The funeral would be held at 2:00 the next day, and all the details were complete. They drove home in a steady drizzle. A stream of friends and family came and offered their condolences. Alone in bed, Gimpy couldn’t sleep, tossing and turning in the sickening silence. #CleanWip
#Steady…She braced herself. While she adored her goats, this part she hated. Hoof trimming day. ThunderB stood defiantly. Smiling, she pulled a thick slice of watermelon out of her bucket. Yellow eyes widened. Tail wagged. He came running up to her. Worked every time. #CleanWIP
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: Despite the upsetting events, Emily’s heart slowed to a steady rhythm. She’d been harassed by a drunk and detained by the obnoxious Clemons, who was asking questions around town. How much had he learned? Did he know she was his other mail order bride?
“I’ve got this, Gran. We baked our first birthday cake together when I was what, seven? We’ve probably baked a hundred more since. I know I’m still a bit of a hot mess when it comes to whisking. But I’m as good at writing with icing as you are.” #CleanWIP
— Jessica Marie Holt — Author (@Jessica06311722) May 31, 2020
Plum blossoms scented the breeze that trailed through the opened paneled walls. Takumi no longer coughed and his hands grew #steady. The longer days were not long enough for him. His orders were curt, his expectations exacting, and his results beautiful. #cleanWIP#vss365
There’s no #CleanWIP theme on Fridays, but we still publish a fun collaboration. Use the hashtag to share relevant news, interesting teases from a WIP or published work (purchase links encouraged on Fridays), or something else our readers might love. [https://t.co/iCuPzhtLNK] pic.twitter.com/sc0yJsDdGm
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: Emily didn’t know where she would look for work when Mrs. James fully recovered. Nursing was not her cup of tea. She gagged at the sight of blood, and offensive odors made her nauseous. Even the thought of sticking people with needles, made her cringe.
#CleanWIP Party Time! Meet Oscar Ellwood III. This dorky guy is my favorite character in JOURNEY TO FORGIVENESS. He's a nerd and a spoiled mama's boy who assumes he knows everything. Oscar stays in trouble. You'll laugh when he almost faints after getting a splinter in his chin.
Janet had eager eyes, a broad, toothy smile, and a loud, insistent voice that rose above everyone else’s. In her navy sheath dress, string of pearls, and kitten heels, she looked like she was hosting a political fundraiser instead of attending a family birthday party. #CleanWIP
— Jessica Marie Holt — Author (@Jessica06311722) May 27, 2020
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: How would Emily feel in his arms gliding across the dance floor? The Coopers’ harvest party was October 4th. Clint could ask her to accompany him to the party. Since Ma got stronger by the day, the big dilemma was keeping Emily at the ranch until then.
The Island wedding party was small; Pele served as Gimpy’s best man, Melinda as Bailey’s maid of honor. Brother Willie was spot on in his white suit performed the ceremony. Suddenly, Danny Boy decided it would participate; the old bird waddled up and stood by Bailey. #CleanWip
Besides, it was just a kiss. They weren’t walking down the aisle or anything… Of course, if any kiss had the potential to be such a sign, it would have been that one. Electric and familiar like the static stillness before a good thunderstorm. #cleanwip#sweetromance#amwriting
Her morning went by in a blur. Lunch was equally uneventful. Torian headed off with Dima to help with some repairs that needed done around the farm, leaving Inessa Jo alone in the house. A relieving bout of peacefulness. Unfortunately it wouldn’t last near long enough. #CleanWIP
She handed Sarah a piping bag. “You can write ‘Happy 70th birthday, Henry’ on the chocolate one. Steady hand, now!”
“I know how to do this, Gran. We baked our first birthday cake together when I was what, seven? We’ve probably baked a hundred more since then.” #CleanWIP
— Jessica Marie Holt — Author (@Jessica06311722) May 26, 2020
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: When Clint had settled her at the table, he left to join the doctor in Ma's room. Emily clasped her hands together smiling at Alissia. “I hate to put you to any trouble. If I hadn’t twisted my ankle, I would pour my own lemonade–plus a glass for you.”
“Clara?” There was no light anywhere, and she hadn’t thought to bring one. Surely, if the girls were here, they would answer. “Clara? Alice? It’s Miss Stratton. Please answer if you hear me. I’m all #alone. No one else is with me.” #CleanWIP (a WWI historical romance)
“It will show my parents that I’m capable of being serious with a woman. Hopefully then they’ll stop worrying about me and leave me alone.”
