An Isle in the Sky, Adult Historical Fiction

Title: An Isle in the Sky
Category and Genre: Adult historical fiction
Word count: 79,000 words

Query
The year 1943 hasn’t started well for Luftwaffe ace Georg von Kirchhoff. Shot down in combat, he’s on his way home to recuperate when wound sepsis puts him in a hospital in war-torn Warsaw. Amidst the devastation, Georg is shocked to see his first love, Rachel, cleaning street rubble with a group of Jews from the ghetto. She is even more beautiful in real life than the bygone girl from his memories, but to his chagrin, she denies her name is Rachel and refuses to acknowledge him.

Sulamif escapes from the ghetto to the Aryan side after her mother has been murdered along with three-hundred thousand Warsaw Jews. Bribing guards is easy, but everyday survival in hiding is hard. Blackmailed and denounced, Sulamif accepts help from the confused German who mistook her for a girl named Rachel.

The more Georg gets to know Sulamif, the deeper he falls for this beautiful stranger. Georg is appalled to discover what the Nazis are doing to the Warsaw Jews. No wonder she can’t be with someone who fights for Hitler. Meanwhile, Sulamif makes a discovery of her own: she has become a pariah in her own land. She will have to learn to trust a German or perish with the rest of the Warsaw Jews. Georg can’t desert, but to earn her love, he must find a way out of the war trap. One wrong move against the Nazis will not only end his life but also the life of the woman he loves.

First 250
Warsaw, January 7, 1943

Some memories are better left untouched.

Five years after their first encounter, Warsaw was not the city Georg von Kirchhoff remembered. A lighthearted place pre-war, she had grown cold and uninviting, greeting visitors with the eyesores of damaged buildings in place of former architectural masterpieces. Dirty snow covered the ruins in a pathetic attempt to camouflage the sweeping transformation, all in vain, for the gloomy faces of Poles said it loud and clear: welcome to the devastation of war.

The Opel Admiral limousine passed the mauled facade of what used to be a tenement building, judging by the twisted iron remains of balconies attached to the bare walls. Georg raised the collar of his overcoat. Somehow, the chilly draft found its way to his neck through the closed windows of the limousine that belonged to the Governor of Warsaw, Ludwig Fischer, who’d been kind enough to send his personal driver to bring Georg to their rendezvous at Café Adria.

The Hotel European, Enrico Marconi’s Neo-Renaissance tour de force, came into view on the right side of Cracow Suburb Street. Undamaged. An unexpected wave of unctuous pleasure rippled through Georg’s veins, warming his heart. Five years after he and Rachel had won the Junior International Ballroom competition, the European’s grand edifice stood as a monument to the Austerlitz of his youth. At least one intact place remained in Warsaw for an unrushed visit down nostalgia lane later on.

“All right, Hans, I’ve seen enough,” Georg told the driver.

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All It Takes, Adult Contemporary Romance

Title: All It Takes
Category and Genre: Adult, contemporary romance
Word Count: 120,000

Query
In ALL IT TAKES university student Megan Green finds herself pregnant after a rare one-night-stand with womanizing cage fighter Kian Murphy.

Still trying to get her head around the unplanned changes to her life, Megan has to deal with Kian’s demands for a paternity test. She takes his request as a personal insult, causing a gulf between them.

After Kian blows up at an interviewer on live TV, Megan is left questioning if he’s really father material. With his life spiraling out of control, Kian returns to bad habits of drinking and lashing out, which lands him in hospital.

Faced with the possibility of losing Kian, Megan admits her feelings for him. But Kian, who has just agreed to return to therapy for his anger issues, insists he’ll only end up hurting her.

When the stress of graduating and looking for a new job cause complications in the pregnancy, Megan is admitted to hospital. The health scare makes Kian realize he can’t keep pushing her away.

As the baby’s due date approaches, and their feelings for each other grow, Megan and Kian are left questioning if they can make it as a couple.

