Shearwater Part One: Advanced Review Copy

Thank you so much for your interest in my writing! Down below are links to Part One of Shearwater, my first novel. It’s about 70,000 words, and it’s not perfect, but I’m planning to launch it in two weeks.

I would be extremely grateful if you’d take the time to read it and give me feedback – you can leave comments on this page directly, or email me directly with notes.

I don’t have time for a major overhaul, but I value your feedback and ideas, especially regarding these questions:

I’m serializing my fiction, but I don’t want to go out with a whimper. Is Part One good as it is, or should I get to the next big fight scene and end on a cliffhanger?

Were there any spots you got bored, stopped reading or took a break?

Anything that was confusing or unclear? Inconsistent? Repetitive?

Was there anything about Clara you didn’t like or found annoying?

Anything that smacked of amateur writing or overly cliched?

If you see any typos are spelling errors, please let me know about them so I can fix them before I publish!

Publishing plans

I want to publish this as is, and finish 10 other “Part One’s” this year, before finishing Shearwater. By that time, I will be a more experienced writer, and will revise Part One so I can put together the full book. So while I’m sure this section can be improved a lot, I may save some of your comments or feedback for the next revision.

Also – I think it’s still rough, and not awesome, but I hope it doesn’t suck. If it does suck, and you think it needs major work and is unpublishable as is, please let me know why so I can improve it. If you like the story, please check out my launch plan and see how you can get involved!

I’ll also need some reviews up quickly – you can post a review on the launch day (1/26) I’ll send you a silver mermaid pendant as a thank you.


>>Click here to download the PDF, epub or mobi file<<




  • Reply Sandra Easter January 6, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    I tried to send you link to my own book. ..but the link didn’t work for me. I’d like to send you a free copy to review. Please email me at the one I provided for this comment.

    • Reply Sandra Easter January 12, 2016 at 3:44 am

      A beautifully written piece. Captivating, gripping, wonderfully write from a female’s perspective. I’m thoroughly impressed. The MC is a bit scattered in her thoughts but, as a writer, I tend to like that on some characters as that is how my thoughts often come. Minus the errors, it was a smooth read. I imagine you have those fixed with the published manuscript. I’ll be sure and leave a review on its release date. Thank you for the great read. I can’t wait for the next one.

      • Reply Derek Murphy January 12, 2016 at 5:57 pm

        Wow, thanks so much!

  • Reply Lydia Sherrer January 6, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Hi Derek! I just wanted to leave a comment here because I REALLY want to review your ARC for shearwater (I’m an author myself launching two books in April and I know how much it means to you to get help!), but I already have three books awaiting my beta feedback and I am working from dawn until long after dusk on my own book launch. So, I wanted to ask if there was anything else with less time commitment than reading a 70K word book I could do to help? I wish you the very best and hope your launch and publishing plans go well.

    • Reply Derek Murphy January 6, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      No worries – you can still share the giveaway/launch if you think your audience would be interested in mermaids. 🙂

  • Reply Julie Fugate January 6, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    LOVE your cover. I’d also love to swap for a review. I’m reading a book now and could move you up in my list and read you next. My debut YA Urban Fantasy came out as an eBook in November and my print will be later this year and I’d like to have some reviews in place before then. My book is $4.99 though. I can gift it to you or provide a pdf at your email (if that’s acceptable let me know and send me an email so I can reply back).
    Love and prayers,
    Julie Fugate
    Kings of Renown BETRAYAL

  • Reply gina grant January 6, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Your “Leave a Link” link isn’t working. I’ll review your book now. Mine will be out… well, you know how trad publishing works. 2017? 2018? I’ll let you know. 😉

  • Reply Marianne Sciucco January 6, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    I’d love to help. My upcoming novel Swim Season is not quite ready but I hope you’ll give it a look when I’ve got it together.

  • Reply Colby R Rice January 6, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Hi Derek!

    I just downloaded a copy of Shearwater and will leave a review for it within the next two weeks.

    I’d be delighted to swap reviews with you, if possible, and I’d be more than happy to send you mine for free! Your Leave a Link page isn’t working, so I’ve sent you an email.

    My novel’s called “Ghosts of Koa”, and it’s an urban fantasy / dystopian sci-fi novel of over 500 pages. (So it might take a minute to read, but that’s totally cool. It’s a fast-paced novel, so take your time!) To get the book to you, I responded to your original email with a zip file of Ghosts of Koa in different ebook formats, so feel free to review, if you’re interested!

    Colby R Rice

    • Reply Colby R Rice January 6, 2016 at 8:13 pm

      Um… scratch that. Your mailing system is rejecting my email. Lol. Please advise as to next steps!

  • Reply Lisa Glenn January 7, 2016 at 2:50 am

    I would love to help and swap books. I have a book called, Shelby that you might actually enjoy. Tell me how you want to do it. I tried to go to the link , but it wouldn’t let me. Here is my link.

    • Reply Lisa Glenn January 7, 2016 at 2:56 am

      Oh, and I did purchase your book. I will post review as soon as I have finished reading.

  • Reply Megan January 8, 2016 at 4:09 am

    I’ve finally finished and it’s really good! The plot is greatly captivating and wonderfully written. I really like to read and the chance to read it early for free was one I couldn’t pass up, so I thought I would help with the editing. I kept my eyes peeled, but I am not very good in English, especially when it comes to editing, so I know I’ve missed a few things somewhere. These are just the things I could find.

