Just a quick note to say I was really enjoying your story and hope that you update soon. Please don't abandon this story I'd love to see how it develops and I'd love to see Eomer and Lotie finally get together. Thanks :)
I love this, I really like the way the characters are developing and have their own personalty... can't wait to read the rest :D
Author's Response: Hello again! Really good, strong, well developed characters will write their own story or plot. Let them. Don't try to force them into something they don't want. If you have a really good plot or story idea, let just start writing. The characters will tell you everything you need, including their names. Be one with them. Thanks for reviewing
As always this story is amazing, I have been waiting for a new chapter. I supposse this chapter take us closer to a very special point, when Imrahil meet Loti: Will he recognize her and how will he react if he does? Faramir reaction is a good preview of that.
Eowyn character is incredibly well developed even in just her first appearence. It reflects a woman used to give orders and she won't take shit from no one. Aragorn is a curious type, somehow awkward but I like him. And Eomer, Loti and the rohirrim as always are simply authentic.
I am not sure if this is my first review, I found this story when there was a lot of chapters already written and at that moment I read it. Either way from now on I will leave a review for each chapter. I hope to see a new one soon, please do not leave this incomplete.
PS: Sorry about my english, I am from Spain.
Author's Response: Well, hello! Your english is very good, so don't worry. I know Americans who write worse!I'm still writing but the next chapter needs to be carefully plotted since we're meeting several new people and setting up some minor plot points, so it's kind of been a chore. Eowyn is actually exhausting to write. She's so domineering, she just demands the attention in every scene. Aragron is so stiff in the books. Almost a charicature. Frankly, I don't even know what his motavation is. The movie version of Aragorn is compelling. the book version is not. Purists don't like to hear that but it's true. We won't meet Imrahil for a while and I think people will be upset with that. When we do meet him it will be dramatic. We will meet Amrothos in the flesh though. I'm not sure if people will like him or not.
This was one of your shorter chapters. Not much going on, but I think Faramir's letter was the highlights. It was a well thought out and descriptive letter, which I like because it shows his scholar qualities. I really like your Faramir. He is intelligent and has a sense of humor, not afraid to admit his sorrow for his brother, but until this letter I hadn't had a sense of his fighting personality. As he describes overtaking the pirates, I get an inside view of that warrior spirit. This is why Eowyn fell in love with him I think. He's a little bit of everything.
Author's Response: Actually, faramir's letter was harder than I thought it would be to write. He's the exact opposite of Eomer in temperment, although he does have some of Eomer's intensity. He's very different to write from Eomer. He's a man of great honor and nobility, highly inteligent, but he was also born and bred to be a leader of men. He is not a wimp, not at all, but he picks and chooses his battles not on emotion but on logic. In that way he is somewhat more cold blooded than Eomer! It's easy to get caught up in the emotion of a situation. It's much harder to try to set that aside for practicality's sake. I think Faramir is Tolkien's most well rounded man.
Eomer has gone through a lot of self-examining here it seems. Having to leave Loti behind with Izz really forced him to look at things differently. I could really feel the push and pull of his struggle. He is still unsure as to whether there is something between them or if she is maintaining her spy status. And then when he finally get to her and finds her in a compromising position, his rage is overwhelming. I love how he seems lost to this power. I would think it would be a frightening thing to witness. Here’s what I wonder though. Did Loti expect him to come for her? Did she have similar questions about E while she was biding her time with Izz? This whole thing was really a test of faith in each other. Still, they are both very stubborn aren’t they?
Now as for my most favorite part of this, it is hand’s down Eothain. What a beautiful and raw version of a Rohirric man’s idea of love with one woman and starting a family too. This was true poetry while keeping within the lines of how one of these rough and tough men would put it. E needed to hear this. He needs to know that loving one woman will only make him stronger. Now he just needs to figure out that it is Loti that will fill him up with what is missing.
And I’m so glad to see E kiss her like he did. The moment was right. That was a very big step for them, though it was in between all the bantering. I think they are ready to let go a little by now and I don’t mean everything all at once. I like the slow development between them, but I’m ready to see more acceptance towards one another. But no matter what, E will always have that air of ‘pig’ about him. I love that and it’s such a guy thing. For example, how he’s pissed off at Loti when he finds her naked with the chieftain, but then takes some young girl in a stairwell. Makes me want to slap the sh*t out of him and then throw him to the ground and have my way with him, lol.
