Beta Reader Reviews
What is a Beta Reader?
An alpha reader or beta reader, pre-reader or critiquer, can be a non/professional reader who reads a written work, generally fiction, with the intent of looking over the material to find and improve elements such as the story, its characters, or its setting. Beta reading is typically done before the story is released for public. Beta readers are not explicitly proofreaders or editors, but can serve in that context.
A beta reader gives feedback on a finished manuscript before publishing.
Birdy ~ Older.mp3
These wonderful 'Beta Readers' have all provided feedback on the previous, full / partial manuscript,
but for spoiler reasons, I'm unable to reveal certain elements of their evaluation.
Below are summaries of the independent feedback received - A Carpet of Purple Flowers - Book One
***The reviews listed here are not by friends or relatives***
***A big thank you to my 'Beta Readers' for your most valuable feedback on this debut journey***
(A Beta Review by Mitch) UK
Full Book Read
This is the first paranormal romance I have ever read, and found it an enjoyable introduction to the genre. It has an original premise and a collection of strong characters. The ending is packed with drama and the ultimate resolution is a surprise. The plot and subplots are strong.
Another core tension is the unease with which the otherworldly and the human world mix, all set against the backdrop of a great war.
The plot is set up so that there can be one final resolution, which is provided in a satisfying way at the end. There are plenty of dramatic moments which move the story along.The story rattles along which is good, with lots of fast-paced moments of drama.
There is great tension and contrast between the male characters.
The events unfold within a logical time frame. There is no waffling or padding; everything is set out in a sensible order.
The events receive appropriate time and attention –turning points are described in detail, whereas periods of tranquility are described briefly.
Periods of tranquility offer some light relief from the drama, adding texture to the plot and characters. At the same time, this is appropriately brief – it does the job of illustrating the mood, but is not overly long. You convey the atmosphere and then move on.
In summary: there are no dull interludes in which nothing much happens.
The protagonist is a strong character who is clearly navigating a period of great change in her life as the story opens.
From the start, the reader wonders how her life will shaken up because the first couple of pages indicate that her life has become stale and boring, with the same routine repeated day in, day out. The narrative doesn't disappoint.
Bea is multifaceted, which is great. For example, whilst she is generally assertive, she has ‘weaknesses'. She is a very believable character.
The main male characters are made believable via contrast, it is obvious early on how they differ.
All the characters have their own histories and it becomes clear over the course of the story why they act in the way they do. Their motives are clear, and the reader is not confused at any point as to why they act the way they do.
The setting is one of the most intriguing aspects of the novel, entailing two worlds overlapping. This is an exciting backdrop, because it forces Bea to question her most fundamental beliefs about reality, reincarnation, and karma.
The dialogue is generally very well-written, and it succeeds in demonstrating the chemistry between the characters.
Dialogue is perfectly in character throughout, and include slight tensions mixed in with camaraderie throughout the novel.
The dialogue is also woven nicely with the character’s actions.
It was wonderful that you (rightly) have sufficient faith in your dialogue that you either stick with ‘said’ or use descriptions of the characters’ actions to illustrate the points they are making.
It was an honour to be your first beta reader. I really enjoyed reading this, and I wish you every success.
(Honey Badger ~BOOK REVIEWS)
(A Review by avid reader, Vicki) UK
Loved it, funny, witty, heart-breaking and mysterious.
It took me at least two chapters to find its rhythm, but once I did, I couldn't put it down.
I like it when you write and get into your characters.
It flowed great and I followed the story-line completely.
What genre do you normally prefer to read?
Paranormal, werewolf, vampire, angel/demons, Greek mythology too.
Have you read anything like this story?
Never read anything like this before, not anywhere in the 300 plus paranormal books I have gone through.
Fabulous how you wrote that certain scene. I loved the way you captured and explained it all. Made me love the story all the more, and kitty with her witty comments.
Loved Kitty, she's an awesome chick.
Was the dialogue okay? Did it read well?
It flowed great, and I followed the story-line completely.
What elements of the story were your favourite/stood out? The love triangle.
You said a part made you cry? From this point did the story still hold your attention?
I was so deep into the story-line at this point, I felt my heart break for ****, but also felt **** pain.
Its like I was there, watching from the sidelines. Oh lord.. I ugly cried.
Was the ending satisfactory?
Loved the ending.
I've loved beta reading for you.
Its a privilege to see and read this before the finished article becomes published.
I'll put my order in for a signed copy now please :o)
I'm hoping you have a 2nd book somewhere lurking, would love to know what happens and where they go.
If you need me to beta read anything else, I would be very happy too. Keep smiling and love purple flowers. Xxx
Beta Review by Dominique Diane Scott
A two-time graduate of a Literature Institute
Dominique, possesses a four year degree in creative writing, and also has two specialty degrees in 'Writing'. US
I read the premise on your website and now I'm really excited to read the actual book. Sounds like it's right up my alley.
The market potential for your book is going to be amazing!
You've definitely found your niche, genre-wise.
