Tag Archives: nonbinary

Blog Tour: The Flowers of Time by A. L. Lester

The Flowers of Time | A. L. Lester

Lost in Time #3

The Flowers of Time Banner

Publisher: JMS Books LLC

Release Date: 22 February 2020

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/NB

Length: 50,500 words

Buy Link: Amazon

Add to Goodreads

theflowersoftime

Blurb

Jones is determined to find out what caused the unexpected death of her father whilst they were exploring ancient ruins in the Himalayas. She’s never been interested in the idea of the marriage bed, but along with a stack of books and coded journals he’s left her with the promise she’ll travel back to England for the first time since childhood and try being the lady she’s never been.

Edie and her brother are leaving soon on a journey to the Himalayas to document and collect plants for the new Kew Gardens when she befriends Miss Jones in London. She’s never left England before and is delighted to learn that the lady will be returning to the mountains she calls home at the same time they are planning their travels.

When they meet again in Srinagar, Edie is surprised to find that here the Miss Jones of the London salons is ‘just Jones’ the explorer, clad in breeches and boots and unconcerned with the proprieties Edie has been brought up to respect.

A non-binary explorer and a determined botanist make the long journey over the high mountain passes to Little Tibet, collecting flowers and exploring ruins on the way. Will Jones discover the root of the mysterious deaths of her parents?

Will she confide in Edie and allow her to help in the quest? It’s a trip fraught with dangers for both of them, not least those of the heart.

Excerpt

Edie was still washing when she heard the commotion. The sheep and goats were making a dreadful racket, baaing and wailing much louder than she had ever heard them, even when they were on the move. Then the herd dogs joined in, giving tongue like Edie had never heard before. She didn’t have her stays on. Or her chemise. Or anything. She hastily pulled her dress over her head, grabbed up the pistol she kept by her camp bed and dashed out toward the noise in her bare feet, hair flying.

She ran without a thought. She didn’t know where anyone else was, but she assumed Henry and Bennett and the young men had already started the day of surveying they had planned last night. She and Jones had discussed riding out to look at the ruined caravanseri they had glimpsed from the hilltop yesterday as they were riding down into the valley, but Jones was usually up and about well before Edie emerged from her tent each morning, as were her men.

When she reached the little flock of sheep and goats, she stopped in horror. She wasn’t at first able to make out what she was seeing, but then it came into focus sharply, with scents and sounds and colors. There was a tiger in among the goats. It was eating one of them. Margery, the leader of the herd. The three herd dogs were going berserk, barking and making short forays toward the tiger, before backing off again. The goats couldn’t get away because they were tied. The tiger was sat in the middle of them, with its kill. It was peaceably eating Margery for breakfast.

Edie screamed. The dogs barked. Distantly she heard voices shouting, but they were a long way away.

The tiger looked at her. Or perhaps through her. It had big, black, bottomless eyes and looked annoyed that she had disturbed its breakfast. It stood up, ponderously, and growled. If anything, its eyes became darker and more menacing.

“I really don’t want your breakfast,” Edie said. “I liked Margery, I’m not going to eat her.” The dogs were still barking like mad.

The tiger growled again, sniffing the air. It took a step forward.

Edie raised the pistol. She was pretty handy with it now. Henry had made her practice and practice at home before they had set out on their journey. She could shoot a musket as well, although she wasn’t very good at loading. Her pistol was loaded. Henry had said that it was dangerous to keep a firearm loaded but that at night, fumbling in the dark to load one if the camp was attacked would take too long and might get her killed. Generally speaking, Henry had been very brutal in his explanations before he had agreed to bring her along. Edie spared a brief second to be grateful to her brother, although not too grateful, because a proper brother would be here at this point defending her from the tiger.

The tiger took a step forward. Edie said “I really don’t want to shoot you. Please take Margery and go away.”

The tiger growled some more.

Edie swallowed. She was going to have to shoot it. She had no idea how easy it was to kill a tiger, but she had a vague idea that shooting it and missing or shooting it and only wounding it would be a bad outcome.

It had Margery’s blood all around its mouth and down its front. It looked like it was a male tiger. It had a beard and lots of muscle. It was very large and its eyes were completely black. It probably came up somewhere between her waist and her shoulder. She really hoped it wasn’t going to kill her and eat her. She didn’t have her stays on. She didn’t want to die without her stays on. Her mother would be mortified.

