Tag Archives: Niamh Murphy

News Roundup: Brits’ Lambda Award Joy, New Author Evangeline Jennings, Emma Donoghue on the Stonewall Honour List, and More!

12 Mar

It’s been an excellent couple of weeks for news here in UK LesFic land, not necessarily in terms of quantity, but definitely in terms of quality. So let’s bloody-well get on with it, eh?

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that certain somethingFirst and foremost, a massive shout out to our very own Clare Ashton whose delightful RomCom, That Certain Something, has been shortlisted for a Lambda Literary award.

For those not in the know about these things, the Lambda Literary Awards “identify and celebrate the best lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender books of the year and affirm that LGBTQ stories are part of the literature of the world. The Awards ceremony has consistently drawn an audience representing every facet of publishing.”

The much-anticipated shortlist was announced on Wednesday 4th March, with Andrea Bramhall‘s Nightingale joining That Certain Something in the Lesbian Romance category. Sarah WatersThe Paying Guests was also listed in the category of Lesbian General Fiction.

The awards ceremony will take place on June 1st, and a full list of all the finalists can be found here. Congratulations and all the luck in the world to the three Brits (and to everyone else, of course!)

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riding in carsIt’s always lovely to welcome a new author to the site, and Evangeline Jennings has recently joined our listing. Born and raised in Liverpool, Evangeline now spends most of her time in Austin, TX. She is the author of Riding in Cars with Girls, a crime-themed collection of essentially feminist, very noir, and almost entirely queer short stories and novellas. She is also the founding editor of the Pankhearst writers collective. Her full bio can be found on the Authors page, and her next publication will be a short story in this erotica anthology.

You can find out more about Evie over at her blog.

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Nicola Griffith‘s website has a whole new look and very nice it is too, with links to all of her books, loads of information, a blog section, and updates about guest appearances. The site is still a work in progress and Nicola is keen for reader feedback, so pay a visit and see what you think.

Sticking with that theme, Val McDermid‘s site has also had a makeover. There’s certainly a lot of information to be found, but with so much moving, streaming, and jumping out at you, you might want to take some Hyoscine before heading on over there!

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frog musicIt’s a very award-themed update this one, and Emma Donoghue has just announced that Frog Music is one of four Honor Books in Literature for the 2015 Stonewall Book Awards:

The first and most enduring award for GLBT books is the Stonewall Book Awards, sponsored by the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table. Since Isabel Miller’s Patience and Sarah received the first award in 1971, many other books have been honored for exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience.

All of this year’s Stonewall winners can be found here, and Emma’s news nicely coincides with the paperback release of Frog Music, which comes complete with a rather natty new cover design.

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Cold to the TouchSpeaking of new covers and shiny things, I was pleasantly surprised to receive word from Bold Strokes that my fifth novel, Cold to the Touch – the second in the Dark Peak series of crime thrillers, and the sequel to June release No Good Reason – will be published in December, 2015. That was rather earlier than I’d anticipated, but very fitting for a winter-themed book. I suppose I’m a bit like the 192 bus: you wait and wait for one book to come out, and then two turn up in quick succession.

Given that the first book in the series isn’t out yet, I’ve tried to keep the blurb for book two spoiler-free, but it should be enough to give you a general idea…

Winter in the Derbyshire Peaks: months of knee-deep snow, short days, and rocketing crime rates.

Detective Sanne Jensen is living in self-imposed isolation and quietly falling apart, while Dr. Meg Fielding–Sanne’s best friend and occasional lover–is struggling to cope with her violent brother, who is back in town and demanding money that she doesn’t have.

When the murder of a drug addict is dumped onto Sanne’s already unmanageable caseload, she suspects the death may be the start of something more sinister. But how can she investigate a crime when no one cares about the victim? And how can she stop a killer who has no identity, no motive, and no conscience?

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POLARIpinkLARGEA call to all budding UK LesFic authors now, as the Polari prize opens for submissions. If you’ve no idea what I’m yammering on about – where have you been?

Now in its fifth year, The Polari Prize is for a first book which explores the LGBT experience and is open to any work of poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction published in English by a writer born or resident in the UK within the twelve months of the deadline for submissions (this year 1st February, 2015). Self-published works in both print and digital formats are eligible for submission.

