“Forsaken” Another Bloody Short!

Posted in Uncategorized on 04-11-2014 by jeffreymartinsnovels

the great iowa book event The man placed the blade against his muscled chest;
with one quick motion, a cascade of crimson stained the steel intruder. Pain
never really meant much to him. It was actually an act of realization if anything. The new scar would join the others, in celebration of his next
conquest. His upper torso was riddled with the reminders of all his wonderful
victims. Today, while he was involved in his daily dose of fitness at Hensen’s Gym, he had acquired an
unlikely target. Her name was Shanna Wilks. A tall toned redhead; who
instructed the early bird yoga class. He was amazed by her blemish—free pearl
skin. She reminded him of a ceramic doll, sitting on the shelf of an exquisite
antique shop, more so, than something
living.
Well, Shanna wouldn’t be that too much longer. He reached into his pocket removing a
metallic holder. Running his fingers along the ridges in the metal always
comforted him. This was his ritual. The monogrammed letters stared back at him, beckoning him to withdraw the
contents. The man removed a blank business card from it, careful not to drip
blood on it prematurely. The smooth texture of the paper was just perfect for
capturing each stroke, as he positioned the knife at such an angle, none of the
precious fluid was wasted. He glanced in the rearview mirror and smiled. Almost time. The sound of chimes filled
the car’s interior. He flipped open the console, and stared at the screen.
“Shit, what now?” Taking a deep breath, he answered the annoyance. “Detective
Creighton speaking.”
“Sir, sorry… I know it’s your day off, but we have
something you need to see,” a soft voice apologized.
“Lydia, what’s going on?”
“It’s him again sir. He left us another calling card.”
Must be talking about Jessica. Ah,
her blood was so sweet
. “Where?” He playfully used his finger as a
pen, as he scribbled in mid-air. He knew
exactly where.
Lydia’s voice cracked. “2131 Providence Ave. Officer Davis and Beltz have the scene
secured.”
I’m sure. “10-4, tell them I will be there in twenty. Clear on the other side of town,” he lied.
“Sure thing, sir.
He slammed the phone shut. Why does everyone
fuck with my time off?
Glaring at the digital display of his watch, a
crooked smile passed his lips. No
worries, this won’t take long
. He ran his thumb along the blade, closing
his eyes, as he captured the sweet life juice with his lips. Ah, better than the last. Detective
Creighton once again repositioned the glistening blade against the thin
cardboard, this time finishing his
signature free from interruption. Perfect,
simply perfect!
Creighton gently blew on the card, not
wanting his creativity to be ruined by the natural way blood has the tendency
to flow. Satisfied with his work, Creighton stepped from the dark unmarked
cruiser. He weaved throughout a cluster of bushes and foliage, until reaching
his destination. Strapped between two saplings, was the torn body of a young
woman. The fresh carcass had already begun to attract the creatures of nature,
as they clawed through the flesh, taking prize possessions from their latest
meal. Creighton smelled the air, relishing the moment. Pamela Abens had been way too easy. The twenty-something
brunette simpleton, was a local whore, the town of Cutter’s Pass would not
miss. Creighton had taken advantage of that fact; watching her get wasted in
these woods on several occasions, and barely making it back to town. She had
done it again tonight, but this time she
was his. There would be no more apologies to her distraught parents for the gross error of judgment. Now, the earth would swallow her with welcome arms, and be a part of her for eternity.
Creighton knelt down and placed the card just below where her feet were
dangling. Always the same place, always

Creighton glanced at his watch. Shit, gotta go! It was ironic to say the
least. Patrolmen waiting for him at the Providence location had no idea;
a murderer was coming to take over their crime scene. Quite ironic indeed

Cupid’s Kill…A Short for the Upcoming Holiday

Posted in A Writer's Life, Just For Fun! with tags , , , , , on 02-12-2014 by jeffreymartinsnovels

ck part 1 coverIn the next week, a special holiday arrives and along with it, comes a tasty short story for my new fans and friends. If you enjoy the Brian Jeffer’s character, you won’t want to miss this two-part adventure. I promise there are many twists, I didn’t even count on…hehe. So, without further ado, here is the quick synopsis… and remember, death is only a click away!!
:)

Death arrives in diverse delivery methods.

One in particular is a plague to the detectives of the Marcona Police Department. A monster has returned, and he won’t rest until his vengeance is complete. Armed with a paralyzing concoction and the tools of his trade, he targets a select few to add to his collection.

Chief Mark Blankenship, along with detectives Brian Jeffers and Kelli Jordan, face off against the madman, hoping to end his bloody path of destruction.

