Tag Archives: States of Independence

News Roundup: New Novels from Just About Everyone, Reviews Galore, Awards, and Upcoming Events

14 Mar

After Tig‘s heartfelt plea in the last news, you’d think all the UK LesFic authors would be off sunning their bums on an island somewhere and giving us both a rest. Ha. Not a bloody chance. Here is another rather lively News Roundup…

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First out of the traps this week are Jade Winters and RJ Samuel, who have both released novels within the last couple of days.

say somethingJade’s latest, Say Something, is now available on Amazon (UK) , Amazon (US), and Smashwords, and we have a blurb to go with the cover we recently previewed.

When love-struck teenagers Jessie and Toni’s clandestine affair is exposed, Jessie’s only option is to move on. Feeling betrayed by Toni, she swears she will never trust another with her heart. Fast forward ten years when, in a strange twist of fate, this vow is put to the test as Jessie and Toni are thrown together by chance. Can Jessie put the put the past behind her to help Toni – who now needs her more than ever. Will she be able to deny the feelings that still run deep for the only woman she has ever loved?

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AplacesomewherRJ Samuel‘s A Place Somewhere is also available on Createspace, Amazon UK, and Amazon US. This is what LesFic reviewer Terry Baker had to say about the novel:

I’ve loved each of RJ Samuel’s books, this one is in my honest opinion, her best to date. Told from the heart and written from the mind and muse. Truly a wonder to behold. A definite and firm favorite to be read time and again. 

You can read the full review at this link.

Not content with writing the book, RJ also wrote a song with the same title, a clip of which can be heard over here on YouTube.

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pauline georgeNever one to rest on her laurels, Terry has also been casting her eye over Pauline George‘s début novel, Jess:

Now and then I come across a début author who shines through. Pauline George is one such author. She has written a wonderful story with believable and loveable characters. All well developed, multidimensional and easy to get to know.

As always, you can catch up with the full review here.

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crin claxtonOoh, just nicking in under the deadline, Crin Claxton‘s novel, The Supernatural Detective is a finalist in the 2014 ForeWord Review Book of the Year Award: Gay and Lesbian category.

Each year, Foreword shines a light on a small group of indie authors and publishers whose ground-breaking work stands out from the crowd. Foreword’s awards are more than just a shiny sticker on the front of a book; they help connect the best indie books to readers eager to discover new stories written by previously unknown authors.

The finalists are selected by librarians and booksellers, and the winners will be announced at the American Library Association annual conference on June 27 in Las Vegas.

Congratulations and good luck, Crin!

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statesofindependence2014If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, Amy Dunne and editor Victoria Oldham will be flying the Bold Strokes flag at the Leicester festival States of Independence, a celebration of the breadth and diversity offered by independent publishers throughout the region. As Vic so succinctly says:

The event is free to attend, and there are panels and book vendors, and a whole crowd of people who loves books as much as you do. If you’re in the vicinity, this is where you should spend your Saturday!

The event takes place Saturday 15th March at De Montfort University, and all the necessary details, including information on the LGBTQ panel (the topic of which is The Road to Integration), can be found at the above link.

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season's meetingsWe’re sticking with Amy Dunne for a moment, as her second novel Season’s Meetings now has a blurb and a lovely new cover (yes, that is Amy’s own pup Kimmy, in a starring role!)

Could the festive road trip from hell actually lead to love?

Catherine Birch is a lonely workaholic who hates Christmas. This year, she is being forced to celebrate with her best friend’s family in the Highlands of Scotland. Having missed her flight, Catherine reluctantly ventures on a road trip with beautiful stranger Holly Daniels. Although polar opposites, the intense attraction between them is unmistakable. Just as Catherine begins to think spending Christmas with Holly might not be so bad, a raging snowstorm leaves them stranded in the middle of nowhere. Huddled together, with little chance of rescue, they forge a pact: if they escape, they’ll make this a Christmas to remember. But will it be remembered for the right reasons?

With a December release date, the novel is perfectly timed to slip into your Christmas stocking. Hey, it’s never too early to plan these things, there are only 285 shopping days left, folks!

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BSB_Because_of_HerKE Payne is also keeping herself very busy on the writing front. Her fifth novel Because of Her (available now from the BSB site, and on wider release from March 18th) has been given a standing ovation at Lesbian Fiction Reviews:

If I could use just one word to describe the book it’d be sweet, and this applies to the main character, the plot and the way K.E. Payne tells the story. I felt completely caught with Tabitha because she’s a down-to-earth, sensible and sensitive character. She’s not perfect, doesn’t look like a model; she’s just a girl with insecurities and fears who is violently taken away from what she’s known her entire life and has to face a big challenge.

once the clouds have goneWhile novel number 6 – Once the Clouds Have Gone – now has a cover and a blurb:

Nine years after leaving the small Scottish town where she’d grown up, Tag Grainger is forced to return following the sudden death of her father—and back to a life she’s long since put behind her. After inheriting a share in 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 reopened, Tag longs to escape again, until the appearance of the intriguing and spirited Freddie Metcalfe forces her to reevaluate much more than she thought she needed to. But while Freddie is harboring a secret of her own, can she help Tag reconnect with her family and move on from her past?

Once the Clouds Have Gone is due for release in October.

