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Sunday, November 11, 2012

NoMoReMo, AW November Blog Chain

This month's Absolute Write Blog Chain brings you NaMoReMo (National Mock Review Month).

In the spirit of NaNoWriMo, write a mock review of a writing project that you have done or would like to do. Make sure to either give a brief, one-sentence description of what the project is or work it into the review somehow. You can review anything (poetry, prose, collected blog posts) and in any way you like (funny, serious, Dadaist).

Be sure to check out my fellow AWer's reviews.  They are posted below.  Enjoy!

Follow the Trail by C. F. Pence is the ambitious romantic tale of Adria Hall, a Bostontonian elite who flees the only home she knows after finding her fiance in an indecent position with a former friend.  Heartbroken and humiliated, Adria takes shelter in the West with long time family friends who own and run a general store.  Adria is immediately hired to help, and it is her duties at the store that bring her face to face with Drew Scott, a local cattle rancher who looks down on the inexperienced city girl who doesn't belong.  As Adria attempts to embrace a life she knows nothing about, she bonds with a girl who turns out to be Drew's sister.  In predictable fashion, Adria and Drew develop a mutual attraction as they continually stumble into each other.

Although Pence started with much potential for a good love story, the focus is lost among her attempt to bring mystery and tragedy into the mix.  Drew leaves to "follow the trail" of ruthless cattle thieves who committed a despicable murder while Adria is left behind to comfort a sudden widow.  And the trail is long.  Indeed, it is so long that it becomes hard to tell if Pence is writing a romance or a western.  Quite frankly, Follow the Trail just isn't good enough to be both. 

The writing blunders are frequent and jarring, but perhaps with more practice and a sharp pair of shearers Pence can shape this story into something worthwhile.  For now there is too much chaos, and the road to the tidy bow at the end takes too long to travel. 

Now please check out these:
Ralph Pines
dolores haze
writingismypassion (you are here)


  1. oh, dear. It sounds like the cowboy left his society girlfriend waiting for a very long time. Definitely not romantic! Best of luck taking the shears to this one!

  2. Maybe make it two stories, one western and one romance?

  3. Something worth reading and exploring more here. Kevin Costner and a prim & proper Courtney Cox type comes to mind perhaps if the book turns into a movie. Good to see you back!

  4. Interesting review. Surely, the novel has lost its heading by combining both topics and not leaving anything defined. If you look into it, which path would you take? The western or the romance?


  5. I am thinking the same as Howen, two stories. I definitely am intrigued by that romance with the cowboy. Yeehah! :)

  6. What a wonderfully written review! You had me hooked from the very first line :D

  7. I've noticed a trend of us all being pretty hard on ourselves. Beats being naively self-congratulatory, I s'pose :)

    Maybe the story would work better if FMC and MMC were on the trail together along with the grieving widow a la True Grit!

  8. Thanks all. I still love this story and hope to get back to it some day. I definitely intended it to be more romance than western. Maybe my MMC should stay on his ranch and let the law handle the dirty scumbag who took his cattle and murdered his friend. But then Adria would lose any respect for him. The murdered victim is her friend/boss. Of course, having my MMC be a vigilante murderer probably wouldn't sit well with Adria wither. It's such a tangled mess that needs a lot of work. :)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!