Long nights and new covers

The nights are getting shorter, but slowly it seems. I always think that January feels like the longest month. There’s the come down after Christmas and New Year festivities, the weather is dismal and we’re still getting up in the dark and going to bed in the dark. Spring and summer are distant memories (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway).

I don’t think I would diagnose myself as a SAD person suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (no surprise that the support organisation is based in the UK). But I do find myself looking forward to brighter days…and a holiday in Tenerife.

And I really don’t have anything to be sad about. I enjoyed a wonderful Christmas break with my wife and friends who we meet up with every year. Our home has survived the floods that have devastated homes and businesses in the area where we live. And I have two novels being published in February and March.

A happy dance is in order, I think.

The first book, due out on February 14, is the third and final installment of the Starling Hill Trilogy. As I have mentioned before I didn’t set out to write a trilogy. My first published novel, Starting Over, had a definite ending. Or so I thought at the time. But there were two characters in particular whose stories weren’t quite finished. Arc Over Time developed their relationship and it could all have ended with that book. But, no, someone else in the story felt they needed a resolution.

It was a matter of ‘if these bones could talk’…and talk they did. While I was mulling over this idea, there were discussions going on about where Richard III should be reburied. The discovery of his bones under a car park in Leicester was a media sensation, not just in the UK, but also around the world.

My royal personage, whose bones were uncovered in Starting Over and put on display at the British Museum in Arc Over Time, wanted a reburial as well. (As one of the characters in the story remarks – “Has she been watching the news?”)

Carved in Stone brings all this to the fore, along with further developments in the lives of the living characters.

All three books are being released on 14 February (re-releases of the first two) under the banner of ‘The Starling Hill Trilogy’. As Starling Hill is the name of the farm where it all started, it seemed an appropriate title for the series.

So, here it is – the big cover reveal – of not just one, but two books…the new one, Carved in Stone and Arc Over Time, which has had a makeover. (I like to think it’s a Hogwarts-type picture – one character has wandered off and another taken her place.)


 

Publications:

Arc Over Time – available from Affinity eBook Press /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.

Short Stories

There Was a Time and The Christmas Sweepstake – both available FREE on the Affinity website

Plans for 2016…or no plans?


laluna

Some writers are very disciplined and actually have a proper plan of what they are going to achieve each year.

My writing career has so far been of a more organic nature. In other words, I’m making it up as I go along.

I started along the path of being a published author in the middle of 2014 when Affinity accepted my manuscript for Starting Over. (How we got to this point is pretty well described in this first guest blog I did for Women & Words).

Suddenly I found that it wasn’t just about writing. Along with the publishing process of editing and making decisions on cover artwork – there was also the job of keeping up with Facebook posts, writing blogs, and generally trying to make a name for myself.

So for most of 2014 and all of 2015, I didn’t have a plan at all. Things happened. I knew that I would be attending the GCLS Conference and as well as doing a reading there, I had volunteered to be on two panels. These were firsts for me.

An invitation to be part of the inaugural Lesbian Authors Festival at a venue closer to home was unexpected. The Hideaway Café in Urmston (Manchester, UK) provided an excellent opportunity for seven authors to read, answer questions and sell a few books. (Plus they had awesome cakes!)

Having a hysterectomy wasn’t part of any plan and I only discovered that I needed to have one a few days after the Hideaway Café event. Luckily the operation went well and I’m now on the road to recovery (and, no, I won’t be posting photos of my scar – although it is very neat).

To help with promotion, as well as participating in author Q&A sessions on Facebook, I’ve done guest blogs on the Women and Words and UK Lesfic sites and taken part in several online interviews, including a podcast. I would like to thank the interviewers for their time and effort: Lynn Lawler, Fiona McVie and Clare Lydon. (Links to the blogs and interviews are on the ‘Guest Appearances’ page.)

2016 promises to be another busy year. I have two books, possibly three due for publication. The first of these is Book 3 of the Starling Hill Trilogy. Carved in Stone completes the journey undertaken in Starting Over and Arc Over Time. Book 3 is being released on Valentine’s Day – so make a note in your new diaries – 14 February 2016. Although each book can be read as a standalone, I think readers will enjoy the story more if they read all three (well, I would think that, wouldn’t I?).

xmas15_promo

Christmas promo for Books 1 and 2 of The Starling Hill Trilogy

Another book, due out in March, is a completely new story with different characters and is called The Circle Dance. No archaeology in this one, but there is a nod or two to the surfeit of stone circles in the UK. You don’t have to go far to find one here. Not all as magnificent as Stonehenge, but compelling evidence of an ancient culture’s communication network. That’s one theory, anyway. The circles are thought to be the sites of ritualistic gatherings – I prefer to think of them as precursors to the modern pub and that maybe the people who met at these places just sat around and told each other stories. (A lot of people are out celebrating the winter solstice at Stonehenge today.)

stonehengesolstice

Met Office photo of Stonehenge

A third novel due for publication in 2016, title to be confirmed, is scheduled for later in the year as it has a Christmas theme.

