Karen Fenech's Gone: Chapter Two! Exclusive!

11/06/2010 Posted by Admin

Finally, we now can release the second chapter of Karen Fenech's best-selling suspense-thriller "Gone," which I'm highly recommending to my readers.

You can purchase her e-book here on Amazon.  It's just $2.99!

Karen has another e-book called "Betrayal," which you can buy on Amazon here.

Here is the book blurb for GONE:

FBI Special Agent Clare Marshall was separated from her sister Beth in childhood when their mother tried to kill them. Now Clare learns that Beth lives in the small town of Farley, South Carolina, but when she goes there to reunite with Beth, Clare discovers her sister is missing and that someone in the town is responsible for her disappearance.

Clare receives an offer to help with the search from fellow FBI Special Agent Jake Sutton. The offer is too good to refuse, though that is exactly what Clare wants to do. Jake is Clare's former lover, a man she cannot forget, and who has an agenda of his own.

Now while Clare tracks her sister, someone is tracking Clare, and finding her sister may cost Clare her life.


Also, here are some reviews of "Gone."

"Karen Fenech's GONE is a real page turner front to back. You won't be able to put this one down!"
--New York Times Bestselling Author Kat Martin

"Karen Fenech tells a taut tale with great characters and lots of twists. This is a writer you need to read."
--USA Today Bestselling Author Maureen Child

"Brimming with small town secrets and gritty suspense, GONE left an impression this reader won't soon forget!"
--Bestselling Author Debra Webb

"Readers will find themselves in the grip of GONE as this riveting tale plays out. GONE is a provocative thriller filled with a roller coaster ride that carries the suspense until the last page."
--- Deborah C. Jackson, Reviews Today

Here is the link to the first chapter.  Read this first.

And below is the second chapter.  Enjoy!


