Tag Archives: Cherry Potts

News roundup: new books from Clare Lydon and Cherry Potts, BSB and Polari events, and a good natter with Cari Hunter

30 Jan

News comes from the cold-virus reservoir that is the Ashton household this week. There’s a lot of it around I was told, when I was clearly asking for sympathy. Anyway, the more helpful suggested whisky as a relief, so let’s hope this doesn’t go too awry…

New books

AllIWantForValentines_FinalHot off the press is Clare Lydon‘s follow up to her Christmas bestseller All I Want for Christmas. All I Want for Valentine’s is the second book in the series that continues Tori and Holly’s story. And Clare has more novellas planned which follow their story through the year – All I Want for Spring is due out in March.

Here’s the blurb for book two and you can read more about the series here:

Did you read All I Want For Christmas and love it? Great news – Tori & Holly are back, ready to tackle the New Year as a loved-up couple! But what would complete the picture? A cat, of course. But to make that happen, Holly sets Tori a challenge. If she completes it, she’ll get a kitten for Valentine’s Day. But nothing’s ever that easy, now is it?

Step back into the lives of Tori & Holly in this funny, romantic and heart-warming story, the first in a series set to follow the lives of London’s favourite lesbian duo throughout 2016. Clare Lydon’s books are packed with sharp wit and charm, guaranteed to leave you feeling upbeat! Don’t delay – snap up this book today!

The Dowry Blade FRONT Cover finalMeanwhile, Cherry Potts, is also on the verge of publishing her lesbian epic fantasy, The Dowry Blade, a labour of love and an epic task in itself. The book is due out on the 25th February and there are launch events at Lewisham Library (24th February at 6.30 pm), Clapham Books (25th February 7.30 pm) and Beckenham Bookshop (3rd March at 7 pm).

Other launch events are being planned and she’ll be doing a giveaway on Goodreads from 25th February. Here’s the blurb.

Trust anyone, even an enemy…Trust no one, not even a friend

Nine years after the loss of her sister, and near obliteration of her clan, Brede is living unwillingly in the marshes. The sudden ending of a decade long drought, brings with it many changes: rumour has it that the rain was bought at the price of a King’s head, and the sword needed for such a sacrifice is missing. Change comes for Brede with the arrival of Tegan, a wounded mercenary. Brede’s discovery, first of the Dowry Blade and then a stolen horse, sets in train a journey in search of her missing sister and leads to an unexpected role in the Queen’s household, and a powerful lover.

starstruckAlso a quick reminder that Lesley Davis‘ latest, Starstruck, is now available. Lesley has been blogging about her new novel on the Bold Strokes Blog:

What was fun this time around was nearly everyone plays two parts. Cassidy Hayes is an actress so you’re introduced to the character she plays as well as her true self. Aiden Darrow is a writer, someone well used to having one foot in the real world and another in imaginary realms. She also loves the character Cassidy plays on screen and that’s where the idea for my story originated. Can someone very fantasy minded separate the actress from the character she plays? Especially when she is such a fangirl of the show the actress stars in?…Did I mention Cassidy has a stalker?

You can read the rest of the post here.

Blogs and interviews

Cari HClare Lydon’s continuing the Lesbian Book Club and this week she had a good natter with Cari Hunter. Definitely worth catching up with the podcast to hear Cari talk about how she got into this writing lark, how she’s found working on her excellent Dark Peak series, and of course a mention or two about biscuits and a brew is never far away. Here’s the link.

(As part of the interview Clare did ask her how the UK LesFic blog came about, but Cari couldn’t remember. I’d take offence, but I can’t remember either.)

gillmcknightIt’s been Gill McKnight‘s turn on the Ylva blog hop and she’s been ruminating about how she came up with her latest book The Tea Machine:

“The Tea Machine really began with a kernel of a thought, something my history teacher said eons ago that stuck. She was one of those teachers that make the subject they teach come alive. She pointed out that if the Romans had used steam as a source of power, the way, say, the English industrialists had, like George Stephenson (the father of the locomotive steam engine) for example; then we would probably all be living on Mars now

Here’s the full post.

lavieenbleuJust time for a quick review. The Lesbian Reading Room reviewed Jody Klaire‘s romcom La Vie en Bleu.