This was your longest chapter yet and it took me the weekend plus a couple days to get through. It needs more than just one review, it seems. There’s always something I forgot to point out, but just know that you did an excellent job as always and it’s well worth every minute spent reading.
Oh and btw, it seems you posted chp 18 twice. Just thought you'd like to know.
Author's Response: Yes, I did want to know! Thanks for that. And thanks for such a big review! I appreciate everyone who reads my loooong chapters. I know it's asking alot. This was the first time I'd ever written a misunderstanding, and it's hard! That was the most difficult portion of the chapter to write and I don't really think it came out very good, but what the hell... this is practice right? I struggled with these same questions that you ask... No. I don't thinks she expected or wanted E to rescue her. She knows she can take care of herself, it's E that has trouble with that. He, Eomer, thinks, as all good men do, that it's his job to protect her. Through all the doubts I had writing this chapter, I knew E was coming back for her. Period. It's just who he is. Eomer, act before thinking? Never!lol And the whole girl in the stairwell thing...that's just E being E. I've learned not to censor him. Every character has his story, and Eothain has his and it's not necassarily a happy one. Eowyn will tell it later. Eothain is genuinely a good guy and Eomer thinks very highly of him and his opinions. I've thought long and hard about Eomer, his personality tendancies and why he does what he does. A man who's blatantly reckless is impulsive, doesn't think before hand about consequences, is probably fatalistic, possibly thinks himself immune to death or injury(why young men are always front line soldiers). Later, he probably realizes his stupidity and has regrets. I know Eomer does. It's very hard to keep E and L out of bed. They are like magnet and iron and I have difficulty reigning in their desires because I want their sex to be...special. If I didn't reign them in alittle, he'd have had her on her back a dozen times already and neither one of them could deal with both their burgeoning romance and the stress of this tenuous political situation. Are they in love right now? No. Do they care about each other have great respect for each other's abilites and talents? Yes. And love is born out of equal parts affection and respect. One more short chapter and then they will go to Minas Tirith... and we'll see what happens there...
Sorry it's taken so long but, for what they're worth, here are my thoughts.
You have a wonderful wonderful way of describing how the two main characters interact and move together physically. Not just the obvious but simple touches like describing the texture of his hand against her silk dress. As for 'the obvious' you manage to describe in sensual detail what's happening but as much in an emotional way as physical. It's not all 'he put that there, and then she moved this there'. There's always a point and there's always feeling in this story- it's sexy but not gratuitious.
There were obvious important plot markers: methinks that ring will turn up again; the bounty on Loti; and I do wonder if we'll (or better Eomer) will meet Fat Fingers...I can't wait to find out and whether the suggestion of love to Eomer might actually make him consider the matter...As usual our two main characters were wonderful and complex.
There were a few tiny things that didn't sit entirely right: I wasn't convinced by the time passed in last few paragraphs- if they've heard footsteps,but have time to fire and douse the papers and escape into a darkened corridor.
My only other surprise was the house itself- it felt very like a classical Western house/chateau type building with balconied rooms, grand stairs and corridors, big windows, but I had expected something more Eastern (or maybe Al din is aping the Gondorians- some background to flesh him out beyond the 'baddie' was happening in the early paragraphs- more would be great. (I'm sorry for being geeky- I rather liked the sound of some of those Al Din library books;)
But I loved it as usual and can't wait for the next chapter.
