Monday, September 5, 2011

Lookin’ for the Strike Zone

So, anyone here going to the ACFW Conference?
Read carefully for a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card. One dollar for every one of my Seekerville buddies. AND a copy of Out of Control is also in the wide open prize vault today.


First of all, the Seekers will be gathering every evening in the lobby. Usually there’s a bar with a lot of seating area and we congregate there and finally get to SEE the people we’ve gotten to know through the year online. Every night. Come after whatever event you’ve got in the evening. If you skip the late night chats, then come early. If you go to them, come whenever you get free.
Randy 'The Big Unit' Johnson
Now that the party has been fully planned, I’ll get back to getting ready for the OTHER stuff you’re supposed to do at the conference. You know, getting a book published? Meeting editors and agents, learning new skills that will help you kick your way through that stubborn door to publication. THAT STUFF!!!

Today—we’re going to pitch. We’re going to practice our 30 word pitch, elevator pitch, one sentence pitch…call it what you will.

Strike Zone
But the idea is to have some lovely editor say, “Tell me about your book.” And you’re READY. Have you ever had to sit through a bad pitch? Like your neighbor says she’s writing a book and you say, “What’s it about?”

And (much to your regret) she tells you. In fifteen excruciating minutes. She meanders. She says, “You know…” too often. She tosses in asides that have precious little to do with the main point and everything to do with boring you to death…you know…THAT pitch.

Well, we aren’t going to have any of that from Seekervillager, now are we?


Jeter's 3000th Hit
Many of you (most of you!) are waaaaaaay too experienced for that. Too smooth. Too wise. Way too cool.

No, when someone asks you what your book is about, you’re going to say, “A vegetarian and a cattle rancher go to war and fall in love.” (Buffalo Gal pitch)

Or you’re going to say, “A feisty lady rancher with four daughters marries a mountain man who’s never been around women.” (Petticoat Ranch pitch)

Or you say, “A controlling rancher must choose between his beautiful new neighbor, who believes exploring a dangerous cave is God’s will, and his brothers, who believe a childhood tragedy in that cavern destroyed their family.” (Out of Control pitch)

So today we polish pitches. We head for the strike zone. And we hope some kindly and wise editor is standing there (Jeter-like) to knock it out of the ball park...in a good way. Except wait...HITTING the ball is actually the pitcher LOSING right? So is the batter the publisher? Or is the CATCHER the publisher. And if the catcher is the publisher what part does the batter play? Or maybe there isn't a batter, it's a writer's conference after all. Not that many batters, unless the writer is parttime batter and parttime pitcher.

This baseball analogy may be taken a bit too far. Let's just MOVE ON!!! (and I only put Jeter in there for Ruthy anyway, he's not pitching.

Give me your pitch (whether you’re going to conference or not) and we’ll bat it around. (hah! More baseball.)

