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Beyond the Forest's Edge Kimberly Dunham

Description

Wren Ashwood, an unassuming sixteen-year-old, finds herself living with her aunt and uncle a year after losing her mother in a fatal car accident. Upon her arrival, she stumbles across a shortcut through the woods that leads to her school. There, she meets Aaron, a charismatic boy with brilliant green eyes who takes particular interest in her.
Just when Wren begins making friends and settling into her new life, things take a turn. She feels herself irresistibly drawn into the forest, despite her aunt's warnings. Quiet footsteps trail behind her on the mossy forest floor, their bearer ever elusive. About one thing Wren is certain: the forest is calling.

Length

  • 90264 words
  • About 361 pages
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Swoon Index Ranking

  • Heat

    2

  • Tears

    1

  • Laughs

    7

  • Thrills

    8

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11 comments on "Beyond the Forest's Edge"

Cmccoy26 on Oct. 26, 2017, 2:12 p.m. said:

Cmccoy26


I enjoyed the imagination that went into creating everything in this world, from the background story with Laurel to Aaron revealing that he is the wind whisperer.

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Kimberly Dunham on Oct. 29, 2017, 7:41 p.m. said:

Kimberly Dunham


Awesome! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading! :)

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Books And Tea Are All You Need on Oct. 2, 2017, 3:01 p.m. said:

Books And Tea Are All You Need


So far, the characters all seem like high school stereotypes--the shy new girl, the hot guy, the snooty mean girl, the emo kid--making this story seem unoriginal had it not been for that AH-MAZING prologue. Wren seems to have room for more development, thanks to her "portable Christmas tree," but we don't get to know anything about her. Aaron says that she had good taste in music, based on the pins on her bag. But what do the pins say? What is on that bag that gives us a window into Wren's soul? (Here's hoping it isn't the stereotypical squeaky-clean popstars that these shy new girls like). I do like the atmospheric descriptions of the forest, and that overall vibe in the prologue, but make sure to repeat that atmosphere even outside of the titular forest. So far, there's some good world building in the forest setting. And that's all I have to say for now!

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Kimberly Dunham on Oct. 11, 2017, 9:53 p.m. said:

Kimberly Dunham


Thank you for your feedback! I'm so glad that you liked the prologue and the forest setting, but I do hope that you enjoy the rest of the book as well.

You brought up some interesting points that I intend to look into the next time I make a revision. Wren is intended to be a character that is a bit broken-spirited and lost after the death of her mother. The story shows her growing and developing as a person as she begins to discover and accept who she really is. My intention was to SHOW this to my readers rather than telling them, so it occurs through a series of events instead of all at once. True, she starts out shy and unremarkable but I wrote the story from her perspective to show that all this time, she has a knack for seeing beauty in the ordinary, hence her fondness for sketching. This is something that Aaron points out to her multiple times later on.

Fun fact: The band on her bag is my favorite band, Anberlin. They broke up a year or two ago, but they were (in my humble opinion) one of the greatest alternative rock bands of all time. I didn't mention this in the book intentionally, but in hindsight I might have at least hinted at the genre.

I'd also like to add that Aaron grows as a character, far beyond the stereotypical hot guy vibe he gives off in the beginning. One of my bigger regrets is my lack of development of Emery. She has a big personality and a lot of interesting character traits that defy her appearance, but I do wish I had given her a bigger place in the plot.

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KV on Sept. 27, 2017, 8:55 a.m. said:

KV


Oooooo! The prologue is super interesting :D

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Kimberly Dunham on Oct. 11, 2017, 9:41 p.m. said:

Kimberly Dunham


Thank you so much! I hope the rest of my book captures your attention as much as the prologue did. :)

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Mjc on Sept. 18, 2017, 6:45 p.m. said:

Mjc


What I liked most about the story was the characters. I like how they acted like high schoolers because they were high schoolers. A lot of times I will read books where young characters are written to be like adults and I find it very unrealistic. I loved the comedy and all the dialog flowed.

I would have loved for there to be some sort of family connection between Wren and the Sylvaine. The reader knew the connection between Wrens mother and Valerian but it would have been cool to have Wren find out about that. I think it would have also added some humanity to the Sylvaine. I also got the vague impression that Aster was somehow Wrens grandmother. If that was the case i would have loved for that to be made known, both to the reader and to Wren. I also think that a little more of the shape-gifting could have been added.

I think this bookl is very unique and can't think of a similar book to compare it too. It's a typical teen romance but the Sylvaine lore is very unique.

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Mjc on Sept. 16, 2017, 12:35 a.m. said:

Mjc


Ummm... in the preface I kept getting confused because it jumped around so much. I dont know if anything was added between time jumps, like a design or something, originally to let the reader know there was a break in the story but that would help.

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Kimberly Dunham on Sept. 16, 2017, 2:18 a.m. said:

Kimberly Dunham


Thank you for taking the time to start my book! I see what you're saying. I had extra spaces between time-skips in the prologue, and somehow they were lost in translation when I uploaded my manuscript to Swoon Reads.

Unfortunately, SR doesn't allow me to make any edits once I have posted my manuscript, and that's going to be a minor issue throughout the book - I wish I could fix it! I intended for there to be an extra space after the very first paragraph to signify that he's having a flashback, as well as three other breaks when the plot jumps forward each time.

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as.is.the.sea on Sept. 13, 2017, 9:35 p.m. said:

as.is.the.sea


Wow, you've got the magic touch with writing a blurb! Your description nails the balance between giving enough details to get a reader interested and leaving plenty as a mystery to allure.

I just finished Chapter 5. So far Wren, Emery, and the other characters are interesting, but there isn't a whole lot of plot or tension happening yet to draw readers on. If not for the prologue, a few teeny tiny weird things about Aaron, and Wren every so often staring out at the forest pointedly, I would have no idea this is supposed to be a fantasy book, or really where the plot is supposed to be moving at all. I have high hopes for where the story is going, but 20% of the way through the story is a long way in to still be waiting for the plot to really start. But with a chapter title like "Secrets" up next, I bet there's some good stuff right around the corner ;)

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