Welcome Jill Marsal to Agent Shop! Congrats to all the pitches that made it in.

September 22, 2013

UPDATE!

Jill requested six partials from this group of pitches!

Good luck to everyone submitting and keep at it for everyone else.

See you all soon.

 

Good morning everyone!

Good luck to everyone pitching.

Here are the stats as always…

Pitches Received: 45

Pitches accepted: 27

Pitches Rejected: 18

  • Over 200 word pitch – 12 (Some by only one or two words!!! Follow rules peeps.)
  • Missing info – 4 (This is just sad)
  • Pitching for a project ‘In the works’ – 1 (Um, yeah, no.)
  • No pitch – 1 (This was basically spam. The author merely listed their attributes.)

As always, all I can say is follow the rules, directions, guidelines anytime you submit. It’s a good rule o’ thumb to live by. It’s hard enough to get into the writing world. Don’t do yourself harm by refusing to take the time to ‘do it right’. Rant done.

Now on to the fun stuff.

WINNERS:

TOP PITCH SLOT – Look below!

WHAT SHE WAS MISSING – Tracy James Jones

AUTUMN IN THE VINEYARD – S.M.Nystoriak

Winners please email me your information and I’ll either e-mail you your copy, or send the info on to the author.

Please welcome Jill Marsal!

Thanks so much for coming to visit with us again Jill. The pitches are below, and as always, if you see something you like, email me at dancillaw (at) yahoo (dot) com. Please include the pitch number, title, what you’d like to see from the author, and how you’d like them to send it.

Have fun!

*************************************************************

#1 TOP PITCH SLOT WINNER!

If You Can See Me

Paranormal Romance

132,022 words

Some curses stay with a family for generations…

Nate Bentley is a man on a mission. To rid himself of a house h considers a monstrosity before he falls victim to the curse that strikes all the men in his family before their thirty-fifth birthday. But two things stand in his way: a headstrong sister and a woman who can see spirits of the dead.

…it just takes the right combination to break them…

Phaedra Delaney is the woman with the gift. To communicate with the dead. She is also the key to breaking the curse that has bound her family to the Bentley’s for over a century. All she has to do is get a Bentley man to fall in love with her before he turns thirty-five. If only he didn’t take an instant disliking to her upon their first meeting.

Destiny and determination collide when these two powerful people meet and their lives become inextricably entangled with those of their ancestors. Can they break the curse before Nate reaches his next birthday? Or will he fall victim to the same fate that claimed his father – and every male in the family for the past one hundred plus years?

#2

Words in the Windowsill

Historical Fiction/Time Travel with Romance

60,000 words

200-year-old music, love letters, and the Time Train bring 21st-century Hans face to face with his destiny. But falling in love with a 19th-century Viennese beauty wasn’t part of the plan.  When he realizes that meddling with the past has altered his future, Hans must find a way to set it straight, or risk a non-existent future.  Letters To Juliet meets Back To The Future.

#3

Loving the Enemy

Single title contemporary romance

87,345 words

A midwife returns to her small hometown and is unexpectedly thrown together with her ex-fiancé by an octogenarian matchmaker.

When Ivey Lancaster returns to her home town of Napa Valley to temporarily care for her eccentric Lottery-winning Aunt, and to accept her new position at the local hospital, she doesn’t expect to come face to face with the biggest mistake of her life: Dr. Jeff Gardner, her ex-fiancé.

She’s never forgiven him for the way things ended between them. When the job offer suddenly falls through, Ivey can’t help but wonder if Jeff has something to do with it.

Jeff Garner can’t believe his ex-fiancée has finally come back home. Not that his pride would let him admit it, but the sight of her makes him want to take her in his arms and pick up where they left off. If only he wasn’t keeping an unforgivable secret from her. He should stay away, but between their overwhelming passion and his octogenarian matchmaker grandfather, it’s proving impossible. Each time he pulls Ivey into his arms, he draws a little closer to revealing the secret that could ruin everything.

#4

Just Desserts

Contemporary Romance

55,000 words

Sadie Maxon’s almost done baking desserts and waitressing at her father’s trendy diner in Lake Geneva. She’s anxious to leave the resort town to finish grad school in Chicago. When Quinn Laughton, a contractor renovating the Wrigley mansion, offers to buy the crumbling diner, she can’t resist his deal or sexy, down-to-earth sweetness. But Sadie returns to Chicago and discovers Quinn is really a member of the prestigious Wrigley family. Sadie’s unsure if it was her or her family’s legendary diner that attracted Quinn. To convince Sadie of his intentions, Quinn mixes up a batch of passion and romance for her. But will Sadie’s small town sensibilities be swayed by Quinn’s big city charm?

#5

Arty Smarty

Single Title Contemporary Romance

80,000 words

Museum curator Claire Raffen must retrieve a sculpture for her Steampunk art exhibit from artist Sinjin Reid. When she arrives at the sexy Brit’s estate tucked in the wooded shores of Lake Michigan, there’s no metal masterpiece. She discovers that Sinjin has hidden the keystone piece from his greedy ex-wife and her lover, Claire’s smarmy boss–the director of the Lafferty Museum.

Sinjin will bring the sculpture out of hiding if Claire opens her exhibit in his gallery and nowhere near the Lafferty. Since the success of her show hinges on the star attraction, Claire reluctantly agrees with his crazy plan.

As they relocate an entire gallery of art, Claire and Sinjin uncover allies who help them move the exhibit under the nose of the museum’s crooked director. Working together, Claire gets a glimpse of the real Sinjin beneath his iconic image and resists his genuine charm. She can’t shake the feeling that Sinjin’s only using her to get back at his ex. With her reputation and exhibit on the line, Claire musters up enough trust to rely on Sinjin. But if she falls in love with Sinjin, she might wind up jobless and worse, heartbroken.

#6

The Gamekeeper’s Daughter

Historical Romance with Elements of Suspense

109,000 words

Queen Victoria’s top assassin, Lord Alexander Stokes harbors his fair share of dark secrets. Chief among them is his love of bondage and discipline. When a damsel-in-distress appeals for his help, he ponders the consequences, yet her similarity to his first love intrigues him. He offers to help her with a single condition: that the beauty consents to play his games of dominance and submission for an entire year.

Given no choice, Mrs. Julia Foxworth agrees to his indecent terms. Anything is better than serving time for a murder she did not commit, especially when the killer is stalking her. Despite her misgiving about being the mysterious masked man’s chattel, his raw masculine power lures her in like a hawk to her falconer.

Alexander learns she is his beloved Julia, the former gamekeeper’s daughter, he thought long dead. He’s been betrayed by her and his manipulative father. His heart darkens. Combating their deceptions, the lovers fight for the passion they once shared, amidst the threatening danger of Alexander’s nefarious enemies and her husband’s killer. Can they learn to trust one another and live long enough to know true love again?

#7

Sin on The Strip

Romantic Suspense

97,000 words

As the daughter of televangelist, reaching out to help is in Maggie Anderson’s blood. But a violent confrontation with a human trafficker steals her confidence and paralyzes her with fear. Saving a strip club from seedy owners, she uses it as a means to reach women in need. When a serial killer stalks her dancers, Maggie must finally face her old demons, praying her courage doesn’t fail her a second time.

Search and rescue investigator, Christian Beck has been on too many ‘damsel in distress’ missions. But when his latest assignment leads him to a feisty, but reckless club manager determined to put herself in danger, professional distance is no longer an option. As the serial killer sets his sights on Maggie, Beck fears losing her to the same psycho he believes killed his runaway sister twenty years ago.

Maggie and Christian discover that on the strip, sin is a relative term and to have a future they must conquer their pasts.

#8

Winter Song

Mystery/Suspense

83,000 words

Detective Noah Daugherty is a grieving widower, marking time, trying to stay busy enough to make it through each day while waiting for a date, one year in the future when he’ll  decide if he’s ready to join his wife. Meanwhile, he focuses his energy on winning over his late wife’s resentful Yorkie and taking scumbags off the street.

A hero can be only as strong as the villain he faces. In Winter Song, the villain is a hit man known as The Driver, a brilliant yet deliciously twisted teenager who advertises on Craig’s list and takes jobs to pay for his college tuition. When The Driver feels Noah coming steadily closer to unmasking him, he decides to strike first and remove the detective, and, since she barked a warning, the little dog has to go, too.

Noah might not be sure he wants to go on living, but he doesn’t plan to let some no good punk make that decision for him. And he certainly doesn’t plan to let him take out the dog he’s finally learned to love.  The Driver better watch out, because now it’s personal and Noah’s coming for him.

#9

Spellbound

Paranormal Romance

70,000 words

Sexy Druid meets sassy Selkie with a secret fear of commitment.

When Wolfe agrees to find Nikki and warn her of the danger she’s in, he has no idea that she’s a Selkie, or that she’s so damn sexy he’ll have trouble keeping his hands to himself. He finds her hiding from a band of mercenaries and is shocked to realize he can communicate with her telepathically. He immediately recognizes her as his destined mate, but convincing her of the fact proves to be tougher than he expects. He vows to find a way to neutralize the danger to her while he works on binding her to him

Deserted as a child, Nikki vowed that she would remain single rather than putting her own children through that type of emotional hell. When she meets Wolfe though, all bets are off and the sexual tension sizzles out of control. Mercenaries keep cropping up, so they retreat to Wolfe’s ancestral home in the mountains. Just as their relationship deepens, Nikki is kidnapped and Wolfe is forced to mount a rescue mission.

The story ends with a happily ever after, and subsequent books in the same world are set up during this one

#10

Moving on Nightfall

Urban Fantasy

70,000 words

For Jenny, surviving on the city streets is her reality. Living in the darkness of an abandoned subway station is the transgendered prostitute’s normal. Then she meets a stranger, Robert, who is with her for a night, and her world turns to chaos.

There is another reality that coexists with our own, and Jenny has been tapped into it. On the run, she meets a cop, Tom, who gives her refuge, and teaches her how to teleport between realities. Tom also teaches her about the two major power players in that reality, the law and the mafia, although she finds the line between the two are blurry.

Betrayed by Tom, Jenny reconnects with Robert, and is soon enmeshed in his plan to bring down both of the major power players, The plan is successful and soon Jenny is being hunted: by the law, by the mafia and by Tom who has his own reasons for wanting to find her. Now Jenny must unravel her blood connections to the past to understand her new found abilities, and she is running out of time.

#11

Above The Game
Literary Fiction
70,000 words

Eliot MacKenzie dreams of escaping his small New England town of Granite Harbor. Suddenly, there is no more dreaming, no escaping. Eliot MacKenzie is dead.

His life is over but not his tale. Over a several year period in the mid 1990’s, Eliot narrates his story of grief, anger, conflict, estrangement and resolution as family members struggle to deal with their loss.

Eliot’s abrupt death shatters the deceptive harmony of his family’s life. His twin brothers reaffirm their private bond, but each pursues a separate path out of the rage and confusion rising from the loss of their older brother. Eliot’s mother contends with a second family crisis that not only provides escape, but also helps her deal with the death of her son. His father remains lost in the present and tied to the past as he indulges in one-sided conversations with his dead son. Eliot’s narrative follows his family members as they emerge from tragedy and anticipate futures beyond their small town and their fragmented family.

Eliot alone remains above the game – a spectator, confined to Granite Harbor forever

ABOVE THE GAME was shortlisted for the 2012 Faulkner Society Novel-In-Progress Award.

#12

Souls Entwined

YA Paranormal Romance

60,000 words

Sixteen-year-old Rachel’s world is shaken when Billy links his mind to hers. Through telepathy and astral travel, Billy helps her visit the spirit world, awakening a desire for more spiritual adventure. Feeling so natural, their souls are connected, entwined.

Rachel hears spirits, delivering messages from the dead. Billy taps into the minds of the living. Together with a teenage shaman, a healer, and a witch, they form ‘The Psychic Circle’ to secretly explore the paranormal.

But when Rachel’s best friend Melody becomes jealous over Rachel’s chemistry with Billy, delving into black magic for a remedy creates a lethal situation. Melody attacks during meditation, robbing Billy of his free will. Romance blossoms as Rachel and Billy dabble in psychic experimentation to break Melody’s invisible ties; meanwhile, the circle encounters dangerous entities they don’t know how to handle.

If Melody continues to cast her spells on the Psychic Circle, the team is in danger of being controlled. Torn between salvaging her kinship with Melody and cutting perilous ties threatening both her romantic interest and the circle – is Rachel willing to sacrifice an enduring friendship to discover a karmic bond between soul mates? It’s a tough choice to make when the heart’s involved.

#13

Slice of Betrayal

Romantic Suspense

100,000words

Caleb Hartson, is a successful businessman and philanthropist but with a not so upstanding reputation. Whether deserved or undeserved depends on the person sitting in judgment. Policeman Nathan Flannery only sees an unrepentant criminal. The fact his father, also a policeman, was inadvertently killed while trying to arrest Caleb as a juvenile taints his conclusion. He will stop at nothing to see Caleb’s empire fall in ruin.

When his estranged sister, actress Jayne Colliaire, is set to film inside one of Caleb’s businesses he pretends to reconcile with her to use her to get close to Caleb and find out about his illegal dealings. Jayne finds Caleb desirable, irresistible, and yet wants to believe the horrible things her brother tells her about the handsome man.

Caleb knows there is a traitor close to him, but is it the woman he is falling deeply in love with or someone else dear to him? To find out, he sets a trap that will leave one person he loves in danger but only time will tell who is revealing his secrets to the cop.

#14

Chasing Jasmine and Butterflies

Erotic fantasy

110,000 words

As a young fae princess, Comyn wants some adventure in the human world. She finds it during an ancient pagan celebration with a druid priest. With her face painted in a butterfly pattern and hair braided with Jasmine, the druid is enchanted with her; he can’t resist getting to know her better. If he knew she was a member of the fae, he would’ve thought better. He has been commissioned as protector to the fae realms from the human world. Upon realizing who she has mated with, she runs away, but not without taking a piece of the druid with her.

This story is the first in a series that rewrites the history of the world of the fae and elves. The Great Mother and Father created these beings to one day replace humans on earth.

But the centuries have not fulfilled this plan. They must reunite the many realms to keep the species alive. This plot begins by reuniting Comyn with the druid priest Raghnall. From there, the two will play matchmakers to the rest of the supernatural world..

#15

Loving Emmalyne

Erotic romance

37,000 words

Growing up in a royal castle beside her cousin, the future king, young Emmalyne believed she’d have a perfect life. Well, perfect if she could only catch the eye of the wizard who would serve her cousin when he took the throne.

Several years away from the castle, she returns as a beautiful young woman and does just that. The wizard, Donovan, falls hard and fast now that she’s no longer the child he remembers.

However, their perfect life is snatched from them when the vampire who has slaughtered all of Donovan’s family arrives and takes Emmalyne’s life as well. Only he doesn’t kill her, he changes her and keeps her for himself. Fifty years later, Donovan learns she is not dead-but is one of the monsters he hates and has devoted his life to ending. Is the love they shared strong long ago enough to overcome his hatred and her doubts. He has only one day to find out.

#16

Commitment Issues

Contemporary romance

89,000 words

Alexis has never committed to anything. Ever. Color her a vagabond like her dad, but she likes life with no ties. But when her sister Emma dies, leaving behind two young children, Alexis can’t walk away. They don’t have any family, and If Alexis doesn’t take them in, the state will.

Known child advocate, Assistant District Attorney, Allen Gates doesn’t think the vagrant younger sister of Emma’s shoud have the boys. He’d fallen hard for Emma and her children, and he’d be damned if those boys were going to be dragged all over the country and beyond by their un-grounded aunt.

Anger, attraction, and much more erupt as Alexis and Allen knock heads over the boys well-being.

#17

The Found Girl
Contemporary paranormal romance

100,000 words

Jonas Kavanagh’s life was predetermined.

One day he will be king to a magical elf kingdom and he will also be the first in the royal line to take a human as queen. Only two complications stand in his way. First, the human woman fated to be this queen doesn’t believe in love, magic or even the prediction. Second, and far more difficult to overcome, the person assigned the task of finding this human wants nothing more than see Jonas joined with someone else and he possesses enough power to accomplish this.

Alvina McKellen’s life has been one loss after another. Orphaned and unwanted by relatives forced to care for her, then framed by a man who said he loved her, she seeks a new life far from where she began. She sure never expected that new life to involve a frightening man with strange abilities and an unexpected marriage to a supposed king.

Together, a reluctant elf king and a lost girl find passion, love and their destiny together, something not even the most powerful magic of one who would tear them apart can destroy.

#18

Call Me Casanovette

Erotic romance

99,500 words

Marriage isn’t the fairytale Gemma’s mother made it out to be.

Sixteen years worth of matrimonial agony, an ex-husband that walked out to bang his twenty-nine year old secretary, and having to start over at the ripe-young-age of forty is just the proof Gemma needs to affirm that thought.

So now it’s her turn. She has sixteen years of wasted time to make up for. She just doesn’t know how. But her best friend does. She wants Gemma to kiss 16 men in six months and let the sparks fly as they will.

The catch? Each man has to be a different age. No repeats. She has to start with twenty four years old and working her way up to forty.

Gemma accepts the challenge and quickly learns that what she’d considered taboo might be her thing, and that what she’d always dreamed about is all wrong for her.

#19

Juxtaposition

Romantic Suspense

96,000 words

Tally Martin came from nothing but abuse. When she was ten, she was saved by a kind older woman named May who taught her to love life, smile often, and kick ass when needed.

Now Tally’s twenty two, and her mentor is gone. But May’s sudden death reveals a side of her Tally never knew existed. A darker side. A cool-as-hell-vigilante-side. And taking over where May left off is just the focus Tally needs. The sexy as hell agent that keeps showing up at her door is a tempting inconvenience, one she finds harder and harder to resist, even if he could put her in jail for a long, long time.

