The first order of business was to head to Thebault’s for a mid-morning coffee, an establishment that was part inn, part pie shop. He’d discovered the Elesolian habit sometime last year, and gleefully played traitor to his country’s favorite hot leaf water.#CleanWIP Play
I limped through a summer meadow, my back leg stiff but working and my head tender. My fox tail swished through the tall stands of grass, and pollen dusted my nose. I sneezed, and two butterflies #danced upward from columbine.#cleanWIP#vss365
Iddo stared slack-jawed at the Dormankye for a long moment before solemnly taking the figurine from his hand. After a slight pause, he resumed his playing, his voice more subdued than it had been. #cleanwip#wip
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: Ma winked at Emily. “Doc, two can play that game. When your buggy pulls up, I’ll jump in bed, yank the covers up to my neck and moan like a dyin’ calf. “Cause I’d hate for you to waste a trip.” Doc Simmons shook his head, muttering beneath his breath.
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: Clint washed down his food with a gulp from his glass. “Driving the herd north was tedious work. Plus it took weight off the cattle, meaning ranchers lost money. Shipping them by rail makes our job easier and faster. I ride along to pick up the check.”
June was proudest of that purchase. She had worked Ben down to five dollars and talked him into delivering it in exchange for an apple pie and a honey-baked ham. June knew what it would take to convince him; she was friends with his wife Susan, and SHE was no cook. #cleanWIP
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: "Em'ly's been graduated three months. When your ma made you promise to look out for her, she didn't mean forever. Em'ly's an adult. She could find a job in Memphis. 'Cause when this baby comes in October, we'll be hard-pressed to feed an extra mouth."
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 (book links encouraged on Fridays), or something else our readers might love. [https://t.co/iCuPzhtLNK] pic.twitter.com/aXsMo6Gzy4
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: “Where are my manners? “Emily, this is Alissia, my little sister. Alissia, this is Miss Emily Hammons.” Alissia tossed her head. “Clint still calls me his ‘little sister’ when I’ll be sixteen in October.” “Still a child,” Clint stated matter-of-factly.
“Is this him?” Daanie frowned. He wasn’t what she’d imagined. Perhaps, underneath the torn, dirty slicker and unkempt beard, they’d find the broad shoulders and the fine, square jaw of their ancestors. “Must be him, child.” Cort eyed the sodden man with misgivings.#cleanwip
~ Laurean Brooks ~ (from a work-in-progress, Half-price Bride) A Humorous Scene: Clemons’s raspy voice escalated. “That woman made a fool out of me, leaving me at the altar. And I’m supposed to forgive her? I refuse!” The reverend groaned. “The young lady must have had her reasons. Remember, there are two sides to every story. Dr. Clemons, please sit down and hold your peace. We are in the Lord’s house.” The reverend finished his message quickly. “Dear Flock, turn your hymnals to page one-sixty-three and let usl sing, Take Me As I Am.” A loud baritone voice in the back taunted, “Maybe Clemons’s bride didn’t like the way he was.” The congregation roared until Reverend Cole raised his hands to silence them. “Please, Mr. Evans, let’s not forget we are in the Lord’s house. Let us be respectful.” The taunter cleared his throat, “Sorry, reverend, I was thinkin’ out loud.” “Please…see that it doesn’t happen again,” the reverend admonished. “Yes, sir.”
~ Jessica Marie Holt ~ (excerpt from One Minute to Midnight (Unsung Legacies Book 3) released yesterday) Money can buy you anything.” His eyes glinted. “But that’s true everywhere.” There was a note of bitterness in his voice. “To have money is everything. To be poor is nothing.” For some reason, Louis imagined Walter sitting outside Jim’s paddock, his slingshot poised, his face full of envy, waiting for the right moment to shoot Brutus. His chest constricted, and he grimaced involuntarily. “What, am I wrong?” Walter said, his eyes flashing. Louis shrugged. “I just don’t see it your way.” Walter scoffed, and his eyes took on a hard look Louis had never seen before. “Then you’re either blind or foolish.”
~ Cherry Christensen ~ (excerpt from Love’s Full Circle) “That’s a good sign, huh?” “Indeed. It means you’re going to be fine. Even if he is the sneaky young man I disliked.” Kayden gasped as her hand flew to her mouth. “That’s right. I did some investigating of my own and found out all about Liam from your mom. However, I believe people can change, and it’s foolish to base an opinion of someone on their actions from fifteen years ago. Like I said. Pray about it.”
~ Scott R. Rezer ~ From my WIP, The Haberdasher’s Wife… I draw the worn beads of my mother’s rosary through my fingers and shake my head. Too often have I whispered to the long night of my dotage that youth is wasted on those too foolish to appreciate it. Had I bothered to learn anything from those patient friars who sought to discipline me in the faith of my father, perhaps so many things might have turned out differently, not that I regret my life, only the foolish mistakes I made, things I can never undo. But then, the depth of one’s character is measured by the mistakes we make, and the wisdom we learn from them…
Release day for One Minute to Midnight! Two brothers: one on the road to ruin, and one carving out a path to a better future. A story about hope in the face of despair and the power of brotherly love. $.99 for a limited time, always free with KU. https://t.co/FAzRUTLwYg
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: Clint winked at Ma. “I didn’t just get my stubborn streak from Pa.” Ma swatted at him. He dodged. “Yes, you came by it honest–got it from both sides.” She pointed at his shirt hanging askew. “Button your shirt up right before you leave for church.”
~ Scott R. Rezer ~ From my WIP—The Haberdasher’s Wife: His hands lifted to her face, cradling it gently. His eyes darted between each of hers. “You can be the most willful, infuriating, stubborn woman I’ve ever met, but I love you, Josefa, and I want to give you, and your unborn child, a second chance. Marry me. I cannot promise you prosperity and a life of ease, but I can promise I will love you always, if you’ll have me.” His raw honesty scared her. His words, meant to convince her of his sincerity and love, only made her realize the wide gulf that existed between their lives, and it scared her. He offered her everything she needed, but one. Security. She couldn’t deny she felt something for him; she might even have begun to love him as well. But, it wasn’t enough.
She shook her head. “I’ve found you an apprenticeship with a silk maker. It’s in the next village. You’ll live with her family.”
Then the movie started and she let herself get lost in it. One thing was certain—the main character, a single woman who lived by herself had to be making a ton of money at her bakery. How else could she afford her spacious, split-level home? #cleanwip
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: The crowd split backing Emily onto the church porch. The wild-eyed bride raced toward the exit. Emily stumbled when she shoved the bouquet into her stomach. A muscular arm circled Emily. Suddenly they were entwined and falling backward, arms flailing.
So excited! One Minute to Midnight releases tomorrow! To celebrate, book two in the series, Sunlight and Shadows, is free from now until (March 30th) through April first. Happy reading! https://t.co/RFgGzbTiPG
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: Did you answer his ad?” Emily had to know how it ended. Clint's Ma exhaled. “Hank James was lookin' for a wife. I figure any woman would've done. I joined a wagon train in Kansas and met him in Nevada. If I'd only known what I was gettin' myself into.”
#CleanWIP ~ I began shaking uncontrollably as the awareness of my surroundings returned. Moments later we were joined by several station officials. One offered his hand to me as he said, “Ms. Foster, I’m Scott Atkinson, the station manager. Please come with me.”
