From Professional Hockey Player to Published Novelist: Luke Murphy on Writing

Luke Murphy should be an inspiration to all aspiring novelists. Here is his book and… here is his story:

From Professional Hockey Player to Published Novelist

?????????????????????????????????????????????From a family of avid readers, even as a child, I always had a passion for books. Whether it was reading novels on road trips or writing assignments in school, literature was always part of my life.

In the winter of 2000, after sustaining a season ending eye injury while playing professional hockey in Oklahoma City, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands, and a new hobby emerged.

I didn’t write with the intention of being published. I wrote for the love of writing, as a hobby. I continued to hobby write through the years, honing my craft, making time between work and family obligations.

Then I made a decision to take my interest one step further. I’ve never been one to take things lightly or jump in half way. I took a full year off from writing to study the craft.

I constantly read, from novels in my favorite genres to books written by experts in the writing field. My first two purchases were “Stein on Writing”, a book written by successful editor Sol Stein, and “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers” by Renni Browne and Dave King.

I read through these novels and highlighted important answers to my questions. My major breakthrough from Stein’s book was to “Show don’t Tell”. I had to trust my readers. I even wrote that phrase on a sticky note and put it on my computer monitor.

The Self-Editing book helped me learn how to cut the FAT off my manuscript, eliminating unnecessary details, making it more lean and crisp, with a better flow. I learned to cut repetition and remain consistent throughout the novel.

I continually researched the internet, reading up on the industry and process “What is selling?” and “Who is buying?” were my two major questions.

I attended the “Bloody Words” writing conference in Ottawa, Canada, rubbing elbows with other writers, editors, agents and publishers. I made friends (published and unpublished authors), bombarding them with questions, learning what it took to become successful.

Feeling that I was finally prepared, in the winter of 2007, with an idea in mind and an outline on paper, I started to write DEAD MAN`S HAND. It took me two years (working around full time jobs) to complete the first draft of my novel.

The first person to read my completed manuscript was my former high school English teacher. With her experience and wisdom, she gave me some very helpful advice. I then hired McCarthy Creative Services to help edit DEAD MAN’S HAND, to make it the best possible novel.

I joined a critique group, teaming up with published authors Nadine Doolittle and Kathy Leveille, and exchanging manuscripts and information. Working with an editor and other authors was very rewarding and not only made my novel better, but made me a better writer.

When I was ready, I researched agents who fit my criteria (successful, worked with my genres, etc.) and sent out query letters. After six months of rejections, I pulled my manuscript back and worked on it again. Then in my next round of proposals, I was offered representation by the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency.

After months of editing with Jennifer, and more rejections from publishers, my dream was finally realized in April, 2012, when I signed a publishing contract with Imajin Books (Edmonton, Alberta).

What happens when the deck is stacked against you…

From NFL rising-star prospect to wanted fugitive, Calvin Watters is a sadistic African-American Las Vegas debt-collector framed by a murderer who, like the Vegas Police, finds him to be the perfect fall-guy.

…and the cards don’t fall your way?

 When the brutal slaying of a prominent casino owner is followed by the murder of a well-known bookie, Detective Dale Dayton is thrown into the middle of a highly political case and leads the largest homicide investigation in Vegas in the last twelve years.

 What if you’re dealt a Dead Man’s Hand?

 Against his superiors and better judgment, Dayton is willing to give Calvin one last chance. To redeem himself, Calvin must prove his innocence by finding the real killer, while avoiding the LVMPD, as well as protect the woman he loves from a professional assassin hired to silence them.

Dead Man’s Hand is a pleasure, a debut novel that doesn’t read like one, but still presents original characters and a fresh new voice.” Thomas Perry, New York Times bestselling author of Poison Flower

“You may want to give it the whole night, just to see how it turns out.”—William Martin, New York Times bestselling author of The Lincoln Letter

murphy-smLuke Murphy lives in Shawville, Quebec with his wife, two daughters and pug.

He played six years of professional hockey before retiring in 2006. Since then, he’s held a number of jobs, from sports columnist to radio journalist, before earning his Bachelor of Education degree (Magna Cum Laude).

