Pitch #5

Life is going well for Stacey Hunter. That is, until her young son witnesses the neighbor boy being kidnapped. When a ransom note appears and Stacey’s son describes the car he saw at the time of the kidnapping, she begins to suspect her own husband might be involved. The FBI believes he might be involved too.

Though she can tell something is going on with her husband, she tries to believe in his claims of innocence and begins an investigation of her own. Her snooping leads her to think the kidnapped boy’s father, Mark, is the one behind the kidnapping – seeing as how he’ll get nothing if he divorces his wealthy wife. The evidence also seems to point to Mark having an affair with a young woman he works with at the high school where he’s a teacher, a woman whose own husband was killed under unusual circumstances.

Stacey’s efforts are further complicated by the odd behavior of her supervisor, Patricia Summers, who has taken a keen interest in Stacey’s husband. Though uncertain of her husband’s faithfulness, Stacey presses on with her investigation until she flushes out the kidnapper and nearly gets herself killed.

This is the best pitch of the contest. It’s a little longer, but not so long that I wouldn't read it/listen to it. It’s well written. It’s clearly a suspense novel. We know who the main character is and what some of her challenges are. It answers most of the basic questions.

I would like to see it be a little spicier, a little more intense, to show me that you can carry the suspense. Drop a line that gives us an idea of the setting—where it takes place. Mention the main character’s age. My guess is thirty-something, but it would help me to know.

Also, how is this unique? Right now, it’s just another suspense story—which is fine, if I’m looking to churn out suspense novels. But if I’m looking for a big seller (and I always am), I need something that shows me how this is different from the other kidnapping suspense stories already out there.

I’d probably ask for the first couple of chapters because I really like suspense and I'm willing to give most of them a read. But if you were pitching to a national agent/editor, there might not be enough uniqueness in the pitch to get a request for chapters.

One last comment. I didn’t set any restrictions on the type of novel to be pitched, so it could be LDS or not. Since this does not mention that it’s LDS, I’m assuming it is not—which is fine for this contest. But if you really were pitching me as an LDS publisher, you’d need to let me know that there are LDS components to the story.

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