About the Author

Author Pic

A. L. Lester likes to read. Her favourite books are post-apocalyptic dystopian romances full of suspense, but a cornflake packet will do there’s nothing else available. The gender of the characters she likes to read (and write) is pretty irrelevant so long as they are strong, interesting people on a journey of some kind.

She has two and a half degrees, a BA in Archaeology and History; a MSc in Geographical Information Systems; and a few half-arsed courses as part of a Science and Science Fiction undergrad. In galaxies long ago and far away she has coded GIS, taught computing skills in the community, was a very expensive secretary and worked as an audio-visual technician.

It came as a great surprise when health and safety got upset about pregnant people climbing ladders to do rigging; and so she gave all that up to breed poultry, bees, plants and children.

Now she has a chaotic family life and has become the person in the village who looks after the random animals people find in the road. She is interested in permaculture gardening and anything to do with books, reading, technology and history. She has stress-related seizures and lives in a small village in rural Somerset with Mr AL, two not-quite-teenage children and various animals and birds.

She is seriously allergic to both rabbits and Minecraft and struggles to find time to write, but manages anyway, because it’s what keeps her going.

Website | Facebook | Twitter |
Goodreads
| eMail | Instagram | Amazon | Bookbub

Tour Schedule

2/22 Queer Sci Fi

2/23 My Fiction Nook

2/24 Love Bytes

2/25 Drops of Ink

2/26 Joyfully Jay

2/27 Stories That Make You Smile

2/28 Mirrigold Mutterings and Musings

2/29 Xtreme Delusions

3/1 Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

3/2 The Faerie Review

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Button 2

The Flowers of Time Teaser

New Release Blitz: Behind the Sun, Above the Moon Anthology

Behind the Sun, Above the Moon Anthology   | Multiple Authors

Behind the Sun Banner

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 17, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: M/NB, F/NB

Length: 91,300

Buy Link:

NineStar Press | Amazon

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Add to Goodreads

BehindtheSun-500

Blurb

A Queer anthology inspired by magic and the cosmos, a vast and beautiful place where planets, stars, comets—entire galaxies, even—live without borders, specifications or binaries.

Stories span science fiction, science fantasy, contemporary, fabulism and magical realism, and celebrate Non-binary and Transgender characters.

twice-spent comet
On an isolated asteroid, Fer serves out their sentence with a found family of ramshackle criminals. Life takes an exciting turn when they befriend Ophelia, a beautiful humanoid creature with a tail like a comet.

From Dusk to Dying Sun
Jay Morrison almost believes the rumors of magic and mischief haunting the US-50. But their partner, Luis Inoa, has made a career guarding the dusty Nevada trails. According to him, the only scary things on the highway are the silences, until a group of tourists break open the sun and disappear into a fiery blaze.

Lost/Found
When Hollis Griffin, a lonely sex worker living in Venice Beach, forms an unlikely friendship with a fallen star, she begins to face the truth about her life, her past, and what the future holds.

Awry with Dandelions
For thirty seconds every night, a disembodied specter named Mette visits with Orin who has long since written the ghost woman off as a recurring dream. But when Mette suggests meeting in real life, Orin’s inner world turns out to be more substantial than imaginary, and xie embarks on a journey to discover the truth of Mette and their strange connection.

The Far Touch
A long-standing coven of witches trek to their sacred space and accidentally discover life on another planet when their Solstice celebration interferes with a lone practitioner.

Ink and Stars
Locked in a contract to steal their ex-lovers ship, Chaz Neoma comes face to face with consequences, lost partnership, and the chance at a future, after discovering they aren’t the last Weaver in the universe.

Horologium
In the far reaches of the Horologium Supercluster, an astronaux is stranded alone on a long-distance astral ship where they’re visited by three apparitions, telling stories of ancestors who traveled space before them. Coeie must decide whether to follow the ghosts of the past, or forge their own path through the cosmos.

Death Marked
As chief security officer in the Lunar Guard, Enzi is in charge of the security for their sister’s coming of age ceremony. A fragile relationship with their family doesn’t make keeping Ulsa safe any easier, and neither does a group of pesky drones or a hidden plot to overthrow their sister’s place in the family.

Weave the Dark, Weave the Light
On a crisp night, Ari, a supposed elemental witch, meets Jonathan Aster, a powerful being they desperately want to understand. As they explore an intense, intimate and passionate relationship, Ari unearths long-hidden mysteries about themself and their magic.

