Book Jacket


rank 4566
word count 87535
date submitted 27.07.2010
date updated 09.08.2010
genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, ...
classification: universal

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

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Maison Fleurie was on the sixth of thirty floors in a building wedged between two much, much wider buildings, themselves mere blocks in Tokyo's urban jungle. Juneau doubted the "House of Flowers" housed many flowers. They pushed inside below an awning and a tiny neon sign of the salon's name in Roman letters and Japanese characters.

"My friend Guillaume LeFèvre owns this place," Claire told them as they rode up in the elevator. "We worked in makeup together for a number of years. He ran a small salon in Montmartre, though every month he was just clawing by to make ends meet. He was an incorrigible coke addict. I helped him 'kick' the habit. Once he was clean, he landed a gig with a movie studio, with a little more of my help, of course." She patted her hair and looked herself over in the reflective elevator door. "Later on, he asked me if I wanted to audition for a role or two. I did--little bits, nothing too big. I didn't want to draw too much attention to myself."

This, naturally, reminded Juneau of her first encounter with Claire. "That must be when you became 'The Gabber Girl'."

" 'The Gabber Girl'?" asked Yuki.

Claire said with a sly smile, "Guillaume heard about a silly American telephone company wanting to film a commercial in Paris. Some French girl going on and on and running up her American boyfriend's phone bill. Guigui got me the part--and voilà, I became 'The Gabber Girl'!" She chuckled to herself.

Guillaume LeFèvre turned out to be nothing like Claire remembered him. The years since she had last seen him had turned him from whip-thin to roly-poly, but eating--rather than snorting--your dinner had that effect on you. He was in his early thirties--though he looked much older--five-seven, and bald. Apparently, his rugged good looks, as Claire remembered them, had disappeared with the coke habit.

"Claire, ma vie!" he cried upon seeing her, his blue eyes twinkling.


They traded kisses on each cheek, one for each year apart. Claire made the introductions, then announced, "We need your help, mon coeur. Will you make us beautiful?"

"Done!" he jibed with a clap of the hands. "You're one your way."

The only thing more outrageous than Guillaume's demeanor was the salon itself. Two walls divided the narrow room into thirds, the middle compartment of which looked to have everything necessary for a good glam session: vanity mirrors, a smattering of makeup cases opened to reveal an array of eyeshadows, lipsticks, lipliners, and rouges in every color of the rainbow. Hidden among these were clippers, razors, tweezers, emory boards for nail-filing, lash crimpers. Everything and anything that could be done to the face could be done in this room. But that was expectable.

What really made the salon an eye sore was the decor. Peach paint reminiscent of naked flesh gave the room a vaguely pornographic effect, and this was little mitigated by the frills that lined the most inappropriate of surfaces. Only the sleek metal chairs had been spared, to austere effect.

Luckily, Juneau didn't have to suffer the view too long; Guillaume and his assistant Zara went to work on their faces and hair immediately. They spent the next two hours prettifying the trio. Guillaume focused much of his efforts on his "Claire de Lune." They rhapsodized about the past the whole time. Much of it, however, was in French, so most of it went right past Juneau, her years of studying the language notwithstanding.

Juneau could not take her eyes off of the assistant's bizarre up-do. It had what looked like raffia braided around something stiff protruding straight out of the top of the girl's head.

"Look, look!" Yuki joked, secretively pointing at Zara's hair. "The Eiffel Tower!" she mouthed, then dissolved into giggles.

At one point, while crimping Claire's eyelashes, Guillaume gasped with a great, dramatic intake of air and such a tizzy of hand gestures, they all thought he would tip over and break into a million pieces, a Franco-Japanese Humpty-Dumpty. "Did you hear about Himeji Castle?"

"No, what?" Claire's eyes were bright at the prospect of gossip. "Hijackers? Or just stupid tourists?"

"Worse: construction!"

When all was said and done, the three were dressed to the nines. Juneau felt criminally girly in a conservative blouse of rich mauve color, like baked eggplant--but classy. Chic denim jeans cheekily hugged her hips. She traded her sneakers for flat pumps. Zara could do little with her straight tresses, so they simply washed and teased it out so it shone like jet.

