Archive | November, 2014

L Is For, a lesfic anthology from the UK, is out now!

28 Nov

Now this is very hot off the press. We have the mistress of lesbian chicklit Kiki Archer today to tell us about the tasty-looking UK lesbian fiction anthology L is For – published by Kiki and Angela Peach only a matter of hours ago.

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lisforL Is For showcases the wonderful talent we have over here in the Great British Isles, with stories from VG Lee, Andrea Bramhall, Angela Peach, Crin Claxton, Jade Winters, HP Munro, Clare Lydon, and Kiki Archer, to name just a few.

The anthology is jam packed full of short stories that take you on a journey of tears, laughter, love and lust. VG Lee opens shop with her wonderfully witty Alpaca Moonlight, and once read, you’ll never be able to look at a woman called Deidre again without thinking of her shouting the word – “Dude”!

Kiki Archer keeps us giggling with her ‘Miranda’ style blind date story – Alana Molton-Croft and Me, as read here on the Polari Tour.

Recently crowned “New Author of the Year” in the Ultimate Planet Awards, Karen Campbell, makes us shiver with her rather spooky tale of The Butterfly Collectors. And there are also great debuts from new authors including Katie Bennett-Hall from Planet London and a rather steamy submission from Chloe A Marshall. There really is something for everyone.

All proceeds are going to the R U Coming Out Charity – www.rucomingout.com

Below are all the purchase links. Paperback will be available on Amazon shortly.

I would like to say a MASSIVE thank you to Jayne Fereday, who has been instrumental in pulling the anthology together with her editing, cover design, uploading, and pretty much everything else! Anyone wanting to use Jayne’s wonderful services in the future, please find all her services here: www.feredayediting.wordpress.com.

Purchase links for the anthology: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Smashwords

Smashwords feeds through to iTunes, Sony, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Baker and Taylor, Diesel, Kobo, Page Foundry, Overdrive, Flipkart,Oyster, and Scribd … so basically we are available everywhere!

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News Roundup! Polari a hit in Birmingham, Clare Lydon hits the Airwaves, Dangerous Dykes at the Virtual Living Room, New Books, Reviews, and More!

20 Nov

With the festive season nigh upon us, the LesFic world shows no signs of hanging up its stockings and settling down with some mulled wine. Which has made for a rather lively news update…

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polaribrumFirst up this week, the Polari Tour made a very popular stop in Birmingham. Clare Ashton opened the evening to the packed theatre with a reading from The Dildo in the Kitchen Drawer which warmed up the crowd nicely. Frances Gapper followed that up with a very humorous reading about a superstitious friend. And Kiki Archer finished off the first part of this high energy evening with a reading from Alana Molton-Croft and Me (from the new L is for… UK charity anthology) which had the crowd crying with laughter. Gerry Potter enthralled the audience with fierce, funny and touching kikiarcherpolarianecdotes and poetry. VG Lee finished the evening with a tour de force of stand up comedy, a gem of a reading and smidgeon of erotica in a style that only VG could do.

You can see videos of Clare’s reading here, and Kiki’s reading here. For anyone who fancies catching up with Clare’s first foray into the romcom genre, her third novel That Certain Something, is currently on sale for the bargain (and slightly random) price of £1.94, but only till the end of November, so get your skates on!

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clare lydon

Speaking of Clares, the lovely Clare Lydon dropped us a line to let us know that she has teamed up with MyLesbianRadio.com to begin a new podcast, The Lesbian Book Club. She’ll be interviewing authors, discussing publishing processes, and giving listeners the low-down on what’s new and noteworthy in the world of LesFic. First in the hot seat is author Angela Peach, who chatted to Clare about the aforementioned UK LesFic charity anthology, L Is For… You can listen to, or download the episode here.

Clare’s second novel The Long Weekend, has recently been reviewed at Planet of the Books, who had this to say:

The Long Weekend is a page turner full of authentic, likeable characters (with their flaws of course, making them all the more interesting!) and a story that unfolds worthy of its set up. The novel is self aware and Lydon is careful not to trip into stereotypical, cliched pitfalls, keeping the pace and the twists just ahead of the reader, whilst delivering a satisfying conclusion all round.

