Diva Magazine is running a new literary festival this year and I’m thrilled to be appearing on two panels. It should be the biggest lesfic event in the UK since the days of YLAF with Val McDermid, VG Lee and Kiki Archer all headlining and authors from Bold Strokes, Ylva plus indies taking part. It takes place in Birmingham, weekend of November 3/4/5. More details here.
In the run up to the event, Diva Magazine also interviewed me about Poppy Jenkins, my writing and my thoughts on the festival (it’s bloody exciting!). You can read the interview here.
It was also placed second in the overall Best Lesbian Book award which was won by Ann McMann’s Backcast.
“[Clare Ashton] evokes a magical small town and country setting and brings it to life. Rarely does a romance provide the reader with a more vivid sense of place. The plot provides a great combination of whimsy, intensity, heat, with a dash of serious. While not technically a “second chance romance,” Poppy Jenkins has the essence of one by giving us a story of close childhood friends, torn apart and then reunited as adults. It’s a lovely book.”
Poppy Jenkins has also being popping up on some great lists recently. It appears on both The Lesbian Review’s Must Read list and their Best Books of 2016. And for more romance recommendations from 2016 have a peek at Les Reveur’s 12 Days of Lesfic which Poppy appears on too.
Poppy’s been out a couple of months now and has received some lovely reviews. A bucolic Mid-Wales has worked it’s magic as has the charming leading heroine.
As well an uplifting summer read, I wrote the book to celebrate the very best of Mid-Wales as well as how far gay rights have come while acknowledging that coming out is never easy and the experience varies enormously from person to person. And even in the most idyllic of places bigotry of all kinds still lingers.
As well as proving an enjoyable read it’s thrilling to see some of themes woven into the story finding appreciative readers.
“Poppy Jenkins is a joy to read and is not to be missed. You’ll smile, laugh, and occasionally clutch your chest in heartbreak, and the end of it you’ll be satisfied. Clare Ashton is a masterful author and Poppy Jenkins is her best book yet.” Continue reading →
I am thrilled to bits that my new romance, Poppy Jenkins, is finally out!
I’m very fond of this one. It’s set in beautiful Mid-Wales, where I grew up, during the kind of long hot summer you remember from a kid. The settings and characters are inspired by the people and places I adored from ruined castles and gorgeous countryside to formidable Welsh matriarchs.
The blurb’s below and here are the links to Kindle versions on Amazon UK and US (paperback to follow) and the Smashwords link for other formats:
It’s been a long time, but I’m finally into the last stages of writing a new romance.
I’ve been back to some favourite childhood haunts for this one, and it’s set during a beautiful Mid-Wales summer. I’ve adored remembering the Welsh hills, paddling in the river Rhiw, exploring Montgomery’s ruined castle and square – all places that have inspired the setting.
I’ve also been chuckling away while drawing on some characterful people from my childhood to populate the novel.
I’ve been a fan of Cari Hunter’s writing ever since reading Snowbound. In this excellent thriller-romance debut, her vivid and economic style was already evident – very effective and affecting – as was her ability to bring alive brutal scenes in a way so realistic as to make many other books seem cartoonish. The injuries and scenes of violence are so intimately realised that if you didn’t know she was a paramedic by career you’d have serious misgivings about the author’s mental well-being and pastimes. But with Tumbledown, and even more so with No Good Reason, Cari is now delivering complex plots and sets of characters that go well beyond a simple adventure or thriller romance. Continue reading →