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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 #49: THE SACRIFICE (Romantic Suspense #OwnVoices)
Deena Short
Mentored by:
Heather Van Fleet and Jessica Calla
Book Title:
Romantic Suspense #OwnVoices
Word Count:
Manuscript Content Warning(s):
Psychological Abuse, Violence



After enemies attack her arms-dealing family, doctoral candidate Tehya Ryker secures protection by agreeing to marry the brutal leader of an underground fight-ring in the Andes. Except secrets lurk in The Compound, and soon Tehya is desperate to flee. One complication: her intense bond with assigned bodyguard, champion fighter, Lucas. When the pair is separated from The Compound during a mudslide, Tehya’s chance at freedom becomes a reality. But as their forbidden love grows, and life for one means death for the other, a sacrifice must be made.



She died years ago during a cutthroat ambush on her family. 

At least that’s what people outside of their inner circle thought, and her parents preferred to keep it that way. “For her safety,” they’d said.  So when Tehya Ryker sat beside her personal guard in the last pew of the sanctuary, her leather gloves off and cell phone silenced, she pulled her hood forward to shadow her face. Still, too many people turned and looked at them, curious heads on swivels. And heat, too hot, blasted from the furnace battling against the freezing Boston night in March.

The whole thing was wrong from the beginning.

Her father’s men patrolled the aisles, clashing with the candles, the chalices, and the intricately etched archways. She studied the stained-glass window above the rail. It portrayed a woman with Medusa-like hair, her eyes purple and piercing, watchful, and a shiver trickled down Tehya’s spine.

Holding her brother Cayson’s Keepers initiation in a church? Kind of blasphemous. Then again, that was her family.

Her father insisted on calling the family business a “corporation,” not a “syndicate.” He hated that word. Don’t even mention “mafia.” Not only was it beneath him, he considered the word offensively antiquated.

2 responses to “PW2021 Adult #49: THE SACRIFICE (Romantic Suspense #OwnVoices)”

  1. Jemiscoe Chambers-Black says:

    Hi, Deena!

    I’m really digging this premise and would love to see what happens next. If you’re up to sharing this with me, 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.



  2. Jennifer Herrington says:

    Hi Deena,

    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