HARDEN author Lisa Firth has been shortlisted in the prestigious Romantic Novel Awards for her novel A Bicycle Made For Two.

Lisa, who writes as Mary Jayne Baker, could win an award in the Romantic Comedy of the Year category.

Her 2018 novel was set in the fictional Brontë Country village of Egglethwaite in the lead-up to the Tour de France’s Grand Départ in 2014.

The book is one of five finalists in a category for romance novels that are consistently funny, with 300 entries submitted for the awards overall.

A glitzy awards ceremony will take place at the Gladstone Library in London on March 4, with category winners then competing for the overall title of Goldsboro Books’ Romantic Novel of the Year.

The awards will be presented by bestselling historical novelist Alison Weir. Previous winners include Jenny Colgan and Jill Mansell

Lisa, who has now written around half a dozen romantic novels for major publishers, said: “To say I’m beyond thrilled to make the shortlist would be an understatement.

“It’s every romance writer’s dream to win a RoNA, the BAFTAs of the romantic fiction world, but I never in a million years expected I’d see my name on the list one day!”

Lisa grew up in West Yorkshire, graduating from Durham University and living in various cities before returning home, according to her publicity blurb, “with her own romantic hero in tow to her beloved Dales where she first started telling stories about heroines with flaws and the men who love them.”

Lisa made her debut with The Honey Trap. A Bicycle Made for Two, published by Mirror Books, was the first book in the Love in the Dales series.

Lisa hopes her next two romcoms will be be published this year.

She said: “One features a pub quiz team based in a fictional town inspired by Bingley, the other is rather grittier – although still with very much humour – concerning the path to redemption of a drug-addicted musician and the friends he left behind for fame.

“I’m currently working on a thriller-slash-psychological drama, but it’s very early stages so the plot’s top secret at the moment!”

RNA chairman Nicola Cornick commented: “Romantic fiction in the 21st century is diverse and exciting and this year’s shortlist brilliantly reflects the breadth of the genre.”

Visit maryjaynebaker.co.uk for further information about Lisa’s novels.