Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September Secret Agent #16

TITLE: Blood Dreams
GENRE: Paranormal romance/urban fantasy

December - Tampa

"Not the face, you stupid shifter-s***! I've got a wedding to get to," Chris snarled as she stopped a clawed hand from ripping across her cheek. Dee would kill her if she showed up with a black eye, bright red gashes, or any other sign of a recent fight. She was standing in as the 'mother of the bride' after all.

She retaliated against the strike with a swift kick aimed for the half-shifted werewolf's knee. It might drop him and get at least one of the creatures off her.

A second werewolf raked claws down her back and she shrieked before tumbling to the side to see both men. Were-creatures in their half animal/half-human forms were hideous. Drool dripped from Stooge Two's curled-back lips as he glided to her left. "Don't think you're gonna make it, vamp b****."

Two more slunk out of the shadows of trees that lined the clearing and she refused to consider the possibility of failure. S***, the bride and groom both would want her hide if she missed their wedding. Granted, their irritation wouldn't matter if she died.

Retreat wasn't an option. If she shifted forms, the creatures would know instantly what she was. It didn't matter what form she chose anyway, the oozing gashes to her thighs and back from the fight thus far would slow her down. If anyone in authority found out what she was, a death sentence would be handed down. Being a mage-vampire sucked dehydrated blood.


  1. Hooked. Holy cannoli, am I ever hooked.

    Except for the passive phrase in the last paragraph, I see no huge problems. Possibly, change the last sentence in the first paragraph though, to “…It might attract attention at the wedding….” Or, “…As the stand in for mother-of-the-bride, it might attract some attention…”

    Just the thought of showing up at a wedding after a fight is excellent imagery and I don’t think the reader needs to know anything else yet.

  2. I love the premise of this opening scene, but the action feels weighed down. I'm not sure I like the dialogue here. It feels needless, thrown in just because. It didn't add much for me except the thought that it didn't seem realistic and it undercuts the tension. (Would she really be getting these long statements out in a life or death situation? I know Buffy does it but the dialogue in that show wasn't anything to write home about.) Unless the dialogue is particularly witty or adds something important, I think it can go.

    There's also great snippets of voice here, but I'm not sure it's quite working yet. Going back and forth from action to snarky comment actually hurts both the voice and the tension. I'm not sure how serious this fight is - should I be nervous for her. Or is this typical and should I be laughing. I don't know the character well enough to know how I should react.

    And with all the pronouns and action, I had to read a couple times to realize how many attackers there were and who was what sort of supernatural creature.

    Depending on how the POV is structured for the rest of the book, this might work better voice-wise in first person.

  3. I loved the opening, the juxtaposition of mom of the bride by day, monster by night. I thought you could give us a bit of how the werewolves looked as opposed to just saying they looked hideous. And I wondered why it mattered if the were's found out what she was. They're already attacking her, trying to kill her, what else could they do?

    I did think the fight went on too long, and it doesn't end here, which means it's even longer, so I wouldn't read more becasue I'm thinking I'll get more of this fight scene, and I've already had enough. Just not my cup of tea.

  4. I do like the roughed up stand-in mother-of-the-bride image. Some of the wording threw me a bit. I think it's the dialogue. I'm not sure if it's to be taken seriously, or just purposely campy.
    I'd keep reading since it paranormal and so far kind of funny. Love a good vamp, were, shifter book anyday.

  5. You've got good advice here already, so I'll just give another thumbs-up to your opening hook -- a stand-in for mother of the bride in a knock down, drag-out fight with were-creatures. Also, a mage-vampire ought to have a lot of potential.

    Good luck with the edits!

  6. I love the premise. The execution is a little dodgy but you've already received some good advice to help fix it. I think the biggest turn-off for me was the dialogue. I don't have a problem with cursing but it the curse word has to be the most effective word you could have chosen for that particular moment. The first line of your novel should be one of the strongest and I think this particular piece of dialogue weakens what you're trying to do. It plays up the wackiness instead of seeming threatening.

  7. I'm mostly going to echo what has already been said. The dialogue didn't add anything for me, and I wasn't sure whether to be nervous for her or laugh.

    Also, consider trimming your action scene prose. There are so many words, it's hard to keep the fast-paced action feel. Like this: "She retaliated against the strike with a swift kick aimed for the half-shifted werewolf's knee."

    We know she's in a fight. We know she's going to hit back. Why not, "She kicked the half-shifted werewolf's knee."?

    Fight scenes are hard. Work on clarifying and speeding this up to really get the reader into the scene.

    PS. Authoress, you missed a swear word in the fourth paragraph.

  8. I liked the beginning. I had this wonderful image of a woman in one of those mother of the bride chiffon dresses with the over jacket and sequins or pearls kicking butt.

    I'm not sure exactly what the MC is. is she a shape shifter, a vampire? I don't know what a mage-vampire is,even after googling it.

    I like the voice, I'd probably keep reading for a little while longer.