Vororbla. Karma. Emotional wounds from previous lives. Soul circles. Destiny.
All of these things intertwine in Tracey-Anne’s New Adult novel ‘A Carpet of Purple Flowers’.
I was amazed at the skill and tact she took in dealing with an issue that is very prevalent to readers of this genre. Twenty-something year olds going through desperate changes - changes in the personal life, in their love lives, and more.
It all seems to start when Bea’s life has become stagnant. Somewhat mourning the loss of her *** and break-up with her boyfriend, Bea is all alone in the world but for a few friends. She’s experiencing life in a way she never has before and she’s about to be given all she can handle.
Suddenly she’s thrown into the middle of an otherworldly war between to sects of an ancient race. It gets complicated when she finds herself falling for two different guys – one from each side of the war. A Seelie and an Unseelie. The writing flows dramatically as the reader constantly wonders who she will choose to be with and what the consequences will be when she finally decides.
It seemed that every chapter added a twist to the plot. Just when the reader feels they know where Bea’s heart is, something else happens to send the story spiraling in an exciting new direction.
I’m going to be honest: Once I picked this book up. It was EXTREMELY hard for me to put it down.
And even after I finished the book, a phrase that was oft repeated throughout the story still resonated within me –
“Keep your light bright”
Everyone reaches a point in their lives where their inner light seems not to be as bright as it once was. It may seem that the light is flickering, only a few sputters from winking out entirely – but the story is a reminder that we all have the strength within us to keep that light burning bright.
I was very, very amazed at how the author used the third person omniscient viewpoint so naturally. I can honestly say I’ve never read a book where this technique was very effective. Usually I like to stay in one viewpoint, as a reader. But with this novel, I think it gave credit to the grand scope of the story.
Bea might be the main character, but the story is about so much more than just her.
It’s about Vororbla, something that intertwines all souls together in a way –
so I considered it very symbolic to use the omniscient viewpoint.
To start, I loved the descriptive passages. They were definitely the author’s strong point and really showcased her writing ability. She has the skill to insert passages of text between the dialogue and have it flow extremely well and not bog down the book. Not once did I find myself skimming, because the pace was excellent. The pace at which I read it, however, was questionable. I had no idea I could read a book so fast. (It was that good!)
Seriously, after I was drawn into the plot, I don’t think a herd of elephants stampeding through my house could have stopped me from finishing the story.
I feel honored to have been a beta reader for this novel. I’m sure that ‘A Carpet of Purple Flowers’ will quickly become a very popular book, loved by everyone who turns its pages. The style is very reminiscent of bestselling author Melissa Marr’s YA novels and I look forward to seeing more books like Tracey-Anne’s in the New Adult Genre - books with just the right amount of plot, romance, and substance. Very original and breathtaking piece of work.
I'm kind of disappointed that I'm already done reading your book!
It was great and I wish it had been longer.
I hope book two is coming out soon! I can’t wait to read the next book.
PS: Awesome website!
***Dominique has her own 'DEBUT' YA novel out in 2015***
A Beta review by Silvia - USA
Review of Carpet of Purple Flowers: by Silvia Curry
I had the honor of reading A carpet of Purple Flowers, by Tracey-Anne McCartney. This novel really grew on me. Tracey’s novel is written in third person omniscient point of view; which I originally had a harder time feeling a strong connection with all of the characters, but as I read on, I felt the point of view ultimately made for a stronger novel.
A Carpet of Purple Flowers is a paranormal romance, and a highly original one at that! I have read quite a few PNR, and I swear, I haven’t read one quite like Tracey’s. She completely sucked me into her world with her amazing details and imagery, witty dialogue, and a variety of completely different characters who all wormed their way into my mind and heart.
The novel follows the life of Bea, a quiet bookshop keeper, who is trying to make ends meet with her uncle’s bookstore. Her best friend Liza; Bea’s polar opposite of wild and free spirited, encourages Bea to get out of her comfort zone and attend her ex-boyfriend Brandon’s sisters birthday celebration. Had Bea decided to just stay home and snuggle with her book and cup of tea, she would have altered the path she was sent on. In a chance meeting, she meets mysterious and broody Karian, who is willing to defend her honor; and shy and sensitive Chance, whom forges a connection with Bea over daily bookstore visits. Quiet, mild mannered Bea is soon thrown into a life not like one she is used to living. It is an amazingly beautiful, dramatic, love story; filled with a sarcastic Kitty, theaters, delicious purple drink, farmhouses, and a battle of the ages.
If you are looking for a fresh paranormal romance novel, one with love, romance, drama, and action; be sure to check out Tracey-Anne’s debute novel The Carpet of Purple Flowers!
(Partial Read )
Chapter 1: Good start, I liked main Character's back-story. *** is a fun character, and a good compliment to Bea.
Very interested in finding out whom **** are. Great hook at the end of the chapter.
