“Forsaken” A Bloody Taste…Indeed!

Posted in Uncategorized on 04-16-2016 by jeffreymartinsnovels


Out of the catacombs, a story of bloody proportions awaits my loyal fans! I have prepared a short tale for all who dare to proceed. A quick synopsis to titillate the taste buds.

A calling card written in blood is the signature for a killer roaming the hills of Cutter’s Pass. Detective Steve Creighton and his team have been assigned the grisly task to stop the madman at all cost. What they discover sends them on a manhunt, leading to one of their own. Will they be able to stop the one who calls himself Forsaken, before he quenches his taste for an inhumane delicacy? Only time will tell…

Without further ado, the first installment… (Remember, death is only a click away.)


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 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.

Shanna wouldn’t be that too much longer. He reached into his pocket and removed a metallic holder. Running his fingers along the ridges 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, careful not to drip blood on it prematurely. The smooth texture of the paper was just perfect to capture 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 the location.

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, and closed his eyes, as he devoured the sweet life juice. Ah, better than the last. Detective Creighton once again repositioned the 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, he stepped from the dark unmarked cruiser. He weaved throughout a cluster of bushes and foliage, until he was at the scene of his “work”. 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 and relished 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. Always the same place, always

Creighton glared 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…

“Deadly Collection”

Posted in General Information, New Releases, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 04-3-2016 by jeffreymartinsnovels


Welcome to my demented Utopia, fans and friends! The final touches on the latest work are complete and soon the next few novels will be unveiled. (I know…too many years since the last.)  The marketing and advertising campaign is underway, so your patience is appreciated. Here is the back cover blurb…remember, death is only a click away.

Vengeance is the itinerary of a man obsessed by his past. Homicide Detective, Kelli Jordan is called to investigate a grisly murder at a local gentleman’s club, where the woman’s death is only the beginning. Detective Jordan discovers a truth so revealing, it leads her to seek out someone who is familiar with how the killer operates. Will her newfound friend be able to help her end the madman’s reign of terror, or does Lucifer once again, slip away into the night?

Only time will tell.

“Weaving Evil”

Posted in Uncategorized on 01-24-2016 by jeffreymartinsnovels

The time for a “new” adventure is close to being unveiled and I wanted to reach out and thank all of the fans for your patience and loyalty. Sometimes, fate steps in and creates adversity which diverts the course of a strategically planned writing Utopia. I’m hopeful within the next few weeks, this “work” is worth the wait. Without further ado…the back cover blurb is upon us. (Remember…death is only a click away.”WeavingThumbnail

A tapestry of silk ends it all

Vengeance is the itinerary of a woman obsessed by her past. Vanessa Servais utilizes a myriad of chemical compounds with the most unique of delivery systems, as she quenches her thirst for blood.

Riverside Detective Kelli Jordan discovers the discarded body of a Jane Doe, who appears to lack one essential element regarding her death. This leads Detective Jordan to consult quirky but brilliant medical examiner: Martin Dankes, who verifies the cause of the woman’s death, are both intriguing and terrifying.

As the body count rises, Detective Jordan uncovers the evidence to unravel the killer’s deadly web, but Vanessa Servais has other plans and soon she will be gone…forever.

Will Detective Jordan arrive in time to bring the sadistic woman to justice or is this just the beginning to a new brand of serial killer?

Only time will tell


What Does Xmas Mean to Me?

Posted in A Writer's Life, General Information, Just For Fun!, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 12-16-2015 by jeffreymartinsnovels

borders west des moines 050810dI started asking myself that question at an early age. Some people would laugh about my serious demeanor and tell me, “Hey, you’re eight years old. Don’t worry about such deep thought processes…you should just have fun and enjoy the abundance of toys you’re going to get.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed receiving the pretty outstanding gifts…like the Star Wars Millienum Falcon, complete with the suave, vest-wearing Han Solo action figure. (So much better than Luke…but we will keep that our little secret.) But after all that “stuff” mentality wore thin, I realized the deeper meaning of this special time of year had nothing to do with materialistic things but more with being an ambassador of thoughtfulness and compassion. A simple act of kindness can be shown in ways such as a warm smile to someone not having the best of days,  a dollar in the red kettle that sits outside many retail locations this time of year,  and patience for the  sales clerk behind the counter on the biggest shopping day EVER.  It seems easy, but what often seems easy, is sometimes the most difficult.

As each of you sit down with family and friends and celebrate this holiday season, cherish what you have and don’t worry if you bought everyone on your list the hottest gifts of 2015 (chances are, they wanted gift cards anyway…touché…iphone 6S is pretty sick.) But show them love, compassion, and everything a great greeting card is made of…which leads me into my little short story.

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…

Yes, I know… it’s a complete one hundred eighty degrees from  most of the blog. But what can I say? I write thrillers…


Chapter 1

Murder them bastards. Ryan Hempstead’s blank expression hid his feelings well as he loaded the last weapon into the camouflage backpack. He opened the desk drawer and pulled out several envelopes. Andy, Andrea, Greg, Kendall, and, last but not least, Scott Cranston. He unzipped a pocket on his leather coat, careful not to damage the holiday cards. Ryan grabbed his cell phone, punching in the numbers of the only person he had ever cared about.
A young woman answered. “Hey, Ryan. You sure you wanna go through this?”
“Astor, we talked about this…them assholes have to pay for what they did to you.”
“Why? Tell me why it has to be today?” Astor pleaded.
Ryan gritted his teeth. “Because it just does. I can do this by myself, if you’re backing out–”
“No, I won’t let you do this alone. I don’t understand the reason for today, though. Ryan, baby, it’s Christmas Eve.”
“That’s the best part…nobody will expect it today.” Ryan grabbed the pistol off the dresser, stuffing it in his jeans. “Astor, Christmas is a dead holiday to me.”
“Pick me up in ten minutes. I’m finishing the letter to my roommate.”
“Gotcha. See you then.”
“All right, Ryan. I love you…just wanted you to know before we do this.”
Ryan took a breath, closing his eyes. “I love you, too. Like I said, I understand if you want to back out.”
“We’ve come this far. If we’re going through with this, at least it’ll be together.”
A single tear streamed down his face. “Astor, we will always be together. Nothing will change that.” He wiped away the wetness. “I’ll be there in a few.”
“Okay, I’ll be ready.” Astor’s voiced trailed off.
Ryan ended the call as he walked over to the wall mirror and stared at himself. He wasn’t a powerless, wimpy kid from Marcona anymore. The extra weight he had struggled with for so long had turned into lean muscle, and the glasses that made him look like a geek were replaced with blue colored contact lenses. His fascination with comic book legends was reflected in the Batman logo on his shirt pocket. Today, he was going to be a superhero of sorts. Ryan would avenge the only love he ever had known. The fuckers who defiled Astor would finally be held accountable. The court system hadn’t been able to do a thing, so it was his turn. Ryan brushed his wavy hair out of his face and zipped up his coat.
A fucking dead holiday indeed.

