Tag Archives: Jane Retzig

News Roundup: Double Brit Rainbow Award Win, New Books, Blogs, Reviews, Free Stuff and More!

14 Jan

And we’re back! A very happy and prosperous new year to one and all, may it be filled with books and other kinds of goodness. While Tig sobs as she stows her tinsel and baubles for another 300 or so days (I’m giving her till October to get them out again!) I’ll be steering us through our first news roundup of 2017, and it’s a bumper one…

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poppy jenkinsFirst up, we don’t do a lot of tooting our own horn here at UK LesFic, but sod it, I’m about to, so bear with me. The 2016 Rainbow Awards were announced just before we headed off for our Christmas holidays and we scored a blog mistress double whammy as Poppy Jenkins by Clare Ashton scooped Best Lesbian Contemporary & Erotic Romance, and my own Cold to the Touch topped the Best Lesbian Mystery/Thriller category. The books also came second (Poppy) and third (Cold) overall in Best Lesbian Book. Huzzah!

You can find the full list of all the winners and runners up at the link.

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January seems to be a busy old month for new releases with the publication of books by five UK authors. Lesley Davis‘ conspiracy-themed, alien invader romance (?!) Raging at the Stars is currently on sale at the Bold Strokes website, alongside Cari Hunter‘s third Dark Peak crime thriller, A Quiet Death. Both books will be on general sale on January 17th. Felucca Dreams, an Egypt-set romance by Natalie Debrabandere is now on sale at Amazon, and AE Radley‘s Grounded, the other half of Flight SQA016, will be released via Ylva on January 18th. Meanwhile, Jade Winters has published Unravelled – which she’s tagged as “contemporary women’s fiction.” You can find the synopses for all these books and more over on the New Releases page.

Jane Retzig has released A Question of Trust – the follow-up to The Wronged Woman – onto audio book, and she has some free copies to give away via Audible. If any UK LesFic readers would like one, please email Jane: jane retzig @ gmail. com (take out the spaces before using the address!) or PM her on Facebook or GoodReads.

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lostinthestarlightWith 2016 drawing to a close, top five, top ten, and top eleventy-twelve lists have been cropping up all over the show. The Lesbian Review‘s 10 Best Books of 2016 featured Clare Ashton‘s Poppy Jenkins at number 3:

Ashton has a phenomenal ability to pull you into a story and make you feel a range of things. Beautifully written and superb storytelling.

And Kiki Archer‘s Lost in the Starlight hot on its heels at number 4:

This is an absolutely beautiful, happy book that will have you delighted and charmed from the first word. A must-read from 2016.

You can find the full countdown at the above link.

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Clare Lydon also got in on the act with her five fave books of the year, with the ubiquitous Poppy Jenkins snagging the number 4 slot this time:

This book has been lighting up the lesfic charts around the world this year, and probably the Welsh tourist board should offer Ashton some commission for the undoubted visits she’s encouraged with her lingering prose. Put simply, this is a corker of a lesbian romance.

saving graceCold to the Touch by Cari Hunter sneaked in at number 3:

What I love about this book are the two leads and their on-off relationship. And because this isn’t a romance, there really was an element of ‘will they get together?’ Which, I’ll be honest, kept me on the edge of my seat more than the crimes. What can I say? I’m a romantic at heart.

And the top slot was taken by another brit, HP Munro, with her sequel Grace Falls:

HP Munro’s USP is humour, and this book delivers in spades, with many laugh-out-loud moments scattered through the pages. Plus, the central romance between Charlotte and Erin truly pulls on the heartstrings and by the end, you’ll be on your feet, hollering for them, just like Sully and the gang.

For the full list and Clare’s more in-depth write ups, hop over here.

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alliwantforeverI’ll stick with Ms Lydon for a moment to mention her Round-Up of 2016 Goals (which included “Watch All of the Sport,” and “Stand up, Jig Around,” amongst other worthy ambitions!) Clare has assessed and analysed her 2016 achievements in her own inimitable style, though she failed miserably on the standing up and jigging around aspect:

Epic fail on this one, but I won’t be too hard on myself because writing is a sedentary occupation – especially if you did as much of it as I did in 2016! However, I plan to do better this year, and it’ll feature again in my upcoming 2017 goals blog, with an actual number weight-wise to aim for. Gulp.

2017 looks set to be another busy one – read Clare’s Goals for 2017 here –  and we have a sneak peek at the new cover for All I Want Forever, the final romantic adventure for Tori and Holly (“featuring San Francisco, love, mishaps and all their usual mayhem.”) Keep an eye on Clare’s blog for a release date.

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Jenny Frame, CK Martinand Jen Silver have also hopped on the 2016 review, looking forward to 2017 blogging bandwagon. You can read their thoughts on the year that was and the year that’s to come by clicking their names.

