A Sneak Preview of my Next Novel The Scandal

A book cover will and illustration of a woman with two men behind her.
Cover Illustration by Wes Lowe

The next Marina Martindale romance novel, The Scandal is back from the editor and we are in the process of proofreading. The Scandal will be available this fall. In the meantime, here is a sneak preview. Enjoy.

Marina Martindale

The Scandal Sample Chapter

Lauren McAllen wrapped her hands around the steering wheel and held on tight. Raindrops splattered the windshield while the wipers furiously knocked them away.

“You may think you’re getting him back, Ashely,” she hissed through clenched teeth, “but trust me, it’ll never happen because he’s all mine now.” A defiant smiled broke out across her face, but it instantly turned into a look of sheer panic and terror as she frantically yanked the steering wheel back and forth. Unable to regain control of the car, she threw her arms across her face and braced herself for impact.

“Cut!” shouted a man’s voice. “And that’s a wrap.”

As Lauren relaxed, she turned her head and smiled. “So, we got it?”

“Perfectly,” he replied, “but if you wouldn’t mind waiting here, the director would like to speak with you for a moment.”

Read More

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An Easter Chapter from “The Letter”

I try to include major holidays in my romance novels. In my most recent book, The Letter, leading lady Stephanie spends a bittersweet Easter with her new boss and his husband. In the meantime,  Danny finally realizes the time has come for him to make some changes.

Marina Martindale

An Easter excerpt from, The Letter

By the time Easter arrived the winter snow had melted away and the trees were starting to bloom. Stephanie pulled up in front of a large, single-story house with a huge cottonwood tree in the front yard. She shut down the engine and grabbed her bottle of wine. Walking up to the front door, she heard a dog barking inside. A bald man with a dark brown goatee opened the door and greeted her with a smile.

“You must be Stephanie.”

To read more, please download the pdf file below.

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It’s Creepy All Year Long

The Stalker Book cover

I’ve had some nice reviews for The Stalker on Author’s Den. The readers are pretty consistent with their comments about not being able to put the book down. 


The Stalker is probably my darkest story to date. It’s definitely high on the creep factor, making everyday seem like Halloween for leading lady Rachel. After reading this excerpt, you may agree. Enjoy.

***

They headed out to the parking lot. After Alice drove away, Rachel turned her attention to Shane.”So, what’d you think?”

“I like her. She’s like you, in a lot of ways.”

“You think so? I always thought that because we’re really only half-sisters, we weren’t that much alike.”

“Well, in that case, you’re each other’s better half. Seriously, you two have a great relationship. I wish I could have been closer to my own sister, but there’s such a big difference in our ages. By the time I was old enough to get to know her, she’d gone off to California for college. After that she only came home for short visits.”

“It’s never too late, you know,” said Rachel. “Maybe you should call her sometime, just to say hello.”

“Well, maybe. We’ll see. Meantime, I’ll walk you to your car.”

Rachel was parked a few spaces away. She stepped up to the driver’s side door and reached into her purse for her keys.

To read more of this excerpt, please click on the link below.

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Remembering Dennis

A bouquet of flowers.
Photo by Marina Martindale

It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for me. One of my cousins, and one of my all time favorite people, passed away rather suddenly and unexpectedly.


A cousin by marriage, I’ve known Dennis since I was ten years old. To me, he was just as much family as his wife. Dennis had a great sense of humor. He always went the extra mile for others, never expecting anything in return. Dennis was also an attorney. And the inspiration for Alex Montoya, the leading man in my second novel, The Deception. In fact, I dedicated The Deception to Dennis.


Like Dennis, Alex was a hard working attorney. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to get justice for leading lady, Carrie. Of course, there are significant differences between the character and his the real-life inspiration. Alex was thirty-something and single. He’s not necessarily looking for love. That’s a prerequisite for a lead character in a romance novel. However, his real life counterpart married his college sweetheart at a young age. Each is a unique individual.


In honor of Dennis, I’m including this brief excerpt from The Deception. Like Alex, Dennis was dedicated to his clients.


MM


* * *

After they ended the call Alex picked up the message sitting on his desk. It was from Louise’s attorney, Jack Collins, who called while he was out. He dialed the number and was immediately connected.

“Thanks for returning my call,” said Collins. “I’ve received the letter you faxed me this morning and I’ve already spoken to my client about it.”

“So what does she have to say? Is she willing to work with us to find out who really sent the photos to Gentry Magazine?”

To read more, please click on the link below.

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The Letter is Now Available

A composite photo of the book cover in paperback, electronic tablet and phone.

My newest romance novel, The Letter, is now available on Amazon and on Barnes&Noble.com.


The Letter is the story of a man hounded by a former girlfriend. She’s unable to accept that their relationship has ended and she refuses to let go. While not as dark of a story as The Stalker, readers will enjoy its many twists as turns. The Letter is a tale of misunderstandings and miscommunications. It’s also about people who aren’t as they appear to be.

Please enjoy the sample chapter I’ve posted below.

MM

* * * 


Vanessa sighed in relief as she brushed a stray lock of short blonde hair away from her eyes and rang the doorbell. The door slowly opened, revealing a sullen looking Stephanie on the other side.

“Sorry I’m late.” Vanessa struggled to keep the frustration in her voice down. “I found the visitor’s parking lot, but the numbering system here is so bizarre. I’ve been all over the complex and back trying to find the right building.”

“It’s okay.” Stephanie motioned for her come inside, and as she crossed the threshold Vanessa took in her surroundings.

“Nice condo. I’d say Danny has good taste.”

