Monday, August 23, 2010

Welcome, Fran Shaff

Great Stories

What if a man’s wife kidnapped a baby and arranged for the two of them to adopt the boy illegally?

And the man didn’t learn the truth about what his wife had done until a year after she died--when his son was five years old?

What would an honest man do? Trash the evidence and forget what he’d learned? No way could he risk losing his beloved son, could he?

In my contemporary romance STOLEN SON Rafe Wallace is faced with this dilemma. Once he learns the truth, there is no way he can forget what he knows. He fully understands he must report what he’s discovered, no matter what it may cost him.

On the other hand, whether his conscience dictates he tell the authorities, birth mother, etc. what has happened or not, he can’t put his son’s happiness at risk. Rafe is the only family Christopher has ever known besides the his adoptive mother. And Christopher’s still hurting over his loss of her. How can Rafe turn his world upside down again so soon after the death of his mother?

Rafe devises a plan to both reveal what he’s learned about the kidnapping and guard Christopher’s happiness. He’s a contractor, and he makes an offer to Ella Mason, his son’s birth mother, to do several remodeling projects for her at cost. He tells her it is an advertising gimmick he hopes will help him grow his business. Ella accepts his offer, and Rafe is in a position to learn all about her. If she’s a good woman whom he can trust with Christopher’s well being, he will tell her the truth. If she’s not, he’ll go against his forthright nature and take his secret to the grave in order to protect his son.

While nothing in this scenario is simple, things get a whole lot more complicated when Rafe falls in love with Ella.

Great stories are complex stories with multifaceted characters.

I LOVE complicated romantic stories, and readers seem to enjoy them too. Judging by the setup given here for STOLEN SON, it seems impossible for Rafe and Ella to be on speaking terms let alone fall in love or have a future together. Yet this book does include a “happily ever after” ending--even though Rafe and Ella have serious complications they must face and resolve to get there.

The best stories are those which have heroes and heroines with goals which are in direct conflict. In STOLEN SON, each protagonist wants to have his/her son, and it is impossible for both of them to achieve these goals (isn’t it?).

The movie HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN TEN DAYS has a heroine who wants to make a man fall for her then drop him within ten days. The hero wants to make a woman fall in love with him and commit to him. Opposite goals, and quite unachievable, right?

In my historical romance LAURA’S LOST LOVE the heroine wants to place a child from the orphan train in her home, and it is the hero’s job to keep this from happening because Laura is not married. Town law dictates that orphan train children may be placed with married couples only. Opposite positions, and if Laura wasn’t such a strong, inventive and clever woman, she’d soundly lose her battle.

As a writer, whether I’m writing historical or contemporary romance, I strive to pit protagonists against each other in one way or another. This gives them challenges beyond what they must face while opposing the antagonists in their story.

As a reader, I enjoy stories full of conflict and rich characters who are really, really good at being bad, good or indifferent, depending on who they are.

Extreme conflict, engrossing drama, cleverly-written comedy, all with rich characters, these are the elements of a great story which draw readers in, hold their attention and keep them yearning for more.

My link to my web page is:

The link to my page for STOLEN SON is:


Rhobin said...

Stolen Son sounds excellent, Fran, as does Laura's Lost Love. Conflict is what makes a story interesting. Thanks, Ginger and Fran, for an interesting post.

Fran Shaff said...

Rhobin, Thanks for your kind words. I'm really pleased you stopped by!

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