#CleaningHouseNovel #RainbowSnippets Sixty-Three 9/8: Popcorn and a Movie

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 pretty much over, and they’re mainly favorable, but I had one reviewer contact me, via the ARC facilitator, so he could “educate” me on the proper use of they/them, saying that the novel would have been great if hadn’t been for that problem.

Pffft. My novel. If you don’t like it, that’s fine. But don’t try to educate this author, or any other for that matter, concerning proper usages. I have advanced degrees in English, Language Arts teaching licensure in several states, have educated students between the ages of six and seventy, and the book was well edited by a professional editor. That said, I’m not an amateur, so… Just. Don’t. (shoos away the idea and carries on)

I’ll be releasing an ebook holiday novella set in the same world as Cleaning House in November, so look for it. Mama, Me, & the Holiday Tree will be a quick read centered around my protagonist, Cent’s, relationship with her mentally ill mother. It’s geared for those who haven’t read the first novel in the series, a side-door in, if you will.

And, yes, Betty Holub, who you’ve all been following through my #Rainbowsnippets, will be there too, but not as much as she will be in the sequel to Cleaning House, Keeping House, which will be out next year. She’s also in Mama and Me, BTW, but as a definite side character.

The Setup: Betty and Cent are trying to relax and destress by watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Betty speaks first below, and her initial bit of dialogue, taken from last week’s snippet, is in yellow

     “You and me. Two queers against the world.”

     “Yeah.” Cent hiccupped and held out her glass. “Another?”

     “One of my regulars gave me a whole case last week, so the sky’s the limit.” Betty topped Cent’s glass. “I even made us a prop bag.” She pointed to the paper bag sitting next to the end table. “Want popcorn yet?”

     “Maybe at intermission.”

     “Let’s get going, then.” Betty set the prop bag between them. “No rice this time. The roaches love it a little too much.” She pulled out a foldable sandwich bag stuffed with hand-cut confetti.

     “You know those roaches could be coming from eggs mixed into the bag glue, right?” Cent shivered as she sipped more champagne.

     “You serious?” Betty dropped the bag back onto the floor.

Betty’s freaked out and rightfully so. Creepy-crawlies. Ugh. This is one of the many reasons my spouse and I carry reusable bags with us anymore.


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!

Comfy popcorn photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash


  1. I like to think that ARC reviewer meant well… though… seriously? Good grief. Offering to ‘educate’ someone on grammar takes nerve. I’m a little surprised that facilitator didn’t decline to contact you in this regard (not that I know how it works ~grin~).

    Nice snippet! But roach eggs in bag glue? Ugh! Best wishes on all your endeavors. Thank you for sharing. And Happy Writing!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.