Chapter 2: Getting more interested in these characters! Better descriptions in this chapter, really helped pull some of the
characters to life. Intrigued by *** and ***. Wonder what they are and what Bea has to do with it. Great hook again to keep the reader interested. Oh, very interesting. I enjoy the story.
Nicely written scene, sweet and well worded.
POV is fine. It gives the reader a chance to get to know all of the characters involved, and view it from an unbiased stand point.
I would love to continue reading.
Thanks so much for having me read for you!
****FULL READ ***
(I have included below various parts of feedback given by Silvia for certain chapters. I love the way she expresses her emotions about scenes/characters - made me giggle when I read her evaluation).
So interesting and I love the imagery. It was a great way to let the reader know exactly who **** was and some details of where they come from, fits perfectly into the timeline of the story.
Again, really great chapter! Great descriptions. You thought of everything; it’s the complete visual package! Well Done! Really like the continued conflict.
LOVED the *** and the ***, was beautifully written. Also, really like seeing the inner turmoil. *** is experiencing, it definitely makes *** more fleshed out and realistic.
What a heart breaking chapter! I really felt all of the emotions flowing. . I felt their crushing heart break and *** distrust of the situation/disbelief. I felt *** anger and despair to *** situation. I felt how evil and manipulative *** is, and poor ***, torn. Excellent job! The closure between ***and*** felt real and very natural. I like the addition of the *** as well.
I liked seeing a glimpse of *** and liked the addition of ***. Cute scene with *** made me giggle.
I found the *** and *** discussion very interesting!
Loved this chapter! I feel for ***. I am rooting for him, always have from the beginning. Really liked the dialogue between the two of them.
Love the tension between *** and ***. I can definitely feel chemistry between them. I swear I sighed at the line ****.Wow!
Very well written sex scene. Not too much, not too little, it was just right! Written very elegantly. I feel the chemistry between them. Wow, the scene between ****, ****and *** was amazing. The *** was thrilling and exciting! I loved the dialogue.
Great detail work done with everything from ***, to *** descriptions. I am very excited to find out what happens next! What a can of worms for ****.
GASP! OMG I can’t believe ****. She’s a fantastic character.
I am impressed with how Bea’s character is evolving at this point.
WOW! JAW HIT THE FLOOR with the ****. What an exciting chapter! My absolute favorite part was ***, that was written absolutely perfect!
*** was extremely exciting. I look forward to *** as well! And nice foreshadowing done with ***. Very, Very, Well Done!
I feel like you tied *** into Bea’s life very naturally. What an unexpected twist! I can’t wait to see *** reaction.
Loved the imagery of the ***. GASP! Is *****?!? Get the *** Out! I didn’t see that coming what so ever! I was totally blown away!
The *** between *** was badass! It was very well written and extremely exciting to read! Curious about the ***. Great build up going on; very excited about what is going to happen. *** and *** intrigue me.
Wow, *** was intense! Loved the passion and emotion.
OMG what an ending! OMG you’re killing me!!
Overall, wonderful job, I really really enjoyed your novel, and you have quite the ability to tell not only an interesting story, but pull the reader into this world so well, that I was very disappointed that it was done.
I am so glad that I was able to read the entire book. Your descriptions and imagery was consistent throughout, and it even got better. I liked getting everyone’s perspective, I feel like we got a lot more information that way
- (Third person omniscient point of view).
Thank you so much for allowing me to beta for you, and I hope we can work again in the future! If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!
I am still in team ***. I hope there will be a second book, Silvia Curry.
If you would like Silvia to beta read, you can find her services HERE
Silvia's Website HERE
Contact Silvia directly - email@example.com
Jennifer (Goodreads Beta reader group) PARTIAL / 3 Chapters
Characters and Dialogue
1. Who was your most / least favourite character, and why? Was this a good thing?
Chance was my favorite character. He was the mystery to be solved for me and had my interest from the first introduction, but in all fairness, he had the carpet for my part of the read.
2. Do any characters need more development or focus? Did any of them feel clichéd? Were their actions and thoughts understandable?
No. They all added excellent layers to the story.
3.Did the dialogue sound natural to you?
Yes. Dialogue flowed very well.
you feel there was too much description or exposition? Not enough? Or too much dialogue in parts?
Not at all! On the contrary, your description was perfect for me.
Even the detail of dust motes didn't go unnoticed. I could picture everything in my head, and that is a must for me.
5. What scene did you really like and why?
Favourite Scene - Chapter three, The whole scene. I have never read a book where they drank ***!
Settings and Backdrop
1. Could you clearly see the story settings?
Yes, as I said, your description was pretty spot on. I had no problem picturing scenes in my head.
2. Which setting in the book do you remember better? Why?
See the pasted scene in feedback. It left me wanting more, for sure.
1. Did you get oriented fairly quickly at the beginning as to whose story it is, and where and when it’s taking place? At what point did you feel like “Ah, now the story has really begun!”?
Chapter 3 really took off for me. I was easily pulled in to the story. I am kicking myself that I didn't ask for the whole book.
1. What page/chapter were you on when you took your first break?
Read straight through the three chapters.
