Reviews by Domestic Duchess
Summary: *COMPLETE*With her parents dead and her brother missing, a young Rohirrim girl sets out on a journey of a lifetime. She is on her own in the world, left to face tragedy and wrongful accusations. She must find her way or become just another statistic. It is her desire to find love and peace that pushes her on. When she meets an elf, she sees where she can find such solitude, but the path that leads her there is full of challenges.
Categories: Book-verse, Off Topic Characters: Legolas, Original Character
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Erotica, Romance
Warnings: Graphic Sex, Violence
Series: None
Chapters: 72 Table of Contents
Completed: Yes Word count: 294948 Read Count: 109603
Published: May 23 2011 Updated: Jun 22 2012 [Report This]
Title: Chapter 36: 36 Weightless Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
So after a couple of long bad days, I decided that coming home and reading this was my top priority today!
Funny you should write about something in here becaus I've been thinking alot about it myself in writing a scene with Eomer and Eothain.
You say something about Terr giving herself to Fer without asking for anything in return. So in thinking about what love really is, I decided that real love is giving all of yourself without asking for anything in return. And, yes, trust does play a part in this, especially for women.
The second thing i really liked was when Fer was looming over Terr in the kitchen or whatever and asked if he was going to hit her. Fer is great power held in check. He could hurt her and he knows it, yet his code of honor forbids those sorts of displays of violence. In Diana Gabaldon's new book her prolouge (she writes the best prolouges), she writes about "bloody men". A man who will kill and maim in battle, a man who will crush his enemy's throat with his boot is the same man who, when he returns home, holds his daughter on his knee and speaks gently to his wife. This is most certainly Fer.
Okay and here's the third thing. There's a song by this group called Bright Eyes... Lover I don't have to love. I think its about hooking up and having a one night stand. Its actually a rather beautiful yet erotic song. I'll link it to you if I can find it. (One of my fav songs and I don't have many of those.) But, one of the last lines is Love's an excuse to get hurt, and to hurt.
(I acutally think this is the offical video for this song. I love the bit with the dairy cattle in the back. wtf?)
Your love scenes are always moist and steamy! lol But this one was sensual too.

Author's Response: I am really very flattered by your first sentence. Hope your bad days are all behind you now. You know, it's funny, but I was think too how much I like that characteristic of the medieval man, able to strike down his enemy with the same hand that cradles his child. I think it is just such a romantic thought. DG nails it with Jamie, which is why I love him so much. And I think it is just as romantic for the woman to know she's the one who can calm the beast so to say. She has just as much if not more power than the man. I checked out the link you put here. Great song! I think your right about it being a one nighter, but it's almost like it could be interpreted in more ways than one. Sometimes I thought it was about a drug addict too, the drug being the lover. Very interesting.
Date: Nov 30 2011
Title: Chapter 37: 37 Lost Trinkets, Old Wounds Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
Ah! Finally, they've reached some kind of understanding! That's so nice to see! I loved seeing those flashes of Fer's considerate side. I guess it's true that the right woman really can tame even the wildest of men. You've made him vulerable but not weak, if that make sense, sensitive without emasculating him. Terr, typical what I think of as typical Rohirric woman, tough as nails on the outside, a survivor (well, she'd have to be inorder to just live in a place like that) but yet still a woman. She wouldn't want him to see her cry. She's got too much pride, i think.
Just wondering if he even cares if she is or is not a virgin, or did he even stop to consider. I don't think either way it would matter to him. It's probably not even important to the story. They just love each other an that's all that matters. And all that should matter.
Although this is a very tender scene, you can still feel the tension between them. They really do have that special spark.
Limil, she's such a good character. She fills her role in this story very well.
Very nicely written too.
I can't wait to see what happens from here!

Author's Response: I'm so glad Fer comes across this way. It is exactly how I wanted to show him. And Terr too. I wanted her to stay feminine without crossing a line. As for your question about her virtue, yes Fer knows about her relationship with Rosloch. They talked about that back when he was her guard and giving her a hard time. But of course, had she not been experienced, he would have shown her the same if not more compassion (otherwise he might have killed her, but in a good way, lol)
Date: Dec 07 2011
Title: Chapter 21: 21 Tired and Fed Up Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
Got a little philoshpical here at times. I thought the old lady in the apothecary shop was great. I liked the way you wrote that part where he thinks he's under the old lady's spell. Writing that kind of magical stuff, stuff you've never experienced is kind of hard to do.
Feredir can be charming when he wants. That's sexy! The mystery surrounding him is building tension!
This is my fav fan fic ever!
You should really think about adapting this in to a historical romance or historical romantic fantasy. The storyline, plot, and characters are exciting and compelling. This is a book that I would buy!

Author's Response: I wasn't quite sure the magic spell came across so I'm glad you mentioned it. One of these days I'm gonna try my hand at writing a fantasy romance. I have thought about it a lot and I would love to try something, but I feel I'd need to brush up on historical facts. Medieval is my favorite and would probably be the genre I'd use. Something to keep tucked away for later. It is so nice to have your support, Duchess. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Date: Sep 09 2011
Title: Chapter 10: 10 Finding Home Again Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
I really like Rosloch and Lindiel. Such genuine, kind hearted people. I like your descriptions of the city. We must think alot alike because my visions of it are very similar to yours.
The whole description of the interior of the house tells me alot about Lindiel, probably more than if you would have just said "the house was neat and tidy." I gleen alot about her through those details.
It's kind of a relief that Terr trusts Ros. And I'm still sad that she lost her butterfly. :(

Author's Response: Rosloch and Lindiel are good people and I hope to give them stories of their own some day. Isn't it funny how personal we as writers get with all our characters, even the second and sometimes third ranked (I guess that's what you could call them)? Taldred knew what he was doing when he handed Ter over to Ros. He would not trust her to just anyone. I had fun describing the house. I think it is the most I've put into something like that before. I put on some mood music and I was off and running with it. I'm glad you see Minas Tirith the same. Hey, great minds think alike right? lol
Date: Jul 23 2011
Title: Chapter 20: 20 Ruined Berries Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
Wow! What a fantastically well written chapter! The descriptions of the places, the people and the actions really brought it all to life!
What great humor and banter! They're both so strong willed, the I can cut the tension and conflict with a knife.
I can tell you put a lot of time and effort into character development. These two really pop off the page. They are well fleshed out.
Terrwyn reminds me a bit of Brianna Randall, Jamie Fraser's daughter.
Excited to read more!!

Author's Response: Ahhhhhhh! Don't tell me! I'm about 70 percent done with Outlander, according to my Kindle. I haven't read anything about a daughter yet. It's ok though. As much as those two go at it . . . Fer and Ter really speak to me, especially when they are together. He's being an ass and, prisoner or not, she won't listen to it. But he also has a soft spot for her, even if she drives him nuts.
Date: Sep 04 2011
Title: Chapter 5: Escape Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
I like this Taldred. He seems like a good guy and a loyal friend. Sort of pig headed like I imagine Rohirric men might be.
I like Terrwyn. She's resourceful and she's got skills!
You do a good job of advancing the story line. This is a really unique idea!

Author's Response: Taldred has really grown on me too. Terrwyn is lucky to have someone like him to watch out for her. And he just adores her. Terrwyn is slowly coming into her own. As I write, I get to know her better and I hope the reader will too. She is no wimp and when the situation becomes difficult she can cowgirl up. But like any young girl, she is looking for love. Still, she will not go with just anyone. She is looking for someone special, someone worth giving her heart to. I'm glad you like how things are going so far. Lots more to come.
Date: Jun 20 2011
Title: Chapter 9: 9 Shadow Man Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
Oo! What an intersting development! I always like the tension you build in stories. Tension is one of those things that's had to define in words, but when you feel it, you know what it is.
That's kind of sad that she lost the flutterby. It meant so much to her... I hope she will get it back.
I like the name you called the Haradrim leader. Shadow man almost sounds like some kind of fallen super hero or something. lol
This is so interesting I always look foward to a new update. Actually, it kind of made my day considering how rude one of my writing group memebers was last night... Make me wish I could be in a writing class with more people like you! You know, those who are creative and open minded and write because we have a passion for our characters, the craft and the human condition and not psuedo intellecdtuals who look down there nose at unsophisticated romance writers. Let's all give ourselves a pat on the back!!

Author's Response: Haha!! I never thought of it like that. Shadow man, I guess it is kind of fallen hero-ish. Well, I'm glad I could cheer you up. You know, real writers write from the heart. Screw rules. Everyone needs romance. Everyone wants to feel their heart pound in their chest when two people realize they love each other. Our characters are more than just a name, more than just letters on a page. They are real to us. We love them, we want to protect them, we want them to shine and make others feel good. I think you are right. We all deserve some credit for what we do. It's not easy, frustrating at times, but we do it because we have to. Just like music, there are all kinds, classical, jazz, rock and roll, heavy metal death punk (whatever). But it is all music and it is how we express ourselves. One is not better than the other and anyone that thinks that way is shallow. I'd much rather read you than many published authors who are supposed to be best of the best. We romance writers gotta stick together.
Date: Jul 15 2011
Title: Chapter 26: 26 The Healer's Wife Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
No doubt about it, I can actually feel the tension there between Fer and Terr. It's electric, crackling.
The banter between the Master and Limil was great. They're like an old married couple, bickering, and nagging each other, but it's all for show. You can see that they are still in love after all these years.
Fer isn't a complete a-hole. There is some bit of gallantry to him. There's something sexy about a man chopping wood too. I don't know what it is, though. The conquoring of nature? I'm not sure, but I liked the image of Fer's sexiness, rawness, sheer power or strength (?) that I don't see written in elves much.
I really do like your more progressive view (again, progressive here is forward thinking and not the liberal progresive-ism that's normally associated with the word) of Middle earth in the Fourth Age. It is a different world, a different time, with lots of changes... for some reason it makes me think of the Enlightenment.
Lots of other things I liked, good similies, and oh! I like that part where they're discussing his scars and he pauses and says, Ex lovers! LOL We haven't see much of his playful side. He has a sense of humor!! And he gave her a pet name. You don't do that to someone you don't care about!
Terrwyn is so stoic. She has a heavy cross to bear for one so young.
I wonder if the Master and his wife will play any sort of role in Terr's life once she has to return to Rohan.
Sorry about my earlier rambling email... I had all day to think about it while I was working.

