Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August Secret Agent #28

TITLE: Eavesdropper
GENRE: Paranormal Romance

Ryan McLelas didn't need his supercharged ears to hear the telltale sounds of sloshing liquid, the crystalline hiss of shattering glass, the bawdy cursing. His left eye twitched behind his mask. The syndicate had deliberately sent a drunkard for tonight's exchange. Insulting. How long before one of the crime groups dividing the city felt provoked enough to spit bullets?

The German shepherd by his side pawed a loose block of pavement.

"Steady, Romeo." Ryan set a gloved hand on his dog's neck. "Trust me, if making him a midnight snack wasn't bad for our cover, I'd let you chow down."

"Klepto! Bet your sister's gotta pay the johns t'get some action," the contact slurred on approach.

Muted lamplight gleamed in ribbons over black fur as Romeo dropped onto his haunches. "Like I'd eat that."

Ryan stifled a grin under the hood of his alter ego's disguise: the black mask, trench coat, and cargo pants that marked him as Klepto. "I don't have a sister."

"Your brother, then." A clumsy, obscene gesture followed.

"You're late." The bag of cash in Ryan's hand swung over his chest as he crossed his arms.

With the wit of a third-grader and in quick succession, the younger man proceeded to insult Klepto's father, mother, dog, best friend, and non-existent woman. Any humor Ryan had over the situation waned fast. If Relek City's syndicate cease-fire held, it wouldn't be due to mutual respect among peers.

"Hungry, Romeo?" he muttered under his breath.


  1. The last line made me smile. After the treatment Ryan received I couldn't blame him.

    I love paranormal romance and really wanted to like this. I had to read the excerpt a couple of times, and I'm still not positive what's going on. I didn't know what Ryan was there to exchange, I didn't understand why the contact came onto the scene so angry and I'm not sure what a Kelpto is, or whether Romeo would really 'chow down' on the contact. With paranormal, anything is an option.

    I guess what I'm saying is a little more orientation into this paranormal world you've created might help ground the reader so they understand more about this exchange and the value it has for Ryan.

  2. I'm not getting the purpose of the scene. All I get is Ryan's relationship with Romeo (which is great by the way), but not why they are there, what is the syndicate, and what kind of exchange is about. I think you need a little more setup.

  3. As part of a larger piece, this introduction might work great. Here, limited to 250 words, too many questions are left. What's the purpose? What's a Klepto? Why the insults? I'm sure all this will be clear later.

    I loved the last line.

  4. There is a lot going on here that I don't understand. Is the syndicate, a capital S syndicate or a generic syndicate? Is it a crime group?

    Tthis is all very interesting, but as an opening, I don't think you are starting in the right place. Give the reader some build up before this mysterious meeting. Orient us a bit to the world and the MC.

  5. Loving the dog relationship. Can Ryan hear Romeo's thoughts? Interesting. :)

  6. I'm not sure what it is, but this reads more like a comic book to me--Klepto, alter-ego, Relek City. It feels more campy than Paranormal Romance. Also, the dog's thought "Like I'd eat that." makes me wonder whether Ryan can actually hear and understand the dog's thoughts (after all, it is paranormal) or whether he's just making a judgement on the gesture. I don't get enough from this scene to want to read more about these characters or this situation.

  7. This is a good action scene. It's tense and snappy, and it flows well. However, as others have said, I think you need to back up a little. Give the reader more of an introduction to Ryan, she'll be much more invested in the outcome of this scene.

  8. I really liked this. I read it as Ryan is some sort of super-villain there to meet with someone from a rival gang. At first I thought super-hero, but with a name like Klepto, he's gotta be bad. It's a different twist on paranormal romance than I've seen, and I'd like to read more.

  9. I like the relationship with the dog. But I admit to being confused by the scene. At first I thought Ryan was eaves dropping. When I realized he was Klepto, I had to re-read it to get the sense of what's going on. I got it during the second read through, but your readers shouldn't have to do that.

    I also second the person who said this had a comic book feel to it.

    Both words in German Shepherd are to be capitalized.

    The last line was funny. As I said, I like the relationship between man and dog.

  10. I think you have a fun story here with some good characters, but like some of the others said, I'm lost. You're trying to throw us directly into the middle of the action but we have no idea what's going on so we can't follow along. Maybe you should take one step back and start with Klepto waiting for his contact. Then you could give us a few details about who he is, what he's waiting for and what's at stake before the contact shows up. Just an idea.

    I like Romeo and the hint that Ryan can read Romeo's thoughts. If he can read them, you ought to make that clearer.

  11. Sorry blogspot ate my response. That happened to me a number of times during judging and I had to retype my brilliant comments :)

    As other commenters mentioned, this story is interesting and the tension strong, but the opening leaves a lot to be desired in terms of orientation. The purpose of the scene is not clear and the reader is left with too many questions. The dog's POV threw me, and I wasn't sure if the protagonist and the dog could actually communicate. I think the last line works, but overall, this opening needs to be revisited.