Tag Archives: Rachel Dax

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

25 Apr

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

nightingalestars collidethat certain somethingLittleWhispers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can read the full piece here.

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

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

Clare Lydon reported from the Indie Author Fair in London:

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

Read her full article here.

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

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

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Finally a few items in brief.

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

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

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

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

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

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

31 May

Here is the  late news:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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paulburston

Paul Burston by Krystyna FitzGerald-Morris

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

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lfest

 

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

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

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Onto new books and upcoming releases.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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PopeJoan

Free this weekend!

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

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

Of her writing process she says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the full interviews for Amy and Andrea.

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Finally a quick look at reviews.

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

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

You can read the full review here.

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

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

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

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

Huzzah!

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

18 Apr

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

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

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

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

You can read the rest of the review here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the rest of the review here.

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

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

Christmas Q&A

18 Dec

baublesUK LesFic is turning in for the year. But before we put up our feet for a couple of weeks, there’s time for a festive Q&A with several lovely authors. Here’s what we asked them:

Which book do you want for Christmas?

What was your book of the year?

We’ll be back early in 2014, until then we’ll leave you with these great recommendations, and a Merry Christmas and wishes for a happy new year from Tig (Clare) and Cari!

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VG Lee

the_summer_bookThe book I’m hoping to get for Christmas is The Summer Book by the late lesbian author, Tove Jansson who also created the Moomin books. I only found out about her recently and this novel, about a relationship between an aging woman and her grand-daughter has some resonance for me, now that I’m getting older myself!

the murder wallHaving been one of the judges for the 2013 Polari First Book Prize, I was fortunate to read many novels by lesbians over the summer.  Our winner was Mari Hannah’s, The Murder Wall and I think I would choose it again for best lesbian fiction. The author is lesbian, the main character, a detective, is also a lesbian. Yes, we do have a few lesbian crime writers but I feel there is room for many more and I was pleased that genre fiction won.

Merry Christmas!

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Amy Dunne

HighDesertBooks make amazing presents. As always, I’ve made sure we’ve purchased lots of books as gifts for our family and friends. When asked what I would like I’ve listed lots of books. But the book I’m most excited about is Katherine V. Forrest’s new Kate Delafield story, High Desert. I cannot wait to snuggle down and read this.

Choosing just one book of the year is way too difficult because there were some really fantastic reads. My top three are: Shadows of Something Real by Sophia Kell Hagen, How Sweet It Is by Melissa Brayden, and finally Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.

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Cherry Potts

91CYqVEe28L._SL1500_My most wished for book for wintermiddle, which has been pointed out very clearly to a certain person who I believe has taken note, is Nicola Griffith’s HildFirstly because I’ve read everything by Nicola I can lay hands on, but also because I think Hilda of Whitby is a superb role model – a woman in medieval England with real power. She’s one of my heroes. So of course I want to read it!

Most of what I’ve read this year has been submissions, so actual published books haven’t had much of a look in, however I would recommend Mary Ackers’ collection Bones of an Inland Sea. It is a beautifully written clever and thoughtful series of connected stories, and working out the connections is half the fun. One strand involves a female to male transsexual which is handled with great tenderness. One of those books that go into the ‘I wish I’d written that’ category.

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Kiki Archer

I always seem to get a biography for Christmas and this year I’m hoping it’s Miranda Hart’s Is it just me? I love her show and find myself laughing loudly throughout each episode, even if she’s just looking into the camera and saying the words: “I thank you.” She calls the book her Miran-ual and I’m sure it would provide a lot of laughs over the Christmas period. Plus I’m not sure I could cope with Katie Price’s sixteenth biography. The other fifteen are already taking up too much room on my bookcase.

ExceptonToTheRuleMy book of the year was Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. The tag line was: “They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose,” and I was hooked. The book was a deeply emotional, unconventional, romance, with a very sad, yet bitter sweet ending. Chick lit with depth!

My lesfic book of the year was Cindy Rizzo’s Exception to the Rule. I had the privilege of reading an advance copy over the summer holidays and I immediately knew I’d see it at the top of the charts. Fast paced, intelligent, engaging, and very hot. Exactly what I like in a good read.

Happy Christmas everybody.

