats to those who’ve gotten a call already, and good luck to those still waiting.


  29. I have several friends in the running for these and I’m so excited. Thanks for giving us a way to find out as they happen.

    Congrats to everyone who entered no matter what. That’s huge no matter how it turns out.

  30. Linnea Sinclair got the call for “Games of Command” finaling in the Rita Paranormal!!!

  31. I’ve been trying to do a list too. So far I have a double nominee in paranormal for the Rita and a lead on a GH final for contemporary series.

  32. My friend and blog sister (, Simone Elkeles finaled in the Rita YA for her book LEAVING PARADISE!!!!

  33. Anyone else sitting here obsessively refreshing this blog? LOL! I had an entry in the GH this year but had to pull it when I sold it to Ellora’s Cave! LOL

  34. I am…and amazingly enough, though I thought I’d come to terms with the fact I wouldn’t final, that spark of hope still hasn’t died…

  35. Arwen, you think obsessively refreshing this is crazy, try doing 2 email lists and 2 postings. I’m having a blast and it’s definitely making it easier for me to forget to notice I haven’t gotten a call! (oops, spoke too soon. I noticed.)

  36. Eek. The phone rang. It was my ex-husband. Not who I wanted to hear from.

  37. Miranda, OMG!!! Too funny! Perfect tension breaker!

  38. Arwen and Judi–I hear ya!

    I think my phone is totally dead! Not even a wrong number! Yeah, that noticing stuff is cruel!

    A blast to watch this unfold!

  39. LOL! I know what you mean, Carolynn and Judi! I was comforting myself with the fact that no finalists in my category were posted, so the calls probably hadn’t been made, then one popped up…

  40. Thanks for posting everything, Judi. You’re the online romance writer queen. 😉

    I’m refreshing constantly to catch the news, too…

  41. Is your category Contemporary Series (like mine), Gail? Because I had that same comfort…LOL

    I’m thinking about chucking all this to head for the mall and dive into the discounted Easter chocolate!

  42. Step Away From The Chocolate! (how else will you fit in your gown for the ceremony?)

    yes, it’s easy to say when I’m sitting in a construction trailer with no chocolate in sight!

  43. My CP Catherine Chant is a finalist! I had the pleasure of sitting next to my other CP Victoria Dahl in the Section for Awesome People when she won the GH in 2005. I almost started hyperventilating. It’s truly an experience and I’m so excited for everyone!

  44. Yes, Carolynn, it was Contemoorary Series! I’ll join you in spirit in a chocolate binge!

  45. I’m actually too lazy to drive to the mall right now, plus I’d only be thinking about the damn phone. Has anyone else picked theirs up to make sure it’s still working? LOL

    Good luck, Gail, Judy and everyone else…this blog really helps me not to feel alone in my agony! (Ok, not agony, just extreme duress) 🙂

  46. From what I understand, board members don’t even all have a full category…some of them might have one Rita finalist in Single Title, then a couple of Inspy Golden Heart finalists, then a Rita Inspy finalist. And then another board member might have the entire rest of the Inspies except for those three that the first board member had.

    It’s totally random. So just because people from your category are getting notified doesn’t mean anything. Your board member might not be up yet, or might be in a meeting, or whatever.

  47. Ok, Miranda, that cracked me up! Ex husband… GH call. Yeah, not the same!

  48. Hey, Jenn! Big congrats to Catherine!

    And my phone is broken. I kid you not. Repairman will be here before noon, allegedly. This is agonizing.

  49. OMG Vicki! You know, when an agent was trying to call me to sign me on, my son and I had managed to kill the phone by dropping it in the bathtub.

  50. I got a call from Linda Howard a little while ago. My Christmas novella, Christmas Day Family from A Western Winter Wonderland anthology is a finalist. I’m excited!

  51. I just learned that “Heads Up, St. Anthony” finaled in the Strong Romantic Elements category.

  52. I got a call at 10:00am EDST to give me the good news that my manuscript finaled in the Golden Heart Regency Historical category. Guess I have no excuse not to pack up the van and go visit the in-laws as the dh has planned for today.
    Good luck, everyone!
    Susan Gee Heino

  53. I’m finished calling my list. And I’m not telling what category(ies) that was. Bwahahaha.

    Have fun and congrats to all.

