Lesbian Romance Novel “London Calling” by Clare Lydon + Q&A!

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This hot on the press, debut lesbian romance novel has already hit #1 on the UK Amazon Charts after only being released for one day! It’s my job to get the latest and greatest out to you :) So here is a bit about the book including a lovely Q&A with Clare Lydon!

When the plane took off, I wondered what Karen was doing, if she was happy, knew I was leaving or wanted me back. Whatever, it was too late now. I was gone…”

Jess Sharp is at a crossroads – back in London, living in her parents’ spare room,  jobless and single. Not quite the irresistible package she was aiming for at age 32. One night, things take an upward turn when she meets someone who could be a game-changer. However, everything in her riotously chaotic life seems to get in the way, including her best friend’s wedding, far too much tequila and the ghosts of girlfriends past. The course of true love has never been so injury-prone. Will Jess eventually overcome her romantic ineptitude and find her happy ever after? Or will she continue to trip over her own feet in the race for romance?

A cracking debut novel from a new UK talent that zips along with sparkling dialogue and believable, yet original characters.

About The Author

Clare Lydon is a London-based author who penned her first novel at primary school and it scored 9.5/10. She’s still not sure what she was docked half a point for. A lack of lesbians perhaps? 

London Calling certainly addresses that issue, featuring a cast of London ladygays & their mates who Clare hopes are reflective of life in modern-day London. She’s already working on her second book which should be out later this year.

CLARE LYDON –  Q&A

So you live in London?

I do – I love cities and New York is my second favourite. I moved to London in 1998 and have lived all around the place but mainly in Stoke Newington (lesbian central) and now in glorious Greenwich, just a stone’s throw from the Thames.

What inspired you to put your fingers on a keyboard?

I wrote my first novel in primary school – the words, images and cover, plus I even put a bar code on the back. Great attention to detail for a ten year old. I’ve been writing ever since through my work – I’m a journalist & editor – but never took the time to focus on my fiction writing. I’ve had this novel half-written for around four years so I thought it was about time to show it some love.

Any hiccups along the way?

Not really, just that I realised if you put your mind to something you can achieve it. I sound like a self-help manual don’t I? But once I was in the writing groove, I started the next one too and it just flowed out.

Ooo, a next one – so when can we expect that?

This year definitely, hopefully within six months. It’s a completely new and totally different book to London Calling. It’s set in Devon for a start!

Do you have a favorite genre of music to write to?

I tend to write in silence mostly and chatter out loud to myself constantly. But sometimes I’ll select a playlist from Napster and have it playing in the background. I can’t have anything I know the words to though as it distracts me and I sing along. My head is full of song lyrics…

What are you reading at the moment?

I’m just about to start Kiki Archer’s One Foot Onto The Ice which I’ve heard good things about. I’m also really excited to read Nick Alexander’s new one, Other Halves.

Who’s your favorite author?

Alison Bechdel, hands down. I’ve followed her Dykes To Watch Out For series since its inception and her wit, artistry and political astuteness shine through every page. Her subsequent graphic novels have been a treat too.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Come Dine With Me – my brother lives in Canada and was on the Canadian version which was hysterical. He came second so not too shabby! I also cannot be in the same room as Liquorice Allsorts without eating the lot. It’s impossible.

If you could be stuck in an elevator with any three celebrities, who would you choose?

Kate Winslet, Ellen DeGeneres and Katy Perry. We’d laugh, we’d sing, we’d fight over who gets to play Leonardo di Caprio in the Titanic scene…

Clare Lydon’s debut novel London Calling is out on Kindle now, with other digital versions following soon. The paperback version will be out at the end of April.

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Find out more at http://www.clarelydon.co.uk

To buy: 

US Link: http://www.amazon.com/London-Calling-Clare-Lydon-ebook/dp/B00IN36K6E/ref=zg_bs_275856_67

UK Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/London-Calling-Clare-Lydon-ebook/dp/B00IN36K6E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393519505&sr=8-1&keywords=clare+lydon

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClareLydon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clarelydonlondoncalling

Book Review & Interview: “Guilty Hearts” by Jade Winters

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Please read the little summary above ^

Before getting to know the English language (as in UK English), I never knew what a “honey trap” meant or was. Maybe that’s just me and my lack of expanded vocabulary? Anywho, this book sent me through a mix of emotions.

