Tag Archives: Rachel Dax

Rachel Dax and the Legend of Pope Joan

28 Jun

Rachel Dax B&WThe Legend Of Pope Joan by Rachel Dax is a three-part, gender-bending, pansexual, theological extravaganza. Part 1. Frankia was released on Amazon earlier this year to rave reviews, and Part 2. Athens is out this weekend. To celebrate the release of Part 2, Rachel is offering Part 1 FREE from noon Friday 28th June – Tuesday 2nd July. (Grab a copy here or here) UKLesFic asked Rachel about this fascinating character and her new book. 

Pope Joan is a real historical character or at least a legendary character. Can you tell us a little about her and how you came across her?

There are very few ‘facts’ available about the real Pope Joan and all of these ‘facts’ are disputed. The evidence currently available asserts that Joan grew up in 9th Century Eastern Frankia (now Germany) but ran away some time during her early adolescence to Athens disguised as a seminarian, accompanied by a man. It is said that she stood out as an exceptionally intelligent and compassionate theologian and at some point, word of her skill reached Pope Leo IV and she was invited to Rome where she eventually served him as a Deacon, acting as his personal assistant. On Pope Leo IV’s death in 853, Joan was elected Pope and occupied the Papal Throne for two and a half years. I will not reveal what is said to have happened after this point, as it will ruin the ending for those who do not already know it! Continue reading

News Roundup: In Which A Whole Host of Authors Are Doing Exciting Things!

24 Jun

If there’s anything sticky smeared on this update, worry not, it’s only marmalade. I dragged myself out of my pit good and early just to bring you the news. How’s that for commitment? And yes, it’s just taken me three attempts to spell commitment correctly, I fear this may not end well…

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divaFirst up this week, exciting times for two of our most popular authors, Kiki Archer and Clare Ashton, who have a swanky feature in this month’s Diva magazine. In the article, Kiki and Clare chat about the joys and pitfalls of Indie publishing, and give some pointers to authors who may be thinking of heading in that direction. The July issue of Diva is widely available right now.

Kiki’s novels have also been highlighted as great beach reads in the July-August Curve magazine. That issue should also be on the news stands as I type.

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rainWe’ve welcomed another new author to the site in the last couple of days. Rain McAlistair started writing in 2010 and has since published three Indie novels – DoveBridge, and Moonchaser. A fourth novel is currently in progress but, in her own words, “it’s early days yet.”  Born in Warwickshire, Rain has since settled in the West of Ireland. We’re looking forward to hearing more from Rain in the not too distant future. In the meantime, you can find out all about her on her website.

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Cherry PottsAfter an open call to UK authors on this site a few weeks ago, Cherry Potts has recorded a Bar Rag with the ladies from The Cocktail Hour podcast. Cherry chatted with hosts Andy and Cheri, and then read from her short story collection, Mosaic of Air. You can listen to the Bar Rag by hitting the above link, and anyone who leaves a comment on the page will be entered into a draw to win a copy of Cherry’s current release, Lover’s Lies.

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Some new and upcoming releases now…

Crin Claxton‘s début novel Scarlet Thirst has had a revamp (ha, no pun intended!) and has been reissuedBSB_Scarlet_Thirst by BSB as an e-book. You can buy it on Kindle or directly from the BSB website. You want a little teaser? Oh g’wan then:

One rainy February night, cool butch vampire Rob Perdoni is bowled over by Rani Shah and immediately wants to date her. Rani is tough and gorgeous, just the sort of woman Rob likes. Trouble is, she’s human. Rani, on the other hand, doesn’t believe vampires exist. But before she can say, “Bite me,” she’s taking a roller-coaster ride from femme on the streets to vampire between the sheets.

Meanwhile, Nicola Griffith‘s forthcoming novel Hild is available to pre-order (Kindle and hardcover) and has picked up its first review over at Publisher’s Weekly:

Griffith goes boldly into the territory, lingering over landscape, wallowing in language, indulging the senses, mixing historical fact with feminist fiction in a sweeping panorama of peasants working, women weaving, children at play, and soldiers in battle: the Dark Ages transformed into a fantasy world of skirt and sword.

Hild is due for release on November 12th.

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Rounding out the news this week with two authors who are keeping themselves good and busy.

admin-ajaxA guest blog by author and film maker Rachel Dax will be posted over at Kim Taylor Blakemore’s website tomorrow. In the feature, Rachel will be discussing  the portrayal of women prisoners in film, the reality of both the prisoners’ and the guards’ lives, and how the film Yield to the Night became the inspiration for her novel After the Night.

