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News Roundup: New UK Author Clare Lydon, Hild Named as Nebula Finalist, Cover Sneak Peeks, Reviews, and More!

27 Feb

The daffs and crocuses are out, the sun is shining (at the time of writing this anyway, I can’t guarantee what it’ll be doing at the time of posting!) and spring seems to be in everyone’s step. So hang up your winter coat, grab a nice brew, and settle down with the news for a few minutes. You’ve earned a break, y’know…

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london callingFirst up, a big, sunny welcome to new London-based author Clare Lydon, whose début novel London Calling is out on 28th February. You can read more about Clare over on our Authors page, and the synopsis for London Calling goes like this:

“When the plane took off, I wondered what Karen was doing, if she was happy, knew I was leaving or wanted me back. Whatever, it was too late now. I was gone…”

Jess Sharp is at a crossroads – back in London, living in her parents’ spare room, jobless and single. Not quite the irresistible package she was aiming for at age 32. One night, things take an upward turn when she meets someone who could be a game-changer. However, everything in her riotously chaotic life seems to get in the way, including her best friend’s wedding, far too much tequila and the ghosts of girlfriends past. The course of true love has never been so injury-prone. Will Jess eventually overcome her romantic ineptitude and find her happy ever after? Or will she continue to trip over her own feet in the race for romance?

We’ll be hosting a Q&A with Clare in the next couple of weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

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Another author with new work pending is Rebecca Buck, whose short story collection A Queer Sort of Justice: Prison Tales Through Time will be released by Bold Strokes Books on September 1st 2014.

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a place somewhereNever one to rest on her laurels, RJ Samuel has been busy tweaking the cover of her fourth novel, A Place Somewhere,  which is due out in March. Until we get a concrete release date, here’s the blurb to whet your appetite. Good to see you got rid of the croc on the cover, RJ!

How far would you go? Would you lie to protect the innocent? ALEX HART risks everything to be with her online girlfriend of two years and moves from Ireland to America. But the unthinkable happens and she is emotionally and financially ruined. Devastated, she turns her anger and betrayal into a mission to root out those who deceive the innocent online. When a mother pleads for Alex to protect her daughter from an online predator in Ireland, Alex must become what she hates. How far will Alex go before losing herself in her own web of deception?

For our readers on the other side of the pond, RJ seems to have conquered her fear of flying and will be winging her way over to Portland for the Golden Crown Literary Society Conference in July. More on that closer to the time, no doubt.

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nicola griffithA rousing round of applause now for Nicola Griffith‘s Hild, which has been nominated for the prestigious Nebula Awards in the category of Best Novel. The Nebula Awards ® are voted on, and presented by, active members of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. Safe to say, if your name’s on the list of finalists, you’re in very good company. The 49th Annual Nebula Awards weekend will be held May 15-18th, so that’s plenty of time for Nicola to pick out something posh to wear…Good luck!

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FrogMusicWhile we’re on the subject of lists, Cosmopolitan magazine has just listed Emma Donoghue‘s Frog Music as one of 10 Books By Women You Have To Read This Spring:

With Frog Music, a literary crime novel fixated on human darkness, Donoghue proves herself endlessly inventive. It’s based on the true story of Jenny Bonnet, a frog-catcher who was murdered in San Francisco in the mid-1870s. Donoghue nails both the period details and the atmosphere — think sweltering heat waves, dumping grounds for unwanted babies, and smallpox epidemics. This is the kind of book that will keep you up at night and make you smarter. 

Frog Music is published in the UK on 27th March.

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Cherry PottsA couple of dates for the diary now, with an evening of Feminist Fables & Folk Tales taking place on Wednesday 12th March at the Ivy House, Nunhead, 7.45 p.m. The event, to tie in with International Women’s Day, will feature Catherine Blackfeather on Sleeping Beauty, Cherry PottsThe Bone Box, Emily Cleaver‘s The Frog,  and Jelena Ćurčić with a couple of Serbian folk tales. There will also be a Flash from the Floor, which is your opportunity to tell a feminist folk tale in 100 words or less… For more information, see the Facebook link above.

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For those folk who live some way above the Watford Gap, Chinley Book Group presents A Life of Crime, an Evening with Val McDermid on Wednesday 30 April 2014, 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 (includes cheese and wine!). For more details, including contact information for purchasing tickets, see our Events page.

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guiltyheartkindlecover-186x300Planet of the Books has been casting their beady eye over Jade Winters‘ latest release Guilty Hearts. Their reviewer gave it top marks and had this to say about the book:

The emotions of the two women are very well written, as I was reading this book I actually felt like I was there, living right beside them. I laughed when they laughed, cried when they cried & wanted them both to hurry up & realise they wanted to be together…

This is a fantastic story, it is very well written with great character portrayal & sub-plots. I had never read any of Jade Winters’ work before but after reading this I will definitely be added more of her books to my reading list.

You can read the full review here.

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lesfic downunderA few weeks ago, we mentioned setting a trend in regional specific LesFic blogs. Since then, the Canadian LesFic site The Moose Hall has launched itself onto t’Internet, as has LesFic Down Under, which is “your hang-out for Lesbian Fiction in the Southern Hemisphere. On our bookshelves you’ll find links to Australian, New Zealand, South African, Southern Pacific, and Tasmanian (oops, sorry, they’re part of Australia, aren’t they), authors and their books.” 