Chapter 2
Mark Blankenship maneuvered the marked patrol unit through the cornucopia of holiday shoppers as they gave him an accusing stare. He scanned the parking lot, looking for an open spot. Great. Who does their shopping on the last day before Christmas? He thought for a second. Me, of course.
Unable to find anything available, Mark drove across the street, finding the perfect place. He grabbed his cell from the console and squinted at the number of bars remaining on the battery. Wonderful. Hope nobody needs anything.
He popped open the glove box, sorting through the mess. There you are. He shoved the cheap charger into the lighter and plugged in his phone. Mark pulled down the visor and ran a hand through his thick black hair. The wrinkles emerging on his face and the tired brown eyes reminded him of the recent struggle with divorce. Fuck, I really do look old.
Mark flipped up the visor and exited the vehicle. He smiled, staring up at the sign on the building. After I get done shopping, I think I will need a drink. He hiked across the lot, blowing warm air into his hands. “Shit, it’s cold!”
As he approached his destination, Mark brushed off his coat, noticing a shabbily dressed middle-aged man standing outside of the giant superstore’s entrance. He sat next to a red kettle ringing a small gold bell, trying to get the attention of people as they walked past. Glad I’m not standing out here. Mark thought about bypassing him, too. Instead, he stopped in front of the kettle, reached into his pocket, and removed several waded bills.
He smiled at the man as he placed the bills through the slot. “Hey, why aren’t you inside the foyer doing this? It’s too cold to be out here.”
The man strained to look up as he exposed a toothless grin. “The store doesn’t want me in there…says I need to be out here.”
Not very holiday Joy-to-the-World, good-will-towards-men mindset. “Well, stay warm. Hope I helped a little.” Mark shrugged.
The man stood up but still had a hard time reaching over to pat him on the shoulder. Mark bent over to receive the gracious gesture. The man slipped a foiled wrapped chocolate Santa into Mark’s large hand. “Every little bit helps…have a nice Christmas.”
“You too, sir,” Mark waved, pocketing the chocolate.
He walked through the sliding glass doors, and a rush of warm air gently greeted him. Now, that’s more like it. He stripped off his trench coat, smiling at the choice of shopping carts. Gotta love the holiday colors.
A young red-haired girl wearing a black smock and Santa hat stopped his progress as she handed him a store flyer.
“Happy holidays, sir. Welcome to Plaxton’s Superstore. Is there anywhere I can direct you today to fulfill your holiday shopping extravaganza?”
Who the fuck talks like that? Must follow a script or something. Mark shook his head, tapping his shirt pocket. “Um, no thanks. I have it all here.”
She smiled. “Alrighty, then. You have a good shopping experience.”
Please kill me now. “Thanks, I will.”
Mark grabbed a green cart and removed the list from his shirt. Next year, everything online.
He pushed the cart through several aisles until he found the rows of dolls his daughter had pointed out a few weeks ago. Now, which one was it? There were several choices, but he inspected the list, making sure this was the exact one she wanted. If he purchased the wrong one, Marcia, his ex-wife, would be sure to point it out to him. That was her way of getting back…it always had been. She would dramatize anything, no matter how small. A man can only take so much.
Mark removed the doll from the shelf, placing it into his cart. Presley, I hope you love it. She deserved to be happy, especially since the breakup of the marriage was only six months ago. The little girl didn’t understand why daddy only got to see her every other weekend.
Scanning the list, he realized he couldn’t just forget Marcia. I wonder what you get for the people who piss you off the most? He smiled as he headed in the direction of the end cap marked, “As seen on T.V.”
He sorted through the absurdity of choices and finally decided on the perfect gift for Marcia. Studying the box of knives, his eyebrows rose as he read. Even cuts through a pop can… maybe I need one of those.
Mark glanced down at his watch, realizing the store would be closing soon. The majority of customers appeared to have vacated the area, and he was one of the few remaining. Mark grabbed the last item he needed and marked it on his corresponding list.
“Merry Christmas to me. I’m all done. Now, time for a celebratory beverage,” he muttered. Mark carted his purchases in the direction of the register when he noticed something odd.
A young, dark-haired woman, dressed in black camouflage, appeared to be guarding the exit. She was shoving people back inside the store and even pushed one elderly woman so hard that she tripped over her cane and landed face first onto the floor.
What the fuck? Mark reversed his direction, looking for a vantage point. He reached down, unholstering the weapon he carried off duty. Mark found safe refuge behind a large display of fireproof safes but was still close enough to keep his eye on the young woman. She kept yelling at some of the cashiers. Soon, a man dressed in a long-sleeve shirt and tan pants approached her. Mark took aim at the woman, but the man was in his line of fire, which made him lower his gun. The unknown man turned and pointed in the direction of the crowd, seemingly pleading with her to let them leave. He seems to know her.
The woman then did something unexpected. She reached behind her back and withdrew something large, pointing it at the man. A fucking gun. The man tried to scurry away, but she lowered the firearm and fired two shots into his back. He slumped to the floor as blood started to seep from the freshly made wounds.
The small crowd started to scream, and mass confusion ensued. Mark again trained his weapon on her, but the overhead lighting suddenly disappeared, and his vision was obscured by the darkness. She didn’t cut the lights, but somebody did. Mark heard several more shots, but this time, it came from behind him. He crouched down, straining to see where the rounds came from, but was unable to locate their origin. Mark started to inch forward when he heard the squelching of the store’s intercom system activate.
A hoarse voice filled the interior. “If you want to remain alive, do what we say. I’m only looking for certain people today, but will kill anyone who gets in my way. And I do mean anyone! Put your fucking cell phones in the garbage can…now!”
At least two gunmen. Mark reached for his cell but realized it wasn’t there. Shit. He wondered why the male voice had mentioned the gunmen were only here to kill certain people, and then, a very disturbing thought filled his head. A death list, and usually, the only people who had those were former employees.

