Book Jacket

 

rank 457
word count 31562
date submitted 23.04.2010
date updated 11.07.2012
genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Childr...
classification: universal
incomplete

The Green Bronze Mirror

Lynne Ellison

Karen, a teenage girl, finds an ancient mirror. The mirror transports her in time to Roman Britain, where she is taken into slavery.

 

Karen is on holiday at the seaside in twentieth century England. She finds a bronze mirror, green with age, almost buried in the sand. Looking into it, she is transported back in time to the Roman Empire. She encounters a Roman officer who mistakes her for a runaway slave. She is sold several times, ending up in a wealthy household in Nero's Rome, as nursemaid to the children of the family. She falls in love with a Greek slave boy, witnesses gladiatorial games, and joins a group of early Christians. When the Great Fire of Rome comes, she is forced to flee from persecution, and hides in the catacombs. She faces many hair-raising adventures in her attempts to return to her own time.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS BOOK IS ALREADY IN PRINT. A limited (100-copy) printed edition is now available from http://www.amazon.co.uk and from http://www.cnposnerbooks.co.uk from only 23p
This printing has eliminated the errors in the earlier (2009) version
An e-book version is now available on Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com) for US$1.49 A Kindle edition is also available from Amazon

 
rate the book

to rate this book please Register or Login

 

tags

1960s, adventure, ancient history, ancient rome, bronze, catacombs, cave, celtic, celts, children, children's historical fiction, christian fiction, d...

on 107 watchlists

289 comments

 

To leave comments on this or any book please Register or Login

subscribe to comments for this book
Seringapatam wrote 370 days ago

Lynne Well what have we here??? Brilliant story. I cant believe the work you would have had to do to make this work and then all the work to make it as good as it is now. So well done and I loved it and can see it doing so well. Brilliant
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or watch list wont you?? Many thank. Sean

Eva H wrote 539 days ago

CHIRG Review

This is a great story, Lynne. You've got a real gift for description, you really make the locations in TGBM come alive. Karen is a lovely character, strong and resilient. I love historicals and this is a very good one. You've obviously researched a lot but you don't overburden the reader with heavy wodges of detail, instead just use your knowledge to bring the Roman world to life. Wishing you much luck with this.

Eva H
Children of the Raven

Dede1957 wrote 606 days ago

Hi Lynne, you know how some thing's stick with you? Well I was about 10 /11when I first read this book. I was staying with my grandmother and she she took me to the library to choose a book. I choose this one. I read it in one afternoon whilst she napped. I remember loving the story then and remembered the title. This evening my 10 year old grandaughter was asking about what she could read. This was the first book I thought of. I know she'll love it just as I did then.
So this review isn't about writing style or character analysis, it's just to say, thankyou for giving me a memory of a wonderful old lady who showed me what books could mean to me and the secrets they hold that can fire imagination. Thankyou Lynne, from the bottom of my heart. Xx

Sara Stinson wrote 621 days ago

CHIRG Review

Hi Lynne,
I have enjoyed reading your book. Your writing flows well and it is an easy read. I think young adults will enjoy. You include some history, but you do not go overboard.
Chapter one flow very well to me. Your description of the beach is good. I like the way the mirror is introduced.
Chapter Two - Karen must have had a great history teacher. She seems to quickly accept what has happened to her. She is strong headed, which could be a good thing, or it could be bad. She is content with the food and calm enough to think about what potatoes would taste like in the sauce. Kind of awkward - She goes from being content at supper to mad again when she goes to bed.
Chapter three - (agog) To me, this is an odd word for even a young adult. But for this kind of read, I think appropriate. :) She caught on quick on how to act and what to do in front of her owner. Maybe a hint somewhere to show us how she learned? Do we know how old she is? If I were her, I would be crying. She is brave. I love the name (Kleon). This is a very unique name. I like this comical moment at such a dramatic time when she is being sold. She moves about until she can maneuver her hands tied in the back to the front.
Chapter four - On the ship- You do not linger, but do a good job telling hoe the men are treated and how they fight for their food as they work the oars. Again, for a young girl of our time, it is strange for her not to freak out about lice. She is okay one minute, understanding her predicament. The next she is a ball of fire.
Chapter five - I could see the bath area where she bathed. The dolphins and the warm water steaming.

I can tell you have read your history and know about this time period. Your writing is easy to read. The character names are great for this time. I had to smile when you described the young lady with all the makeup and smelling of perfume. I know they had to be quite comical looking sometimes.

I have read part of Chapter six too. Hope you are doing good with book sales. :)

"A magical tale of a young lady, who tumbles back many years to a different time and place far away from her own."

Sara Stinson
Finger Bones


sticksandstones wrote 622 days ago

CHIRG Review:

Hi Lynne, I've always had a certain level of fascination with Roman history. Aside from that, this is a neat idea for a story, and both your pitches are strong and easy to follow. I love your opening paragraph, my parents retired to Cornwall two years ago - your description of the sea rings effortlessly true. (I've had several Cornish visits like this).

Your description of the dunes (and the view beyond) even sounds like parts of Cornwall. Not sure about your reference to Lawrence of Arabia; it's an old film and one I've never actually seen. For me, your dialogue is a bit wooden, not entirely natural. The reader has no idea what kind of background these girls have had. That said, it isn't harsh or rough (for a stroppy teen).

I like your idea of Karen wading through the small channel, unsure of whether she should go back. There's some nice detail here, it perfectly displays her youthful exuberance. Karen's discovery of the mirror is handled deftly without any of that archeological overzealousness. Great ending to Chapter One as well, as we know something magical may be about to happen.

It might seem weird to say, but your writing style reminds me very much of Enid Blyton's stories. Especially the Famous Five. She had a natural knack for description, plotting, character building, and plenty of adventure; which is the same feeling I get from your writing. That's also probably, the highest praise I can give. I do think Children's fiction isn't what it used to be.

Long gone are the days of Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl or even Dick King-Smith. I love how in Chapter Two, Karen simultaneously wakes up in the same place, and yet somewhere different. It's inspired to have the Norman Castle completely disappear. Also, little details, like how there's a subtle difference in weather patterns.

Your description of the Roman troop coming down to the beach is fantastic! The whole initial Roman conversation, and Karen's reaction by making a run for it, is superb. Your pacing then stumbles a little with your introduction of Roman life within the fort itself. In parts, I found it fascinating, in other parts, there was a little too much information.

I'd definitely like to read more, but don't have time tonight. Even so, this gets high stars for an engaging style. In a sense, it's more classically written than modern Children's literature . . . Rather than being a negative criticism though, your writing's clearly set apart from the influx of modern Fantasy authors.

Ben - Franky Frog's Worldwide Travelogue

Tod Schneider wrote 624 days ago

You wrote this when you were 14? That blows my mind. It's so well put-together! You even manage to share historical details without making it feel like book learnin'. I'm surprised you haven't churned out another Harry Potter by now. Time to get crackin'!
Tod
http://authonomy.com/books/40646/the-lost-wink/

Debbie R wrote 638 days ago
Debbie R wrote 638 days ago

CHIRG review

Couldn't open chap 2 but read chaps 1 and 3.
I particularly liked your description in the opening paragraphs of this. It has a slightly old-fashioned, dreamy air to it.
I could picture Karen lying down on her front in the sand dunes - I think most of us have done that, spying on the surrounding countryside.
You didn't rush this chapter, but made us wait until the end for the discovery of the mirror. Great last line 'She glanced in the mirror, slowly.'
Your pitch filled in what happened in chap 2.
In chap 3 Karen is washing clothes in Roman Britain. She is taken off to be sold as a slave. We diiscover that ome of the slaves have been branded.
This has lots of good detail about Roman life and although you wrote it some years ago, of course, this historical element is just as intriguing to the reader today as it was then.

When I read yoiur profile I was amazed that you wrote this when you were just 14. What a talent!

High stars and wishing you lots of luck with it on the site.

Debbie
'Speedy McCready'

Lynne Ellison wrote 646 days ago

CHIRG
Just read the first few chapters and enjoyed it.
The beginning reminds me of the book I'm currently working on and I can relate very well to your style of writing.
I'm not sure exactly what age you're aiming at but there were a couple of words in there that I think would be challenging for children - "supercilious" for example.
A sentence that made me stumble a bit was "There's an auction the day after the next fort up the coast." Should it be "at a fort...."?
Another bit was "....witnessed with interest by one of the sad-faced group sitting to her." - Sitting next to her?
All in all, I enjoyed your writing and you obviously have a good background knowledge of the Romans. It's the kind of book I would read to my class (apart from those difficult words that they wouldn't understand).
I wish you well with your sales etc.
Mike.
(Rudolf Goes Bananas)



Thank you for your helpful comments. I have corrected the errors you mentioned.

Geddy25 wrote 648 days ago

CHIRG
Just read the first few chapters and enjoyed it.
The beginning reminds me of the book I'm currently working on and I can relate very well to your style of writing.
I'm not sure exactly what age you're aiming at but there were a couple of words in there that I think would be challenging for children - "supercilious" for example.
A sentence that made me stumble a bit was "There's an auction the day after the next fort up the coast." Should it be "at a fort...."?
Another bit was "....witnessed with interest by one of the sad-faced group sitting to her." - Sitting next to her?
All in all, I enjoyed your writing and you obviously have a good background knowledge of the Romans. It's the kind of book I would read to my class (apart from those difficult words that they wouldn't understand).
I wish you well with your sales etc.
Mike.
(Rudolf Goes Bananas)

benedict wrote 658 days ago

CHIRG Review,

I found it very interesting reading your bio about when you wrote the book and the fact that you were published so young. It left me with the question, and even more so since reading the book, of why you didn't continue to write. Have you started to write again since putting your book on Authonomy?

I really enjoyed what I read (the first four chapters) it greatly reminded me of similar books I read when I was young, and also a little of The Box of Delights and the scene when Kay goes back to Roman times without his shadow. I suppose the TV version would have been made at about the same time you wrote this and I continue to watch it every year at Christmas time.

