Thursday, March 17, 2016

Why would author Debra Marvin like to be a beaver? ♦ Giveaway

Please welcome author Debra Marvin in a fun Q & A with me here on Whispers in Purple. First . . . an introduction:

DM_headshot (1)

Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She’d like to live just a wee bit closer to her grandchildren, but is thankful that God is in control, that He chooses to bless us despite ourselves and that He has a sense of humor.

Other than writing light-hearted romances and gritty gothics, she has pretty normal obsessions: fabric, peanut butter, vacations, British dramas and whatever mystery series she’s currently reading. Visit her at, the Inkwell Inspirations Blog, @debraemarvin on twitter and Debra E Marvin on Facebook and Pinterest, but not her house because she usually has dirty dishes

There’s a Giveaway attached to this post. See details below next to the PURPLE arrow .

Now let’s get to the interview.


When people find out we’re writers, someone will inevitably say ‘I’ve always wanted to write a book’ or, ‘I’d like to write a book someday,’ and you’re probably no exception. What is/would be your response?

It hasn’t happened a lot. I say ‘it’s a lot of work, but why don’t you get it a try.’ And I try very hard not to make a face!

Ha! I’m always curious about other writer’s habits, quirks, and the like: background music, or complete silence? Do you snack when you write? Share some of yours.

I like music but it has to be instrumental and suitable for my story’s setting. If I hear lyrics, they seem to come out of my fingers and an odd word will show up on the screen. Strange how that happens. I really try not to snack while I’m writing. It’s so hard to stop mindless eating and you know how mindless writers can be! I also like to have photos of someone I think matches my characters; it’s easier for me to get in their head if I can look in their eyes.

Same with me, Debra. Tell us five random things about you.

I have a horticulture degree. I live on a lake. I like to make costumes but I wouldn’t want to do it full time—It’s more of a case of designing something and creating it. I drive a stick shift (truck!), and I’ve always wanted to sing like Gladys Knight.

If you could spend the day with one contemporary (living) person–NOT family–who would it be, and, of course, why?

Peg, this is a really tough question! I’ve over-thunk this to death. My first thought was a famous writer, but they’d probably want to write and not have me bothering them… A full day with someone would be a great way to learn something I want to learn (Can you tell I’m task oriented?) so I think I’d choose Lydia Bastianich. A great cook with a great cooking show that I’ve watched for years. I promise to bring you back something tasty. Mangia, mangia!

Interesting answer! What sparks your creativity when feeling drained?

Pinterest, a nap, a good book or movie. I’m usually most creative when I’m not at my home keyboard. Pinterest has a way of making me think I can do great things. Apparently, I’m not alone!

For sure! Describe your favorite writing space.

That would be my recliner with my laptop. It happens to be my cat’s favorite napping place too, so I’ve developed very long arms!

Coffee or tea?

Decaf coffee.

Fun question: If you’d been born into the animal kingdom instead of the human race, what animal would you be, and why?

I think it would have to be a beaver. I have these two big front teeth for one thing. I’d love to swim with such ease, and then live in my cozy little house on an island I made with my bare…paws. A satisfactory day’s work and a solid family relationship. Sounds good to me!

LOVE that answer! Smile

Now, let’s get to the book we’re featuring today.

Austen in Austin V1

Title: Austen in Austin (Vol 1)

Publisher: WhiteFire

Release Date: January 15, 2016

Genre: Historical romance

Stand alone or series: well, it’s like this…My novella Alarmingly Charming is one of four novellas in an anthology. Four more novellas are coming out in Vol 2 later this year.

Purchase links: Austen in Austin:

And Alarmingly Charming:


What’s the book about and how did you come to write it?

Years ago, my blog-mates from Inkwell Inspirations and I discussed doing a collections of novellas. We settled on Regency or Jane Austen-inspired…or a western theme. Luckily for us, we put them together! I chose Northanger Abbey as the Austen novel I’d ‘play’ with, because I’m a big fan of mysteries, and suspense, and I’d been writing something rather dark and gothic. Northanger Abbey was Austen’s take on the gothic novels that were popular at the time, and I sort of parodied her parody, with a bookworm heroine visiting 1887 Austin, Texas.

alarmingly charming cover1


Give us the back cover blurb: ALARMINGLY CHARMING: As travel companion to her condescending cousin, Philadelphian Kathryn Morton dreamily anticipates a week in the Wild West as the best cure for meekness. After a long rail journey and a steady diet of gothic dime novels, she shivers, despite the Texas heat, at the ghastly tales of the Austin Axe Murderer. Kathryn has little time to fret, given the competing attentions of quiet rancher Harmon Gray and elegant gentleman Jonathan Wellington. With her new-found confidence and her boundless imagination, she sets out to solve the mystery of Hyde Park Cemetery before another student flees Austen Abbey. Only then can she return home to her English-born parents as an independent American woman. A woman in love. But on the stormiest of nights, Kathryn learns that solving the mystery may destroy a future with the man she’s fallen for in a big Texas way.


Where can folks find you on the Internet?


purple curved arrowAbout the Giveaway:

Debra says: I will give away a print copy of Austen in Austin, and a bonus ebook of Alarmingly Charming. Commenters must note if they’d like the paperback or the eBook, and answer this question: A week in Regency–era England or a week in contemporary Austin?

Giveaway ends one week from today on Thursday, March 24, at Midnight CDT. Winner will be drawn via and notified via email. Bonne chance!


  1. I came here mainly for the interview - I love it! Fantastic interview :D
    For the giveaway, I already have an ecopy, but print would be amazing - I reread prints so much more than ecopies, and this collection (particularly "Alarmingly Charming") is definitely worth the reread!
    I'd probably choose a week in Regency-era England. That would be so amazing!

  2. A week in contemporary Austin would be great.
    I would prefer a paperback book.
    My house has dirty dishes (and clutter) too, but my mother always reminds me . . . my friends aren't visiting me to see my picked up, clean house, they are visiting to see ME. =)

  3. Hi, Rachel, so happy you came for a visit. Interviewing June was fun. I'd be torn between Regency England and today's Austin. I'd be happy for a week at either one. I've been to Austin and loved it.
    Your name has been entered in the drawying. Be sure to watch your email next weekend to see if you've been drawn as the winner.

  4. Nice to see youo here again, Heather. Clutter is a way of life at my house and no one seems to care, or even notice. That's a good thing :)
    You've been entered in the drawing, too. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Paperback would be wonderful. I would prefer contemporary Austin for a couple of reasons. My sister moved there a year ago.

  6. Hi Jan, and thank you for commenting. I've been interested in Austin for years but I've never visited. (of course, I've never been to England-regency or otherwise!) From what I understand it's also a city known for great food, so I'd have to agree. And the clothing would be so much less work!

  7. Heather, I'm in the middle of a redecorating/rehabbing project and my bedroom is scattered in pieces all over my tiny house. I currently have a table saw in the living room. But I absolutely agree. I know I like to visit my friends regardless of what their houses look like!
    Thanks for joining in the conversation!

  8. Hi Raechel ! Thanks for stopping in. I am LOVING all the purple and I had fun with Peg's great questions. I'd love to meet her -and you- in person some day. You're a sweetheart to come by and say such nice things!
    Even knowing how much more work 'getting dressed' in the past was, I'd love a chance at a week in 1815. Well, it would certainly help my writing. I'd be known for my vivid settings!

  9. You're right abouot the food in Austin, Debra! Outstanding. I want to thank you for being my guest at Whispers in Purple. Loved your answers to my questions.

  10. AMEN to the great settings, Debra. They'd be so very authentic :)

  11. Debbie ClatterbuckMarch 19, 2016 at 2:56 AM

    I would love a paperback and prefer a week in Regency-era England. Part of me believes I was born back then and am now reincarnated to today's era. LOL Crazy I know. Thanks for the giveaway and good luck everyone.

  12. Gee, if it were possible, a week in Regency England would be amazing! I'd get to see what it was like, and I could probably fake it for that long. In my fantasies about what it would be like being there, as a modern day American, I always worry about my contacts - can't see without them. (I'm so vain!) :-)

    If I were to win your giveaway, I would prefer ebook versions. My kindle goes with me everywhere.

  13. Hi, Debbie! Thanks for dropping in :) Your name is now entered in the drawing. Watch your email next weekend.

  14. It would be amazing, wouldn't it, Ginna! Thanks for stopping by and entering. You're in the drawing. Be sure to check your inbox next weekend.

  15. Thanks Ginna! I'm the same way. It's the easiest way to carry hundreds of books in my purse!

    Contacts... true, but you will be able to take your contact fluid. I promise!
    Thanks for joining in the fun!

  16. Thanks for commenting, Debbie. A week would be just fine with me too. And then I'd be more than ready for my hot shower, jeans and t shirt!

  17. A week in Regency era England would be AWESOME! Peg, thanks for the fun interview with Debra. I would love a paperback copy of Austen in Austin. Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. So happy you dropped in for a visit, Caryl. You're entered in the drawing. Good luck!