Monday, January 14, 2013

Bouncer Post #36

Genre: Adult urban fantasy
Word Count: 102,000


Thalia Drake is the last dragon on earth. Her cover identity as an ass-kicking werewolf in the U.S. Military's elite shapeshifter ranks is in jeopardy. Not even her adopted shifter family know what she really is. 

When bodies start turning up in the Everglades, Thalia alone recognizes the ancient dragon glyphs burned into their skin. The ritual markings lead her to believe their killer has bigger, more reptilian game on the menu.

None of the investigators suspect what she does, that their modern-day murderer might be capable of killing essentially immortal shifters. Thalia isn't eager to inform them and blow her cover. A thousand years of lies would be tough for her family to forgive, and other shifters wouldn't think twice about killing a recalcitrant dragon. But holding back what she knows would put every shifter in danger. 

Thalia and the FBI's shifter division track the killer to the heart of Washington, DC. Every clue seems to point to a U.S. Senator, despite his air-tight alibi. Whatever his involvement may be, if they don't find the killer soon, one of his rituals is bound to succeed-- and one successful ritual could spell extinction for the shifters.

First 250:

For the third time in as many weeks, someone cornered me in the Common. I have no idea why they kept trying, but I guess everyone needs a hobby. As hobbies go, they could've chosen better. It must've been a sign. I should've changed my route. It probably wouldn't stop the idiots, but I do get sick of fighting them off.

It's not like this scrawny little street urchin could've hurt me. Shifters are nearly indestructible. Since we showed up in this country more than three hundred years ago, we've been on the front lines to defend it. It kind of sucks that that wasn't worth a little more respect. If I wanted to, I could've pounded this guy through the sidewalk and called it a day. That wouldn't have helped in the long run, though.

I don't actually enjoy hurting people. If my mugger were someone who was truly needy, he should've just asked for help. God knows I have more than I need. That's the beauty of compound interest when you have nineteen-hundred years' worth of investments.

Dragons used to collect gold, hoarding piles of it under drafty old mountains. But those were my grandparents. Now, I hoard savings bonds in safety deposit boxes. It's a much sounder investment strategy--a lot less likely to get you killed.

Unless you wander around Boston after dark.


  1. The female protag being part of an elite ass-kicking force of what I assume is made up of buff men, reminds me of the Brotherhood, but with a unique twist. And we all know how much readers love the Brotherhood! :)

    I have a suggestion for the query: On the line, "But holding back what she knows would put every shifter in danger." I'd clean that up with something tighter like, "But concealing the truth behind the killings..."

    And the dragon paragraph is awesome. I'd start with it.

    Good luck!

    1. Thanks for your input! Glad you liked it, and I'll work on that line. I appreciate it!

  2. I love the idea of a dragon pretending to be a werewolf! The idea alone makes me want to read more to find out how Thalia manages to pull it off.

    I liked your query. The only terribly picky suggestion I have would be a stronger phrase than "isn't eager".

    I enjoyed the first couple paragraphs. The one thing that confused me was the "someone" who cornered her. I first assumed it was an irritating colleague or supervisor. Maybe you could clue us in right away that it was someone who meant harm.

    I would read on!

    1. Thanks for your advice! I will try to clarify the someone, and find a stronger word. Perhaps she is terrified. That conveys her feelings more accurately!

      Thanks again!

  3. Whoa—a dragon pretending to be a werewolf?? That’s definitely an attention-grabber! I was a little confused by the rest of the concept, though. Is she a dragon pretending to be a werewolf pretending to be human? I mean, is she human most of the time, and is this a human world? Or is this a whole world of shifters? I’m not sure how to picture what’s going on.

    At first, I thought the conflict would be with her being the last dragon, then thought it would have to do with keeping that a secret, but it turns out the big conflict is a murder mystery—there’s just so much here! This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s a little too much going on for me. This is super subjective, and it’s definitely possible that someone else might disagree. Good luck!

  4. Great entry! When I first read it I thought I had heard the "last dragon on earth" phrase before. But the pretending to be a werewolf come military crime-fighting agent part was a unique twist. I also thought your first 250 were strong. Good luck with it.