Thoughts on Battle Royale (Halfway Into It)

Update on My Reading of Battle Royale by Koushun Takami.

I wish I could say I’m further into the book than I am.  The thing is about 600 pages, and I’m at page 300.  The kids and I came down with a bad cold, and when one of my kids is sick, he will not leave me alone.  He will follow me into the bathroom and hang on the shower door, being as loud as possible while he swings back and forth on it.  Usually, he won’t do this, but when he has a cold, I guess he likes to be with me.  Needless to say, this makes reading nearly impossible so the book has been on hold.  (My husband, by the way, has managed through this whole time without getting sick.  Lucky.)

….Possible spoilers below…

Anyway, I can give my initial impressions of the book.  When I read the first chapter, I realized there was a lot of info dumping.  I didn’t know any of the characters yet, but I was told about this student and that student, etc.  I don’t know why the author did this, nor do I know the author to ask him about it.  There wasn’t enough time to establish a connection with any of these characters yet to care who was doing what or what the main character thought about any of them.  I suspect the author wrote this while either in the middle of the book or at the end of it.  (I don’t know for sure.  I’m just speculating.)

I’m going to wait until I’m done with the book then I’ll go back reread that chapter because at that time, the characters will be familiar to me, and the chapter will mean something to me.   I will admit, I skimmed through some of that chapter to get to the good stuff.  I only kept reading because I knew there would be the moment where all the students realized they were going to have to fight each other until there was only one left alive.  But had it not been for the premise and the fact that the next chapter started off at the “good point”, I would have stopped reading.  Being as slow as I am with reading books, I don’t keep going past (what I consider) two consecutive boring chapters.  With this book, that was the only chapter that didn’t hold my interest.  But, I suspect when I do reread it, this is a chapter that just might have the biggest impact because of everything that happens later in the book.

So far, this book has been an awesome one.  There are three main characters, and I do find myself rooting for them, even though I suspect the one is going to die because I’ve been told ahead of time that one boy and the girl end up together.  This boy is the primary one telling the story.  We are given other characters’ points of view throughout the book, but we always come back to him.  I’m not even going to try naming these characters because I’d probably spell them wrong.  Suffice it to say, the main characters are a boy (Boy 1), a girl, and another boy (Boy 2).  Boy 1 is the character we get to know what he’s thinking and feeling about everything, and he’s the one who ends up with the girl.

So far, I haven’t been given the girl or Boy 2’s points of view.  That is probably done on purpose because Boy 2 is a mystery.  I can’t help but wonder about his motives.  Of course, this is a good technique.  I love it when there’s one character you wonder about.  Is this a good or bad guy?  What is his motive?  I know what he’s saying, but what is he really thinking?  These types of characters are often the most interesting in any story because they aren’t black or white.  They’re a mix of gray, and gray makes you wonder.  Boy 2, as it turns out, has survived one of these programs in the past, and that makes the story even more intriguing.

But while the three main characters are hiding out and trying to survive, the author weaves in what is happening to the other characters on this island.  While I was reading through some reviews on this book, I was prepared for this, so it didn’t throw me off when this happened.  At first, I wasn’t sure what to think of this technique.  The Hunger Games book is only given in one person’s point of view.  This book, on the other hand, gives you many characters’ points of view, even that of the bad guy.

There was some criticism for this technique, but I actually like it.  In a situation like this, you would run into different personalities, so there would be several ways to respond to a situation where you’re told, “Kill your classmates or risk being killed by them.” Would you do it?  Would you try to get your classmates together and form an escape plan?  Would you hide out and wait until you’re the last one standing?  These questions are what these characters are answering.  Based on their personalities, they choose different options, just as you’d see in real life.

This is not a “happy” book.  It’s really quite brutal, revealing the darkest potential in the human heart.  Some characters are taking the offensive and killing their classmates, and some are those they once called friends.  In some ways, it’s heartbreaking because you’re investing time into a few good characters who are going to die, and you watch them die, knowing full well they have to based on the premise of the book.  There are a couple characters you don’t mind seeing die, like those who I’m sure we weren’t supposed to be rooting for anyway.