“I suppose.”Vanessa’s brow furrowed. “Are you okay? You seem upset about something.”

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The Inspiration for THE STALKER

The Stalker book cover.

I get ideas for my novels from my own life events. Others come from other people’s stories. The inspiration for The Stalker has a little bit of both.


It started with a feud on my Facebook newsfeed. Two musicians, who had once worked together, had a falling out. They’d blocked each other on Facebook, but it didn’t stop the feud. One would post something about the other. Someone else would take a screenshot and send it to the other one. Then the mud-fest would begin. About the time it settled down the other one would start in. The cycle would then 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 a former coworker, not a former lover, doing the stalking. (The former lover will be the premise for my next novel, The Letter.)


In The Stalker, antagonist Craig, stalks Rachel, a former coworker. Rachel had once considered Craig a mentor, but he turned on her after she got a promotion he felt she didn’t deserve. Like my other novels, The Stalker twists and turns as the story progresses. It takes you, the reader, on yet another roller coaster ride.


MM

An excerpt from The Stalker


Rachel waited until Shane was gone before turning her attention back to the deputy. His name tag 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.”

Please click on the link below to read the rest of the excerpt.

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The Stalker Book Cover

The Stalker Book Cover.

Once again my illustrator, Wes Lowe, hit it out of the ballpark. This is one of his best cover illustrations to date, and it’s getting rave reviews on Facebook as well. Yes, there is a reason why she’s barefoot, but you’ll have to read the novel to find out why.


The Stalker will be released this fall.

MM

An excerpt from The Stalker

Rachel Bennett turned onto a quiet side street and drove up a steep hill. Desert landscaping lined both sides of the roadway, and a sign with an arrow pointing to the right soon appeared. She pressed down on the brake pedal making a sharp turn onto another road. The hotel, with its three signature arches, stood at the top of the hill. Moments later she pulled underneath one of the archways, and as she rolled down her window, a muscular young man walked up to her car and greeted her with a warm smile.

Please click on the link below to read the rest of the chapter.

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It Was Certainly Well Worth the Wait

A photo of a clock.
© Can Stock Photo / stillfx

At long last, The Betrayal is back from the editor. It was certainly worth the wait, as this time I had to do a major revision.


The Betrayal is a story of lies, deceit and infidelity. However, I was facing some real-life challenges of my own as I was writing the story, which resulted in my having to set the manuscript aside for weeks at a time. Unbeknownst to me, when it was finally complete, there were some continuity errors that I couldn’t see. However, my editor, sure caught them. The last few chapters would have to be revised, and by the time I finish both of us were delighted at how much those changes improved the storyline.

Now, I can’t divulge too much, as I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I can, however, give you a sneak peek, so here you go.


MM

an excerpt from The Betrayal


Emily glanced at the dashboard clock as she waited for traffic light to change. It was nearly one o’clock. In the hour since she left Dr. Lerner’s office, her entire world had collapsed around her, and she wasn’t sure where to go next. Should she get a hotel room? Or would she be better off staying with her father? Granted, he’d never been fond of Jesse, but he wasn’t one to say I told you so either. The light turned green. She sighed and pointed her car toward her father’s house. Ten minutes later she pulled into the driveway.

To read more, please click on the link below.

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In Search of St. Eligius Ranch

Photo of a small white house in a field with trees.
Photo by Marina Martindale

The new year has a way of making people feel nostalgic. I guess I’m no exception. The high point of my year was a road trip I took to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, in July.

I passed through Steamboat Springs for the first time back in the 1990s. Famous for its ski resort, ranching is still a part of the area. So, when I wrote The Reunion, I decided to set the fictitious St. Eligius Ranch about twenty miles away from the town. It’s a former cattle ranch turned horse sanctuary It’s also the home of Laura Palmer, ex-wife of leading man Ian Palmer. A number of key scenes in the novel take place at St. Eligius Ranch, including the story’s final climax. Later on, when I wrote The Journey, I also set a number of scenes at St. Eligius Ranch.

Photography, like writing, is one of my life’s passions. So I photographed scenery that closely matched some of the descriptions of St. Eligius Ranch. It was a wonderful trip. One I’ll remember fondly for many years to come. I also hope to revisit it someday. In the meantime, please enjoy this scene from The Reunion, as Gillian, the leading lady, visits St. Eligius for the first time.


Happy New Year


Marina Martindale

* * *


Before long the horses were saddled and they mounted up. Will stayed behind, explaining he had work to do. Laura rode a young buckskin gelding she called Fred.”He’s Miss Mollie’s son,” she explained. “He was a young foal at her side when we adopted them two years ago. I think he’ll turn out to be a fine horse, but he still has some rough edges to work out.”

To read more please download the pdf file below

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Photo Shoot Shoot

Photo of a photography studio.
Photo by Marina Martindale

We’re still hard at work for the new book trailer for The Deception. Today videographer Rob Resetar shot two more scenes; a love scene between Carrie, the leading lady, and Scott, one of the antagonists, and the photo shoot scene. The photo shoot happens early in the novel. It’s the watershed event that shapes the rest of the story.


We still have a few more scenes to film. With any luck, the book trailer will be complete right after the first of the year. In the meantime please enjoy this except from The Deception about the photo shoot.
MM

an excerpt from The Deception


Carrie woke up to her ringing cellphone. She rolled over and scooped it up from the floor.”Hello.” Her voice sounded groggy.

“So what the heck is going on with you?” asked the woman on the other end of the line.

“Louise?”

To read the rest of this excerpt please click on the link below.

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