Wednesday 30 October 2013

Welcome Mary Marvella

Mary is giving away a pdf copy of Protective Instincts to one lucky commenter. Email address needed to win.

Thanks for inviting me to join you today!
I am sitting watching Once Upon a Time because I believe. I grew up reading fairy-tales. When I taught 6th grade I had an extra assignment, to give a 3rd grade teacher a break by taking her kids for half an hour once a week. I had no training teaching kids of that age, but I did know how to make up stories, so once I had used up my store of kids' stories, I retold them, making up new endings and telling what happened next to the characters. 

For as long as I can remember I created stories in my head. I played house, climbed trees, and read everything. I made paper dolls and designed their clothes. I still like to color in coloring books and in stories.

After I retired from teaching I became a tutor. I teach at a variety of levels, including anything language arts and writing classes. I also edit books for Gilded Dragonfly Books and for freelance clients.

Protective Instincts began several incarnations ago, with a man who thought his teenage son had a crush on a sexy young teacher, only to find the teacher was a 30-something woman and sexy in a wholesome, woman-next-door way. He actually asked her out and then kissed her. That part went away with several drafts. Then I thought about what would happen if the woman became the target of a professional killer, the man who killed her husband. What if he planned all murders to be different? Since it was to be a romance, I needed a man who would protect her, but not a cop or a military type. The daddy from the original idea became a man with premonitions and a protective streak a mile wide. That book became Protective Instincts.

An idea comes to me or characters appear and want to tell their stories. I started a book after my EX and I bought a house for my daughter to rent out while she attended college in Milledgeville, Georgia. The seller's daughter mentioned ghosts and named them for me while we were signing the papers. The story wrote itself in my head during the 2 1/2 hour ride home. Well, not the entire story, but I knew who the ghosts were and why they were in the house. They told me they were there to protect the heroine and they introduced me to the hero, the guy next door. From there the story wrote itself over months when I had to turn in pages to my critique group. That story became Haunting Refrain. (

I self -published 3 novels and 2 novellas before I contracted a book. I would advise anyone thinking of self publishing to get your book edited by a pro. Several of my clients ask me to edit books they Indie-published and got bad reviews because of grammar and punctuation.

How do you create sexual tension in your romances? 
It's always about the tease. Make your characters want each other and don't let them get what they want until they beg.

Do you have critique partners? Three of us met through Georgia Romance Writers and the 4th we met at a bookstore. She now belongs to GRW, too. I have one partner I met years ago and we work together and another one who asked me years ago to critique with her and a friend of hers.

I hate routines, but I write or edit when I'm not tutoring or making preparations to tutor. I try to troll Facebook and answer emails and read loops. I might write all night if I am on fire or an idea grabs me or if I don't have other obligations, like blogs to write or posts to upload to my blogs.

Thanks for being my guest, Mary. We’d love a blurb and an excerpt from your latest book.

Sam was ready to climb through the phone line. Something was terribly wrong. He’d known it just before he woke in a cold sweat, his gut in pain. The memory of her frightened amethyst eyes haunted him. Why had he dreamed about her? Why had she seemed so upset? He’d speed-dialed Ms. Roberts’ number before he realized he’d picked up the phone beside the recliner where he’d fallen asleep. All Sean’s teachers’ numbers were programmed into the phone.

“I’m comin’ over.” Sam was out of the chair as quickly as his sleep-stiff body would allow.

“No! No, don’t come over here.”

“Something’s wrong. I know it is.” Still half asleep, Sam held the phone between his chin and his neck as he shoved his feet into the shoes he’d discarded before dozing off.

“Everything’s fine,” she had told him. Why would she lie? He knew she had, because his premonitions were never wrong.

“So, why didn’t you answer your phone?”

“I was half asleep. Do you know what time it is?”

“Yes, but I’m worried about you. I’ll be at your house in ten minutes,” Sam had his keys and wallet in his hands. “I’ll explain, but I really need to be sure you’re all right, please.”

He replaced the phone, then checked Sean’s room. Sean lay sprawled across his bed, blond hair mussed, his hand dangling off the edge. Grabbing a sheet of paper Sam scrawled, “Son, back soon. Don’t worry. Gone to check on a friend.”

Sam raced across town, hoping he didn't get stopped for speeding. The streets were deserted. Good fortune had put each light on green or flashing yellow. He didn't think he’d have stopped if there had been a red light. The eerie feelings weren't as strong as when he’d awakened, but they wouldn't go away.


They met because he had premonitions and she was in peril. But you will never believe why they fell in love.
After mourning the loss of her husband, Brit Roberts manages to pick up her life as a teacher for a rural Georgia High school. Things are fine until anonymous phone calls turn creepy and her life is endangered. It's not until Sam Samuels shows up to check on her that she finds a little peace.
Mary Marvella@mmarvellab


  1. It's always interesting to see how ideas get our attention and then evolve. Great post!

    1. Thanks, Brenna! I also love hearing where writers get their ideas. One idea woke me in the middle of the night. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Enjoyed 'meeting' you Mary! I'm in a critique group and find it a very important part of my writing journey. Best of luck with your books!

    1. Critique partners can be your best cheering section! Just remember that you aren't writing by committee and if 1 idea of 7 works for you, use it and be thankful.

  3. What a fun excerpt, gets right to it...Can't wait to readit.

  4. I'm in love with your cover. The idea of moving from teaching is something that's been on my mind. Thanks for sharing about yourself.

    daringzoey at

    1. You can do it if the time is right! I fell for that cover, too!

  5. Excellent interview! Always interesting to read about how other authors create their stories. MM, what is the first thing you do when your begin a new word. I ask because I intend to start a new book during NaNoWriMo beginning on Friday.

    MJ FLournoy
    A Matter of Trust available on Amazon

    1. MJ, I ask myself how I can toss a character in a difficult situation and then I toss! I jump into someone's head and write what she or he feels and then what each needs not to have happen, then, I let it happen,

  6. That's what I get for typing without my glasses on! That should be when you begin a new work! Oops.

    MJ Flournoy
    A Matter of Trust romantic suspense available on Amazon

  7. Thanks for having me here, Anna! I'll choose a winner tonight!