  54. Congrats to all the finalists so far! (some of whom I know-yay!).
    Does anyone know what happens if they can’t reach you by phone today? Normally I’d sit on it all day, but I MUST leave the house in a couple of hours.

  55. Phone is first.

    Then Email is next.

    In any case, the list is officially posted on RWA’s site tomorrow.

  56. Eeek! Just got the call that FLAHERTY’S CROSSING, a collaboration with my mother, Linda Yoshida, finaled in the Romantic Elements category! We just signed with our dream agent, Marcy Posner, last week. I can’t wait to tell Marcy the news! Yay, yay, yay!

    Congrats to all the other finalists! And good luck to those still waiting to hear!

  57. Hi Judi! I just got two calls in a row, one from Terri Reed and one from Dorien Kelly, telling me that FINDING KATE HUNTLEY finaled in the romantic suspense category and BETTER LATE THAN NEVER finaled in the single title category of the Golden Heart! I am thrilled to say the least.

    Good luck to everyone who entered!

  58. Judi–

    You’re always on top of these things; I’m forever impressed.

    Sexiest Man Alive is a finalist in the RITA Cont. Single Title category. I’m still quivering with disbelief!


  59. I was doing good until I saw Judi’s initial post! Cell phone is now firmly attached to my waist and my concentration has evaporated.

    BIG hugs and congrats to those who’ve gotten the call! Best wishes to the rest of us! Oops, I hear my boss! Bye!


  60. Argh! I’m at work and have no idea if I got a call or not. Do you think anyone would notice if I suddenly disappeared for the afternoon.

  61. Oops, sorry Carolynn and Gail for making you nervous! Since no one else is on any series list at all, I’m pretty sure calls are still going out. Good luck!!

  62. I use my cell phone as my RWA contact phone and other industry professionals. That way I’m never out of touch. (pitiful, isn’t it?)

  63. Congrats Kristina and Linda and everyone else. Judi, please correct Kristina’s name in your list to Kristina McMorris – thanks!! (Hey, you have to look out for your chaptermates!) And thanks for running this list today!

  64. Sorry for not clarifying! FLAHERTY’S CROSSING is a GH finalist. 🙂

  65. LOL, me, too, Judi. But I almost left hte cell phone at home this morning. I was 3/4 of the way to work when I realized it, so I insisted on turning around to get it.

  66. cross post, Darcy! She emailed me! 😉

  67. I’m on tenterhooks, waiting to know if my meg-talented CP Rachel Robinson made it in the Short Contemporary section…but with her asleep in Australia…do they call in the middle of the night? I never entered the GH before I got the call so no idea, and didn’t enter the RITA. Too busy moving.

    Thanks if anyone can help!

  68. I know they won’t mind me filching this from the NINC loop: Jade Lee and Cindy Dees finaled also:

    Jade: “I’m up in Historical Category for TEMPTED TIGRESS!!! Woo hoo!!
    Jade Lee,

    and Cindy:

    “I just got the RITA call and I’m a double finalist with two Contemporary Series Suspense & Adventure novels….
    THE MEDUSA AFFAIR and THE MEDUSA SEDUCTION both finalled. Cindy Dees”

    I’m beyond thrilled my GAMES made it in. Shocked, actually. My hands are still cold and clammy. ~Linnea

  69. That’s okay, Melissa…I think it’s awesome you’re a finalist. Congratulations! I “recognize” you from eharlequin, or is that another Melissa James?

    At any rate, growing a thicker skin is good for any writer. As is using cliches in lieu of meaningful sentiments (not!)


  70. I judged a GH category so I’m watching to see if a particular entry made it. It was so good!

  71. Hey, I went to school with a Carolynn, spelled that way! I’m the published Melissa James, the GH finalist is another very talented lady of the same name, who’ll have to take another name when she sells, I guess.


  72. I judged in the Young Adult GH and none of mine are in yet. Last year in Romantic Suspense, I had two.


  73. Wow, exciting! Good luck to all. I’m still in the MS stage. I can see a long and winding road ahead. But perseverance pays off. I truly believe that.

