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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News roundup: it’s quiet…

14 Aug

It’s rather quiet in UKLesFic land this week, with every other bugger on holiday, so here’s a mini news bulletin:

If you’ve read all your holiday novels and want a taster of some forthcoming delights, then look no further than these free samples and a short story.

renegadeThe Renegade by Amy Dunne is a post-apocalyptic story set in a camp run by a dangerous cult where the women are slaves – a slight change in genre from her Christmas romance Season’s Meetings. The book will be published in September but you can have a nose at the first three chapters here.

lavieenbleuJody Klaire is another flirting with a different genre – a rom-com this time with La Vie en Bleu. You can have a shufti at the first chapter on Jody’s blog here.

And if you fancy sitting back and having a short story read to you, then the audio version of Clare Lydon‘s short story Once Upon a Caravan (published in the L is For anthology) is available on her website here.

too late I love youIf your holiday reading didn’t yet include Kiki Archer‘s Too Late…I love You, then here are a couple more reviews that may sway you:

She Magazine from the US says “Too Late…I Love You is the queer answer to rom-com classics like Notting Hill, only with more toddlers. This one is sexy, fun, and adorable, with a twist that’s truly clever. Pick it up before the summer’s over.” And lesfic blog The Lesbrary has a longer review which ends “this book is hilarious. The dialogue and the goofy physical comedy shine. I cared about the characters and had a great time reading about them. I highly recommend this to fans of lesbian romance and anyone looking for fun light reading.” You can read The Lesbrary review in full here.

arc over timeJen Silver is back in the UK after her jaunt to the GCLS conference and she has a few pictures on her blog. She also continues her series of posts about her characters from Arc Over Time and Starting Over.

And finally, the Manchester Literary Festival provides an excellent opportunity to catch some of the big lesfic names this year with appearances from Val McDermid, Carol Ann Duffy and Jeanette Winterson. Events are spread throughout October and you can find the full list here.

That’s all folks!

News Roundup: New Books from Jade Winters, Gill McKnight, Rebecca S. Buck, and Amy Dunne, Goldie Win for Andrea Bramhall, Clare Lydon Does a Lot of Stuff, Reviews, Events & More…

31 Jul

Huzzah! It’s finally stopped raining and there’s a weird yellow light in the sky. Let’s shake off our brollies and see what the UK LesFic lasses have been up to…

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Hopefully, the sun will continue to shine for Saturday at least, as Brighton Pride prepares to strut its stuff and get out the gay. Clare Lydon will be hosting shenanigans in the literature tent with a line-up that includes Catherine Hall and Carol Robson. You can find general information about tickets and timings on the festival’s main page, and Clare has more info about the book side of things here.

clare lydonIf you want to keep up with Clare (and she takes some keeping up with – she’s a busy lady!) then head to the subscription page for her newsletter where you’ll get exclusive info on first reads, new releases & offers. And if you need proof of how busy she is, you can read her recent Women & Words blog here (nb. the giveaway has finished), and watch her compering the recent Indie Panel at LFest here. Finally, just slipping in beneath the deadline is the latest episode of The Lesbian Bookclub, featuring Clare’s interview with Bold Strokes author and all-round lovely person, Crin Claxton.

Videos of VG Lee‘s and Kiki Archer‘s LFest stints have also been posted on YouTube. Hit the names for the links.

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nightingaleCongrats to Andrea Bramhall whose novel Nightingale won a Goldie for Best Lesbian Romance at the GCLS conference last weekend. The Brits had a great presence in the finals, and Jen Silver and Angie Peach both made it over to New Orleans for the event, so fingers crossed UK authors will pick up a few more gongs in future years!

If you want to read more about the conference, Jen has just posted a recap of her GCLS experience over on her blog.

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Plans for the inaugural lesbian book festival to be held at the Hideaway Cafe in Urmston (Manchester) are picking up speed. The date is set for September 12th, with proceedings scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m. So far, the authors confirmed attending are: I Beacham, Andrea Bramhall, Karen Cambell, Veronica Fearon, Michelle Grubb, Cari Hunter, and Jen Silver. Cake, tea, lesbians, and books. It’s a no-brainer really. The women’s LGBT book club is also up and running at the cafe on the first Tuesday of each month, 7-9 p.m. See the website for more details.

