Amanda Luedeke

January 1, 2015

Thursdays with Amanda: Share Your 2015 Writing Project


Amanda LuedekeAmanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent. Her author marketing book, The Extroverted Writer, is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Instead of doing a list of resolutions or predictions or blah blah blah, we’re going to do something fun…

Let’s face it, if we’re serious about writing, we should be able to finish a book this year, right? So, let’s focus on THAT.

What book will you finish in 2015? It can be a novel. A nonfiction book. One you’ve been working on for years or one you’re starting today. Whatever it is, tell us about it! Give us a one-paragraph blurb. Really sell the thing. Make it shine. I’ll be reading the comments and will pick my personal favorite NEXT THURSDAY. Spread the word!

Share :


  • I am currently working on a children’s chapter book series in the same vein as Harry Potter and Narnia. It is the story of a boy named Gabriel Green, who is Gifted. The Gifted is the term for the people with special powers. In the beginning, people with powers help make the world a safer place. An Eden really. But when Gabriel goes to school to learn how to use his powers, things start going down hill. He hears rumors and scary details. One day one of his friends goes missing. It is up to Gabriel to save her.

    The series is called The Gabriel Green Files, and it will be a six-part series. The book will hopefully be targeted for elementary age students. I have finished the first three books, and I have the next three outlined and scripted. I hope to hear back from you.

  • Just saw this and figured I’d add my crazy pitch to the list 😉

    First project: book II in my YA fiction/fantasy series, The Red Stones.

    Second project (actual pitch): Every few hundred years, someone extraordinary is born. Ella is just that. Although she is smart and beautiful, she is an introvert and doesn’t feel she fits in with her peers.
    Moving often as a child, Ella’s desire to blend-in increases. Desperate to belong, she develops a knack for mimicking the accents of those she is around.
    Her skills advance as she masters the art of becoming a chameleon to any culture.
    At the age of 23, she is recruited by the CIA for a special project and is later hired as an operative in linguistics.
    Entrenched in her field, she is forced to cling to alternate personalities and behaviors just to stay alive. In the midst of a time-sensitive assignment, she must regain confidence in who she really is; if she can remember.

  • Kristine Spencer-Lachut says:

    Sorry late to the party here I hope you will still take the time to read my one paragraph blurb about my life growing up on a dairy farm and why it is a “memoir-able one.”

    I have several titles in mind but nothing nailed down.

    December 28, 1966 one farm family in Oswego County of New York State awaits the birth of a fourth generation first born son, Kevin. Funny thing about plans goes to show someone has a sense of humor. Kristine was first born fourth generation with physical impairment, learning disabilities, and harboring a rare disease Syringomyelia (SM) rearing its’ ugly head throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. She grows up unwanted raising herself while in the care of her cost effective “free” babysitter Grandma Arestine, She goes from one precarious situation to another and near death experiences only to be saved by help from the other side. She endures the death of her “father” figure grandfather at age 12, her parents divorce, and helps to raise her only sibling a brother, Scott. To say her relationship with her mother is strained doesn’t begin to cover it. She rises above a past of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse putting herself in counseling much to her mother’s dismay. In 2000, the sudden death of her father followed by the death of her grandmother Arestine, and months later the death of her only sibling at age 28. Defying the odds set against her becoming a teacher, wife, and mother before her livelihood is taken away in 2008 at age 41. Kristine demonstrates infallibility of the human spirit by entertaining stories of her flaws, poignantly, and rawness it deserves.
    “In my case, my family wasn’t meant to endure the test of time. I only have the memories growing up no matter how wonderful or screwed up they may be.”

    Amanda this is the first time I have typed up a blurb. I look forward to any response from you. Thanks.

