Meredith wrote:Newest Version:
Being a half-blood is inconvenient even on a good day, especially when the half you got from your mother is werewolf.
Good, but how about omitting "especially". You already have "even" to spike it up.
Valeriah can’t take wolf form but she is still driven by the full moon. Running helps; a tired werewolf is a good werewolf. She’s found her niche, though, using her enhanced strength and instincts as a bodyguard for the members of the Council of Magical Races.
This is pretty good, too. Wondering if there might be better words for "driven" and "enhanced". Hmm. Can't think of any. Maybe they are okay.
When her cousin’s life is threatened, Valeriah expects to face danger and even risk her life to save Crystal.
Unclear and awkward. Unclear whether or not her cousin is a member of the Council (though we must assume so). Awkward to have "cousin" at the beginning of the sentence and the cousin's name at the end; makes me wonder if they are the same person.
She doesn’t anticipate stumbling into the very plot that led to the murders of her parents and brothers, a mystery she has spent eight years trying to solve.
She really doesn’t expect to learn that she and Crystal are the last obstacles to a coup against the Council.
Good info, but the structure is weak. You've already had her expecting, then not anticipating. I don't think a third expectation or non-expectation in a row works.
Valeriah hides Crystal in a suburb of Los Angeles while she tries to unravel the conspiracy,
"Unravel" sticks out as not accurate or not strong enough. How about "crack" or "break" or some such.
but she needs help to protect Crystal. She has to decide who she can trust.
This seems a weak bridge between sections in your description. Maybe only small changes are needed. How about (new sentence) "But she needs help protecting Crystal. Who can she trust?" or some such.
She wants to believe the handsome stranger who has already helped to save Crystal’s life, even though her instincts tell her that he’s hiding something.
Good info, but wordy. Can you streamline to punch up? Perhaps another question (though I do not ordinarily advocate rhetorical questions in queries; at least you're not opening with them): "The handsome stranger who helped save Crystal's life, even though it feels like he's hiding something." Not sure.
Might be cool to eliminate both "hiding" and "instincts", which you've already used. How about "even though her gut tells her..."
Her only other choice is a member of the Council who has already turned his back on her once.
Might be best to avoid "already" twice in two sentences.
What she doesn’t know is that one of them is the killer.
Might be best to put this in it's own paragraph, and join the previous sentence with the paragraph above.