Laid Bare With Flair Contest – Day 27!

Today we’ve got one of my fellow Bradford Babes (she’s also repped by my agent Laura Bradford) – author Savannah Foley! I can’t tell you how much Laura raves about how fabulous Savannah is and how her writing is so wonderful and different. I’m really looking forward to the time when I get to announce her first sale.

Today, she’s offering up a fabulous banned books bracelet to one lucky winner!

This bracelet has a special significance to me, not only because it promotes free thought and freedom of speech, but through a round-about way it inspired my fifth book, a magical realism novel called Go Look There. It’s the perfect accessory to wear when you want to feel more ‘writerly’.

Currently Laura is about (within the next couple of days!) to start pitching my first novel, Antebellum. Antebellum was originally placed online (in a horrifically awful earlier version) at, where it gained a strong fan base with hundreds of Favorites and thousands of reviews.

Plot Summary: In a utopian society, women are the sacred ruling class and men live as slaves and homemakers. When a young woman takes her first slave, an abused and beautiful mute of unknown origin, the forbidden romance between equals that develops shakes her belief in both her religion and way of life. Consumed with this secret heresy and a deadly illness that threatens her life, rumors of a Rebellion bring hope of the truth and a better future… if they survive.

Chapter One

He was running out of chances.

The wound on his side had broken the skin, and he could already feel a heat licking around his ribs. This was his last rotation before they would send him to the West Hall. The desperation came over him so strongly he could barely move. The panic felt like a million hands touching him, and he fought off all emotion, retreating to the internal world where he heard nothing, saw nothing, and most importantly of all was ruled by nothing.

He weighed the options: Grovel like a whore before the Woman he would face, praying she looked past his disability and what they would call his ‘clumsiness’, or merely survive this one, last torment and accept the inevitable transfer to a lifetime of hard work and violence in the West Hall. He knew what waited for him in the West. They loved to taunt him, watching the fear grow in him until it was too much to bear and he shut it down. The West Hall was a familiar Hell. He would know how to survive there. A Woman, on the other hand, was an unknown risk. He had been trained for slavedom his whole life. He knew what would be expected of him, and though that life would be far less strenuous, it was the nights he feared, when he would be called upon to not only submit to the violation, but participate in it himself. He didn’t know if he was strong enough for that.

He heard footsteps, and bristled, but it was only Number 17 slipping into his room.

“Let me see.”

He shoved Number 17’s hands away but the older boy was not deterred. His shirt was already sticking to the wound. He braced through the inspection.

“If you’d quit staying here at night alone maybe this wouldn’t happen so often. You should come back. You’re not the only one who pays when you stay away.”

He pulled down his shirt and shrugged.

“Why didn’t you tell me you had a Choosing today? Morning line-up and you weren’t there, I thought they’d finally finished you. What would happen if you actually got Chosen? I would never see you again.”

He didn’t answer.

Number 17 sighed. “I don’t care how you feel, that’s not something you do to your workmate.”

The bell rang, and for the first time he felt relieved to hear its signal. It was time to go.

Number 17 grabbed his arm. “If I never see you again, goodbye.”

He hesitated for a moment, then gave the hand signal which between them meant the same as those words. They had seen many workmates go up the stairs and never come back down. When they were younger the disappearances had been weekly, if not more frequent than that. Everyone in the Barracks used the same signal, which substituted for a full farewell, and the last words that might ever be exchanged between two Nameless of the same Division.

He left Number 17 and entered the hallway. Walking hurt worse than breathing. He controlled his pace, never revealing the pain braided into his side. When he arrived at the lobby the foul-tempered Director was there, looking haughty and impatient, so whoever the Woman was this time, she must be important. The Director never came down to the Barracks if she could help it. She inspected the line, grabbing his chin to sneer and pronounce something mockingly, but he wasn’t listening. They began the march out of the Barracks and up the stairs. His side clenched with each step, his vision blackening from holding his breath to steady his abdomen.

The Woman waiting for them must be very special. The line didn’t stop at the usual display room where they had met other Women before. Instead they kept climbing, the heavy-set director breathing harder as she lifted her robes to ascend. They were in the upper levels now, with public traffic. He feared what would happen next; this march was out of the ordinary, and it was never good when schedules changed.

