Romantic Novelists' Association

Joan Hessayon Award Contender: Laura T. Leeson, The Valentine Retreat

27 June 2022

Salisbury author, Laura R. Leeson, is a contender for the Romantic
Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) annual Joan Hessayon Award for 2022 with her novel, The Valentine Retreat. The award is for authors whose debut novels have gone through the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme and are subsequently accepted for publication.

Laura lives in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside, and loves walking her Labrador, Murray, even when he totally ignores her and runs off. Repeatedly. She writes contemporary women’s fiction
and loves to explore the messy bits of life and if there’s a way to add in some danger for her characters, that’s even better. She enjoys weekends away with friends (preferably by the sea) and has a large collection of artisan gins. She says it’s purely because of the beautiful bottles, but nobody believes her.
She commented, ‘I think I’m still in shock. When I typed the first tentative words of this novel, there was no way I could have imagined it would lead me to this point. The Valentine Retreat
was my way of exploring some of the difficult personal relationships I saw in those close to me, a way of changing them into something entertaining and positive. To be a contender for this
award is absolutely amazing and I owe so much to the wonderful support I have received from being a part of the RNA.’

(Publisher: Champagne Book Group)
When a weekend getaway offers Megan a glimpse of a new life, little does she realise one false move could end it entirely.