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Welcome to the New Edition of Marina Martindale’s Musings

Welcome to the new home for Marina Martindale’s Musings.

After experiencing some technical issues with my previous blog host I’ve moved to WordPress, and I’m happy with the results. We have a new look, a more stable platform, and I’ve brought over the best of the best from my old blog. So please, pull up a chair, and make yourselves comfortable at the new home for Marina Martindale’s Musings.

MM

The Soon to be Released Betrayal Book Trailer

Photo by Marina Martindale

One of the projects that has kept me so busy over the past few months has been the book trailer for The Betrayal.

Ever have one of those projects that seems to fight you every step of the way? It’s been that kind of an undertaking. We had lots of unexpected challenges which took up more time than we expected, and I even ended up having to buy a used piano along the way. Fortunately, we’re now in the home stretch, and it’s coming out nicely. I got to work with some amazing actors, and my good friend, Rob Resetar, of Rob Resetar Video, was extremely helpful, as usual.

Photo by Marina Martindale

Even with all the challenges, I still had fun. I drove up to Phoenix to shoot the opening footage, and spent the day with my sister-in-law. I also took a drive down to wine country to shoot some road footage. (Yes, we really do have wineries in southern Arizona.) Rob thought it had some problems, so golly gee, I had to take a second trip down there to do a reshoot. Nothing like having a good excuse to do a little wine tasting and have a picnic lunch with my friend, Maria, who came along with me.

Thankfully, all the footage is finally in the can, and we’re now in post production. In the meantime, I love playing my new-to-me piano.

MM

Meet Rachel Bennett, Leading Lady in THE STALKER

Photo by CanStockPhoto.com

Rachel Bennett has a problem. A man from her past is obsessed with her.

A twenty-eight year old graphic designer, Rachel has recently returned to her hometown of Tucson, Arizona, and is attending her ten-year high school reunion. While she’s there she’s reintroduced to Shane MacLeod, a fellow classmate who she briefly met while serving on the yearbook committee. Rachel may not remember Shane, but he certainly remembers her, and as they’re busy getting reaquainted another man from Rachel’s past suddenly reappears. A former coworker, Craig Walker, has been stalking and harassing her for the past few years, and no matter how hard she tries to seek justice, the system keeps failing her.

Fortunately for Rachel, it’s all about to change. Shane is undaunted by Craig, and, with his help, things finally appear to be working in her favor. But unknown to them, Craig is about take his revenge, and Rachel’s life will never be the same.

Rachel was inspired by an acquaintance who was once hounded by a former colleague. She’s a courageous woman determined to regain control of her life, and she’s not afraid to back down from a fight.

MM

 

I Wish There was a Genre Called “Relationship Fiction”

Photo by CanStockPhoto.com

This may sound arrogant or even hokey, but I get weary of hearing myself say, “I write romance novels,” whenever I’m asked about what I do. People either think I’m writing schmaltzy dime store novels, or they think I’m writing erotica. Neither is the case, as there is so much more to what I write.

I write stories about human relationships. Love isn’t limited to a man and a woman falling in love and living happily ever after. Love is about all kinds of human relationships; the love of a parent to a child, the love between siblings, even the platonic love between close friends. The romantic love between a man and woman is only a part of my story. The Journey includes a heartwarming subplot about the relationship between brothers Jeremy and Larry Palmer, as Larry puts his life on hold for a time to help his ailing brother through a life altering crisis. That’s true love. In The Deception, a father literally takes a bullet meant for his child. That’s also true love. In The Betrayal, leading lady Emily’s long estranged aunt finally reaches out and accepts her like another daughter. That too is love.

The reason why I write romance, instead of science fiction or mystery or horror, is because I’ve always been fascinated by the complexity and dynamics of human relationships; not only between lovers, but between family members as well. Of course those relationships can be part of the storyline in those other genres, but the romance genre is the only one where the primary focus is on human relationships. I’m just trying to expand the boundaries.

MM

 

Meet Jesse St. Claire the Unfaithful Husband in THE BETRAYAL

Photo by CanStockPhoto.com

What would a story of betrayal and adultery be without a cheating spouse? Jesse St. Claire, the unfaithful husband in The Betrayal, is perhaps my most complicated and enigmatic antagonist to date. Unlike Scott Andrews, the cheating husband in my earlier novel, The Deception, Jesse really isn’t a player. In fact, he’s never cheated before. A highly successful motivational speaker, Jesse steadfastly claims to love his wife, and, in his own strange way, he does. Or, at least he thinks he does.

