Saturday, October 25, 2014

NoQS Spooks 12: TIMBER POINT, Adult Thriller/Mystery

Genre: Adult Thriller/Mystery
Word Count: 86,000

My Main Character’s Most Fearsome Obstacle:

Growing up on the streets has a way of making you hard. As a cat burglar people would think I'd be afraid of getting caught, afraid of the cops, but I’m too smart for that. Okay, maybe I feared people getting too close, but that's not a real fear. It's when I got that first midnight phone call that a cold, hard shiver raced down my spine. It was a serial killer. He called to tell me he'd found me. Me, the so-called "expert" cat burglar. I'd accidentally stolen his trophy box.

And he's coming to take it back.


Cat burglar Shawny Daniels always believed her “fearlessness rules” mantra would keep her on top and out of jail. When her latest break-in leads her to a secret room with an aquarium filled with cockroaches-- roaches like she heard about on the news-- she instantly realizes there are some people more dangerous than cops-- serial killers.

She tells herself it’s no big deal until a mutilated chipmunk arrives at her door soon after. Somehow, he’s found her. When the midnight phone calls start, she knows he’s not going away. She listens as his demon-like voice whispers how she inadvertently stole his precious trophy box-- and he wants it back.

The only problem is, she can’t find what he wants. Did she drop it when she ran from the house? She’s afraid, but going to the cops isn’t an option without risking her freedom. When her “helpful” best friend insists on a blind date with charismatic Detective Levon Samuels it might make that impossible, though. Ordinarily Shawny would rather drink bleach than date a cop, but Levon might help her get this psycho off her tail.

Now she’s juggling being stalked by a killer, dating the lead detective on the case and trying to hold on to her own heart. Plus, the closer she gets to Levon and the case, the more she realizes she’s responsible for the killer’s next victim. If she doesn’t find the trophy box, the killer’s coming for her. If she doesn’t come clean with Levon, more will die. And if she does, she could lose the only man she’s ever loved.

First 250 words:

I eyed the perfect house, a two-story contemporary in an upscale neighborhood in Revere, Massachusetts. Cased it night after night to learn the occupant's schedule. Shattered a street light out front with a rock to cloak me in darkness, and then returned tonight for the heist. I left nothing to chance.

No way am I going back. The cops will never catch me. I'm way too good for that.

Learning the target's habits is essential in good prowling. The last thing I need is an unannounced arrival or a half-asleep homeowner surprising me in the dark. I get in and get out. That's my specialty. Simple. Smooth. Stealth. Homeowner's insurance covers the stolen goods anyway. It's a victimless crime. And the only way I know to survive.

I waited for just the right moment to strike. The ideal opportunity when the neighbors' homes blackened and all movement stopped inside the target property. To me, it's like a dance. The music starts slow as the first house-light extinguishes, enhances as the second home darkens, and then elevates into a vibrant symphony once the last glimmer vanishes from sight.

This contemporary house, fronted with glass and stucco and a stone-columned carport on the left side, had no swing-set or signs of children in the home.

A perfect mark.

My favorite feature: the catwalk, made from the same wood as the house with chest-high railings that began at the front gate, traveled over a rocked stream-- a manicured lawn on either side-- and continued straightly to the front door.

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