Tag Archives: Stella Duffy

News Roundup: Stella Duffy on 20 Years of Being Published, Ylva Call for Festive Submissions, VG Lee at L Fest, New Books, Giveaways, Blogs and More!

20 Jun

With the national team performing their usual rousing routine of losing horribly and destroying the slender hopes of the three fans who thought they might have a chance of glory, why not take your mind off the footy and settle down with a nice mix of news? There’s a little something for everyone this week…

~ ~ ~

Stella Duffy, writer, actorI’ll start with a blog update from Stella Duffy, who has been reflecting on her 20 years of being a published author and offering her thanks to those who have supported her along the way:

Interaction with readers has been one of the greatest unexpected gifts of my writing work. I didn’t realise this interaction would happen, and back when I was first published it happened very differently – without twitter, without facebook, without amazon, goodreads, blogs …

To read the rest of the piece, and feast your eyes upon a vintage Calendar Girl cover, click here.

~ ~ ~

ylvaNow, I know that Christmas stockings, tinsel, carols, and festive shenanigans seem like a long way away when you’re currently debating which bikini to pack for your summer holiday, but Ylva are already decking the halls in preparation for a Christmas anthology:

We are looking for lesbian fiction. At least one of the main characters must be a lesbian. If the story is erotica, it must be F/F. All submissions should have Christmas or Hanukkah as the main theme. The stories can be romantic, humorous, or erotic.

christmas-tree-snow-1If you fancy trying your hand at writing a short story (4000-8000 words) for the collection, head to this link for all the necessary details. All the proceeds from the anthology will be donated to the Albert Kennedy Trust in the UK and the Ali Forney Center in New York City. Both organisations provide housing for homeless LGBT youth.

~ ~ ~

VGLeeSticking with the authorly theme, if you are heading to the lesbian weekend extravaganza that is L Fest, more details have been posted about the writing workshops with VG Lee:

Workshop 1: A leap of faith: Let’s get emotional! To create believable characters and a credible narrative we have to know how people really feel and react…

Workshop 2: Fast & furious: Perfection in a few hundred words or less. We will work towards writing a piece of flash fiction… 

Hit the above link to read more about each of the sessions. Both workshops are included in the price of the admission, so they really are too good an opportunity to pass up.

~ ~ ~

edinburgh BookFest-LightThere’s a veritable embarrassment of riches for lovers of lesbians and lesfic authors at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this year.

Set in a specially created tented village in Charlotte Square Gardens in the heart of Edinburgh, the Edinburgh International Book Festival offers something for just about every age and every interest, bringing readers and writers together for inspiration, entertainment and discussion.

The festival runs from 9-25th August, and the schedule has just been made public. Feast your eyes on this little lot (with love to the missus for copying them all down out of the paper for me!)

Carol Ann Duffy (Poet Laureate): 9th August, 18.30

Jackie Kay (author of Reality Reality & Trumpet): 12th August, 18.30

Ali Smith (author of Girl Meets Boy): 15th August, 10.30 & 24th August, 20.30

Val McDermid (author of the Lindsay Gordon series & many more!): 20th August, 17.00

Sarah Waters (author of Tipping the Velvet, Fingersmith, and the upcoming The Paying Guests): 25th August, 20.00

Tickets for each event are around £10. For more details and ticket availability/booking, the official site for the festival is here.

~ ~ ~

BSB-QueerJusticeI was just tooting around looking for new release info, when I happened upon the cover for Rebecca Buck‘s forthcoming collection of short stories, A Queer Kind of Justice: Prison Tales Across Time. The collection is slated for a September e-book release from Bold Strokes in the category of Historical Fiction. Given Rebecca’s love of all things historical and her recent experience guiding people around the Galleries of Justice museum in Nottingham (“On any given day you might find me dressed as a Victorian warder, a drunken Georgian prisoner, or conducting a mock trial with a group of children!”), she’s probably the perfect person to get her teeth into the subject. There’s no blurb on the BSB site yet, but as soon as one appears, we’ll let you have it!

~ ~ ~

faking itAnother author with a new release pending is Jade Winters, whose novel Faking It is scheduled for publication on June 29th. Jade has just updated her blog with a new post about Diabolical Dialogue:

Conversation is an exchange of information – it’s not dialogue… My book was full of conversation. The way I had written my characters’ dialogue was so out of sync with how people spoke in real life. Why did I fall into this trap? Because I wanted to get the message across in a clear and precise manner (whilst boring the pants off the reader). I was scared to have my characters swear, say something rude, you know, all those things that comes naturally to some people.

