Book Jacket


rank 17
word count 12046
date submitted 01.12.2011
date updated 30.11.2013
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Fantasy,...
classification: universal

The Purple Morrow-Book 1

Dyane Forde

The Rovers had been sent to decimate the Southernlands. Instead they awoke its saviour.


Ten years have passed since the Rover army tore through the Southernlands, leaving behind a trail of devastation and death. Most believed the attacks were random acts of brutality. The wise, however, knew the truth: the Rovers sought to destroy the one thing powerful enough to thwart their conquest. They were searching for the Papilion.

A new commander bent on completing the mission left unfinished by their predeccesors, leads the Rovers back into the Southernlands. Fierce and determined, he comes armed with a precious artefact and a secret purpose.

While the Southernlands reel under the new terror, the Purple Morrow, harbinger of hope, appears to Jeru, an unsuspecting and solitary clan hunter. Finding himself enmeshed in a series of incredible events beyond his control, Jeru is compelled to take the first steps towards discovering his ultimate destiny.

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Arnbjorn wrote 100 days ago

An enjoyable tavern scene, this one. We see more of Jeru's character, and you introduce Lark's very well. We're left with Jeru at a critical stage; he cannot go on living as he is and must act on the omens of the dream. The other hook is obviously there; we want to read on to discover what truth there is behind the boy's message.

Just a few bits I thought might need a little reworking:

'I'm sorry' apologized Jeru - just I'm sorry would do.
'Thinking of Lark's even-tempered wife...' - I think this sentence could be omitted altogether to tighten the para up, as the dialogue already conveys what the nature of the wife must be.
The para beginning 'He waved his empty flagon at Millie, indicating... - This sentence and the next felt to me to be a little long-winded. What about 'But as soon as he waved his flagon at Millie for a refill, the inspiration fizzled away.
'They had just paid for their drinks when... - This para could do with tightening up as well. There's too much dwelling on the fire, and I don't feel the patrons would be as 'shocked' into silence as a hush would fall.
'Upon hearing Lottie's message...- Because of the preceding dialogue, my first assumption was that Lottie had gone on to deliver a fuller message. So I think this sentence needs changing somehow. Also I definitely think some aside comments from the patrons on the message would do wonders here.
Perhaps Jeru's pang as lark enters his home could be mentioned as one of loneliness? First I thought it was another premonition.
'No child sleeping restlessly...' - I think soundly would do better here.

Another commendable chapter. With some rework and tightening up would be excellent!


Arnbjorn wrote 100 days ago

First off, I think your pitch is fab, perhaps the best pitch I've read on Authonomy. It's not cluttered or confusing, each paragraph follows the preceding naturally, and it sets the scene for the book perfectly.

I see you've reworked this first chapter since last I read it a year or more ago. You've done a very good job. I think Steve your last reviewer nailed it when he mentions pace, intensity and suspense, all of which have a strong presence. The intensity comes from the sexual tension between the two characters, which you evoke through both Jeru's feelings and the interaction of the two.

I'll read on to chapter two now


Steve Clark wrote 137 days ago

Pace, intensity and suspense, this well-written book has it all. It has one of the best opening lines I've ever seen; "She stole into his mind with the sweetness of a lover's kiss." It's hard to find anything to criticize in this book. I found two typos. At the line, "Aliyah," he said, "these stones are slippery." "Aliyah is misspelled. The same type occurs a few lines later at what should be Aliyah, try to settle down.

In one of the first paragraphs in Chap. 4 that starts, "The village was in chaos... The author uses the word "face" three times in two sentences.

Aside from those minor things, this in an engaging, tension-filled adventure that I left wanting much more. I am happy to back this book

Karen McKenzie wrote 228 days ago

I see this is already published, but still on this site? I found your first chapter enjoyable, and will read on a bit to see where this goes.

hockgtjoa wrote 280 days ago

I like this but I am confused--why does Aliyah say "but I am of the water clan"? Wasn't Jeru also. Well told story but so far the plot does not seem so original.

