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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Set the Scene in Six Sentences!

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 website/blog link, and one buy link in the comment box.  We can't wait to read you! Pass the word!  Open to all!

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Come see my snippet on Exquisite Quills' Set the Scene in Six!    


Jennifer said...

Lightning crashed and thunder shook the building. On the glass dome above my head, rain poured like a waterfall, the sound deafening. More lighting jagged across the sky, and the white-coated scientist standing next to me glanced upwards. "Right on time." He checked his watch and then motioned curtly to a nurse standing nearby. "Four minutes."

From "Time for Alexander"


Jeanine said...

By Jeanine McAdam

Erin tapped her camera. “I have it all here on videotape for everyone to see.”
“Can’t that be destroyed?” Rachel asked miserably. She sunk onto the feedbag Logan just vacated, muttering, “Nobody noticed my sign but everybody saw my fat butt.”
Logan eyed her for a moment. She probably should have taken that into consideration before jumping the rail—naked. But he didn’t say anything, because the sap that he was, he wanted to cheer her up. “I know ninety-nine percent of the guys in that place didn’t think your butt was fat. There’s a good chance that video will go viral.”
She rolled her eyes and moaned.
“I mean,” he started over, “you looked good.” But he had already said something about her appearance. He wanted to say something meaningful because she probably already knew she was a beautiful woman. “I’m sure Punisher appreciates your effort.”
She rolled her eyes once more. Hadn’t she done that twice already? It definitely wasn’t something Logan was used to. Usually women gave him googly eyes along with an inviting smile and shift of their hips.
“It doesn’t matter what Punisher thinks, Cooper,” Bret cut in. “She can’t be running naked in front of a bucking bull.”
“And that bull is bucking because—” Erin started.
“The police are coming,” Bret warned.
“Fine,” Erin challenged while glancing at her notes. “Bring them in if you want your bull rider arrested too.” She tapped the yellow legal pad. “Even in Texas, spanking is considered assault.”


Margaret Fieland said...

from Relocated, the first Novel of Aleyne:

I stared across the black concrete of the spaceport to the desert beyond. The sands shimmered pink, mauve, lavender, blue. Beyond it were purple hills. Birds with huge wings and purple or red feathers circled overhead. Here and there there were bushes that looked kind of like porcupines and trees with gray trunks and red leaves that looked like open umbrellas. I fell in love with the planet right then and there.

Elaine Violette said...

A Kiss of Promise by Elaine Violette
The April day was dark and dismal though it was barely past two in the afternoon when the ship entered New York harbor. A damp breeze brushed Alaina’s face as she stood with other passengers against the ship’s rails. She followed the flight of squawking seagulls as they circled smaller sailing vessels, while others skimmed over the water in search of food. Fear and awe filled her senses. Soon she would step on American soil, a land of promise to so many, but to her a place where loneliness and fear would be her companions. How could she feel amazement and terror in the same instant?
A Kiss of Promise Available on Amazon

Kristen Ethridge said...

From THE CUPID CAPER by Kristen Ethridge (Five Star Reviews on Amazon and #1 in Holiday Fiction)

Luke walked down the quiet hallway toward the doors which led to the teachers’ parking lot at the back of the building. School ended about ninety minutes before, and without the jam-packed bustle of teenagers, Skyview High seemed more in line with his old life at a corporate giant. People kept to themselves, just trying to finish the last of the day’s work so they could go home.

The students gave the walls and halls their heart, and even though Luke believed deeply in the order and rules of chemistry and the sciences, he knew the energy he got from these kids more than made up for what was missing out of his paycheck these days.
He could see the light on in the room at the end of the hallway.

A faux thatched roof poked out from over the doorway and construction paper timbers framed it. Amanda Marsh took her responsibility to literature seriously—down to decorating the entrance to her classroom to resemble Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Since she was still here, Luke decided to walk through the entrance to Shakespeare World and ask about the application essays on Violet’s behalf. That way they could start working on them as soon as possible.

“Amanda? You got a minute?” Luke opened the door quietly and stepped inside.

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

Morgan Hawke said...

From Splintered Mirror - An Erotic Fantasy
By Morgan Hawke
Leaning on the polished golden oak banister of the balcony overlooking the grand gala, I thumbed a long tendril of my black hair behind my ear and smiled sourly at the scene of fairytale perfection one story below me.

Flecks of rainbow-tinted light from the massive leaded-crystal chandelier suspended from the domed ceiling high overhead sparkled on the slender two-story mirrors that lined the curved white marble walls. Only a few long strides from the walls, gold-flecked marble columns supported the balcony that encircled the entire ballroom. At the head of the room, a full orchestra played before tall windows draped with sheer gold silk.

The dance floor was done in extravagant black and golden oak parquet designed to look like a compass rose. However, it was near impossible to see under the swirl of brilliantly bedecked lords and ladies that danced upon it.
Splintered Mirror

SherryGLoag said...