Hit the link to read the full piece. Faking It is – as yet – blurb-less, but for now you can feast your eyes on its shiny new cover.

~ ~ ~

HILD_jacket_closerFree Stuff! Ha! Thought that’d get your attention. There are 5 copies of Nicola Griffith‘s Hild currently up for grabs over at goodreads. The giveaway ends July 8th and is open to residents of Great Britain only. All you need to do is hop over to the link and add your name to the hat. Good luck.

~ ~ ~

JodyKlaireJody Klaire has a new blog post over at Women and Words, where she chats about her début novel The Empath and the challenge of finding a unique voice for her characters:

Well, my writing is a little different, as are my characters. When you meet Aeron Lorelei, my protagonist in The Empath, you will see from the very first page that she is unique. Her voice, her speech, her thoughts and feelings are hers alone. I never intended to create characters who were so very… well… different but I hope one thing that resonates is that when you pick up one of my books, it’s unmistakably mine.

Apologies for not quite hitting the giveaway deadline with this one, but it fell between two news posts!

~ ~ ~

Right, three night shifts and a bunch of rowdy, drunken, and inconsolable footy fans await. I sincerely hope that your weekend turns out to be better than mine…

 

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

22 May

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

~ ~ ~

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

~ ~ ~

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

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

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

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

To read the full blog, hop over here.

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

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

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

~ ~ ~

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

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

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

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

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

~ ~ ~

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

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

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

~ ~ ~

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

~ ~ ~

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

~ ~ ~

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

The Lesbian Reading Room had this to say:

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

While over at Rainbow Book Reviews:

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

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

~ ~ ~

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

News roundup: new authors, some teasers from Cari Hunter and Kiki Archer and interviews with Nicola Griffith and Angie Peach

24 Jan

The weather seemed to settle this week, but that wasn’t from any lack of homosexual activity. Here’s the UK lesbian fiction news:

JessThere are two new authors to welcome this week, Pauline George and Anna Samuels who both hail from the south. Pauline has been writing for years but her first novel is just about to be published by Regal Crest. From the blurb, Jess is the tale of a modern day lesbian Lothario. Her sister Josie challenges her to get to know a woman before she jumps into bed with her and Jess is intrigued. How hard can that be?

sanctuaryAnna Samuels lives and works in the New Forest and her love of the south coast is inspiration for her writing. She has a number of short stories available on Amazon including A Sanctuary by the Sea. From the blurb, Annie Christopher arrives in Merryford in search of a fresh start. Annie is running from the pain of her past and needs a new home and a new job. She quickly finds work at a sea-front cafe. She is intrigued by the mysterious Alex – a quiet, intense colleague who Annie finds herself drawn to.

You can find out more about both these writers on the author page.

~ ~ ~

tumbledownforblogTwo bits of news from our own Cari Hunter. A teaser post about her new thriller Tumbledown lists the five things you will be mistress/master of by the time you finish reading it. That cake doesn’t half look good, but perhaps, when you’re between the legs of a woman giving birth, don’t mention you picked up your delivery skills from a lesfic crime novel.

Cari is also doing a giveaway for Tumbledown. There are two paperback copies up for grabs of this exciting sequel to Desolation Point. Here’s her blog with more detail.

~ ~ ~

WhenYouKnowAnother author being a tease is Kiki Archer. She revealed the cover of her next book this week. When You know is the follow up to her best-seller One Foot Onto The Ice. No blurb yet. I imagine she’ll be tickling our fancy with that later in the year.

~ ~ ~

Blu at C-Spot Reviews recently posted her thoughts on LT Smith‘s Puppy Love:

“When reading, I seldom laugh out loud or cry. This story had me giggling and covering my mouth in glee, then tearing up in empathy over the very believable descriptions of Ellie’s responses to grief. Neither are overblown and the internal processing Ellie does as she works through her attraction to Emily is very well written.”

Look out for a giveaway of Puppy Love on UKLesFic coming soon…

~ ~ ~

There’s another giveaway, this time of Emma Donoghue‘s Frog Music, on Goodreads. Sadly it’s only for US readers. But if you’re over the pond head over to Goodreads before February 1st to be in with a chance of winning a copy.

~ ~ ~

NicolaGriffithNicola Griffith is still busy with Hild. Links to latest reviews of can be found in her latest roundup. Don’t miss the great video interview with Author Magazine. She talks about being a story teller, Hild and the inspiration behind the Aud series. And it’s set in her Seattle home so you get a little peek in there too.

