Archive | Review RSS feed for this section

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…

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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!

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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

Daffodil

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…

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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

~ ~ ~

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.”

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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: Awards for UK Authors, Events, Reviews, Blogs, and a REALLY Cute Dormouse.

15 Jan

Good morning from a perpetually windy, rainy and murky UK LesFic. Fortunately, we Brits have never been prone to letting the weather get us down, and it’s been a busy week as authors shake off festive fatigue, grab hold of 2014 and give it a good old shake…

~ ~ ~

crin claxtonStarting with something to shout about, as two UK authors were recently nominated for the American Library Association Over The Rainbow BooklistOver the Rainbow Books is a bibliography that reflects the LGBT experience and is meant for general adult readers. Books on the list are read and recommended by the Over The Rainbow Committee of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and transgender roundtable of the American Library Association. 

Finding their way onto this auspicious list were Crin Claxton‘s The Supernatural Detective and Nicola Griffith‘s Hild.

The final list will be announced in coming weeks, and all the nominees can be found here. Congratulations to Crin and Nicola.

~ ~ ~

the january flowerFurther congrats are due to Orla Broderick, who was awarded a 2014 New Writers Award for her début novel The January Flower.

The Scottish Book Trust’s New Writers Awards highlight some of the most affecting, exciting and engaging new writing in Scotland. Selected from over 300 applications, the New Writers Awardees are the pick of this year’s Scottish literary talent. You can find out more about Orla and read a sample from The January Flower at the award website, and we will be hosting a guest blog and giveway from Orla later this week.

~ ~ ~

VGLeeJoining in all these early January celebrations is VG Lee, who scooped the gongs for Best Author and Best Standup Lesbian Comedian in the Golden Kitty Awards. Her “unfestive” evening Bah Humbuggers also received an honourable mention for Best Local Event, UK. A round up of all the recipients is available at this link. Congrats Val!

~ ~ ~

manda-scottIf your new 2014 calendars are looking a bit forlorn and lacking, this might cheer them a little: Wednesday 12th March at 7 p.m. will see Manda Scott joining fellow historical authors Ruth Downie and Ben Kane for an evening event at Peterborough Central library. Tickets and more information are available at this link. 

For your readerly convenience, this and several other events have been added to our imaginatively titled Events Page.

~ ~ ~

KePayneBSB author KE Payne has just announced that she has sealed a deal for her latest book:

Chuffed to say I’ve recently signed a contract with the wonderful Bold Strokes Books for my new novel, Once The Clouds Have Gone. It’s due for publication in October. Blurb to follow. When I’ve written one, that is…

KE, at least you have a title for your book. If anyone has suggestions for a sort of romantic police procedural thriller set in the Peak District, feel free to send them my way…

~ ~ ~

BSB_Secret_LiesA couple of blog updates now, and Amy Dunne has been reflecting on 2013 and the release of her first novel Secret Lies.

I found writing the book to be a very solitary experience. As the release date approached, I began to seriously panic and feel weirdly vulnerable. It’s one thing writing for enjoyment, but writing for other people’s enjoyment is something completely different.There are some gritty themes addressed throughout the story and so I had to try and accept that some readers just wouldn’t be a fan. As always, that’s easier said than done…although I do think I’m getting better at it.

You can read the full piece and find links to some reviews that you may have missed, here.

~ ~ ~

playing passion's gameMeanwhile, over on the UK BSB blog Lesley Davis has been tackling the subject of sequels as she prepares to launch her follow-up to her 2011 novel Playing Passion’s Game:

When I wrote Playing Passion’s Game I was very aware that Trent and Juliet’s story would go on past that book. I already have ‘written’ it in my head. It was very hard for me to end their story because they had really taken a hold of my imagination. And I love them. I like reading about them myself. I have characters I like and am proud of, but now and again, there are some that come to mean more. Trent is one of them.

Playing in Shadow will be released in 2015. More details as we get them, but you can pass the time by reading Lesley’s blog here.