“But it would be a lie,” said June. “You aren’t capable.”
“At least, not right now,” said Ellie hastily. “All in good time.” #CleanWIP
— Jessica Marie Holt — Author (@Jessica06311722) May 25, 2020
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: Emily brushed debris from her skirt. “Yes, I arrived in town, alone.” The cowboy frowned. “Who met you at the depot?” “No one.” Emily bit back anger. The lousy dentist, her intended, had left her at the depot while he exchanged vows with another woman.
Looking through the ledger. Each name a wounded #soul that crossed their threshold. Black ink drew a bold line through some of the names. The ones who didn’t have a chance to heal. Taking a pen. She added a new name with a prayer that this one survived. #CleanWIP
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: Emily seemed to be miles away. Clint nudged her. “What do you think?” She blinked. “I’m sorry. What were you asking?” Just as he’d thought. “We were deciding who were the best singers.” “Mrs. Rollins who sang, It Is Well With My Soul, did a great job.”
There’s no #CleanWIP theme on Fridays, but we still publish a fun collaboration. Use the hashtag to share relevant news, interesting teases from a WIP or published work (purchase links encouraged on Fridays), or something else our readers might love. [https://t.co/iCuPzhtLNK] pic.twitter.com/4C5JrPYygJ
~ Irene Onorato ~ When I read a book, I judge the author’s writing strength by very simple criteria. I’m not terribly concerned about a few typos or a couple of boo-boos with punctuation. Minor formatting errors mean nothing to me. The criteria I’m looking for is this: Can the author make me laugh, cry, get angry, smile, feel nervous, or afraid? Will the story evoke primal emotions in such a way that I feel fully immersed in the lives of the characters? That’s the kind of writer I strive to be. Recently, I was blessed by a reader who wrote a blog about Justice for Hattie Mayfair, the first book I’d written outside my normal romance genre. I hadn’t strayed far, but this story had added elements of suspense. In her blog post, the reader gave me the best compliment I’ve ever received as a writer. Her comment let me know I had hit the mark. That she felt things. Deeply. Here’s a snippet of what she said… “I can tell you I was on my toes most of time. I sat on the edge of my seat, laughed, and shed a few tears. Especially at the end… full ugly cry!” Full ugly cry. I love it.
Despite his resolve. His mind kept drifting to her. Her bravery and humility outshined everyone. Slowly chipping away at a heart he no longer thought he had. It was not her, as she claimed, who was flawed. No, he was the one who was damaged. And that would only hurt her.#CleanWIP
Gimpy kept staring at the list; he thought what an odd and diverse group of people; it is the strength of this den of thieves, and they come together when threatened that would make them hard to defeat. He laughed, but they have one fatal flaw, the love of money. #CleanWip
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: Dr. Clemons stood in the doorway with Prudence on his arm. Emily's heart hitched and she stumbled. Clint tightened his grip on her, grinning sheepishly. “Me and my big feet. I'd say my dancing is a bit flawed.” "No, my fault. I stepped on your boot."
The streets were empty. Candles winked behind many thin paper walls. As I passed the last home I tripped and fell to my knees again. This time the struggle to rise was more than my #strength. I crawled off the road and onto a narrow snow trodden path. #cleanWIP#vss365
The little girl started crying wanting to go back home. Inessa Jo’s heart nearly broke at the sweet child’s pleas. Strengthening her resolve as she walked away, forcing back the tears that tried to escape from their hold. #CleanWIP (Theme: Strength)
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: Doc wagged his finger. “It'll be a while before you regain your strength. Vera, let’s get something straight. If I permit you to sit up two hours a day, will you promise me you won’t try to take over running the house?” She gave him a blistering look.
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: “I told Ollie your name was Evelyn.” Adella paused. “What’s your last name?” “It’s—” Emily stalled, not correcting the woman in regard to her first name. The bell clanged and Clint walked in. Emily was so relieved she fought the impulse to embrace him.
#CleanWIP (theme REGARD) Is Hamelin witness enough, or shall we call others?” Dolan regarded the somber young man beside him. “I believe he is witness enough.” To his credit, Hamelin pulled himself together, made a courtly bow, and looked each of them directly in the eyes.