First we meet Rachel. Oh is she a looker! She is one of those girls everyone thinks is straight but is wearing her rainbow cape everywhere she goes. My first impression of her was confident, carefree, and looking for no-strings-attached fun with the ladies. Then we meet the successful interior designer, (also very attractive), Kathryn, who lacks that excitement she so desperately wants in her personal life. Oh that Kathryn, unbeknown to her, when she first meets Rachel she is clueless to the set-up (as she should be). Cue honey trap. Yes, I used it – Kathryn’s husband sets her up! *gasp* Poor Gareth (Kathryn’s hubby) – thinking it would be as innocent as slight flirting. What he ends up initiating is more than any of us expected. The connection is instant and undeniable between the two beauties.

As for my review, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an easy read and a love story that’ll leave you with a smile on your face. I felt for these characters (we meet and love many) and join them on their journeys to finding themselves and the meaning of love and committment. I did find myself wanting more detail in particular scenes. I’m a person who likes to envision every moment taking place – not saying I couldn’t – just wanted a bit more.

I won’t give it away, but in the story Kathryn does something for Rachel that I actually “awed”  out loud to. :) I love moments like those! I look forward to reading more of Jade Winter’s novels!

I also had the wonderful opportunity to ask Jade a few questions:

When did you decide, ‘hey I like this writing thing, I’m going to do it full-time’? Or maybe it went a bit differently, but when and what was it for you that made you want to do this as a career?

I’ve always enjoyed writing from when I was a kid. Back then I dreamt of writing scripts and having them made into films (sigh). Never in a million years did I think I’d be writing novels, as I saw authors as very serious people of which I’m most definitely not. I ended up writing my first book by accident. I had an idea for an article about the gay by nature versus nurture debate and I thought –  what if a gay woman had amnesia and couldn’t remember she was gay – would she instinctively know?  I knew it would be a great story, so I thought hey why don’t you write it. So I did. I found I liked putting stories down on paper and so decided what better way to live than to do something you love every single day. Voila here I am. :-)

Everyone has their inspirations. What drives/inspires your writing?

Necessity! I have little films going on in my head which keep repeating themselves until I get them out of system. So for me, It’s either write or go insane.

Not sure how you authors do it, especially with some of the topics/stories I’ve come across, but how much research do you put into your books? How much went into Guilty Hearts?

Normally, the research I cover will mainly have to do with the characters jobs. For Guilty Hearts I got totally distracted and spent more time than I should have looking at all the amazing cat den’s people have created for their pets. Most of my stories tend to deal with emotions, so I draw from my own experiences or nag friends and family for theirs.

What was the hardest and easiest thing about writing Guilty Hearts?

I wouldn’t say there were any hard parts to it as Guilty hearts is quite a straight forward love story. The easiest part was building the growing attraction between the main characters, because I really liked the idea of them as a couple :-) So it was interesting to watch how they progressed.

What environment do you find yourself writing in the most? Do you have any pre-writing habits/rituals?

I have to write in a stress-free environment which means no distractions from the TV, phone etc.

Before I start writing I get into the habit of exercising every day with a half hour run along the beach. Also, out goes the tea, in comes lemon and ginger. Sugar and carbohydrates also go out the window as without them I think clearer. Obviously once the book is finished I revert back to old habits :-)

Give us 5 completely random facts about you (not author/writing related)

I always pick snails up in the rain and put them in a safe place so no one stands on them.

I drink celery juice every morning despite it being the one thing I detest most in the world.

I spend way too much time on YouTube watching cat videos.

I love watching old black and white films especially ones starring Bette Davis or Joan Crawford

I read my first lesfic book in 1988

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Official site: http://www.jade-winters.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jade.winters.1069?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JadeWinters3

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Jade-Winters/e/B0064K0RGC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Book Review: “Playing My Love” by Angela Peach

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After I finished this novel I thought to myself, “how on earth am I going to review it and not give anything away?”

Book blurb from Amazon:

I’d never believed in love at first sight. I mean, it had never happened to me, so I guess I just didn’t think about it. But then… 
Darcy. Beautiful, kind, intelligent Darcy, who showed me a whole new meaning to the word love, and how to live when I thought there was nothing to live for. 
While teaching me how to play the guitar a deep friendship developed between us, but it only made me want what I couldn’t have…or could I? Faced with difficult times and hard choices, Darcy becomes a crucial element in my life. 
I’m hiding something from her though. Something big that could destroy all the trust we’ve built. 
Was it love at first sight? No. 
It was so much more.”

Lesbian fiction author, Angela Peach, has done it again! ‘Playing My Love’ captivated me and I honestly felt for these characters from page one. I felt their happiness, their sorrow, their uplifting spirits, their love, as well as their journeys. This book is categorized as a romantic comedy, but I think it was much more. Deeper really.

“How did she do that? I stared at her in amazement. Without even talking to me, she’d completely altered my mood from depressed and suicidal to hopeful and uplifted.”