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cover_A_Unwrap-These-Presents_500x800L.T. Smith and the apparently ubiquitous Clare Lydon are amongst twenty-three authors contributing to a new festive Ylva anthology Unwrap These Presents. According to the blurb, these holiday stories give you “snow, presents, plenty of food, Holiday cheer and nicely wrapped curvy women under the tree.” All profits will be donated to the Albert Kennedy Trust in the UK and the Ali Forney Center in New York City. Both organizations provide housing for homeless LGBT youth.

L.T. is also running a book giveaway for “anyone who is interested!” In her own words:

This could be for many many reasons. One, it could be to celebrate the release of the new anthology from Ylva, Unwrap These Presents. Two, it might be because I had completely forgotten to do a book giveaway for Still Life and also for Forget stilllifeMe Not. The list could go on, but I don’t think you will be interested in knowing the ins and outs.

Up for grabs:
Signed copy of Still Life, e-book of Still Life. Three e-book copies of Forget Me Not, and one e-book copy of either Hearts and Flowers Border, Puppy Love or See Right Through Me.

What you have to do is simple. Let me know you are interested. So, either in a comment on my facebook page or to my e-mail fingersmith @ hotmail.co.uk let me know two of your choices. Closing date: 22 November at midnight.

As ever, take the spaces out of that e-mail address before you use it!

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Cari HThe Virtual Living Room Yahoo group (a place where readers and writers of lesbian literature in its permutations can come together and discuss the works and the topics within them) are holding a Dangerous Dykes fest this coming weekend 21-23rd November.

The three day weekend will be devoted to discussing the Crime/Mystery/Suspense genre of Lesbian Fiction, and is “a must for those of you who like a bit of intrigue in their reading.”

There’s a great crowd of authors taking part, with me being the lone Brit in the gang! These are the ladies who’ll be in the hot seat:

Xenia Alexiou, Kim Baldwin, Barrett, RE Bradshaw, Cari Hunter, Isabella, Jae, Anne Laughlin, Leslie Murray, Cathy Rowlands, Shelley Singer, Baxter Clare Trautman, and Ali Vali.

There will be loads of book giveaways throughout the weekend, as well as the opportunity to ask questions and generally chat. To join in, hit the above link and sign up to the group. You can receive the e-mails in digest form, which is very much recommended for events such as this!

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Writer-Sarah-Waters-006You’d think us remiss if we didn’t mention Sarah Waters at least once a fortnight, so here’s an interview that she did with The Guardian, in which she discusses turning her talents to the stage for her new play The Frozen Scream (co-written with Christopher Green).

It would be exciting if it was a hit. But I would still feel very tentative and alarmed by the idea of writing my own dialogue. It’s been an education working with Chris because this is a different way of telling a story for me. My instincts are to signal things. I would say: “Right, we need all the audience to be looking in this direction at this point.” And Chris would say: “Oh, it’s OK if some people notice and some people don’t.” That was amazing to me because my novels are plotted so carefully. It’s been good for me to explore a looser way of creating a narrative effect. But I’m not sure I could do it alone.

Frozen-Scream-main-300x178The Frozen Scream will be at Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff from 11 to 20 December and then Birmingham Hippodrome from 7 to 17 January. Audiences should apparently wear “warm clothes and sensible footwear” (shouldn’t be too much to ask of lesbians!) and “expect the unexpected.” Ooer.

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mountain rescue on the edgeWrapping up this week with a couple of new books. Sky Croft‘s sequel to Goldie award winning Mountain Rescue: The Ascent will be published in December, and is now available to pre-order.  Mountain Rescue: On the Edge sees Dr. Sydney Greenwood and expert climber Kelly Saber return in a new adventure:

Having settled into their relationship, life is sweet for the devoted couple, and a brief trip away allows Saber to meet Sydney’s family. Upon their return, rock slides, torrential rain, and surging rivers cause no end of problems for the Mountain Rescue team, while on the home front, Sydney needs her partner’s support more than ever when faced with a family tragedy. Together, the two women have to navigate between personal trials, and the trials of the mountain. This is…On the Edge.

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believe meProviding further proof that sequels are the new orange, Jade Winters has just previewed the cover for her second Ashley McCoy novel, Believe Me. This follow-up to A Walk Into Darkness is set for a January release. More news on this one as we get it. Meanwhile, Jade is still publishing chapters of her new novel, The Hidden Truth, at this link here.

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And that should just about do it for this last couple of weeks. If anyone is planning on kicking around in the Virtual Living Room this weekend, I’ll see you there!

