Mari Biella


Mari Biella was born in Wiltshire and grew up in Wales. She has been writing from an early age, and her mother still has some highly embarrassing poems and stories to prove it. Her published works are "The Quickening", a psychological ghost story set in the Victorian Age, and "Loving Imogen", a collection consisting of a novella and three short stories. Her free short story, "The Song of the Sea", may be downloaded at Smashwords.

Mari currently lives in Northern Italy with her husband. She’ll read just about anything she can get her hands on, but particularly enjoys literary fiction, psychological horror, and crime fiction. She blogs at and, and tweets as @MariBiella1. Find her on Facebook at or on Goodreads at

Smashwords Interview

Who are your favorite authors?
I think every author I've read has influenced me to some degree. When I was in my teens, I read a great deal of nineteenth century fiction, and many of the authors I discovered then - the Brontes, Dickens, Trollope, Gaskell, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, to name but a few - continue to inspire me. My all-time favourites, however, include Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene, Jean Rhys and George Orwell.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
All my books that have yet to be written!
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Mari Biella online


Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 34,670. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: February 18, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy
When journalist Cat Armistead visits the small village of Wintergreen over Christmas, she thinks that staying in the peaceful English countryside will give her a chance to relax. Her illusions are shattered, however, when a local businessman, Hugo Montbray, is found dead in a wooded area near the village.
Pietra and Other Horrors
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 28,060. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: February 7, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
“I was living in a world of monsters, and the darkness brought death on its wings.” Ghosts, vampires, werewolves and zombies... all of these, and more, can be found in PIETRA AND OTHER HORRORS, a chilling collection of five short stories.
The Revenant
Price: Free! Words: 3,980. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: February 6, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost
A young woman is haunted by an encounter with an unknown man one evening. She cannot account for the sense of familiarity the stranger brings with him, or for his aura of solitude and sadness. It is only later that she realises the strange connection that exists between them – and the tragedy that still continues to haunt the present.
Devil's Stoop
Price: Free! Words: 2,330. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: February 3, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost
A young man stands by the side of a quiet road one evening, waiting for his girlfriend. He isn’t expecting the person who turns up instead – or the secret that this new arrival carries with him.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Price: Free! Words: 6,030. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: February 3, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost
A young man takes refuge in a lonely old house over Christmas, hoping to catch up with his studies. As the hours and days pass, however, he begins to suspect that he might not be alone after all. Is something else in the house with him, or is he suffering only from illness and stress?
Price: Free! Words: 2,890. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: January 22, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost
The seemingly passive Sarah lives with her sister and brother-in-law – and a ghostly entity that smashes china, spills milk, and writes messages on the walls. Is the Rectory really haunted, or is there more to Sarah than meets the eye?
Loving Imogen
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 41,060. Language: British English. Published: February 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
Everything changes for bachelor Daniel Touchwood when he finds two young runaways hiding in his cellar one evening. Twins Imogen and Leo are appealing, enchanting even, and it isn't long before Daniel finds himself being drawn ever closer to Imogen. As he soon begins to suspect, however, the twins are hiding a dark secret...
The Song of the Sea
Price: Free! Words: 2,890. Language: British English. Published: March 6, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Historical » Paranormal
(4.80 from 5 reviews)
Deaf, mute Jacob Worsley is regarded as a harmless eccentric in the small fishing village where he lives. Few people suspect that he is haunted by the memory of what happened to him twenty years ago, when he encountered a primal evil... A short story of 2,700 words, THE SONG OF THE SEA revisits an ancient legend and weaves an atmosphere of mystery and dread.

Smashwords book reviews by Mari Biella

  • Nightcrawler on April 20, 2013

    Not for the faint of heart, 'Nightcrawler' is in essence the story of a terrible dilemma. When a horrific evil begins to terrorise a small Appalachian town, it is left to two girls to choose between their mother and the lives of strangers - a choice that might cost them their sanity. Stories that force their characters to make such grim and seemingly impossible choices are always fascinating, and this one is no different. 'Nightcrawler' is a bloody and often horrific tale, but it is undeniably gripping. The twist at the end is truly horrible, and takes the story higher still on the horror scale. Recommended, if not for the squeamish.
  • Yes, I Like Kids; No, I Don't Want Any on May 02, 2014

    Thank heavens, someone who finally speaks some sense on this divisive issue! As someone who’s happily child-free and has never regretted it, I get heartily sick of people either implying or saying outright that I’d better get on and have children. Why? Because it’s just what people do (apparently). Because it’s good for society. So that my mother will experience the pleasure of being a grandmother. Because choosing not to have children somehow makes me a latter-day Lady Macbeth. Because it’s somehow selfish not to have kids (this reason often given by people who then say, apparently without irony, “Who will look after you in your old age?”). As Brown says, the bottom line is this: do you really want to be a parent? Not because you think you should, or because somebody else is nagging you to do it, or for any of the other reasons that might be put forward, but because it is absolutely, unquestionably what you want? If so, then go for it. If not, then welcome to the “happily child-free” club – and read this book so that you’ll know what to say next time someone attacks you for your choice.
  • The Executioner's Heir: A Novel of Eighteenth-Century France on May 03, 2014

    “Christ in heaven! I’m no criminal! I’ve nothing to be ashamed of! I’m a good Christian, a gentleman, the King’s servant – an officer of the law, the equal of any of them – I only follow the orders the judges give me. Why should I be pointed at, hissed at, despised?” I might as well admit at the outset that I’m vehemently anti-Capital Punishment, and that state-sanctioned murder strikes me as being abhorrent. I therefore approached a fictional account of an executioner with some considerable caution. An executioner is an interesting figure, no doubt; but a sympathetic one? Not likely. However, it says much for Susanne Alleyn’s skill that, within pages, I was won over. Admittedly, Charles Sanson is not an executioner through choice; in pre-Revolutionary France, the job is handed down from father to son, with very little chance of escape. Charles has never wanted to be an executioner, and at first entertains ideas of somehow sidestepping his destiny; medicine is his passion, and he dreams of healing rather than harming. When his father is forced to retire due to ill health, however, Charles not only reluctantly takes over his job, but does so at a frighteningly young age. The Sansons’ lives are paradoxical: in many ways they are actually rather privileged. They have steady jobs, a good income, and a level of material comfort unusual for the time. However, their profession is the price they pay – that, and being the object (understandably) of almost superstitious horror. Few people outside their profession wish to associate with them; most people shun them. Theirs is a peculiarly isolated little world. Meanwhile, in the countryside, the young François de la Barre, the son of a penniless aristocrat, is growing up in a manner which Charles might have envied. He has freedom, if not much money; the future looks bright for him. However, one of François’s traits is his inability to stay out of trouble, together with an extraordinary knack for making dangerous enemies. His life, seemingly so different, is in fact on a collision course with Charles’s. Charles fulfils his duties, obediently but without enthusiasm, and seeks solace in various things: family, women, entertainment. He continues to dream of escape, but as he grows older those dreams become tinged with desperation, as all the doors that might lead him out of his current life close, one after the other. Meanwhile, his former rationalisation of his job as a necessary evil, and of his role as a mere official of the justice system, begins to wobble as he is asked to perform duties that he finds increasingly abhorrent. Justice, in pre-Revolutionary France, is a very fluid concept indeed; people are harshly punished for minor crimes, and many trials and convictions are politically motivated. Yet even as he realises this, he also realises that he is trapped. As he eventually, sadly concedes, “You’re right, all of you; I can’t escape. Even when my duty is at odds with my conscience, duty without honour.” Like all good historical fiction, The Executioner’s Heir makes a particular time and place come alive through its very real and vivid characters. Alleyn’s research must have been painstaking, but it’s lightly worn; pre-Revolutionary Paris came alive for me in all its grubbiness and glamour. This is an interesting world: there are still years to go before the Revolution, but the Enlightenment is well underway, and the old system is gradually dying. The novel also examines many weighty issues: the extent of, and problems inherent in, the justice system, and the clash between personal freedom and responsibility. There is no easy way out for Charles, much as he (and the reader) wishes there were; there is only, in the end, his choice to be the best man he can be, within the limitations of his life.