Book Jacket


rank 304
word count 39357
date submitted 13.05.2012
date updated 19.11.2012
genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance
classification: universal


Stephanie Mortimer

Only when you have been touched by death can you fully appreciate life. Make it count.


When Amber Rose’s mother died, her whole world fell apart. Immersed in grief, her father was the one person she expected to console her. However, she finds she can no longer trust him when she discovers his secret. The revelation leaves her wounded and she vows never to have her heart broken again, by anyone. For Amber, love is off the agenda. So when she meets Jake, who could possibly be the love of her life, her heart and head are in constant battle but which will prevail?

Just as Amber’s life begins to turn around, she receives devastating news, unearthing fears she had tried to overcome. In the face of adversity she resolves that life is for the living and determined to make every second count, signs herself up to work on board a cruise liner.
She embarks on a crazy adventure that takes her to exotic places (and not just in the geographic sense.) But before this escapade can begin, she has some serious explaining to do.

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cruising, friendship, humour, loss, love

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Tom Bye wrote 143 days ago

Hi Stephanie

book- Feathers-

I like to read all genres to keep up to date with the different writing styles-
This book of yours did not let me down-
The selected cover is just perfect for the story that followed-
You have written a perfect prologue here which set one up for the story to follow-
You have a flowing touch to your writing and I found the dialogue just great -
It is written with a great sense of humour, in fact in it's own way it's a page turner -
In it's genre I will now give it five stars and I wish you the best of luck

tom bye
book -from hugs to kisses'

Seringapatam wrote 393 days ago

Stephanie, Very different to what I would normally read, but with that said, I enjoyed it. You have a nice voice for this type of book and this genre and I like the humour that you bring to the table too as it matches the complete package. I can see this doing well as with everything you have here it makes a good read that people are gong to be looking for and stay hooked too. Well done.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) please consider me for a read or watch list wont you?? Many thanks.. Sean

Blancherose wrote 537 days ago

Amber, to add to your pitch here do mention some of the other places the Cruise liner is going!


"I Am" Thought the Ages, for your seeking heart
Scribe-Lings, for your child like heart

Pandora11 wrote 561 days ago

poetic voice. i love the plant analogy, love the last part. The introduction is well written and witty. You easily paint the picture in my mind of the surroundings and make England sound charming. The description is excellent.

Comic, the perfect girly read, with the added bonus that reading these pages make you feel as though you have just been on holiday.

Tod Schneider wrote 565 days ago

What a wonderful voice you bring to your writing! I'm not sure if this is memoir or fiction, which is a great reflection on it either way. I think it draws in any reader whose ever been sunk, and you humanize yourself with bits of humor, taking the edge off the darkness and making you good company.
Nicely done! Best of luck with this. six stars.
The Lost Wink

Lynne Heffner Ferrante wrote 591 days ago

Love your bright and breezy style, your sense of humor that floats through everything you write. The contrast between Amber's plight and your lighthearted narration makes it all the more poignant and fascinating. Read the first several chapters, will read more later, can't wait to see how this turns out. Stars and still on my watchlist.

Lynne Heffner Ferrante
An Untenable Fragrance of Violets

Mysteryauthor wrote 593 days ago

Awh you have such a lovely light hearted writing style, I couldn’t help but smile as I read it. Even though it was a tongue in cheek subject, you managed to incorporate humour. I am on the second chapter now and I am loving it well done you!

Abby Vandiver wrote 608 days ago

You can't define a word with the word. In your first paragraph you talk about how hard (burdensome) life is and then you compare it to "Let[ing] yourself sink so low in the murky waters that you become entangled in a mass of winding seaweeds, binding you like the chains of a burdened life." You're saying your burden life is like a burdened life. Or at least that's what I got out of it. Also the analogy to waking up in Northern Alaska I think is faulty because there you do know when the daylight is coming back. It's dark for six months at a time.

Other than the few awkard similes I didn't find any grammatical errors and found it a good read. It seems like a sad story, and from the pitch seems to become sadder as it goes along. I did feel a pang when you said in one word a whole lot - "Cancer."

Good job.


Lenny Banks wrote 611 days ago

Hi Stephanie, I read chapter 6. I keep picking up loved-up mushy books today, it's not godo for me. The book is very well written, you have given a great deal of care and attention to the story, it feels like a personal account and you play the voice inside the head very well. The characters seem real and you warm to them very quickly, the story flows well and I really enjoyed it. Well Done.

