Tag Archives: Sky Croft

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

31 May

Here is the  late news:


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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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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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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.



News roundup: Polari fun, new author Emma Rose Millar, Goldie finalists, Manda Scott and more!

2 May

It’s a soggy start to May, so put your feet up and read all about the latest UK lesbian fiction news:


Polari lineup: Kiki Archer, La JohnJoseph, Rebecca Chance, Sophie Ward, Philip Hensher, hosted by Paul Burston. Copyright Krystyna FitzGerald-Morris http://krysphotos.co.uk/

This month’s Polari evening in London looked like a fabulous event. The evening was kicked off by Kiki Archer reading from her best-seller One Foot Onto The Ice to a great reception from the audience.

Actress Sophie Ward also read from her short non-fiction book A Marriage Proposal – a considered argument in favour of equal marriage (the Guardian short is available on Amazon here).

You can read an account of the whole evening by Helen Smith and see videos of Kiki reading from One Foot Onto The Ice and When You Know on youtube. More fab photos of the evening are also available here.


StainsA new author to the UKLesFic list now. Emma Rose Millar is an historical fiction writer. Two of her short stories were published in the Sunkissed anthology by Freya and her first novel Strains from an Aeolian Harp set in the 1920s made it to the final rounds of the Chaucer Awards. The novel was reviewed by When Sally Met Sally when it was first published:

Strains from an Aeolian Harp is a compelling tale of domestic violence, infidelity and drug-addiction, but also one of courage and hope; a journey of self-discovery and a story of love between women which transcends brutality and cruelty… Full of engaging characters, complex relationships, seedy locations and spine-chilling twists and turns, this is a brilliantly written novel which is sure to keep you hooked.”

Emma is in the late stages of writing Five Guns Blazing, a story of three female pirates, and has also started her third novel The Frendinnen, a two-parter based on the painting by Gustav Klimt of the same name. You can find more details on her blog.


manda-scottManda Scott has been blogging about creativity, story-telling and all its forms:

“Been thinking a lot recently about creativity, about the process of writing, about creativity, about what it is and why we do it… and how. How is it that we make black marks on a white page/screen and create whole worlds in the minds of others”

She also talks a little about her work in progress that is very different from her  previous books. Here’s the link to the post.


Nicola Griffith‘s Hild has been out six months but is still garnering praise and great reviews. Nicola reports that there are fewer interviews, a good thing having Book 2 to get on with, but there’s still enough related to Book 1 to warrant roundups. Here’s the roundup link to catch up with the latest reviews and news on Hild, including making the shortlist for Bisexual Book Awards.

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JodyKlaireWith the summer release of her début novel The Empath creeping steadily closer, Jody Klaire has been blogging about why she chose to write a series rather than a standalone story:

Series give the reader a chance to witness the characters grow, we aren’t just dropping in on them during a period of their lives and moving on. In a series we get to really know them on every level, we witness them change, grow, regress, break and rebuild. You love the character, you look forward to seeing them again, they become part of you, part of your life and maybe, if the writing is really good, they become a fond friend.

You can read the full piece at this link.

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secretliesTerry Baker reviewed Goldie finalist Secret Lies by Amy Dunne. This is what Terry had to say:

“This is Amy Dunne’s debut book and she is off to a flying start in the world of lesbian fiction. She’s shown she can pen a good book on extremely difficult topics. Abuse, self harm, homophobia and two inexperienced young women embarking on their first lesbian romance together, comprises just a small part of this well written and researched story.”

You can read the full review here.


A quick reminder now about the Andrea Bramhall giveaway of her new novel Nightingale. Pop over to the guest post that she did for us earlier in the week and answer her question before Monday.


GCLS clean logoAnd finally, a great big congratulations to UKLesFic’s Cari Hunter whose excellent thriller Desolation Point has made the Goldie short list! She is joined by another Brit Sky Croft with Mountain Rescue: The Ascent in the Romantic Suspense/Intrigue/Adventure category. Very well done and good luck folks! All of the finalists are listed here and winners are announced at the GCLS conference in July.

