Posts by fizzygrrl

05: MIDDLE OF KNOWHERE

Title: Middle of Knowhere Age Category: Young Adult Genre: Contemporary Word Count: 78,000 Pitch: In this contemporary Beauty and the Beast story of summer love, a city teen discovers that falling for a poverty-stricken country boy—and the truth he’s hiding—could tear her apart. First 250 Word of Manuscript: This is what hell looks like. I stare out the window of Dad’s Ford Explorer. Along the curvy road, dilapidated double-wide trailers that look like they belong in some independent film version of a horror flick litter the sparse lawns. An old couch, unused tires, and even a rust-stained toilet lay strewn next to one particularly neglected trailer. “Please tell me no one lives there,” I mutter. Dad glances in my direction, his mouth set in a firm, disapproving line. “Now, Hailey, try to remember these people aren’t as fortunate as you and I.” His eyes grind into me, like a pestle trying to turn me into bits of shame. “They do the best they can.” I sigh and turn back to the window as another trailer comes into view, this one even more unkempt. Amazingly enough, one of the occupants is sitting on the sagging porch steps blowing a cloud of smoke into the humid summer air. The man is grease personified. Like if someone wrung him out, they’d have an entire vat of frying oil. I wrinkle my nose and look down when I make eye contact with him. Suddenly, my nails are desperate for attention. “How long until Mom joins us?” I ask, digging at one particularly bothersome cuticle. Mom’s been gone for weeks now. As a broadcast journalist, she jet sets around the world while Dad acts as homemaker extraordinaire. Not that I’m knocking my Dad’s skills. He can make a mean...

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06: DAISY KINCAID AND THE TIME TRAVEL SHOPPE

Title: Daisy Kincaid and The Time Travel Shoppe Age Category: Middle Grade Genre: Mystery Word Count: 41,000 Pitch: Daisy makes an extraordinary discovery on her 13th birthday; she’s a member of a secret society of time travelers, able to visit history’s great events through a set of mystical pictures in her family’s shop. First 250 Word of Manuscript: Daisy Kincaid knew nothing of time travel. Or of stolen artifacts, secret societies, ancient tombs, or a vial that held the secret to eternal life. She was just a regular girl, leading a not terribly interesting life in Manhattan, trying her very best just to survive the 7th grade. But one day in May, two things happened that were a bit out of the ordinary. First, there was the boy. And second, was that very curious postcard. It was Saturday, her day to open the shop. The Kincaid Travel Shoppe on Greenwich Street was her family’s business (or at least her grandmother’s business since she was the only family that Daisy had). On Saturdays, Grandmother got her hair done for the week, so she trusted Daisy to unlock the big oak doors that lead into the shop’s foyer, and hang out the “Open” sign. If any customers happened to come by, Daisy knew to tell them to wait, have a cup of tea, look over the pamphlets, and their travel would be arranged when Grandmother returned. Grandmother usually gave her a list of chores to do: dust the oversized travel posters that hung in the main room; file itineraries; or clean the basement (which Daisy hated, the basement was dark and smelled of mildew, and she could have sworn the last time she’d been down there that she’d seen a mouse scurrying about). She opened the heavy curtains and was startled...

