Welcome Back!

I know it’s been a long, cold winter, but never fear…

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Happy February!

 

First of all, I hope that all of you have had a wonderful few months. It’s been about since Thanksgiving since I posted anything and it honestly feels like a year ago. I took a pretty serious break between Thanksgiving and Christmas and didn’t do anything. No plotting. No writing. Nothing.

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It was fine.

BUT THERE ARE THINGS I’VE MISSED! I promised updates, specifically in regards to Darker.

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But, the truth is, I still haven’t finished Darker. I haven’t even picked it up in weeks. If this book was everything you’ve been holding out for for two years and you loved it, then I am very happy for you. Personally, I think it’s a little dry and I’m having some difficulty getting through it. I think the book is written in a way where we’re not really given a new perspective on the plot, instead we just see Christian’s internal reaction to dialogue in the moment, and in, I FEEL, a fairly shallow way. For example:

 

In Fifty Shades Darker, we may get a line where Ana says, “Christian chuckles.”

In Darker, that same scene will say something like, “Damn, this girl is funny. I chuckle.”

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There just wasn’t enough insight to Christian’s character or his journey for me. I still want to get to the Leila stuff where he finds her in Ana’s apartment, and then the later submissive scene, but the last thing I read was the pool table scene so I’ve got a ways to go. I did appreciate Christian’s subtle dig at Portland in chapter one though.

“Well, it is Portland…”

#SeattleRulesPortlandDrools

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But speaking of re-writing the exact same material in an extremely dull way–
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Thank you all for your requests! I had so many that, at my normal writing pace, it would have taken me six months to get through them all, LOL.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have six months, so the list was whittled down to what I think were the most important moments we didn’t see and to what I think is going to be important for The Final Shade of Fifty. In total, I have fourteen, possibly fifteen, outtakes with two, possibly, three left to finish. There is one, from Carrick’s PoV, that will be important to read before The Final Shade of Fifty, as it will bridge the time gap between Stronger and Chapter 1.

I’m going to wait until Fifty Shades Freed comes out, then I’ll do a reaction/review post similar to the one I did for Fifty Shades Darker. Once that’s up, the outtakes will start going up (probably one every three or four days). That should put us in March somewhere for the first chapter of The Final Shade of Fifty.

I do have some new subscribers since last November, so for those of you who are new, WELCOME!

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Once I begin posting book four, you can expect updates every Monday. I’m not 100% done with the plotting of TFSoF, but I don’t think it’s going to be quite as long as Stronger was. But Stronger was 50 chapters, so this is a good thing.

I do have a new beta for The Final Shade of Fifty, AND for my original work (title: TBD), so I’d like to thank Stephanie for all the work she put in for A Broken Shade of Fifty and A Stronger Shade of Fifty, and would like to thank Erika and Robyn for agreeing to put up with me for my next two books. I know you all don’t get a lot of the “behind the scenes” stuff that’s gone into Shades of Fifty so far, but it entails a lot of panicked phone calls that begin with, “I’ve changed my mind, I need to talk you through something…” and then a two hour long conversation where I inevitably end up right back where I started.

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^Actual image of my previous Beta during the last few weeks of Stronger

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you’re all as excited about Fifty Shades Freed as I am. It was only last week when I realized that (besides Fifty Shades Darker) Jamie didn’t have a single new release last year, so I’m ready for his beautiful face on the big screen once again.

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Lots of Love, and eternally…. wishingmrgreywashere.

25 thoughts on “Welcome Back!

  1. OMGosh as soon as I saw this in my inbox i leaped for joy! Honestly, I was having such a melancholic day that as soon as I saw this and read, my day just got a whole better! I am so excited for the projects ahead! All of it! Your review of the movie, the outtakes, the last book and the projects you have beyond the series! More than the actual series/movies… lol.

    Thank you so much for being a kick ass author and I can’t wait to keep on reading!
    Lots of love!
    -Laura (avid fan…)

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  2. Happy New Year to you, too! I thoroughly enjoyed Grey and Darker. Once you get into Darker you see how nasty and sneaky Elaine truly is, there are internal questions about Leila’s motives and how mama Grey figures things out (as only a mom can). Can not wait to be entertained by your story. Thank you.