There’s no #CleanWIP theme on Fridays, but we still publish a fun collaboration. Use the hashtag to share INTERESTING teases from a WIP or published work (book links encouraged on Fridays) or something else you believe our readers might love. [https://t.co/iCuPzhtLNK] pic.twitter.com/PLXIuCRaqL
~ 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.
Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is State. [More info] There are so many meanings of the word, but the puzzle on this page contains all fifty states of the United States of America. In case you are considering a rise to the challenge, we’d like you to know beforehand there’s no answer key provided and you’ll need to look in every direction—even diagonally—to find them all.
#CleanWIP: Half-Price Bride: She would not confess that Margie’s intended was also hers. And if Dr. Clemons DDS. owned the entire state of Texas, Emily would not marry him now. Honesty ranked high on her list. The dentist was a fraud and she’d been gullible enough to trust him.
“I’m bored.” And falling into a state of melancholy. “Wanna do something wild, stupid, and possibly life-threatening?” “Yeah. Let’s get crazy.” Kendra laughed. “Like what? You don’t do crazy very well, my friend.” “I don’t know. You pick.” “Skydiving?” Juliette gasped.#CleanWIP
The #CleanWIP theme for Wednesday, March 25 is CHARACTER. In addition to relevant lines from a *clean* WIP, we’d love to be introduced to an interesting character from either WIP or published work. (If published, please include a purchase link.) pic.twitter.com/3guk8PgI3Q
3:00 in the morning, and I could only hear the waves crashing on the beach. I saw flashes of lightning. My mind kept going back to Aunt Melinda and what she’d been through in life. A tribute to her strength of character, and one of the most graceful people I’d ever met. #CleanWip
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: Clint must never know that she too had consented to marry the dentist. Was there something shady about Clemons? Emily turned to face Clint. “Aren’t dentists usually of high moral character, or does this one have something sinister lurking in his past?”
“Why be your husband’s kitchen drudge Why be chained to the stove? Why be a housewife, afraid to budge? That’s slavery, not love!” Lacey leaned toward the girl seated next to her in the car. “Who are those women?” The girl giggled: “They call themselves suffragettes.” #CleanWIPpic.twitter.com/xEkYSFIyx4
“Here you go Inessa,” Torian placed a plate of sautéed veggies and bacon with a pile of cheese on top. “Is this what you call an eggless omelet?” “Yes,” he said. “Now little red riding hood, would you like an extra special omelet for breakfast too?” #CleanWip#amwritingromance
“And what about you? Siblings?” “Yes, I’m single.” Wait. Did he say—She blushed as Shawn’s quirky little half-smile appeared again. “I meant, I’m an only sibling.” Was there even such a thing? No. It was nonsense, and she was tripping over her tongue like a dopey teen.#CleanWIP
“Here you go Inessa,” Torian placed a plate of sautéed veggies and bacon with a pile of cheese on top. “Is this what you call an eggless omelet?” “Yes,” he said. “Now little red riding hood, would you like an extra special omelet for breakfast too?” #CleanWip#amwritingromance
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: What choice did Emily have? Taking the job would be a temporary solution. She had little money and nowhere to go. When Clint's mother was up and about, Emily could find a job in town. Surely, in that length of time, Clint wouldn't discover her secret.
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: A wet dishrag slapped against the counter. “Memphis ain't that far. It being a big city, Em'ly could find work there—plus a boarding house to move into.” Hands shaking, Emily tore open the envelope and gasped as two one-hundred-dollar bills fell out.
He deftly caught its weight, grimacing at how heavy it felt. It had been six weeks since the battle of Virados, and while his ribs had fully healed, he had yet to regain all of his former strength. #cleanwip#wip#amwritingfantasy
Lightning struck him, or would have, were it not for his power. Tonis didn’t flinch, nor he didn’t care. He was miserable inside and out. What he had done to deserve this? It was strange how people thought mercy was weakness—until they needed it themselves, of course. #CleanWIP
#CleanWIP-Half-Price Bride: “You have kin in Abilene?” Jessica asked. Emily’s cheeks flamed. How could she honestly answer without saying too much? She wasn’t proud of answering a mail-order bride ad. “I received an invitation to move to Abilene.” A twinge of guilt pricked her.”
There’s no #CleanWIP theme on Fridays, but we still publish a fun author collaboration. Use the hashtag to share INTERESTING teases from a WIP or published work (book links encouraged on Fridays) or something else you believe our readers might love. [https://t.co/iCuPzhtLNK] pic.twitter.com/OXZZVg7Ofh
The next few days were one of reflection and prayer. I always suspected that when death came knocking on my door, it would come fast and furious. Nothing ever prepares one for death, and I felt lucky to be alive. #CleanWip#GrayHeronpic.twitter.com/jQrylh9qHs
Naithan pulled an arrow from his quiver. Katherine glanced at his other hand, holding his bow in a firm grip. “Don’t worry, you’re safe with me.” He winked, as if this was only a game. But something about his stance made her realize he wasn’t joking. #WritingCommunity#cleanwip
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride-“I don’t know, Emily. Somethin’ don’t set right about this letter. Why would a dentist want a wife and an assistant rolled into one? Why would he advertise for a wife, unless he’s as ugly as ol’ Butch?”
Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Where. [More info]
Photo is by NASA/JPL-Caltech/SAO. It is slightly altered. More specifically, CleanWIP Magazine enlarged a portion of the original photo for use on this article.
The #CleanWIP theme for Wednesday, March 18 is WHERE. *** In addition to relevant lines from clean works-in-progress, we’d love to hear about settings of your WIP or published works. (Please include a purchase link if possible.) pic.twitter.com/YuR65xRelp
~ Scott R. Rezer ~ The Haberdasher’s Wife 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?
~ Arthur Daigle ~ William Bradshaw, King of the Goblins The Kingdom of the Goblins boasts the largest maze on the world of Other Place. Nearly every square yard of it has been trapped, and a fair number of goblins live in the maze full tim e. The maze grows by the day as goblins tirelessly and pointlessly add to it, with overhead walkways, underground tunnels, and always more traps. Most mazes have a reward for success, but not here. Goblins are dead broke and plan on staying that way, thank you very much. This means there is no reason whatsoever to enter the maze, and few if any even consider it. Nevertheless, goblins continue work on their maze as the poorly built eyesore takes up ever more real estate.
“And Walter? Where is my Walter?” “He went to New York.” Mama tightened her grip on him further. “Impossible. Where is he, Louis? Where is he really?” Louis didn’t know how to answer that. #CleanWIP#cleanindiereads
Strong arms carried me under my back and knees. A clean, sharp scent of birch snapped in my nose. Who carried me? I tried to open my eyes. They were glued as with pine pitch. A breath brushed against my blistered face. #Where the breath touched, the pain eased. #cleanWIP#vss365
Timothy had never been so uncomfortable in his life. After she left, he purchased the baking powder and found a bench, where he sat with crossed arms and regretted everything that had come out of his mouth that day. #CleanWIP Theme: Where
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: “Can you blame Margie for running out on the dentist? He could be a twin brother to Papa’s mule.” Emily laughed. His long face and protruding teeth could easily earn him the nickname “Mule Face.” Jessica frowned. “You didn’t see where Margie went?”
