Guest Blog: Marian Tee

My Top 7 Authors  - The Inspiration Behind My Writing

Hi! I’m Marian Tee, a Filipino-Chinese author from the Philippines. I’ve the privilege of being invited by The Library Mistress to guest post here, and I’ve decided to talk about the writers whose works greatly influenced me.

For those who don’t know, I write steamy romantic comedies, with emphasis on all three. As I come from a very conservative country and an even more conservative background, I used to write romantic comedies only. But when I went indie, my then publisher encouraged me to go steamy. The result: The Werewolf Prince and I, which to date remains to be one of my most popular books, having made it to Amazon US’ Top 250.

Today, most of my readers know me for writing about innocent girls falling in love with rich bad boys and lots of funny incidents happening in between. Why I do write like that? Well…you have these authors to blame – or thank for.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips

My readers love how “innocent” my heroines are. My critics however think my heroines are “stupid” and “naïve”. Yeah, well, let’s just say that I love how my girls always have their rose-coloured glasses on and I don’t think this will ever change since I’m like that myself.

I’m a half-glass-full kind of girl and those are the kind of heroines that the wonderful Susan Elizabeth Phillips writes about as well. Her girls are quirky, funny, and innocent (virginal too!), and they have big hearts when it comes to loving the men in their lives.

One of my favourite books by her is Heaven, Texas ---

Come heck or high water, Gracie Snow is determined to drag the legendary ex-jock Bobby Tom Denton back home to Heaven, Texas, to begin shooting his first motion picture. Despite his dazzling good looks and killer charm, Bobby Tom has reservations about being a movie star -- and no plans to cooperate with a prim and bossy Ohio wallflower whom he can't get off his mind or out of his life. Instead, the hell-raising playboy decides to make her over from plain Jane to Texas wildcat.

But nothing's more dangerous than a wildcat with an angel's heart in a town too small for a bad boy to hide. And all hell breaks loose when two unforgettable people discover love, laughter, passion -- and a match that can only be made in Heaven.

You won’t regret reading this book I promise!

Judith McNaught

According to present-day dos and don’ts for writing, authors are not to do head-hopping POVs because…well, just because. I did my best to follow this rule back in the day when I was querying for literary representation, but when I started my indie career I decided to throw that rule out of the window and write the way I really want to write, and that’s like my all-time fave Judith McNaught.

With her books, you’ll be able to read how every character feels and what each character thinks all at the same time. I like this style because it makes the scene more vivid for me. It’s really hard to explain, and the best way to understand what I’m talking about is to read one of her books. I recommend you start with Double Standards, - a classic in romance.

Here’s the blurb---

The ruggedly handsome president of Global Industries handled his business the way he handled his women -- with charm, daring and ruthless self-control. A man used to the very best, Nick hired Lauren Danner, and assumed the proud beauty would soon be another easy conquest. But Lauren's flashing wit and rare spirit dazzled him -- and slowly, against his will, he was intrigued, challenged -- and in love. 
Yet Lauren was living a lie, a charade that became more dangerous with every passing moment. Trapped in a web of deceit, she fought her growing love for Nick. Her secret could destroy his fragile trust -- and the promise of life with the most compelling man she had ever met!

Once you read this, you’ll be hooked to her books forever!

Stephanie Perkins

She’s one of my newer faves – I first learned of her when I was querying for agents a few years back and her agent recommended her book as a way of explaining what made a great YA romance. That book was Anna and the French Kiss and I totally fell in love with it. What I’d like to emulate is her ability to incorporate the beauty of a setting into her story – I’ve never been to Paris but I feel like I’ve been there because of how she wrote it.

The blurb:

Anna can't wait for her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a good job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's not too thrilled when her father unexpectedly ships her off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair, the perfect boy. The only problem? He's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her crush back home. Will a year of romantic near-misses end in the French kiss Anna awaits?

I don’t get to write a lot of YA romance these days, but when I do, I always think of her books and use them for inspiration.

Nalini Singh

I honestly think she’s one of the best paranormal romance authors in history. There are three main things that I love about her books: the characters (so many different supernatural creatures! I’m in heaven!), the beauty of her writing (she can make a murder scene sound so beautifully poetic!) and finally, the sex (she writes them hot! I want to be like her when I grow up). 

My first book of her was Angel’s Blood, and I won’t deny that her characters were my main inspiration when writing The Demon Duke and I.

Anyway, the blurb to Angel’s Blood

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux is hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael. But this time, it’s not a wayward vamp she has to track. It’s an archangel gone bad.
The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other—and pull her to the razor’s edge of passion. Even if the hunt doesn’t destroy her, succumbing to Raphael’s seductive touch just may. For when archangels play, mortals break.

You need to read this series. I love Twilight, but honestly, this is so much better! It deserves to have its own movie franchise!

David Eddings

Now, some of you who are familiar with his works may be thinking, what? What in hell is a SFF author doing in a list of recommendations made by a steamy rom-com author? Well, I don’t know about you but I like to think of David Eddings’ books as fantasy novels with moderate to strong romantic elements. My first book of his was of the Belgariad series and oh my – I am so in love with that series, I can read it over and over and over. His books are one of the main reasons why I hope to write my own fantasy series one day, most likely urban fantasy but hopefully with the same comprehensive world building similar to what you’ll get in his books.

His world building was also one of my inspirations for writing The Demon Duke and I. If you’re willing to take a risk on investing hours of your time in reading his works (even if it’s your first time to read fantasy), I promise you won’t regret this one either. 

It all begins with the theft of the Orb that for so long protected the West from an evil god. As long as the Orb was at Riva, the prophecy went, its people would be safe from this corrupting power. Garion, a simple farm boy, is familiar with the legend of the Orb, but skeptical in matters of magic. Until, through a twist of fate, he learns not only that the story of the Orb is true, but that he must set out on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger to help recover it. For Garion is a child of destiny, and fate itself is leading him far from his home, sweeping him irrevocably toward a distant tower—and a cataclysmic confrontation with a master of the darkest magic

I know the blurb does not sound romantic at all, but I promise you there’s romance here. There is!!! A lot! 

Anne Bishop

Yet another SFF author whose works have strong romantic elements. I love, love, love her Black Jewels books and when you read it, I know you’ll love it for sure. Now that I’ve been exposed to erotica, I realize that it has a lot of BDSM elements, too. 


This is fantasy, but yes I mean it. BDSM. 

The blurb for the Black Jewels Trilogy ---

Anne Bishop’s critically-acclaimed Black Jewels Trilogy is the saga of a young but still-innocent Queen more powerful than even the High Lord of Hell—and the three sworn enemies determined to win her and gain a prize that could be terrible beyond imagining…

Just to clue you in, the Queen here is the heroine and she has oodles of gorgeous, dark alpha demons / warriors devoted to her. Of course, only one of them is destined to be her Consort and don’t worry – this still stays true to my love for innocent virginal heroines. Her heart and body only belongs to her Consort. 

I don’t want to ruin it for you, but really – this is a must-read series! And, umm, yes, her books were another inspiration when I wrote The Demon Duke and I. 

Lynne Graham

The greatest jerks in romance novel history may be found between the pages of Harlequin paperbacks. You can quote me on that. But you know what? I can’t get enough of their heroes – the way they start like such cold-hearted arrogant bastards and then become the most passionate and loyal husbands in the end. 
My favourite Harlequin author is Lynne Graham – I talk about her all the time so this is a very obvious fact to my long-time readers by now haha – and my favourite book of hers is The Unfaithful Wife.
The Marriage Mistake!

Leah's marriage to powerful Greek businessman Nik Andreakis was an empty sham, and she was determined to get a divorce. But Nik didn't want one. In the circumstances, Leah found that totally unbelievable. Why would he want to hang on to a wife he'd been blackmailed into marrying!
Leah's lonely wedding night had set the pattern for the past five years, but now she couldn't sleep for wondering what motivated her husband. Why, all of a sudden, was he making advances to her when he had ignored her for so long?

Lynne’s heroes tend to be Greek billionaires, and yep – that’s where I got my love for Greek billionaires from. In fact, my Greek Billionaire Romance serials are practically my homage to her. Oh, and in case you haven’t read that particular serial of mine, then here’s the blurb of the first book The Art of Catching a Greek Billionaire – 

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 did what she could to make her dream come true.
This is my story.
I mean your story.
I mean, Mairi Tanner's story.

This book is FREE to download: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple

Anyway, there you have it – a list of writers I look up to and the books that helped me become the author I am today. Sorry if I ended up fangirling throughout my post – I’m like my heroines that way. When I heart someone, I heart them bad! :P

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.


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