Jen Silver guest post and book giveaway

29 Apr

We have Jen Silver with us today to talk a little about her new book The Circle Dance. And because she’s just got her mitts on her author copies she’s being fabulous and giving away two shiny paperbacks. So have a read and leave a comment to enter the draw. Take it away Jen!

Circling and cycling

circle_finalMy fourth book, The Circle Dance, was published in March, coming out hot on the heels of the third book in what is now called The Starling Hill Trilogy – Carved in Stone.

Although set in the same area, in and around Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, The Circle Dance is a completely different story with a new set of characters. There’s no actual circle dancing in the novel (sorry to disappoint any enthusiasts of this activity). I could just as easily have named it The Cycle Dance, as one of the main characters cycles to work – a quite challenging journey between Hebden Bridge and Huddersfield.

Cycling is big around here even though any journey will involve negotiating steep hills to move between the deep valleys. A lot of weekend cyclists use the canal towpaths for a gentler pastime. My cycling days are long gone – this photo of me on my once beloved Apollo ten speed is from almost thirty years ago.

Jentbt_ten_speedAnyway, cycling aside, The Circle Dance is primarily a romance. And, as with my previous books, most of the women involved are in their mid-to-late 40s. One of the reviewers on Amazon put it succinctly with the observation that maturity doesn’t always guarantee common sense when it comes to relationships – one of the protagonists discovers the hard way that “what goes around, comes around”. (An excellent circle – and cycle – metaphor to fit the title, I thought.)

So, this is the back of the book blurb:

Jamie Steele has moved to another town trying to forget the heartbreak of losing her lover. She now has a low paying job as an IT technician, lives in a rented room, and mostly failing, at the forgetting part.

Ivana Spencer is introduced to Jamie over dinner at her friends’ house. She can see herself falling for Jamie, but Jamie hasn’t got over her ex, Sasha, and perhaps never will.

Sasha Fairfield, finds her thoughts taken up with her ex-lover of six years and thinks she wants Jamie back. But given the acrimonious nature of their breakup will Jamie want to even talk to her? After all, Jamie lost her home, her job, her car…and most importantly, the cat…all at the same time.

Follow this captivating romance as love dances through the lives of these women to its surprising conclusion.

I hope that whets your appetites to discover what happens in the story and perhaps you’ll decide to come along for the ride.

The Circle Dance is available from: Affinity eBooks / Amazon / Bella Books / iTunes / Smashwords.

jenbooksJen lives in West Yorkshire with her long-term partner whom she married in December 2014. Reading, writing, golf, archery, and taking part in archaeological digs all form part of Jen’s everyday life. Her novels, published by Affinity eBook Press, include the Starling Hill Trilogy: Starting Over, Arc Over Time, and Carved in Stone. The Circle Dance, published in March 2016, is a standalone story. Jen describes her books as romance for the older generation who believe in growing old disgracefully

News roundup: Goldie short lists, a bit of blogging, a new book and a new author!

23 Apr

The sun is shining and there’s an ice-cream with my name on it, so let’s get on with the news!

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GCLS clean logoCold to the Touchno good reason
First up, the Goldie Award finalists were announced this week, and after a good showing from the Brits in the Lammy shortlists, it was disappointing from a UK perspective. All except for Cari Hunter that is, who turned up twice in the Mystery/Thriller category. Books 1 and 2 of her Dark Peak series made it onto the shortlist, so a big huzzah and a double helping of congratulations to Cari and everything crossed for the announcements at the GCLS conference in July.

The full listing of finalists can be found here for every category from erotica to sci-fi.

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Right, on to bits and pieces from around the interweb:

collide o scopeAndrea Bramhall has been busy with the publication of her latest novel, Collide-O-Scope. She even blogged about the book and its early reception.

Rainbow Book Reviews have already reviewed the thriller and this is what they had to say:

“‘Collide-O-Scope’ is the sixth novel by Andrea Bramhall (author of the Lambda Award-winning ‘Clean Slate’). This is her first full police procedural novel, and it’s a genre she’s taken to like a duck to water. Set along the north Norfolk coast, an area the author has lived in for some years now, the atmosphere of that oftentimes ethereal coastline seeps into every key scene of this story. If you have never been, the descriptions will take you there; if you have been, you will recognize every nuance.”

