Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Guess the Plot
Hidden in Shadows
1. Adam is an online dating conman, pimping with an army of fake female profiles, waiting for the next lonely male to take the bait. The last thing he expects is the attentions of a bisexual redhead whose words burn in his inbox. Should he risk everything and break anonymity to find her? Will she still be interested when she finds out he is a he?
2. Assassin Lorna McCloud has an advantage over her victims: the power to create and hide in artificial shadows. She heads for an island nation where many people want the king dead, hoping for a lucrative assignment. When she falls for the monarch, will she give him her heart . . . or put a bullet through his?
3. When the mangled bodies of teen prostitutes are found by the La Brea tar pits, homicide detective Zack Martinez knows two things: These kids weren't mangled by Mastodons, and he'd better stop by the gift shop and get something for his son.
4. There's a whole species of Shadow-Beings who live in a parallel existence to ours. They huddle next to buildings, linger under trees, and avoid the Equator. When Darkwyn, the Shadow King, seeks to extend his rule, his first objective is a human queen: Mandy, the waitress at the local all-nite diner.
5. Jennie's dying mom will never get a lifesaving operation if Jennie doesn't rustle up some cash and fast. Unskilled and a recovering sex addict, Jennie slides into prostitution, her only option, but her fear of relapsing into addiction keeps her . . . hidden in shadows.
6. Avenging the stalking death of his sister, scientist James Fraille releases a phosphorous chemical into the air which eliminates shadows. No one can lurk in shadows; no one can spy from shadows. No one can sweep rice cake crumbs into shadows. One unexpected drawback—the air is losing oxygen and everyone will soon suffocate.
I would love for you to consider [That goes without saying. Or at least it should.] HIDDEN IN SHADOWS, a 96,000-word urban fantasy romance novel.
Lorna McCloud is an assassin hell bent on avenging her father's murder only she has no leads [except the knowledge that the murderer has six fingers on his right hand]. Soon she has more important issues to deal with than whether to use a dagger or a gun to kill her next target. [The connection between those sentences isn't there. Either drop the father and begin: Assassin Lorna McCloud has more important issues to deal with than whether to use a dagger or a gun on her next target. For one thing, she's been captured by... Or, drop the dagger/gun "issue" and begin: Lorna McCloud is an assassin hell-bent on avenging her father's murder, but right now she has more important issues to deal with; she's been captured by...]
First, she's captured by the Paranormal Intelligence Agency, a shady, clandestine organization. A PIA henchman tells Lorna that she has the ability to create and hide in artificial shadows, a power she had unknowingly used during her nightly killings. [If she kills at night, what does she need artificial shadows for? It's dark at night.] Lorna distrusts the agency, and manages to escape.
Then Lorna heads to a small island where many of her potential clients want the king dead. [Each paragraph is a different plot. Tie them together with more than Lorna being in them.] Lorna hasn't felt the stirrings of love in a long time, but something about the noble Alaric makes her long for the light after her lifetime spent in shadow. [I assume the noble Alaric is the king? How is it that Lorna is getting to know him? You don't just go to some country and start socializing with the king.]
Torn between murder and love, Lorna has never been able to escape her past or her ardent desire for revenge, and now they may prevent her from her only chance of living a normal, happy life. [Somehow it's hard to imagine someone who longs for a normal, happy life making nightly kills. It would be easier to buy her sincerity if she'd already cut back to twice-weekly kills.]
[You have two plots, the revenge-seeking and the kill him/marry him conflict. The query doesn't need both. As you're calling this a romance, I'd dump the father/revenge angle. It's barely mentioned anyway, and you need to focus on the main plot.]
I am the author of a medieval fantasy romance series, The Kingdom of Arnhem – Woman of Honor (2009) and Knight of Glory (2010) published with Desert Breeze Publishing. I have also sold six short stories for anthologies, two of which are under the pen name Nicolette Zamora.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.
First you tell us about her father, then you drop that and move on to the PIA, and then you drop that. Why use an entire paragraph to tell us how she found out she has her shadow power, when you can just tell us she has it? The correct "Guess the Plot" tells us everything that's in the query in three sentences, leaving plenty of room to go into how the Lorna/Alaric romance develops, or what an artificial shadow is.
I assume when you get hired to kill someone you get at least partial payment in advance, so when you decide you'd rather not kill him, wouldn't you have to worry that your client wants his money back? And will immediately hire another assassin to kill your true love? And will also have you killed because you know he's the one behind the assassination?
The PIA sounds like a CIA that handles paranormal stuff, like the FBI branch on The X-Files. I assume they aren't just a gang of small-time thugs. Thus it seems odd to refer to one of their agents as a henchman. It's like referring to an MI-6 goon or a Secret Service gorilla.