2020 has been a hell of a year for a lot of people, so I thought today would be a great time to give a big shout out to all the winners of the Romance Writers of Australia awards and celebrate the best of the best’s romance novelists for 2020!
Congratulations to all the winners!
To start the night off Jackie Rutherford won the Ripping Start Contest (runners up included Davina Stone in second and Mindy Graham in third); Charlotte Ann won the First Kiss Award ( runners up included Nancy Cunnigham in second and Mindy Graham in third); Nancy Cunningham won the Selling Submission Award (runners up included Bernadette Eden in second and Tanya Nellestein in third).
Caitlin Fitzsimmons was awarded the 2020 Roma (Romance in media award) for her article “Romance Fiction: A Massive but ‘largely invisible’ cultural export”. You can read this article here.
This year marks the 20th year of the Australian Valerie Parv Award and this year it was awarded to Kristin Silk for Sleeping Beauty and the Librarian.
Rachel Armstrong won The Emerald Award (an award mimicking the submissions process for unpublished authors) and Stella Quinn won The Sapphire Award (previously the Emerald Pro, open to published authors for an unpublished manuscript).
The Lynn Wilding Meritorious Service Award was awarded to Kristine Charles.
And now on to the R*BY (Romantic Book of the Year) Awards.
The 2020 Novella R*BY was awarded to: Georgia Tingley for Whistler Wonderland
Cherise really, really loves Christmas. When she spends a chunk
of her hard-earned dollars to win her perfect holiday for two, to experience a white Christmas at Whistler ski-resort in Canada – all her dreams come true. There was only one downside to her ‘12 Days of Whistler’ vacation – she was now single. Her boyfriend of six months dumped her weeks before they were due to fly out.
When her brother’s annoying best friend wants to buy her ticket, she point-blank refuses. Hunter had always been a thorn under her skin, ever since he’d asked her brother ‘Who the fat chick was?’, on meeting her as a pre-teen. The insult stuck with her over the years, and in her opinion, Hunter was way too good looking, and needed to be brought down a peg or two every now and again. Cherise assigned that job to herself, sick of women within a two kilometre radius drooling over him. Plus, there was no way she would sell her ultimate Christmas so he could take one of his temporary girlfriends.
Hunter talks her into selling him the other half of the holiday, an offer too good to refuse, since it would give her plenty of spending money. Reluctantly she agrees. However, there were conditions. Hunter would have to be her partner to attend all the ‘couples’ events the holiday entailed. And – NO SEX!
Among the magical festivities of a Whistler Wonderland the rules wouldn’t be too hard to enforce. After all, Cherise was immune to Hunter’s charms, so she could easily resist him, right?
The 2020 Speculative Fiction R*BY was awarded to Anna Hackett for Heart of Eon
Okay, maybe hijacking an alien commander’s warship wasn’t her best idea…
Genius computer geek Wren Traynor prefers her high-tech comp lab to socializing with people, and she definitely prefers it over crawling through the bowels of the huge Eon warship she’s hijacked. When Earth’s Space Corps blackmails her into this deadly mission, Wren will do anything to help her beloved sisters and save the Earth from invasion by the insectoid Kantos aliens. That includes entering into a dangerous game of cat and mouse with the tall, hunky, and seriously enraged Eon war commander who captains the Rengard…
War Commander Malax Dann-Jad is a born protector and has forged a successful career in service to the Eon Empire. Haunted by an early mission where he lost good warriors, he’s dedicated to protecting his ship and its crew. Especially since his warship is carrying a special, top-secret cargo. But one tiny, infuriating Terran puts all that at risk when she commandeers his ship and refuses to listen to reason!
When the ravenous Kantos set their sights on the Rengard – using sneaky, underhanded tactics – Malax finds himself with an armful of curvy woman. He and Wren must join forces to fight back, and are shocked at their improbable, intense attraction. But with lives at risk, both will learn that strength comes in more ways than one, and love can hit when you least expect it, and that in order to survive, you have to put everything on the line!
The 2020 Romantic Suspense R*BY was awarded to Leah Ashton for Outrun the Night.
Wrong Place. Wrong Time. Wrong Man – yet he made her feel so right.