  • Susan M Watkins says:

    Thank you for your kind generosity, Amanda. Here’s my pitch:

    Illness sent the invitation. Several years of excruciating pain and two failed surgeries brought me no closer to relief. Barren and incapacitated from pain, I cried out to my limitless God. With focused determination, I went to meet with Him at His house. During corporate worship, I discovered my invitation reached Him and I’d been summoned before His throne. I suddenly left my body, found myself flanked by angelic escort, and traveled with my ethereal companions through the first and second heavens before reaching the third. My emissaries led me to the epicenter of God’s Throne Room, where I saw, heard, and smelled things unknown to earth. Invited to draw near to God, I witnessed Him resting on His throne as arcs of light exited His being and disappeared into the wispy floor below. With unfinished assignments, I was returned to earth, divinely healed two weeks later, and cradled my newborn son the following year. “Wrapped in Light” details a journey not found on any map, yet underscores the reality of God in His heaven and the unfathomable love He passionately holds for each of us. This account is destiny’s game changer.

  • Bardwell’s Folly — An impoverished young woman tries to protect her Southern white father’s literary legacy from the media baron who appears to have designs on it — even as she wrestles with the question of whether it deserves any protection at all. Then she discovers what it’s like to be caught on the wrong side of racial politics.
    There, I’ve said it. Now I really have to get it done. And I’m enjoying your book!

  • Becky Joost says:

    My novel is a 63,000 word complete draft in revision. It doesn’t have a title yet.

    Can a teenage girl running from her past help save a haunted man from his? Whiteman House is supposed to be a safe place for girls running from abusive homes, but is it? How tough is tough is tough love?

    John Whiteman has never been clear on where to draw the line. He is used to girls coming and going through his life leaving little mark on him besides the
    satisfaction of a job well done. Amy Fletcher changes everything. She is
    independent, rebellious and spirited reminding him far too much of the daughter he failed.

    Will Amy, a girl far too independent for her own good, realize the gift of the good friends she has in her housemates, coworkers, and teachers who want nothing from her but to be a part of her life and see her succeed? She has never been good at being vulnerable choosing to compensate with anger and bravado but it is difficult not to bond with the girls she lives with who are every bit as broken and beautiful as she is. If she can learn to trust and open her heart again she may just be able to change the lives of those closest to her and show a man haunted by failure how love can turn failure into a learning tool to soften him into the man he needs to be.

  • patriciaacox says:

    My goal for 2015 is to finish my third novel and entice Holly to represent it (she already has my second novel . . . )
    When Alice takes a job at a living history museum, she discovers that one of her coworkers is actually from 1879 Territorial Arizona. She decides that she will somehow travel into the past herself and change history, thus preventing the drunk-driving accident that killed her grown son a year ago. An exciting and multi-layered story, THE CABIN DOOR incorporates humor but also presents a realistic portrayal of the 1800s including the pioneering life of Sarah Bogard Ashurst, mother of the first Senator from Arizona, Mormon history in a time of polygamy upheaval, and racial issues.

  • Stephen J. Clough says:

    Here is the ending of an eleven-year writing journey, entitled Finding William Clough: The Long Road Home. From Stephen Clough, Fort Wayne, IN.

    So ends yet another P.S. to this
    story that is like the Energizer Bunny: it keeps going and going and
    going. And a bit like C.S. Lewis
    Narnia finale The Last Battle, each
    chapter keeps getting better than the one before, leading to an ultimate
    revelation, namely the reunion that will happen one day in the not-too-distant
    future. On that day the Thin Space
    will become real when at last I will understand it and experience its fullness;
    and on that day I pass through the veil my parents will meet me with embraces
    and a pot of tea, I will tell stories and shout with laughter next to Mike Rich
    again, and somewhere in that endless light that flows from the very face of God
    I am sure that I will meet William Clough and his Jane and from their own lips
    hear their story. And then, only
    then, will the story be complete, needing no other chapter or addendum. There and then we will sing with ultimate
    meaning and complete understanding, “How Can I Keep From Singing?” and “Be Thou
    My Vision” because nothing will be able to stop our song of endless
    praise. There and then we will
    know what it means to be subjects of the High King of Heaven and experience the
    wonder of bowing at His feet with the throngs of His people, to see Him in His
    Glory, and hear His voice rolling like thunder, His presence surrounding us and
    pouring like rain. In that place
    and moment the veil that separates us from God will disappear forever, for the
    door will be thrown open and all we need do is step through to find that we are
    forever Home.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  • Jeff Grogan says:

    Well, in that case, I’ll make my first resolution to spend quality time with my ideas outside the stress-fest of NaNoWriMo. This story in particular is one I’m hoping to expand on through the coming year!

