Tag Archives: A.L. Brooks

News Roundup: New Novels from Clare Ashton & Gill McKnight, New Author Neve Fontaine, Events, Reviews & More!

2 Jul

It’s no understatement to say that a hell of a lot can happen in a couple of weeks. If – like us – you’re feeling the urge to batten down the hatches, duck beneath a duvet, and shut out the rest of the world, then perhaps we can brighten your outlook somewhat with this fortnight’s news (which, I can assure you, will contain no mention of beleaguered politicians, referendum reruns, financial meltdown, or Boris bloody Johnson.)

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poppy jenkinsIf you want a cheerful summery read to take under those covers with you, then look no further than Clare Ashton‘s latest release Poppy Jenkins which is currently flying high at the top of the UK LesFic charts:

Two old friends, one hot summer, a whole load of confusion.

Poppy Jenkins makes everyone smile. She’s the heart of Wells, a beautiful village in mid-Wales, leaving light and laughter in her wake. She has a doting family, an errant dog and a little sister with a nose for mischief. But she’s the only gay in the village and it’s a long time since she kissed a girl: the chance of romance in sleepy Wells is rarer than a barking sheep.

If she doesn’t think too hard, life is cosy, until a smart sports car barrels into town with the last woman Poppy wants to see behind the wheel. Beautiful Rosalyn Thorn was once Poppy’s high school BFF even though she was trouble. Then one day she abandoned Wells and Poppy without explanation. Now the highflier is back and bound to cause fresh havoc in the village and with Poppy’s heart; folk are not happy.

Wells needs to wake up to the 21st century and Rosalyn can help, but old prejudices die hard. If they can be friends it could be the chance to make everyone’s happy ever after. Couldn’t it?

Clare has been chatting about the inspiration behind Poppy Jenkins and its setting over at the Women & Words blog:

I grew up in Mid-Wales, a beautiful green country of rolling hills and picturesque castles with fresh air a plenty. It drove me bonkers. As a teenager I thought it the most frustrating place on the planet. So did all my friends and we sat on the common room sofa at school dreaming of places we’d rather be…

Read the full piece by clicking on the link, and the book has also been reviewed over at the Lesbian Reading Room:

But beyond all of that this is a most exquisite piece of writing. The language is fulsome, rounded and glorious. The sentences flow across the page and into your heart and mind with genuine elegance… It is, genuinely, a modest and tender romance, but suffused with a tone of voice and love of language which makes it feel like so much more.

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dangling fishNext up is a new author, Neve Fontaine, who was born and bred in South Yorkshire. Neve released her debut novel A Dangling Fish last December. I’ve added Neve’s bio to our Author page, and you can find out more about her over at her blog.

The blurb for A Dangling Fish goes like this:

Gabbi Sinclair is trying to pick up the pieces after a failed relationship and, though she doesn’t realise it at first, the hang-ups it’s left her with about women. She decides the best thing to do is pick up that life, and attempt to claw back the lost years of her youth, where it was a decade ago. Where better to do it than a Greek island full of women. Easy enough, right?

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There seems to be a growing trend for multi-author series at the moment, and August 10th will see the publication of Gill McKnight‘s novella Daughter of Baal which is book three in the five book Law Game series (the other four books are all scheduled to be released on the same date.)

daughter of baalA 1920’s society wedding attended by the richest and most fashionable people possible ends in murder. Lady Margo, top sleuth and Maid of Honour suspects there is more to it than the ‘curse’ of the stolen idol in the garden grotto. The Clamp family have been looting the Middle East of archaeological finds for decades, could the culprit be a rival for this lucrative and illegal trade, or more likely has a love triangle gone horribly wrong.

As the weekend unfolds Lady Margo, and her trusted servant and chauffer, Jones, find a house full of secrets and lies. From the elite guests upstairs to the lowest estate worker, no-one is as they seem and none can be trusted.
And through it all, the Daughter of Baal watches with a knowing grin.

Gill has also been blogging about her current release Welcome to the Wallops with her Five Things You Should Know About Welcome to the Wallops feature:

1- It’s a contemporary romance. I haven’t written one of those since forever, they tend to bore me as there’s no werewolves, ghosts, or villainy. In fact, the only other contemp rom I’ve written was my debut novel Falling Star, everything else has been tampered with werewolves, ghosts, and villainy.

Catch up with the remaining four facts at the link.

