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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.
PW2021 Adult #43: THE MARRIAGE MAVEN (Contemporary Afro-Latinx Romance/Rom-com)
Roma Peña
Mentored by:
Charish Reid and Denise Williams
Book Title:
The Marriage Maven
Contemporary Afro-Latinx Romance/Rom-com
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
Side character with dementia


Ruby has a lucrative theory: a man will marry the next woman he dates after a bad breakup–and she’s made a lot of money proving her hypothesis. Ruby is hired to charm and then dump Adan, who has avoided dating after two failed engagements. When Adan learns his promotion hinges on being in a committed relationship, he must do everything possible to keep Ruby, the breakup pro, by his side. At the same time, Ruby risks breaking her cardinal rule: don’t fall in love.



“Another breakup, another ten-thousand dollars,” Ruby Cortege mumbled under her breath as she took a long look at herself in the bathroom mirror. The lighting was terrible. Dark wood and a warmly lit chandelier did nothing to illuminate her best features. She pressed a red fingernail against her eyebrow, combing an errant dark strand into submission. After lining her cupid’s bow with pencil, she applied the red lipstick. 

It was good to leave a man pining. 

She’d been looking forward to dining at the most exclusive restaurant in Boston, Amadeo’s Trattoria and it had been delicious. The veal was divine, paired with red wine, but her stomach was unsettled as she neared the end of a lengthy dating escapade. After wiping away a smear of lipstick from her bottom lip, she plastered on a smile. 

She’d been dreading this night from the very beginning of the courtship, knowing it would end up in heartbreak. Not hers. His. Always his. She’d been ready to conclude the relationship, but she always feared the confrontation.

Breaking up was a process. It wasn’t sudden. Signs building up to the end had to be sprinkled along the way. There was a honeymoon period that overshadowed their differences, but mainly, the poor man had to realize this was coming.

21 responses to “PW2021 Adult #43: THE MARRIAGE MAVEN (Contemporary Afro-Latinx Romance/Rom-com)”

  1. Andrea Cascardi says:

    Hi, what a great, hooky, opening! Definitely makes me want to keep turning pages, so I’d love to read the full manuscript! I’ll look forward to seeing it in my in-box, to andrea@transatlanticagency.com, as an attachment, with the title and Pitch Wars Adult request in the subject line. Thank you! Andrea

  2. Sharon Pelletier says:

    This sounds fantastic! I’d love to read. Could you please send the full (as a Word doc) and your query to spelletier@dystel.com? If you get more than one request from DG&B, please choose the agent you think is the best fit for you and note in your email the other requests.


  3. Ann Leslie Tuttle says:

    Dear Roma,
    Your opening excerpt immediately drew me into THE MARRIAGE MAVEN, and you have a fun premise. Please do send me the first 50 pages with a short synopsis (if one is available), and I look forward to reading further. My email is atuttle@dystel.com, and please note that this is a Pitch Wars request. Also, if you receive a request from more than one DGB agent, please approach the agent you feel might be the best fit and notify us of other requests in the agency. We’ll work it out on our end. I wish you success in Pitch Wars and with your writing and will hope to hear from you.
    Ann Leslie Tuttle

  4. Jim McCarthy says:

    I’d be happy to take a look at this! Please send the manuscript my way at jmccarthy@dystel.com. If another DGB agent has requested, please feel free to choose whichever of us feels like the best fit for you and note who else asked for it, and we can work it out from there! Thanks!

  5. Haley Casey says:

    Hi, Roma. This is the rom-com I didn’t even know I needed, but now that I’ve seen the pitch and had a glimpse of Ruby’s voice, I’m in! If you’re willing, I’d love if you sent your full manuscript, synopsis, and author bio to me at haley@cmalit.com! As a note, if another agent at Creative Media Agency requests your manuscript and you’re interested in working with us, please only send your materials to whoever you feel is the best fit. (Though I do hope it’s me, I hope even more sincerely that you make the choice that feels best for you and your writing.) Thanks! —Haley

  6. Eva Scalzo says:

    Hi Roma,

    This sounds super fun and right up my alley, and this hypothesis looks like one that could build some really fun character moments. I’d love to see the full manuscript, if you are interested in sending it my way. You can submit the full here: QueryManager.com/evascalzo/PitchWars2022

    And if you want to know more about me, here’s a link to my website: http://www.evascalzo.com and my twitter handle is @evascalzo.

    Best of luck to you!

  7. Cathie Hedrick-Armstrong says:

    Hi Roma!

    I love the premise of this book and would love to give it a read! Please check me out at http://www.thepurcellagency.com and, if you think we’d make a good match, please send me the full manuscript as a word doc attachment with a simple blurb pasted above the first chapter so I can remember what I’m reading when I dig in.