We are also hoping to bring you a feature from Rachel in the not too distant future (i.e. by the end of the week – fingers and toes crossed!)

Andrea Bramhall announced this week that she will be polishing off her passport (and possibly packing her thermals!) to head to Provincetown, USA for Women’s Week. The annual lesbian festival in this gayest of all American small towns will run from 14-20 October, and features a schedule cram-packed with well, a bit of everything really. You can read all about the event on their main website.

For anyone thinking of heading over for the week, I highly recommend the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop where the portions are so large I almost did myself a mischief trying to finish one. But before I allow myself to become distracted by peach-flavoured reminisces, Andrea has also participated in the Women & Words 1 Question, 10 Answers. Find out which of her characters she would like to take a road trip with, here.

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I’m sure there was something else I needed to…Mmmm…


News Roundup: Rachel Dax’s bedtime story, Diana Souhami’s bio of Radclyffe Hall, and Jane Fletcher in conversation

14 May

Rachel Dax has recorded a short story exclusively for the Liz McMullen show. Over on the site, you can listen to Rachel read How I admin-ajaxMet My True Love, or download the story as a PDF.

Rachel has written the most unusual story, exclusively for the show. This is the first bedtime story that would be perfectly all right to share with a general audience. Oh and there is a sweetener: she has an awesome British accent!



6Diana Souhami has new paperback and Kindle editions of her biographies out this month with revised introductions, including LGBT titles Gluck, Natalie and Romaine, and the classic The Trials of Radclyffe Hall.  Diana Souhami is a winner of the Lambda Literary Award and the Whitbread Prize, and has been shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize for Biography. Read more about the biographies here.


On Friday, we will be the very happy hosts of  an ongoing Blog Conversation that is taking part betweenfletcher Bold Strokes authors Jane Fletcher and Nora Olsen, this week and early into next. Jane (author of the Celaeno series and the Lyremouth Chronicles) and Nora (whose second YA novel Swans and Klons is published this month) will be chatting about their writing processes, their love of their chosen genres, and the thrill of being published.

You can find the first part of their conversation here on the BSB blog. We will be posting the second part on Friday, and the whole thing wraps up over at Women and Words on Tuesday.


News Update: Free reads from Niamh Murphy, Cari Hunter’s new novel released today, BSB in Nottingham, JT Harding update, and After The Night reviewed at C-Spot.

1 Apr

inrhythmNiamh Murphy has organised her freebie short stories,  and her latest story (In Rhythm) is now finished. She says on her blog:

I’ve had to go out and do battle with blizzards far more than I’d like and as a result I have had an unshakable cold for the last few weeks. I’ve been absolutely wiped out and my blog has suffered, as has my Wattpad Story ‘In Rhythm’ – just as I was getting to the good bit! But it is all done now! YAY, the story is finished and it is such a relief!

Desolation Point desktopDesolation Point, the new thriller-romance by Cari Hunter, is available from today at the Bold Strokes Books website. The book will go on wider release on April 15th, but readers wanting to get a jump on this date can purchase the novel in paperback and e-book format directly from BSB.


VicVictoria Oldham, organiser of the Bold Strokes BookFest in Nottingham in June wants to hear your thoughts on the program. She asks:

Readers: What questions would you ask authors? What would you like to see/do at the fest?

Authors: What questions do you have for readers? For other authors?

And – following the lively debate at the States of Independence event, she is also pondering that tricky question: What are you, a lesbian writer or a writer who happens to be lesbian?   Join the discussion on Vic’s blog.

JT Harding has been busy finishing up her sequel to Summer Secrets. With the first draft completed, and some editing and polishing to go, she’s hopeful the book will be ready to publish in the not too distant future. Her most recent blog post discusses her writing process and the character development in her new novel.

AfterTheNightHot off the presses! A review of Rachel Dax‘s novel, After The Night, has just been posted at C-Spot Reviews. Sunny, a new addition to the C-Spot team, says:

The supporting characters are an interesting lot and they each have a unique role that fits into the overall story. There are also a few twists and turns to keep you guessing as the story progresses to its satisfying conclusion. 

You can read the full review here.

News Roundup: Festival of Words, Rachel Dax, LGBT History Month and Nicola Griffith on her Next Big Thing…

22 Feb

bramhallLadyfish author Andrea Bramhall has updated her website with a piece about last weekend’s Nottingham Festival of Words: “I had a really great time chatting to people about books and LGBTQ matters, and attended a very interesting debate about LGBTQ writing and its place in publishing.” Read more on her blog.

