Sunday, November 23, 2014

An Excerpt from The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis

Omnimystery News: An Excerpt courtesy of Joan C. Curtis
The Clock Strikes Midnight
by Joan C. Curtis

We are delighted to welcome author Joan C. Curtis to Omnimystery News today.

Joan's new novel of suspense The Clock Strikes Midnight (MuseItUp Publishing; November ebook formats) is published this coming week and we are pleased to introduce you to it with an excerpt. And you are welcome to join Joan this Tuesday, November 25th, at her Facebook Launch Party, where you can win prizes, get free gifts, and more!

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The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis

SILENCE. JANIE CONTINUED TO WAIT. Nothing. The silence grew louder. He had stopped moving. Maybe he had gone back to sleep or maybe she had dozed off, and he had left. She could only hear herself breathing. The sound of her exhales seemed to echo as if she were in a tunnel. She slowed her breathing, but it still sounded loud enough to set off an alarm. Everything was so black she could barely tell if her eyes were open or closed.
  If she concentrated real hard, eyes closed, she could hear the tick, tock of the grandfather clock in the living room. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. How many tick-tocks made a minute? An hour? Tick, tock.
  Why hadn't the grandfather clock been sold or moved to Marlene's house? Aunt Sarah had left the old home intact. The only thing she carefully removed was the dust. It was like a mausoleum to her mother and her miserable life. They should have sold it all off. Every last item.
  She touched the gun. It remained tucked in her coat pocket along with the screwdriver. She reached into the other pocket for the flashlight. It wasn't there. Oh my God! She fumbled around on the closet floor in search of it. All she felt was dust. Her heart sank. She must have left it on the dresser upstairs.
  Footsteps raced down the stairs, faster this time. The backdoor slammed shut and a voice shouted, "Ralph, you in here?"
  She froze. The big man was back.
  "Jinx, c'm 'ere."
  Ralph's voice felt as if it were next to the closet door, and the sound of it made the hair on her arms stand up.
  She bit her lower lip. Her heart pounded. Both sets of feet lumbered up the stairs as if they were in no hurry.
  Now was the time, while they were upstairs. Go now! She had to get out of there. She had delayed too long. Go!
  Finally, she unfolded herself to release the cramps in her dead legs. She inched herself back into a standing position, still listening. Creak went the ceiling above. She considered opening the door and peeking out. Her hand moved to the doorknob and stopped. Her stomach clinched imagining him waiting for her, the sunlight catching the green glint in his eyes and the red in his hair. She could almost feel his breath on her neck and smell the rancid onion he always ate. She froze. Her heart blasted against her chest. Taking a deep breath, she squared her shoulders and cracked the door.
  Another creak sounded maybe from the staircase. She edged from the closet as quietly as she could. With the lights off and no windows she had trouble seeing. The last thing she wanted to do was knock something over that might alert them to her presence. Moving one foot in front of the other with her arms outstretched, she inched along like a blind person., she coaxed herself.
  Suddenly a big hand grabbed her arm and yanked her to the floor.

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Joan C. Curtis
Photo provided courtesy of
Joan C. Curtis

Having grown up in the South with a mother from Westchester County New York, Joan has a unique take on blending the southern traditions with the eye of a northerner. She spent most of her childhood in North Carolina and now resides in Georgia.

For more information about the author, please visit her website at JoanCurtis.com and her author page on Goodreads, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis

The Clock Strikes Midnight
Joan C. Curtis
A Novel of Suspense

Janie Knox wants nothing more than to live her life quietly in Savannah, Georgia and never return to her hometown of Atlanta. At age 17, a week after a jury convicted her stepfatherof killing her mother,she packed all her worldly possessions in a single duffle bag, hopped on a bus, and vowed never to return. But, when she learns that she's got three months to live, she journeys back home to finish what she couldn't do when she left — kill her stepfather.

As the clock ticks away, Janie's uses the last days of her life to right the wrongs that have haunted her for 20 years. She faces more than she bargained for when she discovers her sister's life in shambles. Meanwhile her stepfather, recently released from prison, blackmails the sisters and plots to extract millions from the state in retribution.

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