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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My forced absence from writing (AKA: my life) really set my momentum back into the stone ages. Before, I really had no desire to enter my books into contests, especially one with a trad pub contract attached. But I figured it could only help at this point. Anyone else entering? I haven't seen anything about it on the boards...

If you are, I'd love to know all about it - which book, what category, etc. And if you want to post your "Pitch," I'd love to see that (scope out the competition ;)), too.

If anyone's interested, I entered Flirting with Death into the competition in the Mystery/Thriller category. My pitch is below. If you have feedback, I'd love to hear it!


Kayla McKenna is a kick-*ss covert operative — and she loves it. After her father was murdered by terrorists she was consumed by the need for retribution, and landing her dream job as a CIA assassin seemed like the perfect gateway drug to avenge the heartaches of the past. Until one botched mission earns Kayla a burn notice, a bullet hole and a one-way ticket back to suburbia via the amnesia train.

Banished to her childhood stomping grounds, Kayla is determined to unravel the events leading up to her exile, while continuing to keep her spy status a secret from her suddenly ever-present and meddling family. But her mother’s matchmaking attempts turn out to be the least of her worries. Someone does not want her to remember, and every new clue leads to more unanswered questions.

In an effort to break the cycle, she decides to embrace the horrors of surviving her new girl-next-door status. And aside from a few missteps along the way, Kayla begins to realize there may be more to life than contract killing. Okay, so puppy theft, psychic healers and sexy Greek arms dealers are not exactly standard fare in the 'burbs. Still, normal could totally be the new black…ops.

Combining mystery, edgy chick-lit and a dash of paranormal, FLIRTING WITH DEATH is a foray into the life of a snarky ex-hitwoman who discovers that living a "normal" life may just be her most difficult mission so far. After all, there isn't a twelve-step program for recovering assassins...yet. Then the note arrives.

Combining mystery, edgy chick-lit and a dash of paranormal, FLIRTING WITH DEATH is a foray into the life of a snarky ex-hitwoman who quickly discovers that living a "normal" life may just be her most difficult mission so far. After all, there isn't a twelve-step program for recovering assassins...yet.
 

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I entered yesterday. I figured why not, what's the worst that could happen, right?

Here's my pitch:
***
One boy. One girl. One insignificant moment that changes their lives forever.

Beyond Parallel follows the same mould as Sliding Doors, Uncertainty, and Smoking/No-Smoking: flipping between two parallel tales; one follows Bella and Clark as a couple, the other as if they never meet.

The entire book hinges on one, small, insignificant What-If-Moment, but as the stories develop you realize just how important those few seconds are. 

Highflying careers, book tours, teaching teenagers, hipster warehouses, coffee shop hangouts...they're all confronted in this contemporary tale about love, life, and what might-have-been.

The life of a teenager is hard, but it isn’t until you reach your twenties that the world pressurizes you into fulfilling your potential. As Clark says, “…how many big decisions are we supposed to make? Careers, school, moving out, living life, finding love, and all the while planning for what…a house, kids, mortgages, and pension plans. How the hell are we supposed to handle it all?”

The feeling of what if haunts us all at some stage in life. We could live a billion lives yet are only given one. Is it a mere game of chance or are some things meant to be? This is what the books asks of you, and in doing so it takes you on a journey of discovery and whimsy. You may never look at your own world the same again.

Beyond Parallel is a true love story through and through, but it’s also about growing up and making choices, no, life-altering decisions. – Lara Greenburg
 

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I entered.

***

Emariya's life was nearly over before it started. Hidden under the floorboards while her mother died above her, she escaped a brutal death then—only to go racing toward it now, sixteen years later.

After learning her father has been captured, Emariya is desperate to save him, no matter who she has to turn to for help. Oblivious to her potential gifts and the secrets surrounding her dual heritage, Emariya makes a bargain with the prince of a rival land, Torian Ahlen. In exchange for her hand in marriage, he agrees to send his forces to rescue her father. With the arrangements made, Emariya embarks on a tumultuous journey through two kingdoms as different from each other as the families that rule them.

Before long, Emariya comes face to face with her mother's killers, and learns of an ominous prophecy: her and Torian's bloodlines must never be combined. Armed with this frightening new knowledge, Emariya begins to fear the handsome prince may desire more than to steal her heart, and it will take all of her newfound skills to survive. 

Cornerstone is a YA Fantasy with a strong heroine, a crush-worthy hero, and a memorable supporting cast.
 

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Wow, Kelly, Cornerstone sounds AWESOME.  I'm going to watch for it so I can read it myself.

Good luck with the ABNA!  The novel I would have entered is too long to qualify, but I'm glad I came and checked out this thread, because I got to read your pitch.  :)
 

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I want to enter, but my manuscript is just not quite ready. Grrrrrr. I stayed up until Midnight Jan 13th wanting to get it to a point where I could submit, but I just cant :(
 

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I entered as a way to get exposure. No downside to that element. The likelihood of winning seems low for me, but to advance is another line item on the sales page.

