Friday, April 11, 2014

#NestPost Picks! (No, not really)

*Update! One of my original picks (no, I will not say which ;) was traded to another team, and since I knew it was getting a good home I got to pick another pitch that I loved! I will say that it's fantasy, and the opening dynamic between the two characters we meet was absolutely precious, but not in an over-the-top cutesy way--I loved the author's restraint, considering the demographic--it would have been easy to tip too far in the wrong direction, but they got it just right. <end hint>

Original Post:

I've been reading NestPitch entries for a long time now--the minute that window opened I was at the ready, and I've been printing and highlighting and sobbing on piles of brilliant words for two weeks now. "However will I choose???" sobbed I. (I'm old and British in my head.) Last night was the start of the final selection process, and I stayed up until an ungodly hour making my final picks (then I overslept and now I'm at work looking completely hideous, but that's neither here nor there). Nevertheless, it was well worth the time.

You guys are good. Like, really good.

So first, a rousing round of applause and lots of chocolate for everyone that entered. It takes a lot to put your work in front of so many eyes at once, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to read it. I read all of the pitches, and a lot of them I read many times, because this was a hard choice. The slush bilbies (more applause!) made it a lot easier on all of us, and I spent all of last night going over their thoughts and notes before I arrived at my final list. I did make a few changes based on things they caught and I didn't, so a huge note of thanks to them for helping me build a strong team.

In anticipation of the big reveal on April 16th, I thought it would be fun to be sadistic and do some blind item teasers about my picks. I am thrilled with my group, which will be known from this point on as Team Cake (#TeamCake!) This post is not intended to indicate a firm yes or no for any particular pitch or pitchee, it's merely a chance for me to be intentionally vague and generate some buzz for Team Cake (#TeamCake!)

Yes, this is a cake. I didn't make it.

Here we go!
Blind Item #1-MG-Urban Fantasy

I pulled this from the slush, rinsed it off, and oh, the majesty within! This was my first official pick, and what really grabbed me was the intro. It falls well on the sophisticated side, which I LOVE. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for and this author knows it. Totally bizarre and unexpected opening POV? Count me in.

Now for a visual clue!

Blind Item #2-YA Contemporary

Expect to see this one on shelves. The voice is sharp and funny, the premise is terrifying, and I wanted to read the rest of the 60K+ words immediately after devouring the first 300. The enormity of the MC's problem is illustrated perfectly in a single line of dialogue uttered by an unseen character, and the whole thing gave me chills.

Now for a visual clue!

Blind Item #3-YA Paranormal
Hi-larious. I love seeing a male MC in YA, and the premise of this was so light and clever that I had to have it. The visual I got of the narrator slayed me, even though I knew he's not going to stay, ahem, exactly the same.

Now for a visual clue!

Blind Item #4-YA Paranormal Romance

I fell hard for the narrator of this one. She was blunt and unapologetic during a pretty awkward situation in the opening lines, and that made her feel very strong. Plus she has the same first name as my sister. (Let's see how sleuth-y you guys are willing to get :)

Now for a visual clue!

Blind Item #5-YA Fantasy

The opening of this one was really intriguing, and it reminded me of a scene from one of my all-time favorite novels, which is a massive compliment. I like being dropped into a book, and the odd and abrupt beginning really hooked me. 

Now for a visual clue!

Blind Item #6-YA Contemporary

Another one that had me cracking up--the dialogue, setting, everything; it felt like I was watching a movie. The writing was charming, the characters were quirky, and I wasn't expecting to be so moved by the last of the three hundred words. But I was--and it was a very pleasant surprise.

Now for a visual clue!

Blind Item #7-NA Sci-Fi

The pitch made me do a double take, and the first 300 came to a really nice slow boil. The whole thing felt like the epitome of NA, with the MC seeming both innocent and aware in her internal dialogue. That, and the premise felt just a wee bit tongue in cheek ;)

Now for a visual clue!

Blind Item #8-Adult-Women's Fiction

Straight up bizarre idea. I love bizarre. I loved the voice in this so much I wanted to eat it, and the hint that there would be multiple voices to look forward to made it all the better. The pitch was among the more unusual that I saw, but the writing was too good to pass up. I would read this, and I would read it many times.

Now for a visual clue!

And that's Team Cake (#TeamCake!)  I hope I was properly vague, because I really don't want to give up the ghost before reveal time. That said, if you DO recognize yourself, or your friend, or your ninth grade English teacher, shhhhhh......celebrate in silence, brilliant one.

Good luck, everyone! Be sure to check in with all the Nest Bloggers for more clues and I'll see you on April 16th!


  1. I don't think my MG Contemporary was on your list but it's been so much fun reading the blogs and trying to guess. Super fun game I'm excited to come back tomorrow and read all of your picks!

    Missy LaRae