Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Blind Speed Dating Agent Round Info!


All the entries are up for the Blind Speed Dating Agent Round! Agents may be lurking to prepare. But the official contest doesn't start until next Monday. The entries are in the right hand column labeled "Blind Speed Dating #__ (Genre)".

NO PUBLIC COMMENTS PLEASE. Only agents are allowed to comment during this round.

If you see a Cupid error with your entry, email me at This is for formatting errors made during the transfer from email to blog. Otherwise, THERE WILL BE NO UPDATING ENTRIES AT THIS POINT.

Here are the undercover Honorary Cupid names to watch for: (Keep in mind, not even the agents know each others HC names. :)

HC Rumble-Tumble
HC Pink Monkey Boots
HC Ninja Spy
HC AgentOrange
HC Darcy
HC Agent Extraordinaire
HC Buttercup 
HC ShelfElf
HC Golden Arrow
HC SlowLightning
How they play: (Check #AgentTTT on twitter for any Agent Twitter Trash Talk)
The agents play using their undercover Honorary Cupid names, and the agent round runs through next week. Feb. 25th - 28th

The agents will make requests using arrows. Yes, arrows! Agents will receive a total of 12 arrows. But not all at once...

They start with 4 arrows on Monday. Then 2 on Tuesday, 2 on Wednesday, and 4 on Thursday. Totaling 12. (Each day officially starts at 12:00 pm EST)
Each partial request (100 pages) is worth 1 of their arrows. (Each entry can only have 2 partial requests!) And fulls are worth 3 arrows. (Using a full steals any partials made on that entry and trumps their own partial, too)

But here's the thing... Fulls cannot be made until the last day, which is Thursday! And partials go up in cost on Wednesday to 2 arrows. (Again, each day officially starts at 12:00 pm noon EST)

On Friday everyone is revealed (except me:), winners are posted, and arrangements are made for requests.

**Material any agent wants to see but does not win will be available one week after the first agent(s) receive the material. Agents can make additional requests off the entries after the contest officially closes.**

The AGENTS and all their info:

Sarah LaPolla (Curtis Brown Ltd.)

Interests: “Sarah represents both adult and YA fiction. For adult books, she is looking for literary fiction, urban fantasy, magical realism, dark/psychological mystery, and literary horror. On the YA side, she welcomes all genres and is drawn to unique voices and strong, complex characters.”

Carly Watters (P.S. Literary Agency)
Interests: "Carly is actively looking for Literary and Commercial Fiction, World Literature, Women's Fiction, Literary Thrillers, high-concept YA."
Sara Sciuto (Full Circle Literary, LLC)
Interests: "Sara is very actively building her list with a focus on middle grade and young adult, in particular, dystopian, science fiction, fantasy, gothic/thriller/horror, historical, and unique paranormal. She also enjoys contemporary stories with a strong, authentic voice (but no chick-lit, please). She has a particular soft spot for gritty narratives, anything with international or regional locales, period settings, and anything with artistic themes."

Annie Bomke (Annie Bomke Literary Agency)

Interests: "...she is most passionate about character-driven literary fiction, [and] thrillers..."
Laura Bradford (Bradford Literary Agency)
Interests: "She continues to actively build her client list and is currently seeking work in the following genres: Romance (historical, romantic suspense, paranormal, category, contemporary, erotic), urban fantasy, women’s fiction, mystery, thrillers and young adult..."

Jessica Sinsheimer (Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency)

Interests: "Always on the lookout for new writers, she is most excited about finding literary, women’s, and Young Adult fiction" & "I do rep middle grade!" - Literary Rambles 

Pam van Hylckama Vlieg (Larsen Pomada Literary Agents)
Interests: "High concept young adult in any genre. Middle grade in these genres: fantasy, science fiction, dystopian, paranormal, literary. Romance in these categories: historical, fantasy, and erotica. New genres:
 commercial science fiction, fantasy, and literary fiction. New Adult in all categories will be considered.
I am now open to submissions in upmarket women’s fiction and historical fiction. I’m looking for books with particularly well-developed characters and strong authorial voice. In historical fiction in particular I am particularly interested in books that bring the setting to life and that maintain balance between historical accuracy and strong plot choices. I am also very interested in mystery, fantasy, and occasionally romance approaches to these genres as well."

Gina Panettieri (Talcott Notch Literary Services, LLC)
Interests: "With fiction, I love quirky, edgy characters. Send me women's fiction, paranormal, urban fantasy, horror, science fiction, historical, mystery, thrillers and suspense."

Ali McDonald (The Rights Factory)
Interests: "Ali specializes in children's literature of all kinds...chapter middle grade and young adult fiction."
Andrea Somberg (Harvey Klinger, Inc.)
Interests: "...literary, commercial, womens fiction, romance, thrillers, mystery, paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, young adult, middle grade."

Woohoo! Can't wati!!!!!
Thanks, everyone! And good luck!