Murphy`s debut novel, Dead Man`s Hand, was released by Imajin Books on October 20, 2012.

For more information on Luke and his books, visit:, ‘like’ his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter!/AuthorLMurphy

Help Ben Wolverton with David Farland’s Book Bomb Drive

I’ve been following David Farland’s newsletter since I found his wonderful Million Dollar Outlines. His almost daily newsletter is a goldmine for any author.

His sixteen year old son was left in a coma from a tragic accident recently. Mr. Farland’s friends have organized a book bomb to help raise money to pay for the $1million+ medical expenses expected. If you are an author, I don’t think you will be disappointed with Million Dollar Outlines. The other book set for the book bomb is a young adult fantasy thriller called Nightingale.

To learn more about Ben Wolverton, see

Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter: Short but Sweet

I’m always thrilled to get a new review–I do hope I get to a point soon when it becomes ordinary (hehe). But a review today really made my day.

Kattia from Florida wrote the kindest thing about my short story, Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter.

stars Short But Sweet, February 1, 2013
Kattia (Florida, USA) – See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter (Kindle Edition)

The book as a whole is VERY small in size, but that does not mean it is not good! I was hesitant to get this because of its size. How could something so short possibly be all that good. I was pleasantly surprised to find my self corrected.

C.J. Martin has now become one of my favorite authors now because of this little story. The book literally jumps straight into the action, so if that is what you like, go ahead and get this! You won’t be disappointed! 🙂

Wow! Thank you, Kattia. You are so kind. I wish I knew who you were. I’d be thrilled to send you what we are working on to continue the Tanaka story. It is slow going (my Temporal series seems to come together faster), but I really believe the Tanaka stories my partner and I have planned will be fun.

Please click here to read more about Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter.


The Temporal and A Temporal Trust Book Covers

The Temporal and A Temporal Trust are now available at Amazon (and soon elsewhere).


Originally, the redhead was the cover for book one (with a red background). I decided, however, The Temporal was more about Suteko and A Temporal Trust, about Kaileen. These covers are the result of much tweaking and experimentation over the course of the past year. Whew. I’m finally happy with them–I think.

Here is the first page from A Temporal Trust.

Chapter One

“How many of them, boy?”

The old man’s eyes were wide, his mouth hanging open as if still in the process of releasing his last word. Sam couldn’t tell if it was from fear or simply the anticipation of the moment.

Sam closed his own eyes and shut out the world around him. Patterns soon emerged within his mind that represented Nephloc—the dark creatures under the enemy’s control.

“Three—no, four,” Sam said, opening his eyes and turning to Marcus who was not twelve inches away. “And they are closing in fast.”

Seeing a burgeoning smile, Sam determined the wide eyes were revealing anticipation and not fear.

Sam looked down from the rafters upon which they were hiding and watched as Suteko walked casually around a chair on the floor below. She wore her long, silky hair back in a ponytail. Her clothes were loose to enable quick and varied movements. She was dressed for battle.

She was the bait.

The Temporal – a 327 Page Supernatural Thriller

A Temporal Trust – a 370 Page Supernatural Thriller

Spending Time with Madame Koochie, a Review of Zachary Pill by Tim Greaton

Tim is Maine’s other great author and, over the past year, I’ve gotten to know him through a mutual Twitter friend. He is always gracious with his time and generous with his advice as a writer. I’m embarrassed how long it took me to write this review. I read his book months ago and promptly forgot to write it. It is an excellent book, fun for all ages, however.

Fantasy–and in particular, young adult fantasy–isn’t my favorite genre. But Tim Greaton’s characters were just fun to get to know. He has a talent for characterization, something I know is very difficult to do right. Madame Koochie is a hoot!

In a matter of hours, young Zachary Pill finds his life shattered. Everything he knows to be a fact may not be so. His weakling of a father may be the strongest being on earth–and beyond! His love for plants may be more than a simple interest in horticulture. And bats! Vicious and nasty flying bats attack him for seemingly no reason. But perhaps these sorts of things often happen to kids with naturally green hair.

