Pitch Your Story to Jennifer Mishler

jenn-mishlerJenn Mishler is an avid reader and has always wanted to be involved with books. For the past 5 years, she has worked in the publishing industry as a Literary Agent. She loves young adult fiction, particularly fantasy and science fiction. To her, nothing is better than falling in love with strong characters and unique stories. Her biggest pet peeves include: weak dialogue, info dumping and an imbalance of showing vs. telling.

 

Jenn would like to see interesting and unique fantasy, twisty science fiction, and thrilling horror. She is also a sucker for dark humor and realistic romance. She can be found online @thecomishler.

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Pitch will be read: January 15, 2016

Pitching Guidelines can be found HERE.

Please post your Pitch in the Comments section below in this format:

TITLE:
GENRE:
WORD COUNT:
AUTHOR:

PITCH (under 200 words):

Comments

  1. Jacqueline Downie says:

    Title: Pull Me Under
    Genre: Fantasy NA
    Length: 82,000
    Author: Jacqueline Downie

    For centuries Underlings have been sent to Earth, unbeknownst to humans, luring them back to Underland and a fate worse than death. Dae once served that same purpose and now works for a resistance, trying to save as many humans as she can. Until the mistakes from her past catch up to her in the form of her first target, Alec. Alec drags her back to Underland, and back to the past she’d tried so hard to forget. Dae struggles to protect Alec from the horrors of Underland, all the while fighting the desire pulling her to him. Giving in to him would be giving in to what she used to be, becoming what she always swore she wouldn’t. But with the shadows that lurk even in safe havens could that very passion be her salvation, her downfall?

    Thank you for the consideration.

    • Hi Jacqueline,

      Thank you for the opportunity to read over your pitch! Only minor critique would be to let your pitch breathe a little, don’t post in one big chunk.

      I am really interested in reading your manuscript so if you could please submit to me, that would be great! Please submit to our Otherworld line here: https://entangledpublishing.submittable.com/submit with attention to me.

      All the best,
      Jenn

      • Thank you so much for your consideration. I will submit through the link you provided. Thank you for your advice on my pitch as well. All the best in 2017.

  2. Title: Woe to the Wicked

    Genre: Romantic Suspence (Book one in series)

    Word Count: 65,000

    Author: Judy Malcolm

    Lab tech June Harber is more than grateful to survive a round of hospital lay-offs and land a job, even if it is in pathology.

    Immersed in a group of cliquey women, June doesn’t belong. In the tense environment laced in formalin fumes, June meets the James Bond of pathology, Dr. Aram Hamid. Not only is he an excellent pathologist but he is the most caring man she has ever met. Neither of them is emotionally available but they fall hopelessly in love. Upon discovering shady lab practices June blows the whistle and her world implodes. She lives in fear from the systematic retaliation and her heart shatters when Aram leaves.

    In the end fate avenges all wicked deeds and June is left with a cynical, calcified view of life and all the people in it. Will she ever love again?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Judy,

      Thank you for the opportunity to read your pitch! I have a couple of suggestions here to really make your pitch pop!

      First of all, “James Bond of pathology” feels a bit odd. I would suggest a different phrase there since James Bond makes me think of guns and strange gadgets. Is he brilliant? You could find a reference to a brilliant pathologist OR even like Sherlock Holmes (observant).

      I also think that you should play up the corporate espionage angle a little more, that seems to be more important to your story than “Immersed in a group of cliquey” women.

      All the best,
      Jenn

  3. Title: CROSSBONES
    Genre: Horror with romantic elements
    Length: 96,000-words
    Author: Diane L. Kowalyshyn

    High Concept: Rich socialite (think Paris Hilton) falls in love with a windigo—a malevolent creature from Indian folklore with an insatiable appetite for human flesh—the beast is half noble Native American savage (think Jacob Black from Twilight) and half murdering cannibalistic psychopath (think Hannibal Lecter).

    Sickened by what he has become, Keme, a recently turned windigo, unsuccessfully attempts suicide, which frees Arthur Dresden, the first and only victim corralled in his internal cache, and they switch places.

    Before being targeted by Keme, Arthur was on a mission to kill Nathanial Torrence, the man responsible for his mother’s death. Arthur’s new windigo-skill-set makes this goal almost too easy. The plot thickens when he meets Nathanial’s daughter, Loretta, a woman who can sense Keme in the internal cache. Arthur prostitutes Keme and Loretta’s attraction. They marry and Arthur procures a position of importance in Nathanial’s business. Then Arthur systematically destroys everything—he destroys the company’s reputation and fractures his marriage to Loretta before murdering Nathanial. To obtain the last vestiges of control over Nathanial’s broken world, Arthur tries to poison Loretta, but she beats him at his own game. She outsmarts him and Keme, once again, is the dominant.

