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Old 05-27-2010, 10:46 AM   #1
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Is there a thread for excerpts?

In scanning the threads, I can't find a thread for book excerpts. Is it allowed in this forum? I think it would help to showcase our work if readers can see short snippets of it. Don't you? If there is one, can you point me to it? If there isn't any and it is allowed, post away and I will add mine when I come back. Thanks.

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Old 05-27-2010, 12:08 PM   #2
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That seems like a good suggestion to me, Joyce. How would you go about choosing a snippet? And it should be short. I've seen what looks like entire chapters posted as tidbits and the result is I scroll past.

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Old 05-27-2010, 12:21 PM   #3
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I have to check the snippet I want to use and see how many words are in it. Yes, I agree. We don't want them too long. Be back later.

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Old 05-27-2010, 03:32 PM   #4
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Okay, I'm back. I checked and there are 337 wds in my snippet including intro and closing. So I'd say anywhere from 300 to 350 wds would be just about right.

As far as choosing an excerpt, I just picked a section I thought was interesting even if you don't know what the book is about. Although I think, considering my title, it explains itself. So post away. I'll begin in the next post unless someone beats me to it.

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Old 05-27-2010, 03:42 PM   #5
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An excerpt from [Promotional link deleted - MODERATOR]

But even as Sylvie issued the threat she knew she'd never follow through on it. She couldn't leave the grand old dame. In her mind, the inn was a living, breathing entity. Its worn floorboards, trod by large feet and small, gave up its secrets at night; its railings, rubbed to a golden patina by hundreds of hands, hinted at its strength of character, as did the sturdy walls and roof that sheltered its inhabitants through countless storms. And when evening shadows moved in, she swore she heard it sigh, as if to say, all is well, you're safe in my arms.

Not all of the old house's messages were subtle murmurings, however; some were more direct, like the horizontal marks with names and dates penciled inside Violet's closet door. Painting over them would be like tearing out a page in a history book.

The more Sylvie thought about her threat and Alex's counter threat, the more certain she was that he, too, had spoken in anger. Alex would never demolish the inn. She'd noticed the change in him over the past few months. No longer the stuffy businessman he'd pretended to be, but a man who'd known his share of struggle and strife, Alex had come to love this place as much as she did. Why else had he spent hours with her, discussing ways to attract a more family-oriented clientele? Not to replace the seniors currently in residence, but to add to them. Like an old-fashioned boarding house where lives intertwine and generations interact. They'd put in a small playground with swings and slides for children, a volleyball net for their parents, and a shuffleboard court for Granny and Gramps. Surely a plan the owner would endorse, he'd said. The owner.

Sylvie's heart soared as she thought of all their hopes and dreams. But until one of them yelled "uncle" that’s all they would ever be. Hopes and dreams.


End of excerpt. Thanks for reading.

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Old 05-27-2010, 07:49 PM   #6
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Good excerpt, Joyce. It features your writing well and illuminates the situation. Just about the right length. Any longer isn't a snippet.

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Old 05-27-2010, 10:36 PM   #7
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No, there isn't a thread for excerpts specifically. Most of the ones I've seen have been buried in their respective book threads and spoiler tagged. But it's a decent idea. I'm just afraid that someone would take excerpt to mean post 10,000 words.
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Old 05-28-2010, 03:56 AM   #8
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All right, here is a clip from WIFE OF FREEDOM.

(Here's the blurb for context: The fictional world of New Acton is on the verge of rebellion, and so is Mary Alwyn, the unfaithful wife of a rebel. But when she betrays her lover for the revolution, her husband holds her up as a hero, labeling her The Whore of Freedom both in public and in print. This becomes Mary's scarlet letter. If she's going to live down the first part of that name, she'll have to live up to the second. She becomes a spy, as bold as her reputation. But she'll never be free until she returns to face her past.)

***

Martha was as near a thing as Mary had to a sister, being Mrs. Cress's daughter. She was a thin, prim little thing, but in her gray dress, she looked like a strong little rod of iron. She came up the walk and stopped, and looked Mary over.

Mary realized that her hair had come loose, and her apron was askew. Martha's face registered that this was confirmation of her worst fears. Mary smiled at her, and set down the broom to open the door.

