Summer travels

The Lake District once again…this time to Borrowdale and the lovely Derwentwater. On our way there we stopped off at Levens Hall for a stroll around the gardens. Topiary gone mad.

Levens Hall Gardens

Then Linthwaite – overlooking Windermere – and a greeting from Mr Toad.

There were sheep everywhere, of course. We spotted these two – ewe and lamb – making a break for it in Borrowdale.

Also an abundance of signs featuring red squirrels – a protected species.

Derwentwater

After a boat trip around Derwentwater, we drove up to Mire House. Its main claim to fame is that Alfred, Lord Tennyson stayed there and was inspired to write his Morte d’Arthur poem. He saw a vision of a hand grasping a sword rising out of the Lake Bassenthwaite. One of the memorials to his time there, is a stone circle surrounding a Round Table.

Nearer home…an early morning visit to Haworth. All quiet in the village, no cars or people.

Pub frequented by Patrick Brontë – next to the church, of course.

No more travels for a bit. The editing process for my next book will take up some of my time over the rest of the summer. It’s due out on 1 October and you can see a preview of the cover and blurb for Changing Times on the Affinity Rainbow Publications website.


Print and eBooks by Jen Silver are available from Affinity Rainbow Publications / Amazon, Bella Books, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iTunes

Audiobooks – narrated by Nicola Victoria Vincent:

Darcy Comes Home: Audible UK / Amazon UK / Amazon US / iTunes

Starting Over: Audible UK / Audible US / Audible DE / Audible CA / Audible AU / Amazon UK / Amazon US  / iTunes

Changing Perspectives: Audible / Amazon / iTunes / Beek / Chirp / Scribd / Google Play / Kobo / Nook


June is Audiobook Appreciation Month

I only started listening to audiobooks about four years ago. Up until then I hadn’t seriously considered having any of my books narrated. However, listening to books that I’d already read gave me an insight into how the different medium could enhance the story. With the right narrator, the words gained new life.

I was lucky to find the ideal narrator living almost on my doorstep, only a few miles along the road. We met for an initial discussion about how she worked and I didn’t need much more convincing to take the plunge. I gave her my two latest books to look at. Not long after that she sent me a sample of a scene from Changing Perspectives.

That was the game changer. I was sold on making the commitment to have the book recorded. Nicola Victoria Vincent is a wonderful voice actor. Hearing her treatment of different character voices gave the story a whole new depth. (It also showed up some of my writing glitches.)

Anyway, that was the start of my journey into audio. Nicki’s now produced two more of my novels – Starting Over and Darcy Comes Home. I’ve funded the productions myself and I’m not likely to break even on the costs. But it’s worth it to me to have my stories out in this format.

Only recently, Bella Books has taken the steps to have all of Katherine V Forrest’s books recorded. Daughters of a Coral Dawn is one of my favourites which I’ve read many times over the years (first published in 1984 by Naiad Press). The audio version is sensational though and it’s almost like experiencing the story for the first time.

So, every month is now Audiobook Appreciation Month for me. I know this is true for many other audio book converts. Long may it continue.

For this year’s Audiobook Appreciation Month, Jae has set up a fantastic giveaway with 23 authors taking part. I’m offering three US/UK Audible codes for Darcy Comes Home. To enter, just fill in the form on Jae’s blog:


Print and eBooks by Jen Silver are available from Affinity Rainbow Publications / Amazon, Bella Books, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iTunes

Audiobooks:

Three audio books

Darcy Comes Home: Audible UK / Amazon UK / Amazon US / iTunes

Starting Over: Audible UK / Audible US / Audible DE / Audible CA / Audible AU / Amazon UK / Amazon US  / iTunes

Changing Perspectives: Audible / Amazon / iTunes / Beek / Chirp / Scribd / Google Play / Kobo / Nook


Late spring travels

The time between blog posts is getting longer and longer. I haven’t felt compelled to communicate much. Maybe it’s a residue from the lockdowns. Having emerged from a cave-like existence, I’m not bursting with ideas to share. How do bears cope, emerging from their winter hibernation? How long does it take them to readjust to a wakeful life?

