Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October Secret Agent #34

TITLE: 'Till The Son Grows Cold
GENRE: Romantic Suspense

The winding road was dusted with just enough snow to make it deadly.

Blinking back tears of fright, Shawna banged her palm against the dashboard, cell pressed against her ear.

Damn. Dead cell zone.

She drove alone in the Colorado wilderness, on one of the blackest nights ever, surrounded by rock and the occasional pointed top of a pine. The road was abandoned except for her white rental, and someone from Satan’s motorcade who wanted to play bumper car at 4:00 a.m. Only the twin beams of her Chrysler’s headlights provided hope.

Who is this bastard? She couldn’t see the driver’s shadowy face. Keeping her left hand on the steering wheel, Shawna held the cell steady and pressed ‘9.’ Her car swerved on slick asphalt and she recovered. She followed up with 1, and another 1, and hit ‘send.’


The tiny square lit up, “CALL FAILED.”

She started over, furious. After the delayed flight, why hadn’t she stayed at an airport hotel until morning? Why? Why?

The usual reason. Not enough money.

Despair churned inside her stomach. It always boiled down to money.

Soon it wouldn’t. Her jaw tightened. After the holidays were over, she would get the two hundred thousand. He promised. Or she would call that Tribune reporter.

She called a second time.


Crrrunncch. The sedan rammed into the rear bumper harder this time. Shawna’s head snapped back and forward again, pain stabbing at her neck. The phone flew out of her hand, clattering against the glove compartment.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This is really well-written. There is lots of good descriptive detail and it paints a nice a really nice picture. I think you did a really good job weaving the description in with the action.

    Also, the stakes are clearly defined and I have a great sense of the danger she's in and even a little inkling as to why. :)

  3. Sold! LOL. :) That's my way of saying I loved this and just had to say so. Great job! Good luck!

  4. I enjoyed this excerpt too. Though I was pulled out in the 4th para when you mentioned Colorado. This early in the story I didn't need to know exactly where the character was, and you already did a very nice job establishing the snowy road. You pulled me back in with "...Satan's motorcade..." That was nice!

  5. Caught my attention, but I felt the danger came a bit before we knew why. If the MC had told us why she was being pursued by the car, or at least wondered what she had done to cause someone to try to run her off the road, I would have bought the opening a bit more.

    I felt as if the opening was a bit out of order. Noticing the car first, tailing her for a long time in the middle of nowhere, then realizing her situation (based on why she thought she was being pursued) would have worked more effectively.

    Bottom line: I'd keep reading because we are immediately put into a significant situation.

  6. This is a good start. We like that there is immediate danger and suspense in this opening scene. We fear for her not only because of the snowy roads, but also because she can’t reach 911 and someone seems to be following her. This is great for pulling people in from page one, but we would have liked the atmosphere to be creepier.

  7. This is very nicely done. I'd read more. There's suspense, intrigue, conflict, danger, everything you need to pull the reader in.

    I do agree with the SA's in that you could make it creepier. Instead of telling us about the scenery, show it. Instead of saying on one of the blackest nights ever, show it. Describe the darkness, the lack of stars and moon. Give us specifics instead of generalities.

    ANd you can change 'Soon it wouldn't,' to 'Soon it WON'T." It's her direct thought so it should be in present tense.