Previous winners and nominees have included Mari Hannah, Kerry Hudson, and Beatrice Hitchman. All submissions for this year’s prize need to be in my May 1st, and for more information about the process, head over here. Good luck!

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mask of the highwaywomanNiamh Murphy
‘s recently republished swashbuckling epic, Mask of the Highwaywoman has been reviewed by jj over at Rainbow Book Reviews, who had this to say about its central characters:

Bess is a rather sweet enigma wrapped in a formfitting disguise for the road that somewhat has her blending in with her highwayman colleagues and initially she is masked as they are… Along with Evelyn, I was constantly losing my balance and a sense of perspective largely because the highwaywoman is so difficult to get a handle on and nothing that unfolds could possibly have been anticipated. Disconcerting and exhausting, it was also exciting and extremely challenging. These twists and turns more than elevated the excitement. For me, they put this book in a class by itself! 

You can read the full text of the review here.

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Rounding out the roundup with a couple of dates for your diary…

manda-scottCatherine Hall will be appearing at the Words by the Water Festival in beautiful Keswick on Friday 13th March, at 10.45 a.m). Tickets and more information are available here.

Hopping across into April, and Manda Scott will be discussing the topic Romans to Redcoats (which probably has nothing to do with Butlins!) at the Wrexham Carnival of Words on Saturday April 25th. The event will run from 2.30 p.m., and tickets can be purchased at this link.

As ever, event info can be found separately on our Events page, and I’ve recently updated the New & Upcoming Releases page as well – authors if you have a book out in the next five months or so, let us know about it!

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And that’s about all she wrote for this update. Have a lovely weekend and watch out for the eclipse (20th March!)

 

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News roundup: award shortlists, interviews, new releases and something for the weekend

10 Oct

The eagle-eyed and elephant-brained among you may have noticed and retained that UKLesFic slept through last week’s news. Don’t worry, it was a planned lie-in, as we intend to bring you the news fortnightly in future. UK authors are a much busier bunch than we ever anticipated so we’re going to a slightly cut-down version of the news every two weeks. We’ll still be covering everything from Booker prize winners to the latest debut publications, but we’ll leave out, for example, reviews of novels that have already been covered well.

In that vein, here is the news:

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rainbowawardsfinalistUK authors have been putting in a good appearance in the Rainbow Awards. In the run-up to announcing the finalists, honourable mentions were made about books that received 36 or more out of 40 points from at least one judge, and for the Brits that included: Clean Slate and Nightingale by Andrea Bramhall, Tumbledown by Cari Hunter, Secret Lies by Amy Dunne, That Certain Something by Clare Ashton and the anthology When The Clock Strikes Thirteen which includes a short story by LT Smith.

The list of finalists was published on Sunday and UKLesFic were especially pleased to see that it included the following books.

In the Lesbian Romantic Comedy category: Playing My Love by Angela Peach and That Certain Something by Clare Ashton

Lesbian Sci-Fi / Futuristic & Fantasy: The Empath by Jody Klaire

Lesbian Mystery / Thriller: Tumbledown by Cari Hunter

LGBT Anthology / Collection: When the Clock Strikes Thirteen featuring a short story by L.T. Smith

Lesbian Contemporary Romance: Clean Slate by Andrea Bramhall, Nightingale by Andrea Bramhall and See Right Through Me by L.T. Smith

The winners of the awards will be announced on December 8th, and you can find the full list of finalists and read what the judges had to say about the Honourable Mentions at this link.

As well as the judged entries there is also a cover contest which is open to a public vote.
theempath_lglondon callingthat certain somethingtumbledownforblogBooks from four UK authors have made it through to the final round of voting and are: The Empath by Jody Klaire, London Calling by Clare Lydon, That Certain Something by Clare Ashton and Tumbledown by Cari Hunter.

You can vote for your favourites here – you need to vote for at least three for your vote to count, but you can vote for more if the fancy takes you! Voting closes 18th October.

