Wednesday, November 4, 2009

27 Secret Agent

TITLE: Untitled
GENRE: Paranormal-Action/Adventure Romance

Dangling over a bottomless pit was a helluva place to have a conversation with your lover about what you did to piss him off. This is your own damn fault, Mia Langdon. The minute you slept with Graham, you knew this time was coming.

“Damn,” she muttered.

She blew out a breath and swung her head from side to side. Solid rock in front of and behind her. No escape from the predicament she now found herself. A predicament she could only lay at one pair of steel-toed booted feet. Hers.

“Double damn. Two freaking days into the expedition,” she growled at the stones that made up the smooth face of the wall in front of her, “and he has to get all fussy.”

She pivoted and faced the other side. “This is what I get for sleeping with him after being partners for three years. I knew it wasn’t a good idea,” she continued to snarl at the silent stone.

S***, she didn’t have time for this. Anything could be in the depths of this recently discovered cisterna. Maybe she’d get really lucky and find royal burial shrouds or a Moche backflap. She had only two days. After that, the team with a real permit to excavate Corihuayrachina would arrive, and she’d be kicked out on her a**.

But if she ignored him. . . Mia pursed her lips. “Fine, Graham, let’s talk.”

“You coming up?”

If she did that, she’d likely be up there the rest of the afternoon, and she’d never find anything. “No, I’m fine.”


  1. Tense changes, was, is, and was again in the first paragraph. I had to read three times to figure it out. Also, infodump in speech to a stone wall when he's just above her? While it could be interesting once the paranormal shows up, (I like paranormal) I wasn't hooked by this. (sorry)

  2. Moderately hooked. I would have been very hooked if not for the preponderance of cursing, since your voice is snappy and engaging. And I didn't have a problem with the tense shifts in the first paragraph (I'm assuming "This is your own damn fault, Mia Langdon" is internal dialogue).

    One sentence that tripped me up: "No escape from the predicament she now found herself." Shouldn't it be "No escape from the predicament she now found herself IN"?

  3. I was confused by how she was dangling over a cliff. Is she hooked up to a harness? If not, then I imagine she wouldn't be thinking much else but "somebody help me!" I also agree with ClothDragon about a little bit too much info dumped into the first scene. Hold off a bit. Make it about her avoiding him at all costs, make us wonder why, make us want more. Good luck!

  4. I’m on the fence. Loved the opening, but I’d cut paragraphs, 3,4, and 6. Get right to the part where she’s dangling over a pit saying ‘no, I’m fine.’ That killed me.

  5. "No escape from the predicament she now found herself." -- "...predictament in which she now found herself."
    "she continued to snarl at the silent stone." -- you don't need this.
    "cisterna" -- do you mean "cistern"?

    Other than that, I'm going to disagree with the above commentators. I liked this. Yeah, there's a lot going on but that's intriguing. What's in that cistern? How's her love life going to affect this expedition? What is she, a grave robber, an archaeologist, a paranormal investigator?
    I sort of agree that at some point here you need to let us know that Graham is holding on to her, or suspending her from a rope or something. But basically I thought it was interesting.

  6. Very interesting -- I'd definitely read on to find out what the heck is going on here -- but the protag talks to the wall too much, and the speech tags when she does it are too complicated and distracting.

    So far I get that Mia and Graham are in Central America somewhere, that they are doing something other than a legitimate government-sanctioned archaeological dig, that they know each other well, and that sleeping together was a really bad idea. This is a really intriguing and potentially excellent set-up. I do want to know, however, how Mia could be partners for three years with someone who's as much of a jerk as Graham appears to be based on this excerpt ;^) -- insisting on having a Relationship Talk when there's clearly something very urgent going on.

  7. I like the first paragraph, it made me want to know what was going on. I liked the main character and voice. I loved the dialogue at the end. However the amount amount of backstory kept me from getting into the action.

    Slightly hooked.

  8. I had a longer comment that did not appear here, but oh well.

    I think you've got a character with a strong voice and an interesting/awkward scenario. I am simply confused by the mechanics of it.

    Graham is there in earshot? Then why doesn't he hear her 'growling' at the rocks?

    I'd clarify just where the characters are in space.

  9. Tense is all over the place but I think the voice has potential. Mechanics are easy to fix, so I often read on when I like the characters, like I do here.

  10. I liked this. As Travener said, there's some interesting stuff going on here. I agree that some of the writing could be tightened. I don't think she needs to talk to the rock quite so much. I'd cut paragraphs four and five. Really, the only information it conveys that we don't already have or are about to have is that it's two days into the expedition, but the more urgent info is that there's only two days before the legit people arrive.

    Anyway, I liked it and would read on.

  11. Everybody else has picked at the grammar stuff so I won't do that, not my strong suit anyway.
    I will say I like the characters, and would read more.

  12. I liked this! While it did get a bit muddled in the middle, the voice is awesome and I instantly like the MC. Momwoman mentioned what might be a really good suggestion. Starting as you started, but instead og going into all of her internal dialogue (or so much of it) have him ask if she's coming up with her "No, I'm fine." Because honestly, that says so much about her character lol. Good job!

  13. That first line was a real cracker.

    More like that please. The voice is great.