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Orla Broderick

girlisA Girl Is A Half Formed Thing by Eimear McBride – Finally I find a novel to challenge. With language like no other, with heart rending passion displayed on every page. Here’s a new voice. Here’s a woman’s tale of love and vulnerability. It is not an easy cozy little fireside read. It is not for the faint hearted. It is raw and honest. It is terrible and beautiful all at once. I was shocked by this book from the very first page. I was horrified. A girl loves her brother. He has a brain tumour. His life, his well being is infinitely more important than hers. Her pain is of no consequence to anyone, even herself. To her, pain is life, is love. I would urge anyone to purchase at least four copies directly from the publisher Galley Beggar Press and distribute widely. This book is going to change the way we write – and hopefully what we read.

The book(s) I would like for Christmas: I would like The Guga Stone: Lies, Legends and Lunacies from St Kilda, by Donald S. Murray and Douglas Robertson because I love a beautiful book and I know this one will be truly gorgeous in every way. I would like The Others by Siba Al-Harez because it is a new story and there have been wonderful reviews and I am curious. I would also like a copy of Orlando by Virginia Woolf because (I am ashamed to say) I have never read it.

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Cari Hunter

RoseUnderFireI actually know which books I’m getting for Christmas, because I ordered them and – at the moment, until my darling gives me some cash – paid for the bloody things! I love getting my teeth into a decent crime series, and a friend recommended Chelsea Cain to me this year. She’s a fun writer, who can be a little too outrageous (the culprits in one of her books were tiny killer octopi) but is consistently entertaining. So, I’m getting her new one, Let Me Go, in my stocking, along with Autumn Bones, the latest from Jacqueline Carey,  one of my favourite authors.

My book of the year is Rose Under Fire, Elizabeth Wein’s splendid companion novel to Code Name Verity. While it didn’t quite reach the heights of CNV (how could it?), it was still a book that stayed with me long after I’d finished reading it and was possibly even better the second time around.

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LettersNeverSentRachel Dax

My book highlights of the year are Letters Never Sent by Sandra Moran and Out Late With Friends by Suzanne Egerton which I am currently halfway through and loving. Next to read is Careful Flowers by Kieran York – which I am really excited about.

OutLateWithFriendsI am hoping to find Hild by Nicola Griffith in my Christmas stocking. I am particularly interested to see what Hild is like because St Hilda gets a mention in my trilogy The Legend Of Pope Joan and I am keen to find out whether Nicola Griffith and I are exploring similar ideas in our writing.

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Andrea Bramhall

Okay, the book at the top of my Christmas list this year is Bonkers by Jennifer Saunders. That woman cracks me up so much and just reading the blurb had me in stitches. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into that one as I’m sure it will be one of those laugh out loud books for me.

My book of the year…seriously? You want me to pick ONE? That’s got to be against the Geneva Convention or some thing. Torturous, cruel and unusual punishment…do you know how many fantastic books there are out there? ONE? *Gulp* No need to resort to threats. I can’t babysit, Tig. Kids hate me. *sigh* Fine, I’ll do it. Just take that light out of my eyes, okay?

secretliesI’ll have to say…Secret Lies by Amy Dunne. I usually have to be in the mood for young adult titles but this particular debut novel didn’t fall into the same category. It is rather on the gritty side and it won’t be a book everyone can read as it deals with subjects that are both provocative and heartbreaking. It touches on the subjects of child abuse and self harming, and I think it does so in a way that is realistic, compassionate, and yet doesn’t shy away from the darkness each bring to a very different young adult novel. Dunne has managed to capture the innocence and excitement of young love against the pain and angst of two girls struggling through difficulties that most ‘grown ups’ would flinch at dealing with. This author is definitely one to watch.

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christmas-tree-snow-1

News Roundup: Amy Dunne & Kiki Archer Reviews, Rachel Dax at the VLR, Loot from LT Smith, Get Drunk with Frog Music, and More!

29 Nov

As November winds to a close and Christmas lights start to sparkle around the houses of the more enthusiastic festive types, we have a slightly more sedate news update for you than of late. That’s not to say there’s nowt been going on, of course…

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BSB_Secret_LiesAnyone with an empty slot on their Christmas list might want to consider adding Amy Dunne‘s début novel Secret Lies. A glowing advance review of the book over on C-Spot Reviews had this to say:

Secret Lies by Amy Dunne is a book that I read over two days, but stayed with me for quite a bit longer. Categorized as a Young Adult book, it deals with some rather difficult subject matter and is something that deserves a bit of reflection both during and after reading. This isn’t to say that the book is nothing but doom and gloom – but it also isn’t all unicorns and rainbows. I’m impressed at how well Dunne balances the darker story lines against the burgeoning romance between the two main characters to produce a remarkably good first novel.

