Lesfic Bard Awards Update

One of the great things about working with K’Anne and Shadoe Publishing, is you get a chance to see a number of great events, review wonderful books by really talented authors and chat to K’Anne herself about her writings and what she does to help authors get their work out there to readers.

Earlier this year, I blogged about one of these ideas that she was working and following one of our online chats, I thought I would write an update about her Lesfic Bard Awards, which are rapidly gaining momentum as a competition for authors to showcase their works,

award submissionThe first thing I wanted to share with you is that the nomination categories have been announced !!!  Check out the poster to see this years categories.   Any grab your fancy ? (That’s not as rude as it sounds, I promise !!)

As well as the traditional categories, there are some really interesting genres here that you wouldn’t normally see represented.  Anthology for example, as well as BDSM (get your kink on) Poetry and Studies.  This diverse range of categories is another strength of the awards, you just don’t get this range of genres in other schemes that I’ve seen.  It really gives every author a chance to showcase their talents !

 

The next piece of news that I wanted to share with you is that sponsors are starting to come on board.  So far, sponsors have offered financial support for the awards as well as publicity for winners and I thought I would take the opportunity on behalf of lesficbardawards,com to say a huge thankyou to the following organisations !!

  • Lezbelib – are offering winners the chance to publish an article on their site, shared throughout their social networks.  PLUS an advertising banner promoting their latest book !!!
  • Canadian Lesfic – for sharing the Lesficbardawards love !!!
  • After Ellen – for sharing the judging love and helping us get the call out for judges !!
  • Curve Magazine – for helping publicise the award and calling for author submissions !!

Its shaping up to be a great award, you really want to be part of this !!

 

 

 

K’Anne Meinel events list 2018

Cover

I LOVE being part of Shadoe publishing !!!! Not only is a fun place to work, but also being able to support and promote my friend K’Anne’s books, authors and events is a real privilege for me.  I get to read and review wonderful stories Ones that make you laugh, cry and even on one occasion, think “What the Frick ?!?!!”

One of our most popular ideas is where K’Anne hosts an event personally to give you the opportunity to meet and interact with Authors, not only at their book launches, but also, you know, just for fun !!!  This year, she’s got a lot of things planned already and as always, she’s eager to share them with you, so why not check out her list of upcoming events below, choose your favourite and join in !!!!

Pic 1Gill McKnight – Book Release Party !!

13 January at 11:00–13:00 CST

Come in and join the fun at Gills book release party !! Its always great fun to host Gill at these events and we’re sure this one is going to be no exception ! We would feature a tease from the upcoming book, but to be honest, we’re just going to say “It’s from Gill McKnight” and leave it at that…………………..!!!!

Dirt Road booksDirt Road Books – on the writers block

14 January at 11:0013:00 CST

The “on the writers block events are always popular at Shadoe publishing.  Not only is a great way to learn more about an author, but when it features a publishing house like this one, you can learn about with a wide range of authors and genres.  Something to tempt you for the weekend maybe ?

Annette Annette Mori – on the writers block

20 January at 11:0013:00 CST

Annette’s been on the writers block before, so many times before, we’ve lost count !!! But it’s always lovely to welcome her back and share a little about what makes her such a firm fan favourite.  Come and join in and share in the “world of Mori”  you won’t be disappointed !!!

Michelle Hagans Teaches a Class……Teachers pet

21 January at 11:0013:00 CST

I’m genuinely not too sure what to expect from this event, but the title of it sounds great fun !!! Hopefully Michelle will be teaching us about her new book – who knows ?  I may even buy an apple !!!!

ReverieReverie Book Release Party !!!

27 January at 11:0013:00 CST

The second of our  book release parties in January see’s the launch of “Reverie” Intrigued ? We know we are – There’s going to be book readings, author

questions and who knows ?  Maybe the odd surprise or too……  Join in or miss out !!!

Julie

Julie Forester – Book Release Party !!

