Cupcakes, Cocktails, and Critiques: The Submissions

Thank you to all the writers who sent us a blurb for Cupcakes, Cocktails, and Critiques. We are so pleased with the number of submissions!

Select Seymour Agency Authors will be critiquing the blurb, providing their critiques in the comments to this post between June 1 and June 15. Find out who they are here  and come back often to see what they have to say. At the same time, the Seymour Agency Agents will be reviewing the blurbs.

Everyone who attends RWA National 2013 and enters this contest will be invited to the Cupcakes, Cocktail & Critiques Party during the conference at the hotel’s bar. This party is not a pitch session but a celebration and opportunity to network with agency authors and agents. Cupcakes will be provided!logo2

Also during this time, the Seymour Agency agents and authors will be reviewing the blurbs and vote for their favorites. Brand new agent Marisa Cleveland will treat the author Agent Mary Sue chooses, the author Agent Nicole chooses, and the author with the most votes from our authors to a cocktail at the agency party at RWA!

The submissions are in order of the author’s last name. The Title of the work is given if a title was provided and the genre is that provided by the author or my best guess from the blurb. If authors would like a title added or the genre edited, they are welcome to email me. Blurbs and pitches cannot be changed at this point and were copied and pasted from the email submissions directly into this post.

NOW THE SUBMISSIONS!!

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Entry #1

Author: Kris Asselin

Title: THE SWEET SPOT

Genre: YA Contemporary

One sentence pitch: The hot new Brit, her best frenemy, or her crush Scott who won’t deny it? Someone torched the eighth green bent on destroying Kate and her family’s business.

100 word blurb: When vandals burn one of the greens at the family golf course and the cops find the “smoking blowtorch” in her crush’s car, Kate’s world goes up in flames. First Scott withdraws from her and then she finds out the now-damaged course might lose the opportunity to host a prestigious tournament. She suspects her friends, stakes out the bad guy, and gets her hands dirty to prove Scott’s innocence. But it still might not be enough if she can’t play to win.

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Entry #2

Author: Brooks Benjamin

Title: ASHER LOCKE AND THE KNIGHTS OF ARCADIA

Genre: MG Fantasy

One sentence pitch: Thirteen-year-old Asher must cross over into the world behind his school’s boiler room to rescue his dad from an army of Troglins, Grimhounds, and 10,000 miles of death.

100 word blurb: Asher would do anything to see his dad again. And when a sword-wielding wall of pecs named Gareth saves him from a bloodthirsty Grimhound, the moppy-haired seventh grader gets his chance.

Asher discovers his dad’s not really dead. He’s being held prisoner by Lord Balor – a madman who’s stowed away in Eden Worn, the world hidden behind the middle school’s boiler room.
Along with Gareth, two loony enchanters, his best friend and the girl of his dreams, Asher launches a truly epic rescue mission. If he fails, he can kiss seeing his dad – and his own world – goodbye.

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Entry #3

Author: Susan Bradley

Genre: YA mystery

One sentence pitch: Math whiz Autumn is part of a high school forensic dream team helping the local police investigate a series of kidnappings that are part of an online survivor game.

100 word blurb: Last year, sixteen year old, Autumn, solved her sister’s murder. This year, she is part of a high school forensic dream team who assists the police when teens get kidnapped. When it’s discovered the kidnappings are part of a secret online survivor game, the police and team focus on the game maker-the man behind the game. The focus of the investigation shifts when Autumn is singled out and becomes the target of the Game Maker’s sick game.  Through encrypted messages hidden in steganographs, Autumn must discover who the last kidnapping victim is, if she’s to save him in time.

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Entry #4

Author: Julia Broadbooks

Genre: Romance

One sentence pitch: A widowed socialite needs the help of soldier-turned-mechanic to hide a secret worth killing for.

100 word blurb: Enlisting in the army offered Cal a way out of his impoverished, dead end childhood, but he chucks it all to return home when the lives of the only people who’ve ever loved him are put in danger. Widowed socialite Vivian will protect her family at all costs…and keep the secret her husband was murdered for. Until Cal’s investigation leads him to Viv’s door. Will they be able to work together to shield their loved ones? Or will the mysteries of Viv’s past tear them apart before Cal can teach her to believe in love one last time?

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Entry #5

Author: Jim Cangany

Genre: Romance

One sentence pitch: Can a disgraced coach and a devastated advisor put aside their differences to find success, and love, on the hardwood?

100 word blurb: After getting caught up in a grade fixing scandal, men’s college basketball coach Greg Miller is thrown a lifeline when old friend Sharon Leonard offers him a spot on her staff coaching the Irving University Lady Crusaders. Heartbroken Academic Advisor Ciara Monaghan wants nothing more than to protect Irving’s reputation, and repair her own, by seeing to it that Greg’s stay at Irving is short. The last thing either of them wants is the attraction they can’t deny. Can a struggling student bring them together to see how wonderful a second chance at life, and love, can be?

 

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Entry #6

Author: JG Faherty

Title: THE CURE

Genre: Urban Fantasy

One sentence pitch: THE CURE is a supernatural thriller in which a young woman must let loose the darkness inside her in order to save herself and the man she loves from enemies who want to use her as the ultimate murder weapon.

100 word blurb: Leah DeGarmo has the ability to Cure with a touch. For years she’s lived a lonely life, hiding her powers and using them only to Cure animals in her veterinarian practice. Now the wrong people have found out and they’ll do anything to gain her powers for their own deadly purposes. When they murder the man she’s finally fallen in love with, Leah learns she also has the power to Kill. Transformed into a demon of retribution, Leah resurrects her lover and sets out to destroy her enemies. But does she control this new power, or does it control her?

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Entry #7

Author: Piper Huguley

Title: THE PREACHER’S PROMISE

Genre: Historical

One sentence pitch: Sparks fly in 1866 Georgia as an illiterate tortured Hero blacksmith feuds with a well-meaning missionary schoolteacher over the education of his formerly enslaved young daughter.

100 word blurb: In 1866, Amanda Stewart promised her dying father she’d uplift their race and educate newly freed slaves. When she arrives in Milford, Georgia, handsome blacksmith and town leader Virgil Smithson tells her she is not needed. But Virgil made his own promise—he told his dying wife that their daughter would learn to read and write, despite his own illiteracy.  In Amanda, he finds a woman whose will is as strong as the iron he fashions. These combatants must put aside their personal feelings to understand God has his own plan in the promises they made to their loved ones.

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Entry #8

Author: Kristi Anna Hunter

Title: MISS AMELIA AND THE MARQUIS

Genre: Inspirational

One sentence pitch: A forgotten ward is thrown into the path of a jaded but newly saved aristocrat by the well-meaning servants of London’s elite, but he must choose between marrying her and saving her reputation.

100 word blurb: Amelia Barnett’s efforts to help an ailing maid get her into trouble when she’s caught cleaning the study of the infamous Anthony Pendleton, Marquis of Raebourne. She plans never to see him again. Anthony has other ideas. Having repented of his rakish lifestyle, he wants to settle down and can think of no one but Amelia.

Amelia’s only friends are servants and they want to help her back into society. Mistaken identities, jealous ladies, and vicious rumors are no match for the servants of London’s elite. But unless Anthony and Amelia believe God’s acceptance, past insecurities will destroy their chances.

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Entry #9

Author: Desiree Jones

Title: BECOMING DARKNESS

Genre: New Adult/ Fantasy

One sentence pitch: In a world where magical Talent means everything, her eyes mark her as dangerous.

100 word blurb: Princess Adilynn is an outsider because of a rare and feared ability to take on the magical Talent of others. She is tortured for weeks as her captor manipulates her powers in order to increase his own, leaving her with a dramatically altered appearance –spells carved into her skin, white hair, purple eyes and an addiction to dark, powerful magic.

Ethan is her rescuer and abductor’s brother. Drawn to one another for unexplainable reasons, he helps her heal and they discover her powers (and their attraction) are out of control as they hunt for the man who changed her life.

 

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Entry #10

Author: Becky Lower

Genre: Romance

One sentence pitch: A 40-something woman is embarking on the second impetuous thing she’s ever done, and it might be her undoing—or her salvation—when she comes face to face with the cowboy of her dreams

100 word blurb: Juliette St.James has only done two impetuous things in her life, and the first resulted in her becoming a single parent at age 18. Now, she’s embarking on a cross-country trip to celebrate becoming an empty-nester. Not sure of what she will do now that she’s flying solo, she comes face-to-face with a cowboy—one of her fantasy dates.

Cyclone Kelley is a former rodeo cowboy who has broken one too many body parts to continue on the rodeo circuit. But the one body part that can’t be fixed by putting it into a cast is his heart, which was broken when his wife died. He wasn’t home to save her, and feels he’s unworthy for any kind of lasting relationship with a woman, so his life has been a meaningless string of one-nighters.

One broken car and an equally broken cowboy later, they must decide if they want to return to their old lives or venture into new uncharted territory together.

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Entry #11

Author: CJ Michaels

Genre: Romance

One sentence pitch: Single mother Annie York struggles with attention deficit disorder and has given up on love in her small town and things get worse because confirmed city boy and bachelor Caleb Galloway’s dog trips her, but in his need to make amends, he shows her that she’s perfect as she is and his family farm may just be the place where they all belong.

100 word blurb: Single mother Annie York fears her attention deficit disorder makes her unlovable. Caleb Galloway needs to have every detail in place, which cost him his girlfriend and convinced him to give up on love. Annie lands in Sweet Creek with her 8-year-old daughter and helps at the family diner as the server for the lunch meal at the 1,000-acre Galloway Farms. Caleb returns to convince his father to retire, and his huge dog sweeps Annie off her feet—literally. Out of guilt, he helps her recover, and falls in love with the unexpected through Annie, and appreciates the family homestead.

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Entry #12

Author: Lynn Montagano

Genre:

One sentence pitch: Lia Meyers thought her Scottish vacation would be the perfect cure for a bad break up, until one uncharacteristic moment of clumsiness lands her in the arms of a dangerously attractive Englishman.

100 word blurb: “I should get back to the hotel.”

“Why?”

“Because I didn’t come here looking for this,” I snapped, my voice rising. “If anything, I want to get away from it.”

“My kitten has claws.” His smug grin irked me. 

“I’m not your kitten. I don’t want whatever it is you’re offering,” I grumbled.

Staring at me for several seconds, he stroked the curve of my cheek. He dipped his mouth close to my ear. 

“Your body betrays you, Lia.” 

Desire ran thick through my veins as he slowly moved his hands down my neck, over my shoulders and onto my waist.

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Entry #13

Author: Emmy Neal

Genre: NA Sci-Fi

One sentence pitch: A Rapunzel-inspired romance meets The Walking Dead in The Tower, the first novel in a New Adult science fiction trilogy.

100 word blurb: Fifteen years since the outbreak of Z1, a virus that turns people into walking corpses, the few survivors are beginning to give up hope.  Twenty-three year old pathologist Florence Shu works under quarantine in the Tower’s lab, determined to find the cure for the infected. When her ex-lab partner and lover returns to the Tower, they discover quarantine isn’t a safe haven at all. When Flor conquers her agoraphobia and flees, they uncover a conspiracy that starts before the outbreak. Every scientist close to finding a cure has died, and the people running the Tower aren’t letting Flor go easily. 

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Entry #14

Author: Page Pennington

Title: FAMILIAR MAGIC

Genre: PNR

One sentence pitch: A reluctant witch wants a normal life, but when her cat turns into a handsome/sexy man, she must learn to harness her power to save him from returning to his cursed feline life.

100 word blurb: Kristen Morgan, a reluctant witch just wants to be normal, with the whole white picket fence dream. Until a wish transforms her sleeping cat into a handsome naked man and reopens the door to her powers.

Nash Reeves might be attracted to the saucy witch but can he trust that her motives are true? He trusted another witch 100 years ago and look where that got him. Cursed to be a familiar until Kristen accidentally released him.

They have until the full moon to save Nash from returning to his cat form, permanently.  

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Entry #15

Author: Dianna Shuford

Title: CHARMED DECEPTION

Genre: Inspirational Suspense

One sentence pitch: An unwilling alliance, a dangerous plan, and one man’s horrific mission collide in a race to deceive a killer.

100 word blurb: A dangerous plan or a fatal mistake?

A killer, hunting women who serve their community in Atlanta, has targeted Addison Parker, homicide detective, as his next quarry in this deadly scheme. Joe Vaughn, a news reporter, provides the only link between the murders: his articles. Evidence that at first implicates Joe leads to a necessary alliance aimed at drawing out the killer: Jackdaw.

Together they lay a trap to catch the elusive Jackdaw, but become ensnared by each other in the process. Can they find the killer before it’s too late?  Can they accept their budding relationship as God’s gift?

