Christmas is Coming!

And so is a wonderful collection of stories from Affinity…due out 7 December.


Jen Silver: The Christmas Sweepstake

Commander Nike Jordan might have met her match in Dr. Isobel Turner, the newest addition to the spaceship crew bound for Earth, and the only one to say no to the handsome commander. Will one lucky crew member be getting a Christmas bonus, or is the sweepstake destined for a rollover?

Ali Spooner: Big Sky Christmas

Join the crew of the MCS ranch as they enjoy Christmas, Montana style. Can cowgirls do it in the snow, too? Festive Fun and games…and cookies!

Fran Heckrotte: Death, A Christmas Story

A visit with Jennifer and Suze, characters from Kiss of the Butterfly, part of Fran’s Odyssey of the Butterfly anthology.

Annette Mori: The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Elves in Love

Christmas could be in serious trouble, production is down and Santa won’t be delivering any gifts unless he can provide them for all the children. Something needs to be done, and fast. But a lesbian elf to the rescue…really? Read this delightful tale from Annette to find out more.

JM Dragon: Sleigh Bells

An adorable child, a broken family, and a six-foot elf? Yep, all the right ingredients for a wonderful romantic Christmas adventure from the talented JM Dragon.

A Singing Bird

It amazes me that after all these years I can open The Norton Anthology of English Literature (Volume 2) and quickly find the poem I remember so well. This is ‘A Birthday’ by Christina Rossetti. It is, like so much of her output, full of memorable phrases. It’s the one that starts off…

“My heart is like a singing bird

Whose nest is in a watered shoot:”

…and ends with…

“Because the birthday of my life

Is come, my love is come to me.”

I always wondered about Christina. She had three male suitors and married none of them. It has been suggested this was because of her religious views. However, I wonder if there wasn’t something else at play here. Her brother’s illustration for the cover of one her most famous poems, Goblin Market, shows two women intimately entwined. In the poem, the women are sisters, but is there a subtext? Why did he choose this image to illustrate the cover?


Illustration by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

By jenjsilver

My exciting week!

So far this week:

Signed book on its way

I had a winner in the Women and Words giveaway. So, a signed copy of Starting Over is now on its way to Karen B. Many thanks to Karen and everyone else who took the time to read my guest blog on the site – A Journey to Publication.

My novel’s been nominated for two 2015 Golden Crown awards: Debut Author and Traditional Contemporary Romance. Wonderful to be nominated but the competition looks fierce!

And the local bookshop sold two copies of my book.

And…it’s only Thursday!

Starting Over – Character profile: Introducing Jo Bright Flame

If you’ve read the blurb on the back of the book, you will know the names of the three main characters: Ellie Winters, the potter and owner of Starling Hill farm; Robin Fanshawe, her wandering lover; and Dr Kathryn Moss, an archaeologist.

So today I would like to introduce one of the other characters. She turned up in Chapter One, arriving at the farm in her colourfully painted VW camper van, reminiscent of the psychedelic heyday of the 1960s…along with her rescue dog, Harry.

The intention when I started the story was that she would only have a minor role. Her border collie, Harry, unwittingly sets off the chain of events that leads to a university-led archaeological dig at the farm. Robin had invited Jo to visit because she expressed an interest in learning how to throw pots. However, as events unfold, she ends up having a bigger part to play.

Jo is a free spirit and immediately entrances Ellie, even though she is one in a long line of Robin’s one-night stands. She calls herself a craft worker and makes things out of recycled materials…wind chimes from old CDs, belts and tablemats from plastic bags, and even a dog bed for Harry made with old towels. She sells her wares at local markets and fairs and during the summer makes the rounds of various music festivals.

However, recently she’s started to think about settling down and has found herself drawn to Hebden Bridge, a small market town on the edge of the Pennines. There’s an atmosphere in the town that resonates with her spirit and idea of how she wants to live her life. She can feel the buzz of creativity in the air. She’s attracted by the constant movement…a flow, not just of the river and the road traffic, but the people…visitors passing through, cyclists, ramblers, street performers, outdoor markets, small local businesses and an abundance of cafes and open air seating, meeting places in the square in the heart of the town, and in the park located between the river and the canal.

Hebden Water

Oh, and there are, allegedly, a fair number of lesbians living in the town. All in all, Jo can see herself fitting in just fine.

This is the sign, referred to in the book. The first is the wording you see approaching the town from the west, the second is what you see as you leave the town travelling the other way.