Author's Response: Seriously, you are a really really good reader!You were the only reveiewer to mention the design of his house! And yes, it is done on purpose, as was the fact that Izz al Din speaks Westron and was educated in Gondor. Now, before I say this, let me preface this with the fact that I am an American... Ever notice these Mid East dictators and these leaders of these thug terrorist organizations always like western or American stuff. Movies, TV, music, clothes. Saddam Hussein collected (very tacky) western art. (I mean like literally, that weird stuff that looks like its from the 80's with tigers and junk.) (Oh, do you get NCIS over there? There was an episode like that. They find an American educated terrorist by tracking his Caf-Pow shipments. My fav episode!) Anyway, they love Western stuff, but then they rail against Western culture and ideals. Also, the oppulence of the place is done on purpose too. Why is it that left wing radical nut jobs always live in oppulence while those they claim as 'their people' always end up living in squawler. (Note: Kim Jong Il and his love for congac. Like $17,000/ bottle congac while is his countrymen starve.) Autocratic dictators always seem to have a severe dislike for the wealthy, too. Probably because that wealth is a threat. They have options and means and cannot be controled as easily as those who are poor, uneducated (and unarmed). Eomer is everything Izz al Din hates. Powerful, wealthy, bright, enlightened, charismatic. Now, E and L are real people to me. They tell me what they want to say and do. I think E may already love L, but not in that passionate, soul mates kind of way. He deeply respects her and values her as a person. But respect is an odd form of love. You cracked me up saying 'he put that there, and then she moved this there'! LOL! I just can't seem to work in "He sailed his ship up her river". The most fun part of this entire chapter was writing the names of all those books! As always, I appreciate your reviews and any bits of critique you throw at me!
It took me a couple days, but well worth it after reading your latest. Honestly, I forgot we were in Middle-earth. I forgot that Eomer was canon and felt like I was reading an original novel. Your whole set up of Harad, Gondor, Rohan and all its people is amazing. You could easily switch out these places with real world ones and not skip a beat here. I know it's long and you apologize, but you shouldn't. Every paragraph I finish has me wanting to read the next one. The tension between E, Izz and his sons was great. And the after dinner talk, loved it. Loti just blended in so smoothly with those chatty women and she even had the last laugh. Your descriptions are something I still need to learn to do. You add it in all the time and it draws such a clear picture. For example, when Eomer took Loti's hand and you said 'like a bird in a lion's mouth.' I love that kind of added detail. You just drop it in quickly and then keep going. I have read some stories that go on and on to the point that I forget what they are trying to explain in the first place. I read something about a couple making love once that turned into gardening 101 and I forgot what the point was to begin with. You are a pro at sticking in these little snippets, though. It's done just right and doesn't take away from the original thought. Now, the part where Eomer is playing the part to give them an excuse to go upstairs made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. All that closeness and whispering, warm breath on skin... gave me goosebumps. Not to mention the scene in the office on the couch as the guard came in. Wow, sure didn't want that to stop, as I'm sure E felt the same way. He is as manly as they come and I just can't get enough of him. Loved the bantering back and forth as they searched the office too. Nice way to combine the two situations, looking for evidence while questioning him about the maid. Jealous anyone? I know I would be. Also wanted to mention what a great job you're doing with the plot outside of E and Loti. The letters in code was genius and the fact that Loti figures it out shows how well she and E work together. She's the smarts and he's the brawn. They really do make a great couple, even if they aren't ready for that yet. I could go on and on but there's too much to mention. As always, very worth the wait to read. You are hands down my favorite het writer and I learn so much from your work. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to wipe my chin and stop drooling over these visions of Eomer on that couch.
Author's Response: Wow! Possibly my longest review ever! Thanks for that! Seriously, this chapter should have been twice as big, but I decided just to post what I had written after the whole ER thing. I just started to write again today. My head just wasn't in the game until today. I can't really help the length of these things! Once these two get going, they just get out of control. This was a really important chapter, that's why it took so long to post, too. It had to be carefully formulated. I think it is possible to learn how to write good descriptions, but it takes alot of work. Reading everything you can get your hands on is probably the best way to learn how; seeing how different people write things differently. I think the descriptions in Journey of a Butterfly are really good. Metaphors are an interesting way of describing things, but you have to be careful with them. Gardening and sex?... Other than sowing of seeds and plowing of furrows...I don't see it. Oh, and the goat milking/sex metaphor... always bad. The whole coded letters thing I can't take credit for and the part where Loti tells E to look for someting that looks out of place... I saw a show about spys on the military channel once and those were two examples of techniques spies use to hide things or information. Then come to find out, Diana Gabaldon uses coded letters in Dragonfly in Amber, so I knew I had something then! I guess if I made you feel something, then I did my job! I'm flattered by your compliments and that you would actually take the time to read anything that I wrote! When I started writing this, I had no idea how electric E and L would be together. What one lacks the other compensates for. Unlike a lot of romances, where the romance is the plot, the plot of this story is directly related to the romance. I always enjoy reading your reviews! Thanks for taking to the time to not only read my stuff but review it also!
