Tag Archives: guest blogging

“The Good Girl” Part One by Tracy Reed (Free Today)

Are you a dreamer? I am. I love to dream and visualize my life. In The Good Girl, Gabriella Townsend had one dream, work for Morgan Grant Holdings. In her mind, it’s the best company in the world and they offer the most opportunity for advancement. Unfortunately, like in real-life, dreams don’t always happen in our time frame, but in God’s. I like that, because it means when I put my dreams in His hands, they turn in into so much more.

In The Good Girl (free on Amazon through Friday, September 25!), Gabriella was content waiting for her dream job and when it happened, she got more than she expected.

The Good Girl CoverEXCERPT

gabriella

We pulled up next to a huge jet and parked.  My nerves were on edge.  I should have known we’d be traveling on the company jet.  Tony got out and opened my door.  “Mr. Marchant will be here shortly.”

“Thank you.”  He helped me out of the car and my mind filled with a thousand possible ways this could be bad.  I walked up the stairs and when I crossed the threshold of the plane, my mouth dropped open.  I looked around the beautiful space and figured if I were being sold into white slavery, at least I was going in style with a great dress. 

“Good afternoon Miss Townsend.  I’m Gil.”  Oh great another strange man.  Am I the only female working for this man?   

“Hello.” I shook the gentleman’s hand.

“Can I get you something while we wait for Mr. Marchant?”

Alcohol wasn’t an option, I needed to stay alert.  “A mineral water please.  Thank you.”

“Have a seat and I’ll be right back.”

I sat down and watched as Tony loaded the bags, then disappeared. I closed my eyes and said a little prayer, followed by a couple of deep breaths. Then I sent a text to my mother, “So far so good.” 

Gil returned.  “Here you are Miss.”  He looked out the window.  “Mr. Marchant has arrived.”

My heart leapt into my throat.  I took a long sip from my glass, popped a breath mint, and stood up.  I brushed the imaginary lint off my sleeve, rubbed my tongue across my teeth checking for lipstick, and folded my hands in front of me.  I looked out the window hoping to get a glimpse of the elusive Phillippe Marchant as he got out of the black Bentley, but Tony “The Wall,” was blocking my view.

I held my breath and aimed my eyes at the entrance, but all I saw was his back, followed by the voice from the phone. 

“Tony, make sure Marcos knows to go to my place and check on things.  Have him forward anything that looks important to the D.C. office, and I’ll see you on board.”

Now I was confused.  I thought Tony was the driver.  Who the crap is Marcos?  I’m surrounded by strange men.  I looked down briefly.  When I raised my head, my eyes landed on a very tall, young, hot man walking towards me.  My body reacted in a way I had never experienced.  I was trembling from head to toe, and a strange sensation settled in the lower half of my body. 

I’ve never seen an executive or man that looked like this.  Most of the executives at Morgan Grant were older and definitely not this fine.  This man’s skin looked like rich black coffee.  I wanted to touch his face to see if it felt as smooth as it looked.  He was wearing a light grey suit and a simple white shirt, with the first few buttons undone to reveal more of that beautiful dark skin.  He continued toward me and his spicy scent filled up the plane.  This couldn’t be…

“Phillippe, we finally meet.”  He extended his hand and I saw his guns.  My God, every muscle in his body was at attention and now he was giving me permission to touch him. 

“Hello.”  I shook his hand and a spark erupted.  No really, an electric shock. 

“Must be the carpet,” he joked.

“Sir,” Gil appeared. 

“Gil, thank you for taking care of Miss Townsend.  Once we get on our way, please serve lunch.  I haven’t eaten since this morning.  When Tony gets back, tell the pilot wheels up.  Thank you.”

“Yes sir.”  Gil disappeared to the rear of the plane.

“Gabriella,” he looked at me and the most salacious thought crossed my mind.  For a moment, I forgot I was a good girl excited about this amazing job God had blessed me with.  “Have a seat.  We have a lot to discuss before we land.”

I smiled, sat down, grabbed the necessary files, and buckled my seat belt.  I reached for my iPad and when I straightened up, Phillippe was sitting across from me.  He had taken his jacket off, revealing more of his incredible build.  He removed his cufflinks and began rolling up his shirt sleeves.  I was fascinated by the crisp white cotton bending at his will, releasing more of his demanding, intoxicating scent.  I tried to focus on my iPad, telling myself, Don’t look at him.  If you do, you might suffer the same fate as Lot’s wife and turn into a pillar of salt.  I lifted up my iPad and pretended to read.  All of a sudden the plane seemed dark.  I looked up and Tony was walking towards us. 

