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Monday, July 28, 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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Come see my snippet on Exquisite Quills' Wash Line Monday!    


E. Ayers said...

A Rancher's Woman
Historical Romance set in 1896
USA Today Recommended Read!

She took her gloved hand out of her fur muff and put it on his.
He looked down at their hands. Hers was covered in gray material with tiny, even stitches that created individual fingers, then the glove was trimmed in beaver fur at her wrist. It looked small resting on his mitten made from pelts. He raised his gaze to her face and smiled, as the thought of her touch sent a warm pulse through him.
Wearing a hat made from the head of a buffalo, he barely looked human when she first saw him on the reservation. He had sent ice water racing through her veins. Then she noticed the painted lines on his cheeks and one that went from his hairline down his forehead to the tip of his nose, he looked even more scary, yet the lines accentuated his chiseled features. But when he removed that horrible horned hat, he had a strange hair adornment made of feathers.
In spite of everything Frank had said about the Indians, she was certain he would cut her into pieces and eat her for breakfast. Fear had consumed her. Instead, he was more attentive and kinder to her than any man had ever been. For that, she was grateful.
She'd spent weeks with him on this trip. His kindness never wavered. Looping her arm through his, she snuggled tighter, hoping it would keep her warmer. He dropped his hand to her skirt-covered leg and rubbed it. The touch was higher than would be considered decent, but somehow it felt natural. She put her hand on his.
He looked at her and smiled. "I will never hurt you."

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

From an upcoming Ellora's Cave release - Loving Ivy.

He didn’t know exactly why but one dancer, eyes downcast, drew his gaze. Her feet slowly tapping a pulsing rhythm, she raised her skirts above her ankles, white frothy petticoats contrasted against her deep red gown. Then she hiked her skirts further, the ruffles cascading down her side. He stared at her narrow stamping feet, her long slim legs encased in black stockings. Her free arm sinuously, gracefully waved above her head. At the same moment his gaze touched her face, her head snapped up and her dark eyes met his.

And all hell—and heaven—broke loose.

Frozen in place, his arm, whiskey glass in hand, arrested as it rose to his lips. He clenched his other hand into a tight fist. Holding his breath, aware of the heat blanketing his chest and flaring through his belly, he heard a buzzing, like dozens of bees all fighting a range war in his ears. Blinking once, slowly, and realizing his mouth was open, he closed it with a snap of teeth. Grasping the warm stone arch next to him helped recover his equilibrium.

Turning her face away, she twirled around tapping out a beat echoing in every thud of his heart. Young innocent eyes, wide eyes, locked on his again. As she moved, bending and weaving her graceful dancer’s body and arms, her sensuous Madonna smile teased him. After every spinning turn, she unerringly found him in the crowd. His body, after its long deprivation of female companionship, reacted to the messages sent down by his brain. Heat radiated from his trembling middle like too much whiskey on an empty stomach. Except this feeling was a hundred times more joyous and a hundred times more terrifying—and baffling. The heat washed over him warming his cold lonely heart. Sweat broke out over his upper lip. Nothing existed except this moment—no future, no past. Just this. He had lusted before certainly. But this was more.

Ava Martell said...

Excerpt from "First Man" by Ava Martell - New Adult Romance

The coat was one of the few things I carried with me from place to place that, until recently, had little practicality and no usefulness. There wasn’t much need for the heavy grey wool trenchcoat in the scorching heat of Cairo or the humidity of Atlanta, but I carried it with me anyway, shoving it in the back of my closet and forgetting its existence until the next inevitable move.

I had bought the coat in University, paid some obscene sum for it in London no doubt, but that trifling piece of trivia had long since been forgotten. I had worn it on rainy English nights spent in the pubs with Edwin and wrapped myself in the warm folds of it on the way back to my flat from this museum or that lecture. That coat had become as much a part of me as the stack of books on my desk back then.