Agent Sumner Chapman has worked the ‘Outer’ case for years. It’s his obsession. He doesn’t care of the do-gooder ‘Outer’ leaves enough evidence to put his victims in jail, he’s doing it illegally. Somehow, spirited knockout Tally Martin keeps cropping up in his investigations, and damned if he doesn’t suspect she’s not telling him everything she knows about the ‘Outer’.

Attraction is one thing. But  he’ll put hot as hell Tally in jail for interfering with his case. He’s just that much of a hard ass. Isn’t he?

#20

In the Heart
Contemporary romance/womens fiction
100,000 words

After a tragic shooting claims the life of her fiancé, Celia Bailey returns to her small hometown vowing one day to find love again. A year later, she’s finding it difficult to keep that vow when the man occupying her thoughts and haunting her dreams is a man she knows shouldn’t get involved with.

Toby Colton is about to find his new life turned upside down. He has a steady job as a prison guard and is forming ties in the close-knit community he recently moved to. However, one chance meeting on the side of a road brings a string of complications he never counted on.

For the ex-rodeo rider, Celia is one sad cliché after another: the boss’s daughter…his best friend’s sister…and love at first sight. While the two fight a losing battle to resist their attraction, a scheming and dangerous inmate by the name of Vince Monroe sets his sights on escape—and Celia.

When Toby must risk his own life to save a kidnapped Celia, they learn love doesn’t always play by the rules

#21

Going Once,  Going Twice, Dead

Romantic suspense

50,000 words

Gruesome murder rocks art world.

Denver homicide detective Dane Reynolds has met his match in up-and-coming sculptress, Simone Preston, the prime suspect in his current murder case. After digging into her past and uncovering another dead ex, he’s wondering if he has a Black Widow on his hands. Yet, he finds himself caught up in Simone’s web—a tangled obsession that could either leave him suspended from his job or dead—whichever comes first.

Heroes packing more than just handguns! 

#22

The Long Way Home

Erotic Romance

92,000 words

Alexandra Benson is a soft hearted journalist working for the local paper. She’s tired of reporting all the bad news in Phoenix and is determined to do something positive with her writing. Unlucky in love, Alex is about to give up on dating when she meets Chief Clay Nichols, a Navy SEAL with a dark side.

Despite the warning signs, Clay’s charm gets the best of her and Alex finds herself attracted to a man who vacillates from sweet and supportive to hedonistic. Burned from his divorce, Clay isn’t ready to be anyone’s hero, but he can’t help wanting to protect Alex when life gets tough.

Stuck somewhere between friendship and love, Alex tries to resist Clay’s heated advances. When her past collides with her present and her first love is thrust back in her life, Alex must face the consequences of youthful mistakes. She is determined to heal those old wounds and write a happy ending in her own life story.

#23

Bounce

New Adult Time travel – Series

60,000 words

TK’s grandfather leaves a small box in his care, tells him not to open it – then disappears.

The cops are asking questions. So are his parents. TK gets the feeling he’s being followed every time he moves. Once he confides in Haley, his closest friend, they decide to open the box.

Thrown in a dizzying bounce through time, TK and Haley have to fight, steal, and possibly kill to get back to their own time.

And heck, they only have to do it without disrupting time, history, or screwing up TK’s grandfather’s incredible, deadly secrets.

#24

Dancing in the Athenian Rain

New Adult Historical Romance (Time Travel)

84,000 words

When Donna is sent back in time to Classical Athens, she is furious at Dr. Stephens for sending her against her wishes. Then a Greek soldier purchases her to be his wife.

She is forced to learn a new language and culture, and faces her fears of never returning to her own time. The society hates her, especially because they think she’s an Amazon, which forces her to confront her issues—being compared to her genius brother, borderline abusive friends, and a cheating boyfriend.

But her husband, Peleus, is kind and patient. Although against her best judgment, she allows him into her heart. He counters all the negative voices from her past, but those voices drive a wedge between them. She must let go of her fears and admit her feelings, or she could lose him and the life they’ve built.

#25

Secrets & Lies Book 1

Multicultural Romantic Drama

60,000 words

“Sometimes a need for keeping secrets…

Can be just as intriguing as a reason for telling lies…”

“Secrets & Lies” is a provocative, uncensored, character-driven, emotional journey into the private lives of four central characters and their desperate struggles to survive in the shadows of life-altering secrets and lies. At the heart of the story is a beautiful, different kind of woman with a connection to everyone, who questions her personal worth as she fights to keep the life and love she has always wanted. Even the elements of true confessions get lost in translation as the details of who these people really are brings them together in a surprising, yet necessary finale that will change their lives forever…

#26

Once upon a Masquerade

Historical Romance-Regency

112,211 words

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.

#27

Bugworld

Suspense-thriller.

95,000 words

Frankie Campbell is young woman watching over her dad’s rural Wisconsin farm while he is away. When a strange vehicle pulls crazily into the driveway one morning, she has no idea it really is the end of the world.

After mysteriously declining in population for years, all of the world’s insects are re-emerging—in sizes ranging from eight to twelve feet long. As everything collapses, Frankie becomes part of a group attempting to reach presumed safety in a remote cabin in Michigan’s Upper Pennisula.

With the voracious giant insects growing in numbers, size and cunning with each passing hour, things get even worse when the survivors discover they are on a collision course with a rampaging, unstoppable army of Solenopsis invitca—the Red Imported Fire Ant—led by “The General,” a bloodthirsty soldier ant who strategizes and attacks with an eerie, human-like intelligence. And then, there are the enormous spiders in the caverns….

BUGWORLD is a 95,000-word thriller, which will appeal to people who like fast-paced, suspenseful adventures, as well as the 92% of the population who indicated they either “hate” or “fear” insects.  Plus, it’s a lot of fun. Sort of like JURASSIC PARK by way of E.O. Wilson.


Pitch Day at Musetracks is Sept 21st and we welcome Jill Marsal!

September 20, 2013

STOP!

As much as I hate to stop before I have 30 viable pitches (27 viable pitches so far)… I needs sleep.

I’ll post the pitches that made it through in the morning! Good luck!

Welcome to another pitch session at Musetracks.

We have the awesome Jill Marsal with Marsal Lyon Literary Agency as our guest agent. You can find out more about her HERE.

Remember to wait for the word GO to be updated in big green letters (at 10:00 AM EST) at the top of this post BEFORE you send your pitch in to me @ candi_agent_shop (at) yahoo (dot) com. I’m posting this tonight, because I have to work tomorrow, and will have little time to update the blog in the morning.

For now, please welcome two of Jill’s authors with their new or soon-to-be released novels…

AUTUMN IN THE VINEYARD by Marina Adair

adair- Autumn at the Vineyard

Blurb:
Frankie Baudouin has a hundred reasons not to trust Nate DeLuca. First, he’s a DeLuca. Second, he kissed her—in front of the entire town—and then never called. Oh, and he’s after her land. Sorrento Ranch is Frankie’s last chance to prove to her family—and to herself—that she has what it takes to be an award-winning winemaker. And she will stop at nothing to ensure her success—even if it means playing nice with the starched, sophisticated, and oh-so-sexy Italian.

For Nate, Sorrento Ranch is more than just soil and grape vines; it was his father’s dream—a dream Nate is determined to make a reality. So when he finds himself forced to cohabitate with a hot-headed, irrational, and incredibly gorgeous Baudouin, Nate is surprised to discover that chaos could be so much fun—especially when she sleeps in nothing but lace.

Excerpt

It had taken three years, some tricky negotiating, her entire life savings, and a lot of ball busting—but Francesca Baudouin was finally a vineyard owner. Well, she was the owner of ten acres of prime St. Helena appellation soil, which would take another five years of sweat and, quite possibly, selling off a few of her vital organs before it fully became a quality producing vineyard.

But Sorrento Ranch, the most sought after property in the valley, and all of its belongings, was hers. She bought it right out from under the DeLucas’ noses. In part because the owner, Mrs. Sorrento, had played darts with Frankie and Frankie’s great aunt every Friday night for the past fifteen years, so her loyalties were clear, but mostly because Mrs. Sorrento knew that selling the land to either family involved in the great DeLuca-Baudouin feud would piss off her ex-husband.

“One more inch and I’ll shoot,” Frankie said to the alpaca in front of her, a four-legged garbage disposal whose mouth was currently wrapped around the plastic casing of the water tank. She stomped her ball-busting, steeled-toed combat boot in his direction for added emphasis.

The alpaca’s beady eyes narrowed and dropped to her feet. Extending its lips in her direction, he made a loud raspberry sound, stomped an aggressive hoof and then went back to nibbling. Yeah, ball-buster or not, hooves beat boots.

But Frankie wasn’t about to let some hardheaded alpaca with shaggy hair and buck teeth stick it to her on her first week in business. Being the youngest of four, and the only girl, Frankie was a pro at dealing with stubborn males who excelled at ignoring her completely, while messing with her life wholeheartedly.

She cocked her rifle.

“The only thing separating you from becoming a pair of next season’s mittens is my trigger finger, Camel Boy.” Because the only thing separating them from ten-thousand gallons of well water was the thin plastic seam-binding on the water tank, which “Mittens” had managed to chew loose. She didn’t want to deal with the cleanup and couldn’t afford a new irrigation tank. “I mean it, one more bite and the only identifying male trait you’ll have left is stupidity.”

That got his attention. In fact, the animal straightened and fluffed out the fur around his face, making him look like a cross between a camel, a koala, and Clifford the Big Red Dog. When he wasn’t destroying her property, he was kind of cute. In a big, dumb, oafy kind of way.

Mittens was the sole remaining alpaca from Mrs. Sorrento’s farm. The rest of his hooved brethren were living it up at Alberta’s Paradise Alpaca Farm and Pet Sanctuary. Mittens hadn’t even set one hoof in the back of the moving truck when the rest of the heard gathered their spit and took aim. Poor Mittens had been kicked out of his own family and before Frankie or Alberta had been able to catch him, his fluffy-butt disappeared, and Alberta had left instructions to call when Frankie secured the runaway. That had been four days, two patio chairs, and a motorcycle tire ago.

“See.” Frankie lowered her rifle to the ground, picking up the cushion from Mr. Sorrento’s old recliner in one hand and a rope in the other. “That wasn’t so bad. Now just come over here and I’ll give you a treat.”

Eyes glued to the nubby avocado-green cushion, the alpaca took a tentative step forward.

“Then you can go to your new house.” Another step. “Where they feed you gourmet hay and mud tires, and there are kids around all the time to play with you.” Step. “And you’ll get to see your family.”

The alpaca stopped, squared its body, and let out an ear-piercing bleat, which sounded like a cross between “wark” and Chewbacca screaming, right before he sank his teeth in the plastic casing and pulled. Hard.

“Mittens!”

“Wark!”

“No—”

The tank split at the seam and before either could move, a wall of water came crashing out with enough force to topple Mittens into Frankie and send the two of them skidding back several feet.

When Frankie stopped moving and the water had receded into a pool of mud, she shoved the hair out of her eyes and took stock. She was flat on her back, with a stick poking into her right butt cheek and a drenched Mittens sprawled out over the top of her.

“Move.” She shoved at the animal.

“Wark-wark!”

“I warned you! But did you listen?”

Mittens let out an apologetic nicker and dropped his head to Frankie’s chest, his big brown eyes looking up at her through long lashes.

“You could be half way to Paradise right now,” she said, giving him a little rub behind the ears. “Just think, in a few months it will be grooming season and all the ladies will be prancing around in nothing but sheered skin. Plus, you’ll have your family.”

This time the nicker was almost sad so Frankie, ignoring that he smelled like wet dog, called a temporary truce and dug both hands in his thick fur to scratch his cheeks. “Yeah, I get it. Family sucks, but I can’t let you stay here. Come spring, I’ll start planting my vines and you’d eat them.”

Mittens huffed, a burst of hot air hitting Frankie in the face.

“Liar.” She worked her fingers around his temples and behind his ears. The animal’s eyes slid closed in ecstasy. “You already cost me a water tank, which I can’t afford to replace by the way.”

His only response was to nuzzle Frankie’s chest and hum loudly.

“So, there is no way I have the budget to keep replacing everything you decide to sink your teeth into.”

Hum. Hum. Hum.

“I hope he bought you dinner first,” a voice said.

With a groan, Frankie turned her head and, wishing she were standing so she could glare at him without having to shield her eyes, swore. Upside down or not, there was no mistaking the man who was currently towering over her—or the way her stomach gave a lame little flutter when he lifted his mirrored glasses and delivered a heart-stopping wink.

“Afternoon, Francesca,” he said with enough practiced swagger that it made not rolling her eyes impossible.

Nathaniel DeLuca was six-plus feet of solid muscle, smug-male yumminess and he smelled like sex. He was also extremely Italian, annoying as hell and, for whatever reason, every time he entered Frankie’s space she felt all dainty and feminine. Which pissed her off even more because at one time she’d trusted Nate with her heart and a promise of keeping her deepest secret.

And he’d broken them both.

Thank God she had on her ball-buster boots today. Too bad they were currently covered in mud, alpaca fur, and pointing at the sky.

“Go away, Nathaniel,” she said by way of greeting.

Mittens hummed louder, arching into her hand as Frankie scratched down his spine.

“And leave a lady in need?” Nate asked, coming forward and squatting down to pluck a maple leaf off of Frankie’s forehead. “Nonna ChiChi would have my ass.”

“I know you’re used to your women poised and proper. But I’ve got this handled.”

“I didn’t know you paid that much attention to my women, but now that you mentioned the difference…” He plucked a branch from her hair and flashed his perfectly straight teeth in her face. His smile, like his personality, was lethal and his entitled attitude was one-hundred percent DeLuca. “That’s great,” he continued, “because I won’t have to worry that you’ll cry when I tell you to stop exciting my alpaca and get the hell off my property.”

You can find Autumn in the Vineyard here:

AMAZON
B&N

*** The author will give away a signed paperback to a US or Canada resident when they come in!***

AND!

TARGETED by Katie Reus

reus- targeted (1)

Blurb

Hidden in plain sight…

Former Marine sniper and current NSA agent Jack Stone has a new face to go with his new identity. But he still has the same tortured memories—which include the woman he let get away years ago, when they were teenagers. Now his new assignment in Miami will put him so close to the woman he’s never been able to forget, he could reach out and touch her—if only she weren’t under suspicion.

When Sophie Moreno uncovers evidence linking the medical supply company she works for with arms smuggling—and worse—she doesn’t know who to turn to. After a shocking betrayal, she realizes the only person she can trust is a mysterious new person in the company—a man with hauntingly familiar eyes.

As Sophie questions her intense attraction to this man and Jack struggles not to blow his cover, the two of them must race against the clock to stop terrorists from killing scores of people—starting with them.

Excerpt

“Good morning, Sophie.” Ronald gave her a tired smile as he looked up from his desk. Deep lines etched the grooves around his mouth.
There was no one in his office, so whoever they were meeting with must have stepped out. Which gave her the perfect opportunity to talk to her boss in private. “Ronald, we need to talk. Didn’t you get my calls last night?”

He shook his head, but the guilty flush spreading up his cheeks gave him away. Sophie reeled back as if slapped. He had been ignoring her. What the hell? She gritted her teeth, quickly moving past the hurt. “I discovered something . . . important.” She nearly snorted at that understatement.

His face paled. “Can it wait?”

“No, it can’t.” As she stared at the man in front of her, she tried to find the right words to just come out and say what she’d found. Something about his expression was just off. He looked almost haggard, so unlike the man she’d come to love and trust. She’d been twenty-two and right out of college when he’d given her a job. Not to mention that the company had paid for her master’s degree. She didn’t have any family and he’d always been like a father figure to her. Anyone would have been better than the asshole foster fathers she’d endured over the years, but Ronald was truly kind. Even with the panic humming through her, seeing him this way pulled at her heartstrings.

Ronald sighed and his eyes flashed with something she couldn’t define. Pain? “We’ll talk, but not here. Just wait—”

He abruptly stopped talking and his gaze trailed over her shoulder at the sound of the door opening. Sophie shifted in her seat and glanced behind her.

She blinked once as she made eye contact with the stranger entering the room. Staring into those eyes made her feel as if she’d been punched in the stomach. A raw sort of awareness stirred inside her, making her throat tighten and somewhere a lot lower heat up completely against her will. Mandy’s description of “yummy” was so very incorrect. A cupcake was yummy. This man was like a decadent triple-chocolate truffle cake with chocolate shavings sprinkled on top. Considering the crap she needed to deal with, noticing someone in such a sexual way—someone she clearly couldn’t trust—was beyond stupid. And definitely not like her. Only one man had ever had this raw effect on her. Though he hadn’t been quite a man. He’d been growing into a very handsome one and—damn it. She shook herself, trying to squash this strange sexual awareness that had erupted inside her.

Here are some review links & quotes:

“Nonstop action, a solid plot, good pacing and riveting suspense…” —RT Book Reviews (4.5 Stars)

“Fast paced romantic suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat!” —New York Times bestselling author, Cynthia Eden

“Sexy suspense at its finest!” —New York Times bestselling author, Laura Wright

“Fast paced romantic suspense, action packed, brimming with sexual tension.” —Lea, HEA USA Today blog

“…this is what romantic suspense is all about.” —Amy, So Many Reads Book Blog

Publisher’s Weekly Review- http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-451-41921-7

Here’s where you can find Targeted:
Amazon

BN

Kobo

iTunes

Book Depository

Find Katie here!
http://www.katiereus.com
http://www.facebook.com/katiereusauthor
https://twitter.com/katiereus

And here’s some great giveaway info!

* I’m giving away two signed copies at Goodreads, ends 10/1: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17707657-targeted

*I’m also doing a 2 week blog tour and NAL is giving away books at each stop. Virtual tour info here: http://events.litconnect.com/romantic-suspense-virtual-tour-targeted-by-katie-reus/

*Twitter party on release day: http://events.litconnect.com/twitter-party-targeted-by-katiereus-romantic-suspense/

*FB Party event all day 10/3 with book giveaways: https://www.facebook.com/events/219549264870772/

Okay, so now I have two more awesome sounding reads to add to my TBR pile!

