2023 Reading Challenges

New year and many new books to read. Thanks to TB Markinson and Miranda MacLeod for pulling together a fantastic range of books and authors in this year’s I Heart SapphFIC Reading Challenge. Lots of prizes to be had with authors giving away ebooks, audio, and print copies.

One of my books is featured in one of this week’s (16 January 2023) categories: Reporter/Journalist.

Carved in Stone by Jen Silver

Although Carved in Stone is the third book in the Starling Hill Trilogy, I feel it can stand alone. There’s an Author’s Note and a Prologue to start things off so readers are able to jump right into the story.

Coming up on the w/c 30 January, Changing Perspectives is featured in the Butch/Femme category.

Changing Perspectives by Jen Silver

Many thanks also to Jae for setting up another Sapphic Book Bingo. There are two categories to complete a book bingo card…Main and Unicorn. Check out all the details here.

Here are some of my books to fill some of the bingo card categories.

Links to all my books, including audio, are available below.


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


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


Coming soon…Changing Times

During lock-down months of inactivity over the last few years, you would think I had loads of time to write. Instead, I felt a kind of inertia. Trying to write new books took longer than usual. I could have spent the time planning, if writing wasn’t happening. But that didn’t manifest itself in any way.

Book number twelve finally started to take shape in my mind, albeit slowly. It has its roots in the one I started writing over thirty years ago. Changing Perspectives was eventually finished and published in 2017. I was happy with the end of the story. It seemed a good place to leave my characters. A sequel wasn’t even a consideration back then. With all my books, though, I’ve never actually written ‘The End.’ My thinking on this is that unless they do a Hamlet where everyone dies, the characters carry on with their lives.

Towards the end of last year, it occurred to me that a lot will have happened to those characters whose story was set in 1993. There were children, some not yet born, who would now be adults. What kind of lives did they lead? What would they be doing now? As for the older generation…now in their late sixties, early seventies…how did they fare?

So, from these seeds, a story idea began to grow. The result is Changing Times.

Thirty years on from when we first met Dani Barker and Camila Callaghan in Changing Perspectives, they’re enjoying marriage and semi-retirement in a luxury flat near London.

Dani’s niece, Holly, runs their mixed media business, now gaining a foothold in the highly competitive online games market. Holly’s older sibling, Luc, influences people to take action on climate issues with their website, Gaia One: One Earth, One Chance.

Romance has been in short supply for both Holly and Luc. Immersed in her work, Holly’s dating life is non-existent. For Luc, family prejudices stand in the way of a relationship with the love of their life.

Can Holly and Luc succeed in making the changes necessary to achieve their own happy ever afters?

I certainly enjoyed revisiting the older characters who are, after all, closer to my age. It was also fascinating to discover how the younger generation developed through the intervening years. Although Changing Times is a sequel, I think readers will be able to appreciate the story without having read Changing Perspectives.


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


A Time Out

You would think having all this free time would be ideal for a writer. No visitors, only going out if absolutely necessary, grocery and takeaway deliveries, etc. Some authors have taken advantage of this and are producing books without pause. For me, however, it’s like that part of my life has taken a time out of its own. I’ve tried a few times to get some words down – but it’s not happening.

I’ve learned not to force it. With ten books published since the first one in 2014, there really isn’t any need to panic. So why not just enjoy the space for reading, doing jigsaw puzzles, listening to audio books, solitary walks, and sitting out in the garden with a cold drink (weather permitting).

Looking back to last August’s blog, it’s full of photos from different places we visited, playing golf in Scotland, taking part in an archery competition at another club, a full programme of Happy Valley Pride events.

So far this year, we’ve had one outing…a few days away at a hotel on Lake Windermere at the end of July. It was a wonderful time – enjoying different scenery, meals cooked by someone else, conversation (socially distanced) with other people. We felt safe and well looked after. There was a one-way system through the public areas, hand sanitiser stations at strategic points, well spaced out tables in the restaurant. Plus some good weather for enjoying walks by the lake and just sitting watching the ever-changing scene. Overall, fantastic!

dining

Food and drink was left on a service table and we served ourselves from there. (Note the hand sanitiser station by the table behind)

lake2

Activity on the lake

morning_geese

Early morning view of geese on the lawn – from our bedroom window

lake1

A final view of the lake

Will I look back on 2020 as a lost year, or just a time out from normal activities?

