The Historical Romantic Novel Award – Finalists
9 February 2023
Alex Brown – A Postcard from Capri
Kent author, Alex Brown, has been shortlisted in the Historical Romantic Novel Award category with her novel, A Postcard from Capri, for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) annual Romantic Novel Awards for 2023. The awards celebrate excellence in romantic fiction in all its forms.
Alex is the bestselling author of fourteen novels and novellas including the international No.1 paperback bestsellers A Postcard From Italy and A Postcard From Paris, and the UK No.1 eBook bestsellers Cupcakes at Carrington’s and The Secret of Orchard Cottage. Her books are loved worldwide and are published in twenty countries. Before becoming a full time author, Alex worked in financial services and wrote the hugely popular satirical City Girl column for The London Paper. Alex lives by the sea on the south coast of England with her family and two glossy black Labradors. When she isn’t writing, she can be found walking on the beach, binge-watching a boxset or enjoying a French martini cocktail.
She commented, ‘It’s an absolute honour to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award, and the little girl I was with a notepad and a pile of library books under her arm would never have believed it possible. It really is a dream come true.’
A POSTCARD FROM CAPRI (Publisher: HarperCollins)
On a visit to her grandmother’s cottage, photographer Maddie Williams unearths a box of old film memorabilia and a postcard from the island of Capri in 1953. Drawn into a 70-year old secret, Maddy must travel to Capri to uncover the truth. Will her magical island escape hold some surprises for Maddie, too?
Lorna Cook – The Dressmaker’s Secret
Leigh on Sea author, Lorna Cook, has been shortlisted in the Historical Romantic Novel Award category with her novel, The Dressmaker’s Secret, for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) annual Romantic Novel Awards for 2023. The awards celebrate excellence in romantic fiction in all its forms.
Lorna is the author of four historical novels including the Kindle Number 1 bestseller, The Forgotten Village, which was her debut novel. It won the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel of the Year Award and the RNA Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers. Lorna also writes contemporary women’s fiction under the pen name Elle Cook.
She commented, ‘It’s so exciting to see that readers have really resonated with the story of Adele, Chanel and the Paris Ritz! When I discovered the real history of Chanel and found she had a Nazi codename during the Second World War I was determined to dig deeper and find a way to bring this lesser side of her story to light through the power of fiction.’
THE DRESSMAKER’S SECRET BOOK BLURB (Publisher: Avon)
1941, Nazi-occupied Paris: In the glamorous Ritz hotel there is a woman with a dangerous secret. As Coco Chanel’s assistant, Adèle lives side by side with German officers in the splendour of The Ritz hotel. But Adèle has a secret. She is working for the resistance, right under the Germans’ noses. As occupied Paris becomes more and more dangerous, Adèle will have to decide if she can risk everything to save innocent lives and protect the man she loves.
Jenni Keer – The Legacy of Halesham
Suffolk author, Jenni Keer, has been shortlisted in the Historical Romantic Novel Award category with her novel, The Legacy of Halesham Hall, for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) annual Romantic Novel Awards for 2023. The awards celebrate excellence in romantic fiction in all its forms.
Jenni is a history graduate who lives with her husband, four sons and three cats in the middle of the Suffolk countryside near Eye. After a career in contract flooring, she turned her hand to novel writing. Her first two published novels were contemporary romance, but she now writes twisty turny historicals for Headline Accent. When not at the keyboard, she will most likely be found dancing.
She commented, ‘I am beyond thrilled that The Legacy of Halesham Hall has been nominated for the RNA Historical Romantic Novel Award, particularly as this is my first purely historical novel. It is a wonderful endorsement of my change in authorial direction, and I couldn’t be prouder that Phoebe and Sidney’s journeys have been shortlisted by the reader-judges.’
THE LEGACY OF HALESHAM HALL (Publisher: Headline Accent)
1920. Phoebe Bellingham arrives at Halesham Hall to uncover the truth of the estrangement between her father and her uncle. But the Hall hides dark secrets and, when her uncle sets her a series of puzzles, she finds her heart on the line, even though all she wanted was revenge.
Natasha Lester – The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre
Perth author, Natasha Lester, has been shortlisted in the Historical Romantic Novel Award category with her novel, The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre, for the UK-based Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) annual Romantic Novel Awards for 2023. The awards celebrate excellence in romantic fiction in all its forms.
Natasha worked as a marketing executive for L’Oreal before penning the New York Times and internationally bestselling novel The French Photographer. She is also the author of the USA Today bestseller The Paris Seamstress. Her latest book is The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre. When she’s not writing, she loves collecting vintage fashion, travelling, reading, practicing yoga and spending time with her three children. Natasha lives in Perth, Western Australia.
She commented, ‘I am absolutely thrilled! I live in Australia, quite literally on the other side of the world to the UK, and it’s almost unbelievable to me that people so far away enjoy reading my books. I thought winning the Historical Romantic Novel Award in 2020 for The French Photographer was a dream come true, but to be shortlisted again is utterly amazing. I’m so grateful for the support of all my UK readers.’
THE THREE LIVES OF ALIX ST PIERRE (Publisher: Sphere)
Determined to escape her dangerous past, Alix moves to Paris to work as a publicist for the yet-to-be-launched House of Christian Dior. But when a figure from her old life reappears and threatens her future, Alix realises that she’ll need to do something drastic to right the wrongs of the past.
Emma Pass – Before the Dawn
North East Derbyshire-based author, Emma Pass, has been shortlisted in the Historical Romantic Novel Award category with her novel, Before the Dawn, for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) annual Romantic Novel Awards for 2023. The awards celebrate excellence in romantic fiction in all its forms.
Emma, who grew up in Surrey and now lives near Chesterfield in North East Derbyshire, has been making up stories for as long as she can remember. She wrote her first novel – a sequel to Jurassic Park – when she was 13 in maths lessons with her notebook hidden under her work. She was a library assistant for 12 years but is now a full-time writer, creative writing teacher, editor and mentor. She’s owned by a very naughty ex-racing greyhound called Auburn, and when she isn’t writing she likes to read and knit (usually at the same time), and go for adventures in Vera, her campervan. She lives with a chronic illness and at the age of 40 discovered she was autistic.
She commented, ‘I wrote Before the Dawn during the pandemic lockdowns of 2020, and escaping into Sam and Ruby’s world was a welcome escape during a very difficult time as it’s a story which is, ultimately, about hope. For this book to be shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Novel Awards means the world to me – it’s a real honour, and I still can’t quite believe it!’
BEFORE THE DAWN (Publisher: Aria (Head of Zeus))
(1943) In Devon, Ruby Mottram dreams of a more exciting life. In America, Sam Archer enlists so he can earn enough money to help his mother and sister escape his abusive stepfather. Meeting brings them the chance of love, but fate, in the shape of D-Day, has other ideas …
Twitter – https://twitter.com/EmmaPassAuthor
Instagram – https://instagram.com/emmapassauthor