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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Setting as Character, Part II

Last week we looked at setting as character and I included passages from the first three Rainbow Rock novels, set in a fictional town near the Painted Desert, northeastern Arizona. Welcome back for the next three books.


It was May twenty-ninth, almost summer, yet the blue-gray thunderheads that towered above the high plateaus of the Little Colorado River basin warned of a winter storm. Looks like it might snow, Cretia thought as she entered the offices of Rainbow Productions, the independent video company that had become her second home. The thought was not the least unsettling. It had snowed on the night she graduated high school some thirteen years before—the only graduate to go through ceremonies with a husband and three-month-old daughter in the audience. There was often a maverick storm late in the year before summer settled in.
Eden pulled up behind the yellow school bus, waiting while it disgorged a half-dozen bedraggled teens in blue jeans, T-shirts, and plaid flannel. When it moved on, she passed ,and  then turned on the gravel driveway that led to Rainbow Rock Farms. I'd forgotten how early school starts around here, she thought, or how hot the weather still is the first week or two.
In the few weeks since her last visit, the daily high temperatures had dropped by only a few degrees, but a shift in the direction of the afternoon breeze hinted at a turn in the weather. Within another month, they'd likely have their first snowfall.
Book 6,  THE TROUBLE WITH RAINBOWS, narrows its scope to one garden in this passage:
Joe had never been in the back of the Lunsford home. He had no idea what he'd been missing. While the front yard was a wide expanse of lawn, with a few leafy trees strategically planted for shade and privacy, the back was a paradise, a large and lovely garden of Eden. Comfortable pathways wound between raised and path-level planting beds, and decorative vegetables mingled with flowering plants—bean vines on six-foot trellises standing side by side with six-foot or taller hollyhocks.
Finally, a bonus. My first book, BENEATH SIERRA SKIES, is set in Chico, California. Here's how it begins:
       A breeze as soft and warm as an embrace carried the blossoms that fell from the almond trees. A preview of spring had come to the Sacramento Valley, and Robin reveled in it, lifting her chin into the breeze and tossing her red-gold hair. She’d lived in Chico long enough to know winter would return before spring finally came, but these lovely days in February gave her patience.
In case you're thinking it: You're right. I've always liked to think of the setting as another character in the story.
BENEATH SIERRA SKIES and all six Rainbow Rock books are now available as e-books for Kindle, Nook, Apple and other devices. During the Columbus Day weekend, the six Rainbow Rock books are on sale for 99 cents each. Enjoy!