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planetlondonVoting is now open for the Ultimate Planet Awards. These awards were launched last year and were designed to recognise the lesbian, bisexual and queer women in the community who contribute the thriving social scene. They have two categories for authors this year and these are the excellent shortlists together with reasons for the nominations:

Author of the year:

Catherine Hall – “for her new book The Repercussions which is unputdownable”
Kiki Archer – “Kiki Archer is a young and vibrant author appealing to a young and vibrant reader. There is also much warmth and humour in her novels.”
Sarah Waters – “At the top of her game. Just when you think she can’t get any better she brings out a new book to blow your mind”
Stella Duffy – “Intelligent, warm lady with a charm to match. Her books are something else”
VG Lee – “She delivers all emotions and gives an insight into her own world. She just draws you in and compels you to read. A truly talented writer.”

Debut author of the year:

Clare Lydon – “Clare has come into the charts with a brilliantly exciting novel, one of which you won’t want to leave until the final word and full stop.”
Karen Campbell – “Karen is new on the lesbian author scene and deserves to have her work recognised for the talent that she demonstrates.”
Robin Talley – “Interestingly written & beautifully captivating.”
Sarah Westwood – “The Rubbish Lesbian continues to bring it. Every time.”
VA Fearon – “writing hard hitting fiction with lesbians central to her story. The book is tight, well paced and she captures an underworld with a sharp eye, yet also some humour.”

Go and vote for your favourite authors! Here’s the link.

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Interviews

330x235valmcdermidA couple of nice interviews for you now. Val McDermid was interviewed on The Big Thrill.  It’s a long and interesting interview and covers inspiration for The Skeleton Road, her Scottish background, crime novels and her time at university at Oxford:

“…I went to St. Hilda’s when I had just turned seventeen. I was the first person from a Scottish state school they’d ever accepted. And for me, it was a huge culture shock. Fife is quite a parochial place. For a long time it was quite cut off from the rest of Scotland, until we got the road bridges fifty years ago, and so it was quite inward looking, and to go from somewhere like that to Oxford was quite a shock. For a start, nobody could understand a word I said, because I had a very thick Fife accent, and they still use a lot of dialect words in Fife. They also talk with a fast kind of speak, a fast kind of tempo.

So first, I had to learn to speak English!

You can read the interview in full here or listen to it here.

catherine hallThere is also an excellent interview with Catherine Hall in the Polari Magazine. With the publication of her latest novel The Repercussions, it delves into her fascination of writing about war,  partly inspired by her time making documentaries about developing countries and her work in an international peace building organisation:

In 2003 I took a trip to Rwanda and the Congo with a photographer to talk to people involved in those terrible conflicts … I was profoundly affected by that trip. For months I felt a sense of nausea, and had terrible nightmares. The photographer I was with had been there last just after the genocide and she was still traumatised. I began to wonder what it must be like for a war photographer, who sees more wars, and even more close up, than most soldiers. And that was where the idea for Jo, my war photographer in The Repercussions, came from.

She also talks about her writing process, on being categorised as a lesbian writer and the importance of reflecting queer life in contemporary fiction for both queer and non-queer readers. The full interview is here.


Reviews and blogs

the repercussionsStaying with Catherine Hall for a moment, you can catch a review of The Repercussions over on Shiny New Books:

The Repercussions cleverly intertwines the lives of two women through its narrative structure. What seem on the outside like two disparate stories from different time periods are shown to have a thematic relationship to one another… Despite all the horror that both Elizabeth and Jo witness in the book, there are beautiful moments of great joy and humour. The novel shows that, even though people may be hampered by tremendous grief and trauma, there is a chance for happiness if you are brave enough to grab it.

Still Life by LT Smith was reviewed by Terry Baker:

stilllifeThis is obviously a romance and the story follows the tried, tested and successful girl meets girl, girl loses girl and gets girl again formula. It’s the journey the characters take in this book that sets it so far apart from a lot of similar romance books. Set in the art world, there is a mix of love, angst, and a wonderful laugh out loud humor throughout. The fact that Jess and Diana are flawed women and each have unhappy pasts adds into the intrigue. The push and pull of will they won’t they get together, will they won’t they stay together, will Jess get her act together is what kept me feverishly turning the pages through to the end.

BSB_Secret_LiesAmy Dunne has a guest post on Queer Romance Month. She talks about her background, her personal experiences of the good queer fiction can do and why she writes it now:

Reading books can be an enjoyable pastime, but it can also offer a different perspective, support, guidance, and encouragement to those who desperately need it. Stories and characters can give hope in an otherwise bleak and lonely world. I truly do believe that queer fiction can save lives. It helped me and the many readers that I’ve been fortunate to hear from.

