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

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.

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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.

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

News Roundup: Clare Lydon Lovin’ In London, Kiki Archer & L.T. Smith Interviews, New Releases from Manda Scott & Jenny Frame, and More!

3 Jul

With a mini heatwave, England coming so close in the footy, and everyone cooking at Wimbledon, it’s been a busy ol’ fortnight here in the UK. So what have all our authors been up to?

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This-London-Love-CoverIt’s always nice to kick off the week with a new release, and we’ll start with the new ‘un from Clare Lydon, whose third novel This London Love is currently riding high in the UK amazon LesFic charts. The book is a spin-off from Clare’s début hit, London Calling, and you can find a trailer for it right here.

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For all those folks who live up north, the rather fabulous Hideaway Cafe in Urmston, Manchester is building on the success of its regular Saturday LGBT nights by launching a women’s LGBT reading group. The inaugural meeting will be on Tuesday July 7th at 7 p.m., and it’ll be a chance to meet like-minded women, pick a book, and eat cake. And trust me, the cakes there look amazing. Also, the cafe is licensed, which is always good news. The cafe’s owners – the Sponge Sisters – have strong ties to the local LGBT community, and Jo and her missus are also planning a lesbian book fest to take place on September 12th 2015. The details are still being finalised, but Tig and I will be going along, to read, chat, sign, but mostly to eat cake with lesbians. Personally I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday. Hit the link for more information on the Hideaway, and we’ll keep you updated with details of the book fest as we receive them.

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too late I love youWith Too Late… I Love You kicking up a storm in the Amazon charts, Kiki Archer has been chatting to Plumsauce Productions about the novel and her move towards writing mainstream fiction:

I noticed that my two previous novels One Foot Onto The Ice and When You Know both broke into the mainstream contemporary romance charts, at one point sitting alongside JK Rowling’s Casual Vacancy. Both novels were obviously lesbian-romance, the covers and the blurbs made that very clear, yet they were charting as mainstream. This made me wonder how many straight women were actually enjoying my books, and if I did release one with a pretty, typically chick-lit-type cover, would this work to push sales even higher into the charts…

To find out exactly how successful that tactic was, hit this link.

The book has also been reviewed over at A Modern Girl’s Bookshelf, in a write up that emphasizes its appeal to a mainstream readership:

Something many people don’t realize (and something Too Late… I Love You certainly proves) is often, LGBT lit isn’t much different from popular lit that features a heterosexual relationship. I feel like there’s this unspoken misconception that gay/lesbian relationships portrayed in literature can’t be appreciated or enjoyed by straight readers. Sure, it’s viewed as “cool and quirky” to feature a secondary relationship that isn’t straight, but for some reason, if it’s the protagonist’s relationship, it’s a big deal. I’ll say it here, loud and clear: that is not true! Lately, popular fiction authors have been taking strides to rid the bookish community of this idea (see: Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On; Kimberly McCreight’s Reconstructing Amelia; John Green & David Levithan’s Will Grayson, Will Grayson), but LGBT genre writers have been doing it for years. Enter the captivating world of Kiki Archer…

For the full text of the review go here.

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heart of the packFollowing on from the success of her début novel, A Royal Romance, Jenny Frame has revealed the cover of her next book Heart of the Pack (a Wolfgang County novel). The book will be released via Bold Strokes in 2016.

Jenny’s début A Royal Romance has been well received by book blogger Leeanna.Me:

It was just fun to see the relationship develop between George and Bea, to see George’s life as queen and Bea’s as a commoner. It was also refreshing to see that both of their families were encouraging, even when Bea doubted that things could work between them because of their class differences. I did think the ending was a tad rushed, considering all the build up and back-and-forth on their relationship. But A Royal Romance left me wanting a sequel, and romances don’t usually do that to me.

