Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April Secret Agent #8

TITLE: Nothing Stays in Vegas
GENRE: Contep. Women's Fiction

The music was too loud. Maybe it was me. Was twenty-seven too old to sip an overpriced cocktail, wearing a too-short skirt and a too-tight top? Judging by what some of the other ladies were wearing, no.

I tugged at my skirt in a vain attempt to pull it closer to my knees. Preferably over them. Nicole was late, as usual; it would take at least twenty minutes to go back to the room and change. There was no time. One thing's for sure, I'd never again buy anything an eighteen year old sales girl declared, "Totally perfect for Vegas."

The fluorescent blue liquid swirled around my glass as I fiddled with my straw.

"A Knock Out", the bartender had called it. It was going to knock me out. Every time I took a sip, the sweetness sent bites of pain through my teeth. Yet, I couldn't seem to stop drinking it.

"Excuse me," a voice from behind said.

I swivelled in my seat to see a very blond, very clean cut, very preppy guy. Good looking if you liked the college boy look.

I didn't.

He was standing over me, not even trying to conceal the fact that he was looking down my top.


"Can I get you another?" College Boy gestured to my drink which I was surprised to see almost empty.

That would explain the dizzy feeling every time I moved my head.

Knock Out, indeed.


  1. I don't usually read women's fiction, so I'm not familiar with the market, but I like this.

    The voice is engaging and smart. I wonder what the drink is going to do to her, if her friend will show up . . . and it's Vegas so ANYTHING could happen (and this time it wouldn't stay there). ;-)

    I'd read more.

    Good job!

  2. I'm sorry but I'm not hooked. To me, the voice doesn't sound 27, but much older -- although the situation is definitely young because she's trapped at a bar waiting for a friend, getting woozy, looking at guys. The dichotomy throws me off. Not saying it's not cleared up in the next paragraph - it might be - but right now this is all I have to go on and I wonder if inconsistency and voice issues will continue. Good luck with it -- I hope the feedback is helpful.

  3. I wasn't hooked because this seemed just too average. A girl meets a guy in a bar. I'm guessing there's a lot more to it than that, simply because there would have to be to carry a novel, but I'm not seeing it here.

    What I am seeing is a 27 year old woman who makes her clothing choices based on an 18 year old's advice (who has probably never even been to Vegas) she seems to be bothered by the guy looking down her blouse but doesn't say or do anything about it, and she isn't even aware of how much she's drinking. I'm not seeing any strength at all in this woman, and perhaps that's what the story is about - her finding her strength - but at this point I don't know that. And I think that's the problem. There's nothing here that says what the problem is, or where this is going. If you get that in on the first page, it could make a difference.

  4. I'm afraid I don't see a hook here. It all seems a little ordinary. That said, I do like the title and there are a couple of nice lines which make me think I could get to like your MC - the 'answering back' lines "I didn't", "Knock out, indeed" If this started at a different point, I would read again.

  5. I agree with the others. Meeting a guy at a bar doesn't seem very original, nor the best place to start a story. Maybe start a little closer to the action?

  6. I like you're writing -- smooth and easy to follow. That being said, I agree that there really isn't anything to hook me here, but I doubt you'll have any trouble starting at another point if you can apply that writing style to a different premise :)

  7. Good writing style, good voice. GREAT title. I see more here than I think some of the other comments do. But it is a bit slow at the start. She does just let the guy look down her top, she is woozy. I agree that she sounds a bit older than 27, but I could buy that she is, and is feeling cynical. I felt that way in vegas when I was 31. So, I relate a bit to that. I'd keep reading, but something big would need to happen in a hurry.

  8. The writing is clean and easy to read - but the story and charcters don't do it for me, sorry.

  9. I think the voice is original: quirky and clever. The setting may not be original, but if you set a story in Vegas, what are the options? Hotel? Casino? Mall? Show? Chapel? Vegas, especially for tourists, is a cliche.

    I'd read on. I'm hoping the main character crushes College Boy.

  10. I really like your voice. To me, she sounds her age.

    This part needs a bit of smoothing:Preferably over them.(These two sentences do not flow well. Skirts to Nicole) Nicole was late, as usual; it would take at least twenty

    Is she, or is she not going to sleep with the college kid? That's the hook I saw.

    I would read more to see if I'm right.

  11. I think this character sounds 27, and sassy enough in her own head, but there's a disconnect between her hardened inner monologue and her behavior. She thinks to herself that she doesn't like these college boys, she's disgusted by how he looks down her blouse, but she doesn't DO anything besides fidget with her skirt nervously and drink a cocktail.

    I would have very much liked her to DO something about the college boy or about her late friend.

    As it stands, she's not very appealing because there's nothing I can discern, either about her or about where this story is going.

    I'd encourage you to either start somewhere with more action or add some action and turn this into a "Scene" with a capital "S."

  12. I sat up and paid attention to this because I'm 27 and heading to Vegas on Friday :-) But as I read on I found myself losing interest, for the reasons the others have stated. There's not much of a hook, and although she's in Vegas, she could be in a bar anywhere from this first page. I agree you should start somewhere else or at least take advantage of the unique location - have her walking down the street with those guys flicking cards at her, or gambling or something.