#CPPitch—Choose your Top 5

If you entered #CPPitch before September 1st, you may choose your five top picks below. It might be a good idea to have the list open in another tab while making your list here. Remember that you can choose from any category. On September 3rd or 4th, you’ll receive an email from me with the query letter and first 250 words of their MS. Reply to that email with the names of your top 3 choices by 11:59 on September 6th.

On September 8th, I’ll email everyone with their CP matches. Depending on everyone’s top 3, you might be critiquing someone’s MS, and a different person might be critiquing yours. That isn’t to say that you can’t ask other people to be your CP! The point of CPPitch is to give you a sampler before you pick a CP, and also to make sure that as many people as possible get a critique partner.

All CPPitch-ers have been matched! Thank you for participating.

#CPPitch List


Here’s your list of fellow “single” writers searching for a CP! These will be arranged alphabetically by first name on the 22nd and every two days following. That way, if you come check the list again in two days, you can see who was recently added.

Want to enter? Find the Rules and Entry Form here.

Entries are closed! Thanks to all who participated!

Bold entries below are ones selected for an edit of their query and first chapter.

Comp Titles

Does one of these pitches remind you of another book or author? Tweet the author to let him/her know. I know how difficult it can be to find comp titles to put in my own query! Remember, the best Comp Titles tend to be less than 5 years old or were debut novels.

Spread the word

The more the merrier! Consider mentioning #CPPitch to your friends on social media or by email to get them involved.

New entries are marked with an asterisk. More entries will be posted on the 28th.


To protect the kingdom he’s sworn to serve, Morgan McRobbie must become its worst enemy.
Keith Willis‘s TRAITOR KNIGHT, adult, 124K

In the 12th century, time-traveling musicians must save their kidnapped sister from almost certain marriage.
Lara Willard‘s ROBIN EVANS AND THE WORLD SONG, adult, 65K

One girl’s magic makes her an outlaw from her own people, and she must join with those who burned her home in order to save herself. (Note: MC is a teen, but there are multiple POVs)
Mary W. Jensen‘s FEY MOON, adult, 98K

A gangster in a heathen port city learns that he’s becoming a god, only to find out that they die too.
Justin D. Herd‘s OF GODS AND MADNESS: THE FAITHFUL, adult, 85K

Fantasy Romance

When twenty-year-old Aidelle smashes a timepiece as her fiancé leaves her, sealing herself in a timeless reality, she must cross the volatile ‘timestreams’ to rewrite their argument or be erased from existence.
Alexandrina Brant‘s WHEN THE CLOCK BROKE, adult, 80K

A slave and a prince work together to catch a murderer and find themselves falling (illegally) in love along the way.
Melanie DeWitt‘s DUSTRIEL’S BLESSING, adult, 74K

In Mithos, where True Love is the strongest form of black magic, Martia must make a choice—kill her other half or submit to their wild new power.
Tiffanie Lynn‘s THE SINNER ROSE, adult, 90K

Beta tried to forget the alien freaks that took her. But they aren’t having that. To survive she needs to remember what they did to her—fast, or risk everything she loves.
Colleen Myers‘s CAN’T FORGET, new adult, 65K

Historical Fiction or Historical Romance

Forgotten silent film star Hester Carmella chronicles her rise to fame in 1920s Hollywood, her career given an unexpected boost when her sister is brutally attacked by the future Black Dahlia killer.

The tangled love story of a tortured hero who must choose between letting go of the pain of his past, and the love of a woman he tried so hard to hate. WWI Europe.
Sarah Bailey‘s ALONG CAME RUTH, adult, 71K

A family sacrifices everything, including each other, in order to build the Brooklyn Bridge.
Tracey Wood‘s A BRIDGE BETWEEN US, adult, 78K

Treating his invention of a time machine like a superpower, Horatio becomes The Forever Man and returns to Belfast of 1909 to prevent the Titanic disaster—before the ship even sets sail.

