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Author Tracy Reed debuts The Good Girl Part Trois!!

February 2, 2021 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , , , ,

Tracy Reed | A Slice of OrangeA 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.

Jann: What inspired you to write The Good Girl series?

Tracy: This is a very easy question, sort of. I was asked to be in a box set and needed a book. The box set was focusing on heroines in their twenties. I had a possible book, but the heroine was older and it wasn’t possible to make her younger. I kicked around a few possibilities and then I got an idea for a book. A young Christian woman gets her dream job and how she handles the possible ethical and moral challenges. I kicked the idea around some more and started writing.

Jann: How long did it take you to develop your characters, Gabriella Townsend and Phillippe, and plot for the series?

Tracy: I’m a pantser, so all I had was a basic idea…an office romance. I develop my characters on the fly as the story unfolds. I write books with faith and sex. In all my books someone is wrestling with their hormones, urges and faith. I call it real life. People of faith or Christians are not super heroes. They face the same challenges and temptations as anyone else. It’s how they handle them that’s different.

Since I use a basic template, it didn’t take long for me to develop this story. The biggest challenge is to keep Phillippe’s identity a secret. I think I handled that pretty good. I didn’t want Gabriella to come off as naive or not bright although she’s very perceptive. She knows he’s keeping something from her, but she hasn’t been able to figure it out. I sort of address it, by having him tell her there are things about his employment contract he can’t divulge.

I knew the characters had to be the opposite of each other. Gabriella is petite, curvy, pretty and has curly hair. She loves God and has a heart for people. She values character more than money. In the beginning of the series she sounds a little immature, but when she is exposed to Phillippe’s world, she grows up fast. Her dream is to work for Morgan Grant, eventually earning a VP position and a corner office.

Phillippe is a triple threat…handsome, smart and rich. To make him even more appealing, I made him very tall, dark, part French and African. He often slips into French when he gets excited. Which makes some of the love scenes very interesting. Gabriella refers to this womanizer as a walking sex dream. He’s amassed a fortune of his own, but heading Morgan Grant isn’t something he expected to do until much later.

Jann: The Good Girl Part Trois makes its debut this month. What major conflicts do your leading characters have to work through in this book?

Tracy: The way I write books is a little sadistic. I rope you in with a semi-sweet story and slowly turn up the heat throughout the series.

This book is no different. On a scale of one to five flames, I think this is about a 3.95. Gabriella is wrestling with her emotions and raging hormones. She’s promised herself she would save herself for her husband, but that’s a lot difficult to do when your boyfriend is a walking sex dream…your boss…and neighbor. She’s adjusting to her new life, feelings for her boss and convincing it might be possible to have a future with Phillippe. There’s just one thing gnawing at her, what is Phillippe hiding?

Phillippe has been hiding his identity from the outset of the series. He’s terrified if Gabriella finds out before he proposes, she might leave him. Oops, I let one of the cats out of the bag. The reader has known from book one, who he is, but not Gabriella. In a way it seems like their relationship is built on lies, but it’s more like half-truths and secrets. Phillippe is trying to figure out why his grandfather is insisting he get married before taking over the company and why is his ex-girlfriend back in town.

Without giving too much away, a quiet vacation in Anguilla changes the course of their relationship forever.

Jann: Part One and Part Deux in The Good Girl series are novellas, why is Part Trois a full-length book?

Tracy: Book one had to be a novella for the boxset. As I was writing, I thought it was going to be a one and done. But something happened towards the end. The characters took a turn and I really wanted to see if they could make their relationship work.

In book one, the relationship happened quickly because I was on a deadline. Once I got to the end, I did a horrible thing and ended it with a cliff hanger confirming there would be another book. When I started book two, I read something about the power of cliff hangers for sales. So that’s what I did. I amped if the sexual tension and left it with a cliffhanger. I immediately started writing book three and a couple of people and a highly respected author told me no cliffhanger. Readers don’t like them unless the next book is available.

When I started the third book, I really thought it would be a novella too and that I could tie up everything. Once I started writing, the story kept going. I wish I could tell you what happens. If you’ve read the series, I don’t think you saw the ending coming. I know I didn’t. I have to admit, I was tempted to make Gabriella pregnant, but I thought that was expected. Instead I did something else while keeping Phillippe’s identity a secret from her.

Jann: How many books do you plan for this series? If there is a book four, when will it be out?

Tracy: Yes, there’s a fourth book and I think it will be the end. Book four is a result of what happened in book three. The Good Girl is now a sophisticated businesswoman engaged to her boss. That’s the only spoiler.

