News Roundup: New Releases from Karen Campbell & Angela Peach, Polari Readings, Andrea Bramhall Cover reveal, and Free Stuff!

21 Nov

Welcome to a rather wet and shivery news update, written on one of those days where you just want to curl up with a nice cup of tea and a good book. So howsabout you stick the kettle on and I’ll have a toot at what’s on the shelves this week?

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strange adventures ofAnd I can indeed start by telling you all about a new book. Karen Campbell Diary of a Broken Heart, The Knowing, Little Whispers has recently released The Strange Adventures of Mavis Street, a book that – it’s fair to say – sounds unlike anything else in the pantheon of UK LesFic.

Mavis Street is a dwarf with one brown eye and one green eye, and a lopsided mouth. She grows up in the love of her mother and father, who teach her the lessons she needs for life. Growing up adept at poker, she wins a casino, buys a strip joint (where she first meets the beautiful Eladora Diodata) and runs a funeral parlour. She is assisted in life with best friends, Freya the Norwegian, Allistar Spanner and Sven the Swedish fisherman.

But Mavis needs a love and is lonely. She has a voice of honey and this dwarf talent leads her to a late-night radio show, where she broadcasts through the night, unable to sleep with longing for her lost love, Eladora Diodata.
Finally, Mavis will receive word that Eladora must be rescued and Mavis and Sven will set off on a course that will alter all their lives.

This is a book about family and love and friends and even though you may look in the mirror, as Mavis does, and think yourself ugly, there is always a true lover waiting who sees that you are beautiful because beauty is not measured in centimetres.

You can buy the book at the link above.

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VGKikiI had the pleasure of meeting Karen at the recent lesbian authors coffee shop event in Urmston where she read her short story, Voices Carry, from the Little Whispers collection. It’s a gorgeous story and – as luck would have it for those not in Manchester that day – Polari have posted a video of Karen reading it for the November Polari event.

Karen shared the bill with Kiki Archer and VG Lee, whose readings from Too Late…I Love You, and Diary of a Provincial Lesbian can be watched by clicking the links.

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cloud heartsMeanwhile Angie Peach is gearing up for the release of a new novel in February/March 2016 by releasing a selection of short stories to whet the appetite. The first, Cloud Hearts, is available here on Amazon:

I’m waiting in the meadow for her, for Elizabeth. The last place she could possibly be, and I hope that after all this time, she’ll remember. Because if she doesn’t…well, the consequences don’t even bear thinking about. We parted in the worst way possible and even though it took me a long time to come to terms with what had happened, I know the burden she carries weighs heavy in her heart and there’s every chance she can’t let go of the past.
But she must. If we are to ever have a chance at love again, she needs to forgive. Please, Elizabeth? Please?

Keep an eye out for more shorts as the release date creeps closer.

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collide o scopeAndrea Bramhall has unveiled the cover and the blurb for her forthcoming release Collide-O-Scope, her first with Ylva, which will be published in April 2016:

An unidentified woman is found murdered on the North Norfolk Coastal Path and newly promoted Detective Sergeant Kate Brannon and Kings Lynn’s CID have the task of figuring out whom, how, and why. A job that’s made more difficult when every one of the forty residents in the village has something to hide and answers her questions with a string of lies.

Georgina Temple has her own secrets to keep, and her own reasons to keep them. But her growing attraction to Kate makes it increasingly difficult to keep them.

Kate’s investigation into the woman’s death delves into the heart of the tiny fishing village where nothing and no one is quite what they seem.

Andrea’s most recent novel, The Chameleon’s Tale, was also reviewed by the Velvet Lounger this week:

“In the latest offering, The Chameleon’s Tale, we are firmly planted in South Africa, starting during apartheid when being liberal was a dangerous personal statement, and jumping forward to the present day, when the anger and pain of that era is still deeply engrained in all those affected. It combines romance, as do all Bramhall’s books, with a personal intrigue and a political thriller – in this case a page-turner dealing with corporate greed and social abuse.”

You can read the full review here.

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AllIWantForChristmas-Clare-LydonAll of which brings us hurtling to everyone’s favourite bit of the news: Free stuff!

