Adult Only Summer Pitch Party! … OFFICIAL CONTEST ENTRY POST

Put the children’s books to bed the adult only summer pitch event is here!

For the next 24 hours from 6/26 8AM EDT to 6/27 8AM EDT (The date stamp on comments will be 6AM MDT, which is my local time.)  post your 35-word pitch along with the first 150-words of your completed manuscript in the comments of this post. 

For details about the pitch party go to this post here.

Agent round is 6/27 at 9AM EDT through the end of 6/29 11:59 PM EDT. 

All comments entered after the cut off time will be deleted. So don’t dally and enter your pitches now!

Only agents can reply to comments. All other replies will be deleted. Thank you!

Good luck everyone!

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276 comments to Adult Only Summer Pitch Party! … OFFICIAL CONTEST ENTRY POST

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  • Title: RAINBOW TEARS
    Genre: Upmarket Women’s Fiction
    Word Count: 83,000

    Pitch:
    When Nora, a reformed alcoholic turned unlikely mom, must bury a child, self-destruction becomes her drug. But her dead son, watching from beyond the grave, is determined to restore her faith in happy endings.

    Excerpt:
    Nora focused on the plastic ring as it sailed in a wobbly arc, her hands balling into tight fists as the spot of color neared its destination. Music from the historic Ferris wheel echoed in the background, while tourists thronged the boardwalk of the southern California beach town. But for Nora, time stood still and the world held its breath.

    It occurred to her that she might be overly invested in the ring’s flight, but she didn’t care. Since becoming a mom, she could no longer distinguish between her own successes and those of her children. The colorful hoop made contact, bounced twice, and slipped onto the bottle top. The fate of the goldfish swimming in its plastic bag was sealed.

    “Gunner, you won!” she cried, smiling immediately at the joy blossoming on her son’s innocent face. Though she’d hoped he would win, she hadn’t expected the ring to lasso the glass bottle so effortlessly.

  • Title: Madeline
    Genre: New Adult Romantic Suspense
    Word Count: 96,000 words.

    Pitch: Maddie desperately wants to leave her abusive boyfriend, but meeting Nicholas unlocks her needs to be cherished. Mentally tormented between her desires and desperation to leave, she has to make a choice. Will she jump?

    Excerpt:
    I throw myself down on my couch, ripping open the letter that has been sitting in the mailbox for me. My fingers shake as I pry the paper from the sticky tape. I’m nervous, scared. The papers tremble as I reveal them. I must be quick, I must be quick, I tell myself. He must not find out, he can’t.
    I read the letter quickly, scanning it rather than absorbing it. I read too fast, and my eyes flick to the logo in the corner of the letter, so I know who it’s from. Yes! I got it. I got an interview! I smile, panting from the adrenaline pumping through my veins. My eyes are wide and unfocused as I read the instructions on attending the interview. I’m excited but terrified, and I feel nauseous and faint. What do I do? My eyes attack the clock as I shift and shuffle on the worn red couch.

  • Joy

    Title: THE FIFTH AVENUE ARTISTS SOCIETY

    Genre: Historical Fiction

    Word Count: 87,000

    Pitch: When Ginny’s first love gets engaged to another woman, her brother insists she join his high-end artists society, entangling her in a tale of grief, love, and drugs hidden within New York’s glamorous 1890s art scene.

    Excerpt: Staring at Alevia was pointless, but men always did. I snorted, clapping my hand over my mouth as this evening’s gawker – a stumpy fellow with a long scraggly beard – gestured toward her so heartily that he sloshed his drink on the woman in front of him. I forced my eyes away from the shocked woman and the rest of the partygoers to glance at my younger sister’s profile through the crack in the pocket door, praying she hadn’t heard me laugh. The one time I’d mentioned a man noticing her, she’d blushed so severely I thought she may literally burst into flame and then vowed to never play in public again. Thankfully, her deep brown eyes were still closed to the music, slight smile on her lips, oblivious to everything but the movement of her fingers on the keys.

  • Title: Shatter Me
    Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance/Coming of Age
    Word Count: 45,000

    Pitch:
    Serena can live with her past. She just needs help with a broken heart. But her rescuing Prince is not only Charming. He comes with an even darker past, and a license to shatter her.

    Excerpt:
    There are three reasons tequila is my new favorite drink.
    One: My ex-boyfriend hates it.
    Two: Downing a shot looks way sexier than sipping my usual Sprite.
    Three: It might give me the courage to do something my ex-boyfriend would hate even more than tequila: getting myself a rebound.

    “You need someone hot, hot, hot,” my best friend Jess says, plunking her glass on the sleek counter and beckoning the bartender to prepare us another round of shots.

    I grimace as the last drops of liquor burn my throat.

    “Define ‘hot.’”

    “Tall, tan, six-pack.” She spins on her bar chair, turning toward the buzzing room.

    “Every polo player at Stanford fits that description,” I retort.

    “Precisely.” She bursts into a torrent of giggles that makes me wonder if I shouldn’t accidentally/on purpose knock over the fresh round of shots the bartender lays in front of me, or my grand night might just end up with me carrying an incoherent Jess to our apartment – as usual.

  • Title: Treasured Claim
    Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
    Word Count: 89,000

    Pitch:
    Even a good dragon will do bad things for treasure. A shapeshifting dragon must choose between love and survival when she falls for the modern-day knight who catches her steal–er, acquiring–jewels.

    Excerpt:
    Jewelry trickled through Elaina Drake’s fingers, scattering reflections across the peeling linoleum of her bathroom floor. Each piece hinted at how she’d scored it for her collection–a broken clasp on a gold chain, earrings missing their backs, a loose sapphire she’d rescued from a sink drain. But the precious ornaments lacked the satisfying clink of gold coins when they landed in the safe-box at her knees.

    Humans didn’t make treasure like they used to. Such a shame.

    She curled her fist around the last trophy: a brilliant ruby, almost the size of her palm. A weak dribble of energy from her talisman inched up her arm. She squeezed the gem harder.

    It didn’t help. An erratic rhythm still beat in her chest and desperate starvation still chilled her limbs. The pathetic recharge from her collection would barely keep her heart alive through the evening, much less until she *happened* to find another abandoned prize to claim.

  • Title: PS-2021
    Genre: Adult Thriller (Co-Authored w/Nina Smith)
    Word Count: 70,000

    Pitch:
    Secrets buried in the chromosomes of thousands of veterans could shatter the fragile security of New America. Blaise Kingsley will do anything to keep those secrets. Georgia Black will risk her life to expose them.

    Excerpt:
    October 26, 2019

    Charlie had the sudden urge to vomit.

    There were hundreds, if not thousands of people gathered. No one had told him this was going to be a big deal. He’d expected a studio, not a mass political rally.

    The microphone squealed. The Californian Senator who’d talked him into this said something about peace to the crowd. Charlie wondered how many people would die in the riots today.

    He’d come home from Iraq, to this. War was on the tips of people’s tongues. He’d only agreed to be the scapegoat today, to read their speech, because he’d seen enough war already.

    “…so it is with great admiration and pleasure that I introduce Sergeant Charlie Smith of the United States Army.” The Californian Senator held out his arm.

    Charlie took a deep breath, smoothed his uniform and walked out onto the stage. The senator shook his hand.

    “Do I know you from somewhere?”

  • Title: FALLEN REDEMPTION
    Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy with romantic elements
    Word Count: 106,000

    Pitch: Guardian angel Enael struggles to embrace her role as protector-until she meets her soulmate, Kaspen. When a demon from Kaspen’s past inspires him to renounce heaven, Enael must risk her wings to save him.

    Excerpt:

    Waiting on the redwood bench, I never expected a confrontation with an ill-tempered Muse. Nor did I expect a disruption to my eternal life, one that would knock me beyond the warm comfort of heaven into the cold depths of hell.

    I shifted my wings and crossed my legs. I’d been sitting here for almost half an hour, surrounded by the vibrant flora in heaven’s Garden, but today I couldn’t appreciate the beauty. My Archangel Rehniah was late.

    Leaning forward, I peered around an immaculately trimmed bush. Two angels hastened in my direction along the polished gray and white stones, but neither was Rehniah. She should have been here by now with news of my petition to ascend from the rank of Guardian.

    My stomach knotted as I absent-mindedly rubbed a thumb across my scarred left hand. Most angels guarded for two or three hundred years, yet I was certain that this petition, my tenth in five centuries, would be denied.

  • SNOW FALLING
    Adult Fantasy
    95,000

    The “wicked” queen has been sorely misunderstood: Snow White is really a spoiled brat with an axe to grind.

    Six years had not made me immune to the tantrums of a spoiled brat. She was the princess, and the law basically decreed I – along with everyone else – had to put up with whatever she dished out. But she was also my stepdaughter, so I had to put up with a lot more than anybody else did.
    Every spring, Richard and I toured our kingdom of Envidia, ensuring the pockets of unrest were contained and our way of life was preserved. Every spring, Snow White pitched a royal fit about the fact that she was not permitted to go. Every spring, Richard followed her around the palace, pleading with her to be reasonable.
    Well, not every spring. Just every spring since he married me. According to palace gossip, Snow White had been a perfect angel before her father remarried. I don’t have personal experience to vouch for this story, but they all say it’s true, so… I suppose it must be.

  • Title: ISLANDS
    Genre: Adult Epistolary Romance
    Word Count: 80,000

    Pitch: Let’s be everlasting, while we can.

    Excerpt:

    October 18th.
    Dear Gretchen,
    I’m honestly jealous of how good you are at sleeping. Is that weird to say? Probably. I’ve been tossing and turning for months now, while you’re out like a light by eleven-thirty.
    “You’re thinkin’ too much,” you told me last night as I swallowed the “natural” sleep aid I found at the bodega. Here’s hoping it isn’t laced with coke. “I mean, really, honeybell, it can all wait ‘til mornin’.”
    And you’re right. It can. Most people are kept up by big existential questions or the meaning of life or whatever. But I think about dumb things: about whatever book you’re making me read, about what I should eat for lunch the next day, if it’s still socially acceptable to make yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when you’re twenty-four, if the Twins will get the wildcard this year, or if my boss will ever actually yell at me for wearing jeans to work. And I think about getting a new phone case or a new DSLR or a new pair of Sperrys. Mo’s chewed the fuck out of them, I realized at three AM last night. Or this morning? Who knows.

  • Title: JO
    Genre: Adult Horror/Sci-Fi
    Word Count: 85,000 words.

    Pitch: Jolene Hall’s a monster – part woman, part machine, all decomposing flesh. When the Order that kidnapped and created her targets the ones she loves, Jo’s journey toward self-preservation becomes a quest to save them instead.

    Excerpt:

    It could be argued that my eventual demise began the day my father lay down the law and dictated my choice of college. No matter how much I begged, he wouldn’t relent. His word – the word of my own personal god – was carved in stone.

    “You’re going to Smytheville, and that’s final,” he said, using his dad voice. It was deep and bear-like, and even though I was known among our family for keeping him tied around my pinkie (“spoiled little rich girl” was a phrase often thrown my way when no one knew I was listening), I lost the battle. I could never defeat the dad voice.

    That summer, when my friends bought bikinis and cover-ups to take to their west coast schools, I shopped for sweaters and boots to take to my father’s alma matter, Smytheville College, deep in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

    Yes. From a certain perspective, that was the beginning of the end for me.

  • Title: Martinis with the Devil
    Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
    Word Count: 83,000

    Pitch: An immortal soul thief begrudgingly teams up with an angelic warrior to stop the assassination of Earth’s Holy Representative and Lucifer’s invasion. Savior of humanity? Not so much. Or so she thought.

    Excerpt:

    I had just slammed down a cocktail and was happily contemplating my eternal damnation when the angel walked into my bar. Solid muscle, like all the warriors, and with that same self-satisfied, holier-than-thou attitude. It was the set of the jaw. Gave them away every time. He paused just inside the door, scanning the patrons to the right and left of him. After a moment, satisfied his glamour concealed him, he headed in my direction.

    A low whistle floated over my shoulder. “Who in the hell is that fine piece of flesh?” Riley asked.

    “Who in heaven, actually.” I poured a bubbling green concoction into a martini glass and slid it down the counter. “HR security. Working a pretty tight glamour on his wings.”

    “No way.”

    “He’s straight anyways,” Quinn said, reaching past us for the ice scoop. “So I may have to take him off your hands.”

  • Title: DEATH BY HIGH HEELS
    GENRE: Mystery
    Word Count: 75,000

    Pitch: Caught standing over a dead body, again, PI Kim Murphy is determined to clear her slightly tarnished name while avoiding a hot cop determined to put her in handcuffs – and not the pink, fuzzy kind.

    Excerpt:
    Cops hate it when you vomit all over their crime scene – a mistake I had no desire to repeat. The fact that I’d just trampled all over this scene was probably a whole new mistake I should have avoided. Staring at the corpse I fought the urge to hurl. I should have been eating dinner instead of looking at a dead guy in my neighbor’s apartment.

    Said dead guy was just sitting there in the chair. You would think he was asleep – if not for all the blood and guts spilled onto his lap. I tore my eyes from him and asked the question I most wanted the answer to.

    “What the heck did you hit him with?”

    Lindsay dropped the strand of blonde hair she’d been twirling and glanced down at the floor. “I told you it was my shoe.”

    “Damn it, Lindsay, you can’t kill someone with a shoe!”

    “Hello, they’re Via Spiga.”

  • Title: Ragged Edge: Cry of the Phoenix
    Genre: Urban Fantasy
    Word Count: 85,000

    Pitch: When an ancient tablet is discovered, Sean must protect the Archaeologist who found it. Backed against a wall, he realizes he’s fallen for her. Now he must risk his immortality and soul to protect her.

    Excerpt:

    You don’t actually lay on a psychologist’s couch. I mean you can if you want but usually you just sit there, face to face, with someone that’s trying to understand what is going on in your head. It’s intimidating the first few times, then you get use to it and sometimes, for fun, mess with the headshrinker.

    I wasn’t having fun. My shrink likes sounding smarter than he is. He’s full of nonsense phrases like “I see” and “that seems only natural” and my personal favorite, “I understand”. When he uses those phrases I want to reach out and break his nose then ask him if he still sees and understands, and how natural does it feel. I haven’t done it… yet.

    My shrink has me classified as “functionally deranged”, meaning I’m delusional but I’m not a danger to myself or society as a whole. He’s wrong on both counts but it’s nice having someone I can talk to.

  • Title: BLACK SEA
    Genre: Hard Science Fiction
    Word Count: 102,000

    Pitch:
    Microbiologist John Ruiz is as extreme as the extremophiles he studies. When an impossible Sudoku arrives in his inbox, he must solve the disappearance of seventy-nine scientists from a derelict research ship — or vanish himself.

    Excerpt:
    Eleven black pennants flapped in the bitter wind, a drunkard’s walk of flagpoles delineating the safe ascent up the jumbled glacial ice. Each marker tagged a new and interesting way to die.

    John Ruiz’s snowmobile jerked to a stop, its front ski bending the first bamboo shaft past the drop-off into the crevasse. Razor-peaked snow dunes slashed the slope ahead, like a stormy sea flash-frozen to white. As the engine complained and burbled and quit, he swung off the seat to stomp his feet and twirl his arms, reminding his blood how to flow.

    “Clever work,” he said, appraising the crevasse field. “You’ve hidden the danger well.”

    Though John’s voice barely escaped the muffle of his wool balaclava, God would still hear the compliment. The trap he’d set was ingenious: the open chasms were hidden behind knee-high ridges, and a fragile veneer of snow covered the others. No doubt he was having a good laugh somewhere up there at John’s expense; staying alive in Antarctica meant watching every step.

  • Title: Visual Katja
    Genre: Romance/Drama
    Word Count: 110,000

    Pitch: Katja’s dreams of becoming Tokyo’s very first black Visual Kei stylist are put to the test when Japan’s legendary god of sex, sin, and music forces her to rock out with her blades out.

    Exceprt:

    Well. This was it.
    She’d done her part and damned if she wasn’t feel particularly proud of how well she’d done it. Minami stood off to the side watching as her friend spoke with one of the twelve members of various presses that would print her story, feeling a great sense of pride at being able to set up the press conference that would give her shop all the attention it deserved.
    Of course it hadn’t been easy. When Katja had called her from California, well over a year ago, inquiring how she could go about opening in a beauty salon, Minami had laughed breezily into the phone,
    “Just find a place for rent and talk with whomever is renting it!”
    And that’s when Katja dropped the bomb that she wasn’t looking to open up a salon in oh-so-liberal Venice Beach, California—she wanted to open one in Tokyo, Japan.