I think that’s why the main characters’ story keeps weaving in and out of the rest of this.  It gives the reader a centering point to go back to.  These are the characters you end up really rooting for.  I’ve been trying to guess how Boy 1 and the girl will end up together (and alive), but I really have no idea how it’s going to happen.  The bad guy can hear them and see what they’re doing (just like they did in the Hunger Games).  But unlike the Hunger Games, each student is given a collar around their neck that can explode at any time, and the students can’t remove them.  So yeah, there are some major obstacles our main characters have to overcome.

I look forward to seeing how it all plays out and will report what I think when I’m done.

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Updates on What I’m Doing

 His Convenient Wife (standalone)

His Convenient Wife ebook cover

This is still due out January 3.  I’m going over the paperback proof copy to check for errors on this one.  I’d like to get the ebook and paperback out around the same time.

On January 5, I’ll be having a two-hour Facebook party for the release of this book.  I’ll give the details about a week from the day of the party.

Love Lessons With The Duke (Marriage by Deceit: Book 2)

Love Lessons with the Duke

This is due out February 14.  Yes, I picked that day because it’s Valentine’s Day. :D  I did get this back from one person on my editing team already, but I haven’t gone over what she found yet.  I want to wait until either this upcoming week or next to work on this book.

Ruined By The Earl (Marriage by Deceit: Book 3)

Ruined by the Earl ebook cover

I just started chapter 6 of this one.   Stephannie Beman did this, along with the other four covers in the Marriage by Deceit Series.  I have scheduled more book covers for her to do for me next year.  Her quality is way better than what I can do.

Anyway, this book is going along very well.  I won’t be putting this on pre-order, which gives me greater freedom to get it out in March.  If I can keep up the pacing I set up, I shouldn’t have any problems doing it.

The Earl’s Stolen Bride (Marriage by Deceit: Book 4)

The Earl's Stolen Bride

I’m not far in this one.  I’m only at the beginning of chapter 2.  I’d love to get this one out in April, but we’ll see.  At this early in the book, it’s hard to get a good idea on how easily the book will progress.

A Groom’s Promise

a groom's promise

I’m at chapter 3 in my novella for this anthology.  I think Janet Syas Nitsick is about as far in her novella as I am in mine.  We are meeting tomorrow to work on this anthology.  We’ve had to do more together in this anthology than the other one we did (Bride by Arrangement) because the main hero in our novellas are brothers.  Our storylines also intertwine.  The father of my heroine is trying to convince the hero in Janet’s book to marry her.  But, the heroine is going to end up with my hero.  So we are going slow in order to make sure the whole thing works out like it’s supposed to.

About Wagon Trail Bride

New Cover Coming Soon

New Cover Coming Soon

This will be the start of a new historical western romance series.  I have only gotten into chapter 2.  I don’t plan to publish this until after I’m done with the Marriage by the Deceit series.

Wagon Trial Bride will be book 1 in the Pioneer Series.  I know.  It’s not a “wow” kind of series title, but since I did Nebraska Series, South Dakota Series, etc, it fits best with my other historical western romance series.  I know Wagon Trail Bride features Richard Larson, but this isn’t a “Larson” series.  It a series that happens to have Richard Larson in it.  I haven’t decided which characters will be the main ones in books 2 and 3, but they’ll be introduced in Wagon Trail Bride.  Their stories, however, won’t take place until after Richard and Amanda reach Omaha.  I haven’t decided if all of them will stay in Omaha with them or not.  I’ll have to see how things play out.

Now that I know where I’m going with this book and that it’ll be part of a new series, I want to change the cover.  I’ll be having Stephannie Beman make them for me, and she gave me a good idea for a “look” to go with them the other day.  But her calendar gets full quickly, so she won’t be able to get to them until February at the soonest.  In the meantime, I’ll be using the old cover for Wagon Trail Bride when referring to it in these posts.


Posted in A Groom's Promise, His Convenient Wife, Love Lessons With The Duke, Ruined by the Earl, The Earl's Stolen Bride, Wagon Trail Bride | 8 Comments

Why Romance is Popular

Two beautiful women in vintage dress

Contrary to what a lot of people seem to think, romance readers don’t read romance because they like trashy novels.  They aren’t sex-crazed bored housewives who desperately need something useful to do with their lives.  I don’t know who started this stereotype, but it doesn’t play out in real life.  Just like people who like horror novels aren’t secretly keeping dead bodies in their basement or performing sacrificial rituals in their backyard.  But I’m not talking about horror novels.  I’m talking about romances and why romances are popular.

