Staying in with RNA Joan Hessayon Award Contender Lissa Morgan

Having been a recipient of a Romantic Novelists Association Media Star award in the past, I’m delighted to feature contenders for this year’s Joan Hessayon Award here on Linda’s Book Bag. Today it’s my pleasure to welcome Lissa Morgan to stay in with me to chat about The Welsh Lord’s Convenient Bride which has been shortlisted for the award.

First, let’s find out more about The Joan Hessayon Award:

The Joan Hessayon Award

Sponsored by Dr. David Hessayon OBE in honour of his late wife, Joan, who was a novelist, RNA member and supporter of its New Writers’ Scheme, the award showcases a variety of debut novels within the romantic fiction genre. The novels are judged by a panel of published authors from the RNA and publishing industry professionals. Previous winners include Jo Thomas, Charlotte Betts, Lorna Cook and Caroline Day.

The New Writers’ Scheme provides support to unpublished writers of romantic fiction. Manuscripts can be submitted for assessment and are critiqued by published authors. In addition, the members of the scheme can attend RNA events and participate in members-only activities and networking opportunities.

The ceremony to announce the winner will be held at 6.30pm on Saturday 16th July 2022 at Harper Adams University, Newport, Shropshire, as part of the RNA’s annual conference.


Dolgellau author, Lissa Morgan, is a contender for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) annual Joan Hessayon Award for 2022 with her novel, The Welsh Lord’s Convenient Bride. The award is for authors whose debut novels have gone through the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme and are subsequently accepted for publication.

Staying in with Lissa Morgan

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Lissa Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.

Thank you for inviting me, Linda, it’s great to be here!

Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?

I’ve brought along my debut novel for Harlequin Historical-Mills & Boon Historical, The Welsh Lord’s Convenient Bride, which is one of the contenders for the Joan Hessayon Award this year. It’s my first historical novel, after several years of focussing on contemporary romance for HM&B but never quite making it to publication. It is a book very close to my heart for this and many other reasons.

How exciting – especially when switching focus. Congratulations. What can we expect from an evening in with The Welsh Lord’s Convenient Bride?

Well, as the title suggests, it’s a ‘marriage of convenience’ story and is set in my native Wales in the late 13th century. It’s a dramatic love story played out against a factual and fierce Welsh rebellion against the Crown. This broke out in 1294 and raged for a year before the rebels were finally defeated by the military might of King Edward I.  The external political events are mirrored by the internal conflict of the two main characters, Rhun and Eleanor, who carry deeply rooted scars and inner fears that make their marriage a difficult as well as reluctant one. As I’m a passionately Welsh writer, readers can expect quite a bit of authentic medieval history – and to learn one or two Welsh words and even a piece of poetry! – and an intensely emotional journey to the hard-earned happy ever after.

This sounds fabulous. I’ve just come back from a trip to Wales so next time I visit I may have to take The Welsh Lord’s Convenient Bride with me.

What else have you brought along and why have you brought it?

I’ve brought along an image of Dolwyddelan Castle in North Wales. This was the inspiration for the home of my hero, Castell y Lleuad, which means Castle of the Moon. My heroine finds it a gloomy, unwelcoming and forbidding place at first but soon discovers that it is totally magical.  Castell y Lleuad almost became a character itself, and it plays a significant part in the bonding of my two characters in an emotional and spiritual as well as physical sense.

Dolwyddelan Castle is a place I’ve visited Lissa! Thank you so much for staying in to chat about The Welsh Lord’s Convenient Bride and all the very best with the RNA Joan Hessayon Award. Whatever happens, you’ve done brilliantly to get this far. I look forward to reading The Welsh Lord’s Convenient Bride for myself and I’ll just give readers a few more details: 

The Welsh Lord’s Convenient Bride

Enjoy the drama that unfolds in this medieval marriage of convenience…

A wedding between enemies

A marriage to heal their scars

Hiding a disfigurement, Eleanor de Vraille is already lacking confidence when she arrives at her future husband’s cheerless Welsh castle. And Rhun ab Owain’s open disapproval of her does nothing to make her feel at ease. Their union is to seal peace between their families, nothing more.

But Eleanor’s heart rebels–is she a fool to hope for any affection from this strong-willed nobleman with the dark glittering eyes?

Published by Mills & Boon/Harlequin on 24th May 2022, The Welsh Lord’s Convenient Bride is available for purchase through the links here.

About Lissa Morgan

After several unsuccessful attempts at contemporary romance set in far flung locations, Lissa’s acquiring editor, Linda Fildew, asked her if she’d ever thought of writing historical romantic fiction. Lissa studied History at Aberystwyth University, and history has always been a passion, so she doesn’t know why she didn’t go down that route sooner!  Because it all suddenly fell into place when she set The Welsh Lord’s Convenient Bride in the Middle Ages – her favourite historical period – and in her own neck of the woods, mid and north Wales. Lissa says she guesses there’s a right time and a right place for everything!

For more information, visit Lissa’s website, find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @LissaMorganAuth. Lissa is also on InstagramInstagram.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.