Relaxed Friday 67

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Gundula Vogel

All morning I’ve been thinking about working out, adding new content to this magazine, creating a list of questions for the upcoming character interviews, designing new products for the CleanWIP store, connecting with new authors, reading a couple dozen emails, and creating a proper business plan. ~ Sigh. ~ I’ve been thinking about these things all morning. I believe I may need to take off the remainder of the day and relax.

Relaxed Friday 66

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Sean Griffin

Relaxed Friday 65

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Jan Alexander

Relaxed Friday 64

It’s Friday and Christmas Day! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Diana Parkhouse

A Message of Hope: Clean Fantasy Authors D. Art and Kay McKinney Release Fifth Book in Series on December 26, 2020.

Hope Never Lost, the fifth book in the Mage Saga series, continues the story of Achron Windslo, the white mage once thrust outside of time, now tasked with rebuilding a nation from nearly nothing. Can the growing population of mages in Empleheim find a place in a world that will not understand their very existence and fears the power they possess? And beyond just the wary eyes of their neighbors, the last of the great mages speaks of a far greater danger, one that threatens more than just their world. The quiescent powers in Achron’s family may well prove to be the hope everyone needs.
Building on a series dedicated to exploring the themes of family and virtue, Hope Never Lost presents an adventure that is both clean and exciting, didactic and enjoyable. The Mage Saga is a sweeping fantasy tale of action, surprise, humor, and courage.

Relaxed Friday 63

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Vincent Ciro

Reconnecting on MeWe
We recently left Facebook and headed to MeWe where we reopened the official CleanWIP collaboration group as well as a public magazine MeWe page to mingle with both readers and authors who like to keep things clean. We’re revisiting Special Edition articles to help readers of MeWe get to know the magazine and the authors who often contribute. This past week, we reconnected with Daphne Self, a long time member of American Christian Fiction Writers. We do hope you’ll join us over on MeWe if you haven’t already, but only after you check out this fun book trailer of Daphne’s Alabama Days.

Relaxed Friday 62

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by David Mark

Relaxed Friday 61

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Couleur

New to MeWe
We recently moved from Facebook to MeWe and our site stats show we’re rebuilding our social presence stronger than ever. Since we’re so new to MeWe, we’re revisiting many favorite articles on our new magazine page there. We’re also reconstructing our collaboration group for authors, poets, bloggers, and other creative people. We hope you’ll join us there if you haven’t already.
Private group for creators:
https://mewe.com/join/cleanwip
Public page for readers and creators:
https://mewe.com/p/cleanwipmagazine
But, Earl, we are friends:
https://mewe.com/i/chinnici

Relaxed Friday 60

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Christiane

Relaxed Friday 59

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Tim Hill

In Case You Missed Us
(We missed you too. Welcome back.)
The CleanWIP Magazine group for authors, poets, and other creative people has a new home on MeWe as well as a public page where we can share news and all sorts of fun things with the readers. We apologize to anyone who didn’t catch the advance notice of the move. Incidentally, Facebook’s concept of prioritizing content Facebook deems important played a large part in our difficult decision to make the move. Though the move has been a great deal of work and we dearly miss those who have yet to find us on the new-to-us platform, we’re quite excited about the considerable uptick in visitors and interactions now that fans of CleanWIP Magazine are allowed to directly decide for themselves regarding the importance of our message.

Relaxed Friday 58

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by J.W.Vein

Relaxed Friday 57

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by James Wheeler

Relaxed Friday 56

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Jill Wellington

Relaxed Friday 55

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Rene Rauschenberger

We’re a day late seeing this, so don’t wait until tomorrow. Get it now.

Relaxed Friday 54

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Larisa Koshkina

In case you missed it…

Relaxed Friday 53

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Brin Weins

Scott R. Rezer ~
From my current WIP, The Gambit Queen, Book Three of The Magdalen Cycle, an historical fantasy set during the crusades…
Isabella woke with a gasp and a cry. Sweat matted her hair to her brow; it dampened her chemise as well as the sheets and pillow. Her hands trembled. She had dreamed of Henri, a terrible dream that shook her with fear even as it began to fade from her memory. She remembered only the glint of knife.

