NA Pitch: Russian Bastard

Hello! I’m very excited about this idea for a (NA) novel that is mafia related. I’d love any feedback about my pitch! Any feedback or comment would really be appreciated :heart:

Title : Russian Bastard

Bastard: a person born of parents not married to each other.

Log line/Hook : When Russian princess Tatiana Belluchi is targeted, she is placed under the protection of Zeke Vasiliev—a man who belonged to another woman, with blue eyes and scars on his back.

Intended audience: YA/NA (ages 16-25)

Genre: NA, Romance

Length: 50k-70k words (currently have written around 40k words)

Summary (500 words) - Contains Spoilers

There is an impending war among the powerful crime families in America for lush lands in California. The Vasiliev, Belluchi, and Varratti families are among the most powerful fighting for the land. An attack on the Vasiliev estate during a party occurs. To avoid intervention from the five godfathers; rulers of the crime world, Vasiliev and Belluchi join forces in an effort to protect the object of their attack— Tatiana Belluchi. Because Tatiana is of Russian royalty and is targeted by many, Vasiliev placed her under the protection of his son, Zeke.

The two instantly connected over shared experiences of being bastard children, bonding and sharing moments. After a tour of the estate leads to a kiss it is revealed that Zeke, heir to his uncle’s mafia family, is engaged to Verratti’s eldest daughter, Angelica.

It wasn’t long before another attempt on Tatiana’s life was made, bombing her vehicle. Zeke, who was escorting her after a dinner where they discussed areas where she can hide from the attacks targeting her, saved her from serious injury.

Later, during the engagement party of Zeke and Angelica, it was revealed that Tatiana is Verratti’s eldest daughter, not Angelica. Before Tatiana could question her true lineage, an assault interrupts them, forcing Tatiana to escape with Zeke in the dead of night.

They stayed hidden in France for a few weeks and Tatiana struggled with the truth. As they grew closer and got to know each other better, they decided to marry on their own terms without the pressures of their families and responsibilities on them. Their marriage sparked interest in nearby towns and they were exposed. Another attack was made against her life, forcing them to face the fact that France—their home away from home, is no longer safe.

They fled from France and returned home, where they will be surrounded by family. However, upon their arrival, Tatiana is kidnapped. The people intent on her life are revealed to be Rose Romano, a close friend of hers and Ivanov Vasiliev, Zeke’s second brother. Ivanov is sick of being the “forgotten son”, overshadowed by his older brother and Zeke, his younger bastard brother. However, the true mastermind behind the attacks on so many of the families is revealed to be Lorenzo Castellano, godfather and brother of Elena, the late wife of Verratti. He hated Verratti and his bastard daughter who caused his sister so much pain.

Zeke, stricken with grief was finally able to track Tatiana down and expose Castellano and those behind the attacks, reuniting with Tatiana. Their sweet reunion in their home is interrupted when Angelica, brainwashed by Lorenzo, makes a last attempt to kill Tatiana. Her plans were foiled when she couldn’t land a direct hit on Tatiana before Zeke was able to detain her.

Zeke, who had amassed power rivaling the godfather’s, sought retribution for the danger his wife and unborn child were under. He kills Castellano and returns to Tatiana who patiently waited for her husband to come home.

Plot and Character Arcs

Plot:

The story follows Russian princess Tatiana Belluchi as she supervises the exchange of guns and ammunition under the orders of her family thanks to the connections she has as her mother’s daughter. During an exchange at a party, she was targeted and wounded and placed under the direct protection of notoriously handsome Zeke Vasiliev, future Don of the French mafia and bastard son of Don Vasiliev. However, despite all of their precautions, her life was always at risk. A story of love, hate, and betrayal, with skeletons from years past surfacing. No one knows who to trust, but all they can do is love.

Character Arcs:

Tatiana has always felt she didn’t belong in her family and occasionally thinks of ending her own life since she is a “bastard” child who ruined her family’s perfect image. Having been kidnapped in the past, she also thinks she is a burden to her family. Since both of them are “bastards” they share the same experiences, being shunned by their family. She grows out of her suicidal thoughts thanks to Zeke’s endless love and support.

Zeke who was a bastard, chose to drown in vices during his teen and college years because his step-mother hated him and beat him. His uncle who rules the French Mafia based in America approaches him giving him a purpose—he is to be the Don of his own family. Brief mentions in the story on how Zeke transforms from being an irresponsible boy and into a man worthy of respect to be called a future Don .

Highlights and Notes

Highlights:

Betrayal, hate, scars, and lies are strong dark themes in this story for the two main characters. Tatiana has been lied to her whole life about her true lineage and family while Zeke—who is already despised by his step-mother—is betrayed and hated by his older brother who he admires. The two have both experienced what it has felt like to want to end their own lives. Despite all of this, the two meet and know what it means to live and be loved unconditionally by someone else, with no lies in between.

Notes:

  • The story is based in New York and is written in third person POV that switches between Tatiana (turning 23) and Zeke (turning 27).
  • I began conceptualizing this idea last April 4, 2020. I wrote until chapter 11 and I posted the prologue and first 4 chapters onto Wattpad!
  • There are currently 13 chapters posted on the platform but I am ahead 10 chapters.
  • I currently have around 20K+ words posted on Wattpad but I have written until Chapter 23 and have reached around 44K words.
  • Since being posted a month ago on April 16, the story has reached 2K reads and 720+ votes (on this day May 19)

Although the story is already published, I’d appreciate any comments and feedback!

Lots of love

5 Likes

I honestly wouldn’t consider the land in California lush, very very very very dry here, basically a desert, unless you’re talking about northern California, those are lush

1 Like

I would 10/10 read this, one question, is there a reason why she’s getting captured?

1 Like

I did a bit of research and the land that they are fighting over in the story will be in Atherton that I believe is in Northern California!

In the summary the main reason why Tatiana is kidnapped is because of her royal heritage and in the story it goes in depth to Lorenzo Castellano who despises her for the pain that her life brought his sister Elena, the late wife of Verratti who turns out to be Tatiana’s biological father.

Oh, ok, I was wondering if there was any reason other than that :sweat_smile:

1 Like

There’s still more to it like the fact that quite a few Russians hate Russian Royalty–which is why she and her mother reside in New York and not Russia; they were driven out. Although what I mentioned above is the gist of why she will be captured!

2 Likes

Having a mafia intrigue story built around a couple of characters from families who are both bastards is certainly interesting. It gives them something.

Unfortunately, it is the only thing I can take from this about them. Both characters lack any sort of internal conflict or motivation present in the summary. They aren’t even the main character introduced in your first paragraph (the crime families are instead).

These are a couple of passive characters who don’t really have anything they’re trying to gain or do, so they largely do nothing, and are instead pushed along by the rest of the plot.

They only meet because their families require (neither of them appear to object or are trying to do anything else?), they fall in love because they’re both bastards, and then neither of them does anything for the rest of the plot. They escape due to an assault forcing them, Tatiana is kidnapped, Zeke saves her simply because he has to as she is suddenly attacked without them going or doing anything.

Because the characters have no connection to the plot or events, neither do I, unfortunately.

2 Likes

Thank you so much for your feedback! I’ll definitely think about it when I go over the story again <3