First up is Clare Lydon, who is giving away a free bonus chapter of her chart-topping festive romance All I Want For Christmas. If you’ve read the book and you want to find out what happens to the characters on Boxing Day then all you need to do is sign up to Clare’s mailing list and she’ll send you the chapter for absolutely no pence whatsoever. Can’t say fairer than that.

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Cold to the TouchAnd that’s not all… Being a generous type, I’m currently running a giveaway for two copies of Cold to the Touch – the December sequel to No Good Reason. The first couple of names I pull out of the hat when the draw closes on Sunday 22nd November will win a paperback – signed or unsigned! – and a bag of delicious pork scratchings :-)

You can enter by commenting here on my blog, or by saying hallo on my Facebook page. You are not obliged to eat the pork scratchings. Good luck!


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sdmFinally this week it’s with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to lesbian fiction author Sandra Moran. Sandra – who had many UK friends, myself and Tig among them – died on November 7th with her family by her side, shortly after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.

Sandra’s first novel Letters Never Sent was published in 2013 and went on to win Rainbow awards for Best Lesbian Historical Romance and Best Lesbian Début, a Goldie for Dramatic General Fiction, and the Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award. Nudge followed hot on its heels in 2014, and All We Lack was published in March of this year.

Sandra had only spent a few years in the LesFic community, but her love of all things neon, taking blurry pictures of her cats and creating daft pie charts, along with her just being a damn good egg, made her a very popular lady indeed. She’ll be hugely missed, and our deepest condolences go to her family.

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News Roundup: Rainbow Award honourable mentions, new books, events and a loo break

5 Nov

fireworks-728413_640Ooooooooooooooooooo, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah…

I lost my bra
I left my knickers in my girlfriend’s car.

I digress.  It’s that time of year, when children eat apples of their own volition and parents gleefully encourage them to hold white hot pieces of metal. It’s Fireworks Night!


First up, the Rainbow Awards and a few of the British entries are already sparkling away. No shortlists yet, but the honorable mentions are being rolled out (books that have scored highly with at least one judge):

no good reasonCari Hunter’s No Good Reason has been described as “A fabulous mystery, well grounded in setting, creepy and steadily paced, reminiscent of the television show Broadchurch.” and by another judge as “Very good craft. Great story”.

season's meetingsAmy Dunne’s Season’s Meetings has been very well received: “I really enjoyed this book.  You could feel like you were with the characters especially when they were stranded in that decrepit car in the snow.  A wonderful holiday romance!”

too late I love youKiki  Archer’s Too Late… I Love You: “Another well written book by Kiki Archer.  Hard to put down, kept my interest throughout.  I really liked Connie and how her story was told.  Liked Kiki’s writing style as well.” I liked it – I liked it a lot – the premise was fresh and new and the humor in the romance most welcome.

blindtrustAnd Jody Klaire’s Blind Trust: “Heroine Aeron Lorelei is the kind of “aw, shucks” down home woman it can grow tiring to read about in less skilled hands, but in Klaire’s care, she’s a paragon of many virtues, none of them cloying or unbelievable. I fell in love with her over the course of the novel, and when I finished, I wished I had my own Aeron.”

Let’s hope they all make it through to the final short lists. Good luck folks!


On to bits and blogs and something’s been bugging Jen Silver:

Maybe it’s my age, but I find myself being critical of stories where the characters can seemingly go for days without going to the loo. I mean, really. How many of us, get up, get dressed, and rush out of the house without stopping to pee? Let alone any other morning rituals – shower, teeth brushing, coffee, food.

For the rest of Jen’s thoughts on bathroom breaks have peek over here.

There’s a new episode of the Lesbian Book Club with Clare Lydon available. This month she interviews best-selling Kiki Archer. Kiki has a natter about writing what you know, overgrown bushes, where that pen-name came from, her ultra-successful Too Late… I Love You, and tips for authors wanting that best-seller. And a hint or two about her work in progress Lost in the Starlight. Sounds intriguing.

At the end of the show Clare also reads an extract from her new novel All I Want For Christmas. Pop over here to listen.