Blind Speed Dating #56 (Adult)

Genre: Adult Fiction/Humorous Fiction
Word Count: 66,000


Thirty-year old Warren Rogers is quite accustomed to being a confused CEO. But this is a different, disturbing kind of confusion. The FBI has just shown him a picture of their suspect in recent security breaches. He recognizes the suspect. It’s him as a teenager.

While his arch nemesis, Louisa Ferncliff, plots to take over the company, Warren sets out to clear his name. But his troubles only multiply when he follows his younger self into a secret lab and encounters a strange toaster-like device that sends him haplessly bouncing in time.

Now all Warren has to do is evade the present day FBI, the 1970’s police and both the Northern and Southern armies of the US Civil War so he can track down his teenage doppelganger; the only person that knows how to operate the mysterious toaster. His only chance of success depends upon the dubious help of Louisa, who is bent upon securing the toaster device for herself, a martini-drinking time traveler who only cares about olives and getting into bed with Louisa, and a “GPS for the brain” that resembles a moose who speaks Italian.

First 250

If Warren Roger’s thoughts made a sound it would be a feeble “clink”, not unlike that of some old, decrepit elevator meekly announcing its weary arrival. Just a muffled clink. A dead bell. That’s all there was.

It was time for the FBI’s briefing. The thirty-year old CEO of World Enterprises navigated the office’s maze-like aisles, oblivious to the nameless employees hunkered down behind rows and rows of putty colored cubicles. Warren was more preoccupied than usual, which is saying something because he spent hours a day practicing preoccupation to perfection.

He was thinking about the reason why the FBI was here, how this whole mess started; with the discovery of a half-eaten Ho Ho in his office. Why was it here, he had wondered. Who couldn’t eat a whole Ho Ho, anyway? Seriously, the whole thing was barely a mouthful. But back to who. Who was in his office and why were they eating a Ho Ho there? Mystifying, he thought. Warren thought a lot of things were mystifying.

The mystery of the partially eaten snack cake served nothing more than a subject on which Warren could spend his idle time thinking about. Warren had a lot of idle time, a benefit of perfecting preoccupation, so he thought a lot about it. That is until a few weeks later when he found several files askew and evidence someone had been using his computer. That’s when Pete Smith, COO and Warren’s trusted advisor, brought in Harrison Ramsey, VP of Security, who in turn brought in the FBI.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blind Speed Dating #55 (Adult)

Genre: Women's Fiction
Word Count: 72,000


Lou is a talented chef in Milwaukee, struggling to keep her small French restaurant afloat while floundering in her fiancé's world of cocktail-infused schmooze fests. During the worst day of her life, she destroys a perfectly good coconut cake, leaves her fiancé, and nearly burns down her kitchen, earning her a nasty review from the local food critic.

Al Waters hates Milwaukee and hopes his scathing (and, to him, entertaining) restaurant reviews gain him a column in a real city, but not before he reconnects with the adorable coconut cake-toting woman he met in the newsstand line. When Al visits a local pub to celebrate his best critique yet, he finds the delightful and very drunk Lou, unaware she’s the chef he just skewered. 

Lou accepts Al's challenge to show him what makes Milwaukee so great -- with the agreement they never discuss work. It’s the perfect arrangement for a critic with an alter ego. During their non-dates exploring the city's treasures, Lou’s restaurant declines while Al’s column becomes more popular. If her restaurant fails, she loses the one place she flourished. If Al can’t keep his identity secret, he could lose so much more.

Charming, delicious, and fun, The Cake Effect is You’ve Got Mail meets No Reservations

First 250:

Lou hoisted up her gown and winced as she tottered across the parking lot. The sparkly four-inch heels looked so pretty in the box, but now felt like a mortar and pestle grinding each bone in her foot. She missed her green Crocs.

Lou plucked at the tight elastic under her clothes, squeezing her into the sleek, black dress her fiancé had given her. She scurried to catch up with him.  

"Overstuffed truffle and foie gras sausage," Lou said. 

Dev’s face crinkled in confusion. "What?" 

"It's a new dish, inspired by how I feel in these clothes. Maybe served over brown butter dumplings..." Lou tilted her head, visualizing the newly formed meal. Dev frowned at her and sighed.

She wilted at the familiar reaction. "I’m sorry. It helps distract me."

His features softened as he looked at her. "You’ll be fine. You look stunning."

Lou gave a feeble smile, stepping into the soft, yellow light of the Milwaukee Country Club's foyer, the cushy patterned carpet springing back with each step. Black-and-white pictures adorned the buttery walls, telling the club's regal history. Many showed eager young men in white standing behind wealthy gentlemen in funny pants. Hunger for something more burned in their eyes. Lou understood.

To the left waited the dining room, full of white-coated tables twinkling with polished silver and crystal water goblets. Lou glimpsed the swinging doors to the kitchen, beckoning her like an old friend.

