Tag Archives: I Beacham

News roundup: a bumper edition with festivals, blog tours, new best-sellers and more!

31 May

Here is the  late news:

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Things are hotting up in the events calendar and it’s looking like a great year for catching your favourite authors.

bold books logoWe’re in the final stretch in the run-up to the Bold Strokes Nottingham Festival on the 7th and 8th of June. The Bold Strokes UK blog has been hosting posts by authors attending the event.

Cari Hunter kicked things off with a post about coming home to Britain. After running around the US in Desolation Point and Tumbledown, she’s glad to be back in her home Peak District for her fourth novel No Good Reason.

Amy Dunne followed up with a post about being really bloody excited about the Nottingham Festival and why everyone should go. She’s had a big year with her debut Secret Lies being a Goldie finalist and working on two more novels which weren’t even a twinkle in her eye this time last year.

Andrea Bramhall talks about her new novel Nightingale – a story about an British Muslim woman forced to choose between love and her family. Andrea talks about the reality faced by women in less tolerant cultures and countries, and their harsh treatment.

And last, for this week, is Lesley Davis who likes her leading ladies. She talks about what it is that captures her attention in heroines on TV and in her own novels.

It’s a fab and free event in a great city, definitely recommended.  And you may find the odd indie author lurking in the audience.

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paulburston

Paul Burston by Krystyna FitzGerald-Morris

Down south that same weekend is a pop-up Polari at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival. Paul Burston will be hosting the panel which includes the wonderful VG Lee. You can get tickets here. For a taster of what the Polari events are like you can read an account by Jon Dolores of last Monday’s event with Veronica Fearon. Pictures here.

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lfest

 

The lineup for L Fest was also announced this week. As well as bands, caberet and fun workshops, there’s a great group of authors going this year. On the Creating Chemistry panel are best-selling indie authors Jade Winters, Clare Lydon and Clare Ashton with the session hosted by the bestest selling of them all Kiki Archer. VG Lee will be holding writing workshops and Bold Strokes authors are also out in force this year with Andrea Bramhall, Amy Dunne, Crin Claxton, Gill McKnight and I. Beacham. US authors Cindy Rizzo and Justine Saracen will also be there.

This is another great event. Well worth the money with all that’s on offer and just the fabulousness of sitting in a field with so many lesbians.

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Onto new books and upcoming releases.

stars collideGoldie finalist HP Munro has just released Stars Collide and it’s had a stellar start hitting the number one spot on Amazon pretty much everywhere. Here’s the enticing cover and blurb:

It’s tough growing up in the spotlight and Freya Easter has had to do just that, being part of the Conor family, who are Hollywood acting royalty, has meant that every aspect of her family’s life has been played out in the spotlight. Despite her own fame Freya has managed to keep one aspect of her life out of the public eye, however, a new job on hit show Front Line and a storyline that pairs her with the gorgeous Jordan Ellis, may mean that Freya’s secret is about to come out.

In a world of glitz and glamor, Jordan Ellis has come to the conclusion that all that glitters is not gold. She has become disillusioned with relationships and is longing for a deeper connection, and is surprised when it comes in the form of the most unexpected package.

Whilst their on screen counterparts begin a romantic journey, Freya and Jordan find themselves on a similar pathway.

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amazonia_impossible_choiceAnother Goldie finalist, Sky Croft, has revealed the cover and blurb for her forthcoming novel Amazonia: An Impossible Choice. It’s the follow up to Amazonia and will be available in August. Here’s the blurb:

A year after the events in Amazonia, Blake and Shale are preparing for their upcoming joining ceremony. A few days after celebrating their union, a savage storm hits the Amazon village, unearthing a long lost secret – a clue to the location of a sacred relic, which was once stolen from the Amazon tribe. Accompanied by Kale and Amber, Blake and Shale set out on a quest to reclaim the treasured artefact. Away from the safety of their village, the four women encounter thieves, deadly foes, and predatory animals. Their search leads them underground to a vast cave system, where darkness is a constant enemy, and one mistake in the perilous terrain could mean death.

As echoes from the past come back to haunt them, Blake and Kale are both put into life-threatening situations. With only time to save one, Shale is faced with an impossible choice–her wife or her twin? Who will she choose?

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theempath_lgJody Klaire‘s The Empath is also out this summer. She is very keen for you to meet the heroine from her story. She’s written a short prequel so you can get to know her. You can find the teaser here.

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Things have been busy in the blogosphere this week with the writing process blog hop and the Lesbian Reading Room interviews with Goldie finalists.

catsCari Hunter talked about writing her sequel to the forthcoming No Good Reason. In this series I’m very excited to see that Cari’s bringing the thriller and adventure elements of her writing to the fore. Here’s what she says about her foray into the crime genre:

I prefer to write regular women, women you could bump into on the street and have a laugh with, so even though the case in No Good Reason is horrific, there’s plenty of humour as well, which is not particularly in keeping with the genre. Many mainstream crime novels have po-faced leads, but in my experience the people working in emergency services laugh more often than they cry, and I want my writing to reflect that.