You can say “g’day” to both new endeavours by hitting the links.

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Cari HFinally this week, it’d be a bit stupid of me to chat about everyone else’s news and not mention that Ylva Publishing are hosting a Spotlight Interview with me over on their blog. I had a great time answering a bunch of fun, varied questions, with superpowers, blubbing along to Tumbledown, my slight overbite, and why I write, all getting a look in:

I’ve always written for my own entertainment, and being published hasn’t changed that. Writing a long story is like having my favourite novel play out in my head for a year or so, except that I get to create everything in it, put words into my characters’ mouths, and decide how things turn out. I love the challenge and the freedom of that. 

You can read the full interview at the above link.

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That’s yer lot for this week, I hope the sun is still shining!

Daffodil

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News Roundup: Our First Birthday! New Indie Sites, RJ Samuel & Jade Winters Interviews, Upcoming Events, and More!

30 Jan

cake!Ooh, time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it? UK LesFic celebrated its first birthday this week – 25th January, fact fans! – and it’s not been a bad year at all. We’ve come a long way since those early posts, made a lot of new friends, expanded our author list considerably, and almost know what we’re doing now!

So, we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who’s supported the site over the past 12 months. I would offer you a slice of cake, but we’ve scoffed it all. Have some news instead…

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First out of the traps this week, Planet of the Books has been catching up on RJ Samuel‘s novels with a review of her 2012 début, Heart Stopper. The link there includes a brief Q&A with RJ.

RJSamuelAuthorPicHeart Stopper is right on the money with the scientific detail – reminiscent of early Michael Crichton – and an intriguing love story between two appealing female characters, and both are stories of the heart. A fantastic first novel that combines drama, attention to detail and a compulsive attraction. 

RJ has also been busy creating Indie LesFic, a new site listing independent authors of lesbian fiction (many of whom will be familiar to regular readers of this blog.) The site is growing day by day, so be sure to pay it a visit here.

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Apparently, sites for indie authors are a bit like buses – you wait ages for one and then two come along at once (hopefully smelling a lot nicer than the top deck of the 192 – cannabis, wet dogs, and well, more cannabis!)

In the words of its web mistresses, Sapphica Books is: “one easy, fabulous place to find independent authors writing lesbian fiction and non-fiction.” VT Davy and Vickie Clifford are two home-grown talents currently signed up to the site, but as it grows I expect we will see many more joining its listing.

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guiltyheartkindlecover-186x300Over at LGBTQA Culture is another combined review and interview, this time featuring Jade Winters and her new novel Guilty Hearts. Katie Kobrossi had this to say about the book:

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an easy read and a love story that’ll leave you with a smile on your face. I felt for these characters (we meet and love many) and join them on their journeys to finding themselves and the meaning of love and commitment.

You can read the full piece here.

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Cherry PottsCherry Potts recently posted an open invite to our UK LesFic Facebook page: Lesbian writers in London or nearby, who can read their work well – short stories or poetry – please contact us. We are looking for performers for our Queer Tales session 19th Feb. Max 2000 words. Hope to hear from you. We can pay reasonable expenses and a couple of free drinks.

The full details, including contact information, for The Story Sessions can be found here.

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ylvaAlso on the look out for talent, is LesFic publisher Ylva who have posted a call for submissions for their 2014 Halloween anthology:

We are looking for lesbian fiction. That hasn’t changed. All submissions must have either Halloween or supernatural beings as the main theme. The stories can be romantic, humorous, enthralling, spooky or erotic. We accept only short stories that haven’t been previously published.

Full details can be found by hitting this link.

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KePayneWe now know a little more about KE Payne‘s sixth novel Once The Clouds Are Gone, as KE has just unveiled its blurb over on her website:

Nine years after leaving the small Scottish town where she’d grown up, the sudden death of her father forces Tag Grainger to return to a life she’s long since put behind her. After inheriting a share of a family business she wants no part in, Tag is overwhelmed by the dark clouds of her past; her brother can’t forgive her, the nephew she adored doesn’t remember her, and everywhere she goes there are whispers about how she abandoned her family. With her old wounds re-opened Tag longs to escape again, until the appearance of the intriguing and spirited Freddie Metcalfe forces her to re-evaluate much more than she thought she needed to. But while Freddie is harbouring a secret of her own, can she help Tag reconnect with her family and move on from her past?

The novel is due for release in October 2014, and KE is currently working with Bold Strokes on the cover design.

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Another novel promised for 2014 is Sky Croft‘s sequel to her 2013 hit Mountain Rescue: The Ascent. According to her blog, she has just sent the manuscript for Mountain Rescue: On The Edge off to Regal Crest, and is hoping to see the book released this year.

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vghome34VG Lee has so many antics planned for February and March that it’s impossible for us to list them all. If you fancy catching Val performing comic readings, stand-up comedy, headlining at Polari, hosting this year’s Rainbow Intersection event, or being part of Polari Up North in early March, head over here to her events page, and pop the dates into your diary. All that and keeping an allotment as well, she puts the rest of us to shame!