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hindsightReviews now, and Jody Klaire‘s Hindsight, the latest in her Above and Beyond series – has been reviewed at the Lesbian Reading Room:

The action is fast paced, the number of players on the table at any one time is unbelievable and the combination of flashbacks and current action, from multiple points of view, left me gasping. And yet somehow Jody Klaire not only manages to keep all the storylines, points of view and personalities clear, she somehow manages to bring it all to a successful resolution.

Read the full piece here.

The Lesbian Review have been casting their ears over the audio version of Jenny Frame‘s Heart of the Pack:

When you want something that fun and entertaining that is easy to listen to with a nicely dramatic romance then pick up a Jenny Frame. This one is no exception. I really enjoyed it.

Read the full review here.

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For those who fancy a bit of bedtime sauciness, AL Brooks has recorded a reading from her erotic debut, The Club, on The Lesbian Talk Show. I haven’t had a chance to listen to it, but I’m going to assume that it’s probably NSFW!  Enjoy.

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kikiarcherpolariAnd finally this week, congratulations to Kiki Archer, Stella Duffy and Sarah Waters who have all been shortlisted for Diva’s Author of the Year award. You can vote for your favourites at this list, but get your skates on, the vote closes February 14th.

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Whew, I think that about covers it! Wrap up warm and have a lovely weekend 🙂

 

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News roundup: interviews, reviews, readings and Christmas books!

3 Dec

A quick sprint through the news because I haven’t even started Christmas shopping yet. Actually it’s been a fairly quiet fortnight but don’t miss these tasty morsels:

TheRetreatClare Lydon interviewed Jane Retzig this month. In the words of Clare: “This month I’m interviewing fellow Brit Jane Retzig, best known for The Wrong Woman, Boundaries and The Retreat. Jane talks about publishing in the 90s and the differences doing it herself today, as well as chatting religion and the inspiration behind her slightly off-kilter lesbian romance novels. These include the late-great Leonard Cohen and, oddly, Alexandra Burke. Jane is a fabulous guest, so I hope you enjoy.” It is indeed a fab and interesting interview and here’s the link.

kikidiva2-copyKiki Archer is interviewed in this month’s Diva with some splendid shots of her in soft autumnal wear. Kiki says: “We chat about life, loves and literature, and they say of Lost In The Starlight: ‘It’s laugh-out-loud funny, warm and engaging, much like Kiki herself.'” Go and have a read.

And for a taster of Kiki’s latest, Lost in the Starlight, you can catch her reading at Polari Birmingham on YouTube.

And if you’ve read it already have a listen to what the chapesses at The Lesbian Review thought of the book in their Les Do Books podcast.

carol-ann-duffyBold Strokes author Anna Larner has been blogging about her literary crush Carol Ann Duffy:

As the UK’s first female Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy has re-imagined the role on her own terms. Gone is the notion of a patriarchal remote, aloof honour and in its place the Poet Laureate has become an open, engaged, and fearless defender of not only poetry but of social justice and equality.

You can read the rest of this piece here.

christmaskisschristmasatwinterbourneAllIWantForChristmas-Clare-Lydon

Out now is Jade Winters Christmas short story A Christmas Kiss:

When romance pessimist Emma finds herself under the mistletoe with the enigmatic Zara, she doesn’t think the encounter will last longer than a night. Will it take more than a Christmas kiss for Zara to find a place in her heart?

You can buy it on Amazon.

Affinity books are having a Christmas sale, including Jen Silver’s Christmas at Winterbourne and for another Christmas read you can grab Clare Lydon’s All I Want for Christmas (99p at the time of writing!)

That’s all folks!

News roundup: new books, free books, blogging, reviews and the C word!

8 Oct

Dig out your woollies and grab a mug of hot chocolate – it’s time to snuggle up with some books.

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And there’s lots of new lesfic for you to get your mitts on this week.

flirting-with-dangerFirst up is Jade Winters with Flirting with Danger.

When the stepdaughter of a celebrated tennis player goes missing, ambitious journalist Astrid is determined to find answers.  This is the high profile story she’s been waiting for; the case that could bring her the recognition she so craves.

In her hunt for clues, Astrid’s attention is piqued by an intriguing tweet from Callie—a family friend of the missing girl.  

Convinced Callie might be a strong lead, Astrid follows her instincts and tracks Callie down. The encounter is one which will throw her whole being off balance.  

As the pressure to find the missing girl intensifies, so does the attraction between the two women.  With so much at stake, can Astrid hold her nerve and heart enough to deal with the shocking conclusion?

aquestionoftrustJane Retzig has a sequel out to The Wrong Woman. A Question of Trust is a lesbian mystery romance and is FREE on Amazon this weekend! Grab a copy here.

Three months have passed since the events of ‘The Wrong Woman’. Saskia is now working part-time with Jaiden, who is struggling to hide her feelings for her new friend and co-worker. Saskia thought Jaiden was flirting with her when she invited her to work ‘undercover’ and she’s frustrated that their private investigations have never wandered even remotely close to the erotic.