News Roundup: Sarah Waters Cover Unveiled, Interviews with KE Payne & Andrea Bramhall, New Novels, Lesbians at Lewisham, and More!

14 Feb

2014 cadbury heart shaped chocolates designs and collectionsWell, it’s February 14th and love is definitely in the air here at UK LesFic as we put on romantic music, eat heart-shaped chocolates, buy ridiculously over-priced flowers, and get all smoochy with our nearest and dearest. But before all that, let’s have some news, shall we?

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PayingGuest_D-2-186x300There seems to be a wealth of information about forthcoming novels this week, with several sneaky peeks at new covers and synopses. A couple of days ago, Sarah Waters unveiled her striking cover for The Paying Guests over on her website, along with an explanation of the thought processes that went into the design:

Publisher Lennie Goodings said: ‘Our Creative Director Duncan Spilling has given Sarah Waters’ covers a distinctive look, inspired by the typography of the eras in which she sets her books. With The Paying Guests taking place in the 1920s, we wanted a cover which reflects the film posters and iconography of the period, and which hints at the tension and surprises contained within the novel. We love it, and we’re sure her many fans will too.’

The Paying Guests will be published on September 4th.

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Publisher Regal Crest has shared the synopsis for Mountain Rescue: On the Edge by Sky Croft:

Dr. Sydney Greenwood and expert climber Kelly Saber are back in this sequel to Mountain Rescue: The Ascent.

Having settled into their relationship, life is sweet for the devoted couple, and a brief trip away allows Saber to meet Sydney’s family. Upon their return, rock slides, torrential rain, and surging rivers cause no end of problems for the Mountain Rescue team, while on the home front, Sydney needs her partner’s support more than ever when faced with a family tragedy. Together, the two women have to navigate between personal trials, and the trials of the mountain. This is…On The Edge.

The novel is tentatively scheduled to be released in the Yellow Rose imprint in December 2014. More news on this one as we get it.

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swordfishAndrea Bramhall has a new interview up at the Ylva website, in which she chats about superpowers, lottery dreams, oh, and that business of writing stuff. She also reveals that she has just signed a contract with Bold Strokes Books for her fifth novel, tentatively titled The Curse of the Chameleon and pencilled in for a release late in 2015:

Childhood friends, Imogen and Amahle, couldn’t come from more different backgrounds. One is privileged and the other is little more than a slave, but they thought nothing could tear their unusual friendship apart. But a changing political landscape and an uncertain future cast Imogen into a lonely world away from everything and everyone she knows, and by the time she returns to Africa everything has changed. Expecting to run the family vineyard after her father’s death, Imogen is ill prepared for the Africa she finds. Betrayal, deceit, and anger are the currency of the day and it is far from the life Imogen wants to lead.

When Amahle’s family is caught up in the middle of a bitter legal battle, she fights for what she believes is right, despite her own lingering feelings toward her childhood friend and a growing attraction she finds harder and harder to fight. But what happens when those you believed in let you down? What happens when friend becomes foe and your world turns upside down? What can be built from the ashes of betrayal? Is love enough?  

You can read the full Ylva interview here.

In the meantime, Andrea will be busy getting novels number three and four – Nightingale (May, 2014) and Swordfish (January 2015, check out the swanky cover!) – ready to rock and roll. Never one for a quiet life, she has also been reading from Captured on Canvas, a short story featuring characters from Clean Slate, for Liz McMullen’s Valentine Special. Apparently the excerpt would make her granny blush, so it’s sure to be a good listen.

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BSB_Because_of_HerSticking with Bold Strokes authors for a moment, as KE Payne has been chatting to fellow YA author Juliann Rich about her new novel Because of Her. The interview hosted on Juliann’s blog sees KE discussing her inspirations, her typical day, and writing for a young adult audience:

I write mainly YA, so I want my message to be loud and clear: it’s okay to be gay. So many teens struggle with their sexuality, but if they can just read one book that lets them know they’re not alone, then that makes me happy. I receive so many emails from readers telling me how much my books have helped them with their own struggles; that’s immensely gratifying and definitely encourages me to keep writing more.