Vidal's Honor by Sherry Gloag

The smell of fine wine, whiskey and cigar smoke blended into a rich aroma that was as much a part of Whites as the card games, the background chatter, and outbreaks of lewd laughter from the younger members of the club.
One member in particular interested Vidal tonight, and he watched Robert Dundas, second Viscount Melville, and First Lord of the Admiralty, take leave of his friends and head in his direction.
Dundas laid a hand on his arm; a companionable gesture for anyone interested enough to observe the two men leaving the club together. “I believe I live not far beyond your own house, and I’d appreciate your company, and this is not the place for such a discussion. ”
With an indolent twist of the wrist Vidal returned the modish lacquered box, unopened, to his pocket and nodded agreement. A man’s club was no setting for private conversation, and it was plain the man wanted to talk about something away from flapping ears.

Thank you for this opportunity :-)

Barbara Mikula said...

Belinda’ Crown, Book Six of The Le Club Series, by Skye Michaels
M/F Contemporary Erotic Romance/BDSM/ Heat Level: Sextreme

This scene precedes Belinda and Rockstar heading out onto the tract at The Belmont Stakes to try and win the Triple Crown.

Ross and Mike each gave Belinda a hug before Ross gave her a leg up into the saddle. “You’re both going to be great; be careful, have a safe ride.” Ross ran his hands down Rockstar’s neck and gave him a hearty pat before Mike did the same.
“This is where we’ve all wanted to be for the last three years. It’s easy to get lost in the moment. Be careful; watch out for the crowd in the stretch; expect the unexpected.” Mike patted her leg above her riding boot. “Whatever happens, Bee, we’re very proud of you both.”
Ross and Mike watched as she and Rockstar headed through the tunnel out to the track for the post parade to the starting gate. The boisterous crowd roared as the horses passed by. Ross rubbed his lucky stone in his pocket. He knew Rockstar would not like the milling crowd pressing up against the windows. He hoped he would ignore the crush in his eagerness to get to the starting gate. This horse really loved to run.

Other 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, Cassandra’s Revenge, Pandora’s Box, and coming soon Hannelore’s Treasure
The Horsemen Series: The Appearance of Impropriety
The Black Iris Club Series: (Coming soon) Kaylin’s Pursuit and Chloe’s Rescue
WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/SKYEMICHAELSBOOKS Fan Page for covers and first chapters

Tamsin Flowers said...

The Crimson Bond by Tamsin Flowers

Even with the shutters thrown wide, there wasn’t enough of a breeze to dry the sweat off Willow Jackson’s skin as she lay writhing, naked and alone, on the huge double bed. But it wasn’t the heat keeping her awake. After all, she’d lived in Santa Fe for most of her nineteen years and it was still only spring. The mercury would rise far higher over the summer months.
It was an unhealthy obsession that was keeping Willow awake. An imaginary scenario played over and over in her mind...

Available here:

Jeana Mann said...

Intoxicated (A Felony Romance) by Jeana E. Mann

A few minutes past midnight on a hot June night, Ally Taylor turned out the lights of her office at Reyes Corporation, caught a cab to the seamier side of town, and slid onto a barstool at Felony. A notorious underground club with a reputation for heavy metal music and brawling, Felony was her favorite guilty pleasure after a week of stuffy boardroom meetings, financial statements, and patronizing compliments from men in conservative blue suits. Nothing took her further from oppressive corporate life than this edgy bar tucked down an alley like the city’s dirty secret. Its eclectic mix of leather-clad bikers and metal heads appealed to her secret desire to be someone – anyone – other than the boring accountant that she was.

She watched with envy as dancers bobbed and swayed to the raging music like an undulating wave in an angry sea. Pungent odors of sweat and incense mingled with the less obtrusive smells of whiskey and flash pots from the stage.

Available here:

Susan Macatee said...

Next snippet from my time travel romance, Thoroughly Modern Amanda.

After the secretary closed the door, Amanda grinned.

She occupied her time sifting through the papers layered on Norwood’s desk. Catching sight of the assignment he’d promised her, she noted Glen Bradshaw’s name on the top of the sheet.

The weasel. Bradshaw had joined the paper’s staff two weeks ago and already had his eyes set on Amanda’s job. No wonder she’d been relegated to the church social assignment.

Danita Cahill said...

Excerpt from Love at First Click – A Bellham Romance. Available in both ebook and paperback -

Against her better judgment, Heather let Joel pull her in closer to his side. His body heat, and his masculine scent, soon had her heart racing again. They wound their way down the paved pathway and around the lodge to the most exclusive of the resort’s three restaurants.

It was a classy, understated space with huge picture windows overlooking the ocean. The lights were dim, the atmosphere romantic, the smell of sautéed garlic, pan-seared fish, and fresh basil filled the air.