Romantic Comedy Crime Solvers & Fighters

Texan Colt Ryder uncovers a cryptic letter in Dublin Castle and the hunt for the Irish Crown Jewels is on!
Anne Lipton‘s THE EMERALD EYE, adult, 76K

Single mom/artist/house-cleaner Jules must uncover how her deeply unpopular boss Ray ended up in a tote filled with bloody fish and slush, hopefully without ending up in a fish tote herself, a challenge for someone with her testy disposition and abrasive personality.
Diane Carley‘s THE PROBLEM WITH RAY, adult, 73K

Other Genres, Either Funny or Romantic

When Diggs, a physically unfit graphic artist, unwittingly signs himself up to run a half marathon, it pits him not only to accomplish the training and finish the race, but to save his town from extinction.
Alden Gilroy‘s NA Contemporary LOOK HOW FAR YOU’VE COME, 79K

Every book has a story to tell, separate from the one written on its pages.
Ashley Brannan‘s Adult Contemporary (w/ paranormal elements) SILVERTHORNE AND BLOOM USED BOOKS, 80K

Monsters versus Mobsters versus Monsters in 1929 New England.
D.R. Perry‘s Historical Paranormal THE CHANGED, NA, 74K

Fresh from a breakup, Michelle Fortes moves to France to heal her broken heart with cheese and wine, but instead finds culture shock, medical mysteries, and her wildest fantasies come true in Alexandre.
Elle Marr‘s Romantic Mystery HEARTS IN ROUEN, NA, 76K

A duffel bag of money found under the floorboards of a double-wide trailer funds Mara’s fresh start, but when her past and her present begin to overlap, Mara is forced to face the lies she’s been telling and the dangerous man that’s hunting her down.
Jillian B. Paige‘s Contemporary Romance THE LAST BITTER WORD, NA, 61K

While hoping to find a cure for a sexually-transmitted disease, Scarlett, a university student, has to avoid becoming sexual prey to a professor. A retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.
Jo Wu‘s Steampunk Fantasy PLAYING PREDATOR, NA, 85K

An angel-museum curator is drawn into the secret world of a real winged warrior she is forbidden to desire.
Kimberly Cooper‘s Paranormal Romance THE SKYRIDERS: RISE OF THE SUNBIRD, adult, 80K

Astrid just had the best day of her life with Theo, the man of her dreams, but a day later she has completely forgotten him.
Margarita Montimore’s Upmarket Contemporary AWAKE AND ASTRAY, NA, 91K

Jody’s grandmother burns her own house down with Gramps still inside, and Jody must decide whether her loyalty lies with Gram or with the deceased Gramps.
Gabby Gilliam‘s Women’s Fiction THE FARMER’S WIFE, Adult, 67K

Ivy knows that she could have avoided the whole scene, shown Adam the door and then quietly and consistently stalked him like good girls do, but quiet desperation just ain’t her style.
Jessica Boothe Frye‘s Contemporary Romance SOME GIRLS DO, NA, 67K

Twenty-five-year-old doctor in love with her shy, stuttering best friend must overcome her mother’s disdain and his insecurities to live happily-ever-after.
Shaya Roy‘s Contemporary Romance WWW.PERFECTMATCH.COM, Adult, 82K

LIFE AFTER REDBY is a magical romp through the mind of a deranged ex-soldier reliving her survival in Zombie Hell.
Kaitlin Caul‘s Thriller LIFE AFTER REDBY, Adult, 74000

Professional demon-hunter Lazarus will take on any challenge, certain that anything he can’t punch through, his beloved boss can guide him around—but this time, his deadliest enemy is the one inside his own mind.
Melanie Weisberg‘s Urban Fantasy CHAINBREAKER, Adult, 115,500

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#CPPitch—a Critique Partner Mixer


Have you written (or are you writing) an adult or new adult novel?*

Do you want a critique partner to work with and improve BOTH of your novels?

