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Team Brenda #10 – LIGHTSTORM

Thursday, 17 May 2012  |  Posted by Brenda Drake
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 80,000

Humanity’s survival lies in the hands of misanthrope Irina, and only her elemental bodyguard, Fontaine, can convince her to save them.
When Irina sees a man appear from a puddle of water, she considers checking into the nearest psych ward. Then he tells her that she is not only descended from elementals, but is the fifth element (the Spirit) and expected to save the human race from a rogue fire elemental. Correction. The sexy puddle-guy in her living room needs the shrink, not her. Mankind as a whole sucks. Why would she risk her life to save them?
Fontaine never expected his “mission of utmost importance” would be to babysit a stubborn human. To cement his frustration, she questions his sanity. He must get to their destination as quickly as possible so he can earn his promotion and be rid of her. It doesn’t matter that she’s the only woman who has ever tempted him to choose mortality. He must resist—or lose the ability to protect her from those wanting to kill her.

Music from the party inside rattled the apartment door, and Irina hesitated before knocking, her stomach churning. God, she hated parties. Would Jenn even notice if she didn’t go in? At ten o’clock, the noise indicated most of their coworkers from the newspaper had already arrived, and Jenn would be busy hosting. Irina took a step toward the stairs, but she’d hesitated too long.
The door opened and Jenn, pointing to the sand-filled urn, ushered two guests outside. The two men, whom Irina recognized as sports reporters from the paper, lit cigarettes. Irina breathed deep, while the air was still somewhat clean. Well, as clean as it could get in downtown Chicago.
“It’s about time,” Jenn said, turning to face her. “Why didn’t you come in?”
“Just got here.”
“Uh-huh.” Jenn eyed her from head to toe, not buying Irina’s lie for a second.
“Let’s get you a drink.” She dragged Irina inside.
The heavy scent of perfume invaded Irina’s nostrils, and she considered rejoining the smokers. They pushed through couples—gyrating in socially acceptable versions of sex—to reach the kitchen.
“What’s your poison?” Jenn stepped behind the bar, while Irina slid onto a vacant stool.
“Water.” Why hadn’t she taken a cab so she could indulge in something stronger? There wasn’t enough liquor in the entire apartment building to make her desire the company of these people after a long week, but she’d canceled plans with Jenn at least twenty times in the last two months. Finally, Jenn had dangled a bargain—show up tonight and she’d leave Irina in peace until the holidays. A few hours wouldn’t kill her. She hoped.

Filed: Misc

  • Sarah Ahiers says:

    Ooh, a puddle guy? How awesome is that?!

  • TYHatch says:

    I really love the changes to your query! I expect big things from you, my friend. 🙂

    Good luck!

  • Valerie says:

    This sounds like it will be equal parts flirty and suspenseful! I want to read it!

  • The changes in your query and the end of your 250 hooked me. Great job & good luck!

  • T.L. Bodine says:

    Lots of voice and attitude. Good luck!

  • Jamie Grey says:

    This is great – I love the opening and the query makes me want to read this all in one sitting! Good luck!

  • I love the voice!! Cool concept and writing too ;o)

  • Becca C. says:

    I love that opening – great description and it immediately gives me a sense of everyone – and the voice in the query is fantastic!

  • Leigh Ann says:

    Love your query, and the idea of elementals! Really nice voice in this open – good luck!

  • April Wall says:

    Great concept! Good luck!

  • Sarah Henson says:

    Love the voice in this! Good luck!

  • You’ve done a great job tightening this up! Your concept really shines now. Good luck!

  • Lisa K. says:

    Great concept and really nice writing. I’d read more!

  • This sounds very intriguing! Good luck!

  • I love the line in your query – “The sexy puddle-guy in her living room needs the shrink, not her.” I also love the opening scene – very telling of your character’s personality. Good luck!

  • Alex Hayman says:

    I love your query so much- this seems really excellent. Good luck!

  • This turned out great!!

    Good luck!!

  • Tara Dairman says:



    I don’t think your first paragraph/logline is adding anything to the query, since all of that information becomes clear in the next paragraph anyway. I think that the “When Irina sees…psych ward” sentence would be a more compelling start, though I’d also like some other detail about who Irina is before we launch into her story. Could you identify her briefly by her profession, or where she lives? And does she have a last name?

    I like the hint of humorous voice that you give us with “Correction” and “sexy puddle-guy.”

    I’m also guessing from the structure here that this is a dual-narrative book, with Fontaine telling half of the story. If it’s not, then I’m not sure why half the query is from his perspective.

    First page:

    I think that this is a solid opening—you give us a real sense of Irina as a wallflower and establish the locale in a Chicago apartment building nicely. I’m not sure that you need “her stomach churning” in the first sentence—I feel like her hesitation before knocking is enough of a hint that she’s not thrilled to be there. I like the line about Irina taking a breath while the air was still clean (though it should be “breathed deeply” rather than “deep”).

    This page leaves me wondering why Irina wants Jenn to leave her alone, and why she’s so antisocial. Paranormal romance isn’t usually my thing, but I like the character and would read on to find out.

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