My blog tour for Keeping House is still cranking along, as are the sales. Will the tour be worth it? We’ll see, won’t we?
Happy Wednesday! My Wednesday shares have become shorter and serialized, and for now, they’re coming from my current WIP (work in progress), Striking Balance. You’ll be able to find all the ones that pertain to Striking Balance under the Categories drop down to your right.
Striking Balance is an M/Queer Historical Paranormal Fantasy story set within my Appalachian Elementals series. It’s a freestanding tale, so you don’t need to have read the other stories within the series to delve into this one.
This is installment eighteen “Nary a Pound nor Inch” and it picks up directly where the last installment, “A Fine Scottish Gentleman,” ended. The main character in Striking Balance is Benjamin (Nub) Schnell, the possessor of secrets twice his size and seeming age. He’s been working for nearly a decade on the same small farm as his friend, Conall Baldwin, who acts as the farm’s manager. This story begins during the American Revolutionary War years, 1779 to be precise, in the Nolichucky river basin of Northeast Tennessee.
This picks up with the last line from “A Fine Scottish Gentleman” and we now know the speaker, the owner of the farm Ben and Conall work, Master Gow. The first line, in orange, comes from last week’s post, and it’s Master Gow speaking.
“Sit up, gents. Mah farm requires yer attention.”
“Master Gow!” Conall holds his head as he sits up. He glances to the empty jug then over to me, smiling sheepishly. “Sir, I…” He jumps to his feet when Master Gow chuckles. I stand too but slower, guarding my head when things wobble.
“Every time Ah leave, Ah expect tae return tae find ye have taken a growth spurt, Benjamin, but tis always fer naught.” Master Gow’s so quick that I never see him fire his pipe, but it’s smoking, filling the house with the smell of fine cherry-cured tobacco. “Stand tall, boy. Let me see if… Nae, yer still a small one but a fine hand nonetheless. Th’ best by Conall’s insistence.”
Why does everyone find my size problematic besides myself? I stand straight for Master Gow, and he tells me to turn.
“Nary a new pound nor an inch on ye.”
Poor Ben. Everyone seems to harp on his lack of height, don’t they? Size is what’s part of what makes Ben, well, Ben, and that harping, which is sometimes bullying, has made him overly defensive and willing to fight those who slight him. But not Master Gow. Goodness no there. Ben knows Master Gow means no harm and besides, Ben knows better than to challenge his employer, especially during troubling times.
You can check out the other stories within the Appalachian Elementals world by clicking one of the covers to your right. Cleaning House: A Contemporary Appalachian Fantasy, is #1, Keeping House: a Paranormal Appalachian Fantasy, is #2 and was released July 8th, 2019, and Mama, Me, and the Holiday Tree is a sweet little novella that tackles holidays and family relationships between two characters within the series.