Author's Response: Curuven and Limil are fun to write for. They just seem to have this romance that never stopped, and the bickering is never serious of course. As for a man chopping wood, it's not hard to figure out what's so sexy about it. Iron muscles moving beneath smooth skin, definitely strength and wanting to know just what it would feel like to be surrounded by all that power. I could keep going on but then I'll end up taking a cold shower, lol. I'm glad you like what I'm doing with Middle-earth as a look into it's future. I don't want to veer too far off track and some of the things you mentioned in your email made me think. I knew you would be a wealth of information and it was a big help so thank you thank you. Feredir is finally relaxing some and we are just now beginning to see different sides of him. He's proud of all of his accomplishments, and I do mean all. Ter is finally beginning to worm her way into his heart, but don't tell him that. He'll just deny it.
Date: Oct 05 2011
Title: Chapter 39: 39 A Spy In Ithilien Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
So, I'm a little ornery at the moment, and probably shouldn't review in this state of mind, but since this is the busiest and biggest week of my entire year, I may not have time to do it for a while so here goes...
The mystery part of this story has me sooo intrigued. You've done it so well, just letting it develop on its own. In all seriousness, I'm envious! I'm in suspense wanting to know what's going to happen here! Where did you get the whole message runner thing? That was so smart.
Also smart was that line about slaves not being traded often. Pure brilliant observation. Slaves always know all the dirty secrets about their masters... Probably why they are always protrayed as placid-faced. They don't want the master to know what they know.
That entire scene there interrogating the suspect was so witty, clever and smart! It could have come right out of an episode of NCIS. Replace G and R with Tony and Ziva and substitute the spy for some terrorist!
At the end here, this conversation between Fer and O is, in my opinion, some of the best stuff--prose or dialouge--you've written. Everything about it is wonderful. The dynamic, the reconcilliation, the understanding, the forgiveness, both spoken and unspoken. It really helps show that blood is thicker than water. Sometimes a man needs a brother--blood or otherwise--to protect his weak side...

Author's Response: I'm telling you, this is a crazy time for all of us, but I can imagine more so for you and your business. Well, honestly I don't know where the message runner idea came from except that I probably read it in a book or saw it in a movie and burried it in my subconscious. It just seemed to me that would be one way for the troops to stay in communication with each other. The slave thing kind of came from the Starz show, Spartacus. They know just about everything that goes on around the place and I don't think the royals realize just how much. But I think the Haradrim are more cunning and would keep slaves in check. You made me laugh with your NCIS comment. It was fun bringing Rhav in for this one. I think she enjoys playing good cop/bad cop (her being the bad one, lol). And lastly, I'm so glad you liked the F/O scene. They really needed this now, especially with all that is to come. No matter how much static is between them, they cannot deny the fact that they are brothers. They need each other. They love each other and knowing that will only make them that much stronger. Anyways, have a great Christmas and don't work too hard.
Date: Dec 20 2011
Title: Chapter 14: 14 Summoned Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
I love a good cliff hanger, but enough already! Just give the the rest of the darn story!LOL!I so look forward to reading this, it really does make my day when I see you've updated.
Well, sounds like things are sort of serious here. For sure on Rosloch's side, maybe not as much on Terr's side?
At first I thought maybe Rhav had summoned her. By why in the middle of the night? and then to come for Rosloch too? I liked the image of him in nothing but an old blanket!
Once again you do a good job of moving the story forward. Every chapter is interesting or exciting, probably why I look forward to reading so much. I know something is going to happen, we will learn more or discover something new.
Would you consider this story a quasi sort of romantic mystery? It sort of has that romantic suspense/thriller feel to it. Just a tad bit edgier than a "normal" romance.

Author's Response: I guess you could consider this a romantic mystery. It didn't start out that way, but I think it is developing into that. I so want to answer your questions, but you'll know in the next chapter. Things are taking a turn. Terrwyn's life is no longer her own. She's been discovered, but what will become of her?
Date: Aug 08 2011
Title: Chapter 33: 33 Son of a Hero Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
*Sigh* What a beautiful chapter, even thought it was bittersweet. It was a very unique and smart way to tell Feredir's backstory. A lovely way to "tell a story" rather than just marching the characters through the story timeline.
One of the topics you address in this chapter, intentionally or not, is how much of yourself or your personality is inherited and how much of you is a product of your enviroment. Diana Gabaldon addresses this idea in her later books, especially those involving Roger and Briana, so Congrats on writing like a pro! Clearly, Feredir has inherited some of his agressiveness and...passion from his father. Orth, though on the other hand, is basically a soldier from birth and doesn't seem to exhibit this same passion. It's just what he's always done. Fer also seems to have his mother's inner strength and, although he doesn't show it very often, her tenderness of heart. He obviously cares very deeply for his mother. She appears to have been his shield, probably sheltering him from what others said or did when he was younger. And you can see the influence of elven society on him...maybe that sense of justice or rightness?
Although he's a mixture of human and elf, ironically, he's more or less a black and white guy. There's not alot of gray area in Feredir's world.
What I think liked the most though was
the male/female dynamic between Laveth and Alagon. Males with always behave like males. And Alagon's inattention to his wife doesn't make him a bad guy. It's unfortunate, but he just is what he is. And likely he had this single minded focus when Laveth met him.
I understand why Laveth does what she does. She's looking for something to fill the void of her hubby and son's absense. A purpose, fulfillment. No one is paying attention to her at home. When that happens, any woman, or man, will look for attention elsewhere.
Yes, Laveth is strong. She has to be! She's the heroine in this tale, but strength doesn't always equate to bravery. I think Laveth is very brave to admit her indiscretions and continue to live among those who (perhaps) ridicule her and her son.
I see now the sort of connection between that one little story you wrote and this one!
Oh, I noticed you called Callo a widow. I think you mean widower. Easy enough to confuse.

