Book Jacket

 

rank 2327
word count 15166
date submitted 28.02.2012
date updated 28.02.2012
genres: Thriller, Romance, Historical Ficti...
classification: moderate
incomplete

Sunkissed

Carys Jones

Dawn Summers is dying. As she continues to fade away she has visions of her illusive father, urging her to fight for her life.

 

In the small village of Fandova the only medical care is in the form of the mysterious Dr. Moralus who has a known penchant for blood letting. Thomas, Dawn's fiance, is warned against inviting his intervention but feels that he has no choice, he pleads with the doctor to save Dawn’s life…whatever it takes.

 
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tags

epic, nyc, saga

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22 comments

 

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Andrew Hughes wrote 868 days ago

Hi Carys,

I read the first chapter, hope to read more soon but thought I’d leave a comment for now.

I think the writing is excellent, it’s a very effective opening for your book, the characters are rendered really well and I loved the undercurrent of diabolicalness (if that’s a word!)

I found the ‘hers’ a bit confusing in paragraph 2, perhaps you can insert a name for one.

I like the idea of Thomas praying until his knees were raw. It was a surprise for me that it was 1853, perhaps some of the details you describe could be distinctly antique. Thomas is a very sympathetic character as he tends to Dawn, and I like the idea of the villagers fearing her illness.

The ring falling off her finger is a fantastic image. Perhaps we should see that happen for the first time, might have more impact. ‘Adept at losing kin’ is a great line.

It’s a lovely portrait of Dawn when Thomas first meets her. Is ‘elfin’ the right word for the setting, is it one Thomas would have used? – maybe he would. Instead of saying Thomas replied awkwardly, perhaps we could see him doing something awkward, more than just being silent. (The awkward glance between his parents chimed a bit.)

You capture the menace of Dawn’s true identity really well with the mother’s warning.

I loved the description of Dr Moralus, you have a great skill for drawing characters.

Overall it's a great start. Highly starred. Looking forward to reading more.
Best of luck with it.
Andrew.
The Morning Drop

sheila cooper wrote 409 days ago

nicely written and absorbing tale, begs to find out about more about Dawn drawing the reader in early on. very interesting work in progress. I'm impressed x

Kestrelraptorial wrote 641 days ago

Hi Carys,

I remember reading "Sunkissed" way back when it was posted on inkpop. The story is much the same, though you've posted fewer chapters here . . . that's okay, though. It was fun to return to this story, and it's a nice change to read about vampires appearing much like walking corpses, rather than the newer versions that have them as attractive, almost elf-like humans. It's heart-wrenching to see Dawn suffer as she is, and it's easy to sympathize with both Thomas and Eileen's perspectives. Dr. Moralus' nature is revealed at a perfect pace throughout the story, and the haunting, death-ridden village is a fitting setting. At a time period and place where death comes so easily, vampires would both be prominent legends and easily concealed among the population. Awesome writing.

Kestrellian (the Dragonraptor saga)

CarolinaAl wrote 860 days ago

I read your first chapter.

General comments: A touching, mysterious start. An ensemble of fascinating characters. You use deep point of view well to flesh them out. Effective descriptions that evoke the era. Good sense of place. Spiked with tension. Good pacing.

Specific comments on the first chapter:
1) 'He looked up in to the eyes of the mother of his furture Bride which were fearful yet solemn.' 'Bride' should be lowercase.
2) 'No, we cannot.' Thomas said. Comma after 'cannot.' 'Thomas said' is a dialogue tag (tells who said something). When a dialogue tag follows dialogue, the last sentence of dialogue is punctuated with a comma (unless it's a question or exclamation). There are more cases in this chapter where you have used a period on a dialogue sentence followed by a dialogue tag, when a comma is appropriate.
3) ' ... if their passage to the coast he been safe.' 'He' should be 'had.'
4) 'Just rest my love,' he whispered ... Comma after 'rest.' When you address someone in dialogue, offset their name or title with commas. There are more cases in this chapter where you address someone in dialogue, but didn't offset their name or title with commas.
5) Hyphenate 'forty five.'
6) 'Thomas felt his own eyes grow heavy ... ' Try to avoid using the word 'felt.' Just describe the heaviness in his eyes so vividly the reader will experience it along with Thomas. When you do this, the reader will be drawn deeper into your scene. There are more cases where you use the word 'felt' in this chapter.
7) 'Her hair was almost the colour of gaol and ... ' 'Goal' should be 'gold.'
8) ' ... all they day all the God-given day is smack their gums about nothing at all.' The first 'day' should be 'do.'
9) 'Dawn Summers felt the fire of pain almost tear her ting body in two ... ' 'Ting' should be 'thin.'
10) 'She needs the Doctor.' 'Doctor' should be lowercase. There is another case in this chapter where 'Doctor' should be lowercase,
11) Hyphenate 'mother in law.'

I hope these comments help you further polish your all important first chapter. These are just my opinions. Use what works for you and discard the rest.

Would you please take a look at "Savannah Fire" and let me know how I might improve it?

Have a marvelous day, Carys.

Al

Artist, Twin, Ballerina wrote 865 days ago

I have read chapter one. The story is captivating, as are the characters. There is a mystery as to who Dawn is and why the village talks of her in such a way; this draws a reader to want to learn more. I found the opening, in a very few words, quite emotional. The ring falling off Dawn's finger paints a picture of frailty for which one feels. You seemlessly wove in how they met after opening with where they are now; this jump in time is often hard to do. "Dark and gloom played no tricks and that suited Thomas." I love this line and its idea.

I like to take specific notes as I read, and I enjoy looking at grammar/sentence structure.
~ "When my family write me..." It's either "when the members of my family write me" or "when my family writes me."
~ I think there is an overuse of semi-colons where there should be commas. What follows a semi-colon should be a complete sentence, except if you are doing a list. Examples of where I think you should remove the semi-colons: "Can you imagine; all that water in one palce?" "...and placed it upon his own little finger; the only one..."
~ "It was a simple ring of tin, one day, when Thomas had more money; he would replace it for a ring made..." There is a missing period after "tin" and the semi-colon is unnecessary.
~ "She took solace in her believe that..." Belief?
~ "...and let his eyes closed..." Close?
~ "...almost the colour of goal..." Coal?
~ Some sentences I think have extra words, and although they might be great words that prove an extensive vocabulary, they add unnecessary length. Examples: 1.) "...as she registered as that he was unfamiliar face." Fix: "...as she registered he was an unfamiliar face." 2.) "...vocalize any semblance of a response..." 3.) "...clear fluid contained at the base of the well." Was it water? We all know this is clear. And "contained at the base" is unnecessary. Perhaps "from the well?" 4.) "such as food providing a more pressing need..."

The story is there. You have some simple typos and grammatical mistakes that can be fixed pretty quickly. Great start!
-Cassandra Porter

Andrew Hughes wrote 868 days ago

Hi Carys,

I read the first chapter, hope to read more soon but thought I’d leave a comment for now.

I think the writing is excellent, it’s a very effective opening for your book, the characters are rendered really well and I loved the undercurrent of diabolicalness (if that’s a word!)

I found the ‘hers’ a bit confusing in paragraph 2, perhaps you can insert a name for one.

I like the idea of Thomas praying until his knees were raw. It was a surprise for me that it was 1853, perhaps some of the details you describe could be distinctly antique. Thomas is a very sympathetic character as he tends to Dawn, and I like the idea of the villagers fearing her illness.

The ring falling off her finger is a fantastic image. Perhaps we should see that happen for the first time, might have more impact. ‘Adept at losing kin’ is a great line.

It’s a lovely portrait of Dawn when Thomas first meets her. Is ‘elfin’ the right word for the setting, is it one Thomas would have used? – maybe he would. Instead of saying Thomas replied awkwardly, perhaps we could see him doing something awkward, more than just being silent. (The awkward glance between his parents chimed a bit.)

You capture the menace of Dawn’s true identity really well with the mother’s warning.

I loved the description of Dr Moralus, you have a great skill for drawing characters.

Overall it's a great start. Highly starred. Looking forward to reading more.
Best of luck with it.
Andrew.
The Morning Drop

J C Michael wrote 868 days ago

Well I've now read all three chapters and compliment you on the tale you have begun to weave. I like the originality of the setting, the characters, and the lure of the story, and would love to read more.
There are a few errors in there with incorrect words etc. but I get the impression that this is a work in progress and, if you are looking for feedback on the concept rather than presenting this as a polished, finished, article, then this isn't any great problem to my mind. I expect others have already pointed out the mistakes anyway.
If I am going to make a criticism it is that I occasionally had to go back and read a sentence again where you switch from the current time frame to something which one of the characters is remembering, or even from character to character, but this is nothing that a little tweak here and there wouldn't sort.
Overall I'm enjoying it, and encourage you to keep it up. Well done.