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Entry #16

Author: Christy Lashea Smith

Title: THE BRIDGE BETWEEN

Genre: Inspirational

One sentence pitch: A connected past threatens to destroy a promising future.

100 word blurb: Aimee Mason wants to give her eight year old son Luke, who’s battling aplastic anemia, every desire of his heart.

At the height of his career, Seth Garrett’s thoughts of leaving football to become a missionary seem ludicrous. When the Bone Marrow Registry notifies Seth he’s a match, he sees this as God’s intended mission.

When Luke’s favorite team visits the hospital, Aimee can’t deny her attraction to the famous quarterback. But her past is connected with Seth’s. They want to forget this past pain. Can they cross the bridge between love and forgiveness to find happiness, together?

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191 thoughts on “Cupcakes, Cocktails, and Critiques: The Submissions

  1. Entry #2: Sounds very intriguing! Only one word threw me at first – as a middle grade novel – pecs. I know 7th graders know the term pecs, but I think that in the blurb I first thought adult romance. Maybe from reading all those hot adult romances with yummy pecs on the cover. Can’t wait to read more of this. 🙂

  2. Entry #1 Author: Kris Asselin
    This sounded like an intriguing story. However, on the pitch, I would reverse the sentences.
    The blurb is very well written except for the last sentence. I don’t understand the reference “play to win.” But overall, this sounds like a book I would like.

  3. Entry #2 Author: Brooks Benjamin
    I do not normally read this type of book, but your pitch and blurb drew me in. Good deal. I can see the world you’ve created. No suggestions as it doesn’t need any IMHO.:-)

  4. The one-sentence blurb needs to be rearranged and punctuated differently so it reads more clearly, but once I got what you were trying to say, I thought the story line sounded charming. Be sure that the overarching conflict (family golf course in jeopardy) is strong enough to keep a YA reader’s interest. Can you explain the “play to win” reference? I can definitely hear the YA voice in your writing. Good job.

  5. Entry #2
    I love how you infuse humor into your short blurb but still make it sound like an exciting and epic tale. Your blurb tells me exactly what I need to know and leaves me eager to read your book. Very well written.

  6. Entry #3
    The writing is vibrant and dynamic, and I can tell from the blurb that the action in this book will be non-stop. If you can convince readers that the police would enlist a bunch of high-schoolers for such a serious investigation, you’ve got a winner on your hands.

  7. Entry #5
    I would leave out the name of the old friend (Sharon) because I immediately thought she was the love interest. Is Ciara heartbroken because of Greg? I love the premise and think if you clarify Greg and Ciara’s relationship, the blurb gets readers excited. Nice job.

  8. Entry #6
    Cut “THE CURE is a supernatural thriller in which” and start with “A young woman…” I love this blurb. It is concise yet exciting. You’ve shown how to build tension and conflict in one short paragraph. It looks like a very compelling read.

  9. Entry #7
    I would cut down on the long strings of adjectives, especially in the one-sentence blurb. Other than that, this blurb reads beautifully. Your voice is lovely and well-suited to the time period.

  10. Entry #8
    As with the previous entry, the strings of adjectives in the one-sentence blurb make it a little hard to follow. Fit enough into one sentence that the reader’s interest is piqued, and then give us the bigger picture in the 100-word blurb. Your longer blurb is fabulous. Very authentic voice.

  11. Entry #9
    Both the one-sentence and the longer blurb are very well written. The story is obviously going to be quite intricate, and you have done a good job capturing the major plot points without getting bogged down in the details. It sounds like an exciting story.

  12. Entry #10
    “One broken car and an equally broken cowboy later…” I love that line. You give us a good sketch of the characters with a few well-written details. I am attached to them already. Very nice job.

  13. Entry #11
    I love the plot! If you cut your one sentence blurb by about three-fourths, it will be easier to follow and will motivate us to want to read the longer blurb. You can put the rest of the details into the 100-word blurb. (Of course, this is all relative. Writing a 100 word synopsis is incredibly difficult.) You’ve done a great job!

  14. Entry 16
    Great one sentence pitch. Do you think there is way you can put the 100 word pitch into one cohesive paragraph? I think that would improve it. Sounds like a touching story!

  15. Entry #12
    Instead of inserting an excerpt, give me a synopsis. Your one sentence blurb is brilliant and your excerpt is wonderful, but a 100-word synopsis will let the reader know what to expect from your story.

  16. Entry 15
    You might what to think of the title of your book. When I saw “Charmed Deception” immediately thought paranormal romance, but there doesn’t appear to be any PNR elements in your story. Sounds like a thrilling read.

  17. Entry #13
    Instead of telling us what kind of book this is, let your one-sentence blurb tell us what your book is about. Even with so many zombie tales out there, your ideas sound fresh and unique. The blurb reveals just enough plot twists to pique our interest without giving too much away. Very nicely done.

  18. Entry 13
    I have to admit this is the blurb I remember the most from when they were coming in. Rapunzel and zombies? Whoa. Nicely done! You’ve taken the zombie craze in a new direction. I hope I have the courage to read it when the novel drops someday. I’m scared of zombies!

  19. Entry 12
    Your one sentence pitch is great! Just expand that into a paragraph for the 100 word pitch. It’s nice to see a snippet of your dialogue but agents really want to see a snapshot of the plot.

  20. Entry #14
    Your one-sentence pitch is masterful. The only thing I would change is “handsome/sexy.” The slash is irregular, and you really only need one of those adjectives. Carefully edit the longer blurb for punctuation and grammar so it reads more smoothly. What a great and unique plot! I love it.

  21. Entry #16
    I can already tell you are a skillful writer. The blurbs are both very well written. Can you give me more of an idea of the overarching conflict of the book? You allude to it at the very end, but I think it needs to be more prominent in the longer blurb. Congrats!

  22. Entry 11
    Yours sounds like a very sweet story! Try to shorten your one sentence pitch. There are too many details. Those details work well for the 100 word blurb but get to the heart of the story for the one sentence. For one of my novels, A Plain Death, the one sentence was: “An unlikely friendship between a high tech woman and runaway Amish girl leads to murder.”

  23. All the stories sound really good! Thanks to all who have made suggestions for my #16. I’m always tweaking and glad to have feedback. I’m learning from the suggestions made on others as well.

  24. Entry #5
    I agree with Jennifer that Sharon’s name should be left out. and I would work on your 2nd paragraph. Identify why Clara is heartbroken and why her reputation needs to be repaired. Otherwise, it sounds like an interesting read.

  25. #6 I would start with A young woman and drop the beginning words. At first I didn’t like “let loose” and tried to replace it with release, but that didn’t have quite the same meaning. Over all this was very intriguing.

  26. #7 Leave off the “tortured Hero” and either “well-meaning” or “missionary” in your one-sentence pitch. In the blurb, if he promised his dying wife he’d see to it their daughter got an education, why would he tell the school teacher she wasn’t needed? You have a good voice and the rest of your blurb reads beautifuly.

  27. #8. Your blurb drew me into the story, but the pitch needs reworking. Maybe starting it with the well-meaning servants and how they conspire to get the forgotten ward married off to a rich Marquis?

  28. #9. This sounds like an intriguing story, but for me, a little more information is needed for the pitch–why would her eyes mark her as dangerous?
    In the blurb, I loved the twists in the plot but why is Ethan drawn to another?

  29. #10 Add the 40-something woman and your pitch is in the last line of your blurb: One broken car and an equally broken cowboy later, must decide if they want to return to their old lives or venture into new uncharted territory together.

  30. #12. Great pitch…might would exchange her name for something that identifies her–like is she a lawyer, school teacher…something like that.
    For the blurb, an editor or agent will be looking for a brief synopsis rather than a snippet from the novel.

  31. #16. Great pitch…would love to know what the connection is.
    In the blurb, you may want to explore the connection a little more. Is it a romantic connection or did one of them accidentally kill or injure the other’s loved one? I think if you explained it a little more, it would draw an editor or agent in more.

  32. Entry #16: Love the one sentence pitch. The ending of the blurb is intriguing. Past pain… nice touch.

  33. Okay, I know I’m late, but here I go. I’m going to post separate comments for each entry, and I must apologize beforehand. I’m an editor as well as an author. I will tear apart your pitches in an effort to spruce them up:

    #1 Comments: The one sentence pitch is not one sentence, first of all. And the first sentence makes me say HER who? Kate’s name should not come in the second sentence. Maybe you could switch those around.

    100 word blurb: I’d like to see you start this sentence with KATE. Tell your readers who they’re reading about: Kate’s world goes up in flames when vandals burn one of the greens at the family golf course and the cops find the “smoking blowtorch” in her crush’s car.

    Then, you say “First” but there is no second or third. There is an “and then” but that comes across passively. You need ACTION to draw in a reader.

    Kate suspects her friends (THIS MAKES ME SAY WHAT FRIENDS, AND SOME FRIENDS-MIGHT THIS BE THE FRENEMY MENTIONED IN THE ONE SENTENCE PITCH? IF SO, YOU MIGHT CHANGE THAT TO FRENEMIES), stakes out the bad guy (WHO SHE SUSPECTS, YOU MEAN?), and gets her hands dirty to prove Scott’s innocence, even though he withdraws from her when she needs him the most.

    But it still might not be enough if she can’t play to win. – I’d like to see you explain what this means a little better. Why can’t she play to win? Don’t people always play to win? And if she can’t play, why not? Do you see what I mean?

  34. #2 I love the one sentence pitch. My only suggestion is to put an adjective of some type before “world” so that its existence doesn’t come across as “not a big deal”.

    I like the first sentence of the blurb, but I’d like more emotion in it. Like, “After years of being man of the house…” or something “…Asher would do anything to see his dad again.”

    Otherwise, I love the way you start it!

    I find that “gets his chance” and “Asher discovers his dad’s not really dead” are fairly redundant of each other. Why not just say: “Dad’s being held prisoner by Lord Balor – a madman who’s stowed away in Eden Worn, A ADJECTIVE world hidden behind the middle school’s boiler room.”

    In your last paragraph, “his best friend” should be changed to Archer’s best friend (otherwise it refers to Gareth). And if the girl of his dreams is not also his best friend, then you need to add a comma between the two. The only way to avoid putting Asher in this sentence twice is to make Gareth come last, right before the comma next to “Asher launches”.

    I love the last sentence. You’ve done a great job here! When the book is published, let me know. I’ll recommend it to my son!

  35. #3 LOVE your one sentence pitch!

    Blurb: Take out the commas before and after Autumn in the first sentence. Put dashes between sixteen-year-old. Second sentence, change get to are. OR, change the sentence to assists the police with kidnapped teens’ cases.

    This sentence repeats “game” three times. Try to nix the over usage of that word. Also: why not just say game maker? Or developer? I’d also like to see “when it’s discovered” change to “The team and police discover”. You’ll need to change the second half of your sentence, but you’ll be better off if you do: When it’s discovered the kidnappings are part of a secret online survivor game, the police and team focus on the game maker-the man behind the game

    This sentence is passive. Also: you’ve now capped Game Maker, as if this is his official name…keep that consistent: The focus of the investigation shifts when Autumn is singled out and becomes the target of the Game Maker’s sick game.

    Improvement: The Game Maker’s sick game has a new target: Autumn.

    With the investigation’s focus shifted to Autumn, she must use encrypted messages hidden in steganographs and discover who the last kidnapping victim is if she’s to save him in time.

    Last comment: is that a real word? It’s popping up with an ugly red line under it….

  36. #4 Comments: LOVE the one sentence pitch!

    Blurb: Love the first sentence.. dead end should be dead-end.
    I’d like you to combine the second and third sentences, remove the ellipses, and changed “was murdered” to something less passive.

    Other than that, it’s great! 🙂

  37. #5 Comments:

    One sentence pitch…. Can you add BASKETBALL before coach?

    The blurb gets wordy here: staff coaching the Irving University Lady Crusaders. Maybe it’s the repeat of coach/coaching in the same sentence. In the second sentence, I mistook Irving’s reputation for another unnamed character. That’s possible because the first sentence was wordy, making readers skip over the last of it. Say what you NEED.

    Other than that…it’s great, too.

  38. #6 Comments: The one sentence pitch tells me about the underlying tones of the story but nothing about the characters or the story itself. Take a look at what some of these other authors are using (I’m not saying copy them), but notice how they name their characters and the OVERALL plot arc. Tailor your pitch to introduce your story.

    Blurb: Leah DeGarmo has the ability to Cure with a touch. (Cure what? EVERYTHING? If so, put that.)

    In your second sentence, put a comma after “For years”. Put a comma after “Now” in your third sentence and a comma before “and they’ll do anything to gain”.

    You say finally fallen in love with, but maybe you should say who she’s finally come out of her shell for? Give this more emotion. You say “Leah learns she also has the power to Kill”. I’d like you to ramp up tension with this…starting a sentence with When is fairly passive. So why not say “They murder the man she loves, fueling an anger deep within, and giving her powers to Kill and transforming her into a demon of retribution….or something.

