Tag Archives: Ellen Dean

Authors of year, Cari Hunter, Jade Winters, books hot off the press, and more!

8 Nov

It’s wet. It’s windy. It’s meant to stay that way. Why not curl up with a bit of lesfic. Here is the news:

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VGKiki

Photo Emma Bailey Photography

The ceremony for the Ultimate Planet Awards (dubbed the Lesbian Oscars) took place last weekend and there was a good turnout of lesfic writers. The shortlist for established author was an especially strong one (VG Lee, Sarah Waters, Catherine Hall, Stella Duffy, Kiki Archer) and reflects the great variety and calibre of UK lesfic authors these days. The prize was won by the ever popular VG Lee with Kiki Archer next with an honorable mention. A close result as you can see.

You can still catch the author of the year on the Polari Tour around the UK,  and also Kiki at the Birmingham event on November the 15th. See VG’s event page for details.

Photo Emma Bailey Photography

Photo Emma Bailey Photography

The future of UK lesfic is also looking promising with authors such as Clare Lydon, VA Fearon and Karen Campbell nominated in the New Author of the Year category. Karen Campbell ran off with this but stopped to have a photo taken.

Pop over to the Ultimate Planet Facebook page for more photos of what looked like a fabulous evening.

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smaller coverSome Cari Hunter news now. Fans of thrillers, maiming and a bit of loving on the side will be excited to hear that her next book No Good Reason has been scheduled in for June next year. The book is part 1 in the Dark Peak Series and book 2 has been signed up by Bold Strokes and will follow closely in March the following year.

Meanwhile, Cari’s last novel Tumbledown, a Rainbow Awards finalist, received a glowing review over on Out in Print:

But the characters and the elements wouldn’t mean a thing without the tension of Hunter’s action scenes, which are flawless. Other thriller authors (yes, I’m looking at you Patterson and Grisham) could take lessons from Hunter when it comes to writing these babies. Twists and turns and forgotten or unconventional weaponry along with pluck and spirit keep me breathless and reading way past my bedtime. I can almost imagine Hunter as sweating and out of breath as her heroines once she writes her way out of the set-ups she conjures.

You can read the full review here.

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Jade Winters has tarted up her website and also been chatting about her battle with writer’s block. Her readers will be very glad to hear that she’s winning that battle, doing so well in fact that she’s publishing her next book chapter by chapter and for free. On her Facebook page she says that it’s a way to thank her readers. Here’s the cover and the blurb for The Hidden Truth. Chapters will start appearing on her website from Sunday.

thehiddentruthCara has no one but herself to blame for the situation she finds herself in – she broke the cardinal rule: Don’t read someone’s personal diary. But what if she hadn’t? How long would it have been before she found out that Melanie, her girlfriend of four years, was sleeping with her flatmate?

Suddenly finding herself homeless, Cara retreats to her parents’ home in the heart of Cumbria to lick her wounds. When she unexpectedly bumps into her old school friend Erin, she is shocked to realise that the love she once felt for her is still there.

Though the chemistry can’t be ignored, Erin isn’t the same trusting person she once was and fights to keep her feelings for Cara at bay – she’s been hurt in the past and refuses to go down that path again for anyone, especially the woman who was the cause of her heartache in the first place.

Meanwhile Terry Baker has reviewed Jade’s latest book Second Thoughts:

As with each new Jade Winters book, this has now become my firm favorite, at least until the next book. This romance with an unexpected twist, is well written and is a page turner from the very first sentence right through to the last. The story had me sitting on the edge of my seat feverishly ripping through the pages until I reached the end. The suspense was spellbinding and the intrigue intense.”

Here’s the review in full.

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HILDUKstarting oversilver-wings-h-p-munro-paperback-cover-artellendean

 

Some other news from around the web now.

Nicola Griffith has been hinting at what to expect in Hild 2 on her blog.

Jen Silver has been blogging over on Women and Words and talking through her creative process from start to publication. She is also doing a giveaway of her book Starting Over, so head over there now.

After Ellen
has been recommending lesfic romances to get you hooked. As well as the usual suspects (Georgia Beers, Radclyffe, etc.) HP Munro‘s Silver Wings is also given a great plug. Here’s the list.

And if you’re looking for something a little bit different again, lesfic author Ellen Dean has penned a murder mystery play called Fore Play. You can catch the play in York on the 31st January – details here.
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On to new books.

Hot off the press is Clare Lydon’s The Long Weekend. We’ll be hearing more from Clare next week in an interview with her on UKLesFic. For now here’s the blurb and the link to the new release on Amazon.

TheLongWeekend-640x1024 Twenty years since meeting at university, a group of friends rent a house in Devon to celebrate. Fresh air, sandy beaches and historic friendships – what could possibly go wrong?