Cari’s blogs are always entertaining. Have a read of her writing process too for the familiar phases of “self doubt”, “procrastination” and “the hissy fit” here.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother hugely entertaining lady is Suzanne Egerton who also answered the writing process questions. Her work in progress has the 1970s London as its backdrop with its cultural and fashion highs and police corruption and gang land lows.

Nina is initially shy and has been brought up to assume that her husband knows best. She is still grieving for the baby she miscarried. Georgie is a fun, flirty girl who would love to have swung through the sixties, but she is sole carer and provider for her mother, an ailing ex-actress with whom she lives in a grim, draughty flat; there is never enough money. The lives of Nina and Georgie change utterly when they start work at the casino; its tawdry glamour has a transformative effect. Plenty happens as the girls experience a new sense of freedom, enjoy friendships, party, mix and match, and see a darker side of Swinging London.

For inspiration and her unique take on things, Suzanne casually drops in “My own ten years of experiences as a croupier and later a pit boss have been a huge source of inspiration,” and “I have spent many a late hour labouring over an engraving machine, inscribing sports trophies, or tokens of love; I have cleaned toilets, worked in a factory, sold door-to-door. I have committed crime. A great education for a writer.

I’m keeping my eyes peeled for this one – it sounds excellent. Here’s the full piece. You can also find Suzanne’s tips for readings here too.

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PopeJoan

Free this weekend!

Rachel Dax has been at it too. She’s currently working on part 3 of The Legend of Pope Joan trilogy:

In this novel Joan reaches the pinnacle of her journey and becomes Pope. Her existence is precarious but equally invigorating and addictive. She has immense power yet at the same time is more vulnerable and isolated than ever before and this only leads to more danger.

Of her writing process she says:

Usually I will get an idea or image that totally consumes me and then I start writing. The first part of the writing process is like a giant vomit. I just spew it out and get the key story or plot points/images on ‘paper’ and then after that, I work towards making it into a complete work.

The Legend Of Pope Joan, Part 2. Athens has been nominated for a Goldie Award in the Historical Fiction category.You can have a taster of this unique trilogy for FREE by downloading part 1 this weekend.

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Goldie finalists Amy Dunne and Andrea Bramhall have been answering questions at the Lesbian Reading Room. The set questions ask authors about their favourite books, inspiration, support, their next work and what it means to them to be a Goldie finalist.

swordfishFor her work-in-progress Andrea notes that “The inspiration for [The Chameleon] came from the BSB UK event last year. I was talking to a lady from South Africa and she was drinking a glass of wine. The idea struck me of writing a story set in the vineyards of the Western Cape. Exploring the themes and idea’s that have affected me a great deal since I spent a portion of my childhood in South Africa in the eighties. When opposition to Apartheid was at it’s highest and the world was watching…But the idea for my latest proposal for a novel, set in a coastal village in the UK, came from one of the women in my village threatening to shoot her neighbours cat because it was hunting birds in her garden.”

Andrea is “currently researching for The Chameleon, and working on the proposal for Collide-O-Scope (with the crazy village cat lady), but up next publication wise is Swordfish due to be published in January 2015.”

season's meetingsFor Amy,  “Season’s Meetings is up next for publication. It’s due to be released this December coming. I can’t wait to share it with everyone. I’m already counting down the weeks and trying not to dwell on the prospect of the hardcore editing that’s fast approaching.

My wife and I are huge fans of Christmas. We love everything about it. As soon as December 1st arrives we’re decorating out house without a hint of hesitation. It’s a time for family, laughter, fun, indulgence, and love. I tried to incorporate all of things we love into the story and I had an absolute blast writing it.

Here are the full interviews for Amy and Andrea.

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Finally a quick look at reviews.

playing my loveAngela Peach‘s very popular Playing My Love was reviewed over on Girl Guide London. Here’s what they had to say about the story with two endings that has intrigued readers:

Playing my Love is certainly a tender novel full of romance but also some laughs, and characters that made me read the whole book through in one sitting – I literally couldn’t put it down. The rocky journey of the two main characters, both holding back their feelings from each other, is an equally gripping story-line… Playing my Love is a great read, perfect for any holidays you’ve got planned lazing on the beach, or cheering up your afternoon on a rainy day

You can read the full review here.

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that certain somethingAnd since I was a bit of a useless arse this week and did the news late, I missed the opportunity to tell you about my chat with Beni Gee on the VLR last night. It was terribly good, you should have been there. So instead, I better tell you about some reviews of That Certain Something by people with impeccable taste. These are the best reviews I’ve ever had so you’re not going to get away without hearing about them 🙂

The Velvet Lounger over on the Lesbian Reading Room had this to say:

Clare Ashton has written another winner. That Certain Something was a joy to read from start to finish. It warms your heart, tickles your fancy and captivates your mind…You will be captivated, entertained and fall in love, all while belly laughing your way through Pia’s bare-arsed antics

And TT Thomas also said “Ashton’s writing is smooth as glass in this one, and yet manages to layer texture, tone and timing into a love story that would burn down Londontown if it got any hotter! There’s not a misstep in this wonderful novel, unless you count your own as you bump into walls while reading because you can’t put it down! Read That Certain Something, and then give a copy to someone you like…you know, in that way.

Huzzah!