Read more over here.

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Shocking news now, as a sleepy library in Lewisham was recently overrun by LESBIANS! Cherry Potts, VG Lee, VA Fearon, and Kate Foley were all involved in this nefarious coup, and photographs of the suspects can be found here. Apparently, all four women are armed (well, they all have arms at any rate) and reasonably dangerous. Approach with caution and biscuits. Video of the event – presumably so they can send a copy to Crime Watch – is pending.

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vgleeNot satisfied with causing ructions in Lewisham, VG Lee has been blogging over at Gay Star News. How a Married Woman Found Happiness By Coming Out as a Lesbian is a revealing and heartfelt piece that is well worth a few minutes of your time: 

The problems will always remain in the small and personal. Private prejudices within family, friends and work situations. I am now braver, more confident and often very happy to feel myself to be part of LGBTI. Having said that, there are still moments when I am with straight friends, that I feel my life and sexuality are being completely ignored or ludicrous assumptions made. I hear my voice becoming querulous and defensive as I strive to put over how it is to be a lesbian. 

You can read the full feature at the link above.

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Stella Duffy, writer, actorFans of Stella Duffy who have been waiting for news following a recent blog about her breast cancer (“So. I have breast cancer again. This is rubbish, depressing, worrying and also kind of amazing – 14 years since the last one! My body (and the medics) did good”) should head here for a typically enlightening, uplifting, and humorous update:

My job now is to eat spinach until I have the haemoglobin count of Popeye himself. Your iron-rich recipes (that don’t taste too rich and don’t involve liver) very welcome.

And also, yay NHS. Obviously.

I will heartily second that “yay” 🙂

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hild coverA couple of weeks ago, Nicola Griffith lamented a dearth of photos of pets reading Hild. I am pleased to announce that her latest Hild Roundup has rectified this dreadful situation, and also added new reviews and interviews. I harbour a sneaking suspicion that “Bliss” may be attempting to lull those poor fish into a false sense of security…

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Finally, a call to reader Trish Whelan to get in touch with UK LesFic (uklesfic @ gmail.com). Trish, you won a copy of Puppy Love, but you don’t seem to be getting our e-mails. I’d hate for a copy to go to waste, so we’re looking to redraw the prize in a week if we’ve not heard from you.

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I’ll leave you all in peace now, and wish everyone a lovely Valentine’s Day. On a closing note, if you’ve been gaying it up whilst watching the Winter Olympics (and, frankly with all that spandex flying around, who hasn’t?) these two adverts are essential viewing:

Channel Four’s amazing Gay Mountain bear-fest, and this particularly fine example of luge from the Canadian Institute of Inclusion and Diversity. 

PS – sorry for the ear worm.

News Roundup: Our First Birthday! New Indie Sites, RJ Samuel & Jade Winters Interviews, Upcoming Events, and More!

30 Jan

cake!Ooh, time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it? UK LesFic celebrated its first birthday this week – 25th January, fact fans! – and it’s not been a bad year at all. We’ve come a long way since those early posts, made a lot of new friends, expanded our author list considerably, and almost know what we’re doing now!

So, we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who’s supported the site over the past 12 months. I would offer you a slice of cake, but we’ve scoffed it all. Have some news instead…

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First out of the traps this week, Planet of the Books has been catching up on RJ Samuel‘s novels with a review of her 2012 début, Heart Stopper. The link there includes a brief Q&A with RJ.

RJSamuelAuthorPicHeart Stopper is right on the money with the scientific detail – reminiscent of early Michael Crichton – and an intriguing love story between two appealing female characters, and both are stories of the heart. A fantastic first novel that combines drama, attention to detail and a compulsive attraction. 

RJ has also been busy creating Indie LesFic, a new site listing independent authors of lesbian fiction (many of whom will be familiar to regular readers of this blog.) The site is growing day by day, so be sure to pay it a visit here.

