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Perfecting Your Pitch

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 Whether you’re published, unpublished, have a pitch appointment or are pitching through an equery, every author needs to be able to summarize his or her book in as little as five words, but no more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).

Jessica

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265 comments

  1. 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.)

  2. 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!)

    David Weisman

  3. 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.

  4. (One sentence.)

    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.

  5. Dead Line

    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.

  6. (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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 Jessica!

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. (Comic crime)

    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?

  12. 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”?

  13. Tag line for my amateur sleuth mystery:

    Some families have skeletons in their closets . . . others have SKELETAL REMAINS.

    Thank you for this opportunity.
    -Jessica

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.)

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. (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.

  23. 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.

  24. (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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. Little Fish

    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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. One sentence:

    Benny Sherman helps a wayward fairy win back his wings and, in the process, finds his own.

    Paragraph:

    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.”

    Hi Jessica,

    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.

  34. 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.

  35. (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….

  36. 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.

  37. 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….

  38. 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!

  39. 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.

  40. QUEEN (thriller)

    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?

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. (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.

  45. CHINA FIRE
    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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

  50. 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.

  51. 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?

  52. (humorous romantic mystery)

    Short one-sentence:

    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.

    Long one-sentence:

    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…

  53. 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.

    Paragraph:
    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.

  54. Sentence:

    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.

    Paragraph:

    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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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?

  58. 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?

  59. 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.

    Michelle

  60. 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.

  61. (YA novel)

    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.

  62. 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.

  63. 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.

  64. 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.

  65. (urban fantasy)

    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.

  66. 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)

  67. 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. 🙂

  68. 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.

  69. 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.

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

  72. 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.

  73. 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…

  74. 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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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.

  77. 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.”

  78. 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.

  79. 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.

  80. 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.

    Linda

  81. 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.

  82. 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.

  83. 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.
    Thanks Jessica

  84. 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.

  85. 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.

  86. 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?

    Edith

  87. Thanks, Jessica.

    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?

  88. (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.)

    (Mystery/Drama)

    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.

    Shaun

  89. 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.

  90. 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.

  91. 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.

  92. (One sentence)
    The computer found Mr. Perfect; does it matter that she lied?

    (Four sentences)
    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?

  93. 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.

  94. 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.

  95. 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.

  96. 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.

  97. 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.

  98. 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”

  99. 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.

  100. 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.

  101. 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.

  102. 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.

  103. 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.

  104. 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.

  105. 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! 🙂 ***

  106. 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.

  107. 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.

  108. (YA fantasy)

    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!)

  109. 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.

  110. 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?

  111. 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.)

  112. 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). 🙂

    Kevin

  113. 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.

  114. Hi Jessica,
    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?

  115. 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.

  116. 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.

  117. 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)

  118. 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?

  119. 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.

  120. 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.

    A Writress

  121. 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.

  122. 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.

    Kylie

  123. 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.

  124. 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.

  125. 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.

    Stephanie

  126. 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.

  127. 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?

    Brigitta Schwulst
    greenprop@pixie.co.za

  128. “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.

    -Gabrielle

  129. 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.

  130. Historical Romance

    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.

    Thanks: )

  131. Political thriller.

    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.

  132. 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.

    (Thanks!)

  133. 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.

  134. (Paranormal Thriller)

    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.

  135. (Contemporary Romance)

    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.

  136. (historial fantasy)

    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.

  137. 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?

  138. 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!)

  139. Novel:
    Five words
    Phil Collins stops my imprisonment.

    One paragraph
    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.

    One sentence
    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.

  140. 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.

  141. 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.

  142. 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?

  143. Mystery: Null_Pointer

    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?

  144. 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?

  145. 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.

  146. (Mid-grade fantasy)

    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.

  147. 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.

  148. 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.

  149. 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.

  150. 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.

  151. 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.

  152. 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.

  153. 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?

  154. 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.

  155. Jessica,

    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.

  156. 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

  157. 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.

  158. 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.

  159. 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.

  160. ***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.

  161. 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.

  162. 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?

  163. 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.

  164. 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.

  165. Hello Jessica,

    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

  166. 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.

  167. 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.
    Maureen Sevilla

  168. 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.

  169. 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.

  170. 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.

  171. 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?

  172. 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…

  173. 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.
    ~ Stormy

  174. Thanks for being so generous with your time! =)

    Pitch for Red Hot Fury, adult urban fantasy:

    When the body of a Fury who went missing in action washes up in Boston Harbor, it’s Chief Magical Investigator Marissa Holloway’s job to figure out who killed her. But she soon discovers the corpse has been altered using Sidhe magic. A big problem, since the Sidhe are supposed to be extinct. After an illegal séance with the incognito spirit, Riss learns a covert arm of the mortal government has been breeding the last surviving Sidhe in captivity, seeking to unlock the key to their immortality. If this knowledge becomes public, it will inspire a mortal-magical war the likes of which the world has never seen. Now it’s up to Riss to free the captive Sidhe without causing Armageddon–or winding up a corpse herself.

  175. (YA urban fantasy)
    As far as 17 year old Alisha Ryan was concerned, there was only one thing more important than breaking curfew, and that was finding the right nightclub, and especially the right guy, to dance with. But she should have stayed far away from the last one, because it was there that all the dangers she’s never been warned about decided to appear. For starters, she’s now being stalked by a very irritated demon. And the boy she has her latest crush on? Yeah, he’s the demon’s assistant, and definitely not one hunded percent human. If that wasn’t enough, Alisha quickly realizes that the mythological Wild Hunt is not just a legend. Her demon stalker is dead-set on Alisha becoming the Hunt’s next leader, and she doesn’t want or need Alisha’s approval. Senior year looks like it’s going to be a lot more complicated- and fun- than last.
    Emily H

  176. Captain King is a hard-drinking, scrapping, tough Irish riverboat owner. Henrietta is the preacher’s daughter who captures his heart. Together they created the largest cattle empire the world has ever seen.

