News Roundup! Polari a hit in Birmingham, Clare Lydon hits the Airwaves, Dangerous Dykes at the Virtual Living Room, New Books, Reviews, and More!

20 Nov

With the festive season nigh upon us, the LesFic world shows no signs of hanging up its stockings and settling down with some mulled wine. Which has made for a rather lively news update…

~ ~ ~

polaribrumFirst up this week, the Polari Tour made a very popular stop in Birmingham. Clare Ashton opened the evening to the packed theatre with a reading from The Dildo in the Kitchen Drawer which warmed up the crowd nicely. Frances Gapper followed that up with a very humorous reading about a superstitious friend. And Kiki Archer finished off the first part of this high energy evening with a reading from Alana Molton-Croft and Me (from the new L is for… UK charity anthology) which had the crowd crying with laughter. Gerry Potter enthralled the audience with fierce, funny and touching kikiarcherpolarianecdotes and poetry. VG Lee finished the evening with a tour de force of stand up comedy, a gem of a reading and smidgeon of erotica in a style that only VG could do.

You can see videos of Clare’s reading here, and Kiki’s reading here. For anyone who fancies catching up with Clare’s first foray into the romcom genre, her third novel That Certain Something, is currently on sale for the bargain (and slightly random) price of £1.94, but only till the end of November, so get your skates on!

~ ~ ~

clare lydon

Speaking of Clares, the lovely Clare Lydon dropped us a line to let us know that she has teamed up with MyLesbianRadio.com to begin a new podcast, The Lesbian Book Club. She’ll be interviewing authors, discussing publishing processes, and giving listeners the low-down on what’s new and noteworthy in the world of LesFic. First in the hot seat is author Angela Peach, who chatted to Clare about the aforementioned UK LesFic charity anthology, L Is For… You can listen to, or download the episode here.

Clare’s second novel The Long Weekend, has recently been reviewed at Planet of the Books, who had this to say:

The Long Weekend is a page turner full of authentic, likeable characters (with their flaws of course, making them all the more interesting!) and a story that unfolds worthy of its set up. The novel is self aware and Lydon is careful not to trip into stereotypical, cliched pitfalls, keeping the pace and the twists just ahead of the reader, whilst delivering a satisfying conclusion all round.

~ ~ ~

cover_A_Unwrap-These-Presents_500x800L.T. Smith and the apparently ubiquitous Clare Lydon are amongst twenty-three authors contributing to a new festive Ylva anthology Unwrap These Presents. According to the blurb, these holiday stories give you “snow, presents, plenty of food, Holiday cheer and nicely wrapped curvy women under the tree.” All profits will be donated to the Albert Kennedy Trust in the UK and the Ali Forney Center in New York City. Both organizations provide housing for homeless LGBT youth.

L.T. is also running a book giveaway for “anyone who is interested!” In her own words:

This could be for many many reasons. One, it could be to celebrate the release of the new anthology from Ylva, Unwrap These Presents. Two, it might be because I had completely forgotten to do a book giveaway for Still Life and also for Forget stilllifeMe Not. The list could go on, but I don’t think you will be interested in knowing the ins and outs.

Up for grabs:
Signed copy of Still Life, e-book of Still Life. Three e-book copies of Forget Me Not, and one e-book copy of either Hearts and Flowers Border, Puppy Love or See Right Through Me.

What you have to do is simple. Let me know you are interested. So, either in a comment on my facebook page or to my e-mail fingersmith @ hotmail.co.uk let me know two of your choices. Closing date: 22 November at midnight.

As ever, take the spaces out of that e-mail address before you use it!

~ ~ ~

Cari HThe Virtual Living Room Yahoo group (a place where readers and writers of lesbian literature in its permutations can come together and discuss the works and the topics within them) are holding a Dangerous Dykes fest this coming weekend 21-23rd November.

The three day weekend will be devoted to discussing the Crime/Mystery/Suspense genre of Lesbian Fiction, and is “a must for those of you who like a bit of intrigue in their reading.”

There’s a great crowd of authors taking part, with me being the lone Brit in the gang! These are the ladies who’ll be in the hot seat:

Xenia Alexiou, Kim Baldwin, Barrett, RE Bradshaw, Cari Hunter, Isabella, Jae, Anne Laughlin, Leslie Murray, Cathy Rowlands, Shelley Singer, Baxter Clare Trautman, and Ali Vali.

There will be loads of book giveaways throughout the weekend, as well as the opportunity to ask questions and generally chat. To join in, hit the above link and sign up to the group. You can receive the e-mails in digest form, which is very much recommended for events such as this!

~ ~ ~

Writer-Sarah-Waters-006You’d think us remiss if we didn’t mention Sarah Waters at least once a fortnight, so here’s an interview that she did with The Guardian, in which she discusses turning her talents to the stage for her new play The Frozen Scream (co-written with Christopher Green).

