Archive | April, 2014

Guest Post and Giveaway from Andrea Bramhall

29 Apr

BSB-AndreaBramhallLgToday we have a short guest post from Andrea Bramhall, and a chance to win a copy of her new book Nightingale which goes on general release in May. Nightingale is Andrea’s third novel, and she has a fourth – Swordfish (a sequel to her début novel Ladyfish) – on the way in January, 2015. If you want to catch up with Andrea in person, she’ll be attending the Bold Strokes Books UK shindig in Nottingham on June 7th and 8th (head here for more details.)

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Inspiration; ɪnspɪˈreɪʃ(ə)n/ {noun} A fickle creature that visits at the most inconvenient times and deserts us when we need it most. Can sometimes be coaxed to a party with a wide range of stimulants given its addictive nature, and originates from the same genus of animal as creativity, inventiveness, and imagination.

One thing I do know about inspiration is that it can come from anywhere, at any time, and smack you, like a brick…right between the eyes.

The inspiration for my book, Nightingale, started very simply. It started when I heard a song on the radio. Norah Jones’ Nightingale. A lovely, wistful little song with a very simple lyric line. And the first few lines of the song were all it took for me to form the idea of ill-fated lovers, longing for the past they had together and their only desire being to find each other again, to re-kindle the flickering flames of their passion, and spend eternity burying the pain of their separation.

nightingale“Nightingale
Sing us a song
Of a love that once belonged
Nightingale
Tell me your tale
Was your journey far too long?

Does it seem like I’m looking for an answer
To a question I can’t ask?”

It was this final line that led me to the deeper parts of the story in Nightingale.

Hazaar and Charlie meet and fall in love at University. They spend three years together trying to ignore the fact that time is ticking away as the expectations of Hazaar’s family creep up on them. Hazaar’s father is a respected businessman in the strong Muslim community in the North of England, and Hazaar knows that the time is coming when she will have to decide between her love for Charlie and her own self-respect, or everything she has held dear in her life to that point. Her faith, her family, her culture, friends…everything. She is looking for the answer to the question both of them are too afraid to ask. When the time comes…which will she choose? What are the consequences of each choice? And can she live with the consequences of her final decision?

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For a chance to win a signed paperback copy or an ebook of Nightingale simply answer the following question, and correct answers will go into the proverbial hat to be drawn at random.

What does ‘Hazaar’ mean in Arabic?

Email your answer to andreabramhall@rocketmail.com. Good luck!

News Roundup: New Author H.P. Munro, Emma Donoghue on Goodreads, New Short Story from Niamh Murphy, Reviews, Blogs & More!

24 Apr

As we stagger out of our egg shaped, chocolate-binge haze and begin to count down the days until our next Bank Holiday (holy crap, May 5th? That’s only another 10 days!) let’s find out what our UK authors been up to over the long, lazy Easter weekend. Hmm, quite a lot actually…

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silver-wings-h-p-munro-paperback-cover-artA warm welcome this week to an author new to our site. H.P. Munro started writing in 2010 and lives in Edinburgh with her wife. Her début novel Silver Wings has just been been shortlisted for the 2014 Goldies in the category of Historical Fiction, and her second novel Grace Falls was published in February. She is currently working on her third novel Stars Collide. You can find more about H.P. on her website, or on her Facebook page, and she also tweets: @munrohp

Back in January, this is what F/F review blog Loving Venus-Loving Mars had to say about Silver Wings:

Ultimately though, it’s about two women who fall in love and try to navigate how to be together during this time period and being separated due to their service and social mores of the time. I liked that the author did both a prologue and an epilogue from current time. It gave a strong feeling of a life- long interesting history of a woman, her love, and other women who had guts and lived what they wanted to.

You can read the full text of that review here.

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emma-donoghue-illo_2373764bTuesday of this week saw Emma Donoghue answering questions over on Goodreads. The chat covered loads of ground, taking in pretty much all of Emma’s novels, from her early works to her current release Frog Music. Emma had this to say to a reader wondering when another LesFic novel might be on the agenda,

If by ‘another book like Landing or Stir-fry‘ you mean contemporary and lesbian themed, I don’t know: the next time a really good idea along those lines seizes me! 