  74. I judged in the Romantic Elements GH, and none of mine are in yet. I fully expect to see at least one.

  75. Melissa,

    I’ve heard of both Melissas on the eharlequin boards. You’re notorious, I guess (in a good way!)

    I have a question…does anyone know why some categories have more finalists than others? Is it based on the number of entrants? Thanks!


  76. One of the YA Golden Hearts I judged is in! That’s pretty cool. = )

    JR Ward finaled with LOVER REVEALED, but I don’t know what category for Rita.

  77. I want to say it’s the top certain percent, but don’t quote me. If anyone knows definitely, please enlighten us.

  78. Just a correction: UNTOUCHED by Samantha Hunter is a finalist in the Contemporary Series-Suspense/Action category, and not the straight Contemp Series category (at least that’s what she told me when I called her). BTW, thanks for doing this, Judi — wonderful to follow along!!

  79. change made. Thanks for letting me know!

  80. Hi Karen

    I saw Sam’s a finalist…I think that’s terrific!

    (AKA Cari, my posting name on Love Is An Exploding Cigar)

  81. My first time entering GH. Didn’t think I’d care that much, lol. Haven’t seen any results from my category (Inspirational) so hoping those calls just haven’t been made yet.

  82. Judi, from the RWA website: “In the preliminary round, the 1,200 manuscripts are read and judged by members of RWA, who narrow the field down to approximately 100 finalists.” So I’m guessing that means 10 finalists per category.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds this waiting for the phone to ring thing nerve-wracking. 🙂

  83. Carolynn, ROUGHLY 10% of the entries final, so yes, it’s kind of based on how many entries there are. I think it’s more complicated than that, but that’s the basic correlation.

    Congratulations to those who’ve heard so far!

  84. Hi Carolynn!! Yes, it couldn’t happen to a better person.

  85. Kristin, it ain’t over ’til it’s over!

  86. I’ve seen anywhere between 5 and 10 finalists in a category before, so I think it’s somehow based on the number of entries in that category, in addition to the number of entries overall.


    It’s all very confusing!

  87. Waving to Marley! There was a book I judged that I’m keeping my fingers crossed for…I really hope it’s a finalist!

  88. I just got the call – I’m a finalist in the Regency Historical category with Glorious. (P.S. I’m on west coast time for anyone wondering about phone call timing.)

  89. I think the finalists are the top ten percent of total entries in the category.

  90. Congratulations, Darcy!!!

  91. Kristin,

    Me, either…especially since I’d decided my entered MS wasn’t representative of my best work. (As of yet, I haven’t seen my best work, but I know it’ll appear one of these days!)

  92. Wow Darcy, Congrats. First the Maggie’s now GH!!!! Wonderful.

  93. […] and the RITA Awards go out today. If you’re wanting to keep track, Lexi Connor sent out this link to Judi Fennell’s site via the chapter loop. Ms. Fennell’s trying to maintain a list of who’s gotten The Call, […]

  94. Hi all – I got a call this morning too. Midnight Promises is a GH finalist in the Regency category! Judi, thanks for compiling this list.

  95. Two more to report: Rosemary Clement-Moore’s PROM DATES FROM HELL finalled in the Best First Novel category and Vickie Taylor’s novella “Angel and the Hellraiser” from the DEMON’S DELIGHT anthology finalled.

  96. I have recieved notification that my ms Night’s Cold Kiss has finaled in the Paranormal Romance category.

    Tracey O’hara

  97. Hi Judi! You can my SPEAK NO EVIL down for Romantic Suspense, and SEE NO EVIL down for Best Novel w/sre in the Ritas!

    I’m up against Karen! I couldn’t possible have better company. DIE FOR ME rocks. Karen is phenomenal. I tease her because I think my mom loves her more 🙂 (My mom denies it, but . . . )

  98. Allison Brennan finaled in the romantic suspense category of the Ritas with See No Evil.

  99. Ha, she beat me to it. LOL. I was bragging on you, Allison.

  100. Congrats to everyone who is finaling in the GH and RITAs. If you’re still sitting by the phone waiting, biting your nails, feel free to stop by where we are having a big party with spectacular author Maureen Child. We’d love to see you there.

