Archive | June, 2016

News roundup: a ton of new summer books, reviews, blogs and Stella Duffy OBE

18 Jun

Summer is very nearly here so it’s time to stock up on books for the beach or indoors out of the rain!

Luckily there are lots of new releases this week just in time for summer and first up is Clare Lydon’s new romance, Nothing to Lose:

nothing to loseNobody would ever describe Scarlet Williams as a ray of sunshine, but that doesn’t mean she deserves the flood that wipes out her basement flat, making her temporarily homeless.

Enter Joy Hudson, local mayor & sunshine specialist, who opens her house to flood refugees and ends up with Scarlet on her doorstep. Two more opposing characters you couldn’t fail to meet, and yet, somehow, they strike up a friendship. But when the rain stops and the sun comes out, could that friendship blossom into something more?

You can also hear Clare reading from Nothing to Lose in a video available from her Facebook page here.

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Gill McKnight also has a new romance available from the Ylva website and also on Amazon from the end of June. Here’s the blurb for Welcome to the Wallops:

Welcome to the Wallops.1The 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.

Gill was also interviewed at Steampunk Cafe where she shared her thoughts on her previous novel, The Tea Machine, and other oddments about herself:

I live on a Greek island. I’ve been a published writer for ten years. I found an abandoned seven week old puppy and kept him and he is now the love of my life. He’s called Wally and he has the biggest ears in the world…oh, and green eyes and a ginger nose.

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It’s been a long time coming for those of you who’ve been eagerly awaiting Jane Fletcher’s new book, but it’s here:

the-shewstoneIn the port city of Fortaine, two young girls acquire new families.

Four-year-old Eawynn, the unwanted illegitimate daughter of an ambitious noble, is dumped in the temple. When she is old enough, she will be initiated into its sisterhood of priestesses. Meanwhile Matt, the street urchin, earns a crime lord’s admiration, so much so he adopts her as his daughter and heir to his underworld clan.

Nearly two decades later, their paths cross when Eawynn is appointed custodian of the Shewstone, the mystical orb of prophecy. Unfortunately for her, Matt is on a mission to steal it.

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saving graceNot out yet, but another author who’s been quiet of late is showing good signs of activity. HP Munro has revealed the cover for Saving Grace, the sequel to Grace Falls. No blurb or release date yet but we’ll be keeping an eye out.

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On to reviews and the Velvet Lounger has been back busily reviewing UK books.

She reviewed Jen Silver’s The Circle Dance  – “a classic British romance.” She also says:

circle_finalThis is a ‘domestic drama’ – an observation of human relations, from the hysterical over re-action of a frightened mother to the tears of a woman re-united with her beloved cat. Ms Silver shows us her characters flaws and foibles, watches them react to everyday situations, and allows some to grow and develop, while others struggle to learn life’s lessons.

Very much in the tradition of British lesfic romances The Circle Dance is a gentle story of real women’s lives. Well done, enjoyable reading and another winner from Jen Silver.

You can read the full review here.

collide o scopeAnd of Andrea Bramhall’s Collide-O-Scope the Velvet Lounger said:

“The whodunit is interesting, with unexpected twists and turns. It develops into a plot that might seem unlikely, but comes across as totally plausible and well thought out.

As always Ms Bramhall’s writing flows, her setting in the coastal village is perfect and the local colour adds a level of depth and veracity to the storyline. She balances plot and character, narrative and description, internal monologue with action and intrigue to make an extremely enjoyable read.”

More here.

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bold books logoThe BSB annual festival in Nottingham two weeks ago was a great success and two new authors have been blogging about the experience. Robyn Nyx writes:

“Saturday morning came, and we were buying giveaways and prizes at 9am in the local mall before heading to Waterstones to set up the event. There was a palpable sense of dread—what if hardly anyone shows up? It’s an annual issue, but we needn’t have worried. Over the two days, we had a combined attendance of 115, and we sold more books than ever before—over twice as many as the previous year, and that was a record!”

You can read the rest of her blog here.

Anna Larner has written up her thoughts on the event and writing. On writing a good romance she notes:

“And, as I have been asked to select my golden rule for a successful romance, it would be this – Writing from the heart, putting into the story what it feels like to long for someone, to fall for someone, the uncertainty, the self-doubt, the tortured agony of it all…”

Read more here.

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TheNightWatchNewWebsite532pxThe Night Watch, adapted from Sarah Waters’ book, has just completed its run at the Royal Exchange. You can watch and listen to Sarah talking about the novel, including her favourite character Kay, and what it was like to hand the novel over for adaptation with complex issues such as the book’s timeline and the atmosphere of war-time London. Here’s the link.

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Congratulations to Stella Duffy, writer, actorStella Duffy who was listed in the Queen’s birthday honours for an OBE.

On her blog she says:

“My mum would have loved this. I wish my folks were alive to see that their girl (no 7 of 7 kids)  didn’t ‘waste her education’ by becoming an artist … my dad didn’t cry when I came out, but he was devastated when I, first of us all to get a uni education, told him I wanted to be an actor not a lawyer or a teacher. (Because – poor.)

The citation says ‘writer and theatremaker’. I love that the palace and the government had to say theatremaker. That’s new(ish) for them. Unusual. We are making new words to tell the truth of what we do.”