The catch is, university sweethearts Vic & Stevie are on the rocks, their three-year marriage floundering, while Kat & Abby’s combustible relationship looks set to ignite at any second. Meanwhile, Tash & Laura have downed responsibilities & kids for the weekend and are ready for some fun; single CID sergeant Geri can’t wait to get away from the London scene to reboot her slumbering love life and that’s not to mention Stu & his boyfriend Darren who bring their own man-sized baggage…

Add in laughs, simmering tension, romance & no shortage of wine and you’ve got all the ingredients for a rollercoaster ride of a long weekend…

Chrissie McDill has also published her second novel Through a Stranger’s Eyes:

through a stranger“I willed myself to look away from her burning eyes but the hatred in her expression anchored my feet to the floor, locking my gaze on hers with the strength of a steel trap…a giant hand was squeezing the breath from me, ripping into the life-centre of my brain and steadily crushing the beat from my heart…”

Frances is a lesbian who hates change. Even her eco-terrorist husband, Dan, is as necessary to her as her sagging couch, worn wicker chair and faded cushion.

But routine has a habit of changing and as Frances’s life spirals out of control, she tries to cling to a normality that is fast disappearing.

Through an assortment of eccentric and funny characters, and with the support of Kris, her new lover, can Frances learn to re-think her place in the world and discover the truth about herself?

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Finally UKLesFic wishes Terry Baker a very happy retirement. Terry has been an astonishingly prolific reviewer of lesfic over the last few years and is the go-to reviewer of many a lesfic reader when a new title comes out. But the time has come to spend more time with family and friends and Terry’s December reviews will be her last. All the best Terry. Your reviews will be missed.

News roundup: a scintillating Polari shortlist, Beatrice Hitchman’s intriguing Petite Mort, events, Maureen Duffy, Stella Duffy and more!

11 Sep

Cari’s been gambolling around the coast complete with baby seals, so you’re stuck with me again for this week’s post. Let’s have a quick romp through the news…

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petitmortThe Polari shortlist was announced at Monday’s Polari evening in London, and what an exciting short list it is. Paul Burston has commented on the great diversity of this year’s entries, which can be any first book that explores the LGBT experience in poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction. Here’s the list:

Sarah Westwood‘s The Rubbish Lesbian – a collection of her columns for Diva magazine
Dean Atta‘s poetry collection I’m Nobody’s Nigger
Diriye Osman‘s short story collection Fairytales For Lost Children
Vernal Scott‘s God’s Other Children – a London memoir
Beatrice Hitchman‘s noir novel Petite Mort

We’ve mentioned Sarah Westwood’s book in passing before but we haven’t featured Beatrice Hitchman. Hitchman’s intriguing debut has drawn comparisons with the writing of Sarah Waters and Angela Carter and with films such as  Moulin Rouge.

Here’s the blurb for Petite Mort:

Beatricehitchman

Photo by Sarah Lee

A silent film, destroyed in a fire in 1913 at the Pathé studio, before it was seen even by its director. A lowly seamstress, who makes the costumes she should be wearing, but believes her talent – and the secret she keeps too – will soon get her a dressing room of her own.

A beautiful house in Paris, with a curving staircase, a lake, and locked rooms. A famous – and dashing – creator of spectacular cinematic illusions, husband to a beautiful, volatile actress, the most adored icon of the Parisian studios. All fit together, like scenes in a movie. And as you will see, this plot has a twist we beg you not to disclose…

For a bit more background on the book and author there’s a review in the Polari Magazine and an interview in Diva. You can also read more about Beatrice on her website.

Sticking with Polari just for a moment, you can read a little about the background of Polari and the Polari Tour here and also get a taster for what to expect from Kiki Archer at the Birmingham event in this video.

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duffy_maureenOn to interviews.

Maureen Duffy was interviewed on Totally4Women.  Maureen talked about diverse topics from prizes, her opinion of self-publishing and the representation of women in media. On that last matter she has this to say:

You have only to count the numbers of titles and reviewers in the Times Literary Supplement and London Review of Books by men as against those by women to see the discrimination. Also while women read books by both men and women, men read predominantly books by men. The emphasis is for youth and glamour for women writers still. Our enemy is still the patriarchal society, witness Cameron’s cabinet even after the reshuffle. Even Mrs Thatcher whom they all profess to admire was painfully dumped when the novelty wore off.

