#SonofaPitch Entry 5: Virtual Space #TeamDroids

b36ce-soap-finalTitle: Virtual Space
Category and Genre: YA Science Fiction
Word Count: 45,000

Query: At 14.2 years old, Kade Walker has never heard of death. Literally. But neither has anyone else he knows. Kade is one of hundreds of teens living across the solar system through the use of robotic avatars while their real bodies sleep in pods on Earth. Nothing can hurt him this way; the adults all said so. They just never said how to survive high school when only one person on the planet will talk to him.

Kade will admit, his obsession with numbers might deter 35.7% of people from hanging out with him. But the bigger issue is his best friend — Princess Tamika of Venus. So her mom almost let a crazed hacker take over everyone’s bodies twelve years ago. The queen is locked away, and Tamika herself is really nice. Kade needs to give her reputation a serious reboot. He starts off simple: an interstellar tour using an old teleportation machine he’s reconstructed. But the machine’s not rigged for current use, so when Kade fires it up, he unwittingly kills a major security wall and unleashes the same hacker from twelve years ago. Panic rating: ten times infinity. The hacker shuts off all communications with the adults and begins to take control of the royal avatars. If Kade doesn’t want to see his best friend used as a puppet, he needs to stop the hacker fast — even if that means waking up on Earth to fight with a body he never realized could be hurt.


First 250 Words:
It wasn’t the first time Kade had hacked the Venusian maintenance system, but it was one of the best. If he had to put a number on it (and there was very little he didn’t put a number on), he’d give it a 9.7. The 9.8 and 9.9 scores were reserved for something epic he hadn’t thought of yet, and 10.0 was for the day he would finally reprogram how his robotic body looked.

Still, assuming he didn’t get caught, his skills today would land him on a totally different planet. Maybe that deserved the 9.8 slot after all. If Tamika would hurry and get here, he could ask for her opinion.

Kade straightened against a metal door embedded in a burnt orange mountainside and flicked his left wing. A line of glowing text scrolled across his view: 5:03:34pm. He’d checked the time fifty-three seconds ago, but whenever he wasn’t reading data, he felt lost. The adults called it unhealthy. Healthy people could watch a sunset without calculating its luminosity every thirty seconds, but healthy people sounded boring. Besides, the numbers comforted him. Nobody got weirded out by seeing their own hands all the time, did they? His numbers were just that — an extra set of hands. Or wings. Or whatever.

Kade froze. His sensors detected a deep clunking sound that echoed across Venus’s stone-hard surface. Low volume, maybe twenty to thirty decibels. His first thought was that it was a patrol robot, but it was coming too fast.

#SonofaPitch Entry 4: Designs of Euphoria #TeamDroids

b36ce-soap-finalTitle: Designs of Euphoria
Category and Genre: YA Science Fiction
Word Count: 68,000
 
Query
Seventeen-year-old Lottie might have accepted that her first love is a genetically modified warrior loyal to an emerging AI. At least until she discovers that the machine is systemically stamping out all dissent and diversity on its quest to build a perfectly just city—modeled after the three-tiered society of Plato’s Republic.
 
When the lives of her family get caught in its path, Lottie realizes the fight to save them is much bigger than herself. Pockets of impoverished provincials and groups of vengeful exiled warriors have launched a counteroffensive. But the uprising captures her father, thinking he works for the AI.
 
Now with her love and family on one side and a ragtag cabal that she believes in on the other, Lottie has to decide what—and whom—she’s willing to sacrifice to stop the encroaching army of warriors and exobots.
 
First 250 Words:
The second to last time Dad lay buried between the sacks, every part of me hoped he’d stay there. I had no idea that the next time, I’d be a sobbing mess, begging him to get up.
 
Grains of sand whipped around us, scattering as we neared West Gate. Our transport cruised along with the low hum of autopilot, running a methodical scan over the deserted terrain. I’d stopped paying attention hours ago. Now sitting hunched over, I flipped through page after page of the tattered book. A slow ache rippled through my shoulder blades. Everything hurt, everything always hurt, by the time we got to the gate.
 
The transparent display ignited a faint orange glow, signaling an alert. The following ding said it all: they’d identified us. Cursing myself for not moving sooner, I slammed the book closed and jumped up. A hollow slip ran between the interior wall and flat deck. Two quick bangs and the rusty casing opened enough for me to hide the gift inside. A good kick and it closed. Once settled, I switched the transport to semi-manual mode and queued a couple controls. We floated forward at a slow pace.
 
