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Monday, July 21, 2014

Wash Line Monday!

Our Monday meme shines a light on apparel. From Regency to Steampunk, and everything in between, we dress our characters to reflect the story we want to tell.

In comments, and in 300 words or less, give us a snippet from your novel that describes what your heroes, heroines, or bit players are wearing. Don't forget your buy link and website/blog link. Have fun!

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Discover great reads on Exquisite Quills' Wash Line Monday!    


Nancy Morse said...

Meet Stede Bonham, the pirate from TAINTED LOVE.

“Now you’ve done it!” There was no need to address him in French despite her fluency, for the man who tossed him out of The Snapping Turtle had called him a miserable American. “My dress is ruined. I don’t suppose I can expect the likes of you to pay for the damage.”

He lifted his face from the puddle and coughed. “The likes of me?” he echoed.

“Yes. You are nothing but a pirate, and everyone knows pirates have no money. How do you expect to pay for the damage?”

He planted both palms on the ground and pushed himself to his feet. As he straightened his clothing with his back to her, she realized that perhaps he wasn’t such a pauper after all.

He brushed the dirt from brown velvet breeches and adjusted a waistcoat of crimson damask shot with silken threads of gold and silver. Beneath it he wore a shirt of white linen whose sleeves billowed in the midnight breeze. He bent to retrieve the coat that had been tossed out after him and smoothed his palms over the ornate braid trim. A sliver of moonlight glinted off the buckles on his shoes. A ribbon held his dark shoulder-length hair tied at the back of his head. Spotting his tricorn on the ground, he swiped it up and slapped it on his head. The exotic red feather it was decorated with danced about in the breeze.

He turned to her then. “You were saying?”

She noticed the brightly colored sash slashed diagonally across his shoulder and the knife protruding from it. A cutlass hung from the wide leather belt at his waist, the candleglow from the tavern sparking along its curved cutting edge.

Mellie said...

Gambler's Folly
For the first time, Karianna got a look at Damiano Leone, said to
be the most powerful, dangerous man in the underworld. Tall and
dark, in a Mediterranean way, he was dressed impeccably. Dark gray
jacket and trousers were paired with a black silk shirt, gray tie, and
ruby tie pin. His hair, nearly black, was moderately short and wavy,
but his eyes captured her attention. Instead of dark brown, or maybe
blue, they were a dark, stormy gray, the color of the Great Lakes just
before a storm.
Then there was the apple. As he came into view, he was polishing
a large, red apple on his lapel. Without a word to her, he took a bite of
the apple, as his eyes swept up and down her body.
Munching his apple, he walked slowly around her, about two
meters away, his eyes taking in every detail, as she stood immobilized
by the restraints. Finally, to break the silence, she asked, “What are
you doing?” After which she thought it a really dumb question.
Finishing his bite of apple, he simply replied, “Admiring my new
As he continued his survey, all Kari could think about was how
dowdy she must look compared to everyone else around him. The
plain red dress she wore had been one of her best. Made of synthetic
silk, the dress was blousy in the bust and gathered at her waist by a
wide, black belt, with a large silver-tone buckle, now ruined and
hanging by the belt loops. The dress had been ripped down the front
during the previous struggles, exposing her body down to the waist.
The side slit had torn most of the way to her waist, too, so it covered
next to nothing.

D'Ann said...

From Lily's Summer Cowboy:

She parked the tractor in the barn and trudged toward the house. The sun had begun to set behind the mountains in the distance, making it hard to see, but she thought someone sat on one of her wicker chairs on the porch. Maybe Maggie’s grandson had come after all.
Too tired to do more than eat, shower and fall in bed, she fought a spark of irritation. She didn’t have time to babysit a spoiled teenager. Why Maggie thought she did was beyond her. With a frown, she stepped up on the porch. And stopped. And stared.
A man sat on the rocking chair, spinning a white Stetson on the toe of one of his boots. A striped western shirt hung open over a grey t-shirt snugged against a flat belly and faded Wranglers pulled over taut thighs.
This was Maggie’s grandson?

Rosemary Gemmell said...

From British Regency novel, Dangerous Deceit by Romy Gemmell

The taffeta was of palest green, simple yet fashionable, with short puffed sleeves, a low rounded neckline and a graceful skirt that fell from a high waist. Lydia admired the shade she had chosen with the help of her mother’s dressmaker. It was a welcome change from the colourless gowns of the past two years when she’d just come out, and she saw how the auburn lights in her thick dark hair now seemed more noticeable.

