Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Literary Criticism

First Page: Adventures of Pearl Whyte

First Page: Adventures of Pearl Whyte

Welcome to First Page Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. You may comment anonymously. You can submit your own First Page using this form.


Chapter 1: Death of a Legend

A full moon illuminates a cloudless black night sky. A sixty foot long wooden hulled airship floats lazily in front of the moon; its ninety foot cigar shaped helium filled gasbag holds the double decked airship secure against the aether. Below, the city of Baltimore sleeps in the late night hours. The March winds blow steadily and the airship’s propellers twirl lazily keeping the ship at its station.

‘All hands, attention’ says Captain Turner. The portly thirty year old man strokes his thin close cropped beard before thrusting out his chest and both chins.

The airmen stand around in their sky blue uniforms staring expectantly at the Captain and the taller, muscular man beside him. A cool wind blows across the smooth wooden deck.

‘I know we have not been together long, but, I have been given an important task tonight and I am sure you men will acquit yourself admirably. I should hate to have anyone figure poorly in my report’ he says in a thin voice.

‘Ah, beggin’ the Captain’s pardon, but, what are we doing floating above an empty rail station?’
‘I’m glad you asked, Midshipman. There is a train due to arrive shortly carrying an important cargo. The USS Cerberus has been ordered to provide escort and see the train safely from Baltimore to Washington, DC.’

‘A train at this hour? Should we run out the guns or be on the lookout for English airships; seems too far inland for those boys’

‘Ah, good questions. Commander Whyte will handle the details of the mission and your preparations. I will be leaving him in charge, but, I have every confidence in all of you’ says Captain Turner before walking across the deck and entering the upper deck and his elegantly furnished Captain’s Cabin.

The muscular man straightens the white cuffs of his dark blue uniform jacket and picks imaginary lint from the gold braid of his sleeves before turning to the airmen.

‘Now, let’s stop polishing the brass and get to your stations. Midshipman Hampton, have your crews man the port and starboard gatling guns. Jefferson, I need you in the Crow’s Nest, shout out when you see the train arrive. I am not sure what manner of threat the USS Cerberus is suppose to guard against, but, I want all of us prepared for any threat. Hopefully, this will prove to be quiet night’s sailing and we’ll be able back at the airfield by morning’ says the Commander.

‘Commander Whyte, sir. Any chance we will be back at the airfield in time to attend the ten year celebration?’

‘Let’s hope so, Midshipman. I do believe my daughter’s beau has finally worked up the nerve to ask for her hand in marriage. It will do my heart good to know she will be well provided for’

‘Ah, Midshipman Jones, sir? He is a good match for Miss Pearl, if I may be so bold. I only mean that he is a fine young officer with a good future in the Aeronautical Corps ahead of him, sir’ says Midshipman Hampton. The young man looks down at the holy stone polished deck and absently rubs the back of his neck beneath his black hair.

First Page: Man of Her Dreams

First Page: Man of Her Dreams

Welcome to First Page Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. You may comment anonymously. You can submit your own First Page using this form.


One

Jared lowered his suitcase, grimacing when it scraped the marble foyer. He paused. Had Mona heard him sneaking in? All remained quiet in the spacious apartment, so he let go the breath he’d been holding.

Ambient lighting cast a soft glow down the carpeted hall. Loosening his tie, Jared padded softly toward the bedroom. He and Mona hadn’t been getting along lately and by coming home early and surprising her, he hoped it would kick start their relationship again.

Before his writing career took off, and the subsequent media frenzy, he’d always been available for long romantic vacations, intimate dinners and attended the various charity functions Mona liked to be seen at. As a model for a high profile lingerie company, she was in high demand.

Also, Mona enjoyed the status and social clout from being the girlfriend of Jared Kane, only son of business magnate, Zachary Kane. Paparazzi dubbed Jared and Mona ‘The Golden Couple’, and spiralled into hyper-drive when Mona hinted an engagement wasn’t far off.

Neither of them had foreseen his Aiden Black – Murder by Choice series hitting both USA Today and the New York Times Bestseller’s lists, and after that, time was no longer his alone. He and his agent, Daran had been on a gruelling three month book tour. At this very moment Jared was supposed to be in Dallas on the Vicky Lee show.

Tempted, as the other guest was Golden Globe nominee Suzanne Swann, he’d asked Daran to have his segment taped so he could catch the red-eye home.

Jared stopped outside the bedroom and reached into the side pocket of his carry-on bag. He pulled out an elegantly wrapped gift and set the bag just outside the bedroom door. Inside the narrow, oblong box laid an intricate emerald necklace he’d spotted while in Los Angeles. It was Mona’s favorite type of gift; beautiful and expensive and— his cock twitched in anticipation— she would probably thank him most profusely.

She usually did.

About to push open the double French doors, Jared hesitated. From within the bedroom Mona’s throaty groan was unmistakable. Ice cold anger unfurled in his stomach. He recognized that groan. He’d heard it often enough when he plunged between her milky white thighs.

It seemed his soon-to-be fiancée had a lover. Too bad for her Jared hadn’t stayed away until tomorrow, like planned. With controlled movements, he opened the door, and took in the scene laid out before him.

Mona, astride her lover, arched, thrusting her breasts high into the air. Her long, silver blonde hair cascaded in riotous curls down her back. Beneath her, Jared could see the feet and legs of a man, his feet braced on the bed, large hands cupping her buttocks. As the man thrust up, Mona writhed and breathed out throaty encouragements.

Neither of them reacted right away when Jared tossed the wrapped gift over Mona’s shoulder. But both came to a shuddering stop when Jared leaned against the door jamb and called out in a deceptively calm voice. “Honey, I’m home.”