Tag Archives: Women & Words

News Roundup: awards, events, new books, freebies and more!

15 Dec

It’s time for the last post of 2015!

Apart from the next post that is, which is our fabulous best of 2015 lesfic as chosen by several wonderful UK lesfic authors. But apart from that, here’s the last post of the year!

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no good reasonAnd firstly massive congratulations to that Cari Hunter whose No Good Reason has made off with the Rainbow Award for Best Lesbian Mystery/Thriller. The awards organiser Elisa Rolle was tickled to make out the award certificate: “Cari Hunter has been awarded… for No Good Reason”. But actually there were very good reasons and the book was judged to be “Brilliant” and “A fabulous mystery”. More details and fine words about the book here.

Cold to the TouchAnd if you’ve had the good sense to have read No Good Reason already, you are in luck because book two of The Dark Peak series, Cold to the Touch, is now available on Amazon.

The Velvet Lounger at the Lesbian Reading Room has been quick off the mark and reviewed Book 2 already:

Cari Hunter writes decidedly good stories. She combines excellent plot lines, which twist and turn, with crime drama and just the right amount of thriller to keep us on the edge of our seats. Each book feels distinctive, enjoyably new and refreshingly different to standard crime dramas. Cold to the Touch is a sequel to the excellent No Good Reason, and fans of Sanne and Meg will love where she takes them this time. Cold to the Touch is more than strong enough to stand alone, but why miss an excellent series?

blindtrustYou can read the spoiler-free review here.

Congratulations also to Jody Klaire whose Blind Trust was runner up in the Rainbow Awards in the Best Lesbian Mystery/Thriller category. Jody is on Book Three of the Above and Beyond series and you can get a sneak peek at Untrained Eye on her website.

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Speaking of awards, The Ultimate Planet Awards are now open for voting. The awards were created to recognise, thank and promote the work of grass-roots event organisers and community businesses who improve the lesbian, bi and queer scene.

ultimateplanetThere are three categories related to lesfic: Independent Author with nominees Dawn Carter, Karen Campbell, Kiki Archer and Sally Edwards. Publishing House Author with LT Smith, Sarah Waters and VG Lee. And LBQ Book nominees Diary of a Broken Heart by Karen Campbell, Murder by Proxy by Dawn Carter, The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters and Too Late I Love You by Kiki Archer. Good luck to all the nominees and get voting here.

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AllIWantForChristmas-Clare-LydonOn to reviews, and The Lesbian Review has been busy. First up is Clare Lydon‘s All I Want for Christmas. The review site says:

“All I Want For Christmas by Clare Lydon is a must-read Christmas novel. It will fill you with holiday cheer and make your heart sparkle with twinkly lights.

It is the story of Tori who, exactly a month before Christmas, decides that all she wants for Christmas is someone to love. This ensues in a delightful romantic romp through bad dates, missed opportunities and long lost loves returning to her life.”

You can read the full review here and if you fancy buying a signed copy for Christmas then scuttle over here before last post.

starting overJen Silver‘s Starting Over is also reviewed:

The book starts off with one of the most awkward and hilarious visits that I have ever read… This is a gentle read that explores the intricacies of a relationship and what it means to different people. It’s an awesome read for people who like happy endings and for those who like to take a peek into other people’s lives.

Read the full review here.

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A bit of blogging and chatting now.

catherine hallIt’s good to hear that Catherine Hall, author of The Repercussions, is working on a new novel. She did a rare blog recently about getting back in the saddle and her writing routine:

I’ve been accused before of obsession, of being compulsive about order, my habits, my routines, and I think there’s probably some truth in it. But to get to the marathon end of a novel, a certain amount of obsession is required. You have to protect your time to write it from all the other people and things that make their demands. You have to really care about this thing that you’re creating, enough to keep going for as long as if takes, going back to it day after day, facing your own imperfections, your lack of talent, nitpicking over words, checking details, historical fact. It’s horrible, it’s exhausting, it’s fantastic.

You can read the full piece here.

Cari HMeanwhile, Cari Hunter has been ruminating about why she writes what she writes. Why crime and why lesfic?

When I put pen to paper at the start of No Good Reason, I didn’t really consider my motives. Crime has long been a favourite genre of mine, and I had thoroughly enjoyed getting my teeth stuck into the police procedural aspects of my third novel Tumbledown, so it seemed like a natural step to try my hand at writing a fully fledged crime novel. I also craved the opportunity to write a series, and a format where a fresh case could be investigated by recurring protagonists fitted that bill nicely.

Read on here.

jenny frameAnd Jenny Frame, author of A Royal Romance, was interviewed over on Lynn Lawler’s site. Jenny talks about why she started writing, her background and her inspiration behind A Royal Romance. There’s also a sneak preview of her forthcoming book Heart of the Pack – A Wolfgang County Novel.

You can read the full piece here.

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HopeHeartWinterRebecca Buck has a new short story set in the roaring twenties and, at the moment, it is free on the Bold Strokes Website! Here’s the blurb.

In 1927, Evadne Burns invites her closest school friends to join her for a weekend reunion at her grand home, Winter Manor. The passing of time and the dark shadow of the First World War has shaped them all as women, yet their friendships remain strong. The tragedy of the era has only made them more determined to live their lives to the full.

Evadne is delighted to see Clara and Courtney again, two women dedicated to each other since they were schoolgirls and still unable to keeps their hands off each other, even in view of Winter’s servants. There is the more conservative Madge, to remind them of the life they were expected to lead. But most of all, Evadne is pleased to see Edith Richardson, with whom she shared one precious night but left a lasting connection. With Edith, she chooses to share a secret that will affect the rest of their lives, together or apart.

Rebecca’s forthcoming novel, Fragile Wings, set in the same era is also available for pre-order on the site. And she also blogs about the Great War over on the Bold Strokes Author Blog site.

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wheniknewyouKe Payne has a release date for her next novel, When I Knew You. It’s her second adult romance (after Once The Clouds Have Gone). It’s just been through its final edit stage and will be published by Bold Strokes in March. Here’s the blurb:

When Ash Wells and Nat Braithwaite are thrown together after seventeen years apart, old resentments and passions are rekindled. The days of their heady teenage relationship are long gone – or are they? As they put aside their differences to honour the memory of a friend, Ash and Nat learn that sometimes, to build a future, you have to be willing to let go of the past.

Ke will be with us in the new year to tell us about her latest book.

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VGLeeA little way in the future yet but some early notice from VG Lee about a Gaia Women Tutored Writing Retreat next September in Scotland. The event runs from 5th to the 10th. VG will be the resident tutor supplying advice and running the writing workshop covering the novel.

There will also be a second tutor overseeing the short story section. For more information on the retreat see the Gaia Woman website.

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Writer-Sarah-Waters-006On to more best-selling authors and their favourite picks.

Sarah Waters was recently interviewed at the Cinema Museum in London about her Desert Island Movies. Here’s her list. And while you’re on her website check out the details for the theatre adaptation of The Night Watch starting in May in Manchester.

manda-scottManda Scott has been picking her favourite books of the year over on her website. She’s picked the best of her reads from fantasy to World War II fiction. See the full list here and there’s more from Manda in our best-of-2015 Q&A!

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Finally the fabulous Women and Words are running their Hootenanny so nip over there every day for the chance to win in the massive lesfic giveaway!

Tara a bit!

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…

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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 🙂