Aiken native J.B. McGee realized that, after reading a trilogy that has topped best seller lists around the world, she had a story of her own.

McGee began writing and “the words kept coming,” she said from her home in the Atlanta area. “I started writing Aug. 12 and was done two weeks later.”

Her first book, “Broken,” is ranked in the top 50 for bestsellers in Amazon’s Kindle eBooks for Contemporary Fiction. It is the first installment in a trilogy with the second book, “Mending,” expected to be released later this month.

“Broken” follows the evolving relationship between Gabriella Gerhart and successful businessman Bradley Banks who, after Gabby shies away from emotions that aren’t safe, forces her to feel again. But, will he be her next heartbreak?

The idea for the story came to McGee after she read E.L. James’ popular “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy about how bookish Anastasia Steele falls in love with business magnate Christian Grey.

“I very much liked it because of the love story and how (Christian) wants to be (Anastasia’s) everything,” McGee said. “That led to ‘Gabriel’s Inferno’ and I realized I had my own story in my head. I realized I could do it.”

McGee’s desire to write a book seemed to come at the right time in her life. Writing is something she can do from home, which helps because, as a sufferer of mitochondrial disease, she gets sick easily. Her two sons and husband also have it.

Even if she owned the only copy of “Broken” that was ever published, McGee wanted to write.

The writing turned out to be the easy part, even for a woman who is not an avid reader.

McGee cautioned that her work should not be lumped in the same genre as “Fifty Shades of Grey” or “Gabriel’s Inferno.” She is a contemporary romance author, not an erotic romance author.

“I really wanted to keep people wanting, wanted a page-turner. I as the author wanted to know what happened next,” she said. “I can’t say (Bradley Banks) is not at all influenced by Christian Grey, but Bradley is more realistic. Let’s face it. No one is going to meet a Christian Grey. Bradley does have a little take-charge attitude, but he’s also sweet and compassionate. In my mind, (Bradley and Gabby) are soul mates and there are bumps in the road to figuring that out.”

McGee, a graduate of South Aiken High School, will be at Desserves on Dec. 22 from 2 to 4 p.m. to sign copies of “Broken.”

“Broken” is available as an eBook through various vendors like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo for 99 cents. Paperbacks are also available for purchase for $9.99 at

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