Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pitch Contest!

by Deb Werksman
Editorial Manager, 

Sourcebooks Casablanca

It’s one of those months when I don’t want to read my own writing—I want to read YOURS! Voila—time for a pitch session!

These are the IRON-CLAD rules!

1)      ONLY single-title romance 85,000 to 100,000 words or commercial women’s fiction
2)      Erotic romance, paranormal, historical, romantic suspense, contemporary romance
3)      Here’s the format:
a.       Title
b.      Subgenre
c.       50 word pitch
d.      1-2 sentences on each of the next 2 books in the series
e.      Author sales history (title, publisher, # of copies sold to readers, or that you’re a debut)

I can’t wait! This is my absolute favorite part of my job!

Remember our editorial criteria:
*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
*author has a career arc—in other words, if readers love this book, what are we giving them next, and next, and next…

33 comments:

  1. Off to tweet and FB this opp to the bestsellers of tomorrow!

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  2. I'll be pitching to you soon, Deb! Have 3 more books to write! But once I'm down to 2, it's time to pitch! :)

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  3. Yay! May I ask for more details? Is there a window of dates you'll be taking pitches from? A deadline to submit them? I post weekly roundup of pitch/query events on my blog, any additional information would be super helpful!

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  4. a. Title: ANGELIC WRATH

    b. Subgenre: Paranormal Romance, complete at 91,000 words

    c. 50 word pitch:

    In a contemporary world in which the Seven Deadly Sins are winning the war against humanity, Rafe, an obedient guardian angel, must save the soul of Eden, a self-reliant abuse survivor , from wrath and recover the lost relic hidden somewhere in her home before the dangerous fallen angels locate it and use it to return to heaven.

    d. Next two books:

    Every book in the series confronts one of the Seven Deadly Sins and also ties into the central plot of finding and protecting lost relics from the fallen angels seeking to overthrow heaven and turn Earth into hell.

    In ANGELIC ENVY, Tag, a resentful guardian angel, must help Avery, an amnestic pop star ghost, who is stuck between the realms and discover the truth behind her death.

    In ANGELIC PRIDE, as World War Three begins, Mia, a submissive guardian angel, must help a Luke, a detective with multiple sclerosis, cope with his illness while battling a demonic Governor from turning Detroit into the Capitol of Hell.

    e. Sales History:

    I have a women's fiction novel which was released earlier this year with a small publisher and is a part of the Jewish Book Council Network Author Tour.

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  5. (such a great opportunity, thank you ^_^)

    Leasing Love
    Contemporary Romance, 87,000 words

    Pitch:
    Riley’s To Do List:
    - Meet that next critical deadline at work.
    - Stop lusting after her dead sexy - but completely set on staying single – roommate, Zane.
    - Convince her boss she won’t take the fall for someone else’s a multi-million dollar breach of contract.

    Book 2: Riley’s best friend, Chloe prides herself on being a top-notch matchmaker, but when her own relationship begins to crumble, she has to dig deeper than the rush of seeing a happy couple on their first date to keep the man she loves.

    Book 3: Zane’s buddy, Rich always coasted through life until it cost him his job, his marriage, and his daughter. He’d rather wallow than confront his own demons, but his too-optimistic-for-her-own-good neighbor has other plans.


    I’m a debut author.

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  6. Just popping in to say howdy to the amazing Deb Werksman! I loooooove it when you do this blog - reading over your advice for the pitches is always such a great learning tool overall. Thank you, Deb, for being so generous in sharing your time and insights here. :)

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  7. Broken Places

    Romantic Suspense, 96,000 words

    FBI Agent Cruz Larsen has no respect for professional do-gooders like sociology professor Trevy Barlow who spends her evenings teaching a literacy class for girl gang members. But when one of the girls is murdered on her way to Trevy’s class, they team up to hunt down a killer.

    Book 2: On the US-Mexico border, disgraced ICE agent Emelina Villarreal is forced to seek asylum with a transnational crime family in order to stay alive long enough to undo a $2 million blunder and resurrect her once sterling reputation.

