A Conference with a View

My first GCLS Conference and what a fantastic experience! The words and photos on this blog barely begin to describe the effect of the time spent in New Orleans.

When I first saw the programme for this event last August, I didn’t hesitate to book. Dorothy Allison’s name jumped out and grabbed me. I’ve read all her books and although my life experiences have been nothing like hers, the power of her writing drew me in. What I didn’t expect when I attended the reading she gave, was the extra dynamics she could project – taking the words from the page and giving them life. That and her keynote speech were the exceptional highlights of the conference for me.


There were other wonderful times throughout the three and a half days (not nearly long enough) – meeting people, taking part in panels and even doing a reading of my own.

Another reason for making the long trip from the UK was the opportunity to meet my publisher and other Affinity authors for the first time. We are a diverse group with the others having come from Australia, New Zealand, as well as covering most of the United States from Washington State to Florida and places in-between—but we bonded well and had a great time getting to know each other. There was a lot of laughter.

Nancy did a great job with the table display, so I couldn’t resist having my photo taken with it on the first day. Many thanks to everyone who stopped by the Affinity table to talk with us and buy books.


The city of New Orleans is fascinating and I was pleased to have a room with a view, looking down on the Mississippi River. I could have sat and watched the ships going past all day. Only being there for a week and spending most of that time in the hotel, I didn’t see a lot of the city, but what I did see was delightful. Great to see that Katrina hadn’t succeeded in destroying the vibrant spirit of the people who live and work there.


My wife didn’t come with me but she had a bottle of Champagne delivered to my room when I arrived. Not wanting to drink alone, I shared this with some of the Affinity crew by way of celebrating completing my first public reading session without falling over, although I did start to lose my voice part way through. (And a kind woman in the audience brought me a glass of water.)


Affinity eBook Press is celebrating their 5th year in publishing and with nine authors present for this event, they pushed the boat out (pun intended) in hospitality terms. And these women can party! I’m a lightweight on the drinking front and was in awe when Erin O’Reilly and J M Dragon downed their Fireballs in one. (I think several more were consumed after I’d gone to bed.) Saturday night there was cause for further celebration when ‘The One’ by J M Dragon received a Goldie Award.


Heartfelt thanks to the GCLS for their professional organisation of such a fantastic event. I met some lovely people and look forward to the developing of friendships through social media until we have the chance to meet again in person.

My books:

Arc Over Time – available from Affinity eBooks /Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / Bella Books / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords / iTunes

Starting Over – available from Affinity eBook Press / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Bella Books / Smashwords / iTunes.

Ready, set…go! GCLS is upon us!

Only a few days to go before setting off on the big adventure to the GCLS Conference in New Orleans. I was inputting my schedule for the five days into my phone’s calendar and it’s looking like a very busy programme indeed!

On Wednesday, after registration and the Conference Welcome session, it’s straight into the Con Virgins meeting followed by the Meet ‘n Greet Ice Cream Social. Hopefully time for a lie down before I meet up with the Affinity team for dinner.

On Thursday I’ll be attending some of the panels and author readings before taking part in the 3:10 panel entitled: “Do I have to go outside? Research at the desk and in the field.” My speciality is “the field” – more specifically – what is the story that lies behind a visit to this mystery building?:

durham museum

I’m just thrilled to be involved with this amazing group, Stacia Seaman is moderating and the other panelists include Cheyne Curry, Rachel Gold, Sandra Moran and Justine Saracen—all, no doubt, all talking up a storm.

Friday, I will be a nervous wreck until after about 10 o’clock. That’s when I’m doing a reading. The session starts at 9:40 and Elaine Mulligan Lynch, our moderator, has kindly put me up to bat second. The other readers are: Pat Cronin, Lee Lynch, A. I. Duncan, Riley Adair Garret and Baxter Clare Trautman. Reading over, I’ll relax and enjoy the rest of the day.