Up ahead, warriors stood erect with their backs against chiseled stone, looking as greyed and weathered as the wall they guarded, but also as proud. As we neared, the darkened silhouettes shifted, drawing electrified braided spears outward. Black synthetic leathers ran smoothly over their bodies, concealing the source of their inhuman strength: exogear.
 
Either the automatic alert or my scurry woke Dad.

#SonofaPitch Entry 3: Cheater. Faker. Troublemaker #TeamDroids

b36ce-soap-finalTitle: Cheater. Faker. Troublemaker
Category and Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 80,000

Query:

When it comes to losing her virginity, seventeen-year-old Alex has every intention of waiting for “the one.” Problem is, she’s attracted to trouble. After a traumatic breakup with the local “it” boy leaves her emotionally shattered, she departs from her tiny New Jersey hometown to stay with her cousin, Caleigh, in L.A. hoping to distance herself from boy trouble for the summer.

Enter, Elias King, seventeen-year-old whirlwind with a reputation for tearing through girls and leaving a string of broken hearts behind. Still reeling from a tragic accident that resulted in the death of his girlfriend, Elias relies on drugs, alcohol, and sex to drown his pain.

When Elias’s addictions nearly leave him homeless, his brother offers him a place to stay at his girlfriend Caleigh’s house, complete with roommate tailor-made to clean up his act. Once Alex and Elias find themselves sharing a space under the same roof, their night-and-day personality differences set them on the warpath.

Though Alex and Elias try to deny their intense sexual attraction, a simple bet changes the game. Alex wagers she can keep him sober and one-night-stand free for the rest of the summer, while Elias bets he can steal her heart and her virginity in less than thirty days.

 
First 250 Words:
Dear Nobody,
Today, I socked my therapist in the face. He didn’t call the cops. Maybe he thinks I’m making progress. This journal is supposed to be a start—at least, that’s what he says. But I hate doing what he says so I think I’ll stop here.

-Alex.

Okay, wait, that looks bad. I’ll start over.
Dear Nobody,
I’m not a violent person.
Really.
Ask anybody—except maybe my therapist because he’ll probably tell you I’m lying. The thing is, Dr. Harris just had one of those punch-able faces—mousy, judgmental, portrait of a shrink who knew nothing about genuinely helping people, and everything about making things worse.
Plus, he asked for it—literally.
He said that if I was still angry at my situation I could let it out, so I did. He just wasn’t expecting my way of coping to involve a fist and the bridge of his nose. People say you’re not supposed to hit a girl, but there’s no rule that says you can’t pop a guy if you feel like it. And, I’d felt like it since he started our session.
“Do you still have romantic feelings towards your ex-boyfriend, Alex?”
What do you think?
“Do you blame yourself for the situation?”
No comment.
“Have you forgiven him?”
Are you joking?
“Forgiveness is the first step towards—” and that’s when I hit him.

#SonofaPitch Entry 2: Prosperity #TeamDroids

b36ce-soap-finalTitle:  Prosperity
Category and Genre:  YA / Supernatural Mystery
Word Count:  75,000
 
Query:
Nora is a supernatural private investigator who is trying her best to fill her father’s shoes after his mysterious disappearance during a case.  She is brought to Prosperity by an anonymous benefactor in search of a person the town has no record of.  Nora stumbles upon a series of attacks by a supernatural creature called The Burning Man who can burn his victims with just a touch and she quickly takes up the case.  After an attack by The Burning Man at the high school, Nora meets Kyle, the person that Nora has been summoned to Prosperity to help.  The odd thing is, Kyle just moved into town yesterday.  Nora must now navigate a case of fiery possession, mysterious hauntings, and supernatural powers before more people in Prosperity get hurt or worse.
 
First 250 Words:

Nothing else brings with it glorious calm like the corner booth of a diner.  For whatever reason there was just something cozy and comfortable about a diner.  No matter where you went throughout the country and no matter if it was a chain or a small mom-and-pop kind of place, there was always a familiar feel to them.  It’s like there was this unspoken rule that all diners had to follow the same look and aesthetic.  Booths lined the walls of the place all around the kitchen/bar where a pair of cooks would slave behind.  You could bet that in the corner on the way to the bathroom you would pass a jukebox that had only music in it going up to the past twenty years.  The feel of the tables at each booth smelled like bleach and you could see the smears on the table that a hap hazard wash rag went over the surface just good enough to call the thing clean.  Then there was the food.  You never really have to see the menu; you can always order the same thing regardless of where you were.  The BLT sandwich and fries was always my go-to meal; it passed for both breakfast and lunch.  It was comforting really; something constant that I could count on in my otherwise crazy and chaotic life.

I traveled a lot.  I mean, really a lot.  I probably haven’t had a permanent address since I was about fifteen. 

