Thursday, March 27, 2014

RITA Finalist!

Yesterday is a bit of a blur. I sat down to start plotting the third book of the COLD JUSTICE series. I was determined to get some work done on a day where it is traditionally impossible to get anything done because the RITA and Golden Heart nominations go out. If you're not in the romance writing world it's like the Oscars of the the romance world, minus Brad Pitt.

So the phone rings and I see a 240 area code which I mix up with mine because they are very close (I have one of those letter/number jumbling issues which is usually related to spoken words but can sometimes be written too). A very nice lady (Leslie Kelly) tells me she's calling from RWA and my whole body freezes as I look out at my poor snow-covered garden. She tells me that THE KILLING GAME was nominated for a RITA in the Romantic Suspense category (thank you, RWA judges). I cried. I spent seven hours stunned, and never plotted my next book.

The support from other writers is always overwhelming--never more so than on RITA day, even though many of us sit by the phone waiting for that same call. I am so lucky to be part of this community.

By happy coincidence do you know what today is? Today is THE KILLING GAME'S book birthday. Happy first birthday :)

I didn't self-publish this book because it had been rejected everywhere. There were some contract issues at play but more important was the desire to tell the story exactly how I wanted to tell it and I suddenly had a way of doing that. I had my incredible CP Kathy Altman critique it, and the AMAZING Deb Nemeth edit the manuscript, but it was still very much my story. And in many ways it doesn't fit the mould of the traditionally published RS. It has a slow start (sorry). It is set in a spit of land that few are aware of, in a far-off country that everyone is aware of. The hero is military, but he is British military (Irish too :)). I kill one of the most beautiful creatures on earth in the opening scene. There's a little political history in there. The villain is... hmmm... LOL... not telling.

I like to think it's complex but I guess that depends on your point of view.

But the bottom line is that no matter how much I loved it, I didn't expect others to. So YAY!! A RITA nomination and now I get to visit San Antonio and attend the awards ceremony.

I hadn't intended to blog about any of the above. I had intended to blog about my upcoming release A COLD DARK PLACE, which comes out on Tuesday and I'm very excited about. Very happy I had to blog about the other stuff first :)

And I need to mention I'm running a Rafflecopter giveaway and also a draw from members of my mailing list for one of two Victoria Emerson wrap bracelets (because I love them :)).


  1. Julie Moffett3:22 pm

    So proud of you, Toni, and it's well deserved. This is a fantastic book! Can't wait to see you at RWA. Let's hang out (again) and have fun!! Congratulations!! oxoxo

  2. It's about time somebody else knew what we've known all along .. I'm so proud and happy and Snoopy dancing and ...... exclamation point crazy!!!!!!!

  3. Thanks, Julie! I can't wait either.

    Bailey--thank you!!! :)

  4. OMG!! So deserved!! And I am beyond excited for you!!

  5. Toni, Congratulations!!! I'm very happy for you! Sue

  6. So excited for you Toni, well done! :)