Monument to Murder cover image~ ~ ~

If you still have any space left in your diary , February 5th will see Polari First Book Prize winner Mari Hannah in conversation with Ann Cleeves at the Tea and Tipple, 18 Market Place, Corbridge, NE45 5AW.

For tickets, call: 01434 632931

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HILD_jacket_closerNicola Griffith has been chatting with Norelle Done at Seattle Wrote, in a piece that’s part interview, part overview of Nicola’s career to date. The feature is well worth a read, and concludes with sage advice for aspiring writers:

“You have to do the work. It involves being patient … You don’t get to be a good writer until you’ve done the work. It’s not magic, although it can feel like magic.” And she would echo her partner, Kelley Eskridge, who spoke with me about a concept called the ‘Generosity Economy’: “Play nicely … You don’t get anywhere as a lone person … It’s possible, but it’s very hard. Very unlikely. Why not make friends, and do some good in the world!”

Find the full interview here, and Nicola has also posted another handy Hild round-up, this one featuring loads of reviews, but sadly no photos of “pets reading Hild.”

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the january flowerFinally this week, a reminder to get your entries in for our two ongoing book giveaways. Orla Broderick‘s giveaway for The January Flower ends on 31st January, and LT Smith‘s giveaway for Puppy Love runs until noon GMT on February 3rd. Leave a comment in the relevant thread, or email uklesfic at gmail.com to enter.

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Somewhat ironically, I do have a birthday cake to make now – for the missus though, not the site! Whatever your plans for the day, I hope you too find time for cake.

rainbow cake

News Roundup: L Festive Vids, New Books from Devon Marshall & Angela Peach, Lesley Davis Fantasy Collection, Desolation Point Bonus Scene, & More!

6 Dec

Deck the halls (or batten down the hatches; it’s bloody windy out there!) We’re on a Bloggy Christmas wind-down. Yes, we’ll be taking a short break for the festive season from December 18th till just after New Year, but before then we have some chocolate coin-like treats to squeeze in, not least this edition of the news…

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lfestiveI’ll start off this week by keeping with the ho-ho-ho-ing and the making of merry, as quite a few L Festive reports and photos have hit the ‘net in the past few days. Clare Ashton, Angela Peach, and Kiki Archer hosted a workshop for aspiring writers, which included tips, advice, and readings from their own works. The workshop was so well-received, it prompted Clare to write up her ideas in a blog post, so that those who couldn’t make it to L Festive didn’t miss out.

Here’s what she had to say about her current work in progress, which includes a YouTube link to her reading.

I’ve been torn between writing a couple of dark stories and a very British romcom. At the moment the romcom is winning – when horribly sleep-deprived and hallucinating, dark tales are possibly a bad idea. It’s set in London and here’s a passage I read at the weekend at L Festive, followed by a reading from After Mrs Hamilton.

Click away to watch Kiki Archer reading from Binding Devotion and One Foot Onto the Ice.

With thanks to Beni Gee for the rather lovely photo there.

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dante's choiceMoving onto new books news, and the sequel to Devon Marshall‘s Vampires of Hollywood Book 1: Dante’s Awakening has just been published. Vampires of Hollywood Book 2: Dante’s Choice continues the adventures of Dante Sonnier, Hollywood agent and friend to the vampire community:

Dante Sonnier…has been left reeling by revelations of her own supernatural ancestry. She also has a host of questions, but Dante knows that life with the vampires is rarely a one-problem-at-a-time deal, and answering these questions was never going to be simple… 

Dante’s Choice is available from Untreed Reads, and other retailers. I’ve added the full synopsis to the New and Upcoming Releases page.

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playing my loveThe aforementioned indie author Angela Peach published her fourth novel, Playing My Love, on November 23rd (if you don’t tell us, we don’t always catch ’em!) and the book is currently flying high at the top of Amazon UK’s Lesbian Romance chart.

I’d never believed in love at first sight. I mean, it had never happened to me, so I guess I just didn’t think about it. But then… 
Darcy. Beautiful, kind, intelligent Darcy, who showed me a whole new meaning to the word love, and how to live when I thought there was nothing to live for. 

I’ve squeezed its full synopsis into the November section of the New Releases page.

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Amy_Dunne_lgAmy Dunne‘s December début Secret Lies continues to garner excellent reviews. Rainbow Book Reviews had this to say about the YA romance:

There is a mega amount of passion, back stabbing, caring of a good and not so good quality, tender and passionate loving, super harsh brutalizing, and a truly compassionate reconciliation. This is splendidly balanced from the beginning to the end.

The full text of the review can be found here.

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PaleWingsProtectingFor those of you who are still scratching your head about Christmas presents – ha! Not me, my Christmas shopping is, literally, in the bag! – Bold Strokes Books have just released Lesley Davis Fantasy Volume 1, an ebook collection featuring  The Truth Behind the Mask, Dark Wings Descending, and its sequel Pale Wings Protecting. The compilation is available for $17.99 (which is around about 11 quid to you and me) and more information can be found at this link.

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treasure chestWe still have a handful of e-copies of VA Fearon‘s The Girl With the Treasure Chest for those quickest off the mark to send us an email (uklesfic@gmail.com) or leave a comment on the blog. You don’t have to be witty or charming, or anything; everyone likes a freebie!