10 February at 11:0013:00 CST
February gets off to a flying start with the launch of Julie Foresters’ debut novel !!!  There’s something special about your first one isn’t there ? And we’re desperate to share Julie’s with you !! Come along and get in at the ground level of what’s sure to be the start of a great career !!
Armstrong

17 February – 18 February

Two authors, Two days, twice the insight, book sharing and fun.  It doesn’t get any better than that does it ? Nope, it really doesn’t !!!  I can’t wait to see you there !!!  You are coming aren’t you ?  I’ve made myself all pretty !!!

Barbara Winkes on the writers blockWinkes

21 April – 22 April

Join us in April for a weekend with the lovely Barbara.  not only does she have the most suggestive surname you’re going to come across, but, she can totally rock the look too !!! We literally can’t wait to see what she has in store for us, why not make a date in your diary and join in ?  Who knows, you may even learn how to “Wink” like Barbara !!!

 

That’s the first six of 2018 to get you started – check back soon for more details and more events – and remember to follow us on Facebook at Shadoe Publishing , follow our web-page or join in with one of my favourite authors, K’anne Meinel !!!

 

 

Announcing the LesFic Bard Awards

Working with K’Anne is such great fun, no idea is dismissed out of hand, everything is explored, everything is for the benefit of the authors. on behalf of the readers and the more fun we have doing it, the better !  And thats how she came to create the Lesfic Bard Awards.

What makes this such a unique award for authors to enter and win is the Triple blind judging system that the executive committee have chosen to employ.  This UNIQUE system of reviewing books means that the judges don’t know the author, the book title OR the subject matter.  AND no one knows who the judges are !!!

There’s no risk of authors or readers currying favours to influence the panel or the award.  Its a high integrity system.   Completely FAIR and UNBIASED.  It’ a great idea which reflects the morals and ethics of K’Anne herself.  Just to reinforce this, she isn’t submitting any of her own books or part of the judging panel.  This helps ensure no conflict of interest.

I’m really excited about these awards and what I’m hoping they’ll come to represent for authors and readers.  There’s been great interest in the award already since it’s been announced, particularly when the trophy was shown !

If you’d like to know more, there are a number of ways you can get involved with the Awards.

  • If you’re a reader, and we mean a KEEN reader, then you might be just the person we’re looking for to be part of the judging panel.  Just think, you get to read great fiction, from talented authors, for free !!!  How cool is that ?  Just follow the link to join in !!!
  • If you’re an author, we’d love to have you enter and be part of the awards.  It’s a great opportunity to showcase your book and if you’re lucky enough to win, the way in which the award is judged makes a real statement about the quality of your work.  You can enter by clicking on the link here.  Then make sure you share the fact you’ve entered !!
  • If you’re a sponsor (hey every scheme needs sponsorship !) the awards give you a nice way of giving something to an undervalued section of society and associating your brand with some of the best that lesbian fiction has to offer.  Get in touch with the committee by clicking on the following link and marking your mail “sponsorship”.

Can’t wait !!!

 

Beneath Everything – Suzie Carr

beneath-everything-webjFor me, the news of a upcoming release of a book by Suzie is something that always makes me smile when I read it. She has a way of writing which makes every book a joy to turn the pages of, something for her readers not just to enjoy, but also to reflect and learn from. This joy of expression and skill in creativity shines through in her characters, which she gives so much of herself and her own experiences to. They’re the kind of people you want to get to know and spend time with.

