It’s the final WipItUp week. I didn’t realize it was closing, but having tried to run bloghops in the past, I completely understand. It’s a lot of work with very little reward. I still thank first Melody Parks for starting it and then Meredith O’Reilly for keeping it going.
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Been so busy with other things that I haven’t been around lately, but thought I’d share a snippet from one of my many – MANY – WIPs. Nope. No whips or chains in this one. It’s a piece from a novel with character names you might recognize. They were secondary characters, some shown on screen, some only mentioned in the OP books Courted by Experience & Courted by Time. In this story, everything’s going in a completely different direction. New series. New location. Kern & Jonah may gain their own complete tales yet, though I make no promises 😉 Most of my writing is going further and further away from simple romance.
Many of my newer wips and recently finished manuscripts have no romance in them at all.
“That was Celia,” Jude Compton said with pleasure, coming back to the dinner table. “She and Marcus are expecting their first baby.”
Kern heard the words but barely paid attention. What was to listen to? Another one of his cousins was knocked up. Whoopee. And even worse? That would lead her to—
“Kern, have you looked at the recent courtable girls?” she asked in a sweet voice.
He knew that was coming. It came up every time he came to dinner. One would think that at the age of thirty-nine he would be past that by now, but no. Not for his grandmother. She still had high hopes he would marry one of the ditzy little girls and start popping out offspring. That wasn’t going to happen.
“What’s to look at?” he grunted, ignoring his father’s wince. “They get sillier every year.” And stupider. And younger.
She pursed her lips lightly before continuing. “We have a couple widows in town. Maybe one of them would be to your liking. Have you met Menda Corning or Carolyn Stemp?”
“Yes, Gran, I’ve met them. And no, I am definitely not interested.” Telling her why would hurt her and the rest of the family, so he didn’t say a word.
Kern’s father Martin cleared his throat and changed the subject. “So, when’s Celie due?”
“January. Marcus is going to split Vanna’s room in two and I guess his little girl is very happy about the concept of a little brother or sister.” She gave a long, happy sigh. “It’s strange to think that Celia came here just two years ago for her courting year and she’ll soon have her own little girl or boy.”
“She’s got Vanna,” Kern reminded her. His grandmother, as much as she seemed to like Celia’s step-daughter, still didn’t see her as true family. Of course she also refused to accept that was the reason Celia and Marcus rarely came to dinner. His grandmother was a master at not seeing the forest for the trees. Of course, if she could, she might actually recognize why he was still single, so maybe it was best she only saw what she wanted to see.
“Vanna’s a sweet girl, but she isn’t Celia’s. No matter what, a step-child is a step-child.”
Anger erupted in his gut and he cast a glance at his own step-mother. Brenda was good at covering her disappointment, but he could see it all the same. She had never been anything but a loving mother to him. Sometimes his grandmother was completely and utterly thoughtless.
“Gran,” he said, barely controlling his anger. “That was uncalled for.”
Jude blinked at him in confusion. “What are you talking about?”
Before he could respond, both his father and his grandfather, who looked a lot alike, cleared their throats. “Jude,” Leyton said smoothly. “I think you should go into the study and think on what you just said.”
The woman had no idea. Her confusion was apparent as she stood up and walked out of the room. His grandfather turned kind eyes on Brenda. “I apologize. Jude sometimes says things she doesn’t understand.”
“Brenda’s a great mom,” Kern said tersely. “I’m sure Celie’s the same with Vanna. Gran has got to stop it.”
His mother gave a wan smile. “I’m kind of used to it by now. It’s been thirty years, though. I hope she never says anything like that around Vanna. She’s a sweet little girl. I’d hate for her to think Celia doesn’t adore her.”
He reached over and pressed a kiss to her cheek. “You’re the best mom a boy could ask for.” Her eyes softened and she gave him a hug. He’d been confused as a boy. His birth mother died when he was seven and his father brought Brenda into their lives three years later. She was the mother he knew, remembered, and loved with all his heart. Memories of his first mother were through photos and feelings. They couldn’t hold a candle to how many times Brenda had gone for walks with him and how free he had felt to talk to her. She knew him like nobody else.
She knew things about him that nobody else knew. The keeper of his secrets.
For those who wonder what the #CommuniT tag is all about… I love writing stories that take place in communities–whether that is actual physical communities or through relationship communities. I’ve written: Corbin’s Bend/Pride, Elan Isle, Wylde KingDom to name a few. Where this paprticular story is headed (if I can ever get the outline to work out) is another type of community.
Check out the other wonderful WIPs: