Tag Archives: Marian Tee

Author Spotlight : Marian Tee Author of The Greek Billionaire Series

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I am proud to present today’s author on spotlight… Marian Tee. She’s a fellow Filipino who writes romance and is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author.

I had no idea that she was a Filipino when I first read her books a couple of years ago. I fell in love the most with her Greek Billionaire Series and recently got attached to her Heart Racers. When I found out, I was hell bent on doing this interview. It makes me proud to know that a writer who’s very good at touching emotions through her craft is a fellow countrymen.

So who’s Marian Tee?

Marian Tee is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of steamy romantic comedies. She is Filipino-Chinese, has lived all her life in the Philippines, and is a frustrated mangaka. She is addicted to horror flicks, misses hip hop dancing, and loves all things Japanese.

She currently have 28 books published in Amazon and other major platforms.

If you’ve read her books, you probably know this already. So let’s get to know Marian Tee a little more…

Getting to Know Marian Tee a Little Deeper

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All about being a writer …

  1. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I discovered my love for writing around fourth or fifth grade, if I remember correctly. My friends and I had a notebook that we’d pass around and we’d write each of our character’s stories there. I had my first kiss in that notebook, haha! And my first breakup, too!

However, I only knew I wanted to write for a living when I was in my early twenties. It was that time I saw the chick lit books of Summit and PSICOM like Katrina Ramos Atienza’s Pink Shoes and Maya Calica’s Breakup Diaries.

You see, I thought here in the Philippines it was impossible for me to find a job as a writer or – more specifically – a romance author. Prior to those chick lit novellas, most of the romance novels published in PH were in Filipino, and I didn’t think I could write one as eloquently as I wanted to.

Anyway, seeing those books gave me hope and I haven’t stopped writing (and dreaming) since then.

  1. Who or what was your inspiration to write your first book?

My nonexistent love life (back then) of course! I was a first year student in CSB then and I’d spend most of my time in the computer lab writing my stories (Sorry, Professor!). That first completed manuscript of mine would eventually be published years later by PSICOM.

  1. I believe not many Filipino authors are into e-publishing, what encouraged you to go e-pubbing instead of going to publisher? Have you any doubts or regrets when you gave it a go?

After my book was published by PSICOM, I thought it would be smooth sailing after that. But nope. No one wanted my books. 😛 And I realized that the way I write doesn’t really jive well with what publishers seemed to like then. So I decided to write for an international audience.

I queried both agents and small press editors. I was lucky enough to have one YA paranormal romance published by an e-publisher based in Arizona and then after that I found myself an agent (which eventually didn’t work out). In 2012, my previous boss (I used to write articles for her) bought the rights to my works and I was so surprised when my books did well on Amazon. Mid 2013 I decided to self-publish and it’s been absolutely great since then.

If I have one regret, it’s that I spent so many years querying agents and editors alone. I wished I had tried self-publishing at the same time in those years.

  1. How did you feel when you made it to NYT and USA Today’s Best Selling author?

SURREAL. =D

My first self-pubbed book made its debut with The Billionaire Bad Boys of Romance Bundle, a “boxed set” that include works from other authors. Some of them already made it to NYT, but there were also a few of us who had never hit a bestselling list. We were hoping to hit both lists at Week 1. We made it to USA Today but not NYT. I think all of us bawled our eyes out after that. Even though the boxed set made it to Barnes & Noble’s Top 10 overall and Amazon’s Top 20 overall, not hitting NYT still made us feel really bad. Back then, I honestly thought my book was a piece of sh*t because of that.

But…we didn’t give up. We dusted our asses off and worked harder in promoting the boxed set. Week 2 came and went and we found out we didn’t just hit USA Today (for the second consecutive week). We also found out we made it to two bestselling lists of New York Times, the ebook bestselling list AND the combined list for ebook and print. That means our boxed set outsold even books in print! That realization was what made everything really, really surreal. I think I was so stunned that I couldn’t even cry. 😀

  1. How do you write your novels? Do you like plan everything or just go with the flow?

Outline. Like hell. I’ve often tried doing it the other way around, plotting as I write but nope – at the end of the day, I’d just erase everything I typed because I hated it. So, I’ve pretty much accepted the fact that I can’t write without my precious outlines.

  1. Any particular habit that you do before and after writing a manuscript?

I’m what you’d call a binge writer. So, I’d rest for a few days then write like crazy (sometimes up to 18 or 20 hours in a day) then rest again. I’ve also discovered a need to read books when taking breaks from writing. I like to drink coffee and sometimes, I drastically need a playlist when working on a manuscript.

Whenever I finish a story, I’d be really pumped up and my adrenaline level would be so high that I’d need to go out and celebrate with my family. We either eat out or just go to a café or watch a movie. J

  1. Have you ever had a ‘writer’s block’? If so, what do you do when you get stuck in a scene?

No. Not really. I never lack for anything to write but there are times when I hate what I write so I end up deleting pages and pages of stories. When that happens, it’s usually because I’m physically or mentally tired. So what I do is rest, read a book or watch a movie. When I go back to my laptop, I’m all good.

  1. Do you have someone you look up to and wish you can have a collaborated book with his or her?

Too many to mention, but I was recently in a boxed set with the lovely Sara Fawkes and that was pretty awesome. 😀 It’s not a collaboration per se but still. I also recently read the Hitman series of Jessica Clare (which I totally love) and I get to be a part of another series with her so that’s awesome, too.

But for future projects, I’d really love to be in a boxed set with Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Lynne Graham, Sharon Kendrick, Nalini Singh, and Judith McNaught.

  1. If you can marry any of your heroes, who would you pick?

Paranormal – it would have to be Luka of Suit and Fangs – a really intelligent and aloof vampire-like prince. I kinda like my guys snobbish hehe.

 

Contemporary – It would have to be Damen Leventis of my Greek Billionaire serials because I grew up reading about, well, Greek billionaires. 😀 Oh, and Yuki Himura from Drawn – waaaah! He’s my first love (among all my book heroes). He’s the embodiment of all my favorite bishounen in manga!

  1. 10. What advice would you give to aspiring writers that you would like to have known before you went e-publishing?

Don’t undervalue your work. EVER.

 

OFF THE GRID

 

  1. What’s your favorite food, something that you won’t get tired of eating?

Crabstick / kani salad and salmon sashimi. (I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!)

  1. I know we don’t have much option here in the Philippines but what is your favorite season? Or the season you wish we have?

WINTER. I like dressing in layers, which I can only get away with in Baguio (summer capital of PH) or abroad. But here in the Philippines, I love it when it rains – I write better when I rain and especially when I’ve a cup of coffee to enjoy while at it.

  1. Do you like travelling? Any dream destination that you are yet to go to?

I love to travel! If it wasn’t plain irresponsible, I’d gladly spend all my money on travelling haha. Oh, wait – I actually did that in the past! I was very young back then. =P

My real-life bucket list for traveling: Japan (for the anime and manga), Vienna (for the opera), Africa (for the safari), Scotland (for Nessie and Highlands), Monte Carlo (coz it’s Monte Carlo), London (so I can see the places I’ve read about in Regency romances), and Venice (coz I want to attend a masquerade!).

  1. Do you like movies? If yes, what sort of movies are you into?

HORROR. But I also love watching action and high-budget adventure movies. Those are the types of movies I love watching in cinemas. I love watching romantic movies, too, but not in cinemas haha.

  1. What is the most mistaken (wrong) impression people usually have about you?

Back when I was in college, everyone thought I was, err, a bad girl. I don’t think there’s any other word for it haha. Because I always came to school late and I was always sleepy – most thought it was because I was always out partying and had lots of vices.

The truth is, I’ve never smoked and never will. I don’t drink – never did except for a sip of beer when I was twelve. I don’t even drink champagne or wine). My greatest vice would probably be eating high-cholesterol food haha. And as for always being sleepy in class – it was only because I hate waking up early and I hate going to school even more.

Nothing against those who drink or smoke, but I just really feel I already eat too much high-cholesterol food to further shorten my lifespan with other vices. 😀 It’s my plan to be alive and kicking even when I’m a hundred years old. =D

  1. For Filipino-Chinese, what made you fall in love with all things Japanese?

Once upon a time, there was an anime called Fushigi Yuugi or Curious Play. I loved it so much I self-studied Japanese – I mastered N4 of Nihongo in one week. I took a mock test online and passed the test. I also hired a private tutor (native Japanese speakers) also passed their tests, too. They couldn’t believe how fast I mastered the basics of Japanese. So, you know, that means something, right? Surely it’s destiny at work? Fate’s totally saying I’m going to be Japanese in my next life! =D

  1. Could you share one thing about you that not many people know about?

That I pray a lot. And that I’m a HUGE crybaby.

  1. What is your favorite quote or saying? Why?

Give a man a fish; you have fed him for a day. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.

 

It’s very hard for me to say NO to people or to refuse them my help. But I’ve gradually come to realize that I’m only making it worse for others and making it more difficult for them to succeed on their own if I keep saying ‘yes’.

