A Sample from The Reunion

© Can Stock Photo / yellowj

Of all of my contemporary romance novels, The Reunion will always be my personal favorite. It’s a story of hope and second chances. As the story begins, Gillian, and her assistant, Rosemary, are on the way to a Denver art gallery. It’s Gillian’s opening night, but Rosemary can’t shake the feeling that something is about to go terribly wrong, in spite of Gillian’s reassurances.

***

Rosemary McGee had the next traffic light perfectly timed until a car from the other lane suddenly cut in front of her minivan. She slammed on the brakes, narrowly avoiding a collision as the light turned yellow. Keeping her foot on the brake pedal, she came to a stop as the signal turned red. Her knees were shaking as she looked at the woman sitting in the passenger seat.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” she said.

“You’re sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure.” 

“I sure hope that wasn’t a bad sign. It’s your opening night and I want everything to be perfect for you.”

“It’s not a bad sign, Rosemary,” she said, trying to reassure her. “These things happen, especially in rush-hour traffic. Don’t worry. We’re okay. We’ll get there in plenty of time, so try to relax. You’ve been on edge ever since we left the hotel. You’re about to give yourself an ulcer, and me a screaming headache to go along with it.”

“Sorry, Gillian. It’s not like I know my way around Denver, and these idiots on the road certainly don’t help.”

“Which is why we have a GPS device. Like I just said, everything is fine.”

They waited for the light to change. Once it turned green, the minivan lurched forward.

“You know,” said Gillian, “just before that happened, I was thinking about my father, and how convinced he was that I’d have no future whatsoever if I became an artist.”

And when I first met you, I knew you were much too talented to be wasting your time laying out ads for weekly supermarket specials. You’ve come a long way, Gillian. I’m sure your father would have been proud of you.”

“I hope so.”

Gillian Matthews making a name for herself in the art world, and now she had a new gallery to add to her collection. All the risks she had taken to get herself where she wanted were finally paying off.

 “Right turn ahead,” said the electronic voice.

“Thank you, Bill,” said both women in unison. Bill was the name they had given the GPS.

“It’s too bad you never got to meet my father, Rosemary. I’m sure you and he would have found one another, interesting.”

“I met your mother.”

“Only once or twice, and it was after she’d gotten so sick she really wasn’t herself anymore. Trust me, there was no way my parents were ever going to allow any daughter of theirs to become an artist. It was way too beneath them. I’ll always remember when Cynthia first went off to college. She was studying to be an elementary school teacher. As far as they were concerned, that was an appropriate career, and I was to follow in her footsteps.”

Rosemary sighed as she turned the minivan to the right at the next stoplight. “I don’t know why, Gillian, but for some strange reason I’ve had a bad feeling about tonight’s show. It started about the time we drove over Raton Pass and crossed the Colorado border.”

“I don’t know why you’d feel that way. It’s not like this is my first time having an opening. You brought all our paperwork, didn’t you?”

“It’s in my briefcase.”

“And we already know my paintings arrived safely. When did you last speak to the people at the gallery?”

“About an hour ago,” said Rosemary. “They said everything was just about ready to go.”

“Have you spoken to your family today?”

“Lou called this morning. He and the kids are managing just fine.”

“Then I’d say we have all our bases covered. You’ve probably just have a case of opening-night jitters, that’s all.”

“I hope you’re right,” said Rosemary, “but for some reason I just can’t shake this feeling.”

 Bill announced that they had reached their destination, and the minivan turned into the gallery parking lot. Anthony Sorenson Fine Art resided in a large, single-story office building which had been converted into an art gallery. A catering truck was parked nearby. Its crew was busy unloading boxes and carrying them into the rear entrance.

“See, Oh Worried One, we have arrived. In one piece, and in plenty of time,” said Gillian with a grin.

Rosemary shut down the engine and the two women emerged. They stopped for a moment to smooth the wrinkles from their dresses before Rosemary grabbed her briefcase. Walking toward the front door, a passing car honked at them.

“You’ve still got it, girlfriend,” said Rosemary as she opened the door for Gillian. “I told you that yellow outfit would make you look hot.” Entering the art gallery, they came upon a reception area in the foyer. Beyond it, the building was divided into two sections. The main gallery was on the right, with the smaller changing exhibit gallery on the left, where final preparations were being made for Gillian’s opening. At the back was a hallway leading to the administrative offices.