Neither Jaiden nor Saskia have had much luck with love. But when they finally kiss, it feels different… passionate… and unconditional. Then a major problem comes crashing into Jaiden’s life and her first instinct is to hide it.

And as secrets and lies start to spiral out of control, Saskia questions whether she should ever have trusted Jaiden with her already wounded heart.

mroliverVG Lee’s new book, Mr Oliver’s Object of Desire, has a male protagonist but I believe it also contains lesbians. In any case, who wouldn’t want to hear about a new VG Lee book.

Mr Oliver was a man of the moment in the 1960s, but as he reaches his fiftieth birthday he’s a decade out of date. From his bachelor flat to his relationships with women, he orders everything around him with the same rigour and precision that he uses to manage The Store in London’s Oxford Street.

Yes, he knows his Aquascutum from his Berkertex, can spot a linen mix fabric from twenty yards, but he doesn’t recognise his nemesis, Claire Daker, when she walks into his life.

Hired as ‘the face of youth’ by the impeccably trouser-suited Head Buyer Miss Frances, Claire, with her pleated mini-skirts and citrus lemon knee socks, proves to be the agent of change for both of them.

Enter Doreen Mildmay, a passionate woman who always gets her man, and the man in her sights is Sydney Oliver. She knows a broken man when she sees one and she’d like to fix him. But does he want to be fixed or would Mr Oliver rather pursue his object of desire?

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Cold to the TouchJudging is underway at the Rainbow Awards and Elisa is rolling out honorable mentions throughout October. Those books that scored at least 36 out of 40 get a mention, and Cari Hunter ran off with three for Cold to the Touch:

Talk about cold! Cari Hunter writes winter so that you feel the snow creep down your collar or the wind whistle through the rip in your pants. She makes you feel the ache of fatigue from three nights in a row of too little sleep, and the terror of thinking you’re losing your job, your career, your best friend, and your chance at love.

The-Club-by-A.L.-BrooksYou can read the other judges’ comments here.

AL Brooks has also garnered praise for her erotic debut The Club which seems to be hitting the spot:

This was an interesting first time offering. Definitely loaded with juicy erotic scenes and well-developed characters.

More here.

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Jen Silver has been blogging in the run up to the publication of Christmas at Winterborne and introducing readers to her characters:

christmasatwinterbourneWinterbourne is the name of the lesbian guesthouse – almost a character in its own right. And the story takes place over Christmas when guests arrive for a seasonal holiday programme starting on the 23rd through to the 27th of December.

With five weeks leading up to the release of this, my fifth novel, I thought I would drip-feed some information about the house and the characters involved. I hope I’m not going to put off some potential readers by revealing that there are fifteen characters with an active role in the story. And that’s just the human ones.

There are also horses and dogs because this is, after all, a country estate. So I’ll start by introducing the two oldest characters, both in their late 70s.

Catch up with the cast list revealed so far, including the young Londoners on Jen’s blog.

TheLongWeekend-640x1024Clare Lydon’s been a busy gal this year with her All I Want Series, but don’t forget her other novels including The Long Weekend. Clare has been reading an excerpt from her second novel for the Lesbian Talk Show. You can have a listen here.

kikiarcherprofileKiki Archer has been answering The Lesbian Review’s author profile questions. Have a look here to find out what inspired Kiki to start writing and how she describes her style. She also delves into what inspired each novel and of her latest, Lost in the Starlight, she says:

I just wanted to create a story where a hidden secret keeps you from being your true self. I love the world of celebrity and shows like The X factor. I’m also led to believe there are stars who choose to hide their sexuality for fear they’ll no longer be popular. I wanted to write about someone who was brave enough to be honest and how this could actually enhance their popularity and success. Thus Honey Diamond was born.

annelisterNot fiction but very lesbian and fascinating: Sarah Waters visits Anne Lister’s home of Shibden Hall and talks about her life and loves and reads from her diaries. Tootle over here to listen to Sarah and to have a nose around Shibden Hall.

hindsightMeanwhile Jodi Klaire has revealed a sneak peek of her forthcoming book, Hindsight (book 4 of the Above and Beyond series).

Have a shufti over here for a taster.

Also on Jodi’s blog is her free downloadable series, The Whistleblower, which features Susan from The Empath and also other characters familiar to readers of the Above and Beyond series. The series is downloadable as a PDF and is up to episode 3. Here’s the link to the beginning.

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The Lesbian Review has been busy with the Brits this week and had great things to say about them all.

no good reasonCari Hunter’s No Good Reason:

“This novel is dark and brooding and brilliantly written. Sanne is one of those women with zero self confidence but so much heart that you cannot help fall in love with her. She takes everything very seriously and acts tough but is really quite unsure of her own value.

Meg is a quirky character who is known for swearing at irritating patients. She and Sanne have a deep bond and she is protective over her friend, always knowing when she needs something more than she is saying.