    Eighth grade came with several firsts for Nick : his first honors class, first cell phone, and first taste of sweet privacy. He could finally relax from the petty drama that dominated the previous year. Friday night football games were just football games, and one kiss wasn’t love. What he couldn’t notice, however, was that his friends’ firsts had taken darker turns. Engulfed in shadows and assaulted by enemies of innocence, Nick wrestles with his desires and whether to straighten his character or give in to the crooked pleasures of his peers.

    Happy New Year!

  • jmw_123 says:

    Well, I don’t consider this a pitch so much as an affirmation that this is what I’m going to accomplish.

    I’m querying Far Rider:

    The worst news of Gentyl’s life arrives on a dead horse. Things go
    steadily downhill from there. That should be the day she joins the Far
    Riders, couriers with an elite, guerrilla cavalry unit, as she was born
    to be. Instead, her family hurries her off to a healing school for her
    own protection. She tricks her way into the military academy, but was
    assigned to guard a senile royal sorcerer, the furthest duty from being a
    Far Rider. There she learned how to make fireworks and speak to the
    Siren Song, a sword seeking a demon. Her family thought sorcerer duty
    would keep her away from the looming civil war. Senile sorcerers and
    safety are not always what they appear to be, however, and civil wars
    are never civil.

    So, I’m now working on the sequel. Civil war is breaking out. She’s become the Far Rider she always longed to be, but that means she’s at war with her mother’s people who are trying to destroy her father’s people. Her best friend is using his father’s army to hunt her down and make an example of her.

    Since I’m very aware there’s a chance the first novel might not sell, I’m also working on another piece that is very close to my heart. I always keep at least two pieces going in case I need a break from one.

    Lorena is from Harrisonburg, Virginia in 1864, full of heartache
    and anticipation. She knows what is about to come will leave no one whole;
    certainly not her and the Confederate Colonel she is forbidden to wed until
    after the war. She’s a spy, a nurse, a teacher, and a lover. There’s a reason
    Pinkerton thinks the southern woman is the single greatest threat to the
    northern war effort. Would that Pinkerton was the only problem, but curses and
    demons exist even in Virginia.

  • Alex Mellen says:

    Meet the most unlikely group of people to save the world.

    Most have lived in the shadow of the cruel Pyrian nation to the east for so long they’ve accepted it as normal. Not Blace, a 17-year-old orphan and nomad who will do anything to find his father. Not Reice, a young scout who’s out for revenge against the people who murdered her mother. Not Cressina, a student who believes the Geonian nation east of Pyre still stands. And not Aetrian, a defected Pyrian who realizes slavery and oppression are wrong but can’t quite shake a centuries-old prejudice. When Blace’s actions lead to a Geonian man’s death, Blace feels called to pursue the truth about Geon and his family deep into Pyre itself. If he can work up the courage, that is.

    And if his unlikely band of followers can stick together. Reice, Cressina, Aetrian, and others join his quest along the way, but they don’t all share his passion. And Blace isn’t sure he knows how to lead them when enemy spies track their movements, mythical creatures rise again, and secrets threaten to reveal themselves.

    I’m 70,000 words into this novel so far and hope to complete it in a couple of months. It’s the first in a trilogy titled The Legend of Adan. Thanks for reading!

  • Tedd Williamson says:

    Greetings and thank you for creating an awesome idea like this.