So, basically, never say never! The Q&A is well worth a read and can be found here in its entirety.

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Niamh Murphy may have been quiet on the blogging front for a little while, but she’s still busy writing. She has recently posted the first two chapters of a new story – The Lady Edris and the Kingdom in a Cave –  onto Wattpad. That link will take you to the table of contents. Niamh has been chatting to readers in the comments section after each chapter, so be sure to leave her some feedback 🙂

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JadeWintersphotoKeeping it real in Faking It, is a new blog entry from Jade Winters in which she focuses on the creation of characters. Jade gives away some handy hints for any budding writers out there, or for any readers who might be interested in the processes involved in shaping a character:

Getting into the mindset of different characters requires truly stepping back, removing your own head and thinking about things in a different way. As a writer, you might actually loathe one of your characters but you have to resist the urge to ‘correct’ them , instead you must just let their voice be heard, however ugly. That can be hard, as I always want to see the best in people. With regard to writing a character’s dialogue, people may think your dialogue is clichéd in certain aspects, but guess what – real life people are! Not everyone has the wit of Oscar Wilde, so you can’t throw hilarious one liners or incredible vocabulary in unless it fits the character.

The full blog can be found at the above link.

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nightingaleWith a new novel – Nightingale – set for release next month, Andrea Bramhall has been blogging over on the Bold Strokes Authors‘ blog. Her piece, themed around the issue of illiteracy, ties into the novel, but Andrea’s not yet spilling the beans as to exactly how.

My parents were born in England and tracing back my family tree we’re talking at least eight generations born and raised in England. One of the wealthiest, most educated countries in the world. And when I was twelve I found out something that shocked me about my Granddad Adshead – my mum’s dad. I found out he couldn’t read. He couldn’t write. Not even enough to sign his own name. I saw a copy of his marriage certificate – he marked it with a cross.

To read the rest of the blog, and for a chance to win a copy of Nightingale, head to this link. And if you miss out this time around, we’ll be hosting a blog from Andrea and another giveaway early next week.

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LittleWhispersClosing out the week with a lovely pair of quickies from Planet of the Books, who posted a short review for Jade WintersSay Something:

Two strong female leads blend together in romance, friendship and possibly more, in this story that leads a windy, twisty path to a happy conclusion. 

And another brief write up of Karen Campbell‘s short story collection Little Whispers:

This lovely collection of short stories combines heart with a range of interesting characters, and a common thread of fond retrospect.

Both books scored a cracking 4 out of 5 on the Ultimate Planet Book Rating.

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Okay, time to put the kettle on and say ta-ta for now. I might console myself with a nice bourbon biccie – I just realised I’m working the next bank hol…

 

News roundup: Kiki Archer novel hot off the press, free audio story from Rachel Dax, a ton of stuff from Emma Donoghue and Goldie finalists

18 Apr

The sun is shining (somewhere) and there are eggs to be hunted down so I’ll keep this short and snappy.

WhenYouKnowKiki Archer‘s much anticipated chicklit sequel to One Foot onto the Ice is out. When You Know shot straight to number one in the Amazon UK lesfic charts. (The trailer’s here.)

Fans of her books really shouldn’t miss out on this one. Here’s what reviewer Terry Baker made of it:

“in my honest opinion, this is one of the most hilarious books I’ve read in ages. This book is written by a British author, but I’m more than certain that wherever you are from, you’ll be laughing at the antics of some of these characters in this book…This book is crying out for a sequel. It simply has to have one. When you read it, you’ll see why.”

You can read the rest of the review here.

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gabrielMeanwhile, Rachel Dax has turned her pen, voice and camera to a children’s story for adults with strong LGBTQ themes. The audio story of Gabriel the singing goose is available here on YouTube, where you experience Rachel’s impressive range of talents.

