BUT BEFORE WE GET THERE, I neglected to announce a winner for January. That winner is . . . . . . . . . K Callard! E-mail me at email@example.com, and let me know if you'd like the gift card or the critique.
The rest of you remember, anyone who offers their comments this month is eligible for either $10 for Amazon or B&N OR a 20-page critique from me.
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This week we have the first page of a paranormal romance from Deniz Bevan. My overall thoughts are at the end. As always, this is all just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
“’The Curse of the Octopus,’” Lyne read out loud, translating the runes as she went. The vellum crackled in her hands, even inside its plastic covering.
“Octopus? Are you certain of that?” Professor Ronald peered over her shoulder. His brows rose as he read, lips moving. “There seems to be a mark here,” he muttered, and tilted the sheet towards the light coming from the entrance to the cave.
The rest of the team was outside, tiny figures in the distance, kneeling on grass and mud. Lyne had been continuing her excavations near the well at the far end of the site, when she’d uncovered the crumbling parchment. She’d raced back to the cave to tell Professor Ronald and gather up the protective covering and other tools. Once the Professor was satisfied there were no other sheets, and not even so much as a lead case to hold the lone parchment, she’d followed him to the cave, eager to be there as he speculated on the meaning of the inscription.
She worked out the next two lines under his pointing finger. “Beast brought forth by man’s blood / the mound-keeper repays the sacrifice, but shall sense the wind.”
|If she didn't speak them aloud, maybe|
they should be in italics.
The language geek in me is loving this.
Honestly, this whole opening sounds really good to me. The writing is solid. The mystery draws me in immediately. And the last lines she translates hint of an exciting story to come.
If I had to nitpick on something (and I do, cuz why else are you here?), I'm wondering how a single, crumbling parchment survived after having been buried for (presumably) so long. Maybe this is something unusual that you deal with later (you did call out the fact that wasn't so much as a lead case, for example), but it made me wonder.
Also, if the vellum is crackling in her hands, doesn't that mean the "crumbling" parchment is crumbling even further? It makes me wonder about their archaeological practices at this particular dig -- not that I'm an expert or anything.
What do the rest of you think?