    First of all, I found just a few minor typos (I put the typo in quotations):
    Page 16 (near the bottom): the police had dropped off the personal items my parents had “one” them at the time of their deaths.
    Page 58: I learned quickly “I’ve” have to keep my mouth shut
    Page 112: I looked “it” Jackie
    Page 152: I spent hours trying to find Barbara Dubbs online “online”
    Page 165: What happens when someone acts wrongly. (Question mark)
    Page 203: He didn’t answer”ed”
    Page 203: peering out over the ocean. (quotation needed here) You might hate yourself.”
    Page 220: a woman with she had the shape of a woman and the tail of a fish (either the “a woman with” or “she had” has to be deleted)
    Page 228: like I’d done with Oisin (missing an R)
    Page 237: or hold your breath”e”
    Page 250: my uncle Colin was murdered,” Colin said. (Hopefully dead Colin isn’t talking about himself, but it does sound like a cool idea for another book xD)
    Page 251: Come”’”on (if that didn’t make sense, there was an apostrophe there that I was trying to point out)
    Page 271: TautheDe -> Tuatha Dé
    Page 271: “Ethan may not know what you are yet,(quotation needed) Sebastian continued, (quotation needed) but if the matching knives are any evidence
    Page 272: “I” doesn’t work like that,
    Page 274: It’s a party trick”y”.

    Secondly, just a few things I found a bit weirdly worded. Although it could definitely be just me:
    Page 26: I realized I was basically living in a town other people went on vacation (I think it would make more sense as “In a town where other people went to for vacation” or something of the sort)
    Page 112: To properly see the columns of the Causeway they would plough through the breakers and then row back into the bay for the best view of the Causeway and the nearby shore caves (Not sure how to describe it, but it just feels weird to read (think?) the word Causeway twice in that sentence)
    Page 152: outright hostility, but made sure to keep up with the lessons and turn in homework on time (I think it would be more clear if you added an “I” inbetween but and made)
    Page 253: and caught a whiff of woodchips and musk (I think an “I” should be placed inbetween “and” and “caught”
    Page 255: At least now somebody who know where to look for my body. (Maybe it would make more sense if you replaced “who” with “would”)

    A few continuity errors:
    -The cat’s name switches between Miscreant and Mischief a few times in the book.
    -Sebastian says he’s from Iceland, but there’s one part where Clara says he’s from Greenland. Later in the book, Sebastian does say the merrow lived in Greenland for a time but it’s after Clara says her thing. There’s no way she could know that as Sebastian constantly refers to Iceland.

    Once again, I REALLY liked the book and can’t wait to read part two!

    • Reply Derek Murphy January 8, 2016 at 6:58 am

      Thank you soooo much! I caught some of this already but there are a few I missed. Thanks for reading! Please leave a review on the 26th if you can!

  • Reply Jenetta Penner January 8, 2016 at 7:09 am

    Ok, Megan above got the handful of editing errors I found, except maybe one.

    Sorry I don’t have the page… But I think you call Roisin Brianna 2x in the part where she gets Gatorade dumped on her.

    Or is there a Brianna, too? I re-read it and I don’t think so.

    • Reply Derek Murphy January 8, 2016 at 7:24 am

      Thanks! I switched the girls but I fixed it now…. I also noticed the caretaker is “Oisin” which is too close to Roisin, I’ll switch it.

  • Reply Mignon January 9, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Hi Derek,

    Looking forward to reading your book. I’ll leave you a review, not sure if I’ll make the 26th deadline, but I’ll put one up as soon as I finish 🙂

    Best wishes!

  • Reply Niena January 10, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I’ve tried sending you an email for feedback, but I was informed by a technical error that my email message can’t be delivered to your account bcs your mail folder is full (??)
    I guess I’d leave a feedback here then. (Heads up: I’m gonna leave my actual review on the 26th!)

    I adored Shearwater. It wasn’t perfect by any means yet. For example I’m not quite sure how I feel about the overlapping mythology throughout the chapters, I found myself a bit confused trying to draw connections between each characters’ background stories, though it doesn’t bother me that much bcs it’s only the Part One of the book. That being said, it truly captured my attention from start to finish. The writing-style is so on point!
    I already am excited for Part Two asdfghjkl.

    General comment: Wonderfully crafted storyline. There wasn’t any point where I wasn’t glad reading this.

    Listed below are some of the typos I’ve encountered;
    -pg 12: Anyhoo = Anyhow
    -pg 27: Love at first site = Love at first sight
    -pg 28: Aiden = Aedan
    -pg 41: my Da = my Pa
    -pg 62: dark haired main = dark haired man
    -pg 72: feckin’ = fuckin’
    -pg 87: Greenland = Iceland
    -pg 112: I looked it Jackie = I looked at Jackie
    -pg 114: todo list = to do list
    -pg 152: online online = online
    -pg 174: thans = than
    -pg 191: Connor = Colin
    -pg 191: story = store
    -pg 247: According to Colin = According to Ethan
    -pg 250: Colin said = Ethan said
    -pg 256: descendent = descendant
    -pg 291: might me angry = made me angry

  • Reply Olivia Otim January 12, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    Hi Derek, I’ve just downloaded your book and I’m looking forward to reading it and reviewing it. I’ve just published my first short story, it’s part of a series. I’d really appreciate if you could review it sometime. Best wishes, Olivia. Please see a link to my story:

  • Reply Chrys Cymri January 16, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Hi Derek, I’ve sent you my feedback and list of typos to your email address.

  • Reply Kristen Burns January 18, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    I have also sent my feedback in an email 🙂

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