Agent Shopping day w/ Literary Agent Laura Bradford.

November 21, 2011

UPDATE: I’ve heard from Ms. Bradford and have sent out e-mails to the six lucky pitchers!

Thanks to everyone, especially Ms. Bradford for coming and participating.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Good Morning!

As always, I’ll keep it short and sweet. The turn out for Ms. Bradford was awesome! Let’s hope she finds a few pitches below that she likes. Fingers crossed for all of you.

Here are the stats:

Pitches received: 78

Pitches Accepted: 30

Pitches Deleted: 48

  • 5 – Missing info
  • 3 – Too long
  • 1 – Missing title
  • 1 – Missing pitch
  • 2 – Spam

So that’s it. The first thirty VIABLE pitches are below. Good luck to those who made it through.

Ms. Bradford! Welcome to the madness of Musetracks. The pitches are below. Have fun! If you find any pitches that you’d like to see more of, simply e-mail me the number, what you’d like to see, and how you’d like it sent. I’ll take care of the rest.

Huge thanks for being our guest!




Paranormal Romance

45, 013 words

Beth expected bugs, swamp rats and gators. Finding out the bog monster was real? Well that sure as hell wasn’t.

Evil has a name, it goes by Octavia, and the swamp Witch wasn’t stupid. She cursed her stolen men into creatures that couldn’t become of serious threat to her. Namely, those found naturally in the swamp.

Opossums, lizards and armadillos oh my!

What she failed to realize is every creature is blessed with natural defenses. Though the cursed souls aren’t fully human, neither are they much like their counterparts…except in their defenses. Speed, strength and even armor help unlikely heroes Moss and Damien take a stand for those unfortunate souls who have crossed Octavia’s path.

Beth and her aunt were two such unfortunates…or so everyone thought.

Who knew that these two held special magic’s of their own or that one secretly has revenge on her mind and in her heart.

As the swamp heats up its creatures come out hunting. Only not all of them are in animal form as the past crashes with the future and as is nature’s way only the strong or strong willed survive.



Women’s Literature

87,000 words

Julia is an optimist and expert problem-solver who “packs her diaper bag like it’s a mission from God,” but her quiet life as a stay-at-home mom is quickly unraveling. Her alcoholic father lands himself in the hospital with liver failure, her husband’s new job means that he is increasingly absent, her sister’s going through her third divorce, and her trouble-making uncle has just resurfaced to stir the family pot.

As Julia comes to terms with the fact that her father needs a long-shot liver transplant to survive, she tries to reconcile her strained marriage with raising her two daughters to her own high standards. While the family keeps vigil at her father’s hospital bedside, long-held secrets are revealed, leading the misfit group to a new understanding of one another, and Julia to a better understanding of herself. Julia learns to ask for help, admit defeat, be selfish when necessary, and surrender control as she redefines her own notion of happiness.

This novel was inspired by a true story: my uncle’s battle with liver failure. Julia’s Well was a semifinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. I was a Glimmer Train contest finalist and have published several short stories.



Romantic Women’s Fiction

80,000 words

In her heart, Kate would rather be her good friend Oliver’s second wife than anyone else’s first.  Seeing his strength and courage in battling back from his wife’s death has made Kate love Oliver in a way she knows will only ever belong to him.

And that is why she sits alone, today, in her cold basement.

Unfortunately, such a desperate love can leave one half of the heart lost in the other’s wake.  Kate gave herself to Oliver when she’d been whole.  His promise of a woman he could build a new life with.  Love fruitfully, bear his babies, hold heaven.

Kate shouldn’t have let him fall so hard for her.

His good heart will always love but never forget.

Her decision to be sterilized breaks him again and again and again.

How desperate is his love for her?

Enough to leave him sitting waiting, today, on her doorstep.



Mystery/Family Saga

177,060 words

Secrets and Lies is set on Caleb’s Woe, an island resort located off the coast of Rockport, Massachusetts. Kate Stanwood’s peaceful life was shattered the morning her brother found their father, Matthew Weston, lying in a bloody heap on the living room floor. At Weston’s feet lay a framed magazine cover page depicting the heyday of the family’s art gallery – an Abstract Expressionist exhibit held in 1957. The cover page was covered with a cipher, written in her fathers’ blood. The condition of her father’s body plus harassment of members of her family encouraged Kate to look into the incident on her own to get answers as to whom was harassing her family and why. What Kate did not know was that uncovering the mystery that led to her father’s death would dislodge an evil much older and much more determined to remain buried.

I publish erotica and dark fiction with several small presses under the pseudonym Elizabeth Black. I’m looking for an agent because I need agent representation for my writing career to succeed.



Upmarket Women’s Fiction

110, 000 words

When an unexpected storm rolls in on the afternoon of her mother’s funeral, thirty-year-old Maddie fears that the indomitable Lena is not gone—at least not yet.  With Lena’s death, Maddie had hoped for release from her mother’s oppressive shadow.

Maddie abandons a promising career in New York to return to her childhood home in the Colorado mountains.  She soon discovers that her family has wasted no time in mourning Lena. While her father posts his profile on singles websites, her sister becomes engaged to a man Lena loathed.  Maddie wants her own new start, and sparks fly when she reconnects with childhood friend Brad. Brad is great in bed, but good sex is a poor substitute for the love she wants. She finds consolation from a broken heart in her friendship with cowboy artist Jackson. A cynic who doesn’t believe in romantic love, he’s a safe bet.

But Maddie discovers she cannot find love while haunted by the past.  As she adopts the unlikely role of maid-of-honor to both her sister and soon-to-be-stepmother, she must confront her mother’s shadow, and the one man who asks her to choose between him and her dreams.



Humorous Women’s Fiction

88,000 words

Falling in love is easy; it’s all the other junk that brings headaches…and nausea…and demands from family members.

Wedding florist Roda Morgan wonders if she’s destined to sit back and watch everyone else find their Happily-Ever-Afters. Until she meets Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome, and knows right away he’s different. A typical guy wouldn’t help pick up spilled feminine products, or stick around after being thrown up on. But her modest lifestyle clashes with his extravagant one. And instead of holding to her values, she loses herself in his world of fancy cars and glamorous parties. Her mother fears the woman she’s raised is being stolen away, and his is too closed-minded to accept someone who has a different set of beliefs. What’s a girl to do when she’s torn between two lives? Mental breakdown is one option.




77,000 Words

Restaurant manager Georgie Nikolopatos is losing her husband.  To another man.  This doesn’t surprise her, but it presents a bigger problem.  If Spiro divorces her, Georgie won’t only be out of a marriage, she’ll be out of a home and out of a job in the family business.  She’s spent her entire adult life making a success of the Bonaparte House, a landmark in Bonaparte Bay,New York, and she doesn’t want to give it up.

When Spiro disappears with a chunk of money, and a rival restaurant owner ends up dead on an island in the St. Lawrence River, it’s up to Georgie to prove – or disprove – her soon-to-be-ex-husband’s innocence.

Enter Coast Guard officer Jack Conrad, a sexy stranger to Bonaparte Bay.  Jack seems to know way more than he should about the murder and about Georgie herself.  Will he turn out to be a cold-blooded killer, or a hot-blooded hero?

COLD MAN RIVER is a standalone mystery, with series potential.  It differs from other mystery series in that the murders in future novels are related to the murder in COLD MAN RIVERas part of a continuing story arc.



Paranormal Romance

85,000 words

Black magic corrupts the natural order of the universe when the present and the past and the paranormal collide.

After evading arrest for Jacobite activities, Scottish nobleman Robert MacLachlan turns privateer. Some might say pirate. A Caribbean Voodoo priestess curses him to an eternal existence as a vampire shifter torn between the dual natures of a Florida panther and an immortal blood-thirsting man. For centuries, he seeks to reverse the black magic whilst maintaining his honor. Cruising the twenty-first century Atlantic, he becomes shorthanded to sail his 90-foot yacht, Sea Panther. The last thing he wants is a female crewmember and the call of her blood.

Although she swore never to sail again after her father died in a sailing accident, Kimberly Scot answers the captain’s crew wanted ad to escape a hit man. She’s lost everything, her fiancé, her job, and most of her money, along with money belonging to her ex-clients. A taste of Kimberly’s blood convinces Robert she is the one woman who can claim the panther’s heart. To break the curse, they travel back in time to where it all began—Jamaica 1715.



Adult Urban Fantasy

85,000 words

After recovering from a heart transplant, Rieve Tarunessa returns to her job as head Control Officer to the demons who are legally allowed to feed on the sex, blood, and emotions of human donors. In return, the witches get to harness demon energy to strengthen their magic, which benefits the humans. Lately though, the witches’ magic has been going horribly awry, and the subsequent fallout with the humans has led the witches to a deadly plan to overcome their dependency on demon energy.

When Rieve finds out she actually received a demon’s heart, she uncovers the witches’ plot to use hybrids like her to destroy the demons. Things are further complicated when Rieve finds her heart donor Haden, and realizes that their lives are irrevocably linked because her heart is keeping them both alive. Haden is no ordinary demon though, and the unique power Rieve gains through him becomes the strongest weapon against the witches, who don’t realize that eradicating the demons will destroy everything their magic is a part of, including Rieve’s new heart.