Find the full review here

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L.T. Smith is the under the spotlight over at the Ylva website, with an interview discussing the reissued version of her novel, Once:

Personally, I would describe Once as a book about overcoming life events and experiencing the wondrous realization of how strong the human spirit actually is. Once is about rediscovering hope, falling in love, and learning to love life. This book is about friendship, new beginnings, recognising that although we do have limitations these are definitely outweighed by our strengths but it just takes a little time to remember that.
And, best of all, Once has a dog in it. What else do you need to know?

The interview also reveals the title and cover for L.T.’s next novel Driving Me Mad, which is apparently “a little darker” than her usual fare. Driving Me Mad will be released in October, and its blurb reads like this:

Driving Me MadFor Rebecca Gibson, her journey to a work convention will be one she’ll never forget. After driving around for four hours, Rebecca stops to ask for directions at an isolated house on the outskirts of Kirk Langley, Derbyshire.
Her initial meeting with the house’s attractive owner, Annabel Howell, seems strange and unsettling, but at her hostess’s insistence, Rebecca spends the night.
Plagued by nightmares, Rebecca senses that her dream world has blended with what she believes is reality. When she leaves the next day, her life has changed. Can Rebecca solve a mystery that has been haunting a family for over sixty years? Will she find love along the way? Or will the events drive her mad?

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INTO-THE-FIRE-largeManda Scott has been busy publicising the release of Into the Fire with a series of interviews and blogs, the most recent of which is this in-depth and revealing interview at Writerly Witterings:

When my mother died, I found amongst her ‘saved from childhood’ file, my first book – it was 10 pages written in feltpen from the perspective of one of the owls in the kitchen. It was early self-publishing, it had a copyright and a publisher’s marque and it was all bound up with blue ribbon. So yes, I always planned to write, but what I hadn’t planned was how much focus veterinary medicine was going to take to be any good. Then I had a 3 month gap between jobs and that let me start my first real book – a fiction set in a Vet School.

Full details for the official Into The Fire blog tour for can be found here. 

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emma-donoghue-illo_2373764bEmma Donoghue has revealed details of her first novel for middle-grade readers (8-12 year olds):

The Lotterys Plus One introduces Sumac Lottery, a girl with six siblings, two moms, two dads, and a tranquil cloud-painted room in the big Victorian house they all call Camelottery. When her racist, homophobic grandfather nearly burns his house down, he has to move in with the Lotterys, a volatile situation about which no one is happy, least of all Sumac, who has to give up her room. The Lotterys Plus One explores family, the limits of tolerance, and the possibilities of love.

The book will be released February 2017.

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VGLeeVG Lee has loads of events and appearances on the way, with the first being LFest on July 19th, where she’ll be appearing alongside Kiki Archer, VA Fearon, and Diana Souhami. You can find the full list of VG’s upcoming events here, and there’s more details about LFest – including a list of all the other UK authors who’ll be attending – on our own Events page.

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And that just about covers it. I’ll be over here eating a tub of Ben & Jerry’s. Y’all go and read a book :-)

News roundup: latest releases from Cari Hunter, Kiki Archer and Manda Scott, Clare Lydon getting around a bit, Ke Payne’s next romance and more!

20 Jun

Hell of a week for Cari Hunter to bugger off on holiday. But luckily the launch of her latest book seems to have taken on a life of its own, and I see No Good Reason not to start with her news. Badum tsh. OK, it’s been done before….quietly gets on with the news….

no good reasonSo, the first book in Cari Hunter‘s Dark Peak crime series is now available absolutely everywhere including Amazon UK in downloadable ones and zeroes and black marks on a page.

If you’re quick, you’re in with a chance of nabbing a free copy. Pop over to the Bold Strokes Facebook page before Sunday and share the cover and you’ll be entered into the draw.

The Velvet Lounger has already devoured the book and had this to say in a glowing review in Curve Magazine:

The plot keeps us on the edge of our metaphorical seat, turning the pages long into the night. The setting of the English Peaks District adds ambiance and a drama of its own without excluding anybody. And through it all a glimmer of humour and a large dose of humanity keep us engaged and enthralled.