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

IndiGo Badge

Behind the Sun Now Available

New Release Blitz: To The Flame by A. E. Ross

To The Flame | A. E. Ross

To the Flame Banner

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 3, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: M/NB

Length: 20,900

Buy Links:

NineStar Press | Amazon

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Add to Goodreads

TotheFlame-f500

Blurb

Seattle boy Emerson Oakley is about to find that the strangest thing about his first year at West Virginia’s Vance University isn’t the neighbor in the next dorm over, who ghosts him after one kiss. It’s the fact that he keeps having his life saved by a stranger who seems to know about each accident before it happens.

Morrie Crisp, whose moth-person powers finally emerged at the most inconvenient time, is just trying to figure out how to deal with their crush on the boy next door, and all the different ways they’ve seen him die.

As Emerson tries to get to the bottom of who his pre-cog savior could be, his relationship with Morrie becomes extra complicated as their undeniable attraction to one another becomes a liability to both. Even as Morrie struggles to keep Emerson safe, Emerson is intent on igniting the fire between them, into which Morrie is naturally drawn.

What is a reasonable response to falling in love when the world itself is without reason? Unfortunately, neither one of them has any idea.

Excerpt

To the Flame
A.E. Ross © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Emerson

October 7th, 2019

With the sound of the school radio’s late-night show in his ears, Emerson Oakley pulled his wool-lined jacket more tightly around his broad frame and threw dirty looks at any shadows he passed, mean-mugging at would-be creatures waiting out there in the dark. Overhead, the campus clock chimed midnight, its toll reaching long and deep into the West Virginia night. Emerson clutched a stack of textbooks tightly under one arm, his free hand gripping the strap of his rucksack. By October, the school’s grounds had become a world of swirling fog. Frost was just beginning to lick at the blades of grass sitting neatly in between the cobbled walkways. The paths crisscrossed campus like a foursquare game. Just last month they had been full of hacky-sacking upperclassmen.

As a born and bred Seattle boy, Emerson was used to the sparkling mist that filled Puget Sound in spring, but the autumn weather in Appalachia was a different phenomenon altogether. It hung low, filling his nose and throat with damp cold as he made his way back to his dorm beneath flicking streetlights. His fingers were beginning to numb just a few steps in.

A loud crack rang out behind Emerson, causing him to jump a couple inches in surprise before turning around to see dazzling colors light up the sky. Some freshmen were letting off fireworks, probably to celebrate their newfound freedom to make bad decisions. The illegal rainbow starbursts snapped and popped in the sky over the astronomy building.

After reaching into his pocket, Emerson turned up the volume on his phone, letting the pop-punk singer’s smooth voice drown out any more unwanted jumpscare fodder. The song began to fade out as he crossed out of the quad and into the parking lot. His dorm was just on the other side of the empty gray stretch of pavement, and he could already see the golden glow from his next-door-neighbor’s room. He couldn’t hear the pounding bass that they loved to blast from morning to night, but he’d be in range soon enough. There was a reason he spent every night studying in the library instead of his dorm room. He didn’t know too much about the kid next door, but there were two things he knew for sure: they went by Morrie, and they fucking loved EDM turned up to 11.

“You’re listening to WVUX 69.1, The Voice of Vance. That was local band Rubric with their latest hit, ‘Risk Reward.’” The late-night host jumped in with perfect timing, his tone smooth as silk. As he continued with a recap of the week’s news, something flickered at the edge of Emerson’s vision. As he snapped his neck to the right, his breath caught in his throat. For a split second, he was certain he saw a dark shape on the roof of the nearest dorm building. The three-story brick building, Gryphon House, happened to be one of the earliest built on campus and was probably haunted, or at least that’s what the orientation tour guide had said. Of course, the guide was a bored junior, so he easily could have been making it up. Emerson was sure he had glimpsed…something. The large dark shape with flickering edges, host to two glowing red orbs that, ideally, were not eyes—or were eyes the better option?

Biting his chapped lip, Emerson turned away and kept walking, trying to focus on the words coming from his earbuds. “So, if you want to use the pool, you’re just going to have to wait until it’s been emptied and disinfected…for your own good. Oh, and one more thing—Emerson Oakley, watch your step,” the voice said just before another indie-punk hit began to play, coming in strong with the snare.

Emerson jerked his head up so hard his neck wrenched painfully. Scanning the empty parking lot, he took two nervous steps back. Just then, another colorful crack rent the sky above him, followed by a low whistle. It was the sound of a snapped power line slicing through the air and landing half-submerged in the puddle where he had been standing one second earlier.