Is your novel between 60,000–120,000 words?**

*For the case of this mixer, any novel with a main character 18 or older, or a novel with a young protagonist but adult themes (like The Ocean at the End of the Lane) in the genres listed below will be eligible. A “New Adult” novel has a protagonist between 18-25 and concerns itself with the transition into adult life: starting a new career, navigating college, or engaging in a serious relationship.

Young adult, middle grade, or other children’s books are not included in this mixer. However, if you decide to organize your own, I will link to your information!

**If your novel is not yet finished, you can still participate if you have written at least 60,000 words in this novel. You will need to critique your partner’s work first, and he/she should not critique yours until you are finished and have edited it yourself. If you have written more than 120,000 words, you can’t expect your CP to read more than that. My advice? Cut the fat, then have your CP read your novel. Otherwise find a CP with a longer word count also.


Since I’m running this shebang, I’m picking my own genres to include. If you write straight-up romance or mystery, you can easily find critique groups online. If you wrote erotica, please organize your own CP mixer! 

Is your novel one of the following genres?

  • Fantasy
  • Fantasy + Romance
  • Historical Fiction (also Historical Romance)
  • Romantic Comedy Crime Solving / Crime Fighting (Yes, I am that specific. Think Stephanie Plum novels, The Thin Man, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, or the TV shows Castle and Veronica Mars)
  • Other (Other genres like mystery, thriller, contemporary, or literary MUST include a generous helping of either comedy or romance. Erotica is not accepted.)
  • Time Travel (I can include this under Historical Fiction or Fantasy—whichever you think will be the best fit. For Science Fiction that is not time travel, it must include either romance or comedy, and it will be listed in the “other” category.)

These are how I’ll arrange your pitches. If you wrote a time travel novel, for example, decide which category has the most family resemblance. If you wrote a funny mystery or a romantic thriller, those would go in the “other” category.

I’m going to pick one pitch from each category and give that person a free line-edit of their first ten pages!

What I will not accept

Do not enter this mixer if:

  • …your pitch/query/first 250 has words in it that will trigger my safe search or result in my getting spam emails for penile enhancement
  • …your novel is erotica, a novel about a person’s sexual journey. If the O is more important than the connection made during a sex scene, then it’s too erotic for this mixer.
  • …the romance contains infidelity
  • …the film version of your novel would garner a NC-17 rating, either for gore or sex

This mixer is for fantasy, Historical fiction, and genre fiction with romance. One or two sex scenes is fine! Rated-R sexiness is fine! If you wrote a different genre but your novel is funny, enter it into the “other” category.

Again, if you organize a mixer for other genres, let me know in the comments and I will link to your information. 

How to enter

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Your name
  • Your Twitter username (if you want people to connect with you)
  • Your email (this is how I will communicate with you. It will NOT be released to anyone else without your permission)
  • Your novel’s title
  • Age category
  • Genre (see above)
  • Word count
  • A one-sentence pitch (If your protagonist is in college or is younger, include that in your pitch)
  • Your query letter (Just the main pitch, not your bio or any salutations)
  • The first 250 words of your novel (250 words MAX. Stop mid-sentence or go under.)

You have until August 31st at 11:59 pm EST to enter. 

I will post your name, Twitter handle, word count, age category, genre, and one-sentence pitch in a new post on September 2nd. Entrants will be organized by genre, not age category.

See the current list here! Check back September 1st to see the final list.

If you write several one-sentence pitches and don’t know which one to enter, tweet them with hashtag #CPPitch, ask your friends to vote, and see which has the most favorites.

Add other authors and follow them on Twitter!

September 1st and 2nd

Pick 5 stories you think you’d like to read, at least 2 from your category. (That’s right! If you wrote a fantasy, that doesn’t mean you can’t pick a funny mystery to read!) I will publish a form on the 1st which you will use to submit your list to me.