For fun, let’s do a competition for the top pitch slot, the signed copy of Autumn, and I’ll giveaway a copy of my new release What She was Missing as well.

All you have to do is leave a comment using the words Autumn AND Targeted.

Good luck to everyone pitching!

Candi


Agent Shopping day at Musetracks! Welcome Becky Vinter!

May 18, 2013

UPDATE: BECKY REQUESTED PARTIALS FROM FIVE PITCHES AND WANTED ME TO THANK ALL OF YOU FOR BEING BRAVE ENOUGH TO PUT YOUR WORK OUT THERE! GOOD LUCK TO THOSE WHO RECEIVED A REQUEST AND I HOPE TO SEE EVERYONE AT ANOTHER AGENT/EDITOR SHOP SOON!

~Candi

Good morning Everyone!

As always, we’ve had another successful Agent Shop. I’ll keep the same rhythm here as any other Agent Shopping day…

My thoughts, Stats, Winners, Pitches.

check

So, here we go!

I kinda expected a big turnout, and yes, I got it. Not complaining, but on pitch days like this, I like to remind everyone that I do not CHOOSE which pitches make it in. I simply start at the first pitch that came in after I posted GO, and weed out the ones that don’t follow the rules until I hit #30.

It’s nothing personal. It’s all a matter of how the email hits and if YOU, the author, followed guidelines.

listening

If you can’t follow my simple guidelines for pitching, and need to send hate mail because of it, you’re in for an even loooooooonger road in the writing world. Please, if you take anything from this pitch session, let it be this: Agents and editors are SWAMPED. There are enough factors already working against you! A good story CAN win out, but shooting yourself in the foot by doing the opposite of what an industry professional requests is only hurting yourself.

If you want to ‘your baby’ to have a chance, follow the guidelines!

(BTW – Most guidelines are in place to streamline an agent/editors process. I ask for specific information so that when I get 30-100 pitches, I can keep up. Imagine an agent/editors daily submissions! Once again, I am amazed by what they must see through their inboxes on any given day!)

Okay – on to our stats.

Pitches Received: 71

Pitches Accepted: 30

Pitches Rejected: 41

  • 13!!!! – Missing information (Title, wordcount, contact info etc.)
  • 2 – SPAM (Really? Yep.)
  • 9 – Too Long (200 word pitch peeps. Wagging finger. One of these was the second in my inbox after I posted GO! Shooting self in foot exampli-perfecta)
  • 1 – NO PITCH! (Sending me a list of your previous novels and an idea for a new, unwritten novel is not a pitch.)
  • 16 – Over the 30 pitch limit (Sorry folks. You didn’t do anything wrong, as far as I know. Your pitch just came in a bit late. L Having a limit is hard.)

Now that we have the deets out of the way, we also have WINNERS!

Ecopy of Jeannie’s The Temporary Wife…………….. IndianaWanderer

ARC of STAY…………………………………………………………Marilyn Baron

Top Pitch Slot……………………………………………………….Here There Be Witches

Indiana and Marilyn – Please contact me via candi_agent_shop @ yahoo.com with your choice of e-book format and I’ll get you your prize! Here There Be Witches – Congrats!

Now, please welcome Becky Vinter! Woot!

welcome

Hi Becky. 🙂

Thanks so much for participating in Agent Shop, and for letting us get to know a little about Jeannie and her May 21st release The Temporary Wife! I know how busy you are, and I hope you find something to your liking in the pitches listed below. If you do, simply email me at dancillaw @ yahoo.com with the pitch number, title, what you’d like to see from the author, and how you’d like the information sent.

Happy shopping, and I hope you’ll join us again in the future.

~Candi

***

 

#1 – Top Pitch Slot Winner

Here There Be Witches

YA paranormal

62,264 words

Cali French, a seventeen year old witch-in-training, is ostracized by her friends for refusing to assist them in casting a spell to turn Jami into a James. Cali’s fear of their using bad magic angers her friends. Alienation accelerates into aggression. Now Cali has a target on her back. And her three former pals take deadly aim.

The terrible trio, that Cali calls the Evil Triumvirate, must have Cali—alive or dead—to change a girl into a guy. But their first attempt to grab Cali is thwarted by the arrival of Cali’s guardian angel, Alastair. Cali learns two things in their botched attempt: there are such things as guardian angels, and hers is very handsome.

***

#2

Ink Pool Lullabies

Young Adult Suspense Horror

68,000 words

Sixteen-year-old Jackson Hart would rather put in overtime at the funeral home putting makeup on the dead than socialize with the in-crowd at school. When she finds out her new crush is only dating her for a bet, she’s devastated—but she’s not so wounded she’d seek revenge by killing him … would she?

After a car crash leaves him dead, Jackson tries to piece her memories of the wreck together, but each time she gets close to solving the puzzle, her mother shoves another pill down her throat to make it all go away. Despite the sheriff’s firm report, there was another girl on the scene—Jackson is sure of it—and now the apparition won’t leave her alone.

The spirit needs something from Jackson, and she won’t stop hurting people until she gets it.

With the body count rising, and evidence piling up against Jackson, if she is to prove her innocence and prevent the next brutal murder, Jackson must confront the vengeful spirit and decipher the ghost girl’s cryptic message.

But what if everyone is right and the ghost girl doesn’t exist at all?

***

#3

Seal Of Awakening

Paranormal Romance

65,000 words

Formula for imminent disaster:

Take one techno-savvy immortal warrior and give him the honor of heading his first covert mission—go undercover in a genetics lab to protect the unwitting human host of the third Seal of the Apocalypse. He’s driven by equal measures of professional duty, pride in his alpha-geek abilities, and a secret personal vendetta for the ancient half-breed enemy who threatens his success.

Add the woman he’s duty-sworn to protect—a prickly female bioengineering researcher who’s close to making the discovery of a lifetime, a serum capable of eradicating worldwide famine. She’s beyond prim, happy in her solitude, and more than a tad suspicious of this new lab assistant who claims to want to help her achieve her life’s work. He’s too cocky, too good looking, and much too masculine and enigmatic for her own good. She wants nothing to do with him… until he becomes her only solution.

Divide by a group of banished heavenly rejects hell-bent on liberation through control of both the scientist’s untapped power and her top-secret invention. With a new leader at their helm, they intend to stop at nothing on their rise to power.

Synthesize conflicting components.

Let the reckoning begin.

***

#4

Alien Contact for Idiots 

Science Fiction Romance 

93,000 words

Seattle biologist Ell Harmon leads a team to investigate a duplicate Vancouver Island that mysteriously appears overnight in the Pacific.  Discovering intelligent aliens is Ell’s dream, and it comes true when she encounters Tro Eaglesbrood: human, gorgeous, and a prince.  Seeking an uninhabited Eden, Tro directed his kingdom’s high-tech escape from environmental collapse on their alternate Earth.  Unfortunately, his 23rd century nation lands instead in our world, which bristles with weaponry.

Because Ell and Tro shook hands, they are quarantined together for three weeks.  While the world holds its breath, they broadcast a simple interview show that Ell sarcastically names “Alien Contact for Idiots”.  People around the world are fascinated as Ell and Tro learn to care about each other … until disaster strikes, and Tro’s darkest secret.  Can they salvage the love and passion they yearn for—and guide Tro’s people to a peaceful welcome?

***

#5

Everything She Wants

Contemporary romance

90K words

Alyson returns home from years away at boarding school, undecided on what to do with her future. Michael is the manager of her estate and her legal guardian. They haven’t seen each other in years, but share an instant mutual attraction. While she doesn’t have a problem with their fourteen-year age gap, he does. Michael also has a bigger problem – aside from despising and avoiding relationships – with his photography business, scandalous pictures and pending lawsuit. Alyson considers waiting for Michael to get past his issues, but then he invites Christopher into their home. She loses sight of her initial goal (Michael) and takes a convenient and blissful detour into Chris’ arms. She happy having someone who wants her for her. But once Michael realizes what’s going on behind his back, he makes her feel guilty, dirty, and wrong for having feelings for someone else. Chris might not be perfect, but Alyson isn’t looking for perfection. She’s just looking for someone to love. Now she has two men to deal with and she can’t choose between them. She doesn’t want anyone to get hurt, especially herself. She figures out a way to get everything she wants

***

#6

Seducing the Courtesan’s Wife
Historical Romance
100,000 words

The daughter of an illustrious duke, sheltered Lady Violetta never imagined she’d wind up as a brothel madam, whoring out her husband to the rich wives of Montana.

Against her father’s wishes, she married dashing, debonair—penniless—Charles Ashford. She traded in satin slippers and sumptuous ballgowns to follow her new husband on his quest for gold in the wild frontiers of America. Their fortunes plummet instead, sending them down a harrowing course where morals are a bygone luxury. A cruel twist of events tears them apart and Violetta returns to England, shattered and alone. She vows to atone for her sins. And she’ll never forgive him.

Seven years later, her respectable life is upended when Charles abruptly returns. He’s hell-bent on charming his way back into her good graces—and into her bed. More darkly potent than ever, his carnal sensuality provokes her. Tempts her and unnerves her hard-won peace. Haunted by past demons, she refuses to succumb to his wicked games of seduction. When a dangerous enemy threatens to expose their sordid history, they must each choose their own path to redemption. Can Charles win her heart before her thirst for revenge destroys their chance for everlasting bliss?

***

#7

A Ghostly Undertaking

Cozy Paranormal Mystery

60K words

Another day.

Another funeral.

Another ghost.

Another average day in the life of young funeral home director, Emma Lee Raines.

After a perilous run-in with a plastic Santa Claus, Emma Lee, co-owner of Eternal Slumber Funeral Home in Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky, sees the ghost of town gossip Ruthie Sue Payne, who is proving to be a real pain, more so in death than while living. Recently deceased, Ruthie reveals to Emma Lee that her demise wasn’t caused by accidentally falling down the steps at the Sleepy Hollow Inn as everyone believes—she was pushed…murdered.

In order for the ghost to cross over—and for Emma Lee to be rid of Ruthie for good—she must find a desperate killer…or risk being haunted forever.

***

#8

Once Upon a Masquerade
Historical Romance-Regency
155,771 words

Cordelia Clarke waited two long years, in vain for her brother’s best friend to view her more than a sisterly acquaintance. The night of his family’s masquerade ball, she produces a false identity and wears a costume in colors he adores. She proceeds to show him she is a desirable lady and not as he has called her many times before, dear girl. Her wildest dreams come true when he kisses her upon the balcony. Alas, she leaves him quivering wanting more.

Andrew Daventry, Viscount Sutton does not see 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 changed. Annoyed and 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 knew he even wanted.

Their lives become complicated when another suitor vies for her affection. Nosy relatives, secrets and misunderstandings keep them apart. Yet, they have the most powerful means to live out their happily ever after, a very close friendship.

#9

The Colonoscopy Club

Humorous Women’s Fiction

90,000 words

A 90,000-word humorous coming-of-middle age novel. A woman desperately seeks closure by trying to reconnect with her first love, who is unaware he is also the father of her son, on the eve of their son’s wedding.

Colonoscopy Club finaled in the Georgia Romance Writers Unpublished Maggie Award for Excellence in the Single Title category.

***

#10

The Gamekeeper’s Daughter

Historical Romance with Elements of Suspense.

109,000 words

Queen Victoria’s top assassin, Lord Alexander Stokes harbors his fair share of dark secrets. Chief among them is his love of bondage and discipline. When a damsel-in-distress appeals for his help, he ponders the consequences, yet her similarity to his first love intrigues him. He offers to help her with a single condition: that the beauty consents to play his games of dominance and submission for an entire year.

Given no choice, Mrs. Julia Foxworth agrees to his indecent terms. Anything is better than serving time for a murder she did not commit, especially when the killer is stalking her. Despite her misgiving about being the mysterious masked man’s chattel, his raw masculine power lures her in like a hawk to her falconer.

Alexander learns she is his beloved Julia, the former gamekeeper’s daughter, he thought long dead. He’s been betrayed by her and his manipulative father. His heart darkens. Combating their deceptions, the lovers fight for the passion they once shared, amidst the threatening danger of Alexander’s nefarious enemies and her husband’s killer. Can they learn to trust one another and live long enough to know true love again?

***

#11

Tell Me My Name

Romantic-Suspense

100,000 words

When twenty-five year old Reece Stewart regains consciousness in a small town emergency room, she discovers three critical things have happened that have altered her life. She doesn’t remember the bullets meant for her that killed her boss and co-worker, nor does she remember her kidnapping, and the car accident that occurred while trying to escape. What she does remember, is that her first name is Reece, and somebody wants her dead.

Dr. Rafe Haulster doesn’t know what to think, she says someone wants to kill her, but doesn’t know who. Rafe wants to believe the hysterical emerald eyed amnesiac, but is hesitant because she stirs in him an emotion he has no right ever to feel again. His indecision comes at a very high price when his nursing assistant is tortured, and killed, for information as to Reece’s whereabouts. The girl leaves a cryptic message for Rafe before dying; that the killer is coming for Reece and Rafe needs to get her to safety. A deadly game of cat and mouse begins through the forests of the Grand Teton Mountains of Wyoming. Against their unknown killer, they’re afraid the return of Reece’s memory, is their only chance of survival.

***

#12

The Wanderers, Book One in the Soul Divisions Trilogy

YA paranormal romance

65,942 words

Evie Michaels would say she’s a typical teen growing up in podunk Riverview , Indiana . Well, typical except for the fact that she met her guardian angel in a brush with death eleven years ago. And that she and said angel just might be breaking a rule or two by staying in touch.

When her parents died in a freak fire, it was Gabe who helped keep her sane. But now that dreamy Trevor Jones has arrived in town, Gabe is acting a bit overprotective. Annoyingly so. Evie chalks it up to jealousy and ignores his warnings in her pursuit of Trevor. Only, she should have listened to her angel, because Trevor’s affections aren’t completely his own—he’s an unsuspecting pawn in a battle of souls, sent to lure Evie out as bait. Because the Wanderers have discovered Evie and Gabe’s ongoing breach between realms, and they’re eager to gain entry into a more rewarding eternal resting place. The cost of admission: one reckless angel.

The Wanderers is book one in the Soul Divisions trilogy, and follows Evie as she begins to grapple with the age-old questions of ‘who am I?’ and ‘where do I fit in?’.

***

#13

Just Desserts

Contemporary Romance

53,000 words

Sadie Maxon’s almost done baking desserts and waitressing at her father’s trendy diner in Lake Geneva. She’s anxious to leave the resort town to finish grad school in Chicago. When Quinn Laughton, a contractor renovating the Wrigley mansion, offers to buy the crumbling diner, she can’t resist his deal or sexy, down-to-earth sweetness. But Sadie returns to Chicago and discovers Quinn is really a member of the prestigious Wrigley family. Sadie’s unsure if it was her or her family’s legendary diner that attracted Quinn. To convince Sadie of his intentions, Quinn mixes up a batch of passion and romance for her. But will Sadie’s small town sensibilities be swayed by Quinn’s big city charm?

***

#14

Where’s My Underwear Anyway?

Contemporary Romance with erotic elements

108,000 words

An uptight American lawyer cuts loose in an Edinburgh pub, tempted by her sexy Scottish ex–lover to rekindle old passions – but he not only displays her underwear as a trophy, he’s a shrewd courtroom rival!

***

#15

Sin On The Strip

Romantic Suspense, single title

100,000 words

Sin on the Strip is a romantic suspense about Maggie Anderson, a televangelist’s daughter and street counselor. Years earlier a violent near miss with a human trafficker destroyed Maggie’s confidence forcing her to use her strip club as a means to reach women in need. When a serial killer kidnaps her friend, Maggie must finally face her old demons and runs to the rescue, hoping to God this time she’ll do whatever is needed to defend herself.

Search and rescue investigator, Christian Beck has been on too many ‘damsel in distress’ missions to stomach another one. But when his latest assignment leads him to a reckless club manager determined to put herself in danger, professional distance no longer seems to be his motto. As the serial killer sets his sights on Maggie, Beck can’t risk losing her to the same psycho he believes killed his kid sister, twenty years earlier.

Maggie and Christian discover that on the strip, sin is a relative term and to have a future they must conquer their pasts.

***

#16

If You Can See Me

Paranormal Romance

132,022 words

Some curses stay with a family for generations…

Nate Bentley is a man on a mission. To rid himself of a house h considers a monstrosity before he falls victim to the curse that strikes all the men in his family before their thirty-fifth birthday. But two things stand in his way: a headstrong sister and a woman who can see spirits of the dead.

…it just takes the right combination to break them…

Phaedra Delaney is the woman with the gift. To communicate with the dead. She is also the key to breaking the curse that has bound her family to the Bentley’s for over a century. All she has to do is get a Bentley man to fall in love with her before he turns thirty-five. If only he didn’t take an instant disliking to her upon their first meeting.

Destiny and determination collide when these two powerful people meet and their lives become inextricably entangled with those of their ancestors. Can they break the curse before Nate reaches his next birthday? Or will he fall victim to the same fate that claimed his father – and every male in the family for the past one hundred plus years?

***

#17

Promised Blood

Paranormal new adult explicit romance

50,000 words

Trinity lives in a world ruled by ancient tradition.  As a shifter, she knows her community is a safeguard against the human world.  Her parents have always existed on the fringe of their community and she never understood why until the king’s private police show up at her door.

Her life is forfeit until the king feels her parent’s debt is paid. Her service belongs to his three sons.  Her blissful days of college and her part time job are over and her time as a slave in the king’s house begins.  She’s a guest in his home until he uses her to control his family. Then she feels the force of his brutality. When two of the McCade boys want her for a mate, her emotions stretch between the brothers.  Her heartaches as the close friendship between the brothers crumble.  As the king manipulates the game by giving Trin to one of his sons, the other McCade boys call upon an ancient rite and face their paranoid father in a battle to save their community and the woman they both love.