Jen Silver: Writing a Novel, with bonus giveaway of Starting Over

17 Nov

jensilverToday we welcome Jen Silver to UK LesFic. Jen lives near Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, England, with her long-term civil partner. As well as reading and writing, her other activities include golf, archery and travel. Her first-hand experience of an archaeological dig and interest in Roman history were the creative forces behind her first published novel, Starting Over, released by Affinity Ebook Press in October 2014.

Take it away, Jen!

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As a début author, I’m not an expert on writing novels, but I can share my experience of writing this one. When I began Starting Over I had no idea what the finished story was going to be. I had the two main characters living on an isolated farm above the town of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. The landscape was very real in my mind and so were these two characters. I could imagine driving up the long track to Starling Hill farm, arriving in the farmyard—two cats sunning themselves by the front door of the stone-built house with its gothic-looking narrow windows, chickens pecking away in their enclosure, the sound of a pottery wheel coming from the dilapidated barn, and someone tinkering with a motorbike.

starting overStarling Hill farm, as I named it, seemed pretty idyllic. But, of course, it wasn’t. There wouldn’t be much of a story if that were the case. Chapter One emerged quite easily with the introduction of the main characters, their current situation, and some of their past.

But then came a sticky moment. What next? So Chapter Two started with the introduction of a new character and this turned out to be the real catalyst for the rest of the story. Dr Kathryn Moss, a professor of archaeology, had been alluded to in the first chapter, but I hadn’t initially thought she would have a big part to play. I was wrong. The way the characters took over the development of the story caught me by surprise. I know many writers work their plots out in advance with elaborate timelines and comprehensive character sketches. But this isn’t how my story developed. The characters had their say.

The idea of having an archaeological dig at Starling Hill took root, not just as a plot device, but also because it was the perfect setting for what could have been a hilltop fort in Roman Britain. Anyone familiar with the area will recognise it from the image on the cover of the book, a view overlooking Saddleworth Moor—the notorious Saddleworth Moor.

So, some bones are discovered at the farm. Whose bones are they? This was another twist in the plot that took me by surprise, but actually made perfect sense in the context of the story.

It’s been an amazing journey so far, finishing a novel, getting it published, having other people read it and finding out how they see the characters and the story.

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Giveaway time:

The first correct answer drawn out of the hat will be the winner and receive either a signed paperback copy or an e-book of Starting Over.

Q: Does the University of Huddersfield have an Archaeology department?

Leave your answer in the comments on this thread, or e-mail it to uk lesfic @ gmail. com (obviously take out the spaces there!) Closing date is: Monday 24th November, 12 p.m GMT

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Good luck 🙂 And you can find out more about Jen by friending her on Facebook, following her on Twitter (@jenjsilver) or visiting her blog.

Interview with Clare Lydon, author of the best-selling London Calling

10 Nov

Clare Lydon’s debut, London Calling, romped up the charts earlier this year and received rave reviews. She’s just published her second novel, The Long Weekend, and UKLesFic had a few questions for her.

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How would you classify your new book and what’s it about in a nutshell?

TheLongWeekend-640x1024The Long Weekend is a lesbian drama with a healthy dash of romance. It’s the story of nine friends – four couples and a single – who rent a house in Devon to celebrate 20 years since they met at university. Tension, fine food, booze and revelations stud the weekend, leaving relationships in the balance and friendships on the line. Will they all come through unscathed? It’s in the balance till the final pages!

What grabbed you about the story and what have your early readers enjoyed most?

I think we’ve all been away on a weekend that didn’t quite go as planned, so I hope that this strikes a chord with readers. Also, I love a good drama with a mix of stories, so I thought I’d stray from the traditional format of girl-meets-girl-loses-girl-wins-girl-back.

My early readers have all described the book as like being dropped in the middle of a lesbian soap opera, which sounds good to me! They’ve also all liked the fact that it deals with women in their late 30s/just turning 40, and that it rattles along at a pace.

Plus, apparently one particular sex scene made one of my friends blush on the tube. That has to be a good sign.

Can readers expect the same kind of humour and characters in your new book as your best-selling London Calling?

While there is humour in the new book, this novel is far more tense than London Calling. Everyone’s a few years older and if you put nine people in a house together for five days, fireworks are bound to fly. But there are still a good chunk of one-liners because even in adversity, humour is a potent weapon.

As for the characters – yeah, I think they’re fairly similar as I like to reflect the world I see around me. The key change this time around is that everyone’s lesbian or gay – I’ve left the families at home.