Kat_2012 wrote 313 days ago

I enjoyed this first chapter. You're story-telling technique is attentive and emotional. You're a natural! This couple in the dream sequence is realistic and romantic. I didn't even know this was a dream until the end. I I will definitely read on, but wanted to take the time to comment before I get sucked in again. lol

MC Storm wrote 350 days ago

What a sad beginning. I got the sense that there is more to come, the eerie feeling just prior to losing his wife and the woman who appeared at the end of the chapter. This is very well written. The mystery is subtle, but powerful. The dialogue flows effortlessly and your characters appear real. Well done and high starred. I hope to get back and read more.

Sara Stinson wrote 386 days ago

Hi Dyane,
I love your story! Your writing is smooth and it's easy to read. I did not find any mistakes and I will read more. Keep up the wonderful writing! I have enjoyed seeing you rise to where you belong! You deserve it!

Sara :)

Rachael Cox wrote 397 days ago

This is a beautifully written, intriguing story which promises mystery and depth. Your characters are very real and we really feel their emotion and frustration, especially Jeru. You have a great flow and style to your writing and the story really engaged me. I really enjoyed what I read and will be backing this with pleasure.
Best of luck

Z.N. Singer wrote 401 days ago this is impressive. It's more or less as Lombard down there says, this is some serious quality. I'll have to keep up with this. You are putting up more right?

L.Lombard wrote 401 days ago

Hi Dyane, I've read the first four chapters of The Purple Morrow. I find it fascinating. You write beautifully and are quite the storyteller. I could picture your descriptions and it was easy to relate to the characters' feelings. Please let me know if you post more, as I am very interested in finding out what happens next.
Top stars and on my shelf.

Robert M. Starr wrote 415 days ago

Hi Dyane,

I've read all four chapters of The Purple Morrow; I wasn't in grammar or punctuation editor mode, so the only error I caught was a small one. I believe you meant 'gravelly beach' in Chapter 3 rather than 'gravely beach' (unless the beach was covered in graves rather than gravel). I'm not certain, but you may also have given one of the Rovers in Chapter 4 'eyes as black as' in one paragraph and blue eyes a few lines later (I read the scene a couple of times, but I couldn't quite keep track of which Rover was which).

You write beautifully and draw exquisite word pictures to establish your scenes; your characters are good to the extent that you have developed them thus far in the story. And I think you've set the stage for what could easily become an exciting fantasy adventure and a wonderful romance.

However, I felt that you actually devoted too much space to describing scenes and characters with too little dialogue allowing the characters to reveal themselves (the second chapter inside scene was good). I also felt that you introduced too many characters too quickly without staying with them long enough for me to get to know them and keep them straight (but I've grown old, and my photographic memory exhausted the last of its film during my zoology final in 1993). If the characters, other than Jeru and Lark, introduced in the (pub or bar or--did you actually say?) play a significant role later in the story, you might not bother to name most, or to spend much time in developing them so early. Otherwise, it probably doesn't matter if your readers forget who they are.

Note: I've removed my final criticism, because, after further reflection, I've decided that I was distracted and was unfair in my comment. That realization may also make the paragraph above suspect, at least in part, so read it with a grain of sand rubbing you the wrong way and inducing skepticism.


tarasimone wrote 433 days ago

Hi Dyane, I read and reviewed all the chapters quite some time ago, but forgot to type up my notes on chapter 4, found them today, so here they are.

I probably wont be able to elaborate on anything as it is such a while ago, but I hope they're helpful nonetheless.

...he (had?) caught himself dozing a few times over the last few hours. (few x 2)
Babies... & tied to their mother's back (mothers' backs?) bloated beetles they heaved... like ants they HAD streamed...
the dirt under their feet - not referring to anyone in particular - the dirt underfoot?
wooden structure - repeated three times closely
Isha - did he go in with her? Unclear?
Nyssa - how long had she been running? wasted arm?

Christine May wrote 434 days ago

I read your first chapter. You have a beautiful way with words.

maryanneO wrote 438 days ago

I am a die-hard fan of fantasy - especially epic fantasy. I read your opening, and loved the mood you have set and your style of writing. I can already see the possiblity of future romance, even though Jeru can't see it yet. Great scene setting and the start of a believable world. A friend recommended this, and I am glad she did. This is the kind of book I love.

emarie wrote 440 days ago

Dyane, I haven't read much of your story, but ...WOW. I really enjoyed what I've read. This could be a best seller. I'm going to have to friend you, watchlist you and back you. High stars!
Jackson Jacob Henry Brown, III

AlexandraMahanaim wrote 441 days ago

You have indicted that the book is complete yet it seems to me only as a beginning. Nyssa has been captured by the enemy. Will Jeru save her?