The reason why they’re popular is because they guarantee a happy ending.  You can rest assured going in that you are investing your time into characters who won’t die on you or end up unhappy.  You don’t have to go to the end of the book to look at the last page wondering if everything will end up okay before you get started.  You know the hero and heroine labeled in the description will end up together.

Some of you may wonder what’s the point if you already know how things will end.  It’s simple.  The key isn’t how the book is going to end.  The key is the journey.  It’s how the hero and heroine will find their happy ending.  The safety net in reading a romance is knowing that no matter how bad things get for our main characters, you know everything will work out for them in the end.  It’s about hope.

I think romance readers are some of the happiest and most optimistic people I’ve come across.  They’re supportive and caring.  They tend to be happy in their marriages, and they tend to spread happiness wherever they go.  I think that’s why they enjoy romances.  Romances are about giving two people a happy ending, and when those characters get that happy ending, the readers (in turn) share in that happy ending.

This all goes to the post I wrote on creating an emotionally engaging character.  There is a connection between the character and the reader.  The reader wants to escape into the character’s world.  (The same is true for the writer.)  Romances allow the reader to escape into the journey of the heart.  But this doesn’t detract from the reader’s real life.  I’d say it enhances it.  Since most romance readers I know are happily married, they aren’t looking to put a hero into their husband’s shoes.  They just want to enjoy someone else’s journey of the heart.

I don’t know how else to explain it.  Since there seems to be so many people who have a hard time understanding what makes romances so popular, I’m hoping this post will help explain it.  I’ve been married for fourteen years, and while my husband and I have had our ups and downs, we’re happy together.  In fact, I’d say the longer we’ve been married, the better things get because we understand and accept each other (faults and all) a lot easier.  So when I read romances, it’s not because I’m a bored and lonely housewife.  It’s because I know how wonderful romance is and enjoy watching two characters discover this for themselves.

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Wagon Trail Bride: Flash Fiction (Teaser About Amanda’s Past)

I'll have Stephannie Beman work on the cover to fit it in a series if a series does evolve from this book.

I’ll have Stephannie Beman work on the cover to fit it in a series if a series does evolve from this book.

This is in first draft form so it’s not perfect:

“We’ll stop here for tonight,” Joe called out to the group as he rode by on his horse.

As tired as Amanda was, she wished they could have kept going for another half hour. But he was right. They should stop for the evening. The day had been a long one, and this one seemed especially difficult given the lack of wind as the sun beat down on them. She came to a stop and opened her canteen. There was no more water in it. With a sigh, she put the lid back on and studied her surroundings.

In New York City, she got used to buildings and lots of people. But out here, it seemed like a desolate wilderness. There was the occasional town along the way, but for the most part, it was open land as far as the eye could see. She couldn’t decide if she liked it or not. Omaha was bound to be much different from what she was used to.

“You want to eat with my family tonight?”

She gasped and turned, unaware Richard had come up behind her.

He smiled, his blue eyes twinkling. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Relaxing, she returned his smile. “I don’t know where my mind is.”

“It’s been a long day.” He glanced back at their wagon. “I need to get the animals settled before supper.” He turned his gaze back to her. “My ma asked us if we wanted to eat with them tonight. I told her I’d ask you. I wasn’t sure if you feel up to preparing something or not.” He took his hat off and wiped the sweat from his brow. His blond hair, which was a light shade of blond, appeared darker in the orange and pink hues of the evening sky. Hat still in hand, he continued, “I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. I can bring something back for you if you’d rather not talk to anyone. I know Laura was giving you a difficult time earlier today.”

She met Richard’s eyes again. They’d gone to school together, but it wasn’t until recently that she got to know him. Their wedding had been so rushed, being that it was done out of necessity. “I’ll be happy to join your family for supper this evening,” she finally said.

After everything he’d done for her, it was the least she could do. And as he’d pointed out, Laura had been unusually annoying that day by coming up to her during the break at the stream. Amanda scanned the area where people were getting settled for the evening. Good. Laura was preoccupied with her mother.

“We’ll go to their wagon in a little bit,” Richard told her, directing her attention back to him.

She nodded then found a private area where she could go to the restroom. Of all the conveniences she missed in New York, this was the one she missed most. Outhouses might have stunk, but they offered a better sense of privacy than a group of bushes did. She had to keep worrying someone would happen to find her like this. Though was it any worse than the condition Richard found her? And had it not been for him, who knew what would have happened to her?

