NA Entry #1
Mentor Name: Brighton Walsh
Alternate Name: Juliet Chatham
Title: IN THE EVER AFTER
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 70K
Stunned by the tragic death of his best friend, Joe struggles with his pain and devastation while trying to be there for the family and the girl his friend left behind—the same girl he secretly desires. Love, honor and truth soon collide as he is torn between brotherly loyalty and long-hidden feelings he can no longer deny.
My friend Will had a lot of theories on life. One of them was that there were two kinds of people, and it wasn’t the haves and have-nots or the doers and the dreamers. Instead, he believed it was divided into the ones who knew their direction versus the ones still searching for it. (The ones who lost it could go either way, according to him.)
In subscribing to this theory, I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that at some point life would at least offer a hint, or a clue. You know, hook me up somehow. I had my direction. I knew where I wanted to be. That part was easy. But three years out of high school, I was no closer to it than I was three years into high school, and so I started to develop my own theory: Figuring out how to reach my life might just turn out to be my life.
I didn’t know back then how quickly—and irrevocably—things can change.
As I climb behind the wheel of my truck, rising much earlier than usual on a late spring morning, I know a lot of things I didn’t know then. A year older, I’d like to think I’m at least a little wiser.
Driving out of town, however, heading towards the expressway, I realize this may not turn out to be my smartest move. But I don’t turn back.
My life is out there, somewhere.
NA Entry #2
Mentor Name: Diana Gallagher
Alternate Name: Katrina Emmel
Title: IN THE CARDS
Category: New Adult
Word Count: 73,000
After the Worst Day Ever renders Cass single, unemployed, and homeless, she moves in with her tough-love fortunetelling aunt. But her aunt’s psychic abilities don’t prepare her for sexy-physicist-next-door Tyler, or the way he’s got Cass blushing and stammering. Just one problem: Tyler already has a gorgeous, confident girlfriend. With the deck stacked against her, Cass has to decide if it’s worth pushing through her trust issues to see if love’s in the cards.
“This place is pretty fancy.” Cass Delgado adjusted her sundress as she looked around.
“You look fine.” Kent gave her a quick once-over. “It’s just brunch.”
“Just brunch? I feel like Eliza Doolittle at the races,” Cass mumbled.
“Nothing.” She gazed at a nearby table. The napkins were folded into swans and the silverware looked to be actual silver. There was only one reason he’d taken her to Sullivan’s: he was going to propose. Finally.
“McGovern, party of two?” The host wore a slick suit that probably cost more than double her yearly salary. “This way.”
He led them to a table tucked into a romantic little alcove. Cass fretted over her manners, lips twitching. She didn’t want to ruin the meal by accidentally using her dessert fork to dig into whatever delicate morsel they served up.
Kent settled into his chair, neglecting to pull hers out first. She waited for the host to assist her before she sank into the seat. Kent was distracted, and it was no wonder. He was worried she’d say no. Cass wanted to ease the strain, and nearly blurted out, “Yes, yes, yes!” but stopped herself at the last minute. The last thing she needed was to recreate that scene from When Harry Met Sally.
“So,” Kent started, brilliant green eyes focused on the napkin-origami on his bread plate.
NA Entry #3
Mentor Name: Kristen Strassel
Alternate Name: Dana Collins
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 90,000
When girl meets girl, sparks and bullets fly as they team up to learn why they share a soul. It’s do or die. Think Buffy meets Thelma & Louise.
The shrieks from my latest nightmare echo in my head as I slide into the seat beside Alex. I’m shaky and chilled, but I can pass it off as adrenaline from my desperate sprint to class and not the trenches of blood and glacial caverns of ice still doing their thing behind my eyes. And the screaming, faceless wraiths, the smell of metal, the cold...
Nope. Stop thinking about it. I'm awake, the dream didn't follow me back, and all is sort of okay with the world. Maybe Alex won't notice how sweaty and gross I am after my unscheduled run.
He grins. "Vi! Have a sit. Stay awhile." He peers closer at me and his smile fades. "You don't look so hot. Sick?"
Damn it. He noticed.
"Sleepy." I unzip my backpack and dig out the Psych textbook. He has no idea. Well, maybe a little bit of one. He slept over with Sarah last night, which, now that I think about it, was half the reason I ended up napping in the library in the first place. I narrow my eyes and give him some serious side-eye. New couples are the worst.
"You've got a..." He runs his finger down his cheek.
"Yeah, I know. Library book spine. I used one as a pillow. Learning by osmosis is the next big thing, and you saw it here first." I cross my arms, hoping that’ll quell the shakes. But… there’s more to it than just jitters. My chest thrums, and it's never done that post-dream before.
He makes a face. "Gross, Vi. Other people touch those.”
NA Entry #4
Mentor Name: Kara Leigh Miller
Mentee Name: Kristin Wright
Title: Twenty Miles In
Category: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary / Romance
Word Count: 72,000
Pitch: Emma Cho is horrified to find herself stuck sharing a tent with Kevin, last year’s hookup who bolted before dawn. When an April blizzard and a life-threatening injury doom the camping trip, she’ll have to swallow her grudge and work with him to find help before everyone’s food runs out.
Wearing used long underwear hadn’t creeped me out until my knee itched. As we leaned against Ryan’s car at the trailhead, I hoped the previous owner had at least been fond of showers. And vigilant about vermin.
I had no experience with hiking, unless you counted the commute on foot from the Metro stop to Capitol Hill and back every day. Real hikers were vegan hipsters with hemp clothes, bandanna fetishes, and fair trade coffee obsessions, right?
The only thing funnier than the idea of me sleeping on the ground in a tent for three days was Lindsay, my club-going, false-eyelash-wearing roommate doing it along with me. But here we stood, with her boyfriend Ryan, minutes away from ditching cell phone coverage for the longest time since I got my phone at fifteen.
“And who else are we waiting for?” I asked Ryan.
“My roommate from sophomore year.”
“It’s nice you kept in touch. Where does he live now?”
Ryan leaned around Lindsay to aim a puzzled glance at me.
“You’ve met Kevin, haven’t you? Weren’t you at that party last fall?”
Why hadn’t I made it my business to find out which friends of Ryan’s were coming before?
Yes, I’d met Kevin. Last October, Lindsay had dragged me to a party at another congressional staffer’s apartment, and that’s where she’d met Ryan. Ryan was with his friend, Kevin.
Oh, God. To think that two seconds ago, I was worried about the difficulty of the walking.
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