***

#18

Bard’s Lair – The Book of Ruins

Young Adult

129, 877 words

Not everyone is pleased with the new resort.

Bard’s Lair is the keeper of a secret, an old one.

The six-hole Gnome Course, the lake with its water faery, the spiffy cottages and pristine walkways are eye candy to the VEEPS and VIPS who visit to relax and eat the many mouthwatering delicacies from the Woodie the re-defined fine dining restaurant.

For those who like a challenge the Gnome Course with its spitting tee can send one to spittle for the antidote and if the be-speckled balls don’t bite you first a gnarly Gnome or one of the gaggle of geese certainly will.  It’s a losing game but one which brings visitors from afar.

Now the good stuff.

There’s a ghost name BeJewelled, the Dark One who has been summoned by a new master, the after math of a nasty War Between the States of service and servitude and even a forbidden romance between Murfle and numah.

Will Uran save the property from ruins? Will Julius find his lost treasure?  Will the Dark One find a new master?

Bard’s Lair is both beguiling and bewitching; a fabled (I mean fated) mess.

***

#19

To Stand A Lifetime
Historical Romance – Regency
105,000 words

When wealthy rakehell Nicolas Thornton sees Lady Imogen Bonhaven across the opera halls, he approaches her with an indecent proposition: her body in exchange for his silence on their torrid past. He hasn’t forgiven her for denying his love, denying him, so consumed is he with thoughts of revenge.

Years ago, he was a lowly smithy’s son. Beaten and tortured by an abusive father, he had only a lifetime of endless toil to look forward to. Starved for love and affection, when an impetuous fey blackmailed him for a kiss, he succumbed to her enchanting allure.

All Imogen ever wanted was one measly kiss from him, the village sex god. But his tawny charisma overwhelmed the sheltered country miss, and she succumbed to him. When their illicit passion was discovered, Nic was booted from the county believing she betrayed him, and she was banished from the country.

Now, given an unexpected chance to rejoin high society, the menacing brute is all that obstructs Imogen from respectability. Wills clash as they embark on a tempestuous affair so scorching it incinerates everything in their path…but a mysterious marquess threatens to destroy their last chance for ever after.

***

#20

Above The Game
Literary Fiction
70,000 words

Eliot MacKenzie dreams of escaping his small New England town of Granite Harbor. Suddenly, there is no more dreaming, no escaping. Eliot MacKenzie is dead.

His life is over but not his tale.

Over a several year period in the mid 1990’s, Eliot narrates his story of grief, anger, conflict, estrangement and resolution as family members struggle to deal with their loss.

Eliot’s abrupt death shatters the deceptive harmony of his family’s life. His twin brothers reaffirm their private bond, but each pursues a separate path out of the rage and confusion rising from the loss of their older brother. Eliot’s mother contends with a second family crisis that not only provides escape, but also helps her deal with the death of her son. His father remains
lost in the present and tied to the past as he indulges in one-sided conversations with his dead son.

Eliot alone exists above the game –confined to Granite Harbor forever. ABOVE THE GAME presents adult issues narrated by an eighteen year old and renders teenage characters and their struggles as engaging subjects for the adult reader. The book was shortlisted for the 2012 Faulkner Society Novel-In-Progress Award.

***

#21

Wild Temptation

Contemporary Category Romance

54,000 words

They’re stranded together in the wilderness, and things are getting…wild!

To inherit her father’s estate, Hanna Berlet travels into the rugged wilderness of Northern Minnesota. She thinks falling for her sexy guide is her only risk, but she’s wrong.

Wilderness guide and ex-Marine Cord Samuels can handle this simple mission, and he should be able to keep his hands off Hanna, except she’s determined to share his sleeping bag.

But someone is lurking in the forest, sabotaging their trip, and Hanna and Cord may not make it out alive!

***

#22

Son Of A (Hired) Gun
YA Contemp
86,000 words

Yesterday, 16-year-old Bixby Darwin had a different name, wrote a successful blog and was dreading the get-to-know-my-son lunch with his mother’s new beau—a man Bix was pretty sure might be a terrorist.
Today, he’s been relocated—via Witness Protection—because said boyfriend was blown up and they believe Bix’s absentee assassin father is responsible.

Plagued by secrets he can’t tell, Bix is determined to infiltrate the tight ranks at the small-town school and navigate himself into a successful junior year. Unable to blog for security reasons, Bix becomes a reporter where he does battle with the editor-in-chief and mayor’s daughter, Caitlyn Storm.

In the paintball-militant town of Cypher, Indiana, Bix learns to stand-up and take aim—at bullies, targets, and control of his future. Uncovering a conspiracy big enough to take down the town, Bix will have to decide between the truth and the fabrication that holds the town together, and whether he can live with the choice he makes.

***

#23

Message in the Roses 

Romantic Thriller

82,500 Words

My recently completed novel, Message in the Roses, is loosely based on a murder trial I covered as a journalist in Atlanta. It’s also a love story.

Protagonist Carrie Sue Justice, 25, is a fearless and tenacious journalist with a chaotic personal life.

Marcus, 35, is a seasoned newspaper man and decorated war veteran unable to forgive himself for the accidental death of his late wife.

They begin a steamy love affair at a time when the community is in turmoil. Four black boys have been accused of shooting and killing a white boy. Before the trial begins, one of the boys allegedly hangs himself in his jail cell. Another boy pleads guilty. The two remaining youths are to be tried as adults. Tatum’s defense attorney calls Carrie Sue’s best friend and “black brother” to testify. Freemont swears he spotted Tatum blocks away from the crime scene during the time of the shooting death. As a result of Freemont’s testimony, Freemont and Carrie Sue become targets.

***

#24

Meant To Be Mine

Paranormal Historical Romance

90,000 words

Reincarnated goddess Raven LeFevre was raised as a human in New Orleans with her mother, grandmother and brother. Make that raised in a crazy, magical version of the witness protection program. Frustrated by the veil of secrecy surrounding her upbringing, she spurned her powers, vowing to live as normally as any other woman obsessed with real estate and shoes.

When Raven receives a mysterious packet of letters supposedly written by the father she’s never known but always longed for, she breaks that vow and hurls herself back in time.  She’s a bit rusty with the supernatural shenanigans and things don’t go quite as planned on her journey back in time. Not only does she hit her head and not remember how she came to be in 1808, or how to return to the present, she lands at the feet of Simon Durand, the ancestor and lookalike of her modern lover, Alexander Durand.

Raven doesn’t realize until it’s almost too late her rashness unraveled the thread of protection, woven by her family, that’s encircled her for so long.  Now she’s in danger no matter what time period, and will need all her powers to get back to the one she loves.

***

#25

Without Borders

Women’s Fiction

80,000 words

While in Hungary researching her grandpapa’s childhood, Amanda falls in love with a Gypsy and discovers a shocking secret involving his family and hers. The Gypsy family rejects

Amanda, and even her fiancé walks away because of clan loyalties. Now she questions everything she knew about her beloved grandpapa and must repair the wounds she didn’t intend to open.

***

#26

Deceptive Cadence

YA/NA Crossover, Contemporary Romance

85,000 words

Cadence awakes in a hospital to find her husband and daughter dead, killed in an earthquake. So when her guardian angel appears and offers her a chance to go back in time with all the knowledge she has, she accepts, desperate to prevent their deaths.

She shoots back eleven years to her fourteen-year-old self, and faces high school all over again. She is determined to do everything better, including preventing the loss of her best friend and not dating any of her original, drama-inducing boyfriends. Her main focus is on her future husband, who she won’t meet for several years.

But James Gordon crosses her path. While she wishes to remain single, the bad boy pursues her.

He threatens to disrupt everything that is to come as she begins to develop unwanted feelings for him, and distract her from her original goal: to save her future family.

***

#27

Sheik’s Ruby

 Romantic Suspense 

74,900 words

Born and raised in a typical small town, Shelby is trying to break the mold, and make a name for herself in the journalism world when she meets Hakim, a mysterious stranger who she believes to be simply a handsome tourist.  But Hakim is actually the prince and only heir of the Middle Eastern kingdom of Khali-dar. Unfortunately, princes rarely have casual relationships that go unnoticed, and when his enemies learn of Hakim’s connection to an American girl, they know exactly how to get his attention. Shelby becomes the target of terrorists who seek to hurt Hakim, and Hakim vows to protect her at all costs. Fleeing to the safety of Khali-dar, Shelby finds herself falling deeper in love not only with the prince, but with his country. As she struggles to survive terrorist attacks, withstand the Sheik’s prejudice and find her place in a world she doesn’t understand, she realizes that she must choose which life she is willing to sacrifice—the comfortable life she has worked so hard to create for herself, or the life with the man she loves.

***

#28

Power Struggles

YA Speculative Fiction

88,000 words
Melody’s first power brought her to boot camp, but it’s her second one that could land her in prison.

Sixteen-year-old Melody Vander wants to master her telekinesis so she can defeat Psyfons, the power-draining monsters who killed her father. Although focused on her Psyfon-destroying goal, she catches the attention of Jonas, the gorgeous junior trainer whose very presence makes her feel dizzy and distracted.

Boot camp is beyond frustrating. She’s out in the middle of freaking nowhere with kids who only care about which powers rank highest, not how to use them better. A few trainees collapse, and Melody fears Psyfons have infiltrated the camp.

Before she can figure out who to trust, a bunkmate goes into anaphylactic shock. Despite the risk, Melody uses her healing power to save the girl’s life. Jonas witnesses the rescue and swears to keep Melody’s secret so that she won’t be branded a Psyfon and taken away.

But he already knew about her other power. Melody’s been their target since his leaders killed her father.

***

#29

Desert Rose

 Romantic Suspense 

74,963 words

Rebecca Blake has it all: designer clothes, elite education, and successful law career. But when a former client is arrested for murder, she feels responsible, and the perfect life she’s built in Chicago starts to unravel fast.  To keep her out of the press’s sites, Rebecca’s boss sends her to a dude ranch in Arizona, where she finds herself reluctantly wearing sensible shoes while birthing cows, shooting guns, stepping over manure, and battling unexpected feelings for Ty, the ranch foreman who has a low tolerance for high-maintenance tourists, especially when they insult his lifestyle and make no mystery of their feelings toward the small town life he loves. When Rebecca finds a clue and begins investigating the mysterious disappearance of Ty’s mother—against his wishes, she discovers that secrets kept in a small town aren’t easily revealed. Once Ty overcomes his own prejudice against Rebecca and her designer boots, he is amazed to find that she may be the key to his past, and Rebecca realizes that cheesy belt buckle and all, Ty may be the key to her future, if only they can survive the evil that lurks in the Doo’ya-tehwe Mountain.

***

#30

Winter Song

Mystery

83,000 words

Grieving widower, detective Noah Daugherty, focuses his energy on winning over his late wife’s resentful Yorkie and taking scumbags off the street. Scumbags like The Driver, an honest-to-God hit man who advertises on Craig’s list. Noah has never believed in hit men, at least not ones who offer their services to the public, and he certainly never envisioned The Driver, a teenage killer who professes to take jobs to pay his college tuition, but in fact, simply loves his work.

When The Driver senses Noah closing in on his true identity, he takes steps to eliminate the detective and his annoying little dog. But Noah isn’t that easy to kill. After his first attempt fails, The Driver is left wondering─what’s it going to take to kill this man, silver bullets? A stake through the heart? He’d better think of something quick, because now it’s personal, and Noah is aiming for him.

Winter Song is the first book in a four part series. I am currently published through Soul Mate Publishing, but this series is in a different genre. My writing has won awards in the TARA, IDA and Dixie first Chapter contests.

***

Thanks to every author brave enough/willing to put their work out there. It can be terrifying, and incredibly rewarding! Keep at it, learn, learn, learn, and above all else, KEEP WRITING!

~Candi


Another awesome guest agent for pitch day! Becky Vinter!

April 29, 2013

Wow! Where did April go? Since I’m posting on a monday instead of Sat or Sun, I guess I’m really behind. Ruh Ro Raggy.

Between work, kids and plugging away at my next novel, this month has almost disappeared, and I have no idea what I accomplished… Doh.

Anyway! I have good news! LOTS of good news.

I’m going to be a GRANDMOTHER! EEEEEEP! I’m only forty! But, with kids at 21, 17, 12, and 9, I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later.

baby feet   Soooooooooooooooooooo excited!

AND – I’m going to be a GREAT AUNT too! Holy smokes! What a year 2013 is turning out to be!

AND – I’ll have a new book out in a month, and STAY will be releasing from Samhain on August 6th!

AND – I’m doing a month long blog tour to promote Agent/Editor Shop at Musetracks! If you’d like to host me, contact me at dancillaw @ yahoo dot com.

AND – Pitch day at Musetracks is MAY 18th. We have the awesome Becky Vinter with Fine Print Literary as our guest agent! Get ready to pitch, and if you haven’t, join our Yahoo group for updates so you won’t miss out on any of our upcoming Agent/Editor Shops!

Here’s the link:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EditorAgentShop/

Happy reading and writing everyone.

~Candi


It’s Agent Shopping day! Welcome Mollie Glick!

March 17, 2013

UPDATE: MOLLIE HAS SENT HER REQUESTS.

SHE MADE 14 REQUESTS FOR THE FIRST THREE CHAPTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GREAT JOB EVERYONE!

ALL E-MAILS HAVE BEEN SENT!

 

Good morning everyone!

Welcome to shopping day at Agent Shop.

As always, I’ll start with the stats, winners, and my thoughts on this ‘Shop’, and then we’ll get to the pitches.

Pitches received: 38

Pitches accepted: 25

Pitches rejected: 13
• 8 – Too long
• 4 – Missing info
• 1 – Spam

Not bad, and not great. I’m only posting 25 out of a potential 30 pitch slots for an agent!

During every pitch session, I try to impart something that I’ve learned while doing this, and I try really hard to not be too repetitive. But I keep coming back to the same issues, and I feel I need to point out again, that following guidelines is one of the most important things you can do as an author! I had FOUR e-mails this time starting with “I don’t know exactly what you want…” or “I’ve never done this before…” and these people didn’t follow the rules. They are CLEARLY posted under the Agent/Editor Shop tab on the blog, and I can say with 100% certainty that one person who didn’t make it in will send me a nasty note. Happens every time.

Follow guidelines peeps. It’s really that simple! 🙂 Really!

That’s my moment of finger wagging. On to fun things!

OUR WINNERS ARE:
• The copy of PRIMITIVE NIGHTS goes to: Nicole Zoltack
• The $25.00 giftcard goes to: Kathleen S. Allen
• The Top Pitch Slot goes to: Marcia!

(Nicole and Kathleen, please contact me at candi_agent_shop at yahoo.com and I’ll send off your prizes!)

Congratulations to our winners and to those who made it into this pitch session. Good luck!

Welcome Mollie! Thanks so much for taking the time to come and visit with us. I hope you find something to your liking! If you do, simply e-mail me the pitch number, title and what you’d like to see from the author. Also, if you’d include how you’d like them to send it, that would be helpful. Please send them to dancillaw at yahoo.com

Happy shopping and thanks for spotlighting CREWEL! It’s now officially on my TBR pile. I. Can’t. Wait.

Here are the pitches!

***
TOP PITCH SLOT WINNER
#1
The Sourcerer
Science Fiction
45,744 words

Oh the Gemma Rays! They penetrate and repair and oops! What was that? That little bugga boo is gonna pay for bringing me out of my revelry? Snap! I’m back. Who am I? I’m a Sourcerer? What do I do? I source and sense and trap and even eradicate Noisers and Sounders who threaten the sanctity of the citizenry of Arco Pella, my town. My name is Merra. Need me to zap that Noiser or trap a Gandometer and relocate him to a lovelier home? That’s my job. I’m the best Sourcerer in the town of Arco Pella and If you need to get rid of those nasty noises which infiltrate and sublimate your lifestyle then give me a call or better yet Verra my assistant will take your information and your money. When Mr. Larch hired us to come to the old folk’s home I mean the retirement community and relocate the Flitter Flies he didn’t mention the Thing in Miss Tadpole’s room, the Thing I couldn’t see. I’m honed in on noises and sounds which enter my auric field but some Thing from an outher dimension I’m not trained to detect. Yet.

***
#2
STEAM CREW
Steampunk Fantasy
90,000 words

In an alternative Victorian world, ravaged by extreme climate, a proud arcane witch must team with a crafty airship privateer to prevent a coldblooded sorcerer from enslaving their world.

The DRESDEN FILES meets THE GOLDEN COMPASS, STEAM CREW is a dark and wild ride filled with mysticism, world-wide adventure, a crew of misfits, impossible engines, and exotic sensuality.

***
#3
The Gamekeeper’s Daughter
Victorian Era Historical Romance/subgenre Suspense.
109,000 words

Queen Victoria’s top assassin, Lord Alexander Stokes harbors his fair share of dark secrets. Chief among them is his love of bondage and discipline. When a damsel-in-distress appeals for his help, he ponders the consequences, yet her similarity to his first love intrigues him. He offers to help her with a single condition: that the beauty consents to play his games of dominance and submission for an entire year.

Given no choice, Mrs. Julia Foxworth agrees to his indecent terms. Anything is better than serving time for a murder she did not commit, especially when the real killer is stalking her. Despite her misgiving about being the mysterious masked man’s chattel, his raw masculine power lures her in like a hawk to her falconer.

Alexander learns she is his beloved Julia, the former gamekeeper’s daughter, he thought long dead. He’s been betrayed by her and his manipulative father. His heart darkens. Combating their deceptions, the lovers fight for the passion they once shared, amidst the threatening danger of Alexander’s nefarious enemies and her husband’s killer. Can they learn to trust one another and live long enough to know true love again?