Don’t think about it, she admonished herself.

She left the bushes and returned to her wagon. He’d already unhitched the oxen for the night and was letting them rest with the other animals. “Do you need any help?” she asked as she pulled the strap holding her canteen over her head.

“No. I have it all taken care of.” He held his hand out to her. “I’ll put that in the wagon and fill it up tomorrow.”

She thanked him and handed him the canteen. As he jumped up into the wagon, a movement not too far away caught her attention. The last thing she wanted to do was look over and see what it was. Or rather, who it was. She had an unsettling feeling someone was watching her. And if she guessed right, it was Joe. Forcing her hands into her pockets, she kept her eyes on Richard who was setting the canteen next to the blanket that served as a bed.

Relieved when he returned, she relaxed. But only slightly. Joe was still watching her. She told herself not to think about it. He was a part of her past. Richard was her future. And really, no one could blame her. She had no other choice at the time.

Richard smiled and took her by the arm, gently leading her away from the wagon, away from Joe. She stepped closer to Richard, taking comfort in his silent strength. He’d been there when Joe hadn’t been, and for that, she owed him her life.

“Ma said my brothers caught a couple rabbits earlier today,” Richard said. “She’s going to cook them then put them in stew with the carrots and potatoes they saved from the last town we were in.”

“Your ma’s a good cook,” she replied.

“You are, too.”

She wanted to argue with him but didn’t. He seemed to see only the best in things, and that included her. She wasn’t sure what to make of it. How did someone tell someone they weren’t as perfect as they were made out to be? Would he find out soon enough? And at that time, would he realize he made a mistake?

She forced the questions aside. It’d been a long day. Tomorrow would be just as long. And quite frankly, she was tired. All she wanted to do was eat and go to sleep. Sleeping was her favorite activity because it was in sleep she could forget everything. Then, for a few hours, she had peace.

Posted in Wagon Trail Bride | 4 Comments

His Convenient Wife is Still Due Out January 3

I forgot to mention His Convenient Wife in the last post.  Thanks to the person who brought it to my attention. :)

His Convenient Wife ebook cover

Yes, this is still due out January 3.  

I have it all set and ready to go.  I had to push back the release date because this time of year just sucks for publishing books if you’re self-publishing anything.  No one is buying them.  They’re buying gifts for others.   I’ve decided it’s just better to hold onto a book and wait for the Christmas season to be over.  Then people are settled in and able to do more reading.

This time of year is a hard one for me, too, so I completely understand.  My kids get a lot of breaks from school, and it’s too cold to take them to the pool or park.  So they are usually buzzing around my house, climbing the walls (literally), and getting into lots of fights (since there are four of them).  I do good to get the meals on the table and keep the house clean.  And honestly, I am not the perfect housekeeper.  Even when I clean, I usually forget the small details like dusting.  As for cooking, I’ve been known to burn soup and set the microwave on fire.  I wish I was kidding, but I’m not.

Anyway, this is another excellent reason why pre-orders aren’t working for me.  Once I finish a book, I forget all about it.  I start focusing in on the ones I’m currently working on.  I know I’m supposed to keep promoting books, even after I’m done with them, but I have so many other books I want to do that it’s hard for me to go back and remember those that are out.  Fun for me is working on the current story.

I’ll try to remember to include His Convenient Wife in my update posts until it’s actually available.

Posted in His Convenient Wife | 8 Comments

Updates on What I’m Doing

Done with the First Draft!

Love Lessons with the Duke

Marriage by Deceit: Book 2

This book is finally complete!  A lot of this story entwines with book 3 in that the events that happen in this book lead directly the next book.  This was a fun book.  The hero is intensely shy, and some of the conversations he has with the heroine who is trying to help him find a wife had a humorous note to them.  This book is not a comedy, but it does have some cute moments.  It also has a few serious moments, but I’d say overall, it’s a light-hearted read.

Mr. Christopher Robinson (hero in His Reluctant Lady) and Lord Edon (aka. Ethan who was the hero in A Most Unsuitable Earl) from the Marriage by Scandal series play a big role in the events that transpire in this book because they are up to mischief.  Lord Roderick and Lord Clement in the Marriage by Scandal Series are much too serious, so they would never have worked here.  But for those who enjoy seeing characters from another series, this should be a treat. :)  Personally, Christopher Robinson was my favorite in the Marriage by Scandal Series.