2. Is there anything you are still wondering about?
The rest of the book, lol! (Given first three chapters only)
3. Was there a situation in the novel that reminded you of something in your own life?
Feeling like others see me as too plain and predictable.
1. Was the progression of events believable?
Yes, your pacing and flow was near perfect. You didn't skip around and one scene flowed into the next. For some odd reason, the phrase "light and airy" keeps popping into my head when I think of what I read.
It was just so easy to read, and honestly, I haven't had this in a beta read before. I am a pretty harsh critic, but couldn't find anything about your book that I just didn't like or couldn't connect with.
It was simply...lovely.
2. Did you feel as if you wanted to read on – book two?
I do see myself purchasing your book to see what happens.
3. Do you feel the story is suitable for ‘Paranormal Romance’ or ‘Urban Fantasy’ genre?
4. Have you read a book like this before? If not, how was it different?
Yes and no. I've read paranormal that was based around romance and relationships, but nothing that was so similar that I would base a comparison.
5. Does the writing style remind you of any other authors?
You write very well, so I would say it reminded me some of Kendall Grey's paranormal books. She has a wonderful imagination and her books are well thought out and beautifully written.
6. What was the last book you read, before this? And what did you think of it?
The last book that I read before this that was not a beta read was Neanderthal Marries Human by Penny Reid. It was the follow up book to Neanderthal Seeking Human. I absolutely adore her books. She writes so, so beautifully. Well thought out and believable plot, grammar is impeccable, and the heroine in this book is delightfully intelligent and awkward. She is the beautiful nerd that I have aspired to be! If you love "smart" romances, then definitely give these books a try.
I truly enjoyed beta reading for you and look forward to finishing your book one day in the (hopefully!) near future. I hope that my comments make sense and are helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions at all.
Please keep me in mind when you need a beta for your next novel.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this process.
I truly loved what I read. Will you be publishing soon?
Review by Amy, an avid reader
(Via Goodreads Beta Group) USA
I'm a Banker by day and an Erotica Romance reader by night.
Tada; I've worked my magic and have finished lapping up your baby. ;) I really did like it.
I will undoubtedly admit beta reading a paranormal is by far more intense than non paranormal. As there is no right or wrong or realism. It's strictly a fantasy world you have to accept of the writers vision. It's hard to critique when there is no right or wrong vision.
With that said I'm going to give this my best shot.
I like to start by summing up my critique with an overall quote of my opinion of your novel.
"A Prodigious Utopia"
(Prodigious - remarkably or impressively great in extent, size, or degree).
You've created a fantasy world like I've never experienced. There were no vampires, shape-shifters, werewolves, things that go bump in the night, etc. The world you created is something entirely new and refreshing.
On a scale of 1 to 7, what was your average level of engagement? 5 (would've been 7 with more descriptive info)
I'd like to see an addition of a glossary of terms for your fantasy world.
I do like your fantasy world, it was a great escape from reality.
If you have any other questions or need more elaboration please don't hesitate to ask.
Jenna - avid 'Beta Reader' USA
(Partial Read - First Chapter, then FULL read)
I just peeked at your website and now I'm excited to get to the book. (I love the website, by the way.)
I am left intrigued and wanting more. That’s a definite win :)
Any sentence or section that didn't make sense, (wasn't clear) or that you had to re-read?
Everything made sense.
Did you feel like there was missing info?
Quite the opposite as far as background information goes.
Are characters strong enough / clear strengths/weaknesses?
I do get a sense that the leads are well developed characters. Each lead has a group of friends and acquaintances.
What did you like?
I am already very intrigued by Soren. He strikes me as one of those characters who is capable of taking over the story.
As soon as I met him, I wanted to know more :)
I don’t know who the male *** is. This is great if your aiming for a *** *** right from the beginning.
**** arrives on scene soon enough after **** that I don’t feel annoyed or cheated.
Dialogue - does it work /flow?
Most of it worked, and none of it was bad.
Is there a feel for author writing style?
Easy to read.
Their relationship made sense from this point forward; it seems after further reflection that logical pieces are in place. After this, I was firmly on Team ***, because Bea is. I always cheat at love triangles.
Which is important to note. Because I withhold from emotional engagement with characters and story lines until I’m sure I’ve made the “safe” choice. I only stand behind the couple I think they will ultimately have a happy ending.
Were the secondary characters well developed?
So, I thought *** seemed like such a convenient character,until I found out who *** really was. And it was a natural progression, because I wondered at one point if *** was more than *** seemed. And then of course *** was. And I loved it :)
Was the world-building complete?
World building was very good. I don’t feel as if the story were lacking in sensory details.
Was there telling instead of showing?
No, I don’t think so.
What were the most exciting parts of the story?
The friendship between the two is believable and the conflict and misunderstandings make them seem more real. And then when trouble brews in their friendship I’m involved emotionally.
Later, when the *** is talking to Chance. I finally connect the dots, even though the dots have been there all along, I don’t see them until that moment, not really.