  101. Is it just me, or has the voice on my answering service taken on a taunting tone when it says: “You have no new messages” ?

    Congratulations to all the finalists!

  102. Congrats, Allison! I’m so psyched for both you and Karen!! You know I’ll be screaming in SF when they call your name. 🙂

  103. Okay, folks. I have to be offline for a while (like, to drive home…) Chat amongst yourselves and I’ll catch up when I get home.

  104. Cathy Leming, it’s not you. Your answering machine is possessed. LOL. That made me HOWL!

  105. How many finalists will there be for each category? Is there a set number?

  106. Hi, Judi–
    I just emailed to let you know that I have two mss that finaled in the GH, single title contemporary category: The Princess Project & Money, Honey.

    I got the call from Dorien Kelly around 9:45 this morning, central time, for those of you who are watching the clock.

    Thanks for doing this, Judi! I’ve loved watching the names & titles pop up!

    And congrats, Kim, my fellow Romance bandit! We’re definitely having a party in the lair!


  107. Nicole, it partly depends on the number of entries in each category. It’s the top 10% of each category’s entries (no fewer than three or more than eight). The minimum total score for each finalist has to equal 80% of the total possible score also.

    So if a category only has 40 entries, then there will only be the possibility of 4 finalists.


  108. Finalists are the top ten percent of each category, so it depends how many entries there were in that category. If there were 200 submissions in one category and 30 in another, one will have 20 finalists and the other 3.

  109. Yay for simultaneous posting! *blush*

  110. I just got the call! I’m a finalist in the GH series romantic suspense with Hot Pursuit! Yayy! Congratulations everyone who’s finaled, and keep up the hope if you’re sitting by the phone!! I’d nearly given up!

  111. Hey, Kerry, at least we both got it right. I had to actually go look at policy to make sure I had it right.


  112. One of my brilliant CP’s , Pam Bolton-Holifield, has a GH final in Regency Historical.

    We are so proud of her!!!

  113. Hi Judi, I sent you an e-mail to your website addy, but just in case, I wanted to let you know I have 2 mss that finaled in the GH, historical category.
    Titles are: The Kinds Of Wanting and Wanting Finian.
    I got the call on a *very* estrogen-heavy day. Was feeling fierce and irritable, then I got the call about 11:15am (Pacific time). So, here’s a revelation: estrogen cannot compete with a GH final. 🙂
    Congrats to all in both the RITA and the GH!

  114. Thank you both, Julie and Kerry!

  115. Question-on the RITA nominees, wasn’t there a requirement that the book have a 2007 publication date?

  116. Chris, it’s not publication. The rules are that the book must have an original copyright date or a first printing date or a first North American printing date in the year prior to the current contest year.

    So it’s not just copyright but printing or N.A. printing.

    Hope this helps.


  117. Julie,

    Yes, thanks! I was worried.

  118. Hi!
    I just got a call too. My book “Kitty’s Fire” finaled in the GH Contemporary Series Romantic Suspense/Adventure Category. I had about given up on a call. Congrats to all the finalists. Good luck to those still waiting. 🙂

  119. Julie,

    Yes, thanks! I was worried. There is a book I love on the list that B&N says was pubbed in 2006.

  120. Congrats Kelly! I was wondering where all the other series finalists were.

  121. Another GH finalist from one of my chapters: Beth Trissel, Historical, “Through the Fire”

  122. Hi! I just wanted to say thanks so much for compiling this list. It’s exciting to see it build.

    And good luck to everyone!

  123. Stopping by to wish Judi good luck!

    And I recognize a familiar name on the lengthening list. Congrats to Sarah C with Beauty and the Geek! I remember you from First Chapters Romance, when we were competition. LOL! Glad that’s over. 🙂 I didn’t enter this contest.

    Best of luck to everyone. The waiting is the hardest part ~~ as Tom Petty would sing.

  124. Congrats Melissa! I’ve been watching that category all day too. So the glad the calls are going out for it.

  125. My manuscript, Borrowed Stilettos, is a finalist in the contemporary series category. Very excited!

  126. Hey Becky, what time did you get the call. Wondering is series contemps are done…

  127. Thanks, Judi, for the updates! My ms, The Lost, is a finalist in the Contemporary Single Title category.

  128. Thanks, Jamie! The contest was a nightmarish month or two! This is relatively painless… just the waiting. 🙂

  129. Oops, I wasn’t clear. No doubt from the excitement. 🙂 I’m a finalist in Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure.

    Thanks for keeping this list! I got the call at 2:07 Central, for those keeping track. 🙂

  130. Melissa Marr just posted in her blog that Wicked Lovely is a YA RITA finalist.

  131. Anna Campbell has double finalled in the RITA Regency Historical Category with Untouched and Claiming the Courtesan!

  132. Here’s a new one: Fellow Brava author Sylvia Day ust announced that she’s a RITA finalist in the novella category with her novella “Mischief and the Marquess” from the PERFECT KISSES antho.

    Wahoo for Sylvia and congrats to all of the GH and RITA finalists!

  133. Thanks Kathy! 🙂

    And I’m thrilled to see so many books and authors I’ve read on this list! Waving to Sylvia . . .

  134. Why haven’t there been any postings about the Inspirational category in either GH or RITA? Is it possible those people haven’t been called yet? What time were the phone calls supposed to be finished?

  135. The only Inspirational finalist I’ve seen is for the RITA…Linda Goodnight with A TOUCH OF GRACE.

    Maybe the person calling for the Inspirational categories fell and can’t get up to make the calls, lol. Or the people who were called weren’t home and messages are waiting on their answering machines.

    For Judi…Hello to a fellow gather First Chapters Romance survivor.

  136. Hi, Kristin! I knew it was you from your email address!

    Are we having fun yet, people?

  137. Hello, Judi! Thanks for keeping track of this list.

    My novel LOST IN LOVE is a finalist in the Regency Historical category of the Golden Heart. Pamela Bolton-Holifield

    Congrats to ALL of the finalists! This day has just been beyond amazing to me!

  138. Yes, it’s true. I got the call and I”m so thrilled.

    I also have heard that Susan Mae Warren finaled in the inspy RITA with Taming Rafe.

    Merline Lovelace also finaled in the RITA with STRANDED WITH A SPY. I just emailed her to ask which catagory.

    Linda Goodnight

  139. Merline’s book is a Sil. Romantic Suspense, part of her Code Name Danger series.

  140. She’s Just Right finalled in the GH. Contemp series. I couldn’t believe it when I got the call this morning! Judi– I remember you from Gather’s romance contest. You wrote a great story. Thanks for the place to post. =)

  141. I finaled in the Historical category of the GH with my ms “Breath of Honor.” Or, at least, I think I did. But maybe I imagined the call. In fact, I’m sure that must be it.

  142. Congrats Courtney! And judi, you forget the ‘t’ on her name.

  143. They’re not done calling! It’s 5:41 pm Eastern time. I just got a call from Sheri (sp?) Davis that my ms. BEDKNOBS & BROOMSTICKS finaled in the paranormal category!!

  144. I just found out I finalled in the GH in Romantic Suspense. Title is Truth and Consequences. Totally doing the happy dance in New Mexico!!!

  145. P.S. Sharon Sala finalled in the Rita for MIMOSA GROVE in Romantic Suspense.

  146. No, no. Please leave off the “t”. And take off the “u,” too. “Corny Milan”–I think the DH would definitely agree with that one!

  147. Congrats to everyone who has finaled!!! How exciting!

  148. I’m a finalist in the historical category for my Civil War manuscript, “No Greater Glory”. I am in complete and total shock!!!!!

  149. There are no Inspy GH finalists reporting yet????

  150. Congrats to eveyone who has finaled and good luck to everyone still waiting to hear!

  151. Whoopee! I was driving myself NUTS (I’ve been up since 5:30 EST!), so I ran some errands. When I got back there was a message on my machine (left at 5:20 pm!). My paranormal THE SEXTANT finalled in the GH!

    Congrats and happy dances to all! And a special hi and congrats to Theresa Ragan and doglady from last fall’s WetNoodlePosse GH forum…thanks!!! We did it! (banksofmillbrook)

  152. I just wanted to send out a huge congratulations to all who finaled in the GH and the RITA, and kudos to all who entered because you should be proud for having completed a novel, whether you finaled or not!