Chapter 3

Ryan Hempstead stared at the motionless body of store manager, Andy Potraz. He moved along the line of cash registers, stopping a few feet away. He opened his jacket and removed one of the white envelopes, placing it on the manager’s bloodstained shirt. Now, that’s what I’m talking about. Ryan unclipped his two-way radio from his belt.
“Astor, what’s your location?”
“Just checked the sporting good section. Nothing moving here. I’m heading to hardware.”
“Great. Keep your eyes open. I saw a police SUV in the liquor store parking lot across the street–”
“Ryan, I won’t kill a cop–”
“Relax. The phone lines are disabled to the store, and I got my eyes on these people.”
“You sure that’s everyone in the store?”
Ryan hesitated. “Of course. I came through the warehouse and checked each aisle as I went,” he lied.
“Well, that worried me, but like I said, nobody’s here. I have the back doors all chained up.”
She’s getting a thirst for revenge. “Okay, I have Andrea, Greg, and Kendall up here with the rest of the customers. Did you see that fucker Cranston?”
“No. You sure he’s supposed to be here?”
Ryan’s jaw tightened. “Yes! I made sure of it, before we even decided on today.”
“Okay. I’ll go through the rest of the store, just to make sure.”
Ryan was irritated. “You think I missed something?”
“Well, he can’t get out, but he can call the police if he has a cell. Then, we’re fucked. And your revenge will be for nothing.”
My revenge? I’m doing this for her. “Let’s not argue. Maybe I did miss an area.”
“I’ll meet you in the front of the store…ten minutes.” Astor’s radio was silent.
Ryan slipped off his backpack and removed all the remaining firearms and ammunition. He smiled at the small crowd, fixated on the three employees.
“Andrea, Greg, and Kendall, stand the fuck up… now!”
The three Plaxton’s Superstore employees slowly got to their feet.
Andrea Milton was a short blonde with noticeable facial acne. Tears were streaming down both cheeks. “Ryan, you don’t have to do this. Nobody did anything wrong.”
Ryan rushed to where she was standing and yanked back her hair. Several of the onlookers screamed. “Oh, you think so? Are you fucking kidding me?” He pointed to the other two employees, lashing out on them as well. “And you two fuckers…do you think nobody is guilty of anything?”
Greg Whitlow’s heavyset frame backed away. “Listen, man. I didn’t know she got a hold of Kendall’s drugs. It wasn’t my fault.”
Ryan smashed the barrel of the gun into Andrea’s face, causing blood to spurt from her now disjointed nose. He flung her to the floor like a rag doll and headed straight for the curly-haired Greg Whitlow.
“Greg, I know the judge let you bastards walk, but I’m not so forgiving. You all are pieces of shit…and today’s the
day you pay up.”
Greg kept backing up. “Ryan, we were friends…best friends.”
Ryan looked into his eyes and smiled. “That’s why I’ll have Astor kill you last.”
He whirled around, and without hesitation, fired the full clip into the skull of Kendall Whitlow, a red mist spattering against the stacked boxes of Christmas cards. The tall, sandy-haired warehouse supervisor fell to the ground as more screams echoed from the small crowd. Ryan poised the gun towards the screams, almost forgetting what they were here to do. No, not these people. Just the ones responsible…just the ones responsible…

Chapter 4

Mark heard the shots, causing him to instinctively ready his weapon for a second time. Not a good spot. He moved backwards along the adjacent wall, searching for a service center of any kind. Gotta be a phone somewhere . Looking around, he noticed some of the products on the shelf. Mark crawled until he spotted a wall phone. He brought up his weapon in one hand as he stood to reach the handset. He brought it to his ear, hoping to hear the sound of a dial tone. Fuck. This guy must have disabled the line. He let the phone dangle as he crouched, moving cautiously through to the next open area. He went to one knee, steadying the gun in the direction of a row of changing rooms.
Mark noticed he was only a few aisles from the electronics section. I need to get there…fast. He slipped off his boots, bolting across the freshly waxed floor. Halfway across, he felt a sudden blow from behind. “Shit!”. His weapon bounced harmlessly away, landing against a rack of DVDs. He turned to face his attacker as the large man repeatedly pummeled his mid-section. Gotta fight back if I want to see my little girl again. Mark brought up a knee, catching the man squarely in the groin.
“Ah,” the voice groaned.
Mark reached around, putting the man in a headlock. His powerful arms were no match, and soon, the man became limp. When Mark was satisfied the man was no
longer a threat, he scrambled to his feet, picking up his gun. Who the fuck is this? Mark concealed himself behind one the two counters in the photo department. The unknown man moaned and started to regain consciousness.
Mark waited until he had gotten to his feet before addressing him. “I’m an off-duty police officer for Marcona, so keep your hands where I can fucking see them.”
The man held his arms up. “Whoa. I work here, sir. Didn’t know if you were one of the good guys or with that crazy fuck out there.”
Mark lowered the weapon. “Who are you?”
“I work in the warehouse…name is Scott Cranston.”
Mark stood up but still remained in a state of caution. “Scott, do you know who this guy is?” He pointed towards the front of the store.
“Shit, yes. It’s one of the salesmen who used to work here. Ryan Hempstead and his crazy bitch of a girlfriend, Astor Chesley.”
You know where there’s a phone that works? We need help. I don’t know how many are dead or injured, but we need backup… fast.”
Scott shook his head. “Ryan worked in the electronics department. He is a genius when it comes to stuff like this.”
Any more fucking good news? “So there isn’t a working phone anywhere?”
“Nada. My cell phone’s in the warehouse. That bitch Astor chained the back doors, and I can’t budge the overhead garage, either.”
“We need to get to your phone. I have a full clip, but that’s all. You up for this?”
“Man, I will do whatever…just really rather not get shot.”
Mark chuckled. “You and me both. I need a flashlight; lead me there first.”
“Sure,” Scott passed him and ducked under the counter, producing a medium-sized black flashlight. “There ya go.”
“Wish I knew that was there. One more thing…the store carries guns, right?”
Scott frowned. “Yes, but that fucking Astor got a hold of them already…no telling where they’re stashed.”
Pretty organized. “Well, guess my fifteen rounds need to be spent wisely.” Mark flashed a nervous grin. They headed off towards the warehouse. Maybe not a good idea to get a civilian involved, but right now, I need all the help I can get.