    The world was destroyed. Nuclear war was only the start. It wreaked havoc on every nation without care for civilian or care for the innocent. But the one thing it did do was forced everyone together. As the dust settled only a battered remnant of humanity was left. In an effort to start a new world they moved underwater. The oceans were suffered from the catastrophe but managed to fair the best. It is generations later and as far as the average person can tell this underwater world is as close to a utopia as can be hoped. There is no underbelly class anymore, everyone lives comfortably. The government is fair and for the most parts lets everyone live their lives. Until four character from vastly different walks of life, engineer, doctor, playboy, and scientist are forced to confront the darkness lurking within the picturesque society. An evil waiting, hidden in the ocean is unleash just as these four are thrown into chaos. Slowly their are funneled together and forced to make the choice to stay and face the oncoming terror or flee to the surface and face wasteland which might not be as uninhabited as they once thought.

    This is a semi-dystopian/utopian , sci-fi novel which does not strictly reference Christianity but is guided and founded on Christian principles.

  • Demelza Ramirez says:

    Two years ago, Signe Farlose saved the life of the Second Prince of Milat, Magnus Lynelson. Now she’s given her reward, a coveted position within the Queen’s Guard with almost unlimited access to the palace and the royal family. Her talent in the art of war brings envy and awe from her fellows, and her closeness to the Second Prince brings her to odds with the king. Prince Magnus is a rare man, Blessed by the gods and goddesses with the ability to have children. The king intends to use the Second Prince to further advance the Kingdom of Milat, and his own confers, for the children of such such Blessed men are miracles and beloved. As the years pass on Signe stands against the king to protect Prince Magnus, a lone sentry against the king and the growing tower of consequences the king’s greed has built against the kingdom, consequences threatening to fall like rain upon Milat. It’s Signe, always and only Signe, who can save the prince, the kingdom, and the children. She can do all these things . . . unless the king kills her first.

  • Alicia Tubbs says:

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    Dr. Santos Virgil has been entrusted with a device that records a person’s life review upon the moment of death. In the wrong hands, the secrets revealed in these life reviews could destroy the world. When a cold-blooded mobster holds Santos’ friends hostage in exchange for the device, Santos embarks upon a suicidal rescue mission. If his mission fails, his friends will die, and the device will fall into the mobster’s possession. No secret will be safe from the grave.

    Sci-fi/Psychological Thriller
    83K, final revisions almost complete
    I have interest from an editor at William Morrow/Harper Voyager.

  • Tony Russo says:

    Thanks so much for this opportunity. This is my pitch for “The Last Empress”, the first of a trilogy of young adult adventures. The draft manuscript is complete.

    A historical and fantastic “what-if” set against the turmoil of the Russian Revolution of 1918, seventeen-year-old duchess Anastasia Romanov escapes the executioners who murdered her father the Tsar and the royal family. Aided by an unusual British agent and a brave young man from her childhood, Anastasia treks across a Russia torn apart by civil war and facing invasion. Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks want Anastasia dead, but Loyalist forces see her as a symbol—and a possible pawn—that could reunite Russia in its time of need.

  • Amy Astorga says:

    Gwendolyn Hart can’t complain. She’s pretty, her boyfriend hangs on her every word, and she lives in the coastal city of GlenPoint. Future after high school is full of such promise. But when her best friend Emma is suddenly reported missing, her once orderly life is sent spiraling out of control. Tensions quickly rise as her walls are taken down, and in the midst of grief and introspection, there appears a young man who offers an escape from it all.

    His name is Marcus, and his eyes are as comforting as they are unnerving. Gwendolyn is captivated by the mysterious stranger, who slips into her life and sweeps her off her feet. But there are things about Marcus that Gwendolyn can’t explain; things that don’t make any logical sense. And the more she discovers the truth behind the man, the more she realizes he isn’t a man at all.

    Marcus was once a merman, and he’s come into her life to fulfill an oath that he’s sworn. Since mermaids need a human to fall in love with them, and covertly take their soul to transform, his past remains checkered. And Emma was his unfortunate victim. Gwendolyn’s relationship is shrouded by dark secrets that will test the very core of her morale. Decisions between love and conviction can be difficult. And what is revealed within her heart will determine the ultimate fate of her soul.