Urban Fantasy

82,000 words

The demon Liam has been hiding a romantic relationship with the angel Mikael for centuries. When a battle for Heaven places them on opposing sides, Liam must decide if a victory for Hell is more important than losing the one being who taught him good and evil aren’t easily defined.

Liam enjoys traveling the Midwest on his motorcycle, chartering contracts for souls and feeding his addiction to coffee; a leftover need thanks to the body he now inhabits. Not even the minor annoyance of having to deal with archangel Gabriel’s sworn vengeance can interrupt his life for too long.

Thus far, Gabriel’s attacks have been a source of Liam’s mocking towards Heaven’s less-than-competent solider. But now God’s gone AWOL, Heaven’s in disarray, and Gabriel sees an opportunity to take the throne himself. The death of Liam would surely prove his worth as a leader, so he takes a new approach to an old problem. The next soldier to go up against Liam will be trained by the best teacher in heaven—Mikael. Now Mikael must decide how far he can go to protect Liam while serving Heaven, and Liam must save him from having to make the choice.



Romantic Thriller

85,500 words

UNDER THE MOON GATE is an 85,500-word (digital count) thriller set in contemporary and WWII Bermuda. The novel, a unique blend of old and new, has a mainstream feel that weaves a rich, compelling tale of action and romance spanning two generations. In UNDER THE MOON GATE, dashing Virginian Nathaniel Morgan sails into the life of prim and proper Bermuda heiress Patience Whitestone, determined to dig up her family secrets at any cost, along with a cache of Swiss gold he’s convinced her father buried somewhere on her property during World War II. Nathaniel confronts Patience with evidence – a wartime sea chest raised from the Atlantic, containing incriminating documents and a wartime journal – proving that her father, William Whitestone, was a German sleeper agent planted in Bermuda in 1937. Patience must save herself and her family’s reputation when she finds herself pitted against, but reluctantly drawn to, the stranger who has the power to expose her, while a man from her father’s past threatens to destroy her.



Romantic Suspense

90,000 words

In Sixth Sense, reluctant Psychic Katherine Crystal, dubbed “Crystal Ball Kate,” is thrust into the national spotlight when she accurately predicts that the young son of actor Vince Rivers (think John Travolta) will die in a private plane crash. Skeptical Atlanta Police Detective Beauregard Lee Jackson Hale (Jack), who has a deep-seated distrust of psychics, is the by-the-book officer who ignores Katherine’s warnings when she calls to report her premonition, with disastrous consequences. When Katherine and Jack are forced to work together to help catch a serial killer, their brief and fruitful chase leads to romance and the ultimate discovery of a mystery and a murder surrounding Kate’s birth in the secret spiritualist community ofCassadaga, Florida.



Historical Romance

93,000 words

English-born but Norman-blooded, Isabel Dumont struggles to keep her home and heart intact when William the Conqueror sends his knights to her father’s holding after the Battle of Hastings—a task made more difficult when she learns of her father’s death. Sir Alexandre d’Évreux leads the men who have come to escort Isabel and her father to London to swear their allegiance to England’s new king. When Alex learns of William’s plan to give him Isobel’s hand in marriage, he is determined to win the affections of the reluctant maiden on his own terms. Unaware of the brash Normanknight’s true purpose in her life, Isobel strives to maintain her independence, desperate to hide her growing attraction to the confounding knight and the truth about her father.

But time is running out for Alex as they travel to London. He must lay siege to the heart of the one woman who can help him navigate the war-torn country still reeling from the brutal conquest. Just when Alex is convinced Isobel is finally his, she mysteriously vanishes, and his quest to find her plunges them both deeper into the conquest’s fallout.



Historical/regency romance

110,000 words

“The sacrifice of one spoiled heiress for the good of many…” at least that’s how tarnished war-hero Major Vicks Geale quiets his conscience. Newly returned to England, Geale finds his pay and commission forfeited, he’s inherited a crumbling estate, worthless title and a mountain of debt. With his band of wounded men depending upon him, Geale chooses the feckless and rich Lady Evangeline “Mischief” Moorecroft.

Gorgeous over-indulged Lady Evangeline delights on dancing the razor’s edge between scandal and infamy. Unable to resist Geale’s bait of a notoriously naughty masquerade, Evangeline awakens to discover she’s been ambushed into marriage.

Ready to escape her new husband and pay her way out of scandal, Evangeline finds herself in the impossible predicament of needing Geale’s unwitting assistance to help her wayward brother escape to the Continent.

Alternately teasing and appeasing, Geale begins to win her heart. Evangeline fans the fierce attraction between them until she discovers Geale’s been commissioned by her father, the Duke, to return her brother to London, dead or alive.

If Geale succeeds, he will keep Evangeline and her fortune. But his failure he will pay for with his life.



Time Travel Romance

 93,000 words

Determined to regain her royal status, a banished Highland faerie accepts a challenge issued by the queen of the fae to unite an unlikely couple while the clan brownie vows to stop her.

Passion ignites when a faerie-shove propels burned-out business consultant Laurie Bernard through the garden gate, back through time, and into the embrace of Patrick MacLachlan. The arrogant clan chief doesn’t know what to make of the lass in his arms, especially when he recognizes the brooch pinned at her shoulder as the one his stepmother wore when she and his father disappeared. Laurie sets his blood afire and he’s determined to have her. She’s resolved to return to her own time and the quiet country life of which she’s dreamed. Yet her desire for Patrick is impossible to resist.

With the fae interfering at every opportunity, the couple must learn to trust one another while combating an enemy clan, exposing a traitor from within and discovering the true fate of Patrick’s missing parents. Against the odds, they learn the most important truth—love transcends time.



YA Paranormal Mystery

60,000 words

18-year-old Hannah Spencer would give anything for a dead-free day. For most of her life, she’s ignored the Visitors who appear in her bedroom each morning. After all, they’re dead, they don’t speak and they rarely stay more than a few minutes. Everything changes when Adam, a recent casualty in a car accident, appears and demands her help to move on to the afterlife. Troubled by her intense attraction to him, Hannah uncovers the truth about their connection: Adam is her twin flame — the other half of her soul— and the two have spent a number of lifetimes together. Unable to ignore their bond, Hannah and Adam rekindle their ages-old romance. However, when she links this mysterious ghost to the disappearance of his sister and the terrifying recurring dreams she’s been having, she must decide if helping him is worth risking her life … again.



Young Adult Contemporary

59,000 words

There are no strangers in Coffee, Texas. This little town has two unspoken rules: 1. No one moves to Coffee, 2. No one moves out of Coffee. Willow Dean Connor and her father have broken not just one, but both of these rules. Willow’s getaway path out of town is littered with the debris of her former life including her surreptitious relationship with her older brother’s best friend and the shadow of the mother who left Willow when she least expected it. Having left without a backward glance, Willow’s escape is short lived. Now she must return to Coffee where she is shocked to discover the home she grew up in has been sold and is now occupied by Max, a new boy in town.

Overwhelmed by her unexpected homecoming, an anxiety prone Willow is confronted by the life she has left behind and the one she has yet to live. Willow must determine if “home” is her fractured family, an old house, or maybe a boy named Max. Homesick for Goodbye is about the realization that home is bigger than four walls; home is a broken puzzle comprised of all the seemingly mismatched pieces collected along the way.



Category Contemporary Romance aiming for Harlequin Blaze

55,000 words

Thirty-something Lucy is a returning college student who isn’t going to waste her time dating unworthy men.  She manages to fall for the wrong guy every time.

She makes a list for her perfect man, and ignores her heart in her quest for Mr. Right.  Until she meets Andy.  She can’t get him, or his sweat pant clad butt out of her mind.  Even after she learns he lives with his mom, and his goal is to “win World of Warcraft, and attend ComiCon.”  An honest man who can make her laugh means more than a five-year fiscal plan, doesn’t it?

Dr. Andrew Sullivan, PhD, is undercover researching his next presentation for ComiCon, and his subsequent articles in Wired magazine.  Since he’s famous in the gamer world and recently had a public break up with a B-list actress, he grows a scruffy beard, chooses clothes to match it, and acts the part of an unemployed slacker while living with his mother.  Unfortunately, he can’t keep his mind, or his mitts off Lucy.  Can he trust her enough to keep his secret?  And can he tell her before it’s too late, and she breaks his heart?



YA Paranormal

59,000 words

Seventeen-year-old Allison just wants to make it through high school without killing anyone.  There’s just one problem.  Allison, like all the other women in her family, is cursed.  She can weaken a man for days with a single kiss, and when it comes to sex, there’s no such thing as safe—losing her virginity means a man loses his life.

Fighting her murderous destiny isn’t the only thing on Allison’s mind.  She also has to deal with an aunt who keeps pushing her to “turn to God for guidance” and her sister, Jade, who has weakened more men than she can count.  Allison knows Jade’s reckless behavior will catch up to her sooner or later, but she never imagines it will lead to her sister’s death.