She laughed as she saw Agnes’s admiring look, and was quite determined not to give in to such vanity. She was fond of this girl who had entered their home as a nervous young seamstress and had progressed to Lydia’s personal maid. Her blunt country ways suited Lydia’s temperament and she would now trust Agnes with her life.

Smoothing on her long silk gloves, Lydia hung her velvet reticule from her wrist and arranged the silken shawl across her shoulders. She was ready to face the mêlée at this latest of the season’s balls. As she descended the wide, sweeping staircase, she felt unaccustomedly shy and blamed her brother for asking Lord Sheldon to accompany her to the ball. It was enough that he was going at all. He most probably had made his own plans to travel there and now he was forced into taking her in the carriage while James went on ahead in his haste to see Elizabeth.

As she neared the bottom stair, Lydia heard a sound and looked up to find Lord Sheldon standing nonchalantly against the drawing room doorway, his gaze fixed on her descent.


Romy Gemmell

Linda McLaughlin said...

From Marooned, steamy pirate romance by Lyndi Lamont:

Heather looked up and saw a tall man with a commanding presence jump lightly onto the deck of the Sea Rover. Sunlight glinted in his golden brown hair and an emerald earring dangled from one lobe. A white shirt, open at the neck, strained across his broad shoulders and chest. He wore a short brown waistcoat and breeches with black boots. A sword belt hung around his waist, and he carried a pistol. A shiver raced through her. He was probably the most handsome man she’d ever seen and one of the most dangerous.

Through July 31, Marooned is free at Smashwords with coupon code SW100: "


Karen Michelle Nutt said...

From A Twist of Fate, a time travel set in 1814, South Carolina.

This is a scene when Arianna has arrived in the past and is still disoriented.

The man farthest from her had skin the color of strong dark coffee and his course black hair was pepper-gray at the temples. He wore tan pants and a cream-colored linen shirt. Her eyes lingered on his feet and frowned. He wasn’t wearing shoes.

The man standing next to him was attractive in a weathered kind of way. His hair was long, light colored mixed with gray strands. He wore dark pants, which tapered at the knees and were tucked into his boots.

Her gaze slid to the man standing over her like a redwood tree. He had rolled up his white shirtsleeves exposing tanned forearms and he wore dark formfitting pants tucked into knee length boots. Against the glare of the sun, she took in his dark hair, which framed his rugged attributes. A shadow of a beard darkened his defined jaw line and a scowl penetrated his features. Her breath caught in her throat and her heart pounded against her ribcage at the way the man stared at her. Just her luck, gorgeous, but lacking in the personality department.

Soon will be available at Audible!

Karen Michelle Nutt's Website

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Charmaine Gordon said...

Charmaine Gordon from She Didn't Say No
The scene:Grace Meredith is invited to dinner with her daughter and son-in-law.
Alone, I surveyed the few outfits hanging in the closet and wrinkled my nose. Time to lose ten or twenty pounds and buy fresh, more up-to-date clothes. For what? For yourself, you dope. Take pride in all you’ve accomplished. Oh yeah. The me I’ve forgotten about.
Showered and dressed in a loose blue sweater and long flowered skirt, I looked in the full length mirror. What stared back was an aging hippie sans beads and flowers in my hair. Searching through my jewelry box, I found the gold locket on a thin chain given to me by my first love. College--1960. I hooked the gold chain around my neck.

A Taste of... Charmaine Gordon

Thanks, Rose for Wash Line Monday!

James D said...

From DREAM REUNION - book six of the Dream Series...

We head back downstairs another half hour later. Brian’s in a very sharp gray suit, and his Marvin the Martian tie that Lizzie gave him last Christmas. I’m wearing a new dress; it took me a couple of hours in Nordstrom’s to find something I liked, but it was worth it. It’s dark blue, and it nicely shows off what little “assets” I have while minimizing the baby weight I haven’t lost yet. Of course, I’m wearing my emerald pendant, and the matching earrings Brian gave me last year, as well.

Mary’s home when we come into the living room. “You look fantastic, Sara,” she says. I think “fantastic” is overstating things a bit, but I’ve gotten better at accepting compliments over the years, so I just say, “Thank you,” and give her a warm smile.

Thanks for this great opportunity!

David Russell said...

