Reading Reviews From Member: BitterSweetFlames
  
76 Reviews Found

Review #1, by BitterSweetFlamesThe Fires of St Anthony: Alpdrücke

23rd November 2014:
Hi darling. Here for our swap. :)

First off, excuse me while I try to pull my jaw from the floor where it is currently at. I cannot believe you wrote this during NaNo. Are you even human? Or maybe a superhero whose power is to write. Your descriptions! -SWOONS- so perfect and just, wow. XD I actually read through this chapter twice because there was so much I felt I missed the first time.

Jormungandr's Stair -- holy hell, really? D= Well, omg, that is just the scariest, most nerve-wracking thing in the world. I would have died and jumped if I had to do it (well, maybe not. BUT TEMPTATION. OMG) [note: your story is making me incoherent. In a good way, I promise. haha]

So, the staff room! That was very interesting to read. And I agree. Teachers much have liquor stores, this should be canon. ha It would probably be important to survive teaching dunderheads (lol, I do love that term.)

The game you described seemed so very interesting and complicated. Like I said earlier I had to read through a second time to get most of the details but your words are just so rich and powerful, it's almost as potent as I'm sure the vodka was for Anthony.

What I also really liked is how Anthony also thinked about his life at Hogwart's. You know, playing with friends, the fact that it teemed with life, etc. And that he contrasted it with Durmstrang just put into harsher perspective what sort of place Durmstrang is. *brr* I don't know if I'd want to go there!

When I saw the part at the end, I felt chills running up the back of my spine like little spiders. How? What? Why?

"Something, yes, But not a boy."
-- This scared me more than anything has ever had the power to scare. -crawls under bed-

I can't wait to see where this is going! Thanks for the swap. :)

--Carla

P.S. Is that Matt Czuchry I see on your banner? OK, I need to pause with hand to the heart. K, it's passed. I doubly love your story now.

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Review #2, by BitterSweetFlamesAn inky black heart.: The ebony vessel.

23rd November 2014:
Hi Kiana! :D Here for the swap! :)

Oh Wow, the Every Word Counts challenge really is absolutely fabulous! It produces the most fascinating of entries and this one was no different. I was totally blown away by your style of writing in this fic. -jaw drop-

I love the repetition of words - it's so powerful and beautiful and chilling. Snape's mind is so scary in this, I find myself depressed over that (I just love Snape so much. haha). But the depression doesn't last too long because I am whisked away to another thought, another room in his mindpalace and it is just as intriguing and dark as the last.

I find the idea of obsessive love interesting, actually. I've had a long long long (see what I did there?XD) time to think about Snape's feelings towards Lily and I could never fully resolve it in my head. But you've managed to put a dark, twisted voice in there (my head, I mean) and, wow, it's insistent. (I don't know what to do with it!)

Anyway, I too am not a fan of Snily although for probably a different reason. But it is quite obvious you don't like them as a ship but it's okay because this was such a fascinating read.

And, again, thank you for the swap.

--Carla

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Review #3, by BitterSweetFlamesDreams of Hope : Dreams of Hope

23rd November 2014:
Hi, Panda. :) I'm here for the Ravenclaw BvB Review Battle. I couldn't resist! I wanted to read something you'd written. hehe..

Anyway, you definitely deserved to win the challenge! While this was short it was, in no way, lacking. I really loved the way you described Lupin, poor poor lonely Lupin. How sad and painful it must have been to come back to Hogwarts after all those years and remember happier times. That really comes across.

When you said that this was written for a quote challenge I spent the entire fic looking for it. If you had not mentioned in your AN that it was "I know how men in exile feed on dreams of hope." I would not have been 100% sure that was the quote you'd used! That's a testament to how flawlessly you wrote this story. I really truly enjoyed it.:)

Lastly, I love all the emotions you managed to invoke - fear, hope, anger, sadness. All in varying degrees. Rare has it been for less than 1000 words to have such a power to affect.

Anyway, I really enjoyed it! Great job. :)

--Carla

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Review #4, by BitterSweetFlamesSaving Severus Snape : 31st August 1976

23rd November 2014:
Meg. I am not admitting that I am stalking this story. ABSOLUTELY NOT. But when I saw in status updates that WTM was validating I was, like, oooh.. Must see, must see. So, okay, I might have stalked a little.

I loved loved loved every teeny aspect of this chapter! The way you wrote Dumbledore. You wrote him so very well! And then you add in the fact that you put Hermione in Ravenclaw. Yes, I think she'd have been very suited to that house. So awesome. (And the common room is beautiful. I WANT TO LIVE THERE. lol)

Okay, so I cannot wait for a Hermione-Severus interaction! Hopefully soon.

Much loves

--C

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Review #5, by BitterSweetFlamesHermione Granger and the Dead Man's Mark: Chapter Two

23rd November 2014:
Hi Hori! :D I'm here from our swap. Like I told you in our PM I'd already been very very interested in the sound of this story from your request over at TDA. Hehehe. :) It sounds dark but it's also spectacularly well-written and enjoyable in its complexities. So, yes, if it's not clear yet, I loved it (and will definitely find the time to read more of it in the future.)

So, you mentioned that your main concern was Hermione and the way you wrote her - if it was an accurate portrayal. I actually think your characterization of her was spot on. Let me tell you why. Firstly, I can feel how she feels - the weight of the world is on her (and Harry's shoulders) and while she feels burdened, she does not feel out of her depth. She can take a challenge and that's certainly indicative of how Hermione's always been.
I love the way you have her not be too staunch in protocol towards the Hit Wizards (Waylocke and Twist)! It's funny but she would have just been the sort of person to have everyone call her ma'am but this openness and amiability is a wonderful tip of the hat to the positive outcome of having Ron and Harry in her life.
The way you wrote of her frustration at not having full knowledge of things that were unfamiliar to her was actually quite nice because it's just as Hermione would react! She loves to know everything and even outside of Hogwart's her quest for learning would never have stopped so that was well done.
So, yes, your portrayal of Hermione was really good and I am only sorry there wasn't more of her in that chapter although...

Imogen. Imogen is so interesting. In just two chapters you've managed not just to introduce her properly BUT to make us feel we know her AND yet not know her. I'm confusing myself but bear with me.
She has just so many layers. You feel sorry for her but you try to stop that feeling because you know she'd hate you for feeling sorry for her. That you used Hagrid, one of the nicest people in the HP world, to bring her about really speaks to the strength of your words.
Her mum, too, I am so interested in her already and she was mentioned only in passing AND in flashback. I mean, Hagrid was right.. Maybe she had a reason for everything she'd done and held on to. I am waiting with bated breath to find out when or, indeed, if Imogen would find out.

BTW: "Yes, she thought sardonically, and I would have a pet unicorn and three boyfriends and not be covered in cursed tattoos. Life isn't fair."
- That note actually sums up Imogen so wonderfully, I think. You managed to paint her as a strong, independent woman albeit not one without a few regrets. She's very sympathetic and I applaud you for creating a fascinating, 3-dimensional character in just 2 short chapters.

As a side note: I want a magical tattoo now if it can move. :O WOW WOW WOW. I want to know more..

Also, I don't know this but did you use the Pottermore info on Azkaban (timewise, maybe not? IDK though, I don't keep up with Pottermore overly much) but omg, it's so perfect. I am hugely impressed.

That's it. I think I'm rambling incoherently now (never a good thing) Thanks for the swap. :D

--Carla

P.S. WOW. I think this is one of my longest reviews ever. Sorry for any typos and/or grammatical errors. I did try to read through it. hehe

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Review #6, by BitterSweetFlamesHurricane Luna: He Loses on an Island

22nd November 2014:
Kaaay, Beth. Hi, btw. Here for the Claw BvB battle. And I decided to read this because you posted it in your status and I thought... Well, I've never read a Luna/Rolf story ever before and it's a great time to start.

Of course, I stayed up late (again!) to read through everything because this is just so captivating. So captivating, do you hear me?

First off, your use of the quote is just so perfect! I love it. I mean, honestly.. If I remember correctly I made the awards graphics for this challenge and already then I found the quote so very interesting!! :D Congratulations on getting 3rd btw. I am not in any way surprised.

All the animals! And the way you tied in Paris! And the places. I can feel myself with Rolf and Luna and it's just perfect. Luna's voice is also so spot on. She sounds like Luna, acts like Luna and her descent into love is just perfect and as you imagine Luna's would be. (Notice the number of Luna's in this paragraph. lol)

Your writing is just fantastic. And, again, even the smallest details, the creativity - they're just so perfect. How do you that? Is that even fair? (Can't answer that but I'm glad you share anyway. lol)

So, yes. I loved this story. Can't wait for what happens next because you left it at such a tantalizing point! Where is Luna? He HAS to find her, Beth. He simply has to!

Thanks for sharing, bby.:)

--Carla

P.s. the fact that you have T.J. Thyne as your Rolf is nothing short of brilliant. :)

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Review #7, by BitterSweetFlamesUnrequited Snowfall: Unrequited Snowfall

22nd November 2014:
Hi Ellie! First off, I have to say that I love all the Dramione I am seeing on your Author Page. I am a HUUUGE fan although I barely write it. I never feel like I can do anything with them, really. But, still, I was drawn to this because it's Dramione and it was written for the same challenge I just finished a story for. Okay, onto the proper review.

I actually like how you portrayed Draco in this one. I think attraction is elemental and it's true - you can never help who you're attracted to. I think that's the same for Draco. He's been staring at Hermione so he's becoming more and more attracted to her.

Poor Hermione, though, about Ron. We all know there was a time that Ron was, well, oblivious and just because we don't see in the books how this affected Hermione (Harry's a guy so he's oblivious too, even if they're his best friends. lol) so the way you wrote about it feels real to me (and quite funny, actually. Those comics, that story!)

I like that you gave a different dimension to Draco with the art. I can just imagine him drawing. It's actually the sort of highbrow thing I can see his mother allowing him to do since he didn't have any siblings to play with.

Anyway, this was quite long (DUDE, where do you get your words) but it didn't feel like it was dragging! Every bit was great and really worked!

Now, about the ending.. I actually like it. I don't know how I'd feel knowing what happened. As it is now, there's a possibility it happened in canon. (okay, so maybe not, but a girl can hope. lol) Hermione's self-esteem is boosted and Draco moves on. Perfect, in my book (although I do wish they could have gotten together) haha.

Much loves, darling. Thanks for the swap.

--Carla

Author's Response: Hey Carla.

Thanks so much for reviewing. =) I'm glad you liked it. This is is definitely my most realistic Dramione, and honestly I have no idea where I get all the words, they just come pouring out. This one was meant to be half as long but it just kept coming. Lol.

But yes, I have a lot of Dramione and I was reading something else, a review from someone I think, about how most Dramione is so unrealistic for canon. The idea sprang from there. I wanted to slot their attraction into the canon world, at a time when Hermione wasn't likely to immediately shoot him down for what Draco does. This was the result. =)

Much love. These review swaps are fun!

xx-Ellie


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Review #8, by BitterSweetFlamesWhen Summer Fades: syzygy

22nd November 2014:
Hi Kristin! Review swap! Woo!

Okay, sorry, might have been shouting there. I do love this story though and it makes me happy that I now have the opportunity to read (re-read, actually) it and review! -dances-

Anyway, like I said, I am uber happy by your choice of Regulus as your main character! The way you've written him is brilliant. You've not written him as a one-note Slytherin (as Sirius probably sees him. tsk) but he's got so much morality and humanity in him it breaks your heart just how much.

The fact that you game Summer cancer is just painful. Regulus could probably have done everything he could (as a Death Eater) to try and help Summer (would have been impossible but he'd have tried!). But the fact that you gave her something so human, so uncontrollable... Well, I think it's brilliant.

Regulus suddenly starts thinking about himself; how he has been acting, about his life and their friendship. He realizes, rightly so, that he's been using their friendship as a way to escape his own life. He realizes then that Summer is more than just an outlet -- she's important to him. And the way this daws on him is just beautiful - like the awakening of something real and painful for him.

I feel so sorry for Summer. She was such a bright person, she had so many things going for her and then, suddenly, cancer. It brings into harsh perspective the frailty of human existence. But she's still, essentially, Summer. That beauty though no longer on the outside still manages to shine through -- that's how you beautiful you've written her. She still cares for Regulus and thinks about him.

And you see the unraveling of Regulus. Not, I imagine, most people would assume to darkness. But to pain. Something that finally meant a great deal to him and who also loved him in return was disappearing. And he doesn't know what to do about it. In very little words, you've managed to make him more human than I've ever read him.

That last paragraph was the most painful and most poignant. The way you write of Summer's passing just wrenches the heart. You're ready for the fact that she will go yet it still hurts when she does. -cries-

Well done on this one, Kristin! Sorry for rambling. I tend to get incoherent sometimes.

Thanks for the swap!

--Carla

Author's Response: Hi Carla! Yay, so glad to see you back and I'm thrilled that you like this story (re-read?! wow)

Aw thanks it means so much to me that you like my portrayal of Regulus and that you see a lot of humanity in him - it really is so wonderful to hear that the characters seem real.

For some reason I felt that the problems Summer was facing needed to have no relevance to the war, in a way to remind Regulus that there are other things happening in the world than the war. And he really tried, but some things he can't solve. :(

I'm really glad you liked the way Regulus starts to change and become less selfish as his friendship makes him reconsider things he'd not thought about before - I like the way you phrased it, like an 'awakening' - I think that definitely fits his mindset here. And I'm flattered that those paragraphs about Regulus' painful realisations and futile attempts to save her made him seem really human - it is really so wonderful to hear that you feel for the characters.

Aw, I like the way you've focused on Summer's personality shining through even despite of her illness, and that you consider her to be a beautifully written character - gah, thank you!

"You're ready for the fact that she will go yet it still hurts when she does" - wow, yes. True that.

Thank you so much for your review! ♥


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Review #9, by BitterSweetFlamesMonster: Monster

22nd November 2014:
Hi Angie. :)

Here from Review Tag.

Anywho, first off, I want to really applaud you for the use of the second person in this fic. It's very rare that I enjoy that voice (IDK why but there you have it) but your choice and use of it are so perfect and fitting that it enhances the already creepy tones of the story.

I love the build up from a sweet and innocent 8-year-old Rose to that of the 23-year-old adult, who has departed normal human life. It is at times wrenching and frightening but always very well-written.

The introduction of the monster was just right. It flits by just as fast as it surely must have felt for Rose when she was caught - how life can change in an instant.

As a horror fic, I think it was definitely creepy enough. There were no gratuitous thrills or anything. I think the fact that you put such lovely imagery - Hermione kissing her little angel at night, the bright sun beside the lake - just makes the dark so much darker.

Anyway, I really enjoyed reading this story. Well done! :)

--Carla

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Review #10, by BitterSweetFlamesThrough The Darkest: A Case Worth Waiting For

22nd November 2014:
Hi Ashwini! :) Carla (SkitsandBits on the forums) here for our review swap. :)

First off, that first scene! WOW, was it intriguing or what? Seriously, I enjoyed it (in a creepy way). But, really, it was shrouded in mystery and you just made me keep on writing and demanding an answer about what is happening! :O Also, your description was perfect. I could really imagine being there, seeing everything you describe. So well done!

When you jump to 5 years later and an introduction of a new character I think it was very well done. You managed to make us know who the character was AND introduce that something had happened to Ginny. Instead of making it seem hurried, the fact that you wrote it in such a way underscores the fact that even great mysteries have a mundane side to them. This fact actually makes it seem like a bigger deal. Because, you want to know what happened. You want things to start moving.