    La Patrona is a heavily researched historical fiction of the King Ranch and the passion of the two who built it

  177. YA Fantasy, Just Jennera:
    When a thoughtless wish leaves her father fighting for his life, fourteen-year-old Jennera Van Norberg says she’ll do anything to save him, until her Grandmother tells her she must travel to the land of Wynken, Blynken and Nod to battle the Norse Gods and bring back a piece of Rhinegold.
    No, she’s not a princess and she doesn’t have any secret magic powers, she’s just Jennera who’s too smart for her own good. Can a twenty-first century girl take on Norse Gods with just her wits and still find a way to save her dad? Jennera’s not sure, but she’s going to do her best to find out.

  178. Thank you Jessica!

    Jo needs help. Desperately. She’s being stalked by an irate classmate, visited by the ghost of a long-dead wizard, and her feeble magical powers are on the fritz. When she overhears a plot to oust the Queen, she gets drafted into a centuries old war between good and evil. But which side is which? And what is the truth about her own mysterious past?

    Before Jo can find out, the prince of her dreams is kidnapped, and she is labeled a traitor. Now running for her life, Jo must take matters into her own hands. With the help of an old gypsy woman and the mysterious man they call Rune, can Jo save the prince and learn the astonishing truth about herself before she’s captured?

  179. Love at first sight is what happened when the widowed Amelia Hendricks saw the big, old—and abandoned—brick house on the shore of Lake Ontario. Knowing nothing of the house’s history, she was unprepared for the subsequent drama caused by the resident ghost – a victim of the War of 1812. In spite of his help—or interference—she achieved her goal of creating a bed and breakfast inn. But then, the descendant of the ghost arrived, searching for his ancestor’s remains. Together, Amelia and Brad not only put the ghost to rest, but also found a new and very real love.

  180. A mystical vision on a lonely beach. A woman unlike any other. And a love that transcends all boundaries.

    Aidan Hunt has seduced legions with his songs. His famous smile has the world at his feet in seconds. Yet the gilded life has tarnished; nothing new lies under the sun. Until…Fate leads him to the one woman whose reaction to him is anything but reverent.

    Laine McKenna’s life is shrouded in silence, steeped in mystery. The fortress around her wasn’t built from her Deafness alone; she is haunted by the death of her husband. To reach her, Aidan cannot rely on his music or fame but on the only thing strong enough to break through her defenses: love.

    Two worlds; one filled with silence, one filled with sound, bridged by an irresistible passion. But there are those who would try to tear them apart; threatened by change, fired by ambition. In the midst of calculated deceits and cultural differences, can their love survive beyond THE BLUEST FLAME?

  181. Hap Hazzard (14) doesn’t believe in aliens—at least not until he and Tara are accidentally abducted by a ship full of them. At the other side of the universe, they run into Amar, the last living of the nine unknown scientists from India’s mythology. Amar’s sworn to protect the nine books of his brothers. Books that could systematically destroy the universe. In a desperate attempt to contact their families and get home again, Hap and Tara unwittingly deliver the device that enables the books to be read to the space mafia boss, Don Nova.

    Now Hap and Tara must race Nova in a search that spans the universe for the missing nine books before life as they know it is obliterated. Fighting neubins, surviving intergalactic phone calls, and discovering the secrets of ghosts, Stonehenge, the Nazca lines, and the pyramids is just the beginning in proving the universe really is a big place.

    Thanks Jessica!

  182. Fleeting Life

    Elena Kinsella is on the brink of having the perfect life. She has just moved out from under her Nan’s controlling power, into her own flat, and has spied a future love interest in one of her customers at work. Unfortunately, she becomes the victim of the local serial killer, and quickly realises that there is more to death when she discovers that no one can see or hear her unless she wills it.

    Forced to watch the world carry on without her, with the help of a few kindred spirits, Elena sets out to discover who her murderer is before her time runs out. While watching and waiting she falls for James, the handsome customer she met on the eve of her death, and when her best friend becomes the next potential victim Elena must find a way to save her friend, and James, before its too late.

  183. Thirty-something Cyd Denlinger sees imaginary ducks, but, when she hears two killers throw a man into Chesapeake Bay’s deepest spot off Bloody Point, she knows it’s for real. How can she convince police when they’re sure the victim is evading a grand jury summons? How can she convince her sister who knows about Cyd’s overactive imagination? How can she identify the killers after another woman is killed in her place? And, will her former boyfriend ever forgive her for driving his newest charter ship into the path of a boat full of fleeing killers?

  184. YA — untitled.
    Seventeen-year-old Tommy Doyle’s needs are characterized by ins and outs. He wants to get into college and out of his violent neighborhood. Wants out of his mother’s silent deaf world and into the arms of his crush, Sara. With good grades and money from his summer job he’s poised for success. But when someone close to him becomes indebted to the neighborhood crime boss, Tommy has no choice but to help. And now, to keep Sara safe he “owes” the crime boss a murder, and not even Tommy’s hit-man brother can help him out.

  185. (Crossing Off Elvis-humorous women’s fiction)
    Mia Taglietti has one week, a purse full of maxed-out credit cards, and an urgent need to fulfill the world’s craziest life list. (Not to mention a big regret over penning number one-getting married by Elvis in Vegas.)Dragging her boyfriend Scott kicking and screaming across the country, Mia bungles each task, collects a group of eccentric stragglers, and heads ever closer to Vegas. It’s there, under the neon lights of the strip, where Mia must finally decide if she’s ready to cross off Elvis, and Scott needs to decide if he’ll still be around once she does.

  186. (MG Adventure)

    When a boy inventor and his friends find a stolen necklace at the bottom of a lake, they have to use all of their courage and ingenuity to keep the school bully off the trail while they solve the mystery and return the necklace to a nice old lady who may or may not be a ghost.

  187. If you’re still taking pitches, here is the multi-sentence pitch for my single title WIP romcom/mystery, SEX, PIs & PACKING TAPE. I sent in one-sentence pitches earlier that you haven’t gotten to yet. Feel free to critique whichever you want. Or not. Tell me to go away if need be. 🙂 But since you said we could continue to post pitches….

