The RWA announced the finalists for the 2014 RITA® and Golden Heart® awards this week – congratulations to all the finalists! There's a new judging system in place wherein any book that receives 90% of the total score automatically makes the finals. This created a very interesting finalist selection, as there are more than 15 books in the paranormal, contemporary, and historical category, but only 3 erotic romances, 2 inspirationals, and 4 romantic suspense. I'm bummed that there are only two inspirationals, as that was a category that often yielded the most interesting discoveries and reviews, and still sad that Strong Romantic Elements is no longer a category either. But in happy news, a number of self-published titles were among the finalists.
All changes aside, I have a question: Do you want to do the RITA® Reader Challenge this year?
In past years, we've created a spreadsheet of all the nominees, and invited all of y'all to sign up to review one of the nominated books. By the time the RITA® awards are announced in late July, every book has received at least one review, and we have a bit of knowledge about each book that was nominated. However, it creates a ton of reviews, and my analysis of the 2013 traffic indicated that the RITA® reviews were among the least popular of last year's content.
So I wanted to ask y'all: do you want to do it this year? Are the reviews of interest to you? What do you think? If you're game, I'm in, and if not, no worries. You can leave a comment or just use the poll below. What's your preference?
I'm over at Kirkus this week talking about books that take you on a trip while you're reading. I love books like that:
While actual travel is always an option, it takes time, preparation and a bit of lucre to move a person from once place to the other. But taking a journey within a book is a hassle-free and instant method of travel. No checked baggage fees and no security lines? Sign me up. And given that there's one last storm coming to the East Coast this week (WHAT NO REALLY STOP WITH THE SNOW) a brief trip via a healthy reading imagination might help keep us all sane through this last batch of cold temperatures little while.
What books have taken you on a trip?
For those of you who love book art, I have a picture set from Gry, who found this magical artistry: the Hobbit in Danish, turned into Smaug. And also a small Bilbo.
I can't reproduce the photographs here, but please go have a look. They're amazing. So is the sculpture of the life inside books.