Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September Secret Agent #23

TITLE: Tempest
GENRE: YA Fantasy

Janelle froze in front of the bay window as the breath caught in her throat. Mountains of black clouds lumbered through the sky and the glass buckled against the screaming wind. This was it; she was dead. “Dad, get away from the window. We've gotta get out of here!”

Her father faced her, smiling. “Isn't this exciting? I want you to see this.”

Every palm tree in their yard bent over as if pointing them back to Michigan, to the sanity she'd left behind. Rain beat against the house, adding to the roar that filled the world. The roof creaked like it wanted to peel off and fly away. It probably would, with her luck.

Janelle bit her lip, hugging herself. It was all a dream. It had to be. It was one of those nightmares where only she could see the danger, but no one would listen to her. She'd wake up soon and go to school and attend her Math Whiz meeting and order a pizza with her friends. Any minute now she'd--"

Snap. A tree fell across the street with a sound like gunfire.

Her heart thudded as she moved behind the couch. “Please. I want to go to the shelter!” She'd turned into a bubblehead, but what else would make him listen? She'd cry, and scream, and throw a tantrum if she had to.

Footsteps approached. Eyes shining, her dad spoke.


  1. Great details of the storm. And you did a wonderful job of adding in some information about her and what she's feeling through the description. I'd read on. I like that the dad is kinda creepy.

  2. This sounds like an exciting story. I'd read on to find out why the dad is so weird.

    Love the bubblehead at the end.

    I can really feel the girl's fear.

    Good luck.

  3. Plenty of action and tension here and your character's reactions seem very authentic.

    I am also intrigued about the dad who seems weird and I would read on to find out who/what he is and why he wants her to see the storm.

    I'd definitely read more.

  4. Great tension and world-building, right up front. I feel like I know a bit about Janelle, and her weird father.

    Love the line: "Every palm tree in their yard bent over as if pointing them back to Michigan..."

    However, when dad says, "...I want you to see this," what is he referring to? Maybe just drop that line.

    I'd read on.

  5. Hooked! This is beautifully written. And, right at the beginning, the reader’s drawn into a world with conflict and interesting characters. Good luck with this!

  6. Love this one - nice intrigue with the father. His calmness is almost eerie. The palm tree line is great. Hooked!

  7. I'm wondering if I read this before. Maybe the query on a different site... hmmm?

    I liked how the dad was sort of creepy and relishing in the terrifying storm. There is a clear reason he wants her to see the storm. I almost wonder if Tempest is the MC's name, and that is why the dad is wanting her to see the storm and all it's glory.

    I'd keep reading to see what happens.

  8. Hooked. I'd definitely read on to find out if the father knows something she doesn't or is just plain creepy.

  9. There are some lovely descriptions in here, but the first sentence isn't working for me. She's freezing and breath is catching at the same time. Those are two strong reactions at once. But I don't know what she's reacting to.

    The next line is much stronger. Cool descriptions, movement, glass buckling. (I'm not sure about glass buckling. It sounds neat, but I'm not sure if it cracked or what.)

    The dad is definitely creepy, and the whole thing has a dream-like quality about it. I'm waiting for her to wake up, too.

  10. Very exciting and grips me. I don't want to let go. Love how it starts out with a hurricane and rainstorm. Your descriptions make me feel I am right there and I'm scared to death. I am HOOKED!

  11. Love your title, but ...*sigh* TEMPEST is the name of the third Becca Fitzpatrick book coming out fall 2011. Not that it really matters, but just FYI.

    I liked the description. I liked the premise of the scene and the action. But I just didn't really connect to Janelle. It doesn't feel like she has a voice in this scene.

    I would love to suggest to change the POV and write this from first person, but that makes me the most annoying person alive. But she needs more thoughts and emotions infused into the voice no matter what you do. She's flat here.