So, there will be more promoting to do for each of these books. So far the only event I’m planning to attend is the GCLS Conference in Washington, DC. I’m looking forward to meeting up with many of the people I met in New Orleans as well as meeting those I didn’t have a chance (or time) to talk to then.

Will 2016 be any different in terms of planning? I somehow doubt it. I will continue to make it up as I go along. Having to undergo a major operation, the timing of which coincided with the terribly sad and sudden passing of Sandra Moran, has left me with the notion that I can only take each day as it comes. And to appreciate each day fully – which is easy to forget in the midst of everyday occurrences.

Wishing everyone a happy holiday, however you celebrate at this time of year…I wish there was more peace and love in the world, but perhaps we can all just do our bit wherever we are and hope it spreads.

 


 

Publications:

Arc Over Time – available from Affinity eBook Press /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.

Short Stories

There Was a Time and The Christmas Sweepstake – both available FREE on the Affinity website

Talking about writing

How easy is it to sit down in front of a blank page and start writing?

Bernard Cornwell was asked this question in a recent interview and his response was simply: “It’s not hard — you just write the first f**king sentence and go from there.”

Some days it works this way, other days it is a struggle and you wonder if the words are going to come…and how many cups of coffee will need to be consumed. Or maybe a glass of beer, once the pirate ship’s gone past (see Note below).

Boats on Windermere

My main writing tool for the last two years has been Scrivener. The books I have written during this time have had a large number of characters but I’ve limited myself to six or seven points of view. Scrivener is particularly useful for me as the writer to keep the characters separate, and hopefully this helps readers as well when they see the finished product.

This is what the binder on one of my Scrivener files looks like, listing Chapter scenes from Carved in Stone (due out early next year).

Scrivener binder list

A recent blog by Jordan Redhawk gave some very useful advice on using a colour-code to easily identify scenes. I think that’s a great idea that I may employ in future manuscripts but so far just using the character’s names has worked.

With Scrivener I can also add Character Sketches, which is great if I’ve forgotten what hair or eye colour one of the characters has and saves having to scrabble through scraps of paper or a tattered notebook. That was my method BS (Before Scrivener).

This doesn’t mean I never handwrite anything. I do still have notebooks with bits of information, things that come to mind at odd moments, bits of research, and sketches for future scenes. Sometimes even a bit of planning ahead (what a novel idea!). Just a line or two can be all I need to spark the idea for a scene. The notes on this page are for the early chapters of Arc Over Time.

Notebook page

Sitting down in front of a blank page – it’s not always easy. But when the words come it is immensely satisfying to read it back the next day and realise you have achieved something. That you have, perhaps, moved the story on or created space for another plot development. This is the way I write, chaotic at times, but in the end, with the help of Scrivener, I can draw the threads together.

Well, I think the pirate ship went past some time ago. Cheers! Happy reading.

The pirate ship went past

  • Note: this is a reference to a holiday my wife and I took many years ago. We noticed that the pirate ship, a tourist excursion, sailed past the beach we were sunbathing on at the same time every day, about 11:00 in the morning. That was the cue for one of us to go to the bar. Ever since then, whenever we wonder if it’s time for a drink, we’ll say “it’s okay, the pirate ship’s gone past”.

Books:

Arc Over Time – available from Affinity eBook Press /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.

Short Stories

There Was a Time and The Christmas Sweepstake – both available FREE on the Affinity website

October thoughts – a lot of firsts

I love this time of year with the change of seasons, as the trees start to change colour and we sometimes have crisp clear days as in this (yet another canal photo) picture I took during my walk on the first day of October.

Willow tree on canal

A year has passed quickly with many personal milestones. On 1st October  2014, my debut novel was published. Along with the thrill of seeing my work in print, came a whole new set of things to worry about:

Would anyone buy my book?

Would readers like it?

Would reviewers like it?

The sales for Starting Over went well but I quickly got caught up in the newbie author habit of checking my Amazon ranking every day. I’ve now weaned myself off this – down to once a week. The book currently has 19 reviews on Amazon US and 11 on Amazon UK. I’m incredibly grateful to all who took the time to put reviews there and for the book to have a star rating of 4.8 and 4.4 respectively.

