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The RITA Award was the most prominent award for English-language romance fiction from 1990 to 2019. It was presented by the Romance Writers of America (RWA). The purpose of the RITA Award was to promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding published novels and novellas. It was named for the RWA's first president, Rita Clay Estrada. It was not awarded in 2020 and was replaced by the Vivian Award, awarded for the first time in 2021.The Vivians were postponed in both 2022 and 2023. Procedure The RITA Award opened for entries in the fall. Entrants had to supply five printed books by the posted deadline. Each title was judged by five separate judges during the preliminary round. Finalists were announced in mid-March and winners were announced at the annual award ceremony, held on the last day of the RWA's National Conference, which was normally held in July. Winning authors received a gold statuette while book editors received a plaque. Controversies In recent years, the RITA and Vivian awards have increasingly been at the centers of controversies because of objectionable content and a lack of diversity in the winning works. 2015 RITA Awards controversy In 2015, For Such a Time, written by Kate Breslin and published by Bethany House, was nominated for two RITA Awards, in the Best Inspirational Romance and Best First Book categories. The nominations were criticized as antisemitic, because the book was set in Theresienstadt concentration camp during World War II and featured a Jewish prisoner being saved by an SS officer, falling in love with him and converting to Christianity. 2018-2020 diversity controversy The RITA Awards, like the English-language romance fiction industry as a whole, were overwhelmingly dominated by white authors. This caused controversy in 2018 when Alyssa Cole's An Extraordinary Union, a novel about interracial romance during the American Civil War, made no appearance among the RITA Awards finalists despite winning multiple other awards. Instead, all finalists were about white women, of which all but one fell in love with British aristocrats. In response, the RWA board noted that less than half of 1% of finalists were by Black authors, of which none had ever won the award, and gave a commitment to improve the diversity of the award. The board issued an apology after the 2019 finalists again underrepresented persons of color or LGBTQ+ persons.In 2019, Kennedy Ryan became the first Black woman to be awarded a RITA.RWA cancelled the 2020 RITA Awards after several contestants and judges withdrew due to diversity concerns. The award was abolished as part of a major restructuring of the RWA's awards to improve the diversity of award winners, provide training for judges, and add awards for unpublished novels and better definitions of award categories and romance subgenres. A new award, the Vivian, named after Black RWA founder Vivian Stephens, was launched in late 2020. 2021 Vivian Awards controversy The inaugural Vivian Award in 2021 caused further controversy. The "Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements" category winner At Love’s Command, written by Karen Witemeyer and published by Bethany House, faced criticism of anti-Indigenous racism. The book featured an American soldier as the male protagonist, who had taken part in massacres of Indigenous nations, including the Wounded Knee Massacre, and portrayed Indigenous religious practices as inferior to Christian ones. In response, Sara Whitney, the winner in the Best Mid-length Contemporary Romance category, announced that she would be returning her award in protest, because of "its narrow definition of inspirational romance and discussion of characters seeking redemption from 'crimes against humanity' prove the organization has not listened or learned from its current or former members."The RWA initially defended the award, writing: "Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements requires a redemptive arc as a genre convention." It said that no judges had submitted any concerns over the book, but that they would be creating a task force to assess "the overall effectiveness of the contest to include the contest process, rubric, and entry and judging guidelines." A day later, however, the RWA rescinded the award with the following statement: "We cannot in good conscience uphold the decision of the judges in voting to celebrate a book that depicts the inhumane treatment of indigenous people and romanticizes real world tragedies that still affect people to this day." Categories The RITA Award categories, as of 2017, were: Best First Book Contemporary Romance (subcategories) Long Contemporary Romance Mid-Length Contemporary Romance Short Contemporary Romance Erotic Romance Historical Romance (subcategories) Long Historical Romance Short Historical Romance Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance [formerly Novel with Strong Romantic Elements] Paranormal Romance Romance Novella Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements [formerly Inspirational Romance ] Romantic Suspense Young Adult RomanceThe Vivian Award categories, as of 2021, are: Best First Published Book Contemporary Romance (subcategories) Long Contemporary Romance Mid-Length Contemporary Romance Short Contemporary Romance Erotic Romance Historical Romance (subcategories) Long Historical Romance Mid-Length Historical Romance Short Historical Romance Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance Most Anticipated Romance Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements Romantic Suspense (subcategories) Long Romantic Romance Mid-Length Romantic Romance Short Romantic Romance Speculative Romance (subcategories) Long Speculative Romance Mid-Length Speculative Romance Short Speculative Romance Young Adult RomanceRITA Award winners Source: RWA Best First Book 1990 Out of the Blue by Alaina Hawthorne 1991 Black Horse Island by Dee Holmes 1992 Candle in the Window by Christina Dodd 1993 Trust Me by Jeane Renick 1994 A Candle in the Dark by Megan Chance 1995 Ghostly Enchantment by Angie Ray 1996 The Warlord by Elizabeth Elliott 1997 Stardust of Yesterday by Lynn Kurland 1998 Brazen Angel by Elizabeth Boyle 1999 My Darling Caroline by Adele Ashworth 2000 The Maiden and The Unicorn by Isolde Martyn 2001 A Man Like Mac by Fay Robinson 2002 The Border Bride by Elizabeth English 2003 Shades of Honor by Wendy Lindstrom 2004 Back Roads by Susan Crandall 2005 Time Off For Good Behavior by Lani Diane Rich 2006 Show Her The Money by Stephanie Feagan 2007 The Husband Trap by Tracy Anne Warren 2008 Dead Girls Are Easy by Terri Garey 2009 Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs 2010 One Scream Away by Kate Brady 2011 Pieces of Sky by Kaki Warner 2012 First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones 2013 The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James 2014 The Sweet Spot by Laura Drake 2015 Run to You by Clara Kensie 2016 Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn 2017 Once and For All: An American Valor Novel by Cheryl Etchison 2018 Take the Lead by Alexis Daria 2019 Lady in W.... Discover the Annmarie Boyle popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Annmarie Boyle books.

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  • Pieces and Parts synopsis, comments

    Pieces and Parts

    Annmarie Boyle

    Are you living the life of your dreams? Or are you simply playing it safe?Single dad Nick Malone is successfully juggling his roles as devoted father and traveling musicianuntil hi...