New and upcoming books and a brand new author.

TheRetreatJane Retzig has a new book out and it’s already available on Amazon: The Retreat: A Kind of Lesbian Romance.

Jo and Ed are unlikely best friends. He is the only son of wealthy parents. She was born on ‘the wrong side of the tracks’. He loves sport, messing around with cars, and drinking. She’s ambitious and hardworking. They are, in fact, a perfect team. They’ve stood by each other for almost thirty years. They’ve built a successful business together.

There’s just one problem. Jo is having an affair with Ed’s wife. And now someone knows their secret. It’s Christmas Eve 2014. And nothing is ever going to be the same again…

ReluctancePat Adams-Wright has her second novel, Reluctance, out late November:

Two women, whose hearts and worlds have been torn apart by the loss of their partners, in drastically different ways, are thrown together by chance. Fate has brought them to live side by side, but can love dispel the reluctance that lives in both their hearts and give their burgeoning romance chance to take flight.

ShapeofthepathAnd now to new author EH Smith: a fiction and fanfiction writer who lives in Kent with her wife and two cats, studying for a BSc in Natural Science and working towards a second novel.

Her Shape of the Path is already available on Amazon. Here is the blurb:

The Shape of the Path follows Kathryn Cayliss on her coming-of-age journey through negotiating her first love, homophobic parents, and the temptations of recreational drugs as a means to escape her suffering. Through a difficult and unpredictable journey, will there be redemption as her path wends in unexpected directions.


polaribirminghamAnd finally a reminder about some events:

You can catch Suzanne Egerton at the Local Author Showcase, Motherwell Library, where writers talk about the writing process and read from their work. They’ll be a Q&A session too. Saturday 28th November, 2pm. Call 01698 332626 to book a place.

Polari-on-Sea is coming to an end, but you still have a chance to catch one more night of the Hasting’s outing of the literary salon. Diana Souhami and VG Lee are among the writers featured on the final night, on Monday 23rd November. More details here.

There’s also still a chance to get tickets for the Birmingham leg of the Polari tour on November the 14th. This sold out last year and was an excellent evening. The line-up is fabulous with VG Lee, Kiki Archer, Karen McLeod and Karen Campbell. Don’t miss out! Grab a ticket here.


And that’s it. Wrap up warm. Mind where you stick those sparklers. And have a happy bonfire night!

News Roundup: Clare Lydon is Feeling Festive, a New Release from Jade Winters, Sarah Waters on the Silver Screen, Jody Klaire Interview, and More!

24 Oct

At last! The Spooky Season is nigh upon us, with pumpkins being readied, the shops full of Haribo, and ridiculously expensive Halloween costumes clogging up the aisles (whatever happened to making your own out of a sheet and some fake blood?!) All of which leads me nicely to our first news piece of the fortnight…

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AllIWantForChristmas-Clare-LydonHandily combining two festive occasions in one book release, is Clare Lydon whose fourth novel, All I Want for Christmas, is set to hit bookshelves (or e-readers) on October 31st, which should give people plenty of time to buy it and get it ready to tuck into Christmas stockings. Eyes right for the seasonal cover. Meanwhile, the book’s blurb goes like this:

This Christmas, Tori Hammond is on a mission to find love. Her ideal present under the tree would be a shiny new girlfriend, so Tori gives herself one month to find that special lady by December 25th. Christmas spells romance and she’s going to grab some.

However, Tori’s dates bring their own complications, and when someone unexpected strolls back into her life, her Christmas girlfriend quest is turned upside down. Will Tori land on her feet and find the woman of her dreams? And if she does, will it be who she expected?

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Jade Winters has sneaked another novel onto Amazon, with the release of Love Interrupted:

Love-Interrupted-High-Resolution.jpgcover-430x688There are two sides of every story. And then there’s the truth.