"But Cress was unaware of what destiny had planned." Okay, you've intrigued me. So now I have to go and read the rest of this lovely story. ;)

So, yes, off to read more. Thanks for the swap, dearie.

--Carla

Author's Response: Hey there Carla! :D Nice to see you!

Aww, thank you so much! I wrote the first scene just to intrigue the readers and make the first chapter a little mysterious. This chapter was supposed to start from the part where Cress is waiting for Hermione, but the first scene was a last minute addition and seems like it worked out well. I've been receiving lovely feedback for it. So glad that you like it too. :)

I was a little afraid that the five years leap would turn out to be pretty boring, so it makes me feel good that you liked it and thought it was well written. I never give away much about my characters in the first chapter itself, but I have introduced more information about Cress's family life in the third chapter. :)

Haha, I know I do this all the time! Nearly all the chapters (okay, all the chapters) of this story have a cliffhanger like that in the end.

I do hope you continue reading this! I'll look forward to you. :)

Thank you so much for the lovely review! You literally made my day! Let me know if you want to swap again.

Ashwini


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Review #11, by BitterSweetFlamesTo Prevent An Unfortunate Series of Events : It's His Mark

20th November 2014:
Hi Darling.

I promised I would review this story. And I honestly, truthfully meant to review every chapter. But you write so well I kept clicking "next". Anyway, this story is amazing. It kept me up and I'm not even annoyed at that. I love the way you characterized everyone.
Sirius is perfect, James is perfect, Hermione just reacts and acts the way I would imagine she would in the situation.
Then there's Lily! She's my favorite (and Peter and Remus too!) Okay, I love them. ALL OF THEM.
Your treatment of the whole "travel back in time" theme is one of the best I've ever ever seen! And Dumbledore.. How is he so perfect? Your way of writing is just wonderful!
So.. I also love that Snape is becoming an integral character! I love Severus sooo much (You know that, hehe). And I'm glad you didn't keep him a slimy git. (I could have accepted that but I'd have been very very cross).
Can I be honest though? I CANNOT WAIT for when Hermione goes back to the present. I told you I have a thing for older men. And, man, I just cannot wait!
Not saying, though, that their relationship here is awful. Just not that big of a fan of couples being the same age. Although Hermione/Sirius in any situation is perfect.
Anyway, I heard you'd written a chapter and hope we don't have long to wait.

THANKS FOR THIS. ilu.

--Carla

Author's Response: Hi Hun! :D

Oh my goodness. I cannot believe you've blown through all of this so quickly! I am so unbelievably flattered. :D

Haha that's totally fine. I'm just thrilled to hear that you've enjoyed my story that much. It really means a lot. Thank you! ♥ I'm so sorry that it kept you up, but I'm glad you're not annoyed. ;) I hope that you got a chance to catch up on some sleep.

Aww thank you so much! Honestly, as much as I love me some Sirius Black *swoon*, my favorite is Peter in this story. He's been my favorite to write and to develop. I'm really glad that you liked all of the characters! And Lily is just absolutely lovely. I really enjoy writing her, too, so I'm thrilled that you really like her!

Well we all know that Snape didn't exactly get along with James and Sirius and all of them, so I couldn't really write him in the best light. But, since I love him too, I couldn't keep him as such a jerk for the whole story. I had to have him on their side at some point. :)

Assuming Sirius or Hermione survive. ;)

I just a bit more to write, some editing to do and then it'll be in the queue. I have a chapter in there already, so just depending on validation time, it should be up soon! :D

Thank you for this review and for adding it to your favorites! I'm still completely blown away that you've read it so quickly. Thank you so, so much! ilu2! ♥

xoxo Meg


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Review #12, by BitterSweetFlamesPlum Velvet: Blue Leather

19th November 2014:
Hi Laura. Carla here for the Claw BvB battle. :D

-sigh-
I was sighing throughout this entire fic because it was just so WOW. You write so beautifully. I am at a loss for words, I am speechless -- much like Albus was when he was beside Hyperion.

Your use of light all throughout the story was powerful - beacon, moonlight, stars as jealous fiends, beam of sunlight. It serves to reinforce how Albus sees Hyperion -- as a total opposite to the dark that is his constant, his world. And you can understand the allure. How could Albus stay away? He can't. At least not with the way you've written him.

When you had Hyperion owl him and not give his name that was nothing short of utterly brilliant. I mean, Albus is already drawn so much to him. That only makes him more of a mystery. You've drawn in Albus and you draw in your reader too.

Also, your use of mythology in this was perfect - so spot on. You mention couples in mythology and you also mention his parents in the same thought. It's sweet and speaks warmly to what sort of person Albus is.

Then, you talk about Albus and Severus. What part of my heart you hadn't already captivated by then (very small, to be perfect honest) just fell. My heart broke for Albus. When you think about it, it was so very hard to be named after two such men. They were brave and wonderful men to be sure but there is weight in just their names alone, I can't imagine how Albus might have felt having two such first names attached to an already hefty last name.
Of course you add in the fact that he wants to add to their legacy and be happy for them. And that's so human and speaks to the man that Albus must have been.