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  3. Thank you for your beautiful message to your readers. I don’t know how I missed it, but I may be the only one who didn’t know you are writing Fifty Shades the Final Chapter. When I saw that, I literally had goosebumps all over — a reaction I rarely have to anything! So thank you for creating and sharing your tremendous writing and for penning this final chapter of an exceptional FSOG series. You really do deserve a standing ovation so here it is — bravo, cheers and accolades from the east coast of the United States!!! And a toast to this next story which we already know will be fantastic!!! p.s. alas, I agree with you about Darker — ‘‘tis a shame as I was so looking forward to that.

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  4. Welcome back, was just thinking about you more the last two days and yes rest and do nothing stressful is a therapy we all need. Waiting for the outtakes.

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  5. Darker was NOT everything I had hoped either sondont feel bad. Anyways. Can’t wait for “Final” and the out takes!! Missed your stories!! Even re read some!!! Haha welcome back!!!

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  6. I can’t wait till March till you start the new book. I’m going to the special screening for Fifty Shades Freed tonight at the Arclight and I’m so excited I get to see it a week before it comes out !

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  7. Welcome back!!! I do hope the Outtakes you’ve chosen still have something about what went down with Kate and Elliot when he found out about her surgery or how they’ve been since reconnecting. Can’t wait!

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  8. Thanks, Tara. I’m sitting around recuperating from a broken hip, so your outtakes are going to be very welcome. As for “Darker,” it was a serious disappointment, almost as if it had been ghostwritten. Too much of the “Christian chuckled / I chuckled” sort of thing. Really, really happy to see your story back.

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  9. Welcome back, Tara😘 Happy New Year. Glad you took some time to yourself. But you were still writing the outtakes. Thank you for that and your dedication to so many more projects coming soon. Can’t wait. Look forward to ride the journey with you, stellar author⭐Xoxo daytona

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  10. Welcome Back and a very Happy New Year. Happy that you was able to relax in your pj and do absolutely nothing. Awesome. Looking forward to reading anything that you desire to grace us with. I have missed your writing. Thanks for the updates of what and when to expect to hear from you again.

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  11. Hi Tara! Happy New Year to you too and yes, it has been a long, cold winter❄️. I was so happy to read this note from you! I’m glad you’ve taken this time to unwind. Thank you for writing for us and welcome back😘

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  12. Welcome back and happy new year.

    I agree with you completely about Darker, and would argue that Erika simply phoned it in. It’s a blatant money grab, and with this effort, she has abandoned any pretext that she gives a shit about her characters or her fans. In some ways she even contradicts her original characterizations of him because it’s such a half-baked effort. Frankly, she should be embarrassed. Leila scenes will drive you bonkers, so have something filthy, like Donovan nearby.

    I cannot wait for Stronger, and I’m even more excited about your original work.

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  13. I (sadly) agree wholeheartedly about Darker. What I DID find interesting was that EL James almost seems to have taken a peak at Tara’s work, as she incorporates some of the themes. For example, while you can obviously figure out from the originals that Elena was doing whatever she could to undermine the relationship, it becomes obvious here (although I REALLY expected more to be shown by EL James). AND Elena was working the golddigger angle on Mama Grey, which was a major theme that Tara handled far better, quite frankly.

    Interestingly enough, we find that Christian is truly clueless in Darker. He just can’t see what Elena is truly doing, even though he finds it irritating. And I could have done without the glimmers of their past relationship. EL James seemingly wants to champion Elena as not completely evil, which is just wrong. I found Tara’s Elena far more in keeping with what I think Elena’s true character is—utterly manipulative and uncaring for anyone other than herself. And I see Elena as trying to manipulate Christian at every turn for her own benefit and for power. Her (few) texts and emails show a EL James that tried to make Elena more in line with Tara’s version, but it falls short. I needed more. And I felt a desperate Elena would have done more to keep what was hers, far more in line with Tara’s ELena. I never get a real feel for the character, unlike with Tara’s version, where you see just how intelligent Elena can be. You really SEE how Elena could earn a Princeton degree and masters, as she did in Tara-World.