***
#4
If You Can See Me
Paranormal Romance
132,022 words

Some curses stay with a family for generations…

Nate Bentley is a man on a mission. To rid himself of a house h considers a monstrosity before he falls victim to the curse that strikes all the men in his family before their thirty-fifth birthday. But two things stand in his way: a headstrong sister and a woman who can see spirits of the dead.

…it just takes the right combination to break them…

Phaedra Delaney is the woman with the gift. To communicate with the dead. She is also the key to breaking the curse that has bound her family to the Bentley’s for over a century. All she has to do is get a Bentley man to fall in love with her before he turns thirty-five. If only he didn’t take an instant disliking to her upon their first meeting.

Destiny and determination collide when these two powerful people meet and their lives become inextricably entangled with those of their ancestors. Can they break the curse before Nate reaches his next birthday? Or will he fall victim to the same fate that claimed his father – and every male in the family for the past one hundred plus years?

***
#5
Seducing The Courtesan’s Wife
Historical Romance
100,000 words

The daughter of an illustrious duke, Lady Violetta never imagined she’d wind up as a brothel madam, whoring out her husband to the rich wives of Montana.

Against her father’s wishes, she married dashing, debonair—penniless—Charles Ashford. She traded in her satin slippers and sumptuous ball gowns to follow her new husband on his quest for gold in the wild frontiers of America. Their fortunes plummet instead, sending them down a harrowing course where morals are a bygone luxury. A cruel twist of events tears them apart and Violetta returns to England, shattered and alone. She vows to atone for her sins. And she’ll never forgive him.

Seven years later, her respectable life is upended when Charles abruptly returns. He is hell-bent on wooing his charming ass back into her good graces—and into her bed. More darkly potent than ever, his carnal sensuality provokes her. Tempts her and unnerves her hard-won peace. But haunted by past demons, she’s sworn off love. When a dangerous enemy reappears, threatening to expose their sordid history, they must each choose their own path to redemption. Can Charles win her heart before her thirst for revenge destroys their chance for everlasting bliss?

***
#6
ABOVE THE GAME
Literary Fiction
70,000 words

Eliot MacKenzie dreams of escaping his small New England town of Granite Harbor. Suddenly, there is no more dreaming, no escaping. Eliot MacKenzie is dead.

His life is over but not his tale. Over a several year period in the mid 1990’s, Eliot narrates his story of grief, anger, conflict, estrangement and resolution as family members struggle to deal with their loss.

Eliot’s abrupt death shatters the deceptive harmony of his family’s life. His twin brothers reaffirm their private bond, but each pursues a separate path out of the rage and confusion rising from the loss of their older brother. Eliot’s mother contends with a second family crisis that not only provides escape, but also helps her deal with the death of her son. His father remains lost in the present and tied to the past as he indulges in one-sided conversations with his dead son.
Eliot alone exists above the game –confined to Granite Harbor forever.

ABOVE THE GAME presents adult issues narrated by an eighteen year old and renders teenage characters and their struggles as engaging subjects for the adult reader. The book was shortlisted for the 2012 Faulkner Society Novel-In-Progress Award.

***
#7
Bard’s Lair
Young Adult
121,878 words

Lil Jen is ecstatic at the prospect of working at the new resort. For three centuries Bard’s Lair has lain dormant the property overgrown with brush and bramble but a Prince now owns the Enchanted Lands. Sumo is taking names and handing out applications for employment. She’d rather be back on the Unsettled Seas on a ship but for now she’s the hostess at the Woodie the restaurant on property. Today she’s handing out applications to numahs and Murfles and Nots and even a few Trolls. But when the door opens and no one is there everyone starts whispering about the ghost on property. BeJewelled the former Mistress of the property is rumored to still grace the grounds and many swear they’ve seen her ghostly figure. Sumo isn’t about to fall for any old ghost story but when she attempts to close the door it won’t budge. Then it shuts on its own leaving Sumo in a very unladylike position. Life as a service provider since the War Between the States of service and servitude changed the rules. And did I mention Uran, MR T or the Dark One? Best keep your eyes on your valuables!

***
#8
Extreme Fear
Suspense/Thriller with a touch of romance
80.000 words

Macy Donavan battles a terrifying nightmare to protect her two-year-old daughter Faith from an intruder, and is knocked unconscious. When she regains consciousness, Faith is missing.

As the police widen their futile search, Macy struggles to pick up the pieces of an unimaginable life.

Urged to take a break she heads to an isolated cabin with a girlfriend to recuperate, with the hope of continuing her search, only to face her worst nightmare — times ten.

Trapped by a man she believed dead, he demands she play a game.

She runs, he hunts. There is no place to hide.

***
#9
Ink Pool Lullabies
Young Adult Suspense Horror
68,000 words

Sixteen-year-old Jackson Hart would rather put in overtime at the funeral home putting makeup on the dead than socialize with the in-crowd at school. When she finds out her new crush is only dating her for a bet, she’s devastated—but she’s not so wounded she’d seek revenge by killing him … would she?

After a car crash leaves him dead, Jackson tries to piece her memories of the wreck together, but each time she gets close to solving the puzzle, her mother shoves another pill down her throat to make it all go away. Despite the sheriff’s firm report, there was another girl on the scene—Jackson is sure of it—and now the apparition won’t leave her alone.

The spirit needs something from Jackson, and she won’t stop hurting people until she gets it. With the body count rising, and evidence piling up against Jackson, if she is to prove her innocence and prevent the next brutal murder, Jackson must confront the vengeful spirit and decipher the ghost girl’s cryptic message.

But what if everyone is right and the ghost girl doesn’t exist at all?

***
#10
Entry was removed.

***
#11
Ashes & Ice
Literary historical
100,000 words

In the heart of Five Points darkness and inhumanity reign unchallenged. Into the darkness come two young Irish immigrants forced to fight for survival against nearly insurmountable odds.

On the surface, fifteen-year-old Caitlin Walsh is a demure Irish lass; underneath she’s a bold, spirited young woman who backs down to no one. Not even God. Hot-tempered Johnny Dorlan flees Ireland, a death sentence on his head. He meets Caitlin on the voyage to New York,
where they begin a friendship constantly thwarted by her diligent father. Ten-year-old-going-on-thirty Finn Gallagher becomes a festering boil on Jimmy’s butt from the minute they meet. Caitlin, on the other hand, likes the young boy.

Jimmy would gladly throttle the smart-ass, but everything changes when the Great White Hurricane of 1888 slams into Manhattan and shuts the city off from the world. Then the three humans and an unusual Gypsy horse, are forced to work together to survive. Two of them can barely stop from killing each other and Caitlin is pregnant and due any minute. Putting aside their differences, though, may prove to be the least of their worries.

***
#12
Run For Your Life
YA Mystery
60,000 words

15 year old Evan accidentally takes a photo of a kidnapping in progress. But no one believes him, even the cops think it’s a prank. When his best friend is murdered and all the evidence points to Evan, he has to figure out who the killer before he becomes the next victim.

***
#13
Mercy
Paranormal Thriller – Adult
64,000 words

To the outside world Mercy seemed odd, schizophrenic even, but something evil tormented her. As her life-long friendship with Aaron blossomed into something more, it seemed like he was now beginning to get caught in the crossfire when the evil freaks came at her. Afraid that having him close would only continue to put him in danger, she decides the best thing to do is to push him away, to keep him safe, no matter how much it hurt the both of them. With her loved ones away from danger, and to be free to live and love, Mercy must be ready to put it all on the line…even her life.

***
#14
Grave Bound (Secrets, #1)
New Adult Fiction
97,000 words

Emily has lived a lifetime within a patriarchal commune. There are many rules, but the most important one, ‘keep it in the commune’, is the most difficult for her to follow… especially since the only people willing to champion her cause live on the outside.

When Emily learns her father has promised her to a perverted man who has plans that extend well beyond marriage and kids, she rebels. She refuses to marry someone who’d rather beat her than caress her.

A day of hooky that begins as a tiny act of defiance turns into a day filled with hope. After spending time with Levi, she finds true romance and sees a future filled with love and admiration rather than hate and submission. That tiny peek is enough to make it nearly impossible for her to go back to the commune and pretend she’ll ever be able to tolerate the life chosen for her instead of the life she longs for.

Fighting to escape the commune, its leaders, and her fiancé proves to be more dangerous than Emily expects. The secrets she knows will either follow her to the grave or send her – and Levi – there.

***
#15
A Question Of Faith
YA Paranormal
85,000 words

It’s not everyday you learn you’re the incarnation of magic.

After learning her birth mother sought the help of witches to conceive her, fifteen-year-old Crystal’s previously unwavering faith is shaken. God hasn’t been answering her prayers–she was.

Crystal’s limitless magical potential is put to the test when her boyfriend’s mother is in a life-threatening accident. Surely God won’t mind her using magic to help people, but Crystal worries her magic will damn her to Hell or, worse, prove she has no soul to condemn.

Too curious to abandon magic, Crystal attempts to fly and conjure fireballs. Playing with power attracts the attention of a dangerous witch hunter, who kidnaps her boyfriend and threatens her aunt. Shamans and witches hunt Crystal, desperate to use her magic to end a centuries-old war between the two magical races. Her magic is an uncontrollable time bomb. If Crystal can’t figure out what she’s capable of, she won’t merely fail to protect those she loves and end the war–she just might start the apocalypse.

***
#16
The Lady in the Mist
The Western Werewolf Legend #1
44,000 words

The Civil War took Sonja Brooks’ husband and left her alone. Unprotected and scared, she runs headlong into a life changing event when she’s attacked by a wolf. Her fate as a werewolf is sealed. When she stumbles upon Ty Loflin, a Rebel solider dying of his wounds, she nurses him back to health. He’s the perfect mate, but will he want her once he knows the truth?

***
#17
Comanche Haven
Romance/Western Romance
106,000 words

From the moment Celia, the emerald-eyed, Comanche half-breed, gets off the stage in Tyler, Texas, Seth Loflin realizes he is on a collision course with the past. She was his first love and now the Shooter Creek’s ranch boss can’t allow her to succumb to the danger that stalks her. Someone wants to kidnap her and sell her as a slave, but now that she’s in his protective arms, he intends to keep her safe. Celia can’t run back to the safety of her former life in South Carolina. And if she stays at Shooter Creek with Seth, she’ll be putting the man she has always loved and his ranch in danger of harboring a Comanche. But Seth refuses to leave her side, and his vow to protect her gives Celia the hope and courage she needs. Now she’ll fight for her new life with Seth…or die trying.

***
#18
Dr. Strange Love – An Erotic Short Story
Romance/erotic romance
8,000 words

Toni Reynolds loves her fiancé, Luke Campbell, more than anything. Still something is missing. They both recognize their love life has become predictable. Toni, realizes she’s not satisfied. She fears that she’s missing something and the closer her wedding date gets, the more unhappy she becomes.

It’s her secret though, until the night, Luke announces they’re hiring a sex therapist. Uneasy about a professional poking around in their relationship, especially one who makes ‘house calls’, Toni feels betrayed. Her love for and her trust in Luke win out as she agrees to meet the good doctor. Neither Luke nor Toni is prepared for the talents of Damon.

***
#19
Doctor Dearest – An Erotic Short Story
Romance/erotic romance
12,000 words

Sex therapy is a complicated business. A medical professional must remain impartial while developing a relationship with a patient. The fact a man enjoys sex thoroughly means he can’t always remain completely unaffected. His primal drive can range out of control and consequences may occur.

Damon, a.k.a. Dr. Strange Love, finds himself caring more for Billie Conners than is professionally prudent. The trouble with that line of reasoning is he’s willing to put everything on the line to save what he’s found.

***
#20
Priya in Heels
Multi-Cultural Women’s Fiction
86,000 words

Priya is the epitome of an obedient Indian daughter. Her loyalty to her parents is carved by their love and sacrifice, but the manipulations of her aunts pushes her to forge an even tighter bond. Priya will fiercely uphold her family’s honor and has done so by becoming a medical resident, remaining a virgin, and agreeing to marry her intended. Life is near perfect, her fiancé is tolerable, and her friends are the intervals of excitement she needs. The only thing that can derail her world is the sexy Irishman down the hall, the one who wants to get into her bed and shatter her walls. Logic is clear. Tyler is no good for Priya’s life plans. Love, on the other hand, is unreasonable and clashes with the carefully sculpted life her parents gave her. Maybe going after her heart isn’t such a big deal, or maybe it’s the thing that will unravel her world and leave her an emotional wreck.

***
#21
Singularity
YA sci-fi
66,000 words

Romeo and Juliet meets Battlestar Galactica: Jules is a Singular, the last of the cyborgs, and an incomplete one at that. Scientists hadn’t finished programming her when the Stellans attack Verona, her spaceship home. After the aliens wipe out her commanding officers, Jules is left to secure the bridge and defeat the Stellans by herself. Without knowing where anything is, how to pilot, or how to conquer the aliens, the outlook appears grim.

Clusters of survivors retreat to the safety of the wards. Jules is determined to do whatever it takes to save Verona, but several run-ins with the charming Meo challenges her human emotions. He’s the son of laborers—noble, brave, and the only person from the eastern wing who doesn’t hate her kind. Unfortunately, love doesn’t fit into the big picture when it comes to Singulars. Directed by master programming, Jules slips onto the invading alien ship to destroy it from the inside. Her chances of returning to Verona are slim, but when she discovers the truth, she must choose between hard-wired duty and compromised emotions, between accomplishing her mission and risking everything to save those she loves.

***
#22
Guitar God
YA—Contemporary Fantasy
195,000 words

Polly’s moment had finally arrived, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Barely a teenager, Polly had reluctantly accepted the role of human guardian of the Green. Now, about to begin college and leave her hometown and all the weirdness behind, fate calls her, except to save the

Green she must defeat Isaac, the boy she loves.

Isaac was the kid nobody liked until a mysterious faerie granted him his greatest wish. Now bestowed with incredible musical prowess, Isaac is loved and admired by all. But there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Polly is the only one who can save Isaac’s soul, but her first responsibility is to the Green. Can Polly save the Green and save Isaac as well?

Guitar God is a Jewish, suburban rock and roll fantasy with a 1970s soundtrack. It’s urban fantasy in the suburbs. It’s War For The Oaks meets Portnoy’s Complaint. It’s crossover YA for teens and their parents. It’s a world where the faerie folk walk among us, but we don’t know it. It’s about the magical places where we grew up. Maybe we knew about them or maybe we walked by them every day without even noticing.

***
#23
Mistress of Deception
Historical Romance—Regency period
99,000 words

Georgina Wilcox, daughter of the traitorous “Fox”, doesn’t agree with her father’s crimes against the British crown, so she secrets the Irish rebel’s plans to the Home Office and tries to help the men taken captive by her father—until the day a prisoner is shot dead in her kitchen and her own family beats her within an inch of her life. Georgina abandons her efforts. She knows she’ll pay dearly for any further deception. That is until she meets Adam.

Adam Markham, member of the Brethren of the Lords, a secret society, is captured and handed over to the muscle in the Irish radicals: Fox and Hunter. As his days in captivity grow, he finds himself fascinated by Georgina whose innocence and bravery breathe life into him. Adam comes to love this woman he assumes is their servant.

Georgina can’t imagine her life without Adam. To keep him, she must hide her true identity. The daughter of the enemy could not be trusted, let alone loved. When Adam unravels Georgina’s deceit, his sense of betrayal cannot be assuaged and Georgina resolves to undertake one more mission so she can prove to Adam that she is no Mistress of Deception

***
#24
Souls Entwined
YA Paranormal/Coming-Of-Age
56,600 words

Sixteen-year-old Rachel Wells’ world is turned upside-down when her new friend Billy links his mind to hers. Through telepathy and astral travel, he takes her in and out of the spirit world, develops her trust and awakens her desire for more spiritual adventure. It all feels so natural; their souls are connected, entwined.

Rachel hears spirits, and delivers messages from the dead. Billy taps into the minds of the living. Together, they form ‘The Psychic Circle’ to secretly explore the paranormal with a few close friends.

When Melody, gets involved, her jealousy of Rachel’s chemistry with Billy coupled with her obsession for black magic, is a lethal combination. It’s more dangerous than the group knows. Billy gets attacked by Melody during meditation, robbing him of his free will. Rachel helps Billy retaliate and break that bond. Unfortunately, the circle is compromised further by accidently opening a door to a malevolent spirit that attaches itself to Rachel through a Ouija Board.

Torn between forgiving her best friend who’s betrayed her, or defending her possible soul mate, Rachel’s choice will determine the direction her life takes and the sacrifices she makes – either loosing Melody or ruining her chance to find love.

***
#25
Extreme Fear
Suspense/Thriller with a touch of romance
80,000 words

Macy Donavan battles a terrifying nightmare to protect her two-year-old daughter Faith from an intruder, and is knocked unconscious. When she regains consciousness, Faith is missing.
As the police widen their futile search, Macy struggles to pick up the pieces of an unimaginable life.

Urged to take a break she heads to an isolated cabin with a girlfriend to recuperate, with the hope of continuing her search, only to face her worst nightmare — times ten.

Trapped by a man she believed dead, he demands she play a game.

She runs, he hunts. There is no place to hide.

***********************************************


It’s Agent Shop Pitch Day!

March 15, 2013

Guess what? It’s that time…

 

GO!

 

All pitches need to be sent to Candi_agent_shop (at) yahoo . com

 

Yes, I’m posting this early so everyone has the chance to join in…

Welcome to another round of Agent Shop! (Pitching will officially start Sat. March 16th at 10:00 am EST when I post the word go. Please wait until I update the page with a big ‘go’ at the top of the post before sending in your pitch. Don’t worry, it’ll be big so you won’t miss it!)

Champagne

I’m super excited to be hosting the awesome Mollie Glick. Best of luck to everyone pitching.