The full review is available here.

Meanwhile Jen Silver has been blogging about dedications. This oft overlooked element of a novel has captured her attention since becoming an author and for her fourth novel she has chosen a cat. She assures us that she hasn’t run out of cherished relatives and friends and there’s a cat in the story and story behind the cat. Read on here.

hild coverNicola Griffith is busy working on the sequel to Hild with a third also planned, but this week book 1 made it onto an interesting list of historical novels that verge on fantasy. This is what the article had to say of Hild:

The reality of otherworldly forces is taken for granted as real in this brutal, violent land, and Griffith plays with the concept expertly as Hild becomes increasingly masterful at sniffing out plots and advising her uncle in ways that often seem magical. Anyone who has been awed by a brilliant mind’s ability to perceive what most cannot will witness that superpower at work in Hild, one of the most complex and deeply-drawn characters to ever appear in a novel—historical, fantasy, or otherwise.

You can read the full piece here.

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A new book and a new author now.

The latest novel from Jade Winters, Accidentally Together, is out now and available from Amazon. Here’s the intriguing blurb:

accidentally togetherWhen Emma witnesses a burglary in the apartment opposite, she has every intention of doing the right thing: report it and move on. However, things don’t go quite as planned…

Emma is stunned to discover the apartment belongs to Lauren, her first crush who she hasn’t seen for fourteen years.

The return of her old amour reawakens a latent desire. Can Emma reignite the passions of her past, or will the reason Lauren left all those years ago tear them apart once again?

New author Wendy Hudson, with Ylva Publishing, has revealed the cover and blurb for her debut.

Wendy hails from Northern Ireland and currently lives in Scotland and used turning 30 as the impetus to getting her first book published. You can find out more about Wendy on the Ylva website and on Wendy’s Facebook page. Here’s the book and blurb:

FourStepsAlex Ryan lives a simple life. She has her farm in the Scottish countryside, and the self imposed seclusion suits her, until a crime that has haunted her for years, tears through the calm and shatters the fragile peace she’d finally managed to find.

Lori Hunter’s greatest love is the mountains. They’re her escape from the constant hustle and bustle of everyday life. Growing up was neither traditional nor easy for Lori, but now she’s beginning to realise she’s settled for both. A dead end relationship and little to look forward to. Her solution when the suffocation sets in? Run for the hills.

A chance encounter in the mountains of the Scottish Highlands leads Alex and Lori into a whirlwind of heartache and a fight for survival as they build a formidable bond that will be tested to its ultimate limits.

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And that’s all for this week. Tara a bit!

News Roundup: Blogs, Audio Books, Reviews, Giveaways, and BBQ Beach Book Launches, Oh My!

9 Apr

Spring it is a springin’, with lighter nights, tulips blossoming, and only the odd spot of storm-force wind and rain to bugger things up a bit. It’s looking brighter in UK LesFic land as well, with this fortnight bringing forth a lively bit of news…

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the-shewstoneFirst up is Jane Fletcher who has recently redesigned and updated her website (“Welcome to my new revamped website – which has pretty much all the same stuff as my old website, except it’s got spiffy new colours and layout”) in readiness for her June, 2016 fantasy release The Shewstone.

Jane will be appearing at the Bold Strokes UK Fest in Nottingham on June 4-5th, along with a whole host of UK based BSB authors, and you can read an extract from The Shewstone by clicking that thar link.

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I’ll stick with Bold Strokes authors for the moment, because I. Beacham has been blogging about the inspiration behind her April release, Salvation, at the main BSB site:

salvationI knew it the moment I sat down in front of my laptop. The empty pages that had stared back at me the day before yesterday, taunting me with my inability to dream up my next book, started to quiver and fade. All at once, my fingers cut across the keys like a centipede wearing running shoes. They moved so fast I had to keep dipping my fingertips into a bowl of water to cool them. Yes, something had changed. I had changed.