Slowly, emerging from this state, my wife and I have started venturing out of our cave. This month, it was a trip to the Lake District. For those not familiar with the geography of England, this is in the northwest corner, a part of Cumbria near the Scottish border. The terrain is a reminder of what the ice age left behind…a fractured landscape of great beauty…glacial ribbons of water, dramatic fells and mountains with romantic names: Scafell Pike, The Old Man of Coniston, Skiddaw, and Helvellyn. Also home to the stories of Arthur Ransome and Beatrix Potter.

It’s one of our favourite places. Although we’re not great walkers, we enjoy the scenery…so here’s a few pics from our most recent visit.

Windermere at Fell Foot
Windermere
The Teal on Windermere
Barn Owl – posing for Falconry display
View to Bassenthwaite

Print and eBooks by Jen Silver are available from Affinity Rainbow Publications / Amazon, Bella Books, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iTunes

Audiobooks:

Three audio books

Darcy Comes Home: Audible UK / Amazon UK / Amazon US / iTunes

Starting Over: Audible UK / Audible US / Audible DE / Audible CA / Audible AU / Amazon UK / Amazon US  / iTunes

Changing Perspectives: Audible / Amazon / iTunes / Beek / Chirp / Scribd / Google Play / Kobo / Nook


Springtime travels

Deciding to have a mini-break in mid-March was always going to be risky, weather wise. We were fortunate to have two days of gorgeous sunshine in the North East. Here are a few photos from our travels.

View from Ravenscar looking over to Robin Hood’s Bay
Walking up to the ramparts at Ravenscar to take in the view
Fish Wife sculpture at Whitby Harbour
The Beach Huts at Saltburn – miles of pristine sand
A breakfast companion at Sneaton Castle Hotel
In amongst the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey

Back home, feeling refreshed and invigorated, I was delighted to discover that Darcy Comes Home is now available as an audio book on Audible and Amazon (soon to be on iTunes as well). Narrated by Nicola Victoria Vincent.

Darcy Comes Home Audio Book

Happy reading and listening.


Links for Darcy Comes Home:

Affinity Rainbow Publications / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Amazon CA / Amazon AU / Amazon DE / Amazon FR / Bella Books / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords / Apple iTunes

Audiobooks:

Darcy Comes Home: Audible UK / Amazon UK / Amazon US / iTunes

Starting Over: Audible UK / Audible US / Audible DE / Audible CA / Audible AU / Amazon UK / Amazon US  / iTunes

Changing Perspectives: Audible / Amazon / iTunes / Beek / Chirp / Scribd / Google Play / Kobo / Nook


Another new year

I was going to do an end of year blog. But, here it is – the fifth of January already. What was there to say about 2021? It was very similar to 2020. The main difference was getting vaccinated: three jabs for Covid 19 and a flu jab. Although this did have the effect of making us feel a bit safer about going out, we stuck to travel within England and didn’t go anywhere without masks and hand sanitiser.

2020 was such a strange year that I found writing difficult, so I wasn’t expecting to be able to release a new novel in 2021. However, an idea did start to percolate in my benumbed brain after Christmas last year and the result was Darcy Comes Home. (Check out this lovely book review)

My publisher also released Three Mile Cache, a novella I’ve had sitting in a drawer for almost thirty years. They also decided to release each of the stories from the limited edition Affinity 10th Anniversary Christmas Anthology separately. My contribution was Winterbourne Revisited.

So, with very little to say at the moment, here are a few photos from our travels last year.

The North Sea
Knaresborough viaduct
Buxton
Lake Windermere

My publisher also gave their website a facelift. Please check it out – all their books are competitively priced – and there are some freebies on offer too.

Here’s hoping for a less restrictive year (going into our third year in the time of Covid). Whatever happens, take the time to enjoy some good reading along the way.


Links for Darcy Comes Home:

Affinity Rainbow Publications / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Amazon CA / Amazon AU / Amazon DE / Amazon FR / Bella Books / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords / Apple iTunes

Audiobooks:

Starting Over: Audible UK / Audible US / Audible DE / Audible CA / Audible AU / Amazon UK / Amazon US  / iTunes

Changing Perspectives: Audible / Amazon / iTunes / Beek / Chirp / Scribd / Google Play / Kobo / Nook


Comfort reading

The idea of comfort reading when it’s cold and snowy outside brings to mind two of my childhood favourites – that I still go back to now and again – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and Winter Holiday by Arthur Ransome.