  • Title: Haunted Ever After
    Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
    Word Count: 55,000 words

    Pitch:

    Sure, Ashling owns a fairytale park. But that doesn’t translate to a fairytale life, especially now that the park is being haunted. And this ghost is anything but friendly.

    Excerpt:

    I craned my neck to look up into the giant’s face. “I’m tired of this. I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna sell.”

    The giant had no counter-argument. Neither did the beanstalk nor Jack himself.

    I sighed. It was way past time to go home, and the late September sun was already setting in a picturesque manner behind Rapunzel’s Castle, with brilliant reds and oranges blazing across the sky. If I’d been in a better mood, I might have stayed to enjoy the show.

    On the drive home, I reviewed my circumstances. My fairytale park was ten thousand dollars in the red. If I didn’t turn things around, I’d have to file for bankruptcy. The answer seemed clear. I should accept the offer and sell StoryWorld to the ThrillsLand conglomerate. Then I could go home, lock my door, and never come out. An idea had never seemed so appealing. Unfortunately, the repercussions wouldn’t be nearly so pleasant.

  • Title:SUGAR COATED DECEIT (revised)
    Genre:NA steamy thriller
    Wordcount:69K

    Pitch: Stella, cupcake baker, kidnap survivor, doesn’t date. But when she meets someone, and begins a torrid affair, she must decide: will he save her, or be her end? Or is the enemy right before her?

    Excerpt: Jason DeLuca was everywhere we were. A presence I tried and failed horribly to ignore. He was there at dinner when we all got together. There at the club looking a little too good and not noticing me a little too much. He was at the bar the night Shelly got drunk and fell off her chair. He was even at Adrianna’s BBQ Sunday.
    Jason is friends with my best friend, Adrianna. Pretty sure he’d like to be more than friends with her. He’s a big time movie producer. I’m not sad about him showing up. Eye candy. Has to be at least 6’ 4”, eyes the color of leaves in spring and floppy dark brown hair that I’d like to roughly grab fistfuls of in the privacy of my bedroom. Built, clearly spends loads of time in the gym and is obviously the high maintenance kind of asshole I try to avoid.

  • Title: Becoming
    Genre: NA urban fantasy
    Word Count: 70,000

    Pitch: Unknown to college freshman Zoe, underneath the Frankenscar her transplant left beats a dragon-shifter’s heart. Terrified of intimacy, she starts an online relationship, but the boy she’s fallen for is her donor and…a girl.

    Excerpt:
    Impatience gnawed at the edges of Zoe Moore’s sanity.

    Chill. You’ll be fine. You don’t have to tell him about your scar.

    She touched the high neckline of her white shirt.
    It’s not like he’ll see it.

    God, what did it matter? They were just going to talk. It wasn’t like she’d take him back to her dorm room or anything. Maybe one day, but not today.

    Be in the moment, Zoe. Focus.

    She did another scan of the cafeteria. Two guys wearing sports jerseys leaned back in chairs, talking and occasionally punching each other’s shoulders. A couple cuddled together on the same side of a corner booth, staring into each other’s eyes as a plate of perfectly good fries went untouched. A girl with extremely long curly blond hair sat with one leg crossed over the other in a sea of empty chairs. The blonde shifted sideways in her seat to show her long slender fingers playing across the screen of her phone.

  • Title: MARDUK’S REBELLION
    Genre: Science Fiction
    Word Count: 125,000

    Pitch:
    As alien occupational forces finally abandon Terra, rebel scientist turned saboteur Mallory MacLain returns home to discover an alien assassin is cleaning house during the evacuation — and the secrets he’s protecting are her own.

    Excerpt:
    “Two weeks ago we would have been arrested for standing here, so the least you can do is pretend to enjoy yourself now that it’s legal.”

    “Technically, it’s not legal until the treaty is signed.” I snickered, put a hand on my friend Vanessa’s shoulder and leaned in. “And two weeks ago I would have been in disguise.” I glanced down at my white and gold dress. “One might argue I still am.”

    “At least you hid the tattoos.”

    “Shouldn’t you be more concerned about where I hid the weapons?”

    As Vanessa threw me a shocked look, I laughed and liberated a glass of whiskey from a passing waiter. “The Sarcodinay only announced the withdrawal from Terra last week, Nessa. You didn’t really think I was going to show up to a high-caste party unarmed, did you? Someone might try to arrest me.” I sounded hopeful.

    Maybe I was in the wrong mood for a party.

  • Title: Fixation
    Genre: Commercial/Thriller
    Word Count: 108,000

    Pitch:
    Ariana’s reckless behavior during a hostage situation gains the unwanted attention of the lead criminal, whom she helps imprison. He then escapes and comes for her, but his intentions are not what they seem.

    Excerpt:

    “What are we going to do?”

    “What? What are you talking about?”

    “We can’t just sit here.”

    “Yes we can! Are you crazy?”

    “But Alice–“

    “Ari, shut up!” she said, glancing at the guards and shrinking her body closer to the floor to avoid their attention. “Besides, what could we do? Nothing.”

    “But if we could just contact someone, or–“

    “No!” she said in a harsh whisper, surprising me with her severity. “This isn’t like the games you play, Ariana. This is real. These people have guns. And if you do anything that puts us in danger, I’m serious, I’m never helping you again.”

    I squinted over at the leader of our captors who was typing away at a computer. Who did he think he was, anyway? His fiery gaze shot up to one of his armed men, who nodded and marched toward the crowd of hostages, causing all sixty of us to go rigid.

  • Title: Central Avalon
    Genre: Urban Fiction
    Word Count: 99,000

    Pitch: Constance is bitter, snarky, violent, and brash, but, up against vengeful spirits and deadly conspiracies, she’s the best this amateur ghost hunting team has got…. This would be an excellent time to panic.

    Excerpt: Hotels are often referred to as being “hotspots for cold spots”. Whatever the circumstances, be it the pleasantries of a vacation, solemnity of a funeral, or impure intentions of a secret rendezvous, lodgings have always been hubs for activity. If walls could talk, rented rooms would be alive with whispers revealing the confidentiality of ages.

    No, even with plenty of inn-based occurrences bereft of gaiety, there are times that “grim” passes the threshold into “gruesome.” On such occasions where these places serve as the setting for grisly crime, the high-strung emotions that accompany the terror can be impossible to extinguish, no matter how much time passes since the incident initially transposed.

    “The Cali Continental” of Sacramento, California is one such place with a nefarious past. In 1972, this hotel opened its doors to the public as a luxurious location, boasting a promising future. Within the first year of business, however, one of the workers sustained a serious injury when a water heater burst.

  • Title: The Legacy of the Eye
    Genre: Adult Science Fiction Romance
    Word Count: 87,000

    Pitch: Love will bind David to a deceitful government he is unsure he can change from within. Distance will set him free–If he can evade those determined to lure him home. Austen’s Persuasion meets 1984.

    Excerpt:

    It might have been a symbolic gesture, but I was not budging. My hand covered the keypad inside the traveling pod as I faced the old instructor. “Come on, Max. We’re leaving the school anyway, why not let me punch the code?”

    Arms crossed and hat in hand, the instructor’s black outfit obscured the doorway. “The council should have made you wait until after graduation like everyone else.”

    Cat and I had been confined in the school since we were two. What difference would two weeks make after sixteen years? “We’ve earned the distinction.”

    “Next you’ll ask to stop for a black uniform on the way out,” Max said.

    We probably earned that too, but I knew how to pick my battles. If the council accepted our petition, the Governance Department would not be able to deny us a position in their faculty.

    Cat’s hand pressed my shoulder. “David, we’ll be late.”

  • Title: Revive Me
    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    Word Count: 76,000

    Pitch: She’s been to jail, he’s been to war. Haunted by painful memories of destruction, all they want is peace. The only way they can find it is together.

    Excerpt:

    Routine was for prison, and Kelsey wasn’t in prison any longer.

    Six years since release, and she still had to remind herself of that sometimes. Say it over and over in her head until she could really believe it. You’re alive. You’re free.

    She was free. To do as she pleased, whenever she pleased. Those first few years that realization, that truth, was all that had kept her going. But eventually, the novelty had worn off. She’d found Revival and she’d fallen back into a schedule.

    But it was one of her own making, and that was something to find comfort in. Her Monday morning grocery trip was exactly that: comforting. She got to make her own list for the week, peruse the aisles, choose whichever impulse buy suited her at the particular moment.

    There were days where that moment of buying a candy bar or a new flavor of gum was like flying without a parachute.

  • Title: SCHOOLED
    Word Count: 75,000
    Genre: Commercial Fiction

    Pitch: To keep her job, a teacher surrenders her Master’s Thesis to the principal, a plagiarizing, cat-hoarding murderer.

    Excerpt:

    Evelyn Bozono needed a hundred and fifty pages of bullshit. If she’d studied when she was younger, she might have been able to write the paper. Or not. She’d already plowed that field. The crop failed. So what if she had never learned to string SAT words together? She survived. That’s how she landed in this outhouse of an office, perched on a cracked melamine chair on the wrong side of the desk from Dr. Helen Fredrick, Graduate Advisor, Our Lady of the Coastal Plain University.

    “Do you mind?” The good doctor twisted her gray ponytail into a bun and secured it with a number two pencil.

    “What?”

    “You’re staring.”

    Evelyn turned away from the professor’s desk. The office was a shrine to southwestern cliché, Santa Fe style on steroids. The dream catchers and serapes were predictable, but she couldn’t quit staring at the bleached animal skulls. At least, Dr. Fredrick wasn’t into taxidermy.

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  • Title: Two for the Rent
    Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
    Word Count: 92,000

    Pitch: Matt and Topher finally have the college thing down. Going from a bromantic relationship to literally and figuratively sleeping together, however, might need a little more work.

    Excerpt: He’d almost forgotten what the damn place looked like. The hardwood floors had seen their fair share of wear and tear, and the kitchen island wasn’t quite level, but it was his. Theirs, really, his and Topher’s. If Topher ever arrived. Damn idiot was driving all the way from Indiana, and Matt sat in an empty apartment drinking a beer, waiting.

    The electric stove to his right had seen better days – only one of the burner coils sat square, the rest held varying degrees of tilt – but the cupboards were clean enough, and the refrigerator didn’t wobble too badly when opened. The island divided the otherwise open floor plan into a kitchen and living room, which currently lacked furniture between him and the bay window with its ledge seat.

    He took another pull from his bottle of Blue Moon, lamenting the lack of living room furniture. Watching TV would be a great distraction, though sitting on one of the four bar stools from the kitchen seemed ridiculous.

  • Title: NATURAL ENEMIES
    GENRE: Urban Fantasy
    Word Count: 86,000

    PITCH: Paul is a descendant of a long-forgotten civilization that built Stonehenge. He will learn its secrets, but also inherit an ancient rival that seeks to destroy the British Isles.

    EXCERPT:

    Paul Slangear wasn’t a man of chance. He was more the ‘sit back and let life happen around you’ type of person.

    It wasn’t that Paul didn’t have aspirations — he did, once. As a young boy, he boasted the standard childhood fantasies — firefighter, astronaut, Superman. These were the dreams that entered his mind when grown-ups asked his younger self what he wanted to be when he grew up. Not once did he answer ‘data entry clerk’. But after several failed months of hunting for a job, and bills coming in with demanding red stamps on them, reality coerced him into a role more fitting for Clark Kent than Superman. Afterwards, Paul accepted life for what it was— a disappointment, much like himself.

  • Title: THE QUEENSCHAIR
    Word Count: 150,000
    Genre: Adult Epic Fantasy Romance

    Pitch: In a nation bitterly divided along ethnic lines, King Ebreyon’s marriage choices may very well lead to burned bridges, civil war, or even his death…and that’s just the courtship.

    Excerpt:

    They had both made sacrifices, Ramie perhaps more than anyone still living. They had stood on the brink of eternity and seen the end of the world reaching out to claim them, and they had beaten it back with blood and bone. The God Emperor had been vanquished. The future of their people would never again be in doubt.

    Ebreyon and Ramidiah had earned their right to be happy together, forever.

    He laid his hands beneath hers, holding them up, feeling how they trembled. He would wait as long as she needed, as long as she spoke the words that would make his life complete.

    “I never let myself imagine I’d be here with you, Ebrey…I didn’t even let myself dream of it. But if you would have me, I will be your Queen.”

  • Title: TO THE END OF THE HIGHWAY
    Genre: New Adult/Commercial Fiction
    Word Count: 70,000

    Pitch: HIGHWAY is a second-coming-of-age road trip book. It’s “Snow White” meets “Easy Rider”, complete with sex, murder, a classic rock soundtrack, and the peyote-popping ghost of Jim Morrison.

    Excerpt: The red Ford Escort puttered up around the bend and reached the crest of the hill, and, with a final backfire, spit its last cloud of smoke out the rusty tailpipe.
    “Shit,” its driver mumbled as she slapped the steering wheel. What was she going to do now?
    Bliss Beasley wasn’t sure, but knew she had to figure it out. Fast. It was the middle of winter and here she was stuck alongside the road at ten thirty at night. She cursed herself for wanting to go on a road trip in the middle of a holiday season. It was January first and she’d decided on the spur of the moment to leave—without telling anybody—and head east to the
    mountains.
    “Come on…don’t let me down. Show me a bar. Just one bar.”
    It was no use. Her cellphone wasn’t cooperating either—not that it had a choice.

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Title: Mourn Their Courage
    Genre: Historical Fantasy
    Word Count: 97,000

    Pitch: In a land where ghosts are guides and heroes are traitors, all Liu Jie longs for is a safe life with his family. Civil war will force him to sacrifice them or his country.

    Excerpt:

    Inside the Peach Orchard Inn, over two hundred hungry recruits filled the lower level. They laughed, shouted and stared up at the landing where Lord Liu Jie stood in his cotton robes and scholar’s cap. They looked at him as if they expected him to fill their bellies. As if he might bring peace to the world. As if he could answer all of life’s questions.

    As if most of them wouldn’t die under his command within six months. He clenched his fists. Heavenly Emperor, please don’t let me betray their trust.

    Beside him on the stair’s narrow landing, General Tong Zhang’s armor emphasized his girth. The single eyebrow, bristling mustache and beard completed an intimidating picture, reminding everyone why they’d come. The general drained his tankard and slammed the metal cup against the stair’s supporting pillar. The sharp crack broke through the chatter and the room quieted.

  • Title: MCTAVISH
    GENRE: Urban Fantasy with military & historical elements
    Word Count: 80,000

    PITCH:

    Michael Solomon was a lost cause trying to keep a promise. Now he’s a soldier in a motley band of troubled youth, defending a dangerous secret against a Turkish ghoul from the First Crusade.

    EXCERPT:

    She just wouldn’t stop crying. Ugly, choking gasps for air between exaggerated sobs. Kneeling there on the carpet, snot dripping down her rather plain face, she looked up at him and babbled incoherently. Something about not hurting her boy. Çöl Çelik found it repulsive. Examining her with his jet black eyes, expressionless, he tried to recall a time he had ever been so weak. But after a thousand years, he could barely remember being human at all.

    Sitting back in his chair, old wood and well made, he turned from the woman to brush away flakes of dried skin from his robe. To his left her son, a small child, sat where they had tossed him, knees tucked tightly to his chest. The boy was kept his tears to himself and for that Çelik was thankful. In gratitude, he pulled an old pistol from his robe and squeezed the trigger.

  • Title: THE STOLEN KARMA OF NATHANIEL VALENTINE
    Genre: Adult Contemporary Fantasy
    Word Count: 112,000

    Pitch: When his child’s killer returns to hunt his reincarnated victims, the angel Sol must save his daughter from a second death.

    Excerpt:

    The woman kissed him on the forehead, just above his brow. She was crouched beside him, grinning, her dark hair hanging down on either side of her face, tickling his cheeks. She was almost pretty when she smiled, with her full lips and flushed cheeks, but the effect was spoiled by the hunger in her eyes. It reminded him that she was a monster, and that he was about to die.

    He was flat on his back, held tight to the bedroom floor by a shroud of spider silk. Her fingers danced above him like a pianist’s, spinning more threads, covering his head, gagging him. He writhed against the silk, claustrophobic, frantic. The woman watched his struggles for a moment, then laughed and ran a delicate finger over the line of his brow. He flinched, tried to scream and couldn’t.

    “You look good enough to eat,” she said.

    This was definitely his worst birthday ever.

  • Title: UNLUCKY IN LOVE
    Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
    Word Count: 87,000

    Pitch: After a prediction that she’ll die if she falls in love, a superstitious art teacher returns to her hometown to care for her orphaned niece, only to find herself working with her high school heartthrob.