And welcome to our spotlight author – one of Mollie’s lucky authors – Gennifer Albin, with her new release, CREWEL.

Check out this cover!!!!

Crewel hi res

Enter a tangled world of secrets and intrigue where a girl controls other’s destinies, but not her own

Sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has always been special. When her parents discover her gift—the ability to weave the very fabric of reality—they train her to hide it. For good reason, they don’t want her to become one of the elite, beautiful, and deadly women who determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die.

But Adelice is forced into this powerful group, and she must learn to navigate the dangerous politics at play. Caught in a web of lies and forbidden romance, she must unravel the sinister truth behind her own unspeakable power. Her world is hanging by a thread, and Adelice, alone, can decide to save it—or destroy it.

Links to Buy: Amazon, B&N, Powell’s

Links to Author: www.genniferalbin.com, http://genniferalbin.blogspot.com/

Make sure you check her out, and feel free to comment!

BONUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Come one, come all. Even if you’re not pitching, feel free to come join in the conversation. I’ll be giving away THREE prizes. All you have to do is join in the fun! Every comment will be entered for a chance to win one of these prizes!

1 – Ebook copy of Primitive Nights

2 – $25.00 Barnes & Noble or Amazon Giftcard (Winners choice)

3 – The Top Pitch Slot!

Easy breezy…

Here’s what we’ll start with as our opening topic…

What is the one thing a hero can do in a story that makes you fall in love with him?


Agent Shop with Lit. agent Mollie Glick is 3/16!

March 10, 2013

It’s almost time for another round of Agent Shop at Musetracks!

Pitch day is March 16th, at 10:00am EST and our attending agent is Mollie Glick with Foundry Media. YAY!!!!!

Mollie’s info is here.

You can find all the rules for pitching under the tab above titled Agent/Editor Shop.

As always – read the rules carefully!

One of Mollie’s authors, Gennifer Albin, will be here with her new release, CREWEL.

Check out this cover!!!!

Crewel hi res 

Enter a tangled world of secrets and intrigue where a girl controls other’s destinies, but not her own

Sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has always been special. When her parents discover her gift—the ability to weave the very fabric of reality—they train her to hide it. For good reason, they don’t want her to become one of the elite, beautiful, and deadly women who determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die.

But Adelice is forced into this powerful group, and she must learn to navigate the dangerous politics at play. Caught in a web of lies and forbidden romance, she must unravel the sinister truth behind her own unspeakable power. Her world is hanging by a thread, and Adelice, alone, can decide to save it—or destroy it.

Links to Buy: Amazon, B&N, Powell’s

Links to Author: www.genniferalbin.com, http://genniferalbin.blogspot.com/

I’ll see you all Saturday.

~Candi


It’s Agent Shopping day. Welcome Jessica Alvarez!

February 17, 2013

UPDATE: I just received an e-mail from Jessica. This was what she had to say:

“Thanks so much! The pitches all looked great, and I bet many of the “pitchers” are having success with their queries.”

Yay! Way to go everyone. She requested 1-full and 3-partials. I’ll be sending e-mails out in the next few minutes, so be sure to check your in boxes. Thanks for joining us, and I hope to see many of you at a future Agent/Editor Shop date.

Good morning everyone.

My internet is spotty at best today, so I’m having trouble with my computer connection (darn storms) and WordPress is being difficult as well. If the formatting seems off its normal nice pattern, I apologize!

We’ll get straight to it this morning.

STATS:

Total pitches: 42

Pitches accepted: 29

Pitches rejected: 13

  • 10 – Too long
  • 3 – Missing info

For those of you who made it in – Congrats! For those who did not, I can’t stress how important it is to follow guidelines. By not following the rules, you’ve cost yourself an amazing opportunity.

Big huge thank you to Sharon Cullen for giving us a peek at The Notorious Lady Anne! The winner of the e-copy is… EVA GORDON! Eva, please e-mail me your contact information and what e-book version you’d like and I’ll forward it on to the publisher!

A second huge thanks to Jessica Alvarez for attending Agent Shop.

The pitches are below. If something catches your eye, simply e-mail me with the pitch number, title and what you’d like to see from the author. Have fun, happy shopping, and I hope you’ll join us again in the future!

GOOD LUCK everyone!

***

 

#1

Miss Spencer and the Con Man

Historical romance/ American historical

90K

The year is 1900 and Tyler Browning needs money—quick. He’s a first-rate fraud with charm and charisma on his side, but his reasons for the con are his alone. All goes well until a chance meeting with a pretty but far too conscientious reporter sends his plans into a tailspin and his interest in her soaring.

Julia Spencer may be the new journalist on the job in Indianapolis, but that doesn’t mean she can’t spot a rat when she sees one. Eager to make her mark in a male-dominated career, she throws herself into chasing down the story. Despite the acute desire she feels for him and the need to move beyond her past, she has to decide if he’s worth the risk.

As Julia hunts for not only his truth but hers, Tyler begins to regret his guilt-prompted promise to a dying friend yet is honor-bound to follow through. Meanwhile, kidnap and extortion schemes from an old foe push Julia back into her dark past plus one lie of omission on Tyler’s part has the power to destroy his and Julia’s future dreams. Only trust will unravel the tangle—and that doesn’t come in elixir form.

***

#2

The Were, the Witch and the Baby

Contemporary Paranormal Romance

30k

He was an animal in the sack…

Lyric McAvoy never expected her one night stand with Colin would result in a child. She agrees to stay with him to hide from the repercussions family and friends are sure to rain down on her but being with him only reminds her of the desire he awakened with a touch on the dance floor.

She cast a spell on his senses…

Colin, packleader of the local werewolves, knows to trust his senses but when Lyric sweeps into his life, she makes him suddenly hungry to possess her. Her claim to be carrying his child, though it seems impossible, makes him determined to protect her and the baby.

But war is breaking out in the paranormal world…

Life as they knew it is implodes around them as previously peaceful inhabitants of the paranormal world become pawns in a deadly battle. With secrets between them, keeping them apart, the two battle a raging passion while trying to figure out who is killing their people.

The Were, the Witch, and the Baby

In a world where the things that go bump in the night are real, sometimes the scariest thing is parenthood.

***

#3

Magical Curves

Contemporary Paranormal Erotic Romance

32,907

Romance is all about fantasy fulfillment and who doesn’t want a magical prince from their dreams to come to life?

Emma Flowers dreams of something more. Living a humble, if solitary life, as the local librarian, she looks forward to laying her head on her pillow each night to travel to a magical place where she has adventures with a wizard prince.

Kayden, prince of Zenith, found his soulmate long ago. Her imagination, her spirit, has long fed his magic but the time has come for him to collect his bride. Can he convince her dreams are so powerful, they became reality so he can finally taste her Magical Curves?

***

#4

Her Time to Die

Romantic Suspense

73,508 words

Sandra Walsh, codename Wraith, is a sniper for a covert mercenary-style agency. When her bullet misses the target and kills the young girl she’s supposed to save she realizes she can’t stay in this life anymore. But the only way she can quit the agency is to fake her death. Without telling her team her plan, she sabotages a secret meeting and makes it appear as if she was blown up in a bombing.

She establishes a new identity in a small town managing an entertainment center owned by sexy former Marine, Casper Grady. But she gets sucked back into the world she tried to escape when the agency finds out she’s still alive and comes after her.

When they discover Grady’s connection to her, she knows it could jeopardize his life. She’s kicking herself for not leaving town sooner but her heart wouldn’t let her leave him. Now she has to keep them safe while trying to figure out how to get them out of this mess. But Grady doesn’t make it easy when he has his own ideas on what they should do and only complicates things when he takes their attraction to the next level.

***

#5

Chasing Symmetry

Romantic Suspense

92,000

When art professor Bianca James finds a dead woman in her studio, the Chief of Police fingers her as a suspect, but the investigation reveals something worse – she was the target. Her ex’s younger brother is assigned to the case and she’s faced with a trilogy of dilemmas: go head-to-head with the chief who seems to have a hidden agenda, try to thwart the intentions of a cold-blooded killer, or trust Finn Tierny, the irresistible cop whose brother proved untrustworthy.

Finn’s return to Riley’s Peak to care for his dying father isn’t exactly a sacrifice; he had to leave Pittsburgh or forfeit his sanity, his principles, maybe his life. But being back is bittersweet. He’s flooded with memories, good and bad, as he battles doubts about being a cop, a cantankerous father, and a drunken, combative brother.

Threats escalate, the suspect list grows, and it becomes clear – the murderer’s resolve to kill Bianca is almost as strong as Finn’s desire to keep her alive. Almost.

***

#6

Above The Game
Literary Fiction
71,000

Eliot Mackenzie is on his game. On the basketball court with his brothers as teammates, he is a player. He excels as a long distance runner, leaving everyone behind. But Eliot wants more. His escape from the small New England town of Granite Harbor is just months away.

Suddenly, there is no playing, no escaping – no movement at all. Eliot Mackenzie is dead.

Tragic confrontation on a high school basketball court ends his life, but not his tale. As his parents and his twin brothers, Dylan and Dante, struggle to deal with their loss, Eliot narrates their grief, love, anger, conflict and resolution.

The twins reaffirm their private bond, but each struggles to find his own path away from rage and despair. His mother contends with a second family crisis that not only provides escape, but helps her deal with the loss of her son. Eliot’s father remains lost in the present and tied to the past as he indulges in one-sided conversations with his dead son.

Eliot alone remains above the game – a spectator, confined to Granite Harbor forever.

***

#7

The Gamekeeper’s Daughter

Victorian Era Historical Romance/subgenre Suspense.

108,000 words.

Queen Victoria’s top assassin, Lord Alexander Stokes harbors his fair share of dark secrets. Chief among them is his love of bondage and discipline. When a damsel-in-distress appeals for his help, he ponders the consequences, yet her similarity to his first love intrigues him. He offers to help her with a single condition: that the beauty consents to play his games of dominance and submission for an entire year.

Given no choice, Mrs. Julia Foxworth agrees to his indecent terms. Anything is better than serving time for a murder she did not commit, especially when the real killer is stalking her. Despite her misgiving about being the mysterious masked man’s chattel, his raw masculine power lures her in like a hawk to her falconer.

Alexander learns she is his beloved Julia, the former gamekeeper’s daughter, he thought long dead. He’s been betrayed by her and his manipulative father. His heart darkens. Combating their deceptions, the lovers fight for the passion they once shared, amidst the threatening danger of Alexander’s nefarious enemies and her husband’s killer. Can they learn to trust one another and live long enough to know true love again?

***

#8

HIDDEN

Contemporary NA Romance

55,000 words

For three years Lyndsey Anderson’s hidden a secret. For two years Nick Carlisle’s hidden his heart. When they meet at college in Hawaii, it’s tough to hide their attraction. Nick knows he can’t have Lyndsey. The last time he got close to someone was in Afghanistan, when he was deployed there as a soldier. He made an error that couldn’t be erased, and the woman he cared about ended up dead because of it. Lyndsey knows she can’t have Nick because she’s protecting her identity and that of a child she’ll never know. But, as Lyndsey’s past, in the form of a dangerous ex-boyfriend, starts to catch up to her, she turns to Nick and they give in to their feelings. When she finally tells Nick her secret, he panics, afraid that he’ll fail her too.

Abandoned by Nick, Lyndsey must face the danger on her own. Nick quickly realizes that he has made a terrible mistake and searches for her, but can he find her in time, and if he does, will love be enough for her to forgive him?

***

#9

Loving the Enemy

Contemporary romance

80,621

Ivey Lancaster, nurse midwife, returns to Napa Valley where she is forced to fight for the respect of the physicians at the hospital. Her ex-fiancé wasn’t supposed to be in town – if she’d known that she might have never come back – but now Ivey must face him, and the biggest mistake of her life.

When Ivey finds that not only is Jeff back in town but her neighbor, she discovers he works at the hospital where she’s lost a great job opportunity. Coincidence? Ivey doesn’t think so. And while his stare could melt glaciers in the arctic it won’t do a thing to her anymore. She won’t let it.

Dr.Jeff Garner, ER physician, can’t believe Ivey has come back. And while he longs to take her in his arms, he’s kept a secret from her. If she finds out, she may never forgive him.

Add in Jeff’s octogenarian grandfather, who insists that Jeff and Ivey’s postponed wedding take place the following month in August, “a month that doesn’t get enough attention”, and Ivey and Jeff have their hands full as they fight their rekindled feelings.

***

 

#10

Comanche Haven

Romance/Western Romance

106k

From the moment Celia, the emerald-eyed, Comanche half-breed, gets off the stage in Tyler, Texas, Seth Loflin realizes he is on a collision course with the past. She was his first love and now the Shooter Creek’s ranch boss can’t allow her to succumb to the danger that stalks her. Someone wants to kidnap her and sell her as a slave, but now that she’s in his protective arms, he intends to keep her safe. Celia can’t run back to the safety of her former life in South Carolina. And if she stays at Shooter Creek with Seth, she’ll be putting the man she has always loved and his ranch in danger of harboring a Comanche. But Seth refuses to leave her side, and his vow to protect her gives Celia the hope and courage she needs. Now she’ll fight for her new life with Seth…or die trying.

***

#11

Save the Date (Book 1 in the Modern Arrangements Trilogy)

Contemporary Romance

66,176 words

AIDAN IVERSON III, old money wealthy and blatant playboy, has never felt the need to be with one woman. Why, when he has the looks, money and a family name to rule the nightlife? And, when it thoroughly aggravates Grandfather?

LILLIAN SNOWE, do-it-yourself overachiever, has a plan to keep her father healthy and living in the home where he raised her. But, how can she, when the hospital bills are piling up, the bank wants their money and she is hundreds of miles away from home?

From the moment they meet, Aidan would have to be blind not to feel an attraction, especially with Lilli’s work attire and feisty humor.

When illness, death, debt and a mutual friend, bring these two together, feelings are hurt and someone is insulted. It takes determination, sneaky actions and cockiness to secure the deal. But, even with an iron clad marriage agreement and pre-nup in place, there are those who would seek to destroy the spark threatening to engulf our couple in a happily ever after.

So, Save the Date, because you are cordially invited to the seduction of Lilli Snowe.

***

#12

Not Her Mother’s Fate

Women’s fiction

90,000

Determined to beat the domestic violence survivor’s statistics, Amy Thompson spent two years building a life of independence. Then she meets the life-of-the-party favorite Robert Crane. Despite his frequent drunkenness, Amy discovers Robert has a deeply spiritual side full of compassion, honesty and strong family values that were missing from her childhood.

Within months after moving in together, Amy understands that the charming egoism she initially thought of as an appealing vulnerability in Robert has become the source of arguments, escalated alcoholism, and violent outbursts. Surrounded by love and support of their friends, family and church, Amy is pressured to make the commitment to marriage that all their loved ones believe is the ultimate cure for Roberts alcoholism.

Amy is forced to make a decision between cutting her losses to save herself, or risking it all on the strength of her commitment to the relationship.

Not Her Mother’s Fate is a 90,000 word women’s fiction that explores the cycles of alcoholism and domestic violence that test the limits of love, friendship and loyalty.

***

#13

Dr. Strange Love – An Erotic Short Story

Romance/erotic romance

8K

Toni Reynolds loves her fiancé, Luke Campbell, more than anything. Still something is missing. They both recognize their love life has become predictable. Toni, realizes she’s not satisfied. She fears that she’s missing something and the closer her wedding date gets, the more unhappy she becomes.

It’s her secret though, until the night, Luke announces they’re hiring a sex therapist. Uneasy about a professional poking around in their relationship, especially one who makes ‘house calls’, Toni feels betrayed. Her love for and her trust in Luke win out as she agrees to meet the good doctor. Neither Luke nor Toni is prepared for the talents of Damon.

***

#14

The Journey of a Black Norwiccan

Women Fiction

85,000

Shannon Reilly is a non commissioned officer in the army and one event sends her on a downward spiral that changes her life. Raised protestant and her family are regulars in church, but the murder of her four year old son changes everything. She learns when you question the church you become the black sheep of the congregation. Needing to get away from everyone and especially the close minded people in her town. Shannon takes a journey to North Carolina and finds sanctuary with the most unlikely of peoples… Pagan Witches… Lost and confused she learns more about herself as well as where she headed. Shannon learns the real fight is going to take place in the bible belt of North Carolina not just within herself, but also among the masses…. She has to decided which battle to fight or if both are one in the same.

***

#15

Loving Emmalyne

Erotic romance

37,000

Growing up in a royal castle beside her cousin, the future king, young Emmalyne believed she’d have a perfect life. Well, perfect if she could only catch the eye of the wizard who would serve her cousin when he took the throne.

Several years away from the castle, she returns as a beautiful young woman and does just that. The wizard, Donovan, falls hard and fast now that she’s no longer the child he remembers.

However, their perfect life is snatched from them when the vampire who has slaughtered all of Donovan’s family arrives and takes Emmalyne’s life as well. Only he doesn’t kill her, he changes her and keeps her for himself. Fifty years later, Donovan learns she is not dead-but is one of the monsters he hates and has devoted his life to ending. Is the love they shared strong long ago enough to overcome his hatred and her doubts. He has only one day to find out.

***

#16

Proof of Grace

Inspirational Fiction

54,434

The bank is preparing to foreclose on Vera Carrington’s house, but she isn’t interested in accepting charity from the loving community of Harte’s Peak. She’ll make it on her own, as she has for years. She is determined to save her home without selling her café, the business she single-handedly built. A local ski contest is a Hail Mary pass, and Vera won’t let the fact that she hasn’t skied in years stop her.

Former bad boy Deputy Sheriff Ryan Colton is a new man in Christ, but he’s going to have a little trouble convincing the one woman who needs to hear his message that he has her best interests in mind. First he intends to make up for his checkered past with all the people he’s hurt in the past. But the one woman who has challenged him the most, and who needs his faith the most won’t trust him even though he could lead her to everything she needs.