Eyes wide, Emerson put a hand to his chest, a tight rush of anxiety beginning to cloud his brain in a familiar way. Music still pounding in his ears, he stared at the small sparks coming off the black wire. If he hadn’t taken those two steps back, he’d be fried. Panic rising in his throat, he let his logical pre-med brain take over and called campus security to let them know about the potential danger before continuing on to his dorm. This time, the music in his ears was drowned out by his own heartbeat as he swiped his key card and hustled up the stairs to the third floor.

Once he got into his room, the thump of his chest was drowned out by the heavy bass of Morrie’s EDM playlist. He basically knew the track listing by heart at this point. In a way, it was a comfort as he tried to get a grip on what had just happened. It was strange enough to get a cryptic warning from the college radio station, but he was certain that the warning had come seconds before the fireworks had actually hit the power line, assuming that was what had caused it to snap and swing into the puddle at his feet. How they could have called that shot, he had no idea. Emerson was pretty sure that the radio station was on the other side of campus.

He wriggled out of his heavy coat and flannel then stripped down to a sweat-soaked tee and gray boxer-briefs. It was hard not to think about what had just happened. He could have been deep-fried, his body burnt up and smelling like the hot dogs that the power company used to electrocute as an elementary school safety demonstration. Emerson ran his hands over his whole body just to make sure it was still there. He had always been barrel-chested with a soft, round stomach. Okay, he could admit he had a bit of an apple bottom as well, but he loved his body. If he had gotten his body fried up in a freak firework accident…well, he’d be dead and pretty upset about it. Sitting down on his worn forest-green patchwork quilt, he tried to sync his breathing to the rave beats from next door the way he’d learned in therapy.

Inhale.

Hold.

Exhale.

Hold.

He lay back on his bed and repeated that routine for several minutes until the fight-or-flight feeling flowed out of him and a reasonable calm remained. After grabbing his towel and toiletries, Emerson slipped out his door and down the hall to the bathroom. He did his best thinking in the shower, and boy, did he need a second to decompress.

The most important thing about the dorm bathroom was not to focus on the floor. If you did, it was over. All kinds of weird shit got caught in the grout that lined the beige tiles between cleanings, and it was honestly better if you could just keep your head on a swivel and ignore it altogether.

The second-most-important thing about the dorm bathroom was not to focus on anybody else either. To be fair, that had been Emerson’s modus operandi in every shared shower room he’d ever used: junior-high gym class, JV football, the YMCA pool. But it was especially vital now that he was in a university with all-gender facilities. He was proud of Vance Uni for living in the twenty-first century, and the last thing he wanted to do was make anyone feel weird or unwanted. That said, the scene was deserted, so he turned the water on as hot as it could go and divested himself of his earthly garments. The good burn of too-hot water relaxed his shoulder muscles, despite the shitty water pressure.

With a clear head, he convinced himself that there was surely a reasonable explanation for the DJ’s timely omen. Though, even if there was, it still didn’t do anything to ease his mind about the strange shape atop Gryphon House, which was still stuck in his mind.

After fluffing his hair dry and slinging a towel around his waist, Emerson made his way back down the hall to his room, just in time to cross paths with the Ghost of Electronica. Morrie was trying to unlock their door with a slice of pizza in one hand and a two-liter of soda wedged under their armpit. Emerson walked past and avoided glancing directly at Morrie, feeling irritated that they left their music playing even when they weren’t in the dang room. Or at least, that’s what he told himself. Certainly, his animosity for Morrie was all about the volume of their music and absolutely not about the way they:

1. Wore those tight black skinny jeans with the knee-baring holes, and
2. Hadn’t spoken to him once since that kiss during Orientation Week.

Obviously, neither of those things factored into the equation at all, and it was definitely not true that either of those two things ever made it harder to sleep than the pounding of a drum machine.

About the Author

A.E. Ross lives in Vancouver, B.C. with one very grumpy raincloud of a cat. When not writing fiction, they can be found producing and story-editing children’s cartoons, as well as producing & hosting podcasts like The XX Files Podcast.

Their other works have appeared on Cartoon Network, Disney Channel and Netflix (and have been widely panned by 12-year-olds on 4Chan) but the projects they are most passionate about feature LGBTQIA+ characters across a variety genres.

Website | Instagram | Tumblr

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Button 2

« Older Entries