    Excerpt:

    Jayne squinted in the dark closet as she scanned the Arts and Leisure section of the newspaper. Her eyes traveled down the blurring black ink until she spotted her name. She read faster.

    “Jayne Potter’s first exhibit promises to be her last. Boring enough to hang over an insomniac’s bed–a sure cure.”

    Her body folded like someone had socked her in the stomach. She read the words again and then the tears that had begged to fall all day spilled generously, making warm streaks across her cheeks. Was her art work that bad? First exhibit promises to be her last?

    She buried her head between her knees. It’d taken all the nerve she’d had to go through with the exhibit. She’d spent countless nights making sure the paintings were perfect. Between that and Coco’s nightmares, she hadn’t gotten a good night’s sleep in weeks.

    The classroom door creaked open.

  • AGL

    Title: STARLINGS IN THE CORN
    Genre: Literary fiction / recent historical
    Word Count: 230,000

    Pitch: In sixties Ulster, a Protestant lad determines to break from poverty – with unexpected help from the IRA – and rival his Catholic friend for a beautiful girl’s affections, while Ireland’s own story is struggling for resolution.

    Excerpt:

    Making a right eejit of himself was not at the forefront of seventeen-year-old Nick McQuaid’s mind. Much less, the idea of becoming embroiled in a violent, sectarian riot whose ramifications would change his life forever. Rather, his attention was fully engaged with enjoying all the fun of the occasion.

    I’m jolly glad Colin badgered me into saying yes, he thought, patting Ian’s invitation that was still in his breast pocket. It just said, “Please come to my dinner party at 6 p.m., Monday 28th September, 1964,” and then the address.

    And here he was. With the other lads, celebrating Ian’s 18th in the Crystal Garden in Belfast. The reticence he had felt at coming to a place like this was forgotten as his confidence in handling chopsticks grew by the minute, even though it was his first visit to a Chinese restaurant – his first visit to any restaurant, if it came to that, posh enough to use tablecloths.

  • Title: The Jossing Affair
    Genre: Historical Fiction
    Word Count: 160,000

    Pitch:
    A Norwegian secret agent, posing as a deaf fisherman, he falls in love with a lonely German-American widow accused of betraying her husband. In wartime, love and trust are not always compatible.

    Excerpt:

    He found the young man lying in the snow, his battered body pushed deep under the brambles at the bottom of a ravine. If it had not been for the sound of the car door slamming, Hans Gunnerson would never have found him. Already the blanket wrapped around him was covered with down-like flakes of snow, hiding the bloodstains stiffening on the shoulders and back. Soon he would be lost forever to frost and mold.

    A snowstorm that had threatened all day had finally come off the fjord. In record time, the snowfall had gathered strength and was hissing and with a vengeance. It filled up the snow-laden woods with a dull silence. All for a car door.

    Like a ghost Gunnerson pressed back against the rock and stood still. Dead silence. Then faintly, a second and third metallic thud. Two more doors had been opened and shut.

  • Title: THE NAMELESS WARRIOR
    Genre: Adult Fantasy
    Word Count: 123,000

    Pitch: Her sister was sold to the enemy. Her tribe was betrayed by her chief. Now Kindra Odion, the last living descendant of the war god, must decide which one to save.

    Excerpt:
    Beads of sweat trickled down Kindra Odion’s spine as she sat in the stillness of the vision tent. The fire had burned to coals. The only sound was the crack of the embers and the whispered prayers of the High Priestess as she walked with measured steps between the inductees, blessing their foreheads with her oil-soaked fingers. Kindra’s twin sister, Kaye, followed with a clay pitcher of vision wine.

    The long white dress of the High Priestess swished softly as she made her rounds. The woman dipped her fingers in the bowl, placed them on Kindra’s forehead, and whispered her blessing.

    “May Eoin recognize your spirit and welcome it as His own. May He bless you with courage in battle, strength to defeat your enemies, and wisdom to know when the fight is finished.”

    Kindra bowed her head and the priestess moved on. Kaye stepped into her place and handed Kindra the pitcher.

  • Title: ROSE AND WATCHES
    Genre: Steampunk Romance
    Word Count: 90,000

    Pitch:

    A monster hunter and a lady who has lost everyone she loves and knows how to shoot her steam-powered pistol team up to save London from terrifying creatures and end up saving themselves too.

    Excerpt:

    Cage wrinkled his nose at the stench of rotting food, then adjusted his goggles, the green shifting around and made his stomach churn. His Stygian Specs allowed him to see the paw prints on the dirt ground; without them, tracking at such a late hour would be impossible.

    He intended to find out why such a large animal haunted London. Rumors of a huge wolf beast—one with intelligence, capable of human speech, a fierce solo predator—had circulated lately. His great fear was that this beast and the creature he was tracking were one and the same.

    Not that he hadn’t hunted other odd, powerful creatures and always emerged the victor.

    His fingers brushed against the handle of his six-shooter. Shadows crept along the alley. He stalked along the trail, his cape fluttering behind him. Down the next alley, he spied wetness on the stones. He bent down and touched it, brought his finger to his nose.

  • Title: Profane Fire at the Altar of the Lord
    Genre: Historic fiction
    Word Count: 95,000

    Pitch:
    Carried away a captive, a dwarf escapes to Renaissance Europe where he masquerades as a prince of Araby.

    Excerpt:
    In his beginning, he lived in dread of a dark spirit that he suspected hid in the folds of his mother’s tent. His father pitched his black goat hair shelters on rocky, windswept mountain slopes, above a small village in the Afghani province of Parwan. A larger town on the plain beyond was Bagram, an important stop on the Silk Road, which sat in the junction of two river valleys.

    Even as an adolescent, he had short, stubby, camel-teat fingers, and his arms and legs were undersized. Dwarfism beset his body. His half-brothers and half-sisters learned that he demanded their respect. Indeed, their deference to the little one often yielded to adoration. Wise beyond his years, he was a shrewd leader among his siblings. Passing traders who mistook him for a child did so at their own peril. His dark, piercing eyes struck fear into the hearts of any soul that was foolish enough to cross him.

  • Title: THE AMULET OF ELEMENTS
    Genre: Adult/Romantic Fantasy
    Word Count: 90,000 words

    Pitch:

    Ellyria discovers the existence of a mythical amulet and goes on a great adventure she didn’t bargain for when she is kidnapped, nearly sold as a slave, and discovers she’s prophesized to save the realm.

    Excerpt:

    “Once upon a time in a world where evil ruled, and magic was practiced openly. A story unlike any fairytale ever told, because it’s not a fairytale but a true story about a princess and a prophecy.”…

    Princess Ellyria Rose could not understand why she was seemingly held prisoner in her own castle. Growing up without anyone to play with besides her four older brothers left her melancholy. Her only true friend was her oversized, black-furred wolf, Isis, gifted to her at birth, a new custom created by her parents. Guardian and best friend, Isis never left her side. Often times the pair would be seen splashing about in the fountain in the royal courtyard. The fountain carved to perfection with a giant flower emerging to the heavens from its circular pedestal. It was not very deep, but perfect for splashing about and cooling off in the summer sun. A rainbow of orchids and lilies surrounded it. For Ellyria the fountain was a magical place, her sole pleasance.

    Everyday life for her consisted of only boring lessons and the equally boring etiquette of becoming a lady. Reading was her only escape into worlds far beyond her wildest dreams. She longed to experience the adventures like the characters in her favorite books. In the many books that she had read, women were always the fairer sex, always the ‘damsel in distress’. They needed shelter and protection, unable to stand on their own two feet.

  • Title: The Power of Love
    Genre: Paranomal Medieval
    Word Count: 85,000

    Pitch: En route to rescue his father, Merlin, wounds drain his immortal powers. She must prove she’s not the lunatic her uncle claimed while seeking wardship. Can the power of love surmount danger, secrets and destiny?

    Excerpt:
    “Annora of Amberton is a lunatic.”

    Garbed in her finest brocade gown, Annora sat behind her uncle Roger, who paced the dais in Amberton Castle’s great hall addressing dozens of craftsmen and servants seated in rows of benches below him. She yearned to scream in denial, to prove Roger a greedy liar who craved to possess her and her estates.
    But her tongue and her limbs refused to answer her call to action.

    “‘Tis a lie!” the blacksmith shouted.

    Others joined in, protesting loudly.

    Roger raised his hands. “Silence!”

    The room quieted.

    “How it pains me to accept her madness.” Sir Roger adjusted the belt of the floor-length robe gracing his corpulent form, likely purchased with her coin. Her father’s brooch winked from the brim of his tall felt hat.

    Annora wished she could rip it off.

    “Her physicians agree she can no longer make decisions for herself,” he said.

  • Title: Project Torture
    Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance
    Word Count: 105,000

    Pitch:
    A visit from a childhood friend thrusts Lila’s calm world into turmoil, as emotions buried deep inside are dragged to the surface. A scheme is initiated, forcing her to choose between two men.

    Excerpt:
    After five margaritas the carpet began crashing in waves beneath Lila Erickson’s feet. Reaching for the wall to steady herself she misjudged the distance. Her shoulder hit the wall first, the force sending her arm careening forward. Unable to stop the motion her hand followed on a high-speed path to the wall, smashing her glass. Shard fragments tickled her skin as it fell to the floor. Unable to register the pain she giggled at the sensation. In the midst of intoxicated euphoria a pair of green eyes called her to him. She knew they were an illusion, shuddering at the underlining meaning. Like all things uncomfortable she tried to keep the meaning hidden deep inside. The alcohol already called her bluff. Desire came loose, bubbling to the surface a newfound revelation. The green eyes belonged to her childhood friend Bryce.

    “Lila?” Her roommate, Ette asked, walking over. Two hands cupping her drink, keeping it from spilling.

  • Title: Sweet Seconds
    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    Word Count: 72,000

    Sarah’s husband died, leaving her eight months pregnant and alone. 5 years later, Sarah is ready for a night of lust, but is she ready for love?

    Waking up with someone’s knee in her stomach was not uncommon for Sarah Williams. Moving back a bit, she was able to dislodge the knee and snuggle back into the warmth of the bed. Until Molly heaved a fluttery sigh, flopped over and nestled her little bottom into Sarah’s stomach instead. She mumbled something indecipherable and fell back to sleep so easily while Sarah lay there with her tired eyes wide open. She shifted to stare at the back of Molly’s head, softly stroking the unruly, dark curls so they’d stop tickling her nose. She closed her eyes and tried to listen to Molly’s steady breathing; a sound that never failed to soothe her. Her eyes seemed to pop back open on their own accord and she shifted again, much to Molly’s disapproval. Looking at the clock, seeing that she’d have to get up in a half-hour anyway, she debated.

  • Em

    Title: THE BEAUTIFUL MAN
    Genre: Contemporary fiction with paranormal elements
    Word Count: 84,000

    Pitch: Pretty boy actor Ambrose Lawson is a bit of an arse. But a near-death experience turns him into an angel and sets him on the road to redemption. He just doesn’t know it.

    Excerpt: Ambrose leaned over the bath, grabbed the little bottle of hotel bubble bath he’d dropped on the tiles, and read the ingredients.

    Okay, so he didn’t know what half of them were, but he was certain they couldn’t be anything bad. The hotel was far too expensive to have supplied him with crappy bubble bath. He dumped the bottle onto the floor again and lay back with a sigh.

    One of the lights beside the mirror was flickering. Only a little, but it was distracting. Every now and then, a flicker. He glared at it.

    “Merc?” he called.

    Silence.

    Huffing, he sat up, causing the bath water to slosh over the side. “Mercer!” he barked. He grumbled to himself and clambered out of the bath. Soapsuds slid down his legs.

    He removed the glass shade and fiddled with the bulb as water dripped from his elbows. The shock happened so fast he didn’t even cry out.

  • Title: WITHOUT BORDERS
    Genre: Women’s Fiction
    Word Count: 80,000

    Pitch:
    While in Hungary researching her grandpapa’s childhood, Amanda falls in love with a Romani and discovers a shocking secret involving both their families. This revelation shatters their romance and Amanda’s view of her beloved grandpapa.

    Excerpt:
    The rhythmic pounding of the drum echoed behind Amanda, pulling her from her reverie. Erratic tones of the folk song entranced her as though she were a member of Odysseus’s crew. Intrigued, she turned her back on the mosque church and followed the music.

    In front of the café where she had enjoyed her first taste of the area’s cuisine, a plump woman in blue jeans fiddled on a cracked violin. Her dark hair danced and jerked with the movements of her playing. A boy, no older than fifteen, sat behind her beating a drum, and a man whose face had been baked in the sun provided harmony with his accordion. In his yellow and crimson tunic, he was the only one who wore the traditional garb of his people. Amanda had read Gypsy bands had gone out of style, yet this group of musicians gathered an audience on the corner of a walking path in Pécs, Hungary.

  • Title: Wrath for Her Enemies
    Genre: Science Fantasy
    Word Count: 100,000

    Pitch:

    Georgia believes science and magic can co-exist until an act of anti-magic sabotage destroys everything she treasures. Now her hunt for justice risks a friend’s freedom and her own sanity.

    Excerpt:

    Georgia opened the door to the Magic Center, stepped inside, and stopped. At this time of day, a few minutes before end of shift, she expected to see an empty lobby. Instead, it was crowded, but not with the spellwrights who worked here. The intruders were Siggies – members of Science in God’s Service – looking for magic users to save.

    She’d spent the morning in the swamp sector. Her muscles ached, her hair was sweat-plastered to her forehead, and she smelled bad. Dealing with these idiots would take a level of strength and patience beyond her reach. But she couldn’t transport herself straight to her apartment because she’d promised to meet Lillie here. Before she could find a hiding place to wait out the invasion, one of the Siggies spotted her. Like a flock of birds, they wheeled about and swooped in her direction.

  • Title: An Absence of Light
    Genre: NA Sci-fi
    Word Count: 80,000

    Pitch:
    Fleeing with bloody hands and a stolen BMW, Leah must escape charges for a murder committed by shadow creatures only she can see.

    Excerpt:
    The dark rind of blood wasn’t coming out from under my fingernails no matter how hard I scrubbed. I wanted it gone, wanted the memory of what I’d run away from to swirl down the drain.

    My skin pink and raw, I turned off the sink and dried my hands on my stolen jeans. They didn’t fit right—baggy in the butt and tight on my thighs—but they were clean and bloodless.

    The panic clawing at my chest caught hold and my throat cinched off. I had no idea what to do now. The etched phone numbers and little hearts with names scattered across the bathroom wall blurred together.

    Mom. Dad. My sister. How could they be gone? Reality seemed like a film that if I could just find the rewind button maybe I could skip back to before everything happened.

    • My team and I would like to read more. Send your query and the first three chapters, with your query also pasted on page one, as a word .doc attachment to louise at lperkinsagency.com. Please include Pitch Party in the subject line.

  • Title: Zero
    Genre: SF Thriller
    Word Count: 82,000

    Pitch:

    In a city where a zero tolerance policy on criminal activity results in the death penalty for all crimes, kleptomaniac Police Inspector Kate Swanson leads an investigation into the kidnapping of a high court judge.

    Excerpt:

    Judge Lloyd followed his favoured route home, across the river at Bridge Eight and up to the winding side streets which led to his house. The Pods were visible at various points through the journey. They moved along their tracks like giant lanterns. An outstanding feat of modern engineering, the glass capsules crawled through the night sky snaking across the entire city. It was claimed you were never more than one hundred metres away from a sightline of the structure.

    Lloyd chose not to look. It was not that familiarity had lessened the wonder. Lloyd never looked at the translucent domes in case he saw someone within he recognised.

    At home, the electronic gates sensed the arrival of his car and opened accordingly. Lloyd pressed the button for the garage doors and drove into the two berth space. After locking the garage doors, he entered the house through a side door.

  • Title: KNIGHT FALL
    Genre: Adult Science Fiction (space opera)
    Word Count: 77,000

    Pitch:
    When scientist Chrissy King finds the body of a murdered alien, she’s enlisted by galactic peacekeepers to solve the case. There’s just one problem: the killer is destroying stars. Sol is next.

    First 150:
    As I dredged for money in my purse, one of my daughters’ toys fell onto the counter.

    “Nice pony,” the barista said.

    “Kids, you know?” I slipped the pink pony into my pocket. The barista gave me a sage nod and traded my money for tea and a brownie. Chocolate and caffeine couldn’t stop my husband from cancelling dinner again, but then again, pure awesome condensed directly to chocolate. It must have some healing powers.

    Brownie in hand, I pushed through the door into the desert morning. If the traffic gods smiled on me, I could still beat my boss to the labs. The weeds next to my car fought to pry open the pavement, but they’d be dead in days. The desert was like that.

