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Sunday, January 26, 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!


E. Ayers said...

A Rancher's Woman (1896 western romance)

He gathered his things and rode to the spot that he wanted. With a lake and a river on the portion of land he had chosen, he would never lack for water. He had beautiful mountains on one side to guide him, and plenty of open grassland. He climbed up on a ridge and looked all around. Almost as far as he could see would be his. He held his arms out from his sides and let the night breeze whip his hair as he embraced the spirits of the land.

Gilli Allan said...

From TORN (Contemporary love story)

Coloured lights were strung in swags from lamp-post to lamp-post. Lights delineated the stone gables and studded the fir trees on shop front pediments. She smiled, enjoying the sting of the night air on her cheeks as she paused there, on the step of the Prince Rupert, to shrug on her coat. It had only been a few months, but the fact was undeniable. Already she’d begun to relax, begun to see the future with optimism, begun to feel safe – safer than in a long time.

Susan Macatee said...

From time trave romance, Thoroughly Modern Amanda.

She’d make sure everyone who worked here had an equal chance. Her stepmother always told her, though men and women had their differences, both sexes had the same capabilities and talents.

She eyed the closed door again. Lifting her chin, she stepped around the desk, pulled out the chair, and settled into it. With an audible sigh of pleasure, she leaned back and surveyed the papers on the desk surface. A pad caught her eye.

Martha O'Sullivan said...

Last Chance, Book #3 in the Chances trilogy by Martha O’Sullivan

The shade hadn’t been in her sixty-four count, sharpener-inclusive box of crayons, but Moira Brody had known it for as long as she could remember.
Tahoe blue.
Saturating the arched vastness, it careened up the foothills and hung behind the Sierras like a ubiquitous sapphire curtain. And then burst into a blinding blue haze above milk-tipped peaks and triple-tiered conifers before yielding to a liquid hue not found in nature.
Except here.
Moira’s Uggs crunched on the crystalline snowpack as she welcomed the arctic blast of air replacing the arid closeness she’d been breathing for the last hour.

My trilogy of contemporary, erotic romances is available now from Red Sage Publishing. Second Chance, the trilogy opener, is a reunion/love triangle romance that keeps the shores of Lake Tahoe blazing hot long after the sultry summer sun has set. Chance Encounter, the trilogy's second installment, heats up San Francisco’s chilly days and blustery nights with white-hot passion and pulse-pounding suspense. And in Last Chance, the conclusion of the trilogy, the snow-packed Sierras melt into lust-fueled puddles despite the single-digit temperatures of the Northern California winter. Please visit my web site at for excerpt, reviews and more.

Ally Shields said...

Blood and Fire (paranormal romance) by Ally Shields

She checked in and around the wastebasket, then pulled the chair away from the desk and looked in the kneehole. Something lay on the floor at the back. Maybe a photo? Had the intruder missed something? She crouched to get a better look.
Ryan slapped his hand on his weapon. “What’s that hissing sound?”
She swiveled her head toward the closet. The distinctive odor of sulfur drifted toward her. “Get out of here!”

Amazon link:

Donna Michaels said...

HER UNIFORM COWBOY (Harland County Series/Book Three/Kade) by Donna Michaels

Kade closed his eyes and inhaled while he worked to get his mind out of Afghanistan and rejoin his body back in the states. The scent of dirt and manure mixed with the fragrance of roses from a nearby trellis.


Still somewhat cool, the early June morning air felt good on his heated skin. Another deep breath rushed through his lungs. He was home where he belonged. In Harland County, Texas.

Veronica Scott said...

DANCER OF THE NILE (Gods of Egypt) by Veronica Scott
Nima came to the center of the tent, eyes focused on the floor, then chimed her finger cymbals once and lifted her head, eyes seeking his face. Raising both arms above her head, fingers cupped as if to catch raindrops, she assumed a classic dancer’s pose, one foot planted solidly, on tiptoe with the other. A moment later, unseen musicians seated in the outer chamber played the first measures of music. Kamin heard a hand drum, flutes, other instruments he didn’t recognize, playing a version of a tune known as a standard in taverns along the Nile.

Keeping her eyes locked on his face, Nima rose effortlessly onto her toes, signaling the beginning of his private dance. He couldn’t have looked away if the entire Hyksos army had burst into the tent.


Jessie Donovan said...

Blaze of Secrets (paranormal romance) by Jessie Donovan

As she turned toward the door, a movement in the corner caught her eye. She peered carefully, but saw only shadows. The light must be playing tricks on her. But she took another step and this time a dense, dark cloud started to rise out of the shadows. She blinked, but the thick, dark mist kept expanding toward her. While she might’ve just triggered a security defense system, Kiarra wasn’t taking any chances. Looking around, Kiarra grabbed one of the chairs and lifted it up just as a woman holding a dagger appeared out of the dark cloud.

