Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award – 2013

I’ve gotten a lot of help from local PDX experts on how best to craft a “pitch” for Amazon’s upcoming Breakthrough Novel Award submissions.  Readers of this blog have already seen earlier versions.  This one I think nails it:

The People In Between:  A Cyprus Odyssey

The Berlin Wall fell in 1990…

And the Iron Curtain in ’91…

Yet the Green Line remains, cutting through the heart of Nicosia—the capital city of Cyprus—serving as a reminder of a frozen conflict. When Nora Johansson is invited to tend an artist’s gallery in a Cypriot village, she embarks on an adventure to the Mediterranean, where she finds romance with a handsome, easygoing man. While sight-seeing with him, she is shown the charms of sunny Cyprus, along with its turbulent history—a history that’s still in the making, where citizens struggle for a national identity.

Nora’s adventure is interrupted when she receives urgent news from her terminally ill father. She returns to the United States to discover that her mother, who died giving birth, had a younger sister who may still live in Cyprus. Nora goes back to Cyprus and initiates a search for her lost aunt, but soon she must choose between continuing the investigation or following her dream of becoming a diplomat.

Through her years at school, Nora thinks constantly of her aunt, she longs desperately for her man, and she can’t stop dreaming of Cyprus. In time, the relationships she forged in Cyprus earn her a posting to the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia, and she reunites with her lover. Together, the two resume searching for Nora’s aunt, uncovering more secrets that tie them even closer together—in ways they never imagined. Together, they will endeavor to unite a people in this divided country.

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2 Responses to Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award – 2013

  1. Valerie says:

    My first time reading–I really like the beginning. Very ominous, which drew me in. Two things that confused me were whether Nora discovers she has an aunt before or after going back to the US and the ‘through all her years of schooling’ because I didn’t realize she was going back to school. Maybe it could be “As she studies how to become a diplomat” (or as she studies whatever she studies).

    Very jealous of you for having in-depth knowledge about an interesting country a lot of us don’t know much about!

  2. Valerie – Thanks for taking the time to read it and providing such excellent feedback. Submissions closed last eve, so now I cross fingers and toes hoping to make the first cut. Regardless, it was a fun story to write and I have a “work in progress” that will be the sequel.

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