Among the Glimmering Flowers
(Friendly reminder that the price goes up to its regular $4.99 sometime tomorrow. You can still get it supercheap if you’re quick!)
Felicity feels stifled by her parents’ protective nature. She’s the crown princess, yet she’s not even allowed to care for her own pony. Her life consists of nothing but rules and permissions. All she wants is a little more freedom.
Horse-friend is happy to have a roof over his head, a job that he likes and food in his stomach every day. He never expected to run into the crown princess as she tries to sneak out of the castle. Or to get caught up in her clumsy attempts at having an adventure.
It isn’t long before trouble, rather than adventure, finds both of them, setting them on a course that will change their lives — and the fate of the kingdom — forever.
Among the Glimmering Flowers is the story of how two lovers first became friends and the first book in a series exploring a demisexual/allosexual romantic relationship. Readers looking for a low-conflict, cosy story should enjoy this novel.
Iiiiiiiit’s summer solstice time where I am and we all know what that means, right? That means it’s Among the Glimmering Flowers‘ book-birthday today! WHOOHOO!
To celebrate, here is a guest post I’ve written for Nicole Field’s blog about demisexuality in fantasy worlds. With bonus recs of other people’s books! (Nicole is a fellow demisexual author and, if I recall, her Changing Loyalties also features a demisexual character! So if you’re looking for more demisexual rep, go check her books out too!)
I know, I know. This post should be all me-me-me, but look. You all know me. If I see an opening to rec people good acespec and arospec books they might want, I will take it. Which reminds me that Claudie Arseneault’s Baker Thief is coming out in five days on Claudie’s birthday and you still have time to preorder and make her birthday superspecial! And I think it’s also when New World by Lyssa Chiavari comes out (but read Fourth World and Different Worlds first because, you know, series).
*deep breath* Okay, but you’re all here to hear about Among the Glimmering Flowers. Well, I hope you are anyway because this is a post to announce and celebrate its release into the wider world.
And… I won’t lie. Publishing books doesn’t get any less scary the more you do it. This month especially because in my infinite wisdom I decided to publish it during Ace Exclusionists Will Not Shut Up Or Stop Gatekeeping Month. This should be a happy month because, clearly, having your orientations and identity invalidated at least once every hour is a good and happy thing. (In case no one can detect the sarcasm there, I assure you it is not a good and happy thing and instead of promoing my book, I’ve been mostly hiding away. And then I do come back to promo and the world is on fire and, oh, we had a family loss this month too and my point is it is actually pretty hard for me to focus on good and happy things right now.)
But I will tell you this: I think, and note that I am biased, that Among the Glimmering Flowers makes a really good escape book if you’re looking for a few hours of kindness and comfort in your day. It is a book that is all about young children meeting and becoming friends (and waaaaaay later on lovers because childhood-friends-to-lovers in other books, but this is not a spoiler, I promise. It says so right on the first page of the first chapter. Anyway.) It’s all about family and struggling to deal with adult expectations of who you are and very, very slowly starting to realise that you’re on the asexual spectrum without really having words for that spectrum. Which is some of the most ownvoices I’ve ever read and, to be honest, something I haven’t seen often in asexual representation to date. Mostly it’s all teens who already know they’re asexual or it’s adults getting told they’re asexual (and then don’t do any research). The one exception I can think of off the top of my head is We Awaken by Calista Lynne, which if you’re looking for an ace/ace f/f romance YA is worth checking out. Just be warned it has a sexual assault scene and deals with a bunch of microaggressions, so it’s not a wholly fluffy ace romance.
Wait. I was talking about Among the Glimmering Flowers. Um. Anyway, it is a soft and subtle book about childhood and friendship and that budding sense that you’re asexual rather than allosexual and what to do about that. It’s also about looking back on your life and musing about how to be a good person and how people can change in a way. And it’s rambly because Felicity, wow, she loves rambling. It’s about opposites attracting and that girls can like feminine-coded things and still be fun and kickass protagonists. Well, okay. Felicity doesn’t kick ass in this book because it’s not that kind of book, but she does do an awful lot of sneaking around and defies parental rules in traditionally book-teen ways that somehow do not end in disaster. (To be fair the most daring thing in this book is her quest for out-of-season blackberries. Yes, really. Trust me, it works because it’s that level of gentle soothingness and, anyway, it recaptures that magic of excitement that perfectly mundane adventures had as a child because GREATEST ADVENTURE EVER. I mean, look, I dreamed of magical portals and Chosen One fantasy novel plots narratives plenty as a child, but the greatest childhood adventure I’ve ever been on was probably “sneak into the botanical garden to play hide-and-seek while your parents are at the nearby pub not-noticing just exactly where you are”. Those days were thrilling and I would kind of like to see more of them in fiction. Maybe I just need to read more middlegrade fiction. Anyone have recs?)
This is probably a good time to point out that Among the Glimmering Flowers is, technically, an adult fantasy novel because of the way it’s structured even if my brain refuses to accept it’s anything other than somewhere in a younger YA or older MG bracket. (It totally would be except Felicity and Horse-friend are recounting this story as adults and commenting on it and thus it breaks the core frame of YA and MG in that the narration is too old to be either and why do I always write hard-to-classify books?)
Anyway! Among the Glimmering Flowers is a supercute friendship story with low stakes and a focus on kindness and good things happening and it is available now. Its protagonist Felicity is acespec and slowly discovering this. Well, mostly commenting on it in hindsight, to be honest, and it goes on to explore how asexuality (and demisexuality) are not the same as allosexuality in terms of experiences in a positive fashion. It is very much acespec rep for acespec readers, and I just hope that lots of people will enjoy it.
Happy birthday, little book! Fly wide and far!