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bah humbuggersAny folks who might not have been able to make it to VG Lee‘s recent Bah Humbuggers evening of unfestive fun, despair not. December 15th (7-10 p.m.) sees VG and Rose Collis bringing the show to The Hideaway, 2 Empire Mews, London SW16 2BF. The tickets include a glass of wine and canapés, and the proceeds of the evening will go to Kids’ City (a children’s charity providing after-school and holiday play-schemes for children in disadvantaged communities in south London.)

To book tickets for the event head here, and more details about the evening can be found on that page or over on our Events page.

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Desolation Point desktopBringing up the tail end this week is my own self (story of my life!) To celebrate the edits and the proofing for Tumbledown being all done and dusted, I posted a bonus deleted scene from Desolation Point over at my blog. The scene actually gets a brief mention in Tumbledown, and although you could easily use your imagination to fill in the blanks, I thought it might be nice to fill them in for you. Hit the link for the scene, and beware – there be spoilers for those folks who’ve not read Desolation Point

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Right, all that’s left for me to do is stuff another piece of Thornton’s Special Toffee into my gob and wish you all a happy weekend. Word of advice: avoid the Trafford Centre like the plague. For the next two and a bit weeks it’ll be the very definition of hell on earth.

News Roundup: Amy Dunne & Kiki Archer Reviews, Rachel Dax at the VLR, Loot from LT Smith, Get Drunk with Frog Music, and More!

29 Nov

As November winds to a close and Christmas lights start to sparkle around the houses of the more enthusiastic festive types, we have a slightly more sedate news update for you than of late. That’s not to say there’s nowt been going on, of course…

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BSB_Secret_LiesAnyone with an empty slot on their Christmas list might want to consider adding Amy Dunne‘s début novel Secret Lies. A glowing advance review of the book over on C-Spot Reviews had this to say:

Secret Lies by Amy Dunne is a book that I read over two days, but stayed with me for quite a bit longer. Categorized as a Young Adult book, it deals with some rather difficult subject matter and is something that deserves a bit of reflection both during and after reading. This isn’t to say that the book is nothing but doom and gloom – but it also isn’t all unicorns and rainbows. I’m impressed at how well Dunne balances the darker story lines against the burgeoning romance between the two main characters to produce a remarkably good first novel.

With a 1st December release date, Amy’s book is nicely timed for all those Christmas stockings that are lacking a certain something, and the full review is available here.

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rachel-dax-stencil-imageAnother date for your December diary now, as the online discussion group the Virtual Living Room  are hosting a spot-on weekend for historical lesbian fiction commencing 6th December. Guests include UK’s Rachel Dax, author of the Pope Joan Trilogy. If it’s anything like the recent UK author weekend, it’ll be a very lively event and well worth turning up for. You can join the group and access archived posts by hitting the link.

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Kiki ArcherKiki Archer has a new interview over on Ylva author Jae‘s website, in which she chats about turning her hand to writing full time, her success as an indie author, and what shapes her typical day:

I start at 9.00am with a cup of tea and I try and catch up with emails and social media, but I hope to be ‘on task’ by 9.30am. I’ll often find myself working through lunch and stopping when I realize it’s school run time. I sometimes find myself working in the evenings when they’re in bed, but this is an option now and not a necessity, which is lovely.

You can find the full Q&A here.

Kiki’s new novel One Foot Onto The Ice is also reviewed in the December issue of Diva, which calls the novel a “fast paced, sexy romance.” So, that’s another one to ask Father Christmas nicely for…

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NicolaGriffithSticking with authorly interviews for the moment, as Nicola Griffith has been chatting to Victoria Brownworth at Lambda Literary. The piece, Nicola Griffith: Master World Builder is a fascinating in-depth look at Hild, history, and sexuality:

Griffith’s love of Hild is palpable as she describes her and why she has wanted to write about her for literally decades. She’s succinct, “I had to write about Hild because she was so important. She changed the world. Her story demands to be told. She basically midwifed English literature. And there’s no book about this woman. The more I thought about it, the more I thought, well, why?”

The full interview is ready and waiting at the link.

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See Right Through MeFree loot time! LT Smith is giving away a signed copy of her latest novel, See Right Through Me. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is “like” her Facebook page.  Easy peasy. The giveaway is open until December 2nd, and the winner will be announced on December 3rd.

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frogmusicHeading into the new year now, and Emma Donoghue’s forthcoming Frog Music has a release date  (31st March for the UK, 1st April, USA) and a shiny new cover. It also, somewhat bizarrely, has a tie-in cocktail. The recipe for said naughty beverage can be found here, along with a hint about the novel and the character that inspired the drink.

 It’s the United States’ Centennial and brash and dynamic San Francisco is where Blanche Beunon will be run over – literally – by Jenny Bonnet, a frog hunting, oft-arrested (for appearing in the apparel of the opposite sex), bicycle stealing twenty-seven-year-old who will spirit into your consciousness even quicker than she can snatch frogs.

More’s the pity that Jenny is shotgunned on page three.  Leave it to Ms. Donoghue to introduce a woman you’ll fall in love with as soon as she sings a lullaby to Blanche – leaving the rest of the novel to show how they met and why they ended up ambushed at Eight Mile House.