Author's Response: This was exactly what I wanted to show here, Feredir's likeness to his mother and their special bond. He has her determination, her stubbornness and yes, her tenderness too. It shows every now and then when he thinks no one is looking. I think Laveth wishes she could have had more influence on Orth too, and maybe a small part of her did. We haven't seen it yet, but Orth has more scenes later in the story. He's not all that he seems to be so far. Laveth loved Alagon very much and she knew just who she was marrying, although she probably thought she'd have more involvement. So when the nest was empty, she went out and made a new life for herself. That was Alagon's downfall, not seeing her for all she could do. But then, had he not been the way he was, we'd never have Fer. So in the end everything happens for a reason. Oh, and thanks for pointing out that little slip. As many times as I went over this piece, I still missed that, but already fixed it. ;-)
Date: Nov 13 2011
Title: Chapter 34: 34 Kisses and Keyholes Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
I love Feredir's fierceness, his intensity. You've written him very consistantly. I disagree with the idea that characters don't always act in character. When they don't, they better have a good reason for not, otherwise they seem phony.
O really knows how to push Fer's buttons. And Fer reacts in the way O expects, the pig headed bugger. I don't think O is a bad guy, just an antagonizer. Is it possible O is jealous in some way of Fer? It doesn't really seem as if he hates Fer, but boy, there's anamosity there, possibly onn both sides.
Hmm... Terr, she's kind of a pervert! LOL

Author's Response: Honestly, I don't understand that statement that characters don't always act in character. How else are they supposed to act other than as themselves? Now, they develop and grow during a story, but they always keep that element that makes them them. So I agree with you on that (or agree with your disagreement, lol). Orth and Fer . . . my, my, my! There is definitely anamosity between them. There are issues they have yet to deal with, jealousy and envy, but hate, no they really don't hate each other. They are brothers that clash and in time they will see each other the way they were meant to be. And Terr . . . you gotta love a girl that peeks. I know I would, hehehe!!!
Date: Nov 17 2011
Title: Chapter 18: 18 Dusty Rafters Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
I like this Feredir. He's raw and sexual, like a panther, sleek and sexy and dark, stealthy. Mysterious and dangerous. Not like some of your other heros. That part of him that his human, that makes him a man is evident. Like all men, he has weaknesses and is vulnerable. Kind of a cad, kind of an ass, king of arrogant. maybe immature to a point... He reminds me of my brother. perhaps a little selfish. It is only him, after all. He has no one else to care for. Guys are like that sometimes, especially guys who are into themselves. Maybe a guy who lives by his own code.
I can already see his character will go through a lot of changing if he and Terr are to be together. I think she's far mor emotionally mature than he is.
The part where the floor boards are squeaking and the dust falls in the dwarf's beer is an absolute riot!! Good stuff there!
In only two chapters you've told us alot about Feredir. That's what showing rather than telling can do for a character.
He's very sexy and not knowing his whole story, what his motivations are, is making me want to read on, to find out about him. He's very compelling and I like how you keep emphasising this half elf half human ancestry.
Can't wait for more!

Author's Response: Thanks Duchess. I have to admit, I liked writing that part about the silence in the bar. I mean, this is Feredir after all. There'd be all kinds of noises coming from upstairs. Probably not the first time that happened either. He's a regular and Feona is one of his highlights. Feredir comes across so clearly to me. Maybe it's because I've known guys like him, not romantically, but as an insider in a man's world. I watched and learned so that I could fit in. Being a quiet person, a lot of the time they seemed to forget I was there. Men are very interesting and I really like writing for them, and Fer is by far my fave. In order for him to behave like this, I had to make him half-elvish. I think there has always been an internal conflict there and depending on the situation, he could be more one or the other. It's who he is. It's how he's survived. It's pushed him along and it very well may be a factor one day.
Date: Aug 26 2011
Title: Chapter 6: Into The Night Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
Uh! This is such a lovely story! Taldred is the perfect gentleman that every girl wants! You should really write a story centered around him. I do feel sorry for him cause he really does like her, she just doesn't feel the same in return. He is a true friend though and understands her dreams and desires.
This really was a nicely written chapter. Just enough description so I can see the movie going on in my head with out getting bogged down inthe minutia. You've done good varying your sentences wordings so everyone doesn't start He or She. Maybe some foreshadowing? You keep moving the story forward, wanting to make me read more right now! If this were a book, I don't know if I could put it down. I always look forward to reading the next post!

