Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Alive and Undamaged but still Resmebling a Chipmunk on One Side and the Romantic Novelists' Association 50th Anniversary Book

Couldn't blog yesterday as the Internet here was playing silly. So I am alive and almost well but best of all no nerve damage. I can now say hand on heart I love my dentist. Thank you all for thoughts and good wishes - I'm sure they helped.

Now for exciting stuff......The RNA will celebrating their 50th Anniversary in 2010 and in honour of this occasion they are bringing out this gorgeous book! Loves Me, Loves Me Not. I can't wait as it contains short stories by some of my favorite writers. You can read more about it here.

Other RNA news.....the short list is out for the Romantic Novel of the Year. Here's the press release:

"Bestselling author Cecelia Ahern is one of the six authors shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year 2009, which is organised by the Romantic Novelists’ Association. The final six novels are currently being read by a panel of three judges, who will select the winner in time for the presentation at the Awards Lunch to be held on 10th February 2009 at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington.

This year’s award has a truly international flavour, with authors living far afield and books set in Japan, Canada, India, Dublin and Skye. Cecelia Ahern, whose hero is American, comes from Ireland. She is joined by Susanna Kearsley, who hails from Canada, and Linda Gillard, who lives in Glasgow. England is well represented by Lesley Downer, based in London, Judith Lennox from Cambridgeshire and Julia Gregson, whose shortlisted novel was one of Richard and Judy’s summer reads, from Monmouthshire.

The shortlisted novels are:

Thanks for the Memories - Cecelia Ahern (Harper Collins)
The Last Concubine - Lesley Downer (Transworld/Bantam)
Star Gazing - Linda Gillard (Little, Brown/Piatkus)
East of the Sun - Julia Gregson (Orion)
Sophia’s Secret - Susanna Kearsley (Allison & Busby)
Before the Storm - Judith Lennox (Headline Review)

Cecelia Ahern’s magical tale, where the consequences of a blood transfusion are not quite as expected, was described by readers as “an unusual story, full of originality, with fascinating characters…it blew me away.”

Lesley Downer says: “I'm thrilled and flattered to have been shortlisted. I grew up with Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice and hugely enjoyed creating a romantic world of my own. I found it utterly gripping to write about a society which has no concept of romantic love. It made it all the clearer what a powerful and primeval force love is.” Readers agreed, saying, “a real magic carpet of a book… truly moving… a hero to die for…couldn’t put it down.”

Linda Gillard’s haunting, lyrical story of a blind woman and the stranger on her doorstep had readers entranced: “…beautifully written and very moving.” Linda says, "I'm thrilled to bits that my eccentric love story has been shortlisted for this important and exciting award."

Julia Gregson’s historical novel of 1920s India was “thought-provoking, rich and engaging with a real sense of place,” said readers. Julia says, “I am delighted and honoured to be shortlisted for the RNA prize.”

Susanna Kearsley’s compelling time-slip novel was described as a “most wonderful love story, a well-written, original and satisfying read”. Susanna says, "I still can't believe it. It's a great honour, and I'm absolutely thrilled to be in company with such wonderful authors."

With the multi-generational family drama by Judith Lennox, readers spoke of “a beautiful epic of love and loss with engaging characters”. This is Judith’s third time on the shortlist, “so I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed!” she says.

The panel with the difficult task of picking a winner from this page-turning collection of romantic novels comprises Alice O’Keeffe, Books Editor at the Bookseller, Fanny Blake, Books Editor of Woman & Home, and Peter Crawshaw, who runs"

Now the question for today is - have you read any of them and if so which one do you think will be the Romantic Novel of the Year? Last year it was Pillow Talk by Freya North (which I really enjoyed). The best bit for me, of course, is that I'm going to the lunch on the tenth of February.


Debs said...

I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this beautiful book, filled with so many fab writers' stories too. Fabulous. I'll definately be buying copies for birthdays/Christmas etc this year.

Glad to hear all is well with you. It's such a relief when something like that is over and done with.

JJ said...

Oh Liz, I'm so glad your dentistry went well. (Chipmunk features aside.)

I'm terribly jealous of your flight back to the UK for the party...

I haven't read any of them ... I shall probably read the winner just as I did last year.

Biddy said...

Ooo I'm going as well!! Can I put you down as a table mate??


KAREN said...

Glad you've recovered from your dentist's trip!

I loved East of the Sun by Julia Gregson, but haven't read any of the others...yet! Must put them on my list :o)

Lucy Diamond said...

Oooh, that book looks gorgeous, what a fab cover!
Sorry to hear about the chipmunk business... ouch. I hate dentists too, they are just evil creatures. Hope you can distract yourself with some good books!

Lazy Perfectionista said...

I'm not normally one to name-drop, but Linda Gillard's daughter is one of my best friends! 'Star Gazing' is brilliant too, so I really hope she wins.

ChrisH said...

SO glad you are out the other side of your dental work. I haven't read any of the nominees' work yet but I do know that unless I get on with some writing I'll never be on it!

Jan Jones said...

Glad it all went well, Liz. See you on 10th!

liz fenwick said...

Debs - I'm with you on that!

JJ - you could always find a cheap flight and come.......

Biddy - you're coming! Excellent news. At the moment I am not committed to sit anywhere in particular. I have been so blessed in past years, thanks to certain angels that I daren't hope to be so lucky again. Are you on your own?????

Karen - I have to read all of them!

Lucy are yoiu coming to the lunch this year???

LP - I'm impressed. It sounds a fabulous read. Did you see the write in the guardian?

ChrisH - you must must keep writing but are you coming to the lunch?

So look forward to catching up Jan :-)