Unfortunately, they haven’t anticipated the killer will sacrifice at all costs, making one of them his prized token…

Welcome to the “Dead Holiday”

Posted in Uncategorized on 12-7-2013 by jeffreymartinsnovels

Receiving a Christmas card from most people is supposed to invoke feelings of joy and holiday spirit. However, one couple has decided a card from them marks you for death…
Ryan Hempstead and Astor Chesley formerly worked for retail conglomerate Plaxton’s Superstores. They conspire to hold select employees and even a few customers captive as they deliver their own holiday message.
Marcona Police Chief Mark Blanjm-dh-cvrkenship is finishing his Christmas Eve shopping when he is thrust into the middle of the two’s revenge. Will Blakenship be able to stop the rampage, or will he be a victim of this Dead Holiday?

Hello again, fans and friends! A quick e-book short to satisfy your holiday reading hunger. :) I know everyone is patiently awaiting the next Jeffrey Martin novel, and I promise it’s in the final stages of publication…but until then, enjoy the very first installment involving the no-nonsense and trouble magnet Mark Blankenship.

Stay safe and remember…death is only a click away. (Hint, click the cover of the book if you want the link.)

Finding the Right Publisher (Part 2)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 09-27-2013 by jeffreymartinsnovels

Ah, sequel time, boys and girls…(Everybody enjoys a good sequel…hehe!)

Today is the day, future author! The initial query letter you sent in to publisher X resulted in a request for sample pages and synopsis. A few months later, (please pretend time lapse for effect) the acquisitions editor asked for the full manuscript of your sparkling novel, Sacred Skin, and within a time frame not to exceed six months, you receive a phone call from Mr. Redpencil (hehe) saying, “Welcome to the family. We at publisher X would love to add you to our family of authors. We want you to review the contract we have prepared, where our author royalty percentages are above the normal industry standards!” (I always wonder how many people were polled to determine the industry standards?)

Now, my author friend, excitement fills you to the brim, and your fingers tremble , as you barely keep your sanity. I know you want to sign the contract right this minute…but take a deep breath, and S- L- O- W- down. Before you do anything, read the damn thing!

A few things to look at…

1. What format/formats is your work going to be published in? Mass market paperback, trade paperback, hardcover, audiobook, e-book, or some form of publication not developed yet? (Yep, many contracts have this phrase in it.) Find some other titles the publisher has released, and see if they are in the same format as yours.

2. Distribution of your work. Will the novel be listed with all the large book store/libraries/chain merchandise retail stores? You need to scrutinize this portion of your contract very carefully and ask questions of Mr. Redpencil if you don’t understand. The more distribution you have, the more likely your book will be seen! If Sacred Skin is only listed on publisher X’s website, this may not be the most effective way for your work to be seen.

3. Royalty payments. The contract will list a schedule of royalty payments. Sometimes it’s quarterly/semi-annually. Understand the payment schedule and don’t be afraid to inquire if you feel something doesn’t sound Kosher. It’s important the contract addresses the term royalty statements. The statements determine your sales figures for a designated time frame. Example, if your sales for six months is 5,000 copies, the statement should reflect this amount.

4. Synergy with publisher. Hmm, I hope…no let me rephrase that…I pray you have done research in the initial querying process to determine if publisher X is the right one for you. This can be as simple, as recognizing the kind of novels they publish. If Sacred Skin is a suspense/thriller, and publisher X has only released children’s stories, this may not be a match made in Heaven. Publishing a novel takes team work, and you want the publisher who chooses your work to love it and embrace it as you do. Does that mean you and publisher X should dance under the moonlight together making kissy-face…no, of course not (not unless you want to). BUT IT DOES mean to have an open and honest communication of what the partnership needs to be successful and how you work as a team to achieve that success.

Finding the right publisher takes a determined effort and committment. There may be times when a publisher has offered a contract, and you review it to find they have great distribution, outstanding royalty payments, and will release your work in all formats…but the synergy is off, and working with them is painstaking, to say the least. What do you do? Hmm, Now that’s a question YOU have to answer.

Hehe! Hehe!

Until next time… Death is only a click away!
dark and stormy

Finding the Right Publisher Part 1…yes, there will be a Part 2.

Posted in A Writer's Life, Just For Fun! with tags , , , , , on 08-12-2013 by jeffreymartinsnovels

jm_author_photo_recent_051509_8areHmm, let’s ponder that question. Some would say that anyone willing to publish your work is the right one. Not so much, aspiring writers. I know you slaved away on the manuscript and spent countless hours editing it to within an inch of its’ life, and then…yousent out dozens upon dozens of query letters, where the only correspondence was in the form of a cookie cutter rejection letter. It can be disappointing to say the least.

