Archive | February, 2016

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.

~~~

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.

~~~

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.

~~~

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!

~~~

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…

~ ~ ~

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!

~ ~ ~

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.

News Roundup: New Books from Jenny Frame, Jade Winters and I. Beacham, L.T. Smith Q&A, Reviews, Top 10 Lists, & More!

13 Feb

It might be chilly outside, but things seem to be warming up on the UK LesFic front, with loads of news to get through. So let’s get cracking…

~ ~ ~

courting the countessEveryone loves new books, and this week we have three to tell you about, the first being Jenny Frame‘s Courting the Countess, which continues along a similar aristocratic line as her début, A Royal Romance. The book will be Jenny’s second of 2016 (her first – Heart of the Pack – is due out in May) and is set for publication in September. Its blurb reads like this:

Professor of archaeology Henrietta “Harry” Knight becomes Countess of Axedale upon her father’s death and takes a sabbatical from Cambridge University to begin refurbishing the long-neglected and run down Axedale Hall. The child of a loveless marriage, witness to her father’s infidelities and her mother’s pain, Harry has no intention of ever falling in love.
Annie Brannigan is a survivor, remaining positive through hardships. As an agency housekeeper, she moves from post to post with her daughter Riley, taking care of people who have everything she will never have. Annie’s greatest wish is to find her happy ever after.
Can love restore the countess’s heart and the crumbling Axedale Hall, or will the first foundations of love turn to dust?

As if that wasn’t enough, there was more great news for Jenny this week when A Royal Romance was awarded an Alice B. Lavender certificate for Outstanding Début. Congrats!

~ ~ ~

salvationApril, 2016 will see the release of SalvationI. Beacham‘s third lesbian romance:

When you fall in love, if it’s real, it’s forever. But what happens if the woman who gave your life meaning now hates you, for all the wrong reasons? Do you walk away? Claire chooses to stay, knowing her partner will never love her again. Her happiness has been stolen, and her future seems unclear. That is until Regan arrives.

Regan is an angry woman running from problems. Faced with challenges, she moves to Devon to sort out her dead brother’s estate. From the moment she meets Claire, they seem destined to clash. As they do, secrets begin to unravel that test them both but which offer the chance for love.

~ ~ ~

the song the heartAnd if you want something to get stuck into right now, Jade Winters has just published The Song, The Heart:

Twenty-four year old Skye Anderson has always wanted to quit her boring job as a waitress to pursue her dreams of becoming a singer. But two things stand in her way . . . her irrational fear of failure and her father’s downward spiral of self-destruction. Everything changes when she goes on a trip to London, gains the courage to sing at a karaoke bar, and meets a charismatic woman who makes her heart skip a beat.

Morgan Harrington is a successful night club owner with no time for romance. Yet after hearing Skye sing one night, she feels an instant connection to the secretive yet beautiful woman. But before Morgan can even think about a relationship, she must overcome her own inner-demons and make an important decision that might taint her life forever.

As these two women grow closer, their dark pasts and Skye’s even darker secret only complicate matters. If they ever hope to build a life together, they’ll have to find the strength to face the heartache, betrayal, and loss in their increasingly complex lives . . .

Is their relationship destined to end on a sour note? Or will Skye and Morgan have a chance at living their own love song?

~ ~ ~

Driving Me MadL.T. Smith has been chatting to Women & Words, with a new Q&A and giveaway currently being hosted on the blog. The interview is full of fun tidbits…

It seems as if everything I love to do is classed as a guilty pleasure these days, especially since the advent of ‘Dry January’. I rarely drink alcohol – I can get a hangover whilst nursing a glass of wine. But it isn’t just the booze that people are expected to feel guilty about consuming post-Christmas. It’s everything and anything that is sweet, fattening, moreish … I’ve never caught myself drooling out the words “Oh my. More tofu please. I. Just. Can’t. Get. Enough.”  Or humming happily whilst piling up the salad. Not happening in my kitchen.

So. Guilty pleasure. Chocolate, a comfy place to sprawl, loads of time, and a bloody good book. Not necessarily in that order, but definitely together. Perfect.

…And three e-book copies of L.T.’s new lesbian thriller, Driving Me Mad, are up for grabs. Closing date for entries is Sunday 14th February, so get your skates on.

~ ~ ~

starstruckSkating along to reviews now, with Lesley Davis‘s current romance/thriller Starstruck receiving a glowing report from The Lesbian Review blog:

Aiden and Cassidy’s relationship is a delight to follow and they are super hot together. Having the main conflict come from outside of the relationship works well…Starstruck is a fun, sweet read and I’m looking forward to whatever Lesley Davis comes up with next. Yes, I’m a fangirl, and I’m not afraid to admit it.

You can find the full text here.

~ ~ ~

JodyKlaireMeanwhile, the Lesbian Reading Room has been enjoying the third instalment in Jody Klaire‘s Above and Beyond series, Untrained Eye:

These are amazing characters and unusual plots. Jody Klaire manages to mix up a thriller crime drama with a psychic whodunnit and an ever so slowly burning romance. It’s a wonderful action adventure story for girls. Add in humour, great dialogue, brilliant writing and these books are just a joy.

Head here for the full review.

~ ~ ~

Jen Silver’s author profile is now alive and kicking on The Lesbian Review, and a recent themed romance feature on the blog saw Clare Lydon‘s All I Want for Christmas highlighted in the Christmas Romance category and Kiki Archer‘s Too Late…I Love You occupying the Toaster Oven (apparently the prize given when a lesbian “converts” a heterosexual woman) Romance slot.

For all eleven of the books featured in the top ten (ahem) follow this link.

~ ~ ~

220px-The_Little_Stranger_Sarah_WatersFinally this fortnight, The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters has been named as one of the 100 greatest British novels as part of a new poll conducted for the BBC. The list was compiled by polling 82 book critics and literary scholars from outside the UK to choose the greatest British novels as seen by the rest of the world. The Little Stranger is ranked at number 45.

The diverse list ranges from classic to contemporary literature, and is also notable for the high number of female writers featured, making up 40 per cent of the top 100.

The full list of novels can be viewed here.

~ ~ ~

And that’ll probably do us for this update. Whatever you’re up to this weekend – be it smooching with your sweetie, or just eating sweeties – have a good one.