Relaxed Friday 52

It’s our fifty-second Relaxed Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Christophe Schindler

Scott R. Rezer ~
From my current WIP, The Gambit Queen, and historical fantasy… Wrote this today…
The massive stone walls of Masyaf loomed against the dark spring night; two towers crowded a long, narrow stairway that ascended into darkness. Ernoul called up a ball of bluish-white handfire and drew his sword. The slender ancient blade of silver glowed with a similar light…

~ Earl Chinnici ~
Many people join in the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout each November. If this is something you’re considering, planning ahead can greatly increase your probability of quitting forever.
I’m sure some of you wonder why I’m mentioning this here in CleanWIP Magazine. Well, I began writing as I quit smoking that product commonly referred to as “Tobacco Cigarettes” gradually and published a book on the subject two and a half years later. This new career—if we can just call it that for my own amusement—caused me to connect with authors around the world to learn marketing techniques and better writing skills. This eventually led to the creation of this e-zine. But, I’m off on a tangent here and I don’t want to lose the point of this…. If you’re considering joining the Great American Smokeout this year, I urge you to start joining the smokeout today by learning more about it and about the addiction and by making some type of change to your cigarette habit.
You can find my first book on Amazon. (Maybe You Should Move Those Away From You) I will host a Kindle Free Book Deal just prior to the smokeout if you’d rather await a free copy. Either way, I wish you great success on your quit.

Relaxed Friday 51

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Valentin

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Weekend Freebie + Last Chance to Enter Giveaway

A post shared by Jenelle Schmidt (@jenellelschmidt) on

“There are moments of grief, disappointment, regret and anger.” from On the Road to Remission by Keith D Guernsey

Relaxed Friday 50

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Kordula Vahle

Relaxed Friday 49

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by David Mark

Relaxed Friday 48

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

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It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Denis Doukhan

~ Keith D Guernsey ~
We are honored to announce a joint promotion with the American Cancer Society where we will be donating 25 cents/copy for any of our books (including our newest “Overcoming the Odds“) ordered between 8/26/2020 and 10/31/2020 to this wonderful organization.
Will you help us cure this dreaded disease today?
Thank you, Keith
(2X cancer survivor)

Relaxed Friday 46

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Rebecca Tregear

~ Scott R. Rezer ~
From my current WIP, The Gambit Queen: Book Three of the Magdalen Cycle (historical fantasy)…
Northward, where it traversed the forest, the trees had encroached the road; tall grasses and brush choked the sides of the hard, dry track. Saplings grew at the edge, intrepid advances of the old forest eager to reclaim the land with its dark shadows.