You can read the full piece here.

New and future releases:

notsuchastrangerDalia Craig‘s latest romance, Not Such a Stranger, is out now. Here’s the blurb for her Whitby-set romance:

Two women, a lovely old house, and an ancient family feud, come together in this lesbian romance set in and around the picturesque seaside town of Whitby, North Yorkshire.

When Jaime Fyre inherits Rykesby from her uncle, James, the unexpected bequest proves increasingly problematic. The sudden arrival of Kimberly Marshall, who lays claim to the property, adds to Jaime’s troubles. Why is Kimberly so convinced Jaime is both a liar and a cheat?

The mystery deepens when Jaime finds a photograph of her mother amongst her uncle’s possessions. Why is it there? Did her mother and her uncle have a relationship? Jaime’s search for answers draws a blank. With nobody left to ask, the list of unanswered questions grows, matching the tension between Kimberly and Jaime.

As Jaime’s future happiness, and her relationship with Kimberly, hang in the balance will what Jaime discovers behind a locked door in the library help or hinder her quest for truth and reconciliation?

enthralledNiamh Murphy will be rolling out her new story on Wattpad first – she’ll be posting a new chapter every week until Halloween. The blurb’s below and here’s the link to more details for Wattpad.

Enthralled follows Stella, a huntress with only one mission: to kill. But one night she has decided to take on a Vampire hive completely alone and it seems she has an ulterior motive.

199stepstolovePauline George has revealed the cover and blurb for her next release. 199 Steps to Love should be out Jan 2015:

At 61, Lucy finds herself divorced and decides to go on holiday to Whitby. There she meets the gallery owner, a woman named Jamie, who she is drawn to in ways she can’t yet understand.

Jamie is also drawn to Lucy, despite the advice of her best friend against lusting after a straight woman.

But just as they come together, Lucy leaves without explanation, not only putting a physical distance between them, but an emotional one as well.

Can they overcome the distances and find each other? Or is it more than just the miles that’s keeping them apart?

Finally, don’t miss:

Jade Winter’s book giveaway for Second Thoughts. Closes midnight tonight. Details on her Facebook page.

Kerry Hudson‘s short story on Radio 4 this Sunday at 7.45 pm. Grown on This Beach is taken from the Out There anthology and is “a touching and poetic story about a woman talking through her past relationships with her new found love.”

LT Smith taking part in a Spot-on Romance weekend in the online discussion group the Virtual Living Room. Click here to join.

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Until next fortnight… ta ra!

News Roundup: New Blogs from Clare Ashton & RJ Samuel, Interviews with Stella Duffy & Emma Donoghue, Kiki Archer Gets Her Tatts Out, & Much More!

22 May

After Tig copped lucky with a quiet spell last week, the recent sunshine seems to have made this week’s news fairly blossom. There’s loads of it to catch up on, so slap on some sun cream, and enjoy…

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V.A FearonIf the fine weather has you hankering after a night out in the Big Smoke but you’re stuck for entertainment ideas, VA Fearon and Sarah Westwood (AKA  The Rubbish Lesbian) will be appearing at Polari on May 27th. Tickets are £5 and you can book them here.

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that certain somethingThe Writing Processes Blog Hop continues apace, with Clare Ashton copping a tag from VG Lee and subsequently posting her entry, in which she chats a little about the inspiration behind her current best seller That Certain Something:

It was sparked by a conversation on the VLR discussion group where I was larking about answering questions for one of their spot-on weekends. Someone found my answers entertaining and fun and asked if my novels were the same. I had to respond that actually they were rather angst-ridden and miserable, so it had me wondering why on earth wasn’t I writing something humorous?

And goes on to reveal how she actually begins to put pen to paper:

A lot of that daydreaming at first. Playing with the glimmerings of a plot, characters and themes. I start jotting down bits of dialogue that I keep hearing in my head and ideas for scenes in a new Moleskin notepad for each book…

To read the full blog, hop over here.