First 250
“Come on, Meg. It’s almost Christmas. If that isn’t cause for celebration I don’t know what is.” My best friend Stacey looked up at me from behind long lashes, her baby blues pleading with me. The puppy dog eyes worked on men without fail, but I’d known her for eleven years. Her charms had no power over me.

Still, the lure of a night of drinking and dancing couldn’t be ignored. We’d been slaving away at uni for months. We deserved a night out.

“All right, but let’s not make it a late one, okay? I’ve got work in the morning.”

“We’ll go to O’Neil’s. There’s a band playing; it’ll be fun.”

“Oh no, not O’Neil’s. That place is a dive.”

“I like it.” Stacey pouted. Another trick she used to get her own way. I could see why men found it adorable, and I knew men were exactly what she had in mind.

“You only want to go there because it’s where all the gym junkies hang out, and you’re hoping to snare one.”

“Have you seen some of the guys that go there? There’s this one, Josh Browne, he’s an MMA fighter and OH.MY.GOD. You should see his body.”

I laughed and shook my head. I could appreciate a hot body as much as the next girl. Hell, I’d been charmed by a pair of biceps and a few well-placed tattoos more than once.

“Okay, we’ll go to O’Neil’s. You can pull a fighter, and everyone will be happy.”

Learning to Let Go, Adult Contemporary Romance

Title: Learning to Let Go
Category and Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 90K

Query
Small towns like Windham, North Carolina offer the finest hometown cooking and host thriving quilting bees. They settle debts with ears of corn and never turn down a pot luck get together. What they don’t do is offer anonymity. And they don’t forget transgressions. That’s why twenty-eight year old Sara Thompson left Wyndham. Guilt was hard enough to live with. Reminders weren’t needed.

But when uncle Bill has a stroke, Sara has no choice but to go back. Taking family leave, she makes the long drive to the small town that haunts her still.

As Bill recovers, her usefulness around the house wanes and idleness becomes the devil’s playground for guilt. Returning to Tennessee early would break her Aunt and Uncle’s heart, so Sara fills her extra time by filling a temporary slot as a Speech Pathologist in a neighboring town. As Sara begins to adapt and maybe even like her current situation, old wounds finally begin to heal. But progress hits a dead end when Sara must work with the boy who mother died thanks to her.

First 250
A sharp breath caught in Sara Thompson’s throat as she watched her uncle Bill’s graceless move play out in slow-motion. She felt helpless. He stumbled on the soft grey carpeting that stretched across the living room floor. The last second grab of the back of the wooden chair prevented him from becoming a fall statistic. That number loomed over them, warning that his stroke might impact mobility and lead to other issues. Bill wasn’t worried about statistics and his body was not the only victim. His pride had also taken a hit.

Sara bit her tongue to prevent using the dangerous questions of “Are you okay?” and “Do you need help?” Drawing attention to the loss of agility left a lingering mark. Bill never discussed illness or weakness. His idea of how his recovery was going to play out did not line up with what the literature or the doctor described. The lack of overlap meant nothing to him. He needed to be Superman to bounce back the way he intended.

Facades were shams designed to alter people’s perception, to hide messy weaknesses not meant for public access. Sara had become somewhat of a master at hers. She guessed that Bill’s strong front was his façade. But Sara understood. She wouldn’t threaten his as long as he left hers alone.

The scene weighed heavily on her conscious and opened the tiny gate inside which she hid her battered emotions. Panic and guilt took advantage of the momentary gap and bolted, now free to roam through her psyche.

Deluded, NA Contemporary

Title: Deluded
Category and Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Word Count: 70,000

Query
Everything was going to plan. Shawn’s place at Yale next fall was all but secured. The state tennis title and his spot on the college team were well within reach. A solid group of friends led by his brilliant girlfriend Shelley charted out his social life. Sure, high school was boring as fuck. But Shawn had just about managed to make his way out of this town.

Everything just felt so mundane. Why did he spend so much time lost in his own fantasies? Would life ever actually have feeling if he continued with the plan?

