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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Set the Scene in Six Sentences Sunday - Share the Six!

One of the finest aspects of fiction writing is the ability to set the scene.  Characters act and react, but they don't do so in a vacuum.  In their world, they meet, fall in love, solve problems, sometimes horrendous problems.  Maybe it's a small town, maybe the big city, the green, humid jungle, dust-dry desert, a mountainous region.  On the sea.  Under the sea.  In space! 

Setting the scene sets up the unexpected. It's also done by using character dialogue to paint a picture of loveliness, danger, evil, trepidation, excitement, awe...

Give us six sentences that set the scene.  Set the Scene in Six Sentences - Sunday is a new opportunity on the Exquisite Quills Blog to tout your talent.  How have you set the scene or the lead-up in your books?  How have you put the reader into the life of your characters?

Every Sunday, the blog will be open to six-sentence scene-setting.  Just post your six sentences, your name, and one link in the comment box.  We can't wait to read you!

Pass the word!  Open to all!


Rose Anderson said...

From Enchanted Skye by Rose Anderson
The scene: Jenna has no idea how close she is to hurling off a cliff.
She was stuck.
Seeing no recourse, she turned off the ignition, put her hazard lights on, and waited. There hadn’t been a single vehicle on the coast road earlier, and she doubted anyone would be driving now. She peered through the sleeting rain, and after turning the key in the ignition to briefly light the dashboard, she eyed the clock. After fifteen minutes, she let out a defeated sigh, weighed her options, and made a decision. It took some fancy maneuvering over the tiny car’s seat but she managed to stuff her purse into the suitcase before she headed out into the cold driving rain.
Sample this novel for FREE

Elysa said...

TANGO IN PARADISE by Elysa Hendricks
Opening scene of my jungle adventure romance.

Hidden from view by the dense foliage, Jase watched the woman weave her way through the jungle. In seconds she broke out into the clearing.

Breathing hard, she leaned forward and rested her palms on her thighs. Sweat glistened on her bare arms and in the shadowy hollow between her breasts. Thick auburn hair tangled around her face and shoulders.

Who was she? And what in the hell was she doing here?

Elysa Hendricks

Jean Joachim said...

Thanks for this opportunity. Here are my six from RESCUE MY HEART, my new release.

Baxter bolted, ripping the leash out of Rory’s trembling hand, and sped toward the road.
“Baxter! Stop!” Rory screamed. Shoving Bruce aside, she raced full speed after the pug. In her mad dash, she didn’t see the bicycle traffic whipping around a curve and speeding down the hill. She pounced on the dog right before a bike crashed into her, sending her and Baxter flying.
Rory landed hard on her arm. Pain shot through her body, freezing her.
Here's the link.

Julie Lynn Hayes said...

From When Will I See You Again
The scene: Alexx first sees Raoul at Raoul's club, Charisma

He opened his mouth to make a comment when the door burst open as if struck by a sudden squall. Alexx froze, his command of the English language suddenly becoming extinct at the sight of the man standing there.

The newcomer filled the doorway, not with mass but by sheer presence alone. He was tall, dark, and utterly intense. There was something about him, a wild, fierce beauty that enveloped the room and held Alexx in its grip. His heart stopped for the space of several beats, and he forgot to breathe, staring at the man that possessed the bearing and mien of a god.

Thanks for the opportunity!


Margaret Taylor said...

From Love's Prophecy:


The Dream started as it always did. A pinprick of light invaded her mind’s eye, starting small and growing so bright she winced as it surrounded her in a blinding wave. She’d been having it for the last five months and each night it grew stronger, more vivid. Tonight, a damp mustiness crushed against her and she pushed past it to focus. She was in his cell. The dirt floor and stone walls were littered with deep claw marks.

She shuddered.

Oh Goddess! He’d tried to dig his way free since she’d been here last.


Lyra Marlowe said...

From Ghosts in the Graveyard:
The scene: Henry doesn't know yet that he's about to get dumped.

In the middle of May, I stayed late to help get a big mailing out. I was exhausted and hated my job, but they paid me overtime and even brought in crappy pizza and store-brand soda for us. When I got home, sweaty and with red ink half-way up my arms, Stacey was curled like a kitten on the couch in her red silk robe. It was one of those Japanese ones, like a short kimono, with black and gold characters all over it. It was probably really made in China or Pakistan or somewhere.

Stupid, the things I thought of when I was startled.

Thank you!

Andrea Cooper said...

From Viking Fire - my historical romance. It's also a Kindle Daily Deal for 99 cents until Feb. 2nd.
Kaireen has just learned she is arranged to marry her enemy-a Viking.

“I renounce Father for this,” Kaireen said and threw the elderberry gown.

“Shame on you and your children for speaking such.” Her handmaid, Elva, gathered the damask and then dusted off the rushes.

She plopped on her bed and a goose feather floated away. With a huff, she leaned against the oak headboard. Red curtains puffed like a robin’s chest around oak poles supporting her wooden canopy.

Andrea R. Cooper

Thank you.