With a 1st December release date, Amy’s book is nicely timed for all those Christmas stockings that are lacking a certain something, and the full review is available here.

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rachel-dax-stencil-imageAnother date for your December diary now, as the online discussion group the Virtual Living Room  are hosting a spot-on weekend for historical lesbian fiction commencing 6th December. Guests include UK’s Rachel Dax, author of the Pope Joan Trilogy. If it’s anything like the recent UK author weekend, it’ll be a very lively event and well worth turning up for. You can join the group and access archived posts by hitting the link.

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Kiki ArcherKiki Archer has a new interview over on Ylva author Jae‘s website, in which she chats about turning her hand to writing full time, her success as an indie author, and what shapes her typical day:

I start at 9.00am with a cup of tea and I try and catch up with emails and social media, but I hope to be ‘on task’ by 9.30am. I’ll often find myself working through lunch and stopping when I realize it’s school run time. I sometimes find myself working in the evenings when they’re in bed, but this is an option now and not a necessity, which is lovely.

You can find the full Q&A here.

Kiki’s new novel One Foot Onto The Ice is also reviewed in the December issue of Diva, which calls the novel a “fast paced, sexy romance.” So, that’s another one to ask Father Christmas nicely for…

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NicolaGriffithSticking with authorly interviews for the moment, as Nicola Griffith has been chatting to Victoria Brownworth at Lambda Literary. The piece, Nicola Griffith: Master World Builder is a fascinating in-depth look at Hild, history, and sexuality:

Griffith’s love of Hild is palpable as she describes her and why she has wanted to write about her for literally decades. She’s succinct, “I had to write about Hild because she was so important. She changed the world. Her story demands to be told. She basically midwifed English literature. And there’s no book about this woman. The more I thought about it, the more I thought, well, why?”

The full interview is ready and waiting at the link.

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See Right Through MeFree loot time! LT Smith is giving away a signed copy of her latest novel, See Right Through Me. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is “like” her Facebook page.  Easy peasy. The giveaway is open until December 2nd, and the winner will be announced on December 3rd.

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frogmusicHeading into the new year now, and Emma Donoghue’s forthcoming Frog Music has a release date  (31st March for the UK, 1st April, USA) and a shiny new cover. It also, somewhat bizarrely, has a tie-in cocktail. The recipe for said naughty beverage can be found here, along with a hint about the novel and the character that inspired the drink.

 It’s the United States’ Centennial and brash and dynamic San Francisco is where Blanche Beunon will be run over – literally – by Jenny Bonnet, a frog hunting, oft-arrested (for appearing in the apparel of the opposite sex), bicycle stealing twenty-seven-year-old who will spirit into your consciousness even quicker than she can snatch frogs.

More’s the pity that Jenny is shotgunned on page three.  Leave it to Ms. Donoghue to introduce a woman you’ll fall in love with as soon as she sings a lullaby to Blanche – leaving the rest of the novel to show how they met and why they ended up ambushed at Eight Mile House.

For those who are still sober enough and would like a reminder of the novel’s synopsis, I’ve added it to the New & Upcoming Releases page.

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manda-scottIf you’ve had a particularly frantic week, what better remedy than listening to the dulcet tones of Manda Scott as she talks to Mariella Frostrup in a recent Radio 4 piece discussing The Charioteers by Mary Renault:

The novel has been described by many as a landmark work in gay literature, coming out when it did in 1953 at a time when male homosexuality was still banned in the UK.

I’m not sure how long the feature will be available for, but at the moment it’s still here.

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planet londonLastly but by no means leastly, a quick reminder that this blog, and a few other familiar faces, are up for Ultimate Planet awards, and the voting ends in a couple of days (30th November.) Clicking this little link and adding your vote would be very much appreciated. Ta!

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Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend, and I wish all our American readers a peaceful recovery from their turkey hangovers.

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

29 Jul

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

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

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

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

You can read the full piece here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

News Roundup: We’re all Melting but UK Authors are still doing Cool Stuff!