    But the fact that Elena did to Mama Grey what she did to Carrick in Tara’s version (making them fear Anastasia and what she could do to Christian) is at least revealed, although I seriously couldn’t help but wonder if EL James had taken peaks at Tara’s works and seen what she, herself, was missing.

    And I am just going to admit it here—Tara did a better job of defining these characters and motives and even in making me believe more in the love between Christian and Ana than EL James did. (And that doesn’t really take away anything from EL James—I mean, it was her characters to begin with. I just think Tara did more for them once created, if that makes sense.)

    I had also expected to get more insight as to Leila and her motives. I mean, she might have been over the edge, but she has instincts and good planning skills, even at her craziest. I guess I expected more about her. I mean, we KNOW she shows up in Book 3 at Anastasia’s work for a reason, and I never bought that it was just to say “thank you” to Christian. AND I never got why Christian was so freaked out about what Leila might say to Anastasia. So I thought there was always MORE to what Christian feared would come from Leila. But in Darker, we get nothing really.

    There was a mention of Lincoln in Darker, and I felt that EL James suddenly realized that she NEEDED to show how Lincoln might have been triggered to support Hyde in his campaign to go after Anastasia and Christian. The fact that Lincoln saw Christian at the Mile High Club and was mere feet away from Ana and Christian may have reminded Lincoln that he never got Christian back for what he felt was an insult to himself.

    And Christian had told Ana that Lincoln “got his own back” in the original book, and I expected to learn just what Lincoln had done to Christian in Darker. But it turned out to be nothing, just CHristian’s thoughts that Elena had spent time in the hospital. But nothing further. And we NEVER find out just WHY the physical relationship between Christian and Elena ceased. CHristian was clearly obsessed with her and their physical relationship, as we unfortunately DO have to learn in Darker, but we never learn how it ended or why. So I still have questions. In fact, I have a LOT of questions that could have been given some real insight in this book. But like others, I rather felt it was an epic fail.

    Most of the dialogue between the books is the same, with little new stuff. Though we DO see that Christian is largely confused and bewildered by Ana’s actions. It NEVER seems to dawn on Christian to really see much from Ana’s eyes. ANA got it right in the original books that men just seem to lack empathy.

    Sigh. Oh well. REALLY now looking forward to more Tara-verse for Christian and Ana. (And Calliope.) And the whole Grey clan. Tara has made us actually VESTED in these multiple characters, and I am so very glad and grateful that we get a Book 4! PLUS OUTTAKES. (And eventually Future Takes, once Book 4 is complete!) At least with Tara, I feel we REALLY get the promised “more” from these characters, ESPECIALLY when you get another character’s Point of View. So I’m looking forward to mid-February and March (particularly since I could never get the courage to go see any of the Fifty movies in the theater! So I have to wait the obligatory period until they put Fifty Shades Free on DVD to see it!)

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      1. So much happened to ALL of these characters in Stronger that ANY amount of Outtakes would be possible. While I wondered if we might get an Outtake from Grace or Mia, they really said or showed their emotions to everything while it happened, so I find that I am glad, now, that the Outtakes will be from others. I really don’t need anything further from them. While I inititially wanted something from Sawyer or Ray, it really isn’t necessary now, since both really have said what was going through their minds at the time.

        OBVIOUSLY, the Carrick Outtake will now be important AND a way to give us info that takes place prior to the next book. So I am looking forward to that one, of course.

