Title: ERASING RAMONA
Genre: Thriller (Adult)
Word Count: 70,000
Twenty-seven-year-old Miranda Burgess has been on the run most of her life: from the law, from the past, from herself. She hasn’t seen her hometown in a decade – not since the day she awoke inside a strange house and discovered six dead bodies, including that of her boyfriend. With no idea who committed the murders and afraid she’d wind up the prime suspect, Miranda panicked and ran to L.A. where she changed her name and made a fresh start. But when her father dies, Miranda takes a chance and returns to Mill Valley for the funeral.
Not welcome to stay at her parents’ house, Miranda checks into a motel. After a frosty reunion with her mother, a strange man shows up at Miranda’s motel saying an old friend wants to see her. When the man drags her to his van, Miranda manages to get away, but ends up hiding on the streets of Mill Valley. Though her new identity is compromised, Miranda refuses to start over again or go to the police. With no idea who the ‘old friend’ is or why a thug was sent after her, Miranda investigates the crime known as the Orwell Massacre. Convinced the answer lies buried in that blacked-out night, Miranda returns to the murder house. There she discovers she holds the key to a fortune and winds up in the cross hairs of a killer. If Miranda can take down the killer, she may finally be able to stop running.
First 250 words:
Where the hell was I? The only items I recognized in the room were my jeans and boots. Everything else – from the four-poster bed and paisley spread to the bare windows and ice blue carpet – looked unfamiliar. I freed myself from the tangle of sheets. “Billy?” My voice seemed to get lost in the high-ceilinged room. In the distance a clocked ticked.
My mouth tasted like sour cherry and stale peppermint. An insistent ache pulsed behind my eyes. We must’ve kept partying after the end of Billy’s gig. But where? Here? I stood and grabbed my jeans. A dark sleeve poked from beneath the bed. My shirt. Shivering, I bent to grab it. Using one of the bedposts for support, I pulled on underpants and jeans then fished in the front pocket for my vial of pills. I shook out a Xanax and swallowed it dry before turning the knit top right-side-out and yanking it over my head. After struggling into socks and ankle boots, I walked to the closest window.
I was on the second floor. Gray sky loomed above rolling hills dotted with alders, sycamore and sequoia. Definitely not San Francisco. Was I back in Mill Valley? Which one of Billy’s friends lived out here?
Heart pounding in time with the throb from my head, I stepped into the hall. To the right, two doors stood open. To the left, a wide staircase led to the first floor. “Billy?” My voice sounded hoarse and thin. I tried again. “Billy?”