Definitely worth the wait! Although, I had intended on reading just a little bit before bed - but got sucked into the whole chapter (really should have seen that coming). Ah well, two hours of sleep before work is enough, right?
Author's Response: Oh, no! I'm sorry about that! I'm flattered though that you'd sacrifice sleep to read something that I wrote. Make sure you get some sleep when you get home! lol
Sadness! I've finally caught up! Can't wait to see what happens next. It's really hard for me to believe this is your first story (I think I read that in another review?). This is one of my favorites ever (I read far more than I review). Especially love the dialogue (not just between Eomer and Loti), and love how these characters seem to be "real" people - warts and all! (And I'm with you - I like the barbarians, too.)
Author's Response: Thanks for reading and reviewing! It is always helpful to someone like me starting out. I do want to write real novel eventually. It's nice to have different perspectives from different people. I'm flattered you like this so much. Although writing romance if formula, love is certainly not. Relationships betweent he sexes are complicated. You can probably tell the first chapters are not that good. Hopefully I keep getting better as I go along, but sometimes, I still have no idea what i'm doing! I'm working on the next chapter right now!
I was going to wait to review when I had gotten caught up on all the chapters, but I can't wait to say that the bickering between Eomer and Loti is just hilarious. So much to like in this story. Love it.
Author's Response: Well, thanks! I love to hear from new reveiwers! Phew, that chapter nine is a doozey, so i'm so glad you got through it all! They drive me nut sometimes with all their fighting, but they're both so damn stubborn and bullheaded. I've learned alot writing this. It's the first thing i've ever written, so there are some inconsistancies where i forced them to do things they shouldn't have done. You'll start to see a change in my style too. It's alot better now than it was. I hope you have been entertained and will keep reading and reviewing!
Such a simple, lovely chapter. It makes a great contrast with the earlier episode of Eomer taking Lothiriel for a wash, showing how much they've grown together and how intimate their relationship has become (in some ways). There was a hint that Eomer might be starting to see her in a different light. And all that imagery and symbolism with a naked couple and snake...
I'm wondering whether we will see a truly heroic side to Eomer: so far Lothiriel has saved him from a snake twice and saved him from his own fool hardiness once. I feel that the scales may need tipping to him and some of his strengths played up soon. Your last paragraph is a tad worrying for Lothiriel. I hope they enjoy their party...
I loved the description of their clothes (such a beautiful couple), particularly Eomer's- they felt very authentic. Lothiriel's initial outfit hadn't entirely convinced me. but I can see this one (and her dress) being very eastern ME. It's funny that it's only now that she realises he's very rich, as she's never really seen him 'in public' openly playing the King. She certainly looks the part of his consort but I wonder how it really makes her, the whore's bastard daughter, feel.
And finally apologies for late review-not a lot of wi-fi in the Highlands ;)
Author's Response: Thanks! I always love hearing from you. You always give good reviews that make me think! The only lame cliche i avoided in this chapter was dropping the soap. I'm thinking the whole three maids in a tub theme will come back again! I'm starting to think E has a death wish on top of being bull headed and stubborn. He doesn't think before he acts. He's a man of great passion and that passion possible clouds his judgement. Eomer needs to be saved from himself sometimes. He'll save her (or think he's saving her)! I wanted her dress to be very cosmopolitan. Something that would offend Eomer's sensiblities. She's a spy, but she's still a woman. Half the fun of writing is just making stuff up, the other half is comeing up with ideas from dresses! I thought alot about E and his wealth. I don't want to give anything away but Eowyn will reveal how wealthy he really is. Are you in the Scottish Highlands?
Hi duchess. Didn't want you to think I forgot about you. I'm on vacation and just now got a chance to finish reading your latest. There are so many things I loved about this, so many little clever lines that I can't mention them all. I liked that this whole chpt. was for Eomer and Loti. I know they are such a long way off from being together, but I feel like they are a step closer. At times they are so distant and then they bicker like an old married couple. And oh what a site it mist be to see him naked. Another perfectly charming, sexy and entertaining chapter. I'm always so glad to see your posts.