“La Vie en Bleu is an absolutely lovely read. It is well written, humorous and full of excellent human observation combined with an interesting version of the classic re-united lovers romance. It is very different from the Above and Beyond Series, but like all Ms Klaire’s work is extremely well done.

You can read the full review here.

Events

Some details on forthcoming events now.

bold books logoBold Strokes will be hosting another book festival in Nottingham. The event is in its seventh year and a great opportunity to meet some of the UK Bold Strokes authors (and the odd stray American) and hear about their latest books. The event takes place on the weekend of June 4th-5th and you can find more details as they come available on the Facebook event page.

VGLeePolari-on-sea is back after its successful run in Hastings last year. The next event is on Wednesday February 24th and includes readings from VG Lee – you can book tickets here.

VG is also running the Polari Writing Class at The Printworks in Hastings. It’s a set of six afternoon workshops that coincide with the season’s evening events. Dates and topics are:

Feb 24th – Ways into writing
March 22nd – Characterization.
April 27th – Flash fiction and poetry
May 25th – The short story
June 29th – Memoir and storytelling
July 27th – Ways to take your writing forward.

Attend all the classes or pick and choose. Price is £5 per workshop (or £25 for all six) payable in cash on the day. To reserve a place, email VG at vglee@dircon.co.uk.

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That’s all folks!

News roundup: a lot of blogging and chatting from Emma Donoghue, VG Lee, Nicola Griffith, Amy Dunne and more!

27 Feb

A whiff of spring is in the air, or at least the green shoots of a busy lesfic year are coming through at last, and there’s quite a bit to tell you this week:

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emma-donoghue-illo_2373764bEmma Donoghue has been answering Seven Questions for the Working Writer over on Jenna Leigh Evans’ blog. She answers questions about juggling writing with earning a living (she’s never had a day job) and how she knows when a passage needs editing (it makes her stomach twinge). Read the full piece here.

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NicolaGriffithNicola Griffith has been busy on her blog. This week she has been talking a little about how to avoid cliched characters when writing fiction and how to create a memorable cast.

But a great story or novel—oh, a great story is dense. The characters’ actions are plot-driving and characteristic and specific. These people are fully human, the kind of people we would recognise this year, last century, tomorrow. In this fiction, the writer is almost profligate in her generosity: we know a lot about the protagonist just by the way he flips his hair, just by the speed with which they blinks before they kill someone.

Here’s the full piece.

It also turns out that even the best get the odd duff review. Nicola has been braving Amazon and reading Hild reviews and details her reaction to some particularly snide 1-star reviews. It only bothered her, mildly, for 5 minutes. Still, an entertaining and interesting piece which is here in full.

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vgleepolariVG Lee was interviewed by Sacha Black about VG’s writing process. She talks about her technique of prolific note taking as first draft, what and who inspires her characters and her take on the publishing industry. This is her advice for aspiring novelists:

Not to be influenced in any way by friends and family. They will be biased. To aspiring novelists I would recommend a writing group, creative writing classes at local colleges or universities. Here you will get unbiased feed back. Friends I made through a creative writing class when I first began writing, I am still friends with them now. We are all still writing and we have all been published, in fiction, non-fiction, flash fiction and poetry. We help each other.

VG is always an interesting read and here’s the full interview.

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LT Smith has been catching up her readers on her writing exploits. And she’s been busy. Beginnings is out in its second edition and she talks about the horticulture involved in that. She’s also having a shufty at Once and a few other things besides:

I can remember not long after Once was published and I won an award from the Lesbian Fiction Readers’ Choice Awards for comedy. Obviously, I was really excited, as anyone would be if his or her book had been given the big thumbs up by the reader. But, I can still remember thinking ‘I thought it was sad’. Shows how much I know doesn’t it. Maybe if I write a comedy I may get an award for drama. Food for thought.

Read the full article, and keep an eye out for an imminent book giveaway too, over on LT’s blog.

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Clare Lydon continues with the book club on Lesbian Radio. And this week she had a good natter with Amy Dunne author of Secret Lies and Season’s Meetings. Amy gives some insight into her writing approach to each book and what inspired her to write the gritty Secret Lies. Have a listen here.

Amy also revealed the cover and blurb for her next book this week. The Renegade, a post-apocalyptic romance, will be available in September. Here’s the blurb:

renegadeIn this post-apocalyptic world, you have a choice: survive as a slave or fight for your freedom.