It would be exciting if it was a hit. But I would still feel very tentative and alarmed by the idea of writing my own dialogue. It’s been an education working with Chris because this is a different way of telling a story for me. My instincts are to signal things. I would say: “Right, we need all the audience to be looking in this direction at this point.” And Chris would say: “Oh, it’s OK if some people notice and some people don’t.” That was amazing to me because my novels are plotted so carefully. It’s been good for me to explore a looser way of creating a narrative effect. But I’m not sure I could do it alone.

Frozen-Scream-main-300x178The Frozen Scream will be at Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff from 11 to 20 December and then Birmingham Hippodrome from 7 to 17 January. Audiences should apparently wear “warm clothes and sensible footwear” (shouldn’t be too much to ask of lesbians!) and “expect the unexpected.” Ooer.

~ ~ ~

mountain rescue on the edgeWrapping up this week with a couple of new books. Sky Croft‘s sequel to Goldie award winning Mountain Rescue: The Ascent will be published in December, and is now available to pre-order.  Mountain Rescue: On the Edge sees Dr. Sydney Greenwood and expert climber Kelly Saber return in a new adventure:

Having settled into their relationship, life is sweet for the devoted couple, and a brief trip away allows Saber to meet Sydney’s family. Upon their return, rock slides, torrential rain, and surging rivers cause no end of problems for the Mountain Rescue team, while on the home front, Sydney needs her partner’s support more than ever when faced with a family tragedy. Together, the two women have to navigate between personal trials, and the trials of the mountain. This is…On the Edge.

~ ~ ~

believe meProviding further proof that sequels are the new orange, Jade Winters has just previewed the cover for her second Ashley McCoy novel, Believe Me. This follow-up to A Walk Into Darkness is set for a January release. More news on this one as we get it. Meanwhile, Jade is still publishing chapters of her new novel, The Hidden Truth, at this link here.

~ ~ ~

And that should just about do it for this last couple of weeks. If anyone is planning on kicking around in the Virtual Living Room this weekend, I’ll see you there!

Jen Silver: Writing a Novel, with bonus giveaway of Starting Over

17 Nov

jensilverToday we welcome Jen Silver to UK LesFic. Jen lives near Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, England, with her long-term civil partner. As well as reading and writing, her other activities include golf, archery and travel. Her first-hand experience of an archaeological dig and interest in Roman history were the creative forces behind her first published novel, Starting Over, released by Affinity Ebook Press in October 2014.

Take it away, Jen!

~ ~ ~

As a début author, I’m not an expert on writing novels, but I can share my experience of writing this one. When I began Starting Over I had no idea what the finished story was going to be. I had the two main characters living on an isolated farm above the town of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. The landscape was very real in my mind and so were these two characters. I could imagine driving up the long track to Starling Hill farm, arriving in the farmyard—two cats sunning themselves by the front door of the stone-built house with its gothic-looking narrow windows, chickens pecking away in their enclosure, the sound of a pottery wheel coming from the dilapidated barn, and someone tinkering with a motorbike.

starting overStarling Hill farm, as I named it, seemed pretty idyllic. But, of course, it wasn’t. There wouldn’t be much of a story if that were the case. Chapter One emerged quite easily with the introduction of the main characters, their current situation, and some of their past.

But then came a sticky moment. What next? So Chapter Two started with the introduction of a new character and this turned out to be the real catalyst for the rest of the story. Dr Kathryn Moss, a professor of archaeology, had been alluded to in the first chapter, but I hadn’t initially thought she would have a big part to play. I was wrong. The way the characters took over the development of the story caught me by surprise. I know many writers work their plots out in advance with elaborate timelines and comprehensive character sketches. But this isn’t how my story developed. The characters had their say.

The idea of having an archaeological dig at Starling Hill took root, not just as a plot device, but also because it was the perfect setting for what could have been a hilltop fort in Roman Britain. Anyone familiar with the area will recognise it from the image on the cover of the book, a view overlooking Saddleworth Moor—the notorious Saddleworth Moor.

So, some bones are discovered at the farm. Whose bones are they? This was another twist in the plot that took me by surprise, but actually made perfect sense in the context of the story.

It’s been an amazing journey so far, finishing a novel, getting it published, having other people read it and finding out how they see the characters and the story.

~ ~ ~

Giveaway time:

The first correct answer drawn out of the hat will be the winner and receive either a signed paperback copy or an e-book of Starting Over.

Q: Does the University of Huddersfield have an Archaeology department?

Leave your answer in the comments on this thread, or e-mail it to uk lesfic @ gmail. com (obviously take out the spaces there!) Closing date is: Monday 24th November, 12 p.m GMT

~ ~ ~

Good luck :-) And you can find out more about Jen by friending her on Facebook, following her on Twitter (@jenjsilver) or visiting her blog.

