Historical Romantic Novel Award Category
22 February 2022
Melanie is an award-winning writer of contemporary and historical fiction. She wrote her first novel when she retired from a career in the armed forces in 2010. Originally from Yorkshire, she now lives in Cornwall with her husband and teenage son and enjoys all things ‘outdoors’, making the most of living in such a beautiful part of the world. She was given a ukulele for Christmas and is failing miserably to master it.
She commented, “It’s an absolute privilege to be nominated for such a prestigious and highly competitive award. I’m incredibly excited too as I rarely go to London (I rarely leave Cornwall) and so travelling to the awards ceremony and spending a couple of days ‘up country’ will be a very exciting time!”
THE NIGHT TRAIN TO BERLIN BOOK BLURB (Publisher: One More Chapter)
Paddington Station, 1944: Beneath the shadow of the war that rages across Europe, Alex and Eliza meet by chance on the night train. She is a gutsy painter desperate to get to the front line as a war artist and he is a wounded RAF pilot now commissioned as a war correspondent. With time slipping away they make only one promise: to meet in Berlin when it’s all over. From a hidden Cornish cove in summer to the war-torn beaches of Normandy, this is an epic and emotional story about love, friendship and faith.
ADDITIONAL MEDIA INFORMATION ABOUT MELANIE HUDSON
In my previous life in the forces, I served in Iraq during the War in 2003 and also in Croatia during the Kosovo Crisis. I became a novelist when I left the forces to calm my mind from conflicting thoughts. I also became an author because one of my middle school teachers said that I should, and I never forgot it.
MELANIE HUDSON’S MEDIA DETAILS:
Facebook: Melanie Hudson Author
A farmer’s daughter from Shropshire, Anita studied English and American History at the University of East Anglia. She worked as a media analyst for part of the Financial Times Information Group, and was the Communications Officer for the British Bankers’ Association before becoming a stay-at-home mother to her three children. She now lives in Berkshire with her family and is a full-time carer for her youngest child who is severely mentally disabled. Her debut novel, The Lost Ones, was shortlisted for both the Historical Writers’ Association’s Debut Crown and the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award in 2020. The Return is her second novel.
She commented, “I was absolutely thrilled to learn The Return had been shortlisted for the Historical Romantic Novel Award. It is a huge honour to be recognised in such a strong category and it feels particularly poignant, given that the novel is, in part, an ode to the countryside that I love and the farming community to which I am very proud to be connected.”
THE RETURN BOOK BLURB (Publisher: HQ Stories)
Jack Ellison’s war is over, but the battle for his family is about to begin.
When Jack left for the war, he made a parting pledge to his pregnant bride, Gwen, that he would never return. It was, after all, better for everyone that he didn’t. Now, as celebrations erupt for Victory in Europe, Gwen is terrified that Jack will renege on his promise, threatening the life she has built for herself and their young son on the family farm. But war has changed Jack and he is coming home, determined to claim a place in Gwen’s life – and her heart.
As the events of the past come back to haunt them, Jack and Gwen find themselves facing their greatest battle – and it is a fight neither of them can afford to lose.
ADDITIONAL MEDIA INFORMATION ABOUT ANITA FRANK
It has always been my lifetime ambition to be a writer (I studied history because even at 18 I knew I wanted to write historical fiction) and so far, in the spirit of ‘write what you know’, I have drawn on aspects of my life for inspiration. Spending my early years living in a haunted farmhouse inspired my debut ghost story, The Lost Ones, and The Return draws on my farming heritage, with much of the farming detail gleaned from my dad’s personal experience and my own memories.
ANITA FRANK’S MEDIA DETAILS:
Twitter – @Ajes74
Instagram – @anitafrankauthor
When lifelong insomniac Virginia was a little girl, she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. She did this every night for over forty years until one day she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Now, to her absolute delight and utter astonishment, her slightly racy Regency Romcoms are published in many languages all across the globe. Three Romantic Novel of the Year Award nominations and twenty-four books later, it still takes Virginia forever to fall asleep.
