Wednesday, September 9, 2009

42 Secret Agent

GENRE: YA Paranormal Romance

“Come on, Noelle. Hit me harder than that.” My brother curled his fingers in a mocking invitation.

I sighed. “Chase, I’m bored with this now. Can’t we just relax and watch the sunrise?”

“No! You need to practice and it’ll still be dark for a few more minutes anyway.”

I crossed my arms over my chest and peered up at the dark canvas dotted with tiny stars. “What does it matter? Neither of us has fought a demon anyway, we don’t have a clue what we’re doing.”

Chase ruffled his feathers and taunted me with a sneer.

Fine, he wanted it so bad, he could have it. I narrowed my eyes and pulled the energy from every cell in my body. It pulsed and raced through me like currents of electricity until it centered in my chest. I smiled sweetly as I pushed it to my hands and flicked my fingers outward.

The energy struck Chase in the stomach, and with a grunt, he flew backward off the steep side of the cliff. I threw my head back and laughed into the deep purple night. Clutching my stomach and gasping for air, I peered through tears at my brother as he hovered just over the cliffs edge.

He scowled and held up a few gold-veined white feathers. “Look what you did.”

I laughed harder and tears streamed down my cheeks. “You asked for it!”

He narrowed his eyes then grinned, revealing the deep-set dimple housed in his right cheek.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I like your dialogue and your voice. However, I found this a bit flowery. "dark canvas dotted with stars." starlit sky? "...dimples housed in his right cheek" I think "housed" is not needed. Also, I can't imagine close to sunrise being a "deep purple night." But I would read more. Your characters sounds like fun, and I want to know more about them, and of course, their battle with the demons.

  3. These characters are engaging. I loved the first sentence about the mockig invitation. I'm hooked.

  4. This is the worst I have ever read! Just playing my Had to find you on here. My critique wouldn't be fair as I have read more of the story on your site, but will say, look forward to this being published as I will reserve my copy! The best of luck to you.

  5. Oh yeah. I'm hooked. Love this. Love the names of the characters as well. Nice dialogue. And the description of the energy Noelle created. Sweet!

  6. I really liked this! Although at first I did wonder about the ruffling of feathers- since that can mean something other than literally ruffling him, maybe add just a bit more to let the reader know- yes, this guy has feathers ;).
    But the dialogue is smooth, and it fits the genre. I'm hooked!

  7. Hi! I'm the author for this entry.

    Chaotic_one: Just a few lines after this there is an explanation for his feathers/wings. The 250 word cut-off was just a little short for it to be included here. ;)

  8. Ooh! I want more! HOOKED!

    THis is in my top 5 favorites!

  9. I loved the teaser about the feathers.

    I did think it bordered on over-written in parts--the canvas for the sky, for example. And I'd just say "his deep-set dimple."

    Overall, I'm hooked.

  10. I'm not a big fan of fantasy, but I LOVE this! It's instantly engaging. The brother/sister relationship is great. I would echo the other posts on the over-writing parts though. Your characters are strong enough to carry this themselves. :)

  11. This was okay until deep-set dimple.

    Something in my nature does not allow me to read past those words. Deep-set dimple stops me in my tracks every single time.

    But the Secret Agent might not share my affliction.

  12. Great intro. Interesting characters. Good setup.

  13. The ruffled feather comment did leave me confused.

    Noelle is throughly bored. If they are getting ready to fight a demon, I would expect some fear somewhere here.

    Otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed this except for the fact that Noelle is laughing uncontrollably just because she hit her brother. Which seems strange to me.

  14. Also got lost with the ruffled feathers, even if it gets explained further on, that one line would have brought me out of the story if I was reading a book. So just suggesting maybe add a little more so that we understand he has feathers. As it is, it reads as a bit of an 'alien alert', something happening and you're thinking "huh? what the?"

    ANYway, I still loved it. Loved the voice, loved the characters, loved the fun atmosphere leading up to some sort of big old battle. Not keen on some of the description or the idea that it's near sunrise and yet clearly still deep night. But I would read more.