Her latest book, “Beneath Everything” is the story of Sarah, a marketing executive who, without knowing it has slipped into a soulless, joyless existence in the endless pursuit of a career which she has risen to the top off but has seen her lose perspective and left her empty of feeling and passion. Stuck in an unseen rut, it takes a meeting with Jolene, a diver or Divrer if you read her business card (it’s not a spelling mistake, it’s just a little fun from their story) from the Island of Bonaire to open her eyes to what she has become. Their first meeting, outside a friends party sets the scene for the rest of the book. Sarah, being challenged to realise her fears and encouraged to face them by Jolene slowly comes to change her views on what’s important and reconnect with her friend Frenchy, a friend with whom she has drifted apart.  This first

But it takes the change in perspective the experience of a scuba diving course which gives Sarah the push to overcome her final fear (and which gives the book its title) and commit to the moment and the simple joy of just being. Accompanied by Frenchy who, herself is overcoming her own personal trauma they travel to Bonaire and experience the vast, colourful silence of ocean diving, which opens Sarah’s eyes to what she has become. Changed, from that moment, romance and longing lead to relationship with Jolene and the final chapters of their story.

There’s so much to enjoy in this book, not just for the realness and beauty of the characters, but also their expression, their frailties and the journeys. Sarah’s story is one of the exploration of life to find joy, freedom, wedgieless knickers and non cannibalistic escalators. Not being afraid to lose control or ownership of the material things that you don’t really want and seek out those experiences that bring real value and meaning to these precious moments we spend on earth. It’s a story of the benefits that taking a risk can bring and never being to be too old, too afraid or too closed minded to try. I particularly like Frenchy’s approach to getting over a bad relationship, she has a “good Will”, well actually more than once.

It’s a beautiful book, something to treasure and not just read once, but to return to again and again. There’s a particularly lovely section about the various meanings of friendship which has been highlighted by a number of readers in the kindle edition, which is worth reflecting on a moments in your life. I don’t know about you, but I love this feature in my kindle. It adds layers and insight into what the book means to people and what they are reading into it, which you just don’t get outside a book club. There are lots of notes and highlighted sections in this one, a sure sign that its come to mean a great deal to the people who’ve read it.

You can catch up with Suzie on Amazon here

or her Facebook author page here

or, you can join her Facebook group “feed your joy” here

Trans – a memoir by Juliet Jacques

TransI bought this book recently and was so pleased it came just before my short break in the lake district. I’ve been a fan of Juliet’s for ages and was absolutely thrilled when I heard she was working on a book and even more excited to get my hands on it.

For me, Juliet is one of the unsung heroes of the trans community here in the UK. Just one of those people who have moved beyond the label of transgender and lives her life. Intelligent, well written and insightful, I got through the paper copy in just under a week of night time reading and then bought the kindle copy so that I could conveniently take it around with me and return to it often, which I look forward to !!! (There’s even an audiobook now !!)

With the mainstream media adopting an increasing number of transgender personalities and their stories into their regular broadcasting, it would be easy to lose sight of  something as special as this book.  But what makes it so good ?  Well, firstly, it’s written in such a personal, enjoyable style, but if you knew her, you’d expect that.  She is a talented journalist and writer, regularly appearing in UK national newspapers and magazines.  Even with that expectation though, you still aren’t prepared for how good it is, which is for the second reason.  “Trans – a memoir” is Juliet’s own personal and very detailed account of what it’s like to be transgender.  Even being trans myself,  I learnt a huge amount from reading it, not least of which was once you pick it up, you can’t put it back down again !!!  A definite must read for anyone interested in learning about transgender issues.

I would describe it as an honest, funny, brave and moving story through gender expression and maybe even feminism.  More than that, it’s about gender variance and it’s difficult interaction with social acceptance. It beautifully describes Juliet’s experiences in such a moving way, you’re struck by not just how likeable and brave she is, but also how much you want her to be her friend (seriously – she’s SO nice !!!)  She deals with really difficult situations through her transition with an inner calm and voice which should act an inspiration and model for people going through their own transition.  It’s all in here, self acceptance, the frustration with the NHS, recognition from family and friends, feeling good in your own skin afterwards, it’s all in here.  Intimately told, it’s a fascinating personal stories that will linger in the mind and memory long after you’ve archived it back to your library shelf to look at with happy memories.

