Tag Archives: Gill McKnight

News Roundup: New Author CK Martin, Reviews, Threesomes, Bargain Books, Giveaways, and More!

24 Sep

With the debacle of the Great British Bake Off’s C4 sell-off travesty hanging heavy over us all here at UK LesFic, it’s a good thing we have so many new books to cheer us. So, Ready, Steady…BAKE READ!

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dirty-little-warFirst up, we’ve recently added a new author to the UK LesFic listings. C.K. Martin loves writing character-driven stories, so you’ll find her books in the romance, crime and fantasy genres. She believes that realistic, diverse and engaging characters shouldn’t come at the expense of great plots – readers deserve to have both – and is a big fan of the slow burn when it comes to relationships, so be warned!

When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book (or pressed against the Kindle screen). Her third biggest passion in life is travel, so although she says she’s based in England, for much of the year you won’t find her there. Instead she’ll be hanging out with her wife in some amazing city or, more likely, at the beach. Read more about CK and her novels here at her blog.

CK’s current release is Dirty Little War, the blurb for which reads like this:

Evie Baedeker knows her place in the world. Born into a life of organised crime in the gritty East End of London, she has endured nothing but hardship and disappointment. Then one night, in a sleazy bar, fate sends a dangerous opportunity her way.

Carmen Trogan, daughter and heir apparent to a rival business, has no idea who Evie is when their eyes meet across the dance floor. But Evie knows all about her. The chance to bring the rich and beautiful woman to her knees – both figuratively and literally – is too good to pass up. Sparks fly from their first kiss, but Evie is playing a dangerous game. There are consequences that come with spending the night with a woman like Carmen.

Will she be able to walk away from the best night of her life, or will she risk it all to see Carmen one more time?

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lostinthestarlightIf you’re fond of relaxing and letting someone else do the work for you, then take a peek at Kiki Archer reading the first chapter of her new super smash hit Lost in the Starlight. Kiki will also be appearing alongside VG Lee and Scott Campbell at the Polari Shout Festival on Saturday 19th November at the Birmingham Mac. The event sold out last year, so get your skates on and head here for more details and tickets.

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Never one to shy away from a contentious subject, AL Brooks has been discussing threesomes in her There Were Three in the Bed post over on the Ylva blog:

The-Club-by-A.L.-BrooksThe other main issue women have with it is that, somehow, saying you’d want to experience a third woman in the bed equates to you saying that there’s a problem with your sex life as it is. That there’s something ‘missing’. That may be true in some instances, but I think if both women in the couple are open to discussing sex freely and without judgment, they could find that it’s something that appeals to them both, and add a whole new dimension to the way they enjoy each other. There could also be a specific reason why a third woman could compliment their existing relationship – for example, if the couple has a very established top/bottom dynamic and one (or both) wants to occasionally play with the other role.

If that snippet has tempted you into reading the full piece, hit the above link.

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Some reviews now to tempt you in the direction of recent releases…

Les Reveur (ooh la la!) has thoroughly enjoyed Nothing to Lose by Clare Lydon:

I found the novel light, sexy and easy to read. It was exactly what I was in the mood for. The characters had genuine life and love obstacles and I found myself cheering them on throughout…This was the first novel by Clare Lydon I’ve read and I’ll definitely be watching out for her next. 

AllIWantForSummerMeanwhile the lasses at The Lesbian Review have been casting their critical eye over All I Want For Summer:

This book reminded me why I hate camping, but it also reminded me why I enjoy this series. It’s charming, light and fun and keeps you reading until you realise you’re at the end. I am super surprised at how this one ended though, much darker than usual. I can’t wait for the next book to see what happened.

And Gill McKnight‘s Welcome to the Wallops:

I love when an author gives me a great storyline, wonderful rich setting, believable characters, and new information that enhances the story, but never interrupts  or takes away from it. Ms McKnight ticked all those boxes for me.

Read the full text of those reviews here and here.

