Genre Talk

It’s RITA month on ParaUn–Open Thread


We’ve already started spotlighting some of the paranormal finalists in Romance Writer’s of America’s annual award, the RITA, with RITA Celebration on Paranormal Unbound: Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher, A Chat With RITA Finalist J.T. Geissinger, and Interviewing RITA Finalist – Maggie Shayne and while we can’t cover all of the finalists, we’ll do our darndest. But at least we’ll officially kick it off today by spotlighting what RWA has deemed the best of the genre as it relates to paranormal fiction.

While there are eight slots for the Paranormal category, books that fit in the paranormal genre actually garnered seventeen of thirty-three eligible slots (The Haunting of Maddy Clare finaling in both Best First Book and Novel with Strong Romantic Elements)!  In fact, three of the four YA finalists are paranormal, as well as three of the eight Best First Books,  two in Novel with Strong Romantic Elements, and one in Novella. Who said paranormal is dead?

So let’s see what we got here as far as types of paranormals, in alphabetical order:

Firelight by Kristen Callihan
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Alex Logan, editor

Moonglow by Kristen Callihan
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Alex Logan, editor

These two are part of her Darkest London series, an historical paranormal romance

Lothaire by Kresley Cole
Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books
Lauren McKenna, editor

Shadow’s Claim by Kresley Cole
Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books
Lauren McKenna, editor

Lothaire is the latest installment in Cole’s Immortal After Dark series (vampire) and Shadow’s Claim is the first in a new vampire series (The Dacians).

Angel in Chains by Cynthia Eden
Kensington Publishing Corp., Brava
Megan Records, editor

Book 3 in Eden’s The Fallen series, featuring fallen angels.

Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher
Tom Doherty Associates, Tor Books
Whitney Ross, editor

Let’s hear it for science fiction romance making the list!

Immortally Yours by Angie Fox
St. Martin’s Press
Monique Patterson, editor

Book 1 in her Monster M*A*S*H series, featuring Greek gods, werewolves and other paranormal creatures.

Edge of Oblivion by J.T. Geissinger
Amazon Publishing, Montlake Romance
Eleni Caminis, editor

Book 2 in her Night Prowler series, featuring shapeshifters originating in ancient Egypt

Time’s Echo by Pamela Hartshorne
Macmillan Publishers, Ltd., Pan Macmillan
Wayne Brookes, editor

Yay, a time travel!

Rogue Rider by Larissa Ione
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Amy Pierpont, editor

The latest in her Lords of Deliverance series, featuring the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Breathless by Sophie Jordan
HarperCollins, HarperTeen Impulse
Kari Sutherland, editor

A novella set in her Firelight series world, featuring shape-shifting dragons.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, Houghton Mifflin
Kate O’Sullivan, editor

An historical fantasy/paranormal with assassin nuns?! *adding this to my list to buy*

The Farm by Emily McKay
Penguin Group USA, Berkley Publishing Group
Michelle Vega, editor

humans dealing with vampires in a post-apocalyptic setting

Bound by Erica O’Rourke
Kensington Publishing Corp., KTeen
Alicia Condon, editor

Book 3 in her Torn trilogy, features magic

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James
Penguin Group USA, New American Library
Ellen Edwards, editor

Historical ghost story

Mark of the Witch by Maggie Shayne
Harlequin, MIRA
Leslie Wainger, editor

Book 1 in her new Portal series, featuring witches!

I’ve only read a few of them (Rogue Rider and Angel in Chains), so I can’t comment on whether or how much these push the boundaries of paranormal fiction, but only three of them feature vampires, which I know many unfamiliar with the genre automatically think that’s what the genre is about. I also love seeing the historical entries, and of course, the time travel. Firelight is sitting near me in my TBR pile, and I’m intrigued by Grave Mercy, Immortally Yours, and Time’s Echo.

Do you think any epitomize our manifest? So you don’t have to click away (no, don’t!), here’s a recap:

Maybe, like us, you’ve heard whispers that there’s nothing new under the moon and paranormal fiction is on the decline. We don’t think that’s true. Paranormal remains a vibrant genre because otherworldly creatures and superhuman powers reveal a lot about our mundane human condition … and they can be pretty sexy, too.

Here at Paranormal Unbound, we’re interested in all the citizens of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Feisty women in leather and hot alpha males with fangs? Sure! But also quirky, neurotic heroines and geeky, glasses-wearing heroes. Unusual settings and genre-crossing stories, fantastical world-building and subtle magic. Books that push the envelope, make us laugh, and make us think. If you’re looking for something that’s just a little bit different, you’ve come to the right place.

We are writers and geek girls, genre apologists and romance lovers, Whedonites, trekkies, historians, lawyers, scientists, priests, and above all, readers in search of books to fall in love with.  Come nerd out with us over everything from the evolutionary basis for the popularity of vampire romances to the terrible injustice of Firefly’s cancellation. Drop us a line and recommend your favorite offbeat paranormal romance. Tell us about your adventures as a fellow geek. Look around, stay awhile, and don’t be a stranger.

I don’t know, but assassin nuns (Grace Mercy) sounds like it pushes the envelope!

What do you think? Have you read any of these yet? Do you feel they represent the best of the Romance genre? Do any of them push past the stereotypes of the genre? Do any break the rules, redefine the genre and are stuffed full of awesome?

Coming up this month:

  • Tomorrow Celia Breslin reviews Rogue Rider
  • Saturday, AJ Larrieu will spotlight the Golden Heart finalists (RWA’s unpublished version of the RITA)
  • June 14, I’ll interview my RWA chapter mate, Cynthia Eden
  • June 24, Amber Belldene will be talking about Firelight and Moonglow

11 thoughts on “It’s RITA month on ParaUn–Open Thread

  1. I have read the books by Kristen Callihan, Kresley Cole and Angie Fox and highly recommend them. Ghost Planet and Angel in Chains are in my TBR pile. What a bonanza of terrific stories!

  2. I love the diversity on this list! Historical, post-apocolyptic, science fiction, dragons, vampires, *nuns*!! I can’t wait to meet more of the authors this month.

  3. I’ve read Lothaire and Rogue Rider (obviously, since I’m reviewing the latter tomorrow, lol). Big fan of Ione and Cole. Look forward to reading the rest of the stories, too. And this former Catholic school girl is quite curious about the assassin nuns. 🙂

  4. Angela–wow! Thanks for breaking this down for us. Yes! Proof positive Paranormal IS NOT dead! I will be featuring Firelight and Moonglow on June 24th’s What We’re Reading!

  5. Reblogged this on Angela Quarles | Geek girl romance writer and commented:

    Today I’m doing Genre Talk over at Paranormal Unbound. Come check out the diversity of paranormals up for the RITA Let’s talk paranormal & RITA! Today on Paranormal Unbound, Angela Quarles asks–Have you read any of these yet? Do you feel they represent the best of the Romance genre? Do any of them push past the stereotypes of the genre? Do any break the rules, redefine the genre and are stuffed full of awesome?

  6. Pingback: Let’s Hear It for the Boys and Girls | Paranormal Unbound

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