I had entered…“The Zone of Author Contentment,” and I was finally back in the groove.

If you’re curious as to what exactly sparked Beach’s entrance into that zone of contentment, click here to read the full piece. Salvation has also been reviewed over at the Romantic Reader’s Blog:

Salvation by I. Beacham is heartbreakingly beautiful book about two women who meet at during a painful period in both their lives. Beacham weaves a tale of strength, determination and reminds us that love really can conquer all. Angst lovers rejoice, this is another book that will make your heart ache, but it is totally worth it.

As ever, you can read the full write up at the link.

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too late I love youMeanwhile, over at The Lesbrary, one of their reviewers has proven that it’s never too late to catch up with Kiki Archer’s Too Late…I Love You: 

In spite of its impressive entertainment value, Too Late… I Love You addresses important topics such as same-sex parenthood, bisexual stigma and closeting in a tone that is affirming without being victimizing and courageous without coming across as preachy. Each occasion is handled without a break in the humor or pause in the plot, propelling the story’s momentum and subtly foreshadowing some of the most memorable scenes.

The complete review is available here.

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collide o scopeFor those people who like their lesfic with a dash of intrigue, Andrea Bramhall is launching her new murder mystery, Collide-O-Scope (released this month) with a short reading, a free BBQ, and a guided tour of some of the areas that inspired the novel on 15th May at 2 p.m. The event will take place at Deepdale Backpackers and Camping on the North Norfolk Coast, and you can find all the necessary information here at Andrea’s blog. Here’s a hint of what Collide-O-Scope has in store for readers…

One unidentified dead body. One tiny fishing village. Forty residents and everyone’s a suspect. Where do you start? Newly promoted Detective Sergeant Kate Brannon and Kings Lynn’s CID have to answer that question and more as they untangle the web of lies wrapped around the tiny village of Brandale Stiathe Harbour to capture a killer.

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A snippet from Emma DonoghueIn other delightful film news – UK producer Alison Owen has optioned my last novel Frog Music, about an unsolved murder in 1870s San Francisco, and I’m writing the screenplay.

More on that as it happens.

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boundariesAnd finally this fortnight, good news for those folks who like to read with their ears. Jane Retzig has been in touch to say that her novel Boundaries is now available as an audio book, narrated by Jan Cramer. Originally published in 1994, Boundaries was Jane’s first novel, and holds a special place in her heart.  To celebrate the release, Jane has some free audible copies to give to UK LesFic readers. All you have to do to get your mitts on one is email Jane at: jane retzig @ gmail. com (take the spaces out of the address before you use it) or message Jane via her Facebook or Goodreads page.

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snowbound-for-blogSpeaking of first novels that you can now listen to, my very own début, Snowbound, has just made the leap onto audio book. Narrated by the perfectly named (and British!) Lesley Parkin, the audio book is unabridged and – judging from the small sample I’ve listened to – pleasantly northern. Bold Strokes are currently holding a giveaway on their Facebook page. All you need to do is leave a comment on the relevant post to be in with a chance of winning a copy. The competition closes on Sunday 10th April, at noon EDT (I have no idea what that translates to either, but get yer skates on!)
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Right-o, I think that’s plenty to be getting on with for the meantime. Have a fabulous weekend whatever the weather.

News roundup: Ultimate Planet Awards, upcoming titles, a bit of blogging and a pussy thriller

26 Mar

It’s Easter weekend and time to eat hide the chocolate eggs for the kids’ Easter trail. But before that, here are a few tasty morsels of news and some tempting books for the holiday weekend.

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kikiUPAwardWinners of the Ultimate Planet Awards were announced at the weekend at a fancy ceremony in London. The awards were started a couple of years ago to recognise and promote event organisers and businesses who improve the queer women’s scene.

There were three fiction-related awards and Kiki Archer was the big winner on the night. She took home the award for Best Independent Author and for Best Book with Too Late… I Love You. Sarah Waters won the Best Publishing House Author Award. Both were there to collect the awards and were reportedly jolly chuffed indeed.