Kindest Regards and Best Wishes
Lenny Banks - Tide and Time: At The Rock

Odette67 wrote 614 days ago

HI sorry i've not got back to read your book earlier. I have just read to chapter 2. Its an easy read. I love brighton myself so i can feel myself there when you talk about it.

I will carry on reading later. If you would like to swap books i would be happy to critique yours,


Off the rails

Back to you

Emsbabee wrote 639 days ago

Hi Stephanie, am here for our read swap.

I have to be honest, while I think this is exactly the sort of thing a lot of girls would gobble up, I couldn't really get into it. I think the problem being that whilst I feel like I know an awful lot about Amber's surroundings, I don't know much about her. It could do with a little less detail (which you do very well by the way, I have no problem picturing the scenes you're describing) and a little more feeling. You're holding your cards very close to your chest, but in order to care about Amber and the choices she makes, you need to tell me a bit more about her, and what makes her tick. There didn't seem to be more than the odd hint in the first chapters that I read, and for me, it wasn't enough. Your hook is good and there's obviously a plot there but it gets slightly bogged down in all the description. I think with a bit more work on the MC you'd have a great slice of chick-lit. Or maybe I'm just too old and grumpy!

Kate LaRue wrote 645 days ago

Here for our read swap. I've read through the prologue and chapter one. You have a strong narrative voice here with Amber, and her uncertainty about getting close to Jake is something that a lot of readers will be able to relate to. I will preface the rest of my comments by saying that chick-lit is not something I typically read, so keep that in mind.

I'm not sure if the prologue worked as a good hook for me, though this is probably because I'm not a big fan of the narrator addressing the reader directly. For me it pulls me out of the story, but that is just one opinion. There is also a lot of telling in the prologue.

There are a lot of characters introduced in the first chapter, some of whom seem at first glance to be insignificant, specifically Mrs. Stanton. Does she play a role later? The bartender and the male passerby at the very beginning get more of a physical description than Jake (all we know about him is that he's gorgeous and has a nice body-nothing specific mentioned).

I hope this is helpful, like I said-chick lit is not my genre. Good luck with this.

Kim Padgett-Clarke wrote 645 days ago

I knew when I read the description of Amber Rose as a perennial plant to Jake's sunshine that I would like this and I wasn't disappointed. Your description of Brighton is very accurate and in some places reminded me of Blackpool with it's hen and stag parties. I felt so sorry for Amber Rose holding back on her feelings for Jake just because her father had scarred her emotions. I think we all know someone in our lives who has had this experience so it's an emotion that can be easily identified with. Amber Rose is fighting between enjoying the high life and feeling it will come at a price, such as a serious relationship. Your writing flows easily and held my attention nicely. Well done and I wish you all the best with this.

Kim (Pain)

Maria Constantine wrote 658 days ago

What strikes me most is that the narrative voice in 'Feathers' is spot on. It draws the reader in and makes them feel that they are Amber's confidant.
Amber is interesting, likeable and funny. E.g. the good-looking guy with the 'toned torso' being one of 'the perks of living in Brighton in the Summer. On the flip side, there's also an abundance of sunburnt, pot-bellied lager louts.' I also smiled when Amber states that she '.... couldn't possibly be with someone prettier than me.'
There are so many things that Amber comes out with that will resonate with women from around the globe; the themes are universal and can appeal to a large audience.
Stephanie has made a great choice in writing the story in the first person; it works very well because she has created a strong character in Amber who can carry the story.
The book has a lot of potential and I will be making room on my bookshelf.
High stars from me today.

Maria (Georgina's Family)

dameholly wrote 666 days ago

Hello Stephanie, as I promised here is my overall thought on Feathers, I love the voice of the main character, the dialogue flows very well and is easy to relate to, I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the book.
Thank you for your wonderful comment on Dahlia & The Superstar, oh my goodness commas! I hate those little rascals!

I'm glad you're enjoying the book so far, I hope you find that the main character (the superstar!) is either the kind of man that you would want to either slap or hug!

H.D. Hoskinson-Dahlia & The Superstar

Sam Rivers wrote 668 days ago

Hi Stephanie I am long over due giving you this, my apologies have been in final edit.

