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Semi-Finals Post 2 – Auntie Bs Book Club Contest

Tuesday, 2 August 2011  |  Posted by Brenda Drake
http://picture-book.com/content/morgan-gaynin-6

Auntie B’s Book Club Contest 
Semi-Finals Post 2

Here’s the second post of the Auntie’s B Book Club Contest, and I have to admit it has been a lesson for me. I wish you all could have been a fly in the wall and had listened in on the picking round with the girls. They actually fought over many of the stories. If you haven’t a clue what’s going on with this post go here for all the details.

So, next up is . . .
 
Drama Girl: Able to shed a tear on command. She’ll be going to California to college in the fall. Her interests are anything Jane Austen, mysteries, thrillers, and of course, anything with hot boys in it.
I think the best part of being in the book club is finding out what my friends think about the books we read. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love the party part of the meetings, which is tons of fun too, but I never would’ve read some of the books we read if it wasn’t for Auntie B’s Book Club. I think my tastes have definitely changed by being a part of this club. Auntie B is awesome!

I had such a great time doing this. My major is English, so I really am glad for the experience. I have to pick two of my favorites, which was so hard. I wish I could pick all of the ones from my list.You all are great writers. Thanks for letting me read your pitches and first 250 words!
My top two . . .
Robin Weeks
Title: Geas
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Pitch: Humans are used to pixies, but human-pixie hybrid Brina will have to leverage her differences to understand her heritage, slow the flow of illegal dust, and win the heart of a certain charming Midsummer ass. 
You can check out the blog post here: Robin Weeks
My comments: I really am liking fantasy lately and this one sounds fun. I love how she disobeys the norm and goes off without changing and then gets caught by a photographer. I totally related to her and wanted to read more.
Becca Buss
Title: Echo
Genre: YA Suspense
Pitch: Benjamin couldn’t control Olivia’s mind. She was the only one he ever met with his power, and the only one who could stop him from hiding the truth behind a deadly accident.
You can check out the blog post here: Becca Buss
My comments: The mystery in the pitch caught my attention. The excerpt was great and I could completely visualize this scene. I loved all the small details like the click-clacking of the keyboard and how the guy’s eyes shift. Actually, it reminded me of my one and only time I had to go to the principal’s office. 
My thoughts on the other entries . . .
Ashley Maker

Title: Under the Trees
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy Romance
Pitch: Fleeing an arranged marriage, Araya’s last intention is to fall in love; when Prince Thor helps her, he doesn’t consider the consequences of harboring a fugitive princess…until Araya’s betrothed arrives, determined to take her back.
You can check out the blog post here: Ashley Maker  
My comments: The pitch sounded way cool so I chose this one first. The first paragraph was awesome and it had me wondering why she’s racing the horse. The second paragraph slowed the action for me. I would have rather been shown this part instead of told it or just have her get caught or get away and then find a better place to reveal this. I guess what I mean is that I’d rather the race go on and to have an exciting escape before you let me know why she’s running. 

Cally Jackson

Title: Tangled
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pitch: Ceara’s desperate for love; Seb’s desperate to get laid. Ceara adores reading novels; Seb hasn’t finished a book in years. Two strangers, both moving to Brisbane for uni. A recipe for love, or disaster?
You can check out the blog post here: Cally Jackson
My comments: The pitch is so great and made me want to read the rest. The excerpt is written really well, and I could totally relate to ripping my favorite poster, but it wasn’t enough to wow me. I loved the part about the smear of dog crap on their shoe. I would buy this book because of the pitch alone. It’s that good.

Victoria Tremper
 
Title: The Bathsheba Medallion

Genre: YA Time-travel
Pitch: Sophie, a teen dancer stuck in 19th century Paris, must ignore her feelings for a young Zionist, and rely on a thief to solve a mystery about her mother to return to the present.
You can check out the blog post here: Victoria Tremper
My comments: Loved the pitch. 19th century Paris. Need I say more? I love time travel so this one really caught my attention. This almost made my top two. The opening excerpt is interesting but I don’t know if I was her and just got transported that I’d think of it being her mother’s birthplace. I usually don’t like present tense in books but this one works. Is she from our time? If so, I don’t think a teen would use phrases like fail me or sounds bombard me. Maybe her ankles twist or sounds hit her or something like that. I’d say just work on making it sound like she’s a teenager more.

Keely Done

Title: He’s Just The Ghost Who Broke My Heart Before I Met You
Genre:YA Southern Gothic
Pitch: Luke receives a disturbing letter from his girlfriend and sets out to visit her estate where he meets with prejudice, ghosts, and a family curse.