I’m suddenly firmly convinced this is the perfect argument. And I had to laugh,because I’m onboard with Bea’s character and the whole story to the point that I not only want to defend her against other story people but possible future reviewers.
Does the novel start where the story starts?
The back story matters, and I was very impatient to move forward.
Was there enough action? Enough description?
I think the level of description is good. The level of action as well. Much of the action is relationship oriented, and that’s
fine. Especially in this genre.
Did the story end in the right place?
Yes. The last few paragraphs of the book made me happy. It was enough to make the story feel complete and make me look forward to the next book at the same time.
The story is obviously part of a bigger whole, but the end was a natural resting place, and I didn’t feel cheated
All I wanted was the next book (write fast!).
Please DO send me a link when the book is available on Amazon :)
Emma, Beta Reader - Via Goodreads Beta Reader Group - USA
Emma has four years of literary analysis in university and has an avid love of both reading and writing.
Emma is a recent graduate with a degree in English, Creative Writing, and Russian. Her studies were equally balanced between studying literature and studying the art of improving literature.
The majority of her work consists of writing or editing SEO articles, blog posts, and press releases.
Questions about the characters and dialogue:
1. Who was your most favourite character, and why? Was this a good thing?
Definitely Kitty. She was well-rounded and really had a distinct personality.
2. Did any characters feel clichéd? No
3. Did you notice any discrepancies or inconsistencies in time sequences, places, concerning character details, etc.? No
4. Did you feel there was too much description or exposition? Not enough? Or too much dialogue in parts? No
5. What scene did you really like and why? The scene at the*** was especially well done, I thought.
6. Which male did you feel most connected to ? Karian, playing the role of the tragic hero.
7. Was there enough chemistry? Yes
8. Did you feel there were areas/characters that could have been given their own scenes, but weren’t? No
Questions about the setting and backdrop:
1. Could you clearly see the story settings? Yes
2. Did any sections need better/ more detailed description? No
3. Were any sections bogged down with too much description? No
4. Which setting in the book do you remember better? Why? The bookshop, plenty of time was spent there and it was well described.
Questions about the pacing:
1. Did you get oriented fairly quickly at the beginning as to whose story it is, and where and when it’s taking place? Yes
2. Did any sections move too slowly? Were you bored at any point? No
4. Were any events too rushed? No
5. What was the most suspenseful moment in the book? The ***** at the very end.
11. Does the writing style remind you of any other authors? No
13. What was the last book you read, before this? And what did you think of it? A book (about zombies) for beta reading, it was okay at best.
14. Please leave in your own words the overall impression/thought of: ‘A Carpet of Purple Flowers’.
Overall View by Emma Mason (Goodreads):
This novel is truly unique, delving into the realm of the Sidhe and their ancient culture and how it has interacted with the human world for centuries. McCartney does an excellent job of structuring the story, and bringing life and humanity to her characters.
The story does feel a bit too big for its britches--but that is simply because there is so much information that both Bea and the readers need to understand the story fully.
It has definite potential and I am excited to see what McCartney does with it.
Thanks for letting me have a read before it hits shelves!
(Youngest) Beta Reader
Favorite books: Fantasy,Mystery,Memoir,Humor,Classics,Thriller,Horror,Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Trace it sounds very interesting and I would love to beta read for you.
Questions about the characters and dialogue:
1. Who was your most favourite character, and why? Was this a good thing? Bethany. I liked how even when she was down and out she picked herself back up and went on with her life.
2. Did any of them feel clichéd? Not really.
3. Were their actions and thoughts understandable? For the most part yes.
4. Did you feel that you needed more background on any of the characters? No.
5. Did you notice any discrepancies or inconsistencies in time sequences, places, concerning character details, etc.? No
6. Did you get confused about who’s who in the characters? Were there too many characters to keep track of? Too few? No
7. Was the ending satisfying? If not, how could it have been better? Not better per say but woman its a cliffhanger lol
8. Did you feel as if you wanted to read on – book two? Yes
9. Do you feel the story is suitable for ‘Paranormal Romance’ or ‘Urban Fantasy’ genre? Yes
10. Have you read a book like this before? Mind is drawing a blank at the moment
11. Does the writing style remind you of any other authors? Hmm can not place any at the moment
12. What was the last book you read, before this? And what did you think of it? It was a beta read and I can not give out any details.
13. Please leave in your own words the overall impression/thought of: ‘A Carpet of Purple Flowers’?
Thank you for allowing me to read your novel.
Freelance Editor - Cate Hogan
(Australian writer and editor living in beautiful Bali.)
I sent Cate a partial, then the full. Our collaboration went really well, and her input was invaluable.
Below, are some of the feedback comments on the first draft, prior to main editing.
You have a new fan :)
Well you can definitely write! You have a good grip of the story dynamics that readers love in this genre. Great work creating a character with depth and back story, facing a challenge right from the start of the book, readers will be hooked. Your writing style is clear, flows well, and isn’t encumbered by too many adjectives or flowery prose – perfect for this genre.
