The Wilds by Rebecca Paula
Prudence Dawson is a woman with her back against the wall after she’s nearly killed for rightful inheritance. When she takes a governess position in the country, she believes she may have finally outrun the nasty solicitor, Mr. Shaw. But nothing is as it should be when she arrives at Burton Hall, the crumbling ancestral home of the estranged Brooks family. An exotic menagerie, a secret duke, three orphaned children, and the vulgar Mr. Brooks, push Prudence to abandon Victorian propriety for the chance of finally belong to a family she never had. But has she really found a safe haven from her troubles?
Edward Brooks, the mad man, the explorer, the spy, was a man unbridled until the passing of his older brother in India. Charged with returning his young nephew and nieces to the family’s ancestral seat in the English countryside, Edward’s forced to abandon his role in a fiery international intrigue and take on the role of a family man. Nagged by the prim miss of a governess who’s past is unknown and burdened with a crumbling estate, Edward must battle the family secrets that led to his exile from England fifteen years earlier as quickly as possible. Adventure calls his name, but his past comes calling before he can escape the clutches of his new circumstances. Can he protect what he suddenly comes to hold dear?
The Wilds is a historical romance set in late Victorian England. It is complete at 85,000 words. I have a B.S. in Journalism from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. I have written for several news outlets, including the Boston Globe. My fiction has been featured on Figment.com and my short story, Truly, was recently published in a literary magazine. I am a member of the RWA and NHRWA.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope very much to work with you and look forward to hearing from you.
Arielle & David: The stakes are very high in this story. And you’ve chosen a time in history that seems to be of constant interest to many readers. You’ve also created two very interesting characters with lots of interesting flaws. We like the way you use words, it feels like you can really write a book that we’d like to read. It’s nice that you give us some of your credentials, too. What can be improved? It would be great to have some comparable titles, books that are similar to yours in the broadest sense of that word. And it’s almost like there are two pitches here. One for the story of Prudence, and one for the story of Edward. They don’t really quite seem to connect. Would also be great if you showed us some word pictures of this fantastic world that you’re going to take us to, Victorian England. It would help if you showed what these characters look like physically. The brain works in word pictures, and if we can see your characters, it will go a long way to relating and rooting for them. And some of your language is a bit vague, “the family secrets” could be anything. “Adventure calls his name, but his past comes calling” could apply to so many different stories. Also we don’t like the way you use calls and calling in the same sentence so close together, it feels clumsy. Everyone should know, your pitch is your audition to show everyone what a great writer you are.