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in it togetherNew books now, and Jade Winters has recently released her twelfth (crikey!) novel, In It Together:

Cara 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 Maddie, her girlfriend of four years, was sleeping with her flatmate?

Now suddenly homeless, Cara flees to her family home in the heart of Cumbria to lick her wounds. There Cara reunites with the past she so desperately tried to outrun and comes face to face with the heart wrenching dilemma that caused her to leave in the first place.

With nowhere to hide Cara finally has to confront her demons head on. Does she tell the truth and risk tearing a brother and sister apart? Or does she carry on with the lie and be without the love she has denied herself for so long?

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cover_the-tea-machine_500x800Meanwhile, Gill McKnight has revealed the gorgeous cover for The Tea Machine, her first release after shifting publishers to Ylva. Gill has promised “Victorian ladies, and giant space squid, and hunky big Amazonian warriors with lasers, and tea”, and the official synopsis reads like this:

The story of a love that never dies…except it does, over and over again.

London 1862, and Millicent Aberly, spinster by choice, has found her future love—in the future! She meddled with her brother’s time machine and has been catapulted into an alternative world where the Roman Empire has neither declined nor fell. In fact, it has gone on to annex most of the known universe.

Millicent is rescued from Rome’s greatest enemy, the giant space squid, by Sangfroid, a tough and wily centurion who, unfortunately, dies while protecting her. Wracked by guilt and a peculiar fascination for the woman soldier, Millicent is determined to return in time and save Sangfroid from her fatal heroics. Instead, she finds her sexy centurion in her own timeline. And Sangfroid is not alone; several stowaways have come along with her.

Soon Millicent’s mews house is overrun with Roman space warriors and giant squid.

The book is due for release in November.

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BSB-HopeHeartWinterSkip forward into December and Rebecca S. Buck‘s new lesbian historical story, Hope in the Heart of Winter, will be released onto e-book via Bold Strokes:

In 1927, Evadne Burns invites her closest school friends to join her for a weekend reunion at her grand home, Winter Manor. The passing of time and the dark shadow of the First World War has shaped them all as women, yet their friendships remain strong. The tragedy of the era has only made them more determined to live their lives to the full.

Evadne is delighted to see Clara and Courtney again, two women dedicated to each other since they were schoolgirls and still unable to keeps their hands off each other, even in view of Winter’s servants. There is the more conservative Madge, to remind them of the life they were expected to lead. But most of all, Evadne is pleased to see Edith Richardson, with whom she shared one precious night but left a lasting connection. With Edith, she chooses to share a secret that will affect the rest of their lives, together or apart.

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renegadeWith The Renegade hitting shelves in September, Amy Dunne has posted an excerpt from her futuristic apocalyptic romp (is “romp” the right word a book that pretty much wipes out humanity before the end of the prologue? Probably not!) over on her blog. I’m sure we’ll be hearing much more from Amy as the release date rolls around, but for now get stuck into the first chapter, or head to the book’s official page on the BSB website where the first three chapters are ready and waiting, and where the book can be pre-ordered.

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too late I love youOver at Chick Lit Plus, reviewer Michelle has been finding a lot to like in Kiki Archer‘s Too Late… I Love You:

Without giving too much away, I will say there is some hilarious banter in here. Some of it is crude so it’s not for the faint of heart but I was literally laughing out loud at some of the things that came out of everyone’s mouth. The twist at the end completely took me by surprise. It was actually fantastic. For a book I would not have normally read, I really enjoyed this.

You can find the full review at this link.

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Writer-Sarah-Waters-006Off to bonny Scotland now, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, where Sarah Waters and Jackie Kay will be discussing their favourite Virago Modern Classics authors on Saturday 15th August.

The Female Gaze: Classics by Women Writers

Three of Britain’s best-loved contemporary writers join us to discuss their favourite Virago Modern Classics author. Sarah Waters discusses Rebecca West, Maggie O’Farrell chooses Molly Keane, and Jackie Kay opts for Zora Neale Hurston. Why were these wonderful writers previously neglected, and what does their work tell us about the contemporary author who chose them? 

