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Review:DeathDay Party Planner says:
I've just finished "Once Defied" and caught up with you here: enjoying it immensely, thank you!

Like Jess below, I'm enthused by the scene with Lily and the other women. Astutely evolved, this coven development presents some clear opportunities for Lily to build significant female relationships, receiving some heart-to-heart insights, particularly with Alice(?), that could clarify and drive her romantic situation with James and weave many additional high impact dramatic canon threads into the main plot.

(Please forgive the mild criticism) - I particularly hope the above is your intent because, for a novel with a declared drama-romance double genre, the romantic relationship has not occupied nearly as much of the story as I'd expect - specifically considering a supposedly loving teenage couple composed of the two main characters who have just experienced virgin sex - the lack of passion is puzzlingly explicit to me at this point.

On the other hand, I applaud your characterization of James' complex relationship with his parents as so dispassionate. That theme seems understandable given their disparate ages, and their long separations. Given he's an only child whose father is dying, without any back-story to condition the relationship, he appears incredibly immature and selfish rather than just ridden by a gathering angst. As you said, it will certainly afford ample opportunity for later self-loathing.

I wouldn't be the Deathday Party Planner if I failed to ask for more murder and mayhem - appropriate to a 15+ rating, of course. It seems reasonable to expect more as the Order vigilantes are operating in a setting the wizard community later stipulated in canon to have been deep in the "first war" at the time. Anyway, I am looking forward to Moody and the other members of the Order earning their legends in lots of knock-down-drag-out cursing, jinxing, and hexing confrontations!

You have made me your fan and I can't wait for your coming chapters. Throughout "Once Defied" and again here, I found myself emotionally embroiled with your building canticle conditioning every piece of your action and dialog with my chilling foreknowledge. Totally enthralled with this story, you have made me fully commit to Lilly and James meme: "...their desperate wish: I don't want you to die."

Again, thank you!

Author's Response: Hi there! Wow, what a thoughtful review. :) Thanks so much for sharing your feelings about the story with me! I'm really glad you enjoyed Once Defied and this story so far.

Great to hear that you also enjoyed the scene with Lily and the other women of the Order. (I never thought of them as a coven, but I suppose you're absolutely right!) It's nice to give Lily the opportunity to start fresh and form some female relationships, as you said. It'll definitely enhance some aspects of the plot down the road.

Ack, you know, you've hit on something that relates to one of my main worries about this story. (And no need to apologize--feedback, positive or negative, is always a good thing!) You see, I often fear that I'm not really doing justice to all the different aspects of the plot. Even with the chapters regularly rounding out at 5,000-6,000 words, I always feel as though I don't have enough room to tell all of the things I want to. For example, I do like to write scenes focused on James and Lily, but then I worry that it's going to become too repetitive if I don't show them with their friends/families/etc. So, that may be one reason why the story feels less "romantic".

On the other hand, though, James and Lily have been dealt sort of a rough hand that I think brought the "honeymoon" phase of their relationship to a rather abrupt end. And, of course, there is just simply the fact that I don't think I'm drawn to writing traditional romance in the vein of someone like Nicholas Sparks or Nora Roberts.

Having said all that--I do appreciate your suggestion very much, and I'll definitely keep it in mind as I write future chapters. :)

Yes, I plan to have many more action-filled moments in the future! The lack of them so far is really just because Lily & the Marauders are still being accepted into the Order. They haven't yet been assigned tasks that would bring them close to fighting on a regular basis, but that will happen more and more as time passes. (By the way, I think your user name is really clever!)

Again, I'm so glad to hear you've loved my stories so far! It's been a pleasure to hear your thoughts and feedback. I hope to have a new chapter up fairly soon!

Thanks again!

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