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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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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Another 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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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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Sticking 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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Free 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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Heading 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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If 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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Lastly 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.