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Without further ado, we give you the correctly submitted pitches.
Title: The Perfect Tree
Genre/Subgenre: Historical Romance
Word count of manuscript: 85,500
In the latter part of the 19th Century, ten-year-old Logan Gallagher was plucked from the streets of the Lower East Side and adopted by Conn and Deirdre Callaghan. For 16 years Logan’s lived a good life, even though he’s always at loggerheads with Conn. At least life would be good if Logan wasn’t an ass and a magnet for woman trouble. This causes nothing but grief for everyone. Bad enough when Logan goes after ranch hands’ daughters and wives. Getting involved with Lupe, the recently widowed daughter of Conn’s ranch manager, can bring nothing but trouble. To keep Logan from making a mistake that would ruin his life Conn sends him to deliver four horses to a man who claims to be making moving pictures in the desert outside of Los Angeles. The trip could prove Logan’s downfall or his salvation. Especially when he convinces Lupe to run away with him. No mistake, it will change his life forever.
Genre/Subgenre – Romantic Thriller
Word count of manuscript – 50,000
A cache of priceless diamonds hidden in World War II sparks a hasty wedding on the high seas and a dangerous chase through Europe that holds the key to an unsolved mystery and a promise of lost love in this dark and humorous Romancing the Stones-style thriller.
Stumble Stones, set alternately in contemporary and 1940s Europe, tells the story of HALLELUJAH (HALLIE) WEISS, a writer for the steamy sudser, As the Planet Spins, who gets a second chance at love when she flees to Italy to get over her recent divorce. She meets lonely Berlin hedge fund manager ALEXANDER STONE, a number cruncher who puts his faith in numerical data, on a connecting flight from Berlin to Rome, and they face danger from a shady organization when they team up to solve the mystery of the missing diamonds and travel documents hidden in Alexander’s house during World War II.
The beginning of most chapters in Hallie’s POV opens with a snapshot of dialogue from her soap opera characters, Parker and Polly Winthrop. Parker and Polly’s adventures inform how the normally cautious Hallie lives her life. Will these unlikely soulmates survive long enough to solve the mystery and fulfill their destiny?
Mystery of the Crystal Skull – 26,200 words
Genre/Subgenre – Romance Mystery
A story was passed down by generations of Incas of a mystical crystal skull in the rainforest high up in the Andes. It’s power was great because it came from ancient wisdom and mystical religion, a spiritual culture now longer practiced. Only the few gifted were able to tell and teach how to use this power. All through the years, the government suppressed the existence of the crystal skull. The power of this folklore and its belief created great concern and remained damaging to the strength and leadership of the authorities. Yet, the saga never disappeared. Rather, it surfaced again and again. This story tells of the gripping adventures of four research scientists high into the Andes mountains, in search of the crystal skull. It speaks of relationships, disappointments, fears, betrayals, and murder. But, also speaks of joy, love, and commitment. One asks, is the Mystery of the Crystal Skull a parable filled with vital truth, or just a story like all stories lost in the translation of time.
Title: Going Twice
Word Count: 70000
Auctioneer, Dana Packard works to forget mistakes of her past. Moving forward quickly is the only way she can move past a failed relationship. Her quiet life of small town living makes progress forward easier.
Bruce Levenger, insurance salesman, has no interest in small towns or auctions but his brother, an antique store owner, needs that china. For Bruce, canceling his weekend plan and instead wasting a day at a sale isn’t his idea of fun but what can he do? The store needs that piece of glass and after helping survive a disaster relationship, Bruce knows he owes his brother more than a day standing around.
Just outside of small town Nebraska, Bruce almost collides with Dana and their personalities repel. At the auction, Dana knows Bruce wants that tea pot and assures he gets it, for a price. Bruce knows Dana wants the auctioned land and, without a plan, finds himself the owner of 20 acres in the country.
Making the best of an unplanned situation, they become partners. Under protest, sparks between Dana and Bruce turn to love. Gaining that final bid proves best for both in Going Twice.
Title: Bet On IT
Genre/Subgenre: Contemporary Romance
Word count of manuscript: 52,000
“Are you trying to talk me into bed?” Cat Warner asked breathily. “Or into your business deal?”