Author's Response: As I told Lisse, I think there is a story within a story here with Taldred. I really enjoy writing his kind of character and I kind of feel I owe it to him to have his story told. I'm so glad the descriptions and wording seems to be working. One thing that has influenced me is the book you recommended. Love her writing and I'm learning a lot by reading it. It's taken me a while to read, but with summer in full swing, my kid home for summer vacation and my writing time greatly limited, I've been able to catch up on my reading. It would be a dream to be able to write like her. Thanks for your recommendations. I never knew how inspiring it would be.
Date: Jun 29 2011
Title: Chapter 17: 17 The New Prisoner Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
No doubt about it, this is the best thing you've written!! The way you describe the city is so vivid. You didn't over do it either, just enough for the reader to get the feel for the place, what it looks like over all. The detail in the fountain with fingers and the faces... It seems like you know this place very well and like it. Therefore you have the ablitiy to make is seem real, draw me into it.
That first paragraph is so telling about Feredir, especially starting it off with a nonsequitur. You make him seem dark and mysterious right off the bat. Telling me he's half elf makes me what to know the rest of his story! He seems reckless and cocky, probably a little arrogant or full of himself. Maybe a chip on his shoulder because he's lived his whole life with that stigma of being half elf, being "different". Well, he is "young". I think you like this guy alot. I think he's badass and will imagine him looking like Jason Momoa. lol
Glandur, I like him alot more here than in Taming of the Wild. I like the way he talks, acts, commands. He's a real leader. Tough, yet compassionate.
You've got good solid stuff here! Good good stuff! So much that it's hard to list them all.
Such as smooth easy read, not choppy or hesitant. Excellent, believable dialouge that shows rather than tells what the characters are like. That's not always an easy thing to do.
This was a long chapter for you but it read like a chapter with half as many words.
I bet you were excited to write this chapter. I'm excited to read the rest of the chapters! Please post again soon!

Author's Response: Jason Momoa, hmmm. Love the bod on him and minus the facial hair, he is definitely in the running for the roll of Feredir. For the fountain, I remembered a scene in LOTR where there is a headboard with an elvish lady standing with her arms held out. It's in Rivendell and I always thought the architecture portrayed was so beautiful. That was my inspiration. As for Feredir, yes I like him a lot. He's got a rough and toughness about him that I find very appealing. He did not get this way because he was born into it, like royalty who have to behave that way because it is expected of them. (sorry Legolas). Feredir has earned the right to be a bad ass. He is constantly having to prove himself. His story will come out later in the story. I'm very happy you like Glandur. You know his story, kind of, from Taming. This is who he is outside of the house. He's in charge and must behave accordingly, yet he knows when the rules can be broken. He also knows Feredir's story and looks out from him as best he can while still remaining in command. I was really excited to finally write this chapter, being Feredir has been on my mind since I first came up with the idea. Now I'm glad to be to the point where I can share him with you and the other readers. Thanks again for pointing out the things I'm doing right. It helps me out a lot. (as a friend of mine always says 'I told you so').
Date: Aug 22 2011
Title: Chapter 32: 32 And Along Came Naru Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
Such a beautiful chapter. And well written. Some good similies.
I sort of saw the Orthorien think coming but not the half brother part. That makes it a bit more intersting.
Feredir is well fleshed out in this chapter. He's very much a tortured soul. Really sort of alone in the world if not lonely. His insecurities make him sympathetic and real. Terr really is his balance, isn't she. And he's like her rock. I could feel the tension between him and Ortho.
Knowing how unpredictibly you write sometimes I have no idea where this story will go or end up. This is a good thing as far as I'm concerned! I have sort of a bad feeling about what might happen but that's why I keep reading! Cause I can't wait to find out!

Author's Response: You pegged it about Fer and Ter. They really to even each other out, and more so in the future. I have to laugh at some of your guesses and I almost felt like Orth's identity might be a let down. Really like that one idea about a mystery man turning out to be the father. Like you said, may be fuel for another story. Fer and Orth have a lot to work out. There's quite a bit of animosity between them. It will be explained as well as Fer's parents history. I like that you think I'm unpredictible. I just hope it doesn't go into confusing. But I try to remember that simple is better.
Date: Nov 03 2011
Title: Chapter 1: Memories Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
okay, so one time, i was reading advice for writers from writers and one of the things one of the writers said not to do was open with a dream sequence. Most of the advice was along that same vein... don't do this... don't do that.. I was so discouraged when I finished reading all that I thought, okay, now exactly what can I do!!?? Just because someone else thinks it can't be done, doesn't mean you shouldn't do it! So I say yes! it's perfectly fine to open with a dream sequence as long as it has something to do with the rest of the story. The opening here certainly does, I can tell that without reading the rest of the story. It's not like she's just running around flying kites and picking flowers. you're telling us this for a purpose and using it as a hook to get us to read the rest of the story. who cares if the characters are cannon or not. I'm living vicariously through these people and I want to be able to relate to her and fall in love with him no matter who they are. Your character names are always unique.. I'd like to know how you come up with them! Over all smooth read. Nothing halting or oddly worded sentences that make me read it over several times. Frankly, I think you're a better writer than alot of these category romance authors. You know the type that use the awkward 'had had' or 'that that' together in a sentence and it makes you go 'that's the best you can do?' I don't think I've ever seen you do that. Oh yeah, and you're like, wow, extremely creative!!