    Hope this helps!

  39. #8 Comments: Umm. There are a LOT of adjectives in this one sentence pitch, so many that by the time you put a comma and said “but he”, I was like HE WHO? I’m still not sure. I’m not sure I have any good critique for you with this one because I’m not positive what’s going on. Sorry.

    Blurb: Another confusing factor is that you make out the story to be about a male leading character “but he”—he is your MC—but you start the blurb with a woman. This makes me feel as though I’m reading two different things.

    Here is where I’d prefer an introductory clause: Amelia Barnett’s efforts to help an ailing maid get her into trouble when she’s caught cleaning the study of the infamous Anthony Pendleton, Marquis of Raebourne.

    Rewrite so it’s more clear: Caught cleaning the study by the infamous Anthony Pendelton, Marquis of Raebourne, Amelia Barnett’s efforts to help an ailing maid get her into trouble. (WHY DOES THIS GET HER INTO TROUBLE?)

    Amelia plans never to see him again, but Anthony has other ideas. Having repented of his rakish lifestyle, he wants to settle down and can think of no one but Amelia.

    Okay, so far all of that makes decent sense, but where you lose me is at the next line. Why is Amelia not in society? You say her only friends are servants, so that tells me she’s not one herself, so what is she? And again, why is she NOT in society?

    The next sentence is also confusing. Did Anthony mistake her identity while she was cleaning? Would London’s elite really want to marry a servant girl? Even if she truly wasn’t, but that’s what he thought she was?

    And I get what God’s acceptance has to do with Anthony, as he repented his lifestyle, but what does SHE have to repent for? I guess I’m just not getting enough information in this blurb.

    • Is the point of the blurb to answer all of these questions? I feel all of these points are addressed in my MS, but some of the answers are rather complicated. How do I put all of that information in 100 words? I guess I thought the point of the blurb was to pique the interest enough to want to read the book and find out more. Is that not right?

      • The point of the blurb is to tell the overall plot points in a CLEAR way that makes the reader understand a few things: What type of book is this? What are the character’s obstacles? What will they lose if they don’t succeed? Do I want to read this?

        Anyone who picks up your book should understand what it’s about. You don’t have to launch into long explanations of things, but you need to write each sentence in a way that draws attentions to the right parts of your story. If your blurb is confusing, why would anyone buy your book?

        Let me break down where *I* became confused:
        Amelia Barnett’s efforts to help an ailing maid get her into trouble when she’s caught [THIS tells me she’s doing something she’s not supposed to be doing (no one knows she’s not a servant), gets caught and gets into trouble (by who?) and this leads to a slap on the wrist of sorts. BUT, from what I understand of this genre, and from speaking with other editing friends, as well, we believe ANTHONY PENDLETON caught her cleaning HIS study. And does it really get her INTO TROUBLE? or does this CHANGE HER LIFE?] cleaning the study of the infamous Anthony Pendleton, Marquis of Raebourne. (THE PREVIOUS SENTENCE AND THE ONE AFTER SHOULD CONNECT…BUT YOU DON’T SAY HE CATCHES HER, JUST THAT SHE GETS IN TROUBLE. THERE’S NOT A SMOOTH TRANSITION, WHICH MEANS THESE THOUGHTS DON’T CONNECT, WHICH LOSES YOUR READERS) She plans never to see him again. (OKAY, BUT DID HE HURT HER OR SOMETHING? WAS SHE JUST EMBARRASSED? USE EMOTIONS.) Anthony has other ideas. Having repented of his rakish lifestyle, he wants to settle down and can think of no one but Amelia.

        Amelia’s only friends are servants and they want to help her back into society (AGAIN, AT THIS POINT, YOU’VE NOT MENTIONED SHE’S NOT A SERVANT. SO, YOU’RE FORCING YOUR READER TO ASSUME WAY TOO MUCH. I GUESS HER FAMILY IS POOR?) Mistaken identities, jealous ladies, and vicious rumors are no match for the servants of London’s elite (THIS SENTENCE DISRUPTS THE FLOW OF YOUR BLURB) But unless Anthony and Amelia believe God’s acceptance, past insecurities will destroy their chances. (AGAIN, IF YOU RAMP UP AMELIA’S IDENTITY (POOR FAMILY, ETC), THEN THIS SENTENCE MIGHT MAKE MORE SENSE. WHAT DOES GOD’S ACCEPTANCE HAVE TO DO WITH AMELIA?)

        I know how difficult blurb writing can be. It’s one of my least favorite things to do. I’ve found asking people, random people, what they think usually helps.

  40. #9 Comments:

    One sentence: You need a name here, introducing us to your main character. What about her eyes marks her as dangerous? Is there an adjective you can use to describe this?

    Blurb: Princess Adilynn is an outsider because (BECAUSE SHE POSSESSES A – WOULD BE BETTER) of a rare and feared ability to take on the magical Talent of others.

    She is tortured for weeks as her captor manipulates her powers in order to increase his own, leaving her with a dramatically altered appearance –spells carved into her skin, white hair, purple eyes and an addiction to dark, powerful magic.

    WHEN WAS SHE CAPTURED? YOU TELL US SHE’S AN OUTSIDER, BUT NOT THAT SHE’S CAPTURED. It seems that the outsider bit isn’t important to the overall plot arc. Why not nix that line and rework the opening line to start with her being tortured?

    Do we really need to know that the hero is the captor’s brother? You throw that line in there and it doesn’t seem to have purpose. If you WANT it in there, which will explain how he rescues her, rewrite it to show its purpose: Her abductor’s brother Ethan rescues her, drawn to the ADJECTIVE NOUN for unexplainable reasons.

    Okay, next you say Ethan helps her heal and they discover her powers are out of control. If Ethan’s brother broke her, and her powers are out of control, then he NEVER healed her…unless you’re speaking of surface wounds. Make this clearer. I’d also nix the parenthesis in the blurb.

    Also, the man who changed her life is Ethan’s brother…how did Ethan rescue her if not fighting his brother?

    I like the elements you have here, I just think you need to ramp up tension, emotion, action, and clarify a few things.

  41. #11 Comments:

    Your one sentence pitch is a run-on and a half. I think you need to decide what’s important, then rewrite this.

    Blurb: I really like this. Seems like a sweet story, and you’ve covered things really well with the 100 word limit. This sentence is wordy and runs-on: Annie lands in Sweet Creek with her 8-year-old daughter and helps at the family diner as the server for the lunch meal at the 1,000-acre Galloway Farms.

    Edited for punctuation and spelling and missing words: Out of guilt, he helps her recover and falls in love with the unexpected thorough Annie, and he appreciates the family homestead.

    I think you can nix the last bit of this sentence, “and he appreciates the family homestead” because it doesn’t seem connected to anything.

  42. #13 Comments:

    One sentence Pitch: I’d like you to look at the other one-liners listed in this contest. This seems more of a closing line on a query, not a log line.

    Blurb: I really like the blurb, but this line leaves me a little confused: When Flor conquers her agoraphobia and flees, they uncover a conspiracy that starts before the outbreak.

    They uncover a conspiracy that starts before the outbreak? You means “started” before the outbreak?

    • *headdesk* I definitely meant “started.” No matter how many times you read it, there’s ALWAYS something. Thanks!

  43. #14 Comments:

    One sentence Pitch: I like this, but I feel the named character should be included.

    Blurb: Put a comma after reluctant witch in the first sentence. Also put a comma before but in Nash Reeves’ first sentence. Put a comma before “and look where that got him”.

    Move permanently from the end to go between from returning. Also, it’s wise to spell out numbers.

    I think this is a cute storyline!

  44. #15 Comments:

    One Sentence Pitch: Same comment as before, I think you need to name your MC in this one line. This seems somewhat clichéd.

    Blurb: Take out the commas around “hunting women who serve their community in Atlanta”. Also, move homicide detective to go in front of Addison’s name, and don’t put it in commas either. You can also start the next sentence with News Reporter Joe Vaughn.

    I’m making these suggestions because commas break the flow of reading, and you have so many that the flow is jarred. You want people to breeze through this and turn the first page!

    However, you do need commas around “that at first implicates Joe”

  45. #16 Comments:

    Pitch: I really think you need to tell more about your story. Read through the other one liners that introduce characters and overall story issues.

    Blurb: I like this. I’d like to see all your paragraphs connected better. You go right from Aimee to Seth with no transition. Will Luke receive POV attention in the story? If not, I’d refrain from naming him first in the third paragraph.

  46. #1

    Pitch: This is two sentences, so sorta sneaky but okay 😉 Second sentence should come first and you could separate them with a hyphen to make it one sentence.

    Blurb: I think you need to mention the name of the family sooner or get Kate’s name at the beginning of that sentence. “withdraws from her” sounds a bit wishy-washy—perhaps something about how Scott isn’t acting like himself? Again with the “play to win”: that’s a rather clichéd phrase that could mean anything, and in this case, I have no idea what you’re going for there other that the fact the story centers around a golf course and people “play” golf. This sounds like a fun story, though – I’m intrigued!

  47. #2

    Pitch: Love this, especially the phrase “10,000 miles of death”!

    Blurb: I was pulled up by “wall of pecs” as I’m not sure a seventh grader would think that. Maybe “mountain of muscle”? “…gets his chance” and the first line of the second graf are saying the same thing. You could probably say: “Asher discovers his dad is being held prisoner…” And his best friend and the girl of his dreams are two separate people, I assume, so add a comma in there. This reads very well, so nicely done.

  48. #3

    Pitch: This is a great pitch and delivers the premise succinctly. Well done!

    Blurb: This reads very well, though I was a little confused about the Game Maker. Is the identity of this character already known early in the story? Because if so, this blurb gives he/she away as the villain. Perhaps add “mysterious” before the first mention of the game maker? Also, you sort of ping pong between the stakes there at the end: Autumn becomes a target and she must save someone’s life. I wonder if it might read better if the threat to Autumn comes last. Just a thought.

    It sounds like an action-packed read! Good job.

  49. Entry 1: Your one sentence pitch is two – well, a fragment and a sentence, but it isn’t one sentence. I like your first sentence in the Blurb. But the first and second sentence have too-similar structure. Mix up the structure – you have 100 words, they’re not counting sentences. The third and fourth would too, had you not used a period and capitalized the conjunction ‘But’. The info’s good, but ‘write’ it better : )
    A suggestion for your one sentence – Who knows if X, Y, or Z torched the eighth green bent on destroying Kate’s family’s business?

  50. Entry 2: Too much info in your one sentence pitch, anr authors work in words, not numerals, spell the numbers out. Hero’s age unnecessary here. ‘wall of pecs’? What’s a wall of pecs? Oh wait, I get it : ) But the Blurb is to entice readers; and you are limited to 100, so use words readers don’t have to think so long on like ‘muscled’ for ‘wall of pecs’ they know : ) I really like your last two sentences.

  51. Entry 3: 100 word blurb: Last year, sixteen year old, Autumn, solved her sister’s murder. This year, the math whiz is part of a high school forensic dream team who assists the police when teens get kidnapped. When it’s discovered the kidnappings are part of a secret online survivor game, the focus falls on the game’s creator then shifts when Autumn is singled out and becomes the target of the Game Maker’s sick amusement . Through encrypted messages hidden in steganographs, She must determine who his last victim is, if she’s to save him in time.
    COMMENTS from Caryl McAdoo: Really good one sentence pitch. In your Blurb: Sixteen-year-old should have hyphens, but no commas around Autumn. The ‘team’ is a ‘that’ not a ‘who’. You thought ‘math whiz’ was important enough for your one-sentence, so thought it should be in your Blurb. ‘the police and team’ 2×2=two times too close, and the 2nd mention is easily deleted allowing the use of a great conjunction and another 2×2 ‘focus’. 2×2 on game and maker, so I suggest creator the first time and indicate he’s a man with the ‘his’ replace ‘the’ last victim. ‘Autumn 3×2, changed one to a ‘She’. And 2×2 on ‘discover’ : ) That’s way too many ‘echo’ words in a 100 word Blurb—IMHO : )

  52. Entry 4: The army offers Cal a way out of his impoverished, dead end childhood, but he chucks it to return home when the lives of the only people who’ve ever loved him are in danger. Socialite Vivian will protect her family at all costsand keep the secret that gets her husband murdered . Until Cal’s investigation leads him to Viv’s door. Will they work together to shield their loved ones? Or will the mysteries of her past tear them apart before he can teach her to believe in love one last time?

    Your one sentence pitch is great! Every word in your blurb should be important. You have unnecessary words (see edits) If her husband is dead – which we find out in the Blurb, then ‘widowed’ isn’t needed. Elipses (…) indicate ‘continued thought’, don’t use them unless that is the case. Do not end a sentence in a preposition (‘for’). Be sure to keep a Blurb (short synopsis) in present tense. I like the premise of your ‘story’ revealed.