Next Week in CleanWIP Magazine

Each Thursday, we post the themes for the upcoming week to the Themes page of this site as well as in the CleanWIP collaboration group. Here’s some of what we have planned. Several Special Edition articles are also currently works-in-progress.
~~~
Thursday, August 27: CAUSE
Wednesday, August 26: WOMAN
Tuesday, August 25: PARK
Monday, August 24: LOST
Sunday, August 23, 2020: RIDE

Relaxed Friday 45

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Lloyd Waters

~ Jessica Marie Holt ~
Excerpt from Totally Yours, aka Granny Pact Book 4!
“Livvy, you weren’t there. You didn’t see her.”
Olivia looked at her with wide, unblinking eyes from across the breakfast table. “I was there, and I did see her.”
Janet sighed in frustration. “Okay, you saw her during dinner. But you didn’t see her in the kitchen. The way she batted her big green eyes, and tossed her flouncy hair.”
Olivia wrinkled her nose. “Flouncy hair?”
“Oh, you know what I mean.”
“I sometimes know what you mean. This is not one of those times.”
“Oh, Livvy,” Janet moaned, crossing her arms over the table and putting her head down on top of them. “This is it, this is the end of me and Mitch. I just know it.”
“Hmmm. Yeah, you’ve told me the whole story twice, and I’m still not coming to that same foregone conclusion.”

Previously in CleanWIP Magazine…

Relaxed Friday 44

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by David Mark

~ Jessica Marie Holt ~
Here is (one of) my favorite scenes from the third Granny Pact book, which released last month. I don’t think I’ve shared it before.
“I have a girlfriend,” Julio blurted out. He groaned internally. So much for letting Olivia off the hook.
His mother stood up so fast her chair fell over. Lela came and picked it up. Then she looked at all of them, her eyes glinting with curiosity.
“Que pasa aqui?” she said.
Julio’s mother translated the news. Lela’s eyes opened wide and round. She clutched one hand to her chest, while the other hovered in the air as though she was casting a spell. Then she closed her eyes and began murmuring thanks and praises to her dear Lord and Savior for allowing her to live to see this blessed day.
Then she opened one eye and fixed it on Julio. “Es rubia?”
“Si, Lela. She’s blonde. Es rubia.”
Lela clutched her chest again and sat down heavily in the chair Julio’s mother had vacated.
Julio’s mother looked down at Lela and shook her head.

Scott R. Rezer ~
From my current WIP, The Gambit Queen: Book Three of the Magdalen Cycle (historical fantasy)…
He wasn’t sure if the Sarrazins had discovered the underground tunnels, but he prayed they had not. The tunnels were old, perhaps as old as Jherusalem itself. They criss-crossed the city, though most radiated from the Temple Mount. Over the years, the Templars had widened and paved a few of the tunnels they had discovered under the streets of Jherusalem. They’d found more as they burrowed under the city. Some places the tunnels were as wide as five men abreast, while in others a large man could barely squeeze through sideways. The one Terric sought wound itself from the Temple westward toward Mount Sion and the old abbey.
When he had told Jehan months ago about the secret tunnels running beneath the streets and buildings of the city, he didn’t believe him. Seeing the long narrow corridor running away from them into the darkness, he still stood in disbelief. Had Terric not seen the tunnels before, albeit only once, he might not have believed it himself.

Relaxed Friday 43

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

~ Scott R. Rezer ~
From my current WIP, The Gambit Queen: Book Three of the Magdalen Cycle (historical fantasy)…
The orange-red globe of the sun sunk toward the horizon. An hour or more of twilight would see the evening give way to a starlit night. Isabella sighed and leaned against the latticed wall of the castle of Tyre, gazing out over the sparkling sea. A breeze met her sigh, stirring into a riot the many fragrances of the rooftop garden. It teased strands of dark hair from her veil, blowing them across her face in an annoying fashion.

~ Jessica Marie Holt ~
An excerpt!
June stared at her. “Henry’s vacuuming?”
“Yes,” said Elena. “Lucia convinced him.”
Lucia smiled, dimples flashing in her cheeks. “I can be very persuasive,” she said. Her accent made her clear voice sound like music.
June turned and walked swiftly to the kitchen entrance, Ellie following close behind. They both peeked out from behind the wall to look for themselves. Henry was, in fact, awkwardly and ineptly pushing the vacuum around the living room.
“If I weren’t seeing it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t believe it,” June murmured.
“Me, neither,” said Ellie. “It’s as strange as me vacuuming my living room. I haven’t done it in decades. Jeffrey never liked my methods. I don’t go in straight, tidy rows, and I always suck up socks and pennies and other things.”
“I know, I was there that day he banned you from using the vacuum. To be fair, he spent a month picking it out, and you broke it when you sucked up that cat toy.”
“I didn’t see it!”
“It was a pole with a rope attached, Ellie. And the rope had at least twenty brightly-colored feathers and a plastic fish at the end of it!”
Ellie sighed sadly. “I know. It was General Meow’s favorite. May he–and the Dirt Devil–rest in peace.”

~ Laurean Brooks ~
An excerpt from Not What He Ordered
Molly pulled a piece of note paper from her reticule and wrote something. “Here’s my address if you want to stay in touch.” Carrie accepted the paper. “Don’t forget to tell Mr. Kramer that Katy backed out of their marriage arrangement.”
“Katy…Davis?”
“Yes.”
“I won’t forget. “It was all Carrie could think of. Strangers made her nervous, especially men. But she’d promised to deliver the message. She slipped the paper into her pocket.
“You can write to tell me how Mr. Kramer took the news. Well, I’d better get in line.”Molly picked up her bags and merged into the exit line with other departing passengers.