Catherine “Cat” Warner has problems. The profits from her inns are down. The pressure from her parents is up. Her love life is non-existent. But Cat did manage to get the attention of tough, powerful, gorgeous hotel magnate Ty Orland. Unfortunately, his interest in her is for all the wrong reasons. Instead of wanting Cat, this debonair CEO only wants her land—a parcel he desperately needs for his next big development deal. Too bad it’s not for sale. A pleaser by nature, Cat knows to stand strong. If she caves to this sexy, alluring man, it will be her own neck on the line.
Ty Orland has a lot of things going for him. Success. Power. Respect. He’s also got an old chip on his shoulder and a new financial nightmare. His development deal is tanking—and fast. His only way out is if Cat sells him her strategically located parcel. But romancing the land from her is not easy when love gets in the way. The woman is as beautiful as she is beguiling. Which prize is more valuable?
Within the fading remnants of a dying world, four travelers meet in common cause to retrieve their stolen property from the clutches of a fleeing wizard.
Bound together against this mutual enemy, they must set aside their misgivings of each other as they chase the wizard Mathias across the Deathlands of Staldrung, a region blighted by the effects of ancient wars, and face its dangers along with the traps Mathias has left behind him. Shared adventures reveal their secrets to each other, sometimes increasing understanding but often also increasing distrust. Yet only together can they hope to overcome Mathias.
And even if they succeed, is this unlikely band ready for what answers they might uncover about the nature of their world?
Dance With Destiny
American historical romance
Susannah Myers wages a daily battle with herself. She has pride that her husband, William, was one of the first to volunteer to fight the Civil War. But she also feels anger and abandonment at being left to care for their four children by herself.
Raoul Lone Wolf Lafontaine, half Ojibwa, half French-Canadian, flees the Indian camp where memories of his dead wife haunt him daily. His nightly dreams are filled with a fair-haired white woman. But he has vowed never to love again.
Their worlds collide on a small spit of land in southern Ohio. When their friendship escalates into love, Raoul and Susannah both realize the best course of action is for him to leave. William will return to his homestead and they’ll once again be a family. One in which Raoul has no place. Or does he?
Once Upon a Masquerade
Cordelia Clarke waited two long years, in vain for her brother’s best friend to view her as more than a sisterly acquaintance. The night of his family’s masquerade, she produces a false identity and wears a costume in colors she knows he adores. She proceeds to show him she is a desirably lady and not as he had called her numerous times, a dear girl. Her wildest dreams come true when he kisses her upon the balcony. Alas, she leaves him quivering and wanting more.
Andrew Daventry, Viscount Sutton does not view himself as a usual aristocrat. He is a gentleman in every sense of the word. But, on the night of his masquerade, he meets an enchantress who beguiles him, sets him aflame. After the encounter, he is completely changed. Bitter by her rejection to become acquainted with one another out of costume, he sets out to find her identity.
His search leads him to a woman he never even knew he wanted.
Their lives become complicated when another suitor vies for Cordelia’s affection. Nosy relatives, misunderstandings and secrets tear them apart.
Yet, the most powerful means to live out their happily after ever, resides in their close friendship.
A Mule, A Mobster and A Mountain of Trouble
Miranda Whitley’s inconspicuous life involving plant care in commercial buildings implodes when she witnesses a horrific crime. Learning she’s next on a hit-list forces her to search out an FBI agent she’s had one awkward encounter with. The victim is her friend, a respected judge, and he alerts her crooked cops are involved. Warned by him to disappear from Seattle, she impulsively chooses to disrupt Agent Grant Morley’s vacation in Emma Springs, Montana and seek his help.
The dude ranch she’s booked into near Grant’s ranch advertises a trail ride up the nearby mountain, perfect for her plans until a gunshot rips through her side. The mule she’s ridden grows into her most trusted ally while Grant receives threads of evidence, weaving Miranda into a hapless victim, or a cold-blooded accomplice.
Miranda and Grant fight their uninvited attraction while defending themselves against criminals willing to do anything to prevent Miranda’s testimony. Bureau blood courses through Grant’s veins, but Miranda carries guilt from the shootout death of her family and can’t tolerate guns or the thought of losing Grant to violence. Fortunately for both of them, there’s always room for love, if it’s properly tended.