Chapter 5

Almost forgot. Ryan Hempstead reached into his jacket and pulled out the white envelope labeled Kendall. He smiled at Andrea Milton as he tucked it under the dead man’s body. “Andrea, don’t worry. I don’t think I did too much damage to your face…well, that wasn’t already there.”
She glared at him but said nothing. Ryan stared at the wall clock, rubbing his chin. Where the fuck is Astor? He clicked the transmit button on the portable.
“Astor, I thought you were heading up here?”
The radio emitted a low squelch. “Just finished searching the aisles. I forgot how huge this place is.”
“It’s almost over…only have Andrea and Greg left. You find that bastard yet?”
“Ryan, doesn’t look like he’s here–”
“Oh, he’s here…and it’s not over until we find him.”
“Let’s just get out of here now. Ryan, we can be out of the state in a few hours…”
“We have unfinished business. I need you down here. I will go look for him.”
“Okay. Be there in a few,” she mumbled.
Ryan slammed the radio onto the counter. “Cranston is here, I know it.” He approached Andrea. She had taken off her shirt and was using it to stop the flow of blood still oozing from her face. Fear filled her eyes, and she huddled in a ball as Ryan sat down next to her.
He lightly touched her hair. “Hey, I know what happened that night. You’re not to blame. Maybe I was
wrong including you in this.”
Andrea lowered the stained clothing. “Really? Ryan, I didn’t know Scott gave her those drugs…but how could anyone think he would rape her?”
Someone finally said the magic word. The judge had never used those words. The jury has decided the sex between Astor and Scott was mutual. Astor had waited too long and didn’t report it for several days, not until Ryan had gotten it out of her. By that time, the drugs were out of her system. Now, Andrea had used the word he had waited so long to hear.
Ryan continued caressing her hair. “Andrea, this is important…do you know where Scott is?”
She was shaking, and her lips trembled. “He’s here. I saw him at lunch break, and we talked.”
A devious smile crossed his face. “Astor said she couldn’t find him…is there some other place he might be?”
She nodded. “Yes, Scott and I have a place where we go to make love… the changing rooms by electronics.”
A slut indeed. “What the fuck, Andrea? You know what he did.”
“He didn’t do anything…promised me he and Astor were a one time thing.”
“So, now you two are together?”
She choked back a few tears. “For a few months now.”
Ryan nodded. He reached behind his back, exposing a small revolver. He aimed it at her chest. “Thanks. You have helped a lot. Sorry it has to end this way…no, I’m really not.” He squeezed the trigger as round after round pierced her chest. The small explosions echoed through the store as cries for mercy erupted through the crowd. He grabbed one of the few remaining envelopes and shoved it in her mouth. The darkness of the store hid his tears as they began to roll
down his cheeks.
* * *
Mark heard the gunfire, motioning for Scott to hold his position. They were approaching the steel double doors to the warehouse when he noticed a figure flash in between the aisles. Mark extended his hand, trying to stop his guide. Scott bumped into a display of fishing poles, knocking several to the floor. I hope whoever that was didn’t hear that.
Mark’s hopes were quickly diminished. The squelch of a radio was heard, followed by several more mini-explosions. He ducked, firing several rounds in the direction of their origin, but as he turned, his heart dropped, and it was silent. Goddamn.
Scott Cranston was laying face up, and strained gurgling sounds were coming from him. Mark knelt by his head, realizing several rounds had penetrated his abdomen, but the most damage had been done by the nickel-sized opening in his throat. He covered the wound with both hands, trying to get any pressure he could to stop the blood. I can’t save him. Mark reached over, grabbing Scott’s own hands and placed them over the opening.
Scott stared up, whispering to him. “I’m sorry.”
Why was the kid sorry? I put him in jeopardy. Mark watched as Scott Cranston took his last breath.” Gotta end this!”
Mark stood up, slowly moving in the direction from where the shots came. He heard a rustling noise a few feet away, and he looked for anything he could use to keep him shielded from whatever was creating the noise. He then heard another sound, familiar to him with all his years of law enforcement. Two-way radio? He moved closer, hearing a soft voice just a few feet away. Mark approached the voice and saw the woman as she was trying to crawl away. She got hit.
Mark aimed his weapon. “Police. Don’t fucking move. Do you understand?”
The woman was clutching at her chest with one hand and grasped the radio with the other. “Ryan, I’m not going make it. My God, it burns so much.”
Mark walked closer. “Drop anything in your hands…now!”
Static came from the radio. “Astor, what happened? Where are you?”
Astor Chesley weakly reached under her, extending the gun.
Mark shook his head. “Don’t do it, Astor.”
The young woman ignored the warning, and she fumbled for the trigger. Mark eased the trigger on his weapon back, causing the projectile to bury itself inside her brain tissue. She hit the ground with a powerful thud.
Mark reached down, taking the radio and semi-automatic from her side. He tucked his own weapon back into its holster, deciding he would use hers until the rounds were expended.
The short silence was interrupted by radio static. “Astor, you okay? I know where that fucker Scott Cranston is, baby. Check the changing rooms by the electronic department. You there?”
No, asshole. She’s dead. Mark turned off the portable, clicked on the flashlight, making his way towards the front of the store. He searched each aisle, careful not to alert his presence to the gunman. When he was close enough to see the rows of register lanes, he turned off the
flashlight. The front was still very dark, but his eyes had adjusted since the onset of the takeover, and Mark was able to see about ten people lying on the floor. Where is this shithead? He scanned left to right, looking for his target. Mark kneeled behind a wooden book stand, listening for sounds that might give away the location of the madman. When he was sure there would be zero chance of being seen, he peeked out from his hiding spot. The faint sound of crying could be heard coming from the crowd, but the shooter was nowhere in sight. Mark slipped out, staying close to the end caps of each aisle. When he was approximately fifty feet away, a saddened look filled his face. How many? He inched closer, but his actions proved costly. The next thing he felt was the barrel of a weapon jamming him in the neck. Now, I’m fucked.


Ryan pushed the weapon into Mark’s neck as he forced him to the front of the store. He shoved the lanky man to the ground. “Who the fuck are you, and why do you have the gun I gave Astor?”
He doesn’t know. Mark played it off, shrugging. “A cop shot her. She looked dead. I took it…didn’t want to end up dead myself. I did see the officer heading towards the warehouse.”
Ryan’s nostrils flared. “What does this cop look like?”
“He’s about your height with a medium build. In uniform, and I think he had a radio.”
“Fuck! Are you sure?” Ryan rubbed a hand through his hair. He started to weep.
Got him feeling…and thinking. “Pretty sure this place is gonna be crawling with them soon.”
Ryan’s eyes narrowed. “So, that doesn’t explain who you are.” He pointed the gun at him.
“Whoa, man. I’m Mark, the new assistant manager from Des Moines. See the dress shirt and ugly tie?” Mark grinned.
Ryan glanced at his long-time friend Greg Whitlow. “That true, Gregory?”
Greg nodded. “Yes, just came in a few days ago.”
Ryan smiled. “Welcome to Plaxton’s, then…where raping innocent college girls is looked on favorably.”
He’s avenging the rape of someone…maybe that girl Astor?
“Well, I guess I need to end this quick…then you can show me where the cop went.” Ryan leveled the weapon at Gregory Whitlow.
Greg put up his hands. “Ryan, don’t do this. Enough people are dead–”
Ryan laughed. “A few more really don’t fucking matter then…do they?”
Mark could see all of Ryan’s attention was focused on the husky employee. He quickly reached under the back of his shirt and unholstered his firearm. Mark took aim. “Ryan, it’s over. Put the gun down.”
Ryan whirled around, firing his gun. Mark managed to get off a shot and then realized the chamber was empty. Mark’s single round hit its mark, catching Ryan in the chest. Two of the gunman’s bullets hit Mark in the leg, sending him crumpling to the ground. Most of the hostages witnessed the gunman fall as they leapt to their feet and scurried in all directions. Mark cried out in pain, trying to get to his feet. He stared at the body of the former electronic salesman but was stunned when Ryan sat up. What the fuck?
Ryan reached under his shirt, ripping off the vest underneath. He flung it to the side, getting to his feet. “Surprise!” Mark saw Ryan Hempstead pick up his gun and run towards him. The thought of not seeing Presley or even her mother, for that matter, ever again flashed through his mind. Ryan got closer and raised the weapon at Mark’s head. Don’t want to see this. Mark closed his eyes, then heard the barrage of rounds coming from in front of him. Not the normal sounds a semi-automatic makes. He opened his eyes and saw the riddled corpse of the gunman ten feet from him.
A booming voice called out to him. “Chief, you okay? It’s Officer Moore.”
Mark tried to get to his feet but was weak from the loss of blood. “Moore, I’m hit…two rounds in the leg.”
The tactical officer motioned to several others. “Hey, the chief is down…get an ambulance up here.” Officer Moore looked around, witnessing the scattered bodies. “Chief, how many?”
Mark grimaced. “Moore, at least four up here and two in back.”
Another officer dressed in black placed an emergency blanket over him. Mark looked up. “When did the call come in?”
Moore chuckled. “Interesting you ask. Liquor store owner was bitching about the patrol car sitting outside his business for five hours. He said the city owes him money for his lost business. Plus, all the cars out in the lot had a little to do with it.” He thumbed in the direction of the parking lot.
Mark started to laugh. “Tell the store owner to fuck off.”
Moore smiled as the EMTs arrived and pushed a cart towards the two of them. After a few minutes of stabilizing Mark’s leg, they were wheeling him close to the front door when he noticed a white envelope lying on the ground. He motioned for Officer Moore to scoop it up and hand it to him.
He turned it over, looking at the name on the front. Greg Whitlow…at least he was alive. Mark broke the seal and lifted out what appeared to be a Christmas card. The front had a picture of a cartoonish reindeer, and the lack of any caption indicated it was one of the cheaper kind on the market. He opened the card and read the following:
If you’re reading this, it means Gregory is long dead, and the revenge set out on the people responsible for destroying a young girl’s innocence has been vindicated. I did something the court system was unable to do and feel no remorse about it. To me and Astor Chesley, today will be considered a holiday of its own proportion. Today is our Dead Holiday…
Ryan and Astor

Mark closed the card, handing it back to the young officer. “Moore, be sure that gets into evidence.”
Moore stuffed it inside his cargo pocket. “No problem. I will keep you posted what’s happening here.”
Almost forgot something. “Hey, Moore, come here a second.”
Mark whispered something to him, as the officer smiled, running back through the store. A few minutes later, Officer Moore returned with a box. “Here you go. Must mean a lot to you?”
Mark chuckled. “More than you can imagine.”
He waved at the young officer as the ambulance crew pushed him out into the cold. Mark turned the box over, staring at the doll. A few flakes of snow hit his cheek. A white Christmas after all…and seeing the smile on Presley’s face when I give this to her will make it all worthwhile. This was going to be the best Christmas ever…



Halloween Horror for the Fans! “House Of Misery!”

Posted in Uncategorized on 10-28-2015 by jeffreymartinsnovels


House of Misery


Jeffrey Martin


“What do you think?” Brooke asked, flipping back her long, blonde hair. She parked the black four-door sedan in a space alongside the dark, dilapidated structure that used to be someone’s home.

“Well, this street is called Misery Isle.” Austin sat next to her, flashed his partner a smile as he finished setting up the long-range camera.

The two investigative reporters were selected to this assignment, not due to their journalistic acumen but because they were the only ones who didn’t get caught up in the circus surrounding the origin of the house. Blake Misery had been the architect of this gated residence, just as he was for a majority of Grand Island’s modern buildings. The man was the epitome of success, and the naming of a local street in his honor was just a small sample of what the community thought of him.

But just as there was with every proclaimed hero, there was a dark side. It was rumored that one night, Blake returned home early from a conference, finding his wife of twenty years and her much younger lover in passionate embrace. He became enraged, grabbed a machete, and sliced them into pieces and buried them somewhere on the property. He then doused himself with kerosene and lit himself ablaze. Local law enforcement kept the details of the case under wrap, despite the fact that Blake’s son was also missing. A few months later, people in the neighborhood started seeing apparitions of Blake, his wife, and her lover roaming the property. Several reporters had attempted to enter the house to uncover what had really happened, but before they could get inside, something scared them away. Brooke and Austin wouldn’t be swayed that easily.

“It’s just a name. Don’t freak out on me.” Brooke laughed, exiting the car and opening the rear car door to grab a dark plastic bag from the back seat. She undid the tie string and removed several digital recording discs.

“Me? Freak out? I wouldn’t call it that…exactly.” Austin looked at her over the roof of the car, both eyebrows raised. The comment was not accurate in describing the former  bodyguard. He had a history of being in volatile surroundings, and this wasn’t anything close to those.

His partner on this assignment was Brooke Anders. She was a recent graduate from Purdue University, possessing the cookie-cutter good looks most women in her profession usually displayed. Austin, on the other hand, had gained a great deal of weight around his midsection. The combination of high fat and nutritionally extinct meals, along with the lack of any type of fitness program, were to blame for that.

“You ready with the camera, Austin?”

“Hold on. I’ll be done in a few seconds.”

“Hurry up; this is supposed to be the night. I want to be ready, just in case,” Brooke said.

“How did you find out it was tonight?” Austin leaned in towards her.

“Strange phone call from an unknown source…early yesterday morning.”

“What do you mean strange?” Austin asked.

“Well, when I answered the phone, the man’s voice whispered something I could barely make out.”

“What was it again?” Austin had a little grin on his face, as he stared at the old structure.

“‘The evil you seek will find you on December 24, at the hour of contemplation,’” Brooke said, as the hairs on her arm stood up and her body suddenly felt like it was dipped in freezing water.

“What in the hell does that mean?”

“I don’t know, but the day, Christmas Eve, does seem a little out there,” Brooke said.

“Yeah, it’s definitely out there,” Austin said.

A flash of light from a window on the second floor caught Brooke’s attention. “Look up there!” She feverishly tapped on Austin’s shoulder, pointing at the window.

“Whoa. What’s gotten into you?” Austin brushed her hand away.

“Get the camera quick…something is up there.” Brooke ran through the overhang of branches covering the sidewalk. She burst through, almost tumbling at the feet of the crumbling cement blocks, which used to be the front steps.

“Wait! You’re gonna kill yourself if you don’t slow down,” Austin called, chasing after her.

“I think someone’s in the house,” Brooke said, almost out of breath.

“I think you’re seeing things.” Austin finally caught up to her at the top of the steps.

“I know what I saw. There was something in the window looking at us.”

The two reporters faced the front door of the mysterious home. Austin held the camera at the ready, while Brooke shakily grasped the ancient silver doorknob. She jerked her hand back, staring at it in disbelief.

“You all right?” Austin asked.

“I don’t know. The knob is freezing. What’s going on?”

“Brooke, hello…it’s winter. Of course the doorknob is freezing.”

Brooke stared at her hand, noticing the skin immediately showed signs of frostbite. “Damn it! Look at this.” She stuck her hand out for him to inspect.

“Okay, I see it. You don’t want to leave, do you?”

“No, but you go ahead and try to open it.”

Austin reached into his pocket and slipped on one of his winter gloves. He reached for the knob, and slowly opened the door.

“We’re in.” He glanced back and could see Brooke wrapping her injured hand with her brown scarf.

“I’ll be alright, but stay close, in case I want to get the hell out of here.”

“Gotcha. You’re right, though…it’s a little strange.”

“A little?”

“Okay. It might have some paranormal aspects to it.”

Brooke finished wrapping her hand as the two walked through the entryway. A thin layer of frost covered everything within sight. Brooke could see the warmth of her breath cut through the icy air. She looked in Austin’s direction. He gasped, noticing the icy interior as well.

“You got the camera rolling?” Brooke shivered as she grasped at the pocket flashlight. Even though her hands were covered, numbness crept through her fingertips.

“Yes, it’s ready.”

Brooke glanced at the side of the device, realizing the recording button wasn’t working. She tapped at it with her hand, and soon, the red light activated. The two reporters had only taken a few steps when they were assaulted with an odor of rotting flesh and defecation.

“Oh my God…that’s awful!” Brooke put a hand over her mouth, the taste of vomit filling her throat.

“Probably some dead animals in here somewhere,” Austin said.

“In this cold? That’s nasty, Austin. And it looks like this place is pretty well boarded up. I can’t imagine anyone ever living here.”

“Well, they did.” His voice was terse.

Before she could respond, a shrilling sound erupted from above the two. “Ahh, ahh, ahh…”

Brooke turned her head toward the noise. “What in the hell—”

“Sounds like someone’s hurt. You were right. Somebody’s up there,” Austin said.

“I told you I wasn’t imagining it.”

Brooke pointed up in the direction of a spiraling staircase, as it seemed to disappear into darkness. A small ball of red light screamed across the floor above them. Brooke clung to Austin, nervous and afraid. Austin guided her with one hand, as his other held the recording device in position. He aimed the lens in the direction of the unknown illumination. Brooke’s first instinct was to turn and run, but the firm grip Austin had on her forced her to move forward. Brooke gave her coworker a sheepish smile. The two cautiously ascended the stairwell. The deep, penetrating sound became stronger, piercing the eardrums of the houseguest.

Brooke tried to cover her ears but was unsuccessful. Tears started to well up in both eyes. “Austin, we gotta get out of here!”

“I know—”

A strong booming voice began to reverberate through the walls, as the two again grabbed at their ears. The light flared brighter, and suddenly, they heard a voice with distinct clarity.

“The hour is at hand, and many have come before you are waiting.”

The stairs began to sway and rumble beneath the frightened investigators. Austin tried to keep his hand around the camera and maintain his balance, but he was failing desperately. The camera slid from his grip, falling over the edge of the staircase. Brooke scrambled up the stairs, racing against the wooden planks that fell as they were torn from their foundation.

