Wednesday, September 12, 2012

CAGI Entry #69

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 82,000


Brenna Moriarity is a witch. A witch with issues. After a near-miss with a nervous breakdown, Brenna gave up magic, and her life is much better without it, thank you very much. Besides, between her duties as an on-air radio personality, hitting up Seattle’s clubs with her friends, avoiding a tyrannical coven leader, and keeping away from her delicious boss, there’s no time for practicing the craft.

But her gift won’t let her go so easily. See, Brenna can find things when no one else can. Things that may be better off lost. Like a ruby with the power to control anyone who comes into contact with it. Her best friend Jared steals it for her, thinking if she can master the magic deep inside the stone, her problems will go away.

His plan dies a quick death when someone steals it from him. Now he’s desperate to get it back, and Brenna’s the only one who can help him. Trapped by love and loyalty, she agrees, even though the search may rip her sanity to shreds.

First 250:


“Brenna, come on. When have I ever led you wrong?”

I scowled at the wall, wishing Jared was in front of me instead of on the other end of the phone. I wanted him to see my face. “How about more often than not?”

“Look, just because there was that one time the spirit got loose and wrecked your mom’s pantry-”

“And the time where I had to go searching through your ex-girlfriend’s bedroom. And the time we had to break into the school. And the time you lost your keys at that party, only to remember you’d lent them to your brother, leading him to get in the accident...” Shit. Should not have gone there. “Jer, I’m sorry.”

The line was quiet except for the faint background noises on Jared’s end of the phone. “‘S okay, Bren. That was pure stupidity on my part.” The accident, a massive back end collision on a slick road in the middle of January, had ended up putting Jared’s younger brother, who hadn’t had his license long, in the hospital for a month. While he’d fully recovered, it was still a “no-go” subject between us.

I took a deep breath. “It’s still a no, Jared. I mean it. No more magic for me.”

1 comment:

  1. This is a great start, but I think the query needs a bit of tweaking. Your opening paragraph gives us a good idea of who Brenna is, but could be tightened up and trimmed a bit. For example, maybe try to combine the first 3 sentences into one. The last sentence also lists a lot of interesting things, but I found myself confused by the tyrranical cult leader bit - maybe cut that part? I also wasn't sure how these elements related to the things mentioned in the next paragraph.

    In the second paragraph, I like her magic power, but I don't understand why she needs this ruby - especially if she's avoiding magic, so maybe make her motivations mopre clear. Also, from this point on it starts to feel like Jared is the one doing all the action (at least, in the query). Additionally, is he the love interest? Since this is a paranormal romance/UF we definitely need that to be clear. The third paragraph is also a bit vague, especially this line, "Trapped by love and loyalty, she agrees, even though the search may rip her sanity to shreds." I'd like to know specifically what the stakes are - what does Brenna want, what gets in her way, and what happens if she fails?

    In your first 250, I'm not a fan of opening with dialogue, especially here since we don't know what's going on at all, or who these people are. Maybe back the scene up a bit, so we get a sense of who these characters are first. Or perhaps try starting in a different spot - working at her job, or maybe having a situation when she could use her magic but refuses to. She sounds like a fun character, and I think you can introduce her in a way that makes us eager to spend the rest of the book with her!