Back in May I offered a Query Critique Workshop. I received over 40 entries and critiqued 10 queries. (See Query Critiques 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10—or enter "query critique" in the search box at the top left and see all the critiques on one page.) I received some flack, but hopefully I also offered some sound advice. Well, I must be crazy, because I’m doing it again, sort of.
After doing a workshop at the NJ RWA conference on Perfecting Your Pitch I decided it would be something that could easily translate to the blog. Whether you're published, unpublished, have a pitch appointment or are pitching through an equery, every author needs to be able to summarize his or her book in as little as five words, but no more than three sentences (or so). In other words, you need to capture an agent's, editor's, or reader's attention quickly.
To participate, here's what you need to do. Submit through the comments section your pitch—that one sentence or one paragraph in your query letter that you're using to grab an agent's attention. I'm going to randomly pick and choose and critique as many as I can. As I critique the pitches I’ll post them on the site for all to read and make comments on.
So, brave readers, here’s your chance. A free critique from me. Post them in the comments section and I’ll start my critique as soon as the first one is up (note that the critiques will be posted in future blog posts).
284 comments:1 – 200 of 284 Newer› Newest»
My book is a romantic comedy about a big-city girl and a small-town auctioneer who become entangled in a 130-year-old case of murder, identity theft and bodies buried in the wrong graves.
(Thanks, Jessica, for this topic.)
If you've ever wondered why being part of a hive mind should cause people to dress in black, act asexual, and talk in stilted phrases, this book is for you. Major Brett Johnson struggles to satisfy both duty and honor, and learn if the overmind on the planet Oceania is a deadly seductive trap that may snare humanity, or a tool to extend human lifespans and enrich our experience of the human condition.
(I'll only send this to agents who handle science fiction, and assume they've heard of the Borg!)
Completed fantasy novel "Omn's Tears"
Captain Ryon Addothun is a renegade soldier who refuses to blindly follow orders like he once did.
Kain is a ruthless dragon hunter who cares for no one but himself.
When Ryon and Kain discover an angelic woman from a realm of myth--stripped of her otherworldly powers and held captive by Ryon’s superiors--they learn that the Emperor has unwittingly unleashed a disastrous magic that may eventually unravel all of creation. The only way to save the mortal world and the heavenly realm is for the trio to join forces and seek out the mythical remnant of the Creator’s power, Omn's Tears.
A crippled composer, her overprotective father and an idealistic pharmacologist struggle for several kinds of freedom for themselves and the embittered lunar colonies.
(One paragraph; three sentences.)
Elizabeth Barton has been protected by her father but, when the lunar colonies rebel against corporate domination, reality breaks in. She falls in love with pharmacologist Robert Brown, who is drawn to the power of her music as well as to her personal fragility, but her father believes Robert to be arrogant and reckless, and forbids their relationship. When Greater China sends in the troops to retake the colonies, Elizabeth and her father must work with Robert to prevent the slaughter.
Harold Waterman hates corpses and finding three of them in his garden spells the beginning of a bad day. Being assassinated in his pyjamas was the very worst evening he could think of until he discovers that there are worse places to go than Heaven and Hell. It’s lucky for him that his best friend is a demon who can pull some strings, if he can only stop being so sarcastic to God.
(A paranormal romance)
When Adrianna was young, she cut out her heart and hid it from Death. Three thousand years later, she's forgotten where she put it. She can't die. But she can't love, either.
Sometimes white picket fences can turn into iron bars. At 45, Jennifer has everything she's always dreamed of - husband, children and security. Why then does she feel as if her life has been placed on pause? A story of discovery, adjustment and new beginnings.
Eyes of My Killer: (Romantic Suspense)Misty reads eyes. She only needs to glance deep within your eyes to see your soul, your past and future. When she comes eye to eye with a serial killer Misty goes to the police for help.
Max Jennings is a by the book cop and he’s on the trail of the nastiest serial killer in Angel Fall’s history. When Misty McAllister walks into his squad room and declares she knows who the Angel Fall’s Strangler is because she met him at the mall, Max labels her a whacko. When the strangler leaves a message on Misty’s door step in the form of a dead body Max labels her a suspect, but Misty insists it’s a warning.
Thanks for the opportunity, Jessica.
Every man has a breaking point, even Jonas Pride. So when the visions start again, he has no choice but to face the destiny he’s spent his life fighting against. Because this time, the only woman to break his restraint and make him crave her touch is the one woman his enemy is using to claim him as one of their own.
At the Knickerbocker Hotel in Chicago, James meets and falls in love with Mara who is planning her wedding to another man. After a night discovering that the lives they each have planned might not be right, the two make a pact to meet each year no matter the status of their lives. Once A Year is an updated version of the Alan Alda movie, Same Time, Next Year. Alternating points of views Mara and James hit heavy topics that touched each decade from the mid 70’s all the way to 2002.
WIP - Once A Year
Thanks for doing this!
A bigamist conman dies and leaves behind the score from his last job and a team he hasn't yet paid. When the team make plans to steal the money they're owed, the first question they have to answer is: which wife did he leave it to?
Megan Miller is on her honeymoon (sans groom) in an effort to get over the louse who dumped her days before her wedding. So far, she’s met a guy who isn’t what he seems, been shot at, jumped overboard into (potentially) shark infested waters and stranded in the Mayan jungle with nothing but the clothes on her back and a copy of the Girls’ Guide to Hero-Hunting and an undercover FBI Agent named Rey Rodriguez. So far, she’s ignored the book’s every piece of advice, and yet, Rey is proving time and again to be her hero. The question is: will he still be her hero, after their “holiday”?
Tag line for my amateur sleuth mystery:
Some families have skeletons in their closets . . . others have SKELETAL REMAINS.
Thank you for this opportunity.
When Letty Whittaker, psychotherapist and recovering alcoholic, responds to a Twelve Step call from an old friend at the tail-end of a binge, she doesn’t expect to find Vicky brutally murdered. Finding herself in possession of Vicky’s Fourth Step (the infamous list of resentments) and unable to turn it over to the cops without blowing her anonymity, Letty uses the List to track down the people Vicky was angry at- and those whom she has angered.
A man who can possess people meets the one woman he cannot - and is immediately smitten.
Terror Awakes, an eighty thousand word Futuristic Romance, is the story of a woman with the psychic ability to walk in other people’s dreams and the planetary police officer who doubts her word, but is willing to use her to catch a serial killer when she stumbles into the killer’s dreams.
Fantasy Novel (Untitled)
Ellusia Carver is the first child born that has survived, since the Breaking of the World. Her father's Kingdom is suspended high up in the clouds with the aid of the Magicians of Tove while the world below them boils in a turmoil of dragons and fire.
The Kingdom is in civil unrest and the King's brother is gaining more favour as he steps up his search for a safe place to settle their fragile land. The King, however, wants to reach upwards and develop the pact he entered into with the Ethereans, who saved his daughter’s life, but at what cost? In the middle of this Ellusia is growing up isolated and confused. When her brother is killed she becomes the sole heir to the throne of a Kingdom that is turning against her.
Freedom Jane McKenzie, mibster extraordinaire, navigates the world of boys, Barbie and brothers in a coming of age story set in 1959 Idaho Falls, Idaho.
When sixteen-year-old Marta Carlitos experiences a terrible car accident that leaves her in a coma, she finds herself trapped outside her physical body and tethered to her bed-bound form by a damaged spectral cord. Sentenced to float above her body --- and able to see and hear everything but not communicate with the physical world --- she befriends three other souls trapped outside their comatose bodies.
Soon, Marta realizes she must solve the puzzle of healing their frayed cords in order to
enable herself and her friends to rejoin their bodies and the physical world. But when one of her “friends’ tries to thwart her plans in order to keep her with him and away from the world, Marta realizes it’s going to take all her power to heal herself before her parents decide to pull the plug.
There are pleasant ways to die and dreadful ways to die. But dying of insomnia? Now that would suck.
Think the Bourne Identity meets Kill Bill in Singapore.
(btw...anonymous. The last one at the end with the insomnia thing? I LOVE your tag. It's got that breezy, want to read more, sounds like you got a personality vibe to it. If I were an agent, I'd look at your stuff. Very nice.)
In 1999, Lainie Walter sets off on a journey to find her roots in Poland. Although she planned to travel alone, her friend, Josh Stiller, tagged along at the last minute. Here, in a world that she doesn’t fully comprehend, Lainie sees ghosts. One ghost in particular haunts her journey, the ghost of her great aunt Sura. In New York, Lainie had not known of Sura’s existence. Now, she learns of Sura’s life, marriage, children and death. This takes on huge importance, as Sura needs Lainie’s help to locate her daughter. As Lainie tries to sort all this out, Stiller blurts out that he came along because he’s in love with her and wants a chance at a relationship. Against this foreign backdrop, Lainie must try and find Sura’s daughter and decide whether she is ready to commit to love.
My fantasy novel is about two young sisters trying to rescue their family from the Inquisition in a world of alchemy and witchcraft. One sister is turned into a dragon to be used as a weapon of the Church, but she breaks free of their control. The other has an inquisitor who betrayed the Church trapped in her mind, granting her his skills as a champion fencer.
Wow, thanks for doing this!
ONE HIGHLAND NIGHT (time-travel romance):
When a meteoritic crystal opens a wormhole on the grounds of ruined Kilchurn Castle in the Scottish Highlands, trapping American physicist Elizabeth Martin over 300 years in the past, her cheating ex-fiancé becomes the least of her worries. Pursued by the politically avaricious Earl of Breadalbane, who wants to use her “Sight” to further his consolidation of power, her only choice is to take refuge with an outlaw clan—a temporary measure until she can find a way to return to her own time.
That’s the plan, at least, until she finds in Alec MacGregor, her handsome protector, a love worth giving up everything she’s ever known.
But it is the late seventeenth century, and while Scotland is torn by the power struggles between supporters of the exiled King James and the English who would seek to rule them, she and Alec are swept into the intrigues of Earls and Kings, and events that could take their lives...or separate them forever.