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: Louise whined, “You know as well as I do, it ain’t rained since June. We’ve done sold our best livestock to pay the feed bill. The mercantile will be wantin’ their money next. What do you think’ll happen when this baby comes? No. Emly’s got to leave.”
“How you doin’, Doc?”His eyes wandered down her 5’10” frame in a leisurely fashion. Grace kept her eyes on his face,which may’ve contributed to the slight flush in his cheeks when he got back around to looking her in the eyes. She didn’t bother answering his question. @cleanwip
“No time for a game right now, guys.” As she started into the curve, she threw what she hoped looked like a casual hook shot. It sank with a beautiful swish and accompanying cheers, all of which added sincerity to her tired smile. #CleanWIP
Each of the small tables held two typewriters, and Timothy found it hard to think when one of the other reporters was sitting across from him, staring him out of countenance. He knew he made faces while writing, and didn’t want that fact noised abroad.#CleanWIP Theme: When
“Would it make any difference if we weren’t?” Khol said with a disgruntled frown. When Khomar scowled at him, he raised his hands defensively. “Alright. Just promise me you won’t take any unnecessary risks. Aya’s not as tough as you are.”#cleanwip#wip#amwritingfantasy
I can’t remember a time #when I couldn’t read. It must look strange to you. I turned this page up-side-down and backwards then looked at the image the lamp cast through the page. Maybe it is a little like that. #cleanWIP
“You—in love?” he said, chuckling again. He held her by the arms and kissed her brow. “I didn’t think you, of all people, were interested in love, Johanna. I thought you had devoted yourself to the life of a spinster.” His words struck her like a slap across her cheek. It stung, but immediately she wondered if it was true. She had never considered it. Had twenty-eight years of turning away proposals, hardened her heart to reality of love? Did she even know what the love between a man and a woman was—or had she mistaken the playful games of romantic rendezvouses and secret trysts she and Friedrich had enjoyed for the last six months as love? “A spinster, am I now?” She pulled him down again to her mouth and kissed him more passionately than she ever had before, her breath quickening with each prolonged moment.
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: “If you don't tell your sister, I will.” Her words sounded like a threat. Why didn't Emily's brother defend her? His voice boomed, “Louise, I won't stand for it!” Emily's grip tightened on the envelope. Answering the dentist's ad was her only solution
Lately, he’d begun to daydream about the high green hills that stretched up behind Sir William’s School for Boys, and what dewey isolation he’d found there the time or two he’d been degenerate enough to creep out of the school before sunrise.#CleanWIP Theme: What
#CleanWIP HALF-PRICE BRIDE: “May I assist you?” The station master asked. “No, sir. The man who is supposed to meet me should arrive soon.” “If you say so, Miss. Let me know if you need anything.” His words suggested Emily wasn’t the first young lady left waiting at the depot.
“How can anyone eat this stuff?” “She can.” Nikolai pointed his spoon toward Inessa. “A couple of bits is about all anyone can eat, except for her, she could probably down the entire bowl and still not get sick.” #WIP#vss365
There’s no #CleanWIP theme on Fridays, but we still publish a fun article. Use the hashtag to share INTERESTING teases from a WIP or published work (book links encouraged on Fridays) or something else readers of CleanWIP Magazine will likely enjoy. [https://t.co/iCuPzhtLNK] pic.twitter.com/ihnJGvL4SO
What has happened is only for now. More will happen. Things will change. New vistas and new challenges will arise. Life is beautiful, complex, and rich. This is the end of my current experiences, where I’m at–for now, but not for always.
~ 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.
#CleanWIP HALF-PRICE BRIDE: Ma eyed Clint. “Is it true? Did you raise your voice at that boy?” Clint crossed his arms over his chest. “Ma, I hired Lance to muck stalls and repair fences. Not to lolly-gag with my little sister.” “That ain't what I asked.” “Maybe I did…a little.”
(#CleanWIP theme: repair) ~ After school, I’d usually help out around the shop. Lisa taught me the business side of running an auto repair shop and Dave taught me to get my hands dirty. Once I proved myself, I formally asked for a job.
Here’s a #CleanWIP #ThemeBender from The Haberdasher’s Wife by Scott R. Rezer. The Haberdasher’s Wife is a work-in-progress that is nearing the final stages before publication. As for the #Themebender, it was created back in early February of this year when several historical fiction authors were not amused by the announced RADIO theme. We decided to add #ThemeBender to #CleanWIP tweets and posts whenever only a very loose connection with the theme is possible. This helps avoid theme confusion among the authors and lets readers know we’re aware of the stretch.
In this case, Scott is fixing his character’s problem…
“I understand you wish to withdraw from the world for a time to have your child and reassess your life and future. Obviously, those are not your exact words, but I believe they sum up your request, do they not?” Josefa nodded. The request sounded so simple, so distant, yet near—as close as a whisper. She slid forward on the edge of the hard wooden chair. “It does, indeed, Mother Abbess.” “And the child? Do you still intend to leave it with us when you return to your life in Überlingen?” “I do,” Josefa said. A pang of regret nearly choked the words in her throat. “What will happen to my baby?” The Abbess clasped her hands on the desk. She had no doubt had the same conversation before with more than one young noble woman who found herself in similar straits. “If it is a girl, we will keep her here with us and raise her as one of our own—you are noble born, after all; if it is a boy, however, he will be given to one of the local farmers. Does this trouble you?” “No,” she said, fighting back tears. She failed. A hot tear slid down her cheek. She dashed it away with the edge of her shawl. “It is probably better the baby never knows its parents or that it was unwanted.” “No child is ever truly unwanted, my dear. Your child will find a home, even if it is not with those who gave it life.”
Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Chaos so we’re asking authors to introduce one of their more chaotic characters from either a work-in-progress or a published book. However, we’re asking them to be as nice as is practical with their introductions. [More info]
~ Scott R. Rezer ~ The main character from my current WIP, Josefa, is a spoiled, arrogant, and willful noblewoman who discovers that she would sacrifice everything she knows for true love.
The #CleanWIP theme for Wednesday, March 11 is CHAOS. In addition to sharing on-theme lines from a WIP, we’re also encouraging authors who lean clean to introduce one of their more chaotic characters—in the nicest way practical. (If from a published book, add a purchase link.) pic.twitter.com/UYRcWs7HnW
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: Clint understood why Emily had left a chaotic life. The Bible said it was better to dwell on a rooftop than in the house with a contentious woman. His gut told him there was more to Emily's story. Why would a young lady travel 600 miles to find a job?
He awoke to the sound of a rooster hollering like the devil. A minute later, the whole room thundered in chaos–all the boys shoved and tumbled over each other as they jumped from window to window trying to figure out where exactly the offending noise was coming from. #CleanWIP
~ Jessica Marie Holt ~ “You should have shot him,” said Henry. “That dog’s a menace. I ran at him with a pitchfork the other day, and he lunged at me like he wasn’t even scared. Once I whacked him with it he knew I meant business, and he ran off.” “I told Frank if he didn’t get him under control, I’d end up shooting him eventually.” “Why does Frank even keep a dog like that?” asked Henry. “Vernon Peedin got him for protection when the Willis brothers threatened to burn his house down, with him in it, after he testified against them in court. Vernon kept the thing on a good solid chain, and he always took proper care of his fences. And, the dog obeyed him. But you know Frank. He’s lazy and careless. He don’t even look after his mama, let alone keep his dog secure.” Henry shook his head. “Some folks just don’t have any sense of decency.” “Too true,” said Jim. He turned to Louis. “So, your first order of business is going to be filling in the hole that hell hound made, and making sure the coop is secure.”
