Today, fellow JMS Books writer K.L. Noone is on a visit. Welcome!
Hi, I’m K.L. Noone, and I write a lot of historical and paranormal m/m (and sometimes f/f) romance! Ofelia has been kind enough to let me drop by to introduce my new flash fiction short story, “A Sonnet for a Thunderstorm,” available now!
“Sonnet” is historical m/m, set in 1770, and very loosely steampunk, in a way—featuring poet Tom and his retired pirate Ellis, with a domestic moment at home, and discussions about thunderstorms and submarines. The seeds of this story actually came from a conversation with a friend, many years ago, and a discussion about my writing inclinations and a J.D. Salinger quote—the one about how “poets are always taking the weather so personally,” from Nine Stories. The immediate image in my head involved Georgian waistcoats and dressing gowns, an ex-pirate and his poet standing together at a tall rain-lashed window, keeping each other warm and gazing out over a storm-whipped lake…entirely Romantic, and irresistible!
The submersible ideas that Ellis is pondering in “Sonnet” were already circulating around this time period—both the Dutch and the American colonies were coming up with promising designs, and the first military submersible appears in 1775, during the American Revolutionary War. It’s called the Turtle (sometimes the American Turtle) and there’s a fascinating history of it by Roy R. Manstan and Frederic J. Frese: Turtle: David Bushnell’s Revolutionary Vessel. The idea, of course, is even older—some of the medieval Alexander romances describe Alexander the Great traveling under the sea in a glass vessel! I love imagining what that might’ve been like, and what those inventers and poets of centuries ago would’ve imagined, in their time and for the future.
I always write with music in mind, and two of the songs on my playlist for this one are Live’s “Lightning Crashes” and Cary Brothers’ “Blue Eyes”—both so evocative of mood and emotion. I think Tom, my poet, and Ellis, my pirate, would like both.
Like all the JMS Books flash fiction shorts, “Sonnet” is under 5,000 words and only 99 cents—a bargain! I hope you enjoy reading this one—I absolutely enjoyed writing it!
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Ellis had been watching waves through the bedroom’s storm-lashed windows when he heard the step, felt the presence behind him. He turned, a reflex. A year or two ago, ignoring those pirate’s instincts might’ve got him a quick dagger to the back. These days, and this day especially, he knew Thomas’s step.
Tom, as usual, blithely ignored whipcord muscles and danger and the very real possibility that Ellis could kill a man with a piece of rope or that painting to their left, and instead slipped arms around him.
Ellis Eden, former pirate, had not often been held and comforted by anyone.
Ellis Eden retired from a career of piracy on the high seas to settle down with the man he loves: Tom Winleigh, youngest son of a wealthy merchant family. Ellis has tried hard to make a place for himself in respectable society, and he knows Tom loves him, and he’s happy.
But when a fever nearly claims Tom’s life, Ellis is faced with a foe he can’t fight … and even though Tom’s recovering, the ordeal has left Ellis shaken to the core.
And in the aftermath, on a storm-tossed afternoon, Ellis and Tom will face the tempests of their own emotions, and find safe harbor in each other.
K.L. Noone employs her academic research for writing romance, usually LGBTQ+ and often paranormal, fantasy, or historical! Her full-length romance novels include the Character Bleed trilogy (Seaworthy, Stalwart, and Steadfast), Cadence and the Pearl, and A Demon for Midwinter, available from JMS Books, and A Prophecy for Two, available from Inkshares. She’s also the author of multiple romance novellas and short stories with JMS Books, and previously with Less Than Three Press, Circlet Press, and Ellora’s Cave. Her non-romance fantasy fiction has appeared in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword and Sorceress and the magazine Aoife’s Kiss.
With the Professor Hat on, she’s published scholarly work on romance, fantasy, and folklore, including a book on Welsh mythology in popular culture and a book on ethics in Terry Pratchett’s fantasy. She is happily bisexual, married to the marvelous Awesome Husband, and currently owned by a long-legged black cat named Merlyn.
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