Saturday, October 25, 2014

NoQS Spooks 11: ERASING RAMONA, Adult Thriller

Genre: Adult Thriller
Word Count: 75,000

My Main Character's Most Fearsome Obstacle:

Haunted by her discovery of the Orwell Massacre a decade ago, Miranda needs to find out what really happened that night – and whether or not she played any part in the murders.


On the run for the last ten years, 27-year-old Miranda Burgess hasn’t seen her hometown 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. After a decade with no cops coming for her, Miranda braves a trip home to Mill Valley for her father’s funeral.

When a man with a message from an ‘old friend’ tries to drag her to his van, Miranda manages to get away, but ends up hiding on the streets of Mill Valley. Her new identity is compromised, but 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 now 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. But, if she fails, she’ll wind up the Orwell Massacre’s final victim.

First 250 words:

November 1984

Where the hell was I? My mouth tasted like sour cherry and a hammer pounded somewhere behind my eyes. We must’ve kept partying after Billy’s gig. But where? Here? I freed myself from the tangle of sheets. “Billy?” My voice sounded hoarse and thin. Leaning against a bedpost, I pulled on jeans then fished through the pockets for my vial of pills. I shook out a Xanax and swallowed it dry. A dark sleeve poked from beneath the bed. Shivering, I turned my sweatshirt right-side-out and yanked it on. After struggling into socks and ankle boots, I looked out the closest window.

Gray sky loomed above rolling hills dotted with sycamore and sequoia. Definitely not San Francisco. Was I back in Mill Valley? Which one of Billy’s friends lived out here? I turtled my icy fingers inside my sleeves and stepped into the hall. A wide staircase led down. “Billy?”

Nothing looked familiar – not the tiled entryway, the gilt-framed family portrait, nor the heavy wood shutters covering the windows. When I reached the first floor, a faint hum mixed with the tick of a clock, but the place still felt abandoned.

A door stood open on the far side of the entry. “Billy?” I covered my nose. “Oh, man. You been eating refrieds again?” I stepped inside. A cast-off shoe sat near one of the sofas. I rounded the end of the six-foot sectional and stared.

Dried blood webbed the carpet. Three bodies lay snared in the rust-brown strands.

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