Sorry I took so long to get around to this. Work has been crazy. I need a vacation. But enough about me - onto the review!
First off, I must say - again - that I love your Bella. She's so in character: a snarky, bitchy, selfish woman, but with an irresistible sense of charm and sensuality. Of course, she really only shows the latter two to Gabe. ^_~
The dreams were very descriptive and leave me quite curious. Gabe's was somewhat sad and sweet, whereas Bella's was downright hostile. I know I'm supposed to like Rain, but, to be quite honest, she reminds me a lot of Bella. Obviously, she's not as crazy and selfish, but Rain does seem to have a high and mighty attitude (and I'm not talking about just here but Gabe's earlier memories of her). It makes me think that Gabe sees a bit of Rain in Bella. Whatever the case is, I want to know why Rain is even involved, and how is Gabe protected?
You have piqued my curiosity, woman. I know things wont bode well - in the end - for Gabe, but I want to read more, even though I know you'll crush my hopes. :(
I look forward to the next chapter, m'dear.
Author's Response: And, I must also apologize for not responding to your review. I was traveling last week and didn't get any writing done. I like my Bella too. She's very close to my heart:D I think that Rain and Bella are alike in many ways. Gabe has a lot of admiration for independent women. He's comfortable with himself and he believes people should be all they can be. He doesn't need to control anyone. Keep in mind that Rain is a strong Native woman. She is Gabe's soul mate and their love has survived death. Rain is not so selfish that she needs Gabe with her. She'll watch over him and wait until it's his time to join her and Autumn Rose. Rain is actually behaving a lot nicer than other women I know would act, if her man is being seduced by someone Rain knows to be evil. The dreams were similar; they held an omen since Rain has a vision of what will happen in the future. Gabe is protected by both Rain and the Creator. He's a good person who might be able to stop Bella's insanity--but none of us knows if he can do that yet--the important thing is that he tries. In the end, Gabe will lead a long and productive life. Getting there is going to be hell though. I can't wait to write more. I just need to stay home and stop taking these short trips. I'll see you next time, in your world or mine.
Really love the dreams and how the descriptions of the scenery crystallize the differences between Gabe and Bella. The wording Bella used for Rain and Autumn Rose, i.e. that woman and her brat, are so perfectly in tune with her derisive view of the world. And her comments about introducing Gabe to her family only if she wanted to scare him away are priceless. You’ve really captured her insolent brand of humor. So happy you were able to conquer your writer’s block; sometimes just writing anything, even if it’s on a tangent helps.
Author's Response: It was so nice to look at reviews and to find yours. I'm honored. You really got what I was trying to show in the two dreams. Gabe and Bella met Rain in about the same place--along the Missouri River. And, Rain was basically using the dreams to show the future. How Gabe and Bella reacted in the same situation showed a bit of their personalities. Gabe has respect for land and life. Bella doesn't want anyone or anything to stand in her way. Another reviewer on another website thought that Rain was too rude and haughty to Bella. I think she had to be. She doesn't like Bella and she knows what Bella is and what she becomes. This whole meeting the family business is going to cause a problem. Bella certainly can't let Gabe meet her family and Gabe's going to find that very unusual as time goes on. That was one of my favorite lines--when Bella tells Gabe she doesn't want to set him up for an evening of torture (literally). I think one of the things I learned this time about writer's block (or at least I hope I learned it), is not to over-discuss chapter ideas with people. I originally wanted to use dreams but someone didn't see the sense of it. So, I lost a major idea I wanted to use and fooled around and then decided to use it after all. Many times writing has to be a solitary affair. Once again, thanks for the review. I'll see you in one of your chapters soon.
I've been sick and haven't been reading, reviewing, or writing lately. Bad Lia! ^_~
I loved the return of Bella. While I love your OC, Gabe, Bella is my favourite and I love how you write her: “I’m never angry with myself". Lol.
Have I mentioned how much I dislike Jason? I'm surprised Bella kept her temper in check.
