about martina

I was born in what is now the Czech Republic and moved to the United States when I was seven, so I spoke several languages before learning English. My first year here, my teacher made fun of me for not being able to make the “wh” sound, and I promised myself I was going to master the language. That hasn’t happened yet, but that experience wrestling with words came in handy when my husband and I discovered that our daughter struggled with reading. She and I became addicted to reading YA books together, and for me it was a short step from there to writing for both teens and adults.


Compulsion, my first book from Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, was a SIBA Book Award nominee, an RT Book Reviews Top Pick and Editors’ Best of 2014 selection, a USA Today “Must-Read Paranormal,” and a Goodreads Best Book of the Month and Best YA Book of the Month. It was an Okra Pick from the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, and a Kansas State Reading Circle selection. Persuasion, the second book in the trilogy, was released in 2015, followed by Illusion, the final book in the trilogy, in 2016. Love for Two Lifetimes, a YA/Adult cross-over romance, released in 2018.

My first romance for adult readers, Lake of Destiny, set in the magical Scottish Highlands and featuring a cast of quirky characters, a beautiful setting, and romance to swoon over was released in 2017, followed by additional books in the Celtic Legends Collection. If you’re up for a little romance, light suspense or mystery, and a bit of historical legend, take a trip to Cornwall with Bell of Eternity, head back to Scotland in Magic of Winter, or cross the sea to Ireland in Echo of Glory.

Some health and personal issues, as well as the pandemic, have made it hard to keep up with writing for a couple of years. I apologize to my readers for having a bit of a gap! But I am back to work, and you can look for Heart of Legend, set in Wales, coming soon in the Celtic Legends Collection. There will also be more exciting book news in 2022.

When I’m not reading or writing, there’s a lot of diversionary other stuff to keep me partly sane. In addition to my husband, kids, Shetland Sheep dog, geriatric cat, and a Virginia backyard full of deer, raccoons, bald eagles, and other birds, I’m passionate about literacy and helping other writers. I’m a founder and permanent mentor at the 1st5PagesWritingWorkshop.com to help ease aspiring writers into the publication process and help them create a strong opening for their novels in progress. While I’m no longer active on the site due to time constraints, there is also a treasure trove of articles and helpful author interviews about writing and the publishing process at Adventures in YA Publishing.

On a more personal level, I love to travel, ski, and ride dressage horses. I eat Nutella on pretty much anything, adore marzipan, have guilty cravings for stale sugar-free licorice, drink chocolate-flavored tea with milk, and watch far too many British murder mysteries and cooking shows.