Announcing Our Pitch Week XXVIIII Finalists!

Teresa Cage, Love Lives Again

Ever have that moment when you know you’ve been there before? In Teresa Cage’s paranormal novel Love Lives Again, that feeling of déjà vu has haunted Lissa her whole life. She has no clue what her mind was doing, but for now she wanted to get on with her life. Following her parents to a new city, Lissa discovers a Renaissance Faire and auditions. That innocent act leads her into the paranormal as the forces of good and evil fight for her life, her very soul.

Amidst the setting of the Renaissance time, Lissa meets two men, and finds herself attracted to both. In her happiness she begins to dream disturbing nightmares featuring both men, but who is the villain and who the hero? She fights hard not to lose herself in multiple lifetimes and in the various ways these identities lost their lives at the hands of one or the other of the new
men in her life.

As this romantic triangle plays out, Lissa learns more than she wanted of the paranormal world. She is eventually forced to choose between the men, and that’s where danger waits. The man she thought of as light and good proves to be anything but. Her other knight in shining armor must rescue her before she is lost once more. It all plays out for her in a pitched battle between good and evil.

William Edward Teague Jr., Staggering Past The Boneyard

In the contemporary novel Staggering Past the Boneyard, Tommy Gunn, a semi-famous, washed-up rocker, willfully chooses to live a life of boozing and drugging and has no desire to change. Most of his time is spent with his cronies, dregs and outcasts, at a local seedy old-man bar.

His adult children take up a crusade to fix dad. They are obsessed with getting him to clean up his act, all except his youngest daughter, Breezy, daddy’s little girl. She accepts him warts and all.
Tommy gets the bad news that he’s dying. Rather than confront and deal with his pending demise, he chooses to live with what’s left of his life without telling anyone. Unable to deal with his fear, his substance abuse accelerates, becoming full-blown. Determined, he remains in a constant state of oblivion; Staggering Past the Boneyard.

This novel flips the script of a typical story of addiction that focuses on the aspect of recovery. Here, there is no happily ever after scenario. Staggering Past the Boneyard focuses on the infallibility of the human condition. Exploring further, the specific theme is that there is dignity in every person, regardless of their shortcomings. Merely by the nature of being human, everyone endures suffering in life. Everyone, no matter their circumstances, whether created by the world we live in or by one’s failings.

Debra Every, Death in FIve

In Debra Every’s supernatural thriller Death in Five, Deena Bartlett is being attacked.  Her sense of smell, taste, hearing—an assault on each of her five senses. What makes it worse is the realization that her aunt is responsible. What did Deena do to deserve her anger?  And how can she protect herself?

It’s not easy caring for a bitter, demanding woman. For the past five years Deena has done right by Agatha, her last surviving relative, even while suffering a relentless barrage of
verbal lashings. Agatha, now seventy-eight, lies in a hospital on the edge of death…until a terrifying nightmare touches off a string of inexplicable incidents. A sound so piercing Deena’s nose bleeds. A smell so vile her breathing falters. Even more baffling is that after each attack, her aunt’s health improves. But a connection between the two seems absurd.

Then, a woman named Jadwiga reveals that Agatha has fallen under the influence of the Sensu, an ancient entity bent on gathering disciples into its fold. Greed and anger attract it—traits that Agatha has honed for decades.

One by one, the Sensu dispatches its five foot soldiers, Visu, Auditu, Odoratu, Gustu and Tactu, each bent on attacking a different sense. If they’re not stopped, these attacks will slowly weaken Deena, until Tactu, Touch, delivers the final blow, leaving her to die and Agatha restored.

But why is Agatha willing to sacrifice her only niece? What could have happened to cause her callous cruelty? Can Deena protect herself, or is she destined to die from the Sensu’s five assaults?

Laurie Pittman, Vanishing Haylee

Vanishing Haylee is a Middle-Grade novel about a girl who is the first in her family to learn her parents’ marriage is upended.

Even more of a challenge, her mother gets employment for the first time in Haylee’s memory. Her mother’s new job means she and her sister must relocate states away from her beloved home in Chicago, Illinois to creepy Salem, Massachusetts. Making new friends in a strange place is a challenge for Haylee, because new peers and even family do not understand her odd habits. For one, Haylee tears up anything she grasps like bottle caps and paper, and she periodically escapes people and her school classes to be alone to think. Lonely around people, yet comfortable alone, Haylee often misreads her teacher’s concerns; new friends and their teasing; and especially, her father’s initial absence after the divorce.

More chaos ensues when her mother affords Haylee’s grandmother to live with them. As though there was not enough chaos for Haylee, her grandmother finds an unusual pet for the home. When her sister blames Haylee for the pet damage on her Homecoming gown, Haylee goes on the longest escape she can remember. She explores a favorite cave, and while bemoaning all the upheaval in her world, Haylee falls and injures her knee.

Will Haylee’s family find her in time?

Will her sister and mother forgive her for not telling them where she went?

Will her father even care?