“Next stop Abilene!” Prepare to disembark.”
Carrie picked up her valise and melded into the line of passengers.
She scanned the station for a tall, slim, dark-haired man fitting the description of the mysterious Josh Kramer. Two middle-aged men wandered about, their gazes scanning the faces of passengers inside the depot. One man was short and the other paunchy. Neither wore a red bandanna around his neck.
After twenty minutes studying every man who walked through the door, Carrie set her luggage on the floor near a bench and sat down. If the man showed, finding him would be easier after the crowd thinned.
“Excuse me,” a deep voice boomed.
Carrie gazed up into piercing, black eyes The tall cowboy wore a black Stetson over coal-black hair with curls that caressed his ears. His strong jaw suggested a determined spirit. A little lower, a red bandanna circled his neck.
“I’m Josh Kramer. Are you the woman I’m looking for?”
Carrie’s heart raced. If only she were. Her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth. “I…I–” was all she managed.
“Well, what are you waiting for? A ranch doesn’t run itself, Miss Davis. We’d better get going.”
Her tongue came unglued. “But, Mr. Kramer, I’m not–.”
He interrupted. “Is this all the luggage you brought?”
She could only nod. He snatched up her valise and tramped outside before she could find her voice.
Carrie jumped to her feet and hurried after him, catching up as he set her bag in his buckboard. “But, Mister Kramer…I’m not–.”
“Are you ready to go, Miss Davis?”
“Mr. Kramer…I need to tell you something.”
He shook his head. “Whatever it is can wait until we get to the ranch. I’m a busy man. And Aunt Em needs help with the canning. She’s the only reason I agreed to this…arrangement.” Without another word, he scooped Carrie up and plopped her on the buckboard seat. Oh, dear! He really believed she was his mail-order bride.

Relaxed Friday 42

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Markus Lehner

Relaxed Friday 41

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Mammiya

~ Scott R. Rezer ~
From my current WIP, The Gambit Queen (Book Three: The Magdalen Cycle) (Historical Fantasy)…
Humphrey kissed her one last time, lingering with a labored breath, reluctant to leave her, and then fled the tent. She was alone with her thoughts and her guilt. She had betrayed him and their marriage. Deep down inside, she knew she did it because she wanted to keep Humphrey alive, but more, because she wanted to be queen in her sister’s place, a desire she had held onto for many years, ever since Amalric de Lusignan had given her the hope that one day she would, but only for a price—the price of sacrificing her marriage for a crown. She wanted to scream and break something as much as she wanted to collapse in a heap and weep.

Flashback Friday?

Relaxed Friday 40

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Jörg Vieli

Relaxed Friday 39

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by public-photobox

Relaxed Friday 38

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Frank Winkler

Relaxed Friday 37

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Mona El Falaky

~ a fun excerpt from author Jessica Marie Holt ~
“I have a girlfriend,” Julio blurted out. He groaned internally. So much for letting Olivia off the hook.
His mother stood up so fast her chair fell over. Lela came and picked it up. Then she looked at all of them, her eyes glinting with curiosity.
“Que pasa aqui?” she said.
Julio’s mother translated the news. Lela’s eyes opened wide and round. She clutched one hand to her chest, while the other hovered in the air as though she was casting a spell. Then she closed her eyes and began murmuring thanks and praises to her dear Lord and Savior for allowing her to live to see this blessed day.
Then she opened one eye and fixed it on Julio. “Es rubia?”
“Si, Lela. She’s blonde. Es rubia.”
Lela clutched her chest again and sat down heavily in the chair Julio’s mother had vacated.

Relaxed Friday 36

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Pascal Laurent

Relaxed Friday 35

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Sven Lachmann

Relaxed Friday 34

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo courtesy of Dnipro Hotel

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It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Philipp Kleindienst

~ 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.

Relaxed Friday 32

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Walkers on the Way

Relaxed Friday 31

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Lubos Houska

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?”

~ 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.”

Relaxed Friday 30

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Julius Silver

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?

Relaxed Friday 29

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Enrique Lopez Garre

~ Patricia Snelling ~
(from her current cozy mystery work-in-progress)
Within minutes of Andre stepping onto the podium, a terrific crash reverberated as the platform collapsed sending Andre catapulting—music stand, scores and conductor’s baton flying across the room almost landing in a Euphonium player’s lap.

Relaxed Friday 28

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by dayamay from Pixabay

~ Patricia Snelling ~
The drive through the countryside invigorated her as she inhaled the sweet smell of freshly cut hay through her open window. Arriving in Martha’s driveway, she swerved to avoid squashing her pink, miniature Kunekune pig, Hibiscus who was like a child to her.

Relaxed Friday 27

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Frank Winkler

In case you missed it…

Relaxed Friday 26

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Felix Mittermeier

Relaxed Friday 25

