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Valley of the Sun

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Review of chapter "Sunday Night" from Gideon
Review:
So their step-Dad is only eight years older than them? I guess that is almost half their current age though. I wouldn't be surprised if they found it a bit weird though. What with Rene's cooking troubles it seems like the twins might be better off if Rene leaves them alone in Phoenix while she travels around the country with her husband.
Comments from author:
I would think Renee knows how to cook. She's just been distracted. (Understandably so.)

In the ultimate long run, that WOULD probably be the best option for the girls at this point. However, Phoenix isn't all warm and fuzzy and happy, and given what I have planned, staying is probably not going to be an attractive option.

I took some artistic liberties with Phil there. In the actual books he is almost a non-entity and mainly used only as a plot device.
Review By [Gideon] • Date [18 Jan 13] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Library" from Dragonelf
Review:
I like what you have done so far with the series and I am looking forward to read any new stuff you might get inspired to add to it.

::Gives the plot bunny a slice of King Friedrich Orange Cake::

# = # = # = # = # = # = # = # = # = # = # = #
"I am Grey. I stand between the candle
and the star. We are Grey. We stand
between the darkness and the light."
- Delenn, Babylon 5
# = # = # = # = # = # = # = # = # = # = # = #
Comments from author:
Love the Delenn quote.... it's a hard story to write, getting the POV right and what can be done with that. (I realized in this latest chapter that I could even use it to mess with the dialogue - that isn't actually what Maria-Elena said....)
Review By [Dragonelf] • Date [15 Jan 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Library" from Hecatonchires
Review:
Ooh, monk memory twist
Comments from author:
Yeah, just a little. There is a reason this story HAD to be told from Bella's POV... but since that's exactly how the books were written as well, it works.
Review By [Hecatonchires] • Date [9 Jan 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Library" from Gideon
Review:
Weirdness. I wonder how long it will take Bella to see the weirdness though considering she hasn't had the constant parade of weirdness through her life like Buffy had. And what she will think when she does notice. Hopefully she won't throw her sister up against a wall by her throat like Buffy did :)
Comments from author:
Remember too that the story is first-person POV. I played with a little of the dialogue here with that... Bella misheard one of Maria-Elena's lines.

And speaking of Buffy... did you notice the crossover character?
Review By [Gideon] • Date [9 Jan 13] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Library" from Shawn
Review:
That was very nice indeed! The first manifestation of Bella's ability, so subtly played. I was wondering why you were spending all this time in Phoenix. Very cool and gratifying to read! I can't wait for the next chapter.

thanks!

Shawn
Comments from author:
Actually, I plan for almost the entire story to be in Phoenix. It's actually (at least in concept of the overall plot - which has not made much of an appearance yet) exactly how I think this period in Bella's life must have gone, only with the twin added. (The story really, on a basic level, is about Renee and the whole conflict between "wife" and "mother".)

I plan to leave off with just enough of the beginning of book one to show the differences that causes.
Review By [Shawn] • Date [9 Jan 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Lockers" from Gideon
Review:
The new girl seems friendly and should make a nice addition to the group. Interestign that Bella is paicking up on something feeling "wrong". I wonder if that feeling will increase or decrease over time?
Comments from author:
The new girl... I debated even doing that, but I decided to go ahead. Book-Bella seemed to have very few ties to Phoenix, and I wanted to keep that the same. But we'll see. (Yes, I know, I've also got the de Portolas, but...)