Savanna Kougar said...

His Claimed Bride, Happy New Year On Another Earth

A Flash-Scene Erotic Romance Novel


Sylva glanced back and forth, completely bewildered. Illumined buildings that were no more than three stories, looked as if they'd been the victims of an all out war between an old west movie town and the elongated elegance of art nouveau. Not only that, horses adorned by silver-laden saddles stood at hitching posts while some manner of flying automobiles were parked on rooftops. Where in the freaking hell was she? Swivelling her head in slow motion, she nursed the hope she'd wake up at any moment. Even the music sounded like a strange mix of honky tonk and a waltz.

[Contemporary Wild West Paranormal Adventure]

Jill Blake said...

Excerpt from my contemporary romance This Time for Keeps - available on Amazon:

Strapped into the passenger seat of their rented Passat, Isabelle questioned the wisdom of agreeing to put her life in the hands of a lunatic. The speedometer edged over 150 kilometers an hour before she forced herself to look away. It didn’t help that other cars on the Autostrada were zipping past them. When they finally exited the A3, she released her white-knuckled grip on the armrest, only to realize that her relief was premature. The last leg of their three-hour drive was a stretch of single-lane road whose hairpin twists hugged a sheer cliff wall with no guardrail to prevent them from plunging into the Mediterranean.

By the time they arrived in Amalfi, Isabelle was so grateful to still be alive that she barely noticed the beauty of her surroundings.

Jill Blake said...

I can totally see it! Great job! - Jill

Jill Blake said...


Rosemary Morris said...

Extract from Tangled Love
Rosemary Morris

With Roberts close behind him, Chesney alighted from his coach. He made his way to the riverbank, where he stood in silence looking at Field House from its southern approach. Nestled foursquare in a valley, it looked as though it had always been there. Red-bricked with a slate roof and a jumble of tall chimneys, it bore no resemblance to the French chateaux he was more familiar with. Field House, he thought, is a place to put down roots with Lady Richelda.

Tangled Love is available from: MuseItUp Publishing – Amazon – Barnes and Noble – Smashwords – Omnlit – Coffeetime Romance and elsewhere.

Julie Lence said...

Zanna's Outlaw, Western Historical Romance
available at:

"Buck," Suzanna blurted, watching his gaze narrow and shift to her arm. It was then she realized Garrett still touched her. "You'd best do as he says," she advised the storekeeper. "I don't want any blood shed at my table."

"You know him?" Garrett asked, incredulous, and removed his hand.

"Food looks good, Suzanna," Buck said. "Table's big enough for one more."

Shelley Munro said...

This setting snippet is from MISTRESS OF MERRIVALE, coming out from Samhain Publishing on 25 March.

When they reached the crest of the hill, Jocelyn’s breath caught. The countryside stretched out before them—an endless carpet of greenery, studded with piles of rocks, stacked like a haphazard pile of oversize books. A cloudless blue sky completed the majestic panorama.

“Mother, look at the view. Isn’t it glorious?” She’d heard the area could be inhospitable and eerie with dangerous mists and treacherous bogs, yet it wasn’t today. For their arrival, Dartmoor was showing her finest.

Pre-order Mistress of Merrivale

Tina Donahue said...

This is from Chapter One of Stolen Desire - erotic paranormal sci-fi - March 11 - Samhain Publishing. Zekin has just rescued Paige and she's about to find out - via his clothing - the strange world she's just entered. :)

He plucked the darts from them and dropped the things into his front pocket. From a back pocket, he pulled out a square of silvery-blue material, then touched the front of his shirt.

Paige gawked as his mottled brown-and-gold clothing turned the color of the fabric he held, tightening against his powerful body, fitting him as snugly as a wet suit. Even his combat boots morphed until she could see the outline of his large feet and long toes.

She blurted, “How did you do that?”

It had to be a trick. This couldn’t be real.

He released the square of material. It drifted down in front of her, coming to rest near her feet. “Remove your clothing and step on it,” he ordered.

Huh? Hell no. She pressed her fists to her chest and edged back.

His expression didn’t change, though frustration flared in his eyes. He swung his hand to the metal door. “Do as I say, or you’ll die out there.”

She wanted to throw up. “What’s out there? Where in the hell are we?”

“If I explain now, the other guards may return. If I can’t neutralize them as I have these three, you’ll end up like the pleasure slaves you saw in the hologram or worse. Is that what you want?”

A tear slipped down her cheek. When she’d gone to Rozie’s, she’d only wanted to forget her humiliation and hurt, not end up in this nightmare world. Where could it possibly be? He spoke fluent English, so that meant he was at least familiar with her culture. Maybe he even lived in Seattle after having emigrated from overseas. What he wore must have come from a top-secret government experiment, something right out of the X-Files. Clearly, he wasn’t SWAT as she’d first thought, but probably a federal agent. Maybe the CIA.

More info:

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