Beta / Proof Readers discussion

20 views
Beta Readers > Beta reader needed for Pirate Mermaid love story adventure fantasy

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by J.L. (new)

J.L. Hill (authorjlhill) | 6 comments Title: The Emerald Lady

Length, Draft and Language: 51k words, first edit in English

Brief Summary: A fantasy pirate/mermaid love story set in the golden age of Pirates – 17th – 18th centuries.
The Rummy Gale is sailing in stormy seas off the coast of America in 1698. It is a Carrack laden with pine lumber from Virginia bound for England. Jeremy Simmons is a midshipman on the commercial vessel. The ship breaks apart in a hurricane and sinks.
Jeremy is drowning. He sees a large fish or shark coming towards him. He realizes it is a mermaid and he fights to free himself from her. She pulls him down to a sunken ship and leaves him in a cabin that has air in it.
Shera returns to the Mermaid Queen and asks for help to save Jeremy’s life. The queen refuses to send any other mermaids and forbids Shera to continue to aid him. Shera returns with food. She transforms to a full woman while inside the ship. Shera tries to bring Jeremy to land but they are too far away. They return to the sunken ship and they make love.
The Queen is furious with Shera and sends the mermaids to bring the two back to her underwater liar. The Queen curses Shera, taking away her power of transformation, and trapping her in human form, but she must always be surrounded by water. She makes Jeremy immortal; he cannot die as long as Shera is alive. Mermaids live for a thousand years. Shera is only 300 years.
Jeremy learns one way to break the curse is to kill the Queen. Shera does not want to confront the Queen and wishes they sail away somewhere safe. She uses her powers to attract a crew for the Emerald Lady. Jeremy is driven to sail to New England. The Queen uses her powers on the Governor to have Jeremy arrested and executed as a pirate. It is the Queen’s plan to torture Jeremy and thus Shera, also she plans to push mankind to wars for her own ambitions.

Sub Genre & Keywords: Fantasy, Pirates and Mermaids, Love Story, Adventure, Historical Fantasy

Known Issues: This novel is planned to be about 75k words. There are some parts that needs to be expanded and I have plans to add to this version but the story is complete.
Critique Requested: I like feedback on plot/sub-plots and character development.

Critique Tolerance: Give me your honest opinion of my work, what you like and what you don’t, and why. I have a critique form to be filled out.

Experience & Goals: This is my fourth novel, I currently have two in print. I am looking to have this one traditionally published. This is to be the first in a series which expands in both directions time wise.

Method of Communication: Reply to posting here to request a copy and leave an email address. All contact will be through website email.