I like stories of this kind and it was so interesting to follow the life in caves. I would love to live myself in caves listening to the ocean roar in the distance. You painted the pictures vividly.

Hope you will take a look at my books,
Alexandra Mahanaim

Joy Eastman wrote 450 days ago

Well written in beautiful story congratulations in high stars blessings joy

Joy Eastman wrote 454 days ago

Well written in beautiful story congratulations in high stars blessings joy

Barbara W. Bland wrote 455 days ago

Dyane, I tried to send you some comments but they must have vanished into limbo! I note from your word count that this book is the length of a long short story. However, the word count of your next in the series is more that of a novella. Maybe they could be published in one volume? Your story is interesting, exciting and well written. Best wishes, Barbara

Elizabeth Kathleen wrote 455 days ago

Dyane I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to read this. Some things escape me. Sorry. I've been impressed with your first two chapters! You have a nice way of describing your characters so much so that I was beginning to imagine the Rovers as villians and was excited to see what the purple marlow is. Good job! I'm glad to see you so high in the rankings!
May God bless you and yours!!!
Elizabeth Kathleen
"If Children are Cheaper by the Dozen, Can I Get a Discount on Six?"

Cathy Hardy wrote 456 days ago

This is a wonderful, truly picturesque story. Although it is fantasy, your characters are very real and come alive on the pages. 6 stars!!

Casimir Greenfield wrote 456 days ago

Beautifully written narrative. There is an effortless flow to the words which carries the reader through.

This is not a genre I would normally read, but I know good writing when I read it. Good luck with the piece. High stars and a watch list placing.


Ta-siv wrote 457 days ago

Dayne, excellent writing. You're truly a superb storyteller.

The book has an African feel yet “ice-capped mountains”, “Rovers”, “Erne clan”, etc places it else where. It's amazing to observe how you are able to construct characters, plot scenes and narrate the story.

I very much like this Jeru chap. I feel for him. Your writing is sophisticated yet clear for anyone to follow. You use it to full effect in telling the story so much so that one feels that as you tell the story using it, it also, on its own, is the story. Each sentence has been carefully crafted to convey a story. Your confidence shows through the words you use.

Your narration is another thing to marvel. You have an ability to get a reader see through his mind’s eye how things are. The scenes that build up to the battle is gripping. One immediately gets the sense that a mammoth of a battle is on our hands. You certainly know how make things come alive through imagery.

I must express my heart-fell gratitude for the privilege you gave me of reading your book. I’m certainly backing it. And I think giving it full marks will not hurt either.


Grey Muir wrote 469 days ago

WOW! At 135!
And a pending contract!
I can believe the DESK is within your reach. Awesome!

Seringapatam wrote 471 days ago

I echo Davids view. I dont know why I havent come across this before now, but I am glad I have found it eventually. Its a great story and you tell it so well. Your character description is spot on and you have a tendency throughout the story to let us know just enough about them. I feel drawn into the book as a result of a number of things and this includes your talent to sell it to the reader. I will be scoring this high.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or Watch list wont you. Happy New Year. Sean

evermoore wrote 472 days ago

Dyane...I was never so drawn to a genre I usually close my eyes to read...(winks) You have a weave ordinary words into a tapestry of visuals that one peeks at before pondering such an existence. I could hear the water falling...see the love between Jeru and Aliyah. But I could see .Nyssa escaping only to be caught again and carried off to be taken again and again by those vile men. It's like walking on eggshells...yet one is unable to simply step off of them. Six stars and a want for more...


aurorawatcher wrote 500 days ago


Since you only have four chapters posted, I read them all. Great story with strong descriptions and very personal characterizations. I can see where the story is going and enjoy it. I think I'd probably buy the book in a bookstore.

Open with a dream sequence was a risk, but I think you did it well so that it engenders sympathy of Jeru early on.

You've had some excellent nitpicking below, so I'm not going to plow the same field. I would suggest in the tavern sequence that you not tell us the men were rowdy. The reader can figure that out through the description, so you don't need to tell us.