You can read about the evening and other awards on Diva.

Looking ahead a bit now:

AQuietDeathCari Hunter revealed the cover and blurb for book three of the Dark Peak series. Book one, No Good Reason, was recently short-listed for a Lammy and book two,  A Cold Death, is already available. Watch out for mild spoilers in the blurb below. A Quiet Death is due out January 2017.

In book three in the Dark Peak series, things are looking up for Detective Sanne Jensen and Dr. Meg Fielding. Dating each other seems to be working, their families are behaving themselves, and the worst of the post-Christmas crime wave is over.

The discovery of a Pakistani girl’s body out on the moors changes all that. No one knows who she is, who hurt her, or how she came to be there. As pressure mounts on East Derbyshire Special Ops for a quick resolution, it becomes ever more apparent that the case won’t provide one.

With the Pakistani community closing ranks, and threads of suspicion reaching farther than anyone could have predicted, the investigation leaves Sanne facing an ordeal she may not survive.

Jenny Frame has just signed a contract for her fourth book with Bold Strokes. Royal Rebel – A Royal Romance Story will be published in 2017 (cover when we see it). Also, her first novel, A Royal Romance, will be released on audio book this year.

GallowsDropMari Hannah is onto book six of the Kate Daniels novels. Gallows Drop will be out in November and here’s the blurb:

At dawn on a lonely stretch of road, a body is found hanging from an ancient gallws the morning after a country show. Hours earlier, DCI Kate Daniels had seen the victim alive. With her leave period imminent, she’s forced to step aside when DCI James Atkins is called in to investigate. There’s bad blood between them.

When Kate discovers that Atkins’ daughter was an eyewitness to a fight involving the victim, the two detectives lock horns and he’s bumped off the case. It’s the trigger for a vicious attack on Kate, exposing a secret she’s kept hidden for years and unearthing an even darker one.

Shaken but undeterred, Kate sets out to solve a case that has shocked a close-knit village community. As suspects emerge, she uncovers a curious historical connection with a hangman, a culture of systematic bullying, a web of deceit and a deep-seated psychosis, any one of which could be motive for murder.

On to blogs and reviews:

Anna LarnerNew author Anna Larner has been writing about her first experience of reading lesbian romances as a teenager back in the 80s, and in particular Annie on My Mind. It’s a rather nice piece about the climate at that time and a book that is cherished by many:

Let’s begin, where I began, in the UK in the 1980’s, as a geeky teenager, standing awkwardly at the reception desk of my local library. I had secretively ordered a copy of the lesbian romance novel, Annie on My Mind, through inter-library loan. To this day I cannot decide whether it was indigestion or disgust betrayed on the librarian’s face, as she reluctantly handed the book over to me.

You can read the full post here.

carved_final (1)Jen Silver‘s Carved in Stone was reviewed over on Rainbow Book Reviews. This is the third book in the Starling Hill Trilogy and has “romance, adventure, a treasure hunt, and happy endings.” Here’s what they had to say about the book:

This book concludes a very enjoyable and illuminating collection by tying up several loose ends and bringing up to date all the pairs that have previously been introduced. I do recommend you read the first two publications (‘Starting Over’ and ‘Arc Over Time’) for the best possibly enjoyment of ‘Carved in Stone’. This trilogy most certainly allowed me to not only become enchanted and familiar with Northern England, but also to immerse me in everything the current environs present. The tantalizingly rich presentation of rural, small town life and an appreciation of current-day archaeology is more than great fun. This three-volume assemblage is a consummate treat. Applause!

circle_finalJen‘s also been talking about her novel The Circle Dance over on Women and Words and her problems writing that third novel:

As well as having to get to know new characters, I think I’m now more self-conscious about my writing. Before the publication of my first book, Starting Over, I just wrote stories for my own consumption. The best analogy I can come up with relates to playing golf. When you stand over the ball and start thinking of all the things you’ve been told about stance, swing, distance from the ball, not moving your head, rotating your hips – chances are you’re either going to nob it off the tee… (nob is a common technical term here in the UK) or shank it into the woods….So the trick is to let go, try to let it flow – but even thinking that can inhibit the process. I have to find that one pre-shot thought that will keep me out of the trees when I sit down to write. I just need to remember that I’m writing for myself, writing the stories I enjoy reading.
proofofevidence
And finally, Jade Winters has been quiet of late, but she’s just published a short story in the genres: Cozy Animal Thrillers and Lesbian Fiction. Here’s the blurb for this tongue-in-cheek tale of murder mystery.

