Today I am so pleased to welcome M.A. Wardell to Joyfully Jay. M.A. has come to talk to us about a new release, Teacher of the Year. M.A. has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving a big welcome!

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Exclusive Excerpt

I’m overcome with embarrassment, and my mouth momentarily fails to function. The times I’ve been rendered speechless can be counted on one hand, and most of them have to do with my face being full of cake or numb from the Novocain I needed because of all the cake. My anxiety begins to kick in because, apparently, being in the presence of this extremely handsome father muffles me.

Sitting close, the scent of fresh linen and coconut swirls in my nose, and I lick my lips at the idea of a virgin pina colada. Free from the constraints of the embarrassing bathroom situation, I study him. He’s wearing a navy V-neck sweater, something soft, maybe cashmere, which I’ve only gawked over when shopping. The space just below his Adam’s apple, a soft groove of tender skin, summons my gaze, and I imagine leaning over and licking him there.

Illona’s father turns to me and attempts a smile. His face glows, all jawlines and angles, beaming brighter than the summer sun, with the smallest gap between his two front teeth. My mouth waters thinking about what I could accomplish in that tiny space with my tongue, causing my heart.

“Mr. Block, Mr. Block…” Dr. Knorse says with a tinge of annoyance, grabbing my attention and prodding me from my stupor. I take another deep inhale to center myself.

If I’m attempting to make a first impression that screams, “I’m a complete dolt, and why would you entrust your child with me for seven hours a day,” I’m doing a bang-up job. The problem before me, the man is unnervingly handsome. As a teacher, we get all kinds of parents, and usually, if I’m lucky, every so often, the elusive hot dad appears. Someone to make open houses, conferences, and field trips a little more interesting. It’s all innocent fun, and Jill and Kristi love to tease me about them, often giggling outside my closed classroom door, peering in the window during conferences, making me blush.

“Marvin, hello, this is Mr. Stone, Illona’s dad, and um…” Dr. Knorse is stammering. She never stammers nor gives any indication of being unsure of anything. She’s a doctor, for god’s sake! Okay, not a medical doctor, a Doctor of Education, but still, she insists we all call her “doctor.” Only having experience with medical doctors, the kids usually think she’s going to examine them and administer shots.

Handsome dads are not uncommon, but this guy? Next level. Did I see him modeling in a catalog, lying on the beach, shirt open, wind blowing the trees, sable skin sizzling in the sun? All right. I need to focus.


teacher of the year coverLove: Not as easy as ABC.

They were supposed to keep things casual. Who’d expect they’d be schooled in love?

Those who can, teach. Marvin Block is one of the best kindergarten teachers out there. And despite his anxiety, Marvin’s life is sweet. He knows what he wants. And what he wants is the Teacher of the Year Award. Not just for himself – his school needs him to win.

Returning from break, the New Year finds Marvin all set to welcome a new pupil to his class. But when Illona walks in with her cute-as-hell single dad beside her, Marvin’s focus starts to slide.

Sure, his students always come first, but he deserves to have a life outside the classroom, too, right?

As their friendship starts to deepen, Marvin realizes Olan has the potential to teach him things about love he never thought possible. But with the Teacher of the Year award and his school’s future on the line, now’s not the time for anything complicated.

Education has always been Marvin’s world. And he needs to keep a cool head if he wants to win the award and save his school. But will it be worth it if he loses Olan in the process?

With Olan’s past and Marvin’s present colliding, their experiment in love hangs in the balance. Marvin knows what he wants out of life. But now he’s forced to consider what he wants out of love.

Will Marvin chalk the relationship up to experience? Or can they revise their story into a textbook romance?

Teacher of the Year is a steamy open door friends-to-lovers gay romance novel that explores the balance between friends, family, career, and relationships while overcoming trauma and dealing with anxiety.


M.A. Wardell bio imageI write steamy queer rom-coms.

My goal is to tell adult gay love stories with a diverse representation of flawed and damaged characters who find healing through love.?

I love rom-coms and have always wished there was better representation, so I’m writing the stories I wish existed. The gay men in my stories are flawed and messy. Helping them find their HEA is my passion.


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To celebrate the release of Teacher of the Year, M.A. is giving away 3 e-copies of the release. Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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FILED UNDER: Excerpt, Giveaway, Guest Post