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 !!




Moon Bound by Michaela Rhua

Moon Bound

I love a girl who can kick ass and stand up for herself. It has probably got to do something to do with trying hard to make my own decisions and step out from everyone’s expectations.

A sassy heroine who is independent, courageous and sexy grabs my attention every time. Misty is no different – she is the one who rushes to the rescue, not once but twice. But then when you’re a shifter who catches an unusual scent in the air a moonlit night, you have to go and find out where it leads. In Misty’s case it leads to Sofya and the chemistry between these two lead them to seek each other out for some night-time action of the intimate kind!

Michaela has been kind enough to let me reproduce an excerpt from the book, so here goes !

“You’re stalling, so it must mean it’s time for me to leave.” Sofya spun on the spot, and Misty swiftly caught her arm.

“Let’s take a seat.” Misty pointed to the sofa and Sofya nodded her agreement.

“Raya’s father was killed when she was young, and it’s all messed up.” Misty took a sip. “He had land and somehow the local Were community were involved.”

“My father had nothing to do with that…how could you think such a thing?” Sofya put the cup down and made to get up. Misty reached across and grabbed her arm. “I know, I know he didn’t. It was all before his time. But if the land was taken without proper permission then Raya has a right to claim it.”

“Wait, are you talking about the land that Wylan wants? He keeps bugging my dad to sign it over to him.”

“You know about all this?” Misty sat up, alert to every detail. “Sure, I know there’s something going on with some land issue, and I heard Wylan and dad talking about how the Vamps were warning us or something…wait.” Sofya paused, looking into her cup. “What?”

“Wylan was talking about the night I was attacked and how the Vamps were sending a warning. I didn’t get it at the time.”

“Hold on, that makes sense. Raya and Amari have worked out that somehow the Shifters blamed the Witches who had some involvement in a curse on the Weres. It looks like the Vamps have been using both communities for their own reasons.”

“Oh boy, not the stupid legend of how a powerful witch cursed the Weres who are now bound to the moon? Come on people.” She rolled her eyes. “Sheesh.”

“Each community holds on to their own beliefs and legends. For some it’s what holds people together, since you know a common enemy. You and I are supposed to be enemies, but when you get rid of all that bad history we are two people who love each other.”

“What? You love me? Seriously, like proper love?” Sofya’s eyes widened. Misty suddenly realized what she had said. There was no going back now.  “Y…Yes I do. I’ve never felt like this with anyone.” Misty looked down at her hands, too scared to look up and stare Sofya in the face. She was worried at what she’d see. Rejection was not something she wanted to feel ever again. “I love you too.”   The words she longed to hear came as a whisper. Misty looked up and saw tears shining in the eyes of the woman she loved.

Intrigued ?  You should be – its a fun little book, which out can get from amazon at this link

Review of moon dance by Michaela Rhua


Having read “Mated forever” by Michaela before, I was full of anticipation for this cute little novella.  When I’m working in the office, I regularly spend time on the bus and little gems like this are perfect for making the journey fly by in a land of excitement and possibilities.  Raya and Amari make a cute couple and there are some really fun supporting characters as well, that really add to the story.   Best of all you get to build on the story yourself with the framework that you’re given by the novella, putting yourself right in the characters shoes.

This is a well written fun love story whose paranormal aspect gives it an interesting twist and mystery.  Raya and Amaris instant attraction certainly keeps the pages turning and the tension caused by Amaris reluctance to get involved so quickly after a painful breakup makes provides an interesting background story which, together with some other twists become to feel real, rather than story contrivances.  (I loved the background secret that affects their romance – but no reveals from me !!)

Their world, of shapeshifters, werewolves and witches is certainly one that I’ll be exploring again soon on a bus ride near you in Bristol and fortunately, with book 2 (Moon Bound) just downloading from Amazon – I’ll be returning to soon !!!

If you’d like to read it for yourself (I’d certainly recommend it) – you can get it on Amazon here


Review of Sandcastles by Suzie Carr


The latest offering from Suzie Carr is a departure from her previous style of writing and showcases a confident, maturing author, developing her customary style in order to hopefully challenge readers to ask themselves the question “what if that was me ?”

As you would expect, you get three superbly crafted characters who provide differing perspectives on the books core of how they are affected by potentially life changing news. Each character’s perspective adds a layer of reasoning for the reader to explore and maybe just inspire you too. There’s the conventional one who flipflops between rational and irrational, the alternative, “I need to try something different” one (while not discounting the traditional) and lastly the new age one which takes you out of yourself and challenge “are you taking care of yourself to make the most of now and the future ?” These characters interact with one another through the story, to ultimately affect and influence Lia to change her outlook on life.

