Last week I shared an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Counterfeits. It continues here:
Downstairs, a door closed. Jenny clutched the blanket. Imagination be damned. She was not alone.
For a long moment, she sat frozen. During her ten years in New York City, she had never been burglarized or mugged. It seemed impossible that such a thing should happen now, here, in an off-season art camp five miles outside of Jemez Springs, New Mexico.
Maybe it was someone her grandmother knew. But what were they doing there in the middle of the night? And if they’d come to see Jenny, they should have knocked, rung the bell. Waited for morning. Anyway, who knew she was there? Even Ms. Lucena didn’t know when she was supposed to arrive. She hadn’t told anyone her travel plans; she’d just gone.
She had to do something. Jenny rose and eased open the bedroom door, praying she had somehow been mistaken, that everything would make sense if… when…. She couldn’t imagine a benign explanation.
|Battleship Rock, near Jemez Springs, NM|
Why would a man be laughing in her grandmother’s house, in the middle of the night, two days after her grandmother’s death? No good reason came to mind.
She fumbled for her phone on the bedside stand. But even before she activated the screen, she gave a frustrated grunt. She wouldn’t get reception here. The only place in camp that got cell phone reception was the southeast corner of the parking lot. The landline was downstairs, in the kitchen.
Something crashed in a room below. Jenny jumped and dropped her phone. It hit her thigh, then her foot, and went skittering under the bed with a faint scrape against the wood floor.
A man was swearing downstairs. Hopefully that had covered up any sound she’d made. Jenny clenched her hands to control the trembling. She couldn’t imagine her grandmother being friendly with anyone who swore like that.
She had to get out of the house. She wouldn’t wait upstairs for the burglars, if that’s what they were, to find her. If she could get to her car – damn. Her keys were in her purse, which was downstairs on the living room couch. So she couldn’t drive, but she could still go to the Lodge, break in if she had to. Use the phone in the office, call the police.
Still shaking, Jenny crouched and felt along the floor for her shoes. She was wearing flannel pajama bottoms and a tank top; no need to waste time putting on clothes. She was already cold, but her jacket was downstairs, lying over her purse on the couch. It didn’t matter. She just had to get out.
Counterfeits is available on Amazon and is free via KU.
Heat level: PG
Violence level: PG (fights, no torture or murder)
212 pages/65,000 words
Jenny returns to her grandparents’ art camp in a remote New Mexico town after her grandmother’s sudden death. That night she wakes to the noise of intruders. What do the strangers want? As more bizarre events unfold, Jenny realizes the people she thought she knew are not what they seem – least of all Rob, an old friend whose past may be coming back to haunt them all.
“Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners, and Kris Bock used all the things I love about this genre. Appealing lead characters, careful development of the mysterious danger facing one or both of those characters, a great location that is virtually a character on its own, interesting secondary characters who might or might not be involved or threatened, and many surprises building up to the climax.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog
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Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance featuring outdoor adventures in Southwestern landscapes. E-books are available from $.99 to $3.99, or free with Kindle Unlimited. Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page. The Southwest Treasure Hunter novels feature feisty heroines and supportive heroes tracking down mysterious treasures in New Mexico and Arizona. Each book stands alone, starting with The Mad Monk’s Treasure. Kris’s other titles include Whispers in the Dark, a gothic drama at an archaeology dig in the Four Corners area, and What We Found, a murder mystery set in small-town New Mexico.
As Chris Eboch, she has published Advanced Plotting and You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers.
Advanced Plotting is designed for the intermediate and advanced writer. If you struggle with plot or suspect your plotting needs work, this book can help. Use the Plot Outline Exercise to identify and fix plot weaknesses. Learn how to get off to a fast start, prop up a sagging middle, build to a climax, improve your pacing, and more.
You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers is available for the Kindle, in paperback, or in Large Print paperback.