Other than that, I think this is a strong story that has been well edited and deserves its ranking. Good luck!

Lela Markham - The Willow Branch

Douglas York wrote 503 days ago

Club Grimoire Alternate Review

I'm not sure why I haven't read this sooner - I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think the thing that stands out the most to me is your ability to not let prose get in the way of the plot. You have moments of exceptional prose, but for the most part, you're doing what you're supposed to: letting the story tell itself.

I love nature and hiking and all that fun stuff, so I really liked your attention to painting the scene and the imagery of the waterfall. The only weak place I found was the description of the house. Someone mentioned this below, but I was having trouble picking the "tone" of the house - was it a dirty shack? More of a rugged but simple cabin? A sentence or two expanding the description might help, but again I enjoy description of setting more than most.

Love the names of your characters. Jeru and his wife's trip across the rocks was saturated in tension - I was flying through your sentences to find out what happened. I have to admit, I'm not sure how I felt about the dream, even though it was less of a dream and more of a vivid and accurate experience. I can't comment on how a publisher would feel about it, but to me it seems like a lot of books start out with dreams. That said, it was still great. You could feel Jeru's pain at re-living that experience.

I'm adding this to my waitlist because this is honestly one of the only works I've wanted to read more of, and I'll certainly be back for further reading. Highly rated.

Douglas York
Majestic Shadows: The Pillar of Smoke

burgundy_ink wrote 508 days ago

Hi Dyane,
I didn't comment immediately because I wasn't sure what to say. I don't have any crits, really, I only wish there was more to read!!! You write beautifully - I really did lose track of time in the world you've created. The pace is perfect: not too fast that it misses the detail and descriptions that make the characters convincing and the setting come to life, but not too slow that readers would lose interest.

There's a good amount of suspense, and you wrote the scenes of battle so clearly that I was able to follow them easily (I usually get lost in fighting scenes, lose concentration and skim read through).
You've built up the plot so naturally, flawlessly and my heart aches for Jeru <3 Love the characters, brilliant plot...high stars and very pleased to have it on my shelf.

Burgundy Ink (Choosing Right)

LCF Quartet wrote 510 days ago

Hi Dyane,
I was planning to check The Purple Morrow over the weekend but I could only have time to read it today. Having finished the first 3 chapters, I can easily say that you've managed to create a dynamic plot here. I enjoyed what I read so far.

Your third-person voice is clear and easy to follow. I liked the way you introduced ALIYAH at the very beginning and then fused in all your characters (Jeru, Lark, Milie, Ada, Nyssa, Deni, Leader and Quentin) in a timely manner.

I think your dialogues are in a good shape and your writing style certainly delivers. I usually focus on character development and premise, so I'm sure if you upload some more chapters, I'll be able to send you a more useful feedback.

Highly starred and still in my Watch List for further comments,
Best wishes,
Lucette- Ten Deep Footprints

tarasimone wrote 514 days ago

Continuing my review -
Ch 3 - You speak of the Erne clan being part of the Water clan, and loving the sea - but I don't see mention of the actual, physical sea itself - just the mountains, cliffs and the dried riverbed. There is metnion of the sound of the surging of waves, but I couldn't work out if it was because the waves were nearby, or because of the way the wind pounded into their caves.

With careful reading, I can deduce that they are by the sea, but it took a great deal of concentration.

Sometimes Clan, sometimes clan.

Celebration Hall sounds beautiful.

'However, to Nyssa, Ada was beautiful inside.' This sounds clunky and cliché. I think it is the repetition of beautiful, beauty and the inside... not sure.

The relationship between Ada and Nyssa is well written, their dialogue flows so well, it is obvious they are good friends, at ease with one another.

Love the picture you paint of the water-dogs.

'Standing knee-deep in the water and peeking at her from between two boats, she caught Aref watching her.' That's kind of saying twice that he's watching her.

Hope to be back soon for chapter four. I am really enjoying this!

Tarzan For Real wrote 515 days ago

Dyane I came back to read "The Purple Morrow-Book 1" and give a thorough review. This is great writing! I can't figure out why you aren't on more book shelves.

First and foremost, the creative strokes to develop an original concept and bring something that is unique can't be overlooked.

