Word love

Words. 

Seriously, they’re amazing. 

We set up a booth at Brighton Pride last weekend, and it was fantastic to see so many people come over to talk about and buy books. We talked about favourite authors, about ideas, about genre, and about lots of random stuff too. Words helped us bond during a weekend all about connection and the freedom to be who you are without censure. 

It’s a proper British summer, which means lots of rain and layers of clothes for the brief spells of sun that peek through to warm your moss-growing bones, allowing for T-shirts. Until the next bout of rain, when coats go back on. It’s August, and I was in a beanie and scarf at the end of the night. 

That said, it didn’t dampen spirits. We still got to sign lots of books, we still laughed, we still connected.

The same thing happened again, on a much smaller scale, at the reading we were invited to for the Happy Valley Pride celebration in Hebden Bridge. An intimate audience came to listen to five authors read and chat, and even with the rain hammering down outside, and a pizza delivery man who looked an awful lot like Jesus dancing outside the window behind us, it was a lovely night, and we met some lovely people. 

Words.

Written, disseminated, talked through, shared. Prides give us a chance to connect, and words give us a way through the often superficial barriers that might otherwise be around. 

Come enjoy some word-love with us at Manchester Pride.

My first

There are a lot of firsts in life. Hopefully we continue to experience them no matter how old we get. 

My very first public reading was in Provincetown, MA. It was Women’s Week, and I said yes to being on an erotica panel. So my first reading was from an erotic short story. 

I hadn’t realised until we sat down that beside me on that panel was my boss, the esteemed writer, Radclyffe. 

A sex story, sitting next to an author who’d written more books than I will ever dream about writing. In front of a standing room only group of women. 

It was a hell of a way to jump in. (My second reading was in the basement of a sex shop in London. Sitting on a heart shaped couch with a string of dildoes hanging behind me. It was still less scary in every way than my first one.) 

Nine years later, and I’m heading back to Women’s Week in Ptown this October. It’s nostalgic, and I’m a different person than I was nearly a decade ago. There will definitely be firsts, though my true first there will always be special. 

Do you have a special first? 

Come hang out with us in London!

Come meet five established and debut authors reading from their latest works!

Think of it as a lesbian prose slam, with wine!

A free event on 13th July at Gay’s the Word in London 7:00-9:00pm, with complimentary refreshments thanks to BOLD STROKES BOOKS.

The Line-Up: 

I. Beacham – Michelle Grubb – Anna Larner – Robyn Nyx – Brey Willows

What are they reading:

I. Beacham reads from Soul Survivor

I. Beacham – Author of Sanctuary, The Rarest Rose, Salvation, and her latest release Soul Survivor.

I. Beacham is from England and has had a nautical career spanning thirty-four years. Now retired, she devotes her time to writing, globetrotting, DIY, and mechanical restoration projects.
She loves to hear from her readers and can be contacted at brit.beacham@yahoo.com

Soul Survivor 
(Recommended on AfterEllen’s Official Summer 2017 Reading List)

Internationally acclaimed American journalist Josephine “Joey” Barry is considered one of the most iconic correspondents of her time, having reported on major crises from many of the world’s hotspots. But everything crumbles when rebel insurgents near the Syrian border attack and kill her team, forcing her to hide. Rescued but traumatized, she finds she can no longer cope with who she once was, breaking down on national television during a live political debate.

Sent to England to try to get her mojo back, her path crosses the Reverend Samantha “Sam” Savage, a charismatic vicar with an appetite for compassion and motor biking. Non-believer Joey is drawn to her, not knowing Sam is struggling with her own demons. Can their love grow through such adversity?


Michelle Grubb reads from Becoming You

Michelle Grubb – Author of Getting Lost, Keep Hold, The Fifth Gospel, Girls with Guns and her latest release Becoming You.
Michelle is Tasmanian born and now resides in the UK, just north of London, with her wife. She’s a fair weather golfer, a happy snapper, and a lover of cafes, vinyl records, and book shops.

Michelle harbours an unnatural love for stray pieces of timber (she promises her wife she’ll build her something one day), second hand furniture shops, and the perfect coffee.

She can play six chords on her guitar, stumble through a song on her drum kit, and if you see her wearing headphones, she’s probably listening to Mumford and Sons while dreaming up stories and plot twists.

