Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pull Up A Chair With Mon ~ Let's Talk About: Tips for Writing a Short Story #WriteTips #Romance

Tips for Writing a Short Story

I'm thrilled to have Linda Carroll-Bradd here with me today. She's a talented author of over sixteen published books and novellas. She's kindly agreed to pull up a chair with me and share both her tips for writing short stories and an excerpt from her new release. I can't wait to read her stellar advice on a simple way to plot a short story. If you've been waiting for an easy to understand guide to the short story, you've come to the right place.

Monique: Welcome, Linda! So thrilled to have you here.

Linda: Thanks, Monique, I'm happy to be here.

Monique: First can you share your tips for writing a short story with us. I don't know about the rest of  you, but I can't wait! Then will you give us a peek at your new release: Unlocked Treasure?

Linda: Several months ago, I took an online class in writing a short story. My purpose in taking the class was to get fired up to write to a specific deadline. I’d been procrastinating and needed the push because I wasn’t getting a handle on my story. Besides the push, I gathered a few tips I wanted to share. As with every class I take, I tweak the info to fit my own needs.

In writing short shorts (5K words), the set-up is fairly easy—First meet, Refusal, Second meet, Acceptance. In that length, the story should be immediate and take place within a very short time frame. Look too easy? Really, the structure is just a skeleton but you figure that each of those steps can only take approximately 1,250 words (which is 5 pages), and writing that suddenly becomes manageable.

No need to write out long character biographies or go into detailed research on a particular setting. The focus will be tight on the characters and their involvement, but that has to happen somewhere. And you’ll have to provide a sense of the type of personalities these characters have. One of my go-to ways for characterization is to rely on an archetype from The Writer’s Guide to Heroes & Heroines by Tami Cowden, Caro LaFever,  & Sue Viders. To kick off the plot, I toss in a couple standard romantic tropes (Reunion, Woman in Jeopardy, Baby on the Doorstep, Revenge, Amnesia, Seeking Justice, etc.) and then I flesh out the specific details unique to this couple. 

For anyone wishing to have a copy of the template, go to this FOLDER on Dropbox.

This method has served me well over the past few months as I’ve used the template to write and contract three stories that were accepted into anthologies: Bewitching Gypsy in Spooktacular Seductions releasing 10/31; Wanderer, Come Home, in Cowboys, Creatures and Calico, Vol 1--available now; and Clari’s Hero in Present For a Cowboy, coming for Christmas.

Earlier this year, I wrote a story that includes genealogy, broken engagement, pirate history, yachting, treasure hunting, ancient maps—my research was all encompassing. Only when I focused on the elements described above did the story and the interactions between the characters come together. That became Unlocked Treasure, a contemporary novella with Halloween-themed events released by The Wild Rose Press.

Unlocked Treasure

Will a prophecy keep a lonely woman from accepting the promise of adventure?


Aleen MacRae blames the lure of the sea for breaking apart first her family then her engagement. When her interest is caught by a treasure-seeking man, she resists—afraid to believe in her aunt’s prediction that her future is tied to the sea. Braden Williams is tracing his heritage and the pirate treasure linked to his ancestor. Will Aleen play things safe or accept what this free-spirited man offers?


Ah, the story of her life—practically invisible. The reminder his first sighting had been of her bikini-clad backside made her blush. Still didn’t change the facts. Aleen squared her shoulders. “I remember, but the Manor grounds are still closed.” Should she be nervous about being alone with this stranger, especially one who ignored posted rules?
Sorry for the intrusion. Let me start over.” Smiling, he approached and extended his right hand. “My name’s Braden Williams.”
Aleen bit her lower lip, but accepted his hand. “Pleased to meet you. I’m Aleen MacRae.” At the moment their hands clasped, she felt warmth flooding her fingers. With a jerk, she released her grip, tingling sensations running along her skin. Immediately, the scent of fresh air and summer breezes wafted her way. Definitely a man of the sea. Just where I foretold your future lies. Whispers of her great-aunt Zsofika’s prophecy trickled through Aleen’s thoughts. At the memory, her cheeks flamed with heat.
Wow.” Frowning, Braden flexed his hand and narrowed his gaze then dropped it to his flexing fingers. “That was bizarre.”
Static electricity, from all that wind yesterday.” A reasonable explanation. In the back of her mind, Aleen could hear Zsofika scoff, “Static schmatic. A connection like that is destiny.”
Well…” His gaze searched her face. “Aleen—hey, that’s pretty, like the direction alee.” A wide smile exposed even teeth.
Her own smile dimmed. Like I’ve never heard that before. “Thanks.” This guy was not charming his way around the rules. “Sorry, but you’ll need to come back when the gardens are open for visitors. That’s Wednesdays through—”
Yeah, I read the sign.” He gave a dismissive wave then turned to gaze back at the main house. “But I just needed five minutes to check out some dimensions and the lot layout.”
So, you woke up this morning and just decided to start out your week by trespassing?”

