Wednesday, August 19, 2009

13 Secret Agent

TITLE: The Power That Binds
GENRE: Paranormal Romance

The intruder stared up at the turret tower and unlit windows of the great mock castle. He'd waited months for it to be empty, and tonight it was. Daniel Demaris was gone, and he could finally search unhindered for the talisman.

And if someone came? He smiled in anticipation.

His demon creature would kill the unfortunate fool, and he'd be free to search at his leisure.

Avoiding the moonlit patches, he crept across the lawn, pried open a window, then slipped inside. His flashlight's beam darted across the leather-bound books on the shelves, the antique desk, and the paintings on the paneled walls of the study. The desk first.

He began to search methodically and neatly through the desk's drawers. No one must know he'd been here in case he couldn't find the talisman.


Nelson Page's loud snore rattled in his throat. Jolting awake at the sound, the newspaper in his hands crunching and crackling, he sat up in his armchair and gazed around the living room.

Her eyes twinkling over the rims of her bifocals, Angie laughed with the full, high sweetness of wedding bells, the same laugh he'd fallen in love with forty-odd years before.

Her laughter and mischievous eyes drew his memory back to the innocent girl with mahogany skin, full sensuous lips, and wanton's rounded body he'd met and wed. "Well, you caught me at it."

"Only resting your eyes, huh? You're as big a liar as ever I did meet, Nelson Page."


  1. I think I was hooked at the first part. The second part pushed me out, because I found myself mentally reordering the paragraphs so they flowed a little better.

    Like for example, have him hear his wife laughing before he looks at her.

  2. Hmmmm...

    The "mock" castle confused me. I mean, I know what mock means, but it doesn't portray an image for the scene you're trying to paint in my mind. Instead, it says more about what is NOT there, than what it is.

    But what jerked me out was the way he'd "waited months for it to be empty," but then smiled in anticipation if someone came. If he wanted someone to come so his demon creature could kill it, then why in the world did he wait for it to be empty?

    Overall, I think your writing would smooth out if you worked on writing in deeper POV and scene-and-structure. Right now, some of it reads like a play-by-play recounting over the radio. It doesn't pull me in.

  3. I think there is potential here, but I also think you need to clean up the details a bit. I liked the juxtaposition of the character types in the 2 short scenes. If you're writing a romance, though, I would assume we would meet one of the main characters right away. I'm not sure we did.

  4. I liked the first scene. The second lost me even though I liked the characters.

  5. I was intrigued at first but the second part lost me some. The characters are good, I think it just needs a little clean-up

  6. The first part was intriguing, though could be cleaned up a bit, but the second part seemed to be a completely different story and tone which pulled me out of it.

  7. I agree with the others. I wanted to know what was going on initially, then the 2nd paragraph just confused me. I'm guessing it makes more sense when you get to the next bit, but still...

  8. I've tried to mesh opposite scenes together before. I think it can work but only if you make it very clear that the two scenes relate, and an excerpt posting is not a good place for that. Maybe elaborate more on the first part then begin the second part with something that clues the reader into the relation as soon as possible

  9. Not hooked. The prologue didn't feel fresh--I've seen this done before--and the little bit of Nelso and Angie didn't let me know them enough to want to read on.

  10. Hm, talisman search doesn't hook me until I know more about the talisman--but it's already sounding like all those cliched stories about powerful magic objects that everyone's after.
    The second part is jarring, hard to know what to make of it.

  11. The language here felt very old-fashioned, to the point that I wondered if it was a historical. I'm afraid I wasn't hooked into either Daniel, Nelson, or Angie's experience. No one p.o.v stood out for me, and I didn't feel grounded about what was going on. There were too many uncertain and mysterious elements: the mock castle, the talison, the demon creature. I was a bit lost and ultimately wouldn't have the patience to continue.

  12. The two scenes are disjointed with no hint as to how they are related. So early in the story, smoother transition would be a big help.

    I was actually more engaged with the second scene than the first. The first scene seemed a little overly dramatic without the sense of high stakes that I normally look for, while the second scene showed obvious warmth and affection between the two characters even though it was a little jumbled.