For those who are still sober enough and would like a reminder of the novel’s synopsis, I’ve added it to the New & Upcoming Releases page.

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manda-scottIf you’ve had a particularly frantic week, what better remedy than listening to the dulcet tones of Manda Scott as she talks to Mariella Frostrup in a recent Radio 4 piece discussing The Charioteers by Mary Renault:

The novel has been described by many as a landmark work in gay literature, coming out when it did in 1953 at a time when male homosexuality was still banned in the UK.

I’m not sure how long the feature will be available for, but at the moment it’s still here.

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planet londonLastly but by no means leastly, a quick reminder that this blog, and a few other familiar faces, are up for Ultimate Planet awards, and the voting ends in a couple of days (30th November.) Clicking this little link and adding your vote would be very much appreciated. Ta!

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Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend, and I wish all our American readers a peaceful recovery from their turkey hangovers.

News Roundup: Mari Hannah Wins the Polari Prize, Nottingham’s Newest Book Shop, Interviews with Kiki and KE, New Novels, Reviews, and More!

21 Nov

And good morning! The fabulous British weather has put paid to our plans for the day, so I’m cunningly delaying reading through page proofs to bring you this week’s news. Never let it be said that I don’t make sacrifices for this site…

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Mari-Hannah-008First up this week, big congratulations to Mari Hannah, whose début novel The Murder Wall was awarded the Polari First Book Prize in a ceremony held at the Southbank Centre on November 13th. A piece written by Mari was subsequently featured in The Guardian, where she spoke about writing a crime novel with a lesbian protagonist and suddenly finding herself a “go-to person on lesbian issues.” Mari also has some encouraging words for any authors whose submissions suffer repeated rejections from publishers:

Monument to Murder cover imageDid I ever think about giving up? Hell, yes. I had to dig very deep to keep the faith. Fortunately, I had the financial means to keep going. Often, aspiring writers don’t. They work full-time, indulging in their passion whenever they can snatch a moment or two to write. Thank God for a patient agent like mine. If he had waivered, even once, I was sunk. He didn’t, so I ploughed on, determined to give Kate a voice.

You can read the full feature at the above link. Meanwhile, Monument to Murder, the fourth novel in the Kate Daniels series (it has been quite a busy year for Mari!) is released in hardback and on Kindle today.

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five_leaves_bookshop_openingFabulous news for anyone living in the Nottingham area, as the brand new Five Leaves independent bookshop is now open. I dropped the shop a line to find out what sort of books they had in stock:

Our lesbian books range from political/biography etc. to “literary” and “romance”. The section is clearly marked – or rather LGBT is marked and has various subdivisions including lesbian fiction and lesbian non-fiction. We also stock Diva and Curve (and Gay Times). The section is modest in size, but growing already!

The shop is open 10-5.30, six days a week (Mon-Sat), and is located at 14a Long Row in Nottingham city centre. Directions and a handy map can be found at the link. As bookshops are currently closing down at a rate of knots, it’s lovely to see a new one bucking the trend and opening instead!

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KikiArcherIn the last news, I mentioned the opportunity to send in questions for a video interview with Kiki Archer. Said video is now up and ready to view here. Take a peek and see who got to ask what, and how many people managed to make Kiki blush…

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KePayneSpeaking of interviews, KE Payne has been chatting to fellow author Jae over on Jae’s blog. In the Q&A piece, KE talks about the benefits and pitfalls of life as a full-time author, her current and upcoming novels, and the perils of setting herself a daily word count:

I never have a daily word-count as I don’t like to restrict myself, or ever want to feel like I’ve failed if I don’t match that word-count! As other writers will testify, words either flow like a river, or trickle out like a dried-up stream in summer. I write because I love it, and have never coped well when my back’s against the wall, because then I feel like I’m forcing it.

The interview is well worth a read and can be found here.

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guilty-hearts-187x300Someone else who likes to keep herself busy is Jade Winters, who has just posted details of her next novel on her blog. The novel is called Guilty Hearts, and the first part of the synopsis goes a little (well, exactly) like this:

When a doting husband becomes suspicious of his gorgeous wife’s true sexuality,  he decides to set a honey trap to reveal the truth, however painful.  Little does he realise that the honey trap is to leave a bitter-sweet taste for everyone… 

You can read the rest of the blurb at this link, and as soon as we have a release date for the novel we’ll let you know.

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playing passionNews of another upcoming release now, albeit one that won’t be around for a while yet, as Lesley Davis has recently announced that her next book Playing In Shadow is to be published by Bold Strokes Books in early 2015. In Lesley’s own words: “this is the sequel to Playing Passion’s Game so that means one thing….more Trent!! Game on!!!”

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OutLateWithFriendsThose of you who are quick off the mark can pick up an early Christmas treat at the moment, as Suzanne Egerton‘s début novel Out Late With Friends and Regrets is currently free on Kindle. I’m not sure how long this offer is valid for, so be sure to hit the link sooner rather than later.

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HILD_jacket_closerWith Hild now a whole week old, Nicola Griffith has apparently been “enjoying blinking and catching up with my reading (and sleep.)” She has, however, managed to find the time to compile two further Hild roundups, featuring links to all the interviews, reviews, and discussion pieces that have been posted to tie in with the novel’s release. Hop on over to Hild #3 and Hild #4 to read more.