Bethesda took off her nightdress to reveal white silken underwear—retro style with camiknickers—so repressed and so seductive. He put down the binoculars again and off came Hector’s singlet. Bethesda’s binoculars returned. After an elongated vigil, curtains closed again.
Hector’s fires were rising. He took off his boxer shorts and confronted the mirror in his tight briefs. This was beginning to feel lovely. He had had some nice telephone conversations, but they could not compete with these visuals. He danced ecstatically, waiting for the prompt of the next winking lights.
Duly they came, the curtains parted on both sides. Hector, now confident in his near-nakedness, was treated to the sight of his dream lady in a low-cut, deep purple velvet evening gown. She danced a bit and made it swirl, Hector could hear the out-of-earshot rustling. Then, with a deft movement of her right hand down her back, the dress cascaded to the floor. Hector imagined seeing its texture blending with the curtains.
Now there was a beauty contest in perfect synchronicity—Bethesda proclaimed her lovely form in a beautiful black one-piece bandeau swimsuit. Hector was ravished by the vision of his bathing belle. He closed his curtains again and changed into his trunks. They must both be poised to take the plunge of love together. This time, he opened the curtains and did the winking light routines. There was long drawn-out mutual admiration, front, side and rear views, real and reflected—finally wistful waves.
That was a piece of dream-perfection—could be considered perfect even if it led nowhere else—but quintessentially fabulous if it could…
Dreamtime Sensuality Antho - Devine Destinies

E. Ayers said...

From my just released River City novel, CAMPAIGN

She picked out a sundress she had bought from her favorite designer in Madrid and coupled it with a pair of sandals she’d picked up in Naples. With care, she applied her eyeliner and mascara, then stood far enough back to see herself in the mirror.
She knew Brad had fallen in love with her, the person she was on the inside, not her looks or money. But she loved looking good for him. Satisfied with her appearance, she grabbed the matching short-sleeved bolero jacket and she joined him in the living room.
“I said casual. You look stunning.”
She shook her head and found his laptop. “It’s just a sundress.” She loved the look on his face which was somewhere between awestruck and wanting to jump her.

It's 99 cents for a few days!

Jana Richards said...

Happy Monday! Here's a snippet from my contemporary romance A LONG WAY FROM EDEN. Zane and Meg are about to have their first date:

A door on his left opened and Meg entered the living room. "I'm so sorry to keep you waiting."

She steadied herself against the wall with one hand as she slid a sandal on her foot. She wore a black sleeveless dress with a hemline that ended a respectable distance up very shapely thighs. She'd done something different and complicated with her hair. The raven black tresses were tamed into submission in an elegant chignon. She looked polished and chic. Only her tentative smile hinted at a trace of nervousness.

"I'd say it was worth the wait," Jane said cheerfully. "Wouldn't you, Zane?"

Zane slowly got to his feet, unable to tear his gaze away from Meg.

"Yes. You look very nice."

He could practically hear Jane's eyes rolling. Nice? Nice didn't come close to describing the way Meg looked. And nice didn't describe the feelings he was experiencing at this particular moment. He fought a Neanderthal urge to fling her over his shoulder and carry her into the bedroom.

As soon as Meg managed to get her shoes on, she straightened to her full height. The top of her head came to his chin with the help of the heels. "I guess we should get going since I've made us late. I'm really sorry, Zane."

At that moment Zane didn't care if they never made it to dinner. He could spend the whole night just looking at her. "Don't worry about it. We have plenty of time."

Meg was beautiful when she wore faded jeans and an old T-shirt, her hair pulled back in a careless ponytail. Tonight, in a sexy black dress, her hair and her make-up giving her a sleek polished look, she was stunning.

I hoped you enjoyed my wash line contribution. A LONG WAY FROM EDEN is available from Uncial Press, Amazon and other ebook stores.

Jana Richards
Amazon Author Page

Elaine Hopper said...

Business or Pleasure - releasing at Totally Bound Friday July 25th

He’d take what he could get, he was so anxious to see his lover, to ensure he was okay. Guy pretended to be a tough guy, but the events of the past week could break anyone.

She escorted him to the visiting room and he waited restlessly for Guy. Finally, his lover was brought out in an orange prison jumpsuit, looking haggard. His earrings and watch were gone. Stubble darkened his head and upper lip. “Hey there. Thanks for coming.”

By Ashley Ladd

Helen Henderson said...

Celebrating her 18th birthday, one of the few Anastasia did in a town rather than on the trail with only her kin in attendance

Excerpt from Dragon Destiny by Helen Henderson

Unbidden, the memory of a quiet voice rose. Branin. Anastasia imagined the dragshi who went with the name. Feature by feature a face formed in her mind, then other attributes came forward. Tall enough to dance her around the room. Strong enough to carry her when she tired. And most of all—a man worthy of the title “dragshi.”

