Guess the Plot
Seers and Sparkplugs
1. All of her life, Kelly's had a gift--the ability to magically repair cars. When an old Firebird she resurrected starts destroying the competition on the local stock car circuit, NASCAR comes calling. But if she signs with a team, they might learn her secret. Should she go to Daytona--or stay in Middleton?
2. Jason Ahummina works for Seers, Robot and Company, in the sparkplug department. Business is booming -- all the Babbage calculating machines are switching from steam power to internal combustion. When Princess Animmuha arrives on a PR outing with her reluctant 'bot chaperone, will sparks fly?
3. Mechanic Rachel Chase has always been able to foresee people's deaths. When she has a vision of her mother being murdered, she must figure out how the skills she acquired working at Jiffy Lube can bring down a psycho killer. Also, a family of warlocks.
4. Carlos Spargo, aka "Sparkplug", is happy in suburbia. He discovers he's a direct descendant of a wicked necromancer when his grandma dies and leaves him a book of spells. Will he become the coolest dad ever, or leave his family to find wealth and fame?
5. No NASCAR crew is complete without its oracles. But when, in the midst of a pit stop, Tiny Dawson's pit-seer tells him that she sees fire and explosions on the next three laps, Tiny tells her that's what racing's all about.
6. Crosby thought life sucked eggs until he met Stilz, a nashini who knows how to build a better mousetrap. Which is great, because mice are taking over Youngstown. Also, a plague.
7. Madame Terlotte knows how to rebuild the human species now that GMO food has rendered 93% of the population sterile: gasoline powered marital aids. Happy endings ensue.
Dear Agent X,
Rachel Chase’s mother is going to die. [Drop this; unless it's specifically stated, I never assume a character is immortal.]
After a lifetime of watching folks bite it in her visions, Rachel’s seen fate win, over and over. ["After a lifetime" could suggest her life is over. "In a lifetime" is better, though you could subtly convey your character's approximate age by saying "In thirty years of . . . "] [Authors often tell me to bite it; I had no idea they were telling me to die.] Drowning in a glass of whisky usually takes the edge off her guilt, but this time, Jameson doesn’t cut it. Not when her mother’s going to be sacrificed by some psycho. ["Sacrificed" as in a ceremony? Or just murdered?]
However, her zipcode hopping mom is harder to track than a sidhe who owes a favor. [My research into the favor-repaying practices of the Sidhe reveals that:
Some versions of Irish mythology have the Daoine Sidhe eventually divide into two groups: the Seelie Court and the Unseelie Court.
The Seelie were bound by their code of honor to repay any debt owed as soon as was possible. This included both favors and insults.
The Unseelie placed no stock in the ideals of honor. Instead, they pursued their own self-interests vigorously.
Thus your analogy is a clear insult to all members of the Seelie Court--an insult they may be counted on to repay in short order.] [A better analogy would be "harder to track than a literary agent who told you to look her up at a writers conference."] Since Rachel avoided the supernatural community all these years and her mechanic job never led to many connections, her allies amount to nada. Until a warlock family rolls into town looking for a seer. They need her help to unseal their power [When you want your power unsealed, you don't go to a seer; you go to an Unseelie.] and Rachel needs assistance tracking down and protecting her mother. A trade seems only fair.
Yet, the warlocks aren’t playing straight with her. The elemental traps protecting the seals are deadly and they’re keeping secrets, like the untimely fate of the last sucker who worked for them. [This makes it sound like it's the traps keeping secrets and for whom the last sucker worked.] If Rachel doesn’t find a way out of this supernatural nightmare soon, forget thwarting fate, she’ll be joining her mother in an early grave.
"Seers and Sparkplugs" is a 96,000 word urban fantasy.
Not clear to me why warlocks think a person who has visions of people dying is the ideal person to unseal their power.
Does Rachel have control over her visions? Can she look at a guy and foresee his death? Was she thinking about her mother when she foresaw her death? Or is it all random? I take it she was unable to identify the psycho she saw in her vision or the place she saw the psycho killing her mother? Getting to the place where her mother's going to be killed could be as useful as finding her mother.
Her mechanic job doesn't seem worth mentioning in the current context. If you need to track someone down fast, you can hire a detective. You're unlikely to find useful "connections" no matter what your job is. On the other hand, there must be some reason you've made Rachel a mechanic; if her skills as a mechanic come into play, maybe you can work in how, so the title makes sense.
Have Rachel's visions all come to pass up till now? Does she have reason to believe fate can be thwarted? Has she ever tried to thwart fate? Have you ever tried to say "thwart fate" three times fast?