After Jade’s apparent suicide, Allison’s good friend Ren is there to help her get through the difficult time.  However, their relationship soon turns into something more than friendly and far more dangerous.

As if trying not to kill the man she’s falling in love with and dealing with her bible-thumping aunt isn’t bad enough, Allison also has to come to terms with her sister’s death and the unanswered questions surrounding it.



Paranormal Romance

90,000 words

When an immortal alpha male searches the city for his rogue brother, he embarks on a torrid and illicit affair with a human named Kila. The instant attraction drags Kila into a clandestine realm that has hugged reality for centuries, one where shape-shifters prowl the earth while preying on humans. Powerful adversaries face Kila, vowing to destroy her while returning Ethan to his alpha duties.

As the adventure escalates, the dreams and whispers in Kila’s head pull her to the place of her birth, exposing the most astonishing revelation yet. You see, Kila isn’t a weak, insecure human begging at the feet of immortals. She just happens to be their worst nightmare, and fated for a destiny most befitting of star-crossed lovers.



YA Dark Fantasy

60,000 words

If you don’t think the idea of flesh eating mermaids is terrifying, then you’ve obviously never been trapped in the middle of the ocean during a storm constructed by the bloodthirsty maidens. Step into Anita’s world as she tags along on her father’s expedition in search of Atlantis. Since the arrival of the team’s newest member, the hotness known as Riley, an unexplained song haunts Anita’s dreams, and soon thereafter her waking hours. The siren’s song, a sweet and hypnotic melody, unleashes zombie-like mermaids turned human bent on revenge and plagued by madness.

When the sirens lure the mortals to the labyrinth tomb of Theoisis, Anita faces the demons from her nightmares. Trapped underwater and at the mercy of an undiscovered race, Anita must fight in order to save her father. A series of horrific murders set the pace for an unprecedented escape from the siren’s hold as Atlantis’ protector, Riley, struggles to imprison the sirens before they reach land.



Paranormal Romance

75,842 words

Dark Knight is a paranormal romance based on the Shadowlands, a world parallel to our own.  Creatures, such as vampires and other demons, were born in the Shadowlands and often make their way into our world: the outer world.  Not all of them are evil, but the ones who are bad, are really bad.  The U.S. Government has designated a top-secret sector who has been assigned the job of researching the Shadowlands, while continuing to protect the outer world.  Ethan St. John is one of those agents.  Born into the secret life of protector and hunter, St. John will save Gabriella Woods from an evil vampire.  Gabriella is a “starving artist” at her first gallery opening when she’s abducted by one of the world’s most powerful vampires.  The clan wants her because she has a unique gene they need.  Ethan saves the day, sweeping her away from her captor to a New England safe house to teach her mind-control to battle against the evil that’s come for her.  Dark Knight is the first book of many in the Shadowland series.  Readers will get to know reoccurring characters as they read through the books.  Dark Knight is 75,842 words.



Upper middle grade fantasy

85,000 words

Mythical creatures are a complication Dexter Gallagher doesn’t need so
soon after his mother’s death. More so because shy, stuttering Dexter
is awkward; lots of awkward. When a not-so-fictitious firebird follows
him to school and sets a bully’s hair on fire, Dexter isn’t grateful.
He’s terrified, especially when this firebird by day also turns into a
beautiful mute girl by night. Dexter has always been clueless around
females, even those who can’t talk back.

Adding to his problems is his long-absent father, who just happens to
be a famous warrior from Faer. Yes, the place with all the magic and
ogres and Faeri godmothers. (And crazy seeresses, and talking pigeons.
Maybe a zombie or twelve. And lots of aggressive toads.) Said father’s
taking custody, and that means Dexter’s moving to Faer.

But legend also says firebirds are the key to finding the Kingsword,
Faer’s most powerful weapon. And there’s a Snow Queen who’d kill to
get her hands on both. She’s giving Dexter two choices: surrender the
firebird, or lose his life. But while Dexter’s no Prince Charming,
he’s learning that sometimes you don’t need to be a hero to fight for
the things that matter most.



YA Urban Fantasy

71,000 words

How do you live your life when you’ve already seen your death?

Seventeen-year-old Carri Helms ability to see the future did not prepare her for visions of her own death. Or, an attack on her life by a secret society who believe she is the descendant of one of the world’s oldest bloodlines and the key to unleashing an ancient power.

Rykeir Davis is used to hiding his supernatural abilities from the world, but when he saves Carri from certain death, he finds himself risking everything to protect her. Drawn to her, he will stop at nothing to keep her safe, even if that means revealing all he is and all he is capable of.

Now, Carri and Rykeir must uncover the truth behind her lineage while preventing the revival of a war that nearly destroyed her kind once before. It is a battle of good versus evil in this supernatural journey as the discovery of love and self defies nature and transcends time.



Dark, Romantic Women’s Fiction

104,000 words

Thirty-two year old musician assistant Trista Hart knows she needs to find a way out of the nocturnally persuaded world of her best friend and boss, Jaxon James. But no matter how dark that route has become lately, he and his band Sin Pointe are her family and she’s not prepared desert them for Jaxon’s visiting cousin, Lucky Mason of Tennessee, if it’s just going to take her down another of life’s pot-hole littered highways. She has valid reasons to question Lucky and his beloved south—having experienced at an early age the sometimes hypocritical underbelly of the region’s good manners and charm.

Her hourglass has been turned upside down and now with Lucky’s heartfelt proposal before her, she has to decide one for the other at the most inconvenient of times—just as Sin Pointe’s tour is taking off and on the heels of a horrendous late night attack on her and Jaxon that leaves her sure of only one thing…

It’s time for Trista to be her own savior.



Romantic Suspense or Contemporary

90,000 words

Count Aldric Bradawulf, aka Elliott Tibbles, aka Slick is the ultimate invisible man. A Master of Disguise, he collects clandestine global information. After overhearing three International thugs planning to kidnap Deidre Townsend in order to steal her sister’s new fuel technology, his plans to approach Deidre slowly, and ease his way back into her life, are spoiled. He’d hoped for more time to explain his deception a year earlier, but danger is imminent and he’ll have to move fast.

In the midst of mayhem, Elliott Tibbles tumbles back into Dee’s life and she soon finds herself ensconced in a magnificent Austrian castle with Elliott, or rather, Count Aldric Bradawulf. Can she forgive him for his deception a year earlier? Can she trust him and his dubious connections? Together they must outwit a dangerous group of men in pursuit of a hundred million dollar prize. Can love—based on a foundation of lies and deceit—grow and flourish?

My first published novel, Mirror Images, received two five-star reviews. I have been a member of RWA for ten years and hope that my pitch intrigues you.



Romantic Suspense

102,000 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. But when a serial killer kidnaps her friend, Maggie has no choice but to finally face her old demons and once again run to the rescue in spite of the fact that she couldn’t defend herself the one time she needed to.

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 races to save her or face 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.




97,722 words

Some say that dreams are the doorway to the soul. Willow is no stranger to that doorway. Each night she shares a silent dream with a stunning blue-eyed boy. With each new moon she’s haunted by a nightmare shared with a different boy, who is always hidden by the shadows.

In her waking hours she must battle her sixth sense. The one that allows her to feel others emotions as if they were hers. This insight is exhausting, causing her to draw inward, only trusting a few close friends. Oddly, this sense also attracts ghostly images that seem to appear out of nowhere.  With a touch, they take her to wherever they may be, allowing her to change their emotion. This alone would cause most to go insane, but Willow filters her aggression by painting, capturing the emotion.

One August night, a nightmare came days after the new moon. In this dream the shadowed boy marked her wrist with a star, leaving her father no choice but to share a family secret that would tie all of the odd attributes of Willow’s life together. Now, she has no choice but to outrun the fate that is closing in around her.



Contemporary women’s fiction

96,000 words

Aussie veterinarian Shaye Gillies is running from the memories of a tragedy back home when she lands in Granite Harbor, Maine to take over the island’s only animal hospital. A tragedy she feels she could have prevented. How? Shaye gets visions of possible future events. No one listened to her warnings Down Under, and afterwards, the town vented its anguish and anger on her.

Now, years later, in a small village in Downeast Maine, new visions warn of a fire at the general store. However, the visions have some conflicting details. Past and present blend in seemingly impossible combinations.

Betty, the village’s elderly psychic. Jane, Shaye’s long deceased psychic mentor. Shaye’s visions of a future fire. A 1930 fire that destroyed the general store. Two suitors, both possibly with ulterior motives for winning her heart.

After denying her psychic abilities since the tragedy Down Under, Shaye must trust her heart and reveal her abilities to the village. When the visions gain startlingly sharp detail, she sees the fire, one suitor, his mother and herself. They race to the store to save lives, the store and something unexpected – a decades old connection between Down Under and Downeast.




90,000 words

Mother Nature plays matchmaker in my ninety thousand word historical romance, In Sarah’s Shadow.

Separated from her family, frostbitten Roberta Shallcross is a woman in desperate need of a hero. David Henderson is far from that. He’s a drunken widower who can’t get past the murder of his seemingly perfect wife, Sarah.

