Saturday, August 2, 2014

Scene Spotlight of PROTECTIVE INSTINCTS by Mary Marvella #romance @mmarvellab @melissasnark

They met because he had premonitions and she was in peril. But you will never believe why they fell in love. Paranormal romance at its best.

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, if not a slight attraction to the handsome yet meddling security specialist.

Sam Samuels isn't just the father of one of Ms. Robert's students, he's a man with premonitions so strong, they make him ill. So when he meets his son's teacher and pain kicks in, he knows something's awry but can't put his finger on it until he interrupts an attempt to kill the teacher. Sam makes it his personal goal to protect her, only he didn't count on falling for her.

Publisher: Sizzler Editions/ Aries line

Date Published 2013

Genre: Erotic Romantic Suspense

Word Count: 90,000

Buy link: 

The Scene:

I added all of this to show that Sam wasn't a stalker and why Brit would allow him to follow her without yelling bloody murder. 

Clicking heels on wood distracted him. The wearer sounded small but business-like, in a hurry. He glanced in the direction of the feminine sound. The lady wore navy hose and matching skirt. He smiled and nodded at Ms. Roberts as she passed him on her way to the parking lot. "Good evening," he said to her back as she barely slowed her exit, leaving a light floral scent to wrap around him.

Her impersonal nod toward him could have been meant for anyone.

"And a good evening to you, too," he muttered to the closing door. Typical for her. She wasn't the friendliest woman he'd ever met. Most women at least gave him a smile when he spoke to them.

Gut pain bent him almost double. He glanced around the deserted hall. Familiar pressure built in his head. A premonition attack was coming on. Why now? Why when his son's teacher had passed by? He didn't need an attack now. He hurried to the school parking lot to catch up with the cause of his discomfort. He'd finish his figures later.

Sam had figured he'd probably see Ms. Roberts here sometime before he left, but he hadn't planned to do more than nod to her as he always did. She was attractive but standoffish. Sean had mentioned she was a widow. Maybe that was why she seldom smiled.

His mama's training in the ways of a gentleman prodded him toward her and the old Mustang. He'd follow her tonight. He had no choice. Maybe this premonition was about car trouble. Probably. It wouldn't be the first time he'd rescued someone from being stranded.

She whirled around to face him, annoyance in her expression. "Are you following me?"

Sounded like an accusation. "I'm Sean Samuels' father."

"I know, but why are you here at my car? Isn't that your truck, over there?" She tilted her head toward his truck.

"Sean's always talking about your Mustang, '65?"

" '64 1/2."

 "I had a '66 way back when." He ran his hand along the back fender. "Restoring it?" He pointed to sanded areas. Her raised eyebrow made him feel like he was intruding. Too damned bad, it couldn't be helped. The hairs on the back of his neck were still at alert. "Does it run well?"

"Two-eighty-nine, high performance engine, four-barrel carburetor, automatic. I never drive above 85 mph." Despite the way she seemed to parrot the response, a smile played on her lips.

Sam's hands gravitated to his pockets as he resisted the urge to reach for her keys and unlock her door. Standing close enough to share body heat and inhale her subtle wild flower fragrance, he noticed she barely came up to his shoulder, even with her heels. Pain lanced through Sam's head. His physical manifestations were stronger. If only he could get an idea about the source of the danger. But then he'd have to work on using the pesky gift he hadn't wanted, one he couldn't ignore. He couldn't let her leave alone to face the unnamed threat. She'd think he'd lost his freakin' mind if he told her he sensed she was in danger.

  She put her key in the ignition and started the powerful engine, gunning it more than necessary.

"Just acting like a parent and a man who makes his living keeping people safe." She needed a reason to let him help her with a problem she didn't know she had, especially when he couldn't tell her the truth. "Your engine sounds a little rough. You have a couple of worn tires, too. Mind if I follow you home, to be sure you get there okay? Can't have my son's teacher stranded on the road at night. I do have a cell phone." Lame, he sounded lame.

"I don't see any need for you to follow me home, Mr. Samuels."

Probably thinks I'm hitting on her, which I wouldn't.

"I'm tired. I'd just like to go home and relax. It's been a long day." She adjusted her rearview mirror then stretched her seatbelt to secure it.