And have I ever told you I used to coach girls softball? 
Nightmare.
I don't want to talk about it. The psychological scars are still too close to the surface.
~~~~~~~~~~
So, now to the prizes. Two prizes today. One $15 Amazon ecard for being VERY BRAVE and pitching a book. And if you're NOT a writer, pitch a book anyway and you can still get your name in for the ecard. (P.S. Let me know if you're never going to be a writer and if it's okay to steal your idea and write it myself.)
And a second giveaway open to all commentors--A signed copy of Out of Control, either a print book or an audio books. Winner's choice.

189 comments :

  1. I'll play :D.

    When a confirmed bachelor inherits his sister's four kids, he turns to Craigslist to find a bride.

    I've got Panera left over from yesterday. But since it's on Unpubbed Island it never goes bad.

    I've got Out of Control. But would LOVE a gift card!

    carolmoncado at gmail dot com

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  2. "Marrying a stranger to save a ranch is one thing; Suspiciously losing the land on the day of the wedding is another."

    See my semicolon trick-it's only one sentence!! :)

    But that's not exactly a verbal one-liner. Um... "My book is about two strangers marrying to save a ranch, but losing the land on their wedding day."

    I'll be at the conference and totally hoping to be able to do lots of socializing, as long as I can keep my mother-in-law and 9 month old locked up, er....I mean entertained in the hotel room thereby freeing me to play.

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  3. I'm not a writer but I would love that $15 e-card! Umm...if I wrote a story, it would go something like...

    A computer-savvy young lady devises a plan to catch photo evidence that could ruin people (who have ruined HER reputation) by creating an anonymous blog where their sins will be public as hers were. --Be Careful, Little mouth What You Say

    Sorry, that's the best this newbie can do. Love y'alls books tho!

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  4. Hey Mary, do you remember when you read my first pitch for Chasing the Lion and said it gave you chills and if I hadn't pitched it to an editor I needed to?
    Well... query letters are going out tomorrow! Or, later today, lol.

    So I'll try the new one.

    A silver spoon playboy never meant to put a beautiful humanitarian in a wheelchair for life, or to fall in love with her while attempting to make amends.

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  5. Fleeing an arranged marriage to pay her fathers gambling debts she stows away on a river boat.

    Ok I am not a writer will never be a writer but had to have a go. I bought Out of Control in the city last week.

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  6. Oh, ugh! I never even had a synopsis until I went through Seekerville and finally got that nailed down. Now a one line pitch? Erg.... And I love that trick, Melissa, about using a semicolon, haha!

    I'm in a YA mood so how about...

    It wasn't until Tansy was dying that she found out she couldn't, and as a new General in the war against the Immortals, that was very bad news.

    I have Out of Control (such a great book!!) but a gift card would be fun.

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  7. P.S. VERY jealous of the ACFW conference talk! Maybe next year!!

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  8. "I;ve got Panera left over from yesterday. But since it's on Unpubbed Island it never goes bad."

    Does this apply to calories as well. Zero cals since you are keeping it on the island?

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  9. I'm not good at one liners so I can use all the help I can get.

    Will her escape become her prison?

    When recently released POW Beau Daniels returns home to fulfill a promise, his life is complicated by his growing love for a young woman with a devastating secret of her own.

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  10. Patty I like your oneliner. you did good (from a reader who that has hooked)

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  11. Thank you Lord, for many things... Including the RAINS and especially Seekerville.

    Y'all have fun at the conference. Would love to gather but alas, will have to be virtually as usual.

    Mary, you write many sequels. Does this make a difference in how you approach our assignment?

    I'm working on book 2, wondering this very thing. :)

    So - American K9 service agent and homeless French cat team up on the streets of Paris - is the direction this is heading. Wondering if we toss something in about the bad guy, or leave it there?

    Thanks as always for bringing just what we need! May at maythek9spy dot com. Great fun reading the ideas here! Thx for sharing y'all.

    I'm plugging in the coffee for Helen.
    Buckwheat pancakes (or regular) for breakfast when you're ready, with delicious maple syrup and butter OR fresh fruit. Have a happy Labor Day all!

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  12. Hi KC love the sound of the dog and cat teaming up. (Im a sucker for a cat story, dogs scare me)

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  13. You were probably a NICE coach, weren't you?

    Sigh.... I coached soccer. A lot of soccer... What a great way to legally BEAT THE PANTS OFF THE OTHER COACHES...

    Oh, pitching... (getting my mind off Jeter, but he's having a GREAT season, btw... and so cute) Your gut curls up somewhere in the vicinity of your mouth, your hands sweat, your heart ba-bumps and then races visibly and you wore mis-matched shoes.

    Ah, yes. Pitching.

    Melissa, love the first one. Love it.

    Carol, love the idea, but using Craigslist instead of saying "Internet" or "Want Ads" makes me think of the Craigslist killer and nanny horror stories from headlines. First thing that came to my mind... Could you insert Internet instead, or a "dot.com" fictional site?

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  14. Virginia, love it! And Jenny, that's awesome, Dudette!

    Hey, Court.... a young neighborhood hunter has put a time photo camerea in our back field... he changes the 'chip' every week so he can study where the big bucks roam...

    Now there's a fun way to 'stalk' your naughty people. ;)

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  15. KC, love it! And the buckwheat pancakes... two, please. And thanks for real maple syrup!

    Patty, wonderful. Terse, tight. Says it all.

    I know I'm not Mary, but people will be around later... and you know I love me some people.... so I had to come play now.

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  16. Here is mine:

    Deimos and his twin sister, Phobos, are fed up with their parents’ arguing; being the only teenagers living in a mining outpost on the moon; and learning the person they thought was their biological father, isn’t.

    I've written the first few chapters and have an outline of the rest. Hopfully, I'll have a full first draft within a few months :)

    Emanuel

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  17. Here's mine:

    "She thinks she's moved on in her life, but little does she know she's still trapped by her past."

    I'm attempting to write my first book, plus I just love to read. So an Amazon gift card would make my day!

    Jess from Australia

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  18. What fun, but challenging, too. Had to join in.

    A famous country-singer, hiding his identity, and a photographer, seeking her big break, are thrown together while traveling "The Crooked Road."


    FYI: The Crooked Road really exists. It's a 300-mile heritage music trail located in the state of Virginia.

    Based on the great pitches posted, I'd read them all.

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  19. Some great pitches here. I especially love Carol's! Makes me want to grab her book.

    I'll be at the conference and can't wait to meet the Seekers in person:) And I'll also be trying my hand at pitching. I think it's easier to write and revise a novel than come up with a pitch that will catch someone's interest.

    This is what I've got so far . . .
    When murder turns her quiet world upside down, Carrie Courtland fights the growing evidence that the killer is an old friend and trusting the new police chief is the only way to stop him.

    Needs work, I know. Sigh . . .

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  20. Morning Mary,

    Wow, I love all these pitches. You are all so BRAVE. I love it.

    I went to the Maui Writers conference my first year back to writing and there was a room of about 200 people lined up to give their one line pitch in a microphone to a panel of about twenty agents and editors who were sitting like semi-gods on a high stage.

    Scared the peaches out of me, but I did it and did get a request. Many were rejected right in front of everybody. Now if that doesn't toughen you up for this business, I don't know what will.

    So keep practicing. Be brave.

    Loved Out of Control, Mary.

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  21. Carol, I love your idea about going to Craigslist to find a bride! It would be fun to reverse it for a sequel.

    Jenny, I have a story similar to yours, but I think it's a great idea. With two people writing the story, it'll be completely different.

    Patty, an escape turning into a prison is so intriguing. We could all come up with wonderfully unique stories with that line!

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  22. What a wonderful bunch of pitches! I can see my TBR pile will just keep growing.

