Archive for October, 2010

The Haunted House of Misery

Posted in Just For Fun! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 10-29-2010 by jeffreymartinsnovels

Trick or Treat. 

Ah, the phrase will be used in abundance over the next few days as children and adults alike shed their everyday skin  to don outfits ranging from their favorite pop star to the most grotesque creatures imaginable. It’s a great time to celebrate and partake in devouring handful after handful of delectable treats, but as with the good, also comes unmitigated evil. Hence, the story I have for you today. House of Misery is not my usual thriller, but given Halloween is only a few hours away (it is in some places), I decided to focus on a story I released earlier  this year. It doesn’t necessarily take place during Halloween, but the atmosphere around it makes it seem like it does… Hehe.  I thought it would be fun to post it again for people who didn’t get the opportunity to read it. Well, without further ado, I wish you all a happy and safe Halloween…

Enjoy the haunt!!

House of Misery

“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 he held.

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 dowsed 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 Davenport, 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, was 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’s 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 that 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, slowly opening 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 erupting 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 co-worker a sheepish smile. The two cautiously ascended the stairwell. The deep, penetrating sound became stronger, piercing the eardrums of the houseguests.

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’s 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.

“Austin…Austin?”

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 and smoothed out her hair. “Welcome to your new home. And more importantly, welcome to Hell…”

The End

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Prologue to My Upcoming Release, 3:16

Posted in Just For Fun!, New Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 10-22-2010 by jeffreymartinsnovels

Brandon Thornley unzipped his jacket and removed the GPS device. Following the frost-covered trail, he reached the wooded sanctuary that was home to the tools of his real trade. He thought he could give it up and live the life of an honest man, but the hunger for killing was too strong and couldn’t be masked any longer. He forced himself through the dense tree branches, barely feeling their backlash on his exposed face and neck. A few steps further, he stopped in front of a large pine tree. The computer-generated voice from the GPS, which indicated he had reached his destination, startled him.

Wonderful…nobody had found my hiding place. Brandon dropped down to one knee and used both his hands to dig away the earth hiding his prized possessions. Ah, there you are. Reaching into the exposed hole, he pulled out a medium-sized brown leather pouch. His pulse quickened as he fumbled with the clasp. Easy…you’ve got this. Taking a few deep breaths, he slowly opened the pouch, reached inside, and pulled out several cloth-wrapped items. He unrolled the first, and the most beautiful double-edged blade he had ever set eyes on glistened in his grasp. Brandon repeatedly ran his fingers along the knife’s length, worshipping the texture and the craftsmanship of the weapon. All the other knives in the pouch were equally exquisite, and all were very capable of carrying out what he needed done, but Brandon had a special place in his heart for this one. Sort of like a good friend coming back into my life, he thought.

He looked down at his watch and knew he would be pressed for time. Carina would be planning a late evening dinner, and she would expect him soon. Placing everything back into the pouch, he carefully refilled the manmade hole.

Brandon scurried back to the late model Mercedes, unlocking it. His cell phone was on the travel charger, and he snatched it up, preparing to call his wife. The red notification light blinked. Hmm, looks like a message. His finger flicked across the touch screen, and he realized it wasn’t a message, but it was something interesting.

Brandon had recently joined a social networking site in hopes of reconnecting with old friends. The site had the option to add the application to his cell phone, which he had done almost instantly. The red light indicated someone wanted to add him to his or her friends’ list. He opened the request and noticed the person wanting to be a part of his networking world was someone named Cassie Youngblood. There was a profile picture of the young redhead, and Brandon thought he noticed something else. He moved his finger in a downward motion and smiled when he wasn’t mistaken in what he had seen. Cassie Youngblood was a local girl who lived very close to Brandon; unfortunately for her, it would be too close.

Perfect timing, he thought. Brandon pulled the Mercedes onto the street, considering all the potential victims the social networking arena could bring…

Echelon Press Editor Wants to Interview Me!

Posted in A Writer's Life, Just For Fun! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 10-15-2010 by jeffreymartinsnovels

Today, I’m conducting research in an abandoned house of sorts. I guess you could venture on even calling it haunted, especially since some people would say my evil minions aren’t human… Ah, here comes the arachnid of the hour. The Brown Recluse and its special love potion… hehe… Hold on while I collect my sample for testing…I’m sure my female antagonist of my next work. “Weaving Evil” will be elated; I have gone the extra mile for her…not so much for her victims though… Hmm, it seems my Robophone is vibrating. Yes! This is him friends and fans. Mr. Stephen Brayton is on the line… btw I  have checked out his website, and I wanted be the first to congratualte him on his publishing contract. You guys need to check it out as well. Here’s the addy…www.stephenbrayton.com.

Stephen are we ready? Let the interview commence…

Q: Who is Jeffrey Martin and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?

A: I am many things… A Law Enforcement official, a father to three young girls, a former semi-pro athlete, and now… it seems I have taken refuge in creating many tales of murder and mayhem. I think putting these all together have a direct correlation to where I envision myself in a few years. I think most people can be fascinating, and all possess something which propels them to higher echelon for what their niche is. No pun intended…so, in that regard, I’m just a little fascinating.

SHH… One of the spiders is trying to struggle in my grasp. Good thing I have latex gloves on… 

Q: Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?

A: I see dead people…no…just kidding.  When I was in high school, I competed in Bible Quiz championships throughout the country. Yes, I know it vastly different than what kind of work I pen now… 

Q: What interested you to be become a writer rather than something else such as becoming a nuclear physicist?

A: One, I would look even more demented in the trademark pointdexter glasses, so a career in physics is definitely out of the question. Two, I left writing for many years before I finally came back to it in the early spring of 2007. Creating stories was how I spent a large amount of my childhood years, and sooner or later, I knew it would find its way into my life again. 

Q: Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?

Hmm, it’s really dark in here… I think something else is down here.

A: I have always been a voracious reader of suspense novels, and I can tell you there are two authors in particular whom I attribute my interest in pursuing the writing field. The first is John Saul. I remember reading his books in high school, and the teenage protagonist was perfect for me. Mixing in horror and suspense was something I believe he did with perfection. Plus, being a teenager myself, I could truly identify with his main character. (No, I didn’t kill any adult in a horrific manner… lol.)

The second author is John Sandford. I read his books while I was in the Marine Corps and the Lucas Davenport series was one of the best I have ever experienced. Using a Midwest Law Enforcement official hit close to home because I was from there, and it was easy to identify with the places he mentions in his work. To this day, I think Lucas Davenport is out there, catching evil-doers and running his software company… (Maybe he could help me with Madden 2011, there’s gotta be someway to beat the Saints.) 

Q: If I were stranded on a deserted island (or suffering a four hour layover at the airport), why would your book(s) be great company?

A: I enjoy creating a work that is a quick read for people who like to read thrillers about serial killers. I keep word counts to a minimum by not trying to add words just for the sake of upping the page count. Every word I put on the page is important to me, and I hope my readers can feel that as well. I try to entertain with a plot line, that is something different, and use my Law Enforcement background to create scenes, mood, characters, and emotion that will keep them coming back for more.

Behold, another spider has surfaced in front of me… let’s grab a syringe to extract the good stuff

Q: Share the Martin process of writing in regards to: idea and character development, story outline, research (do you Google, visit places/people or make it up on the spot?), writing schedule, editing and number or rewrites.  

A: Hmm, I see you want to know the method of my madness. The first part of my writing process is to create a list of characters I want to use in a story. I do put a few “real” places in my work, but most of the time, I just create new cities, and work from there. After I have those picked…sometimes, I even let my fans help me decide by involving themselves on my website. I list a host of names, and they vote on which sounds best. After I have all the players established, I create an outline of the story. This is usually the first ten chapters or so. From that point, I judge it for flow and plot line. If I like how it sounds, I move forward, and chapter eleven is my focal point. But if the story sounds rushed or just not what I think it should be, I will delete everything except the characters and start over.

So, let’s talk about a writing schedule. That is an interesting topic. I will tell you, while I’m in the creativity mode, I write all the time. I may plan for an hour a day, and within fifteen minutes of starting, I know I’m going to need three five hour energy drinks and my spouse will be texting me to come to bed. So a schedule doesn’t work so well for me.

The editing phase consists of three separate edits. After I have completed the rough draft, I will go back and scour the work for plot issues. Once I have those ironed out, I will wait about a week and get caught up on my iTunes purchases and Netflix movies before moving forward. After I have my iphone loaded up with new music, I start a second edit, with emphasis on sentence structure, style, and fixing small errors. Depending on how long my novel is, this process lasts for 1-3 months. Once, I’m satisfied the second editing phase is complete, I forward the document to my “Guru editorial advisor,” where she will go through my second edit like a woman possessed. All errors are identified, and I have a third edit to complete. This includes the rewrites of chapters as well.

Q: I think I have a god idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?

A: My advice is simple. Everyone has their definitive style when it comes to creating a work. I suggest that if someone wants to write and is serious about it, they do a few things. First, look for an online writing community, which will answer questions for you. I know many of the sites out there are helpful, and the knowledge a new writer gains from testing the waters will be beneficial to their growth. Also, joining a writing group in your area can be one of the best ways to get feedback from others looking to accomplish the same thing you’re looking for. Listen and learn and it will prove to be rewarding in more ways than just writing. The camaraderie of others may prove to earn you long lasting friendships. 

Q: I saw a great t-shirt the other day which read “Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?

Damn. I think something just bit me…

A: “Sometimes a man can find his destiny on the road he traveled to avoid it.”

For me, this is the philosophy that has come into play. I once was an avid writer, and all of a sudden, I just stopped. Twenty some years later, I have picked it up again, realizing it was a mistake for me to have abandoned it. 

Q: Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?

Have you ever seen a Brown Recluse bite? This doesn’t look good.

A: My next work is in the research stage. It’s called Weaving Evil, and the premise is something quite scary…

A killer uses the toxins of the Brown Recluse, Black Widow, Banana Spider, and several others to murder her male victims. I don’t want to divulge too much, but I will say one thing. Some will be afraid…very afraid. (LOL)  

Q: Where can people find more information on you and your projects?

A: Personal web site is Jeffrey Martins Novels. You can learn all about me and my demented writings.

Friend me on Facebook or follow my fan page on Facebook!

I think this is going to leave a mark… hehehehe….

Once Upon a Time…

Posted in A Writer's Life, Just For Fun! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 10-8-2010 by bookmarkit01

…there was a little girl who read too much…who was a young woman who worked in a book store…who became an official student of writing…who became writer…who became an editor with a few (haha) gray hairs…who became a book promoter…who became a publisher. Why? Because she loved books. Everything about them. Hardback, paperback, ebooks. Couldn’t get enough of them. So she took her years of experiences working in the field and finally put them all together. She opened a small press with great authors, and everyone lived happily ever after.

She likes happy endings in real life. But the books she loves? No happy ending required.

I opened Cold Moon Press for those of us who love the dark, the magical, the side of life–be it good or bad–that is forced into the shadows during the longest, coldest nights of the year. I wanted to publish stories that are lovely to read under the cover of darkness. I wanted to be able to feel the chill of a winter night, even if I opened a book in the middle of July.

The press itself is still very much in the development stage. The website isn’t quite together, business cards are not in yet from the printer, and support staff is still being rounded up. But the books! That’s where I’m spending my time right now, courting authors who have proven themselves to be great writers and, equally important, to be hard workers who understand that the job of an author only just begins when the words “The End” are typed on the paper.

I will be looking for submission later this fall, once our first book is printed (you’re gonna LOVE it!) and all the press logistics are handled. What am I looking for? Novels and eventually short stories (once the details are hammered out). And think about the press name. I want things that are dark or chilling or magical. Make your words mean something, make elements pivotal to the plot instead of gratuitous, make me want to wrap my sweater tighter around myself. Submit grammatically/technically sound pieces, and do your research. Show me that you’re willing to promote your work for the duration it is in print (I’ll help you, don’t worry!).

If you have questions before then, please contact me (editor@coldmoonpress.com). Until then, keep an eye out for the first release, and start writing down those stories you know you were meant to write.

Red, White & Blood Reviewed

Posted in New Releases, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 10-1-2010 by jeffreymartinsnovels

My latest short story ebook, “Red, White & Blood,” will be reviewed tomorrow on Gelati’s Scoop.  Here is a preview of what the reviewer had to say!

“I enjoy a good story that has things blow up and have a lot of pent up hostility. The is a simple tale, but Jeffrey Martin infuses it with plenty of zest and gusto…Emotion, the human condition, good descriptive ability, and a complete story told in a very small and concise word count is what Red ,White and Blood has awaiting you.”

Make sure you visit Gelati’s Scoop on Saturday, October 2. And if you want to read the short story for yourself, buy it here!