I think I understand what you're trying to create in chapter one but am not quite sure that it works for me personally. It feels like I am eavesdropping on a therapy session, which could work. My question is, what do you want your reader to feel about/for Amber? I think chapter 2 flows more with the introductions of some characters and dialogue. I'd just ask myself am I married to chapter one and will it be wholly relevant throughout the book? If not I'd look for a different hook. You've got a knack for dialolgue and can certainly write, hence me rating you fairly high. Gosh, hope this makes sense, if not drop me a line and will reply. Best of luck.
Sam Rivers - The Balance of Your Life

Philthy wrote 669 days ago

Hi Stephanie,

Here for our read swap. I must say, I love your narrative voice. It sucks the reader in easily and makes it hard to put down. The first chapter was especially a breeze because of it.

Below are a few suggestions. They are of course my humblest opinions, so please take them for whatever they're worth and disregard what you may disagree with.

Again, your narrative voice is your strength. At times, you get a bit overdramatic in your similes, BUT I would not change this at all because I think it fits perfectly for what you're setting up. I think it's smart writing.

Excellent opening-line hook.

After "two options" it should be a colon, not a semicolon.

I don't have a whole lot to say. There were a few commas in inappropriate places, but that's miniscule. Wonderful job. This isn't something I'd normally get into, but your voice is captivating. Highly starred and best of luck!

(Deshay of the Woods)

Jannit wrote 671 days ago

Feathers - good flowing dialogue, love the first person writing and am loving the whole Brighton 'scene' (used to live close by years ago)
You have a good pace in the chapters I've read so far and the girls are lively characters with MC being suitably feisty.
Will return for further chapters. Have highly starred and will keep on WL.
Well done Stephanie

cajunblood2012 wrote 683 days ago

Hi Stephanie,
I really enjoyed reading this. I find that you descibe the characters well. The opening really grabbed me and led me to want to read more. I really like the way you descibe the relationship between Jake and Amber. I found some comma errors but that can easily be fixed.You really have a unique writing voice and I find this story works very good in the first narrative.
I wish you the best on your writing journey,
Ashleigh Blanchard
Love Lies and Pregnancy

cajunblood2012 wrote 683 days ago

Hi Stephanie,
I really enjoyed reading this. I find that you descibe the characters well. The opening really grabbed me and led me to want to read more. I really like the way you descibe the relationship between Jake and Amber. I found some comma errors but that can easily be fixed.You really have a unique writing voice and I find this story works very good in the first narrative.
I wish you the best on your writing journey,
Ashleigh Blanchard
Love Lies and Pregnancy

KirkH wrote 687 days ago

Hi Stephanie,
The more I read chick-lt, the better my chick-lit story gets, so practice-reading makes perfect.
I like the cover, synopsis and first two chapters that I've read so far. Didn't understand why it's called "Feathers" unless the meaning is somewhere further in the book. Soft Feathers could also work too; since I live in a village with farms I see chicken feathers often...
You got a very unique writing style; the first-person narrative works well in this story. You build up the scenes very well too and I like your descriptions of the clubs in Brighton. The Morroccan tent sounds great too.
I got uncomfortable in your first sentence about the pile of shit. It seemed too vulgar for the first sentence - especially for a romance novel. Of course I see this a a middle-aged man so maybe I don't always know what younger women think of when they read that. I don't know if others have mentioned it. Your call, of course. Amber gives good background info about her mother's death and her romantic relationship with Jake in chapter two - hopefully more tension will come in on chapter three. I just wanted to write these thought right now befroe I forget them (I metioned middle-age, didn't I?).
I like the story so far, so I have to back it. Hope you can check out mine soon.
All the best
Kirk (Munich)
"The Notorious Expat Wives"

Mumsie 1 wrote 687 days ago

This is a fun and easy read, a book I would read while on vacation.
You have a very engaging way of setting your scenes and describing your characters. Your dialogue sounds very natural and believable.
I loved how you compared your MC and Jake's relationship to a plant and the sun's scorching rays (very clever writing)
You have a great sense of humor and made me laugh a few times throughout your story.
Highly stared and kept on my WL for shelf space when I reshuffle.

