Tag Archives: Christmas

Shortlists: Romantic Novel of the Year Awards 2024

Now updated with winners in Bold
Sarah Mallory RNA RNOTY 24


The Night She Met the Duke, by Libertà hivie Sarah Mallory, is in the shortlists (in the Historical Romantic Novel category) for this year’s Romantic Novel of the Year Awards.

These awards are judged entirely by readers, without input from any industry professionals and there are some great books on the lists, including many by good friends of Libertà.

Woman in a bare-shouldered party dress with champagne glass in her hand looks across a night time city scape and smiles.Congratulations to each and every one!

The winners of the awards will be announced during the 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 20th May 2024 at 6.30pm.

(authors are listed alphabetically in shortlists)
Winners in bold green (updated 21st May)

Because of the number of books listed, we can’t give you cover images or buy links but we’re sure you’ll find the books if you want to. You can, can’t you 😉 ?

Shortlists 1: The Fantasy Romantic Novel Award

Janus opens doors to all directionsGirl, Goddess, Queen, Bea Fitzgerald (Penguin)
One Christmas Morning, Rachel Greenlaw (Harper Collins)
Maybe Next Time, Cesca Major (Harper Fiction)
Ghosted, Rosie Mullender (Sphere)
The Wicked in Me, Suzanne Wright (Piatkus)

Shortlists 2: The Jackie Collins Award for Romantic Thrillers

Viscount in Hiding, Caitlyn Callery (The Wild Rose Press)
Julie Mae Cohen, Bad men (Bonnier Zaffre)
The Secret of Villa Alba, Louise Douglas (Boldwood)
The Dance Teacher of Paris, Suzanne Fortin (Embla Books)
Masquerade on the Riviera, Evonne Wareham (Choc Lit/Joffe)

Shortlists 3: The Debut Romantic Novel Award

cartoon number oneOne Moment, Becky Hunter (Corvus (Atlantic))
Be More Octopus, Suzanne Lissaman (Octosulis Publishing)
The Little Board Game Cafe, Jennifer Page (Aria (Head of Zeus))
A Mother’s War, Helen Parusel (Boldwood Books)
The Accidental Housemate, Sal Thomas (One More Chapter)

Shortlists 4: The Christmas/Festive Holiday Romantic Novel Award

Only for Christmas, Tracy Corbett (Canelo)
One Winter’s Night, Kate Frost (Boldwood)
The Christmas Season, Ally Sinclair (Hera)
Three Holidays and a Wedding, Marissa Stapley (Atlantic Books)
Snowed In, Catherine Walsh (Bookouture)

Shortlists 5: The Shorter Romantic Novel Award

Becoming the Earl’s Convenient Wife, Louise Allen (Harlequin Mills Boon)
Cinderella’s Deal With the Colonel, Jenni Fletcher (Harlequin Mills Boon)
Tempted by her Fake Fiance, Kate Hardy (Harlequin Mills Boon)
The Housekeeper’s Forbidden Earl, Laura Martin (Harlequin Mills Boon)
Lonely in Paris, Lisa Stanbridge (Crystal Brook Publishing)

Shortlists 6: The Romantic Saga Award

The Secret Sister, Jan Baynham (Choc Lit/Joffe Books)
A Woman of Courage, Rita Bradshaw (Pan Macmillan)
The Distant Legacy, Anne Marie Brear (self-published)
A New Start at the Beach Hotel, Francesca Capaldi (Hera Books)
A Wedding for the Cornish Girls, Betty Walker (Avon Books)

Shortlists 7: The Romantic Comedy Award

alpaca having a bad hair dayChasing the Light, Julia Boggio (self-published)
The Break Up Clause, Niamh Hargan (HarperCollins)
Jana Goes Wild, Farah Heron (Piatkus Books-Little Brown Book Group)
Looking Out for Love, Sophia Money-Coutts (Harper Collins (HQ)
You’ve Got This, Maxine Morrey (Boldwood Books)

Shortlists 8: The Historical Romantic Novel Award

Léon_Bonvin_-_Cook_with_Red_ApronThe Flame Tree, Siobhan Daiko (Indie)
The Secret Shore, Liz Fenwick (HQ Harper Collins)
Never Wager With a Wallflower, Virginia Heath (MacMillan)
A Secret Garden Affair, Erica James (HQ)
The Night She Met the Duke, Sarah Mallory (Harlequin Mills Boon)

Shortlists 9: The Contemporary Romantic Novel Award

A Midnight Kiss on Ever After Street, Jaimie Admans (Boldwood)
Evergreens, Liam Brown (Legend Press)
Summer at the Chateau, Annabel French (Avon/HarperCollins)
Summer Wedding, Sarah Morgan (HQ Harper Collins)
The Start of Something Wonderful, Jessica Redland (Boldwood Books)

Shortlists 10: The Popular Fiction Romantic Novel Award

The Wedding Dress Repair Shop, Trisha Ashley (Bantam)
One Night in Hartswood, Emma Denny (Harlequin Mills Boon)
Thirty Days in Paris, Veronica Henry (Orion)
Fly Me to Paris, Helga Jensen (Hera Books)
Bridget’s War, Shirley Mann (Zaffre)

Congratulations to the winners

PS Apologies for the lack of a blog last Sunday. Because of Joanna’s bout of Covid, things got a bit entangled in the Libertà hive and, somehow, nobody blogged. We will try to do better in future…

Christmas and New Year Greetings with Christmas books

The Libertà hive has got into the habit of relaxing over Christmas and New Year. Probably reading Christmas books! Which means no blog, sadly. The next “proper” blog will appear on Sunday 7th January, 2024.