Chaired by Lennie Goodings as part of her Guest Selected strand of events.

The event will take place at Baillie Gifford Main Theatre, 5A Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH2 4DR, at 5pm. For further information and tickets, head here.

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NicolaGriffithAnd we’ll round out the fortnight with Nicola Griffith discussing why it’s so important to count women’s stories, in a recent interview with the Seattle Review of Books:

My book Hild was out here in paperback and it came out in the UK in hardcover, so I had to do publicity — write “five-best” lists and, you know, that kind of thing. So I was thinking about my five favorite historical novels and I wrote them down and I was pleased because at least three of them, or actually four of them, were by women. I thought, “yay women!” And then I realized that those books by women were all about men. And then I thought, “goddamn.” These were my influences…

You can read the full piece at the above link.

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Right, that little lot should keep you ticking over for the next couple of weeks. If you do happen to catch some sunshine, be sure to make the most of it!

L Fest 2015

21 Jul

The sun shined DSC_1606on L Fest this year, and a fun and cozy event it was too. Live music got the big top treatment and the arts stage was hosted nearby in an airy bright tent. Stalls lined the edges of two grassy areas with everything from busking to dog shows. There were fewer author panels this year, and no fiction workshops, but what the sessions lacked in quantity they certainly made up for in quality.

Karen Campbell

Jubilation at working microphones and a brilliant reading from Karen Campbell

First up was the Indie Panel ably captained by Clare Lydon. HP Munro had the unenviable task of kicking off the show before the microphones arrived but was beautifully audible by the time her reading of the merkin scene from the much-loved Stars Collide came around. Sally Edwards read from her self-confessed highly autobiographical debut How to Love. Karen Campbell enthralled the audience with a brilliant reading from her work in progress about a lesbian dwarf. And Suzanne Egerton, who has one of those voices you need for Book at Bedtime, delivered her humorous story Diva like a pro.

Polari Panel

The fabulous Polari panel: Diana Souhami, host Paul Burston, VG Lee, Kiki Archer and VA Fearon

Sunday morning was time for Paul Burston‘s Polari panel and a large and eager crowd was up early to see some sparkling readings. VA Fearon started the session with a reading from her gritty London gangland thriller The Girl With the Treasure Chest. Some light relief was dished out by Kiki Archer with the shitting-mobility-scooter-icecream scene from Too Late…I Love You, much to the delight of the audience. Diana Souhami was a great inclusion, effortlessly entertaining with her own witty observations and reading wonderful snippets from her biography of the fascinating Alice B Tokas and Gertrude Stein. VG Lee supplied the grand finale with two Deirdre stories to a most appreciative crowd.

Manda Scott

Manda Scott

The last author session was from the big-selling Manda Scott. The historical fiction author took a handful of questions and then talked most impressively about everything from living in round houses to knights steering horses with their bums and how genuinely terrifying battle reenactments are. She offered a few interesting tidbits about her writing career such as her name change (to MC Scott) being forced upon her for the Rome series, much to her chagrin, and the barriers to writing the Boudica series – pressure to keep to her previous thriller brand and established historical authors suggesting there was not enough material to support new fiction – Manda went on to write a series of four sizable tomes.

It was, all in all, a fabulous festival. But let’s hope 2016 sees a beefed up arts side to L Fest.


Polari panelists VG Lee, Paul Burston, Kiki Archer, Diana Souhami

HP Munro

HP Munro reading the merkin scene from Stars Collide

Suzanne Egerton

Suzanne Egerton

News roundup: reviews, profiles and a bit of a natter

17 Jul

Got your tickets for L Fest? There’s still time. But not much, so let’s get on with the news because there’s sleep to be had, bags to be packed and children and wife to be bundled into a car destined for Uttoxeter.