***

#17

In the Heart

Contemporary romance/women’s fiction
100,000

After a tragic shooting claims the life of her fiancé, Celia Bailey returns to her small hometown vowing one day to find love again. A year later, she’s finding it difficult to keep that vow when the man occupying her thoughts and haunting her dreams is a man she knows shouldn’t get involved with.

Toby Colton is about to find his new life turned upside down. He has a steady job as a prison guard and is forming ties in the close-knit community he recently moved to. However, one chance meeting on the side of a road brings a string of complications he never counted on.

For the ex-rodeo rider, Celia is one sad cliché after another: the boss’s daughter…his best friend’s sister…and love at first sight. While the two fight a losing battle to resist their attraction, a scheming and dangerous inmate by the name of Vince Monroe sets his sights on escape—and Celia.

When Toby must risk his own life to save a kidnapped Celia, they learn love doesn’t always play by the rules

***

#18

Forbidden Fruit

Paranormal Romance

65,000

The Goddesses of old have become the watchers of mankind and the Gods.

Gaia, Isis, Psyche, Bellona, Diana, Lilith, Rahda, and Kali ma; are the sisterhood of darkness. Pain followed them for centuries and now Lilith the leader of the sisterhood has to face her past. When Azazel, his generals, and the legion of the damned souls of Hell are released from their prison; the sisters come face to face with an aged old prophecy that could destroy them all. The sisterhood is now in the battle to save mankind and the realm of the Gods. The prophecy will reunite soul mates long lost by time itself.

Lilith is taken on a journey when she goes on a mission to locate the Goddess Kali, but she gets more than she bargains for; her soul mate Adam. Now that time is of the essence Lilith must warm her cold heart and forgive Adam for shattering it.

Can Adam survive Lilith’s intense sexual dominating desires and the coming Apocalypse?

***

#19

Egyptian Heat

Paranormal Fiction

50,000

A dynasty is coming to an end and a Goddess will become a warrior. Isis will find and loss the love that completed her.

Isis Egyptian Goddess and heir to the throne will have to come to terms with her fate. Finding her way through love, loss and betrayal. Yearning to protect the ones she holds dear, but it seems like a losing battle.

Everything seems right in the world until her life comes to a shattering halt. Can she survive the pain and make a new path or will she become the monster who wants to consume her.

***

#20

The Journey of a Norwiccan

Women Fiction

85,000

Shannon Reilly is a non commissioned officer in the army and one event sends her on a downward spiral that changes her life. Raised protestant and her family are regulars in church, but the murder of her four year old son changes everything. She learns when you question the church you become the black sheep of the congregation. Needing to get away from everyone and especially the close minded people in her town. Shannon takes a journey to North Carolina and finds sanctuary with the most unlikely of peoples… Pagan Witches… Lost and confused she learns more about herself as well as where she headed. Shannon learns the real fight is going to take place in the bible belt of North Carolina not just within herself, but also among the masses…. She has to decided which battle to fight or if both are one in the same.

***

#21

Doctor Dearest – An Erotic Short Story

Romance/erotic romance

12K

Sex therapy is a complicated business. A medical professional must remain impartial while developing a relationship with a patient. The fact a man enjoys sex thoroughly means he can’t always remain completely unaffected. His primal drive can range out of control and consequences may occur.

Damon, a.k.a. Dr. Strange Love, finds himself caring more for Billie Conners than is professionally prudent. The trouble with that line of reasoning is he’s willing to put everything on the line to save what he’s found.

***

#22

Mystic Waters / Destiny / Selkie Summer

Paranormal romance

70,000 words

Two people, worlds apart, have the same vision – a mythical being surrounded by her enemies. Hurting. Tormented. Struggling to escape. Out of the mist a silver wolf leaps in to stand at her side, protecting her and vanquishing her foes.

When Wolfe, a brawny forestry consultant with a talent for dream walking agrees to find Nikki and warn her of the danger she’s in, he has no idea that she’s a Selkie, or that she’s so damn sexy he’ll have trouble keeping his hands to himself. He finds her hiding in the forest while mercenaries search her home. Wolfe vows to find a way to neutralize the danger to her while convincing her that he is destined to be her mate. Descended from Druids of ancient Celtic origin, he knows his grandfather’s vision is about to come true.

Nikki has an independent streak and doesn’t believe in ancient prophecies. She reluctantly agrees to join forces with Wolfe and they learn to rely on each other as they work to find out who is stalking Nikki and why.

Meanwhile, they discover that love comes when you least expect it with a force that shakes them both to the core.

***

#23

The Heathen’s Kiss

Historical Romance

75,000

Threatened with marriage to a heartless man, Mary Catherine Charming escapes her abusive father and seeks refuge with a traveling circus. Knife thrower Dominic McCarthy tends to her lacerations and broken soul, but what kind of life could she expect to have with a man who sleeps on a bed of nails?

After his sister died on his operating table, Dominic gave up medicine and hunted down the man responsible for her injuries. He served five years in prison for assault then found sanctuary with a freak show. When Mary Catherine barges into his wagon, she awakens his protective instinct and soothes his tattered spirit. Now, Dominic wishes he was the man he used to be – a man worthy of her love.

Can a reverend’s daughter and circus freak find their happy ending or will past mistakes and a vengeful father ruin any hopes of a future together?

***

#24

Chasing Jasmine and Butterflies

Erotic fantasy

110,000

As a young fae princess, Comyn wants some adventure in the human world. She finds it during an ancient pagan celebration with a druid priest. With her face painted in a butterfly pattern and hair braided with Jasmine, the druid is enchanted with her; he can’t resist getting to know her better. If he knew she was a member of the fae, he would’ve thought better. He has been commissioned as protector to the fae realms from the human world. Upon realizing who she has mated with, she runs away, but not without taking a piece of the druid with her.

This story is the first in a series that rewrites the history of the world of the fae and elves. The Great Mother and Father created these beings to one day replace humans on earth.

But the centuries have not fulfilled this plan. They must reunite the many realms to keep the species alive. This plot begins by reuniting Comyn with the druid priest Raghnall. From there, the two will play matchmakers to the rest of the supernatural world..

***

#25

If You Can See Me

Contemporary/Historic with Paranormal Elements

130,986

Some curses stay with a family for generations…

Nate Bentley is a man on a mission. To rid himself of a house h considers a monstrosity before he falls victim to the curse that strikes all the men in his family before their thirty-fifth birthday. But two things stand in his way: a headstrong sister and a woman who can see spirits of the dead.

…it just takes the right combination to break them…

Phaedra Delaney is the woman with the gift. To communicate with the dead. She is also the key to breaking the curse that has bound her family to the Bentley’s for over a century. All she has to do is get a Bentley man to fall in love with her before he turns thirty-five. If only he didn’t take an instant disliking to her upon their first meeting.

Destiny and determination collide when these two powerful people meet and their lives become inextricably entangled with those of their ancestors. Can they break the curse before Nate reaches his next birthday? Or will he fall victim to the same fate that claimed his father – and every male in the family for the past one hundred plus years?

***

#26

Slice of Betrayal

Romantic Suspense

100,000

Caleb Hartson, is a successful businessman and philanthropist but with a not so upstanding reputation. Whether deserved or undeserved depends on the person sitting in judgment. Policeman Nathan Flannery only sees an unrepentant criminal. The fact his father, also a policeman, was inadvertently killed while trying to arrest Caleb as a juvenile taints his conclusion. He will stop at nothing to see Caleb’s empire fall in ruin.

When his estranged sister, actress Jayne Colliaire, is set to film inside one of Caleb’s businesses he pretends to reconcile with her to use her to get close to Caleb and find out about his illegal dealings. Jayne finds Caleb desirable and irresistible, yet wants to believe the horrible things her brother tells her about the handsome man.

Caleb knows there is a traitor close to him, but is it the woman he is falling deeply in love with or someone else dear to him? To find out, he sets a trap that will leave one person he loves in danger but only time will tell who is revealing his secrets to the cop.

***

#27

Deceptive Cadence

YA Contemporary Romance

85,000

Cadence awakes in a hospital to find her husband and daughter dead, killed in an earthquake. So when her guardian angel appears and offers her a chance to go back in time with all the knowledge she has, she accepts, desperate to prevent their deaths.

She shoots back eleven years to her fourteen-year-old self, and faces high school all over again. She is determined to do everything better, including preventing the loss of her best friend and not dating any of her original, drama-inducing boyfriends. Her main focus is on her future husband, who she won’t meet for several years.

But James Gordon crosses her path. While she wishes to remain single, the bad boy pursues her. He threatens to disrupt everything that is to come as she begins to develop unwanted feelings for him, and distract her from her original goal: to save her future family.

***

#28

Souls Entwined

YA Paranormal Coming-of-Age/Romance

56,600 words

Sixteen-year-old Rachel Wells’ world is turned upside-down as she is exposed to things she never knew existed when her new friend Billy links his mind to hers. He takes her places she’s never seen before, teaching her about trust and awakens her desire. They can communicate telepathically. Their souls are connected, entwined.

Rachel hears spirits, delivering messages from the dead and Billy taps into the minds of the living – what a team! Together, they form ‘The Psychic Circle’, a secret group to explore the paranormal without ridicule from their classmates.

When Melody, Rachel’s BFF, gets involved, her jealousy of Rachel’s chemistry with Billy, coupled by her obsession with black magic are a lethal combination. It’s more dangerous than they know – Billy gets attacked. Not realizing the proper protocol for protection, they open the door to some nasty spirit contact as they experiment with things like Ouija Boards and candle magic, lending an opportunity for a spirit to attach itself to Rachel.

Torn between believing her best friend (who’s been exhibiting some bad behavior lately) and defending her possible soul mate, Rachel’s choice will determine the direction her life takes and if she will ever get another chance to find love.

***

#29

Promise Me Eden

Contemporary Western

55,000

Adam Pelletier is at the end of his rope. He can’t figure a way to help his wife recover from the tragic stillbirth of their son. He hasn’t forgotten their boy, but he’s pushed his sorrow deep and is coping the only way he knows how—by refusing to focus on his loss and burying himself in work.

Eden Pelletier is lost in grief. Her pain is unbearable. So much so she’s in a deep hole of depression she can’t climb out of. Unable to do anything but mourn for her dead son, she can’t understand why Adam is able to put him aside and carry on.

Adam knows he has to lay it all on the line if he’s going to win his wife back. He forces Eden to go to Ty’s grave where he pours out his heart. He tells them both he loves them and always has. Eden knows it will be a long road to complete recovery, but she finally sees how much Adam loves her and their son and agrees to move home.


Pitch day at Agent Shop w/ Jessica Alvarez – Feb 16th!

February 15, 2013

UPDATE: STOP!

Hello everyone. Welcome to another round of Agent Shop.

If you plan to pitch, please read the rules under the tab above titled Agent/Editor Shop.

Wait until you see the word go posted at the top of this post in big bold letters around 10:00am EST on February 16th.

The awesome Jessica Alvarez w/ Bookends LLC is our guest agent this month, and I wish everyone the best of luck. (She’s really great.)

While the pitches roll in, I’m happy to welcome one of Jessica’s authors, Sharon Cullen with her new release, The Notorious Lady Anne.

Comment for a change to win an e-copy of her book!

I LOVE this cover!

TheNotoriousLadyAnneCullen

From rising romance star Sharon Cullen comes a tale of the fiery passion between a noble naval officer and a female pirate that’s as tempestuous and as   unpredictable as the sea.Nicholas Addison, celebrated captain of the Blackwell Shipping Fleet, has agreed to take Mrs. Emmaline Sutherland aboard the Pride and ferry the raven-haired beauty across the Atlantic on what he imagines will be a routine trip. But when the ship is attacked by pirates, the seemingly innocent passenger is revealed to be none other than the infamous marauder Lady Anne, whose name strikes fear in the hearts of sailors everywhere—and whose seductive wiles commandeers Nicholas’s affections.Lady Anne, a legend of the high seas, has spent the last eleven years plotting revenge against her father, the owner of Blackwell Shipping. She’s targeted the Pride in hopes of plundering its captain’s company secrets. But beneath her fierce courage and bitter determination, Anne has the delicate heart of a woman—a heart that cannot help falling for Nicholas. Now Anne must make a difficult choice: bring down Blackwell or surrender to love.Here’s a tasty excerpt:

London, 1749

Nicholas Addison tossed back a mouthful of flat champagne   and watched the swirling mass of people on the dance floor with a jaded eye.   If he didn’t have an important meeting in a few moments he would have left   already. Hell, he wouldn’t have attended in the first place.

“We’ve only just arrived. You can’t leave yet.”

Nicholas switched his gaze from the dizzying dancers to   his brother, Sebastian, Earl of Claybrook.

Sebastian grinned but the amusement didn’t reach his tired   eyes. “So what did Kenmar have to say?” he asked, referring to Nicholas’s   earlier appointment with the marquess.

Nicholas shrugged and looked around one more time. You   never knew who could be lurking in the shadows. Listening. And he wasn’t   taking chances. Not tonight.

He took another swig of champagne and frowned when the   alcohol hit his stomach like a round from a twenty-two-pounder. “He’s offering   me a captain’s position on one of Hamilton’s ships. I haven’t given him an   answer yet.”

“So will you do it?” Sebastian asked quietly, looking   around as well. If someone was lurking, Sebastian and Nicholas’s strange   behavior would surely tip him off.

Nicholas swirled another swallow of champagne around in   his mouth but it didn’t wash away the indecision. The anxiety. “I’m to give   him my answer in a few minutes.” He looked around for the marquess but the   crush of people made it impossible to see even a few feet beyond him.

“Don’t leave a chap in suspense, Nicholas. What will you   tell him?”

“I haven’t made my decision yet.”

When the summons arrived to report to the marquess’s   residence, Nicholas’s curiosity had been piqued. Bored, he accepted the   somewhat terse invitation even though he knew he couldn’t not accept it. What Kenmar had proposed was   the last thing Nicholas had expected and the one thing he wanted most—to   command his own ship, to be out on the ocean where he belonged.

But, as with anything in life that seemed too good to be   true, it came with provisions. The shipping company had recently been under   attack. Some suspected pirates. But not Kenmar. Kenmar suspected the owner of   the company, a man named Daniel Blackwell, was purposely sabotaging the ships   to gain the insurance money.

Nicholas had inwardly winced when he read the insurance   papers. The names scrawled at the bottom were some of the most highly placed   noblemen in the country. A few even had the advantage of the king’s ear. If   Blackwell was fleecing them of their money, the man was an imbecile.

Nicholas leaned against the wall, desperate to escape the   cloying perfume of the ladies, the boisterous boasts of the gentlemen, and   the swirling couples on the dance floor. He’d never been a decent dancer, not   even an adequate dancer, and with his barely healed leg, adequacy wasn’t a   possibility. Not that he wanted to dance. No, what he wanted was to climb   those stairs and exit the stifling house. But first he had to speak to   Kenmar. First he had to make a   decision.

Sebastian slapped Nicholas on the back. “I’m certain   you’ll make the right decision, brother.” He made to move away, hailing a   friend across the room.

“Sebastian.”

His brother turned and raised a brow in inquiry. Nicholas   was taken aback by the fatigue on Sebastian’s face. Small lines etched the   corners of his eyes and deep grooves creased the sides of his mouth. A mouth   that smiled little lately.

“Thank you,” Nicholas said quietly.

Sebastian smiled, erasing the serious expression that   seemed to be a constant lately. “That’s what families are for, Nick.” His   gaze flickered behind Nicholas. “Kenmar’s approaching.” Then he disappeared   into the crowd, giving Nicholas only a few moments to prepare himself.

“Addison.” Kenmar stopped beside him. An older gentleman   who clung to the tradition of wearing a white wig in public, the man was well   respected and a close acquaintance of the king.

Nicholas nodded. “Kenmar.”

“Have you given my proposal any thought?”

“I have.”

Kenmar took a sip from his glass. “Before you give me your   answer, I’ll have you know I received more information after you left this   afternoon. Inside sources tell me Blackwell is launching a shipment of gold   that’s to leave the colonies in a month or so. If you choose to accept this   mission, I’ll need you to discover more about the gold. Where it’s headed and   what it’s being used for.”

“You don’t believe Lady Anne is behind the attacks?”   According to Blackwell, the notorious female pirate, Lady Anne, was behind   them.

“I don’t believe Lady Anne exists.” Kenmar swirled the   wine in his glass.

The London papers were full of the lady pirate’s exploits.   Young girls wanted to be like her. Men claimed to have bedded her. The elite   whispered about her in their ballrooms and she was the major source of   entertainment in what would otherwise have been an ordinary season of soirees   and balls.

Nicholas didn’t know anyone who’d actually seen Lady Anne,   let alone met her. Whether she existed or not had been little concern to him.   Until now.

The prospect of the gold fascinated him. Hell, who was he   kidding? The entire proposal intrigued him. He’d been away from the sea for   two long years. It was time he regained his sea legs and this was the perfect   opportunity.

“I will do it,” he said. And the weight that had settled   on his shoulders after his injury shifted.

Kenmar nodded, his expression unchanging, as if he’d   expected no other answer. “Be ready to sail in five days.” He put his glass   on the tray of a passing waiter. “Now I’m off to the club. Have a good   evening, Addison.” And he disappeared into the crowd, leaving Nicholas alone   with his newfound trepidation and anxiety. But also with anticipation.

“Do you find these things as boring as I?”

His gaze collided with eyes the color of the sea on a   clear day, a combination of blue and green. They smiled at him, those eyes.   Crinkling at the corners and dancing with merriment.

Slowly his startled gaze swept over her, taking in shiny   black hair piled high. One curled, ebony lock rested seductively on the top   of a firm, golden breast encased in an off-white gown.

With all that dark hair and glowing skin, she reminded him   of a Gypsy.

But what fascinated him the most, what caught his attention   more than the curve of her breasts and the bewitching color of her eyes, were   the dimples peeking out at him when she smiled.

