Monday 6 February 2023

The Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards featuring ~ Mollie Walton

It gives me great pleasure to feature this talented author on the blog especially with the fabulous news that Mollie Walton has been shortlisted in the Romantic Saga Category for her novel A Mother’s War.

Photo credit: Hudson and Rose Photography

On Thursday 2nd February Waltham author, Mollie Walton, was shortlisted in the Romantic Saga Award category with her novel, A Mother's War, for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) annual Romantic Novel Awards for 2023. The awards celebrate excellence in romantic fiction in all its forms.

Mollie Walton is the saga pen-name for historical novelist Rebecca Mascull. As Walton, she has written The Ironbridge Trilogy and is currently writing The Raven Hall Saga. As Mascull, she is the author of The Elements Quartet and wrote the final chapters of the late Vanessa Lafaye's last novella Miss Marley. Rebecca has worked in education, has a Masters in Writing and lives by the sea in the east of England. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, based at the University of Lincoln.

Mollie commented, ‘I'm over the moon to be shortlisted for this RNA award! The work the RNA does with authors is so important and I'm thrilled to be honoured by such a wonderful organisation.’

Welbeck Publishing Group

North Yorkshire, September 1939. Rosina Calvert-Lazenby is the widowed matriarch of Raven Hall. When the RAF come to stay, Rosina is intrigued by their young, charismatic sergeant Harry. Grace is 21, the eldest of Rosina's five daughters. Joining the Wrens, she trades the safety of home for acts of secrecy.

Here's my review  of A Mother's War


The Romantic Novelists' Association (RNA) is a professional body primarily for writers of romantic fiction. Founded in 1960 to provide a voice for romance authors and to be a network for writers, it continues to raise the prestige of romantic fiction and encourage romantic authorship. Their 1000+ membership includes writers across the spectrum of commercial and women's fiction, along with publishing industry professionals, booksellers, and book reviewers. In addition to organising annual publishing awards, they also host arange of workshops, talks, networking events, a three-day annual conference, and provide support to unpublished authors through their New Writers' Scheme.

For more information about the Romantic Novelists’ Association, please visit their website:

Jean Fullerton, the RNA Chair, commented, ‘Once again, our lovely reader-judges have had the almost impossible task of creating award shortlists from what is an unbelievable number of cracking, page-turning novels. Thankfully they have, and I can only say this year’s shortlist books are the crรจme de la crรจme of romantic fiction.’

Sharon Ibbotson, the RNA Awards Coordinator, said, ‘Our genre continues to go from strength to strength, providing escapism, delight and delicious romance with the turn of every page. Our shortlisted books, voted for by real, everyday readers, are a testament to wordmanship and the dedication of their authors, who we congratulate today.’

The awards, which have been held since their inception in 1960, are highly respected in the UK publishing industry. Previous winners include Santa Montefiore, Joe Heap, Julie Cohen and Milly Johnson. The awards are unique in that they are judged entirely by readers, without input from any industry professionals.

The award categories are as follows: The Fantasy Romantic Novel Award, the Jackie Collins Award for Romantic Thrillers, the Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award, the Christmas/Festive Holiday Romantic Novel Award, the Shorter Romantic Novel Award, the Romantic Saga Award, the Jane Wenham-Jones Award for Romantic Comedy, the Historical Romantic Novel Award, the Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, and the Popular Romantic Fiction Award (voted for by librarians, booksellers and book bloggers/reviewers).

The winners of the awards will be announced during the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Novel Awards ceremony, which is being held at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London City, 8-14 Cooper’s Row, London EC3N 2BQ, on Monday 6th March 2023 at 6.30pm.

THE CATEGORIES AND SHORTLISTS ARE AS FOLLOWS: (authors are listed alphabetically)

The Fantasy Romantic Novel Award

Hidden in the Mists, Christina Courtenay, Headline Review

I Let You Fall, Sara Downing, Quilla Books (TCK Publishing)

Skip to the End, Molly James, Quercus

Impossible, Sarah Lotz, HarperCollins

Ocean's Echo, Everina Maxwell, Orbit UK

The Jackie Collins Award for Romantic Thrillers

Cold Silence, Toni Anderson, Independent

Six Days, Dani Atkins, Aria (Head of Zeus)

My Other Husband, Dorothy Koomson, Headline Review

The Serial Killer's Girl, L.H. Stacey, Boldwood Books

 A Murder of Crows, Sarah Yarwood-Lovett, Embla Books (Bonnier Books UK)

The Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award

 The Love of My Other Life, CJ Connolly, Joffe Books

A Colourful Country Escape, Anita Faulkner, Sphere

Twelve Days in May, Niamh Hargan, HarperCollins

Always by Your Side, Julie Haworth, Simon and Schuster UK

From Fake to Forever, Laila Rafi, Orion Dash

The Christmas/Festive Holiday Romantic Novel Award

 This Year’s for Me and You, Emily Bell, Penguin Michael Joseph

Merrily Ever After, Cathy Bramley, Orion Fiction

Christmas with his Ballerina, Jessica Gilmore, Mills & Boon True Love

Snowed in for Christmas, Sarah Morgan, HQ

Santa, Please Bring Me a Boyfriend, Sophie Ranald, Bookouture

The Shorter Romantic Novel Award 

The Earl's Mysterious Lady, Louise Allen, Mills & Boon Historical

Summer at Seaspray Cottage, Angela Britnell, Choc Lit

The Shopgirl's Forbidden Love, Jenni Fletcher, Mills & Boon Historical

Their Surprise Safari Reunion, Ella Hayes, Mills & Boon True Love

Stranded with My Forbidden Billionaire, Lucy King, Mills & Boon Modern

The Romantic Saga Award

 A Child of the Dales, Diane Allen, Pan Macmillan

A New Start for the Wrens, Vicki Beeby, Canelo

The London Girls, Soraya M. Lane, Lake Union Publishing

Courage for the Cornish Girls, Betty Walker, Avon

A Mother's War, Mollie Walton, Welbeck Publishing Group

The Jane Wenham-Jones Award for Romantic Comedy

 Great Sexpectations, Kristen Bailey, Bookouture

Playing for Love, Jeevani Charika, HQ Digital

The Woman Who Took a Chance, Fiona Gibson, Avon

Take a Chance on Greece, Emily Kerr, One More Chapter

A Wedding at Sandy Cove, Bella Osborne, Avon

The Historical Romantic Novel Award

 A Postcard from Capri, Alex Brown, HarperCollins

The Dressmaker's Secret, Lorna Cook, Avon

The Legacy of Halesham Hall, Jenni Keer, Headline Accent

The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre, Natasha Lester, Sphere

Before the Dawn, Emma Pass, Aria (Head of Zeus)

The Contemporary Romantic Novel Award

 The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures, Holly Hepburn, Simon and Schuster UK

A Cottage Full of Secrets, Jane Lovering, Boldwood Books

Cornish Clouds and Silver Lining Skies, Ali McNamara, Sphere

Elodie's Library of Second Chances, Rebecca Raisin, HQ Digital

Finding Happiness at Heritage View, Helen Rolfe, Boldwood Books

The WINNER of The Popular Romantic Fiction Award

 A Christmas Celebration, Heidi Swain, Simon and Schuster UK


The Jackie Collins Award for Romantic Thrillers Jackie Collins was a creative force, a trailblazer for women in fiction, and, in her own words, ‘A kick-ass writer!’ Since her 1968 debut The World is Full of Married Men, her books have sold in their millions in more than 40 countries and she is one of the world’s top-selling novelists. Ian Chapman, CEO of Simon & Schuster UK and International, said, ‘Jackie was kind, brilliantly astute, with a wicked, mischievous sense of humour. She was a consummate storyteller and made her craft look easy, like all great practitioners. I – along with many others – miss her still and often expect to see her appear suddenly in our midst. We have long made a solemn commitment to ensure that her legacy endures and are incredibly proud to partner with the Romantic Novelists’ Association again to sponsor the Jackie Collins Romantic Thrillers award to support her fellow writers.’

The Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award

Best-selling author Katie Fforde lives in the beautiful Cotswold countryside with her family and is a true country girl at heart. Each of her books explores a different profession or background and her research has helped her bring these to life. She’s been a porter in an auction house, tried her hand at pottery, refurbished furniture, delved behind the scenes of a dating website, and she’s even been on a Ray Mears survival course. She loves being a writer; to her there isn’t a more satisfying and pleasing thing to do. She particularly enjoys writing love stories. She believes falling in love is the best thing in the world, and she wants all her characters to experience it, and her readers to share their stories., @KatieFforde.

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