Wednesday, September 9, 2009

45 Secret Agent

TITLE: Guardian
GENRE: Paranormal Romance

“Run, or you will die as well.” Caleb hated to say such harsh words, but the girl wouldn’t move. Fear must have paralyzed her body.

He stared at her wide eyes. Was one of them brown?

“But—” She coughed. “I can’t run anymore.” She crumpled to the ground.

“You must. I cannot fight all of them alone.” He scanned the area. Pine trees towered overhead.


“We need to get to the clearing. Help will meet us there.”

Pointing past him, she asked, “What were those things? They killed—” She drew in a hiccupped breath.

Caleb reached for her arm, but she jerked from his grasp and scooted away. Gravel stuck to her ivory legs. She looked at him as if he were one of the animals chasing her.

Distant growls reminded him of the mission. To protect Olivia Cook at all costs.

Her beauty had caught him by surprise.

“Get away from me,” she wailed.

“Please, I mean you no harm. You must get up. They will be on us soon.”

She looked behind her then back to him. Darkness shrouded the forest, but moonlight filtering through the trees revealed her creased forehead. Tears streamed, leaving tracks down her cheeks as they worked through the dust and dirt.

A snarl rippled the air, closer than before. Olivia shuddered. Caleb fought the urge to grab her and run. “Please. Olivia.”


  1. I'm definitely intrigued! I get a very good feel for the tension in the air and the urgency of the situation, and am compelled to read on to find out who Caleb and Olivia are, what's chasing them, and why Caleb has to protect her. Good job!

  2. I feel like this is too in media res, like it came from the middle of the first chapter instead of being the actual beginning. The writing and tension are good, but I don't have a great feel for the characters or why I should care that they are being pursued.

  3. I agree with Melissa on this one. I like what I read - it just didn't feel like the first page of a book.

    It did catch my interest though and, given the opportunity, I would continue to read more.

  4. exact same feeling!

    it's great to start right in the action, but for me, this was a bit too much. Otherwise, I really liked it.

  5. I agree with the previous posters. I like this a lot and would most likely keep reading to see what exactly is chasing them and why she needs protection, but I would prefer to start a bit before this action sequence. I want to know Caleb a little more and possibly even Olivia.

  6. I liked the action, but it did make me feel like I'd missed a page or two before it. Maybe pull back just a bit- not too much just a minute or five before this spot.
    Little things struck me though, "she wailed" didn't seem to fit. But you have a very exciting scene here- I'm hooked!

  7. Feels like an exciting plot, would like to read more!

  8. Agree with everyone else - I like it, just needed a little bit kore scene-setting. Maybe even just a paragraph or two about Caleb himself.

  9. I'd start it out with these words cut from the end of the segment

    Darkness shrouded the forest, but moonlight filtering through the trees revealed her creased forehead. Tears streamed, leaving tracks down her cheeks as they worked through the dust and dirt.

    Then I'd launch into the rest. Otherwise, I like it!

  10. OMG, this is awesome! One of my top favorites!


  11. I liked this a lot! Definitely hooked!

    I love how you mention her beauty in passing rather than pausing to describe it. Well done.

  12. I agree that this scene needs a bit of setting description closer to the beginning. I just feel a bit too confused about what is happening, and the bit about the one brown eye really brings down the tension that the first few sentences create.

    Sounds like the story is shaping up pretty quickly, and I am very curious about what is chasing them. I'd read on.

  13. This is where this book should start: Distant growls reminded him of the mission. To protect Olivia Cook at all costs.

    Bang! You're in; you've set the scene, I'm hooked!

    Skip all the stuff before it. "Run, or you will die as well" is a horrid opening line!

    (Since I'm hooked, I'm allowed to dis your first line.)

  14. This moves back and forth between both characters point of view. You need to choose one and stick with it, or show some type of transition.

    Has fear paralyzed her body, as Caleb thinks? Because she says she can't run anymore, which makes me think she is physically exhausted.