Rosemary stepped up to the receptionist’s desk and introduced herself. A minute later Tony Sorenson, the gallery owner, entered from the hallway and greeted them, but he appeared to be a bit out of character. He looked uncomfortable in the stiff, three-piece suit he was wearing, and his thinning, curly gray hair appeared as though it had been hastily pulled back into a ponytail. Gillian guessed his typical work attire was probably a well-worn pair of blue jeans with a tie-dyed shirt. As they made their introductions, a harried-looking young man, whom Tony introduced as his assistant, Paul, quickly joined them.

“What we need to do now,” said Tony, “is take a little tour and make sure everything is absolutely correct.”

“Of course,” said Gillian. “Rosemary, do you have copies of our inventory sheets?”

“Right here,” she said as she retrieved them from her briefcase.

They stepped into the gallery and proceeded to go over every detail, inch by inch. Gillian’s favorite subject matter was architectural and outdoor scenes as well as the occasional still life. She worked mostly in acrylic and watercolor, and she was known for using big, bold, brightly colored shapes. Mounted next to each painting was a small descriptive paper plaque, but they discovered one plaque with a minor error. Paul ran back to his office, quickly printed out a corrected copy, and remounted it next to the painting. Once everything passed inspection, they went to Tony’s office to go over the last-minute details.

 “Okay,” he said as he seated himself behind his desk. “We sent out the media releases two weeks ago. There was a mention of you, Gillian, along with a photo, in last Sunday’s paper, and, as I already told Rosemary over the phone, a reporter and photographer from The Denver Centennial, one of our weekly papers, will be coming here tonight. They’ll want to interview you and take a few photos, and they said they’d be here sometime between seven and seven-fifteen. Our friend, Paul, will position himself near the front door so he can watch for them, and he’ll let you and Rosemary know the minute they arrive. We don’t want to keep them waiting.”

“Understood,” said Rosemary. “I’ll keep an eye on the clock myself, so I’ll know when to watch for Paul.”

“Good,” said Tony, “then it sounds like we’ve covered our bases on that one. We’ve sent announcements to all of our regulars and we’ve had a good response. We’ve also updated our website and social media pages, so between that, and last Sunday’s paper, we hope to have good turn out from the general public as well. I have a feeling this will be a very good evening for all of us.”

Tony and Rosemary went over the rest of the last-minute details before the meeting broke up. Stepping back into the gallery, they walked past the caterers, who were almost finished setting up.

“See Rosemary, everything is fine,” said Gillian. “I expect tonight will go flawlessly. Tony and his staff are pros. You have nothing to worry about.”

“I know, Gillian, but I still have a feeling that something’s about to go terribly wrong.”

***

The Reunion is available on Amazon, Barnes&noble.com, and other online booksellers.

Goodbye, Hollywood

© Can Stock Photo / PerseoMedusa

I had a lot of fun writing my two latest contemporary romance novels, The Scandal and Aquamarine. Both stories took place in Hollywood, so creating characters who work in the entertainment industry was a real treat. Interestingly enough, I had only planned to write one Hollywood novel, but sometimes life imitates art.

I was in the early planning stages for The Scandal when the real-life Harvey Weinstein scandal made the headlines. The news stories were too similar to what I had in mind for the storyline, so I had to come up with a whole new game plan. Later on, I used the original Scandal story idea for Aquamarine. Now I’m going back to writing stories about more every day people. 

My next story involves a romantic triangle. It’s a classic soap opera trope which always creates nice conflicts. The underlying theme would be best described as, “though shalt not bear false witness.” We’ve all had a lying, two-faced, backstabbing so-called friend at least once in our lives, and this person will be the instigator for much of the conflict.

Jenna, the lead character, is an interior designer whose most recent romance had ended amicably. Or so she thought. However, when her former boyfriend finds out there’s a new man in her life, he’ll do whatever he can to sabotage her new relationship. No, he doesn’t want her back. He’s doing it just because he can.  The title for this new contemporary romance novel is Rivalry. Look for it in late 2024.

Marina Martindale

The Scandal is available on Amazon, Barnes&noble.com, and other online booksellers. 

Aquamarine is also available on Amazon, Barnes&noble.com, and other online booksellers.