Meanwhile, Kiki Archer‘s new novel has been quick out of the gates and even though it’s only been out a little over a week it’s rapidly claiming the top spots in the lesfic charts and heading up the mainstream charts too. Let’s hope mainstream buyers like Kiki’s lady-loving twist. Here’s the cover and blurb which missed last fortnight’s news by a whisker.

too late I love youConnie Parker isn’t convinced by this falling in love lark. Falling hurts, you end up with bruises and scars.

She has the perfect answer: she’ll write about love instead. But what happens when the novel-in-progress describes more about Connie’s own dull existence than she wants to admit? And when will she realise that her hero is beginning to resemble her new best friend Maria – a woman who seems to turn every simple outing with their 3-year-olds into a fun-filled adventure for them all?

In trying to make sense of the puzzle of her life, Connie learns there is no perfect person. Just that person who’ll fit you perfectly.

Too Late… I Love You is available on Amazon.

INTO-THE-FIRE-largeManda Scott‘s Into the Fire has hit the Amazon shelves and there’s also a chance to win a paperback on Goodreads. Eighteen copies are being given away and you have up until the 24th to enter (UK entries only). You can join the giveaway here.

Manda’s tale of Joan of Arc intertwined with a present-day police investigation has already been reviewed on For Winter Nights:

Into the Fire is without doubt the finest novel I have read so far this year. The writing is astonishing – beautiful and poetic. Its characters are complex and true, its heroism and evil are breathtaking. Every page of this magnificent book is a pleasure. I’ve sung Manda Scott’s praises for a fair few years – her Rome series is outstanding and I adore it – but with Into the Fire Manda has outdone herself. It is glorious!

You can read the full review here.

There’s also a piece about Manda over on Dead Good Books which asked Manda’s editor to describe why her writing was so special:

whatever she’s writing, Manda’s books have the kind of depth that drag you in and make you live, eat and dream the characters, and the kind of writing that leaves you breathless, but it’s the scope of the ideas that never ceases to amaze.

You can read the full piece here.

wheniknewyouKe Payne has just revealed the cover and blurb for her next romance. When I Knew You is out in Spring 2016 and very enticing it sounds too:

When Ash Wells and Nat Braithwaite are thrown together after seventeen years apart, old resentments and passions are rekindled. The days of their heady teenage relationship are long gone – or are they? As they put aside their differences to honour the memory of a friend, Ash and Nat learn that sometimes, to build a future, you have to be willing to let go of the past.

Clare-Lydon-LV-cropClare Lydon is gearing up for the publication of her third novel, This London Love, and has been talking to Diva about that and her lesbian fiction podcast.

She says of the show, which has included guests HP Munro, Amy Dunne, Karen Campbell and Angela Peach:

I’m shaping the show as it goes, but it’s very informal and chatty – much like a usual radio show. I do a run-down of what’s hot in the Amazon lesbian charts in the UK and US, and I update on what I’ve been doing bookwise and share any lesfic news. Then I’ll interview an author about their books, their writing process and their take on lesfic. The show lasts around 45 minutes, so it’s a good bite-sized chunk of goodness.

Here’s the full interview and past episodes of the lesbian radio podcast.

And, if you haven’t read Clare’s London Calling yet, perhaps the After Ellen site can persuade you:

Well, it’s official: I am moving to London. According to Clare Lydon’s debut novel, London Calling, the city is a hotbed (quite literally) of lesbian activity, where the drinks are constantly flowing, everyone’s fashion sense is impeccable, and the only real problem is a surfeit of women flinging their bras at you.