A prim and proper high school teacher
Recently divorced Bethwyn Banfield just wanted one out-of-character night on the town, and the tall, dark, tattooed stranger she meets is not what she was looking for. But their instant, electric attraction is undeniable.
The cop with a bad boy past
WASP Team Undercover cop Damon Nyhuis has spent two years infiltrating the notorious Notechi Motorcycle Club, doing whatever it takes to remain in deep cover. But when he sees his high school calculus teacher in a bar looking as hot as she did thirteen years ago, the last thing he is thinking about is his job. And that turns out to be the biggest mistake of his life.
A race through the desert
Kidnapped and dragged to the middle of nowhere, Beth and Damon must escape the murderous Notechi – but to do so is only the beginning of their ordeal. The desert is vast, desolate and unforgiving, and the Notechi are right on their heels.
Their passion as hot as the sun
In the cool of the desert night they run, but in the lethal heat of the day they must rest – and quickly, lust becomes so much more.
First, they must make it home. But then – can there really be a future for the teacher who wants her own family, and the cop who makes certain he’s always alone?
The 2020 Romantic Elements R*BY was awarded to RACHAEL JOHNS FOR JUST ONE WISH.
Three women, three secrets, one life-changing journey. Alice has always been a trailblazer as a scientist, activist and mother. She knew her choices would involve sacrifices, but now, on the eve of her eightieth birthday, she’s beginning to wonder if she’s sacrificed too much.
Alice’s daughter, Sappho, rebelled against her unconventional upbringing, choosing to marry young and embrace life as a homemaker, but her status as a domestic goddess has recently taken a surprising turn.
Ged has always been the peacemaker between her grandmother and mother. A tenacious journalist, she knows what she wants in life and love, yet when everything in her world starts falling apart, she begins to question whether she really knows anyone at all.
At a crossroads in each of their lives, Alice, Sappho and Ged embark on a celebratory trip together, but instead of bringing them closer, the holiday sparks life-changing consequences and lifts the lid on a fifty-year-old secret.
Can Ged rescue her family if their story is built on a betrayal?
The 2020 Historical R*BY was awarded to Bronwyn Parry for The Clothier’s Daughter.
In the unusually wet summer of 1816, Emma Braithwaite struggles to keep her family’s traditional wool cloth manufacturing company afloat. Her father has died, her brother is missing, and the new cotton factories are spreading, rendering the fine worsted fabrics the Braithwaites have made for generations, expensive and unfashionable. Being a woman in a man’s world of trade is challenging enough, but when her warehouse catches fire it brings her only a step away from financial ruin and debtor’s prison.
After eight years of war, Major Adam Caldwell is returning for the first time to his family home, Rengarth Castle, when he stops to assist at a warehouse fire … and comes face-to-face with the woman he once loved and lost. Despite all his efforts to forget her, in truth she’s never been far from his thoughts. He was unworthy of her then, and even more so now.But as the threats against Emma escalate, they discover that someone wants control of Emma’s family company and is prepared to murder anyone in the way of getting it – including Emma.
What if the love of your life forgot who you were?
When outback midwife Ava May meets Zac on a flight to Alice Springs, they tumble into a whirlwind affair. But an exciting adventure leads to a terrible accident, with shattering consequences. The couple who had so much going for them now find themselves with everything to lose.
Devastated, Ava retreats to her family cattle station to help salvage what she can of the critical situation. But at home on the drought-ridden farm, her brother is being pushed to his limits, and as his depression intensifies, Ava must step in to prevent another family tragedy.
Against the majestic backdrop of Australia’s Red Centre, old dreams are shattered, new babies are born and true love takes flight.
By Australia’s renowned midwife and bestselling author of Mothers’ Day, The Desert Midwife is a romantic drama about strong families, medical miracles and new beginnings.
It wouldn’t be a RWA (Romance Writers of Australia) Awards Ceremony if Anne Gracie didn’t finish the night out with her epic Stand Up Speech! This was always a favourite part of my night just to watch everyone stand up to recognise their very own achievements no matter how big or small they were.
If you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend you check our the awards ceremony on youtube and make sure you stay for the end for Anne Gracie’s Stand Up!