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.


The Forgotten DECEPTION Chapter

Well, stuff happens.

As I mentioned in my last post, while I’m waiting for my latest novel, The Letter, to come back from the editor, I decided to do a minor edit on The Deception. The two stories are similar, and in the five years since I wrote The Deception, I’ve improved as a writer, so I wanted to go back and tweak some of the text to make the story flow a little smoother. However, as I was working I kept wondering where one of my scenes went. I recalled writing it, but I wasn’t seeing it in the file. Short story long, it had somehow been overlooked when the book was typeset, and I missed the error. Yikes!

Fortunately, it wasn’t a pivotal scene, which is why I hadn’t noticed it before. In the missing chapter, one of the villains is arrested and carted off to jail. The villain has committed a serious crime, and, in a prior chapter, another character has come forward with enough evidence to guarantee a conviction, so it had already been established that the villain would end up in jail. Then, near the end of the book, the villain is seen appearing in court. The missing chapter, however, is a nice, “you had it coming,” moment for readers, as you get to see the surprised villain put in handcuffs and hauled away.

The new, revised edition of The Deception, which includes the missing chapter, is now available for the Amazon Kindle, and the print edition will soon be available.



A New Edit and Look for THE DECEPTION

Original Cover

While I’m waiting for my editor to get to my latest novel, The Letter, I’m doing a minor re-edit on The Deception. The two stories are similar, and those who have read The Deception will, no doubt, enjoy The Letter, and vice versa. I wrote The Deception in 2012. It was my second novel, and I’ve improved in my craft since then, so I wanted to do some fine tuning.

The story and its contents remain the same, and most readers probably won’t notice the editorial changes. I’ve removed filler words and redundancies, and, when needed, I’ve rephrased some of the dialog to make the characters’ points of view a little more clear.

2018 Update

The most noticeable change is the cover. The original cover, shown above, has created some controversy as some have not understood the reason behind it. Inspired by real-life stories of revenge porn, and the havoc in creates in people’s lives, The Deception is the story of a woman who has been badly exploited in a profoundly ugly way by a trusted friend. The layout also differed with my other novels, and because I want my books to all have a consistent look, the cover has also a minor modification. While still sexy, the new look is less controversial, and it blends well when displayed with my other titles.

The new, updated version of, The Deception, will be available in early February.



Meet Craig Walker — the Evil Villain from THE STALKER

© Can Stock Photo / Elenathewise

Few things are more fun about this job than creating truly evil, nasty, vile antagonists, and when it comes to mean, nasty and downright evil, Craig Walker from The Stalker is an absolute delight.

A writer by profession, Craig met Rachel, the leading lady, while doing a stint as a staff writer for a regional lifestyle magazine. Rachel considered Craig a mentor, and while he found her attention flattering, he had much bigger plans for Rachel, and they went well above and beyond being her mentor. His plans, however, were suddenly foiled when she accepted a promotion he felt she did not deserve. Unaware that she had applied for the position, he reacted with rage, and after a confrontation she ended the friendship. Craig, however, had no intention of letting Rachel go.  He began stalking her, and he continued to stalk her long after the magazine went out of business. Craig wants Rachel. He intends to have her at all costs, whether she wants him or not, and he’s finally come up with new plan for getting his way with her, once and for all.

Craig was inspired by someone who once stalked one of my friends and made her life miserable for a number of years.


Cover Sketch for THE LETTER

Sketch by Wes Lowe

Once again, Wes Lowe will be doing the cover illustration for The Letter. He’s sent me the pencil roughs, and I’ve selected this one for the final cover

While not as dark of a story as The Stalker, The Letter begins with leading lady Stephanie’s accidental discovery of a love letter to Danny, her significant other, from his old girlfriend. Hurt and confused, Stephanie is unsure of what to do. A close friend advises her to talk to Danny, but she hesitates, and she soon decides that his ex was simply feeling lonely at the time she wrote it, and has since moved on. Unfortunately for Stephanie, things are not as they appear.

Look for The Letter in late spring, 2018.



Coming Soon: THE LETTER

Life has been hectic, crazy, strange and over the top, and whenever that happens manuscripts inevitably get pushed to the side, but by golly, I finally got it done. My next novel, The Letter, has gone to the editor, just in time to be stalled in her inbox as she gets ready to move across the country. Sometimes you have to either laugh or cry, but it also gives me a grace period in case I get a middle of the night inspiration for a last-minute change.

Like my previous novels, The Letter has plenty of plot twists as the characters deal with unexpected challenges. However, leading man Danny is more fallible than some of his predecessors, such as Alex Montoya in The Deception and Shane MacLeod in The Stalker. Danny is haunted by issues from his past that he can’t seem to resolve, while leading lady Stephanie is a woman with backbone who calls it as she sees it, but she sometimes does so without considering the long-term consequences.

Look for characters from my other novels to make an appearance. Jesse St. Claire from The Betrayal makes a cameo, while Paul, a supporting character from The Reunion, also has a significant role.

The Letter should be available late spring, 2018.



Entering The Clean Up Phase

Photo courtesy of GoDaddy

I’ve been busy putting the final touches on the first draft for my upcoming novel, The Letter, and I’m now in what I call, “the cleanup phase.”

