Title: Skeleton Key
Word Count: 80K
Genre: Adult Mystery
Locksmith and security consultant Foley Munion’s life starts spinning out of control when her felon father breaks out of prison. Though he claims he’s escaped to protect her from being framed, Foley suspects he’s really after one last score. Soon the police and FBI show up to question her about a bank robbery. Since Foley installed the security cameras at the bank, local cops are convinced she’s involved. To make matters worse, the current robbery mimics another heist at a bank where Foley also installed the cameras. During that crime, Foley’s business partner was taken hostage, her charred remains later found in the desert.
As the daughter of a safecracker and B&E man, Foley is used to police scrutiny, but this time she’s their prime suspect. With her locksmith business already on the brink of failure, a police investigation could be the final blow that closes her doors. Getting arrested won’t help things either. While the authorities focus on linking her to the robberies and her partner’s death, Foley hunts for the real perpetrator, hoping to clear her name.
The more she digs, the more Foley questions what she’s being told by the police, the FBI, and her father. When her quest to clear her name uncovers the person behind the robberies and murder, Foley finds her own life on the line.
Foley Munion glared at the name on the window: Manley and Munion Lock and Key. The last time she had the plate glass replaced, she should’ve told the painter to leave off Allison’s name. Even if it still brought in the occasional customer. Foley opened the door and sighed. The way business was going, the point could be moot by the end of the month.
The small lobby felt colder than the parking lot. Foley nudged up the thermostat then lifted the walk-through section of counter. Metal shavings from the key grinder sparkled on the worn linoleum. Inside the back room, she froze, the nape of her neck prickling.
The heater whooshed on. Foley flinched, then took a slow turn. The bins of wire and alarm components sat undisturbed. But something was off. Hurrying to the safe, she crouched and spun the dial. When the lock clicked, she yanked the handle and pawed through the contents. Money untouched. Schematics secure. She leaned forward to sniff the locking mechanism. No tell-tale odor of oil or graphite. So why the heebie-jeebies? Standing, she closed her eyes and breathed deep.
Oh no. That smell. Soft, but with a slight edge. Partagas. Dad’s favorite cigar. Why’d she smell it now? A faint scuff came from the left. Her eyes popped open.
Her father stepped from the storeroom, unlit cigar in hand.
“Dad.” Foley’s right eyelid twitched while she did parole math. Even with good behavior, he shouldn’t be out yet. “Tell me you didn’t escape again.”
Entry Nickname: Twin for the Win
Title: Come to Paris Your Sister is Dead
Word count: 72K
Genre: New Adult Thriller
Devastated by the news of her twin sister Angela’s death, twenty-two-year old Shayna Daniels arrives in Paris to collect her belongings, identify the body, and get back home before medical school starts in two weeks. But, police are baffled by the strange Gemini symbol tattooed on Angela’s ankle and the utter lack of clues. When Sebastien, Angela's boyfriend, shows up pleading for closure, Shayna agrees to re-trace Angela's footsteps, hoping to discover more about the sister she hasn’t spoken to in two years.
While searching Angela's apartment, Shayna finds a message that makes her blood run cold: ALIVE. TRUST NO ONE, written in their childhood twin language. Taking these words to heart, Shayna must navigate the back alleyways of Paris with her shoddy French, dodge Sebastien's insistent help, and decipher why Angela's hot neighbor keeps crossing her path. Unfamiliar with Angela's recent life, their communication having thinned since their parents’ death, Shayna must follow her gut and channel the deep twin connection Angela always believed existed between them in order to locate her. Quickly. Before someone else does.
Come to Paris. Your sister is dead.
The rest of the words from Sebastien’s email asking me to come and clean out Angela’s apartment all fade against these opening sentences. If ever there was a more stark framing of the facts, I’ve never seen it.
“On est arrivé, mademoiselle.” We’re here. The taxi driver speaks to me through the rearview mirror, an Arabic accent marking his speech. My French was never as good as Angela’s, but I get by.
I lock my phone screen then count out exact change, placing it in his weathered hand. That’s one thing I truly appreciate about Europe. Euro coins correlate in size to their value. Unlike illogical American dollars and coins. Whose bright idea was it to have the dime be smaller than the nickel and twice its worth?
“Merci, monsieur.” I climb from the car, turning in time to catch his greedy eyes leave my ass. I slam the door a bit harder than intended and don’t look back.
The first email from Sebastien seemed excessive. I ignored it. Your sister is missing, you must come to Paris to look for her.
The second one seemed like a movie plot. There was a shooting at school. She would not leave without saying goodbye.
But that’s the thing. She would, and she has in the past. Always with the same sad dolt left wanting more.
This time was different.