The stunning vision held out her hand. “Emmaline   Sutherland. And you are?”

He hesitated. He might disdain society, preferring the   open ocean to a stuffy ballroom, but he knew the rules, and one of the   biggest was that a lady did not introduce herself to a gentleman. Intrigued,   he smiled, bowed over her hand and kissed it.

“Captain Nicholas Addison.”

“Well, Captain Addison, why don’t you ask me to dance?   Maybe a sarabande will alleviate our boredom.”

If women didn’t introduce themselves to men, they   certainly didn’t ask men to dance. Who was this   woman? The fear of making a fool of himself kept his feet rooted   to the gleaming wood floor. Would his leg withstand the complicated dance   moves? If it didn’t, did he deserve the captain’s position just offered to   him?

He held out his arm for her to take. “Would you prefer a   stroll instead?”

She tilted her head, studying him while his elbow remained   crooked for her hand.

Finally she took his arm. “I’d be delighted.”

As he guided her through the crush of people, he recalled   his brother mentioning something about this ball being held for an Emmaline   Sutherland. “So, Miss Sutherland, to what do we owe the honor of this route?”

She grimaced, her gaze glancing over the dancers. “No   honor. Aunt Dorothy will take any excuse to give a ball. I happened to be in   town at the moment.”

“You are not from London?”

Her hand felt nearly weightless on his arm, yet he was   well aware of its warmth beneath her glove.

“Originally, yes. But I live abroad now and return   infrequently. And you, sir? Are you from London?”

“Yes, but like you, I am rarely here. I’m a sea captain   and will set sail in a few days for Boston.” Not completely the truth. He was   rarely in town because he preferred the family’s country home, where he   didn’t have to encounter pitiful stares and whispers behind his back. If not   for Kenmar’s summons, and Sebastian’s plea to attend this ball, Nicholas   wouldn’t be here now.

Miss Sutherland raised an ebony eyebrow. “Boston. How   exciting.” Her tone lacked the aforementioned excitement, as if her mind was   far away. “And who do you sail for?”

“Blackwell Shipping.” Pride welled in his chest. Pride   that he was once again doing   something. Sailing instead of rusticating, as his brother called it. Sailing   instead of recuperating. Sailing instead of feeling sorry for himself. “Where   do you live, if not in London?” he asked.

“Barbados.”

“Barbados?” He turned to look at her.

Amusement lurked in those curiously colored eyes. “Does   that shock you?”

More like fascinated. While Nicholas was well traveled, he   didn’t know many women who were. In fact, he didn’t know any women who were. “No,” he lied.

“My husband and I own a sugar plantation on the island.”

Disappointment washed through him at the mention of a   husband even though he had no right to his disappointment. It wasn’t as if he   was able to pursue a courtship with Miss, or rather, Mrs. Sutherland. He was   leaving in five days, after all.

“And is your husband present tonight?” He glanced around   the room, searching for an angry gentleman staring holes in his back.

“He’s in Barbados overseeing the plantation. He never   travels to London.”

“I see.” But he didn’t see. If he   had a wife as beautiful and charming as Emmaline Sutherland, he wouldn’t let   her out of his sight. Definitely not to travel from Barbados to London alone.   “Are you frightened traveling alone?”

A smile touched her lips. “What would I be frightened of?”

He shrugged, his discussion with Kenmar still fresh in his   mind. “Pirates.”

“Pirates are the things of fairy tales, are they not?”

“Pirates are a very real threat, I’m afraid.”

“Are you speaking of a certain lady pirate who attacks   ships and eats men?”

Nicholas chuckled. “Lady Anne they call her.”

“Ah, yes. Lady Anne,” Emmaline said with a slight smile.

“I’m afraid tales of her are most likely exaggerated.   Especially the man-eating tales.”

“You don’t believe in Lady Anne?”

Nicholas hesitated, recognizing the same question he’d   asked Kenmar. “I’m afraid not. Sailing is difficult enough for men. It’s not   a lifestyle a woman would become accustomed to.”

“But I sail frequently.”

He detected a note in her voice warning that he was   treading on unstable ground. Yet, a little devil stood on his shoulder and he   felt an unholy need to goad this woman. Not a very gentlemanly thing to do,   but that what-the-hell attitude took root again.

“As a passenger. Not as a crewman. The work is strenuous   and taxing. Not to mention dangerous.”

“And you don’t think a woman is able to engage in such   dangerous work?” Her voice was tight, her shoulders even tighter.

He bit back the urge to smile. What a virago this woman   was and what fun it would be to debate with her. He’d met very few men, let   alone women, he’d had the pleasure to clash verbal swords with.

“I believe a woman has her place in a man’s world, but not   on the sea.”

Silence stretched between them as they completed a circuit   of the room and stopped where they’d started. Mrs. Sutherland looked up at   him, seeming to assess him. He was relieved to see she wasn’t angry, merely   interested, as if she were studying a bug pinned to a board. Or, better yet,   an unknown creature pulled from the sea. Her gaze drew him in, made him think   thoughts that were entirely inappropriate.

He cleared his throat and stepped back. She’s married,   Addison. You don’t dally with married women.

She curtsied, although he had the impression the move was   less etiquette and more mockery, which delighted him and had him forcing back   a smile he was sure she wouldn’t appreciate. “Thank you for alleviating my   boredom, kind sir. Your conversation was . . . enlightening.”

He bowed, finding it more and more difficult not to smile.   She certainly was peeved with him, and he found to his chagrin that he wasn’t   at all pleased she was taking leave of his company. He would have liked to   debate with her for the rest of the night. But that would be inappropriate.   Besides, he was sailing in a few days and had to prepare for it. “My   pleasure, Mrs. Sutherland.”

* * *

A mere hour later, Emmaline observed Nicholas Addison   leave with his brother, the Earl of Claybrook. Both men climbed the stairs,   twin specimens of masculinity that had every female eye riveted to their wide   shoulders and full heads of black-as-sin hair. Neither wore the wigs that   were so in fashion. Emmaline had a feeling that others would soon follow in   their footsteps, because the two were decidedly delicious looking without   them. Each moved with an animal-like grace, although Nicholas had a hitch to   his step that had her wondering what happened to him. The limp was his only   physical flaw, although she didn’t consider it a flaw, just another   fascinating aspect of a man who captivated her attention.

Inside she was still smiling at their conversation. So,   Captain Addison believed sailing too strenuous for women. She couldn’t help   herself as she laughed out loud, causing a few heads to turn her way.

Even though she disagreed with his assessment of females,   she thoroughly enjoyed their verbal sparring, but something about him   bothered her. Normally she was good at sizing up a man’s character. He’d been   interested, but the interest in those deep navy eyes definitely cooled when   she mentioned a husband. So he had morals.

He’d been a gentleman, sincerely concerned for her safety   when he spoke of pirates in that smooth-as-velvet voice. Which meant he was   caring.

He firmly believed a woman had no place on the sea, yet he   wasn’t harsh about his belief. Merely naïve, as most men were. Unlike most of   the gentlemen at the ball, who’d gone soft with drink and too much fine food,   she felt his strength in the muscles of his arm, and in his wide shoulders   unpadded beneath his coat. He was lean, the bones in his face finely   chiseled, the pale skin stretched taut. There was no excess about him, as if   he’d gone to hell and back, and the journey had taken everything from him,   leaving him with nothing but what he needed to survive.

There were shadows in his blue eyes, a weariness and deep   grief. Yet when he spoke of sailing she glimpsed a man who commanded   authority and demanded respect. No doubt he was a very good captain.

No doubt she had her work cut out for her.

Kenmar had picked his spy well.

Chapter Two

Nicholas spun away from the sight of yet another ship   leaving port, only to come face-to-face with his motley crew.

Bumbling fools, the lot of them.

Apparently word had spread that Blackwell ships were being   targeted by pirates. No competent sailor would set foot on the Pride. And no amount of walking the wharf and   entering the lowliest of taverns to unearth better men helped.

He feared these drunken louts didn’t know the difference   between a spanker sail and a foresail.

This was not at all going to plan.

His hope was that this would be the first voyage of many.   That success on this sailing would resurrect his career so that he would   later captain larger ships. But that hope was slowly disintegrating.

He ran a hand through his hair, feeling his dreams slip   away with the ships leaving port. They were far behind schedule but,   surprisingly, their tardiness had nothing to do with his crew. Rather, their   lone passenger hadn’t arrived.

A passenger. He hadn’t expected a passenger on this   voyage, but apparently this person paid quite a sum of money to sail on the Pride. It wasn’t unheard of, but it was an   unexpected wrinkle in what was quickly becoming a mess.

Damn.

Nicholas glanced at the sun high above his head. If they   didn’t leave soon, they’d be far behind the other vessels. The first ship to   make port always received the better prices.

Not that Nicholas needed to make a profit—that wasn’t the   point of this voyage—but the sailor in him still strained at the bit, wanting   to be the first in port.

“Passenger’s here, Cap’n.” A young, fresh-faced boy of   about fifteen bounded up the companionway like an unbroken colt, all spindly   legs and arms and endless energy. A pleasing contrast to the others.

“Make sail, Samuel.”

“Aye, aye, Cap’n.” Samuel cupped his hands around his mouth   and leaned back to yell, “Away aloft!”

Men scurried up ratlines to the rigging. At the command   “Let fall” they loosened the ropes holding the sails. Nicholas kept a keen   eye on the topmen, ensuring they released each sail in the designated order,   first at the yardarm, then at the bunt. To release them any other way would   cause the sail to fill too soon, knocking the man off the yardarm, causing   him to fall to his death.

Much to his relief, no one fell and the sails quickly   filled.

The ship jumped forward and Nicholas’s heart jumped with   it. With the sun beating down on his head and the screeching gulls circling   the ship, he’d almost forgotten the horror of the hospital and the paralyzing   fear that he might never walk again, let alone sail a ship.

He smiled for the first time in days. If those doctors   could see him now.

“Good day, Captain.”

Nicholas’s head snapped around to the husky, very female   voice behind him. Emmaline Sutherland stood in a shaft of sunlight,   absolutely beautiful and sensuous in deep green, her hair precariously piled   on top of her head, the sun beating down on her golden skin.

“Mrs. Sutherland.” How he managed to execute a bow without   falling on his face was beyond him. Much to his chagrin, he hadn’t been able   to erase her image from his mind since the night of the ball. And now,   suddenly, she was standing before him. On his   ship.

“Shocked to see me, Captain?”

“Very. I wasn’t expecting our lone passenger to be . . .”

She raised a brow, her lips curling into a smile. “A   woman?”

He cleared his throat. “Well, yes.”

And damn it, why a woman? Why this   particular woman? In his   experience women were notoriously bad passengers, prone to seasickness and   frightening easily. Exactly what he didn’t need. Of course, in hindsight, he   should have known. Only a woman wouldn’t understand the concept of being on   time.

Boldly, almost daringly, she stared at him. Her eyes were   more green than blue today, matching her shimmering gown. At any other time,   in other circumstances, he would have admired her beauty, but his frustration   wouldn’t allow it. Not when she was an interloper on his ship.

“You are aware we are sailing to Boston?” he asked.   “Boston is nowhere near Barbados.”

Her smile didn’t dim. In fact it appeared to brighten, as   if she knew he was irritated and it pleased her. Which only served to drive   his irritation straight into anger. Emmaline Sutherland was a distraction he   could ill afford. Good God, they would spend five weeks together on this   ship.

Impossible. He simply could not take her to Boston.

Except they’d already left port and if he was to stay on   schedule, he couldn’t possibly drop anchor now.

“I am aware of the location of Boston on the map,   Captain.”

“And what business have you in Boston, Mrs. Sutherland?”

He swore her jaw muscles tensed, but more than likely it   was the shadow cast by the sails.

“Personal business, sir.”

What possible “personal business” did a woman have in   Boston? If her husband were any sort of man, he wouldn’t allow his wife to   gallivant around the world unprotected, on some mysterious “personal   business.” His irritation now encompassed Mr. Sutherland. For allowing his   wife to travel alone, for not protecting her. For not being here. Because if he were here, Nicholas   wouldn’t be responsible for her.

“I admit to being away from society for some time. I   wasn’t aware that the best dressmakers are now in the colonies rather than   England and France.” What the hell happened to him when he was around this   woman? His tongue had a mind of its own, it seemed. He was about to apologize   for his lack of manners, but her narrowed eyes stayed the words and suddenly   he wanted to see that back straighten again, and those eyes flash fire at   him. Because she was exquisitely beautiful when angry.

“Not all women are concerned with fashion,” she said   between clenched teeth.

He barely stopped himself from grinning. Damn but she was beautiful. “I can’t imagine what other   personal business a woman alone would have in Boston.”

Did she bare her teeth at him?

“That’s why it’s called personal   business, sir. It’s personal. I wasn’t aware a sea captain need be informed   of a paying passenger’s reason for   travel.”

As much as he enjoyed their conversation, she was correct.   It wasn’t his business, nor did he want it to be. His job was to get her to   Boston. Period. “I trust your cabins are adequate for you and your companion,   Mrs. Sutherland?”

“I travel alone, Captain.”

His gaze flew to hers. “You travel without a companion?”

She raised her arms out at her sides, her smile now   full-blown. “Only me.”

“But . . .” Such a thing was unheard of.

She stepped back. “I’ll leave you to whatever it is   captains of ships do. If you’re not too busy later, would you do me the honor   of showing me around your fine ship?”

His jaw muscle worked. The last thing he wanted to do was   escort her around his ship. “I would be delighted, Mrs. Sutherland. However,   it might be a day or two.” Because he had to whip his sorry crew into shape.

He paused, disliking what he had to say next, but ’twas   only proper and expected of a captain. “Won’t you join me for dinner   tonight?” His mother, God rest her soul, would be ashamed of him. While the   words were correct, his tone conveyed his annoyance.

She was an unwanted distraction, with that mass of ebony   hair threatening to fall loose, those eyes that mocked him and appraised him   at the same time and the quick wit he admired despite his resolve to stay   impartial to her.

Leave it be, Addison. She’s married.

“Thank you for the offer, Captain, but I prefer to dine in   my cabin.”

He fought to conceal his relief. As much as he enjoyed   their dueling conversation, he didn’t want the distraction. “Of course. If   there is anything I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to ask. As always,   I am at your service.” He steadfastly ignored the images that sprang to his   mind of services he would like to render.

If you liked this excerpt order THE NOTORIOUS LADY ANNE here for just $2.99!

http://www.randomhouse.com/book/221561/the-notorious-lady-anne-by-sharon-cullen

Release date: February 11, 2013 and is available here as well:

Amazon

Barnes&Noble

Sharon’s bio and links to find her on the web:

After earning a degree in journalism from Ohio University, Sharon found the stories inside her head were more interesting than what was going on in the world around her. Yet, it wasn’t until years later that she decided to pursue her secret dream of writing a romance novel. Since then she’s been published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance and contemporary romance and historical romance.

Sharon’s other job descriptions include chauffer, laundress, cook and mediator to her three very busy kids, her husband and two dogs. She lives in southwest Ohio with her brood although her dream is to someday retire to St. Maarten and live on the beach.

If you’d like to find out more about Sharon and her books, you can visit her at her website. She’s addicted to social networking so you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Friend her! Like her! Follow her! She’d love to hang out with you and talk about her passion—books.

 


Agent Shop w/ Jessica Alvarez of Bookends LLC.

January 27, 2013

Good Morning Everyone!

I’ve had one of those super busy weeks, but it’s at its end today. YAY! And since things are a bit slow at work, I have THREE days off next week. Anyone wanna guess how I plan to spend those days while kids are at school? 🙂 Big wordcounts planned!

Anyway, I’m happy to say that Agent/Editor Shop is becoming something of a buzz. I’m constantly amazed by the amount of people who know about it, and have participated. We’ve even been getting e-mails from agents/editors interested in being guests for future Shop dates!

So thanks to everyone who’s participated, blogged about us, mentioned us to writing/professional friends and such. Musetracks was based on the concept of giving back to the writing community for all the help we all received and continue to receive over the years.

February’s Agent/Editor Shop will be Feb. 16th around 10:00am EST. and as you can see from the title, we have Jessica Alvarez with Bookends LLC as our guest agent, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve spoken with Jessica several times via e-mail, and she is not only a super nice person, but it’s easy to ‘hear’ the love she has for what she does.

Here’s the link to Jessica’s information:

Jessica Alvarez

jessica-alvarez-2012

After ten years as an editor, Jessica Alvarez joined BookEnds in April 2011. She began her publishing career in 2001 as an editorial assistant at Harlequin Books. There, she had the opportunity to acquire and edit a wide array of fiction, specializing in historical romance, romantic suspense, and inspirational romance. Jessica left Harlequin in 2008 to pursue a freelance editing career, and completed projects for Harlequin, Scholastic Books, Thomas Nelson, and independent writers. She uses her editorial background to help writers hone their skills and develop strong, marketable stories. Jessica is actively building her client list and is proud to work with a wonderful group of clients. She is a member of AAR.

Jessica read her first romance at the age of nine when she pilfered from a friend’s mother’s Harlequin Presents collection and was instantly hooked. Though her pilfering has passed, her weakness for alpha heroes and exotic settings remains.

A New Jersey native, Jessica still resides in the Garden State. She is perpetually over-caffeinated in an attempt to keep up with her young son and two energetic wheaten terriers.

You can contact Jessica via email or follow her on Twitter

Jessica’s areas of interest include historical romance (particularly 18th and 19th century!), inspirational romance, contemporary romance, category romance, erotic romance and smart, female-focused erotica, women’s fiction, and cozy mysteries.

Her authors include Andrea Laurence, Jennifer Delamere, Lorrie Thomson, Melissa Cutler, and Stacy Henrie.

Hope to see you all here! Until next weekend, happy writing, reading and life.

Best~

Candi