Deluded, a 70,000 word New Adult novel, follows Shawn’s senior year at the small suburban Southwood High School. A chance acquaintance with the new kid at school Alex opens Shawn to an unexpected foray into the world of youtube shenanigans. The only one who notices how easily and often Shawn drifts off into his own fantasy world, Alex slowly introduces Shawn to his favorite youtube channels before launching a channel of his own. Only then does Alex recruit Shawn, also known as Captain Pedersen, to participate on this new youtube venture.

This unanticipated friendship with Alex and the immense creativity of the youtube world turns Shawn’s world of planners and rigidity on its head. Filled with Shawn’s mental journeys to center court of the US Open, a primetime news desk, and teaching a high school chemistry class as well as the ridiculous youtube antics of Alex and Shawn, Deluded presents an entertaining chronicle of events that forces a young adult to reexamine his life and priorities at a critical time of his life.

First 250
“Move you feet, you lazy fuck!” I screamed at myself, ignoring the fact that I was surrounded by tens of thousands of people or that millions were watching on television around the world.

I couldn’t afford to be this sloppy right now. It was too early in the match to let him get the upperhand. I needed to show him that I could hang with him, especially in these early stages of the match. Where was my focus?

“30-40,” the deep French voice of the chair umpire bellowed over the murmuring crowd. They were all expecting this. He was the best player in the world. Why wouldn’t he quickly break my serve the very first game of the match and get out to a big lead? I knew that’s what the TV commentators were saying.

I nodded to the ball boy in the corner. He slowly bounced a ball to me. Well, there was no way I was going to let that fucking happen now. My team and I have worked too hard for this opportunity. I needed a first serve and needed it now. I gently tossed the ball into the air and launched every bit of my weight into it. Hard and deep into his body. The reply was popped up and short. I raced up to it, my eyes never leaving its trajectory. Swinging my double-handed backhand, I went for placement instead of power, looping the ball with a wicked angle cross-court.

Secret Admirer, NA Contemporary Romance

Title: Secret Admirer
Category and Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 83,000

Query
Claire Hansen’s best friend set her up!

Watching her best friend of many years, Diane, marry, Claire is left craving a relationship of her own. Unbeknown to Claire, Diane arranges for her to be on the show Secret Admirer. Now she’s stuck on a reality dating show with forty catty women and five sexy bachelors… except one of the bachelors is none other than Diane’s big brother, and the saboteur of Claire’s dating life, Ace.

The catty women don’t faze her. Years of being ostracized as the “spoiled rich girl,” have left Claire with a thick skin. But after the first round Claire finds two roses left for her; meaning two bachelors want to keep her around. She soon develops feelings for one, the quiet “bad boy” lawyer, Tyson whose gentle presence and undeniable attraction to her draw her in.

But there’s one problem: Diane’s brother Ace.

With Ace on the show as one of the bachelors, Claire’s chances of snagging a man decrease exponentially. Ace has chased guys away from her since high school, but there’s no way she’ll let him scare off Tyson.

But when being around Ace churns up old feelings Claire has harbored and suppressed for years, she’s determined to not let them ruin her chances with Tyson. Claire’s willing to fight for her chance at love… as long as Ace isn’t that chance, because all he does is break her heart.

First 250
Dad’s Phoenix office is so spanking new the paint is literally going on the walls right now. Letting out a long sigh, I stare up at the ceiling. Since Dad trusts me, he’s left me alone to supervise the final touches. I’m not complaining though. A few of these painters are very nice to look at.

One of the hot ones passes by the desk. I smile, and he averts his gaze. When I catch the ring on a rather significant finger, I understand why. Good man.

My phone buzzes in my pocket, making me start. I let out a yip as I fumble to answer.

When I see the caller ID, I grin. “Di!”

“Claire!” she practically screams down the line. “Are you at work?”

“Yeah,” I answer, scanning the work in progress office. “Just watching paint dry at the new office.”

She laughs. “Oh, Claire bear, I’ve missed you so much.”

“It’s been a week,” I hear her new husband Ned say in the background. But, after a week away on her honeymoon, she’s probably missing me as much as I am her… or not, since she has her husband. It’s still weird to me that she has a husband.