There were many ‘firsts’ for me during the months that followed publication. Having the book nominated in two Golden Crown Literary Award categories – Debut Author and Traditional Contemporary Romance; writing my first guest blogs for Women and Words and UK Lesfic websites with book giveaways, signing my first book, attending the GCLS Conference in New Orleans – meeting the Affinity team, including many of their other authors;  two public readings, one at GCLS and one nearer home in Manchester; and taking part in a radio-style interview with Clare Lydon (which has had at the time of posting this, 727 plays).

Author signing session at GCLS

My second book was published in May 2015 – Arc Over Time, a sequel to the first. Sales-wise it hasn’t been as successful as the first book, but all the reviewers and also readers who have contacted me via Facebook, have loved it. With a 4.8 star rating on both the US and UK Amazon sites, it seems to have hit the spot with those who have read it.

So, with the above questions answered, I have managed to keep writing – with two books scheduled to come out next year and the first draft of another book coming along nicely.

And I haven’t mentioned the two short stories that were published last year – another first was the publication of There Was A Time which came out a month before Starting Over, and then there was my contribution to the Affinity 2014 Christmas Collection – some fun in space with The Christmas Sweepstake –and possibly a third story coming up in the next Affinity anthology.

Along with these other firsts – the pleasure of seeing my book on the shelf of our local independent bookstore, The Book Case in Hebden Bridge. (And they’ve even sold a few copies!)

Book Case shelf

When I retired two years ago, I couldn’t have imagined any of this. I thought I would be spending most of my time playing golf, shooting arrows and going on holidays with my lovely wife. I am, just about, managing to fit these activities in as my writing life continues to expand. Retirement, it seems, it just another word for finally getting to do what I’ve always wanted to do – be a full time author.

I’ll keep writing – and I hope you will keep reading!


Books:

Arc Over Time – available from Affinity eBook Press /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.

Short Stories

There Was a Time and The Christmas Sweepstake – both available FREE on the Affinity website

Good news and interviews

A trilogy!

I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to announce that Affinity has agreed to publish another one of my novels – and it is part of a series!

Good news

When I began writing Starting Over, my debut novel, I had no idea I would go on to write a second and then, believe it or not, a third. OMG – a trilogy! (That was my sister’s reaction.)

The storylines for the second book, Arc Over Time, came into my mind almost immediately after I’d finished Starting Over. And not long after that one ended, I started thinking about the third, which is currently titled Carved in Stone – which were the last three words in Arc Over Time.

The impetus for the main storyline in Carved in Stone was the plans for the re-burial of Richard III’s bones. The city of Leicester laid on an impressive ceremony, which was televised – finally giving the much-maligned king a public send off worthy of his status. Benedict Cumberbatch, a distant relative, read out the poem written for the occasion by our Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy – which I found very moving – particularly this line: “Grant me the carving of my name.”

My story involves a royal personage whose bones are discovered at a remote hilltop farm in the first book, Starting Over. I was fortunate to come across an historical figure not much is known about, so I could make things up. She disappears from view after losing power, and nothing is known about where she ended her days. So, a farm on the moors above Huddersfield in West Yorkshire seemed as good a place as any.

In Arc Over Time, the bones and other artefacts are being displayed at the British Museum. As part of the exhibition, life-like 3D heads are created of the queen and her female lover. (Another departure from historical record, but something worth exploring, I thought.)

In Carved in Stone, Ellie Winters, the owner of the farm where the bones were found, becomes entranced by the image of the queen and starts to have conversations with her.

Historians haven’t been kind to this woman who was leader of the largest tribe in Britain in the first century. And she, too, it seems, feels she deserves to have a lasting monument; for her remains to be treated with dignity and honour.

I’m pleased this story is being published as I feel it completes the journey that began in Starting Over. As with the first two books, Carved in Stone is also a rollercoaster ride for the characters. And writing this book gave me the chance to give Jo Bright Flame – the owner of the camper van and a dog called Harry – an opportunity to find love, as she hadn’t had much luck in that department in the first two books.


GCLS Nomination
Another cause for celebration this week: I was notified that Arc Over Time has been nominated for a Goldie award in the Dramatic/General Fiction category! I really had an amazing time at this year’s GCLS conference and I have already booked for next year.


