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Caithness author Virginia Crow shortlisted for major independent book prize

By David G Scott

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The Year We Lived, by Caithness author Virginia Crow, has been named on the shortlist for the Rubery Book Award, one of the most prestigious independent book prizes.

The book, which follows a group of Norman and Saxon characters in the years after the Battle of Hastings, has been "lauded by readers and critics alike as a gripping historical fiction with an astonishing twist". On Monday (July 11), it was announced as one of only six shortlisted books for the Rubery Book Award.

The Year We Lived book cover.
The Year We Lived book cover.

It is not the first time The Year We Lived has received acclaim, as it was also shortlisted for the 2021 Chanticleer Chaucer Prize for historical fiction.

Virginia is currently promoting her recent book, Haunting Whispers of Highland Waters, taking a break from her usual historical fiction to create a story which encompasses a journey through the Highlands. This was commissioned as part of the Spirit:360 project.

Author Virginia Crow.
Author Virginia Crow.

Virginia said: “It was so exciting to see my book appear on the shortlist when it was announced. The Rubery Book Prize is one of those awards which almost every independent author and publisher enters, and it has a great reputation in the writing community. It’s great to know that their readers enjoyed my book so much.

“Crowvus released The Year We Lived during the lockdown in Spring 2021, so I thought it would be a difficult one to promote and engage people with, but the response I’ve had from readers and critics has just been overwhelming. Rubery’s announcement feels like the proverbial cherry on top.”

More information on Crowvus and how to purchase The Year We Lived and other titles can be found at at www.crowvus.com/

Independent praise for The Year We Lived includes these comments:

  • “A captivating tale filled with romance, heartbreak, political intrigue, and plenty of action.” [Pikasho Deka; Reader’s Favorite]
  • “The ending of this book is so incredible, I couldn’t actually believe the turn that the story took. If there was ever a prize for best plot twist, I think I would give it to this book! I loved reading it and am going to go on the search for more books by this author!” [Lost In A Book]
  • The Year We Lived blends medieval folklore and superstition with an unforgettable tale of love, loyalty, sacrifice, acceptance and betrayal that can only be described as a page turner. [A Darn Good Read]

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