Wednesday, March 25, 2009

RITA nominees

Today was the day RWA announced the finalists for the RITA awards which will be presented at the national Romance Writers of America conference in Washington, DC this July. There is a full list posted at the RWA site, but I can't get the link to work so you can get there easily from here.

So I can't show them all to you, but I'm happy, thrilled, delighted, over-the-moon, gobsmacked and a variety of other adjectives to tell you that PJ and Ally's book, Antonides' Forbidden Wife, is one of the finalists!

Ally has been walking around with a smile on her face ever since we got the phone call this morning. PJ looks somewhere between amused and smug -- like he's caught the wave of the day, and nobody -- but nobody -- has had a better one.

I've told him that that remains to be seen, that there are other finalists. He wishes them well. And then he just grins at me. He's happy. He's vindicated.

I'm grinning, too, of course, because PJ was not expected to be a hero.

He was a surfer, for heaven's sake. When I wrote about him in his brother Elias's book, The Antonides Marriage Deal, PJ was a thorn in his brother's side.

He was the theoretically 'irresponsible' brother, Peter, who had taken off for Hawaii at age 18 and never really bothered to come back. Not until halfway through Elias's book at least -- and only then, as far as Elias was concerned, to annoy him.

Of course it didn't turn out that way. Unbeknownst to his family, Peter Antonides had reinvented himself in Hawaii. Or maybe he discovered who he really was beyond just one of those Antonides kids. He'd grown up, found a life, a purpose, even a new variation on his name. He found himself.

And incidentally, he found Ally.

He didn't tell me that then. He was a fun supporting character. I liked him as soon as he appeared. But I didn't know a lot about him because Elias's book, as PJ continually reminded me, was Elias's book. And Tallie's. It was their story, and Elias didn't want him horning in on it.

PJ didn't mind. He was a patient man. Easy going. Laid back. A maƱana sort of guy.

A Presents hero?

Perhaps not your usual suspect. Still, he was my idea of a Presents hero. He was strong and determined. Patient. Honorable. Competent. Patient. Pretty darned gorgeous. And did I mention, patient?

It's true. PJ bided his time. He waited for his book the way he waited for Ally. Though he did tell me he was glad the book at least hadn't taken ten years.

Still, he waited through Theo and Martha's book, through Flynn and Sara's book, through Spence and Sadie's book. He was even prepared to take a back seat to Sebastian and Neely's book.

But then, all of a sudden, Sebastian had issues. I had a deadline. And, guess what? I needed a book. I needed a hero. I needed PJ.

Just like Elias and Tallie had. Just like Ally did.

And there he was, my hero. PJ Antonides stepped in and took over. He eased Sebastian out for the time being and began telling me his story, introducing me to Ally, doing for me what he'd done for everyone else -- saving the day.

Is it any wonder I fell in love with him?

So I am incredibly happy that he and Ally have made the RITA finals. And I really wish I could take them to Washington for the conference and the awards ceremony.

But I'm going to be celebrating it from afar this year. I'm going to have grandkids here in summer camp that week and, I hope, a brand-new one to go see in Seattle right after.

PJ says he understands. He says he doesn't mind. He says he knows we'll be there in spirit, anyway, and he's just basking in the joy of his nomination. It's true, of course.

But lest you think that besides being patient, competent, strong, determined and drop-dead gorgeous, he is also terribly terribly noble, let me tell you the whole truth.

PJ is thrilled that Antonides' Forbidden Wife is a RITA finalist and we're not going to Washington, because he still gets all this glory -- and he doesn't have to wear a tie.

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Blogger Kate Walker said...

Once again, mega- congratulations to you and PJ and Ally. I knew that was a special book.

I'm sorry you won't be in Washington but grandkids are special and with two new ones arriving you'll have a fabulous year whatever happens in the RITA.

And I'll be there to cheer PJ and Ally on on the night.


26 March, 2009  
Blogger Anna Lucia said...

WOOOT! Saw your name on the finalists, Anne, and whooped my head off! :-D Congratulations!

26 March, 2009  
Blogger Michelle Styles said...

I am so happy for you,PJ and Ally.It was a special book. PJ is a special hero.

26 March, 2009  
Blogger Rachael Johns said...

Anne - I'm thrilled for you PJ and Ally too!! So exciting. I've already said it on ihearts but have just found your blog today (I'm a bit slow) so wanted to say a HUGE congrats here as well!


26 March, 2009  
Blogger Kate Hardy said...

Brilliant news, Anne - congrats!

26 March, 2009  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Kate, Anna, Michelle, Rachael and Kate,
Thank you all so much for the congrats and good wishes. I'm delighted, as you know. And very happy that PJ's hero status is vindicated!

Rachael, lovely to see you here, and yes, I did see your comment as well as others on I Heart. I haven't been able to log on there to post. If they get it worked out, I'll be there to say thanks. If not, Kate will be doing it for me!

PJ and Ally say thanks, too!

26 March, 2009  
Blogger Judy Jarvie said...

Huge congratulations Anne. That is wonderful news.

26 March, 2009  
Blogger PRiley said...

Congrats Anne. I haven't read PJ and Ally's story, but I will. Just go to show that everyone loves McAllister heroes.

26 March, 2009  
Blogger PRiley said...


I read Kate's blog post and did a follow up over at my new blog site. Come visit when you can.

26 March, 2009  
Blogger Barbara Hannay said...

Huge congrats, Anne! I'm so honoured to be in the lineup with you.

27 March, 2009  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Patricia, Welcome to the blogging world. I read your post and tried to comment, but it kept not letting me. Don't know why. I'll see if it accepts me later.

Barb, thanks so much! The honor is mutal, believe me. Sorry we won't be in Washington together this year. Good luck!

27 March, 2009  
Blogger Madeline said...

Hi Anne, I'll bet you thought I forgot about you. Never my friend. I am so happy for you. You know how much I love PJ, and I am so glad TPTB have nominated his book for a RITA. Best of luck to you, and I'll be waiting, not too patiently, until the winners are announced.

Very BIG HUGS, Mads:)

29 March, 2009  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Mads! Of course I knew you didn't forget. I know you have a life! Thanks for the kind words re PJ. And thanks for keeping your fingers crossed for him. (So am I).


29 March, 2009  
Blogger Rebecca Woodhead said...

Just found you, scrolling through 'writers' in profiles. Congratulations. What great news!


02 April, 2009  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Thanks, Rebecca! I'm delighted you found me! Stop by for a visit any time.


02 April, 2009  

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