Current work: revisions to Penhally book
Listening to: various classical
Reading: Paul Doherty, The Field of Blood
I’ve been teasing everyone for weeks about having a secret. Finally, I can share. In fact, I’ll let the press release do it for me:
Romance Prize celebrates shorter fiction alongside the Romantic Novel Of The Year
The Romantic Novelists’ Association, who will announce the shortlist for the Romantic Novel of the Year award on 13th January, is also honouring writers of shorter romances such as those published by Harlequin Mills and Boon.
“Although both awards celebrate novels with a high romantic content,” explains Catherine Jones, Chairman of the RNA, “the Romance Prize honours the most memorable stories set around a single theme that concentrates on the developing love affair.”
The Romance Prize will be presented at the RNA’s Awards Lunch on 10th February 2009 at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington. The winner will be selected from the following books:
What's Love Got to Do With It? - Lucy Broadbent (Little Black Dress, Headline)
The Wild Card - Beth Elliott (Robert Hale)
Mistress: Hired for the Billionaire's Pleasure - India Grey (Harlequin Mills & Boon)
Sold to the Highest Bidder - Kate Hardy (Harlequin Mills & Boon)
Saying Yes to the Millionaire - Fiona Harper (Harlequin Mills & Boon)
Promoted to Wife and Mother - Jessica Hart (Harlequin Mills & Boon)
Fiona Harper has been short-listed before, and both Jessica Hart and Kate Hardy are past winners. Kate Hardy, who won in 2008 with Breakfast at Giovanni’s, had this to say: "Winning the Romance Prize has been the highlight of my career to date, and it's certainly opened up opportunities. I'm very proud to have won the award and to be part of the RNA - and have been delighted by messages of support over the year. I even had a personal letter of congratulations from the chancellor of the University of Leicester!"
The shortlist will be judged by Margaret James, creative writing teacher for the London School of Journalism and regular columnist with Writing Magazine; Paul Reizin, writer, producer and journalist; and Linda Leatherbarrow, prize-winning short story writer, reviewer and MA lecturer at Middlesex.
So now, finally, I can say congrats to my fellow shortlistees!
I’m especially pleased about being shortlisted with this book, because Sold to the Highest Bidder is set in my favourite part of the world, i.e. where I live. And now I can confess why the third bead on my Pandora bracelet is a pointsettia that looks like an iris: it’s one of my heroine’s favourite flowers, and Lissy is a horticultural lecturer who wants to restore the lost gardens of her family home. Jack, the hero, buys her some gorgeous jewellery based on an iris, and how he proposes to her… Well. You’ll have to read it. But let’s just say that the heroine shares my taste in flowers, and that particular bead suited the book very well.
I’m not expecting to win. (I mean, two years in a row? That’d be greedy.) But I’m really looking forward to being in London, the day before my birthday, drinking champagne with my agent and my editor and having a lovely lunch at a wonderful hotel. Especially as I’m staying in London the night before; I’m planning a trip to the Hunterian museum and then meeting up with my best friend.
Definitely a nice start to the new year.