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Monday, April 6, 2015

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!    


Susan Macatee said...

From Civil War holiday romance novella, The Christmas Ball.

Sara shifted in the midnight green satin gown as Mary pinned it to fit. “Perfect," Mary said after she'd removed the pins from her mouth. "I can alter this today and it will be all ready for you for tomorrow night."

Sara's lips pursed as she studied her reflection. The neckline of the gown was low enough to show the surge of her bosom pushed up by the corset. On the farm, she'd never worn a corset, since it would've restricted her from working. Even when she wore her Sunday best to church services, she'd been able to avoid wearing such a restrictive foundation. And by the time she'd come of age to where one would've been essential when not working, she'd adopted men's clothes.

Although she didn’t like the restrictive feel of the corset, crinoline and multiple petticoats necessary for the grand ball gown, she did like the way it made her look. The corset cinched in her already slim waist and also pushed out her bosom, the white swell outlined by a lace border and delicate ribbon that matched the green of the dress. She bit her lip wondering how Dr. Ellison would like her new appearance.

Mary had also brought a coiled, braided hairpiece that matched Sara's chestnut hair. After pinning that on, Mary applied a lace cap with black velvet bows.

"Oh," Mary said. "I can’t wait until my brother sees you. He'll be absolutely enchanted and proud to have you on his arm."

"I sure hope so." In truth, her mouth went dry trying to imagine what Doc Ellison would think. And how would he react when she did something embarrassing at the ball?

"Of course he will," Mary insisted. "We'll surprise him tomorrow night. Now, let's get this off, so I can start the alterations."

Rosemary Gemmell said...

From British Regency novel, Dangerous Deceit by Romy Gemmell

Once Lydia had stepped into the gown, Agnes arranged the neckline carefully across Lydia’s shoulders and stood back to scrutinize the result. “Yes, Miss Lydia, the bruise is covered, but only just!”
“Good, no one is likely to see it then. I shall keep my shawl across me as much as possible and refuse all offers to dance.”
“Oh, Miss, you know how you like to dance. And I don’t think the young lads will allow such a pretty girl to remain seated, if you don’t mind me saying so!”
Lydia stared in the mirror at the surprisingly elegant figure she made. 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.


Rachael Slate said...

From Trancing the Tiger (Chinese Zodiac Romance Series, #1) by Rachael Slate:

Wow. A sexy, tattooed exhibition of bronzed skin greeted her. As she blinked, she realized the statuesque figure was actually a man. He sat cross-legged in the center of the clearing, his back to her, clad in only a pair of black, tailored martial arts pants.

Her gaze meandered over ripped muscles and the darkly inked, tribal tattoo of a tiger. The animal stretched from its head on the man’s left shoulder to the tip of its curved tail near the base of his waist on the right side.

“Oh, sorry.” She shot to her feet, wiping her hands on her skirt. “I assumed this was my terrace. Sorry for intruding.”

He remained silent. His back ramrod straight, hands balanced on his knees, he was clearly deep in a form of meditation like qìgōng. Just as she was about to leave him be, he tilted his head toward her and regarded her from the corners of his dark-lashed eyes.

She froze and her mouth dried while those eyes stalked her, a covetous flash in them. Suddenly, the vulnerability of her situation became clear. A woman alone, where no one would hear her screams.

Her instincts assessed the threat. Flight or fight?

As her mind raced along every possible outcome, her reasoning kicked in. Her uncle wouldn’t have placed her next to a crazy, dangerous man, would he? The guy hadn’t seemed like a psychopath a moment ago, as peaceful concentration had been etched into his features. But dangerous?

Oh, yeah.

Dangerous as hell.



Jude Knight said...

From Farewell to Kindness, my recent release

“What of this one, Ma’am?” Markham held up a ribbon that was perhaps a shade darker than Rede’s gift. “We have it in several widths, so we could trim the hem with the wide one, use the medium one to border the little sleeve, and bind the narrow one in her hair.”