You can read the whole interview here.

ellendeanPlanet of the Books has a new author profile up and this time it’s Ellen Dean‘s turn. She answers the usual questions and this is what she had to say about spending the day as one of her favourite characters:

It has to be Hyacinth Dickinson from Beautiful Strangers and Beyond Midnight, Books 1 and 2 in the Hyacinth Dickinson Series. Tall, blonde and gorgeous. Hyacinth is psychic and can use telepathy to get into people’s minds and learn all their secrets, or make them do what she wants them to do. Plus, she owns valuable and rare diamonds (a girl’s best friend) two fabulous houses, a yacht and enjoys partying with a wide circle of friends. It would be a hard to decide where to actually be: in one of her fabulous houses, controlling the Amethyst Coven or lazing on the yacht in Cannes. Oh, decisions, decisions!

You can read the full profile here.

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fallingcoloursRJ Samuel‘s Falling Colours was reviewed over on Piercing Fiction. The review starts with “Let’s start by saying this is a fun book to read.” A phrase that might not auger too well with a Lynne Pierce review.

But fear not, the review’s a good one and this is what Lynne has to say in summation for RJ’s tale of a vision painter:

RJ Samuel has used the theme of a person caught between two cultures before, but Kiran has a comic twist that makes her fun while revealing the struggle she goes through.  The book is a slapstick mystery in the best tradition of the old 1930s movies.  It would be great to have a sequel to this book to see where Samuels could take the characters, but Kiran would have to bring Marge back again.  That might be too much for any of them to take.

Read Falling Colours.  It’s fresh; it’s different; it’s worth it.

You read the full review here.

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Clare-Lydon-LV-cropClare Lydon‘s been blogging again and this week it’s about some harsh truths for writers. Her ten truths cover everything from the number of copies a typical book sells (not many) and who cares about your manuscript (you and your mum). Here’s her truth about muses:

Writing is an art. But like any art, it’s 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration. Like anything, you have to work at it and you have to do regularly to get good at it – it takes practice. If you only write ‘when the muse takes you’, you will never finish that book you’re working on. And muses are like fairies btw – they don’t exist.

Here’s the full entertaining list.

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PayingGuest_D-2-186x300Now for our weekly sample of Sarah Waters news.

There was an interesting article in The New York Times this week. While everyone in the UK, from my mother-in-law to my doctor, is looking forward to picking up The Paying Guests, apparently that’s not the reception she gets in the US:

Ms. Waters has tended to receive less critical attention in the United States than at home. Laura Miller, who wrote a delighted review of her novel “The Little Stranger” for Salon, said that might be because she has fallen, unfairly, into a genre ghetto.

“She does have a devoted readership here, but if there’s a problem with her work getting the respect it deserves, it’s probably because it’s historical fiction. Some people who write it are at the top of their game … but at the same time, it’s full of cheesy, endless series about things like the women of the War of 1812.”

The article goes on to give some nice detail on Sarah Waters’ background from being the only gay in the village, to then meeting the other one and how she fell into writing. Here’s the full article.

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everythingStella Duffy has just released a collection of her work that has been previously published or broadcast on the radio. Here’s the blurb for Everything is Moving, Everything is Joined:

This collection of short stories brings together, for the first time, a selection of Stella Duffy’s award-winning writing, as well as some of the numerous stories that have been broadcast on radio and appeared in anthologies over the past 20 years. Many of these books are out of print and the radio broadcasts are unavailable; this collection therefore not only highlights the range and variety of her writing, but also breathes new life into some of her best stories.

Here’s the Amazon link although note that the Kindle version for 80 p is just a single short story.

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Finally some events for your diary including one tonight.

Nicola Griffith is touring at the beginning of October. The tour includes places as different and as far-flung as London and Ilkley. Full details are on her blog.

Stella Duffy and Catherine Hall are both appearing at Gay’s the Word tonight – a great chance to see two excellent authors. Starts at 7 p.m.  More details here.

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Right, my turn to gambol around the coast. Ta ra!

News roundup: new books, interviews, blogs and dates for the Polari tour

26 Jul

The sun is shining and if I don’t blow up a paddling pool soon, a large one, then two small children will cry. So let’s get on with the news.

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Upcoming books first with some lovely shiny new covers

smaller coverCari Hunter‘s landed herself a particularly lovely cover for her next novel No Good Reason due out spring next year. It features one of my favourite bits of rock (Stanage) in one of my favourite bits of the world (the Peak District). Here’s the all important blurb to get you wishing that spring 2015 was a bit closer:

Detective Sanne Jensen (not blonde, not tall, definitely not Scandinavian) and Doctor Meg Fielding (scruffy, scatter-brained, prone to swearing at patients) are lifelong best friends, sharing the same deprived background and occasionally the same bed.