RJ Samuel reading on FridayRJ Samuel also got nabbed and provided some insight into the influences behind her novels:

I don’t really write by genre. I write the story I need to tell, and everyone’s story is different. I draw from my diverse background as an Indian, born in Nigeria, living for many years in Ireland, and with all my family in America. From my educational and career background as a doctor, an IT person, a restaurant/bar owner, a writer. Even from my brief experiences in summer jobs as chambermaid, inventory clerk, pizza cutter, physiotherapy assistant, flower-stall ‘manager’.

Click here to read the rest of RJ’s answers.

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Stella Duffy, writer, actorWe’ve found a couple of interviews with Stella Duffy to catch up on. In a lively feature in The Guardian this weekend, Stella hopped through a multitude of topics covering family, work, cancer, and Nigel Farage (to name but a few).

Nigel Farage is probably fun to have a drink with, which is a problem. Some people might think: “Working class, lesbian, left wing – ugh!”, but they’d find I’m fun to have a drink with. Without space for dialogue, there’s no reconciliation.

And while I was hunting down the link for that chat, I came across another piece from the British Council in April that we somehow managed to overlook – never let it be said that we’re infallible! In Brussels to debate the concept of a national literature, Stella had this to say on the topic:

“The idea of there being a British national literature sort of confuses me anyway, making it ripe for a good discussion! The range of people in Britain is amazingly interesting – rather than there being a particular ‘national identity’, there are so many different ‘national identities’. One of the reasons the different regions of the UK are so important is because they didn’t used to speak the same language. There’s an incredible diversity in dialogue which comes through in prose, which is one of the things that makes British writing so exciting.”

You can read the full text of both interviews by hitting the links.

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FrogMusicMeanwhile, Emma Donoghue has been Making Beautiful Music over at Lambda Literary, where she chats about Frog Music, the rise of queer literature, and her quandary over whether to kick off her writing career with Stir Fry or Hood:

I think that what I would say is that I was entirely wrong. I remember my editor talking me down. I rung her up to say, Stir Fry’s really immature and shallow, it won’t work!
She said to me, “Emma, lots of people are going to prefer
Stir Fry,” and she was entirely right. It sold much better. Clearly, it’s not that I was insecure in general—I wasn’t—I just had this feeling that Hood was much stronger stuff. I would still say it is, I would say it’s a far better book. But readers need all sorts of things from their books.

Click the first link up there to read the entire piece.

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HanselGretalIf you’re a better woman than I am (not difficult!) and one of the 186.9 million people who understand what the hell Tumblr is all about, you can join Niamh Murphy over there on her brand new page. There are handy links to each of Niamh’s books and to the reading she recently posted from Mask of the Highway Woman. For those of you who aren’t so down with the kids and remain befuddled, head here, where WikiP will make everything as clear as mud.

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Kiki-ArcherKiki Archer has been getting her tatts out (quite literally) for all those lesbians who might struggle with the tricky concept of letting a potential love interest know that they too are a big old friend of Dorothy. In five handy steps, you can learn how to drop hints, let the cat out of the bag, and if all else fails, flash a bit of tatt. For Kiki’s How To guide, click here.

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nightingaleA couple of reviews now to wind up the week, both for Andrea Bramhall‘s Nightingale, and both resoundingly enthusiastic:

The Lesbian Reading Room had this to say:

Nightingale is an amazing and sometimes brutal tale of the fate of women forced into arranged marriages and abducted by their husband’s family to places where western law and western agencies cannot reach them. At the same time it is a wonderful romance that tells the tale of two women who’s souls connect from the very first day and are destined to love each other despite their separation.

While over at Rainbow Book Reviews:

This multi-tiered story with a hot and sexy love story, an extremely exciting intense military-like task force operation marvelously intertwined with a host of outstanding supporting characters makes this book a wonderfully balanced and supremely entertaining read. I easily give this my highest recommendation. Truly, not to be missed!

As a Lambda finalist, Andrea also took part in an ongoing Q&A blog spot at the Lesbian Reading Room, where she chats about finding the inspiration for her novels, what the nomination means to her, and what’s up next.

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Righto, that’s me done for the week. Apologies to my neighbours, but I’m getting my shorts on!