The story of Rain and Autumn Rose was quite sad. I like that you didn't go into too much detail, as that might have been too distracting. The ending of this chapter was rather sweet, too. I cannot wait for the next chapter. Great work, as usual. ^_^
Author's Response: I was wondering how you were. I thought you were busy as always. :D I was away from home all last week for a workshop--in Missouri. It was a lot warmer there but I think we are starting spring here. :D The bottom line is, I didn't have time for much writing last week at all so I'll try to make up for it this week. I have a start on Chapter 10 but probably need a couple of evenings to finish. When I write Bellatrix I really try to channel my inner witch. For some reason, Bella's a lot like me. :P I don't think we'll see Jason again until the very end. Jason got a little too close to the truth about Bella. He sensed there was something odd about her. I believe that Bella kept her temper in control because she knew Jason was leaving. This would be the first time she's angry with herself if she delayed his departure. I had more detail in the original Chapter 9 but my friend and beta suggested cutting it down. I must admit she was right, as she usually is. Readers seem to like this shorter version where they can be left to imagine some of the details. I hope to do some work on 10 tonight. I'll probably see you before too long in one of your own chapters. So, see you later. Thanks for the positive review.
You're right, less is sometimes more. This chapter, despite containing a pretty important revelation, felt gentle and realistic rather than melodramatic. I loved "Bella struggled not to break the delicate wine glass she was squeezing in her fist. " as a description to her reaction to hearing about Rain. Nothing more is necessary (particularly as I do that as well, and once failed). Likewise, whilst we don't really get into Bella's head much I love the way you show she cares for Gabe more than she really should, even though she's kidding herself that it's purely possessiveness. And he's so sweet, deciding to walk her to the station like a 'man' (I hate it when people walk me to the tube thinking I can't look after myself- in fact for lots of this chapter I seem to be seeing bits of myself in Bella which is slightly unnerving but showing you are doing an amazing job of humanising her and making her feel sympathetic) but falls asleep in her arms like a baby. Things however, with Gabe letting go of his past, seem to be looking a little too good. Bella's future must be about to catch her- if that makes any sort of sense. Anyway I await the next chapter as much as I awaited this one! Alex x
Author's Response: I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond. I'm traveling right now for work and haven't had a lot of time. I'm also practicing using my iPad. Thank you for such a thoughtful review. A lot of Bella, believe it or not, is based on what I would do if I was Bella. I'm happy that you think I'm humanizing her. That's what I wanted to do. I think that when she was young, she was a relatively normal young woman. Then something so traumatic happened that she turned into the evil, insane person she became. Gabe has a very strong spiritual background that will serve him well. And let's face it, he's a nice guy who thinks the best of Bella. He has no reason not to think that. It might be a couple of weeks before I get another chapter up. I'm not confident enough on this iPad to write anything important on it. I do hope to see you next time.
This chapter was so beautiful. I loved the mixture of Native American culture with Druid culture at Stonehenge, and then going to the pub afterwards. It just seemed so perfect.
And I really, really like the sound of Rain. I like the way in some of the stories she seems almost Bella-esque in getting what she wants, whether that means a sit-in or a dance in a strip club (I laughed aloud at that). But then there was the story about the snake which seemed very... symbolic. Given that your story is not AU I don't think this can end well for Gabe- he doesn't deserve any more hardship. And it was sad that Rain never saw him successful.
I'm really enjoying this story- looking forward to the next chapter!
Author's Response: Thanks for the wonderful review. It makes me feel like I've achieved my purpose. I think that when I have a funeral, I want people to sit around after and tell stories about me. I know I'd look down and smile. When one of my brothers passed away, we spent the afternoon telling stories about him. That's where I got the idea for this chapter. Yes, Rain was loving--she was so much in love with Gabe and they'd been together for quite a while--and she was independent. She seemed to be able to pull off enough pranks even without magic:D I didn't realize that she was so much like Bella, but I guess you're right. That just shows the sort of woman Gabe is interested in. Somehow, Rain just seems a little more honest:D Keep in mind that Gabe is a very strong person and has a strong spiritual belief. His life's been hard but he's dealt with it. You know, I'm just afraid that he'll try to "save" Bella. Not everyone can be saved and sometimes they are but at the savior's expense. I just finished the next chapter and it's being lovingly massaged by its beta:P Hopefully it will be up in a week or so. I'll see you next time.
I was so grossed out I told her I was a vegetarian.
Oh, I chuckled out loud at that. My boss didn't find it odd, though. He knows I'm an eccentric bird. :P
I really liked this chapter. It somehow put me at peace. I liked the explanation of the ceremony. Too bad you can't walk around and do ceremonies whenever you want at Stonehenge anymore. :(
I'm still not a big fan of Jason, as you know, but I'm glad that he did this for Gabe. Again, wonderful chapter. I learned a lot.