The Red Death pandemic wiped out most of the human population, and the world that remains is dangerous and unforgiving. Survivor Alex Clarke and her companions are rescued after a vicious attack and welcomed into the Rapture’s Haven Camp. Although given medical treatment, food, shelter, and protection, Alex senses something sinister lurking beneath the camp’s friendly exterior.

Camp medic Evelyn Bennett is instinctively drawn to Alex and warns her that the camp is a dangerous cult and the women are slaves. While planning to escape, their secret relationship is discovered. Escape is no longer possible. They must fight for their freedom—or die trying.

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V.A FearonMeanwhile Cherry Potts and VA Fearon have been chatting about lesbian fiction. Cherry talked about running Arachne Press and trying to fit in her own writing. VA Fearon revealed her obsessive writing habit and also chatted about the Dani series. All five books have been written – although only The Girl with the Treasure Chest is out so far. Here the video of their conversation.

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A few items in brief:

thehysteryappVT Davy‘s second ‘state of the lesbian nation’ novels, The Hystery App, is now available. VT has produced a trailer for the book which is a blend of science fiction, romance, and women’s history. The trailer is available here on YouTube.

Jenny Frame has been putting the final touches to the forthcoming A Royal Romance and has an update on her other work here.

Gill McKnight, author of the Garoul werewolf series, has been quiet of late, but she’s just about to get a lot noisier. She’s joined Women and Words as a regular contributer and she’s already received a very warm welcome. She has a new book, Soul Selecta, is due out in April.

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hp munroFinally, you can catch HP Munro in the Virtual Living Room today. The online discussion group is hosting a Hollywood weekend where authors of novels with a film theme will be chatting about their books. Authors include Melissa Brayden (Waiting in the Wings), Karin Kallmaker (Stepping Stone), Krystin Zimmer (The Gravity Between Us), Jae (Departure from the Script) and Chris Paynter (Survived by her Longtime Companion). You can join the group here.

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That’s all folks!

News Roundup: The Solstice Shorts Festival Needs You, New RJ Samuel Blog, Sarah Waters Reviews, Tour Dates from Catherine Hall & Nicola Griffith, and More!

29 Aug

In a week where the Great British Baked Alaska Sabotage scandalised a nation, how can we here at UK LesFic possibly live up to that level of excitement? Well, we can’t. But we do have news for you, once you’ve all calmed down a little.

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Cherry PottsFirst this week is the opportunity to spread a bit of festive cheer by helping to crowd-fund the Solstice Shorts Festival, a one-day short stories and folk music festival to be held at the West Greenwich library and the Royal Observatory on December 21st (the winter solstice). You can read all about the festival, watch a video from organiser Cherry Potts, and contribute to the funding at the above link. The deadline for contributions is Thursday September 4th.

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rjsamuel2Over at Women and Words, RJ Samuel has been exploring the topic of being “an outsider looking out” in a blog post that reveals details of her forthcoming novels…

I am currently working on the third in the Vision painter series which will feature my Indian-Irish vision painter as well two other main characters, an Irish woman, and an Indian woman brought up in Africa and America. And, for the first time, I’ll be working on another novel at the same time, this one featuring an agoraphobic Irish travel writer who needs to find the missing Indian wife of her ex’s new boyfriend. This will be set in Ireland and France.

…as well as taking a closer look at the inspiration behind those she has already published:

My novels mix genres as well as diverse characters, settings, and explore pacemakers, vision painting, and online deception amongst other subjects…my novels featured an Indian or Indian-Irish protagonist and my protagonists struggled with a sense of place, of belonging.

Head here to read the full piece.

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The Planet of the Books blog has been busy adding the profiles of several UK authors. Hit each individual link to read short, fun interviews with:

london callingClare Lydon

Have you created any characters you don’t like?

Yes! In my new novel, The Long Weekend, there are a couple of characters who are annoyingly self-absorbed. In London Calling, Jess had her moments too – she was a frustrating lead character at times, even if her heart was in the right place.

karencampbell2Karen Campbell

Where do you write? And what do you need around you?
I write anywhere I have an A4 pad and some music. Generally, I do it in front of my computer but that’s just so that I can lean on the table and blast my songs. In the summer, I was out in the garden. I shouldn’t though, as I get carried away and sing.