So, your next course of action, is to scour the internet and writing forums for publishers who accept query letters. You take a deep breath…(make sure you exhale, or you will pass out) and fire off a few queries to a publisher who you think will make your writing dreams become a reality. A few weeks/months later, the golden ticket arrives in email/mailbox, and the excitement grows to a level so intense, sleep is barely on the agenda. Hmm, it would appear the hard work has paid off, and you are well on your way to seeing your novel on display as an end cap at the brick-and-mortar stores.

Unfortunately, the publisher you have been so lucky to have been chosen by has no clue how to successfully market you or the novel you possess. When the book finally comes out, it’s so riddled with errors, you wonder if the editorial team (if they even have one) was high on some illegal substances. Now, to top if off…your 300-page trade paperback has been priced at the reasonable price of $19.95. (Hehe!) But have no fear…because you the author of the work will get a reduced price for future purchases (after your one free author copy) at the fair rate of $13.95…what a freaking deal, my author friend!

Wow, you may think the example above is far-fetched…but let me tell you, I’m fortunate to travel across the region doing author events, some with authors in the situation above. Their novel is priced at such an inflated amount, the only people who buy it either are family or friends. It pains me to see this, and I urge all the aspiring writers out there, if you decide to forego the literary agent route and tread into the waters of publishers, be mindful of who you are dealing with. In the above example, the research for finding a publisher was half-ass. A quick check on valuable writers websites tells you many things, but it’s your job as the author to be very thorough. Example, if the publisher has a list of authors, find out if those books are carried at the local book stores and libraries. The individual authors of publishers will have websites, active usage of social networking will also be important. Scour their sales numbers, and reviews through a multiple of networks. Your goal is to determine if this publisher can do the following: honest feedback when you ask pertinent questions, distribute your work to the masses, assist in author appearances, market your novel in all media formats, and the most important, (to me at least) love your novel as much as you do.

Next week, I will continue this conversation and talk a little more about the following:

1. Distribution of your work

2. Reviewing your contract

3. Royalties

4. Synergy with Publisher

Until then, remember…death is only a click away.

Creation of the Back Cover Blurb

Posted in A Writer's Life, General Information with tags , , , , , , , , , on 06-11-2013 by jeffreymartinsnovels

dark and stormyI was interviewed recently for a book and author promotions blog. We were talking about the strengths of the components of book covers and the importance of writing a good back-cover blurb (and a little bit of how-to). I’d like to share with other writers what we discussed.

What is your process for writing the back cover blurb? Is there a “formula” you follow?

I create the blurb based on how I would write a query letter for potential agents and publishers. The first line is my hook. For example, in my debut novel Lucifer’s Calling, the hook line is “A paralyzing prescription is recipe for creating one’s man art.” This is used to get the attention of the potential reader. I believe using the query creation method—or so I have just named it—is my best strength. I think providing a mini-synopsis for the blurb is of the utmost importance, especially if you’re a new author on the block and don’t have the exposure the established writers do. I will tell you a little secret…the last blurb I wrote took me all of thirty minutes, as I was on treadmill.

At what point do you write the back cover blurb?

I don’t consider even thinking about the blurb before the manuscript has been fully edited and ready for the submission phase. Once I’m satisfied with the final product of my work, I then write a three- to five-page synopsis of my entire book. From there, I will pick some key components of the synopsis and weave them into several sentences, which I believe will garner interest.

What advice would you share with authors who need to write one?

I say treat the blurb like you do your query letter. String together the most intriguing points from your story, and then, evaluate if they are interesting to people. Maybe show them to some of the people you know, who enjoy reading the material you write about. They are the ones who are going to purchase your book. You can base this on three key elements: the title, cover, and blurb. If you can entice their right brain juices, you have done the job you intended. Sometimes, I think the 400-page manuscript is easier to create than a 150- to 200-word blurb.

Just some food for thought!

Until next time…remember, death is only a click away!
;)

Weaving Evil, Chp 2.

Posted in A Writer's Life, General Information, New Releases, Personal Appearances with tags , , , , , , , , , on 04-7-2013 by jeffreymartinsnovels

brownrecluse1Well, here it it minions! The next chapter installment of my female serial killer antagonist and her wicked ways. So without further ado, I present Weaving Evil, Chp 2… Hehe.
:)
Remember, death is only a click away!

