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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If 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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Next 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.)
A 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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We 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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First 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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Finally 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…