THEN THE ENDING. What emotion I hadn't already felt in the reading of your story just spurt out and splattered all over because, HELLO. I did not expect that Albus would be a vampire. I mean there were certainly hints of something otherworldly but I did not expect to be of Albus. He sounds so human and, BAM, you throw this as at us. OH DEAR GOD. I must breathe.

Ok, sorry. You are such a fabulous writer, Laura. It was an absolute joy to read what you wrote. Thanks for sharing.

"And I really should include less references in my next story"
- No! They're beautiful. Where in your head do you get these references? Your sentences are works of art, I swear.

--Carla

P.S. I said Albus in my review so many times. Such a fun name to type and say. HAHA.

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Review #13, by BitterSweetFlamesBroken Wings: Broken Wings

19th November 2014:
Hi Ellie! Here for Review Tag.
Anyway, this was a really compelling story. I love the way you described the sound of the fairy's fluttering wings. It's very beautiful and I can see and hear it in my head. I would certainly investigate if it were me and I can imagine any child with a curious mind would do so as well so well done in your characterization of that.

Your description of the fairy is at once both beautiful and tragic. She is a thing of beauty but also she can fall victim to something as innocuous as the wind. A tiny speck falling victim to the universe. It's very poetic a thought.

"Kindness, he says, is just another word for weakness."
-- I actually really love this because you've described the man Abraxas Malfoy is and the man that his sun is to become.

"I told Mother once that if Father believes kindness to be weakness than he must be very strong indeed."
-- This is one of the statements that really characterize that Lucius is still a child because it's the type of observation that are true and that children make that have such an impact but to them are just innocent and logic. "baby logic," as my grandma calls it. It's so fitting and perfect.

Your description of the post is so frightening! I know that the Malfoy Manor is a dark and dangerous place as evidenced by the HP books but you always forget how it must have been to grow up there as a child. I can't imagine what horrors and trauma will show up through adulthood.

Anyway, I feel sorry for Lucius at the end - not just because he got punished by going to the post. But I am sorry because it shows the devolution of his character, the start of his path towards being 'strong' and the Lucius we all know. And I'm very sorry that he had seemingly lost all his kindness as an adult.

Great story, love! Good luck with the challenge.

--Carla

Author's Response: Hey Carla,

Thanks for the review. I really wanted to capture a childish innocence for Lucius, but also to show that he is already one the path of becoming the man he is in cannon so its nice to know it's worked to some extent. =)

xx-Ellie


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Review #14, by BitterSweetFlamesWorship You: Storm

18th November 2014:
OMG, Sian. That was just fabulous.. Excuse me while I go die. D=

First off, how is it that there were no e's? Like, seriously? I'm 200 letters into my review and already I have, like, a bajillion e's. :P

Then you add in that it's only 500 words and, excuse me, but how fantastic is that?

But, ok, so beyond all that, it's a very powerful story. Your use of stars and worshiping is nothing short of brilliant. I also love that you used 'obsidian' It's one of my absolute favorite words! HAHA.

The way you describe Bella's madness and her downfall. It was beautiful. But beyond that the last line, "I know what it is to worship a star, darling. You burnt most brightly of all."

That just, no words, Sian. No words. It was absolutely stupefying.

Thank you for such a lovely story.

--Carla

Author's Response: Carla! Excuse me while I try and stop smiling like a maniac from this review (nope, didn't work!)

It was SO hard. I was literally searching the word document for them constantly and then getting annoyed when I'd typed a word without even realising there was an 'E' in it :P But I'm so glad you liked it in spite of that, and the fact that it was so short too.

I'm so glad you found it powerful - once I got into it (which was kind of hard, with the no E thing, but still), I found myself really enjoying it, and I've never really written anything like this before. But I'm so pleased you liked it, and the themes that I used of stars and worship. Hehe, I couldn't resist that word - so much better than 'black'!

And that you found my description of Bellatrix's madness and downfall beautiful! I'm so pleased you liked it and that you thought the word choices worked and weren't over-exaggerated or anything!

Thank you so much for this review, Carla - it's been hard to find words to respond without gushing nonsense! ♥


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Review #15, by BitterSweetFlamesheaven: can't help me now

18th November 2014:
Sarah. :) I hope you're sleeping as I'm writing this review because, hell, it is late.
Okay, so I want to talk about this fic. Seriously, when did you write this? And why are you so brilliant?

Anyway, I love the way you used the song in this. I think you're brilliant in using songs and quotes in your fics. Such a skill, Sarah. So, I particularly loved how you didn't really tell us who Alastair was (nice name btw.:)) but we know the sort of guy he is from Sarah's point of view. (My god, he's dangerous. My heart melts in the face of such men. -shivers-)

But your narrative. It was heart-breaking and hopeful at the same time! I mean, Lily was in love with him but you made her such an, idk, realist that she can accept, before it's happened, that he'd leave her. But it really breaks her heart when he seemingly does.

BUT...Thank you for the way you ended it. Sure, it took him a long time to come back and I can hit for that but he CAME BACK. It was so joyous and I think, in some way, he loves her too.

Thanks for sharing, bby. WRITE MORE. BUT SLEEP TOO.

--Carla

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Review #16, by BitterSweetFlamesA Vision In White: From The Beginning

18th November 2014:
Hi Sarah! Here for the Review Swap. :D

Okay, so I had a hard time choosing which of your stories to read! I've read quite a few and I decided on this one. First because it doesn't have a banner and you know how I feel about naked stories.

Okay, sorry, onto the review. So, yus, this was brilliant. I love how you managed to tell the story of one lifetime in a one-shot but not have it feel rushed or lacking at all.

You've really managed to flesh out both of them that I know who they are at the end and I'm happy for them; at the way that their lives have gone and the way they're going.

I can see everything as I was reading. I loved the way you put little snippets of a life in there. I imagine when one is getting married, things like it flit through our head. It's fitting and it's beautiful.

Anyway. thank you for the swap love. I'm a big fan, as yanoe.

--Carla

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Review #17, by BitterSweetFlamesSaving Severus Snape : Prologue

18th November 2014:
Hey there.. Here for our swap!

Okay, sorry. BUT YOU HAD ME AT HERMIONE/SNAPE.
While I am a bigger fan of an adult Hermione/Snape relationship, I am not scoffing at SNAMIONE -- one of my favorite ships. WOO And time travel stories are always interesting (though you couldn't make me write one. So complicated, omg.)

Anyway, yes. I loved this. Your characterization of Hermione as the confused person who walks around after something big and thing about everything that happens. It's so her. She's always been big at analyzing and rationalizing and everything so it makes sense she would dissect everything that happened.

What you did with the timeturner was great. I love that Dumbledore was the one who had planned it. How does the man do it? And, yes, Hermione would think about it. Should she? Should she not? Brains over heart. I'm glad heart won. ;)

Anyway, what happened in the end.. 1976? Really. oooh, how interesting! I mean, I'm writing a story in the present time and Severus is 19 years older than Hermione and Imma be interested in seeing how it is when Hermione is the one older than Severus (albeit by just about year) but still! She'll know he's older but then again he's not. :O WOW. -dead-

Can't wait to see where this goes.
Thanks for the swap.

--Carla

Author's Response: Hi Carla!

I love that I have found another Snamione shipper! You have no idea how happy that makes me, so I'm so happy you've read and reviewed this! :D

I definitely enjoy adult Hermione/Snape as well, absolutely. There is just something about this pairing that makes sense to me. I don't think she'd put up with his crap and she's intellectually sufficient enough to keep up with him. But I do have a weakness for teenaged Hermione and teenaged Snape.

*squee* I'm absolutely thrilled to hear that! I adore Hermione, and it is always such a compliment when I hear that I've written her well! I always hope that I do her justice, so thank you for that!! ♥

Yeah, Dumbledore definitely has a habit of sending students off to do difficult and dangerous tasks, doesn't he? Especially without giving them all the information. Hermione really can be quite passionate about things, when she really believes in them. Sometimes her heart does overcome her brains. (S.P.E.W.)

She will technically be older, but she is going to be posing as a sixth year with the rest of them. So they're going to think that she's 17, not 18. I'm really excited about this story, as I have all of it outlined and mapped out, so I'm so, so happy that you've liked it and are excited to see where it goes! If you continue on, I hope that you enjoy the rest of the story! :D

Thanks for doing the swap!!

xoxo Meg ♥


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Review #18, by BitterSweetFlamesWhen Summer Fades: equinox

18th November 2014:
Hi, darling. Carla here with our swap. WOO!

First off, I chose this story because REGULUS. I think that Regulus was such an under-represented character (or maybe it's because we got a lot Sirius) but he's always interested me. So, yes. THANKS FOR WRITING ABOUT HIM. -loves-

So, I'm writing this review as I read so if it's a bit incoherent it's because I'm reading and enjoying the story, lol.

I love, btw, that you explained the hardships that he must have faced. He didn't want to alienate his family so he didn't want to make a choice. I don't think it was weak (as some have portrayed it), it's just that he doesn't know how to react to such polarized views on the Dark Lord and you actually want to smack Sirius for leaving him. It seemed selfish. I mean, I love Sirius but it always came across that he didn't care for his family and while his parents might have deserved that, did his little brother? I think not.

Summer sounds interesting. I've known people that friendly and chripy so to someone as reticent as Regulus, I can just imagine that it's a huge change.

I love that you used the Astronomy Tower! I think it's a brilliant place for meetings. And, yes, the whole interaction about smiles was perfect! It was fun and light but it also spoke volumes when you had them just stay there, watching in silence.

OH. I love how Summer was all nonchalant about the Mudblood thing. You don't see that. And that line about blood status not being contagious? BOOM. Just like skin color. NOT CONTAGIOUS AT ALL. NO.

I love how you've made him change and how you've made Summer see the good in him. I think there's a lot of good in him and he was just unlucky in the path that his life took.

YAY!! You used the Room of Requirement with all the junk in it. THAT's so cool. XD

I wanted to cry as I imagined Regulus just letting everything go. It just reinforces my belief that he could have been saved and I dearly dearl wished he had been.

WOW, that ending. I hate cliffhangers but it's a wonderful place to end, you sneaky thing. Also you made me want to hit Jasper. May I? PLEASE?

kay, gonna keep on reading. Thanks for the swap, Love.

--Carla

Author's Response: Hi, Carla! Aah, I'm so glad you like Regulus, I feel the same way! He really gets no time to shine in the books even though he was actually quite important!

YES, that is exactly what I was going for. I don't think he was weak, just indecisive and under SO MUCH pressure. I love Sirius too but I do think he made the wrong choice giving up on Regulus - there was still hope!