Second, your detailed descriptions of the world your characters inhabit are on a George R.R. Martin level.

Finally, this is a character driven story that keeps the characters true to their nature. Jeru and Aliyah are organic and real people to me who are on a journey and not stilted characters driven to a plot point.

I can tell that you put a lot of time into shaping and polishing this novel up. Great job and you have a new fan and supporter.

I'll try and get you on my watch list and shelf shortly. I apologize for not having put you there sooner. This is a real treasure to find.--JL "The Devil Of Black Bayou", "The Wings of the Seraph", & "Shadow Ghosts of the Moonlight"

tarasimone wrote 518 days ago

I enjoyed reading the chapters of the MS that you have uploaded. I've done a little nit picking, but always like to preface with reminding that I'm a reader, not a writer, and these are just my thoughts - in no way are they the only or best!!

Ch1 The descriptions are beautiful, and you portray the relationship between Jeru and Aliyah so well, the easy friendship, and the eagerness for more, that is just within the caves. One thing that I haven't been able to work out, even with reading over a few times is exactly where over the river they are crossing in relation to the falls. Are they at the top of the falls, over the falls, at the base of the falls?

...wet from tears (I prefer wet with tears)

When Jeru sees the different woman with the purple butterflies, is he awake or asleep?

Having read all that you've uploaded I know the answer to this next point, but still feel it's worth mentioning. When I first read through the first chapter, I assumed in the beginning that this dream was quite soon after the accident with Aliyah. Then he says - why now after all this time, and then that this (the waking) had been happening for a few weeks. I felt a little lost as to when all this was happening.

Ch2: Just reading over it again, some of the descriptive words used feel a little too strong, revelling patrons, excited shouts, reared back... I can picture the scenes, but these particular words make it feel too strong. I don't know if that makes any sense. Am happy to try and reword if you like. :)

'almost negligently' - this didn't sound quite right.
'One would think you came up with new methods of attack every day.' Seems almost repetition of the previous sentence.
'these meetings...' what meetings? Do you mean a formal meeting or just a casual get together?
'It's got to stop.' About the dreaming - sounds to me like he is in control to some degree... perhaps, 'I wish it would stop!'
'That kind of thing doesn't happen to me.' I'm wondering if 'wouldn't' would be a better word than 'doesn't'?
'But this is the Purple Morrow'... maybe But the Purple Morrow doesn't show itself by accident.
Maybe this is your chance - has got me wondering for what? Interesting.
I would give anything to be free - is this from his pain, or is he slave to someone/something else?
Also got me wondering what the Purple Morrow means/is all about. Good hooks.
'bleary eyed' - given that he is breathless, I'm guessing he's run at least a reasonable distance - wouldn't the bleary have disappeared in that time? Perhaps tousled hair instead?
Also, wouldn't the conversation between Milie and Lottie have started immediately, not particularly quietly, - which means the description of the fire being the only sound doesn't quite ring true?
I like the difference between Lark's arrival home and Jeru's ... well written, emotive.

Shelby Z. wrote 528 days ago

Looking Good.

Shelby Z./Driving Winds

Jannypeacock wrote 534 days ago

This is a very moving intro. I knew form the opening sentences what was coming but that compelled me even more to read on. The pace is spot on. There is plenty of description to set the scene but never too much or overly detailed. As soon as they dared to cross the river I wasted to shout at them to step back. The tension is fabulous. I love it. The image of Aliyah screaming is very powerful and I could hear the echo of her voice as falls. The sense is set up here with nothing short of perfection. This is very far removed from my usual genre but the writing is truly fabulous and I hugely enjoyed this. So impressed.


NowSpeakTruth wrote 542 days ago

Oh my, such a sad tragic beginning. I couldn't stop reading. Turned my stomach in the best of ways, very real, very sad beginning here, I wish I could say it brought tears to my eyes but instead it made me feel much deeper. Pure waves of horror tingled my spine as you worked your way up to the moment the dreaded occurred in the dream.

Stating that something was amiss in the roundabout way you used was perfect as it caught your readers attention, but didn't give too much away before it was time. Even though I thought I saw what was coming fairly clearly, you did a good job surprising me all the same.

Nothing grammatical or wording wise to suggest here, excellent on that.