    In a righteous act of self- sacrifice, Keme starves both himself and Arthur so Loretta may find peace.

    For Arthur, death is merely a new beginning.

    • Hi Diane,

      Thank you so much for the opportunity to read over your pitch! You have a really intriguing concept here but you’ve buried it! There’s so much going on in your pitch and you seem to try and get as much out as possible. It’s okay not to make every detail apparent in your pitch, that’s what a synopsis is for!

      I would get rid of your first paragraph, that sounds like an elevator pitch, and I would strike the word savage out of there.

      Try to keep it fast paced and really hook us in with your first two lines. You can try something like this:

      Keme never thought his life would easy after leaving home (or name of reservation) but he didn’t plan on being turned into a wendigo- a creature from myth that has an insatiable appetite for human flesh.

      I hope this helps!
      All the best,
      Jenn

  4. Title: LIQUID FIRE
    Genre: Science Fiction / Fantasy
    Word Count: 138,000
    Author: Nika Dixon

    Liquid Fire is the story Illora Vale, a young civilian engineer determined to protect the existence of her tiny companion, Sophy, an energy based being who has the unique ability to blend with people and technology. Their solitary existence is threatened when Illora becomes the only witness to a powerful Senator’s plan to overthrow the planetary Alliance.

    With the plot reaching deep into Alliance military and political factions, Illora contacts the only person she can trust—Commander Tynon Raines. Illora entrusts Ty with Sophy’s care and existence while they scramble to stop the undertaking. After a fierce battle with the alien force backing the takeover, the senator’s plan is thwarted, but he escapes, taking Illora hostage. Ty and Sophy are left to their bittersweet victory—millions of lives were saved, but Illora is gone.

    Liquid Fire is book one of a planned 3-book series, continuing the search for Illora and the quest to stop the senator. I have not entered it into any writing contests, but two of my previous novels were both 3rd place finishers in RWA chapter contests; the Silicon Valley RWA Gotcha! Contest, and the Toronto Romance Writers’ The Catherine.

    Thank you for this pitch opportunity, Jennifer.

    • Hi Nika,

      Thank you for the opportunity to read over your pitch! I think with some minor tweaking of your first paragraph, your pitch would be unforgettable!

      Since the title of the book is already on the form, I would start your pitch with something a bit snappier to hook people. You could try something like:

      Illora Vale is an engineer on the run, desperately trying to protect the existence of Sophy-an energy based being who is very much wanted by the military.

      Obviously this will sound better with your words and your voice!

      I would love to read over your manuscript, so if you could, please submit through our form: https://entangledpublishing.submittable.com/submit with attention to: Jenn Mishler, that would be wonderful! Please submit to our Otherworld Line.

      All the best,
      Jenn

      • Hi Jenn,

        Thank you so much for the opportunity to submit the manuscript. I will send it through the website submissions engine to your attention as requested. And thank you so much for taking the time to read through all of our pitches, and for the advice on watching my double title and adding more hook to the opening.

        Nika

  5. Title: Watcher Untethered
    Genre: Dark Paranormal Romance
    Length: 92,000 words
    Author: Jenny Madore

    WATCHER UNTETHERED blends the sultry eroticism of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood with the street-wise complexities of the Sons of Anarchy.
    In the shadowed streets of Toronto, there exists a garrison of Nephilim assassins bred to guard the secrecy of the Otherworld and police the feeding quotas of Daemons in the human world. Zander has never questioned his duty—until he meets Austin.

    After waking in a warehouse of death, naked and handcuffed to a leather-clad warrior, Austin takes stock. Being blinded as a teenager taught her how to survive, but being bound to Zander and dragged into a world of prophesy and violence, just might be too much to overcome.

    With relationships punishable by death and his brothers-in-arms against them, Zander faces the wrath of the Archangels, a Hell-realm in revolt, and Austin being targeted for execution by both sides of the Otherworld.

    Watcher Untethered placed 3rd in the 2014 Southwest Florida – Joyce Henderson Contest, judged by Mary Altman of Sourcebooks, and tied for 4th in the 2014 Toronto Romance Writers – The Catherine.