Later on there will be quite a group of Affinity authors available for the Author Autographs session: J M Dragon, Erin O’Reilly, T J Vertigo, Ali Spooner, Renee McKenzie, Annette Mori, Lacey Schmidt, Erica Lawson, and myself. So a great opportunity to stop by, have a chat, buy a book…and have it signed!

This cartoon represents how I think the Author signing will go:


Saturday is another busy day with great sessions all day, plus the Keynote speaker, Dorothy Allison. I’m on another panel in the afternoon at 2:00pm. This time talking about the idea that sparked my debut novel, Starting Over. I’m sure this is going to be great fun with the other authors and Karin Kallmaker trying to keep us in line. We’ve already been threatened with physical restraint if we stray from the assigned topic. And the concept of herding cats comes to mind as we have a lively group with Kris Bryant, C. d. Cain, Sandy Dugger, A.I. Duncan, and Laina Villeneuve.

Then it’s onto the evening festivities with the Awards Ceremony and dance. It’s going to be a busy time and I’m sure Sunday morning will come around all too quickly – we’ll be saying goodbye, promising to keep in touch, and looking forward to the next time we can be together.

Wishing everyone who is going to the Conference, safe travels…and looking forward to meeting so many of you there.

Romance abounds in these two books:

Arc Over Time – available from Affinity eBooks /Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / Bella Books / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords / iTunes

Starting Over – available from Affinity eBook Press / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Bella Books / Smashwords / iTunes.

By jenjsilver

Den’s Dilemma

Last week, I featured Jasmine Pepper, one of the characters from my second novel, Arc Over Time. This week, I’m giving you a look at Denise Sullivan.

Denise, usually called Den, is a journalist who lives in London and is in a sort-of long distance relationship with Dr Kathryn Moss, who lives two hundred miles north of the capital and looks like planning to move even further north. I say it’s a ‘sort-of’ LDR because Den is more committed to the relationship than Kathryn.

At the end of Chapter One, all seems to be well with these two. They’ve kissed and made up and had a weekend of great sex before Kathryn heads back up north. However, in Chapter Two, a week has passed and Den is feeling frustrated as she hasn’t had so much as a text message from her lover and she isn’t answering her phone calls.

So, it seems like a night out on the town might be a good idea…or not:

Excerpt from Chapter Two:

Den looked around the sparsely furnished room. No books anywhere. What had she let herself in for? The idea of a casual shag with this woman had seemed like a good idea an hour ago when they were dancing at the club.

A few beers, music, flashing lights, it hadn’t taken much to get in the mood, trying to recapture the carefree self who had revelled in nights like this. That was before she met Kathryn. And now, a Friday night, five days since Kathryn left on the early morning train, and she’d only had one short text from her. Den had tried to ring her but always got the answering service. She’d left messages, but nothing. It was as if the Saturday and Sunday before hadn’t happened.

Now, in this stranger’s house, hearing the toilet flush, the initial flash of desire left as quickly as it had appeared. She knew she couldn’t do this; it would just be going through the motions. Not fair to Lindy or Lucy, or whatever her name was. Shit.

A vision emerged from the bathroom. The woman looked pretty hot, stripped down to her underwear. A lacy black bra barely containing full, rounded breasts, and skimpy panties that covered even less of her mound of luscious-looking dark curls. Den could feel her body responding. She licked her lips.

“Look, I’m sorry, Lindy. But I can’t do this.”

“It’s Libby. What’s the matter, babe? Don’t you like what you see?” she arched her back provocatively.

“Sure. I like it a lot. But I have to go.” Den backed towards the door.

“You’re fucked up! You know that?” Libby’s full bottom lip trembled.

“Yeah, I know.” There was no graceful way to make her exit. “Maybe some other time. Bye.”

She stumbled out onto the street, not even sure where she was. They’d been glued to each other’s lips in the taxi ride from the club. Pulling out her phone, she clicked onto the map. Google would help her out.

Walking to the end of the road, she found her location before the phone app did. It wasn’t far from Henry’s. Christ, I hope I’m not going to run into Libby in one of my locals any time soon.