"Come in," she said.

She settled Martha in the kitchen and set to making tea.

"Does the whole village know?" she asked, her back still turned.

"No. Not yet. Mrs. Tuttle has too much respect for Jackie to spread it behind his back."

"Think she'll tell him?"

"No! She'd be too embarrassed. She hopes he'll find out for himself, or you'll come to your senses."

Mary balanced two cups in one hand and the pot in another. Martha shook her head.

"Why don't you use a tray?" She sighed and looked pained. "You've reverted to your childhood, haven't you?"

Mary smiled and nimbly set down the cups and pot.

"Perhaps." Then when Martha took a breath to speak again, she held up a hand.

"Martha, I've heard it all, haven't I? Your mother has said it. You've said it. The preacher has said it. The ladies of the town have said it. I'm sure the king would have said it if he ever met me. Think about it, think about it, think about it. Well, I'm not going to think about it."

She sat down and looked to see Martha was distressed. Not the strong little rod as usual. Weary, actually. Mary sighed. The poor woman had spent most of her childhood worrying about Mary getting into trouble, protecting her from herself at every possible turn. Even taking the blame once or twice. But Mary couldn't imagine her taking the blame on this one. The very thought almost made her laugh.

"I am sorry, Martha," she said. "Don't distress yourself. You have no control over this. And I don't know if I'm relapsing to my natural state, or if this is just some odd gypsy moment. I love Jackie. And I love you. And I fear myself. And I'm not going to think about it."
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Old 05-28-2010, 06:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxx6166 View Post
I'm just afraid that someone would take excerpt to mean post 10,000 words.
That is inevitable. It's also patently abuse of the other participants and I won't read anything that goes on much longer than 1 screen's worth. I'm happy to make that clear. If the point is to be read, anyone who can't or won't follow the brevity request, is shooting themselves in the foot.

Here's my excerpt, a soda fountain drink, from The Ice Cream Parlor


FROU FROU

A frou-frou refers to frilly ornamentation. The soda fountain reflected the world around it. This was the Victorian era with gingerbread on every corner and line of a house, with lace around every collar, puffed leg-o-mutton sleeves and enormous dresses. It's no surprise the sodas were as highly decorated as everything else was in those days.

You’ll need:
1 oz. mango syrup or mango pulp
Peach ice cream
Shredded pineapple
Crushed raspberries
Whipped cream
Seltzer
1. Pour syrup into a glass.
2. Add several ounces of seltzer and mix well.
3. Fill with seltzer and stir briefly.
4. Add a small scoop of peach ice cream.
5. Add a spoonful of crushed raspberries.
6. Add a spoonful of shredded pineapple.
7. Top with whipped cream.
8. Serve with a long handled spoon and a straw.
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:59 PM   #10
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I love snippets!

Here is a little slice of [Promotional link deleted - MODERATOR]

Megan heard the anxious murmur of ice and snow, like a thousand voices whispering about her, berating her, cajoling her. Amidst their dissonance, one voice broke through.
“Margaret.”
Megan’s body jerked and the radio fell to the ground. It wasn’t the storm that called her name. She spun around and instinctively crouched, prepared to attack, but she did not have her trusty Glock. She had nothing but her bare hands and a flashlight.
Megan whirled and saw his outline. Night swelled into the menacing form of a man. There were no distinct features, only a shadow—a frightening profile that looked as if the storm had taken its vivacity and breathed life into this very monster.
The man spoke in a somber cadence that masked the scream of the gale. “I’ve been looking for you.”
All her preparation for this moment was whisked away by the wind. Even now, Megan felt the tug of that strong coastal current drawing her towards the cliff’s edge with a pull of deadly proportions. Her cry was one of denial, or perhaps madness.

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Old 05-30-2010, 12:08 AM   #11
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A snippet from The Voyage of the Minotaur:

Suddenly a figure approached the left side of her carriage. It was a dirty man, wearing dirty clothes, with a dirty bald head, and a big dirty nose. He stepped in close to her and ran his eyes down the length of her form. Another, similarly dressed man stepped up behind him.

“Well, this is nice, ain’t it?” said the second man. “We can have us a little fun.”

