What is the RITA Award? 
The purpose of the RITA award is to promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding published romance novels and novellas.
The award itself is a golden statuette named after RWA’s first president, Rita Clay Estrada, and has become the symbol for excellence in published romance fiction.

To See the full listing of the 2017 RITA Finalists Tour, stop by myRWA

Today’s blogs hosting the tour are:

Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length


Back in the Saddle by Karen Templeton

Harlequin, Special Edition

Gail Chasan, editor



All widowed veterinarian Zach Talbot wants is to raise his two boys in the peace and quiet of his New Mexico town. Who’d have thought that being roped into helping a woman choose a horse for her son would upend the single father’s whole world? 


Except ex-actress and rodeo rider Mallory Keyes isn’t just any woman. 


With its wide-open spaces and sky that goes on forever, Whispering Pines is the ideal temporary haven after the accident that changed Mallory’s life forever. Falling for the sexy, caring man who found the perfect palomino for her eleven-year-old wasn’t in her short- or long-term plans. Zach’s also determined to get Mallory back in the saddle. Can she return the favor by helping to heal the still-grieving vet’s heart?


About Karen Templeton

Since 1998, three-time RITA-award winner (A MOTHER’S WISH, 2009; WELCOME HOME, COWBOY, 2011; A GIFT FOR ALL SEASONS, 2013),  Karen Templeton has been writing richly humorous novels about real women, real men and real life.  The mother of five sons and grandmom to yet two more little boys, the transplanted Easterner currently calls New Mexico home.


Where to Buy:

Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781488002304_back-in-the-saddle.html

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015W7EATC

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/back-in-the-saddle-karen-templeton/1122505064?ean=9781488002304

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Karen_Templeton_Back_in_the_Saddle?id=Lo-fCgAAQBAJ

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/back-in-the-saddle/id1044193043

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780373659456

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/back-in-the-saddle-14


Check it out on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26071592-back-in-the-saddle


BAREFOOT AT MIDNIGHT by Roxanne St. Claire


Kristi Yanta, editor



Lawson Monroe is a chef without a restaurant…but his friend and mentor makes a deathbed promise to leave Law the only dive bar on Mimosa Key. Law has big plans for the place, until he walks directly into the luscious body and gorgeous face of Libby Chesterfield and her outrageous claim that the Toasted Pelican should come to her.


When Libby learned that the man who once owned the crappiest watering hole on the island was actually her biological father, she decided the least he owed her was his unclaimed business. The old man wasn’t there for her when she and her brother were growing up near Barefoot Bay, but his legacy can help her build a new future when she transforms the property into Balance, a yoga studio. The only obstacle? Her father apparently named former bad boy and current sexy silver fox Lawless Monroe his heir.


Law never thought he’d want anything more than the chance to make a living cooking his food for the people of Barefoot Bay…but Libby arouses an irresistible hunger in him. Battling an attraction that sizzles hotter than one of Law’s cast-iron skillets and uncovering long-buried secrets with more twists than one of Libby’s yoga poses, they’ll have find a way to both get what they want…especially if what they really want is each other.


About Roxanne St. Claire

Roxanne St. Claire Published since 2003, Roxanne St. Claire is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of nearly fifty romance and suspense novels. She has written several popular series, including the popular world of Barefoot Bay, plus the Guardian Angelinos, and the Bullet Catchers. In addition to being an eight-time nominee and one-time winner of the prestigious RITA™ Award for the best in romance writing, Roxanne’s novels have won the National Reader’s Choice Award for best romantic suspense four times, as well as the Maggie, the Daphne du Maurier Award, the HOLT Medallion, Booksellers Best, Book Buyers Best, the Award of Excellence, and many others. She lives in Florida with her husband, and still attempts to run the lives of her teenage daughter and 20-something son. She loves dogs, books, chocolate, and wine, but not always in that order. roxannestclaire.com twitter.com/roxannestclaire facebook.com/roxannestclaire


Where to Buy:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LXWY5OW

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/barefoot-at-midnight-roxanne-st-claire/1124658080?ean=2940156724451

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Roxanne_St_Claire_Barefoot_at_Midnight?id=LZU3DQAAQBAJ&hl=en

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/barefoot-at-midnight/id1127894210

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/barefoot-at-midnight


Check it out on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30170283-barefoot-at-midnight


Carolina Dreaming by Virginia Kantra

Berkley Publishing Group

Cindy Hwang, editor



After escaping a disastrous marriage, bakery owner Jane Clark has convinced herself that she has everything she needs—her precious son, a thriving business, and a roof over her head. But the arrival of a handsome stranger on the island shows her exactly what she’s been missing…   

The only home Gabe Murphy ever had was the Marine Corps. He’s working hard to rebuild his life. It will take a special place, and a special woman, to make him want to stay.   