It is beautifully written. Hunter transports you right into the world she creates and keeps you firmly in the grip of the icy weather, craggy rocks and oppressive atmosphere.”

lostinthestarlightKiki Archer’s Lost in the Starlight:

“Lost In The Starlight is an absolutely charming, hilarious and gorgeous story or two women from different backgrounds learning that life is a little more complicated than they thought when it comes to love and secrets…

I was not sure that Archer’s book could live up to such a good title but it did. And the title was explained in the book in a well thought out moment. (I was a little worried it would be cheesy but it wasn’t.) Apparently I worry about things that I have no need to be concerned about. I was in safe hands with Kiki Archer.

poppy jenkinsClare Ashton’s Poppy Jenkins:

Ashton did an amazing job with the characters. Every one was beautifully explored. The quaint town of Wells was as much a character in the novel as the human cast and I could not help but fall in love with it.

This book is beautifully written, yet easy to read. It is filled with conflict but you like all the characters. It is set in a small town that is dying and you hope for its resurrection. It really is a special novel.

AllIWantForChristmas-Clare-LydonThe last two are also included on The Lesbian Review’s list of Light Romances That Delight together with Clare Lydon’s All I Want for Christmas of which the article says:

As Christmas comes hurtling towards us, I start to feel all warm and mushy. I love Christmas, but after reading this novel I am pretty sure that Lydon has me beat in that department.

This is the novel that made me crown Lydon as the queen of lesbian rom/com. It is utterly charming and has some of the funniest lesbian moments that I have ever read.

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Ooooo, makes you want to start Christmas already. (Apologies to non-Christmas fans who are struck down in paroxysms of outrage at the mere mention of the C word before December. Actually I don’t mean that. CHRISTMAS!!!)

News roundup: new books, a new author, Polari Tour and Prize, crime blogs and a freebie!

10 Sep

And we’re back! After a lovely summer, where traditionally all goes quiet in lesfic land, there’s a load of news waiting to be unleashed and a fresh pile of books for your autumn reading. Here we go!

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It has been out a matter of hours but Kiki Archer’s new book is at the top of the lesfic charts already. Here’s the blurb and lovely sparkly cover:

lostinthestarlightA-list singing superstar, Honey Diamond, has it all – the albums, the talent shows, the upcoming Hollywood film. But it’s her gentle light, endearingly shining through all the glitz and glam, that warms the hearts of so many. A shy girl, who’s only ever known fame, born into a world that’s not true to life. Will Honey ever experience the love she so knowingly sings about? Will the vindictive online gossip sites ever leave her alone?

For a bit more of tease have a peek at the book trailer on YouTube.

Lost in the Starlight is available on Amazon now!

Also just out is Wendy Hudson’s Four Steps and it’s already been covered at The Lesbian Review:

FourStepsI was swept up into the Scottish Highlands and the lives of Alex and Lori. The author uses alternating chapters to tell the story of the growing romance between Alex and Lori and the secondary story of suspense, which builds step by step until the final chapters where I was flipping (tapping actually, as my copy was an ebook) pages as fast as I could…I loved the arc of the romance between Alex and Lori. And the pacing of this story was perfect.  Alex and Lori’s romance built slowly alongside the trouble creeping toward them. The trouble was indeed creepy.

You can read the rest of the review here and get your copy on Amazon.

alliwantforautumnClare Lydon continues Holly and Tori’s adventures in her next book in the All I Want series. The Autumn installment is out on September the 21st and here’s the blurb:

What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger…

After a hit & run accident, Holly is determined to recover in record-speed, but she’s frustrated when her mind and body have different agendas. Meanwhile, when Tori’s career takes an unexpected turn, the couple are faced with some life-changing decisions.

When Tori & Holly’s journeys begin to pull in different directions, will the glue that keeps them together be enough to secure their future?  Is true love enough to win the day?

ashakaanNatalie Debrabandere’s new book Ashakaan was published at the beginning of summer to rave reviews in the US:

The year is 2251. Jamie Cartwright is a gifted young army officer, the owner of a sexy smile, handsome looks, and a fiery temper. Stationed on-board the Atlantis, the finest spaceship the Quantum Fleet has ever commissioned, her future as a member of the Alliance military is looking bright. Unbeknownst to her though, and to everyone else except an old shaman in a distant and mysterious universe, Jamie’s destiny is accelerating, headed fast toward an extraordinary conclusion…

needleinahaystackAlso released during the summer was Sally Edwards Needle in a Haystack:

A pivotal point in a young girl’s life, with family tragedy, new friendships and the first glimpse of romance. We are plunged deeply into the mind of Charlie Duke as we read extracts from her personal diary.

Sally is new to the UKLesFic news listings but published her debut a couple of years ago. She hails from Shropshire and specialises in stories that feature disabled characters. How to Love was her debut – the story of a young disabled lesbian woman, coming of age, living a life of independence, and finding love.

You can find both How to Love and Needle in a Haystack  on Amazon and you can find out more about Sally on her website.

underparrLooking further ahead, Andrea Bramhall has announced that her second book in the Norfolk Crime Investigation Stories will be published in May 2017.

