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Reviews from
The Maid of the Mill


A novel set in late Victorian Shropshire.

  22 total reviews 
Comment by
Elizabeth Emerald
Premier Author
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  249
Author Rating For Short Works
  Rank:  7
Script Rating
  Rank:  5
Review Stars
  Rank:  22
 

#7 Ranked Author

#5 Ranked Script Writer
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Rating of Chapter 20 -
Retrospection 1895 -- 1904
Masterfully clever--and most amusing--extended metaphor. Far more elegant and subtle than the crude, albeit clever, "sinking of a pink torpedo in her flesh tuxedo" (song in movie Spinal Tap). Congrats to Sean and Hettie and six cheers to you. Cheers. LIZ


 Comment Written 25-May-2020



reply by the author on 25-May-2020
    Thank you so much for this six-star review. I have been thrilled by the positive reaction to this chapter especially as sex is accepted as being one of the most difficult topics to handle.
Comment by
2019 Novelist of the Year
Ulla
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  Rank:  71
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  Rank:  86
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  Rank:  2
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  Rank:  44
 

#2 Ranked Novelist
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Rating of Chapter 20 -
Retrospection 1895 -- 1904
Hi Jim, what a lovely and seductive write. I loved it. Sean really has a way with the girls, doesn't he? Maybe he has a little too much of it. He got carried away and so did Hettie, by all accounts. Maybe. I'm a bit cynical. All best. Ulla:)))


 Comment Written 24-May-2020



reply by the author on 25-May-2020
    Thank you for this so positive review of this chapter. Certainly Sean is no angel but one can see how he gained his reputation with the ladies, even the cynical ones.
Comment by
Drew Delaney
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  Rank:  28
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  Rank:  47
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  Rank:  11
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Rating of Chapter 20 -
Retrospection 1895 -- 1904
Wow! What a beautiful and explosive part to your book. The words and imagery Sean uses is enrapturing in itself. It is so fairytale. The delight of being spoken to like that rather than, let's do it! I think I am in love with Sean! LOL
Drew xx


 Comment Written 24-May-2020



reply by the author on 24-May-2020
    He certainly has a way with him doesn't he? So he can cut another notch on his belt so it seems. Lol. Thank you so much for this lovely six-year review.
Comment by
Pam (respa)
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  Rank:  23
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  Rank:  16
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  Rank:  28
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Rating of Chapter 20 -
Retrospection 1895 -- 1904
-I wasn't sure what to expect in
this chapter, but you wrote it very well.
-Your words were very poetic, and added
a bittersweet quality to Hettie's experience.
-I liked how you began the chapter with her
being older, remembering her experience with Sean.
-I was surprised there had been many others since then.
-She didn't come across that way to me,
especially after all of her talks with Jonet.
-I think all of the imagery relating to
the frigate, the sea, and ocean was very good.
-The tenderness is brought out at the end:
"His voice had sunk to a hoarse whisper at that point."
-After all the description of Sean and his lusting after
women, I get the feeling he cared for Hettie
and may have ended up loving her
if not for the itinerant nature of his job.
-You did a great job with this chapter.



 Comment Written 24-May-2020



reply by the author on 24-May-2020
    My intention here was to have here created as a kind of female version of Sean, in as much as she will go and do his bidding to be a frigate in future chapters, to educate the local roughnecks to appreciate a woman, to become another Bridie, remember her? The girl who made Sean the lover he became. And the torch is passed on. Lol. Thanks for this complimentary six-star review.

reply by Pam (respa) on 24-May-2020
    You are very welcome for the review. Thanks for the reply. I do remember that character.
Comment by
2018 Poet of the Year
Gloria ....
2014 - #365 Poet of the Year
2014 - #56 Author of the Year
 
Poet Rating
  Rank:  15
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Review Stars
  Rank:  30
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Rating of Chapter 19 -
Decision Time
Well I must say I do rather enjoy Hettie's sorting of the male population. Perhaps a little short-sighted, but then perhaps not. We shall have to see how it unfolds. She is in truth quite precocious which is an attractive quality and of course twenty-five is practically ancient.

Another fine chapter in your absolutely delightful novel. It is indeed a pleasure to read and review.

Gloria





 Comment Written 23-May-2020



reply by the author on 24-May-2020
    What more would you expect from a fifteen year old girl? Thises days the longest word any of them know is 'whatever'. You are the first to pick up on the age joke, that is only funny because it is so true -- at age fifteen.

    Thank you for another lovely six star review, that is particularly appreciated when out of funds as this was
Comment by
JudyE
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Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Rating of Chapter 20 -
Retrospection 1895 -- 1904
I think you have managed the sex scene really well, and done it without a need for warnings which is a feat in itself. Less is more, sometimes.