In Godalming, home of astute and spoilt house cat Kitty, something is brewing in the feline community. After a string of robberies at the local butchery, Kitty’s human is fired after being accused of the crime. But when Tiddles, Kitty’s best friend from next door, comes to her for help, the tension in both human and feline worlds mount.

The budgie with which Tiddles shares her home has been killed in a brutal attack, and Tiddles is blamed for the murder. Soon to be collected by the shelter and losing her home, Tiddles begs Kitty to help her find the real killer and prove her innocence before she is lost forever for a crime she did not commit.

Kitty, addicted to catnip and Sherlock Holmes mysteries, fancies herself a feline version of her hero and embarks on her own investigation of the puzzling circumstances surrounding the budgie’s demise.

Will she solve the murder in time to redeem her friend or will she be too late to save Tiddles?

You can buy Proof of Evidence on Amazon now.

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Toodle pip.

News Roundup: Lambda Finalists Announced, New Bold Strokes Authors, New Books From Clare Lydon & Gill McKnight, and More…

14 Mar

It’s been an up and down couple of weeks in LesFic land: quiet for a while and then bang, the news came a-rollin’ in. Given the current dearth of decent biscuits on the shop shelves – hurry up and get unflooded, McVitie’s! – I heartily recommend that you cut yourselves a nice piece of cake, fetch a brew, and settle in for a few minutes.

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lambda-literary-awards_s345x230The big news this week was the announcement of the 2016 Lambda Literary Award finalists. There’s no warning as to when these bad boys come out, they just sneak online and the LGBTQ book-reading world goes a bit nuts for a while. The Brits didn’t do at all badly this year, with four very familiar names included amongst this year’s finalists:

Bisexual Literature: The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson

Lesbian Mystery: No Good Reason by Cari Hunter

Lesbian Romance: The Chameleon’s Tale by Andrea Bramhall & The Renegade by Amy Dunne.

The awards will be announced on June 6th, and you can find a full run down of the contenders here. Congrats to everyone who made it through :-)

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The 2015 Indiefab Book of the Year finalists were also announced this week, with Crin Claxton‘s second Supernatural Detective novel, Death’s Doorway, listed amongst those in the LGBT (Adult Fiction) category. The winners will be announced in June, and you can read all about the awards, and find a full list of those finalists here.

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Moving on to new authors now, and Bold Strokes Books have recently added two Brits to their listing, both of whom will be appearing at the annual UK BSB bash, to be held in Nottingham the weekend of June 4th & 5th.

bold books logoAnna Larner has a degree in English literature and master’s degrees in word and visual imagination, and museum studies. She has written and curated a permanent exhibition of LGBT voices and memorabilia, based at Leicester’s LGBT Centre, one of the first permanent exhibitions in the UK. As a member of the steering committee for the Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland LGBT History Project, Anna is passionate about preserving LGBT history and ensuring that LGBT voices are heard. When she’s not writing or reading, she loves lazy Sunday lunches and all things Scandinavian. Anna lives in Leicestershire with her partner Ang.

Her début novel, Highland Fling, will be released in 2017:

Eve Eddison describes her ideal woman to her best friend, Roxanne, over pints in their local pub a few days before she travels to the Scottish Highlands. There she falls head over heels for an enigmatic local, Moira Burns, and the usually reticent Eve wants more than a holiday romance. Forestry officer Moira Burns has no intention of letting go—either of past pain or for present pleasure. If that means she misses out on her chance at happiness, so be it. Convinced Eve is headed for heartbreak, Roxanne advises her to let Moira go…but has Eve found her ideal woman at last?