    Book 3: Mineralogist Aliya Perreault is hired by a private investor to appraise African mine cuttings rumored to contain rare blue garnets and instead discovers the body of a missing US Senator.

    Debut author, two-time Golden Heart finalist

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  8. Thanks for this opportunity!

    a. Title: Triple Threat (working title)

    b. Subgenre: SciFi Romance

    c. 50 word pitch:

    On the explosive Concord-Gral Imperative border, Anzal Jai, pilot of Concord starship Unity is also an undercover Zirini operative with feared sensual powers. Ora, new ship’s doctor, recognizes what he is. When Gral pirates attack, will she help him or expose him and risk a 3-way interstellar war?

    d. The next 2 books in the series:

    Book 2: The Gral Imperative changes tactics from piracy to forcibly adding border systems into it’s territory. Unity destroys a Gral warship in planetary orbit and captures surprising survivors in its lifeboat.

    Book 3: On shore leave, Unity’s captain is enthralled by a Zirini and goes AWOL. His subcommander must seduce him away before he gives up Concord secrets, and before the circumstances of his absence cause an interstellar incident.

    e. Debut Author with The Wild Rose Press, HIGHLAND HEALER release: 4 January. HIGHLAND SEER with editor, HIGHLAND TROTH under construction

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  9. Thank you so much for this opportunity!

    1. Title: Under African Skies

    2. Genre: Contemporary Romance with Action elements

    3. Blurb/Pitch: Throughout South Africa Jaco Vermaak is known as The Protector for his tireless work to stop the poaching of endangered animals, and he’s just the man photojournalist Molly Rodriquez needs. One great story and Molly’s back on top but nothing prepares her for the full force of the former Solider. Under starry African skies, Molly gets much more than her story, but only if she has the courage to embrace it.

    4. Next book in “Men of the World” Series is tentatively titled Boston and St. John’s – When Liza Doyle receives a letter from a mother she never knew existed, her life is turned upside down, and she’s forced to travel to Newfoundland. There she meets fisherman, Malchay Bennett, and a gets a chance at love and life.

    Next is titled Lost in Mumbai - Daci Bishop travels to India for the filming of her latest script and meets Ramu Khanna, the Ram of Bollywood. When Ramu’s fans find out about his tryst with the pretty American tourist, the Bollywood star ends up in hot water. Can Ramu keep Daci in his life and still be the Ram of Bollywood? Can Daci come to grips with the fact her perfect man is really a star and splashed all over billboards?

    5. I have had numerous shorts included in anthologies for Ravenous Romance as well as a full length novella, KONA WARRIOR. Also my historical romance novel, THE HOODED MAN, was just released by Decadent Publishing. I am also a freelance journalist for Nevada Magazine.

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  10. I plan to enter the Pitch contest ASAP.

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  11. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity.

    a. Title: In the Shadow of Evil

    b. Subgenre: romantic suspense with a supernatural element complete at 100,000 words

    c. 50 word pitch:

    Mendoza killed Jennie’s parent and walks free. He must be stopped. But the one man she trust to help her, Detective Jared McNeil, she will protect at all cost. Jennie's father bridged death to protect his daughter. His message: Jennie and Jared must take down Mendoza together. Alone, they’ll fail.

    d. Second book in Shadow Series:

    In the Shadow of Greed, romantic suspense with a supernatural element complete at 87,000 words

    Cryptologist Dr. Sarah Tu disables the most dangerous botnet ever created, spawning a web of deception which envelopes those she trusts most. The Botmaster demands his malware back by threatening the man she loves, FBI agent, Jason McNeil. Sarah’s comatose sister penetrates her wall of darkness to protect them.

    Third book in Shadow Series:

    In the Shadow of Malice, romantic suspense with a supernatural element

    A single mother, running from a past she can’t escape, finds herself part of a ruthless criminal’s vendetta. Her children’s lives depend on her trusting Detective Jordan McNeil, a man she barely knows.

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  12. Thanks for this unbelievable (and nerve wracking) opportunity.

    A. Home on the Range (71,000 words)

    B. Contemporary Romance with erotic elements

    C. Liza Grant spent her life hiding her feelings for Sam. She left home to keep from mooning over him. Now she’s back and tired of hiding.

    Sam Fielding stayed home. He never felt like he was missing anything. But Liza is home, and Sam’s realizing how much he’s missed.

    D. Next book: What if you met the guy that every woman dreams of? What if you agreed to marry him, and then met the man of your dreams?

    Next book: Tess Hunter has a crush on an ex-con her brother met at a parole meeting: right time, wrong guy. Declan Scott has met the perfect girl while he’s working undercover to bring down a crime syndicate: right girl, wrong time

    E. Debut

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  13. Just realized my name doesn't link to my email. It is here (I hope). My apologies.

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  14. Dragon Blades series, working title

    Fantasy Historical Romance
    (some steampunk elements)

    In your darkest hour will you stand and fight? Evangelina, once a titled lady of the ton, is running for her life because of her fae powers not seen in centuries. On board an airship surrounded by enemies her choice is to fade into shadow or save her lover, Hawk.

    Book 2

    Picks up right where book one left off as Evangelina escapes with Hawk promising to return for the rest of their faithful friends. Faced with harnessing her new powers she must now confront her betrayer and find the man behind this genocide.

    Book 3

    Evangelina’s darkest hour has found her and broken her. With her connection to her lover Hawk and her dragon blade holding her together she faces off with Lord Sutton for her soul.

    Debut author

    Thank you for taking the time to read this, I appreciate any tips or thoughts you may pass my way.

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  15. a. The Rules for Not Marrying the Earl – Simple Kiss series
    b. Historical romance – 90,000 words
    c. 50 word pitch
    Nathan Landers, an earl with a debilitating fear and a dark past, is blackmailed into acquiring the Hawkley's treasured relic. Maia Hawkley wants him to marry her twin. Even more than her tempestuous younger sister, two gargantuan ruffians, and a crapulous muff chaser—one simple kiss might well ruin everything.
    d. 1-2 sentences on each of the next 2 books in the series
    1 Thomas Hawkley thinks of his sister's best friend as another little sister, until he discovers she is being courted by a villainous suitor he should have warned her off of. He must marry a wealthy woman to refill his family's coffers, but doing so will mean abandoning the intriguing woman he's always known, yet never truly seen, to the machinations of a wicked man.
    2 Clare Hawkley is a quiet and proper lady, everything her mother wants her to be—outside. Inside she craves mystery and excitement, so when a stranger arrives who believes she knows where his grandmother's jewels are, she's torn between propriety and the need to be who she really is.
    I'm a debut author.

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  16. a. Ruby City

    b. Paranormal romance

    c. Anne Haze is comfortable living a privileged life until Darius, a mysterious man from England, reveals the secrets that lurk behind her family’s century-long legacy in the U.S. Senate. He is desperate to revive the dying secret society her family left behind and the ability of foresight they took with them.

    d. A string of disobedience sends Abigail to the isolated countryside where a retired woman is hiding a man not of this world.

    When Elijah returns to the suburbs for his father’s funeral, Mae fights to separate her old flame from his life in the mob.

    e. Debut author.

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  17. A. Leaky boobs and uncool shoes
    B. Romantic Comedy
    C. 50 Word Pitch
    Lucy has the baby blues, a toddler from hell and more bags under her eyes than she cares to count. Messy hair, dirty clothes and baby sick perfume, dragged through a bush backwards would be a compliment. Who can love Lucy until she loves herself?

    D. Book Two -
    When Charlie proposes, Lucy gets much more than she bargained for. The Mother in Law seems to be a permanent fixture in their life. Nagging, clean freak, un-approving, chain smoking and demanding. How will Lucy plan her dream wedding whilst living with a nightmare?

    Book 3
    After a year of wedded bliss, Lucy scores her dream job in LA, how will the family cope with such a big move especially when she learns of her pregnancy. Balancing family life and keeping everyone happy, will their relationship last the test of time?

