Friday, November 28, 2014

(9) Romantic Thriller: PURSUIT OF CRAZE

TITLE: Pursuit of Craze
GENRE: Romantic Thriller

To save her rock star boyfriend’s life, Allie must destroy the seven deadly sinners hellbent on ending him with next stop world domination. Sex, drugs, shocks, and poles- she’ll use every trick in her shoulder bag, and she’ll do it all without chipping her new manicure.

“Hubba, hubba. Ares in the flesh.”

Allie looked up from studying camera angles and shot Dee Dee a raised eyebrow, sure that her assistant was having another of her “I’m as free as a bee in a tree” space- cadet moments. She was prone to them during setups- with no clients in the studio to offer distraction.

“Incoming,” Dee Dee added with a wiggle of her own eyebrows and a nod towards the foyer. Allie glanced over her shoulder- to the open front door, where the mid afternoon sun cast a blinding aura around the frame of a most welcome visitor.

Wishing she had time for a quick swipe of lip gloss, she handed her camera off to Dee Dee, and opened her arms for a hug. Daemon took his place against her body.

“I didn’t know you were coming by today,” she murmured.

Instead of responding, he dropped his forehead to hers and let his weight rest there for an extra beat. Uh oh. After a year together, she knew his nuances like she knew how many coats of her Pinking of You nail polish was overkill (three- after two it wouldn’t set). Something was up.

Eventually he loosened his hold, and when he did she pulled back to study his face. “Everything okay?”

“Everything is --” he dropped his gaze to the marble tiled floor “odd.”

Odd?” She asked “How so?”

“You know that feeling you get when you’re being followed?”

“Well. No. But I’m not the lead singer of Craze of Cain. Nobody follows me unless they want my parking spot.


  1. You've managed to work a lot of information into a brief span without it feeling like a lot of information. Well done!

    I absolutely love the last line. A little self-deprecating and snarky.

    The "Ares" comment in the first line didn't resonate with me. It will with some, but not with others. Up to you whether to use something more easily accessible or not.

    In the paragraph that starts "Instead of responding...", you could drop the last sentence. You've shown us beautifully, so you don't need to tell us as well.

    The one thing that struck me as odd (pardon the pun) was him looking away from her and staring at the floor while he starts to tell her what's happening. I'm not sure what that body language says. And that could be clarified in what comes next, that we don't see in this small section. But I can't tell if he's being a overly dramatic, or he's lying or what. They've been together for a year, and I'm trying to think of reasons why he wouldn't just look her in the eye. (Again, could be something we learn in the very next sentence.)

    I thought this was intriguing, and I would definitely want to read more of it.


  2. This opening shows promise that the story will be fun and engaging. That said, I have no clue what the first line means without doing a Google search and maybe not even then, which puts me off. The last line, in contrast, works brilliantly for me, highlighting the difference she sees between his significance and her own lesser significance. That's an interesting dynamic. The focus on her nail polish and lip gloss is fun and quirky, as is the picture you give us of her "space-cadet" assistant. That's a fun bit of description. One note on punctuation: you might want to consider searching on hyphens in your manuscript and making sure they are needed. The first two I see (before "with" and "to," respectively), are unnecessary and, indeed, incorrect usage. A comma can be substituted for the first instance to indicate a pause if you feel it's necessary (though I don't think it is) and no punctuation is needed at all for the second instance. (Please pardon me if the extraneous hyphens are merely a glitch in the online posting. That's what I'm seeing.) I'm not an agent, but I'd love to read more. Good luck!

  3. This looks like a fun read! I agree with the others about the first line. In addition to struggling to understand the Ares reference, I'm also not a fan of unattributed dialogue as an opening sentence. It leaves me confused about who's speaking and what's happening. I'd rather be put into the scene immediately.

    Towards the end, the line where she says "But I'm not the lead singer of Craze of Cain" comes across a bit as "as you know, Bob," dialogue. They both know what band he's in, so the only purpose of her saying it is to inform the reader.

    Other than that, I think you've got a good start. There's a fun MC, romance, a hint of danger. I like it.

    Good luck in the auction!

  4. I'm intrigued by the first 250, but I'm confused by the first sentence of the pitch. Next stop world domination? I feel like I'm missing something there.

    I'll second the comments about unattributed dialogue as an opener, the use of Ares as a comparison, the Craze of Cain bit. I didn't find his body language distracting, though. I really like DeeDee as a space cadet, but do you need to use precious space by including the "Free as a bee" thing as well? For me the "space cadet" descriptor does the job well enough on its own.

    Speaking of descriptors, I'm not a fan of lots of adjectives and adverbs, at least not in the first page, where I feel every word should be vital in order to earn its place. So is it vital that we know it's mid-afternoon sun? That the aura is blinding? That he doesn't just look at the floor but the marble tiled floor? Something similar happens with Daemon resting his forehead against hers. For me, that is enough of a clue that something is up, so you could ditch the part about resting his weight there for an extra beat.

    All of this is just to say that I really like this premise, and if all of this is tightened up by slashing some relatively unimportant bits, you could fit more meat into the first page. I want to know more of the story!

  5. I concur with the others regarding that first untagged line of dialogue. Completely lost me there. The Free as a bee thing didn't make sense to me, either.

    Other than that, i found the rest to be quite riveting. Well written, distinctive voice, and Allie is quite the character. I like her.

    I wasn't bothered by Allie saying that her BF was lead singer of Craze of Cain. Not only does it tell me the name of his band, but it also let's me know this band is famous if not infamous, which I think is an aspect of the plot. Though I could be wrong on that. :)

    Anyway, good job and good luck!

  6. Not to pile on, but I have this thing about opening a book or story with dialogue. With no context, no understanding of character, the dialogue always falls flat. I'd really consider taking that out.

    I think this is very strong overall--good pace, and I followed everything. You have an organic way of relating information that really works. My only other critique is it seems a little TOO clever too fast. I like your playful tone, but you may be laying it on too thick for the first 250 pages.

    That totally might be a personal taste thing, though. I'd err on the side of less revision rather than more, because I think this is very strong as it is.

    Good luck!