Great job with this, God bless

Maria44 wrote 545 days ago

I have seen this book around quite a bit and kept meaning to take a read. A sad opening with Jeru's dream of his loss. The language and description are very strong.

You put the reader well into the scene but the only thing I struggled with was the hut. You mentioned there was a kitchen so I was torn between a log cabin and something a little more primitive but in all likelihood it was me not paying enough attention.

Enjoyable, high stars.


RMAWriteNow wrote 546 days ago

Hi Dyane; here for the return read as promised.
I found your dream opening beautifully done. Very descriptive but with good reason. I know what people are saying about starting with a dream but I think in your case there is good reason for it (tough call.)
Jeru is a character living with the repercussions of his loss and is a very deep for it. It is hard not to feel for him and his five years of longing. The ending of chapter two was very good, atmospheric and tense.
I must say that for me though, the best thing was the whole idea of the Purple Morrow. Not only an original idea, but a truly fascinating one.
Very different to the norm and all the better for it.
Well done, Dyane.
The Snow Lily

Ryan_Gomes wrote 547 days ago

Club Grimoire Alternate Critique

First off, I'm terribly sorry for taking so long to get back to return the read! That said and done, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your first chapter. First off though, I'd like to quickly comment on your pitch. I think you might want to fix it up a little bit, as right now it's laden with a lot of terms and people that the would-be isn't familiar with. I think that, judging from the writing of the first chapter, you could write a much better one that maybe hooks the reader in right from the start.

Regardless, you have a very well written first chapter. Your descriptions are very well done, and Jeru is a great character. The only worry I have is that you begin your story with a dream, which was a problem I myself had. At first, I thought it was the perfect start and ignored a lot of comments that said starting out with a dream is cliche. But, unfortunately, publishers do make big decisions over such minor details. As such, I'd really recommend you find a way to start this book off another way. Don't get rid of this chapter - it's much too good for that. But changing the beginning will go a long way.

Good luck! I've given you six stars and hope you continue to rise in the rankings :)

L_MC wrote 553 days ago

Hi Dyane, an interesting title and pitch drew me into reading your story.

Your descriptions in chapter one make it very easy to imagine the scene and create some understanding of the landscape, culture and people. Apart from the woman, who emerges from the water at the end, it is somewhat difficult to see the connection to the pitch. It feels a bit like a prologue, rather than the start of the story. My other concern would be the use of the dream. I recently saw an agent, I follow on twitter, beg authors not to open with dream sequences or waking from a dream.

'Yes, I guess between us, you would know.' - I wasn't certain what the, 'between us' was adding.

Deni's paragraph in chapter two, beginning, 'Leader, it's obvious...' seems a little forced. More information for the reader about the significance of the falcon message, than something the villagers would naturally have to point out to their leaders.

It's very clear that you've put a lot of time and thought into the world you've created in this book. Your descriptions of it are thorough and very strong. You clearly know your characters well. After four chapters I can see the beauty and brutality and wonder how Nyssa and Jeru's lives will continue to weave together and what impact the purple morrow will have on them.

Gordon James Ritchie wrote 554 days ago

Dyane, fantastic!

At first, I'll admit, I began to read very half-heartedly and vaguely following the story. Though, your story turned my interest and I began to become terribly invested in the characters! I had a dreadful feeling of suspense and horror during the dream sequence (when Aliyah falls into the river, etc), and that is what sealed my want for the story.
On a note of criticism, I'd remove the cliche poetic metre from your opening paragraph in "His love, his life. His wife." - it seemed slightly cheesy to me, and taken from the store of average romance novels floating around. However, I have VERY little experience in romance, not that this is altogether a romance (but I mean this particular section), and so cannot attempt to know better. Stick to what seems right with you.

Grand novel, and fantastic style!