    Debut author

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  18. Thanks for this exciting opportunity!

    a. Miss Stewart's Seduction

    b. Historical Romantic Adventure – early Georgian Britain (1730s)

    c. When a rakish Scottish baron tries to steal an heiress’s affections from his sworn enemy, he doesn’t expect to fall in love, or have to mend his indolent ways to win her heart, much less find her leading a Jacobite conspiracy while he spies for the Crown.

    d. Series based on siblings and cousins from a prominent Lowlands clan.

    Lord Buchan's Bride (1730s) – When a baronet’s daughter visits Bath with her newly married sister and brother-in-law, she nearly falls prey to a fortune-hunting cousin, until her beauty, cleverness, and religious devotion catch the attention of an heir to an earldom.

    The Fair Seafarer (1740s) – A baronet’s sister, with Robinson Crusoe as a constant companion, dreams of visiting faraway lands. It isn’t surprising she falls in love with a charming, impecunious army officer eager to see the world and willing to take her with him to Canada, but the match doesn’t suit her family’s plans.

    e. debut author

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  19. a. Title: Warder

    b. Subgenre: Paranormal Romance

    c. 50 word pitch:

    With shifters being magically forced to change into their beast, Mona, untrained but with the unusual Elf ability to manipulate spells, works with the half-elf who may be her unwanted mate to find the culprit even as the evildoer discovers her ability and sends minions to capture her or die

    d. The next 2 books in the series:

    Book 2: From an early age single mother Elodie's son has shown the amazing powers mixing fairy and elf blood causes. Now he's old enough he's attracting unwanted notice and she's searching for a safe haven for her small family while resisting finding one for her untrusting heart.

    Book 3: Three years ago Averill was thrown into the role of pack leader and single adoptive mother. Now with a challenge rising to her leadership and her daughter's powers starting to bloom she must decide whose safety is more important, the pack's or her daughter's.

    e. I had my first publishing experience with Noble Romance in February, prior to their current restructuring. From my discussions with other Noble authors my story has sold on par with other releases at the time, which does translate to 'not very well.'

    Thank you so much for this opportunity.

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  20. Title: World Enough, and Time

    Subgenre: Contemporary Erotic Romance

    50 Word Pitch:
    Becca – shy set decorator – and Jon – famous, gorgeous actor: stranded together on location, middle of nowhere, an entire weekend. Utterly different though they are, fate decides to take Becca and Jon down an unforeseeable path. But they don’t believe in fate. Do they . . . ?

    Book 2: “All That Lights Upon Us” - Becca and Jon’s first idyllic weekend has passed, and so have the consequences of that time, which brought both great pain, loss, and an intimacy beyond what they’d ever expected. Now it’s time to live in the real world – their relationship deepens, despite the objections and judgements of family and friends, who can’t see how this is going to work, and Jon’s frustration with Becca’s belief in fate’s influence on their lives.

    Book 3: “Only the Heart Knows” - Two people who work in the world of movies should be able to find a happy ending, right? Becca and Jon plan their wedding and start a family – but the fear of their first loss comes back all too sharply when Becca’s life is endangered by their most cherished dream coming true, and Jon is sure fate is never kind and not to be trusted.

    (This series is set in contemporary UK.)

    I am a debut author. Thank you for this chance!

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  21. a. Title: Witches West
    b. Subgenre: psychic happenings
    c. 50 word pitch: Sedona Arizonia psychic, dog lover, coffee addict Claire Raines reads bruised battered handsome Guy Bauer. Once inside his head she discovers things she dare not reveal. Romantic sparks fly between then until Claire discloses all when his memory returns. Her pumped up powers are released during a violent confrontation and she nearly loses Guy.
    d. Have follow up book Deadman's Pass with same characters and also five others available at Lulu.com and one at Publish America (that was before I learned about free publishing) Haven't earned anything yet but here's hoping as I have many more in my computer as it's on my bucket list of things to get done before I am.

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  22. Title: Seducing His Duchess

    Subgenre - Historical

    50 Word Pitch - The Duke of Norwood must convince his new wife to allow him marital liberties, otherwise, how will he ever beget an heir? Seeking help from Celeste, a specialist purported to help couples settle matters of a “personal” nature, will Nicholas get Catherine to see reason or will he learn it takes more than an arrangement to turn a marriage into a relationship?