Divorce is rarely pretty and never fair. When successful divorce solicitors Harper Anderson and Dylan Blue find themselves on opposing sides of a bitter separation, they become uncontrollably consumed by more than just the case…

Dylan is fiercely ambitious, Harper a crusader for justice, so when the adversaries lock horns in professional combat, the tension is overwhelming. Harper hates Dylan’s ruthlessness, Dylan is repulsed by Harper’s ‘bleeding heart liberalism’. As they both battle for their clients’ interests, they find themselves at once repelled and strangely attracted to one another.

It is a case which will divide, infuriate and ultimately unite the two women, who find a deep love and understanding in the ashes of their clients’ broken relationship.

The novel is available to buy on Kindle or you can read it for free if you’re a Kindle Unlimited punter.

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justine and janeSomeone we’ve not heard from for a long while is Bold Strokes author, Jane Fletcher, but fans of her Celaeno and Lyremouth Fantasy series will no doubt be pleased to hear that a new book is on the way. Jane recently posted this message on Facebook:

I’m not a compulsive writer. I don’t have the all-consuming urge to write that other authors talk about. Sometimes it just feels like a slog. But the thing that keeps me going is though I don’t necessarily like writing, I adore having written. And to that end, I can announce that I have wrote. I sent off the manuscript for The Shewstone this morning.

We’re not sure yet whether the novel will be related to her previous works, or a standalone – more news as soon as we get it!

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JodyKlaireJody Klaire has made a return to the Liz McMullen Show to chat about her French romcom romp, La Vie En Bleu, her Above and Beyond series, and her passion for music, amongst other stuff. You can watch the interview at this link.

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News about Emma Donoghue‘s next novel has been posted on her website. We have no clue as to its lesbian content (might not have any!) but we thought we’d give you a heads up just in case: You heard it first: my next novel, The Wonder, set in 1850s Ireland, comes out in September 2016. It’s the story of an eleven-year-old girl who seems to live without eating, and the English nurse sent to discover whether she’s a fraud.

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598px-Sarah_WatersI mentioned a Sarah Waters film night in the last but one news, and it’s been listed on the Events page for a while as well. Originally, following the link provided sweet FA in terms of information, but Sarah’s website has now updated with details of what the evening will entail. Apparently the first in a Desert Island Flicks (stop it!) series, Sarah will be showing clips from and discussing films that have “moved, entertained and inspired her.” The event will be held on 7th November at the Cinema Museum, London, and tickets are £8.50. You can find more information here.

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Finally this week, the larger LesFic community received the news that one of its most popular authors, Sandra Moran (Letters Never Sent, Nudge, and All That We Lack) had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Sandra has a hell of a lot of British mates, myself and Tig included, and our thoughts are with her and her family.

News roundup: Polari Prize winner, some top tens, a bit of blogging and a hint of envy

9 Oct

The leaves are turning and there’s a chill in the air: time for a wistful stroll through the autumn news.

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therentalheartAnd hasn’t the year flown by. It doesn’t seem that long ago that Polari submissions were being sought. But the winner of the Polari First Book Prize was announced this week and it’s Kirsty Logan for her book of short stories The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales. The critically acclaimed collection was shortlisted for the Green Carnation Prize and is the winner of the Scott Prize. Of the book, Paul Burston said “The judges were enormously impressed with Logan’s command of language and skillful story telling. She writes from a variety of queer perspectives, showing us a range of outsider’s viewpoints.Diva has more on this year’s prize and the Polari evening is reviewed over at Dolores Delargo Towers.

Kirsty is based in Scotland and she is a literary editor and freelance writer. Her fiction has been published in literary magazines and anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She also had a piece in The Guardian this week listing The best LGBT sex in literature. In the article she confesses: “I wanted this to be a list of literary smut. I wanted to choose the 10 hottest, most realistic, most beautifully written queer sex scenes ever published.” The resulting list is heavy on the literary writers, with the top spot going to Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith.

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too late I love youSpeaking of lists, Kiki Archer‘s Too Late…I Love You makes The Lesbian Review’s 10 Great Books To Try.  Of the book The Lesbian Review says:

This is one of the best books I have read this year. I absolutely loved it. It is well written and will keep you guessing and Archer keeps the story tight.

I would also like to add that the flirting between the women was really lovely and well done. Often writers resort to descriptions of emotions to convey that fluttery feeling of excitement one gets from good chemistry. Archer managed a lot with dialogue alone.