M. S. Kaye said...

“I knew she was gone before opening my eyes, but I kept them closed for awhile, pretending—pretending she was next to me, still touching my skin. I swore I could feel her delicate fingers.
But I knew the truth and stared at the ceiling.
I’d decided everything in a split second knowing full well the likeliest of outcomes, but I'd have done it again, no matter how much this hurt. I’d changed everything for her, and now nothing made sense. The order and structure I craved had vanished, replaced by chaos.”

Susan Macatee said...

Next installment from time travel romance, Thoroughly Modern Amands.

Even as a child, she’d dreamed of being a writer, like her stepmother.

After learning of her interest, Randolph offered her a job as a reporter on the condition she allow him to court her. He was handsome and attentive, and she’d accepted his offer on the spot, excited to have an actual job outside of the home. Her father actually approved, believing Randolph a desirable suitor for his only daughter, although her stepmother had reservations about the man’s intentions.

Amanda slid her hand over the smooth desktop, wondering how it would feel to be a supervisor in charge of writers. If she were giving out the assignments, she wouldn’t relegate the women writers to fluff features of women’s groups and church socials.

Ally Shields said...

These are the opening lines from Blood and Fire, book four in my Guardian Witch paranormal romance series.

Ari’s long hair whipped in the wind, the pale strands stinging her cheek as she looked down from the cliff top at the scene below. Three cops, two in tan uniforms, huddled around a sprawled figure. She recognized her human partner from his tall frame and fair, curly hair. As usual, Lt. Ryan Foster wore casual jeans. His position as head of the Inter-Community Division (IDC) of the Riverdale Police Department gave him latitude in his attire. His khaki windbreaker jacket, optional on a late March day, was tightly zipped, indicating he’d been there since before the sun came out.

Thanks! The books are available at Amazon and most online bookstores.
Ally Shields

Beverly said...

From Dragons' Mate.

He slid the door open, leaving a clear line of vision to the house. They always left it open when she was in for the night. This way they could protect her.
“Do you think she is ready yet?” The other’s voice rumbled out of the darkness. “Do you think she will love us?”

Pat Layne said...

This is from my just-released book Wolves' Pawn.

The spring rain had left puddles in the dirt road but she no longer tried to avoid them. Under other circumstances this would have been a pretty ride. The young pale green leaves not yet entirely covering the branches she brushed by glittered in the sun that had finally chased away the storm clouds. Even the fresh scent of the earth moistened by water was unable to mask the smell of the hot motor between her legs. She didn't know how much longer the bike would last the way she was pushing the engine.
She was being herded; the one corner of her mind not busy trying to figure out how to escape was occupied with analyzing the situation.

Jana Richards said...

This is from ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID, Book 3 of my Left at the Altar series. It's hot off the presses, having released on Friday, Jan.17. Here's my six sentences:

"I realize you've had a bad day, but hey, look at me. I got squeezed into a dress that makes me look like an overstuffed Barbie doll, my shoes are killing me, and then to top it all off, the dress from Hell splits across my ass so the whole world can see my underwear."

One corner of Zach's mouth quirked in a brief grin. "Yeah, you've got it all over me. I've only been cheated on and humiliated on my wedding day. For the record, the whole world didn't see your underwear, just me."

ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID is available at Uncial Press and other fine online bookstores.

Mina Kelly said...

Six sentences from the first chapter of Flirt, my newest selkie book, coming soon (so soon! Tuesday!) from Loose Id: It's an m/m supernatural romance set on the Yorkshire coast.

Though Toby’d already switched off the engine, there was still a faint tang of diesel in the ozone-scented air. The sun shone through the church on the headline, the stones in the cemetery outlined in gold. Even without the engine, the boat’s forward momentum drove him toward the buoy bobbing a short distance away. The water was cold enough to make his fingers tingle, the waves slapping against his wrist. He leaned farther back, reaching toward the buoy.

A warm hand grabbed his.

B.J. McCall said...

Pleasure Pact by B.J. McCall
A werewolf tale published by Ellora’s Cave.

Tomorrow night, the full moon phase would begin and he was violating the rules by being on Chanta land tonight. The moon rode high in the sky with only the thinnest sliver of dark along its edge. He crested the ridge and stopped at a rocky outcropping that overlooked the Moon God Lake. Moonlight danced on the surface of the water, its silvery light leading to the lakeside cabin he’d share with Fawn. To Nash’s surprise, the building was ablaze with light.
As the time of the moon sacrifice approached, Nash’s thoughts had often turned to Fawn and the two nights they’d share in the isolated cabin.

Pleasure Pact is available at Amazon


Shannan Albright said...

Soul Fire- of The Guardians of Drakkan by Shannan Albright
Coming in February

. His brow furled as he peered into the dense fog, his anger as sharp as a well-honed blade.
“Who defiles my sanctuary?” His voice rang with authority into the glowing mist. “Speak now, or by Drakkan’s talon you shall have much to answer for.”
In reaction to his demand, the glowing fog cleared shying away from him to withdraw back into the woods and leaving the glen with the appearance of untouched serenity. The sound of water splashing over rocks filled the air, yet he heard none of its music as his gaze locked onto a pair of violet eyes.

