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Review:academica says:
Oh, Shelby, I love your Eileen. She seems like she's teetering just on the border between happiness and longing. On the one hand, she's got a thriving business, many friends, and a clear talent for sewing, but on the other she feels lonely surrounded by people with partners and families of their own. She's quite independent, which I like about her, because it reminds me of myself :)

I'm still hopelessly hooked, only now my fascination has shifted from the curse to this secrecy surrounding the Prince family. I can see, even without knowing much about their troubles, why Eileen would retreat from the wizarding world and her pure-blood past and find comfort among Muggles--including, I'm presuming, Tobias. The only thing that throws me a little is that Fabian asked about her parents and then later we found out that they were dead. Their deaths must not be well known, then? No newspaper announcement?

As you know from reading Diamonds into Coal, sometimes you can really dive into a story by doing some extra research on the side, and it seems like you did that here with sewing. I'm impressed by how you were able to work on the details of Eileen's job without disrupting the flow of the chapter, and how the Muggle and magical parts of the chapter blended together... well... seamlessly. Hah. Forgive me the pun :D

This was another great chapter and I seriously can't wait to read more of this awesome story!

-Amanda

Author's Response: Amanda! Oh, I'm so excited that you like her. I'm able to give her basically any characterization I want because we know so little and that has allowed me to shape her almost as my own original character. She is a study of contrasts, I think you'll find. She's like any of us - at once happy and sad, many emotions at odds with each other. I'm glad you like her independence. Historically, it's a bit risky for the era, but she is a witch after all, so I think it's acceptable. I also wanted her to be successful. Too many woman of this particular time relied heavily on men. I've always thought that witches were more successful and given more opportunities.

Ahh, the fact that you're hooked makes me so happy. I'm struggling and writing and working so hard to make this story /good/, you know? The whole thing - the curse, how Eileen straddles both worlds, her eventual connection with Tobias - it will all come together, but it's got a very dark twist, I'll tell you that! The part about Eileen's parents is meant to be unclear, actually. Their deaths aren't well-known, so that's why Fabian really has no idea. It will all come to light in time! :)

Oh yes, research! Why do we saddle ourselves with stories that require so much research? Haha (because we're awesome!). Thank you - my grandmother worked in a sewing plant for most of her working career, so some of these things I know and others I had to do some serious googling and fact-checking. Haha, love the pun! It's my hope that I continue to make it realistic and put those details together well without creating something jilting.

Thank you so much, Amanda! I always love your feedback and hope you continue to enjoy!

Shelby


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