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127 Reviews Found

Review #1, by nott theodore Poison & Wine

9th July 2014:
Hi Shelby! I can't believe it's taken me so long to come and leave a review for this chapter! But now it's the house cup and I thought I'd take advantage of my reviewing frenzy to come and catch up!

This was such a dramatic chapter! I loved the way that it started off so calmly, seemingly, with Eileen sorting through all the clothes and things to look for the ring, and coming across the diary. I love the fact that women in the family have always kept diaries and written records of their lives, it must be fantastic to have them! I wonder if Eileen will find some more of these and they'll give her more information about the family curse...

I loved the moment between Eileen and Tobias, and how forgiving he was when she'd kept him waiting for so long. Aw, their whole relationship and dynamic is so cute at this point and I love reading them, but it's going to make me sad to see them falling apart slowly.

And oh my goodness, we're told that the ring is connected to all these incidents and then Hannah comes rushing in to tell them about the accident to Liam! I was so worried for Liam all the way through that section, especially when Tobias came in with news (although he was adorable with the children) and then you drop a bombshell like that on us at the end! Oh no! Poor baby Jack! I hope he's okay, I'm so worried!

Sian :)
Gryffindor House Cup 2014 Review

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Review #2, by TidalDragon Poison & Wine

4th May 2014:
Howdy! As circumstance has it, you are my last stop on my quest to read and review all the Golden Paw nominees! I originally planned to review every chapter, but time grew short, and so I haven't been able to for most multi-chaptered ones like yours. Sorry for that.

At any rate, this story was wonderfully unique. Taking on the character (and family) of Snape's mother and her "romance" with Tobias is a bold challenge, but it is one you rose to spectacularly. You developed Eileen as a character very well, creating a whole world around her and crafting an image for her far from how I think most people would imagine her based on Snape's poor upbringing. I'm wondering if things referenced in the last two chapters are perhaps the beginning of the end of her glory days?

You also manage to keep a Tobias fitting the definition of "tall, dark, and mysterious". He is interesting early on in the way only an enigmatic character can be. I wonder what his story is.

We also get some interesting references such as the curse in the beginning that claims Penelope (?) and the flashbacks to the 1400s. I am fairly certain whatever terrible scheme is festering in her mind will prove to be the origin of that curse, but I am looking forward to seeing that explained in the future.

I thought your word choice, descriptions, and balance of dialogue, description, and inner thoughts was impeccable throughout!

Good luck in the voting!

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Review #3, by swanvhir Take These Hands

28th April 2014:
I like this story. It's not too romantic or fluffy and it's got a sense of mystery, I like what you've begun to do with the ring. My only criticism is that sometimes I feel like you may not be fully aware of the meanings of some of the words you use/don't use them in the correct context. Or confuse them with similar sounding words (insight/incite, in one of the previous chapters). You know how to set the tone/mood of the story quite well. Keep up the good writing!

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Review #4, by marauderfan Poison & Wine

26th April 2014:
OMG HOW CAN YOU END IT LIKE THAT?!?! Is Jack going to be okay? I mean, I was worried enough about Liam but now with TWO of them that may or may not live, ack too intense!

Ok, now that I've gotten that out - a real review.

The beginning section with Eileen searching for the ring was interesting, especially because she keeps getting visions of it from her burned hands. I am really eager to find out al the mystery behind that. I assume the portion of the diary is something about the Prince family curse, but I don't know what else to make of it, I'm stumped! :P

The scene when Eileen said she loved him was so sweet! It was so cute... and then everything happened with Liam, and I really hope he will be all right, especially with six young kids that's just so sad :(

I've mentioned before but I'll do so again - I love your word choice, it's very distinct and you use such interesting descriptive words. I particularly liked this -- A shiver runs its electric fingers up Eileenís spine

there's a lot more I wish I could say in this review but I'm about to head out the door so I'll just wrap it up by saying AWESOME chapter and I am eagerly awaiting the next one - fantastic work Shelby! ♥

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Review #5, by navyfail Poison & Wine

24th April 2014:
Hello! I'm here for the review swap! I think I've read the first chapter of this story but I haven't read the rest. So I'm going to read this chapter first, though I'm probably missing some of the story, and then probably go back to chapter 2 and go from there. :)

Only reading a paragraph, I'm astonished at your use of description. I, myself, am not good at description so when I see authors that pull it off so well, I'm amazed. I love how you use words to set up the scene so vividly. I can picture it really easily.

Oh, she is trying to learn about her family's past. That's interesting!

Tobias seems sweet. And they are quite a cute couple. It's sad that they end the way they do in the future. I love how she describes his laugh. If you know a guy's laugh and find it cute, it means you like them a lot, haha. :D

"Dad's going to live forever, he's like a superhero." This is adorable. It made me smile as did when he said "I love you." And I love how she mentioned that it wasn't the right time nor the right place to say it, but then, I don't think there ever really is a right time.