BSB-AndreaBramhallLgAndrea Bramhall is on the move. The Lambda Award winning author joins the pack at Ylva with her next book and is also their new UK Events Manager. In their announcment, Ylva says “[Andrea] will be taking charge of all future Ylva special events in the UK, including author appearances and our famous travelling pitch sessions, where new authors can meet with Ylva staff and propose a book idea in person.

We’ll be keeping an eye out for those new events!

The Green Carnation Prize organisers have announced the judges for the 2015 LGBT award and they include Jack Monroe and Sophie Ward. Submissions are now open and books published between 1st of October 2014 and 30th of September 2015 are eligible for this year’s prize, although self-published works are not. For more information click here.

Finally, a big thanks to Jen Silver. Her post on UKLesFic last week was so popular that she’s been super lovely and upped the number of giveaway books to three! Congratulations to Lin Shepherd, Barbara G and Ann. Happy reading all!

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And for this week, that’s all folks. If we missed something, let us know. We’re always on the lookout for news items and new places to look. Have a spiffing weekend!

Guest post and giveaway by Jen Silver – Voices in my Head

12 Jun

The giveaway is now closed.

Jen Silver is back with UKLesFic to talk about her new novel, Arc Over Time.  It follows hot on the heels of her debut Starting Over – a tale of simmering passion in the hills and down in the archaelogical dig trenches. Jen is doing a paperback giveaway of Arc Over Time, or, if you missed the first book, a copy of Starting Over if the lucky winner prefers. Details below and over to Jen!

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arc over timeThey’re back! The Starling Hill gang, as they call themselves. Instead of lying down quietly on the shelf between the covers of Starting Over, they started clamouring for attention.

Dr Kathryn Moss, a respected archaeology professor – well, I really didn’t expect any trouble from her. She’s usually fairly quiet on the whole, saving her energy for giving lectures and writing academic papers. And she’s happy with things generally. Okay, so it didn’t work out with Ellie and she’s still disappointed about that but the long distance relationship with Denise means she gets regular reminders that she’s not dead from the waist down, yet.

Den is much more vocal. She’s not happy with this LDR arrangement at all. The roving reporter, one time Queen of the Casual Shag, she’s now totally smitten with the professor. She wants commitment but Kathryn’s keeping her at arm’s length and the u-haul is parked in the garage for the time being.

Then there’s Jasmine Pepper. She felt she got short-changed in Starting Over and wanted more than a walk on part. And why should everyone be left thinking she was a class-A bitch? How could I do that to her? Well, Jas, you asked for it. Nothing ever goes quite to plan for Jasmine, and she gets a few shocks along the way, but don’t despair, this is a romance after all.

Ellie and Robin have been a bit pre-occupied (SPOILER ALERT for anyone who hasn’t read Starting Over).  After their trip to Rome, when Robin proposed, Ellie decided to take up painting again. She’s a very talented artist and it’s one of her paintings that threatens to derail any hopes Den has of a lasting relationship with Kathryn.

jensilverMeanwhile Jo and Harry have moved onto a narrow boat on the canal at Hebden Bridge. Jo is doing very well, thank you, making and selling sock puppets and loom bands. And what about our royal skeleton and her partner? Without venturing into the paranormal, I can only say, a mere matter of a few thousand years won’t stop the Queen of the Brigantes from having her say.

All right, guys, you’ve got another book – can I go now?

Actually, no. The voices have started already. ‘Why is she on the cover?’ ‘You can’t leave me here!’ ‘That’s not fair, she’s had all the fun.’

Sigh. Never a dull moment where the Starling Hill gang are concerned. (Am I certifiably nuts? No, just a writer.)

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To win a paperback copy of Arc Over Time, or Starting Over, please leave a comment below (as verbose as you fancy or as brief as “Me!”). Or if you’re very shy or comment averse, you can email us at uklesfic at gmail.com to enter the draw. Good luck!

News Roundup: New Books from Clare Lydon, Jody Klaire & Jade Winters, New Ylva Author A.E. Radley, Events, Blogs, Giveaways, & More!