Jesse has built his career on helping people take control of their lives, but his own life begins spiraling out of control when his wife, Emily, catches him in the act with his personal assistant. As Emily packs her bags and walks out the door, a determined Jesse tries to come up with a plan to win her back. Not only does he want to save his marriage, he also wants to save his career. Unfortunately for Jesse, his bad habits prove difficult to break, and his past soon comes back to haunt him, forcing him to once again betray his wife.

Jesse is a fictitious character not based on anyone I know. His inspiration comes from many stories of unfaithful men who claim to love their wives, which, for those of us who don’t cheat, is something we can never fully understand.

MM

I’ve Got My Domain Name Back

Sometimes we authors have unexpected adventures in cyberspace…

Last year my blog crashed and burned, so I ended up coming here, which wasn’t all bad. Once I got the hang of WordPress I found I liked it much better, but there was still one lingering problem. I was unable to keep my old blog’s domain name when I changed hosts, and yes, it was an issue, as it was included on all sorts of marketing materials. Yikes!

Like many authors, I have both a website and a blog. My website is more formal. It includes a nice welcome page and an about me page, as well as info about my books and where to by them. It’s a short and sweet “just the facts” version of who I am and what I do.

My blog is where I expand and go into more detail about my books with articles about individual characters, excerpts and sample chapters, and posts about what I do when I’m not writing. It’s my less formal, more up close and personal website, and I had it all figured out. My website was marinamartindale.com, my blog marinamartindale.net. However, I had my website with one host, my blog with another, and, even though both domain names were registered in my name, Google had buried the access to my dot net in cyberspace to where I couldn’t retrieve it. I had to wait until it expired and then back order it. What a pain in the you know what. The Internet is a weird, weird place.

Thankfully, I finally have my dot net back, and it’s up and running. I also now have the same web host for both websites, which makes things so much simpler.

MM

 

 

Yes, Marina Martindale is Still Alive and Well

Okay, life happens, and sometimes you just get so darn busy that you forget things, like updating your blog.

So, what has Marina been up too?

I’ve been keeping busy with real life and spending quality time with friends. Writing can be such a solitary profession, and, if I allowed it, I could easily become a hermit. Fortunately, I’m not about to let that happen. I spend a lot of time supporting musician friends at local venues, such as The Gaslight Music Hall in Oro Valley, and Monterey Court in Tucson. I’m a big believer in artists supporting other artists, regardless of their genre. Some of my musician friends are also fans of my books, so we have this mutual fan thingy going on. Other musician friends have helped me with some of my projects. Jazz singer Sheryl Ann McKinley provided the voiceover for The Reunion book trailer, as well as for my upcoming Betrayal book trailer. Another Tucson singer, Gigi Chanteuse, did the voiceover for The Deception book trailer. Rob Resetar, who helps produce and direct all of them, is a musician as well. It’s a real honor to have such talented musicians as friends.

So yes, Marina Martindale is still alive and well, and when I’m not writing, I’m busy pursuing another of my life’s passions–photography. I’ve started another novel too and I’ll tell you more about it later. In the meantime I hope you too will support live music in your community.

MM

 

Five Way Street perform at the Elks Theater in Prescott, Arizona. Photo by Marina Martindale.
Five Way Street at the Gaslight Music Hall in Oro Valley, Arizona. Photo by Marina Martindale.
Sly Slipesky, Sheryl Ann McKinley, Jason Carder and Jack Wood at Monterey Court, Tucson, Arizona. Photo by Marina Martindale.

 

Meet Shane MacLeod, Leading Man from THE STALKER

Photo by CanStockPhoto.com

My editor loved Shane. She thought he was the best leading man since Alex Montoya in The Deception, and she has a point. Both will do whatever it takes to protect and defend the women they love, and both were “nerdy” kids when they were young.

Rachel and Shane went to the same high school, but had different circles of friends. Shane hung out with a couple of other nerdy kids, known as “The Math Club,” while Rachel, who was on the yearbook committee, took their club photo. And even though she didn’t notice him, he certainly noticed her, and he soon had a secret crush on her. Fast-forward to their ten year class reunion. Shane has gone from a nerdy teenager to a handsome, accomplished man, who, upon seeing her, reintroduces himself and invites her to join him at his table. Rachel accepts. The two quickly become friends, but little they know that another man from Rachel’s past intends to destroy her, and he will stop at nothing to get to her.