“Are you guys back?” I ask.

“Yes!” She squeals. “We’re at your place. Man, it looks empty without all my junk. Oh, hey, why are the Oreos in the fridge?”

“Don’t touch my Oreos.” The statement is pointless, but worth a try.

She crunches on the other end of the line.

Caustic Light, NA

Title: Caustic Light
Category and Genre: NA
Word Count: 65,000

Query
This is an excerpt from a novel in progress entitled “Caustic Light”, which is written for an adult female audience and falls into the genre of Contemporary Literary Fiction.

2007 is the year of punk rock, Harry Potter and backpacking across the world. In Berlin every twenty-something is having the time of their life – but some are just running.

Kitty was an accidental witness to a murder her father committed and has been carrying this secret for twenty years. Kitty is torn between the wish to bury the past and forget all about it, and her conscience that won’t let her rest.

First 250
June 2007, Berlin Germany

“I hate the sun,” says Kitty.

Sylvana blows cigarette smoke out of the corner of her mouth and adjusts her cat eye glasses.

“Love it. Everyone loves it,” replies Sylvana, stretching out in the light.

“It’s just that it’s so bright and it’s so…” says Kitty.

“Have some more wine,” replies Sylvana as she reaches for the bottle.

“…cold.”

Kitty squints at the sun and sees the harsh light of her recurring nightmare. In it, the light of the sun has turned inexplicably malignant and entirely without warmth. The blazing light leeches the world of water, oxygen, and colour. A beige dust is left in its wake. She traverses the barren nightmarescape, as a deep cold settles in her bones, looking for her childhood dog, a mutt named Charlie. She always finds his carcass, a husk, at the bottom of a quarry. Even awake, she can still feel his dry, little head crumble under her hand. The pitiless sun blazes down on her, freezing her exposed skin.

Which is why, on the last day of her fake life, she shelters in the shade of a wide-armed tree in Viktoriapark, while the rest of Berlin lies on the bare green grass, topping up on their tans. Her left hand clutches a plastic cup filled with warm white wine, which she drinks steadily.

“Anyway, do you know that photographer, that pink-haired Swedish girl?” asks Sylvana, her slender hands pantomime air quotes for the word photographer.

Children of Legend: Founding, YA Urban Fantasy

Title: Children of Legend: Founding
Category and Genre: YA Urban Fanstasy
Word Count: 70,000

Query
Five teens with powers of ancient myths and gods… and raging hormones just to make life interesting.

Jane has mastered the art of “faking it.” Fake smiles, fake confidence, even a fake name.

All to hide the abuse at home, the loneliness, and the desperate need to feel loved.

Rin has known about his gifts for years, and with the power to read people’s minds, he has learned to control and suppress all his emotions, desires, and wants in exchange for a cold, analytical existence.

When Jane loses control and her powers blow up her school’s girls bathroom, their worlds collide. Rin comes to recruit her into their team of super powered teenagers—a team backed by a superhero fanatic billionaire. Jane never expected to be able to manipulate water and lightning, and Rin never expected that seeing beyond her façade would make him fall for her.

But being a teenager with super powers can get complicated, especially when they discover they’re being hunted, and a spy hides within the ones they trust.

First 250

Jane

Everyone’s staring at me. Not that it’s unusual. I’m a star athlete at my high school, and dating the hottest guy to ever grace this pathetic place. But this staring is different.

“Kaley!”

Yep, that’s me. Well, technically my name is Jane… like Plain Jane. Blah, how boring. So I decided to slap on Kaley, like Kaley Cuoco, because she’s hot, and I want to be hot—not Plain Jane.

I swivel around as my best friend, Natalie, approaches. “Kaley.”

She pauses to catch her breath. She’s not the coolest cat in the yard, but she’s awesome in my books. She has a serious asthma problem, so while I kick butt playing soccer, football, hockey, and everything else, she cheers me from the sidelines.

“Billy’s looking for you.”

