Thursday, February 05, 2009

Put Some Romance in Your Life ...

Valentine's day is coming up soon and ... well, do you need a little more romance in your life? Forget hoping for some of it from the significant other, and curl up with a novel instead.

The finalists for the UK's Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2009 have been named. They are :

  • Star Gazing - Linda Gillard
  • Sophia's Secret - Susanna Kearsley
  • Before the Storm - Judith Lennox
  • The Last Concubine - Lesley Downer
  • Thanks for the Memories - Cecelia Ahern
  • East of the Sun - Julia Gregson
Michelli Pauli in The Guardian looks at the nominees and explains how they were chosen by a panel of members of the Romantic Novelists' Association from a longlist selected by 80 members of the public.

You can read extracts from all of these novels here.

Anyone being sniffy about romance in fiction should take judge Fanny Blake's words to heart :

Love is central to all our lives ... yet romantic literature is often dismissed as secondary to great fiction despite the fact that most classic literature we love features romance in all its guises, from Jane Eyre through Howard's End to Atonement. Well-crafted romantic fiction is eternally relevant and I'm excited to be a judge for this prize that draws attention to the best of the best.
The winner will be announced Feb 10th which gives the guys just enough time to track down a copy to present to their loved one with some nice roses, a box of chocs, some sexy lingerie ...


Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon

(I tried to email you but it bounced.)Thanks for plugging the Romantic Novel of the Year award. If you'd like a review copy of STAR GAZING or an interview, do get in touch. Mine is the most unusual of the shortlisted books as my romantic heroine is 45, widowed and blind.

There's more info about STAR GAZING (my 3rd novel) on my website - see

bibliobibuli said...

how lovely to hear from you, Linda and biggest congrats at being shortlisted

very glad that you are writing about love for someone older and less conventional. it was always something that annoyed me about the romance genre - the heroines were always young and beautiful. those of us who are neither are just as deserving of love!

my email is sharonbakar at yahoo dot com now and it should be okay. i'd love a review copy but live all the way out in malaysia. mind you, we do have lots of fans of romantic fiction here ...

Anonymous said...

No problem, Sharon. I already send copies all over the world as a supporter of :-)

I'll email you for your address.

bibliobibuli said...

oh bless you! i also book cross and am a member of which has me sending books from here to folks elsewhere