My comments: This one also almost made my top two. I loved the pitch and opening scene. There’s a lot of awesome details, but some of it seemed too old for me to relate to. You might want to use more current teen stuff for your teen to compare things to. Also, teens usually don’t send letters unless their mom makes them. We send texts and post on Facebook, rarely do we send emails. 
Jamie Corrigan
Title: The Demon Chronicles: The Black Light Of Purity
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Pitch: Haunted by her ‘dead’ mother, stalked by an evil force, Taisie learns not everyone is human, not even her, & along with her new friends, she must embrace her souls past & powers to survive.
 
You can check out the blog post here: Jamie Corrigan
 
My comments: The pitch doesn’t give me enough to understand what the book is about. What evil force and how is everyone not human? Are they vampires or something? Also, you could make it more exciting. The excerpt really got me and I wanted to know who was watching her and what would happen when she got to her new home.

Erica Chapman

Title: Anomaly

Genre: YA Science Fiction
Pitch: Seventeen year-old Sloan gets shipped to Killer Island with other teens who are pre-determined to kill. A killer drug circulates & the two guys upstairs aren’t making life easier for her. Too bad they’re lying.
 
My comments: I like the first part of the pitch but the last part isn’t clear enough for me. How are the two guys making her life hard and what are they lying about? Are they both trying to hook up with her? I liked the use of the craptastic advice thing but didn’t like the fart thing in the excerpt. I’m Hispanic so loved that she is. I liked the mother/daughter exchange. I’m curious to know where she’s going, but I’m not sure what the story is about.

Valentina Hepburn

Title: Cloudburst
Genre: YA/Saga
Pitch: When Kate McGuire’s father disappears, she discovers what it means to give unconditional love.  She is determined to keep her family together and find happiness with Jack Daly, her childhood sweetheart.
 
You can check out the blog post here: Valentina Hepburn
 
My comments: The pitch is good, but not as exciting as my two top picks. I really liked the writing and descriptions in the excerpt, but I didn’t feel a connection with Kate. This wouldn’t stop me from buying the book. I would hope that the next pages would show me Kate’s personality. I really do like it enough to find out what happens to Kate.

Auntie B’s note: In discussing this with Drama Girl, she wasn’t connecting with the narrative of the story. It reads like this happens, then this happens, and then this happens. Maybe add some internal thoughts from Kate or have her say something out loud to give the reader a sense of her character. 
 
M Frazier
 
Title:  Inside The Teardrop
Genre: YA Contemporary Novel
Pitch: The shattered pieces of their own lives bring these five girls closer together than they ever could have imagined. Life is about giving, not always taking and through it all they find forgiveness and love.
You can check out the blog post here: M Frazier
My comments: Loved this pitch. I love when a story has a group in it. The opening scene is great, but I don’t think she’d still be running and worrying about getting caught when she’s near her house. I could see her doing that from within the store and then only until she’s out of sight of the store. Then she’d be all celebrating that she pulled it off. Of course, I’ve never stolen anything before so this is just my opinion.

Kate Larkindale

Title: Chasing the Taillights
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pitch: Lucy and Tony share nothing except their genetic code. When a car accident kills their parents, they are thrown together and forced to rely on each other – and decide whether to reveal their secrets.
You can check out the blog post here: Kate Larkindale 
My comments: The pitch didn’t have anything extraordinary in it to grab my attention. The excerpt was awesome and I totally loved all the details. I would so buy this book by the opening pages but not by the pitch.

I’m working hard to type out the posts from the girls’ notes, so I hope to have them up tonight or first thing tomorrow morning. The winners will be posted tomorrow at 8PM EST. So come back later for the next post.

Filed: Misc

7 Comments
  • Robin Weeks says:

    YayYayYayYay! I was so hoping for Drama Girl–and you PICKED ME! Have I mentioned I was a drama girl, too? Thanks so much for liking it! *Has Permagrin*

  • rebeccaenzor says:

    Yay Cally! Awesome Pitch 😀

    Congrats to everyone else as well!

  • Becca says:

    Awesome! Mine was picked! That made me so incredibly happy!

  • Hehehe, I’m the same as Robin. I was hoping Drama Girl would pick me, as I was drama girl myself in high school (and my MC Ceara definitely has some of my melodramatic tendencies!)

    Thanks so much for this competition, Brenda and for the feedback, Drama Girl. It’s fantastic to get completely honest feedback from someone in my target audience. I’ve also enjoyed reading the girls’ takes on all of the pitches and whether their thoughts match with my own. For the most part they do, which is interesting. Thanks again!

  • I was hoping Drama Girl would like mine. 🙂 I have to say that I agree with you too. I actually face palmed when I reread my pitch. I’m happy that my excerpt grabbed your attention though. Thanks for the comments!! I’ll work on that pitch ASAP!! 🙂

  • Thank you, Drama Girl. Everything noted and will be taken on board. This has been really good fun. A brilliant contest. Please do some more!

  • Thanks Drama Girl (I was a drama girl in high school too. And in college),

    I’ve re-done the pitch now, so hopefully it’s as grabby as the first page!

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