At Your Service #Rainbowsnippets 147

(Peeks over the edge of June and into July) Hmm, oof, ick, um, okay. Oh, look at that. Whew. Finally something good. I have a new novel coming out on the 21st! I’m doing something really cool to celebrate, a custom art journal that coordinates with the chapters. While the cover isn’t new, it’s definitely befitting a dark fantasy novel and I’ve redone the interior with three signatures of mixed media paper. Each two-page spread will be based on the epigraph for a chapter. Since the epigraphs aren’t spoilers, the spreads won’t be either so this will be great fun and a wonderful combining of my art and my writing, which seems to be happening at an increasing pace.

Confused? Check back on July 1st first to see my upcoming release, Striking Balance, come alive on an entirely new level.

Welcome to my 147th #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.

And, drumroll please, the ebook version of Striking Balance is now available for preorder on Amazon. Woot! You can click the cover inside this post or the one in the righthand column to check out the novel on Amazon.

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’s snippet comes from the beginning of Chapter Three. The first part, in orange, is Master Gow speaking, but we’re still in Ben’s POV.

     “Sit up, gents. Mah farm requires yer attention.”

     “Master Gow!” Conall holds his head as he sits, glancing from the empty jug to me, smiling sheepishly. “Sir, I, we’re ever at your service.” He scrambles to his feet when Master Gow chuckles. I stand too but slower, guarding my head when my vision wobbles.

     “Calm yerself, Conall Baldwin. We all have our bad mornin’s. An’, Benjamin, every time Ah return Ah expect tae find ye have grown, but ‘tis always fer naught.” Master Gow is so quick I never see him fire his pipe, but ‘tis smoking, filling the cabin with the smell of fine cherry-cured tobacco. “Stand tall, lad. Let me see if… Nae, yer still small but a fine hand nonetheless, th’ best by Conall’s insistence.”

     “Yes, sir. Thank ye, sir, and good day to ye. I hope your journey was peaceful.” Why does everyone find my size problematic besides… Yes, I find it problematic as well. I allow that, so I stand straight for Master Gow, and he tells me to turn.

Well, at least Ben knows how to nurse a hangover. Have a happy, safe weekend and a wonderful, equally safe week. And remember to check back beginning Wednesday for daily posts combining Striking Balance and mixed media art.

Until then…

*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.

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