Jojober wrote 868 days ago

I ve read chapter 1 and found your narration captivating.you ve got a vivid description and the characters are believable.good luck in your writing you are in my WLafter which....backing!
JK

turnerpage wrote 871 days ago


I’ve read all three chapters you’ve posted and it just gets better and better. You’ve got the important aspects of the book right – the tone is right for a vampire story – and the characters are well observed. But this isn’t just any vampire story – it’s one where you’ve added an original twist – a setting in the New World as the settlers make their way across to the fabled West.

Dawn, Thomas and Eileen are believable characters. In the opening chapter, Thomas’s bent gait is very well observed and I can picture him as he stumbles about in grief. I like the menace of Dr Moralus in that opening chapter –even though he is yet to appear. The hook at the end of Chapter 1 is particularly good. Had me on the edge of my seat.
Chapter 2 This is the chapter that you display your strong story-telling skills and you managed to keep up the drama and the suspense here too. Dr Moralus is proving to be a fine antagonist.

I tend to read every word of the first chapter so if I spot the few little copy edit nits I generally point them out. Personally, I find that it’s really useful as it’s impossible to copy edit your own work. I’ve sent you a separate note about those. One thing is for sure they don’t detract from the strength of the writing or the story.

Highly starred and on the W/L. A great start to a book that promises to be an engaging read.

Alison (Lambert Nagle)
Revolution Earth

Greenleaf wrote 871 days ago

Very interesting story. I read all three posted chapters and hope you will post more. The characters are distinct and unusual, and their dialogue seems right for them. Dr. Moralus stands out. He reminds me a little of Count Dracula. Thomas is clearly in love with Dawn and will do anything to save her, but I wonder how he will adjust when she is turned (I'm presuming she'll become a vampire).

My only concern with the writing is your use of changing viewpoints. While I understand the reason, it does throw readers and keeps them from getting deeply involved with any one character. Have you considered keeping each chapter or segment in one character's viewpoint? If you stayed in Thomas' viewpoint for all or most of the story, for instance, he would be wondering why Eileen was willing to let her daughter die. This could create more mystery and conflict. He would likely confront Eileen, and she could then tell him what she was thinking.

I did really enjoy the chapters and I see a lot of potential here. Good job!

Susan/Greenleaf (Chameleon)

Pippa Franck wrote 872 days ago

I like the premise of this book it looks interesting to me. I'm going to take a look. xx, Pippa

GCleare wrote 874 days ago

An intriguing and mysterious start. Everyone is drained and dehydrated.. and then, we meet the doctor who wants to eat everyone and cannot be touched by the sun. My heart is already pounding too fast! Very exciting and your prose flows smoothly. Very exciting piece, high stars. ~Gail SECRETS WE KEEP

iandsmith wrote 874 days ago

The way Dr Moralus speaks is very well done: "I hear your daughter is dying" is described in a way that makes him seem very odd and interesting. You only need to mention their surname Summers once or maybe twice in the opening. I like it. Well done. It's on my WL.

FrancesK wrote 874 days ago

A fine and spine-chilling tale, Carys, though I agree with the comment below that your short pitch could be more compelling - death, love, guilt and terror all come into your story, whereas the pitch sounds quite calm and resigned. You have a few typos - 'a fetal position', not 'faecal', and 'forced a smile' rather than 'forged' were two I spotted. And sometimes you use adjectives oddly - such as 'a nice change' which seems inappropriate for the pain and fever Dawn is in - maybe something like 'a welcome moment of relief'? You have certainly pictured the grim darkness of a fearful and ignorant country community, and I like the character of Eileen, though I wonder why she did not tell Thomas at the very end of chapter 3 why she did not want Dawn healed? I am certain that more misery lies in store for the innocent lad. Thanks! Frances K

Alidownb wrote 874 days ago

I read chapters 2 and 3

This was great. I have to admit that at first I was a bit skeptical. I've read quite a bit of the vampire stuff. I am so glad I kept reading. It's refreshing to see some old fashion vampire goings on. No sunlight :) creepy looking this was good. You are great with description and dialogue. For a moment it reminded me of Interview with the Vampire.

Good work!

-Aliah
Her Demise

PS I wouldn't change a thing. It is very well written.

CGHarris wrote 876 days ago

I read through the first two chapters and I think you have the beginnings of a great book here. Your style is warm and inviting with just the right edge of suspense. The perfect combination for a great page turner. Your imagery is fantastic and your dialogue feels smooth and natural. All in all it was a great read. Thanks so much. I will give this one high stars.

James Hardy wrote 878 days ago

Carys,

I liked your pitch, gave only glimpses away, but had enough about it to make me read further than I might have without it,

Now for chapter 1, please bear with me on this, I found it initially hard to get into, I was thinking I was reading a period romance book and without anything to keep an action junky glued. I persevered though, (the promise of the pitch making me curious to see how, Dr Moralus fitted in, and I’m glad I did. The history and the atmosphere you portrayed in the flash backs involved me much more.

By chapter 2 I’m much more into the characters, I like how you have started several mini plots, all making a tapestry of a story to follow. There is clearly some vampire action to follow, making me wonder what twists you are putting in to make it stand out from the many vampire stories that are floating around

My musing:

Start of the book a bit slow (more my lack of experience in this genre I fancy)
Really interesting characters with promise of interesting plots.
Will definitely read more!

Small things:

“She had noticed the strange gait he now walked with which was attributed to……..”
Possibly to “She had noticed the strange gait he now walked with which she attributed to……..” as she noticed that it seemed strange that the attributed wasn’t hers.

“The community was constantly expanding and families wandered in from the rest” didn’t make sense to me, maybe rest for west?

James

Warrick Mayes wrote 879 days ago

Carys,

I read some of your fist chapter.
The pitch was short but enticing. You don't have to give everything away, but you can use it to better effect.

We were thrown into the deep depression of the rather stark scene of the woman lying sickly at death's door, no other furniture apart from the bed and comfort only coming from her betrothed and the fire, not from her mother. Such a sad and desolate scene.

This was great scene setting but there were a few niggles that detracted:
Should "In the confides of the tiny room..." have been "In the confines of the tiny room..."?

"..as families wandered in from the rest..." Is this s typo? should it have been "...as families wandered in from the east..."? or "...as families wandered in for a rest..."?

This feel very clumpy: "Thomas betted it was nothing more than a myth..." I would prefer "Thomas bet it was nothing more than a myth..."

I think that "...if their passage to the coast he been safe." should have been "...if their passage to the coast had been safe."

This felt a bit too much like telling instead of showing: "..ran a hand across her forehead, which felt as hot as the fire he had previously stoked, a stark contrast to her frozen fingers." What about something like "..ran a hand across her forehead, the heat of her brow a stark contrast to her frozen fingers." We don't really need to be reminded he had stoked the fire.

I liked the visualisation of the wind howling past the windows and the log walls. But, "If the temperature continues to plummet" is OK, but we don't need "as it had done the last few days" is not necessary, it is implied in the previous statement, and only makes the reader feel your are being condescending.

A good start can be improved by a quick edit.

Best wishes
Warrick

Jamie Stewart wrote 882 days ago

I thought the characters were very interesting and even though I don't particularly like the mother, you have made the reader empathy with her. I thought she was a true representation of a God-fearing woman of this time. I also like the suspicion surrounding her, how she turned up with her 6 children, that her husband was apparently lost at sea, people thinking she may be a witch, etc.

The suggestion that something supernatural is acting on Dawn for example "people believed that her mother bedded down the Devil himself," is interesting. And there is a high incidence of supernatural connotations used, for example "Devil", "witch", etc. A lot of the language used does point to the Doctor being a vampire, his fascination with blood, sharp teeth, not able to go out in the sunlight.
Very excited to read the rest.

Marita A. Hansen wrote 882 days ago

As promised I have read your first chapter. (Sorry that I couldn't read more as I have a busy morning to get started). So, I'll get right into it. I think this was a very good first chapter. At first I wasn't sure about the multiple perspectives as they always throw me, but once I realised you were doing this I had no problem. And it was a perfectly fine way to go about things as I got to see all the differing opinions with the mother and Thomas. Also, it's a perfectly good technique as one of my favourite authors uses it (Melvin Burgess).

Now, the characters were well thought out and I really liked Thomas. The mother no so much, but I did understand that she was hurting and didn't want to see her daughter in anymore pain. But, she was well rounded, and her actions came across as realistic. I liked the religious touch to this as it would be like this in the time you are representing, plus with the feeling that there is something vampiric coming the use of religion always bolsters this genre. I'm just guessing at this point about the vampire stuff, as it isn't in the synopsis, but to have the doctor having a rare condition where he can't go out in the sunlight and that he blood lets backs up my suspicion. Intriguing. Also, I liked the mention of witches, because this was a very real fear at this time, such as seen in the Saleem trials (I'm not sure about the dates for that, but I'm just referring to things in a historical perspective).

I also liked the way in which you have portrayed Dawn as different, and I also think her name is very appropriate as well as ironic. Dawn bringing light, but vampires are allergic to light. Again with the vampire guesses :) I'm a fan of vampire stories so sorry if I'm putting my views over top of your story, especially since I can't see fantasy amongst the genres (if it is there, it isn't showing on my computer. It may be a space issue on the screen). Nonetheless, I like the name, plus it was the name used for Buffy's sister in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I thought your dialogue, setting and formatting was just right. The only error/typo that I could find was in the description of Dawn. Instead of saying that her hair was the colour of gold, "goal" was put.

From the first chapter you have laid good grounds for people with my tastes to read on. All the best, Marita.
*5 stars.

liberscriptus wrote 883 days ago

I just read the three chapters you've got posted, and I think you've got quite the thriller here! Lots of unanswered questions and a looming feeling that something supernatural is going on... great job creating the atmosphere of suspense. And the characters are all very interesting too - idealistic Thomas with his dreams of settling down, uber-religious Eileen, mysterious Dr. Moralus, and the rebellious Dawn... who - or what - is she really? Such a tantalizing question! So great job creating a hook that will leave the reader wanting to read on.

On a purely formatting note, I think it would be helpful to use asterisks or something to denote section breaks so the reader knows when the narrative is going into a flashback (and whose flashback it is). I also caught a handful of typos.

Punctuation: It was a simple ring made of tin; one day, when Thomas had more money, he would replace it for a ring made of silver or maybe even gold.

“Her hair was almost the colour of goal…” Color of coal, maybe?

Punctuation again: She squeezed Thomas’ hand beneath hers, sealing their connection.

“Dawn Summers felt the fire of pain almost tear her ting body…” I think you mean “tiny body”

‘But Dr. Morlus, we could build you a house much more…’ Dr. Moralus

“What feared was that Dr. Moralus would intervene…” I think you have a word missing in there

There are some other instances of semicolons and commas getting mixed up. But typos aside, the writing flows well and is very readable, allowing the story to roll forward nicely. Well done!

Cheers,
M.
Astral Sea: The Pandora Project

JKass wrote 883 days ago

What i read left me with a lot of questions I can't wait to see answered. What is Dawn going to do, and what do other people know about her?
Much like L_MC i feel vampires have something to do with it. But leaving the reader guessing is a surefire way to get them back! Good read so far, I cant wait to see where it leads.

L_MC wrote 883 days ago

I've read the three chapters uploaded and the pitch has now been fulfilled so I'm wondering where this story will go next. What role is Dawn supposed to fulfil, what do the doctor and her father know about her?

The descriptions of the doctor and his nocturnal lifestyle lead me down the obvious assumption that this will be a vampire story so I wonder if that will be the case or if there will be a twist and what role will Thomas have, if any in Dawn's future? So, lots of questions posed at the end of these three chapters.

There do seem to be quite a few typos in the chapters, I noted a few as examples:
'She took solace in her believe that it was God's will' - belief
'Dawn instantly stood from the other woman of Fandova' - stood out & women
'retreated in to the faecal position' - foetal
'to ensure she gets the treatments she needs' - change in tense

Plenty of tension over Dawn's future, the struggle between Eileen and Thomas, the intervention from the doctor. Few hints that something is expected of Dawn and plenty of scope for travel and adventures beyond the confines of Fandova.

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