Eventually I found a way to weave my own winter story with Christmas at Winterbourne. Narnia gets a reference in it (as it does in a few of my books).

Last year, when my publisher invited their authors to submit stories for a Christmas-themed anthology, I decided it was time to see what had happened to my characters in the intervening four years since publication.

“Winterbourne Revisited” was the result. The main focus for the story was the child who was born on Boxing Day. Teri is looking forward to her fourth birthday and all she wants for Christmas is…snow. Lots of it…just like at the time of her birth, when Winterbourne House was snowbound. As in the original story, I managed to include some Christmas Cracker jokes. This is an excerpt from the family’s Christmas Eve dinner with just Teri, her parents, and Clare, their guest from Australia.


Teri had followed her mother into the room and climbed onto the chair next to Clare. She immediately picked up her cracker and said, “Pull.”

Clare obliged with a smile, then offered her own to the girl. Teri was clearly well versed in cracker etiquette and pulled it before diving in to explore what had come out of her own. Wil and Gaby shared theirs with each other.

“Eat your soup before it gets cold.” Gaby’s instruction was aimed at her daughter but Clare picked up her spoon obediently. She’d only managed two mouthfuls when Teri plucked at her sleeve and held out her cracker joke.

“You want me to read this. Okay. Hm. I think it’s been written especially for you, little one. What do they sing at a snowman’s birthday party?” Clare looked around the table. “Any guesses?”

Blank looks all round.

“Must be something to do with cold or freezing,” Wil offered.

“You’re getting warm, or maybe I should say, cold.” Clare smiled. “Freeze a jolly good fellow.”

Teri looked puzzled, although her parents had laughed. “What does it mean?”

Clare sang the words for her, but the girl still looked puzzled. “Who’s he? It’s my birthday on Boxing Day. I want lots of snow and a snow horse.”

“I know, sweetheart.” Clare looked to Wil for help.

Wil shrugged. “How about this one, then? What kind of bird can write?”

“Oh, I know that one.” Gaby said quickly. “A penguin!”

Teri was distracted with the toy that had fallen out of her cracker. Clare wondered if her either of her parents had x-ray vision when they’d distributed the Christmas crackers at each place setting. The girl was playing with a small plastic horse.


So, if you’re looking for some Christmas-related comfort reading, how about giving this one a go.


Winterbourne Revisited – published 15 November 2021: Affinity Rainbow Publications Amazon UK / Amazon US / Bella Books / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords / Apple iTunes


Darcy Comes Home…out now

My eleventh novel…published today by Affinity Rainbow Publications!

I’m calling this a second chance romance and I think the blurb gives that away.


After twenty-five years Darcy and Angie meet again and from the faintly flickering embers of their forbidden teenage love, a flame erupts. Family complications arise including a reluctant engagement, secret surrogacy, and a persistent ex-wife.

Villagers in Professor Darcy Belsfield’s childhood home of Sycamore Haven remember her being sent away to a Christian conversion camp in Canada when her father discovered her making love to her school friend, Angie. Angie has never married but she does have a past and some unenthusiastic plans for the future.

Will the differences in their lives doom the chance of Darcy and Angie discovering if they can build a future together?


Sycamore Haven is a fictional village in North Yorkshire. I imagine it to be somewhere between Skipton and Ilkley.

The ebook is available on these sites:

Affinity Rainbow Publications / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Amazon CA / Amazon AU / Amazon DE / Amazon FR / Bella Books / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords / Apple iTunes

Starting Over Again

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but October 1st is one of those calendar dates that gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Even seven years after the event that initially brought the feeling on.

Affinity Rainbow Publications published my debut novel, Starting Over, on 1st October 2014. It took time for the reality to sink in…my words were out there for all to see…available not only on the Affinity website, but Amazon platforms around the world, Apple iTunes, Bella Books, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords.

Could it get any better than this? (Or, any more nerve-wracking?) After ten novels, a number of short stories, and another novel due out next month, it actually does.

The next milestone was the decision to enter the audio book market. I tried it out with book seven, Changing Perspectives. The reception for that one encouraged me to give it another go. Nicola Victoria Vincent recorded Starting Over during January 2020. After a bit of a hiccup with the upload to Audible, the audio version went live at the end of May.

It has been said many times, but it’s true that hearing a story not just read aloud, but performed with an actor’s talent for giving each character a voice, really does add another level to the whole work.