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duffy_maureenSome more dates for the calendar now, with Maureen Duffy set to headline at Polari on March 17th. Paul Burston’s celebrated Polari salon provides a platform for new and emerging LGBT literary talent and showcases the very best in queer writing. From the Polari website:

Maureen’s latest novel, In Times Like These, is a fable that puts politics to its ultimate test. Jill Gardiner describes it as ‘a pacy, exciting read, centered around an out-lesbian MP and her artist girlfriend, whose well-established relationship is very much of our times.’ 

For tickets and further details about the event click here.

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frogmusicFinally this week, Emma Donoghue‘s Frog Music tour, will see events taking place in Brighton (25th March), Norwich (26th March), and Cambridge (1st April). More details on each of those dates can be found at the links, while a full worldwide listing of the tour is on the Latest News ticker-tape on Emma’s homepage.

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Right, that’s yer lot. For those with the weekend off, have a fabulous one. For those working it, like me, keep your heads down, it’ll be over before you know it!

News Roundup: New Interview with Clare Ashton, Binding Devotion reviewed, States of Independence, & Get your pitch ready for BSB in Nottingham

25 Mar

clareashtonOur very own Clare Ashton has been interviewed for the blog Hannah’s Nook. This illuminating Q&A sees Clare answering questions about her novels, influences, lesbian literature in a more general sense, and what it means to be a British writer in a niche market largely dominated by American publishers. You can read the full interview here.

Meanwhile, over on the Planet of the Books blog they’ve been reviewing Kiki Archer‘s Binding Devotion:

“This book explores what things that look perfect from the outside, might actually feel like from the inside. Conviction, passion, temptation, desire and great sex scenes to boot. The story is gripping and the characters are easily imaginable within the London LGBT community.”

Read the full review on their website.

states of indie
Safely back from a wild camping trip (in this weather?!), Andrea Bramhall has been blogging about the recent States of Independence literary festival, and giving some hints as to what her upcoming novels will be about. At the festival, Andrea and Bold Strokes editor, Victoria Oldham, participated in a debate on LGBTQ literature and whether there is still a need for it, where the “argument about labelling oneself a lesbian writer or a writer who is also a lesbian was definitely a hot topic.”

Answers to that vexing question on a postcard please, or you could just go and read the full write-up here at Andrea’s site. The sneak peek of Nightingale and Swordfish – her novels in progress – can be found here.

bold books logo
Speaking of Bold Strokes Books and the lovely Ms Oldham: the forthcoming Bold Strokes UK Fest to be held in Nottingham in June (see events page) will now include an opportunity for budding authors to put their best pitch forward to Victoria:

“In other news, for the first time we’ll be hearing pitches at the event. This means you have the chance to sit down with me for ten minutes and tell me about your book – beginning, middle and end. Convince me it’s compelling, and leave me with a single page synopsis and your contact details. If you’re interested in pitching, get in touch and let me know, and I’ll add you to the sign up sheet.”

So, you all have, what? Two and a half months to get your pitches polished, your synopses sparkling, and your bios buffed. That’s loads of time! And I think Vic likes chocolate (and if she doesn’t, then I’ll be waiting outside the Pitching Room and I certainly do!)

News Roundup: Polari Prize, States of Independence, LT Smith, Hild cover unveiled, and open call for Manda Scott questions.

14 Mar

POLARIpinkLARGEAs if authors don’t have enough dates to try to keep up with, the deadline for submissions to the Polari First Book Prize is fast approaching. Pinching a bit of a blurb from their website:

The Polari First Book Prize is named after ‘London’s peerless gay literary salon’ Polari, founded in 2007. The Prize is for a first book which explores the queer experience and is open to any work of poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction by a writer born or resident in the UK, published in English within the past twelve months. Self-published works in both print and digital formats are eligible for submission.

The deadline for submissions is March 31st, 2013. For anyone interested in giving it a shot, the fine print details can be found here.

statesofindependence2013With the weekend also fast approaching, Bold Strokes Books editor, Victoria Oldham has been telling folks all about the upcoming States of Independence festival:

“States of Independence is a one day carnival of the feisty, the wayward, the unclassifiable, and the wilfully strange,” said Will Buckingham, DMU lecturer. And I’ll be there, this Saturday, at the Bold Strokes Books table with Amy Dunne, and Andrea Bramhall, who will be on the LGBTQ panel Do we still need LGBTQ literature? with Gregory Woods and Russell Christie. Come join us for an awesome day of books, readings, awards announcements and general insanity.

The festival takes place this Saturday at De Montford University in Leicester. Find full details over on the festival website.

Fans of LT Smith, whose novels include Hearts and Flowers Border, will be pleased to hear she has been signed by Ylva Press. Her novels were previously published by PD Publishing, which closed late last year. LT’s new novel, See Right Through Me, will be published in autumn this year. More about Ylva and the blurb for the new novel here.

91CYqVEe28L._SL1500_Nicola Griffith‘s forthcoming novel Hild (released November 12th ) is now available for pre-order and, over on her blog, Nicola has proudly unveiled the face of Hild to the world. There is also a very useful listing of independent bookshops (worldwide) who will be stocking the novel. With indie shops disappearing at a rate of knots, this is a great list to keep handy. Hild now has her own page on Nicola’s blog, with all the lowdown on this new release. We honestly have no idea as to Hild’s LesFic credentials, but have to admit the novel sounds intriguing.

manda-scottMore good news to round out this update! Author, dreamer and sometime veterinary surgeon Manda Scott has graciously agreed to be our next Q&A guest. If anyone has questions for Manda, please comment in this thread or email us at: uklesfic@gmail.com by Monday if possible (eek, another deadline!)