~ ~ ~

playing my loveAngela Peach’s latest novel Playing My Love has been selling swiftly just about everywhere and quickly hit number 1 on the Amazon US and UK lesfic charts. She was interviewed on Smile Somebody Loves You where she talks about that novel and a whole heap of other things . They certainly didn’t hold back on the questions. What was your worst date ever? What is the kinkiest thing you’ve ever done? What is your “guilty pleasure”?

~ ~ ~

OrlaBroderickOrla Broderick was featured in The Sunday Times at the weekend as one of the winners of the Scottish Book Trust New Writers Awards. If you are a subscriber you can read the whole article here which features extracts of the winners’ work.

Two paperback copies of her novel The January Flower are also up for grabs in our current giveaway (ends on the 31st). See her guest post for details.

~ ~ ~

Some events for your diary. Leading author and poet Maureen Duffy will be heading the bill at the London Polari event on March 17th.  Book tickets ahead by visiting the Southbank Centre website. You can also find out about upcoming Polari events here.

Kerrry Hudson will also be appearing at a Spread the Word event in London on 19th February. Kerry is the author of the fabulously titled Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma which was short-listed for the Polari Prize and won the Scottish First Book Prize. Kerry will be reading for her work and answering questions. More details here.

~ ~ ~

Finally, an affecting and personal blog from Stella Duffy.

So. I have breast cancer again.
This is rubbish, depressing, worrying and also kind of amazing

If you haven’t already read it, the inspiring piece is typically positive, forthright and gutsy. Best wishes and positive thoughts Stella for the times ahead. A lot of readers are thinking of you.

News roundup: new Jade Winters novel, events, tons of book reviews, and the odd year in review too

6 Jan

Well, UK LesFic has had a nice Christmas with its feet up, but it’s time to blow its nose and clear its throat to begin the new year with
“this is the news” (because there’s no shortage of it):

guiltyheartkindlecover-186x300Jade Winters is quick off the blocks with a brand new book release. Here’s the blurb for Guilty Hearts:

When a doting husband becomes suspicious of his gorgeous wife’s true sexuality, he decides to set a honey trap to reveal the truth, however painful. Little does he realise that the honey trap is to leave a bitter-sweet taste for everyone…

Central London. The honey trap is set. The bait: the young, uninhibited Rachel is in every way the perfect temptress. Intelligent and attractive, she is no stranger to sexual encounters and relishes the thought of her latest challenge: the unsuspecting wife Kathryn. When the two women meet, the attraction is instant and electric. However, Rachel soon realises her ‘love-target’ Kathryn is more than just a bi-curious wife, she is in fact a revered and successful Interior Designer, someone who Rachel has long admired.

As genuine feelings between the two women intensify, will their chance of happiness be destroyed by the truth?

Guilty Hearts is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

~ ~ ~

Some advance notice for some very tempting events coming up.

Stella Duffy, writer, actorLesbians at Lewisham Library is on Thursday 6th February. The LGBT History Month event will be hosted by Cherry Potts who will also be reading from Mosaic of Air. She will be joined by poet Kate Foley, humorist VG Lee and debut novelist VA Fearon. You can find more out about the event here.

Also The Story Sessions are celebrating LGBT History Month at the Ivy House, Nunhead, on Wednesday February 19th. Headlining is Stella Duffy, and she is joined by Rebecca Idris author of The Sitar, Cherry Potts, Cath Blackfeather and poet Anny Knight. There’s also a chance to join in with the Flash From The Floor spots after the interval: Read 100 words of your own poetry or flash fiction on the theme of music (prepare it in advance or wing it in the interval!) You can find more details here.

Polari heads up north to the Huddersfield Literary Festival on Saturday 8th March. The session will be hosted by Paul Burston and features authors VG Lee and recent Polari Prize winner Mari Hannah. You can find more details here.

~ ~ ~

one foot onto the iceCurve Magazine has been reviewing UK lesfic. Kiki Archer‘s One Foot Onto The Ice was reviewed by Caroline Domenech who said:

This book is full of humor, great characters, and a story that will have you guessing until the end…. This is not the first book I have read from this author and I knew this story was going to leave me wanting for more. The good thing about Kiki Archer is that she never disappoints. This book will have a sequel coming on 2014 and I must say, I can’t wait to read what happens next.

You can read the rest of the review here.