And VG Lee

Which character you’ve created/written do you wish you could spend a day as?
Mrs Botolph in my first novel, The Comedienne. She is the old friend of the main character’s mother and is very bossy and gets things done!

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theempath_lgA quick heads-up that Jody Klaire‘s debut novel, The Empath (book one of the Above & Beyond series), has been released onto Kindle this week. The full blurb for the novel can be found on our New Releases page, and if you like a soundtrack to go with your reading, Jody has published a playlist for the book here on her blog. If you enjoy this first book, its sequel Fractured will be out on November 14th.

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PayingGuest_D-2-186x300Sarah Waters‘ latest release The Paying Guests is picking up reviews all over the place. There are too many for us to feature them all, but a five star review from Joanna Briscoe in The Express describes the novel as: morally complex, atmospheric, romantic and psychologically deep, and goes on to say that The Paying Guests is an astonishing achievement and a notable Booker omission, while the Independent found itself longing for more of a spark:

Perhaps Waters does not want to put on a fireworks display of plot surprises. She does give us a poignant love story which symbolically sees in the death of the old order, the death of the old-fashioned husband and maybe the birth of an era of love without secrets. Yet we find ourselves wishing for a few more fireworks all the same.

If you prefer to make up your own mind, the novel is out in all formats (yes, hardback, paperback, and e-book) as of yesterday.

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the repercussionsClosing out this week with some diary dates, and Catherine Hall will be talking about her new novel The Repercussions (due for release on September 25th) at various libraries, bookshops and festivals this autumn. For a full list of events, see this page on her website. You can also hop to her blog from there, where Catherine has recently been talking about the thorny issue of self-publicity:

One of the things I never thought about when I started writing was promotion. Even if I had, Twitter hadn’t been invented then, Facebook was in its infancy and blogging was something that felt far too narcissistic.

I had an old fashioned idea about what a writer was – someone who sat alone, preferably in a garret (preferably in Paris), and worked long into the night on an Olivetti typewriter sustained by cigarettes and gin. So far, so Moulin Rouge. I liked it…

The third link will take you to the rest of the piece.

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NicolaGriffithAnd rounding out this roundup, news that Nicola Griffith will be heading to the UK in October (1st-10th) to do “Hild-ish things”:

It will be the first time I’ve done a novel-related event in the UK since 1993 when I was there for the launch of Ammonite. There are so very many UK readers I’ve met since and talked to through the magical ether of the intarwebs. I wish I could meet you all. I wish I could spend a month in the UK travelling about. But ten days is what we have. So I hope you can come to one of the events above. It’ll be a blast!

For all the dates and details (with more still to come) go to this page at Nicola’s blog.

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Now, you’ll have to excuse me, I’m off to cram some sponge and ice cream into a meringue…

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

News Roundup: Sarah Waters Cover Unveiled, Interviews with KE Payne & Andrea Bramhall, New Novels, Lesbians at Lewisham, and More!

14 Feb

2014 cadbury heart shaped chocolates designs and collectionsWell, it’s February 14th and love is definitely in the air here at UK LesFic as we put on romantic music, eat heart-shaped chocolates, buy ridiculously over-priced flowers, and get all smoochy with our nearest and dearest. But before all that, let’s have some news, shall we?

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PayingGuest_D-2-186x300There seems to be a wealth of information about forthcoming novels this week, with several sneaky peeks at new covers and synopses. A couple of days ago, Sarah Waters unveiled her striking cover for The Paying Guests over on her website, along with an explanation of the thought processes that went into the design:

Publisher Lennie Goodings said: ‘Our Creative Director Duncan Spilling has given Sarah Waters’ covers a distinctive look, inspired by the typography of the eras in which she sets her books. With The Paying Guests taking place in the 1920s, we wanted a cover which reflects the film posters and iconography of the period, and which hints at the tension and surprises contained within the novel. We love it, and we’re sure her many fans will too.’

The Paying Guests will be published on September 4th.

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Publisher Regal Crest has shared the synopsis for Mountain Rescue: On the Edge by Sky Croft:

Dr. Sydney Greenwood and expert climber Kelly Saber are back in this sequel to Mountain Rescue: The Ascent.