Moments later the door squeaked open, and a wash of musty air hit them full in the face. Regarding them from the dimly lit hall was the housekeeper, a wrinkled-up old woman that seemed to share kin with a raisin.#CleanWIP Theme: Regard
I pulled back as mother turned to me. I didn’t need a last blessing, because she wouldn’t die. She sighed and turned to my first younger sister. “Gomako. You brought joy after sorrow. Your quickness to learn is a delight. Be careful who you #imitate.” #cleanWIP#vss365
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: The reverend scanned the crowd. “Fair warning, sister or brother. One seemingly harmless lie can lead to a dozen, to cover the original one. After you tell the first lie, it is difficult to admit you were not completely honest. Pride gets in the way.”
“What kind of organization leaves its people defenseless in a war to save the world, General?” “Well, that is a hypothetical and I don’t answer those, but you’re still standing here and I’m trying to determine for what purpose? Next question, you in the Bozo costume.” #CleanWip
“This is Barley, Oats, and Rye.” How original. She thought. “Kittens? Where did you get them?” “Now Jo, I was fixing a flat and heard a noise. Then I saw the box. Looked inside & found these poor homeless creatures. I thought. Jo always need more cats around the farm.”#CleanWIP
There’s no #CleanWIP theme on Fridays, but we still publish a fun collaboration. Use the hashtag to share relevant news, interesting teases from a WIP or published work (purchase links encouraged on Fridays), or something else our readers might love. [https://t.co/iCuPzhtLNK] pic.twitter.com/PAYDmEefHL
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: Josh’s countenance sobered. “Clint, you need to forgive your stepfather. Let go of the bitterness. You don’t realize how your anger is hurting those you love.” “Josh, I appreciate your honesty. Now, you go back inside and give me some time to think.”
“If you could create a Mother, where would you start?” “Easy, I’d give her the heart of Lion, the eyes of the Eagle, and the fighting spirit of a Wolverine.” “You’re talking animals.” “My mother is beautiful and strong, don’t you agree?” “Yes, now ask her to let me up.”#vss365
“The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Visuals Online provides a range of photographs and illustrations that may help communicators of medical and public health convey meaning, describe concepts, and tell stories.” Learn more at visualsonline.cancer.gov
Niv stood frozen on the spot as he sought to make sense of everything. He’d never even got the chance to speak up before Vancord scuttled any possibility of making a good impression. He stifled a desire to glance back in search of Boaraly.#CleanWIP
— Edwin Downward Author of Science Fiction Adventure (@edwindownward) May 14, 2020
“JoJo.” A childish voice echoed through the house.
“What is it?” she asked as the girl climbed onto the stool next to her.
“Can we make beady things today?”
“Of course, we can.” Inessa Jo said. “Right after breakfast. Alright.” #CleanWIP
Yes, he was a dead man the moment Frank opened his big fat traitorous mouth. He had trusted the wrong person, and he was going to pay for his mistake with his life.
But no one else would. This would end with him. He’d make sure of it. #CleanWIP
— Jessica Marie Holt — Author (@Jessica06311722) May 14, 2020
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: A pot lid clanged before Louise yelled, “I want Em’ly out of here!” It was time to make her presence known. Emily tucked the money inside her pocket and stepped inside, letting the screen door pop to behind her. Louise whirled around and glared at her.
#CleanWIP ~ Though her choice of words to the driver of the sedan may seem comedic, I later learned that’s simply Rita’s preferred method of coping with stress. She was certainly stressed that morning. In fact, it ranked high on her list of worst days ever.
The invaders were a strike force from a neighboring kingdom. They had decided Empleheim was a threat they could not leave alone and intended to take Castle Hona in a surprise attack. They succeeded at the surprise part, even if they failed at the attack part. #CleanWIP (achieve)
She admired her parents and everything they had achieved. Even her older brother made something of his life. She felt like a failure. No job. On the verge of destroying the very thing her family worked hard to protect. Hiding from her troubles in her mother’s pantry. #CleanWIP
“That’s going to be the first high school rocket to achieve escape velocity,” Merry predicted. “Mister Wallace will be fit to be tied.” She had no difficulty in picturing the white-haired Mister Wallace, who threatened to retire, staring slack-jawed…#CleanWIP
“Honey, if you #want to sell your house get Bailey Betterton, she sells anything that has got a roof on it. I saw her sell my grandfather’s house to a blind man; the poor guy thought he’d bought a castle if you know what I mean.” She gave me a wink, and she was gone. #CleanWip
“Well, Mechal tells me they’re fully healed,” Khomar replied. “I’ve been cleared to do whatever I want.” “The instruction given was to avoid that which would cause overexertion,” Lu noted coolly.#cleanwip#wip#amwritingfantasy
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: Was Louise suggesting Carl Goodwin? In his forties, Carl had returned from the war with an alcohol addiction. His wife took all she could then took the baby and left him with five young’uns. Emily did not want to start a marriage with a passel of kids.