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Kerry Hudson (author of Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma) has set up a new mentoring project for female writers. The aim of the WoMentoring Project is to address the lack of peer mentoring available for women, professional services being prohibitively expensive for most. It’s an unfunded project run on goodwill and author, editor and agent mentors offer their skills for free to women just starting out. Here’s the link for more information.

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FrogMusicOn to a multitude of pieces on Frog Music by Emma Donoghue.

The New Yorker has an excellent post by Emma Donoghue on the cultural influences on Frog Music.

“I drew on so many visual sources: maps, oil paintings, fashion plates, newspaper cartoons, jewelry, and children’s toys. But it was photography—the thrilling new art of the nineteenth century—that I found most inspiring, not just for the information it captured but for the mood of the times.”

There’s also an interview with Emma on Goodreads where she answers questions about her latest book, Room and how she works, and a more general interview with the Huffington Post about what makes a good story and her background as a writer. She’s also grilled on her reading taste in this interview on the New York Times site.

If you’re in any doubt about reading Frog Music check the review on C-Spot which starts:

The latest work from Emma Donoghue is one that will stick with you for a while. Frog Music is a gem. Set in the scalding summer of 1876 in the midst of a smallpox epidemic, Donoghue’s story surrounding the little-known unsolved murder of Jenny Bonnet unfolds. From the very beginning, she pulls the reader into the heat and the period with imagery that isn’t verbose but also doesn’t leave you wanting.

Read the rest of the review here.

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GCLS clean logoAnnouncements have started for this year’s Goldie shortlists. The YA category is already up and Amy Dunne (Secrets and Lies) and KE Payne (The Road to Her) are finalists. I Beacham‘s The Rarest Rose has also been selected in Paranormal/Horror and Rachel Dax‘s The Legend of Pope Joan in the historical category. Congratulations everyone! It’s fantastic to see so many Brits short-listed. You can keep up with the announcements  here.

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easter-chicken-baskets-1267061-mThat is all, except to wish you a Happy Easter, or a Happy Ishtar, and hope that you celebrate this weekend of renewal, or fertility and sex, in an appropriate and enjoyable manner. For me that involves chocolate. Ta ra.

Guest Blog from Jody Klaire: The Essence of Home

14 Apr

Today we welcome Jody Klaire as a guest blogger. Hailing from Wales, Jody’s career to date has seen her enjoying stints as a singer/songwriter and a police officer, and she apparently lives with some kind of small petting zoo which includes her golden retriever, several gerbils, some sneaky house mice, and a neighbour’s cat. Her début novel The Empath (book one of the Above and Beyond series) is due out from Bedazzled Ink this summer.

But enough from me, I’ll let Jody tell you the rest…

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The Essence of Home

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Well hello there!

JodyKlaireFor those of you who haven’t met me yet, I’m Jody Klaire, a chatty Welsh-woman from the south. I converted from writing songs and music to novels in 2011, and my debut book The Empath is out with Bedazzled Ink in the summer.

With the introductions out of the way, when the ladies allowed me to write a guest blog I wondered just what I could talk about. Then it came to me in an Oscar Wilde flash: ‘Two nations divided by a common language’.

You see, I’m part of the Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) and the British Writer’s Workshop Wordcloud, and through getting the wonderful benefits both offer, I have found a home in Bedazzled. Both groups have taught me to see the differences in our cultures and language, as well as our common traits. So I thought that I would look at the way both sides have influenced our genre and cultures, and vice versa.

Since you follow this blog, I am guessing that you like to read, write or both. Perhaps, like me, before you dared to consider the possibilities of who you were, you took solace in the stories of others: authors who, like you, may have stuck out like a football fan at a rugby match. They gave you characters who resonated with you, and you experienced that exciting and slightly addictive sense that when you picked up those books, you met people who felt the same way that you did. Authors who showed you that you weren’t alone but part of a wonderful vibrant world.

When I think of authors with that power, I think of Gerri Hill, Karin Kallmaker, Georgia Beers, Katherine V. Forrest, Radclyffe… you could probably insert an awful lot more. They are only the tip of a huge Arctic iceberg that includes my own fellow Bedazzled authors – Ann McMan, Sandra Moran and Barrett – and Sapphire’s Isabella, Lynette Mae and Linda K Silva, to name a few, and that’s without listing the countless indie authors. In America the genre is bubbling, growing and creating new ways for readers to connect to their culture.