“Austin, what is happening? Oh my God…we’re going to die!” Brooke cried out. She felt her body lift as it was hurled forward from the unknown force. Blood began to flow from a gash she had on her forehead as she bounced helplessly at the foot of the second floor. She turned and couldn’t see Austin.

“Austin? I’m hurt—where are you?”

Brooke realized the screeching noise had ceased, but the other noise was still deafening to her ears. Crawling to her feet, she braced herself against a wall. In confusion and disbelief, she fumbled for the flashlight but was unable to find it. She again called out for her partner.


Just as Brooke regained a little balance, the unseen energy again struck her with little compassion. It propelled her backwards, smashing her through a hallway door, splintering her small ribs. She looked up and could see something approaching her. It was a man dressed in black with a hood around his head.

“Who are you?”

“I’m here. Everything will be fine, my child,” he said.

“Who are you?” she asked again, sobbing.

The figure in black stepped forward, then slowly slipped his hood away.

“My name is Austin Misery, and this is my father’s house.”

Brooke grabbed at her waist. “You’re Blake Misery’s son?”

He put a finger to his lips, removing a machete from under his cloak. “Shh. No time for talk now…lots of work to complete before daddy gets home.” He placed the palm of his other hand on her head, smoothed her hair. “Welcome to your new home. And more importantly, welcome to Hell…”

Brooke Anders grasped in the dark, at the icy fingers around her calves, as she struggled for survival. It was no use, Austin Misery was too strong. The more she tried to fight, the more Austin dug his nails into her flesh. Only a matter of time before I’m gone forever. Her captor was dragging her through the catacombs of the house’s interior. The smell of dead flesh permeated the passage, causing her to gag on the vomit that was trying to make an escape. To some extent, she was relieved darkness surrounded her; Brooke might lose the little sanity she had, if she actually could witness what was causing the ungodly stench.

Austin suddenly stopped, dropping her legs. The sound of grating steel filled her ears.

Gate or door of some kind.

Within a few seconds, she felt something clasp around her ankles. “Now, you really won’t escape!” Austin laughed.

“Just do it already…fucking kill me!” Brooke spat.

“Not just yet. We have plans for you.”

Did he say we? “So you were responsible for all those missing reporters and journalists?”

“Me? I don’t think you understand. Enough talk for now…”

Brooke tried to respond, but a searing pain along the right side of her face, almost sent her into an unconscious state. The next sensation she felt, was that of being dragged in a downward direction. Hard rough edges of stone cut both, clothing and skin, until mercifully they had reached their destination. Brooke closed her eyes, knowing this was going to be the place of her demise. But whatever she thought would happen…didn’t. She waited for the longest time, before managing to sit up. “Austin, let me go. You don’t have to do this.” Her pleas for mercy appeared to be on deaf ears, because Austin didn’t respond. “Austin are you here?” Several minutes of silence told Brooke, Austin was no longer there. Where the hell did he go?

Braveness overtook her, as she tried to stand. At first, she was unsteady, but as time passed, Brooke was able to shuffle along. The pain in her midsection had increased, without a doubt; the ribs were broken during the paranormal event on the main floor of Blake Misery’s abandoned house. They could puncture her lungs at any time, so movement would need to be slow and steady. She extended her shaky arms, searching for the wall, which she actually found with little ease. Wet, why is it wet? Figuring, she had no choice, Brooke inched her body along the wall, hoping to make herself almost invisible to Austin, when he did return. Halfway down, small pockets of warm air, assaulted her face. Maybe a way out! She clawed at the dripping surface, as her fingers searched for an opening towards the warmth. “Shit.” Apparently, Brooke wasn’t the only creation of God looking for a way out. Certain insects and rodents had decided to use her body as a roadmap to their freedom. Brooke patted herself, trying not to give her away her position, as she removed the unwanted visitors.

When she felt the last of them drop, it was time to move on. Again, her hands ran through the slippery wall, until they found what they were looking for. Is this what I think it is? Pulling down with all her strength, a portion of the wall released, opening into another passage. Her pulse quickened. Off in the distance, small specks of amber staggered this room’s interior. Yes! Brooke stumbled through the opening and had taken only a few steps, when she heard a deep voice off to her right.

“Hello, Brooke Anders. I have been waiting for you…”

Brooke’s body trembled, but she still stood her ground. The man with the booming voice was out of her vision, but if he attacked, even though she was weak from her wounds, she would be ready.

“My child, you have no reason to fear me. I’m here to rid you of your pain,” the voice said.

“Why… me?” Brooke wiped at the blood on her face.

“Why you? Indeed… that is a profound question?”

“Fuck you, let me out of here!” Brooke spit a mouthful of blood in his direction.

“I’m sorry… that is not possible. You are needed for my survival.”

“What are you talking about?” Brooke reached down and tried to free herself from the metal restraints.

“So much for you mortals to learn. This house… my house requires a sacrificial lamb to survive and grow… and my young one, that is you.”

Brooke clenched her fist. “This fucking house is alive?”

The man came into her line of vision. His rail thin body was covered in a blood-red gown, and his face appeared to be burnt beyond recognition. “Alive and growing towards the gates of what some would call hell.”

“You didn’t die in the fire?”

The man’s face contorted. “By your standards… yes, I did. But as you see, I stand here before you.”

Gotta find a way out. “Where’s Austin?

The man laughed. “That poor boy hasn’t seen me since my death, went off to prepare the chasm of pain.” Blake Misery put a bony finger to his lips. I will tell you a secret Brooke Anders, unfortunately, my use for young Austin is dwindling.”

Brooke bent to her knees. Satanic bastard. “Where are the others?”

“The gaggle of reporters and the like… oh, you will see them soon.”

Now or never. Brooke bolted towards the light, even though each step, felt like it would rip her apart. She didn’t look back, but the laugh of Blake Misery seemed to follow her. Stopping would ensure Blake Misery of his sacrifice, and she wasn’t going to make it easy for him. Brooke kept moving, but noticed the passage was becoming warmer as she traveled further. Can’t turn back. Following the small lights was the only option and hopefully, when she reached the end of them, there would be another way out of this place. Several feet ahead, the passage veered off in two directions. Brooke took the first choice, which proved to be costly. The passage led into an interior foyer, and more importantly, Austin Misery.

He was anything but surprised, when he saw her stumble into the room. “I see you found the chasm.”

