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Team Brenda #8 – COVETED

Thursday, 17 May 2012  |  Posted by Brenda Drake
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 81,000
Seventeen-year-old Caleb Dunnelly would rather spend the weekend at home, searching the net for clues about his parents’ disappearance. Which is why his best friend has to trick him into going out every Friday night.
The two end up at Confessions, local hotspot, and—apparently—the perfect place to be ambushed. When a couple freaks in robes set the club on fire, Caleb pulls his friend to safety, and smack into the middle of an ancient war being waged on modern streets. A group of religious radicals believes he possesses powers capable of enslaving mankind, and wants him dead. Caleb doesn’t want to ‘enslave’ anyone, but try telling that to the lunatics with the glowing swords.
While running for his life, he crosses paths with the literally explosive Scarlet, who’s fiery hot, but also eight kinds of crazy. She says he can raise the dead, which makes him a target for any number of supernatural forces, including the Seven Deadly Sins. The Sins haven’t been topside in a millennium, but they’ve crawled their way out of the pit just to pay him a visit. Between Hell’s generals, and a murderous secret society, Caleb just wants to make it to Monday with his soul in tact—and possibly ask Scarlet out—but the Sins have information Caleb is willing to pay any price for: they know what happened to his family.

Caleb learned long ago being friends with Martin MacMurtry required two things, inhuman patience, and a tolerance for impromptu fashion shows. The first remained a struggle, but the second he’d mastered by the fifth grade. Reloading a failed level of Angry Birds, he snickered as Martin left to change clothes for the fifth time.
“Worse than my sister. I mean, come on, we passed borderline ridiculous twenty minutes ago.”
“Hey!” Martin’s voice carried into the living room, along with the rustle of cloth and the clatter of hangers. “There is absotively nothing wrong with taking pride in one’s appearance.”
He hiked an eyebrow, glancing up from his battle against the international pig threat. Did he just say, “Absotively?”
Caleb shook his head, turning his focus to his phone as he stretched out over an expensive-ass leather couch. Martin called it Ashley, which worried Caleb before he found out it was a brand, and not his friend naming the furniture. “What I said still stands. What, were you a runway model in another life?”
“First I’m not just changing clothes. These are strategic choices.” Martin’s words preceded his reentry, his fingers fumbling with the leather belt around a pair of three-hundred-dollar tattered jeans. “Second, your sister wishes she dressed this good.” He held out his arms and struck a pose, the kind you find in magazines where it’s clear the guy takes himself and whatever he’s modeling way too seriously.

Filed: Misc

  • SueJay says:

    I love this. Caleb is hilarious, and I love the voice in your query. Good Luck!

  • Sarah Ahiers says:

    Hah!! Loved “eight kinds of crazy”!

  • TYHatch says:

    *slinks in* lol

    I really like the interaction between Caleb and Martin. Such guys!

    Good luck!

  • Valerie says:

    I love the line “eight kinds of crazy”! Caleb has a great voice- I want to read more!

  • I remember this one too and I still love it! Great job & good luck!

  • T.L. Bodine says:

    Oh man, this sounds intense. Good luck!

  • Jamie Grey says:

    Fantastic opening – love their interaction and the voice here! Good luck!

  • Becca C. says:

    God, I just love the voice in the opening excerpt – edgy and funny and someone I totally want to hang out with for another couple hundred pages.

  • Ha ha ha Love this line “a tolerance for impromptu fashion shows.” Great voice in this ;o)

  • Leigh Ann says:

    Wow, I love Scarlet already. Eight kinds of crazy? My kind of girl.

    Awesome voice in the first page! Good luck!

  • April Wall says:

    Love the intensity! Good luck!

  • Sarah Henson says:

    Love the changes in your query. Good luck!

  • You did a great job revising your query! There’s so much more without anything bogging it down. And I still LOVE your opening page! Like everyone else said, great voice! Good luck!

  • Lisa K. says:

    This sounds great…and I love the idea of the Seven Deadly Sins being actual supernatural beings. Excellent!

  • I loved this when I first read it – still love it now. The Seven Deadly Sins crawling topside really had me. I would love to read the entire book!

  • Dahlia says:

    Love the variety of characters in this one! Good luck!

  • I love how you bring the Seven Deadly Sins to life. And the banter between Caleb and Martin…priceless (and hilarious).

  • Noelle Henry says:

    Love the banter between Caleb and Martin. Great job! Good luck!

  • I love the voice in this query – the lunatics with the glowing swords….Scarlet, who’s…eight kinds of crazy. Well done! Good luck in the contest!

  • Alex Hayman says:

    I love the voice here! Good luck!

  • Looooove the voice in this!!!

    Good luck in the contest!!

  • Tara Dairman says:

    #8 COVETED


    It looks like you have the makings of a real rollicking urban fantasy here—sounds like a fun, wacky story.

    I do have some nitpicks to help you polish your query: Your first sentence has me wondering “rather than what?” If you’re not going to compare staying at home directly to some other option, then I think you should reword the sentence; you could go with something like “If left to his own devices, 17-year-old Caleb Dunnelly would always choose to spend the weekend at home…”

    2nd paragraph: Maybe start with “One night, the two end up at Confessions…” since it sounds like they go out every weekend. You don’t need the comma after “local hotspot” and you need an “of” after “couple.” Later in the paragraph, who’s the “he” that possesses the powers, Caleb or his friend? Because grammatically, as it is now, it’s his friend.

    Last paragraph: No comma between “generals” and “and a murderous…” Also, I’d break up the final sentence. I’d put a period after “and possibly ask Scarlet out” (which, actually, would go nicely in parentheses). Then start the new sentence with “But.”

    First page:

    I like the last paragraph here—it’s smoothly written, and gives us a nice glimpse into Martin’s personality. The bit about Ashley is pretty funny, too. My reading stumbled in a few places in the earlier paragraphs, though—there’s some stuff you can clean up.

    First sentence: you need a colon, not a comma, after “two things” (or else you actually have a list of three things, one of which is “two things”). I’d also add a “that” between “long ago” and “being friends.”

    Fourth paragraph: The “He” who’s hiking an eyebrow should be “Caleb”—otherwise it sounds like we’re jumping into Martin’s head, since he spoke last. Also, if Caleb wonders to himself whether Martin just said “Absotively?” then who says “Posolutely”? Is Martin reading his mind and shouting from the other room?

    Overall, you seem to have a fun dynamic between the two guys.

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