#Real Life Romance By Mary Ann Rivers
Heroine: Serena Bell
My favorite stories to hear, to read, and to write are love stories. Every month, I’ll bring you the real-life love story of one of your favorite romance authors, reviewers, or readers.
Serena Bell blazed onto the romance scene with her sweet-hot novella TICKET HOME—part of Samhain’s Strangers on a Train anthology. On 11/11/13, prepare to swoon over her debut novel from Lovewept, YOURS TO KEEP, about a handsome and determined pediatrician and his son’s mysterious and troubled Spanish tutor. Serena’s work is notable for its aching romantic tension and unforgettable love scenes.
Serena has a story of her own, too. The love story that began her happily-ever-after with her husband is as twisty and turny as a classic romantic movie, and one of my favorite real-life love stories—and I’ve been asking people to tell me their stories for a long time.
You and your husband have such an interesting love story, it’s seriously like a classic movie plot. One more time, tell me all about it:
I love telling this story! We met in college. My husband had two crushes–one on the cute woman in philosophy class and one on the writer who kept submitting poems and stories to the literary magazine he edited. Unbeknownst to him, they were both me.
Meanwhile, my now-husband had started emailing me, admiring my writing and flirting outrageously, but we’d never met and the only guy I knew on the literary magazine was six feet tall, black, and–as it turned out later–gay. So that’s who I thought he was. Also, one of my dorm mates told me he’d stalked his last girlfriend after they’d broken up. So I asked her to tell him to back off.
Luckily, she was too busy and forgot.
Shortly after that, I delivered one of my stories in person to the literary magazine office. My admirer discovered that I was both of his crushes rolled into one (I still didn’t know anything about this dual-crush). I learned that he was five-ten and blond and that we had a ridiculous amount of chemistry. He told me he liked to hang out at a used book store in an old saw mill–what writer could resist that? I decided I didn’t care even if he was a crazy stalker. But neither of us made the first move.
That weekend, I got stood up for a blind date to a dance, and in a fit of mad what-the-heck, I went to my now-husband’s dorm room and asked him to get a cup of coffee with me. We talked for hours and hours, and he ‘fessed up to his double-crush on me. All these years later, his crazy stalker side has not materialized, but to this day, he’s still one of the biggest fans of my writing and we love to hang out in used book stores. And the chemistry’s still ridiculous.
When you and your husband tell “your story” are there details that are his favorite and ones that are yours?
Oh, definitely. He loves talking about how great my butt looked in philosophy and I like to make him tell me how brilliant my stories and poems were. Actually, I think over time our versions have gotten closer together as we’ve told and retold the story and approached a kind of definitive version.
How has “your story” changed over the years? How has it become a part of your family’s history?
The aspect of his loving my writing has taken on greater and greater resonance as I’ve become more successful at writing fiction, because it’s so obvious how much faith he has always had in me. As the kids have gotten older, they’ve begun repeating the story themselves. They’re very interested in the part where their dad was in love with their mom for two different “sides” of her before he knew they were part of the same person. And my kids are great cheerleaders for my writing career, so they appreciate that their dad has always been a cheerleader, too. In an alpha way, of course.
If your story were a romance novel, describe the cover!
It’s a pretty great setup, with enough twists and turns to just about stand alone as a novella, if not a novel. I only wish I’d invented it. You may yet find it on the shelves, thinly disguised … and if you do, he’ll be tweaking something on a computer while I lurk behind him and provide distraction.
And now a question for our readers, if your story were a romance novel, describe your cover!
If you’re interested in telling me your real-life love story for possible inclusion on Rivers’ Real-Life Romance, email me at email@example.com
Mary Ann Rivers writes sexy and emotional contemporary. Her debut THE STORY
GUY is available from Random House Loveswept July 8, 2013. Find her at
maryannrivers.com or follow her on Twitter @maryann_rivers
Buy her book hereIn this eBook original novella, Mary Ann Rivers introduces a soulful and sexy tale of courage, sacrifice, and love.
I will meet you on Wednesdays at noon in Celebration Park. Kissing only.
Carrie West is happy with her life . . . isn’t she? But when she sees this provocative online ad, the thirtysomething librarian can’t help but be tempted. After all, the photo of the anonymous poster is far too attractive to ignore. And when Wednesday finally arrives, it brings a first kiss that’s hotter than any she’s ever imagined. Brian Newburgh is an attorney, but there’s more to his life . . . that he won’t share with Carrie. Determined to have more than just Wednesdays, Carrie embarks on a quest to learn Brian’s story, certain that he will be worth the cost. But is she ready to gamble her heart on a man who just might be The One . . . even though she has no idea how their love story will end?