Finally they entered a dim holding room, and the guards snaked them around in tight curves so they would proceed outward in a single, long line. The Director placed herself at the head, sweating, and waited. Minutes passed as the Nameless stood still, listening for the buzz beyond the single wood door to fall silent.

He heard some of the others praying quietly. It might be one of their last chances, too. Darkness made the guards nervous, and they paced around the room with their whips drawn, sometimes nudging a Nameless forward or backward an inch, asserting their authority and preserving perfect order. He ignored them.

Finally the Director swore and sent her attendant scurrying out a side door to alert the distant crowd that the males had arrived. The noise beyond the door died. All the Nameless stood straighter, and a painful burn of adrenaline surged into his stomach. It was time.

The Director flung open the door. He stepped with the others into the sun.

The day I became a slave owner was filled with light…

To continue reading

Chapter One

of Antebellum, visit Savannah’s blog here (

Today’s Question: What sorts of settings do you like to read about in books? Other countries? The beach? A ballroom in Regency England?

A winner will be chosen tomorrow afternoon! Good luck

58 comments to “Laid Bare With Flair Contest – Day 27!”

  1. Mary
    July 29th, 2009 at 3:58 am · Link

    Can’t wait to read more of this book. I really don’t have a favorite location. I have to drawn into the book by the characters. If I dig the characters then the book could be set in a small town, a large city or on a space cruiser. LOL
    In the end it is all about the story and the characters.


  2. Amy M
    July 29th, 2009 at 5:10 am · Link

    This book sounds great!! Settings don’t really matter to me. The characters are what get my attention. I use my own imagination for the setting, kind of create my own place. I do like it when they are somewhere that they could possibly get stuck in a blizzard for days!

    Amy M 😉

  3. Calila
    July 29th, 2009 at 5:12 am · Link

    I’m not really too picky about location as long as it is written well.

  4. Edie
    July 29th, 2009 at 5:13 am · Link

    Am not overly fussed, like Mary as long as the book is good… though having said that, being outside the US, I do get tired of the US being the centre of the universe. 😳
    That is not meant in a necessarily snarky way or directed at anyone, it is just the result of the US dominating the romance genre. (Though how I squee’d when I picked up my first Keri Arthur!)
    I mainly read paranormals and urban fantasy, would love to see more based in any country, and would love more sci-fi romance based off-world.

  5. Valerie
    July 29th, 2009 at 5:16 am · Link

    Like most of your commentators so far, I’m also not too bothered about the setting.

    I want a book with characters that I can fall in love with, especially the hero…hehe. And a plot that engages me.

    One genre that I am really interested in right now and would like to see more of is steampunk.

  6. Natasha A.
    July 29th, 2009 at 5:30 am · Link

    I must agree with Edie, in regards to the US dominating locations. I think it is fantastic that more authors are writing about different areas. I really just want to read about diverse places. Right now, reading is my travel. I don’t have the money to visit these places, so a beach, a ski resort, an exotic country, the US, wherever, – I just want to be able to see it. I want to travel there while I read.

  7. Chris
    July 29th, 2009 at 5:37 am · Link

    Wow, that is a very cool bracelet!

    I like to read books set in contemporary settings, whether those books are romances or urban fantasy.

  8. JP
    July 29th, 2009 at 5:39 am · Link

    I can’t say I have a preference, but I perk up when a story is set in my hometown, Paris, or somewhere else I’m familiar with — then it feels like I can walk along the streets with the characters. 😀

  9. Christina Mays
    July 29th, 2009 at 6:10 am · Link

    My favorite location is Regency England. For some reason it seems sexy to me. The lace and silk ballgowns, the men in evening dress with perfectly tied cravats, the evening air after the heat of the ballroom where they first see each other… Mmmmm… Awesome!

  10. Lisa J
    July 29th, 2009 at 6:12 am · Link

    Since I live in the frozen tundra of Minnesota I like books set in warm climates. I do enjoy the few books set here.

  11. Karin
    July 29th, 2009 at 6:13 am · Link

    A good story can take place anywhere and I will read it. In fact, maybe an anthology of the same story told in different eras and different places…

  12. Fedora
    July 29th, 2009 at 6:51 am · Link

    What an intriguing excerpt! Like some others have said, the characters tend to matter a little more to me than the setting, but I do enjoy settings that are new to me–other countries, other worlds, other times 🙂 Armchair traveling is terrific!