Author's Response: Well, that was sweet of you! I'm flattered you'd take time out of your vacation to read my drivel. I'm glad you like it because despite what I thought, it was a hard chapter to write. E/L have such a strange dynamic. Sometimes brother sister, sometimes like wayward lovers, sometimes like old married people, sometimes like business partners. It's probably not the most exciting chapter as far as action goes, but I hope it futhers the love storyline. I tried to make fun of myself a little bit too! Oh, if you could only see what he looks like inside my head...Thanks again for reading. I always appreciate it!
Loved Eomund! That little touch of almost Flashman-like humour stopped him from being too worthy and much more rounded and realistic.Very clever and subtle.
It was a breather chapter, one I found very useful to make clear exactly where Eomer's head is and set the pieces in their places for the next round: shall Eomer even consider putting her in danger; how will he feel about her using her 'talents' to get what he needs? I look forward to finding out.
I'd also like to say that I've only just realised how clever your setting is: there's very little distraction in terms of other characters or even buildings. I'm really curious about how you tackle Minas Tirith later( if you do). It's so rare in fan fiction for potential of complex places to be exploited, to really add atmosphere and depth to a story like an extra central character. Finally, thank you for the reccy for Outlander-verra enjoyable ;)
Author's Response: I do get alot of inspiration from Diana Gabaldon. I like how epic or sweeping her stories are, among other things. Her stories are always filled with hundreds of unique interesting characters. I could only hope to be a good a writer as she is. I'm in love with Jamie and that Roger Mackenzie!! Later in the story I'm going to tell how Eomund and Theodwyn got together. Just a quick little story but fun I hope. This chapter was acutally a fun one to write dispite some of the philosophical ramblings. I think setting the scene in Minas Tirith will be fun! It seems like such a cosmopolitan and diverse place. So much happens there, it's such a layered city, pun intended! It's the center of commerce, gov, culture, history, and learning. I am going to have to play with the canon only slightly. When coming up with this idea, I envisioned what happens there before knowing specific dates. But considering I've been using Biblical quotes and no one has said anything, maybe no one else will care. Thanks for your review! I always look forward to them!!
Love, LOve, LOVE Eowyn. There is a girl after my own heart. And Faramir? You made them sound just perfect together. I laughed through that whole letter, esp. when he says he had to say that because she was peeking over his shoulder. It sounds like they've already been married for a long time. If you ever feel the inspiration, I would love to see you write a piece for them, a day in the live or something like that. Now, the whole dream thing was very telling. Eomer has so much on his mind. It's more than just being King. It's about passing along the genes, the name, the throne, and finding someone to do that with. The change in him afterwards if definitely there, but not so much that it throws everything off base. He's looking at her a little differently, just a subtle difference. This party invitation sounds exciting and I can't wait to see what happens, especially Loti's reaction when E tells her where they're going. I always get so excited to see an update from you. This has got to be one of the best stories I've read. And I love that your chapters are long. I really get to sink my teeth into them instead of having to wait for the next installment with shorter ones. As always, I take my hat off to you, Duchess.
Author's Response: Well thanks so much! I get a kick out of Eowyn. She's very much like the Rohirric men; says what she thinks, doesn't beat about the bush, tell it like it is. I think she will be very fun to write beacause she is such a domineering personality. Faramir is much more relaxed, sort of a roll with the flow kind of guy and lets Eowyn think she's in charge. I think it is okay not to know sometime what something is. I don't know if what Eomer had was a dream, a vision, a near death experience, or just a bad trip from being high on opium. Back to Eowyn and Faramir...I would love to write a E/F romance, but it would have to be something extremely powerful because they fall in love so fast/hastily. Maybe that's just the after effcts of war, i don't know. Far be it from me to critize a great mind like Tolkien's, but that is one part of the story that sort of bothers me; how she renounces everything and wants to live forever with Faramir and never fight again. That just seems hard for me to believe. But then again, it was his book and he wasn't exactly writing a "romance novel". What I would really love to do is a non typical, cannon following, Boromir lives romance. Now there's a guy with a lot of baggage; guilt, envy, anger, dispair, loyalty, honor, duty, courage. He's be a fantastic hero!
In the best possible sense, you are extremely frustrating, you know. Such a long, long wait and then you leave us dangling on *your* little finger with that ending!