Author's Response: Can't you just see this guy from LA with a brand new pick-up, coming to South Dakota to visit his mother and find inspiration for his painting--and then somehow he goes rattlesnake hunting:D I'm glad this chapter felt peaceful to you. Sometimes, Wiping the Tears is such a big affair with people all over the place. But this one was quiet--you can do the ceremony where you want. The focus is always on the grieving people. I was happy to find out that Stonehenge could be used at special times for ceremonies. Of course, I had to use it:P I wanted to use the stories about Rain in the second half. When one of my brothers passed away, we sat around and told funny stories after the funeral. This may sound strange but it was a fun funeral. I'm glad you found this chapter. Pretty soon we say goodbye to Jason and Wanbli and move into another phase of Gabe's and Bella's relationship. See you next time.
Wow. Get the next chapter up as soon as possible! I love the fact we're finding more out about Gabe- and his friends are so nice. Considering our view of Bella, however believable your characterisation of her is, we will always be biased because we know what she does, in just over three years time, so it's nice that Gabe is entirely new character.
And Stonehenge! Wow. I can't wait. I've written way too many stories set there- it's an amazing place. Though I am insanely jealous of them getting into the actual circle.
I love how realistic the Americans are. I don't know anything about Native Americans but their cultural identity doesn't stop them also being characters in their own right.
One (very minor) quibble- in "British distance" we do tend to use miles as well, so that sentence didn't really ring true. Unless it was a joke as the Americans assumed we were metric and didn't realise we still use imperial measurement a lot? I loved the joke about driving on the right, particularly in a potentially really sad chapter. I hope the next chapter is up asap! Alex x
Author's Response: I guess the joke's on me. I didn't know Britain used miles:D You can see how Gabe's friends assumed you used the metric system. When I started this story I knew they'd be Wiping the Tears but I didn't know they'd go to Stonehenge. I did some reading about Stonehenge and my source did say that people were allowed in the circle for ceremonies during the autumnal equinox. Originally I had Rain dying in the summer but I switched it to September so they could go to Stonehenge:D I'm glad you like the Gabe character and that of his friends. I'm trying to lay the groundwork for Bella's crash in a year or so. The Native American characters are very true to form. I work in a school where the population is 100% Native, primarily Dakota, and I've asked friends who are very close to the culture to read the chapters before I submit them to make sure I have the details right. Chapter 9 is up and I just submitted a Valentine's Day story. I hope you'll enjoy reading them as well. I plan to check out some of your writing when things slow down at work. I'm always looking for interesting authors and when you review that's one way I can find them. Hope to see you again soon.
Yes, Gabe would do a wonderful job painting Bella. She'd look exquisite in an oil painting.
And the plot thickens. I want to find out more about Gabe and his family. And I've also decided that I like Wanbli and am wary of Jason. Don't ask me why. It's just a feeling. And Stonehenge? Too bad Bella isn't with them...Jason! *glowers*
I wish this review could be longer, but it's difficult typing with one hand (now I sound like a pervert). I will say that I look forward to the next chapter. ^_^
Author's Response: It's really going to be a lovely painting when he finishes it. I only hope that I can describe it adequately so everyone can see it. You'll learn a little bit more about Gabe's family in the next chapter and maybe the one after that, but they won't play much of a part until the end again. Bella wants this to be all about her. She doesn't want anyone else close to Gabe, even if they're family:D Wanbli is a sweetie, isn't he? Jason knows there's something odd about Bella but he can't figure it out. He'd believe if he only had a clue. We can't blame him though. Gabe's his best friend and Jason doesn't want to see him hurt. Actually, I didn't think anything of you typing with one hand until you brought it up--so now I'm wondering what that other hand is doing:P I'll probably be submitting the next chapter in about four days. Then we have to wait for validation. A few things will become more clear when that chapter comes out. See you next time.
Gabe not wanting to talk about what happened and blaming himself rings very true to life. Sarcasm is a defense mechanism, and a good choice to offset exposition, heehee.
Thanks for the explanations at the end of the chapter. That's interesting, about Wanbli's name, and that if you call your friend kola, it better be a guy . . . or a manly woman? :D
I noticed a few dialogue formatting errors that slipped through, commas used when it should be periods because--even though dialogue follows--the character isn't saying it, he's doing an action and then speaking.
Eleven paragraphs down, you have: Jason smiled patiently, and sixteen paragraphs down from that Gabe nodded somberly, and three paragraphs further “That’s where you’re wrong, kola. For our best friend we’re doing this up right.” Jason said from the back seat.