I was hooked from early on right up to the last word.

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Amy-Dunne-author-1-256x300Another British author getting coverage over on The Lesbian Review is Amy Dunne who answered their author profile questions. When asked what readers might find interesting about her, Amy replied “From the ages of 8 – 22 I genuinely thought I was going to become a Catholic nun. I blame Sister Act. Fortunately, I saw the light and accepted I was a lesbian instead.” Now, surely there’s a book in that.

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PayingGuest_D-2-186x300The Paying Guests has hit America and so has Sarah Waters. The Daily Beast has an article on Sarah Waters: Queen of the Tortured Lesbian Romance. When asked whether the novel was a crime, love or historical story she replies:

“I think love story at its heart…I was writing part one over and over again, and it wasn’t going right. I was thinking of it as a romance, a very small story. Then I realized that even though in my other novels love and desire are strong elements, I’d never written a love story before, with the two characters tested. That crystallized it for me: The crime would push and test them. This is a love story complicated by crime.”

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untrained eyeJody Klaire has been blogging and talking about her recent writing experiences:

“I learned a lot from La Vie en Bleu and from book one and two of Aeron’s series. I hope that I show that improvement in Untrained Eye. When writing a series, I noticed how easy it would be to settle into a formula. To keep the stories very similar and the characters the same.”

Jody also mentions that she will be on the Liz McMullen Show – for details on how to leave her a question to answer on the show and for the full blog post, scamper over here.

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Finally,  a few things to look forward to. Bold Strokes have signed up Cari Hunter‘s third book in the Dark Peak Series. Book 2 (Cold to the Touch) is out in December and book 3 is pencilled in for January 2017. Not many details yet, but Clare Lydon has a new book out at the end of the October – All I Want for ChristmasJen Silver has two books out next year and is comfortably into the first draft of another (catch up with her news here). And if there’s still not enough lesfic to look forward to, Andrea Bramhall will fill the void – she’s just completed the first draft of Collide-O-Scope, taking a jaw-dropping eight days to complete it. (And if you suspect a smidgen of jealousy there, you’d be right – seriously, eight bloody days?! I spend that long faffing about with character names).

And with that unseemly outburst, I bid you adieu!

Eight days….how the hell…

News Roundup: Kiki Archer Live Q&A, Amy Dunne Goes Renegade, New Release from Karen Campbell, and More!

25 Sep

Welcome! It’s a bit on the nippy side, but the sun is shining, flowers are still blooming, and I’m taking a quick break from squinting at page proofs to bring you all the happenings in the land of UK LesFic. Enjoy!

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renegadeAmy Dunne is first up this fortnight with a couple of stops on her publicity romp for her new futuristic, apocalyptic adventure-romance, The Renegade. Amy has been talking survival (and her absolute lack of survival skills!) over on Women & Words:

Let me start with an honest admission. I’m 90% certain that I wouldn’t survive in the post-apocalyptic world I’ve created. I’ve no survival skills to speak of, I’m awful at basic camping, I’m a complete technophobe to the point I don’t know anything other than switching something on and off and maybe hitting it if it still doesn’t work, I have OCD, I’m a hypochondriac, and generally don’t cope well in the great outdoors…

And she has actually been talking to Marion Dries in this Voice of Lesbian Literature podcast.

The Renegade is available to buy right now.

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strange adventures ofKaren Campbell has been teasing a new release over on Facebook, with this enigmatic quote:

“I am Mavis Street and this was the day I married the love of my life and gave her my name. ‘I love you’ says it all but never says enough.” Coming soon – The Strange Adventures of Mavis Street.

As soon as we have any more information on the book, we’ll let you know, but in the meantime you can feast your eyes on its cover…

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Kiki-264Any fans of Kiki Archer who have this Saturday (26th September) evening free, will be wanting to head to the Big Tent LesFic group on Facebook where Kiki will be participating in a live Q&A at 7pm (Brit time!) These Q&As are usually good fun and even more so when there’s an enthusiastic bunch of inquisitors beneath the canvas.