I genuinely hope you don’t just read this review, either here or on Amazon, I wish that you go out and buy it.  It’s a great addition to the increasing library of meaningful trans literature and manages to explain the intricacies of a huge variety of genders and sexualities, the history of feminism and transgender, ethical dilemmas of confessional journalism, and a lot of Trans film and culture while weaving it all through her own story. Personal and political and incredibly well executed. Her writing on depression is incredibly sensitive and eloquent.  This is written so well. Gives a very detailed experience of what it’s like to be transgender – I learnt a huge amount from reading it, and could not put it down. A definite read for everyone.

Would happily recommend this as a worthwhile addition to the libraries of trans people out there from an important woman. Read it, treasure it and celebrate it.

You can buy “Trans – a memoir” at the following link – as I said, it’s available in a variety of formats – pick your favourite and dive in !!!

How Sweet it is by Melissa Brayden

how-sweet-it-isHow Sweet It Is

  • Paperback: 303 pages
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (19 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602829586
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602829589

 

Yay !!!  What a wonderful book !!!  Simply one of the best books I have ever read in this genre. It’s a story about chocolate, about a charming small town and its adorably quirky people and about finding yourself.  It’s just a great way to spend an evening with a glass of your favourite drink, maybe one or two of your favourite nibbles and what your kindle was made for !!

It’s beautifully written. I couldn’t help but fall in love with the main characters Molly and Jordan. Both have to deal with the loss of Cassie in their own way. I really enjoyed how their relationship develops and how well written the slow realization and acceptance of the situation settles upon the characters. The intensity between the two main characters was captivating and suspenseful.

Melissa is a superb writer and this book showcases characters with distinct and fun personalities. There aren’t any of the obvious character flaws or annoying stereotypes and there wasn’t any of the insta-lust/love stuff that seems so common in this genre. The intimate scenes between the characters are exciting with Molly and Jordans developing relationship told in a realistic, believable way, which truly make you feel like you were stealing a glimpse into someone’s life (I particularly enjoyed how Molly changed so spectacularly over the course of the book (the scene where she is talking to Cassie’s grave about how she is going to move on was just so beautifully poignant). The book even concluded in a satisfying way by tying up all the loose ends and questions I had in a very pleasing way.

If you’re the type of person who is looking for the darker and more emotional tones throughout a book – I’d strongly encourage you to check this out. If you’re like me, and are looking for a more fluffy read, you may want to consider waiting until you’re in the mood to have your heart stabbed a few times.

This story makes me want to have more. I really hope for a sequel, there is so much more to tell about the enchanting little town of Applewood and especially Molly and Jordan.

You can buy this lovely little book at Amazon either as a Kindle edition, paperback or Audible copy by clicking on the below links.  You’ll be so glad you did !!1

Kindle

Paperback

Audible

Suzie Carr – Kindle Unlimited

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Recently, a friend of mine (still honestly cannot believe I can call her that) the lovely Suzie Carr took the decision to release all of her books on Kindle unlimited.  Why is that important and worthy of blogging ? Well, quite simply, because her books are awesome !!!!  If you don’t believe me – check her rankings for yourself.  Her books have attracted a number of awards, she’s had top 10 releases in contemporary fiction on Amazon, she’s a generous philanthropist ( She’s given over $1000 to the NoH8 charity alone) and an empowering supporting woman, who deeply cares about people and just the nicest person you’ll ever meet.

So why would you take the decision to subscribe to Suzie’s Kindle unlimited offer and stream her books ? Well, you already have.  You own a kindle already don’t you ?  You clearly love to read,  so why wouldn’t you want to connect with a talented author, someone who writes with a freeness of joy and expression about wonderful characters with meaningful messages ?  Still don’t believe me ?  Just take a look at this list and tell me why you wouldn’t want to read them all, more than once !!

Inner secrets” – Perfection.  I want to marry Hope and have her babies and live happily ever after.