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News roundup: Kiki Archer novel hot off the press, free audio story from Rachel Dax, a ton of stuff from Emma Donoghue and Goldie finalists

18 Apr

The sun is shining (somewhere) and there are eggs to be hunted down so I’ll keep this short and snappy.

WhenYouKnowKiki Archer‘s much anticipated chicklit sequel to One Foot onto the Ice is out. When You Know shot straight to number one in the Amazon UK lesfic charts. (The trailer’s here.)

Fans of her books really shouldn’t miss out on this one. Here’s what reviewer Terry Baker made of it:

“in my honest opinion, this is one of the most hilarious books I’ve read in ages. This book is written by a British author, but I’m more than certain that wherever you are from, you’ll be laughing at the antics of some of these characters in this book…This book is crying out for a sequel. It simply has to have one. When you read it, you’ll see why.”

You can read the rest of the review here.

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gabrielMeanwhile, Rachel Dax has turned her pen, voice and camera to a children’s story for adults with strong LGBTQ themes. The audio story of Gabriel the singing goose is available here on YouTube, where you experience Rachel’s impressive range of talents.

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Kerry Hudson (author of Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma) has set up a new mentoring project for female writers. The aim of the WoMentoring Project is to address the lack of peer mentoring available for women, professional services being prohibitively expensive for most. It’s an unfunded project run on goodwill and author, editor and agent mentors offer their skills for free to women just starting out. Here’s the link for more information.

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FrogMusicOn to a multitude of pieces on Frog Music by Emma Donoghue.

The New Yorker has an excellent post by Emma Donoghue on the cultural influences on Frog Music.

“I drew on so many visual sources: maps, oil paintings, fashion plates, newspaper cartoons, jewelry, and children’s toys. But it was photography—the thrilling new art of the nineteenth century—that I found most inspiring, not just for the information it captured but for the mood of the times.”

There’s also an interview with Emma on Goodreads where she answers questions about her latest book, Room and how she works, and a more general interview with the Huffington Post about what makes a good story and her background as a writer. She’s also grilled on her reading taste in this interview on the New York Times site.

If you’re in any doubt about reading Frog Music check the review on C-Spot which starts:

The latest work from Emma Donoghue is one that will stick with you for a while. Frog Music is a gem. Set in the scalding summer of 1876 in the midst of a smallpox epidemic, Donoghue’s story surrounding the little-known unsolved murder of Jenny Bonnet unfolds. From the very beginning, she pulls the reader into the heat and the period with imagery that isn’t verbose but also doesn’t leave you wanting.

Read the rest of the review here.

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GCLS clean logoAnnouncements have started for this year’s Goldie shortlists. The YA category is already up and Amy Dunne (Secrets and Lies) and KE Payne (The Road to Her) are finalists. I Beacham‘s The Rarest Rose has also been selected in Paranormal/Horror and Rachel Dax‘s The Legend of Pope Joan in the historical category. Congratulations everyone! It’s fantastic to see so many Brits short-listed. You can keep up with the announcements  here.

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easter-chicken-baskets-1267061-mThat is all, except to wish you a Happy Easter, or a Happy Ishtar, and hope that you celebrate this weekend of renewal, or fertility and sex, in an appropriate and enjoyable manner. For me that involves chocolate. Ta ra.

News Roundup: Help us Win Stuff, Free Stuff, New Stuff, P-Town Stuff, and Spooky Stuff!

4 Nov

Morning, morning! To compensate for last week’s lack of news (in truth, there wasn’t much going on, I was snowed under with Tumbledown edits, and Clare was snowed under with having a life!) we have a ginormous update for you this week. Loads of authors have been up to mischief, and there’s plenty of free stuff for you all to get your grabby hands on. So, where to start?

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nominatedLet’s start with us. And when I say “us”, I mean UK LesFic, which has been nominated for an Ultimate Planet award in the category of Blogger of the Year, over at the Planet London website. Huzzah! And, of course, thank you to all those who took the time to nominate the site. So what happens next? Voting for the shortlisted nominees is open here throughout November, and it would be rather fab if people would hop on over there and put a tick in our box (so to speak).

VG Lee, Stella Duffy, and Jackie Kay are nominated for Published Author of the Year, and also on the list are Clare Ashton and Kiki Archer, who are scrapping it out for Published Author of the Year (Independent).  Congratulations to all, and um…good luck to those trying to decide between the latter two 🙂

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onefootWhilst we’re on the theme of Ultimate Planet and Ms Archer, Planet of the Books (the literary offshoot of Ultimate Planet) recently reviewed Kiki’s new novel One Foot Onto The Ice, where they had this to say:

Well paced, and gentle, and sometimes very sexy, this romance offers some sweet moments as two polar opposite women find love and face their internal demons in a bid for love.

You can read the full text of the review here.

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the black houndSpooky stuff now, and Niamh Murphy has published a new short story for Halloween over on Wattpad. Complete and in three parts, The Black Hound tells the story of Isobel, forced to live in a crumbling manor where something lurks on the surrounding moors. With the arrival of the new lady’s maid, Kate, Isobel’s life is about to be altered, forever…

The story is free to read, and available at the link.