The group is a community of lesbian fiction readers and writers which is inclusive of anyone no matter where they may fall on the gender/sexuality spectrum.You can request to join the group here.

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clare lydonIf you only know ten things about Clare Lydon and feel that perhaps your life has been lacking for want of another fifteen, then you definitely need to check out her latest blog where she’s listed a massive 25 eclectic and entertaining things about herself:

What would I put in my room 101? Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. Pink wine. Coldplay. Offal. Chelsea FC. Pink fizzy wine. Goat’s Cheese. Maroon 5. Parsley. Crocs. Especially Crocs. Enough with the Crocs.

Check out the other 24 fascinating factoids here.

Clare has also been chatting to Jen Silver in the latest episode of her Lesbian Bookclub podcast. With Jen’s third book The Circle Dance due out in February, 2016, she discusses the representation of older lesbians in LesFic, and how life is treating her post-retirement. You can listen to the show at the link.

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Tis September, which means that the Rainbow Awards are nigh upon us. Kick starting the annual festivities is the cover contest, where you can add your votes for your favourites and help see them through to the next round of the competition. There are loads of covers in the initial round, and plenty of UK authors – namely, Kiki Archer, Crin Claxton, VT Davy, Amy Dunne, Cari Hunter – who need your support. Head here to make your vote count!

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lavieenbleuIt’s been far too long since Allo Allo “graced” our tellies and if you’ve been missing the ridiculous accentage then Jody Klaire might just be able to fill the void. Jody has recorded a reading from her continental romantic hit, La Vie en Bleu, complete with daft accent, for which she has already posted an apology:

I heartily apologise to any French folk out there for sounding more Allo, Allo than an actual French person. It seems to add to the comic effect so I hope that you enjoy!

Plug in and listen here.

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330x235valmcdermidFinally this fortnight, a heads up that Val McDermid and Sarah Waters have both updated their forthcoming events pages with plenty of opportunities to see them in discussion in the upcoming months. For Val’s appearances, head here, and you can find all of Sarah’s events here or summarised on our own Events listing.

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I reckon that about covers it. If you spot any news that we’ve missed, be sure to let us know (uklesfic @ and have a fabulous weekend!


News roundup: new author, new books, an unmissable Polari Tour and more!

11 Sep

Holidays are up and the kids are back at school, and it’s time for a scamper through the UK lesfic news:


First up, new books and new authors!

nofallenangelBella Books have signed up new author Sadie Winters. Sadie is one of those lucky folk who live by the sea in the South West, pottering about on the beach, baking and gardening when she’s not doing a spot of lesfic writing or freelance work. Her book No Fallen Angel has a shiny cover and a release date of February 2016. Here’s the blurb:

Angel Khoury is sick and tired. Tired of her job dancing in a London Gentleman’s Club and sick of her troubles with women. But when Angel is offered freelance work in a sleepy little village on the southwest coast of England and ends up taking a second job at a local garden center to make ends meet, things start heating up. And soon they are sizzling.

The source of the heat is Nell Frank, the blond woman who owns the garden center, whose life is complicated enough without an exotic dancer in the picture. After encounters under moonlit skies, on beautiful Cornish beaches, and in greenhouses under fragrant flowering vines, the couple must face their demons. Both have deep scars, and temptations abound.

Can they overcome these obstacles for a future together? Is Nell’s lover the fallen angel she fears? Soon Angel and Nell must decide if they’re ready to leave their past behind to find their happily ever after.

fivegunsblazingEmma Rose Millar‘s Five Guns Blazing will be published on the 15th. The novel is a tale of piracy, slavery and treason based on the true story of lesbian pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read. Here’s the blurb:

Never had she imagined she would be brought so low, and all for the love of a very bad man.


Convict’s daughter, Laetitia Beedham, is set on an epic journey from the back streets of London, through transportation to Barbados and gruelling plantation life, into the clutches of notorious pirates John ‘Calico Jack’ Rackham, Mary Read and the treacherous Anne Bonny.

In a world of villainy and deceit, where black men are kept in chains and a woman will sell her daughter for a few gold coins, Laetitia can find no one in whom to place her trust.

