Sunday, February 23, 2014


Manuscript 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, Eva von Hirschburg, a fiery teenage noblewoman, partners with a peace-loving monk named Brother Clement to find the culprit.
As she investigates, Eva is courted by the charismatic Friderich von Starckebrucken. Eva cannot deny her attraction to Friderich, but when her suspicions turn to
Friderich'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.


No one prayed for my mother's soul.


  1. I'm glad you made it through! It's good to see more details in your pitch, though I'd still love to feel more sexy lushness, I think you did a good job. Your first line is miles better, too. It gives me a sense of voice that your last one didn't. Good luck with this round!

  2. Oo, I like this one! Strongest first sentence I had in my batch of entries. And the comp titles are used properly, meaning they have context. But in this sentence: "Struck by similarities between the victim and her own dead mother, Eva von Hirschburg, a fiery teenage noblewoman" it sounds like Eva was the mother rather than the teenager. You might want to make that clearer. Good luck!

  3. I love the concept of a medeival Nancy Drew! I also love your first line. I think the pitch is a little bogged down with names. My suggestion would be to omit Friderich's last name and the name of the monk. Can you think of another word to use instead of "fiery"? I see "fiery" and "rebellious" too often. I'm concerned with your comparison to the Luxe series, because most of what makes that series so lush and sexy is the time period in which it's set, which is completely different from your time period. Great job overall!

    1. Thanks so much for the feedback. I really appreciate it and will revise accordingly. Re comparison books I really wanted something that provided sensual descriptions of clothing, setting, social interplay and had plenty of flirtatious banter- that's why I went with Luxe. My feeling is that many books set in the middle ages focus more on the darker and grittier side of things. I considered Fiona Paul's Secrets of the Eternal Rose which is Renaissance and The King's Rose which Tudor, but the first has a paranormalish twist and the second is sadder then I want and centers on real historical figures. I'd love advice.

  4. I love this time period and the mention of the Luxe series is intriguing. This is a very short pitch, I feel you could make this longer with a few touches to fulfill the promise of "lushness" and the tie to the Luxe series. I'd also like to sense more tension between Eva, her courter and the monk.


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