D'Ann said...

From Shot Through The Heart:

There was no way down. No way up.
If she jumped, she’d die.
Taking a deep breath, she screamed. “Lawrence. Help! Come back!”
Nothing but silence met her ears.

Julie Lence said...

From 'No Luck AT All' Western Historical Romance

Abruptly, he scraped his chair back across the plank floorboards, his mind made up. Clever actress inflicting one bruise after another or loving wife wanting to take care of him, he didn’t care which. She could flay his skin, rage at him and even gouge his heart some more, but she wasn't leaving. Not now. Not ever. And he was going to find out the truth.

Donna Cummings said...

From LORD RAKEHELL'S LOVE, 1st in The Curse of True Love series:

Aphrodite stared at her fingernails, and then wondered why she bothered. They were perfect--she was a goddess after all.

But the unending flawlessness of her world filled her with ennui. The perpetual blue skies and breathtaking vista of her mountaintop palace had once brought her great joy, though now. . . She stifled a yawn. Even the daily ambrosia and nectar had become tiresome.

Marie Lavender said...

From LEATHER AND LACE, a romantic suspense.

Her steps were purposeful, seductive, and she was serious in her task. Her dark brown eyes were also alluring. The makeup she wore was not heavy, but applied precisely to add a dramatic effect to her appearance. She looked sexy yet mysterious, the way she had seemed before. His groin tightened in response and his mouth went dry. Satisfied that his equipment was working well, he casually inspected her.

Dorothy Bell said...

Dorothy A. Bell, January 26, 2014, 10:07 A.M.
excerpt from The Cost of Revenge, an Oregon western romance

Lying on the grass, naked, her body tingling, still
thrumming with the residual sensations of her first
orgasm, Tru recognized what she’d done as one of the
biggest and most astonishingly pleasurable mistakes
she’d ever made. She’d never regret it, but still she
knew she shouldn’t have allowed it to happen.


Firetulip said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbara Mikula said...

Here's a scene from Cassandra's Revenge by Skye Michaels - at the Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Cassandra’s Revenge – The Singles Cruise
Book 4 of the Golden Dolphin Series
By Skye Michaels

He took her hand and led her back into the cottage to the hand-carved, plantation-style mahogany four-poster bed covered in a white quilt. She was naked except for the black and gold necklace; she looked like a goddess. He stepped out of his trousers and moccasins, and then he was naked, too. The moonlight spilled into the cottage through the wide-open doors from the terrace and splashed across the bed as the soft tropical breeze kissed their naked bodies. Beau’s hands trembled as he pushed her back into the pillows and came down beside her. He ran his hands down her long, swan neck, over her chest, and cupped her full breasts.

Books by Skye Michaels available on, and
The LeClub Series: Calleigh’ Collar, Kelly’s Challenge, Anne’s Courage, Paula’s Commitment, Madison’s Choice and Belinda’s Crown
The Golden Dolphin Series: Ivorie’s Surprise, Harper’s Submission, Violette’s Vibrato, and coming soon: Cassandra’s Revenge and Pandora’s Box
The Horsemen Series: The Appearance of Impropriety
WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/SKYEMICHAELSBOOKS Fan Page for covers and first chapters

Firetulip said...

From "Love Remains" a time travel romance.

She flipped the phone clutched in her hand and dialed. “I’m calling the police.”
“Olivia?” He straightened. An insecure laugh crossed his lips. “What’s wrong with
“Nine-one-one, what is your emergency?” The voice came through the cell.
Her dry lips scraped her tongue like sandpaper across weather-beaten wood. “There’s
an intruder in my home.”
“Ma’am, is the intruder aware of your presence?”
She leveled her gaze with the man’s face and met his warm honey eyes. “Yes.”

Rose Anderson said...

Enchanted Skye by Rose Anderson
The scene: two Selkie brothers share a telepathic discussion.
"Lachlan, I think I’m in love with that woman."

"I can tell ye are, Alex. We all can."

Alex barked a chuckle. "That obvious is it?"

"As plain as the whiskers on yer snout. But ye must move slow, Alex. Only a special woman would care to return the love of a sea creature, aye? What do ye think she’d say to see you in your waterskin? Ye got t’ give her time to know ye. Once she does, it won’t matter. Tell me ye understand what it is I’m saying, brother."

That was the most Lachlan could say. If Alex and Jenna never discovered their love for one another, Alex would die. If Alex knew it was the charm that instigated his feelings, he would doubt them. In his doubt, he’d to shy away from the love promised. He’d end his life to escape the longing.

