#CleaningHouseNovel Meet the Characters Number 1: Exan

Today, I’m starting a new series of blog posts, each concerning a different character from my upcoming novel Cleaning House – An Appalachian Contemporary Fantasy.  This series will be a sneak-peak into the novel’s inner workings, a reader’s glance, if you will, at the characters – all with a spoiler-free-guarantee.

Here’s a little about Cleaning House to get you started.


Centenary Rhodes is an old soul with a well-traveled name, but she doesn’t know this yet.

Growing up in southern Appalachia wasn’t easy, so Cent left home as soon as she could, but the post-collegiate happiness she’d expected has never occurred. She can’t find a decent date, much less find that special someone and, after losing her job in a corporate downsize, she’s struggling to meet her most basic needs. Her car has been repossessed, her bills are piling up, and her questionable North Chicago neighborhood is dangerous to navigate.

Returning home to Hare Creek, Tennessee, never crosses Cent’s mind until her Great Aunt Tess contacts her with an offer she can’t refuse. The family’s southern Appalachian homestead must be sold, and Aunt Tess needs someone to clean it up. Cent will have access to Aunt Tess’ garden and truck and can live on the homestead rent-free for as long as it takes. A part-time job is waiting for her as well.

It’s a chance to solve some of Cent’s financial woes, but will her return be enough when evil sets its sights on Embreeville Mountain and the homestead?

 Cleaning House is a carefully woven Appalachian tapestry of granny magic, haints, elementals, and the fantastic diversity of the human condition – served with a delicious side of fries and a generous quart of peach moonshine.

No, Exan doesn’t appear in the blurb. Few characters ever get the privilege, so I felt a need to show them off a bit while we wait for Cleaning House to be released. That said, without any further ado, I present five things about Exan, AKA Papaw Death.

#1: Character Image: Collage

#2: Occupation:  Crosser of souls

#3: A Song: William Elliot Whitmore’s “Diggin My Grave”

#4: A Descriptive phrase

Dressed in a black shirt and pants, white hair to their mid-back, Exan leaned on a silver-tipped cane, managing to somehow look more senior goth than….

#5 A Quote:

“Calm, child. Remember that you’ve flown beside me in past lives.”

Want to read more about Exan and the other characters in Cleaning House? Check out my #WIPpet Wednesdays and #Rainbowsnippets posts.


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