Having settled into their relationship, life is sweet for the devoted couple, and a brief trip away allows Saber to meet Sydney’s family. Upon their return, rock slides, torrential rain, and surging rivers cause no end of problems for the Mountain Rescue team, while on the home front, Sydney needs her partner’s support more than ever when faced with a family tragedy. Together, the two women have to navigate between personal trials, and the trials of the mountain. This is…On The Edge.

The novel is tentatively scheduled to be released in the Yellow Rose imprint in December 2014. More news on this one as we get it.

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swordfishAndrea Bramhall has a new interview up at the Ylva website, in which she chats about superpowers, lottery dreams, oh, and that business of writing stuff. She also reveals that she has just signed a contract with Bold Strokes Books for her fifth novel, tentatively titled The Curse of the Chameleon and pencilled in for a release late in 2015:

Childhood friends, Imogen and Amahle, couldn’t come from more different backgrounds. One is privileged and the other is little more than a slave, but they thought nothing could tear their unusual friendship apart. But a changing political landscape and an uncertain future cast Imogen into a lonely world away from everything and everyone she knows, and by the time she returns to Africa everything has changed. Expecting to run the family vineyard after her father’s death, Imogen is ill prepared for the Africa she finds. Betrayal, deceit, and anger are the currency of the day and it is far from the life Imogen wants to lead.

When Amahle’s family is caught up in the middle of a bitter legal battle, she fights for what she believes is right, despite her own lingering feelings toward her childhood friend and a growing attraction she finds harder and harder to fight. But what happens when those you believed in let you down? What happens when friend becomes foe and your world turns upside down? What can be built from the ashes of betrayal? Is love enough?  

You can read the full Ylva interview here.

In the meantime, Andrea will be busy getting novels number three and four – Nightingale (May, 2014) and Swordfish (January 2015, check out the swanky cover!) – ready to rock and roll. Never one for a quiet life, she has also been reading from Captured on Canvas, a short story featuring characters from Clean Slate, for Liz McMullen’s Valentine Special. Apparently the excerpt would make her granny blush, so it’s sure to be a good listen.

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BSB_Because_of_HerSticking with Bold Strokes authors for a moment, as KE Payne has been chatting to fellow YA author Juliann Rich about her new novel Because of Her. The interview hosted on Juliann’s blog sees KE discussing her inspirations, her typical day, and writing for a young adult audience:

I write mainly YA, so I want my message to be loud and clear: it’s okay to be gay. So many teens struggle with their sexuality, but if they can just read one book that lets them know they’re not alone, then that makes me happy. I receive so many emails from readers telling me how much my books have helped them with their own struggles; that’s immensely gratifying and definitely encourages me to keep writing more.

Read more over here.

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Shocking news now, as a sleepy library in Lewisham was recently overrun by LESBIANS! Cherry Potts, VG Lee, VA Fearon, and Kate Foley were all involved in this nefarious coup, and photographs of the suspects can be found here. Apparently, all four women are armed (well, they all have arms at any rate) and reasonably dangerous. Approach with caution and biscuits. Video of the event – presumably so they can send a copy to Crime Watch – is pending.

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vgleeNot satisfied with causing ructions in Lewisham, VG Lee has been blogging over at Gay Star News. How a Married Woman Found Happiness By Coming Out as a Lesbian is a revealing and heartfelt piece that is well worth a few minutes of your time: 

The problems will always remain in the small and personal. Private prejudices within family, friends and work situations. I am now braver, more confident and often very happy to feel myself to be part of LGBTI. Having said that, there are still moments when I am with straight friends, that I feel my life and sexuality are being completely ignored or ludicrous assumptions made. I hear my voice becoming querulous and defensive as I strive to put over how it is to be a lesbian. 

You can read the full feature at the link above.

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Stella Duffy, writer, actorFans of Stella Duffy who have been waiting for news following a recent blog about her breast cancer (“So. I have breast cancer again. This is rubbish, depressing, worrying and also kind of amazing – 14 years since the last one! My body (and the medics) did good”) should head here for a typically enlightening, uplifting, and humorous update:

My job now is to eat spinach until I have the haemoglobin count of Popeye himself. Your iron-rich recipes (that don’t taste too rich and don’t involve liver) very welcome.

And also, yay NHS. Obviously.