Clare Ashton‘s Poppy Jenkins continues to garner strong write ups. This first from Jess van Netten at the Lesbrary:

poppy jenkinsThere is underlying current of chemistry between Poppy, the out lesbian, and Roslyn, the seemingly straight friend, that moves the story along at varying speeds. At times, it reaches fever pitch, with sexual innuendoes providing very funny conversations between the leads. I laughed out loud many a time, explaining little plot points to my wife as though talking about my friends.

And this in-depth review from Shira Glassman on her blog Welcome to the Mangoverse:

Poppy may as well be a 21st century Anne of Green Gables or other costume drama small-town girl, full of buoyancy and enthusiasm, as well as love for her village and its people. But by making her this, the author doesn’t rob her of her sexuality, and that’s what makes this so wonderful. A woman’s sexual–not just romantic but sexual–attraction to another woman is depicted as innocent and wholesome. Do you have any idea how fucking healing that is?

Click both links to read the full text.

Just-My-Luck-by-Andrea-BramhallAnd finally, The Romantic Reader has had fun with Andrea Bramhall‘s new comedy release Just My Luck

While Bramhall’s other novels have serious plots, murder, kidnapping … this book is just more fun. These characters talk to you, the reader, and it took me a few chapters to get into it, once I did I was hooked on them. I loved being in their headspace, feeling their struggles right along with them.

If you fancy trying your luck to win a copy of this book, Andrea is running a Goodreads giveaway for five signed copies. The closing date for entries is October 7th.

Wendy Hudson is also running a GR giveaway for three signed copies of her new Scotland-based thriller/romance, Four Steps. Closing date for this one is September 30th.

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Bargain books!

snowbound-for-blogFrom free books to very cheap books now, with Clare Lydon‘s second novel The Long Weekend currently on e-book sale for the whopping bargain price of 99p.

And Cari Hunter‘s debut romantic Peak District-set thriller Snowbound is today’s e-book Daily Bargain over at the Bold Strokes website (Saturday 24th September only.) It’ll be on sale for $2.99 (about £2.30) until 11.59 p.m. (EDT) and will also come hand in hand with Jenny Frame‘s short story Dapper, which is free with all BSB e-book purchases throughout September.

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Hopefully there’s enough in that little lot will tide you over for a while. Meanwhile, let’s just remember the good times before they get taken away from us…

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

2 Jul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The blurb for A Dangling Fish goes like this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catch up with the remaining four facts at the link.

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

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

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

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

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

See this Facebook events page for more info.

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

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

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

News roundup: a ton of new summer books, reviews, blogs and Stella Duffy OBE

18 Jun

Summer is very nearly here so it’s time to stock up on books for the beach or indoors out of the rain!

Luckily there are lots of new releases this week just in time for summer and first up is Clare Lydon’s new romance, Nothing to Lose:

nothing to loseNobody would ever describe Scarlet Williams as a ray of sunshine, but that doesn’t mean she deserves the flood that wipes out her basement flat, making her temporarily homeless.

Enter Joy Hudson, local mayor & sunshine specialist, who opens her house to flood refugees and ends up with Scarlet on her doorstep. Two more opposing characters you couldn’t fail to meet, and yet, somehow, they strike up a friendship. But when the rain stops and the sun comes out, could that friendship blossom into something more?

You can also hear Clare reading from Nothing to Lose in a video available from her Facebook page here.

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Gill McKnight also has a new romance available from the Ylva website and also on Amazon from the end of June. Here’s the blurb for Welcome to the Wallops:

Welcome to the Wallops.1The villages of High Wallop and Lesser Wallop have graced either end of the Wallop valley since medieval times. And competition between the two has never ceased since, especially over the famous Cheese and Beer festival.

As head Judge of Show, Jane Swallow has always struggled to keep peace, friendship, and equanimity within the community she loves, but this year everything is wrong. Her father has just been released from prison and is on his way to Lesser Wallop with the rest of her travelling family and their caravans.

Her job is on the line, and her ex-girlfriend from a million years ago has just moved in next door.

