Thursday, 3 March 2016

Guest Post & Giveaway - What being nominated means to Bella Osbourne - RNA Awards Week

Firstly, huge thanks to Rachel for inviting me onto her blog.

Rachel asked a straightforward question - What does it mean to have your debut novel, It Started At Sunset Cottage, shortlisted for the RONA contemporary novel award?

If only there was a straightforward answer. You see, perhaps I never was the standard aspiring author as I never imagined my book on the shelves of all good bookshops, my goal was to see if I had what it takes to finish a whole novel and back in 2013 I was chuffed to bits to discover that I did. So that was my big goal achieved - great big tick! I had no further aspirations at all.

Pretty much everything that's happened since then is an extra, an added bonus, a 'get one free', if you like. All those around me that said 'Ooh you could get published...' and I laughed and quoted the statistics at them and those who said 'It could be a bestseller...' and I rolled my eyes and marvelled at their naivety. But the thing is they were right and I was wrong because it did get published - first digitally, then in paperback, then it went into Tesco, then WHSmith and The Works and now it’s been shortlisted for a RONA and nobody is more surprised than me.

The truth is I am astonished that my debut novel is up there with an amazing list of talented authors and it is something I never dreamt would happen and I’m still more than a bit stunned that it has. None of this would have happened without the support of the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA).

I will be eternally grateful to the RNA for being such a supportive organisation. Thanks to their New Writers Scheme I was able to become part of this brilliant association where I have made some amazing friends who have shared the journey to publication with me. Never underestimate the value of being surrounded by likeminded people, for me it was like suddenly finding I had been living in the wrong segment of a Venn diagram my whole life and have now been slotted into the right section. I strongly recommend that writers join the RNA or similar association as it is an ongoing learning experience, which can open the door to a multitude of new opportunities.

I am, of course, thrilled that the readers liked my novel enough to put it forward to the shortlist and, to be honest, that is what means the most to me about being shortlisted because as a writer I just want people to have enjoyed the story. My plan is to make the most of the awards night on 7th March as it may never happen again, but given my track record for being wrong, who knows!

Giveaway to win a signed copy of It Started at Sunset Cottage (UK Only)

Bella is very kindly offering one lucky reader the chance to win a signed copy of It Started at Sunset Cottage. 

Giveaway open to UK only, all options are voluntary, but please do what they ask, as I will be verifying the winner. Giveaway closes 23:59 12/3/2016. Winner will be announced on twitter and emailed, and they will need to reply within 7 days, or forfeit the prize, and I will re-draw for a new winner.  Good luck everyone.

It Started at Sunset Cottage
Kate Marshall is slowly getting her life back on track after losing her fiancĂ©. As an author she has been able to hide herself away from the world and its expectations – but now one of her books has been optioned for a film and Hollywood suddenly comes knocking on her door!

When Kate is given the opportunity to stay at a beautiful country retreat and concentrate on the screenplay, it’s an offer she can’t refuse. Encouraged by her best friend, sharp-tongued single mum Sarah, Kate sees it’s finally time to stop letting life pass her by.

Looking for confidence and inspiration in the idyllic Cotswolds countryside, the last thing Kate expects is for Timothy Calder, A-list actor and leading man in the movie adaptation of her book, to turn up on her doorstep, hoping to lie low after his latest tabloid scandal! But after a rocky start, with Tim narrowly avoiding death by watering can, they find they have a few things in common: a liking for Lady Grey tea, walnut whips and bad ‘knock knock’ jokes. Actually, the bad jokes are just Tim.

As an unlikely friendship begins to blossom, and with circumstances repeatedly throwing them together, is Sunset Cottage where both Kate and Tim’s lives will really start?

About Bella Osbourne

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember. Her first story, written when she was nine, was about a thief who stole the crown jewels and this sadly remains unpublished. However, undeterred, she continued to write stories for adults and 'It Started At Sunset Cottage' is her debut novel.

She likes to find the humour in the darker moments of life and weaves these into her stories. Bella believes that writing your own story really is the best fun ever, closely followed by talking, eating chocolate, drinking fizz and planning holidays.

She lives in The Midlands with her lovely husband and wonderful daughter, who thankfully, both accept her as she is (with mad morning hair and a penchant for skipping).

For more about Bella, visit her website at or follow her on Twitter - @osborne_bella

Thank you so much Bella for the giveaway and this lovely post. I'm wishing you a lot of luck for Monday night and hope you enjoy the awards.

Congratulations to Bella Osbourne on her nomination for the RoNA Contemporary Romantic Novel award. Which of these books did you love? Which do you think should win the award?

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