I submitted it to the Linda Howard Award for Excellence contest last October. The book wasn't under contract at the time and hadn't been published, so it was eligible for this competition run by the Birmingham, Alabama chapter of Romance Writers of America (RWA). I selected the category of "Suspense: Romance-based novels that include an element of mystery or suspense." There is certainly romance, mystery, AND suspense in the book.
I didn't think much about it since then, not expecting that I would have a chance. I'm not even a member of the organization, and I don't write in a southern style. Imagine my surprise when I received the email that I am a finalist, one of only five! The organizers said that category was flooded with entrants.
The final judges are an editor at a press and a literary agent from an agency. I have to submit a two-to-five page synopsis of the book, which I already have, and resubmit the first twenty-five pages I sent them the first time, revised if I so choose. Okay, now I'm nervous.
The winners will be announced at the RWA Gulf Coast chapter's Silken Sands Conference, held in sunny Pensacola, Florida in mid March. Hmm. Maybe a plane ticket is in my future? Keep your fingers crossed and your good-luck mojo pointed my way.