I’m writing the last chapters now. My goal is to release it a few months after Part Trois.

Jann: What do you hope readers will take away from this series?

Tracy: Good question. You don’t have to sacrifice your beliefs for love. Or as some would say, It’s just as easy to fall in love with a billionaire as it is to fall for the average bloke. 

Jann: I understand you’re planning on rebranding your Alex series. Tell us about the series and what’s involved to rebrand it.

Tracy: The Alex series are the very first books I’d written. The series is about five best friends and a pact they made in college to never get involved with any of their exes, employees or relative.  Unfortunately, they break the pact.

It was originally written as a chick lit. It was the book I used to get my agent, I had. While it was being shopped around, I wrote another book and started reading a lot. [Early in my career, I was told not to read anyone else’s work. I later found out that was some very bad advice.] The more I read, I more I knew the series needed work. I did a major rewrite.

I stand by this series.  I received an Amazon review from a reader who got my style. “Book one of the series was set on simmer, but book two was a rip roaring inferno. The word used incessantly throughout the book, passion, tells you all you need to know. My favorite couple, Alex and Moses, finally get married, and boyyyyyy they dang near tear each other’s clothes off with their teeth!!! Y’all know that feeling!!!😁😁😁 The second part is just as good as the first part, but be warned, there were some unresolved issues that cropped up. There may be a book three, SURPRISE!!😄😄😄 incess. Buy it, read it and enjoy!!”

Sales have been slow and the few reviews have been pretty good. I believe in this series but know it’s time for a new look The new covers scream contemporary, which is what I want. The female body image is being replaced with man chest. I’m also changing the fonts and updating the blurbs. I’ll be testing the covers with my reader group later this month. 

Jann: You’re a multi-published author. How do you stay motivated? What drives you to keep writing?

Tracy: Good question. The answer for both questions is the same. I like telling stories.

Jann: Thanks Tracy for sharing with us today. Good luck with The Good Girl Part Trois!!


Read Tracy Reed

A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN

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A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN

DESPERATE DESIRE

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DESPERATE DESIRE

FIRST ENCOUNTERS OF LOVE

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FIRST ENCOUNTERS OF LOVE

GENERATIONAL CURSE

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GENERATIONAL CURSE

GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

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GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS
GOD’S BOMBSHELL: LIVING A BEAUTIFUL SINGLE LIFE

INTENTIONAL CURSE

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INTENTIONAL CURSE
LOVE NOTES

MISS MATCH

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MISS MATCH

UNEXPECTED LOVE

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UNEXPECTED LOVE

THE FIX UP

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THE FIX UP

THE FLING

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THE FLING

THE GOOD GIRL PART DEUX

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THE GOOD GIRL PART DEUX

THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

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THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois

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THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois

WHAT MY FRIENDS DON’T KNOW

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WHAT MY FRIENDS DON’T KNOW

WHAT MY FRIENDS NEED TO KNOW

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WHAT MY FRIENDS NEED TO KNOW

THE NIGHT I FELL IN LOVE

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THE NIGHT I FELL IN LOVE

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Author Marianne H. Donley–a woman of many, many talents!!

December 2, 2020 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , , , ,

Marianne H. Donley | A Slice of OrangeMarianne H. Donley writes fiction from short stories to funny romances and quirky murder mysteries fueled by her life as a mom and a teacher. She makes her home in Tennessee with her husband, son, and a new puppy. Marianne manages the multi-author blog, A Slice of Orange. She’s a member of Bethlehem Writers Group, Romance Writers of America, Music City Romance Writers,Sisters in Crime, and Charmed Writers.

You can find all her social media links at https://linktr.ee/mariannehdonley

We’re here today with an amazing woman of many talents: Author, Editor, Wife, Mother, Friend and the woman who is the creator of this wonderful blog site—A Slice of Orange. She’s a featured author in the newest anthology from the Bethlehem Writers Groups’ awarding-winning “Sweet, Funny, and Strange” series of anthologies, FUR, FEATHERS AND SCALES!

Jann: You have two adorable tales in Fur, Feathers, and Scales, which made its debut yesterday. The first, When I Was Your Age and the second, Why Children Have Their Father’s Last Name. How did you come up with the ideas for your stories?

Marianne: From life! When I Was Your Age was based on my grandmother (my dad’s mother). She had so many stories about growing that got worse every time she told them.  Why Children Have Their Father’s Last Name is totally about my husband and my sister, and they were not the good little bunnies.