    Good luck to everyone, and keep on writing!

  153. I give up!! (waves white flag) MAJOR congrats to all the finalists! What a draining day…

  154. Just heard about 15 minutes ago that my American Title finaling story The Magic Knot is a finalist in the Golden Heart paranormal romance category!

    I was about to go to bed as it’s 10.30pm here. I won’t be able to sleep now!

    Thanks for running this list, Judi. It’s been fun watching the names pop up as the day’s gone by, but nerve-wracking as well. I’d just about given up hope. But the last calls are obviously still going out.

  155. Thanks, Judi. This is fun to watch for a non-participant, too.

    Hope you get your golden call, and congratulations to those who have.

  156. HUGE congrats to everyone! All this excitement… now what’s to keep me on tenterhooks tomorrow?

  157. I have a few names not here over on my blog. Judi and I have been sharing info all day. I know it’s nerve-wracking for the folks who entered, but it’s been so exciting to see the names come in.

    Congrats to all the finalists.

  158. Doing the math here, you’ve got 35 GH finalists and 38 Rita finalits, which means roughly 350 entires in GH and 380 in Rita–if they take ten percent. (Actually, I read that they take 10% up to 8 people in a category, and I don’t see more than 8 listed anywhere). Is the 1200 cut-off figure a combination for all Rita and GH entries combined? And do you think they got 1200 entries?

  159. Stephie, the cut-off is 1200 each for RITA and GH entries. And the 10% finalists figure is per category, not overall entries.


  160. Julia Quinn finalled in the Regency Historical category of the RITA with The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever.

  161. Tiffany – do you have anything on submission anywhere? Obsess about that tomorrow! LOL.

    Thanks to everyone for keeping my fingers busy today typing, typing and more typing. I’m taking a break (Kid needs to use the laptop) then I’ll check back.

    Is anyone still getting calls for those of us who refuse to throw in the towel…

  162. I was just wondering that, Judi. I asked over at Romance Divas if anyone’s going to be delusional enough to think, “It’s midnight here. It’s only 9 p.m. on the West Coast. They could still call!” 🙂

    (And, umm, I may be that delusional person.)

    But a board member posted over there that calls were still going out, and that was around 7:25 p.m. EST. She said that some categories have been completed, but calls are still going out.

  163. Judi,
    Thanks for doing this. It has been fun to watch all day.
    I was being hopeful as long as the GH Inspy category remained empty. Now there is one listed. Sigh! Continued good luck to those waiting and Congrats to those who got the Call.

  164. Adding to the list…My CP Joan Swan finaled in the GH Romantic Suspense category with her book, Save in Enemy Arms.

  165. Ack! Typo. Joan’s book is Safe in Enemy Arms. I’m too excited to type right!

  166. I got home at 7 PM and had a message on my voice mail to call Terri Reed. My GH entry “This Time Forever” is a finalist in the Inspirational category. I still can’t believe it, but I wrote it down so I can remember everything she said.

  167. Huge congrats to all the finalists. Enjoy every minute of this ride and use the opportunity wisely. I wish you all the very, very best.

  168. Congrats Everyone!

  169. Congratulations to all the finalists! Job well done and I’m looking forward to the awards ceremony in San Francisco!

  170. I’m out of town, so I was late getting the word. My historical, Earth’s Only Paradise, finaled in the GH. (This is the second time I’ve been out of town and had to wait until late to find out I was a finalist. It seems most callers try several times to reach a live person before they leave a voice mail.) On top of that our laptop’s wireless had been down all day, so I’m typing this from the computer room at the hotel …

    CJ Eernisse Chase

  171. I’m just wondering – if there are supposed to be around 100 finalists – where are the other fifty or sixty hiding? I only see around forty on all the lists.

    and congrats to all those on the list!! Job well done!!

  172. Just spoke with Sharon Sala. Please remove her name. Mimosa Grove is 4 years old!

    Thanks so much.

  173. RWA will post the full list tomorrow, after everyone has been notified. Not every finalist will be burning up the interwebs with their horn tooting.