  15. I like this in general - though I think that you needed a little more reason for her belly laughs. For example, show the surprised look on his face or him scrambling back up over the cliff edge having lost his bluster a little bit.

  16. Where are we? Outside yes but we need a bit more setting. Would this kid think “the dark canvas dotted with tiny stars?” deep purple night?

    Is Chase a bird? If so why does he have fingers? This whole feather biz is confounding.
    “the deep-set dimple housed in his right cheek” Not in love with this phrase.

    This is nice serviceable writing but there’s nothing “wow” here. We need a feel for these kids personalities toot suite.

  17. Thanks for all the comments! They are very helpful.

    Just to alleviate confusion, Chase and Noelle are angels, which is why there are feathers involved. ;)I'm glad it's being pointed out here because none of my beta readers have said anything about being confused by the feather line -- of course they did get a short blurb before reading as well.

  18. First off, I haven't read the other comments yet, so I hope mine won't be too repetitive. Anyway, I'm a sucker for winged males. So I'd read on. However, I'd like to see the wings actually attached to his body in this story, him moving them, or something. But this is interesting but I think a little more specific details added to the setting/people might would make this read smoother.

    Overall, good job. I wish there was more of it posted.


  19. I figured the ruffled feathers would mean angel, but I was really hoping for a supernatural chicken or something. :)

    Semi-hooked. I would read a little further, but since Noelle isn't too concerned about learning how to fight demons at this particular moment in time, I believe it would be quite some time before I got to see that...sigh.

  20. I don't think this is really my kind of story, with the flowery descriptions, but I still liked it. I particularly liked how you wrapped up the relationship between the siblings, as well as setting the scene for all kinds of BAD THINGS with the fact that they haven't actually fought demons before. :D

  21. I wasn't actually going to crit anything. I was just skimming through to see how many YA entries there were. But for some reason I stopped because yours is one of my fav genres. Well I'm hooked. Loved the voice and the start. I want to read more . . .

  22. I like this. The interaction between brother and sister is cute, although I think Noelle would find it funnier if Chase looked surprised as he fell over the cliff.

    I'd definitely read on.

  23. I assumed they were angels because they had arms and wings, so I wasn't confused about them being birds, but I still thought you could have added more description there - what the wings look like, how they move - stuff like that, since their wings are a big part of who they are.

    Same for the demons. Just saying wings and demons is too generic. I wanted to know the the evil they were going to be fighting. What kinds of demons are they? Out to destroy the world? Gain the souls of all mankind?

    I guess I wanted a bit more depth, so for me - not hooked.

  24. Depth in 250 words Barbara? You wanted more? You wrote over 100 words in your critique and didn't say enough of why.
    I thought this was very well written and left me wanting more because I KNOW that after 250 words, more will be explained and will lead in to why I want to read a book about why they have to fight demons. A bit more depth. How funny.

  25. I didn't read the other comments, so I apologize if I'm repeating.

    I'm almost hooked. Liked the way you embedded the feather detail to give me a visual. I'm assuming you'll clarify the pic in my mind soon. I did find the sister's reaction over the top at the end. It seemed a bit too much.

    With some tightening up, I think this could be great. Good luck :)

  26. I loved it. The ruffled feather comment was just the right touch to add a little quirk to the story. Well done.

  27. I wasn't hooked, but it looks like everyone else was, so I guess the issue is with me and not your work :-)

    For me, there was no pressing reason to read on. There was a mention of demons, so presumably they'll have to fight them at some point, but no immediate threat or conflict in this scene. I do understand it's only 250 words and had been able to read a bit more my response might be different.

  28. This is a nice scene, and it is definitely nicely written, but as someone mentioned before, the lack of stakes doesn't give the reader much incentive to read on.

    However, a scene like this would be great a little later on in the story, once the characters and conflict are established. :)

  29. Well, another book I've actually requested so I have to fess up. I read this but in a different version, so yes, I would keep reading, as I did (but wound up passing).