Guest Blog

Pitch Wars 2019 Submission Wish List

Hey there!

We both know why you’re here, but before we jump right in, go ahead and read my official bio here or just stare at Zack’s dreamy eyes while I dust off my wish list from last year and paste it on here….

Cover Model Zack Salaun. Image by Wander Aguiar. Cover Art by Cassy Roop of Pink Ink Designs. Young man with open shirt, book title Defy You splashed across in teal color.

Who am I?

What my shiny, super official bio doesn’t tell you is that I’ve been writing for a long, long time. That for most of those years, I’ve gotten over 200 rejections, and that I never really got anywhere with my writing until I found Twitter, more specifically, until I found the #Pitchwars community.

I am a two-time Pitch Wars hopeful (never a mentee). Back in 2015, I subbed my Prime Vector novel to three awesome YA mentors. I didn’t get in, but I listened to their advice, and kept revising, and writing. I tried my luck again in 2016 with my latest title, Love Over Lattes. Still no luck. However, I received a lot of feedback on specific areas where my manuscript needed re-working.

Long story short, I re-wrote my manuscript, and six months later I received an offer for a three-book deal from The Wild Rose Press. Book 3 in my Desert Monsoon series is due to release this Fall. Here’s the shiny new cover!

Book cover plus teaser: “Tell me the truth. Why did you kiss me that day? Henry asked. “Because I never wanted to be just friends with you. Because you were you.” Book title: Love Over Time.

Wait, I had a point…even if you don’t get in, you’re here, you’re networking, and honing your craft. That means you’re well on your way to success! Yay, you!

Want to learn more about me? Follow me on Twitter, or better yet, join my closed reader group on Facebook, where I chat about my favorite sexy reads.

Why am I here?

I told you my Pitch Wars story, so I could answer this question. This community has helped me so much, I’m afraid I’ll be struck by lightning if I don’t find a way to pay it forward. This is my third year as a Pitchwars Mentor, and I can tell you there’s nothing more gratifying than helping other authors achieve their writing goals and land that dream agent.

My strengths/weaknesses?

Commas are my kryptonite. I can spot grammar errors, but I’m not your best bet if you’re seriously lacking in this area. What I can do is break down your story to its bare bones, and figure out what’s missing…from story structure, pacing, and plot holes to character development and deep POV. I’m tough with my critiques, but only because I can see the potential in the writing and I really, really want it to shine and succeed. If you’re cool with tough love, keep reading…

My ideal Mentee?

My ideal mentee would be a hard worker. We only have three months to polish your MS, so we’ll need to hit the ground running. I’ll have charts for you to fill out, and there’s also a spreadsheet. If you want to get a head start, go read Debra Nixon’s GMC: Goal Motivation and Conflict and Damon Suede’s Verbalize. We’ll start by dissecting your story and your characters. My goal is to get two rounds of edits in, so we can focus on sentence structure and flow.

What am I looking for?

Send me your new adult/adult romances! I’ll take contemporary (my favorite), romantic suspense (my second favorite), sci-fi, magic realism, paranormal, light fantasy. If romance is the main story line, send it to me!

To save you time, here’s a list of what I’m NOT looking for:

  1. High fantasy
  2. Historical Romance
  3. Inspirational Romance
  4. Sweet Romance
  5. Horror
  6. Women’s fiction
  7. Non-fiction
  8. Thrillers
  9. Memoirs
  10. Western
  11. Hard Science Fiction

If your work does NOT fall into any of the sub-genres listed above, we’re getting warmer. What will make me hot for your MS?

  1. I have no preference for POV or tense, as long as your prose is fresh with an authentic voice (not necessarily flowery). Also, please do your absolute best to make sure your grammar is in decent shape.
  2. Give me a hooky meet cute. I love tropes. My favorite is enemies to lovers, and second chances, but it has to be believable. Same if you’re going for the friends to lovers trope, or strangers to lovers. Give me some sizzling chemistry.
  3. This is a given in romance, but I’ll put it on here so you can check it off the list. Happily Ever Afters (HEAs), or Happy For Now (HFNs) are a must. There are no loop holes here.
  4. Heat required. I don’t do sweet romance. Send me your spicy and erotic romance. I’m mostly a contemporary author, but if your characters are falling in love, and doing all the sexy things in outer space, I WANT your MS!
  5. Consent required. I want strong heroines who know what they want, and know how to ask for it.
  6. Rape is a deal breaker for me. Just no. Not even as backstory.
  7. Diversity welcome. Bonus points for interracial couples!
  8. Contemporary is my main jam. Send me your hot and kinky CEOs, rock stars, bad boys, and men in uniform. Tattoos? Yes, please! I’m all about the romance, but I also need grit and heart. Who/what are these hot guys fighting for?

Some of my recent favorite books:

The Pawn by Skye Warren
Nowhere Left to Fall by Kat Mizera
The Crossfire series by Sylvia Day
Once and Always by Julia Harper
Dare to Love by Carly Phillips

You made it all the way to the end! For that, you get one more pic of Zack

Cover Model Zack Salaun. Image by Wander Aguiar. Cover Art by Cassy Roop of Pink Ink Designs. Young . man in Marine fatigues with tattoo across his shoulder. Book title splashed in pink: Unleash You.

Thank you for checking out my wish list. I hope I answered all your burning questions. If not, find me on Twitter, and ask. Like seriously, I don’t mind questions at all. I’ve been there, so I know how difficult it is to choose a mentor. I’m here to help!

That’s it!

Check out all the other Adult mentors!

Pitch Wars 2019 Adult Mentors’ Wish Lists

  1. Paris Wynters
  2. Kathleen Barber (Accepts NA)
  3. Ian Barnes
  4. Mary Ann Marlowe (Accepts NA)
  5. Elizabeth Little
  6. Hayley Stone and Erin A. Tidwell
  7. Gwynne Jackson (Accepts NA)
  8. Maxym M. Martineau (Accepts NA)
  9. Katie Golding (Accepts NA)
  10. Ava Reid and Rachel Morris (Accepts NA)
  11. Carolyne Topdjian
  12. Natalka Burian
  13. Tim Akers
  14. Alex Segura
  15. Michelle Hauck and Carrie Callaghan (Accepts NA)
  16. Laura Brown (Accepts NA)
  17. Mia P. Manansala and Kellye Garrett (Accepts NA)
  18. Kerbie Addis and Ren Hutchings (Accepts NA)
  19. Susan Bishop Crispell (Accepts NA)
  20. Kelly Siskind and Heather Van Fleet (Accepts NA)
  21. Janet Walden-West and Anne Raven (Accepts NA)
  22. Kate Lansing (Accepts NA)
  23. Kristen Lepionka and Ernie Chiara
  24. Alexa Martin and Suzanne Park (Accepts NA)
  25. Gia de Cadenet (Accepts NA)
  26. Rob Hart
  27. Layne Fargo and Halley Sutton
  28. Michael Chorost (Accepts NA)
  29. Sarah Remy (Accepts NA)
  30. Nicole Glover (Accepts NA)
  31. Farah Heron (Accepts NA)
  32. Samantha Rajaram
  33. Keena Roberts (Accepts NA)
  34. Rebecca Enzor (Accepts NA)
  35. Matthew Quinn Martin (Accepts NA)
  36. Denny S. Bryce (Accepts NA)
  37. Meryl Wilsner and Rosie Danan (Accepts NA)
  38. P.J. Vernon and Kelly J. Ford (Accepts NA)
  39. Gladys Quinn (Accepts NA)
  40. Diana A. Hicks (Accepts NA)
  41. Damyanti Biswas
  42. Stephen Morgan (Accepts NA)