    Now that I have one book done and the editing phase nearly completed, the next one is simmering away on the back burner. Here's what I've come up with so far:

    A few years before the start of World War Two, an Amish girl struggles to choose between her pacifist upbringing and the young army officer she falls in love with.

    (Can a pitch sentence end with a preposition?)

    Virginia, just repeat: "next year in Dallas" every 5 minutes during the conference weekend. That's what I'll be doing!

    And Tina, of course food on Unpubbed Island has no calories. How else would we all look so great in our beach clothes?

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  23. Do real people own beach clothes?

    Just thinking out loud.

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  24. I not a writer either so I'm a oneliner too.

    Will the chest in the basement hold the secrets to her future.


    plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  25. Here's my one sentence pitch:

    A young maid sets out to prove she can handle the position of housekeeper despite all the opposing forces, including the man she's falling in love with. (LOL, Jan! I know I shouldn't end with a preposition.)

    It'll probably change or improve as I go along, but for now it keeps me on track. Actually, I'm only on page 4!

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  26. Ruthy, no calories on Unpubbed Island and lack of beach clothes... Are you talkin' skinny dippin'?

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  27. My virtual self owns beach clothes.

    My virtual self looks stunningly beautiful in a sleek blue one piece with a sheer white cover up that playfully catches every breeze.

    My real self...well, my real self stays away from beach clothes.

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  28. And places where beach clothes are required...

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  29. Okay - I'm gonna be freaky and give you my one-sentence pitch for my NONfiction - which is visiting some agents at the moment. Looking into taking up a residence there, of course.

    Learn, from an eyewitness how God prepares, provides for and protects His people in their health struggles, nourishing the souls of those with ailing bodies. (or something like that. NOT in love with it)

    NOT going to the conference -but SO wish I were.

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  30. You DO, Jan! And love the gorgeous hat too!

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  31. Virginia and Jan. Take note. I will be here manning the island while they all are off to ACFW.

    We will bring out the secret stash of aged chocolate and dance around the fire in our NOT BEACH CLOTHES celebrating whatever we darn well choose.

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  32. Good Morning, Mary.

    Such a timely post and I'm so excite to be going to the ACFW conference this year to get to meet all the Seekerville ladies!

    Here's my one line pitch for a middle grade novel: Tyler Brodie has six hours to break a century old family curse.

    I'm still working on the one line pitch for the romance.

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  33. Renee - so glad you liked it :D.

    Tina - yes - never goes bad, has no calories, and like Jan, my virtual self has fabulous beach clothes and an even better figure to go with them.

    The real me is bringing my chocolate chip cookies to the Seeker gathering - and the conference in general - because Lord knows some of us will need them ;).

    Cara -

    The sequel [hit 17K Saturday!] is:

    When a widow needs a father figure for her sons, she turns to Craigslist but is unprepared for heady rush of feelings whenever he's around.

    Or possibly:
    Determined to never remarry, widow CASEY MARTINSON puts an ad on Craigslist to find a father figure for her two sons.

    Or:
    A widow uses Craigslist to find a father figure for her sons, but is unprepared to deal with the rush of feelings that comes when he's around.

    Or something. It's not solidified. Plus I figured they'd end the book engaged.

    They insisted on getting married in Chapter 8.

    /sigh/

    What's a girl to do but let them?

    Ruthie - that thought did occur to me [though later] and I'm very careful to point out that although Craigslist is a part of the process, the matches aren't made solely because of it.

    *Book 1 [Suburban Straightjacket] - she's also his late sister's best friend.

    *Book 2 [Rolemodel Romeo] - it's really a setup by the hero in book 1 and another neighbor/friend.

    *Book 3 [Baby Burbs] - she finds her roommate on Craigslist and meets her roommate's cousin/friend/something [and she had a connection with the new roommate besides Craigslist].

    And now I have to clean my room because my bestie is coming over to dress me for the conference [mainly the gala - because Mary's suggestion of green face paint and dreds just isn't gonna happne ;)].

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  34. I'll play in a while. i just made a coffee cake for my wife for breakfast. Have to think about this.

    By the way, here's the recipe.

    http://www.deepsouthdish.com/2010/01/old-fashioned-coffee-cake.html

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  35. Emanuel, I LOVE this set-up...

    The blurb is wordy, but the idea behind it... dude. Wonderful.

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  36. Patsy, secret chests??? Love 'em! And once when I went into a house that was for sale, I noticed teensy, tiny hinges on a door molding near the ceiling, the square rosette blocks that join top and side door moldings in old houses? The owner kept their cash and jewelry in a cut out behind there. And no one would notice because people rarely look UP...

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  37. I would love to have a copy of Mary's newest book! This is the pitch for a book I've working really hard on during the month of September cause you never know what October may bring.


    On the trail of outlaws an undercover agent discovers a tenacious woman with a secret that puts her at odds with a small town as well as the government.

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  38. I wasn't logged in:

    On the trail of outlaws an undercover agent discovers a tenacious woman with a secret that puts her at odds with a small town as well as the government.

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  39. KC, LOL!

    Naw, I was thinking more along the lines of Omar the Tentmaker Muumuus, LOL!

    :)

    Virginia, I hear ya'! The virtual self has no age spots, little cellulose and SAG is a brand name.

    I'm SO THERE.

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  40. Joanne, I love this. I'm such a believer in learning and growth through struggle. The song "Blessings"... by Laura Story

    Just love it, because steel doesn't start as steel. It's honed. Fired. Forged.

    I will love this book, I know it.

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  41. Rose, love it! It's already got me wondering who, what, when, where and why!

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  42. Walt.

    I want a wife.

    I am showing this to DAVE and saying I Want Coffee Cake.... Walt made his wife a coffee cake, and so should you.

    And he'll hand me five dollars for the market. If I go and get it myself.

    Walt. Can we clone you?

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  43. Jamie, YES....

    :)

    YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT OCTOBER MAY BRING.

    Good girl!

    And I love that pitch. Keep slugging, girl! (baseball slugging. Not like pounding on people slugging. That's kind of mean.)

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  44. Walt, I'd love a piece of coffee cake right now!

    Ruthy, my dh brings me a latte and toast in bed EVERY morning!!! It's okay to envy me. Jim is one in a million!!!

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  45. I'm looking forward to seeing some Seekers and Seekerville friends at the conference. It's not long now. =)

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  46. Wow, sorry. Slow getting here this morning.
    It's a holiday, in case no one noticed.

    Carol, your pitch made me laugh out loud. Craig's List? If I was an editor I would definitely be intrigued.

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  47. Melissa I like the idea, there's mystery in it.

    Do NOT worry about your one sentence pitch being two sentences of even five. You worry when your one sentence pitch is fifteen excrusiatingly boring fifteen minutes. Saying one sentence is just to get that whole 15 minute thing under control.

    "Marrying a stranger to save a ranch is one thing; Suspiciously losing the land on the day of the wedding is another."

    A marriage of convenience to save their ranch doesn't stop the ranch from being lost. Now two resentful stranger are stuck in a marriage neither of them wants.

    Can you work in descriptions of the hero/heroine?
    A scatterbrained city girl and a cynical rancher marry to save a ranch they inherited together.

    See what I mean? The descriptors?
    A high powered corporate executive and a feisty lady rancher my married to save a ranch they inherited together.
    They manage the wedding only to find they're losing the ranch anyway.

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  48. Courtney, you're in.
    How about this for your one sentence blurb.

    A young woman who wants an ecard devises a plan to enter a blog contest only to find an arrogant computer mogul is reading her email...and wants to offer a few ecards of his own.