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

~ Jessica Marie Holt ~
(from a new WIP)
Ellie nodded, then frowned. “We do still think it’s a noble cause, right?”
June sighed. “Sarah is still pretty angry with me for interfering in her life. What about James?”
“James was angry at first, and that was rough,” said Ellie, her eyes filling with tears. “But darling boy that he is, he has forgiven me, and now things are right as rain.”
“I think, in time, Sarah will come around, too. We have to keep focusing on the greater good. Helping people find their happy-ever-after.”
“Yes! Look how successful we’ve been!” Ellie’s eyes gleamed in the fluorescent light.
“We do have a knack for this, it seems. I think . . . it’s our calling.”
“Yes! Finally, at our age, we have found what we were meant to do.”
“I think we owe it to the world to share our talents, and help the lonely. Or, at least, to the residents of Shady Oaks.”
“And Fairview.”
“Yes, fine, Fairview, too,” June grumbled.

Relaxed Friday 24

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by annca

Relaxed Friday 23

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Leonardo Valente

~ Jessica Marie Holt ~
(sharing a favorite scene from a WIP)
Pa,” Louis said gently. 
“Yes, son?”
“I’m sorry.”
“You should never be sorry about telling the truth.”
There was a long silence. Then Louis spoke again. “Pa, I’m taking the position.”
Pa nodded. “As you should.”
“Really? You’re not upset about it?”
Pa puffed on his pipe. “Right is right. It don’t really matter how I feel about it.”
“But Pa–” 
“You just do a good job, son, and never give him a reason to doubt your character.”
“Yes, sir.” Louis exhaled slowly into the evening air. “Pa?”
“Yes?”
“I plan to marry Nellie. She’s already agreed.”
Pa smiled, and his eyes flickered in the lamplight. “Is that a fact?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Well, ain’t that somethin’.”
“I’d like your blessing.”
Pa sent a few more rings of smoke upward toward the porch roof. “Well, you have it. Nellie’s a good woman. I hope . . .” Pa shifted in his seat and gazed up into the sky. “I hope you have a good long life together.” He put his pipe back in his teeth and said nothing more. The two of them sat until the sky darkened into a gray void pierced with twinkling stars, and the trees turned into looming black shadows in the distance.

~ Scott R. Rezer ~
From my current WIP, The Haberdasher’s Wife… 
The sting of her brother’s rebuke was like a slap across her face. She hadn’t planned to do as he said, but it hurt that he thought she would. They had never been close. They had rarely ever spoken together alone except in the presence of other family members. She knew nothing would ever draw them close. They were just too different. Despite their differences, they both shared their father’s stubborn willfulness.
“I admit we have never been close, Anton, but I would never do something so cruel as to expose your secret for my own gain, no matter what you may think of me,” she said, emboldened by her words. “If anything, I hoped it might make you amenable to the offer I wish to make to you.”
“What kind of offer? An offer of money?” he asked, a dark, thin eyebrow arching, intrigued. A hopeful gleam registered in his calculating eyes.
She stepped closer, arms crossed. Steeling her resolve, she lifted her chin, letting her hands drop to rest protectively on her belly. “As head of our family, I want you to stand as my child’s sponsor at its baptism. And by so doing, taking on the full responsibilities of a godfather in all its conditions. I’m told by old women who claim to know such things that I carry a son. If so, I wish to have him named after Father.”

~ Laurean Brooks ~
(sharing an excerpt from Not What He Ordered)
Josh was trailing Carrie. And she didn’t like it. Did he think she was a thief–that she would steal a fancy dress from Carina’s Style shop? Or that she would pocket an item or two from Woods’s mercantile? The shimmery pink fabric sprinkled with baby blue flowers was the only thing that had caught her eye.
Why didn’t Josh just come out and accuse her? He’d stuck to her like a tick to a dog. When he wasn’t breathing down her neck, he was no more than a holler away.
Carrie decided to give him a dose of his own medicine. “You insisted on following me to the dress shop. I noticed you didn’t buy anything either. You didn’t even look at the merchandise, except when you checked the price tag on that expensive green dress.”
He’d walked the aisles to keep her in sight. Like he was doing now. She squirmed under his dark gaze like a jackrabbit caught in the sights of a rifle. It was as if he could see through to her soul.
“No, I didn’t buy anything.” He clapped a hand to his face, arched his back, and spoke in a falsetto voice, “Sonja didn’t have a single dress that flattered my figure.” Carrie giggled in spite of herself.

Relaxed Friday 22

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

~ Scott R. Rezer ~
Just finished editing the 13th chapter of my current WIP—The Haberdasher’s Wife—one my favorite chapters, and thought to share a small bit…
Josefa had fallen in love with the church at once, its plain exterior awash in soft 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.
Aside from the gorgeously painted fresco arching overhead, she adored the Honigschlecker—the honey sucker—a gold and white plaster sculpture of a cherub sucking honey from its finger that it had just drawn from a beehive. She couldn’t keep her eyes off of it. It made her smile to see such playful artistry amid the sensory-numbing opulence of the Wallfahrtskirche. Pilgrim visits had certainly filled the coffers of the church to overflowing to infuse the building with so much beauty and art.
In the opulence and breath-taking art surrounding her, she caught a small glimpse of the deep, abiding faith of the creators that had given birth to such beauty. It called to the depths of her soul, and her soul responded in kind.