I will heartily second that “yay” 🙂

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hild coverA couple of weeks ago, Nicola Griffith lamented a dearth of photos of pets reading Hild. I am pleased to announce that her latest Hild Roundup has rectified this dreadful situation, and also added new reviews and interviews. I harbour a sneaking suspicion that “Bliss” may be attempting to lull those poor fish into a false sense of security…

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Finally, a call to reader Trish Whelan to get in touch with UK LesFic (uklesfic @ gmail.com). Trish, you won a copy of Puppy Love, but you don’t seem to be getting our e-mails. I’d hate for a copy to go to waste, so we’re looking to redraw the prize in a week if we’ve not heard from you.

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I’ll leave you all in peace now, and wish everyone a lovely Valentine’s Day. On a closing note, if you’ve been gaying it up whilst watching the Winter Olympics (and, frankly with all that spandex flying around, who hasn’t?) these two adverts are essential viewing:

Channel Four’s amazing Gay Mountain bear-fest, and this particularly fine example of luge from the Canadian Institute of Inclusion and Diversity. 

PS – sorry for the ear worm.

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: new Jade Winters novel, events, tons of book reviews, and the odd year in review too

6 Jan

Well, UK LesFic has had a nice Christmas with its feet up, but it’s time to blow its nose and clear its throat to begin the new year with
“this is the news” (because there’s no shortage of it):

guiltyheartkindlecover-186x300Jade Winters is quick off the blocks with a brand new book release. Here’s the blurb for Guilty Hearts:

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…

Central London. The honey trap is set. The bait: the young, uninhibited Rachel is in every way the perfect temptress. Intelligent and attractive, she is no stranger to sexual encounters and relishes the thought of her latest challenge: the unsuspecting wife Kathryn. When the two women meet, the attraction is instant and electric. However, Rachel soon realises her ‘love-target’ Kathryn is more than just a bi-curious wife, she is in fact a revered and successful Interior Designer, someone who Rachel has long admired.

As genuine feelings between the two women intensify, will their chance of happiness be destroyed by the truth?

Guilty Hearts is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

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Some advance notice for some very tempting events coming up.

Stella Duffy, writer, actorLesbians at Lewisham Library is on Thursday 6th February. The LGBT History Month event will be hosted by Cherry Potts who will also be reading from Mosaic of Air. She will be joined by poet Kate Foley, humorist VG Lee and debut novelist VA Fearon. You can find more out about the event here.

Also The Story Sessions are celebrating LGBT History Month at the Ivy House, Nunhead, on Wednesday February 19th. Headlining is Stella Duffy, and she is joined by Rebecca Idris author of The Sitar, Cherry Potts, Cath Blackfeather and poet Anny Knight. There’s also a chance to join in with the Flash From The Floor spots after the interval: Read 100 words of your own poetry or flash fiction on the theme of music (prepare it in advance or wing it in the interval!) You can find more details here.

Polari heads up north to the Huddersfield Literary Festival on Saturday 8th March. The session will be hosted by Paul Burston and features authors VG Lee and recent Polari Prize winner Mari Hannah. You can find more details here.

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one foot onto the iceCurve Magazine has been reviewing UK lesfic. Kiki Archer‘s One Foot Onto The Ice was reviewed by Caroline Domenech who said:

This book is full of humor, great characters, and a story that will have you guessing until the end…. This is not the first book I have read from this author and I knew this story was going to leave me wanting for more. The good thing about Kiki Archer is that she never disappoints. This book will have a sequel coming on 2014 and I must say, I can’t wait to read what happens next.

You can read the rest of the review here.

GB-Cover_SmallThe Bookgeek reviewed VT Davy‘s A Very Civil Wedding:

This is not a romance but a thorough exploration of hypocrisy and discrimination challenged by those with character and morals beyond the mere words of scripture and fanaticism. It is fun to read and entertaining if you want to see how the wheels of power might turn in one of the most British institutions, i.e. the Anglican church and the royal family in the unlikely event of same-sex royal wedding. Well done!

Click here for more of that review.

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the rubbish lesbianA short aside now for some non-fiction that may take your fancy. Sarah Westwood’s collection of Diva columns, The Rubbish Lesbian, is out on Kindle. Here’s the blurb:

Funny, honest, and disarmingly revealing about her own insecurities, popular DIVA magazine columnist Sarah Westwood gathers together a selection from her hilarious back catalogue with some exclusive new material in this first Kindle edition. Columns explore the myriad of ways that she feels like a rubbish lesbian and the ways other people are rubbish around lesbians. Topics include getting a lesbian haircut by mistake, a slippery grasp of boob etiquette, and playing the pronoun game at work.