News roundup: VG Lee on writing, interviews with Kiki Archer, and more with Niamh Murphy, Clare Ashton, Lesley Davis and Val McDermid

16 May

Is it me, or is it quiet this week? If it is just me, then let me know what I missed. Here’s what I didn’t, and very nice it is too:

VGLeeFabulous VG Lee has been taking part in the Writing Process Blog Tour. VG’s short and entertaining piece talks about how her writing process works (“By pauses, leaps and bounds.”) and her current novel Mr Oliver that she originally started over 20 years ago:

“I have always returned to Mr Oliver – his life and loves. The story is set in the 1970’s and moves between London and Yorkshire. It is about obsessive love and how it can ruin a life or many lives. As in all my work, tragedy is closely linked to comedy, which I feel is an ideal combination.”

You can read the rest of the piece here on a Facebook note (requires you to be logged into Facebook).

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PLayinginshadowLesley Davis revealed the cover for her next book Playing in Shadow. Here’s what a very pleased Lesley had to say about it:

“I would like to announce my next book from Bold Strokes Books, “Playing In Shadow’, now has this gorgeous cover to grace it! This is a spin off to ‘Playing Passion’s Game’ so fans of Trent….she’s back! She’s brought friends along so I hope you’ll enjoy meeting Bryce and Scarlet. Gamers, gays, and Goths unite!”

Playing in Shadow is due for release in 2015.

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KikiDivaKiki Archer was interviewed in Diva magazine and G3 this week. In the G3 interview she talks about the possibility of another book to follow her new and already best-selling When You Know. She also lets us in on the inspiration for the bathroom scene in the first book One Foot Onto the Ice and her plans for moving into film.

As a highly successful indie author, Kiki talked to Diva magazine about how publishing is changing and the impact of social media on book sales. She talks about her popular video logs and other ways the UK indie authors reach readers through non-traditional ways. Have a gander over here for some tips.

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Niamh Murphy has been busy on her current work in progress The Lady Edris and the Kingdom in a Cave – chapter 5 is now available for review on Wattpad. She has also uploaded her first reading, this time of her debut novel Mask of the Highwaywoman. You can see it here.

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valmcdermidIf you’re in Edinburgh next week, you can catch Val McDermid answering questions and reading from her Lambda finalist Cross and Burn. She will be appearing at the Central Library on Thursday 22nd May and you can book tickets here!

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that certain somethingFinally, that Clare Ashton got her book out at last. That Certain Something is out on Amazon and Smashwords. (It’s terribly good you know, have a peek at the sample, it’s got lesbians in it and everything.)

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Until next time, ta ra!

 

News Roundup: New Novels from Clare Ashton & Catherine Hall, Kiki Archer in Curve, Andrea Bramhall on “Why?”, Reviews & More…

8 May

As we break out the bunting, sequins, fireworks, and ripaway skirts for Eurovision this weekend, let’s take a moment out of the preparations to see what the UK LesFic writers have been up to…

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No matter how many “null points” the Brit entry scores on Saturday, our very own Clare Ashton will still have quite a bit to celebrate with her third novel That Certain Something set for release later this month. Taking a step away from the dark and twisty After Mrs Hamilton, Clare has gone for light-hearted rom-com with That Certain Something, and we have the blurb and rather lovely cover right here:

that certain somethingLove or money? Follow the head or heart? Pia and Cate seem to be flip sides of a coin. But when they meet, they definitely have that certain something, and these questions aren’t so simple after a night like theirs.

Pia Benitez-Smith has a head full of ideals and romance, much to her mother’s distress. She’s a young photojournalist out to prove herself and although not accident prone, trouble certainly finds her. On one such troublesome day, she literally falls into the arms of the beautiful Cate. Elegant, intriguing and well-spoken, Cate appears the polar opposite of Pia. When the two banter about the importance of love versus money, Cate claims that her perfect night will always be expensive. Working-class Pia can’t resist this challenge and with the aid of a beguiling summer night in London, she begins to enchant her new friend.

An irresistible couple, a charismatic city, a priceless supporting cast – That Certain Something is a sparkling romance from Goldie award winner Clare Ashton.

Clare has given the novel a release date of “Oh God, some time in May” (or words to that effect) so keep your eye on the news and the New & Upcoming Releases page for further information.