GB-Cover_SmallThe Bookgeek reviewed VT Davy‘s A Very Civil Wedding:

This is not a romance but a thorough exploration of hypocrisy and discrimination challenged by those with character and morals beyond the mere words of scripture and fanaticism. It is fun to read and entertaining if you want to see how the wheels of power might turn in one of the most British institutions, i.e. the Anglican church and the royal family in the unlikely event of same-sex royal wedding. Well done!

Click here for more of that review.

~ ~ ~

the rubbish lesbianA short aside now for some non-fiction that may take your fancy. Sarah Westwood’s collection of Diva columns, The Rubbish Lesbian, is out on Kindle. Here’s the blurb:

Funny, honest, and disarmingly revealing about her own insecurities, popular DIVA magazine columnist Sarah Westwood gathers together a selection from her hilarious back catalogue with some exclusive new material in this first Kindle edition. Columns explore the myriad of ways that she feels like a rubbish lesbian and the ways other people are rubbish around lesbians. Topics include getting a lesbian haircut by mistake, a slippery grasp of boob etiquette, and playing the pronoun game at work.

~ ~ ~

FrogMusicEmma Donoghue‘s novel Frog Music (to be published in March) has been reviewed by Publisher’s Weekly. From the blurb, the crime novel is set in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1876 during a heat wave and smallpox epidemic, and is inspired by the true story of the murder of eccentric frog-catcher Jenny Bonnet. Three former stars of the Parisian circus, Blanche, an exotic dancer, her lover Arthur and his companion Ernest, are joined by the eccentric outsider Jenny and secrets unravel in an elegant, erotic and witty tale.

Publisher’s Weekly described the book as “a departure from her bestselling Room, but it’s just as dark and just as gripping…Donoghue’s signature talent for setting tone and mood elevates the book from common cliffhanger to a true chef d’oeuvre.”

Read the full review here.

~ ~ ~

me_BW_editNicola Griffith had a busy 2013! There was finishing off the whopping great Hild, getting married, winning the Lambda outstanding mid-career novelist prize… Here’s her year in review. She says “You won’t find much soul-searching here; 2013 was a truly fabulous year.” It’s a nice read.

~ ~ ~

Finally some holiday tidings from the Bold Strokes Books UK blog. It’s bit of a yearly review and a hint of what’s being planned for 2014. Go enjoy 🙂

News Roundup: Rainbow & Ultimate Planet Awards, Interviews with L.T. Smith and Amy Dunne, Hootenanny at Women and Words, and Lots More…

13 Dec

Happy Friday 13th! I’m sure if we all salute solitary magpies, touch a bit of wood, avoid walking under ladders, and be very careful whilst handling mirrors, we’ll get through just fine. So, without further ado, here is this week’s slightly superstitious news update…

~ ~ ~

Stella Duffy, writer, actorKicking off with some splendid news, as the date (March 29th, 2014 – mark those calendars!) has finally been set for those of us in England and Wales who might want to marry our sweethearts but had previously had to settle for a civil partnership. Over on her blog, Stella Duffy posted a thoughtful and moving piece to commemorate what has been gained, but also what has been lost during the long campaign for equality:

Do remember, straight couples in your 70s, as you celebrate your golden wedding anniversaries, all those gay couples in their 70s who have been together just as long, and deserve the same celebratory joy, who will never live long enough to celebrate their own golden wedding anniversary.

Hear, hear. This is the link to the rest of the piece.

~ ~ ~

rainbow awardMore things to celebrate now, with the winners of the Rainbow Awards being announced last Sunday. Representing the UK side of LesFic was Andrea Bramhall who scooped joint second place in Best Lesbian Début, and joint tenth in Best Lesbian Novel for Ladyfish, and myself as Desolation Point also got a podium finish with third place for Best Lesbian Thriller/Mystery.

Edited to add: I wrote this post with a bit of a day shift hangover and – despite thoroughly checking the list of winners for UK authors – managed to miss Barbara Davies entirely. Barbara’s License to Spy took second place in the Best LGBT Romantic Comedy category. Apologies for the oversight and congratulations!

There were loads of winners, runners up, and honorary mentions, so congrats to everyone whose book made it onto one of the lists. The full list of winners can be found here.

The Virtual Living Room will be holding a Rainbow Awards Party this coming weekend (14th and 15th December), where readers will be able to chat with participating winners and runners up at the Yahoo group.