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mosaic of airFinally this week, Cherry Potts‘ rereleased short story collection Mosaic of Air has been reviewed at Sabotage Reviews. The review discusses the enduring relevance of stories examining the era of the 1980s, and finds much to like about the collection:

Then there’s the reclaiming of myths. The great joy in reading a Feminist collection like this is the re-imagining, from Woolf to Winterson, Cherry Potts also reimagines Helen of Troy as a mere beautiful pawn in the powerplay of the ancient world, but who, like most women in today’s society, negotiates the system. If you read nothing else in this book you must read ‘Arachne’s Daughters’; this takes apart a myth about Arachne (a human) challenging Athene (the goddess)

The full text of the review is available at the above link.

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Righto, that’s yer lot for this week. I’m back off to the page proofs – wish me luck!

News Roundup: Interview Kiki on Video, New Novel from Jade Winters, Lambda Reviews, Podcasts, WhoreStoricals, Festive frolics, and loads more…

12 Nov

Oh, I knew that setting this roundup to music wasn’t going to end well. One song in and I’ve written bugger-all. Still, it was a really good song… Right, this was one of those weeks where I had no news and then suddenly almost too much to cram in! So, grab yourself a brew and a packet of bourbons, and enjoy.

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Kiki-264Starting with a fun opportunity that’s on a bit of a deadline (hope I’m not too late with this, but it seemed too good to leave out), as LBTQA Culture are giving fans a chance to interview Kiki Archer on video. All you have to do is record a 10-15 second video clip of yourself on your phone asking Kiki a question, and send the clip to: lgbtqculture@sky.com Don’t forget to introduce yourself and ask something that’ll make her blush (actually the site says “interesting” – heh). The responses will be posted next week. See here for more details.

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caught by loveWe never get much warning of new releases from indie writers, so it’s always a nice surprise when a book pops out unexpectedly. This week it was Jade Winters, who published her new novel Caught by Love. I’ve added the synopsis to the New Releases page. In a bit of a rollercoasting last few days, Jade also briefly dallied with the idea of signing up with Bold Strokes Books, when they accepted one of her novels for publication, before she decided to remain a self-published author.

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VT_Davy_jpg_210x1000_q85Sticking with new releases, and VT Davy has a guest piece over at Francis James Franklin’s blog to tie in with her début novel, A Very Civil Wedding:

More interesting is the question of what Britain as a nation would do if the heir to the throne was gay or lesbian and wanted to marry, or make their relationship official. Britain has had gay and lesbian monarchs before (Edward II, James VI, and Anne), but in all cases they married a member of the opposite sex and kept their affairs out of the public eye. Partly this was due to the prevailing view of homosexuality, and partly it was due to the law not enabling the relationship to be recognised. There are no such barriers today.

You can read the full feature at the link. Personally, I’d be more tickled by what Prince Philip would say than the nation as a whole!

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91CYqVEe28L._SL1500_There’s been so much new stuff about Hild that Nicola Griffith has had to start compiling roundups not unlike this one. Hit Hild #1 and Hild #2 for reviews, interviews, and news about Whitby. The novel has been picking up some fantastic reviews, not least this one by Susan Stinson at the Lambda Literary Society:

Nicola Griffith is a brilliant, prolific, entertaining, risk-taking writer. Her new novel, Hild, about the most powerful woman in seventh century Britain, is magnificent. In it, a girl whose mother has dreamed her to be the light of the world finds out more about what that means than most human beings could bear. Hild–so young, sharp and tall–is very much a human being, and her story grabs a reader like a king’s gesith grabs a sword. Reading Hild is an urgent, expansive pleasure. 

You can read the full text of the review here, and we hope to have our own special feature with Nicola posted in the next week or so 🙂

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The-Daylight-GateJeanette Winterson‘s The Daylight Gate has also been reviewed by Lambda this week. The novel, which  has been out a while here, certainly impressed Sara Rauch:

The Daylight Gate is a show-stopper. A tour de force. It’s a dark dazzler, break-neck (literally, metaphorically), brutal and beautiful. Once you pick it up, you won’t put it down.

The full review is available at this link.

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BSB_Secret_LiesJust nipping in under the deadline are two brand spanking new podcast interviews. The first features Amy Dunne on the Liz McMullen Show where, in a podcast themed around mental health, Amy discusses her début novel Secret Lies and its issues of self harm and domestic violence. You can listen to the recording here.

Meanwhile, Cherry Potts has been chatting about Mosaic of Air with the ladies from the Cocktail Hour podcast. There’s also a short reading from the book. Listen or download here.

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emma-donoghue-illo_2373764bChanging the subject entirely now, with Emma Donoghue picking her favourite five whorestoricals (that’s historical novels about whores!) at the Daily Beast. In amongst Emma’s five choices is lesbian fave Tipping the Velvet:

Waters’s cheeky debut follows her oyster-girl protagonist through many adventures, but perhaps the most interesting and atmospheric is her stint as a rent-boy. This novel captures the fundamental fakery of prostitution—how, for the Victorian gentleman who thinks the trousered youth giving him a blow-job is male, what he’s buying is as much fantasy as flesh.