Whether you read sandcastles as a story in its own right, or as a catalyst for self improvement, it’s impossible not to enjoy a book of this quality. Not just in terms of the story itself, but also how the characters engage with you. They become real people. They’re sometimes frustrating, sometimes funny, sometimes you even want to shout at them (or was that just me), but ultimately, people you come to care about. I personally found it a very emotional read which made me laugh or cry openly and also think deeply about myself all the time I wasn’t reading it. Hopefully, maybe even changing a little for the better.

Buy it, read it, enjoy it, return to it and treasure it.

Review of Lawyered by K’Anne Meinel


Nia Toyomoto has worked hard all her life to prove she was the best; high school, college, and most recently career, becoming a partner at the tender age of thirty.  But when you realise you don’t have someone to share it all with and that you’re looking for that special woman……..

Rating 4 out of 5 stars

This book was recommended to me by one of my friends from the excellent “My Lesbian book club” on Facebook and having previously enjoyed “love of my LIFE”, I eagerly downloaded the book to my kindle and set aside a weekend to catch up with this latest addition to her works.

The first thing that strikes you about the book is the cover.  Although some may find it provocative, I like it when the cover of a book hints of the forthcoming story.  The intimacy of touch and the trace of a gasp on the well dressed woman’s face while the other woman whispers in her ear summarise the book perfectly……….

The book quite neatly divides into three distinct parts.  In the first, we learn about Nia’s life and world.  It’s easy to get absorbed in the detail and care that K’Anne has paid to Nia’s character, which passes  easily for the reader and keeps your interest peaked for what is to follow.  There are nice touches here, particularly around the concessions that Nia makes in order to pursue her career, the need for a mentor, the importance of networking etc.  Mirroring real life, we explore and learn how Nia reacts and adapts by these situations, in particular, how she maintains her privacy around her personal life.  All of which give the reader an appreciation of what Nia’s life is like, setting the scene for what follows.

The second part is all about Nia’s exploration of herself, her sexuality (and the Big ‘O’) and ultimately the emotions, care and simple act of being that comes from a relationship with the one we love.  Here, the story is more romance focussed and there’s less business, which some people reading this genre of book will appreciate more.  As with the first part, Nia’s experiences mirror real life, with each relationship adding another facet to her understanding of what she is looking for from “the one”.  There are also a number of interesting plot lines at work here with explosions, consequences of past relationships as well as development of the Colleen character for what is to the ending.

For me, the final part was about living your life with your perfect partner no matter what life throws at you as well as enriching your life with more than just the material things.  Here the book explores personal and professional integrity and how these are tested in two specific scenarios.  As we might expect from Nia after learning about her in part one and then understanding her in part two, she stands tall in the face of the various challenges she faces.  I won’t spoil the ending for you, but it’s about the “changing of the old guard” and looking forward to a positive future.

Before I finished, I wanted to end by saying a couple of things about the editing and the spelling which a number of people have drawn attention to in other book reviews.  Sure, there are a couple of typos and the books editing and vanacular might not suit everyone, but for me personally, it didn’t stop me enjoying it and, please, don’t let it stop you.

Catching up with friends

Diane McGavin 

Have you ever had the chance to meet up with someone that you’ve admired for quite a while, even become friends with ?  Incredibly that happened to little old me recently when the gorgeous Diane and Angela came to London to see the recent Kate Bush concert (lucky moos, my time will come) They’re such lovely people, friendly, fun, chatty, have wonderful smiles and one of them is even a star Author on Amazon with her books regularly appearing in Amazons top ten as well as Goodreads……………

But what do you say to someone like that for that all important first meeting ?  You want to make a good impression obviously, but something funny ?  just a simple hello ? Maybe even a you look nice or its so lovely to see you ?  Being my own woman I went for the totally original – “Doing the tourist thing and shopping for cookies eh ?” and then followed it up with a creepy stalker moment following them around Harrods (They’re so down to earth)

Thankfully though it wasn’t long before we all recovered by the olives in the delicatessen, relaxed and tried the “hello” thing instead. That seemed to work better and my nerves settled  Nearly four hours later, and our  “Ladies that do lunch”, souvenir shopping, (WOW, just how many teddies, handbags, chocolate and cookies do two people need ?)  obligatory photos with the legendary doorman Michael Pinsker and hearing of the wonders of earl grey fudge (you can find it just the left of the confectionary section, just of the side entrance) and our first meeting was over.  Can’t wait to do it all again, lots more, but not before I’ve read all the lovely pressies they bought with them. 

The only downside was when they posted a video of one of the songs from the concert online – note to self must be strong and resist.

Meeting Suzie Carr though ?  I’m not ready for that quite yet !!!

Review of My Happy Ever After by D.K. Linda

My Happy Ever After 2

Talia and Michele’s initial meeting develops quickly into the perfect love story that seems destined to last forever until a tragic incident shatters their world.   A story of love, loss and hope, sensitively told that’s impossible to put down from the minute you pick it up and turn the first page.