My pitch for Stella & Dane: A Honky Tonk Romance

Stella is one step from leaving her honky-tonk town when bad-boy Dane roars down Main Street on his prized Harley-Davidson. Despite dreams of living in a big anonymous city, Stella hangs back to have one last crazy romance with this handsome stranger.

Dane is running from his old life -- a dead mom, a clingy ex, and a restlessness that keeps him moving. Stella's willingness to act on his every whim, including getting a little wild on the town's water tower, means that this speed bump in Missouri is what he'll call home, at least for a while.

Their dangerous romance keeps the locals talking, especially some of the punk boys who don't appreciate Dane's attitude with Stella. An altercation in a bar turns deadly, and when Dane is arrested, the couple discovers their love runs deeper than their reputations.

This edgy romance moves from Stella's small town bordering the Ozarks to the famous Missouri State Penitentiary, proving that the best kind of love is the one that endures.
 

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TexasGirl said:
I entered as a way to get exposure. No downside to that element. The likelihood of winning seems low for me, but to advance is another line item on the sales page.
^^This.

I entered the 1st two episodes of GAMELAND as one book into the SciFi/Fantasy/Horror cat. The pitch:

Six young hackers. One powerfully addictive computer game. Ten thousand Infected Undead.

When Zpocalypto gamer Jessica Daniels and her gang of code jackers decide to break into Long Island's Gameland, hoping simply to catch a glimpse of the mythical walkers of a decades-old outbreak, they risk more than early conscription into Life Service, a civil commitment normally fulfilled after death. Just attempting to get past the barriers - the wall surrounding the island, the EM field, the mined East River - could get them killed.

That's where Jake Esposito comes in. He has the equipment and the skills needed to get them there. But, as an outsider, can he be trusted? Shortly after arriving onto the island's outer forbidden zone, the dangers the group recklessly dismissed become all too real. Excitement turns to dread. Dread yields to outright terror. Now, all they want to do is leave.

But if breaking into The Game was easy, getting back out is a killer.

"Deep Into the Game" is the first book in the hi-tech thriller series GAMELAND, an immense virtual reality arcade built in the center of an abandoned Long Island. It's here that the rich and privileged act out their violent fantasies, and where Operators use cybernetic links and sophisticated holographic setups to control their Undead Players, pitting them against one another in a high stakes - and highly entertaining - game of brutality, money and power.

Volunteering to become a Player is illegal, but for some, the allure of fame is a powerful drug. For others, it's their only chance to escape the tyranny of poverty.

But for at least one member of Jessie's group, breaking into The Game is a lot more personal: revenge.
 

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I'm in as well.  Exposure is my goal.

No Such Thing
The Pitch:

A killer lurked the Woodward Avenue corridor of Oakland County, Michigan in 1976-77. His prey; children. For one year, he stalked, abducted and murdered young boys and girls, laying their lifeless bodies out in a macabre public display.

In 1977 the killing abruptly stopped, but the killer was never found.

This is the story of what could have happened.

Newly divorced and ready to relaunch herself, Sydney Powell and her retired K9 move back to the city in which she grew up to write a book about the infamous Detroit Purple Gang. Having once lived in a house built and used by the Purple Gang to run liquor, Sydney takes the opportunity to rent the place, believing it will give her insight into Detroit mafia history.

Met with opposition from her psychotic mother and her long brooding brother, Jack, who believe the real story of the house is about ghosts, she begins to dig into its history. Her research yields very little about her intended subject instead pointing to an entirely different history tied to the disturbing death of a young boy.

Peeling away the layers of legal paper, news articles and shuttered memories, Sydney, with help from Jack, becomes acutely aware that the house holds secrets. Unspeakable occurrences linked not only to the gruesome murder that rocked the state, but deeper, more disturbing events held hostage in the walls.

The real life saga of the Oakland County Child Killer sparked the largest murder investigation of its time, reinventing how missing children cases are handled. No Such Thing weaves the many theories and suspects in these unsolved crimes into one dynamic story of ruin, resilience and redemption.
 

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TexasGirl said:
I entered as a way to get exposure. No downside to that element. The likelihood of winning seems low for me, but to advance is another line item on the sales page.
Yup.

I'm entering my YA novel In Your Dreams for the second time--the great feedback I received last year gave me the courage to revise and self-publish.

Here's the book description:

Sixteen-year-old Zara "Zip" McKee lives for three things: basketball, books, and bailing out of tiny Titusville, Illinois, where the junior high and high school are in the same building and everyone's known everyone else since birth. But when Kieran Lanier moves to town and passes out on her desk on his first day at school, Zip's life gets complicated in a way she never dreamed.

Kieran has narcolepsy, and although he sometimes struggles to stay awake, he has no trouble capturing Zip's heart and trusting her with his most guarded secret--he sees bits and pieces of the future in his dreams.

But just when Zip thinks that maybe she can handle having a boyfriend who sees things before they happen, her budding relationship with Kieran gets a jolt when Kieran's parents reveal that his sleeping disorder is not what it seems and may be putting them in harm's way. And when Zip begins to have unsettling dreams, she must decide if she can live with knowing the future in advance when she's afraid of what might happen.