Find out what made the rest of the list at the link.

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Monument to Murder cover imageFor some reason, this coming weekend seems to be a busy one for our authors. First up is an event oop north, for those of us who live some distance from the Watford Gap. Crime authors Mari Hannah (author of the DCI Kate Daniels series) and David Jackson will be in conversation at the Bedlington (a town in Northumberland, about ten miles north of Newcastle – I do the Googling, so you don’t have to!) Community Centre on Saturday November 16th, 7.00 p.m. – 8.30 p.m. Tickets are £5 and can be purchased from this link.

Stella Duffy, writer, actorOn Sunday 17th November at 5 p.m.Stella Duffy will be appearing at Writeidea (Tower Hamlet’s free reading festival) in East London:

Stella Duffy will read from her novels, talk about her work as a writer in many genres and also as a theatre director. There is every chance she will also mention that not only posh people can be writers, that Equal Marriage is a very exciting thing, and how the Fun Palaces Project is taking over her life.

The event is free, tickets are available at this link, and more details about the festival can be found on its homepage.

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dyke the hallsMoving with frightening speed into the festive season, and December 1st and 2nd will see VG Lee and Rose Collis Dyking the Halls and hosting an evening of hardly festive fun, words, and music at the Emporium Theatre, Brighton.

Writer, performer Rose Collis will serve up a personally prepared party platter of songs and stories. VG Lee, author and comedian and generally non-festive person, will be reading, talking and musing on just when she first realised she preferred cheese and pickled onion sandwiches to a turkey with all the trimmings.

Both authors will be available for mince pies and a mingle at the book stall after the event. More details and tickets are available here.

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51Zch618BLL._SY445_And last but certainly not least, King’s College London are hosting a day of celebration for legendary lesbian novelist Maureen Duffy on Friday 6th December. You can join Maureen for a festive day of talks, readings, discussions, exhibitions, refreshments, and entertainment, which will also feature Ali Smith, Anne Sebba, Maggie Gee and more. Attendance is free but ticketed, and tickets are available here.

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Okay, that’s about yer lot! Apologies for any misspellings, grammar SNAFUs, or general incoherence, but singing (well, wailing) and typing is a notoriously tricky business, especially with songs as bloody fabulous as this one

News Roundup: Help us Win Stuff, Free Stuff, New Stuff, P-Town Stuff, and Spooky Stuff!

4 Nov

Morning, morning! To compensate for last week’s lack of news (in truth, there wasn’t much going on, I was snowed under with Tumbledown edits, and Clare was snowed under with having a life!) we have a ginormous update for you this week. Loads of authors have been up to mischief, and there’s plenty of free stuff for you all to get your grabby hands on. So, where to start?

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nominatedLet’s start with us. And when I say “us”, I mean UK LesFic, which has been nominated for an Ultimate Planet award in the category of Blogger of the Year, over at the Planet London website. Huzzah! And, of course, thank you to all those who took the time to nominate the site. So what happens next? Voting for the shortlisted nominees is open here throughout November, and it would be rather fab if people would hop on over there and put a tick in our box (so to speak).

VG Lee, Stella Duffy, and Jackie Kay are nominated for Published Author of the Year, and also on the list are Clare Ashton and Kiki Archer, who are scrapping it out for Published Author of the Year (Independent).  Congratulations to all, and um…good luck to those trying to decide between the latter two 🙂

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onefootWhilst we’re on the theme of Ultimate Planet and Ms Archer, Planet of the Books (the literary offshoot of Ultimate Planet) recently reviewed Kiki’s new novel One Foot Onto The Ice, where they had this to say:

Well paced, and gentle, and sometimes very sexy, this romance offers some sweet moments as two polar opposite women find love and face their internal demons in a bid for love.

You can read the full text of the review here.

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the black houndSpooky stuff now, and Niamh Murphy has published a new short story for Halloween over on Wattpad. Complete and in three parts, The Black Hound tells the story of Isobel, forced to live in a crumbling manor where something lurks on the surrounding moors. With the arrival of the new lady’s maid, Kate, Isobel’s life is about to be altered, forever…

The story is free to read, and available at the link.

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Amy_Dunne_lgDébut Bold Strokes Books author Amy Dunne has a Behind the Writing interview up at her BSB author’s page, where she chats about what made her become a writer (“the gift of the gab”!) where she gets her ideas from, and what her family have had to say about the whole shebang (which sounds naughtier than was actually intended!)

They’ve been amazingly supportive—especially considering I’ve been telling them I was going to write a book for over ten years. My beautiful wife was the only person I trusted to read the first draft. She kept putting it off and making excuses, and only later she confessed it was because she was terrified it was going to be awful and she wasn’t sure how she’d break the news to me…

You can read the full interview at the first link, and with Secret Lies due for release in December there is a short excerpt from the novel in the November BSB newsletter.