I'm glad you like Summer! She is indeed chirpy, definitely a huge change from Regulus' emotionless Slytherin pals.

I'm thrilled that you enjoyed their meetings, in the Astronomy Tower and then later in the Room of Requirement. Silence can be really powerful - especially as Regulus isn't a chatty type, just being silent and watching something with her was meaningful to him (eventually). I imagine Summer is used to being called a Mudblood and since she didn't grow up hearing that word anyway, she's not particularly offended by it, she just lets things slide.

Aw, it means a lot to hear that that scene touched you. I agree, that in other circumstances Regulus could have had a chance! :(

Cliffhangers are the worst when you're reading a story, but they're so satisfying to write XD Haha, feel free to smack Jasper since Regulus won't! :p

If you do end up reading on I'd love to know what you think of the rest. Thanks SO much for the swap and for your fantastic review!! ♥ ♥


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Review #19, by BitterSweetFlamesBlood Lust: Blood Lust

17th November 2014:
Hi! Carla here with your Review Swap. I promised I'd do it and I have my PC connection back now! -mad celebration-

Ok, so I actually literally lost the first review I'd written out for your story. No problem! I'm so enthusiastic about this one, I know precisely what to say. So, Imma be honest.I don't like vampires. Always even before it became the 'rage' I've not been a fan so firstly, I love that that story was super short BUT you managed to make me like vampires as you write them.

First, because your characterization is just about perfect. Yes, they're vile and dark creatures that are practically soulless (i.e. NOT sparkly!) and that comes across. But you managed to make this one's human flaws come to the surface -- the moral ambiguity of his existence, the emotions, the need -- all these gives him such depth and complexity, it's breathtaking.

Also, I love the voice you use in telling this story. It's weirdly intimate, which just lends to its fear factor. I also find myself empathizing with the vampire, which leads me to question myself and my own morality. Therein lies the power of your words as a storyteller.

I also greatly appreciate the way you managed to give a story like this -- one that is inherently dark --light and almost humorous moments. I really enjoyed those bits. It made the flow of reading easier PLUS it made the darkness seem that much darker.

Anywho, I loved it! You've managed to convince me for 500 or so words that vampires might be worth it after all. THANKS!

-Carla

Author's Response: Hello Carla! :)

I'm sorry for taking forever to respond to this review.

I am so pleased that even though you don't like vampire stories you stuck with it to the end and maybe even started to enjoy the story a little bit?

Thank you, they are like that but I wanted to try and show that they were human once too so I'm glad that cam across. Wow, I'm sure that nothing I've ever written has been described as breathtaking before so that has just made me grin like mad, thank you! :D

I love reading second person (and as I've never written it before I wanted to give myself a challenge) so it was a good way to test out how well I incorporate second person into a story and also I wanted readers to feel strangely connected to the vampire which I hope worked.

The humour was a way to try and lighten the mood a bit before the really sinister stuff happened. I'm pleased that you picked up on that!

- Becca.


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Review #20, by BitterSweetFlamesActions Speak Louder than Words: Broken: Rose POV

16th November 2014:
Hi Beth! Doing this for the Ravenclaw BvB battle for November.

I decided to do this chapter because I officially love this story and wanted to let you know. I promise that I will get to reviewing more but for now here I am.

I mentioned it in my review of a later chapter but I love "Get up, wash, get dressed, class, rounds, study." It just speaks to the psyche of someone who's been abused or been through a genuinely traumatic event that even just living day to day becomes such a chore.

Your fic is strong for getting that across. Rose is bruised, she is hurt but she is also doing what a lot of victims do -- she's keeping it to herself. You feel sorry for her and you want to help her and you know how hard it's going to be to help her.

And you find yourself rooting so heavily for Rose. She's a Ravenclaw and I'm so happy you did her that way. I mean, Hermione was almost a Claw (like us) so it's obvious why Rose was there.

I love that you wrote Severus and Albus as Claws (and no, I am not biased at all!). It puts a whole 'nother dimension to their characters. You instantly make them unique and likable (ok, I am obvs biased!) But, yes, I love the anecdotes during sorting. McGonagall falling over? PRECIOUS.

Anyway, this is a really well-written fic. I love the touches of humor laced with the heart-breaking. It lends a realism to the whole thing that makes it wonderful to just read.

That's it, love! Much loves.

--Carla

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Review #21, by BitterSweetFlamesWaltz: Waltz

15th November 2014:
Hi Tanya.

So, I totally felt compelled to read this because you mentioned it had reached 50 reviews and I was, like, ooh I want to read that! :)

Anyway, I'm glad you did. OMG, you are an amazing writer. The way you wrote this was just so beautiful. Your treatment of Rose's condition was so understanding without skimming over it. It's hard to live it and you got that through without making Rose seem annoying but you can also empathize with the people who live with that everyday, it's not easy.

The use of a waltz, the counting 1, 2, 3 was just perfect. To anyone who's gone through dancing classes, it's annoying to have to count all the time in ones head just to get the dance done so I can't imagine the horror of having to be compelled to have that count in your head all the time!

Scorpius was wonderful in this, I think. It's common to see him portrayed so many ways. Proud, arrogant, aloof but the fact that his rigidity is because of a compulsion and he's fighting through some condition as well was perfect!