    Watcher Untethered is book one of a trilogy.
    Thank you for your consideration,

  6. Title: Forbidden
    Genre: Historical Romance
    Word count: 98,000 words
    Author: Sharon Clare

    FORBIDDEN takes place in 1724 New France. Reanne Tibeau pursues her unconventional dream to study botany when fur traders welcome her on their voyage through the backwoods, until she learns they need a bride to validate their trade contract.

    To escape the traders, she runs with Wakashon, their Indian guide, a savagely, beautiful man who enlightens her with his perspective, encourages her theories on healing, yet withholds his plant knowledge and endangers her life with his purpose to stop the brandy trade into Indian country.

    As their disdain for each other changes to desire, their common struggle against societal customs and the traders who intend to steal Reanne back, becomes a fight for forbidden love. Forbidden from them both, if Wakashon can’t overcome the fear buried deep inside that he is meant to lose everyone he loves.

    Thank you kindly for reading, Jennifer.

  7. Hanna Loren says:

    Title: THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY
    Genre: Contemporary Romantic YA
    Word Count: 72,000

    World weary diplomat’s daughter Claire Marshall is finally in a country secure enough for her to attend her final year of high school. Still, life is as claustrophobic as ever under the tight security at the US Embassy in #boring Toronto, Canada … until Claire’s charming classmate and neighbor Ben invites her to Prom. While Ben worries Claire won’t accept his invitation because his Down Syndrome and critical heart condition make him different, Claire’s concern is disappointing Ben if their date falls through, knowing she never stays in one place for long.

    When Claire overhears her father about to accept another assignment halfway around the world she sneaks out to meet Ben determined to delay their departure. Ben’s homeless brother Carver, always watching over Ben from a distance, steps in to save Claire’s life when she goes into anaphylactic shock after a post peanut butter sandwich kiss from Ben.

    Accepting Ben’s invitation sets off a chain reaction that puts Ben’s life and the security of the USA in jeopardy. Claire risks breaking Ben’s fragile heart when she falls for his heroic brother, who prevents her father’s assassination while helping her expose the chilling crimes of a White House infiltrator.

    Many thanks for this pitch opportunity.
    Hanna

    • Hi Hanna,

      Thank you for the opportunity to look over your pitch! Your opening lines are really strong and are a great hoo, however, your pitch/story starts to feel like there’s too much happening. Your first two paragraphs feels like one story while the 3rd paragraph feels like a whole, separate story.

      Depending on how you feel, you could tackle this problem in two different ways:
      1) Re-write your pitch to include the danger Claire’s father is in in the opening paragraph, that they moved to Canada to avoid a threat made against him. And include, without giving too much away, that there’s an infiltrator in the midst, spying on Claire and her dad.

      2) Re-tool your manuscript idea and focus on the intriguing love triangle you presented in your first two paragraphs. I would scrap the the assassination attempt and the espionage like tone and focus on the three teens.

      Obviously one is a lot easier than the other!
      All the best,
      Jenn

      • Hanna Loren says:

        Hello Jenn,
        Thank you for your excellent advice. I’m leaning toward suggestion number two as the romance was my initial story idea and what made me write this book in the first place. I will go back to the ‘drawing board’ and re-work the book.

        best,
        Hanna

  8. Title: In the Shadow
    Genre: Time-slip Historical Romance
    Length: 95,000 words
    Author: Jenny Madore

    IN THE SHADOW is the first novel in a planned trilogy which blends the romance and historical adventure of Susanna Kearsley’s Mariana with the suspense and violent period detail found in the TV series Spartacus: Blood and Sands.

    Danika Glass grows up feeling more connected to the past than to her real life. With her gift of Psychometry, touching antiques allows her to witness glimpses of history unfolding first hand. A successful antiquarian, when Danika touches a rare Roman coin, she is suddenly not seeing history but living it.

    Hurled back in time to Rome, 79 AD, Danika realizes that the coin’s energy is gone and she is trapped in Pompeii ten days before Mount Vesuvius’ eruption will kill tens of thousands of unsuspecting citizens. Catapulted into the intrigues of politics, soldiers, and spies, she walks the dangerous line between convincing her captors of the coming danger and making herself a target. With time ticking away, these violent men of the past threaten to not only claim her body and her life . . . but also her heart. For here, Quintus Porcius Magnus, the Praetorian guard tasked to discover her truths, shows her a level of honor and loyalty so foreign to her that when faced with the choice to return to her own time, Danika is torn between two vastly different lives—one of safety and the other of desire.

    Jenny Madore is a full-time author of all things romance: fantasy, historical, contemporary and paranormal. She is also the proud President of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region, a 300-member writing organization dedicated to supporting writers of all genres and at all levels.

    Thank you for your consideration,

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