kais

06/29/20 - kais - Rosewood Chapters 13 + 14 (L)(S)(D/S)(B) - 2590 words and 5634 words

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Posted (edited)

L for language, S for sex. D/S for dom/sub dynamics, B for bondage. It is a romance book, after all!

No big changes since the last two subs, as I am, unsurprisingly, horrifically behind on life. Thank you all for helping me get as much done as I can before this heads out!

Edited by kais
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Skipping due to warning. Am I missing anything important?

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@Turin Turambar you could read the first chapter and avoid everything but the language. It’s the one with the B plot movement (the fallout from the ball and the healing/deaths). Chapter 14 has the sex scene. 

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Chapter 13:

Pg 1, "Lockpicking tools." I'm assuming kicking down a solid wooden door by kicking the lock is a Hollywood myth. Also, how very M to go straight to lockpicking tools instead of looking for help. I think that says something strong about her character, although I'm not sure where she would find lockpicking tools. With her two last teammates?

Pg 1, "She saw it just as she stepped back"

Pg 1, "There were gangly legs and worn boots" Oh no...it's the kid. Died from touching the oil earlier, or killed now that his job was complete?

Pg 2, "no idea how to pick a lock" 1) that's a problem she should have thought of earlier and 2) I completely forgot she had already grabbed the tools at the smithy, because I got distracted being sad at the body.

Pg 2, "let people bounce off her like rubber." Impressed that she isn't killing them, considering the flush. I doubt they'll be much help as allies, sadly. Probably too panicked and confused to be of help to an impatient heroine. 

Pg 3, "This needed to end. Quickly." Preferably not through murder.

Pg 4, " I…will start breathing fire." Ah, yes, our fearless...dragon maiden.

Pg 4, "What ridiculousness." There better be a dragon later that will make M eat her words.

Pg 5, "A stream came, instead of drops." RIP prince. This is going to have repercussions later. Will M be blamed for his death?

Pg 5, "the prince remained motionless." That's two princes down. 

Pg 5, "which once again, hurt like a"

Pg 6, " an actual dead person back to life unless they’d only just gone." Brings in mind: "There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead." ~ Miracle Max.

Pg 6, "She wasn’t completely heartless." Man, what a way to live: help enough people, maybe earn a little money for tea, but don't heal too many people in case the rich find you and make you into a living blood bank. Fun.

Pg 7, "They The royals surrounded her"

Pg 7, "telling herself not to punch,"

Pg 7, " that would kill them in short order" Not like they would know better, but that is still not going to be a fun death.

Pg 8, "the king stalked through" Who is somehow not dead, and didn't go to the party. Was he away or simply antisocial? I can't remember...Maybe he tried to kill everyone, to get their lands. 

Pg 8, "A princess and an attendant are dead!" Oh, a lot more than just them are dead, depending on how many touched M's blood...

Pg 8, “Princess(comma) you have to stop them.”

Pg 9, "No blood,” I'd definitely say Superwoman has been exposed. Now what will the king want of her, since he will obviously find out about her abilities? There has to be repercussions for this. 

Pg 9, " Unsurprisng" Nice spelling ;)

Pg 9, "voice blew cool across her ear." Somebody should not be out of bed, but I'm very glad she's stepping in.

Pg 9, "to be very hard to marry you" oooOOOOOOOH

Pg 10, " rolled her into a blanket then picked her up from the floor." Somehow I don't think it is going to be as easy as scooping her up and leaving. I think the king is going to have some major questions.

Pg 10, "The kid,” No...the person he mentioned...C...

Pg 10, "mercifully, passed out." That's one way to escape the political side. Let N handle that!

Chapter 14:

Pg 11, " thirsty, starving, and completely nude," That's one way to wake up.

Pg 11, " Three nettle leaves sat in a tight row next to the water" This is cool. I can't remember this from her first flush.

Pg 11, "J(apostrophe) method of timekeeping"

Pg 11, "still warm," She felt the chair?

Pg 11, "looked at her, screamed," She's ALIIIIIIIIVE!!!

Pg 11, "The dead middle." Bed hog. All joking aside, I personally wouldn't have felt comfortable sleeping next to a comatose body, even if it was someone I loved. So I get N's decision.

Pg 11, " hands on her hips" Uh oh, someone is not happy.

Pg 12, "they caused the death of five guards." Whoops...that would make for a very interesting report, let alone tombstone.