  • This is great! My book for 2015 is tentatively called The Best Seat in the Chapel: Lessons Learned From Over 2500 Premarried Couples. (non-fiction book written by a marriage pastor, geared towards premarried couples but also fair game for married couples).

    When you attend a wedding, most of the ceremony, all you see is the backside of the bride and groom. You see his face when the bridal party processes and you see her’s as she walks down the aisle. For most of the ceremony, however, you cannot see their faces, the excitement and anticipation of becoming one with each other. Only one person has the privilege of seeing in their faces most of the ceremony. The pastor has the Best Seat in the Chapel. In this book, I will share what God’s Word says about marriage and stories of real couples and the challenges they have walked through in preparing for marriage. The Best Seat in the Chapel is the culmination of what I have learned from over 2500 premarried couples as a marriage pastor over a thriving premarried church ministry.

  • Rene` Diane Aube says:

    I’ll be working on revisions to more than a dozen PBs, one of which may turn into a chapter book. Have my manuscripts organized into folders so feedback is at my fingertips and I’m raring to go! 🙂

  • G.P. Burdon says:

    I’ll actually be finishing the third and final instalment of my fantasy trilogy, Reaper. The first two parts I completed last year (2014). I hope that’s okay?

    Azrael, the Angel of Death, has taken Peyton Paradisa’s soul. The Reaper, Darius, has failed in his efforts to protect her and the dormant Archangel powers that lied within her. Now with the balance of the universe completely obliterated, Azrael has syphoned power from Heaven and left Earth open to attack from the Angels’ ancient enemy, Abzu. The world is thrown into chaos and the mysterious entity known as Tartarus has possessed the body of Peyton, casting doubt and fear in Darius about what he must do next. He refuses to believe that Peyton’s soul cannot be saved, but how can he defeat a creature that is now more powerful than the creator of the universe? And even if he was successful in saving Peyton’s soul, what then could be done about the equally powerful, monstrous tyrant, known as Abzu, who seeks only to cast cruel judgement on those who robbed him of his empire?

  • Chance McLin says:

    Pitch? Fair enough. “Blood Moon: Days of Noah”; the sequel to “RUN”. No paragraph or synopsis, just the first line.
    “I can’t be dead”, she reasoned. “Dead wouldn’t hurt this bad.”

  • April says:

    I have a YA novel that I’m hoping to finish this year called, Silent Darkness:

    The blood red moon is a harbinger to intensify magic whether it good or evil. When connected to stones hidden in the town of Awakening it can give someone the ultimate power as it did the witches in Hepburn. It took five families to come together to defeat the witches of Hepburn.

    These five families escaped with the stones and founded a new town, Awakening. The founding families made a pact to protect the town and the stones through out the generations.

    Now Leo and his friends are graduating High School and coming to terms with their roles as protectors of the town.

    Naima is running from her past. When she comes upon the town of Awakening there is something that draws her in and makes her stay.

    As Naima tries to settle in her path crosses with Leo’s. Little do either know that the other will help them in ways they never imagined as mysterious deaths begin to happen in town.

  • Preston Brad Rentz says:

    Fear plays lead role in many people’s lives. But when fear is left behind, we’re free to discover our full potential, what our true abilities are, even our own genius. When fear rules however, a sense of failure and depression sets in. This can set off a downward spiral in life that many call home.
    My book will challenge the reader to recognize the many ways in which fear can run one’s life. The subtle ways fear sneaks into our daily routine. And most importantly; how to take on our fears, face them for what they are and how to overcome them for good.
    Like anyone, I’ve had my share of fears in life to face and take on. Now in my fifties, I’ve discovered some amazing and reliable ways to live life courageously, successfully. When we face our fears, the truth that’s revealed within those fears has a way of setting us free.

