Saturday, 14 February 2009

RNA Joan Hessayon and other Awards Lunch, 11 /02 /09

Tuesday, 11th February was a difficult day for travelling. Snow or rain had fallen again overnight and ice and/or flooding caused havoc with public transport the length and breadth of the country. But that did not stop Romantic Novelists heading to the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington to join in the annual Awards luncheon. The cloakroom was full of brollies and boots but the dining room was full of delightfully dressed ladies and gentlemen. There was a happy noise of greetings and exchange of news, the clinking of glasses and the popping of corks.

The tables were laid with crisp white linen and decorated with black candelabra and red and black ostrich plumes. Name cards in beautiful script [which must have taken many hours work to write out for three hundred guests] told everyone where to sit [another headache to plan where to put everyone].

The food was superb. Each course was beautiful to behold and mouthwateringly good. Best of all, the hot dish was served hot! The lemon tart was made in heaven. And throughout, the conversation was cheerful and people made new friends and happily met up with old ones.

We shortlisted candidates for the two prizes arrived early, in a mood of pleasant anticipation. Whatever the final result, during the event we were basking in admiration from our fellow writers. The winner of the Romance Prize was India Grey, while Julia Gregson won the prize for the Romantic Novel of the Year.

My thanks to Pam [Kate Hardy] for letting me use her photo of four Romance Prize finalists.
L-R: Beth, Fiona, Kate, Jessica.

 I was also a finalist for the Joan Hessayon Prize, for my Regency adventure romance, The Wild Card.

RNA Joan Hessayon Prize,  -  Judge’s summary:

The Wild Card (Hale) by Beth Elliott - "The background is terrific, the story lively and the pace relentless as the story builds to a fantastic climax. A wonderful charming and well-written Regency with its essential lightness spiced with intrigue."

The Wild Card                
                                                         The Wild Card

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