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Amy_Dunne_lgDébut Bold Strokes Books author Amy Dunne has a Behind the Writing interview up at her BSB author’s page, where she chats about what made her become a writer (“the gift of the gab”!) where she gets her ideas from, and what her family have had to say about the whole shebang (which sounds naughtier than was actually intended!)

They’ve been amazingly supportive—especially considering I’ve been telling them I was going to write a book for over ten years. My beautiful wife was the only person I trusted to read the first draft. She kept putting it off and making excuses, and only later she confessed it was because she was terrified it was going to be awful and she wasn’t sure how she’d break the news to me…

You can read the full interview at the first link, and with Secret Lies due for release in December there is a short excerpt from the novel in the November BSB newsletter.

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FinalistSMMore awards news for you, with Elisa Rolle running a month-long Treasure Hunt throughout November to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Rainbow Awards. Each day, mystery excerpts from 6 of the shortlisted novels will be published. To enter, try to identify your chosen book in the comments. There’s no limit on how many books you can win, and you can keep entering until November 30th. Correct entrants will go into a draw at the end of the month. The books offered are a mix of e-books and paperbacks. You can find the entire list of novels at the link, and there are quite a few LesFic authors on it…

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the january flowerSticking with the theme of freebies, Orla Broderick‘s Polari-longlisted novel The January Flower is currently free on Kindle. The offer is open for five days, and the original announcement was made on Friday, so there should be a couple of days remaining for you to go and get yourself a copy. The first link is the UK link, and the US link (before we get our arses kicked by our US readers!) is here.

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See Right Through Me- Draft2With the joyous prospect of Christmas shopping creeping onto the horizon, November seems set to be a lively month for LesFic releases. LT Smith has been talking about her new novel See Right Through Me over on the Ylva website:

When I was writing See Right Through Me, I kept on thinking about how we sometimes doubt the most obvious good things in our lives. How we question those three little words—not “I love you” exactly, but the three other little words that should come hand in hand with it. Trust, respect, and love. How sometimes our own actions can lead to negativity, lead to those other three words—jealously, insecurity, and heartbreak. I wanted to show what could happen if we found ourselves in that situation, what we could lose if we allowed our lack of confidence to encroach on love. Not the most pleasant experience, believe me.

See Right Through Me has just been published, and you can read the full piece from LT here.

Sneaking in at the last minute is MORE FREE STUFF! Ylva have just announced that they have two e-book versions of See Right Through Me to give away. All you have to do to enter the draw is leave a comment at the foot of this page, or send an email to info@ylva-verlag.de Better get your skates on though; the closing date is 5 a.m. Tuesday morning (how random!)

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GB-Cover1VT Davy, another author with a new book out, has been blogging about Deadlines, Rewrites and Getting it Out There

The biggest rewrite happened back in May following the passage through Parliament of the same-sex marriage bill. I never thought that it would go through. I thought that the bishops in the House of Lords would ensure that it was sent back down to the Commons to be revised. When it did pass, I spent 24 hours worrying about whether the novel that I’d worked on for seven months was now relevant. It didn’t take me long to realise it was, as the news about the battles for equal marriage from the USA and Australia kept on coming.

And just before I hit post on this news, up went a guest blog from VT over on Women and Words, where she talks about the politics behind A Very Civil Wedding .

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NicolaGriffithThere are not one, but two new interviews – one video, one print – with Nicola Griffith talking about Hild. The print interview at The Coffin Factory includes a particularly lovely description of Nicola discovering Whitby for the first time:

In my early twenties I was living in Hull, a depressed (and depressing) city in East Yorkshire. And one spring I needed to get out, get away for a few days. I hiked north up the coast, to a town called Whitby. I’d read Dracula so I was expecting the one hundred and ninety-nine steps up the cliff. I was expecting the great ruin of an abbey against the skyline. I wasn’t expecting what happened next…

To find out what did happen next and how it inspired the novel, hit the link.

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I.Beacham_lgClosing out this week with reports from three of our Brits who made the trip over to PTown for Women’s Week and then made it all the way back, safe and sound, to tell us about it. Over on the UK BSB blog, I. Beacham shares her insight into the benefits of Women’s Week:

So there’s a lot of lovely exchange going on all week and women meeting women and talking (and possibly other stuff, but I’m British and I don’t talk about sex). PTown is very relaxed and definitely a place every lesbian (reader or not) ought to go at least once in their lifetime. The place is alive, exciting, exhilarating.

She also gives some handy travel tips for anyone who might be considering making the trip next year: Is it easy to get to? Remember PTown is right on the far tip of the Cape, any further right and you’ll be a fish. 

Sage advice indeed. For more of the same, head here.

PTownJoining the BSB contingent was Andrea Bramhall, whose A Brit Abroad blog gives a comprehensive look into the panels and various hijinks that occur when a lot of lesbians gather in one rather small town:

Saturday was the last day of readings and signings. We were in the Provincetown Library and Vk Powell went into full cop mode trying to coral us all on the When Sparks Fly panel. Shelley Thrasher drafted in the considerable theatrical talents of Melissa Brayden and Carsen Taite to play characters in her reading. Carsen was meant to be playing a French woman but she had a decidedly German accent. It was hilarious. 

There are some lovely photos, and of course the rest of the tale, at the link.