A Thanksgiving Scene from Aquamarine

© Can Stock Photo/ gajdamak

It’s Tonya’s first Thanksgiving in Los Angeles. George will be spending the day watching football, while Tonya’s mother and stepfather have come to visit her. Tonya meets her parents at their motel, and they drive up to Santa Barbara to spend the day with Mike. As the turkey is cooking, the conversation takes an interesting turn.

An except from the contemporary romance novel Aquamarine

It had been years since Heather or Alberto had seen the ocean, so they stopped to take pictures as they made their way up the Pacific Coast Highway. Tonya’s spirits rose once they reached Santa Barbara and parked in front of a small, unassuming home in a quiet, residential neighborhood. Mike came out as they exited their vehicle, greeting Tonya with a big hug.

“Okay, that’s enough,” said Heather with a nervous grin.

“Sorry, Mom.” Tonya quickly made the introductions, but her mother looked a little star struck. The scent of roasting turkey filled the air as Mike invited them inside and told them to make themselves at home in the living room.

“Can I help you with anything?” asked Heather as she presented him with the pies.

“I’m good.”

Mike’s an amazing cook.” Tonya’s face beamed with pride as she spoke. “He learned how while he was working at his dad’s grill.”

“Yeah, but they also knew to not serve anything I prepared to the public.” He excused himself for a moment, but before stepping away he asked if they liked dogs.

“We love dogs,” said Heather.

“Okay, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Tonya grabbed the wine and followed Mike into the kitchen where he greeted her once again, but this time with a kiss.

“Happy Thanksgiving, Ms. Rose.” He was about to kiss her a second time when Bruno barked loudly from the patio. Both burst out laughing.

“Well, okay, I guess.” Mike opened the door and both dogs bounded inside, greeting Tonya with wagging tails while Mike grabbed a few sodas from the refrigerator. Heather still looked a little star struck when they returned to the living room, and she immediately focused her gaze on Tonya.

“So, now that we’re all here, I want to talk to you about something. I’ve been having dreams about your sister again, and she’s been saying some interesting things.”

“Like what?” asked Tonya.

“She says you need to let it go about Jesse and move on.”

“But I—“

“I’m just telling you what she said, and I feel the same, so maybe the dream came from my own subconscious. The point is, you’re an up-and-coming musician, and Jesse hosts a nationally syndicated talk radio show. I’m not saying you have to be a guest on his show, and frankly, I’d prefer you weren’t. I’m simply saying you could possibly run into him somewhere, and if it were to happen, you need to be gracious. Just give him a nod or a quick hello and go your merry way.”

“She’s right,” said Mike.

Heather turned to Mike. “I’ve had other dreams in which Annette tells me you have some sort of a plan to get Tonya away from George.”

A serious look came over his face. “As we all know, Tonya isn’t in a financial position to live on her own. However, I’ve offered her a room here, and she’s saving up her money so she can buy a dependable car. So once she has the means to travel to LA for her modeling gigs, we plan on making some changes.”

“What about your advance?” asked Heather.

“I won’t have the money until sometime next year.”

“I wanted to take her on tour with me,” said Mike, “I certainly could have used her on the viola, and it would have given her some nice exposure as well. However, George wants to remaster the album she did with Shawn, so they’ll be in the recording studio when I start the first leg of my tour.”

“Hold on. Time out.” Alberto looked at Tonya. “Have you signed any kind of agreement with him?”

“They’re still working on my contract, which my manager will sign for me as my representative.”

“Good to know, but I wasn’t talking about your record contract. I’m asking about the agreement for you to rent a room in George’s home. Did you sign any kind of lease?”

“No. It’s a verbal agreement only.”

Heather spoke up. “All I can tell you is whenever I have these kinds of dreams about your sister, she’s never wrong. She says Mickey will help you break free of George. I have no idea what it means, and it may be nothing more than a concerned mother’s worry.”

Tonya took a deep breath and swallowed hard. “So did Annette say anything else?”

“No. She just said you need let go of Jesse, and Mickey will help you with George.”

***

Aquamarine is available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble.com and other online booksellers.

Meet George Monroe

the manipulative villain from the contemporary romance novel Aquamarine
© Can Stock Photo/ ruivalesousa

When it comes to people to masking their real intentions, no one does it better than George Monroe. He’s the most diabolical villain I’ve created to date. In fact, he makes Craig Walker, from my romance novel, The Stalker, look like a choirboy in comparison, and Craig was so evil he even scared me.