December 5th, 2013 left its mark on the North Norfolk Coast in more ways than one. A tidal surge and storm swept millennia-old cliff faces into the sea and flooded homes and businesses up and down the coast. It also buried a secret in the WWII bunker hiding under the golf course at Brancaster. A secret kept for years, until it falls squarely into the lap of Detective Sergeant Kate Brannon and her fellow officers.

A skeleton, deep inside the bunker.

How did it get there? Who was he…or she? How did the stranger die—in a tragic accident or something more sinister? Well, that’s Kate’s job to find out.

christmasatwinterbourneJen Silver’s fifth novel will be out in November, ready for Christmas, and is the first of Jen’s novels to be set in southern England:

The Christmas festivities for the guests booked into Winterbourne House have all the goings-on of a traditional holiday. The only difference is that this guesthouse is run by lesbians, for lesbians. When the guests arrive, tensions are already simmering between the house’s owner Wilma (Wil) and very pregnant partner, Gabriella. Wil has a lot on her plate… ensuring the smooth running of the events, looking after all the guests, including her in-laws and business partners. What she hasn’t planned for is a ghost from Christmas past.

Wil inherited Winterbourne from her adopted mother, Kim Russell, author of a series of successful lesbian novels. Most of the guests who stay, do so because they are fans of the author. One guest, Sally Hunter, is on a mission to write Kim’s official biography. She meets with resistance from the people at the house she tries to interview, stirring up memories from those who knew the reclusive writer well. For a bit of extra spice to the festivities, add in an unexpected snowstorm, a disappearing guest, and an imminent birth. Join the guests and staff at Winterbourne for a Christmas you’ll not soon forget.

If you can’t wait until November to read more you can have a sneak peek at the first chapter on the Affinity website.

ylvaOn to blogs and August has been crime month over at Ylva Publishing. Andrea Bramhall has been pondering why the British are fascinated with murder:

Books, TV shows, documentaries, news broadcasts, popular music…it’s everywhere. Crime drama, mysteries, murders, and detective stories. As a nation we’re hooked on them. Well, I know I am, and looking at the top rated shows on TV, so are you! As a population does that make us a bunch of morbid, blood thirsty savages, living vicariously through fictitious characters who carry out our innermost desires?

collide o scopeIt’s had LT Smith puzzling too:

Personally, I love reading crime and detective novels because when I read I love to think, love to work at the plot like a literary winkle, prising out information, identifying those red herrings that attempt to lead me up the garden path, and, more than anything, I love to figure it all out before everyone else. A definite smug face moment.

Meanwhile Wendy Hudson wondered why Scotland in particular lends itself to murderous goings on:

The dilemmas of the human condition remain the same no matter what period you look at in history. Living in a country soaked in past bloodshed, and steeped in unsolved mysteries, whether reader or writer, Scotland will always intrigue and suck us in. If you combine all of these reasons, the history and landscape, the miserable weather, our sense of justice and cutting humour; maybe we can start to understand why the darker stories continue to live on in Scotland, more so than the good.

And Clare Ashton had to bring sex, well passion at least, into it:

The biggest high, I think, comes from a novel that pulls together passion, suspense and intrigue. With romance, circumstance may pull the heroines apart and break your heart, but with romantic intrigue you can twist the story to stop the reader in their tracks, chill them to the bone, even make them drop their eReader and exclaim “oh shit”. The stakes can be so much higher. It isn’t simply a matter of will the couple get together, more the terror that secrets and even death may pull them apart.

Click here to read all of these blogs in full.

poppy jenkinsClare Ashton has been getting around a bit over the summer and also had a good chin wag with Clare Lydon for her Lesbian Book Club podcast.  During the podcast, Clare Lydon does a run down of the charts and gives an update on her writing, then gets chatting with Clare Ashton about writing process, Wales, Poppy Jenkins and synonyms for breasts.

Have a listen here.

The LGBT Polari First Book Prize short list was announced at the beginning of summer and the Polari website notes that:

Fiction features strongly – from Anne Goodwin’s poignant midlife coming-of-age (Sugar and Snails) and Jacquie Lawrence’s exploration of love through the entangled lives of six women (Different for Girls) to Paul McVeigh’s funny and frightening story of a young boy navigating the troubles of 1980s Northern Ireland (The Good Son) and Stevan Alcock’s unforgettable tale of teenage life set to the backdrop of the Yorkshire Ripper murders (Blood Relatives). The shortlist is rounded-off by Juliet Jacques poignant memoir of the transgender experience (Trans) and a raw yet moving collection of poems written in celebration of the masculine form (Physical).”

POLARIpinkLARGEThe winner will be revealed in October.

Polari is also touring the country again this year. Here are the details in brief. For performers and more information see the Polari Salon listings.