'Ella In Between'

Mademoiselle Nobel wrote 688 days ago

~Feathers by Stephanie Mortimer~

FEATHERS is a fun, fast and funny summer read that will keep you turning the pages! I love Amber’s voice (and her name is so beautiful!) and after reading FEATHERS I can’t wait to visit Brighton this summer – this is going to be my official guide (not to mention Megan’s guide to flirting)! Plus, I miss those 10p slot machines!

Oh, and I love how Megan blots her lipstick in the corner of her napkin after writing her phone number on it. So Hollywood! And I laughed when Amber remembered Jake was the ‘slightly stinky boy from English class.’

This is such a great line from Megan when says says, ‘I should have done this years ago. I could have been breaking hearts and glasses all over the country.’

Backed, highly rated and recommended! I can’t wait to read the rest and look forward to seeing this on the ED!

Iman xxx

Miss Manners:

Here are just a few suggestions from what I’ve read so far (only minor and easily fixed):

Chapter 1:

● Then[,] totally unexpectedly, a tiny ray of sunshine peeps through the dark shadows.

● In small doses[,] the sunshine is healthy[;] it’s helping me grow...

● You see, the thing is[,] I like Jake.

Chapter 2:

● Off[-]white t-shirt...

●...Lucy suggests, sliding her Dior sunglasses from the top of her head to rest [on] her nose, catching the attention of a male [passer-by] as she does so (you don’t need a comma after ‘top of her head’ or ‘male passerby’)

● An abundance of [peeling, poet-bellied] lager louts.

● Where on [E]arth did that come from?

● ‘It’s never too late,’ says Lauren[.] [S]o do you think I could borrow...’

● Well[,] we weren’t exactly school friends[,] just happened to go to the same school.

Mindy Haig wrote 688 days ago

Hi Stephanie,
I read the first 7 chapters of your book, and then (I admit guiltily) I read the last chapter. I had to know if she was going to wind up with Jake. I think there might be an error in the very end of the last chapter though because she's in bed with Aiden. Aiden points out the two feathers. I am thinking it was supposed to be Jake.
Anyway, the story is very good, good pacing, believable characters. Maybe a bit too much emphasis on what they ate and drank. But a really fun story.
I will have to read more of the cruise ship portion.
The Wishing Place

Adam Thurstman wrote 690 days ago

A refreshing start to a book that, with the first 10 words, made me laugh out loud. Stephanie, you manage to keep attention by using a skiful way of 'throwing' the readers emotions in different and unexpected directions. Cleverly written this is a book I shall have to come back to when I feel I need uplifting. Definately Chick Lit of the first order.

Adam De-Thurstman


Ruth2904 wrote 690 days ago

Such a brilliant opening to Feathers. You've said so much with so few words.
Chapter 1 - a nice introduction to time of place and Amber's friends. I feel as though I know them already and written with such ease and clarification. Setting is good, too, the desription drawing the reader in. The dialogue seals the whole aspect of the story for me. A very good read, one I intend to continue with to the end.
Starred highly and will be backed very shortly.
To Dream Again

Cara Gold wrote 692 days ago

{Feathers} – Stephanie Mortimer

First of all… Your pitches really grabbed my attention! Nice job :)

Excellent opening to follow through with that. I like how we immediately get an insight into Amber’s innermost thoughts. It establishes a connection between her and the reader, from the very beginning. One thought – perhaps split this into a chapter of its own, because there is a break anyway? Just a thought, because on authonomy shorter chapters especially are more reader friendly :)

Moving on in chapter one, I loved the descriptions of Brighton – very vivid, sensual, painting a lovely picture of the setting. I liked getting to know Amber’s friends – all the characters are well-constructed, likeable, and you give them nice personality touches (e.g. ‘the pound for every time she gushed about meeting the man of her dreams..’ and being able to buy the Chanel bag. Loved it!)

Background detail is infused nicely, while you maintain interest through skillfully handled dialogue. The pace moves along, the rhythm varied.

Loved the imagery associated with the club in Malaga. You build the atmosphere and mood nicely. Also good character development, so that at the end of chapter two, we really feel connected to Amber and hold are breath for her as she finds herself at this crossroad. Nice hook too.

