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
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.
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.
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.
“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:
*** The author will give away a signed paperback to a US or Canada resident when they come in!***
TARGETED by Katie Reus
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.
“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:
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!