#SonofaPitch Entry 1: Its Own Kind of Miracle #TeamDroids

b36ce-soap-final

Title:  Its Own Kind of Miracle

Category and Genre: YA (Magical Realism)

Word Count: 82000

Query:

As fifteen-year-old Cole watches his grandmother’s cancer gradually and painfully rob her of life, he guards his heart behind his inveterate cynicism. Grounded and skeptical, Cole has never been one to give much thought to matters of spirit. That changes when he finds himself reluctantly falling for his religious childhood friend Sara, who embraces her buoyant faith as effortlessly as breathing.

 

After witnessing a series of bizarre coincidences surrounding an enigmatic old man, including the stunning recovery of Cole’s dying dog, he decides to take a chance on hope. Cole is certain that if he can learn the man’s secrets, he can save Grandma’s life and win Sara’s affection in the process. However, he has to balance the slim prospect of a miracle with the knowledge that hope has the terrible power to crush his carefully constructed defenses. 


First 250 Words:

Cole held his phone in front of him like a shield.

The teenage boy had hunkered behind it for nearly forty-four hours. Or seventeen-hundred miles or six states. There are so many fun ways to measure time on a cross-country train trip.  As he peered into the display, the pale light gave the angular features of his face a cadaverous pallor. 7:16 AMFriday, June 13

Eight hours, five-hundred miles, and two states to go.

And then…?

A familiar anxiety bubbled in his chest. He deflected the question with a flick of his finger across the screen. No, he didn’t have to think about that. Not yet.

Why doesn’t Jake answer my texts? He should be up by now.

The second of his two older brothers normally rose early. Cole’s fingers danced over the phone and he quickly proofread his fourth message to him in ten minutes:

<–Stop ignoring me.

One extra job while I’m gone, he thought as he pressed send. Feed the dog. And he screws it up the first day.

This time, he didn’t have to wait for a reply. His phone vibrated quietly, but loud enough to cause the mound of blankets in the seat next to him to stir as he examined the return text:

What the hell is wrong with you? –>

“’Mornin’, Cole,” said a sleepy voice deep within the mound. A lock of hair the color of milk chocolate peaked out the top.

“’Morning, Mom,” he said, typing as he rose.

#SonofaPitch Round 2 The Golden Rule and the entries

Welcome to Son of a Pitch, Week 2, version 3.0.

Round 2 starts today and… well… there’s this one rule that needs to be covered.

The golden rule of round 2 is…

3oeduicgdhr5hhoweg

 

Only comment on your own entry.

Please.

You can leave questions about comments from the #SonofaPitch team or just questions for them in general… but only on your own entry.

Authors will be stopping by to make suggestions, add comments or post questions about your query and first 250. The goal is to help you craft a stronger query and intro. (Taking the advice is not required.)

Here is the list of entries on Team Droids.

Go check them out!!

4ajgoxuvncc6i

 

The #SonofaPitch blogs with entries are:

 

Samantha Bryant  – Team  Hera Syndulla – http://samanthabryant.com

Rena Rocford – Team Rebel – http://Drfaeriegodmother.blogspot.com

Kathy Palm – Team Dark Side- https://findingfaeries.wordpress.com

Elizabeth Roderick – Team Leia – http://talesfrompurgatory.com/news/

#NewRelease and #Review for ALL IT TAKES by Clare Dugmore

 Clare Dugmore’s dual-POV contemporary romance
ALL IT TAKES is out now,
exclusively on Amazon Kindle, and in paperback.
Title: All It Takes
Author: Clare Dugmore
Genre: Romance
Release Date:
February 14, 2017
Description:
All It Takes is one night to change the rest of their lives.
Graduating Uni, travelling Europe and buying her own place –
these are on Megan Green’s to-do list.
At just twenty-two, becoming a mother isn’t.
Fast cars, expensive clothes and bedding a different women
every night – this is how Kian Murphy spends his time when not in the MMA ring.
Pre-natal scans and birthing classes are not on his agenda.
After a chance meeting and passionate encounter, Megan finds
herself pregnant with Kian’s child. But with a womanizing reputation, and a
temper that often leads him into trouble, Kian is hardly boyfriend material,
let alone father material.
Now Megan and Kian must work out if they have All It Takes to
turn their one-night-stand into a relationship that will connect them for a
life-time.
All It Takes is a dual-POV new-adult, contemporary-romance
about responsibility, love and discovering who you are in life.
Rafflecopter Giveaway: 
My take:
I signed up to read Clare’s book after seeing the query and story start last year. The hook was great and led me to want more. ALL IT TAKES chronicles the chance relationship that develops between Kian a MMA fighter and Megan a University student in her senior year. I enjoyed the story and thought Dugmore developed strong characters whose lives were filled with both opportunity and misfortune – navigation is never straightforward and it’s ultimately up to one’s choices. The close perspective allowed the heartfelt emotions to resonate with the reader as the relationship between Kian and Megan struggles to solidify. Dugmore’s deft handling the details of preeclampsia (pregnancy issue) and MMA fighting gave the storyline a strong authenticity.