I'm so pleased to hear that you connected with my critique - when I enjoy someone's work I tend to go a little deeper into it. I just can't help myself - and honestly, I'm dying to find out what happens next.
a) You have the fundamental understanding of story and character to make a great writer
b) You have the bones of a very good commercial story here - I love the dynamic of a love triangle, the collision of magic and reality, the growth and sacrifice.
c) You love and sympathise with your characters and this makes the writing live and breathe.
d) Your space is spiritual romance. Own it. No-one will write it as well as you do.
A pleasure to assess this ms - I can see it being a very popular book, and look forward to seeing this story flower into something truly special.
Freelance Editor (Partial Read- only one chapter) USA
Brian is an author of three published novels, several textbooks and dozens of freelance articles, short stories and poems. Brian works full-time as a curriculum editor for an online college, and is the owner/publisher for Dark Silo Press.
I was intrigued by the ending—yes.
I suppose my interest had more to do with the characters than the situation (particularly Chance and Karian and the friction between them).
You avoid a lot of adverbs, which is smart. With the exception of “was,” your prose is active.
You are also able to convey emotional moments:
She lowered her head, resting it on the table. “I don’t want you to go,” she whispered into the wood.
That’s an excellent, character-driven line that rang wholly true. I don’t know your characters, but that line made me care.
You avoid sounding silly, even when characters say things like, “The light within me, honors the light within you,” which is actually a fine line. Well done.
Hope this was of some small help. Thank you for letting me read your chapter!
Freelance Editor, USA
A senior and executive editor for two independent publishers in the South.
Offers proofreading, copy editing, line editing, developmental editing, manuscript critiquing, and author coaching.
I have sent Caroline the first three Chapters only. (Getting ready for polish of final draft and wanted a fresh pair of eyes).
Thank you for letting me go through your first three chapters. It was truly a pleasure to read. I’m extremely intrigued and can’t wait to find out who and what is going on! I hope you’ll consider sending me the rest of the story to read. I was completely captivated by Bea’s interactions with Karian. I don’t know why, but something about his manner reminds me of Tom Hiddleston.
Please let me know if I can be of further assistance at all. I’d love to help.
SYTYCW - Harlequin
Entered a first chapter competition HERE (Nocturne™ Series)
Below are readers/other writers replies after reading the first chapter - A Carpet of Purple Flowers
1.Fiona Marsden says:
September 26, 2014 at 11:53 am
I’m not a big Nocturne reader. This is certainly an intriguing set up.
2. Tiffany Dian Lefler says:
September 26, 2014 at 12:15 pm
I really liked this! I get kind of a Fae-ish feel from Karian and his people. I’m also wanting to know why it is she can see him but not the others! Love the details and descriptions and the dialogue is great. Totally hate Brandon, he sounds like a jerk!
Best of luck with this entry!
September 26, 2014 at 12:36 pm
Great stuff. I especially like the whimsical bits and the description of Bea’s environment. The alleyways of SW London. I chuckled at the writing around the girls faces, eyes and the blinking eyelashes.
I like the idea of becoming par of Bea’s personae and absorbing her character.
Need more ! More chapters please !!
A lovely snippet.
September 26, 2014 at 3:57 pm
I want more! I need to read the rest of the story! :oD
5.vicki louise says: (Beta Reader)
September 26, 2014 at 4:29 pm
OH MY WORD..loving it, loving the characters, the dialogue and the angst, and its only a little piece of the story so far. I must say, that I’ve had the greatest pleasure beta reading this story, and notice the changes. Loved it all the more. I can’t wait for more. I’m sending all my love, prayers and luck to you T
6.Julie Garrett says:
September 26, 2014 at 6:46 pm
wow, I'm am def' reeled in by this chapter
7.Shauna Henry says:
September 27, 2014 at 2:19 pm
Captivating opening chapter. The story sucked me right in and I can’t wait to read more! Lots of luck!
8.Elizabeth Layden says:
September 27, 2014 at 3:40 pm
Tracey hun I love it, need to read more,whens the book out, hun. Lots of luck babe, let me know.xx
9.CA Speakman says:
September 27, 2014 at 9:07 pm
I’m intrigued – would definitely read more
10.Kerry Matthews says:
September 28, 2014 at 2:44 am
Well done xx
11.Katrina Foreman says:
September 28, 2014 at 4:26 am
An intriguing first chapter. Which left me wanting to read on. Good strong characters that you feel a connection with.
September 28, 2014 at 5:17 am
Well I am certainly intrigued! Would love to read more, well done you!
13.louise foster says:
September 28, 2014 at 5:24 am
Tracey it’s brill! I want more lol. When’s the book out? Well done xxx
14.Clare Haynes says:
September 28, 2014 at 5:54 am
I am intrigued so far by this snippet and the other-worldly beings. I could identify with aspects of Bea’s situation. I also found myself wanting to meet Karian!! Well done and good luck with this, Tracey. xx
September 28, 2014 at 11:03 am
Excellent read!! Can’t wait to read the full complete version and get onto number 2.. So proud... love it xxx
16.Gina Hagedorn says:
September 29, 2014 at 12:16 am
Loved this! Karian completely captivated me ~ hope to see more of this one! Well done! Good luck in the competition! :)
17.abbey macmunn says:
September 29, 2014 at 12:53 am
Great first chapter, left me wanting to read more. Good luck.