~ ~ ~

UltimatePlanetAwardAlso taking place this week were the Ultimate Planet Awards, where Kiki Archer scooped Independent Author of the Year, and Stella Duffy was named Published Author of the Year, with VG Lee getting an honourable mention in the same category. You can view the entire awards ceremony, and see the full list of winners here. Congrats, Kiki, Stella, and VG!

~ ~ ~

cover_hearts-and-flowers-border_miniA couple of interviews for you now, and over at the Ylva website, L.T. Smith is the author in the hot seat for their Spotlight Interview. Whilst discussing such varied (dare I say, essential?) topics as “Curry or fish pie?” and “Supergirl or Wonder Woman—who is your favourite?”, LT also has plenty to say about her writing:

I write because I love doing it. There are times when I don’t, true. But just to sit and create a story makes me feel wonderful. I shut off from what is happening to me in the outside world and dip into the world of my own creation. A little like therapy, apart from the typos.

The interview is a lot of fun, and the whole piece is available at the link up there. On the same page, Ylva also announced that they will be publishing a revised version of LT’s Hearts and Flowers Border with a splendid new cover in Spring, 2014.

~ ~ ~

BSB_Secret_LiesWith a brand new book out, Amy Dunne has been keeping herself very busy this month. She has an interview up at fellow BSB author Juliann Rich‘s blog, in which she discusses Secret Lies, life as a début author, and whether or not she watches Downton Abbey (no she doesn’t, because she has good telly taste!) There are also cute pictures of the destruction wrought when you leave animals in the same room as your Christmas tree…

~ ~ ~

inseparableThis may not be a new book, but Emma Donoghue‘s Inseparable: Desire Between Women in Literature  (originally published 2010) has been newly released on Kindle in the UK with a very clever, eye-catching new cover.

In Inseparable Emma Donoghue examines how desire between women in literature has been portrayed, from schoolgirls and vampires to runaway wives, from cross-dressing knights to contemporary murder stories. Donoghue looks at the work of those writers who have addressed the ‘unspeakable subject’, examining whether such desire between women is freakish or omnipresent, holy or evil, heart-warming or ridiculous as she excavates a long-obscured tradition of female friendship, one that is surprisingly central to our cultural history. A revelation of a centuries-old literary tradition – brilliant, amusing, and until now, deliberately overlooked.

~ ~ ~

hootenanny-day1With the festive season well under way, Women & Words are hosting their annual Hootenanny celebration. For the next 12 days (well 11 now, it kicked off yesterday) there will be loads of great freebies from a whole host of LesFic authors up for grabs. All you have to do is leave your name and email in the comments, and then keep your fingers crossed that your name comes out of the hat. It’s a rolling giveaway so be sure to keep checking the site to see what’s on offer each day. Good luck!

~ ~ ~

PaleWingsProtectingPale Wings Protecting, Lesley Davis‘ paranormal thriller follow-up to Dark Wings Descending, has been reviewed at Lambda Literary, where Anna Furtado had this to say:

Pale Wings Protecting is a provocative paranormal mystery; it’s an otherworldly thriller couched inside a tale of budding romance. The novel contains an absorbing narrative, full of thrilling revelations, that skillfully leads the reader into the uncanny dimensions of the supernatural.

You can read the full text of the review at the first link.

~ ~ ~

Phew, got through to the end without spilling any salt, standing on any cracks in the pavement, or opening a brolly indoors \o/ Also, bonus fun fact whilst surfing for superstitions: When you’ve finished eating a boiled egg, push the spoon through the bottom of the empty shell to let the devil out. On that note, have a lovely weekend, everyone 🙂

News Roundup: Interview Kiki on Video, New Novel from Jade Winters, Lambda Reviews, Podcasts, WhoreStoricals, Festive frolics, and loads more…

12 Nov

Oh, I knew that setting this roundup to music wasn’t going to end well. One song in and I’ve written bugger-all. Still, it was a really good song… Right, this was one of those weeks where I had no news and then suddenly almost too much to cram in! So, grab yourself a brew and a packet of bourbons, and enjoy.

~ ~ ~

Kiki-264Starting with a fun opportunity that’s on a bit of a deadline (hope I’m not too late with this, but it seemed too good to leave out), as LBTQA Culture are giving fans a chance to interview Kiki Archer on video. All you have to do is record a 10-15 second video clip of yourself on your phone asking Kiki a question, and send the clip to: lgbtqculture@sky.com Don’t forget to introduce yourself and ask something that’ll make her blush (actually the site says “interesting” – heh). The responses will be posted next week. See here for more details.