Aya paused as she closed her eyes and tried to order her scrambled thoughts. “Speaking of wayward husbands, there they are,” Yepal’s voice cut in, causing Aya to open her eyes. #cleanwip#wip#amwritingfantasy
#CleanWIP HALF-PRICE BRIDE: “It’s a marriage proposal,” Emily replied. Roy gasped. “What in the world…?” “From a dentist. I answered a mail-order bride ad. She passed the letter to her brother. Louise threw up her hands. “Mail-order? In all my born days! I don’t believe it.”
He made his way over to one of the tables and sat down, staring tiredly at the worn keys of the typewriter in front of him. This was the table he frequented the most, because it was only one that didn’t force him to socialize in order to use it.#CleanWIP Theme: Order
~ Scott R. Rezer ~ From my current WIP, The Haberdasher’s Wife… “Herr Trinkaus,” she said, removing the hood of her cloak and gloves. “A joyous New Year to you.” He rubbed his meaty hands together and winked at her. “And to you as well, fräulein. Might I interest you in some chocolates, today?” It was a familiar game. One she often lost. “Not today,” she said, laughing, though she loved the rich chocolates that had made Herr Trinkaus the talk of the city. “Perhaps just a strudel for my mother and me.” He touched a finger to his lips, smiling. “I have some that just came out of the oven.” He led her to the counter, where she waited, glancing over the assorted baked goods in the display case while he assembled her order. A few moments later, he returned. The divine scent of the warm cinnamon and sugar wafted up from the package as he fastened it with a length of twine. He leaned over the wooden counter, pretending to brush off some imaginary crumbs with a cloth. “I included a few krapfen for you and your mother. A treat for New Year’s.” Josefa giggled like a schoolgirl. “You will make us both very fat with your generosity, Herr Trinkaus, if you insist on adding treats to my order every time I come in here.” “Indulge me, fräulein, and consider it favor to an old man,” he said, winking. “I have little to delight in beyond seeing the joy it brings you.” “Very well,” she said, “but I insist on paying for it mind you.” He held up a hand and shook his head. “Then you will simply force me to add a few more.” It, too, was another game they played together. He never let her pay for more than she ordered. He had never had a daughter and found it a joy to spoil her.
Four months marched by like Staver’s army drills. Though the months were not as #orderly. The riotous noise of spring birds gave way to the lazy heat of summer. Now the nights cooled again and trees donned colors bright enough to shame the summer flowers. #cleanWIP#vss365
Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Certain. [More info]
From the upcoming The Haberdasher’s Wife by Scott R. Rezer. ~~~ Her brother was never good at hiding his displeasure. She often wondered if their father had been same. Anton’s eyes narrowed, his gaze dark and turbulent. His thick, brooding eyebrows too often reminded her of winter storm clouds just before they broke over the rough waters of the Bodensee. “I’ve heard certain rumors circulating throughout the city that trouble me,” he said, biting down on the stem of his pipe. “Rumors about you, Johanna.” “You need to be more specific. Tongues have always wagged in Überlingen about our family, Anton. Not everyone in this city likes us. Father had enemies as well as allies, and too many of those friends are now gone.” “All the more reason not to feed the whispers with the way you conduct yourself in public.” There it was—he had said it. Finally. She had waited for months for him to mention her secret trysts and late night rendezvouses with Friedrich. She knew she hadn’t been discreet enough, even when she tried. Last night was only the latest example. But she didn’t care. Not any longer. “How I conduct myself, is my affair, Anton—not yours.”
Khol dropped his bowl on the table. “I think I’ve eaten enough,” he muttered. “If I may be excused, Grandfather.” He started to turn away, but Tyrinian’s gruff bark froze him in his tracks. “You may certainly not, boy. You stay right where you are.”#cleanwip#wip#amwriting
#CleanWIP HALF-PRICE BRIDE: Prudence’s eyebrows arced. “I suspected Emily was one of your mail-order brides. Then I spoke with the station master and was certain.” She pressed a hand to her heart. “Oh, Ollie. I too, have a confession to make. I hope you can forgive me.” “What?”
#CleanWIP (theme CERTAIN) Ronan froze, so Nelwina did too. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see another dragon flying away. Had they all gone? Impossible to know for certain with the thick canopy of trees overhead.
Achron slammed his staff against the bridge. The luminescent orb atop it shot out, expanding with violent force, sending arrow, horse, and rider out of the river and on top of the archers. Panic set in among troops uncertain how to handle raining knights and steeds. #CleanWIP
The taxi stopped at Fisherman’s Wharf, and the other soldiers piled out. I felt an attraction to the old place; it had a certain pull, a mystique that grabbed you. I would’ve loved to check it out, but Jason insisted we go to the Monterey Hotel and meet his parents. #CleanWip
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride: Emily nodded, but she wouldn't mention a thing–no matter how much she needed it. Clint had done enough for her. He did not know she was down to her last two dollars, and she was too proud to admit it. She planned to hold onto it as long as possible.
#CleanWIP (theme POSSIBLE) “All three of the northern provinces—Frankland, Northland, and the Highlands—are now in a precarious situation. The leaky ship of state has growing holes. It’s inevitable it will sink. And you and I will take advantage in every possible way.”
My life had reached a point of bliss that I never dreamed possible. We had our wedding on the deserted island of Casadora. Pele served as best man. Aunt Melinda served as Bailey’s maid of honor. Brother Willie performed the service, as the old parrot stood beside him. #CleanWip
~ 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.
There’s no #CleanWIP theme on Fridays, but we still publish a fun author collaboration. Use the hashtag to share teases from a WIP or published work (book links encouraged on Fridays) or something else you believe our readers might love. [https://t.co/iCuPzhtLNK] pic.twitter.com/SsD7kyhNW9
Pa didn’t build the farm back up after that. Times were hard for everyone when the war ended, and most farmers were struggling without the added problem of their livelihood having gone up in flames. #CleanWIP
#CleanWIP (theme WAR) The rain of arrows stopped, and Ard Righ was no longer bleeding. Since he had calmed down, at least as much as a trained war horse can stay calm with the scent of blood in the air, Nelwina entered the castle. Ronan could be injured and need her help.
In this #war we’ve both done things that I hope we’ll never do again. I love you. And I trust you. I just don’t know if I’m strong enough for you. You need someone who can protect you, like you protect others.#vss365#cleanWIP
~ Scott R. Rezer ~ (For the soon-to-be-released The Haberdasher’s Wife.) 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?
Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Peace. In addition to sharing lines from works-in-progress, we also encouraged authors to introduce us to a peacekeeper of one of their published works. [More info]
~ Jessica L. Elliott ~ In my Through the Rainbow series, Treasa is often the peacekeeper between her sisters Dierdre and Darcie. She also tends to be more level-headed, which between impulsive Dierdre and snarky Darcie is important.
~ Katy Huth Jones ~ The title heroine of my fantasy series, He Who Finds Mercy, is a pacifist Healer in an often violent medieval society. She remains true to her vow of peace even when it would sometimes be easier not to, and ends up encouraging others to rethink their less peaceful ways of dealing with situations. The first book (standalone) is Mercy’s Prince.