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FinalistSMMore awards news for you, with Elisa Rolle running a month-long Treasure Hunt throughout November to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Rainbow Awards. Each day, mystery excerpts from 6 of the shortlisted novels will be published. To enter, try to identify your chosen book in the comments. There’s no limit on how many books you can win, and you can keep entering until November 30th. Correct entrants will go into a draw at the end of the month. The books offered are a mix of e-books and paperbacks. You can find the entire list of novels at the link, and there are quite a few LesFic authors on it…

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the january flowerSticking with the theme of freebies, Orla Broderick‘s Polari-longlisted novel The January Flower is currently free on Kindle. The offer is open for five days, and the original announcement was made on Friday, so there should be a couple of days remaining for you to go and get yourself a copy. The first link is the UK link, and the US link (before we get our arses kicked by our US readers!) is here.

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See Right Through Me- Draft2With the joyous prospect of Christmas shopping creeping onto the horizon, November seems set to be a lively month for LesFic releases. LT Smith has been talking about her new novel See Right Through Me over on the Ylva website:

When I was writing See Right Through Me, I kept on thinking about how we sometimes doubt the most obvious good things in our lives. How we question those three little words—not “I love you” exactly, but the three other little words that should come hand in hand with it. Trust, respect, and love. How sometimes our own actions can lead to negativity, lead to those other three words—jealously, insecurity, and heartbreak. I wanted to show what could happen if we found ourselves in that situation, what we could lose if we allowed our lack of confidence to encroach on love. Not the most pleasant experience, believe me.

See Right Through Me has just been published, and you can read the full piece from LT here.

Sneaking in at the last minute is MORE FREE STUFF! Ylva have just announced that they have two e-book versions of See Right Through Me to give away. All you have to do to enter the draw is leave a comment at the foot of this page, or send an email to info@ylva-verlag.de Better get your skates on though; the closing date is 5 a.m. Tuesday morning (how random!)

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GB-Cover1VT Davy, another author with a new book out, has been blogging about Deadlines, Rewrites and Getting it Out There

The biggest rewrite happened back in May following the passage through Parliament of the same-sex marriage bill. I never thought that it would go through. I thought that the bishops in the House of Lords would ensure that it was sent back down to the Commons to be revised. When it did pass, I spent 24 hours worrying about whether the novel that I’d worked on for seven months was now relevant. It didn’t take me long to realise it was, as the news about the battles for equal marriage from the USA and Australia kept on coming.

And just before I hit post on this news, up went a guest blog from VT over on Women and Words, where she talks about the politics behind A Very Civil Wedding .

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NicolaGriffithThere are not one, but two new interviews – one video, one print – with Nicola Griffith talking about Hild. The print interview at The Coffin Factory includes a particularly lovely description of Nicola discovering Whitby for the first time:

In my early twenties I was living in Hull, a depressed (and depressing) city in East Yorkshire. And one spring I needed to get out, get away for a few days. I hiked north up the coast, to a town called Whitby. I’d read Dracula so I was expecting the one hundred and ninety-nine steps up the cliff. I was expecting the great ruin of an abbey against the skyline. I wasn’t expecting what happened next…

To find out what did happen next and how it inspired the novel, hit the link.

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I.Beacham_lgClosing out this week with reports from three of our Brits who made the trip over to PTown for Women’s Week and then made it all the way back, safe and sound, to tell us about it. Over on the UK BSB blog, I. Beacham shares her insight into the benefits of Women’s Week:

So there’s a lot of lovely exchange going on all week and women meeting women and talking (and possibly other stuff, but I’m British and I don’t talk about sex). PTown is very relaxed and definitely a place every lesbian (reader or not) ought to go at least once in their lifetime. The place is alive, exciting, exhilarating.

She also gives some handy travel tips for anyone who might be considering making the trip next year: Is it easy to get to? Remember PTown is right on the far tip of the Cape, any further right and you’ll be a fish. 

Sage advice indeed. For more of the same, head here.

PTownJoining the BSB contingent was Andrea Bramhall, whose A Brit Abroad blog gives a comprehensive look into the panels and various hijinks that occur when a lot of lesbians gather in one rather small town:

Saturday was the last day of readings and signings. We were in the Provincetown Library and Vk Powell went into full cop mode trying to coral us all on the When Sparks Fly panel. Shelley Thrasher drafted in the considerable theatrical talents of Melissa Brayden and Carsen Taite to play characters in her reading. Carsen was meant to be playing a French woman but she had a decidedly German accent. It was hilarious. 

There are some lovely photos, and of course the rest of the tale, at the link.

Not to be outdone, RJ Samuel has posted a series of seven blog entries detailing her time in the States. From clicking on the link to buy plane tickets, to meeting online friends, playing wiffle ball, and of course, appearing on her first panel, RJ has left no stone unturned:

RJ Samuel reading on FridayI enjoyed the experience of relaxing and just reading my words aloud to what seemed like a group of interested friends. While planning the trip, I’d printed out 10 booklets of a short story and had promised them to the first five women who came up to say hi to me after each reading. On the spur of the moment, looking out at the audience, especially at the friendly face of Tonie, Kate’s partner, I wanted some way to thank them for listening, for being supportive. I asked for a hug instead and the wonderful hugs I got were another highlight of my trip. And a surprise for me and for anyone who knows how shy and introverted I can be.

Her epic blog starts here, and the links for the next entry can be found at the base of each page.

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And I think that’s about yer lot. If you’re off to a bonfire this week, wrap up warm, eat parkin, and try not to have anyone’s eye out with a sparkler 🙂