I found the book charmingly innocent in a way that books no longer are. Books from this time seemed to actively protect children from certain knowledge and as a result your main character has a pretty safe run of things as a slave in ancient Rome. The sexual references were particularly discrete and come across very differently reading as an adult than if I had read this as a child.

You write very well and the scene setting in the first chapter with the descriptions of nature particularly stands out.
I'm very sorry you saw its publication as a burden on you, socially. I hope that didn't put you off writing more and I hope you will continue to do so if it's something you still enjoy. When I'm less busy, I will come back and finish reading this for the enjoyment of a simple narrative and a real nostalgic thrill.

Many thanks for posting it.

Six stars.

Best wishes,

Benedict

Kenneth Edward Lim wrote 667 days ago

Lynne,
Shades of ":Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" with a youthful twist. Your protagonist Karen is sympathetic, worth cheering on through her foibles as she stumbles across tyhe time barrier and becomes a Romnan slave. You paint vivid pictures with your descriptives, apt and easy to follow, your dialogue making your characters all the more believable. Thank you so much for the intriguinbg read.

Kenneth Edward Lim
The North Korean

Lucy Middlemass wrote 669 days ago

This is a CHIRG review

The Green Bronze Mirror

I like your title very much!

I’ve read the first five chapters. This is easy to read and error free. The attention to historical detail makes it interesting enough for an older audience. Karen is likeable, even if she isn’t very nice to her little sister to start with. It’s good that you haven’t brushed over things like the clothing differences and the difficulties Karen would have had with Latin. I especially liked that Karen shows the other slaves at the auction how to get their bound hands to their laps, and that later her influence makes the slave-girls more rebellious.
I’ve read a lot of books in which the main character travels to another world through an object but they always go into some sort of fantasy-land. I much prefer this - it feels far less like you are making it up as you go a long. The ‘rules’ are already there (the rules of the time-period) and you have to work within them. This makes for a stronger, more plausible storyline. I’m going to star it highly and keep it on my watch list.

Lucy

Labradors and cappuccino wrote 788 days ago

This is a lovely, well written story and congratulations on getting it published. I just wondered, when I was reading it if there was a typo or something missing in this sentence on page 1
their Arab horses tethered at the bottom of the dune this was a dangerous venture. Is there a word missing or a capital letter on This maybe?
If you'd like to read my book Replacement Mothers I'd be honoured but maybe raed soem later chapters as loadsa people have commented on the first 3, so I already know they're good (according to everyone) but what about the rest, I'm wondering?
Anyway, best of luck
Debbie

JMF wrote 796 days ago

Great story. You write very well and fluently. I love the images you evoke with your description and the cliff-hanger at the end of the chapter. The reader really wants to know what is going to happen when she looks in that mirror! This is also a very topical subject at the moment, especially as it is a subject studied in primary schools! I really enjoyed what I've read.
Julia
Shadow Jumper

Shelby Z. wrote 800 days ago

Excellently written!
The pitch and title are very drawing.
I enjoyed the descriptions you use to paint your picture before the reader. It is a fun book idea with a fun twist to it.
You really get the youthful ideas and imagination of the young mind.
Worth the read. :)
Brilliantly done!

Shelby Z./Driving

billetem wrote 953 days ago

Chapter 12. Re that snake, Locusta says `He won't bite you unless i told him to,' that's a good line. You could always end things by having Karen and Kleon captured and brought to the colosseum. Then you could use your material from the earlier chapter, the one where the lioness attacks the boy. That chapter lacks drama. But by using the descriptions, like the description of Nero, and by describing Kleon and Karen facing the lions, then you really got a great ending. If you insist on a non-violent ending, then, just as the lions are about to attack Karen, have her wake up in bed back back in the UK - it was all a dream! The scene with Locusta is very well drawn, but you don't have a Christian novel if the heroine uses magic from Nero's poisoner to get back home. I would end it by having Karen and Kleon face the lions. Describe their terror and heroism. At the end Karen could have a vision of paradise - she could look into a Green Bronze Mirror and gaze through the Gates of Heaven! Here's an opportunity for you to write powerful words in describing the heavenly vision, as the lions tear the flesh of St. Karen and St. Kleon. Finding some raisons and biscuits in the pantry, and heading out on the Flaminian Way - no, that's not the right ending. Good Luck, Bill

billetem wrote 953 days ago

Chapter 11. You're taking a stab at your British pagans I see in, `That's fer yer Christian God' Excellent drama having Rhoda chased by that mob. I assume you have a reason for splitting up Kleon and Karen. It's not believable that he would say to her: `we'd better not stay together.' You can build a lot of suspense and excitement in dark passageways. And you do that, but you might want to draw the suspense out longer. That snake business is creepy and the final paragraphs are very well written.


