I’ve Updated my Website

A photo of books, a red rose, and a glass of wine on top of a table.
Photo by Marina Martindale

Now that my latest novel, The Scandal, has gone to the editor, I’ve decided it might be a good time to update my website. I’ve cleared out the clutter. I’ve also added links so you can download free sample chapters. I also added a page for my book trailers. You can also sign up for my newsletter. Each month I give away a free copy of one of my novels. All you have to do to enter is subscribe to my newsletter, and open it once it arrives in your inbox.

My website is www.marinamartindale.com, so come and take a look.

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Welcome to Marina Martindale’s Musings

Writing is one of my life’s passions. I put my heart and soul into each and every romance novel I write, and my blog is where you’ll get the inside scoop. You’ll learn more about your favorite characters, and I’ll talk about what inspires me. And when I start working on my next novel, you’ll be the first to know.

For more information about Marina Martindale please visit the website at MarinaMartindale.com.

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The Scandal Has Gone to the Editor

A book cover feature a woman buttoning her blouse, with two men and the Hollywood sign behind her.
Cover illustration by Wes Lowe.

Finally, after more than a year of writing, The Scandal has gone to the editor. Once again, I feel like a mom whose kids have just moved out. You think you’re going to feel happy, and part of you does. But at the same time, you also feel sad. I guess you’d call the feeling bittersweet.


I’ve genuinely loved writing all of my novels, but some have been more fun to write than others. On the pleasure to write meter, The Scandal is right up there with The Reunion. The inspiration came from one of my cousins who, years ago, had a major role on a soap opera. She was kind enough to not only invite me to visit the set, she also invited me to her wrap party when she left the show. And by the way, a soap opera wrap party is like any other corporate party. The only difference is that the faces look more familiar. But then again, when you’re a writer, you can add a little unexpected drama to make a corporate party a whole lot more interesting, which is exactly what I did in The Scandal.


Now, just so you know, Lauren McAllen, my lead character, is actually not based on my cousin. About the only thing she and my cousin have in common is they don’t hang out with the Hollywood crowd. Not all actors do. Just like doctors, attorneys, and architects, actors are all unique individuals. Some are party animals. Some have drug or alcohol issues. Others get on political soap boxes. They may make the headlines, but not everyone in Hollywood is that way. Some actors go home and hangout with their families, and their social circles don’t necessarily include other celebrities. In other words, off camera, they’re more like the rest of us, and that’s who Lauren is. If anything, she’s an extension of me; a woman totally devoted to her craft who feels truly blessed to be able to follow her dream and do what she loves.

The Scandal is also my most researched novel to date. As a writer, I strive for accuracy. I want my stories and my characters to be as realistic and believable as possible. And while visiting the set and watching a taping was truly an honor and a privilege, it hardly makes me an expert on television production. So, I spent a lot of time reading articles on how things work on the set and what happens behind the scenes. Hopefully, I’ve come close.
Look for The Scandal to be released later this summer.

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The Letter Book Trailer

Once again, my good friend Rob Resetar has helped me create an amazing new book trailer. This time for my most recent novel, The Letter, and his original musical score is his best one so far. Seelie Studios assisted with the casting, and I’m very pleased this video. I hope you’re as excited about it as I am. So please, enjoy The Letter book trailer.

Video by Rob Resetar Video and Good Oak Productions.
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The Scandal Book Cover

A book cover with a woman buttoning her blouse. Two men are standing behind her, and the famous Hollywood sign.

My illustrator, Wes Lowe, has come through once again, and he’s created his best cover illustration to date. 

The Scandal is a romance novel set in Hollywood. Soap opera star Lauren McAllen has recently left the role that made her famous and landed a supporting role in a major motion picture. But before the camera rolls, her dream of stardom shatters. The studio head is soon accused of wrongdoing, and she’s unwittingly caught up in a major scandal that rocks Hollywood.

I’m still working on the manuscript. I hope to have it complete and ready to go to the editor in early July. While this book has been the most interesting one to write so far, it’s also required more research, and revisions, than anything I’ve done before. But trust me, it’ll be well worth the wait.

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Entering the Home Stretch for “The Scandal”

A photo of the Los Angeles skyline seen through mist.
© Can Stock Photo / trekandshoot

With only a few more chapters to write my next novel will soon be ready go to the editor. I am loving this story. It’s coming out much better than expected. It includes an amazing cast of characters, and it’s probably my most well researched book so far. 


As my readers know, I put a lot of time and effort into making my storylines as realistic and believable as possible. And with this novel I’ve learned a lot about the television and movie industry. I also had to do some major revisions, but that’s okay. Each revision makes the story that much better. I also had to revamp my main antagonist. 


As luck would have it, shorty after I decided to write a book about Hollywood, the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke. Interesting timing, but I didn’t want to emulate it in my novel. I opted instead to have my lead antagonist be more of a Roman Polanski. However, it came out a bit too creepy for my taste. After several revisions it was still too creepy, and I simply didn’t like it. So, I had to go back create more of a Hugh Hefner inspired character, along with a Marina Martindale twist. This time, it worked. Perfectly. Of course, he’s not my only villain, and as I’m wrapping up some of my loose ends another antagonist is poised and ready to strike. And that’s all I have to say about that.