Interview with Clare Lydon, author of the best-selling London Calling

10 Nov

Clare Lydon’s debut, London Calling, romped up the charts earlier this year and received rave reviews. She’s just published her second novel, The Long Weekend, and UKLesFic had a few questions for her.

~~~~

How would you classify your new book and what’s it about in a nutshell?

TheLongWeekend-640x1024The Long Weekend is a lesbian drama with a healthy dash of romance. It’s the story of nine friends – four couples and a single – who rent a house in Devon to celebrate 20 years since they met at university. Tension, fine food, booze and revelations stud the weekend, leaving relationships in the balance and friendships on the line. Will they all come through unscathed? It’s in the balance till the final pages!

What grabbed you about the story and what have your early readers enjoyed most?

I think we’ve all been away on a weekend that didn’t quite go as planned, so I hope that this strikes a chord with readers. Also, I love a good drama with a mix of stories, so I thought I’d stray from the traditional format of girl-meets-girl-loses-girl-wins-girl-back.

My early readers have all described the book as like being dropped in the middle of a lesbian soap opera, which sounds good to me! They’ve also all liked the fact that it deals with women in their late 30s/just turning 40, and that it rattles along at a pace.

Plus, apparently one particular sex scene made one of my friends blush on the tube. That has to be a good sign.

Can readers expect the same kind of humour and characters in your new book as your best-selling London Calling?

While there is humour in the new book, this novel is far more tense than London Calling. Everyone’s a few years older and if you put nine people in a house together for five days, fireworks are bound to fly. But there are still a good chunk of one-liners because even in adversity, humour is a potent weapon.

As for the characters – yeah, I think they’re fairly similar as I like to reflect the world I see around me. The key change this time around is that everyone’s lesbian or gay – I’ve left the families at home.

How do you think your work differs from other lesfic works of the same genre?

london callingMy books are quintessentially British, but I hope they appeal across the board. My aim when writing is to reflect the world around me – I’ve no plans to write a historical novel or set one in space. I like realistic characters, realistic situations, a generous slug of humour and snappy dialogue. I hope all of those things make me stand out from the crowd.

Are you nervous about following up such a well-received debut?

Yes! When you release your first book, you never know how it’s going to do – mine did incredibly well and I’m thrilled that so many people bought it and enjoyed it. I’m hoping they enjoy The Long Weekend just as much – fingers crossed!

How’s life as a writer?

Writing is fantastic and frustrating in equal measures, but when you’re on a writing roll you do feel invincible. Self-publishing two novels has been a tremendous learning curve, but it’s also an awesome adrenaline rush when things work out. I don’t think I’ve had a better year in my life than 2014, releasing two novels and getting married too.

What I’ve learnt is that writing the book is only half the battle – it’s the marketing that’s the next step. I’ve done a book trailer for this book with the help of a friend, and am going to try a couple of other new things too – we’ll see what works.

One terrific surprise has been the fabulous community of lesbian authors and readers who’ve been very supportive. If I ever have a question, someone can usually answer it which is a fab bonus.

What’s next in the works?

Clare-Lydon-LV-cropSo many people contacted me about my character Kate in London Calling – they all wanted to know what happened to her. So I’ve decided to write Kate’s story. It’s a follow-on from London Calling, not a sequel. Jess & Lucy and the families will be waltzing around the place, but the next book will concentrate of Kate’s search for love. I’m excited about it – I’m about a third of the way through it.

Where else can eager readers find your work in the meantime?

As well as my first novel London Calling, I’ve also got two short stories in two separate anthologies coming out this month too. Busy month, November.

First, my story A Champagne Christmas is included in Unwrap These Presents, an anthology from Ylva Publishing. Second, my story Once Upon A Caravan is included in L is For…, the charity anthology in aid of R U Coming Out which features oodles of UK lesfic authors.

Any readings coming up?

Funny you should ask! Myself, Angela Peach, Karen Campbell and Katie Bennett-Hall will be reading from the L is For… anthology in London on November 13th, so if you fancy coming down to Bar Titania on Charing Cross Road from 6pm, that would be awesome. If we’re not enough of a draw, there will be cocktails too. And possibly cake.

~~~~

Thanks Clare! Her new novel The Long Weekend is out now on Amazon. The paperback version will be available from Lulu.com from November 18th, and from Amazon in around four weeks’ time. You can find out more from her website.

Authors of year, Cari Hunter, Jade Winters, books hot off the press, and more!

8 Nov

It’s wet. It’s windy. It’s meant to stay that way. Why not curl up with a bit of lesfic. Here is the news:

~~~~

VGKiki

Photo Emma Bailey Photography

The ceremony for the Ultimate Planet Awards (dubbed the Lesbian Oscars) took place last weekend and there was a good turnout of lesfic writers. The shortlist for established author was an especially strong one (VG Lee, Sarah Waters, Catherine Hall, Stella Duffy, Kiki Archer) and reflects the great variety and calibre of UK lesfic authors these days. The prize was won by the ever popular VG Lee with Kiki Archer next with an honorable mention. A close result as you can see.

You can still catch the author of the year on the Polari Tour around the UK,  and also Kiki at the Birmingham event on November the 15th. See VG’s event page for details.

Photo Emma Bailey Photography

Photo Emma Bailey Photography

The future of UK lesfic is also looking promising with authors such as Clare Lydon, VA Fearon and Karen Campbell nominated in the New Author of the Year category. Karen Campbell ran off with this but stopped to have a photo taken.

Pop over to the Ultimate Planet Facebook page for more photos of what looked like a fabulous evening.