I’ll let you know in January.


Taking time out to read or listen to books? Here’s where you can find mine:

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


 

Christmas by the Lake

Is it January already? Time for another blog. A dreary January day seems ideal for a reflection on the wonderful time we had over Christmas. We’ve spent a few Christmases at Lake Windermere. This year was lovely, as it always is, regardless of the weather. Christmas Eve and Boxing Day were both wet days, but Christmas Day the sun came out.

jen_lake

lake_25dec

This was a contrast to the same place ten years earlier when we made snowbears by the lakeside.

snowbears


Clare Lydon invited lesbian fiction authors to take part in a Festive Lesbian Book Club Podcast. I was happy to answer her questions and this was the result with myself, Jae, Clare Ashton, Melissa Tereze, Lise Gold, Jody Klaire and SR Silcox answering the following questions: First, favourite lesfic of the year. Second, favourite festive lesfic ever. Third, what we’re hoping for from Santa. Fourth, what we like to eat & drink at Christmas. Finally, our publishing plans for 2020. Clare also added her own answers to the questions.


Happy Thanksgiving

Thank you to everyone who took advantage of Affinity’s December sale and bought copies of Christmas at Winterbourne, as well as the other books on sale during the month. Always worth checking out the Affinity Raingbow Publications website for free books and special offers. Subscribers to their newsletter can also benefit from the monthly flash sales.


2020 is starting out slowly for me. But it will be picking up speed in the next few weeks. I’ll be doing edits for my book due out in March – Country Living. Nicola Victoria Vincent has started recording Starting Over which will be the second one of my books to make it into audio. And I’m working on a new novel!

So let’s get on with more happy writing, reading, and listening this year!


Changing Perspectives, narrated by Nicola Victoria Vincent – available to download from: Audible / Amazon / iTunes / Beek / Chirp / Scribd / Google Play / Kobo / Nook

Books by Jen Silver…available from Affinity Rainbow Publications, Amazon, Bella Books, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iTunes

nine_books


 

Wintry tales

caw_ad1

Winter warmers in story form…if you haven’t encountered it already, I recommend joining the cast of characters in Christmas at Winterbourne for an unforgettable interlude at a lesbian retreat in Sussex. One reviewer came up with a summary that encapsulates the story far better than I’ve managed: “The characters are incredible and unique. They all have their own personalities, strength and weaknesses. A mixture of very different women. Sharing a few days with those characters is pure joy. I loved the whole atmosphere, the warm kitchen, the log fires, the cozy setting. It all felt so real. A story of love, loss, secrets, humor, friendship, compassion and a caring community. Reading this book is like falling into a warm bed on a snowy day…A perfect romance and just what I was looking for and a delightful read to put you in the Christmas mood.”

Check out the December price of Christmas at Winterbourne on Amazon: $3.99 on Amazon.com / £3.09 on Amazon.co.uk

 

christmas_medley

Affinity’s 2017 Christmas Medley has a delightful mix of stories. My offering, Maybe this Christmas, was summed up beautifully by one reviewer: “…set in Hebden Bridge, the lesbian mecca of the north of England. I loved the setting and the sweet story of Emma and her struggle to get past heartbreak and feel love again.”

I’ve recently started thinking about expanding the story of Emma and her friends into a full-length novel.

 

Wanted for Christmas

JM Dragon, renowned Affinity Rainbow Publications author, just loves Christmas and has released a new novella.

wanted


Venturing away from the world of lesfic, this is the time of year when dedicated fans of Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising sequence start thinking about re-reading the books. The time to start reading the second book in the sequence, The Dark is Rising, is on Midwinter’s Eve (21 December) when Will Stanton, 11 years old, is drawn into the ancient battle between the forces of the Light and the Dark.