Pg 12, "wanted them, sure, but not on herself." Hahahaha!

Pg 13, "I can’t believe I’m demanding this by how?" This certainly threw a wrench in N's plans, considering she probably thought she knew everything and planned for it.

Pg 13, "The comb is my mother's." Missing apostrophe. Also, yeah, I considering any bargaining over, a comb for a life.

Pg 13, " the rough skin of her mother’s hands" This paragraph of memories makes me smile.

Pg 15, " I don’t make a habit of sleeping with unconscious women." A good habit.

Pg 16, "she’d have traded all the butter in the world" This girl and her butter XD 

Pg 16, "You’re can’t tell me anything"

Pg 18, " I was able to have my meeting" Lucky that didn't get pushed back with a murder investigation.

Pg 18, "The soothsayers prophecy is fulfilled" Short but simple prophecy...this chapter is closing, but the chapter to find a murderer may just be beginning... I feel like there was more to the prophecy, but that might be me used to longer ones. I'm kinda having a, "That's it?" moment.

Pg 18, "You cannot frighten me away" Is that a dare?

Pg 18, "a horrible, chemical smell came rose up."

Pg 18, "My grandmother killed that marsupial tiger you know" Trying to remember why this might be relevant to a fire place poker. I remember being amazed that such animals existed, but not why they came up...it may have been too many weeks for me...

Pg 19, " her voice buttery soft" Butter! I feel like I'm hunting for butter mentions now.

Pg 22, " she loosened the neck of her blouse" Well, that's an invitation if I've ever seen one. 

Pg 23, " softness threatening to collapse"

Pg 24, "she’d kill her" Yeah, that's a passion killer...literally...

Pg 24, "You’re a tease," That was my thought.

Pg 25, "with all the clothes I still have on." Hahaha, dork. I love how they still have a little room for banter. Also, my cheeks are red, so I'm definitely feeling the steaminess. 

Pg 26, "felt like as hot as cooking embers"

Pg 26, “I’d like to tell you about my first,” Well, that's a bit of a weird topic to bring up right now...

Pg 26, "Sometimes she pins my hands" Present tense? I find the present tense strange... We're not talking about M, are we?

Pg 27, "Every time, that woman has been you." We are. Which means N is lying about her other times, because all of her previous experiences are actually future experiences.

Pg 27, " It radiated from from

Pg 28, " if you don’t do at least one of those actions" That's forward, especially for a first timer, I feel. But who am I to judge? Everyone has different comfort levels and interests. 

Pg 30, “You don’t have to stop,” Hopefully stop soon, because my AC is broken and I feel like I'm raising the degrees in this apartment all by myself. Not that I'm complaining.

Pg 30, "amazing three would be.(missing quotation mark here)" Three fingers, I'm assuming, not three people.

Pg 30, "She blew across her mound." As someone who has no experience, this sounds weird to me, but also very ticklish. It made me chuckle, honestly.

This is the first time I've critiqued a chapter like 14 so...I'm simply going to say that I had quite a good time reading it. 

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Overall: The sex scene was very well done, but then I know you're good at writing those ;-)

However, I had some plot problems with the first chapter and with how quick things transitioned over into the sex scenes. I felt like there were a lot of questions raised, and not really any answers. It was nice that M finally explained how her abilities work, but I felt like I was rushed into it while still wondering about the aftermath of the ball. The sex scene seemed very much like this was the place it needed to be in the story, so we're going to do that now instead of referencing the big pile of murder and intrigue that isn't cleared up yet. Like I didn't want to concentrate on a sex scene yet. I think a little more wrapup at the end of Ch 13 or the beginning of 14 will help transition away from that section.

 

Notes while reading:

Ch 13:

pg 1: "Lockpicking tools"
--really? I would have thought she'd just kick the doors in, or batter them down with a table or chair.

pg 1: "remains of the flush"
--especially with this. I'd think she'd attack first, look for fine tools later.

pg 1: "oil staining—oil, seeped in, and dried"
--I think this is repeated for effect, but I thought it was saying something else about the oil. I think "oil staining, seeped in, and dried" is a lot cleaner.

pg 1: "wasn’t as fast acting"
--yes, strange.

pg 2: "she had absolutely no idea how to pick a lock" "ramming a pick through the hole"
--what? Then why did she go searching for lockpicks?? Again, why not just kick down the door. People are dying!!