I’m Hoping to Publish Ruined by the Earl in Either March or April

Cover Coming Soon

I’d love to have this out in March, but it depends on how things go.  I had the delay on Love Lessons With the Duke, so it’s possible a snag will develop while writing this that I can’t anticipate ahead of time.   However, my goal is to have it out a month after Love Lessons With the Duke is out so there’s not a long delay between the two books.

So far, the hero in this book is turning out to be just as fun to work with as Christopher Robinson.  In fact, Christopher might find a kindred spirit to be friends with in this book.  I’ll go more into this book later.  Right now, I’m only at chapter 2, so I have yet to see how everything comes together.

But the chemistry between the hero and heroine is already exciting.  She can’t stop crying because he kissed her at a ball, thereby preventing her from marrying the person she wanted.  And while he only did it because he was desperate for the money (there is a good reason behind his actions, but it won’t be revealed until later in the book), the way he reacts to everything is humorous.  He’s got a lot of Christopher in him.  If you read His Reluctant Lady, you know what I mean.

I Just Got to Chapter 2 in This One

The Earl's Stolen Bride

This one has been a long time coming since book 1 in the series (The Earl’s Secret Bargain) when Lord Reddington (Orlando) wanted to marry Chloe, but her father arranged a marriage for her to someone else.  Her husband has just died, and Orlando is going to jump at the chance to marry her before her father pairs her up with someone else.  I am aware there was a mourning period and ladies were expected to go longer than gentleman after the death of a spouse before marrying again.  But Orlando is going to whisk her off to Gretna Green anyway.

I’d love to get this out in either April or May so that the entire series can be complete and out before this summer.

On Chapter 3 in This Anthology

a groom's promise

This is another anthology Janet Syas Nitsick and I are working on.  We did some writing in it this week to get an idea of where both of our stories will go.  The thing is, since the heroes in novella 1 and novella 2 are brothers who are going to the same farm to work, we need to make sure the stories connect.  While her hero is going to end up with one heroine and my hero will end up with another, they are staying at the same place and dealing with the same people.  So it’s important we don’t contradict each other.  The two novellas will be different romances.  They just overlap because of the brothers being so close.

We’ll be submitting this one to our publisher, Parchment & Plume.  We’re hoping it’ll be out before this summer.

Finally Got It!

I'll have Stephannie Beman work on the cover to fit it in a series if a series does evolve from this book.

I’ll have Stephannie Beman work on the cover to fit it in a series if a series does evolve from this book.

I’m glad I waited for the right plot because now I’m excited about this book.  I was never that excited about the original storyline I had, but now I’m totally psyched and have been writing bits of flash fiction pieces.  I’ll be posting a teaser scene in a couple days.

This will be the first book in a series.  I already have three books planned out for it.  I’ll be referring to the series as “Pioneer Series”.  Since my other historical western series have simple titles like like “Nebraska Series” and “South Dakota Series”, I figure it’d be best to keep to the same simplicity in naming this one.

I am going to modify the cover to Wagon Trail Bride, but it won’t be a whole lot.  I plan to contact Stephannie Beman, my cover artist, about giving the title a “zing” to it and setting the series to the title in there somewhere.  I have the basic image already without the text.  I like the people on the cover.  I’m just not thrilled with the way the text looks.

Then I’ll let her do the covers for the next two books in the series so they all match up.

Posted in A Groom's Promise, Ruined by the Earl, The Earl's Stolen Bride, Wagon Trail Bride | 6 Comments

My Thoughts on the Hunger Games Trilogy

This post contains some spoilers, so don’t read this if you hate spoilers.

I’m currently reading the first book.  So this is really about the two movies Hunger Games (movie 1) and Catching Fire (movie 2).

When I saw the first movie was on video, I watched the very beginning and turned it off.  It looked like it had the potential to be a depressing movie.  I’ve seen the movies Brazil and 1984.  Those depressed me for days.  I’m not a fan of movies or books set in some futuristic time where the state controls everything the individual does.  Why?  Because the oppressors win, and the hero/heroine loses the person they love.  I write romance.  I need my happy ending.