Could she be hinting he leave her alone? "Please, humor me. I'm a security specialist and my mama raised me to watch out for ladies and it's ... Oh, Hell, it's practically on my way and --"

"Fine, whatever, Mr. Samuels. Knock yourself out."

 Even in the parking lot light, he could see the dark smudges beneath her eyes. She must have had a hard day.

"Sure thing." What else could he say after he'd badgered her?

"I'll try not to drive my old clunker too fast for you."

 Smart mouth and humor.

 "Good evening, Mr. Samuels."

The author discusses what's happening in the scene...

Before this scene begins we learn Brit's husband has died and she's trying to regain her independence. We also learn someone has been making harassing hang-up calls to her. Brit has seen Sam at events with his son and considers him a good parent and good looking, but she isn't ready to begin any kind of relationship with a man. I wanted to make Sam the kind of man she can't resist, a good, Southern man, a good parent, and "easy on the eye."

At the beginning of this scene we learn that Sam's concern for his son is one reason he is updating the security system for his son's school. He makes it clear that his premonitions make him have to help people, even this woman who has practically ignored him. Sam doesn't talk about his premonitions. Besides, this woman who knows him only as the parent of one of her students will think he's a kook if he tells her he believes she is in danger or a stalker or horn dog if he doesn't. Using her old car as his excuse for following her home makes it clear that he doesn't know her well.

 A reader will know she doesn't need help with her car, but that Sam thinks she is in danger. Fortunately for him, she is too tired to argue with him.

Southern women are strong and independent. Some accept help easily, while others don't. At this point, Brit doesn't.  

Sam was raised to protect women, no matter what, and to be a gentleman.

Brit feels guilty for her husband's death, but I don't believe in spoilers so I won't tell you why

Adrian Paul with s Southern accent could be Sam. I'd let Sharon Stone or Rachel McAdams play Brit.   

The earliest version began with him approaching her in her classroom because he thought his son had a crush on her. In the end he kissed her. I finally dumped the Neanderthal.

I began this book in 1991 and it has seen many revisions.

I still wanted them to meet and have the Mustang conversation, so I kept it. I love Mustangs and women who know how to fix them. She does. My daddy and brother knew Mustangs inside and out. So do Brit's daddy and brothers.  She found Sam. I didn't. (Grin!)

Mary has been writing romance novels since 1991. She taught school before that and now tutors and edits freelance and for Gilded Dragonfly Books. She has Indie published 3 novels and 2 novellas. Her daughter lives with her new husband and 2 dogs.

Amazon Author Page


  1. Hello Mary! *Beth waving. The Snarkology is a great blog. As is Melissa. Wow, what a great story. I see I have another one of yours to read. I love what I've read by you thus far.

  2. Thanks, Beth! I'm trying to catch up with you! This is the (giggle) erotic romance that I call a romantic suspense.

  3. Hi, Mary. Isn't it amazing what we can cram into a scene so that the reader knows what is happening. Weaving in the details is part of the craft.

    1. Thanks, E. Ayers! I made more than one pass through that scene to add layers and more layers.

  4. Mary you are just terrific and so are your stories...

    1. Mary R, that is great praise coming from you!

  5. Congrats, Mary! Great writing and a great cover. I loved what you said about keeping in a scene (Mustangs) because you wanted it there. I've done the same thing, so I understand and applaud you.

    1. Thanks, Sandy! The fact that she drives classic Mustang shows she's no wilting flower or high maintenance woman.

  6. Great post and I still love your cover. It is so much nicer than mine, makes me green everytime I see it and Scarlet does not look good in green.

    1. Scarlet looks lovely in powder blue or mint green. She also looks good in bronze or navy.

  7. Hi Mary,
    Welcome to the Snarkology. Sorry about being a bit late to the party. We have a major housing reno going and it's been consuming all of my free time. :-)

  8. But you are here now! I hate renovations!

  9. Looks interesting! I will have to check it out :)

    1. Thanks, Elaine. I still need to get your books read!

  10. Fabulous scene, Mary. You are an expert at storytelling.

    1. Joanne , you are so sweet! Your stories have such flair!