Now Gabe is determined to prove that he’s worthy of Jane’s trust—and her love. But when her past reappears, that trust will be tested, and Jane and Gabe will have to fight hard to hold onto their love and make their dreams a reality…


About Virginia Kantra

Virginia Kantra is the New York Times bestselling author of the Children of the Sea series and the Dare Island novels. She has won numerous industry awards, including the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award and two National Readers’ Choice Awards.


Where to Buy:

Berkley: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/314764/carolina-dreaming-by-virginia-kantra/9780425269701

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X593E5Q

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/carolina-dreaming-virginia-kantra/1121863817?ean=9781101637166

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Virginia_Kantra_Carolina_Dreaming?id=xi_4CAAAQBAJ

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/carolina-dreaming/id991643002

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780425269701

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/carolina-dreaming


Check it out on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25476077-carolina-dreaming


FAST CONNECTION by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell



After a decade of serving in the Army, everyone still expects me to be Dominic ‘Nicky’ Costigan–the skirt-chasing player. They don’t know I’ve been spending my days trying to figure out my post-military life. Including how to pick up guys.

When I meet Luke on a hookup app, he makes it clear it’s for one-night only. That’s fine with me, because I’m down to see what this silver fox can do. But after I arrive at his doorstep, it doesn’t take long to realize we have serious chemistry, and we end up meeting again.

He’s got more walls around his heart than a military base, but I think he’s as addicted to me as I am to him. He can’t resist me for long. I mean, who can? Except Luke’s rules exist for a reason, and when I test his limits, things get complicated. Maybe too complicated.


About Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Megan Erickson is the author of the In Focus series, including Trust the Focus, Focus on Me, and Out of Frame. She worked as a journalist covering real-life dramas before she decided that she liked writing her own endings better and switched to fiction. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and two cats.

Santino Hassell writes LGBTQ romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.


Where to Buy:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Fast-Connection-Cyberlove-Book-2-ebook/dp/B01GQRSKVQ

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fast-connection-megan-erickson/1123895069?ean=2940153228440

Google Play:

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/fast-connection/id1122186047

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781536803532

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/fast-connection


Check it out on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30415154-fast-connection


LONE HEART PASS by Jodi Thomas

Harlequin, HQN

Brittany Lawery and Susan Swinwood, editors


With a career and a relationship in ruins, Jubilee Hamilton is left reeling from a fast fall to the bottom. The run-down Texas farm she’s inherited is a far cry from the second chance she hoped for, but it and the abrasive foreman she’s forced to hire are all she’s got. 


Every time Charley Collins has let a woman get close, he’s been burned. So Lone Heart ranch and the contrary woman who owns it are merely a means to an end, until Jubilee tempts him to take another risk—to stop resisting the attraction drawing them together despite all his hard-learned logic. 


Desperation is all young Thatcher Jones knows. And when he finds himself mixed up in a murder investigation, his only protection is the shelter of a man and woman who—just like him—need someone to trust.


About Jodi Thomas

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas is a fifth-generation Texan who sets many of her stories in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. She is a certified marriage and family counselor, a Texas Tech graduate and writer-in-residence at West Texas A&M University. She lives with her husband in Amarillo, Texas.


Where to Buy:

Harlequin: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9780373789214_lone-heart-pass.html

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017GVM2J2

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lone-heart-pass-jodi-thomas/1122627626?ean=9781459294042

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Jodi_Thomas_Lone_Heart_Pass?id=tULZCgAAQBAJ

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/lone-heart-pass/id1054925892

IndiieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780373789214

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/lone-heart-pass

Check it out on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26721600-lone-heart-pass