#CleaningHouseNovel #RainbowSnippets Fifty 6/9: When you Comin’ Home?

Ah, the smell of a fresh proof. There’s nothing like it, is there? Yep, that’s the print proof of Cleaning House, and it’s gorgeous if I do say so… 304 pages worth of gorgeous to be exact.  Yeah, the picture I took isn’t the best. I have both a crap camera and shakey hands, but the fact remains… I love this cover and the matching interior art. There are besoms (brooms) at the head of each chapter and coordinating scene breaks. That, along with some classic fonts, sets the tone for the content – a mix of old and new, of the standard and the magical.

Here’s an example of the besom I used throughout the print version of the novel (the white background is added so it will show against this page’s gray). Simple but beautiful. You won’t find this detail in the ebook version (if you’ve ever formatted an ebook, you know exactly why).

Welcome to this week’s installment of Rainbowsnippets*! This one is uniquely mine, but there are lots of other great snippets to read, so after you finish here click the FB link at the bottom of the post to discover other great LGBTQIA authors and their works.

I’m sharing from Cleaning House again. The novel is an Appalachian-set Contemporary/ Paranormal Fantasy where the past and the present are blended with a healthy dose of granny magic. The mountains are alive, and a little moonshine can cure what ails you.

The Setup: Cent’s been talking to her cousin Aubrey, but Aunt Tess is now on the line.

     “Cent? When you comin’ home?” Aunt Tess, seventy-five years old and a bit hard of hearing, all but yelled into the phone.

     “I…I’m not planning to anytime soon, and you know dead-to-rights why.” Damn, I slide back into the accent far too easily.

     “Your mama,” Tess grumbled. “I’d tan her hide if I thought it’d do any good. I need you, girl. And you know that ain’t an easy thing for me to say.”

     “Can’t you buy her out?”

     “The land alone is worth eighty-five thousand. Too big a poke for my little piggy.”

     “Yeah, mine too.” Cent ran her hand down her face. She had wonderful childhood memories of the homestead. Playing jacks and marbles and shooting off caps with Aubrey and the other cousins. Spitting watermelon seeds for distance and at each other. The smell of the outhouse in the summer. Okay, so not every memory was wonderful, but she’d felt safe and comfortable there.

We all have that family member we hate running into. Unfortunately for Cent, that person is her own mother. Mama is, well, Mama, but Cent always had the safety and security of Tess and the homestead to fall back on– until now.

Shinedown’s “Call Me” comes to mind every time I read through this scene, so much so that the song has made it onto the Cleaning House playlist. There’s a link in the righthand column just below the novel’s cover. Go check it out, especially if you’re as partial to playlists as I am.

Ready to read more from Cleaning House? You can do so HERE and/or pre-order the ebook version HERE or at other online book retailers. The print version will be available by the August 1st release date.

*RainbowSnippets is a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQIA+ authors, readers, and bloggers to share 6 sentences each week from a work of fiction—published or in-progress—or a book recommendation. Feel free to join in!


  1. Ah, the outhouse. ~grin~ Thak you for sharing the playlist. Seems we have very similar taste in favorite music. Have you heard of Palaye Royale? They’re an awesome young band I pimp (my amused SO’s term) at every opportunity. Be well and Happy Writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mother’s can be friend and foe in one… I’m saying that as both a mother and a daughter. And Tess is wonderful… more of a mother to Cent than anyone else, direct biology or not.


    • Yeah, I remember the same thing at my granny’s house. She didn’t have indoor plumbing aside from a hand pump until I was seven years old and had a wood stove for primary heating until I was in my thirties.


    • I’ve never had a Great Aunt Tess in my life, but the memories are pretty much mine…. including my granny’s outhouse. Eight kids, nearly two dozen grand kids, and a wood stove set on broil. Holiday gatherings were, um, interesting.


    • They grow watermelons on the Nolichucky, the river highlighted in the novel, actually, and they’re spectacular. I remember that my papaw wouldn’t eat any watermelon that didn’t come from there. Right now it’s local strawberry season – river strawberries… yummy.


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