Her life is going down the drain unless she can pull off some sort of miracle.

Gill was also interviewed at Steampunk Cafe where she shared her thoughts on her previous novel, The Tea Machine, and other oddments about herself:

I live on a Greek island. I’ve been a published writer for ten years. I found an abandoned seven week old puppy and kept him and he is now the love of my life. He’s called Wally and he has the biggest ears in the world…oh, and green eyes and a ginger nose.

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It’s been a long time coming for those of you who’ve been eagerly awaiting Jane Fletcher’s new book, but it’s here:

the-shewstoneIn the port city of Fortaine, two young girls acquire new families.

Four-year-old Eawynn, the unwanted illegitimate daughter of an ambitious noble, is dumped in the temple. When she is old enough, she will be initiated into its sisterhood of priestesses. Meanwhile Matt, the street urchin, earns a crime lord’s admiration, so much so he adopts her as his daughter and heir to his underworld clan.

Nearly two decades later, their paths cross when Eawynn is appointed custodian of the Shewstone, the mystical orb of prophecy. Unfortunately for her, Matt is on a mission to steal it.

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saving graceNot out yet, but another author who’s been quiet of late is showing good signs of activity. HP Munro has revealed the cover for Saving Grace, the sequel to Grace Falls. No blurb or release date yet but we’ll be keeping an eye out.

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On to reviews and the Velvet Lounger has been back busily reviewing UK books.

She reviewed Jen Silver’s The Circle Dance  – “a classic British romance.” She also says:

circle_finalThis is a ‘domestic drama’ – an observation of human relations, from the hysterical over re-action of a frightened mother to the tears of a woman re-united with her beloved cat. Ms Silver shows us her characters flaws and foibles, watches them react to everyday situations, and allows some to grow and develop, while others struggle to learn life’s lessons.

Very much in the tradition of British lesfic romances The Circle Dance is a gentle story of real women’s lives. Well done, enjoyable reading and another winner from Jen Silver.

You can read the full review here.

collide o scopeAnd of Andrea Bramhall’s Collide-O-Scope the Velvet Lounger said:

“The whodunit is interesting, with unexpected twists and turns. It develops into a plot that might seem unlikely, but comes across as totally plausible and well thought out.

As always Ms Bramhall’s writing flows, her setting in the coastal village is perfect and the local colour adds a level of depth and veracity to the storyline. She balances plot and character, narrative and description, internal monologue with action and intrigue to make an extremely enjoyable read.”

More here.

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bold books logoThe BSB annual festival in Nottingham two weeks ago was a great success and two new authors have been blogging about the experience. Robyn Nyx writes:

“Saturday morning came, and we were buying giveaways and prizes at 9am in the local mall before heading to Waterstones to set up the event. There was a palpable sense of dread—what if hardly anyone shows up? It’s an annual issue, but we needn’t have worried. Over the two days, we had a combined attendance of 115, and we sold more books than ever before—over twice as many as the previous year, and that was a record!”

You can read the rest of her blog here.

Anna Larner has written up her thoughts on the event and writing. On writing a good romance she notes:

“And, as I have been asked to select my golden rule for a successful romance, it would be this – Writing from the heart, putting into the story what it feels like to long for someone, to fall for someone, the uncertainty, the self-doubt, the tortured agony of it all…”

Read more here.

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TheNightWatchNewWebsite532pxThe Night Watch, adapted from Sarah Waters’ book, has just completed its run at the Royal Exchange. You can watch and listen to Sarah talking about the novel, including her favourite character Kay, and what it was like to hand the novel over for adaptation with complex issues such as the book’s timeline and the atmosphere of war-time London. Here’s the link.

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Congratulations to Stella Duffy, writer, actorStella Duffy who was listed in the Queen’s birthday honours for an OBE.

On her blog she says:

“My mum would have loved this. I wish my folks were alive to see that their girl (no 7 of 7 kids)  didn’t ‘waste her education’ by becoming an artist … my dad didn’t cry when I came out, but he was devastated when I, first of us all to get a uni education, told him I wanted to be an actor not a lawyer or a teacher. (Because – poor.)

