Press Release: Prizes and Awards
Mills & Boon Scoops Shortlist For Romance Prize 2008
Posted at 8:24AM Friday 18 Jan 2008
In their centenary year, publishers Harlequin, Mills & Boon have a full showing in the shortlist for the only prize for category romance awarded in the UK. The Romantic Novelists' Association awards the Romance Prize each year alongside the award for Romantic Novel of the Year.
Category romance is defined as books published in a monthly cycle, which concentrate on the romantic relationship. Mills & Boon novels are read all over the world by millions of women. This year their authors stormed the shortlist, beating several other publishers into the top six.
The shortlisted titles are:
The Secret Life of Lady Gabriella - Liz Fielding
Driving him Wild - Julie Cohen
Her Parenthood Assignment - Fiona Harper
English Lord, Ordinary Lady - Fiona Harper
The Mediterranean Rebel's Bride - Lucy Gordon
Breakfast at Giovanni's - Kate Hardy
Fiona Harper, whose double listing is a coup for the RNA's New Writer's Scheme, said: 'I'm so excited. One book on the shortlist was a long shot. Two was something I didn't imagine in my wildest daydreams.'
Unique to the RNA, the New Writer's Scheme provides a critiquing service by published members to help writers new to the genre. Work considered good enough receives a second read and may be passed on to publishers. Fiona came through the scheme to win the annual prize in 2006 with Blind-Date Marriage.
Kate Hardy, who was shortlisted for the Romance Prize in 2006 is 'absolutely thrilled. I've had a rough year, so this was a real bright spot. And to be shortlisted with my 25th title for M&B in M&B's centenary year is just fantastic.'
Julie Cohen, another New Writer's Scheme graduate, is equally thrilled, as her book is just coming out in the US. Of Driving Him Wild the judging panel said: 'An unusual beginning leads into a passionately sexy story.' Julie commented, 'Pass the Champagne!'
Previous Romance Prize winner Liz Fielding was also nominated for an American RITA last year. The panel thought the characters in The Secret Life of Lady Gabriella were 'realistic, flawed and human.'
Lucy Gordon, who was also shortlisted for the Prize in 2006 and has won two RITAs, is now on her 42nd book for Mills & Boon. The panel felt there was 'something special' about The Mediterranean Rebel's Bride.
The winner of the Romance Prize 2008 will be decided by the judging panel, this year comprising authors Zoë Barnes, Trisha Ashley and bestseller Katie Fforde. The prize will be presented at the RNA Awards Lunch on 4th February at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington.
For further information about the Romantic Novelists' Association Romance Prize 2008, contact Katrina Power at Midas Public Relations on 020 7590 0802