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BSB-AndreaBramhallLgFor those of you who entered our recent contest to win a copy of Andrea Bramhall‘s latest release Nightingale, the winner – who correctly answered that Hazaar means Nightingale in Arabic – was CJ Wightman. Congrats CJ and a big thank you to everyone who participated.

Andrea has also been blogging at Women and Words, answering a question that she has apparently faced quite a few times in the past months: Why?

That seems to be the general question when I talk to anyone about Nightingale. Why write a story like this? Why write about a Muslim girl falling in love with a white girl? Why do I think I’m qualified to write this story when I’m not Muslim and haven’t been in a relationship with a Muslim girl? Why write a story that has so much darkness to it? Why write this story?

If you want to know her answers, head to this link.

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Glum about missing out on a free book? Well sulk no more because Niamh Murphy has posted a further two chapters of her short story The Lady Edris and the Kingdom in a Cave over at Wattpad. The story, which is closing in on its finale, is completely free to read, and you can catch up with all of the chapters by clicking here.

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Kiki-264Hopping across the pond for a moment now, as Curve Magazine has been chatting to Kiki Archer about her fifth bestselling novel, and her plans for the future (clue: she’s about to embark on a screenwriting course). On the secret to her success, she has this to say:

I think I’m easy to relate to for a lot of lesbians. I’m a working mum with a wife and two young children. I don’t pretend to have the most important job in the work. My writing is a hobby which I fit around what actually IS the most important job in the world – being a mum. I’m easily accessible on social media and I think readers like the fact they can contact me freely, even if just to say they’ve enjoyed my latest book.

The full interview is available here.

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the repercussionsAn early heads up about a new novel from Catherine Hall  – author of Days of Grace and The Proof of Love, which won the prestigious Green Carnation prize in 2011. Her third novel, The Repercussionswill be released by Portobello books on September 25th, and its blurb goes like this:

When war photographer Jo returns from her latest assignment in Afghanistan and moves into the Brighton flat she’s just inherited, she hopes to restore equilibrium to her chaotic life. But images and events of her recent past and the reading of her great-grandmother Elizabeth’s diary haunt her night and day, forcing Jo to come to terms with demons she thought she could leave behind.

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clare lydonClosing out this week with a review round-up!

First up, the Lesbian Reading Room has been taking a peek at Clare Lydon‘s London Calling:

But for me what makes this stand out head and shoulders is the comedy. It is quintessentially British, a tale of minor disasters which constantly derail Jess’s hopes without being too heavy. Our heroine has to work to get out from one thing after another. The farce is clever and witty – hugely entertaining and a joyous read.

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cover_hearts-and-flowers-borderMeanwhile, Terry Baker has been very busy with the Brits. She had this to say about the recent reissue of L.T. Smith‘s Hearts and Flowers Border:

I read this book years ago and really enjoyed it. I was so pleased to see that it has been re-published and is now available in ebook. LT Smith is an accomplished writer. Her books are a delight to read and her wit and humor is wonderful.
This is an easy and comfortable read. The story is told from Laura’s point of view and follows through from her teens and her first love through to adulthood. There is a melting pot full of emotions running rife throughout, with a lot of intense drama and angst both from the teenage Laura and Emma through to the adult Laura and Emma. But, there is a lot of laughter too.

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Terry has also reviewed Grace Falls by H.P. Munro:

grace fallsThis is the first book I’ve read by H.P. Munro. I have to say, it won’t be the last as I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story is a true delight to read. The two main characters, Maddie and Alex are so obviously made for each other. Both are multi-faceted with a fantastic back up cast of secondary characters all interacting wonderfully well together to progress the story forward.

And Jade Winters’ Say Something:

Each of her books are so very different. This book is about bullying and the consequences of a person being bullied. Not only bullying in schools amongst children and teens, but bullying within the work place. It happens far too often. Jade has portrayed these cases with knowledge, care and understanding. She has obviously researched the subject very well. Jade has picked a tough subject to write about, she’s done it extremely well and fearlessly.

You can find the full text of all those reviews by hitting each link.

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Right that’s me done. Don’t suppose anyone knows where I can buy a feather boa, a glow-in-the-dark tiara, and a rara skirt?

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News Roundup: New Author H.P. Munro, Emma Donoghue on Goodreads, New Short Story from Niamh Murphy, Reviews, Blogs & More!

