Friday, October 23, 2015

Author Spotlight Day 5: Kelly Martin Chapter Reveal

Author Kelly Martin

It is my last day here at Bookaholic Confessions. 
I've had a great time and thank you so much for the hospitality. You all ROCK!

I thought I'd end my week with a ghost story... well, sort of a ghost story. My INTENTION was to write a ghost story for this blog. Well, that didn't happen (#life), but THEN I decided I'd give you the first chapter of my paranormal romance THE THINGS WE LEAVE BEHIND which is in the FROST: A RENDEZVOUS COLLECTION from Blue Tulip Publishing which will be released on December 1st.

(ain't it pretty?)

chapter one
In the Beginning

“May I help you?” a man with the name Higgins stamped on his gold-plated name-tag, asks from behind the counter of the world-renown Toujours Hotel. It is one of those places that you are pretty sure has seen its fair share of history, a few ghosts and, since we are in New Orleans, maybe even a vampire or two. Honestly, I don’t believe in any of that. The woman I’m with, she does. She’s the one who dragged me here. She says it is a matter of life or death. I think she’s insane.

What she thinks is happening, can’t happen. And she’s crazy for even thinking it can.

Then again, I’m here with her, so I must be as insane as she is. I let her talk me into coming. I guess I want it to be true, even if I don’t believe it. There is a part of me, a very small-but-still-there part, that wants it to be true.

If it’s true, I can talk to her.

If I can talk to her, then maybe I can change things. I can make things right.


But it is a long shot.

I don’t believe it. Not really.

“Room 614, please. We have reservations.” My companion answers for me when I don’t. She’s got a plastic smile plastered on her face. Her big blue eyes are shining just like her long blond hair, not that I notice things like that anymore. Or I shouldn’t, at least.

Higgins looks up from his computer. His eyes widen slightly for a moment before lowering back into that same pensive look he had when we walked in. “Room 614. Hmm… I believe I can find you another room in our hotel that would better suit your needs. Upgrade even…” He glances at Jodi. Just a quick look. Nothing that should catch my attention. But it does. I'm not sure why. The look lasts for only a moment before he clears his throat and starts tapping on the computer keys.

My companion, Jodi, stops him with her sweet smile. Sugar and spice. That’s how she got me here too. I dare any man — heck, anybody — to not give Jodi Granger what she wants in life. Too bad what she wants isn’t something any sane man would give. Luckily for her, I’m not sane. Not anymore.

“Thank you, Mr…”


“Mr. Higgins.” She bats her eyelashes.

I swear Higgins holds in a breath. I know I do. It’s been a while.


“Mr. Higgins, I assure you, my husband Will and I want Room 614. We asked for it when we made our reservations. It was available then. Has something… happened since then?”
Jodi Granger. Always the detective. Always asking questions to get details, even when she didn’t have to. I daresay the receptionist at the hotel has no idea about what’s going on up on the sixth floor. The cleaning staff? Yeah, maybe. Then again, ole Higgins did give us that look when we told him about Room 614, so maybe — maybe he does know. And maybe he is wanting us to change rooms to keep us safe.

I can’t believe I let her talk me into this. A weak moment. Our anniversary. And too many episodes of Ghost Hunters is all I can figure out as to why I even agreed. That and her big, blue eyes. I’ve always been partial to blondes. Sort of how I got in this mess anyway.

Mr. Higgins clears his throat and forces a smile. “Of course not. Nothing at all. I just thought since we have nicer rooms available that you would like to upgrade. Nothing more.”

“For a fee.” Jodi tilts her head and smirks wickedly. How a woman can flirt and interrogate and slightly accuse someone of doing something bad at the same time is beyond me. I don’t understand men — and I am one. I guess I don’t understand people.

“No. Not for a fee. As a favor. Please. That room is under… renovations.”

“Bull.” Even I flinch when Jodi says it. Sassy broad. I like it.

Higgins looks at me for some sort of help. I guess he figures I can talk the missus into staying in another room. What ole Higgins doesn’t know is that Jodi isn’t the missus, and if I could talk her into anything, we wouldn’t be here right now. My life has sure gone in the crapper in the last weeks since she found me. Not that it was that good beforehand. Hasn’t been for about five years. I just shrug at him and make a she’s crazy sign with my finger, so she can’t see it of course.

Jodi crosses her arms and gives him the look that has sterilized a thousand men.

Finally, Higgins sighs and his shoulders slump. Jodi has won. I could have told him not to waste his time arguing, but it was sort of fun to watch him try. Many men throughout the years have probably tried, and they have probably all failed miserably. Jodi can’t be over twenty-five, but wow… is she something else.

He clicks the keys of his computer a little bit harder than needed. Jodi glances up at me and winks. Oh yeah, she knows she’s good.