Through the words of those authors, I discovered a continent. Through their characters, I learned about their complex network of subcultures and experienced their issues. Through their works, we live so many different lives. The sheer power of the book (or eReader) in your hands to transport you to a place that understands you and frees you is essential to me as both a reader and an author.

But…

Sometimes we need characters who live a little closer, ones who echo our own lives. Here in the UK we have some big hitters of our own, authors like Sarah Waters, who launched a whole new world to another generation through TV adaptations. I wonder how many readers were drawn by the BBC depictions. This, of course, is missing out Jeanette Winterson and Val McDermid, to name only a few. They are power players in their own right, who show our culture and speak in a way that resonates with us.

theempath_lgSo what does all of this have to do with my writing? Well, The Empath is a fusing of these two cultures. It is based in the fictional town of Oppidum, Missouri, which echoes British and American cultures. Aeron, my main lady, has subtle touches that I hope British readers will spot and enjoy. Her series takes in a continent that I have learned so much about, yet through the eyes of someone who, I hope, will feel like a treasured companion.

The second series will be launched in the winter with Fractured and takes in the city of Edinburgh. I love the old town, and I explore it through the eyes of Nita, who is not the kind of person you may be used to spending time with. In my writing, I strive to create characters who compel you, if not lure you, into wanting to know them.

My two series seem to mimic what I am talking about here. Aeron and Nita are polar opposites in some ways, yet they share a common author… me!

I feel that we, as British authors, have a culture and a society at our mercy to play with and depict in rich new ways. We have so much history, so many facets to our wonderful nation. It would be amazing if we could share that with our American sisters and, of course, globally. Speaking only of Wales, it is incredible how different life is for people who are only separated by miles. We have some incredible scenery at our fingertips here in the UK too.

Just as America has the GCLS as a source and an epicentre, wouldn’t it be lovely to see that kind of community grow over here? A place where indie authors and those from publishing houses can meet, conspire and educate, all while meeting the readers and hopefully attracting swathes of new ones. Sites like this one play a great part in that vision, so I am thankful to Cari and Tig for undertaking such a big task. You rock, ladies!

The GCLS philosophy of paying it forward is one that has made their side of the pond an indomitable force in our genres. I hope that we Brits can feed off that and forge the same sense of camaraderie. I hope that we can drive each other to new heights in order to reach that young girl (or young-at-heart girl) and show her that there is a world ripe for her to explore. A world brimming with possibility and excitement, a world that is even closer to home than she realises… in fact, it’s right there in her hands.

Big smiles!
Jody

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You can catch up with Jody here at her blog or over at her Facebook page.

 

News Roundup: BSB UK Fest Line-Up Revealed, Interviews with Pauline George & RJ Samuel, Blogs, Reviews, Events, & More!

11 Apr

rainbow-wedding-cake__fullAs gay wedding bells finally (legally!) chime across England and Wales, and lesbian couples break out the taffeta, pearls, triple-tiered cakes, and tuxedos, Tig and I would like to offer our congratulations to anyone who has already tied or is planning to tie the knot.

So how will LesFic respond to the new changes? What term will authors use for these newly married women? Do we stick with partner or move on to wife? ‘Er indoors? The old ball and chain? The missus? The better half? Only time will tell, but it’s lovely to have all the choices at our disposal.

Anyway I digress, where was I? Oh, aye, let’s get on with the news…

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bold books logoFirst this week, I can reveal the line-up of authors who will be putting on their best game face for the Bold Strokes Books UK Festival. The weekend-long free-for-all (in pretty much every sense of the term!) is being held in Nottingham on June 7th & 8th and features author panels, readings, Q&A sessions, signings, meet-and-greets, giveaways, loads of food, shenanigans, and the chance to hang out with other like-minded LesFic-loving folk.