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FrogMusicEmma Donoghue‘s novel Frog Music (to be published in March) has been reviewed by Publisher’s Weekly. From the blurb, the crime novel is set in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1876 during a heat wave and smallpox epidemic, and is inspired by the true story of the murder of eccentric frog-catcher Jenny Bonnet. Three former stars of the Parisian circus, Blanche, an exotic dancer, her lover Arthur and his companion Ernest, are joined by the eccentric outsider Jenny and secrets unravel in an elegant, erotic and witty tale.

Publisher’s Weekly described the book as “a departure from her bestselling Room, but it’s just as dark and just as gripping…Donoghue’s signature talent for setting tone and mood elevates the book from common cliffhanger to a true chef d’oeuvre.”

Read the full review here.

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me_BW_editNicola Griffith had a busy 2013! There was finishing off the whopping great Hild, getting married, winning the Lambda outstanding mid-career novelist prize… Here’s her year in review. She says “You won’t find much soul-searching here; 2013 was a truly fabulous year.” It’s a nice read.

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Finally some holiday tidings from the Bold Strokes Books UK blog. It’s bit of a yearly review and a hint of what’s being planned for 2014. Go enjoy 🙂

Christmas Q&A

18 Dec

baublesUK LesFic is turning in for the year. But before we put up our feet for a couple of weeks, there’s time for a festive Q&A with several lovely authors. Here’s what we asked them:

Which book do you want for Christmas?

What was your book of the year?

We’ll be back early in 2014, until then we’ll leave you with these great recommendations, and a Merry Christmas and wishes for a happy new year from Tig (Clare) and Cari!

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VG Lee

the_summer_bookThe book I’m hoping to get for Christmas is The Summer Book by the late lesbian author, Tove Jansson who also created the Moomin books. I only found out about her recently and this novel, about a relationship between an aging woman and her grand-daughter has some resonance for me, now that I’m getting older myself!

the murder wallHaving been one of the judges for the 2013 Polari First Book Prize, I was fortunate to read many novels by lesbians over the summer.  Our winner was Mari Hannah’s, The Murder Wall and I think I would choose it again for best lesbian fiction. The author is lesbian, the main character, a detective, is also a lesbian. Yes, we do have a few lesbian crime writers but I feel there is room for many more and I was pleased that genre fiction won.

Merry Christmas!

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Amy Dunne

HighDesertBooks make amazing presents. As always, I’ve made sure we’ve purchased lots of books as gifts for our family and friends. When asked what I would like I’ve listed lots of books. But the book I’m most excited about is Katherine V. Forrest’s new Kate Delafield story, High Desert. I cannot wait to snuggle down and read this.

Choosing just one book of the year is way too difficult because there were some really fantastic reads. My top three are: Shadows of Something Real by Sophia Kell Hagen, How Sweet It Is by Melissa Brayden, and finally Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.

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Cherry Potts

91CYqVEe28L._SL1500_My most wished for book for wintermiddle, which has been pointed out very clearly to a certain person who I believe has taken note, is Nicola Griffith’s HildFirstly because I’ve read everything by Nicola I can lay hands on, but also because I think Hilda of Whitby is a superb role model – a woman in medieval England with real power. She’s one of my heroes. So of course I want to read it!

Most of what I’ve read this year has been submissions, so actual published books haven’t had much of a look in, however I would recommend Mary Ackers’ collection Bones of an Inland Sea. It is a beautifully written clever and thoughtful series of connected stories, and working out the connections is half the fun. One strand involves a female to male transsexual which is handled with great tenderness. One of those books that go into the ‘I wish I’d written that’ category.

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Kiki Archer

I always seem to get a biography for Christmas and this year I’m hoping it’s Miranda Hart’s Is it just me? I love her show and find myself laughing loudly throughout each episode, even if she’s just looking into the camera and saying the words: “I thank you.” She calls the book her Miran-ual and I’m sure it would provide a lot of laughs over the Christmas period. Plus I’m not sure I could cope with Katie Price’s sixteenth biography. The other fifteen are already taking up too much room on my bookcase.

