Announcing Our Pitch Week XXX Finalists!

Micah C. Brown, Designs Of Death

At 6’9”, teenager Jasmine Trask has always stuck out in a crowd. Having found a community with the outcast goths and punks, she must also face the trials and tribulations of adolescence, facing teen pregnancy, love, and the desire to protect her friends from a bully who wants to do them all real harm. It doesn’t help things that she is being haunted by a woman with ruby eyes that she cannot remember moments after the woman disappears from view. What supernatural forces are guiding Jasmine’s fate, and what can she do to wrest control of her life back?

Micah was Born in Fort Collins, Colorado and spent a good deal of his life growing up between Colorado and Maine. A graduate of Emerson College with his degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing, to say that he has been a storyteller since before he could remember would be an accurate description. Early loss and undiagnosed neurodivergency led him into writing, using his grief and his sense of “otherness” to craft horror stories set around people who are outside the normal expectations of society.

Julie Colacchio, The Poisoned Fruit: A Topaz Tenkiller Novel

In the Adult Fantasy novel, The Poisoned Fruit, 27-year-old Topaz Tenkiller, like all Mages, is confined to a squalid croft. When she finally gets her work permit to escape Caesar Croft, the Cold War is escalating, Prince is singing “When Doves Cry,” and America needs magic.

Topaz travels in a heavily guarded bus to work in Bloomington, a model village erected to convince the United Nations that America treats her Mages humanely. The gifted Mage becomes a valuable member of the Security and Logistics Team (SaLT). Topaz flourishes with three hots and a cot and is even able to send money back to her troubled family on the croft.

Topaz soon sees the shiny village’s dark side. Shipments of Mage corpses arrive at night. Motherless magic stalks the shadowy streets. She discovers that the US has developed a weapon of mass destruction: magic. Unfortunately, harvesting magic kills the Mage.

She can keep quiet, live a comfortable life, and help her family. Or, Topaz can rescue her people from genocide.

Julie Colacchio has taught Creative Writing, Literature, and Public Speaking at the secondary and college level for over 20 years. She writes characters to teach her students that smart girls kick ass.

Julie lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her three children and an assortment of rescued animals. When not writing, reading, parenting, or teaching, she can be found drinking bitter coffee or bitter beer.

Sara Jenlink, The Final Thread

Tanzy Stone, the young substitute teacher who stumbled onto the school’s deceased and most despised teacher, finds herself ensnarled not only with the murder, but with a serious case of self-discovery. Mystery does not exist in a vacuum, and neither do the people working to solve it. In the end, Tanzy may be left hanging by a thread.

Being from a family of readers, it was only natural that Sara Jenlink’s first published piece would be in the small Kansas town’s newspaper when she was six. Always fascinated by the craft, she continued to train herself, eventually earning a Master’s degree in English. She taught middle school drama and English at secondary and college levels. She also engaged in local vocal performances coupled with story-telling. A student’s parent asked her to write the story of her friend who was murdered when in middle school. Over ten years, she wrote Facing September, published on Amazon.

In 2017 her husband passed. Since then, Sara has enjoyed long-time stays with several friends, her sisters, and her sons in New Hampshire, Colorado, and Kansas.

Sara always gravitated toward mysteries, starting with Trixie Beldon and Nancy Drew, the first girl books. She recognized the balance between reality and strong female voices. Integrating these qualities into her protagonists, Sara strives to do the same for this generation of readers.

Lana McAra, Run, Cindy, Run!

In this romantic techno-thriller, Cindy Lestrade discovers the man she loves is really Grant Collier, an undercover agent gathering evidence against her father. Her parents go to prison for selling a missile system to America’s enemies. Cindy becomes Erin Davis, a computer consultant, stuck in the back country of Arizona. She has no idea Grant set up her new identity and is funding her life.

When China’s missile system misfires, the world learns that Cindy’s father added a fail-safe. After he dies, her mother reveals that Cindy has the key.

Russian spies kidnap Cindy. She escapes and now she’s running for her life. Grant helps her get away. He tells his boss he’s there to buy time for her to figure out the code. He tells Cindy he’s there to make up for what he did to her. Which is the truth?

Lana McAra is an award-winning, best-selling author and ghostwriter of more than 40 books. She won The Christy Award for Reaping the Whirlwind, and her historical cozy mystery series, Colorado, under the name Rosey Dow, sold more than 250,000 copies. She is a book coach, along with teaching a course on how to write a novel. Coming out in late 2023, Shaken But Not Stirred by Lana McAra is her first paranormal cozy mystery. Originally from the Delaware Amish community, she lived in the Caribbean for 14 years and currently resides in northern Florida where she thoroughly enjoys watching the contented cows grazing in the pasture across the road from her house.