Friday, January 28, 2011

2011 ABNA entry is in!

Once again, I've entered a manuscript in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest.

In 2009, Surfacing was a contestant, and went on to the second round! I had some positive feedback from Publishers' Weekly reviewers, and many readers had wonderful comments about the 10,000-word excerpt posted on Amazon's site.

Last year, ABNA changed the rules a bit. They split the categories into YA and General Fiction, and only allowed 10,000 total entries (5,000 in each category). Only those that went on to the third round received PW reviews.

So while I don't harbor any illusions about making it to first place, it would be cool if my entry makes the first cut, and even cooler if it makes it to the third round. I'll know on Feb. 24th whether the judges liked the pitch or not.

Here's an advance peek at the pitch. I'd love to hear what you think:

Identity theft sucks. But it’s worse when someone steals her life, body included. Now she has to figure out how to get it all back.
Recognizing Rev. Alan Cunningham, leader of the New Day Order, is her first clue. Her gut says Cunningham’s connected. Seeing newswoman Tess Munro on TV, her gut also says that’s her former body. The news clip triggers flashes of memory. Her only hope of learning the truth is to follow Cunningham into his sordid world, where a darker evil lurks.
She joins the Order as Mary Miller. The group’s anti-government rhetoric  turns violent. The Order plans to kill a senator, then target anyone attending the funeral. Mandatory training sessions become brutal, and guards warn her not to enter the woods at night. When Cunningham invites her to an orgy, she runs.
Stealing the van keys, she’s stopped by Michael, the only person she’s been able to talk to. Now he’s pissing her off. When he calls her by her true name, Tess, she blacks out. She can’t fathom the bizarre story he tells: an angel in the Eternal Transit Station of the Soul arranged her untimely death, then stole her body. And that Michael’s a warrior angel. She can redeem her past sins if she helps annihilate the Order. She agrees. Returning as Army Sergeant Alana Martinez, she’s ready to kick cult ass. But as the Order amasses explosives and dirty bomb ingredients, can she help the warrior angels prevent an attack on innocents? And is she prepared to battle demons?
Using true accounts of underground militias in current society, Dead to Rights combines fantasy with reality. An exciting read, this urban fantasy will thrill and captivate readers to its surprising end.


Emma Lai said...

I love your courage, Cate! You're an inspiration.

As for the pitch. First, I think it sounds like a great story. I was confused how if her body had been stolen, she was able to become Mary Miller. Of course, the end, which is super strong, gave me a clue. So, in conclusion, great intro and fabulous ending. Good luck!

Cate Masters said...

Thanks much Emma! I should have added it's an urban fantasy. :P

Julie Lynn Hayes said...

To be honest, Cate, I think your book is too good for them, you should sub it to a publisher.

Cate Masters said...

Aw thanks Julie. :) A benefit of the contest is to generate a little buzz about it, and get some feedback. It's a different sort of story for me, so I'm a wee bit nervous. :)

Julie Lynn Hayes said...

The trouble is that it also ties it up for a good long while when you could be getting it out to publishers and selling it, then letting them generate the buzz.

I guarantee you, you will get your book published. Of that, I have no doubt.

Cate Masters said...

I'll know in a few weeks whether it made the first cut. It's very tight, and they tend to favor the literary entries. But again, thank you!

Maria Zannini said...

I have to agree with Julie. I think it's too good to tie up. But whatever happens, I hope it's to your benefit.

I was a little confused too about her not having a body but then joins the Order.

But Dead To Rights is an awesome title. I wish I had thought of that. LOL.

Good luck, Cate!

Cate Masters said...

Thanks Maria! Now I'm wishing I had reworded that somehow. It's a complex plot, so I probably confused myself, lol.