This year the authors and editors attending will be:

group shotI. Beacham (Sanctuary & The Rarest Rose), Andrea Bramhall (Ladyfish & Clean Slate), Rebecca Buck (Truths, The Locket & The Flintlock), Crin Claxton (The Supernatural Detective), Lesley Davis (Playing Passions Game & the Wings paranormal series), Amy Dunne (Secret Lies), Jane Fletcher (the Celaeno & Lyremouth series), Michelle Grubb (Getting Lost, due out in 2015), Eric Andrews-Katz (The Jesus Injection), Justine Saracen (Tyger, Tyger, Burning BrightWaiting for the Violins), Stacia Seaman (editor), Victoria Oldham (editor), and Me (Desolation Point & Tumbledown). But don’t let that last put you off!

2013’s event was the biggest and most successful to date, and this year Vic Oldham wants to hear from you: What do you want/expect from the weekend? Do you have any questions that would you like to ask the authors or editors? And is there anything that might encourage you to come along if you’re currently sitting on the fence?

Feel free to comment here or over on the BSB UK blog.

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pauline georgeTwo UK authors have been hitting the airwaves recently, with Pauline George interviewed by Tom C at Croydon Radio, and RJ Samuel chatting to Breda Burns and Grainne O’Reilly on wrfm Westport Radio Arts show.

To listen to the podcast with Pauline, head here (scroll to 1 hr 9 mins to find the start of the interview), while RJ has uploaded her interview onto YouTube.

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Amy_Dunne_lgAmy Dunne has been tagged by Blog Tour Monday, giving her a great opportunity to tell people about her writing processes, her upcoming works, and why she ever picked up a pen in the first place:

I read anything and everything, but lesfic always has and will have a special place in my heart. It’s wonderful to be able to read a story and feel represented in the pages. When I was in a dark place and unsure of myself, lesfic opened my world up. It offered solidarity and hope. It enabled me to accept my sexuality and source the courage to live the way I wanted to. As dramatic as it sounds, it really did impact tremendously on my life. It’s always been my ambition to provide stories that do the same thing. It’s a privilege to be doing just that.

Amy is currently working on The Renegade, book one of the Rapture series, which is speculative fiction. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where only a few survivors remain, the novel is tentatively due for release in Spring 2015.

Read the entire piece here at Amy’s blog.

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With Frog Music newly released, Emma Donoghue has a few suggestions for what people might want to read afterwards. She’s been discussing her six favourite books over at The Week news site. To compare your personal faves with Emma’s hop (Ha! No pun intended) over here.

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nicola griffithA trio of updates now from Nicola Griffth, who has been discussing bisexual characters, killing off characters, and making stuff up, with Annabel (high school junior and new fan).

I wrestled with Gwladus and Cian, and Hild’s attraction to both. I found it surprisingly difficult at first; I’ve never written a bisexual main character before. The power differential and possibility of incest, respectively, made this even more complicated of course. 

The full radio interview with Nicola that Tig mentioned in the last news update is now available at this link, and if that’s not enough for you, any budding authors living in or near to Seattle can sign up for Nicola’s workshop on the Magic of Immersive Fiction. The workshop will be held on June 1st and is an overflow workshop for those who missed out on the April 13th session. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying that places will be limited and disappearing fast, so check out the workshop’s sign up page if you’re interested.

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london callingC-Spot Reviews has a new reviewer – The Bookgeek – whose first write-up for the site focuses on Clare Lydon‘s London Calling:

With this delightful debut, British author Clare Lydon keeps the reader entertained with plenty of interesting people, great food, lots of humour, and a heart-warming romance…Last but not least, the title “London Calling” is indicative of the whole tone of the book which oozes with unabashed Britishness and does not cater to international tastes, which adds to its allure.

Click here to read the full review.

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manda-scottFinally this week, anyone who fancies celebrating World Book Night with Manda Scott is very much in luck! On Wednesday 23rd April 7.30 p.m. there will be a talk with Manda at Oakham Castle (somewhere between Melton Mowbray and Stamford, and reasonably close to Peterborough!) Tickets are a snip at £3. For more details see the Rutland Library Events page.