  • Sep 22 – Bishops Stortford Library
  • Sep 28 – Printworks, Hastings
  • Oct 14 – Marlborough Theatre, Brighton
  • Oct 21 – Nottingham Writers’ Studio
  • Nov 4 – Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh
  • Nov 11 – Ideas Store, Tower Hamlets
  • Nov 15 – Hove Library
  • Nov 18 – Grand Theatre, Blackpool
  • Nov 19 – MAC Birmingham
  • Nov 21 – Fruit Space, Hull
  • Nov 23 – Newcastle City Library
  • Nov 25 – End of tour at Southbank Centre, London

TheRetreatFinally, it’s always nice to have a freebie. Jane Retzig has released her novel The Retreat in audio which is available from Audible.

To celebrate its launch she has several free copies to give away. Be quick and email her at  janeretzig @ gmail.com if you want to win a copy.

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Phew! That’s all folks!

News Roundup: Blogs, Audio Books, Reviews, Giveaways, and BBQ Beach Book Launches, Oh My!

9 Apr

Spring it is a springin’, with lighter nights, tulips blossoming, and only the odd spot of storm-force wind and rain to bugger things up a bit. It’s looking brighter in UK LesFic land as well, with this fortnight bringing forth a lively bit of news…

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the-shewstoneFirst up is Jane Fletcher who has recently redesigned and updated her website (“Welcome to my new revamped website – which has pretty much all the same stuff as my old website, except it’s got spiffy new colours and layout”) in readiness for her June, 2016 fantasy release The Shewstone.

Jane will be appearing at the Bold Strokes UK Fest in Nottingham on June 4-5th, along with a whole host of UK based BSB authors, and you can read an extract from The Shewstone by clicking that thar link.

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I’ll stick with Bold Strokes authors for the moment, because I. Beacham has been blogging about the inspiration behind her April release, Salvation, at the main BSB site:

salvationI knew it the moment I sat down in front of my laptop. The empty pages that had stared back at me the day before yesterday, taunting me with my inability to dream up my next book, started to quiver and fade. All at once, my fingers cut across the keys like a centipede wearing running shoes. They moved so fast I had to keep dipping my fingertips into a bowl of water to cool them. Yes, something had changed. I had changed.

I had entered…“The Zone of Author Contentment,” and I was finally back in the groove.

If you’re curious as to what exactly sparked Beach’s entrance into that zone of contentment, click here to read the full piece. Salvation has also been reviewed over at the Romantic Reader’s Blog:

Salvation by I. Beacham is heartbreakingly beautiful book about two women who meet at during a painful period in both their lives. Beacham weaves a tale of strength, determination and reminds us that love really can conquer all. Angst lovers rejoice, this is another book that will make your heart ache, but it is totally worth it.

As ever, you can read the full write up at the link.

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too late I love youMeanwhile, over at The Lesbrary, one of their reviewers has proven that it’s never too late to catch up with Kiki Archer’s Too Late…I Love You: 

In spite of its impressive entertainment value, Too Late… I Love You addresses important topics such as same-sex parenthood, bisexual stigma and closeting in a tone that is affirming without being victimizing and courageous without coming across as preachy. Each occasion is handled without a break in the humor or pause in the plot, propelling the story’s momentum and subtly foreshadowing some of the most memorable scenes.

The complete review is available here.

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collide o scopeFor those people who like their lesfic with a dash of intrigue, Andrea Bramhall is launching her new murder mystery, Collide-O-Scope (released this month) with a short reading, a free BBQ, and a guided tour of some of the areas that inspired the novel on 15th May at 2 p.m. The event will take place at Deepdale Backpackers and Camping on the North Norfolk Coast, and you can find all the necessary information here at Andrea’s blog. Here’s a hint of what Collide-O-Scope has in store for readers…

One unidentified dead body. One tiny fishing village. Forty residents and everyone’s a suspect. Where do you start? Newly promoted Detective Sergeant Kate Brannon and Kings Lynn’s CID have to answer that question and more as they untangle the web of lies wrapped around the tiny village of Brandale Stiathe Harbour to capture a killer.

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A snippet from Emma DonoghueIn other delightful film news – UK producer Alison Owen has optioned my last novel Frog Music, about an unsolved murder in 1870s San Francisco, and I’m writing the screenplay.

More on that as it happens.

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boundariesAnd finally this fortnight, good news for those folks who like to read with their ears. Jane Retzig has been in touch to say that her novel Boundaries is now available as an audio book, narrated by Jan Cramer. Originally published in 1994, Boundaries was Jane’s first novel, and holds a special place in her heart.  To celebrate the release, Jane has some free audible copies to give to UK LesFic readers. All you have to do to get your mitts on one is email Jane at: jane retzig @ gmail. com (take the spaces out of the address before you use it) or message Jane via her Facebook or Goodreads page.

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snowbound-for-blogSpeaking of first novels that you can now listen to, my very own début, Snowbound, has just made the leap onto audio book. Narrated by the perfectly named (and British!) Lesley Parkin, the audio book is unabridged and – judging from the small sample I’ve listened to – pleasantly northern. Bold Strokes are currently holding a giveaway on their Facebook page. All you need to do is leave a comment on the relevant post to be in with a chance of winning a copy. The competition closes on Sunday 10th April, at noon EDT (I have no idea what that translates to either, but get yer skates on!)
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Right-o, I think that’s plenty to be getting on with for the meantime. Have a fabulous weekend whatever the weather.

