Friday, May 27, 2005

FINISHED EDITS---SNEAK PEEK OF MYSTERY NOVEL

Hi all,

I've finished edits of my novel. I never gave the name, so I'll tell you now: Death at the Double Inkwell. It's now 81,000 words. I added an additional 6,000 words during my edits/revisions. I really think I've done something good for the book; however, I can't help but feel like I ruined the book. One thing you have to know about me which I'm sure you already grasped onto: I tend to think negatively. So now I have a tough book, I have a clean, tighter synopsis and query letter, and me and my friend T are about 75% through a proposal for the book. We want to show that there is a PLACE for this book amongst mainstream mystery novels.

Because I am happy that I've finished the edits and because there have been some who have trekked through my blog and read my angst over this book, below is an excerpt from the book. Wish me luck in the pursuit of publishing this. I will let you know the outcome. I may actually publish a few more excerpts here from time to time until that most wondrous day! :-)

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(PROLOGUE)


“A RUDE AWAKENING”


Like most Monday nights, Sarah Brockman found herself in bed alone. She stretched, twisted and turned, trying to find the right spot to sleep in since she didn’t have her husband as her buffer.

After ten minutes of wriggling around, Sarah sat up.

Her husband was off, as usual, in Cleveland or Chicago, New York or L.A. Some place other than there. Attending to business, he always said. Probably to get back at me, Sarah thought. Since her own stepping out, Sarah had long wondered if Mark’s business came in the short/petite or Amazonian/statuesque variety.

She hated him for leaving her in that big house alone though her pushing him away didn’t help the matter. She just hated the weird creaks and moans of the house settling. At least once a night, she reached over to her nightstand for the mace or the steak knife she kept there. Her husband called her paranoid. She preferred the term cautious.

Sarah ran her fingers through her pale, gold hair before finally falling back onto the mattress and closing her eyes.

“Just fall asleep,” she whispered. She grabbed her husband’s pillows from his side of the bed and pressed them close to her, digging her slender fingers into the pillowcase.

The shattering of glass startled Sarah. She leapt from the bed and immediately reached for her knife, the mace, and the phone on the nightstand. She raced into the walk-in closet and sat on the floor. Her fingers shook, but she managed to hit ‘Talk’ on the phone. No dial tone. Tears streamed down her sun-kissed cheeks. Clothes, swaying on their hangers brushed her shoulders. Through the thin slats on the bottom half of the door, Sarah saw the grayness of the room.

“God, please, don’t let this person hurt me,” she whispered up through her clothes, hoping her message reached heaven.

Even from the closet, Sarah heard the soft whoosh of the bedroom door being opened. She rubbed her stomach and swallowed down a lump of vomit and a scream.

Sarah breathed into the phone, wishing there was someone on the other end to help her.

Through the slats, Sarah saw the shades of darkness change in the bedroom from a dark gray to black. She knew the intruder was inches from her.

Her fingers itched to hold onto her rosary and pray. She needed something or some higher being to tell her that she was going to be okay because she didn’t believe it.

Amidst the silence and the fear, Sarah couldn’t help but wonder why the alarm didn’t go off.

The door opened and Sarah screamed as she stared into the barrel of a gun.

The mace, the knife, and the phone slid from her hand.

For at least a minute, they stared each other down. Sarah saw nothing but black—the intruder’s black clothing, gloves, mask, scully cap, gun.

But it was the eyes. They were big and brown and full of menace. She could have sworn she had seen them before, but no one in her life was ever this full of hate.

“Please,” she said, “you can have anything you want, just please don’t hurt me. Please, I’m expecting…”

The intruder grunted. “This ain’t even about you, bitch,” he interrupted. He then laughed, the sound so chilling, Sarah closed her eyes tight to keep from seeing one who could be so evil.

“My sweet Sarah,” the intruder said.

Sarah’s face slackened. She recognized the voice. She never opened her eyes again.

5 comments:

Donna Hill said...

Hey Shonell,

No fair. You left me hanging! Sounds really good. I wish you the best of luck.

Telishia said...

On the edge of my seat, I want to turn the page, but I and can't. Who is the intruder? "My Sweet Sarah." Someone she knew? who else would know the code to the burglar alarm? who else would call her name? Sounds like one of those pageturners to me. Best of luck with it.

Telishia

Wanda D. Hudson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wanda D. Hudson said...

Whew...this excerpt has me hooked! I feel bad for Sarah and I don't even know her. Good writing! I wish you the best.

Shelia said...

The excerpt makes me want to read more (please hurry up and post another excerpt).