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And that’s just about it. I thought this was going to be a quiet week until I went out trawling for news. Yes, yes, I know, it’s my fault for looking!

 

News roundup: A pair of new authors, a plethora of reviews, a couple of readings and more!

4 Apr

It’s not so much a pea-souper outside, more a light chicken broth, but if you’re inside avoiding the smog now’s a good time to catch up with some reading and two more UK lesfic writers:

JodyKlaireWelsh Jody Klaire is a new writer at publisher Bedazzled Ink. Previous careers have been all sorts from police officer to singer. It is unknown whether she has combined the uniform of the former while performing the latter in any capacity, but I like to think she has. She lives with several furry animals, some out of choice. Her debut The Empath is due out this summer. Here’s the blurb and pretty cover:

theempath_lgBlessed and cursed with the ability to sense the feelings, past, and future of those around her, Aeron lived as a misfit child until she took the blame for the death of her best friend’s little brother when she was sixteen.

Released from the correctional facility, Aeron must go back to her hometown–the scene of the crime that no one in town has forgotten. But, Aeron must deal with more than just animosity. Someone in town is abducting and killing young girls, and with Aeron under suspicion, her distant father, the spectre of her Grandmother, and her psychiatrist–who is more than she appears–must all work together to figure out who’s invaded their town before it’s too late. Aeron must use the burdens that she has spent her life trying to hide to prove her innocence and save those taken.

karencampbell2A big welcome also to Karen Campbell a grumpy Scot who supports Arsenal (probably explains the grumpiness). Nirvana for Karen may be drinking Irn Bru, eating tattie scone and square sausage while listening to loud music. It is not known whether she is partial to furry animals but she definitely doesn’t like spiders.

violetHer novel, Violet’s Story, is a tale of a young lesbian in a mental hospital looking back on the events that led to her to being admitted. She also has a collection of short stories out now called Little Whispers. She has a new novel published by Austin Macauley this summer. The Knowing is part 1 of the Jen Keith trilogy.

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Cari Hunter readers will be over the moon to hear that Bold Strokes will be publishing her fourth novel and have also given her the go ahead to develop it into a series. No Good Reason sees Cari back on English turf in her favourite Derbyshire Peak District. Here’s a bit more about it from a giddy Ms Hunter.

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A quick run through reviews now.

treasure chestV.A. Fearon‘s gritty gangland novel The Girl with the Treasure Chest was reviewed by the Lesbian Reading Room.

This is the Veronica Fearon’s first novel and what an excellent start. Set in modern day London this is a gritty tale of love, loyalty and survival in the estates and the gangs that inhabit them. The tone, the settings, even the voices make this a novel very much of London.

The Lesbian Reading Room also reviewed Andrea Bramhall‘s Lambda finalist Clean Slate, an intriguing story of memory loss:

Andrea Bramall gets and holds your attention throughout this novel with multiple layers of suspense. Without giving any specific spoilers we spend our time wondering why Morgan did what she did, whether she will recover, how Morgan and Erin will cope, who is behind it all and then, when we have found out all of the above, we are still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Ke Payne‘s YA novel Because of Her Review was reviewed by the The Fangirl:

Despite this being a Lesbian YA romance, this isn’t an “issues book.” Tabby’s sexual orientation is a fundamental part of her and her story, as it is with many LGBTQ people, but it’s not the sole plot point of the book. I cannot tell you how much of a relief it was to discover that this is really truly about Tabby’s life and love, not a angst tale about how lesbians’ are doomed to be heartbroken and alone.

FrogMusicFrog Music by Emma Donoghue was reviewed by Lambda:

This is Donoghue’s first full-length novel since her bestselling Room, and though the subject matter couldn’t be more dissimilar, Donoghue’s trademark language and curiosity about the seedier aspects of humanity are on full display…Call it a literary crime novel, call it historical fiction, call it lyric and engaging, Frog Music is in a category all its own.