~ Laurean Brooks ~ My heroine’s Aunt Violet was the peacemaker in Journey to Forgiveness. She keep Jenny Largent (heroine) from acting on her impulses. One example: Jenny labels Austin Brady (hero) a thief when she spies him fleeing with her vanity case at the train depot. Later, Austin stands behind the podium at Aunt Violet’s church to ask for an offering to help victims of a tornado in South Pekin (actual event 1938). Jenny is sure Austin will keep the money for his own use. Aunt Violet tries to reason with her, but to little avail.
~ Scott R. Rezer ~ In my Biblical novel, Shadow of the Mountain, the peacekeeper character is Noah’s wife, Naamah. Although the book is written entirely from Noah’s POV alone, she is the ever-constant presence that keeps the peace in the family and peace to her husband’s often troubled heart.
Use the #CleanWIP hashtag with lines from a WIP & your tweet might be included in a https://t.co/yUHUbxZp23 collaboration for authors who lean clean and readers who love them. The theme for 3/4/2020 is PEACE (Bonus: tell us about a peacekeeper in one of your published works) pic.twitter.com/IdV499rtOp
He was almost lulled into peace by her softly beating heart and the feel of her body against his. But then he remembered himself. He pulled back, grabbed her by the shoulders, and looked her in the eye. “From now on, when I leave, I want you to bolt the door behind me.” #CleanWIP
#CleanWIP (theme PEACE) “You are here with the MacKendrick tae keep the peace for this conclave.” Dougal spoke harshly to the man. He hadn’t quite perfected Uncle Owain’s bellow with his own voice being distinctly tenor.
#CleanWIP HALF-PRICE BRIDE: Louise had made life unbearable since the day Roy moved her into the house. When Louise burst through the door, peace flew out the window. She’d made it clear Emily was to get out as soon as she graduated. Her nagging had increased since graduation.
#CleanWIP (theme TRUST) “But Uncle Kieran, you are so much more capable—” Kieran stopped him with a gesture. “You have lived here since before you were married. The clan knows you; the clan trusts you.” He grasped Dougal’s shoulder to give him courage.
“Why are you here?” Maybelle asked, her brown eyes somber. Louis looked around and took a deep breath. He considered spinning some falsehood to avoid upsetting her but changed his mind. She trusted him. “I’m visiting Freddy’s grave.” She nodded slowly. #CleanWIP#cleanindiereads
“Jerome, your Dad and I became close over the years; I’ll miss him a lot.” He glanced at Mary Alice, leaned in and whispered, “Son, I’m going to give you a little advice, don’t trust that woman, any further than you can throw her.” Mr. Waldrep turned and walked away. #CleanWip
#CleanWIP HALF-PRICE BRIDE: Dentist's letter: "Miss Hammons, Your grades are impressive. After replies from other applicants, I find you best suited to fill positions as my wife and dental assistant. I trust you have strong limbs and no problem standing for extended periods."
#CleanWIP HALF-PRICE BRIDE: Clemons stared down his nose at Mrs. Payne “Old man Ward at the depot told me that Margie caught the eastbound train this morning and headed home with her troublemaker sister, no doubt. She’s the one who stood and clapped when Margie fled the church.”
~ Cherry Christensen ~ Excerpt from Love’s Full Circle: With that painful realization, Liam climbed out of his silver Jeep Cherokee and slammed the door. He headed for his office, thankful he didn’t have a class to teach for another hour. Perhaps by then he’d calm down, but he doubted it. Dr. Kayden James. The name echoed in his mind as he paused at the stairwell leading out of the garage, gazing up at the fifty-four story Elway Plaza where the KDEN traffic copter circled in for a landing on the roof. He stared a long moment before letting the door close behind him and his fantasies.
~ Scott R. Rezer ~ From my soon to be released novel, The Haberdasher’s Wife: She laughed to herself about the thought of her meaningless prayer. Despite an upbringing by the faithful friars of the church, she was hardly the sort God would listen to her prayers. She was never a praying sort of woman, nor devout in her beliefs, or mindful of anything else having to do with the church, though she did go to confession, but only to please her mother and to try the patience of Father Anselm. Ironic, since she and her mother had lived by the good graces of the friars of the Franziskanerkirche. Just that day alone, she had found herself praying several times for her mother that she would recover from her current illness. Prayer wasn’t a habit she had thought she would start at her age.
#CleanWIP (theme FAITH) The only thing missing, in fact, was a child, but Bennet did not feel anxiety the way Joy occasionally did. He told her often he had faith God would bless them in His own good time, and they should enjoy these years of early marriage together.
#CleanWIP HALF PRICE BRIDE: Emily wished she could refuse the dentist’s proposal, but men had been in short supply in the South since the War Between The States. Emily closed her eyes. “Lord, this will not be easy, but I will step out on faith and trust You. Thy will be done.”
~ Cherry Christensen ~ An excerpt from Love’s Full Circle: Kayden lifted her head slightly and observed the plane. She gulped and wadded a handful of Liam’s shirt in her fist. “Liam, if we don’t make it…” “We’re going to be fine,” he said, cutting off her words. “Have faith.” Kayden’s knees weakened as she worried about the people on the plane. She tightened her grip on his shirt, stifling a scream. The balloon blustered again as smoke plumed in the cockpit of the plane. “Listen to me,” she pleaded. “Things can’t end this way with us.”
~ 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.
There’s no #CleanWIP theme on Fridays, but we still publish a fun author collaboration. Use the hashtag to share INTERESTING teases from a WIP or published work (book links encouraged on Fridays) or something else you believe our readers might love. [https://t.co/iCuPzhtLNK] pic.twitter.com/m6abfYjHfD
“The story is well developed and has excellent characters in PJ and Avery. Life, relationships, and religion are well blended into the plot. An excellent story that was very hard to put down. I would definitely recommend this book to family and friends.” https://t.co/1085rjLFSMpic.twitter.com/hynyNqxWzp
~ 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?
The wind crashed against me on both sides of the bridge, like waves breaking on sea cliffs, pouring over me with such force it ripped away my breath. https://t.co/ILovl38akD#cleanWIP
~ 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.
#CleanWIP HALF-PRICE BRIDE: Emily held her breath. Ducking down another aisle, she knocked three cans off a shelf. They rolled across the wood floor. “What was that noise?” Clemons asked. “Just cans falling,” Mrs. Payne explained. “It happens if they aren’t stacked just right.”
The cave widened into a sand floored room. Cracked leather lay in one corner, all that was left of our beds. Animals would have eaten the straw we’d slept on. A few split wooden bowls and spoons sat on a #shelf in the wall. Blackened stones formed a fire ring. #cleanWIP
~ Scott R. Rezer ~ From my soon to be published novel, The Haberdasher’s Wife:
Stacks of books lay strewn about the small office. She had searched the study all morning, pulling down every volume of the massive collection of books lining the floor-to-ceiling shelves, and found nothing. She was certain she would find something tucked into the front cover of one of the books. She had rifled through the drawers of the large desk. Nothing. The drawers of two large letter cabinets yielded the same. Nothing escaped her search. She found notebooks, family records, newspapers, and decades of letters written to a host of well-known men, but nothing that hinted at a scandal or secret between her parents.
I wanted to bet the butcher $50 that he couldn’t reach the meat on the top shelf. He said, “No, the steaks are too high.”
Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Book and since we know quite a few authors who write along the clean end of the spectrum and since every published book was once a work-in-progress, we’re showcasing some of their published books among the #CleanWIP posts in this Special Edition. [More info]
The #CleanWIP theme for Wednesday, February 26 is BOOK. In addition to relevant lines, we’d love for each of you to add #CleanWIP to a tweet about a published book readers who love *clean* will enjoy. Just remember to include a purchase link to make it easy for the readers. pic.twitter.com/pZ1fUoR39i
~ Earl Chinnici ~ Somewhere or some time along my journey to be nicotine-free, I began to consider that I might be able to use my handwritten notes from my composition book to get ideas for writing an actual book.
“Mama leaned forward in her seat like one of them might share something to drag her thoughts away from the shadowy figures and dense fogs in her books.”
First he had insulted his height, then his antisocial inclinations, and finally accused him of harboring romantic secrets like some kind of moore-wandering rejected lover in a book. Timothy was not that interesting.#CleanWIP Theme: Book
He scanned the street. It was quiet and empty . An older gentleman sat on a bench outside the bookstore, reading some kind of tome. He sat there almost every day when the weather was nice. Arthur knew he was no threat; he had run a background check on him long ago. #CleanWIP
~ Laurean Brooks ~ “Oscar,” Jenny interrupted, “I have plans for this afternoon. But I appreciate the invitation.” She did not inform him that her plans were to curl up with a good book and fall asleep. If she had, he would barge into the house uninvited.
~ Cherry Christensen ~ “You think I’m cute?” “I, um…” She squirmed in her seat as his eyes sparkled. “On a scale of one to ten, what’s my cuteness number?” “You’re a ten in my book,” Sabela answered as her feet scuffed across the floor. She placed the water glasses on the table. “Ready to order?”
He was close to knowing. Achron ran his hand around the gold circular seal of the book. Its metal clasp was locked firmly, bound by far more than the soft yellow metal. It was sealed with some great power, and not the kind that he could break. #CleanWIPhttps://t.co/huioP2LyqD
#CleanWIP “Many of the saintliest kings had very ordinary kingship animals.” “King Saint Elmar the Pony? King Saint Rechard the Vole? Queen Saint Flarella the Squirrel?” The king laughed. “That’s right. You’ve been studying this, I see.”#WIP The Raven & The Yew
#CleanWIP Lidia didn’t hear her mistress come in, so Nelwina had a minute to study the girl. She was a new lady’s maid, only fourteen years old, and quite plain in face and form, which suited Nelwina very well. Her previous maid had been far too pretty for her own good.
#CleanWIP-HALF-PRICE BRIDE “I’m not sure, but it’s worth the effort.” Landon seemed to sit taller on the seat. “I’m going to study like the dickens to win that scholarship. Not just for me, but for Alissia, too. For our future together.” Emily paused, not sure how much to reveal.
My commander recognized my love for books and assigns me to #study strategy, history, trade, and politics for half of each day. I’d rather study poetry and music, but it is better than marching through muddy fields with boots still soaked from the previous day’s march. #cleanWIP
#CleanWIP HALF-PRICE BRIDE Clint must never learn that the dentist had also proposed to her. Did he know something about Dr. Clemons that she didn’t? Emily licked her lips. “Aren’t dentists usually of high moral character? Does this one have something dark lurking in his past?”
His parents needed him to contribute to the rent, and yet despite everything—despite getting a prosthetic leg, despite learning to walk for the third time in his life, despite finding a job that had promised so much—he still couldn’t pull his own weight.#CleanWIP Theme: Learn
He stopped. A touch to the sigils, and the door opened. He brushed his fingers along the spines of the books as he passed them. One could spend years here, learning wonderful things and visiting exotic places, without ever leaving the comfort of the library. #CleanWIP#fantasy
I’m #learning the finer skills of archery such as don’t sneeze when releasing the arrow, if you try to hit the fly on the target it just becomes a smear, and ladies don’t use longbows. Instead they use a toy paraded as a bow. #CleanWIP, #vss365
Work in progress, #YoungAdult#NewAdult novel: "She had heard some of the younger ones crying and saying they didn’t want to give up their babies. She couldn’t blame them, because she wouldn’t want to give up her baby either." #CleanWIP
~ Laurean Brooks ~ It wasn’t Mama’s fault that Emily’s tongue had a mind of its own. She had tried to teach Emily to use discretion, but sometimes blurting the truth was better than hiding it. If the truth was better, then why had Emily fibbed about her true reason for coming to Abilene?
Use CleanWIP Magazine’s hashtag with lines from a work-in-progress and your tweet might be included in a https://t.co/yUHUbxZp23 collaborative article for authors who lean *clean* and readers who love them. The #CleanWIP theme for Sunday, February 23, 2020 is TEACH pic.twitter.com/22Urt0XwYh
“Leroy, when the kid gets in the zone and turns on the gas, he is unstoppable. He says you’ve challenged him as long as he can remember.” “Coach, I’ve always tried to help Rye in any way I could, but you can’t teach what is pumped from a warrior’s heart.” #SunWip#CleanWip
~ 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)
There’s no #CleanWIP theme on Fridays, but we still publish a fun author collaboration. Use the hashtag to share INTERESTING teases from a WIP or published work (book links encouraged on Fridays) or something else you believe our readers might love. [https://t.co/iCuPzhtLNK] pic.twitter.com/GTib21DmdH
~ Jessica Marie Holt ~ Q: Where do you get your inspiration? A: The short answer is . . . everywhere! The long answer: 1) Details. I notice lots of really obscure details, like the pattern of wrinkles on an old man, the way a note hovers and trills in the air, the number of cans of cat food in the man’s shopping cart behind me. This is bad in the sense that these details crowd out important ones, like where I put my keys, whether I am wearing two different shoes, and whether my son’s face is smeared all over with chocolate. But it’s good in the sense that they feed my imagination. 2) My life. My everyday life is a deep well of delightful absurdities, pathos, and interesting, over-the-top characters, and I draw from it quite a lot. 3) Music. So many of my stories come from music. Some, like On the Other Side, are an attempt to flesh out an existing song into a longer story with greater specificity. Some, like Just Before Dawn, I wrote while playing a specific song again and again, to help me stay within the exact mood and tone I was trying to capture (it was The Stable Song by Gregory Alan Isakov case anyone is curious). 4) Nature. I love using nature–seasons, wind changes, sunlight, storms–to set moods, create foreshadowing, and establish metaphors. I could go on, honestly, but I’ll end here, with my bases mostly covered. 🙂
~ Naomi Musch ~ Q: How long have you been writing, and how many books do you have? A: When I was a 10-year-old, I began writing my first stories and informed my family, teacher, and friends that I planned to become an author (novelist) someday. Someday finally arrived during my 40s, though I’d been publishing in a number of magazine/newspaper/online venues until then. I’ve written 20 novels/novellas, 13 of which have been published.
~ M. L. Farb ~ Q: Where did you get your ideas for the maze and riddles in The King’s Trial? A: I wrote the riddles first and then wrote scenes that answered the riddles. It was a fun bit of reverse engineering and discovery. I didn’t know what would happen any more than my main character did.
#CleanWIP “And what about the queen and the baby prince?” Though she knew the answer, she cringed at the thought of their fate. “You know we can’t afford to spare them, my love.” Ronan ran his hand down her arm, making her skin tingle. He really could be deceptively gentle.
