Beautiffuly done. I personally like Bella myself, so this made for an interesting read.
Author's Response: Thank you for taking the time to review. So few people do that it seems. I'm always happy when someone reads this story. Bellatrix Black Lestrange has always been one of my favorite characters. She is beautiful and has this mad insanity that makes everything she does crackle! I hope you read more as I introduce her Muggle artist lover:D See you next time.
Hello! It’s been a while since I reviewed so I thought I’d review too chapters at once. While reading them, I did feel that the last chapter was quite short and that Gabe’s ultimatum and chapter 14 could quite easily have made one full chapter, but that’s a minor quibble.
I love your characterisation of Bella throughout this story- but particularly in the details of how she dresses conservatively, over the clothes she wants to impress Gabe with. It’s just very Bella. I also loved the line “She already believed that she was better than other witches and wizards and more powerful. The question was did she need Tom’s philosophies? What was in it for her? She’d have to wait and see.” It shows that Bella, despite in her loyalty to Voldemort being quite unslytherin did start her sympathy with him based in self-interest, rather than some ideology or skewed sort of love.
I really enjoyed Gabe’s thoughts in chapter 14, and the way he’s so protective of Bella- I think its very natural to be jealous and realistic that Gabe, having grown so much closer to Bella, would want to meet, no matter how uptight and English Bella characterises them as.
- Your characterisation of Rodolphus is also really interesting- he seems rather awkward, dominated by his parents (and Bella’s) but then the line “It could be fun taming a wench like that” shows him as being capable of being a Death Eater, even though the reader knows he will not succeed with Bella, but someone else might. It’s sad that your Bella is caught between what’s good for her (Gabe) and what she wants/ thinks is expected of her in the Dark Lord and Rodolphus.
A couple of nitpicks- I found the sentence at the beginning of chapter 13 “Bella fought with Gabe in a horrible way the night before.” slightly clumsy. I mean when you fight with your lover, its always horrible- and since you go on to talk about the fight the reader can see for themselves that it was horrible. Also when I first read “He asked again to be her escort” it sounded a bit odd, but maybe that’s just because in the UK when ‘escort’ is used as a noun it means someone beautiful hired for the night. I also found it slightly strange that this late in the seventies Voldemort would be okay with talking to the Minister For Magic, but that’s probably due to my personal canon of how bad things were at this point rather than yours.
I love how the conflicts in this story are now coming to a head, and really glad you haven’t abandoned it. I can’t wait for the rest- Alex (oh, and congratulations on the new puppy!)
Author's Response: I'm embarrassed that it took me so long to respond to your review. One thing that I've learned is that reviews are precious and should be responded to as soon as possible. it seemed I was so busy with work for a while. Maybe now things will lighten up a little bit. I hope so. I still have about half of Bella's story to write yet. I noticed you've been writing a lot and I can't wait to get in there and read some more:D Your nitpicks were valid. No matter how many times I read and edit, it's still possible to miss something, like the "horrible way." Escort means the same thing in the United States--but I never meant it that way. I guess I'd better watch the words I use. I can see Death Eaters as being a little awkward at times in social situations. They're pure-bloods but very conservative. They're not as experienced as they'd like to be at times. I think Bella wants to go down the good path with Gabe but she's such a risk taker. She's going to gamble and spiral down. Some bad things are going to happen. Well, I will get out of here for now and see you next time. Thanks for reviewing.
I'm back! You can't keep me away from this story. Accidents be damned! ^_~
By the way, you're a big tease! I know the professor rating doesn't let you get away with much, but still! I wanted to see some BellaxGabe loving.
“Merlin’s hairy balls. I almost hexed you. You’re the last person I want in my bed. Not my type at all.”
Lol! I love your Bella. And I love how she managed her mum, like it was nothing. Hehe. I am curious about how this dinner will go and what Bella will think of Voldie. Oh, and I liked Gabe's description of a wild rose; it fits Bella to a tee.
Until next time, m'dear...