Something else I just noticed was a lot of grinning and smiling going on. Different ways to show amusement are hard to think of, I know, but they might make the times you have characters smile or grin more meaningful.
I'm not trying to beta via review, heh, I only want to help, and I appreciate all the research you did to get your facts right.
I'm looking forward to reading about the ceremony. :)
Author's Response: I really appreciate all that you've done for this story. You're the beta (the most awesome there is) and then you review on every site this story appears. That's not easy. I thought it best to give some of the explanations at the end. Some of the cultural information came to me orally so you can't always look everything up. Traditionally, a lot of Native culture is passed on orally. The culture is embedded in the language which was never written down until recently (recently if you are looking at a very long comparative timeline). You know, I think I catch everything but some mistake will always show up in the final copy. I've got the ceremony scene written and it's been picked over by my Native readers. I hope it reads well. You'll be seeing that soon. Wopila Tanka, my friend.
I think everyone who read your first chapter note answered, "Yes!"
Wopila tanka for always wanting to work on your story and for not minding my suggestions! Beta-ing lends itself to heavy concrit without much constructive praise to lighten it, so I hope you know how much I enjoy Bella's characterization (you've put the 'fun' in dysfunctional) and the Lakota culture that adds a unique touch to the story. :)
Author's Response: I proudly take that as a compliment--that I put the 'fun' in dysfunctional:D I'm all about dysfunctionality. You have to laugh at it. I don't know--maybe I should be worried. Bella's behavior comes out of my mind, after all. I'm so glad you like "my" Bella, though. I've always found her to be fascinating--so bright, so powerful. It's so painful to see someone like that fall so hard. She really didn't deserve all that but somehow got forced into the things she did. I love to compare things. This story gives me a chance to compare a fantasy culture to a living culture. There are a lot of similarities as well as differences. I'm having a lot of fun writing and I'm learning a lot--thanks to you, my mentor.
You have to worry for Jason and Wanbli because you're the writer, and less callous than readers who look forward to them suffering for our amusement, LOL.
I'm not a perfectionist, I just want you to polish your story to make it shiny and attractive to readers. :)
Author's Response: And, since I'm the writer, I also know what Bella's capable of and I know what's going to happen:D I only hope those two young men get back home safely and that they don't annoy Bella overly much:P I wonder if Jason's and Wanbli's impressions of the British are affected negatively by what they think of Bella. She's so naughty. I don't think her family has half an idea of what she does. If they find out they will be shocked and mortified. Whether you're a perfectionist or not, I'm thankful for everything you do. I've learned a lot. It's true, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Thanks for your review. I must admit that sometimes what I read is affected by the number of reviews there are, so I appreciate every last one I get.
I see Helena Bonham Carter when I read your story, so I can imagine her doing just about anything. :D
I've said it before, heh, but I really enjoy Bella's snarky comments. The "insipid" one makes me think even though she'd deny it Bella is a tad jealous of Cissy. It makes her more human, easier to relate to than when she's blasting rats, :D. Her observations of the patrons at Angel's Crossing were amusing, too. She's so arrogant, thinking if she speaks to Gabe he'll change his policy of giving meals away.
Author's Response: I agree. When I write Bella I think of Helena Bonham Carter. They sure picked the perfect person to play that role. The characteristics that make Bella interesting and amusing to us, can also turn people off. Bella's independent and strong. Cissy wants to please people. She's a cute little blonde. While Bella's doing what she pleases, she sometimes wants people to like her. Cissy can do that--make people like her while Bella's honest snarkiness makes people dislike her. Give me a Bella any day. She makes life interesting. I think Gabe sees himself as a mondern-day warrior. Not only does he see himself that way but he "walks the talk." That attracts Bella as much as his looks do. At the same time, she doesn't like to give things away. Her lifestyle is at odds with that of a warrior. I think he'll listen to Bella's comments but he won't change the way he lives. Thanks for your reviews. They mean a lot to me.
A very descriptive and informative chapter. I liked learning about the drumming and am very curious about the Lakota ceremony now.
Bella was awesome as usual: possessive, seductive, evasive - all Bella. You're really doing an awesome job with her, and I can't wait to see where the next chapter takes us.