  • Kelly Collins Hopkins says:

    Thank you Amanda! Here is my project titled Goode Music. (Think Sleeping with the Enemy meets Mr. Holland’s Opus)

    Engaged to a controlling school superintendent, Kyra Goode is an ambitious, gifted music teacher in Pennsylvania until she loses her job to a budget cut. Packing up what’s left of her pride, Kyra heads for South Carolina and a spot in her brother’s tavern band. Playing in public again sounds like a great idea until she meets the band’s handsome lead singer—her former college flame, Mel Farr. The last thing Kyra wants is a new romantic entanglement, but she can’t resist the grip Mel still holds on her heart and sparks fly. While Kyra loses herself in her music and new love, her former fiancé fakes his own death to stalk her, plotting to destroy Kyra and everyone she loves.

    The book is currently 72000 words in final edits.

    • Kristen Joy Wilks says:

      I like it. A fun romance with a creepy X. Got me interested.

    • Kelly Collins Hopkins says:

      Thanks! Lot’s of musical references in there too, including an original song written by a former student.

  • Luke A. Wildman says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to pitch! Such a good idea for New Year’s resolutions.

    I just finished the first draft of a (yet unnamed) fantasy novel I began last summer, and intend to work on edits while cultivating other ideas.

    Telenine is a prosperous city . . . a city where the idol of a pagan god has just been unearthed. The idol reveals itself as a living god possessing real power, and Telenine’s peace crumbles as religious hatreds flare. A Prophet steps forward with the uncanny ability to manipulate mobs, and the king dies. Kale, an idealistic palace servant with dreams of becoming a city guard, finds himself enlisted by a scholar who believes that more gods lie buried beneath the palace, and that these gods are Telenine’s saving hope (spoilers: they make everything worse). But Kale is already striving to investigate layers of corruption within the guard itself, to understand the Prophet’s power, and to connect all these forces playing upon his beloved city. But events further deteriorate and danger threatens his family, and Kale faces questions about his own motivations and about the nature of hatred, chaos, and forgiveness.

    Happy New Year; I hope it’s a great one!

  • Andy Walser says:

    This is super cool, Amanda!
    Seventeen years ago, the greatest war the world had ever seen ravage the earth, a war of magic and technology. Now there’s an uneasy peace between the Gifted, the people who can control the magic of the leylines, and the normal humans. Sixteen-year-old Gabriel Evans has hid the fact that he’s Gifted for his whole life. After he exposes his Gift to save two classmates trying to escape their parents’ shadow, he and his best friend join them on a desperate trip across the country to stop an assassination and stop another, even deadlier war from destroying everything.
    My goal is to at least finish the first draft this year and begin edits.

  • sarahbates says:

    Wow! Thanks for the opportunity. This historical novel is in line-editing due back to me by mid-January. Here’s the pitch:

    In 1823, Elizabeth Cady is reading legal books in her father’s law office, when she discovers legislation that prevents women from being equal to men. Grabbing a pair of scissors, the precocious eight-year-old tries to cut the offending text from the pages. Her father, the wealthy and prominent Judge Daniel Cady catches her in the act. Closing the book with a bang, Elizabeth declares, “When I grow up, I’m going to change these abominable laws!” Before the young girl can become Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the prominent abolitionist and future leader of the early women’s rights movement, she faces a life of depression and despair. Elizabeth records these struggles, and other dark secrets in diaries throughout her young
    life. Once famous, she fears the journals might fall into the wrong hands. Elizabeth panics, and edits each one, ripping out pages of entries that if exposed, might destroy her hard-fought reputation. Elizabeth’s journals chronicle her amazing journey as she champions for women’s rights. But what secrets did she hide along the way? In The Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the missing pages of
    her diaries are pieced together, culminating in the story of one woman’s ultimate struggle.

  • Kristen Joy Wilks says:

    Hmmm…how about one that I wrote for NaNoWriMo this year and really hope to finish revising by this spring.