ExceptonToTheRuleMy book of the year was Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. The tag line was: “They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose,” and I was hooked. The book was a deeply emotional, unconventional, romance, with a very sad, yet bitter sweet ending. Chick lit with depth!

My lesfic book of the year was Cindy Rizzo’s Exception to the Rule. I had the privilege of reading an advance copy over the summer holidays and I immediately knew I’d see it at the top of the charts. Fast paced, intelligent, engaging, and very hot. Exactly what I like in a good read.

Happy Christmas everybody.

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Orla Broderick

girlisA Girl Is A Half Formed Thing by Eimear McBride – Finally I find a novel to challenge. With language like no other, with heart rending passion displayed on every page. Here’s a new voice. Here’s a woman’s tale of love and vulnerability. It is not an easy cozy little fireside read. It is not for the faint hearted. It is raw and honest. It is terrible and beautiful all at once. I was shocked by this book from the very first page. I was horrified. A girl loves her brother. He has a brain tumour. His life, his well being is infinitely more important than hers. Her pain is of no consequence to anyone, even herself. To her, pain is life, is love. I would urge anyone to purchase at least four copies directly from the publisher Galley Beggar Press and distribute widely. This book is going to change the way we write – and hopefully what we read.

The book(s) I would like for Christmas: I would like The Guga Stone: Lies, Legends and Lunacies from St Kilda, by Donald S. Murray and Douglas Robertson because I love a beautiful book and I know this one will be truly gorgeous in every way. I would like The Others by Siba Al-Harez because it is a new story and there have been wonderful reviews and I am curious. I would also like a copy of Orlando by Virginia Woolf because (I am ashamed to say) I have never read it.

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Cari Hunter

RoseUnderFireI actually know which books I’m getting for Christmas, because I ordered them and – at the moment, until my darling gives me some cash – paid for the bloody things! I love getting my teeth into a decent crime series, and a friend recommended Chelsea Cain to me this year. She’s a fun writer, who can be a little too outrageous (the culprits in one of her books were tiny killer octopi) but is consistently entertaining. So, I’m getting her new one, Let Me Go, in my stocking, along with Autumn Bones, the latest from Jacqueline Carey,  one of my favourite authors.

My book of the year is Rose Under Fire, Elizabeth Wein’s splendid companion novel to Code Name Verity. While it didn’t quite reach the heights of CNV (how could it?), it was still a book that stayed with me long after I’d finished reading it and was possibly even better the second time around.

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LettersNeverSentRachel Dax

My book highlights of the year are Letters Never Sent by Sandra Moran and Out Late With Friends by Suzanne Egerton which I am currently halfway through and loving. Next to read is Careful Flowers by Kieran York – which I am really excited about.

OutLateWithFriendsI am hoping to find Hild by Nicola Griffith in my Christmas stocking. I am particularly interested to see what Hild is like because St Hilda gets a mention in my trilogy The Legend Of Pope Joan and I am keen to find out whether Nicola Griffith and I are exploring similar ideas in our writing.

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Andrea Bramhall

Okay, the book at the top of my Christmas list this year is Bonkers by Jennifer Saunders. That woman cracks me up so much and just reading the blurb had me in stitches. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into that one as I’m sure it will be one of those laugh out loud books for me.

My book of the year…seriously? You want me to pick ONE? That’s got to be against the Geneva Convention or some thing. Torturous, cruel and unusual punishment…do you know how many fantastic books there are out there? ONE? *Gulp* No need to resort to threats. I can’t babysit, Tig. Kids hate me. *sigh* Fine, I’ll do it. Just take that light out of my eyes, okay?

secretliesI’ll have to say…Secret Lies by Amy Dunne. I usually have to be in the mood for young adult titles but this particular debut novel didn’t fall into the same category. It is rather on the gritty side and it won’t be a book everyone can read as it deals with subjects that are both provocative and heartbreaking. It touches on the subjects of child abuse and self harming, and I think it does so in a way that is realistic, compassionate, and yet doesn’t shy away from the darkness each bring to a very different young adult novel. Dunne has managed to capture the innocence and excitement of young love against the pain and angst of two girls struggling through difficulties that most ‘grown ups’ would flinch at dealing with. This author is definitely one to watch.

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christmas-tree-snow-1

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