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Apparently, sites for indie authors are a bit like buses – you wait ages for one and then two come along at once (hopefully smelling a lot nicer than the top deck of the 192 – cannabis, wet dogs, and well, more cannabis!)

In the words of its web mistresses, Sapphica Books is: “one easy, fabulous place to find independent authors writing lesbian fiction and non-fiction.” VT Davy and Vickie Clifford are two home-grown talents currently signed up to the site, but as it grows I expect we will see many more joining its listing.

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guiltyheartkindlecover-186x300Over at LGBTQA Culture is another combined review and interview, this time featuring Jade Winters and her new novel Guilty Hearts. Katie Kobrossi had this to say about the book:

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an easy read and a love story that’ll leave you with a smile on your face. I felt for these characters (we meet and love many) and join them on their journeys to finding themselves and the meaning of love and commitment.

You can read the full piece here.

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Cherry PottsCherry Potts recently posted an open invite to our UK LesFic Facebook page: Lesbian writers in London or nearby, who can read their work well – short stories or poetry – please contact us. We are looking for performers for our Queer Tales session 19th Feb. Max 2000 words. Hope to hear from you. We can pay reasonable expenses and a couple of free drinks.

The full details, including contact information, for The Story Sessions can be found here.

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ylvaAlso on the look out for talent, is LesFic publisher Ylva who have posted a call for submissions for their 2014 Halloween anthology:

We are looking for lesbian fiction. That hasn’t changed. All submissions must have either Halloween or supernatural beings as the main theme. The stories can be romantic, humorous, enthralling, spooky or erotic. We accept only short stories that haven’t been previously published.

Full details can be found by hitting this link.

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KePayneWe now know a little more about KE Payne‘s sixth novel Once The Clouds Are Gone, as KE has just unveiled its blurb over on her website:

Nine years after leaving the small Scottish town where she’d grown up, the sudden death of her father forces Tag Grainger to return to a life she’s long since put behind her. After inheriting a share of a family business she wants no part in, Tag is overwhelmed by the dark clouds of her past; her brother can’t forgive her, the nephew she adored doesn’t remember her, and everywhere she goes there are whispers about how she abandoned her family. With her old wounds re-opened Tag longs to escape again, until the appearance of the intriguing and spirited Freddie Metcalfe forces her to re-evaluate much more than she thought she needed to. But while Freddie is harbouring a secret of her own, can she help Tag reconnect with her family and move on from her past?

The novel is due for release in October 2014, and KE is currently working with Bold Strokes on the cover design.

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Another novel promised for 2014 is Sky Croft‘s sequel to her 2013 hit Mountain Rescue: The Ascent. According to her blog, she has just sent the manuscript for Mountain Rescue: On The Edge off to Regal Crest, and is hoping to see the book released this year.

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vghome34VG Lee has so many antics planned for February and March that it’s impossible for us to list them all. If you fancy catching Val performing comic readings, stand-up comedy, headlining at Polari, hosting this year’s Rainbow Intersection event, or being part of Polari Up North in early March, head over here to her events page, and pop the dates into your diary. All that and keeping an allotment as well, she puts the rest of us to shame!

Monument to Murder cover image~ ~ ~

If you still have any space left in your diary , February 5th will see Polari First Book Prize winner Mari Hannah in conversation with Ann Cleeves at the Tea and Tipple, 18 Market Place, Corbridge, NE45 5AW.

For tickets, call: 01434 632931

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HILD_jacket_closerNicola Griffith has been chatting with Norelle Done at Seattle Wrote, in a piece that’s part interview, part overview of Nicola’s career to date. The feature is well worth a read, and concludes with sage advice for aspiring writers:

“You have to do the work. It involves being patient … You don’t get to be a good writer until you’ve done the work. It’s not magic, although it can feel like magic.” And she would echo her partner, Kelley Eskridge, who spoke with me about a concept called the ‘Generosity Economy’: “Play nicely … You don’t get anywhere as a lone person … It’s possible, but it’s very hard. Very unlikely. Why not make friends, and do some good in the world!”