The coat had deep pockets that accumulated scraps of my life, the same types of artifacts that I studied with such care - napkins with thoughts scrawled on them that had seemed far too brilliant to be lost at that particular moment, receipts from endless cups of coffee, phone numbers. It all ended up in my right pocket, until it was lost or thrown away a few weeks later.

The left pocket was an entirely different story. Inside that pocket I kept the one gift that had ever really mattered to me from my mother. I was seven when she gave it to me, and already well on my way to becoming the scholar that my father so wanted me to be. Life had been simpler for us all back then, before divorce and disease tore us asunder.

Amazon US -
Amazon UK -

Anne Stenhouse said...

Mariah's Marriage by Anne Stenhouse, MuseItUp London 1822

Mariah reluctantly led the way into the house and was not surprised to find Tilly opening the inner door as she entered the tiled vestibule. The girl had been spying through the side-light.
“Tilly, is Papa in the downstairs study?” she asked the maid, who was agog at the appearance of her escort. Mariah had forgotten how circumscribed their lives were. Of course Tilly would be interested in the earl’s tailored wool coat with his spotless waistcoat and carefully tied neck cloth. The men who normally visited here wore ill-fitting garments which were often stained with food. Not only that, but the earl had a clean-shaven face and the hair of his head was trimmed into a neat style that allowed his strong bones to be seen easily. Seen and admired, she thought.
“Tilly,” Mariah said with a touch of sharpness she did not usually display.
“Yes, miss,” Tilly asked breathlessly. The girl bobbed a curtsy and then several others as she took Mariah’s bonnet and the earl’s walking cane and tall hat. She was about to curtsy to Letty but realised, as her feet tangled in her haste, that the girl was a servant and would mock her mistake. She sat down in a heap.
“It seems that my very presence is dangerous to any female acquainted with you, Miss Fox,” the earl said. He moved behind Tilly and in one smooth action lifted the girl onto her feet. “Letty, we depart in twenty minutes. Miss Fox, lead on.”

Rosemary Gemmell said...

From Victorian novella, Mischief at Mulberry Manor by Romy Gemmell

Bringing her attention back to her maid’s ministrations, Maryanne admired the elegant hairstyle and submitted to the remainder of the necessary lacing and preening. Once tightly laced into her corset, and the hooped cage fastened at the waist, Maryanne allowed her dinner gown to settle over the petticoats and hoops and admired the effect of the rose taffeta against her skin. At sight of the expanse of flesh across her shoulders and above her breasts, she allowed Timmy to fasten a small gold cross around her neck. A light shawl would protect her from chills. And she resolved to forget all nonsensical talk of ghosts and spirits, and hoped the evening would pass undisturbed.

Available from Amazon:

Romy Gemmell

Kristy said...

Penny loved Richard and she adored Rose, but her feelings toward pralines and cream were mediocre at best. She didn’t want to look like a giant pralines and cream ice cream cone on Rose’s wedding day. Dress sizes come and go but wedding pictures are forever. She frowned at her creamy white skin threatening to pop out of the too-tight and too-sheer beige bodice.
Rose smiled at her from across the room. Because of all the mirrors lining the walls, Rose came in quadruples. Rose’s dress reminded Penny of a lampshade. “Understated” was Rose’s buzzword for her simple, yet elegant, $150 thousand wedding. Penny’s brother couldn’t deny his finance even one little thing, not even a waffle cone dress for his sister. Sweat trickled down Penny’s face and along her neck—a slow but steady procession toward the silk’s ruination.
“It’s a smidge snug.” Rose folded her arms and frowned at Penny’s reflection.
“Harrumph,” the woman at Penny’s feet said. Because of all the pins in the seamstress’s mouth, it surprised Penny that the seamstress could say anything at all. Rose, a fashion designer, understood tailor-speak, but Penny didn’t. She guessed the woman said, “It doesn’t matter what she looks like, everyone will be looking at you and you’ll be drop dead gorgeous.”
“I know,” Rose sighed, “but we want her to look her best.”
“Harrumph,” the woman retorted, which Penny interpreted as “You can paint a barn in fancy colors, but it’s still a barn.”
“She’s worked so hard, it would be a shame not to show her off,” Rose said, smiling. She pinched the silk and tugged the waffle cone slightly lower, exposing a double helping of Penny’s cleavage.
Penny prayed that her pralines didn’t show.