It goes without saying that writing is Michelle’s favourite thing to do.www.michellegrubb.com

Becoming You

Airlie Porter has a secret. A deep, dark, destructive secret that threatens to engulf her if she can’t find the courage to face who she really is and who she really wants to be with.
On a working holiday in Ireland, Airlie finds herself embarking on much more than a drunken year guzzling Guinness in Dublin. The previously protected bubble of denial, harbored deep within her, has threatened to pop for many years, but after a harrowing experience in a Dublin bar, the bubble violently explodes. Lost and alone, she turns to Olivia Swanson, the only person she’s ever truly loved. Married and unsettled, Olivia has her own demons to battle. Drawn together by something inexplicable, pulled apart by fear, how long does it take to become you?


Anna Larner reads from Highland Fling

Anna Larner – Debut Author of Highland Fling.
Anna has a degree in English literature and master’s degrees in word and visual imagination, and museum studies. She has written and curated a permanent exhibition of LGBT voices and memorabilia, based at Leicester’s LGBT Centre, one of the first permanent exhibitions in the UK.

As a former member of the steering committee for the Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland LGBT History Project, Anna is passionate about preserving LGBT history and ensuring that LGBT voices are heard.

When she’s not writing or reading, she loves lazy Sunday lunches and all things Scandinavian.
Visit Anna’s website at www.annalarner.com

Highland Fling
(Recommended on AfterEllen’s Official Summer 2017 Reading List)

Eve Eddison describes her ideal woman to her best friend, Roxanne, over pints in their local pub a few days before she travels to the Scottish Highlands. There she falls head over heels for an enigmatic local, Moira Burns, and the usually reticent Eve wants more than a holiday romance. Forestry officer Moira Burns has no intention of letting go—either of past pain or for present pleasure. If that means she misses out on her chance at happiness, so be it. Convinced Eve is headed for heartbreak, Roxanne advises her to let Moira go…but has Eve found her ideal woman at last?
From the breathtaking Highlands of Scotland to the buzz of a Leicester gay bar, family and friendship are tested to breaking point, as letting go proves painfully hard.


Robyn Nyx reads from Escape In Time

Robyn Nyx – Author of Never Enough and her latest release Escape In Time (The Extractor Series| Book 1).
Robyn Nyx lives in England but enjoys traveling all over the world in search of inspiration. She loves to create complex characters to weave into stories that remind us of the darker side of human nature in the hope that we might cultivate the light.
Make contact and find out more at www.robynnyx.com

Escape In Time

An Extractor is elite in every way, and Landry Donovan is no exception. Pulsus, an organization working to build a better future by saving people from the past, sends Landry’s team back to Nazi Germany to save a Jewish doctor working on a cure for cancer. For the first time on a mission, she’s distracted by thoughts of a woman—the enticing basketball player, Jade Carter.
Jacqulyn Delaney, a Pulsus Operative, waits in a concentration camp for Landry’s arrival. Her job is slowly messing with her mind, as is her desire to be more to Landry than just a friend with benefits. When an unexpected relationship blooms in Germany, it puts a new perspective on the future.

Can they save the doctor? Or will their personal demons leave them stuck in the past?


Brey Willows reads from Fury’s Bridge

Brey Willows – Debut Author of Fury’s Bridge (The Afterlife, Inc. Series| Book 1).

Brey Willows grew up in Southern California and now lives with her partner in England. She’s a development editor, a writing instructor, and runs a small press with her partner specializing in printing the stories from marginalized communities. She’s the author of more than twenty short stories and the Afterlife, Inc. trilogy.
Make contact and find out more at www.breywillows.com

Fury’s Bridge

If you knew the gods worked from a building in Santa Monica, California, would it change you?

Avenging fury Alectho (Alec) Graves has been tasked with saving the world, when she isn’t out seeking justice for those innocents who suffer at the hands of evil-doers. If she fails in her mission, those she loves will cease to exist.

Selene Perkton is a philosophy professor in Los Angeles. She lives an ordinary, well scheduled life, and knows her place in it. When Alec appears, the world she thought she knew becomes a very different place.

Can Alec and Selene put aside their differences, or will the evil lurking in the shadows manage to pull them apart?


A Free event with complimentary refreshments thanks to BOLD STROKES BOOKS – please RSVP on FB so we have a sense of numbers. Doors 7pm. 

See you there!

Exploring the World

IMG_9795

I think one of the best perks of being a writer is the excuse to travel on behalf of the book.

A research trip to Berlin? Let’s go Wednesday. Need to know what buildings are near the Vatican City walls? Off to Rome we go.

Most recently: invited to a lesbian fiction conference on a Greek island? Most definitely.