“I told the pilot we’re ready,” he said to Phillippe.

“Let Gil know, and ask him to bring me a glass of ice water.  Thank you.”  He looked at me and I was grateful to be sitting because every muscle in my body was numb.  “Turn your iPad off until after take off.”  He capped off his comment with a smile.  Dimples.  Are you kidding me?   

His looks are strong and commanding until he smiles and then he becomes a real life sex fantasy.  His eyes look like black diamonds, and those have got to be the whitest teeth I’ve ever seen. 

What is wrong with me?  He’s not even my type.  Like I have a type.  My last relationship was with Todd Elliot, my lab partner.  Even then, I think it was a pity thing on both our parts.  He was short, fair skinned, sweaty palms and every time he kissed me, it felt like I was being kissed by a fish. 

I looked at Phillippe’s lips and wondered how those, gorgeous full lips would feel pressed against mine.  I bet they’re soft.  He probably doesn’t kiss like a fish, but like a man who knows how to take charge.  His kisses are probably filled with a lot of passion.  I bit my lower lip, lost in my fantasy of kissing him.

phillippe

I tried not to stare at her, but I’m shocked at how beautiful she is.  Nowhere in Tony’s report did he mention how beautiful Gabriella is.  My last assistant was a pretty woman in her mid sixties.  Mrs. Reynolds was more like a mother.  However, this woman sitting across from me is a lustful distraction.  I’m not sure if this is going to work.

I tried to play off that spark thing, but it was real.  Nothing like that has ever happened to me, not even with Chantal.      

I’m trying not to stare at her, but those are the sexiest lips I’ve ever seen.  Full and juicy.  I could watch her talk all day.  I wonder how she kisses.  Did I just say that?  What is wrong with me?  She’s not even my type.   But her petite frame and those curves are doing something to me.  I wonder how her hair looks straight.  The curls framing her face make her look sweet and innocent, but those lips…maybe I should send her home and just communicate via the phone and a few video chats.  Who am I kidding? That wouldn’t help, because even talking to her on the phone, her face would be in my head and I’d be envisioning those lips. 

When I sat down across from her, I was glad she couldn’t see how my body was reacting to being so close to her.  How am I going to spend the next month or so on the road with her?

“Turn your iPad off until after take off.”   When she looked up at me with those big brown eyes, I was done.  I polished off that glass of ice water in one swallow and it didn’t seem like the air was working. 

I was exhausted and planned to sleep, but when I saw her, that plan instantly went up in flames.  I didn’t want to miss one moment being in her presence. 

What is that parfum she’s wearing?  It’s taken over the plane.  When I wiped my mouth with my napkin, her scent was there.  It’s like spicy vanilla and tobacco, unusual for a woman, but very seductive.  I’ve never been around a woman as mesmerizing as she is. 

“Were you able to reach your mother?” I asked.  Maybe hearing her talk about her mother will kill the lustful thoughts I’m having.    

“Yes.  I promised I’d call when we land.” 

No such luck.  The sweet sound of her voice traveled into my ear and danced around my head before journeying to my core, awakening something I assumed had become immune to sweet talk.  The funny thing is, she didn’t say anything seductive or enticing.  It’s just something about her.  I can’t quite put my hand on it, although I wouldn’t mind touching every inch of her.

After we reached cruising level, Gil served lunch.  I was starving.  I drank so much coffee in Seattle, I think if you cut me, I’ll bleed Sumatra roast coffee.

So far the only thing that matches up to the report Tony gave me, is that she’s very smart.  Considering the amount of time she had to gather the information I requested, she did very well.  I’m convinced she’ll be able to handle any task I assign her.

She caught me off guard with her question.  She’s a lot more perceptive than I anticipated, which is what she’ll need working with clients and the other executives.  However, I’ve got to be careful not to slip up and make her suspicious of me.  I need to keep the truth about her job and my position a secret as long as I can.  I want her to be fully trained and comfortable working with me and Tony, before telling her why I really hired her.  The longer she believes she was hired to be the Assistant to the new President, the better.  She needs to believe there’s someone I report to.