    A high-pitched whistle filled the air before dropping in tone, like mortar fire in video games. Before I could find the sound, my car exploded.

  • Kel

    Title: Until Proven
    Genre: Adult Mystery/Speculative
    Word Count: 77,000

    Pitch:
    Penny Baker, a caseworker in a Montana prison, has the ability to see if someone is innocent or guilty. She knows her new case, a quiet man named Gatsby, is undeniably innocent, but he’s claiming unmitigated guilt.

    Excerpt:
    I first met Gatsby the way I meet all prisoners: Thursdays, nine o’clock in the Office Management Room, or OMR, buried inside a concrete Montana correctional facility. I was running late—also not unusual—but managed to slide into the chair next to Travis before they brought in the new transfers. My sloppiness didn’t cause too many ripples in a room that felt secondhand, with people who were overworked. No plush chairs or polished vinyl for us.

    “Glad you could make it, Baker,” Captain Hogan said from his seat at the head of the long table. His grin was teasing, not harsh. Lieutenant Vega, on the other hand, looked like he wished he could feed me to the lower level inmates and be done with me. But while Captain Hogan was in the room, it wasn’t his job to dole out criticism—so my punishment remained silent, if freakishly unblinking.

  • Title: Celia’s Heaven
    Genre: Women’s Paranormal Fiction
    Word Count: 59,000

    Pitch:
    “When stripper Celia Monroe houses her preacher father during a snowstorm, Star’s drowning, Mama’s institutionalization, and boyfriend’s reputation are called into dispute. When her twin, Star’s ghost, appears, courageous Celia confronts the preacher for rape.”

    Excerpt:
    A year ago, at the north end of Lake Monroe, Star drowned. Now, on the anniversary of her death, her twin, Celia Monroe, watched the water, anticipating her sister’s return. Perhaps Star would appear as a ripple of light or maybe she’d ruffle the surface like wind. Perhaps the giant lilies would whisper and lift as Star rose from the chilly depths.

    Celia knew it wouldn’t be long before the lake would freeze. The weathermen predicted an early winter—feet of snow covering Vinegar Valley. Once the valley was blanketed in white, there’d be no chance to see Star walking along the silent shore, no chance to hear her angelic voice one last time.

    “Star,” Celia called out. Peering through the dusky light she called again, her voice lonely beneath the thickening sky. Then, about to turn away, she saw movement mid-lake. Near the giant lilies, a shimmer of light as the surface swelled.

  • Title: Expecting Happiness
    Genre: Mainstream Fiction
    Word count: 65,000

    Pitch:
    After a jarring miscarriage, Jake and Kristen embark on separate journeys. Kristen departs for Europe in search of independence, while Jake sets off on a cross-country adventure. Torn between old and new, they must choose.

    Excerpt:
    It began as a drop. One smooth drop of blood running down her pale thigh. She touched the moisture with her fingers and looked to see the crimson stain on the back edge of her beige, linen skirt. Aware of her coworkers in the neighboring cubes, she fought the urge to fall to her knees and cry in the small break room. She clutched her glass water bottle tighter, careful not to let it crash to the ground. Her heart ached. Dizzyness followed. She needed to sit.

    The cessation of pregnancy symptoms left her in denial, the nausea gone, the sore breasts once again pliable. She read on the internet it could be a sign of miscarriage but did not know what to believe. She refused to call the doctor, unwilling to shatter the illusion. It made her happy to imagine a child growing inside her. A dull ache echoed…

  • Title: TO DIE FOR
    Genre: Thriller
    Word Count: 96,000

    Pitch:
    Medical professional Lee Bryant has survived heartbreak, but when her ex sends her a flash drive with a deadly secret, her vacation to Jekyll Island becomes a getaway when a hitman wants it back.

    Excerpt:
    The black Cadillac squealed into the garage. Dr. Eli Grossman parked in his usual spot and climbed out.

    His eyes darted left to right in the subterranean space, and Grossman wiped away nervous beads of sweat as he strode towards the condo elevators; the only sound his footfalls on the concrete floor.

    He had just enough time.

    The doctor pressed the up button and leaned against the wall. When the silver doors opened, he welcomed the blast of cool air, a respite from the humid, ninety degree weather.

    Eli exited on the fifteenth floor, walked to his unit, and unlocked the door. Before tossing his keys on the kitchen counter, he eyed the black flash drive hanging from the insignia key fob and thought of his boss. He knew Deveraux would blow his top when Eli didn’t return from lunch to see his afternoon patients.

    “Fuck you Deveraux-better watch that blood pressure.”

  • Title: The Two Mothers of Jimmy O’Reilly
    Genre: Historical Fiction
    Word Count: 99,000

    Pitch:
    After her own son perishes, Katie O’Reilly claims an orphaned child from the Titanic sinking, a move which unknowingly intensifies another mother’s nightmare.

    Excerpt:
    “Mummy! Mummy!”

    The small child looked all around, his cries swallowed up and ignored by the chaotic mass shoving toward the stern of the tilting ship. All sorts of people rushed by, nearly knocking him over in a vain search for safety. Men, women. Tall, short, old, young. All too desperate to notice a child in need. The bright, satiny material of a woman’s gown brushed his arm, offering an odd bit of comfort amidst the chaos commencing in the freezing clime. Glancing up eagerly, all hopefulness quickly drained from the child’s eyes as he spied the graying hair of the woman. Not his mother. His mother was young and pretty. Neither did her eyes roll in terror. When she had woken him up a short while ago, Mummy had made the evacuation of the ship seem like a game, stilling any fears.

  • Title: THE NOTE
    Genre: Women’s fiction/LGBT fiction
    Word count: 70,000

    Pitch:
    An anonymous love note destroyed Oaks’ boarding school life. Now her search for its author threatens to do it again. If her fiancée learns Oaks is looking for another woman, she might say “I don’t.”

    Excerpt:

    Oaks couldn’t walk through those doors without remembering the first time she grabbed the handle, her hands slick with sweat and her heart full of nervous hope. She leaned all of her weight back away from the door, her body sketching an arc, to heave the door open. She walked through the door, up the three pale grey, stone steps to the foyer and stood momentarily before seeing the common room full of girls. The door, a wood framed glass panel, allowed her to see everyone who was inside and for her mind to imagine that they could not see her standing there like a lost puppy.

    Liz sat sideways in an armchair, her tan legs draped over one arm and her back against the other. She had a magazine open in her lap but was not looking at it as she launched comments at the girls sitting on the couch opposite her.

  • Title: Dangled Carat
    Genre: Memoir (chick-lit that is true)
    Word count: 73,000

    Pitch:

    One girl’s attempt to convert a commitment phobic man into a doting husband with a lot of help from his family and friends. Sometimes when you follow your heart and trust your instincts, you can find love and happiness.

    Excerpt:

    I never intended for it to happen. The words just came tumbling out without warning….

    “It’s New Year’s Eve, and you know what that means, Marc. Time is up… I told you that you had until New Years’ to propose, and, well, here we are. It’s New Year’s Eve. So, what will it be?”

    Despite the deep tan that he was sporting just moments before, suddenly Marc, my long term boyfriend, turned a ghostly shade of pale. He took a deep breath, and it was clear by the expression on his face that he was confused as well as slightly angry. But could you blame him? Why shouldn’t he be upset? Who wants to be faced with an ultimatum? Especially, when the demand it is being delivered by someone other than your girlfriend!

    You see, Marc and I weren’t alone.

  • Tricia Saxby

    Title: It’s Just Business
    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    Word Count: 50,000

    Pitch: Jace never expected to find his ex, Anna, living in the house his company is demolishing. Persuading her to leave elicits a fight he is determined to win – reclaiming her heart.

    Excerpt: Things were not going according to plan. The demolition scheduled for 2:30 p.m. should have gone off with the usual flare made famous by RJ Incorporated for its firework show with smooth lines and little clean up afterwards. Jace Russo, owner and head architect of RJ Incorporated watched his money burn away in the steam produced by the heavy equipment that sat around in the yard.

    “What the hell is going on?” he hissed into his portable radio.

    Erratic static filled the air before a gruff voice responded, “Not sure, boss.”

    “Then find out… now!” He released the talk button and threw the radio onto the seat beside him. The insufferable heat had forced him into his truck with the air conditioner at full blast. The idea that something could go wrong never crossed his mind. The adjacent land he purchased six months ago stood bare and Jace itched to get his hands into the soft earth and build something magnificent.

  • Title: MOTHER MONA
    Genre: Upmarket Women’s Fiction
    Word Count: 96,000

    Pitch: Mona was a good mother, dammit; babysitting her grandkids on remote Spruce Island might just kill her. It’s her chance to win back her daughter’s love – if she can only determine what drove them apart.

    Excerpt: At LA International Airport, exactly 48 minutes before her flight to Alaska was set to depart, Mona put her leather carry-on bag on the ladies’ room sink and found the four-ounce travel-sized bottle of cheap merlot. As the cleaning lady watched mid-wipe, Mona silently raised the bottle, a toast to the little black stuffed dog whose head was peeking out of the carry-on, here’s to … whatever, and drank the entire bottle. Then she opened an outside pocket, retrieved a tiny container of peppermint breath spray, and administered two quick, efficient blasts. Picking up her bag, she tossed the plastic bottle in the trash and took a long, cleansing breath. Then she squared her shoulders and headed toward the line for security.

    On the airplane from LA to Anchorage, as the pilot announced that they’d reached a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, Mona locked herself in the bathroom, leaned her head against the cool plastic wall, and cried.

  • Title: Perfectly Imperfect
    Genre: Contemporary erotica
    Word count: 24,000

    Pitch:
    Gerry knows better than to get involved with a man from work. Ignoring reason she agrees to go out with Scott and ends up in love. Too bad his psychotic ex-girlfriend can’t let go.

    Excerpt:
    My mother always taught me to use my feminine wiles to get what I wanted. My mother had also been married and divorced six times by time she was forty. Unsuspecting future husband number seven entered the picture the day after her forty-first. When I acquired a secretary position at one of the leading hospitals in the country she said it was my ticket to a wealthy surgeon.

    I don’t want a damn surgeon. Who wants their husband working around people like my mother? I would have been content with someone who worked in a small office with fat men all day.

    Mother ruined me. I thought bitterly as the warm May wind wiped around my head.

    She would have her way though. Mother always had her way. The moment I walked through the revolving doors I fell head over heels in lust with Dr. Tall, dark, and handsome.

  • KUNDALIS
    NA Urban Fantasy
    Words: 60,000

    Pitch:
    Karin’s Reiki treatment accidentally awakens her inner dragon. No one else can see him, and when the obnoxious blue lizard’s clan decides she’s their new leader, she’s in for one giant metaphysical battle of wills.

    Excerpt:
    The black cat crossed my path on purpose. I scowled at it. Did it still count as bad luck if the beast was just messing with you? Amber eyes blinked up at me from the sidewalk. The kitty had been lounging beside the car in the next parking space, but when I tried to open my door it had stood up, sauntered directly into my path and laid down there instead. Did it count if kitty wore a cutesy red bandanna and matching harness?
    “Are you coming, Karin?” Steph already stood outside the driver’s door. She’d managed to leave the vehicle without supernatural interference and now she leaned back in through the window, auburn hair glinting in the last rays of August sunshine. Her round face crinkled into a grimace. “I have to pee.”
    “Go ahead. I’ll catch up.” I watched my roommate bound away and cringed.

  • CHINESE DIARY
    women’s fiction thriller
    81,000 words

    When aspiring Chinese author becomes a famous mysterious author, without her knowledge, she must run away from the criminals mentioned in her book. Romance, friendship and action set mainly in China and also NYC.

    Shui Ying, a twenty year old petite and curvy Chinese woman, sits at the back of a car of Shanghai Metro Line 2. She is pretty with straight shoulder length black hair and brown eyes. She wears a light pink cotton blouse and black pants.
    She thinks about her family in the village and about her loneliness and how much she misses her sweetheart Liang. Does he know how much she has been missing him? Feeling melancholy and pensive, the gentle floral perfume of the woman next to her makes her wonder if it was made in France or China. She is surrounded by people in business suits standing as they look intently at the market reports, checking their cell phones from time to time.
    Amidst the flood of uncaring humanity, Shui Ying sits quietly with her handbag in one hand, while reading her diary in the other.

  • Title: The Foreseers
    Genre: New Adult Paranormal
    Word Count: 83,000

    Pitch: College student Jemma Morrin has her hands full deciding between a mortal or magical life, dealing with warring magical factions attempting to harness her power, and rescuing her seriously hot Prince Charming.

    Excerpt:

    Fiona looked much as she had in life — if you ignored the fact that you could see through her. She’d insisted on being buried in her yellow peasant skirt and her usual perfusion of crystal necklaces.

    “What are you doing here?” she asked her granddaughter, puzzled.

    “I live here.” Jemma was curled up with her nose in a book. Her feet dangled off the side of her favorite cushy chair next to the great room’s fieldstone fireplace.

    “I mean why aren’t you out having fun with your sister?” Her grandmother floated down onto the arm of her chair. She rolled her eyes. Even being dead didn’t alter Fiona’s constant push for Jemma to party more. Why couldn’t she just bake cookies like a normal, if ghostly, grandmother?

    “Cecilia can have enough fun for both of us. She usually does.” Jemma tamped down a little spurt of envy. Her twin sister was out sloshing her way through the pouring rain to one of the dorm parties that always made Jemma feel out of place.

    • My team and I would like to read more. Send your query and the first three chapters, with your query also pasted on page one, as a word .doc attachment to louise at lperkinsagency.com. Please include Pitch Party in the subject line.

  • Title: Reaper
    Genre: Urban Fantasy
    Word Count: 48,000

    Pitch: Oz, an employee of The Department of Ironic Death, is mostly content doling out death from his ancient typewriter, until he wins the chance to return to the world of the living as a Reaper.

    Excerpt: It made sense for her to die. All previous events, planned and unplanned had led up to this moment – the moment when all bets were off, when she would finally fulfill her purpose, when she would find herself –

    Oz bit his lip.

    Find herself where?

    He knew this character had to die. She had to. There was no other way for the story to go. It was perfect. Poetic. Just. The problem came in deciding how poor Amelia would meet her end. A simple gun to the face or knife in the gut wasn’t good enough for Amelia. No. She deserved something more. Something big. Something terrifying.

    Oz massaged his temples, coaxing his imagination to move forward from this point. Amelia was on an infinite drive to her aunt’s cabin. She’d been driving for weeks and Oz feared she would never reach her destination.

    His phone rang.

  • Title: The Greensward Isle
    Genre: Adult Fantasy
    Word Count: 124,000

    Pitch: A village outcast accused of murder. A crooked ex-military officer. Plainclothes soldiers pass through the village of Shansby, keeping to themselves. A drug-smuggling, underground crime organization. What do these things have in common?

    Excerpt:

    Vanmon, 523 AA – Shansby, northern Lanark

    “I can’t believe we’re been sacked, Vannigan,” a bass voice rumbled near him.

    Screams came from inside the cottage of Shansby’s healer-priestess. The two men sat on the bench outside the door. The crescent moon hung in a clear night sky, stars visible. In the pauses between the shrieks, Vannigan could hear low, quick voices and feet moving inside. Their two horses grazed the front lawn, idly flicking their tails back and forth, ears stiffening with every cry. The person they had come to see was busy helping a birth.

    Vannigan turned and looked at his companion. The other man leaned forward, elbows propped on knees, his broad shoulders hunched in a slouch. Curly brown hair brushed the tops of those shoulders and obscured part of his face, but one stern brown eye fixed itself on him. At the moment, the skin around the eye was crinkled and the brow creased.

  • TITLE: THE FRENCH CONFECTION
    GENRE: Category Romance
    WORDCOUNT: 40,000 words

    PITCH: Unassuming American heiress falls for French corporate raider. But will his mercenary intentions derail their fledgling romance? Can they both overcome their prejudices? And how much sex can an author cram into a short book?

    EXCERPT:
    Helen trotted into the Bahamas Beach Tennis Club, juggling her sports bag while she dragged her hair into a hasty ponytail. She scanned the entranceway and spied Jordana window shopping in the tennis club gift store. Of course. Also, of course, Jordana was decked out in a cute, white, short set that displayed her long brown legs to their full advantage.

    Faced with Jordana’s perfection, Helen almost regretted her sloppy appearance. Almost. It annoyed her wasting time trying to look effortlessly beautiful. And it seemed pretentious. Then again were her scruffy cut-offs and baggy t-shirt any more honest? She made enough money to
    dress well but, at least on vacation, she enjoyed annoying those who expected a certain protocol. And she could always count on Jordana to rise to the bait.