Chapter 10. Rather than write about Karen doing some painting, we need some excitement, suspense and romance. We need Karen and Kleon sneaking around behind their masters' backs so they can see each other. But great plot development with the fire,the angry mob and the escape from the mob.

billetem wrote 953 days ago

Chapter 9. This might be your best chapter sofar. Your writing is very skillful, especially at the beginning. One can always nitpick of course.

billetem wrote 953 days ago

Chapter 8. Great description of Nero. You mention Karen's feelings for Kleon right at the beginning. This would fine if in Chapter 7 we had a 1,000 word description of them being together. Lots of good descriptions, some very good. The lioness going after the boy is certainly dramatic, but we need more conflict and drama into this novel. There's no suspense. We can sense that a conflict will come because of Karen's feelings for Kleon, but it's slow in coming if it ever does come.

billetem wrote 953 days ago

You had to bring Kleon into the story again, which you did. Both chapters 6 and 7 have the same pace. It would be better if you could breeze through some things and linger over other matters in detail. There's no problem with Kleon being a fast worker, but the pace must go slower at times. There are opportunities to put things under a microscope, write an extra one thousand words and give us more of Karen's thoughts and observations when she's with Kleon round the time he kisses her. Nothing melodramatic or corny now. Just more observations of his hands, eyes, smile, clothes, their surroundings, the scent of the air, sounds, strains of music, atriums, porticos, temperature of the water, how it feels on the skin etc. He's got welts on his back. You might try to use 200 words to describe his back. Or find something else you can linger over, elaborate at great length upon in descriptive prose, to break up the pace. We had the third slave-market scene, but a very good description of how Karen was able to manipulate matters and have Kleon purchased. Your dialogue is ok. It's never sappy or awkward, at least I haven't noticed any big problems.

billetem wrote 953 days ago

I'll reserve comment on chapter 6 until after i've read later chapters.

billetem wrote 953 days ago

Chapter 5. Excellent descriptions: `bands of painted fish on the walls,' `her eyes were shadowed with blue paint', `leaping dolphins, Nepture, tritons...' Very good. We got a second slave-market scene. Good description of that fop. We're waiting to meet up aagain with that good-looking youth she saw at the slave-market in Briton. Or if he's not in your plans, we're looking for some sort of either male-female attachment to form, or some sort of conflict to enlive the march of events. Having the heroine meet a boy her age, is always a winning plot twist with readers. Let's see what happens in chapter 6.

billetem wrote 953 days ago

Chapter 4. You're covering a lot of action in this chapter, and you're doing it with the bare minimum number of words. What you need to do is take one scene, perhaps the scene with the galley slaves, or better yet the scene when the three girls go on their excursion, and you want to use about one thousand to two thousand words to describe what happens in 10 minutes time. This will break the routine of covering lots of time and distance with such a minimal number of words - it will create a mood and a change of pace that will impress the reader and grab his attention. I would take that excursion of the three girls and put it under the magnifying glass, describe things in great detail. Describe these girls. Describe their eyelashes, their complexions, their fingers, their hairstyles...Give us there mannerisms not their biographies. Describe the world around them in great detail. Everything is marching along in your narrative at the same pace. You need a change of pace. France provides a writer with no end of opportunities for describing things in lingering and loving detail: aquaducts, bridges, mountainous terrain, forested countryside, rivers, food, exotic costumes, starving peasants, beautiful slave-girls, high-born matrons, villas, flowers, wine, poplars, sunlight apple trees, vines, wolves, boars, piglets, huntsmen, fugitive Druids etc.

billetem wrote 953 days ago

Chapter 3. Your best chapter so far. You're creating the right mood. You have excellent descriptions: flies buzzing round her on the journey. i'm not a big fan of describing girls with sweaty armpits though! I'd make her sweat but I'd keep it on her brow. You create the mood of captivity: Men staring at her. She's feeling like a trapped animal. She see's a good-looking boy. There's the bitter-sweet parting - she's looking for him before she's dragged away. Perfect.

billetem wrote 953 days ago

Chapter 2. I've read `The Eagle of the Ninth' and I liked it a lot, read it twice. Recall the suspense on the dark moonless night, when the sentry heard a noice which might have been a cow walking about, but they summoned the whole garrison because the centurion feared it was the barbarians creeping up on them. I don't know if you want to call attention to the fact she understands their Latin. Why call attention to impossible stuff? If you want Romans to speak in British idioms, `dearie,' 'that's a piece of advise for you,' this is fine, but no need to call attention to things which are simply impossible. Trust the reader to be willing to suspend his disbelief. Chapter 2 could use less chit-chat and more descriptions. Food is fun to elaborate on. You have chicken and white sause and potatoes. Easy to augment this. The dialogue mentioning crucifixion for escaped slaves was very good - but give more description of the scene. Paint the picture the soldiers marching her to fortress. Paint a picture of the countryside. Create the mood that a girl in captivity would feel. Recall the descriptions of nature in `The Eagle of the Ninth' when that centurion and his slave go north to Valentia, or whatever it was called. You have it where, she's quickly apprehended, and then there's dialogue which for the most part adds little, except for the crucifixion part, which is essential, and then she's suddenly at the fort. Escapes are fun. Recall David Balfour's Flight through the Heather in `Kidnapped.'