Alex told him, "I do understand, Lachlan. The last thing I want to do is scare her. I can’t express what her shunning felt like." He explained a little of what occurred before the scotch arrived.

Lachlan barked a laugh. "Whatever were ye thinking, ogling her like that?"

"Damned if I know, I lost my head. She’s beautiful, aye?" Alex looked toward the lighthouse again.

Lachlan considered him. From what he knew of the charm, Alex’s preoccupation with Jenna was expected. "I dinna think Uncle Angus would mind if ye stopped by to visit."

Alex gave him a whiskery smile.

Butting Alex into the water, Lacklan barked, "What are ye bothering me for when all I want to do is sun myself? Get a move on before she gets there!"

Minutes later, dressed and seal skin tucked safely away, Alex walked the brisk quarter mile to from the MacNeal property to the lighthouse, and knocked on the door.
Sample this story and my others fore FREE
Subscribe to my blog for updates and more

Anonymous said...

Fron Lawless Love, a western historical romantic short story, available at:

Shuffling through the undergrowth, he came to a point where the river slowed, the bend forming slack water into a small inlet. From open saddle bags, several items were strewn nearby along with a few clothes, neatly folded—smalls of the female variety, but then a shirt, denims, and a gun belt. Was there a man here as well?
Dylan pushed some branches aside and watched as one long leg stretched up from the water. A hand, dainty and small, deftly worked soap down the length of the leg before it was replaced by the other. Both legs ended in the neatest little feet Dylan had ever seen.

kathryn jane said...


From Daring to Love, a romantic action/adventure

Liz savored the crash of waves, the rattle of pebbles, and the sting of cool evening mist. She felt whole again—centered, and at peace with the fact not all missions ended well. Her recovery time was almost over. She drew a long deep breath and the taste of salt made her smile.
Until the tiny vibration against her thigh intruded.
She yanked the phone from her pocket and a single glance confirmed what the ring tone had already told her.

Rose Anderson said...

I see this. :)

Charmaine Gordon said...

Author Charmaine Gordon 1/26/ at 4:20 EST
From Reconstructing Charlie
a romance/suspense story of survive and thrive


In 1996 I killed my father.

"Dear old Dad was great with a belt. A belt of whiskey. A belt from around his waist unbuckled when you least expected it and later I knew when it was coming and some of us escaped. Not me, not Mom. Never Mom. I’m the oldest. I didn’t want the little ones to see the okay dad turn into a monster on payday."

Available in all formats:

Linda McLaughlin said...

Excerpt from LADY ELINOR'S ESCAPE, Regency romance:

Outside, the air had a nip, but Elinor ignored it as she hurried across the lawn to the gate. She turned the key and opened one of the heavy wooden doors that had long barred her from the
world. Slipping quickly through, she closed the door and darted across the lane to a stand of beech trees. There she turned to look back at the yellowish brick cottage, surrounded by a high
wall, which had been both home and prison for the last three years. Anxiously she searched the windows for any sign that someone was up and had seen her, but the house was still dark and silent.

With a sigh of relief, she set off for the mile-and-a-half walk to the Bath Road.

Amazon link:

Rose Anderson said...

Looks like another terrific Set the Scene in Six! Thanks for playing along everyone. :)

We're trying something new tomorrow. It's a nod to an often under-appreciated part of our novels -- The clothing styles! Open to all romance authors across all sub-genres. In 300 words or less, take a scene from your novel that tells us about the clothes being worn. Things like those corsets, empire gowns, tailcoats, moccasins, top hats, etc. All time periods, all romance sub-genres.
See you tomorrow for.....

Wash Line Monday!

E. Ayers said...

Thanks. Everyone tries hard to convey the setting of the scene. There are so many wonderful ones here this Sunday!

Lorrie Farrelly said...

From Western historical romance TERMS OF TEMPTATION by Lorrie Farrelly, this scene is set in a Wyoming dry goods store at the turn of the 20th century:

"Wouldn't do that," a light voice said calmly.

Still gripping his Bowie knife, Floyd Blunt jerked to a halt, seeing for the first time what he took to be a half-grown boy in mud-smeared Levi's, his slight body swathed in a faded, brown oilcloth duster. The black hole of the Winchester barrel stared Floyd right in the eyes.

Kinley sighted down the barrel of the empty rifle, her battered Stetson pulled low over her eyes, her scuffed boots planted wide on the rough plank floor. She prayed Floyd would believe she meant business, that he would not have seen her lift the Winchester from the store display a moment earlier.

And with every ounce of her hammering heart, she prayed her knees would stay steady and she would not blink. *

*copyright by Lorrie Farrelly

TERMS OF TEMPTATION, and two other novels in the same series, are available at