From the breathtaking Highlands of Scotland to the buzz of a Leicester gay bar, family and friendship are tested to breaking point, as letting go proves painfully hard.

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Robyn Nyx is an avid shutterbug and lover of all things fast and physical. Her writing often reflects both of those passions. She writes lesbian fiction when she isn’t busy being the chief executive of a UK charity. She lives with her soul mate and fellow scribe. They have no kids or kittens, which allows them to travel to exotic places at the drop of a never-enoughhat for “research.” She works hard to find writing time, when she’s not being distracted by blue skies and motorbike rides. You can read more about Robyn over on her blog, and her début novel, Never Enough, is scheduled for a November, 2016 release:

Award-winning journalist Madison Ford is taking a well-deserved break from covering foreign wars. That break is cut short when she receives a mysterious package, full of incriminating information on a human trafficking ring. When she’s asked to do an interview with an actress and humanitarian, it seems like a welcome distraction. Little does she know how distracting it will become.

Elodie Fontaine is in demand. She chooses the movies she wants to work on and the women she wants in her bed. Humanitarian work takes up the rest of her time. Love isn’t an option. When Madison walks into her life, she’s faced with a dilemma: pursue Madison and lose her heart, or avoid the risk and lose her chance at happiness. When Madison’s life is in danger, will love pull them through? Or will it be too late?

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Celesbrian TV, a new LGBTQI lifestyle magazine channel – has recently interviewed Scott Campbell (formerly Karen Campbell). Scott discusses his creative processes, writing to music, and choosing character names. The feature also includes a review of his novel, Diary of a Broken Heart. You can watch the interview here.

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All-I-Want-For-Spring-400On to new books now, and Clare Lydon‘s second novella in her I Want… series, All I Want for Spring, will be released on March 18th. The follow-up to All I Want for Christmas, and All I Want for Valentine’s, takes the action to Rome…

Never mind spring: will Tori & Holly’s relationship survive the weekend?

Two women in love, and all they want for spring is a romantic break in sunny Rome. But what happens when they don’t spell romance the same way? What happens when their long-held beliefs are challenged? Will Tori & Holly be willing to compromise to get home unscathed?

Welcome back to the world of London’s No.1 lesbians, chock-full of love, heart and desire. Will Tori & Holly come back from their weekend away stronger than ever, or bruised by love?

If you want to find out more about Tori and Holly’s year of romance, Clare has written a brand new piece for the Women & Words blog, which also features a chance to win a copy of All I Want For Spring. Winners will be selected on March 18th, so get yer skates on.

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Welcome to the Wallops.1Gill McKnight‘s new novel, Welcome to the Wallops (The Wallops Book #1), will be published in May 2016:

The villages of High Wallop and Lesser Wallop have graced either end of the Wallop valley since medieval times. And competition between the two has never ceased since, especially over the famous Cheese and Beer festival.

As head Judge of Show, Jane Swallow has always struggled to keep peace, friendship, and equanimity within the community she loves, but this year everything is wrong. Her father has just been released from prison and is on his way to Lesser Wallop with the rest of her travelling family and their caravans.

Her job is on the line, and her ex-girlfriend from a million years ago has just moved in next door.

Her life is going down the drain unless she can pull off some sort of miracle.

You can read more about the inspiration behind the book in this blog post.

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Hopefully that little lot will tide you over for the next fortnight. We’ll see you back here around about Easter, eh?

News roundup: a new author, new books, Polari evening, Lesvos Literature Festival and love over a battered king prawn

26 Feb

A short and sweet news post this week!