pg 2: "A woman in gold" "A male guard"
--I think the woman is in a gold guard uniform based on later paragraphs, but my first thought was a woman in a gold dress running at her because of all the color-coding.

pg 2: "breaking at least one of his knuckles in the process"
--Dude's a guard. He should know how to punch.

pg 3: "after the third broken hand"
--So is her skin actually hard, or just impervious? I was assuming she still felt like a human, but just couldn't be cut. This sounds like she has dense, hard skin like rock. Also, would weapons be breaking on her, instead of sliding off?

pg 3: "slicing the tips of her eyelashes"
--so her hair is normal but the rest of her is impervious?

pg 3: "will start breathing fire"
--lol

pg 4: All the dragon stuff is hilarious.

pg 5: "The prince’s body spasmed."
--oops. Is this the prince that N was trying to make a deal with. I was assuming he was important...guess not.

pg 5: "Crown Prince T"
--Ah, this is the guy. The other one was refereed to as "the" prince, so I was assuming it was the same person.

pg 5: "back to the sock and guesswork"
--at this point, why not just slice and repeat? Isn't the sock still dried up?

pg 6: "four rooms left"
--oh, just realized she's been going room to room, not through the ballroom. Is everyone in an individual bedroom off the ballroom? I think this was the description from early, but can't remember.

pg 6: "she could have been convinced"
--so did she? And why not if she hasn't? Sounds like she's willing to and this seems like a really good source of income for all the money troubles they were having.

pg 6: "what if she hadn’t gone to the smithy first"
--yeah, this is a pretty big one. I would have tried to break in the door before running off.

pg 6: "dried blood in the corners of their mouths"
--wasn't it only three drops?

pg 7: "words she couldn’t hear"
--still not sure why she goes deaf...
--and she can hear N but not the others?

pg 8: “A princess and an attendant are dead!”
--more than that...

pg 9: "very hard to marry you"
--eh? This seems a jump.

pg 9: “I can’t find the wound!"
--wait, so is she bleeding or not? And if she is, how? Don't her wounds close?


Ch 14:

pg 11: "three days later"
--hm. Is this from blood loss or from the flush?

pg 11: "She’d been in the middle. The dead middle."
--not sure of the significance here. Was she concerned N was going to take advantage of her while she was sleeping?

pg 12: "I’m demanding this by how? Why"
--"by" -> "but"
--also, yeah, I'm surprised N didn't know about this too.

pg 12: "I want it back. Now"
--almost too many things going on with this page. Underwear and sexual tension, dead guard, N's angry, M doesn't have wounds...I want someone to address one question at a time...

pg 13: "Her body sang thinking about it'
--that's...weird. Were there more changes with how the comb works?

pg 13: "She held the comb in her hands"
--with all the other stuff going on, I don't really care about the comb right now. I want to know who poisoned people and why, what N is doing, about things, how the ball panned out, who's the kid...the comb is the least of my worries.

pg 14: We're jumping into the whole dragon mystery thing here, but I'm still concerned about the last plot point that wasn't tied up. Too many questions right now to focus on another mystery.

pg 14: "Talk to me about T.S."
--About what? I'm forgetting what significance this place has. It's not N's land, because that's where they are. It's not the common forest...Sorry, probably WRS, but I think it needs a reminder here too.

pg 15: "somehow in a clean tunic and pants'
-did she pass out again?

pg 15: "You owe me a lot of answers before I’m sleeping with you"
--uh, yeah. I'm having a hard time transitioning back to romance here because I'm still wondering what's going on.

pg 17: "And yet you were covered in blood"
--this doesn't seem like a mystery to me. She cut herself. N saw her do it.

pg 17: "didn’t have the right kind of pressure. Or maybe it was the angle the blade was held."
--that seems like a blatant lie. I have trouble thinking even M would believe that.

pg 18: "There was no smoke. No smell of burning flesh"
--why did she burn the rug? I'd think N could tell it was hot just by the heat the iron gave off.

pg 20: "the skin littered with scars, both old and fresh"
--wait, her back isn't scarred but her hand is? Or does she only scar when she cuts herself?

pg 21: "You forget the guards"
--really? I would have thought that would be at the top of N's mind.

pg 21: “It’s different now.” 
--it is? Why?

pg 23: “Do you heal faster than normal?” “A little? Maybe?”
--I thought she healed up like wolverine? Didn't that happen last chapter?

pg 25: “I’d like to tell you about my first,” 
--uhh...okay? Let me tell you about this other person I had sex with before we have sex? That seems...like a turnoff.

pg 26: "Every time, that woman has been you.”
--ah. I guess that works.

pg 27: “If it’s your first time"
--yeah, sort of confused by this. N was being sarcastic at first, but then said she had been with other women? But then I guess she was pretending they were M? Or has she not actually been with other women? Confused.

pg 29: "how much more amazing three would be."
--three...fingers? Sorry, lost the thread somewhere in there with all the sexytimes.