And the ending, oh gosh. I really hope the baby lives! Please don't kill him!

Overall, fantastic chapter. The chapter flowed real smoothly and the emotions were spot on and so were everyone's reactions. I had a great time reading this and I'm glad we did this review swap, Shelby.

~Sama (~chocolate)

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Review #6, by DumbledoresArmyOfOne Free Until They Cut Me Down

23rd February 2014:
Hi again! I just have to tell you that whenever you request a review for this story I'm daunted because I feel so unqualified to analyze and critique such talented writing. You somehow pair meticulous attention to detail with seeming effortlessness and it makes for beautiful writing, so thank you for sharing your work with us :)

First of all, you handled that time jump so well! There's this alien environment full of new characters, but the familiar themes running through and the present tense really ground the reader into this time and place.

You've already created such amazing, real characters in little more than a chapter of development. Penelope is very complex: she's obviously very lonely, yearning for adventure and love, but the empathy we might feel for her is tempered by obvious faults (pride and stubborn rebelliousness), which just make her all the more interesting to read.

Your plotting is flawless- I love how you have that undercurrent of dread winding through every chapter. The curse and our knowledge of Penelope's inevitable fate make it impossible to look away... like a train going full tilt towards a barrier- you know there's going to be a crash.

The only CC I have to give is a) it should be 'its plume' in the seventh paragraph, not it's and b) the last two paragraphs are slightly confusing in their structure. There seems to be a loss of flow there and some of the transitions don't make much sense (or I'm just reading it wrong).

Finally, if I haven't conveyed it enough, I loved this chapter, I love the whole piece, and I'm so excited to read and review more of it.

~Gilly

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Review #7, by nott theodore Morningbird

9th January 2014:
Hi Shelby! I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to get round to leaving a review on this chapter, but I've been really busy lately - better late than never, right?

The descriptions at the beginning of this chapter were really beautiful. You paint a picture so easily with words, and it seems really effortless when I read your writing - those dresses seemed so breathtaking and I could imagine them perfectly. You already know that I love all the detail that you weave into this story, and the detail that you include here about the sewing makes it seem really authentic. Either you do a lot of sewing or a lot of research (or both) because it seemed really believable, and that detail here feels appropriate, because this business is such a big part of Eileen's life.

Eileen's character development is really interesting. She's such a strong female protagonist, and I'm really drawn to those, which is part of the reason I love this story so much. I liked the fact you showed she's not at all infallible here, though, particularly when it comes to Tobias. He's clearly making her much more nervous and vulnerable, almost, as far as everyday life is concerned. I think perhaps part of the problem is she's never experienced something like this before and she doesn't know how to deal with it, but I have an inkling that there's more to it than just that.

I've said this to you already, but I love the detail about repairing things with magic never actually fully repairing things. It's so interesting and I've never really thought about it before, but it seems perfectly plausible. I just always feel that details like this really illustrate how much you love your work and how dedicated and committed to this story you are, and that makes me even happier to read it.

I'm interested to see what happens when Eileen goes to the Hogwarts reunion! I don't actually think that I've read a story which includes a school reunion so I'm interested to see how you're going to do it!

These books burning and all the other things happening... it could, I suppose, be part of Eileen's nervousness causing the problems, but I don't think that's it. There was a ring, wasn't there, that she touched, which burned her? I feel like maybe there's something to do with the family curse - maybe the curse isn't just relating to family members not marrying purebloods, but it's also attached to items that are passed down in the family. Hmm, I wonder... you've got me asking all kinds of questions here!

And now I can squee a bit about the kiss! (Do you know how hard it was for me to avoid doing that at the beginning of the review?!). It was just so perfect - I loved how Eileen had fretted over it at the beginning but never said anything to Tobias about it. The two of them are a really unusual couple and I've genuinely never read any romance like it, and I love seeing how you're going to develop their story. Tobias is so quiet and I feel like we (and Eileen) still have a lot to learn about him - but then again, Eileen's not been completely honest, either. In spite of that, I think that the kiss was really cute and fitted perfectly at the end of this chapter and at this point in the story.

Brilliant chapter, my dear!

Sian :)

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Review #8, by academica Morningbird

8th January 2014:
Shelby! It has taken me FOREVER to get here. I'm so sorry; it wasn't for lack of enthusiasm! By the way, I don't know that I ever congratulated you on your Dobby and Snitch - I can't think of a minor character more deserving than your Eileen.