Yuki refused to go too far out. She wore a printed tee--with the inane wordage "Love is beginning with L, like Lettuce. You wanna toss my salad?" The bawdy words were muted in pink and glittering gold on plain black. She too wore jeans, straight cut, no curves. She refused to part with her sneakers. She tucked her locks into a cutesy--though not too cutesy--backwards cap.

"You look like a chigger-thug," Juneau joked, though she had to admit that even this was an improvement over her normal street clothes

No one was surprised when Claire stepped out from behind the changing room curtains, though her sisters still gasped. The eldest Ieyasu wore ribbons of shimmering green and sable eyeshadow on her eyes, and a hint of mascara. Blood-red lipstick carved her mouth out, like a beautiful wound. Her coiffure was wound in a compact beehive tight over her right ear, her hair tinged the color of cinnamon bark. As if to incite scandalously, inappropriately sexual thoughts, her strapless, silky dress was a tint barely removed from her skin tone with frilly angled sleeves. Juneau would've thought her naked but for the lack of nipples on her breasts and the thin teal piping trimming the edges over her bosom, around her waist in two places, and at the base of the billowy ruffles about three inches above her knees. To finish it off, she would wear nothing less than stilettos.

"In black," she admonished Zara when she appeared with another color, espresso. "Can you imagine those, with this?" She threw her head back with the silliness of it.

"If Richard could see you now," Guillaume breathed then disappeared for a spell.

"Who's Richard?" Juneau asked while he was gone.

"Richard is Guillaume's long-time boyfriend. When I met them, they had already been living together for years. Richard is a dear man, but he shared Guillaume's nasty habit." She tried not to betray how difficult it was to reveal some of this, how enmeshed her history was with Richard's and Guillaume's. "I wonder where he is..."

Guillaume returned some minutes later somewhat transformed himself. He now wore a black vest over a short-sleeved white collared shirt and pin-striped flat front slacks, also black.

"I can't let you divas go out without an escort," he said in his own defense. Claire wouldn't have it any other way.

Yuki made sure to tell Juneau that they were all severely overdressed for the Qb on the subway ride over. She was miffed that they were reduced to such mundane transportation, but they couldn't be flippant around Guillaume. She was happy that Zara decided to accompany them.

By the time they arrived at the Qb, it was near midnight and the club was bouncing. It too was squirreled away on one of the higher levels of a skyscraper. Yuki led them to the elevator.  When the doors sighed open, they saw that it was manned by a boy of about eighteen. He must have felt half-naked despite his bright blue, gold-buttoned, tassle-hatted uniform. His wide eyes fell on the star in their midst, who towered over him thanks to an extra four inches of heels. He was close enough to practically bury his head between her bosoms when he asked with a naughty smile, "You like Japanese boys?"

Claire chuckled without being too condescending and even treated the teen to a kiss when they arrived on the seventh floor. "Something to remember me by."

"As if I could forget," the boy said with a cheeky wink.

At the door, Juneau fretted over getting in, since she was still underage, even in Japan, where twenty-year-olds were fine. Claire told her not to worry, and without ado they were being escorted out onto the floor.

The night had begun in earnest. Claire was like a caged comet released from her tethers, burning hearts and freezing dates with one balefully seductive glance. She went straight to the bar and had a drink in her hand within moments without even consulting her Chloë clutch for cash. The drink came on the heels of a handsome stud with five o'clock shadow and a sense of humor, for Claire dissolved into a hearty laugh.

"We've created a monster," Yuki said into Juneau's ear. Juneau smirked, and they slipped into a newly vacated booth. Guillaume repaired off to the men's room with Zara in tow.

The blaring music, buffeted on beats loud enough to terrify small children, gave the room a surreal feeling. Mixed with the neon lights filtering through dozens, perhaps hundreds of pulsating bodies, it made the walls look like they were melting. Juneau closed her eyes and tried to pretend that this music in this range at this hour was what she needed right now. It was strange that with so much external stimuli she could still think about Kato.

"I'm gonna get something to drink," said Yuki.