Chapter 2
A Victim is Chosen

The city of Riverside was home to one of the large components belonging to the University of California’s educational systems. It was approximately fifty miles from Los Angeles, home to over three hundred thousand residents, and for its size, one of the most diverse in the state. The University was breathtaking and with the UC-Bell Tower; erect at one-hundred and sixty-one feet, equipped with its’ own Carillon, some would say, it was almost magical. The music which emitted from the bells always seemed to captivate Vanessa, like the pied piper calling after his assortment of children. She smiled, as the soft tones bounced off the buildings and carried into the light wind.
Glancing down at her watch, her facial expression soon turned from happiness to one filled with anxiety. Shit, I can’t be late. Not today. She quickened her pace, cutting across the fresh manicured grass, trying to make up for valuable time lost. The experiment had taken too long this morning. The toxin hadn’t worked the way she had thought, additional extractions had to take place. Poor Maxine.
Well, if she wasn’t more prompt, Vanessa would have ample time to conduct her personal research and not have to worry about daily work requirements. Get it together. She slowed down to a brisk walk, as she approached the research laboratory. Dr. Hilson would more than likely be waiting for her, when she arrived. It was almost a compulsive disorder how he always stood at the door waiting for her, almost knowing she would… fuck up. Brushing her bangs aside, she pushed on the heavy rustic door. The grandiose metallic sign loomed heavy over her; almost criticizing her for entering its’ esteemed property. Meyer-Price Laboratory was donated to the University by two former entomologists, who had been paramount in creating state of the art bio-chemistry protocol in relation to insect pest control. They had been students of the University in the early 70’s and loved their alma mater so dearly; they repaid their professors and Dean of Education with this extraordinary structure.
Vanessa tried to soften her step, as she crossed the marble floor, but the sound of her heels brought instant ramification.
“Well, the gods themselves should be honored you decided to make an appearance this morning.” Dr. Wynn Hilson her former mentor from grad school and current research supervisor slipped out from behind a row of sculptures, which resembled various forms of arachnid and other close relatives in the insect family. He was a middle-age stout man, with thin strips of gray, highlighting his thick scraggly dark hair. Many faculty members, along with the student body would mock him, labeling him the “Mad Scientist of California.” He adjusted the stained lab coat, as he stared accusingly at his young research analyst.
Great. Vanessa bit her lip. Has to be something good. “ Sir, I was doing research on the toxins of our arachnid friends and reaction times of death with various prey. I got caught up in the time… really I did.”
Dr. Hilson tapped a finger to the side of his head. “Ah, so you’re telling me it was all in the name of Arachnology?”
No dumbshit. I’m trying to kiss your ass. She flashed him a quirky smile. “Of course. You know I live for this!”
He scuffed his foot against the floor. “If I didn’t admire your creativity, you would have been fired long ago.” He motioned towards her. “Come on we have work to complete, and…by the way, a guest is stopping by.”
“Guest?” She cocked her head.
He chuckled. “Indeed. A young lady working on her entomology dissertation.”
Better her than me. “Really, do I know this person?”
“Quite well, matter of fact.” Dr. Hilson winked.
I really don’t like surprises. “Sir, who is it?” She pouted.
He nodded. “One of your undergraduate associates from Ohio State. She is very curious to see how you have been doing here.”
Fuck, probably my replacement. Vanessa’s Ohio State days were almost a memory now. It wasn’t a particularly eye-opening chain event type of remembrance either. More like she was thankful, her interests in deadly arachnids and insects hadn’t fully developed, or there would have been a lot of deceased peers who missed their graduation. She shook her head. “I wasn’t exceptionally close to many there. Just one. Is the professor going to give me a hint?”
Dr. Hilson’s smile continued to grow. “What would be the fun in revealing anything which would give it away?”
Maybe you should be the first one I reveal myself to. She threw her hands up in resignation. “Okay, I will play along.” She pointed to the lab. “I have to get some reports done on those spider bites from last week. The Irvine campus said it was a rush deal.”
“Good idea my young analyst. I will let you know when our mutual friend arrives.”
Vanessa faked a smile. “Can’t wait!”
Fuck me
* * * * *