18.Cassandra O'Leary says:
September 29, 2014 at 1:34 am
I really liked this chapter, with the combination of the realistic London setting and the supernatural elements. It has a modern, urban fantasy feel (I’m a fan of this genre, but haven’t read much good stuff lately). Good luck!
19.Silvia Curry says: (Beta Reader)
September 29, 2014 at 5:07 am
Love the changes made to the first chapter! Descriptions were really great, not too muddy where it bogs the chapter down, but certainly enough where I can picture everything easily. Dialogue was intriguing and made the chapter flow nicely especially from scene to scene. Fantastic ending to chapter one with a great hook to keep readers wanting more.
Best of luck in the comp! :)
20.Jane Hunt says:
September 29, 2014 at 10:52 am
Trace – Loved the mesh of urban and fantasy. Bea is a lovely strong character and I love how you are making her subtly different from those around her.The supernaturals are intriguing. :-)
21.Debbie Jones says:
September 29, 2014 at 10:59 am
From the very beginning the descriptives are so good. I could FEEL that cold window pane! How clever to make the surreal very real by using language that we all understand – a stroke of genius! We then immediately identify with not just the humans but the non-humans. I already love the characters and can’t wait to read more of this! You really do deserve some recognition for this achievement x
September 29, 2014 at 6:50 pm
It’s not a series I read but I’m hooked by this one!! I love your descriptions and Karian is captivating!
23.Grace Lake says:
September 29, 2014 at 7:39 pm
Your pitch drew me in, and so did the squeaking sound/question mark on the window! I want to read more. Well done and good luck!
24.Jeannie Hall says:
September 29, 2014 at 10:03 pm
Interesting story and a unique way to tell a paranormal/nocturne! Best of luck!
25.Rosalyn Baker says:
September 29, 2014 at 10:33 pm
hmmm…so yeah…I DEMAND you send me all the words you’ve ever written so I can go into my happy corner and read and feel ALL the feels! I loved your description, especially when Bea drew the '?' on the window. I’m already in love with Karian and love that Soren is on edge. You’ve got something great here. Hated that all I could read was a chapter.
26.Amy Jane says:
September 30, 2014 at 3:10 am
Loved the authentic, believable London setting. Very intriguing. Good luck
27.Sophie Rodger says:
September 30, 2014 at 3:23 am
Love the premise and description of London! Best of luck:)
28.C.A. Jamison says:
September 30, 2014 at 12:10 pm
Easy to relate to the human characters. Tight jeans and a button that must be unfastened. I like it. Good details, I was there. Best wishes.
September 30, 2014 at 7:40 pm
Read a bit, great Prose, reminded me a bit of Martina Cole!
30.Leah Maser says:
October 1, 2014 at 1:57 am
Wonderful descriptive language and well developed, likeable characters. Love the premise as well–it looks like you’ve built a really intricate and interesting world. I’d love to read more about it!
31.Wick & Witch says:
October 1, 2014 at 2:53 am
I love this paragraph….I must read more!!!
Her eyes slowly followed the contour of his pale, slightly heart-shaped face, down his defined jawline where a slight dimple lay between his chin. She unconsciously gulped while taking in the fullness of his lips, and in that moment, one corner of his mouth turned to form a hypnotic, gorgeous grin. Bea’s cheeks burned even more at seeing his enjoyment of her unreserved observation. Why did she feel so irresistibly drawn by his silent hello?
32.Wendy Corrigan says:
October 1, 2014 at 3:21 am
Just read this chapter and I WANT MORE. Never read paranormal before but from this one chapter, I know if I had the book I would want to know what happens next and wouldn’t be able to put the book down – absolutely excellent – MORE PLEASE AND VERY SOON
Best of luck, Tracey-anne!
October 1, 2014 at 5:49 am
Great book well done
October 1, 2014 at 5:49 am
Can’t wait to read the whole book
35.Char Madison says:
October 1, 2014 at 2:04 pm
Beautifully written,Tracey-anne McCartney! I am already engrossed! Love the depth of the characters!..and, the storyline is capturing! Can’t wait to read more! “A Carpet of Purple Flowers” is going to be Top-Notch reading!
October 1, 2014 at 2:31 pm
Having it based in South London is a great idea and im loving the characters in the book/film ;-)
Im hooked and now need more more more.
Well done and Good luck X
37.Micky says: (Beta Reader)
October 1, 2014 at 3:18 pm
Good stuff ,Trace , much more succinct , improved characterisation , better dialogue. Still need a proof reader though !
