A California native, novelist Tracy Reed pushes the boundaries of her Christian foundation with her sometimes racy and often fiery tales.
After years of living in the Big Apple, this self proclaimed New Yorker draws from the city’s imagination, intrigue, and inspiration to cultivate characters and plot lines who breathe life to the words on every page.
Tracy’s passion for beautiful fashion and beautiful men direct her vivid creative power towards not only novels, but short stories, poetry, and podcasts. With something for every attention span.
Tracy Reed’s ability to capture an audience is unmatched. Her body of work has been described as a host of stimulating adventures and invigorating expression.
The award-winning “Sweet, Funny, and Strange” series of anthologies from the Bethlehem Writers Group, continues with this collection of twenty-five tales about real, legendary, or imaginary animals. From snakes to ducks to unicorns, there are tales here to match any mood, provide a chuckle, or warm a heart.
Among our tales, Peter Barbour recounts a legend in “Why Bats Live in Caves,” Jerome W. McFadden asks the question of what animal to choose to be in “Recycled,” A. E. Decker shares an appreciation of cephalopods in “Tipping Point,” Ralph Hieb imagines an unconventional pet in “Buttons,” and Diane Sismour, in “Critter,” reveals that mules are not the only equines that can have a stubborn streak.
In addition, we are happy to present the winning stories from the 20I9 and 2020 Bethlehem Writers Roundtable Short Story Awards. Angela Albertson, our 20I9 winner, shares her heartfelt “Oranges and Roses,” and our 2020 winner, Brett Wolff, gives us a good laugh in “Hubbard Has a Fancy Bra.”
This eclectic assemblage of stories includes terrific tales from beloved BWG authors including Courtney Annicchiarico, Jeff Baird, Jodi Bogert, Marianne H. Donley, DT Krippene, Emily P. W. Murphy, Christopher D. Ochs, Dianna Sinovic, Kidd Wadsworth, Paul Weidknecht, Carol L. Wright, and Will Wright.
So cuddle up with your favorite pet-real or imaginary. No matter. You’ll find just the right story to share.
I titled this post “Blank is a Daily Struggle” because each day can bring its own set of challenges. Sometimes for me writing is a daily struggle, my health can be a daily struggle. Our finances and dealing with our children. In essence, everything in life can be, well,…a struggle.
Since we are all writers here, I’m going to focus on how writing is a daily struggle. I work almost full time now and finding the mental capacity to write has become a new challenge.
I tried writing after work, but most days I have no mental capacity left. I’ve tried to plan in the morning, and then I had 8am calls every day for a few weeks, and that routine went out the window. So, right now I focus on different times each week and weekends.
I just didn’t want to sit. Of course I had been sick all last week and resting when I wasn’t working, so I was a little done with the messes in my house and inability to move around without being lightheaded.
So instead of pushing myself, I gave myself grace. And focused my energies where I seemed to want to go. It helped. It was like I needed to clean off the desk so I could start new.
That’s how I try to approach each new day.
One of my favorite things to do each morning is focus on the fact that it’s a NEW day. And each new day is a re-start to whatever happened before.
It’s not always easy.
But sometimes it helps immensely.
A clean slate to start new. New words. New projects. New edits. It doesn’t matter how much I did or didn’t do the day before, what matters is how purposeful I am today.
The planner I’m using this year – My Brilliant Writing Planner – has sections to focus on ourselves as a whole. Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, sensory, creative. We are made up of all these parts. But we don’t always pay attention to all these parts of ourselves.
When something is a struggle it could be that we are out of balance with one of these and we need to take time to replenish ourselves in a way that continues to help us function the best we can.
Just something to think about.
Just some rambling thoughts this month, as I try to balance life. Each day does feel like a daily struggle if I allow it to overwhelm me. I’m trying really hard not to do that. And I just wanted to share in case you were struggling too. I hope you find some encouragement in my words and that you have a blessed day.
If you are interested in checking our the 2021 My Brilliant Writing Planner, take a look at this website. She redesigns them every year and this year there are multiple sizes and types. I find them very adaptable to my needs, and I know Kitty has mentioned she uses them too. I already have mine!
I wrote a post recently about Finding Motivation to Accomplish Your Goals, and showed a few pics of the inside of my planner, if you wanted to take a peek.
The day before publication day for The Resistance Girl, I jolted awoke at 7:30 a.m. to the acute smell of smoke.
Burning in my eyes, throat. My chest heavy.
Tree branches scrapping against my windowpane and strong winds blowing and howling like a wild banshee had escaped from the netherworld. I swear the creature was hell-bent on dragging the hot flames closer and closer on the hem of her petticoats.
A cold fear rattled my bones. A sense of ‘This can’t be happening‘ turned my blood to ice.
I had gone to bed two hours earlier since I was up all night tweeting and posting on social media about my Paris WW 2 historical, The Resistance Girl, set during the Occupation and scheduled to pub the next day. I was exhausted but…
The acrid smell was so powerful, it dragged me out of a deep sleep.
I ran to my window on the second floor overlooking the front lawn, my heart in my throat. What I saw shook me to the bone.
A bright, rusty-orange sky…
Fire… but where?
I soon discovered the fire was less than six miles away… zero percent contained with capricious winds powered by a powerful Santa Ana with flames popping up in random places. Who knew where the burning embers would land… then ignite?
A nightmare in the making.
I turned on the air purifier, closed all the windows, and flipped on the local TV news.