Let’s just call the book an imagination overload and a good time was had by all. If you are looking for lighthearted fantasy fun, check out Zachary Pill and his strange family. No bad language, “adult” situations, or graphic violence.

This installment gets you into the world and introduces you to the Pill family. If you find you like it, there are other books in the series. You can buy the three books in an omnibus trilogy set for less than buying the other two individually.

BEST OF ALL–it is free. Download it now for your Kindle.

BTW, my The Temporal is FREE today only. If you don’t have it, please also download my book!

The Temporal — a Supernatural Thriller is Free on Amazon Today and Tomorrow

Today and tomorrow, my first book The Temporal is free for Kindle (December 25th-26th). If you have a different device, just email me.


ETERNITY: Existence outside time

The Temporal
a supernatural thriller by CJ Martin

After his wife leaves him for a former friend, Sam Williams moves to Japan to start his life over.

But a quiet life for Sam was not to be.

A devastating earthquake in central Japan sends eternity crashing into time, enabling Sam to hear echoes of the past and even the future. Through the echoes, Sam and a mysterious Japanese woman learn of a terrorist plot that could plunge the world into turmoil and position a murderer as the leader of the free world.

They alone have the knowledge and ability to stop the plot.

But even with eternity on their side, can they stop it in time?

This novel has 62,000 words and is about 250 printed pages.

Click Here to download for free

Tanaka: Sons of Redemption Cover and Chapter Five


Tanaka, Sons of Redemption is coming soon. We are about a quarter through the last major revision before publishing (I hope). I started this whole writing thing with a short story called Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter–still one of my favorite stories.

Here is the current working cover. Joe may have his quibbles about the figures in the sun. So it all may change.


Here is a chapter introducing the bad guys:

Chapter Five


The air in the small room was thick with cigarette smoke, heavy with the heat of a dozen computers and lit by twice as many screens. A bald man in a dark gray suit crushed out his Marlboro with one hand and continued flicking a remote control with his other, changing the view on the monitors.

Without turning, he spoke to the shorter man standing behind him, wearing a black woolen suit and a thick, spiked mop of completely white hair. “Let’s see if you got the right one.” He leaned closer to the screen, brushing off specks of ash, then turned to a shirtless younger man slouched over a computer keyboard. “Zoom in on him,” he ordered. The large dragon tattoo across the man’s back rippled as he tapped a few keys and reached for his own cigarette.

“That’s him, all right,” the bald man said as one of the monitors brought the distant figure into sharper focus. “It has been more than twenty years, but that’s definitely him.” The man’s face broke into a smile that seemed almost a sneer. “He seems surprised to see his own name. How very modest of him.”

“Look. They are going inside,” said the shorter man in a thick Russian accent.

From half a world away, the suits and the shirtless youth eavesdropped on the man and his daughter.

“Daddy,” the girl said, “what is this? What’s inside the envelope?”

The audio was laced with a little static, but anyone proficient in English could easily understand the words.

“Nothing,” the father responded.

A smile crawled across the bald man’s face. It felt good to be pulling the strings again. The shirtless youth held a set of headphones to his left ear, then put it back down and tapped a few keys on his keyboard. The view on one of the monitors changed to a grainy image of the man and his daughter inside their apartment, a small dog trotting over to greet them. The room was dark and the camera was not intended for low light, but the audio feed was better than before.

“Nothing? Why?” asked the girl.

“Quickly, go to your room and pack your things. Please,” the man said in a low, hurried, but otherwise collected voice.

“What’s going on?” the girl insisted, her voice cracking with obvious concern.

Suddenly the voices fell silent. The eavesdroppers heard unintelligible whispers and a few barks from the dog. Eyes wide, the bald man shouted, “Increase the volume!”

The black-suited man chuckled to himself and said, “Don’t bother. He knows that the apartment is bugged. We won’t hear their voices again until they leave.” He turned and tapped the shirtless man on the shoulder. “Are the tracking devices registering?” The dragon danced as the younger man turned away to check another screen, then turned back to give a thumbs-up.