This is Donoghue’s first full-length novel since her bestselling Room, and though the subject matter couldn’t be more dissimilar, Donoghue’s trademark language and curiosity about the seedier aspects of humanity are on full display. Though the story sags a little in the middle, this otherwise fast-paced mystery is a captivating exploration of female friendship, music, cultural clashes, San Francisco’s history, childcare, and the sex trade in the United States. Call it a literary crime novel, call it historical fiction, call it lyric and engaging, Frog Music is in a category all its own. – See more at: http://www.lambdaliterary.org/reviews/04/01/frog-music-by-emma-donoghue/#sthash.5trkchuk.dpuf
This is Donoghue’s first full-length novel since her bestselling Room, and though the subject matter couldn’t be more dissimilar, Donoghue’s trademark language and curiosity about the seedier aspects of humanity are on full display. Though the story sags a little in the middle, this otherwise fast-paced mystery is a captivating exploration of female friendship, music, cultural clashes, San Francisco’s history, childcare, and the sex trade in the United States. Call it a literary crime novel, call it historical fiction, call it lyric and engaging, Frog Music is in a category all its own. – See more at: http://www.lambdaliterary.org/reviews/04/01/frog-music-by-emma-donoghue/#sthash.5trkchuk.dpuf
This is Donoghue’s first full-length novel since her bestselling Room, and though the subject matter couldn’t be more dissimilar, Donoghue’s trademark language and curiosity about the seedier aspects of humanity are on full display. Though the story sags a little in the middle, this otherwise fast-paced mystery is a captivating exploration of female friendship, music, cultural clashes, San Francisco’s history, childcare, and the sex trade in the United States. Call it a literary crime novel, call it historical fiction, call it lyric and engaging, Frog Music is in a category all its own. – See more at: http://www.lambdaliterary.org/reviews/04/01/frog-music-by-emma-donoghue/#sthash.5trkchuk.dpuf

Planet of the Books reviewed See Right Through Me by L.T. Smith:

See Right Through Me by L.T. Smith is the book you’re looking for if you want to have a great time and laughter with an entertaining lesbian romance. It’s perfect for a holiday when you just want to relax and forget everything but the magic of love at first sight and read about human doubts and insecurities that can ruin everything.”

Nicola Griffith‘s Hild continues to get fabulous reviews – here’s a round up on Nicola’s blog. They include a review from Bisexual Books:

If you like historical epics with a leisurely pace and detailed world building, and your only complaint is that none of those books have queer protagonists, then Hild is for you.”

Clare Lydon‘s London Calling was reviewed by Terry Baker:

“This book is well written and edited, gripping, fast paced and a page turner from start to finish. It’s filled right to the brim with wonderful, multidimensional characters, glorious scenic descriptions of my home town, hilarity, family issues, loving and not so loving friends, there are even a couple of extra cute children to add to all the fun. A true melting pot full of authentic British dialogue and drama.”

And while we’re here, a reminder about the book flash for Clare’s London Calling on the online discussion group the Virtual Living Room this weekend. Clare will be answering questions on Sunday at 3 p.m. EDT. Click here to join this lesfic discussion group.

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hild coverSome nice extras now.

Emma Donoghue has provided an interactive map of locations for her latest book Frog Music. It shows 19th century San Francisco with snippets of information of venues from the novel. There’s also a playlist for the novel and almost all of the songs are available here.

Meanwhile L.T. Smith has been reading some of her republished work Hearts and Flowers Border. Scroll down to the bottom of the publisher’s page for the book to “Listen”.

Nicola Griffith has also been doing some readings for an interview and a great atmospheric reading from the middle of Hild is available here as a teaser.

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fakingitJade Winters has started a series of blogs about how she approaches writing a novel. This week she tells us how she starts her novel from initial idea, keeping focussed and inspired and stepping into the shoes of her heroines. She’s also posted the first chapter of her work in progress, Faking It. Take a look here.

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Finally, that Clare Ashton has been muttering about writing a light romance for an age, and she finally got her arse in gear and did it, or has nearly done it. That Certain Something is being polished and snipped at by an editor and is due out in May. In the meantime here’s Chapter 1 as a teaser.