38.lizzy layden says: (Beta Reader)
October 1, 2014 at 3:35 pm
Well done tracey hun,the wording and how you describe the characters are amazing,would love to see this become a book,good luck on everything hun.xx
39.Anne Gresley says:
October 1, 2014 at 3:46 pm
I love the combination of paranormal elements with a modern London setting. The whimsical feel of the early scenes had a magical realist vibe. Good luck with this.
40.Cathy Faggiano says:
October 2, 2014 at 12:09 am
Really enjoyed this. I love fantasy novels. I thought Asta, Pia, Soren and Karian were fascinating and would definitely read on to find out more about them. Good luck!
October 2, 2014 at 1:03 am
Great work Tracey-Anne! Beautiful language, you are truly talented. Xx Tessa
42. Milly says:
October 4, 2014 at 10:41 am
So good sweetie, I wanna read more!!! xXx
43. Tina says:
October 16, 2014 at 7:10 am
Very intriguing. Hard in this genre to not become predictable, so I like that you haven’t given too much away with the opening. Interested in finding out where it goes. Good luck
44. No-kidding-A-Witch-you-say (via fb) - You have a talent.....don't give up! Read it, left a comment, now leaving one here....you have quite a talent....and I know you will go far. Likable characters....(except the ex)....and leaves you waiting for more....blessings to you....and remember the little people when you get big.
Novel Boot Camp
Editor Ellen Brock has created a 'Novel Boot Camp'. For the intro, first workshop: Participants will submit the first 200 words of their manuscript. Guessers will attempt to identify the genre, tone, and basic plot of the novel. The objective is to have a bit of fun while exploring how the manuscript looks from the outside. How the 'Boot Campers' perceive the novel is likely how agents and editors will perceive it too.
- Guess the Genre – Is it a contemporary romance? A YA paranormal? A horror/science fiction hybrid? Post your best guess. If you think it’s middle grade or young adult, please also include a genre (adventure, comedy, romance, etc.).
- Guess the Tone – What do you think the overall tone of this novel is? Is it creepy? Heartwarming? Spiritual? Disturbing? In other words, what adjective would you use to describe the book?
- Guess the Basic Plot – What do you think this novel is going to be about? What do you expect to happen?
Other authors guesses below:
1.Justyna | July 1, 2014 at 3:57 am
Plot: Bea has attention to get romantically involved with anybody after her disappointing relationship with Brandon. She couldn’t predict that the day that she was dreading so much will make her hart skip a bit. That’s where she meets him, the most amusing man, funny, smart and just so damn good looking. There was an instant connection between them two. The only problem is, his Leanne’s new boyfriend that she heard so much about.
2.Anna Chidiac | June 30, 2014 at 11:18 pm
Genre: Adult Romance
Plot: Bea finds a new love interest, but Brandon interferes out of jealousy.
3. ta carr | June 30, 2014 at 9:34 pm
Romance with a humorous tone. Bea’s going to find a romantic interest at this party.
4.trazanacho | June 30, 2014 at 9:34 pm
GENRE: Adult Romance
TONE: Resigned to fate
BASIC PLOT: Bea’s world – on the verge of collapse – is about to come alive
5.Hailey | June 30, 2014 at 9:28 pm
Adult contemporary. Light tone. Sort of ‘journey of self-discovery’ for the main character, getting over some former conflict.
6.Andrew (@nullcount) | June 30, 2014 at 9:25 pm
YA Romance tone Comedy – Bea finds love in the most unexpected of situations, at the hospital after she has a dancing accident at the 21st birthday party trying to impress Brandon who is with another woman.
7.Lara Willard | June 30, 2014 at 7:07 pm
Romantic comedy. Bea will hook up with a young(er) guy after the party, but later snag the guy that will really be her match.
8.Jenna | June 30, 2014 at 4:01 pm
New adult romance that switches between light and serious tone. Bea figures her identity as a single female before meeting the man of her dreams. She might not be willing to risk her independence for love, but it becomes hard to resist the new stranger in town.
9.Sharon Smith | June 30, 2014 at 3:24 pm
Romantic comedy. Funny. Bea has been avoiding this for months. I think we’ll be following Bea along for another chance at love.
10.Kim | June 30, 2014 at 1:05 pm
Adult Romance, light humorous. Bea is dealing with a break up trying to put some pieces back together. I think she is going to find love but have a fun journey with a lot of mess ups.
11. Julie Griffith | July 2, 2014 at 4:10 pm
Adult romance. Some dark tones, but with humor and light tones as well. Bea escaped from a bad relationship, one that’s left her with scars, but she’s trying not so successfully) to move on. Unfortunately she still has ties to her ex and she’s dreading going to an event where he’ll be in attendance. While she’s out for this event she meets a man. The story goes on to chronicle thier relationship and how she overcomes her fear of getting close to someone again.
12. Alexasegur | July 10, 2014 at 12:17 pm
Nice intro. I laughed at the naked duel with a wasp. You really made her start to that day feel ominous for the remainder of it. You can feel it’s going to be a bad day. Good start!