Puffin Books has just released the books with new covers and foreword by Robert McFarlane. Although the new covers are good, I still prefer the cover of the 1973 version that I have, published by Atheneum.

dark_rising

Other old favourites that I like to revisit at this time of year are Winter Holiday by Arthur Ransome…a seasonal visit to the Lake District…and a trip into Narnia with  The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis.

winter_holiday

lion_wardrobe


Plans for the New Year

My new novel, Country Living, is due out in March, published by Affinity Rainbow Publications.

Blurb preview:

When Peri Sanderson achieves her dream of living in a cottage in the country she expects her life will be complete when her wife, Karla Sykes, is able to join her. Peri has romantic visions of growing her own vegetables, nurturing a few chickens and finally getting around to re-reading all her favourite books.

Karla has told Peri she can’t make the move from their London home for at least six months as she has a number of important projects to finish up before she can leave her job. Unknown to Peri, Karla has plans of her own that don’t include a move to the country.

Peri’s nearest neighbours on the hilltop sheep farm above the cottage seem like a nice family and help her to settle in and feel less lonely, but they all have secrets of their own.

Will Peri’s dream turn into a nightmare? Will Karla’s romantic adventure bring her the release she seeks?

 

And a new audio book: Starting Over…Nicola Victoria Vincent to start recording in January.

SO_audio_cover


Changing Perspectives is already out on audio, narrated by Nicola Victoria Vincent – available to download from: Audible / Amazon / iTunes / Beek / Chirp / Scribd / Google Play / Kobo / Nook

Books by Jen Silver…available from Affinity Rainbow Publications, Amazon, Bella Books, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iTunes


 

To Autumn…

The first line of Keats’ ode to this season is all I can quote from memory: “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”.… so I had to look it up to find the next line, which I really should have been able to recall: “Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun”.

canal_geese

November is almost here so I began thinking about what I’ve done these past two months. We(s)t Yorkshire has lived up to its name with long bouts of rain every week. However, I have evidence of one sunny day when I was on the archery field.

archer_sept

The day of our visit to Sutton Hoo, the site of the famed 7th century Anglo-Saxon ship burial, was overcast but the wet stuff stayed away. Although I had read about the dig that took place on the eve of the Second World War, it brought it into sharper focus to see the landscape, the burial mounds, and the size of the ship that would have been hauled up the steep side of the valley from the river.

suttonhoo_helmet

suttonhoo_ship

It was sunny for our brief trip to Edinburgh in October, but very cold. I’m looking quite frozen here with the Sir Walter Scott memorial in the background. (A good excuse to sample some whisky.)

Scott_Edinburgh

The Pumpkin Festival in Hebden Bridge is the precursor to Hallowe’en in the town. Local businesses get into the spirit of things with wonderful window and street displays. The Heart Gallery won the Business award last year and has excelled again with this tribute to Anne Lister.

shibden_pumpkins


Book related things

All quiet on the writing front. However, at some point in the next few months I will be embarking on the editing process for my next novel, Country Living, due out in April.

Deuce, which came out in February, hasn’t garnered many reviews but the feedback I’ve had from people who have read it is that they enjoyed the story. I’m pleased to note that our local bookstore, The Book Case, has sold two copies. (One still left on the shelf the last time I looked). Paperbacks are also available at Gay’s the Word in London.

deuce_bookcase1

The LesFic Eclectic anthology was released last month… a great collection of stories from new and established authors…and it’s FREE! Grab your copy here.

le_contents

LesFic Eclectic contents

That’s all for now. Happy reading!


Changing Perspectives is out on audio, narrated by Nicola Victoria Vincent – available to download from: Audible / Amazon / iTunes / Beek / Chirp / Scribd / Google Play / Kobo / Nook

changing_audio_site

Books by Jen Silver…available from Affinity Rainbow Publications, Amazon, Bella Books, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iTunes


 

For the love of Dani

I think Dani from Changing Perspectives is one of my most complex character creations and one that I’ve loved for a long time. So it was wonderful to have a reviewer express how much she loved Dani too when she read the book.