Billy, my boyfriend. Gorgeous Billy, who used to be called Willy before he turned into hot boy king. He became hot boy for me. Before me, he hid behind books and cowered in the presence of girls. I’m just that awesome.

“Where is he?” I ask, redirecting my course away from the administration offices.

She swallows, turning pale. “He’s… he’s…”

I gently grasp her shoulders. “Focus on breathing, Nat.”

She takes deep, slow breaths and lets them out just as slowly. Then she meets my gaze.

“Don’t go to him.”

“Um…” I raise an eyebrow. “He’s my boyfriend. I love that lug of nerdy uselessness.”

Her lip quivers. “He wants to dump you. He… he hooked up with Jenna.”

“Jenna?” I press my clenched fists on his hips.

The Killer Game, YA Sci-fi

Title: THE KILLER GAME
Category and Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Word Count: 95,000

Query
When her name appears on the list of voluntary contestants for the annual gaming tournament she didn’t sign up for, sixteen-year-old ROXANNE FERNANDEZ must quickly learn to navigate her way through the Virtual World. Armed with only the relationship with her famous gamer brother who the gamers of the entire country worships, Roxanne finds herself swept away into a series of levels with no clue about the rules.

The minute she enters the game, her wrists burns—a sign that her soulmate is near, further complicating… everything. With the help from LUCAS CORRINGTON, her brother’s best friend who seemed extraordinary protective in the games, Roxanne slowly grows stronger in the virtual world.

But when the passwords reveal the hidden rules that seemed unsurprising to Lucas, Roxanne will need to survive and find all the Killers in The Killer Game, a deadly alternative to the Mafia / Werewolf social game that is always fun to play during parties. With the Killers’ aim to kill everyone and the presence of ETHAN RYANS, who is determined to make her life even more difficult that it already is, it may not be easy for Roxanne to go home at all.

First 250
Until the day my name registered itself on the list of volunteers, I had no ill comments about the Virtual World. It was the day when Ricky Fernandez came home from his virtual reality tournament that everything had changed.

I’d been standing in front of my brother, behind the panels of reporters, watching, as he gave an interview to the entire country. Humble yet confident, Ricky stood formally in his tailored white suit, giving the reporters and cameras his most charming smile.

“You’ve won another international game yet again, Ricky. This is, what, your seventy-sixth win? How do you feel?”

“Seventy-seven,” my brother corrected gently, the smile never vanishing from his face.

“It’s a great honour to bring nothing but praises to Illúna. Although I admit, it’s really a pain to be away from Roxanne for so long.”

At the mention of my name, my lips lifted up, giving the cameras a smile that—I hoped—was as charming as my brother’s. Ricky looked at me, his silver eyes, identical to mine, so full of adoration.

“Ricky Fernandez!” A reporter from the left panel called to get his attention. Ricky turned, smiling, his expression never changing. “What do you have to say in regard to your sister being accepted as a contestant for the annual tournament?”

I blinked.

What?

Ricky’s smile wavered. For once, he actually looked unsure and insecure, before he plastered the smile back onto his face. “I’m sorry, would you mind repeating your question?”

Aquestrials, YA Urban Fantasy

Title: AQUESTRIALS
Category & Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 67,000

Query
Mastering the art of reading people, easy. Tapping into magic, a necessity. Conning people to survive, a way of life.

The Santa Monica fair was meant to be a simple job for sixteen-year-old Reis and her street-slinging best friend Dex, but a mishap sends Reis beneath the pier. No one was around to witness her drown, except Cole, who is anything but human. He watches her succumb to the waters and when death is certain, he sires her into an Aquestrial. Reis wakes up in Halcyon, the home of the ancient sea-dwelling race, tucked beneath the waters of the Pacific Ocean.

After spending a decent amount of time freaking out, Reis begins learning about her new identity, and the ancient magic that holds this hidden world together. Reis is asked to join Cole and his Grex to renew the amulet, the Aquestrial power source, in the Springs of Analu in Honolulu. Reis accepts the mission only to learn that a high school has been built around the springs.

