Tuesday, 6 March 2012


Well, I was there.....at the fantastic RoNA Award ceremony at One Whitehall Place in London yesterday.
Venue was awesome......wonderful building - right by the London Eye - with those revolving doors I so love and wish I could swish in with an entourage behind me and lots of cases. Busts of political luminaries and paintings of same everywhere. Marble, curving staircases with ditto railings which made me wonder if there is any marble left in Greek quarries at all! Loos had a dressing room - no less - and a chaise longue and individual towels after the washing of hands. Very dark, polished wood everywhere....lots of columns clad in ceramic tiles - an interior decor touch I'd not seen before.....probably ancient and worth squillions!
And the reception room - well! No less than five chandeliers almost as big as my 5' 2". Walls covered in murals of Greeks in various stages of undress. Pink champagne running like a river. In the middle of the room were plinths each with the category of book up for award. An hour of chat and meeting and greeting and admiring of outfits and shoes and lots of photographs taken for the Romantic Novelist's Association archives before the event.
And what an event - hosted by the lovely Jane Wenham-Jones resplendent in a silver, backless ballgown and a figure to die for. Peter James - thriller writer - gave a speech which elicited much laughter and he obliged with that heart-stopping moment.....'And the winner is ...'
So. The winners.

Harry Bowling Prize
Natalie Lloyd-Evans

The RoNA Rose Award
Sarah Mallory

Young Adult Romantic Fiction
Caroline Green

Historical Romantic Novel
Christina Courtenay

Outstanding Achievement Awaard
Karin Stoecker

Romantic Comedy Novel
Jane Lovering

Epic Romantic Novel
Rosie Thomas

Contemporary Romantic Novel
Katie Fforde

As Jane WJ and Peter James did their stuff we clapped and clapped when the writers' names and their book covers came up and the clapping got louder the more pink champagne (buckets of it on ice at each table) was consumed....and a few tiddly but delicious canapes - which didn't quite soak up all the alcohol -but hey! it was a great afternoon.

Now, I have a vested interest in the event because I have my debut novel coming out with Choc Lit in June, and Choc Lit authors picked up two awards - Christina Courtenay and Jane Lovering made excellent speeches when they went to collect their gongs. But that wasn't all - Choc Lit had a third writer shortlisted - Kate Johnson, who can now say she is second only to Katie Fforde for contemporary romantic fiction.....and Kate's book, Untied Kingdom, is a wonderful book, too.

I was so excited to be there that my photos aren't the best. And it was VERY dark in the library - a mile of leather-bound tomes with a galleried landing holding even more. But here are a few photos to give you a taster of what it was like.

Christina Courtenay is the lovely lass in lilac.....boots to die for....sorry for chopping her head off a bit.
Jane Lovering - before she picked up her gong - across a champgane-laden table dimly.
A view across the reception room.....Katie Fforde in bottom left-hand corner.
And moi.....in my coat of many colours.....:)


  1. Not the best photo ever taken of me, perhaps, but good angle for the boots :D - thanks, Linda! And thank you for coming to support us!

    1. I know, sorry Christina......too much excitement for me and it WAS dark.....:) Still celebrating?????

  2. So jealous of you being there! But great to know more about it and see the pics, thanks.

    1. One of those times, Gill, when it was well worth the journey!

  3. Linda, you look fabulous! I'm so looking forward to your novel. A future prize winner perhaps? I hope so.

    1. Thanks, Cathie....fingers crossed for my future prize win...:)

  4. I enjoyed your descriptions Linda and your excitment comes through too. It is good to see Choc-Lit going from strength to strength. Another publisher can only be good news for authors, even those of us who are not with them.

    1. Thanks, Gwen......yes, I do feel rather privileged to be part of choc-Lit in the light of their successes at the RoNA's.....:)

  5. SO wish I'd been able to get there! Thanks for the report and photos, Linda.

  6. I nearly didn't go - expensive rail journey, even more expensive champagne and canape ticket.....but oh so glad I did now! Missed you, though....:)