Author's Response: Again, I'm all smiles reading your review. I can definitely see what you're saying about opening with a dream sequence. I guess you don't want to open with something that has nothing to do with the story. Here, Terrwyn is having more of a memory than a dream. She's not dreaming that she's taking a bath in a toilet and accidentally flushes herself (ok, maybe that was my dream, lol). This is something that actually happened to her. Honestly, when I wrote this I had no idea what was happening and told myself, 'OK, now you've committed yourself to a scene that you haven't even written yet.', if that makes sense. But it felt good and it felt right. As far as character names (and I guess I should give credit where credit is due), most elvish names come from or Gondorian names come from realelvish too. But Rohirric names I have made up on my own by looking at Old Norse or Welsh names. I kind of split them apart and add 'dred, 'mund, 'wyn, etc. on the end and ba-da-bing, Rohan names. If it sounds poetic and rolls off the tongue easily, it's a keeper. Again, your encouraging words mean so much. I'm glad it seems to be off to a good start. This one is a challenge for me, as I'm not following any pre-existing Tolkien timeline. There's not much said for the 4th age and it's become somewhat of a very big and sometimes intimidating playground, but I'm having a blast playing here and hopefully so will everyone else.
Date: May 23 2011
Title: Chapter 48: 48 Keep Hope Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
Cool! Two posts so close together! I think you're doing a good job of showing how bad/depressing/hopeless it is for Terrwyn. It's all dark and dank and musty smelling down there. The part where Horphen is the outside observer in the hall was good. And I'm happy to see Tal back! I wonder if he'll play any other role here again or not?
You portray Erkenbrand as very hard handed, and I don't think that's entirely out of line. He's in a tought spot and got big shoes to fill, keep law and order. He can't waver an inch from his duty or he might be seen as weak or wishy washy. I don't think his attitude toward Horphen, Terrwyn or Tal is cruel although one on rooting for Terrwyn might see it that way. he's charged with keeping law and order. He's got to see it done, but done in a way that will satisfy his own honor, the dead man and his family's honor, Terrwyn's honor, even Eomer's honor. He's no longer just a soldier, but now a politian, walking that fine line between doing what's right and pleasing the public.
The only thing I might quibble about is the part where you say peple come from miles around to see the execution. They are not cruel people, as a culture, so I'm not exactly sure they would find pleasure in watching someone be executed. (This is over simplifing it, I know, but I'll spare you my rambling) If this were France or England, definately! But, here again, we go back to story logic. You've set this world up from the begining saying this is what would happen if she were brought to trial. If you always showed the Rohirrim as soft and fuzzy and the men like milk toast, then taking the story down this path would make no sense. And what the heck, your story, your world, your interpretaion, your characters! Plus, it adds tension and the unknown to the story.
Does this chapter possibly link up with the very first chapter? If so, that's awesome!
Once again, I think this chapter is a good example of a character's greatest strength also being his/her greatest weakness. That whole mortality/immortality thing is such a deep and difficult topic to touch on. There's so much to say about it because it's all emotion and feeling. no Logic to it at all.

Author's Response: It's been a while since I mentioned Taldred and I knew he'd have to be involved somehow. I also wanted to give him a chance to let the reader know what has happened to him since we last heard from him. Life is good for the young Rohirrim. Glad you liked Erkenbrand. I'm really out of my comfort zone here so if he came across as you mentioned then I'm glad. That's how I wanted it to seem. As far as your questioning of the execution situation, well I needed it to be this way in order for the story to advance correctly. As you said, we all have our own interpretation. I'm also working in fourth age and trying to show things a little differently, how life might have changed some now that men are on their own and no longer under the thumb of evil. And I truly don't believe they were all this way, but some were. So there is a reason for my madness. You are absolutely spot on about this chapter being a direct link with the opening of the story. When she is dreaming of Fer and wakes up alone and desolate, this is that moment. I'm so glad you saw that and I hope others make the connection.
Date: Feb 11 2012
Title: Chapter 2: Life As She Once Knew It Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
I think this is a rather realistic portrayal of what life might have been like in Rohan at the end of the third age/start of the fourth age. War is war. Men die, women suffer. I can just see the heads of feminists exploding, you know, cause women have never traded sexual favors for survivial. It's just a reality in uncivilized times or in uncivilized places. I think it would have been a difficult existence for an unmarried woman.
Terrwyn is a persistant little heroine isn't she?! Brave, resiliant. Traits of the Rohirrim, but traits they would have to have living in a rather desolate or isolated place.
Some good imagery a couple times here too. This seems like it is going to be an exciting story, maybe a little mystery too! Looking forward to the next chapter!

