Calling All Critiques: Entry #7

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Last week I told you all about the Calling All Critiques event and the day has finally arrived! But before we get started, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of you brave souls who submitted your work. Hats off to you!

Anyone can critique but folks, please remember: be kind! 🙂

And don’t forget to enter our awesome giveaway. One lucky person will win a $10 Amazon gift card, an eCopy of Guarding Angel by S.L. Saboviec and an eCopy of It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy by yours truly.


Entry #7
Author: J. Anne Fullerton
Title: Birthright
Genre: Paranormal Historical Fiction

Sydney, Australia, December 1874

“Mr. Buchanan,” said Eliza Forth-Wright with a startled smile. “I wasn’t expecting you this evening.”

 She stood in the glossy wood-paneled foyer of her Gothic Revival townhouse addressing her unannounced guest, Copernicus Buchanan. The imposing stone edifice was situated in the Peddlington suburb, an affluent and park-like district of Sydney. On this night, New Year’s Eve, it was crowded with revelers celebrating the turn of the year.

Around them floated strains of Baroque music as a string quintet played from the broad staircase landing. Male and female shadow fae, dressed in fine clothing, mingled and meandered through the rooms and halls on the main floor of the expansive home. Several curious glances took in the sight of an attractive human male in their midst. Two familiar faces passed by in the crowd, stopping when they recognized him.

Dirk van Amersvoot approached Eliza with a predatory grin. His younger brother Lars stood alongside him, looking and feeling quite out of place. Lars was only there because Dirk had agreed to let him tag along.

Dirk was a helf, half-human and half-elf. Lars was full elf, Dirk’s half-brother through their mother. They were tall and fair-haired with similar features, only Lars sported the small fangs inherited from his father. They came from the same hometown as their human counterpart, but were almost half his age. They knew the man well considering they had grown up around him. He was their father’s best friend and an accepted member of their family.

“Nick,” said Dirk, puzzled by the man’s presence. “I didn’t think I’d see you here.”

Nick shook Dirk’s offered hand. Lars also extended a hand in goodwill. The young men were other names on Eliza’s list of eligible marriage material along with Nick’s. They had been formally invited to the New Year’s Eve marriage ball to seek wives. Nick was not on the guest list. It was not an event for humans so their surprise was evident.

Dirk was the eldest son of Buren and Bloem van Amersvoot. The Buchanan and Van Amersvoot families shared close ties as they had been founding members of the Falmormath Shire community more than fifty years ago. Nick’s father had established Gilgai Station and Buren, being of a race that outlived humans, had built Willowbrook. Their sheep stations abutted one another in the rural region north of Sydney. Buren had watched Nick grow from a babe to a man and in turn Nick had been an uncle figure to Dirk, Lars and their sister Beshka.

 “I’m a bit surprised myself,” Nick laughed. He felt slightly out of place in the company of the much younger men. He was a widower in his fifties, not a pup on the prowl. He paid no attention to the other people in attendance. He had one thing on his mind this night and nothing could distract him. “This was rather a spur of the moment decision.”

 “If you’ll excuse me, Mr. Van Amersvoot,” said Eliza, touching Nick’s arm and gesturing towards a large dark door. “I need to speak with Mr. Buchanan.”

There’s more!

Other brave souls have submitted their work, so if you have time, please visit a few of the blogs below to see the other entries.

Before Ink Dries

M.G.’s Fantasy Blog 

Magic & Mayhem Book Reviews

MM Jaye Writes 

Official Blog of Brian Basham 

Proof Positive 

4 thoughts on “Calling All Critiques: Entry #7

  1. I enjoyed this piece! The description was great and from the beginning I could really visualize everything that was going on. You did a terrific job with that! I will have to echo Christie’s sentiments regarding the name confusion and Dirk’s background info, but other than that I think you did a great job of setting the scene and letting the reader know right away what kind of world we’re in.
    Quanie recently posted..Calling All Critiques: Entry #7My Profile

  2. I love historical fiction! The description of the house is very nice and I get a good mental image of not only the house but the time period in general. I like the marriage ball idea and that everyone is aware that everyone else is looking for a spouse. It’s very straight forward, and in this case that makes it exciting. I feel like there could be some great tension and drama during the rest of the scene, which is always at the very least fun and ever-enjoyable.

    “Helf” – awesome! I’m glad there was a description of the difference between full elf and half elf right away, which is helpful and not superfluous – it’s really important to describe right away.

    The only critique I have is that I was a little confused with the names. Copernicus is then called Nick and then Buchanan. He himself was called too many different names in too short of a time without enough “help” to tell the reader that this is the same person by three names. For example, to help us, you could say, “…addressing her unannounced guest, Copernicus Buchanan – Nick to some, Mr. Buchanan to others. He was rarely addressed by his full name.” This would help readers identify him easily no matter what he’s called, plus it would add a small detail about him that helps with immediate character development. The faster the reader feels involved with the characters the better.

    Also, if you could introduce Dirk’s background through dialogue or his own thoughts (if you’re doing people’s thoughts in your book), it would seem less like a somewhat dry biographical paragraph from the author and more like part of the story. This is a common problem in books, and if you can eliminate it, you’re that much farther ahead in your descriptive abilities and character development.

    Great job! Can’t wait to see what the rest of the book is like!
    Christie Stratos recently posted..Calling All Critiques: Deadline ExtensionMy Profile

    • Thank you so much for the feedback. I was deliberate in the use of different names for Nick in that I felt it gave an immediate sense of social interaction and introduced appropriate levels of familiarity between the various characters, especially in a Victorian world, though I do see how your recommendation would be beneficial. Thanks again!

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