Cay Fletcher has a new queer fantasy collection out (gay, lesbian, non-binary): Queer Windows: Volume 1 Spring.
Love comes in all forms, from enduring friendships, the classic love at first sight, and misunderstandings that unfurl into blooming romance. Queer Windows gives a glance at four fantastical, queer love stories.
The Wizard’s Garden
Sil, a plant lover and head clerk of a plant shop finds himself slowly befriending a quirky wizard, while also falling in love with his garden.
Rosemary for Remembrance
Vivian has always dreamed of being swept away from her ordinary life. A chance meeting with a mysterious stranger may just grant her wish.
Imre had carefully calculated his every move to best serve his kingdom. But he could not foresee the past catching up to him and the choices of others.
Lady of Spring
Vinq is preparing to transition from a child into an adult. While she knows she can’t avoid this right of passage, she also does not want to lose who she is.
Trigger Warnings: The Wizard’s Garden: None. Rosemary for Remembrance: Mentions of homophobia. Kingdom Fall: Mentions of assault, war, death/murder. Self-harm. Lady of Spring: Mentions of parental death.
Standing in front of the old stone shop, Sil sucked in a chest-full of the crisp morning air. He had already inspected the old wooden sign hanging above the door and made certain that the flower boxes hanging below the windows looked perfect.
The opening of the garden shop was a signal that spring was close at hand.
Beren, the easy-going owner, had taken over the shop, with its huge glass greenhouse, from her parents almost a decade ago and Sil had spent the last several years learning everything he could about the unique selection of plants they sold. He had been promoted to the senior clerk at the end of last season. Though, promoted might be a strong term, as the previous senior clerk had retired after a nasty tangle with an octopus bramble bush. But all the same, Sil was determined to prove that he was a valuable asset to the shop.
All the usual herbs were out in pots, trimmed to be perfectly appealing to anyone looking to add a little spice to their potions. The flowers were slowly waking up, petals stretching out as the early morning sun rose higher in the sky, light streaming in through the greenhouse glass. Sil carefully inspected each pot, pressing a finger into the cool soil and watering the ones that felt dry. Everything needed to go perfectly. A good opening day would show Beren that he had everything under control.
With the watering done, Sil straightened his apron and looked over the tables of plants. He leaned over a display of carnivorous plants and put on his bossiest tone, “Today is very important. I don’t think any of you want to ruin it, so be on your best behavior.”
Magda, donning a sweatshirt with her university’s pixie mascot on the front, sipped loudly at her iced coffee, “Are you going to berate them if they’re bad?”
Sil pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, “What good would that do?”
With a shrug, Magda replied, “You’re the ‘expert’. You tell me.”
“I don’t have time to go over the theories for keeping plants happy and harmonious in a shop setting,” Sil said dismissively and walked over to the snapdragons. A part of him preened at the title of ‘expert’, even if it was meant as a jab. Most of the brightly colored blooms were still snoozing, but a few were awake and nuzzling each other. The bell that signaled the door opening rang brightly, and he heard Magda mumble a greeting.
“You lot, no biting anyone today,” Sil softly instructed the sleepy flowers.
He could feel someone standing behind him. They leaned over and let the snapdragons nip at their fingers, “You know, if you give them a little honey, they listen better.”
The man’s deep voice was warmly familiar. Standing stiff as a board, Sil slipped out of the man’s way, his optimistic mood suddenly darkened by the man’s appearance, “We can’t spoil them in a shop setting. They might turn on a new owner if they don’t keep up with the care that we provided. You of all people should know that, Anders.”
Smiling at the snapdragons, Anders shook his head, “Honey wouldn’t spoil you, would it?”
They nipped more at his fingers and rustled together in agreement.
“Is there something I can help you with, sir?” Sil snapped at the wizard. Somehow the man always looked disheveled, his velvet cloak tattered and worn, the seams of his sleeves fraying and stained with ink.
“Sir? No need to be so formal, Sil. I’ve been shopping here for years,” he said as he continued to tickle the snapdragons. “But I suppose you might be able to assist me with finding something.”
Cay Fletcher is a Queer author with a passion for fantasy and science fiction. Crafting rich landscapes and memorable characters in new and exciting worlds.
Living in the Portland metro area, Cay spends her free time in the garden, cooking, or making a mess, aka crafting. She spent over fifteen years volunteering at fan conventions across the US, and still occasionally assists her home convention in Portland by moderating guest panels. As a writer, Cay strives to create relatable queer characters, giving them the titles of hero and protagonist.
She lives with her wife Sam, their roommate and tuxedo cat Satsuki.
You can connect with Cay on social media or Goodreads.