    Book #2 - Reforming A Scoundrel
    Renowned scoundrel James Camden seeks to right his reputation after rumors swirl he’s no longer a rake of epic proportions. James turns to Celeste to help redeem his prowess but will it be a beautiful spinster who makes him a better man?

    Book #3 - The Damsel
    Jane Willow doesn’t believe in love or kindness. Forced to bear a child and then held against her will by an ardent suitor, she’s rescued from captivity by widower William Stuart. Unable to help her heal, William and Jane seek Celeste’s counsel, and learn that even a damaged heart never stops loving.

    Book #4 - The Healer
    Celeste Smith learned a lot by growing up in a brothel. Now she secretly helps members of the ton tackle matters of a personal nature. But when her life is threatened by a disgruntled client, Celeste’s only hope of survival is the self-righteous barrister intent on putting her out of business.

    Author sales history - debut

    Thank you for reviewing the pitch.

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  23. Title: My Dear Sophy

    Subgenre: Historical Romance & Adventure, Regency, Austenesque (Mild Sensual Elements)

    50 Word Pitch:

    Twenty-three year old Sophia Wentworth is ready to marry a quiet country curate and start her life of pleasant duties. But when exciting Captain Conrad Croft returns to town after fourteen years with the British Navy, Sophy faces a choice. Here is the story of how the Admiral and Mrs. Croft of Jane Austen's Persuasion first meet.

    Book #2: Sophy and Conrad are adjusting to married (and land-bound) life when Conrad's ship is suddenly commissioned for a secretive mission. Sophy must find her place in the working order of the ship even as she and Conrad try to unravel the mystery of why the Pleasant was chosen for this mission.

    Book #3: This series is going to feature Sophy as a “female Horatio Hornblower” and tackle life aboard ship in the glorious Age of Sail from a female perspective. I plan lots of adventure à la Hornblower, Master & Commander, and Ramage, but I'm still researching further details for plots.

    Author sales history, title, publisher, # of copies sold:

    This volume was self-published on Amazon and Smashwords on July 6, 2012 and has sold 148 copies to date.

    My name: Kimberly (Egolf) Truesdale
    Email: authorkimberlytruesdale (at) gmail.com

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  24. Series Title: The Naughty Town Series

    Book 1 title: The To Do List - 80,000 words

    Subgenre: Contemporary Romance

    50 word pitch: Knotty Town is about to become a whole lot naughtier in this remake of Pretty Woman w/a twist. Richard Gere, aka Jason Hart, is turning a mostly abandoned town into a singles' only town. Julia Roberts, aka Moxie Wells, who grew up in the town's orphanage, has come back to Knotty to finish an inherited to-do list. The town's ghost causes havoc in everyone's plans.

    Book Two: A remake of When Harry Met Sally.

    Book Three: A remake of Friends With Benefits

    I'm published with The Wild Rose Press, DIBS. I'm an instructor for the Margie Lawson Writer's Academy.

    Lisa Wells
    lisawellsauthor@gmail.com

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  25. Thank you for your consideration!

    a. The Easy Part

    b. Contemporary

    c. Millie Frank becomes an unwitting celebrity after a DC hostage crisis. Loosing her status as an anonymous cog at a labor right’s organization is such a shock that she uncharacteristically propositions Parker Beckett, an arrogant, charming media specialist, her opponent her in budget negotiations. Compared to love, politics is the easy part.

    d. Millie's self-absorbed roommate, Alyse, could summarize her future life in one word: lush. But a one-night stand with an up and coming blogger shifts the world-view of an uptown girl forever.

    Parker's best friend from college, Ari, doesn't think there are many surprises left in politics or life. But at Millie and Parker's wedding, he discovers that a small town idealist may have the key to his redemption.

    e. Debut author

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  26. Thanks for the newbie love!

