Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October Secret Agent #13

TITLE: The Sergeant's Second Shot
GENRE: Romance

Come on, Lord, I’m due a friggin’ break here.

Sergeant First Class Mack Hanlon drew his eye back from the rifle’s scope and angled his head just far enough to investigate what had captured the attention of the armed cartel guards in his sights.

Crap! Why couldn’t it be a tapir or a jaguar or any of the other dangerous freakin’ animals inhabiting the Amazon rain forest? No. Instead, two more humans armed with automatic weapons moved into view. The muscles in his arms tightened as he put his eye back to the scope. He kept his rifle’s sight centered on the group congregated only thirty yards from his team’s position hidden amidst the vegetation. The two men they first spotted halted rather than continue in his direction. He’d take that as an answered prayer.

Four sentries meant his team was closer than the three kilometers they’d estimated from the underground drug lab where Herrera processed his coca. Way closer. Guess we’re not on a giant snipe hunt after all. And now … now if the guards stayed where they were, the team should be fine.

While the team members were camouflaged by their uniforms and face paint, it wouldn’t be enough if any of the guards strolled in their direction. That would really screw the pooch.


  1. I love the voice in this entry! Very nicely done! I'm not getting a romance vibe here at all, though that can come later. The voice is pretty gritty though, so I'm wondering if your character might have a stronger word choice than "crap." I feel like the last two paragraphs dived into more telling than showing, but overall I really like this.

  2. Ok.
    In the sentence starting 'Crap!', I think this word is enough to hint at the Sergeant's frustration without adding 'freakin''. So I would remove freakin' , I think it would read a lot better.

    Also as soon as you use the word human, it makes me think that the sergeant isn't human. Using the word person would be more suitable.

    I think the rest of it is great. However (and not having read a lot of romance myself, so this could be totally wrong) would readers expect romance in the opening scene, rather than what is clearly a military operation?

    Having said all this, I would read more! Well done and good luck :)

  3. I'm in agreement with Sonia. I think, assuming this is adult romance, he'd have stronger word choices than crap and friggin', especially alone and in the military.

    Same thing with the romance element, but sometimes it's nice to get to know a character before the romance kicks in.

    Is this written from the male POV? If so, great idea!

    Best of luck!

  4. Is this a Romance, or an adventure/thriller with romance as a subplot?

    You might change the order of the first two sentences in parg 3

    Two more people (rather than humans) armed with automatic weapons moved into view. Crap! Why couldn’t it have been a tapir or a jaguar or any of the other dangerous freakin’ animals inhabiting the Amazon rain forest? As is, he's reacting to the people before they're visible.

    Between your last and second last pargs, I'd add a "Should be." in italics, as his thoughts, because it gives the sense that everything may not be all right.

    An interesting start. I'd read more.

  5. We like that there is immediate danger and suspense. Mack seems manly and swoon-worthy, which is great since that is so important to romance. We like a man in a uniform!

  6. This could totally be me way overthinking, but the first line the way it's phrased made me wonder whether this has an inspirational slant--even given the "friggin'." I think the phrasing didn't quite ring true for a solider, it sounded more church-safe. I'm all for characters having faith, so maybe if it was phrased a little more gruff it would work for a soldier. (If I'm the only person to mention this, feel free to ignore my rambling.)

    The rest of the entry I thought flowed well with a good sense of place and tension.

  7. Cut the first sentence, it is unnecessary.

    And about that second paragraph: it is unbelievably overwritten. Geezus lord. There's no commas or periods so the reader is left breathless afterward. When you read something aloud and you stop to take a breath before you begin again, (<-- like so) that's usually where you need a comma or period.

    I dare you to try reading that paragraph without stopping to take a breath.

    What's that you say? You can't? Ya, thought so.

    Good Luck. ^_^