“I like simple, so I will make this simple. Tell me what I want to know now, and maybe I don’t shoot you in the head and throw you in the river. Maybe you go back to your pathetic life, and scramble around like the cockroach you are until someone else crushes you.” #CleanWIP
— Jessica Marie Holt — Author (@Jessica06311722) May 11, 2020
#CleanWIP (theme WANT) “The name means ‘resolute protector.’ Don’t you think that will describe him someday?” Dolan didn’t answer right away, for he did not want to disappoint her. He felt strongly the child should be named Orland.
Mr. Cohen is a little white-haired man that grayed early, and the proprietor of Timothy’s favorite bookshop. For the nominal fee of sweeping out the shop, he’ll let Timothy read whatever he wants, as long as he wants.
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: Josh’s countenance sobered. “Clint, you need to forgive your stepfather. Let go of the bitterness. You don't realize how your anger is hurting those you love.” "Josh, I appreciate your honesty. Now, you go back inside and give me some time to think.”
— Jessica Marie Holt — Author (@Jessica06311722) May 10, 2020
He didn’t understand how she could #forgive so effortlessly. To move on from the horrors with such ease. While his own nightmares take a stronger hold every time he tried to move on to brighter days. #CleanWIP
~ Arthur Daigle ~ Here’s a short piece from my latest Dana Illwind and Sorcerer Lord Jayden story: “I kind of remember the sun,” Dana said. “Shiny and warm, moved a lot.” Jayden looked up from his spell tablets and raised an eyebrow. “Historically, Sorcerer Lords are more inclined to madness than farm girls.” “I’m owed a little bit of going over the edge. It’s rained for fifteen days! Not little storms, either. I saw a house float away. You know magic. Can’t you make it stop?”
There’s no #CleanWIP theme on Fridays, but we still publish a fun collaboration. Use the hashtag to share relevant news, interesting teases from a WIP or published work (purchase links encouraged on Fridays), or something else our readers might love. [https://t.co/iCuPzhtLNK] pic.twitter.com/baqkHfvNZa
~ Laurean Brooks ~ Excerpt from To Trust Her Heart: Was Jake alluding to his wife’s death? “You are a strong believer.” “You aren’t?” His blue eyes sought hers and lingered. She winced. “Not anymore. God seems so distant. I’m not sure He has time for everyone. I mean…why else would tragedy come to those who believe in Him? Your wife’s death, for instance.” “And your husband’s?” Amanda shifted her focus to the circling hawk. The mention of her late husband reminded her why she couldn’t trust God. She’d prayed fervently for a turnaround in her marriage, but God had turned a deaf ear. Greg continued in his infidelity, and finally died in it. “Amanda, God gave each person a free will. He won’t force His own will on anyone.” He did it again. Read her mind. She folded her arms across her chest. “Meaning…?” “When Adam and Eve took a bite of that forbidden fruit—whatever it was—sin was birthed on the earth. One act of disobedience brought all kinds of disasters upon the world. Death, sickness, strife, greed, anger, violence, lust, and pain… We have a choice; we can keep blaming Adam and Eve—or God—for the sin in the world, or we can accept God’s provision for our individual sin and move on.” “In other words, each person must accept responsibility for his or her own actions and choices.”
Staver slipped an iron ring on my finger; it was the only metal the army blacksmith had. Then he sang. It wasn’t one of his songs, but an old wedding hymn in a #language forgotten by all but priests and scholars. #cleanWIP#vss365
“I don’t see money as some big defining characteristic. It’s Just something that adds another dimension to people. To me it’s the same as finding out your grandma plays the banjo, or your dad speaks twelve languages, or you’re a direct descendant of George Washington.” #CleanWIP
— Jessica Marie Holt — Author (@Jessica06311722) May 7, 2020
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: “Em-i-ly." She enunciated each syllable. “It’s a pretty name. Are you from around here?” “No, I’m from a small town near Memphis.” “Goodness Gracious! What are you doing this far west? You had to cross the big Mississippi.” How much should she reveal?