Kind wishes,

J C Michael wrote 555 days ago

A competent start to what appears to be a strongly written fantasy. Chapter 1 takes us from joy to sadness as experienced by Jeru and then Chapter 2 introduces the concepts of the Purple Morrow and Rovers although details are held back at this stage.
From those two chapters I have three comments I'd like to make; firstly the statement that Ailiyah threw herself into the river seems a bit off as I'm assuming her falling was more accidental than deliberate. Secondly I think it may clarify things if you state that the dream is based on memory rather it being either just a dream or something more prophetic. Personally I grasped that it was a subconscious recollection but other readers may not and I see that you have at least one comment below that makes this misconception. Finally in chapter 2 the paragraph stating he'd lived alone for 5 years seemed a bit odd as I had no idea who he had lived with before hand. There didn't seem to be a context to place the timescale into making the statement a touch bewildering.
Overall though a very capable start. Well starred and well done.

Kenneth Edward Lim wrote 555 days ago

Revisiting your work yet again, I see that you've buffed it to a high sheen. Your descriptives bring out color and movement in the same manner painters do with shades and expressive detail. Examples are "water...exploding at the bottom where it churned into a mass of white-tinged foam" or "branches swayed in the wind, a moving blanket of whispering leaves." See what I mean? Jeru's loves are poignant, losing his beloved Aliyah so early, struggling to keep Nyssa safe as his Rover-brother Kelen comes into their life. Thank you so much for the enchanting read.

Kenneth Edward Lim
The North Korean

David Best wrote 556 days ago


This isn't my usual genre, but you have written it so well - the characters are so full of life, zest etc

A very good read


MrsGray wrote 559 days ago


It was easy to be swept into this realty with all of the wonderful details you use. I felt the dialog was balanced well with the description and the little action details set everything off nicely. The plot develops slowly as the characters take shape. Nice, easy read for the first three chapters.

A few things that stuck out for me, if you don't mind a few nitpicks-

Your characters seem very passionate, all the time, with everything they do. i.e., shouts erupt, Lark rears back abruptly, Jeru is so angered by the entrance of someone he grinds is knuckles into his leg, deep belly laughs follow candid observations ... and so forth. At times the reactions feel a bit much for what they are reacting too.

In relation to that, when a youth comes in to warn the town with such urgency he forgets to put on his pants, (by the way, I found it very odd that he didn't actually have the message, just its means of arrival) Lark and Jeru essentially shrug it off and go on about their evening. I expected such impassioned individuals to respond with more of, well, a response.

As I said, these are just things that stuck out for me and I only mention them in case you may find them of use. Your writing is beautiful and vivid and I wish you the best!

April Gray
The Illusion

Arnbjorn wrote 562 days ago

Club Grimoire Alternate review

Chapter One

Hi Dyane

Sorry for the delay in returning your review. I've been busy editing my book, and with work and all...

I liked your pitch. It sets the scene, what the MC is up against, what he must do to get what he wants, and that something very mysterious happens to him.

I also liked your chapter one. It's easy to read and there's a poetic touch to some of your writing (probs the influence of that special book of ours :)) The love and sexual tension is right there to be felt between the two lovers, most of all from the way they both play off each other, which feels natural but is not easy to pull off (at least for us less romantic men) but also the romantic setting and where they're headed. The part after he wakes up is good I thought. Little things like him feeling the back of his hair on the nape of his neck when he looks up, things like that are always good. And the chapter is left on a mysterious note, the strange woman he sees in his dreams and the resemblance. The mention of the purple necklace and the purple butterflies helps too, given the title.

I see your book's doing really well. Well done. I'd love to see it ranked even higher so I'll do my best to give suggestions that might help.

In the first para I think you should reconsider the part describing the scenery that starts 'the gurgling river...' I just think gurgling rivers and cascading falls are used too commonly and I know you can do better. 'rivers running blithe, dazzled by the smile of the sun? Just something different.

She laughed and complied. 'comply', at least to me, is a rather dispassionate word in this setting. 'She laughed her compliance'? 'She laughed and skipped onwards, keeping pace'?

Clan Laws - I don't think it should have the capital L. Maybe if it was 'the Laws of the Clans. It threw me when I read it and thought it was another clan name.

'using the shortened version of her name' - you don't need this. I would spell it Liyah or 'Liyah

'Aliyah then threw herself...' I know she's not throwing herself voluntarily into the river, but it does still sort of sound like it.

