NEW YORK — The Romance Writers of America announced the winners of its 2011 awards on July 1 at its 31st annual conference in New York City.
The RITA Award for Young Adult Romance went to “The Iron King,” written by Julie Kagawa and published by Harlequin Teen (Natashya Wilson, editor).
The book is part of Kagawa’s “Iron Fey” romance/fantasy series, which consists of three novels and two novellas so far. The books are, in order, “The Iron King,” “Winter’s Passage,” “The Iron Daughter,” “The Iron Queen,” and “Summer’s Passage.” “The Iron Knight” is next in the series, coming out in October in the U.S.
The heroine of “The Iron King” is Meghan Chase, who has a secret identity, one she could never have imagined. Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school, or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth — that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face — and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.
In addition to thanking her publisher, editor and agent, she said, “But most of all, thank you to all my readers and fans of the Iron Fey, Meghan, Ash, Puck, and Grimalkin. Your support has taken this series to places I never thought possible. I wouldn’t be anywhere without you guys.”
Kagawa was born in Sacramento and moved to Hawaii with her family at the age of 9. She developed a love for reading and a passion for writing, and after graduation worked in different bookstores. So she turned to her other passion and worked as a professional dog trainer for several years until her first book sold and she decided to write full-time. She now lives in Louisville, Ky, with her husband, two cats and two dogs.
The purpose of the RITA contest is to promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding published romance novels and novellas. It is named after RWA’s first president, Rita Clay Estrada. Up to 1,200 novels from 12 different categories are entered in the competition each year.
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