billetem wrote 953 days ago

Hi Lynn - Chapter 1. How about this for an idea: begin with a short description of the scene before she finds the mirror, include the Norman castle, include the part about Lawrance of Arabia, include her sister. Your second chapter misses an opportunity for suspense and thrills. So, 1) Begin with a short description of the scene, 2) She finds the mirror, 3) She's transported back in time. I like how you've handled the transport, though you might want to flesh it out some more. 4) Now she does not simply wait for the Romans to walk up to her. She's confused, terrified etc. She attempts to escape frm them but is captured. Much of the descriptive language you use in Chapter 1 can be used to describe the scene when she is attempting her escape. The descriptions of the sea and the shore which you have in Chapter 1 are perfectly good.

Chapter 2.

billetem wrote 963 days ago

Your pitch has me more interested than anything else I've seen at authonomy. I'll read `The Green Bronze Mirror' very soon. - Bill Etem

mrsdfwt wrote 1045 days ago

Dear Lynn,
Read three chapters of The Green Bronze Mirror, and found it very charming. What an adventure (or misfortune), to go back to Roman Times. What i have read of that era is not very pleasant, and so i just have a couple of comments. You can disregard them if you wish because it's just my opinion :).
The interaction between Karen and her new master in chapter three could be a little different, more in tune with the times.

"You'll be wondering why i bought you?"
There's nothing wrong with the question, although it sounds very civilized for a Roman soldier.
At this point, after he takes possession of his purchase, he'd probably be quite rude and patronizing. Perhaps he'd look at her with a sneer, take a hold of her face in his big calloused hand, and spit the same words with either contempt or desire, probably both.

Her response, "Not particularly.", would be taken with great insult, unless of course she was Cleopatra.
In Karen's case, her master would probably run her through with his sword or at the very least. slap her for her insollence.
I think you have a great story here Lynn. Personally, I'd love to see a little more drama relating to that period in history.
Highly starred and placed in line for the shelf.
Maria
Dark of the Moon

Lynne Ellison wrote 1096 days ago

Have you written anything since you was a child, or are you just milking this book over and over again.



As mentioned in my biography, I have not written anything since this book was published, but I hope to write more in the future.

Stanman wrote 1096 days ago

Have you written anything since you was a child, or are you just milking this book over and over again.

Nathan Maki wrote 1107 days ago

Hi Lynne,
This was a great story for having written it so young! I hope you get it printed more widely. Here’s some comments I had. I read the first chapter and didn’t see any serious changes to be made. Rome is more my specialty, so I had more comments as you got into chapter 2. Here’s some edits/thoughts.
Chapter 2
Karen was completely mystified (need a period.)
…walked off, if you ask me (comma instead of hyphen) the cheeky little (dash instead of hyphen. There’s a few places where you use hyphens when it should be a comma throughout.)
…you’d not get off lightly then you know.” (there’s a misplaced period in there.)
On a more historical note,
You use the title decurion to describe the officer Rufus. Technically decurion means leader of ten men, but in actual use it was actually used only for Roman cavalry officers. This is unfortunate because it’s a very useful term and one that I wanted to use in my book but couldn’t because it’s not historically accurate. It’s actually unclear whether there were any officers over each contubernium or tent unit of 8-10 men. It’s not clear that there was any officer in the regular infantry below the centurion and his second-in-command optio, who would have together commanded 80 men.
One thing is clear to me though. If Rufus was a decurion, over only ten men, he wouldn’t have a two-room suite to share with only one other decurion. Centurions certainly (and optios possibly) had their own tent when on the march and their own room when in a fort, but a low-level officer like a decurion would have almost certainly slept with his small squad. You can understand the logistical problems of providing every decurion with his own room when you consider that a legion was 5000 men, so there would be 500 ten-man units. That would mean if a fort was housing a legion it would have to have 500 rooms just for decurions alone, not to mention housing everyone else. This would just be impractical. I’d suggest making Rufus a centurion if you want him to have moderately high status.
I don’t understand why the slave woman would take Karen for a boy. Most everyone wore tunics at that point in time, not pants or dresses, though there were some exceptions. Roman boys typically wore their hair cut short and girls left it grow long. As you already mentioned, Karen’s hair was long. That would have been more of an indicator to the slave lady than the fact she was wearing pants.
Karen identifies her new master as Duillius Rufus, but you didn’t mention him every telling her his name. It also seems likely she’d have struggled to remember/pronounce it the first time she was asked to name him, though that’s just a matter of style.
Just a few thoughts to mull over as you’re in the editing process. I’m giving this five stars because it is well-written and an interesting story in a straight-forward realistic but engaging style. I’ll add it to my watchlist for rotation soon. With some polishing I’m sure we’ll see this republished and on the shelves before long.
Any further comments/suggestions/edits you can give me on A War Within would be appreciated.
Best regards,
Nathan Maki