#Nations from the west had attacked Ruska many times over the years, and they never made it far. But the Scythians to the south were different. They lived a nomadic life on windswept steppes. They were as fierce and unyielding as their land.#cleanWIP#vss365
~ Scott R. Rezer ~ Josefa had fallen in love with the church at once, its plain exterior awash in pink and white, surrounded by trees and vineyards and the overarching blue sky; it was a jewel of the Baroque style so prominent in the churches of southwestern Germany. Its plain, but beautiful, exterior, though, belied the rich interior that overwhelmed the senses with color and light and ornamentation worthy of a pilgrim church. The schemes of pink and white and glittering gold extended to the inside. Every statue and painting exuded a sense of movement, of life, a place where light and shadow could dance together. ~ The Haberdasher’s Wife (Available May 7) ~
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: Mrs. Reilly stood in the yard pinning clothes to the line. “Just set the flour on the porch. We appreciate it.” Clint tipped his hat. He didn’t mind helping the Reillys. Mr. Reilly had lost a leg in the Civil War. Would the nation ever fully recover?
Having spent sixteen years of his life serving the nation. Being pulled into another’s battle was the last thing he wanted. Doomed. Whatever way he looked at it. Yet he felt a strong urge to step in and help. Because one person’s life was worth more than a statistic. #CleanWIP
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: “She has to go!” Louise’s voice blasted through the screen. What had riled her sister-in-law this time? Mama left the everything to Roy. Her one stipulation—Roy take care of Emily—had no papers to back it. Without those, Emily had lost her birthright.”
We too often blow it off as of little importance; our heritage came with a price, often bought and paid for in blood, by relatives. And, for what, so we can slough it off as only dust in the wind. Buckle up world, for without culture there is no history and no future. #CleanWip
~ Excerpt of The Haberdasher’s Wife by Scott R. Rezer, now available for pre-order at Amazon.com. ~ Herr Doctor Josef Anton von Bandel—Golden Knight of the Order of St. Peter, Count Palatine; satirist, theologian, husband. Father—my father. A man who died when I was only three months old. As a child, I knew very little about him. He was only a name, nothing more, but from what I learned, as I grew older, he had earned his nobility because he criticized anyone who stood against the Absolutism of the Catholic Church and the powers of such men as the Duke of Württemberg. Such was my father’s legacy.
My latest historical fiction release is FREE today and tomorrow (May 5th and 6th)! Happy reading! https://t.co/a56dFzZ6Mw
— Jessica Marie Holt — Author (@Jessica06311722) May 5, 2020
The #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article for today, May the Fourth 2020, is Star. [More info]
Featured photo is a cropped subsection of an image captured by the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope of a celestial sea of stars. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Wisc.
#CleanWIP “You could be a king maker,” the Chief said with force. “Yet you would deny that opportunity—and risk so much more on your questionable star project? Most of us can’t afford the luxury of idealism.”
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: Emily gazed at the eastern horizon. “The Farmer’s Almanac says Venus will be an evening star through September. Clint, look at the moon. It’s enormous! I wish we never had to leave this place.” He slid his arms around her waist. “I know what you mean.”
Her finger traced the #star inlay on the medicine chest. Hand carved by her great grandfather. A loving gift for his wife. The first of many midwives and babki’s in her family. With a sense of #bathos, she remembered the lessons and traditions handed down to her.#CleanWIP#vss365
Making his way back through the woods. He’d lost the trail. Carefully, he stepped over the treacherous branches and rocks that lay scattered around the forest floor; waiting to trip some fool that dared to make their way past. #CleanWIP (Theme: Rock)
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: "You hinted at something unusual that brought you here.” Carrie laughed. “It’s no secret, now. I left Denton in a hurry one night after pushing a nasty drunk off the boardwalk. His head struck a rock. I didn’t know if he was dead or just unconscious.”
There’s no #CleanWIP theme on Fridays, but we still publish a fun collaboration. Use the hashtag to share relevant news, interesting teases from a WIP or published work (purchase links encouraged on Fridays), or something else our readers might love. [https://t.co/iCuPzhtLNK] pic.twitter.com/06wvBFTRTP
The Haberdasher’s Wife by Scott R. Rezer is now available for pre-order on Amazon with release day set for May 15. 1800—Überlingen, Imperial Free City of the Holy Roman Empire. Change is on the wind. A new century has begun and war with Napoleon Bonaparte continues to spread like wildfire, while the Enlightenment quietly breaks down traditional barriers of class, education, and the arts, in the last holdouts of Absolutism in the old German States. For Josefa von Bandel, a nobleman’s daughter, her life on the quiet shores of the Bodensee is caught up in the dramatic changes sweeping across Europe—and in her own troubled life. She is young and beautiful and willfully stubborn. She risked her reputation for a scandalous affair—but will she sacrifice everything else for love?