Jann: I love the book cover. It’s perfect. Who did it?The cover title fur, feathers, and scales sweet, funny, and strange animal tales with a group of animals along the bottom edge

Marianne: Well, now I’m blushing. Thank you. I did the front cover, and my partner-in-crime, Carol L. Wright did the back cover for the print version.

Jann: All the stories are remarkable. What was the experience like being one of the Editors for the book and one of the Authors?

Marianne: Well, we have rules.

Rule number one—you don’t edit your own stories.

Rule number two—all the stories (with the exception of the contest winners) must be workshopped by Bethlehem Writers Group at one of our semi-monthly critique meetings.

Rule number three—editing is not writing. Just because I wouldn’t write a story the way you would write that story does not mean you are wrong. Different is not wrong. We have to let the author’s voice shine through. I hope we have done that.

Rule number four—writing is not editing. If the editor makes a suggestion to me, I need to have a really good reason not to follow that suggestion.

Jann: This book has everything from unicorns to wolves to bunnies. However, the one with ants hit home with me, as I have been battling those beasts for years in my home. Tell us about how this anthology came about and the authors who are contributors from the Bethlehem Writers Group.

Marianne: Ah! The ants–Six Feet Under by Dianna Sinovic. I must say I related to that story as well. Every summer in California—ants.

When we’re brainstorming the “theme” for our next anthology our members all throw out ideas, and we debate the merits of each idea. It’s a pretty lively discussion because we have all stripes of authors–children’s, fantasy, humor, inspiration, literary, memoir, mystery, paranormal, romance, science fiction, women’s fiction, and young adult.

We look for themes that are appealing to most of the members. We also run The Short Story Award in conjunction with the theme of our anthologies. So, we look for ideas that we think will attract the interest of other authors. We always interpret the theme—broadly—so there is a lot of creative leeway for the authors to come up with a sweet, funny, or strange story.

The first anthology was a natural—A Christmas Sampler—because we’re based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, The Christmas City. Animal stories, I believe, was suggested by Jeff Baird. He writes very heart-felt stories about the dogs in his life.

A bird on a tree branchOur next anthology, scheduled for 2022, is An Element of Mystery, Sweet, Funny and Strange Tales of Intrigue. The Short Story Award opens for entries on January 1st.

Authors interested in submitting to The Short Story Award might like to read some of the finalist for Fur, Feathers, and Scales to see what we like. The second place, third place and honorable mention stories will be published in the 2021 Winter Issue of The Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, our online magazine—also available January 1st.  You, Jann, will recognize one of the honorable mentions—Louella Nelson!  (I may have shouted when her name was announced.)

Any member of BWG can submit a story (or two or three) to our anthologies, providing it has been workshopped by the whole group.  Any member can elect not to submit a story. Since we’re working on our seventh anthology, I think we have a system that works.

Jann: I know you write short stories, romances and murder mysteries. Is any one of these genres your favorite? What are you currently working on?

Marianne: I go back and forth. My mysteries always have a romance sub-plot and my romances usually have a dead body somewhere. Probably from all those Mary Stewart and Elizabeth Peters novels I read over and over. Currently, short stories seem to be the easiest for me to finish. Right now, I’m working on a cozy-ish novel with a romance and plotting a short mystery.

Jann: With everything going on in your life, how do you keep it all together?

Marianne: That made me laugh. So . . .

1) Don’t look in my closets.

2) Dennis does the grocery shopping and birthday shopping and Christmas shopping. He wraps the presents, too. (Okay sort of—gift bags are his favorite and he hates bows. But since I don’t have to do it, I’m good with this.)

3) I only need about 6 hours of sleep every night. No matter what time I go to bed, I walk up 6 hours later. I do work on thinks when everyone else is sleeping.

4) I have a lot of friends who help out.  Look how seamless A Slice of Orange ran when my son had a medical emergency this Spring.

5) I have a lot of family who are also willing to help. All I have to do is ask.

Jann: This was so much fun.  Thank you, Marianne, for spending time with us talking about Fur, Feathers, and Scales, which is available now, and you.

Fur, Feathers and Scales and Other Book with Stories by Marianne H. Donley

A READABLE FEAST

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A READABLE FEAST
FUR, FEATHERS AND SCALES: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Animal Tales

LET IT SNOW

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LET IT SNOW

ONCE AROUND THE SUN

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ONCE AROUND THE SUN

ONCE UPON A TIME

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ONCE UPON A TIME
UNTETHERED: SWEET, FUNNY, AND STRANGE TALES OF THE PARANORMAL

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Gone Fishing

May 2, 2018 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , ,

Gone Fishing | Jann Ryan | A Slice of Orange

 

It’s true, Jann has gone fishing.  We hope she catches one (or two)  and has a lovely relaxing day. In the mean time click the tab below and read some of Jann’s recent interviews.  You can also leave her a message.