As the King’s men close in on the pirates and the noose begins to tighten around their necks, who will win her loyalty and her heart?

And Jenny Frame announced that Bold Strokes have signed up her third book. Courting the Countess is a contemporary romance. No cover or blurb yet, but it will be available in 2016.

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On to author blogs.

ngradvisory“[N]ever kill a puppy, be nice to small children, and always include a bit of romance.”  According to Cari Hunter, these are the cardinal rules for writing lesfic, if you do not want to feel the wrath of the reader. For Cari, a writer of crime and characters whose lives are far too complicated to indulge in anything as straightforward as love at first sight, this can cause the odd issue. Cari goes on to talk about the expectations of some lesfic readers and how these restrictions might stifle the genre. Have a read of the full article here and a run through of Cari’s non-formula tales.

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Jody Klaire has been blogging about her experience of the Festival of Writers, although it was touch and go whether she would make it there:

I loved listening to Julie Cohen, Tamsyn Murray and Allie Spencer discussing their experiences, their struggles and how they overcame them. I got to hear from agents, publishers, authors on how the industry is and then how to take risks and find icebergs with Shelley Harris. It was an adventure!

Read about the rest of Jody’s adventures here.

You can also catch up with Jen Silver‘s news with her latest blog. It’s been a busy year for Jen with a trip to the GCLS conference and local author readings and her novels are still getting great reviews. The Wild Times Tavern is the latest to fall for her Starting Over:

A saga of lesbian love set in the wilds of Yorkshire? You’ve got to be kidding – how could I not be hooked? Jen Silver introduces an array of colourful characters – some gay, some straight – and then sets them off on a series of romantic trajectories, often resulting in messy head long crashes, angst and trauma.

You can read the full review here.


polaritourNow get your diaries out. You really don’t want to miss out on this year’s Polari Tour. The tour kicks off in London on Tuesday night when the shortlist for the 2015 Polari Prize will also be announced. The tour then heads off Cambridge, Cardiff, Bristol, Brighton, Hertford, Liverpool, Birmingham, Nottingham, Newcastle and Bedford. Performers include the likes of VG Lee, Kiki Archer, Karen Campbell, Mari Hannah, VA Fearon and Ali Smith.

For full details and dates see the Polari Website.

Paul Burston and VG Lee are also running free writing workshops to accompany the events. At each event, there will be a From Page to Performance workshop in the afternoon. For more information and to reserve a place on the workshops please contact VG Lee (vglee at

And finally, a quick reminder for anyone in the environs of Manchester on Saturday afternoon: you can catch readings by several UK authors at the Lesbian Authors Festival. The event is held at a new lesbian cafe, The Hideaway Café, in Urmston. Readings start at 2.15 and will include Andrea Bramhall, I Beacham, Cari Hunter, Michelle Grubb, Jen Silver, Karen Cambell and Veronica Fearon.


Now run along there and have a spiffing weekend. Toodle pip!

News Roundup: Jody Klaire’s new RomCom, Clare Ashton Stops Hearts, Blogs from Amy Dunne & L.T. Smith, Sarah Waters Competition & More!

29 Aug

Things are livening up a little on the lesfic front as people mosey on back from the beaches, pack away their sun cream, and hunker down to wait for autumn – fireworks, golden leaves, parkin, treacle toffee, trick or treatin’, what’s not to love?!

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untrained eyeIt’s been an exciting week for Jody Klaire with the release of her romantic comedy La Vie en Bleu, and the cover reveal for the third instalment of her Above & Beyond series – Untrained Eye. If you like a little music to go along with your reading, Jody has posted a rather…eclectic (let’s just say that there’s a few Spice Girl’s tracks on it!) play list for La Vie en Bleu here. Meanwhile, the blurb for Untrained Eye reads like this:

When Aeron’s burdens are dimmed to help her recover and understand that she can’t heal everyone, she welcomes her new found freedom. Her only worry is that Renee will feel guilt for the price she’s paid and so Aeron resolves not to tell anyone. When CIG boss Ursula Frei comes to her for help with a personal mission, things start to get tricky. Frei enlists Aeron’s help to prevent a group of children in Caprock Academy becoming victim to the same deep scars Frei herself bears. She needs the help of the Criminal Investigation Team but that can’t happen without Lilia or Aeron. So Aeron fakes a vision.