~~~
Earlier this week…

Relaxed Friday 21

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

~ Steve Mathisen ~
I have a story I have been working on slowly over the last couple of years. Here is a scene that I wrote for it recently. (Inspector Elliott McGinty)
Inspector Elliott McGinty awoke with a sinking feeling. The last time this happened was when his waterbed had broken and flooded his bedroom. This time, however, he was not in bed. In fact, when he opened his eyes and looked up, he could see white, fluffy clouds in the blue sky above him. Then he realized that he felt wet. His arms felt wet and so did his legs.
Lifting up his head to look around, Elliott could see nothing but water all around him. He tried to prop himself up on his elbow to get a better look and discovered that he was on a small, wooden raft in the middle of what looked like the ocean. He licked his lips to discover a salty taste and the air also smelled like the sea.
“How did I get here?” He wondered.

~ Laurean Brooks ~
(an excerpt from To Trust Her Heart)
Her smile was a sad imitation. “No. We’d planned to, but it never happened.” Mistaking her reason, he asked, “Did you ever consider adopting? Adoption is our specialty at Tyler Law Firm. There is nothing as rewarding as placing a child with the right parents.”
His voice rang with sincerity. How could Amanda explain her situation to her boss, without giving away too much? She cleared her throat and swallowed a growing lump. “It wasn’t that we couldn’t have children.” She paused, looked out the window. Rain pelted down. Miserable weather.
“The timing was never right?” he guessed.
“Something like that.” At least it never was for Greg.
He sucked in his bottom lip. “Too bad. You will–would–make a great mother.”
How could he say that when he knew nothing about her?