Eileen's behavior in the first part of the chapter was interesting. She's clearly not an incompetent witch, so is her recent string of accidents just a by-product of her nervousness related to Tobias? I think that's what you were trying to allude to, but it wasn't crystal clear for me. I did like how Eileen and Lorraine bonded over fixing the ruined dress, and I hope Lorraine is around to boost Eileen's confidence for a long time. It'll be interesting to see if Eileen actually ends up going to her school reunion.

The breakfast meeting of Eileen and Tobias was so delightfully awkward! I can see how poor Severus failed to inherit anything resembling romantic charisma or confidence. I say "delightfully" because I think it only works for a pair like this, where both are nervous and inexperienced. If Eileen had bolted upstairs when talking to a smoother sort of gentleman, I imagine he wouldn't have bothered seeking out a ninth date, but Tobias evidently doesn't regard it as being too out of the ordinary. It's interesting to see her turn into a puddle, of sorts, in front of him. (And now I wonder where things went wrong, even though I kind of know - I can see how she'll regret eventually telling him the truth. Sigh. All this acceptance and then... how tragic.)

Okay, enough of my musing. This was a good chapter as always, and I look forward to the next!

-Amanda

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Review #9, by Cavell A Storm Is Coming

2nd January 2014:
Hi there, it's Raine from the forums with your review! Sorry for the wait, by the way -- got caught up in the holidays and all, but I'm here now! Anyway, to start off, your description is absolutely amazing, and while I usually think that about a lot of stories considering my lack of them in my own stories, I really mean it this time :D I especially loved your description of the storm at the start of the chapter -- Lightning casts its lament across the clouds in the distance; the clamor of thunder rolls ceaselessly onward, a knight of battle against the stagnation of impinging summer. -- there's just something about it that really makes you see and feel the storm, and just ahh. I honestly can't get over that.

The song, too, is lovely, as is all that happens in this chapter -- I was sobbing myself when I reading through it, because you can simply feel the sadness just by and reading it and wow, I'm really sappy, sorry. Your description just makes everything come alive in that way, and honestly, your writing itself is beautiful as well. While I obviously can't say anything about people being in-character according to the books since I'm pretty sure both Ursula and Penelope are original, I do want to say that their characterisation is perfect and just seems so realistic, which is something I really noticed while reading this chapter -- everything seems realistic.

The ending really got me in the heart, though -- I am definitely left with a lot of questions after reading Penelope's letter and finding out she's a Prince and how Eileen and Tobias will tie into things and the curse and just wow. This was a really impressive first chapter and to add to that, your grammar and spelling was incredible and I couldn't see any mistakes at all, so well done! I would definitely read ahead if I had the time for it!

Thanks for requesting, feel free to re-request and see you around the forums, dear!

--Linn

Author's Response: Hello Linn! Thank you so much for stopping by and reading and reviewing! I'd like to say that I'm so sorry about the late response to this, forgive me!

Aww, thank you! If there's anything that I think I do well, it's description and imagery. I believe that setting the scene in a unique way is extremely important because without that, a reader can feel disoriented or disconnected within the story. I try very hard to connect the readers to the story through imagery and description. I LOVE that line. It took me forever to write it and so it makes me very happy that you like it too!

Awww, I don't mean to make you cry! And no, don't you be sorry! It just astounds me that my writing can bring out those kinds of emotions in people. It's rather like shellshock.

Yes, Ursula and Penelope are original characters, but you'll definitely see how Penelope connects to Eileen's story as we get further on into the story. I try so hard to make the characters realistic. In a lot of fanfiction, the characters are so awkward and totally unreal and that makes it difficult for a reader to connect to the character. I didn't want that here. I wanted you to feel like, especially with Eileen and Tobias, you know these people and could have a conversation with them.

I can't wait for you to continue reading!

Thank you so much for the wonderful review. I so, so appreciate your feedback and I'm so happy you enjoyed it! Thank you ♥

Shelby


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Review #10, by BookDinosaur A Storm Is Coming

29th December 2013:
Hi Shelby! I've heard so many good things about this, not least it having earnt a Dobby, and your review equest finally prompted me to start reading and reviewing this. :)

Reading this, I couldn't help but be shocked at how wonderful your description and imagery was. There aren't many stories where the images come into my head as clearly as they do with this story, but you've done something like witchcraft yourself! Your imagery was spectular and everything was really intense.

I know nothing about these characters, and I have no idea what these people have to do with Eileen and Tobias Prince, but you've made me feel for them all the same. Poor Penelope, seven hours of birthing and still there was too much harm done to her for her to spend more than three days in the company of her baby. Poor Ursula, midwaifing a woman she doesn't know and being saddled with a baby boy three days later. Poor Reynold, who will never grow up to know his mother. Your writing is insanely compelling and emotional, and just makes me feel for these characters so much.