Anything else? This is a fantasy suitable for most, but there is depictions of battles, some violence, and suggestive sexuality. Please respond as quickly as possible since I will be working on the next revisions, what to add or remove from the story.
Excerpt/Link:
The Emerald Lady
Chapter 1 – Shipwreck
Jack Roggies was a twelve-year-old ship’s boy. Young for the position, being two to four years prior to the normal, but he was hard working even if lacking the strength needed to haul water to the men on deck. Nevertheless, he was spry and agile as someone his age should be, able to avoid getting in the way of the men working the lines and sheets. Also quick to respond to anyone’s call, and not just Captain Meyers or Midshipmen Simmons, he had earned his nickname, Jack Quick, by being the fastest to reach the Fore Royal Mast, and was best suited for the job of ship’s lookout
Jack was in awe of the enormous size of the Rummy Gale, the biggest ship in Portsmouth, and had to learn all the stores quickly, going up and down the four lower decks, running the 220 feet bow to aft and being reminded constantly, in his first week at sea, that all things must be done on the double. The Rummy Gale was a Dutch-built Indiaman, large and heavy, built for hauling cargo. She had seen better days at sea but she was still steady in her timbers, and had recently gone through a careening for a thorough cleaning and tarring. She was a solid 42-ton beast of the sea empty but on this voyage, she was hauling seven tons of lumber. As a result, she was riding a little low, noted the Captain.
Jack called down from his perch 187 feet above the deck, “dark clouds on the horizon dead ahead. I see God’s Anger.”
“Give a heading to steer clear,” called the Midshipman.
“No clearing, Mr. Simmons, solid wall from end to end. Lots of Heaven’s Fire too.”
“Come down boy. A storm can be upon us quicker than even you can climb,” yelled the Captain.
“Aye, Aye, Captain.” Jack started down the rope ladder. Descending to the Foremast, he spotted something off Starboard. Hooking his arm through the ropes, he pulled the spyglass from his trousers, scanned the waves alongside the ship, and noticed a bloody red body appear and sink below the waves. He yelled, “Man overboard, off Starboard!”
Jeremy Simmons raced to the gunwale, several sailors taking up position along the side also, all searching for a man in the water. The Captain called up, “give a bearing, boy!”
Jack pointed towards the bow, “it was there, Sir! A league distance, streaked with blood and tossed in the waves.”
The Captain scanned from where the boy pointed backwards. “Do any of you men see it, or any debris in the water?”
A chorus of, “Nay,” rumbled down the length of the ship. The Captain looked across the horizon through his spyglass and ordered the boy back up the ladder to his perch with instructions to be on watch for a ship’s mast. Then he called Jeremy Simmons over, “Don’t keep him aloft too long, and keep a lookout for any sign of shipwreck on the horizon.”
“What’s your thinking, Captain?”
“I’m thinking a boy his age should not be on my ship, Mr. Simmons.”
“Yes, Sir. But as I explained before we embarked, his father died and he is the eldest of his mother’s sons. He needs to earn a crossing wage if the family is to survive, so he will be my responsibility. What about the body in the water?”
“I saw no body,” stated Captain Meyer, “what’s more, I see no wreckage that would accompany a body this far out. Do you?”
“No, Sir.” Jeremy agreed.
“My thinking is; this is the first of many storms we will encounter on this passage, and a boy just from his mother’s teat is full of fear of what a storm at sea brings. As right he should be. If he does not spot a mast hiding amongst the clouds, or any wreckage in the waves soon, send him below to ride out the storm.”
As the bank of black clouds appeared before the Rummy Gale, Jeremy Simmons ordered Jack Quick from the riggings, and replaced him with other sailors reefing the upper sails in preparation of the storm. Thunder rolled across the waves and Jack shuddered as he, and Jeremy made their way to the Captain’s quarters.
Jeremy, towering over the frail boy, placed a firm hand on his shoulder, “a storm is a storm, the same at sea as on land. It is just a bit of wind, water, and wailing. Calm yourself, Boy.”
“Yes Sir.”
“Oh, but it is not just a storm when you are at sea.” The Captain contradicted the midshipman.
He was standing in the cabin’s doorway watching the men prepare. The waves were already rocking the ship even as heavy as she was. The storm was still several hours ahead, but Jack was right, it stretched from port to starboard with not a break in sight and he hoped the wall of black did not go on for too long. Jeremy had convinced him that carrying milled lumber would increase the load and therefore the profit of the voyage, but it also meant that the ship was much heavier, ride lower in the waves, and be more prone to sinking in a violent storm. “On land, a storm does not open the ground beneath your feet and pull you under. Now, what did you see from your lookout, Master Roggies?”
“You mean the body,” Jack said carefully, as he was quite afraid of the Captain. The grey beard was rugged and unkempt, and the face hard and scarred. “I saw a body with long streaks of blood down its back. But the blood was bright crimson, like fire, it was there for but a time then gone.”
The Captain led them into his cabin and poured the young boy a full glass of grog. Four times his daily ration. He lit up his pipe, taking several strong pulls to get it going. Smoke whorls streamed from his nose and surrounded his weathered face. “Ah, you saw your first mermaid, my boy.”
“Captain!” Jeremy objected. “Do you think it wise to fill the boy’s head with fancies?”
The Captain laughed. “Fancies, Mr. Simmons. You went to sea as a lad a little older than Good ole Jack Quick here, been on the water some six years now, and you think you have seen all there is. I walked a deck since the day I could walk at my father’s side. I have seen monsters. Fish the size of a ship that can reduce this boat to driftwood. They surface without warning and send clouds into the skies. And yes, mermaids too, they either come to lead us through a storm safely, or to collect our souls for the devil.”
“As to your giant fish, I have heard of them, although I have never seen one myself,” Jeremy said, lighting up his pipe. “But I have never heard one creditable story of a mermaid. Most are told by those who have had as many years of grog as actual sea duty, and are usually told in exchange for a pint.” He laughed.
Jack’s eyes widened as saucers and glossed over as another wave rocked the Rummy Gale.
The boy became unsteady on his feet, and Jeremy, several inches taller than the Captain, caught his arm and steadied him before letting go. “Finish your grog, Jack, then, go below and help me secure our load.”