    “Hey there, girl. You are looking fabulous!” Helen called out as she drew closer.

  • Title: Long Road Home
    Genre: New Adult/Commercial Fiction
    Word Count: 55,000

    Pitch:

    Jennifer McDowell is a young mother and recent widow living in central Pennsylvania. Jenny struggles to reconcile her past and maintain a trying relationship with her father, Bob, while raising her infant son.

    Excerpt:

    It was only late afternoon and the winter sky already hung dark over the small suburban town. Heading home from work, Bob McDowell listened to the remnants of snow crunching under his car tires as he attempted to quiet his mind. His daily fifteen-minute commute now filled with worry instead of simple monotony. He dreaded facing the uneasy air at home and contemplated returning to the solace of his desk for a quiet, predictable evening. As a well-respected, veteran officer of the local police force with twenty-eight years of dutiful service, his recent switch to part-time work left him longing for more hours on the job. Law enforcement had never been a conscious choice, more of a calling, or as most people referred to it, the draft.

    After Vietnam, he returned home lacking direction, save for knowing he wanted to continue in a field he enjoyed, somewhere he could help people and the community.

  • Title: Priya in Heels
    Genre: Multicultural Contemporary Romance
    Word Count: 86,000

    Pitch: Priya lives life according to her parents’ traditions until a sexy Irishman by the name of Tyler shatters her plans and takes her through an eye-opening journey filled with torrid passion and unyielding heartache.

    Excerpt: Women who wore heels all day belonged in a mental institution for heinous self-harm. Pain bubbled around my ankles and prickled up my calves. One month of fifteen-hour days in one of Houston’s busiest emergency departments had turned my ankles into dainty twigs.
    I tried not to wobble to room twenty-three, and the wheelchair in the corner called my name. Maybe the ED tech could wheel me to the next patient.
    The nurses giggled as I hobbled past Station Two.
    “Oh, honey, try doing this for a living,” Mara said.
    “You’ll get used to it,” David encouraged.
    Right.
    I skimmed over the file I used to fan myself with. It belonged to a man who lived in epic STDville. Ew. Thank goodness his numerous venereal diseases couldn’t attach to his folder and fly off onto my mouth.

  • TITLE – DESTINATION: DARKNESS
    GENRE – Adult Supernatural Thriller
    WORD COUNT – 118,000

    PITCH:

    When a reality show and an abomination of ancient evil square off in the ruins of Peru, Thomas Breck, a demonologist hired to preserve the sanctity of the holy-place during the shoot, gets caught in the crossfire.

    EXCERPT:

    His robes billowed in the light breeze; the silver flask at his lips reflected the setting sun like a mirror. The amber liquid burned down his throat, added to the sheen of sweat on his flushed skin, but otherwise mellowed his discomforts. His discomforts were many—and varied.

    Complicated.

    Even this far inland, the trade winds affected the weather, especially the stifling humidity. For this reason, he wore little under the robes, save for his crucifix and his Glock, the crucifix largely for show. The elemental iron-composition of the thing, however, was another story, an important tool of his trade. He knew most of the contestants would assume he was a priest, and he hoped they’d never have to understand the distinction. They’d surely be disappointed.

  • Title: Torn
    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    Word count:83,000

    Pitch:
    The look on Branson’s face when he learns of her past will forever be etched in Katie’s mind. Healing, she succumbs to the allure of a mysterious stranger that pushes her boundaries and leaves her torn between two lives.

    Excerpt:
    The sound of glass breaking shook Katie out of her trance. When she looked up, she realized everyone was looking in her direction. Her legs were wet from the full glass of Chardonnay that splashed up when she dropped her wine glass.

    Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. She let her gaze linger on her fiancé who began walking toward her with a look of concern on his face. He was wearing a white oxford shirt with the khaki pants she found incredibly sexy on him. His face and arms were lightly bronzed from the summer sun and his short brown hair had lightened a shade.

    By the time he made it to her, time caught up and everyone seemed to appear normal again.

    “Are you OK? What happened? Are you cut?” Branson asked, looking over her legs.

    “I’m fine. The glass just slipped out of my hands—I can’t believe I made such a mess.”

  • Title: The Holly Box
    Genre: Women’s Fiction
    Word Count: 84,000

    Pitch: A feisty, forgot to wed, 40ish Southern (un)Belle lures her BFF on a mishap-filled journey to reconnect with their college buds.

    Exceprt:

    Avery Mitchell loved cats. She loved cats more than she loved probably four or five people on earth.

    But even she could take only so many cat pictures in one day. Even she could read only so many status updates about litter scooping before she started questioning the deeper meaning of life. Like, did she have one?

    So she was taking a sabbatical from Facebook.

    Facebook, which seemed to be filtering her newsfeed so she could see status updates of friends who posted pictures of cat food in their cabinets but not status updates of friends who just met Bruce Springsteen.

    She didn’t know how long she could maintain a Facebook sabbatical. She didn’t know how long she could resist “checking in.”

    She was aiming for at least five hours.

    Avery was unsure what exactly led her to such a drastic measure. She supposed it might have something to do with her suspicion that her job was on the skids.

  • Title: Souled
    Genre: Fiction
    Word Count: 56,000

    Pitch:
    Ramon is a struggling author, he absentmindedly whispers, “I would sell my soul if I could get just one of my books published.” It turns out the Devil is always open to fools with impossible requests

    Excerpt:
    Mr. Scratch was late. Ramon hated waiting. Patience would never be listed as his strong point.
    The vicious bright sun beat down mercilessly on his burnt strawberry red, baldhead. Rivers of sweat rushed down his cheeks and back. His unprotected skin screamed in protest. His energy sucked up into the dry atmosphere.
    Checking his watch, once again, he bit his blistering lips. Ramon felt comforted in the feeling that no matter what happened in his life he could always look on his wrist and see the slow sweeping movement of time, steady and trustworthy.
    His ire quickened as he paced near the feverishly hot bench outside Terminal Six of the Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona. Ramon stopped his aimless pacing and kicked at a lone lizard slithering on the dirt ground. The pain in his back ached from the flight. An arthritic knee complained. His angry mood turned even bleaker.

  • TITLE: Blood in the Water
    GENRE: Romantic Suspense
    WORD COUNT: 89,000

    PITCH: When a killer turns her cruise ship into a deadly funhouse, Brooklyn Chase must rely on Staff Officer Liam Farrell, a childhood love who rejected her, in order to make it off the ship alive.

    Excerpt:

    “Come on, come on…” Brooklyn Chase growled at the finicky deadbolt.

    She should’ve been home from the store twenty minutes ago, but Vermont pre-winter road prep was in full swing; construction crews blocked the streets, adding to her drive time and the constant worry about her folks that stuck to her like a tight, itchy sweater.

    The lock finally submitted and she shouldered her way through the front door of her parents’ pre-Revolutionary colonial. After stomping off a kaleidoscope of fall leaves, she moved into the foyer.

    The bright red door closed gently behind her, but the sound reverberated through the stillness. Maybe her parents were upstairs.

    “Traffic was terrible, but I’m home,” she called out.

    Silence.

    And that was when she noticed the odd tang. It filled her nose, attempting to overshadow the smells of fabric softener and lemon furniture polish from her morning cleaning binge. Overhead, the heater hummed its best efforts, but the house felt cold, drained.

  • DRIVEN
    Commercial Fiction
    84,000

    Pitch:

    Life’s strange: one minute you’re a drummer in a huge rock band, the next you’re knockin’ on death’s door. Jimmy Rickliefs figured he’d go out with a bang; that bang just turned into a whimper.

    Excerpt:

    Stretching as he exited his car, Jimmy Rickliefs smiled; it was good to be home. He’d spent most of the last few days holed up in a garage with his band, Closure. They were trying to write a new album and they’d finally gotten into a good groove.

    As he walked onto his front porch, his excitement waned a bit; the house was strangely quiet. Nervously, he flipped the CD in his hand. He’d brought the demos home to get his wife’s opinion.

    “Al?”

    Allison came out of their room, her face pale. His mood crashed as he took his wife into his arms. She didn’t have to explain what was wrong.

    “Another negative?”

    She nodded, as they sat on the couch. They were ready for a family but she couldn’t seem to get pregnant. Her eyes darkened as he held her. Anger flitted over her features.

  • Title: The Lokana Chronicles
    Genre: Fantasy
    Word Count: 100,000

    Pitch: When the king and queen of Lokana are murdered, Vegin has two choices: plunge the kingdom into civil war or let his parents’ murderer go free.

    Excerpt: Vegin considered the man before him, a poor farmer from an outlying village. Tears had carved grooves through the layers of dirt on his face as he begged for mercy. The prince paused for a moment to choose his next words, glancing at his father out of the corner of his eye and wondering if his judgment would be allowed to stand.

    But as Vegin opened his mouth to pass sentence on the man, Tol sighed loudly, letting his hand drop against the arm of his throne in irritation. “I’ve heard enough – if you can’t pay your taxes, then you’ll simply have to work off your debt! Guards, take him away!”

    “But your Highness, please! My family – without me, they’ll starve!”

    “Father, you’re only supposed to observe,” Vegin hissed. “Remember?”

    Tol’s mouth fell open an inch or so as he stared at his son, momentarily silenced by the boy’s brazenness.

  • Title: Angel
    Genre: Historical Romance
    Word Count: 90,000

    Pitch: An Army nurse atoning for a grave sin and her German sympathies falls for a jilted soldier wounded on D-Day. Together, they must find peace as their love blossoms amidst the hell on the battlefield.

    Excerpt:

    Monte Cassino, Italy
    February, 1944

    “Incoming!”

    The ground shuddered beneath Ginger’s feet. A thin fog of dust floated down from the roof of the dim, olive drab tent. She steadied the metal tray of medical supplies and went back to rebandaging Sergeant Armstrong’s leg.

    It had been so close…closer than normal. A second explosion followed the first. What was going on? It had been quiet for days.

    “Move! Find cover! The Germans are bombing the unit!” a short dark-haired medic shouted, pushing through the tent. His head streamed blood, and most of his combat uniform was in shreds from just below the knees showing the peppering of shrapnel up and down his legs.

    He tried to push off the nurses who came to attend to him and began aiding the wounded soldiers. “Get up! We have to evacuate!”

    Ginger stared at the chaos, motionless.

  • Title: The Storm Inside
    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    Word Count: 70,000

    Pitch:
    He loved her and left her. Now, ten years later, he’s back. Strong, sexy, and successful, Jake is a changed man who’s only missing one thing: Eve. But does she want him back?

    Excerpt:
    Jake slammed my back into the wall of the shack, the boards of the wall bending and flexing from the impact. For a moment I worried we’d punch a hole right in the side of the building, but then Jake nipped my earlobe at the exact same moment he flexed his hips into mine, and I forgot everything I was thinking.

    Everything but him.

    I didn’t think about the ten years he’d been gone or how much I hated him. All I could feel was his hard body pressed up against mine, his rough hands as they desperately roamed my body, and the intensity in his kiss.

    We’d always made an explosive combination, that clearly hadn’t changed. If anything, the added experience and time apart made what we’d had in the past look sweet and warm. Because this, what we were doing now, was off the charts insane. It was brutal and animalistic in the most fantastic way.

  • Title: Love & Cupcakes
    Genre: Women’s Fiction (Magical Realism)
    Word Count: 94,000

    Pitch: For Jaclyn “Jack” Pace, sensing what sweets people crave is as easy as breathing, but making her own desires come true will take all the magic she’s got.

    Excerpt: Jaclyn Pace braced a hand on the roof of her car as the air sweetened around her, making her vision go fuzzy. The sharp bite of espresso and the sugary scent of dark chocolate and caramel pressed hot against her skin. It clogged in her lungs until she could almost taste the steaming drink topped with swirls of whipped cream.

    The overpowering smell had less to do with the fact that the town of Sugar, Georgia was shrouded year round in a faint scent of spun sugar, which clung to clothes and wove into hair so the townspeople smelled like they’d just come from a circus, and more to do with someone nearby having a craving for something sweet that was too strong for Jack to ignore.

    She exhaled slowly through her mouth and willed the dizziness to pass. After a few seconds, the scent melded back into the cool morning air.

  • Title: THE TO-DO LIST
    Genre: WOMEN’S FICTION W/Paranormal elements (series possibility)
    Word Count: 95,000

    Once Jason Hart completes his hip rebuild of tornado-ravaged Knotty, he will lease the housing to a corporation who requires first year-employees to work from home and live in the same community.

    Moxie Wells is in town to finish an inherited to-do list.

    CHAPTER ONE

    Freaking fired. On strike two. No third strike.

    Moxie Wells, shoved her front door shut, leaned back, and frwumphed to the floor.

    The panic attack, she’d been stubbornly avoiding, grabbed her by the lungs with unmanicured,unwashed hands and squeezed. She gasped for air while sweat slicked her boobs.

    Grabbing her McDonald’s bag, she emptied the contents, scrunched the top to make a small opening, and then panted into the bag to regulate her breathing. Thank God they used paper and not plastic.

    And thank God her hungry-for-rent landlord hadn’t spotted her slinking home.

    And thank God…

    Coming up blank on another thank you, she plotted revenge against Linny. A good-for-nothing, rent-stealing, thief-of-a-boyfriend. Never again would she trust a man whose thighs were skinnier than hers.

  • Title: MAN LAND
    Genre: Adult Contemporary
    Word Count: 91,000

    Pitch: Winning the title, “King of Man Land” will cement Braxton’s man status. Losing to a woman will neuter the lovable nerd. Caught up in the game, he almost forgets what really makes a man.

    Excerpt:

    Braxton’s twenty-fourth visit to Man Land came on a crisp Colorado Saturday in April. Passing the huge ‘Statue of Man’ and through the castle-like entrance of the amusement park, he turned towards Water World, convinced today he would finally master the Log Rolling challenge. As usual, he glanced at the leader board as he strode by. For weeks, his name had been in second place. Bull Clark was just ahead of him and no one else was even close.

    Pausing mid-stride, he stopped and backed up, his gaze now steady on the board. First place still belonged to Bull. But, Braxton’s name was no longer in second. His name was in third. In second place was a new name. A name he’d never even seen on the board before. A name that pierced his brain like an arrow from William Tell’s bow. “Who the hell ever heard of a man named Carol Glassner?”

  • Title: Spark
    Genre: New Adult Paranormal Adventure
    Word Count: 80,000

    Pitch:
    Escaping a tragedy, Flint Swift joins her archeologist Aunt. But the discovery of an ancient tomb puts Flint between a demon bent on nuclear war, (prior to Sarasota retirement), and his angel-brother with amnesia.

    Excerpt:
    “I hate sand!” I spit out dirt and twisted around backwards in the dog-sized tunnel. Bracing both feet on the end wall, I kicked the hieroglyphics hard. “I hate the desert!” The ancient clay cracked. I kicked harder, yelling through clenched teeth. “And I hate, hate, hate, stupid!” The tunnel shuddered. “Crappy!” One more kick. “Grave robbers!”

    The wall exploded and the tunnel floor collapsed under me. That, I was not expecting. I rode the debris down into the dark and grabbed for the rope around my waist that snapped tight, cutting into my gut. Little points of light danced across my vision, the kind you see right before you vomit. Oh boy. Please, no passing out. Not now. I blinked, gasping. I was upside down. Maybe. Hard to tell in pitch black. I hooked the rope with my foot, like that was going to help. But at least it slowed the swinging.

  • Title: FROM SCRATCH
    Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction with a romantic subplot
    Word Count: 87,000

    PITCH:

    When an emergency brings Lillie back to her hometown, she must choose between her life in Chicago and the father she abandoned, the family diner she left behind, and the love she thought she lost.

    EXCERPT:

    Lip Smackin’ Delicious shouts the red neon sign above the diner’s door.

    Salivating addicts are crammed in the entryway and spilling onto the sidewalk like a drink, all vying for their Blue Plate Special fix. The chalkboard menu posted behind the register says today’s offering is The James Beard—bacon and eggs served execution style. Seven dollars to clog an artery.

    I squeeze through the horde, careful not to maim someone’s toe with my stiletto. The air inside the diner feels as thick and heavy as sausage gravy and smells faintly of it, too. Salacious moans swirl around me, mingling with snippets of conversations, forks clanking against plates and a Bob Seger tune blasting from the Wurlitzer jukebox. Servers bustle about, carrying pitchers in their hands and balancing dishes on their arms. They’re wearing jeans and t-shirts that proclaim, Turner’s Greasy Spoons: Better Than Grandma’s Cooking.