 

  1. If you were not a writer, what would you be?

An interpreter! 😀

THE LATEST FROM MARIAN TEE

The Art of Wedding A Greek Billionaire

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Once upon a time, there was an ordinary girl who grew up listening to bedtime stories where there were no knights in shining armor or Prince Charming. Instead, it had Greek billionaires and this little girl dreamt she’d one day have Her Own Greek Billionaire to live happily ever after with.
When this little girl grew up, she realized that not all fairytale weddings came with happy-ever-after endings. Sometimes, those who speak the words “I love you” don’t really mean it, and those who can’t utter the words end up being the ones who truly mean them.
This is my story.
I mean your story.
I mean, Mairi Tanner’s story.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

For more news about Marian Tee and her latest release, you can visit her on the following social media sites and her website:

Links

Website | Facebook | Twitter |

That’s all folks, I hope you had a great time getting to know Marian Tee a little more, because I did!

~~~~~~~~

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Swish ~ Heart Racer #3 by Marian Tee : Reviewed

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swish

Purchase Links:

Amazon US |Amazon UK

~BLURB~

Helios Andreadis is the aloof president of Áf̱xi̱si, an ordinary college org during the day and an underground bike racing club at night. Áf̱xi̱si̱ means ‘rise’ in Greek, symbolizing the cornerstone in which all the club’s rules were founded on. Every member of the club had his own story to tell, his own tragedy to overcome, and a self-made cage to break free from.

The younger son of a famous Greek politician from an adulterous affair, Helios had migrated to the United States in hopes of putting to rest his older brother’s jealousy. Past betrayals had taught him to be hard and unfeeling, but his heartless ways would soon be put to the test when a shy, stubborn girl literally skidded into his life like some backup dancer auditioning for the King of Pop.

Her name was MJ Cartwright. She wanted to apply as the club’s official photographer, but any job would really do since as it turned out, all she wanted was to be close to one of Áf̱xi̱si’s daredevil drivers. That man was her secret crush and the more time Helios spent with MJ, the more he wanted to kill that man, whoever he may be.

Helios was determined not to let MJ’s secret crush take her away, but neither was he ready to put a name to his feelings. To do so would make him vulnerable, and that he would never allow to happen, not even if it meant having to hurt MJ instead.

My Thoughts

I’ve read about twelve books by Marian Tee but this is my first try to her Heart Racer Series. I’m not really a fan of New Adult nor Biker Hotties though I read them too (I basically read anything as long as I think it’s interesting). Anyway, that said, I don’t expect much when I read this genres but  with Swish, I’d say I had my expectation up a notch. This is part one of Helios and MJ’s story and now I’m reserving some of my judgement till I read the end.

As of now though, I really enjoyed reading MJ’s journey into the world of Bikers. It made me smile and laugh at how Helios can be clueless when it comes to how MJ truly feel. I find Yuri so adorable and the way he cared for MJ and how he worry about his friends was  absolutely charming. Kellion and the way to wake him up in the morning was hilarious. More than weaving a story, I know it’s not easy to weave emotion into the story.  And this book was full of raw emotions. The climax was both heartbreaking and touching. I have read a lot of books but only few had me shed a tear and Swish was one of them.

I am excited to read the next installment of this series.  I look forward to how Helios will redeem himself and how he and MJ will work out their relationship. And of course I am looking forward to getting to know  the rest of the cast members more, especially Yuri.

With this third book of Heart Racer series, not only was my heart captured in a swish, it captured all of my emotions too.

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About the Author

Marian Tee is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of steamy romantic comedies. She is Filipino-Chinese, has lived all her life in the Philippines, and is a frustrated mangaka. She is addicted to horror flicks, misses hip hop dancing, and loves all things Japanese.

Links

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Next Title to Watch Out For:

Greek Billionaire Series 5: Wedding A Greek Billionaire

Other Books in the Heart Racer Series

Heart Racer: Leandro and Bobby’s Story

Driven by Love: Continuation to Leandro and Bobby’s Story

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Swish ~ Heart Racer Series #3 by Marian Tee: Fresh Release

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swish

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon US |Amazon UK

 

mt new release
~BLURB~

 

Helios Andreadis is the aloof president of Áf̱xi̱si, an ordinary college org during the day and an underground bike racing club at night. Áf̱xi̱si̱ means ‘rise’ in Greek, symbolizing the cornerstone in which all the club’s rules were founded on. Every member of the club had his own story to tell, his own tragedy to overcome, and a self-made cage to break free from.

The younger son of a famous Greek politician from an adulterous affair, Helios had migrated to the United States in hopes of putting to rest his older brother’s jealousy. Past betrayals had taught him to be hard and unfeeling, but his heartless ways would soon be put to the test when a shy, stubborn girl literally skidded into his life like some backup dancer auditioning for the King of Pop.