Juneau nodded and Yuki left her. Not a minute later, she saw the leaning tower of Pisa--or better: a raffia-bound shark fin--come slicing across the dance floor. Zara plopped down next to her with a hoot and a holler. "I love this place!" she cried.

"It's cool!" Juneau shouted back.

Guillaume appeared next with a host and a bottle of bubbly. The young man holding the champagne looked nothing like Kato, but his Asian eyes, his jet hair, and his very maleness--something she had seriously been lacking lately at Shokadō--all reminded her of him. She tried to make eyes at him, but he was too busy uncorking the bottle of Veuve Clicquot and pouring them rounds. She meant to invite him to stay, but no sooner were their flutes filled than had he disappeared back to the bar.

Yuki joined them now and, plucking up her glass, offered a wordlessly noisy toast. It seemed she knew no other way to drink alcohol than to shoot it down her gullet. After another helping, she dragged Juneau out of the booth. "I wanna dance!"

Juneau humored her, though between them they didn't have enough rhythm to dance the Macarena. She was grateful this wasn't Dune, that this wasn't home, that the champagne had dulled her anxiety. She poured herself into the music and let it move her where it would. Yuki danced like a marionette whose strings had gotten stuck. She kept jerking her head and arms this way and that in an effort to wriggle free. It was unnerving and endearing and Juneau was so moved, she threw her arms around her sister.

"I love you, man!" she cried into Yuki's ear.

Claire came to join them, though her heels and her dress didn't allow her much freedom of motion. She seemed content to bend her knees at odd intervals and lean from side to side. She smelled like a triple martini and laughed like Olive Oil. Soon, Guillaume and Zara came to join them. They wound the next few hours bumping up against each other, and when that got old, they introduced other dancers into their circle. The Japanese gents were more than happy to accommodate Claire, Juneau, and Zara (even with the raffia phallus on her head), though they reservedly stared at Yuki and Guillaume. The two ended up dancing with each other, fine with the arrangement so long as champagne was among them.

Finally toward three in the morning, Guillaume went to the bathroom. Zara and Yuki had ended up sitting off in a corner booth, giggling soundlessly, flirtingly. Juneau and Claire were still dancing, though the latter decided she would follow Guillaume to the restrooms. Not wanting to be on the floor alone, Juneau sidled over to Yuki and Zara. She hunched over the table and wondered if she had actually caught the girls kissing or if it had been her imagination. She didn't have much time to figure it out, or care, for a blood-curdling scream tore through the air. All heads whipped up, eyes flew in the direction of the restrooms. The DJ cut the music, pulling his headphones down around his neck.

Juneau couldn't be sure, but when she saw the shock in Yuki's eyes, all uncertainty faded away.

"That was Claire!"





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Laura Bailey wrote 1062 days ago

This is very well written. No problem backing it.

Laura Bailey
Beneath The Blossom Tree

Eunice Attwood wrote 1289 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 1350 days ago

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

Ryan K. Nolan wrote 1350 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!

tlst wrote 1356 days ago

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

Pia wrote 1356 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 1356 days ago

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

Kidd1 wrote 1357 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.
Golden Conspiracy

Beval wrote 1358 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 1358 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 1358 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 1358 days ago

This is original, intriguing and extremely entertaining. Backed with absolute pleasure,

homewriter wrote 1358 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 1359 days ago


A Bed of Thorns

missyfleming_22 wrote 1360 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

KW wrote 1360 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 1361 days ago


Ryan K. Nolan wrote 1361 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 1362 days ago

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 1362 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
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
The Letter

andrew skaife wrote 1362 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 1362 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 1362 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 1362 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 1362 days ago

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

celticwriter wrote 1362 days ago

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

jack & charmian london

lizjrnm wrote 1362 days ago

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

The Cheech Room

soutexmex wrote 1362 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!

The Obergemau Key

Rusty Bernard wrote 1362 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 1362 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 1363 days ago


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 1363 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 1363 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 1363 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 1363 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., 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 1363 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
The Last Dream

Katy Christie wrote 1363 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 1363 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 :)