Thursday, January 19, 2017

The RITA Awards

It’s that time of year again when this UPS box is delivered to my door.

Is it a late Christmas present?

It feels like that :)

Inside are the books I’ve been given by the Romance Writers of America to judge for their annual RITA Awards!

It’s always exciting to open this box and see what stories I get to dive into.

This year I received six books. One is signed by the author. I love that, although of course it doesn’t affect my view of the book. I remain impartial whether the book has a gorgeous cover or not, whether it was published by a big house or independently published, etc.

Sorry I can’t share more details, but certain things must remain confidential.

For romance writers, this contest is akin to the Academy Awards (Oscars). It is judged solely by published romance writers.

Here is the link to RWA’s website if you’d like more information on the contest:

They even have a list of past winners.

Last year, one of the books I judged won. That was nice to see, since I loved the book. But there are tons, and I mean tons, of great books that didn’t win that are fabulous!

So happy reading everyone!

I have until March 7th to complete my judging. How many books will you read by then?

Eva Maria Hamilton is the author of Highland Hearts, a Love Inspired Historical novel published by Harlequin. Her novel, Highland Hearts, won 2nd Place in the Historical Romance, as well as the Traditional/Inspirational Romance Categories in the Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Awards, and was an Inspirational Series Finalist in the 2013 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Her short story, Disinherited Love, can be read in the anthology, A Kiss is Still A Kiss. Eva Maria Hamilton is also the owner of Lilac Lane Publishing, which has currently published, Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice Colouring & Activity Book featuring Illustrations from 1895, and Jane Austen’s Sense And Sensibility Colouring & Activity Book featuring Illustrations from 1896.

To connect with Eva Maria Hamilton online, please visit her at


  1. Eva, good on you for being a judge. There's always something special about a parcel that is full of books: opening it to inspect each of the entries and deciding which one to read first, second and … well, the first one because we probably change our mind after reading that one as to which one we'll read next.

    Being a judge is such a fabulous contribution to the writing community as you give up a good chunk of time plus the opportunity to reduce your own TBR stack.

    Enjoy the reading and I hope you find a few treasures amongst the contenders.

  2. Thanks, Ian! I don't choose the order I read the books in. It's just too hard. I let my oldest pick what I read :)

  3. I've done a lot of judging for some Canadian contests, and besides being able to read and keep the books, I've learned so much. Since a judge has to read analytically, what a great way to keep track of what works and what doesn't. Enjoy your reading.

  4. The rate I read maybe 2 if I am lucky. I am having weekly infusions (3 weeks in all) and the first one I read a 3rd of a book so hoping to finish this book by the end of that. then maybe one or two after that if they are shorter.

    1. I'm sorry you suffer so, but I'm glad you've found a way to make it more pleasant! Reading two or three books by then is great! I hope you find some good ones to enjoy!