Overall great job! Watch-listed for further reading, and I expect this will do well in the chic lit genre. Thanks so much for your lovely thoughts on ‘Dawn of Destruction’!
Have a lovely day :)
p.s. Some edit suggestions for the first chapter I hope will be helpful :) Mainly on phrasing, I think a few sentences could be broken up for more emphasis and fluidity: (mostly stylistic stuff, feel free to take or leave anything!) I also notice a comment on comma positioning… so I hope these thoughts will be useful!

1) full stop after ‘shit. And just when you think…
2) comma ‘imaginable, but that’s life.’
3) comma ‘washed up and stranded, or you can let yourself sink..’ brilliant images though, I must say!!
4) I’d say London). Then totally unexpectedly, a tiny ray of sunshine…
5) comma ‘You see, the thing is I like Jake’
6) comma ‘death of my mother, I expected my father’ → comma in this place makes the reader pause after ‘death of my mother’, letting that emotion sink in
7) comma ‘adore the Italian accent, it oozes sexiness
8) comma ‘just as I like it, and he’s donning a pair’ → because the focus shifts from physical description, to character thought, back to physical description
9) remove comma ‘the Chanel bag I crave so desperately would be sitting’ → don’t think you need it here, it slightly interrupts the flow
10) full stop ‘artist to my friends. Thus, it has become a bit of a tradition
11) ‘Her eyes transfixed on him… in her direction, then stretches her toned led
12) Para ‘The reception area is laid’ → the sentences here all have similar structure ‘is laid’ ‘is wallpapered’ ‘is scattered’… perhaps consider slight rewording for variation
13) I’d say ‘I suddenly avert my gaze to a middle aged lady and a younger woman’ → more immediate?

Ella Black wrote 701 days ago

Hi Stephanie,

I've read through the first two chapters, and here are my immediate thoughts:

You do a great job of describing the characters and creating personalities that feel real and natural. I'm able to picture the scenes and get carried along with a narrator that is likeable. I feel like she's telling me her story like a trusted girlfriend, which is perfect for chick lit. As other commenters mentioned, I think you do a great job of using the present tense, which seems to be gaining popularity, but is often difficult to pull off.

I noticed a lot of comma errors, especially during dialogue. They can make the sentences unclear, and could turn off editors who don't want to have to go through and fix everything. So, if you aren't sure how to fix them, I would have someone who does go through and look at that specifically.

Also, the first few paragraphs are backstory that is obviously important, but I didn't feel like it related directly to the story that begins after. The first sentences are engaging, but I felt like the following paragraphs were repetitive and even kind of cliché. Yes, something bad happened to her, but I think a lot of that emotion and information could come out more naturally through the telling of the story. For example, you do a good job of that when she talks about feeling jealous of the baby's mother and grandmother. It also would add a little more conflict and intrigue to the story to learn slowly why she has such relationship issues.

I hope these comments make sense and are of help to you!

Good luck and best wishes,
Ella Black

sandy-1 wrote 701 days ago


I really enjoyed this. I dont know why but I always prefare this genre written in the first person, and you have created a great character to pull it off.
Amber is part of the popular 'thirty somethings' and there are a lot of women out there who are able to relate to her. She gains our sympathy through losing her mother young, from cancer, and her father who is absent from her life, and feels she'll be alone when she finally gets married and has her first child.
The dialogue and descriptions are amazing, you bring the characters and the scenes alive.
My favourite part was when Megan was flirting and her friends were watching her, I thought it was hilarious! Oh and the wind situation, that was funny!
As far as edits go, you have a few commas missing throughout the first chapter, which is minor and can easily be remedied as can the few other things I have listed below;
Stella is a typical lady what lunches - 'what' should be 'who.'
She's a bit of (a) romantic.
'the build up of tonight has been foreplay enough' After this part I was a little confused to what had happened between them (sex?). And so I had to read it again to make sure I hadn't missed something. Maybe if you added ellipses at the end it might help? I'm not always a fan of them but I thought it might break the time up.
Overall this is a great book and I can't wait to continue reading it. I'll put it on my watchlist and back it as soon as I have space.
Ruby Middleton
'Will Ryan'

J Lawrence wrote 704 days ago

Hi Stephanie. I'm enjoying reading Feathers. It seems a fun, light read and your descriptions of Brighton are spot on. I always find reading present tense a little jarring but that's just me.

