Guest post by A.L. Lester

Guest post by A.L. Lester

Guest post by A.L. Lester

Hello there! Firstly, happy anniversary to JMS Books! I’m so pleased I found the company in 2017 and I’m even happier that I was given the opportunity to publish with them. I have four novels out now, all with JMS, the most recent of which is The Flowers of Time. Like all my books so far, Flowers is a historical-paranormal-romantic-suspense. It follows the relationship between Edie, a plucky lady botanical artist and Jones, a non-binary, possibly grey-ace explorer. It takes place in England and India in the 1780s.

Flowers is the first #ownvoices novel I have written and in retrospect, I think I used it to work through some of my own feelings about being non-binary. I was really pleased that JMS took a chance and accepted it, as so many publishing houses still won’t consider books with trans protagonists. It felt very close to my heart when I submitted it and it was a relief in a way to know that other people felt it was good enough to put out there.

Jones and Edie are going to be around for a while I think—I have another couple of books coming to the boil as I work down my to-be-written list. I can see them becoming paranormal-trouble-shooting detectives, traveling the world. The 1780s was a new period for me to write in and the historical research is fascinating. Before I get to that point I have a release in September (Taking Stock, another #ownvoices book, but this time the #ownvoices is chronic disability) and currently I am in the middle of the third in the 1920s Lost in Time cycle, following Will and Fenn. After that I might need to tackle the story of Edie’s brother Hugh and his friend Bennett, who accompanied Edie and Jones across the Himalayas. But then … I should be able to write more Edie and Jones.

EXCERPT FROM The Flowers of Time

The frost-whorls on the leaded panes of the bedchamber were thick and heavy, muting the bright snow-light that reflected in through the window. The weather had been setting in yesterday evening, flurries of snow thickening with the dropping temperature, and Edie was unsurprised. She burrowed deeper under the covers as she turned to face Jones on the other side of the bed, also dug in deep under the blankets and quilts. Her movements disturbed Jones, who came awake with her habitual inchoate mutter.

“Edie,” she said. “I can feel you thinking at me. Stop it.”

“Indeed I was not,” said Edie, in sleepy indignation. “I merely shifted position.”

Jones face emerged from her own nest of blankets. “You think the loudest of any person I have ever known,” she said, affectionately. “Is something the matter?”

Edie shook her head. “The frost,” she said. “Look at the windows. Isn’t it beautiful?”

Jones looked over her head at the window and then back at Edie’s face.

“Yes,” she said. “Yes, very beautiful indeed.” She reached out a hand and tucked an escaped curl back behind Edie’s ear, smiling, and Edie blushed.

The maids would be in to light the fires soon, but for now, they had this moment of intimate quiet.

* * * *

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