Author's Response: Are you back from your trip yet? I'm embarrassed that I took so long to respond. If you received my e-mail about my new puppy maybe you'll understand. He's the baby and he's been keeping me very busy. I was stalling with this chapter because I didn't know how to write the sex scene. My beta pretty much said to get on with it so I managed to avoid the whole thing.:D Sorry. Maybe next time I'll get up the courage to write what you want to read. Remember how Bella learned some of these little "management" tricks from her mum. At first I had her Imperious Mrs. Black but it wasn't time to get that drastic yet. Bella hasn't turned dark at this point. She's just a little ornery and likes to have her own way. Wild roses are really like I described them. They're so beautiful and they can hurt you so much--very much like Bella. See you next time. You do have another chapter of this story to read.
This will be a very quick review- sorry- I love how well Gabe and Bella get on, and the nickname Wild Rose, is a beautiful one. I think Gabe is going to get very badly hurt, unless he flees to America. I hope he does. I loved the line "Gabe forgot about painting for the next hour while Bella demonstrated just how not prickly she could be." But chilled strawberries and good wine? That man sure knows how to impress. That's one thing- he's very cosmopolitan. It makes me kind of wonder- when he moved from the countryside to the city then did he have an awkward settling in time adjusting to the sort of life he now has, or was he always smooth?
Bella Confunding her mother was a bit of a shock but so Bella. And I liked the way Cissy was at first shocked but quickly decided it was an excellent idea. And Bella's going to meet the Dark Lord? Can't wait :)
Yes, I did manage to squeeze one more entry into the Mysterious May competition. I've been writing rather a lot at the moment. If Gabe was a Pureblood I'm sure Bella would be showing him off--it's a pity she can't, because if he knew about the wizarding world she'd probably stay on the right side of it, or more likely neutral. It's interesting what you said in your response about Rain and Gabe. I hope she manages to look after him. Alex
Author's Response: I am sorry that it took me so long to reply to your review. It seems like I'm insanely busy but I don't have anything to show for my efforts. This is the busiest summer I've had in a long time but I can't say I've done anything. Maybe I got over excited about DH2 coming out. I'm glad you liked the nickname 'Wild Rose.' I was afraid that readers might find it silly. At the same time I felt the analogy of Bella to a wild rose was perfect. They are so beautiful but so painful to have contact with. With regard to Gabe, you have to remember that Gabe moved to South Dakota from Los Angeles. He and his parents are well educated and he's moved in some very intellectual and cosmopolitan circles. When he moved to South Dakota his lifestyle was ingrained and moving to London wasn't that much of a cultural shock. I think you're right. If Gabe knew about the wizarding world and his relationship with Bella could go public, she would very likely stay on the right side. Gabe would do anything to keep her safe but he doesn't know and by the time he finds out it will be too late. I really wish Bella could tell her family but she can't. Unfortunately, she's not brave enough and it will be too late when her family finds out and she finally decides to show some bravery. Her hand will be forced and that's different from being brave in the first place. Gabe does have some powerful protection though. We'll see how that helps him. I still have to read your last mystery. It was delightfully long and I have to make some time:D As always, thanks for your review. I always enjoy reading your insights.
This chapter was so lovely. I liked the way you characterised Bella as someone who thinks to some extent men can't help cheating. I strongly disagree, but that's so typical of the way you've characterised Bella in this story, and her whole attitude towards men and sex in general.
I loved the knife scene with Maggie. I was so worried Bella was going to stab her, and you could feel the tension and the fact that it was possible for Bella to stab her, but chose not because at that moment saving Maggie would make Bella seem better in Gabe's eyes. It's scary to think what she might do should impressing Gabe not be part of her plan at the moment.
