Archive | April, 2016

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

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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.