While Starting Over was going through the editing process back in 2014, I started writing a sequel. After finishing that, I couldn’t resist adding a sequel to the sequel. So, the trilogy was born. I was warned by Affinity that sequels often don’t sell too well and they were proved right. But I’m still happy that the books were published and I was able to give all the characters from the first book a happy ever after.

If you haven’t read or listened to Starting Over yet, why not give it a go. A tale of romance, relationships, and archaeological discoveries set in the West Yorkshire countryside…you’re in for a breathtaking ride.


Print and eBooks by Jen Silver are available from Affinity Rainbow Publications / Amazon, Bella Books, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iTunes

Audiobooks:

Starting Over  is available from: Audible UK / Audible US / Audible DE / Audible CA / Audible AU / Amazon UK / Amazon US  / iTunes

Changing Perspectives is available from: Audible / Amazon / iTunes / Beek / Chirp / Scribd / Google Play / Kobo / Nook


Check out these lovely reviews for my novella, Three Mile Cache:

KittyKat’s review (26 August 2021)

Carol Hutchinson’s review (22 September 2021)


Loving Trees

I have a lot of photos of trees and roots. As a child, when I was told to go outside and play on a bright summer’s day, I would find a tree to sit in to read a book. Not quite what my well-meaning parent envisioned. I do know that one summer I read my way through the children’s section of the local library. Then a school friend introduced me to Narnia, so I quickly devoured those seven books.

My parents were avid readers. Our house was always full of books. Whenever we moved, which was fairly often, floor to ceiling bookcases had to be added in several rooms to accommodate all the books. As a teenager I read my way through the Russian authors (mainly only interested in the Peace parts of War and Peace), Dickens, Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, and many more.

My own house is full of books too. Being surrounded by books is comforting, even when I know that there are many on the shelves that I probably won’t read again. But they are there, reminders of many happy hours spent between the covers.

So many trees have died to give me a lifetime of reading pleasure. Maybe that’s why I feel the need to appreciate and record their living, breathing beauty.

My next novel, due out in November, features a willow tree. Part of the story revolves around what happens when two teenage lovers are discovered under it. The image of the overhanging, shielding branches of the tree provided a touchstone for the tale I wanted to write.

A cover reveal and blurb will be forthcoming soon.


Print and eBooks by Jen Silver are available from Affinity Rainbow Publications, Amazon, Bella Books, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iTunes

Audiobooks:

Starting Over  is available from: Audible UK / Audible US / Audible DE / Audible CA / Audible AU / Amazon UK / Amazon US  / iTunes

Changing Perspectives is available from: Audible / Amazon / iTunes / Beek / Chirp / Scribd / Google Play / Kobo / Nook


Summer breaks

The easing of government-imposed pandemic restrictions on the so-called ‘Freedom Day’ in the UK (19 July) coincided with a week of continuously high temperatures. Most of us here don’t cope well with anything over 24C and our homes aren’t generally equipped with air-conditioning, as it’s only really needed maybe once or twice a year.

The rush to seaside resorts was therefore inevitable but I didn’t envy anyone who made the journey to sit on a crowded beach.

We’re still taking precautions to avoid catching the virus and although we’ve had both jabs, it seems to make sense to continue wearing a mask in enclosed spaces.

We’ve enjoyed a few cautious outings in June and July with a trip to the Lake District and then last week to the opposite side of the country where I even dipped my toes in the North Sea.

Linthwaite, near Windermere
View of the Lake Windermere
Paddleboarders on Lake Windermere
Paddling in the North Sea

There are many beautiful places to explore on this island so we’re planning on having some more adventures in the next few months.


Summer reads

How about trying out my novella (which came out on 1st July) – romance, action, adventure – set in New South Wales, Australia.

Three Mile Cache published by Affinity Rainbow Publications

E-book available from: Amazon UK / Amazon US / Amazon CA / Amazon AU / Bella Books / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords / Apple iTunes


Print and eBooks by Jen Silver are available from Amazon, Bella Books, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iTunes

Audiobooks:

Starting Over  is available from: Audible UK / Audible US / Audible DE / Audible CA / Audible AU / Amazon UK / Amazon US  / iTunes

Changing Perspectives is available from: Audible / Amazon / iTunes / Beek / Chirp / Scribd / Google Play / Kobo / Nook