Cherry Christensen ~
Excerpt from Secret Valentine: Hannah shook her head at her main male man. “You’re encouraging his bad habit by feeding him those.”
Jasper smirked and scooped Jingles into his arms. Trudging back toward the store, Jasper said, “I keep a sampling of cat and dog treats handy for the pets on my route. Makes it easier to corral the cats and stop the dogs from biting my ankles.” He stopped in front of her and gently kissed her cheek. “I missed you the other night.”
Heat coursed through Hannah, chasing away wintry shivers. “I’m sorry I had to cancel our plans, but I had to attend a faculty meeting.” The wind gusts intensified, and she pinched her coat collar tighter around her neck. “We better get inside. Can I get you a cup of coffee?”
“I thought you would never ask.”
“Let’s go.” Hannah wriggled out of her coat and returned it to the hook, waiting for Jasper to deposit Jingles on the floor. The cat meowed and ran off, bounding up the stairs. Hannah slid behind the counter and powered off her CD player before filling Jasper’s cup with steaming black liquid. “This will warm you up.”
He loosened a scarf tied around his neck and took a long sip. “Ah. It’s nice, but I can think of more interesting ways to thaw out.” He winked and set the cup aside.

Relaxed Friday 20

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

M. L. Farb ~
Q: Where did you get your idea for Vasilisa?
A: The idea came from a children’s picture book “Serpent Slayer: And Other Stories of Strong Women by Katrin Tchana” (with gorgeous art work by Trina Schart Hyman). A woman dresses as a man to rescue her husband, and to do so she passes three tests of strength, skill, and strategy. The picture book took on tall-tale quality as the woman injured her opponents in wrestling and shattered a tree by shooting it with an arrow. How did she become so strong? I wrote Vasilisa to answer that question.

(Vasilisa coming 2020)

Relaxed Friday 19

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays. It also seems a lot of authors are busy doing other things today (maybe they’re writing), so we’re going to share several recent Special Edition posts you might have missed.

Relaxed Friday 18

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

~ Scott R. Rezer ~
From my upcoming release The Haberdasher’s Wife, Chapter 3:
Josefa mouthed the words of the prayer, her voice a mere whisper escaping her lips. The words echoed in her head, swirling amid a swarm of thoughts that had nothing to do with her mother or the sickness that weakened her with each passing day. Distraction was Josefa’s greatest enemy. And everything seemed to distract her when she needed most to concentrate on her prayers—the brightly painted frescoes, the statuary, the pungent smell of incense, the glow of candlelight on the gold all around the church. Father Anselm would certainly tell her that her mother’s life depended on it. But Josefa was never good at prayer. She found no comfort in it.
Another bead slid through her cold fingers. 𝐻𝑎𝑖𝑙 𝑀𝑎𝑟𝑦, 𝑓𝑢𝑙𝑙 𝑜𝑓 𝐺𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑒, 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐿𝑜𝑟𝑑 𝑖𝑠 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑒…
Empty, hollow words.

~ Laurean Brooks ~
From Not What He Ordered: Josh Kramer mistakes a pretty young lady for his aunt’s domestic help and hauls her to his ranch. What he doesn’t know is, his aunt did not order domestic help, but a BRIDE for Josh. CARRIE FRANKLIN was tempted to leave, but she’d made a promise and meant to keep it.
“Excuse me,” a smooth baritone voice sounded above her head.
Carrie gazed up into hooded, black eyes that pierced through to her soul. The tall cowboy wore a black Stetson over coal-black hair with curls that caressed his ears. His strong jaw suggested determination and stubborness. A little lower, a red bandana circled his neck. Molly failed to mention he was handsome. But only an egotist would boast about his looks.
“Are you the woman I’m looking for?” he asked.
Carrie’s heart raced. If only she were. Her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth. “I…I–” was all she could manage.
The cowboy shuffled his booted feet. “Well, what are you waiting for? A ranch doesn’t run itself. It’s a ten-mile drive. Let’s get going.”
“Mr. Kramer, I’m not–.”
He pointed to the valise at Carrie’s feet,“Where are your other bags? Is that all your luggage?”
She could only nod. The cowboy’s intimidating demeanor had paralyzed her tongue. He snatched up her bag, tramping out of the depot before she could explain she was not the woman he’d ordered.
Carrie hurried after him, catching up as he set her valise in his buckboard. “But, Mister Kramer…I’m not–.”
“Are you ready to go, Miss Davis?”
Miss Davis? He really thought she was— “Mr. Kramer, I need to tell you something.”