A bestselling St Helens author has told of her delight after winning a coveted award from her peers.
Carole Matthews, who has sold more than four million books worldwide, was saluted for her outstanding achievement at a glittering awards ceremony hosted by the Romantic Novelists Association (RNA).
The former Notre Dame pupil, who is originally from Eccleston, has enjoyed 18 years as a bestselling author and is now published in 30 different countries.
She recently released her 26th novel, The Cake Shop in the Garden.
Carole said: “I’m so thrilled to win an award from my peers. The RNA have been a fantastic source of support and friendship over the years and, having published so many novels, it does feel like something worth celebrating.”
The award was presented by iconic novelist Barbara Taylor-Bradford – the author of A Woman of Substance – while fellow author, Jill Mansell, also received an award.
Carole, who now lives in Milton Keynes but still has family in St Helens, added: “It was fantastic to meet Barbara, she was so charming. Jill and I started out publishing romance and were with the same publishing house for many years, so it was lovely to receive our awards together.”
Carole last hit the headlines in 2013 when she twice joined fellow St Helens-born author Trisha Ashley in the top 10 Sunday Times bestseller list.
Carole’s novel A Cottage by the Sea was in the top 10 at the same time as ex-Rivington Secondary Modern pupil Trisha’s Good Husband Material.
The duo then repeated the trick with their festive offerings Calling Mrs Christmas and Wish Upon a Star.
Carole’s novels Welcome to the Real World and Wrapped up in You have also been short-listed for Romantic Novel of the Year.
The Cake Shop in the Garden is out now in hardback and e-book. The paperback version is set to follow on April 23.