George was born into the music business. Both of his parents were rock musicians, and his father started up Alicorn Records when he couldn’t land a recording contract. The label was a huge success in England, so when George became an adult, his father sent him to Los Angeles to start up Alicorn Records, U.S.A.

George is, in essence, the “casting couch” character I’d wanted to create with Calvin Michelson in The Scandal. However, the “Me Too” movement began when I was in the early planning stages for that particular romance novel. So, I had to change Cal from a sexual manipulator to a misunderstood man who is falsely accused of a serious wrongdoing. Mind you, I’m not complaining. It worked quite nicely.

George is a man who can never be satisfied with just one woman.  No, he doesn’t demand every female singer have sex with him to land a record contract. However, he has been known to take some aspiring women under his wing. When he does, he expects more than just a simple, “Thank you,” in return.

George just happens to be in the right place at the right time to meet Tonya Clairborne, a young music student who is working as a model to help pay for college. He sees a genuine talent in Tonya, so he offers to mentor her. Tonya eagerly accepts his offer, not realizing it will come at a very high price.

George is a completely fictional character. He’s not inspired by anyone I’ve actually known, thank goodness, although there are plenty of George’s out there.

Marina Martindale 

Aquamarine is available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble.com, and other online booksellers.

So Why All the Artists and Photographers?

© Can Stock Photo / tomasfoto

We authors are told to write what me know, and so far nearly every lead character I’ve created is an artist of some kind. Gillian was a painter. Carrie was a photographer. Most recently, Tonya was a musician. Or they’re like Cassie and Stephanie, and they work with artists. Many of my leading men characters have creative jobs too, such as architects, writers or musicians.

I certainly know art. Some of my earliest memories are of drawing on my bedroom walls. Unfortunately, my mother wasn’t too keen on that, so she got me some coloring books and crayons. As I got older, my favorite toys were paint-by-number kits and a spirograph. Later on, I took up embroidery and sewing. By the time I started high school I was making my own clothes. Then, when I went to college, I got a degree in fine art.

Along with writing, fine art photography is my other passion. A fine art photographer approaches photography the way a painter looks at a canvas. The goal is to create an interesting composition of lights and shadows. I do photography as Gayle Martin. If you’d like to take a look you can see my work at gaylemartinfineartphotography.com.

So, with my background, I suppose it would make sense for my lead characters to have art-related occupations, or otherwise be freelancers of some kind, as I’ve spent most of my working life being self-employed. Fortunately, my editor has plenty of experience in the corporate world. She’s been a real asset in helping me with characters who work so-called, “regular” jobs. I also know retired nurses who’ve been extremely helpful with creating supporting characters who work in the medical field. However, I simply don’t have the background to have a nurse, or a corporate executive, as a lead character.

Thankfully, in my genre, contemporary romance, I really don’t need to get too technical about my character’s occupations.  The focus of the story is on the romance. I just need to know enough about their occupations to  accurately describe what they do, which for me would be an art related occupation.

Marina Marindale

Meet Mickey Lee Janson

a lead character in Aquamarine
© Can Stock Photo / piedmont_photo

Mickey Lee Janson, also known as Mike Jablonski, was originally intended to be minor character in my contemporary romance novel, Aquamarine. However, like Jeremy Palmer, from The Reunion and The Journey, Mickey, or Mike, as he prefers to be called, had other ideas. Characters sometimes have minds of their own, and there are times when their ideas are actually better than the author’s. This was one of those times.

Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Mike was an amateur musician who was managing his father’s bar and grill during the day, and singing and playing his guitar at night. He had no intention of becoming famous until his friends suggested he audition for a television talent competition. Mike went to the audition, but only to get his friends off his back. Much to his surprise, he was accepted. From there he made it to the finals, being voted off on the second to last show. However, it was enough. A talent scout from Alicorn Records offered him a recording contract, and Mike Jablonski became Mickey Lee Janson. 

Mike meets glamour model Tonya Claiborne when Tonya is hired to appear with him on an album cover. However, something unexpected will happen during that shoot, and it will change Mike’s and Tonya’s lives forever.

Mike’s original role in the story was intended to be brief. He would try, and fail, to free Tonya from a toxic relationship. She would eventually end up with  a minor character from an earlier contemporary romance novel, The Betrayal. However, as the story progressed, I really liked the way Mike was turning out. He had it in him to be much more than he was. My editor agreed. She also nixed the idea of bringing back the character from The Betrayal. Thus Mike became one of the lead characters.

