Have questions about submitting to Pitch Wars or just want to know what it is? Start here!

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 #17: HOT STREAK (Mystery)
Lina Chern
Mentored by:
Kristen Lepionka and Ernie Chiara
Book Title:
2020 Adult Entries
Word Count:


Cynical tarot reader Katie wants more from life than selling tchotchkes at the mall, but stumbling on the murder scene of misfit work friend Marley is a bit too much. With help from her science-nerd brother and a shy, skeptical local cop, Katie uncovers a suburban underworld of two-bit mobsters and stolen cash—and a secret about Marley’s murder that puts Katie next in line.



I always knew Marley would disappear. We worked across from each other at the Deerpath Shopping Center, me at the Russian knickknack place and her at the goth boutique, where she rang up anarchy t-shirts for tweens in $500 Nikes. She was a lot like me—smart enough to get the hell out of Lake Terrace when she grew up, but dumb enough to come back. For how long, I didn’t know. She put out a chill, bloom-where-you’re-planted vibe, but always looked like she was watching the exits, marking the days until she could peel out and leave Lake Terrace in the rearview.

When she did disappear, it didn’t go down how I expected. For starters, I didn’t think she’d be murdered.

The guy who set the whole thing off walked into Russian Gifts on a Sunday, the deadest day of the week and, consequently, the only time my boss Larissa trusted me to run the place alone. I didn’t see him walk in. I was laying out a Celtic Cross with a Russian tarot deck when the store’s heavy glass door slammed open.

I jerked up. He was plastered against the inside of the door, breathing hard and staring out into the mall—a weight-lifter-looking guy with a bristly haircut on a blocky face, a faded Gold’s Gym t-shirt and jogger sweats. There was an angry red gash on his forehead.

9 responses to “PW2020 Adult #17: HOT STREAK (Mystery)”

  1. Anya Goncharova says:

    Dear Lina, You had me at ‘Russian tarot deck’… I am so curious to read more and learn about the story. Your writing really jumps off the page. Could you please send through the first 50 pages of your MS for our consideration? My email is anya@peonyliteraryagency.com. Can’t wait, and I hope you are doing as well as possible at this uncertain time! All best, Anya; Peony Literary Agency

  2. Sharon Pelletier says:

    Hi Lina, I’d like to read more! Could you please send your query and the first 50 pages?
    I’m with Dystel, Goderich & Bourret – if others here request, just choose who you think is the best fit and mention who else requested when you send to them.
    -Sharon Pelletier

  3. Michelle Richter says:

    Lina, I’d love to see the full manuscript. Please submit to me at QueryManager.com/MichelleRichter/PitchWars

    If more than one Fuse Literary agent requests, please just choose one of us, whomever you think might be the best fit.

  4. Dear Lina,
    I can’t wait to read the rest of your manuscript. I really love the voice here. Please use this link to upload your pages: QueryManager.com/1353/PW2021
    Thanks, Joanna

  5. Tamar Rydzinski says:

    Hi Lina,

    I would love to read your manuscript! Please send the whole thing to querytamar@contextlit.com, making sure to put “Pitch Wars Request” in the subject line.

    Looking Forward to reading,

  6. Dawn Dowdle says:

    Dear Lina,

    This sounds really interesting. I would love to read more. Please follow the query instructions at http://www.blueridgeagency.com and mention Pitch Wars for who referred you.

    Thank you.

    Dawn Dowdle

  7. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi Lina,

    I would LOVE to see this – if you’re interested, can you send your query and full manuscript to penelope@gelfmanschneider.com, with PitchWars in the subject line? Thanks so much!

    All best,

  8. Josh Getzler says:

    Hi Lina,

    I really enjoyed your pitch and your sample. Could you please send the full MS of Hot Streak to my email address, with PitchWars in the subject? Thanks, and looking forward to reading more.

    All the best,

    Josh Getzler
    Hannigan Getzler Literary

  9. Christine Lee says:

    Hi Lina! You’re welcome to send your full manuscript to christine@leshneagency.com. Please include “Pitch Wars” and your book title in the subject line. Thanks, Christine