Reading Reviews for The Dangers of Black Cats
14 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Pixileanin Memories and Dreams

28th August 2015:
The way you wrote how Michael and Philip (et al) tried to get the details out of Liam really showed his detachment and mopey attitude about the whole thing without belaboring the point. I'm not blaming him one bit. He's just discovered something really wonderful and deep, only to have it snatched away before he can fully appreciate it. Time passes, people eventually learn to move on. It doesn't make it any less uncomfortable in the meantime, or quell the sudden pangs that come out of nowhere when they're least expected. Such melancholy, and so well expressed.

I love the small aside that uplifted Liam's esteem in the eyes of the girls. Having read some of your other story summaries, I can guess that this is a springboard for what happens in the future. This was a really great setup for some interesting characters.

The ending was a great way to insert a bit of hope into this piece. Having Elena remember *something* in some manner made McGonagall's words ring true, and also lifted my spirit a bit as well. We always have hope. There should always be that lurking somewhere at the end.

I absolutely adore your author's note at the end of the piece, explaining how the story came about and where it leads. I'm so happy you found HPFF and are posting here. If you are interested in more comments on your stories, you really should hop over to the forums. You can find the link on the top of the page. Reviews can sometimes be like currency around here. Don't know if you have time for that or not, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

Hopefully, I'll have some time to come back for your longer stories to see what you're doing. Everything about this story is so well-placed, the characters breathe with a minimum amount of fuss, the prose is so very clean, and the plot was fascinating and fresh, and fit perfectly into the world of HP. I love reading such polished work. It helps me keep a critical eye on my own writing. The best thing about this story was the absolute honesty that you were able to convey in a story about a young person that was in a writing style that young people could grasp. It still had depth and breadth and meaning, without feeling like it was being written down from a higher place. This is something that I'm really keen on trying to understand, because I have a story about a young person that I'm working on right now, but the style and the story itself doesn't seem to be "for" younger readers. It's more "about" a kid, for adults, if that makes sense. Ah well. I suppose I should just do what we all do and write the thing, and then see what comes of it.

It's always great to learn new things. I truly enjoyed reading this and I loved what you did with it.

Thanks so much for this wonderful story!


Author's Response: Pix, your reviews are very encouraging. Writing is lonely work, and while watching my read counts climb is fun, I really appreciate being able to connect with my readers. I'm glad we're connected via Twitter now, too, so you can see the broader effort.

Yes, I should attempt the forums again. In the past, I've hit roadblocks and immediately stopped. It's tough to juggle it all (Twitter, FB, Goodreads, etc.) and still have time for writing.

I would love to read this story of yours you mentioned, and return the favor of a review and thoughtful analysis.

Keep in touch! Fondly, KJ

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Review #2, by Pixileanin The Briefing

28th August 2015:
Hi again!

Your chapter summary made me smile. Having the iconic Harry Potter sit down with you when you're twelve to have a chat can either be a wonderful dream, or in this case when he's in his official capacity, an unnerving, nail-biting anxiety fest.

I think I mentioned before that I was glad to see what the adults were doing in the meanwhile of this story because of the added weight. Here, we get the rest of the "other" story, where people were frantically searching for the missing girl, where reality burst into Liam's world and he has to succumb to the "larger than himself" idea. As a kid, I always hated when that happened.

Oh, but that was such a bittersweet way to twist things around. McGonagall had the appropriate amount of sympathy, but also the signature "hands off with the feels" approach that we know her for. Sometimes people write her with a little too much emotion, and I just don't buy into that. Nicely turned. Still, the events made me sad. I'm sure Liam is more sad than I.


Author's Response: I love sad songs, and I try often in my writing to capture melancholy and sadness in an honest and direct manner, without being too maudlin.

Love and Arithmancy picks up immediately following this story, and shows Liam healing from the blow of losing Elena. But, read Dragon Wand first.

I've toyed with the idea of Liam and Elena meeting up again, as adults, married to other people, and having a long chat at coffee shop before going separate ways. Nothing written yet.

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Review #3, by Pixileanin Aurors and Inquisitors

26th August 2015:
Hi, I'm back with a few minutes to spare, so I thought I'd get another chapter in before Life smacks me upside the head.

