Wednesday, August 19, 2009

39 Secret Agent

GENRE: Paranormal Romance

I blame the cat.

Yes, as a Witch and a psychic I might have been expected to foresee an impending disaster of this magnitude, but I challenge anyone to listen to her inner voice while simultaneously answering the phone and watching a three-month-old kitten systematically and adorably shred the last clean nightgown in the house.

Loki’s striped face peered through holes in what had been expensive Italian lace, a quizzical expression adorning his not-so-innocent face. That’s what I get for naming a cat after the Norse god of mischief. Although ignoring the laundry for weeks while rushing to meet a book deadline hadn’t helped either.

As I answered the insistent ringing I tried to grab what remained of the garment from the furry angel of destruction, but missed him as he sped down the hallway, trailing a foam of white cloth and lace in his wake. So you could say that I was probably not at my best when I answered the phone that night.

For everything that came afterward, I blame the cat.

As I reached for the phone, I noticed the time on the clock sitting next to it—midnight on the dot. Under my breath, I added whoever had chosen to call me at this benighted hour to the imprecations I’d aimed at the cat.

“Hello, this is Deirdre,” I said breathlessly, struggling to keep my voice as polite as I could. “Do you know what time it is?”

"Not exactly," answered an unfamiliar gruff voice.


  1. I like the opening line and the voice. However, the asides make it seem like the phone would have been ringing a long time while the heroine dealt with the cat. Minor point: witch is not a proper noun and would not be capitalized.

  2. Great title and first line. :)

    Don't use a capital on witch. You have a nice voice. I think you probably tighten up in a few places, but I would keep reading.

  3. Thanks for the comments. I'm used to writing NF books on Witchcraft, and there Witch is capped :-) Changed it in the second novel I wrote, but forgot to go back and do it in this one. My bad, and thanks for reminding me to do it :-)

  4. Though there are some details that can be taken out to make the beginning stronger (and also perhaps through the whole book?), I was hooked by this opening and would request more. For example, explaining that Loki is the Norse God of mischief (I already knew that and I think a lot of your readers would too), or about the laundry and the book the character was writing. The tension comes from the cat being destructive and the narrotor being distracted by that... the other stuff feels fluffy and I found my mind wandering.

  5. Needs some light editing, I think. But overall really caught my attention. I'd keep reading.

  6. How can I not love that adorable 'furry angel of destruction' ?

    As to capitalizing Witch--I'll wait and see how this world exists before deciding. I'm certainly willing to see how it plays out.

    Still, the cat bit from "I blame the cat." and the following description isn't enough to keep me interested. The other paragraphs didn't hold my attention as well and I'm pretty sure that is the part that should be really ringing my bell.

    I'd read further, with a bit of concern if it doesn't upturn in interest, I would stop fairly soon.

    I do think if I were an agent and did a pass on this, I would ask to see your next project.

    Best wishes.

  7. I agree with the light editing. I also think there are a few stronger verbs you could use occasionally that you haven't caught yet--"watching" a three-month-old kitten... could change to something much stronger and therefore more hilarious.

    I loved the repetition of blaming the cat.

    Voice was great. Loved the description.

    Totally hooked, overall.

  8. I like the first line. Some editing, but not much. I also like your voice. However, it's slow in some area. Also, I'm wondering why you're telling about the night of the call. Why isn't she getting that call now? I know there's a reason. I'm just

  9. Okay, I should just go to sleep. She is getting the call now. I confuse myself. I will read more.

  10. Love the first line - definitely a hook!

    My only suggestion would be to break up the cadence a bit and make these longer sentences flow better.

    I want to read more!

  11. I liked the light touch, but you went on too much about the cat.

  12. I loved the title and first few paragraphs. I'd keep reading even though I had trouble with some of the language. You could cut "a foam of", for example, and simplify the line about adding the caller to the imprecations aimed at the cat. I'd love to see more!

  13. I like this, good voice! I'm hooked.

  14. I like it. Interesting voice and situation so far, though I questioned some word choices. Hooked.