    I, however, am. Got the call that Wish List finaled for Paranormal GH!

  174. Judi,

    Thanks so much for doing this! And congratulations to all the other finalists!

  175. We’re on vacation, but I couldn’t take the suspense any longer. I borrowed DH’s computer, checked email and discovered The Professor is a GH finalist in the Mainstream with Romantic Elements category.

    Thanks for keeping track of this list, Judi. It was such fun to scroll through all the comments!

    Congratulations to all of the finalists!

  176. Hi judi !!
    a warm wishes from an INDIAN, just now saw your blog, hope I could join in future blogs, just let me know when you blog…. but its useful for the readers who cannot digest without reading b0oks, keep going……

  177. Hi All,

    Just wanted to toot my horn and say I got a call yesterday from RWA to say my second book The Mile High Club (out now in the states under the title The Millionaire’s Blackmail Bargain) finalled in the Contemporary Series Romance category. I’m chuffed to bits.

    Best of luck to all the other RITA finallists and the Golden Hearters. And to all those Golden Hearters that didn’t get a call, I’d just like to say that when I entered my one and only ms in the contest two years ago I got a soul-destroying 2 from one judge! So don’t give up guys.


  178. The lists are up at

    Thanks for stopping by here yesterday and keeping me busy! Look for me to do this again next year. Help spread the word so we can get more as they’re notified.

  179. Somebody had a question about why aren’t there 100 finalists?

    I just counted on the official list, and there are 70 GH finalists amongst the 10 categories. There are only 4 of us in my category (YA).

    From what I understand, it’s not just the top 10% of every category. It’s slightly more complicated than that. The top 10% is the MOST you can have, but even if you scored in the top 10% of your category, it doesn’t mean that you will definitely final. You must both score in the top 10% of your category and also receive at least 80% of all possible points. Also, you can’t have gotten disqualified for whatever reason (such as that ebook you released a couple of years ago turned out to be 20,001 words instead of under 20K, making you ineligible for the GH after all, or you received 3 or more “NR” or “NSRE” or “wrong category” marks).

    So while it usually ends up being the top 10% of each category, it could end up being less than that.

  180. Now that I know you do this every year, I’m going to bow out gracefully and just feed you info next year. Whew! I spent the day at the computer just fielding emails, combing websites, blogs and message boards and then updating. But it was fun sharing in the finalists’ excitement.

    Congrats to those who are finalists. To those who didn’t, keep trying. One of my chapter-mates finaled after trying for a number of years.

    See you in San Francisco!

  181. Yeah, I was in front of the computer all day, too, but luckily I have a job where it’s not a problem. I had a lot of fun and do intend to do it again.

  182. Hi guys–

    Made a HUGE error yesterday and added Sharon Sala to the RITA finalist list–I was so befuddled I just screwed up and read something wrong and put her out there. Anyway, Judi corrected my mistake, but wanted to apologize to all, but mostly to Sharon, who is my favorite author. What she does with RS and emotion is amazing. Anyway, I wanted to apologize for the confusion–my confusion :-(.

    And congrats to all the other finalists.


  183. Judi,
    I’d like to thank you for keeping this list yesterday. It was so much fun to experience things as they unfolded…reading a compiled list the day after cannot compare!

  184. Hi there Golden Heart finalists. Congratulations everyone! I’ve put together a loop for us at yahoo. I’m not sure if the code will work below so here’s the name of the group:
    Hope to see you there!

    Click to join goldenheart2008

  185. Unfortunately, two loops were created. The loops are consolidating here:

    Hope to see you all around!

  186. Thanks, Judi for doing the unofficial list this year. I love your stories and I wish we could all final together. You certainly deserved to final.

    Anyhow, I want to thank you for all of your hard work. You’re always eager to share info and help other writers out. Hope to see you in S.F.

    Theresa Ragan

  187. You forgot a finalist in the contemporary single title category…me!

    Don’t forget to add “Love on the Rocks” by Mary Sullivan

  188. Judi, good luck to you and all who entered.

  189. Congratulations Diane Stoddard! You certainly deserve this and are without question one of the most gifted writers I know.

    Anne Marie

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