And finally, I’ll leave you with the words of Stella Duffy OBE from her blog in the aftermath of Orlando last week:

“And so … we get up again. We rise up again. We fucking phoenix up again in roaring glorious flames of beautiful queerity. Because we can, and we will, and we do. And we do it in memory of those queer campaigners who got us this far, in memory of those killed in Orlando’s hateful attack, and for the sake of those to follow us. Because it’s not fixed yet, and there is so much more to do. Please let’s do this work of inclusion together, we sure as hell can’t do it alone.”

News Roundup: New Books from Clare Lydon, Lesley Davis & Jenny Frame. Blogs, The UK BSB Event, and Sarah Waters at the Royal Exchange.

3 Jun

With nearly half the year gone already and only 204 shopping days till Christmas, we have news aplenty on upcoming releases that are perfectly timed for beach reading, and a few that might find their way into festive stockings…

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clare lydonFirst up is one of those beach reads, with Clare Lydon aiming to have her new novel Nothing to Lose out by the end of June:

Really thrilled to announce that my new lesbian romance, Nothing To Lose, is almost ready to launch! The book is with my proof-reader and the cover is nearly done, so I hope to have my new lesbian fiction novel for sale by the end of June. 

To whet your appetite, Clare has posted the first chapter at her website. Head here for the exclusive preview.

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We now have the blurb for the second in Jenny Frame‘s A Royal Romance series, Royal Rebel. This one hasn’t got a release date yet, but Jenny promises it will be out in “early 2017”.

royal rebelPrincess Rozala of Denbourg enjoys her reputation as a wild child, especially when it annoys her father, the King. When Rosa’s latest girlfriend brings scandal to the palace doors, her father sends her to Britain, in the hopes that time with her cousin Queen George and the new Queen Consort will finally make her face her responsibilities.

After overcoming personal demons and quitting the high-stakes world of finance, Lennox King is content to keep her life simple. As the new director of a hospice charity, she uses a strict business approach to help the charity grow and prosper.

When Rosa comes to work at the charity under orders from the Queen Consort, babysitting a spoiled princess is definitely not on Lennox’s agenda. But when passion flares between them, will Lennox’s past stop their relationship in its tracks, or will a twist of fate bring a new future that neither was expecting?

You can find more details about Jenny’s upcoming books here at her blog.

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Another forthcoming release from Bold Strokes is Lesley Davis‘ Raging at the Stars. The book will be available in January 2017 and you can pre-order here at the BSB website. Here’s a sneak peek at the blurb:

raging-at-the-starsConspiracies. Emory Hawkes is an ardent believer. She’s an investigative journalist dedicated to seeking out the truths behind cover-ups and exposing the lies that keep the general population in the dark. Her priority? To expose the secrets at Area 51. While watching the skies over that top secret base, she observes what appears to be saucer-shaped objects descending. Whether of military design or otherworldly origin, Emory can only watch as they launch a devastating attack.

Emory’s theories go against everything Captain Sofia Martinez stands for, and all she has dedicated her life to, working at Area 51. Sofia knows Emory lives to challenge her authority, but can they put aside their differences to fight together to save mankind?

Can they save the world from not just the invaders above but also from the all too human element who have their own secret agendas to set in motion?

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JodyKlaireSkipping on to a few blogs now, and Jody Klaire has been chatting about her novels on Diva magazine’s website:

Other than I like smiling, I don’t know what to say. Odd for an author who is writing a blog to promote their work, right? A bit, but I’m battling with how to start. I could say that I write two series: thrillers and romantic comedies. Both stories explore the sense of not fitting into the place you grew up; being afraid to be who you are inside; what it is to be different… and celebrate it…

Read the rest of the piece at the above link.

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jensilverMeanwhile, Jen Silver has been sharing fond memories of last year’s GCLS conference whilst ticking down the days to the next:

I thought nothing could top last year’s GCLS with the abundance of lesbian icons in attendance…Dorothy Allison, Lee Lynch, Rita Mae Brown, J M Redmann. But the GCLS conference organisers have done it again. If anyone’s not sure about the value of attending a GCLS conference, just take a look at the line up. As well as the aforementioned Jewelle, there are authors I’ve admired from afar for many years…Katherine V Forrest, Karin Kallmaker, Lee Lynch, Radclyffe, Georgia Beers, Fay Jacobs…to name a few.

The conference, which runs from July 6th-10th, will take place in Washington DC, and Jen is scheduled to appear on a couple of panels. For more information and a full conference schedule, see the main GCLS website here.

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bold books logoWith only a day to go till the Bold Strokes UK Festival in Nottingham, their UK blog is in countdown mode as well, with new updates from participating authors: Anna Larner, Lesley Davis, Rebecca Buck, Amy Dunne, Jane Fletcher, I. Beacham, & Robyn Nyx.

The festival is being held at the Nottingham Waterstones (in the Sillitoe room on the 4th floor), and will kick off at 11 a.m. on Saturday 4th June. All the events are completely free to attend, and there are promises of cake and coffee! Just turn up on the day and say hello. For more details, head here.

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TheNightWatchNewWebsite532pxFinally this week, a treat for those who like to see their favourite lesbian fiction brought to life, as Sarah WatersThe Night Watch opens at the Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester. Described as a “pitch perfect production” by The Observer, the play will run until June 18th. Go here for more information and tickets.

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And that’s about all she wrote. If you are heading to the BSB Fest in Nottingham on Saturday, don’t be a stranger. Fair warning, though: I might be wearing shorts… 🙂