How do things work out for Den and Kathryn? Well, it’s all in the book. Although this is a sequel to my debut novel, Starting Over, I’m pleased that several reviewers have commented that it can be read as a stand-alone story.

The latest review now on Planet London’s website makes this point very well. And if I weren’t married already, I would be proposing to the reviewer who finished off the review with this comment: “Jen Silver is an accomplished writer and her book is an engaging read that wouldn’t be out of place on a shelf with fiction from the US.”


Golden Crown Literary Society

On another note – I’m counting down the days to my trip to NOLA for the GCLS conference. My publisher, Affinity E-book Press, is celebrating their fifth anniversary and ten of their authors will be at the event. This month they also published their 100th book. So, please stop by the Affinity table in the Vendor area and say hello (and maybe pick up a paperback or two!).


Romance abounds in these two books:

Arc Over Time – available from Affinity eBooks /Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / Bella Books / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords / iTunes

Starting Over – available from Affinity eBook Press / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Bella Books / Smashwords / iTunes.

Jasmine-scented sex scenes


As mentioned in a previous post, Arc Over Time is a sequel to Starting Over and mainly explores the developing relationship between archaeology professor, Dr Kathryn Moss, and journalist Denise Sullivan. However, one of the other characters featured is Jasmine Pepper. She wasn’t very popular in the first book but as Den’s friend she does have more of a role in the second one.

A business meeting in Chapter One sets the stage for a new direction in Jas’s love life—subsequent events, as they developed—caught me by surprise, and Jasmine as well.

Excerpt from Chapter Two:

Just walking up the road to Max’s house was a thrill. This was a part of London she could only dream about living in. Her parents had helped her pay the deposit on her small garden flat in Stoke Newington and she was still paying off the mortgage ten years later.

She stopped outside the large white Georgian house, the engorged purple flowers of the climbing wisteria vine hanging lusciously over the front door. Taking a deep breath, Jas lifted the brass knocker but the door opened before it fell back in place.

“Ms Pepper. Please come in.” The speaker was dressed in a maid’s outfit, although a more risqué version than any worn by those employed at nearby royal palaces. When the maid turned to lead her down the hall, Jas got a view of the young woman’s bare cheeks. She swallowed nervously. What was she letting herself in for?

Max was leaning against the fireplace in the large sitting room where the scantily-clad maid had taken her. The sight of her hostess looking imposingly handsome dressed in a close-fitting tuxedo dispelled her misgivings. Whatever this evening was leading to, it was likely to be more fun than a lonely night in front of the telly watching repeats of Rizzoli & Isles.

I was aware, as I was writing this and later scenes involving Jasmine and Max, that my mother would be reading this book. It is dedicated to her, after all. She didn’t comment after reading it, other than to say she enjoyed the story. However, she had obviously felt the need to warn her two elderly lesbian friends that they might find the content a bit risqué as I received an email from one of them saying: “I fear I must disappoint your mother in not being shocked by anything (have to admit that I’d have liked to have had even a bit more of Max and her carrying-ons)”. I think, of the reviews I’ve received so far for Arc Over Time, this is the comment that has been most pleasing.

My mother’s friend also went on to say how much she enjoyed the descriptions of the Huddersfield area in West Yorkshire as it’s where she grew up.

If you haven’t taken the plunge yet into the world of Starting Over and Arc Over Time, why not? It’s an exciting journey for all the characters, but Jasmine definitely has the ride of her life this time around.

After reading that excerpt, I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a cold drink…

Cold beer

(Disclaimer: the flowers pictured above are the closest I have to Jasmine growing in my garden. Apologies in advance to any horticulturalists who will know what they are.)

Romance abounds in these two books:

Arc Over Time, released by Affinity eBooks in May 2015 – available from Affinity eBooks /Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / Bella Books / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords / iTunes

My debut novel, Starting Over – available from Affinity eBook PressAmazonBarnes & NobleBella Books,Smashwords, and iTunes.