(Title) is a portal between the two worlds of mortal Glastonbury Proper and the magical world including the dark and mysterious Wysiwyg Wood (where what you see is what you get). The wood is full of magic, the truths of many legends held within its boundaries. Lionel and Eaglantine Griffin are the gatekeepers of the lake, who have great responsibility in keeping the Seeker of Justice and Retribution, Stormy Reed, safe from the evil Nefarious Nobleman. Stormy Reed is unaware of his magical beginnings or his mystical destiny, and in his dawning of discovery, he finds his world exploding with possibilities he is eager to explore.
Even in an Arctic ice palace, the initials "SC" in the center of a floor mural might not stand for Santa Claus. So Cassie Novotny, a 28-year-old architect turned wedding cake designer, learns upon encountering Sonya Chloe, a 270-year-old "Mother Frost," at Palais du Nord.
(one sentence) Emma Grey and her mother Sylvia must take a chance on love to prevent the past from destroying their future.
(four sentences)Hearts are fragile things and in constant danger. Emma Grey is a ninteen year old dancer with a promising future. Her mother Sylvia is a woman who closed her heart to love after her husband left. When he returns, Emma and Sylvia learn that love is tough, but it may be worth the effort it takes to bring their family back together.
When you are 3 1/4 inches tall and thoughtless humans destroy your home, you want revenge. One Hopneg's journey in search of payback brings him something bigger, yet smaller. "Downriver" was written for teens but speaks to everyone who wants to be able to see those things we usually can't.
Sara Garcia is a self-employed Dallas auditor, happiest working with spreadsheets, her laptop, and rows and columns of figures. But when her lifelong friend calls in a favor, Sara finds that in order to avoid killing a life-long friendship she could end up dead herself.
Peter Dodge fell in love with a woman he was not sure even existed. Fifty years later she came back for him on a foggy cloud, leaving his aged body behind with a dagger in his heart. When Evie, the beautiful coroner, touches the dagger, she catches a glimpse of the watery world Peter's murderess came from, and the beings there could help her understand one of the town's long unsolved cases, if only she gives them the one thing they are fighting for, a child she'll lovingly call Little Fish.
Tillie Russell, an acclaimed entrepreneur who became a household name in the late 90’s by designing pet products, suddenly found herself in the doghouse. In an aggressive interview on a nationally televised talk show, Tillie is bombarded with allegations of animal abuse. Although the implications proved to be completely false, it didn’t deter stores from yanking her products off the shelves, costing the young company over one hundred thousand dollars. The financial debacle resulted in the loss of the company and almost devoured Tillie’s eleven-year marriage. Proving that life could go on, one year later, Tillie becomes pregnant and dreams up a new business with a very unconventional business plan. She enlists ten mothers to join in the new venture she ambitiously names Ten Moms and Counting. Their product? Themselves.
Athena Solomon is a cemetery director who witnesses burials every day, visits graveyards on vacations, and peruses the internet for locations of famous graves. After her father dies, Athena’s grief is interrupted when she learns about her mother’s long-term love affair and family’s connection to the Jewish Mafia. She unearths the truth about her parentage and suspects that by guarding the past, her mother believed she was protecting her children. Athena then shifts a selfish quest for knowledge into a mission to heal her mother’s soul.
One paragraph pitch for fantasy novel, Emergence of the Fey:
Marian lives a content life – at least while Father is away – she enjoys the herbalism training from her mother, and has a good friend in the village recluse. But after her village is destroyed, she lashes out at those responsible in a magic she didn't know she had. Girls born with magic are sentenced to death. Marian would know, she helped birth one recently, and her heart broke watching the Enchanter take it away. She doesn't know who she can trust or how she can learn to control her new skills without revealing herself to the Enchanters Guild.
Over 350 living Americans have floated weightless in Outer Space, but less than two dozen men and women have crawled along the muddy bottom of the Mississippi River at its most treacherous depths. DIVER DOWN chronicles the life of Evan, a river construction diver, as he finds himself navigating even more treacherous chasms of the heart.
Chalice has a unique gift of sight, sound and scent, which makes her the perfect thief. But not by choice. She's forced to steal charmed and cursed objects for a secret society of magicians, her bond to their gargoyle guaranteeing her complicity. If she doesn't steal for them, she'll turn into a bat-winged atrocity just like the thing she's bonded to. If Chalice can kill her gargoyle, she'll be free. But how do you kill an immortal creature? To learn the answer she must gain wisdom from the remains of a prophetic saint, fall in love with a thousand year-old Turkish warrior from the Crusades, befriend an elf who owns a coffee shop that caters to the people of faery, and find her fallen angel father.
Benny Sherman helps a wayward fairy win back his wings and, in the process, finds his own.
In the wake of his parents’ separation, Benny and his mother move from their comfortable suburban home to his Grandma’s overcrowded bungalow. To make matters worse, the sixth grader is forced to attend Catholic school where he’s sure to feel as out of place as he does stumbling through prayers at Christmas Mass. The last thing he needs is, “...to follow some imaginary creatures on a quest to find a fictitious amulet. Not even cool creatures, either. I get sissy fairies.”
Thank you so much for this. I love your blog, I only wish you represented middle grade fiction, so I could bombard you with queries.
Urban YA entitled "Tin Man":
A Philadelphia latch-key kid raised on a steady diet of 1980s movies and his mother's urban paranoia, 15-year-old Quentin sees danger everywhere. When his teenage neighbor, Claire, is taken by "the police," his gallantly absurd quest to rescue her evolves into a battle against dangers more powerful and sinister than he ever could have imagined.
(Opening query pitch-Secrets)
....To escape the tyranny of an English King and to fulfill her dying father's wishes for her to seek a free and independent, Maura McCoveny would have to keep many secrets at a cost almost too high for her to bear....
Kit Anderson (14) thinks she’s entered hell when her father’s new job forces a family move from plumeria-scented Honolulu to frigid Seoul in the winter of 1974. She decides to channel her energy into escaping Korea, whatever the cost.
This means living by a new set of operating principles such as “Everyone and everything can be used.” Kit’s selfish code of conduct leads her into black-marketing, theft and a life of deceit. It takes a tragic accident and a temporary return to Hawaii to discover that she’s become a person she doesn’t like and to realize that Korea offers adventures that her friends in Hawaii could never imagine.
Rule number one: Don't forget to edit your query letter or you'll look foolish.....like me (blog comment #43) There are no "Do overs" in querying.I'll try again.
(opening query pitch-Secrets)
....To escape the tyranny of an English King and to fulfill her dying father's wishes for her to seek a free and independent life, Maura McCoveny would have to keep many secrets at a cost almost too high for her to bear....
Sitting beside her mother’s deathbed, Annika is awakened to the fact that the man grieving beside her is not her real father. She leaves her family in Kiev and, with the help of long withheld information from this stepfather, retraces the short life of the father she never knew. FLAKES BLOOM follows Annika on her old Voskhod motorcycle as she travels past the government guards and into Pripyat, the now abandoned town once populated by the workers of the Chernobyl Power Plant.
i'm excited to see your critiques, Jessica - thanks!
Katharine Taylor has never transmutated into an animal, a dragon or a mountain lion. She has never traveled to the past through her magic quilt, nor faced armies of insects and the evil wizard Dr. Ziegawart. All Katharine knows is an unhappy life with an alcoholic mother, but all that is about to change when she learns that she is a wizard and travels to a turbulent time in Boston just before the Revolutionary War. Caught up in the dramatic events that pit the King’s soldiers against their own people, Katharine finds in her new friends the strength to face her destiny.
An ancient legend reborn.
For centuries, historians have theorized the Queen of Sheba is only a seductive legend. When OMAR ZAGOURI, an undercover Israeli agent, stumbles onto a tomb in Northern Jerusalem, he unknowingly finds the final clue that could overthrow governments, pit wealthy collectors against one another, and send ruthless archaeologists scrambling to find the queen’s secret burial place. Can Omar prevent the greatest discovery of the century from becoming the most deadly, or will he himself be buried with the very mummies he unearthed?
When Anne realizes the world’s emotions are reined by another, darker set of beings and that she is part of it, she has to do a lot more than overcome selfishness…or put up with children with a certain knack for mischief, to stay alive.
Just a thought here. Why not pick a 'winner' here, when all is said and done, amongst the pitches that are within the purview of genres you rep, and let them get to send a partial? Just a thought of course.
Ethan Burke has it all--Adonis good looks, a promising career as a veterinary surgeon, a beautiful girlfriend, and a cocky arrogance that lands him a mistress--until a freak mountain biking accident shatters it all. Ethan must now come to terms with his physical limitations. His perspective on life gradually shifts when, in the hospital, he is befriended by an unlikely hero: a five-year-old boy with leukemia.
(Thank you for doing this!)
YA Fantasy, THE RED THREAD.
There is a perfect good reason for sixteen year old Chloe to be in the middle of the street, crying, and naked. You would be to if you (but not your clothes) were plopped into a world where monsters are real and indoor plumbing isn't.
The knight in shining armor Chloe thought would save her turns out to be a berserker who tends to go mad with bloodlust at the most inconvenient times. The knight, Heath, is on a quest to save a kidnapped princess and defeat an evil tyrant. After Chloe joins Heath, she learns that the enemy Heath is fighting is linked to her own brother. In THE RED THREAD, Chloe must figure out how she can save her brother, even if he doesn't want to be saved, and how far she is willing to go for the knight she's falling in love with...even if he doesn't love her back.
CIA operative Monaco Grace flies to Beijing to investigate the disappearance of undercover agent Peter Lee. Soon after making contact with Lee’s American friend, college professor Alan Richter, they find themselves on the run from assassins intent on retrieving information Lee gave to Richter. Trying to keep herself and Richter alive, Monaco makes a devil’s deal with a Chinese crime organization while attempting to untangle a web of lies and deceit that reaches back to the heights of U.S. government and threatens to topple the balance of world power.
