A new book and a new cover

Arc Over Time by Jen Silver

I’m pleased to now be able to show off the cover for my second novel, due out in May. Thanks to another sterling job by Irish Dragon Designs, I feel this cover conveys exactly the tone I was looking for.

Arc Over Time is a continuation of the story in my first book, Starting Over. The characters didn’t want to let go and it’s not surprising.

Dr Kathryn Moss, professor of archaeology, has much to think about. The job offers are flowing in after her exciting archaeological discoveries at Starling Hill the previous year. Now she has choices to make that could jeopardise her relationship with Denise Sullivan, the fiery journalist, who has become her lover.

Den has her own worries. She feels they have moved beyond the casual sex stage to something more like a true relationship. However, she’s not sure how to handle Kathryn’s continuing infatuation with Ellie Winters, the beguiling owner of Starling Hill farm.

Arc Over Time is a journey of discovery for all involved. I hope you will be tempted to come along for the ride.

The first chapter is available to read on the Affinity website.

Starting Over is available from Affinity eBook Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bella Books, Smashwords, and iTunes.

A walk through the woods

This time of year I like walking through the woods as things that are hidden behind summer foliage can be seen. And the bare limbed trees show a range of incredible shapes.


It makes me think that the stripping away of leaves is like writing. Taking away the coverings from our minds reveals thoughts and feelings we didn’t know were there. Or maybe we knew they were but hadn’t paid any attention to them, happy to keep them hidden.

I often find I’ll read back something I wrote a while ago and think ‘where did that come from?’ Perhaps it comes from the collective subconscious that we’re all connected to, the hive mind. That is a scary thought. There are plenty of minds I don’t want to have contact with.

Back to the woods, the bare trees with the branches reaching up to the sky, I revel in the openness, the spaces between. And now as the season changes, new leaves will start to fill in the gaps, and the mind will focus on the bright colours of spring. That which was exposed during the winter months will be hidden once more.

I sold a book today – and this is news – why?

Because, of all the cafés in all the world, I chose to walk into this one at eleven o’clock in the morning. Taking a break from writing, I had just popped in for a small cappuccino. Only one customer was sitting at a table across from the counter and as soon as I came in asked, ‘What do you think of men?’

Only one answer occurred to me in that moment – ‘I don’t think of them.’ The two young women who work there laughed, nervously.

It turned out there had just been an incident with a man. The female customer, a visitor from the US, had asked if he could read what was on the monthly newsletter that advertises what’s happening in town. The print is so small on this paper that I’m sure no one can read it without a magnifying glass. Obviously he couldn’t, so one of the girls told him to put his glasses on. And he went off on one. Very loudly. Telling her, with appropriate exaggerated hand gestures that she shouldn’t be putting him DOWN, she should be building him UP. And then he stormed out. It turns out he works there and his co-workers weren’t at all surprised by his behaviour.

However, as a result of this the American woman was declaiming that ‘Men are the new women’ – which is all very well as a catch phrase – except that I feel it’s an insult to women.

Anyway I started chatting to her, asking where she was from, who she was visiting. Then she said how she liked Hebden Bridge because it was full of artistic types. She asked me what I did and for the first time in my life (in a public place anyway) I said, “I’m a writer.”

“Oh, wow! What do you write?”

As it happened, a paperback copy of my novel was sitting on the café bookshelf. They have selection of books that customers can either read with their coffee or buy to take away and I had donated a copy of Starting Over for this purpose. So I found it and gave it to her to look at. Then I sat at the table next to hers and we talked some more. She said she would like to buy my book and I was able to tell her that it was available from the bookshop across the road.

After we’d paid for our coffees, and she asked another customer take a photo of her and myself with the staff, we went across to the shop. She bought my book and I signed it for her.

Outside on the street we hugged and said goodbye.

I walked back home in the sunshine and thought about this unexpected encounter and the joy it brought into my life. I hope reading my book brings some joy into hers.


Love, life and fairytales

Why do I write romance stories? I’m happily married and have been with the same lovely woman for over 27 years (who’s counting?).

But I still remember the rush of feelings from the start of our romance. The eyes meeting across a room, the first tentative lunchtime dates. And she wrote the most amazing love letters. I, the writer, was at a loss for words.

So, the stories…it’s an exploration really. The discovery of how two people from different backgrounds, different life experiences, might connect. And I write stories I would like to read. Women falling in love with women, and unlike the usual mainstream lesbian format, they actually have the chance of a ‘happy ever after.’

Now we all know ‘HEA’ doesn’t necessarily happen in real life. There are so many obstacles in everyday living that can get in the way. Work, lack of work, health problems, family, children, ex-lovers…and that’s before you get to the daily niggles over who takes the rubbish out and cleans the toilet.

Why do fairytales like Snow White and Cinderella end before the wedding takes place? Because the story’s been told, the first kisses exchanged. Why spoil it by finding out that the prince has no sense of humour and snores loudly in bed?

Life isn’t a fairytale but it is a journey. So I write about journeys people take, finding love somewhere along the way. Sometimes love hurts, (and in the words of the song*) sometimes it scars, but as long as we can keep a belief in the romance, there’s hope that love will triumph.

So, that’s why I write romance stories. I believe.


* ”Love Hurts” sung by Linda Ronstadt and Gram Parsons

By jenjsilver