First up is new author Rebecca S. Lazaro from Gloucestershire. She has recently published her debut Unravel which she describes as a “deliciously scandalous love story between a teacher and her student, but told with psychoanalytical perspectives that keeps the reader guessing what actually occurred.” You can keep up to date with news from Rebecca on her Facebook page. Here’s the blurb:

unravelMaria Calver, 31, teaches exam tuition in a Gloucester High school. When she is referred a transfer from Ireland, 16yr old Nadia Sheridan, Maria finds herself drawn in by the troubled girl’s needs and desires, and soon develops troubling feelings of her own. Maria is tortured by her fears and lies, and suspecting her student may not be sincere, she plans to keep her feelings secret at all costs. Following Maria’s introspective, UNRAVEL weaves sensually through the complicated relationship between two females, divided by age, professional boundaries, and social and moral codes. Maria has to decide whether to remain faithful to her career or take a gamble with an inappropriate kind of love. Some months later, Maria stands accused of conducting a sexual relationship with Nadia, and is investigated by forensic psychologist, Dr Evelyn Richmond, who interviews witnesses close to the couple in her search for the truth. With explicit excerpts from Nadia’s journal, UNRAVEL invites readers to pick apart the alleged facts from fiction to understand what really occurred between Maria and Nadia.

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Cari HThe good folk at Women and Words didn’t let Valentine’s day sneak by without cornering a few authors about their real-life romantic moments. And they even managed to pin down Cari Hunter. Here’s what she says about meeting her wife:

Our dinner date was a meal in Chinatown. I managed to squeeze an entire battered king prawn into my mouth, and she says she knew right there and then that I was the woman for her. Our date ended like all great dates: on the big wheel in Piccadilly Gardens, sailing above the drunks and the city skyline. The bloke running the wheel stopped it when we were at the top. We spent a lot of time kissing. I thought that this was where our teeth clashed, and I definitely remember that she tasted of strawberry lip salve. I think the bloke knew we were on a date. He left us up there for ages, kissing in the cold night sky.

I may never look at a battered king prawn in the same way again. For the full moment and those from other authors here’s the link to the full piece.

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A couple of events for your diaries:

Mari-Hannah-008The next Polari evening in London honours female voices as part of Women of the World festival and will hear from several women who depict queer life in literature. Headlining is  Mari Hannah (who won the Polari First Book Prize in 2013 for her debut The Murder Wall). The evening also features readings by Janet Ellis, Jacquie Lawrence, VA Fearon and Sophie Sparham.

The event is on Wednesday 9th March and you can find out more details and book tickets here.

lesvoslesfic
Gill McKnight
is organising a week-long literature festival with publisher Ylva on the island of Lesvos this summer. With the big lesfic events being Stateside it’s nice to see something in Europe. They promise “Author Q&As, readings, signings, and craft workshops. Food, wine, sun, music, and friendship.” The schedule so far includes successful German author Jae who will reveal her tips and tricks to becoming a prolific writer and finding more time to write.

The festival takes place from 9th-14th June. For more information see the event website.

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On to new books and reviews.

circle_finalJen Silver hasn’t wasted any time and is deep into editing her fourth book. She has this to say about The Circle Dance:

I’m very excited about this one. It’s completely different from The Starling Hill Trilogy books. Be prepared to meet new characters embarking on a rollercoaster ride of emotions as they experience numerous ups and downs in the course of the story.

The action takes place in northern England, mostly in the market town of Hebden Bridge, with forays into the city of Manchester. Most of the characters are in their mid to late forties so you would think they might have settled down by now. But, as often happens in real life, the path to true love  isn’t always strewn with rose petals.”

Read more about her work in progress here.

When I Knew YouKE Payne has had her first review for her new novel When I Knew You. This is what The Romantic Reader Blog had to say:

When I Knew You by KE Payne is angst filled roller coaster. When I say angst, let me clarify, this is the ultimate angst fest and it was so good… It’s well written, the characters are interesting, and KE Payne really lets the reader feel their pain. These two ladies have one foot in the past and one in the present. Their breakup sixteen years ago has defined their lives in so many ways. So, when their friend that passed on, Livvy, asks them to fulfill her final wishes. They have no choice but to confront each other

You can read the full review here.

And finally thanks to KE for doing a guest post and giveaway of When I Knew You on UKLesFic last week. It drew a lot of interest. She’s drawn two people at random from the comments list and the lucky winners are Cheshire Cat and Angela! Enjoy!

