Here are my two. You are welcome to use my name. In my case, Monster Mash is very appropriate!
1. When a celebrity assassin discovers the existence of a deadly weapon from the past, he has to dodge magic, B-movie monsters, and paparazzi to stop an assassination.
2. When a celebrity assassin discovers a map painted in magic in a painting, he is plunged into a desperate search for a weapon that could destroy his country.
Thank you very much for posting the original list. J It turned out that thinking about a couple of the elements helped me figure out a better ending for the book.
Well, I'm obviously a sucker for odd things, but I immediately perked up with the first one because it had B-movie monsters and papparazzi. The second is serviceable but didn't fire any jets for me.
The term "celebrity assassin" was confusing-- that's one of those glitches in English, where you're not sure whether the first is a modifier (a famous assassin), or part of the noun (an assassin of celebrities). Either way, the question is-- if he's an assassin, why would he work so hard to prevent an assassination? I'm assuming he has a reason. So why not say? ...to stop the assassination of his favorite porn star? to stop the assassination of the movie producer who expressed interest in his screenplay? The goal needs motivation. Why does he want to accomplish this?
The second one has more motivation (though fewer Alicia-inciting buzzwords)-- this weapon is going to destroy his country. (By assassinating someone? Who?) Actually, though the stakes are clearly higher-- destruction of a country vs. an assassination-- killing a person FEELS more stakey than ho-hum, another country destroyed (it's actually very, very hard to destroy a country, after all, and takes so long). Maybe if you make it clear who is to be assassinated, you can give a sense of the danger to the country?
Experiment, and let's see. :)