Sunday, February 26, 2012

Miss Matched, Miss Calculated

Exciting news, Readers. In March my "Montana Moonlight Duo" will be available through major e-book retailers.

The "Montana Moonlight Duo" contains two full-length contemporary romances "Miss Matched" and its sequel "Miss Calculated."

One-line blurbs for these two highly-entertaining novels are below.

Miss Matched: A woman's life is drastically changed when she breaches her ethics and falls in love with her client.

Miss Calculated: A graduate student thinks she's figured out everything there is to know about love until a handsome cowboy teaches her a few lessons she'd never learned in school.

Beautiful Montana is the location; the heroes are cowboys; the stories are highly romantic.

The "Montana Moonlight Duo" will have its own page full of more info and excerpts. I'll let you know when it's available.

Take care, dear Readers, and have a wonderful week.


Fran Shaff, Award-Winning Author

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Free E-Books

Get to know a new writer's work by downloading her free e-book.

Check out these books available for free at the links below.

The Beauty and Beast E
By Beate Boeker
A short story

All Jill wants is a calm wellness evening in the secure environment of her bath to recuperate from an exhausting week at work. However, fate intervenes in the form of an attractive neighbor . . .

"The Beauty" At Amazon

Nothing but Trouble
By Lisa Mondello

Stoney Buxton needs to raise cash fast to save the family ranch after a barn fire injured his father and left the family finances in ruin. Re-entering the rodeo circuit seems like the best way to get the money he needs. That is until Melanie Summers shows up at his ranch flashing easy money. T

To everyone else, Melanie's offer seems like the answer to all his prayers. But one look at her long legs and pouting lips and Stoney knows this high society gal is going to be nothing but trouble...for his cowboy heart.

Nothing But Trouble at Amazon

A Bride for Tom
by Ruth Ann Nordin

Tom Larson is having trouble finding a wife, and Jessica Reynolds decides to help him overcome his awkward and clumsy manners so he can attract women. This historical romantic comedy is rated G.

A Bride for Tom at B&N

A Bride for Tom at Amazon

Finding Peace
By Sandra Carey Cody

The life of a disillusioned peace activist takes on new meaning when she takes a day off to visit a small town Folk Festival-all because she couldn't ignore a dog in distress.

Finding Peace at BN

I hope, if you haven't yet enjoyed books by these authors, you'll give them a try!


Fran Shaff, Award-Winning Author

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How to Write a Book, Sort of

When we write a book we read (and re-write), re-read (and re-write) and re-read (and re-write) our copy as we work to improve the story. In addition to writing a plot which makes sense and entices readers to continue their reading, we’ve got to keep an eye on many other things involved in the writing of a story.

Here a few things we need to keep in mind:

1. Characters: consistencies in the way they behave (true to their nature, to who they are), in their physical descriptions, their histories as “people,” etc.
2. Settings: where are the characters--country, state, city, house, room, etc.
3. Who: who’s in the scene, where are they, what are they doing, etc.
4. Goals: what are the goals of the POV character in the scene, story, etc.
5. POV: In whose point of view are we writing and why

While these are the main things we writers must keep in mind as we trudge through our story’s plot, we also must be aware of HOW we are saying what we are saying.

How are we:

1. Phrasing our description?
2. Describing our setting?
3. Illustrating our characters through dialogue?
4. Making POV clear to our readers?
5. Using words cleverly to execute our plot?

With all these things working in our heads at the same time as we strive to write a story which can be easily read by our dear readers, it’s no wonder we can miss the little things which tend to bog down a story’s pace such as:

1. Using meaningless intensifiers such as “perhaps” “very” or “always”
2. Using “that” where it isn’t necessary
3. Using extraneous phrases such as “as a matter of fact” “when all is said and done”
4. Using redundant modifiers like “past memories” “important essentials” “tiny little”
5. Using repetitive categories such as “huge in size” and “blue in color”

A good method to use in writing a book is this:

1. Work on plot layout and characters
2. Once your pre-writing work is done (research, plot layout, character identification) write the first draft working mainly on the storyline
3. Second draft should concentrate on fixing weaknesses on plot and character
4. Third draft and succeeding drafts should continue to fix weaknesses
5. Final draft should fix all the edits such as the overuse of intensifiers, “that” type of words, and redundant words and phrases, etc.

Of course, you may already have a better way of doing things, but if you need a little steering or grounding as you struggle to complete your book, I hope these tips help.

Good luck with your current project.


Fran Shaff, Award-Winning Author