The citation says ‘writer and theatremaker’. I love that the palace and the government had to say theatremaker. That’s new(ish) for them. Unusual. We are making new words to tell the truth of what we do.”

And finally, I’ll leave you with the words of Stella Duffy OBE from her blog in the aftermath of Orlando last week:

“And so … we get up again. We rise up again. We fucking phoenix up again in roaring glorious flames of beautiful queerity. Because we can, and we will, and we do. And we do it in memory of those queer campaigners who got us this far, in memory of those killed in Orlando’s hateful attack, and for the sake of those to follow us. Because it’s not fixed yet, and there is so much more to do. Please let’s do this work of inclusion together, we sure as hell can’t do it alone.”

News Roundup: Lambda Finalists Announced, New Bold Strokes Authors, New Books From Clare Lydon & Gill McKnight, and More…

14 Mar

It’s been an up and down couple of weeks in LesFic land: quiet for a while and then bang, the news came a-rollin’ in. Given the current dearth of decent biscuits on the shop shelves – hurry up and get unflooded, McVitie’s! – I heartily recommend that you cut yourselves a nice piece of cake, fetch a brew, and settle in for a few minutes.

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lambda-literary-awards_s345x230The big news this week was the announcement of the 2016 Lambda Literary Award finalists. There’s no warning as to when these bad boys come out, they just sneak online and the LGBTQ book-reading world goes a bit nuts for a while. The Brits didn’t do at all badly this year, with four very familiar names included amongst this year’s finalists:

Bisexual Literature: The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson

Lesbian Mystery: No Good Reason by Cari Hunter

Lesbian Romance: The Chameleon’s Tale by Andrea Bramhall & The Renegade by Amy Dunne.

The awards will be announced on June 6th, and you can find a full run down of the contenders here. Congrats to everyone who made it through 🙂

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The 2015 Indiefab Book of the Year finalists were also announced this week, with Crin Claxton‘s second Supernatural Detective novel, Death’s Doorway, listed amongst those in the LGBT (Adult Fiction) category. The winners will be announced in June, and you can read all about the awards, and find a full list of those finalists here.

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Moving on to new authors now, and Bold Strokes Books have recently added two Brits to their listing, both of whom will be appearing at the annual UK BSB bash, to be held in Nottingham the weekend of June 4th & 5th.

bold books logoAnna Larner has a degree in English literature and master’s degrees in word and visual imagination, and museum studies. She has written and curated a permanent exhibition of LGBT voices and memorabilia, based at Leicester’s LGBT Centre, one of the first permanent exhibitions in the UK. As a member of the steering committee for the Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland LGBT History Project, Anna is passionate about preserving LGBT history and ensuring that LGBT voices are heard. When she’s not writing or reading, she loves lazy Sunday lunches and all things Scandinavian. Anna lives in Leicestershire with her partner Ang.

Her début novel, Highland Fling, will be released in 2017:

Eve Eddison describes her ideal woman to her best friend, Roxanne, over pints in their local pub a few days before she travels to the Scottish Highlands. There she falls head over heels for an enigmatic local, Moira Burns, and the usually reticent Eve wants more than a holiday romance. Forestry officer Moira Burns has no intention of letting go—either of past pain or for present pleasure. If that means she misses out on her chance at happiness, so be it. Convinced Eve is headed for heartbreak, Roxanne advises her to let Moira go…but has Eve found her ideal woman at last?

From the breathtaking Highlands of Scotland to the buzz of a Leicester gay bar, family and friendship are tested to breaking point, as letting go proves painfully hard.

