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

Literary Criticism

First Page: Unpublished Manuscript

First Page: Unpublished Manuscript

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.


Duncan Sinclair hadn’t come to the Haven for the fires, but they were on his mind as he beached his sea-kat in a small cove just beyond the port. They were on his mind as he breathed in the Mainland smell that rose to greet him from the autumn mulch underfoot. And they were on his mind as he listened to the slow drumbeat coming from a distant fire circle. Soon it overlapped with the rhythm coming from another and another until the music matched his steps and his heartbeat.

Trouble usually began in the Four Arcs amid the crush and slide of bodies dancing the New Moon fires, and Duncan had stayed out of trouble’s way for too damn long. He whistled, and then he whistled at the top of his lungs, and then he laughed out loud, which wasn’t something he’d done much of lately.

What he had done was sail his kat through some rough waters to get here in time for tomorrow’s skirmish. But he wasn’t tired. He was awake.

Taking a familiar route to the Haven, he crossed a pasture where years before he and Greta had practiced battle tactics before taking them to O’Brien for the captain’s approval. The heather snagged his boots, but his feet felt as light as his spirits.

He was ready to offer his services and his arm to the squad again, even if that meant fighting alongside his brother. He jogged past sheep, some wooly, all with black faces. He had played for a similar crowd on the Edge the previous night, with more sheep than people in attendance.

If he’d had his fiddle with him, he would have headed first to the bard’s pavilion to play for a more appreciate audience than sheep, but he wasn’t traveling as a bard this New Moon. His first order of business was to find Conall and tell him the news, but after that he would find Captain O’Brien, and after that, who knew?

Perhaps he’d dance the fires with an old partner and teammate. Or maybe he would find her singing in the pavilion. Either way, he could still taste her skin like honey against his lips.

First Page: Mortal Sin, Paranormal Romance

First Page: Mortal Sin, Paranormal Romance

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.


“Sarah I really don’t want to be here?” Said Karly.

Karly tapped Sarah’s shoulder when she ignored her.

“Why are you ignoring me?” Said Karly.

“Shhh or they’re going to hear us.” Sarah said in a whisper.

Shaking her head Karly checked her arms to make sure she had her knifes sheaved.

“As if I care. Lets hurry up and get this knocked out, I’m beat.”

Sarah scoffed. “You haven’t done anything today except go to that council meeting.”

Lifting her chin Karly said. “Yes and that should say enough. I wish I never went. Those idiots had me clutching my chest from the heart attack they were about to give me. I swear if the meeting had not ended when it had; I would have died of boredom.”

Sarah quirked her brow and chuckled.

“Yeah I’m sure you would have.”

A noise from the caves alerted them. They crouched low to the ground, staying hidden behind a pair of bushes. They watched as a Hobgoblin came out he looked slowly around before turning back inside the cave.
Hobgoblins were starting to become an increasingly alarming issue; as of five months ago. A lot of children Sidhe and human were going missing. It seemed as if everywhere she looked there was a Missing Persons sign posted. Hobgoblins were loathsome creatures who liked to kidnap children and do unspeakable things to them. The last time they went on a case that involved the vermin she was sent to the onsite therapist for having random vicious outburst. Her “random outburst” helped her eliminate the nightmares she was forced to deal with for those five months of her life. So if she kicked some pedophiles ass, or slapped some abuser here an there that was fine by her.

“Okay lets go. You take the rear, move as one; no mistakes. This nest is the larger then the last one by far.” Sarah said as she stealthily moved from behind the bushes.

“Yup, lets get this part started. We don’t want to be late.” Karly said moving behind Sarah.

They moved up to the cave in a low crouch, using the bushes and trees as coverage. Both wearing black leather catsuits, they were like shadows.

As they walked up to the hidden cave she got a whiff of decomposing flesh. A smell that she had come to identify all to well. Knowing there MO she did not want to find out what was in there decaying, but it was their job to keep the city clean of miscreants so that’s exactly what they were going to do. Stepping over a stone while ducking her head into the cave entrance she was jolted into the past. She remembered going deep into a cave where she smelt rotting flesh and the stench had gotten stronger with every step. As she turned that corner the sight she had seen made her want to rip out her heart. There were multiple children in cages ranging from ages four years old to thirteen. The skin on their little bodies had been peeled and the raw meat was exposed showing stretched muscle. The bodies were covered in maggots. She had to look away briefly to keep her composure, after she took in a shaky breath she stalked over to the cages. The bodies were covered in tiny bite marks. She was shaking with so much anger that black spots started to filter into her vision. She remembered unsheathing her steel Katana blade from her back and readying the blade for revenge. Calm washed over her; the comforted feeling she got right before she dealt deaths. She was going to enjoy tearing these Goblins apart, all while doing it slowly. She moved through the caves caverns, rolling her wrist to adjust the long blade to the caves walls. Waiting for her opportune moment to attack; to her disappointment the nasty things had already moved on, leaving only the stench of death and bodies for them to clean up. She searched the caves one more time making sure they were really gone.

As she came back around towards the center of the cave the Murder Technicians MTs were pulling the bodies out of the cages tagging them. She had called them in after her initial walk through. The process was fast you took finger prints and/or DNA samples. But since the skin was gone they had to take tissue samples.

Mark the tech she was aquatinted with waved her on. He knew that she wasn’t going to stick around and watch the children be bagged. It was  good that the children had been reunited with their families, finally being laid to rest but it was times like that, that made her job hard. It was also times like that, that brought her back to work every morning; back to the cave she was in now. She watched Sarah still, She put her hand up signaling Karly to stop.