~ ~ ~

caught by loveWe never get much warning of new releases from indie writers, so it’s always a nice surprise when a book pops out unexpectedly. This week it was Jade Winters, who published her new novel Caught by Love. I’ve added the synopsis to the New Releases page. In a bit of a rollercoasting last few days, Jade also briefly dallied with the idea of signing up with Bold Strokes Books, when they accepted one of her novels for publication, before she decided to remain a self-published author.

~ ~ ~

VT_Davy_jpg_210x1000_q85Sticking with new releases, and VT Davy has a guest piece over at Francis James Franklin’s blog to tie in with her début novel, A Very Civil Wedding:

More interesting is the question of what Britain as a nation would do if the heir to the throne was gay or lesbian and wanted to marry, or make their relationship official. Britain has had gay and lesbian monarchs before (Edward II, James VI, and Anne), but in all cases they married a member of the opposite sex and kept their affairs out of the public eye. Partly this was due to the prevailing view of homosexuality, and partly it was due to the law not enabling the relationship to be recognised. There are no such barriers today.

You can read the full feature at the link. Personally, I’d be more tickled by what Prince Philip would say than the nation as a whole!

~ ~ ~

91CYqVEe28L._SL1500_There’s been so much new stuff about Hild that Nicola Griffith has had to start compiling roundups not unlike this one. Hit Hild #1 and Hild #2 for reviews, interviews, and news about Whitby. The novel has been picking up some fantastic reviews, not least this one by Susan Stinson at the Lambda Literary Society:

Nicola Griffith is a brilliant, prolific, entertaining, risk-taking writer. Her new novel, Hild, about the most powerful woman in seventh century Britain, is magnificent. In it, a girl whose mother has dreamed her to be the light of the world finds out more about what that means than most human beings could bear. Hild–so young, sharp and tall–is very much a human being, and her story grabs a reader like a king’s gesith grabs a sword. Reading Hild is an urgent, expansive pleasure. 

You can read the full text of the review here, and we hope to have our own special feature with Nicola posted in the next week or so 🙂

~ ~ ~

The-Daylight-GateJeanette Winterson‘s The Daylight Gate has also been reviewed by Lambda this week. The novel, which  has been out a while here, certainly impressed Sara Rauch:

The Daylight Gate is a show-stopper. A tour de force. It’s a dark dazzler, break-neck (literally, metaphorically), brutal and beautiful. Once you pick it up, you won’t put it down.

The full review is available at this link.

~ ~ ~

BSB_Secret_LiesJust nipping in under the deadline are two brand spanking new podcast interviews. The first features Amy Dunne on the Liz McMullen Show where, in a podcast themed around mental health, Amy discusses her début novel Secret Lies and its issues of self harm and domestic violence. You can listen to the recording here.

Meanwhile, Cherry Potts has been chatting about Mosaic of Air with the ladies from the Cocktail Hour podcast. There’s also a short reading from the book. Listen or download here.

~ ~ ~

emma-donoghue-illo_2373764bChanging the subject entirely now, with Emma Donoghue picking her favourite five whorestoricals (that’s historical novels about whores!) at the Daily Beast. In amongst Emma’s five choices is lesbian fave Tipping the Velvet:

Waters’s cheeky debut follows her oyster-girl protagonist through many adventures, but perhaps the most interesting and atmospheric is her stint as a rent-boy. This novel captures the fundamental fakery of prostitution—how, for the Victorian gentleman who thinks the trousered youth giving him a blow-job is male, what he’s buying is as much fantasy as flesh.

Find out what made the rest of the list at the link.

~ ~ ~

Monument to Murder cover imageFor some reason, this coming weekend seems to be a busy one for our authors. First up is an event oop north, for those of us who live some distance from the Watford Gap. Crime authors Mari Hannah (author of the DCI Kate Daniels series) and David Jackson will be in conversation at the Bedlington (a town in Northumberland, about ten miles north of Newcastle – I do the Googling, so you don’t have to!) Community Centre on Saturday November 16th, 7.00 p.m. – 8.30 p.m. Tickets are £5 and can be purchased from this link.

Stella Duffy, writer, actorOn Sunday 17th November at 5 p.m.Stella Duffy will be appearing at Writeidea (Tower Hamlet’s free reading festival) in East London:

Stella Duffy will read from her novels, talk about her work as a writer in many genres and also as a theatre director. There is every chance she will also mention that not only posh people can be writers, that Equal Marriage is a very exciting thing, and how the Fun Palaces Project is taking over her life.