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Robyn Nyx is an avid shutterbug and lover of all things fast and physical. Her writing often reflects both of those passions. She writes lesbian fiction when she isn’t busy being the chief executive of a UK charity. She lives with her soul mate and fellow scribe. They have no kids or kittens, which allows them to travel to exotic places at the drop of a never-enoughhat for “research.” She works hard to find writing time, when she’s not being distracted by blue skies and motorbike rides. You can read more about Robyn over on her blog, and her début novel, Never Enough, is scheduled for a November, 2016 release:

Award-winning journalist Madison Ford is taking a well-deserved break from covering foreign wars. That break is cut short when she receives a mysterious package, full of incriminating information on a human trafficking ring. When she’s asked to do an interview with an actress and humanitarian, it seems like a welcome distraction. Little does she know how distracting it will become.

Elodie Fontaine is in demand. She chooses the movies she wants to work on and the women she wants in her bed. Humanitarian work takes up the rest of her time. Love isn’t an option. When Madison walks into her life, she’s faced with a dilemma: pursue Madison and lose her heart, or avoid the risk and lose her chance at happiness. When Madison’s life is in danger, will love pull them through? Or will it be too late?

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Celesbrian TV, a new LGBTQI lifestyle magazine channel – has recently interviewed Scott Campbell (formerly Karen Campbell). Scott discusses his creative processes, writing to music, and choosing character names. The feature also includes a review of his novel, Diary of a Broken Heart. You can watch the interview here.

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All-I-Want-For-Spring-400On to new books now, and Clare Lydon‘s second novella in her I Want… series, All I Want for Spring, will be released on March 18th. The follow-up to All I Want for Christmas, and All I Want for Valentine’s, takes the action to Rome…

Never mind spring: will Tori & Holly’s relationship survive the weekend?

Two women in love, and all they want for spring is a romantic break in sunny Rome. But what happens when they don’t spell romance the same way? What happens when their long-held beliefs are challenged? Will Tori & Holly be willing to compromise to get home unscathed?

Welcome back to the world of London’s No.1 lesbians, chock-full of love, heart and desire. Will Tori & Holly come back from their weekend away stronger than ever, or bruised by love?

If you want to find out more about Tori and Holly’s year of romance, Clare has written a brand new piece for the Women & Words blog, which also features a chance to win a copy of All I Want For Spring. Winners will be selected on March 18th, so get yer skates on.

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Welcome to the Wallops.1Gill McKnight‘s new novel, Welcome to the Wallops (The Wallops Book #1), will be published in May 2016:

The villages of High Wallop and Lesser Wallop have graced either end of the Wallop valley since medieval times. And competition between the two has never ceased since, especially over the famous Cheese and Beer festival.

As head Judge of Show, Jane Swallow has always struggled to keep peace, friendship, and equanimity within the community she loves, but this year everything is wrong. Her father has just been released from prison and is on his way to Lesser Wallop with the rest of her travelling family and their caravans.

Her job is on the line, and her ex-girlfriend from a million years ago has just moved in next door.

Her life is going down the drain unless she can pull off some sort of miracle.

You can read more about the inspiration behind the book in this blog post.

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Hopefully that little lot will tide you over for the next fortnight. We’ll see you back here around about Easter, eh?

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: New Books from Jade Winters, Gill McKnight, Rebecca S. Buck, and Amy Dunne, Goldie Win for Andrea Bramhall, Clare Lydon Does a Lot of Stuff, Reviews, Events & More…

31 Jul

Huzzah! It’s finally stopped raining and there’s a weird yellow light in the sky. Let’s shake off our brollies and see what the UK LesFic lasses have been up to…

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Hopefully, the sun will continue to shine for Saturday at least, as Brighton Pride prepares to strut its stuff and get out the gay. Clare Lydon will be hosting shenanigans in the literature tent with a line-up that includes Catherine Hall and Carol Robson. You can find general information about tickets and timings on the festival’s main page, and Clare has more info about the book side of things here.

clare lydonIf you want to keep up with Clare (and she takes some keeping up with – she’s a busy lady!) then head to the subscription page for her newsletter where you’ll get exclusive info on first reads, new releases & offers. And if you need proof of how busy she is, you can read her recent Women & Words blog here (nb. the giveaway has finished), and watch her compering the recent Indie Panel at LFest here. Finally, just slipping in beneath the deadline is the latest episode of The Lesbian Bookclub, featuring Clare’s interview with Bold Strokes author and all-round lovely person, Crin Claxton.