  53. Entry 6: Leah DeGarmo has the ability to cure with a touch. For years, (comma) she’s lived a lonely life, hiding her powers and using them only on animals in her veterinarian practice. The wrong people find out and will do anything to gain her powers for their own deadly purposes.(?) When they murder the man she’s finally fallen in love with, Leah learns she also has the power to kill. Transformed into a demon of retribution, she resurrects her lover and sets out to destroy her enemies. But does she control this new power, or does it control her?

    COMMENTS: Your one sentence pitch is too long, you conjunction-user, you! : ) It’s purpose is not to write the longest possible sentence you can, but to convey your story’s essence in ONE : )
    Your Blurb does its job well – only a few minor changes I’d suggest. Even though I’m not a fantasy fan, I like the premise of your story : )

  54. Entry 7: In 1866, Amanda Stewart promises her dying father she’ll uplift their race and educate newly freed slaves. When she arrives in Milford, Georgia, handsome blacksmith and town leader Virgil Smithson tells her she is not needed. He’d made his own promise— told his dying wife their daughter would learn to read and write, despite his own illiteracy. In Amanda, he finds a woman whose will is as strong as the iron he fashions. The combatants must put aside their personal feelings to understand God has his own plan in their promises .

    COMMENTS: Your one sentence pitch is good. I wonder why you’ve capitalized ‘hero’ unless that’s his name, and you can trust your reader to know the daughter is young IMHO : )
    Your Blurb does its job well. Remember to keep it in present tense. I’ve offered a few minor changes. I’d like to read your story : )

  55. Entry 8: Amelia Barnett’s efforts to help an ailing maid get her into trouble when she’s caught cleaning the study of the infamous Anthony Pendleton. She plans never to see the Marquis of Raeborne again. Anthony has other ideas. Having repented of his rakish lifestyle, he wants to settle down and can think of no one but Amelia. Her only friends, (Comma) servants, (comma) want to help her back into society. Mistaken identities, jealous ladies, and vicious rumors prove no match, (comma) but unless Anthony and Amelia believe God’s acceptance, past insecurities will destroy their chances.

    COMMENTS: Your one sentence pitch is really two sentences and a bit confusing – is the ‘he’ the ward or the aristocrat or a well meaning servant? Make it short and sweet. A suggestion: London’s elite and those who serve them collide, but God’s plan is for good.
    Your Blurb does entice me to read your story. Good job – only a few minor changes I’d suggest.

  56. Entry 9: Princess Adilynn is an outsider because of a rare and feared ability to take on the magical Talent of others. Torturing her for weeks, (comma) her captor manipulates her powers to increase his own and dramatically alters her appearance–spells carved into her skin, white hair, purple eyes and an addiction to dark, powerful magic. Ethan,(comma) her abductor’s brother, rescues her. Drawn to one another for unexplainable reasons, he helps her heal, (comma) and hunting the man who changed her life, they discover her powers–and their attraction– spin out of control.

    COMMENTS: While I usually suggest the one sentence pitch be shortened, I want a word or two more in yours. I wonder why you’ve capitalized ‘Talent’ unless it is her name. It just doesn’t give me enough to get the gist of your story.
    Your Blurb does a good job getting the premise of your story across. Keep your active verbs present tense and watch placing your reaction before your motivation. ‘Keep a tight check on your ‘as’ and ‘when’s, especially at the end of a sentence : ) I still don’t get why ‘talent’ is capitalized.

  57. Entry 10: Your one sentence pitch is too long, and stretches its purpose which is not to get in the most info you can, but convey your story’s essence in ONE concise, memorable sentence : ) We work in words, not numerals – spell out the numbers (in sentence and Blurb).
    Your Blurb is 162 words – Aaaaaaangt (that’s the sound of the ‘X’ as in disqualified. You MUST give an agent or editor what they ask for. If they say 100 words, do NOT give them 101 – go back and find a word you can delete. Other suggestions: is embarking= embarks – – – here – I cut it to 89 words, so you can put 11 back in if you want : )
    Juliette’s first impetuous moment results in becoming a single parent at eighteen. For her second, she crosses the country to celebrate being an empty-nester and comes face-to-face with a handsome cowboy—a fantasy date. Too many fractured bones grounds Cyclone Kelley, a former rodeo bronc buster with a broken heart that a cast can’t fix. He wasn’t home to save his wife, and feels unworthy of another lasting relationship. Car trouble brings them together. Will they decide to return to their old lives or venture into uncharted territory together?

  58. Entry 11: Single mother Annie York fears her ADD renders her unlovable. Caleb Galloway’s won issues cost him his girlfriend and convince him to give up on love. Annie lands in Sweet Creek with her eight-year-old daughter and helps out (or ‘gets a job’ if she’s being paid) at the family diner. He returns to convince his father to retire, and his huge dog sweeps Annie off her feet—literally. Out of guilt, he helps her recover and falls in love.Through Annie, he comes to appreciate the family homestead.

    COMMENTS: Cheater! : ) Your one sentence pitch is way too long – should be 4 or 5 sentences! Don’t try to tell your whole story in a one sentence pitch. It isn’t about what HAPPENS but what it’s ABOUT. You want ONE concise, memorable sentence : )
    Suggestion: Two not-so-perfect people come together to teach each other a few things about love and life.
    Your Blurb is good, conveys your story. Keep verbs in present tense and spell out all numbers (we’re word gurus, not numeral nutties : )

  59. Entry 12: Your one sentence pitch is great!
    Your Blurb isn’t one. It’s an excerpt, and Word document properties’ stats says it’s 101 words which disqualifies you! Always give what is asked for. You have no idea how important that is. But even if it was 100 words, it isn’t a good representation of your story. A 100 word synopsis should tell the reader what the story is ABOUT. This is not a great dialogue – not natural, too many attributions, not enough action, no characterization, and for me, verges on being too smoldery.

  60. Entry 13: Fifteen years since the outbreak of Z1, a virus that turns people into walking corpses, the few survivors begin to give up hope. Twenty-three-(hyphen)year-(hyphen)old pathologist Florence Shu works under quarantine in the Tower’s lab, determined to find the cure for the infected. Her ex-lab partner and lover returns to the Tower, and they discover the place isn’t a safe haven at all. Flor conquers her agoraphobia and flees with him.They uncover a pre-outbreak conspiracy and learn eevery scientist close to finding a cure is dead. Those running the Tower aren’t letting Flor go easily.

    COMMENTS: Your one sentence pitch is great! All I’d do is delete the ‘the’ in front of first novel. I’m not certain you need to mention first of three, but your sentence is short and so good, I didn’t mind it : ) If you deem “New Adult” worthy of caps, why not ‘science fiction’?
    Your Blurb is 100 words exactly! Excellent : ) Two sentences started with ‘When’ though, your verbs need to stay in present tense, and ‘uncover a conspiracy that starts before the outbreak’ just doesn’t fit – at least IMHO : )

  61. Kristen Morgan, a reluctant witch just wants to be normal, with the whole white picket fence dream. A wish transforms her sleeping cat into a handsome naked man and reopens the door to her powers. Nash Reeves might be attracted to the saucy witch,(comma) but can he be certain her motives are true? He trusted another witch a hundred years ago,(comma) and look where that got him;(semi-coloncursed to be a familiar until Kristen accidentally releases him. They have until the full moon to save him from returning to his feline form permanently.

    COMMENTS: Your one sentence pitch is really two with a conjunction and an abundance of prepositional phrases : ) Keep it short and sweet, concise and memorable. Suggestion: A reluctant witch learns to harness those powers to rescue a handsome man-cat under a curse. I don’t read PNR, so didn’t know the acronym – might want to spell it out?
    Your Blurb is good, but in 100 words, you don’t need to use ‘echo’ words: ‘trust’ and ‘cat’ 2×2=two times too close ; ) him having to be ‘a familiar’?? threw me, but maybe it’s a PNR : ) You sure don’t want to use cat again, but kitty would work.

  62. Entry 15: A dangerous plan or a fatal mistake? A killer, hunting women who serve their community in Atlanta, targets Addison Parker, homicide detective, as his next quarry in his deadly scheme. Joe Vaughn, a reporter, provides the only link between the murders: his articles. Evidence that at first implicates the newsman leads to a necessary alliance aimed at drawing out the killer. Together they lay a trap to catch the elusive Jackdaw, but become ensnared by each other in the process. Can they find the criminal before it’s too late? Can they accept their budding relationship as God’s gift?

    COMMENTS: Your one sentence pitch is very good. I wonder why those three things race to ‘deceive’ a killer instead of ‘catch’ one ; )
    Your Blurb is good and 100 words exactly : ) Congratulations! Does a good job of conveying your story’s premise. I like questions posed myself : )

  63. Entry 16: Aimee Mason wants to give her eight-year-old(hyphenate) son Luke, who’s battling aplastic anemia, every desire of his heart. At the height of his career, Seth Garrett’s thoughts of leaving football to become a missionary seem ludicrous. Then the Bone Marrow Registry notifies himthat he’s a match.He sees this as God’s intended mission. When Luke’s favorite team visits the hospital, Aimee can’t deny her attraction to the famous quarterback,(comma)but her past is connected with Seth’s. They want to forget past pain. Can they cross the bridge between love and forgiveness to find happiness, together?

    COMMENTS: Your one sentence pitch is perfect IMHO : ) Last but not least.
    Your Blurb is good, too. I’d enjoy your story, and I’m voting for you! : )

  64. Entry #7

    Your one sentence pitch caught my attention, and it helped me instantly form a mental picture of your hero and heroine. Great job!

    I suggest deleting and refining some adjectives in that sentence to streamline it. Could Amanda be a ‘determined’ school teacher instead of a ‘well meaning missionary school teacher’? And could Virgil be a ‘respected’ blacksmith instead of an ‘illiterate tortured hero’ blacksmith? Given that the rest of the sentence (about the education of the young daughter) reveals the heart of the conflict, I think it would still spark interest in the blurb. The blurb itself is lovely. 🙂

  65. Entry # 8

    By the time I’d read the third word in your pitch, I was interested. ‘forgotten ward’…Oo! What happened to her? I had to find out. And of course I read the rest. It’s a solid premise, to be sure, but I’d be careful about the last part of the sentence ‘marry her OR save her reputation’. Without knowing more about the story, I wonder…isn’t marrying her and saving her reputation the same thing? If not, then figure out a way to specify why they are different.

    The blurb is intriguing, too and I love the idea that servants are pulling the plot strings. However (as in your pitch sentence) I wonder about the last part: ‘past insecurities’. Aren’t those insecurities still there, which is why they need God’s guidance?

    Overall, I enjoyed reading about this book. It seems to be fun and uplifiting!

  66. Entry #14

    LOL! (And that’s a delighted laugh, by the way.) I love intros that make me think about all the wacky escapades that will hopefully happen in a book, and your pitch and blurb do just that.

    If you refine with some subtle humor, then your idea will really shine! Consider the fact that your hero and heroine already have a relationship before he’s released from cat form. Is he a lazy cat? Is she an an accident-prone witch? Give us a hint as to how they feel about each other and the funny will follow. 😀

  67. Someone torched the eighth green, bent on destroying Kate and her family’s business and the most likely suspects are…
    Or something to that affect. I think your one sentence pitch could very well be one sentence.

    In the blurb, I’d clarify – is it clues that lead her to suspect her friends or shady behavior, perhaps? I’m also thrown by the last sent. Play to win WHAT? Winning as in figuring out who the vandal is, getting the course in shape to host the tournament?

    Fun premise. Sports are such a huge part of so many teens’ lives. I’m always drawn to sports themed books and who-dun-its. Killer combo!

  68. Entry # 2

    Love the one liner. I immediately know this is fantasy (or uf). Maybe let us know what kind of world? Alien world, crazy world, ancient world, storybook world?
    Blurb: I personally like “wall of pecs” (makes me lol) BUT you have to remember that kids read up. Even though the MC is in 7th gr, my 4th grader would read this book so a “mountain of muscle” would make more sense to him and you wouldn’t lose the meaning. Adventure, family, sacrifice, coming of age. What MG reader wouldn’t want to read this?

  69. Entry #3:
    Pitch: Awesome
    Blurb: You used discover twice in the 100 words. IMO, “the game maker” is self explanatory. I don’t think you need “the man behind the game.” It’s redundant. I love that the MC is targeted and she used stegonagraphs!! Kind of a twisted teen Da Vinci Code. Love the premise!

  70. Entry #4:
    Pitch: Talk about worlds colliding! Interesting premise.
    Blurb: The blurb should be in present tense. The ellipses aren’t needed. Dead-end has a hyphen. Otherwise, well done!

