Skew-Whiff Elven Shoes #Rainbowsnippets 148

July 12th? That means, wow. (blinks with big eyes) We’re just over a week from Striking Balance meeting the world. Ben’s ready. I’m ready. Are you? Still on the fence? I mean, it’s Historical Dark Fantasy and…Well now, what if I told you that there’ll be something special available for readers on this site, something more, an interactive aspect to heighten the reading experience? So what is it? Art, lots of art. Try a separate mixed media piece for each chapter, inspired by each chapter’s epigraph. I am placing these pieces in a handbound book, yes, an art book tie in for a novel if you will.

Keep reading to see the mixed media piece tied
to Chapter Three lower in this post.

Welcome to my 148th #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.

Both the print and ebook versions of Striking Balance are now available for preorder, so why not go ahead and reserve yours?

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 Chapter Three, which begins with the epigraph, “Of Good Kraut and Sour Men.” This is actually very similar to how each of my feature posts for Striking Balance will be constructed. Chapter, epigraph, suggested song (I always have a playlist for my novels these days), and the mixed media accompanying piece.

So, again, we’re in Chapter Three, though later than where we left off. Ben is meeting someone new, one of Master Gow’s men, Ewin, for the first time, and things are… well, see for yourself. (Note: We are in Ben’s POV, but Ewin speaks first here.)

Playlist selection: Small Glories – Oh My Love (YouTube)

Mixed Media tie-in:


Ewin turns my shoes over, running his finger over where the stitching has fallen loose.

     “Do they both fit well?” Ewin glances at the pair of angry blisters residing on the top of my right foot.

     “Fairly so, but the right upper is a bit tight.” I have chosen to cease all formality where he is concerned since he has shown me no such politeness.

     “I see.” He shakes his head. This is our first meeting so he must be new to Master Gow’s employ. “Why, the leather pulled apart ‘cause it’s been cut wrong. Skew-whiff elven shoes.” He snorts with laughter. “You’ve such tiny feet for a grown man. Pray, boy, what’s your age again?”

     “Old enough!” I am absurdly defensive when others question my age. “And worth my salt.”

     “I see but a speck of shite with a sour at’itude.”

Ewin, you’re such a lovely fellow. I’m sure every one of my readers is as thrilled by you as Ben is. (insert eye roll here)

Look for a long string of posts over the next six weeks. Word nerd mashups, Tiny History Lesson roundups, my thoughts on writing fantasy and history together, discussions on research – oh, so much research, and lots of posts where we stand at the crossroads of art and fiction.

Guess I’d better get busy. (I’ve actually been up to my eyeballs in paint, papers, and blog tour plans, but that’s not here, is it?)

*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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