Her name was MJ Cartwright. She wanted to apply as the club’s official photographer, but any job would really do since as it turned out, all she wanted was to be close to one of Áf̱xi̱si’s daredevil drivers. That man was her secret crush and the more time Helios spent with MJ, the more he wanted to kill that man, whoever he may be.

Helios was determined not to let MJ’s secret crush take her away, but neither was he ready to put a name to his feelings. To do so would make him vulnerable, and that he would never allow to happen, not even if it meant having to hurt MJ instead.

Swish Full

An Excerpt

 

The trick to lying flat on the ground was to relax. Too tense could get you killed. If your back was too straight, that wasn’t any good either. You’d be creating this tiniest amount of space between your spine and the floor. That space could be your COD if you had a drunk dad like mine. A former bike racer, my dad liked to perform stunts in our yard. One of his favorites was to run over me while I was lying on the ground. Shows off my perfect control, he liked to say in his usually slurred voice.
Another trick was to cut your hair short, like I did. Sometimes, that one strand of hair could get tangled in the wheels. It happened to me when I was thirteen. That was the first year James took it upon himself to use me as a prop for his DIY motorcycle stunts. It was an epic fail and got me ten stitches below my hairline. I chopped my own hair after that. Good thing I did since a week later we were doing it again.
Finally, you needed duct tape.
“Where the fuck are you?” James roared from the garage.
“Coming,” I shouted back. My hands worked more quickly in wrapping the duct tape around my chest. My boobs barely existed, to be honest. But with stunts like this, even A-cups like mine were still suicidal. You had to be flat. Inhumanly flat.
Pulling my shirt down over my handiwork, I ran out of the garage. My dad was already on his bike, the engine running. The sound of it was enough to make goose bumps pop all over my skin.
“I’m not going to wait forever,” my dad snarled.
His voice caused me to stumble. The drawing on the ground, outlined in chalk, never failed to make me wince. That was where I was supposed to lie down.
Kneeling down, I said a quick prayer. If I die today, God, please let it be quick.
James gunned towards me, the roar of his old Harley Davidson making me scramble. He did say he wasn’t going to wait forever. Terror licked its way all over my body as I forced myself to relax on the ground. The sound of his motorcycle was so close. James was running circles all around me now, taunting me to move. If I did, that was when he’d fly over me.
Vroom, vroom.
Little boys made that sound all the time, and every time they did I wanted to cry.
“Ready?” James asked with a sneer and a laugh.
I didn’t speak. I knew if I did, he’d love to have the chance to cut my tongue with his bike.
Vroom, vroom.
I badly wanted to close my eyes but couldn’t — I always had this powerful fear that having the lids folded over my eyes took me one extra fraction of an inch closer to death.
So close now. Dear God, it was so close.
And then he was flying, so close that I could feel the air coming from the furious spin of his bike’s wheels as he soared over my body.
SWISH. 
I wondered if that would really be the last sound I’d hear before I died.

****

It always took me forty-five minutes to stop throwing up.
No need for stitches today, but I did have a little discoloration on my cheek. James didn’t enjoy our father-daughter moments when there was no violence involved.
By the time I was done with my puke fest, the world had stopped spinning as well. The sound of a motorcycle whizzing past me had also stopped roaring in my ears. I pressed my hand to my chest, just to be sure I wasn’t suffering from PTSD. Shock, if left untreated, could get you killed.
A sigh of relief escaped me as I felt my heartbeat slowing down. My brain had finally accepted I wasn’t going to die. Not today at least.
Forcing myself on my feet, I grabbed my SLR from the table. It was my only prized possession. When I was looking through the lens of my camera, the world didn’t seem so bad or ugly. I liked the feeling of power it gave me. Adjust the brightness, sharpen the contrast, and find a unique angle – click. I had found a piece of world that was beautiful, and that moment would last forever.
Pressing my ear to the door, I listened for sounds of movement, any indication that James was still up. There was none. But I didn’t want to take my chances so I decided to use my other exit.
Jumping from a second-floor room window took guts when you had nothing to hold on to. But it wasn’t impossible. The first time got me a broken arm. The second time produced a twisted ankle. But nowadays, all I had were gashes, which were fine. I liked gashes. They kept me alive.
Thud.
I landed awkwardly on my side. I checked myself for wounds and saw I had grazed my elbow. The tiny rip of skin started to bleed.
Money shot!
I lifted my camera and turned my elbow out even as I winced at the effort.
Click. 
That should earn me another fifty.
I belatedly remembered the slap James gave me and, twisting my face to the side, I lifted my SLR in the air for several selfies. I hoped one of those got a good shot of the discoloration on my cheek. You wouldn’t believe how much money gore shots made me on the Internet. You just needed to find out where to sell them.
I checked my camera after. The shots were great. Like I said, I liked gashes. These little wounds got me my camera. One day, hopefully before my dad killed me, they could earn me my freedom.

About the Author

Marian Tee is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of steamy romantic comedies. She is Filipino-Chinese, has lived all her life in the Philippines, and is a frustrated mangaka. She is addicted to horror flicks, misses hip hop dancing, and loves all things Japanese.

Links

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

Next Title to Watch Out For:

Greek Billionaire Series 5: Wedding A Greek Billionaire

 

 

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