The whole time I was reading about the official-looking people, I was thinking back to that aside you put in a previous chapter where it was said that the investigators revealed that Liam "and his pet" entered the common room together. I was a bit suspicious about these adults, and I'm generally a very suspicious reader, so I was beginning to get quite worried about these stuffy people putting any kind of blame on poor Liam until I remembered that little thing.

I am so glad that McGonagall is looking out for the children here. Those women, I don't trust them, even when they tell him that he's not going to get into trouble. I feel his apprehension, and I share it with him. See? And she's making it so uncomfortable for him. I am so glad that Meadows is there. Ah, so they are Inquisitors. That makes sense. And they are connected somehow, which also makes creepy sense.

ďIím a bit surprised heís not a Gryffindor,Ē said the man, mostly to Meadows.

She answered, ďWe do try to spread them Ďround, you know.Ē

Hee hee. Of course they do. I'm glad you chose Liam for Hufflepuff. It fits well with what you've shown us of him so far.


Author's Response: This is the Shakelbolt Administration, so of course, we wouldn't still have Dementors in Azkaban. I wanted something not so awful, but still evil and creepy. So, I came up with Inquisitors.

When you read Dragon Wand, you'll see the Hat tempting Liam with a spot in Gryffindor, which he declines in favor of Hufflepuff.

The idea of Liam Wren was to make him as different from Harry Potter as possible, while still making him admirable and heroic. So, brown eyes, left handed, not an orphan, good at Potions . . . on and on, as much as I could think of.

Thanks for taking the time to write to me again. I look forward to your reactions to the end of the story.

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Review #4, by Pixileanin Discovered!

25th August 2015:
Ah, sneaking around the castle at night! It always sounds so fun and excitingÖ until someone gets caught. Itís so interesting to me about Liamís magic being stronger in one hand than another. I hadnít ever seen it described in the HP-verse that way before. Nifty stuff!

Okay, it makes all kinds of sense for Elena to know the castle by now. I was wondering what she did with her time as a cat. This brings up an old quandry about shape-shifting beings: when does she sleep? Does the enchantment negate the need for it, or is she going to suddenly get very sleepy? Of course, being fiction, we donít have to subscribe to the bounds of reality, and I suppose that we could also argue that since cats sleep most of the day, Elena would have caught up on her rest. HmmmÖ I wonder what your take is on that?

Well, that next bit answers that question. Haha!

ďHow often did you read the bloody papers when you were twelve years old?Ē

ďEvery day, just about!Ē

This made me laugh. Of course everybody but Liam knows whatís going on. Still, I like how protective he is of her. Meadows seems like a level-headed professor. But then poor Liam sits on the bench all that time.

Itís hard being a kid.

Itís late and I have an early day. Iím hoping to find time for the rest of the story tomorrow. Are you sure you arenít published yet?


Author's Response: There's much more detail on Liam and his unique brand of magic in Dragon Wand . . . Honestly, I gave no thought to when Elena was sleeping. I presume that, as a cat, she did most of her sleeping during the day . . . Yes, I've been published. Look around for me, and you'll find me here and there. I use the same pen name everywhere . . . I love your reviews! I get so few of them. The detail and insight is invaluable. Good night! But, come back soon!

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Review #5, by Pixileanin A Voice in the Dark

25th August 2015:
So, sheís a Muggle, thought Liam. How many rules have I broken now?

Iím really liking the aside where the adults are all looking for the missing girl when sheís tucked away in Liamís room. It adds weight to the story when you know that the implications of the characters reach farther outside of their own little worlds. I need to do more of that too. You are giving me excellent ideas.

Uh oh, I think Philip might have heard something. Ah, but it must have been funny for his dorm mates to see all those girly things on his bed! I love that you just leave this understated. Itís appropriate for the age of the students, but allows for wandering thoughts to get the better of us as well. Iím glad Philip doesnít seem to have it out for Liam, but just holds a healthy dose of curiosity and caution.

I find you end notes about the time lines very interesting. I tend to have to work extra hard on the continuity and logical flow of events in my own stories, and yes, the time line and schedules are very important when youíre trying to keep things straight. Iíve done several of those myself. Iím really enjoying this story, by the way. Still very lovely!


Author's Response: These are Hufflepuffs, and so, they are intensely loyal to one another. Philip's main concern is keeping Liam out of trouble.

