Here’s an excerpt from Cat Burglar in Training:
Eve Fawkner had no intention of following in her fatherâ€™s footsteps. But when the thugs harassing him to repay his gambling debts threaten her young daughter, Eve is forced to assume the role of Londonâ€™s most notorious cat burglar, The Shadow. The plan is simple: pull off a couple of heists, pay back the goons and go into permanent retirement. But things get messy during her first job when Eve witnesses a murder, stumbles across a clue that sheds some light on her past and, worst of all, falls for a cop.
Inspector Kahu Williams would be the perfect man, if Eve were looking, and if there wasnâ€™t the little matter of their career conflict. The man is seriously hotâ€”and hot on the trail of a murderer. A trail that keeps leading him back to Eveâ€¦
I pulled out a chair, the legs scraping on the flagstone floor. â€œSpill.â€
The terrible trio exchanged glances, communication flying with raised eyebrows and pursed lips. Not good enough.
â€œWho is going to tell me what is going on? Why did a stranger threaten Amber?â€
â€œMy stars! He threatened to hurt Amber? Go on. Tell her. Sheâ€™s not stupid,â€ Hannah said.
Ben and Father traded another look.
â€œI canâ€™t do the jobs anymore. I need you to take over as the Shadow.â€
â€œThe cops almost nabbed him last week,â€ Ben said.
Father gave an irritable shrug. â€œI might be losing my touch.â€ It sounded as if someone wrenched the confession from him.
I sprang off my chair, unable to keep still a second longer. â€œStop prevaricating. Tell me now. Why do you owe money to Richard Beauchamp?â€ My words were like bullets, fired with precision. Each of the trio recoiled at my snappish tone.
Father reached for a scone. â€œYou donâ€™t need to worry.â€
â€œHe threatened to hurt Amber,â€ I shrieked. â€œThe only reason I let her go to school is because I know security is excellent there. How much do you owe?â€
â€œItâ€™s only ten thousand. I have it covered,â€ Father said.
I cringed at the amount. My savings wouldnâ€™t put a dent in it. â€œHow?â€
â€œOne job will do it.â€
â€œWhy are they hassling you? I want details. Now.â€
â€œIt might be a day or two overdue.â€ Fatherâ€™s gaze slid from mine.
â€œMight or is? The man I spoke to implied payment was late.â€
â€œThe payment is two days late,â€ Hannah said.
Father scowled at her. â€œBlabbermouth.â€
My fists clenched, and I bit down on my tongue until I had full control again. â€œTell me everything. Start at the beginning.â€
â€œI owe Beauchamp ten thousand dollarsâ€”â€
â€œPlus interest,â€ Hannah said.
â€œI donâ€™t have the money to pay him.â€
â€œBecause the mortgage payment went through,â€ Hannah added.
â€œWill you be quiet?â€ Father snapped. â€œIâ€™m telling Eve.â€ He focused on me again. â€œI told you I have it covered.â€
â€œNot if you have thugs ringing up with threats,â€ I fired back. â€œWho was he anyway?â€
â€œProbably Vincent. Heâ€™s the one we usually deal with,â€ Ben said.
â€œAll I need to do is one job,â€ Father said.
I mentally cursed the Shadow and thought of the missing paintings, the silver and knickknacks. â€œWhy donâ€™t you sell something instead of stealing it?â€
â€œThereâ€™s nothing left to sell,â€ Hannah said.
â€œWhat about a mortgage? A second one?â€ Holy crap. The place had reminded me of a museum when I was a kid. I couldnâ€™t believe theyâ€™d sold everything.
â€œWe already have a huge mortgage,â€ Hannah said. â€œWe canâ€™t borrow more.â€
I scrambled for further solutions. Putting Amber in danger was unacceptable. â€œOkay,â€ I said finally. â€œWeâ€™ll downscale. Sell Oakthorpe.â€
Hannah paled. â€œNo!â€
â€œYou canâ€™t do that,â€ Ben said, straightening abruptly.
â€œOver my dead body.â€ My fatherâ€™s contribution. â€œFawkners have lived here for generations, and if I have my way Amberâ€™s children will live here too. No, itâ€™s out of the question.â€ Father scowled at me, pulling his confidence back around him like a favorite coat. â€œFawkners are cat burglars. Itâ€™s time for you to embrace tradition, Eve.â€
â€œWhy? Surely itâ€™s better to sell now while we have options? What happens if, God forbid, we canâ€™t keep up with the mortgage payments and the bank forces a sale?â€ I turned to Hannah and Ben for support. â€œTell him.â€
Ben shook his head. â€œSelling wouldnâ€™t help us now. A place like Oakthorpe could take months to sell in this market. We need the money now.â€
â€œExactly.â€ Father stood, his manner decisive. â€œBen and I will meet you down in the gym. Now that youâ€™re home for good, itâ€™s time for you to do the right thing and follow in the footsteps of your ancestors.â€ He stomped from the kitchen with Ben following while I stared after them, gaping and gasping like a fish plucked from water.
- About the Author
- Posts in the Past
I live in New Zealand and write contemporary and paranormal romance for Samahain Publishing and Ellora’s Cave.