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Monday, July 5, 2010


Dear Secret Agent,

The morning after a literally explosive night on the town, a strange but gorgeous woman abducts you from your hospital bed, forces you to get dressed at gunpoint, then tosses you out a window seven stories up! You land, unharmed, thanks to her supernatural abilities. As she stuffs you into a getaway car, she explains that you posses powers similar to hers and she's been sent to protect you from a secret society that is determined to see the both of you dead. That is the warning seventeen-year-old CALEB DUNNELLY receives from the mysterious Scarlet.

After being dragged to a safe house in the suburbs, Caleb demands to know just what the hell is going on. The last thing he expected to be told is that an ancient brotherhood called Libra is after people like him and Scarlet. The reason those lunatics wants his head on a pike? They actually believe he will make the choice that will decide the fate of the world in the ongoing battle between heaven and hell. That bit of cheerful news is followed by the fact that Libra has vowed to prevent the predicted Armageddon, and will mow down anyone stupid enough to get in their way.

Realizing that his childhood crush, his sister, and his best friend could all be potential targets, Caleb gets Scarlet to take him back to the city. He has no clue how to explain this craziness to everyone, especially since he hasn’t completely wrapped his head around it himself, but there is no time to try and figure things out. Libra is already on the move, and when they turn a simple downtown street into a mystical war zone, Caleb is forced to rely on a power he’s not even sure he has. What is sure of is he must save the ones he loves, even if that means siding with hell’s generals, the Seven Deadly Sins themselves. The rest of the world be damned.

I am pleased to submit my young adult paranormal urban fantasy, SWAYED. This fast-paced 89,000-word tale of romance in the supernatural will appeal to readers who enjoy the passion and paranormality of The Mortal Instruments series, with a touch of the otherworldliness of Anita Blake. I’d be happy to forward the complete manuscript at your request.

I am a freelance writer, a columnist for Writer’s News Weekly—my column is titled Fiction, from the First Draft Forward—and an active member of First Tuesdays and YA Lit Chat. Per your guidelines, I have included the first 250 words.

I thank you for your time and consideration.

*    *    *

I’m going to kill him. Caleb found comfort in that thought. And he meant it this time. It would be quick and clean, and he could leave the body in a ditch where they were widening the highway on the side of I-70 west. No one would bother to start looking for at least a month, and that would be the last place they checked.

Even if someone caught on, Caleb figured he would make a pretty sympathetic defendant. At seventeen he was a student and a public servant to boot. He could imagine the news lineup: Caleb Azriel Dunnelly, local lifeguard, was acquitted of a second-degree murder charge. Jury says they ‘would have done it too’.

“Lighten up, Azzy-baby, it’s a party!” Martin, Caleb’s best friend, and the current object of his irritation, sat there oblivious to any plots to end his life.

“Don’t call me Azzy-baby,” Caleb leveled a dark look at Martin then glanced around their sectional at the back of Confessions, the newest club in downtown Kansas City. At least two hundred people ground against one another on the other side of one-inch thick glass. “You know I hate these places…”

“Not as much as you love me.” Martin grinned. The way the black lights overhead made his teeth glow was creepy.

“If love means a desire to bludgeon to death in a back ally. I can’t believe I let you talk me into this.”

“I can’t believe I had to talk you into it.”