Now for today’s guest.
Affinity Rainbow author Jen Silver is here to chat about her latest novel
Please welcome Jen Silver.
The working title for this book was ‘The Lonely Vet’ and the main idea to start with was to concentrate on her journey to finding romance. However, I soon realised that this was likely to be a very short story.
As I started to think about how the character, Galen, was going to turn her life around, I decided she was going to have to do something fairly drastic. So she leaves her vet’s practice in the hands of a locum and takes a job at a writers’ retreat. Her main job will be gardening and being on hand to provide sporting activities as required by the guests. The retreat is on an island in a lake, so there are opportunities for sailing, swimming, and fishing. Galen is also a longbow archer and brings her equipment to the island.
The concept of setting the main part of the story on an island was influenced greatly by my love of the Swallows and Amazons stories I read as a child and still re-read occasionally. Although based on a Lake District-type location, the island in the story is entirely fictional and I placed it somewhere in the Yorkshire Dales.
Galen has managed to reach the age of forty without having a sexual relationship with anyone, male or female. She is, therefore, puzzled by the unusual feelings stirred up when she starts working with the retreat’s general manager, Berry.
In this excerpt, Galen and Berry finally act on their mutual attraction.
Galen collected her archery equipment and set off for the range. Although she wanted to hurry to get there before Berry, she made herself walk slowly. No point in working up a sweat, replacing the one she had just washed off.
She set up both bows in case Berry wanted to have another go. Berry arrived just after she had shot her first three arrows. Perhaps aware of her impending approach, Galen felt her concentration was off and the result had been disappointing. Two arrows in the blue ring, and one slightly better in the red.
Berry was holding a Booths carrier bag in one hand and a picnic rug in the other.
“Might as well dine in comfort,” she said, putting both items down behind Galen’s backpack.
“Um, do you want to shoot first and then eat, or…” Galen felt her nervousness returning.
“Or, what?” Berry stepped in close to her.
There was no mistaking the spark in her eyes. Galen let her instincts take over and bent her head to kiss Berry’s inviting lips. This time the tug of their mutual desire left no room for hesitation. When Berry’s lips parted, Galen knew it was an invitation to explore with her tongue. The sensations coursing through her body were startling in their intensity. Even with no experience to draw on, this felt so right…like coming home. The movement of Berry’s body against hers was intoxicating, and the sudden onrush of warmth between her legs, added another dimension to their connection.
When they had to stop for air, Berry whispered, “Let’s get more comfortable.”
She slipped out of Galen’s embrace and reached for the rug. Galen helped her spread it out on a flat piece of ground. Berry lay down and patted the space next to her. Uncertainty swept through Galen’s mind. Her body wanted whatever was going to happen next, but her brain hadn’t caught up. She slowly lowered herself onto the blanket, lying flat, staring up at the patches of blue sky above the treetops.
Berry raised herself on one elbow and looked at her.
“I’m sorry. I’m a complete novice. I don’t know what to do.”
“I don’t have that much experience myself.” Berry was smiling but her eyes were serious. “If I do anything you don’t like, just tell me to stop, and I will.” She leaned forward and kissed her again.
Galen felt her body slowly relax as she enjoyed the contact once more. After a few minutes, Berry tentatively slid a hand under her shirt. Just that light touch sent a jolt of desire through her. When Berry’s hand cupped her breast, Galen moaned.
“This would be easier if we took our clothes off. Are you okay with that?”
Powerless to speak, Galen nodded. She sat up to remove her shirt and bra, then wriggled out of her shorts.
I hope readers will enjoy the romantic elements of the story as well as the mystery that emerges.
Sarah Frost enjoys her dream job as director of the Frost Foundation making her home at one of their writers’ retreats, The Lodge on the Lake. The general manager of The Lodge is Berry Fields, an old childhood friend.
Galen Thomas arrives at the island to fill the post of handy person, taking an extended break from her vet’s practice to help her decide how to shape her future life and career.
When the next group of writers arrives for their two-week retreat, along with Sarah’s grandmother, tensions start to surface. Magda Frost doesn’t approve of the appointment of the “vet” and still questions Sarah’s decision to hire Berry.
The island idyll is soon undermined by the revelation of events from forty years earlier, threatening the lives and loves of Sarah, Berry, and Galen. Calling home and what they now call home—all are affected by the disturbing legacy from the past.
MEET THE AUTHOR
After retiring from full time work, Jen thought she would spend her days playing golf, shooting arrows, reading, and enjoying quality time with her wife (not necessarily in that order). Instead, she started writing and had her debut novel, Starting Over, published by Affinity Rainbow Publications in 2014. Jen now has eight published novels to her name, a number of short stories, and not as much time as she thought for other activities. For the characters in Jen’s stories, life definitely begins at forty, and older, as they continue to discover and enjoy their appetites for adventure and romance.
CONNECT WITH JEN SILVER
Thanks so much for stopping by today.