News Roundup: New Releases from Jane Fletcher & Jen Silver, Free Audio Book from Jane Retzig, Wrapping up 2015 with Clare Lydon, Events, Awards, and More!

16 Jan

The tinsel is stashed away for another year, the party poppers are popped, and we’re back with our first news round-up of 2016. I suspect most of our authors are still slightly hungover, because things are a little quiet on the UK LesFic front, but I’ve done my best to dig up a few tantalising tidbits with which to welcome in the new year…

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Writer-Sarah-Waters-006Let’s kick off with some good news on the awards front, with both Sarah Waters and Ali Smith making the Bailey Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist, for The Paying Guests And How to be Both respectively. The winner will be announced on June 3rd, and you can see a complete list of the finalists here.

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bold books logoBold Strokes Books have seen in the new year by giving their website a complete overhaul, and they’re rewarding punters with 10% off their current and backlist releases all through January. The website is far easier to navigate, looks rather pretty, and now comes with the facility to pre-order e-books. There are loads of UK authors publishing with BSB, so now might be a great opportunity to take a peek and catch up on those you might have missed.

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the-shewstoneI’ll stick with BSB for the moment, because Jane Fletcher is an author of theirs we’ve not heard from for a long while. If you’re a fan of Jane’s fantasy/romance novels, you’ll be delighted to hear that June 2016 will see the release of The Shewstone, the blurb for which reads like this:

In 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.

Clicking the link up there will take you to the pre-order page and allow you to jump to Jane’s BSB profile and all of her back catalogue.

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For those who enjoy resting their eyes and reading with their ears, Jane Retzig has released an audio version of her lesbian mystery/romance, The Photograph

the photographEverybody’s worried about Becky. She’s too rich, too young, and much too cute for her own good. And she’s driving her friends and family to distraction, playing fast and loose with the bored housewives she meets through Girl Power, the offshoot of Marsten Builders, which she co-runs with her best friend, Frankie. When she hears Niamh busking in the center of town, Becky is stunned by the intensity of her attraction to the itinerant young musician. The feeling is mutual. For Niamh, Becky has a familiar feel that reminds her of the home and family she has lost, and she quickly finds herself looking for ways to meet this intriguing young woman again.

Both women are deeply wary of any kind of new relationship. Their early experiences have left them wounded and vulnerable. But for some reason, they can’t help but trust each other. But even as the pair are taking their first shaky steps toward love, they begin to realize that their apparent chance meeting is already part of a much bigger drama unfolding. Events of the past are starting to catch up with them, and they are about to be faced with challenges and decisions that will change their lives forever….

The audio book is narrated by Danielle O’Farrell and available on Audible, Amazon and iTunes, but Jane is marking the launch by giving away free Audible copies to you lucky UK LesFic readers. If you are interested, please contact Jane at: janeretzig @ gmail . com  Be sure to take the spaces out of the address before you use it.

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clare lydonClare Lydon has wrapped up 2015 with a Ten Things I Learned… blog post, in which she discusses the joys of discovering Scrivener…

If you don’t know what it is, it’s a writing program that enables you to jump around your manuscript at will, keeps notes and most importantly, turn your novels into ebooks at the click of a button. Scrivener has made my life so much better. Apart from the morning it ate This London Love the day before I was due to release. That wasn’t pretty.

…And how rubbish she is at choosing titles:

Being a former magazine editor, titles should come easy to me, but they don’t. Time to start eating dictionaries for breakfast and pun books for lunch.

See the above link to have a toot at the other eight highlights!

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carved_final (1)Always busy on the blogging front, it seems that Jen Silver has been ramping up the novel writing as well, with new releases due in February and March. February will see the publication of Carved in Stone – the conclusion to the Starling Hill trilogy, and the re-release of all the books in that series, with a makeover cover for the central book in the trilogy. Meanwhile a standalone novel, The Circle Dance, is due out in March:

Another book, due out in March, is a completely new story with different characters and is called The Circle Dance. No archaeology in this one, but there is a nod or two to the surfeit of stone circles in the UK. You don’t have to go far to find one here. Not all as magnificent as Stonehenge, but compelling evidence of an ancient culture’s communication network.

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catherine hallA few events for your calendar now:

Val McDermid will be headlining at the York Literature Festival in March (if the city has dried out by then!). Poet Carol Ann Duffy is also on the guest list.  Find a full programme of events, ticket booking and the usual gubbins at the festival’s main site.

Catherine Hall has three events to discuss her most recent novel, The Repercussions, planned for spring. Find a listing of them here.

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And that about wraps things up. Brr, speaking of wrapping, it’s cold out there! Get plenty of layers on and don’t be slipping on any icy puddles. In fact, best just to stay inside and read a good book.