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dapperWe shared the cover for Jenny Frame’s new erotic short story Dapper a few weeks ago, and its blurb is now up on the Bold Strokes website. The story is due for release in September and, according to Jenny, it is “burning hot!”

Amelia Honey, cutter and suit designer at an exclusive London Savile Row tailor, is happy with her professional life, but her love life is barren and cold. When she is asked to stand in for her boss’s private appointment with the mysterious Byron De Brek, she couldn’t be more excited—or nervous. Byron is the perfect example of a dapper butch, and someone who fuels Amelia’s darkest fantasies.

Will she follow Byron’s lead and explore those darker needs, or will she run away from what her heart and her body truly hunger for?

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The-Club-by-A.L.-BrooksFirst time author A.L. Brooks has launched a new website and will be appearing at this year’s LFest (to be held July 17th-20th). As if that’s not keeping her busy enough, she will also be hosting a launch party for her debut novel, The Club. The event will be held at The Loft, Players Bar, Charing Cross Theatre, on July 22nd (19.00-22.00):

To celebrate the publication of my debut novel, The Club, I’m hosting a little soiree. Glass of Prosecco as you arrive, nibbly buffet food to munch on, and general all-round happiness throughout the evening. All welcome!

See this Facebook events page for more info.

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bsb_the_temple_at_landfall__81031Finally this week, the first in Jane Fletcher’s Celaeno series, The Temple at Landfall, is now available as an audio book. Originally published in 1999 by Dimsdale Press (as The World Celaeno Chose), the book was republished by Bold Strokes in 2005, and was followed by four sequels. Its short and sweet blurb reads like this:

Lynn feels more like a prisoner than the chosen of the Goddess. Transfer to another temple is her chance to taste a little freedom on the journey, but all does not go to plan and her dull life is shattered by the dangers and choices that await her.

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And that’s about yer lot. Hopefully it’ll tide you over for the next couple of weeks assuming, of course, that the sky doesn’t fall in the meantime…

News roundup: new authors, BSB blog tour, new books and romance in Wales

21 May

So it’s getting closer to summer, which means it’s raining outside. But never fear, here’s the UKLesFic news and some reading to curl up with inside.  

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First up, some new authors for you:

A.L. Brooks lives in London and works 9-5 in corporate financial systems. Out of hours she balances the desire for firm abs against the call of red wine and chocolate while writing, cooking, travelling or reading lesfic.

She’s already appeared in Ladylit’s Summer Love anthology last year and her steamy debut novel The Club will be published in July by Ylva (blurb below). You can catch A.L. this summer at Ylva’s Lesvos Lesfic Convention.

The-Club-by-A.L.-BrooksWelcome to The Club—leave your inhibitions and your everyday cares at the door and indulge yourself in an evening of anonymous, no-strings, woman-on-woman action.

For many of the women who visit The Club this is exactly what they are looking for and what they get. For others the emotions run high, and one night of sex can change their lives in ways they couldn’t have imagined. For Lou, her weekly visits to The Club enable her to set aside her shyness and loneliness and feel intimacy, however briefly. For Kath, caring for her mother at home, The Club is a welcome relief from her everyday toil; while Max needs distraction from her troubled relationship, even as she tries to tell herself she isn’t really cheating. Tania and Jacky find an outlet for a tricky block in their sex life. Cassie and Nina, bar staff at The Club, find themselves staying on after hours. And finally, Stephanie, struggling with her sexuality, finds her life changing in so many ways once she plucks up courage to enter.

The lives of these women intersect in ways they don’t realize, and watching over them all is Mandy— the owner, whose own ghosts play a pivotal role in the existence of The Club.

You can find out more on the Ylva website.

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thelastbeginningLauren James has been in contact to give us the heads-up for her YA LGBT novel due out in October. The Last Beginning is a sequel to her mainstream YA romance The Next Together. You can find out more about Lauren on her website and she also runs an LGBT YA review blog on Tumbler.  Here’s the blurb for The Last Beginning:

Sixteen years ago, after a scandal that rocked the world, teenagers Katherine and Matthew vanished without a trace. Now Clove Sutcliffe is determined to find her long lost relatives…

But where do you start looking for a couple who seem to have been reincarnated at every key moment in history? Who were Kate and Matt? Why were they born again and again? And who is the mysterious Ella, who keeps appearing at every turn in Clove’s investigation?