Not to be outdone, RJ Samuel has posted a series of seven blog entries detailing her time in the States. From clicking on the link to buy plane tickets, to meeting online friends, playing wiffle ball, and of course, appearing on her first panel, RJ has left no stone unturned:

RJ Samuel reading on FridayI enjoyed the experience of relaxing and just reading my words aloud to what seemed like a group of interested friends. While planning the trip, I’d printed out 10 booklets of a short story and had promised them to the first five women who came up to say hi to me after each reading. On the spur of the moment, looking out at the audience, especially at the friendly face of Tonie, Kate’s partner, I wanted some way to thank them for listening, for being supportive. I asked for a hug instead and the wonderful hugs I got were another highlight of my trip. And a surprise for me and for anyone who knows how shy and introverted I can be.

Her epic blog starts here, and the links for the next entry can be found at the base of each page.

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And I think that’s about yer lot. If you’re off to a bonfire this week, wrap up warm, eat parkin, and try not to have anyone’s eye out with a sparkler 🙂

Halloween Q&A

31 Oct

halloweenIt’s Halloween and whether you have a tub of sweets ready for trick or treaters, or the lights off to pretend you’re not in, it’s a fabulous night to curl up with a creepy book.

We asked several authors which books frightened them most and which character scared the bejeebers out of them. Here are their answers:

I Beacham
The most frightening book I’ve ever read is Ghost Story by Peter Straub (it was made into a movie of the same name with Fred Astaire).

ghoststoryWithout giving too much away, the story is about four aging men in a town someplace upstate New York who get together on a regular basis and over firelight and whiskey, exchange ghost stories. They call themselves The Chowder Society. It is clear that the men have known each other for years and were once teenage / early twenties buddies. The key to this story is that they all hide a tragic secret of something they did during their youth.  It is this tragedy that now returns to haunt them in the most chilling way. As the book progresses, the more frightening things become.

Without any shadow of a doubt, the most scary character is the woman in the book (I’m not giving any names away here for fear of spoiling a wonderful read).  Just know that the beautiful woman who is now going out with one of the aged men’s son is not all she appears to be!

If you’re looking for a good ghost book (and the movie was brilliant too), seek no further!

Niamh Murphy
DraculaI went through a phase of reading Gothic Horror books in my early teens (Point Horror just didn’t do it for me!) and although I found the imagery somewhat unsettling and the penny dreadful plots were enjoyable escapism, no book really ‘frightened’ me until I read about the grimly realistic dystopia set out in George Orwell’s 1984.

Things that go bump in the night are all well and good, but the really frightening thought for me would be to live in a world without art, where literature and expression are suppressed and love is forbidden. Even now, over sixty years since it’s release, the book still feels as though it is talking about a future almost within reach. Scary stuff.

For most scary character: I have to say that although Bram Stoker’s Dracula is not brilliantly written, nor is the plot particularly captivating (I seem to remember there was an awful lot of administration and paperwork) the one character I have found genuinely creepy in any book has been the eponymous Dracula himself. It wasn’t his murder of every last person aboard the ‘Demeter’, his bloodsucking or his shape shifting that bothered me, it was one description early on in the book in which Jonathon Harker looked out from a window in the castle and saw the Count crawling along the castle walls like a spider. That was really quite awful!

To this day I still have visions of it.

Angela Peach
bone collectorI read The Dark by James Herbert when I was about 11 years old, and it scared me for months! Ironically, I don’t mind the dark now, but at the time, I was scared lifeless. Not been scared like that since! As for character that scared me the most, I guess the killer in The Bone Collector is an example of what scares me – real life killers with no remorse or conscience for their victims.

Suzanne Egerton
My most frightening book is, I think, one by Graham Masterton, read many years ago. I thought it was called The Manitou, but reading the blurb just now didn’t bring up the memory, so maybe it was one of his others. The cover depicted a heavily-carved chair, I recall. The chair was possessed by a (very) malevolent spirit, which caused it to writhe and wreak havoc on the owner, a decent chap who had taken a fancy to it.

So the scary character is the chair (snigger if you will, but I imagined it manifesting itself at the bottom of the bed for ages – stupid girl!)

I tend to avoid scary stories, on the whole. Wasn’t bothered by The Rats (the ones on I’m a Celeb etc. are so obviously well-fed pet-grade animals, I worry about the celebs hurting them, rather than vice versa). And I find these ‘most haunted’ programmes too ludicrous to watch. What I find horribly frightening are psychopaths and sadists, rather than sobbing blobs of ectoplasm!

Clare Ashton
pitandpendulumMost of the scary stories that made an impression on me I read as a kid – Lord of Rings and the ring wraiths, gothic Edgar Allan Poe short stories (I’ve got a knot in my belly just thinking about the Pit and the Pendulum).

As an adult it’s actually taken kids’ stories to have that same deep emotional impact. The book that made me most fearful was His Dark Materials trilogy with its concept of daemons (people’s souls embodied as most loved companion animals). The experimenters irrevocably separating children from their daemons and Lyra being painfully parted from Pantalaimon were some of the most vivid and moving pieces of writing I’ve read.

Scariest characters? Dementors. Just for that chilling scenario of being locked away in your own head in inconsolable despair. Wonderfully terrifying creations.