4 Jun

Torrential rain and gale force winds? It must be summer in the UK! The manky weather doesn’t seem to be denting the enthusiasm of our authors, though, and there’s a ton of news for me to get through. Also I am typing around a cat, so please bear with me. Now, without further blathering…

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How’s about we start with some new books and a new author?

This-London-Love-CoverClare Lydon has recently revealed the cover and the first two chapters of her (tentatively scheduled for) June release This London Love:

And to get you in the mood, here’s the new cover in all its shiny redness, plus the first two chapters to whet your appetite. This London Love is a spin-off of London Calling, focusing on Jess’s flatmate Kate and her search for her London love. The exact launch date is yet to be decided but I’m hoping for some time in June. Watch this space for more soon, but for now, it’s time to get acquainted with Kate and Meg…

You can read the chapters here or listen to Clare reading from them in her latest Lesbian Book Club podcast.

Clare will also be hosting the literature tent at this year’s Brighton Pride (August 1st). She’s promised us more details on the line up as it’s confirmed, but the main site should be enough to whet your appetite for now…

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Everything-to-LoseSneaking past us in a manner befitting a thriller, and heading straight into the charts, is Jade Winters’ Everything to Lose, the sequel to her first Ashley McCoy novel, A Walk into Darkness. The book is widely available from the usual places, and its blurb reads thusly:

Detective Sergeant Ashley McCoy is about to face her most challenging case yet, when her own brother is accused of the callous murder of a young woman. Though desperate to prove his innocence, Ashley is prevented from investigating the case. Instead, she is sent to solve a strikingly similar murder.
As she struggles with the immense pressures of work, her own personal life starts to implode when her partner abandons her. Just as things can’t seem to get any worse, a past case comes back to haunt her. Sometimes it takes the pain of the past to uncover the mysteries of the present…

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lavieenbleuJody Klaire has revealed the cover for her forthcoming romance La Vie En Bleu. She has also been chatting about the book’s French setting in this blog piece:

I specifically wanted to chat about the area I chose to place the story. Ajoux-Sur-Rhône to be exact and those of you who are used to me will know that, yes, I created a new little town just for Pippa to inhabit with her friends. It is based in a beautiful region. Provence and the Côte D’Azur are some of the most romantic settings in the country.

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selected playsOberon Books have just released a collection of selected plays by Emma Donoghue:

Adapted from her book of thirteen revisionist fairy tales of the same name, this play interweaves four classic plots – Beauty and the Beast, Donkeyskin, the Goose Girl, the Little Mermaid – with an invented one about a desperate girl going to a witch for help. Kissing the Witch finds the gritty in the fantastical, and excavates magic to find what’s really going on.

Synopses for each of the plays can be found at this page of the publisher’s website, with the book available to purchase at the same link.

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INTO-THE-FIRE-largeFinally in the brand new books bit is the chance to win a signed copy of Manda Scott‘s forthcoming dual timeline thriller Into The Fire. Manda has five copies to give away and all you have to do is hop over here and complete the entry form. The draw will take place on Sunday 7th June, 8 p.m., so get your skates on. The book is released June 18th, and there’s loads of information including a preview of the opening chapters on Manda’s website.

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bio-pic_ae-radleyYlva has snapped up a new British signing, with A.E. Radley joining the wolf pack in the last couple of weeks. A.E. Radley is already a popular fan fic author (curvypragmatist at fanfiction.net), and her début novel – Flight SQA016 – will be published in March 2016.

Spurred on by overwhelming and ever-increasing debts, Emily White takes a job working in the first-class cabin on the prestigious commuter route from her home of New York to London with Crown Airlines. A gruelling transatlantic schedule means she is in the air nearly as much as she is on the ground and desperately misses her five-year-old son.

On board she meets Olivia Lewis, who is a literal high-flying business executive with a weekly commute, a meticulous schedule, and terrible social skills.