In the meantime, we hope all our readers had a very happy Christmas and we wish you a prosperous and healthy New Year. Busy fizz

And if Santa didn’t bring you any Christmas books, there are some that the hive would recommend. (Since hive members wrote them, we would, wouldn’t we?)
What’s more, our cute cat loves them… Continue reading

Happy New Year with our Sophie Weston serial

Audiobooks, explosion of delightA very happy New Year to all our visitors. May 2023 bring you health, wealth and happiness and, for the authors among us, booming sales.

As we said in our Christmas blog, the hive is on holiday until next weekend. But we don’t want to leave you with nothing, so we’re repeating the Christmas and New Year serial that Sophie wrote a year or two back.

The first episode is below. The link to subsequent episodes is at the end of each. It’s like binging on box sets of Downton or Bridgerton. Feel free to read all the episodes at a sitting. You know you want to!

London skyline with St Paul's dome and skyscrapers in fog

There was fog over the rooftops when Liv looked out from her bedroom window for the last time. She kind of loved this view of her bit of London. Like Mary Poppins and her sweep, she saw Victorian chimneys, with a distant church tower and, even further away, a block of Edwardian apartments. Continue reading

Autumn: Season of Unseasonal Books plus Giveaway!

It is the end of October

We should be talking about autumn, that season of mists and mellow fruitfulnessberries in autumn

Or Hallowe’en, darker nights, spooky goings-on and tales by candlelight.

18th century woman with candle

Warning: if you think autumn is too early for “December Festivities”, look away now!

Click Cover for your Local Amazon

As you can see, this book has a Christmas theme. I am sorry, it can’t be helped. It is out there. Continue reading

Cover help and a Free Book Giveaway

I’m desperately in need of cover help.
Basically, I can’t decide between two different covers for the Christmas book that I’m about to republish. I’ve revised and extended it and I want it to be right. So I’m asking for advice here.

Please tell me which cover you think I should choose. Continue reading

Sophie’s Christmas Mystery Serial Episode 12 conclusion

CHRISTMAS MYSTERY by Sophie Weston: EPISODE 12 Conclusion
Missed the start? Click here to read from episode 1

The nurse lived a good way out and insisted on taking them in for a drink to celebrate the New Year. As it turned out, this included a substantial ham sandwich which Patrick snarfed down like a starving wolf.

“Wonderful,” he said. “Busy day. First chance to eat.”

The nurse beamed and waved them off with a care package of goodies from the meal she was preparing to see in the New Year.

In the car on the way back, Liv relaxed, even when Patrick said, “Why didn’t you tell me to drive you to the Food Bank?”

She was surprised. “You were completely immersed in your research. I didn’t want to break your concentration.”

“Hrrmph.” Continue reading

Sophie’s Christmas Mystery Serial Episode 12 Part 1

CHRISTMAS MYSTERY by Sophie Weston: EPISODE 12 Part 1
Missed the start? Click here to read from episode 1

blue and silver christmas tree

The nurse was instantly alert. “Does he want to hurt you?”

“I don’t know,” said Liv. “And I don’t know why he’s following me. I don’t even know who he is.”

Except that the daring, athletic cyclist was definitely not Francis. That was a relief in one way. But only a small way. She could feel the hamster wheel of panic start up again. She breathed carefully.

I can deal with this. I CAN DEAL WITH THIS. 

But she felt as if her bones had turned to netting and her stomach cramped.

The nurse stayed cool and stuck to the important stuff. “He’s followed you before?” Continue reading

Sophie’s Christmas Mystery Serial Episode 11

Missed the start? Click here to read from episode 1

Kings Road Christmas Lights

“No,” said Liv.

She went on saying it while Patrick Fell delivered a lecture from the podium on why this was absolutely the best—no, the only—solution. In the end, she was so cold that she said in desperation, “Can we discuss this in your car? I’m freezing.”

He harrumphed a bit, but agreed, though he made her put her mask on and opened all the car windows. “If this takes too long, I shall have to lower the top,” he warned her. “With current virus restrictions, it behoves people like us to be responsible.”

Liv swung round to look at him in disbelief. “Who the hell says behoves in the twenty-first century?”

“It’s a nice economical word and it says what I mean. Now, your place or mine?” Continue reading

Sophie’s Christmas Mystery Serial Episode 10

Missed the start? Click here to read from episode 1

arrangement of roses tinted the wrong colours

Liv tried to sleep that night. She really tried. But her head was buzzing with half-formed ideas, questions, splinters of memory that she couldn’t get rid of.

At 2.13 a.m., she got up and made tea. She huddled into the rented couch in the rented room and remembered the big, uncomfortable chairs in Francis’s beloved drawing room That Night.

Even the professional florist’s arrangement had been too big. Come to think of it, Liv had never ordered it. Francis must have sent it specially. Set dressing for a supposedly impromptu celebration after the board meeting at Temple Blake Rossignol. Continue reading

Sophie’s Christmas Mystery Serial Episode 9

Missed the start? Click here to read from episode 1

Liv finally agreed to meet Patrick Fell on the day London and the South East went into the new Tier 4 lockdown. It was a Sunday.

“Two people can meet in the open air,” said Patrick, when she pointed that out. “Pick your park.”

She opted for Battersea, by the bandstand. He was there before her, reading a map display.

“Let’s walk,” he said. And, as they started down an overgrown path, “Have you kept up your notebook?” Continue reading