Find the full interview here, and Nicola has also posted another handy Hild round-up, this one featuring loads of reviews, but sadly no photos of “pets reading Hild.”

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the january flowerFinally this week, a reminder to get your entries in for our two ongoing book giveaways. Orla Broderick‘s giveaway for The January Flower ends on 31st January, and LT Smith‘s giveaway for Puppy Love runs until noon GMT on February 3rd. Leave a comment in the relevant thread, or email uklesfic at gmail.com to enter.

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Somewhat ironically, I do have a birthday cake to make now – for the missus though, not the site! Whatever your plans for the day, I hope you too find time for cake.

rainbow cake

News Roundup: Kiki Archer Teases, New Books from Sky Croft & Mari Hannah, Interviews, Blogs, and more!

20 Sep

Firstly, a big thank you to Ms Ashton for taking hold of the blog reins whilst I sunned myself, failed to fall into a levada or off a mountain, ate gratuitous amounts of ice cream, and survived a landing on the world’s dodgiest bloody runway. She is now off to scoff cream teas in St Ives for the next week so you’re all stuck with me. Sorry about that.

What started out as quite a quiet news update suddenly blossomed into a lovely lively one as soon as I did my trot around the blogs, so here we go…

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one foot onto the iceKicking off with new book news, and Kiki Archer has just uploaded a trailer/teaser for One Foot Onto The Ice. Kiki’s fourth novel is set for an October 2013 release and the teaser – with its hints about the characters and themes – should be enough to whet your appetite! You can watch the short trailer at Youtube by clicking the above link.

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Sequel fever now, starting with Sky Croft who has signed a contract with Regal Crest for her fourth book, Amazonia: An Impossible Choice, which is a follow-up to Amazonia. The novel has a tentative publication date of August 2014 and, as it’s a little early to list it on our Forthcoming Releases page, 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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Monument to Murder cover imageMari Hannah, whose début novel The Murder Wall is short-listed for the Polari prize, recently announced that the publication date for the fourth book in the Kate Daniels series, Monument to Murder, has been brought forward to November 21st 2013. The book will be available in hardback from that date. I’ve been highly efficient and added it to the New and Forthcoming Releases page, so head over there for the synopsis.

Meanwhile, over at Beige Magazine, Mari has been chatting about her novels, her previous career as a probation officer, and lesbian fiction in general:

Kate’s story went on to spawn a series but I honestly believe that her sexuality shouldn’t define her. Her backstory is important but it’s the investigation that drives the books. She’s normal. We’re all normal! The feedback I’m getting is brilliant and that is good enough for me. I’m hoping my approach will lead other LGBT writers to submit their work.

The full interview can be found here.

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orla broderickWe’re a little late finding this (well, a couple of weeks, which isn’t that bad!) but one of the writers who missed out on the Polari short list, Orla Broderick, has a lovely, candid interview in the West Highland Free Press. Speaking about her first novel The January Flower, Orla had this to say:

“I wanted to develop this voice for all the single mums. It was for everybody. I could see there was a story of Skye that wasn’t being told. It isn’t this romantic notion. There is a whole real life here. Single mothers on benefits are voiceless and completely downtrodden.”

You can read the complete interview here.

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NicolaGriffithOur Stateside readers who are based in the Pacific Northwest (or anyone planning an imminent trip to those parts) may want to check out this listing of Nicola Griffith‘s Hild related appearances. Some of the events are free and quite a few seem to involve “drinks” so fill yer welly boots – hey, if it’s winter in Seattle, you’re going to need wellies! Nicola has also mentioned a possible end-of-October London appearance, more details on that if/when they come up.