Rachel Dax has been blogging about her series The Legend of Pope Joan. She describes what kind of reception Part 1 has had and what it’s like to top the pope charts on Amazon!

AfterTheNightThis weekend Rachel Dax and Clare Ashton are taking part in the Lesfic Indie Author weekend on the Yahoo discussion group the Virtual Living Room. Join up to ask them questions here. To coincide with the indie weekend Rachel Dax has made her first novel, After the Night,  free for this weekend.

Lambda Literary site has an article on LGBT History Month in the UK and how sexuality is portrayed in young adult literature.

Meanwhile, Nicola Griffith has been answering questions on her forthcoming novel, Hild, for The Next Nicola_05-08-30_003rBig Thing blog hop. For those who might have missed the NBT run-around, it asked authors to answer a series of ten questions, focussing on upcoming works that readers may not yet have heard about. Read Nicola’s entry here.

And a reminder: entries for the When Sally Met Sally / Freya Publications short story competition close on 28th February, so get your story submitted now! The judges are looking for 2000-5000 word stories on the theme of love, to be published in an anthology later this year.

Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

Red_roseTo celebrate Valentine’s Day and the recent vote of approval for gay marriages, we thought we’d ask some of our favourite lesbian authors a few romantic questions! 

1) If you were to take the plunge and get married, what would your “first dance” song be and why? (If you’ve taken the plunge already, feel free to answer retrospectively!)

Manda Scott: I had to ask my partner this – I don’t do music – she says we’d have a ceilidh band and we’d let them pick something; sounds fine to me…

Rachel Dax: Not that we want to get married but… First dance song would be Still The One by Shania Twain – 15 and half years later and still together… 😀

24366Cari Hunter: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part 1 by the Flaming Lips. Just because it would be hilarious trying to dance to it. Great song too, though.

VG Lee: She Bangs by Ricky Martin.

KE Payne: Well, t’other half and I prefer to keep our dancing to the privacy of our front room as we’re both shy little creatures so I doubt we’d partake in the traditional first dance. If we did, Dido’s Thank You was always ‘our song’ when we first got together, so I guess we’d go for that.

Rebecca Buck: I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith. I know, cliché. But it makes me cry and says everything about being totally in love…

Lesley Davies: I Want To Be Free by Toyah…Sorry, but I don’t aim on ever getting married (unless I can have a Star Wars wedding and dress as Han Solo when I find my Princess)

Andrea Bramhall: My Girl by the Temptations. Yes it’s cheesy, yes it’s old, but it’s a classic and I love it, and it’s exactly what it should feel like when I’m being twirled around in my wedding dress. *sigh*

Clare Ashton:  Between me and my very civil partner there’s an introvert and someone who hates being the centre of attention. So the first dance is some kind of hell. But I find the thought of dressing up as Abba for Take a Chance on Me oddly appealing. Maybe there’s a secret (and slightly odd) extrovert in there somewhere. Why Abba? Why ever not Abba?

Kiki Archer: It was You’re still the one by Shania Twain. We loved the lyrics! We are planning on upgrading our civil partnership to marriage and we will be doing the whole thing all over again in 2015. With lots more crying. (I am the one blubbing!)

Devon Marshall: I’m highly unlikely ever to “take the plunge” ( Kate Beckinsale is already married, alas) but supposing I did, my first dance song would be Jennifer Lopez’ Ain’t It Funny. I just love the song, and I’d need to be seriously drunk if I were getting hitched, which is also the only way I could be persuaded to try dancing Latin American style…

2) If you were to arrive early at a first date, what book would you be reading in the hopes of impressing your companion?

JeanRhys_WideSargassoSeaVG Lee: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys.

Clare Ashton: Pride and Prejudice, although perhaps a gay version like Kate Christie’s, and The Secret History. I love romance novels and romantic comedy films. She would need to be able to cope with repeat viewings of Pride and Prejudice, When Harry Met Sally, Imagine Me and You, so this would be fair warning. Then I adore mysteries too so she would need a high level of tolerance for those too. austen-illustration1

Rebecca Buck: Antic Hay by Aldous Huxley. Because most people haven’t heard of it so it’d start a conversation. And that would mean I could enthuse about the 1920s for ages. Either that, or Pride and Prejudice. Or a history book so I can look all intelligent and then start talking about history a lot…

Devon Marshall: Stephen King’s It…to impress upon her that horror is, and always will be, my first love!