When a personal emergency brings them together, will Emily be able to swallow her pride and accept help from Olivia? And will Olivia be able to prevent herself from saying the wrong thing?

You can read a little more about A.E. Radley here at the Ylva website.

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too late I love youSummer tends to bring with it a slew of events, and Kiki Archer will be reading at L Fest on the Sunday (July 19th) Polari panel. Click this YouTube link to find out about tickets and – in the words of the irrepressible Ms Archer – “Win at life”. There’s more information on this weekend of lesbian-themed shenanigans over on our Events page.

Sticking with Polari, London’s award-winning LGBT literary salon will be at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival on Saturday June 6th at the St Mary’s Old Church, Stoke Newington, Church Street, N16 9ES, at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5, and V A Fearon will be appearing along with VG Lee, James Maker and Sophia Blackwell. Hit this link for all the necessaries.

And just sneaking in under the deadline is the cover for Kiki’s new book Too Late… I Love You. No blurb as yet, but the book is due out at some point this month, and the cover (designed by Jayne Fereday who also takes the credit for the cover of That Certain Something) is very pretty indeed.

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bsbpanelAlso this weekend (6-7th June) is the UK BSB Fest in Nottingham, which kicks off at 11.00 at the town centre Waterstones bookshop. In preparation for the event, the attending authors have been blogging on the theme of “Change”, with Andrea Bramhall, Crin Claxton, I. Beacham, Rebecca Buck, Jane Fletcher, Amy Dunne, and myself (Cari Hunter) posting entries since our last news roundup. You can read the blogs by clicking the links, and the pertinent info for the weekend’s festivities is on our Events page.

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Writer-Sarah-Waters-006If all that’s not enough to be getting on with, Sarah Waters will be discussing The Paying Guests at the Guardian Bookclub, which offers a chance to chat about the novel with the author on Monday 8 June 2015, 7pm – 8.30pm at Amnesty International UK , London, EC2A 3EA. Tickets are £15 and you can book them here. Spoiler warning as per the website: this event assumes you’ve read the book!

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jensilverA quick hop around the blogs now, with an opportunity to Meet Jen Silver on Lyn Lawler’s blog. Jen has been chatting about her latest novel Arc Over Time, writing in general, archaeology, and golf, amongst other things!

In terms of writing, I like to get straight into the story. That’s something I might be criticised for. I don’t go in for lengthy descriptions, which is why my books aren’t likely to go over the 200-page mark. Telling a good story is important to me, and I hope that’s what I’ve managed to achieve so far with these two books.

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that certain somethingThe Lesbian Review has picked out its Top 10 Lesbian Covers (that’s book covers, not rehashes of songs!) with Clare Ashton‘s That Certain Something – “a perfect representation of this sweet, light romance”, and Clare Lydon‘s London Calling – “The colours, symmetry and image style show that it is a light chicklit book and the white space gives it a lovely balance” – both finding a spot on the list. Head to the website to see if you agree with the team’s choices.

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Adding a full stop to this mammoth round up are two blogs I’ve posted in relation to the forthcoming release of No Good Reason. The first – a menu and swearing guide – might be a Takeaway Fish and Chipslittle like teaching British readers to suck eggs, but it is full of pretty pictures of delicious food. Then I’ve been discussing the joys and terrors of kicking off a new series in Serial Thriller, which was recently posted on the BSB blog:

For my shift-addled brain, remembering to put knickers on in a morning can be enough of a stretch, so keeping track of continuity details across two novels has required an extensive series bible, timeline, cast list, and the occasional map. As an avid series fan, I know that there’s nothing more annoying than an author who can’t be bothered getting it right, and that there’s always someone out there who will spot an inconsistency.

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And I think the topic of knickers is as good a place as any to draw the proceedings to a close! If you are planning to come to Nottingham this weekend, be sure to say hello – all being well, Tig and I will both be there on the Saturday.

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