#CleanWIP “How did you…feel about your brothers?” He stared at her for so long she thought he wasn’t going to answer, at least not truthfully. But at last the corners of his mouth pulled up wryly. “Terrified.”#WIP The Raven & The Yew
Sebastian turned to the blond man as he stood and asked, “What brings you to Wisteria Glen?” “I’m looking for family,” the man answered honestly. “And that’s why you’re chasing my sister?’ He shook his head, “No, I’ve never seen one of you older ones before.”#cleanwip#amwriting
She began humming again. After a moment she stopped. “And Walter? Where is my Walter?” “He went to New York.” Mama tightened her grip on him further. “Impossible. Where is he, Louis? Where is he really?” Louis didn’t know how to answer that. #CleanWIP
~ Laurean Brooks ~ Q: What, or who, spurred you to start writing? A: My 5th-Grade teacher, Mrs. Mary Brann enjoyed my oral book reports. Probably because I left a cliffhanger at the end which caused struggles among other classmates to be next in line to read it. Miss Mary told the class I would one day be an author. She he almost changed her mind after I handed in the essay on Columbus’s Adventures. When the natives tied him up and stuffed him in a cannon, then shot him back to Spain…well, that didn’t set well with her. Miss Mary told me gently to “rewrite your essay, and THIS time, make it more realistic.” LOL. Her reprimand squashed my imagination for a while. But it returned in full force a few years later. I truly appreciate Miss Mary. Without her encouragement, I would’ve never had the courage to take up writing.
~ Scott R. Rezer ~ Q: Why do I write? A: I do so because I enjoy it–not to make a fortune or gain great fame (both would be nice, but unnecessary). Surprising?–imagine my shock to discover this after all these years of writing. I write firstly and most importantly, because I love it; secondly–and this is where you the reader comes in–I write because I like to hear how much others enjoyed what I have written–not how wonderful or how talented you think I am as a writer. I would write no matter what people thought of my ability. This is why my novels seem so varied. I write about things I care about or that interest me, not to attract readers. I hope that attraction comes about because people like what I write. I know that sounds strange in an industry centered around getting published as the end result of all your hard work. After so many years trying to do just that, I finally came to realize that writing is the part I enjoy–not the publishing. Publishing is just a means of sharing what I love.
~ Hope Toler Dougherty ~ Q: Do you write sequels? A: I don’t write sequels (or I haven’t yet) because I write happily ever afters, and I don’t want to put characters I love in more pain and conflict. I do, however, bring back favorite characters in new stories.
“My Fyodor has but a scratch, yet he’s covered in blood. And why is he asleep like he’s under a spell?” What could I tell her and not have her think me a witch? Gasha answered. “You got your son back. Don’t #question the blessing. He’ll wake when he’s healed enough.” #cleanWIP
#CleanWIP “All of us want to keep him alive. But is it worth the risk to his life? I ask myself that question every time I do anything to him.” “His life is forfeit if we do not act. It may be forfeit if we do act, but at least we will have tried everything possible.”
~ Arthur Daigle ~ Q: Where do you get your ideas from? A: Everywhere. That’s not a joke or glib answer. I draw inspiration from countless sources. These include history books, science books, TV, video games, weird things I see people wear, conversations I’ve had with total strangers, and more. Sometimes I have no idea where the ideas come from. I’m minding my own business and they appear fully formed.
~ JoAnn Durgin ~ Q: How do you know when you’ve reached the end of a series? A: I could say, “I just know.” Although it’s true, I realize that’s not a satisfying answer. I’ve written a number of series now, some completed and others ongoing. I write contemporary Christian romance, and my shorter series (three to four books, although I have two “series” with only two books–so far) are either set in small towns or within a close group of friends. My longest-running series, The Lewis Legacy Series, is now 10 books plus a prequel and has become what I call my “signature” series. I’m working on Book 11, and I hope to finish out this original series with the final Book 12 by the end of this year. I know I’ve reached the end of this particular series because all of the original adult characters have now married (or will be married by the end of Book 12). But another huge advantage of a series? The children of these couples are now growing up and my readers are already anticipating The Lewis Heirs Series. 🙂 However, I have another “bridge” series in-between where the original characters pop in from time to time to keep it fun for my readers (and the author!).
She stared at him for so long in mute astonishment that he was reduced to a nervous disaster. Was it normal to feel this light-headed? All he’d asked was a question he bitterly repented of now. #CleanWIP Theme: Question
~ Laurean Brooks ~ Q: How do you incorporate humor into your stories when the characters are dealing with a serious conflict? A: Writing humor comes easily for me. It probably springs from my wacky sense of humor. I thought writing funny scenes came naturally for every writer. I didn’t realize some authors struggled to incorporate humor into their stories until one asked me how I did it. I assign at least one character in each book to be quick-witted. In my current WIP (Half-Price Bride), I have two sassy female characters. They keep the story interesting because whatever comes to their minds flies out of their mouths. I don’t mean vulgar talk—Just clean wit. Also, when a character enters the room, I might ask: What can I do to make this scene comical? Maybe his shirt is buttoned wrong, his rooster-tail isn’t combed down, or he has a smudge on his face. Another scenario: he may trip over something. Or, his love interest could him talking to his horse. Embarrassing moments are naturally funny. In my book, Beneath A Macon Moon, Eric wants Jaela to think he sacrificed to take her to an expensive restaurant, when in fact, a customer gave him a gift card to the restaurant. When the waiter loudly announces in front of Jaela, there is enough left on the card for another meal, Eric is humiliated. My stories deal with characters who struggle to forgive and are afraid to deal with certain issues. Before I let my readers become bogged down, I give them a good dose of humor.
~ M. L. Farb ~ Q: What inspired you to become an author, and how old were you at the time? A: Some of my earliest memories are laying on the carpet listening to my dad read out loud. We explored the worlds of Narnia and Middle Earth. We cried with Corrie Ten Boom in The Hiding Place. We voyaged with The Kon-Tiki and to Grass Beyond the Mountains. As a teen I made up stories to help my little sisters go to sleep. It backfired. We stayed up for hours continuing the tale. The King’s Trial was born in those late, whispered nights. I’ve journaled almost every day since I turned seventeen. I capture conversations, descriptions, happenings, and quotes. I explore ideas. Through the years I’ve written well over a million words. It prepared me to become an author. I started writing seriously when my youngest started sleeping through the night.
Marta was clucking her tongue again as she adjusted the tunic over Aya’s expanding waist. “To make this appear any more like the Jyrye style while still flattering you is impossible,” she declared finally.#cleanwip#wip#amwritingfantasy
“We are truly moving up in the world,” declared Ellie.
“I suppose you could say that,” said June with a half-smile, as she looked approvingly around their new office. “We’d move even faster if you’d stop staring at that thing and come help me unpack and set up.” #CleanWIP
#CleanWIP Half-Price Bride-releases July 2020 The tall woman pressed a hand to her throat. “Well, I declare! Have you ever seen anything like it, Louella? That girl left Ollie at the altar. The poor boy's in shock “I'm afraid he will never catch a bride. His mama's spoiled him.”
Danger’s attention was rigidly fixed in the direction opposite the sound. The fur on his back was standing on end, and his lips were curled in an impending snarl. A second later, he emitted a low, guttural growl.