Brooke, out of breath, stared at him. “Austin, you don’t have to do this!”

Austin adjusted his black robe. “Some things just must be. Brooke this is how he survives.”

Tell him. “Austin, he will kill you too.”

Austin pulled the dark hood over his head. “Only the doomed would say something like that.”

“No, its true… your father told me—“

“Told you what? His eyes bore into her.

Brooke backed up. “He said… your usefulness was about up.”

“Liar!” Austin lunged at her, forcing her to the ground. “He would never sacrifice his own son!”

Brooke lashed out, kicking him in his midsection. “I’m not lying!”

Austin forced her hands above her head, pinning them, while he reached into his robe and removed two large pieces of rope. He quickly tied her to an iron wrung jutting from the wall. He rubbed her face, as his eyes met hers. “Enjoy your last few breaths, before you burn….”

Austin Misery smiled down, as wetness filled Brooke’s eyes. She had been stripped of all clothing and was now spread eagle onto a wooden blood-stained alter. She gazed up, her eyes pleading with Austin, not to go through with this. But he was focused on the task at hand. He walked to the wall, pushing on two handles jutting out from the cement. The floor started to retract and was soon replaced with an endless abyss. The only refuge from the darkness was a pillar where Brooke laid, plus a short walkway to where the organizer of the sacrifice would travel to carry out the deadly deed. Austin attention was diverted to the entryway, where Blake Misery had finally arrived.

Austin handed him a serrated silver blade. He bowed his head. “Father, it’s been a long time—“

Blake pulled his red hood over his disfigured face. “I know my son. Is our present to the underworld ready?”

Austin shook his head. “A little fight in this one… but ready nonetheless.”

The older man tapped his son’s shoulder. “Then we shall begin.” The two walked side by side along the thin concrete path, until each had a place along either side of the young journalist.

“No, Austin… no.”

Blake Misery looked down at her. “Brooke Anders, your blood will cleanse my soul, and I thank you for that.”

“Fuck off!” Brooke squirmed. She turned her head in the direction of Austin, hoping in a last-ditch effort, he would stop this madness. “Remember, what I told you? I wasn’t lying, and you know it.”

“Son, what is she talking about?” Blake Misery cocked his head.

“Nothing father, it was just a feeble attempt to save herself… some ramblings about you sacrificing me as well.”

Blake misery lifted his mask. “Son, all of them go through this stage of denial… you know I love you, and would never hurt my remaining flesh.” He readjusted his hood, and placed the blade against Brooke Anders’s chest.

Help me Austin. Brooke closed her eyes, not wanting to see the knife penetrate her flesh.

Blake Misery started to force the blade into Brooke Anders skin, but before he could complete the sacrifice, a sudden flash of steel sliced through the air, and nestled itself deep into his life source.

“Son?” Blake Misery clutched at the intruder, but it was no use. He stumbled backwards, misjudged his footing, and then he was gone. The chasm had claimed its’ final victim. Austin pulled away his hood, and stared into the darkness. Grabbing the serrated blade, he cut away Brooke’s restraints. He pointed to the walkway. “Go through the door and don’t look back. There is a passage to the left, take it and that will lead you to your world.”

Brooke wiped her face. “Thank you Austin. You did believe me.”

Austin slumped to the ground. “I didn’t at first… but when he used the word “love” I knew you were truthful, and he wasn’t. Again, he thrust his hand out towards the door. “Go from here… now!”

She staggered to her feet, as she was careful of her footing. Brooke followed the path, and within several minutes, she was above ground, and surprisingly, not too far, from the sedan, which she and Austin had driven to this god-forsaken place. She opened the car door, and picked up her cell phone, but before she could place a call, the house on Misery Isle erupted into flames. It was almost like the devil himself, had clenched his fiery fist, in disgrace. Brooke stared into the second floor window; almost certain she had seen the figure of Austin Misery looking back at her. Blake Misery was no longer able to reap the souls of the good in his quest for eternal life. The pit of hell and the spirits that come with, would now unleash their terror upon him forever…

The End

How do You Find the Right Publisher? Part 1.

Posted in Uncategorized on 09-10-2015 by jeffreymartinsnovels

Hmm, 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…you sent 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 20110604-094545.jpg

2. Reviewing your contract

3. Royalties

4. Synergy with Publisher

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

Red, White and Blood!

Posted in Uncategorized on 07-5-2015 by jeffreymartinsnovels

Red, White & Blood…red white and blood cover

Independence Day in Marcona has just turned deadly. A crazed bomber has decided to terrorize all in his path, and he won’t stop until his revenge is complete.

Chief of Police Mark Blankenship and his daughter are unexpected targets of the attack, and they find themselves in a struggle for survival. He soon discovers if he doesn’t find the location of the devices or the man himself, all will be lost.

Will Blankenship be able to save the people of the city and disable the weapons of mass destruction…or will the trail of bloodshed include him and everything he loves?

A short excerpt for you fans and friends…

Rebecca pushed back her blonde hair and adjusted her headset. “City of Marcona Communications Center. What’s your emergency?”

“Hi,” a deep masculine voice replied.

“Hello, sir. What is your emergency?”

“Oh, I don’t have an emergency…but I know several thousand people, who are about to,” the voice said.

What’s up with this guy? “Excuse me, sir. What did you say?”

He laughed. “I’ll make it easy for you to understand. People are going to die…is that clear enough for you?”

Asshole, you’re in trouble now. Rebecca pushed a button on the computer console. “Sir, can you tell me how these people are going to die?”


Of course. “Sir, that doesn’t tell me anything. Will you tell me how these thousands of people are going to be killed?”

“Boom…do you know what that means?”

“A bomb, sir?” She turned to see the tall, lanky desk sergeant walking towards her. “Sir, you have a bomb?”

The sergeant tapped a switch, and the room was filled with the conversation.

“Actually, I have several…but I don’t think you will find any of them in time. I really don’t.”

She shuffled papers on her desk until she located the checklist the department used in case they ever received these types of calls. “Sir, can you tell me where you are?”

“No…I don’t think so. But I’ll tell you one thing.” He coaxed her.


The man laughed again. “You have two hours, before all the devices detonate. If you don’t believe me, I have a little surprise for you…within the next thirty minutes.” The line clicked dead.