I met Carol of LesBireviewed briefly at ELLCon last year. (Wonderful event – the day and a half passed too quickly for anything more than brief interactions – many more readers and authors I would have liked to spend more time with.)

jen_here

Anyway, Carol bought a copy of Changing Perspectives. If I had known she was going to enjoy a love affair with Dani, I would have given her the book. Reviews have been few and far between so I very much appreciated Carol’s YouTube offerings on both the cover and the story.

LESBIreviewed video clip

Introduction video

Book review video

And now you can listen to Dani’s story in audio book format. When I received a sample recording from my narrator, Nicola Victoria Vincent, I couldn’t believe how well she’d captured Dani’s character with the voice she gave her (and all the other characters too).

I started writing Dani’s story when I was living in London in the early 1990s. Her character isn’t based on myself or anyone I know (in case any readers were wondering). But I was, somehow, able to get inside her head.

Changing Perspectives was the most complete story I had stuck in a drawer for all those years and really should have been the first one I submitted to Affinity in 2013. But I chickened out. I wasn’t sure how well a story featuring a character heavily into S&M would be received. So I gave it an experimental go with two of the characters in the second book of the Starling Hill Trilogy, Arc Over Time. Compared to Dani though, their interactions are pretty lightweight.

So with book seven, Dani finally came out into the world. And I’m glad she did. Changing Perspectives has outsold all my other books by a long way. Many thanks to all the readers who have picked up the book and, I hope, enjoyed it.


Audio Book Giveaway: I have some  codes to give away…currently only available to recipients in the US, Canada, and Australia via the Authors Direct app. From a previous giveaway, I understand redeeming the codes this way is easy. So, please leave a comment and I will pick the winners next Friday (27 September).


The audio book is available to download from: Audible / Amazon / iTunes / Beek / Chirp / Scribd / Google Play / Kobo / Nook


Books by Jen Silver…available from Affinity Rainbow Publications, Amazon, Bella Books, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iTunes


 

My summer reading

In my last blog post I gave an overview of what I’ve been up to this summer with activities and events. So now I thought I would take a look at what I’ve been reading over the last few months.

The science fiction bug has bitten me this year:

planet

The title of the first book in Becky Chambers’ Wayfarer series intrigued me: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. And I wasn’t disappointed. The author captures the differing species and personalities aboard a spaceship very well. It made me wonder how well any of us would cope having to interact at close quarters with different-bodied aliens when the small differences in human aspects seem to be a challenge on our own small angry planet.

producer

Although I’ve read the Chronicles of Alsea series on my kindle, I’ve enjoyed rereading the stories in paperback format (very well produced by Heartsome Publishing). Earlier this year I reread The Caphenon (Book1), Outcaste (Book 6), Resilience (Book 7), and Uprising (Book 8). I’ve now gone back to Without a Front: The Producer’s Challenge (Book 2). The first time I read it, I think I missed a lot of the detail. I can take it more slowly now, as I know what happens later on. The challenges faced by the characters populating Fletcher Delancey’s complex Alsean society is worth the revisit. (Next up: Without a Front: The Warrior’s Challenge)

After visiting other worlds, it was time for some down-to-earth romance. However, not being able to decide on a new lesfic book to read, led me to rereading some of my own.

trilogy_promo

Revisiting them after a gap of almost five years was a pleasant revelation. I really enjoyed them. Starting Over was my debut novel, which spawned two more books to form the Starling Hill trilogy. The archaeological aspect of the stories was something I enjoyed researching and continued to be a real life interest with the five seasons spent as a volunteer excavator at Vindolanda.

digging

Having just released my first audio book, Changing Perspectives, I’ve been pondering which of my other books could be the next one to be produced and I’m thinking Starting Over would do nicely. Any thoughts from readers on that idea are most welcome.


Books by Jen Silver…available from Affinity Rainbow Publications, Amazon, Bella Books, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iTunes

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