Today on the site we’ve got a new cover reveal for an f/f romance novella set in space! Come check out Sparks Fly by Llinos Cathryn Thomas!
After twenty-five years of single-minded determination, Marianne Gordon has finally achieved her ambition and been promoted to Principal of the Vesper School for Zero-Gravity Artistic Display.
But her moment of triumph is cut short when she discovers that she must share her position with Josephine Knight, a celebrated zero-gravity performer who doesn’t know the first thing about teaching. Deeply insulted, Marianne does her best to carry on as though Jo isn’t there, but Jo has a way of making her presence felt.
When the future of Marianne’s beloved school is threatened, Jo may be the only person who can help – but only if Marianne can learn to let her in.
Sparks Fly is a novella-length F/F romance in space.
And here’s the cover!
The door opened. ‘Ms Gordon?’
Marianne had seen Josephine Knight on the arts casts, an athletic figure in form-fitting Z-GAD flight gear, and in pictures taken at glittering after-show parties, in dresses or suits with her chin-length hair stylishly arranged. In person, she was not as tall as Marianne had imagined, her hair was a tangled ash-blond mess that flopped over her eyes, and what Marianne could see of her expression was hesitant. She leaned in the doorway for a second, waiting for confirmation.
‘Yes, yes,’ said Marianne impatiently. ‘Do come in.’
Ms Knight crossed to the desk – with a bit of a limp, Marianne noticed – and extended her hand.
‘Jo Knight,’ she said. ‘Looking forward to working with you.’
‘I’m sure,’ said Marianne, taking the offered hand and shaking it for the briefest moment she could get away with. Her ire at this entire situation was strong enough that when they touched, she felt an almost physical jolt, like electricity passing between them. She tried to squash down her annoyance.
‘That’s your desk over there,’ she said, pointing across the office.
‘Thank you,’ said Ms Knight.
Marianne relented slightly. ‘I suppose someone’s already shown you to your rooms?’
‘They have, thank you. I just came from there. But I haven’t seen anything else of the place. I don’t suppose you have the time to give me a bit of a tour? I almost got lost on the way down.’
‘I’ll transfer you a map,’ said Marianne.
‘Not really my strong suit, map reading,’ said Ms Knight.
Did she really think Marianne had nothing better to do than waste her afternoon showing her around?
Be nice to her. For your own sake.
There had been more than a bit of an implied threat in Bisley’s words. She wasn’t nearly established enough in her position yet to openly defy the board’s wishes.
‘Come on, then,’ she snapped.
If it hadn’t been for the accident, Marianne would have stalked ahead at her usual brisk pace and left Ms Knight to keep up as best she could, but in the circumstances it seemed unnecessarily cruel even for someone who had turned up and casually ruined everything for her.
Instead, she vented her spite secretly by giving a perfunctory and passionless tour – she’d lived and worked at this school for twenty-five years and she knew every bit of history, every quirk of architecture, every thrilling story of things that had happened in its corridors and rehearsal rooms, and she could have told them all if she’d wanted to.
‘This is the staff room,’ she said instead. ‘This is the rehearsal room.’
They walked down the long corridor with the photographs and holo-sculptures of famous performances, and although Marianne could see Ms Knight peering curiously at them, she didn’t say anything, even though it was almost physically painful not to share what she knew.
‘What’s this one?’ Ms Knight asked, stopping at a piece Marianne loved. ‘It’s wonderful!’
Marianne seethed inwardly – what right did Ms Knight have to like her favourite picture? – but she plastered on a polite expression.
‘That’s a photograph of a performance of The Wild Hunt that the Vesper Company gave almost thirty years ago.’
‘I’ve seen the recordings – you choreographed it, didn’t you? It was magnificent.’
Marianne looked up. Ms Knight was smiling at her with what seemed like sincere admiration. Her stomach jolted.
‘I… yes, I did. Um… thank you.’
‘You were an incredibly promising choreographer – what made you decide to switch to teaching?’
Marianne almost winced. It was like prodding a bruise. ‘Nothing I want to discuss,’ she snapped.
‘Oh. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t…’
‘Anyway,’ said Marianne, firmly. ‘We should move on. It’s almost lunchtime. We teachers eat in the communal dining hall with the students and mechanics. I hope that’s not too plebeian for the famous Josephine Knight?’
‘Not at all. And it’s Jo.’
Marianne ignored that, and led the way to the dining hall.
Llinos Cathryn Thomas comes from North Wales and lives in London with her wife and their books. She likes dragons, spaceships and cake. She writes about pretty much those same things.