She commented regarding her nomination, “I’m thrilled to bits! It’s such a strong category; it’s a real honour to have my book shortlisted amongst so many brilliant stories. This is my 3rd nomination, and so far I’ve only ever been the bridesmaid but never the bride, so I really hope it’s 3rd time lucky!”
THE MARQUESS NEXT DOOR BOOK BLURB (Publisher: Mills & Boon)
A dashing new neighbour …
To avoid an unwanted suitor at a ball, Hope Brookes asks another gentleman to rescue her. He obliges – with a surprisingly passionate kiss! Revealed as her sinfully handsome new neighbour, Lucius, Marquess of Thundersley, they forge a friendship over their balconies. It’s refreshing that Lucius is more interested in her writer dreams than her looks, so why can’t she stop thinking about that kiss?
ADDITIONAL MEDIA INFORMATION ABOUT VIRGINIA HEATH
I used to be a History teacher. I have 2 major publishers so I’ve just had a big book published in the US.
VIRGINIA HEATH’S MEDIA DETAILS:
Catherine is an award-winning historical romance author. She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, Sure Start, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now manages a maternity hospital. She lives in Northern Ireland with her husband, children, cats, and dog.
She commented, “I’m thrilled (and gobsmacked) to be shortlisted for this prestigious award. It’s sometimes hard to know how well a book resonates with readers so I’m grateful and delighted that the reader-judges enjoyed my book.”
A WALTZ WITH THE OUTSPOKEN GOVERNESS BOOK BLURB (Publisher: Mills & Boon)
A quiet governess … an unruly heart. Sir Nicholas Denny is desperate to find a governess to care for his boisterous nieces and nephews. Demure vicar’s daughter Mary Smith seems ideal — at first. All too soon Nicholas discovers a different side … a beautiful, vivacious woman, even if she infuriates him with her strong opinions! When he waltzes with Mary at a party, he knows he’s in trouble — the spark between them is so tempting, but she challenges everything he thought he wanted in a wife!
ADDITIONAL MEDIA INFORMATION ABOUT CATHERINE TINLEY
Catherine’s day job is managing a busy NHS maternity hospital.
CATHERINE TINLEY’S MEDIA DETAILS:
Charlotte is a multi-award-winning author of romantic historical novels. Her books are set in various eras between the Restoration and the Great War and she draws inspiration from the stories of strong women at turning points in history. Careful historical research enriches her writing with an evocative sense of time and place. A member of The Romantic Novelists’ Association, The Society of Authors and The Historical Novel Society, Charlotte lives in a C17th cottage in the woods in West Berkshire.
She commented, “Some fabulous novels have been shortlisted for this prestigious award and I’m thrilled and proud that The Fading of the Light is amongst them. I’m grateful for the continuing support and encouragement from the wonderful RNA.”
THE FADING OF THE LIGHT BOOK BLURB Publisher: Piatkus (an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group)
1902. Spindrift House, Cornwall. Edith Fairchild, deserted by her feckless husband Benedict eight years before, has established a thriving artists’ community by the sea and found deep and lasting love with Pascal. They have accepted that they cannot marry but, when Benedict returns unexpectedly to Spindrift House, all Edith and Pascal’s secret hopes and dreams of a joyous life together are overturned. Benedict’s arrival shatters the peaceful and creative atmosphere of the close-knit community. When Edith will not allow him back into her bed, the conflict escalates and he sets in motion a chain of tragic events that reverberate down the years and threatens the happiness of the community forever.
ADDITIONAL MEDIA INFORMATION ABOUT CHARLOTTE BETTS
Years ago, I trained to be a designer and I’ve never forgotten the wonderful atmosphere of enthusiasm, encouragement and creativity amongst my fellow art students. Inspired by the artists’ colonies at St Ives and Newlyn, I decided to write about how, and why, a group of young artists from London founded their own Cornish community. And what, I wondered, would happen if one of the relationships went sour and how it would affect the rest of the community?
CHARLOTTE BETTS’ MEDIA DETAILS: