>Dear Secret Agent,

Everyone knows it’s not safe to go out drinking alone, especially for a beautiful twenty-four-year-old woman.  That’s why Liz did the smart thing and went with her friends.  Oh, she was on the lookout for the run-of-the-mill pervert all right, but no one ever bothered to explain that things other than lecherous men prowled the night.  And they sure never told her she could become one.

Fighting against an all consuming blood lust, Liz’s only hope of regaining humanity is to locate the man who bit her.  Finding him could be more than she bargained for.  Michael, her unwitting maker, is a vampire assassin.  Years before she was born, his archenemy Monroe set a spell in motion to bring about his destruction.  Liz is the tool that could bring it to fruition.

Trapped in an ancient battle between good and evil, she encounters a world of magic, supernatural beings, and treacherous plots to kill those she holds dear.  Liz must decide if she will remain true to her unfailing belief in the preservation of life, or succumb to the darkness that dwells inside her. 

THE DARK GIFT: BIRTHRIGHT is a 94,000 word Urban Fantasy.  It is suitable for crossover to YA.

I am an active member of Yalitchat.

Thank you for your time and consideration.  I look forward to hearing from you.



          This was crazy. Just Forty-eight hours ago, the man Elizabeth was willing to sacrifice herself for before this council of vampire elders, had been the very same man who killed her.  She glanced around the large hall hoping to find a friendly face—anything that might calm her wrangled nerves.
The spacious room coupled with a high arched ceiling could have doubled as an auditorium.  Three lines of tiered benches surrounded the grayed wood floor adding to the effect.  Dotted throughout the crowd were beings of extraordinary beauty.  But there were others there.  The kind pictured in horror stories. Sallow skinned, tangled hair, with monstrous features and fangs, they laughed and jostled each other in anticipation of what was about to happen.  If the vampires gathered had been using their voices instead of their minds to speak, the noise would have reverberated to the intensity of a rock concert.

“There he is.  I wonder if he’s ever considered being under the hand of his brand of justice?”

            “Oh, she’s beautiful.  The pain of this loss will be great for him,” another voice snickered.

            “Two hundred years I have waited for this moment.  Tell me, Michael, how does it feel?  Was it all worth it now?”

            Nothing she could make out sounded like a help to their cause.  The vampires wanted retribution.  Without thinking, she edged closer to Michael.  In the presence of all this hostility, his nearness felt like a safe haven.

6 Responses to “#35 THE DARK GIFT: BIRTHRIGHT”

  1. Anonymous says:

    >The beginning of the book was very good. I immediately felt empathy for the heor and heroine.

    The query was a little confusing for me at first. The sentence: And they sure never told her she could become one. One what?

    I did get it after reading the next paragraph where you talk about the bite, though.

    All in all, very good.

    Melissa Murphy

  2. Rissa Watkins says:

    >First sentence is good. Lets me know the age of the MC and what she looks like. Also makes me think, uhoh- something bad happens. Second sentence lets us know she isn't an idiot. I like that. The last sentence of the 1st paragraph feels like it needs something. Like maybe: And they sure never told her she could become one from a minor lapse in judgment. (or however she becomes one).

    How did he unwittingly make her? Didn't he know he was doing it? Love that she is doing battle not just against the beings on the outside, but inside herself as well.

    This query grabbed my attention. I would want to read on. I think the storyline has a lot of potential for conflict. Seems like it would be a book you would read until late in the night because you wouldn't want to put it down.

    The partial was good. Maybe add a few lines to amp up her fear to describe what was going on- you mention her wrangled nerves but if you can show them it would be stronger. Her heart pounded with every thought of the vampires around her. or Her hands shook or she trembled as the weight of all their stares settled on her.

    But really, I like the voice. The start gets right into the action, with enough backstory in the second sentence to let us know how incredible it is that she is willing to die for this guy. But it doesn't feel like backstory at all. To be able to do that is a great talent. Great job!

  3. Amalia T. says:

    >The query felt a little bit nebulous to me, especially the end of the first paragraph. I think you could use a little bit more in the way of specifics there. Like the first commenter said, I was left with a "one what?" feeling. The third paragraph of the query is also pretty unspecific. I didn't really get a good feel for the book from it. Your first two sentences were really strong, but it just kind of fizzled for me after that.

    Your first 250 left me feeling a little bit disconnected. I wanted to be closer to your narrator and get an idea of what was going on.

  4. Kate says:

    >I won't lie; the end of the first paragraph of your query left me thinking that Liz had become a lecherous man. Beyond that, the query also leaves a few questions that are more befuddling than they are compelling. How had Michael unwittingly bitten someone?

    As for the excerpt itself, I like that not all the vampires (I will assume they are all vampires) are the beautiful variety. The lines of dialogue sort of ruin the mood you were going for. Some indication of who is speaking, their manners and gestures and Liz's immediate reaction, even if just internal, would help carry the atmosphere through.

  5. J.S. Wood says:

    >Query: The premise is interesting but the query wasn't quite clear to me. I had to read several times to catch the relationship between the first paragraph and the second.

    The beginning was very nice and intrigued me enough to want to read on.

  6. Libbie H. says:

    >If I were an agent…

    The query:

    You jump right from Liz looking for a pervy lay to Liz searching for the dude who turned her into a vampire. You need to show that she was actually bitten, instead of just barely implying.

    I am really not finding enough of a reason to be interested in Liz and her plight. It doesn’t come alive enough for me in the query. Vampire books are more numerous than the stars, so you’ve got to sell the hell out of it and make the agent believe they can’t live without this vampire book on their list.

    The sample:

    Between the carelessly misplaced comma and the totally confusing line “had been the very same man who killed her,” I stopped reading at your first sentence. Vampire books gotta rock the reader’s socks off or they’re just not going to make it out of the slush pile. I feel both the query and the sample need a lot of polish before they’re ready to query. Think clarity of communication – read what you write aloud. Have friends read it aloud for you so you can see how it looks and feels to readers who haven’t spent months writing it. Have a couple of beta readers who aren’t afraid to tell you exactly what they think go over the whole manuscript.