Mary Lou George said...

From 'Saving Destiny' Mainstream, Contemporary Romance by Mary Lou George published by Siren/Bookstrand

His tone and the predatory glint in his eye reminded her that this wasn’t going to be easy. This was going to smart. How could he make her feel naked and vulnerable with just one glance? He’d sure gained a sharp edge over the years. Sloan remembered checking her reflection in the mirror that morning. The lemon-yellow “Save the Planet” T-shirt was fitted, but not nearly as tight as what she’d seen some women wear. And yes, a small expanse of her tummy showed between the shirt and her low riding jeans, but overall, her appearance was unspectacular. In fact, she’d spent less than sixty seconds choosing what to wear, definitely a record for the people who ran with her crowd, or rather, her former crowd.

Available at Amazon:


Jana Richards said...

For my Wash Day Monday contribution, I've got a snippet from BURNING LOVE, my contemporary paranormal humorous romance. Iris is renting a room in the old house Riley is renovating:

“Can I help?”

Riley turned to see the object of his thoughts standing uncertainly in the doorway. The bright blue of her leggings under an oversized black sweater perfectly matched the blue streak in her dark hair.
Iris had a decidedly bohemian style of dressing, but somehow it suited her perfectly.

He sighed. If they were going to co-exist for the next six weeks without killing each other, maybe it would be wise to accept the olive branch Iris tentatively held out to him.

“Sure.” He handed her some drywall compound and a trowel. “You can patch these little holes in the wall. I think the previous tenants used the living room as a dart board.”

Iris ran her hand over the wall. “I see what you mean. There are hundreds of little holes everywhere. What do I do?”

He opened the container of premixed drywall compound and lifted a dollop onto the trowel before spreading it on the wall.

“You just spread it on like this. Try to keep it as thin as possible.”
He handed the trowel back to Iris.

“How’s this?” She applied a small amount of the compound to the wall and smoothed it over some holes, stretching on her tiptoes to reach a spot. Her sweater rose to reveal a perfectly shaped derriere
covered by bright blue Lycra.

“Looks good.” And the wall doesn’t look bad either.

Jana Richards
Buy links:
The Wild Rose Press

David Russell said...

“I am most grateful for the favours you have done me and now I am returning them. I’m imagining a whole range of lovely exotic places where we could go together. One of them is a deserted ballroom, left just for us. But there’s just one variation I want. I love wearing my evening dress, I feel gorgeous and vibrant in it. But I find men in lounge suits so dull. I would want my come dancing partner to wear athletic gear, trim and tight to counterpoint the exuberant, flowing looseness of my gown.” She went to the corner of the room and picked up another pile of clothing—a tracksuit, a singlet and a pair of boxer shorts. “Let’s do a fusion of ballroom and gym.” She motioned him to the bathroom for his next change.
Hector emerged, looking suitably athletic. Bethesda put on some sounds of Salsa on the hi-fi and motioned him towards her into a swaying dance. She and her powerful perfume exercised its hypnotic power. His right hand touched the back of her dress, while she held his shoulder. When the CD stopped playing, she unzipped the tracksuit, down to the groin and peeled it off. She drew back a little, to feast her eyes on Hector’s athletic body. “You’re pretty good.” She hummed.
The pulsing arousal made Hector’s hand tremble. His fingers closed on the back zip of her dress and drew it down. Out of that beautiful flurry, a lovely tanned form, in crisp underwear emerged. There was fire along the trajectories of their eyebeams. Bethesda squeezed Hector’s waist and peeled off his singlet, then followed suit with his shorts, “My—Destiny’s giving us a treat, darling.” Black briefs and white underwear embraced the polarities of sensation.