For anyone interested in reading the *winning* query letters submitted by a group of published UF writers, go to" http://community.livejournal.com/fangs_fur_fey/
These are the letters that got them their agents.
Maggie Allen, recently pregnant, is abandoned by her college boyfriend in small-town Durban, Alabama. Seven years later, Maggie finds herself back in college and back in love. This time it’s with young college professor, Wade Evans. Confined to a wheelchair, Wade became paralyzed in a motorcycle accident that claimed another man’s life. Perhaps Maggie can learn to trust again from a man who knows much about love and loss.
Urban fantasy: A Malignity of Ghosts.
Lillie St. Clair is a full-spectrum, mega-Talent, employed as one of the city's official Freaks to remove unwanted apparitions.
She doesn't do zombies, however; her specialty is ghosts.
But some believe that Lillie's exorcism of the disembodied is genocide, and someone re-animated her dead husband for revenge.
And Lillie isn't sure she can trust her black spectral hound, Dumbarton,or the chatty bean sidhe from the laundromat, or even big, ugly psi-crime detective Johnnie Thresher.
She isn't sure she can trust herself.
Caroline Hayes installs gutters on a house that sees only two inches of rain a year, bubble-wraps her CDs so they won’t get scratched, and scotch-guards her car seats religiously every six months, but the one thing she values most she can’t protect. When a drunk driver careens around a curve on California’s coastal highway, Caroline’s life as she knew it is ripped apart. The secret she’s kept from her husband about that night tear at the seams of their relationship, and she finds herself turning to a stranger who is keeping secrets of his own. Little does she know how deeply her life is intertwined with the drunken woman who died beside her, who left her with scars that would not heal, and a gift beyond anything she could fathom. My novel Ocean Deep delves into the murky waters of secrets, lies, and the ties that bind people together.
Tagline for Trentwood's Orphan:
A grieving daughter encounters love and ghosts in Victorian England.
Paragraph: Eight years ago, Mary and her father, Lord Trentwood, were in a riding accident that left him paralyzed. Two years ago, Trentwood died, making Mary promise to go to London and make amends with her guilt. Two minutes ago, Mary broke her engagement to Mr Spencer, and Trentwood isn't going to let her just walk away without an argument.
A pair of FBI agents must hunt down an internet sex predator, not to arrest him, but to arrest his intended victim. A trail of murdered pedophiles leads the FBI to conclude that one young girl is seeking revenge for past abuse by allowing herself to be picked up and then icing her much older suitors.
It's hard to care about her victims, but the latest one just happened to be a close friend of the President, and the sooner this girl is caught (and silenced) the easier for the president's re-election campaign.
Holiday – Romantic Suspense WIP
MEGAN MILLER is on her honeymoon (sans groom) in an effort to get over the louse who dumped her days before her wedding. In the past two days, she’s met a guy who isn’t what he seems, been shot at, jumped overboard into (potentially) shark infested waters and stranded in the Mayan jungle with nothing but the clothes on her back and a copy of the Girls’ Guide to Hero-Hunting and an undercover FBI Agent named REY RODRIGUEZ. So far, she’s ignored the book’s every piece of advice, and yet, Rey is proving time and again to be her hero. The question is: will he still be her hero, after their holiday is over?
(humorous romantic mystery)
A photographer falls for her sexy trainee only to discover he’s an ex-cop investigating sabotage at her boss’s studio…and she’s a suspect.
When a photographer falls for her sexy apprentice then discovers he’s an ex-cop working undercover investigating sabotage at the studio she wants to buy from his uncle and that she’s a suspect, she plays Nancy Drew behind his back, unearthing his uncle’s old blackmailing habit which leads to the disturbing realization that not only has the uncle sabotaged his own business but a secret enemy is now stalking him--and all their lives are in danger.
For my pitches I usually do a two-paragraph version of my stories that names the characters and is broken into several sentences. :) For one-liners, I usually don't name the characters. I'm not sure why...
Thank you for offering such a generous undertaking!
Historical Romance Tagline:
A discarded widow and a Duke discover if love can survive scandal and betrayal.
Michael Ashton, the Duke of Ravensdale, is caught in two scandals, neither of which is his own doing. The first involves a woman (don’t they always), and the second…well, it also involves a woman and a large sum of stolen money. In order to save the reputation Michael has spent his life rebuilding, he must track down the widow of his presumed-dead cousin in order to charm...or seduce her missing husband's whereabouts from her.
same life goals
But if opposites attract, what future do they have?
A wannabe Leading Lady must choose between two drool-worthy contenders for the perfect Leading Man, while masquerading as an assistant to the author of the best-selling book she secretly penned.
In Adventures of a Dubious Love Goddess, a copywriter publishes the fictional exploits of her alter ego, while pretending to be the author’s assistant. When the How To book for aspiring love goddesses zooms in popularity, the pressure to reveal her true identity forces an uncomfortable realization of just how superficial her perspective might be. Her alter ego’s book features fantasy encounters coupled with flippant advice, pushing her pet theory—available men are either Leading Men or Sidekicks. The perfect example of a Leading Men is the mysterious author who pens the Man About Town column. When a handsome stranger woos Megan, hinting he’s the elusive writer, she believes all her love goddess fantasies just might come true. Except for the inconvenient, toe-curling attraction to her neighbor—the psych professor whose intense eyes and wicked grin leave her fantasizing about hot love with a Sidekick instead of her new Leading Man.
Valentine is a Child of Loki and one of the original Berserker tribesmen of Norse Folklore. With unobstructed access to the minds of his chosen victims and the ability to assume their precise physical characteristics, he takes what he wants, when and from where he pleases. He is the ultimate identity thief, unconstrained by the password-encrypted barriers his human counterparts face. Only a conscience and the inherent loneliness his immortality brings, stand between him and the decadent life of leisure lead by his brothers and sisters.
Charlie Justice was a twisted little adolescent. Some of that twistedness could be traced to the chemicals that course through the veins of every fifteen year-old male. If chemicals were responsible for the formation of Charlie's personality, they must have come from that Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India. Fortunately, he had an unusual head for numbers, which enabled some of the adults around him to excuse his perverse behavior.
R. Clifford Harbaugh was a twelve-year veteran of the FBI. A former Marine 0311, he had slogged through two thirteen-month tours of duty in Southeast Asia. A gruff, no-nonsense professional, Agent Harbaugh, despite his current affiliation with the FBI, was still at heart committed to God, country, and the Corps.
In 1986, Charlie Justice and Agent Harbaugh would meet as part of a special government program that Agent Harbaugh would later describe as "a complete and thorough cluster-fuck". Together, they would thwart one of the most horrendous financial attacks ever leveled at the United States.
FBI Special Agent Carly Benson is lost in Hell’s Gate Wilderness and she’s not alone. While playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an unknown stalker Carly solves the riddle surrounding the mysterious disappearance of Steven Younger, one of the FBI’s ten most wanted. Will Carly survive Hell’s Gate to apprehend Younger or will the secret of his location die with her in Hell’s Gate?
Reluctant Heroes: Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy meets BattleStar Galactica
Evil, in the form of a psychotic terrorist known as Dante now resides in the remote mountain community of Pine Ridge, Arizona. Sheriff Gabe Navarro thought he knew his town, yet nothing could have prepared him for the journey he and Department of Justice Agents Shelby Ryan and Carson Billings of the domestic terrorism unit are about to make. Can the trio save Pine Ridge? Can they save themselves?
Dominion Day 106,000 word SF novel
There’s got to be more to life than being a high paid assassin.
I mean, I am taking peoples lives. That can’t be the best thing.
Even if the pay is good, it doesn’t make up for living around Commander Jensen.
I could resign…
If I resigned, Jensen would still be a thorn in my side.
However, if he thought I was dead….
Antony Danic, the Corps most renowned sniper, and munitions expert has the perfect job. Or does he? Destiny has other plans for him. He fakes his death to get out from under his commander’s thumb. Changing his name and his looks to keep his former identity dead. As Noble Standing, he begins to make decisions that change him from the coarse devil may care bad boy, to the honorable good guy that the prophecies foretell about him.
One man begins to find and fulfill his destiny.
On the day of Victoria’s engagement to Boston blue-blood, Scott Halstead, she inherits a farm in Oklahoma and is forced to make a choice between a life of privilege or the skeleton in her closet.
Grayson Cyre lives in a world where war has gone on for so long, no one remembers why it started. After his treasonous sister is arrested, Grayson vows to seek revenge against the enemy--the anonymous forces whose surprise attack left his colony decimated and his parents dead.
Widowed and propositioned at the gravesite is not Anna Sinclair's idea of romance, but lifelong friend Daniel Mercy is not a man easily refused. They marry within days of her husband’s funeral, and she prepares for the raised eyebrows of 1762, Charleston society.
Daniel struggles to maintain his faltering shipping company and in the process, he and Anna learn of Seth's involvement with embezzlement, smuggling, and attempted murder. When he discovers the name of Seth's murderer, Anna is kidnapped and buried alive.
Some secrets should remain buried with the dead but as Anna fights to stay alive, she uncovers one secret Daniel has hidden from her.
Pregnant and fleeing an arranged marriage, Dianna Marshall sets sail for America on board the Titanic in the company Margaret and William Stewart, a childless couple who offer Dianna sanctuary in exchange for her unborn child. But when the Titanic sinks, and William Stewart dies, Dianna is catapulted into a world completely foreign to her where she faces desperate choices: will it be the life she's been raised to lead, the man her heart desires, or the unborn child she's come to love? She can't have everything, but the wrong choice may leave her with nothing.
Rane is in a bind. He has a few weeks to break a witch’s curse or all his friends will die. They’ve been soul chasers for hundreds of years, blithely inhaling the spirits of nearby villagers. But now, three of them are dead and four are trapped inside their castle. As the only one who escaped, Rane must find their estranged creator, Markin, before it is too late. Along the way, he discovers the last vampire and quickly learns that the soul chasers evolved from this very creature. Rane will fight off wild chasers, fall in love with a mortal and break the curse before it’s all over.