Author's Response: Like you have mentioned about your own story, life after the Ring was not all glory and cheer. There must still be bad men out there who don't agree with the choice of King. I kind of see them like terrorists, without the exploding jackets. They feel like their lands are being threatened and they're being pushed back. They are greedy and will not give up until they take back what they think is rightfully theirs, or they die trying. Still, they are cowardly men and immediately target the weak, those poor Rohirrim living out on the plains where it may go unchecked. You know, let the feminists explode. These peoples lives are being threatened. Maybe their husbands will be killed if the women do not agree to trade favors. It's all a part of the crude survival of the times. I believe this is the time when there was still a lot of chaos. The King can only do so much in the beginning. The guards cannot be everywhere. Until order is completely restored, which doesn't happen over night, people are still going to suffer. I'm glad you like Terrwyn. She is still just a child, but she is a surviver.
Date: Jun 01 2011
Title: Chapter 53: 53 Judgment Day Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
Ha ha, good timing, Eomer! You've got some really good descriptive sentences too. But what's great here is the tension. It runs throughout the whole chapter from first word to last.
This story is what a good romance should be about. The stakes are high for everybody, not just Fer and Terr. Ugh! I can't wait for the next chapter!

Author's Response: Thanks again Duchess. I guess you're right about the stakes here. If Terr dies, it is not only Fer that will be affected. It will filter down through many other characters like a domino effect.
Date: Mar 08 2012
Title: Chapter 3: Last Wish Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
Oh My God! Anyone who is not reading this because it doesn't have cannon characters at the main characters is an idiot! Oh this is getting so good! It's great that there's some mystery to it and you're not giving it all to us.
Terrwyn is resourceful isn't she? Enterprising, almost entreprenurial. She's not afraid of work and makes a job for herself where ever she goes. She's also kind hearted and, I think, loyal.
If I have to read one more Regency romance where the heroine's only job is to go to musicales and afternoon salon, I'm going to yak. Terrwyn at least has a purpose.
I like Alric too. A very nice man with either a dark past or dark secrets.
I'm excited to see where this is going! I wish I would've come up with this one!

Author's Response: Your reviews are always as entertaining as your story. Yes, Terrwyn has learned a lot from living on the open plains. I think it will come in handy throughout this tale. She is basically on her own now. Alric was the best person that could have taken her in. She's grown up fast and he recognized that, teaching her the skills she needed to see that she could keep herself safe. And you're right, I'd rather read about an independent woman trying to survive than some pampered debutant. As for Alric, he got caught up in something he knew was wrong, but tried to correct it by doing what he thought was right. But there are some things that are not easily forgotten, which Terr will find out soon.
Date: Jun 06 2011
Title: Chapter 4: Trapped Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
I read once in one of my "How to write romance" books that you can't be afraid to do terrible things to your characters. I thought "oh okay, not so tough. I can do that." But it's really really a hard thing to do. Now, I'm not a big fan of the "rape fantasy" (I just don't see how a woman falls in love with a man who does that to her, or why anyone would find rape or sexual violence against women as a turn on)but in uncivilized times (or even in modern times)sexual violence against women was how men excerted thier dominance; it was used to humiliate, exploit, manipulate. Therefore I think it is very realistic in this situation.
Sometimes ambitious men (well, mostly men) will do anything to gain power, or wealth or influence even if it means betraying their own country. And clearly, there were men who did not possess the Rohirrim's social or cultural values; Grima, Grima's father, Fengel, these men here in the last scene.
You've got some really good dialouge here. I think some of the best dialouge you've written. Natural, flowing, very much like normal speaking. And I liked that paragraph describing the men. And really?! You write the best cliff hangers! It really doesn make me want to read the next chapter like, right now!