Author's Response: I'm working on Chapter 7 right now. It should be interesting. I'm excited about it. I hope there will be a few surprises for people. I'm so glad you're finding Bella awesome. She has to be halfways normal right now so she can function in Muggle society but still show hints of her insanity later. I'm trying to add a little humor to the story although in the end there's nothing humorous about Bella and what she does to people. I was very interested to hear that you have only published about half of your stories. I think I teased you at the time about the story you wrote (the exact title escapes me--was it Carry Me Home?) about Draco in his old age, crawling toward Ginny's grave. That was so touching. Even though it wasn't written with your usual humor, I still remember that story. It was written with so much feeling. I remember thinking--that's true love. Anyway, I guess I turned this into a review of your work:D Look for the next chapter in the next couple of weeks. It should be written this weekend but sometimes it takes a while to get validated. See you next time and thanks for the review.
Since the story's so well-edited, ^_~, I read this chapter with an eye for characterization, and what really struck me was how much Bella resembles a rebellious teenager. Her huge sighs, the way she widens her eyes innocently to hide her wild antics and imaginings. Her jealousy and pranks.
I think it's the Victorian-like tradition pure-bloods have of keeping daughters living at home with no job until they marry a wizard who meets their requirements of wealth, blood purity, and political views.
So here's this woman with arrested development and mental issues attracted to a man who's her polar opposite. While it might not make for a happily ever after, it will never be boring!
Author's Response: I must admit, I'm very pleased with the editing. It looks like someone did a lot of work on that. You know how first drafts can be:D I think you've hit the nail on the head with your description of Bella's character. She's the oldest daughter in an old pure-blood family. They probably appear to have money but really don't. But, after all, it's appearances that count. As a pure-blood she hasn't been out in the world very much. She's a rebellious sort and wants to be independent. I think she started out wanting to "play" with her Muggle artist, in a way to spite her family, but their relationship seems to be getting more serious. I worry about that nice young artist. I'm afraid she's going to break his heart. I'm not sure how committed Bella can be. I could be wrong, I hope I'm wrong. I have Chapter 6 waiting to be validated and a Christmas story. I'd appreciate your comments:D so be on the lookout for them. Be sure to have a Happy Christmas. See you next time.
Long overdue to leave some remarks, I know. All packed for guilt trip, lol. That being said, I’m really enjoying your story. Gabe is a great character and I can’t wait to see how his Native American mysticism plays against Bella’s magical heritage. Or could he even be a shaman in disguise… so many rich possibilities. The details about the smudging ceremony read just as exotic as the workings of the magical world to regular Muggles like me, wonderful touch. The dogs are great, but I’m a dog person so that’s a given. Please don’t let anything happen to them, I can’t bear that.
Lots of suspense created by your chapter notes about the cataclysm that’s going to throw Bella over the edge. Will you be interjecting any of this into the actual narrative, though? I guess it all depends upon whether you want readers to enjoy the opening chapters with a sense of impending doom, or whether you want to pounce it on them unexpected. Your choice, either way. Knowing how heartless and evil the pure-blood fanatics can be, the possibilities are dire indeed. Loved the way that Bella showed up drunk before Rodolphus – I don’t think she managed to repulse him as she much as she had hoped, though.
The name of Onyx for the Black family house-elf is priceless. Coincidentally (again), the black lab that I recently adopted from my sister-in-law is named Onyx. I would’ve preferred to call him Seriously Black, myself. Keep up the excellent work; I look forward to the next chapter.
Author's Response: I found out late last night that "A Black Brunch" had been rejected on another website because I said "drunk" in the chapter summary. Bummer!! When I checked MNFF this morning and saw your review, well, that made up for it. I felt I was on the right track. Not only have I been busy with writing but work's been real busy also. I'm looking forward to Christmas break which starts tomorrow and runs until after New Year's. I plan to get a lot of reading and writing taken care of. I'll be submitting Ch. 6 in a couple of days. Based on your review, I think you'll really enjoy it. I'm also working on a one-shot Christmas story. I'm not finished with that yet so I hope it works out. Hmm, Gabe as a shaman? Could be--I'm not telling:D You'll have to read and find out. I'm not planning for anything bad to happen to the dogs. That would just break my heart beyond repair. They're based on dogs I once owned and they lived good, loyal lives. There's no reason to hurt them even in fiction. Unfortunately, the same doesn't go for Bella. As bad as the character she becomes, she doesn't deserve what will happen to her. Readers will be witnesses to the entire hideous tragedy. When Molly yells, "Not my daughter, you bitch." (I think that's how it's stated) something's gonna snap in Bella and she's going to want to die. So, Molly's curse will be a blessing. Poor Gabe's heart will be shattered but I'm not sure if he'll totally understand what happened until he's much older. I hope I haven't told too much:D I bought a Great Dane puppy over the summer. He'll be nine months old right after Christmas. He's black with a white chest and white tips that are polka-dotted on his feet. His name is Mayhem Ange-Noir and he's quite a handful. i keep waiting for him to be the world's biggest lap dog like I was promised:D Thanks so much for your review. I'm inspired to write on!! To the keyboard!!