Mike is a purely fictitious character. He isn’t based on anyone I know, nor is he based on any famous real-life musician, living or dead. His origination rests solely with me, the author.

Marina Martindale

Aquamarine is available on Amazon, and coming soon to Barnes&Noble.com, and other online booksellers. 

So Which One is My Favorite?

Cover illustration by Wesley Lowe.

I’m often asked how many books I’ve written. Danged if I know. After a while, you kind of lose track. However, of all my contemporary romance novels, The Reunion will always be my favorite.

The Reunion was my first full-fledged novel. Prior to that, I was writing children’s books, (as Gayle Martin), and The Luke and Jenny series did quite well. My very first book was a historic, WWII era ration cookbook titled, Anna’s Kitchen, which was later updated into Rosie’s Riveting Recipes. It’s still one of my biggest sellers. However, after Luke and Jenny, I wanted to write more contemporary stories for adult readers, and romance is my favorite genre.

Unlike my later novels, The Reunion is loosely based on events which have happened in my own life. I wrote it as a, “what if” story. As in, what if I had done this instead of that? Of course, I’ll never really know, but The Reunion gave me a chance to imagine one possibility. Leading man Ian is based on someone very special who I once knew. Gillian is me. Sort of. She’s an idea of what my life might have been, had I made different choices. 

Samantha Walsh, Gillian’s best friend, is based on a real-life neighbor I once had. I also met her while I was in college. Her apartment was a few doors down from mine. However, she worked at the parimutuel windows at the dog track instead of a truck stop diner, but some of the stories she told about her job were hilarious. She moved back to Chicago a few months after we met, so I have no idea whatever become of her, but she was certainly unforgettable, to say the least.

Gillian’s ex, Jason Matthews was, I’m sorry to say, based on my own ex-husband. He worked at an Old West Theme park called, Rawhide, which, at the time, was in Scottsdale, Arizona. Like Jason, he kind of swept me off my feet. Unfortunately, also like Jason, he turned out to be an abusive conman. Thankfully, I haven’t heard from him in many years, and so far as I know, he’s alive and well. Although I will admit that writing about Jason’s untimely end was kind of cathartic. Just saying.

I think of my first romance novel as my first child, in a way. Writing it was a life-changing event for me, because doing so was when I realized that writing novels truly is me life’s calling. It’s yet another reason why The Reunion will always be my favorite.

Marina Martindale

The Reunion is available at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, and other online book sellers. 

 

 

 

Home Sweet Texas Home

The view from my writing desk. Photo by Marina Martindale

I did it. I’m finally here, in my new home in Denton, Texas. I’m all unpacked and settled. In my last blog post, So Moving Right Along, I talked about my decision to sell my New Mexico home and move to the Dallas Fort Worth area. 

It was a long, hectic spring, to say the least. Buying a home, and selling a home, are quite time consuming. Especially in this crazy real estate market. First, I had to win a bidding war to get my new home. Then, when I returned to Las Cruces, I got to experience the other side when I put my home on the market.

It was, in a word, crazy. We were open for showings for three days, and seemed like hundreds of people were going through my house. I had sixteen offers in the end, with the winning bid coming in at sixty-thousand over my asking price. I kind you not. Sixty grand. Then came the fun of finding the right mover, packing, loading and unloading, and then unpacking. Unpacking definitely takes the longest. 

I love my new home. lt has a much bigger kitchen than my last home. I love cooking. Finally, I have enough counter space and cupboard space. I also have an extra bedroom. It’s my new guest room. Visitors will no longer have to sleep in my office.  

It took a few weeks to finish unpacking, and I’m still moving stuff around. However, my office is up and running, and I have a lovely view out the window. It sure beats my old office, where I had a nice view of the wall. I’ve also finished my newest contemporary romance novel, Aquamarine. I’m very happy with how it turned out. And, interesting enough, it too takes place in Denton, Texas. 

Did life just imitate art? 

Marina Martindale

Aquamarine is available on Amazon

So Moving Right Along

Frisco, Texas at Night. Photo by Gayle Martin

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I certainly as if like the past two years have been like living in a real-life episode of The Twilight Zone.