    Ten-year-old triplets finally escape their mother’s smothering
    to enjoy a week of summer camp. But every 100 years something impossible comes to Camp CastleSnag. An ancient castle appears for an hour at twilight. Its gate leads into The Wandering Wood, a primeval forest populated with extinct monsters from earth’s distant past. However, trouble soon follows their discovery. Someone is releasing creatures from the Wandering Wood. God may have provided a sanctuary for the animal wonders of long ago, but will He provide a way for the boys to avoid being trampled or accidentally devoured? Is guarding the Wandering Wood their destiny, or just a handy way for God to be rid of three pesky boys?

  • Andrea Cox says:

    Amanda, thanks for the opportunity to tell you about my book, Supermarket Sparks:

    A woman lost her firefighter husband to an inferno the night she planned to tell him their family dreams were coming true. A year later, she struggles to battle gripping despair in order to raise the son she always wanted in the suffocating life she’d always dreaded: widowhood. A firefighter questions his calling in the wake of his best friend’s death. On top of his doubts, he carries guilt due to not taking care of his buddy’s wife like he promised. When they run into each other at the supermarket, will sparks fly as the widow and the firefighter patch up their friendship? Or will they allow fear of loss to widen the trench between them?

    Amanda, I pray you find a few new gems to represent this year. May the Lord bless you in fresh, fantastic ways in 2015. Happy new year!

    Andrea Cox

  • Heidi Kortman says:

    My story is I Saw a Stranger.

    Grief has turned Bostonian composer Ruarri Fitzpatrick’s vision for his career opaque as beach glass. When the Titanic’s last port of call becomes the first stop on his dismasted sloop’s maiden voyage, Ruarri is grateful to be ashore. An old woman’s suggestion leaves him in deeper trouble under the scrutiny of the Irish Garda. It is not good for the man to be alone. Ruarri and bandleader Shona Sullivan learn to set aside self-sufficiency and trust the all-sufficient Lord.

    The manuscript is 91,000 words. I have interest from an editor at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

  • Kate Jameson says:

    What a fun idea Amanda! Here’s my current project:

    Kheris trusted a wizard once. The result? Her village was destroyed, her family was killed, and she was left to face the world alone at six years old. She’s never made the mistake of trusting a wizard again. Now the commander of an elite group of soldiers, Kheris has been given an important task: to track down the lost prince and prepare him to fulfill the prophecy given at his birth. As she helps the prince train to defeat the evil threatening the kingdom, she makes a terrible discovery. The prince, the only hope of salvation, is a wizard. His chosen mentor? The same wizard who betrayed Kheris. As painful memories of her past begin to surface after twenty years, Kheris must learn to put aside old grudges and learn to forgive. Will it be enough to help her small band of soldiers defeat evil?

    Thanks Amanda! Happy holidays!

  • Claudia Cangilla McAdam says:

    Tabby is a 14-year-old non-Christian modern-day eighth-grade girl in a Catholic school whose world gets turned upside down when her dad experiences a miraculous healing on Good Friday. Her father’s dramatic religious conversion alienates her mother, who deserts the family. In her struggle to understand her father’s new-found faith and her mother’s resistance to it, Tabby follows the suggestion of her school’s religion teacher, and she begins spending time in Eucharistic Adoration. By pursuing a practice established by St. Ignatius of Loyola, she inserts herself into the Biblical stories she reads in the quiet of the Adoration Chapel. Through this process, she “time travels” to first-century Jerusalem where her father is the centurion who pierces the side of Jesus, incurring a spontaneous healing and an immediate conversion. Tabitha’s mother can’t accept his new-found (and dangerous) faith, and she leaves Israel. Through the course of events, Tabitha finds herself alone in Jerusalem, her life in jeopardy for having entered a part of the Temple off-limits to Gentiles. She develops friendships with people close to the apostles and discovers herself being drawn into a belief in Jesus as she struggles to find a way to save her family (including a wayward brother)—a duty that consumes her in her modern-day life as well. When Tabby emerges from the Adoration Chapel following the last of several days’ Scripture meditations, she comes away with clarity about how the family can be reunited and healed, all with the help of the Lord.