Higgins turns toward the wall of keys behind him. It reminds me of an old-fashioned hotel system. Boxes with key numbers on them. Keys lying inside at the end of longish chains with the room number on them. I’ve heard that everybody who enters Hotel Toujours sees things a bit differently. It is part of the charm. Or voodoo or magic or whatever it is. I don’t know. I don’t care. I wonder if Jodi sees the same thing I see, or if it is different. I’ll ask her later if I think about it. We are here on business, after all. Well, she’s here on business. I’m here out of curiosity. Curiosity and her big blue eyes.

Sweat beads on my brow, even though it is a bit cold in here. Christmas Eve is pretty darn cold in NOLA, though not as cold as home in Tennessee. The lobby is filled with Christmas trees and unopened presents, probably empty boxes. The fire in the fireplace is roaring. Cinnamon is the smell of the evening. I consider Hotel Toujours homey with its warm, wood-paneled walls, hardwood floors, and dim lighting. A mountain-cabin feel right in the heart of New Orleans. I like it. It makes me feel peaceful, comfortable. Something I haven’t felt in a very long time. Then again, maybe it is just how I see it. I want it to be nice, so it is. I want it to be calming, so it is. I want it to remind me of her, so it does.

I shouldn’t be here.

It’s been too long.

But here I am.

Higgins hands me the key. His eyes are cold and stern. I think he’s trying to send me a message through brainwaves. I hate to tell him, but it ain’t working. I know about Room 614. I know about the attacks and the deaths. I know about the evil in there. I know it all, so no amount of glaring at me will make a difference. I know what I’m getting myself into.

That’s a total lie. I’m sure if I knew exactly, down to the very last detail of what is waiting for me up in Room 614, I’d run the other direction. I’d leave Jodi and just hightail it to the nearest Motel 6. Seems the smartest option. After all, who would knowingly do what we are about to do? I’ll tell you who. Crazy people.

Jodi said she did this kind of thing all the time.

Like I said, crazy people.

“Thank you.” I flash every tooth I have at Mr. Higgins to let him know that we are in this for the long haul — or at least for the overnight. I do appreciate his worry, but it isn’t necessary. The things Jodi told me about the room, I mean, they can’t be real, right?

“Don’t thank me.” He seems melancholy. “You should have taken me up on my offer. Or just stayed home. It would have been more humane.” With that, he glares at Jodi.


The way he says it, the way he looks at me, the smile fades from my lips, and cold chills run up my spine. It is one thing to imagine how something is going to be. It is quite another to see the fear in someone else’s eyes. The Hotel Toujours has a reputation for paranormal activity. It is why lots of people visit. I’ve heard people have experiences with Jinn granting wishes, ghosts, and other things I don’t believe in. She believes in them.

Hotel Toujours isn’t my ideal place for a vacation or even an overnight ghost hunt, but I’d follow that blonde anywhere.

Even to hell and back.

“Never been accused of being a smart man,” I kid back as I pick up my bag.
Jodi grabs hers, and we head toward the elevator.

“No… no, you aren’t.” I hear Higgins grumble behind me.

I ignore him and push the up button on the elevator. I look at Jodi. She doesn’t look at me. We both know what we are in for tonight, or what Jodi hopes will happen. Personally, I don’t know what I want to happen. I need closure, but is this really the best way? No, I can answer that right now. No, it isn’t. Still… Jodi says it’s the only way. I have to go with her, or more people will die. I can’t have that on my head. I already have too much guilt as it is.
The elevator door opens. Jodi and I step inside. It is nice. Wood. Lots of wood, just like in the hotel lobby. I push the button for the 6th floor, the top level on this particular elevator.

“Some people have seen up to floor one hundred,” Jodi whispers in my ear, or rather my elbow, since she is short, and I’m on the tall side of life.

“Impossible.” I’m not convinced though. If I’m going along with this, then it means at least part of me believes in — something.

“You’ll see.” Jodi sounds so confident. Good for her. She’s not going to have to experience the same thing I am. She can’t know what I’m feeling. I don’t even know what I’m feeling.

The elevator door slides closed, and Higgins’ gaze catches mine. I have just enough time to see him make the sign of the cross on his chest.

FROST: A Rendezvous Collection DECEMBER 1st.

Want to enter to win 2 paperback copies of my fairy tale series: Betraying Ever After and The Beast of Ravenston? CLICK HERE.

Thanks so much! See you on the flip side.
~Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin is a bestselling author of contemporary, historical, and YA romance. 
She has been married for over ten years and has three rowdy, angelic daughters. 
When she's not writing, she loves watching horror gamers on YouTube-- even though she's a huge wimp-- and drinking decaf chocolate mochas. 
She's a total fangirl, loves the 80s and 90s, and has a sad addiction to certain paranormal TV shows. {Basically, she likes creepy stuff.} 
Her favorite characters are the 'bad guys'-- especially those who, in their mind, are the heroes of the story. She loves helping her characters fight for their ever after. 

If you ever have a question or comment, feel free to email her at kellymartin215@yahoo. com  
You can follow her writing adventure at

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