“Yeah, fun” said the first man, pulling a long, thin knife from his belt.

“Careful though,” said the second man. “She might have a little pistol in her handbag.”

“Does you have a little pistol in your handbag, Dearie?” the first man asked. He casually waved the knife in his right hand, as he pawed at her ankle with his left. Then he stopped when he heard the sound of two hammers being cocked, and looked up into the twin twelve gauge barrels.

“I don’t carry a handbag,” said Iolanthe, pulling the shotgun to her shoulder. She pulled the first trigger, disintegrating the head of the first man, and sending a fountain of viscous remains over everything within twenty feet. The second man had no time to react before the second barrel was fired at him. He was far enough away however, that though he was killed, people who had known him would still be able to identify his body.

Iolanthe pushed the lever opening the shotgun’s breach with her thumb and tilted the weapon so that the two used shells dropped out onto the carriage floor. She opened the glove compartment and pulled out the two replacement shells, stuffed them into the shotgun, and snapped the breach closed. She then returned the still smoking weapon to its place behind the seat. Reaching back into the glove compartment, she pulled out one of the handkerchiefs and wiped some of the blood and jellied brains from her face.

Looking down at herself in disgust, she said. “I’ll never be able to wear this dress again.”
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Old 05-30-2010, 01:46 AM   #12
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Here's an excerpt from my book, Secrets In The Shadows:

Troy gave a sigh of relief as he pulled the car into the driveway of the farmhouse. The tension in the car was palpable, with the situation having deteriorated more and more with every mile that passed. The baby had sobbed for what seemed like hours, finally exhausting himself and falling asleep. Iris had sat in the backseat on the way home, holding him in her lap and trying to comfort him but not having much success. Troy had snapped at her earlier, and he was sure he would pay for that later, given the venomous looks both she and his mother had given him.
His mother wouldn’t answer any of his questions about what had happened back in Leroy, keeping her arms crossed and her gaze fixed out the window as he drove. The only time she had responded at all was when he had snapped at Iris.
Pulling the car up to the porch, Iris jumped out, not waiting for help with Jamie, and rushed inside the house. Troy watched her go, pounding the steering wheel with his fist a couple of times in frustration.
“Dammit,” he ground out, glaring at his mother. “Are you ready to talk now?”
Mary Margaret raised her chin and turned to face him. He was taken aback by the glare of pure hatred that shone in her eyes. “Don’t you dare raise your voice to me like that again, boy. You hear me?” He slowly nodded, deciding that he perhaps hadn’t taken the best approach with her. She turned away, fumbling with the door handle before opening it and getting out. Turning the motor off, he got out of the car, as well, sighing as he followed his mother into the house.

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Old 05-30-2010, 10:44 PM   #13
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This is a tense little scene from Mr. Baxter, one of the seven short stories in the collection, The Man In the Background, now available on kindle for 99 cents

In this scene-Julia has had one or two non threatening incidents from her neighbor, who she suspects is a peeping tom.

Several more months went by without incident. Then Mrs. Neddle told her in passing that she had heard that Mr. Baxter had been talking to some real estate agents. Maybe he was thinking of moving.

Finishing the wine, Julia stood up and walked into the kitchen, taking the glass over to the sink to rinse it before placing it in the dishwasher. She bent to open the dishwasher to place the wine glass inside when she heard the screen door! Hadn’t she locked it?

She stood up and turned around and Mr. Baxter was standing in her kitchen- HER kitchen!
He stood right there- just a few feet from her, as if he were in a museum, standing quietly, admiring a beautiful painting or sculpture. A quiet, serene look on his face. But no smile.

She gasped loudly, placing her hand to her mouth - but it hadn’t frightened him. With just five steps he would have been able to touch her, that’s how close he was. She couldn’t move, feeling like a deer caught in the headlights of a car that wasn’t slowing at all, impact only a moment away.

Then, as if he had a sudden thought as to how he should be reacting, he changed his facial expression to that of a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar, or that of a grown man caught peeking into the window of a married woman.

“I’m sorry, Julia. It won’t happen again,” he whispered. A quick finger up to his lips, he quickly walked out through the screen door, closing it gently behind him, and he was gone.

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