L.A. Remenicky said...

Invisible by L.A. Remenicky
To Be Released January 31, 2014

“Dr. Parker? Your four o’clock appointment is here.” Sheila’s announcement made me jump and when I looked at the clock, I realized how much time had passed while I was deep in thought. This was the last appointment of the week, and I was ready for a couple of days off to unwind.
I shuffled the papers on my desk and found the new patient file I’d been reading when Sheila called. The file included official documents from police department internal affairs for a psychological evaluation. I’ve seen several of these orders over the years

Michele Drier said...

SNAP: Love for Blood
Michele Drier
I smelled food.
Or was it just my stomach playing tricks on me?
I was constantly hungry. All I was given to eat was some very thick peasant bread, made from the scrapings off the floor of the gristmill. It was brown and tough and I could feel the sand gritting on my teeth. Twice, he gave me a piece of fruit, dried-out apples that were pithy like they’d hung on the tree too long. And water to drink. He brought me some wine once but it was so bitter I spit it out.
“You’ll be grateful for this, later, you bitch,” he growled at me and locked the door again.

Martha O'Sullivan said...

This is a snippet from Chance Encounter, book #2 of my Chances trilogy. All three books are set in Lake Tahoe and San Francisco. Chance Encounter is a contemporary, erotic romance laced with a hint of suspense. For excerpts, buy links and more please visit my web site at In this scene, Delaney and Mike are attending a gala at The Fairmont Hotel.

As if the golden-bronze marbled walls, emblazoned coffered ceilings and candelabrum chandeliers weren’t enough, the wrap- around windows gave way to the most spectacular view of San Francisco Delaney had ever seen. The Golden Gate Bridge held court to the west, its orange trusses steeped against the inky sky. Next came Coit Tower, cradled by the mountains at its back and the city at its feet. Then the Bay Bridge, strung across the water like a beacon in the night, lit by the hundreds of cars snaking across its decks.

“Breathtaking, isn’t it?” Mike read Delaney’s mind. “I’ve lived in San Francisco for my entire life and nowhere else comes close on a clear night.”

“Yeah,” Delaney whispered in awe, taking in the room. “Are those balcony doors real? Can we go outside?”

Celtic Chick said...

Thanks for letting us share our writing. This is the opening to my story set in Dark Age Scotland, based on a real Irish king. It's a mix of history, mythology and romance.

Cat's Curse by Kelley Heckart
A Celtic prince, an ancient vampire and two curses…

AD 564, Alba

The hunt called to her, singing in her veins. Moonbeams cleaved through the frozen night, striking the earth between outstretched branches like gleaming metal blades. Cold air cut into her bones with sharp, icy talons, reminding her she had once been mortal. Venturing further into the thick forest of tall pine, oak, beech, birch and rowan, Cardea's booted feet crunched on the frost-encrusted earth, her senses searching out the sweet scent of blood.

Anonymous said...

Excerpt from the opening of my romantic suspense, A Matter of Trust.

"Hell." Mac Carlson hit speed dial for a second time, one white knuckled hand gripped the
steering wheel. Crap like this didn't happen on his watch. Carlson Group, though new in
Atlanta, ranked number one in the security business.
He punched speed dial for the third time and swerved to miss a car that pulled out in front of
him. He swore at the driver and flipped him off. The idiot would have killed a less skilled
driver. Why didn't they answer the damned phone?

Mary Marvella said...

From the opening of Protective Instincts, a romantic suspense.

"Oh, Hell," Brit Roberts groaned when the ringing phone on her kitchen wall stopped her in her tracks at seven AM. No, she'd let her machine take the message from whoever called so early in the morning.
She turned away and reached for the doorknob, then paused at the second ring. What if the call is important, like Julie in a panic, a sick car, or a family emergency? She opened the door to leave.
She cringed at the third ring

Mary Marvella said...

I need to know more! Thanks.

Mary Marvella said...

Well? What was she doing there? grin

Mary Marvella said...

WOW, She saved the dog?

Mary Marvella said...

Now I'm drooling!

Rose Anderson said...

You're welcome Kelly. Thanks for playing along today.

Rose Anderson said...

What a great Set the Scene in Six we've had today! Thanks for playing along everyone. Come back midweek for First Kiss Wednesday. And watch for our newest promo op: Tempt Us Tuesday. Coming soon!

Rose Anderson said...

It's a fun story, Mary. :)

Marie Lavender said...

From my historical romance, Upon Your Return.

She heard footsteps behind her and she turned, lashing out with her fingernails. She gasped as she saw him howl in pain, lowering his head to reveal red claw marks over the bridge of his nose. Then the man she'd first wounded came at her, tackling her.
The impact jarred her and she went down. “No!” Her escape was not to be.

Marie Lavender said...

From my new romantic suspense, Leather and Lace.

He stopped as he saw a figure leaning over the still form. As he got closer, he saw the long hair, knew it was a woman. The lamplight hit her face and his heart stammered. She was a beauty, for sure, with a heart shaped face and long, wavy brown hair. But, what drew him the most was the look on her face. The tears swimming in her eyes, the deep regret.