My top choice (which btw was in no way easy to pick--seriously there are some fantastic writers out there) was Mindy Ruiz. Her pitch hooked me from the get go and the follow up pages made it impossible not to pick her.
Here is her entry for ENCHANTED HEART:
Name: Mindy Ruiz
Mentor: Molly Elizabeth Lee
Title: Enchanted Heart
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 96,000
Pitch: One step inside Las Vegas and seventeen year-old Cassandra rekindles an ancient power struggle between the ruling families: The Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs and Spades. Her true identity is masked in riddles nobody in Vegas can afford for her to solve, and the boy she shouldn’t trust has enchanted her heart.
New Year’s Resolution #1: Kill Malory! Not quickly, either. The use of a calorie counter and a corn dog should be involved in her murder.
A Malibu coast line, four hours of desert for inspiration and that was all I’d come up with for my set of New Year’s resolutions. I was either pathetic or still pissed.
“Don’t worry about it, Cassie,” Malory’s voice played back in my mind, all distorted like she’d been drinking too much giggle juice. “I’ve totally got your ride to Vegas covered.”
If conning my ex-boyfriend, Justin, to take me to Las Vegas was my best friend’s idea of “covering my ride,” I think I should have opted for the spend-New-Year’s-Eve-alone strategy.
A whoosh of desert air wacked the ends of my ponytail against my cheeks. Even the rebellious strands couldn’t obscure the contemptuous grin of Crystal Shoemaker, A.K.A the new girlfriend.
“You’re so lucky Malory bribed us with Club ASHA opening night tickets.” Crystal shook out her hair in the wind.
My eighteenth New Year’s Eve wasn’t starting off any better than my first.
Warm, promise filled lights flooded the car from Casino Center Boulevard, but the cold icy fingers of doubt wrapped around my heart as mom’s warning about Las Vegas echoed in my ears: “There’s a reason it’s called Sin City, Cassandra.” Her eyes would go cold and dead serious. “Promise me you’ll never go there.”
I always promised, but that was before Malory moved here.
And my first alternate and second alternate picks were Rebecca Yarros' YA fantasy AEOLIAN and Maggie Young's YA Paranormal DIARY OF A GHOST.
Both have captivating pitches, excellent writing, and truly unique concepts. Their entries can be found by clicking on their book titles :)
GO TEAM LEE!! :)
GO TEAM LEE!! :)