In that vision, Aeron, Renee and Frei go undercover to Caprock, rescue the children and walk away stronger.
Unknown to Aeron, Lilia has had the same vision and allows the CIG team to get involved. The problem is that the two visions differ in one essential part. Whereas Aeron’s version sees them successful and united, in Lilia’s vision, she’s seen the three agents implode under the weight of secrets, misunderstandings and their mission unravel.

Lilia has faith in Aeron, Frei and Renee and believes they can get the children out…even if it means one of them gets left behind.

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that certain somethingSpeaking of romcoms, Clare Ashton‘s That Certain Something recently made it onto About Entertainment‘s list of Must Read Heart Stopping Lesbian Romance Novels:

That Certain Something is an adorable chick-lit romance about two people from totally different backgrounds finding one another, and connecting on a such a deep level that they click right from the start. The main protagonists, along with the secondary characters shine in this feel good romantic comedy.

So, fire up the nearest defib and grab yourself a copy :-)

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This-London-Love-CoverLastly on the light and luscious lady lovin’ front, is this review from The Lesbian Review for Clare Lydon‘s This London Love:

The writing style embodies what I love about British books, it’s tight, clean and witty. And while the book follows a pretty standard romantic comedy plot, it manages to not be formulaic…
I loved that Meg was not perfect, and while Kate pretty much falls in love with her at first sight, Lydon never lets her be on a pedestal. The friction between Meg and Kate mirrors the hurdles that real life relationships go through, and it shows that happy endings can happen to real people, and that they are not possible without some work along the way.

Read the full piece at the link.

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renegadeWith The Renegade due for release next month, Amy Dunne has been blogging about her writing processes over at the Bold Strokes site:

Scenes play in my head like a movie clip. While I’m typing away on the keyboard and words appear on the screen, I’m actually writing what I’m seeing in my mind’s eye. Almost like I’m experiencing everything with the characters. I’ve always had an overactive imagination and I enjoy daydreaming these scenes. I can vividly imagine seeing, smelling, hearing, and touching things in each scene.

The full text of When The Magic Happens can be found by clicking on the title.

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val mcdermidHopping north of the border now where Val McDermid recently met one of her most famous fans – Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon – at the Edinburgh festival. The interview is available to watch on the BBC’s iPlayer for the next 28 days.

Also this last week, in a frank and revealing interview with the Guardian, Val has been chatting about misogynistic trolls, our current government taking the UK back to Victorian times, and Scotland’s future:

I really worry we are heading more towards the Victorian ethic where those who have the capacity to claw their way to the top will do, and the rest will be sweeping the shit out of the doorway. We’re going back to Bleak House – it doesn’t feel like we’re moving forward at all.

Read the full piece at the link.

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Driving Me MadSix weeks holiday hasn’t been nearly enough for L.T. Smith, who’s been getting an entertaining whinge on in a new blog about her absolute reluctance to get back into the classroom (get back in there! I’ll finally be able to go swimming again once the kids are out of the pool!) Hidden amongst the highly amusing grumbles are nuggets of information about forthcoming books and short stories:

But I have been writing. Two short stories are finished but not edited. Attic Space is a ghost story that I originally penned for the Ylva anthology but she came out too big. I’m undecided what to do with her, but she will get my attention again before long. One thing I need to say though is that Attic Space did not have one single F word throughout. Not one! It was a challenge I set myself and through her I realised how hard it was for me to write without being a potty mouth. But, I did it. Go me. F**k yeah!

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Writer-Sarah-Waters-006Finally this fortnight, for anyone who’s harbouring a secret stash of period photos, there’s a new competition on Sarah Waters‘ website that’s right up your street. She’s looking for pictures from London in the 1920s to match scenes in The Paying Guests, and a complete set of her novels is up for grabs for the best entrant. Go here for more details.

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