Rating 5 out of 5

I was completely captivated by this book from the moment I picked it up.  It’s such a beautiful story so exquisitely written, it’s hard to believe its DKs first foray into writing and that she is unsigned to a publisher !!!  The story is told with such care and detail that the characters just draw you into sharing their perfect moment and you find yourself wanting their happiness every bit as much as they deserve.

The books initial scenes are about finding our soulmate, that perfect person who we can wrap ourselves up in and melt into that perfect moment where time stands still.  In this phase of the story you live Talias and Michele’s hopes and dreams and share their excitement as their lives entwine.  Another lovely feature of this part of the book is the acceptance both characters receive from the friends from being an open lesbian couple.  It’s easy to miss this subtlety of their relationship and a really nice addition.

Then, we live that life changing moment where everything changes for Talia, a jarring event that changes her world forever.  Although I have been lucky not to experience loss like this, this part is written with such care and sensitivity that you get a real sense of the numbness and emptiness that overwhelms Talia following events.  By the time it happens, you’re so immersed in the story and characters that if you’re anything like me, you reach with one hand for the tissues while the other reaches for your phone to call her and share “I’m so sorry for your loss, is there anything I can do ?” This part of the story sets the ending the story is named after perfectly.

The last scenes are about Talias efforts to rebuild her life for the future.  A powerful reminder that none of us know what tomorrow may bring, and to “live in the moment” I really loved the sense of hope for Talia that the book leaves you with.  I couldn’t recommend this book highly enough to people.  It’s a must have for your Kindle as I’m sure the rest of her work will be in time.  I’ve got everything crossed in hope that her next offering is about Talia “learning to love again”, but even if it isn’t, I’ll be sure to keep a look out for it and eagerly buy It for my Sunday morning read.  In the language of kindle readers “move to archive ?” I don’t think so !!! I’m sure to come back to it again and again.

Review of Becoming Clissine by Anastasia Vitsky

Becoming Clissine

Becoming Clissine is the story of a heterosexual girl in a society that believes same sex relationships are gods will. It is a strict doctrine and anyone who violates those laws is severely punished.

Rating 4 out of 5

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I bought this book, I’ve known  Anastasia for a little while now and during one of our conversations, the subject of the books I like to read came up.  Being a girly girl, my preference is for love and romance, but I mentioned that I was looking for a bit of a change that took me out of my comfort zone with a different style of character and plot line.

After asking what I felt about bdsm and specifically spanking, she recommended “Becoming Clissine (Bastia) and never one to turn down the chance to experience something new – I eagerly said “sure, why not ?”  I’m so pleased that I did, the book was challenging and jarring to my own world but greatly rewarding to sink into and explore something very, very different.

“Becoming Clissine” is set in a world very different to our own, where heterosexuality is against a religious doctrine known as “Bastia”.  From an early age, children are betrothed to future partners in accordance with the wishes of their parents known as their “Dis” and “Nur”.  These betrothals create alliances between houses, which preserve this balance in conjunction with a ruling council who interpret and enforce the religious doctrine.

The book opens with Clissa’s trial for disobeying the doctrine of Basti and being accused of a “Het” relationship, in contravention with her betrothal to Helaine and Basti Law.  Despite her pleading, she is found guilty and sentenced to a severe corporal punishment and a programme of further physical punishment at the hands of her “Dis” called “re-education”.  This is the “Dis’s” role as a parent, the family disciplinarian of Bastia law through often brutal correctional beatings, the severity of which is measured by the indiscretion.  The “Nur’s” role is more empathic and nurturing – counselling and guiding through touch and reason.
The purpose of the spanking is compliance with Bastia Law.  The stick to the carrot of the “Nur”.  Two complimentary approaches with a single goal, behavioural correction.    It’s easy to get drawn into the injustice of the philosophy and it’s treatment or conditioning.  Clissa herself, being a “het” rebels against both forms of treatment and joins an underground movement known as “Het pride” which stands up for the rights of the hetrosexual.

The way Anastasia develops the characters and tells their story engages you completely in the injustice of this treatment.  Spanking isn’t the simply the kinky “innocent” pleasure that some may enjoy occasionally, it’s a core for enforcing a behavioural modification.  There are also other facets of bdsm relationships and role play for the reader to explore as well here.  The book touches on “Age play” when Clissa is in hospital being treated as a young girl, rather than the teenager she is.  Then, when she is re-housed with a new “Dis” and “Nur”, Clissa attempts to change the dynamic of her relationship with her new parents, by positively reacting to the treatment of the “Nur” which leads the reader to ask “who is really in control of a bdsm relationship, the submissive or the dominant ?  Perhaps it is shared ?”   “How is a “Dis” or a “Nur” made, and who teaches them and moderates them ?” (As Clissa’s “Dis”
says herself later in the book “ you get punished because you have to learn between right and wrong. I get punished because I already know the difference, but still make mistakes“) The book also hints at answers to more obvious questions, like, for example “how are children born ?”  Some of the answers to these questions are unpleasant, even stomach turning, but the reality for many living under Bastia Law.