If all goes according to plan, The Scandal will be available this summer.


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Back to the Land of the Living

Sometimes life isn’t much fun

© Can Stock Photo / ESchweitzer

No, I haven’t fallen off the planet, although it may appear that way. I’m exactly sure what I had. But whatever it was, I’ve never been this sick for this long in my life.


It all started at the end of February. I felt like I was coming down with mild cold, so I really didn’t feel bad at all. A few days later I looked in the mirror and noticed I had an eye infection. (Conjunctivitis.) It quickly spread to the other eye. Typical. Conjunctivitis is highly contagious, but usually not serious. Just irritating. Unfortunately, it was only the beginning.


My left ear suddenly ruptured and started bleeding. I wasn’t exactly pleased at that point. (Panicked is more like it.) The following morning I went to urgent care. They prescribed antibiotics, and they helped some. The eyes cleared up, but both ears were infected. I spent the next couple weeks hardly able to hear. Someone suggested Flonase, and it helped. However, as I’m writing, I’m still not fully recovered. I finally saw ENT physician a few days ago. Thankfully, the ruptured eardrum has healed. I had some other complications as well, but I’m finally on the mend. It’s about time.


I tried to do some writing while I was sick, but it was hard for me to focus. No doubt infections affect your brain as well. So I spent most days napping, playing solitaire and watching YouTube videos. That’s when I stumbled on an impressive young filmmaker. His name is Arthur Dark. His YouTube series is called Hollywood Graveyard. While it may sound morbid to some, it’s actually well researched, full of interesting history, and well produced. This kid has talent and, hopefully, he’ll go far.  Go check him out. 


Now that I’m finally feeling better I’m getting back to doing the things I enjoy doing. I’m playing my piano and out and listening to live music. I’ve resumed blogging, and, of course, writing. I’m busy finishing up my latest novel, and I hope to have it out this summer. 


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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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And Now for Some of My Other Characters

A horse and a dog in an open field.
© Can Stock Photo / Callipso88

I get a lot of nice feedback about my characters and I love them too, but let’s not forget my other characters. The nonhuman ones.


I love animals and I grew up around dogs and horses. So, it stands to reason that some of my characters are dogs and horses. And while they may not be as cunning as their human counterparts, dogs and horses do what dogs and horses do, and sometimes it creates problems for the protagonists. In The Reunion, a black mustang named Miss Mollie puts Gillian in a real jam. Her dachshund, Duke, also becomes the catalyst in a major life changing event. However, these animal characters can do good deeds as well. Some even end up being the unsung heroes in the story. Lurch, the lovable mutt in The Betrayal, helps save Emily’s life, while Lucy, Shane’s dog in The Stalker, becomes attached to Rachel, much to Shane’s chagrin. My upcoming book, The Scandal, will also have a canine character. This time it’s an English springer spaniel named Barney, who belongs to leading man Chuck.


Those of us who have pets will tell you they really are part of the family, and my two real-life dogs are no exception. Of course, they wish I’d spend less time writing and more time with them. In fact, if it were up to them, I’d dote on them twenty-four/seven. But lucky for them, they have a nice big cozy dog bed right next to my writing desk. Now, if only I could get them to give me feedback on my writing. Unfortunately, about the only words they really seem understand are, “eat,” “food,” and “treats.” 


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Are My Characters Based on Real People?

Photo © 2019 by Gayle Martin. All Rights Reserved.

People are genuinely curious about what I do. I often hear questions, such as are my books a series, and are my characters based on real people? Yes, some have been inspired from I’ve known. Protagonists Ian and Gillian in The Reunion are loosely based on real people.


So what do I mean when I say a character is inspired from a real person? Does it mean the character is a clone of that person, with a different name? The answer is no, they are not. They are based on my memories of people I’ve known. I use those memories as a template to create a unique and fictitious individual. Ian, for example, was based on an old college boyfriend. I incorporated some of his positive aspects into Ian, such as his desire to succeed. However, none of us are perfect, and my old boyfriend certainly had his faults too, but most of those characteristics were not part of Ian. Oddly enough, I’ve found some of his negative traits in antagonists in other stories, although I didn’t realize it until after the book was published. Funny how our minds work.


Whether inspired from a real-life person or not, each character I create is fictitious, and each is a unique individual in his or her own right. And I must be doing a good job. I’ve had some interesting feedback from my readers. Some truly hated my villians and were glad to see them get their comeuppance. Others shared their frustrations over protagonists making bad decisions. My all time favorite, however, came from a lady who told me she was reading one of my books in her apartment complex laundry room. One of the antagonists made her so mad she started cursing him out. Then she looked up and noticed other people were giving her strange looks. Her story was the highest compliment a reader could ever give me.


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