  • Title: BY DEGREES
    Genre: Literary Fiction with paranormal elements
    Word count: 45,000 words

    Pitch:
    Charlotte, a perpetually preoccupied and unhappy oncology nurse, and Oliver, a Russian immigrant and an accountant with a penchant for graphs and charts meet and explore the invisible border between living and dying.

    First 150 words:
    In the cemetery the squirrels perform a ballet. They leap over the headstones of century old burial sites. Ivan Krakov was born on June 16, 1897; died March 31, 1945. They leap over Ivan, as if he were part of the stage. Linda Kowalski died in 1920. Catherine Karpinski was born on April 12, 1866; died on June 17, 1937. The squirrels don’t stop to ask questions or look at the gravestones. They are content, or so it seems, to have something to jump on.

    I often come to the cemetery to find peace. The sounds of quiet sadness pervade the space and I burrow into it for a while. Most days the squirrels keep me company. I don’t know if I find death fascinating, or just natural, but coming to the cemetery for a place to think feels good.

    I ditched work to come here today. It’s overcast.

  • Title: HOME ARMY
    Genre: Historical Fiction
    Word Count: 76,000

    Pitch:

    1944. A resistance network flourishes in Poland. Liesel, a Nazi, Tomasz, a Polish partisan, and Ewa, a Jew, are caught in a web of hatred and hope, changing the course of their lives for good.

    Excerpt:

    Today is the day that they will hang her Papa.

    Mama advised Liesel not to come. The executions will be held privately, anyway, because the Allies are afraid that the condemned will become martyrs for the German people. But Liesel didn’t listen. Mama never had much to say to her before, so Liesel can’t see why she should start now. In any case, Mama has been bedridden for months, blinded by a black curtain. She is sad, in despair. So, she could not possibly understand.

    She couldn’t. Liesel knows that she couldn’t.

    A concentration of curious Germans — men, women, children, everybody, really, even infants — has gathered in Nuremberg. Liesel is much too far out in the crowd to see anything interesting.

    She feels the heat of the sun on her face. The streaks of light blind her, so she squints her eyes so small that they look only like a pair of narrow slits.

  • TITLE: Ctrl+Alt+Del
    GENRE: Mystery
    WORD COUNT: 82,000

    PITCH:
    Amy Lane, an agoraphobic hacker, teams up with streetwise ex-con (and reluctant cleaner) Jason Carr to hunt down a serial killer in Cardiff.

    EXCERPT:
    The soft burble of the television threatened to lull her to sleep and Kate forced her eyes open. She twirled the end of her messy blonde plait around her finger and tried to find the will to get off the sofa. ‘Have I Got News For You’ had just finished, there was nothing on for half an hour, and if she didn’t take the rubbish out before Naomi got back, there’d be Hell to pay.

    The skip was too good an opportunity to pass up. Kate knew they’d get poisonous looks from their lemon-sucking neighbour for the next few days, but she was also the woman who’d complained about their barbecue last month. Kate had no qualms about ruffling her feathers.

    With Herculean effort, Kate prised herself off the faux leather couch and stumbled towards the back door. Opening it let in a sharp draught of October air and she drew back her hands into her hoodie sleeves, teeth already chattering.

  • Title: Iron Jewel
    Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
    Word Count: 83,000

    Pitch:
    Forced to team up with her ex-lover Bodhi to recover the Iron Jewel, a deadly fae weapon, Remy discovers the hard part isn’t finding the weapon, but keeping her hands to herself-and keeping Bodhi alive.

    Excerpt:
    There was no splat.

    Remy would have expected someone who jumped from an eleventh story window, through the glass of said window, and landed on the pavement below would have made a splat. Or a squelch. Or some sort of squishy, nauseating noise.

    Glass crackled as he plummeted to the cement below, following a perfectly executed swan dive from the historic and historically fancy-schmancy hotel. Then he was lying on the pavement, limbs akimbo, his head at a grotesque angle. The timing was perfect; the stop light at the corner had just changed to red, halting the oncoming traffic. No cars were parked on the street below, and even the trees, bowing under the brisk wind blowing up from the water, acquiesced and bent toward the building instead of into the street.

    Or maybe he leaped out, ninja-style, very, very far. Far enough that he could land in the middle of the street, instead of on the sidewalk, which would have inconvenienced the tourists who meandered in and out of the hotel.

  • Title:WHAT THE WHOLE TOWN KNEW
    Genre:Adult thriller
    Wordcount:54K

    Pitch: Dale Borden was once a loving husband. Then the Borden curse took hold. When the abuse stops, Lizzie is free to start over. Unless the whispers are true and the whole town knows her secret.

    Excerpt: Dale was dead, that much was obvious. Motionless, he lay in the bright red blood that gushed at first, but now only trickled a bit from the hole in his neck. The hole where you plunged the kitchen knife when he came at you in a drunken rage. The last time he would ever come at anyone in a drunken rage.

    As you sat there on the floor next to him, knees to your chest and staring at him over your bruised and bloody arms, a sense of relief washes over you. The beatings and abuse would stop now. No longer would it be necessary to wear long sleeves in the summer to hide the rainbow of bruises. Sunglasses could be saved for when it was actually sunny out.

    A knock at the door startles you, sounding unnaturally loud in the silence. Standing was difficult after sitting for so long.

  • Redemption
    Historical Romance
    78,000 words

    Pitch:

    Katherine Hunt must decide if she can trust her heart and believe her captor turned coconspirator will save her family. Or trust her head that screams betrayal.

    Excerpt:

    Katherine’s hand trembled on the thick mahogany balustrade. With every step she took, crashes from below grew louder, competing with her pounding heart.

    Her husband, Nathan, was not expected back for a few days, yet after seven long years of marriage she was as all too familiar with disappointment.

    She tucked a few stray locks of pale blond hair under her lace-trimmed cap, appearances, even in the middle of the night, mattered more to Nathan than comfort.

    Gathering the courage to face him, she stepped off the bottom stair. Cold seeped through the threadbare carpet, chilling her bare toes and she pulled the blanket tighter over her thin nightrail to ward off the chilly London evening.

    To her right, the parlor door was open. Candlelight, interrupted by flickering shadow, passed over the wall. Her shoulders tensed, and she pulled the blanket tighter around her. Which of her husband’s many personas would she discover in the next room?

  • Title: THE LAST LEFT-HANDED SMOKE SHIFTER
    Genre: Mystery/Suspense
    Word Count: 103,000

    Pitch:

    White trash drinking buddies, Shitty Bill and Spoons encounter North Korean ninjas and a twice-retired ex-CIA agent slash rodeo clown while trying to solve the mystery of the DPRK-32 Modulator. Kim Jung-un wants his toy back.

    Excerpt:

    The old Texas Instrument’s watch rattled to life and sent a series of piercing beeps bouncing off the filthy cement block walls. The room’s lone occupant refused to open his eyes and didn’t move a muscle off the mattress strategically placed in the center of the small room. He dreaded having to get up for work this early, but the small room’s concrete acoustics kept the alarm sounding louder than it really was and the pounding in his head keeping an equal beat. Shitty Bill Nites, Narducci Nursery field hand and currently hungover as fuck, finally opened one eye. He spotted the watch where he dropped it last night and reached across to the prone cinder block that doubled as a nightstand. He pushed all of the watches side buttons at once, not remembering for the life of him how it turned off. It was, Shitty Bill thought, once again time to earn that drinking money that made evenings worthwhile and mornings so much of a pain in the ass.

  • Title: The Blank Slate Boarding House for Creatives
    Genre: Historical Fantasy/Alternate History
    Word Count: 70,000

    Pitch:

    The world’s greatest magician returns to settle old scores at a haven for famous artists. The house’s newest employee, Emily Turner, must face the magician’s sinister mind-control power alone after her only friend disappears.

    Excerpt:

    The world’s greatest magician did not like Cherbourg, and he did not like waiting.

    Huddled beneath his woolen overcoat, Perjos stared at the gray English Channel awaiting the blast announcing the first boarding call for the S.S. Rotterdam. He had up-ended his cherry-red steamer trunk to help block the chill wind, his luggage the only bright thing in that gray morning.

    He sat at one of the port city’s tiny cafés that doubled as tobacconists and booksellers to travelers. These were the last places for travelers to part with their money before commending their lives to the sea — and to the greasy calloused hands of those who worked the ships’ engines below the water line.

    Although not surprised to find his cup of tea had grown cold in the raw morning air, he wondered how a fly had gotten itself drowned without his notice.

  • Title: TIMELESS
    Genre: New Adult Fiction
    Word Count: 90,000 Word Count

    Lizzy never believed the allegations that Alexander, a scientist and poet who lived in her house 150 years before, was womanizer and murderer. That is until he appears in her bedroom.

    “You don’t believe him, do you?” I looked at Emma, my lips thinned to a line. These conversations always seemed to be whispered in the light of fire or flashlight, where shadows danced in the background.
    “Do you?” Her eyes were wide with fear, the flame of the bonfire flickering in them as she glanced from me to her brother.
    “Everybody knows it’s true. Look it up.” Eli nodded his head, his eyebrows raised. “You especially should know, Lizzy. Alexander Hale lived in your house.”
    “Of course I know that.” I’d heard the story before. Apparently Emma was one of the few residents of the island who hadn’t, probably because her family moved to this house only the year before. Part of the story was true. Although it had been 150 years since Alexander Hale’s disappearance, I had ample proof of his existence. I found his papers in the attic of my Civil War home.

  • Title: GYRE
    Genre: NA Fantasy
    Word Count: 70,000

    Pitch:
    21-year-old Chelsea’s discovery of Atlantis turns classified Navy sub SeaSat5 into a valuable pawn in an Atlantean-Lemurian war. They must keep SeaSat5 safe from time-traveling hijackers or watch their crusade rip Earth apart.

    Excerpt:

    MY FOOT CAUGHT in a crack on the sidewalk and I almost planted my face on the pavement like I was trying to make an impression.

    Beside me, Emily laughed. “Are you alright?” Sure, now she cared.

    I straightened myself up. “What I was trying to say was that no, I’m not. I have at least another twenty pages on this thing before I can even begin dreaming of handing it in.”

    She shrugged, some of her auburn hair falling across her shoulders, and we continued our walk to the Student Center. “If you hung around during Spring Break back in March rather than go gallivanting across New England, you would be closer to having your thesis done by now.”

    Like I didn’t know that. “It’s not like I wanted to—” I started to say, but realized that was a lie. “Where I was at, I didn’t think I had any other choice.”

  • Title: What Lurks in the Dark – Book One of The Dark Chronicles
    Genre: Adult Horror/Thriller
    Word Count: 53,000

    Pitch:

    There are monsters in Timothy’s closet and they’re hungry.

    Excerpt:

    Timothy was anxious and tense, chewing his fingernails to the quick. This day looked the total opposite of how he felt. It was beautiful, sunny and warm, with a small breeze carrying the scent of flowers through the lazy, little town.

    The inside of the car was hot and Timothy’s legs stuck to the plastic seats.

    When the car slowed down, Timothy looked out his window and saw a small brick building with a woman standing in the glass door, waving. Next to this building was a huge sign that had a blue rocket painted on it, advertising something that would make your car fly just like the rocket. Timothy smiled at the rounded shape of its nose. He drew rockets like that sometimes.

    As they parked, the woman made her way down the narrow sidewalk, her legs stiff and a fake smile plastered on her face.

    Timothy didn’t like her.

  • Title: Waters of Oblivion
    Genre: Urban Fantasy
    Word Count: 70,000

    Pitch:

    This twist on the Lethe River mythology creates a world where although immortals exist, they must still fear death because it can take away the only thing they have left to lose: their memories of the past.

    Excerpt:

    Reine clutched her broken hand to her chest and repeatedly tapped on the “door close” button with the other. The pain in her fingers was almost unbearable, but it would be gone soon. Given the weather and the late hour, the hotel lobby was deserted, but she still couldn’t risk being seen. Not just yet.

    The elevator door slowly slid into place. She looked at her hand again. It was shaking, but as she flexed her fingers, the last signs of bruising – and of the pain – disappeared. However, that hardly made her happy. Reine only had herself to blame for getting into this predicament. For the second time in two weeks, she almost inadvertently revealed her secret. A secret that her life depended on.

    She should have just ended things when she fumbled to answer a simple question: “Are you married?”

    But she didn’t, and that was mistake number one.

  • Title: The Backup Singer
    Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
    Word Count: 85,000

    Pitch:

    Riley Stone has a secret. She’s the real voice behind her step-sisters’ famous pop act. When she meets superstar, Zach Charming, the lies around her unravel and she discovers she’s not the only one hiding a secret.

    Excerpt:

    The stage was empty, but the crowd of thirty thousand fans remained in their seats. Twenty minutes had passed since the SweetTartz and their troupe of backup dancers exited the stage yet no one dared to leave the stadium. The crowd was still on its feet, screaming and crying out at the top of their lungs – demanding, begging, and pleading the pop divas for an encore performance. The frenzied, drawn out anticipation was yet another tease from the popular pop duo.

    The young stars knew how to work a crowd and the many different ways to keep the audience captivated in their seats. Keep the fans waiting, leave them wanting more. While SweetTartz remained backstage and waited for the crowd’s cries to reach its inevitable crescendo, their team continued playing rhythmic dance music through the speakers. Provocative images of the two young women flashed on the dozens of screens that surrounded the stage.

  • Title: The Accidental Socialite
    Genre: New Adult (contemporary)
    Word Count: 75,000

    Pitch:

    Accidentally famous in a foreign country, small town girl Paige must take control of her reputation before her new life in London is ruined. Not an easy task when your lady parts trend on Twitter.

    Excerpt:

    It was 3 A.M. and all I wanted was a cheeseburger.

    “Miss, we only sell Big Macs after midnight,” said the McDonalds employee.

    My stomach grumbled. My diet since I got off the plane had consisted mostly of Champagne, Vodka, and seared tuna.

    “Yes, I understand that and I will pay for a Big Mac, but I would like a cheeseburger, so can you, like, remove a patty and mid bun and hold the secret sauce? Please?”

    “Miss, I am sorry but we do not have this item.”

    Liar. He didn’t look sorry. I immediately wanted to get on the next flight home. It rained cheeseburgers in Canada.

    A tall, drunk and incredibly beautiful blonde South African girl appeared at the till next to me.

    “I’ll have a hot dog.”
That was my new best friend, Lucinda.

    We walked out of McDonalds with a small fries to ‘split’, which really meant Lucinda was going to watch me eat them.

  • Title: TRANSCEND
    Genre: Women’s Fiction w/Magic Realism
    Word Count: 81,000

    Pitch:
    Nora arrives in the afterlife without warning. Determined to be with her family any way she can, Nora bends the rules of heaven, a decision that could impact her family and her place in heaven.

    Excerpt:
    The day before I died, Charlie and I danced to B.B. King.

    My sons, both taller than me for several years now, were mimicking us, alternating which one was a woman with pouty lips and batting eyelashes.

    I sighed. “I thought by this point, they would be showing up at these kinds of things with their own dates instead of still pretending to be each other’s.”

    Charlie just shook his head. “They’ll figure it out someday. At least they are friends again.” Charlie put his hand on the small of my back and pulled me closer, redirecting all my attention to just him. “I love you Nora,” he whispered. As the song ended, Charlie took my face in both his hands and kissed me amid the applause.

    I’m not sure what I expected from life after life, maybe a big golden gate, a bearded man in a white robe demanding names, ushering in lines of people.

  • Title: THE WATCHMAN
    Genre: Mystery
    Word Count: 86,000

    Pitch:
    When Santa Barbara Police Officer Claire Hartman unwittingly helps a police impersonator, she struggles to repair the damage to her reputation and safeguard the lives of the women he targets—including her own.

    Excerpt:
    Santa Barbara police officer Claire Hartman had focused her sights on plenty of people, but she’d never once wanted to pull the trigger. Willing? Absolutely. Wanting? Not so much. Jaime Sullivan changed all that — and he wasn’t even within twenty miles of her.

    She ran her hand across the armrest, searching for the window control in the unfamiliar detective car. Everything in it differed from the stolid equipment that outfitted the black and white she normally drove, but the department didn’t like marked cars going into other jurisdictions and she’d spent the afternoon teaching at the academy in Camarillo. Her fingers finally brushed the right switch. Cold February wind seared her nostrils and raised goose bumps on her bare arms. Across the southbound lanes, the ocean shimmered in the sinking sun, while neoprene-clad surfers bobbed in the swells.

    He waited for her at the police station. Joy.

  • Title: HEMLOCK VEILS
    Genre: Fantasy (modern-day loose fairy tale retelling)
    Word Count: 122,000

    Pitch: The town is mysterious and the forest concealing it breathtaking, but its monster is terrifying. Elizabeth is the only who can see the beauty his façade hides, and the only whose death can free him.