In addition to being a loving father and devoted husband, Jesse Dawson is also a modern samurai and champion of lost souls. When his fellow champions begin to go missing, he has no choice but to complete his current contract to save the soul of an aging baseball player. But the forces of darkness want his soul, and when demons are involved, things literally go to Hell.
Jessica had it all - her own agency, a popular blog, and even a man who liked watching Oprah with her. But when someone steals her egg salad sandwiches from the office fridge on the morning of the annual Festivus Potluck, Jessica finds herself smack in the middle of a mystery. With toe-hair curling prose, BROUHAHA AT BOOKENDS shows what happens when an obnoxious slushpile-reader-who-doesn't-swing-her-arms-when-she-walks meets up with the agent who ruined her life with a simple form reject.
(Figured you could use a break)
Set in a nearly empty college in the final stages of closure, my novel The Campus is a 103,000-word thriller. Kiley is a theatre tech major who excels behind the scenes, but in a single, terrifying night, she is propelled center stage when the school’s few remaining students are threatened by a group of masked men whose motives are not what they seem.
In a story of mayhem, secrets and loyalty (not to mention hammers, hydrochloric acid, pancakes and the gates of the Emerald City), Kiley – a heroine with moxie rather than muscles – must do whatever it takes to rescue her ex-boyfriend, protect newfound allies and keep herself alive until morning.
(Per your advice in previous entries, I shall resist the urge to thank you for your time and will simply say I look forward to hearing from you. :)
A Lady's Revenge is an edgy, sensual romance set in 1805 England, between a beautiful, dedicated British Operative and a resourceful English Earl, who shows her how to trust and love again.
MARIAH, once a foundling but now the most powerful woman in the Marches, has a tongue that flicks like a lash. LINDEN, the ruler who once shared her bed with his half-brother, is her most frequent target. Mariah is tempted to withdraw from Linden’s council of advisors. Yet, she can’t abandon the descendants of the people who fought at her side during the Rebellion four centuries ago because Linden is showing signs of his mother's madness. Then, her granddaughter is used as bait in a plot to overthrow Linden's rule.
Caught in the middle of an intrigue she doesn’t understand, in a country she once fled, reporter and freelance writer, Claire Linton, has to learn fast. What began as a trip to Cambodia to find her maternal relatives, confront her past and the long ago escape from the Khmer Rouge, has turned deadly. She becomes an involuntary mule when she purchases a souvenir, a Buddha bust. Two men follow her and both want the bust. But it is the one called Simon, the expat American, who scares her. His kisses are treacherous, fogging an already dangerous present. The biggest story of her career finds her caught in the middle of a heroin smuggling operation where she soon learns that the only one she can trust is herself.
My day started at 4:30AM & I just made it home so I hope I'm not too late to make a fool of myself. This is for my completed YA adventure - title still ???.
Making the choice to risk your own life to rescue a friend requires great courage and selflessness. Add having to abandon $15,000,000 in gold during the process raises the stakes significantly. Following through on it, as a fifteen year old, provides reason for pause, but for Jack, the commitment must be made in an instant.
Umm, er, did you say one sentence or a paragraph, or the entire query?
I think I am pitch 88. You're going to be busy with this. Thanks heaps for this opportunity.
'See Lotty Run' is an 85,000 word Romantic Thriller:
Lotty killed her baby didn't she? With a new face and a new start, it all seems to be working out. Till she falls for a cop.
Becky Miller is stunned to discover that her husband, Walter, is having an affair with a mentally challenged cocktail waitress. Even worse, Walter’s girlfriend has suggested that she and Walter would both be better a lot off if Becky were permanently removed from the picture. Becky thus decides to teach Walter a lesson that he’ll never forget, but as she sets her scheme into motion, things go tragically wrong and Becky suddenly finds herself in danger of becoming the principal victim of her own carefully constructed plan…
Pathology Assistant, June Marigold is moving up in the world thanks to the magical ring given to her by her mother, which allows her to see and speak to the dead. After solving a notorious, deadend case, June found herself with a brand new apartment up in the Thirties, high above the dreadful waterways of a now flooded lower Manhatten. But when the corpse of a merman shows up in the morgue and then mysteriously vanishes overnight, June finds herself caught up in an ongoing struggle between the Mer and a corrupt part of NYC that wants the City's newest residents permanently removed. Having to delve into the murky underwater world of the lowest Manhatten is the last thing June wants, especially accompanied by the mysterious and unnerving Mer, Bolen, who serves her pagan mother and absurdly refers to June as 'Princess.' The entire problem would have been washed away if, when she tried returning the stupid ring to her mother, June hadn't discovered the power to see the dead didn't lie in the ring at all, but in her.
Neska has never been out of her native mountains and knows nothing about leading armies or defeating a usurper. She has never cast a spell or decided the course of a kingdom. All she knows is that the usurper has killed the king for the throne and had her own family murdered for their loyalty. Neska is on the run, and has no idea how she will surivive much less bring about justice. But all that will change when a mysterious mage dies transferring his tattoos and his magical power to her.
Neska has never been out of her native mountains and knows nothing about leading armies or defeating a usurper. She has never cast a spell or decided the course of a kingdom. All she knows is that the usurper has killed the king for the throne and had her own family murdered for their loyalty. Neska is on the run, and has no idea how she will surivive much less bring about justice. But all that will change when a mysterious mage dies transferring his tattoos and his magical power to her.
Blech. Double post. I apologize for that.
Secret Lore of the Dolphins is an epic story about a seven year old girl shipwrecked in the Bermuda Triangle, who is rescued, then befriended by dolphins, and taught their language. Now an adult, she returns to civilization appointed as, "Ambassador of the People of the Sea to the People of the Land."
The highlight of C. J. Ellington’s day was his walk to the post office. Excitement coursed through his body as he awakened each morning, eagerly anticipating his two-mile trek into town to check his mail. He never knew what to expect: Information from Publisher’s Clearinghouse? Entry forms for a free trip to Disneyworld or Hollywood? A letter from his cousin in Tiptonville?
But that was before his whole life was turned upside down.
Fifteen-year-old Anna has six weeks to come up with a plan. It takes her six days. Traveling across the country to find answers to her past, Anna is prepared for anything. But she isn’t expecting this.
From the dawn of the Middle Ages comes a tale of impossible love between two sworn enemies: Bradamante, the niece of Charlemagne, and Ruggiero, a Saracen warrior descended from Hector of Troy. Both are legendary warriors who meet and fall in love on the field of battle and become separated. They fight to overcome the many obstacles threatening to keep them apart: being sworn to two different sovereigns who are at war with one another, being of different faiths, and magical forces intent on denying them from fulfilling their destiny.
Thank you for this opportunity for us to learn.
Does Virtue Pay? A brothel that offers no sex shall find out.
Mouthy meets moral--in the middle of the mattress.
'In The Air Tonight'. 100K romantic suspense.
Thanks for taking the time to share your insights, Jessica.
With her older brother Jimmy gone missing in Iraq, a hurricane in the forecast, and her long-absent father appearing suddenly at the front door, twelve-year-old Nadine has her hands full, trying to do it all: She needs to find her brother, save her bottle tree from hurricane-force winds, and make her parents fall in love again.
Mari has a reputation for dealing with demons, but stickler Ben needs her help to find a dangerous manuscript before it can be published. Mari jumps at the chance to quash rumors and redeem herself, but working so closely with Ben proves dangerous as her carefully erected walls disintegrate in the face of his HEX APPEAL.
In the summer of 2001, branch manager for a national chain of travel agencies, Prudence Peters’ week begins with a demotion and hears that her office faces closure. By the end of the week one of Pru’s agents is fired and the supervisor who fired her is murdered. Suggestions of a postal employee puts all the offices in Pru’s state at risk of closure to protect the company’s reputation, so Pru sets out to find the missing agent. What she finds is devious company agendas, peers with too many motives and more murder.
Can Tricky Dick and Swivel Hips save the world? They'll have to, after Elvis shows up at the White House to accept an F.B.I. crime fighting award from President Richard Nixon and a famous anti-war activist shows up dead in the Lincoln bedroom. The body is just the first domino to fall. The last may be civilization itself. President and rock star are forced to team up and trade places. Will Elvis sing the right tune over the Moscow hot line? Can Dick do "Hound Dog?" If not the world faces Armageddon, J. Edgar Hoover in a mini-skirt, or worse.
Fantasy Novel: Crimson Swarm
Aberthuil Nauile doesn’t know that he once led legions in a war that raged since the dawn of time, against an enemy that cannot be killed. He doesn’t know that he rode on a dragon with his father, and saw his mother die while giving birth to him. He doesn’t know that he once saved his great, great, great grandfather by defeating the black enemy on the slopes of a volcano. Aberthuil doesn’t know that he beheld the creation of the world, as his grandfather eight generations before took the planet ravaged by a war of the gods and began anew. All he knows is that he awoke in a coffin in a tomb, and now the whole world thinks he is their savior. All he really wants to know is his name, and why he keeps hearing voices in his head.
Thanks for this chance! You'll be one busy gal.)
- Classic Romance with a Twist -
You never have a chance to alter your destiny. Morgan Ashton is given this chance to go back in time to fall in love with the right man. Two handsome and rakish men fight for her attention, each one having their own way to seduce the outspoken Ashton. As soon as she thinks she has made her choice, her love and her heart demand the truth. But will she be able to discover this truth before her time is up?
A god chooses Norida's ruler, but the young commoner he made Queen doesn't have leadership experience and knows very little about the conditions of the land she now rules. Worse, her high ministers work subtly to keep her isolated and ignorant so that they can manipulate her into doing their will. Did their god pick a ruler destined to fail? Or will those "failings" be the key to exposing the traitors within her government and surviving long enough to bring them to justice?
(the last comment I posted just did not say enough in those three sentences, so I am submitting another. Webmaster, If it is possible to delete the last one, please do.)