    SEX, PIs & PACKING TAPE

    He’s Going Undercover…She’s Getting Under His Skin

    Photographer Ursula Scott can’t catch a break. Her boss hogs the credit for her work, then half-naked weirdoes show up for her Valentine’s photo spread in a prominent Seattle magazine, and now it looks like someone’s sabotaging the studio she has first dibs on buying. Worse, she discovers she’s a suspect…and her sexy apprentice, Gabe McKenzie, is really an ex-cop working undercover while practicing his newbie P.I. skills on her.

    When Gabe moves home following the shooting that killed his career with the LAPD, he doesn’t expect to get drawn into finding the culprit causing trouble at his uncle’s photography studio. He certainly doesn’t expect to fall for Ursula Scott, a brunette with legs up to heaven but attitude to spare…and a keen dose of motive. But even as he clears her, the sabotage escalates into a deadly stalking—and Gabe finds his hands full. He needs to uncover the truth about his father’s murder, and he needs to convince Ursula to stop playing Nancy Drew. Above all, he needs to assure her that what they share together is more than sex and lies.

    Thank you, Jessica! I look forward to learning from you.

    Cindy

  188. Whoops, the pitch for SEX, PIs & PACKING TAPE is from Cindy Procter-King, not Kate St. James. Sorry, that’s a pen name for my erotic stuff. This story is not erotic.

    I’ve done a very good job of keeping my two writing names secret, haven’t I? Darn those auto-form-fill-in thingies.

  189. Little Fish
    (2nd try)

    Small town coroner Evie Foster has a big watery problem. After investigating the mysterious death of an elderly man, she became pregnant, but this will be no ordinary child. The father was the man in the lake, and this child will be able to control not only water, but the emotions of every person he comes into contact with, including Evie’s. Now she must choose sides between the sexy man in the lake, who could help her raise and control this child, or the old woman in the rain, who could take the problem away and leave her to live a normal life. But as she finds out more about these creatures, she starts to wonder if one or both of them was responsible for the old man’s death, and what will happen to her if she gives either of them the child they so desperately want.

  190. When Doyle was six and I was five he saw his real mom in a store and we followed her. We lost her that day, but over the course of what seemed like a very short time and Doyle’s emphatic persistence we found her, and then Sephie, a man so obsessed with my brother Doyle that he would do anything to get him back, including kidnapping and nearly killing us. Our mother Kathryn, the first woman lawyer in Harrison and a part-time deputy prosecutor, would not realize the toxic relationship between Doyle and Sephie until it was too late.

  191. Mystery

    THE SHARK PIT
    When a young defense lawyer discovers the newly-buried district attorney was poisoned, he uncovers a trail of revenge that threatens to bring down a prominent judge and expose his own father’s decades old secret.

  192. I’m trying again..

    Fleeting Life
    Elena Kinsella is on the brink of having the perfect life. Moving away from her controlling Nan, and on the verge of love she becomes the victim of a serial killer, but quickly discovers that there is more to death than it seems.

    With the help of a few kindred spirits Elena sets out to discover who her murderer is; and when her best friend becomes the next target she must find a way to stop him before her time runs out.

  193. Jessica, if you make it this far, I’ll be shocked, or concerned about your sanity. But um, either way, I’ll be thankful!

    Fantasy…

    Rainia just wants to scrape out a living in the city-state of Valdono, equal parts petty thief and pettier prostitute. But when an allegedly divine curse wipes out most of the ruling family, an old magic in Rainia’s blood reveals her to be the remaining prince’s bastard daughter. Suddenly, living becomes a whole lot more dangerous. Disgruntled dignitaries, cunning courtiers, and mendacious mages abound, as do subtle attempts on Rainia’s life. Out of place and over her head, Rainia must pit her street smarts against a very non-divine murderer who is not about to let some royal whore ruin years of carefully laid plans.

  194. Hi Jessica,
    This is the last one I’m going to post. Its my re-drafted fantasy pitch that you critiqued early on in this pitch-quest of insanity! I hope you get this far to see my latest effort. Dont be gentle. Be brutal! I can take it!

    [Title]: Children of the Ether, Book 1

    The Kingdom is in turmoil. King Enyard has ensured that his people will subsist the Breaking through a pact made with the mysterious Ethereans, but the dragon wars are weakening the Kingdom’s defences and many are turning their favour towards his charismatic brother.

    Ellusia has grown up as the bane of her people. She was the first to survive since the Breaking, and is struggling to keep secret the consequences of the pact her father made. When her brother is killed she must decide between loyalty to her father and her people before the Kingdom tears her and itself apart and falls from the sky.

  195. My book Silent Spell has two pitches depending on what spin I think the agent or editor would most likely be iterested in:

    1) Jules Song was born with three curses intertwined into his very existence. First, was his father’s human blood, a heritage that denied him half his rights in the fae world, the weave. Then there was his mother’s banshee blood, by rule of the species no male was ever to be afflicted by this curse, but rules were often broken in Darkside. And last, was Jules’ own deafness. A silence that would always keep him a world away from everyone else, the hearing.

    2)In Silent Spell, Jules Song is a hero for both deaf and hearing readers because he is a hero they both can relate to. His is a perspective never seen in fantasy, yet one that many people can sympathize with because of the challenges he must face. While he must deal with the difficulties all deaf teenagers go through, he too must deal with all of the difficulties hearing teenagers go through, and he handles the challenges in his life with wit and intelligence.

  196. ‘Healer’s Destiny’ is a 120 000 word otherworld quest fantasy romance about Irini, a guilt-ridden Healer and Kouncellor from the magical land of Thassos.On a quest to find a hidden object before her rival, her plans are thrown into disarray with the unexpected reunion with her ex-lover Prince Andros. Their roles as Kouncellor and Prince must come first as the quest eventually takes them in separate directions, both filled with danger. They must find their way back to each other, learn to be honest, learn to let go of the past and most of all forgive themselves.

  197. Romantic Suspense: DEADLY CONTRACT

    After escaping a rapist, Shar Bennet gains a new insight on life: she won’t ever be vulnerable again. But that means divorcing her cheating husband and refusing to be intimidated by a stalker. Believing her soon-to-be ex-husband is out for blood, she gets cozier with her protector than she should. Then, a woman resembling Shar is murdered and Shar’s husband has a solid alibi—he’s dead.

    When security specialist Davyn Owens is hired by Shar’s client as her bodyguard, he’s suspicious of the motive. Not that he’s complaining. Watching over Shar is more than a job to him, but he must ignore the desire he feels for her and the obvious “go for it” signals she sends him. He can’t risk getting involved with a client—not again. Together, Shar and Davyn must determine who is stalking her and put an end to the threats before the killer strikes again.

    Thanks for doing this!

  198. Cassandra’s Story

    Cassandra was a 19 year old college student when her mother was killed by a drunk driver on Mother’s Day. The driver, a lawyer, walked away without injuries and was sentenced to three years probation.

    With no other family, she moved back home to take of her two younger sisters.

    Now six years later Cassandra owns a gift shop, lives in the same house she grew up in, and is content with her life. That is until he enters it. He is Kevin Cavanaugh. Kevin is hot, arrogant, and wealthy. All negatives in her opinion, but his biggest sin, he’s a lawyer.

    Kevin has always dated the typical blonde bombshells. Yet something about this gorgeous brunette is calling to him. He has tried everything and nothing is working. Fortunately, Kevin isn’t a quitter. He will do whatever it takes to prove to Cassandra that they are meant to be together.

  199. OVERBOARD

    Silas Jacobson’s ordinary day on his family’s Missouri farm – including a fistfight with his brother, a rock fight with his sister, and an afternoon digging stumps with his father – ends with a hunting accident that makes him bitterly impatient to leave. He boards the first available steamboat and ends up many months later in the California Gold Rush, after having been forced at every major turning point of his journey to jump overboard – from rafts, steamers and sailing ships. Silas has a big mouth, a quick temper, and a propensity for making fast friends and implacable enemies every time he swims ashore. By the time people and events coalesce into crisis in a mining boomtown Silas, an angry, deadly veteran of many miles, must decide his future by facing his enemies or jumping overboard once again. His choice may surprise you.

    (Jessica: Thank you very much)

  200. (Commercial Thriller)

    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. Soon, the vigilante invades Hale’s personal life, only to reveal a secret: Hale is a member of an elite bloodline chosen to enact judgment upon the condemned. As Hale decides whether to embrace or reject his destiny, dark shadows from his past emerge, placing everyone he loves in mortal danger.

  201. Paul Phelps is dying of cancer, allowing him to take chances he would otherwise not take. When a vampire moves into the house behind his, he takes one of those chances and befriends the undead being. However, as vampire attacks begin to plague the small town where Paul lives, will he be forced to destroy the creature he has built a friendship with, or must they work together to face a darker, more dangerous threat?

  202. I’d appreciate any thoughts on how this exercise is constructed. Too much, too little?

    Pitch Line:

    An assassination attempt in the nation’s capital unravels in chaos after a father sees the impossible–the daughter he buried years ago. Now two women and a child with her face are fleeing for their lives, he has to know why, and in the balance hangs gene therapy’s Manhattan Project.

    Paragraph:

    In this speculative thriller, an aggrieved Joseph Bodak believes his daughter Sara died eleven years earlier, until the moment he sees her in an Arlington crowd. One instinctive lunge later, he’s destroyed his reputation and wrecked an assassination attempt no one realizes even happened. The fuse he’s accidentally lit also leaves him with only thirty-six hours to unravel the lie that robbed him of his family. One lost weekend to find a ghost, save a grandchild he never knew, and destroy a lethal conspiracy crafting miracles from flesh of his flesh, blood of his blood.

  203. Lemonade for Christmas is an inspirational story about Jack Toland, a self-centered rich kid who, facing his mother’s possible death, gets a hard lesson one Christmas regarding what matters most in life.

    When Jack strikes a bargain with God: spare his mother, and he’ll take over the lemonade stand for charity, he learns life is so much more about giving than receiving.

  204. Why would our government resist adopting the Kyoto Accords? In a complex and ever-changing world the real reason may not be so obvious. The U.S. is being blackmailed and CIA Operative, Logan Van Hoehn finds himself in a unique position. He can save America and the planet. Yet in saving the world he knows he will lose it.

    Thank you, Jessica

  205. What do you do if the boss doesn’t know you’ve accepted a new consulting gig to work under cover in the Northwoods and you leave an “I’m outtahere” note for your husband and no note all for your boyfriend and then the guy who just hired you turns up murdered and there is no Plan B?

  206. She thought frolicking with the fairies would be the chance of a lifetime – it didn’t take her long to realise she was wrong. Then it’s just the prerequisite hundred years before she gets away. So when she finds a dying fairy waif, she’s loathe to get involved.

  207. Few would follow a God that they do not love, but Riva Tanner does not have a choice. When Riva dies at age nine, her father, a priest, pulls her back from the spirit world, incurring a debt to the God. To repay the debt, Riva must become one of the God’s guardian priestesses, training for ten years and guarding the bratty son of an insignificant baron for ten more years.

    Riva attempts to protect Julian bodily from the Order of Silas, of whom they both run afoul, and spiritually from Sir Eastman, who teaches his Machiavellian creed to the boy who hungers to expand the barony. In the end, Riva learns to love her duty and realizes that in the process she has learned to love her God.

  208. TIME SHIFTER (SF)

    At age four, Jessie Connell was left abandoned in Death Valley, California. Now a jaded college graduate, she is determined to find her parents and learn why they deserted her. But her search for answers will propel her 12,000 years back in time—where the heroes and gods of ancient folklore are not only real, but at war.

    Thanks Jessica!

    K.M. Sullivan

  209. Software developer John Loring is an expert on how pictures evoke visceral responses inside our brains. In DEADLOCK, my 80,000 word thriller, he’s aware of what could happen if someone managed to create software capable of manipulating perceptions, emotions, perhaps even our thoughts. But it’s only beginning to sink in that he might be that someone.

    After becoming entangled with a shadowy venture capitalist, John finds himself in a world where rival factions within the intelligence community are literally dying to possess his video enhancement software. With two of his friends taken hostage, John realizes his only chance of saving them—and himself—is to use his software as a weapon against the people trying to kill him.

    Thanks, Jessica!
    Richard Manning

  210. The day before graduating from the General Academy of Magic, Cale was convincing his best friend to cut class and sneak into a military camp, just to see a Behemoth-class Golem. He didn’t know that it would get his friend captured. He really had no clue that it would start up the end of the world.
    But with the help of talking frogs and monkeys, sky pirates and a troll wizard in pink bunny slippers, he’ll have a chance to put things right.

  211. Jack isn’t ready to be the pinnacle of evolution. He can barely maintain a stable relationship, let alone bear the responsibility of moving an entire species forward. Luckily, Wendell Langsmead has been groomed for the daunting task of making sure the likes of Jack never live long enough to pass on their genes. His company, Mead Pharmaceuticals, continues to make sure they maintain customer loyalty by any and all means necessary, even if that includes stopping evolution itself.

  212. One sentence: When Roxanna Wells’ ordered life unravels in strange and inexplicable ways, she fears she, like her mother before her, must be losing her mind.

    If you’re hearing voices, it can’t be good.
    All Roxanna Wells wants is peace and quiet. She tends her parakeets, arranges flowers at Brooklyn’s Riesgo’s, and nightly retires to mushroom-barley soup in her quest for an untroubled life. But one fall day in 2000, her hard-won normalcy begins to unravel with inexplicable thoroughness.
    She could have imagined the thick silence that sucked her feet into the pavement; she was exhausted when she blurted out the delphiniums told her where to place them; her insomnia and uncharacteristic temper at Riesgo’s valued regulars must surely be a vitamin deficiency. Deep inside, she fears that she, like her mother 20 years before, is losing her mind.
    CANARY EYES follows Roxanna into this strange unraveling to discover what lies beneath and beyond it in a journey that allows her to see herself, her past and the world in a new light.

  213. As Elizabeth’s uncle lies dying, he tells her that she is a demonslayer, a descendent of the first crossbreed between a human and an angel. Preoccupied with the high life of 1926 Chicago, she thinks it’s just the fever talking- until he dies, his protection fails, and she begins to see strange people no one else can see. Afraid to tell anyone she knows, her prayers are answered when an angel condescends to teach her to use her strange sight and her uncle’s sword. But the angel she trusts turns out to be the demon prince of Chicago, and he wants her powers for his side. If he can’t convert her, he has to kill her- and it’s going to take all her strength to defeat him.

  214. Fantasy Novel BLADES OF THE FALLEN:

    (One Sentence)
    When two empires destroy a temple in their pursuit of power, the only survivor is a reformed child assassin whose thirst for revenge will unravel all their carefully laid plans.

    (Pitch)

    Bastard, thief, and murderer aren’t common titles for a twelve-year-old, but in Jak’s case, they’re all true. When divine intervention saves him from a gruesome death, he thinks it’s a second chance at a life without killing. But Jak’s new home and family are the first casualties in a race for power between two empires vying to gain control of death itself. In his quest for revenge, Jak will return to the world of thieves and spies he left behind, discover why a goddess bothered to save his life, and learn that his most powerful weapon is not his wits or his father’s blade — but what little remains of his shattered innocence.

  215. John Sayre hasn’t joined the local murderous branch of the KKK as his wife has come to suspect. He’s having an affair with a young African American woman.

  216. – Thanks Jessica for this opportunity, haven’t found any pitches for non-fiction so here’s mine –

    one liner:
    The TV GUIDE 2 the channel inside your head, 6.6 billion viewers tuned in 24/7.

    one paragraph synopsis:
    The TV Guide 2 the channel inside your head is the bite-sized handbook to the world as we see it. A pocket size bible on how and why you should enjoy life, now. Mortier offers insights into the human condition that are so simple, so ancient, so seemingly obvious & accessible, you will have no problem applying them the second you put the book down. It’s an eye-opener lifting the veil of everything that was hiding in plain sight: from the universe to the atom, from unity to solitude over to freedom, equality and property, simple truths will guide you to a practical balance applicable to every aspect of modern day life. If you are looking for a way to see through the world, this is a must.

  217. True love does not exist.

    At the least, not as far as the Earl of Hetherton is concerned. Still entangled in the loose ends of a ruinous affair that shocked the ton, Julian has given up any idea of love or marriage. But a chance meeting with an old friend may change his mind.

    Each time Julian meets Miranda Parkman, something indefinable and passionate flares inside him, culminating in an unintended seduction. Forced to the altar with an uncertain future, whatever happiness may be in his future depends on his ability to overcome the past. But one woman is determined to intervene. Angered at Julian’s rejection, his former lover vows she will have him back or have her revenge, regardless of the cost.

  218. PITCH

    Start with an eviscerated pedophile. Add one FBI agent, two homicide detectives and a slew of multiple personalities bent on eliminating mean men, and you’ve got Mordant Schism—a 110k word psychological suspense daring you to think you really know anyone…even yourself. Every character’s story is suspect. The question is, who is the killer?

  219. I’m not sure if you’re still accepting these, but here goes, and thanks!

    Diminished Fifth is a novel of two women separated by time and culture, connected in their search for happiness: one woman seeking answers to her daughter’s troubling behavior, and another woman living through the horrors of one of the worst firestorms in history. Like Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, Diminished Fifth chronicles the terror of Dresden’s firestorm, but with a twist—-delving into the world of reincarnation.

  220. –Jessica, you’ve won my undying respect for even attempting this daunting project you’ve set for yourself!–

    The apocalypse occurred 1,300 years ago. There were two groups of survivors: an elitist band of self-named Illuminati who managed to flee Earth and survive in rough habitat on the moon, and those unfortunate enough to survive the man-made plagues and nuclear fire of civilization’s end. Elle McBride captains an Illuminati starship with the hopeless mission of trying to mend the ecological disaster when she befriends one of the primate Terrestrials, and learns that her own people have begun a campaign to eradicate the survivors on Earth–to retake the planet for their own. In trying to stop a new cataclysm, Elle must betray her mentor, defy a President, and redefine her loyalties to help a people even she believes are savages.

  221. Back in sixteenth century Hungary, at the foot of The Lesser Carpathian Mountains, lived Erzsbet Bathory: the Countess Nadasdy. In her life time she killed approx five hundred teenage girls for their blood. She believed that by drinking and bathing in the blood she could ward off the ravages of age and keep her beauty. She was finally brought to trial by her cousin, Count Thurzo. Because the Countess was of royal blood she could not be condemned to death. She was therefore imprisoned in the bedchamber of her castle for the rest of her natural life. She survived four years in this solitary confinement, before dying at the age of fifty. I have awoken the Countess from her sleep of almost five hundred years and brought her into twenty-first century England.

  222. Wykham doesn’t want to be a monster. He’s still human in every way that counts.

    As a newly infected vampire, he can either suffer a difficult suicide or embrace life at the expense of other’s lives. Wykham would rather die than kill, but he doesn’t think he has the right to make that choice yet.

    An angel with a broken mind has fallen into the world and is reordering both kingdoms and people’s minds. The creature seems immune to reason and resistance. No human is strong enough to stop it.

    But Wykham thinks a monster might be.

  223. [for a young adult novel]

    On a forest trek, Philip’s body suddenly starts boiling and before his friends could rescue him, he freezes. They all get ‘de-earthed’, get separated, and become party to a genocidal war. Yet, their trekking continues.
    ‘Trekking the First Layer’ is a fantasy that takes the reader to a new world in which everything goes topsy-turvy after humans enter it. Set in a culture-neutral territory, the story should find universal appeal. It is also amenable to sequels.

  224. TARA BORN OF TEARS, literary fiction

    Resigned to a sardonic life with a family and job to which he has little connection, my protagonist relies on his sister as an emotional lifeline. But when she gets married in Las Vegas, her wedding helicopter crashes in a freak accident. He watches his sister die, becomes unhinged, and embarks on a humorous but painful spiritual journey. He befriends a yin-yang kite, lives naked in a powder blue ’67 Thunderbird in a massive junkyard, and finds rescue from a hospice nurse whose child is dead. Battling heartbreak and madness, he returns to innocence. From parallel stories arise complementary paths: each requires a difficult boon from the other to reach their journey’s fruition.

  225. The newspapers call him Striker. Fast, ruthless, and elusive as a shadow, the notorious government agent is rumored to be an assassin. Prudence Riley, free-spirited writer and wealthy urbanite, believes otherwise. Her sources tell her that the man she admires is honorable, a rescuer of women. So when her parents send her West for temporary shelter with an estranged uncle, she’s thrilled. At last, a chance to hunt down Striker on his home turf for an interview that will prove his honor to all. But she doesn’t count on the distraction of her growing closeness with embittered cowboy, Trevor Cruz. As she pursues information on Striker and tries to show Trevor the kindness of God without compromising her own values, Prudence is unaware that a danger lurks in the mountains, one that could destroy her hopes of love forever and test the faith she lives by.

  226. I don’t know if you’re still accepting pitch blurb entries or not, but just in case, here’s mine, for a historical novel. I get the feeling it’s too wordy and too like a book report, but am not sure how to change that.

    At the brink of their teens, the Nazi invasion of Poland turns two girls’ peaceful world into a nightmare. When a chance encounter draws Heidi’s family into the plight of their neighbors, they soon find themselves hiding more Jewish refugees than they can handle in their cottage. Yet Heidi wants more, dreaming of daring adventure in the Underground, like her friend Johann–carrying secret messages and false papers, dodging Nazi raids, and engineering nighttime escapes. But when she gets her wish, it turns into more than she bargained for, leaving her village in flames and a price on her head.

    Meanwhile, everytime Tirzah thinks she’s learned to cope with life in hiding, cramped in an underground cellar, it gets worse. Tensions are high as close quarters trap her in the midst of quarrels and clashing personalities. But when partisan attacks and betrayal tear away her safe haven, can she survive life on the run?

  227. Darn. Looks like I’m late for the party. Just the same, I’m going to add my pitch, on the off chance I can still get it in there.

    Completed novel, I AM THE RESURRECTION

    John Callahan has become stuck in a maze of debt and destructive habits and menial jobs. His one salvation is his rock band, his best friends, but they’re all just as messed up as he is. Finding a way out would require a miracle of the highest order. Through a clerical error, that miracle happens and the group find themselves catapulted into the lifestyle that they always dreamed about, only to find out that it might not quite be everything they thought it would. As the group drink and smoke and screw their way across America, they unwittingly set off a series of strange events and supernatural phenomena that seems to portend the Apocalypse.

  228. “A dead man is urging him on, using Josh’s hands to mold the destiny of people he has never met – if Josh can’t find a way to stop this horror, the dead man walking in his shoes…will be himself.”

    Thank you!

    Cheers,
    ND|Melody

  229. Jessica, I’ve tried to capture your attention with my novel the Jane Asher Factor. It hasn’t “wowed” you, so here’s hoping you will help me perfect my pitch….

    Did you ever think that some dumb game you made up in high school would determine your future? When cake-loving, kindergarten teacher Mary Grace Falcone is proposed to by germ-phobic boyfriend, Ralph Ichy, she remembers such a game and very reluctantly, says yes to Ralph. Saying yes gets her mother off her back, but it also lands her on a reality wedding show where handsome host, Nick Charmin, falls in love with her too. Thus begins a humorous and poignant journey where Mary Grace and Ralph come to terms with their true identities and finally discover, just what’s in a game.

  230. JLT: FantacieLand

    When an anonymous “friend” directs Molly McIntyre’s attention to FantacieLand, a website where upscale Phoenix “escorts” advertise their services, Molly is stunned to see there a photo of “Amber,” a young woman who very strongly resembles Jennifer, the daughter that Molly has long presumed to be dead. Molly rushes to Phoenix only to discover that Amber’s ad has abruptly disappeared from the website and that the girl is nowhere to be found. Then, two days later, Amber’s roommate is viciously murdered and Molly suddenly realizes that she is not the only one searching for her long-lost daughter. Now Molly finds herself in the fight of her life, racing desperately to somehow save the young woman who might be her daughter before she and Amber together fall victim to a desperate killer who’s stalking them both through the disturbing world of FantacieLand.

  231. JLT: FantacieLand

    When an anonymous “friend” directs Molly McIntyre’s attention to FantacieLand, a website where upscale Phoenix “escorts” advertise their services, Molly is stunned to see there a photo of “Amber,” a young woman who very strongly resembles Jennifer, the daughter that Molly has long presumed to be dead. Molly rushes to Phoenix only to discover that Amber’s ad has abruptly disappeared from the website and that the girl is nowhere to be found. Then, two days later, Amber’s roommate is viciously murdered and Molly suddenly realizes that she is not the only one searching for her long-lost daughter. Now Molly finds herself in the fight of her life, racing desperately to somehow save the young woman who might be her daughter before she and Amber together fall victim to a desperate killer who’s stalking them both through the disturbing world of FantacieLand.

  232. What do you call a crime when a murderer is murdered? Some say “justice,” others say “vengeance,” but either way, the LAPD needs help. Unable to find answers using traditional methods, former drug-runner, turned cop, turned millionaire playboy, Hale Parrish, is asked to use his talents to investigate. Growing up, Hale learned to live with his annoying habit of embodying the freshly dead. But when the vigilante reveals that the two of them are responsible for enacting God’s judgment, Hale must decide whether to embrace or reject his birthright. Before he can, dark shadows from his past emerge, forcing him on an emotionally gripping journey to face his demons, protect his family, and reclaim control of his destiny. Light of Judgment, my 90,000 word thriller is a dark but poignant page turner that will leave readers begging for sequels.

  233. Argh. I’m always coming to the party late. 🙂 Thanks in advance, Jessica!

    As a Gumiho (A fox woman who can grant wishes), Korean-American Eve Faulkner has her hands full trying to keep her true identity under wraps. Everyone wants wishes, but unfortunately, she’s only got nine tails, nine wish in all to grant. When a big, bad Were called Harrison comes to town, and says that he wants all nine wishes for himself, it’ll take all the cunning and resourcefulness she has, plus the support of her vamp boyfriend, Vincent, to kick Harrison back to the Netherworld where he belongs.

  234. (I didn’t know if you were still accepting pitches, but here goes. “The Forgotten World,” fantasy, 85k words)

    While on a quest to find magic in a mundane world, Cedric Taramon and his friends open a portal that leads them from Ireland to a mythical realm. There he learns that the roots of his family tree do not run as deeply in this world as he had always believed, and that the wonders of magic and mythical lands can be more terrifying than he had ever imagined. Far worse, however, he discovers the deadly reason his ancestors left the forgotten world…and now it is hunting him.

    Shaun

  235. When Jay, a young woman trying to make a break from her past, is offered a 6 month internship at a large UN organization in Geneva, Switzerland, she jumps at the chance. But as soon as she arrives she starts to notice bizarre reminders of the past she is trying to escape.

    After stumbling onto a secret portal to another dimension, Jay discovers that her job involves more than power point presentations and programming – she’s supposed to save not just her world, but an entire network of dimensions. With the help of an oddball group of coworkers– some of them with secrets of their own– Jay has to find an undercover agent only she can recognize, before they can find her!

  236. Crazed psychologist, Dr. Baker, goes vigilante psychopath on pedophiles found through online network in Patong Beach, Thailand.

    Yep, that about sums it up! Title is, “LOS Tots Network: Secret crimes? Secret retribution.”gubv

    Thanks for this opp.

    Mike

  237. The Officer on Special Duty in City Planning Board must die a painful death for ordering demolition of the top floors of DhanSaab’s dream towers. DhanSaab, the don, has just to decide HOW: poisoning, drowning, burning? Once DhanSaab decides to get the Officer brutally maimed, no man, no God, not even his mother’s ghost can save him.

    If resolving HOW makes DhanSaab savage, answering WHY to himself creates a tumult inside: innocence is pitted against vengeance, conscience against ambition, faith against cold logic. When the decisive moment comes, DhanSaab rescues the Officer, at the cost of his own life.

  238. Is this still open?
    Let’s try.

    Quixotic, cantankerous and skint, wheelchair-bound Dorothea rolls into Heathrow from her tropical homeland with an agenda on her mind and a treasure in her handbag: The Quint, the Rarest Stamp in the World. Joining her daughter Rika and granddaughter Jan in a cramped South London semi, she proceeds to create chaos. The philatelic world goes wild for The Discovery of the Century, the British Media falls in love with Gran, and greedy long-lost relatives crawl out of the woodwork. An auction could put an end to all of Rika’s debt problems, but Gran’s not selling—after all, The Quint is a family heirloom, of sentimental value, and poignant memories cling to it: the story of Gran’s long-ago love.

    In fact, The Quint is just the juicy bait that draws all three women back “home”, where painful questions must be answered. What appalling thing did Dorothea do to drive Rika away thirty years ago; what did she do to atone? And who is the real owner of the Quint?

