Pitch Week II Contestants

Meet Our Pitch Week II Finalists & Alternates

Congratulations to each of You!


Here are Our Five Fiction Authors and Their Books:

  • James Pelton.Suspense/Thriller:A Hack Supreme, This financial suspense novel captures the intrigue, backstabbing and abuse of power by and among IT professionals — and others — operating at the highest levels of Wall Street and the investment banking community. Pelton, a top IT expert with the NYPD, uses his experience to build a realistic, compelling drama about a software firm M/A deal gone bad.
  • Summer Schmier.Young-Adult Fantasy:Lilah Keeper and the Deceiver’s Heir is a young adult coming-of-age fantasy novel and the first full-length book from this 17-year-old author. The story takes place in a walled-in town, whose imprisoned populace has been terrorized, for generations, by a ruling class of blind and cruel “Deceivers.” Through the plight of Lilah and her friends, we learn the painful, tragic consequences of the eternal conflict between dreamers and dream stealers.
  • Marie White Small.Literary: Stony KillThis lyrical, literary novel is steeped in storytelling, memory, and reconciliation. Joss Ryckman, a thirty-something baker from Brooklyn, New York, returns to her upstate roots. There, she navigates the kingdom of her violent childhood on the family farm with its tree house on the edge of a magnificent river. Her journey from bitterness to compassion examines mixed-up love, identity, grief, and broken families against the snows of January.
  • Robin Payes.Middle-Grade Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Out of Time. Thirteen year old prodigy, Charlie Morton, goes on the adventure of a lifetime, when she accidentally triggers the replica of a Leonardo da Vinci time machine that she and her classmates, Beth, Billy and Lex, have built to present at the school science fair. She suddenly finds herself alone, in Florence, Italy, in 1492, armed only with her iPad and gummy bears. Charlie meets Leonardo, who agrees to help return her to her own time before the authorities burn her at the stake … for witchcraft.
  • Deborah Wilson.Middle-Grade Fiction Chapter Book (for Girls)A Gift of Sugar is the first in the Hip-Hop series of chapter books about ponies and the young girls who ride and care for them. All of the novels in this series are set in the 1970s, before the flood of modern, hand-held devices and social media that have alienated young people and “virtualized” many aspects of their lives. A Gift of Sugar tells the story a young school girl who dreams of owning and riding ponies and how that dream eventually transforms her life in ways she never expected.

Now, please meet our non-fiction finalist:

  • Catherine Marenghi. Memoir: Glad Farm. The story of a remarkable woman, who rises from the abject poverty, mental illness and despair of her struggling, hardscrabble Italian family to firmly establish herself in a successful career and secure upper-middle class existence. Then, circumstances give her the chance to revisit, and make sense out of, her family’s tragic fall.


Here are Our Two Alternates.


  • Devi DiGuida. Love Story/Suspense Novel The Hybrid’s Cliché, is a contemporary love story/suspense novel about a 25-year-old, unemployed, down-on-his-luck, hearing-impaired college grad who is manipulated, by his ex-shrink, a best-selling sex novelist, into writing a graphic memoir that she plans to appropriate and turn into a novel. Events take a surpising turn, when he uses social media to reach out to his friends around the world, including his former girlfriend, to expose the doctor’s sexually abusive past.
  • T.B. Groth. Senior Romance Novel Journey to Love.This novel, set in Maine, tells the story of a fateful, New Years Day walk that brings together two unsuspecting love interests: 53-year-old Jes Weaver, a content and successful woman entrepreneur, and Val Thomas, a 45-year-old transplant from the southwest, who has recently arrived in town and is gun-shy and jaded about the “dating scene.” Follow their story as the two discover the best is yet to come.

James T. Pelton

Summer Schmier

Marie White Small

Robin Payes

Deborah Wilson

Catherine Marenghi

Devi DiGuida

T.B. Groth

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