This scene is very historically accurate (as far as I know, anyway :P) and the whole birthing and midwifing was very realistic. The whole scene gave off an atmosphere of desperation and helplessness, and I can't help but think that maybe if Ursula had been a witch as well, maybe things could have turned out better for Eileen. I really liked your use of pathetic fallacy, to reflect the feelings and atmosphere of the birthing on the weather.

I also love that you get straight into the action, giving us the juicy information about the Prince curse and danger and goodness knows what else. The downside is that I'm going to have to read the next chapters to find out what happens at all. :P

I really loved reading this Shelby, it was an amazing prologue to the story and it was amazing chapter in its own right. Well done, my dear! :D

Author's Response: Hello darling! I'm so, so sorry for such a late response, forgive me!

You've heard good things? Aww, shucks! :D I'm glad you're here! I love my readers dearly.

Thank you, I really appreciate that! That's one thing that has always come very naturally to me and that's description and imagery. What I want most is for readers, like yourself, to picture the story in their minds as clearly as if they were seeing it on the big screen. It's something that I work very hard at because I believe it's so important!

I'm glad I could bring out an emotional connection. And you're right, you know nothing about them or how they relate to Eileen & Tobias, haha. I strive to create a compelling story that really makes you feel something towards the characters, whatever that emotion that may be. But anyway, this novel is going to have two story lines: Eileen's & Penelope's. I can't wait for you to get further into the story and find out all the connections and what's going on! :D

I did so much research (I have a thing for history anyway, but don't know everything.) and so I'm glad that it seems historically accurate. You noticed the pathetic fallacy, yay! It's something I love to do (probably too much, haha). You're so perceptive and I LOVE that in a reader!

Oh yes, I don't like to waffle around the point, but get straight to the heart of things. Oh, the curse! I love reading reviews of readers trying to figure out what's going on - it's my favorite! I think you'll like the realism of the story and how I weave the curse in. I can't wait to see what you think.

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I really appreciate your feedback and can't wait to see what you think of future chapters! ♥

Shelby




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Review #11, by Courtney Dark Morningbird

25th December 2013:
Hey there! I thought it was about time I came to review the next chapter. I don't know when and how life has managed to get so busy!

I really like Lorraine. At first, I didn't have a huge opinion of her, but now I think she is a really great character, and a great contrast to Eileen, who is sometimes rather somber and depressing. Lorraine, on the other hand, always seems to find the bright side and I think she's really helping Eileen, without Eileen even realizing it!

I was about to say what would we do without magic? But then I realized we actually don't have magic. Sigh. But magic, like the spell on the dress, would make things so much easier! Sigh!

Aw, I loved the scene between Tobias and Eileen, as usual. I love the way you have developed their relationship, and each of their rather awkward personalities. Also I like how you have included little details, like the fact that Eileen always breaks the silence. And Tobias was kinda perfect in this chapter!

They kissed! Yay! I'm really eager to read on now. I wonder when Eileen will tell Tobias he's a witch. Severus says in the books he doesn't like magic much, but has that always been true? I guess I'll have to wait and find out!

Great chapter!

Courtney:)

Author's Response: Hello Courtney! I'm so, so sorry for the late response - forgive me! I understand about life getting busy (I can hardly keep the days straight, I'm so swamped!).

I'm glad that this chapter changed your opinion of Lorraine because that was very much my intention. And you've characterized Eileen so perfectly. She is definitely a study in contrasts: one minute bubbly and talkative and the next she somber and introverted. That's why I love writing her. Lorraine isn't just an airhead and I wanted to show that in this chapter, along with the idea that Eileen isn't always going to have her stuff together 24/7.

Hahaha, that made me laugh so hard! That's the truly magical thing about Harry Potter, we come to love and cherish it so much that it becomes real. If only it truly were real!

Both of them are so cute and awkward and I love it, so I'm stoked that you love reading them. I want them to be realistic. Real-life relationships and people are so awkward themselves and oftentimes in fanfiction (and literature!), the relationships are perfect with perfect people and everything is perfectly resolved. That's just not so. BUT, wasn't he perfect? He really does love Eileen and I don't think she has any idea. Or perhaps she does and she doesn't want to admit it yet :P

You are too perceptive for your own good! Perhaps he will and perhaps he won't approve of magic. :P I'm going to make you wait several chapters before we get to that, but keep it in the back of your mind.

Thank you so much for another fantastic review, Courtney! I always love hearing from you and getting your opinions - they mean the absolute world to me! ♥

Shelby


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Review #12, by Secret Santa A Storm Is Coming

25th December 2013:
HO HO HO HO HO! Secret Santa here

Merry Christmas, hope your having a good day! So I've seen this story around before but have never read it, so this has given me a chance to.

