Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bouncer Post #150

Title: Portal
Genre: YA Paranormal
Word Count: 71,000


The hands Grady kills with are not his own. Mirrors reflect a stranger’s face. Even his name seems wrong, something foreign chained to him when Doctor Romwell trapped his soul in someone else’s corpse. As the few remaining memories of Grady’s former life and death slip away, he tries desperately to escape Romwell Academy so he can find the truth about who, and what, he really is.

Lauren Elliot believes her scholarship to Romwell Academy came because of her interest in marine biology. She believes the surgery that restores her younger brother Nate’s hearing is a miracle. A blessing. But Grady doesn’t fool her for a second. She knows he’s trouble. She just doesn’t realize how much.

At Romwell’s direction, Grady befriends Nate and torments Lauren. The good doctor believes the siblings will enable him to link life and death, and to gain control over a powerful being from the other side. Of course, certain sacrifices must be made – not that Romwell plans to get his hands dirty personally. He has Grady for that. In fact, completing the grisly task just might clear the way for Grady’s freedom.

When an unforeseen betrayal overwhelms Romwell’s ability to keep life and death separate, Lauren must convince Grady to help her and Nate survive – but survival will cost them all far more than they realize.

 FIRST 250

The night was nearly moonless, as it had to be, and the only sound in the graveyard was that of dirt slipping off a dozen shovels. Some were far enough away that Grady barely heard them, muffled by countless headstones and monuments, oak trees and gently rolling hills. Most were closer, slicing though the soft dirt and saplings of the public section.

Grady counted himself lucky. It was murder digging through the roots and clay that choked the older graves. Still, if he’d been further from the road he might have been allowed a flashlight. Given his failing eyesight, Grady ran the real risk of shoveling into his foot. He was not overly fond of his supervisor either.

“Stop resting on your shovel, boy.” Grady had not heard Nikolai approach, but then, no one ever heard Nikolai approach. His heavy accent whispered through an embroidered handkerchief held tight against his nose, probably to dull the stench of the open graves, though Grady couldn’t smell anything personally. “You are behind schedule again.”
“Shovel’s breaking, boss.” Grady hefted another load of earth. “Give me a break.”
Nikolai cursed in a language Grady did not know. A weight flashed across Grady’s back. Another whipping. If he didn’t steal more green thread soon his tattered army jacket would fall to pieces.
“Why do you do that?” he asked, emptying his shovel onto the ground above him. “You know I can’t feel it.”
“No.” Nikolai pulled back for another blow. “But I can.”


  1. Ooh. This is right up my alley. Love it so far. Good Luck.


  2. It may just be me but your query throws me a bit. You've got three perspectives crammed in there. Is your story told from all three? I think general advice is write the query from one perspective, perhaps Grady as you open both the query and 250 words with him, and mention at the end of the query it is told from alternative perspectives.

    I like the description in your first 250 and also makes me curious why a large amount of people are digging up an entire graveyard. Would read on.

    Good luck with it.
    :) (#147)

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  4. I agree with Mia about one POV. Maybe two, but no more. This line threw me "But Grady doesn’t fool her for a second." in the second paragraph. I didn't see the connection to her brother's hearing and that line.

    Great first 250! Interesting scene. Would keep me reading.