Kate Snowdon
rats The most frightening book I’ve read is James Herbert’s The Rats. And it wasn’t a character that had me checking under my bed and blocking off gaps under my door, it was those delightful furry / hairy creatures.

Lesley Davis
I have thought long and hard on these questions and have to say I can’t answer either! I have never really read scary books (I don’t call Stephen King / James Herbert scary!) and have no memory of anything I’ve read frightening me. I’ve always been more drawn to Sci-fi than horror. I’m not a big fan of being scared, the closest I get to horror is playing the zombie maps in the Call of Duty games!

 Ke Payne
womaninblackI’m not a huge fan of horror novels as such, but I’d have to say that the book that I can distinctly remember giving me the heebie jeebies was James Herbert’s The Rats. There’s a revolting scene in a cinema which still creeps me out when I think about it.

The scariest character which has me hiding behind cushions is The Woman in Black (from Susan Hill’s novel). There’s something about how she silently stands in the cemetery of Eel Marsh House watching Arthur Kipps that makes me want to put all the lights on in the house. And have the dog on the sofa next to me – just in case.

News Roundup: UK Authors at the VLR, Rainbow Awards Finalists, Sarah Waters’ New Novel, Giveaways Galore & Loads More

3 Oct

Even if the weather stays mild, there are still indisputable signs that summer’s over and done with. The nights start to draw in, the telly gets a hell of a lot better, The Great British Bake Off has everyone craving CAKE (and Sue Perkins!), politicians return from their holidays and immediately resume their roles of acting like dicks, and Christmas puds hit the shelves in Asda.

In terms of UK LesFic, the signs look a little like this: new books come flying out, everyone’s suddenly doing stuff, planning stuff or writing stuff, Tig and I are chasing around news snippets like mad things, the awards season kicks off, and the news subsequently expands its waistline like someone sitting down to a lunch of pie, chips and beans.

Better get started then, eh?

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717930First this week, an early heads-up about a special Spotlight Weekend for UK LesFic authors at the Virtual Living Room. Running from 11th-14th October, the weekend will feature a whole host of familiar faces answering questions and chatting to readers and other authors. And who might these familiar faces be?

Kiki Archer (But She is My Student, Instigations, Binding Devotion and One Foot on the Ice)

I Beacham (Sanctuary and The Rarest Rose)

Andrea Bramhall (Ladyfish and Clean Slate)

Crin Claxton (Scarlet Thirst and The Supernatural Detective)

Rachel Dax (After the Night, The Legend of Pope Joan Part I and Part II)

Suzanne Egerton (Out Late with Friends and Regrets)

Cari Hunter (Snowbound and Desolation Point)

VG Lee (The Woman in Beige, The Comedienne, Always You Edina and Diary of a Provincial Lesbian)

Niamh Murphy (Mask of the Highway Woman, Delicious and A Fairy Tale Retold)

R.J. Samuel (Heart Stopper, Falling Colours, Casting Shadows and In Your Words)

Jade Winters (143, Talk Me Down from the Edge and A Walk into Darkness)

My lovely blog buddy Clare Ashton will be moderating, along with Beni Gee and Terry Baker. If you want to come along and join in the fun, click the link at the top, which will take you to the group’s main page.

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RJSamuelAuthorPicFor those stubborn souls who may need more incentive to sign up to the VLR, R.J. Samuel is currently running an exclusive VLR giveaway for the first two novels in her Vision Painter series, Falling Colours and Casting Shadows. Members can choose one of the books, and the offer is open until October 7th.

R.J. also had this to say about her upcoming trip to Women’s Week in the USA:

“I will be doing two readings in Provincetown on the GCLS panels – Thursday panel 11:00 am to 11:35 am and Friday 11:35 am to 12:10 pm. I’ll be giving away 10 ‘Limited Edition’ J printed copies of my short story In Your Words (including excerpts of Heart Stopper and Falling Colours) to the first 5 women at each reading to come up to me after the readings and say hi. (And yes, this is a blatant ploy to avoid being the only author standing alone twiddling my thumbs after the panel readings J ).”

Fans who may have been looking forward to new work from R.J. should check out her latest blog post, which gives a bit of an insight into her writing and why she’s not quite as up to speed with it as she might have liked. Here’s hoping her muse is feeling slightly less bewildered but still finding time for plenty of cupcakes…

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FinalistSMEarlier this week, the Rainbow Awards announced their Honourable Mentions (books scored 36+/40 by at least one judge), swiftly followed by the full list of finalists for each individual category.

Honourable mentions went to Kiki Archer for Binding Devotion (Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction), Andrea Bramhall for Ladyfish (Lesbian Contemporary Romance) and Jade Winters for A Walk Into Darkness (Lesbian Mystery Thriller).  Joining them in the finals are: I. Beacham with The Rarest Rose (Lesbian Paranormal Romance) and me (Cari Hunter!) with Desolation Point (Lesbian Mystery Thriller).

A full list of finalists can be found at the link, and the winners will be announced on December 8th. Congrats and best of British to all 🙂

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A4Another busy little soul at the moment is Kiki Archer, who has been celebrating the release of her new novel One Foot Onto The Ice by chatting to Lucy Jo Amos over here at Lucy’s blog, and taking part in a video interview with When Sally Met Sally, where she faced the lose-lose scenario of choosing between twerking or eating a freeze-dried worm.

