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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Scenic View

How do I set the scene? I look at it through my characters' eyes. Lately they've all been in small towns, but as is the case of Wild At Heart, they ended up in Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, Colorado. I hadn't intended on traveling to another state; Brad just decided to go on his own. And while he was there, he met Emma.

Since I had been to RMNP as recently as 2002, I had a clear idea of what the place looked like. And it only took a few phone calls to my mother and a call to our favorite steak restaurant in Estes Park to get a few details straight.

But usually as I'm writing, the scenery will set itself; all I have to do is describe it.

Now when it comes to describing clothing or home furnishings...that's a different matter. I was not blessed with the fashion-conscious gene, nor the decorating one. If I get bogged down, I'll turn to either a magazine or remember a friend's color scheme that I admired. And once in a while, the character will tell me what she has in her home, if she favors modern glass or antiques.

When it came to my Arbor University series, I modeled it after three universities in Indiana, so I already 'knew' what the buildings and dormitory rooms looked like.

Hopefully by now you've read enough snippets of books #1&2, or even the entire books, so I won't bore you with another.  So here's a snippet of Forbidden Love, which is due to be released some time in the next few weeks.  And let me know if you can 'see' the room?


 Keri Patterson meets an older man, and is instantly transported into her first adult relationship.  But is Kyle Sampson really telling her the truth about his ex-wife?  Is Keri's ambition to someday be a part of an Indianapolis 500 racing crew interfering with her love life?


"My new year's resolution is to move to the number one slot," Keri announced one snowy, January afternoon. "And spend more quality time with Kyle."

"Mine is to study harder." Stephanie munched pretzels and changed the TV channel. "Gretch?"

A groan came from the other side of the suite. "No more 'Blue Whale' parties. I'm sticking with rum and coke."

"What's a 'Blue Whale'?"

"It's like a Hairy Buffalo, only with Kool-Aid and the clear, schnapps, everclear, rum. It's lethal. I think I had eight cups."

"No wonder you're hung over." Keri heard Caitlyn open the refrigerator. "My resolution is to get Bryan to pop the question." Amy Callahan had called the night before with the news of her engagement to Matt Slagal and talked to all four girls.

"So have they set a date yet? I forgot to ask her.” Stephanie found a movie and settled back on her bed.

"She wants a June wedding but after she graduates, so sometime in June of '89 or '90. I am so envious." Caty joined Keri and Stephanie, holding a Mountain Dew can. “Is that the African Queen?”

“It’s the best thing on for the moment. Sit down.” Steph scooted over to make room.

"I'm glad everything's working out for her," mumbled Gretchen from her bed.

"Yeah...isn't that romantic how he proposed? I wish someone would throw me a surprise party." Keri shifted to a more comfortable position.

"It's only a surprise when you don't expect it." Stephanie got up during the commercial break and went to the tiny refrigerator. "Why is it that all our birthdays are around holidays? Gretchen and Amy's are at Christmas; yours is around Easter; mine and Caty's are at the end of the school year. There's no surprise." She returned with a Mountain Dew can and flopped down on her bed again.

"Big surprise, hmph. Matt had already asked her about three times. That episode was strictly to give her the ring. Anyway, at least Matt's behaving himself." Caitlyn put a pillow behind her back. "I guess it’s true, if you want to know how your man really feels about you, catch a cold, and see how he treats you. I couldn't believe Matt was so caring, so worried back in September. Who would have thought?"

"Stranger things have happened." Keri yawned.

"Well I don't care." Stephanie wadded up the empty pretzel bag and tossed it into the trash. "I saw the way he treated her at the party last year, and until I see it with my own eyes, I don't think he'll marry her." She took a drink of her Mountain Dew. "He'll find some way of getting out of it."

"Well...there's still three years to go. You're right there. Anything could happen." Caty changed the subject. "So Keri, things back on track with Kyle?"

"Seems to be."


Tina Donahue said...

Enjoyed your excerpt. I love when a novel had rich descriptive language. Doesn't have to be a lot. Just enough for me to get a sense of place.

Harlie Reader said...

Loved it, loved it. Plus, you had me at the Indy 500. :)


Molly Daniels said...

@Tina: There are some writers who describe everything in vivid detail; I was not blessed with that talent:)

@Marika: LOL...I almost posted an Indy 500 excerpt:) But wanted thought people would enjoy the room, rather than pit row:) Maybe next month, hmmmm?

Adele Dubois said...

Good excerpt. I have ties to Indiana, and a soft place in my heart for that state. Been to the Indie 500, which was awesome.

Best of luck with your releases!


Liz said...

what a great excerpt...congrats on the upcoming release!

jean hart stewart said...

Love reading excerpts...and congratulations on a new release...

Molly Daniels said...

@Adele: My family has attended the 500 regularly since 1963; I began going in 1985 and have only missed a few races. My immediate family has discovered it's best to send me, rather than put up with me yelling at the TV, ha ha:)

Molly Daniels said...

@Liz and Jean: Glad you enjoyed the excerpt and thank you:) Keri's story was fun to write:)

Marianne Stephens said...

I can "see" a large dorm room...and all that goes with it. Natural speech for college students...flow of conversation and description puts the reader in that room with the girls.
Nice job!

Molly Daniels said...

@Marianne: Thank you:) That's the effect I hoped for:)

Janice Seagraves said...

Nice excerpt. A scene doesn't need a lot of detail so you can "see it" and what you had was just right.

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