When David grudgingly saves Bobby’s life from the Rocky Mountain wilderness, she intends to return the favor and see him sober. Unfortunately, battling liquid demons aren’t the only obstacles on the path to happily ever after. Enter Reginald Crocker.

Reg is a smooth talking Bostonian with a covetous heart. What he covets is Bobby’s affection.  And why not?   Didn’t Sarah fall into his trap?  Perhaps, Bobby will too, for aren’t the mountains a lonely place for a woman in the clutches of brooding drunkard?

Despite his meddling, genuine feelings between David and Bobby grow. But will their new found love be strong enough to survive David’s guilt over Sarah’s death. And more importantly, can they survive Reg’s wrath?

Agent Shop Pitch day with Lit Agent Sara Crowe OCT. 23rd

October 17, 2011

Hope everyone is ready!

Ms. Crowe is looking forward to her visit.

You can check her out here:

Pitch day is this Sunday, Oct. 23rd. at 10:00am EST.

Wait until you see the word GO posted on the main page!

Good luck everyone. I’ll see you Sunday.

AGENT SHOP pitch day w/ Sara Crowe! by Candi Wall

October 9, 2011

Yes, I’m a touch early for those of us on EST, but tomorrow’s looking nutty, so here it is a few hours earlier than Monday morning…

Let me start by saying I was BUMMED to have to cancel last month’s Agent Shop date.

But I did have a great conversation with Laura Bradford, who suffered from an internet interruption. She’s agreed to come back and do a different Agent Shop date. Yay! Agents are AWESOME! I mean really, all the agents we’ve had here have been stellar!

For this month’s Agent Shop, the awesome SARA CROWE from HARVEY KLINGER, INC., will be our guest agent!

And next week, I’ll find out who our spotlight author will be. So excited. I’ll update when I hear back.

So, here’s the details:

PITCH DAY – OCT. 23rd @ approx 10:00am EST. (Yep BEFORE Halloween, because we all know how crazy THAT can get.)

Wait for the word GO to appear on the main page of the blog BEFORE you send me your pitch. Send to candi_agent_shop @ Please remember to wait until after you see the word go. If it comes in before then – DELETE.

Please remember to read the rules under the AGENT SHOP tab above. I delete without mercy. Sorry, but it has to be done. Look at this as your first step toward following agent guidelines to the letter.

Don’t make me get my ruler out.

Very simple actually, but inevitably, I end up with one or two authors FURIOUS with me because their pitch doesn’t show up the next day. Sorry all, but I’m here to help, not hold hands.

BUT, since I’m all about the helping, here’s a morsel to chew on this fine Columbus day.

Columbus had a vision. He knew what he had to convince people of, was going to be difficult. He had to SELL his idea, his dream, his vision. He had to find the right words, the right people, the right timing, including making sure he could answer the tough questions someone was bound to ask. He had to convince people to give him, AND HIS IDEA, a chance.

SOUND FAMILIAR?!?!?!? Pitching’s been around forever, in so many different ways, yet with so many crazy similarities it’s astounding to think about it. If you’ve done your work, made it the best it can be, have passion and drive and the willingness to put yourself out there, eventually, you will get there. Just keep shooting for the unobtainable and building your way to reaching it!

I mean really, I bet the first being to create fire was looked at oddly by others.

I can hear it now…

Try #1 “Uh, grunt, oh-oh, grunt, ugh.”

Try #2 “Grunt, grunt, ugh, oh-oh, ugh.”

Keep at it, and someday you’ll convince that agent, editor, publisher, that you’ve got something special!

By the way, today is the LAST day to enter the Mills & Boon New Voices contest!

I’d love to have you stop by and read/rate my entry STAY. And of course, enter! There are more than 800 entries and it’ll be chopped down to twenty entries VERY SOON!

Good luck, and I’ll see you all soon.

More updates to come next monday!

Agent Shop day with Weronika Janczuk!

June 27, 2011



Good luck to those who got requests and I’ll see you all at the next agent shop! As always – keep writing!

Congratulations to everyone that made it in.

I’ll make it quick as usual.

Here are the stats.

Pitches received: 72

  • Pitches accepted: 30
  • Pitches over limit:28

Pitches ditched: 14

  • Too long: 6
  • Missing info: 7
  • NOT a pitch: 1 (Sorry folks, but a Bio & blog/website info inviting the agent to check you out, even in less than 200 words, doesn’t count.)

Not bad! If you’ve followed us for very long, you know I’ve had dates where the pitches I ditched outnumbered the pitches I accepted!

As always, if you didn’t make it in this round, look your pitch over. It may be something as simple as missing wordcount, or a title. You might have also come in after the first thirty viable pitches. Whatever the case, it’s important to look at:

  • what might be missing
  • if you’ve followed the guidelines
You might find some of the same mistakes in your query!

Okay, now that we have that out of the way, I know you’re dying to scroll down and see if your pitch made it!

Be patient!

We have to announce the winners.

The TOP PITCH slot winner is – well it’s the first one up. If it’s yours – congrats!

The winner of MISERERE is LINDA PENNELL! Please send your address to me at candi_agent_shop (@) and I’ll forward it on to Teresa Frohock. Congrats.

Now let’s welcome Weronika Janczuk.

It’s lovely to have you participate in Agent Shop, and I hope some of the pitches below catch your attention. If there are any you’d like to see more of, please e-mail me the pitch number, what you’d like to see from the author, and how the author should send it to you. (P.S. You can use the danci address we’ve been corresponding with.)






Romantic Suspense

90,000 words

Reluctant Psychic Katherine Crystal, dubbed “Crystal Ball Kate,” is thrust into the national spotlight when she accurately predicts that the five-year-old son of actor Vince Rivers will die in a plane crash. Skeptical Atlanta Police Detective Beauregard Lee Jackson Hale (Jack), who has a deep-seated distrust of psychics, is the by-the-book officer who ignores Katherine’s warnings when she calls to report her premonition. When they are sent toSydney, Australia, to help catch a serial killer, the chase leads to romance and the ultimate discovery of a mystery and a murder surrounding Kate’s birth in the spiritualist community of Cassadaga, Florida. Kate learns to accept her unique abilities and trust her sixth sense about love.



Paranormal Romance

80,142 words

Dark Knight is about the faraway world of the Shadowlands, a world parallel to our own.  Creatures from the Shadowlands make their way into our world; sometimes simply to survive and sometimes to wreak havoc.  Vampires come from the Shadowlands into the outer world and are an extended human race that live longer, are stronger and possess abilities to control the human mind.  Ethan St. John (an agent working in the secret sector of the U.S. Government) a.k.a. protector and vampire hunter, and Gabriella Woods (a “starving artist” who possesses a unique gene that the vampires need), will evade the vampires, falling in love along their journey.  Gabriella and Ethan are on the run from a powerful vampire (LaCroix) and they visit faraway places like the Shadowlands and Egypt.  Throughout the story, Gabriella will learn how to control her mind and how to break through the strong barrier around Ethan’s heart. This is the first of many books in the Shadowlands series.  I’m currently working on the second book, Donovan’s Fumble, bringing many characters from Dark Knight back into the story.  Readers will follow many of the same characters while reading about the Shadowlands.



Contemporary fantasy/horror

95,000 words

A pair of werewolf brothers battle over a Montana Indian girl—one hungers for her love, the other for her flesh—in this retelling of the classic fairy tale.

When DENNY HOLT sells his soul and becomes a shape-shifter, half-brother ZACH gets caught in the magical backlash. Denny becomes a murderous black wolf by the full moon, but only Zach’s physical form is affected. Zach becomes a gray wolf and returns to human only when Denny is the black wolf.

One day LITTLE RED FEATHER GORDON, a teenage Blackfeet girl, finds a dying gray wolf and heals his wounds. As July’s full moon approaches Zach is determined to protect his Little Red Feather and reveal his human self to her. When Denny kills one girl and almost kills another, Zach’s plans fail. He’s forced to flee to Glacier National Park and become an alpha.

Zach returns before August’s full moon and defends Little Red Feather from Denny. They flee to Grandmother’s, a two-day journey, and spend the night at a cabin. Zach transforms and Little Red Feather insists they are married. At Grandmother’s Zach battles Denny, and with Little Red Feather’s help Zach slays his brother and breaks the curse.



Women’s Fiction

85,000 Words

Marianne Larson brings a shocking end to her family life when she confronts her cheating spouse at his dominatrix apartment.  She begins her new life by returning to college, without the support of her mother and grown daughter. But secrets from the past, refuse to remain hidden and bring the three women back together to heal their broken relationship and create a new future.



Women’s fiction/ elements of suspense

95,000 words

Forty-eight hours into their Moroccan vacation, Julie’s best friend disappears, leaving a terse note of apology and a plea: wait for me.

Days pass. Julie’s anger fades to worry – then fear, when she realizes she is being followed. Then, a vicious attack meant for Julie kills an innocent woman. Julie bolts.

She has learned enough snooping through Fay’s luggage to guess her destination is Taghabene, a remote village. Convinced that Fay is heading into danger and propelled by her own jeopardy, Julie speeds south.

Dust. Wrong turns. Car trouble. Julie finally hitchhikes into Taghabene, but Fay has just departed for a desert camp. Snap decision time: hitchhike back to town and eventually bring help or hurry after her friend.

Julie heads into the desert – and blunders into a military patrol. Thrown into the same cell as Fay and three Moroccans, Julie’s relief at finding Fay is countered by resentment at her betrayal. As the army prepares to transfer the captives to a secret prison deep in the Sahara, Julie must set aside past hurts. Only escape matters. The captives pit their wits against the Moroccan army and the Black Desert in a fight for their lives.



Single Title Contemporary

85,000 words

When relationship coach Lacy Morgan meddles in Reed Hunter’s social life, he decides to use his vocation to expose her as the snake-oil selling fraud he believes her to be. Under the guile of filming a documentary, Reed watches her help her clients through their relationships, making him question his views on long-term relationships. He must choose between ending Lacy’s dreams with his negative slanted documentary, which would boast his career to Michael Moore notoriety, or reaching for the one thing he never thought would touch his life—love.



Paranormal Romance
80,000 words

Skinwalker [skin-waw-ker] (n.) – 1. A being capable of assuming the identity of an animal.  2. God of Norse Mythology 3. Shapeshifter

Werewolf hunter Jace McCannon has one loyalty: the Execution Underground, a council of supernatural hunters sanctioned to protect Rochester. Despite his half-wolf lineage, Jace devotes himself to his job, and he hates nothing more than the monsters he hunts. But when a search for a sexual sadist turns ugly, Jace finds himself with the werewolves’ packmaster, and he’s craving his sworn enemy.

The only alpha female to ever run Rochester’s pack, nothing stops Frankie Amato from protecting her clan. She’s set on massacring the rogue murdering women. Ascending into leadership following her parents’ murder, Frankie can hold her own without the help of any men—until a run-in with a handsome werewolf hunter leaves captive and begging for release.

Jace and Frankie work to end the murders, while battling their differences and growing attraction. Their fate falls on Jace’s shoulders; he needs to embrace his dual nature and shift. But when Jace’s attempts at shifting reveal an unknown bloodline, this news drums up Frankie’s own dark past, and she’d rather stand on the sidelines than at Jace’s side.



Urban Fantasy

86,000 words

At thirteen, Micaela O’Brien was the sole survivor of a small plane explosion in the skies over Ireland.  She saw it in a vision that she never revealed to her parents, who perished in the accident.  Raised by her grandmother, Micaela fought to be like everyone else, but when your bloodlines go back to the ancient Kings and Druids of Ireland, it’s tough. She attends Ivy League schools and is a very successful investment banker.  On a visit to the Berkshires to see her grandmother, Micaela is called to use the gifts she ran from to find a missing friend.  This attracts certain unusual clients.  Clients with fangs and fur, and long histories.  Some of these vampires and shapeshifters possess a thirst for power that rivals their bloodlust. Others will become her allies and perhaps more. But Micaela insists on being rooted in the rational until she discovers one of her clients brutally murdered in his five star New York hotel suite, and is pursued by the killers to Europe.  More attacks occur around the globe until they return to Micaela’s doorstep.  If she is to survive, Micaela must accept the irrational and herself.



YA Urban Fantasy
72,000 words

Finding a hunky, three-hundred-year old demon in your bed isn’t so bad. Stabbing that demon in the gut? Yeah…probably not the best way to make his acquaintance.

Lucky for Katriona McBain, the infamous supernatural hit-man, Demetrius Fall, is interested in more than sucking out her soul—he needs her to assume her role as the reincarnated Queen of the powerful, British Coven.

The only person who can stop an impending apocalypse and end a long waging, demonic war, Katriona is thrown head first into a dark, magical world she thought only existed in her nightmares. Together, she and Demetrius must search the globe for the four bewitched pieces of her royal ancestor’s necklace. Bringing the charms together and harnessing their power is the only chance Katriona has to destroy Narcissa, an evil succubus and leader of the Dark Coven. But as the clock ticks will Katriona uncover the charms in time, or lose something more precious than the war—her humanity?

DEMON REINCARNATE is the first novel of my YA urban fantasy series. Although DEMON REINCARNATE is the in a series, the story stands alone, and explores the uncertainty and change of being a teen on the cusp of adulthood.



Edgy Romantic Women’s Fiction

103,800 Words

A thirty-two year old musician assistant extraordinaire, Trista Hart knows she needs to find a way out of the nocturnally persuaded world of her best friend and boss, Jaxon James.  But no matter how dark that route has become lately, he and his band Sin Pointe are her family and she’s not prepared to leave them for Jaxon’s visiting cousin, Lucky Mason of Tennessee, if it’s just going to take her down another of life’s pot-hole littered highways.  She has valid reasons to question Lucky and his beloved south—having experienced at an early age the sometimes hypocritical underbelly of the region’s good manners and charm.

Her hourglass has been turned upside down and now with Lucky’s heartfelt proposal before her, she has to decide one for the other at the most inconvenient of times—just as Sin Pointe’s tour is taking off and on the heels of a horrendous late night attack on her and Jaxon that leaves her sure of only one thing…

It’s time for Trista to be her own savior.



Young Adult 

88,000 words

Mrs. Ghoul was up late one night brushing her long stringy hair. She stops to place the hair brush down, as her eerie witchy nails scrap the top of the dresser. She gazes at herself into the mirror; her deceased mother’s reflection appears and disappears quickly. It was a sign of her mother to let know her know that her items are still very powerful. After that particular moment, she gets into a deep thought as she thinks about setting revenge on RayAnn to retrieve the magical items back.

Jake is a wizard, he came to live with his grandmother, in New England, after his mother was vanished into another world. He had no idea that his sweetheart to be lived across the street. Once he lays eyes on RayAnn for the first time, he knew they would have a magical connection between them.

RayAnn and Cindy have been friends for years. Together the girls go through some magical reject spells to try to defeat Mrs. Ghoul at her own game. Nevertheless, their magical adventure will intense throughout the story.



Single-Title Romance

100,000 words

Widow Jeannette Riley’s long-term boyfriend is running from commitment like an escaped convict desperate to stay free.

That’s what her brother implies when he makes her an unconventional offer of help to prove it. She tells him to mind his own business. But when she suggests to her boyfriend she spend an evening listening to his band play at an out-of-town club, he quickly discourages her. One quick phone call to her brother sets the plan in motion, a plan she hopes doesn’t backfire.

When Tyler Morgan’s fiancée chooses her dynamic career over their relationship, he thinks a distraction will help fill the void growing inside him. He believes it’s purchasing the classic car collecting dust in a co-worker’s sister’s garage. When he steps into what turns out to be Jennette’s backyard to ask if she’s willing to sell, what he gets is a case of mistaken identity and an intriguing offer he chooses not to turn down.

What neither Jennette nor Tyler expects is for a chance meeting and one simple date to grow into an all-consuming passion and love neither can deny.



Regency with paranormal influence

90,000 words

Alexander Barrington flees his tyrannical uncle for the open seas and becomes a ruthless pirate who turns vampire.

Captured and sentence to hang for piracy, a fate he must avoid to keep his vampire self hidden, he gets a reprieve if he recues Lady Laurel Sinclair from French pirates and return her to her fiancé in England. He falls for the woman who sees him as a hero but he knows he is below her nobility status a pirate and must not steal her for himself.

In this Vampire Diaries meets Pirates of the Caribbean, he erases her memory of him so she can live a normal life though he doesn’t want her to go because she treats him like a human, making him feel alive again. Can he really have her without exposing what he is – a thief, the undead? The damned?



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.




90,000 words

Haunted by a past as a sex slave, nobleman Ethan Warth returns to England as a male courtesan for rich matrons and runs a brothel for wealthy lords. Arabella Covington appears on his door, trained in the medical arts but unable to practice because she is a woman. He hires her to care for his ladies but her inquisitive nature and beauty make him desire to teach her the world of seduction.

Ethan, however, never counted on falling in love…




105,000 words

When Gerald “Jet” Jameson, an aspiring astronaut, loses control of his perfect life he agrees to murder innocents to stop an escalating nuclear war. His reward. Raising a son he didn’t want, doubting an ego he can’t risk, utilizing technology he can’t possibly understand, while hiding a secret where the only solution is a hangman’s noose.

Add in:

·      An engineered slate wiping virus

·      A world wide manhunt

·      A secret facility that uses humans as telepathic guinea pigs

·      A harvesting operation that steals organs from the dregs of society

·      An impossible space program sold as the only hope for mankind

·      and man’s first contact




Cozy Mystery with Romantic elements

70,000 words

Levi Mendenham thought taking flak for changing his parents’ Jewish bookstore into a haven for mystery readers was bad, but that’s nothing compared to being the prime suspect in the murders of both his fiance and an ex-  girlfriend. When the woman he recently asked out on a date goes missing as well, Levi, a former agent for the National Security Agency,  has to find a way to stay out of jail and find the real murderer.




85K words

The only white sheep in a flock of black ones, bank teller and human-lie-detector Lolita Vette aches for the guilty pleasure of a normal life. Instead, she works weekends exploiting her ‘gift’ as a psychic for an embarrassing and expensive family of wanna-be witches.

When she stops a bank robbery to save a mentally handicapped friend from going to jail, Lolita’s interrupted something bigger than a small town payday heist.  Kingpin Queenie Trent doesn’t appreciate the interference and puts the squeeze on Lolita: Break into the vault  or she and her screwy family will suffer the consequences.

Lolita refuses and Queenie sends trouble after her like debt collectors on a past due. She’s been assaulted, robbed, and now Tug Shelby–the man she hadn’t yet decided whether he belonged in a shallow grave or  her bed–is missing.  Leaving behind a little finger and a helluva lot of blood. Now even Lolita can’t help but pray for a little backwater magic.



Historical/Regency romance

95K words

“The sacrifice of one spoiled heiress for the good of many…” at least that’s how tarnished war-hero Major Vicks Geale quiets his conscience. Newly returned to England, Vicks finds his pay and commission forfeited, he’s inherited a crumbling estate, worthless title and a mountain of debt. With a band of wounded men depending upon him, Geale chooses the feckless and rich Lady Evangeline “Mischief” Moorecroft.

Gorgeous over-indulged Lady Evangeline delights on dancing the razor’s edge between scandal and infamy. Unable to resist Geale’s bait of a notoriously naughty masquerade, Evangeline awakens to discover she’s been ambushed into marriage. As an uneasy alliance forms between them, Evangeline has second thoughts about dissolving the marriage.

Their fierce attraction is put to the test when Evangeline’s treacherous and well-connected mother, the Duchess, gives Evangeline an ultimatum: end the marriage or the Duchess will use her connections to end Geale’s life.


Historical mystery romance with a paranormal element
70,000 words

Dirk McSwain, a gambler from new Orleans, has one goal, to save the family home. He buys first class passage on the Queen Mary ocean liner in order to make the big bucks in a hurry. Meeting a shy young psychic was not in his plans, but when a man he took for a lot of money is killed, Dirk must team up with Eden McGill to solve the case.



Paranormal Romance

91,000 words

Henri Chevalier’s last memory, before awakening naked within a bronze statue in a museum’s moonlit garden, was Auguste Rodin’s studio in 1886 Paris where he had expected to die to escape his broken heart.

He soon discovers he must learn to use the unexpected powers Heaven has given him to succeed in his mission against otherworldly creatures, such as demons, faeries, and a delectable art museum curator named Annabelle Mackintosh.

Relationship-wary, Belle does not believe Henri’s strange words and dire warnings at first, but their relationship heats up when a demon escapes the underworld and forces Henri and Belle to learn to trust each other.



Historical Romance set in the Regency Period with elements of suspense
84,000 words

Before Lieutenant Colonel Amherst, a battle-weary hero, can return to the
fight and avenge the death of his men, he must first honor a promise and
watch over his best friend’s sister, Lady Juliette, an innocent beauty who
fears she may be coerced to marry a lecherous old duke, to save the family

Unbeknownst to the ton, the duke’s vengeful sister and a scorned lover are
both desperate to make sure Juliette, and any other young lady, do not wed
him.  One wants her nephew to inherit the ducal title while the other wants
the duke to die a lonely, old man for what he did to her many years ago.

When Juliette unwittingly captures Amherst’s heart, he asks for her father’s
hand in marriage, but is one day too late, forcing Juliette into a world of
greed and murder and a guilt-ridden Amherst into a race against time to save
her and redeem himself and renew their love.



Historical Romance set in the Regency Period 
85,000 words

Lady Beatrix, a strong-willed young woman, has no wish to marry for anything
less than love and becomes quite taken by Lord Whitby.  However, he is a
grief-stricken widower who has no desire to remarry for he feels responsible
for his wife’s death.  When Beatrix tries to warn him of a notorious widow’s
plot to trap him into marriage, she is the one caught alone instead with
him, and they must wed.  Enthralled by the independent beauty, Whitby never
expected Beatrix could free him from the chains that bind his heart and
cripple his spirit, nor did Beatrix expect a woman to come between them who
would do anything, even murder, to gain Whitby’s love.  United by passion,
Bea and Whitby risk their lives to save not only themselves but each other.



Single Title Contemporary Romance

83,000 words

It’s time to unleash the angels.
This story is my sassy spin on Touched By an Angel meets L.A. Ink.  And when my angel – a 300 lb biker – is tasked with the Heavenly mission of playing cupid to a surly tattoo artist who wants nothing to do with love again, and an uptight accountant struggling to break free from her mother’s shadow, you might think this is a simple case of opposites attract.  Well, not so much.  You see, they both bring plenty of emotional baggage to the table and they simply can’t stand each other!  So, they force their poor cupid to work double time and come up with all sorts of creative ways to make sure the Divine Plan doesn’t fail.

I am a fresh, unpublished author and I’m looking forward to finding my niche.  And though I would never hold myself up to their caliber, I would say my writing sits comfortably somewhere in the pocket of romantic humor with authors such as my chapter mate Christie Craig or even Kristan Higgins, and I dream of someday being somewhere in their stratosphere.  I am also a PRO member of the RWA and the Northwest Houston chapter.



Urban fantasy (with strong romantic elements)

85,000 words

Sienna Wolfe knows it’s going to be an interesting day when a man with golden skin and strange tattoos crashes in her backyard… and ends up tied to her bedposts. She likes her life just the way it is – simple, easy, relaxed. But when the gorgeous new alien in her life asks for her help in an inter-galactic war on a collision course with earth, she can’t say no… but she’ll soon wish she had.

Being the only human on a secret base full of ETs is complicated, especially when she’s sharing her bed with one of them. She struggles with her new, unpredictable world, which includes trying to protect earth from alien domination and dodging attempts on her life. And to make matters worse, her greatest enemy – with annoyingly good looks – offers her a double-edged proposal to end the war. All she has to do is give up her freedom and turn her back on the love of her life. Now it’s up to Sienna to pull off the impossible: save the world and – hopefully – live a little happily ever after.



Romantic Mystery

80K words

Dema Maria Morielli is running scared after witnessing her brother get gunned down on a lonely street in Venice, California. The down-on-her-luck actress is desperate to find Micah’s killer and stay alive in the process. There is only one person she can turn to and he’s the one person she is determined to keep out of her life.

Detective Raphael Villegas is harder then diamonds when it comes to law enforcement…and Dema, ever since the hot woman left his bed one morning after an insane night of sex, she has consumed his thoughts. But when his sexy obsession waltzes back into his life via a murder investigation, Rafe has no choice but protect her.

As the pair searches Tinsel town for Micah’s killer, they find a cover-up bigger than any backlot and a romance that burns hotter than a brushfire.  Now if only Rafe can keep Dema alive…and in his bed.



Paranormal Romance

55K words

A rash of theft and the destruction of sacred artifacts have brought the wrath of the United States Geological Survey down on Dr. Jack O’Connor’s head.  The handsome volcanologist has been sent a mouthy new assistant to help him get to the heart of the vandalism. Kalama Young is like no woman he has ever known.

Kalama may look like your typical island girl but there is more to the Hawaiian beauty than meets the eye. A secret lies beneath the surface of her fiery demeanor. Kalama is the 230 year old half mortal daughter of Pele, the Goddess of Fire. In desperation, Pele has called Kalama home to Hawaii.

A force beyond anything the world can comprehend is threatening Pele. Only Kalama can stop it. Na-maka-o-kaha’I, the goddess of the sea, has been released from her watery prison at the bottom of the ocean by an earthquake. She wants revenge against her sister Pele and will stop at nothing to get it. Kalama and Jack must join forces and race against time to recover a sacred carving in order to save her mother and all of Hawaii. . For it is written, He who controls the carving, controls Pele.




98,000 words

Pandora Mavros is on the hunt for one of her own.  A high ranking Siren has gone rogue, murdering innocent men.  Her mission is to locate the rogue and the artifact she has stolen.  If she fails; the destruction of her people will follow.  The licentious and dashing Alexander is a complication she is definitely not looking for.  Could he be working for the rogue?

Alexander Knight is searching for his business partner who mysteriously disappeared and with him the ancient map of the elusive island of Eudora.  Alex doesn’t need the impediment of his desire for the mysterious and guarded Pandora, but something or someone is forcing them together.  Is she his salvation? Or the destruction of everything he holds dear?




72,000 words

Ella has a secret. Problem is, she doesn’t know what it is. The car accident that killed her best friend and the two guys they picked up one stupid night after a party – is nothing but a foggy blur.

Her father’s too much of a drunk to help her figure it out, and her mother suffers from denial that anything could possibly be wrong in her perfect life.

That leaves the geeky school psychologist who still uses words like groovy and gnarly in an attempt to be ‘down with the kids’.

Welcome to Ella’s hell – join the club – they’ve got jackets.

Enter one of the dead boy’s older brother’s, and Ella’s secret turns out to be the reason he’s hunted her down.



Contemporary romance/suspense

89,000 words

What else would any red-blooded American woman with a shred of self-respect do, but sneak around for a night to see what kind of dirt she can find on her cheating, no-good, lying, SOB of an ex-boyfriend?

