PW #125: Adult Contemporary Romance: A HEART’S DESIGN

Manuscript Status: FINISHED

Mentor Name: Scarlett Cole
Mentee Name: Natalee Cooper
Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 65,000


When Madison lands a project with real estate tycoon Jase Cutter, one that will ignite her architectural career, she doesn’t expect his request for secrecy—or to fall hard for the sexy-sweet bachelor who’s haunted by a past he can’t escape. But when one leaked story fuels a firestorm of doubt, Madison realizes she stands to lose her career, and her heart.


Architect Madison Blakeley stared wide-eyed into a sea of dark suits and little black dresses, all accented with platinum cufflinks and cascading diamonds. She smoothed her own scarlet gown with shaky hands.

“Never again let me take the advice of a style magazine. Bold colors are definitely not all the rage.” She twisted her bracelet, her choice in evening wear taunting her already tight nerves.

“Oh, come on.” Eric Strand peered over the crowd. “Those two women aren’t wearing black. And at least you didn’t seek advice from the senator’s wife.” He gestured to the curvy blonde’s gold and white striped skirt that could have doubled as a mini circus tent.

He had a point.

The backdrop to the exclusive gala, the Stratton hotel, was stunning with its burgundy walls and gold damask patterns—both of which glinted under the dramatic lighting of the chandeliers dripping from the ceiling. But none of that mattered.

Where are you, Jase Cutter?

Madison followed Eric through a crowd of guests who’s cocktail of perfumes and cologne whispered of money and importance and tried not to be overwhelmed. “Any sign of him?”

“Not yet, but I’m sure the bachelor won’t be too hard to spot. Or, what is it they’re calling him these days? Brilliant real estate mogul?” He snorted, drawing a few looks.

Madison didn’t care what people called him, she cared about making a good impression.

No. Not good—unforgettable.


Author: Brenda Drake

New York Times bestselling author of Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1), Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2), Touching Fate (Fated Series #1), and Cursing Fate (Fated Series #2) available now, creator of #PitchWars, #PitchMadness, and #PitMad, fueled by coffee and Goldfish crackers (but not together), and represented by Peter Knapp with The Park Literary Group. @brendadrake

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  1. I’m intrigued! Please send a query and the first 100 pages in a word doc to laura [at]!

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  2. I’d love to take a look! Pleas email the first 50 pp to with the title and PitchWars in the subject!

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  3. I’d love to take a look! Can you send along the query (pasted into the body of the email) and the first 50 pages (attached as a .doc) when you have a moment to querylisa [at] awfulagent [dot] com? Also, please include Pitch Wars and the title in the subject line. Thanks!

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  4. I’d be happy to take a look! Please send the full manuscript along as an attached document, to Put Pitch wars– TITLE in the subject line, and include your pitch in the email.


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  5. I love this! Please send it as a Microsoft word document with “Pitch Wars manuscript” in the subject line, including your query letter in the first page of the document. Suzie at newleafliterary dot com.

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