Reis initiates the biggest con of her life and now her, Cole and the others will parade as high school students to gain access to the spring. She is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve her new existence, even if it means surrendering all hope of returning to Dex. However, during history class Reis discovers some dark secrets about Aquestrials that put into question everything she’s fighting for.

For years Reis survived because she didn’t trust people. Now the fate of an ancient magical race will depend on her trusting them.

First 250
“Waiting is for the birds.” The words echo in the quiet. I trace circles in the dirt with the tip of my boot. Twenty-three circles of all different sizes. Patience isn’t really my flavor. However, timing is essential in my line of work. So I wait.

A hawk flies overhead, rounding the tree nearest where I sit, landing on the branch above me. Well, isn’t that appropriate timing? The red-feathered bird perches there for a moment, then her small head twists and she’s peering over her wing at me. “I was here first,” I warn before throwing a twig at her. It doesn’t hit its mark but she still gives a startling squawk. The bleating noise is nearly enough to distract me from the faint snapping of twigs coming from my left.

Brom’s obtrusive form shifts between two thorny bushes. He pushes a branch out of his way as he tries to get through and it snaps back, slapping him in the head. He mumbles a slew of curses under his breath. The man’s never been good at being covert, and he looks as rough as sandpaper. Typical Brom.

He steps out of the foliage, the loose material of his baggy pants catches on a large thorny branch and he stumbles. He tries to right himself but he is broad on top and the extra weight is enough to carry him forward, making him plunge face first. I begin to think he might have knocked himself unconscious, but then he presses his hands against the ground and quickly pushes himself up.

Broken, YA Fantasy, Magical

Title: Broken
Age and Genre: YA Fantasy – Magical
Word Count: 74K

Query
Almost seventeen-year-old Kylie Minor can recite the history of her people. She knows how wizards once placed witches on pedestals and how they pursued them to the ends of the earth to gain their affection. She was taught how thanks to overzealous human morality hunts that included stake burnings, decapitations and drownings, all that changed. How witches turned to the wizards for protection and were forced into subservient roles. How they went from being deities to doormats. But Kylie’s pretty low on the social status scale, so she’s not really worried about becoming someone’s slave/wife. All she wants is to celebrate her seventeenth birthday, figure out why there is a wizard following her, and test her new status as a legal aged witch.

Ty Jessup has been dreaming of a position on the Wizard council for years. He took the job as witch hunter to pad his resume. But the council will not take him seriously unless he’s betrothed to a witch. The more powerful the witch, the higher his stock will be since her power will become his. Ty’s not willing to betroth a witch just to become a candidate.

As the upcoming council meeting draw closer, Ty and Kylie must decide which risks they willing to take. When the last chance to revoke the tenets making witches submissive to wizards comes to a vote, they’ll have to fight for what they want or what’s right.

FIRST 250
The high moon hid behind a blanket of clouds and blue light crept through the house like slow rolling fog, slithering over the floor and slipping under the bedroom door. A spark of magic glided across Marta’s skin. She sat up, sensing the intrusion. Age had rendered her magic weak. Whatever enchantment entered her house, it did so by permeating her wards.

She slipped her feet from beneath the covers to the hard wood floor and waited. Her body complained about the sudden move and late night activity. Old bones were tired and wanted rest not to investigate the sinister shadows creeping in the night. But electricity and power pulsed from a strange presence in her house. And strange presences were not welcome, especially ones that violated protection wards.

Bright light flickering from beneath Kylie’s bedroom door drew Marta like a moth chasing a flame. Marta’s pained steps quickened. Was that blasted child testing her magic at this late hour? Surely not. She knew the rules. Marta opened the door, ready to punish the child, in excess if needed.
Nine years had passed since Marta had brought Kylie Minor into her home. Once the revolution started, the call to help a witch was not to be refused. But Marta had not realized the magnitude of her commitment. Loneliness from her lost son had eaten at her for so long that she’d become too eager, too hopeful that another presence would fill the void. She’d rushed to accept the girl and to raise her as kin, but it hadn’t worked.