How do you think your work differs from other lesfic works of the same genre?

london callingMy books are quintessentially British, but I hope they appeal across the board. My aim when writing is to reflect the world around me – I’ve no plans to write a historical novel or set one in space. I like realistic characters, realistic situations, a generous slug of humour and snappy dialogue. I hope all of those things make me stand out from the crowd.

Are you nervous about following up such a well-received debut?

Yes! When you release your first book, you never know how it’s going to do – mine did incredibly well and I’m thrilled that so many people bought it and enjoyed it. I’m hoping they enjoy The Long Weekend just as much – fingers crossed!

How’s life as a writer?

Writing is fantastic and frustrating in equal measures, but when you’re on a writing roll you do feel invincible. Self-publishing two novels has been a tremendous learning curve, but it’s also an awesome adrenaline rush when things work out. I don’t think I’ve had a better year in my life than 2014, releasing two novels and getting married too.

What I’ve learnt is that writing the book is only half the battle – it’s the marketing that’s the next step. I’ve done a book trailer for this book with the help of a friend, and am going to try a couple of other new things too – we’ll see what works.

One terrific surprise has been the fabulous community of lesbian authors and readers who’ve been very supportive. If I ever have a question, someone can usually answer it which is a fab bonus.

What’s next in the works?

Clare-Lydon-LV-cropSo many people contacted me about my character Kate in London Calling – they all wanted to know what happened to her. So I’ve decided to write Kate’s story. It’s a follow-on from London Calling, not a sequel. Jess & Lucy and the families will be waltzing around the place, but the next book will concentrate of Kate’s search for love. I’m excited about it – I’m about a third of the way through it.

Where else can eager readers find your work in the meantime?

As well as my first novel London Calling, I’ve also got two short stories in two separate anthologies coming out this month too. Busy month, November.

First, my story A Champagne Christmas is included in Unwrap These Presents, an anthology from Ylva Publishing. Second, my story Once Upon A Caravan is included in L is For…, the charity anthology in aid of R U Coming Out which features oodles of UK lesfic authors.

Any readings coming up?

Funny you should ask! Myself, Angela Peach, Karen Campbell and Katie Bennett-Hall will be reading from the L is For… anthology in London on November 13th, so if you fancy coming down to Bar Titania on Charing Cross Road from 6pm, that would be awesome. If we’re not enough of a draw, there will be cocktails too. And possibly cake.

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Thanks Clare! Her new novel The Long Weekend is out now on Amazon. The paperback version will be available from Lulu.com from November 18th, and from Amazon in around four weeks’ time. You can find out more from her website.

Authors of year, Cari Hunter, Jade Winters, books hot off the press, and more!

8 Nov

It’s wet. It’s windy. It’s meant to stay that way. Why not curl up with a bit of lesfic. Here is the news:

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VGKiki

Photo Emma Bailey Photography

The ceremony for the Ultimate Planet Awards (dubbed the Lesbian Oscars) took place last weekend and there was a good turnout of lesfic writers. The shortlist for established author was an especially strong one (VG Lee, Sarah Waters, Catherine Hall, Stella Duffy, Kiki Archer) and reflects the great variety and calibre of UK lesfic authors these days. The prize was won by the ever popular VG Lee with Kiki Archer next with an honorable mention. A close result as you can see.

You can still catch the author of the year on the Polari Tour around the UK,  and also Kiki at the Birmingham event on November the 15th. See VG’s event page for details.

Photo Emma Bailey Photography

Photo Emma Bailey Photography

The future of UK lesfic is also looking promising with authors such as Clare Lydon, VA Fearon and Karen Campbell nominated in the New Author of the Year category. Karen Campbell ran off with this but stopped to have a photo taken.

Pop over to the Ultimate Planet Facebook page for more photos of what looked like a fabulous evening.

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smaller coverSome Cari Hunter news now. Fans of thrillers, maiming and a bit of loving on the side will be excited to hear that her next book No Good Reason has been scheduled in for June next year. The book is part 1 in the Dark Peak Series and book 2 has been signed up by Bold Strokes and will follow closely in March the following year.

Meanwhile, Cari’s last novel Tumbledown, a Rainbow Awards finalist, received a glowing review over on Out in Print:

But the characters and the elements wouldn’t mean a thing without the tension of Hunter’s action scenes, which are flawless. Other thriller authors (yes, I’m looking at you Patterson and Grisham) could take lessons from Hunter when it comes to writing these babies. Twists and turns and forgotten or unconventional weaponry along with pluck and spirit keep me breathless and reading way past my bedtime. I can almost imagine Hunter as sweating and out of breath as her heroines once she writes her way out of the set-ups she conjures.