And so we spent a week on the isle of Lesbos, legendary home of patron saint to Lesbians, Sappho. Gently lapping waves were a soundtrack to readings and discussions of craft and market. There was an array of viewpoints, of styles, of voices. Cats were everywhere, serving as allergy minions and assistants to creativity. It was truly wonderful to be in a place where writing was treasured as a form of communication and creativity around 2,500 years ago. It was both daunting and special to be writing under that umbrella of history.

In October we’ll be at Women’s Week in Provincetown, another book related travel extravaganza. Next year, perhaps Vegas for GCLS. Aside from those, who knows where the next book will take me? Colorado, to see Cheyanne Mountain? Being able to build worlds by exploring more of our own is a truly excellent part of being a writer. I feel so lucky to do both.

 

Be Your Own Sexy-as-Hell Heroine

princess-cover

How on earth do you encapsulate your novel in a two minute reading?

I was part of the Bold Strokes Book festival the first weekend of June. It was my second time there as an author, although this time I had my first book (Fury’s Bridge) on the table for sale, and three more in the publishing queue. I read on the Fresh and Forthcoming panel from Fury’s Choice.

Choosing a reading for a sound bite good enough to get someone to want the book is like trying to choose the best dessert from the dessert store when you’re hormonal. They all look viable…

That was a terrible metaphor. But you get the idea.

I don’t know if it was the right choice. I know my hands shook, and I know I stumbled over my words because my heart was racing and I couldn’t breathe through the panic. But what kept me going was the people sitting on that stage with me. The other people who were probably feeling a lot like I did.

The other thing that kept me going was the fairy tale.

Not a specific one. But the idea of one. The heroine of her own story, the kick ass woman, the one who rides off on her own damn horse. Indeed, the kind of story I wrote for the forthcoming Witches, Princesses, and Women at Arms: Erotic Lesbian Fairy Tales. We can be the heroines of our own stories. We can be the one who scales the tower to save the damsel (as in my story, Penthouse 31), and we can decide what makes our happy-ever-after. I could be strong and confident enough to read a little of my story out loud, even if it was just for a moment.

I’m always proud to have a story in one of Sacchi Green’s anthologies, which are always hot and have an excellent array of stories. This one is no exception, and I love seeing women in every role available, doing all the stuff we love to read about.

 

Into the Big City We Go…

Come see us in London!

13th July, 7-9pm, Gays the Word

I don’t know, you wait ages for one Bold Strokes Books lesbian author and then five come along at once…

Come meet five established and debut authors reading from their latest work! Think of it as a lesbian prose slam, with wine!

A Free event with complimentary refreshments thanks to BOLD STROKES BOOKS – please RSVP here on FB so we have a sense of numbers. Doors 7pm.

The Line-Up:

I. BeachamMichelle GrubbAnna LarnerRobyn NyxBrey Willows 

I. Beacham reads from Soul Survivor

I. Beacham – Author of Sanctuary, The Rarest Rose, Salvation, and her latest release Soul Survivor.

I. Beacham is from England and has had a nautical career spanning thirty-four years. Now retired, she devotes her time to writing, globetrotting, DIY, and mechanical restoration projects.
She loves to hear from her readers and can be contacted at brit.beacham@yahoo.com

Soul Survivor
(Recommended on AfterEllen’s Official Summer 2017 Reading List)

Internationally acclaimed American journalist Josephine “Joey” Barry is considered one of the most iconic correspondents of her time, having reported on major crises from many of the world’s hotspots. But everything crumbles when rebel insurgents near the Syrian border attack and kill her team, forcing her to hide. Rescued but traumatized, she finds she can no longer cope with who she once was, breaking down on national television during a live political debate.

Sent to England to try to get her mojo back, her path crosses the Reverend Samantha “Sam” Savage, a charismatic vicar with an appetite for compassion and motor biking. Non-believer Joey is drawn to her, not knowing Sam is struggling with her own demons. Can their love grow through such adversity?

Michelle Grubb reads from Becoming You

Michelle Grubb – Author of Getting Lost, Keep Hold, The Fifth Gospel, Girls with Guns and her latest release Becoming You.
Michelle is Tasmanian born and now resides in the UK, just north of London, with her wife. She’s a fair weather golfer, a happy snapper, and a lover of cafes, vinyl records, and book shops.

Michelle harbours an unnatural love for stray pieces of timber (she promises her wife she’ll build her something one day), second hand furniture shops, and the perfect coffee.

She can play six chords on her guitar, stumble through a song on her drum kit, and if you see her wearing headphones, she’s probably listening to Mumford and Sons while dreaming up stories and plot twists.

