Archive for the Personal Appearances Category

House of Misery!

Posted in A Writer's Life, Deadly Halloween, General Information, Get To Know The Characters!, New Releases, Personal Appearances on 10-31-2018 by jeffreymartinsnovels

Trick or Treat. 

Ah, the phrase will be used in abundance in next few hours 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, but given Halloween is right around the corner, I decided to focus on a story I will be including in the Harvest of Death anthology, coming to you in 2019 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 and give you all a sneek peek at the first portion. 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 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 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 cackling 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 house guests.

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…”

(Death is only a click away.)

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Holiday Wishes for All! Gobble, Gobble!

Posted in A Writer's Life, General Information, Get To Know The Characters!, Just For Fun!, New Releases, Personal Appearances, Uncategorized on 11-23-2016 by jeffreymartinsnovels

Today, I want to wish all my fans and friends a wonderful Thanksgiving. I urge you all to put aside your creations of technology, (Except your 4K image devices to watch Thanksgiving Day NFL action…. hehe.) and spend some time giving thanks for what each of you is grateful for. So many times during the holiday season we over extend ourselves,  with what we promise to do, versus what realistically we can. The pressure the holidays bring can sometimes almost become unbearable. (I’m an expert on the subject matter btw…) But I implore all of you out there to take a deep breath and cherish this special time with the ones you love.

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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.

Finding the Right Publisher for You Part 2.

Posted in A Writer's Life, General Information, Just For Fun!, Personal Appearances with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 09-24-2012 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. Red pencil (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. Red pencil 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!

Meet Me Tomorrow at The Great Iowa Book Event

Posted in A Writer's Life, Personal Appearances with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11-11-2011 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.

So tomorrow, what is your destination? If you’re in the Des Moines area, put the Southridge Mall on your GPS, and come meet me and many other great authors at The Great Iowa Book Event. From 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., we will be talking with readers and signing books. And if you haven’t picked up your copy of 3:16 yet, there will be plenty on hand. Look foward to seeing you there!

The Great Iowa Book Event!

Posted in A Writer's Life, Just For Fun!, Personal Appearances with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 10-15-2011 by jeffreymartinsnovels

Great Iowa Book Event is November 12, 2011

Posted in A Writer's Life, General Information, Just For Fun!, Personal Appearances with tags , , , , , , , , , on 10-10-2011 by jeffreymartinsnovels
It’s that time of year again!  The 2011 Great Iowa Book Event is only a few short weeks away. This is the second year for the event.  Last year, Two Rivers Romance Authors hosted , which was attended by over 40 Iowa authors.  This year,
Pritchard’s Books is hosting, which will be located in Des Moines, Iowa @  Mall. It is a one-day event to showcase Iowa authors and allow them to sell their books to interested people   The event covers authors from all
genres.
So, time for me to get back to finishing Cupid’s Kill, while you guys save the date for this wonderful author extravaganza! See you soon…and remember, death is only a click away!
(I threw in a group photo of some of the authors participating in last years event.)
Place:  Southridge Mall
Time:    10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Date:    November 12, 2011
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