Just a few things to consider:
Well fancy the pair of us - comma needed after 'Well'

That's the way I come earlier - is 'come' part of the vernacular, rather than 'came'

She had scrambled across the slope, deeper into the woodland, forging her way easily through the clumps of bracken, with Sean Flanagan, who had needed no second bidding, crashing along in her wake. She had scrambled - both these sentences begin in the same manner - in case it wasn't intended. :)

Grown older, those fruits of her imagination were replaced by the squirrels and rabbits that lived there, whose trust she eventually earned as, they had come to accept that this girl meant them no harm - comma should be after 'earned', not after 'as'

Of the many faces that had had gazed lovingly - delete 'had'

That one should be the face of the most recent of her conquests, seemed logical, - not sure about the comma after 'conquests'

True, there had been, a moment of sharp pain - delete comma after 'been'

a trim craft that cruises on the water for the shear enjoyment - spelling 'sheer'

'Be a frigate my love,' - comma after 'frigate'

Cheers
Judy


 Comment Written 23-May-2020



reply by the author on 24-May-2020
    Thank you for another hawk-eyed review and one with six stars accompanying it too. Thank you for those. Writing about sex is a damn sight more difficult than indulging in it i have found. Ti is a tight rope walk between bathos and pornography and I am pleased you seem to think I caught the balance all right. Yes, the 'come' in that third paragraph was a vernacular intention, but you were absolutely right to mention it. The repeated scramble however was not, so thanks for mentioning it. All the other little boo-boos have been remedied.

    Thanks so much.
Comment by
Mastery
Published Author
Semper Fi
 
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  Rank:  136
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Rating of Chapter 20 -
Retrospection 1895 -- 1904
HeyJim. Sorry I haven't been around much of late. Lots of health issues etc. But I absolutely love this chapter. Your opening "hook" is splendid for instance:

"Acting on an impulse, the twenty-four-year-old Hettie got up from where she had been sitting on the apple tree trunk and, picking up her cape, slung it over one shoulder before slipping her feet into her shoes once more." (good use of strong verbs too)

Great imagery throughout like this:

"The floor of this cave of vegetation, where the larger roots had once pulled a tangled mass of fibrous-rooted earth from the ground, was nearly horizontal. It was covered with layers of bracken, to which Hettie had added on each of her visits, until now it was as deeply sprung as any well-stuffed, straw mattress. She lay back on it, gazing at the few specks of bright sky visible through the cat's-cradle of brambles overhead......"

In addition you have made excellent use of the five senses in this one hence: "Showing" a lot.

Sprinkled with effective dialogue this is one of your best yet in my umble opinion , my friend. : ) Bob





 Comment Written 23-May-2020



reply by the author on 23-May-2020
    Thank you for this complimentary and helpful six star review. While the overall story remains the same as when first drafted in 1992, the manner of its telling has changed considerably. Back in those days I did not know about 'show don't tell', and that has meant extensive rewriting although this chapter had fewer rewrites than many others.

    The sex scene is always difficult as one walks the tight rope between bathos and pornography, desperate to avoid both. I am glad it is over.

reply by Mastery on 24-May-2020
    LOL Good for you, my friend. Glad you have mastered show don't tell. It is not an easy thing to distinguish. And it is still easy to catch yourself "over-telling" as you probably noticed. LOL Bless ypu my friend. : ) Bob

reply by Mastery on 24-May-2020
    Sex is The absolute hardest to write I have found. :) Bob

reply by the author on 25-May-2020
    I have heard others say similar, so it is encouraging to folk say they think I got it tight here.

reply by Mastery on 25-May-2020
    Yes. :) Bob
Comment by
Cass Carlton
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Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Rating of Chapter 20 -
Retrospection 1895 -- 1904
I read this chapter first and was so intrigued with it that I sat and read the preceding chapters this afternoon. It covers the life of William the Miller, his daughter, Hettie and her lover Sean Flanagan. It is a beautifully told story of romance and growing up with the Mill churning its grain into flour for the people of Cleeborough rumbling in the background. Descriptions of the workings of the mill provide a considerable volume of the text, but it is fascinating reading and far from a less interesting part of the story.
The character Jonet Parker is a loving substitute for a mother figure for Hettie whose mother died when she was five years old. Now I am all agog to read the rest of this story. Bring it on!! cheers Cass



 Comment Written 23-May-2020



reply by the author on 23-May-2020
    This is a really encouraging review to read for which I thank you a great deal. It is not just because you enjoyed this chapter but that you were interested enough to go back and read the whole thing that is so encouraging. I hope to read future reviews from you . Thanks again.
Comment by
barbara.wilkey
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 Rank:  38
 
barbara.wilkey Recommends:
St. Louis Chapter 27 part 3
McKenzie is kidnapped.
Pays:10 points
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#5 Ranked Novelist
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
Rating of Chapter 20 -
Retrospection 1895 -- 1904
So now what happens? Hmm, this could go many different ways. I can't wait to see which way you take it. You did a very good job writing the descriptions of this union.


 Comment Written 22-May-2020



reply by the author on 22-May-2020
    Thank you for the compliment. Sex scenes are definitely not easy to write. I sweated blood over this one so I am glad you thought it turned out well. Thank you.
Comment by
BethShelby
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  Rank:  18
 

#7 Ranked Novelist
Excellent
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Rating of Chapter 20 -
Retrospection 1895 -- 1904
That is an interesting metaphor-- a boat being sailed by a skillful sailor. It seems Hettie is not planning to be a wife but rather a lover, If nine years has passed without her finding someone she wants to spend her life with. Twenty-four is probably old in that day for someone to be unwed. I guess she is paying attention to her calendar since she has no children.


 Comment Written 22-May-2020



reply by the author on 22-May-2020
    She is a lucky girl as far as that is concerned. I wonder how long that luck will hold. Some of us, girls and boys are just not the marrying kind, and she did start young, remember. Thank you so much for this review.
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