Videos of VG Lee‘s and Kiki Archer‘s LFest stints have also been posted on YouTube. Hit the names for the links.

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nightingaleCongrats to Andrea Bramhall whose novel Nightingale won a Goldie for Best Lesbian Romance at the GCLS conference last weekend. The Brits had a great presence in the finals, and Jen Silver and Angie Peach both made it over to New Orleans for the event, so fingers crossed UK authors will pick up a few more gongs in future years!

If you want to read more about the conference, Jen has just posted a recap of her GCLS experience over on her blog.

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Plans for the inaugural lesbian book festival to be held at the Hideaway Cafe in Urmston (Manchester) are picking up speed. The date is set for September 12th, with proceedings scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m. So far, the authors confirmed attending are: I Beacham, Andrea Bramhall, Karen Cambell, Veronica Fearon, Michelle Grubb, Cari Hunter, and Jen Silver. Cake, tea, lesbians, and books. It’s a no-brainer really. The women’s LGBT book club is also up and running at the cafe on the first Tuesday of each month, 7-9 p.m. See the website for more details.

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in it togetherNew books now, and Jade Winters has recently released her twelfth (crikey!) novel, In It Together:

Cara 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 Maddie, her girlfriend of four years, was sleeping with her flatmate?

Now suddenly homeless, Cara flees to her family home in the heart of Cumbria to lick her wounds. There Cara reunites with the past she so desperately tried to outrun and comes face to face with the heart wrenching dilemma that caused her to leave in the first place.

With nowhere to hide Cara finally has to confront her demons head on. Does she tell the truth and risk tearing a brother and sister apart? Or does she carry on with the lie and be without the love she has denied herself for so long?

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cover_the-tea-machine_500x800Meanwhile, Gill McKnight has revealed the gorgeous cover for The Tea Machine, her first release after shifting publishers to Ylva. Gill has promised “Victorian ladies, and giant space squid, and hunky big Amazonian warriors with lasers, and tea”, and the official synopsis reads like this:

The story of a love that never dies…except it does, over and over again.

London 1862, and Millicent Aberly, spinster by choice, has found her future love—in the future! She meddled with her brother’s time machine and has been catapulted into an alternative world where the Roman Empire has neither declined nor fell. In fact, it has gone on to annex most of the known universe.

Millicent is rescued from Rome’s greatest enemy, the giant space squid, by Sangfroid, a tough and wily centurion who, unfortunately, dies while protecting her. Wracked by guilt and a peculiar fascination for the woman soldier, Millicent is determined to return in time and save Sangfroid from her fatal heroics. Instead, she finds her sexy centurion in her own timeline. And Sangfroid is not alone; several stowaways have come along with her.

Soon Millicent’s mews house is overrun with Roman space warriors and giant squid.

The book is due for release in November.

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BSB-HopeHeartWinterSkip forward into December and Rebecca S. Buck‘s new lesbian historical story, Hope in the Heart of Winter, will be released onto e-book via Bold Strokes:

In 1927, Evadne Burns invites her closest school friends to join her for a weekend reunion at her grand home, Winter Manor. The passing of time and the dark shadow of the First World War has shaped them all as women, yet their friendships remain strong. The tragedy of the era has only made them more determined to live their lives to the full.

Evadne is delighted to see Clara and Courtney again, two women dedicated to each other since they were schoolgirls and still unable to keeps their hands off each other, even in view of Winter’s servants. There is the more conservative Madge, to remind them of the life they were expected to lead. But most of all, Evadne is pleased to see Edith Richardson, with whom she shared one precious night but left a lasting connection. With Edith, she chooses to share a secret that will affect the rest of their lives, together or apart.