The year is 1959, racism is impacted in society, and Sara Jane Lawrence is missing. When Detective Sergeant John McCourt takes over the investigation of the missing biracial girl, he finds his suspect's journal. Spellbound, as he reads, he finds himself reliving the past few months through the eyes of his suspect, and ultimately finds the bittersweet truth of what happened to Sara Jane.
A heterosexual teenager in an all boy’s school faces a moral meltdown when he becomes attracted to a classmate only to later discover the classmate is a girl masquerading while she hides out from killers.
She dates, she kills, she’s miserable.
Meet Livia, a five-foot-three contract killer whose boyfriend, Evan, has just left her for another woman. Hurt, confused and angry, Livia makes a go of continuing on in the life she made for herself. Which would be easier if her ex wasn’t her boss, too. Also not helping is James, her teacher of all things violent and partner. It’s James that gives her the rules to kill by and the ultimately the final push Livia needs to let Evan go, once and for all.
Private Anna Lowry always made her father proud, so now she'll do anything to fulfill his dying wish of ending the galatic war for independence, and that means traveling across the galaxy in search of an item that might not exist and battling her traitorous captain to get it. "The Delandar Tapestry" is complete at 80,000 words.
[That will be my pitch when I'm through with revisions and the word count is correct, anyway.] Thanks, Jessica. Long-time reader, not-often commenter.
The computer found Mr. Perfect; does it matter that she lied?
Rose is undercover for a travel magazine on the inaugural voyage of the CyberMatches Singles Cruise. She exaggerates the data on her computer survey so her CandiDates will be diverse. The computer pairs Rose with Scott, the hot genius who wrote the CyberMatches software and is convinced of its infallibity. How will Rose tell her dream guy that their match is based on a lie?
What if a woman became a vigilante after the assassination of her husband, but every murder looked like an accident?
(Title) is a psychological thriller about a pseudo-sheltered, solitary widow who struggles to protect the people she loves from physical harm amidst a civilian world of ineffective law enforcement and unverifiable threats. As she adopts a secret life of creating accidents to remove dangerous people from the lives of her loved ones, the secrets that protect everyone else threaten to destroy her. Vigilante justice creates new threats, and she must keep a little girl safe while trying to find peace for her own soul. But she’s not the only one who would do anything to keep someone safe.
I may be too late but just thought I'd tag in, just in case...
Private George Waterson saves the life of his enemy Captain Shiro Kawamoto on the Bataan Peninsula. Two years later, his act of compassion is returned when he finds himself a POW in a prison camp run by the same Captain. For Kawamoto, no amount of assistance he can provide will repay the debt he owes the young American, until he is asked to fulfill a promise that will satisfy his debt, but at the price of his family honor. Sixty years later, Kawamoto’s prison journal is discovered by his granddaughter, Naomi, who learns of her true heritage. It leads her to George, still fighting the demons of the past, and shocked with the arrival of a granddaughter he never knew he had. She is a reminder of the one betrayal he could never forgive himself. But in Naomi and the revelations of the journal, George is able to find redemption.
DAMAGED GOODS is about a ten year old boy who kills his friend.
TWIN NO MORE focuses on Morgan’s struggle to cope with her twin brother’s suicide.
Astrologer Di Darwin solves with a timed horoscope chart the murder of an old woman who chokes to death on a boiled Maine Lobster.
Susie's amateur sleuth mystery.
Jill Clemmons hasn't set foot in Adams Grove since she and Ken Malloy split up and she ran away to Savannah. She wouldn't be back now either if it weren't to bury her grandmother, Pearl, who raised her in the small town. In a final matchmaking attempt Pearl leaves her estate to them jointly.
But someone else is interested in that estate too and is willing to stop at nothing in search of a treasure of precious pearls supposedly hidden there years ago. Jill and Ken must put the past behind them as they fight for their lives to uncover who is behind the danger and why.
Princess Adeline is determined to become a real fairy tale princess, including handsome prince, heroic rescue and happily-ever-after. But, since nothing interesting ever happens to princesses from stable, two-parent families, Princess Adeline offs her parents, flees the kingdom, and seeks out deadly peril in order to become a proper Damsel In Distress. Unfortunately, the dragon won’t eat her, the wicked witch refuses to cast an evil spell, the woodcutter preemptively removes her from the belly of the Big Bad Wolf and Adeline finds she must rescue herself from the giant when no one bothers to show up. This isn’t how it happens in the storybooks!
-- Princess Imperiled, (fractured fairy tale) by "Duskydawn"
Silent Echoes, a contemporary Kramer versus Kramer story, set in a wealthy Chicago suburb, is about two young lovers from dysfunctional families rising above youthful mistakes and tragedies to create a strong and healthy love. Catherine Whittemore Boyd will do anything to regain custody of her young son; even reconcile with the husband accused of killing their son’s twin.
A lady entrepreneur falls in love with a reclusive surgeon amid industrial intrigue and underworld power struggles.
Gianna Donnatelli is a spirited entrepreneur whose two goals are to make a success of her new company, and to aid the underprivileged in the Detroit ghettos.
Joe Scarfili is a brilliant surgeon who has isolated himself in a mansion in Grosse Pointe and immersed himself in work since the gang-related murder of his wife.
When Gianna is hurt in a strange burglary, Joe, as a close friend of the family, reluctantly assumes the role of her protector. Suddenly everything becomes dangerous and personal.
The king is missing. The infant prince is being poisoned. Guards loyal to the king are systematically being destroyed or exiled. It isn't a good time for a fledgling girl to join the elite Horse Guards, the most loyal of the king's troops. Especially a girl who has caught the eye of a pirate, a demon and the demon caller.
XXX blends the quirkiness of small town life with that of a magical world, and offers recipes scattered throughout the book. XXX takes you on the journey of eleven year-old Stormy Reed as he grapples with being raised in a family not his own, the realization that unimaginable things truly exist, and a destiny he may not survive.
Lake Come-and-Go is a portal between the two worlds of mortal Glastonbury Proper and the Magical World including a dark and mysterious wood. The wood is full of magic, many legends coming alive within its boundaries. An elderly couple, are the gatekeepers of the lake and bear great responsibility in keeping Stormy Reed safe from the evil Nefarious Nobleman. Stormy is unaware of his magical beginnings or his mystical destiny, and with his dawning of discovery, he plunges into unwitting adventures. Sudden attacks, terrifying confrontations, and excruciating tests, ultimately find Stormy embarking on a life exploding with possibilities he is eager to explore.
Hello, my name is Cohiba Hemingway and I am dead. I am not a zombie. I am not a vampire. I am not Casper the Friendly Ghost. I’m just a man who happens to be dead. Because of a hospital clerical error, I’ve got a Death Certificate and everything. I think I’ve even been cremated.
I’m going to stay dead. That means the people who I used to work for won’t be looking for me. They’re genuine badasses. That also means I’m free to roam around the country messing with them, even if it means killing one or two along the way. These are my stories. Part Destoyer, part Lone Ranger, a little Jack Reacher, this is a fast-paced action/adventure series with suspense, mystery and a little blood ‘n’ guts thrown in. Beginning with “Turn Me on Deadman” each book is about 60,000 words.
Guided by charismatic businessman Julian Pressman, Bobby uses his ability to see the past and future to build a fortune. Bobby discovers that Julian is an agent working out of a dark matter dimension, and he is using Bobby to literally harvest mankind for export. Bobby becomes the bait in a trap to save humanity - but it fails, and Bobby gives up his physical form to fight Julian on his own turf. Humanity must win the day to earn the right to not only survive, but create a powerful home for itself in the dark matter universe.
The fiercely private Madeleine-Cora Spencer is the last person who should be on a reality show. But when she's shunned by a friend's new wife because "you can't trust desperate single women", her pain and humiliation drive her straight to the "Find Your Prince" web site. Armed with newly sexy clothes and careful research into the show, she arrives to meet her potential loves, only to find herself dumped... on a remote island with seven of her ex-boyfriends.
Instead of meeting the man of her dreams, MC learns that she will be competing against Kent, the man she nearly married, and his six ex-girlfriends (and one ex-wife) for a million dollars. Amid the joys of jungle life, testosterone-laced struggles, and the most uncomfortable period ever, MC tries to find a balance between the privacy she needs and the intimacy she craves. Along the way, she realizes that not all of her exes are as bad as she remembers, and one just might be more than she'd ever expected to find in a man. But the show has a few more twists up its sleeve, and both Kent and MC have choices to make that will change their lives.
*** Thanks for doing this! :) ***
When vacationing Amanda Patrone witnessed a murder and helped a Basque freedom fighter chase a stolen Picasso painting through the Pyrenees, she wished she'd brought extra underwear. And her passport.
Brash USO singer, ANGELINE WATERS, delivers hope to soldiers who don’t come back, like her father. While spying for military intel, she falls for HENRI REYNAR, a grounded RAF pilot, but his near-fatal shooting sends Angeline running to her next mission, where she’s captured by Panzer COLONEL VON HEIMER and forced to make Nazi propaganda films.
Fifteen-year-old Anna has a problem. Anna is in love with Oliver. But Oliver isn’t human. He’s a shape-shifter, just like the ones who murdered Anna’s family. Just like the ones who are coming back for her.
(Thanks for this opportunity, Jessica!)
I'm probably way too late, but here's my pitch for WIP "Fool's Resolve."
The Queen of Santor is well-protected from physical harm by her god, but agents from Karella are spreading rumors that discredit her rule and threaten to tear her country apart. Queen Serrica devises a plan to force the Emperor to withdraw his agents, but she must confront the Emperor face-to-face for the plan to succeed. Her advisors are convinced that even their cunning, god-touched queen won't return from Karella alive, but that doesn't stop Queen Serrica from her Fool's Resolve.
Efosa is raped at the age of fifteen, turning her hitherto idyllic life upside down. The perpetrator is Emeka, her brother's rich and handsome friend.
When they meet again twelve years later, Emeka has had a conversion experience and is a Christian, while Efosa is bitter and suicidal.
Can she love the man she blames for ruining her life? And can a former rapist really redeem himself?