  13. Amelia
    July 29th, 2009 at 7:13 am · Link

    I like to visualize the settings of books – other cities, countries, even other worlds.

  14. sharon
    July 29th, 2009 at 7:25 am · Link

    Any setting…doesn’t matter. Interesting characters and plot are pretty much all I ask for. A good setting is just icing on the cake. 😀

  15. Blanche
    July 29th, 2009 at 7:32 am · Link

    Very neat excerpt, can’t wait to read more!! Very neat bracelet too!!

    I’m with most everyone here, location isn’t real important to me, good characters and a good storyline are most important!! :mrgreen:

  16. Miranda
    July 29th, 2009 at 7:37 am · Link

    It may be a classic, but I love to read about strong women learning to take care of themselves!

  17. alba
    July 29th, 2009 at 7:48 am · Link

    With out becoming repetitious I love to read about the wilds of Scottish Highlands and the men that live there.
    love the bracelet .

  18. Nancy
    July 29th, 2009 at 7:51 am · Link

    I love books set in any of the celtic worlds like Scotland or Ireland.

    Texas has all those hot cowboys.

    But I also love S/N Carolina or Virginia…see, I’m not picky. (laughs)

  19. Roberta Harwell
    July 29th, 2009 at 8:15 am · Link

    I have several locations I love. It depends on the weather in my location as to what setting I want to read about. When it is raining, I prefer to read about the beach. If it is to hot, I like to go to a foreign country. I just love to explore other places. Have a great day.

  20. bridget3420
    July 29th, 2009 at 8:21 am · Link

    I like to read about everything. I normally don’t read the same genre back to back unless it’s series. I like spice in life. It all just depends on my mood.

  21. jennifer cecil
    July 29th, 2009 at 8:27 am · Link

    I’ve never given location much thought. Ideally I like dark, scary, woods.

  22. Marjana Kaly
    July 29th, 2009 at 8:31 am · Link

    I like it when the setting is in another country besides US.

  23. Christine
    July 29th, 2009 at 8:36 am · Link

    I don’t really have any specific preference. As long as it’s a good story that grabs my attention I’ll go antway the author takes me.

  24. Jeanette Juan
    July 29th, 2009 at 8:51 am · Link

    I guess different countries are nice but I really don’t have a preference.

  25. Erica B
    July 29th, 2009 at 8:59 am · Link

    Settings don’t matter to me; it’s all about the story. 😀

  26. Carrie
    July 29th, 2009 at 10:44 am · Link

    Setting isn’t all that important when I am choosing a book, but I do really like the books set on islands. I like to imagine myself there with a cocktail in hand!

  27. Teresa W.
    July 29th, 2009 at 10:58 am · Link

    I enjoy reading about different places that I’ve never been and times that I would never be able to experience for myself!

  28. Sarai
    July 29th, 2009 at 11:02 am · Link

    Setting aren’t a huge deal for me as I like a ton of different genres and originality is a great draw, so I’m not sure if I’d say these are absolute favorites, but right now I’m into deep space Sci-Fi/Romance, stuff set in non-US countries. Ireland, France, Italy, Caribbean… all that jazz 😛

  29. JOYE
    July 29th, 2009 at 11:13 am · Link

    I am an avid reader and like an interesting story no matter the setting or the chartacters. I find myself reading a romance novel, a western, a mystery, and a thriller all at the same time. I pick up the one that I am in the mood to read that day. Weird huh!
    This book sounds so good. I love it-a man as a homemaker. If he is anything like my husband, he will have a hard time of it.

    July 29th, 2009 at 11:48 am · Link

    I like the beach with a tan Aussie surfer, the jungle with a hot Navy Seal or Spec Ops man, a castle with a tasty Vamp, a rustic cabin in the woods with a sexy shifter, or a house in suburbia with a sizzling alpha-male!!

  31. Emmanuelle
    July 29th, 2009 at 11:53 am · Link

    I like all settings really… well except for my own country France. For me reading = escaping reality so I’d go anywhere but in France !! 😳

  32. Jane
    July 29th, 2009 at 11:57 am · Link

    I love books set in Regency England and medieval Scotland. I also enjoy books set in big cities like NY, Vegas and New Orleans.