    He asks her to run, and says he can't fight them all alone. Perhaps, he should say, I can't top them for long, or something similar. Otherwise, it appears he is asking her for help to fight

  15. Not hooked. My guess is that Caleb is an angel -- a guardian angel -- and Olivia is his ward, and they're going to fall in love against the rules.

    This is a bit too overly familiar to keep me engaged. These stories are often called GUARDIAN, as well. While this bit promises a swift and exciting ride, I wouldn't continue reading.

    Familiarity aside, I felt this was too rushed and needed grounding. It's possible I got this feeling because the story starts after the action has already happened and we're in the fleeing stage. This feels more like page five rather than page one.

  16. I like the idea of starting with action but like the others I felt like something was missing first. I have to admit, I hadn't picked up on the guardian angel idea, but that makes sense.

  17. Sorry... not hooked.

    I think this is more me than your writing. I'm more into the girl characters taking care of themselves instead of weeping and crumpling everywhere. :)

  18. I'd like to know what's chasing them, and would read on to find out (I'm a creature addict... gotta see the creature).

    My critism: some of the short, terse sentences could be expanded. This is too skimpy for me -- I'd like something with more meat on it.

    Plus there's something about the word Guardian. It's a super, super-popular term for special races and special roles. I would crack open my Thesaurus and find another word, just to be different.

  19. Exciting!! Looks like a great read

  20. I agree with Sam about breaking out the thesaurus. Everybody and their grandmother is using the term Guardian lately. Find something new to remove yourself from the pack.

    I do like Caleb but Olivia is a bit pathetic for my taste...but to each his own. I'm secretly hoping Olivia dies and Caleb is given a new charge to protect and fall in love with.

    I'd keep reading, but if Olivia didn't shape up, I'd have to ditch.

  21. This feels like it starts a little too early--something I tend to do too. It makes describing the situation/scenery hard to do. I am also confused about their relationship. He knows her name, but . . . how, if her beauty caught him by surprise? Other than that, there is some good suspense building in this and I like her first line. She's not scared, she's just exhausted, lol.


  22. Not hooked. I, too, feel like you dumped us into the middle of the first chapter, not the beginning of it. Also, the title is too unoriginal to be interesting. Check out the message boards at Absolute Write; it seems like one in five of the posters have the word guardian in one of their titles.

  23. I agree with moving that descriptive parg up front. It will set the scene and place us somewhere.

    The instant action didn't bother me that much. I'd say not hooked only because I've seen this plot too many times. Having said that, I think people who like this type of story would like this. The question, I guess, would be can the market stand another novel like this? Best to see what Secret Agent has to say.

  24. Interesting, but needs a little more work. Maybe try starting either where we learn that Caleb has to protect Olivia at all costs, or where he first sees her in the trees.

  25. Hi,
    I'm semi-hooked, because I kept feeling her POV and wanted her POV, but of course technically it was his for the whole scene...but as an example...the last paragraph "a snarl rippled the air...then you say "Olivia shuddered," as if Caleb had no reaction but to focus and report on her. i understand the beginning of his obsession, but with a little care you can have him react and then have him focus on her.

    Picky: does gravel stick? maybe its dust does.

    Great job overall.

  26. The title is a turn off. I agree with everyone that it is way overused, as well as the concept.

  27. I'm hooked. I think throwing us into the middle of the action, and then explaining things later is better than telling us everything in the first page. You have to read and work for the answers. In terms of the title, make sure you go to to avoid using a title that's already out there. Guardian is already taken. I'm sure you can come up with another title...that's no big deal. I'd like to know what happens next. It's hard to say if it's a unique story or not with only the first page. Good job!

  28. I'm intrigued and would certainly read more.

    I would probably tweak the opening lines just a bit, however, because I'm not a big fan of starting a story with dialogue.

    It's rough to begin with dialogue because it doesn't give the reader a chance to attach to the character or his situation.

    Otherwise, the writing is clean and it's an interesting premise.

    (Don't you just love how everyone has the premise of the book figured out after 250 words?) :-)

  29. I"m intrigued. I'd keep reading.

  30. Totally hooked! I liked the action upfront. I dread books that take "forever" to get into. I want to know more! You posed quite a few interesting questions.