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And that is all. Have a good weekend folks!

 

Guest Blog & Giveaway: KE Payne Chats About Her New Novel ‘When I Knew You.’

19 Feb

It’s my pleasure to hand the UK LesFic reins over to KE Payne today. KE likes paper clips and squirrels, and lives in the Cotswolds with her missus and a menagerie of dogs and guinea pigs. After starting out writing in the YA genre, she switched across to lesbian romance, and is about to see her seventh novel – When I Knew You – published by Bold Strokes Books. KE has two paperback copies of the novel up for grabs in today’s give away. See the end of the blog for details on how to enter. As for the book itself, well I’ll let KE tell you more about it…

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When I Knew YouAsh Wells has done it all. Travelled Europe, then returned to England years later to buy and renovate a ramshackle cottage in Cornwall, before settling down and starting her own successful business nearby.

Nat Braithwaite has done it all too. Aced medical school, then became a successful surgeon in London, before snagging the prestigious consultancy post in Ireland she’s dedicated her whole life to achieving.

Their lives, it seems, have both travelled the perfect path. But appearances can be deceptive, and when they meet again years later, it’s clear life has been anything but perfect for either of them.

Ash has long thought she would never be able to forgive Nat for finishing with her when they were eighteen, on the very night before their final school exams. Worn down by her parents’ insistence that Ash would always hold back Nat’s dream of being a doctor, Nat had given in to them, and in the process had broken Ash’s heart.

Flunking her exams, and with her dream of joining Nat at medical school in tatters, Ash had fled to Europe to try and get over her, returning years later to a small Cornish village to start up a tourist boat business with her friend Gabe. Meanwhile, Nat has already made a name for herself as a renowned cardiac surgeon in one of London’s top hospitals and has just gained the consultancy post she’s always believed her hard work and perseverance deserved.

At 35, their lives are now polar opposites. Or so they think.

When cancer claims their best friend Livvy, her death throws Ash and Nat together again after seventeen years apart, and in the process opens up a whole raft of old wounds that they both thought had healed years ago. Livvy writes them a series of letters, giving them a wishlist of all the things she’d wanted to do and see with her teenage daughter Chloe, but never got the chance to. Desperate to honour Livvy’s last wishes, can Ash and Nat now put the past behind them, and look to the future? Or is the past just too painful for them both to move on?

TT and When I Knew You bookWhen I Knew You is my second romance novel, after the success of Once The Clouds Have Gone (Bold Strokes Books 2014). I had the most fabulous time writing When I Knew You, and I loved getting to know both Ash and Nat. I felt as though I really knew Livvy too, mainly via the letters she writes to Ash and Nat. Livvy’s letters from the grave are heart-breaking, and while I don’t always relish writing poignant scenes, I did have a silent ‘yes!’ moment when my beta reader told me they’d made her cry. Job done. Sorry, SM!

The idea for When I Knew You came to me during a long summer’s walk two years ago, when I got to wondering how two former lovers would feel about being brought back together after so many years apart. I also wanted to explore the idea of lost teenage friendships and chances missed, and of living for the present, rather than allowing the past to get in the way.

I really felt like I travelled with Ash and Nat on their journey – both physically and emotionally – from their initial reunion just after Livvy’s funeral where they can hardly bear to look at one another, to their travels around England. The novel takes the pair on trips down memory lane from the dreaming spires of Oxford, to the museums of London, and on down to the sand dunes of a sun-drenched Cornwall, and I felt like I was with them at every single stage.

When I Knew You is now available to pre-order from the BSB website, and will be available elsewhere from 16th March. I hope you’ll enjoy Ash and Nat’s journey of discovery just as much as I did!

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To be in with a chance of winning a paperback copy of When I Knew You, either leave a comment on this post, or email us at uklesfic @ gmail.com (take the spaces out of the address before you use it!)

Closing date for entries is 26th February, 12pm GMT. Good luck!

And if you’d like to read more about KE and her books, you can catch up with her on her blog.

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