~~~~

smaller coverSome Cari Hunter news now. Fans of thrillers, maiming and a bit of loving on the side will be excited to hear that her next book No Good Reason has been scheduled in for June next year. The book is part 1 in the Dark Peak Series and book 2 has been signed up by Bold Strokes and will follow closely in March the following year.

Meanwhile, Cari’s last novel Tumbledown, a Rainbow Awards finalist, received a glowing review over on Out in Print:

But the characters and the elements wouldn’t mean a thing without the tension of Hunter’s action scenes, which are flawless. Other thriller authors (yes, I’m looking at you Patterson and Grisham) could take lessons from Hunter when it comes to writing these babies. Twists and turns and forgotten or unconventional weaponry along with pluck and spirit keep me breathless and reading way past my bedtime. I can almost imagine Hunter as sweating and out of breath as her heroines once she writes her way out of the set-ups she conjures.

You can read the full review here.

~~~~

Jade Winters has tarted up her website and also been chatting about her battle with writer’s block. Her readers will be very glad to hear that she’s winning that battle, doing so well in fact that she’s publishing her next book chapter by chapter and for free. On her Facebook page she says that it’s a way to thank her readers. Here’s the cover and the blurb for The Hidden Truth. Chapters will start appearing on her website from Sunday.

thehiddentruthCara has no one but herself to blame for the situation she finds herself in – she broke the cardinal rule: Don’t read someone’s personal diary. But what if she hadn’t? How long would it have been before she found out that Melanie, her girlfriend of four years, was sleeping with her flatmate?

Suddenly finding herself homeless, Cara retreats to her parents’ home in the heart of Cumbria to lick her wounds. When she unexpectedly bumps into her old school friend Erin, she is shocked to realise that the love she once felt for her is still there.

Though the chemistry can’t be ignored, Erin isn’t the same trusting person she once was and fights to keep her feelings for Cara at bay – she’s been hurt in the past and refuses to go down that path again for anyone, especially the woman who was the cause of her heartache in the first place.

Meanwhile Terry Baker has reviewed Jade’s latest book Second Thoughts:

As with each new Jade Winters book, this has now become my firm favorite, at least until the next book. This romance with an unexpected twist, is well written and is a page turner from the very first sentence right through to the last. The story had me sitting on the edge of my seat feverishly ripping through the pages until I reached the end. The suspense was spellbinding and the intrigue intense.”

Here’s the review in full.

~~~~

HILDUKstarting oversilver-wings-h-p-munro-paperback-cover-artellendean

 

Some other news from around the web now.

Nicola Griffith has been hinting at what to expect in Hild 2 on her blog.

Jen Silver has been blogging over on Women and Words and talking through her creative process from start to publication. She is also doing a giveaway of her book Starting Over, so head over there now.

After Ellen
has been recommending lesfic romances to get you hooked. As well as the usual suspects (Georgia Beers, Radclyffe, etc.) HP Munro‘s Silver Wings is also given a great plug. Here’s the list.

And if you’re looking for something a little bit different again, lesfic author Ellen Dean has penned a murder mystery play called Fore Play. You can catch the play in York on the 31st January – details here.
~~~~

On to new books.

Hot off the press is Clare Lydon’s The Long Weekend. We’ll be hearing more from Clare next week in an interview with her on UKLesFic. For now here’s the blurb and the link to the new release on Amazon.

TheLongWeekend-640x1024 Twenty years since meeting at university, a group of friends rent a house in Devon to celebrate. Fresh air, sandy beaches and historic friendships – what could possibly go wrong?

The catch is, university sweethearts Vic & Stevie are on the rocks, their three-year marriage floundering, while Kat & Abby’s combustible relationship looks set to ignite at any second. Meanwhile, Tash & Laura have downed responsibilities & kids for the weekend and are ready for some fun; single CID sergeant Geri can’t wait to get away from the London scene to reboot her slumbering love life and that’s not to mention Stu & his boyfriend Darren who bring their own man-sized baggage…

Add in laughs, simmering tension, romance & no shortage of wine and you’ve got all the ingredients for a rollercoaster ride of a long weekend…

Chrissie McDill has also published her second novel Through a Stranger’s Eyes:

through a stranger“I willed myself to look away from her burning eyes but the hatred in her expression anchored my feet to the floor, locking my gaze on hers with the strength of a steel trap…a giant hand was squeezing the breath from me, ripping into the life-centre of my brain and steadily crushing the beat from my heart…”

Frances is a lesbian who hates change. Even her eco-terrorist husband, Dan, is as necessary to her as her sagging couch, worn wicker chair and faded cushion.

But routine has a habit of changing and as Frances’s life spirals out of control, she tries to cling to a normality that is fast disappearing.

Through an assortment of eccentric and funny characters, and with the support of Kris, her new lover, can Frances learn to re-think her place in the world and discover the truth about herself?