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  49. NANCY!!! GOOD FOR YOU, GIRL.
    I love this new pitch, too. I can feel all the possibilities for drama and conflict and of course, true love.

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  50. So, Ausjenny, you say you'll never be a writer, huh? So then I can steal the idea? Because I love it.

    You're SURE you'll never be a writer??????

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  51. Ooooh! Virginia, she found out she couldn't. That is a great pitch.

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  52. Geez, Tina, it's fictional food, for heaven's sake. You couldn't pick up fresh?

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  53. Patty:
    When recently released POW Beau Daniels returns home to fulfill a promise, his life is complicated by his growing love for a young woman with a devastating secret of her own.


    This definitely makes me want to start asking questions. That's a great quality in a pitch.

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  54. KC thanks for the coffee and food. May is teaming up with a French cat spy? I think that's perfect. I'm grinning as I type.

    Sequels are tricky. Each book should stand alone, right? So people can read them out of order and still have a great experience. But let's talk Harry Potter for a while. Do those stand alone? I think NOT and her success if pretty hard to argue with.

    So write your book how it suites you, KC. Tell your story and don't worry about the rest.

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  55. I was a nice coach. My whole goal everyday was to not make anyone cry. I failed miserable. Some of those little girls were just determined to weep over everything.

    I still consider it one of the stupid-est things I've ever attempted in my life.

    Mary + Athletics = Mayhem

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  56. Emmanuel:
    Deimos and his twin sister, Phobos, are fed up with their parents’ arguing; being the only teenagers living in a mining outpost on the moon; and learning the person they thought was their biological father, isn’t.

    Sci-Fi is so huge right now. Really interesting. I'd love to see how you do this. Creating that Moon World. I hope you're just having a crazy amount of fun with it.

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  57. My pitch. I'm in for eveything (including the last critique).

    Can an apprentice to an apostle find happiness with an Indian princess when her sctions destroyed the only evidence that could prove his master innocent of murder?

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  58. Jess:
    "She thinks she's moved on in her life, but little does she know she's still trapped by her past."

    I like this fundamental idea, Jess. But I need some details.

    Not 'She' instead tell us what she is, her mood, her attitude.

    A traumatized librarian takes her first steps out of her very safe world, only to find danger there waiting for her.

    Only to find risking love is the greatest danger of all. (that's kinda Ruthy's new book Mended Hearts. Which I am loving.

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  59. Ruthy!!!!! What if your neighbor's DEER Camera catches a murder. And the murderer finds out and is coming before the neighbor can turn the camera over to the police. Or what if the neighbor doesn't realize what he's got on film, that he's got some tiny 'thing' that is the clue that will stop a killer.

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  60. They have killers in LI, right?

    They actually don't in historical westerns so someone else write that book, quick.

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  61. Cara, I've never heard of the Crooked Road, what a great setting for a book. And the music backdrop. If I was a publisher I'd definitely be interested. I think they like interesting American settings and interesting careers.

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  62. Renee Ann, it's a good pitch.

    >>>When murder turns her quiet world upside down, Carrie Courtland fights the growing evidence that the killer is an old friend and trusting the new police chief is the only way to stop him.

    Instead of a name, try a bookish English teacher fights the growing evidence that an old friend is a killer. Trusting the abrasive new police chief is the only way to stop the next murder, and there's a chance the victim may be her.

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  63. I know that's a bit too long, Renee Ann but fool around with it.

    You see how you don't need a name? A name is dead. It tells me nothing but gender. Tell me about the heroine instead. Shy, studious, take-charge, moody, reclusive.

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  64. Jan baby, you had me at Amish. Guaranteed bestseller. Good for you.

    And your beach clothes are perfect. They make you look like a 110 lb 22 year old...which I'm sure is exactly what you are. I know it's what I AM!!!!!!!!!

    (shut up, Ruthy)

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  65. Patsy, good for you. I liked the pitch. It needs work but since you're not a writer, I think I'll just leave it as is.

    But that chest? Wow, it could go a lot of ways. Her mother's diary. A lamp that needs a good polishing (hello Three Wishes!)

    A dead body.

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  66. Thanks so much, Mary! I love what you did with my pitch.

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  67. Joanne, it's a terrific topic for a book. I'd love to see what wisdom you have to offer to people with health problems. Good luck with this.

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  68. And if you can't be FREAKY in Seekerville, then what's the point of having Seekerville?

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  69. Rose, I love the countdown, which brings tension to the book and the curse. I hope you're writing this.

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  70. I recommended to Carol (Moncado) that in an attempt to get people to pronounce her name right she play up that moncado and avocado rhyme somewhat. Green face paint will go a long way toward doing that.

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  71. Mary, my real self was NEVER a 22 year old 110 pound beach beauty. I don't think they really exist.

    I think Carol M. should go with your suggestion on what to wear at conference - it certainly would be memorable.

    Although Carol, maybe I'm wrong. You want people to remember those great pitches - who cares if they can pronounce your name as long as they spell it correctly, right?

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  72. "When the court denies his petition for custody, a construction worker must choose between protecting his young son from an abusive mother or a life full of music with the woman he loves."

    I couldn't help but join in the fun. I'd love either Mary's new book or the Amazon gift card and a five page critique from a Seeker sounds wonderful.

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  73. Taking a break today to join in the fun:

    "A disillusioned Civil War survivor is blackmailed into joining forces with a Government agent to stop a vengeful slaver's rise to power."

    I have also been known to describe it as "An airborne, Steampunk Pirates of the Caribbean set in the South Pacific in 1883"

    There's a romantic subplot in there too but it moves at a positively glacial pace because both the H/H are carrying so much emotional baggage it would take 3-4 books to sort it all out...so not sure if I should mention it or not...

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  74. WALT I am always looking for a great coffee cake recipe. Now I'll go see if my husband will make me one.

    He's baling hay, but clearly his priorities are askew.

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  75. Anonymouse (catchy name btw) love the pitch.

    You are all doing great today.

    On the trail of outlaws an undercover agent discovers a tenacious woman with a secret that puts her at odds with a small town as well as the government.

    Lots of room for trouble here.

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  76. Anonymous becomes Jamie. Much better, girl. :)

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  77. WALT:
    Can an apprentice to an apostle find happiness with an Indian princess when her actions destroyed the only evidence that could prove his master innocent of murder?

    Apprentice to an apostle? Like John or Peter one of THOSE apostles? And Indian princess? Like Apache? Or is she from Punjab?

    I'd need to lock down some of these questions. i assume historical if St. Peter has an apprentice. But did he go to India? I'm not saying you won't do it brilliantly, it just needs details, at least is it historical or contemporary. And to me Apostle brings to mind the Twelve Disciples so you might need a different word there.

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  78. Oh, Mary...

    Great idea.

    And who'd think????

    On it.

    DO NOT STEAL THIS IDEA. Please.

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  79. I said this about ten comments up

    They have killers in LI, right?

    They actually don't in historical westerns so someone else write that book, quick.

    What I meant was......they don't have VIDEO cameras in historical westerns. There are always killers.

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  80. Bridgett, I LOVE THIS:

    "When the court denies his petition for custody, a construction worker must choose between protecting his young son from an abusive mother or a life full of music with the woman he loves."

    He'd better choose to save his child or I am THROUGH with him. But of course he will. What a conflict. I'm ready to go steal that child away from that mother right now!!!

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  81. You know, I buy stuff on Craig's List all the time. My new (to me) cute kitchen table and chairs. Baby stuff. Six dining room chairs that match my old (mostly broken) ones...

    So I'm sure it's fine, it's just the relationship to my nieces' nanny and the murders...

    Wait, I was NOT personally involved in a murder...

    YET...

    But my niece hired a phony nanny from Craig's List (I'm sure I've said this, last year) who stole a retired RN's identity... had a professional background check done.. But the stolen id came up squeaky clean.

    So for five months she was taking care of their two kids, until someone saw her and realized she was using an alias. And she was a felon.

    In truth, it's really no different from the want ads. I mean those poor people get murdered left and right, don't they??? Probably by evil puppy sellers. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  82. EC SPURLOCK:

    I have also been known to describe it as "An airborne, Steampunk Pirates of the Caribbean set in the South Pacific in 1883"

    Okay, this made me laugh out loud.

    That is some description. LOL

    Good luck with it, I love the earlier sentence about stoping the slave owner rising to power.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Ruthy "The Deer Hunter" Logan Herne claims the video camera catches a murderer idea for her next sweet LI.

    Maybe you could make it Amish instead. Do the Amish have video cameras? Do they hunt deer?

    ReplyDelete
  84. Maybe you could, insstead of a video camera, have...hmmmm...a Amish person sit in a tree and draw sketches.

    This could get complicated.

    ReplyDelete
  85. I can't wait to get to ACFW and meet these wonderful ladies who I've gotten to know through the internet.

    You know that used to be scary statement.

    Come to think of it...it still is! ;-)

    Okay, here is my pitch...

    (oh and btw, I'm not smart enough to make this in italics)

    Jenna faces a mistake no bride dreams of when she spoke her vows: she’s pregnant with another man’s baby. This one sin could separate her from a loving relationship with her husband. She would do anything to reverse that night—but the consequences are more than she bargained.

    That's my pitch. :)

    (I've already had the fun chance to read OOC. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  86. Whoa, Casey. I gasped aloud at your pitch.

    Crazy amount of trouble there.

    I think the story available, the exploration of faith and forgiveness, the potential is huge. It's gonna be a tough sell in the Christian fiction world, know that going in.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Oh, MARE, what a GREAT post!!!

    Fun, fun pitches going on here!!

    Carol, I know what Ruthy said and I suppose she has a point, but I'm inclined to agree with Mary -- I love the reference to Craigslist!!

    MELISSA, sweetie -- I like the semi-colon ... very sneaky and something I would do ... :)

    COURTNEY ... VERY interesting concept, sweetie!!

    PATTY??? LOVE the one-liner, girl -- NOT EASY TO DO and SOOOO good!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  88. YES, YES, YES ... all are invited to the Seekerville get-together in the Hyatt lobby every night after nine, but one of us will have to get there early because there is a GREAT side section that can easy accommodate 20 to 30 or more of us, but it will go fast, guaranteed!!

    We has SOOOOOOOOO much fun chatting it up, seriously!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  89. Ausjenny I wish you'd reconsider and become a writer... your pitch makes me really want to read that story.

    ReplyDelete
  90. About Pitches

    New female preacher tries to hold splintering church together with ideas from her neighbor – a disgraced, former ‘Boy Wonder’, TV evangelist -- now in hiding.

    ****

    The Ten Rules of Pitching

    First Rule: Don’t bean the editor.

    Second Rule: Throw them what they don’t expect.

    Third Rule: Finish your pitch in the perfect position to field anything hit back at you.

    Fourth Rule: Do your homework on the hitter.

    Fifth Rule: Know the umpire’s strike zone.

    Sixth Rule: Don’t let them crowd the plate. (Take you for granted).

    Seventh Rule: Don’t Diva: there’s a whole bullpen ready to take your place.

    Eight Rule: Don’t argue with the umpire – no one’s ever won.

    Ninth Rule: If you get sent to the showers, just freshen-up for your next start.

    Ten Rule: It’s not about one batter. It’s about your ERA. (Earned run average). Keep on pitching.


    For the Babe
    Ruth


    If Derek Jeter
    comes to bat
    don’t you dare
    brush him back!
    Just show him
    your curves,
    with fluid motion,
    then walk him home
    -- what a great notion!



    Vince

    vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

    -- Now an audio book! I like the sound of that!!

    ReplyDelete
  91. 93 comments and it's a HOLIDAY??? I need to start reading...

    And why did Mary's baseball pitch confusion remind me way too much of "Who's on First?"

    ReplyDelete
  92. Mary, in this case, the apostle is Thomas, who suppsoedly did travel to India to preach to the Jewish communities in India. He's probably my favorite of the apostles.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Okay, Sandra, that Maui pitch thing is NOT for sissies!!

    That would show an author's mettle faster than a Porsche hits 120!

    ReplyDelete
  94. Wow! Busy day in Seekerville. I’m late today. I’ve been anti-laboring. :o)

    Here’s the pitch for one of my manuscripts.

    A shattered Confederate hero turns West to forget the love of a woman he believes is dead. Hot on his trail is an iron willed Union Army nurse determined to find the love she knows still lives and an enemy resolved to destroy them both.

    --Kirsten

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  95. Walt - I once knew a pastor and his wife from India. They had emigrated to the states, and I remember someone asking them when they had converted to Christianity. They said their families had always been Christian. Their oral history was that Thomas had brought the gospel to India and that's how the church started. I've always thought that was fascinating!

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  96. Pam, I agree. I'm not sure I could have done that Maui pitch without making sure I had my big girl panties on. Maybe not even then. Sandra's a braver woman than I am!

    ReplyDelete
  97. Jan, that's sort of the genesis for this story. There is no archaeological proof that Thomas preached in India, but there is an oral history (and a number of churches) that support such a belief.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Hi Mary,
    I just won your book, and anxiously looking forward to it, last week but I'll enter:

    Here is my pitch for a Series:

    "A widowed Victimologist works with an obsessive ex-detective to uncover & hunt child abductors in a picture perfect city and then discovers her daughter's killer."

    janet(underscore)kerr(at)msn(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  99. Julie, I hate when the ACFW conference descends into a fist fight over bar tables. But we've got to be agressive if we want the good seats.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Vince I love your pitch.
    A former boy wonder child evangelist. I think there is wild potential there for a story.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Hi Mary! Thanks so much for your honestly, I appreciate it. It's one of those things I don't think is going to sell anyway, it needs a crazy amount of work anyway. :)

    But thank you! I got the great Mary Connealy to gasp, I have succeeded! :D

    ReplyDelete
  102. Walt, see there. Thomas. I didn't know he'd even possibly traveled to India.
    That is fascinating.

    And just btw I think there is a story in the Three Kings that's never been told. I think they were meant to take the news of Jesus Christ back to their lands. And they failed for some reason. I think it would be interesting to see where they went and why the word didn't spread.

    ReplyDelete
  103. KIRSTEN:
    A shattered Confederate hero turns West to forget the love of a woman he believes is dead. Hot on his trail is an iron willed Union Army nurse determined to find the love she knows still lives and an enemy resolved to destroy them both.

    This is a perfect story. PERFECT. WRITE IT!!!!!
    If I'm a publisher I'm definitely giving this a closer look.

    ReplyDelete
  104. JANET: "A widowed Victimologist works with an obsessive ex-detective to uncover & hunt child abductors in a picture perfect city and then discovers her daughter's killer."

    Janet, think of the emotion, the loss of a child, the effort to protect other children, the rage at the killer. Wow, love it.

    ReplyDelete
  105. The Thomas India story would be terrific.

    And have Thomas run into one of the wise men who'd lost his way, failed his mission...

    ReplyDelete
  106. Thanks Mary!!

    I did write it, and submitted it! I'm just waiting mode now. Hopefully, the editor shares your opinion. :o)

    --Kirsten

    ReplyDelete
  107. Kristen, while you're waiting I hope you're writing another book. Forget that one you sent and get going on the next one, girl!!!

