• The RNA’s annual awards have set the benchmark in romantic fiction since their inception in 1960, and previous winners of the much-coveted Romantic Novel of the Year award include Philippa Gregory, Joanna Trollope, Jojo Moyes and Julia Gregson.Redesigned for 2012 to reflect the modern appetite for romantic fiction, The RoNAs encompass everything from side-splitting rom-coms to historical drama, from sassy heroines to Hollywood heart-throbs. This year’s awards are also the first adult fiction prize to include a specific category for Young Adult Romantic Novels.Each of the titles submitted for the 2012 awards is read and awarded a mark by a panel of three independent readers from across the UK, drawn from a register of nearly 100 volunteers. These readers are not members of the RNA, but come from a wide variety of backgrounds and include all ages from 20 to 85, with a shared passion for romantic novels.The awards will be announced on 5th March. Each category winner will then go on to form the shortlist for the long-standing and hotly-contested Romantic Novel of the Year Award, which will be announced on 17th May. And for the first time, members of the public can vote for their favourite book by visiting http://www.rna-awards.com. Voting begins on March 6th.

    “The 2012 awards reflect the wonderful quality and diversity of the world of romantic fiction,” said Annie Ashurst, RNA Chair. “We are immensely proud of our short-listed authors and to us – the RNA – they are all winners.”

    The shortlists

    The Contemporary Romantic Novel category is for mainstream romantic novels set post 1960 and genres such as chick-lit, paranormal and romantic suspense. The shortlist, in alphabetical order by author name, is

    • It Started with a Kiss by Miranda Dickinson  (Avon)
    • Summer of Love by Katie Fforde  (Arrow)
    • The Untied Kingdom by Kate Johnson  (Choc Lit)
    • To the Moon and Back by Jill Mansell  (Headline)
    • Chances by Freya North  (HarperCollins)
    • Christmas at Tiffany’s by Karen Swan  (Pan Macmillan)

    Novels containing serious issues or themes, including gritty, multi-generational tales may be included in the Epic Romantic Novel category. The shortlist is:

    • Jubilate by Michael Arditti  (Arcadia Books)
    • That Liverpool Girl by Ruth Hamilton  (Pan Macmillan)
    • The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson  (Orion)
    • The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas  (HarperCollins)
    • Crimson China by Betsy Tobin  (Short Books)

    For romantic novels set in a period before 1960, the Historical Romantic Novel shortlist is:

    • Highland Storms by Christina Courtenay  (Choc Lit)
    • The Noble Assassin by Christie Dickason  (HarperCollins)
    • Daughter of Siena by Marina Foriato  (John Murray)
    • Perhaps Tomorrow by Jean Fullerton  (Orion)
    • A Gathering Storm by Rachel Hore  (Simon & Schuster)

    Consistently humorous of amusing novels may be entered for the Romantic Comedy Novel category. The shortlist is:

    • The Look of Love by Judy Astley  (Transworld)
    • Please Don’t Stop the Music by Jane Lovering  (Choc Lit)
    • Wrapped up in You by Carole Matthews  (Sphere)
    • Who’s Afraid of Mr. Wolfe by Hazel Osmond  (Quercus)
    • Lizzy Harrison Loses Control by Pippa Wright  (Pan Macmillan)

    The Young Adult Romantic Novel category features protagonists who are teenagers/young adults. The shortlist is:

    • Artichoke Hearts by Sita Brahmachari  (Pan Macmillan)
    • Dark Ride by Caroline Green  (Piccadilly Press)
    • My So-called Phantom Lovelife by Tamsyn Murray  (Piccadilly Press)
    • Angel Fire by L. A. Weatherley  (Usborne)

    The winner of each of the above five categories will form the shortlist for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award, to be announced on 17th May 2012.

    Also to be presented at The RoNAs 2012 is The RoNA Rose Award and the Harry Bowling Prize for New Writing.

    The RoNA Rose Award (formerly the Love Story of the Year) recognises the best in category and shorter romance – novels that focus on the developing love affair between the hero and heroine. The shortlist is:

    • Flirting with Italian by Liz Fielding  (Mills & Boon)
    • A Christmas Knight by Kate Hardy  (Mills & Boon)
    • Ordinary Girl in a Tiara by Jessica Hart  (Mills & Boon)
    • The Kydd Inheritance by Jan Jones  (Robert Hale)
    • The Dangerous Lord Darrington by Sarah Mallory  (Mills & Boon)
    • Winning the War Hero’s Heart by Mary Nichols  (Mills & Boon)

    The Harry Bowling Prize is for unpublished authors and is administered by MBA Literary Agents and generously sponsored by Harry Bowling’s publisher, Headline. The five shortlisted authors are:

    • Child Pretending  by  Sheila Bugler
    • Sweeping Up The Village by Bren Gosling
    • A Dark Flowering by Natalie Lloyd-Evans
    • Island Of Dreams by Aline P’Nina Tayar
    • The Benjamin Exhibition by Simon Van der Velde

    The RoNAs will be announced on Monday 5th March.

    To learn more about the shortlisted books and to vote for your favourite nominee – visit http://www.rna-awards.com


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