Wednesday, September 12, 2012

CAGI Entry #98

Genre: YA Paranormal
Word Count: 110,000


Sixteen-year-old Brooks Hartwel has stopped trying to save the murder victims she sees in her prophetic dreams. Clashes with police, a strained relationship with her mom, and a lifetime supply of psych meds hardly seems worth her failed attempts. Besides, screwing up her life for strangers is a bit too heroic, even for her.

Then unexpectedly her dreams become personal―she is the next murder victim. Unable to ignore her impending death, she races to reveal the killer before he finds her. Instead she discovers her prophetic dreams are linked to the boy she loves and that he is part of an ancient society of demigods responsible for her father’s death.

The Society of The Devine was created to rule man in secrecy, but a rogue group of demigods has formed and are wickedly determined to see Brooks dead. Or so she thinks. Unknown to Brooks, three demigod warriors are sent to protect her, but they not only guard her life, they guard her from the truth. Her father is not dead and all is not as it seems. As Brooks plunges into the mysterious world of the Devine, she learns that not only is her father a leading oracle of the Devine, she is an oracle too. The rogue demigods are not trying to kill her, they want to bind their power with hers in an effort to get to her father.

With years of lies and betrayal, Brooks must unravel the truth and choose her own fate, even if it means losing the boy she loves and in the end her life.

First 250:

If the brakes hadn’t locked up, I would have hit them. The V-dub skidded, whined, and then skidded some more before it slid to a stop under the Penswood Winery sign. The back bumper barely tapped the signpost, but it was enough to kill the engine. Dammit. I took a few breaths to calm my nerves then tried starting her back up. No chance. She was more sensitive than I was on day three of my period.

I climbed out of the rusty, banged up, lemon jellybean and kicked the tire. The car stunk horribly like paint thinner and I questioned whether gas was the only thing Sam used as fuel. Sam! She was going to kill me. She had just dumped two hundred dollars for new tires. First, I was going to kill the two idiots who hadn’t learned the basic rule of checking both ways before crossing the street. 

With my finger ready for pointing, I spun around to start my rant. No one was there. I scanned up and down the dimly lit road. The only thing moving were the pepper trees swaying in the late night summer breeze. What if I hit one of them? I glanced around hoping the two guys would appear. Nothing. I had to check. I slowly lowered onto my knees next to the driver’s door and leaned forward on my hands. Little pebbles pressed at my palms and the heat from the engine stung my eyes. I took a deep breath, counted to three and checked under the car.


  1. 'No chance. She was more sensitive than I was on day three of my period.'
    Okay, not sure if you're male or female, and maybe it's a cross cultural thing (I'm an Aussie) - but no woman or girl I know would make that sort of reference. I've only ever had guys do the whole 'are you on the rag?' 'is it that time of the month?' sort of comment. The only thing I think about when I'm 'on my period' (which again I've never heard a woman say) is cramps. Now, other women might disagree, but personally I'd avoid menstrual references in the first paragraph.

    Looks like a nice start though. You could convert some sentences to showing. Checking under the car builds some nice suspense, too.

    1. Erm...yeah, agreed about the period comment. It's also a bit stereotypical in my opinion, like, haha women are so crazy and insane on their periods! It's a bit annoying since it's usually what some idiotic guy will say if a woman is (rightfully) angry.

      Asideeee from that, I thought the beginning was nice owo

  2. Nice solid 250! And I say "on my period" all the time, as well as hear others say it, altho I'm a generation (or 2) away from teen-dom. ;)

  3. These comments are hilarious! If you're trying to get attention in this contest, you've succeeded.

    The whole 'period' reference could be avoided if you compared her sensitivity to "PMS" instead, IMO.

    Good luck!

  4. Lol. I'm going to bring up the giant Period elephant in the room.
    Personally, even the WORD period makes me want to throw my brains up. (and I'm a girl!!) I don't know if guy agents would keep reading after that word lol. Of course, some might find it funny. It's just a matter of personal preference. Take it out, leave it in, it doesn't seem to matter. Everyone will feel different, lol.

    As for the rest of the 250, I enjoyed your voice. It seems fun! I really enjoyed the concept of your story. There's been quite a few of these "seeing deaths before they happen" stories...but not in paranormal, from what I've read- and not with the person actually seeing their own death- so that's cool. I like the whole concept of the Order. Secret Societies have been done before- but I just think this story could be pretty cool. Love your character, she seems like my kind of girl!

    Overall, pretty good! I might tighten up that last query line a teensy bit- the wording was a little awkward!

  5. I really like your voice in the first 250. I think your query read much like a synopsis, so if I could say anything, it'd be to cut down the query a bit. Otherwise, I think you write well and this is great. :)

  6. I agree with Rachel about the query--it got a little heavy.You lost me in the third paragraph. Gennifer Albin once wrote--and I am totally paraphrasing so it may come out all wrong--but to put the first quarter or third of the book in the meat of your query and summarize the rest with a sentence or two. I think you could do that easily by leaving out the third paragraph completely and going with the other three.

    About the period comment. As an adult, it didn't bother me, but when I was a teenager, I hated anything about periods. My youngest daughter is also that way. But both of us were super shy in school, so take that for what it's worth.

    By leaving it in, it tells me the character is tough and non-conformist--as in, "Yeah, I get my period, I get cranky. Get over it." So, if that's her, then I say go with it.

    Solid 250. Enjoyed them :) Good luck.