When 12-year-old Carlo’s family loses its orchard to a blight, his father leaves to find work. Soon his mother falls ill—as she lies dying, a strange old woman appears and tells Carlo that it’s up to him to save her life. She sends Carlo to the end of the world in search of a magic seed. Carlo is helped along the way by several new friends: Rolf, an erudite dog; Marguerite, a laconic cow; and Jenny, a pirate girl, looking for a new life. In the classic quest tradition, Carlo must use his gifts—especially his gift for music—to overcome many obstacles. He fights off pirates, crosses the prairie with pioneers, gets swept up into a tornado. Only Carlo can write the song that makes a magical bridge appear. In the mysteriously empty city of Progress, Carlo becomes a cog in a terrible machine, one of countless people endlessly turning inside its gears in the futile pursuit of gold. He is saved only when his friends, waiting outside, try something they already know is impossible. When they at last reach Mount Tallest-of-All, one by one, Carlo’s friends can’t climb any higher—he must find his way on his own. Or does he? Using his last gift, Carlo discovers the hidden route to the seed that will save his mother’s life. Carlo and his friends are ready to return home in triumph, until Carlo learns he must face his greatest fear and return to the factory—to free his father.
(Thanks, Jessica, this is just what I've been looking for. This book is aimed at kids in grades 3-6 or so.)
Previously published by PublishAmerica, I withdrew my book from publication. I need not say why. Here's my pitch:
Anna's Blood is a horror-science fiction novel about a homeless woman who takes temporary shelter in an abandoned house in Providence and gets volunteered to help save a gentle race of vampires from another planet.
My skin is thick, I can take it (ducks to avoid flying rotten tomatoes). :-)
It's the puritans against the vampires and Sophia needs to believe she's a puritan as she guards her sister, the chosen one whom the vampires seek to mate with their king. Fighting the powers growing inside of her, that would reveal her true identity, Sophia endeavors to resist the vampire captain, Blake, who leads the search for this chosen one. But in a moment of passion she allows him access to the puritans -- and her heart. Now branded a traitor, only Blake can save her.
I deleted my first attempt because it was too long. Here's my revised pitch- commercial fiction, with elements of family saga and romance:
Son of a wealthy, successful and famous designer, Ian Harrington was born into the world of the rich and shameless. He blames himself, and his father, for his mother's death, and has run far away to start a new life. Beautifully blond, musically talented, but emotionally troubled, he hides his pain behind pale blue eyes and drinks to numb the guilt that has followed him across the ocean. When he meets Sarah, the fiery-haired singer with all the connections to make their dreams come true, can her love save him from his demons and secrets, or will the burdens of his past destroy everything they have ever wanted?
I'm loving the critique analyses. If it's not to late to add one, here's another:
Celia Darrell (24) has a father lost at sea, a mother fighting cancer, and a brother who could be burning down the neighborhood. She’s convinced that her fractured family is holding her back from her dreams, and that her best hope of escape lies in decorating the enormous shipping cranes that line Seattle’s harbor. Bringing these creatures to life in a blaze of color could lure her father home, reawaken her mother’s artistic soul, and distract her brother from the fury that consumes him.
Along the way, she stumbles into love, risks her life, discovers the power of forgiveness, and teams with a mysterious East German man, who arrives in Seattle the day after the Berlin Wall falls. In the end, it’s clear the only anchor keeping Lilia tethered too close to shore is herself.
For Laura Chase, being a god is not easy. After all, she’s trying to graduate from college. It doesn’t help that her family has been kidnapped by a supernatural racial supremacist, not to mention the fact she has the propensity to become evil if she cannot control her power. But above all, being a god is not easy...because she does not yet know she is a god.
Amy never expected to get divorced, let alone sit Shiva for her ex-husband in a house with a Christmas tree, yet there she was. Just two years after her divorce when she had hit her stride having every-other-weekend to herself when her kids and the dogs went to stay with her ex, Amy was no longer a co-parent, she was an only parent. She now had two fatherless children, her ex's pregnant widow, an intimate relationship with probate court, but no weekends off.
(this is a memoir)
Where The Souls Go is the story of three women and their art, strengths, madness and legacies. Can the youngest generation, Leigh, daughter of Grace Jean and granddaughter of AzLeigh, break the cycle of dysfunction passed forward for too many years and survive the insanity knocking at her door?
A deadly boating accident took a young boy's life the summer before Lani Jones’s body washed ashore the little island along the Susquehanna River. Small town newspaper publisher, Fay Cunningham scrambles to find the connection between the two when a second recovering heroin addict’s body turns up and Fay’s daughter insist neither died by accident or suicide and she could be the next one dead. When Fay questions how she knows this, she confesses to being in recovery and had spent time with the victims. Stunned and terrified by her daughter’s confession, it doesn’t take long before Fay’s deeply involved in the investigation. Her persistent snooping leads to answers and lands her on a jet ski trying to outrun a killer who wants to permanently silence her before she reaches shore and exposes the truth.
Västerbotten, Sweden – August 1947.
A series of killings plague the small town of Övranäs and its surrounding areas. When married local chief of police finds the woman he loves dead and their baby missing he has to find both child and perpetrator before he himself is framed for the murders. What he unravels forces him to choose between the justice he craves and the love he cannot live without.
Let's see if I can upgrade myself from snooze... (Thanks for the challenge)
Sometimes white picket fences can become iron bars. And no-one is baking Sandra a cake with a file in it. Realising that "happily ever after" is a target, Sandra sets out to bake her own cake. A feminist fable that give the lie to the adage that feminists have no sense of humour.
Thank you for the extended opportunity, Jessica.
“An exotic fantasy full of fire and shadows.”
Magic winks it deception through the rainforests and rice fields of Sunda, like dancing glints of light leaving in its wake the terrible absence of animals.
Fifteen-year-old Amirah may be quick to temper and often opens her mouth before thinking, but she will do anything to redeem her family from social exile, even travel to the wilds of Rindu – where the animals now reside. She plans to return in triumph with a surga (winged horse) for the king. However, Rindu is a place of chaos and unpredictability and her recent goddess-given gift of connecting with animals becomes bitter-edged when she hears the song of a dying phoenix and a promise becomes an impossible burden.
John Calhoun IV scandalizes prim Swanson, Mississippi, when he learns his late father was a philanderer, the abandoned urchin Mary Swann is his half sister, and he is the only one willing to rescue her.
I’ve been wavering on whether or not to add my contemporary inspirational pitch. Since you said to keep posting:
The life of a Las Vegas call girl doesn’t allow Athena Hamilton time to ponder memories of her first love, Isaiah Martin.
Lydia Martin never wanted to move to Las Vegas, but she goes for her husband, believing in Isaiah’s call to start a church in Sin City.
Athena and Lydia become unlikely friends and with Lydia’s help, Athena might find true salvation. But when Isaiah discovers his wife’s new friend, it’s not Athena’s soul he’s worried about – it’s his own.
This is very cool that you are doing this!
It’s 1668 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Reverend Dean needs pure of faith Calvinist women to marry the men in his village if he hopes to maintain his hold on his tiny fiefdom.
Jayne, cast out by her father for her strange ways, is sent across the ocean to be given to a man she does not know.
After spending time with the savages, William isn’t a favorite of the Reverend’s but when the lottery draws his name he’s granted his first choice of wife. Two outcasts struggle to live among the repressive village, while at the same time work to understand the strange and fascinating attraction between them.
Every time Braden takes his sunglasses off, it brings him closer to death. The visions he sees make him a formidable witch – traces of old magic, remnants of dark emotions, and glimpses of the past – but also strike him down with seizures that make it impossible to fall in love. Being gay is only the icing on the cake of his abnormal life. When he’s drawn into a feud between two rival witch families who each want to use him, seeing the truth isn’t as easy as unshielding his eyes. His friends are on opposite sides of the war, the guy he’s falling for is becoming his enemy, and thanks to Braden’s arrival, tensions in town are escalating. Choosing a side means accepting his role in the unfolding events, and deciding which is more important: the things he can see, or the things his heart covets.
Take yourself back in time. Back to Africa – deepest Africa. 1855. The British have just begun their invasion. White men are a scarcity in Zululand. Tales of their magic abound in the villages. Izi, the King’s trusted medicine, knows that the time of the prophecy draws near. Chosen by the Gods to deliver the message, he must ensure that the Zulus remain faithful. Summoned to deliver the Queen’s first child, the daughter of the prophecy is born. Will she lead her nation to freedom, or will her Gods abandon her?
"The Mask of Zorro" meets "Ella Enchanted" as Prince Charming narrates this dark Cinderella.
When his older brother is murdered, Berto changes from Second Son of Savana to heir apparent on the run. He moves from orphan refuges to governor's palaces, working to keep his identity secret from all except his orphan friend Ella. But as he falls in love with Ella and discovers his mysterious enemy is closer than home, the choice between "happily ever after" and saving Savana is one Berto will have to make-- unless someone kills him first.
Why does an inept burglar keep trying to break into a lonely bed and breakfast in rural Iowa? Could it be for the antique Christmas ornaments? Or is a thug for an unscrupulous land developer trying to harass the innkeeper into leaving? Does a peculiar guest have a hidden agenda? Or is there a different reason? And how is this connected to a mysterious death in the snow a decade before? The answers may lie locked inside the mind of an old woman with Alzheimer’s.
When two guests are awakened by another of the sorry burglar’s attempts, they decide to set a trap, as much to see what the burglar is after as to catch him. Not only are they surprised when the burglar is unmasked, but they discover a family treasure nearly lost for all time.
A Highlander turned English border warden discovers his biggest challenge is fighting the overwhelming desire for the delectable Border Hellion who insists on becoming his mistress in exchange for her murderous brother.
When a presidential nominee is among the dead in a series of attacks on US seaports and natural gas terminals, Caro Wilson, a retired CIA Security manager, enlists a group of unique former spies to avert potentially devastating political and economic consequences.
