Saturday, August 27, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday: A Voice Behind the Screen

Hello! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my weekly snippet.

Six Sentence Sunday is a great idea. Choosing such a small sample really forces me to hit the highlights. On the other hand, so much has to be left out, I feel like I’m cheating you. People who can write short stories (not to mention flash fiction or haiku) inspire my awe and admiration. This writer has to make an effort to keep it under 150 k words per book.

In the interest of brevity, I’ll get right to the set-up for this week’s excerpt:

Shamed by his doctor, Jonathan finally agrees to provide Isabelle with work. He summons her to the parlor with a cryptic note then, thinking to spare her sensibilities, arranges to sit behind a folding screen so she can’t see him. He has no way of knowing that his disembodied voice coming from behind the screen will trigger Isabelle’s memories of the traumatic event responsible for her recurrent nightmare. When she tells Jonathan she is feeling unwell, he suggests she go to the sideboard and pour herself a drink.

At first the glass of sherry helps, but when Jonathan’s voice emerges again from behind the screen, Isabelle has a full-blown panic attack.

A Bed of Thorns and Roses #8

In a desperate attempt to be rid of her unreasoning panic, she threw the glass to the floor. The delicate crystal shattered.

Its bright sound drew an exclamation from behind the screen, followed by a low question asked with forced calm. “What happened?”

Isabelle ignored the question, instead bending forward to retrieve a triangular remnant of glass from the floor. Holding it with her right hand, she aimed the sharp point at the fleshy pad of her left thumb, stabbed through the skin, and gouged a deep crimson line down to her wrist.

*     *     *

You may think this sounds like a disastrous first meet, but actually it gets worse!

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. I love getting your opinions. Here’s the Six Sunday link to take you back to the site. Happy reading.

Until next time,

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday: Against His Will

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy my selection this week. I love getting your feedback. The writing life can be an isolated one at times. Your comments keep me from feeling as though I’m talking to myself.

The number of 6 Sentence Sunday participants seems to be growing every week. If you haven’t already done so, check out the 6 Sunday site. There are lots of talented writers for you to choose from.

In my selection this week, Isabelle has grown increasingly uncomfortable as the days go by with no word what job duties are expected of her. She decides to meet with Dr. Garrick, the man who hired her, and offer her resignation. However, the interview does not go as she had planned.

The following excerpt is an abridged version of the conversation between Isabelle and Dr. Garrick. She has just told him she believes Mr. Nashe, her employer, would prefer for her to leave.

A Bed of Thorns and Roses #7

“It doesn’t matter what he prefers. We must do what is best for him.”

Isabelle was certain her employer had reached the age of majority and that, legally, he could not be forced to act against his will.

“I cannot render my service if he doesn’t allow it.”

“I will see that he allows it, Miss Tate. And I have no intention of releasing you from your contract.”

 *     *     *

It may not sound like it from this little snippet, but the doctor is actually one of the good guys. He has a story of his own which is bound up with that of the hero and heroine. Would you like to hear from him next week, or should I give you more of Jonathan and Isabelle?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

6 Sentence Sunday: The Nightmare

Thanks for stopping by to read my Sunday Six and a special thanks to everyone for your comments. Jumping right in, here is the next excerpt from my historical romance.

The set-up:  Isabelle feels increasingly uneasy as the days go by and she fails to receive any word from her new employer as to her duties. Homesickness and worry take their toll. She wakes in the middle of the night, revisited by a dream that has haunted her for years.

I’ve cheated this week and given you seven sentences. I just couldn’t make it work with six. Please don’t be too hard on me for being long-winded :-) 

A Bed of Thorns and Roses #6

The nightmare again.

Or not so much a nightmare as a memory that came to her in her sleep, demanding to be let in, waking her with the sort of terror that sucked the breath from her lungs. How many times had she relived the horror? The eyes behind the screen, watching her. The pain. Always, the pain. And the blood.

Next week:  Isabelle decides to resign.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

6 Sentence Sunday: God Has No Mercy

It’s that time of week again! Thank you for stopping by to sample my Sunday Six. And a really huge thank you to everyone who has taken the time to add a comment.

Choosing only six sentences to share each week has been an educational exercise. Thinking in sixes forces me to look for the shiniest nuggets, highlights that encapsulate the mood or emotion I may have spent pages trying to establish in the book itself. I find I’m looking at my writing in a different way, with a much more critical eye. My internal editor has started telling me things like That was a boring six or Uh-oh, nothing’s really happening here. Writing well isn’t easy. Ideally, every sentence should hold the reader’s attention. Every word should sing. I’m still working at it.

The excerpts are taken from the book in chronological order and are numbered, for those of you who like to start at the beginning.

This week’s set-up:  When his doctor insisted on hiring a secretary for him, Jonathan never dreamed he would choose a woman for the job. Appalled at her presence in his home, yet fascinated despite himself, Jonathan has been spying on Isabelle from his window, hoping to catch a glimpse of her face. In this week’s 6, his curiosity has just been satisfied. Jonathan ducks behind the curtain in near panic.

A Bed of Thorns and Roses #5

Did God have no mercy? He put his hand over his heart to be certain it was still beating. No, God had no mercy for such as he.

The woman was beautiful. Breathtakingly, heartbreakingly beautiful.

He had to get rid of her.

Next week:  I think it’s time to hear from Isabelle again.