Book Jacket

 

rank 4559
word count 87535
date submitted 27.07.2010
date updated 09.08.2010
genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, ...
classification: universal
complete

Juneau's Line

Ryan K. Nolan

Juneau discovers ikebana flower-arranging--and her whole world changes. Luckily, she has all the time in the world to figure things out.

 

According to the Japanese art of flower arranging ikebana, the world and all of nature can be broken down into three elements: time, space, and mind. Juneau Sakamoto finds herself the unwitting possessor of the ability to bend--and even break--time when she takes up ikebana as a talisman against boredom and the stresses of college. She soon meets her half-sisters, Yuki and Claire, who have since come into their own powers: space- and mind-bending, respectively. The sisters set out for Kamakura, Japan, where Juneau meets her father for the first time. His sordid past has led to her morbid present--and the future doesn't look too bright either, if the trio can't nullify a beauty with all three of their powers combined. Fortunately, Juneau and her sisters have some otherworldly help in Juneau's Line, the first in the Master Arranger series.

Juneau's Line is complete. All 47 chapters are posted here on Authonomy.

 
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tags

china, flowers, japan, magic, sisters, time travel

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Chapters

13

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Yuki and Claire avoided each other and took to vying for their sister's undivided attention.

Juneau found her chats with them quickly deteriorated to bad-mouthing the other sibling. She was biased in Yuki's favor, for good reason. The Chinese girl was less volatile and facetious, more charismatic and predictable--whatever her emo fashion sense had to say about her. She was also less enigmatic, which meant Juneau knew her better. Furthermore, Yuki hadn't physically hurt Claire in any way. On the other hand, Claire was anything but friendly and had a mean streak, as wide as the Pacific though hardly as conspicuous.

But Yuki had her faults, too. She was a constant chatterbox, always joking around, not always reliable, and chewed like a cow.

For her part, Juneau just wanted her sisters to be what she already considered them: friends--to each other and to her.

On top of all that drama, Juneau had her own problems. She seemed to have hit a wall in her training, and thoughts of young Kato were beginning to take control of her dreams, steering her through a carwash of emotions. She often awoke drenched in her own juices. And there was always her mother to worry about. If Juneau couldn't turn to her mother, who could she turn to? And if Kuni couldn't turn to her, who could she turn to? It was so strange to be surrounded by new family and friends and still feel so utterly alone.

It was First Mother who greased some of the squeaky wheels when it became obvious that the sisters were at odds with each other. She rounded them up for a powwow.

Juneau and Kato arrived first, hardly talking, though the silence between them was convivial, hush-hush. They sat across from each other at the table on the tatami-lined floor Japanese-style, exchanging clandestine glances. The silence deepened and changed character with Hideyoshi's arrival. He sat on Juneau's right at the head of the table. He closed his eyes and fell into a meditative trance. If conversation had occurred to Juneau and Kato as a possibility before, it was no more. Yuki came in next--her face all manner of nasty colors, puffy like choux-pastry. Claire followed soon thereafter, from the exact opposite direction. Juneau snickered to see that lovers and sworn enemies used the same ruse to throw nosy minds off the scent.

After sitting five minutes in silence, Yuki was fidgety. Seated between Juneau and Hideyoshi, she elbowed her sister lightly in the ribs. "Where's Mameha?" she mouthed voicelessly.

Hideyoshi took a deep breath like a man coming up from underwater. He opened his eyes. Everyone at the table was anticipating something, so when he said and did nothing, their combined annoyance reached a fever pitch. Finally, when Juneau thought someone might explode, Mameha entered from the kitchen, bowed forward by a heavy tray of food. It was a little early for dinner, but the rumbling of their stomachs evidenced their enthusiasm. Kato moved to help. Mameha shooed him away with a word. "You're a guest tonight, Kato-san." She placed the tray of steaming dishes in the center of the table. Two young monks came in behind her with other appetizers to eat and tea to drink. Upon leaving, they bowed deeply to Mameha and Hideyoshi, then quickly glanced in Kato's direction. He gave a brief nod.

When the paper-and-wood door was closed, Mameha put her hands on her hips and smiled. "Well," was all she said, clapping her hands together, the billowy sleeves of her kimono fluttering against her pale wrists.

A noncommittal sound erupted in the room like slow-moving lava. However, the mood had improved considerably. Plates went around, accompanied by smiles. Hunger in the face of food dulled even the sharpest of ires, while hunger in the face of famine had caused more than a few wars. Juneau found herself smiling and looking her sisters in the eye, something she hadn't been doing for the last few days. The last thing she'd wanted was to spark another feud, so she'd kept to herself and tried not to instigate conversations. But this evening, she laughed and chatted with everyone and really felt a part of the family.