I didn't expect to get so involved with it but that was sad, your writing just pulled me in. This was very descriptive and beautiful, the crashing of the storm outside just gave me some brilliant imagery.

It felt to me as if this was a classic tale, well known to everyone and being retold once again around a fire. It just had that feeling of pure storytelling.

I wish the letter had been complete, I'm trying to work out what it could say here, but I get the gist of it obviously and it makes me want to read on now that there is a little intrigue.

' Without a word, the new mother dies staring at the child for whom she gave her life.' - this was a sad line, feels for Reynold.

This was a very enjoyable chapter which wouldn't look out of place in a published book and I will defiantly be reading on. Have a great Christmas!

Author's Response: Thank you so much, Secret Santa! I'm sorry for the late response, but I'm here now!

I'm very glad that I could pull you in. I love writing because it's part of me, but I also really want readers to love the story - that's what makes it a story, after all.

Thank you! I find that a huge compliment! I wanted this first chapter to have that sort of air. Something dark and angsty at the beginning of a movie or fairytale that sucks the reader in.

I know, that letter! You'll find out much later on in the story. :) I'm big on leaving hints and letting readers puzzle things out.

It killed me to write that line and so I knew if it made me sad to write it, it would get readers' attention.

Oh wow, thank you! That means so much to me. Thank you for the wonderful review! I hope you continue to enjoy the story ♥


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Review #13, by marauderfan Morningbird

17th December 2013:
Shelby!! I was so glad to see you had updated this, itís like an early Christmas present!

I know youíve said you put careful consideration into the names in this story (like Triamour), and oddly it made me wonder about Laurasia. Ooo I hope she is a paleontologist or geologist because that would be really fitting considering there was a prehistoric landmass called Laurasia, like 300 million years ago. (Sooo, my review is only just starting out and already Iím probably boring you to death with rambling/natural history nerdness. Sorry! I digress.)

Your descriptions of sewing are so beautiful. Do you sew a lot? The way you write about Eileenís sewing and the details she notices and creates in her work, it sounds as if you could be a seamstress yourself. Eileen seems very real to me just because the narration about her work sounds so natural and experienced.

That letter about Eileenís Hogwarts graduating class made me laugh. Wizards do seem to like to keep things as complicated as possible, donít they? And theyíre a little stuck in the past. I had to sit there and count out what ďthe second day of the seventh month nineteen-hundred fifty-sevenĒ was, haha. (By the way, I donít mean to imply that your writing is confusing. I mean that this is pretty great because wizards tend to stick to old fashioned ways sometimes and you showed that in the complexity of language in the letter. Thank goodness they dispensed with that by the time Harry went to Hogwarts. Iím rambling again. Next time if I need to ramble Iíll try to contain it all until the end, in which case you can skip over it if you want to. Back to the story.)

TOBIAS WILL TOTALLY SEE THAT LETTER SHE DISCARDED. WHEN HE COMES INTO THE SHOP. Seriously. I bet 20 galleons. (Well, it looks like I owe you 20 galleons now.)

Oh no :( that is the worst! Poor thing, having the dress rip at the worst possible moment. Lorraine is such a wonderful, supportive friend though. Eileen is very lucky to work with someone like her! Aw, I loved that scene with the glowing spell on the dress. The description was very visual and beautiful, and I love the friendship between Eileen and Lorraine.

Bahaha. Eileen isnít really a morning person, is she? I could tell she was a little too tired to think about what she was saying ;) Aside from the intervening slice of awkward, it turned out all right in the end! Yay :)

Hm. I didnít think much of the burning books until you mentioned them in your authorís note, and now Iím wondering if I missed something!

Anyway, I apologise for the rambly, sleep-deprived nature of this review (similarly to how Eileenís brain doesnít function properly in the early morning, Iím that way at night :p ) Great chapter!! ♥

Author's Response: Hi darling! I'm so, so sorry it has taken me so long to respond, forgive me! But thank you, as always, for the wonderful review!

If it's like an early Christmas present, then I'm happy! It means I must be doing something right.

Oh yes, you know how I am about names. I did a lot of research before I decided on her name. No, I LOVE the history nerdiness! I love history too (along with everything else that can be categorized under nerd). That's pure coincidence about the prehistoric landmass and her name, but I think you could draw parallels there. The landmass would have eventually broken apart, yes? This could symbolize Eileen's emotional break in this chapter. Oh, I actually love that! You and your history nerdness ♥

No! I love your rambling, it's what makes your reviews such a delight to read! Haha, I thought it was perfect because it was pretentious. To me, the books hint at the fact that the wizarding world tried to cling to the past as much as possible and I wanted that to show.

Better hand over that twenty galleons, haha! :P I shied away from that because I figured it would be too obvious if he just magically (no pun intended) saw the letter.

