Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Surprise Agent Invasion #32

Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 68,000


Sixteen-year-old Lilly Elliott is surrounded by death. In her hometown of Ironbrook, a mysterious fog claims the life of one resident every full moon— a death lottery that no one wants to win. She and the other townspeople would move if they could, but the fog is only one part of the complicated curse that envelops their town; no one can leave. Ever. If they try, the question of their death goes from possible to certain.

As if getting a regular dose of death isn’t enough, Lilly is also having strangely vivid dreams about a missing boy who has a connection to the curse, and she’s starting to fall for him. She’s also recently discovered that she can bring dead things back to life, which could be the saving grace for the town of Ironbrook, except for one small problem; her power comes with a price. For every life she saves, she must replace the energy that she’s given away, and she can only do that by draining another life. When Blair, an odd classmate, reveals the truth about Lilly’s new abilities, it doesn’t take Lilly long to find out that Blair has everything to do with the things that plague the town. And things in Ironbrook? Just. Get. Weirder.

Blair has the same abilities as Lilly, and is addicted to the way it feels to take a life. And she’ll do whatever she can to get Lilly to use her powers as well, including killing Noah, the boy she loves. To save Noah, her family, and the other residents of her town, Lilly has to figure out a way to stop Blair, which may start a war that she doesn’t know how to win.

WICKED ILLUSIONS will appeal to readers who've enjoyed BEAUTIFUL CREATURES and IMAGINARY GIRLS.

I am currently working to obtain my bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of South Alabama.

First 250:

Someone will die tonight. I wish I knew who it’ll be so I can relax. Or not.

I wrap my arms around my legs, settling my chin on top of my knees so I can peer out over the yard. The full moon reflects off of every surface, and the silvery light, almost milky in the dark midnight air, causes my world to glow. Sitting on the wide square of the front porch roof, just outside my bedroom window, is something I do every month when the full moon calls the deadly black fog into Ironbrook.

Cursed. That's what they say is wrong with our town.

The fog slithers over the pavement below me, oozing across the yard and around the houses in our neighborhood. The thick, inky mist wraps around the oak trees and blooming flowers, choking them in a mass that looks as thick as brownie batter. No one dares to leave their house on the eve of the full moon, in fear of what the fog might do to them if it touches their skin. I'm safe on the roof though, looming above the silent poison. I shiver as a strong breath of wind blows across the night sky, causing the haze to curl and ebb through the neighborhood at a faster pace.

The fog dances through the air and swirls around the posts of the porches that line the edges of the street. With a gust of wind, a thin tail of the black cloud suddenly twists and rises to the edge of the roof where I’m sitting.


  1. I would like to see the first three chapters please. pam.vhv@gmail.com

  2. I thought the concept for this sounded really strong. I lover her power and her conflict, and the creepy fog and the once-a-month death sounds wonderfully chilling!

    I'd love for you to work on your imagery a bit. You have moonlight reflecting off of every surface, silvery light, her world glowing, but then milky in the dark midnight air.

    You also use 'brownie batter' in describing the fog, but that's a benign or even happy image, not the sort of toxic image you want. Sludge maybe, goo, something other than a delicious substance you want to lick from the spoon.

    You also go from the fog being thick as batter to it being a haze that can be blown about in wisps in thin tails. This fog is a very essential image, so work on creating a strong, frigtening, detailed picture of it without conflicts.

    I hope my comments make sense. It's a great story and you're off to a good start! Good luck!

  3. I like the writing here and I like the idea of a death lottery and a town that no one can ever leave... please send me the 1st 100 pages + synopsis in hardcopy. My mailing address is on my website, www.bradfordlit.com

  4. Oh I remember this one. Such a great premise!!!