    A. NOBLESSE OBLIGE: The Darcy Fund Series
    B. Contemporary/P&P variation
    Elizabeth Bennet loves the challenge of fundraising for girls' empowerment until she meets her match with the handsome new president of the oldest foundation in town, The Darcy Fund. William Darcy may seem a rude, condescending snob but ends up teaching Elizabeth the true meaning of charity.
    MISSION CREEP
    Georgiana Darcy joins the family business as the chair of The Darcy Fund’s Junior Committee. Conquering her shyness to produce the hottest charity ball of the season, she is put into the path of eligible bachelors including bad boy George Wickham. Will she fall victim to his charms again or learn to love a do-gooder?
    SOCIAL IMPACT
    Captain Fitzwilliam, newly returned from service in Afghanistan, moonlights at the family business -- The Darcy Fund -- as he adjusts to civilian life. Sparks fly with community activist and grantee Lydia Bennet who loves a man in (and mostly out of) a uniform. Can she Occupy Meryton and find room in her heart for the Captain?
    E. Debut!

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  27. a. Project Shadow

    b. Romantic Suspense-85,000 words (The DIO series)

    c. A feisty Defense Intelligence Organization Middle East analyst meets her match when paired with a retired Navy SEAL to investigate a global conspiracy threatening to bring down the entire DIO. Is he protecting her from danger or leading her further into the shadows?

    d. Book 2-A DIO European affairs analyst trades in her desk job for the field when her Russian cousin is implicated in a dirty bomb plot. She’ll need the help of the man who broke her heart to uncover the truth.
    Book 3- A DIO internal affairs analyst is mired in a political scandal, and the one man who she despises is the key to proving her innocence.

    e. First ebook to be released in April 2013.

    Rachel at rachelkall dot com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh
    YA Historical Romance
    87,000

    To save her sisters from being taken, Naomi steps in to be a wife of the crazed Pharaoh.
    In the palace, the Queen Nefertiti seeks to destroy Naomi as she rises through the ranks of the wives. To protect herself, Naomi charms the Pharaoh, who grows to love her. But when she conceives his child, Nefertiti’s lust for blood is turned against Naomi.


    Book 2: Mother of a King - Naomi
    returns to her family but is still being hunted by Nefertiti. When the Pharaoh dies, the Egyptians return to Thebes and her son is expected to take the throne.

    Book 3: Rise of a New Dynasty - Naomi's son is the young Pharaoh and is developing into a strong leader. But Nefertiti's father wants to reclaim the crown for his line of the royal family, so Naomi must do all she can to protect her son.

    I am a debut Author.

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  29. At the risk of sounding like an anxious newbie (or at the risk of REVEALING myself as one), I wanted to let Ms. Werksman know that I've had to revise my contact information. That new information is linked in my Blogger profile. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Deb,
    I posted my pitch on September 27, 2012. My contact information was linked incorrectly so I'm re-submitting. I hope you can find me now.

    Thank you for the wonderful opportunity.

    a. Title: In the Shadow of Evil

    b. Subgenre: romantic suspense with a supernatural element complete at 100,000 words

    c. 50 word pitch:

    Mendoza killed Jennie’s parent and walks free. He must be stopped. But the one man she trust to help her, Detective Jared McNeil, she will protect at all cost. Jennie's father bridged death to protect his daughter. His message: Jennie and Jared must take down Mendoza together. Alone, they’ll fail.

    d. Second book in Shadow Series:

    In the Shadow of Greed, romantic suspense with a supernatural element complete at 87,000 words

    Cryptologist Dr. Sarah Tu disables the most dangerous botnet ever created, spawning a web of deception which envelopes those she trusts most. The Botmaster demands his malware back by threatening the man she loves, FBI agent, Jason McNeil. Sarah’s comatose sister penetrates her wall of darkness to protect them.

    Third book in Shadow Series:

    In the Shadow of Malice, romantic suspense with a supernatural element

    A single mother, running from a past she can’t escape, finds herself part of a ruthless criminal’s vendetta. Her children’s lives depend on her trusting Detective Jordan McNeil, a man she barely knows.

    e. I am a debut author

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  31. Have you chosen a winner?

    Lisa

    lisawatts0203@googlemail.com

    ReplyDelete