I wanted to show readers that Lorraine isn't only comedic relief, but has a semi-sensible head on her shoulders.

No, definitely not. It's something I did want to touch on because it seems like in a lot of fanfictions, these characters are magically jumping and running around at the crack of dawn. Who does that? Eileen's a hard-working business-woman who values her sleep and I don't blame her!

I did hint at burning books - it didn't happen, but Eileen hinted at it :P

Your review was WONDERFUL. I love hearing from you and appreciate each and every review and ramble. They mean so much to me. Thank you ♥


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Review #14, by Violet Gryfindor Free Until They Cut Me Down

16th December 2013:
It's great to be back again for another chapter of this story, and I'm glad that you've returned to Penelope's story because I'd been hoping to hear more of how her story intertwines with that of Eileen. The historical aspects of this chapter turned out well, especially because they were subtle, appearing most in the language and behaviour of the characters rather than in long descriptions of the setting. I also liked the letter exchange and the details it revealed about education, Hogwarts itself, and Penelope's life - you found the perfect way to reveal a lot about Penelope and her world without exposition. That was excellent.

A comparison between the two witches would be an interesting exercise because it's evident that they have similar attitudes and personalities - the Princes seem to share these kind of qualities like the Blacks do - but at the same time, the difference in their opportunities makes them very different women. Eileen has her independence and relishes it, but she's also older and has had time to find herself (as the saying goes). Meanwhile, Penelope's youth really shows here because, at least to me, her reasons for refusing the marriage were less than clear. She has no real reason to refuse it - she seems to do so because her parents sprung it on her without warning, and she lashes out in the only way she can. Penelope knew that something like this would happen, and soon from the sound of things - you later explain that she's deceptive, and I thought that explanation came a little late. I didn't get the feeling that she was being more deceptive than a usual adolescent is - she obviously lies when she says she's happy to visit the Bartletts, but how much more is there? Is she simply being rebellious and desiring greater freedom and independence? Does she pretend to be obedient merely to keep her father from losing his temper? It seems to have worked against her, since they throw this marriage at her and expect her to accept without question. What I would like to see is a clearer version of Penelope's thought process because I feel as though there are gaps in the narrative here. I can't understand Penelope's logic quite yet.

The writing itself is pristine - I really like your word choice and the flow of your sentences. They read easily and pleasantly, which is something I always admire. This continues to be a fascinating story, and I look forward to reading more of it! :)

Author's Response: Hello Susan! Thank you so much for another wonderful review - I'm so sorry for the incredibly late response! Forgive me.

I do hope you are enjoying it! I look back at the first couple of chapters and see how weak they are, but they also serve to show me just how much I've progressed and also become comfortable writing the story. I really did try to convey the historical period without too much description. For me, I love period pieces, especially anything medieval. However, many readers turn away from them because they tend to have so much exposition that it's a bit...boring. So I tried to mix it nicely here to keep readers engaged (and make it fit better with my style).

I'm not going to lie when I say that characterizing the two of them is a very difficult process. I want readers to see the similarities, of course, but they are each unique and bring to the table a unique personality, like all people. And here's where I think I've failed with Penelope's narrative. You're definitely right, Susan. There are large gaps - I need to go back and revisit this chapter. She is a very deceptive young girl and I think I've put that into the story too early. Later you will see that she is deceptive and, frankly, bad. I went back and looked at it after your comments and see exactly what you mean. Thank you so much for pointing this out. This is definitely going to help me for future chapters with her and when I'm finished with the novel, I can go back and edit. Thanks :)

Thanks Susan! As always, I love hearing from you and really appreciate your time and critiques, as always! They mean a great deal to me. Thank you ♥

Shelby


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Review #15, by MissesWeasley123 Morningbird

16th December 2013:
*picks up dropped jaw*
*lets jaw drop again*

HOLY MACARONI. Whoa.

Yes the kiss was perfect, and no I didn't expect it that way, because it was adorable and oh my god, I have never seen something written like this, especially with this pair, because you would expect them to be all bitter, but it's so sweet and cute and aaahh.

*inhale, exhale.*

WHOA.

And also, I'm just saying, when Eileen was freaking out I was like, "Chill guurrrl." But now I wonder if it's something more... NAH. I'm too stupid to be onto something anyways so let's move along. I really like how Lorraine dealt with her in that scene, though. It was different to see her act like that, more mature.

And HOLY MOLY EILEEN IS SUCH A FLIRT! And Tobias is adorable and completely spoils her (not really) but I lurve it and just keep on writing.

This story is getting really intense and I think you're doing a wonderful job Shelby.

Author's Response: Hi darling! I'm so, so sorry for such a late response! But don't think that I don't appreciate your reviews, I promise I do! -hugs-

Hahaha, that's just the reaction I want! I want you picking your jaw off the floor at least every other chapter! I want you on your toes!

