PW #337: Young Adult Historical LGBTQ: A KISS OF BLOOD AND GUNPOWDER

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Kip Wilson
Mentee Name: Kosoko Jackson
Title: A KISS OF BLOOD AND GUNPOWDER
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Historical (LGBTQ)
Word Count: 59,000

Pitch:

For seventeen-year-old James Mills, traveling to Kosovo with his USAID parents is bad—but without his older sister, Anna? That’s cruel and unusual punishment. The letters James obsessively sends her share snapshots of his courtship of Tomas, a Brazilian expat. But it’s not until he and Tomas find themselves fighting for their lives in the midst of an ethnic cleansing that James unearths the truth Anna’s been hiding about their family.

Excerpt:

For the first time since I got here I find myself thinking, I’m glad Anna isn’t here.

Here, meaning Kosovo. Specifically, under this tree. Anna would be good—no, great company. But Anna would’ve died days ago. This war would’ve made sure of that.

At least she’d be one of the lucky ones, her life snuffed out instantaneously. Something tells me the longer you stay alive, the more painful your death will be.

Talk about twisted survivor’s guilt.

The form sprawled out on my lap shifts, as if to say, That’s enough, James. Morbid time’s over. Tomas stirs, his body coiling around itself like a Mobius strip. I’d give anything to be like him, to be intertwined with him. In his bed again, teasing each other with our frozen feet and threatening the dumbest things between snickers. To be back in a world where jokes taken too far were the biggest fear.

Now I’m not even sure if I’ll make it out alive.

My cracked and bleeding fingers on my right hand move down, slithering through his coarse dark hair, raking against his skull, just enough to soothe his torment-filled sleep. If I had one wish, it wouldn’t be to whisk us away, but to give him one peaceful night’s sleep.

Tomas deserves that much. But for now, this will have to do.

Author: Nikki Roberti

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8 Comments

  1. I *must* read more. Please send the full manuscript (as well as a synopsis if you have one) to lauren@triadaus.com with “Pitch Wars: [YOUR TITLE]” as the subject line. Please also include your query in the body of the email. I look forward to reading!

    -Lauren Spieller, TriadaUS

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  2. This sounds fantastic! Please paste your query in the body of the email and attach the full as a doc, and send to mallory(at)triadaus.com. Thank you!!

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  3. Cool start – I’d love to read further! Please send your query and first 3 chapters my way, to joan at emliterary.com – thanks!

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  4. Hi Kosoko, we’ve been in touch–really looking forward to the revised draft. Could I see the full ms, please, as a PDF, sent to lana@chalbergsussman.com with a synopsis and “Pitch Wars” in the subject line? Looking forward to reading!

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  5. Hi Kosoko–Great title opening. Please send the manuscript and a synopsis as Word doc attachments to queryroseanne@gmail.com with Pitch Wars and Query + title in the subject line. Can’t wait to read!

    Roseanne Wells
    The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

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