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Pitch Wars Showcase

Please note: These are the entries for the Pitch Wars season beginning in 2021 and continuing through 2022. Please note that our Agent Showcase ends at 9:00 p.m. ET on Monday, February 14, 2022. Agents will not be able to leave comments requesting material after that time.
PW2020 Adult #31: BLOOD LIKE WATER (Fantasy)
Liz Castañeda
Mentored by:
Nicole Glover
Book Title:
Blood Like Water
2020 Adult Entries
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
self-mutilation, blood magic


When an estranged daughter of a crime lord is forced to marry the son of a rival crew to unite the city against their former colonizers, she negotiates a boon for her sacrifice. The chance to attend an academy of shadow magic. But as she learns to defend her city, she finds a threat within as crews deal anything for power. Even if the asking price is blood.



“Yaya,” Lamia called. She stood before Itzel’s window with a view out to sea and snapped closed the book on her sister Sparrow’s lap.

Itzel peered out, catching sight of too many men in gold and emerald striding through the sleepy stalls of the fruit, fish and artisan market at this late noon hour.

Yet another slip of a girl in the network at Grandmother Sparrow’s behest let herself into Itzel’s apartment. Locks were merely a suggestion and knocks a courtesy they paid only to Itzel. The Sparrow’s delivery and the message she carried was curt. Written in Sarai De Leon’s elegant hand, it warned Itzel to prepare for their father’s call to dinner.

“Crows approach,” the Sparrow said.

“Yes, thank you,” Lamia said drily, remaining at attention.

Instead of asking for more of the Sparrow’s report, Itzel told the girl to fill her belly in the kitchen before returning to her watch or the monastery at the base of the Black Spire Cathedral Valentin’s Sparrows called home.

Assigned to shadow Lamia, the young girl sat expectantly on a settee had declared herself the envy of her sister Sparrows because in being close to Lamia she was near Itzel. That was until Itzel had urged her to read aloud for practice.

“I remember, yaya, interruptions to your reading were met on point of your favorite axe,” Itzel said, reopening the closed book.

3 responses to “PW2020 Adult #31: BLOOD LIKE WATER (Fantasy)”

  1. Em Lysaght says:

    Hi Liz, I would love to see more material about this project! If you would like to submit to me, please use the following link to send me your query letter, synopsis, and first 3 chapters/50 pages (whatever is longer): QueryManager.com/emlysaght/Pitchwars2020

  2. Matt Belford says:

    Hi Liz,

    I’d love to take a look at more of this! I’ve really enjoyed what you’ve created so far and would love to look at the first 50 pages. I’ve set up a special link for the Showcase, so I can stay on top of these: QueryManager.com/MWBelford/PitchWarsShowcase. Please fill out the form and upload your first 50 pages as an attachment so I can take a look.

    If you receive requests from two or more agents at the Tobias Agency, please send your materials to all requestors. We will coordinate internally and discuss the projects that we’re interested in!


    Matt Belford

  3. Lee OBrien says:

    I would love to read this!

    To query me, you can send the query and full MS to lee.queries@irenegoodman.com with the words “Pitch Wars” in the subject line! If another agent at Irene Goodman requests your manuscript, please submit to just one agent at a time. If they pass, you are welcome to resubmit to another.