    NOTE: this YA manuscript, entitled BECKONING, is undergoing final revisions

    Thanks, Amanda, for the nudge to move this book along. Wishing all of you a blessed and prosperous New Year! –Claudia Cangilla McAdam

  • How fun! Thanks for this opportunity.

    Here’s my pitch for “Kiss Me Twice.”

    Even serial killers get bored. After preying on eleven women, the Donnelly Killer sends one to the FBI. Alive. And she’s seen his face. One tiny problem. Tabetha Brooks refuses security. Being gagged and handcuffed makes a girl reflect on life. On love. On Archer, the one guy whose kiss changed everything—and she’s not about to disappear without a second. To keep Archer in her life, Tabby tells the FBI they’re engaged and how she can’t possibly go to a safe house without him. When agents “kidnap” her long-time crush in exchange for her help, Tabby’s stint in the Witness Protection Program becomes hide and sweet.

    Happy New Year!

  • Rachel Leigh Smith says:

    I have to finish the second round of edits on my current one so I can get it off to my editor. Then I have to finish writing #4 in the series so I’ll be able to publish it in October. I’m dying to start #6 (wrote #5 last year), but I have to get these other two things done first.

    For 2012, 2013, and 2014, I’ve averaged two novels a year. All over 100,000 words. I’m very happy with my pace.

  • “Choose Bravery: Pursue Beauty in Suffering” digs into the weary facets of our fight to survive pain. I meet millennial women in their darkest places, focusing on trauma recovery and depression, and challenge them to stay alive—which may be the bravest act of all.

    (I always wear either the pendant pictured below or the Chinese character for courage inked in henna on my arm.)

  • Joseph Max Lewis says:

    Thanks for the exposure and opportunity Amanda.

    “No place on earth is more dangerous than Baghdad, especially if you’re Judge Isha Hami. Not only is she Iraq’s first female Judge, she’s also a Christian, appointed as a compromise candidate when Iraq’s powerful Sunni and Shia factions deadlocked over who should fill the seat. Isha is randomly assigned to the trial of men accused of murdering a former Iraqi Intelligence Officer, a case that threatens to unravel fragile alliances and plunge Iraq into civil war.
    As the Americans fight to maintain order, Bathists, Shias, and Sunnis
    pressure Hami to dismiss a case none of them can afford to have go to trial.
    Sworn to uphold the rule of law, Hami refuses. In the shadowy maelstrom of violence and shifting loyalties that is post war Baghdad, she stands alone. Only Ted Kehr’s troubled Green Beret team mate Ralph Jackson and CIA Agent Hank Jenkins will fight to save Hami’s life . . . if, as Baghdad burns, they can reach her in time and if . . . they can save themselves first.”

    I hope to have the final edits of Baghdad Burning completed no later than
    the end of January, but . . . . Thanks and Happy New Year, Max Lewis.

  • Ron Estrada says:

    An invitation to pitch? This oughta fill up the comments. I’ll fire the opening salvo:

    On Memorial Day of 1968, the nuclear submarine USS Scorpion was schedule to return to Norfolk, Virginia, and the dozens of family members on Pier 22. She would never return. Eleven year-old Jack Harvey is left with his mother, newborn sister, and another reason to fear the sea. As they struggle to survive in the brutal world outside their Navy family, Jack is faced with all the challenges of a young boy as well as those challenges no boy should ever be shouldered with. Scorpion Summer is the story of one Navy Brat’s resolve to defend his family and step into the place his father left empty.

    Disclaimer: I’ve finished the draft and going through first rounds of edits. I plan on submitting this middle-grade novel to Erin soon, after she showed interest at the ACFW conference. You didn’t ask for resolutions, but here’s one anyway: don’t rush. Make sure it’s the story I want it to be before submitting. I think patience has been my most difficult lesson.

    Happy New Year and God bless!

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