Title: Specter of a Chance
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Word Count: 87,000
Pitch: Thief-for-hire Layne Knowles uses a quid-pro-quo system with her ghostly accomplices. When she accidently steals CIA secrets, she becomes embroiled in a deadly web of federal agents, poltergeists, and gangsters.
Odd Thomas dabbles in crime.
First 250 words of manuscript:
I hated burglarizing an occupied house, even with ghostly help. It was crazy and dangerous, but unavoidable tonight. After casing the place for weeks, I learned that the family or security guards were always around. So here I sat in the study of a local electronics mogul, wrestling trade secrets from his computer. The laptop created the only illumination in the room while the faint murmuring from a television floated up from the first floor.
The screen’s view changed again, displaying multi-level directories with coded names. I froze in mid-keystroke, holding my breath as loud voices rose up through the stairway. The client wanted the theft of the computer chip designs to go unnoticed. A great idea, but escaping unharmed trumped any of his wishes. After a few moments, the sounds faded away, leaving only the tick of the antique clock marching on toward eleven.
The directory name of DEVEL2017 finally popped up. I checked my watch and cursed. Eight minutes runs five minutes too long in any burglary. Time to grab the files and flee.
“Got you.” The soft words slipped out as I thought about the forty-thousand-dollar payday. The money would put me one step closer to a tropical island life where no one thought I was insane for talking to “invisible friends.” My smile disappeared when white lines fluttered across the screen.
“Charles, back off. You’re screwing up the computer.” I whispered to the air.
His tenor voice came through the digital recorder. “Layne, I’m hungry.”