Let’s start with some cracking reviews of the recent releases.

arc over timeJen Silver‘s second novel Arc Over Time, the follow up to Starting Over, had two great reviews. The Lesbian Reading Room had this to say:

As with Starting Over, Ms Silver has delivered a charming, witty and clever observational novel. Her characters are very authentic people, warts and all – recognisable characters many of us will have encountered. They live in a real world and, unlike so many lesbian romances, behave like real people.

Planet London also says “All in all Arc over time is a gripping read, a well written lesbian romance set in England which allows for a chance to learn about history and archeology along the way. Although this is the sequel to Starting Over it can be read separately without losing any of the enjoyment.

too late I love youKiki Archer‘s Too Late… I Love You is reviewed in this month’s Diva, where the sex-toy shopping spree scene clearly made its mark, and has also been picked up by All Things Lesbian:

This book is what all young lesbians are in search of when they start reading romance novels. Kiki Archer is the lesbian answer to Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones’ Diary), Sophie Kinsella (Remember Me?), and Cecelia Ahern (P.S. I Love You)…. All in all, this is possibly one of the best lesbian novels I’ve read

no good reason
Cari Hunter
‘s much admired No Good Reason also had a fabulous review over on The Lesbian Reading Room:

I love Ms. Hunter’s writing. Clean, neat, purposeful, it drives us forward with faultless delivery. She crams in a whole host of action, drama, and character development without it ever feeling rushed or heavy-handed. Each book has improved on the last and this is no exception—an absolute winner for lovers of crime thrillers and slightly oddball romance that makes a refreshing change.

CariDiInterviewYou can also hear Cari have a natter with Diana Simmonds about this first book in the Dark Peak Series. The Curve columnist and romance writer has a chuckle with Cari about cross-the-pond differences in English that baffle the Brits and perplex Americans, writing authentic thrillers, other fiction pet peeves and Cari coming back home with her latest Brit crime novel. You can find the video on Women and Words.

Meanwhile, Clare Lydon was featured on My Writing Life where you can read an excerpt from Clare’s latest  This London Love. Clare also gets a chance to talk about her writing:

Clare-Lydon-LV-cropPeople sometimes get mixed up with the genre I write in – contemporary lesbian romance. They think it’s erotica, but it’s not – rather, my books are chicklit with lesbian leads. My characters are sassy and full of life, constantly tripping over their own feet but always managing to get back up again. My books have an over-riding message of love and hope, with a healthy dollop of British wit thrown in.

Clare is also one of the authors profiled on The Lesbian Review. Authors are posed a standard set of questions and this is Clare’s response when asked who inspired her to start writing:

Originally, my dad. He was a journalist back in the day, and he instilled a love of books in me from an early age. He took me to the library as a child, and bought me a book every week when I was a young adult.

Discovering Georgia Beers’s novels opened up the lesbian romance genre for me. If you haven’t read Georgia Beers yet, you should – her books are fab.

A few years later, after reading about tons of American lesbians, I thought, ‘Hey, I could do this!’, but set the books in the UK to reflect the British experience.

You can read the rest of her responses here.

INTO-THE-FIRE-largeFinally a few bits and pieces from one of the star authors at L Fest, Manda Scott.

Manda’s tale of Joan of Arc intertwined with a modern day police investigation,  Into the Fire was reviewed at the Crime Worm blog:

This book’s got the lot to be one of this year’s intelligent hits. For those who like their crime fiction, there’s a superb present-day mystery, which is intelligently and classily done, with plenty of action. There’s the historical fiction aspect; the spies (in both storylines); political machinations (ditto); war scenes, exciting and readable – real edge-of-your-seat stuff; back-stabbing; great dialogue; an absolute dream of a cast, each one superbly drawn and nicely rounded

Manda has also been talking about writing dual timeline thrillers, such as Into the Fire, on the Big Thrill:

Still, there are some kinds of writing that have always struck me as way more scary than the standard “get on a horse and make it go” variety. Writing a dual timeline novel particularly, feels more like the circus trick where you stand on the backs of two over-bred greys and send them spinning round the ring in the hope that neither will decide to bolt off at right angles: you have to be a hardcore adrenaline junky even to contemplate it.

You can read the rest of her piece here.


Right. Where’s me camera? Moff to take some snaps of them authors. Ta rah!


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