#SonOfAPitch is back…

b36ce-soap-finalThe Son Of A Pitch pitching contest will have a third run starting February 13, 2017 and I’ve signed up to return as a host.  (Not sure what Son Of A Pitch is? Click here to visit Katie Teller’s website to learn more about the contest.)

There’s a new theme this go round…  Star Wars. You got it, anything goes from Episode 4,5,6,1,2,3,3.5…

While Star Wars is an epic story featuring favorite themes like the pull of the dark side and the evolution of a hero, I am going Droids. These unsung heroes are LITERALLY the nuts and bolt of what made some of the missions possible.

via GIPHY

That’s right, I’m going TEAM DROID. I didn’t list any preferences on Katie’s blog for genre or audience. If you check out my Goodreads account, you’ll see I read everything from classics to steampunk to detective to romance. The one red flag I would have to raise -super scary – If that’s your cup of tea, please offer that up to Kathy Palm – Perfect fit for her.

Son of a Pitch is designed to help you beef up your first 250 words and hone your query. We’ll check the panels, tinker with switches and make sure you’re good to go. Feedback will be offered from peers, authors and then publishers will get a peek at your revised work. That’s it.

Check out the full details on Katie’s page and join us.

All It Takes by Clare Dugmore #CoverReveal

I’m thrilled to reveal the cover for Clare Dugmore’s dual-POV contemporary romance

ALL IT TAKES, scheduled for release February 14, 2017.

It’s now available for pre-order for delivery to your Kindle on release day. So, don’t wait – grab your pre-ordered copy today!
Title: All It Takes
Author: Clare Dugmore
Genre: Romance
Release Date: February 14, 2017
 
Description:
All It Takes is one night to change the rest of their lives.
Graduating Uni, travelling Europe and buying her own place – these are on Megan Green’s to-do list. At just twenty-two, becoming a mother isn’t.
Fast cars, expensive clothes and bedding a different women every night – this is how Kian Murphy spends his time when not in the MMA ring. Pre-natal scans and birthing classes are not on his agenda.
After a chance meeting and passionate encounter, Megan finds herself pregnant with Kian’s child. But with a womanizing reputation, and a temper that often leads him into trouble, Kian is hardly boyfriend material, let alone father material.
Now Megan and Kian must work out if they have All It Takes to turn their one-night-stand into a relationship that will connect them for a life-time.
All It Takes is a dual-POV new-adult, contemporary-romance about responsibility, love and discovering who you are in life.

 

#CoverReveal for BROWNLOW BABY by Katie Hamstead

Here is the cover reveal for Katie Hamstead’s latest novel; Brownlow Baby! Set in Australia and following hot Aussie Rules players, you don’t want to miss this romance.

Julia Saxon has been in love with her best friend since the moment she met him. The problem is, Lachlan Daniels was already in love with his model girlfriend. But she just dumped him, and the night of the Brownlow medal ceremony–the most prestigious award in Australian Rules Football–Julia is determined to win him over.
For one night, she believes she has succeeded, until in the morning he runs out in a panic, apparently regretting their passionate time together.
With the support of her friends, she tries to move on, and even manages to snag herself a boyfriend. Then, the vomiting starts.
When the pregnancy test shows up positive, Julia knows exactly who the father is; Lachlan. But that is all kinds of complicated as he continues to pine after his ex, who has moved on, although, she still toys with him.
When Julia makes the decision to keep the baby, her boyfriend leaves, unable to watch her carry his team mate’s child.
As the following months ensue, Lachie discovers the pregnancy and vows to stand by Julia. The pair struggle through a tumultuous and complicated relationship. When it comes down to it, Lachie will have to choose between Julia and their baby, or his ex. But Julia won’t go down without a fight for her happy ending, whether it’s with Lachie or not.
 


Add Brownlow Baby on Goodreads!

About the Author:

Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush” and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories inspired her passion for writing.

After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughters and their dogs.

She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing.

When her debut novel, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, climbed into bestselling status, she believed she was onto something, and now has a slew of novels available, and is published through Curiosity Quills Press, Soul Mate Publishing, and REUTS.

Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports, and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an Acquisitions Editor to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.


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