Several hours passed with still no signs of the mystery guest, the professor had been too eager to gloat about. Vanessa had completed her analysis of the venom samples, the Irvine laboratory had sent. Scrolling through results, she stopped, almost frozen at what stared back at her.
Holy Shit! The venom had been taken from a Brazilian Wandering Spider, which Vanessa was well aware how deadly this arachnid was touted to be. There had never been a report of this little beauty making a homestead in the states. It was most likely, the creature found its way from South America or a neighboring warm tropical climate, and now, decided to make its presence known to a female hiker in the hills outside Los Angeles County. Unlucky for her. The woman, even though she was bitten, and in shock, was still cognizant enough to capture her attacker, by placing it inside her backpack. This action assisted the medical staff to determine what course of treatment protocol was needed to keep her alive. The University was consulted on the rare find and since Vanessa was one of the only experienced and working Arachnologist in the state, it was a no-brainer to bring her in on the research. Plus, there was more than enough venom left over after testing, to spread out among her potential victims. She grabbed an empty syringe from a desk drawer, measuring out what she considered to be enough. Vanessa stashed the partially filled tube into her briefcase, as a malicious look fell upon her face. This is so perfect. Flipping through several print-outs, she removed a notebook from the front pocket of her lab coat. Vanessa started to scribble a few notes, when a metallic knock at the door, forced her to shove the pad back inside her shirt. “Just… a minute.” Straightening her coat, and a quick tease of her hair, she shot from her chair, unlocking the door.
Dr. Hilson wrinkled his nose, as he stepped through. “Hmm, a locked door, around here? You must be hiding something.”
She opened her mouth to provide a rebuttal, but her efforts were stifled, by a short attractive strawberry blond, who rushed through Dr. Hilson like he wasn’t even there, almost knocking the man to the ground. The woman wrapped her manly arms around Vanessa, treating her like a human teddy bear. “Nessa, you look wonderful luv!”
You gotta be shitting me. If the good doctor was trying to get back at her for all of her tardiness, this was definitely the right way. If there ever was a real battle between super heroines and their arch enemies, Celeste Brillings was the epitome of evil. Considering how far Vanessa had fallen down the rabbit hole that was saying a lot. Celeste was a master of deception and played the blackmail card better than most men. Sleeping your way to the top was an overused philosophy, but for Celeste it was a part of her academia. A skill that stole the only real boyfriend Vanessa ever had. Not that he was excluded the blame for his promiscuous behavior, but the peroxide, driven bitch knew how to get just what she wanted. Well at least she had added a few pounds. Vanessa forced a smile. “Celeste, you look great…too.”
Celeste released her grip. “It’s been a while, my luv. I hope you and I are past that wee-bit issue we had a few years ago?”
Nope, and where is the fake English accent shit coming from? Vanessa adjusted her glasses. “We are adults. It’s not worth bringing up.”
Celeste touched her shoulder. “Spoken like a true friend.”
Please. Vanessa shifted focus to something which truly intrigued her. “So, what brings you out to the West coast?”
Celeste glanced in the direction of Dr. Hilson. “Well, Wynn was in Columbus last year, and asked me to come out if I wanted to spend time under his wing.”
Under his wrinkly ass, you mean. Vanessa raised her eyebrows, pointing to her mentor. “Well, he is one of the best in this field. Wow, like a soap opera.
Celeste twirled her hair. “I’m hoping to learn a great deal for my dissertation.”
Vanessa eyes wandered to her briefcase. “Of course… you know what; we should grab a bite to eat while you’re here”
The silence by Dr. Hilson during the women’s interchange was finally broken. “Outstanding idea, for you two to spend some time together.”
Celeste clapped her hands, like a youth waiting approval from a parental unit. “Girl’s night is exactly what we need luv.”
Stop, no really….
“When are you heading back?” Vanessa’s brain was working at full speed, formulating something sinister.
“I’m here until Friday. I head back early on Saturday,” Celeste said, flashing her teeth.
Hmm, only Tuesday. Removing the notebook from her pocket, she flipped to a blank page. “Okay, let’s do it Thursday, if that works?” She purposely glared at Dr. Hilson, which made him noticeably uncomfortable.
“Perfect luv! Just like our dorm days.” Celeste accosted her with a follow-up hug to celebrate the reconciliation.
“Okay, I still have some work to finish, or my boss will not be pleased,” she smirked.
Dr. Hilson cleared his throat. “Yes, you attend to that… we must take our leave.” The two waved, exiting the laboratory. Vanessa, wiped at her body, trying to rid herself of the ungodly karma, Celeste had smothered upon her. She stepped over to the briefcase, removing the syringe of toxin; she had stolen from the Irvine sample. Hmm, that hiker had been lucky, Celeste wouldn’t be so fortunate. Come Friday morning, the obnoxious and self-indulgent whore would only be a memory…one that Vanessa would relish in forgetting.

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