Archive | September 2013

Pitch Madness SJ-14: SAVING DANGER

Genre: 
MG Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count:  40,000
Pitch: Lucretia accidentally traps 5-year-old new
stepbrother, Danger, in a comic. She enters its pages to save him. But it’s an
impossible task when he’s in charge of the story and won’t follow any writing
rules
Excerpt:  
I glared at my
reflection in the hotel mirror. Pepto-Bismol pink glared back at me as I tugged
one of the many ruffles strangling my gown. “It looks like a cupcake vomited on
me.”
Grandma Rosa stood
next to the mirror. At the same time, she chuckled and stared at me sternly. An
impressive feat. She responded in her faint Italian accent, “It’s not so
terrible.”        
I scowled. “Does
she think I’m the same age as Danger?” In a few short hours, Danger would be my
stepbrother. I didn’t know whether it would be worse to be stuck with him or
his plastic mother for the rest of my life. “I’m thirteen—not five.”
She sighed. “Your
father sure knows how to pick ‘em.” Grandmother pursed her lips, realizing her
comment not only bashed Erin, soon-to-be Stepzilla, but also my real mother.
“What I mean is—”
“Don’t worry
about it, Grandma Rosa.” I ignored the dropping-an-anchor down-my-stomach
sensation that always followed the mention of my real mother and forced a fake
smile. “If this is what she thinks her junior bridesmaid should look like, I
can’t wait to see her gown.” My usual clothes were black like Grandma’s
though mine were younger and less shapeless. Her mourning look was pretty
obvious. “What do you think she’ll say when she sees your dress?”
We didn’t have to wait
long to find out. Erin, her head a mountain of curling iron curls peeked into
the room—without having the courtesy to knock.

Pitch Madness SJ-13: THE ART OF BREAKING

Genre: 

YA Magical Realism
Word Count:  89,000
Pitch: After dying and coming back as an
Imaginary friend, Luca must give up her dreams of being a normal teenager—and a
once-in-an-afterlife romance—or risk breaking the Imaginary world and losing
her best friend.
Excerpt: 
The
rules of summer were simple—only one ice cream sandwich per day, no swimming
without appropriate supervision, and always be home before dark. On the day
Luca Grable died, she broke all three. The first two were acts of seven-year
old rebellion. The third was an unintentional side effect of drowning in her
best friend’s pool.
But
even dying couldn’t keep Luca from growing up. It was one of the perks of
becoming an Imaginary friend instead of going to heaven. She got to keep aging
along with her best friend as long as Katie needed her. And there was nothing
her mentor Math could do about it, no matter how late she was for their weekly
meeting.
He
could, however, put her on bathroom duty. Again.
Luca
checked her watch as she hauled ass the last few feet to the entrance of
Imaginary House. Ten more minutes and not even being a few months shy of legal
age could save her from scrubbing toilets and bleaching tile grout every
Saturday night for the next month.
She
flung herself through the front gates, gripping the smooth metal bars for
balance, and shot up the sidewalk. The house cast crooked shadows on the lawn
from the various additions that jutted out at odd angles from the main
building. A few younger Imaginaries chased each other around the half-acre of
thick grass, using the shadows as safe zones. Their laughter pierced the air.
Their knees were stained with grass and dirt and remnants of melted chocolate.

Pitch Madness SJ-12: PIRATE JENNY

Genre: 

YA Historical
Word Count:  60,000
Pitch: 17yo Jenny discovers that the mother who abandoned her
is the Red Lady pirate. When her mother is imprisoned, Jenny must decide to
either rescue her or let her swing from King Henry’s noose
.
Excerpt:  
The ship stole
into the harbor just after dark. I happened to be looking out the upstairs
window at the full moon reflected on the blue black water. I liked how the
image wavered back and forth as the waves moved. Was the ship a reflection of
the light?
I blinked and the
image vanished. Thinking I had imagined it, I turned back to the room with the
cleaning rag in my hand, I jumped. Meg watched me from the doorway.
“Girl? You
dreaming again? Get to work before I whip you.” Meg flew at me with her hand
raised.
I ducked and
scurried out of her way. I ran down the stairs taking two at a time.
“Get back here,
girl.”
Meg was old and
had a substantial girth so I knew she would not be able to catch me. I giggled
as I rounded the corner and ran smack into Thomas, who carried a full tray of
goblets filled to the brim with ale. Of course they spilled all over him, me
and the floor. I landed on my bottom, my dress soaked.
He glared at
me. 
“Fetch me six
goblets of ale and take them to the table by the window.” Thomas shook himself
like a dog would, sending more droplets of the nasty smelling brew all over me.
“I smell like ale,” I
wailed as I wrung out a handful of hair dripping with the stuff. I stood and
tried to get around him but he caught my arm. 

Pitch Madness SJ-11: PURGATORY FORGED

Genre: 

New Adult Literary Fiction
Word Count:  110,000
Pitch: An Algerian painter lures a 22-year-old art scholar to the
Parisian catacombs, plunging him into a black market for ancient art, a
haunting infatuation, and the schemes of a genteel megalomaniac.
Excerpt:  
Before the devil led him to the
Aegean Sea, and long before the soaring visions of his old age, he fell in love
with an artist by the Seine. On that evening she knelt at the western point of the
Île de la Cité, touching a shaft of charcoal – dark as her complexion – to an
easel. If the Parisian winter could take form as a woman, he’d found her there,
nestled beneath the March wind that lifted her hair and brushed away the
residue of her drawing. He was young then, Gerald Syzygy, an oversized coil of
wanderlust and infatuation, studying abroad for his senior year; and he
couldn’t look away from the artist as she recreated the Pont des Arts, its
trelliswork and pedestrian kiosks, the streams of people mingling there.
When she shifted to her hip and dared
him with her eyes, holy shit, he thought, and missed a note on his
harmonica. The other buskers broke off laughing and covered for him.
He hardly knew them during those
eight weeks but he often joined their circles at the Vert-Galant or by the
steps of Sacré Coeur, adding his harmonica to their guitars, flutes, and
concertinas, their woolen hats and frumpy clothes of that year, 1996. The best
place of all, for him at least, was the muted still point on the rim of the
island, where the air compressed their random melodies, never quite repeatable,
but often with an idée fixe of Dylan tunes.