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07: ROYALLY SCREWED

Title: Royally Screwed Age Category: Adult Genre: Contemporary Romance Word Count: 99,000 Pitch: Nearly-wed surgeon Gemma catches her royal fiancé shagging her sister. Gemma can forgive Prince Cheating and embrace castle life or chuck crown and surgical gown to go *au naturel* with a lumbersexy but not-so-steady ex. First 250 Word of Manuscript: The photogs flanked Gemma’s wedding-cake-white townhouse as she stepped from her glossy-green Range Rover, stretching her legs to reach the ground. For once, the firing squad of cameras aimed their lenses at her face rather than her Burberry-coated backside. The paparazzi loved chasing Gemma Roundbottom’s tail—her world-famous, perfectly-curved, set-a-glass-on-it bum. *Roundbottom*. Junior Doctor Gemma Rowen-Batten iced a smile. She was even less likely to shake off that beastly moniker than she was to shed her press tails. Gemma held her breath as if that would freeze them in place, but they pelted her with a barrage of bright flashes. Good thing they couldn’t X-ray through her dark shades or the floppy hat she’d popped on her jethead hair, the wind weaving her long sable strands into a makeshift veil. She’d caught a flight home early to surprise Danny—although it wasn’t easy to pull one over on a prince. Nor could the sharpest surgeon in the operating theatre resuscitate the dead mobile shrouded in her trenchcoat pocket. Gemma’s sigh made London fog of the cold December air. She could do with some recharging, too. After a three-month medical mission to Africa, she was knackered. All she wanted to see was her fiancé and the inside of her eyelids. Little sparks surged up her spine at the thought of Danny’s regal charms. Gemma was rather keen on the whole royal treatment, if not the worldwide stage. She’d rather leave that to her sister. But the flashbulbs came with...

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08: THE SUBSTITUTE PRINCESS

Title: The Substitute Princess Age Category: Adult Genre: Women’s Fiction Word Count: 88,000 Pitch: A twenty-something actress with a big heart and a mouth to match takes a job impersonating the press-shy fiancée of the prince of Monaco in order to save her family’s farm from foreclosure. First 250 Word of Manuscript: The storm blew through central Missouri in the night, setting off tornado sirens in eleven counties. Of course, the sirens didn’t reach this far out of town; it was a text alert that sent Charley Dupree and her mother scurrying to the basement of the Rainbow House just after two a.m. By the time the warnings cleared, Charley had given up on sleep for the night. There were many kinds of storms in the world, and those that raged inside the skull were at least as scary as the ones that blew down houses. There’d been thunder and lightning That Night, too. The screen door squealed as Charley left the house, causing a gray and white cat to leap off the porch swing and streak toward the barn. “Sorry, Thumper,” she murmured. Her phone chimed; she glanced down to see Julian Hoffman’s name on the screen: *House still standing thot thunder mite shook it apart.* Charley grinned. Sometimes she thought Julian’s extra chromosome had replaced his missing IQ points with a supernatural ability to sense when she got up in the morning. *My house has been standing for a hundred years, it’ll outlast your wimpy ranch, dude.* A whoosh as the message winged its way up the hill to the gray-roofed house peeking above the rows of pines. A pause, and another chime. This text was from Mark: *Nobody talks smack about the Rainbow House except Charley.* Charley laughed and slid the phone in her back...

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09: ANCHORED AT REDWOOD GROVE

Title: Anchored at Redwood Grove Age Category: Middle Grade Genre: Magical Realism Word Count: 37,000 Pitch: Charlotte was happy traveling the world, but those days are over. On Starsparrow Island, she gradually finds friendship, stability, and a magical redwood forest that Charlotte is responsible for preserving when she threatens its survival. First 250 Word of Manuscript: Charlotte West gazed skyward from her makeshift perch in the limbs of the ancient redwood tree. Through the thick branches above, her view was of the cornflower morning sky dotted with fluffy white clouds. She hummed a tune as her hammock swung in harmony with the passing breeze, 200 feet in the air. Technically speaking, sleeping in the trees of Redwood National Park was frowned upon. But the park rangers never seemed to notice Charlotte and her family during their unusual campouts, or if they did, they never tried to coax them from the trees.The gentle morning birdsong was interrupted by another sort of call: a piercing whistle from her mother, far below. That, Charlotte knew, was the final signal. It was time to descend the redwood. She stretched her body one last time, then stood and found her balance on the branch beside her hammock. Though she was impossibly high up, the wood felt strong and sturdy beneath her feet, as if she were already on solid ground. With expert speed, Charlotte packed her gear and slung her bag over her shoulders, scooped her helmet onto her head, and secured herself onto the elaborate rope system that would help her climb downward. Before she began her journey below, Charlotte wrapped her arms as far as they would reach around the trunk of the redwood tree. Holding herself steady, she rubbed her palms in circles across the rough bark, the coolness of it...

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