Not quite end of year thoughts

The leaves are mostly all gone from the deciduous trees and plants, heralding the start of winter. We don’t often get snow in England, but when we do everything comes to a standstill even it’s just a light covering. Mostly, it rains. This year we do need lots of rain. Even though I live in what’s often called Wet Yorkshire, it’s predicted that we’ll still have a hosepipe ban through next summer. It rained heavily one morning when we were staying in Borrowdale in Cumbria last month. By lunchtime, the water levels had risen to swamp the low-lying pathways by the river’s edge, driving walkers onto the road.

Derwent River rising

So, this is the time of year for comfort reading. My go to selection for these long wet days in the run up to Christmas is The Chronicles of Alsea – a ten book science fiction series by Fletcher Delancey.

The Chronicles of Alsea by Fletcher Delancey

Back in the days of my youth, it would have been an annual reread of The Lord of the Rings (starting with The Hobbit, of course). Further back (and on occasion nowadays) it was The Chronicles of Narnia and visits to the Lake District with Swallows and Amazons.

My latest novel has been out for six weeks now. Maybe not exactly in the comfort reading category – but it’s a romance, so of course there’s a happy ever after ending.

Changing Times by Jen Silver

Changing Times – published 1 October 2022: Affinity Rainbow Publications / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Amazon CA / Amazon AU / Bella Books / Barnes & Noble / Google Play / Smashwords / Apple Books


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

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

Audio books

October books

My debut novel, Starting Over, was published on 1 October 2014. So it seemed auspicious that my 12th novel was released on 1 October 2022. It’s also fitting that Changing Times begins in October…the start of the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” (as observed by John Keats in his poem, To Autumn).

Changing Times is set in London 2023 and has a cast of characters ranging in age from 20s to 70s. It is something of a family saga, with the older folks from Changing Perspectives interacting with the younger generation. The focus is mainly on the lives and loves of Holly and Luc Barker.

Back in 1993, Holly and Luc were very young, aged four and six. And several of the other young people who come into the story weren’t yet born. That’s why I think of the book as a family saga. The older generation are dealing with the changes taking place in their bodies and minds as they age. And the younger ones are now in the front line of a rapidly changing world.

But the one thing that doesn’t change, regardless of age, is the quest for romance and the recognition that long-term loving relationships are possible. I hope readers will enjoy this story as the family dramas play out with dysfunctional families and families of choice.


Changing Times – published 1 October 2022: Affinity Rainbow Publications / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Amazon CA / Amazon AU / Bella Books / Barnes & Noble / Google Play / Smashwords / Apple Books


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

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


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


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


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


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


Novella: Coming Soon

Three Mile Cache is due for release on 1st July from Affinity Rainbow Publications.

I wrote this story some time ago and refer to it as my Flying Doctor fanfic. The Flying Doctors TV series from the 1980s always had me glued to the screen, hoping against hope that two of the female leads – a doctor and a nurse – would get together. It was never going to happen. But watching the programme sparked my imagination and gave rise to this romantic vision – although my two main protagonists are not employees of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. (This is a work of fiction so the usual disclaimer applies.)

Description:

The story is set in Australia circa 1988. When archaeologist Carolyn Wells returns home to Sydney after several months away at a dig in Tunisia, she expects to be reunited with her lover, Detective Inspector Alex Graham. But she soon learns that Alex has been wounded in a hostage incident and is recuperating at a Royal Flying Doctor Service hospital at a place in the outback of New South Wales called Three Mile Cache. Carolyn decides to fly out there and surprise Alex with her arrival.

Surprises abound when she gets there. One of the doctors treating Alex has a rather intimate interpretation of a bedside manner. There are mysterious goings-on at a local homestead and Alex’s injuries haven’t stopped her from probing into the lives of the locals, much to their annoyance.

When Carolyn and Alex meet again, things don’t quite work out as either of them would like. Can their relationship recover from the series of events in Three Mile Cache that threaten to keep them apart?


In the dedication I have acknowledged the superb medical service provided by the RFDS covering the rural and remote areas of Australia.


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


March already

This is my first blog of 2021 and it’s March already! I’ve been slacking off on the blogging front. No excuses really, just haven’t felt like I have much to say. Maybe I can blame the pandemic for an unusually long period of apathy, mainly with the written word. I’ve certainly been doing a lot of reading. The shed is piled high with completed jigsaw puzzles. And I’m looking forward to weeding the garden. (We don’t have a very big garden, so that won’t take long.)

This period of lockdown in England seems longer than the first one. I suspect that’s because it’s winter whereas last year during April and May we had prolonged spells of wonderful warm, sunny weather. As soon as lockdown eased for the summer, the weather took a turn for the worse.

So, as I can’t think of a lot to say, I’ll just add some photos from a few of my socially-distanced walks during since the start of the year, plus the jigsaw I completed today.

1000 piece Ravensburger puzzle titled No Ball Games (image by Ailsa Black)
A bit of sunshine and clear skies at Shibden Hall
Canada Geese on the canal – they’ve multiplied at a great rate.
A woodland scene

And this image – just because.

I’ve forgotten what this is for!

Spring is on its way – and the possibility of the resumption of a wider range of activities soon. However, if you still have time for reading, I have ten published novels plus some short stories out there, and two audio books to take a look at.

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


Canalside walk

A selection of photos from a visit to the Salterhebble canal basin a few days ago.

I’ve passed it many times on the drive between where I live and Huddersfield, but never visited. Turns out to be a pleasant place for a fairly secluded walk around by the lock and the mooring place for boats.

I was fascinated by the guillotine-style lock – something else I’d not seen before.

Guillotine Lock

This basin is an offshoot of the Rochdale Canal, which has a total 91 locks between nearby Sowerby Bridge and the Bridgewater Canal at Castlefield Basin in Manchester, a distance of 32 miles. The canal system is an amazing feat of engineering with work starting in 1798. One section, passing through Hebden Bridge, is built over the river (a hanging viaduct).

Walking through this tunnel, I felt we might emerge into another place and time.

Altogether, a lovely haven for a quiet walk. Of course, quiet walks are what I aim for these days.

Then it’s back home for more quiet time, mainly reading or listening to audio books while piecing together jigsaw puzzles.


If you’re looking for some reading or listening material for your own quiet times, please check out my books.

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