  33. Chelsea B.
    July 29th, 2009 at 12:06 pm · Link

    What sorts of settings do you like to read about in books? Other countries? The beach? A ballroom in Regency England?
    I like them all! At different times I’ll want to read about different times, so all of the above would work for me!

    The bracelets are really unique! I remember having one when I was younger, like the ones above, but they were dance pictures instead of books.

  34. Pat Cochran
    July 29th, 2009 at 12:40 pm · Link

    I read a bit of everything except really dark
    paranormals, with a main focus on historicals
    and contemporaries.

    Thanks for offering this really unique prize!

    Pat Cochran

  35. Gloria T.
    July 29th, 2009 at 12:42 pm · Link

    Just a bought any setting. The characters and plot are important to me.

  36. Estella
    July 29th, 2009 at 12:56 pm · Link

    Great excerpt!
    I’m not picky about the setting as long as the story is well written.

  37. catie james
    July 29th, 2009 at 1:14 pm · Link

    Oooo Savannah, I so want to read the rest of this book! *Crossing my fingers in the hopes it gets bought asap*

    As for Lauren’s question: I love all sorts of settings from exotic countries far, far away to small town diners that could be right here where I live.

  38. Armenia
    July 29th, 2009 at 1:21 pm · Link

    Any setting, it depends on the book. But I do enjoy other countries, only for the insight of learning about other cultures and environment. 😉

  39. Beverly G.
    July 29th, 2009 at 1:36 pm · Link

    I love the excerp thats awesome cant wait to read the book. and that bracelet is beautiful i want one lol can say it does make you think and embrace differances

    ty for coming by and sharing with us today

  40. heather nestorick
    July 29th, 2009 at 1:49 pm · Link

    I love a few things. Victorian England for one. Those outfits and the language.

    Civil war time period books. It was just such an amazing piece of history.

    There are a few more. 🙂 but i will stop there.

  41. Linda Henderson
    July 29th, 2009 at 2:04 pm · Link

    I’ve always liked books about Australia and New Zealand. Of course I like books from just about everywhere.

    Linda Henderson

  42. Larena Wirum
    July 29th, 2009 at 2:22 pm · Link

    I love all settings and it kind of depends on what my mood is as to what kind of book I will read at any given time. :mrgreen:

  43. Janel
    July 29th, 2009 at 3:37 pm · Link

    Honestly, I love reading about anyplace other than where I love, surrounded by fields! Some of my favorite books lately have been set in the desert Southwest.

  44. MichelleKCanada
    July 29th, 2009 at 4:07 pm · Link

    I see there is another Michellek so I changed my name to MichellekCanada. lol

    Okay because I am Canadian, I love to read about the south in the US. Just the way that the south is usually described makes me love the book.
    Now having said that, the setting isn’t nearly as important as the characters. I gotta love the characters.

  45. Lilly M.
    July 29th, 2009 at 4:22 pm · Link

    I like books where the setting changes throughout the book. I hate it when the story stays in one place throughout the entire book.

  46. Jessica
    July 29th, 2009 at 4:58 pm · Link

    I read alot of books and as long as they hold my attention the setting could be anywhere.

  47. Mary Preston
    July 29th, 2009 at 5:15 pm · Link

    Character & plot are paramount. Having said that I would choose a book with a ‘building’ as an important part of the plot. Mansion, castle, stately home, estate, plantation etc. I was to be drawn entirely into the location. I guess that just about rules out beach & leans more towards mist over the moors.

  48. Beverly G.
    July 29th, 2009 at 5:29 pm · Link

    oops i forgot to answer the question for me honestly i like a little of everything from ballrooms in England to forests in scottland and the abby in ireland if the setting is great and te storyline helps it then its worth reading and i agree i like when the settings change and isnt one set place

  49. Diane Sadler
    July 29th, 2009 at 5:56 pm · Link

    I don’t have a particular place though I do like books that are located in New Orleans. But all in all anywhere so long as the story is good

  50. jessi
    July 29th, 2009 at 6:02 pm · Link

    I really don’t care, but some of my favorite settings are Europe, Central/South America, and Australia. This way can escape to another part of the world (and another time–don’t care about those either).

    Jessi 😆