“How lovely!” Kitty exclaimed.

“Ah, Markham, you are a genius.” Susan gave her maid an affectionate tap on the shoulder and spun back to Ruth. “It is settled, then. This is your dress for the assembly. Now for you, Anne.”

The other women all turned to look at Anne. It was unnerving to be considered by so many pairs of eyes.

“Not blue.” Susan was decisive. “And not a pastel, either. Perhaps the deep red?”

The red was lovely: a rich ruby brocaded silk, trimmed with lashings of cream lace and ribbon flowers in every shade from cream through pink to the deepest burgundy.

Anne saw it in the mirror and loved it. Susan and Markham, however, exchanged glances and shook their heads.

“No,” Susan said, whipping the dress away from in front of Anne.

“But it is beautiful!” she protested, and then could have bitten her tongue. It was so kind of Susan to dress them, and here she was complaining. No wonder Susan didn’t want to share such a magnificent garment.

“Yes, and if you wear it, people will see a beautiful dress,” Susan explained. “The dress should be the setting for a beautiful you. That dress is too strong a colour for you. With a different bodice colour it might work, but against your skin, it would just make you fade away into the wall.”

Mia spoke up. “She is right, you know. I bought that dress at the start of the season, and the first time I wore it, one of my friends told me all about the dress the next day. She had never even noticed that I was the one inside it.”

“Well, partly that was because she only saw you at a distance, at the opera,” Susan soothed. She looked around at the other ladies. “Ruth could wear that colour, but she is the only one of us that could. What a pity unmarried ladies cannot wear red, Ruth.”


Helen Henderson said...

Dragon Destiny - Check out Anastasia's outfit as she celebrates her 18th birthday, one of the few she did in a town rather than on the trail with only her kin in attendance

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 at Amazon. For excerpts, complete distribution list, or a free read of the first chapter visit Find Helen on the web at


Erin OQuinn said...

From NEVADA HIGHLANDER: Alex had imagined a Scot would be dressed in a girly skirt and a tam o’shanter. Imagine his surprise …

A polite tap on his shoulder, a pleasant husky voice with the soft burr of an accent. “Here is Rory Drummond. Now who could be wanting him?”

He turned to see the man he’d been convinced was a conventioneer from a Houston liquor distributor. A man who seemed to tower over him, dressed in Levi’s, gawd-awful high-heel alligator boots, and a shirt with more fringes than a Roy Rogers revival.

He [weighed] a good two hundred twenty pounds, all of it muscle, to judge from the way he wore the tight Levi’s. His eyes were the kind of green he’d always associated with exotic lagoons. His gold-russet hair lay like a cloud around his face, almost to his shoulders, and he wore a close trimmed beard. Looking at his half-scowl, one side of his upper lip riding his mustache, Alex couldn’t tell whether the man was angry, or just confused.

Just looking at him made Alex begin to sweat, just a little, in spite of the chill in the room.

So much for the skirt and pom-poms, good holy mother of God. Here stood the most stunningly handsome man he’d ever met.

#gay #mm NEVADA HIGHLANDER. ARe & OmniLit Bestseller

Kim McMahill said...

BIG HORN STORM: Niki couldn’t see Robert Mitchell Blackburn II, known to friends and family as Deuce, but his deep voice gave away his location. No doubt his tall muscular frame stood just inside the barn door, concealed in the shadows. Even though he was hidden from view, she could describe every detail of his unruly hair peeking out from under his beat-up and sweat-stained straw cowboy hat, the scrutinizing look in his hazel eyes, his tanned complexion, and the scuffs on the heels of his boots where his spurs had worn on the leather. Dark stubble would shadow his chin and above his lip, and his sleeves would be rolled up on his denim shirt. She hated the fact that not only could she see him clearly in her mind now, but she could picture him just as clearly nearly every day of her life no matter how hard she tried to keep him out of her head.

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