News Roundup: Rainbow Award honourable mentions, new books, events and a loo break

5 Nov

fireworks-728413_640Ooooooooooooooooooo, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah…

I lost my bra
I left my knickers in my girlfriend’s car.

I digress.  It’s that time of year, when children eat apples of their own volition and parents gleefully encourage them to hold white hot pieces of metal. It’s Fireworks Night!

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First up, the Rainbow Awards and a few of the British entries are already sparkling away. No shortlists yet, but the honorable mentions are being rolled out (books that have scored highly with at least one judge):

no good reasonCari Hunter’s No Good Reason has been described as “A fabulous mystery, well grounded in setting, creepy and steadily paced, reminiscent of the television show Broadchurch.” and by another judge as “Very good craft. Great story”.

season's meetingsAmy Dunne’s Season’s Meetings has been very well received: “I really enjoyed this book.  You could feel like you were with the characters especially when they were stranded in that decrepit car in the snow.  A wonderful holiday romance!”

too late I love youKiki  Archer’s Too Late… I Love You: “Another well written book by Kiki Archer.  Hard to put down, kept my interest throughout.  I really liked Connie and how her story was told.  Liked Kiki’s writing style as well.” I liked it – I liked it a lot – the premise was fresh and new and the humor in the romance most welcome.

blindtrustAnd Jody Klaire’s Blind Trust: “Heroine Aeron Lorelei is the kind of “aw, shucks” down home woman it can grow tiring to read about in less skilled hands, but in Klaire’s care, she’s a paragon of many virtues, none of them cloying or unbelievable. I fell in love with her over the course of the novel, and when I finished, I wished I had my own Aeron.”

Let’s hope they all make it through to the final short lists. Good luck folks!

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On to bits and blogs and something’s been bugging Jen Silver:

Maybe it’s my age, but I find myself being critical of stories where the characters can seemingly go for days without going to the loo. I mean, really. How many of us, get up, get dressed, and rush out of the house without stopping to pee? Let alone any other morning rituals – shower, teeth brushing, coffee, food.

For the rest of Jen’s thoughts on bathroom breaks have peek over here.

There’s a new episode of the Lesbian Book Club with Clare Lydon available. This month she interviews best-selling Kiki Archer. Kiki has a natter about writing what you know, overgrown bushes, where that pen-name came from, her ultra-successful Too Late… I Love You, and tips for authors wanting that best-seller. And a hint or two about her work in progress Lost in the Starlight. Sounds intriguing.

At the end of the show Clare also reads an extract from her new novel All I Want For Christmas. Pop over here to listen.

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New and upcoming books and a brand new author.

TheRetreatJane Retzig has a new book out and it’s already available on Amazon: The Retreat: A Kind of Lesbian Romance.

Jo and Ed are unlikely best friends. He is the only son of wealthy parents. She was born on ‘the wrong side of the tracks’. He loves sport, messing around with cars, and drinking. She’s ambitious and hardworking. They are, in fact, a perfect team. They’ve stood by each other for almost thirty years. They’ve built a successful business together.

There’s just one problem. Jo is having an affair with Ed’s wife. And now someone knows their secret. It’s Christmas Eve 2014. And nothing is ever going to be the same again…

ReluctancePat Adams-Wright has her second novel, Reluctance, out late November:

Two women, whose hearts and worlds have been torn apart by the loss of their partners, in drastically different ways, are thrown together by chance. Fate has brought them to live side by side, but can love dispel the reluctance that lives in both their hearts and give their burgeoning romance chance to take flight.

ShapeofthepathAnd now to new author EH Smith: a fiction and fanfiction writer who lives in Kent with her wife and two cats, studying for a BSc in Natural Science and working towards a second novel.

Her Shape of the Path is already available on Amazon. Here is the blurb:

The Shape of the Path follows Kathryn Cayliss on her coming-of-age journey through negotiating her first love, homophobic parents, and the temptations of recreational drugs as a means to escape her suffering. Through a difficult and unpredictable journey, will there be redemption as her path wends in unexpected directions.

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polaribirminghamAnd finally a reminder about some events:

You can catch Suzanne Egerton at the Local Author Showcase, Motherwell Library, where writers talk about the writing process and read from their work. They’ll be a Q&A session too. Saturday 28th November, 2pm. Call 01698 332626 to book a place.

Polari-on-Sea is coming to an end, but you still have a chance to catch one more night of the Hasting’s outing of the literary salon. Diana Souhami and VG Lee are among the writers featured on the final night, on Monday 23rd November. More details here.

There’s also still a chance to get tickets for the Birmingham leg of the Polari tour on November the 14th. This sold out last year and was an excellent evening. The line-up is fabulous with VG Lee, Kiki Archer, Karen McLeod and Karen Campbell. Don’t miss out! Grab a ticket here.

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And that’s it. Wrap up warm. Mind where you stick those sparklers. And have a happy bonfire night!