She’d be the perfect doting mother, putting her smothering skills to good use.
*snorts* Brilliant. Hehe.
I really liked Bella in this: she was funny, snarky, bitchy, and full of attitude. Keep it up!
Author's Response: I see Bella and Cissy as being about as different as night and day but still hopelessly intertwined. I have a friend, also my beta, who suggested that Cissy is an enabler to her very independent, slightly nutty, and possibly alcoholic older sister. I think Cissy cares a little more about appearances while Bella is very much into doing what makes her feel good no matter what it looks like. I have a number of local friends and family members who are convinced that I'm Bella. I've been asked if I'm really that bitchy or if I really did that to someone. (I'm always frowning at them and saying--"You've know me most of my life. What do you think?" To which I get a wink and a smile.) I must admit that when I'm in doubt as to how to write Bella I search my brain for instances of my most outrageous behavior or things I wish I could do:D I've said before, in response to a review, that many of the things in this story do have their basis in reality. I once owned a Newfoundland named Sampson and a Great Pyrenees named Jacob. Remember the scene when Bella was watching a father with three children eating in the gallery? That was really me with my three children in a Chinese restaurant in Cambridge, MA. As was the Mum pushing the pram with her foot while reading a textbook. Anyway, I don't know why I went off on a tangent like this--maybe to reassure you that I plan to keep up my characterization of Bella. I have lots of stories to tell:D Thanks for your review. I respect your opinion and admire your work so they come as high praise to me. See you next time. Chapter 6 should be coming up before too long.
It's interesting to note how Bella has a low opinion of Voldemort in her youth, which we know changes (i.e. she lusts after the bloke). I'm curious if you'll ever show us what changes her mind.
I like how you show us the side of Bella we've scene in her later years (i.e. a crazy bitch), but you also demonstrate her insecurities, in her youth - primarily a subtle envy of Narcissa. And it was almost sweet the way she was trying to impress Gabe. ^_^
The closing scene was also rather amusing. I'm liking your Bella, m'dear. ^^
Author's Response: Right now, Bella has mixed feelings for Voldemort. If you'll remember from the first chapter, she very much admires Voldemort's magical power. She's very enticed by that power. She's into appearances but she's seduced by power and whomever wields it. On the other hand, she's falling in love with an American Muggle. This has got to be the epitome of thumbing her nose at her family. He's so exotically attractive to her: he's dark skinned, tall, independent, kind,--some of the things she's not used to with the pasty faced Wizards. Not only is he a Muggle but he's an American minority, of mixed blood, and he honestly has to work for his money. Her family would cross the street to avoid him but he's so beautiful to her. I plan to show, many chapters from now, how she turns to the Death Eaters and why she cruelly wants to take revenge on all Muggles for the tragedy she believes they are responsible for. This will be humorous but so tragic in the end. Thanks for reading. Your comments mean a lot to me.
I'm really enjoying this story! It's a very different view of Bella but also very IC. I really like the way her skills at manipulating/ getting away with not quite but possibly later murder are here in a non-extremist Bella. Looking forward to the next chapter!
