Jen Lawrence has a new FF fantasy romance out: Guardian.
Every Guardian was born a warrior with powerful magic and a soulmate to complete her. All except for Luna, it seemed, who despite having mastered her craft, continued her fight in solitude. She was an enigma in their society—alone for far longer than any Guardian before her. Still, Luna remained hopeful that one day her soulmate would find her, and all the tender yearning would have been worth it.
Then Gia stumbles into her life. Gia—who lives a Human life, in Human glamour, with a Human fiancé.
Now Luna finds herself questioning everything that she—and the Guardians—have believed in for millennia.
“Love isn’t always enough.” Luna had always understood the words, but she had never actually believed them.
A dull clattering sounded as another piece of pitch-black armour fell onto the mahogany floor. Dirtied sabatons were pulled off, followed by a chest plate splattered with dark red. Exhausted, muscles stiff and sore, Luna pressed a hand over the torn silver skin on her upper arm, gold blood seeping through slender fingers while she applied pressure. Dressed in a black doublet and a matching pair of tights, she lightly limped down the hall and into her spacious bathroom.
The white marble tiles were soothingly cool on her bare feet and she headed for the medicine cabinet, removing a glass vial of healing potion. Popping the cork with her thumb, she quickly downed the thick liquid and ran her tongue across her teeth in an attempt to rid herself of the saccharine taste.
Discarding the flask in the waste bin, Luna opened the golden faucet on the side of the claw-foot porcelain tub, a strong stream of crystal-clear water running out. After depositing a few drops of bath oil, she finished undressing and turned to the full-length mirror, examining her willowy frame for further injury.
She tentatively ran her fingers over her silver skin, gently tracing the dark yellow bruises that had bloomed on her side and thigh. Three raw gashes crossed her upper arm but would disappear entirely within the following three days. She gathered her mass of wavy obsidian hair, tying it into a messy bun, and tilted her face to the side to get a better view of the red blood smears that covered her cheek and neck, right below a long pointy ear.
Her eyelids narrowed over inky black irises.
Chimeras had the head of a lion, a goat torso growing from their side, and a tail embodying a venomous snake, with a head able to strike just as fast. There had been two of them in the earlier battle. An enthralled mother whose juvenile offspring had joined the altercation later. Luna had just managed to save the mother when the juvenile pounced, wild and reckless, impaling itself on her sword.
She shuddered and inhaled the soothing floral scent emanating from the bathtub, loosening her tight shoulders. Another deep breath, and she walked over to the glass encased shower in the corner, opened the doors, and quickly washed the dirt and grime from her hair and body. Once done, she twisted the gold-plated taps shut, exited the stall, and gracefully climbed into the filled tub.
Nearly nine feet tall, Luna submerged into the warm water with a contented sigh and absently traced the cool faucet with the pads of her fingertips, blunt obsidian nails occasionally tapping against the metal. Her wound dully ached but, thanks to the potion, it had become more of a light irritation. She closed her eyes and attempted to clear her mind to help her battered body rest and recover.
The chimera mother’s mournful cry echoed in her mind and Luna swallowed the thick lump in her throat, squeezing her eyes tightly shut. One heart and three heads. The lion’s maw had been ready to sever her head. It had been instinct on her part to move into a defensive stance, a century of training turned to effortless precision.
The worst part was that the chimeras hadn’t meant to attack her. The mother couldn’t help it and the juvenile had been trying to protect his mother. Pushing back the image of the chimera desperately nudging the unmoving body of her child, Luna inhaled a steadying breath and purposely relaxed the muscles in her face. Another deep breath and she focused on the buzz of magic in her veins to help heal her faster.
Inhale and exhale… Inhale and exhale…until her mind cleared and her body unspooled.
Not long into her deep meditation, a soft familiar tug in her chest had her eyes fly open.
In fear of losing the feeling, she remained as still as a statue, only her heart frantically thumped against her ribs when the tug gradually grew stronger and her tight grip on the edge of the tub increased with it.
She hadn’t ever felt the Call that clearly before.
I finished my first novel when I was 16. Wrote it in pen in a notebook. I didn’t have a computer, but when I entered university, I could finally type it up and spent a few nights being the suspicious weirdo in the computer room. Once done, I had a book with a “straight” artist who meets a beautiful lesbian gallery owner and promptly realises she’s sapphically inclined. She comes out and is disowned by her family, finds out she’s pregnant with her ex-boyfriend’s baby, and her lesbian lover has cancer. In the end they both die. A murder and a suicide. It was grim.
I was 19 when I kissed a girl for the first time. Up until then, all my experience of queerness was from the media I had consumed and it had subconsciously painted a very bleak (at times sadly realistic) idea of what it meant to be queer to this day. That my main characters were both white, even though I’m not, was also telling.
After being distracted by women for a few years after that first kiss, I finally got back into writing. I began telling stories set in otherworldly places, about supernatural and magically inclined women, where the fact that they were gay was the very least of their concerns. Because though I support and appreciate those works that remind us that we’re not alone, what I also would’ve liked whilst feeling like the sole queer person not only in a massive family, but in the entire town, was some escapism from reality and to be sucked into fantastical worlds, filled with powerful lesbian beings, saving the day and being absolutely soft and gay for the women they love.
I’m 35 years old, from Cape Town, South Africa. And my ideal life would be spent writing and gaming with a cat on my lap until my back and eyes hurt, and then going outside to take a long walk with a dog, on a remotely located farm, with superfast internet connection.