Live interview 

The podcast of my interview with London-based author Clare Lydon is now live on the My Lesbian Radio website. Clare is a brilliant interviewer and I really enjoyed our conversation. During the interview we covered a lot of the usual topics concerned with writing and how I got started, but somehow veered into visiting sex shops with my mother. With that out of the way, Clare asked if I planned to work in either of my hobbies – golf and archery – into my stories. I had to say they haven’t really featured yet. So, I’ll leave you with a photo of this fine sculpture of an archer, taken during a visit to Helmsley Castle this summer.

archer at Helmsley


If you haven’t read them yet, here are the links to my first two books:

Arc Over Time – available from Affinity eBook Press /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.

A day out

Last Saturday saw the inaugural Lesbian Authors Festival take place at the Hideaway café in Manchester. The venue is perfect for intimate readings and I was pleased to have been invited to take part. Seven authors participated and we had an audience of about twenty people. The organisers had given us each a ten-minute reading slot with time for questions for each author after their reading. I wasn’t as nervous as I had been for my first public reading at the GCLS Conference in July, so I managed to do it without losing my voice.

Reading at the Hideaway cafe

There was also time for a Q&A panel session with all the authors after the readings. And a bookstall had been set up so we could display our books and hopefully entice someone to buy one.

I enjoyed the interaction with the other authors and the audience. During the panel discussion there was an interesting exchange of views about how much sex readers either wanted or expected in this particular genre of lesfic.

All in all, a good day out. I sold a paperback of Starting Over and later, via Facebook, someone who had been at the reading mentioned they’d read this book and enjoyed it. I let her know that the sequel, Arc Over Time, is available. A few days later, I received a message from her saying she’d bought it and read it very quickly, wanting to find out what happened. She then posted this lovely comment on Amazon:

“So beautifully written this is a heartwarming tale of love and passion that had me reading until dawn to finish it.”

It is this kind of feedback that helps us writer-types to keep going.

And, speaking of Arc Over Time, Diana Prince interviewed two of the characters for the Affinity eBooks blog and the transcript of that interview is available here. As with anything involving Kathryn and Denise, it doesn’t go as smoothly as planned.

Finally, just because I like it, here’s a photo I took from the airplane window as we were approaching Copenhagen on our visit there two weeks ago.

Approaching Copenhagen


Arc Over Time – available from Affinity eBook Press /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.

September is here and winter is coming!

It’s only the first half of September but it feels like the end of summer. And what a summer it has been. The trip to New Orleans for the GCLS conference was the main feature. That was quite a week. The impressions and experiences will stay with me for some time – probably until next year’s event.

Hideaway Cafe

On Saturday I’ll be taking part in a much smaller, but no less significant event. The Hideaway Café in Urmston (Manchester UK) is holding an inaugural Lesbian Authors Festival. This is the line up:

Andrea Bramhall 2:15pm

I Beacham 2:25

Cari Hunter 2:35

Michelle Grubb 2:45

Break: 3:00-3:30

Jen Silver 3:30

Karen Cambell 3:40

Veronica Fearon 3:50

As I’m reading after the break, everyone will probably have filled up on cake and won’t be paying me much attention. This is only my second public reading – the first was at the aforementioned GCLS where I almost lost my voice halfway through. Maybe, fortified by cake, I will get through this one without choking.

Salted caramel cake

Homemade salted caramel cake from the Hideaway Cafe

As well as preparing for this event, the editing process for my next novel, The Circle Dance, has started. It’s due out in February, published by Affinity eBook Press. This book features a different set of characters from the first two but is still set in the same part of the country where I live. (An excuse to show another photo of the canal near Hebden Bridge).

Boats on canal

Boats moored on canal near Hebden Bridge

It’s also been a busy time for reviews. Last week the Wilde Times Tavern website posted a review of my debut novel, Starting Over. And this week, they put up an excerpt from the sequel, Arc Over Time.

Wilde Times Tavern website

Wilde Times Tavern review and excerpt

Although it’s called a ‘quick review’, the reviewer goes into some detail on what she liked and didn’t like about Starting Over. I was pleased that, although she didn’t like Robin to start with, after finishing the book she thought Robin was the character she would most likely want to take home.

Earlier this week I was also interviewed by the wonderfully talented Clare Lydon and you’ll need to tune into the next episode of the Lesbian Book Club on My Lesbian Radio to hear the result of that – which will be sometime towards the end of the month after Clare gets back from sunny Spain (at least she’s hoping it’s sunny). Check out Clare’s previous interviews here: http://mylesbianradio.podbean.com

So, that’s enough about me. Hope you’re all enjoying sorting out your winter wardrobe for the months ahead and snuggling down with a good book.


Arc Over Time – available from Affinity eBook Press /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.