    Excerpt: Willem’s blood had been scrubbed away days before, but Elizabeth Ashton still felt it caked beneath her fingernails. She would always feel it. Even with clean hands that would never be clean.

    She drove northwest on Oregon’s U.S. Route 26, the cone of her only functional headlight attempting to cut through a fog whose density gave it the ominous appearance of a living, breathing being. It had hovered from the moment she passed through Warm Springs twenty-eight miles ago, like a protective shield that settled over the Indian Reservation—a conscious mind that was all too aware of what she’d done. Perhaps it was a warning. Perhaps it was an attempt to push her in the other direction, back to the place she wasn’t welcome anymore.

    She felt the presence of the bulging envelope on the passenger seat beside her and stole a glance. It wasn’t visible in the dark, but she saw it, with its fat corners and open flap, too ample with cash to be sealed—the cash responsible for killing her only brother, Willem.

  • Title: THE FALLEN WATCHER
    Genre: Urban Fantasy
    Word Count: 87,000

    Pitch: John, an immortal imbued with the world’s last magic, couldn’t stop his mortal love from being murdered. Now, he hunts for revenge, even if the price comes at the destruction of the world…and his soul.

    Excerpt: “Well, crap.” John spat on a wilted shrub and stared at the land below. “Never thought I would see the day those things would start working together.”

    The rise jutted out over the endless, red caked lands. Broken, bending trees dotted the flat earth; they kept the area from turning into a true desert, into a true hell hole. A few bushes, most dried and brown, huddled up close to the trees. One lone, dead log lay in the distance, blurred by snaking heat waves, free from shelter and comrades and life.

    Beams of blistering sun belted the area. The heat took the Outback captive, and as the sun climbed higher and higher, would soon execute its prisoner. The only relief was from a brisk wind. A cloud of red dust flew into John’s face. He coughed and spat out the dirt that had coagulated in his throat.

  • Title: Hot Summer Nights
    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    Word Count: 113,000

    Pitch: Single mother Samara is succeeding in a man’s profession running her own custom car shop. She’s done with love. Finn, her much younger neighbour with his calendar body and sweet smile, has other ideas.

    Excerpt: Samara’s life included only one bad decision and while not life threatening or life ending like so many poor choices young people make, Sam’s choice nearly suffocated her before she finally ripped free of the chains and moved on. As she watched the snow fall softly in the predawn light of the cool February morning, she reflected on the serenity she only recently welcomed into her life. For the first time in over fourteen years, she breathed in the fresh winter air with her past behind her, after nearly three years the struggle seemed to be over and Samara’s mind absently followed the snowflakes as they drifted silently to the ground in the soft, yellow glow of the street lamp.

    With no cloud over her shoulder waiting to rain down on the peaceful morning and no worries shackling her to the past, Sam stood in her living room window, surveying the yard now blanketed in snow, as an invincible woman.

  • Current Title: FLESH & BLOOD
    Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
    Word Count: 76,000

    Pitch:
    The story of a young woman surviving a zombie outbreak by creating an uneasy alliance of humans and vampires; it follows their interactions as this community faces a life revealed and remade by death.

    Excerpt:
    SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER YEAR 1
    My dorkiness has kept me alive through nearly a year and a half of chaos. When our little Zombie Apocalypse started — and everyone with a pulse fought over guns — I raided places like museums and gaming shops for swords and axes.

    Following my nerdy instincts further, I also hit up libraries for idiot’s guides about camping, fighting, first aid, and wilderness survival. My short stature and barely average athletic skills persuaded me to focus on using my mental prowess to survive.

    The local bookstore added to my info gathering, as well as provided me these sweet journals to record my new way of existence — my first five-finger-discount and there was no risk of jail. As an added bonus, they almost always have basic medical kits and munchies in break rooms. There are rarely any firearms on premises. In fact, I’ve been actively avoiding guns.

    • My team and I would like to read more. Send your query and the first three chapters, with your query also pasted on page one, as a word .doc attachment to louise at lperkinsagency.com. Please include Pitch Party in the subject line.

  • Title: REMEMBER
    Genre: Historical Fiction/Contemporary Fiction
    Word Count: 75,000

    Pitch:

    Katya never speaks of her life during Ukraine’s Famine, but her great-granddaughter is beginning to remember. Now, Katya is forced to relive the horrors of her youth in order to discover the forgiveness she needs.

    Excerpt:

    The old woman turned slowly, taking in the strange scenery. A cold wind wrapped the long housedress she always wore around her legs, but the colorful babushka tied around her head kept her hair neat and tidy. She mumbled in another language as her eyes darted around frantically, trying to understand where she was. Cars whizzed by on the street, but they only confused her more. Cold, dirty pavement spread out in an endless expanse with no green relief in sight. Colorful storefronts blared their garish advertisements. Nothing was familiar to her.

    “Where are the horses? The wagons? Where is my village? Alina! Where is Alina? I need her!”

    A few people paused to give the bewildered matron a second glance, but nobody paid much attention to her until she shuffled right past a small group waiting to cross the busy street and walked into traffic.

    “Hey, lady!” a well-meaning, middle-aged man shouted as he reached out to grab her arm, but he was too late.

  • Title: The Drought of Sam Dakota
    Genre: Thriller
    Word Count: 83,000 words

    Pitch: After years without leads on his missing son, child advocate Sam Dakota hires Native Samoan Rami Amato, a P.I. with an aversion to “kid cases,” who uncovers conspiracy, lies, and betrayal.

    Excerpt:
    Sam Dakota glanced at his watch as he fought through the crowds. 3:45. School let out ten minutes ago. He hadn’t missed a drop off since Kate had died.

    Until today.

    Rush hour in downtown Kansas City was gridlock. His boots slapped the sidewalk as he rushed to his truck. The streets steamed. He was grateful he’d braided his hair today.

    He took every shortcut; praying today would be one of those times the bus ran late.

    Don’t worry, he told himself.

    Sam wasn’t a believer in Murphy’s Law, until he hit every light red, got stuck behind two school buses—not Danny’s—and slowed by school zones.

    At home, Sam called out Danny’s name as he entered. He paused to glance at the floor where his son always dropped his Spiderman backpack. Sam had tripped over it too many times to count.

    The wide planks gleamed, unmarred by black and red.

  • Title: Saving Vienna
    Genre: New Adult
    Word Count: 89,000

    Pitch: The plan was to get rid of her mom’s robot, not to uncover the government’s secret: robots have emotions. Vienna discovers she will have to follow her heart, even if it means loving a robot.

    Excerpt:
    I never locked eyes with a robot before.

    My hand faltered mid-wave. I thought it was human. I thought it was one of us.

    Its gaze shifted from mine as it stepped toward my neighbor’s Lincoln Town Car. Its walk caught with every third step and its elbow twisted incongruently when it opened the car door—the only signs it was different.

    This one had dark brown hair, tan colored skin and was dressed in a chauffer’s suit.

    My neighbor, Mr. Romero, waved at me as he exited the car and I just stood there, stunned, staring back at him.

    My neighbor bought a robot.

    Mr. Romero frowned at my lax response but I couldn’t wave back. I couldn’t move. I was frozen to that spot on my porch with my keys dangling from my fingers and my purse sliding down my shoulder.

    It was just as the news had said.

  • Title: Crystal Coast: The Coven
    Genre: Paranormal
    Word Count: 75,000

    Pitch:
    When her son’s life is threatened, Stevie Lewis finds herself at the heart of a three hundred year old secret and soon discovers exactly how far she will go to protect her child.

    Excerpt:

    1718

    Children ran about in the sand, and their gleeful giggles rose above the sound of the crashing waves. The men and older boys of the village were in boats just offshore, heading out to catch fish for the day’s supper. A group of seven women dressed in simple white linen shifts sat together in a circle, the oldest among them perched on a long piece of driftwood.

    “It will happen soon,” the gray-haired queen said solemnly, addressing the group of younger women. A large amethyst pendant hung from the thick gold chain she wore around her neck. She cupped the purple crystal in her hand as she recalled the details of the vision that would force her to divide her people. Splintered pictures of her worst fears came to her, glimpses of a future yet unrealized. A future that could, and should, be avoided.

    Discovery and persecution were on the horizon.

  • Title: Favorite Coffee, Favorite Crush
    Category New Adult Romance
    Word count 50000

    Pitch:
    Penelope’s moving back to Miami, and starting her first job in engineering. She’s avoiding the elites to not become like her gold digging mother. Rich boy Jay’s changed and her heart’s not following the plan.

    First 150 words:
    “Home, sweet, err… coffee.”

    Getting out of her car, Penelope brushed her worn jeans to get out a small wrinkle. Not that it mattered. She smelled the coffee drawing her to the door. The delicious aroma of freshly brewed java, that could wake her up, waited inside. Gainesville had nothing like this, and her stomach grumbled for the familiar drink.

    The coffee shop looked almost the same as it had in high school, except for the aluminum tables and wooden chairs with red cushions. She remembered the plaid chairs and brown tables, but the place still calmed her, like she was coming home.

    She stepped up to the counter. “I’ll have a cinnamon dulce non-fat latte, please.”

    Memories of the long afternoon working out math equations and preparing for competition with her friends flooded back to her. At her high school, people were accepted for being smart, so she gave her mother one credit. No, she’d not thank Geneva, her mother, but her friends encouraged brilliance, and she’d call them soon. She was home to stay.

  • TITLE: MUTINY ON THE NAPOLEON
    GENRE: SF/SPACE OPERA
    WORD COUNT: 80,000

    PITCH:
    Captain Maggie MacIntyre’s mutinous crew stole her spaceship and left her stranded on a planet. Her rescuers: space pirates who try to collect the bounty on her head for a murder she didn’t commit.

    FIRST 150 WORDS:

    Mac’s face burned as she opened her eyes. She was lying on hot sand. Dizzy and woozy her head throbbed as she stood and scrubbed at her hair instantly regretting it. There was a huge goose egg on the back of her head. A flash of memory of the butt of a gun coming in contact with her head played across her mind’s eye. Her second in command, Boswell staged a mutiny and knocked her unconscious to drop her here.

    Wherever here was.

    As the captain she was the first to go.

    “Bastard.”

    A hot bright sun shone overhead and even the thin fabric of her uniform stuck to her back from sweat.

    God, it was hot.

    She stood unsteady on her feet for a moment. She shaded her eyes and turned a full 360 degrees.

    Sand, sand and more sand. Oh, and an occasional rock formation.

  • Title: The Russian’s Unexpected Lover
    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    Word Count: 52,000

    Pitch:

    Chosen by his ailing grandfather, jewelry designer Emily Parker works for the company Maxim Borovsky has vowed to destroy. Will unforeseen passion derail his plans for vengeance?

    Excerpt:

    Did Cinderella throw-up in her pumpkin carriage?

    The random thought caused a shaky laugh to slip from Emily’s lips and earned her a dubious look from the Russian cabster. As the House of Borovsky drew nearer, a hard lump of tension settled in her throat as she struggled to slow the frantic pacing in her mind.

    Emily closed her eyes and drew in several gasping breaths. The sudden lack of motion and chatter brought her lashes up in an instant. It took another moment to realize the cab had stopped and the cabster was looking at her questioningly.

    In a flurry of cash and gratitude, Emily stepped from the cab, clutch in hand, and ran toward the row of magnificent mansions on the eastern bank of the Neva River.

    After a few short blocks, she stood in front of the Borovsky Mansion. The pictures she’d found on the internet didn’t do proper justice to the Russian beauty.

    • Anonymous

      I’d be pleased to take a look at your project. Please send the first fifty pages as an attachment to submissions (at) knightagency (dot) net. Paste your query letter in the body of the email and address it to me. And please put Adult Pitch Party Address in the subject line.
      Thanks!
      Melissa Jeglinski, Agent, The Knight Agency

  • Title: IDENTITY CRISIS
    Genre: Suspense Thriller with sci-fi elements
    Word Count: 79,000

    Pitch: The Information Retrieval Unit (IRU) has generated a way to retrieve and analyze memories of crime witnesses, which seems like a great idea, until one man’s memories will force the creator of the IRU into hiding.

    Excerpt: “It’s unfortunate.” My somber tone held steady as I prepped the patient, Max Duncan. Can’t I just call him “the patient”? I don’t like when these get personal… “I really hoped,” I said, as I grabbed the bottle of iodine, “that he would remember enough of the details on his own.” Being an FBI agent in the Information Retrieval Unit, I had assisted in many of these procedures. But in this case, I hoped for a different outcome.
    As my supervisor, Michael Johansson, FBI Special Agent, got ready to perform the operation, I stepped away to better survey the scene. It constantly amused me that so few knew the secrets my home harbored. The room where we stood appeared to be nothing more than a finished basement fitted with a bar and home theater.
    To the left of the bar, a sleeping fireplace with an anxious, papery white birch log awaited ignition.

  • Title: Binding Fire
    Genre: Paranormal Romance
    Word Count: 76,000

    Pitch:
    A fallen angel is determined to get revenge on the demon who ruined her, but complications arise when he saves her life. She must discover if he is truly changed or playing her.

    Excerpt:
    Muriel almost dropped the tray of empty plates as the bell rang to announce new customers walking in the diner. The sound wasn’t what startled her. It was the four demons walking self-assuredly to a booth. Though each one was eye catching in his own right, it was the first that kept her attention.

    He easily surpassed six feet and his dark hair and eyes were purposefully sculpted for seduction. Not surprising. Demons relied on good looks to lure mortals to sin. She couldn’t suppress a scowl at the thought.

    But his looks weren’t what interested her. This was the bastard that destroyed her soul.

    Muriel’s pulse kicked up, but she forced her body to remain calm. She couldn’t reach for her sword like the old days. He could easily kill everyone she worked with.

    Clenching her fists, she mentally reviewed her old battle strategies.

  • Title: On Satan’s Lap
    Genre: Humorous Fantasy
    Word Count: 62,000

    Pitch: Brandon has to choose – dull-beyond-measure Heaven, or his budding friendship with Satan. And if he doesn’t pick, they’re gonna battle for his soul. And quite frankly, he doesn’t need that crap right now.

    Excerpt:

    “Would you like to see it?”

    “See what?”

    “Hell.”

    “See Hell? What do you mean ‘see Hell?’”

    “I mean, see Hell. See what it’s like. Walk around a bit. Get the feel of it.”

    “Like a tour?”

    “Sure. It’s only fair that you know what you’re getting into.”

    “What I’m getting into? What does that mean?”

    “Nothing. Don’t worry about it.”

    Brandon Shephard stared at the little gray man peering up from under the rim of a brown bowler hat. The man’s tiny black eyes gave nothing away, and Brandon couldn’t tell if he was joking.

    “So I guess you’re some kind of demon, then?”

    “I’m a kind of demon, yes.” The demon took off the bowler. He had two small horns on his forehead and a row of Stegosaurus-like plates running back from the top of his head down into his white button-down shirt. He stood maybe four feet tall, if you counted the plates.

  • TItle: HMS Invisible
    Genre: Historical Military / Fantasy
    Words: 106,000

    Pitch:
    In 1803 England, magic isn’t forbidden—just lower-class. Midshipman Nicholas Mitchell is a young gentleman training to command the Navy’s sailors and enchanters at war; until, that is, his own unprecedented powers emerge.

    Excerpt:
    Seamanship would win this upcoming battle—not boarders, not cannonfire, and certainly not magical enchantments.

    And more than certainly it would not be won by the contributions of the junior midshipman of signals. Nicholas Mitchell swallowed past the lump in his throat and straightened his uniform jacket. There was nothing at all he could do, but wait, and try to look untroubled if the men should happen to glance at him.

    Time was passing very strangely: HMS Steadfast and the French three-decker were racing headlong toward each other, but they were still a long way apart, and to Mitchell they seemed unmoving. And then he’d look up again and they were suddenly a great deal closer.

    Mitchell’s mouth was very dry, but he tried to swallow again. This waiting was exceedingly difficult, and was made worse by the tension in the senior officers.

  • Title: Past Secrets: Present Future
    Genre: New Adult Contemporary with historical & Romantic elements
    Word Count: 80,000

    Pitch: Returning to Melbourne after her mother’s death, Marica never expected to uncover a family secret that could destroy her relationship with her Gran and reveal the truth about the last days of the Romanov’s.

    Excerpt:
    Gran’s birth certificate. A few times on the plane trip home, I was tempted to ask her about it, but each time, guilt snuck in at being preoccupied with a clerical error more than eighty years ago, rather than with Mother’s death just weeks ago.