Isn't it cute? Holy crap, writing it made me all gooey and mushy and I felt like I needed to listen to love songs and eat chocolate and watch Titanic. Seriously, I love these two and I'm glad someone else does too!

Yes, breath, I need you! The fanfiction world (and real world too) needs you!

Now, don't brush off those feelings of yours, maybe Eileen's onto something -hint hint-. I think that readers needed to see Lorraine in a different light. They needed to see a different side to her normal ditsy disposition.

God, isn't she though? No, he really is, and he will, don't worry - you've caught onto that for sure. He won't spoil her in the obvious ways, but he will.

Thank you so much, darling. I really appreciate that and it means a lot to me, it really does. Thank you so much ♥

Shelby


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Review #16, by adluvshp Morningbird

16th December 2013:
Hey! I saw on TGS that you said you had updated so I had to come check it out :D

I absolutely loved this chapter! The way Eileen and Tobias' relationship has progressed is beautiful and how you described it here is amazing. I feel like the curse is starting to take effect with small things going wrong in Eileen's life, like breaking her teacup, setting her book on fire, and tearing the wedding dress so I like the way you are subtly hinting at it.

I am still excited to know what exactly the curse is though xD

I enjoyed this chapter as it showed the ease between the two of them and the way their relationship had flourished, and then the ending made me giggle a little with Eileen getting all nervous and then Tobias making it all right with his kiss. I didn't quite understand the ending sentence though - did that mean she literally fell upward (because of magic?) or was it just a metaphor? Lol. I think I'll know in the next chapter xP (I can be very thick sometimes).

But anyway, great chapter. I am loving Lorraine by every passing chapter too, she's awesome xD And of course I am super excited for the next chapter so I hope you update soon! Great job as always xD

10/10
Cheers!
AD
(AditiDraco95)

Author's Response: Hello Aditi! I'm so dreadfully sorry for the extremely late response! Please forgive me!

I'm so glad that you enjoyed it! I'm trying to make sure they progress in a realistic way. Many books and stories now have their main characters falling in love in the first five chapters and I just can't take that. It isn't natural. I don't want it to be boring of course, but I want my readers to get a real sense of the realistic.

I'm glad you noticed all those hints. I need to bring them in more prominently, but I first wanted to allude to them here and bring them back to the forefront.

Ahh, the curse. I can't wait for you to find out!

Isn't he the cutest? I really love writing him. I went back to reread that sentence and I can see how you were confused - I need to reword it. It's a metaphor. She didn't literally fall upwards, but I want to show that her life is both taking a turn for the better and yet she is still falling (because we know the inevitable end). Does that make sense?

Thanks so much for the wonderful review! I always love to hear your thoughts and appreciate your opinions so much! ♥

Shelby


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Review #17, by SilentConfession Passing Afternoon

9th December 2013:
Hey Shelby!

I'm so pleased to have returned to this story. The way you paint this story is absolutely fabulous. I know i shouldn't be shocked as your writing is simply to die for. I love how you've paced this chapter though. That is always something i've had problems with in my own WIP's and you've really made this chapter intriguing and yet so normal that really draws me in. I love the everydayness of this chapter. She seems so human. Sometimes people write their characters and even though they are well rounded they give off this sort of 'other' feeling, but Eileen seems to really shine here as someone who'd actually walk the streets of London. She's gone beyond the term, at this point for me, of relatable and she seems like people i know. I hope that makes sense, but i'd continue reading this story simply because i like how you've carved her characterization into this so well. I know there is still loads to learn about her too which makes it exciting as there is always that overhanging idea of what happened to her with Tobias.

As i mentioned above i liked the pacing. I thought you did a really lovely job at creating a nice progressive plot. It isn't happening all at once, but there is this free flow here that really opens up the story for later. We learn that she's worked for her success, that she's rebuilding, that she seems to disdain Hannah's life, reminisces how life dreams have changed, and had someone plant a seed in her for the future. We learn a lot, but there is this feeling of a slow unpacking of a wider scope for the story. I hope that makes sense. The way this chapter is constructed feels natural for the end bit to happen with everything you packed into it. Its really made me interested to see where you're heading, how she fell in love with Tobias, and what her relationship with Fabian is. There are just so many lovely details in this that i don't really know what to do with myself. It's just really lovely and i can practically see myself trailing after Eileen in this.

How old was Fabian here? Something feels off that he seems as old here as he is. What i mean by this is I thought he was younger than this in canon. I could be wrong though.

Your word choice is really nice too. The way you've chosen to describe the spotty electricity and how she pins the bottom of the dress. It makes the flow from one thought to another - one sentence to another really smooth. Also, it reminds the reader right off that even though this is a muggle world here she's in, this is still a magical story. Details like that make this chapter really interesting and set it apart from everything else on the site.