Caro survived the Honey Project, the CIA’s counterpart to the notorious Soviet sex spies. She and the other former agents, her close friends, have hidden their sordid past, married well, and overcome their emotional scars. Caro wears the bland mask of a competent bureaucrat until she nearly dies in the attacks. She’s collected scraps of ambiguous evidence, enough to launch an investigation, and she’s scared. The friends she turns to for help, who also dread exposure, are suddenly dangerous: one is the widow of the slain politician, and the other two are married to men in the conspiracy, confederates of Caro’s own husband.
In this historical romantic suspense novel, set in Victorian England, young Minuette Sinclair is swept into an illicit affair with a reformed thief, Bryant Westley, and becomes entangled in the search for a priceless necklace with a bloody past.
Two ancient alien races, in war of annihilation are heading toward Earth. Terrorist Adiak Peller seeks power and revenge for a son's death. 18 year old
Del Baldura is the flash point where it all intersects.
After someone begins assassinating L.A.'s most depraved criminals, former drug-runner, turned cop, turned millionaire playboy, Hale Parrish, is asked to use his special talents to investigate. By "gleaning," Hale can relive the final moments of the dead, often leading to indisputable evidence against murderers. When Hale and the vigilante cross paths, their lost family ties are revealed, forcing Hale to contend with the darkest shadows from his past.
A single mom ranch owner desperate to save her land. An ex-con cowboy running from his past.
She needed a hero . . . what she got was him.
Maggie Stevens only priority is keeping her Wyoming spread afloat. With a neighbor stealing her cowboys, a long list of repairs and a loan payment due, she’s running out of options. Cowboy Landon Cartwright is fresh from prison on an overturned conviction for a crime that robbed him of all he cherished. Broke, he’s forced to take a job working for the lady rancher.
How long can Landon run from the horrifying memories that always find him, and will Maggie be able to overlook the dark sensuality she finds in a cowboy’s eyes when she hires THE RIGHT KIND OF WRONG.
In 305 A.D., the Roman gods are preparing to die; the Seventh Seal is about to be opened; and inside a waking Mt. Vesuvius, pagan prophecy and Christian canon will soon converge.
Now, a devout young mage must defy Church and Emperor to not only initiate an apocalypse but to win over the Persian mercenary he suddenly finds himself soul-bonded to. All before the gods rebel and a thriving empire falls.
Natalya Petrofsky is a zombie with authority issues. She was just about to escape her crazy immigrant family when someone killed them all. Now Grandma Nama is in a coma from changing the curse intended to wipe out their family into something that made them zombies instead. Big improvement. But that doesn't stop her from interfering with Natalya's life. Grandma’s telepathic running commentary can really kill a date night.
And when Natalya finally meets a sexy guy who won't freak because she has no heartbeat, it's because vampire Victor wants her to swear an undead oath to the vamps.
Natalya just wants to keep the family funeral home afloat and find a way to reverse whatever curse killed her entire clan, preferably before her dysfunctional relatives meet Homeland Security. Coping with her own death is hard enough. How will she avoid becoming a vampire lackey?
Owner of the galaxy’s largest freight company, Lucy McAllister gets to do what she’s always wanted – travel the stars. Wealth, fame, family, and friends, she has it all. If not for that one old debt…
Her family taken hostage, Lucy must fly to Rogusta and assassinate the planet’s most respected senator, or she’ll lose everything she loves. She has no choice but to play along while she plans a rescue mission. Just two steps out of the ship, Lucy finds herself the target of a hired assassin. She’s tossed into GIA protective custody with the sexy Chief Agent Finn Droverson watching her every move. Things heat up between them, and she begins to suspect something is a bit different about their relationship – especially when their hands fuse together during a romantic moment. Lucy must figure out her unexpected (and complicated) relationship with Finn, battle with GIA double agents, and somehow outwit the smartest criminal in the galaxy – and save her family.
(Thank you very much!)
Phil Collins stops my imprisonment.
My name is Steve. When I was younger I had big dreams. Jamie, Brian and I, we all had big dreams. We wanted to change the world – and we did. We wanted to be rock stars – and we were. We wanted girlfriends - that was the difficult one. We had all been great friends. Jamie and I still were. I wouldn’t have been here today if not for Jamie. But I wasn’t sure I’d ever forgive Brian.
A semi-fictional tale of WOMAD 1982, one of the greatest but financially most disastrous music festivals ever - seen through the eyes of an utterly helpless organiser, and told alongside the story of punk rock in the provinces.
If Jessica's going in order, I don't have much hope of getting critiqued, but it never hurts to try! Thanks for doing this, Jessica; & you were great at Backspace.
My book is about a woman who gets younger, and her husband, who doesn't. When Gretchen turns 30, she suddenly starts to age backward, and her body begins to undo both the negative aspects of aging (scars, wrinkles) and the positive ones (wisdom, stability, memories). The book alternates between Gretchen's point of view and Charlie's, as they struggle with the ever-growing gap between them, as he turns 31 and 35 and 41 while she turns 29 and 25 and 19.
Lady Elizabeth Dunham and her brother have been hiding a secret that could ruin them. When the blackmail letters arrive Lady Elizabeth sets out to save her family. She is prevented from attaining this goal because her brother has enlisted the help of the mysterious “Messenger” who Elizabeth believes will only ruin her family and she sets out to find and stop him.
Daniel Reming, Earl of Clauster, is The Messanger. He believes in justice and wants to right the wrongs of the ton, because he failed his sister and family and needs to make it up, even if it is only to himself. He is prevented from attaining this goal because the woman in his latest assignment is doing everything in her power to prevent him from succeeding.
Did you ever have a dream so real you could taste it?
Catlin Landry has. Her nights are filled with visions of a sexy man, the feel of his muscles, and the taste of his skin. Too bad they aren't real, or are they?
Two of the four members of programmer Joshua Jones' web team are dead. Killed at their computers without a mark on their bodies. How were they killed and by whom? Only Joshua and his odd assortment of geek friends are capable of finding out how the murders were committed. Can they succeed before Joshua and his coder girlfriend become the next victims of a psychotic hacker?
Murder was the beginning of Hope’s short life together with Ian, but before that, she had a past; as a priest, a homeless person and a Broadway dresser. Now she has a different life, as a 64 year old single mother of a 16 year old replica of herself. But what will she do when the actor she turned away for love walks back into her life to claim their daughter and her reason for living?
Here's mine, Jessica!
Anya Swanson knows broken—whether bodies or hearts. As an insurance adjustor for the perilous fishing industry, she's seen her share of hurt. But when she probes too deeply into one suspicious claim, the casualties hit closer to home than she ever imagined.
It appears to be just a tragic accident—an inexperienced deckhand washed overboard in the Bering Sea. But when another deckhand on another boat goes over in a similar manner—and dragging a woman along with him—Anya takes it personally. They had dinner plans.
But before she can file the death claim, Anya discovers he may not be dead at all. In fact, he may be behind both deaths. And wouldn't you know…he intends to keep that date.
A fear of flying sounds normal enough – unless you have wings. Already a misfit within her tribe, it is certainly not aiding Lani’s ambitions to live up to family tradition. When a cursed stone comes into her possession, Lani’s greatest fear transpires. No longer able to fly, how will she heed the Seer’s warning and travel across the ravine to a friend in danger? As Lani fights to unravel the curse of THE BLACK LUCK STONE and draw from her true strengths, a life hangs in the balance.
What’s worst than hanging from a cross? Hanging from a cross, alive, and trying not to rip your best pair of jeans getting down. Besides, what else could a decade-long curse do to Halli Montgomery? Kill her family? She’d already done that. But it could keep her from the one thing she had to have. Marriage.
Esther is a typical Mormon woman: she bakes bread, wipes the runny noses of her three children under five, and dotes on her chiropractor husband -- just as his other six wives do.
Wanting more for her daughter, she runs away. But without a credit card, a high school diploma, or even a social security number, how can she create a home, especially with her devoted husband in pursuit? Heck, with the baby along and no sister wives to help, she can't even figure out when to shower.
Thank you for this. I adore the blog.
55,000 word romantic comedy, titled 'Sign on for love'.
Sign what? Sign now?
Stella says no at the altar after an ultimatum the night before her wedding. So starts her quest to free her fiance, and herself, from his manipulative family.
Unwittingly, she unleashes unexpected and powerful forces in the process.
Short pitch of my WIP A STUDY IN FEAR :
When a serial killer targets criminal profiler Rhys Garrison as his next victim, Rhys’s protégé and ex-lover, Caroline Armstrong reluctantly joins the investigation. Old flames rekindle along with new fears when Caroline risks revealing her identity as a Bosnian war crimes survivor and wanted assassin in order to save Rhys.
When Olivia Jargan receives a kidney in a blue cooler she couldn’t wait to find out who sent it, but strict regulations prevented it. So when a little snooping of her own produces a man’s name, nothing keeps her from tracking him down. But what she finds stops her heart and only her sexy donor can start it back again.
When is being a god not easy?
When you do not yet know you are a god.
Or if you’re Laura Chase, the finding out part, coming to terms part and the living up to her prophesied destiny part are all difficult. That is until she learns her family, whom she believed dead, is being held prisoner by the man who most wants to destroy her. Then being a god becomes easy and quite possibly deadly...for Laura.
Jamie knew it was over when she come home from vacation and not only was her husband gone, but the house is empty....like down to the hangers, the lightbulbs and the dog's bowl empty!
On top of it all Jamie learns that the house is not hers and the marriage to Marc was a fake, too. She moves to the only thing she has left, her grandparents old hunting lodge. But things aren't turning out to be as peaceful and safe as she remembered and she has to ask the last person on Earth that she wants to, her ex, for help.
Will her ex help her and even if he agrees will he succeed or have they just walked right into the middle of a master plan?
I feel guilty for even posting this, but it's an idea I'm toying with and I would like a critique of how to improve the idea.
I feel so guilty I would even send a gift certificate for pralined pecans; annonymously, of course. Just kidding.
