#CleaningHouseNovel #RainbowSnippets Sixty 8/25: Dollar Store Wine Glasses

 

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.

My ARC reviews are finally catching up with me, and they’re good. Phrases such as, “I couldn’t put it down.” and “a real page turner” are music to an author’s ears.

I’m liking the current quiet in my life, but it’s a little fleeting. I’ll be appearing at a local Pride event in a few weeks. I also recorded for the BiCast podcast last weekend. That was a great experience and you can hear the podcast if you’ll click the image below. You’re warned, however. I do have a strong Appalachian accent that no level of higher education, including advanced degrees and multiple teacher licenses, has been been able to remove.


I’ll also be 1) releasing an Appalachian Elementals holiday novelette or novella later this year and 2) releasing a Surrogate series novella early next year. I’ll have firm release dates soon, but we’re shooting for a November 1 release on the holiday novelette/novella. I’ll also be releasing another novel in the Surrogate series and the sequel to Cleaning House, Keeping House, next summer.

Busy. Busy. Busy.

The Setup: Cent’s joined Betty for a day of decompressing. They both have difficult lives but for very different reasons, and it’s made them fast friends. Yes, this #rainbowsnippet  is over-length, but I think I need to show Betty from Cent’s POV because Betty is so much more than her exterior.

     Without all the makeup and cheap hair extensions, Betty was quite attractive but in a high-maintenance way Cent had never preferred. The top layers were an act, a barrier to defend against the ugliness Betty faced every time she sat on the apartment steps with her skirt hiked. Spreadin’ Betty didn’t exist behind her apartment door, but Betty the trans woman-addict trying to keep herself clean did. She’d lost her support system, her family, most everything, but she kept plodding along.

     Hope I can do the same.

     “I pulled out the sofa bed and popped a bottle of bubbly, so wipe that frown off your cute little face.” Betty pointed to the couch, a stained-up cast-away they’d dragged up the stairs four months earlier. With a cover, it wasn’t half-bad, and Betty had refurbished the ratty-ass mattress with bleach water, a memory-foam topper, and a good cover. “Let’s get comfy.” Betty set the bottle and two dollar-store wine glasses on the end table.

     “Not sure I’m up to this.” Cent rolled her shoulders and stared at the floor. “One glass and then…”

     “Play hell, you will!”

It’s good to have friends who see you for who you really are and appreciate you for what lies beneath. Betty sees straight through Cent too, and she’s aware of the depression brewing inside her. They’re both feeling trapped, don’t you think?

***

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.

Ready to read more from Cleaning House? You can do so HERE and/or 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.


*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!

17 thoughts on “#CleaningHouseNovel #RainbowSnippets Sixty 8/25: Dollar Store Wine Glasses

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