  239. Hope this is still going on.

    More than anything, Rachel McKnight wants a husband and children. It’s a dream she’s stopped believing in however, until “Mac” MacAlister appears in her life. After eleven years of marriage, newly divorced Mac needs a Henry Higgins to teach him how to date again. Far from being put off by Rachel’s bossy ways or the pack of protective brothers who believe she is and should remain pure and virtuous until the wedding night, Mac finds himself drawn to Rachel. When Rachel confides in him that she was date raped at seventeen, Mac sets out to prove that she’s anything but the frigid ball-buster she thinks she is. Can he free the passionate, loving woman he believes her to be? And if he does, will he be the one she chooses to love forever?

  240. YA Fantasy

    “They had on weird clothing. Uniforms. Maybe school uniforms but no ties. They were mostly gray but the first one was lined with blue, the second with brown.” A final significant detail surfaced from memory. “Yeah, I almost forgot…they each had a key around their neck.”

    Twelve year-old Zack is used to other kids attacking him. It was all thanks to that rumor: knock Zackary Sterling to the earth, earn $3.00 a pop! But never before has such a weird pair chased him—nor had any used super-powers against him. He craves the ability to stop it once and for all. With his tiny but tough—and only—friend, Van, Zack finds himself on an adventure to stand up against Blue, Brown, and the Earth itself.

  241. When an uninfected mother and her infant son mysteriously appear on the streets of the quarantined town, Guthrie abandons his paranoid isolation to save the pair from the virulent mob. Facing grim odds, he leads the mother and child on a daring escape, navigating the containment zone as rival gangs tear the town apart in pursuit. Guthrie’s faint hope falters when confronted by a new threat outside the quarantine that is greater than the one they eluded.

  242. When a dreamer and a brainiac emerge unexpectedly onto islands hidden in the Indian Ocean, their biggest surprise isn’t that they can now talk with animals: it’s that the island’s freakish fauna have summoned them, two seventh graders from Chicago, to stop an evil crime syndicate, whose evil plans threaten the lives every creature on our planet…including theirs.

    30 second “elevator pitch” for…
    GENRE: MG/FANTASY
    TITLE: SURVIVAL OF THE WEIRDEST

    Dear Jessica:

    I hope your still up for one more round. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

    Many thanks,
    SL

  243. or…

    When daydreamer Dylan O’Leary and her braniac best friend, Jake Sharp, emerge unexpectedly onto the hidden, animal populated islands of Alchera, their biggest surprises are not that they can now talk with the animals, that creatures thought to be extinct exist, or that the strange hybrid creatures running around like maniacs are not figments of their imagination. It’s that they’ve been summoned by the island’s freakish fauna from Chicago to thwart the plans of the notorious B.E.G, a notorious crime syndicate that is threatening the livelihood of every creature on our planet…including theirs.

    Once again, thank you, Jessica.

  244. Jessica, I’m not sure if this offer is still open, but I am enclosing my pitch just in case.

    Urban Fantasy.

    Some days having wings is a bitch. Especially when a smelly assed goblin is holding me by them in front of his mouth like a French fry, threatening to eat me if he isn’t given a getaway car in ten minutes.
    ~It’s just another day on the job for Gabrielle Tate; faery and Paranormal Crime Investigator in Centennial Falls, Idaho.

    When a murderer leaves a trail of bloodless bodies and cryptic messages throughout the Paranormal section or Shade District of town, Gabrielle is partnered with her Captain, a necromancing dragon, to stop the slaughter. As the investigation deepens, Gabrielle learns two important lessons: that most paranormals enjoy a serving of faery once in awhile and how to channel her fae power so that she may help harness the evil that is enveloping their town.

  245. “Murder is a Dirty Business”

    Baby Boomer Cecelia “Sissy” Cavanaugh barely makes it through her first hot flash when her tycoon husband takes off to Rio with his sexy, young assistant. Sissy’s cushy lifestyle is on the verge of collapse. She has two options; take a handout from her witchy mother-in-law, Hazel or get a job. Sissy chooses to go to work for an Alfred Hitchcock look-alike insurance agent—cleaning crime scenes.

    One of her first jobs is to clean a murder scene at a local bed and breakfast. Sissy’s daughter, Jessie, and Jessie’s friends Kim and Sarah were at the bed and breakfast when the murder occurred. The victim is Kim’s estranged husband, Brian. When Kim is arrested for his murder, Sissy launches a full-scale investigation to try and find a key piece of evidence the police may have overlooked. During her investigation she bumps heads and hearts with “hottie” detective, Case Alder.

    Thanks so much.

  246. Being a real knight isn’t working for Andy Sorenson. Abducted to a fantasy world where everyone wants him dead, he must overcome his phobia of violence to survive. Doing so might cost him everything he believes, but it’s the only way to reclaim what he’s already lost – home.

    Andy doesn’t want to fight his way to the magical Dragon Gate and close it, but refusing means the banished dragons will return to destroy Honon and everyone on it, including him. Only by saving Honon can he save himself, for no one can send him home until it’s done. All the while he must hide a secret – he’s not the hero his summoners wanted, and if anyone realizes the truth, the threat may find its way to Earth.

  247. Shadows used to be people. Magically altered, they possess mythical powers, endless time, a lot of money, and can disappear when the situation turns awkward. Sounds great, right? Not so much to Jonathan, who never wanted to be immortal in the first place. Oh, and his home–the realm of Lost Souls–is in complete magical chaos.

    But now he has Annie, a sixteen-year-old human who can bring balance and order to the magic that controls the realm. More importantly, she can help Jonathan return from his shadow existence. But she can’t do it alone. Enter Jared, another human magician who irks Annie to no end. He’s got secrets of his own, and as he and Annie travel around the world restoring order, overcoming evil, and eliminating spies, they must learn to trust each other as well as themselves. If they don’t, there will be dire consequences for Jonathan, as well as the entire human population.

    Narrated by both Jonathan and Jared, SHADOWS is a young adult urban fantasy weighing in at 95,000 words.

  248. F.B.I. Agents, Steve Madden and Jim Addis arrive in the historic Copper Capital, Butte, Montana to investigate two missing federal agents. They are drawn into a mysterious disappearance of U. S. Senator, Jeremy Carson. Their investigation leads them through a case involving terrorism with global implications.

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