~~~~

Finally UKLesFic wishes Terry Baker a very happy retirement. Terry has been an astonishingly prolific reviewer of lesfic over the last few years and is the go-to reviewer of many a lesfic reader when a new title comes out. But the time has come to spend more time with family and friends and Terry’s December reviews will be her last. All the best Terry. Your reviews will be missed.

News Roundup: New Releases from Clare Lydon, Jade Winters & KE Payne, New UK Author Jen Silver, Interviews, Reviews, Blogs & More!

23 Oct

There’s certainly been no sedate shift into autumnal mists and mellow fruitfulness in UK LesFic land. Nope, far from battening down the hatches and settling in with a nice hot water bottle and a slanket, we have new books flying out of the traps, awards being awarded, TV deals being done, and a new author to welcome to the site. So, let’s just get on with it, eh?

~ ~ ~

Shall we open this week with a bit of blogging and a couple of interviews?

stilllifeFor those who couldn’t make it to the recent Spot-On Romance weekend at the Virtual Living Room, L.T. Smith has been writing about her experiences as one of the authors in the Spot-On spotlight:

The questions posed were so thoughtful, almost like a gentle coaxing, that I didn’t realise I was being questioned at all. It was like a chat with some very good friends about subjects that we all held dear. All that was missing was the cafetiere and the smell of scones baking.

Head here for the full piece, and try not to be put off by the scary-looking kid right at the start (L.T. if that’s your scary-looking kid, then I apologise unreservedly…)

~ ~ ~

catherine hallOn a slightly darker note, Catherine Hall has posted a guest blog here in which she reveals the inspiration behind her latest novel, The Repercussions:

I used to work for an international peacebuilding organisation and in 2003 I took a trip to Rwanda with a photographer to talk to people and take photographs that we could use for our communications work…

I was profoundly affected by that trip. For months I felt sick, and had terrible nightmares. The photographer I was with had been there during the genocide and she was still traumatised. And so I began to wonder what it must be like for a war photographer, who sees more wars and even more close up, than most soldiers. And that was where the idea for Jo, my war photographer came from.

Hit the link for the full, thought-provoking piece.

~ ~ ~

Kerry-Hudson-008Kerry Hudson, who won the Scottish First Book Award for Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma, has a recent interview in the Daily Record. Her second novel Thirst features an unconventional love story between a Siberian shoplifter and a London security guard, and has just been long-listed for the Green Carnation prize. You can read the interview and check out the other novels longlisted for the Green Carnation prize by clicking the two links – you might have to answer a stupid question about Homebase to access the interview!

~ ~ ~

And what would a news round up be without a mention of Sarah Waters? She’s been chatting to Lambda Literary about – you guessed it! – The Paying Guests, in an interview worth reading if only for her answer to the 10th question. I mean, it’s worth reading anyway, but that one is particularly amusing.

You can also catch up with interviews on the LGBT radio show Out in South London with Sarah Waters and Catherine Hall, both discussing their latest novels. Click here for details and to listen to the show.

~ ~ ~

jensilverThis week we issue a warm welcome to new author Jen Silver who, along with most of the northern England lesbian contingent, lives near Hedben Bridge in Yorkshire (true fact, international readers!) Her début novel, Starting Over - an archaeology-themed romance – was recently published by Affinity Press and has already garnered an excellent review from Terry Baker:

History, romance, intrigue, mystery, infidelity, love and loss are all entwined together in this wonderfully well written, fast paced, debut romance from the pen of new lesfic author Jen Silver… This is a story which grabbed me from the beginning. Both Ellie and Robin have their faults and flaws. It’s their journey on the path of love in this story that shows how love can conquer almost anything. But, it also shows that relationships have to be worked on and the course of true love doesn’t always run smoothly.

starting overAnd from Rainbow Book Reviews:

There is a large and diverse ensemble providing many fascinating, amusing, and lovingly delicious interactions. It is always enjoyable when an author can sculpt such intriguingly different dynamics and backgrounds for the distinctive women and men covering a wide range of ages. The collection of lesbians alone in this fairly small community in northern England generates some felicitous tension as previous pairs, possibly active pairs, and the central off again/on again couple add a saucy and crackling good dynamic.

All of Jen’s bio and contact information can be found on our Author page, and more details for Starting Over are on the New Releases page.

~ ~ ~

Mari-Hannah-008And now to the Congrats! section of the news, where we offer bouquets and something shiny to Nicola Griffiths, who has scooped the Washington State Book Award (given annually for outstanding books published by Washington authors the previous year) for Hild.