Loving the Professor

Since the release of my second novel, Arc Over Time, I have focused on two of the characters in previous blogs: Denise, the journalist and her friend, Jasmine, a PR executive. They are both Londoners and enjoy the city life. However, in the first novel, Starting Over, they found themselves drawn out into the countryside. And not just the nice, fertile downs of nearby rural Surrey, but the sparser, northern moorlands, 200 miles to the north of the big city.

What brings them out of their comfort zone? Well, love, of course. For Jasmine, this doesn’t work out and she retreats to the city. But for Den, what started as a casual fling turns into something more serious in book two. She has fallen in love with the professor, Dr Kathryn Moss.

Several reviewers picked up on this aspect of the story and expressed the situations in the book with marvellous clarity:

“Dr Kathryn Moss is still obsessed with Ellie Winters, despite Ellie’s obvious commitment to and happiness with wife Robin. Despite her unrequited yearning the buttoned up professor has continued her affair with journalist Denise Sullivan – what Dr Moss hasn’t realised is how Den’s feelings are developing.” Velvet Lounger, July 2015

“Dr. Kathryn Moss is a bonafide archaeologist and university professor. She also appears, at times, to live within several isolated segments. Additionally, she does not understand how confusing and sometimes stupefyingly upsetting she is to women currently close to her and those previously close to her. I love how much she enjoys and executes her professional assignments, but her obliviousness to the concept of long-term relationships and even simple courtesies makes it complicated to be on her side. Possibly her parents missed a few vital steps in their childrearing practices or it may simply be Dr. Kathryn Moss at her most clueless. Amazingly incongruous!” J Johnson, Rainbow Book Reviews, June 2015

In this excerpt from Chapter Three of Arc Over Time, Den has travelled up north to see Kathryn give a talk at Huddersfield Town Hall. The professor hasn’t responded to any of her text messages or phone calls since the last weekend they spent in London together – so it was her plan to turn up unexpectedly and find out what was happening:

The lights dimmed and the hum of conversations died down with the occasional cough and sniffle. There was a brief introduction from Dr Ed McLaughlin who Den knew was a close colleague of Kathryn’s. She had seen him at the site the year before but hadn’t spoken with him. He kept his introductory remarks brief, as he was well aware the audience hadn’t come to see him. When Kathryn walked onto the stage there was a big round of applause. The professor waited for the noise to die down, acknowledging the crowd, smiling and glancing around.

The next hour was a torment for Den. She wondered why she had thought attending the lecture would be a good idea. Watching Kathryn as she gave a polished and commanding performance, she was aware only of the heat gathering between her legs and the tight knot in her chest. When the question-and-answer session started it was all she could do to stop herself from jumping up and shouting, why haven’t you answered my calls?

Ed McLaughlin came out onto the stage again and brought proceedings to a close and the audience rose as one to give Kathryn a standing ovation. The lights went up in the hall and people started to shuffle around looking for bags and jackets. Den stood and stretched her legs. She moved to one side to let the other people from her row out. Her eyes briefly caught Kathryn’s as she stopped by the lectern to pick up the notes she hadn’t used. Den raised her hand to wave and then let it drop limply to her side as Kathryn turned away without acknowledging her and walked out of view.

A wave of self-pity hit her. Why had she bothered? Tears threatened to fall as she tore her gaze away from the stage and the movement of the crowd carried her out into the foyer.

“Hey, Den! Is that you?”

She turned to face the voice and found herself looking into Robin Fanshawe’s hazel eyes.

“Wow, it is you? What brings you this far north without a minder?” Robin was smiling at her, looking as happy and healthy as when Den had last seen her, at her wedding six weeks earlier.

Den swallowed. She wasn’t sure she could speak. All she could do was look at Robin and shake her head. The tears were on their way and there was nothing she could do to stop them.

Kathryn does appear to be rather emotionally challenged in the scenes that follow from this. Can Den overcome these obstacles and continue to pursue the professor in the hopes of a proper relationship? Is Kathryn hoping to have another chance with Ellie Winters as she thinks Robin won’t be able to live up to her recent marriage vows?

I guess you’ll have to read the book to find out…and if you’re still undecided, here are the links to the two reviews quoted above:

http://www.lesbianreadingroom.com/arc-over-time-jen-silver/ by Velvet Lounger

http://www.rainbowbookreviews.com/book-reviews/arc-over-time-by-jen-silver-at-affinity-ebook-press by J Johnson

jen_promo


Arc Over Time – available from Affinity eBook Press /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.


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.

Dorothy

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.

table1

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.

shipping

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.)

champagne

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.

drinking

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.

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.”

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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!).

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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.