  71. Entry #5:
    Pitch: I have to be honest. It took me second to figure out what you meant “on the hardwood” and I’m a sports fan. May want to rethink that. Cool premise.
    Blurb: I’m wondering if academic adviser should be capitalized. I’d think about maybe referring to Irving as “university” b/c I had to go back and see if that was the coaches name or the school’s name. Other than that, it sounds like an interesting ms! (coming form someone who loves academic settings and sports)

  72. Entry #6:
    Pitch: It written fine but it’s rather vague. What darkness? What enemies?
    Blurb: “finally fallen in love with” could be worded differently – sounds a bit awkward. Maybe something that informs us more? Like “allows herself to love” or “only person she’s opened up to” or something. Cool premise.

  73. Entry #7:
    Pitch: Pretty wordy. Maybe cut out some adjectives and is there a reason hero is capitalized?
    Blurb: It reads well. Wondering if this is inspirational historical or just historical with faith as an important element. Nice job!

  74. Entry #10
    Love the characters names and it looks like a fun travel romance. Try to make you blurb strong with action verbs. In the one sentence pitch, instead of “is embarking” just say “embarks.”

  75. Entry 7
    Try to tighten the one sentence like this…
    Sparks fly in 1866 Georgia as a tortured blacksmith feuds with a missionary schoolteacher over the education of his young daughter.
    Great 100 word!

  76. Entry 3
    Love the idea for this story. The 100 word blurb is good, but the word “game” is used at least four times. Maybe change one or two. Maybe use “plot” instead at least once. For the pitch, what about this: Math whiz Autumn and her high school forensic team helps the police investigate a series of kidnappings that are part of an online survivor game.

  77. Entry 2
    “Wall of pecs” sounds a little romancy to me. And since the reader doesn’t yet know what a “troglin” is maybe something he can more easily see. “monster” “beast” etc. Great premise. Love the use of humor!

  78. Entry 1
    Maybe combine the one sentence pitch into one sentence. 😉 I would begin the 100 word with “Kate’s world goes up in flames, when…” Sounds more direct. Great concept. I kind of imagined a Veronica Mars type for the lead.

  79. #1/Asselin
    First, comment on your title: sound like erotica, conjures images. In fact, there’s an erotic series out with that phrase. Just MHO.
    The first line of the pitch is difficult to read. Think you might want to add “Who’s guilty,….”
    Overall, liked it!

  80. Thanks to the authors for sharing their advice. I have already incorporated them into my revised draft. Thanks to the Seymour agency for offering this great opportunity. Looking forward to the RWA party.

  81. #2/Benjamin
    LOVE the pitch!
    Excellent blurb as well. Think I’d change “who’s stowed away” to either “rules Eden” or “who hides”–whichever is more appropriate to your story. Also, delete “truly”.
    You have a winner here, for sure 🙂

  82. #3/Bradley
    Very intriguing concept! Think I’d include Autumn’s last name in the pitch, and it’s “wiz” not “whiz” in this context.
    Blurb needs to be tightened a bit. Also, choose stronger verbs to increase the sense of danger and urgency.
    The last sentence left me a bit confused. Does she need to find the identity of the last victim, or does she simply need to find him/her?
    Nicely done.

  83. #4/Broadbooks
    Pitch:Add “a” soldier. Include Cal’s and Vivian’s last names. Nice job!
    Blurb: Good story summary, but if you can reword it a bit, add more tension with stronger verbs, I think you’d make it more immediate and appealing.

  84. #5/Cangany
    Pitch: Good. Think I’d delete the “Can,” start with “A disgraced…advisor…must put….” Change the ? to a .
    Blurb is a bit wordy and confusing. Tighten it, use stronger verbs and/or adjectives to give it a punch 🙂 Conflicts sound good!

  85. #6/Faherty
    COOL pitch! Think I’d reword it just a bit. Maybe “A young woman must unleash her inner darkness…save… and change “want” to “plan”. Sounds more threatening.
    I’d save the “supernatural thriller” for the blurb.
    Blurb: Delete “…to Cure animals” (it’s understood) and ‘veterinarian’ should be ‘veterinary’. Delete ‘finally’.
    Excellent job overall.

  86. #&/Huguley
    Good pitch! Think I’d leave out “Hero,” and comma after illiterate.
    Blurb: nicely done in general. Think I’d use “must” as verb in the last sentence, change it to a statement rather than a question. Know a question’s often effective, but in your case, I think I prefer a statement.

  87. #8/Hunter
    Pitch: Add “When” a forgotten… Delete “but”. And I’m a bit confused. Won’t marrying her save her reputation?
    Blurb: You need to make clear to your read who Amelia is. Disgraced gentry? Confusing.
    Should be “servants ‘who’ want” and “believe ‘in’ God’s”….
    Servants’ machinations/interference sound like fun 🙂

  88. #9/Jones
    Think I’d add “Even” as the first word of your pitch. Otherwise, love it!!
    Blurb: Delete “She is”. “Tortured…own, she is dramatically altered: spells…hair white, eyes purple, …” Like the word reversal here–parallel structure and to me, at least, smoother and more effective. Would prefer ‘inexplicable’ to ‘unexplainable’.
    Intriguing concept–sounds really good!

  89. #10/Lower
    Pitch: Change “is embarking” to “embarks,” and it’s “face-to-face” (hyphenated). Like the contrast between salvation and undoing 🙂
    Blurb: good summary. Could be tightened a bit. And it’s “unworthy of”. Delete “new” in last sentence.
    Like that your main characters are older–and I love your last sentence!

  90. #11/Michaels
    Your pitch is way too long. Not all that info needed. Decide what’s most important, most attention-grabbing and condense into a pithy “hook” to grab agent/editor/reader’s attention.
    Blurb: Rewrite/tighten the third line, maybe “…and serves lunch at the 1,000….”
    Last sentence should be a hook. Think a question would work well here. And don’t give away your ending! Make reader curious and/or intrigued 🙂

  91. #12/Montagano
    Your pitch is good. I’d make it present rather than past tense, though.
    The other commenters have already said it: An excerpt is not a blurb. Summarize internal/external conflicts; grab the reader with those, interwoven with basic plot.

  92. #13/Neal
    Intriguing pitch. Delete the “A,” begin with “Rapunzel”.
    Blurb: Change “since” to “after”. 2 sentences begin with “When”. Tighten the middle a bit. And I think the last sentence would be stronger is you say “….Tower aren’t about to let Flor…”
    Sounds like an interesting read 🙂

  93. #14/Pennington
    Good concept pitch. Think I’d rewrite it just a bit: “…life…until…man, and she….”
    Blurb: Start with “Reluctant witch Kristen Morgan just…handsome, naked….”
    Also, minor changes: “…witch, but…motives?” And in the last sentence, I’d add “next” full. Adds more of clock-ticking tension.
    Nicely done overall.

  94. #15/Shuford
    Excellent pitch!
    Blurb: Delete first two commas. Rewrite the sentence “Joe Vaughn…” to read “News reporter Joe Vaughn provides….”
    Last paragraph–change “They” to “Together, Addison and Joe….”
    Good conflict! And I love your villain’s name!!

  95. #16/Smith
    Good pitch!
    Blurb: Some minor recommendations: I’d change “When” to “Then, the…match, and he….”
    “past pain” sentence: But both want to forget past pain.
    In the last sentence, don’t think it’s a bridge “between,” but a bridge “to”. Love is on the other side…where they’re going, not where they’re coming from 🙂
    Sounds like a heartwarming story.

  96. #1
    Pitch: Without knowing what the mystery is, the first question in the sentence reads clunky and I had to read it over several times to figure out the question inflection in “who won’t deny it?” Consider clarifying the mystery first by switching the first and second sentence.

    Blurb: Sentence “She suspects her friends, stakes out the bad guy, and gets her hands dirty…” sounds more generic in the middle of a colorful and overall eye-catching blurb. Consider adding more specifics to this sentence, particularly with regards to the “hot Brit” and “frenemy” mentioned in pitch above.

    #2
    2nd paragraph came as a surprise, because nothing in the pitch or the previous sentences indicated that the father was suspected dead. Might want to mention this fact earlier, or scratch it all together. It would read fine to say “Asher discovers his dad’s being held…”

    #3
    No need for commas before and after the name Autumn in the first sentence of blurb (your pitch does it correctly).

    Sentence: “…who assists the police when teens get kidnapped…” Use “are.”

    Between the previous sentence and the sentence “When it’s discovered the kidnappings are…”, it would help to have a transitional sentence. Otherwise, it sounds like every kidnapping is a part of the secret online game, instead of this particular slew of kidnappings she is working one (one case).

    Remove comma after “the last kidnapping victim is” and change “she’s” to “she hopes” or other (plans, intends, aspires, wants…)

    #4
    “Enlisting in the army offered…” Consider changing to “offers.”

    Sentence: “and keep the secret her husband was murdered for.” Consider: “and keep the secret that killed her husband.”

    I would like to see some additional details in this blurb. When is this story set? What war did Cal enlist in?

    The last sentence of the blurb is intriguing!

    #5
    Sentence: “After getting caught up in a grade fixing scandal, men’s” Consider: “After he’s caught in a grade-fixing scandal, men’s…”

    “Heartbroken Academic Advisor” is a mouthful to read aloud. Consider cutting out “heartbroken,” since you allude to her emotional state in the pitch and with the “repair her own [reputation]” line.

  97. #6
    Pitch: Good, but identify unique elements of plot to really grab editor and agent interest. As it stands, this pitch could represent any number of major motion pictures currently on the market. Whedon’s “Serenity” or “Dollhouse,” or “Resident Evil” could all have similar pitches. Instead of a summary, treat a pitch as a “soundbite”-a short, catchy advertisement for your story.

    Blurb: “When they murder the man she’s finally fallen in love with…” Consider removing “finally” since there isn’t any reference to him in above sentences.

    #8
    Pitch: Who is the forgotten ward? Consider clarifying identities so reader doesn’t assume forgotten ward is the “he” in “he must choose.” Also, wouldn’t marrying her save her reputation?

    Consider: “new believer” instead of “newly saved.”

    #10
    Pitch: Consider changing “is embarking” to “embarks.” Maybe hint at what that impetuous thing might be?

    Blurb: “But the one body part that can’t be fixed by putting it into a cast is his heart, which was broken when his wife died.” Sentence a bit clunky, although I like the idea. Try: “Cyclone Kelley has one too many broken bones to continue on the rodeo circuit. Worse, a cast can’t fix his heart, which was broken when his wife died.”

    #11
    Pitch: Try to keep this section short and catchy. A pitch isn’t a summary; it is more like a “soundbite.”

    #12
    Pitch: I like the pitch—decisive and fun.

    Blurb: Yowza! These sentences are fun to read! Typically a blurb consists of more detail about setting, plot, conflict, and direction.

  98. #14
    Pitch: Why the “handsome/sexy”? I would recommend choosing one word. Also, I’m unsure of her motivation for helping him. If she’s reluctant, why go out of her way?

    Blurb: Take the opportunity here to use words that differ from your pitch. Instead of using “reluctant witch” again, try: “Kristen Morgan yearns for [what does she yearn for??], a white picket fence, and a life free of magic.”

    Consider reorganizing the Nash Reeves paragraph to something along these lines: “One hundred years ago, Nash Reeves trusted a witch and…So when Kristen accidentally releases him from his curse…He might be attracted to the saucy witch, but…”

    #15
    Pitch: Picture this pitch on the front cover of a book. Does it give enough information for readers to crack open the book? Would like to see more specific details.

    Blurb: Consider changing “their community” to “the community.”

    Might want to consider reorganizing first sentence to indicate who “he” is (at first, I thought Addison was the “he” in “his next quarry…”). Also, specify that the alliance is between Addison and Joe to catch Jackdaw, as I was unclear who the blurb referred to when using words like “together” and “they.” You could do both by mentioning Addison’s name again and clarifying that she is a woman?

    #16
    Pitch: I would combine this sentence with the first sentence in the blurb to give the pitch more depth. Something like this: “While medical intervention and a handsome bone marrow donor could save Aimee Mason’s son, a connected past threatens to destroy a promising future.”

    Blurb: In the first and second sentence, I would like to get a bit more sense of the internal struggles of both characters. What is the obstacle to Aimee’s desire to help her son? What’s the immediate conflict she’s facing? Similarly, expand on Seth’s hesitation to leave his football career—why does it seem ludicrous? And to whom does it seem ludicrous—himself or his peers?

  99. #7
    Pitch: Cut some of the description words (illiterate tortured…well-meaning missionary…formerly enslaved) to make it cleaner. Also, is Hero a name? I do not see it mentioned in the blurb.

    Blurb: Clean and easy to read.

    #9
    Pitch: Would like to see a tie-in between the first half of the sentence and the second half. How are dangerous eyes relevant or meaningful to a world where Talent means everything?