The event is free, tickets are available at this link, and more details about the festival can be found on its homepage.

~ ~ ~

dyke the hallsMoving with frightening speed into the festive season, and December 1st and 2nd will see VG Lee and Rose Collis Dyking the Halls and hosting an evening of hardly festive fun, words, and music at the Emporium Theatre, Brighton.

Writer, performer Rose Collis will serve up a personally prepared party platter of songs and stories. VG Lee, author and comedian and generally non-festive person, will be reading, talking and musing on just when she first realised she preferred cheese and pickled onion sandwiches to a turkey with all the trimmings.

Both authors will be available for mince pies and a mingle at the book stall after the event. More details and tickets are available here.

~ ~ ~

51Zch618BLL._SY445_And last but certainly not least, King’s College London are hosting a day of celebration for legendary lesbian novelist Maureen Duffy on Friday 6th December. You can join Maureen for a festive day of talks, readings, discussions, exhibitions, refreshments, and entertainment, which will also feature Ali Smith, Anne Sebba, Maggie Gee and more. Attendance is free but ticketed, and tickets are available here.

~ ~ ~

Okay, that’s about yer lot! Apologies for any misspellings, grammar SNAFUs, or general incoherence, but singing (well, wailing) and typing is a notoriously tricky business, especially with songs as bloody fabulous as this one

News Roundup: UK Authors at the VLR, Rainbow Awards Finalists, Sarah Waters’ New Novel, Giveaways Galore & Loads More

3 Oct

Even if the weather stays mild, there are still indisputable signs that summer’s over and done with. The nights start to draw in, the telly gets a hell of a lot better, The Great British Bake Off has everyone craving CAKE (and Sue Perkins!), politicians return from their holidays and immediately resume their roles of acting like dicks, and Christmas puds hit the shelves in Asda.

In terms of UK LesFic, the signs look a little like this: new books come flying out, everyone’s suddenly doing stuff, planning stuff or writing stuff, Tig and I are chasing around news snippets like mad things, the awards season kicks off, and the news subsequently expands its waistline like someone sitting down to a lunch of pie, chips and beans.

Better get started then, eh?

~ ~ ~

717930First this week, an early heads-up about a special Spotlight Weekend for UK LesFic authors at the Virtual Living Room. Running from 11th-14th October, the weekend will feature a whole host of familiar faces answering questions and chatting to readers and other authors. And who might these familiar faces be?

Kiki Archer (But She is My Student, Instigations, Binding Devotion and One Foot on the Ice)

I Beacham (Sanctuary and The Rarest Rose)

Andrea Bramhall (Ladyfish and Clean Slate)

Crin Claxton (Scarlet Thirst and The Supernatural Detective)

Rachel Dax (After the Night, The Legend of Pope Joan Part I and Part II)

Suzanne Egerton (Out Late with Friends and Regrets)

Cari Hunter (Snowbound and Desolation Point)

VG Lee (The Woman in Beige, The Comedienne, Always You Edina and Diary of a Provincial Lesbian)

Niamh Murphy (Mask of the Highway Woman, Delicious and A Fairy Tale Retold)

R.J. Samuel (Heart Stopper, Falling Colours, Casting Shadows and In Your Words)

Jade Winters (143, Talk Me Down from the Edge and A Walk into Darkness)

My lovely blog buddy Clare Ashton will be moderating, along with Beni Gee and Terry Baker. If you want to come along and join in the fun, click the link at the top, which will take you to the group’s main page.

~ ~ ~

RJSamuelAuthorPicFor those stubborn souls who may need more incentive to sign up to the VLR, R.J. Samuel is currently running an exclusive VLR giveaway for the first two novels in her Vision Painter series, Falling Colours and Casting Shadows. Members can choose one of the books, and the offer is open until October 7th.

R.J. also had this to say about her upcoming trip to Women’s Week in the USA:

“I will be doing two readings in Provincetown on the GCLS panels – Thursday panel 11:00 am to 11:35 am and Friday 11:35 am to 12:10 pm. I’ll be giving away 10 ‘Limited Edition’ J printed copies of my short story In Your Words (including excerpts of Heart Stopper and Falling Colours) to the first 5 women at each reading to come up to me after the readings and say hi. (And yes, this is a blatant ploy to avoid being the only author standing alone twiddling my thumbs after the panel readings J ).”