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Hey, so I just got here in me alpha read. That's handy.

Chapter 13 

The blocking of the fight is way confusing to me.

My ability to critique the dragon issue has basically gone, because I know about it in advance. What I think I would say is that all these dragon references have a rather weak basis. She does not breathe fire, or fly, or hoard gold, so, it’s based purely on the invulnerability of her skin? I’m not sure that is a uniquely recognizable aspect of a dragon, maybe she’s a turtle.

Oh, the application of the blood. I have a problem there. The method is clearly not the best, but, when it FAILS, she just keeps on doing it and potentially kills a second, then a third, then a FOURTH person. That’s just nuts. Any kind of dispenser would be better than a sock, and there must be loads of things around. Surely she would at least try another method after the first time, and throw the sock away. I know, she panicking, but she knew she killed that first person, yet she kept going with the flawed method.

Otherwise, great chapter, loads of action, tension, threat from the soldiers and the king, so politicking kind of there by default, wondering how it will be perceived. I certainly thought that they were going to pin it all on her, but then the page (or whatever) shouted about there being no blood on the bodies. That was good, IMO. It was a crossroads in the story, as to whether you go down ‘falsely accused trying to clear her name storyline, or ‘strange, misunderstood foreigner trying to solve mystery in hostile environment’ line. I don’t object to either, but the first feels like it’s done quite a lot recently.

The marriage line: I was a bit disappointed it came like this, as there’s no potential for a discussion about it, which is deferred. It comes out in a kind of unromantic, ironic, knowing way that I don’t, personally, find dramatic. It’s like a throwaway line, and I felt it deserved better when it came out, like being kept for near the end, but that’s just me. 

Good chapter.  My expectations now is for a slower sequel chapter, as this is not a thriller.

Chapter 14 

I feel like it is often at description of clothing that I am confused, such as in this chapter.

Well, I thought there was a good romantic exchange before they got down to business. I thought the sex scene was very effective, and liked seeing them ‘coming together’ as it were, in terms of consummating their relationship. I thought the two personalities played off well against each other throughout the scene.

I always think sex scenes are a bit weird in stories, because it does feel like they are there as a very specific sidebar that often doesn’t have any significance in terms of plot, or even character (I guess I mean gratuitous). That was not the case here, I thought, where the character of each participant was still very much present through the scene, so it felt a lot more natural. Good job.

 

So, how to the timeframes look? I'm keeping on reading until told otherwise, and will then reappraise the situation. :) 

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40 minutes ago, Robinski said:

So, how to the timeframes look? I'm keeping on reading until told otherwise, and will then reappraise the situation

I finished @shatteredsmooth's crits last night and will start on yours this morning. It always takes me a few days to wade through, and I want to get the forum crits in too. So I'm aiming for submitting to my agent by Sunday. So, a few more days!

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2 minutes ago, kais said:

I finished @shatteredsmooth's crits last night and will start on yours this morning. It always takes me a few days to wade through, and I want to get the forum crits in too. So I'm aiming for submitting to my agent by Sunday. So, a few more days!

Got it. Flat out now then.

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Posted (edited)

Pg. 1 -- I like how you've conveyed a sense of panic using shorter sentence lengths.

Pg. 5 -- wait. How is she invincible in battle, but can slice her own hand? Sorry if I missed the explanation for this in earlier chapters; I started reading with your last sub.

Pg. 6 -- where did she get the fly away part? She's not actually a dragon, as far as we know. Is this the kind of detail that we're meant to forget until some later grand reveal?

This chapter was a little confusing for me.

I skipped chapter 14, since you'd mentioned that it was the one with the sex scene.

Chapter 13 was enjoyable overall.

Edit: your "living pincushion" metaphor (pg. 6) didn't really make much sense -- pincushions are just where you store pins. They don't give you anything.