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renegadeWith The Renegade hitting shelves in September, Amy Dunne has posted an excerpt from her futuristic apocalyptic romp (is “romp” the right word a book that pretty much wipes out humanity before the end of the prologue? Probably not!) over on her blog. I’m sure we’ll be hearing much more from Amy as the release date rolls around, but for now get stuck into the first chapter, or head to the book’s official page on the BSB website where the first three chapters are ready and waiting, and where the book can be pre-ordered.

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too late I love youOver at Chick Lit Plus, reviewer Michelle has been finding a lot to like in Kiki Archer‘s Too Late… I Love You:

Without giving too much away, I will say there is some hilarious banter in here. Some of it is crude so it’s not for the faint of heart but I was literally laughing out loud at some of the things that came out of everyone’s mouth. The twist at the end completely took me by surprise. It was actually fantastic. For a book I would not have normally read, I really enjoyed this.

You can find the full review at this link.

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Writer-Sarah-Waters-006Off to bonny Scotland now, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, where Sarah Waters and Jackie Kay will be discussing their favourite Virago Modern Classics authors on Saturday 15th August.

The Female Gaze: Classics by Women Writers

Three of Britain’s best-loved contemporary writers join us to discuss their favourite Virago Modern Classics author. Sarah Waters discusses Rebecca West, Maggie O’Farrell chooses Molly Keane, and Jackie Kay opts for Zora Neale Hurston. Why were these wonderful writers previously neglected, and what does their work tell us about the contemporary author who chose them? 

Chaired by Lennie Goodings as part of her Guest Selected strand of events.

The event will take place at Baillie Gifford Main Theatre, 5A Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH2 4DR, at 5pm. For further information and tickets, head here.

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NicolaGriffithAnd we’ll round out the fortnight with Nicola Griffith discussing why it’s so important to count women’s stories, in a recent interview with the Seattle Review of Books:

My book Hild was out here in paperback and it came out in the UK in hardcover, so I had to do publicity — write “five-best” lists and, you know, that kind of thing. So I was thinking about my five favorite historical novels and I wrote them down and I was pleased because at least three of them, or actually four of them, were by women. I thought, “yay women!” And then I realized that those books by women were all about men. And then I thought, “goddamn.” These were my influences…

You can read the full piece at the above link.

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Right, that little lot should keep you ticking over for the next couple of weeks. If you do happen to catch some sunshine, be sure to make the most of it!

News roundup: Goldie shortlists, a lot of blogging, new books and events!

25 Apr

The awards season is in full swing and over the last few days the shortlists for the Goldies leaked out, and the UK has put in a jolly good show.

nightingalestars collidethat certain somethingLittleWhispers

Three authors made it on to the short list for Traditional Romance from a huge list of nominations: Andrea Bramhall for Nightingale, HP Munro for Stars Collide, and Clare Ashton for That Certain Something.

Karen Campbell put in a double showing in the Anthology (Fiction) category. Her collection, Little Whispers, was shortlisted and she also contributed to the UK anthology L is For… Lots of familiar authors in that (Kiki Archer, VG Lee, Clare Lydon etc.).

Jody Klaire is a finalist in the Debut Author category with The Empath, Sarah Waters’ The Paying Guests popped up in the Romantic Intrigue section and KE Payne’s Because of Her was shortlisted in the YA category.

l is fortheempath_lgBSB_Because_of_HerAplacesomewherRJ Samuel is a popular gal and A Place Somewhere made it onto the shortlists of both the Ann Bannon popular choice category and the Tee Corinne Cover Design Award.

High fives all round for a good showing in the American dominated awards, or perhaps a cordial handshake will a solemn nod of approval. Winners will be announced at the GCLS conference in New Orleans on 22nd July. Fingers crossed lots of those Brits get a nice glass lump of an award on the night.  Good luck everyone.