I noticed you use a lot of dialogue tags. You might want to shave a few off as it does interrupt the flow a little. Also there seems to be a little confusion as to what is a dialogue tag. She decides and She blushes are not dialogue tags therefore need a full stop and capital letter.

I hope this helps. Best of luck.


femmefranglaise wrote 704 days ago

Hi Stephanie, this is great chick lit, with some good characters to draw the reader in. Amber is sassy, bubbly and funny, I warmed to her straight away. I'm never quite sure about writing in the present tense but I think you've pulled it off well here. The writing flows well and the dialogue is authentic. I noticed a couple of missing commas and typos as I read through but we all have those and they are the easiest things to fix. The main thing is you've got a great story that people will want to read. Best of luck with it. Lots of stars coming your way.

La Vie en Rosé

Jannypeacock wrote 704 days ago

Liked that this is doesn’t dress itself up as anything other than pure fun chick lit, And fun is exactly what it is. A chatty narrative with a bubbly mc, perfect for the genre. Lots of ‘girly’ carry on. Really smiled my way through this. Enjoyed the descriptions of the friends in the first chapter. I'm the micro friend compared to all my friends so I know how she feels. Great stuff.


carolinelangford wrote 705 days ago

A good story, flows along. I am able to visualize the characters which is always good. Being originally from Brighton, of course I like the venue!
'Walking On Eggshells'

fatema wrote 706 days ago

Written in present tense, ok, it feel alright. a good story, the phrases, 'dad is dead and i am anorphan' throwing a litthe wink, catching.

The good summer time in Doorset, then finishing with life is pretty perfect. well as perfect as it can be. i have mu drem job, man and soneone to watch over me. Just acoma missing, here, anyway good book. weldone.

L_MC wrote 709 days ago

Hi Stephanie, I've read eight chapters, full of parties, booze, girlie fun and good times and she hasn't even got on the cruise ship yet so certain there will more parties and temptation to come.

This falls very easily into the traditional chick-lit. Girl searching for her man, lots of parties, girlfriends, clothes and good times, with touches of humour, but the loss of her parents adds another dimension to the story and vulnerability to Amber.

A few notes I made as I read:
Like the opening line. Got me smiling and grabbed my attention straight away. Told me this was going to be fun, chatty and a girl I could like.

As an ex-resident of Brighton, your choice of opening venue had a lot of appeal for me.

There aren't as many books in present tense and sometimes they can feel awkward, but I found this one pretty easy to settle into. It's a hard tense to write in and stick to. I didn't notice many slips into past so you've done well to achieve that.

One thing I was told, is to not fall into using tags other than he/she said too often, as the said is something we are all so used to reading it disappears whereas other qualifiers stand out more.

Couple of other issues I've been told agents don't like to see too much of are those sneaky ly words and exclamation marks.

My mum is a believer in that idea about a feather and believes it has happened to her more than once, so I could appreciate that.

The green powder for the red cheeks made me chuckle - I remember resorting to that years ago - good old Agnes B.

Looking forward to seeing what happens on the cruise.

Kenneth Edward Lim wrote 709 days ago

Your knowledge of on-board relationships among cruise ship staffers is impressive, and being able to build a story around them, more so. Your use of dialogue to explain backstory does keep up the brisk pace of your book, riding on a certain levity one would expect on a cruise. Stephanie is a sympathetic character full of good intentions and one can only root for her when she falls victim to someone's manipulation. Thankyou so much for the entertaining read.

Kenneth Edward Lim
The North Korean

SusanB wrote 709 days ago

I love your work and will put this book onto my bookshelf with pleasure! The humour is a subtle thread throughout the story and I can't fault anything. Writing in this tense is harder I think and you handle it well :)

patio wrote 709 days ago

Your short pitch hit nerves. I shall dig into your book

Cody Pelletier wrote 709 days ago

Hey Stephanie,

I just finished your first chapter. It's really good, you are a very good writer. I like the way you introduce Amber rose a few paragraphs into the story. I also like the way you set a somber tone, but then when we meet the characters it's lighter and fun. I can really picture the scene as you describe Amber's friends and their surroundings (I think I want to go to Brighton on holiday).

I think this will do really well. I'll be back to read more soon.


c1030 wrote 710 days ago

the opening paragraph is great. i have yet to read the whole book though i gotta a feeling that i would be great,
great work, good luck