    Blurb: I love this blurb. Clean, interesting, and fun to read.

    #13
    Love. It. Dear God, let me happen upon this book in a bookstore someday, k thanx. –Me

  100. Entry #1 SWEET SPOT: Great premise! Sounds like Kate has her work cut out for her. Nice job!

    I didn’t realize the logline’s first sentence was a question until I got to the question mark at the end, and even then—I’m menopausal, so it may be brain fog. Don’t judge, or I’ll tell your mother—I had to read it twice to get the gist. No worries. That’s an easy fix, and we writers’ love easy fixes! It’s the big ones that make us eye the gin bottle. While you’re at it, perhaps make the logline one sentence—no groaning; you can do it! Also, I think it would be super if you added ‘oddly’ to the part about Scot’s denial, i.e. who oddly won’t deny it. My assumption here is that he went mute on the subject instead of admitting or denying he did it. But then, we know what happens when we assume. Btw, love frenemy! Hadn’t heard that one. Did I mention I was old?

    As to the blurb, it’s nice and tight. Awesome! I’m hoping, really hoping that the prestigious tournament is the only thing that’s between her family’s business and bankruptcy. Would sooo love that for added pressure. I also love the part about ‘getting her hands dirty,’ I instantly thought of blowing up groundhogs in the 1980’s hit Cattyshack. (I know. I know. You weren’t even born yet.) One thought though, you’re last line confused me, especially on the tail of ‘getting her hands dirty’ as I did not see playing golf as part of her investigation plan, which is what I inferred from ‘play to win.’ And it’s no big deal since I love your title, but my mind went to tennis/baseball/softball, not golf, but what do I know? I’m always in the sandtraps.

    Good luck!

    • Thanks, Marianne, for your lovely comments! You’re spot on about the added pressure of the tourney being a part of saving the business (in fact, through a plot twist, Kate feels the pressure of being the first girl to win the event in order to save the business).

      SWEET SPOT refers to that spot on the club OR the ball that when you hit the ball and it goes for miles. And I just had to reply and say that I was, indeed, born well before the 80’s. 🙂

  101. Impressive work and quite brave to submit these pitches and blurbs to fellow authors for critiquing! One thing I was told on blurbs and pitches is think of it as “a movie trailer” give them enough to know what’s happening, but make it quick and especially make it interesting. It’s very difficult to put your blood, sweat, and tears into one sentence or 100 words I know, but once you get the hang of it the challenge is fun. Hope my input helps!

    Entry#1) one sentence pitch:-) Make that ONE sentence count…is Kate the hot new brit? Who won’t deny what? That he torched the green? I’d clarify or take it out altogether. You don’t want an agent confused you want them intrigued. Tell the reader Kate from the start.
    100 word blurb- You want to grab the reader’s attention from the first line. Flip-flop your sentences…“Kate’s world goes up in flames when…” I like the storyline just tweak the pitch a bit.

    Entry #2) one sentence pitch – I don’t think I’d change anything
    100 word blurb- Not sure about wall of pecs…and instead of Asher would do anything to see his had again…make it clear his father is dead utilize the 100 words. The world you’ve shown us in the 100 words sounds fascinating good job!

    Entry #3) one sentence pitch – no suggestions 🙂
    100 word blurb- A year has passed since Autumn solved her sister’s murder. Now…or something like this don’t repeat year in the first two sentence waste of a word and in a 100 words that’s pure gold (lol). In the last sentence I would say something like…in order to save him in time.

    Entry #4) one sentence pitch – no suggestions 🙂
    100 word blurb- flip flop…but when the lives of his loved ones are threatened Cal chucks it all to return home. And I would replace “chucks” with something like “discards.” And something like…Widowed socialite Vivian will protect her family at all costs while keeping the secret that caused her husband’s murder. Otherwise good job!

    Entry #5) one sentence pitch – maybe say something like “court” instead of hardwood?
    100 word blurb- Is Sharon the love interest? I wouldn’t mention her in the pitch. Just say something like “after being thrown a life line by an old friend.” Also I would open with something like College Basketball Coach, Greg Miller, is thrown a life line after a tarnishing grade fixing scandal. Otherwise good job!

    Entry #6) one sentence pitch – take out genre and title and start with…a young woman must learn to let loose the darkness…
    100 word blurb- no suggestions 🙂

    Entry #7) one sentence pitch – no suggestion 🙂
    100 word blurb- no suggestion 🙂 excellent job!

    Entry #8) one sentence pitch- no suggestions 🙂
    100 word blurb- Begin with something like… “Amelia Barnett’s charitable nature brings trouble when she volunteers to help an ailing maid. Her reputation is ruined when caught cleaning the study of”…other than that sounds like a good one!

    Entry # 9) one sentence pitch- no suggestions 🙂
    100 word blurb- Well done!

    Entry #10) one sentence pitch- A 40 something woman embarks on a (spontaneous, reckless, not sure I like impetuous) journey. The rest is good.
    100 word blurb- bring together. Give us something along the lines of Juliette St. James lives a cautious life after a reckless night brings her single motherhood at eighteen. Now that her daughter/son has left home she embarks on a cross country trip…something like this. Sounds like a great story!

    Entry #11) one sentence pitch- too long & too much information. Do something like what you did in blurb…Suffering from A.D.D., single mom, Annie York fears she is unlovable until Caleb Galloway puts love within her reach.
    100 word blurb- Keep first sentence. Do second sentence something like…Caleb Galloway lives life in the details, costing him the love of his life. Until he meets Annie… Good job sounds like a sweet story.

    Entry #12) one sentence pitch- No suggestions 🙂
    100 word blurb- Better not to do an excerpt. I would do an actual blurb/short synopsis.

    Entry #13 one sentence pitch- Tell me about the story in one sentence not the feel.
    100 word blurb- Excellent sounds like a great story!

    Entry #14) one sentence pitch- Good job!
    100 word blurb- no suggestions well done!

    Entry #15) one sentence pitch- excellent!
    100 word blurb- Something like…Detective Addison Parker is targeted by a killer hunting woman who serve the community. Next quarry and targeted is somewhat the same. Use the 100 words carefully. News reporter, Joe Vaughn’s articles provide the only link to the murders. The rest is good 😉

    Entry #16) one sentence pitch- good job!
    100 word blurb- I would reword the part about her past and Seth’s make it sound a little more intriguing. Otherwise well done!

    Again, great job all!

  102. #2 ASHER LOCKE AND THE KNIGHTS OF ARCADIA

    First off, I love your title and your protagonist’s name. Both rock! In your logline, I would love to see one—only one!—adjective before the word ‘world.’ Give it punch! Make me worry, especially since I’m unfamiliar with Troglins and Grimhounds. Sure, they sound dangerous because of your use of ‘rescue’ and ‘miles of death,’ but when you have the opportunity to add more tension, take advantage of it. Easy peasy. You got this one!

    As to the blurb. Asher would do anything to see his dad again. Sound good. But wouldn’t—Asher would do anything to save his dad from certain death—intensify the tension? Of course, you see the problem. I didn’t realize he was presumed dead until I read the next sentence. The less confusion in a blurb, the less frustration in the reader, which is something you should strive to create. Readers don’t like frustration. They get mad at us when we annoy them, even when it’s just a little bit. Picky li’l devils.
    The use of ‘pecs’ is great. My mind went immediately to the ‘The Rock’ which if I were single would make me a Cougar. Don’t worry. The man is safe as I’m neither 

    Moppy-haired is cute and evokes a strong mental image. Love it! Track down and slay auxiliary verbs when possible. ‘He’s being held prisoner by’ could easily be ‘He’s held captive by.’ Sure, the sentence is still passive, but I understand why you did it, as you need to add the aside about horrible Lord Balor. No worries. I had to go back and re-read to see who Gareth was (as already mentioned, I’m suffering from ‘mental-pause) so help out us older-sters by reminding us who he is with the use of ‘pecs’ or ‘sword-wielding’, and I’m not sure how necessary ‘two loony enchanters and best friend’ are to the blurb; however, girl of his dreams is a must in a YA, so no matter, keep that, as for the aforementioned two rescue associates, mentioning them seems to clog your sentence and they add no value other than the comic element suggested by ‘loony.’ As always, it’s your call as to what’s important. The final sentence is good, though maybe consider putting ‘goodbye’ after the verb it modifies. I like the way that reads better. Just a thought. I’m sort of out-school, so feel free to ignore me. My kids do.

    Overall, this books sounds like the bomb! Best of luck!

  103. #3

    What, no last name for Autumn? Silly, I know. But I must have it, and it’s a piece of cake to add. Now let’s move onto something harder. Loglines are about what your protagonist wants and who is standing in her way. Yours needs tweaking. Protagonist Autumn What’s-her-last-name you got—great!—what she’s doing through-out the book you list as well, albeit vaguely, so maybe define and strengthen. But there is no mention of what Autumn wants—perhaps to be the best kid detective on the team, maybe to solve the crime before the professionals—and there’s no mention of who is standing between her and her goal. We know you have them in your book, so work them into your logline. Make it a one sentence thrill ride for your reader!

    Now to the blurb. My first thought is that you should combine sentence #1 and sentence #2. My second thought is that ‘when teens get kidnapped’ reads wrong. I don’t want to put words in your head, but consider: who help the police find kidnapped teens. Moving on. ‘It’s discovered’ is passive. Perhaps, and most especially if Autumn discovered it with or without her team, say who discovered the connection between the kidnappings and the online game. Also, the first time you mention the game maker, it isn’t a proper noun, as where the second time it is. Strive for consistency, and, perhaps, use another word for the second ‘focus.’ Lastly, and I think most importantly, the only hint of risk to Autumn comes in the second to last sentence with the use of ‘target of the Game Maker’s sick game.’ Now, you have me worried. Awesome! But then my worry is instantly alleviated by the next sentence, which makes no further mention of Autumn being in any sort of jeopardy and—seemingly—implies the kidnapper is brought down by her decoding skills, which I infer to mean she is seated at her computer and not in danger. Speaking of danger, what peril does the kidnap victim face? And what is behind the ticking clock? No reference was made as to why the other teens were kidnapped or what became of them. Death? Release after a hefty ransom? Let go after someone revealed the contents of the NSA’s secret files on all of us?

    I love YA mysteries and this one has great potential. Tweak it some and you’ll be golden. Good luck!

  104. #8
    Pitch: Can u say something more about the MC rather than “forgotten ward?” Using “but” twice makes it read weird. I understand “newly saved” and I’m sure the agents who represent inspiration would, too, but maybe new believer or something similar.
    Blurb: I think you could incorporate more tension to the blurb to make it even more appealing. ex: Amelia Barnett cleans…to help an ailing…until she gets caught by…. Interesting premise!

  105. #4
    My first thought after I read your logline is that they’re up to something not necessarily illegal but underhanded, which I’m sure is not where you wanted my mind to go. Sure, we’ve all made past mistakes that paint us in an unfavorable light, especially when viewed out of context, but perhaps find a way to hint that what they’re doing is also honorable, as well as lifesaving. Of course, saving a life should be enough, and in real life, it often is, but my gut says you need to elaborate so I’ll get behind these two one-hundred percent. Right now, I’m not feeling it, and I know it’s just because of your wording. Does that make sense? Also, and it’s picky and something I fight for all the time in my writing (i.e. down to earth realism, but the powers-who-be know what sells better than I do in genre fiction), but perhaps just say ‘ex-soldier’ rather than ‘soldier turned mechanic’ as it sounds more romantic, and most romance readers are looking, albeit subliminally in some cases, for a bit of fantasy and grandeur.

    As to the blurb, and again, it’s picky; but why does no one but those in the dead-end town Cal left behind love him? No doubt, you were going for ‘big sacrifice’ on Cal’s part, but what I got from it is that he’s rather unlovable, so perhaps reword to make him more hero-like.

    Moving on. Twice we have sentences that end in the preposition ‘for.’ The first one I overlooked because I knew you were going for punch, but the second one you could avoid in a variety of better-worded ways, IMHO, as it stopped my reading by wondering if this type of structure was throughout the narrative (not dialogue as that’s authentic) in your book.

    Next, and maybe I’m reading this wrong, but Viv’s husband was murdered due to a secret, and I’m inferring from your words “Viv’s past’ that it’s something Viv did wrong, purposefully or mistakenly, but again, I’m left to wonder about her ethics. Certainly, this isn’t what you wanted me to think as you’re next line indicates she’s jaded by love, which paints her as being wronged; however, all the words before that don’t reinforced this viewpoint. Bottom line: I’m confused and when confused I’m more often than not going to move on to read the blurb for the next book in the line of a billion others before I buy. Every word counts, so make sure they say what you wish to portray. Tweak these things and I think you’ll have a winner on your hands. Good luck!