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Right, moving on with the rest of this week’s business.

no good reasonCari Hunter’s imminent arrival has popped its head out for a good look. You can have a sneak peek at the prologue and first two chapters of No Good Reason over here. Cari promises the book will be Brittier than a buggering cold day at Blackpool and the extract features the text “Running late. Got puked on. Fancy a chippy tea at mine instead?

soul selectaGill McKnight’s Soul Selecta was reviewed over on C-Spot Reviews. Its review of Gill’s tale of the love-matching Soul Selecta begins: “Soul Selecta is an odd novel. A funny, stimulating, enjoyable read, but still a little odd. I like odd, however, so it’s all good.”  And it ends: “Soul Selecta ignores most lesfic plot arcs and completely entertained me with trashy Olympian gods, young lesbian love, some hot sex, a conundrum, and enough twisty fun that I consulted several times with my cats about what might happen next. Recommended.” Well I’d say. Sounds fabulous.

PLayinginshadowLesley Davis has been blogging over on the Bold Strokes site about characters and stories that stay with you when reading and playing games. Trent, from her novel Playing Passion’s Game, is one character who always has her ear and Lesley talks about her reappearance in her latest novel Playing in Shadow:

She’s one of my favourite characters I have created and I have so much more to share about her. So while romance weaves it spell around Bryce and Scarlet, Trent and Juliet will be preparing for motherhood. And as you can imagine, with these characters, it’s not going to be all boring bibs and baby grows!

You can read the full piece here.

riding in carsEvangeline Jennings has been over at Women and Words talking about the route she has taken on her way to publishing her latest book, Riding in Cars With Girls – it’s a roundabout one that you can follow here. The book itself is a collection of short stories, from “ESCORT – A high class hooker fucks a Mafia Don to death” to “TRANS AM – A widow hunts her husband’s killer across America. Route 666.” Hop in over here for a ride.

The_Full_LegacyMeanwhile Jane Retzig‘s The Full Legacy (a romance with a hint of the supernatural) has been published as an audiobook. It’s available on Audible, Amazon and will be available from iTunes soon. It’s narrated by Elizabeth Shelly who Jane says has done a brilliant job.

Clare Lydon reported from the Indie Author Fair in London:

it was also a real treat to be in Foyles’ flagship bookshop selling my novels – I was immensely proud. Plus, if you could bottle the upbeat energy in that room and sell it, you’d make a mint. After visiting The London Book Fair and hearing much indie author bashing, it was brilliant to soak up and add to the enthusiasm and gung-ho attitude of all the authors and readers present. We’re living proof that publishing is changing and only for the better.

Read her full article here.

runRun, the debut novel from new author Pat Adams-Wright, has hit the digital shelves. Here’s the blurb.

For Charlie Reinette, it was a typical Friday night out with her work mates. Or so she thought… Instead, she found herself in the midst of a domestic dispute, rescuing a woman she hardly knows and setting off a deadly chain of events. Harbouring the rescued woman finds them having to run from murder and the infernos raging behind them. Not quite the woman her friends think she is, Charlie has to face her past, her future, and everything in between as she fights for her life and the life of the woman she saved. Can the two women, Charlie’s group of eclectic friends, and the police catch the man terrorising them across Europe? How will they stay ahead of his game? One thing’s for certain…they need to RUN!

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Finally a few items in brief.

Should you start a novel with dialogue? No but yes says Jen Silver. She talks about one of the many writing rules and her new novel here.

Rachel Dax, author of the Pope Joan series, has started a fundraiser for her next film. A Delicate Love is a short film about “a young man’s first taste of love leads to a collision of fantasy and food“. Click here for further details.

Orla Broderick started an initiative to fill the bare shelves of a local Women’s Aid shelter with books. She donated two copies of her January Flower and put out a plea for other authors to donate. The support has been so fantastic that she’s extending the scheme to more shelters in Scotland. If you would like to donate please read about Orla’s plans here.

Polari is off to the seaside with a new venue in Hastings for the next six months. You can find out more about Polari on Sea’s first event on Facebook. And after last year’s success, Paul Burston has secured funding for another Polari national tour. Watch this space for further details.

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…Oh I do like to be beside the seaside… But I’ll settle for sitting in a sunny garden with my feet in a paddling pool. Tatty bye!