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Tring author up for romance award

donna ashcroft and book

Published by the Mix96 News Team at 5:57am 6th April 2018.

A new author from Tring is up for an award for her romantic novel!

Donna Ashcroft has been shortlisted for The Romantic Novelists' Association's Joan Hessayon award for new writers for her book Summer at the Castle Cafe.

It's all about a woman who meets a lifeboat volunteer in a seaside town!

The shortlist is made up of authors whose debut novels have been accepted for publication after passing through the Romantic Novelists' Association New Writers' Scheme.

This year's competing novels include historical romance, paranormal romance, contemporary romance and romantic comedy, and explore a variety of themes which include family, secrets and loss.

Summer at the Castle Cafe

Donna Ashcroft's Summer at the Castle Café follows the story of Alice Appleton, who escapes to the gorgeous seaside town of Castle Cove for a change of scenery. There she meets Jay O'Donnell, a volunteer on the lifeboats, who is haunted by a tragedy from his past. He's on a mission to save as many people as possible, but when Alice Appleton walks into his life he realises that perhaps it might just be his turn to be rescued …

Commenting on the contenders for 2018, Nicola Cornick, current RNA Chairman, said,

"The RNA is particularly proud of its New Writers' Scheme, which is unique to the association, and helps new writers on that difficult path to publication.

"In recent years we've had an excellent success rate and this year is no exception with seventeen debut novelists graduating from the scheme.

"Having read every last one of them, I'm delighted to see a new generation of talent being fostered by the scheme."

Imogen Howson, who runs the New Writers' Scheme, commented,

"It is wonderful to see debut authors graduating from the New Writers Scheme and we are ever grateful to Dr. David Hessayon who continues to support the Awards in honour of his late wife, Joan."

Donna Ashcroft
Donna Ashcroft


The full shortlist for 2018 is:

  • Mick Arnold, The Season for Love, Passion in Print
  • Donna Ashcroft, Summer at the Castle Café, Bookouture
  • Susanna Bavin, The Deserter's Daughter, Allison & Busby
  • Cryssa Bazos, Traitor's Knot, Endeavour Press
  • Hannah Begbie, Mother, Harper Collins
  • Anita Belli, The Traveller and the Rose, Endeavour Press
  • Lynn Forth, Love in La La Land, Crooked Cat
  • Erin Green, A Christmas Wish, Aria Fiction
  • Lisa Hill, Meet Me at Number Five, Choc Lit
  • John Jackson, Heart of Stone, Crooked Cat
  • Jane Lacey-Crane, Secrets and Tea at Rosie Lee's, Aria Fiction
  • Zoe May, Perfect Match, HQ Digital
  • Sue McDonagh, Summer at the Art Café, Choc Lit
  • Kate Ryder, Summer in a Cornish Cove, Aria Fiction
  • Elaine Roberts, The Foyles Bookshop Girls, Aria Fiction
  • Tanya Jean Russell, Broken Trust, Evernight Publishing
  • Awen Thornber, Foxtrot in Freshby, Crooked Cat

The New Writers' Scheme has been run by the RNA since 1962 and is unique among professional writing associations. It aims to encourage fresh talent in the writing of romantic novels that reflect all aspects of love and life, contemporary or historical.

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