Wednesday, May 16, 2018

May Secret Agent Contest #15

TITLE: Twenty-Two Saints
GENRE: Adult Fantasy Romance

Not again Sammi. Pinpricks ran down my arms bringing pain, then numbness. I opened my mouth to release a scream, my jaw locked. The sound embedded in my throat, refusing to enter the air. I yanked my arm, and the pain intensified.

Tingles exploded from my heart, leaving a heavy weight in its wake. I tried to open my eyes to see what was pushing on my chest. My eyelids remained shut; I saw only blackness. Nothing was working; my body didn’t obey my commands to move.

The pressure on my chest dissipated, taking the numbness with it. I opened my mouth and moved my jaw back and forth. The scream that was hanging in my throat, gone. My eyes sprang open. Relief filled me; I could move again.

Looking at my hand, a new sensation ran inside my stomach. Sickness. My hand glistened in a light shimmer. Morning dew coated my bare skin, and I had a lot of skin showing. I was wearing an old t-shirt and baggy underwear.

Standing to stretch out my sore muscles, I looked around. Where am I?

Hunter green walls wrapped around a kitchen and dining room combo. Dusty paintings of roosters hung on the walls. The face on the grandfather clocks showed it was 2 am. Two dirty plates sat forgotten on a cherry wood table nestled in the corner.

A cobalt blue door was a few feet away. It clashed with the wall color, but was an exit.



  1. I like how you grab the attention with action right off the get go!But, I'm left briefly confused as to what was causing the pain? Maybe give a sentence or two about how your MC looks at their arm either during the pain or after, does it look different, etc? Help the reader understand a little more clearly.

  2. You do a great job describing your MC's physical pain. I wasn't clear though on what caused the pain. How does the pain relate to the fact she wakes up in an unfamiliar place? These two unknown elements put together left me confused. Perhaps you could take more time with each one to give us more context and introduce these elements separately?

  3. You've got some great sensory details. Pain, color, sound. Nice tension, too!

  4. Your description of her pain is so strong. I can feel her pain as I read. I agree with the other comments, having a few sentences about where the pain is coming from would help ground the reader. Add grounding to the sensory of the pain and I wouldn't be able to put the book down. Good luck!

  5. your descriptions are on point.. i can feel how the MC feels but i would also like to know more about the surrounding, since it is unclear why she is feeling the pain. the footsteps is great, gives me more to look forward to.
    Good luck!

  6. This second ends at a tense moment, and we clearly get the idea that something is about to happen. I would keep reading to find out who the footsteps belong to and where Sammi is.

  7. I get that the MC is in pain, is in an unfamiliar place, and is in trouble, but I don't feel grounded in the story. You can cut out some of the description of pain without any loss and have more space on the page to provide information about what's happening her. Also, I'm confused about classifying this as romance: I overlooked the genre initially and rape/torture came into my mind as I read the page.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. I'll have to take a good look at this because I don't see anything indicating rape or torture.

    2. It could be that I watch too much Law & Order: SVU and Criminal Minds!

  8. This opening left me a bit disoriented and a little confused that the MC didn't seem concerned that she'd woken up from what seemed to me like a drug-induced slumber, half naked, sore, and in a strange place.

    I'm not sure what to make of this, but it feels like the aftermath of an assault, except the MC doesn't seem concerned.

    I'd love a bit more grounding in this opening scene. The first 5 paragraphs describe the unconscious MC, and I feel this info could be woven into the narrative later.

    Consider setting the scene first and letting the story unfold from there.

    The premise is interesting, and I do love fantasy romance, so I'd read on.