Thanks again for doing this. Julie
Over the hill, overweight, and overdrawn. One woman's flight to freedom on a forklift.
As a young girl I dreamed of being swept away by a knight in shining armor. Now, at fifty-five, I realize there is no knight and the closest thing to armor is the pair of scuffed, steel-toed work boots I'm wearing.
A humorous look at middle-aged divorce, which is different from divorce in the middle ages--but not much.
It sounds like you are still open to pitch critiques. If you are, thank you. If not, this has been a great learning tool anyway, so again,thank you.
One line:The foreknowledge of genetic defects forces two women to make life altering decisions.
Longer version: First grade teacher Tara Fucciani discovers one of the twins she’s carrying has Down’s syndrome. Without telling her Gulf War veteran husband, she elects to terminate the genetically flawed baby only to give birth prematurely to an extremely fragile son. Tara’s secret alienates her from her husband and her son and raises questions in the heart of the baby’s nurse. Nola Sullivan knows all about genetic flaws because she is a carrier for Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy which killed her little brother. Like Tara, Nola has not confided any of this to her lover, the baby’s doctor.
Alright, I just had to try. :) Here's the pitch for my Historical Western Romance.
Thanks for taking the time to do this, Jessica!
To avoid an arranged marriage, Mairin O'Donnell flees Texas only to fall into the arms of the notorious Santana, a Juarista rebel fighting for the cause in Mexico
One Woman, the last of her line - Two Worlds - One Spell binds them together.
Mallory O’Malley will need to search her heart and soul to find the answers to free her ancestors from the past and save her own future. Traveling to Ireland for business and a reading of her grandmother’s will, she soon finds out she stands to inherit the haunted Grayson Castle. There’s just one catch, Mallory must live in the gatehouse of the castle for six months. When strange and threatening things begin happening, she’ll have to decide if she wants to stay and claim what it hers or leave the place to the inhabitant dooming the castle and its past to the blood spell.
Trevor Riley, considered one of Thad International Reality’s best, has to get back to Ireland and quick. His next assignment, purchase the Castle Grayson for an unknown client. Wine, dine, and make them think he knows what best has always worked before. That is until Mallory. Now he’s caught between protecting a woman he hardly knows from the very place he wants to buy or leaving her on her own and making the deal of the century.
I can never seem to resist subjecting myself to a public shredding. Thanks for doing this for us, Jessica. Here's the latest effort for my paranormal women's fiction (I think this is attempt #1,257):
When she was twenty-one, Calli Bowers true love died.
Twenty-five years later, he's back.
Calli is happily married now, but she's about to learn that true love never dies.
Reggie Hamilton’s efforts turn from film preservation to self-preservation when he finds himself suspected of murder. The site of a gala event Reggie is hosting becomes a crime scene after he finds the corpse of his mentor on the premises. When it turns out that Reggie is the beneficiary of the will, the police name him their number one suspect. But Reggie has long ago cut himself off from personal relationships, leaving himself no one to depend on but himself.
***This is a revision of my earlier contribution (no. 80-something, I think). Hopefully it's more back-of-book pitchy than query-letter synopsis-y.
They have guns. She has home advantage.
Kiley, a theatre tech major at a college on the verge of closure, excels behind the scenes – but she is propelled center stage when a group of masked men takes the school’s few remaining students hostage. They claim they’re here for money. They’re lying.
In a night of terror, Kiley protects herself by thinking up the unthinkable, from hiding behind the dead (or so she believes) body of her professor to using a screwdriver in a way never intended by the manufacturer. But even if she can thwart the kidnapers and uncover their plot … that’s when the real danger will begin.
Toni Tutoro just wants to go home…to the city where she died, where her human family was murdered, and to a dangerous man she’s never met, who’ll love her in ways she thought were lost the day her heart stopped beating.
Here's mine, (if this is still open for additions)
GETTING CAUGHT is about two high school girls in a prank war that won't end until one of them gets caught. The trouble is, Lexa Brentwood can't get caught-- not if she wants keep her flawless school record and perfect 4.0 GPA, the obvious path to Harvard. And for her arch-enemy (ex-best friend Jess Hill) losing is just as ludicrous-- whats the point of being a rebel if you're not pranking the in-crowd? As the pranks snowball and the stakes escalate, there's only one question to ask: Is all really fair in love and war?
The Crimes of Eamonn Blake
Eamonn Blake is a Vegas wedding photographer and a recovering drug addict trying to live life sober when he receives the call that his mentor and former father-in-law has died. Saddened by the death yet completely excited by the opportunity to see his ex-wife for the first time in over a year, he travels to Georgia and finds amidst the photos and the gravestones a chance at redemption.
Waking up next to a dead guy can ruin your whole day. When a wise-cracking interior decorator wants to put her past behind her, the dead body of the mayor’s son makes her realize that won’t happen too easily. A conservative former computer geek for the FBI is holding on too tightly to his past. His wife died under suspicious circumstances and he believes the decorator has the information to solve the case. Unfortunately for him, she isn’t speaking until a series of events convinces her she needs protection especially when her biggest secret threatens to destroy both of their lives.
A View to a Kilt is a 90,000 word humorous suspense.
Am I coming way after the battle? I'll take my chance I guess. This is too great of an opportunity not to try:
Social phobia and cash flow issues don’t mix. Annie, a widow and mother of three, who can’t––or won’t–– recover from the death of her husband, is overcome with the very real possibility of losing the one thing she has left: her beautiful house in the heart of Paris. On an mistaken impulse, she decides to rent out rooms to perfect strangers and lures them with a promise of “starting over in Paris”, a concept she is incapable of applying to her own life. But starting over is complicated when luggage isn’t the only baggage you carry The tenants, an anorexic and self destructive young woman, an ex top model fleeing her abusive husband, and a sexy but dangerous artist conspire to threaten Annie’s protected world in ways she had never anticipated, forcing her to face the lies she has been living with and that are slowly destroying her.
This is a 96,000 words woman's fiction
A renegade secret agent fights to clear her name and stop Machiavellian telepaths from acquiring a new technology that will allow them to enslave people's minds.
Maggie Lewis, a smart-ass debt-ridden bartender would gleefully kill some customers if she could get away with it. (Considering the ineptness of the small town's redneck police department, she probably could). Double whammy when she loses her job after her least favorite customer is killed, and she’s framed for the murder. Desperate to find the real killer, get her job and life back, Maggie confronts friend and foe alike with the help of analytical (emphasis on anal) PI Michael Bradley, and ballsy best friend Brenda.
Across A Crowded Room -
When anti-terrorist agent, Jason Des Jardin recruits inexperienced computer genius, Emily Holmes, he can't resist her in the femme fatale role she’s playing with his competition, an international arms dealer - not any more now than he could when she seduced him six years ago. Only this time it's not just their hearts at stake, it's their lives and the balance of world power.
Rome, A.D. 382. It is a time of ferment and change. Nearly seventy years have elapsed since the Emperor Constantine's conversion to Christianity; in another twenty-eight the Eternal City will be sacked. For one brief moment, the ripe richness of pagan antiquity mingles with the vigorous new wine of Christianity to produce a culture full of tensions and contradictions, conflicts but also unexpected alliances.
At an age when most young women are expected to settle down and marry, fourteen-year-old Cellina, the inquisitive, intelligent, and impulsive daughter of a pagan senator and his Christian wife, struggles to reconcile her free-spirited nature with the strictures of Roman society. When she happens to spot the secretary of her pagan father delivering secret messages to the palace of the Christian Bishop of Rome, Cellina determines to discover the truth behind the secretary's smooth facade. Together with her wise and unconventional relation Marcella, head of a religious community, and Marcella's friend and mentor, a scholarly monk and irascible curmudgeon whom later generations will know as Saint Jerome, Cellina unravels the threads of a conspiracy that threatens to topple the Bishop himself.
Ramani Singh's dream job is already a nightmare when an FBI investigation presses her into a strained alliance with Kyle Matthews, an American software designer who despises her and the other imported Indian programmers. Someone at their firm is stealing sensitive security software and selling it to foreign companies; she and Kyle are the primary suspects.
Aurora Young is a famous ex-prostitute who fights bigotry as she begins a new life in Montana. It is a time when there is no tolerance for women’s independence and a place where there is great prejudice upon women who prostitute themselves. Aurora is a woman of action and goes against all who oppose her by liberating ‘soiled doves’. This advocacy brings Aurora success in providing a home for women of ill repute. It also brings enemies of the very kind who once controlled her own life, pimps and madams.
Mark Wilkerson wants revenge. Some careless driver killed his family in a fiery automobile accident on a foggy Christmas Eve, and got away with only a dented fender. But how will he ever find the driver of that car? And how will he know it’s the right person when he does, and that person turns out to be the school bully, jealous over Mark's interest in his chick? Could he be heading for an even greater tragedy than the loss of his family?
Thank you for doing this, it's been so interesting reading what works and doesn't. I hope I've been able to take it on board...
THE NIGHT TOWER
Halley just wants a normal life, guarding the Night Tower at the centre of the canal city of Nocturne Arenaria from attack and shepherding boats safely through it with her Water Magic. But when she and her partner Sam are asked to search the city in secret for a young, very powerful Mage just coming into their powers, she finds something else – and gets embroiled in ever more complicated problems.
Someone is ritually killing prostitutes in the North-West Quarter. The barbarian head of a foreign delegation wants to buy her as a wife. And her boss has no idea that she's in love with him. Life is about to become more complicated than she'd like...
Gym Dandy: A gay tale of seduction and denial, humor and sweat (Complete at 56000 words)
Mixed signals or glitchy gaydar? After a first kiss gone horribly wrong, out and outgoing personal trainer Victor Brighton settles for friendship with handsome new client Douglas Newkirk. But is Doug in denial? Each time the boys get close, something or someone interferes. The book’s climax features a surprise twist: the hero is actually undercover to break up an illegal steroid ring. The story concludes with declarations of love, bad puns, and the big bang that’s well worth waiting for.
Thank you for any input you might have on my pitch.
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