She was so distracted, first by Kato, then by the silence, then the enjoyable meal, that she failed to notice the obvious: Kuni wasn't there. Juneau felt terrible. But it was done. She now understood what must be every parent's worst fear: being forgotten by their cherished child. She bowed her head, hands in lap, feeling like she didn't deserve any of this.

Claire saw Juneau's expression and misinterpreted. Her voice trembling, she cried, "I'm sorry I used you against Yuki, Juneau!" Then, quickly turning to the other sister, she sobbed, "I'm sorry I used my powers against you too, Yuki! I feel detestable--just wretched! I'll never forgive myself!"

Yuki did nothing at first. She had been chewing on the end of a toothpick, rolling it around her tongue. But when Claire took the floor, she spat the toothpick out and listened, ready to work herself up. But the thunder had been stolen out from under her. She couldn't very well go on being pissed with Claire after an apology like that. Still, her right eye was a puffy reminder, and her jaw still ached (she did have a good right hook). But when she finally looked up and saw Claire's hazel eyes wet with hope, she lost the edge of her anger.

"I'm sorry, too," she said somewhat grudgingly.

Hideyoshi startled them all out of their grave faces by laughing thunderously. It was completely uncalled for and exactly what they needed. First Mother joined him in a more reserved echo. Soon everyone was laughing. Kato hid his mouth behind his hands as he laughed, keeping his mouthful in place. Claire reached over the table to squeeze Yuki's hand. Yuki smiled and squeezed just a little harder than necessary. Claire took back her crushed hand, shook it out, but chuckled all the same.

If only Kuni were there to experience the mirth and merriment, Juneau thought mournfully.

 

Chapters

13

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Laura Bailey wrote 1058 days ago

This is very well written. No problem backing it.

Laura Bailey
Beneath The Blossom Tree

Eunice Attwood wrote 1285 days ago

This is certainly something different and refreshing. A very feminine feel to your writing, which is lovely. A great storyline which plays out well. Happy to back. Eunice - The Temple Dancer.

Ryan K. Nolan wrote 1346 days ago

All right, the whole book is up for anyone who wants to see how it ends.

Ryan K. Nolan wrote 1346 days ago

I apologize again for not commenting sooner. The truth is that I am very busy. I'll be traveling back to China in a week, have a full time job technical editing (which means that staring at a computer screen after working for eight hours is the last thing on my mind), and I am currently working on another book completely unrelated to Juneau's Line. Needless to say, for all the writers out there, you know how it is when you've fallen in love with a new project: the older projects receive less attention. That said, I hope no one will take my lack of a backing or commenting on your books. Everyone understands that there are simply too many books to read--and even more to write!

I understand that this won't help my standing at all, but I'll keep at it.

Thanks again, everyone!
Ryan

tlst wrote 1352 days ago

What an interesting storyline - your pitch is intriguing and the writing style doesn't disappoint. Backed. Tania, This Last Summer

Pia wrote 1352 days ago

Ryan -

Juneau's Line - I enjoy this very much, love the gentle rhythm of the writing, and the theme openes a whole new world to me. Thank you.

Backed recently, Pia (Course of Mirrors)

Katherine Edwards wrote 1352 days ago

Lovely writing with a gentle rhythm which I enjoyed greatly. Well done on this and good luck. Katherine.

Kidd1 wrote 1353 days ago

Beautiful written narrative in a voice that has a calming effect on the reader. Backed

I hope you will give mine a read and back it if you like it.
Best,
Robert
Golden Conspiracy

Beval wrote 1354 days ago

There's a calm quality to the writing that seems to reflect the calm beauty of Japanese flower arranging. There is also the same discipline and attention to detail.
I found the opening chapter excellent, there was a haunting element within the writing that complimented the sensations Juneau was feeling.
On a more mundane level, I loved the cat as well, arrogant, self centred and totally catlike.
The narrative is beautifully written and draws the reader along at this calm regular pace that is a pleasure to read, the story unfolds before you, never demanding attention, but gently compelling it.

klouholmes wrote 1354 days ago

Hi Ryan, I can imagine that Kuni hides her anxiety well since her mother isn’t aware of it. You’ve captured a personality here that is discreetly seeking and with very lovely prose. This is very interesting, the reference to Zen and then the time bending in the synopsis. Kuni’s POV is done well while this subject is pleasant to read about and it stimulates with concept. Happy to shelve – Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

C W Bigelow wrote 1354 days ago

Ryan, an entertaining, well written story that is humorous, with a style that is captures the reader. Nice job. Backed. CW (To Save the Sun)

Barry Wenlock wrote 1354 days ago

This is original, intriguing and extremely entertaining. Backed with absolute pleasure,
Barry
LITTLE KRISNA AND THE BIHAR BOYS

homewriter wrote 1354 days ago

Beautiful descriptive writing. Well researched. Superb story telling. Don't be influenced by the 'show don't tell brigade' that inhabit this site! Backed, Gordon - The Harpist of Madrid

