First Lines Friday – October 8th 2021

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by @Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? If you want to make your own post, just follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

This is an arc I am currently reading and really enjoying…

Sylvan held perfectly still as Miki layered the sapphire blue onto his face, one steady brushstroke at a time. Miki was a true artist, angling his brush to cover every crevice and divot without ever touching an eyelash or tickling Sylvan’s nose.

“I’m going to make such a mess of this on my own,” Sylvan said while Miki was dipping his brush.

“That you are.” Miki touched up the corners of his mouth and the bottom of his nose around his nostrils. “But where you’re going, I doubt anyone’s even seen a painted face before, so perhaps they won’t even notice.


And the book is…

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Wonder swirls beneath murky water.

When two painted-faced nobles take a guided raft trip on a muddy river, they expect to rough it for a few weeks before returning to their life of sheltered ease. But when mysterious swirls start appearing in the water, even their seasoned guides get rattled.

The mystery of the swirls lures them on to the mythical wetlands known as the Living Waters. They discover a world beyond their imagining, but stranger still are the worlds they find inside their own minds as they are drawn deep into the troubles of this hidden place.

The Living Waters is a sword-free fantasy novel featuring an ethereal love story, meditation magic, and an ancient book with cryptic marginalia. It is the first book in the Weirdwater Confluence duology; the second book, The Isle of a Thousand Worlds, comes out January 15 2022.

Release date is October 15th
Published by Shadow Spark Publishing


About the Author

Dan Fitzgerald is the fantasy author of the Maer Cycle trilogy (character-driven low-magic fantasy) and the upcoming Weirdwater Confluence duology (sword-free fantasy with unusual love stories). The Living Waters comes out October 15, 2021 and The Isle of a Thousand Worlds arrives January 15, 2022, both from Shadow Spark Publishing.

He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, twin boys, and two cats. When not writing he might be found doing yoga, gardening, cooking, or listening to French music.

Website | Twitter | Instagram


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