Inkfinger wrote 1126 days ago

Wow, I can't believe you wrote this so young! It's a great old-fashioned adventure story, but would definitely still appeal to children today. I don't know if you want some constructive critisism, as it's already in print. If so, there's only one thing I'd say:
For me, I thought that the first paragraph or so had too many adjectives and adverbs. But I noticed as you got further into the story, they seemed to disappear as the action took over.
It's a brilliant adventure with a great plot, and a great protagonist in Karen. I'm in awe!
Highly starred and I will back soon.
Becky x

CMTStibbe wrote 1141 days ago

Scenic descriptions and skillful images of a child’s imagination keep this book true to its genre. Karen is daydreaming on her own island and discovers a mirror. But as she finds her reflection, she also finds another world. Caught my Roman soldiers, during the time of Nero, she finds herself in one family only to be sold to another. Time travel is fascinating and I think you connect well with your chosen audience. It is lucidly told with a great plot to boot. I give it six stars and will put it on my shelf in a day or two. Highly recommended. Claire ~ Chasing Pharaohs.

Wei wrote 1142 days ago

Classic story-telling, and very compelling! My comments echo some others posted here -- we know we are in classic fantasy-land, in the tradition of C.S. Lewis and Susan Cooper, but it still feels odd that there is no comment about the strangeness of being able to understand the Roman soldiers, etc. It does feel like she should be more disoriented than she is in Ch. 2....

Lynne Ellison wrote 1155 days ago

This is a very well crafted, thoughtful book, a great way to get kids interested in Roman history. But it does feel terribly English. I think it would help to include the odd Latin sounding phrase or term, just to really show us where we are and that you know what you're writing about. Even if Karen is somehow speaking Latin like a native, i think she'd still find things unusual - after all, the climate, food are all new to her. I think English slaves were highly valued - there is a story possibly apocryphal - that they were delivered to rome, a pope i think was told they were angles and he thought they were angels. On watch list for the moment. a bit hard to rate it until finished. good luck with it and look forward to your comments on mine. cheers




Thank you for your comment. I will get back to your book shortly.

Please note that the remark about English slaves dates from a much later period of Roman history than the one dealt with in this book -the late sixth century, in fact. Moreover, in the reign of Nero ( in the first century A. D.), there was no such people as the " English", and the Angles (from whom the word "English" derives) did not come to Britain until the fifth century.

Writenow wrote 1155 days ago

This is a very well crafted, thoughtful book, a great way to get kids interested in Roman history. But it does feel terribly English. I think it would help to include the odd Latin sounding phrase or term, just to really show us where we are and that you know what you're writing about. Even if Karen is somehow speaking Latin like a native, i think she'd still find things unusual - after all, the climate, food are all new to her. I think English slaves were highly valued - there is a story possibly apocryphal - that they were delivered to rome, a pope i think was told they were angles and he thought they were angels. On watch list for the moment. a bit hard to rate it until finished. good luck with it and look forward to your comments on mine. cheers

Charmain wrote 1158 days ago

This book is sensational, and well written. I love the way you add history to the story, it makes it so much better. I give you six stars.
-Charmain

Kim D wrote 1158 days ago

A beautifully crafted and highly polished story. I couldn't fault it technically.
A job very well done.
Kim
St Viper's School for Super Villains

lucy.leid wrote 1172 days ago

Hi Lynne - your story is great: why do you have such a lacklustre short pitch? You owe yourself a wonderfully descriptive short. I also think your first sentence is wayyy too much. Try splitting it up into two. You don't want to be starting with an info dump...or I guess...a vivid dump?
That being said, your story was the most enjoyable I read today (and I'm trying to power through my bookshelf, shh!). The language is easily graspable and you paint lovely pictures - sometimes, it's just a little too lovely. You know? Too many 'feminine' descriptives will limit your audience, though I guess that can be said for many books, so you can take that at face value.
Your voice is just right for your novel, though some may scold you for the narrative 'step back' as it is referred to. I like it. I see the storytelling value in it. Great read. Best of luck with it.

Ivan Amberlake wrote 1187 days ago

Chapter 1 is majestic. The images you have created (the rolling waves of the sea, an old Norman castle, etc., etc, and last but not least, the green mirror) are so vivid I can see them in my mind’s eye. I even re-read the chapter to feel the atmosphere you’ve created. I definitely want to find out what would happen to Karen next. BTW, a superb ending to Chapter 1. Very intriguing.

Looking forward to reading more …
Ivan.

Shah Wali wrote 1191 days ago

The Green Bronze Mirror
Read the first chapter, could not find any problem, it is nicely done. The story is beleivable and novel. And there is mcuh to come when the reader wants to know what the mirror might be, what happens when she looks herself into the mirror, is it of historical importance, what is it, will she be a millionair, what? lots of questions that can keep the reader to read on.

Wilma1 wrote 1200 days ago

I think this is a remarkable piece of writing for one so young. You have great imagary. Your writing is polished and has a great depth to it. I read this before under the old system and am pleased to have the opportunity to re read it and give it the rightly deserved stars.
Sue
Knowing Liam Riley

Christopher Roy Denton wrote 1216 days ago

Hi Lynne!

