In DESIRED, the newest novel by award-winning author Anna Jeffrey, Miranda March is committed to taking care of her ailing mother. But when handsome and rich Harvey (Tack) Tackett reappears in her life after a passionate one-night stand, Miranda’s world is turned upside down. Trying to have a romantic relationship with Tack or any man would be as hard as mixing oil and water. Can she solve the conundrum and find a happy-ever-after with Tack?
Miranda March wears her extraordinary beauty like a mask to conceal her emotional vulnerability. A successful small businesswoman, she might appear to be in control of her universe, but ever in the back of her mind is the one thing that can yank the rug out from under her at any moment: Her mother who suffers from mental illness.
Enter handsome, sensual—and rich—Harvey (Tack) Tackett, a friend of a friend, in town overnight on business. The instant they meet, Miranda feels a connection that stirs her to break one of the rules she lives by—no foolish flings with men passing in the night. After a night of passionate lovemaking like she’s never known, profound emotions emerge. She believes the feeling is mutual. But Tack leaves town without so much as a call and she hears no more from him. As she struggles to overcome her disappointment, she learns her mother has sunk into a depression that calls for immediate attention. Miranda has no choice but to move Mom in to live with her. Her life will never be the same.
From out of the blue, Tack reappears. But it’s too late. Miranda is committed to her duty to her mother. Trying to have a romantic relationship with Tack or any man would be as hard as mixing oil and water. She has already tried and failed at that. Can she solve the conundrum and find a happy-ever-after with Tack?
About Anna Jeffrey:
Anna Jeffrey is an award-winning author of mainstream romance novels as well as romantic comedy/mystery. She has authored and published 11 romance novels under the pseudonym of Anna Jeffrey and co-authored 7 as USA Today Bestselling author, Dixie Cash.
Anna Jeffrey’s books have won the Write Touch Readers’ Award, the Aspen Gold, and the More Than Magic awards. Her books have placed or finaled in the Colorado Romance Writers award, the Golden Quill and Southern Magic as well as the Write Touch Readers’ Award, the Aspen Gold, the More than Magic awards and the NEC Readers’ Choice Award. She is a member of Romance Writers of America.
Anna is a fifth generation Texan. She was born and grew up in West Texas, where most of her family members were farmers and ranchers or worked in the oil fields.
She has always been a voracious reader. As a child, she participated in storytelling competitions. As she grew older, she competed in writing contests. At some point, she developed an ambition to write fiction, but life got in the way. She left Texas for many years and lived in four of the western states, a rich experience she’ll never forget. Only after she returned to Texas, did she sit down and try her hand at fiction. Most of her stories begin with the premise of ordinary people facing unexpected life events and handling them in an honorable, courageous way.
She loves most things western, from the customs and culture to the philosophy of life. She enjoys many hobbies, i.e., reading, painting and drawing, crafting, needlework and beading among others.
These days, she’s back home in Texas. She and her husband currently live in a small town not far from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
Anna kindly agreed to share some of her secrets to success with us today.
Tips for up and coming writers
The first tip I would give any writer is read good books. And read and read. Read authors whose prose you admire, whose stories have the flavor you would like to convey in your own writings. If your goal is to write romances novels, read in the romance genre. If you want to write thrillers, read in that genre. Watch good movies with dramatic stories. (And by that, I mean “real” stories. A movie of 2 hours of explosions is not a real story.) Not only will you be entertained, you will subconsciously learn story structure.
Never stop learning. A long time ago, one of the college exercises used in teaching writing was to have a student choose a book and re-write it in longhand word for word. The object was not to plagiarize. Something about writing in longhand brands the memory with the style of the writing, the twist of a phrase, the complexity of the sentences and even good grammar. I’ve done this. Years back, I did choose a book I liked and re-wrote it on a yellow tablet in longhand. I only worked at it a little bit every day, so it took forever. But when I finished, I realized I had seen things subtle little things in the writing that I hadn’t seen before, so I had learned something.
Learning to be a grammarian will save you hours of time and make your writing smarter. I have half a dozen books on grammar, but my favorite is “Woe is I” by Patricia O’Connor. It’s a small book that’s quick and easy to use. It might be hard to call yourself a writer if you can’t put together a sentence using correct grammar.
Learn to punctuate correctly. It’s hard to construct complex sentences if you don’t know how to punctuate them. Incorrect punctuation might cause you to say something you don’t mean. This is in the same category as learning good grammar.
Become your own best editor. Ernest Hemingway’s genius was being able to say volumes in very few words. Even if you don’t admire Ernest Hemingway, learn to trim the fat from your prose. It will streamline your writing and make it easy to read. Start with killing adverbs, then adjectives. Take a critical look at all of your adverbs and adjectives, including phrases that act as such. I know how challenging this is. Even after all of the words I’ve written, I still battle with it. ….. Remember that the average reading level in the US is 8th grade, so never use a 50-cent word when a 5-cent word will do.
Choose a writing guru who has studied journalism, as Ernest Hemingway had. No one has learned to trim fat writing better than someone who has studied journalism. Example: Michael Connelly.
You can never have a story with too much dialogue. One of the sweeps I do after I finish a book is to go back through it and check all of the narrative to see if I could somehow say it in dialogue. Dialogue is showing. Narrative is telling. Dialogue is the epitome of characterization.
Avoid anachronisms in dialogue. They distract, even annoy, readers and make you look dumb. Learn how to write realistic speech for the era in which you want to set your story. Read books that portray the era, study how the author has handled the dialogue. If you write contemporary, eavesdrop to learn how people speak. Take notes. Learn slang. Many books are available on slang from different eras and different cultures. Buy a couple for reference.
Last but not least, do the chair time. Park your butt in the chair in front of your computer and produce. Finish a manuscript. No matter what else I’m doing, I manage to write for at least 30 minutes every day. If I’m really pressed, I set a kitchen timer for 30 minutes and don’t allow anything to interrupt me for that little bit of time. I’ve done that for 20 years. By that method, I’ve held down an outside job, run an outside small business and written 18 novels. Discipline yourself and accomplishment will sneak up on you.
Above all, don’t be boring.
Great advice Anna. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. I especially like the part about never having too much dialogue!
Anna is offering up two fabulous prizes during the Desired Release Day Blitz event. One lucky winner will receive a $10 Gift Card for Amazon and another winner will win a signed print copy of The Cattleman, Book 2 of the Sons of Texas trilogy! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below: