Thursday, May 20, 2010


By Deb Werksman

I have just returned from a marvelous weekend with an RWA local chapter and the week before that I participated in an on-line pitch session and I had a GREAT time doing both--I love to take pitches (some of you may have noticed!) and it seems to me that authors are working hard at creating effective pitches. I'm hearing lots of good ones!

Pitches may be verbal or written, and by their nature they have to be concise and compelling, but they also have to include some key information:

*The author's publishing/sales history (how many books and how many copies sold to readers). This is where, if you're a debut author, you say so. If you're introducing a new pen name, please share your publishing/sales history of your previous name(s).

*The category and subgenre of the book: I can't tell you how many times a pitch gets derailed because I can't tell whether the book is mystery (which we don't publish) or romantic suspense (which we do), or whether it's sci-fi/fantasy (which we don't publish) or fantasy romance (which we do). Be very clear about where your book a) sits in the bookstore and b) fits into the category--especially if it's a romance, be clear about the subgenre or mix of subgenres (Regency paranormal romance, Scottish Highland time travel romance, etc.)

*The hook! (see below)

*A quick introduction to the main characters and the major conflicts

If all these items are in place and clear, then I'll be able to tell you very quickly whether it's something I publish, and whether it's something I want to see a full submission on. And that's the whole purpose of the pitch!

A word on nervousness: we editors are really very nice people, and love to read as much as you do, and love to talk about books and hear about your book. We know we make you nervous. It's fine.

I talk endlessly about the hook, and it's the thing I get the most questions about. The hook is a 2-3 sentence selling tool that gets a buyer excited about stocking your book and a reader excited to buy and then read it. It positions your book as something unique and desirable. Here are some examples:

*Robin Kaye's Breakfast in Bed is the latest in her Domestic Gods series of contemporary romance featuring gorgeous alpha guys who are the nurturing one in the relationship. Because every woman wants a man who's as good in the kitchen as he is in the bedroom!

*Terry Spear has done so much research into how wolves live in nature, that in her paranormal romances, the werewolves behave the way wolves do in nature. They all drive SUVs because they travel in packs!).

*Lydia Dare's new Regency heroes in It Happened One Bite are gentleman vampires. They are high sticklers and would never bite a young lady to whom they were not properly introduced.

*Marie Force's newest down-to-earth contemporary romance Love at First Flight features a love triangle so gripping and emotionally complex that the hero and heroine finding their way together in the end is miraculous, both for them, and for the reader.

*Mary Margret Daughtridge's SEALed with a Promise features the personal side of being a Navy SEAL--men for whom being a hero is all in a day's work, and the personal side of life isn't easy at all.

*Cheryl Brooks' Fugitive, the latest in The Cat Star Chronicles series features a hero who comes from a planet where the people have a feline gene that gives them remarkable sexual powers.

*Shana Galen's action-packed Regency romances feature three aristocratic brothers who lost everything in the French Revolution, including each other. In each story, the brothers search desperately for each other, aided by a beautiful young lady to whom they reluctantly lose their hearts. Latest book is The Making of a Duchess.

The reason I need a hook is because there are multiple occasions on which I'll be presenting the book to rooms full of people who then have to go and do things like design the cover, or sell it to a buyer. I have to be able to get them excited about your book, and they have to go get other people excited.

We all know there's nothing new under the sun, and there are plot devices and tropes that are time-tested and true blue. HOWEVER, in today's marketplace, you must make your book stand out. So if you are using time-worn plot devices, you must do something else that's really original so your readers will not feel they've read this book before.

OK, here's what I'm looking for!
*single title romance in all subgenres
*a heroine the reader can relate to
*a hero she can fall in love with
*a world gets created
*a hook I can sell with in 2-3 sentences
*a career arc for the author

So how about it? Got any pitches for me? Post them right here on the blog and I'll critique them right here, or if you're shy, send them to me privately at


  1. I'm so excited about conference and seeing you, Deb, meeting Danielle for the first time, and having my first literacy signing and Sourcebooks book signing in Orlando! :)

    Good luck to everyone on their pitches! Sourcebooks is a great place to be! :)

  2. What Terry said,

    I'm so grateful to have the amount of marketing help Sourcebooks provides. I epublished for years and had to do ALL my own promo.

    Danielle is a Goddess!


  3. Just tweeted and FB'd this. And let my Wombats know. Hopefully some of them will be showing up today.

  4. Thanks to the great ladies on this site for organizing this opportunity, and thanks to Deb for agreeing to be here today! I'd like to post two, if I might?

    Here's the first:

    THE FANTASY LIFE OF A MIDDLE-AGED WIFE is a women's fiction with romantic elements by debut author Laura Kaye, whose first novel, a paranormal romance, will come out with The Wild Rose Press in early 2011.

    Middle-aged wife Sasha Brant longs for affection and passion with her husband Jason, so she begins playing out erotic fantasies to remind him of what they used to have. When her efforts don't seem to have lasting results, Sasha's hurt and frustration blossom into despair and anger and lead her to consider meeting her needs outside her marriage. Sasha doesn't want to betray the man she's loved for her whole adult life, but she can’t help but wonder: Do 'forty' and 'passion' simply not go together?

  5. Here's my second--thanks!

    PROUD FATHER is a women's fiction with romantic elements by debut author Laura Kaye, whose first novel, a paranormal romance, will come out with The Wild Rose Press in early 2011.

    Abandoned by her father and disappointed time and time again by his broken promises, 28-year-old Laura Shepard can't overcome her fears and self-doubt enough to finally set a date with her fiancé of six years, Jake Halloway. When her father dies and leaves a storage unit full of his belongings to Laura, she avoids it for months, but a job offer in a new city forces Jake to issue a reluctant ultimatum. Fleeing the fight and her fears that Jake will eventually abandon her too, Laura finally deals with her father's possessions, and what she finds launches her on an unexpected journey of family history and healing.

  6. What Terry and Ashlyn said.

    Offering to read and respond to hooks, Deb, is a great opportunity. I hope lots of writers in search of publication will take advantage.

    Looking forward to Orlando.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    Contemporary Erotica
    Older Heroine/Younger Hero

    Thirty-something kindergarten teacher, Lindy Whittaker has decided it’s time to marry and start a family. Steven Hamilton, a successful businessman, seems to be “Mr. Right”. But when former boytoy Michael “Mac” MacIntyre comes to town, will he ruin all of Lindy’s well-laid plans? Will she find love in stability or in passion? And will the choice she makes lead her into blissful happiness or terrifying danger?

    Harris Channing is a multipublished author with Whiskey Creek Press Torrid and has a novella scheduled for release with Siren Publishing in August of this year.

    Thanks for this opportunity.

  9. Thanks for the opportunity to pitch my latest ms, a paranormal w/erotic elements. THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK.

    The year is 1889, and occult detective Phaeton Black has recently taken up residence in the basement flat of London's most notorious brothel. A dedicated libertine and absinthe drinker, he wrestles with demons both real and self-inflicted. Unfairly linked to Scotland Yard's failure to solve the Whitechapel murders, he is offered a chance to redeem himself. A mysterious fiend is stalking the Strand, and they need Phaeton on the case.

    America Jones, part English and Cajun beauty, is after the pirates that stole her father’s merchant shipping business. If Mr. Black has no interest in monogamy, Miss Jones certainly has no time for romance. In fact, she quite emphatically does not believe in love. As Phaeton pursues a murdering bloody necromancer through the streets of London, America escapes from the very pirates she seeks to imprison. The last thing these two need is to run into each other in a dark alley.

    Jillian Stone

  10. These are awesome pitches! I'm glad I'm not an editor and have to make decisions!

  11. I can't comment on other editors since I haven't met any, BUT I CAN affirm that our editor - the fabulous Deb Werksman - IS a very nice person! Not the slightest bit scary at all :)

    Thanks for being so open to hopeful authors, Deb. The encouragement is very important.

    Good luck everyone!

  12. Interesting post! But what if you're with an e-book publisher in a niche genre and sales, while they're there, have been slow, because you're newly published and haven't built enough of a readership yet? Does that hurt your credibility right off the bat?

  13. Wizard Springs

    Contemporary urban fantasy with romantic elements.

    In her adventure to take down her evil stepmother, her paths cross with Sam a demon slayer sworn to kill the Demon king. It seems like an easy alliance until Sam and Angie start to develop feelings for each other. Will Sam be able to kill the Demon King once he understands that this act will also kill Angie? Can Angie fight her stepmother and stop her from taking the Demon Throne, even if it means losing Sam…

  14. Laura, I really like this pitch for THE FANTASY LIFE OF A MIDDLE-AGED WIFE. It's clear, and it's got me dying to know what happens in the end. Please send me a full submission on this one!

  15. Laura, I didn't feel the pitch was as strong for PROUD FATHER. First of all, it meanders. Secondly, the heroine is presented first and foremost as a victim, which is a turnoff for me. And finally, I didn't feel there was a hook that would make this a MUST READ. Sorry, I'm going to pass on this one.

  16. Thanks for the opportunity to pitch my single-title paranormal mystery!

    GHOST OF A CHANCE brings together the paranormal mystery of Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series, the fresh female interaction of Sex & The City, and the humor and fun of Ghostbusters as the worlds of the living and the dead collide.

    Former police officer Randi Johnson doesn't believe in ghosts - even though the memory of her dead partner (quite literally) haunts her every day. All she wants is to rebuild her life and her new private investigation agency, but her hopes are hijacked when she has a chance meeting with a quirky group of women hell bent on proving the paranormal is real and taking her along for the ride.

    Brad Schaefer doesn't believe in ghosts either, but his B&B renovation is not going as easily as he'd hoped. Who knew his stubborn mother could thwart his plans and meddle in his love life even six months after her death? He's ignored the signs despite his psychic cousin's insistence that the cause of his troubles has more to do with the netherworld than negligence, but once he meets the feisty red-head that's reluctantly joined their team, he's all too willing to surrender to her charms.

    But there's more than meets the eye going on in the old Schaefer home. Mixed in amongst the shady real estate developers, unscrupulous competition and matchmaking apparitions is a very real and serious danger. It will take a combination of hocus pocus and firepower if Randy and Brad have a GHOST OF A CHANCE of making it out alive.

  17. Monica, thanks for pitching MINDCHANGER. I'm not quite sure what to do with this one. So, just following my criteria:
    *the heroine seems ok, but I hate amnesia--it's a way overdone device, and forgive me for saying this, but allows the author to be lazy--you can just have anything have happened to her during the time she doesn't remember and then when she remembers it, it's an event. It gets the author off the hook for actually having to develop the plot and the character/s.
    *I don't get who the hero is? her boyfriend sounds like a bad guy
    *I'm not quite getting the world--it's confusing, not quite accessible--I don't get the motivations and some of the designations (beekeeper?) seem a bit off. The Cuban cigars did stop me in my tracks for a minute--and I thought, oh, this is supposed to be a comedy. But that didn't come through in the rest of the pitch.
    *I'm not discerning a hook at all.

    In the paranormal category what's working is vampires and shapeshifters and demons. You're kind of straddling into fantasy or futuristic, but the world-building has to be much clearer and more accessible.

    Thank you so much for this pitch!

  18. Hi Deb,

    I think it's so cool that you are reading hooks and pitches right here on the blog!

    See you in Orlando!


  19. THE CHIMERA COURTSHIPS: IN LIKE A LION is the first in a series of Paranormal Romances by debut author Karin Shah, whose first book, a Science Fiction Romance, released in print last December from Samhain Publishing.

    He's a powerful shapes shifter who doesn't know what he is -- she's the doctor who can set him free or sentence him to death.

    Alone since the age of eleven, Jake Mara is a mystery – even to himself. Kidnapped by a secretive faction he knows only as “the Group”, he veers closer to madness every day, until he meets the woman who could be his savior.

    With the loss of her family, Dr. Anjali Mehta craves only the anesthetic of work, but her new research subject may be more than she bargained for.

    Together, they must escape from the deadly grasp of “the Group” and discover the secret of Jake’s past or they won’t have a future.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  20. Hi Harris:
    We don't publish erotica, so I don't know as much about it as about the romance category, and therefore my feedback may not be particularly helpful. That said, I worry about her being a teacher of little kids, and then she's the heroine of erotica and has a former "boytoy". And what makes it sexy? It's a conflict I've read a thousand times, so I don't see a hook.

    Many, many thanks!

  21. Deb, this is great! I'll let my writing buddies know. And for anyone who's on the fence, Deb and Sourcebooks have been absolutely great to work with and gave my career an incredible start.

  22. Jillian, I like this pitch for THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK. It's fast paced and gives me a real flavor of the book. A few small points: I don't like the heroine's name--I kept getting confused, like all of a sudden, we're in America. I don't like that the hero lives in the basement of a brothel. Why does he? What does it do for you? And, this may be too much mystery and not enough romance--what's the arc? Is this the first in a series? What comes next? Please send a full submission and answer those q's when you can! Thanks!

  23. Susan, no, being with an epublisher doesn't hurt your credibility.

  24. Deb I had the pleasure of meeting you at 2009 RT and I was desperate because I couldn’t book an editor appointment with you at RWA in Orlando. Thank you for giving me the unique opportunity to pitch my new story, a paranormal based on an Egyptian legend. I wrote this book after a wonderful trip to Egypt with visit to the monuments and temple and a Nile Cruise.

    In the land of the Pyramid and Sphinx, where mythological gods love and fight while teaching good to their human followers, the evil jackal-face god, Seth, coveted his brother, Osiris’s lands and his beautiful lover, the goddess Isis. According to a legend, Seth trapped Osiris in a golden chest, killed him and cut him in fourteen-pieces that he spread all over Egypt. My story starts when Isis finds Osiris’s body parts and reassembles them. All but one. His manhood where his godly power is stored. Isis and Osiris embark on a thorough search through the desert, seas and rivers of Egypt to search for the missing member.
    While Seth raises continuous obstacles, Isis puts her conditions. She wants marriage and a son. Osiris agrees although he was anything but the god of commitment before his trip to the afterlife. Complications multiply when the pretty goddess Nephtys who is engaged to Seth claims that her toddler is Osiris’s son. Is she saying the truth? Can Osiris risk seeing his only son raised by his enemy? Would Isis stop the search if she learns of that ultimate treason? And what if Seth had destroyed the precious organ?

    My romantic suspense novels are published by Cerridwen Press: TO LOVE A HERO and FRENCH PERIL, and have received several five stars reviews. I also write medical romance in the genre of ER and Grey's Anatomy for The Wild Rose Press: Rx FOR TRUST and BABIES IN THE BARGAIN, winner of 2009 BEST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE at READERS FAVORITE and 2009 BEST ROMANCE NOVEL at Preditors & Editors Readers Poll.
    [Sorry if this is too long]

  25. Deb - Thanks for taking these pitches... Warming up for Orlando...

    Lynn Cahoon’s, Paris or Bust, is a completed contemporary romance. Lynn’s had several romantic short stories published but this is her first full length manuscript.

    Paris or Bust is the first installment in the Looking for Mr. Right series that highlights unusual dating opportunities outside the bar scene. Books with strong alpha males who have learned there’s more to life than bringing home the bacon and heroines who want it all; career, love and family, even if they don’t know how to get there.

    Melinda Chambers has one focus since her ex-husband walked out during her chemotherapy – work. Averaging seventy hours a week as a training designer, she’s feeling the bottom of the glass ceiling and preparing to break through. But she needs one thing, a man on her arm for the work related events and parties.

    Chance Baxter knows all about being a workaholic. Until his wife’s death, he buried himself in building his construction company. Looking back, he swore he’d never be That Guy again.

    The couple meets when Melinda places a singles ad in the local paper. Their first test as a couple comes when Chance finds out Melinda’s planning on taking a promotion; a promotion that moves Melinda from Seattle to France. When Melinda finds the promotion isn’t what she was looking for, she returns to Seattle –jobless and without hope of reconciling with Chance. Worried family sends both to a remedial dating class. Can learning how to date bring Chance and Melinda together? Or will Gloria, the dating doctor have other plans?

  26. Amy Benson writes epitaphs, a gift that stems from her unique a ability to hear the last thoughts of dead people, echoes in the wind like a vapor trail in their wake. Mary McCormick's last thoughts were for justice, and Amy can't find out how the teenager died that she would need justice. When Mary's brother, Kevin, interviews Amy for the local paper, Amy discovers the connection and asks Kevin why his sister would be calling out for justice. Kevin assures her Mary's death was accidental, but when he tells the rest of his family about the pretty epitaph writer, some wants to silence Amy before she discovers the truth. Kevin and Amy must hide from a killer until they can expose the truth - before he can kill both of them.

  27. Ack - apologies for my computer skipping over letters!

  28. Greetings, Deb, and thank you for this opportunity.

    I write love stories from the crossroad of small town and suspense.

    OUT OF FOCUS is a complete 83,000 word women’s fiction. This will be my debut novel, but OUT OF FOCUS recently earned 1st place in the Mainstream categories of The Maryland Writers Association Novel Contest in the Mainstream/Literary category, and the CT-RWA The WRITE Stuff.

    Kasey Phillips thought her biggest problem was deciding whether to photograph Cody Tuggle’s honky-tonkin’ tour, until shots fired on Route 58 claimed the life of her husband. In a desperate race against time as a hurricane threatens the eastern seaboard, rescue teams search for her three-year-old son who is missing from the wreckage.

    Unlikely friends, and a new community come together to help reunite the mother and son, but one of her friends is betraying her.

    Like a trusted part of the family, Jeremy, the man who has been taking care of Kasey’s grandmother has let his obsession with Kasey lead to a deception so deep he can’t find a way out. Months go by and there are no new leads. Between Cody Tuggle’s resources, Kasey’s best friends and the sheriff of Adams Grove will they outsmart Jeremy and reunite Kasey with her son?

    I also have two other manuscripts that leverage the Adams Grove community from Out of Focus that I’ve been refining.

    Nancy Naigle
    Drewryville, VA
    Love stories from the crossroad of small town and suspense.

  29. Michelle: Thanks for pitching your urban fantasy--we don't publish urban fantasy outside of the YA or romance categories, so this wouldn't be for us. In terms of the pitch, it's a competent pitch--I think you could make it a scoche longer and make it really zing!Many thanks!

  30. So excited, thanks for taking a look.

    BELLS AT SUNRISE is a 98,000 work paranormal romance with action and quirky humor.

    After spending years treading water in the testosterone-filled world, that is her family, Helen Raymond is loving life as independent woman. Managing to split her time between work as a court reporter, the protective tendencies of her family and finding the perfect pair of designer shoes on a discount budget, life if running the way she wants it and she plans to keep it that way. That is until she runs head on into the arms of love–literally.

    When the petite dynamo knocks over retired God of Love, Seraphim "Cupid" Thalassa, to the floor, she knocks him into the twenty-first century and ends his self-imposed exile from life. Over the past few eons, Seraphim’s learned the hard way that females, moral and immortal alike, are not to be trusted. When Helen claims to want nothing to do with him, what does he do? Falls head over golden sandals for the mortal.

    After Seraphim saves Helen from a near fatal accident, he stays by her side throughout her recovery and has trouble keeping his hands and lips to himself. All the while, someone from his past has returned for vengeance and puts Helen’s life in danger. But when Helen learns the truth about who and what he is, she must make a choice. Become an immortal, giving up the world she's always known, or retreat to her comfortable life, alone.

  31. Smarty, I really like this pitch for GHOST OF A CHANCE, even though ghosts are not working real well in paranormal. This one sounds like so much fun, and so well-conceived, that it just might overcome. Full submission, please!

  32. Karin, THE CHIMERA COURTSHIPS: IN LIKE A LION sounds intriguing, although there are a few things that don't completely make sense (alone since the age of 11?). But I'd like to know more--full submission please? Thanks!

  33. Mona, your Egyptian myth romance sounds intriguing but it worries me that he's lost his, um, you know...against my criterion of "hero reader can fall in love with" a guy not having one at all could be, how do you do sex scenes? Think it over. I'd take a look at it if you want to send a full submission, but I have some reservations.

  34. Deb,
    Please let me echo the thanks for taking pitches today.

    IN THE LINE OF FIRE is contemporary-set western by award-winning western historical author Tracy Garrett. It tells the story of a disillusioned Texas Ranger who learns that the woman he is falling in love with is the one who destroyed his career and nearly cost him his life.

    Texas Ranger Nate Richards is on leave from the force after a raid on an arms dealer’s warehouse went very wrong. Though his injuries take him of field work, Nate knows he was lucky to survive. His partner wasn’t so fortunate. And the low-life responsible, businessman Clinton Wells, escaped arrest thanks to his very talented, very expensive lawyer. Disgusted with the workings of the criminal justice system, Nate came home to the family ranch on the outskirts of Bitter Branch, Texas, to take up his old life and nurse his desire for revenge. Then he meets attorney Madison Kelley, whose big city style clashes with small town Texas—and fires Nate’s blood.

    Madison Kelley worked hard to become the high-powered attorney her opponents dread to see sitting at the defense table. She’s a damned good lawyer, dedicated to justice for everyone, but her last case left a nasty taste in her mouth. With the fee from the case where she kept Houston business man Clinton Wells from being arrested by the Texas Rangers without sufficient proof, she is able to take some time off to help her sister refurbish an old Victorian house in a little town in the middle of nowhere, Texas. But Madison is useless with a hammer and, with too much time on her hands, she throws herself into trying every hobby she can think of—and literally falls into the arms of the town’s favorite son, handsome rancher Nate Richards. When Nate shows up the next morning and makes it obvious he’s being more than just neighborly, Madison starts planning for a summer of fun for two.

    But their pasts collide when Clinton Wells tracks Nate to Bitter Branch, intent on finishing what he started, and Nate has to use all his training to keep the arms dealer from putting Madison in the line of fire.

    IN THE LINE OF FIRE is the first book in the Texas Justice series. The books are connected by the small town setting and the main characters, who are siblings.

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. Lynn, the first half of the pitch for Paris or Bust was quite good--I liked the series concept a lot. But then the more I read about the story itself, the more doubts I began to have. The heroine is presented immediately as a victim--her husband left her during her chemo. In the end, she loses her career, and I don't know what to do with that--it doesn't fit with her as a career woman. The hero's ok, but 5 minutes later and I don't remember anything about him. And there's no such thing as "remedial dating" classes, so now I'm worried about the credibility...I'd turn it down in its current form, but if you want to think about some of this and maybe shore up some, I'd take a look at a full submission. Thanks.

  37. Wow! What an awesome opportunity. Thank you, Deb, for the chance to pitch to you today.

    Angel (Danniele)

    A TANGLE OF SECRETS AND LIES is an 84,000 word contemporary romance manuscript with light suspense elements.

    AIDEN LANG refused to return to his ancestral home until his grandfather was six feet under. That time is now, so he steps back through the doors of Mille Fleurs to settle the estate and the welfare of his invalid mother hoping it is the last time he’ll ever see the house again. To his surprise, his grandfather is still alive… and ready to manipulate those around him to get exactly what he wants.

    CHRISTINA BLACKSTONE is just another pawn in the game, blackmailed because of a past she can’t change and is desperate to keep hidden. Her attraction to Aiden is instant and unsettling, but is it enough to make their unspeakable bargain bearable? All she knows is she’d do anything to keep the inhabitants of Mille Fleurs safe and cared for, even marry a stranger.

    Despite all that stands between them, Aiden and Christina join forces to save those they love and the town that depends on them from an unknown saboteur that wreaks havoc on the family business and eventually the family itself. These two people who find themselves in a marriage they don’t want, for the sake of the people they love, must find a way to conquer the evil that threatens them all… even from beyond the grave.

  38. Karla, thank you so much, but I'm going to pass on this one. Psychic ability/ghosts etc. are really, really tough in paranormal because they allow for too much deus ex machina, and I'm not seeing a strong hook. It feels like a story I've read before. Many thanks!

  39. Deb - thanks for the comments. I'll take a look and get back with you.

    Again, thanks for doing this quick pitch session. Reading everyone's pitches and comments has been informative.

  40. ENLDESS LIVES is a paranormal romance which transforms Lucifer from a symbol of evil into a romantic hero by expanding his motivation for attempting to overthrow God. When Lucifer drinks the Blood of Humanity and becomes a vampire, his newfound compassion and free will lead him to take action against God because Lucifer believes humans shouldn't suffer.

    On the eve the demon rises, Sophia will restore the Star of Morn unto the place forgotten and rekindle the light of peace -- these words spoken nearly two millennia ago weave together the fates of Lucifer and a compassionate artist who has no idea what she really is.

    Lucifer just wants to go home, and his only hope lies in the ancient prophecy. One thing stands in his way, he must find and protect Sophia before the Grigori murder her...again. To break this cycle of death, he turns her into a vampire. Now all he has to do is decide what means more to him, his redemption or his heart.

    Debut author Jean Ryan gives a fresh take on vampires and angels by reimagining Judeo-Christian mythology. Her vampires are fallen angels, the Grigori from Genesis, who convince Cain to murder Abel so they can drink his blood and become vampires.

  41. Nancy, thank you, I like your positioning for your stories (crossroads of small town and suspense) but we don't publish mystery, so this wouldn't fit on our list.

  42. Thank you for the opportunity to pitch my completed paranormal romance, DESTINY REVEALED.

    Dalia went out one night looking for trouble, when she awoke the next day chained to a wall, she realized she had found more than she bargained for. That night changed her, haunted her and she spent years hunting down the man responsible. Plans change when she becomes the one hunted. The man sent after her is handsome, and sets her body on fire, but he is an enemy, right?

    Bron's task was simple: find Dalia and bring her back to their oracle. It's his one chance at redemption and his last chance to earn back the trust of his brothers. When he finds out she is one of their deadliest enemies he's torn between his duty to the tribe and his feelings for a woman who fate has marked as his mate.

  43. Ah, see that you don't publish mystery. Thanks so much for the opportunity. All best, Donnell

  44. Mel, hmmm...really mixed feelings here about BELLS AT SUNRISE. Aren't seraphim those cute little baby angels? And Cupid for sure is a baby, so I'm having a little trouble with your hero...And then I'm not sure about the world of this--I'm not getting the arc of where this would go. There is a big conversation in the romance category about angels and demons, so if you could develop it in that direction, with a really hot hero who doesn't evoke babies with wings, send it along. thanks!

  45. Tracy, IN THE LINE OF FIRE sounds competent, but not extraordinary. Westerns are tough unless it's a cowboy hero. The big city girl goes to small town is a trope that's overused, unless you have something really original to allow you to get away with it. I'm going to pass on this one, but thank you so much!

  46. Donnell, I like this part of your pitch for Deadly Recall a lot: hot cops, unstoppable women and arresting suspense. But I'm hung up by the nun murder victim. I'm pretty leery of any story featuring an aspect of the Catholic Church right now because of the scandals. Sorry.

  47. I'm about ready to tweet/FB this link as well. No one should miss this excellent oppportunity. Deb really knows her stuff :-)

  48. Angel, the pitch for A TANGLE OF SECRETS AND LIES is tangled. I'm sorry. First the grandfather's dead, then he isn't. The heroine is who? Where did she come from? An unspeakable bargain--huh? And I don't get the world--I don't get why the h/h marrying helps anyone else--seems like an overused plot device lifted from historical romance. I'm sorry, I'm going to pass on this one.

  49. No worries, Ms. Werksman, I understand there are a lot of scandals, which I veer away from, but I appreciate your compliment and honest feedback nonetheless. What a great opportunity. Thanks Casablanca Authors!

  50. TERMS OF SURRENDER is a 105,000-word historical romance set against the backdrop of the American War for Independence.

    While her father and older brother confront redcoat forces, Kate Chambers is entrusted with the upkeep of the family farm. As the burden of chores increases, her younger siblings are often more hindrance than help. And now she’s discovered an injured man in her hayfield.

    A deserter from the invading British army, Stephen Blackthorn is in search of a home in a world where he doesn’t belong. Patriot and Loyalist alike view him as the enemy. Then Kate, ignorant of his identity, takes him in.

    As Stephen recovers from his injury, his help proves invaluable in surmounting the burden of chores, but when her feelings become engaged, Kate realizes she may be forced to chose between her family and the enemy.

    An active member of the Hearts Through History chapter of the RWA and editor of the Seduced by History newsletter, I hold a BA in French literature. TERMS OF SURRENDER is a finalist in the 2010 Sheila contest.

  51. Suzanne, we don't publish erotica, so THE SURRENDER OF LACY MORGAN wouldn't be for our list, alas...We do publish erotic romance, which must have a perfect balance between the sex and the love story.

  52. I'm sorry I forgot to change my display name. Here is the pitch again.

    Thank you for the opportunity to pitch my completed paranormal romance, DESTINY REVEALED.

    Dalia went out one night looking for trouble, when she awoke the next day chained to a wall, she realized she had found more than she bargained for. That night changed her, haunted her and she spent years hunting down the man responsible. Plans change when she becomes the one hunted. The man sent after her is handsome, and sets her body on fire, but he is an enemy, right?

    Bron's task was simple: find Dalia and bring her back to their oracle. It's his one chance at redemption and his last chance to earn back the trust of his brothers. When he finds out she is one of their deadliest enemies he's torn between his duty to the tribe and his feelings for a woman who fate has marked as his mate.

  53. Thank you, Deb!!!

    Regency Romance
    Laura McGowan (debut novel)

    Is one fiance just as good as another? When Simon Mains and Olivia Lytle discover that their intended spouses have escaped to Gretna Green together, Simon's relieved and Olivia's reputation is in tatters. Refusing to accept the situation, Olivia hatches a scheme to redeem her lost status, with a faux engagement to Simon.

    With a little seduction, a touch of blackmail and a hint of scandal, Simon agrees to play the part. But when rogue Roger Challingdon begins to pursue Olivia in earnest, Simon faces a very real danger -- and his own feelings for Olivia.

  54. Jean, I don't know what to do with ENDLESS LIVES--I think it's going to be really tough to turn Lucifer into a romantic kind of goes against the grain. I sense that there's something interesting in trying to tie vampires to the Judeo-Christian tradition, but I don't think this quite works for me.

  55. Oh Snap, thank you for this pitch for DESTINY REVEALED. I don't get it, though...the world is sketched so lightly that I don't get pulled in. I don't see how this is going to work in paranormal. I don't see the hook...sorry. Thank you so much.

  56. Thanks Deb for this opportunity, and I look forward to hearing your comments. I placed second in Donna Alward's mentoring contest with this pitch.
    Suzanne Forrest.

    TO DECEIVE THE DUKE is a Regency-set historical and the first in my PRICE trilogy.

    Annabelle Humble, the illegitimate daughter of an earl, once longed for a husband and children to call her own. Since the aristocracy scorn her, society shuns her, and no respectable gentleman will have her, Belle embraces her reclusive country lifestyle, where she keeps her niece and herself well-hidden from the unscrupulous ton. Her cherished haven, however, is shattered by her father’s madcap machination to marry her off as his legitimate but very dead daughter.

    Anthony Price, the Duke of Worth, inherited not only a dukedom at age sixteen, but myriad quandaries and scandals of countless relatives. Since then, he’s strived to restore his family’s tarnished reputation, though respectability has had a price—he’s made enemies along the way. Now, an earl threatens to undo all he’s worked for, unless Anthony marries the earl’s daughter.

    Arriving in Buckinghamshire Anthony finds, not the earl’s Incomparable daughter, but rather a drunken wench in her stead. Belle’s conscience won’t allow her TO DECEIVE THE DUKE, yet her trivial attempt to discourage the marriage hasn’t deterred his fierce determination to wed. To protect her niece’s very existence, and to break the engagement with decorum, Belle travels to London with Anthony. When a carriage accident proves to be no accident at all, Anthony convinces his reluctant fiancée they must marry at once. As they spend more time together, Anthony discovers Belle is nothing like her scheming father. And Belle must decide if a marriage woven on a web of lies can become a true partnership. Or will it reveal the truth and jeopardize her chance at love?

  57. In my verbose world, writing a pitch is far more challenging than writing a novel. I agonized over every word in my pitch. But it paid off, so it was worth the effort.

    A word of advice: try to interject your writer's voice into your pitch as much as possible. For example, if you write sexy, romantic comedies and your pitch reads like the instruction manual for a DVD player, well... keep working at it. You'll know when it's finally right.

    Good luck on hooking Deb as your fabulous editor, pitchers (of the non-basebally and/or beverage-containing variety). She's slathered in awesome sauce and wonderful to work with.

    Psst, Deb, what are your feelings on a Time Travel Adventure/smoking hot Erotic Romance with a humorous bent? Yes, I'm entirely immersed in the world of rockstars right now, but things are simmering on back burners. And sizzling. Boiling over. Making a huge mess of my stove.

    Sorry, I got carried away by the excitement of pitching. I'm off to find my focus now. Ignoring that messy stove. Both the figurative one above and the literal one in my kitchen.

  58. Ashwinder, I like your pitch for TERMS OF SURRENDER. The time period is very tough in the romance category, but it's got some universal themes and I'd like to read more. What comes next, though? Please send full submission and answer that question too! thanks!

  59. Miss Kita, I really like the pitch for OTHERWISE ENGAGED. Send it along please! And, what comes next and next and next?

  60. Everybody, it occurs to me I should say more about why the pitch for OTHERWISE ENGAGED worked for me:
    It's very clear, it brings me into the world, enrolls me in the characters and reflects the author's voice. Also, the book itself is well-titled (I haven't been talking about that, but it helps SO MUCH!!!)

  61. Thanks to her meddling best friend, Kari Parker earns the dubious distinction of becoming the “Blind Date Bride” — sentenced by the judges in Romance TV’s “Get a Love Life” contest to meet and marry a complete stranger for 90 days. She agrees to do it because the prize money will save her parents’ foundering restaurant.

    Damien Walker didn’t enter the “Get a Love Life” contest, either — his buddy was hoping he’d win second prize, a trip for two to Club Med. But when a panel of romance experts says he has the worst love life in America, he realizes he has become too wrapped up in his veterinary practice. He sees his beautiful, bogus bride both as a lifeline to pull him out of his dull existence and a puzzle to solve.

    The real fun begins when Kari moves from the spare room to his bedroom to accommodate the camera crew they agree to let film a reality show of their “marriage.” As Damien tries to figure out why Kari bolts every time they touch, she quickly realizes she’ll never make it through the 90 days without succumbing to his advances. Worse yet, she finds herself wanting to trust Damien and see if they can make their sham marriage real in every sense of the word.

    "Blind Date Bride" is a 97,000 word romantic comedy.

  62. Benevolence is Lea Nolan’s debut YA paranormal romance, complete at 80,000 words.

    Sixteen-year-old Lizzie Stone doesn’t even know he exists. Or that he’s loved her for 200 years. She’s just trying to survive the last two years of high school while grieving the suicide of her father. When weird things start to happen in her room, she figures it’s got to be a ghost. Luckily, her best friend’s mom is a psychic medium who’d love to escort the troublesome visitor to the Other Side. But William Miller is no ordinary ghost. He’s a Muse, a powerful spirit dedicated to advancing humankind and fighting the Malevolents, wicked spirits who torment people for fun. It’ll take a lot more than a human psychic to keep him from the love of his existence.

    After the psychic house cleansing they meet and, while Lizzie assumes she’s his latest Muse project, she’s attracted to his brilliant emerald eyes, coy smile, and mysterious, yet familiar nature. As her dreams provide clues to their past, she falls for William who must use his powers to save her from a Malevolent with a nasty grudge. But with death standing between them, can William find a way to reunite them and ensure that, this time, they stay together forever?

  63. Suzanne, I have mixed feelings about TO DECEIVE THE DUKE. There's a complexity to the pitch that worries me a little--is the story going to hold together? Is the credibility of the world going to hold up? That said, my policy is, when in doubt, read more. So, please send a full submission! And, what's next, please? and next and next? :-)

  64. Olivia, Time Travel Adventure/smoking hot Erotic Romance with a humorous bent--um YES YES YES YES YES
    Thanks for sharing your advice--it's very good, and also for the kind words for moi.
    Olivia is obviously a Sourcebooks author and I was editing her first rock star erotic romance BACKSTAGE PASS on an airplane and simultaneously laughing my head off, blushing furiously, drinking iced beverages in a vain attempt to stay cool, and working really hard to make sure the guy next to me couldn't read over my shoulder. You won't want to miss BACKSTAGE PASS, especially if you like 'em hot. Oh my.

  65. A GRAND CHARADE is a fun, fast-paced Regency romance of 86,0000 words by a debut author:

    When Tessa McGillicuddy attempts to rescue her adolescent brother from a gang of pickpockets, she finds herself blackmailed into spying on handsome Bow Street Runner, Maxwell Smith. Together they pose as husband and wife to infiltrate a world of gentile crime and expose a ring of aristocratic smugglers. As their charade deepens, Maxwell’s investigation leads them directly back to the London underworld--and Tessa's brother. While navigating a labyrinth of secrets and lies, Tessa falls in love with the man she must betray.

    With his perilous work as a Bow Street Runner, Maxwell Smith has been able to harden his spirit and conceal his guilt over a past betrayal. His beautiful new housekeeper, Tessa, opens his heart to trust and love again. But when the clues to his latest case lead straight to his make-believe-wife, Maxwell must untangle the mystery of her past and discover the truth—no matter what the consequences.

    Thank you in advance for your comments.

  66. Arlene, thank you so much, but I'm not buying the premise of Blind Date Bride, I'm sorry. The whole thing is too far-fetched...

  67. Lea, I don't acquire YA myself, so I don't know how to evaluate this pitch. Please go ahead and send me a full proposal and I will queue it up for our new YA editor, who we are in the process of hiring now. thanks!

  68. Called to the Grave by debut author Heidi C. Dahlquist is a 98,500 word paranormal romance. Ghost Hunter and Parapsychologist, Sydney Foster, discovers by accident she is half succubus and is next in line to the Incubus/Succubus throne in Hades. Fellow ghost hunter and Irish druid, Ashton O’Brien, must help Sydney accept her newly found demonic power before the dimensional walls disappear and she’s forced into Hades. Can he save the woman he loves before all hell breaks loose?

  69. Most women get up in the morning and decide what to wear. Shapeshifter Nikki Hill gets up and decides whether to be male or female today.

    DANGEROUS SHIFT is a 75,000 word completed paranormal romantic suspense.

    Shapeshifters are dying all over California. With her ‘screw the rules’ style, LT. NIKKI HILL and her new partner, by-the-book cop, LT. SEAN EVANS, race to capture a killer spreading a virus deadly only to shapeshifters.

    They say opposites attract, but Nikki and Sean may not have time to find out if it is true as the virus threatens to exterminate the Shapeshifter race.

    Dangerous Shift is my second complete manuscript. I have published a short story and several poems, but have not yet been published in full-length fiction.

  70. Deb! I misrepresented my book confusing Erotica with Erotic Romance (yes, yes, I know the difference!!)

    My story is truly a love story. As for the kid's summer vacation and the appearance of children is minimal! And the 'boy toy' is in his mid 20's...Just to clarify.

    Sorry for my confusion.

  71. Trust me, Deb. You're going to LOOOOOOVE Olivia's time traveling/erotic romance w/humor story. It's a good one!

  72. Cheri, A GRAND CHARADE sounds like it could be potentially interesting--it's a Regency that doesn't take place in the world of the aristocracy. But, I think based on my reading of Georgette Heyer that the Bow Street Runners weren't gentlemen--my sense is that they were pretty rough customers themselves. So I'm not sure how you're going to pull this off and whether your research is sufficient or accurate. Let me see more--a full submission please, and tell me what's next, next, next, etc. Thanks!

  73. Reaching Out to Sea is a paranormal romance.

    Mari Compton is the local wild child and guardian of Gateway Sea, one-third of the Tertian Gate. Daniel Lachlan is new to Mohrville, having recently purchased a farm on the outskirts of town.

    Mari must come to grips with her past and learn that love doesn't mean abandonment, Daniel will have to struggle through his own guilt over his mother's death to realize his gifts are not the curse he believes. On a collision course with the demon bent on stealing the Gate's power, both will have to trust and rely on the other to survive.

  74. Judi, there is something so wrong with you getting to read it before I do...I'm sulking.

  75. Thanks for your consideration, Deb.

  76. Deb,
    Thanks so much for the terrific pitch and query lesson, and for offering feedback.

    Cosmo Fortune may be a second-rate Las Vegas magician, but he's a first-rate charmer—and a bigamist. For thirty years, he's prevented his three daughters from learning of each other's existence, but now his deepest secrets are about to be revealed to those he loves most. Worse, he puts them all at risk when his latest con goes awry, uncovering a deadly, international scheme and setting a hired killer on his trail.

    When no-nonsense jewelry designer Iris Fortune learns her father Cosmo has disappeared after being involved in a jewel heist and possible murder, she finds her steady, happy world was just an illusion. Cosmo has pulled many a disappearing act over the years, but he's never left a dead man sitting in his car before. Iris must save her father, accept her two new half-sisters and maintain a facade of poise and calm for her politician fiancé—all while staying one step out of reach of the intriguing jewel thief who claims he's only after her gems.

    Detective Mickey Kincaid goes deep undercover to escape the bitterness of his brother's recent murder. But while working with Iris to forge a famous set of Czarist Alexandrite jewels and track down the elusive Cosmo, Mickey learns the killer has Iris and her sisters in his sights. Mickey's put his life on the line before, but never his heart. And Iris, who always believed the illusion of happiness was enough, realizes it can't hold a candle to the real thing.

    Set in and around the glittering casinos of the Las Vegas Strip, LYING EYES is a 95,000 word romantic suspense told in a dark comic tone. Mickey and Iris—along with her two newfound sisters, some madcap former Russian royalty and one overweight rabbit named Edgar—work together in the most unpredictable ways to find that master of illusion, Cosmo, before the killer catches up with them all.

    2008 RWA Golden Heart® finalist Amy Atwell has won awards in over 25 contests including The Maggie, The Sheila, The Daphne, The Beacon and others.

  77. hi Deb,

    Just want to make sure I understand what you would like me to do before I send BELLS AT SUNRISE to you, you would like me change it from greek mythology to more secular/christian, or is it just the name?

    Thanks for agreeing to give it a read!


  78. Dear Ones, keep the pitches coming--I must go and attend to some other duties for a few hours. If you do not see an answer to your pitch by midnight tonight, please come back again Monday morning--I will have all pitches answered by then. (Is that ok Casa authors?)Please don't send any additional pitches to this blog after midnight tonight--send them to me direct to my email address and they will queue up in my regular process. I love doing this and am thinking about doing it once a month!!! Would you all like that? Is it useful?

  79. Deb, thanks for the opportunity to pitch to you. Edie Ramer is published in short stories and is an American Title V finalist.

    86,000 words

    A dragon in denial collides with an assassin with a cause.

    A ruthless music mogul will kill to get saxophone player Noah Long’s life-giving dragon blood. One of his victims is the sister of a martial arts expert, who’s also a part-time assassin. She teams up with Noah, and now the question is, who will kill who?

  80. Power’s Prisoner is a 90,000 word Urban Fantasy with strong romantic elements.
    I am a member of Romance Writer’s of America, and as yet, unpublished. Thank you for this opportunity!

    Tia Granger would be one fire-breathing, glacier-melting, witch, if only she would agree to use her powers over fire and water... or leave her apartment. But, if she puts even one pointy Manolo over her threshold, she can't breathe, let alone think.

    An agoraphobic witch who has panic attacks is dangerous to everyone around her, which for Tia, could mean all of Manhattan. Staten Island, too, if the moon is full.

    So when Van Singh rings her bell, she has no intention of letting him in. She certainly won't be following him anywhere. Sure, he's a smokin' Fire Warlock. And yeah, he used to light her up like a pack of Chinese fireworks. But, fireworks explode and fall back to Earth as burned out shells.

    Van hates Tia with a passion hotter than Vulcan's Forge. He thinks it’s her fault his beloved older sister is dead. Tia’s not keeping secrets. Van knows her powers are volatile. They're also his only hope of saving his one remaining sister from the power-draining, blood-sucking Vampire Mafia. Tia owes his family a debt, and Van has come to collect it, even if he has to burn her Chelsea-Brownstone-Fortress down to the cornerstones.

  81. Before I take a break I just want to acknowledge all of you who have pitched to me in this public forum--it's a brave, courageous and generous thing to do. To those of you who are pitching to me direct to my email address, thank you for taking me up on my invitation to pitch today.

    Please know that it is NEVER my intention to be discouraging. My intention is to deliver value to you, and if anyone is hurt or insulted by anything I say, please email me directly so I can leave you empowered.

    You know, you should talk to each other, too. Share what you see in each other's pitches--useful, useful!

    Ok, I'll be back later!

  82. Listen to Your Heart is a 100,000-word Regency historical romance that is a reunion/forbidden love story with a suspenseful twist.

    I am a debut author with one contest final under my belt.

    Jeremy St. Regis yearns for the one woman he can never have--the beautiful duke's daughter who befriended him long ago when he was a grief-stricken orphan.

    Untitled and tormented by his past, Jeremy wants Lady Cassandra Rentham to have the life he can't possibly give her--just not with the arrogant viscount she is expected to marry.

    When Cassandra learns Jeremy's long-lost sister is really alive, she defies all the conventions of the ton and risks her life to free him from his past...but will that ultimately be enough to save them from the viscount's revenge?

    Thanks, Deb, for your input. I've heard such great things about Sourcebooks!

    Miranda Liasson

  83. Yes, Deb! That is an awesome idea!!

  84. Hi Deb,

    I'm introducing a new YA pen name with this submission but I am previously multi-published under another name with mostly paranormal and romantic suspense novels. I have a dozen novels and novellas contracted with 5 different publishers currently but I'm looking to break into the YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Genre.

    Sexting Under the Sun
    YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

    When eighteen year old Cinn moves from small town Louisiana to the sexy, glamorous beaches of Miami, she couldn't possibly imagine that she'd be entering a world of technology, sex, and creatures of the night!

    Now, high school senior Cinnamon Carpenter has become tangled in an online affair with a mystery man and as her feelings for him does the web of mystery surrounding her new romantic interest.

    Has sweet Cinn met the man of her dreams or has her nightmare only just begun?

    Raxton is a what humans would call a vampire but he's really from a planet known as Hemo Rosa where everyone drinks blood and lives life as nocturnal creatures.

    When he gets trapped on earth during a reconnaissance mission for the King of Hemo Rosa, he becomes addicted to the internet and the world of texting among other advanced modern creations.

    But when he accidentally contacts a young human girl with a provocative message and subsequently puts her life in danger...he becomes fixated on her.

    Only, his time on earth is limited and humans cannot survive on his planet. Will Rax inevitably be tempted to steal the mortality of the young beauty by making her one of his own?

    When creatures of the night come out to play in the Florida sun...someone is bound to get burned.

    Thanks for your time,
    Carlie Angelus

    90,000 Paranormal Romance


    Private care nurse, Vivienne Dupre has made it her life’s mission to keep Death from her patients for as long as possible.

    During her latest assignment, she meets and begins to fall for the grandson of one of her clients, Justin Ardmore. Unfortunately, their attraction must wait when a car accident introduces Vivienne to Death himself.

    Death has been watching Vivienne for a while. Not with the idea of taking her soul to the other side. But with the idea of changing her mind about him…in more ways than one.

    Taking human form, Death and Vivienne begin a journey…but where will this path lead? And does mortal, Justin Ardmore stand a snowballs chance in hell when Death is determined to steal his fated love’s heart?

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  87. Thank you for all your hard work today, Deb. I believe I'll take the opportunity to pitch via email, but kudos to all the brave souls here sharing their queries with everyone. Makes me want to offer free beta crits so I can read some of these great sounding books :)

    Jody Wallace

    Light Paranormal Romance
    85,000 words

    Emma Hopkins is a recently divorced chimney sweep kicking ass in a man’s world. But when she wins a huge job in Brooklyn Heights, she finds more than she bargains for. A sexy general contractor, who wants to send her packing and an evil spirit who wants her dead.

    General Contractor, Ryan Atkinson once was a brave man, but horrors in his past changed all that. He lives each day fearing sleep and the nightmares that come with it. Now his job site is teetering on ruins and his chimney sweep is panicking over a few flying tools.

    Desperate to save his job, Ryan agrees to become Emma's ghost-hunting partner, hoping to find the mystery behind the paranormal activity. What they uncover is a one-hundred year old murder and a budding love that can’t be denied.

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  90. STELLAR TIMING is a 90,000 word manuscript which combines elements of fantasy, romance and science fiction.

    When a man wearing blood-soaked armor begs her for sanctuary, Ellie Macintyre is sure her mind has snapped like a dry twig. In the year 2059, poverty and stress have done much worse. What else could explain her ability to hear animals talk and the knack for communing with the wounded warrior inside her head? One thing’s for sure, she needs to eject this sexy figment from her life, stat.

    Betrayed by those closest to him, Prince Brennigan was banished to the universal Hotel California, the penal colony called Earth. The only way to escape this fate worse than death is to befriend a portal-maker, a sorci who can open a gateway through time and space and return him to his home planet. Getting along with the magically inclined is not his forte—magic is the prevalent fungus at the root of his problems.

    Now the hope for his people, and his heart, lies with Ellie. Can an ignorant witch best an evil sorceress before the Medieval Times Space Opera curtain closes for good?

    Jennifer L Hart's list of published works includes Worth the Wait, a short contemporary romance presented by Freya’s Bower in 2008 and my mystery/chick lit novel The Misadventures of the Laundry Hag: Skeletons in the Closet published by Wild Child Publishing in 2008. The contemporary romance River Rats, and the mystery sequel The Misadventures of the Laundry Hag: Swept Under the Rug will both be published through Wild Child Publishing in 2010.

    Thank you for your time.

  91. A MOST UNUSUAL LADY is an historical fiction set in the Victorian era. It is complete at 100,000 words. This manuscript has won several chapter contests. Most recently it won grand prize over all categories in both the Maine Romance Writers of America contest, and the Valley of the Sun's Hot Prospects contest.

    Lady Edwina von Seeburg, smart, independent and sassy daughter of an Austrian count and Italian princess, thinks nothing of turning Victorian London on its ear with her unruly antics. A gifted artist, she throws her wild passions into her work and gaily passes off everything she does, fair or foul, as a great adventure. Men adore her, but her heart holds a dark secret, and so she avoids suitors at every turn.

    Lord Worthington, a powerful man with an unfairly tainted reputation thanks to the lies of an old arch-enemy, has two loves in his life: the city of Venice and his prized horses. He also avoids two things: assuming his deplorable father's duties and marriage. When he returns to London after ten years in Venice, he is confronted by a new set of lies from his former nemesis. Infuriated, he snatches the man's sister from a ball, hoping to convince her to hear his side of the story. The trouble is, he has never met her and accidentally captures her friend, the feisty Lady Edwina, instead.

    He discovers a woman who not only sets his soul afire, but who shares his love of horses and Italy. She, however, is staggered by their volatile chemistry, and what she fears most in life rears its ugly head. She flees to Venice where Worthington's shadowy secrets are exposed, and her life takes a shocking turn. Can Worthington redeem himself? Can Edwina heal her soul and rediscover the joy and spunk that defined her before all is lost?

    Thank you for this opportunity

  92. The Devil's Daughter is a completed 80,000 word historical western romance. It's currently in the hands of Carina Press and The Wild Rose Press.

    When the bounty hunter facing his past encounters the criminal on the run from her own, Gade Ryder investigates a gang of rustlers on the family ranch and is confronted with the compelling mystery of the devil’s daughter.

    Blaze is no longer the four—year—old girl forced to be an outlaw when she finds her chance at redemption by repaying a man for saving her life, only his estranged son accuses her of betrayal and ignites a passion she can’t deny.

    When the little criminal is accused of murder, Gade realizes his growing attraction for her could not only cost him his freedom, it may well cost him his life.

    Thanks for this opportunity,
    Melissa Dawn Harte

  93. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity. :o)

    YA Urban Fantasy
    82,000 words
    Debut novel by: Brandi Hall

    What if the life you were born into—was never really yours to begin with?

    Nineteen-year-old Chloe Bishop despises her horrifying visions. That is, until the day she learns they’re the key to her family’s prophesied destiny. But Once Chloe’s visions reveal her new boyfriend is secretly investigating her Wiccan family, happily never after is all “sees”. Fate then intervenes and throws Chloe a curveball: the guy she no longer trusts holds the key to her heart—and to saving the world.

  94. Deb, I think doing this once a month would be fantastic! I love reading all the creative pitches and your comments are helpful for writers on any level.

  95. LOVE NEVER DIES is an 80,000 word Gothic Regency and can best be described as Pride & Prejudice meets The Covenant.

    Born a defender of magic, a vicar's daughter joins forces with a warlock to ensnare a black witch with a thirst for young men's souls.

    CRISTINA SAMUELS wants nothing more than to live a quiet life nestled within the formidable cliffs of the Cornish coast, but her sanctuary holds secrets even an ingénue in 1815 cannot fathom. For Cristina is not the vicar’s daughter she assumes herself to be, but the last champion of a magical race chosen to protect an ancient amulet. Unaware of her true purpose, her life is violently disrupted when her father is ambushed and she is rescued by a dark, brooding stranger. Torn from all she's known, Cristina must accept her new destiny in order to save the man she loves from a witch seeking possession of the amulet. To fail means certain death.

    JESSE BUTLER is a one-hundred year old warlock summoned to the Cornish coast by his mentor, the man he calls Vicar, to protect an untried witch. One look into the young woman’s eyes promises atonement, one touch, his ruination. Jesse is no stranger to destruction, it comes easily to him. Everyone and everything he has ever treasured has perished by his own hand. To know him is to embrace death and that is something he cannot risk where Cristina is concerned. But keeping his vow isn't easy. Cristina's beauty is hard to resist and a persistent witch seeks to lure him from his purpose. To redeem his soul, Jesse must fight the darkness within if he is to conquer his past and learn the hardest lesson of all, love never dies.

    Thank you for your time and consideration. :)

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  97. In the heart of England there lived a hero armed with bow and arrow, ready to strike down injustice and tyranny—a swashbuckling legend so powerful it has lasted for centuries, captivating the hearts and minds of people the world over. But what if the legend was nothing but a lie?

    When her father is brutally murdered in front of her eyes, Marian of Locksley is thrust into a world of treason and greed, where the ultimate prize is the throne of England. Left with little choice, she disguises herself as Robin of the Hood, an outlaw despised by royalty and loved by the people…and the wickedly handsome, steadfast Will Scarlet.

    Forced into hiding deep within Sherwood Forest, Will joins Robin Hood’s band of merry men, never realizing the fearless outlaw he follows is really the woman he desires for his own. He dares to risk everything in the fight for justice and love, longing for the day he can claim the courageous beauty. But first, England must be saved and legend must be born.

    The Hooded Man, a 70,000 word historical romance, explores a different take on the seminal legends of Robin Hood and the Evil Prince John. It was chosen as a top ten finalist in the Dorchester/Textnovel America's Next Best Cellar Contest.

    Courtney Sheets is a member of the Romance Writers of America. Her paranormal romance, Kona Warrior, is available from Ravenous Romance. She is also a freelance writer for Nevada Magazine, and Romantic Times Magainze.

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  99. FOR LOVE OR RAVIOLI is a single title contemporary romance by debut author Lia DeAngelo, who has finalled in and / or won multiple RWA contests, including the Golden Heart.

    When mouthy restaurant critic, ALLEGRA LEONI must write a killer review to land her dream job, she goes head to head with star chef, MICHAEL CORTINA—in the press and in the bedroom. But as Michael sets out to win her favor and spice up her life, Allegra finds herself inviting him into her kitchen, her home, and ultimately her heart. Now each must let go of old assumptions, face failure, and reach for a second chance at success in life and love.

  100. Hi Deb - what a cool idea! The feedback you're providing on the pitches is so enlightening.

    (Back to my TASTE ME revisions!)

  101. How exciting!

    Paranormal Romance
    100,000 words

    His kiss holds her captive. Her touch sets him free.

    Hope Thorn is a fearless werewolf huntress. Maksim is a brutal warrior lycan king hell bent on revenge. Their attraction is dangerously forbidden, but Hope is the key to salvation for Maksim’s Kingdom and he will stop at nothing to win her secrets, even if that means exploiting her greatest weakness…her undeniable desire for him.

    Burdened with a declining kingdom and weighted with hatred fueled by revenge for his father’s murder, Maksim lives by one rule—death to all hunters. Yet when he snares a feisty huntress, as lethal as she is tempting, he is unable to make the kill for the first time in centuries. His exquisite captive holds the information needed to revive his race from extinction, but awakens his darkest desires. To save his kingdom, Maksim must seduce his fiery enemy and steal her secrets but finds she somehow soothes his thirst for vengeance instead.

    Hope has spent years baiting and executing the creatures responsible for her parent’s death. But when Maksim, a sensual and exotic lycan king, takes her captive, she must come to terms with her newfound attraction to the enemy and also the unraveling secrets about her heritage and the truth behind her parent’s murder.

    When an ancient evil from Maksim's past resurfaces and attempts to claim Hope for himself, along with Maksim's kingdom, will the warrior king choose between the huntress he's come to love, or the kingdom he's pledge his life to?

    Thanks for the opportunity!
    -Heather Mitchell

  102. The Butterfly is a single title contemporary romance of 90,000 words. The author, Terrel Hoffman, is unpublished in book-length fiction.

    When Christopher Ellington hires famous soccer star Daphne Duke to be the spokeswoman for his KidsMove! foundation, he thinks he's found in her the perfect balance of brains, beauty and atheletic prowess. But her comlete lack of social skills puts all his plans at risk and he has to quickly teach her the manners she needs if she is to pull off her new high profile role. The buttoned-down, well-behaved Christopher can't understand why he's so turned on by the rough-edged smart-mouthed caterpiller that is Daphne. When a jealous former teammate spreads scandalous lies that threaten Daphne's reputation and the launch of KidsMove!, Christopher discovers he'll do just about anything to protect his emerging Butterfly.

  103. Okay, I'll give it a try. Here's my pitch.

    Imagine a murder with a twist where the client gets killed instead of the target. DYING FOR LOVE is a Contemporary Romantic Suspense that will be 80,000 when revisions are completed. Estimated time of completion is late July.

    Angelica McIntire is on the run from the killer who murdered his own client instead of his target – her. Hired by her ex husband who wanted Angelica dead so he could get her inheritance, the killer bungled the job and destroyed his means of getting paid. So, he hatched a new plan … kidnap Angelica, get her inheritance and then kill her. But Angelica has her own plan and it doesn't involve dying nor does it involve falling in love. Working closely with the detective, she realizes she's starting to have feelings for him. Then she remembers her family, everyone she's ever loved has died. Angelica has decided to never to get married again fearing they too would die and leave her.

    Detective Dave Kohl is ready to settle down now with a wife and family, but with his job, meeting prospective candidates is near impossible. He's looking for that spark or chemistry and the trouble is he's found that spark with Angelica but she's off limits to him because of police department rules while he is protecting her. But while she's in his protective custody he gets to know her and he's convinced he wants to share the rest of his life with her. But will he be able to keep her safe until the killer is caught?

  104. Thanks for doing this today- what a great opportunity. Have enjoyed reading them all.

    RUNAWAY is a romantic suspense, by Sherry Chancellor writing as Jillian Chantal. This would be a debut novel. I have had a couple of short stories published in anthologies.

    Stolen jewels, a murdered German industrialist, a client on the run and a smoking hot Interpol agent with a personal agenda all make for a bad two weeks in the life of prominent Wall Street lawyer, Evangeline Fleet. Chasing the solution to her client's problems across three continents could be the death of her. As to the Interpol agent on her trail, should she bed him or shoot him?

    Evangeline is a Wall Street lawyer trying to save her client from certain death as she’s been accused of stealing jewelry from a Mafioso’s wife.

    Cecil Waugh is an Interpol Agent. He's trying to find the person that murdered his father, a German industrialist. Evangeline's client, accused of stealing jewels, also had the misfortune of being present at the murder of Cecil's father and Cecil won't rest until he gets to her. Falling for Evangeline was not on his agenda.

  105. This comment has been removed by the author.

  106. Thank you for this opportunity! I was referred by C.J. Redwine through her query workshop. Here goes...

    A romantic suspense by debut author Lori Whitwam
    Complete at 110,000 words
    The author is the recipient of the Dog Writers Association of America’s 2008 Maxwell Award, and has been a columnist and feature writer for Indy Car Racing Magazine and a regular contributor to TC Dog.

    Abby never dreamed she'd meet her rock star fantasy, Seth Caldwell, by crushing his guitar under the wheels of her Jeep. Twice. Is it possible to be simultaneously thrilled and terrified? Apparently so.

    Seth wants to strangle Abby Delaney when she reduces “Cujo” to kindling. But when he stops yelling, the snarks turn to sparks and he immediately revokes his longstanding rule against getting involved with women he meets on the road.

    Abby tries to put the pain of death and divorce behind her and find the strength to trust Seth enough to share her life with him, but the afterglow is shot to hell when his duffel bag explodes in her guest room.

    Abby is more furious than frightened when they discover the bomb was a second attempt on Seth’s life. She makes up her mind that he’s worth fighting for, and nobody is going to stand in their way.

    Seth has more to lose than ever before. He has Abby. He refuses to believe the perpetrator is part of his band or crew. But is his loyalty endangering Abby’s life? Would she be safer if he went back to Texas until the killer is caught? And would she ever forgive him if he did?

    With the help of Abby’s meddling mother, Seth’s band, a groupie with boundary issues, and a one-eyed stray dog, they race to unravel the mystery. But they not only have to survive, they must find a way to maintain the trust they’ve established, or their future is as dead as Seth’s guitar.

  107. Animal Whisperer is a 70k word contemporary novel (with light paranormal elements) in the vein of Gemma Halliday's "High Heel" series, but without the shoes or fashion.

    Jessi Smith's ability to talk to animals means life is never dull. Life gets even more interesting when her 100 pound Newfie leads her to her gorgeous new neighbor--and a dead body. But then the body goes missing and the neighbor turns out to be a little too odd, even for her. When she finds a leg hanging out of a closet door in his pimped-out basement she wonders if he may not be as much lethally good-looking as just plain lethal. Her "special talent" gives her the advantage to track down the missing body and find out more about Mr. GQ/Scary. She wants to clear her good name with the police, who seem to think she is a nut job after they arrive to find there is no body. But, mostly, she just wants to know she isn't crazy. Along the way she picks up Mr. Not-So-Average-After-All, discovers that pornos--er, art films--are being made right in her townhouse complex, tries to avoid the manic strata council president, and faces a mob of angry birds and a squirrel which both help to save her life.

    I am an epublished author and I serve as the President of the ESPAN chapter of the RWA.

  108. My 86,000 word Paranormal Romance, HAUNTED ON BOURBON STREET, is set in the French Quarter of New Orleans. I am am active member of RWA and this is my first novel.

    When empath Jade Calhoun moves into an apartment above a strip bar on Bourbon Street, she expects life to get interesting. What she doesn't count on is making friends with an exotic dancer, having feelings for Kane, her sexy landlord, and being haunted by a powerful spirit. As if being haunted isn’t strange enough, the ghost is also making love to Jade in her dreams. And the dreams really heat up when Kane appears and the ghost vanishes.

    With her hormones in overdrive, Jade can’t resist when Kane turns on the charm...until she finds out he’s hiding his own unique ability. Betrayed, she pushes him away. Just call Jade Ms. Hypocritical, because she never told Kane she’s been spying on his private emotions. She keeps her empathy gift a secret.

    Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Jade, the ghost is terrorizing Pyper, the dancer, in her nightmares. After a ritual to exorcise the ghost goes wrong, suddenly Pyper is trapped in another reality. Jade must find a way to trust Kane, because it will take the two of them joining forces to save their friend from evil.

  109. Hi Deb (SuperWoman!)
    You are fast.
    Thanks for the nod on my "love stories from the crossroad of small town and suspense".

    This pitch was an eye-opener for me because although there is a little thread of mystery in this story -- it's not the driving force. OUT OF FOCUS really is Kasey's journey through the loss of her husband, and finding a way to cope through the possible loss of her son on top of it all (but of course I do reunite them safe and sound :)) She lands in a new town and unlikely friends carry her through the journey.

    Sounds like I need to reposition the pitch to make that more clear.
    Thanks -- that feedback is worth a million!
    Nancy Naigle

  110. wow, great pitches here. Congrats to those who got requests. these all sound wonderful to me, glad I'm not the editor who has to pick and choose.

    Paranormal Romance
    90,000 words Completed
    Book 1: ‘Warriors of Light’ series
    L.J. DeLeon

    Halfling’s Rise is the first book in the Warriors of Light series. While there is a series arc, each book is meant to be stand alone.

    Deva Morgan is charged with saving Earthworld where archangels, were-animals, mages, and Fae are the norm. Her protector, D’ Danaan warrior Padraig O'Niell is less than thrilled with his human-Fae half-breed who can’t control her emerging powers. For the neophyte Deva it's more than on-the-job training—it's life or death.

    Within hours of meeting, Padraig overhears a fragment of telepathic conversation. An implanted parasitic seed within the head of one of Deva’s friends has turned him into an unconscious mole. Unsure of the loyalty of their companions, they begin to draw close to one another. Deva’s powers continue to strengthen, as does her love for Padraig.

    With the discovery of the seedling, Deva and her team uncover The Dark Lord’s plans. Led by Deva Earthworld’s army repels the invasion, crippling The Dark Lord.
    The Goddess tells Deva she’ll carry the flame of the Light as long as she holds her love for Padraig within her heart and uses love as her guide. Deva and Padraig mate in a ceremony where their souls bond.

    90,000 words
    Contemporary paranormal romance
    Book 2: “Warriors of Light” series
    L.J. DeLeon

    Moira O’Neill, a rebellious Fae princess, grudgingly partners with an aloof Felix. Major Steve Taylor, a were-leopard with the Army of Light, learns Moira’s not only a fire-breathing dragon but a weapon of The Goddess’ warrior Archangels—a weapon resistant to his control. Worse, his leopard decides Moira is his soul mate, leaving the man at war with his cat during a dangerous mission where failure means death.

  113. SPELL STRUCK is a 100,000 word Witch Lit tale of fatal attraction with erotic and off beat romantic elements.

    ROWAN's teenage crush on professional wrestling superstar DYLAN DALTON starts out innocent enough until a love spell turns lethal. Guided by the ghost of her grandma she calls upon all her witchy powers to win his love and along the way avenge the spirit's untimely murder.

    Three generations deep in an insular world of sex, steroids and scandal, Dylan was content with kicking ass and screwing ring rats (wrestling groupies). That is until a hot redhead invades his dreams. Once they meet Rowan winds up putting a headlock on his heart.

    Strengthened by Rowan's obsessive devotion Dylan steps out of the shadow of his badass brother and womanizing legendary father to find himself winning the world title and for better or worse the love of a witch.

  114. A finalist in the HHRW Romance Through the Ages Contest, INTO THE FIRE is a paranormal romance by debut author Coreene Smith.

    A warrior bred to power and born to protect. . .

    Leader to one of the Guardian clans, Dorion Traquair is charged with protecting the first dimension from destruction. Scarred by betrayal, he must unleash the magic he’s been taught to hide and destroy an age-old enemy determined to enslave him. But the gods meddle, saddling him with a feisty female architect he neither needs nor trusts to rebuild his home.

    A woman sent by the gods to help him rebuild. . .

    Modern day architect Renee Aston lives and breathes her motto: never give up, never give in, and never surrender. Taken from her home, she is forced to concede her independence and rely on one man for survival—a fate she abhors and will fight until she learns that sometimes surrender is the sweetest victory of all.

    A love stronger than the ancient evil threatening to tear them apart.

    Somehow, they must find a way past their differences and learn to trust each other, for only then can justice be served.

    Thanks so much for the opportunity!

  115. Thanks, Deb, for the chance to pitch.

    Ben Delicious
    Contemporary Romance
    90,000 words

    In answer to the age old question What do editors want? Flavia Smythe, Editor extraordinaire, wants to find a new manuscript as hot as Harry Potter; for the Queen of Romance to stay with her publishing company in spite of the Queen’s new agent; and a friend as understanding as Mr. Clancy but who can do more than bark to uphold his end of the conversation.

    Romance was her favorite genre, this was her favorite Romance convention, and at the end of the bar, in the way that lightning strikes twice only in the movies or very, very good books, the perfect Romance Hero chose the middle stool! OMG!!

    “Ben,” he extends his hand and says by way of introduction when he moves to her end of the bar.
    “Delicious,” she murmurs placing her hand in his.

    Flavia Rose Smythe, (that must be her conscience; it sounded a lot like her mother) what have you stepped into? If you sleep with (and sleeping with was in the Cinderella equation) a male writer, Biggie, Jr., can handle the contract negotiations. If you sleep with a male editor—no harm, no foul, you’re in the same game after all. If you sleep with a male agent, OMG—if he’s good you’ll be in danger of giving away the store, if he’s not you’ll have to look at the cretin across the bargaining table again and again until you retire.

    Add to the mix Halcyon Bell (Don’t listen to Flavia Smythe she turned down my best seller!) a male exotic dancer, the Queen of Romance’s unlamented ex husband looking for a publisher for his novel, a dog walk with Mr. Clancy that triggers an alarm that brings out Homeland Security, the local Army Reserve unit, the police and fire departments (Flavia will be reading that scene in the next hundred manuscripts) a visit from the literary agent fondly (or not so) called Devil from his address 666, and finding out that Ben lives with his church lady mother in the middle of nowhere this summer is not going to be like any other summer.

  116. Hi Deb,
    Thanks so much for taking our pitches. That's incredibly generous.

    My name is Peggy Hanchar. I'm a multi-published author (20 books) in the historical genre some years ago. Recently I began writing again and have sold 4 books to the e-publishers market. I currently have a Scottish Romance half finished called THE LAIRD'S DAUGHTER.

    Disguised as a lowly goose girl, proud Annie MacDougall fights to win back Dunollie Castle and reestablish her broken clan, but Rafe Campbell has come to save the castle for his aging, ailing uncle. Annie aids Rafe as he fights against the evil and corrupt Baen Campbell and provides a better life for her clan members. Rafe is drawn to the mute and crippled goosegirl and trusts her completely but his heart is stolen by a beautiful woodsprite, he suspects is a Annie's kinswoman. Wounded in battle, Rafe is nursed by Annie and discovers her true identity. He persuades her to become his wife and together they fight to bring peace and prosperity to both their clans. But hurt once by the arrogant Campbell warrior, Annie is not so quick to give her heart. Intrigue and danger swirl around them as they struggle to overcome their mutual mistrust and give their love whole heartedly.

  117. A finalist in the HHRW Romance Through the Ages Contest, INTO THE FIRE is a paranormal romance by debut author Coreene Smith.

    A warrior bred to power and born to protect. . .

    Leader to one of the Guardian clans, Dorion Traquair is charged with protecting the first dimension from destruction. Scarred by betrayal, he must unleash the magic he’s been taught to hide and destroy an age-old enemy determined to enslave him. But the gods meddle, saddling him with a feisty female architect he neither needs nor trusts to rebuild his home.

    A woman sent by the gods to help him rebuild. . .

    Modern day architect Renee Aston lives and breathes her motto: never give up, never give in, and never surrender. Taken from her home, she is forced to concede her independence and rely on one man for survival—a fate she abhors and will fight until she learns that sometimes surrender is the sweetest victory of all.

    A love stronger than the ancient evil threatening to tear them apart. . .

    Somehow, they must find a way past their differences and learn to trust each other, for only then can justice be served.

    Thanks very much for the opportunity!

  118. VOTE YES!
    I'd love to see these once a month --- just reading the pitches and seeing Deb's responses is quite an education.

    Thanks Casablanca Authors and Deb!
    Hugs and High 5s~

  119. Hi Deb,
    This is my second pitch. I hope I'm not being greedy, but I can't resist taking advantage of this opportunity.

    I am a multi-published writer with 20 published books to my credit. I stopped writing for a while but am back at it again and have recently sold 4 books to e-publishers. I have a finished Paranormal-Vampire Romance, called DARK PARADISE which is 40,000 words.

    Molly Prescott, a small-town librarian lives a ho-hum existence until Vaselik, a Romanian vampire, one of the ancient ones, bites her. Fortunately for Molly, Dr. Matthew Stanislaus, Forensic Psychologist and Vampire Hunter Extraordinaire, arrives to drive off Vasilek and apply his own special antidote to vampire bites. Molly lives but her life is forever changed.
    A member of the HOLY SOCIETY OF THE BROTHERHOOD, formed to rid the world of vampires, Matthew longs for an ordinary life with a wife and family. Molly Prescott fits his impossible dream until she's bitten and everything changes. Now he may have to kill her. Coping with a raging need for blood, Molly must protect herself from the HOLY SOCIETY and Matthew's fanatical brother as well as a whole bevy of vampires and their master, Lazlo, who want to harvest Molly's blood for the DNA content for the ancient one to reanimate. As if that's not bad enough, the rest of Matthew's family gets into the act and all hell breaks loose. Fighting their raging sexual huger for each other, Matthew and Molly team up to rid this small Michigan town of vampires and make a place for themselves.
    I have a sequel plotted but not yet started involving Matthew's brother, Luke Stanislaus and an Irish shape shifter colleen whose father just happens to be a vampire.

  120. Deb, my novel is Inspirational and I couldn’t see where Sourcebooks handles Inspirational. However, as my book is also Historical, I thought I would try.

    THE SAMURAI’S HEART, a 75,000 word Inspirational Historical, is the first in a trilogy set in 16th century Japan. Debut author Walt Mussell has one contest final with this story.

    Spared death for her religious beliefs, Sen Goami returns to her hometown of Himeji to discover her older sister has died, leaving Sen the sole child. It is now Sen’s duty to find a husband who will apprentice himself into her family’s swordsmith business. However, she seeks a Christian husband, a difficult task as Christianity is illegal.

    Nobuhiro Tokoda is the prodigal third son of a high-level samurai at Himeji Castle. Born with a limp that impeded his samurai training and always at odds with his harsh father, Nobuhiro left the castle as a teenager to seek a new life. He apprenticed himself to a swordsmith, Sen’s father. Nobuhiro hopes that by learning this craft, he can finally prove his worth.

    Nobuhiro would seem the ideal husband for Sen and her parents press this issue. However, Nobuhiro’s relationship with his father could ruin the family business. For Nobuhiro, an embrace of Christianity would end any hope of reconciling with his own family.

  121. She robbed a train. . .he stole her outlaw heart

    Pinkerton detective Garrison McGuire is a man on a mission: find his orphaned nieces, ensure their well-being, and return to Chicago's darkest alleyways where he can appease his conscience.

    Abandoned by her parents, Darbigal O'Donnell believes her only purpose in life is to carry on the legacy of the man who rescued her from a life of prostitution by saving young girls in similar situations, even if it means breaking the law.

    My debut Americana Romance, Love At Twenty Paces, the first in The Heart of An Outlaw series, approximately 88k, is set in Kansas in the year 1869.

  122. A CUP OF FORGIVENESS is a women’s fiction novel with romantic elements. Vivian Darby finds out her dead husband was a cheater who left behind a five-year-old son. The boy’s terminally ill grandmother asks Vivian to take custody of the boy. She agrees to temporary custody, making her preteen daughter and her late husband’s parents furious and causing a lot of gossip in town and especially in her coffee shop.

    Vivian fights her attraction to her sexy young neighbor, Phin Bailey, because she is not sure she can ever trust another man. Phin tries to keep his successful writing career a secret from Vivian, hoping to avoid a repeat of past relationships where women were attracted to his famous name. Vivian finds out he hasn’t been completely truthful about himself and breaks off their relationship.

    When Vivian enters a Food Network baking challenge to promote her shop, the details of her personal life are plastered all over national television. Vivian’s first place win opens doors for her to leave town. She must decide if it’s better to start over someplace new or forgive and give her blended family a second chance.

  123. Deb – Thank you so much for this opportunity! I appreciate your time and comments.

    FATALIS is an 85,000 word YA Urban Fantasy in which a group of teens band together during the zombie apocalypse only to find that an even greater evil lurks in the shadows.

    Sixteen-year-old Parrish Sorrows is ready for her summer to be over. She’s excited about going back to boarding school and getting out of the shadow of her famous violin prodigy of a sister. In fact, the only redeeming quality ‘home’ has for her is the fact that gorgeous Noah Vincent lives next door.

    During her last week at home, just when she finally gets up the nerve to talk to Noah, a man stumbles out of the darkness, bleeding and wounded. The stranger thrusts a velvet bag of stones into Parrish’s trembling hands. Before he dies, he tells her she holds the fate of two worlds on her shoulders. Shocked and confused, Parrish thinks the man is talking nonsense.

    Then the stones begin to glow. Strange new powers awaken within her just as the world around her falls apart. Within a week, a rapidly-spreading virus wipes out 99% of the world’s population, and to make matters worse, some of the plague victims are rising from the dead to feast on the living.

    As Parrish fights to survive, the stones lead her to four others who, like her, have an important destiny to fulfill. Parrish, Noah, Karmen, Crash, and a young boy with no name embark on a journey across the devastated country to save Parrish’s sister and to find answers about their new powers. What will happen when they find out that zombies are the least of their problems?

    This is my first novel and is the first of a planned series. Thanks again for your time!

    Sarra Cannon

  124. Deb, I wanted to say thank you for the opportunity to pitch. I think it's great to see the feedback, too. It would be great if you did this once a month.

  125. BLOOD RITE is a 95k single title suspense with romantic elements by author Melanie Atkins who has sold fourteen titles to small presses.

    New Orleans is recovering from a massive storm when Detective Nick Marconi's old girlfriends start turning up dead. Haunted by the earlier deaths of his sisters and his partner, Nick is consumed with solving these brutal crimes and is walking a tightrope of control. Psychiatrist Gracie Simmons, whose bad-cop father is behind bars, is assigned to help him... much to her chagrin. Still, she's determined to see Nick as a man and not a cop, so she makes him her special project--which puts her at the top of the killer's hit list. To survive, she must rely on Nick to save her. Will he get to her in time?

    Thank you for taking the time to read these pitches.

  126. The Vampire, the Witch & the Wardrobe
    Paranormal Romance
    90,000 words

    Only something seriously nasty would drag Dr. Bebe Zachary home to San Francisco. If her grandmother’s accidental overdose weren’t bad enough, her cousins have filed to overturn Grandma Petrov’s will and lost the coven’s Book of Shadows in the process. The only way to get the politically incriminating Book back is to buy the wardrobe it’s hidden in at the estate auction. Except she’s outbid by the only thing more infuriating than her idiotic cousins--a vampire. And not just any vampire, but the coven master of the western United States, Caesar Augustine.

    Smack dab in the middle of a witches’ civil war is the last place Caesar wants to be. But Natasha Petrov’s death was no accident. Someone’s found out she was working on a cure for the vampire virus, and her notes have disappeared. If he ever wants to be human again, his only choice is to stay close to Natasha’s heir, her granddaughter Bebe. And the luscious witch provides a temptation more dangerous than the assassins after her.

  127. Hey, Deb, I just wanted to pop in and say, hello! I'm loving your generosity and the pitches. Lot's of really good stories.

    Hope to see you in Orlando!

    Karin* Tabke

  128. Thank you for this opportunity. I've enjoyed reading the pitches and the comments.

    I'm published in romantic suspense with The Wild Rose Press. My first book with them, published in 2007, has been very well reviewed. My second book with Wild Rose is scheduled for release December 2010.In addition, I'm published in traditional romance with Avalon Books, and I've published numberous short romance stories in national magazines.

    Here's my pitch for UNHOLY BEAST, an 80,000 word paranormal romance:

    A kick-ass werewolf huntress unafraid of anything except losing control meets a man who tempts her to do just that. But there's a problem: he's her prey, one she's duty-bound to kill.

    Werewolf hunter Lucretia Kavka, duty-bound to destroy the creature haunting an eerie village on the present-day Maine coast, discovers that the man she loves is the prey she must kill. Nick Radford, former Duke of Radford, werewolf since 1530, loves Lucretia too much to condemn her to his tormented life and he knows she is sworn to kill him. He only asks that she allow him to first destroy the demon who cursed him. Forced to choose between her legacy and the man she loves, Lucretia willingly gives up her heritage to join Nick in battle against the demon. They vanquish the evil and discover that Lucretia is the reincarnation of Nick’s wife, killed by the demon in 1529. They reclaim the future torn from them, and Lucretia’s unselfish love has made Nick mortal again, fulfilling an ancient prophecy.

    Carolyn Matkowsky w/a Cara Marsi

  129. Deb,
    Thanks for this opportunity. It's very generous of you to offer your feedback.

    THE RUINATION OF A RAKE is a 90,000word Regency historical romance by debut author Samantha Grace.

    There’s no taming the wicked.

    Jaded heiress Lana Hillary learned the hard way there’s no such thing as a reformed rake when the dashing man of her dreams turned out to be a lying scoundrel. With two Seasons behind her and the memory of his betrayal still in her mind, Lana seeks a match with a respectable gentleman. But why must they all be so properly unsuited for her? Unable to rein in her bold nature for long, Lana flirts with trouble and finds herself entangled with the exact type of scoundrel she’s vowed to avoid.

    Love ‘em-and-Leave-‘em Lord Andrew Forest lives for pleasure and offers no apologies. But he receives a dose of his own medicine when his family’s innocent houseguest beds him then disappears without a by your leave. Tossed aside like an old hat by the one woman to capture his heart, Drew is determined to intercept Lana before she reaches London and convince her to marry him. He’ll teach the little vixen a thing or two about how to love a man.

  130. Thank you so much for this pitch opportunity.

    Destiny can be deadly when dreams come true.

    A madman's curse drives outlaw Finn macc Liamor on the quest to find the lost high queen of the Leannai and restore her magic to his war-torn world. The hunt leads him to the alien realm of 21st century Earth. Here his gift for Finding fails him and the long-cold trail ends without answers. Then a meeting with the enigmatic artist Annie Doran proves his mission is more than a fool's dream and breathes new hope into his shuttered heart.

    Annie pours her nightmares and sensual dreams into her art and hides her disturbing visions from her overprotective family. Then a quiet stranger inquires about her paintings. His touch soothes, and this time the voices whisper: he'll listen, tell him all. A forbidden kiss changes everything.

    But Finn's enemies strike, plunging Annie into his dangerous quest. She learns her dreams mean more than madness. The visions also leave her torn between the outlaw Finn and the dark temptation of his vengeful brother. Pursued across two worlds, they race to unlock Annie's spell-bound secrets and restore the queen before the treachery and magic legacy overshadowing their lives destroy them all.

    MISSING MAGIC is a 120,000 word fantasy romance and intended to be the first in a series centered around four brothers and the lost queen they have sworn to serve. This would be my debut novel.

  131. FAMILY PIECES is a lighthearted, women’s fiction novel with romantic elements by debut author Misa Rush.

    Karsen Wood’s life seems charmed from her hunkalicious boyfriend to her picture-perfect midwestern roots. Away at college, even the necklace she wears serves as a constant connection home - a family tradition created when her grandfather hand-made each immediate relative an interlinking charm. Each piece crafted in the shape of a puzzle piece, each one interlinking perfectly together. But when the unexpected death of her mother turns her world upside down, she discovers there is a missing piece of her treasured family tradition and her life as she once knew it may never be the same.

    Addison Reynolds resides in her posh Manhattan condominium and wraps her personal identity around running URBANE, the magazine empire built by her father. In a moment of haste, Addison divulges her deepest secret to her closest friend Emily – a secret she never intended to disclose.

    Could one choice, one secret bond two unlikely women forever?

  132. MAID FOR SEDUCTION is a 90,000 word Regency historical by debut author Samantha Grace.

    Charades isn’t limited to parlor games. It’s the only way for Lady Caroline to fulfill her dreams.

    Orphaned Lady Caroline Mathis has always escaped the pain of loss by immersing herself in her uncle’s travel journals, dreaming of sailing to exotic lands. But, her betrothal to the stuffy Marquess of Westin crushes her hopes for adventure. Determined to enjoy her last few days of freedom, she temporarily trades places with her maid on the journey to meet her intended. Little does she dream her escort is not who he claims to be.

    Lord Westin’s betrothal to complete a stranger is maddening. How could his father agree to such a thing? What’s worse is no one knows anything about Lady Caroline or the reason for the sudden cancellation of her debut. Determined to discover her secrets and put an end to this farce, Westin assumes the identity of his neighbor to escort the lady in question to his home. Unfortunately, Westin may never get the answers he seeks when the precocious lady’s maid proves to be a distraction he cannot ignore.

  133. Thanks, Deb, for this opportunity to talk about my science fiction romance novel UNCHAINED MEMORY.

    This sensual romance set largely on Earth boasts a strong element of mystery and a spicy Southern flavor that should appeal to readers of romantic suspense as well as science fiction.

    From the night she wakes up in her pickup on the side of the road, three hours gone and everything of value lost to her, Asia Burdette is caught in a clash of unseen forces. She has only one ally in her struggle to understand why—Ethan Roberts, a psychiatrist with ghosts of his own who’s willing to risk everything to love her.

    Soon they’re on the run, racing to solve the mystery of Asia’s lost hours and stumbling over deeper questions of the heart. Dangerous people want Asia’s secrets, and they’re willing to kill for what Asia knows. Because there’s a battle raging in the stars above our heads. Between aliens and humans. Between slavers and Rescuers. Between those who make us forget to keep us docile and those who make us forget to keep us sane.

    Despite what they’ve done to her, Asia remembers. And what she remembers threatens everything we believe about Earth’s place in the galaxy.

    I was a freelance writer and editor before I took up fiction. I’m building a name in the science fiction romance world with the popular SPACEFREIGHTERS LOUNGE blog and as a founding member of the SFR Brigade. I’m also a member of the Romance Writers of America and its Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter.

    Thanks again for this terrific opportunity.

  134. In TANGLED HEARTS, a paranormal light romance, a cynical down-to-earth man learns that you can't always rely on what you know.

    Luke Bennett is a man with a secret past and the single-minded goal of revenge. He wants to buy Cori Tremaine’s Kentucky horse farm, Greenhills. He plans to destroy the legacy her deceased father had taken so long to build.

    English lord Stephen Wentworth and a Gypsy, Lilianna are ghostly lovers who discover Luke is their descendant. They must break an ancient family curse before it strikes down Luke and Cori. To break the curse, they have to stop Luke’s plan.

    But will shattering Luke’s goal really save him or will it lead to even more danger for Luke and Cori? Luke has to take a leap of faith and trust in his supernatural ancestors in order to save Cori’s life when he’s never trusted anyone or anything.

  135. I just found out about this contest, so I hope it's not too late. Here is my pitch for my historical AFTER THE LOVING, single title romance, 100,000 words...

    Marcus Thorne, a notorious pirate, vows to uncover the secrets of the Royal Navy and exact revenge against the man who stole from him. Instead, he captures the enemy's daughter and considers that plundering her virginity might satisfy the debt. Isabelle Stanhope sees her captor, this mysterious masked man, as a savior. She'd much rather be in his company than participate in the marriage arranged by her father. Can bedding a willing captive set things right for Marcus, or is he about to suffer another theft--his heart.

  136. Sorry, somehow left off the end of my pitch was the information that UNCHAINED MEMORY is complete at 117,000 words. It is the first in my INTERSTELLAR RESCUE series. I'm now hard at work on books two and three in the series. Thanks.

  137. This comment has been removed by the author.

  138. Hi Deb,
    What a great opportunity! Thank you for taking pitches today.

    HEPHAESTUS UNEXPECTED is the first book in The Forgotten Gods series of three out-of-favor Greek gods who find a way to escape Olympus and search for their perfect mates. But finding “perfect” can be a challenge when faced with the norms of modern society and they quickly discover “imperfect” maybe just what they are looking for.

    After 2000 years, the Greek god Hephaestus escapes from Olympus and lands on a farm in present day Iowa. Deciding it's as good a place as any to search for a beautiful and loyal wife to replace his former unfaithful, Aphrodite, he is unhappy to discover the farm is owned by an unmarried, career minded, woman. Grace, is not what he’s looking for, so why can't he stop thinking about her.

    Grace Wokowski is only months away from realizing her lifelong dream of becoming a tenured professor at the university, if she can keep her past as a supermodel a secret that much longer. But when her ex-boyfriend turned stalker is hired to do the photography for the University's new catalogue, she finds herself on the edge of losing everything. And her new farmhand, Heph, isn't helping, especially when her attraction to him, despite his archaic beliefs, is discovered by the chair of the tenure committee who wants him for herself!

    Can Grace move beyond her need for intellectual validation to grasp the love within her reach? Can Heph look beyond his ancient reality to achieve his dream? And can a woman and a god with only the love of ice cream in common find happiness together? If so, it will certainly be unexpected.

    My completed manuscript, HEPHAESTUS UNEXPECTED is a light paranormal romance of 96,000 words.

  139. Judi, you knew I'd turn up sometime, didn't you?

    "Season of Storms" is the first book in a planned series of Georgian set paranormals. It is set in 1754

    Julian Fareweather, Earl of Harlestone, son and heir to the powerful Duke of Knightcote, goes to Bedlam to rescue a friend, Lord Staverton. Staverton has been committed by Fielding of Bow Street after one drunken episode too many.

    Julian is confronted by widow Phoebe, Lady Mallory, there to tend to her brother, Lord Ferrod. Ferrod is of limited understanding, and has been committed to the terrible Incurables ward by his father, who hopes he will die there and leave the title to his younger brother.

    Phoebe’s first communication to Julian is by the mental link Julian thought he shared only with his sister, Hester. At first astonished, then fascinated, he takes Phoebe and her brother home with him.

    Phoebe and Julian become deeply attracted to each other. Julian confesses to Phoebe that he is dying from what he has been told is a terminal disease. He cannot make love, the lethargy he feels increases every day, and his blood runs clear. Phoebe refuses to give up, and falls deeply in love with Julian.

    When her father threatens her with another unwelcome marriage, Julian offers to marry Phoebe. While he doesn’t intend to have sex with her, for fear of transmitting his illness, he can save her from her father’s manipulations. Phoebe accepts, but in order to discover all she can about this mystery illness, and to see if Julian can be saved.

    When Staverton recovers from his sojourn in Bedlam, he turns Julian’s world upside down by telling him the truth about the Ancients. Julian has the attributes of the god Jupiter. His father, Knightcote, aka Kronos, has been keeping the truth from him, as throughout the history of the Ancients, Kronos’s son has been his downfall.

    Julian begins to discover his powers, previously unknown to him because of his illness. He knows Staverton had two loves in his life, both of whom he watched grow old and die, and Julian is determined that will not happen to him.

    Knightcote openly declares his enmity. It is clear Knightcote must be defeated. Already he has nearly gained control of Parliament by buying votes, intimidation and bribery.

    Julian and Staverton, the embodiment of the god Bacchus, must fight to prevent the Titans regaining control over society, but the Olympian gods are scattered and lost after a disaster thirty years before. But Julian, deeply in love with Phoebe, must also fight to prevent her becoming a victim of the deadly struggle.

    Phoebe, however, is no pawn and she has weapons of her own. She will fight to the death to prevent her beloved Julian becoming another victim of the Titans.

    "Season of Storms" was published briefly by a defunct e-publisher in 2006. I take care to ensure that my historical romances are accurate to their period, and in the case of "Season of Storms," I've also researched the ancient gods of Greece and Rome and created a paranormal world for them to blend in with the historical background.

    I (Lynne Connolly) currently write for several e-publishers, notably Ellora’s Cave, Samhain and Loose-Id. My sales are excellent at all three, and my historical romances (non paranormal) can be found in most branches of Borders. I write paranormal romance, historical romance set in the Georgian era and contemporary romance at sensual and erotic levels.

  140. Deb,
    Thanks so much for doing this,
    Very kind of you to spend this time taking pitches.
    The Viscount's Pleasure House, by debut author Suzi Love, is a 75,000word Historical Erotic Romance set in the early Victorian era in England.
    This book finaled in the Linda Howard Award of Excellence.

    When Lady Christina Wellsby dons widow’s weeds to bluster her way into the townhouse of Viscount Hawkesbury, the most notorious lover in London, she risks discovery and disgrace in order to present her bargain. She demands sexual tutelage from the city’s most experienced gentleman-for-hire for two naïve friends, struggling in their relationships, in exchange for reuniting him with his lost family. Justin’s soul has been destroyed by hiring out his body, but when this stubborn country lady forces him to reopen his Pleasure House, she also thaws his frozen heart and stirs his long dead passion.

    Thanks for considering my pitch,

  141. Thanks for this opportunity!

    Magical beings, humans, and murder, oh my! This certainly isn't Kansas any more. SEASON OF THE WITCH is a 85,000 word paranormal romance by Silver James. Her first two paranormals, FAERIE FATE and FAERIE FIRE, sold to The Wild Rose Press.

    Kristian St. John is a professor of ancient history and a vampire. Falsely accused of murder, he must trust hot-shot FBI agent, Sade Marquis, to vindicate him. They track the real culprit, a witch older than time. As a child, Sade was marked by both a master vampire and the faerie king. Immune to magic, she is the only one who can prevent the witch's evil from destroying the world.

  142. *waves hi to Lynne, one of my first online CPs. So glad you stopped by, Lynne!!!

  143. Deb,
    Thanks again for doing this, and here is my second pitch. Hope that's okay.
    Embracing Scandal is an early Victorian historical of 95,000 words set in London. This is the first in the series of books about the Jamison sisters by debut author Suzi Love. The book finaled in a full manuscript contest.
    Lady Rebecca Jamison secretly uses her mathematical skills to save her family from financial ruin by investing in railway expansions on the stock exchange. But when a crime syndicate murders her friend and threatens her family, she is forced to swallow her pride and beg assistance from her old nemesis, the newly titled Duke of Sherwyn, who left England three years earlier after a scandal involving her cousin and a library desk. The Duke vows to live a conservative life and rebuild his family’s name, although he is unable to resist the passion that reignites between he and his old friend. Together, they embrace scandal while helping Scotland Yard catch the criminals and save her family.
    Thanks for considering my pitch,

  144. New York journalist Lexie Gray’s dream-come-true interview with the state’s governor shatters into nightmare when she witnesses his brutal assassination. With the murderer on the loose and hunting for his lone witness, Lexie enters the Witness Security Program and is relocated to New Mexico. Determined to make the best of the terrifying hand she’s been dealt, Lexie plans to write a tell-all about her experiences in the top-secret Program. But, the more she falls in love with Cade Matoska--the U.S. Marshal who teaches her how to live under an assumed identity--the more her hard-hitting exposé softens into a romantic memoir filled with passion and tenderness.

    Cade becomes Lexie’s safety net, the man who protects her from bodily harm. Lexie never suspects her heart’s in danger until Cade pulls the net from under their love without clear reason. If Lexie can read between the lines of the book she wrote during their time together, however, her words hold the key to revealing a secret that will change the memoir’s heartbreaking ending into her happily-ever-after.

    WINDSONG is complete at 60,000 words and available for your review. This suspenseful romance won third place honors in the 2008 national Southwest Writer’s contest. In addition, my short story, “Peach-Flavored Kisses,” was published in the December 28, 2009 issue of Woman’s World magazine. Another short story, “Barn Owl,” is published in the anthology Nightbird Singing in the Dead of Night (Nightbird Publishing – September 2009).

    Thanks for the time you're taking to do this, and good luck to all the pitchers.

    Jill Lynn Anderson

  145. Waving back to Judi!
    Wow, that is one big pitch, now I see it written there!

  146. This comment has been removed by the author.

  147. Dear Deb,

    Thanks so much for taking these pitches!

    I would like to submit my completed 93,000 word historical romance, The Thorns of Eden, for your consideration. It's a sweeping tale of passion, blended with paranormal elements, set against the backdrop of the American Civil War during the Peninsula Campaign in 1862.

    Major Rayce Hampton is a man with secrets. Known as “The Ghost” for his ability to infiltrate enemy camps, he is the Confederacy’s best hope to alter the course of the war and save the Rebel capital of Richmond. Driven by his own demons and desires, and haunted by profound heartache of generations past, the last thing he has on his mind is finding love. But the moment he encounters the temperamental blonde dressed in mourning garb, he knows his life is about to change. With the South on the threshold of collapse, can Rayce open his jaded heart now that he’s finally met a woman of substance, even if it means almost certain death for him and perhaps her, too?

    Accomplished nurse and midwife Eden Blair has secrets of her own . . . only she doesn’t know about them yet. Spurned by her fiancé, who left her to join the Northern army, and with her plantation home, Oak Hill, reduced to charred ruins, Eden has no reason to trust the scandalously audacious Major Rayce Hampton. But as enemy troops descend on Richmond, Eden is forced to seek refuge in the major’s mysterious home to protect what little family she has left. Her choices lead her into the shadowy corners of dark secrets and deception, and straight into the arms of the brazen soldier she loves to hate . . . and hates to love.

  148. Deb, thank you for with wonderful opportunity.

    85,000 word paranormal romance
    Christal Murphy.

    Jazlyn was born with the mark proving she has been anointed by God himself to be mate to one of the DraKonas, dragon-shifter warriors who guard the 12 Sacred Stones of Creation.

    She has always known her destiny only held three options: mate and tame the dragon, mate with him but if he falls to Lucifer then she is also condemned to eternity in hell, or kill him before mating to stop him from embracing evil.

    Raised outside of Portland, Oregon as a demon-slayer by the Servants of DraKonas, a secret society devoted to service of the DraKonas, Jazlyn is not interested in the man who arrives claiming to be her mate. He’s commanding, demanding obedience and baulks at the idea of her fighting demons. More terrifying is the deep soul connection that develops between them, and the darkness she senses inside him. She knows he’s teetering on the edge and refuses to allow herself to feel anything for a man she’s preparing to kill.

    Khalon desperately wants his mate. She is his salvation, prophesized to tame the relentless ferocity of the dragon inside and quell the pounding intensity of the universe’s life force that he guards. After an eternity, he is near to falling. Lucifer also hunts the Tamers, hoping their destruction will cause the DraKonas to fall and thereby gaining the power of the stones. The only option is to consummate the union immediately, thereby joining them and gifting her with his immorality. He will risk anything to claim her.

    Awaken the Dragon is a finalist in the 2010 Touch of Magic contest.

  149. Deb,
    Thanks so much for reading this, and here is my pitch.
    Scenting Scandal is the second book, by debut author Suzi Love, in an early Victorian historical romance series about the Jamison sisters.
    This book, of 95,000 words and set in London, has finaled in recent contests.
    When Lady Laura Jamison evades an assassin’s bullets — twice – at her sister’s wedding, her family insists she collaborate with her nemesis, the Earl of Winchester, as only the two of them are able to identify the mastermind of the greedy investment consortium behind the shooting. By combining their talents - Laura’s acute sense of smell and the Earl’s financial brilliance - they can assist Scotland Yard stop the madwoman organiser of sham railway speculation schemes before she robs more innocent investors. Confronting imminent death forces them to accept that by permanently joining forces no evil consortiums, nor ensuing scandals from fighting criminals, can ever defeat them.
    Thanks for reading it,

  150. Switched in Death is an 80,000 word romantic suspense with humorus elements.

    In a world where 98% of serial killers are men, killer Christina Mitchell stands out, especially after her sex change to become therapist Mitchell Christian. She's like a male Ted Bundy with no remembrance of her kills where she switches women's heads on bodies. The leading lady in detective Seth Banning's life is a professional clown who teams with him to catch the killer before someone else has to die.

    Sherry Foley

  151. RISE FROM DARKNESS is Tamara Hanson’s debut YA paranormal romance, complete at 68,000.

    When Alexander Lorre rescues Gaby Moore from nearly drowning, the chemistry between them is undeniable. The only problem is, he’s a newly fallen angel, which means he has the self-control of a two-year-old, the hormones of a teenager, and the strength of an angel. Further complications arise when a local demon threatens Gaby, and Alexander struggles to find a balance between remaining close enough to protect her but distant enough to control his desires.

    When they defy angelic law and fall in love, Gaby is forced to choose between fighting alongside her father—an earthbound hunter killing fallen angels and demons—give in to the demon blood coursing through her veins and join the demon world or protect the one she loves, a fallen angel, from both. The first two damn her, the last one saves them all.

  152. Hi Deb,
    A great opportunity indeed! :) I'll give it a go.

    The Eye of Ra: Book 1 in The Sentinel Chronicles by Eve Savage

    When an imprisoned theif and a USAF Major are assigned to recover a fabled diamond in Morocco, passion is the least of their problems.

    Seductive criminal CAIRO PORTER is sidelined in prison after a heist in Madrid goes wrong. Unfortunately, the only one who can clear her name is dead. Reduced to counting the holes in the ceiling of her cell until the investigation is complete, Cairo is determined to get back in the game as soon as possible. Brigadier General Walt Porter, Cairo's extremely estranged father, offers her a one-time deal. Come to work for him at the Sentinels (a group of international military and covert experts tasked with guarding some of the most unique historical artifacts in the world) and be cleared of all charges against her OR go to prison for a murder she didn't commit. Do time or work for her father - two days later Cairo agrees and is on a flight to Morocco to meet her babysitter.

    USAF Major CARRICK GAGE is the next in line to command the Sentinel organization. His background in ancient history and military warfare make him the perfect successor to General Porter. His assignment to Morocco is his last in the field before he's promoted. Saddled with the responsibility of a new partner who's more thief than waif, Gage isn't sure whether to trust her or take her to bed.

    The diamond they are searching for is rumored to empower armies with unstoppable tactical advantage. If any one government controls it, the balance of power in the world will topple. The Sentinels work over, around and through any barrier to maintain the balance. With a dead man walking, a world on the verge of collapse and a passion that can't be avoided, will Cairo and Gage save themselves and the world or be destroyed in the process?

    The Eye of Ra is the first in a series of romantic adventure novels featuring The Sentinels.

    Thank you for the opportunity.

  153. Btw, I do know how to spell thief. Please don't hold that against me. Nervous eyes didn't catch it. :)
    Thanks again for the opportunity!!

  154. Marsha Lytle Kylie's Song 104,000 words romance
    , Kylie’s Song
    Kylie Martin’s summer vacation from college meant being head horse wrangler at her family’s Montana ranch, a scheme dreamed up by her sister to keep from losing their heritage to foreclosure. All it took was a few clicks of her mouse to realize their first guests were bad news, a rock group from Northern Ireland whose lead singer had slept his way around the world, if the hundreds of hits on the internet could be trusted. Danny Campbell wanted peace and quiet. Hell he’d paid for it, so he sure didn’t want to be stalked by the young girl who showed them to their quarters when they arrived in the middle of the night. After being deliberately rude to her, he figured he was home free, until he realized she might be the one girl immune to his charm. That challenge might make the summer more interesting, but it also pose a big risk for someone who has carefully guarded his heart.

  155. Thank you, Deb, for this opportunity to pitch our stories. Here is mine:

    A DEMON'S REDEMPTION is an 89,000 word paranormal romance by Margay Leah Justice and is loosely related to the book Nora's Soul, which was published in 2008.

    Lorelei is your typical college student - who happens to have a talent for sniffing out demons and sending them back to hell, kind of like a psychic bloodhound. But once a year, she must help one of the fallen earn their way back into heaven. How do they do that? By atoning for their sins. And so far, everything is working out for her - until she meets Azazel, son of Azazeal, a member of the Underworld hierarchy. Does the demon fall far from the seed? She has a month to find out.

    Azazel has always lived in the shadows of his father’s misdeeds. But redemption is his one chance to break free of his father’s sins. If only he hadn’t promised to bring down Lorelei for his bid for freedom. Will he keep his promise to his father – or to the woman he comes to love?

  156. Hi Deb,

    Thanks for doing this. It's an awesome opportunity!

    POSSESSION IS NINE TENTHS is a Paranormal Romance by debut author Danielle Gavan that will be 80,000 words after revisions are completed. Estimated completion by end of July 2010.

    Sweet. Innocent. Doll-like. On the surface, blond-haired and blue eyed necromancer Ardeur Lisle looks just like all of those things, with one small caveat; a demon lurks behind the smoke screen of her appearance. A demon that has been fighting for possession – and will win, unless Ardy can rid herself of her co-pilot from hell.

    Charming. Loyal. Alpha to the core. Werewolf Brody Callaghan wants two things in life – find the woman he knew as a child and have a family of his own. Fate will give him what he wants - but he’ll have to fight an angel of death to get it, and the angel is playing dirty.

    When Azrael, an angel of death, gives up a part of his soul to give a second chance to a stillborn infant--Ardy--she is cursed to deal with the dead. The angel never looks back to see the consequences of his actions until the day the curvy little necromancer drops into his life with a demon along for the ride.

    With its beautiful gardens, manicured lawns and neat, red bricked buildings Mount Angel Abbey, St Benedict, OR is the last place one would expect to find a necromancer possessed by a demon. But Ardeur never dreamed of finding herself there, either, or to discover that a shielded section of it is home and haven to a varied crew of otherworldly beings under the guardianship of three angels – Creation, Healing…and Death.

    Ardeur Lisle’s only hope of a life with Brody Callaghan is to free herself from the demon possessing her. A sanctuary run by angels seems to be the perfect solution to Ardy’s problem when she discovers the key to getting rid of her co-pilot is the blood of an angel. A bargain with one of the angels, Azrael, to remove the demon starts a race against the clock to save Ardeur from a life away from the man who holds her heart and the one thing they both want desperately – a family of their own.

    Ardy learns that Azrael is the one who doomed her when he saved her life at birth and made her one of the Nephilim. By removing her demon with a transfusion of his blood, Azrael has turned Ardeur into an angel. Unless she can break her bond with Azrael within the first four weeks of her transformation, Ardy will become an angel of death like him.

    The consequences of freedom might be the end of Ardeur’s relationship with Brody – find a way to break the bond with the angel who freed her or live without Brody, forever. With the clock ticking they’ll have to figure it out, and fast.

  157. A Captive Heart is a 75,000 word romantic suspense.

    FBI Agent Ian Mulherin discovers his boss, Roark, is helping the Mafia. Ian bluffs his way into the other side for a cut of the action. Roark gives him an assignment to prove his loyalty by killing a prostitute who knows too much.

    Kindergarten teacher Nicole Hewett is sure her attacker is going to kill her. She’s shocked to wake up alive and handcuffed to his bed. He’s accusing her of being a hooker and wants the information she has on the head of the FBI.

    Ian realizes he's been set up. Deciding he can’t trust anyone, Ian takes Nicole with him in search of answers. Together they take down key people who run the Mafia and uncover more than one the mole in the FBI. With loose ends tied up, Ian and Nicole are free to investigate one another, and they love what is exposed.

    Sherry Foley

  158. Santana’s Heat by Kitty DuCane is a paranormal erotic romantic suspense of approximately 70k words.

    Santana Jones barely escaped from the man-turned-wolf that attacked her during a camping trip that she’d won from a local radio station. But the radio station didn’t have a contest and she didn’t win. Someone went through a lot of trouble to put her in the woods that night. Then she meets Luc who thinks he can detain her while he figures out this so called mystery. Santana killed the man who once held her as a sex slave, so allowing Luc to control her is out of the question even if he is the sexiest thing she’s ever seen and she can barely keep her hands off him.

    Luc Delemere, the powerful leader of the North American werewolves, didn’t want a mate because her life would constantly be in danger. But when a bedraggled human crawls out of the icy river, stumbles into his barn and snuggles up to his prize thoroughbred, Luc finds it impossible to resist his sensual, but stubborn mate. The claw marks on her body confirm that she was attacked by a werewolf, but Luc wants to know who lured her to his land and why.

    Can Luc keep Santana safe when she refuses to acknowledge that there’s a threat to her life? Will Luc claim Santana as his mate when his position dictates that he chose a mate to keep the blood lines pure?


  159. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

    Here's my pitch:

    In IN HIS MISTRESS'S SECRET SERVICE, the allied coalition needs Alec Andrews to stop a descendent of Poseidon from destroying the earth for financial and political gain. Eleni Katsakis, a descendant of Aphrodite, must use her gift of passion to gain Alec’s trust. Only by embracing the truth of who he is, from whom he’s descended, can Alec Andrews come into his true powers, get the girl, and save the world.

  160. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

    Here's my pitch:

    In IN HIS MISTRESS'S SECRET SERVICE, the allied coalition needs Alec Andrews to stop a descendent of Poseidon from destroying the earth for financial and political gain. Eleni Katsakis, a descendant of Aphrodite, must use her gift of passion to gain Alec’s trust. Only by embracing the truth of who he is, from whom he’s descended, can Alec Andrews come into his true powers, get the girl, and save the world.

  161. Hi again. Sorry for the duplicate post. I got an alert to verify my email address, so I didn't think the original went through.

  162. Deb,
    Thanks so much for this opportunity.

    SECRETS OF A SPY'S HEART is 90,000 word historical romantic suspense by debut author Julie Johnstone.

    Napoleon advances, King George III sinks deeper into insanity and a list that could decide the Napoleonic Wars falls into the hands of a woman determined to destroy the spy she loves.

    When Lady Madelaine Aldridge's father is murdered, she swears to find his killer and avenge her father’s death. Armed with her father’s secret coded list and his deathbed warnings regarding King George and traitors, she flees the murderer to make her way to the Prince as her father bid her.

    Instead, she ends up captured
    Cameron Trevelle, a spy born and sworn to serve the King above all else. Cameron not only hunts a missing list of the King’s personal spies, he also pursues the man who murdered his father.

    When chance delivers Madelaine to Cameron, he becomes suspicious that she may be involved in a plot to put the Prince on the throne and decides to take her to the King. As the body count rises around them, trusting each other and surrendering to their carefully guarded hearts may be their only hope for survival and the only way to save the power of the throne and the power of England.

  163. The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale is a 25,314 word steampunk romance novella by Christine Bell.

    As a young girl in 19th century London, Stormy spends her time on the streets with the other urchins. It’s a daily struggle just to get enough to eat for herself and her young brother, but she is determined to make a life for them. That is, until fatherly Professor Gilly Green blows into town and sweeps them away on a journey through time. He takes them to the 20th century where he raises them as his own.
    Sixteen years later, Stormy is grown and has embraced the adventurous life of a time pirate. She and her merry band of thieves travel through time and steal from the rich, sell their booty on Ebay and give the money to charity. She doesn’t need a man; she’s a modern day Robin Hood hell-bent on righting the wrongs in the world! And . . . she’s a bit of a mess.
    When Stormy embarks on escapade to the past to recover a time machine stolen from her brother Bacon, things don't go according to plan. She finds herself in 1836 New England, dressed up as a Romanian fortune-teller with a bad accent running an ill-conceived con on a madman in order to get back what is rightfully hers. This time, her adventures land her in hot water as she is outfoxed and winds up shackled to a bed in The Loony Duke of Leister's torture chambers. Little does she know that the Loony Duke is someone from her past, who’s going to turn her life upside down. Please join Stormy on her trip through time as she tries to reconcile her past with her future and learn that there really is no place like home.
    A cat and mouse seduction (ala Romancing the Stone), squashed up with a great adventure story (ala The Wizard of Oz) and a good dose of funny (ala Stephanie Plum), The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale is a raucous good time. It had been an absolute joy to write. I have published two short stories for an anthology as well as an erotic short story for Vibe online magazine, but am a newcomer the romance writing genre. In the past six months I have written and submitted four novellas and feel I have found my niche. I am part of a wonderful critique group called Chapter by Chapter, and would love your feedback on my pitch. Thanks so much for the wonderful opportunity.

  164. Deb, Thank you so much for this opportunity! I would like to post a pitch for my story for your feedback only.

    The ms is not completely revised, yet. But it will be soon--but while this wonderful opportunity is going on, I would love to get your impression on the pitch I've put together.


    The Dragon's Katana
    100,000 word Regency historical (non erotic, but steamy)
    Debut author

    Lady Kitiana Holden is a Regency ninja on a mission of revenge—complete revenge against the Maston family, who were responsible for her father’s dishonor and self-imposed exile to the East Indies. Col. Lord Nicholas Maston, Viscount Braeburn, is a wounded warrior who has dedicated his entire life preparing, but always holding himself back from avenging his mother and her demise by his father’s evil ways.

    Kitiana is a dutiful daughter who was trained in the ways of the female ninja by her exiled Japanese governess. So when Kitiana’s father orders her to England to act as his instrument of revenge, she obeys and transforms herself into Lady Kitiana and the perfect debutante heiress that is guaranteed to lure her first target in the Maston clan deep into her web. But when she misunderstands the ways of the ton and makes a friend of her supposed foe, Kitiana must chose between duty to her father and honor to her heart.

    Wounded in battle and deemed unable to resume his post in his cavalry unit, Braeburn is forced to return to England and make peace with the demons that once chased him from his benefactor uncle’s home. When his interest in life and the future is renewed after meeting an enchanting heiress who requires his help in mastering the fine art of horsemanship, Braeburn soon finds himself entangled in a web of the past and present that threatens not only his life, but his heart.

  165. Deb,

    Thank you for the opportunity to pitch.

    Hiding from a dangerous man, Tess Crawford thought The Wiggons School for Elegant Young Ladies would be the perfect place to disappear. Or it would be if the local villagers weren’t on edge because of the vampire in their midst. The fascination with the reclusive viscount invades the school and Tess fights an unending battle to convince her students that monsters do not exist.

    Vincent Latimer, Viscount Atwood, is not a vampire, no matter what the villagers believe. He wishes the book, "Wake Not the Dead", had never been published. There is a very good reason he visits his wife’s grave at night and it has nothing to do with trying to raise her from the dead.

    When a storm thrusts Tess into Vincent’s path and destroys the school, both of their pasts collide.