Edited by PiedPeterPiper
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Notes as I go:

P. 1. “Just as she stepped”

P. 2. “Let the sword connect?”

P. 4. “Dragon. What ridiculousness.” – Ooooh, I sense this is going to be ironic in the future XD

P. 5. “her hand which, once again, hurt like a slontze.”

P. 6. “M’s blood, while miraculous, had yet to bring an actual dead person back to life unless they’d only just gone.” – a bit clunky.

P. 7. “The royals surrounded her with”

“followed a princess who” Followed by or following?

P. 11. “water—Js method” – Apostrophe

P. 12. “demanding this by how? Why?” “The comb is my mothers. I want it back. Now.” – ‘but how’ ‘mother’s’.

P. 14. “Her scale. Warm against her skin, even through the fabric.” – deffo sensing the irony from previous chapter building…

 

I'm not gonna lie, I skipped the entire end of the last chapter. But I'm sure it was good ;)

 

I really enjoyed the first chapter. The second one is harder for me to get a grasp on, because I didn't finish it. But I'm guessing they didn't get into the nuts and bolts of the politics while they were getting down to... em... business. I was expecting some explanation of what happened. Who exactly coated the scabbards, why use wine and oil both, etc. Also, the end of the first chapter indicates that M is in deep, deep trouble. People think she could be the perpetrator, and she certainly killed some of them. There's no acknowledgment of the political obstruction this would cause. If N had to exercise princess-powers to get her out, explain that, though even at that I think there should be some consequences for her actions/what people think she did.

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Lockpicking - have changed this so that M does in fact know how to pick a lock

Killing/politics wrap up prior to sex scene - I've added a few lines to the start of chapter 14 (right after M wakes up) to discuss how they were only allowed to leave because N's mother threatened war, but they have to be back in three more days for a tribunal to try M for murder. N is upset about this and wants answers before she has to hear them in court. I think this should smooth the transition, as the chapter right after this is the queen basically resetting the B plot. I've also completely rewritten the following chapter and the one after to better deal with these tribunal changes, which actually changed a section of the plot. This really helped me with the problems I was having with this section so THANK YOU.

 

On 6/30/2020 at 10:10 PM, Snakenaps said:

I feel like there was more to the prophecy, but that might be me used to longer ones. I'm kinda having a, "That's it?" moment.

Ohhhh just you wait

On 6/30/2020 at 10:10 PM, Snakenaps said:

hree fingers, I'm assuming, not three people.

Three orgasms, in fact. Which several people missed but I'm not sure how to clarify without using the word itself. Will think on this

On 6/30/2020 at 10:10 PM, Snakenaps said:

'm simply going to say that I had quite a good time reading it. 

Hoorah! I'm glad it landed well, especially since I think not many on this forum are into f/f sex.

On 7/1/2020 at 7:38 AM, Mandamon said:

We're jumping into the whole dragon mystery thing here, but I'm still concerned about the last plot point that wasn't tied up. Too many questions right now to focus on another mystery.

I just finished a rewrite of these chapters and the next two, so that these better tie together

On 7/1/2020 at 9:43 AM, Robinski said:

maybe she’s a turtle

OMG that would be a HILARIOUS plot twist

On 7/1/2020 at 9:43 AM, Robinski said:

The method is clearly not the best, but, when it FAILS, she just keeps on doing it and potentially kills a second, then a third, then a FOURTH person.

This was poorly written. I've added a line to make it clear she was still saving a bunch of people too, she just was having a hard time getting the dose right

On 7/1/2020 at 11:07 AM, PiedPeterPiper said:

wait. How is she invincible in battle, but can slice her own hand? Sorry if I missed the explanation for this in earlier chapters; I started reading with your last sub.

This is a mystery at this stage but will come out in the end

On 7/1/2020 at 11:07 AM, PiedPeterPiper said:

She's not actually a dragon, as far as we know. Is this the kind of detail that we're meant to forget until some later grand reveal?

Yup!

On 7/2/2020 at 3:25 AM, TheDwarfyOne said:

But I'm guessing they didn't get into the nuts and bolts of the politics while they were getting down to... em... business.

This is correct! You get nuts and bolts next chapter, when they meet with the queen

 

 

Thank you all SO MUCH for putting up with the mass submission. This goes off to my agent at the end of the week!

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