More seriously, I have read many, many romances where the male gets wounded; the female nurses him back to health and they fall in love( usually in a few thousand words). But what I haven't read before is the nitty gritty of what and how that could happen. The detail of their emotions at anyone time, and how complex that makes the bigger picture is so well observed that it becomes believable and 'real'. I also like that Loti has been the focus for the last few chapters- she's starting to match Eomer's character in complexity and charisma. What a perfect pair, and I suspect Eothain might be starting to think the same thing, which should be interesting if he meddles with such thrawn characters as those two.
I wonder how Eomer is going to react when he's recovered- will he revert back to his shell of pride, jumbling up his new awareness of her with the shameful weakness of illness that he'll want to forget. And the million dollar question: he wants her, he needs her but does he yet love her (yeah I know Meatloaf said it better)?
I'm curious to see where we go from here though- are you going to diffuse things and let the sub plots take centre stage and rebuild the main story arc (their romance) to peak near the end, or are you going to get them together and keep up the level of excitement by other means. I'm curious and very excited.
Author's Response: Wow! I'm really lucky to have such excellent reviewers! And in my defense, I do have to keep you wanting to read right?! LOL Oddly enough, I just finished a book like that, where he gets shot and she helps nurse him back to health and it brings them closer together. But...yeah...I get what you mean... the sort of cheesy predictablity, the cardboard blandness of characters and plot. Eomer is a complex guy but very easy to write. He's alot like me, hotheaded, explosive, unpredictable, emotionally uncommunicative. Does he want her? yes, she's a challenge and he wants to get her in bed. Does he need her? I think he needs someone like her. Does he love her? No. Not yet, anyway. All I can say about Eothain is no one knows Eomer better, not even his sister. The story will continue beyond the time they get together! Thanks again!
I was really beginning to worry for Eomer here, although even with only one leg I'd still love him, yum! Very sad what happened to Red and I really felt for Loti here. I can't even imagine him being conscious enough for her to give him his, shall we say 'last rites', but very sweet at the same time. And Eomer with his wound, he is such a man here. They could have a 2x4 protruding through their chest and they would say just put a bandaid on it. I wanted to kick the Master Healer's ass for not doing more to help him. This is their King for goodness sake, not just some soldier boy.
I have to say though, my favorite part was when Loti stood there in the middle of all these tall handsome Rohirric men. All that power and brawn was at her fingertips and she was in charge, strong and never faltered once. And Theofrid, OMG! He's like this gentle giant that you want to disappear beneath.
I love Loti, love everything about her. The thing is though, you can have her and Eomer at each others throats, slinging insults and ready to kill each other. But when you describe the smallest thing like when they are holding each other by only a finger, wow! The emotions and feelings between them are so strong, stronger than their insults. Reading it makes my heart pound and I fall in love with these two instantly. And that is something beautiful. That's the kind of stuff that moves me and stays with me.
Unfortunately, I don't have HBO anymore but during a free weekend, I got to see an episode of Game of Thrones. What great inspiration. When I was about 9 or so, I read King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Ever since then I have always been drawn to stories from the medieval genre, and that goes for movies too. There's just something so barbaric and raw yet romantic about it. But now I'm getting off topic.
Anyways, great chapter yet again. If you had writer's block you surely couldn't tell. And to answer Eothain's question, yes . . . it is definitely getting hot in here! Pass me a beer too!
Author's Response: Lol! You're fantastic! Thanks so much! I always enjoy hearing from you and Have a lot ofrespect for your opinions! I'm very happy you feel this way about them and her. I've always had a think for King Arthur too. Camalot on Showtime? is getting better, very different... you might like it. But Game of Thrones!! I cannot tell you how awesome that book really is! For a fantasy writer it is an absolute must read. You'll love Khal Drogo and Dani! I cried for hours at the end of that book! I hope people don't mind all these OC's that I write...my thing is... the world is populated with other people, interesting people that have their own story so why deny it... It would be pretty boring if it were just Loti and Eomer and no one else to interact with. I hope there is some question as to whether or not she got it on with Red... cause honestly, I don't even know! LOL! Thanks a bunch!!
Loving the grit of your characters....realism abounds...when may we expect the next chapter? Chmping at the bit a little...sorry but its so good.
Author's Response: Hello! Thanks alot! I just finished the last sentence of the latest chapter this morning so maybe in a couple of days! Business is super busy and I had a bit of writer's block after I read Game of Thrones so this has taken me a little longer than normal to write. I hope you are being entertained! Thanks again!