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In Celebration of Independence Day

 By Deb Werksman
 Editorial Manager
Sourcebooks Casablanca
In celebration of Independence Day, and the fact that Sourcebooks is the largest woman-owned independent publishing house in the country (if not in the world), I will take pitches posted to the Casablanca Authors blog through to midnight on July 4, and I’ll have all the responses posted by Bastille Day (July 14).

We are celebrating our latest New York Times and USA Today bestsellers:

Love Drunk Cowboy by Carolyn Brown
The Heir by Grace Burrowes
The Soldier by Grace Burrowes
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
Miranda’s Big Mistake by Jill Mansell
The Forever Queen by Helen Hollick

We’ll be celebrating at RWA next week—hope to see as many readers and authors as possible:

*Spotlight on Sourcebooks, 9:45 am Friday 6/1
*Our authors at the Literacy Signing on Tuesday 6/28 5:30 to 7:30 pm
*Our very own Sourcebooks hosted signing Thursday 6/30 3:00 to 4:00 pm.
*Joanne Kennedy and Amanda Howells are up for RITAs—keep your fingers crossed for our Sourcebooks authors to win!

I’ll be taking pitch appointments at RWA—if you aren’t already signed up to see me, and if my schedule is full, email me directly and we’ll see what we can do to set up an informal pitch sometime during the conference.

Thanks everyone! Love you all!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Okay, let me try this again...

    Congrats to our NYT bestsellers! Good luck with your pitches, and I hope to see everyone at RWA!

  3. It's a dream come true to see my name on that NYT and USA Today list!Looking forward to a fabulous week at RWA. Good luck to everyone who is about to make a pitch!

  4. Congrats to the best-sellers and Rita finalists! Best of luck for the wins!

    I'll be at both the literary and Sourcebooks signings. Look for me! I have some cute promos to give away!

  5. Congratulations to our bestsellers! I'll see everyone at the conference!

  6. Hi Deb,

    Will see you next week and will be pulling for our Rita finalist. Many congratulations to our fabulous authors who have hit the lists!


  7. What wonderful news, congrats to Carolyn and Grace and the rest of the NYT Bestsellers!!

    I'll be there to cheer on Joanne and Amanda at the RITAs!

    Can't wait to see everyone at the Literacy Signing and the Sourcebooks author signing...I'm signing at both...pinch me!!

  8. To Deb, Feel I know you through Carolyn Brown's uber raves (!!) She said you were accepting pitches, today on Casablanca Authors so here's mine:
    Just how much loyalty does a woman owe her dead fiance's memory? Must she cast aside the love of the man responsible for his death? Even though that man has shown her the meaning of true love?
    Thanks.I'm writing under the pen name of Chloe Blaire but my friends know me as Carol Grosser

  9. I am sorry I won't be attending RWA this year but wish everyone the best. Good luck on pitches too.

    Congrats to all the NYT bestsellers and wish for them more shining sales.

    All the best to you! Again, I enjoyed meeting with you at WRW retreat back in April/May. Having had the chance to talk with you then was really special.

    Loni Lynne

  10. Hello Deb,
    My name is Jewell Tweedt writing as Jewell Claire. My manuscript is titled Faith of the Heart. Here is my pitch: First loves are not always true loves.Can a woman leave her past behind? Is her cunning and a cast iron skillet enough to thwart a kidnapper on the frontier? What is she to do with two fiances?
    Thanks for your time,

  11. Congrats to our bestsellers and our ladies up for Rita's. I wish I could be there to cheer them on!

  12. I think it's awesome that you've offered to set up informal pitches at RWA- that's very classy, lady! Jillian

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  14. I have a pitch for you:

    A lonely lady buys a magical book and two very unlikely leprechauns emerge. Kelly tries to break the curse that has held Aiden and Shamus for centuries. Three wishes and a spell gone bad how will Kelly keep her magical men forever.

    I can be contacted at: madelin109[at]gmail[dot]com
    or Leanne Gagnon NB Canada on FB

  15. I will be at RWA and would love to pitch to you, anytime, anywhere! How do I email you? Please, please email me at arabellastokes (at) ymail (dot) com!

  16. Just wanted to say I removed that second post because it double posted- I always fret when I see those "post removed" messages - I'd hate someone to think I said anything ugly. LOL!

  17. The amazing Joanne Kennedy has been raving about you and has be very supportive of my writing.

    My name is Jennifer Baker and here is my pitch for The Prodigal Cowboy:

    Ten years on the rodeo circuit made Quinn Morgan a National Champion, but it didn't erase the sting of Tori Richards rejecting his marriage proposal. Now he's back in town, ready to rope the talented horse trainer in hopes of a second chance.

  18. Congrats to all our NYT Bestsellers! I'm proud to be a part of the largest independently owned woman publisher. Such an honor!

  19. I realized that I didn't leave my email address with my pitch. So, let me try again. :-)

    My name is Jennifer Baker ( and here is my pitch for The Prodigal Cowboy:

    Ten years on the rodeo circuit made Quinn Morgan a National Champion, but it didn't erase the sting of Tori Richards rejecting his marriage proposal. Now he's back in town, ready to rope the talented horse trainer in hopes of a second chance.

  20. It was a pleasure hearing you speak this morning at RWA Nationals in both the “Spotlight on Sourcebooks” and the workshop “How to Make Yourself Irresistible to Editors.” As soon as I saw the energy and dedication of both you and the others who work for Sourcebooks, I knew I wanted a chance to work with you.