This story is just so original and I actually read it twice before I left a review because it was just so beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

--Carla

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Review #22, by BitterSweetFlamesActions Speak Louder than Words: Befuddled: Rose AND Scorpius POV

15th November 2014:
Hiya Beth! Carla (SkitsandBits from the forums) here for our review swap. Sorry it took so long... If I am honest (and I am), I got caught up in reading and kept clicking >> that I forgot to review. I promise I'll review more when NaNo isn't eating my time but I thought this was a good place to leave a review.

So.. "Skurmis hi yow narken?" -- That was my most favorite line. Because it sort of sums up the way the two feel about each other. Tongue-tied, tense, walking on egg shells. I love this story because you manage to perfectly characterize Scorpius and Rose (and just everybody!) that they feel closer to me; like they're my friends, my family and I know them and they know me too. (I sound creepy, don't mind me)

I also especially love this chapter because they're together finally! Poor doves, they deserve one another and I'm so glad they can finally get some peace and love and, well, you know.. -raised eyebrows-. lol

This story fascinates me because the plot is so interesting. A new dark wizard, really? That's horrifying. I mean, what happened to him? How is he going to end?

Also, what Rose went through was terrifying. The way you wrote her reactions to it was spot on. Her keeping it to herself, I think, is the perfect reaction because most victims tend to go inward rather than outward. Her mantra at the start, Get up, get dressed, rounds, study (I might be getting it wrong since I'm typing from memory) but it's the sort of thing anyone in a bad situation has done. Drag their feet in doing something and pray the day would just end. You made me totally empathize for the first line and that's the power of your words.

Anyway, I will continue reading (when I get the time!) and will definitely leave you more reviews soon.

--Carla

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Review #23, by BitterSweetFlamesCharlotte: Charlotte

14th November 2014:
Hi Gabbie. Carla (SkitsandBits from the forums) here for our review swap.

First off, WOAH! That was long and beautifully written. Where do you get the energy, seriously? So many words; all of them important and just perfectly-placed.
So well done!
Anyway, this is one of the first slash stories I've read because they seem to be really sparse and it's rarer still that they're of this quality.
So, IDK what to say really. Because I really really like it. You managed to introduce Charlotte in such a way that I knew who she was, her thoughts and her motivations at the end of all those 5000+ words.
I love the ambiguity I felt at the end of this. I feel sorry for Charlotte, I feel sorry for Sam and I feel sorry for Ryan. And I'm also mad at all three of them for the way they handled things.
Your imagery and tone was so beautiful by the way. You said that you love writing angst and it's obvious that you do it so well. I normally try to stay away from angst (especially when I have a cold!) but I really went for this because it was irresistible.
At the end I'm happy that Charlotte has escaped an empty marriage and has found love but Ryan, you portrayed Ryan as a lovely man. He was by no means perfect but I felt so sorry for him. I hope he finds love and solace in the future. And I actually hope that Charlotte's children don't hate their mother and are happy that she's happy and content.
Anyway, I really loved this story. Sorry that my review is short, I really did love it! You're such a lovely writer.

--Carla

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Review #24, by BitterSweetFlamesslowly: and then all at once

10th November 2014:
Sarah!!!
Anyway, I'm here for the BvB Review battle, darling.
First off, I cannot believe that I hadn't reviewed this! I must have read twice before to get inspiration for making the banner for you.

Anyway, I can't believe you've done this with very few words; it's fascinating because you managed to just capture the beauty of that moment so perfectly.

I've never particularly wanted to get married but you've managed to make a cynic and skeptic like me go all 'awww' the entire time I was reading this. I understood, I saw and I loved the beauty of the wedding and that's all in your power as a writer.

And, also, you've made me really want to hear what that song is that you used (note to self: must look up song)

Anyway, darling, thank you for sharing this story! You've made my NaNo avoiding well worth it.

--Carla

P.S. sorry for the abysmally short review. Know that I love you and your writing.

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Review #25, by BitterSweetFlamesIn Operibus Suis: Rowena Ravenclaw

9th November 2014:
Hiya Sarah, my dear. Carla here for the Claw November BvB Review battle.

Anyway, I honestly love this because you've managed to write about Rowena so perfectly! She's smart, she's quirky but she's mortal with normal human emotions and reactions(which just sums up a Claw, I think, so go us!)

So, I love the little things that you included even though, there weren't that many words -- the little encounter with Salazar (I'm now totally shipping them, omg), Helga's disapproval (who'd have thought she'd have so much common sense? Then again, that she does, makes sense. lol, I confuse myself). And, of course, that eagle at the end. Yay for Claws! I mean, it really gave that moment great meaning and you can basically see and feel how proud Rowena was to have founded Hogwarts and her house for Ravenclaws.

So, yes, long story short, it's a gorgeous start to this collab. WELL DONE! :) I totally loved it. Thank you for making NaNo avoidance absolutely worth it.

-Carla

Author's Response: Hi Carla! Thanks for that massive compliment! Writing Rowena was terrifying for me, but the collab seemed like a great opportunity to give it a try! I'm really glad that you liked all of the minor details I included in the story, and I really couldn't help myself by throwing that encounter with Salazar in. Thanks again, darling, glad I could make NaNo avoidance enjoyable!

xoxo Sarah ♥


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