  106. #5

    Your logline is great; however, I would suggest one change. There is no immediate conflict between the adjective ‘disgraced’ and ‘devastated.’ Additionally, devastated is vague. Lots of things devastate us, love, loss, financial ruin. But you get where I’m going. So as I read your blurb, I realized that she’s also straightforward and upright. Bingo. Instant conflict between someone who is ‘disgraced’ and someone who is ‘upright.’

    Now to the blurb. I see some areas where minor tightening would help. Example: “After getting caught up in” could easily become “Caught up in.” The impact is the same. And the mentioning of ‘an old friend’ is enough. I wouldn’t clutter the narrative with her name, as it serves no purpose since we don’t know her, or recognize the name as we would someone famous. And ‘a spot on her staff coaching the’ could become ‘a job as coach to the.’…

    So reading on, we learn Ciara’s devastation is caused by heartbreak, and we learn she has an image problem as well, which tells me that she’s also in conflict with herself due to her upright nature, but subsequent fall from grace. Nice. Can’t wait to see how you pulled that off. Certainly has me intrigued. Good job.

    “Struggling student” through me for a second, so I went back to read. Of course, there it was ‘Academic Advisor’ said earlier but, truthfully, I missed it on first read as the sentence, as well as the sentence before it, was overloaded with information. Maybe find a way to tighten those, as well as remind us that Ciara is an older student, beyond the assumption that goes with Academic Advisor, say, senior Ciara, especially since we’re dealing with an adult coach. Good luck.

  107. #9
    Pitch: How do her eyes mark as her dangerous? What kind of magical Talent? I think more would be helpful.
    Blurb: This def gives more info but what kind of world/spells/magic are we talking? What are their intentions once they find her captor? Is this a story more about the journey with her rescuer or the torture then revenge?

  108. Withs the window for the author comments coming to a close, I want to say again how much I appreciate the time so many people have put into this. For my entry alone, I have over two pages of comments to study. Thanks a million!

  109. #6 THE CURE

    Love the title. Great job! Though grammatically correct, ‘in which’ is stuffier than ‘where,’ and I don’t usually equate UF with stuffy. In general, I associate UF with more ‘high octane’ words and phrases, ones used by folks with street smarts over urbane lifestyles. For what it’s worth, I would use ‘in which’ and I am more scholarly then daredevil. Just a thought. I’m also a big fan of using one word instead of two when possible, especially in long sentences. I.E. ‘unleash’ over ‘let loose,’ in particular when ‘unleash’ implies that this emotion/power has been difficult to suppress. Also, the first use of the pronoun ‘her’ is unnecessary. I got what you meant immediately, and the prose is cleaner without it, especially when the sentence contains so many.

    About the blurb. I’m sure Leah has terrific motivation for not curing sick people. Can’t wait to see what you’ve created. Maybe hint at that in the blurb as my first thought was ‘awe’ so many sick and dying kids need her help.

    Revenge plots are tricky, and I bet you’ve done a fine job walking this tightrope of vengeful and honorable. Love to see how you did it. Mostly what I see in your blurb, and as I touched on above, you’ve a lot of pronouns, many I think you could delete to tighten your sentences. Best of luck!

  110. #7

    You had me at ‘Sparks fly in 1866 Georgia.” Great punch! Great energy! In five words, no less! And the rest of the logline shouts conflict! Awesome.

    Now to the blurb (rubbing hands excitedly) Oh yeah, you got me. Love your first sentence. Principled. Honorable. Unselfish. Loving Amanda already. One thought, though, as I read further. Perhaps elaborate on why Virgil would deem her unnecessary, especially in light of his promise to his late wife. Just a hint because I so want to love this guy, and that sentence had me pausing to wonder why anyone would not what the people they lead educated, children and adults, his own child or someone else’s. Otherwise, I’m ready to read this book. Great work!

  111. #8.

    Microsoft Word says to rephrase your first sentence, and in this case, I think I agree. So when rewritten via their guidance, it would read: Well-meaning servants of London’s elite throw a forgotten ward into the path of a jaded but newly saved aristocrat, forcing him to choose between marrying her or saving her reputation. Either way works, but their way is cleaner.

    Now to your blurb. I like what’s going on in your first sentence, but I think its convoluted. It would be less of a mouthful to say, ‘While assisting an ailing maid, Amelia Barnett is caught…’ Even though it’s passive, it’s straight to the point.

    So now, she plans never to see him again. My first thought is why. Was he rude? Was he cruel? Was he ungentlemanly? Say whatever is was, or more correctly, say her reaction to his behavior. “Insulted by his rudeness, Amelia plans never to see him again.’

    As where ‘Anthony has other ideas.’ Sure, we go on to read about his external goal and motivation, but at this point, I’m more intrigued by his internal motivation, which I hope is: ‘Grudgingly capture by her loveliness, Anthony has other ideas.’ Other than those easy fixes, I think this blurb is super. Good luck!

  112. #9 BECOMING DARKNESS

    Ominous title. Love.

    About your logline. Adding the description ‘emblazoned, purple eyes’ would be awesome. Optional comma between the two. Your choice.

    Blurb. I like the first sentence, though I think you could tighten it. The second sentence could just as easily start ‘Tortured for weeks, Princess Adilynn’s captor’ as where after the word appearance, consider using a colon followed by the list of changes. I think it’s cleaner.

    Consider adding Ethan’s last name. As listed, ‘helps her heal’ and ‘discover her powers are out of control’ seem incongruent. Wouldn’t they first discover the unruliness of her powers, and then find a way to tame them, thus healing her? Not vice versa.

    The last sentence leaves me wondering what will happen when they find the captor who changed her life. Will she return to her old appearance? Will they kill him? I guess the real question is. Are their motives honorable or merely vengeful?

  113. #10

    I adore mature fiction, for all the obvious reasons. One being, I’m old. Great job!

    Consider using ‘embarks’ rather than ‘is embarking.’ I’m assume by your use of ‘impetuous’ that she is literally coming face-to-face with the cowboy as opposed to just meeting him. If so, consider using one of those deadly adverbs before the words ‘face-to-face’ to help the reader get a clearer picture of what’s taking place. Even the word ‘literally’ would be good. Of course, it must be fitting.

    The jump from ‘cross-country’ trip to ‘fantasy date’ took me by surprise. How are they related? Or are you saying she has dreamed all her life of dating a cowboy, and now she has the chance because, if so, I didn’t go there. I thought of the dating services that offer ‘fantasy dates’ to people willing to shell out big bucks to live their secret sexual daydreams.

    Cyclone’s name made me smile. I like a man who doesn’t take himself too seriously. Perhaps change ‘fixed by putting into a cast’ to ‘fixed by a cast’ and now we come to the hard part. You’ll need to murder some of these babies. This blurb is too long and wandering. Tighten your sentences, and shore up goal, motivation, and conflict for both these middle age lovebirds. And the last sentence doesn’t inspire an ‘awe, they’re in love’ feeling. What it says is ‘we’re old, so take me or leave me cuz nobody else is gonna want you.’ And that is certainly not what you want me to think.

    I like your story; I just don’t think your blurb did it justice. Tweak it and get this puppy into print. I’d read it.

  114. #1 Sweet Spot

    Pitch: If you want to make this pitch a single sentence, you might try switching the order of the sentences, change “someone” to who, and connect them with a hyphen.

    Blurb: It sounds like Kate will have her hands full. 🙂 You might want to add the word literally–Kate’s world literally goes up in flames. By starting this blurb with “When the vandals burn–” it’s assumed the arsonists are known. This, if I’m reading the rest correctly, is misleading. Try rewording the first sentence to let us know we have several suspects. Also, IMHO, the title sounds more erotica than YA.

  115. #2

    Pitch: I find this pitch very intriguing. There are a lot of prepositional phrases, though. If possible, rewrite deleting a few. I’d want to look at this story.

    Blurb: You might want to pare it down to–He discovers his dad’s being held prisoner. We don’t need to know at this point he thought Dad was dead. I like this blurb. You set the scene and your characters well and make me eager to enter this world of Eden Worn.

  116. #3

    Pitch: I’d delete the word “is”. Math whiz Autumn, a member of a high school forensic dream team, joins with the local police to investigate a series of kidnappings–all part of an online survivors game. Make it more active.

    Blurb: With everyone so involved in online games, this is very timely. Good going! This is picky, but you don’t need a comma after sixteen-year-old or after Autumn. The second sentence is a repeat of pitch information. In the last sentence, you might consider changing it to–if she’s to save him–and herself. IMO, we need to know sooner that Autumn will be the next target. It makes the danger much more immediate.

  117. #4

    Pitch: This is an interesting pitch which raises a lot of questions. Very concise. Well done.

    Blurb: This is good but a little vague. Was Viv in danger from her husband’s murderers? Why does Cal show up at her door? How are Viv and Cal’s families connected? I know you only have one hundred words, but I’d go through and delete anything not necessary and include a few more concrete facts to up the ante. Grab that reader–or agent–or editor. Let them know right off the bat that they’re in for a fast-paced, high-stakes ride. 🙂

  118. #5

    Pitch: Will everyone understand the meaning of hardwood? Might it be better to use basketball court? I like your adjective/noun descriptors for the hero/heroine.

    Blurb: Remember, this is to read like the back of a book. It should grab the reader by the throat and introduce the essential elements. By including two women’s names, IMO, it muddies the water as to whom the heroine is. It might be better to say “when an old friend offers him a spot”. We really don’t need her name here. This is a very interesting storyline. 🙂

  119. #6

    Pitch: I think this is great. I, for one, would jump on this story. I’d begin the pitch, though, with “A young woman” and continue from there. Keep it short and snappy. The beginning of that first sentence really isn’t necessary. I’d delete “in order” and change “want to” to “would”. Nicely done!

    Blurb: First of all, I have to say this sounds fascinating. I’ll look for it to hit the shelves soon. There are a few small tweaks that will tighten this blurb and make it move more smoothly. It should be veterinary, not veterinarian. Consider changing to “When the wrong people find her, they’ll stop at nothing…” Delete finally–not needed. Again, small tweaks, great story line.

  120. #10
    Pitch: Can you give us a little more about what’s at stake here? I understand once I read the blurb. ex: Juliette, a single-mom celebrating being an empty-nester, ventures on a cross-country trip and winds up with a broken car – and maybe a broken cowboy. *NOT a good example, but something that entices the reader, gives us feeling of what is at stake or what she could gain, etc.
    Blurb: It’s over 100 words. Once you cut words and tighten, you’ll be in good shape. I like this premise.

  121. #11
    Pitch: Lots of “ands.” Use commas where you can, leave out unneeded words.
    Blurb: Use a few words like, “when,” “then,” etc. Connect the sentences, transition one into another to make it sounds cohesive. When single mother Annie, who struggles with ADD, moves her and her daughter to Sweet Creek she ends up… It sounds like a sweet romance.

  122. #12
    Pitch: Nice job! To the point, well phrased. I’m guessing contemporary romance?
    Blurb: I’d try to get a 100 words blurb down instead of an excerpt. It’ll help when you have to talk about your book.

  123. #14
    Pitch: I’d choose either handsome or sexy and drop the slash. Otherwise, nice job!
    Blurb: Did you mean to add a “who” between witch and just? This is a unique twist on witches and it’s sounds like it could have some humor as well. I’d be interested in reading this just based on the blurb. Well done!

  124. #7

    Pitch: You’ve set up some great conflict here! Consider deleting Hero. It’s really not needed. Very good job.

    Blurb: I love the line–a woman whose will is as strong as the iron he fashions. This keeps us in a blacksmith’s mind. Give us a strong, believable reason for him to turn away a teacher, especially after his promise to his wife. This has the makings of a great story.

  125. #8

    Pitch: Hmmm….if he marries her, wouldn’t he also save her reputation? I do like the idea of a forgotten ward. Great possibilities with that.

    Blurb: It’s probably just me but I had to read the first line several times to get the correct meaning. Is Amelia the ward of Anthony? Was he the one to catch her in the room? Why shouldn’t she have been in the study? Give us some motivation for the marquis’ behavior.

  126. #15
    Pitch: I like the words, the eluded danger and urgency but it’s vague. I’d like just a little more. I have no idea if this murder, blackmail, kidnapping, what?
    Blurb: I think you want a different word than “quarry.” The last sent of the first paragraph is awkward. So there was evidence that implicated the new reporter? Second paragraph maybe use “and” instead of “but.” It makes it sound like they fail at laying the trap. Sounds interesting!

  127. #9

    Pitch: How do the eyes mark her? Is there something different about the way they look? This pitch doesn’t give us any clue about the hero or motivators. Be sure to include these.

