Monday, January 24, 2011


Phew! I finished! Between my husband and I, we got my first book done and edited in time to enter the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest! And I only had to stay up till 3:30 in the morning last night to get it done! In other news I am VERY tired this morning.

I don't know if I'll win, but I hope I at least past the first cut. If you're not familiar with the contest, it has four parts. The contest starts with 10,000 entries: 5,000 in general fiction and 5,000 in YA fiction. For the first stage the only thing the judges look at is your 300 word (or less) pitch. In the second stage they only get to see a 3,000 to 5,000 word excerpt from the beginning of the book. And if you make it to stage three, they read your whole novel. I'd love to get to round three, but I'd be happy with making it through round one.

I had a whole bunch of people help me with my pitch. And without their help I would not have been able to enter at all. So a giant thank you to all my Twitter buddies, with a special shout out to BethHautala for sending me some really in depth critiques. Also my NaNoWriMo friends on the Central Jersey forum, and everyone on the Amazon Breakthrough Novel boards who were willing to give my pitch a look see. Thanks everyone! Here's the pitch I submitted for the contest:

All Genevieve wanted that night was to make a quick trip to the grocer’s and have a nice quiet dinner at home. Equipped with coupons, she made her way to a new store, intent on picking up some cheap produce.

What she got instead was a trip into another dimension.

In this bleak, futuristic world, each person's fate is determined at birth and marked on their skin for all to see. But as strange as this new world seems, Genevieve feels oddly connected to it. And the more answers she unravels the more questions arise. When she finds herself caught in the center of the kingdom’s biggest mystery, the questions of ‘how did I get here’ and ‘how do I get home’ take a back seat to her own survival.

The Essence Heart, the kingdom’s missing royal mystic, has been sighted almost twenty-six years after she first disappeared. Both the King and a secretive organization known as the Resistance are rushing to locate her, for whoever controls the Essence Heart controls the kingdom. Although Genevieve’s birthmark does resemble the missing woman’s, she can’t imagine how a girl from the real world could have anything to do with this place of mystery and magic. But whether this is a case of mistaken identity or not, both groups seem intent on trying to capture her.

She enlists the help of a seedy shopkeeper and his fortune-telling sister to help her discover the answers she seeks. But can she stay free long enough to find a way home? And when she finds it, will she really want to leave?

MARK OF THE ESSENCE HEART is a 98,000-word epic fantasy novel set in a world of magic and high technology.
I also posted the first chapter of my story here if you're interested in reading it.

Anyway, it's going to be a long wait to see if I make the first cut. Well, not that long, but it will seem long. So I'll be using that time to finish up the second half of the story (book two) which is half done at present.

And here I need to devote a separate paragraph to my husband, who actually went to work yesterday so he could sit in the quiet office and edit my store the whole day! I love you honey, you're the best!

Good luck to everyone who entered and thanks a million to everyone who helped me out!

Also if this entry seems to float around a bit, it's because I'm running on 3-1/2 hours of sleep. I promise I'll be more coherent next time. ;)

Cat Fine Art Print by eringarrisondesign


  1. Sounds like a great story! Glad you managed to get finished in time! (January seems to be like that for a lot of us ABNA addicts).

  2. Thanks! :) I rushed even more because I didn't realize you could edit it after you sumbmitted. :) I'm actually still working on the final readthrough. I can now see why editors are paid so well. :P

  3. Wow! Good luck to you! The pitch sounds great!