Chapter Two

Clare ignored the knock on her front door. Whoever was behind it would go away if she didn’t respond. Billie Holiday’s mellow contralto played softly on a CD while Clare concentrated on the pages spread out across her lap. She was due in court the next day to testify in a case she’d worked on two years earlier and was reviewing her notes. Small wonder she’d never been complimented on her penmanship. She frowned at her own scribble. What was that word?
The person at her door knocked again. Clare stared at the door then, resigned, blew out a breath that fluttered her brown bangs. It looked like she was about to take a break whether she wanted to or not. She sprang off the low-back sofa and sprinted to the door.
Her window air conditioner had chosen last night to call it quits. New York City was experiencing unseasonably high temperatures—even for August—according to a weather report she’d tuned in to before popping in the CD. The DJ on the radio had declared, at its hottest, the day had been one hundred degrees in the shade.
Her large living room window was open to the screen, but the swift breeze that had rattled the blinds earlier had slowed to the occasional shallow breath. Even in shorts and a tank top, Clare was sweating.
She reached the door. She’d been reading for some time and, caught up in the case, hadn’t noticed that twilight had fallen. The room had dimmed and the chairs, table and desk that furnished her living room were no more than dark shapes now. She flicked on the overhead light and unbolted the door.
“Hello, Agent Marshall.”
It was a woman at Clare’s door, she saw when she swung it open. Clare recognized her at once as the woman who’d been held hostage in the alley.
One month had passed since that day. Clare had learned after the incident that the woman’s name was Theresa Sands. She’d gone into the convenience store to buy milk and interrupted a robbery in progress that left the teenage store clerk dead and resulted in her being nabbed and held hostage herself by the gunman.
Theresa looked well in a form-fitting dress in coral that suited her dark coloring. Her hair was swept back, probably in deference to the heat. Clare was glad to see that the woman appeared to have suffered no ill effects from her experience that day, but she shifted slightly, blocking the entrance to the apartment. The gesture was deliberately uninviting.
She guarded her privacy like a miser with his coins. Her job was only part of the reason her home phone was unlisted and only a handful of people knew where she lived. Growing up as she had—the daughter of a convicted murderer—she’d been hounded by press and curiosity seekers. She’d never denied her identity, but neither had she promoted it. Theresa’s presence at her door now made her wonder if there was a breach in her security measures.
“Hello, Mrs. Sands,” Clare said carefully.
Theresa reached out and clasped Clare’s arm in a tight grip. “Agent Marshall, it’s so nice to see you.” She smiled, revealing a slight overbite. “I hope I haven’t come at a bad time. I really need to speak with you.”
Clare couldn’t imagine what Theresa Sands could have to say to her. Once paramedics had arrived in the alley, Clare had stepped back for them to examine Theresa. Her last glimpse of the woman was as she was being escorted into an ambulance for transport to the nearest hospital. Though Theresa had suffered no physical injury, Clare had recognized signs of shock in her enlarged pupils, rapid pulse, and bloodless lips.
“How did you find out where I live?” Clare asked.
A blush spread over Theresa’s cheeks. “It took some doing, let me tell you. I’ve been trying to track you down for two weeks. Your office wouldn’t tell me your address and in the end, I just had to visit all the Marshalls that lived in the vicinity of the FBI building.” Theresa rolled her eyes. “Do you have any idea how many Marshalls live in the city of New York?”
Theresa would have been surprised to learn that Clare did know the number of Marshalls residing in this location. Living in the highly populated area was just one precaution to remaining anonymous.
“Anyway,” Theresa said. “I found you. That’s all that matters.”
“A meeting at my office would have saved you a great deal of effort,” Clare said.
Theresa glanced over her shoulder, down the lit hallway, then back at Clare. “Yes, but what I have to tell you couldn’t be said in a public place. Especially the FBI office. I could get into trouble.”
For the first time, Theresa must have sensed that Clare wasn’t going to invite her inside the apartment. She dug her long painted fingernails into the handbag she held at her waist. Her nails sank into the buttery soft leather.
A door down the hall creaked open. Theresa glanced over her shoulder in the direction of the sound.
Clare noted the act. Was Theresa involved in something illegal, or maybe had fallen into something outside of the law? Clare knew she should advise the woman to leave and go directly to the nearest police station, but, clearly, Theresa trusted her since the incident in the alley, and Clare couldn’t bring herself to turn the woman away. Besides, Theresa had yet to release Clare’s arm. Her grip had tightened and now her nails were leaving their crescent shapes in Clare’s skin.
Clare gently broke Theresa’s hold and stepped back from the door. Theresa dashed into the apartment and Clare closed the door behind the woman.
Offering her a beverage might ease Theresa and bring her to the reason for the visit. “Would you like a glass of iced tea?” Clare asked.
She picked up her own drink from the coffee table then glanced into it and sighed. The thick frosted cubes of ice had melted to minuscule slivers. She returned the glass to the table then raised her gaze to Theresa, and awaited her reply.
Theresa didn’t answer. She wasn’t watching Clare, but had turned to face the scarred metal desk that backed against one blue wall. File folders and papers were piled high on the green blotter. More papers were tacked to a cork board on the wall above the desk. The files and papers logged Clare’s unsuccessful ten-year search for her sister.
Clare didn’t share Katie with anyone and she bristled at Theresa’s intrusion. Her voice came out sharper than she’d intended when she said, “Mrs. Sands, please state your business now.”
Theresa nodded. Long silver earrings shaped like spheres swayed with the movement. She smoothed a hand down the front of her dress in what Clare took as a display of nerves.
“Of course you’re wondering what I’m doing here.” Theresa’s dark eyes glowed and Clare realized that it wasn’t nerves driving her, but excitement.
“I haven’t forgotten what happened in the alley,” Theresa said. “I’m okay. Alive. Thanks to you.” Her eyes glistened with tears and she blinked quickly. “I think the thief wanted to kill me more than he wanted to get away with the money.” She shook her head and her hair fell forward onto her shoulders. “He didn’t need to grab me. He didn’t need to shoot the clerk. He had the money and could have just left.”
When the detective assigned to the case had spoken with Clare about her role in the alley, he’d said the same. Apparently, the man Clare killed had robbed another convenience store thirty minutes earlier. Again, he’d shot and killed the clerk and two customers.
Theresa cleared her throat. “I will never forget what you did for me.”
“It’s over,” Clare said. “I’m glad you’re all right.”
“Yes. Like I said before, I couldn’t speak with you in your office because I’m here on a personal matter. Personal to you.”
The phone rang. Clare’s voice came on, inviting the caller to leave a message.
“I don’t understand,” Clare said.
“No, of course you don’t. I’m not being very clear.” Theresa took a small step so she stood nearly toe-to-toe with Clare. “When I said that I will never forget what you did for me, they aren’t just words; I mean them.”
Clare shifted position. “Mrs. Sands. Theresa—”
“Please.” Theresa held up her hand. “Please hear me out. I wanted to do something to repay you for giving me my life. Before that day, I’d been going through some things and had stopped appreciating each day for the gift it is. I wanted to give you something that would come close to what you had given me. I remembered you’d said that you were a federal agent and I knew your name, so I started looking into your life to see what I could do for you.”
Clare’s stomach tensed. “What do you mean you started looking into my life?”
“Your name rang a bell—I couldn’t remember why at first—and then it struck me. Your name was in the paper a few months ago.”
Clare pressed her lips together.
“I looked up the story and read about your mother and that a date for her execution had finally been set.”
Clare narrowed her eyes on Theresa. “We don’t have anything more to say to each other.” Clare brushed by the other woman and gripped the doorknob.
“Please. Listen. Please.”
Clare pulled the door open.
“I read about what happened to your family all those years ago—about your brother’s death and that your baby sister was adopted afterwards.”
Clare’s face went hot with anger and she turned to Theresa. “You didn’t get all that from the one brief article about the execution date. You would have had to do extensive research to learn so much.” Now, Clare leaned forward, invading Theresa’s personal space. “If you came here looking for a story—”
“No. No.” Theresa shook her head quickly, and the earrings swung like a pendulum. “I’m not a reporter—”
Clare had heard enough. “It’s time you left. You can leave on your own, or I can have you escorted.”
“I read that you and your sister were separated and I found records of your inquiries at Children’s Services seeking information about her. You’ve searched for her, but haven’t been able to find her.” Theresa spoke quickly, barely pausing to breathe. “The laws regulating adoption have relaxed somewhat for children seeking information about their biological parents, but haven’t changed at all for siblings.”
Clare knew all that. She’d butted up against the system for years.
“And when I read of it, it broke my heart.”
Clare’s anger dimmed slightly at the sincerity she saw in Theresa’s eyes. “Yes. Well. The situation is what it is.” Clare didn’t add that she would never give up the search for Katie.
“That’s why I have to be careful,” Theresa went on. “Why I had to meet with you here. I could lose my job or face criminal charges if I’m found out. And you would be implicated too. I know you wouldn’t want that.”
“Are you threatening me, Mrs. Sands? I should have called the police when you arrived. I’ll rectify that now.” Clare went to an end table and picked up the phone.
“Please don’t make that call.” Theresa shook her head. “I work for Children’s Services. I investigate potential adoptive parents.”
Clare pressed the numbers for the local police station.
“You don’t understand, Agent Marshall.” Theresa’s eyes widened. “I found her. I found your sister.”

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