    Please send to QueryCathieH@gmail.com.

    SUBJECT: #PitchWars Request / “TITLE OF YOUR MANUSCRIPT” / Your Name / Word Count

    That’s all I need!

    Best wishes with #PitchWars! I know you’ve worked hard and this is your chance to sit back, relax and finally get some rest while you enjoy all the agent requests coming your way! Have tons of fun!

    Cathie Hedrick-Armstrong, Literary Agent
    The Purcell Agency

  8. Paige Wheeler says:

    This sounds fun. I’d love to take a look at more of your work. Please email me the synopsis and first 100 pages to me at paige@cmalit.com. Please write “Pitch Wars Requested Material” in the subject heading. Thanks so much!

  9. Jemiscoe Chambers-Black says:

    Hi Roma!

    Ooo, “It was good to leave a man pining.” The surety in the voice is amazing! I’d love to find out what happens next if you’re up to sharing with me. If you are, please send your query letter, a 1-2 page synopsis, and the full manuscript to https://querymanager.com/query/Jemiscoe/PitchWars. If someone else from my agency requests, please send it to only one of us, but let us know of our colleague’s interest, and we will share if it’s not the right fit.



  10. Lauren Spieller says:

    Congratulations on completing Pitch Wars! I’d love to see this again. Please send your query + full manuscript + synopsis to Lauren@triadaus.com, and put “PW Request” in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you! ~Lauren Spieller

  11. Jessica Alvarez says:

    Hi Roma,

    Oooh, this sounds fun! Please send me the full and synopsis. You can upload them here as Word docs: http://www.QueryManager.com/JessicaAlvarez/PitchWars. If someone else at BookEnds has also requested, please choose whichever agent you think is the best fit and only submit to one of us. Thanks so much. Looking forward to reading.

    All best,
    Jessica Alvarez, BookEnds Literary

  12. Saritza Hernandez says:

    This sounds like a lot of fun and the type of RomCom I adore! I’d love to see the full if you feel we could be a good fit. Please upload the manuscript using my QueryManager form here: QueryManager.com/Saritza/PitchWars

    I look forward to this read!


  13. Jill Marr says:

    Ruby looks like a wonderful character to carry a rom com!
    Please send the full manuscript in Word (with the subject YOUR TITLE: #PW2021 Showcase) to jill@dijkstraagency.com.
    I’m looking forward to reading more!

  14. Danielle Egan-Miller says:

    I would love to take a look at this! Please send your query with PITCH WARS in the subject line and a synopsis + the full manuscript attached to mail@browneandmiller.com – I and my team will confirm receipt and dive right in!

  15. Jennifer Weis says:

    I would love to read your material. Please send me three. chapters and a synopsis plus letter! Sounds great. Thank you.


    Hi Roma!

    Lovely to see this again! I’d love to read more of THE MARRIAGE MAVEN. (Great new title!) If you’re interested in sharing it with me, please do send the full ms to: rebecca@defliterary.com. Please label the subject: PITCH WARS REQUESTED.

    Thanks so much! And, good luck in this process!

    Rebecca Strauss
    DeFiore and Company

  17. Logan Harper says:

    Hi Roma. I would love to read the first 50 pages of your manuscript. If you’re interested in sending, please email a query letter, a synopsis, and the material as a Word doc to lharper(at)janerotrosen(dot)com. Please include “PITCH WARS – The Marriage Maven” in the subject line. Thank you, and I look forward to reading! Best, Logan Harper / Jane Rotrosen Agency

  18. Alex Rice says:

    Would love to see this manuscript in my inbox! Please send over the full manuscript and a synopsis to me at alex.rice@caa.com, using the subject line of “Pitch Wars Query // TITLE.” If another agent at CAA also requests, please include their name in the query as well. Looking forward to reading! All my best, Alex Rice

  19. Jennifer Herrington says:

    Hi Roma,

    Wow! This sounds fabulous! I would love to see more if you were comfortable sharing. Please submit your query, synopsis, and the full manuscript to: QueryManager.com/JenniferHerrington/PitchWars2022.

    I hope to see your submission!

    Jennifer Herrington
    Associate Agent
    Harvey Klinger Literary Agency

  20. Dani Segelbaum says:

    I would love to read! Please send your query and first 50 pages to dani@carolmannagency.com.

  21. Katelyn Detweiler says:

    Hi Roma,

    This sounds so great! Could you please send your query and full manuscript to me at katelyn@jillgrinbergliterary.com with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line? (Please note, if multiple agents from Jill Grinberg Literary Management request your ms, we ask that you only share with one.) Thank you!