Wednesday, November 4, 2009

4 Secret Agent

TITLE: Violet Midnight
GENRE: Paranormal Romance

Emma Martin had never killed a human, well, not on purpose anyway, but her best friend, Ava, might be the first. “No. I told you, I’m not going on a blind date, so drop it already.”

Considering she battled demons on a regular basis, few things in the world scared Emma. But two things she did fear: falling in love again and witnessing his murder. Been there, done that. Never again.

“Fine. You’re so stubborn. At least come to the party.” Ava wove her arm through Emma’s and dragged her across the campus. “Hey, aren’t you freezing in that tank top?”

“It’s not that cold out.” Then again, Emma didn’t feel cold, or hot for that matter. But Ava didn’t know that.

No one did.

No one could ever know.

“Whatever,” Ava said. “So, come on, already. I’ve got two hours to beautify you.”

“Ava, no. I said no more—” Pulsing pain stabbed Emma’s wrist. She stopped and squatted.

No. Not now. Can’t I get just one night off?

“What’s wrong?” Ava asked.

“Ahhh. Nothing. Uhm . . . just a cramp.” Emma never got cramps, but she had to cover when her wrist flared up, like it often did. “I’ll be fine in a second.”

Sucking in a deep breath, Emma turned her hand over already knowing what she’d see.

Everyone thought it was a normal tattoo, but they didn’t know how it came to life when trouble neared. She slipped her hand over the piercing orange glow.


  1. Cool! Glowing tattoos. Gotta love that!!

    I like your first sentence. I liked your description of the two things she insight into the MC without loads of back story.

    I'd read on.

    Good luck


  2. I am interested to know what the tattoo is about. Like the voice so far. It's paranormal, and put together with the above comments, I would definitely read on.

  3. This caught me from the start. I want to know more about the tattoo.

    Nice voice. Hooked.

  4. Ok, she battles demons but doesn't like to kill? Wouldn't there be a lot of death in demon battling, even if the kills weren't hers?

    Alright. Questions out of the way, I liked it. Tattoo as locating or identification device sounds really cool. I'd sign up to get a magic tattoo in a heartbeat. Sounds like an interesting story.

  5. Love the voice and the premise, nitpicky: In the first line about Ava being the first human she might kill, maybe say "her first", because at first I thought you were saying Ava might kill a human.

    Good job! Would totally read on.

  6. Hooked from the very first sentence.

    You give tons of hints about things to come while still moving the story forward. I definitely want to read more.

    Good luck!

  7. Yup. I'd read more. Glowing tattoos. Very cool. Good luck!

  8. I really like this one. I would definitely read more.

  9. Hooked! As Liz said, there's lots here to draw me in - demons, murder, romance, glowing tattoos.

    Two little things did stop me, though. I didn't get why she would squat if her wrist ached. And the two things she feared - 'witnessing his murder.'

    If it said - witnessing A murder, I would have been fine. But as is, it says she expects 'him' to be murdered and she dreads seeing that. And if that's what you mean, then it's fine, but for some reason, I felt she HAD witnessed his murder, which makes that sentence not quite right. Might it be she feared 'remembering' being a witness to his murder? And why not say who 'he' is?

    Regardless, it did pull me right in and gave me lots to wonder about (in a good way.)

  10. I'm hooked. I agree with the others - a glowing tattoo is a great spin. You also drop your MC's baggage on us quickly and neatly. We know she's not going to want the hero when he arrives and we know why. Very cool

  11. The glowing tattoo is great - but I wonder why she would risk folks seeing it by wearing a tanktop vice a thin long sleeve shirt. I know you want to make the point about being impervious about the cold, but that way you might be able to do both. The part about the dead boyfried/lover could be tighter - but I would be interested in reading more.

  12. Hooked. Good voice and I want to know why the men she falls in love with get murdered. AND I want to know what the tat is all about.

  13. Excellent. I'm hooked.

    Only suggestion: ...falling in love again and witnessing his murder - the "his" threw me because it doesn't refer to anyone.

    Maybe something like falling in love and witnessing the guy's murder (don't need "again" as that's clear from the words that follow).

  14. Really enjoyed this, especially the glowing tattoo and the interaction between the friends. Definitely would keep reading. But, at the end, wouldn't her friend have noticed that the tattoo was glowing?

  15. I like this! Lots of good stuff in here, and lots of potential. I did feel like the pace whipped by, but that could be a personal preference, too.

  16. I like the opening line. The rest of the exchange feels a little Buffy-esque to me. It is really hard to make something stand out in such a full market (paranormal romance/urban fantasy), so I am not sure I would ask for more just because I feel like I have seen a lot of mss that have a similar vibe. Doing a bit more character work might make it stand out from the pack a little more.

  17. Hooked! Love Paranormal ANYTHING! :) The dialog is fabulous.

    Happy Writing,
    A. McElfresh

  18. I would keep reading at this point. I love when a writer an take magic and the paranormal and make them mesh with today's world as opposed to making up a whole new reality.
    That said I see tons of books with this bent in my line of work, so something besides the sharp dialog would have to keep me hooked further on.

  19. Nice and clearly written. I'm curious enough to read a bit more.

    A couple of tiny nitpicks:

    **falling in love again and witnessing his murder.** --The 'his' sounds like you're referring to a specific person. Since you aren't, I think it might read better as her lover's, her boyfriend's, etc.

    I'd put 'No one did. No one could ever know.' on the same line.

  20. This is cute. Liked the voice.


  21. I'm commenting without reading other crits, so please excuse any repetition.

    I like this so far - not absolutelly sucked in, but interested enough to keep reading.

    I would suggest ending the first sentence after 'anyway.' Also, I thought for a second that Emma was seriously considering killing her best friend. If you want the reader to know right away that she's just exasperated with Ava, you may want to reword that using a bit of humor.

    In a few places I felt like I was being told things that either could have been shown with dialog or left out altogether. To be specific -

    1)The fact that Emma doesn't feel cold. Maybe something like after Emma says it's not that cold, Ava could say off handedly, "Right. Don't you ever get cold?"
    Emma - "I didn't say that." Even though it was true. She didn't ever feel hot either, but Ava didn't know that. etc.

    2)When Emma fakes having cramps. Maybe, "...just a cramp," she lied, her standard cover for when her wrist flared up...

    3)When the tatoo is introduced. You can cut, "but they didn't know how it came to life when trouble neared." You are showing that to us effectively enough already.

    These are very small things, but I think they may help the flow. As I said, I already like your entry and would keep reading it just as it stands, so all I have are small suggestions. :)

  22. I should like this... it's my kind of thing, and yet... not hooked.

    There were a few spots where you could have worked in the explanations without making them separate sentences: "She never got cold." "She never got craps." felt a little to exposition-y to me.

    Also, she should be checking out what her friend is wearing so she can copy it. If she doesn't want people to find out she can't feel cold, she should be putting on a sweater.

  23. I haven't read the other comments.

    I really liked your voice in this. I would read on, especially when you moved it out of Buffy trope with the pulsing tattoo.

    The line about 'falling in love again and witnessing his death' didn't work since his doesn't refer back to a person.

  24. Ooh, love it!

    I think I would replace the comma in the first sentence with a dash "human - well, not on purpose anyway - but"

    I would definitely read on.