Dreamtime Sensuality Antho - Devine Destinies

Joan Reeves said...

Happy Monday! I like Wash Line Monday contribution. This is a bit of a scene where Judy Anne and Roman talk after she, literally, bumped into him at a very important wedding reception.

ROMEO and JUDY ANNE, Book 2, Texas One-Night Stands

"Unless I miss my guess, you haven't had anything to eat except that cube of cheese at the reception."

So much for hoping he hadn't recognized her. Apparently, he'd noticed her before she'd stampeded from the reception. Why had he followed her? Pity? Pride stiffened her spine. "I'm on a diet."

"Trust me, you don't need to diet."

He treated her to the same visual inspection she'd subjected him to. She felt his eyes as if they were hands on her skin, sliding from the tiny straps holding up the low-cut, tight gold dress to the length of leg exposed by the short skirt, and ending with an examination of the ridiculous high heels--designed to look like glass slippers, or so Heather had said.

She'd never had a man give her the once-over so thoroughly. Of course, she'd never dressed like this before. The goose flesh rose on her body as if he'd touched her ever so softly. Oddly enough, the way he looked at her made her feel a pleasant warmth invade her body. A small whisper of sanity told her to be outraged.

But tonight was no time for sanity.


Kindle Edition:

E. Ayers said...

Wow, a wonderful ode to a coat!

E. Ayers said...

Can't have the pralines showing!

E. Ayers said...

I love the Wash Line! So many fun snippets. I think you can tell a whole lot about the story by the clothing.
This will be the last Wash Line for a short time as summer heats up! (And for those on the southern half of this planet, we're going to do our best to warm up your cold temps!)

Maggie Le Page said...

Wash Line Mondays are fun! Here is a snippet from A Heat Of The Moment Thing by Maggie Le Page, a lighthearted beach read with serious undertones.


I fingered my new headscarf. Was it slipping? I had a Worzel Gummidge horror hidden under there.

“How are you feeling?” Gary’s eyes fixated on the headscarf. “Sounds like you had a close call.”

“Much better, thanks.” I dropped my hand back to my side. “Sorry I couldn’t—”

I gasped, feeling serious scarf slippage, and grabbed at my head.
Gary, with a stricken look, tried to help. It only made things worse. The headscarf, hooked on my finger, shifted floorward, then skyward, before collapsing with ballerina grace in my hands.
I stared in dismay at the mess of fabric.

“Oh dear,” said Gary. “Here, let me help you.”

God, no. I scrambled for my headscarf, curse the sodding thing, and wheeled away, consumed by full-body flaming shame. “If you could just show me to the ladies’ . . .”

The receptionist leapt out of her chair. “I’ll take you. Would you like some pins?” She fossicked around in a drawer and produced a handful.


Damn this rotten scarf. Damn the med. student who’d left me with a bald patch. And damn me for swimming into the end of the freaking pool.

When I returned, headscarf secured to hurricane-proof standards, Gary took me on the grand tour of Tourism and Travel.

Nervous anticipation fluttered in my belly, only partly due to the scarf. I’d taken a huge gamble with this job. Could I make it work?

Gary stopped and opened a door with a flourish. “Here’s your office.”

My office. Nice. I’d only ever worked in open plan offices, where you couldn’t even yawn in private. I walked over to the window. Lush lines of oak trees and a green expanse of park stared back up at me. Pleasure swelled in my chest. As far as London views went, this was pretty damn good.

“I love it,” I said.

“Sal can help you out if there’s anything else you need.”

Like pins, presumably.


Want to read more? You can read a sample here:
A Heat Of The Moment Thing can be bought at all the usual digital outlets. :)

E. Ayers said...

The English have some wonderful ways of saying things. "She fossicked around in a drawer and produced a handful."

Sherry Ewing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.