Giveaway contest running through 10/26 on Linda's blog or her Facebook pages.


Author BIO

As a child, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about characters having exciting adventures in places far away. As an adult, she discovered romance books and read them at every spare moment. Upon reaching a landmark birthday, she decided to write one of those romances she loved so much. Easier said than done. Perseverance paid out and twelve years later, she received her first call from a publisher and a confession story was published. Now Linda writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor and a bit of sass, and many have a tie to her previous home of Texas.

Linda currently lives in the southern California mountains with her husband of 35 years and their two much-loved dogs, Shiba Inu Keiko and terrier mix Phoenix.

Linda's hiding places:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

YOU DON'T GET JOE! Book Hook Hop #MFRWhooks #Romance #eBooks

I'm all about the blog hops this week :). 

This one is Book Hooks Meme, hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers. As a member of MFRW I get to participate in this wonderful blog hop, along with some great authors who will be sharing snippets of our books today. 

My featured book is You Don't Get Joe! my Valentine novella. Hey, since I fully believe we can make every day Valentine's, I decided to share a bit of You Don't Get Joe! with you. Hope you enjoy the taster! Don't forget to hop on over to MFRW Authors Blog to read the other authors in the Book Hook Hop! 

You Don't Get Joe!

A lot can happen in six days!

There’s no secret that New York columnist Robyn (Robbie) Dare hates Valentine’s Day. So when her editor assigns her the task of writing a column about V-Day, she advises her readers to skip it. Dubbed The Valentine Hater, at least one person is out for blood, leaving Robbie little choice but to beat a hasty retreat back to her family in the UK. It wouldn’t be so bad, if heartthrob Joe Langford wasn’t right on hand to welcome her back. She used to have a thing for Joe. So did her sister. Five years ago, Robyn pretended to choose her career and walked away, but she always regretted her decision.

There was a time when Joe longed to rectify the mistake he made when he let the woman he loved walk out of his life. Now she’s back and bringing a heap of trouble with her. Good thing Joe likes trouble. He isn’t sure how this mess will turn out, but one thing Joe knows for sure, skipping Valentine’s Day just might be the best thing Robbie ever did!



Her lack of sleep must have lowered her inhibitions, because Robyn would never have submitted to the desire otherwise.

She glanced at the bedside clock. Was that the time? She checked her phone.

Yep. Three thirty-five p.m.!

She could snuggle back under the covers and sleep the rest of the day away... or... she thought of Joe. A fuzzy flutter in her belly had her sliding from the warm comfort mattress and heading to the en suite shower. She had to get his number from her mum, phone him, and apologise. She wasn’t in the habit of begging for kisses. 

She wanted him to know that. 

(C) Monique DeVere 2014
All Rights Reserved


You can purchase You Don't Get Joe! from any Amazon store, but here are two for your convenience. You can also borrow the novella from Amazon Prime in the US or KindleUnlimited here in the UK.

Don't forget to check out the other MFRW snippets HERE.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

#MySexySaturday ZACH'S REBOUND GIRL #MSSAuthor #Romance @MySexySaturday #Saturday7

It's been a few weeks since I last participated in a blog hop so I decided to join in the My Sexy Saturday Blog Hop this week. The hop requires participating authors to post 7 paragraphs, 7 sentences or 7 words from a WIP (work in progress) or published work. 

The theme this time is A Sexy Thriller. My 7 sentence snippet comes from Zach's Rebound Girl, my full length Romantic Comedy, light Mystery/Suspense which is set here in the UK and in Vermont. It's from a sexy scene that gets interrupted in a very chilling way...


Goodbye quiet geek ... hello hot TV personality.

Television property renovator Maddison de la Botella is popular, adored, and on the brink of snagging the opportunity to restore her ancestral home—if a ruthless developer doesn’t tear it down first! Her life has suddenly gone from smooth to bumpy, and it all starts the night she discovers her new neighbour ogling her in her hot tub is none other than Zachary Canady! Her once-upon-a-time best friend and heartbreaker.