    TO WALK IN THE SUN is a Historical Regency novel and approximately 90,000 words in length and complete. It is also the first of a Non-Paranormal/Paranormal Regency trilogy. My first novel, "Loving Lydia", was released in July, 2009, and my second novel, "Pure is the Heart", will be released in June of this year. Both novels are Inspirational Historical romances. TO WALK IN THE SUN is not an inspirational and I intend to pursue publication of this novel under a different pen name.

    Once again, thank you for this opportunity.

  166. Hi Heidi, Called to the Grave sounds like it could be fun--your voice kind of fades in and out of the pitch, but there's some sparkle there that's calling to me and demons are definitely in demand. Please send a full submission.

  167. Jill, the pitch for DANGEROUS SHIFT is weirding me out a little--what do you mean she decides whether to be male or female? The rest seems ok and may have potential. The word count is too short for my list--could work in category romance at 70,000ish words, but I need closer to 90,000. Many thanks!

  168. Thanks for this learning opportunity and for keeping the thread open for those of us who write on the second shift

  169. The Scottish Highlands, a place where fairies and brounies and other fey creatures dance through time--and on occasion--so do mere mortals.

    Passion ignites when a fairy-shove propels burned-out business consultant Laurie Bernard back through time into the embrace of Patrick MacLachlan. The arrogant clan chief doesn't know what to make of the strange lass in his arms, especially when he recognizes the brooch pinned at her shoulder as the one his stepmother wore when she and his father disappeared. Laurie sets his blood afire and he's determined to have her. She's resolved to return to her own time and the quiet country life she's always dreamed of, yet she finds her desire for Patrick impossible to resist. With the fey interfering at every turn, the couple must learn to trust one another while combating an enemy clan, exposing a traitor from within and discovering the true fate of Patrick's parents. Against all odds, they learn the most important truth--love transcends time.

    JUST BEYOND THE GARDEN GATE, by unpublished writer Dawn Wolzein w/a Dawn Marie Hamilton, is the first completed manuscript in a proposed Scottish Historical Time Travel romance series spiced with scheming fairies and one incredibly mischievous brounie. The 96,000-word novel takes the reader on a journey from the lush gardens of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to the Scottish Highlands of 1509, where a challenge given by the queen of the fey forces a banished fairy princess to attempt to unite an unlikely couple, while the clan brounie vows to keep them apart.

  170. A LASTING LEGACY is a contemporary women’s fiction novel complete at 89,500 words.

    The Rev. Dr. Finus Gideon Gates is the charismatic, intelligent, wealthy and decidedly single, favorite son of his denomination the Baptist Methodist Assembly, where it is a “truth universally acknowledged” by the senior choir that he needs a wife. He thinks his reasons for not dating are a closely held secret. But every single woman in the Assembly and her mother know why he’s not dating and they are working overtime to get him to change his mind.
    When Dr. Cassandra Brownley, a sensible high school principal, accepts a consulting project with the BMA, she is caught between two opinions regarding the project’s leader. The Rev. Dr. Gates is pompous and condescending from the pulpit and she can’t stand him. Away from church he’s witty, warm and wonderful. Can she love him-except on Sunday?

  171. Ok, Harris (and everyone)--if, based on my feedback, you feel you screwed up your pitch, and you want to revise and resubmit it, send it to my email address: with the subject line "Revised pitch". I will queue it up for my normal process, so please allow some time for a response. This applies if you rework it days or weeks from now too. Thanks!

  172. VERY IMPORTANT! If you don't get a response to your pitch by midnight Sunday night, it means I didn't see it--there are so many now that I'm afraid I might miss some! Please send it to me directly via email and you will get a response! NO PITCH LEFT BEHIND!!!

  173. Hi Deb!

    Scandal's Mistress is a Regency teetering on the egde or Noir. It is 90,000 words of tortured hero, cursed heroine and finding your true self in a mirror of deceit and ruination.

    Love. It’s the cruellest mistress of all. When you have it, it hurts. When you lose it, it nearly kills you. But what if he doesn’t believe in it and she doesn’t want it…

    Italian opera singer, Carmalina Belluccini, has been alone with her bad luck and morbid thoughts for too long. When a man who is no angel offers her an affaire, she is torn. No longer the naive girl who came to London to be famous and, with no reputation left after singing for a living, she has nothing to fear from the gossiping Ton. Losing her beautiful voice to a winter ailment and then robbed of every valuable possession, she finds herself in a position too difficult to refuse Justin Trentham’s protection. But what is he hiding and why is he desperate to create the scandal of the season?

    Bronwyn Stuart likes to think of herself as 'prepublished with a painted toenail in the door' after Scandal's Mistress came third in the historical category of Chicago North's Fire and Ice contest. She also enjoys writing hot contemporary fiction and chicklit with a short story being published in a Romance Writer's of Australia anothology in August 2010.

    Thanks for the opportunity and thanks for taking a look!


  174. Martha, this pitch for Reaching Out to Sea is ok, but not grabbing me. It's kind of elusive--you're not telling me enough to draw me in. The details you're giving (Mohrville, the Tertian Gate) feel like they're supposed to intrigue me but I don't know what they mean. I'm not getting the heroine, the hero, the world or the hook. The book may be great, but the pitch isn't showing that.

  175. Amy, the pitch for LYING EYES presents it as a mystery first, then doubles back to make it romantic suspense. There's some good stuff in here, but I wonder if it's romantic enough? I'll take a look, please send a full submission, and also, what's your career arc? How do we build you if readers love this?

  176. In my 90 thousand word romantic
    suspense, A REAL BAD BURN, Claire
    Slater has just turned 30, and because her only chance for a baby is running out fast, she marries Garth Slater--serial killer.
    Kelly Rourke has his hands full raising four younger siblings. Because he is Catholic and his ex-wife had an abortion during their marriage, he has vowed to never father a child.
    But when Garth kidnaps both Claire and Kelly's sister, Kelly realizes he can't live without Claire...
    even if it means giving her the child she craves.

  177. Mel, regarding BELLS AT SUNRISE, it's the name for sure. I didn't get Greek mythology from your pitch, so there's something unclear about that too...

  178. Edie, DRAGON BLUES could be fun, but I'm not liking an assassin heroine--can't relate, I'm sorry. The pitch got confusing in there with a long run-on sentence. I'm not quite getting the hook on this one. Thank you!

  179. Hi Deb,

    Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity. I look forward to your feedback.

    FULL STEAM AHEAD is a steampunk fantasy romance by Gretchen Stull, coauthor of the New York Times bestselling MUGGLENET’S GUIDE TO HARRY POTTER 7.

    Threat, protests and a drunken first officer? All in a day’s work for Malcolm Haynes, youngest locomotive conductor in the history of RailCorp. Chosen to operate the first transcontinental rail passage since the States became “ununited,” Malcolm can handle everything the job throws at him…everything except fiery passenger Willamena Abernathy, a beautiful woman who has more than a few tricks hidden behind that corset of hers.

    Malcolm thinks he’s finally found something more interesting than trains, until the first signs of sabotage appear. Someone onboard is willfully endangering his crew and their mission. When all evidence points to Willamena, will Malcolm trust the clues or his instincts? Is Willamena behind the ever increasing vandalism, or is she just one small cog in a much larger machine Malcolm hasn’t yet begun to understand?

    Set in an alternate present day reality where steampower is king and the United States is a tattered former nation striving to make itself whole, FULL STEAM AHEAD is a romantic steampunk adventure where nothing is as it seems. Grab your brass goggles, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

  180. Jennifer, your voice is coming through loud and clear in your pitch for Power’s Prisoner. Send a full proposal please, and how does this play out in a career arc? What's next, next, next after that?

  181. Miranda, yeah, I like this pitch for Listen to Your Heart. Let's see a full proposal. I'm half in love with the characters already.

  182. Carlie, I don't acquire YA so please email this to me and I'll queue it up for the new YA editor we're in the process of searching for/hiring. Thanks!

  183. Christiana, the pitch for DEATH'S ANGEL is not bad, and you have some clever turns of phrase, but I'm not buying Death as a romantic hero and the whole thing is kind of inconclusive. Not working for me, sorry.

  184. Maggie, the pitch for RUBY'S LETTERS is fine, but I don't think the story will work for my list. I'm not relating to "chimney sweep" as a career for the heroine, and the ghost aspect is so hard to sell as the paranormal element. Many thanks.

  185. Jennifer, your pitch for STELLAR TIMING doesn't make it clear what category it goes into. We don't publish sci-fi/fantasy, however we do publish paranormal or futuristic romance. There's good stuff here, but unless it's a romance (hero and heroine's love story is central to the book and the ending is happy) it's not for my list.

  186. Kathleen, A MOST UNUSUAL LADY sounds like it could work--there's some unusual stuff here and your voice is interesting. Please send a full submission. Thanks!

  187. The Keeper is a Paranormal Romance complete at 105,000 words

    When Sebastian, an Elixian guardian falls in love with his human charge, he soon discovers there is more to lose than just her life. An ancient enemy has bid his time and Evie is the target he has been waiting for. When Evie discovers her roommate raped at a nightclub her preconceptions about humanity and all she thought she wanted vanish. Can Laurent and Evie overcome their enemy and prevent him from creating a new immortal super race?

    Florina Craven

  188. Thanks for the opportunity!

    SOLSTICE, a Young Adult Paranormal Romance by Melissa Dean, is complete at 90,000 words.

    Everything Grace thinks she knows about angels turns out to be dead wrong when she discovers she is secretly dating one.

    Even before moving to a small South Carolina town—where southern hospitality is code for gossip seekers and southern belles aren’t as nice as they look—seventeen year old Grace Rutherford knows she will always be different. The flickering visions plaguing her life seem to intensify in this god forsaken town, and the only thing making her life bearable is spending time with the breathtaking, yet elusive Leo St. Claire.

    Leo knows Grace is far from being a freak. She can sense the presence of heavenly spirits (more commonly known as angels) like him. Grace’s bizarre ability to see him and Leo’s compulsion to love her threaten to expose Leo’s family to the Shadow Demons---unholy beings who want to eradicate all angels from Earth.

    As their feelings ignite, a menacing Shadow Demon from Leo’s past begins to stalk Grace and haunt her dreams. To protect her, Leo is willing to surrender his life, his family, and even his soul. However, the Shadow Demons know the surest way to kill an angel is to destroy his soul mate.

  189. Melissa, your pitch for The Devil's Daughter is full of run-on sentences and has me confused. How is she an outlaw at 4 years old? Historical westerns are very tough--need something transcendent and I"m not sure it's here, but you've sent it to two good houses and hopefully it's right for one of them.

  190. I forgot in my previous pitch to say thank you for this chance!
    Here is my second pitch:

    In my 100 thousand word Romantic suspense, MISSISSIPPI BLUES,
    Summer Hill lives with her mother, who suffers from agoraphobia, and tries to make a life as a hairstylist in a small southern town. She's spent four years trying to get over Trey Bouche'--the man who sent her brother to prison.
    Trey has spent the last four years in Afghanistan, fighing his guilt along with the enemy
    Now, he's home.
    And Jace Hill has escaped from Angola. Will Trey follow his heart, and help keep Jace out of prison? Or will he do the right thing, and lose Summer forever?

    Thank you!

  191. Shiraz, I don't acquire YA myself, so please send BIRTHRIGHT to me directly to my email and I'll queue it for the new YA editor we're in the process of searching for/hiring. Thanks!

  192. Kathy, your pitch for LOVE NEVER DIES is pretty good--it's clear and it has a good amount of detail. However, it's really a tough sell--this isn't what seems to be working in paranormal/gothic. Thank you!

  193. Alana Rose's Urban Fantasy debut novel, Passion of the Soul: Piper's Fury, spins a new twist on the truth behind the myths of vampires.

    A quirky half-demon heroine assisted by her fabled vampire hero, sruggles to acknowledge her dark side, save his child, and the world, while keeping her inner fury from consuming them all. Is the love of a good man, although not quite human, enough to bring her soul back from the raging demons inside her?

  194. What a generous offer. Thanks for the opportunity to pitch.

    Haunting Refrain is a reincarnation romance with 2 ghost facilitators. It is complete at 100,000 words.

    Sarah Overby and William McKeown teach at the same small Georgia College. Sarah has to deal with the discovery of ghosts in her attic and old diaries that make her believe she has lived before as the wife of William, her next door neighbor and best friend with whom she is falling in love. She remembers things about the life of the diary author that she couldn't know.

    William has adored Sarah from the time she was brought home as a newborn. He doesn't believe in magic of any kind and now his best buddy says she is seeing ghosts and that he was her husband in a previous life. Dreams and memories of a past life test his belief in things practical.

    Sarah's family has given him the only warmth and love he has ever known and he fears a sexual relationship with Sarah will ruin everything when he disappoints her. He doesn't know how to do the love thing. But he can't stay away from Sarah and his own memory of loving her a lifetime ago bring pain for both of them, then healing love for William.

  195. Ok, the timestamp on this blog is Pacific time, but I'm actually on the East Coast, so I'm calling it a night. I'll come back over the weekend and will have all pitches responded to by midnight on Sunday night. Check back Monday morning if you don't see a response to your pitch by now--if you never see one, that means I missed it, not that I don't like you :-). Send it to me directly and you will get a response!!!
    Thank you all so much!

  196. Night Deb =) Hopefully your dreams won't be frazzled by all the different elements of all the different pitches!

  197. DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER ME is a Contemporary Romance with strong erotic elements by debut author Kahlen Aymes.

    Julia Abbot and Ryan Matthews had been inseparable best friends since the moment they met, but when he gets accepted to Harvard Medical School, they are forced to face their deeper feelings and find themselves enthralled in a passion like neither has ever known. The words he whispers each time he leaves her, "Don't Forget To Remember Me," become an tragic foreshadowing when an accident robs Julia of all memory of Ryan, their relationship and their unborn child. As her physical injuries heal and she still doesn’t remember, Ryan agonizes between his need to have her remember, and his need to protect Julia from the very secret that she is subconsciously choosing to forget. This is their journey back to each other, as Julia falls in love with this beautiful man all over again while he mourns the loss of their glorious past. It is a story of longing and love so transcending, that even if her mind can't remember…her heart and soul simply won't forget.

  198. Deb, thanks for the opportunity.

    SHUT UP AND KISS ME is a humorous single title romantic comedy of approximately 90,000 words.

    Is controlling fate the road to a happily ever after? Blindsided by a dream to see their two adult children married to each other, two meddlesome mothers turn up the heat, but the path chosen turns into more than a blaze. A love triangle, and an unintended romantic entanglement, gives new meaning to the word complicated.

    When Giovanni Cavallini begins to pursue Ellana Licari with intensity, he’s ultimately convinced she’ll never give up on the mothers’ dream, or love him unconditionally. This results in a calculated risk on his part of losing the one woman he loves when he returns to Italy. Will this produce the effect he’s hoping to achieve and help Ellana fight for what she wants out of life, and face her true feelings?

    SHUT UP AND KISS ME is my fourth completed novel, one of which has been published by Avalon Books.

  199. DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER ME is a Contemporary Romance with strong erotic elements by debut author Kahlen Aymes.
    Julia Abbot and Ryan Matthews had been inseparable best friends since the moment they met, but when he gets accepted to Harvard Medical School, they are forced to face their deeper feelings and find themselves enthralled in a passion like neither has ever known. The words he whispers each time he leaves her, "Don't Forget To Remember Me," become an tragic foreshadowing when an accident robs Julia of all memory of Ryan, their relationship and their unborn child. As her physical injuries heal and she still doesn’t remember, Ryan agonizes between his need to have her remember, and his need to protect Julia from the very secret that she is subconsciously choosing to forget. This is their journey back to each other, as Julia falls in love with this beautiful man all over again while he mourns the loss of their glorious past. It is a story of longing and love so transcending, that even if her mind can't remember…her heart and soul simply won't forget.

  200. Just while you're here.
    Can we please, please have more accurate historicals? Please?
    As a reader, I picked up half a dozen "historicals" on my recent visit to the States and I put them all down again. They just weren't historical, but set in some kind of fantasy world.
    The Regency era existed, people. It had politics, manners and attitudes that just don't appear in many novels purporting to be "Regency." I love historical romance, but I just don't think there are any out there any more. If it's fantasy based on a historical era, then call it that, so I, and all the other readers thirsting for the real thing, know what it is.
    Just thought I'd mention it while we have an actual editor here.