Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bouncer Post #167

Genre: Adult Thriller
Word Count: 91,000


William Travers is at the end of his first term as President of the United States. During his administration he always had faith in the idea that “if an incumbent President doesn’t want to leave . . . the people won’t let you.”

Senator John Powell, the Democratic nominee is a good ‘ole boy. A man of the people whose good looks, charisma, and firm handshake on every deal is a platform he hopes to ride right to the White House.

After a very long campaign, a battle waged on the internet, radio stations and television stations of this country, incumbent President Travers loses an extremely close race, lost by a handful of votes at one last voting place in south Florida.

As Inauguration Day nears, both the President-Elect and Vice President-Elect are assassinated.   Although the Constitution of the United States clearly outlines the line of Presidential succession, President-Elect Powell was not sworn in so it cannot take effect.  With the country at a loss and needing a strong leader to guide them through these difficult times, the United States Congress chooses the incumbent, William Travers, to remain in the White House for another four years

A few months after the assassination, with no arrests made and no answers in sight, Jake Reilly, a reporter for the Washington Post begins investigating the murder. After a few days he teams up with Michael Stratton, an FBI agent who previously worked on Powell’s Secret Service team.  They find a new ally in Strykr, the assassin who had targeted Powell and then had his fifteen minutes of fame snatched away.  His only request is that when they find the assassins, he is allowed to kill them himself.

The chase throughout Washington becomes more and more dangerous as a reporter, an FBI Agent, and an assassin, follow clues that lead them higher and higher into the levels of government.  Each and every path they take suddenly leads to a dead end . . . with a sniper waiting on the roof for them.

First 250:           

"Power is intoxicating, and as the President of the United States, one person is entrusted with the greatest reserve of absolute power in the world. 

Every four years our country avails itself to the possibility of shifting that power, and as the country clamors for either stability or change in the administration, two would-be-kings stand silently in the wings to hear which one has been chosen.

The actual transition of power is painless; the new order waits at the front door for the marching bands, while the old slips silently out the back. There are no regrets, just sighs of relief as the former President goes back to the life he had carved for himself before his term in office, back to when things were simple.

But, power is intoxicating."

It was yet another glorious New Years Eve in the White House.  The celebration planned for the First Family and their friends had gone off without a hitch, and the praise that the guests had showered upon their hosts still echoed through the halls hours after it was over. 
President William Travers sat by himself in the semi-darkness of the library and reflected upon the past by the light from the fire.  Silently, he looked about the room, his eyes bouncing back and forth between the elaborate gifts and tokens of friendship that had celebrated the many successes his administration had secured.  Finally, he smiled as his eyes lit upon a plaque commemorating the end of the six-week campaign they had waged in the last conflict.


  1. So you've got three people in the query, which confuses me about which of them is the MC (except until you mention the one is assassinated). If it's a multi-protagonist book, that's fine, but for the query I might pick the strongest story or the person whose POV we'll be with the most and use them as the hook.

    I thought your opening line was really strong—until I realized it was a quote. Who is it that's speaking? Or what are you quoting from? I almost would have liked the first sentence to be coming from a first person POV and have him continue introducing the story. You might do different first person POV's like that with your different characters and it could still work ("The Help" does it very well).

    You don't have to do first person, just my suggestion on how to make stronger what you've got here. Your writing is fairly clean though, so I'd say just work on tension and you've got it.

    1. Thank you for the comments. The first sentence of the 250 is supposed to be the prologue. I sent the first 250 to the contest with the words Chapter One to be written after the second Power is intoxicating but it was left off when posted to this site. I wrote the quote to give the flavor of the change of power.

      The first sentence of the story is "It was yet another glorious New Year's Eve . . . "

  2. I think you've got an interesting conspiracy story here. Well timed in today's political environment, too.

    That said, I think you should start your story w/out the prologue. Or only keep the line that says, "Power is intoxicating." That was the first line that really drew me in.

    In your query, I would focus on the reporters who are investigating the assassinations rather than the race between presidential nominees. As a reader, I didn't really care about what was going on until I read the fifth paragraph of your query. Also, I couldn't clearly tell what the stakes were because, "...every path leads to a dead end." I want to have a glimmer of hope that they might find who's responsible before the sniper gets them.

    -Good luck from Entry #152

    1. Shannon thank you so much. I did make that change and start with the investigation in the queries I am sending out.