And drank a ton of hot mocha coffee.
Then boom! Just when I was starting to get a grip on the situation, the powerful winds blew down my backyard fence in a big huff and puff worthy of Mr Wolf himself. What next?
I kept telling myself my heroine Sylvie Martone, French cinema star, had survived horrific events during the war… grilling by the Gestapo, dangerous treks across France to save downed pilots, attacked by SS. Whatever happened, I could handle it.
Fueled by her courage, I kept working on promoting my book while tossing important stuff into a go-to bag just in case I had to leave (note to self: keep that bag up-to-date). The next two days were a mad blur of Emergency Alerts on my phone, texts, phone calls, stand-by evacuation orders… and checking on family and friends.
Dear friends of mine did have to evacuate, but their home was undamaged, thank God. And my beautiful and vivacious daughter-in-law Kelly got caught on the toll road with smoke rolling across the highway as the fire advanced — I insisted she come and stay with me rather than go back to her place. My son agreed and rushed over to help us.
Kelly ended up spending a few days with me and I was so grateful for her support… and happy I could help her. It was then I realized how Sylvie felt when she was working for the Resistance and had no one to confide in…. except a young woman who becomes very important in her life when Sylvie saves her from the hands of the Gestapo.
Which brings me to my Boldwood red roses…
My lovely editor, Nia Beynon, and Team Boldwood sent me a dozen red roses on pub day. The gorgeous scent of roses lifted my mood and filled my soul.
The moment was made more special because I waited to open the box of flowers until Kelly arrived after work so she could share it with me. We gushed over them like teenagers getting corsages for the prom. Even my usually quiet, surfer-dude son was impressed with the lovely roses — and grateful we were both okay.
Which brings me to an important theme in The Resistance Girl.
My story is a dual timeline with Sylvie’s granddaughter Juliana intent on solving the mystery of her grandmother’s mysterious and notorious past in present day.
While Sylvie risks her life to save those she loves in Paris during World War II — her family. France. And her home.
Over the next few days, the fires were slowly contained and evacuation orders lifted, but I’ll never forget the fear and trepidation they brought, the mad dash to pack, and the instinct to keep my loved ones close and safe. Like my heroine, Sylvie Martone, I believe there’s nothing more important than family.
Because in the end…
There’s no place like home.
Two women. One heartbreaking secret.
Sylvie Martone is the star of French cinema, and adored by fans. But as Nazi officers swarm the streets of Paris, she is spotted arm in arm with an SS Officer and her fellow Parisians begin to turn against her.
However Sylvie has a secret – one she must protect with her life.
Juliana Chastain doesn’t know anything about her family history. While her mother was alive she remained very secretive about her past.
So when Juliana discovers a photograph of a glamorous French actress from World War Two amongst her mother’s possessions, she is in shock to find herself looking at her grandmother – especially as she is arm in arm with a Nazi Officer…
Desperate for answers, Juliana is determined to trace the journey of her grandmother. Surely there is more to the photograph than meets the eye?
But as she delves into Sylvie’s past, nothing can prepare Juliana for the tales of secrets, betrayal and sacrifice which she will uncover.
Amazon Buy Links:
And read the story behind the story about how my love affair with Paris shaped The Resistance Girl. https://www.boldwoodbooks.com/the-resistance-girl-jina-bacarr/
Listen to ‘chapters’ read by my favorite narrator, Laurel Lefkow, and relive the story of cinema star Sylvie Martone out to defeat the Occupiers
I’m in full holiday mode. My gift shopping is nearly done, I’ll do a little baking, but it will be limited this year, and I’m ready for Thanksgiving turkey and holiday decorating. Christmas songs are playing in my head.
In between wrapping gifts and writing, you’ll find me curled up reading holiday books. In my head Karen Carpenter is singing Sleigh Ride and I feel the same hope and wonder that I’ve felt every holiday season since I was a little girl.
And so of course, I’ve written a Christmas romcom, because after all…it’s Christmas.
#12DancingSantas is the last book in my #HermosafortheHolidays series, and as I finish it, I feel like I’m spending time with friends.
The whole series is set in my fictional version of Hermosa Beach, California, and is centered around a social media app called Framed. Framed is a social networking app similar to Instagram. Members have a profile and a ‘wall’ where their pictures and pictures that they are tagged in hang for their followers to see. Other members can comment on photos on your wall. Since the beginning of the year…or the beginning of the series, the heroines of these stories have gone viral on Framed for one reason or another.
This is Brenda’s story, and it’s a bit of a reverse Cinderella story. Brenda is a school teacher, who loves to cook. She and her friends are at the Hermosa Beach Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, they’ve just watched a performance by twelve firemen from the local beach city fire departments, dancing on roller blades to a medley of Christmas songs from classic to current. The performance has ended, and the girls are discussing how to spend the rest of the evening when one of the Santa’s skates over to the little group of friends, grabs Brenda, bends her back and gives her the most romantic and magical kiss that she’s ever experienced. But he skates off so quickly that she doesn’t get a chance to find out who he is.
As luck, would have it, a boot falls out of his duffle bag, and now Brenda is on a search for the man who fits the boot. With girlfriends, chocolate and mistletoe she just might find true love this holiday season…
#12DancingSantas is on preorder at Amazon for just 99 cents right now. I hope you’ll check it out!
In the meantime, I’m wishing all of you, good friends, chocolate (unless you’re allergic) and mistletoe this holiday season.
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