Prior to the pandemic, I was living in Tucson, Arizona. I’d been there for twelve years and I was doing very well. It reminded me in many ways of my native town of Phoenix, before it became Los Angeles in the desert. I had a good circle of friends, a good social life, and I was absolutely thriving. Unfortunately, it all began changing in late 2019.

In November, 2019, a very controversial candidate was elected mayor of Tucson. Like many cities, Tucson had its share of problems. Unfortunately, this new mayor had her own radical agenda, none of which included improving the quality of life for Tucson citizens. It was time for me to sell my home and move someplace else.

I lived in Dallas many years ago. It was another happy time in my life, but circumstances were such that I had to return to Phoenix. So, I decided I would take a road trip to Texas. I planned on going all the way to Corpus Christi and back. However, we were getting into the holiday season, along with winter driving conditions. So, I decided I would take my road trip in  March, 2020.

Well, we all know what happened in March of 2020, don’t we? I still planned on moving, but instead of going to Texas, I moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico instead. I already had a few friends there. It was also within a day’s drive of Tucson and Phoenix, where the rest of my family lives. If there were an emergency, I could easily get to where I needed to be.

I arrived in New Mexico with every intention of making it my permanent home. However, I soon became disillusioned. My family used to visit relatives in New Mexico when I was a kid. At the time it was a very nice state. Beautiful scenery, friendly people, and it wasn’t as brutally hot as it was in Arizona. Unfortunately, times have changed. It’s no longer the New Mexico I once knew. Long after other states had fully reopened, New Mexico still had mask mandates and other restrictions. Many small, locally own businesses, the places that gave the community its character, ended up shuttering for good. As a result, I was unable to go out and do the things I enjoyed doing, and I was living in total isolation.

We humans are hard-wired to be social creatures. Isolation isn’t good for our mental health and emotional well being. Two years of forced isolation had affected other health issues I had before the pandemic, and not in a good way.  So, I could do one of two things. I could either keep living in isolation, and watch my health continue to deteriorate, or I could take matters into my own hands and get the hell out of New Mexico. I opted for the latter.

This past spring I finally took that road trip to the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex, looking for a new home. It was quite an experience. I got into bidding wars with other folks who, like me, are getting the hell out of “blue” states. I found a lovely home in Denton, north of Dallas, which I’ll be moving in a few weeks.

One of the high points of my visit was when my agent took me to Frisco, a town between Dallas and Denton, for her regular Tuesday night music bingo. It was the first time I’d felt anything close to normal in two years. I was sitting at a big table with unmasked people and I could actually see their faces. They were actually enjoying themselves and we all sang along with the music while we played the game. 

In the meantime, I’ve sold my home in Las Cruces, and I’ll be moving in a few weeks. I can’t wait to start this new chapter in my life.

Marina Martindale

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s What I Wanted to Write

but at the time I couldn’t
© Can Stock Photo/ Kudryashka

Aquamarine is, in some ways, the contemporary romance novel I wanted to write a few years ago, when I wrote The Scandal. The Scandal is the story of Lauren McAllen, a soap opera star who wants to break into the movies while Calvin Michaelson, the main antagonist, would live up to his nickname, Casting Couch Cal. Such was the story I intended to write.

They say timing is everything. Unfortunately, at the time I was formulating the storyline for The Scandal, the real-life Harvey Weinstein scandal made the headlines. It was simply too close to the story I had in mind, and I strive  to create original stories. Therefore, I had to make some changes. Cal would go from sexual manipulator to a man falsely accused of a serious wrongdoing. In the end, it turned out to be a good story. However, it wasn’t the story I originally had in mind.

What a difference a few years can make

Things had changed by the time The Scandal was released. The notorious Mr. Weinstein had been convicted, and the rest of the world had moved on. I had also revisited an earlier contemporary romance novel, The Betrayal. One of the supporting characters, a teenager named Tonya Claiborne, really stood out. She was strong and compelling and certainly worthy of having her own story. This became the inspiration for Aquamarine.

Every story needs a good antagonist. At long last, I had the opportunity to create the bad guy I wanted to create with Cal Michaelson. This time my antagonist is narcissistic, cunning, and manipulative, but on the surface he’s charming, charismatic, and seductive. Hopefully, he will be one of my most memorable villains ever. 

I really, truly love what I do. I put a lot of thought into the characters I create, and all those scoundrels make my job so much fun. Especially when they get their comeuppance. 

Marina Martindale

 

The Scandal is available on  Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.