Worm. Every time. I do not twerk.

You can catch the interview at the link. Meanwhile, in a new review, Terry Baker had this to say about One Foot Onto The Ice:

One of the really great things about this book is the laugh out loud humor throughout. I’m only too pleased I read this book indoors. It’s hilarious in places. I would defy anyone to read the scene with Susan and Jenna in the bathroom without laughing. This is a brilliantly written scene as it shows Jenna in a really different light. So, there is a whole range of emotions across the board to be experienced between the pages.

The full review can be found here.

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HanselGretalSticking with reviews for the moment with another of Terry’s, this time for Jade WintersA Walk Into Darkness:

This well written mystery, murder, intrigue, romance had me totally hooked from the very first page through to the last page. To say it is a page turner is an understatement. I couldn’t get through the book fast enough to find out how it ended. I knew Jade Winters was a talented writer from reading some of her short stories. But, she has really excelled herself in penning this full length book that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.

And over at Rainbow Book Reviews, they’ve been singing the praises of Niamh Murphy‘s fairytale reworking Gretel:

This is a truly imaginative, inventive, and ingenious re-telling of such a beloved classic. I felt completely immersed as if I shared Gretel’s mind and body. I became enthralled by Maeve and yes, possibly bewitched. I applaud the brilliance of this short story and completely recommend it!

As always, the full reviews are available at the links.

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598px-Sarah_WatersThe drip feed of details about Sarah Waters‘ new novel continues over at her website. We now have a title, an era and an indication of what the book will be about. The Paying Guests (due for release in autumn 2014) will be set in the 1920s, and its blurb currently reads like this:

It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

For with the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the ‘clerk class’, the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far, and how devastatingly, the disturbances will reach…

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Speaking of upcoming novels, LT Smith has a new Facebook page, where she has just announced the forthcoming publication of her novel/novella (it’s 40,000 words in length) Puppy Love. The book looks set to join See Right Through Me in a November 2013 release. A cover is still pending but the blurb can be found on the New & Upcoming Releases page. All proceeds from the book will go to charities to help puppies in need. Aww.

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GB-Cover1It’s almost time for dinner (it was tea-time when I bloody started!) so a quick mention of two current giveaways:

V.T. Davy is running a Mystery Voice Twitter competition to win copies of A Very Civil Wedding. To enter you need to click the link, identify the voice and tweet your answer before October 6th. To be notified of the results, follow @LiberationBooks (she says, like she knows what the hell she’s talking about – I tweet about as much as I twerk!)

Finally, for US readers only, Stella Duffy has a GoodReads giveaway for copies of her novel Parallel Lies. The competition runs until 15th October. Sorry UK peeps, I don’t make the rules.

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BSB_Scarlet_ThirstOkay, when I said that was the last thing I lied, because I stupidly checked Facebook JUST IN CASE I’d missed anything and there was Crin Claxton telling folks that her revised version of lesbian vampire romp Scarlet Thirst is now going cheap on amazon (UK and US) for a limited time. And when I say cheap, I mean £3.32, which is a bloody – no pun intended – bargain, and perfectly timed for Halloween.

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Right, I’ve put my blinkers and the kettle on. If anyone else does anything exciting, it’ll have to wait till next week…

News Roundup: The People’s Book Prize, P-Town, New Books & General Naughtiness

4 Sep

Happy hump day! That actually sounds a lot naughtier than intended, but this news post is brought to you by a night-shift brain in holiday mode whose WordPress internet connection is finally working again, so I’m feeling rather frivolous (and borderline incoherent. Be warned.)

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So what’s been going on in the last week?

Eagle-eyed readers of this blog might have noticed a big update to the New & Upcoming Releases page, which is now crammed full of releases up to and including next February. I tried my best to scout around for titles, but if there are authors out there with a book that I’ve missed (and some of you are proper secret squirrels when it comes to this publicity malarkey) please let us know so we can list it.

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the january flowerSticking with the theme of new books, Suzanne Egerton’s Out Late with Friends and Regrets and Orla Broderick’s The January Flower are both autumn nominations for this year’s People’s Book Prize. The prize is aimed at finding, supporting and promoting new and undiscovered works and, as the title of the prize suggests, the public are entirely responsible for choosing the winners. See this page to find out how you can add your vote. Good luck to all involved!

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LadyfishAndrea Bramhall (who will be guest-blogging here on Friday) had some good news this week when she found out that her début novel Ladyfish is going to be released as an audio book. The title will be available from September 24th and is available to pre-order here. In a busy week, Andrea has also been blogging over on Women & Words about her second novel Clean Slate, which is hot off the presses this month.

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rj samuelA heads-up now for anyone who might be reading this blog from t’other side of the pond and fancies seeing three UK LesFic authors in Province Town this October. R.J. Samuel recently announced that she is set to conquer her fear of flying (good luck!) by heading over to Women’s Week in P-Town:

I’ve almost worked up the courage to book my flights (petrified of flying  ).. I’m thrilled to be going to Provincetown for Women’s Week!! I’ll be reading on the GCLS Author Panel on Friday October 18th with Liz Bradbury, Deej Garden, Joan Timberlake, Melissa Brayden, and Barbara Sawyer. I’m so looking forward to the week and meeting FB friends in person.