24 Apr

As we stagger out of our egg shaped, chocolate-binge haze and begin to count down the days until our next Bank Holiday (holy crap, May 5th? That’s only another 10 days!) let’s find out what our UK authors been up to over the long, lazy Easter weekend. Hmm, quite a lot actually…

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silver-wings-h-p-munro-paperback-cover-artA warm welcome this week to an author new to our site. H.P. Munro started writing in 2010 and lives in Edinburgh with her wife. Her début novel Silver Wings has just been been shortlisted for the 2014 Goldies in the category of Historical Fiction, and her second novel Grace Falls was published in February. She is currently working on her third novel Stars Collide. You can find more about H.P. on her website, or on her Facebook page, and she also tweets: @munrohp

Back in January, this is what F/F review blog Loving Venus-Loving Mars had to say about Silver Wings:

Ultimately though, it’s about two women who fall in love and try to navigate how to be together during this time period and being separated due to their service and social mores of the time. I liked that the author did both a prologue and an epilogue from current time. It gave a strong feeling of a life- long interesting history of a woman, her love, and other women who had guts and lived what they wanted to.

You can read the full text of that review here.

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emma-donoghue-illo_2373764bTuesday of this week saw Emma Donoghue answering questions over on Goodreads. The chat covered loads of ground, taking in pretty much all of Emma’s novels, from her early works to her current release Frog Music. Emma had this to say to a reader wondering when another LesFic novel might be on the agenda,

If by ‘another book like Landing or Stir-fry‘ you mean contemporary and lesbian themed, I don’t know: the next time a really good idea along those lines seizes me! 

So, basically, never say never! The Q&A is well worth a read and can be found here in its entirety.

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Niamh Murphy may have been quiet on the blogging front for a little while, but she’s still busy writing. She has recently posted the first two chapters of a new story – The Lady Edris and the Kingdom in a Cave –  onto Wattpad. That link will take you to the table of contents. Niamh has been chatting to readers in the comments section after each chapter, so be sure to leave her some feedback 🙂

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JadeWintersphotoKeeping it real in Faking It, is a new blog entry from Jade Winters in which she focuses on the creation of characters. Jade gives away some handy hints for any budding writers out there, or for any readers who might be interested in the processes involved in shaping a character:

Getting into the mindset of different characters requires truly stepping back, removing your own head and thinking about things in a different way. As a writer, you might actually loathe one of your characters but you have to resist the urge to ‘correct’ them , instead you must just let their voice be heard, however ugly. That can be hard, as I always want to see the best in people. With regard to writing a character’s dialogue, people may think your dialogue is clichéd in certain aspects, but guess what – real life people are! Not everyone has the wit of Oscar Wilde, so you can’t throw hilarious one liners or incredible vocabulary in unless it fits the character.

The full blog can be found at the above link.

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nightingaleWith a new novel – Nightingale – set for release next month, Andrea Bramhall has been blogging over on the Bold Strokes Authors‘ blog. Her piece, themed around the issue of illiteracy, ties into the novel, but Andrea’s not yet spilling the beans as to exactly how.

My parents were born in England and tracing back my family tree we’re talking at least eight generations born and raised in England. One of the wealthiest, most educated countries in the world. And when I was twelve I found out something that shocked me about my Granddad Adshead – my mum’s dad. I found out he couldn’t read. He couldn’t write. Not even enough to sign his own name. I saw a copy of his marriage certificate – he marked it with a cross.

To read the rest of the blog, and for a chance to win a copy of Nightingale, head to this link. And if you miss out this time around, we’ll be hosting a blog from Andrea and another giveaway early next week.

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LittleWhispersClosing out the week with a lovely pair of quickies from Planet of the Books, who posted a short review for Jade WintersSay Something:

Two strong female leads blend together in romance, friendship and possibly more, in this story that leads a windy, twisty path to a happy conclusion. 

And another brief write up of Karen Campbell‘s short story collection Little Whispers:

This lovely collection of short stories combines heart with a range of interesting characters, and a common thread of fond retrospect.

Both books scored a cracking 4 out of 5 on the Ultimate Planet Book Rating.

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Okay, time to put the kettle on and say ta-ta for now. I might console myself with a nice bourbon biccie – I just realised I’m working the next bank hol…

 

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 🙂