Only available at amazon.com

Tracy Reed

About Tracy Reed:

I am a single Christian woman who loves God, Fashion and Cute Guys. Not all women who write Christian fiction will admit to that.

The subjects I write about are considered taboo in Christian fiction. If you want to read about Christians dealing with unrequited love, apprehension to give love another chance, arranged marriages, physical attraction, divorce, annulment, controlling their urges, infidelity, abortion, dating younger men, being a single mother, slipping up and sleeping with your estranged ex, standing up for yourself, being honest about not liking your in-laws, still being attracted to your ex, battling postpartum depression, having challenges in your walk with Christ or if you aren’t too proud to admit you sometimes get angry and yell at God, then you’re in the right place.

The people that read my books have a thing for designer clothes and accessories and aren’t ashamed to admit it. To them a cute Christian guy on their arm is the finish to the perfect outfit.  Sort of like lipstick, you don’t have to have it, but it sure makes you feel prettier when you do.

Check out Tracy’s other books at her website: www.readtracyreed.com

Remarkable Regency Women – A Guest Post by Georgie Lee

I think I first met Georgie Lee this past March at the California Dreaming writer’s conference, and we hit it off right away. Our friendship has grown over the months, and last month I won one of her books – a Harlequin Historical called The Courtesan’s Book of Secrets. The title alone makes me want to read it! Now, after reading her guest post here, I’m going to buy Lady’s Wager the minute it goes on sale! 😀 

Please welcome my friend and fellow author, Georgie Lee!

I recently read Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spence, a non-fiction account of Jane Austen’s life and the elements in her background and family that shaped her and her writing. The book offers an interesting look into Jane Austen’s background while painting a vivid picture of Georgian and Regency England. Despite the manners and elegance of these eras, they were very harsh times, especially for women without money.

Ladys Wager coverHowever, these difficulties gave rise to a great deal of strength and resilience. For example, orphaned Phila Austen, Jane Austen’s aunt, was penniless with little more to look forward to than a career as a milliner in Covent Garden. Instead of accepting fate, she made the brave decision to travel to India and create a new life for herself.

Stories like Phila’s remind us that only by rising to the challenges of life, instead of avoiding them, can we hope to achieve success. This is an excellent lesson for writers since the writing and publishing process is full of challenges. Jane herself must have learned this lesson from both her own career and the lives of her remarkable female relatives, and I’m glad she did. Where would we be if she had given up? Can you imagine a world without Mr. Darcy? I can’t.

Persevering in the face of adversity is a central theme in my Regency novel Lady’s Wager. Despite a number of problems, including betrayal by a former fiancé and having to escape a war, Charlotte, the heroine, doesn’t allow her troubles to stop her from supporting charities, or trying to live life on her terms.

Edward, the hero, has also faced his share of problems, from losing his mother to watching his father suffer in a disastrous second marriage. The heartache of his life hasn’t made him give up on searching for someone who loves him and not his money and title. Both Charlotte and Edward refuse to buckle under the weight of their troubles or fears, and their lives are richer for it.

So, when the going gets tough and you think of giving up, think of Jane and Phila. Rise to the challenge, you never know what might happen.

Lady’s Wager by Georgie Lee is a sweet Regency Romance available for $0.99 from July 7 -14, 2015! Check it out:

Charlotte Stuart is an heiress dedicated to charitable causes who’s been betrayed by the false love of a fortune hunter before. Ridiculed by Paris society for her mistake, she vows never to fall victim to the weakness of love again. Driven back to England by the collapse of the Peace of Amiens, she enters London society and meets Lord Edward Woodcliff, a handsome Viscount in straightened circumstances. Falling for Edward means risking being humiliated again.

Edward has come to London to find a wife. Made leery of marriage by his father’s disastrous second marriage, Edward feigns poverty in order to find a woman who loves him and not his wealth. He loses his heart to the independent and spirited Charlotte, but her fear of being betrayed, and his hesitation to make a matrimonial mistake, prove difficult to overcome.

All seems hopeless until Edward challenges Charlotte to a wager. If he wins, he gains her hand in marriage. If he loses, then Charlotte is free of him. Charlotte accepts the wager only to lose her hand and her heart to Edward. Now Charlotte must put aside her fears of being betrayed by love long enough to let Edward into her life and admit he is the man of her dreams.