Blind Speed Dating #54 (Adult)

Genre: Adult Upmarket Fiction
Word Count: 100,000


With a talent for self sabotage, the charming but aimless Max Walker is fired from an unpaid internship and kicked out his parents’ house in the same week. Max is then waiting in line at a fast-food drive-thru assessing which friend’s couch he’ll now call home when a stranger opens his car door, points a gun at him, and orders him to drive.  

The gleaming metal of the barrel commands Max’s attention as he drives the peculiar yet desperate stranger, who calls himself “Z,” into rural Pennsylvania. The truth that Z reveals, that his screwups have led to the impending nuptials of his ex to another man, bonds the two, and they hatch a plan to win back the woman Z calls his soul mate. 

The car crash, the drunken bar fight, and especially the feisty bartender they meet along the way force Max to admit the unfazed grin he’s been honing hasn’t fooled anyone, least of all himself. Max sees an older, rounder, more beaten-down version of himself in Z that makes him want . . . something, anything, everything. But he plans to start with the bartender. Before it's too late, Max and Z must both convince the women who have found their way into their hearts that although you can't change for someone, you can change because of someone. 

A comedic adventure with a dash of romance and a pinch of soul searching, JUMPING ANTS will appeal to fans of Jonathan Tropper, Nick Hornby, and Lauren Weisberger.

First 250:

“Sorry,” Max said into his cell phone. “It’s like a Bon Jovi concert just let out.” 

That wasn’t exactly a lie. It was 5 p.m. on a rainy Friday in a New Jersey suburb twenty miles from New York City. But the reason why Max wasn’t pulling into his parents’ driveway, his Mini Cooper bursting with shopping bags, had less to do with traffic and more to do with his caloric intake. 

Max was in line at a drive-thru waiting to order a fast-food burger. He didn’t even like fast-food burgers. But his body had long since depleted the scant nutrition it gleaned from his morning bowl of sugary cereal.

Max was up next. He couldn’t let his mom know he was waiting to order fast food instead of ticking off another errand on her list. 

“Right, rush hour,” his mother said.

Oh, the guilt. “But I’ll finish as fast as I can,” Max said. 

Beep, beep.

“Sorry, Mom, my phone’s almost out of juice. But I’ll be home soon. I promise.” 

Beep, beep.

“Max, wait, exactly how long do you figure?”

Beep, beep.

The car in front of Max was moving. It was going to be his turn. He had to hang up. Now.
“Mom, I gotta go.”

Beep, beep.

“Okay, Max. Drive safely.”     

“Yeah, Mom, I—” Max’s cell phone went dead.

Just in time. Max pulled up to the menu board and tossed the phone over his head into the backseat. 

“May I take your order?” 

Blind Speed Dating #53 (Adult)

Genre: Women's Fiction
Word Count: 75,000


Hannah discovers a hidden book, and quickly realizes it is about her own life.  The story has landed on the present day, in the present moment.  There are 236 pages left.

She continues reading, unraveling two possible futures for herself.  In the first, Hannah meets the handsome, seemingly perfect, Justin, who gives her the greatest gift of all, a beautiful baby girl.  He also gives her a huge, lifeless apartment, and a cold shoulder.  It’s not a terrible life, but it’s far from the perfection she hoped she’d find.
In the other future, Hannah becomes the writer she’s dreamed of being, travelling the world, stumbling into fame and fortune.  She has everything she has ever wanted, but loneliness hangs heavy over her. She loves almost everything about her life, but still, it feels empty.

In both worlds, Hannah meets David, the one person with whom she has a real connection.  In each instance though, they are fated with terrible timing and impossible circumstances.  She can see happiness, but can’t quite grasp it.

For The Next Three Years is a Women’s Fiction manuscript, complete at 75,000 words. Sliding Doors meets Sophie’s Choice, in a heartbreaking tale of one woman’s unwanted glimpse forward, and the torture of deciding her own fate.  

First 250:

The book was wedged tightly behind the fireplace mantle.  Hannah Gordon would never have seen it if the movers hadn’t put the couch in this ridiculous spot.  She wondered for a moment how she would ever drag it across the room, but her thoughts turned back to the book.  She half expected the whole façade of bricks and mortar to come crumbling down as she dug around, trying to pry the thing loose. 

It was stuck.  Really stuck.  But she couldn’t stop digging.  She knew she was doing damage, but she just couldn’t help herself.  It was too intriguing.  A secret, hidden book.  Who wouldn’t be excited about that?  Ok, lots of people wouldn’t, but not people like her, who had spent countless weeks of their lives curled up in library corners, losing themselves in elaborate stories, while avoiding their journalism textbooks.  Fairy tales were much more interesting than studies about white space.
It was coming loose.  She felt it give a little, moving only a fraction of an inch, but now she could get a better grip.  One more good pull and it was free, along with a small cloud of dust she managed to inhale almost completely.  She choked, coughing, as notions of asbestos breezed past her mind momentarily, but there was nothing she could do about it now.  She blew away a layer of dust and plaster.  She’d always wanted to do that.  Could there be anything more intriguing than a book so old and neglected that the title was illegible from dust?