Ferdi wrote 1355 days ago

Backed

Ferdi
A Bed of Thorns

missyfleming_22 wrote 1356 days ago

Really interesting and vivid. I love that you take something like the flower arranging and weave it into the story, it's fascinating. I like that this book doesn't really feel like sci-fi to me, the time travel parts just felt like a natural part of the story. That's impressive to me! You've done something original with this and I love that. The writing and the characters are strong and really kept me reading.

best of luck with this
Missy

KW wrote 1356 days ago

Ikebana and time travel. Why not, if you set out for Kamakura. "If Juneau's father was out there somewhere, she'd never know." I have a feeling she will find out soon. Then she is suddenly able to read Japanese. Until this moment, or a little later, ikebana "had been less than a hobby." Now, she begins to realize it "is a way of life." At least, for Shokado in Kamakura and the Ieyasu dynasty. Of course, her father's name has to be Hideyoshi. I have a feeling that there is a Nobunaga lurking around somewhere.

This is quite entertaining and intriguing. I'll be back to read more of this time-traveling ikebana fantasy. Backed for now.

yasmin esack wrote 1357 days ago

Lovely!

Ryan K. Nolan wrote 1357 days ago

WOW! To everyone who's commented, thank you very much. Juneau's Line is very much a labor of love, which is to say that I love flowers, language, most things Japanese, and above all writing! I am very, very new to Authonomy, so I don't even know how to back a book, but I'm encouraged that as many readers have backed me in as many hours as I've been on Authonomy! It is very, very humbling. I hope to have to time to return the favor to you all. As an aside, the picture on the cover I took myself of a piece of ikebana I did myself. Actually, I fell in love with ikebana, which I took up literally the day I started writing the book...

PS. I have already begun writing the sequel. Also, I would like incite on a possible deal-breaker for future readers: the series goes backward! So, Juneau's Line is actually chronologically third of three. Any thoughts?

Burgio wrote 1358 days ago

JUNEAU’S LINE
What an imaginative story. I’ll think of it every time I pass my local flower shop which always feature at least one Japanese inspired bouquet in their window. I like the whole idea of being able to bend time; it’s good plotting. Juneau is a good main character; she’s likable and interesting to follow as she explores all the strange things happening to her. I’m adding this to my shelf. If you have a moment, would you look at mine (Grain of Salt)? I’m in 8th place but only holding on by my teeth. Burgio

name falied moderation wrote 1358 days ago

Dear Ryan
this is a beautiful book cover, so well done. Your long pitch was the thing that drew me to your book, and I thought I had already backed it but obviously not....I will coment later when I have read more but till then i wish to support your climb to the top
Backed for sure my me
THE VERY BEST OF LUCK
BACKED BY ME FOR SURE
If you would take a look at my book, comment ( hopefully positive ) and back it that would be soooo great. if not that is OK also
VERY best of luck
Denise
The Letter

andrew skaife wrote 1358 days ago

This is a wonderfully written piece of work with a quiet pace that runs smooothly over the read. You have, in tune with your pace, an exciting structure and rhythm that moves the narrative forward well.

You know your stuff and the Japanese scenery, environment and background is beautifully imprinted upon us.

Your use of language is admirable: just two examples:

"Her neighbourhood (I still still over American spellings), like her bedroom, housed no shadey characters."

"Kuni Sakamoto. on the other hand, was old-fashioned or perhaps just Japanese fashioned."

These two lines work on so many levels that it is dizzying.

Excellent and certainly BACKED.

livid wrote 1358 days ago

Hi, I am sorry that this comment does not help you in any way just yet, other than to let you know that I think your work is worth backing, but I am getting used to the site slowly. Also, work commitments and writing are being squeezed to try to keep up. After the first days I thought that the reading returns and support would slow but as yet they have not even begun to. So, in order to be fair I am backing everyone who I think deserves it, thanking everyone who has backed me and keeping an increasingly long list to get back to and give my hand written comments over. I hope this is ok with you? Cheers.

livid wrote 1358 days ago

Hi, I am sorry that this comment does not help you in any way just yet, other than to let you know that I think your work is worth backing, but I am getting used to the site slowly. Also, work commitments and writing are being squeezed to try to keep up. After the first days I thought that the reading returns and support would slow but as yet they have not even begun to. So, in order to be fair I am backing everyone who I think deserves it, thanking everyone who has backed me and keeping an increasingly long list to get back to and give my hand written comments over. I hope this is ok with you? Cheers.

livid wrote 1358 days ago

Hi, I am sorry that this comment does not help you in any way just yet, other than to let you know that I think your work is worth backing, but I am getting used to the site slowly. Also, work commitments and writing are being squeezed to try to keep up. After the first days I thought that the reading returns and support would slow but as yet they have not even begun to. So, in order to be fair I am backing everyone who I think deserves it, thanking everyone who has backed me and keeping an increasingly long list to get back to and give my hand written comments over. I hope this is ok with you? Cheers.

