Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Title: A Serpent in the Garden

Genre: YA Historical Mystery


Germany, 1148. A young woman seeking sanctuary is murdered near the abbey of St. Nicholas. Struck by similarities between the victim and her own dead mother, a fiery teenage noblewoman partners with a peace-loving monk to find the culprit while verbally sparring with a charismatic suitor, but when the noblewoman suspects her suitor’s childhood friend, she must risk her heart and her life to catch the killer before he strikes again. A SERPENT IN THE GARDEN (60,000 words) is a historical mystery for young adults, a medieval Nancy Drew with the lush, sexy feel of Anna Godberson's Luxe series.


Soon they would be safe.


  1. I love the idea of a medieval Nancy Drew! I'm also very taken with your setting. This sounds like a great story.

    My main suggestion is to consider using a name or two in your pitch. (At the very least, I think you should give us your main character's name.) You have a lot of adjectives to describe your characters, but it gets a little confusing trying to keep them all straight.

    Nice job! Good luck.

  2. I think the pitch pulls us right in! Nice job. I would put a period after the word culprit. And strat a new sentence about the suitor. I would also make the part about her suspecting the suitors's childhood friend a stand alone sentence. I would also add names. I want to know the MC's name and the boyfriend and the monk. But great job of buidling tension!! I would love to read this...

  3. Captivating pitch -- it drew me right in. :)

  4. I really, really think this could be awesome, but I feel like your pitch is vague and short. I want to know details! If it's sexy and lush, give us sexy and lush! The premise sounds amazing, but I have no idea what kind of voice the story has, if that makes sense. I'd love to get more of a sense of the characters' personalities, too. I hope we get to see more! Good luck!

  5. What I like: This feels really close to be- nice and neat but I know what’s happening.

    What I would like: But my brain stumbled here ‘when the noblewoman suspects her suitor’s childhood friend’ – I lost track and had to go back and re-read.

    Great work!

  6. I love the pitch! I'm not usually for mysteries, but the idea of a medieval Nancy Drew with a fiery noblewoman and a monk is right up my alley! I would probably buy it off the description alone. And I feel like the pitch provides us with plenty of voice.

    That said, I'm not a huge fan of the first line. It *does* offer questions; I want to know who, exactly, will be safe soon, and what they'll be safe from. But I feel like there's not a ton of voice in the line. Which, I understand is not very helpful.

    Where first lines are concerned, I always fall back on that famous flash fiction 'For sale: baby shoes, never worn.' I think to myself, if whoever wrote this (the author is unknown, though it's often erroneously attributed to Hemingway) can get a novel's worth of voice into six sentences, I can get a little taste of voice into one measly sentence. Not that it's easy to do, but it's what I strive for.

  7. Great comments here already. This sounds like an amazing story but the pitch reads a little dryly for me. I want to get to know your main character and feel what matters to them, what the heart of the story is. I suggest digging a little deeper here because with a little more life in it, this pitch will really WOW. :) Good luck!

  8. I love Nancy Drew and would read this in a heart beat. I think you can cut "while verbally sparring with a charismatic suitor" as this too much information we don't really need to know at this point. I want to know the main character's name.


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