Georgie LeeAbout Georgie Lee
A lifelong history buff, award winning author Georgie Lee hasn’t given up hope that she will one day inherit a title and a manor house. Until then, she fulfills her dreams of lords, ladies and a season in London through her stories. When not writing, she can be found reading non-fiction history or watching any movie with a costume and an accent. Please visit www.georgie-lee.com to learn more about Georgie and her books, and to sign up for her newsletter.

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My Writing Process – Blog Tour

Thanks so much to Jennifer Brassel for inviting me to join the blog tour. 🙂 Jennifer’s blog can be seen here. Jen and I both have stories in the romance anthology, Moonlit Encounters, and her book Secret Reflection is a modern Gothic tale complete with ghosts, romance, and an unsolved crime.

My Writing Process

j0178677What am I working on? Right now, I am finishing up the second book in the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke series, Superhero in the Making. At the end of book one, Unexpected Superhero, Tori has decided she definitely wants to pursue life as a superhero. But it’s harder than it looks. On top of everything else – family issues, secrets uncovered, and secrets to keep hidden – there’s another woman trying to catch Joe’s attention. Tori is trying to keep in mind that undercover superhero work is a job like any other, and Joe is a professional. But can she trust him?

How does my work differ from others of its genre? The Adventures of Lewis and Clarke is about superheroes living their daily lives as our next door neighbors. It’s about love and marriage, friendships, family, and trying to save the world one person at a time. It’s also about the battle between good and evil, and constantly begs the question – am I up for the task? It’s romantic comedy meets urban fantasy. I really enjoy writing this series and I hope to continue for several books to come.

j0309372Why do I write what I do? I love writing about people in love because I’m in love! 😀 But I think it’s more interesting to see the ups and downs and sideways parts of love, not just the happy moments. Falling in love and getting married is awesome, but nothing prepares you for what comes next. It’s hard! But it’s so worth it. Add that to the fact that I am amazed at how God created us to be strong, good, loving people and yet the world and the dark forces around us keep knocking us down so that we’re weak, selfish, and greedy, and there is a lot of room for stories in there! I’m trying to write about both of these elements in my superhero series.

How does my writing process work? Well, that depends entirely on my deadline! LOL! Right now, I am writing six days a week, 8-12 hours a day to finish this book in time for WonderCon. I’ve taken time away to write at a timeshare several times recently, and over the years, because I can focus on just writing. I usually start with the big idea and boil it down to six or eight main points, then whittle those down to a dozen or so scenes each, then create 3×5 scene cards that I spread out on the floor looking for holes in the story. Once I’ve got the first quarter of the story worked out, I start writing based on the scene cards. Then I look at the second quarter, see if anything needs to be changed because of what I wrote in the first part, tweak the scene cards and write the second quarter. Repeat for the last two quarters of the book. Then I talk to my editors (I have two, Marcy and Sarah) about plot problems, etc. It’s intense and exhausting, but I wouldn’t trade it to do anything else. (Though I’m really looking forward to a vacation soon!)

I hope you found this fun and interesting. Maybe you learned a little something about me that you didn’t know. It was fun giving you a glimpse into my world. 🙂

Moonlit EncountersIf you’d like to read about another of my Aussie friends with a story in Moonlit Encounters, check out Coleen Kwan‘s My Writing Process blog hereColeen Kwan writes both contemporary and steampunk romance. She lives in Sydney, Australia with her partner and two children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys avoiding housework, eating chocolate, and watching Criminal Minds.

And now – back to writing!

Random Thoughts August 11, 2011

I’ve been catching up on some blog reading this week. Elizabeth Spann Craig has a great blog called Mystery Writing is Murder. I’ve been reading her posts about her self-publishing journey, but she’s got lots of great stuff.

After reading my friend Laura Drake’s guest post this week, I wrote a piece for my RWA chapter about encouraging words. It takes so little to brighten someone’s day, and so often it comes back to you in one way or another. Laura said she’s going to keep a copy of all the lovely comments people left her to read on the hard days. What a great idea!

Laura also wrote a blog post at Writers in the Storm called Adjusting to the Paradigm Shift. She looks at the trends of first sales as reported in the RWA magazine, Romance Writers Report, and considers how to proceed.