    ReplyDelete
  108. Oh, I'm not resting on that submission. I finished the first story in another series and am almost done with the ms for the follow-up to the story I submitted. The voices in my head don't give me time to get complacent. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  109. I've been reading seekerville for a while but have never posted. Today I'm going to be brave & test a pitch :)


    A shy college co-Ed becomes a summer camp counselor to be near her crush, who she's never spoken to, only to meet to her co-counselor—his longtime girlfriend.

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  110. Mary, I'm not sure the ages would work.

    However, he could run into the son of one of the kings.

    ReplyDelete
  111. This is my first story idea ever, it's YA

    "When a girls best guy friend starts dating her nemesis she plots to break them up, but as thing go awry she quickly learns things aren't always what they seem and risks losing her friend"

    ReplyDelete
  112. Ooh Ooh, Walt! Maybe it could be a guy who had traveled with the kings as a boy - servant, camel driver, something - and witnessed everything they had.

    Sorry, just had to get that out!

    ReplyDelete
  113. Good for you Kirsten.
    GOOD!
    FOR!
    YOU!

    ReplyDelete
  114. Tonya:
    A shy college co-Ed becomes a summer camp counselor to be near her crush, who she's never spoken to, only to meet to her co-counselor—his longtime girlfriend.

    Ah, Tonya, this is bittersweet already. Poor shy kid. There is so much emotion to be found here.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Walt we dont' mean to re-write your story....much.

    Son of the wise man. Young servant of the wise man. Camel driver of the wise man. We'll give you huge leeway, within the Wise Man vicinity of course.

    Or you could just write your own book your own way. Whatever.

    ReplyDelete
  116. Can you really go home again? That's Sam's question deep within her heart when she decides to go home to run the family ranch only to find someone else has stepped into her shoes.

    Okay, it needs a lot of help...I did try. :) Would love to be entered into your giveaways! :)

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  117. The conference sounds so fun! Hope all you have a great time...maybe one day I'll get to join you! I'd love to try a pitch...
    Will one tragic night scar her forever, or can love and forgiveness heal her wounds?

    Here's one more (different story)...
    Trusting the wisdom of the only mother she has, Rosalyn wonders if her new kinsman will protect or steal her heart. (a Ruth/Boaz story)

    I'm waiting for Out of Control to come in the mail, but I would love to get a gift card! Thanks for the input!
    Blessins~Stacey
    travelingstacey(at)bellsouth(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  118. I'm not a writer, but would love to be entered for Mary's print book!
    Thanks!!
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  119. Woohoo! The Seeker Party is THE place to be every night! Woohoo!

    Can't wait to see you all again!

    ReplyDelete
  120. Cindy W. I like the set up. And you did try and that's all I asked for isn't it???
    The girl finally goes home to take over the ranch and she's been usurpted. Excellent premise

    The pitch thought needs more. It needs the hero/heroine angle.

    I'd probably skip the first line, though it does set a mood. I'm torn.

    Can you really go home again? That's Sam's question deep within her heart when she decides to go home to run the family ranch only to find someone else has stepped into her shoes.

    A reluctant city girl is forced to go home to manage her family's ranch only to find she's trampling on the boots of a hostile ranch foreman who doesn't need or want any help.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Erica, I'm looking so forward to seeing you, too.
    Your husband needs to get in touch with the Seeker husbands and try to run around with them

    ReplyDelete
  122. What?! A thirty word pitch? Add that to my list of things to do before my first ACFW conference. Why can't I just rattle one off? Ugh! Drat the plague of verbosity.

    Sure hope I can meet some ladies of Seekerville at ACFW. Does your invitation extend to Speculative Fiction writers who like to hang out here and read your books?

    I hope so, because I'll be the one skulking around the edge of the bar trying to place your faces!

    ReplyDelete
  123. Hey everyone,

    What fun today! Love these pitches! So many great potential stories out there.

    Carol, I'd read yours in a heartbeat. Same goes for Casey's. They sound great.

    Here's one from me: (I can't do italics either)!

    While searching for her biological sister, an embittered young woman, who detests all things religious, falls for her landlord, a minister-in-training.

    Can't wait for the conference (except for the pitching part - yikes).

    Cheers,
    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  124. Cara Lynn, Im not a writer so you have no worry about my story. It was just what I came up with.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Mary and Jamie,
    I am never likely to be a writer. I can make things up in my head but I cant get the words onto paper and an no good with descriptions etc. I am happy to be a reader and happy to see the idea as a book by someone (besides if I did write it would probably be an aussie book)

    ReplyDelete
  126. Thx Mary...
    Glad you're grinning!
    Correct. Let's not bash Ms. Rowling's success, or Ms. Meyer's either. (Not that I'm in that league, but your point is well-taken!) :)

    Yes Tina, I'll be there with you dancing to the music and wearing whatever pleases us. Ha!

    YUMMO Walt - great coffee cake!

    Thanks for sharing everyone - this has been another great day to learn in Seekerville! and now, back to our WIP.

    ReplyDelete
  127. I'm gonna miss ya'll so much - can't stand it! I'll be there next year!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  128. Okay, scaredy cat is coming out of the closet here.

    She’s a ventriloquist who creates illusions. He’s a cop who thinks there’s more deception going on in this family’s Branson Theater than what the lively blond ventriloquist creates onstage.

    Here's a fresh pot of coffee.

    Helen

    ReplyDelete
  129. Stephanie Rae NEVER FEAR!!!! We will all have nametags on. And we will be overloaded from all the classes and reunions so we would NEVER remember even out OWN names if we didn't have tags. So be brave. And forgive us for staring at your chest. (where the nametags are)

    ReplyDelete
  130. Susan, nice.
    While searching for her biological sister, an embittered young woman, who detests all things religious, falls for her landlord, a minister-in-training.

    Good luck with this. Are you done with it? Are you pitching it?

    ReplyDelete
  131. Helen:
    She’s a ventriloquist who creates illusions. He’s a cop who thinks there’s more deception going on in this family’s Branson Theater than what the lively blond ventriloquist creates onstage.

    I like it. Very cool and different and interesting. It's an attention grabber for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  132. Wow, y'all came up with some great pitches!! Nice work. Wish I could be at ACFW with those who are going.

    ReplyDelete
  133. Edwina, I'm sorry you and so many others won't be there.

    I'm working on my personality. Working HARD. I'm definitely going to try and be someone way cooler than myself by conference time.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Missy, for heaven's sakes, just come. It's only a few miles from your house isn't it? Well, three or four states, but not BIG states.

    ReplyDelete
  135. I'm not going to conference /sigh/, but that's probably good since I don't have a decent pitch. I'll give it a shot, though. It could probably do with some Seeker attention.

    Hoping her dead husband's belongings will arrive on the noon train, a woman is shocked to find also the man who tried to save her husband's life.

    I told you it was bad.

    Mary~ I think you're right about the half-pitcher, half-batter thing. Occasionally an author does hit one out of the park, as I heard you did recently.

    The Jeter picture is a cautionary tale - for pitching anyway. We definitely want to pitch better than that guy did that day.

    Would LOVE Out of Control. It's one of only three of Mary's books that I don't own. And I never turn down money.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  136. Unwed, pregnant woman is rescued from the side of the highway by a tow-truck driver who was born to an unwed girl in similar circumstances twenty-seven years prior. When the woman's family seeks to take custody of the yet unborn child, the driver offers to marry her so the child doesn't have to suffer the fate he did.

    Hmmm, apparently my story isn't as well thought out as I thought. It's still a bit long and I'm not sure if it conveys my vision accurately. I did want to attempt a pitch though.

    Love learning things here at Seekerville.

    nm8r67 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  137. ok, so that was more of my one line handle than a pitch. I have my pitch paragraph which is too long.

    So, let's try:

    A homely widow’s attractive land convinces the handsome marshal to enter into a marriage of convenience. However, a few hours after the wedding, they’re handed a suspicious eviction notice. The marshal’s attempts to get back his wife’s land seem as fruitless as his efforts to win her heart.

    How bout that?

