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Super Intern Contest – I, SPY

Wednesday, 13 June 2012  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Genre: sassy spy novel
Word count: 81,000

Dear Ms. Chapman,

Being an American spy in Ottawa, Canada, of all places, is pretty much the bottom rung of the ladder in terms of detecting threats and being in danger for CIA operative Talia Reynolds. But when the options are be careful or be killed,Talia has had “careful” drummed into her skull pretty hard—hard enough that she can’t tell her long-time boyfriend Danny about her top-secret occupation. Which becomes harder still when Talia finally catches a hot case and has to continually ditch Danny to seduce a Russian scientist/potential spy, all while juggling her inept coworker.

But when her datebook isn’t the only place her two lives crash in a ball of flames,Talia will have to choose to protect her secrets and her country, or the man she loves. Oh yeah, it’s going to be a night to remember.

I, Spy is a sassy spy novel, complete at 81,000 words.

My first published novel , tentatively titled Saints and Spies, is scheduled to come out in August 2013 with Covenant Communciations, a regional publisher. I currently serve as the Education Director for Authors Incognito, a writers’ group, coordinating and teaching classes for nearly 300 writers around the world. Other manuscripts have won first place in the mystery/suspense category of the LDStorymakers first chapter contest in both 2010 and 2011, and been named a finalist in the 2011 Sandy contest from Crested Butte Writers Conference.

Thank you for your time.

250-word excerpt:

I don’t do cat suits. The spandex/leather/plastic coatings female spies pour themselves into on TV are ridiculously impractical for actual spy trade craft: no mobility,reflective in low light, loud colors. There’s no better way to shout “I’m a covert operative!” than with a cat suit.

But I really wish I had one about now. At least it wouldn’t snag on every half-screwed bolt I come across in this narrow ventilation shaft. My clothes are dark, close fitting and comfortable no matter how I have to contort myself,but I can’t seem to move more than twenty feet without getting caught on something—like now. If I yank my pants hem free, my foot or knee could hit the metal flashing, and I can’t afford the noise with my target’s neighbors making dinner on the other side of the wall. I suck in a silent breath thick with their garlic and ginger, fighting back my rising pulse.

I’ve made it this far. I’m not about to let one more hitch stop me. I keep my weight distributed evenly as I lower myself to the bottom of the narrow tunnel. This looks a lot cooler on TV. James Bond never had to deal with wardrobe malfunctions. He also never faced off with Lashkar-e-Omar, or any other Islamic terrorist armies bent on killing people just because they were American.

And I’m not going to get a chance to do it either unless I can get to this apartment.“C’mon, Talia,” I whisper, like self-pep talks are effective.

Filed: Contests, Misc

  • I’m not sure Sassy Spy Novel is a genre. I would just go with Mystery or Spy Novel. Think about where it would go on a bookshelf.


    This is a little short. I like the first sentence, but it’s a bit wordy. I think you can break this up into two and it will still make sense. I need more details, I think. You don’t really show us what happens? I know that she has trouble with juggling her relationship and spying, but what happens to her? Is it a government conspiracy? Do the Russians invade US?


    The first sentence is incredibly long. I would shorten it. I do like her voice. It’s sassy, which is the point, right? I like this. It’s full of voice and the writing is decent. The sentences are a bit long at times, but I can get over that if the content and voice is good. I’m nor sure it did enough for me to read more. I’d like to get a better idea of what happens.

    Thank you for sharing your work ;o)

  • Thanks for your feedback, Erica!

  • You’re welcome!

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