For the first time, a YA novel has won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award, which is presented by the Romantic Novelists' Association (RNA). The book, which has also been published under the title 'Storm & Stone'
is about a sinister conspiracy in an exclusive boarding school and the young couple, Raven and Kieran, who set out to solve it. It is one of more than 30 published by Joss Stirling whose real name is Julia Golding.
She said: "My hero and heroine are very special to me in this book. Raven has a black American father. I think there are too few ethnically diverse heroines in YA so I'm trying to do a little towards setting the balance right. My own family has become wonderfully diverse in the last generation thanks to some recent marriages - as are so many other families these days - and I'd like to see that reality reflected in the novels young people get to read in teenage years."
Pia Fenton, who chairs the RNA, said, "I'm absolutely thrilled that a Young Adult book has won the overall award of Romantic Novel of the Year! It's such an exciting sub-genre which has been embraced by both teenage and adult readers during the last few years. This win really highlights its growing appeal and Joss's book is fantastic - huge congratulations to her."About the book:
Behind the ivy-clad walls of an exclusive boarding school, lurks a sinister web of corruption, scandal, and conspiracy. American student Raven Stone has noticed something is horribly wrong. First there were the unexplained disappearances. Then there were the teachers' lies. And now the death threats ...Also entangled in the disturbing turn of events is the enigmatic Kieran Storm - a fellow student with a killer intellect and a body to die for. He's heading for trouble and taking her with him. Raven can feel herself falling in love, but can she trust a boy she knows almost nothing about?