JT Lawrence calls The Stepford Florist a “a smart, sexy, cyberpunk thriller.” It is a short story of about seventy pages. Lawrence is creating a world as a setting for a series. This story starts off fast with lines that are hard to ignore. After reading the following, how can you tear yourself away?
Chapter 1: Bootleg Vampire Facelift
Jasmine loads up the syringe with her client’s platelet-rich plasma, … she’s seen enough medical dramas on BingeStream to know how to act the part… vampire facelifts are murder on her feet.” (p.3-4).
Lawrence delivers the above lines on what is really the first page of text. How am I going to walk away from this? (I’m not.) Those lines are followed by the information that Jasmine operates a mobile Vampire Facelift Operation out of a caravan. That does not make her immune to a police raid which is unfortunate for the police raiding party. The caravan contains many boobytraps. My favorite was the cuckoo clock that attacked a police officer’s eyes once the clock struck … police officer.
Jasmine, protagonist and favorite body alteration surgeon is somewhat overwhelmed by assessing the shagging potential of most characters she interacts with so this teaser may not be for everyone. It is not porno explicit but probably colors outside the lines of YA genre.
With authors who build their own worlds, I find amusement in some of the language and phrasing they invent. I am not familiar with plastic surgery or any of the alternative phrases for body appearance modification but I was amused by an “iris color pop” and a “collagen lip plump.” “Finger spark plasters” (P. 7) play a big part in this story.
Watch out for Jasmine’s Beehive Hairdo; it can be deadly. For those looking for alternative employment, there is an opportunity with SurroTribe as a professional surrogate but there is a code of ethics that surrogates must not breach. No, there is not a connection to The Handmaid’s Tale.
Protagonist Jasmine is best described as “a biopunk truther who is posing as a florist who is posing as a cosmetician.” (p.29). Note the word “posing.” Now we have sort of a spy story.
This is a short story I rated as four Amazon stars for the creative language use. My favorite character was the unwitting double-crosser Chairman Miaow but readers will determine whether the Chairman was an unwitting dupe in the larger story or not. This is a pleasant short read and an introduction to a series When Tomorrow Calls.