When a violent kidnapping stuns the Peak District village of Rowlee, both women become involved in the case. As Sanne and her colleagues in East Derbyshire Special Ops search for the culprit, and Meg fights to keep his victim alive, a shocking discovery turns the investigation on its head. With the clock ticking, Sanne and Meg find themselves pushed closer by a crime that threatens to tear everything apart.

mountainrescueSky Croft‘s sequel to Goldie winner Mountain Rescue: The Ascent is pencilled in for December. Kelly Saber and Dr Sydney Greenwood are back and will need to tackle everything that life and the mountains can throw at them. Here’s the blurb:

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.

BeyondMidnightEllen Dean has a new novel out now. Beyond Midnight is book two in the Hyacinth Dickinson series – tales of thrilling romance, witchcraft and intrigue:

Beyond Midnight, from best-selling author Ellen Dean, is the second book in the Hyacinth Dickinson Series. Two years on from a terrible helicopter crash charismatic Dr. Hyacinth Dickinson, world renowned gynaecologist/obstetrician and Mistress of the Amethyst Coven, is out for revenge.

Those who betrayed her must pay, including the beautiful Sofia Roberto-Sabatini, who is in line to be a Mafia Don.

Sofia has a rare blue diamond, knowledge that is supposed to be secret. But, secrets have a way of leaking. Hyacinth is determined to possess that diamond by fair means or foul. If magic needs to be used, then so be it.

But things don’t always go according to plan. Hyacinth has enemies who want the diamond as badly as she does, and so the chase begins. The two women end up running for their lives.

Will they survive? Will love conquer all?

Beyond Midnight is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

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On to interviews.

hp munroGoldie award winner and author of the very popular Stars Collide, HP Munro, was interviewed by AJ Adaire. HP’s answers are typically humorous and she talks about her books, which span chick lit to award-winning historical fiction. Talking about her characters:

“I guess my approach is to try to make them normal, I want readers to think that if they were to meet the character in real life they would be able to sit down and shoot the breeze with them and not be intimidated.

They have hang-ups. They can be funny, they can be snarky and they can be supportive or angry and hurtful. Just like we all can.”

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

Kerry-Hudson-008Kerry Hudson, author of Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma, has also been busy with interviews.

She answers questions in the Irish Times such as: What advice would you give to an aspiring author? – “Work hard, don’t be an arsehole, buy a good chair”; What’s your favourite word – “A (definitely unpublishable in a respectable paper) word from the first line of my first novel”, which UKLesFic thinks is one of “cunting”, “shitting”, “little” or “fucker”. Here’s the link to her book for you to decide.

Her answers are great and here’s the full article. Also don’t miss her interview on Writers&Artists where she talks about her writing in general and her second novel Thirst.

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HILDUKNicola Griffith‘s acclaimed novel Hild has at last made it to these shores and she’s started a blog tour to tie in with the UK paperback edition. The tour includes Q&A sessions, reviews and essays. The full schedule is here and this week included a piece on Women and Words on Hild, history and sex:

I’ve been asked questions about my characters’ sexuality ever since I began to publish. Sometimes I answer more patiently than others…Hild, my novel set in seventh-century Britain about the early life of St Hilda of Whitby, is about to be published in the UK. I know that someone won’t be able to resist asking, ‘So why is Hild a lesbian?’

First, she’s bisexual. Second, why the fuck not?

While it may not matter about the sexuality of a character for a good novel, Nicola does go into some detail about the historical basis for Hild’s sexuality. Here’s the whole article.

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Mari-Hannah-008Mari Hannah has been writing about her experience of the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival which takes place every July. The Polari Prize winner (The Murder Wall) has been attending the event for many years and this time took part in the first panel of the event about routes into publishing.  You can find the full post here complete with a list of ten things overheard at the festival.

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polariflyerFinally, there are lots of events for your diaries now the dates for the Polari tour have been announced. The award-winning literary salon will be heading out from its London home to places as far flung as Brighton and Newcastle. The events will be hosted by the colourful Paul Burston and many give readers a chance to catch VG Lee. You’ll also be able to see VA Fearon at the Brighton event and Clare Ashton in Brum. Here’s the full list of dates and almost finalised lineup.

Now go get some ice-cream. Ta ra a bit! 

News on the run…Book Flash with Ellen Dean in the VLR tonight…

15 Feb

A bit last minute this, but the Virtual Living Room has given us a heads up that Ellen Dean (author of Beautiful Strangers) will be taking part in a Book Flash tonight.

717930The VLR – for those not in the know! – is a Yahoo group devoted to the discussion of lesbian literature. It has an enthusiastic following of readers and authors, and is a very friendly place to hang out.

The Book Flash – taking place this evening from 8 p.m. GMT. (3 p.m. EST) – places an author in the hot seat to answer pre-set questions about her book, and any other questions that are then posed by members. Head over to the VLR’s main page to find more information about the group, including details on how to join.