#CleaningHouseNovel #RainbowSnippets Fifty-Three 6/30: Bargain Smokes in the Doorway

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 again from Cleaning House. 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 apartment building image above? Yep, that’s Cent’s home – third floor, and it’s also the building I lived in when I lived in North Chicago nearly three decades ago. I was surprised to discover that it’s still standing, more so to learn it’s still being used as apartments. (the image is dated 2017  – Google Maps) Here’s hoping it’s not as sad inside as it was in 1989.

The Setup:  It’s morning, and Cent’s on her way to work but, along the way, she runs into someone she knows.

     After a breakfast of warmed-over rice mixed with butter and the last of the sugar, Cent placed her bag on her shoulder and headed off to the bodega. It was a quick walk to the corner, but one she dreaded whenever she had an early shift.

     Spreadin’ Betty, the tall prostitute who lived down the hall, sat on their apartment building’s stoop. “Chupta, Cent? Early shift again?” Betty flicked ashes from her bargain-brand cigarette.

     “Yeah, unfortunately.” Cent stepped over Betty’s splayed leg. “You’re up late.”

True friends seem to come into our lives right when we need them most. Did someone come into your life at just the right time? As you’ll see in the next few weeks, Betty is Cent’s rock, a friend through-and-through and the reason she’s struggling with the idea of leaving North Chicago.

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. There’s a link to the print version on the same page if you’d druther.

And here’s a link to my Meet the Characters blog series. It’s a multimedia approach on my part, a song, a collage, a description, and a quote… combined to introduce each character in Cleaning House. One post for each character. Right now, I’m on number Seven – Ivan Ruleman.

*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!


    • Thanks. I actually lived there and remember that apartment stoop, including the prostitute that used to sit there most mornings. I don’t remember her name, but I don’t think we ever actually spoke.


  1. What a great introduction to these friends! It seems the friends that popped into my life at just the right time are feline. ~grin~ SO wanted cats but chose allergic little asthmatic me instead. Years later, a stray cat demanded to move in. I got on better medicine that made me feel better than in my entire life. She’s gone, but the two elderly girls we still have might have ended up someplace way worse. Didn’t mean to go on and on. Heh… Thank you for sharing and triggering these joyous thoughts. Happy Writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love hearing such things. We’ve had five fur-friends move in with us over the years. Three of them are seniors now, and the other two are special needs. Keeps us hopping, but there’s a lot of love underfoot too.


    • The halls were nice… pretty marble, Art Deco… but the apartments, not so much. Terribly outdated, cracked plaster, the floors were so rough they’d tear up your socks and feet, which meant shoes 24-7. Rough place.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m talking how it looked in 1989 when I lived there. It might have been redone by now… I surely hope, anyway. The area’s pretty much industrial now. as it was becoming then. There’s a pharmaceutical plant across the road and a fish restaurant next door. That fish place was a Kentucky Fried Chicken when I was there. The building itself was originally a bank.

        Liked by 1 person

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