But last month I decided to give the series another chance because my husband had watched the first movie and said it wasn’t as depressing as I expected.  He even said there was a satisfactory romance in it, meaning the boy didn’t die like I thought.  Well, a good romance usually pulls me in, so I figured I’d give it another shot.

I looked for the first movie (Hunger Games) but saw the second one pop up in my search on instant video.  Since the second one (Catching Fire) was free, I decided to give that one a shot.  This way I could test the waters without investing too much into it.

So at the very beginning of this second book, I see Katniss with Gale, and more than that, he kisses her.  My initial thought was, “Oh crap.  She is kissing the guy she didn’t go to the games with in the first movie.”

For those who aren’t familiar with the series, Katniss is the main character.  Gale is her longtime friend.  Peeta was the one selected for the games in the first movie, and he’s the one I was rooting for because from the little bit I watched in the first movie, he looked like the underdog and I have a weakness for the underdog.  Usually, it’s the underdog who will lay down his life for the girl he loves, so I want to see the underdog win her.

So when I saw Gale kiss her, it was a major letdown.  Because what if she ends up with Gale?  Peeta was alive in the second movie, but Katniss wasn’t interested in him.

I was ready to turn the movie off when the heroine was told she needed to pretend to be interested in Peeta.  And this is when I paused the movie and did a search for it on the internet to get spoilers about how this movie was going to play out.  Before I was willing to invest any more time into what was a promising premise, I needed to be assured the entire series would end the way I wanted it to.  I checked out all the spoilers I could find and was relieved that she does end up with Peeta in the end.

So you see?  Spoilers can actually help sell books and movies in certain conditions. :D  But it is a good idea to warn the people that the review contains spoilers so those who don’t want to know what happens won’t get upset.  As for me, if the movie or book is not a romance, I love spoilers that let me know how the romance plays out.  If the hero and heroine don’t end up together, I won’t invest my time in it.  This is a personal preference.  I know some people don’t care either way as long as the story is good.

I did watch movie 2 in its entirety.  Then I went back and bought movie 1.  (Later on, I went back and bought movie 2 even though it’s still free.)

Quick side note: There are some people who claim that no one finds value in anything free, but I love these two movies, and I bought the one that was free.  I then went and bought the books and even bought the soundtrack.  If someone loves something enough, they will be willing to buy it or buy things that go along with it.  So this is why I don’t consider “free” a bad thing.  I get a lot of flack (from other writers) for having some of my own books free, but you know what?  Free is an excellent way to let someone test the waters to see if the book (or movie) is a good match for the person who is investing time into it.  Not only have I ended up buying movies and books that were free, but I usually go to You Tube, listen to songs (for free) for the purpose of picking which ones I like enough to buy off iTunes.

Okay.  Back to the post…

I liked the second movie more than the first because in it, Katniss falls in love with Peeta.  Yay!  My favorite part of the whole movie is when she tells him, “I need you” and kisses him.  Of course, then they are separated again.  But I’m okay with this because I read the reviews on the third book and talked to someone who read the whole series.  Peeta ends up with her, and she has children with him.

I do plan to see the last two movies in the series, but I don’t think I’ll read the third book.  It sounds like there isn’t really a lot of Peeta in there (and he’s my favorite character).  It also sounds like it’s a lot more “war intense” than the first two books.  I’m not reading this trilogy for the “we’re going to knock down the tyrannical government” theme; I’m reading it for the romance.  I am reading book 1 right now and will read book 2 next.  The reason I’m even reading the books to get a deeper point of view in what Katniss is thinking about Peeta during the events in the movies.  I will probably skip book 3 except for the epilogue because someone who likes the same kind of romances I do told me it’s worth reading.  Sorry to those of you who love stuff like battle scenes and such.  Those don’t interest me at all.

I’m hoping the last two movies, they’ll 1) let Katniss’ sister live and 2) keep the momentum going between Katniss and Peeta.  Since this isn’t giving in 1st person point of view like the books, there’s a good chance, we’ll get a deeper look at Peeta and what he’ll be going through.  I really hope the last movie ends on a super happy romantic note.  Yes, I know war is terrible and in real life there would be scars from it all, but I’m hoping they’ll be a fairytale-like quality to it, similar to how Return of the Jedi ended for the original Star Wars Trilogy.  *fingers crossed*

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