Something that has always bothered me with many novels is that we would reach the big climax scene, and then, once it was over, shazam! Everything magically falls back into place right then and there, and then, one or two pages later, everyone rides off into the sunset. The end.

Wouldn’t it be great if real life was as simple?

Since I’ve always strived to make my stories as realistic and believable as possible, I include a “cleanup phase,”after the big climax. This gives my characters a chance to deal with the aftermath of whatever happened during the climax. It can be as short as an epilogue, or as long as several chapters. If a character is injured, you’ll see his or her recovery. If a villain gets arrested, you’ll find out how long the prison sentence is. If someone leaves town, he or she will have the chance to say goodbye. The leading characters will work out whatever unresolved conflicts they may have. In other words, I tie up of all the loose ends. I don’t write sequels, so I want each ending to be as complete, and as satisfying as possible for the reader.


Themes and Plotlines

Photo courtesy of canstockphoto.com © Can Stock Photo / khunaspix

At long last, I’m finally in the home stretch for my upcoming novel, The Letter, and the theme for this novel would be things aren’t always as they appear to be.

Some of you may be wondering, what’s a theme? A theme is separate from the plotline. A theme is that underlying part of a story, such as the moral, or perhaps a comment about society or human behavior. I’ve posted the themes from my earlier novels below, but don’t worry. If you’ve not read all of them I won’t spoil the story.

ForgivenessThe Reunion. Ian was the one true love of Gillian’s life, but he suddenly ended their relationship for no apparent reason. If Gillian can forgive him, she stands a good chance of having a future with him. This theme carries over into a subplot concerning Ian and a member of his immediate family.

AdulteryThe Deception and The Betrayal. Adultery is a great theme for the romance genre. It’s an opportunity to explore the repercussions for everyone involved, as it often affects more than the two primary parties. In The Deception, Carrie, a single woman, meets Scott, a married man who has presented himself to her as a single man. In The Betrayal, faithful wife Emily unwittingly catches her husband, Jesse, in the act with another woman. Both women’s lives are turned upside down by circumstances beyond their control.

RevengeThe Journey and The Stalker. Life isn’t always fair, and we all experience times when things don’t go our way. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean someone has intentionally thwarted us. Sometimes stuff simply happens. Unfortunately, there really are people out there who subscribe to the notion of don’t get mad, get even. In The Journey, Denise seeks revenge on Jeremy for having turned down her romantic overture years before, while Craig, in The Stalker, relentlessly hounds Rachel for getting a promotion he felt she didn’t deserve.

And those are my themes, so far. We’ll have to wait and what my next theme will be. Until then, happy reading.




The Deception Book Trailer

Life happens, and I spent a busy summer producing a new book trailer with my good friend and fellow videographer, Rob Resetar, of Rob Resetar Video.  Like all my book trailers, it presented its own challenges, but I still had a lot of fun. Rob and I got to work with some amazing actors, and I even spent a day in the southern Arizona wine country shooting the road footage from my dashboard.

The Deception is the story of Emily St. Claire, a devoted wife who literally catches her husband in the act with another woman. Determined to rebuild her life, Emily returns home with her father to pursue her dream of being a concert pianist, but little does she know that a new, and deadly, betrayal is about to unfold.

Enjoy the book trailer.







Meet Jonathan Fields — Crossover Character in The Deception and The Stalker

Photo by canstockphoto.com

Once again I’m bringing a character from an earlier novel into a more recent one. This time it’s Jonathan Fields.

We first meet Jonathan in The Deception as an Internet security and forensics expert who helps identify the person responsible for framing leading lady Carrie for something she did not do. As the story continues, a new and surprising connection between Jonathan and Carrie is revealed.

Jonathan was one of those characters whom I really liked. He’s smart, he’s sexy, and he’s an unlikely hero with plenty of potential for me to work with. So I brought him back in The Stalker. This time around he’s Shane’s boss, and, just like in The Deception, he helps leading lady Rachel identify an enemy out to destroy her.

Like most of my characters, Jonathan is fictitious and not based on anyone I know personally. There are, without a doubt, many real-life Jonathans out there, working quietly behind the scenes to make cyberspace safer for all of us.


Update on my Upcoming Novel THE LETTER

I’m busy working on my upcoming novel, The Letter, and, as with my other novels, I’m having a great time getting to know this cast of characters.

The Letter is a story of things not being as they appear. Stephanie and Danny, the two leading characters, are in a happy relationship until Stephanie accidentally uncovers a love letter from Martha, a woman from Danny’s past. As the story continues, she’ll discover even more compelling yet circumstantial evidence, causing her to reach the wrong conclusion. Convinced that Danny has been cheating, she leaves, and with the start of a new job she meets Josh, who introduces her a whole new world. Unfortunately for Stephanie, Josh isn’t who he appears to be.

The Letter is turning out to be more of a classic romance, much like The ReunionThe story is set in Denver, as was The Reunion, and look for Paul, one of the featured characters in The Reunion to have a featured role in The Letter.

The Letter is inspired by a real-life event which happened to a good friend who accidentally came across a letter to her fiance from his old girlfriend. The ex girlfriend wanted him back, but she eventually moved on, and my friend and her fiance have been happily married for many years. However, this happened before email, text messaging and social media, so adapting the real incident to 21st century technology was a bit of a challenge.

Look for The Letter to be available in early 2018.