Like Alex, Shane is a purely fictitious character not inspired by anyone I’ve known in real life. Tis a pity indeed.

If you liked, The Deception, you’ll like The Stalker as well. Along with similar leading men and a supporting character who appears in both books, both leading women have enemies who intend to destroy them at all costs.

MM

 

 

 

The Journey Book Trailer Video

Whew! It’s finally done, and I’m pleased with the final results. As I mentioned in my prior post, I’ve become more hands on with my book trailer videos, and I’m loving it. Makes sense, as my background is in fine art, and my degree is in drawing and painting. I also studied photography, and it too is one of my life’s passions. Granted, it’s taken me a little while to make the jump from 35mm to digital, but one of the great things about a DSLR camera is you can also shoot video. And there you have it.

I did most of the filming and nearly all of the editing. My good friend, Rob Resetar, of Rob Resetar Video, shot the kidnapping scene and did the musical score and final audio mix. Wish I could take credit for the drone footage, but it too was shot by another friend.

Enjoy the video, and if you haven’t read it yet, you’ll like, The Journey, especially if you’ve read The Reunion. While not exactly a sequel, both books use the same cast of characters, and The Journey begins about eighteen months after the end of The Reunion.

MM

Coming Soon–The Journey Book Trailer Video

Photo by Marina Martindale

Hi everyone and Happy New Year. No, I didn’t fall off the planet. I’ve been busy learning a new skill–video production. Not to worry, I’m still working with my good friend Rob Resetar, who did the book trailers for The Reunion and The Deception. But since I’m also a photographer, I’m now shooting and editing the video in house, and leaving the musical score and audio mixing to Rob, who does it so much better than I do.

We’re currently in post production with the book trailer for The Journey. Those of you who’ve read the book know it’s a complicated story. Whittling it down into a minute and forty seconds wasn’t easy, but, with a little help from my friends, I got it done.

The biggest challenge was recreating the scene where Jeremy, the leading man, has been left for dead in the snow. Shooting the scene in the snow would be problematic. We actually do get snow in the mountains in Arizona. The trick is knowing far enough in advance when it will happen. This leads to the even bigger challenge of getting everyone together to go shoot the scene, as people have other commitments, such as day jobs. There were some other issues as well, so my solution was to shoot it in my backyard, using fake snow. It’s amazing what you can create with rock salt, cornstarch, a little mud, and some fake blood. So, once again, with a little help from my friends, I got it done. Afterwards I found out this is the way Hollywood does snow scenes as well. Nice to know I did it right.

The book trailer will be launched sometime in February.

MM

 

The Inspiration for THE STALKER

Stalker Front CoverI get ideas for my novels from my own life events, or from other people’s stories. The inspiration for The Stalker came from a little bit of both.

It started when an online feud erupted on my Facebook newsfeed. Two artists, who’d once worked together, had a falling out. They’d blocked each other on Facebook, but that didn’t stop the feud. One would post something about the other. Someone else would take a screenshot and send it to the other, and then the mudfest would begin. About the time it settled down the other one would start in, and the cycle would repeat itself. The rest of us got a ringside seat, whether we wanted it or not.

Of course the writer in me saw this as a good premise for novel. I especially liked the idea of the lead character being harassed by someone she’d once worked with, instead of a former lover. (The former lover will be the premise for my next novel, The Letter.)

In The Stalker, Craig, the antagonist, stalks and harasses Rachel, the leading lady. The two are former coworkers. Rachel had once considered Craig a mentor, but he turned on her when she got a promotion he felt she didn’t deserve. Like my other novels, The Stalker twists and turns as the story progresses, taking you, the reader, on yet another roller coaster ride.

The following excerpt is a sneak preview from The Stalker.

Enjoy,

MM

***

Rachel waited until Shane was gone before turning her attention back to the deputy. His nametag identified him as Joseph Gonzalez.

“And so another wonderful evening gets ruined, thanks to Craig Walker.” She let out a disappointed sigh. “I first met Shane, the man who just left, back in high school, but I never really talked to him until tonight, and I could tell something wonderful was about to happen. Then you showed up.”

“I’m sorry, ma’am. I’m just doing my job.”