My Routines for Writers partner had a great post last week about making sure each of your scenes has a purpose. An excellent way to stay on track or to find out which scenes need to be edited or cut.

Agent Rachelle Gardner has a great blog post on how to market your book. The fun part about it is that it’s made up of all the great posts that her clients have written on the topic. Check it out.

In grad school, I accidentally wrote a couple of Young Adult pieces. Since then, I’ve been reading blogs relating to YA books. Here is a post called Are You a YA Writer and You Don’t Even Know It?

Writer Beware issued a warning about emails soliciting authors to send their work to a publisher who wants to work with them. Publishers don’t solicit material in this way. Read the post and, as always, be wary of emails from people and companies you aren’t familiar with.

[I just deleted a section because the link was to something that ended yesterday.]

That’s all I’ve got for this week. Hope you find something interesting and/or useful. Tomorrow and Monday I’ll talk about my City2Surf pre-race panic and post-race steak and eggs celebration. Have an awesome weekend!

A Long and Winding Road – A Guest Blog by Laura Drake

After fourteen years of trying, I signed with an agent last week! That’s a lot of years. Kitty has watched quite a few of them. She asked me to share my story.

Before I learned to ride my own, I rode pillion on my husband’s motorcycle. A lot. A hundred thousand miles’ worth.  That’s a lot of hours, and it was before motorcycle intercoms were invented. It can get boring. I learned to prop a paperback on hubby’s back and read on the long straightaways.  But you can’t read all day and after awhile, my brain would empty of the day-to-day thoughts and cast about for something new to think about.

Due to the speed on a motorcycle, your memories come in snippets – you catch a snapshot and it’s gone: a small town celebrating the Fourth of July with a parade, the queen in silk on a hay wagon. A piebald pony, standing in knee deep grass in Utah, ominous thunderclouds in the background.  A herd of antelope in Wyoming, racing our motorcycle.

Then one day, riding into the small town of Kernville, California, a dog ran in front of our bike. After a butt clenching scare, he trotted back the way he came, and we rode on. But I started thinking. What if someone came along and hit the dog?  What if a girl riding a motorcycle came along . . .

The idea grew. It wouldn’t go away. I began writing ideas in a notebook in our tent at night.  When we got home, I sat at my computer, blank file open in front of me. I wrote a bit, but mostly I fidgeted.  I knew this wasn’t a short story – that might not have freaked me out. This was a novel.

But wait, who was I to write a novel?  I’ve been an avid reader all my life; I knew good writing.

I dithered for a few years, at an impasse. Half of my mind wouldn’t let go of the story, the other half wouldn’t let me write it. Then one day, an amazing thing happened. I realized I had a ‘delete’ key on my keyboard. I could write the novel, and no one would ever have to see it!

That was three novels ago. I won’t go into the rest of the story here. You’ve heard it from a hundred writers; the ups, the downs, the twists and turns in the road.

Since then, I’ve learned to ride my own motorcycle. I found that I love the windy roads best – you never know what you’ll find around the next bend. It could be a snippet of vision that makes your soul rise – it could be something that tightens your sphincter. I love every bit of it.

I’ve told my friends, if someday I encounter the end around one of those bends, don’t be sad.  I went smiling — doing what I love.

For the same reason, I’ll never quit writing. I can’t fail, because it isn’t about getting published; it’s about doing what I love.

Where are you on the winding road? Is publication your destination, or something else? Any mishaps or memories you’d like to share?

 

Laura Drake never got over her cowboy crush. She writes romance and women’s fiction revolving around the world of Professional Bull Riding. Her recent WF novel, The Sweet Spot, has won The Great Expectations, Fab 5, The Sheila, and has finaled in The Orange Rose Contest. You can follow her on http://WritersintheStorm.wordpress.com.

 

Guest Blogging at Writers in the Storm

I’m honored to be the guest of my friends at Writers in the Storm today. Please stop by and say hello. I meant to write a post about how exercise – for me, running – is good for your creativity and productivity. But I ended up writing an inspirational post about how running taught me that competing against yourself is the best way to improve.

I hope you enjoy it. And while you’re there, check out the other posts at Writers in the Storm. They have some really great articles!

Happy Friday to you! Happy Saturday morning from me!  🙂