CarolinaAl wrote 1358 days ago

You provide us with an outstanding story with an intelligent plot and fascinating characters. Polished writing. Backed.

celticwriter wrote 1358 days ago

Continuing to be entertained by your journey. Nice continuity of story, structure. Happily backed.

jim
jack & charmian london

lizjrnm wrote 1358 days ago

This is excellent writing! Easy to back for an intriguing unique story.

Liz
The Cheech Room

soutexmex wrote 1358 days ago

Ryan: I read Chapter 5 and this is very competent writing. Nothing to gig you on. Even the pitches both worked for me. Think you're gonna have to pound the pavement to get people to read this effort. All godd writing does on this website. BACKED!

I can use your comments on my book when you get the chance. Cheers!

JC
The Obergemau Key

Rusty Bernard wrote 1358 days ago

Hi Ryan,

your 'future' is 'bright' if you continue with this. Well done and good luck.

I have backed your book because I was hooked by the pitch, loved the introduction and read on. How much more I read depends on time and commitment.

Enjoy everything and good luck.

Rusty Bernard
The Mental Pause


lynn clayton wrote 1358 days ago

You describe excellently, particularly Juneau's sense of being watched in the night - not overwritten, not over-stressed, and all the more believable for that. For me, though, there was one false note - I didn't believe it when she stifled a yawn. I think in those circumstances something physical takes place that precludes yawning. We're very much on the alert.
Excellent, though. Backed. Lynn

SammySutton wrote 1359 days ago

Ryan,

Fabulous, in so many ways. Your words touch the senses in a rare way. The reader is bombarded with wonderful gifts practical, cultural, and artistic. This all is done in support of the story rather than in a distracting manner.
Absolutely wonderful. I am so impressed. Linguistics..Wow!
Good Luck!
I backed!
Sammy Sutton
King Solomon's '13'

PATRICK BARRETT wrote 1359 days ago

Beautiful and evocative with a thoroughly original thread running through it. I was suprised by the use of the term "Chowed down" when the cat was eating, this is a very masculine phrase to be used in a tale of a sensitive female and her life. Paula Barrett (Cuthbert-how mean is my valley)

K A Smith wrote 1359 days ago

I like the idea, I like the cross-cultural milieu. I like the cat. Juneau's Line is a bit of a slow-grower, for me, but I will persist, as there are qualities of the book which appeal to me. What almost stopped me from reading past the first paragraph was the first paragraph, which seems to be striving awkwardly for some over-literary impact - to the point where it didn't make much sense. The promise I saw in the pitch kept me reading, however, and I will finish it. The book gets better when it doesn't try so hard.

Jim Darcy wrote 1359 days ago

Evocative and quite haunting in places, lyrical prose that quickly cpatures the reader's interest and involvement.
Jim Darcy
The Firelord's Crown

Jason Morte wrote 1359 days ago

What a wonderfully original idea! This is something new for the fantasy genre and it's about time! Are you sure there are no elves in this book? What about ogres? Anyway, joking aside, this is well written and deserves some attention. We get to do some traveling to Japan, too, which is something different. Ikebana...wow, who would've thought ikebana could be novel fodder? Nice job. And space- and time-bending are drawn from Japanese lore, if I'm not mistaken. Very interesting stuff indeed.

Despinas1 wrote 1359 days ago

Great pitch promising an amazing sci fi with a twist of mammoth proportion. Backed on the strength of its pitch and originality. Wishing you much success.
Best of luck, backed with pleasure
Helen
The Last Dream

Katy Christie wrote 1359 days ago

So often it is the words that transport me more than the story but, in this case, I believe it's both. You have a lovely way with words and I wish I could stay with you longer but, alas, I can't (see profile). This story has the beginnings of the uncanny, the mysterious and all the trappings that draw the reader into the book. Well done and good luck.
Hate to canvas but I've got my first red arrow (ouch!), so if you could have a look at my novel with a view to backing it, I'd be most grateful.
Katy Christie
No Man No Cry

SusieGulick wrote 1359 days ago

Dear Ryan, I love that you are making this a series. :) It's wonderful & I love your heroine - she is so sensitive - wish I had powers. :) Your pitch is excellent, so set the hook for me to read your book. :) When you use short paragraphs & lots of dialogue, it makes me want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. I'm backing your book. :) Could you please take a moment to back my TWO memoir books? Thanks. :) Love, Susie :)

This is information from authonomy (so beware of any other untrue information you may receive that is spam & not quotes of authonomy):
"When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved"
"Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs."
backed :)
Love, Susie :)

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