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Gao Yuanyuan Imagined as Chance Kelley in The PRIYA CLUB Novels by Ashley Barron
Gao Yuanyuan imagined as character Chance Kelley in the Priya Club novels.
Chance's Family & Friends

Chance Kelley has lived in the same house since she was born. She loves that house the way she might have loved a sibling, something she thinks about often. Down the road a bit is Derek and Gracie Arden’s house, where Chance swore her blood oaths with her new Priya sisters (she had sisters, finally!) the night Ava founded the Priya Club.

Chance’s mother is a native of China and her father, also an immigrant, was born in Scotland. Considered a miracle pregnancy by her parents, who were well into their 40’s when they met, Chance is an only child.

Her best friend within the Priya Club is Lyric Palmer.

Mandolin's New York, a fictional luxury department store in the Priya Club novels by Ashley Barron.
Chance has always been devoted to fashion, fabrics, and the pursuit of beauty. Different from India Reed, a clothing designer, Chance’s path has led to the retail management side of the industry. Instead of spending her junior year abroad during college, Chance chose to spend all four years pursuing a business undergrad degree at Sorbonne University in Paris, France.

After graduation, Chance chose Mandolin’s New York as her full-time employer. She worked at their Chevy Chase location every summer, from high school through college, often alongside her mom. Chance’s fast-track to the executive suite was guided by the General Manager of the store. With every promotion he received, he brought Chance up with him. When he retired last year, she took over as Executive Vice President, Eastern Region, Mandolin’s New York. 

Chance’s new boss has been trying to date her since he took the job, four months back. His pointed attentions are beginning to create ripples for her at work. Unless dealt with, one of those ripples will become a career-ending problem for her.

The Backstory

The Thrills

Keep an eye on this space for hints about the thrills in Chance’s story.

Who is this Priya's true love?
Who is this Priya's true love?

Keep an eye on this space for hints about the love in Chance’s story.

Bonne Chance is a fictional French-style restaurant in the Priya Club novels by Ashley Barron.

Helaina Karras owns “The Darlings,” a fleet of restaurants she designed that incorporates the particular lifestyles and favorite foods of the Priya Club members. Each woman eats and drinks for free at her namesake establishment.

Bonne Chance, the bistro-style restaurant inspired by Chance Kelley, features simple French recipes using the highest-quality ingredients. The wine menu is select and features only French labels, most of which are made with organic grapes.

Like Parisians, Washingtonians

Pitbull - Feel This Moment ft. Christina Aguilera

Serious about fitness, Chance Kelley starts each morning with an aerobics class at her local gym. She considers advanced aerobics classes to be on par with the type of workout that professional athletes do as part of their training. (She and Quinlan Tyler, a professional athlete, are guaranteed to debate this topic at least one a month.)

The music, played extra loud during class, makes the time pass swiftly. Pitbull’s music, in particular, energizes her to the point that she has been asked to start teaching the class. (Never going to happen; she is a retail girl, through and through.)

When no one is around, which is more often than she would like, Chance cranks up this song, puts on workout clothes from her secret stash of E-bay-purchased 80’s wear, and turns her living room into a dance club. She’s only been caught doing this once. But you’ll have to wait for Chance’s novel to find out his name.

What Readers Are Saying About AVA

AVA a Priya Club Novel by Ashley Barron

“I will say it again, I am amazed I didn’t figure out this mystery! Most the time I have a pretty good guess and I didn’t even have a guess with this book.”

“From the first chapter you are hooked. It is hard to put down. Great book. Can’t wait to read the next one.

“Ashley Barron has an uncanny ability for communicating the intricacies of human relationships. For that reason alone, I am looking forward to her next installment.”

“The plot develops nicely and never veers off course…and as it comes to its conclusion, you are left fulfilled, but craving more.

“I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read more from the author, Ashley Barron. This book had humor, fun, suspense and much more.”

“Wasn’t expecting this to be such a good book, so I was thrilled to find it was. Look forward to reading the ones to follow it in the Priya series.”

Gao Yuanyuan Imagined As Chance Kelley

Gao Yuanyuan imagined as Chance Kelley in the Priya Club novels.
Gao Yuanyuan imagined as Chance Kelley in the Priya Club novels.
Gao Yuanyuan imagined as character Chance Kelley in the Priya Club novels.
Gao Yuanyuan Imagined as Chance Kelley in The PRIYA CLUB Novels by Ashley Barron
Creating a Character Board
- A Note From Ashley Barron

Above are links to find out more information on the living human I picture in my mind when writing scenes for character Chance Kelley in the Priya Club novels. Her name is Gao Yuanyuan.

When writing a novel, it is often helpful to have the face and body of an actual person in mind when imagining a character’s emotions, and interactions, and life.

Writer’s Digest says: “One effective way to create lively characters on the page is to create a character board first, enabling you to envision who your character really is.”

Many writers use character boards when planning out the “people” in a novel. I did not include this resource when preparing to write my first novel. Frankly, in the beginning, I had no plan. I was winging it, all the way. If, over the years, you’ve read my blog at Indie Book Week, then you know how many mistakes I’ve made on this, my writing journey.

It wasn’t long into writing AVA that I realized the book was going to be part of a series. I began to document character details, plot ideas for future novels, and more, in an Excel spreadsheet. While helpful in a way, it wasn’t the most user friendly resource because I couldn’t see all the snippets of information at one time.

Fortunately, all that learning I had to do to complete my first 100,000-word novel has resulted in a cleaner, clearer work flow for all subsequent work. My characters are better. My stories are better. And I am enjoying this process of creation with less angst and more imagination.

When the words for my second novel began to take shape in my mind — and that was well before the first sentence landed on a blank page — I knew I wanted to incorporate a character planning resource that would let me flesh out the particulars of a “person” in an organized and cohesive fashion. And it needed to be something more writer-friendly than my Excel spreadsheets.

Enter the character board. Most authors (and their loved ones) will tell you that the characters who inhabit their minds, and books, are real. Fine, they don’t exist in the flesh, we get it, but they are most definitely alive. With this in mind, I decided to have some fun with my character boards by creating online profiles for the characters in my Priya Club novels.

Here, on, meet the Priyas, their loves, their families. Get to know where they work, and where they play. Learn about their personalities, quirks, and hearts. As the series progresses, as the characters continue to evolve, a continuous stream of new details and information will be added these pages. We hope you’ll share this journey with us, the Priya Club characters and me, and that you’ll visit with us here, on, often.

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