R.J. will join Andrea Bramhall and I.Beacham as UK flag-flyers for this week-long fest celebrating everything to do with lesbian culture.

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I think we’ll close out this round up by returning to our theme of naughtiness with a couple of new novellas.

cover3Terry Baker has given a glowing review to Clare Ashton’s short story The Dildo in the Kitchen Drawer:

This is a wacky, zany, hilarious short story with Clare Ashton’s wicked sense of humor shining through on every page. I say wicked, because I’m not sure if I’m going to forgive her for naming the dog Terry! But I digress.

Although the story is short, it is crammed full to the brim with great scenarios and lovable fully formed characters, including the naughty dog and his antics. His owner, Mrs Smedley needs a medal for putting up with him. Look out for the gorgons too.

The full review can be found here at Terry’s blog.

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rosen2011_170Rosen Trevithick has also been dabbling in the dangly-bits arena and her comedy novella My Granny Writes Erotica is free on amazon until Friday (US readers, don’t think I’ve forgotten you: see this link instead.) It doesn’t fall into the category of LesFic but it is funny, very British, has some nice things to say about writing in general and is well worth an hour or two of your time. Plus, it’s free, so I’m thinking this is a win-win scenario really.

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And with that I bid you farewell and hand the blog reins over to Ms Ashton while I go and sun myself in Madeira for a week.

Obrigado!

News Roundup: Everyone’s got the Blogging Bug, Manda Scott & VG Lee at Brighton Pride, and the Pope’s testicles cause a stir…

29 Jul

As the schools break up for the summer hols, the roads fill up with staycationers and unnecessary roadworks, and the weather inevitably turns rubbish, what better excuse is there than to sit in a quiet spot with a good book, or a good blog? Or maybe you’re more inclined to write the good book or blog. Whichever floats your boat, UK LesFic is here for you. So, what have folks been up to this week?

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A fair bit of blogging, seems to be the answer…

bsb_the_rarest_rose__03887I. Beacham is a bit of a secret squirrel when it comes to an online presence, but she has been spotted over at Women and Words chatting about her new release The Rarest Rose, a love story with ghostly undertones:

I have a genuine love of history and I am more than aware that next year will be the 100th anniversary of the 1914 – 1918 World War One. As a keen reader of that period of time and, in particular, its emotive and powerful poetry, I have always felt drawn to its sadness and loss. It was a time that deeply impacted many across the globe, and certainly here in Britain. I have grown up hearing about those in the family who went to fight, and who did – or did not—return… So I think my latest book was influenced by this approaching anniversary and that, subconsciously,I wanted to acknowledge it. The outcome is that The Rarest Rose delivers two love stories, both blighted, and where echoes of the past still resonate. These gentle reverberations offer direction and hope for the two contemporary characters in this book.

You can read the full piece here.

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youcantrunA former secret squirrel, Bella author Kate Snowdon is becoming less of an enigma with the creation of a brand new blog, which was swiftly followed by her very first post. The aptly titled The First Post! gives an insight into Kate’s début novel You Can’t Run From Love, as well as explaining why she initially preferred to keep things on the hush-hush. It’s a telling reminder that lesbian authors may face a real dichotomy between publicising their works and keeping their private lives private, but it’s one with a happy ending. Once Kate gets started, there’s apparently no stopping her: we will be hosting a guest post from her later this week.

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SuzanneEgertonSticking with the blog theme, Suzanne Egerton‘s blog might not be new, but we don’t seem to have it listed on our Author page. So you should all go on over there and see what you’ve been missing out on, and I’ll update the information as soon as Talk Talk get their fingers out and stop WordPress from being a temperamental little arse!

Suzanne will also be reading from her novel Out Late with Friends and Regrets in a five minute spot at Café Rio, Glasgow, tonight (Monday 29th.)  The readings begin at 8p.m, there are other fabulous performers on the schedule, and all are welcome.

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clareashtonLast blog mention in this bloggiest of blog roundups comes from Clare Ashton, who will be guesting over at Kim Taylor Blakemore‘s blog this coming Tuesday. Can we tempt you with the tag-line?

After Mrs. Hamilton, Pennance, and all things indie! Drop on over Tuesday to learn what inspires and motivates the inimitable Clare Ashton.

Of course you’re tempted. Head over here on Tuesday to read the post.

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An advance heads up now for Brighton Pride, where Manda Scott and VG Lee will be making appearances in the Literature Tent on Saturday 3rd August between 2-5 p.m. At 3 p.m. Manda will be giving a talk about the roots of writing history. We’re not exactly sure what VG will be up to, but it’s guaranteed to be entertaining. Full details about the Pride festivities can be found at the official website.

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sedia stercorariaFinally this week, a big thanks to Rachel Dax whose recent guest post about The Legend of Pope Joan II is single-handedly responsible for providing the funniest search term resulting in a hit to our site: “so why the testicles are checking the pope?”

For a explanation, see Rachel’s guest post of June 28th… Hell, the Pope’s testicles certainly makes a change from Lesbian Ass Kissing