I’m delighted to announce that my latest historical romance, Heart of Stone, has reached the shortlist in the Historical Novel Prize category of the Romantic Novelists Association’s Pure Passion Awards 2011. Here are the six of us: I'm on the far right.
I enjoyed writing this book so much. Set in Cornwall in the early 1800s, the story tells how Sarah Govier, ostracised by the town for refusing to give up her illegitimate son, fights to keep the granite quarry left to her by her father. Threatened on all sides, not least from the married father of her son, she is forced to turn for help to reclusive James Crago, an ex-soldier in India brutally scarred while attempting a doomed rescue mission. Producing explosives for the local mines and quarries allows James to keep people at a distance.
This was one of my favourite books. I lived every moment with James and Sarah as mutual suspicion evolved into respect and deepened into love. Long after their story ended they lingered on in my mind.
Last Thursday the shortlisted authors in the four Award categories were invited to a Champagne Breakfast at the RAF Club in London’s Piccadilly. It was a wonderful venue and the noise level was deafening as everyone caught up with friends and exchanged news in an atmosphere of warmth, excitement and pleasure in each other’s achievements. After having our photographs taken we were directed in front of a video camera and allowed one minute to describe how we felt about being shortlisted. The time limit was probably a good thing or we’d be there still!
I’ll be back in London again on Monday March 7th for the Awards Presentation. No matter what happens on that day, just reaching the shortlist has been an absolute joy. That said, I still intend doing a lot of positive thinking during the next three weeks.