        The ones I want to read the most, predictably, will be from Christian. Choosing those 5 moments MUST have been hard, particularly with everything going on around them and to Ana. I mean, when you really think about it, Christian really ran the gauntlet in this one, from feeling betrayed by those closest to him to realizing that the one behind everything had been someone he probably hadn’t thought about for years AND someone that he never expected to be a threat. Trying to guess the 5 moments chosen will just drive me crazy. I expect at least one Outtake to concentrate around Calliope’s birth. (Although I can’t help myself from also wanting an Outtake of Christian really demanding to talk to the White House about getting Ana out of harm’s way from the storm! It is funny to think of, although you KNOW Christian was in absolute agony and determined to do anything, no matter the cost, to get to Ana. AND then Christian gets to hear the baby’s heartbeat and see the sonogram for the first time.) Plus, we have the proposal, the marriage, and SO MANY special Christian/Ana moments. And we know Christian loves and adores Callie, so I’m hoping at least one Outtake contains some of his thoughts surrounding her. THough I know it can’t have made the list, I admit to wanting a sachrine-sweet moment of Christian watching Callie laugh and dance with Ana to Ana’s music, since we know from Broken that Christian shares Sawyer’s belief that Ana’s taste in music is what is wrong with America! So I know that getting the Christian List down to ONLY five Outtakes must have been challenging, and I can’t wait to see what made the cut.

        While the idea of an Elena one makes me shudder, I know it will actually be a good one, since it could cover anything from her realizing that Christian truly has completely broken free of her, her realization that she has no more markers she can call in, or even when and how Andrew first contacted her. Or even her hearing of Isaac’s death, etc. (Or even her death and how Andrew pulled THAT one off.)

        In fact, now that I think about it, Elena would have HAD to know of others directly in Andrew’s payroll that have gone undetected thus far and that Andrew had left in place at the time of his death. (After all, KNOWING which police officers, county commissioners, etc. that you can pay off to keep your dirty secrets from being traced back to you would be incentive for Andrew to leave SOME people alive. AND is why Carrick and Christian want Carrick elected so badly.) So Elena’s Outtake may even have some info for the next book. Most likely not, but still possible.

        There were multiple possibilities for Kate, including her reactions to ANa in the hospital, and especially her proposal. But there is also her finding out about being a match for Carrick, her thoughts on Carter OR Elliot, etc. AND when she learned she was pregnant and what she thought her possibilities for the future might be. So the two moments chosen for Kate will be interesting to see, and as has been mentioned before, we haven’t really seen much of Kate’s inner monologue previously. Which makes sense for books before this one, as Kate had a relatively stable relationship with Elliot throughout. It is only in Stronger where so many dramatic things happen to Kate.

        So really looking forward to the Outtakes, if the above was not a clue to that! Must. . . somehow. . .tolerate. . .last remaining days of waiting until get Outtakes!

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  14. Oh Tara –one other thing about Darker that you will find interesting. Andrea Parker was fixing to get MARRIED when Christian made the call to have the 24 thousand dollars put in Ana’s account. When Christian later enquires of her why she didn’t say anything about getting married when she took her one-and-a-half days off, it turns out that a NONFRATERNIZATION CLAUSE had been in her contract, and she was marrying another GEH employee! I found it interesting that EL James brought up something that was a MAJOR plotpoint for your Second Book, and I, again, couldn’t help but wonder if she had taken a peak at your work. It is ANDREA’s marriage that is the catalyst for Christian deciding that he wants to marry Ana, which WAS something new in Darker. (After all, I had admittedly wondered WHY Christian, who seemed so fearful of being loved in the first place, jumped so quickly to marriage. I mean, I certainly got why Ana started laughing hysterically when he asked her in the book. So getting an actual explanation about WHY Christian was thinking about marriage in Darker DID add something.)

    I think EL James finally starts actually getting into the flow of writing for Christian towards the END of Darker. AND she provides a minor clue that Leila MOVED the PHOTOS to INTENTIONALLY try to rattle Ana, as she told Dr. Flynn. (We never do get to see Christian check his SAFE in the book to see if anything ELSE went missing from Leila’s efforts. I think EL James missed a really good plot opportunity there, in my opinion, that would explain Christian’s overreaction to hearing about Leila visiting Ana at work in Book 3.)

    Oh, by the by, do we see LEILA at all in the third movie? I was doubtful, given the importance of so many other moments in Book 3, that we would get to see a healthy Leila visiting Ana at work. Just wondering. . . .

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