It’s true in other reviews stating that this book plays your heartstrings. As a hopeless romantic myself and one who loves stories where love is challenged, fought for, and hoping to be won in the end – this is definitely a book that hooked me. Now, with saying that and not giving it all away, Angela has given 2 alternate endings – one of which you may choose for yourself. To be honest though, I felt it was a bit confusing to have to read one ending and then fall into another. But hey, way to switch it up! My favorite was #2 – you’ll just have to find out exactly what that is when you read it ;)

“No matter where I was, if I wasn’t with Alison, I would always be thinking about her. My feelings for her weren’t ever going to go away.”

Have you ever been in love but couldn’t act upon it? Everyone has their reasons why and Angela really takes you through their individual journeys. I definitely recommend this book. It’s a great easy read that has light-hearted moments, comedic banter, and deeper meanings.

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Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Playing-My-Love-Angela-Peach-ebook/dp/B00GW5RES8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ajpeach1?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/angelapeach1

Kiki Archer: Lesbian Author and an Exclusive Interview!

Kiki Archer is a UK based lesbian author. I came to find her through my Kindle Fire when looking for a new, juicy romance novel. Before her writing career, Kiki was a secondary school teacher (what we know in the US as middle school) then went on to being a full-time mommy. Her and her partner of 7 years have two beautiful children together. What I find so appealing about her is that she’s very down-to-earth and her motherly duties come first over writing. Once her little ones fall asleep her creative juices get going and she gets lost in her element. She states in an interview with G3, “I feel incredibly lucky saying this, but being an author is the dream job for maintaining our style of family life.

Her first novel “But She Is My Student,” was released this year. Amazon’s book description says:

“Miss Katherine Spicer started her first day at Coldfield Comprehensive, confident, enthusiastic and very well qualified; that was until she met the eyes of the student sat hidden in the corner of her classroom. Kat’s final weekend of freedom was about to turn her life upside down and threaten everything she had been working for; how was she to know those mesmerising green eyes would reappear here? Great lesbian chick lit. A cross between Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller and Sugar Rush by Julie Burchill. The novel deals with the many issues of sexuality in a gripping, yet funny manner, pulling the reader back into a world of teenage nostalgia and school day memories.”

If any of you have seen the film Bloomington, this book reminded me of it. The teacher/student romance that is! I got through this book quickly and was so happy to know there was a sequel. “Instigations” was released a few months following the first. Both books are best sellers is their genre, with “But She Is My Student” reaching a #1 best seller on Amazon in the US & UK, Smashwords, Lulu, iTunes Book Charts in the UK & Austrailia.

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Kiki Archer and share it with all of you. Enjoy!

Which moment/s of “But She’s My Student” or “Instigations” have people expressed they’ve been most excited about? What are your own favorite moments in your books?

When you read the books on a kindle you can see which sections other people have highlighted the most, and they tend to be the bits where Kat is talking about sexuality, or trying to persuade Freya to come out, or just generally being a wonderful advocate for LGBT rights.

I am also told people love the build up of tension between the pair, along with the relationship between Kat and her flatmates.

And for those who have read “Instigations” I am constantly told that their favourite line is: “Your hands are wet. Have you been chopping the veg?”

My own personal favourite moment is from the end of “But She Is My Student” where Freya appears at Kat’s door when she is least expecting it. (I am a soppy so and so!)

What do you hope people will get out of reading your works?

I just hope they can relate to it. I hope they feel that they can connect with the characters and see part of themselves somewhere in there. I hope they get what I get out of reading a good book – a feeling of satisfaction, with a smile of memory, or regret, or amusement.

After the books were published, did you ever feel like you should’ve revised certain parts of it? Why or why not?

“But She Is My Student” was criticised for ending too quickly. People wanted to have more of the fairytale. They wanted to see what happened next. And I must admit, it was a rather abrupt ending. But on the plus side, this meant that I wrote the sequel “Instigations”, where I explored their ‘ending’ for a whole further novel! The raunchy les fic readers out there also said that “But She Is My Student” was a bit tame – (however I did write it for the young adult market, so I think it was appropriate) – but I did give in to them and sauce up “Instigations” …slightly.

Being that I live in the U.S., what do you think is the most obvious difference between lesbians in the U.S. and lesbians in U.K.?

I’m not sure what it is like over there in the US for lesbians, but here in the UK, sexuality seems of little importance anymore, especially for the current teenage generation. Being a lesbian isn’t something that defines you, it’s just something that lets people know a little bit more about you. Plus, it’s true what they say – All the cool girls are lesbians! But I do think my books are very ‘British’ in style. The schooling. The language. The humour. But regardless of where you live in the world, women fall in love with women and I guess that’s why my books are so relatable, because they simply follow the ups and downs of two women in love.