message 2: by Elly (new)

Elly | 11 comments What kind of turnaround are you looking for?


message 3: by J.L. (new)

J.L. Hill (authorjlhill) | 6 comments A couple of weeks would be ok.


message 4: by J.L. (new)

J.L. Hill (authorjlhill) | 6 comments A couple of weeks would be ok.


message 5: by Elly (last edited Jan 20, 2015 12:44PM) (new)

Elly | 11 comments Ok, JL, you can send to ellyloughlin at gmail dotcom
A mobi would be great but you can send a pdf/Word etc.


message 6: by J.L. (new)

J.L. Hill (authorjlhill) | 6 comments Ok. By this evening. And thank you.


message 7: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 20 comments Some comments in brackets regarding the nautical side of your story. I used to work on tallships back when I was not much older than 'young Jack' ;)

Chapter 1 – Shipwreck
Jack Roggies was a twelve-year-old ship’s boy. Young (twelve is not young for a ship’s boy, many were on ships by the age of ten) for the position, being two to four years prior to the normal, but he was hard working even if lacking the strength needed to haul water to the men on deck. Nevertheless, he was spry and agile as someone his age should be, able to avoid getting in the way of the men working the lines and sheets. Also quick to respond to anyone’s call, and not just Captain Meyers or Midshipmen Simmons, he had earned his nickname, Jack Quick, by being the fastest to reach the Fore Royal Mast, (the Fore Royal Yard would be on the Fore Mast. There is no such thing as a Fore Royal Mast) and was best suited for the job of ship’s lookout
Jack was in awe of the enormous size of the Rummy Gale, the biggest ship in Portsmouth, and had to learn all the stores quickly, going up and down the four lower decks, running the 220 feet bow to aft and being reminded constantly, in his first week at sea, that all things must be done on the double. The Rummy Gale was a Dutch-built Indiaman, large and heavy, built for hauling cargo. She had seen better days at sea but she was still steady in her timbers, and had recently gone through a careening for a thorough cleaning and tarring. She was a solid 42-ton (where did you get this figure? As a comparison, the “Cutty Sark” was 212.5 ft on deck with a loaded displacement of 2,100 tons, with the capacity to carry 1,700 tons of cargo) beast of the sea empty but on this voyage, she was hauling seven tons of lumber. As a result, she was riding a little low, (therefore as you have described her, she would be riding quite high and would probably be carrying ballast to compensate) noted the Captain.
Jack called down from his perch 187 feet above the deck, “dark clouds on the horizon dead ahead. I see God’s Anger.”
“Give a heading (a Midshipman would never ask a ship’s boy for a heading) to steer clear,” called the Midshipman.
“No clearing, Mr. Simmons, solid wall from end to end. Lots of Heaven’s Fire too.”
“Come down boy. A storm can be upon us quicker than even you can climb,” yelled the Captain.
“Aye, Aye, Captain.” Jack started down the rope ladder (this is called the ‘shrouds’). Descending to the Foremast, (he is already up the foremast isn’t he? Are you saying he has descended to a lower yard?) he spotted something off Starboard. Hooking his arm through the ropes, (there are no ‘ropes’ that make up the rigging of a vessel and he would hang onto any moving rigging. He would loop his arm around the ‘shrouds’) he pulled the spyglass from his trousers, scanned the waves alongside the ship, and noticed a bloody red body appear and sink below the waves. He yelled, “Man overboard, off Starboard!”
Jeremy Simmons raced to the gunwale, several sailors taking up position along the side also, all searching for a man in the water. The Captain called up, “give a bearing, (he wouldn’t be expected to give a bearing, he’s a ship’s boy. He would point to where he had seen the body) boy!”
Jack pointed towards the bow, “it was there, Sir! A league distance, streaked with blood and tossed in the waves.”
The Captain scanned from where the boy pointed backwards. “Do any of you men see it, or any debris in the water?”
A chorus of, “Nay,” rumbled down the length of the ship. The Captain looked across the horizon through his spyglass and ordered the boy back up the ladder (not a ladder, ‘rigging’ would be a better word) to his perch with instructions to be on watch for a ship’s mast. Then he called Jeremy Simmons over, “Don’t keep him aloft too long, and keep a lookout for any sign of shipwreck on the horizon.”
“What’s your thinking, Captain?”
“I’m thinking a boy his age should not be on my ship, Mr. Simmons.” (why? These ships always carried young boys)
“Yes, Sir. But as I explained before we embarked, his father died and he is the eldest of his mother’s sons. He needs to earn a crossing wage if the family is to survive, so he will be my responsibility. What about the body in the water?”
“I saw no body,” stated Captain Meyer, “what’s more, I see no wreckage that would accompany a body this far out. Do you?”
“No, Sir.” Jeremy agreed.
“My thinking is; this is the first of many storms we will encounter on this passage, and a boy just from his mother’s teat is full of fear of what a storm at sea brings. As right he should be. If he does not spot a mast hiding amongst the clouds, or any wreckage in the waves soon, send him below to ride out the storm.”
As the bank of black clouds appeared before the Rummy Gale, Jeremy Simmons ordered Jack Quick from the riggings, and replaced him with other sailors reefing the upper sails in preparation of the storm. Thunder rolled across the waves and Jack shuddered as he, and Jeremy made their way to the Captain’s quarters.
Jeremy, towering over the frail boy, placed a firm hand on his shoulder, “a storm is a storm, the same at sea as on land. It is just a bit of wind, water, and wailing. Calm yourself, Boy.”
“Yes Sir.”
“Oh, but it is not just a storm when you are at sea.” The Captain contradicted the midshipman.
He was standing in the cabin’s doorway watching the men prepare. The waves were already rocking the ship even as heavy as she was. The storm was still several hours ahead, but Jack was right, it stretched from port to starboard with not a break in sight and he hoped the wall of black did not go on for too long. Jeremy had convinced him that carrying milled lumber would increase the load (7 tons is nothing for a ship this size, also keep in mind that timber is naturally buoyant but will increase in weight when wet) and therefore the profit of the voyage, but it also meant that the ship was much heavier, ride lower in the waves, and be more prone to sinking in a violent storm. “On land, a storm does not open the ground beneath your feet and pull you under. Now, what did you see from your lookout, Master Roggies?”
“You mean the body,” Jack said carefully, as he was quite afraid of the Captain. The grey beard was rugged and unkempt, and the face hard and scarred. “I saw a body with long streaks of blood down its back. But the blood was bright crimson, like fire, it was there for but a time then gone.”
The Captain led them into his cabin and poured the young boy a full glass of grog. Four times his daily ration. He lit up his pipe, taking several strong pulls to get it going. Smoke whorls streamed from his nose and surrounded his weathered face. “Ah, you saw your first mermaid, my boy.”
“Captain!” Jeremy objected. “Do you think it wise to fill the boy’s head with fancies?”
The Captain laughed. “Fancies, Mr. Simmons. You went to sea as a lad a little older than Good ole Jack Quick here, been on the water some six years now, and you think you have seen all there is. I walked a deck since the day I could walk at my father’s side. I have seen monsters. Fish the size of a ship that can reduce this boat to driftwood. They surface without warning and send clouds into the skies. And yes, mermaids too, they either come to lead us through a storm safely, or to collect our souls for the devil.”
“As to your giant fish, I have heard of them, although I have never seen one myself,” Jeremy said, lighting up his pipe. “But I have never heard one creditable story of a mermaid. Most are told by those who have had as many years of grog as actual sea duty, and are usually told in exchange for a pint.” He laughed.
Jack’s eyes widened as saucers and glossed over as another wave rocked the Rummy Gale.
The boy became unsteady on his feet, and Jeremy, several inches taller than the Captain, caught his arm and steadied him before letting go. “Finish your grog, Jack, then, go below and help me secure our load.”


message 8: by J.L. (new)

J.L. Hill (authorjlhill) | 6 comments Thank you for your help. Let me just point out, from top to bottom there is the Fore Royal Mast, Fore Topgallant Mast, Fore Topmast, and the Fore Mast. My point being Jack was the fastest to reach the upper most mast.
Again let me thank you for providing some of the other terminology that had slipped my mind. Much appreciated.


back to top