I’ve read a few chapters of your book, and it’s very polished, which I suppose is to be expected if it’s been published before, lol. I think you’ve got a wonderful MC and a fast paced and exciting plot. This is going on my shelf.

Here are a few notes I made as I read:-

“The hair blew into her eyes...” sounded a bit odd when it’s her hair.

“She went slowly down to the sea again...” -> Once again she trudged down to the water’s edge, and finding a piece of driftwood, drew a horse...

The end of chapter one is a great hook, but why use the word ‘slowly’ on the end when it can be cut without changing the meaning?

You mention in chapter two that the weather had changed. Would it be worth mentioning that it seemed much warmer than she’d ever remembered in England, well, Wales, lol. I mean, it was warmer in the UK during the Roman period than it is today.

It seemed strange that the Romans spoke perfect English without an accent, lol. I mean, obviously you have to have them speak English, but can’t you give them an accent that Karen hears?

“When they arrived at the fort, he left her in charge of the old slave...” This sounds like she’s in charge of Davus, but I think you meant, ‘left her in the charge of the old slave.’

She’d gone around the ruins of one. Be specific, Caerleon near Cardiff has a ruined fort with wonderful exposed barracks foundations, an amphitheatre and fantastic bathhouse.

“I’m a Greek.” -> I’m Greek.

He dived under a low doorway -> He ducked under a low lintel

The smell of cooking. What smells, lol? Be specific and transport me there, please.

Cordella thought Karen’s clothes were indecent, but why? Surely the Romans at this time wore even more revealing clothes, especially since the weather was so hot back then.

Why would Cordella take Karen for a girl? She had long hair, but the Roman fashion for men was generally short hair.

Cordella had a mirror? Why would a slave have such an expensive luxury item? I’d expected Cordella to laugh and make fun of Karen for asking her if she had a mirror.

Having read that the date was so early in the Roman occupation, I wondered about the stone buildings in the barracks. Surely they would only have been wood at this stage.

Having said all the above, I’m no historian, and certainly not an expert on Roman Britain, so I’m only giving my thoughts as I read.

I hope my notes help.

All the best,
Chris :-)

keithw wrote 1232 days ago

Time travel stories are some of my absolute favorites. My mind got involved with your story, and I found myself traveling in time with the story, especially since I was in Rome and Pompeii not long ago. I never knew Pompeii was so large! I only spent two hours there, and it could have been two days. Ah, you see my mind wanders even now!

What a great story and a great read. Thank you so much for sharing that with us.

Keith W.

karenrosario wrote 1251 days ago

I love that you wrote this when you were 14! I don't feel like any critical advice would be particularly relevant in this case, and I can't think of anything anyway! It has a delightful and fun feel to it and Karen is very likeable. There's something about the tone and style that reminds me a little bit of Five Children and It and other such childrens classics.
I have read and enjoyed the first chapter and will keep it on my watchlist to come back to soon :-)
Karen Rosario

minx2minx wrote 1261 days ago

Hi Lynne, what an enchanting story. I haven't had time to read all of it but have enjoyed the chapters I have read so far and look forward to reading it to my grandchildren.
Backed and starred with pleasure.
Lizzie Scott :-)

ShawnBird wrote 1268 days ago

I signed this out from the Book Mobile the summer of 1977 when I was 13. I was so jealous that a 14 year old had been published, and I LOVED the story. Although I lost the details of it, I never forgot the title, and have kept my eyes open for a copy for over 30 years! How exciting to find it available again (I'll be downloading the e-book from smashwords). I was in Italy this spring, and visiting Pompeii and Rome brought this book to mind many times. I'm also pleased to report that I no longer need to be jealous, since next fall my own novel Grace Awakening is set to be published. It took awhile, but dreams can come true. :-) Thanks Lynn! http://shawnbird.com

Lynne Ellison wrote 1270 days ago

Hello,

Thanks for your request. The initial comments are on specific chapters; more general feedback is at the end. Hope this is of some use – I realise that this book has been published, and given that it was written when you were so young, my feedback might sound a bit harsh. I’ve tried to read in the same way I’d read any published book, but the comments aren’t aimed at a teenage author, because this book is far more than I’d expect from most fourteen-year olds.

Chapter 1
- ‘She could be irritating when not wanted’ – is that intentionally phrased so as to make it sound like Anne is deliberately irritating, rather than that Karen finds her presence irritating when she is not wanted?
- Why is the island not described as such when Karen first sees it? Presumably the first idea to occur to her would be that it is an island, not ‘a large section of sand’
- I haven’t seen steep sandy banks in a coastal ‘island’ before, only low-lying sand bars or rock outcrops which form islands – but I assume you have, or at least have done enough research to know that they exist.
- Accenting vs. Accentuating – I think the latter is more appropriate in the context of loneliness.
- Words such as lonely, solitude, and loneliness are used in close proximity – is this too much repetition within a few lines?

