Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August Secret Agent #26

TITLE: Daisies for Ella
GENRE: Women's Fiction

Grocery bags slapped against the sides of my calves, as I waddled through the lobby, passing the faded curtains, and a “Free Wi-Fi” sign. My stomach clenched as I thought about the event, which led to the heavy sacks cutting off the circulation to my fingers.

Again, I threw something at Sam’s head; it wasn’t glass this time, just a sneaker. Last night, I apologized and begged for forgiveness. He kissed me before bed, and said, “I love you,” but this morning his hug felt cold, not icy, but slushy. Please, let the wine and dinner erase my disgusting behavior from his memory.

“Maggie, Maggie.”

I turned toward Mrs. Livingston’s voice, and spotted her pushing her walker toward me.

“Tell Sam my smoke alarm is beeping. And, Maggie, who was that handsome young man carrying a suitcase, I saw knocking on your door?”

“I’ll Sam tell about the beeping, and I guess it was someone knocking on the wrong door,” I replied, before heading toward the elevator.

I elbowed the “Up” button, and waited for the brass doors to open. Inside the elevator, I gazed at the diamond sparkling on my left hand. Soon, I would be Mrs. Sam Hutchinson; mood swings were not going to destroy my happily ever after.

The elevator clanked to a stop. I shuffled down the hallway, set the bags on the floor, and groped around in my pocket for the key. As I opened our door, I heard a noise coming from the bedroom. “Sam?” I called out.


  1. The opening sentence grabbed me right away, and I'm intrigued by the MC's relationship with her fiance'. Is it strained? Is she worried he might leave her? I can almost feel the anxiety she feels at the sneaker event, so I'd love to read more!

  2. You have a typo with, "“I’ll Sam tell about the beeping..." I'm guessing it should be, "I'll tell Sam about the beeping."

    I'm a little worried she's going to walk in on Sam having sex with someone, which I think might be a tad too predictable but doable if it's fresh. And with a line like, "mood swings were not going to destroy my happily ever after," I'm confident you'll pull it off!

  3. Your opening sentences are a bit long. I think it would be more effective if you cut them down.
    I'm confused by: "...the event, which led to the heavy sacks cutting off the circulation to my fingers." Is there something we should know besides groceries being heavy?

    I like the mood swings reference. Women's fiction and mood swings? I think we can all relate to that!

    "A noise coming from our bedroom" gives me pause. Uh oh, I think. If this is a 'cheating before the wedding' situation, it's a little cliche. If it's not, then I'm curious to read on.

  4. I feel for both Maggie and Sam. Already I want her to get her head straight so she can keep him, so good job with making me sympathetic for your characters on the first page. There's one caveat; if Sam's having an affair with the handsome young man or with some strange woman, I would put the book down. I want something different and not predictable. Of course, if it is the handsome young man, that would be different.

  5. I agree with the comment above on shorter sentences.

    Make the reader think the bedroom noise might be cheating but it should turn out to be something different that really pushes the plot forward.

    Love the description of Sam's hug being slushy.

  6. I liked your opening sentence right off the bat. I'm also curious now as to what's going on. You've created a lot of intrigue and I like that.

  7. I loved the "slushy" line. And I'm already pulled into this interesting relationship. I'd keep reading for sure.

  8. I like the tension that's set up here in the MC's relationship with her fiance. On the one hand, she says she can't wait to marry him, but on the other she was throwing things at him the night before. I would read more.

  9. Good job with an interesting opening scene. For me, the cut to the previous evening's goings-on could have used a better transition; or perhaps save the flashback for the next scene altogether.
    Also, I envisioned her walking with the bags in both hands through the room, but then it jumps to the person throwing something, and it took me out of the story, to reread it and see if I missed something. So, if you transition to the evening before, definitely do it a little more smoothly.
    Good luck with your writing!

  10. Uh, oh. Cue ominous music for Maggie. I could be wrong, but is she pregnant? And her baby daddy has a hot young boyfriend? Call Jerry Springer!

    The first sentence is too long and clunky. I like the content, but we could make it sharper and catchier. And when I say "we", I'm using the royal "we", meaning you, because this is good and you are obviously capable!

    Women's fiction is often too victimized for me, but I would keep reading this, as long as Maggie find her inner strength and beans her baby daddy with something heavier than a shoe, then slaps his cheating butt with child support papers. But good start- it's interesting, for sure.

  11. Sorry folks, I couldn't resist. Sam is not having an affair with either a male or female, and Maggie is not pregnant.

    Thank you all for your kind words. You all have given me a much-needed confidence boost.

  12. So glad to read Sam is not having an affair. However, you are implying as much by saying "I heard a noise coming from the bedroom." If this is your intention to make us think this is the case, well, mission accomplished!

    Your opening sentence could use some tweaking, but it's good imagery. Just a little too long though.

    I would say the noise was coming from "another room" or whatever. Using the word "bedroom" implies they are in bed together.

    Good luck with the story.

  13. This has a lot of promise and I'm already in love with this flawed protagonist. However, I have a few concerns. How does her stomach clenching relate to the circulation in her fingers? :) You did a good job of throwing out some intriguing complications to the story and made Maggie appear genuine--although why is she lugging groceries? I, too, am concerned about the cliched set up, but I see that it is NOT what we had feared (Sam having an affair). Nice start!

  14. I pretty much agree with everyone else; good work! I thought the wi-fi bit was a nice touch. :)