Andrea Bramhall: The Power Book by Jeanette Winterson. Love it and it’s a great conversation starter. Doesn’t hurt that it has a picture of a very naked woman on the front cover: conversation starter number two.

Kiki Archer: I am currently reading the hardback version of The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling, so it may weigh me down slightly!

traitors-fieldManda Scott: Given a lifelong aversion to being anything other than myself, whatever the circumstances, I’d be reading whatever I was currently reading. Just now, that’s the new (not yet published) novel by Robert Wilton called Traitor’s Field.  It’s a cracking second novel from a brilliant writer. If I truly wanted to impress someone, I guess it would have to be a Hilary Mantel.

KE Payne: Comprehending and Decoding the Cosmos: Discovering Solutions to Over a Dozen Cosmic Mysteries by Utilizing Dark Matter Relationism, Cosmology, and Astrophysics. In Greek. But I’d be careful to make sure the book wasn’t upside down while I read from it.

Lesley Davies: No book, I’d be carrying my DS and playing Mario. If that doesn’t impress her then she’s so not for me!

Rachel Dax: (Hypothetically of course – given that I’m already in a relationship…) I would have with me The Remarkable Journey Of Miss Tranby Quirke by Elizabeth Ridley. It’s lesbian, it’s historical, it’s well written and it’s one of my favourites.

Cari Hunter: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. If my date hated that novel, I don’t think we’d have a future.

3) If your date got to the restaurant first and tried the same crafty tactic, what book would make you run a mile?

Cari Hunter: Legendary Farm Tractors: A Photographic History. I’m sure it’s a fascinating book, but I’d be out of that door faster than she could say “Now, this here is a lovely John Deere.”

Manda Scott: That list is endless (!) but Fifty Shades would have to be right at the top.fifty-shades-of-grey-cac1d39d5bb5c20810b1314bcbf61dee35d8219b-s6-c10

Lesley Davies: Anything period costume-y, I can’t stand historical dramas.

Devon Marshall: Fifty Shades of Grey…I don’t even need to say any more about that, do I?!

KE Payne: Fifty Shades of Grey. Especially if they were wearing a gimp mask and had a riding crop propped up against the table. Time to go home and watch Corrie with a cup of hot chocolate if that ever happened.

VG Lee: Anything by DH Lawrence.

Rachel Dax: Fifty Shades Of Grey… Any book that postulates that it’s ok for a woman to sign a contract giving a man total dominance over her and then justifies itself by saying ‘It’s ok because he marries her in the end…’ is not the kind of book I’d want a potential lover to be reading…

Rebecca Buck: If my date was reading while they waited, I’d be unlikely to run anywhere. What better way to pass the time? However, I’d be wary of anything sci-fi or futuristic… or anything like a glossy magazine… Just not my thing.

imagesKiki Archer: Ummm, Fifty shades! Or possibly the lesbian kama sutra!

Clare Ashton:  The Well of Loneliness. No unhappy endings please.

Andrea Bramhall: I’d have to say something that is obviously fake. Like they’re reading Simone De Beauvoir, The Second Sex, got it open half way and can’t tell you anything about it. Obviously brought to show off and failing. Anything else, well at least it gives us somewhere to start and I’m always interested in learning new things.

So there you go: how to impress (or fail to impress) your literary date. Many thanks to all our authors for taking part 🙂

Niamh Murphy short story, Rachel Dax blogs, and Virginia Woolf’s Lighter Side…

9 Feb


Niamh Murphy has a new short story out: Delicious, available from Torquere Press or here on Amazon.

Charlotte is invited to a boisterous New Year’s party and struggles to get close to the woman she craves, her gorgeous cookery teacher, Nadia. She soon realizes she is pining for someone way out of her league and resolves to leave the party and try to overcome her obsession. But Nadia is not the type to let Charlotte go that easily.

admin-ajaxOver at Women and Words, Rachel Dax, author of The Legend of Pope Joan, is guest blogger this week. Read how she goes about historical research, how she gets her inspiration, and how she brings imagined worlds alive.

Charleston-Bulletin-001Meanwhile, recently discovered, previously unseen manuscripts written byVirginia Woolf for her young nephews reveal an “affectionate, mischievous” side to the author of Orlando and Mrs Dalloway.

The Charleston Bulletin was a family newspaper founded and illustrated by Woolf’s nephew, for which Woolf wrote and dictated a series of supplements. It is “very likely” to be the last unpublished work from Woolf, and the British Library, which acquired the manuscripts in 2003, hope its release will give the public the opportunity to see how “very light-hearted” Woolf could be. More details can be found in this article from The Guardian newspaper.