Hertfordshire authors shortlisted for romantic novel of the year

Two ladies have made the final cut for the Romantic Novelists' Association's 2020 Romantic Novel Awards, which will be presented by writer Jenny Eclair

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 6:00 am

Jules Wake from Tring, is one of 8 finalists in the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award category with her novel, Notting Hill in the Snow, published by One More Chapter, HarperCollins.

Viola Smith plays the viola in an orchestra but this year she's been volunteered to help with a nativity. Single dad Nate Williams has enough on his plate with young daughter Grace, and helping with the nativity is the last thing he needs. With sparks flying, Nate and Viola can't deny their feelings. And as snow starts to fall over London, they find themselves trapped together in more ways than one.

Jules said: "I don't have a musical bone in my body but my character Viola was inspired by two local friends who are both renowned classical musicians.

Jules Wake's novel, Notting Hill in the Snow, has been shortlisted for an award

"They helped me with lots of the research and I discovered that the poor viola players are often the butt of orchestra in-jokes, for some reason.

"I'm so thrilled to be shortlisted in such an important year for the RNA, its sixtieth anniversary. Since the day I joined this fabulous organisation, I have found myself among friends."

Rowan Coleman from Berkhamsted, is one of 5 finalists in the Fantasy Romantic Novel Award category with her novel, The Girl at the Window, published by Ebury Press, Penguin Random House.

After a 20 year absence, young widow and mother Tru Heaton returns with her young son, Will, to her ancestral home, Ponden Hall, Haworth, to find that is haunted by more than just memories. After the devastating loss of her husband. While Trudy tries to do her best for her son, who refuses to believe his father is dead, she must also attempt to build bridges with her eccentric mother. And then there is the Hall itself: fallen into disrepair but generations of lives and loves still echo in its shadows, sometimes even reaching out to the present.

Rowan Coleman's novel, The Girl at the Window, has been shortlisted for an award. Photo by Carolyn Mendelsohn

She said: "It is an honour, and I am utterly thrilled, to be shortlisted for an award by the RNA.

"As a long time member and supporter of this invaluable association for new and experienced writers across the diverse spectrum of romance fiction, and all of human life that it encompasses, it is a true honour to have The Girl at the Window to be considered for an award."

The RNA’s awards are the only national literary prizes that recognise excellence in the genre of romantic fiction.

The awards, celebrating their 60th anniversary, will be held at a ceremony in London on Monday, March 2.