    Set in Metro-Detroit, A YEAR TO REMEMBER is a comical but introspective commercial women’s fiction story about a Jewish food addict’s journey to recovery as she searches for her soul mate under the watchful eye of the nation.

    When her younger brother marries on her 29th birthday, Sara Friedman drunkenly vows to three hundred wedding guests to marry her soul mate within the year. After her story becomes national news, she permits the Today show to chronicle her search as she plunges head first into the shallow end of the dating pool, under the directing hand of best friend Missy. From a cocaine snorting, child-hating pediatrician to an unemployed accountant/secret stripper, Sara dates the bottom of the barrel until love finds her in a most unexpected way.

    But when her friendship with Missy suddenly ends, Sara is forced to make her own decisions for the first time since kindergarten. Faced with her soul mate’s aversion to marriage, Sara must decide if she can abandon marriage in exchange of a lifetime commitment from the man she loves. However, before she can make her decision, Sara must first confront her lifelong addiction to food.

    A YEAR TO REMEMBER is complete at 90,000 words. Although this book is single title, I am working on THE FIFTH SEASON, a follow-up novel about Sara’s friend Missy.

    I can be reached at or at (313) 550-3313. Thanks for your time and consideration.

    Shelly Bell

  21. Hmm, let's see...I was wishin' and hopin' that things would be different and I'd catch a flight from CVG to RFK...storm the RWA convention,meet up with all my writer friends,jam, do workshops,tour the big city, do the fav Friday bash and come home with Deb Werksman's e-mail address. However, fate stepped in and I'm still in Ky. with a book to sub.
    Deb, if you are only slightly interested in an emotional read, please check my mini-pich and ask for more. Guarantee you won't be sorry.

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  23. Hi Deb-Great to have met you at RWA. Here's my re-pitch for "The Thief of Hearts."
    An earl's daughter, longing to make a difference in the world, falls for a kind-hearted pickpocket who dreams of an honorable life. From the gas-lit streets of Victorian London to an elegant estate near Bath, Constance and Alex discover that what divides them is no match for the love and passion neither can deny. In the tradition of beloved romances such as Judith Ivory's "The Proposition" and Lisa Kleypas' "Dreaming of You," "The Thief of Hearts" is a 100,000 word single title historical, which shows that true love knows no boundaries.
    Thanks for the chance to re-pitch, I look forward to talking with you again.
    Best Regards,
    Elizabeth Harmon

  24. Hey Deb! Just back from my first RWA Nationals. Whew.
    Really enjoyed both the Spotlight and Sourcebooks signings. You gals possess the kind of enthusiasm that I'd be thrilled to work with. So here's my pitch:

    The List is an 84,000 contemporary romance about a professional poker player who inherits a Boston brownstone and renovation budget, but the deal also includes an uptight, pregnant accountant who's already chosen her perfect man—from a sperm bank.

    I can be reached at Thanks so much for this opportunity!

  25. I had promised to have these posted by yesterday, I am so sorry to be late.

    Hi Carol/Chloe: thank you for this pitch. It’s a little sketchy. Doesn’t tell me whether this is romantic suspense, contemporary romance, or women’s fiction. Also a little credibility issue for me—I’m not sure I believe she’s fallen in love with the man responsible for her fiance’s death—that’s a trope that’s somewhat overused. There’s no book title, so that doesn’t give me any clues. And there’s no sense of how your career builds from here. Is this the first in a series? What’s next if readers love this one? Altogether I think you sacrificed critical information in the interests of brevity.

    Hi Jewell: I like the funniness implied in “two fiancés”—also the cast iron skillet in FAITH OF THE HEART. Again, there’s a lot of critical info missing from the pitch. Reading between the lines, I’m guessing this is historical western romance? You don’t tell me anything at all about the hero…I don’t have a sense of the marketability, the hook, the world. Brevity is good, but not when it means you leave out the critical info.

    Hi Leanne, intriguing pitch. Is this ménage erotic romance (two heroes)? I’m not sure about leprechauns as heroes—they tend not to be tall, dark and handsome. I like the way your voice is coming through in the pitch.
    Arabella, my email address is Email me your pitch any time. Thank you!

    Jillian, sweet of you to let me know why you removed your post. I always wonder about those too. 

    Hi Jennifer, I like this pitch for The Prodigal Cowboy and it did make me want to read more. I need a hook, though—there are a lot of cowboy romances out now (I publish a bunch of them!). What makes yours stand out? And, is it the start of a series?

    Hi Shelly:
    You’re touching on some common themes in women’s lives in A YEAR TO REMEMBER. The first difficulty I have is I’m not sure I’m going to want to spend time with this heroine. Her behavior at her brother’s wedding sounds pretty immature/self-centered. And I’m not sure I believe that one woman’s declaration that she’s going to be married in a year would become national news. Who cares? So, I think you want to either find a way to pitch your heroine more sympathetically, or think about how you can get these issues covered in another way. Also I think you want to think more about the positioning. Is this Jewish women’s fiction? Not clear…

    Hi Elizabeth, good pitch for Thief of Hearts. It makes me want to read more. I do need to know whether this starts a series—if readers love it, what’s next? Send a full submission to

    Hi Tara, not a bad pitch for The List but it didn’t come across as a “must read”—what’s the hook? Why will the reader care about these characters? I got a little hint of your voice in the pitch—funniness? Wryness? I liked that part. Not sure about a pro poker player as a hero.

  26. Thank you Deb for taking the time to read my pitch. I will work on that hook. :-)


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