Yes, interesting, isn't it? Been some indications of that before, too. She has several times corrected her pronouns INTO the plural, and seems to (mentally or emotionally) over-react to other people reacting to the twin thing. And there's a small scene back in chapter four when she's talking about Charlie that you may want to go back and look closely at.
Review By [Gideon] • Date [10 Dec 12] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Cake" from VillageOrchid
Review:
A bit of charm and a bit of annoying teenager POV. Not every teenager is that mortified by adults, but some are -- and you're writing it well.
Comments from author:
Well, mainly it's mortification of the topics at hand. On one hand, an open discussion of multiple pregnancies involving your own elementary school teachers. On the other, best friend crushing on your own divorced father. Really a no-win situation.
Review By [VillageOrchid] • Date [7 Dec 12] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Cake" from Gideon
Review:
It is somewhat comforting that the most horrifying thing in their lives is their teachers discussing babies. I suspect Bella wouldn't be so uncaring about werewolves if she knew what they are really like.
Comments from author:
That and "best friend crushing on Dad". But yes... a very 'normal' life, pre-Forks.
Review By [Gideon] • Date [2 Dec 12] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Reception" from Hecatonchires
Review:
I'm enjoying how 'in her head' the POV is
Comments from author:
Trying to copy the books in that respect. Nice to hear I'm doing it well. ;)
Review By [Hecatonchires] • Date [23 Oct 12] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Reception" from Gideon
Review:
Sounds like it was well planned - except for their Dad's choice of clothing :)
Review By [Gideon] • Date [23 Oct 12] • Rating [8 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Limousines" from tals
Review:
Okay,I've just got to comment now - I've been reading because I am intrigued by the idea of placing the key in hiding and interested enough to see where you take it... But every time you mention the twin thing, it takes me right out of the story.

Identical twins are not so rare that people stop and stare as though they were alien creatures - I should know, I'm an identical twin. Sure, you get the occasional mix-up or double - take. But mostly? No reaction. Acquaintances might ask if it isn't great being a twin... Having no comparison I can only say I love my sister, and it was like growing up with a best friend, already in place. We have known each other literally forever, and have a deep understanding of each other because of that.

But still? Twins are individuals, with their own identities and personalities - My sister is for instance far more impulsive than me. Your Bella presents a story, where she and Grace seem joint at the hip constantly, and seemingly develop the same interests at the exact same time always. It seems slightly pathological - as though they have build their entire sense of self on the fact that they are twins.

And yet I'm still interested in the story - there is potential there - and I still want to know where you are taking the story. But please consider my comment and (if you feel it has merit) try to flesh out Grace's personality and differentiate a little more between the two girls.

Tals
Comments from author:
I totally appreciate this!

Actually, I'd intended it to come off that way - it'll be explained later in the story, but Bella's subconsciously very uncomfortable with the whole situation, and since we're seeing it through her POV, we're picking up on that. Her and Grace are actually not all that alike (as you said)... Bella's reading more into it than she should be. I have a plan to really flesh that out after they start school.

I'm not a twin myself, but I know a few, and I know they often go in totally different directions, but can still be similar in ways too. We had a pair in my class in HS who both played the same position in football, fought over their favorite player's number even... but are now a cop and a chef.

Right now I'm just a little stalled on writing the wedding-related scenes.
Review By [tals] • Date [11 Oct 12] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Limousines" from Gideon
Review:
Yeah, having kids is the kind of thing you need to stick with for at least 15-20 years. Still at least it seems to have made Grace and Bella quite capable :)
Comments from author:
Well, yes. If only because they (she) got thrust into the role of being the responsible person(s) in the family at a rather young age. At least Renee took them (her) along when she left!

(Course, in the book version, Bella's an only child.)

Renee's always been there for the girl(s), but it's not necessarily a prototypical mother-daughter(s) relationship.
Review By [Gideon] • Date [6 Oct 12] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Limousines" from VillageOrchid
Review:
Well, I like it so far. Thanks for sharing.
Review By [VillageOrchid] • Date [6 Oct 12] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Preparation" from yuiop
Review:
Nice
Review By [yuiop] • Date [5 Oct 12] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Preparation" from VillageOrchid
Review:
Not a universe that I'm particularly into, but I note the difference here is that the Monks didn't think that "Grace" needed a protector, and instead she seems fairly self-reliant.
Comments from author:
To a point, yes. The concept is that they were simply trying to hide the Key rather than placing it for protection.
Review By [VillageOrchid] • Date [4 Oct 12] • Not Rated
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