Just a quick question- if Bella is 19 in your fic how old is Narcissa? And will we be meeting Andromeda soon (sorry she's my favourite character atm and looking forward to seeing her and Bella's relationship)! Can't wait for the next chapter! Alex x
Author's Response: Thank you so much for your kind and lovely review. You've made my day! I think I've mentioned in other responses, that I see Bella as a very intelligent, powerful, and beautiful woman. Beautiful and intelligent people can be plagued by mental illness and can be broken by extreme tragedy. I truly believe that Bella wasn't always a cruel and evil witch. I think she had hopes and dreams and I think she might be shocked if she could look into the future and see what she becomes and how she dies 20 years down the road. I guess I wanted to give Bella a few happy months and a few dreams. I wanted to give a reason as to why she becomes such a horrible person. I'm thankful that JKR left little me some space to play with Bella and get to know her. Maybe I shouldn't say this but if you are someone who is afraid of emotion, afraid of laughter, afraid of tears--you shouldn't read this. I'm going to take you on a helluvaride!! And, I'll be laughing and crying right along with you. Thanks for bringing up your questions at the end. I guess I'd better deal with this somehow. According to canon, Bella was born in 1951. This story is taking place in the summer-fall of 1978 through early summer of 1980, so Bella would be 27, as is Gabe. When I'm reading a story I always like to have an idea of the timeline yet I haven't given you one. I apologize and will find some way to remedy that. I'm embarrassed to say I don't remember whether Bella or Cissy is the oldest--I think Bella is. (I need to look that up for sure.) I need to bring Andromeda in soon. I think she'd be able to empathize the best with Bella right now, don't you. While I know where the story is going and where it will end, I don't know a lot of the specifics yet--until I sit down and write. Again, thanks. I think you've inspired me to go off and work on Chapter 6. What pranks do you Bella will pull this time? Those poor Yank friends of Gabe's. They don't stand a chance.
I am so glad the two finally met. I love the meeting between the two and laugh at Bella's artful manipulation. It's so Bella. And I loved her dig at her cousin, Sirius). *snorts* (Oh, 'Merlot' is always capitalised).
Your descriptions of the artwork are wonderful. I can actually see them. My only qualm is with the constant PoV shifts towards the end. I kind of feel like this entire chapter should have been told from Bella's PoV or at least divided by scene.
Having said that, I'm quite excited to see what will happen next. Loving the UST between Gabe and Bella. Keep up the good work, love.
Author's Response: Sorry it took me so long to reply to your review. My desktop started to act up last week and I hate using my laptop. I waited until I got to work so I could use that desktop. I'm delighted that you found Chapter 3. I'm so glad that you you could "see" the paintings. I'm not much of an artist myself so I wasn't sure how to describe them and make them sound amazing to Bella. The paintings had to be amazing to her since that's one of the things that drew her to Gabe. I'm also glad that you agree with my characterization of Bella--that you find her believable. We have to remember that she was once young and had hopes and dreams like anyone else--that she was somewhat normal before she was manipulated into being the cruel and evil person she became. Since Merlot is capitalized I'll bet that Burgundy is too. That's coming up in the next chapter and won't be capitalized either. Thanks also for the PoV comment. I tend to be guilty of switching PoVs all of a sudden, so I'll try to watch it. Chapter 4 has been waiting to be validated for a week (tomorrow) so I hope to see it published very soon. Thanks for reading and taking the time to review. I'll see you next time.
I'm so glad they chose Helena Bonham Carter to be Bellatrix in the movies because she's my mental image for the character now and I can absolutely see her drinking, flirting, and gloating that she's manipulated everything to her satisfaction.
Gabe is confident with mean drunks, not so confident with a woman like Bella. I like him more for that. And it's always a plus when a guy wears leather and smells good too. ;)
I did notice while rereading that there’s no time/day context when the pov shifts from Bella and “Gabe took the dogs for a run and came . . . .” Is it happening at night? It would be good to know to help picture the scene. Also, the term “smudged”, while explained before, might be hard for readers to immediately recall. If you put “That night, when Gabe performed the smudging ceremony” I think it would jog memories, or at least give a clearer mental image.
Near the end, Bella dancing in the dark is an unexpected image. It made me relate to her more, and made me hum Bruce Springsteen. :)
Author's Response: I always picture Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix too. I really think she was a free spirit. She was out to have fun but something tragic happened that totally changed her lifestyle. I can see her out partying and having a good time. Gabe is a sweetie. He's almost innocent when compared to Bella, but he will try to protect her, as a good warrior should. He thinks he's man enough to handle Bella and maybe he is during these months when they were so happy. As for her dancing in the dark, it's interesting to note that she was probably doing a traditional women's dance while listening to a Native drum group. When you're listening to the drum it's hard not to dance. It goes straight to your center and you can feel its power. That's what Bella identified with. The drum is called "the heartbeat of the people." I agree with your comments and will try to pay attention in the future. I know what time of day it is but I guess it would help if I told everyone else:D I'm also familiar with the term "smudging" so I think other people are too. As I said, those are good points and I will try to incorporate them in the future. Thanks for your review and I'll see you next time. I just submitted Chapter 4, entitled "Friends" this evening so keep an eye out for it.