Good luck, everyone!
 

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I'm not going to this time around.  The only book I have ready to go is the second in a series and readers have been jabbing me with sticks to find out when the next one comes out.  I would hate to make them wait longer while it simmered in the contest.  I'm going to try to schedule my writing at the end of 2013 so that I have something all set to go for the 2014 contest!

Some really cool ideas you are all working on...good luck in the contest!

Edit again:

Wait, I just read the rules more closely.  Something that's been SP can be entered, eh?  Maybe I'll enter Baptism for the Dead into General Fiction.  Hmmmm!
 

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ElHawk said:
Wait, I just read the rules more closely. Something that's been SP can be entered, eh? Maybe I'll enter Baptism for the Dead into General Fiction. Hmmmm!
Self-pubs are okay. You just can't shop the book around to publishers or agents. My sub is a SP.
 

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I entered. I dressed up book description from my Amazon page for the pitch (minus any ID'ing info, of course). Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I say.

 

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Saul Tanpepper said:
Self-pubs are okay. You just can't shop the book around to publishers or agents. My sub is a SP.
This isn't entirely accurate -- the rules say your book is eligible if you hold the worldwide distribution rights and it's not currently or previously been subject to a publishing agreement. It doesn't say you can't shop it to publishers or agents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
RuthMadison said:
I want to enter, but my manuscript is just not quite ready. Grrrrrr. I stayed up until Midnight Jan 13th wanting to get it to a point where I could submit, but I just cant :(
The contest is still open... just sayin'. But I wouldn't want to rush something just to enter a contest either. There's always next year (and, I'm sure, a million other contests coming up).

TexasGirl said:
I entered as a way to get exposure. No downside to that element. The likelihood of winning seems low for me, but to advance is another line item on the sales page.
Yup, me too. Even if I advance one round, the possibility of extra eyes on my book can only be a good thing. Great pitch, BTW!

David Kazzie said:
This isn't entirely accurate -- the rules say your book is eligible if you hold the worldwide distribution rights and it's not currently or previously been subject to a publishing agreement. It doesn't say you can't shop it to publishers or agents.
That's correct -- you must allow Amazon first right of refusal though if you receive a higher offer. Wouldn't that be amazing?!?!

Best of luck to all of you and I'd love to see any other pitches from KBers... I find the members here (past and present) to be the cream of the crop, so I'd prefer it if not many of you were entering. Tee hee! Just kidding! ;)
 

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David Kazzie said:
This isn't entirely accurate -- the rules say your book is eligible if you hold the worldwide distribution rights and it's not currently or previously been subject to a publishing agreement. It doesn't say you can't shop it to publishers or agents.
Correct. My bad. The actual verbiage:
6. MANUSCRIPT SHOPPING. Manuscripts submitted as Entries to the Contest cannot be actively shopped by agents during the contest period, which runs from January 14, 2013 to June 15, 2013.
 

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I entered:

Pitch for In The After:

When a woman disappears, there is always two things that can be counted on -- the lies that lead up to her vanishing, and the truth that will bring her home.

Sidney Burns and Emmy Davis had, at one time, been the closest of friends, never imagining that the relationship which had once defined them would change...until it did.  As their lives unfolded, Emmy found herself married, with a child living in the middle of a small town fairy tale.  But not everything was as it seemed. Emmy’s husband, Stephen, was more predator then prince- a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the sort of man who was content using fists and threats to keep his wife in line. It was only Sidney whom Emmy trusted enough to understand the fear that kept her tethered to her marriage yet desperate for a way out. But even friendship couldn’t save Emmy.  One night will change everything for two girls who never thought they’d be without each other.  In the wake of what had happened, only silence was left behind.

Three years after they last spoke Sidney is on the receiving end of a terrifying phone call- one that will rip her world apart, thrusting her head long into the blackest pits of despair.  Emmy is missing.  Gone in the light of morning.  So gone, in fact, it’s like she never existed at all. 

In The After seamlessly blends the lore of fairy tales with the mechanics of missing women in today’s world.  The consternation, the endless days, the fruitless searches, the bloodthirsty media, all lead to a twist ending so shocking it has rendered readers speechless and reeling as the truth of what really happened to Emmy in her happily ever after is revealed. 

After all, sometimes the punishment must fit the crime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
If nothing else, these pitches have just made my TBR list a whole lot longer! ;D Does anyone know if a KBer has ever made the finals?

kathrynoh said:
I was thinking about it until I read the bit about no sexually explicit material in the rules :mad:
I hear ya. Are there other contests for erotica? I guess I can understand, in a way, how an erotic novel might be harder for them to push if one were to win. But after 50 Shades, the buying public has spoken, IMHO. I do wonder though if length is as much an issue as content - aren't most shorter works? I know the minimum word count is 50k for ABNA. If your book fits their length (no pun intended :eek:) criteria and has a theme outside of the sexual aspect as well, I think the "explicit material" is highly subjective.
 
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