Danger never growled or barked at anyone on the street. #CleanWIP
#CleanWIP HALF-PRICE BRIDE: Clint squinted against the sun, unable to make out the couple’s faces. The dark-haired woman wore a dress like Emily’s. He walked closer, keeping his eyes on them. Yes, it was Emily, and Clemons was the man stalking her.
#CleanWIP When he tucked his head under his wing & slept, he still dreamt of Uncle Jan screaming as his skin & bone were ripped from him. He’d never once taken pleasure in killing someone, but there was a grave #danger he might enjoy slaying the witch. Still, it had to be done.
#CleanWIP (theme DANGER) "The loss of a provincial lord is a dangerous time.” Ronan stared at her with hooded eyes. “Dangerous? How?” “Because, dear sister,” Ronan said with a sly smile, “there are always opportunists who will take advantage of any instability.”
#CleanWIP (theme CALM) Breathing deeply to regain calm, Dolan slowly rose and wiped his cheeks. Then he made a profound bow to the One who was truly King before turning and walking slowly back to Southmoor’s great hall.
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.
There’s no #CleanWIP theme on Fridays, but we still publish a fun author collaboration. Use the hashtag to share INTERESTING teases from a WIP or published work (book links encouraged on Fridays) or something else you believe our readers might love. [https://t.co/iCuPzhtLNK] pic.twitter.com/yGzYm0qp2K
#CleanWIP She had to tell Clint the truth. Emily looked heavenward and silently prayed, “Father, give me a little more time with the man I love before I tell him all. Allow me to savor this time together, to share a few more precious moments, so I can tuck them inside my heart.”
The air was cool–summer was losing its hold. He stuffed his hands in his pockets and stretched out his long legs until they touched the porch railing. He remembered when he and Walter were small enough to share the chair, and their feet didn’t even reach the floor. #CleanWIP
#CleanWIP Veridian didn’t seem to find what she’d said odd. He just nodded, his own expression glum. “I’ve always thought it very unfair that any prince’s leg bones and hide are almost as valuable to a witch as a king’s, but they don’t #share the king’s protection. #WIP Rav&Yew
The worst part of the army is night time. If it isn’t a chorus of snoring in our crowded tent, it’s a horse protesting its flea infested quarters. I understand the horse’s complaints. I #share my cot with a hundred jumping bed fellows. #cleanWIP
Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is LOVE and we’re relaxing the rules a little for this one to show some love to some lovely love stories. We’re shooting for something similar to a CleanWIP Magazine Relaxed Friday, but right smack in the middle of the workweek and all about LOVE.
March, 1863. The War Between the States has raged for nearly two years. Five months after his death, the body of Sarah’s estranged husband, a Union soldier, finally comes home for burial in Philadelphia. Taylor’s burial, though, rather than putting her unresolved grief to rest, begins a journey that will not just test her faith, but will plumb the depths of her devotion to her dead husband. When anger and sorrow push her to the edge of despair, Sarah turns to the few letters sent to her by Taylor from the frontlines in a desperate need to understand the guilt she feels over his death. But, as the war continues to tear the nation asunder and rumors of a Confederate invasion threaten the North, Sarah’s own sense of patriotic duty begins to awaken. And with that newfound obligation, she discovers in the letters she once dismissed as weak attempts to convince her of his duty to the nation, that Taylor’s voice has the power to soften a heart grown bitter and cold from beyond the grave. Taylor’s letters, though, do not tell the full story of his life as a soldier, a story Sarah will never know… From the bloody battlefields of Winchester and Bull Run to the quiet streets of Philadelphia, Love Abideth Still is a fictional story based upon the lives of the author’s Civil War ancestors whose sacrifice—like so many others who loved and lost during the War Between the States—has not been forgotten. It is a moving story of war and forgiveness, one in which a young woman discovers that it is possible to fall in love again with her husband even when separated from him by the finality of death.
The #CleanWIP theme and collaboration for WED, FEB 12 is LOVE & we’re going to make this one special*. Use the hashtag and help spread some LOVE. * lines with “LOVE” from your clean WIP or published story * purchase links to your clean LOVE stories * a personal LOVE shoutout pic.twitter.com/Y82P9nuVU3
First he had insulted his height, then his antisocial inclinations, and finally accused him of harboring romantic secrets like some kind of moore-wandering rejected lover in a book. Timothy was not that interesting.#CleanWIP Theme: Love
“I have sworn to protect you from every real danger, even if I were the source of that danger. But now—now the danger is passed, and I must tell you that I have always loved you. Will you give me a second chance? Will you allow me to love you?”#CleanWIPhttps://t.co/6nbPldWkE6
#CleanWIP (theme LOVE) She should have known he didn’t really love her. Hadn’t her mother told her long ago she was unlovable and worthless? Why had she ever thought she could change her destiny? She had killed before. Apparently, it was time to kill again.
#CleanWIP “Have you?” Eric slipped his arm around his wife’s waist, pulling her up against his side. He’d spent years out in the bitter cold tending animals and secretly #loved her fussing. “Could be I lost track of time. Alec here has a problem we were talking about.”
From Miss Mae, we present Kiss Me, Mr. Hitchcock. What’s a girl got to do to get a guy to kiss her? A guy who’s new in town. Who flashes a practiced lady-killer smile. Who drives a dashing Porsche. Maybe she shouldn’t confront him with a baseball bat. Or get herself locked with him in a library basement. Or get him involved in a feud with an old boyfriend. But then again, maybe she should.
When crisis happens, only his heart can determine the truth.
Hope Toler Dougherty shares two from the heart. — My first novel is all about second chance love, and it’s set in Ireland. If you’ve never been and want to go or if you’ve been and want to go back, Irish Encounter is a good substitute in the meantime. Read all about Ellen and Payne’s love story in beautiful Galway City!
Rescued Hearts has a kidnapping, an undercover deputy, and a couple of scenes with guns if suspense is what you like. Mary Wade and Brett set off a lot of sparks every time they’re together, too. Read about their love story in Rescued Hearts!
Professor Hannah Wagganer spends her days teaching history, and her nights dating Glen Arbor’s new mail carrier, Jasper Morgan. Not only does he spark Hannah’s heart, but he has become best friends with her cat, Jingles. And, now that we have your attention, you can learn more about Secret Valentine by Cherry Christensen directly on Amazon.
It was dark when I closed the door to the bungalow; this would be home for the next 30 days. It wasn’t elaborate, but I certainly liked the feel of the place. A gentle breeze floated in through an open window, and I felt the warmth, ah yes, this place would do fine. #CleanWip
#CleanWIP “I knew a raven like you when I was a boy, but it was always rather shy. Are you a bit tamer, I wonder?” Pulling his sleeve down to protect from the talons, he held up his arm & clucked his tongue encouragingly. To his surprise, the raven fluttered straight down. R&Y
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.” #CleanWIP
#CleanWIP (theme LIKE) Fiona came over and balled her fists on her hips. “Auntie Gwen, Papa is not a rascal.” Gwendolyn put her arm around the girl and hugged her. “I was teasing your Papa. You know I like to tease him.”
#CleanWIP “When do you reckon Roy’ll pay his bill?” Her brother’s account was overdue? “As soon as he gets the money,” Emily said. Worry lined the kind store owner’s face. “The drought’s bad, but don’t look like it’ll let up any time soon. I have bills just like ever’body else.”