Manager’s Assistant #Rainbowsnippets 141

I’m still sitting at home, and happily so if it’ll keep me, those around me, and others safe. If you’re out and about, I hope it’s only because you must be.

Welcome to my 141st #Rainbowsnippets*. This one, as always, 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.

Striking Balance: The Peculiar Making of Beatrice Benjamin Sophia Scott Schnell Gow is a queer Historical Dark Fantasy set in, you guessed it, Appalachia. This Appalachia, however, is the frontier, and the story takes place during the Revolutionary War era and the time after, meaning the late 18th century. This explains the narrator’s voice. If you’ve read the letters and journals of the period, you’ll recognize it as reflective of those.

Blurb: Benjamin Schnell is the possessor of secrets he wishes he could bury beneath the rich Nolichucky river flat dirt he farms alongside his dear friend, Conall. But secrets lead to lies, lead to more secrets, and all eventually come home to roost in a bed of distrust, even on the 1779 Appalachian frontier.

After Ben is injured, he realizes there are odd things happening around him that others cannot see. Corner shadows take human shapes, lightning bugs dance in broad daylight, and the farm’s strange owner, Master Gow, returns with an offer Conall cannot refuse if Ben is to live. But making a deal with Master Gow will take them deep into the mountains to where a haunted king reigns and Fire balances Water in a delicate natural friendship.

Ben must learn self-acceptance and trust if he and Conall are going to survive because there can be no secrets in the mountains, only truth.

Another rich tale from the Appalachian Elementals world focusing on complex families containing rich LGBTQIA+ characters.

This week I’m picking up where I left off in Chapter Two. Remember that we’re in Ben’s POV, and his thoughts have shifted to Emeline, who he sits beside. The portion in orange comes from last week’s snippet.

Emeline would rather have her nose in a book so she uses her pock scars to her advantage whenever she can.

     She says ‘tis simpler, but I believe she possesses a beauteous face, marks or no, and deserves a husband who values her love of books. Emeline, however, dismissed my thoughts when I spoke them because she lives trapped beneath her sister’s shadow, and Widow Alcott allows this disservice to continue.

     Still, someone content to read beside me at night is a lovely thought indeed. Someday, perhaps, but I shan’t entertain the idea at this stage of my existence.

     “Agreed, Mister Baldwin,” says Widow Alcott. “He should indeed be here. One never knows what a well-mannered hired boy might be managing later in life.” She calls for Mary to serve and Davy to refill our mugs while I silently curse her for calling me a hired boy when I am the manager’s assistant on a profitable farm.

Charity’s rudeness most definitely derives from her mother’s example. Poor Ben. Between Emeline’s mother and sister he doesn’t stand much of a chance, but I believe he’s stronger than either of them, and I’m quite certain he’s biting his tongue at present.

*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.


  1. Much as I like Emeline, I’m enjoying Ben’s interaction with Conall more. 🙂 It sounds like Emeline may have plans of her own, ones that might involve getting out from her sister’s shadow without the help of any husband…


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