Ok, I'm going to play devil's advocate here, and maybe you'll hate me for it. Given you foreshadow something bad is going to happen by way of Juru's premonition, we basically know that Aliyah will fall into the river when he's looking back at her on the stepping stones. I like the premonition in itself. I use it in my book too. But perhaps it might be another idea to have them both reach the other side so that the reader thinks they've made it without falling in. Then maybe the bats flock out from their cave and before Juru knows it Aliyah's flailing around and falls in. I think the reader would find it more a shock. Just an idea. Please don't hate me!

Altogether a great chapter one, with a thoughtful scene and setting and excellent character interaction.


Janet/Helen wrote 563 days ago

I only had to read chapter 1 to know this is a story I will like. There is a subtle and well defined introduction to the characters and their surroundings within the first few paragraphs. The story ambles along with a gentle tale of a happy, newly married, couple when disaster strikes and the tale takes a completely different path. Short on time I was only going to read chapter 1, but had to read chapter 2. Whatever the x-factor is, chapter 1 has it.
Chapter 2 has me intrigued as to what exactly the Purple Morrow is and then ends with a paragraph which left me wanting to read chapter 3, and on it goes.

An excellent fantasy, heading for the top ten. 6 stars and shortlisted for bookshelf. Janet

The Stranger in my Life

Dianna Lanser wrote 565 days ago

Hi Dyane,

It was a pleasure to read the first eight chapters of Purple Morrow. Like everyone else, I too appreciate the smooth, poetic prose you write in. It naturally sets the tone for the tragic, mysterious opening and carries through to all the other varied and creative settings. I’m amazed at your talent to keep the plot enticing. Perhaps it’s that steady dose of emotion that I found so appealing, but there‘s also some well contrived cliff hangers and surprises all along the way.

I loved that Jeru found Nyssa… Oh, the power of a potential love interest to keep the reader hooked. I also loved the sights, sounds and smells of the woods, the tavern, the cliffs… With your beautifully artistic writing, you give an amazing sense-around tour of the southern lands.

Also, you do a wonderful job showing the inner-workings of people. I was amazed that you made me feel some grace toward to the brutal Northman… now that’s talent. Really, all your characters come to life under the power of your pen (or keyboard) I will definitely keep this on my watchlist to read through to the end, and when my shelf clears, I’ll place Purple Morrow on it. Excellent writing! I six starred this a long time ago. :-)

Dianna Lanser
Nothing But The Blood

Lucy Middlemass wrote 566 days ago

The Purple Morrow - Book One

This is a return review

This is imaginative fantasy, complete with an interesting storyline and characters with believable relationships. I especially like Nyssa and her father.

Neither of the commas in the short pitch are necessary, I don't think.
“on all who live there” If it was ten years ago, it should probably be “lived.”

Chapter One

“using the shortened version of her name”. I can’t decide if this explains something obvious or if the way “Leah” is spelt means we need to be told. If she’s called Aliyah then the shortening would make more sense as “Liyah”.
The bats on the crossing are good. Horrible but good.
“the river closed instantly over her head.” Better without “instantly”, I think.
Quite a lot of books start with something that turns out to be a dream. It’s quite well done in this case, but I’d rather see it as an ordinary memory.

Chapter Two

There are things happening suddenly, abruptly and instantly. They don’t need to be, the descriptions would be fine without.
There’s something about fantasy books that seems to attract “mirth”. It doesn’t matter, I guess it belongs here.
I see by now that the dream section is important. I just took a little convincing.
The last line “And stood as still…” ought to be “And standing as still…”

Chapter Three

The start of this chapter is quite description heavy. If there’s landscape that I have to know about, I’d prefer to find out through characters’ interactions with it. There’s nothing wrong with the way you’ve described it but I’m tempted to just skim through. Possibly I’ve got low tolerance for this sort of thing, I’d at least prefer to see the paragraphs broken up a bit more.
I’d like to know Nyssa better before reading so much about her time at the market. Tempt me in with her character then tell me what she does. Would starting the chapter with the dialogue work?
“ragged” is relatively unusual, so probably shouldn’t come up twice.
“so hard and fast” Just “so hard” would be better, I think.
“as though trying to pull a new topic of conversation from the tresses.” This I like.
I also like how quickly you link Jeru with the women and the dream. We’re not kept guessing for too long.
The last sentence of this chapter is good too.
It’s all very intriguing, especially the idea of the purple morrow itself. I enjoyed what I read. Highly starred.