22 Jul

england-flip-flopsSo, I’m sitting here covered head to toe in ice pops, wearing naught very much at all, with a fan blowing directly into my face, and my fingers are still slipping around on the damn keyboard. Yes, summer finally hit the UK! The roads are melting, people are getting told off for turning up to work in flip flops, and everyone’s looking a bit pink and peely. Naturally, stuff is beginning to break, not least my Internet connection, which for some reason is refusing to allow me to log onto WordPress. Consequently, I’m writing this but my lovely co-mistress is putting it all together, and we’re hoping that nothing else goes pear-shaped before we get it posted. Ha! Fat chance.

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The weekend of 12-14 July saw my hometown of Manchester hosting the UK GLBT Fiction Meet, and I popped along on the Saturday to wave the flag for LesFic, invade one of the panels, eat some amazing flapjack and meet some very nice people indeed. The event has been growing in leaps and bounds for the last four years, and there was a real family atmosphere as old friends were reunited and new ones were welcomed to the fold. The emphasis was still very much on M/M fiction but the panels were relevant and entertaining for authors and readers of any genre, and as an F/F writer with an American publisher I found it fascinating to learn of other British authors’ experiences of writing “in Brit”. By the end of my panel (Leave my “ou” alone How do I retain my Britishness in a world of American publishers) I felt very fortunate indeed to be writing with Bold Strokes, who did “leave my ou alone” and let me use the word pillock.

One of the event’s co-organisers, Josephine Myles, has posted a fun, comprehensive overview of the meet here and here. Stay tuned for details of the 2014 Meet as soon as we get them!

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PopeJoanCover2The aforementioned technical difficulties have buggered the timing of this news post ever so slightly and prevented us from giving you a heads-up about the bookflash for Rachel Dax’s The Legend of Pope Joan, Part 2 – Athens that took place at the Virtual Living Room on Sunday 21st July. For those of you who want to catch up with the posts for this event, hit the link to join the group and they should be there in the archive for you to read.

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Ke Payne has been keeping herself (and us!) busy of late, with a flurry of interviews and blog posts to tie in to the release of her new book The Road to Her. There’s an in-depth and illuminating interview with Ke over at the Hannah’s Nook blog and she’s also been wrestling with her latest edits at Women and Words. As if all that wasn’t enough to be getting on with, she recently announced that Bold Strokes have signed her fifth novel Because of Her, which should be ready for publication in 2014.

Lastly but by no means leastly in the Ke Payne section of this roundup: Ke has stuck the proverbial pin into the entrants of last week’s giveaway and we have our winner, Sue H. Congrats, Sue. We’ll be in touch for your contact details, and shortly afterwards a signed copy of The Road to Her will be winging its way to you 🙂

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rebecca's hatHeading back to the subject of new contracts, Rebecca S. Buck has just announced the signing of her fourth novel. A little while ago she was chatting about a novel set around the time of the Great Fire of London, but so far she’s keeping the details of this current contract under her hat. Which is fair enough; it’s a fabulous hat.

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A little music for the soul now, with Val McDermid discussing her favourite tunes on Desert Island Discs. You can find out what Val picked to be stranded with by listening along at the BBC iPlayer (UK only).

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One of the newest authors to the growing list, Catherine Blackfeather, is offering her debut novella Mitchie for free on Kindle. Head over to Amazon to download yourself a copy today or tomorrow.

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awalkintodarknessRounding out this roundup is Jade Winters, whose new novel A Walk Into Darkness has just been published. And when I say just, I mean today! Here’s a little blurbage to tickle your fancy:

Twenty-five years after a young girl goes missing from her home in South-East England, most have given up hope of ever finding closure. But when a renowned psychic has visions of a murder the police reopen the case, placing the puzzle of the ‘woodlands killer’ in Ashley McCoy’s capable hands.  Firmly set in the harsh reality of a world where the young and beautiful are not safe from dangerous hands, A Walk Into Darkness navigates the ups and downs of Ashley’s life; desperate to solve the cold case without letting the trials and intrigues of life get in the way. When the delectable Tasha comes onto the scene, both women struggle to find a balance between their responsibilities and the undeniable chemistry behind their growing friendship. 

A story of murder, intrigue and the twisting path of life and love.

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And on that note, all my ice pops have melted, so I’m going to go and grab a mop and leave you in peace.