Author's Response: I agree with you here. I don't understand the rape fantasy idea. It is not a turn on in the least, as far as I'm concerned. And doing bad things to our characters, or putting them in harms way is difficult. I get very personal with my o.c.'s and I find that I want to protect them. But the fact is, things like this happened back then and still happen to this day. The difference is, it was dealt with differently then. Women were easier to use and a lot of the time nothing would be done about it. Thank you for your comments about the dialog, and yes, I have been accused of being a tease with the cliff hangers in the past. Actually, while originally writing this chapter, it was getting a little too long and I had to cut it in half. So it ended up like this, a cliffy. You don't know how much I want to post more than once a week. I have always posted at about a 5 day range. But I want to keep far enough ahead so that posting doesn't catch up to writing.
Date: Jun 13 2011
Title: Chapter 28: 28 Cooks and Books Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
For some reason, Limil reminds me of Geillis Duncan. I mean, without all the scheming! Maybe it's just that part where she makes casual conversation about the vase and then invites her into her own personal room. I like her though, Limil, not Geilis, and enjoyed her story. I love those little tidbits about supporting characters. I bet she's got lots of stories to tell!!lol
Your description of the vase is wonderful. Very, sort of elvish in it's description. I can actually see it.
Your descriptions of the upstairs rooms and Limil's study are very straight forward. I do like the way you told us about what her desk looked like. Very imaginative. But, my point is, yes, it's straight forward, but it also tells us alot about Limil and Curuven. It's character description, showing through telling, not just setting the scene. I think you've said before you don't like setting the scene or find it difficult or something to that effect, but that's why it is important to do so. Yes, you're right, the scene, in this case, does become the characters.
You've built up the tension right at the begining of this chapter so that we're compelled to keep reading!
Okay, so you know all this talk about elves... I always roll my eyes and groan at the hard core elf lovers. Really, I just don't get it (to each their own though!)... But! You write almost solely about elves and yet, I read your stuff almost exclusively. Not because it's about elves, but because there's something about the way you tell a story, or... how fertile your imagination compelling your characters are...your ability to hook me into the story...your understanding or romance or passion (the practical or otherwise)... your story development... the way you're able to convey stories about the human condition, that indefinable whatever that makes me want to read what you write. If I didn't think your stories were good, or if I started to read them and they bored me, frankly, I wouldn't take the time to read them.
I think maybe that's what separates your work from those of other writers of elvish romanance, be they het or slash. That you do the best work you can while still maintaining your perspective, not taking yourself too seriously. You're broad minded. You see the big picture and where you fit into it. Others may be better writers or have a better understanding of technique, but what they produce is sooooo boring, so uncompelling, and so lacking of understanding of the human condition (too philosphical) that I'd rather read the ingredient list on a can of soup. Just fricking entertain me for 15 mins! You always do that!

Author's Response: I don't know what else to say except thanks for all of you kind and encouraging words. OK, so I'm one of the elf lovers. The first step is admitting you have an obsession, LOL. But I've read so many fanfics about elves that are so generic, just pointing out the obvious facts. I already know all of that and I don't want to read or write about it. What I want to do is create a world where my own characters have their own lives, loves and tribulations. Anyone that knows LOTR or elves or anything else will know the rules. I'm here to show the stories that haven't been told. So I play in Tolkiens world while I do it. It's fun. It pushes me to think up my own timelines and plots. And though they are elves, they still need to act in a way that people can relate to. I'm just glad you have an interest in my stories. Your reviews, your suggestions and all the things you point out help me so much to make sure I'm staying on track and know that I'm still entertaining.
Date: Oct 12 2011
Title: Chapter 30: 30 The Injured Traveler Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
It just occured to me that I read this Chapter but never reviewed it! Sorry about that! I know reviews feed the soul and you look forward to them.
I wonder if this mysterious elf patient will play a bigger role in this story? Will he make advances towards Terr making Fer mad? or Oh! this just occured to me! Is this Fer's father?! That would rock! Have you told us yet who was the Gondorian--his mother or father? What a complication that would be if both father and son fell for the same girl! (This is just my imagination taking over... Possible fodder for another story for you there!)
The way you sort of wrote Terr's hesitancy around him is very believable. This mysterious new guy must be something else!
This sentence: Horphen smiled and patted Feredir on the back. “It’s good to have you back, brother.”
Is that brother as in companion or brother as in family relation. I guess I'll have to read on and see, but nice way to leave the scene open. Again, though, interesting possiblities.

Author's Response: No worries, but I am glad to hear from you. I gotta say, you have just as overactive an imagination as me, some really good guesses. I do have a chapter coming up that explains Feredir's heritage, but to let you in on it early, his mother was an elf and his father a Gondorian. Orth will be revealed next chapter. As for Horphen he is a brother in arms, not blood related. He's actually Fer's best friend and battle partner.
Date: Oct 26 2011
Title: Chapter 31: 31 A Job Well Done Reviewer: Domestic Duchess Signed
Arg! You're keeping us in suspense over who Orthrorien is! How cruel and positively great! There must be some real tension, and not of the good kind between those two.
You're doing a very good job of working in the mystery part of this story and building it, dropping little hints her and there, adding details. This story is a mystery, of a sort. Personally, I don't see how people write mysteries, they are so complex and require alot of planning. (So says the girl writing an enormously epic and complicated storyline lol. I read somewhere that Romantic Suspense/Thrillers are some of the more difficult stories to write. Probably since they have two actual plots instead of one plot and one sub plot.
That whole scene you did there with O and Terr was wonderful. It's so hard to write that fantastical stuff, especially if you've never experienced anything simliar to losing yourself is time and space. I did get this sense that she was involved with some inner struggle, losing her self or whatever, while time still went on around her or without her, as the case maybe. I thought it was wonderful writing.
I can sense the electricity between O and Terr too and was actually squirmy and upset that she might really want to run off with O!
Such a good start to this chapter too with a non sequetir.

Author's Response: In my previous review, I said Orth would be revealed next chp. I meant after this one, sorry. I'm much futther ahead in my writing than the chps I post and get lost sometimes. I'll tell you, this is my first attempt at a mystery/suspense/romance story and I didn't start out that way. It's taken on a life of its own, forcing me to get out of my comfort zone and it is not at all easy. I've written myself into a situation that I had to get out of, which meant going back and revising about 4 or 5 chapters. It's hard to look ahead without it being overwhelming. I've never second guessed myself so much, but I'm having a great time with it.
Date: Oct 26 2011