It goes without saying that writing is Michelle’s favourite thing to do.www.michellegrubb.com

Becoming You

Airlie Porter has a secret. A deep, dark, destructive secret that threatens to engulf her if she can’t find the courage to face who she really is and who she really wants to be with.
On a working holiday in Ireland, Airlie finds herself embarking on much more than a drunken year guzzling Guinness in Dublin. The previously protected bubble of denial, harbored deep within her, has threatened to pop for many years, but after a harrowing experience in a Dublin bar, the bubble violently explodes. Lost and alone, she turns to Olivia Swanson, the only person she’s ever truly loved. Married and unsettled, Olivia has her own demons to battle. Drawn together by something inexplicable, pulled apart by fear, how long does it take to become you?

Anna Larner reads from Highland Fling

Anna Larner – Debut Author of Highland Fling.
Anna has a degree in English literature and master’s degrees in word and visual imagination, and museum studies. She has written and curated a permanent exhibition of LGBT voices and memorabilia, based at Leicester’s LGBT Centre, one of the first permanent exhibitions in the UK.

As a former member of the steering committee for the Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland LGBT History Project, Anna is passionate about preserving LGBT history and ensuring that LGBT voices are heard.

When she’s not writing or reading, she loves lazy Sunday lunches and all things Scandinavian.
Visit Anna’s website at www.annalarner.com

Highland Fling
(Recommended on AfterEllen’s Official Summer 2017 Reading List)

Eve Eddison describes her ideal woman to her best friend, Roxanne, over pints in their local pub a few days before she travels to the Scottish Highlands. There she falls head over heels for an enigmatic local, Moira Burns, and the usually reticent Eve wants more than a holiday romance. Forestry officer Moira Burns has no intention of letting go—either of past pain or for present pleasure. If that means she misses out on her chance at happiness, so be it. Convinced Eve is headed for heartbreak, Roxanne advises her to let Moira go…but has Eve found her ideal woman at last?
From the breathtaking Highlands of Scotland to the buzz of a Leicester gay bar, family and friendship are tested to breaking point, as letting go proves painfully hard.

Robyn Nyx reads from Escape In Time

Robyn Nyx – Author of Never Enough and her latest release Escape In Time (The Extractor Series| Book 1).
Robyn Nyx lives in England but enjoys traveling all over the world in search of inspiration. She loves to create complex characters to weave into stories that remind us of the darker side of human nature in the hope that we might cultivate the light.
Make contact and find out more at www.robynnyx.com

Escape In Time

An Extractor is elite in every way, and Landry Donovan is no exception. Pulsus, an organization working to build a better future by saving people from the past, sends Landry’s team back to Nazi Germany to save a Jewish doctor working on a cure for cancer. For the first time on a mission, she’s distracted by thoughts of a woman—the enticing basketball player, Jade Carter.
Jacqulyn Delaney, a Pulsus Operative, waits in a concentration camp for Landry’s arrival. Her job is slowly messing with her mind, as is her desire to be more to Landry than just a friend with benefits. When an unexpected relationship blooms in Germany, it puts a new perspective on the future.

Can they save the doctor? Or will their personal demons leave them stuck in the past?

Brey Willows reads from Fury’s Bridge

Brey Willows – Debut Author of Fury’s Bridge (The Afterlife, Inc. Series| Book 1).

Brey Willows grew up in Southern California and now lives with her partner in England. She has a Masters in English Composition and Literature, with specialties in the Classics and Women’s Studies. She’s a development editor, a writing instructor, and runs a small press with her partner specializing in printing the stories from marginalized communities. She’s the author of more than twenty short stories and the Afterlife, Inc. trilogy.
Make contact and find out more at www.breywillows.com

Fury’s Bridge

If you knew the gods worked from a building in Santa Monica, California, would it change you?

Avenging fury Alectho (Alec) Graves has been tasked with saving the world, when she isn’t out seeking justice for those innocents who suffer at the hands of evil-doers. If she fails in her mission, those she loves will cease to exist.

Selene Perkton is a philosophy professor in Los Angeles. She lives an ordinary, well scheduled life, and knows her place in it. When Alec appears, the world she thought she knew becomes a very different place.

Can Alec and Selene put aside their differences, or will the evil lurking in the shadows manage to pull them apart?

A Free event with complimentary refreshments thanks to BOLD STROKES BOOKS – please RSVP here on FB so we have a sense of numbers. Doors 7pm.