I won’t spoil the ending of the book by sharing how these intertwined plots end, but will say I found Clissa’ journey to “becoming Clissine” utterly compelling.  You don’t have to agree with bdsm or spanking in order to want to read it, or be a convert or ashamed after reading it.   Challenge yourself, engage with and explore the rights and wrongs of Bastia law and ask yourself if it was the same for LGBT people in times gone past in our own society.  I can only hope that Anastasia asks herself the same questions and builds on the society she has created to answer them. I certainly want to see how it develops !!!

Review of a taste of Vanilla by Leigh Ellwood

A taste of vanilla

A taste of vanilla is a revision of a story that first appeared  in  “Coming together” and tells the story of Hailies initial encounters of Lesbianism with Cecile, a woman she has met on the internet.

Rating 3 out of 5

Novella’s like a taste of vanilla can be a difficult undertaking for the author.   In a relatively short period of time, they need to create characters who are intriguing enough to draw you in to exploring their world, their feelings and emotions so that you can paint the picture they are sketching for you. Ultimately, your enjoyment of the book comes from how it makes you think about the characters and what they leave you with as their story unfolds.

The story outlines “Hailies” initial encounters and exploration of a same sex relationship with Cecile, a woman that she meets over the internet.  Their relationship matures through the exchange of emails and photos to the point where they agree to meet at a neutral coffee house.  In a sense, the way their relationship develops is a very modern one, flirting though emails and photos, anonymous and safe without the potential embarrassment of being stood up or friends judging you in the background.  Thea is one such friend.  The voice on Hailies shoulder as the story unfolds.  More than the obvious “you could be talking to an axe murderer” that many who use online dating will be familiar with, she also encourages Hailie to question her potential indulgence into her same sex fantasy.

Hailie eventually overcomes these doubts and over the course of the book, her first two encounters with Cecile are told.  Although the character development is scarce up until this point, each encounter is told with great detail and care.  The first explores Hailies emotions and feelings of intimacy and empowerment through sex which leaves her wanting more of Cecile.  Specifically, the Taste of Vanilla which the book is named after.  The second is a more complicated affair which hints at things to come, with Hailie and Cecile meeting at a friends party as a blind date setup for others. This last encounter is the scene the book is setup to leave the reader with – a lasting memory of Hailie and Cecile to ponder what happens next.

Whether you’re able to connect emotionally with either character, A taste of Vanilla is an enjoyable novella for those who are new to Lesbian fiction. Hailie’s experimentation and introduction to Cecile form a nice metaphor for what I hope will be your continued reading and enjoyment of the genre.

Review of Simple Gifts by Anastasia Vitsky

Simple Gifts
The story of a leading violinist’s rehabilitation at the hands of her childhood best friend.  Can a respected and beloved orchestra teacher from a small town tame this Diva struggling to adapt to a recovery without music and help her live again?

Rating 4 out of 5

Simple gifts is a really cleverly written story, telling the love story of Leila and Carene, two childhood friends whose lives are entwined through a mutual love of music.  What makes it such a clever story is that each of the chapter headings are named after prominent pieces of music that set the scene for following events.

Even if you aren’t aware of the interpretations of the music which introduces each chapter, there’s still a lot to enjoy in this book.  As well as being a beautiful piece of lesfic, with characters who you can believe in and connect with, the book has the strong undertone of delicious kink which Anastasia writes so well.  Kink and BDSM scenes are more than just a string of naughty words and punishment, they’re powerful, erotic and subtle on many levels.  There’s the complexity of the relationship between the top and the bottom, with each’s reasons for playing their role to be explored and told, as well as lived by the reader.  Set in a world a million miles away from the environment which Leila is used to, she seeds the control and mastery she is used to with her music and orchestra to Carene.  Initially for the sake of her recovery following an injury, as the story develops, her reasons for submitting to the discipline Carene administers
becomes more complex, turning into an expression of love for her friend.   But will Leila and Carene’s feelings for each other blossom, or will Leila lose not just her potential soul mate, but also her friend ?

Often, when you’re faced with looking for a book to read, it can be an easy choice to go with a genre that you’re comfortable with.  While there’s nothing wrong with that choice, this book is well worth considering as a choice.  Reading simple gifts and enjoying it doesn’t make you a pervert, nor will it convert you to a spanking or BDSM lifestyle.  Anastasias writing and passion for her subject is also worth more than calling it a simple guilty pleasure for when you’re feeling a bit “Kinky”. I really enjoyed this book, it appealed to me on many levels, both as a “girly girl” and as someone open to new things and would recommend without hesitation for your collection.