Applause also to Mari Hannah whose Kate Daniels series of crime novels has been optioned by TV company Sprout Pictures. A further two books in the series have been contracted by her publisher with the first due out next year. For all the gen, head here.

~ ~ ~

once the clouds have goneAs folks get back from their summer jollies, the news and the new releases are both picking up speed.

October has seen the release of BSB author KE Payne‘s first “contemporary romance” (KE is better known for YA novels) Once The Clouds Have Gone, which see its heroine returning to her small Scottish home town following the death of her father, and meeting up with “the intriguing and spirited Freddie Metcalfe.”

In a recent review, Terry Baker had this to say about the characters:

Both Tag and Freddie are flawed women in different ways. Both have been hurt in the past. Both need to let go of their pasts to enable them to move on and have a future, either together or not as the case may be. It’s their background stories that makes this present day story real and true to life. Their stories could happen to anyone. There is nothing remotely far fetched about them at all. As with all families, there are ups and downs. This is a real roller coaster ride of ups and downs, thrills and spills. A book I enjoyed from start to finish and could not put down.

You can find the full blurb on our New Releases page, and if you’re suitably intrigued yourselves, the novel is available to buy at all the usual places. The rest of Terry’s review is here.

~ ~ ~

As you may have fathomed from her guest post on the blog this week, a new Jade Winters romance Second Thoughts has also hit the shelves this month, and Jade has released a trailer for the novel here.

~ ~ ~

TheLongWeekend-640x1024Clare Lydon is swiftly following up her best-selling début London Calling, with The Long Weekend which is due for release in November. Clare has been teasing the novel over on her blog where she’s had this to say:

Book two is a drama-filled weekend flecked with humour, featuring a bunch of old friends simultaneously revelling in each other and bringing out each other’s worst attributes. It’s packed to the rafters with tension, romance, fine food and arguments, all set against the backdrop of a sparkling Devon coastline.

Keep an eye out on Clare’s blog in the run up to the book’s release where she’ll be posting the first two chapters. In the meantime, more details about the novel can be found over on the New Releases page.

~ ~ ~

JodyKlaireFinally this week, Jody Klaire has revealed the blurb for her second novel, Fractured (book one in the Black Wolf Chronicles), which will be released in November.

Nita Ramirez, an amnesiac enforcer for the omnipotent criminal empire of Los Lobos is sent to Edinburgh, a city held in the icy grip of a serial killer, to protect an ally of her boss La Señora. While in the city, Nita discovers that the darkest depth of winter holds torturous memories, an unfinished mission to stop the murderous Slasher, and the monstrous truth that the killer she spent so long trying to find is far closer to her than she could ever imagine. To catch this killer, you have to be one.

I’m sure we’ll have more news on Fractured, and hopefully a cover, in the coming weeks.

~ ~ ~

And I think that just about covers everything. If it doesn’t – because things do slip by us – please feel free to give us a shout :-)

Jade Winters: Saying “I do” when you so don’t

21 Oct

JadeWintersphotosmToday’s guest post is by the author of multiple best-sellers, Jade Winters. She’s written us a teasing blog about her new novel Second Thoughts which has already hooked her many readers.

~~~

When we’re lost in the heady moments of new love, powerless against its mesmerising spell, how many of us actually listen to that tiny voice within? You know the one, that niggling little voice of reason telling us something’s not quite right. That inner voice that sees through the lust and wild passion and points out the cold hard truth none of us wish to hear – “Sorry love, she’s just not right for you.” So, hands up, who has ever listened to that little voice?

Frankly not many, if divorce statistics are anything to go by! But even if we do harbour such doubts, can we ever truly know if we are marrying the right person until it’s too late? This is the dilemma that the central character Melissa faces in my new novel Second Thoughts. Her quandary is further compounded by the unexpected arrival of her ex-partner, Sara – the one that ripped her heart out, the one that destroyed her. Talk about bad timing. Still, you know what they say, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

SecondThoughtsSo Melissa is confused to say the least. But that’s not all. Add to the mix a giant dose of bereavement and heartache, and you see how fate has truly mixed her a lethal cocktail. One which will play havoc with her ability to make any type of decision, let alone one that will change her life forever.

At this stage in her life, Melissa’s motivation is clear. All she wants is to feel safe and secure – something she has never experienced. A loving but distant mother, a sister who was emotionally unavailable – is it any wonder she said “I do” to the safe, reliable Bettina when she asked her for her hand in marriage? Life is so simple now, she had thought, all worked out. How wrong could she be! The last thing Melissa would have expected was for Sara to turn up and throw a heart-shaped spanner in the works. Sara the heartbreaker. Sara the dissembler. The one that left. She had her chance but had blown it when she decided to put her career ahead of their relationship. How could she come back now, just as Melissa was getting her life sorted? Does Sara really deserve redemption, after all it was Bettina who picked up the broken pieces of Melissa’s life and made her whole again?

And so the dice is thrown. The book follows Melissa’s roller-coaster of emotions as she struggles to decipher what, and more importantly who she wants. Should she plod down the safe road of the tried and tested with Bettina or throw caution to the wind, chancing it all on the fickle and unpredictable Sara? Then just when she thought things couldn’t get worse, a dark family secret explodes like a bomb, shattering her world further. The course of true love never did run smooth…

News roundup: award shortlists, interviews, new releases and something for the weekend

10 Oct

The eagle-eyed and elephant-brained among you may have noticed and retained that UKLesFic slept through last week’s news. Don’t worry, it was a planned lie-in, as we intend to bring you the news fortnightly in future. UK authors are a much busier bunch than we ever anticipated so we’re going to a slightly cut-down version of the news every two weeks. We’ll still be covering everything from Booker prize winners to the latest debut publications, but we’ll leave out, for example, reviews of novels that have already been covered well.

In that vein, here is the news:

~~~

rainbowawardsfinalistUK authors have been putting in a good appearance in the Rainbow Awards. In the run-up to announcing the finalists, honourable mentions were made about books that received 36 or more out of 40 points from at least one judge, and for the Brits that included: Clean Slate and Nightingale by Andrea Bramhall, Tumbledown by Cari Hunter, Secret Lies by Amy Dunne, That Certain Something by Clare Ashton and the anthology When The Clock Strikes Thirteen which includes a short story by LT Smith.

The list of finalists was published on Sunday and UKLesFic were especially pleased to see that it included the following books.

In the Lesbian Romantic Comedy category: Playing My Love by Angela Peach and That Certain Something by Clare Ashton

Lesbian Sci-Fi / Futuristic & Fantasy: The Empath by Jody Klaire

Lesbian Mystery / Thriller: Tumbledown by Cari Hunter

LGBT Anthology / Collection: When the Clock Strikes Thirteen featuring a short story by L.T. Smith

Lesbian Contemporary Romance: Clean Slate by Andrea Bramhall, Nightingale by Andrea Bramhall and See Right Through Me by L.T. Smith

The winners of the awards will be announced on December 8th, and you can find the full list of finalists and read what the judges had to say about the Honourable Mentions at this link.

As well as the judged entries there is also a cover contest which is open to a public vote.
theempath_lglondon callingthat certain somethingtumbledownforblogBooks from four UK authors have made it through to the final round of voting and are: The Empath by Jody Klaire, London Calling by Clare Lydon, That Certain Something by Clare Ashton and Tumbledown by Cari Hunter.

You can vote for your favourites here – you need to vote for at least three for your vote to count, but you can vote for more if the fancy takes you! Voting closes 18th October.

~ ~ ~

planetlondonVoting is now open for the Ultimate Planet Awards. These awards were launched last year and were designed to recognise the lesbian, bisexual and queer women in the community who contribute the thriving social scene. They have two categories for authors this year and these are the excellent shortlists together with reasons for the nominations:

Author of the year:

Catherine Hall – “for her new book The Repercussions which is unputdownable”
Kiki Archer – “Kiki Archer is a young and vibrant author appealing to a young and vibrant reader. There is also much warmth and humour in her novels.”
Sarah Waters – “At the top of her game. Just when you think she can’t get any better she brings out a new book to blow your mind”
Stella Duffy – “Intelligent, warm lady with a charm to match. Her books are something else”
VG Lee – “She delivers all emotions and gives an insight into her own world. She just draws you in and compels you to read. A truly talented writer.”

Debut author of the year:

Clare Lydon – “Clare has come into the charts with a brilliantly exciting novel, one of which you won’t want to leave until the final word and full stop.”
Karen Campbell – “Karen is new on the lesbian author scene and deserves to have her work recognised for the talent that she demonstrates.”
Robin Talley – “Interestingly written & beautifully captivating.”
Sarah Westwood – “The Rubbish Lesbian continues to bring it. Every time.”
VA Fearon – “writing hard hitting fiction with lesbians central to her story. The book is tight, well paced and she captures an underworld with a sharp eye, yet also some humour.”