Chapter 2
- ‘Roman Britain, which she [had] read in school last term’ – when writing in past tense, and referring to events prior to the storyline, past perfect tense is usually more appropriate.
- The beating from Marius is downplayed by Karen. She was beaten, perhaps it was humiliating – was it painful?

Chapter 5
- This sentence might benefit from a question mark: ‘What was he saying to the merchant[?] ‘

Chapter 7
- ’Did that mule walk fast?’ – I think you could replace the question mark with an exclamation, as I et the impression Kleon is commenting on the speed of the mule rather than pondering it.
- We are exposed to Karen’s PoV right throughout the posted chapters – until the point where we suddenly catch a glimpse of what the Samnite is thinking, as if the narrator suddenly interrupted to say ‘I know more than I’m letting on!’I’m not sure the information we get at that point justifies derailing what the reader was thinking of as a 3rd person limited PoV.

Chapter 9
- ‘One day, the whole world will be converted to our way of thinking.’ Really? Because it hasn’t happened in Karen’s time and many would argue that it never will. It’s not clear enough (to me) why Karen is saying this – perhaps in order to encourage the others?

This leads me to one of the points which most confuses me – Karen’s religion. It’s not brought up at all until the point when she is asked which gods she follows – then suddenly she’s putting her life at risk by meeting covertly with the other Christians, and it becomes one of the most significant elements of the story. If the book were listed primarily as a Christian book, this could make sense (I can’t see all the genres listed but the ones I can see are historical fiction, fantasy, and children’s) though I’d still expect Karen’s beliefs to come up earlier in the story – for example when she first finds herself in the hands of the Romans. If it were a ruse Karen uses to find herself a community/allies and help Kleon find something to focus on, then she wouldn’t be quite so eager to convert, or to stick with the other Christians when they are being persecuted. If this is a way of exposing the reader to some of the problems faced by Christians of the time/other minority groups, I’d expect Karen’s faith to be strong enough that the reader would feel what she felt. Instead, it seemed to me like Karen, and thus the reader, tags along observing the group without much passion.

I didn’t notice any issues with plot except that it was rather fast moving. In the PoV you use, we see what Karen does, but some aspects are glossed over – for example, her reactions at finding herself alone in a different time period, with no immediate prospects of seeing her family again, are either far more muted than what most teenage girls would go through, or aren’t really described. The same applies to her new position as a slave. Her relationship with Kleon seems to be more of a passing fling, in light of her newfound desire to return home (which she had presumably suppressed when there didn’t seem to be a chance of doing so). She loves solitude according to the first chapter, but apparently doesn’t have any problems in crowded Rome. It felt to me like aspects of Karen’s life (e.g. attachment to her family, religion, skills such as painting) were taken out when it was convenient to the plot and then disappeared again in such a way that you’d never have known they had existed. In addition to detracting from the realism of the story, this has the effect of making the story seem much faster-paced, and of making Karen a difficult character to relate to or empathise with. Given that the story was written when you were fourteen, I wonder whether some of this relates to how a story grows in one’s mind – it’s organic, rather than constructed, and ideas turn up in the plot as one thinks of them.

The linear succession of events wouldn’t have appealed to me so much - I had hoped for more character development or complexity of plot, but that may be personal preference. As far as concept and setting go, I think this will have appeal for pre-teenage readers. Your writing seems polished, and pleasant to read – there were a couple of misplaced single quote marks, and perhaps some formatting issues, but the prose impressed me from the first chapter. I haven’t checked any facts because I haven’t had the time to look into the few things that did trip me up, but gather from your profile that you and your editor did so before publication.

I’ll stop there because I could be on the wrong track – twelve chapters isn’t always enough to give a good indication of how a story has been written. Congratulations on having had this published – if this is as you wrote it at fourteen, it’s an incredible achievement!

Best regards,
elf_friend



Thank you for your helpful comments on my book. Please see the folowing replies to your remarks:-

1. As noted in my profile the main character Karen represents myself as a young girl. At that age I was often unable to maintain a continued interest in anything, and developed short-lived interests in many things. This accounts for many of the idiosynchracies in the plot.
2. I did not list this book as Christian fiction because I believe it to be not Christian enough to satisfy the afficionados of that genre. ( I have been told as much by Christian fiction editors). The view of Christianity in the book is that prevailing at the time of the book's publication in 1960s England, where nearly everyone regarded themselves as "Christian" even if, like Karen, they "gave little thought to it." People also regarded the western , nominally Christian nations as "the whole world." Christianity was thought of more as a moral code than a set of theological beliefs, and the book's message is that this morality a "Good Thing," or at least a better thing than that of the pagan Romans.
3. To see how Karen's relationship with Kleon develops, and how the conflict between her love and her desire to return home is resolved, it is necessary to read the entire book.

Xaxier wrote 1272 days ago

Hi Lynne, I have checked out your book. If you wrote this when you were 14 then I am impressed. The writing style is light and descriptive, with a good flow and I believe this would appeal as a family book. I don't do automatic backing for people who back Boundary Limit, but I have backed yours because it is good enough in my humble opinion.
Regards,
Xavier