Okay, so it was lame. Dani Shaffer knows just how lame it is when she stumbles across the wrong place at the wrong time and witnesses the brutal murder of a young hooker.

With an ex-police father who’d shamed the family with his corruption, Dani’s faith in law enforcement is non-existent. Flip, witty, and okay, somewhat smokin’, Officer Hale Dennison, doesn’t do a whole lot to reaffirm her faith. But who else can she trust when the murderers decide she needs to permanently forget what she saw?

Pitching: What they want to hear

July 21, 2010

Song of the day: I Melt With You by Modern English

This is what you’ve been waiting for. The nugget of information that will make pitching to an editor or agent a piece of cake. The magical words of wisdom that will surely chase away the butterflies and all but guarantee you a four book deal.

Okay, maybe not that last part. You’re stomach will still flip-flop and you’ll probably not get signed before your ten minutes is up. But you’ll be armed with knowledge to get you that much closer to fulfilling your publishing dreams.

What are those agents and editors looking for in a pitch anyway?

Here is part three and the final section on pitching to the pros as suggested by Scott Eagan of the Greyhaus Literary Agency.

Is your story in the genre the agent/editor is interested in or represents? Don’t waste their time, and yours, by avoiding this simple step. If you pitch your vampire cowboy zombie slayer to someone who clearly is not interested in paranormals, you will come off as looking unprofessional, disrespectful or just plain lazy for not knowing beforehand. You won’t change their minds no matter how much your story rocks.

Ask yourself if your story fits in their line. This goes back to doing your homework. Find at least three ways it fits in with what the agent/editor. An example might be the steam level. How hot is the relationship between the characters? What type of heroine stars in the story?  Is she the über sexy take-no-prisoners kind of woman or the girl next door? Are their historical novels primarily Regency or steeped in lots of historical details? You should go beyond ‘Oh, they take fiction. I write fiction.’

A note here. Scott gave great advice on figuring out your target.  If you don’t know what publisher best fits you and your writing, go take a look at your bookshelf. See what author(s) you like to read in the same genre you write. Check out who published these books. Chances are many of these favorites will be printed by the same publishers. That’s your target market.

Now for the nitty gritty, your book. This is what they want to hear.

High concept. Whoa Nelly. Settle down. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to know what book or movie you should compare to your story. Keep in mind that you may not get the reaction you hope for if you walk in and blurt out how your novel is a perfect creative blend between Zombieland, Brokeback Mountain and Twilight. What they really want is to know what makes your story UNIQUE. Why is it a great story?

Incidentally, what would you think if I told you that I am working on a pirate tale with Smokey and the Bandit and Appaloosa as my working high concept? Things that make you go hmmm…

Tell them about your unique characters. What makes them different from everyone else’s John, Dick and Harry? Is your heroine not rich, not skinny, or not beautiful? Is your hero not a duke, CIA agent, or werewolf? Even if they are, maybe it’s their relationship that makes them unique. Hey – you got your peanut butter in my chocolate. No. You got your chocolate in my peanut butter! Bottom line, why do these characters stand out?

Unique plot. Again, what makes your story different from the rest?

Tell the agent/editor about the internal or external conflict. The conflict cannot be something that is easily resolved or a simple misunderstanding. The agent/editor reserves the right to smack you upside the head for such a heinous crime.

You know what? They also want some of that awesome storytelling. It’s all in the voice. No throat exercises, please.

It doesn’t end there, folks. During a pitch, the agents/editors are also uncovering bits of info about you.

It’s important for you to know where you are at in your career and where you are headed. Do you know enough about the industry? Do you treat your writing with professional regard and not like some passing bucket list fancy? Are you a team player or stubborn, not willing to take advice.  As an author, are you ready to make the move into revisions, deadlines, new material? The agent/editor does not have a crystal ball but they may be able to spot an author’s potential.

Here is another gem from Scott. There is always a do-over. If the agent/editor declines to see more from you, don’t turn in your badge and gun yet.  A no doesn’t mean a no for life. Just on the particular story you pitched.

Now you are armed and ready. Go forth, my writing friends, go forth and pitch. Best of luck to you all.

See you in Orlando!

Agent ready? Not so fast! Practical Advice for Submitting.

July 7, 2010

Song of the day: Let’s Get It Started by The Black-Eyed Peas

Last weekend, I had the honor of hosting Scott Eagan of Greyhaus Literary Agency in Houston. He visited with my RWA chapter and offered us valuable pointers on preparing to submit and pitch to agents and editors.

I’m going to share his wisdom and what I learned with you.

Must...pick up...agent...

First and foremost, when picking an agent up from the airport during rush hour in the middle of a flash flood warning, it is wise to leave the house much, much earlier than you would normally.  Don’t leave the agent, no matter how understanding they are, waiting for 45 minutes at passenger pick-up. Okay, now that my PSA is out of the way, let’s continue.

Scott had so much great information; I have decided to break it up into a series of three blogs. Yes, this is my sneaky way of getting you, the reader, to come back. Mwahahaha.

This installment will focus on what a writer should do to get ready to submit. Bless Scott for his handouts because I can hardly read my own handwriting.

Before you entertain the idea of fraternizing with agents and editors, you must be READY. That means you should be ready to present your manuscript in FULL. It must be complete and spit-shined.

You must also treat writing as a BUSINESS, not a hobby. Crocheting is a hobby. Mastering Guitar Hero is a hobby. Collecting freakishly tiny spoons is a hobby. Brewing beer…well, you get the idea.

Nice package.

Do your RESEARCH. Is the agent right for you? Is the publisher right for you? Who is accepting? What are they accepting? Who will read you submissions? The editor? An assistant? The cover artist? The UPS man? Read your desired target’s blogs. Follow them on Twitter. Get to know their personality. NOTE: I don’t suggest stalking. That’s a hobby for the unstable.

Write a good QUERY. Consider this your cover letter. You’ve heard this before. Keep it brief. Include the genre, word count, blurb, and what is distinctive about your story. Don’t forget your writing biography. This is your first impression. Will the agent or editor want to know more?

Write a SYNOPSIS that won’t make them cringe. I can’t promise you won’t cringe, but try your best to keep the recipient from wincing. Three to five pages is good. You’re cringing, aren’t you?  Show the plot. Not the sub-plot, not the secondary characters. Don’t let your hero or heroine tell the story. Don’t hint to what happens and don’t end it with a cliff hanger. That is not the purpose of the synopsis.

Clowns scare me.

Be PROFESSIONAL. Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? People forget that writing is a job. A REAL job. You’re not working as a clown for children’s birthday parties. Hey – don’t get your big red nose bent out of shape if that’s what you do for a living. It’s a euphemism. Don’t harass. Agents and editors are not sitting around their offices reading submissions. They are working with their existing authors; making phone calls, attending meetings, editing, etc. They read submissions in their downtime on their commutes or before bed.  By pestering them, you may come off as pushy and brand yourself as a pariah. Word gets around and so does the plague.

Send only what is REQUIRED.  That means the material that is requested and contact information. If sending by mail, don’t forget the SASE. For the love of Pete, use delivery confirmation that doesn’t require a signature.

Be TIMELY. This applies to requests and/or revisions. Take no more than a couple of weeks to respond. This goes back to professionalism.

Finally, KNOW YOUR BUSINESS. Where in the market does your book fit? What authors would you compare with?

There you have it. The basics straight talk from a respected agent.

Next week, Preparing to Pitch.


December 6, 2009

Hello everyone!

Hope you’re ready to pitch.

For this ‘Agent Shop’ session we welcome:

Kevan Lyon with Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

And today’s author spotlight is on: 




Private investigator Alexandra Lovell uses computer skills and cunning to help clients drop off the radar and begin new lives in safety. Melanie Bess, desperate to escape her abusive husband, was one of those clients. But when Melanie vanishes for real, Alex fears the worst and sets out to discover what happened. Using every resource she can get her hands on—including an elite team of forensic scientists known as the Tracers, and a jaded, sexy detective who’s helped her before–Alex embarks on a mission to uncover the truth, one clue at a time.

Look for UNTRACEABLE in stores on Nov. 24, 2009.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of UNTRACEABLE, and a $20 Broders Giftcard!

Thanks for visiting MuseTracks, Laura! We love getting to know our guests, so I hope you’re up for a little Q&A!

So tell us, have you always wanted to write?

Yes, since I was a kid. I began my career as a newspaper reporter, so I spent all my time writing non-fiction. My favorite assignments were always the crime stories and that’s when I started getting pulled into reading and writing suspense.

What was your inspiration for UNTRACEABLE?

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to just drop of the radar, and if that’s really possible. Turns out, it’s very difficult to do, especially because our lives are so intertwined with computers these days, but it can be done. In UNTRACEABLE, my heroine is a PI who helps women in dangerous situations to disappear and start new lives. It was such fun to research this book and learn the tricks of her trade!

Do you write hot, medium or mild?

I’d say medium, but based on feedback I get from readers, it seems everyone has their own spectrum.


What’s one piece of advice you’d share with any aspiring author?