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vghome34An event a little closer to home now, and one for folks who might be wondering what to do with themselves on this miserable, soggy Friday night. Look no further, we have the perfect date for you:

VG Lee: Author, comedian and renowned exponent of the elasticated waistband, and Fellow Traveller Theatre present ‘LADY OF THE WILD WEST HILL’

Date: Friday 20th September. Time: 7.30pm. Tickets: £6.00 (plus booking fee). Venue: Birmingham LGBT Centre.

Further details can be found here, and if you’re a little too far from Birmingham to make the trip and fancy curling up with a decent book instead, VG’s novel The Comedienne is now available at the knock-down – dare I say, bargain – price of £4.99.

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tumbledownforblogRounding out this week’s roundup with an update at my own blog, in which I’ve been debating the issue of violence in my own novels, and Hurt/Comfort as a genre, and why I fail so utterly at writing fluffy bunny romances:

The villains in my books do terrible things because they are terrible people, and shying away from the detail would blunt an edge that should be sharp. There’s something inherently dishonest in a punch that doesn’t leave a bruise, or a violent attack that doesn’t leave its victim traumatised. 

The full piece can be read here, and feedback is more than welcome.

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And now back to our regular Friday schedule of hoovering, and trying to find new uses for tomatoes…

Book feature: Mountain Rescue: The Ascent by Sky Croft

5 Jul

imagesSky Croft has been busy. Her debut novel, Amazonia, was published by Regal Crest last autumn, her second novel Mountain Ascent came out this spring, and her third is due out in September. She took some time out to talk to UKLesFic about her writing in general and her second novel in particular.

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

Writing takes up a lot of my time, but whenever I can I visit the local cinema and watch the latest releases – I’m a huge movie buff. I love tennis (I’m currently watching Wimbledon, in fact), but unfortunately a lack of skill and height (I’m only five foot) means I’ll never be much of a player – I have a feeling I’d struggle to get the ball over the net!

I’m also interested in history, and I enjoy looking around historical buildings. When I was young my parents often took me to old characterful properties, usually belonging to The National Trust or English Heritage, and I’ve carried that interest into adulthood. Castles are a particular favourite, along with churches and cathedrals.

When did you start writing and how would you describe/classify your work?

I’ve written stories since I was thirteen– it’s always been a form of escapism for me. Most of my work is action/adventure with a good dose of romance thrown in. That said, I like most genres – I had a lot of fun writing Shadowstalkers (out in September) which falls into the supernatural category.

My leads are always strong women, despite having adversity in their lives. No one goes through life without their fair share of troubles, and I try to make my characters reflect that.

As for the romance, I like the romantic relationship to be a source of strength, and for both women to gain equally from the partnership.

Your new book Mountain Rescue: The Ascent is a romance between a doctor and climber who work on a mountain rescue team in Scotland. Did you need to research the area and the characters or is it based on a setting and careers you know well?

I’ve been holidaying regularly in Scotland since I was a child (my most recent holiday being in June this year to the west coast of Scotland). It’s a beautiful place and the scenery is breathtaking. The village in Mountain Rescue: The Ascent is fictional, though I used many attributes from different places I’d visited in Scotland to give myself, and hopefully readers, an image of the setting.
I researched what a Mountain Rescue team does, from the kinds of incidents they can be involved in, the equipment they use, the types of vehicles that are at their disposal – ground and air support – down to what they wear. As for the climbing aspect, my brother-in-law is a climber, so his knowledge and expertise were of great value. I also went climbing with him, so I could experience it for myself.

What have readers liked about the book?

People seem to like the mix of romance, action, and drama. Many have liked the fast-paced action element of the rescues – people have commented that they couldn’t put the book down.

I’ve had a lot of positive feedback about the characters themselves, especially the leading ladies. One reader commented that she could fall in love with either Saber or Sydney, which, as a writer, I took as a huge compliment.

The book is the first in the Mountain Rescue series. Can you give us a taster of the other books to come?

In Mountain Rescue: The Ascent you got a taste of Saber’s family, the negative reaction to her sexuality. In book two it will be a complete contrast, as we get to meet Sydney’s family, who are fully supportive of Sydney and her relationship with Saber. However with family there is always drama, and Sydney will face a challenge on the home front. The Mountain Rescue team will of course have more accidents to deal with, as they will in every book.