    Blurb: I like the concept here but feel it’s a little vague. “Unexplainable reasons”. IMO this phrasing needs to be stronger and more specific. The many they’re hunting–is this Ethan’s brother? Really pull your reader in deeply with your blurb. Make us care deeply,

  128. #16
    Pitch: It’s catchy but it’s pretty vague. I’d like to know about the main character, what she has to gain or lose, or both.
    Blurb: I’d lose the last comma, but otherwise it reads well. Easy to follow and gives all the needed information. So many possible lessons and themes. I love the premise.

  129. #10

    Pitch: Juliette is your character. You need to know her exact age. Either that or start with–In her forties, Juliette (I’d use her name)–then go from there. I like that this is the second impulsive move she’s made. It makes me wonder what the first was. 🙂

    Blurb: Your last sentence? Beautiful!! Love it. Go through this blurb carefully, searching out unnecessary words and sentences that can be streamlined and, thus, made more powerful. Example: Not home to save her, Cyclone doesn’t believe himself worthy of a lasting relationship. His life has become a stream of meaningless one-nighters.
    I love those cowboys!!

  130. I’ll be voting for the blurb, but Ive decided to focus on the pitches in my comments, as the blurbs have been focused on a lot already. 🙂

    Entry #1: THE SWEET SPOT
    Logline: There are a LOT of people in this blurb. I’m assuming it’s about Kate, so you want to narrow the focus. As it is we don’t know enough about Kate to root for her, or what happens if she fails. I’d rephrase it with the focus on Kate. HER journey is the one that matters, not the supporting characters. I like the frenemies bit 

    Entry#2: ASHER LOCKE AND THE KNIGHTS OF ARCADIA
    Logline:The only thing I’d change in this case is to be LESS specific. Bringing up an unfamiliar creature only raises questions. I assume they’re scary, but we don’t know by names alone. Maybe calling them ___ creatures would be better, and would shift the focus from WHAT are those to OH NO! Also, 10,000 miles of death sounds awesome!

    Entry#3: Author: Susan Bradley
    Logline:Good, but right now there aren’t any stakes in the pitch. What’s the danger? You’ve got the plot, but no stakes.

    Entry#4: Author: Julia Broadbooks
    Logline:This could be expanded, but I like it as it is. 

    Entry#5: Author: Jim Cangany
    Logline:I’m guessing yes. I’m not a fan of rhetorical questions in pitches. I’d rephrase it without the question.
    Entry#6: THE CURE
    Logline:I’d cut the beginning where you say WHAT it is. That’s eating precious real estate. ‘When leah’s enemies try to use her as a weapon…

    Entry#7: THE PREACHER’S PROMISE
    Logline:’Illiterate tortured hero blacksmith.’ 4 words to describe this guy in a pitch with about 30 words total feels like overkill. Can we strip one or two away? I love the sparks fly opening.

    Entry#8: MISS AMELIA AND THE MARQUIS
    Logline:Do we need to know that she’s thrown into his path by the well meaning servants? I think THAT she is is more important than WHO throws her in his path – especially in a pitch where every word counts.

    Entry#9: BECOMING DARKNESS
    Logline: The second part of this logline has voice, but doesn’t really tell us anything about the character herself, or what challenges she faces. Save the voice for the writing itself, and make the logline straightforward. It sounds more like a movie pitch than a book pitch. Without a visual, we really need specifics here.

    Entry#10: Author: Becky Lower
    Logline:I’d change ‘is embarking’ it ‘embarks’ to make it more active. I like how it’s only the second impetuous thing she’s done.

    Entry#11: Author: CJ Michaels
    Logline:This pitch is WAY too long, and reads more like a synopsis. Don’t tell us what happens. Entice us to read more.

    Entry#12: Author: Lynn Montagano
    Logline:I like the uncharacteristic moment of clumsiness. Overall good job!

    Entry#13: Author: Emmy Neal
    Logline:Instead of ‘the first in a…’ USE this space to tell us about the book! ‘the tower: where 23 year old pathologist Florence…’

    Entry#14: FAMILIAR MAGIC
    Logline:This sounds cute. Good job!

    Entry#15: CHARMED DECEPTION
    Logline:No idea who the MC is, or the things they face. We need specifics in a pitch. I know nothing of your MC, and that is the selling point.

    Entry#16: THE BRIDGE BETWEEN
    Logline:Same thing here – I have no idea who the MC is, or what they face. Be specific in a pitch. Who is connected? Whose future is threatened?

  131. #11

    Pitch: I think your pitch can be strengthened by shortening it. It’s a little too long. Just hit the highlights. You might try something like: When a single mom suffering from ADD meets up with a detail-obsessed (his profession here) it’s a battle to find a meeting ground in the middle.

    Blurb: Since this is a blurb, you want to create questions, ones that will have the reader lusting after your book–whether it’s an agent, editor, or book lover. Is the family diner part of Caleb’s Galloway Farms? Make this clear. You’ve set up a very good conflict for your main characters to deal with. Good for you.

  132. #12

    Pitch: I really like this pitch as is. 🙂 Love the uncharacteristic moment of clumsiness–and books set in Scotland. Yum.

    Blurb: This is actually an excerpt rather than a blurb. The blurb should very succinctly give main characters and conflict and draw your reader in. Check out some bookstores and read the back cover copy or go online and read a few. This is what we’re looking for on this. Your story idea sounds great!

  133. #13

    Pitch: I believe I’d stop at The Walking Dead. Period. The rest of the sentence isn’t needed. You’ve said it all–extremely well–in those first seven words! 🙂

    Blurb: I’m just going to note a few tweaks here. Consider changing the line to “the few survivors are losing hope.” It’s a little stronger. Also, “determined to find a cure”. We know what for–explanation not needed. Change starts to started. A question: If the ex-lover returns to the Tower, wouldn’t he risk bringing the infection with him? This sounds like a fast-paced, action-packed story! Well done.

  134. #14

    Pitch: Ooooh, I like this! A reluctant witch–and hints of humor. Nice mix. My only question is that if she doesn’t enjoy practicing her craft, would it be difficult to harness her powers? Or do they just pop out at unexpected moments creating havoc? Nice story line here.

    Blurb: First, I want to say I’ll be in line to buy this one when it hits the shelves. 🙂 I have just a couple small tweaks for you to consider. You might change to “wants to be normal, wants the whole picket-fence dream.” It reads a little smoother with wants in both sections. Also, since picket fence is used here as an adjective, it needs the hyphen. The second sentence in paragraph one and the third sentence in paragraph two aren’t complete sentences. While this doesn’t usually bother me, and I use a lot of fragments myself, in this case they feel choppy. You might want to reconsider wording.

    I love the ticking clock aspect. It really amps up the suspense. I’m guessing there’s going to be a lot of humor in Familiar Magic. Great title, BTW. This is a book I’d love to read. 🙂

  135. #15

    Pitch: Snappy and interest-catching! Well done. Deceive, destroy, or catch a killer? Deceive wouldn’t necessarily take him out of action–which is what I think your hero would want to do.

    Blurb: Great start. Hunting down or stalking women? Targeting, maybe? Simply hunting doesn’t seem strong enough. In the second sentence, I’d stop at murders. Period. Delete “his articles”. This isn’t really needed in the blurb. Consider changing to: Implicated in the crimes, Joe forms an alliance with Addison to draw out Jackdaw, the real killer. IMO, ensnared doesn’t feel like the right term here. I don’t think they’re trapped in this relationship. I’d like to think it’s a little more voluntary. This sounds like a strong, uber-exciting story. 🙂

  136. #16

    Pitch: I think more details are needed here. Who is your hero/heroine? What are their conflicts and motives? While intriguing, it’s too vague.

    Blurb: The very first line does an excellent job of setting your heroine’s goals. In the second paragraph, consider changing to: At the height of his football career, Seth Garrett considers giving it all up to become a missionary.

    The last paragraph is, again, a little too vague. We need just a taste of what was in their past. Is he Luke’s father? Is this why he’s a marrow match? If so, you don’t have to give it all away in the blurb, but you might want to give us a bit more to whet our curiosities. This sounds like it’s going to really tug on the heartstrings.

  137. #11

    Your blurb exhibits all the push and pull of real life issues. I like that; however, in your attempt to encapsulate the story, the logline became overloaded and difficult to read. Cherry pick what is vital and use only those details.

    I see the same realism in the blurb, but also the same unnecessary details. Additionally, as written, it seems more women’s fiction with romantic elements than romance, which is fine as long as you pitch it that way. When selling romance, first highlight the positive traits your characters possess (the things that make them heroic), and then point out their flaws, which ideally keep them apart. You have the flaws, and it appears these are the obstacles separating them; however, they lack heroic traits. This is vitally important in romance, and to a lesser degree in women’s fiction. However, you can never go wrong by making the reader want to root for your characters, which we do by characterizing them as heroic. Best of luck!

  138. #12

    Your logline is nice. It’s to the point, succinct, but it lacks the fire required to make it stand out of the hundreds, if not thousands of other loglines.

    Your blurb is not a blurb, but then by now you know that. It’s too easy to Google ‘how to write a blurb’ for this to have been a mistake. You were either rushed or going for unique. I’m sorry. It didn’t work.

  139. #13

    Logline. Your story sounds interesting; however, I think this type of derivative logline has been overdone. Your book took a lot of work and imagination to write, so maybe use those same skills in your logline.

    Blurb. I really liked the first three lines, though I see areas you could tighten. Also, ‘at all’ I think would read better as ‘after all’ followed by ‘and they must leave.’ I believe the fourth line would be better without an introductory clause. For example: ‘When Flor (I would use her full name here as I paused to re-read the above lines to make sure this was our protagonist) conquers her agoraphobia’ could easily become ‘But first Florence must overcome her agoraphobia.’ The last sentence contains an awesome hook–nice work!–but I think the wording diminishes its impact. Perhaps, reword for greater punch. Good luck.

  140. #14

    Logline. I like it. I’d read it. Good job.

    Blurb. My first thought is that Kristen still wants to be normal, even after the wish transforms her cat into a man, but she is forced to reopen the door to her power to save him. If so, then I would say that. Reluctant heroes make for a fun read, and they are more appealing due to their self-sacrifice, so I would tap into that appeal. I like the subtle humor and conversational tone of his paragraph (It’s reminds me of Christy Craig’s blurb for Accidental Demon Slayer.) though I would use a colon/list sentence structure. I.E. ‘…and look where that got him: cursed to be a familiar…’ to solve your grammar issue. Nice work. Good luck!

  141. #15

    Logline. It has immediacy and punch. I like it, though I might add something after ‘unwilling alliance’ to indicate a romance is involved, say, ‘an unwilling alliance between ‘quick characterization of him & her,’ as well as something to imply it’s inspirational, perhaps instead of or in addition to ‘dangerous’ or ‘horrific.’

    Blurb. Perhaps change ‘hunting women who serve their community in Atlanta’ to ‘who hunts charitable women serving the Atlanta community.’ I’m sorry, but I think ‘as his next quarry in this deadly scheme’ is overwritten since (as his next victim) has greater punch. Also, when you say ‘before it’s too late’ are you referring to the Jackdaw’s targeting of Addison? It’s not clear. In fact, the entire thread of her being in jeopardy has been dropped. Otherwise, this sounds like a great read. Best of luck!

  142. #16

    Logline. I’m intrigued, but think the addition of ‘a troubling connected past’ would clarify things.

    Blurb. Nice first sentence, though Luke’s name isn’t necessary and clutters the message. Eight-year-old son is enough to pull the heartstrings.

    So if I’m reading correctly, Seth thought about leaving football for missionary work, but then decided it was a ludicrous thing to do, yes? Is so, that’s too bad, I’d have liked him better had something else kept him from doing it, like, the franchise would fail without him and he couldn’t let down the owner and his teammates.

    With the second sentence, I’m back to liking Seth. So since I don’t know your story, you’ve either a motivation issue, or just a first sentence wording problem. I’m hoping it’s the wording.

    The second paragraph starts out with Luke, but really, the focus should be on Aimee. I.E. When Seth visits Aimee’s young son in the hospital, Aimee can’t deny her attraction to him. See the difference? This is Seth and Aimee’s story, with Luke as the vehicle or Macguffin as Hitchcock liked to say.

    And in reality, Aimee and Seth will never be able to forget their painful past, only move past it, and so maybe say that, too.

    Nice story, overall. Good luck.

  143. I wanted to wait until the end of the contest’s comment period to let all the authors, editors, and agents know how much I appreciate the time each one took critiquing the blurbs and taglines submitted. All the comments on my pitch will be very helpful when I sit down to further hammer out my wording. Being able to save your feedback on my submission, as well as reading everyone else’s feedback, has provided a valuable learning experience for me.

  144. Thank you SO MUCH to all of the agents and authors who gave us feedback. I’ve been able to apply what was said to my blurb and query and I think it’s so much better because of it. You all are amazing to spend the time reading these and offering us advice. Much love!

  145. Pingback: Cupcakes, Cocktails, and Critiques: The Results | Marisa Cleveland, romance author

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