Barnsley writer Milly wins top book award

Barnsley author Milly Johnson
Barnsley author Milly Johnson
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Barnsley best-selling author Milly Johnson was today named winner of the Romantic Comedy Novel Category of the RoNAs (Romantic Novel Awards) for her book Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Café.

She received her trophy from television personality and best-selling author Fern Britton during a star-studded event in central London, compered by TV presenter, writer and journalist Jane Wenham-Jones.

Former accountant and greetings card joke writer Milly won the same award in 2014 for her book It’s Raining Men.

A panel of independent judges read the six category winners' novels before meeting to debate the finer points of each book.

The panel included Matt Bates of WH Smith Travel, Sarah Broadhurst, formerly of The Bookseller, novelist Elizabeth Buchan, Dorothy Burrows, programme director of the Wantage Literary Festival, Alison Flood of Guardian.co.uk and Karin Stoecker, ex-editorial director at Harlequin Books.

The judges described Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Café, published by Simon & Schuster, as "A great original idea, loveable characters and a fun read".

In the book, Connie Diamond discovers that her husband Jimmy is in the midst of a passionate relationship with his much younger office junior and decides enough is enough.

No longer content with her lot, Connie sets her sights on bringing down Jimmy’s cleaning company Diamond Shine. Calling on Jimmy’s woman Friday, Della, and the cleaning staff who meet at the Sunflower Café, Connie begins to pull at the loose strings holding her husband’s firm together.

The overall winner of the Goldsboro Books Romantic Novel of the Year, the Romantic Novelists' Association's highest accolade, was Iona Grey with Letters to the Lost