~ ~ ~

200px-SlowRiver(1stEd)In a bit of a blast from the past, the Hugo & Nebula Science Fiction Review Project has been taking a closer look at Nicola Griffith‘s 1996 classic, Slow River. For good, thoughtful analysis from a science fiction POV, jump to this entry.

Each plot-line evolves just like that titular slow river towards its own realization and conclusion, and the present narrative reveals this most directly. Given its slow process of purifying the sewage and runoff it collects into drinking water, the futuristic waste treatment plant where Lore works literally is a slow river running just beneath the feet of the city it serves. It is unseen, but critical to the life and the health of that visible city. Thus, by the conclusion of the novel, all plot threads are elegantly unified under this metaphor.

Nicola has also been chatting with Tobias Carroll over at The Paris Review blog, where she had this to say about future works:

There are lots of novels I’d write. I would love to write about this country in pre-Columbian times. I would also love to write about the UK and Iceland a little later, like the ninth century. There’s another Aud book bubbling in the back of my head. I sometimes think about Ammonite, and what that might be like now. Ideas are cheap. They circle like planes running out of fuel. Whichever looks most important, I will bring that in to land when it’s time.

Read the full interview here.

~ ~ ~

lesfic downunderFinally this week, we are proud to announce that we seem to have started a trend! If you fancy catching up with what Canadian LesFic authors are doing, keep an eye on this under construction website (I want a moose! Why don’t we have moose over here?), while on Facebook, LesFic Downunder has just launched to bring you all the news about Lesbian Fiction in the Southern Hemisphere (that’s Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the Southern Pacific, for those who are as rubbish at geography as I am.) There’s a website pending for this group as well. And they have a kangaroo.

~ ~ ~

Right, that’s about it for this week. And, seeing as we can’t really have a moose or a kangaroo, I’ll leave you with British native Muscardinus avellanarius, also known as the Hazel Dormouse, also known as OH MY GOD how cute is he?

hazel dormouse

News Roundup: Rainbow & Ultimate Planet Awards, Interviews with L.T. Smith and Amy Dunne, Hootenanny at Women and Words, and Lots More…

13 Dec

Happy Friday 13th! I’m sure if we all salute solitary magpies, touch a bit of wood, avoid walking under ladders, and be very careful whilst handling mirrors, we’ll get through just fine. So, without further ado, here is this week’s slightly superstitious news update…

~ ~ ~

Stella Duffy, writer, actorKicking off with some splendid news, as the date (March 29th, 2014 – mark those calendars!) has finally been set for those of us in England and Wales who might want to marry our sweethearts but had previously had to settle for a civil partnership. Over on her blog, Stella Duffy posted a thoughtful and moving piece to commemorate what has been gained, but also what has been lost during the long campaign for equality:

Do remember, straight couples in your 70s, as you celebrate your golden wedding anniversaries, all those gay couples in their 70s who have been together just as long, and deserve the same celebratory joy, who will never live long enough to celebrate their own golden wedding anniversary.

Hear, hear. This is the link to the rest of the piece.

~ ~ ~

rainbow awardMore things to celebrate now, with the winners of the Rainbow Awards being announced last Sunday. Representing the UK side of LesFic was Andrea Bramhall who scooped joint second place in Best Lesbian Début, and joint tenth in Best Lesbian Novel for Ladyfish, and myself as Desolation Point also got a podium finish with third place for Best Lesbian Thriller/Mystery.

Edited to add: I wrote this post with a bit of a day shift hangover and – despite thoroughly checking the list of winners for UK authors – managed to miss Barbara Davies entirely. Barbara’s License to Spy took second place in the Best LGBT Romantic Comedy category. Apologies for the oversight and congratulations!

There were loads of winners, runners up, and honorary mentions, so congrats to everyone whose book made it onto one of the lists. The full list of winners can be found here.