What gets your creative juices going?

Meeting new people actually, and getting to know them. Finding out about their lives / loves e.t.c … I am a very big people watcher and I believe that everyone has a story – you just have to ask the right questions.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Power Ballads. Trashy TV. Gossip magazines. Turkish Delight. (In no particular order … but preferably at the same time, with a gang of girl friends!)

Kiki Archer’s official site is http://www.kikiarcherbooks.com/

To buy her books visit Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Kiki-Archer/e/B007GNTTN8/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1353251114&sr=1-2-ent

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kiki.archer

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kikiarcherbooks

CinderFella by Todrick Hall – Legalize Love

What an amazing concept this man had for a video! CinderFella is by far the greatest inventive way of putting the past with the present. In Todrick Hall’s own words he states:

“I wanted to tell this famous fairy tale in a new and innovative way, combining familiar top 40’s songs with classic Disney melodies. This story speaks volumes and I think that love is as classic as this fairy tale. It’s time for us to legalize love in all shapes and colors. Please support this movement by posting this on your social media sites.”

When I was watching I felt like a kid again; I was reliving all those classic movies and remembering how I had pictured my own fairy tale. The spin on each story is what makes this video so unique and diverse. Love is all that matters. It goes back centuries. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, straight, or transgender – we all deserve love and happiness.

This video also features some big names such as Janice Dickinson, Kimberly Cole, Lance Bass, Aubrey O’ Day, and many more!

“Legalize Love”

PLEASE check out Todrick Hall’s YouTube page! All his other videos had me laughing so hard. In one video he recreates  a scene from Beauty And The Beast calling it, “Beauty And The BEAT!” Who had that title first I wonder – him or Justin Bieber? Now they have to sing it out together ;P What do you think? They can recreate some other story.

Back to Todrick’s page though, he has other stuff like singing his food order at various fast food locations, random flash mobs, and just being all around funny! Here is the link to his YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/todrickhall

Thanks everyone! Feel free to share your thoughts, comments, etc.  :)

Real Talk

I’m going to make this short and sweet.

Today on All My Children, Bianca said the most encouraging words to her girlfriend, Marissa (to read more about them, look under my Pages on the right side of my blog). Bianca has been through the coming out process already and knows what to expect when it comes to people’s disapproval. Marissa asks her how she deals with all of it…

This is what she said:

“I just remind myself that we’re not the ones hurting anyone. I just want what everyone wants, to love who I want to love and without feeling shamed or judged for it. And I deserve that! And you know what so do you.”

I honestly felt these words within my bones. I know what it’s like and this was even a great reminder to myself that I deserve happiness just as much as the next person. This is something we should always take with us through life.

What Wegan Did Next

http://whatwegandidnext.blogspot.com/

I first discovered this blog page through Twitter. Curve Magazine (http://www.curvemag.com/) was advertising there “Real Life Lesbians” campaign and it caught my attention. I clicked and voila, that very cool picture above and major lesbian energy!

This blog is about these two women who are engaged but live in different countries. Megan is currently residing in the UK, while her fiance Whitney is in Hawaii finishing school. They take you through their journey of a long distance relationship and other subjects such as life, love, fashion, and gay rights. Their blog also has many other websites linked to it. Oh, networking is so fun!

Lesbian Movies

Ok ladies, here is my list of recommended films :D 

1.)  Aimee & Jaguar

2.) I Can’t Think Straight

3.) Amour de Femme (French film)

4.) Fingersmith

5.) The Secrets

6.) The Kids Are All Right

7.) High Art

8.) Loving Annabelle

9.) Gia

10.) The World Unseen

11.) Imagine Me & You

12.) Elena Undone

13.) The Gymnist

14.) When Night Is Falling

15.) Saving Face

16.) Eloise (2009, Spanish film)

17.) Bloomington

18.) The Fish Child (Spanish film)

19.) Kyss Mig (Swedish film)

20.) Drool

21.) It’s In The Water

22.) Kissing Jessica Stein

23.) An Unexpected Love

24.) Bound

25.) Running On Empty Dreams

26.) Circumstance (Iranian film)

27.) Three Veils

28.) Purple Sea (Italian film)

29.) Blue Is The Warmest Color (French film)

All of these films have something different and unique that I enjoy. If you’re into more of the action versus storyline, some of these you may find boring. I personally enjoy a great storyline with great characters. Of course the steamy love scenes and romance gets me hooked also! :D

Have fun!