And I've rather fallen in love with Gabe. That man sure knows how to be romantic- and yes, I don't think Bella would find someone screaming "It's a fascist regime!" that romantic. However- I do find that level of romance somewhat implausible (even on the rare occasion it happens in RL) and so the entry of the owl was just perfectly timed, as well as Bella's reaction to it. The ending, and them finally getting together, in spite of the foreboding of the knives and owls was rather lovely though. Alex
Author's Response: I think Bella's the sort of woman who has a lot of confidence in what she can do. She sees men as something she can use to her advantage or to play with. Even if she loves them, she sees them as weak and not to be trusted. At first I had Maggie tripping over something but I thought I'd try to be a little more creative:D And, Bella's all about looking good in Gabe's eyes. We know what she's capable of when Gabe's not around and she has no true love interest. Gabe is an intense romantic and he likes things beautifully simple. I just wish he'd be a little more wary around women like Bella. Thanks for the review. See you next time.
Hello! Sorry for taking ages to review- I'm about to fall asleep but if I don't review now I never will. So as usual I really liked this chapter. I particularly liked the interaction of Rain and Bella, within the dream world and Bella's ignorance of it. One thing though- thus far although you've hinted at Bella's interest in the Dark Lord she's never been explicitly involved. Which makes Rain's comment about it seem a bit premature. Also in the phrase "you are like a puny insect in comparison" I think the 'like' is unnecessary and breaks the flow somewhat. Likewise when you have a typo earlier- at one point you misspell Muggles.
I love the idea of Rain protecting Gabe and her acknowledgement that whilst who he chooses to be with is no longer her decision, she still defends him. Bella was pretty harsh to Cissy though- I'm intrigued as to how Bella will react when Cissy marries- and I loved calling Lestrange a salesman. Ha. I also enjoyed Gabe and Bella's conversation re-her parents- it's interesting that in a way she can be completely honest with him, even though he's a Muggle, whereas she can't be with anyone else.
Sorry for the wait- I'll review again come morning :) Alex
Author's Response: Thank you for finding the time to review. I realize how busy you've been lately. Did I see a third entry to the Mysterious May Challenge from you? And they're not short little pieces either. I hope to get to that soon. Before I forget, I corrected the spelling of Muggles and I took 'like' out. Thanks for pointing that out. I really hate typos and try hard to not have any. The thing with Rain is that since she's a ghost she's become a psychic. Somehow she can see the consequences of people's actions. She knows what's going to happen but she also knows she can't interfere. Bella's going to get drawn into the Dark Lord's circle and get more and more conflicted. Rain and Gabe are soul mates. She'll wait for him to join her and Autumn some day. She knows that's how it will be and that what's happening now is just the passing of time in the mortal world. I think Bella will be very jealous when Cissy marries, don't you? Bella can't show off her boyfriend yet Cissy can flaunt hers in front of the wizarding world. It is interesting how Bella can be honest with Gabe while not telling the truth. I think that pretty soon, this walking in two worlds is going to wear on her and she's going to get more and more conflicted. It will take its mental and emotional toll. Thanks for the review. See you next time.
Yay, new chapter! :D Bella is a delightful bitch, like always. Hehe. I love her little trick with the knife and how possessive of Gabe she is. And, as always, I can see the insanity hidden deep down with in her - or at least hints at the woman she will become. Here, though, she's rather wonderful, if still not extremely dangerous. I look forward to the next chapter and wonder if there will be a steamy scene coming up soon? Hmm? I can't be the ONLY naughty one here. :D
Author's Response: I'm so glad you found the new chapter. I even have the next one finished but it may have to wait a few days since I'm going to enter the Mystery Challenge. That story will also be about Gabe and Bella. You don't know how excited I am to hear that you can still sense Bella's insanity, lurking below the surface. Writing her is a challenge, since I want her to be nice enough to lure Gabe in, but still portray her history that eventually turns her into such an evil and cruel person. She has to be realistic too. It's a fine line to walk. Every once in a while I wobble off of it but my beta patiently pulls me back on track. Never forget that Bella is extremely dangerous and manipulative. One of her favorite tricks is to lure someone in and make them comfortable. Then she attacks, when they're securely in her web. There will be a steamy scene coming up soon. For now, between this chapter and the next, the reader will be left to imagine. Thanks so much for the review. See you next time.
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.