Go and vote for your favourite authors! Here’s the link.

~~~

Interviews

330x235valmcdermidA couple of nice interviews for you now. Val McDermid was interviewed on The Big Thrill.  It’s a long and interesting interview and covers inspiration for The Skeleton Road, her Scottish background, crime novels and her time at university at Oxford:

“…I went to St. Hilda’s when I had just turned seventeen. I was the first person from a Scottish state school they’d ever accepted. And for me, it was a huge culture shock. Fife is quite a parochial place. For a long time it was quite cut off from the rest of Scotland, until we got the road bridges fifty years ago, and so it was quite inward looking, and to go from somewhere like that to Oxford was quite a shock. For a start, nobody could understand a word I said, because I had a very thick Fife accent, and they still use a lot of dialect words in Fife. They also talk with a fast kind of speak, a fast kind of tempo.

So first, I had to learn to speak English!

You can read the interview in full here or listen to it here.

catherine hallThere is also an excellent interview with Catherine Hall in the Polari Magazine. With the publication of her latest novel The Repercussions, it delves into her fascination of writing about war,  partly inspired by her time making documentaries about developing countries and her work in an international peace building organisation:

In 2003 I took a trip to Rwanda and the Congo with a photographer to talk to people involved in those terrible conflicts … I was profoundly affected by that trip. For months I felt a sense of nausea, and had terrible nightmares. The photographer I was with had been there last just after the genocide and she was still traumatised. I began to wonder what it must be like for a war photographer, who sees more wars, and even more close up, than most soldiers. And that was where the idea for Jo, my war photographer in The Repercussions, came from.

She also talks about her writing process, on being categorised as a lesbian writer and the importance of reflecting queer life in contemporary fiction for both queer and non-queer readers. The full interview is here.


Reviews and blogs

the repercussionsStaying with Catherine Hall for a moment, you can catch a review of The Repercussions over on Shiny New Books:

The Repercussions cleverly intertwines the lives of two women through its narrative structure. What seem on the outside like two disparate stories from different time periods are shown to have a thematic relationship to one another… Despite all the horror that both Elizabeth and Jo witness in the book, there are beautiful moments of great joy and humour. The novel shows that, even though people may be hampered by tremendous grief and trauma, there is a chance for happiness if you are brave enough to grab it.

Still Life by LT Smith was reviewed by Terry Baker:

stilllifeThis is obviously a romance and the story follows the tried, tested and successful girl meets girl, girl loses girl and gets girl again formula. It’s the journey the characters take in this book that sets it so far apart from a lot of similar romance books. Set in the art world, there is a mix of love, angst, and a wonderful laugh out loud humor throughout. The fact that Jess and Diana are flawed women and each have unhappy pasts adds into the intrigue. The push and pull of will they won’t they get together, will they won’t they stay together, will Jess get her act together is what kept me feverishly turning the pages through to the end.

BSB_Secret_LiesAmy Dunne has a guest post on Queer Romance Month. She talks about her background, her personal experiences of the good queer fiction can do and why she writes it now:

Reading books can be an enjoyable pastime, but it can also offer a different perspective, support, guidance, and encouragement to those who desperately need it. Stories and characters can give hope in an otherwise bleak and lonely world. I truly do believe that queer fiction can save lives. It helped me and the many readers that I’ve been fortunate to hear from.

You can read the full piece here.

New and future releases:

notsuchastrangerDalia Craig‘s latest romance, Not Such a Stranger, is out now. Here’s the blurb for her Whitby-set romance:

Two women, a lovely old house, and an ancient family feud, come together in this lesbian romance set in and around the picturesque seaside town of Whitby, North Yorkshire.

When Jaime Fyre inherits Rykesby from her uncle, James, the unexpected bequest proves increasingly problematic. The sudden arrival of Kimberly Marshall, who lays claim to the property, adds to Jaime’s troubles. Why is Kimberly so convinced Jaime is both a liar and a cheat?

The mystery deepens when Jaime finds a photograph of her mother amongst her uncle’s possessions. Why is it there? Did her mother and her uncle have a relationship? Jaime’s search for answers draws a blank. With nobody left to ask, the list of unanswered questions grows, matching the tension between Kimberly and Jaime.

As Jaime’s future happiness, and her relationship with Kimberly, hang in the balance will what Jaime discovers behind a locked door in the library help or hinder her quest for truth and reconciliation?

enthralledNiamh Murphy will be rolling out her new story on Wattpad first – she’ll be posting a new chapter every week until Halloween. The blurb’s below and here’s the link to more details for Wattpad.

Enthralled follows Stella, a huntress with only one mission: to kill. But one night she has decided to take on a Vampire hive completely alone and it seems she has an ulterior motive.

199stepstolovePauline George has revealed the cover and blurb for her next release. 199 Steps to Love should be out Jan 2015:

At 61, Lucy finds herself divorced and decides to go on holiday to Whitby. There she meets the gallery owner, a woman named Jamie, who she is drawn to in ways she can’t yet understand.

Jamie is also drawn to Lucy, despite the advice of her best friend against lusting after a straight woman.

But just as they come together, Lucy leaves without explanation, not only putting a physical distance between them, but an emotional one as well.

Can they overcome the distances and find each other? Or is it more than just the miles that’s keeping them apart?

Finally, don’t miss:

Jade Winter’s book giveaway for Second Thoughts. Closes midnight tonight. Details on her Facebook page.

Kerry Hudson‘s short story on Radio 4 this Sunday at 7.45 pm. Grown on This Beach is taken from the Out There anthology and is “a touching and poetic story about a woman talking through her past relationships with her new found love.”

LT Smith taking part in a Spot-on Romance weekend in the online discussion group the Virtual Living Room. Click here to join.

~~~

Until next fortnight… ta ra!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 240 other followers