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.