New leash on life” – This is a book of selfless love, which any pet owner will appreciate and understand.  When Olivia’s animal sanctuary is destroyed in a hurricane, she broadcasts a desperate plea for help to the local community. But, surprisingly help comes from an unexpected source, an ex-girlfriend called Chloe and the only girl Olivia has ever loved.  As they work together on rebuilding the shelter, Olivia’s walls start to crumble and the past catches up to them.

Sandcastles” – Lia is smart, successful a no nonsense in control woman, that is, until she meets Willow, a psychic who’s capable of making her off balance and affecting her in a personal way.
As they come together we learn about Lia’s friend Dean and how difficult it is to maintain fragility of the sandcastles of their lives while embracing the parts of life that really matter.  This book is an exploration of alternate therapies, spirituality and work life balance.  It must be good, because it received the Rainbow Book Award Runner-Up for Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction AND the Rainbow Book Award Runner-Up for Best Lesbian Book in 2015.  What more proof do you need.

Snowflakes” – Suzies first and only short book (to date) and it’s lovely.  Perfect for the bus ride into work, or while you’re waiting for your next appointment.  A snowy dog park in the middle of a quiet town is the last place Alice and Desiree expect to meet up with their destiny. Secluded, these two women are able to let down their guards long enough to enjoy a tantalizing moment that leaves them both breathless and conflicted. Can their desire further develop outside the fence of this private dog park once the real world catches up to them………..

Staying true” – You have to love Ruby, a free-spirited masseuse who is at the heart of this story. Fiercely independent, that is until she meets Nadia, the two begin to realise a connection between them which threatens to overwhelm Ruby’s autonomy as she commits to this new relationship.  Supported by Shawna, a transgendered friend and Ruby’s gramps, the unlikely foursome embarks on a quest to learn the meaning of love, letting go, and staying true to themselves.

The Journey Somewhere” – This is a slightly unusual story from Suzie, it’s her first and only sequel (to Tangerine Twist) At first site, Kelly looks to have it all, life is stable and easy. But, then an ex girlfriend, the beautiful Becca James, comes back into town.   Everything is set to change when she offers Kelly the opportunity of a lifetime, to photograph her while on tour.  It’s quite literally the story of a Journey somewhere !!

The muse” – this book could have been written for my friend Karen.  Our Heroine, Carefree Janey’s life takes a daring turn when she enters the world of social media shortly after meeting the alluringly sexy Eva.  Flirting online is one thing, but can Carefree Janey battle the demons of her bullied past and overcome them to reveal her true identity to Eva and live her happily ever after ?  This book delves into the traumatic world of bullying, along with sexuality and social psychology.

Two feet of the ground” – This book is quite simply hilarious !!! Lauren is madly in love with Paula. She’s sexy, adventurous and the hero to her son, Owen. And its mutual.  There’s just one thing….. Paula has accepted a job offer across the country and Lauren is afraid of flying.  Oh and Owen doesn’t want to leave his friends and lets not forget the best friend who depends on her too. How on earth are these two ever going to have their happy ending ?

The Fiche Room” – We join Emma just as she is about to marry her college sweetheart, destined to become president of her dads organisation.  Then the liberating Haley comes into her life and quite literally turns her world upside-down and cause her to question and reinvent herself.  This is a wonderful story not just of love, but of having the courage to change for the better and challenge peoples expectations.

The dance” – This book is simply exquisite.  A stunningly moving story of love after loss.  In the wake of a tragedy which derails their lives, Jacky focusses all her attention on stepdaughter Sophie.  But they’re suffocating each other as they struggle to overcome the loss of Sophies mother.  Enter Brooke a beekeeper who contacts Jacky to help train her overly-protective dog, Bee.  Just as they learn to open up and dance with life again, a hurtful truth reveals itself. Will this truth set them free or unravel all they’ve come to learn about life?