Fans who may have been looking forward to new work from R.J. should check out her latest blog post, which gives a bit of an insight into her writing and why she’s not quite as up to speed with it as she might have liked. Here’s hoping her muse is feeling slightly less bewildered but still finding time for plenty of cupcakes…

~ ~ ~

FinalistSMEarlier this week, the Rainbow Awards announced their Honourable Mentions (books scored 36+/40 by at least one judge), swiftly followed by the full list of finalists for each individual category.

Honourable mentions went to Kiki Archer for Binding Devotion (Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction), Andrea Bramhall for Ladyfish (Lesbian Contemporary Romance) and Jade Winters for A Walk Into Darkness (Lesbian Mystery Thriller).  Joining them in the finals are: I. Beacham with The Rarest Rose (Lesbian Paranormal Romance) and me (Cari Hunter!) with Desolation Point (Lesbian Mystery Thriller).

A full list of finalists can be found at the link, and the winners will be announced on December 8th. Congrats and best of British to all 🙂

~ ~ ~

A4Another busy little soul at the moment is Kiki Archer, who has been celebrating the release of her new novel One Foot Onto The Ice by chatting to Lucy Jo Amos over here at Lucy’s blog, and taking part in a video interview with When Sally Met Sally, where she faced the lose-lose scenario of choosing between twerking or eating a freeze-dried worm.

Worm. Every time. I do not twerk.

You can catch the interview at the link. Meanwhile, in a new review, Terry Baker had this to say about One Foot Onto The Ice:

One of the really great things about this book is the laugh out loud humor throughout. I’m only too pleased I read this book indoors. It’s hilarious in places. I would defy anyone to read the scene with Susan and Jenna in the bathroom without laughing. This is a brilliantly written scene as it shows Jenna in a really different light. So, there is a whole range of emotions across the board to be experienced between the pages.

The full review can be found here.

~ ~ ~

HanselGretalSticking with reviews for the moment with another of Terry’s, this time for Jade WintersA Walk Into Darkness:

This well written mystery, murder, intrigue, romance had me totally hooked from the very first page through to the last page. To say it is a page turner is an understatement. I couldn’t get through the book fast enough to find out how it ended. I knew Jade Winters was a talented writer from reading some of her short stories. But, she has really excelled herself in penning this full length book that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.

And over at Rainbow Book Reviews, they’ve been singing the praises of Niamh Murphy‘s fairytale reworking Gretel:

This is a truly imaginative, inventive, and ingenious re-telling of such a beloved classic. I felt completely immersed as if I shared Gretel’s mind and body. I became enthralled by Maeve and yes, possibly bewitched. I applaud the brilliance of this short story and completely recommend it!

As always, the full reviews are available at the links.

~ ~ ~

598px-Sarah_WatersThe drip feed of details about Sarah Waters‘ new novel continues over at her website. We now have a title, an era and an indication of what the book will be about. The Paying Guests (due for release in autumn 2014) will be set in the 1920s, and its blurb currently reads like this:

It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

For with the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the ‘clerk class’, the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far, and how devastatingly, the disturbances will reach…

~ ~ ~

Speaking of upcoming novels, LT Smith has a new Facebook page, where she has just announced the forthcoming publication of her novel/novella (it’s 40,000 words in length) Puppy Love. The book looks set to join See Right Through Me in a November 2013 release. A cover is still pending but the blurb can be found on the New & Upcoming Releases page. All proceeds from the book will go to charities to help puppies in need. Aww.

~ ~ ~

GB-Cover1It’s almost time for dinner (it was tea-time when I bloody started!) so a quick mention of two current giveaways:

V.T. Davy is running a Mystery Voice Twitter competition to win copies of A Very Civil Wedding. To enter you need to click the link, identify the voice and tweet your answer before October 6th. To be notified of the results, follow @LiberationBooks (she says, like she knows what the hell she’s talking about – I tweet about as much as I twerk!)

Finally, for US readers only, Stella Duffy has a GoodReads giveaway for copies of her novel Parallel Lies. The competition runs until 15th October. Sorry UK peeps, I don’t make the rules.

~ ~ ~

BSB_Scarlet_ThirstOkay, when I said that was the last thing I lied, because I stupidly checked Facebook JUST IN CASE I’d missed anything and there was Crin Claxton telling folks that her revised version of lesbian vampire romp Scarlet Thirst is now going cheap on amazon (UK and US) for a limited time. And when I say cheap, I mean £3.32, which is a bloody – no pun intended – bargain, and perfectly timed for Halloween.

~ ~ ~

Right, I’ve put my blinkers and the kettle on. If anyone else does anything exciting, it’ll have to wait till next week…