Pitch Madness SJ-10: ARROWS

Genre: 

YA Myth Adaptation
Word Count:  64,000
Pitch: Aaryn wants to become the next great cupid.
His mistake? Shooting Karma, a ballet prodigy who’s traded her future for the
love of a selfish jerk. Now, Aaryn’s been banished to Earth as a human.
Excerpt:  
I saved my arrows for
last.
It was a warm night on
Earth for my first assignment. Phoebe, my mentor, worked from the shadows, her
slender body appearing indestructible as she lifted her bow, her skin like
milk.
“Aaryn,” Phoebe said.
“Those two.” Golden shivers of light passed through the arrow she notched into
her bow, and when she retracted, the fletching made a dent against the apple of
her cheek. Her coal-lined eyes focused on two teens standing by the door of the
high school.
Even though we were
invisible, the teens seemed nervous. The girl cast little glances at her date,
who was busy wiping his palms down his suit pants.
Phoebe paused.
Narrowed her gaze.
With a snap, a glittery
path tore through the air, the arrow disintegrating with a burst of light
through the boy’s tie.
Phoebe slid a cool glance
in my direction. I’d never experienced the arrows like that. I’d devoured the
class material and studied more than I would ever admit. Now, right before my
eyes, love was beginning to unfold. The punch of my heart seemed to chase the
next shot.
Phoebe placed a second
arrow against the silver wire and brought the girl into her sights. The arrow
flew and disappeared. Wow.
The teens held each other
for a long time. They kissed. The whole thing was amazing, really. Two humans
who hadn’t even reached adulthood, who’d barely started to learn about life,
and they’d already found their soul mate.
“You’re up,” Phoebe said.

Pitch Madness SJ-9: RAGDOLL

Genre: 

YA Magical Realism
Word Count:  53,000
Pitch: A
sixteen-year-old girl isn’t the only one writing in her Diary Dearest. Her
dolls are, too. Ancestral types named Ragdoll and Porcelain Doll who crave two
very different endings for the girl they haunt.
Excerpt:  
ragdoll
i crinkle to life
when her blood spills.
i move in red and
breath.
she don’t see me
as i truly am and she don’t know that i see,
everything.
i am her
childhood doll.
i’ve seen since
we first found each otha’.
she was four.
that be twelve
years ago.
i been ‘round
lots longer.
i don’t know how
long.
i only remember
the smell of smoke and turpentine,
the taste of
oiled cinnamon,
the feel of hard
straw and needle pinch as it sewed on each stitch of mouth and coarse yarn
hair.
i didn’t have to
see to know it flamed shaggy red.
it was a long and
painful process.
creation always
is.
the nimble
strength and rough tenderness in my maker’s hands taught me everything
i needed to know
’bout love.
my button eyes
were sewn on last.
i saw my maker.
old and
weathered, battered by time, her skin dark chocolate, and her eyes rheumatic.
she saw me smile
and smiled in return, patting my stuffed arms and legs.
she’ll need you,
she whispered in a voice i recognized as my own.
i travelled great
distances, through many hands and lives,
none of ‘em right
for me,
to find the girl
who needs me most,
the one my
creator created me for.
Friday, October
31st
My dolls haunt me. They jump inside me and
make me write things I don’t want to write. Things I don’t need to remember. I
try to ignore them, but it doesn’t do any good.

Pitch Madness SJ-8: The Murder of Mr. George Wickham

Genre: 

Adult Historical Mystery
Word Count:  66,000
Pitch: At
sixteen, LYDIA BENNETT followed the dissolute WICKHAM into unrestrained
debauchery. Now trapped and destitute, in polite society, divorce is never an
option.
When police investigate Wickham’s murder,
Lydia’s sisters must protect the morally innocent.
Excerpt: 
Murder is not something well-bred ladies
discuss.  Worse still is to plan and execute such a wicked action.
Still, one must own, that in polite society, a well thought out murder is
always preferable to the scandal of divorce.  It all started with an
ornately carved coffin and a shadow of a former sister…
“We must find some way to help her,” whispered
Jane as she squeezed my hand and her eyes directed at poor Lydia seated in the
back pew.
Jane was no less concerned about Lydia than
me, “After the funeral, we shall try to find a quiet moment,” I whispered back.
Darcy and Bingley, one on each side of us,
frowned at our whispering during a funeral, especially our own mother’s
funeral.  Sufficiently reprimanded like absent minded, naughty children,
we turned our attention back to Mr. Collins and the podium.
Father often joked that we could all be so
lucky as to have Mother die before him but no one expected his words to become
a premonition.  Neither did I expect Father to look so solemn and lost, no
longer his wife and source of amusement to keep him company.
There was a
positive from the funeral, seeing poor Lydia again, though in saying that, she
seemed to have aged well beyond her years. Thankfully, Wickham was notably
absent. More than ten years had past since Lydia ran off with Mr. Wickham and
Jane and I married Bingley and Darcy. During those years, we rarely heard from
her, unless it was to plead for financial help, and saw her even less.