NOTE: Yes, this is posting on Tuesday, not Wednesday, but tomorrow will be all about the release of Cleaning House, so the #WIPpet Wednesday and #WIPitWed are going up today.
August 1st is release day for Cleaning House so this will be my final #WIPpet Wednesday from it. That’s both sad and wonderful, and it means I’ll begin sharing something new next week, that something being the prologue for Keeping House. Sharing that will take two or three weeks, then I’ll be moving on to something else because sharing more of Keeping House would give spoilers to Cleaning House, which I certainly don’t want to do.
Here’s my WIPpet math for 8/1/2018: 8+1=9 meaning nine final paragraphs from Cleaning House – A Contemporary Appalachian Fantasy
The Setup: Cent’s found something in that hole she’s dug in the cellar, something that’s taken her far into the past.
Cent writhed in agony, her body tight, her instincts high. She folded in on herself then flailed back, opening her eyes to peer into gentle, kind— Stowne’s eyes were the color of freshly turned soil on a damp spring day. Deep brown, almost black. “You’re nearly done.” Their voice brought her courage, so she curled forward and repeated whatever she’d been doing, squealing at the pressure engulfing her body.
“One more.” Stowne. She could see them. A thick shock of long dark hair hanging to one side of…his head? No. “Stowne?”
“Yes?” Stowne raised their hand to stroke her face. Their words were strange, as were her own, but she understood them nonetheless. Flesh and bone. Her Stowne was flesh and bone. There. Real. Tsalagi?
Cent clenched her jaw and curled forward when the pressure resumed.
“Take my hands.”
She looked up to see Rayne smiling at her in the fire’s low light. Native too, their hair tied back in a simple leather cord the same color as their deer-hide shirt.
“Come on. Pull!” Rayne grabbed her hands when she hesitated, pulling her forward as Stowne held her from behind, chanting under their breath. A spell, an old spell. She knew its meaning. A shield, a cover. Male? No, Stowne was still an elemental they, but they couldn’t show this for a reason she didn’t understand.
She squealed at the pain, panting and holding her breath when it intensified, engulfing her again.
“Yes. Yes!” Rayne dropped their hands between Cent’s legs as something powerful exited her body.
It should be easy to understand what’s happening here but just when and how…
Want to read more from Cleaning House? You can do so HERE.
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.
*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.