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Helping Santa by @jannryan

December 2, 2017 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , ,

Helping Santa | Jann Ryan | A Slice of Orange

Jann says she’s off today helping Santa. But don’t worry she’ll be back on December 4th with a special interview featuring the members of the Writing Something Romantic critique group.

Mark your calendars because the group has something fun to share.


Jann Ryan | A Slice of Orange

Jann Ryan grew up with the smell of orange blossoms in Orange County in sunny Southern California, where she has lived her entire life and dreamed up stories since she was a girl. Never an avid reader, she was in her thirties when she picked up her first romance quite by accident. She fell in love with happily ever after and has been reading romances ever since.

Wanting to put pen to paper, Jann joined of Romance Writers of America®. Currently, she is working on a romantic suspense series set in Stellar Bay, a fictitious town along the California central coast to fulfill her publishing dream.

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An Interview with Author and RWA® 2017 PRO Mentor of the Year Maggie Marr

June 2, 2017 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , ,

We’re here today with Maggie Marr—a woman who wears many hats. A woman who is also the 2017 Romance Writers of America® PRO Mentor of the Year. She will be honored during the PRO Retreat at the RWA® National Conference to be held in Orlando, Florida this July.

Maggie Marr is the author of twenty-plus books including the best-selling Hollywood Girls Club series. She is the past president of Los Angeles Romance Authors (LARA) and legal advisor to WFWA. When she isn’t writing, reading, practicing law, or chasing her kids, you can find her binge watching her favorite shows. For more information about Maggie and her novels please visit her website-www.maggiemarr.net or follow her on social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

 

Jann: Maggie, welcome to A Slice of Orange. Why be a mentor?

Maggie: There are so many reasons and first among them, for me, is that mentoring is fun. I love writing and I love writers (my tribe!) and being helpful to other writers gives me so much joy and fulfillment. Plus, I’m an introvert by nature, so mentoring allows me to build a relationship based on a mutual love for writing, which really takes the pressure off my introvert-nature.

Jann: Tell us about the mentor programs at LARA that you are involved with.

Maggie: LARA has great programs and many of them offer authors the opportunity to reach back and help. First among them is the mentor-mentee program which matches published authors with newer writers so that writers can utilize their mentors as a resource. We also have book-in-year, 20k in 2 weeks, published author chat, the write-in, and the LARA anthology. Each program intends to help make writing a well-formed habit.

Jann: Do you have any writing rituals? Schedule?

Maggie: I prefer to write first thing. When I accomplish my writing-goal for the day I feel good because I can check that off my list for the day.

 Jann: What kind of writer are you? A page a day or a burst writer?

Maggie: My goal is to write every day, but I don’t always achieve that goal. When I’m in my first draft I try for 3 thousand words a day. Lately when I revise I dedicate 2 hours a day because that’s what my schedule allows

Jann: Do you ever run out of ideas? If so, how did you get past that?

Maggie: I don’t run out of ideas, because there are couples lined up in my head, like airplanes on a tarmac waiting for take off, simply waiting for me to look at them and say, ‘you’re up tell me your story.’ What I do struggle with is scene location. I’m on book 25 and I don’t want the location of my scenes to feel tired or over-used so I’m constantly trying to think of new and unusual places to set scenes.

Jann: What’s the best writing advice you ever received?

Maggie: Never quit, never give up. Also, with every book try to write a better book than the one you just finished writing.

Jann: Author Maria Powers says: “Maggie Marr is a mentor, an inspiration, a motivator and a friend. She lives her belief that success for one is success for all, and her determination and tenacity always bring me back to the knowledge that I can do this. I am a better writer for having Maggie in my corner, but more importantly, I am a better person for having Maggie in my life.”

 

 

Thank you Maggie Marr for taking the time to be with us today to answer our questions. If you have comments or questions for Maggie, please use the comment form below.

Jann Ryan

 


Jann Ryan | A Slice of OrangeJann Ryan grew up with the smell of orange blossoms in Orange County in sunny Southern California, where she has lived her entire life and dreamed up stories since she was a young girl. Never an avid reader, she was in her thirties when she picked up her first romance quite by accident. She fell in love with happily ever after and has been reading romances ever since.

Wanting to put pen to paper, Jann joined of Romance Writers of America®. Currently, she is working on a romantic suspense series set in Stellar Bay, a fictitious town along the California central coast to fulfill her publishing dream.

 

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