Further on in the series I’d like to revisit the north slope, where Charlie (Saber’s former climbing partner) was badly injured. I’m not short of ideas for subsequent books, I just have to decide which to go with!

Are you working on anything else at the moment?

A few things. I’ve just submitted the Amazonia sequel to my publisher. I intend to start on the Mountain Rescue sequel shortly, then after that I’ll likely do a follow up to Shadowstalkers. I get quite attached to my characters, so I’m looking forward to revisiting them. As long as I still have ideas and people keep reading the books, I’d like to do many more sequels.

Thanks for talking to us, Sky. You can find out more about Sky and her work on her website.

News Roundup: Devon Marshall & Nicola Griffith interviews, BSB UK Blog updates, Freebies, VG Lee & Emma Donoghue

30 May

It’s raining, so I made cake. Let’s settle down with a nice cup of tea, a big piece of raspberry oaty-niceness cake and the news, shall we?

15723746Devon Marshall has been interviewed over at The Modern L, which has also posted a rave review of her novel Voodoo Woman. Check out her answers to vital questions such as “Do you believe in the Loch Ness Monster?” and “Do Scottish dykes wear kilts?”, as well as much less serious matters such as self-publishing and dealing with criticism, here.

(The answers, by the way, are “Yes” and “It’s what they wear UNDERNEATH their kilts that matters.” Hmm…)


After her recent honour from the Lambda Literary Foundation and with the release of Hild drawing ever closer, Nicola Griffith has been busy fielding interviews this past week. An interesting and revealing chat with Seattle newsite Crosscut has just been published, and on her publisher’s website Nicola discusses the origins of Hild with editor Sean McDonald.

NicolaGriffith“In the writing of it, I knew I really wanted Hild to measure up to Mantel’s Cromwell: that sense of an extraordinary mind breasting the waves of competing political agendas. Beneath that I hope the reader will feel the same wild magic of the landscape evoked by Mary Stewart in The Crystal Cave. And if I could give readers the sheer exhilaration in Hild’s company that Patrick O’Brian gave me with Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin I’d know I was finally getting it right…”


astrayProving that even award-winning, seasoned writers like Emma Donoghue get nervous when submitting new works for consideration, she recently posted this little teaser on her blog:

Just sold my new novel. Phew! (It’s nerve-wracking every time… no guarantees that publishers will like the next just because they liked the last.) Out next spring, details to follow.”

We’ll pass on more news as soon as we hear any!

Also, her short story collection Astray is newly out in paperback. She says: “Picador’s just brought out a lovely paperback of ASTRAY in the UK. So many of my books feature either a headless or a back-to-the-viewer woman…

And it would seem that this latest version is no exception to that rule. It is pretty, though.

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The UK authors of Bold Strokes Books are gearing up for their Nottingham Fest with a two week blog extravaganza which will feature posts from each of the attending authors. First up are Lesley Davies answering some prompts from readers, and Jane Fletcher, who has been pondering that age-old question What Is Lesbian Fiction? The blogs will run on a daily basis up to and including Friday 7th June, so keep checking them out!

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imagesYou  know how much we like free stuff over here on UK LesFic. We don’t actually get any of it, but we like it all the same. But there is free stuff up for grabs over on Goodreads, where Sky Croft is running a giveaway for her new novel, Mountain Rescue: The Ascent. There are two copies in the draw and entrants will be accepted until the 26th June. Good luck.

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Lastly, a date for your diary: VG Lee will be performing the Lady of the Wild West Hill! on Friday 20th September, 7.30pm at Birmingham LGBT Health & Well Being Centre, 38-40 Holloway Head, Birmingham, B1 1EQ. For details try phoning: 0121 643 0821 or keep an eye on VG’s own website.

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Editor’s note: Despite an unpromising, purpley appearance, the cake was actually quite tasty. Huzzah!