Pitch Wars 2018 Wishlist

Hi! We both know why you’re here, but before we jump right in, go ahead and read my official bio here. I’ll wait…


Elevator Music brought to you by Nick Bateman. You’re welcome.

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 Two in my Desert Monsoon series is due to release Spring 2019. Here’s the shiny new cover!


Gif by @GifGrrl

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. Last year was my first year as a Pitch Wars mentor. And I can tell you there’s nothing more gratifying than helping other authors achieve their writing goals and land that dream agent. I’m looking at you Gia!

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

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:

After Burn, After Shock by Sylvia Day
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
The Pawn by Skye Warren
Paige in Progress by Brighton Walsh
Remember Yesterday by Pintip Dunn

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


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!






































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Mother’s Day is for Binge Reading

That’s right. Here are at Authors18, we’re adding binge reading to the list of things moms want for their big day. What goes great with breakfast in bed, a new scarf, or a nice bottle of wine? How about a sexy romance, a cozy mystery, a yummy historical, or even a great urban fantasy?

I checked in with Authors18.com this week to find out what they thought would make for a great binge read this Mother’s Day. Here’s what they had to say. — Diana A. Hicks

Contemporary Romance

Lynn Turner’s Pas De Deux: A Dance For Two (released May 11) is a beautifully written contemporary romance that’s sure to warm Mom’s heart this Mother’s Day. Turner has crafted a beguiling love story, featuring two of the most perfectly imperfect characters I’ve read in a long time. I use the word craft here in the literal sense – you can feel her passion for her art in the way she writes – how Online poll showspainstakingly she has chosen every word, how keenly she felt every emotion experienced by Zack and Mina, and her faultless attention to detail. The result is a well-paced, slow-burn love story, with just the right amount of dramatic and sexual tension to be both realistic, and achingly hot. Like the male protagonist’s Broadway show, this book is a tour de forcedestined for big things. Bravo! — MV Ellis, (CATCHING LONDON)


When I think of a mother, I think of unconditional love. It’s the moment we decide as women, to hand our hearts over to another human being for safe keeping, while watching them grow into adulthood and wishing we could protect them forever. I would recommend Kristin Hannah’s Nightroad, for mother’s day. It’s a story of a parent’s fierce love and how loss and redemption change her. Anyone with a child will get lost in the author’s master storytelling, and experience every bit of the emotional roller coaster ride. It will bring you to tears, but definitely a must read! — Negeen Papehn (FORBIDDEN BY FAITH)

For Mother’s day, I’m giving mom a new boyfriend, a new book boyfriend, that is. (sorry, dad). Pricilla Olivera’s “Her Perfect Affair” is book 2 in the Matched to Perfection series. The series follows the Fernandez sisters and the men who love them. I love this series for its portrayal of Puerto Rican culture, an interracial couple, and of course, a hot affair complete with a happily ever after. A binge worthy read. — Diana A. Hicks (LOVE OVER LATTES)

Historical Fiction

Bookstore events and book festivals are the perfect places to pick up a book autographed by the author with a personalized note to your mom. Don’t tell my mom, but this year I got her a signed copy of My Dear Hamilton, by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie. My mom’s a huge fan of Hamilton: An American Musical, so I know she’ll love this epic story about Eliza Schuyler Hamilton. — Jennifer Klepper (UNBROKEN THREADS)

One Goodreads reviewer said: “Who She Is offers a superb opportunity for Baby Boomer grandmothers, aunts or mentors, and their granddaughters, nieces or younger generation friends to read together. A fine story with heart.” This is a book about female friendships, family secrets, and the 1968 Boston Marathon. — Diane Byington (WHO SHE IS)

My mother and maternal grandmother each read extensively, often devouring a book a day. I’m proud to follow in their footsteps. I have a penchant for books about women in the arts (thanks to my paternal grandmother, an artist), so this Mother’s Day I’m settling in with Portrait of a Conspiracy, The Competition, and The Flames of Florence, the Da Vinci’s Disciples Series by Donna Russo Morin, books in which female painters in Renaissance Florence are assisted by Leonardo da Vinci. Then maybe I’ll attempt a watercolor of my orchid with its purple blooms. — Suanne Schafer (A DIFFERENT KIND OF FIRE)

What mom doesn’t need an escape now and then? And what better escape than a Regency romance among the aristocrats, where everyone has beautiful manners and all children have nannies? I Mothers-Day-Journal-Bookmarksrecommend Julia Quinn’s Smythe-Smith Quartet Series, which has the benefit of humor as well. — Dianne Freeman (A LADY’S GUIDE TO ETIQUETTE AND MURDER)

For moms who enjoy Shakespeare but wish the women in his comedies had more opportunity to speak their minds–and show off their wit–I recommend Finding Kate by Maryanne Fantalis. Here, she retells Taming of the Shrew from Kathryn’s point of view, and it’s a beautiful first installment in her Shakespeare’s Women Speak series. — Willa Ramsey (EVERYTHING BUT THE EARL)

Urban Fantasy

When it comes to a great escape for Mother’s Day, I’m all about escaping through fantastical stories! If they can whisk me away to other worlds, explore the possibilities of the unknown, or make me think outside the box, I’m in! This read is one of my all-time favorites and if you love romance AND fantasy, it’s worth giving Nora Roberts’ Circle Trilogy a try. — Carolyn M. Walker (IMMORTAL DESCENT)

We mom’s empower our children daily to be the best version of themselves–to overcome their fears, and pursue their passions. But it’s important that our kids see us not only teaching these valuable lessons, but demonstrating them as well. Reading stories filled with empowered women carving out their place in supernatural worlds is a fabulous way for mom to take a little relaxing break and feel empowered herself. One of my favorite empowered female characters is Mercy Thompson in the urban fantasy novel, Moon Called by Patricia Briggs. — Rachel Pudelek (FREYJA’S DAUGHTER)

Women’s Fiction/Memoir

When I think of perfect stories to read for Mother’s Day, I always come back to two of my favorites: One Plus One by JoJo Moyes is a story of a mother wrestling with financial issues, a deadbeat husband, and romance while managing one gifted child and one depressed teenager. It will melt any mother’s heart. Online poll shows (1)We’ll Always Have Paris by Jennifer Coburn is a book that will take you on an adventure with a mom/daughter pair. If it doesn’t make you pack up and book your ticket to Paris right away, at least it will give you an excellent escape for a few days. — Elena Mikalsen (WRAPPED IN THE STARS)


Moms love creating order from chaos, which is often an impossible task. So mysteries are just the thing to give them for Mother’s Day. If it doesn’t happen in their real life, at least they can have order in their literary life. I just had the pleasure of meeting Louise Penny at the mystery convention Malice Domestic and cheering for her GLASS HOUSES when it won the Agatha Award for Best Novel. It’s the newest in the Armand Gamache series, and I think your mom will love curling up with it. If she’d rather have more order in her life, then you can start with the first book in the series, STILL LIFE. Either way, you can’t go wrong! — Becky Clark (FICTION CAN BE MURDER)