With a sigh, she took one last look at the moon’s face and walked back to the main hall. Her long skirt swished around her ankles with every step. The dark blue fabric contrasted with the browns and reds worn by the local girls. Self-consciously Anastasia adjusted the seam of her new vest. It did not have the usual colored embroidery of a trader’s clothing. In fact, the only adornment was a stylized dragon in flight embroidered in gold on the shoulder. It might be just a simple design, but it meant more to her than the fanciest gown worn by any of the other girls. Her mother once told her the flying dragon marked a bond between the old ones and Clan Weiss.

As she had done since a child, Anastasia heard her mother’s voice tell the story. “According to clan legend, Etianne, our ancestress, came across a wounded man lying in the middle of a star-lit glen. He never spoke and we never knew his name. Despite her young age, Etianne was already a skilled healer and she nursed the blond-haired stranger back to health. He travelled for a time with the caravan until the seasons changed and the orange hunters’ moon rose over the mountains.

“Stepping into a moonbeam, the man waved and with a sad smile on his face transformed into a majestic golden dragon. ‘Don’t cry, my love,’ his voice whispered in her head. ‘We will meet again one day.’

I hope you enjoy my washline contribution from Dragon Destiny. For a human, a dragon form comes with more than just the freedom of the sky.

Available in paperback at Amazon. In ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and elsewhere. For excerpts,a free read of the first chapter, and a complete distribution list, visit Helen can be found on the web at

Joan Reeves said...

Hanging out this scene on the old wash line... To set the scene, Dr. Matt Penrose thinks Dr. Jennifer Monroe is sexually repressed.


Most of the women in here had dressed in expensive gowns that bared their arms, shoulders, backs, and breasts. But not Jennifer Monroe. She had on a tube of gray silk that touched the floor. Over that was a matching boxy jacket with dozens of tiny buttons in looped buttonholes.

There wasn't anything wrong with the outfit but there wasn't anything right either. It was the perfect ensemble for a woman who didn't want to draw attention to her feminine attributes.

"I want you to think about getting help from someone. As a good therapist, you'd be the first to recommend a woman with a similar problem should find someone to help her with it."

"Ooooh!" Did he really think she was some frigid old spinster so scared of men that she wouldn't submit to a medical exam? Jennifer ground her teeth at his denseness. She'd show him how wrong he was. Fingers trembling, she began to unhook the tiny silk-covered ball buttons.

Finally, triumphantly, she yanked the jacket off. With it clenched in her hands, she faced him, her ample breasts heaving beneath the tight strapless silk bodice.

If she hadn't been so angry, she'd have laughed at his stunned expression. "Why don't you take your psychoanalysis and . . . and . . . ." She was at a loss for anything original. "Stick it where the sun don't shine." She whirled, then turned back and hissed, "By the way, Dr. Penrose. You are not my doctor. So get off my case."

Matt watched her stalk away. For the first time, he watched her as a man watches a woman. A voluptuous body, curved in all the right places, had been hidden beneath the boxy gray jacket.

JUST ONE LOOK Audio Edition:

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Happy Summer!
Joan Reeves
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Marie Lavender said...

From MAGICK & MOONLIGHT, a novella with paranormal/fantasy elements:

Jessie Anderson closed the door and waited for Ethan to leave before she relaxed. When his truck was gone, she released a long sigh. She also felt strangely bereft, though she had no idea why. She shrugged it off. Maybe she was simply tired. It had been an eventful night.
She removed the coat and lifted it to her nose without thinking. It carried his scent, of cologne and something very male. It made her feel warm. She carefully laid the coat on a table, then moved upstairs to locate something to wear. At the closet, she paused.
She thought of Ethan Hamilton. He had only been wearing jeans, a tee shirt and hiking boots. He had looked really good though. Ethan wore his hair long on top in dark brown layers. His blue eyes were very compelling. The moonlight had caught the color so perfectly, she had wanted to drown in his gaze. He was tall and muscular, built very well. And dear Goddess, his kiss was really something. She had never felt like she had when he’d kissed her. There was such passion, such power in his embrace. She had nearly lost herself in the moment.
But, why had she told him what she was doing out there? That was so stupid. She wondered if she’d momentarily lost her mind. The man made her want to be completely honest. And that was just crazy. Sure, he was a cop, or a former cop – she wasn’t sure – but, that didn’t mean she had to give him full disclosure.
She had told him her secret. The implications really hit her then. She could be found out. What if he told someone? Her grandmother had told her to be careful for a reason.

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