Persistence is key. Expect some rejections, don’t get discouraged, and keep writing stories from your heart.

How many times were you rejected before you made your first sale / landed an agent?

I definitely stopped counting. At some point, I decided it’s better to keep looking forward.

Can you tell us what some of your other novels are?

THREAD OF FEAR and WHISPER OF WARNING both include characters you will see in UNTRACEABLE. My other novels include ONE LAST BREATH, ONE WRONG STEP, and the upcoming UNSPEAKABLE (summer 2010).

Okay, one embarrassing moment – especially if it has to do with writing.

Hmm… how about the time I went out for this formal business dinner with a group of authors and executives from my publishing house and accidentally walked into the men’s room. Yes, while people were in there.

What can we expect from you in the future? Any new WIP you can give us the skinny on?

UNTRACEABLE is the first in the Tracers Series, so I’m working on the subsequent books, UNSPEAKABLE and UNFORGIVABLE. The series is romantic suspense with an emphasis on forensic science as the characters chase down the bad guys in each story.

Do you have a question for our readers?

Yes, what are you guys reading these days? I’m always looking for my next favorite series (I love series books where I can really get to know the cast of characters). Any recommendations?

I’d like to thank Laura again for visiting. Please comment for a chance to win a signed copy of UNTRACEABLE, and a $20 Giftcard from Borders!

You can find Laura Griffin here:

Here’s a Publishers Weekly interview with Laura Griffin:

Find UNTRACEABLE here at these direct links:


B & N


And now, what I’m sure most of you have been waiting for: 

It’s  “GO!” time.

ECWC: Agent Panel: What They Want. (Or Not!)

October 19, 2009


By Marie-Claude Bourque

Last week-end, I was very lucky to attend the wonderful Emerald City Writers Conference in Bellevue, WA. It’s great that I live so close.

The conference was a success as described here at Barbara Vey’s Blog (Publisher’s Weekly) .

I sat in front of a panel of impressive agents and editors and though I’d share what I heard from them here at Musetracks. So present at the panel, where agent Alexandra Machinist of the Linday Chester Literary Agency agent Elaine Spencer of The Knight Agency, agent Steven Axelrod, editor Megan McKeever from Pocket Books, Wanda Ottewell from Harlequin (she edits the Superromance line) and editor Peter Senftleben of Kensington.

So here we go (disclaimer, this is what I heard, and maybe not what they actually said!)

On being asked about submission and pitching and what they hate, Senftleben said that if a book is not finished at the time of pitching, just don’t mention that. Pitch the book as is it is finished then send the whole thing if requested. And please don’t CC to all your agents on your list while doing an email submission (yes, he said, it did happened to him.) Axelrod said he will forget any mistake in pitching and submissions if he thinks he can sell your book, Ottewell doesn’t like receiving manuscript that are not targeted to Superromance. Machinist cautions against saying that you are a cross of a all famous authors at once. Perhaps a name or two to get the flavor of your writing but not go overboard. McKeever loves authors who are excited about their book while pitching and that have creative ideas. She also remind writers to always include the ending of the story in the synopsis.

On author promotions, Senftleben pointed that more and more publishing houses rely on authors promoting themselves and that attending writers conferences such as RWA are a great way to network, which may help in finding authors willing to provide cover quotes. On the other hand, Axelrod said that online promotion doesn’t really work that much and authors should really focus on writing a good book. Spencer also said that promotion is on the author’s plate more than ever. Authors still need to realize that their priority is to write their best book but they also do have to do something towards promoting themselves. Machinist warned authors not to get too obsessed with Amazon ranking.

On romantic comedy, whether it is a dead genre or not, Senftleben said that nothing is ever out but some things are more in favor at times and romantic comedy is still equated with chic lit which is down at this time. Axelrod commented that romantic comedy come and go and that is very hard to write universal romantic comedy, a humor that will please a lot at once. Spencer said that it doesn’t help to say it is funny in a query. She recommends calling it contemporary. Your humor will be obvious at first read and she suggests focusing on your voice while writing.

On epub, Senftleben said that sales for electronic books at Kensington are not that big 5-7% of total sales. Axelrod said the market was about to explode and that it was a fabulous way to distribute books, especially for commercial books. He pointed that it would be harder for literally fiction who depend on independent bookstores for their distribution and promotion. Ottewell mentioned that the good thing about ebooks was that books would not go out of print and Spencer mentioned that we do need to pay attention to that trend and that 5-7% of Dan Brown latest sale was still a large number of readers out there willing to buy electronics.

With fellow GSRWA member and Dorchester author Gayle Ann Williams

With fellow GSRWA member and Dorchester author Gayle Ann Williams at ECWC

On what it meant when an agent said that a submission was almost right but not quite, most on the panel agreed that this was a polite way of saying they passed on it. Senftleben also mentioned that to take in a submission, not only does he have to love it, but it also have to be good enough for all the other editors.

On what they are looking for, Senftleben takes all kinds of romance including erotica and please no terrorists, Axelrod is looking for wonderful storytellers, Ottewell wants depth, complexity and emotion for her HQ Superromance line. McKeever tell writers to write what you want to write and what you are good at. In romance, she takes paranormal, suspense and historical. She also said she likes sexy book. Nothing sweet.

So there you are. Get writing, and pitch and submit.

I was lucky enough to do a group pitch to Megan McKeever and she basically started our meeting by telling everyone to send their first chapter and synopsis. It seems to be the norm these days as far as I can see.  So next time you pitch, I suggest you relax and just show why you are so passionate about your story!


October 4, 2009


Dakota Banks

Dark Time: Mortal Path Book One


Welcome Dakota! Thank you for coming.

Dakota will be giving away a signed copy of her book to TWO lucky commenters.

So let’s hear from everyone.

Check out the stellar cover!



Dark Time: Mortal Path Book One

What if a woman sold her soul to a demon and 300 years later wanted it back?

In the 17th century, a woman is ripped from her husband’s arms, thrown in jail, and then set afire as a witch. Saved from the flames by an ancient Sumerian demon, she becomes the Black Ghost, his Ageless assassin gifted with otherworldly skills and superbly trained in martial arts.

Centuries pass before Maliha Crayne finds a way out of the life she hates. If she achieves a balance between lives taken and lives saved, she’ll break the demon’s hold on her.


If she fails, she will suffer the demon’s torment … forever.



“Fans of the supernatural and dark fantasy will be intrigued by Maliha Crayne’s quest to save her soul.” – Publishers Weekly

“The premise for this new series is different and exciting. What if someone sold their soul, then wanted it back? With a kick-ass heroine who’s trying to get out of an unimaginably bad situation and tons of action, this is a terrific read.” – RT Book Reviews

“Dark Time is a novel to be savored for both its edge of suspense and the pure joy of its storytelling. Part immortal, all human, Maliha is a heroine who will leave readers breathless and craving more. Not to be missed!” – James Rollins

“Seductive, sophisticated, and imaginative, Dark Time has a multi-dimensional quality with beguiling concepts and a labyrinth of fast-paced suspense.” – Steve Berry

“Dark Time is a passionate, fascinating story packed with action and history.” – David Morrell

“A great concept and a fun read; an original story with just the right blend of action, suspense, mythology, and romance.” – Book Bitch


Release: July 28, 2009 – Available as mass market paperback, Kindle and other digital editions at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Booksense (IndieBound), HarperCollins, and generally widespread distribution to online and brick-and-mortar bookstores

Visit Dakota here:


  • Archon SF/Fantasy Convention, Oct 2-4, 2009
  • World Mystery Convention (Bouchercon) Oct 15-18, 2009



And now, the word you’ve all been waiting for:



Good luck!

No ‘Agent Shop’ this month

August 27, 2009

Bitch Track:
So everyone seems to be busy. Big surprise. End of summer, school and fall sports are gearing up. I’ll tell you this…animal control is out of control.

Bliss Track: I sent my daughter off to her first day as a freshman in highschool. Anyone else done this? It’s both a bliss and a bitch. I’m so very proud of the young woman she’s becoming. She’s got a great head on her shoulders…but…I remember highschool. God, where did my little girl go????


Sorry folks.

Due to agent lack of availablity, there won’t be an ‘Agent Shop’ this month. However – October looks great!

I’ll be busy doing a blog tour in Sept & Oct anyway, so it works out okay for me that this month’s – meaning Sept’s – date won’t happen. Please feel free to stop by and find out where I’m blogging. I have several dates set that I’ll list below, but I’ll also post links to these great blogs on the day I post elsewhere.


Here’s a start:
Sept. 14th – Booking It
Sept. 21st – Monica & Her Muse
Oct. 2nd – The Chatelaines
Oct. 12th – Ciaraliara
Oct. 19th – Romance Writers on The Journey


There will be more added as other blogs confirm dates.


I’ll be talking about everything from what a text novel is, the beneifits of joining textnovel, the pitfalls, and of course contest wows and woes.


And remember – stop by Not only can you read my novel ‘STAY’ (and vote if you like what you read), it’s a great way to network, showcase your work, and refine your writing. Please let me know if you join. I’d love to read your work!



Candi Wall