    And my Marshall's too cute to lock up indefinitely, I'm sure he'll be flirting when I let him come out for air. :) BTW writing about a marshal and tending to a Marshall really wreaks havoc with my WIP's spelling!

    And I giggled at the image of Amish ladies hanging around in trees practicing their courtroom artist skilz.

    ReplyDelete
  138. Mary~

    Melissa's baby is the cutest little boy you've ever seen. I know you haven't seen him, but still...

    I have. You can trust me. My only child is a girl, so I'm not really biased on boys. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  139. Casey, I wasn't smart enough to do italics either until I asked Carol. I'm sure she's smart enough for all three of us.

    YES!! I got it that time.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Hmmm, I should try out my dangerous book pitch.

    An amnesiac woman keeps her recovered past secret to protect her newborn because the wealthy architect who offers her a way off the poor farm would recind his love if she shared her regained memories.

    ReplyDelete
  141. Helen, I grew up in Branson. Yep. Are you from the area? A friend of mine has done video production in so many of those littler theaters, (the ones they sell of that exact show with pictures of the audience in it to sell to the people as they leave). I could see him catching something on film he shouldn't. Ya know, just a plot thought. :)

    ReplyDelete
  142. Hate to be getting here so late, but happy to finally be at Seekerville again. Okay, I've tried this one-liner thing before and my WIP never keeps its undisciplined self to one sentence. (It's easier to blame the story.):D Here goes nothing:

    A prodigal returns home to find his distrusting brother engaged to the woman who once loved him. He's determined to fight his growing attraction to her and mend the hurts he left behind all while keeping the hounds of his not-so-long-ago past at bay.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Oh, Melissa J and DebH, you both have me hooked. I've always loved the marriage of convenience stories. I'm always on the lookout for a good read that has a new spin on it.

    ReplyDelete
  144. Sorry I'm late - but what a party.
    I have (and have read) your wonderful book, Mare - so I don't need to be in the drawing for that...
    but the gift card?
    Yep!!

    And I'm petrified of pitching - so here we go.
    I have three tries:

    When a disillusioned single-mom travels to England to uncover a family mystery, she finds more than she bargained for in a reformed British bad-boy

    To rid the Blue Ridge Mountains of a cult of Undead, an Ancient must trust her life to her immortal enemy and make the ultimate sacrifice to save his soul.

    A rookie professor determined to escape her Appalachian upbringing makes a wager to transform an embittered mountain man into Prince Charming without losing her heart in the process

    ReplyDelete
  145. Mellissa J:

    I didn't grow up in Branson, but I'm a Missourian. And I have kid who lives there.

    ReplyDelete
  146. Looks like I'm late to the party!

    This is for my WIP:

    After her husband is murdered, a young Bostonian attempts to find the killer while braving Alaska's wilderness with her two small children.

    There's many great pitches on here!

    road_to_avonlea_17(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Whitney

    ReplyDelete
  147. Thanks Mary for the comment! I'm reworking a pitch now. It's kind of fun actually and it helps keep my story in focus!

    ReplyDelete
  148. Woops! Already re-writing. Just realized I left out the heroine's POV.

    A scarred prodigal returns home to find the woman of his dreams engaged to his brother. And the fiery preacher's daughter will risk losing everything in order to keep her word --even the man she loves.

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  149. ANDREA:
    Hoping her dead husband's belongings will arrive on the noon train, a woman is shocked to find also the man who tried to save her husband's life.

    Andrea I feel like with a little fooling around this could be really good.

    The elements are there. A widow, a new man who has an involvement with her husband. The surprise arrival.

    Hoping her dead husband's belongings will arrive on the noon train, a woman is shocked to find also the man who tried to save her husband's life.

    A devasted widow awaits the arrival of her husband's effects. When the noon train arrives the man who failed to save his life steps out and she finds that out of guilt, he intends to step in and care for her.

    Okay, I've rewritten that five times and it's sort of what I'm going for but still too long.
    Did the widow love her husband. Does this new man blame himself for her husband's death. Did he try to save her husband and fail or did he almost die to as a result of this husband's recklessness?
    Give them all an emotion or a personality trait.

    A devastated widow. A woman who's worthless husband has died and left her penniless. A woman, furious at her no-account husband, for dying in the arms of another woman.....

    A man who nearly died trying to save her husband from himself.
    A man who was supposed to protect her husband, but saved himself instead. A guilt ridden witness to her husband's death. A man who made a deathbed promise to her devoted husband.....

    you get what I mean, catch their personality or attitude or how the story is focused on them.

    ReplyDelete
  150. DebH:
    Unwed, pregnant woman is rescued from the side of the highway by a tow-truck driver who was born to an unwed girl in similar circumstances twenty-seven years prior. When the woman's family seeks to take custody of the yet unborn child, the driver offers to marry her so the child doesn't have to suffer the fate he did.

    This is fine. We need to sharpen it some, but honestly that whole ONE SENTENCE thing is just because it needs to be SHORT. DIRECT. Not a meandering, boring thing you're making up as you sit there.

    A pregnant woman is stranded on the road and rescued by a gruff but kindhearted truck driver. When he takes her home and witnesses her family's cruel efforts to take custody of her illegitimate child, the driver is reminded of his own battleground of a childhood and offers marriage.

    I'm not sure that's any better than yours, honestly Deb. Yours is pretty good. :)

    ReplyDelete
  151. Does she have to be homely Melissa? Can she just think she's homely and dress plainly, but then she pulls a certain dress out of the back of her closet and BAM she's a fashion model. That's how these things usually work.

    ReplyDelete
  152. Andrea, I'm willing of course to give Melissa's baby a chance. And I'm sure he's adorable. However, by some wild fluke of luck, my OWN GRANDSON is the most beautiful baby boy ever born.

    I've insisted on studies being done because of course I hate to brag. But it's the simple truth. His big sister is also the prettiest little girl on the planet.

    What are the odds they'd be my grandchildren? Just a coincidence.

    ReplyDelete
  153. MELISSA: An amnesiac woman keeps her recovered past secret to protect her newborn because the wealthy architect who offers her a way off the poor farm would recind his love if she shared her regained memories.

    I love this. You are FULL of ideas today.

    ReplyDelete
  154. NATALIE!
    A prodigal returns home to find his distrusting brother engaged to the woman who once loved him. He's determined to fight his growing attraction to her and mend the hurts he left behind all while keeping the hounds of his not-so-long-ago past at bay.

    I gasped. I love this. YES! Don't change a word.

    ReplyDelete
  155. PEPPER:
    I just smiled all the way through all three of yours. You're really petrified of pitching?

    Wow, that surprises me, you seem like you're all together, girl. You have your inner turmoil nicely hidden.

    ReplyDelete
  156. WHITNEY:
    After her husband is murdered, a young Bostonian attempts to find the killer while braving Alaska's wilderness with her two small children.

    I love this. I want to read this story. From Boston to Alaska wilderness. Wow, and she's chasing the killer? With her children in tow? THIS is a tough woman.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Mary,
    It's all about how much caffience you pump into your body before you meet people.
    Works wonders.

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  158. Mary,
    It's all about how much caffience you pump into your body before you meet people.
    Works wonders.

    ReplyDelete
  159. And I'm so glad to have made you smile.
    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  160. NATALIE give me a word for the brother. You say mistrusting. So the brother is a good guy? If you're thinking series that's gotta be how you do it. But what if the brother is an arrogant jerk who always took things from teh prodical brother, which is why that brother ran off to begin with.

    If you want the brother to be book #2 though, he's got to be a good guy.

    ReplyDelete
  161. Lol. She is that, Mary! I guess that's why I like her so much. She's tough inside and out.

    ReplyDelete
  162. No one likes my homely. :( Am I the only one that wishes there were more homely heroines and heroes? Maybe I'm just weird.

    ReplyDelete
  163. I get to stop by here every now and then. Pitching is my weakness for my story. I'm a fairly new writer.
    This was fun to read today. I only have a hook for my story. I'd love ideas for turning it into a pitch. Here's my hook: Can a woman fall in love with her husband in the arms of another man?

    Ballroom dancing fits into this story, and secrets husband and wife each hold. :)