He’s still way too gorgeous, still makes her heart flip—and still sees her as just a friend. Back in uni, Zach made sure she understood men wanted exciting women. And there was nothing exciting about Maddie. Now ten years on, here’s her chance to make him notice she’s a living, breathing, desirable woman—even if she almost cracks a tooth to prove it. But is it coincidence that as soon as Zach re-enters her life, she becomes curiously accident-prone?

Commercial property developer, Zach is about to close the business deal of his career until his past catches up with him, and he’s knocked sideways by the stunner next door. Suddenly he can’t decide what he’s protecting Maddie from—his white-hot desire, or the psychotic stalker out to harm her.


He smiled and she fancied she saw adoration there too. “I was waiting for the perfect time to tell you this, but every time I’m with you is perfect. Maddie, I—”

A metallic click interrupted whatever Zach was about to say. 

She glanced over her shoulder. 

Her heart nearly leapt out of her chest, a trillion pinpricks of shock and fear exploded through her. 

Zach’s arms tightened around her as they both stared toward the person walking out from behind the wide trunk of an oak tree, a small gun clasped between hands at chest level, elbows locked, contempt glinting from a cold glare.
(C) Monique DeVere 2014
All Rights Reserved


If you enjoyed this snippet and would like to read the entire novel, you can purchase Zach's Rebound Girl exclusively from any Amazon store. Or you can borrow the novel from Amazon Prime in the US or Amazon KindleUnlimited in the UK. 

AmazonUS   ~*~   AmazonUK

Thanks for stopping by to read My Sexy Saturday 7. Please visit the other blogs in this hop for more tasty snippets HERE.

Hugs x

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Cover Reveal: New Cover & Title ~ Ethan's Temporary Fling (Book 1 in the Sexiest Eye Candy series) #Romance

After thinking about this for a while, I finally decided to change the title and cover of Sexiest Eye Candy. Since book 2 will be titled Brad's Beck 'n' Call girl, I thought it might be prudent to change book 1 to reflect the theme. Sexiest Eye Candy (Book 1 of the Sexiest Eye Candy series) is now titled: Ethan's Temporary Fling.

Then I decided to also have the cover re-made. I spent some time with my amazing cover designer and close friend--the wonderful Crystal Swan--and she came up with the fab cover you see below! I just love this new cover. Thanks Crystal!

The story hasn't changed, just the title and cover.

You can purchase Ethan's Temporary Fling from any Amazon store. Here are two for your convenience.

Monday, September 29, 2014

#FreeKindleBooks SEXIEST EYE CANDY is #FREE for 3 days ~ Tuesday-Thursday. Grab ur #FreeRomance now!

I'm thrilled to be going free for three day! Well not contemporary romance Sexiest Eye Candy is free for the next few days--Tuesday 30th September-Thursday 2nd October. 

If you like your romance sweet (No foul language) and steamy, go grab a copy ASAP. 

Reviews for Sexiest Eye Candy:

"LOVED this story The chemistry between Karis and Ethan rocks!" ✩✩✩✩✩

"A fun, sexy, addictive read that's perfect for the beach." ✩✩✩✩✩

"Monique has done it again! I love this womans stories. So good and leaves you itching for more." ✩✩✩✩

"Sexiest Eye Candy" was cute, funny, witty and sensual all rolled up into one great and original plot!" ✩✩✩✩✩

"In an light, natural writing style that flows easily from one page to another, author Monique DeVere gives the reader an incredibly steamy, erotic read." ✩✩✩✩✩

"Never judge a man by his cover" ✩✩✩✩✩

Back Cover Copy

He’s so sexy he has the title to prove it!

Super-hunky, weight-loss celebrity Ethan Stone brings out Dr. Karis Van de Burke’s inner bad-girl. To prove it, when Ethan accepts the challenge to persuade the sassy, love-rejected cosmetic surgeon to appear as a guest on his show, she ends up inviting him into her bed for one night of guilty pleasure instead.

Used to women throwing themselves at him boobs first, Ethan knows his way around every female erogenous zone, but the sizzling chemistry he has with Karis blindsides him. Soon he’s convincing her to extend their one-night to another ... and another ... and...

Karis can’t resist! Yet, if Ethan discovers her secret, he’ll ditch her as fast as her ex-fiancĂ© had -- but really, what could go wrong in a one-week, tangle-free, affair?

Get your FREE copy today.

AmazonUS ~*~ AmazonUK