You can read the full review here.

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Jade Winters has tarted up her website and also been chatting about her battle with writer’s block. Her readers will be very glad to hear that she’s winning that battle, doing so well in fact that she’s publishing her next book chapter by chapter and for free. On her Facebook page she says that it’s a way to thank her readers. Here’s the cover and the blurb for The Hidden Truth. Chapters will start appearing on her website from Sunday.

thehiddentruthCara 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 Melanie, her girlfriend of four years, was sleeping with her flatmate?

Suddenly finding herself homeless, Cara retreats to her parents’ home in the heart of Cumbria to lick her wounds. When she unexpectedly bumps into her old school friend Erin, she is shocked to realise that the love she once felt for her is still there.

Though the chemistry can’t be ignored, Erin isn’t the same trusting person she once was and fights to keep her feelings for Cara at bay – she’s been hurt in the past and refuses to go down that path again for anyone, especially the woman who was the cause of her heartache in the first place.

Meanwhile Terry Baker has reviewed Jade’s latest book Second Thoughts:

As with each new Jade Winters book, this has now become my firm favorite, at least until the next book. This romance with an unexpected twist, is well written and is a page turner from the very first sentence right through to the last. The story had me sitting on the edge of my seat feverishly ripping through the pages until I reached the end. The suspense was spellbinding and the intrigue intense.”

Here’s the review in full.

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HILDUKstarting oversilver-wings-h-p-munro-paperback-cover-artellendean

 

Some other news from around the web now.

Nicola Griffith has been hinting at what to expect in Hild 2 on her blog.

Jen Silver has been blogging over on Women and Words and talking through her creative process from start to publication. She is also doing a giveaway of her book Starting Over, so head over there now.

After Ellen
has been recommending lesfic romances to get you hooked. As well as the usual suspects (Georgia Beers, Radclyffe, etc.) HP Munro‘s Silver Wings is also given a great plug. Here’s the list.

And if you’re looking for something a little bit different again, lesfic author Ellen Dean has penned a murder mystery play called Fore Play. You can catch the play in York on the 31st January – details here.
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On to new books.

Hot off the press is Clare Lydon’s The Long Weekend. We’ll be hearing more from Clare next week in an interview with her on UKLesFic. For now here’s the blurb and the link to the new release on Amazon.

TheLongWeekend-640x1024 Twenty years since meeting at university, a group of friends rent a house in Devon to celebrate. Fresh air, sandy beaches and historic friendships – what could possibly go wrong?

The catch is, university sweethearts Vic & Stevie are on the rocks, their three-year marriage floundering, while Kat & Abby’s combustible relationship looks set to ignite at any second. Meanwhile, Tash & Laura have downed responsibilities & kids for the weekend and are ready for some fun; single CID sergeant Geri can’t wait to get away from the London scene to reboot her slumbering love life and that’s not to mention Stu & his boyfriend Darren who bring their own man-sized baggage…

Add in laughs, simmering tension, romance & no shortage of wine and you’ve got all the ingredients for a rollercoaster ride of a long weekend…

Chrissie McDill has also published her second novel Through a Stranger’s Eyes:

through a stranger“I willed myself to look away from her burning eyes but the hatred in her expression anchored my feet to the floor, locking my gaze on hers with the strength of a steel trap…a giant hand was squeezing the breath from me, ripping into the life-centre of my brain and steadily crushing the beat from my heart…”

Frances is a lesbian who hates change. Even her eco-terrorist husband, Dan, is as necessary to her as her sagging couch, worn wicker chair and faded cushion.

But routine has a habit of changing and as Frances’s life spirals out of control, she tries to cling to a normality that is fast disappearing.

Through an assortment of eccentric and funny characters, and with the support of Kris, her new lover, can Frances learn to re-think her place in the world and discover the truth about herself?

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Finally UKLesFic wishes Terry Baker a very happy retirement. Terry has been an astonishingly prolific reviewer of lesfic over the last few years and is the go-to reviewer of many a lesfic reader when a new title comes out. But the time has come to spend more time with family and friends and Terry’s December reviews will be her last. All the best Terry. Your reviews will be missed.