For Clove, there is a mystery to solve in the past and a love to find in the future.

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Alex Spear is another new author. She was born in London but the lucky thing now lives by the sea and she enjoys juggling several pieces of work at once.  You can find out more about her from her blog, and her novel People Person is out now on Amazon:

Louisa Cannes is trying to juggle her human resources career with looking after her family and keeping her girlfriend interested. Her ethics are repeatedly tested at the difficult job she depends on to pay for her nephew’s life-saving treatment. Cripplingly long hours, an incompetent, lazy line manager and a couple of vindictive rivals don’t exactly help, and she is in danger of burning out. But why does the evil boss, Penelope, seem determined to destroy Louisa one minute then groom her for promotion the next? Can Louisa avoid competing with her best friend, can she still call herself a people person, and who can she really trust in the race to the top?

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royal rebelOn to other news and Jenny Frame has revealed the cover for Royal Rebel due out 2017. Royal Rebel is the second book in the Royal Romance series. Also, a reminder that Jenny’s Heart of the Pack is now available on Amazon.

heart of the packHeart of the Pack has also been reviewed of Alexa Black’s blog:

I seem to keep reading about lesbian werewolves. This is a good thing… [In this novel I] liked the way the werewolves were depicted as good, kind creatures with stable and loving families. I tend to like my monster stories a bit more dark than Heart of the Pack, and I sometimes found the whole thing a little too sweet, but I also really like seeing a softer side to “monsters.” Especially if it still fits with their nature. The Wolfgangs really did feel like a dog pack in many ways, loving, devoted, and tight-knit, and I found that refreshing.

You can read the full review here.

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coffeemornA bit of blogging now and Jen Silver has been writing about writing. She offers you a glimpse of writer’s typical day – i.e. finding every excuse for procrastination in lieu of that blank page:

“Take coffee and breakfast bowl into the living room, sit in chair, glasses on, open iPad. Quick scan of emails and Facebook. Open up newspaper app. Read a few articles that interest me and then look at the weather…endlessly fascinating for anyone living in the British Isles. As we live in the middle of the country, it’s often wrong.”

You can read more here.

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Cold to the TouchBold Strokes have kicked off their annual blog tour which runs up to the weekend of the Nottingham Book Festival. And the first blog comes from Cari Hunter who explains why she loves the Nottingham shindig.

“My online friends are scattered around the world, and I know that I’ll probably never meet most of them in person, which is why it’s always lovely to see readers supporting the UK Bold Strokes event. For that one weekend a year, we actually do get to meet a part of the LesFic community. It’s the perfect opportunity to put faces to names and to say “hello” rather than hit “Like” or comment on a status update. There’s also the off-chance of autographing a book or two, which always makes me feel like a proper author and secretly tickles me pink.”

Catch up with the rest here.

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bestbookCongratulations to Kiki Archer. She recently won the Best LGBTQ Fiction category at the NIE Awards. The National Indie Excellence Awards have been going for 10 years and you can find the full list of this year’s winners here.

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There was a bit of update from Jody Klaire this week on her blog. She’s been quiet of late, but has also been busy writing.

Jody talks about Hindsight (Book 4 of the Above and Beyond Series) and also about the forthcoming Best Maid Plans, the follow up to romcom La Vie en Bleu due out October. Here’s the blurb:

BestMaidPlans_lgLove in France is wonderful. Pippa Saunders has her true love Berne Chamonix nearby and spring is in the air. Nevermind that she and Rebecca don’t have jobs or money, still haven’t finished the house, and Rebecca is pining because Babs keeps disappearing on business trips.

Rebecca is determined to prove she is a worthy match for Babs by impressing her family. To win them around, Pippa announces that they often renovate for one of the most successful businesses in Europe . . . only that business belongs to her ex-fiancé, Doug Fletcher. Oops. As a favor for his glowing reference, Doug wants Pippa to be his best maid at his wedding and renovate his future house. With Rebecca’s happiness in her hands, Pippa agrees, and summer in France becomes summer in a sleepy Welsh village. But as everyone knows, the best made plans with Pippa and friends never quite go as expected.

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DSC_3634Finally, a sneak peek at Clare Ashton‘s new book out this summer. Poppy Jenkins is a romance set in a Mid-Wales summer in countryside as lush as the heroine. Expect humour, angst and a side-order of Bara Brith. You can find chapter 1 here.

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That’s all folks!