I'm glad you get the humor of the scene when the boys find the nightgown and panties. I'm glad, too, to make your mind wander. With both kids 12 going on 13, they're on the cusp of so many things, but they are completely unprepared for the situation they find themselves in.

I'm glad to hear I'm giving you good ideas. I want to raise the bar and show my readers what is possible.

Please keep reading, and posting notes! Fondly, KJC

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Review #6, by Pixileanin Superstition

25th August 2015:
Oh my goodness, why havenít I seen your stories before?? I chose to start with this one, since it was short and Iím supposed to be turning in soon. But be assured, I will return again.

First off, lovely, polished prose that flows like a gentle stream. Iíve been trying to get mine to do that for ages it seems, but it keeps jerking around like a fish on a pole all the time. I keep having to work all the kinks out of it to get it to lay flat. Ah well. Practice makes better, I suppose.

ďAinít that just like a cat,Ē said Michael.

Absolutely. I love how you describe the movements of the cat and how she dismisses Liam so easily. Per your summary, I know who she is, and her personification is just perfect. Also, the way you paint your scenes is so vivid, with only the essential elements, but I still get the full picture. I gush at this. Teach me your ways!

Iím very interested in where youíre taking the plot with this. These stories need more reads! Have you considered joining the HPFF forums and getting to know people over there? Or are you over there and Iíve just missed you?

Delightful start!


Author's Response: Pix, you definitely started with the right story. This was my first Liam Wren story, and it's very dear to me.

Don't worry about the kinks in your own writing. This story was thoroughly polished, many, many times, before it reached its current state. Reading outloud is my favorite way to edit, especially if you have an audience that can give you immediate feedback.

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Review #7, by Jules Memories and Dreams

12th February 2015:
Hello, I don't see the new notes at the end of the chapter?
But I adore this story! Well done!

Author's Response: The revised final chapter of Black Cats will be up in a few days, with an extended author's note. I uploaded it Feb 10th. We're just waiting for the reviewer's approval. But, thanks for the kind words! I get lots of reads, but very few comments.

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Review #8, by acester86 Memories and Dreams

24th April 2013:
im anxious to read the next in the series.

Author's Response: Nice to hear. Thanks! and spread the word. Let your Harry Potter fan friends know what I'm doing. While you're waiting for the next chapter, check out my books on Amazon. I have two juveline fiction books under the KJ Cartmell byline, "Missy Baker is a Band Geek" and "The Trouble with Girls."

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Review #9, by Sheriff Memories and Dreams

13th April 2011:
Aww. Poor Liam. You gave him a rough ride through this one, didn't you? Whatever did he do to deserve this particular roller-coaster?

In seriousness, I enjoyed reading this one, short as it is, and I'm looking forwards to reading the forthcoming novel - it will be good to broaden out the characters that you've already introduced. I assume you will be making Liam's life miserable again?


Author's Response: Young love is a specialty of mine, and heartache is part of that. I hope you have a chance some day to read my novel "The Trouble With Girls," which deals with heartache extensively. As for Liam, the idea is that he'll date a girl from every House. That way, we'll really see the contrasts between the four Houses. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First up is Year One and Liam's transition to the Magical World. I hope to have a few chapters ready for you all by June.

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Review #10, by jessicaxxjewel The Briefing

7th April 2011:

Author's Response: Thanks for your enthusiasm!

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Review #11, by lori lewallen A Voice in the Dark

26th March 2011:
keep it coming! Where does she go in the day and will she be found by the people in the village...

Author's Response: It's a slow process, posting the chapters one by one. I wanted my readers to have the serial experience. I remember waiting for the next comic book, the next show, for the next Harry Potter book. I enjoyed thinking about stories during the pauses, analyzing the plot and the characters while I waited. 'Black Cats' is completely finished. I could have given it to you all at once, but there is something to be said for doing it this way.

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Review #12, by lori lewallen Superstition

25th March 2011:
Love it...Please tell me there's more?

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Review #13, by jmnarincks A Voice in the Dark

25th March 2011:
Already waiting for Chapter 3

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Review #14, by Jmnarincks Superstition

25th March 2011:
Reads like a Harry Potter book!

Looking forward to hear more about Liam what Hogwarts is like Post-Voldemort!

Author's Response: Excellent! It takes some concentration, but I found I could mimic her narrative voice fairly closely. It helps to have read the books so many times!

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