Her tone softened. “I know you are, and I’m sorry for being rude. This really isn’t your fault. You got duped by Craig Walker, just like I did.”

He motioned for her to take a seat in the corner of the lounge. As she settled into her chair, he took a small notepad from his pocket and sat down across from her.

“Okay, Ms. Bennett, can you please tell how you know Mr. Walker?”

“Craig Walker is an ex co-worker who I first met in Reno, Nevada, where we both worked for a magazine.”

“Were you ever romantically involved with him?”

“No.” Her head shook as she spoke. “Mr. Walker and I have never been romantically involved. It was strictly a business relationship.” She went on to describe their talks in the break room, and how he had turned on her after she was promoted to the new art director.

“So,” said Gonzalez, “you said he was reprimanded after this incident. Did the harassment stop after that?”

“He never actually spoke to me after that, but he still gave me the evil eye whenever he saw me. And he always made a point of contradicting me at staff meetings, even when everyone else agreed with me. I probably could have said the sky was blue, and he would have said no, it was green. And then things started getting really scary.”

“What do you mean by scary?”

“I started getting some really nasty emails in my personal account. They came from different senders, but they all had pretty much the same verbiage. I was a hack who didn’t know how to do my job, and the only reason I got my job was because I’d slept with the boss. Changing my password and blocking the senders didn’t seem to help. So, I finally went back to my supervisor, but I was told that unless I could prove Craig was the sender they couldn’t do anything about it. They suggested I open a new email account.”

“Did you?”

“Yes. And after that I made a point of not checking my personal email from my work computer. Later on, I found out someone was using the contact form on the magazine website to complain about me, but management simply ignored it. They knew what was going on; they just didn’t want to get involved. It was about the same time we learned the magazine would be going out of business.”

The deputy went over his notes. “You mentioned something about this not being the first time you had an evening ruined by Mr. Walker. Could you please explain what you meant by that?”

“Back in Reno, it seemed like every time I went out with friends, Craig would be there. If we went to a bar or restaurant, he’d be at another table. If we went to a movie or show, he’d be seated in the auditorium; always giving me a cold, hard stare. It was as if he knew my every move, even though I’d made a point of keeping my private life private. I never discussed any of my plans with co-workers. Then there was Eric.”

“Who was Eric?”

“Eric Hawthorne was someone I was seeing while I was in Reno. It wasn’t anything overly serious, but we enjoyed each other’s company. So one night while we were out having dinner, Craig was brazen enough to approach Eric in the men’s room. He told him what a lying, two-faced bitch I was, and that I was sleeping with the boss, and why was he wasting his time with someone like me when there were so many other women out there who were better? The confrontation apparently didn’t last long, maybe a minute or so at best, but it really made Eric mad, not to mention how embarrassing it was for me.” She sighed. “Eric sent me an email a few days later. He said he was sorry about the problems I was having with Craig, but he wanted to end the relationship. He wished me luck and hoped there’d be no hard feelings. After that, I never heard from him again.” She paused to gather her thoughts. “Once again, I went to my supervisor. She said she was sorry, but since it happened after hours and away from the office, they weren’t going to get involved.”

“I see.” Gonzalez scribbled down more notes. “Is there anything else?”

“Other than the fact that he harassed me via the company email account at my next job, and through social media, I can’t think of a thing.”

“How did he do that?”

“I was working for an advertising agency which, for a time, had the company email directory posted on its website. They eventually took it down, but by then it was too late. Craig had my email address. The harassment started once again, so I had to set up a new email account. He’d also set up social media accounts under different names and send me friendship requests, as well as friendship requests to some of my other online friends. Then, after I’d unknowingly accept the request, he’d post some pretty inflammatory rants about me. I’d report it, but they never seem to do much about it. They just tell you to block them if you find them offensive, as if I hadn’t done that already. I even tried going to the police, but they just don’t seem to take these things too seriously either.”

“Well, Ms. Bennett, I’m sorry you’re going through this. Unfortunately, what you’ve told me would be considered a civil matter, so unless he were to actually harm you, or damage your property, there really isn’t much we can do either, other than take a report. You may want to consider going to court and filing an injunction against harassment.”

She rolled her eyes. “I know. I’ve heard it all before, but I’m afraid taking him to court is much easier said than done. All l can tell you is I’m really losing faith in the system.”