    Instead, I did my best to push my earplugs snugly into each ear, damn cheap plane earplugs designed for troll ears, and find some random movie as I drifted between sleep and shame.

    I hoped this move would be my last.

    Melbourne had changed so much since I’d last seen it. Stupid comment really, it’d been eight years.

    Before I left, the Docklands was little more than cold slabs of concrete and glass with scaffolding wrapped around unfinished building’s like metal ivy. Those half completed high rises promising potential had become a bustling extension of the Central Business District, with cafes, apartments, businesses and even trams.

  • Title: GAME OF LOVE
    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    Word Count: 77,000

    Pitch:

    The critic’s favorite target is a British tennis virtuoso who has yet to live up to her potential—or hype. But to master the game on grass, she’ll first have to trust the game of love.

    Excerpt:

    Gemma Lennon’s security flanked her on either side, their grip tight on her arms. Bedric, her coach, rushed ahead, slamming open the hotel’s glass doors to the roar of the French paparazzi, a cacophony of questions, comments, and insults. They knew.

    Gemma moderated her breathing, prepared for another three-second spurt of chaos.

    Three…

    “—What happened in your hotel room?”

    Dozens of cameras from all directions chirped and flashed.

    Two…

    “—Mademoiselle! Gemma! One smile.”

    The paparazzi bore in from her right. Only a few more steps. A knee rammed into her thigh. That one would leave a mark. A bruise which the papers would dissect and analyze gratuitously.

    One…

    “—Why were you hiding for four months? Were you going to quit tennis?”

    Bedric forced the car door open. Gemma slid in and the car door slammed behind her.

    Zero.

    Only inches separated her from the paparazzi. There had been a time when she used to move to the center of the car, but now she knew distance was a mere illusion of safety.

  • TITLE: A GOD AMONG MEN (Book 1 in the Banishment Cycle)
    GENRE:
    WORD COUNT: 73,000

    PITCH: Forbidden magic has sealed away the Aesir, sending earth into chaos and war. Awakened as a mortal man with no memories and no powers, Odin must stop Loki before he murders the other gods.

    EXCERPT: High above the battlefield, two ravens circled endlessly, cawing at one another, angered by the fact that their meal was being interrupted by the presence of living humans. The field was a vast rolling expanse of rocky scrub land, unfit for growing crops. The ground sloped off in gentle hillocks, but made for poor hiding places. The few trees that had managed to find purchase in the rocky soil and grow, swayed gently in the cool breeze. The field had always been a no man’s land; a trade route and nothing more. Caravans had always passed through on their way from one settlement to the other and the well-worn tracks from countless feet of both man and beast of burden criss-crossed the ground, weaving their way across the countryside, each trail a testament in the story of the land.

    The ground was now a mess; a slurry of mud created by the blood and sweat of a thousand armed men fighting to the death, churned up by feet rushing from all sides.

  • NRH

    Title: Migon
    Genre: Science fiction / fantasy
    Word count: 77,000

    Pitch: A boy transformed into a miniature dragon has to save his family, his world, and himself from the forces of corruption. But first he has to find a wizard to take him as a familiar.

    Excerpt: The sight of glittering scales overwhelmed Gyndri. As a boy of only twelve, it was the first time he had seen a Migon from close enough to be seen back. The proud, beautiful creature, perhaps two feet long from nose to tail-tip, sat on the shoulder of a man in fine clothes. The streets were filled with similar sights: long cloaks of supple materials, shining jewelry, men in colorful long coats and fancy top hats, women in their finest new gowns, and booths along the roadsides each as gaudy as the proprietor could make it. It was the annual Festival, and those rare, powerful men who carried the miniature dragons were guests of honor, though Gyndri didn’t know why such dangerous creatures would be invited. Perhaps it was to keep the wizard’s scaly familiars from becoming angry with the city and wreaking havoc.

  • Title: Behind the Masquerade
    Genre: Historical
    Word Count: 71,000

    Pitch:

    After Orianna is betrayed, she determines honesty isn’t the way to live.
    Or die.
    When her beau is murdered and her life threatened, she does the unimaginable: fake her death.
    And so the deceit begins.

    Excerpt:

    Orianna huddled in the far corner of her prison cell, twisting a piece of straw into a circle. Her stomach growled and for a moment she contemplated eating the dirty sprig of hay. A guard arrived at the cell door, clanging his keys against the iron bars.

    “Orianna Broughton.”

    She lifted her gaze from the floor, eyes wide. Maybe someone had brought her something to eat. Her stomach gnawed her sides again and she pressed her fist into her belly right where the pangs hurt the most.

    “Let’s go.” the guard said, his voice flat.

    Orianna staggered to her feet. Looking around at the filth on the prison floor, she smothered a gag. Rats outnumbered the prisoners. Women moaned and children cried. A dead man’s shoe snagged the bottom of Orianna’s skirt as she stepped over him.

    “I’ll never forgive you. God have mercy on your soul, for I will not,” she said under her breath.

  • Title: Dragma’s Keep
    Genre: Adult High Fantasy
    Word Count: 131,000

    Pitch: Sordaak builds his party in search of power and fame. Thrinndor is after the blade that will stop the purge of his kind. Cyrillis must return a dead god to power. Who’s driving this train?

    Excerpt:

    Sordaak glared with contempt at the others in the tavern, his mood foul. The stench of unwashed bodies, stale urine and cheap tobacco serve only to add coals to that mood.

    He reflected idly just how he had come to this dirty little town in the middle of nowhere. He’d been here more than a week – for what? How had it come to this?
    Now that he finally knew the location of the Keep, he needed to recruit some muscle to help him get inside.

    His gaze fell upon the locals at a nearby gaming table who were obviously losing badly to a just as obvious thief. “Fools,” Sordaak muttered under his breath with a subtle shake of his head. Suddenly the mage chuckled, his mood brightening as a glimmer of an idea began to weave its way through the haze of ale that obscured his mind. Yes, maybe this would be just what he needed to ease the boredom.

  • Title: Risqué Business
    Genre: contemporary romance
    Word count: 51,000

    Pitch:
    Corporate girl by day and bartender by night, Layla Reynolds falls for the one man she’s not supposed to; the one that could ruin her career.

    Excerpt:
    Sawyer stared at the letter in his hand, laughing to himself. Whoever this Miller Oil and Gas was, they either had too much money on their hands or not enough brain cells to know that anyone worth any self respect wouldn’t sell a lands mineral rights. Why would Sawyer, or anyone, want to see an oil rig in the distance, obscuring views of the wide open countryside?

    Then again, Sawyer thought, money made people do stupid things. If the amount they were offering him was any indication, he knew of several people who’d get down right dumb over the dollar amount he was currently laughing at.

    It wasn’t that Sawyer was so well off that a cool million was like change in the bottom of his couch. He worked hard building his automotive shop from a single operation to several locations in the Houston area. It was the fact that this land- the land Miller Oil and Gas was offering a million dollars for wasn’t his to begin with.

  • Title: CATCHER’S KEEPER
    Genre: Alternate Historical Fiction
    Word Count: 66K

    Pitch:

    In hopes to resurrect his floundering career, Jerry steals and publishes his brother’s journal. While trying to make amends, the brothers become tangled in a messy ‘book’ promotion that puts Jerry’s life at risk.

    Excerpt:

    Not even a week since I moved in with my brother and he’s testing my pacifist nature, butting in on my shit.

    The aroma of coffee leads me like Pepe Le Pew to Penelope—right to Jerry. He’s at the kitchen table, all showered and dressed in Polo, going through my file box like he’s researching at the goddamn library. He could at least pretend he’s helping me unpack. He opens my old black binder from school. The thing must be decades old. Why can’t he wait until I’m out like a normal brother? It’s a catch-22, though. If I tell him to stop, he’ll know I’m buggin’ out. Can’t give him that.

    Besides, he’s letting my forty-year-old ass crash here and I have yet to ask my big favor. So I should probably let this slide.

    The coffee maker just made its final, steamy percolation. Pavlov’s so right.

  • THE KILLING TYPE
    Genre: Paranormal/Thriller
    Word Count: 76,000

    Pitch: Charlotte Grimly thought life was hard enough as a schizophrenic. Now she’s being accused of murder. Charlotte must prove she’s not the killer, though her increasing hallucinations and the voices seem to have other plans.

    Excerpt:
    Her hand trembled. The metal burned cold against her skin. She closed her eyes, replaying the raised voices as she argued endlessly with her boyfriend. She felt the bruises coming up, fingerprints in black and purple. The door slammed again in her mind, rattling her skull and sending a fresh wave of tears over her face, scorching. She placed the barrel in her mouth, tasting the gunpowder from shots spent the previous evening. She spat it back out, shaking her head. She replaced the barrel at her temple, feeling the hollow of the muzzle against her skull. One bullet was all it took. One straight shot.
    The crack of gunfire echoed in the house as she crumbled to the floor, the gun lingering in her hand.
    #
    Murder had always held a grim fascination for Charlotte, and true crime held a special place in her heart. She propped her feet up on the chair across from hers and unfolded the paper a customer had left on the table, the headline blaring: Woman Found Dead in Home, Possible Homicide.

  • Title: Eating Sarah
    Genre: Suspense/thriller
    Word Count: 75,000

    Pitch:
    When her first cannibalistic hunt goes awry, Sarah loses her taste for human flesh. Forbidden to leave, she must hide her disdain and search for an escape, all while her colony dies around her.

    Excerpt:
    I traced the scarlet lines across the young girl’s body as she squirmed before me. She lay on the table in front of me staring off into the cloudless sky above. The wind caused her hair to dance and shift on the splintered wooden table. She was bound, of course, and a fresh gag had been placed in her mouth, but she fought still. I stared at her, my eyes examining her every feature. Tiny whimpers escaped her and entered my ears like promises. I swallowed hard, my body desperate for her.

    Across the table was Terra, my best friend of sixteen. Because of our fathers’ positions on the town council, we had been forced to spend much of our lives together. Terra stared at the girl as I did, watching her tantalizing movements, her succulent tease. There was something about those evenings before a Hunt that made my body shiver: something cruel, something broken.

  • Title: The Obvious Suspect
    Genre: New Adult Historical Mystery
    Word Count: 50,000

    Pitch:
    Roux, a flapper and inexperienced private investigator, will have to leave her uptown home and brave her grandmother’s disappointment, the industrial district and the seedy opium dens of the city to solve her first murder.

    Excerpt:
    Emily couldn’t escape the feeling that she was not alone in the house. She rubbed her hands up and down her arms as fear prickled along her skin. The night was overcast, and without a moon, pitch black. Everyone had gone to bed hours before. There weren’t even any lights gleaming from cracks below closed doors to tell her other people were there – just a few feet away. Even that little bit of light would have helped as she tried to find her way down the dark hall. When she reached the top of the long twisting stairs, the smooth polished wood of the banister guided her down towards the kitchen.

    She had been lying awake for hours now staring at the darkness with a sense of foreboding that had plagued her often in the past. Familiar though it was, it remained an unpleasant burden, draped over her on nights like tonight, like a lead shawl.

  • Title: Alpha Beta Die

    Genre: NA Paranormal Romance

    Word Count: 90,000

    Pitch: After joining a sorority to save her sister, Clio discovers war rages on Olympus, stops a witch from opening a hell-gate beneath Alpha Beta Pi, and rebuffs a charming, rogue god. Rush is a bitch.

    Excerpt:

    It was a monstrosity – bubble gum pink with silver glitter, gold stars, and a happy face drawn over the ‘u’. Luckily there was no ‘i’ anywhere on the sign, or a tiny, pudgy heart pierced with an arrow would have dotted it.

    The Greek alphabet was scrolled around the edges, and my eyes automatically found the Alpha, Beta, and Pi symbols. Forcing my gaze back to the center of the poster, I read its insidious message: Rush Week. U of G, Athens. Everyone welcome!

    Kill. Me. Now.

    The poster fluttered above the atrium. I’d been staring at it for so long, my neck hurt. Maybe I could back out due to injuries. It’s not like I owed anybody anything. Not my mother, my grandmother, my Aunt Suzette or cousin Colleen. And especially not Calliope.

    A girl stopped beside me and looked up. “You thinking of joining?” she asked.

    “Yup.” I couldn’t muster anything else. It felt like my heart had sunk all the way down to my Birkenstocks.

  • Title: Crossover

    Genre: NA Science Fiction

    Word Count: 77,000

    Pitch: When Blake volunteers to beta test a virtual reality game, he finds himself slipping between unstable parallel universes. In one, he’s a C+ frat boy, but the other Blake’s a pioneer on the spaceship Athena preparing to colonize New Earth.

    Excerpt:

    When he choked awake, the air mask covering his mouth popped off and bounced against the bed’s soft padding.

    No, not a bed.

    Blake looked at the blue light running along the crease beside him. He was trapped in half a tube. Panic iced his veins, freezing him. Was this some sort of joke? This was the game?

    Get out. Get out.

    His hand smacked against the grid of pale blue and black above him and lit up words—

    resume cycle

    page captain

    emergency eject

    —He ejected. Maybe it wasn’t an emergency, but if he didn’t get out of this hole five seconds ago he was going to tear it apart. If his heart didn’t beat out of his chest first.

    The whisper of sliding rubber sounded above his head and light uncoiled. Real, white light. Not this blue shit. Before he could climb towards the opening the bed started sliding out of the hole.

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Title: TUNCORE TRILOGY: GIMA
    Genre: Sci-Fi Fantasy Adventure
    Word Count: 78,000

    Pitch: Silver rain fell, dividing mankind. Half mutate, living underground, surfacing to hunt those left behind to near extinction. Mutant Gima looks human and flees with two escaping men who hope others still live above.

    Excerpt:

    Prologue: Excerpts from Hunter’s journal

    April 12, 2310
    The cat prowls. The dog hunts. They die. The rat slinks, eats their bodies and thrives, growing beyond countable numbers in the bellies of the cities—in the belly of the world.

    April 15, 2310
    I’m the rat catcher. The prowler-hunter going deep into the bowels of mankind’s ruins, mankind’s rubble, to grapple with rodent-kind-mutant, man-rat-weasel beasts, upright, furry bone-bags with bulbous brains pressed inside inadequately small skulls. They slather putrid drool that seeps through shedding, crooked teeth in snake hinged jaws. With nocturnal eyes, blinded by daylight’s glare, they are swift pack hunters with voracious appetites who eat all things even their own when nothing else is available.

    Happy New Year 2313
    Lovely? I live for lovely. I live for the madness of it. Who is mad? You all said I was, mad? No, you were … for hiding behind words and feigning safety as their numbers grew, and your children were snatched down storm drains, manholes, septic tanks, wells—all to the underground world—into their hungry, growing Rat Nation.

  • Title: Scaredy Cat
    Genre: Urban Fantasy
    Word Count: 90,000

    Pitch: Bakeneko Myst, returns to her hometown with the intention of leaving within days, but when her pet vampire disappears she must outsmart a fae assassin and find him or risk being stuck there forever.

    Excerpt:
    Newhope, was supposed to be a place of renewal, a city reborn as a connection between the fae and human worlds, a place of hope and new beginnings. To me it meant death. The death of my family, the death of my feline life and now the death of my foster mother. It was the last place on earth I should have been but I could not miss the funeral of the only mother I had known as a human, even if I had only known her for a few years.

    “Oh my lordy, it’s beautiful.”

    “Breathtaking, simply breathtaking.”

    The overpowering smell of lavender and mothballs wafted across from the elderly couple who had exited the station with me and a hundred others. Most of the remaining passengers were hopping into taxis or waiting at the bus stop ready to venture into the city.

  • Title: FEVER NATION

    Genre: Upmarket mystery/thriller

    Word count: 125,000 words

    Pitch:
    A hit man with a conscience and a private investigator with a heart uncover a sinister world of Hollywood blackmail, sex ceremonies and murder that link a sensational kidnapping to a plot to assassinate JFK

    Opening excerpt: The sun rises fast in the desert. There is no warning, no subtle intimation. It is a brutal event. The end of night. The beginning of suffering. His dog comes to his side, one forepaw raised, her head lifted in awareness. Hastings scans the landscape. Everything is still in the flattened, shadowless dawn. His dog whines and then he sees it: the cloud of passage defining itself, dust fanning away from the approaching convoy.

    Three black cars.

    Coming fast.

    For him.

    Three cars. That meant up to twelve men, if they were smarter than the last ones. He unleashes his dog, sending Bella running into the countryside. She would be the initial victim. They always sacrifice the animals first, spilling the easy blood. No gas chamber for the household pet. But it shows they mean business. The cat or dog is a member of the family. Anyone could be next…

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