    Loved reading the pitches today.

    ReplyDelete
  164. Thank you, Mary!! And yes, the brother IS book #2. How did you guess? :)

    Also, I wasn't sure whether I should keep the bit about the engagement or leave it out of the one-liner. I wrote the engagement into the book so that it would be a complete surprise to the reader, but it makes such a great hook, and it's so much a part of the story, I'm not sure I can reasonably take it out. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  165. JEANNE T:
    Can a woman fall in love with her husband in the arms of another man?

    Ballroom dancing fits into this story, and secrets husband and wife each hold.

    Okay, first, the first sentence sorta sounds like her HUSBAND is in the arms of another man and, in this case, I'm guessin she CANNOT fall in love with him under those circumstances.

    So I'm going to guess (but you know I shouldn't have to guess, right? So I'm probaby guessing wrong but that tells you what you need to fix.
    I'm going to guess that the wife is DANCING in the arms of another man. Perhaps a ballroom dance instructor?

    Ballroom dance lessons bring a lonely wife into contact with a charming instructor, but lead ultimately to her finding her way back into her negligant husband's loving arms.

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  166. I like the engagement Natalie. It's such a serious committment. Way more intense to break up that relationship.

    I'm for leaving it.

    ReplyDelete
  167. (Destiny discovers a book in an old floor board; a book of "spells". Though Destiny doesn't believe in spells she follows it's instructions and finds herself confronted by a Warlock and a Warrior. Having brought her own latent powers alive she now has to battle the Warlock and all his many creatures to keep them.
    With help from the Warrior they fight to save her powers and his kingdom. They also fight to not lose their focus to love.)
    I am a writer but cannot go to the conference.
    This book will be called "Hiding from Destiny" and I'm working on it :)
    leanne[at]booksnmakeup[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  168. Addie Bledsoe walks the path of least resistance with her volatile husband Harold. But war has a way of helping women find their voice.



    Gail Kittleson
    And THANK YOU for telling us how to find you at the conference! So, does everyone bring FOOD?

    gkittleson@myomnitel.com

    ReplyDelete
  169. Leanne109, I love the fantasy elements. Excellent. It's too long but to me, not TOO too long. With fantasy there are so many twists and turns, so much world building that I think it's okay to go a bit longer.

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  170. Gail, i like the path of least resistance. It's so true to life. The things women do to cope with trouble, get along, keep a marriage together.

    And we have no food. Just talk There is a bar close to hand if anyone wants to eat from their limited menu.

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  171. Would love to come to the ACFW Con sometime. I've been a lurker on Seekerville for awhile (thanks to hearty recommendations), but can't resist this contest.

    Here's my pitch for a YA tech thriller:

    "Dean's a die hard gamer until he's recruited by a spy squad and the task of stopping murderous kidnappers bent on exposing the crimes of Christianity becomes his own."

    Thanks!

    ddfencegirl{at}gmail{dot}com

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  172. OK, OK, I read the comments AFTER typing out my pitch... D'uh.

    So no names, describe the characters and get punchier.

    Here's my second go:

    A bored teenager is recruited by a Christian spy agency and tasked with stopping a group of murderous kidnappers bent on exposing the crimes of God.

    Which one is better? Or scrap them both?

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  173. Okay, wow, I'm super late on this. I didn't check the blog yesterday because it was a holiday and I figured the Seekers got a break every once in a while. Guess I was wrong. :)

    Here it goes:

    A controlling rancher heads east to fetch his sister from boarding school, but he finds his efforts thwarted by a fiery school teacher who hides a devastating secret.

    Okay, is it terrible, Mary? It's probably beyond terrible. But that's okay. I'm tough. I can take it. I just need to give myself a little pep talk first. :-)

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  174. DIANA:
    A bored teenager is recruited by a Christian spy agency and tasked with stopping a group of murderous kidnappers bent on exposing the crimes of God.

    I like this. I like the word gamer, too. Maybe a bored teenaged gamer is recruited by a ...and so on...until this ending...bent on exposing the crimes of God.

    That last sentence, I get what you're saying but it might be a stumbling block. Maybe instead:

    bent on branding God as a criminal.
    or
    bent on exposing supposed crimes of God

    You see what i mean? Put a qualifier in there so the editor won't think you mean God really did commit crimes. But it's a fantastic premise. It immediately put me in mind of The DaVinci Code and of course that was twisted to be anti-Christian so you need to defuse that connection. Still, hello, DaVinci Code...you could do worse, girl.

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  175. NAOMI You're writing a western? Good for you, girl. DO IT!!!!

    A controlling rancher heads east to fetch his sister from boarding school, but he finds his efforts thwarted by a fiery school teacher who hides a devastating secret.

    I like this. And you're so talented. I'll bet you can make this puppy SING!!!

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  176. LOL Mary! The story is set in upstate New York, I am not writing a western so much as a western meets gilded age with a Victorian villain, political election, and embezzlement scam. In truth, I have no idea what to do with the story or where it fits into anything. But alas, it's 2/3rds done.

    And I'll readily admit my controlling western rancher is a lot of fun when trapped in a gilded setting. :-)

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  177. Mary~ I told you mine was bad.

    In the last year, I've completely failed to sum up the concept for this story in one sentence. I wonder if this one is better.

    A stunned widow awaits the arrival of her husband's belongings on the train that was supposed to bring him home from prison, and receives yet another shock to find the baggage accompanied by the man who witnessed her husband's last moments. (perhaps "last words" would be better).

    I still don't like it much because there's so much more to it. I always want to try and cram all the interesting info into just one sentence.

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  178. Andrea the second one tells me a lot more.

    Did she know her husband was dead? Was she expecting HIM on the train?
    Did he die under mysterious circumstances (surely he did, it wasnt OLD AGE after all.

    It's intriguing, Andrea.

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  179. WOW! Just giving my name takes me more than 15 minutes...you know how ADHD I am! LOL! I guess that is why I am not ready for conference this year. But let me try this anyways...

    J.J. is known for her Anti-Valentines day parties and her happily never after attitude, but after being bamboozeled into buying half interest in a wedding chapel she thought was a catering business she learns that to be loved she had to love herself; and it takes an 89 year old woman, about to be married for the first time, to teach her that you are never too old to fall in love in "Sweet Beginnings in Hershey,Pa." Nope, I can't do it! LOL! Maybe my other wip could be pitched easier...

    "Lucifer Fallon Angel has a falling out with his Father and sets out to destroy the little planet He just created starting with those puny weak willed humans...and that starts the beginning of sin, and the perfection of temptation!" This was originally meant to be titled "To Die For" but that got taken before my book finished. That is the name of the restaurant where Fallon entices people with his sinfully delicious Apple Pie made from an old family recipe he stole from his father...it was to die for! cherihorgan@hotmail.com

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  180. I'm late! Has everyone gone to bed? Here's mine.

    The old South was notorious for keeping secrets—but shouldn’t someone have told the wealthy young socialite that the mysterious bindlestiff who stole her heart was the illegitimate son of her father?

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  181. Mary~
    Thanks. She does know he's dead, she received a telegram a few days earlier. No mystery though, just pneumonia. And there's a connection between the two families that I just can't work into a one sentence pitch. It gets long and cumbersome when I try.

    You'll have to let me know how Melissa's little Marshall stacks up. I haven't seen him since June, and I know he's gotta be cuter now than he was then.

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  182. Anna, an LA based scriptwriter, thinks she's moved on in her life. A trip home to rural Australia forces her to face the past she ran away from, and consider a different future with Aidan, a local high school teacher.

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  183. Hi Mary,

    Forgot to add to rest of my comment! Anyway, I reworked the pitch. Even if I don't win anything this has been a great exercise!

    Jess :)

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