Wednesday, September 9, 2009

25 Secret Agent

GENRE: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Something dragged me from my dreams, but I didn’t know what at first. Everything looked normal; the room still smelled of disinfectant, greeting cards still jostled for place on the nightstand. Their bright lettering instructed me to get well soon, except for one that Mum had missed which prematurely offered its condolences.

The night nurses whispered in the corridor outside my room, but that wasn't what woke me or what sent gooseflesh creeping over my skin. A charged feeling filled the air; it twisted and surged with all the static of an impending lightning strike. I searched for the cause and saw him then, an unfamiliar figure standing motionless by the window.

His face was almost hidden behind a curtain of glinting silver hair, but what I could see was smooth and pale as bone china. I never saw him move, yet suddenly he was at my bedside, staring at me as the air seethed and crackled around us.

My body trembled. My heart pounded. Every instinct urged me to flee, but I was too weak to move. A cry for help rose in my throat but he lifted a black polished fingertip to his lips and despite myself; I fell silent. Slowly, he leaned in until I could feel his breath on my face. It was painfully hot and smelled of old eggs, pungent and vile.

He pressed his lips onto mine; his breath stifled me as it invaded my lungs and spread an uncomfortable heat throughout my body.


  1. I'm not 100% hooked here, though I would read more to see what's going on. I want to see why this strange guy is kissing her. I'm not a huge fan of waking in a hospital scenes, but it doesn't totally dissuade me from reading on.

  2. Hooked. But it needs some editing. Greeting card... should be a new sentence. Also, you might want to put "hospital room" on the first paragraph to paint a better picture right away.

    I really want to read more of this.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Eck! And here I'm eating lunch over here! :s

    I am thinking that when a teen picks up a YA Pararom, they aren't thinking about somebody old with ooky breath kissing the MC. For that reason, I really like this. :]

    Seriously, I'm thinking that possibly the MC is dying. The kiss from Death is supposed to DO something to her. Whether she's dead or Death's minion after this - I definitely want to find out.

    - fixed

  5. HOOKED! Usually waking up is not a good thing, but I liked this!

    I'd say this is in my top 5 favorites!

  6. Creeeeeeepy.

    I loved the sentence about the care prematurely offering condolences. So funny.

    I wouldn't start a new sentence with "greeting cards," either.

    This is one of my favorites, too. Definitely hooked.

  7. I agree, this is a waking up scene that works. Being kissed by a creepy old guy didn't work for me, but I love the condolences card!

    I'd keep reading.

  8. I'm hooked. Yeah, it could use a bit of polish, but not a lot, and the story is good and creepy, the pacing is perfect. I know what I'm getting into, and I like it!

  9. I really like this. Usually, when i think of paranormal romance, i get kind of annyoed because it seems like everyone is trying to copy Twilight. But i really want to read the rest of this! I can't really think of any more advice than to maybe add a little more detail about exactly what's going on so that people can get a better picture. Amazing job! Can't wait to see it in stores!

  10. Some good humor, nice pace. And a nice unanswered question / hook, that wants me to read more.

    Jostled for place sounds awkward, maybe...jostled for position? Not much to critique here though. I'd say in my top 5 also.

  11. Moderately hooked.

    I loved the comment about condolences, that totally hooked me. I had no problem with the creepy old man--the smell of eggs made me think sulfur: the devil.

    I'm not totally sure if this story should start a bit earlier or not--there's no way to tell without reading more.

    Nice writing.

  12. Loved it! Subtle humor and spine-tingling creepies. :)

  13. Hate to be a killjoy but I like to get to know someone before I go through a really creepy experience with them.

  14. Yuck, too creepy and nothing appealing; just not my taste.

  15. I loved the condolence card touch, but I thought there should be more about how creepy it would be to be kissed by a random old man in the middle of the night, with you tied into a bed with IVs and such! Unless she does that sort of thing normally? In any rate, I'd read on just a little further, hopefully to see her slam him in the head with the phone. :D

  16. This one got me. I'd change the first sentence though. I think "Something dragged me from my dreams" and nothing else would be more powerful.

    Love the line about the condolence card. LOL

    Definitley want to read this. I hope it will be on shelves soon.

  17. There sure are a lot of dream stories this round. A lot of characters waking up from them, too.

    That said, I like the detail about the balloons. Cute.

    The writing needs a bit of trimming and strengthening, but there are some awesome ideas in here. I'd probably read a little more to see if the writing grew more comfortable, and to see what happened.

  18. I laughed at the condolences card. It makes me think there's going to be touches of humour throughout the book, which I like. The kissing thing was a bit yuck though. I'm not 100% hooked but I would read on.

    Oh, and I like the fact that you could tell us it was a hospital room without actually having to use those words. So I wouldn't add them in.

  19. I like the voice and concept, but think you could tighten it up a bit. For some reason I thought the mc was male, but can't find any reason as to why I thought that. I'd read on.

  20. Writer of this pieceSeptember 10, 2009 at 9:48 PM

    I had vowed not to make a comment until the contest was over but I decided to because I made a typo in the entry that has thrown everyone. I apologize and it's entirely my fault. One little word can make a big difference.

    The line that reads "curtain of glinting silver hair," should read "curtain of glinting silver blond hair." This has given the impression he's an old man, which he's actually not. He's still ooky, just not that ooky. I didn't think it was fair of me not to clarify since some people liked it for that ooky factor.

    Very sorry about that. You may all roast me at will (but be gentle, I burn easily).

    Thank you all very much for your comments, I really do appreciate it.

  21. I was happily surprised by this one. I started it out thinking oh god, vampire romance...eck. But...I love the gross twist to it! Well done. I would read on for sure!

  22. Hooked! Another interesting twist on the typical start to a paranormal romance. The fact that the main character's in a hospital room is intriguing, and then there's this guy...who I first think is an angel...but then decide he's a demon.

    One small grammatical concern: The sentence "A cry for help rose in my throat..." is a run-on sentence. The semicolon doesn't help, since it's splitting one of the complete sentences in half. You might try just breaking that sentence up into two or three.

  23. Hooked. I just have to see what happens next...

  24. I think she's dying and he might be death. Loved it.

  25. Writer of this pieceSeptember 14, 2009 at 10:45 AM

    I just wanted to say thank you so much to everyone who took the time to comment, it was really great to read the positive and really helpful to read the negative, so thank you all.

    Thanks also to Authoress for all the hard work it must take to run these contests and to Ginger Clark for her time and effort too.

    Back to the keyboard!