September 3rd and 4th

I will mark any entrants that got chosen to be #PitchWars mentees. Congrats to them! But they can’t participate in #CPPitch. Then I’ll email each of you the query and first 250 words from each of your top 5.

(If there are more than 100 entrants, I am NOT going to email everyone. See disclaimer below.)

September 5th and 6th

Narrow down your top 5 to just 3. Email me back with your choice by 11:59 on September 6th.

September 7th

Wait patiently while I play matchmaker. Do not email me on any other subject, please. If you have questions, ask on Twitter. I will not respond to other emails at this time.

September 8th

Continue to wait patiently until you receive an email from me with the name of your critique partner(s).


I have no idea how the turnout for this mixer will be. I will sort up to 100 entrants, starting with Fantasy and working my way down. If more than 100 enter, then I’ll still list the entrants and pitches for the remaining categories, but y’all will have to choose CPs amongst yourselves.

Final words:

Of course, you can ask other members if they will critique your work, but no one is obligated to work with anyone else. Besides, you want a CP that will enjoy your story, right?

I recommend exchanging one to three chapters at a time. If it turns out one of your CPs isn’t contributing, you don’t have to give them feedback. Then you don’t critique 50 pages for someone that only critiques 2 for you in return.

Remember, be cordial to each other. Be professional. Set reasonable deadlines, but be understanding if something comes up. And be honest if something comes up for you that will keep you from contributing.

Above all, be an easy person to work with.

Submissions are now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated!

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[Historical Fiction] Friday

Historical Fiction

I can’t believe that NaNoWriMo is less than a week away! I’ve been trying to prep by doing research, since my novel is set mostly in an alternate 12th century England (I know…I know). My intention was to be historically accurate—as much as possible. But when I started researching castles, I realized that my mental image was going to have to change in some respects. For example, here’s a rough idea of what I was picturing:

But Alas, Conwy Castle was begun in the 13th century. One hundred years later. Keep reading to see a progression showing how difficult it is to date a castle, and how people really have almost no idea what castles looked like in the 12th century.

Here’s a floor plan of Chepstow Castle, showing how many renovations the castle received over a few hundred years.

Here’s a model of what the castle looked like in the 1500s, during the Tudor time period which followed the Middle Ages.

And here’s what it looked like roughly around the 12th century.

Exciting, right? A stone “tower” that looks sort of like a prison building, with a couple wooden huts outside? Okay, I exaggerate a bit. But seeing this castle made me go, Eeesh, not what I was expecting, for my heroine who will be living in something like this.

But then to complicate things further, you are not only supposed to get the time period right, but you should also get the class distinction right. Thankfully—as far as I can tell—Chepstow, as lovely as it is, is a fairly modest castle compared to others built in the 12th century. A King’s castle would be more luxurious. Kings’ castles usually get refurbished and rebuilt more often that other castles, though, which is why many (if not most) of the castle ruins in the UK are remnants of much more contemporary designs.

I’ll tell you that I DID find a castle that will and does inspire me and is from the correct time period, and belongs within the correct financial ranking. But all of this research led me to have a discussion with one of my writer friends, and I’d like to hear your input on it, too. Yes, even if you read this post a few years down the line. I’m curious to what you think! And I’ll probably still be working on the novel then, anyway.

How important is historical accuracy in a novel? Would you rather read a novel that 1) gets its history right or 2) tweaks the facts for the sake of their story?

I recently read Christy English’s The Queen’s Pawn. I don’t recommend it. The whole premise of the book was an inaccuracy, but it turns out, finding historical inaccuracies was the only entertainment I squeezed out of the reading. My conclusion is that if you are going to get history completely wrong, you had better write an engaging story so that I the reader will forgive you. I haven’t forgiven Christy English, because the story was not interesting to me. Rewriting history just so you can write about a middle-aged man fornicating with a pubescent teenager is not my idea of worthwhile literature. Lolita it wasn’t.

Ahem. Anyway, your thoughts on historical accuracy?