Tag Archives: Scarlett Bailey

Shortlisted! Romance Reader Awards

TWP_RGBpackshotAbsolutely thrilled to hear this week that The Wedding Proposal has been shortlisted in the Romance Reader Awards for Best Romantic Read. This is the first year that the entry has been open to all so I’m beyond delighted to be in illustrious company. You can read the complete lists for all categories here but this is the line up for mine:

Best Romantic Read
(Sponsored by Headline Eternal)
Two Weddings and a Baby by Scarlett Bailey (Ebury)
The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman (Ebury)
The Cornish Stranger by Liz Fenwick (Orion)
After The Honeymoon by Janey Fraser (Arrow)
The Unpredictable Consequences of Love by Jill Mansell (Headline Review)
One Hundred Proposals by Holly Martin (Carina)
The Wedding Proposal by Sue Moorcroft (Choc Lit)
The Proposal by Tasmina Perry (Headline Review)
One Step Closer to You by Alice Peterson (Quercus)

Rowan Coleman is currently flying high as a Richard & Judy pick and Jill Mansell has long been a mega-bestseller so you can see what I mean by ‘illustrious company’.

The award ceremony is at the Festival of Romantic Fiction on the evening of Saturday 13th September 2014 at Leighton Buzzard Theatre. I’m attending the Festival all day on the Saturday, to be part of the book fair in Leighton Buzzard High Street from 10am to 3pm and the Traditional Afternoon Tea with the Authors at The Green House, Market Square, Leighton Buzzard. I’m glad I booked a hotel for Saturday night as drinking fizz at an awards ceremony is a basic human right … and I’m rather a fan of it.

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Festival of Romance 2013

I’ve been really lax over putting these pix up but I had a great weekend at the Festival of Romance in Bedford 8-10 November.

It began with me joining Nick Coffer on an outside broadcast for BBC 3 Counties Radio in a coffee shop, The Kiln, to represent the Festival and talk about how to plot a romantic novel. The slot was enlivened by the feed being lost three times so that a few hundred thousand people were left listening to ‘dead air’ and someone in the studio had to hurriedly play music while the link was re-established. I don’t know about Nick but I wasn’t stressed by the experience – every time he put the mic in front of me I talked, and left the techie stuff to others. And I’ve thought of a way I can use the experience in a book, and also in a workshop, so it served me well. Also, I got some cake. I don’t think it could have been chocolate or I would have remembered.

Reading from 'Is This Love?'

Reading from ‘Is This Love?’

Speaking of cake, my author event was at the Coffee & Cake morning on Saturday. Yes, more cake. You’re beginning to see a theme here …?

There were so many great excerpts read from the authors present that I downloaded three books when I got back to my hotel. The rain was putting a dampner on things outside but in the cafe we were warm, toasty and entertained. And the cake was chocolate.

I would have loved to have spent more time at the Romance Fair but my own events were on at the same time – my apologies to the lovely lady who, apparently, turned up to meet me at the Fair after hearing me on the radio. I had a ‘Creating Irresistible Heroes’ workshop to run with Christina Courtenay at Bedford Central Library. We didn’t have cake. (We had Heroes chocolates.)

In the evening, it was a pleasure to meet so many of the New Talent shortlisted authors, as the event was sponsored by the Romantic Novelists’ Association and so I was invited to the reception.

Shortlist for the Readers Best Romantic Read Award 2013 Me, Liz Fenwick, Jane Lovering, Scarlett Bailey, Hazel Osmond

Shortlist for the Readers Best Romantic Read Award 2013 Me, Liz Fenwick, Jane Lovering, Scarlett Bailey, Hazel Osmond. Photo by Ian Cundell (c) 2013

Then it was onto the Ball for the Awards.

The Harpur Suite of the Bedford Corn Exchange is a gorgeous venue, and the evening was suitably glitzy, with a lot of awards to be handed out.

Is This Love? was nominated for the Best Romantic Read Award but the honour fell to lovely Liz Fenwick for A Cornish Affair. Although I had a purple sparkly dress, I didn’t take my jacket off for the pix because I had a huge equally purple bruise on my arm from when the train lurched into my station when I was returning from World Fantasy Con the weekend before! It looked like a tattoo gone wrong. (It isn’t.)

You’ll be pleased to know there was chocolate cake for dessert.

Christina Courtenay, Caroline Bell Foster, Me, Rosemary.

Christina Courtenay, Caroline Bell Foster, Me, Rosemary. Thanks to John Jackson for the pic.

And here’s a lovely ‘off-duty’ pic from the bar.

Roll on Festival of Romance 2014.

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‘We like your book’

I’m doing a happy dance (mainly the cha-cha with a tiny bit of jive thrown in) because yesterday I  learned that Is This Love? has been shortlisted for the Readers Best Romantic Read Award at the Festival of Romance.

The paperback isn’t even out until the 7th of November and Is This Love? has already received a nomination. That is truly a reason to dance and be happy. In fact ‘happy’ isn’t strong enough a word – I feel as if a giant balloon has swooped me up into the sky.

As I was already going to the Festival Ball on Saturday 9th November, where the award ceremony takes place, I have bought a dress (purple, on theme with the cover, although I didn’t think of it at the time) so I’m all sorted.

The shortlist is strong (Scarlett Bailey, Miranda Dickinson, Liz Fenwick, Jane Lovering, me and Hazel Osmond) and congratulations to them all, and to all the authors shortlisted for the Romance Reader Awards, the Industry Awards and the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance.

The Romance Reader Awards are judged by a reader panel and so this nomination says to me ‘We like your book’. No commercial considerations weigh with a reader panel – each reader must read one dozen books and every book gets at least three reads – it’s simply that  Is This Love? is in the top six of the books they liked best of all those they read for the award. There can be only one winner for each award, of course, but actually, winning doesn’t matter to me as much as you might think. Last year I received four different nominations and didn’t win a sausage (in fact, had I won and the prize turned out to be a sausage, I would have been disappointed) but I thoroughly enjoyed those nominations, the validation, the happy feelings, and the awards events.L&F with Award

Nominations are fabulous.

But I have to admit that in 2011, when I did win, it was … incredible. That’s when Love & Freedom won the very same award for which Is This Love? has received its nomination.

The moment when the announcement was made is etched on my heart forever as one of those rare instants of pure joy. And I didn’t win a sausage, I won a beautiful crystal trophy. Then a waiter bought me chocolate cake and my evening was complete.

 

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