“We are ready,” the black-suited man said. “They may leave their apartment, but they cannot escape my men.”

Within a block of Tanaka’s apartment, two men waited for Mikhail Sokolov’s command; they would follow the father and daughter wherever they might go, driving them toward the other half-dozen who could be called in a moment’s notice.

“Anyway, I can’t understand why you people don’t just kill him. Why make this so complex?”

The bald man looked him in the eye. “Mikhail, we don’t do things that way. Nee-san’s wish is to bring him here to Japan: alive if possible, dead if not.”

Nee-san was the most powerful woman in the organization. She was second in command, an extraordinary position for a woman in the yakuza. When the Oyabun—the boss—was away, she had complete authority. When he was around, she had his ear. All the men feared her and obeyed her commands to the letter, no matter the cost or the consequences.

The bald man continued. “But as stipulated in our contract, your pay is cut in half should he arrive without a pulse; you get nothing at all if the lack of pulse is due to your actions.”

Mikhail held his gaze, then shook his head and looked away. “The longer we draw this out, the greater the risk my men are taking. Now you tell me that he has CIA connections. This makes me nervous. I did not plan for that.”

“Should I doubt your ability to carry out the job successfully? Perhaps we are paying you too much?”

Mikhail’s mouth started to twist into a snarl but then he closed it, deciding it would be less risky to ignore the insult.

The bald yakuza smiled at him, attempting to look friendly but only managing to look predatory. “Don’t worry, comrade. If we can’t make him come to us, your men may kill him without a pay cut. But I am confident that he will come to Japan willingly.”

“When do you play your part in this?” asked Mikhail.

“Very soon. First, his mother must die.”

“When will that happen?”

The bald man smiled again. “Tonight.”

New Cover for Temporal Book One by CJ Martin (and Book Two Update)

The image you see on the right of a Red Headed woman is now the cover of the forthcoming Book 2 (The List of the Temporal)–the only perk out of being unknown and unread is I can do things like this and no one will notice. 🙂

Here is the brand new cover for Book One of Suteko, the Japanese Temporal:

Book Two, The List of the Temporal, should be out later this month. I am in the final editing stage now.

Tanaka, Sons of Redemption is due out mid-December. My partner, Joe Lemont and I are also making great progress.

Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter New Review

Reviews are sparse, but absolutely thrilling when they come. I hope once I have more products (books), reviews will come easier. I haven’t sought out any or promoted the books much, so I guess this pace isn’t too bad.

Here is the new one 4/5 stars:

Harrowing story of a father and the Japanese Yakuza, July 11, 2012

C.J. Martin’s “Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter” is an action-packed story of a man whose daughter has been kidnapped by the Japanese Yakuza for a reason, and the girl is only 13 years old. The Japanese Mafia is marked by certain tattoos and sometimes a shortened finger, missing the first joint. Tanaka was officially retired for five years, but he was up against nearly impossible odds as one man trying to get his daughter back. These thugs had no qualms about killing.
This short story moves along at a rapid pace and is an exciting piece to read. Japanese culture is very interesting and this gives a peek into the criminal element. The author has included some information about the Yakuza and also a few Japanese characters for a few words, which makes it even more interesting.
Recommended for those who are interested in Japanese culture, action and adventure and the Yakuza.

Click here for the Amazon Link.

Two Tocks Before Midnight Audiobook Review

Two Tocks before Midnight Audiobook Review

Narrator Reviews has just reviewed CJ Martin’s novella, Two Tocks Before Midnight here. Wayne Farrell did a fantastic job with the sound as the review says.

I only have only good things to say about this narrator. Farrrell’s voice is rich, deep, and clear. He gives an excellent presentation of the text parts, as well as in expressing the characters. Farrell, has a good handle on proper emphasis, so each character is easily distinguished.

Click here to hear it at Audible: Two Tocks Before Midnight, C J Martin, Narrator, Wayne Farrell

And here is a link to the ebook version at Amazon.