The Virtual Living Room will be holding a Rainbow Awards Party this coming weekend (14th and 15th December), where readers will be able to chat with participating winners and runners up at the Yahoo group.

~ ~ ~

UltimatePlanetAwardAlso taking place this week were the Ultimate Planet Awards, where Kiki Archer scooped Independent Author of the Year, and Stella Duffy was named Published Author of the Year, with VG Lee getting an honourable mention in the same category. You can view the entire awards ceremony, and see the full list of winners here. Congrats, Kiki, Stella, and VG!

~ ~ ~

cover_hearts-and-flowers-border_miniA couple of interviews for you now, and over at the Ylva website, L.T. Smith is the author in the hot seat for their Spotlight Interview. Whilst discussing such varied (dare I say, essential?) topics as “Curry or fish pie?” and “Supergirl or Wonder Woman—who is your favourite?”, LT also has plenty to say about her writing:

I write because I love doing it. There are times when I don’t, true. But just to sit and create a story makes me feel wonderful. I shut off from what is happening to me in the outside world and dip into the world of my own creation. A little like therapy, apart from the typos.

The interview is a lot of fun, and the whole piece is available at the link up there. On the same page, Ylva also announced that they will be publishing a revised version of LT’s Hearts and Flowers Border with a splendid new cover in Spring, 2014.

~ ~ ~

BSB_Secret_LiesWith a brand new book out, Amy Dunne has been keeping herself very busy this month. She has an interview up at fellow BSB author Juliann Rich‘s blog, in which she discusses Secret Lies, life as a début author, and whether or not she watches Downton Abbey (no she doesn’t, because she has good telly taste!) There are also cute pictures of the destruction wrought when you leave animals in the same room as your Christmas tree…

~ ~ ~

inseparableThis may not be a new book, but Emma Donoghue‘s Inseparable: Desire Between Women in Literature  (originally published 2010) has been newly released on Kindle in the UK with a very clever, eye-catching new cover.

In Inseparable Emma Donoghue examines how desire between women in literature has been portrayed, from schoolgirls and vampires to runaway wives, from cross-dressing knights to contemporary murder stories. Donoghue looks at the work of those writers who have addressed the ‘unspeakable subject’, examining whether such desire between women is freakish or omnipresent, holy or evil, heart-warming or ridiculous as she excavates a long-obscured tradition of female friendship, one that is surprisingly central to our cultural history. A revelation of a centuries-old literary tradition – brilliant, amusing, and until now, deliberately overlooked.

~ ~ ~

hootenanny-day1With the festive season well under way, Women & Words are hosting their annual Hootenanny celebration. For the next 12 days (well 11 now, it kicked off yesterday) there will be loads of great freebies from a whole host of LesFic authors up for grabs. All you have to do is leave your name and email in the comments, and then keep your fingers crossed that your name comes out of the hat. It’s a rolling giveaway so be sure to keep checking the site to see what’s on offer each day. Good luck!

~ ~ ~

PaleWingsProtectingPale Wings Protecting, Lesley Davis‘ paranormal thriller follow-up to Dark Wings Descending, has been reviewed at Lambda Literary, where Anna Furtado had this to say:

Pale Wings Protecting is a provocative paranormal mystery; it’s an otherworldly thriller couched inside a tale of budding romance. The novel contains an absorbing narrative, full of thrilling revelations, that skillfully leads the reader into the uncanny dimensions of the supernatural.

You can read the full text of the review at the first link.

~ ~ ~

Phew, got through to the end without spilling any salt, standing on any cracks in the pavement, or opening a brolly indoors \o/ Also, bonus fun fact whilst surfing for superstitions: When you’ve finished eating a boiled egg, push the spoon through the bottom of the empty shell to let the devil out. On that note, have a lovely weekend, everyone 🙂

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…

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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!

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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

~ ~ ~

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…

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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…

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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!

~ ~ ~

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…

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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!

~ ~ ~

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…

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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!!!”

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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.

~ ~ ~

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