I've really enjoyed reading this!! Really lovely job! - zayne

Author's Response: Hello Zayne, darling! I'm so, so sorry for the huge delay in responding to this! Forgive me.

I'm glad that you're happy to return. To be honest, it sort of shocks me every time someone tells me that they enjoy some, or most, of my story. It kind of blows my mind. I'm so into the fantastic and out-of-this-world that writing something "normal" is actually quite a challenge for me. It's something that I'm striving for in this story, above all things - a sense that this could be any one of us, save for the magic, of course. I'm really glad that you're enjoying her characterization. I do my utmost to make her as normal as possible.

You mention a "free flow...that really opens up the story for later." That describes what I'm doing perfectly. I don't want to bog myself and the readers down with something super complicated because I think it will fall apart if I do that, you know? The normalcy tinged with a bit of the fantastical is what I'm headed for, really. Fabian will come in again much later. He's a minor character, but you'll see him now and again.

I made a mistake with my math in dealing with the canon. I'm pretty sure that I'm way, way off, but now that I've written it, I don't want to go back. I don't even know if he was out of Hogwarts at this time. Well, I am TERRIBLE at math (a bit like, JKR, actually).

Thank you! You know me, I'm always trying to make sure that my diction is just so - it's a pain in my tail though, that's for sure! :P

Set it apart from everything else on the site? That's truly the loveliest compliment! Thank you!!! ♥ That means so much to me!

Thanks for the wonderful review. As always, I appreciate and love your opinions and feedback!

Shelby


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Review #18, by lia_2390 Take These Hands

2nd December 2013:
*faints*

Shelby, do you know how long I've waited for this moment? I don't care if they haven't done more than hold hands. It matters!

Eileen is a well-rounded character. While she projects the image of confidence among her peers and workmates, there is a layer of vulnerability beneath all that. She doesn't give herself a chance when it comes to relationships. She doesn't think that she will be well received. (If my friends could see me type this, they would think I'm talking about myself.) There's a lot of doubt she carries throughout the chapter, certainly in the beginning. And I do think she's a bit in denial about her feelings for this strange man.

To be fair, he is frustrating. He doesn't communicate much to her. She described herself as being overly-chatty, so I suppose opposites attract in this regard. Tobias's silence could be one of his strengths too. He seems like one of those people who only says something when he feels it's important. He doesn't mince his words either. He outright told Eileen he likes her. That is much appreciated for me as a member of the audience. There's no back and forth, or any angst leaving her (and us) to wonder about his feelings.

Something else I can add to Tobias's character traits is: he is a man of action. At the end of the chapter, I think I can safely come to the same conclusion Eileen has about him. The fact that he took her by the hand and led her out seals the deal for me. Any further physical interaction between them cannot be as significant as this was. Hence my sqeeing in the beginning of this review.

And then, there's this ring. I am pleasantly intrigued by the mystery that is about to unravel, and I can't wait to dig into it. The fact that Eileen has injured her hands twice (and you've made mention of this), makes me wonder what you could possibly be foreshadowing here.


Lia

Author's Response: Hello Lia, darling! Please forgive me for the ridiculous delay in responding to this amazing review!

No fainting! I can't catch you from here! :P

Yay, I love this moment too! I totally agree - holding hands is very important! The physical connection is almost tangible. I nearly died of ooey-gooeyness writing it.

That makes me sigh with relief. I'm always so worried about characterization. I want Eileen to be very real and natural. Sometimes it feels like it's contrived, but I do my best to bring her to life. She's got so many different dimensions and facets just like the rest of us. And yes, she is definitely in denial about her feelings and it's going to take a while for her to learn to identify those feelings, even after they are well into the dating sphere.

He is incredibly stoic and that's what I like about writing him. He's totally unexpected. A bit rude, but forthright. As you say, he's not going to jostle her feelings back and forth. Tobias does what he wants because he wants to and for no other reason. You've really grasped what I was going for here - yay!

Oh, the ring! It's going to be so much fun and I can't wait for you guys to figure it out!

Thanks so much for the WONDERFUL review! As always, I love hearing from you and appreciate it so much!

Shelby


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Review #19, by Violet Gryfindor They Bring Me To You

19th October 2013:
Fantastic work on this chapter! And on this story as a whole. It's an impressive work, and I can tell how much effort you've put into it. The characters are well-constructed, feeling very realistic in their behaviour, yet also nicely suited to the Potterverse (Lorraine in this chapter was adorable in her anxiety over serving Tobias, who, unfortunately, was a poor example of a Muggle). Your writing style is lovely to read, and it's steadily improved with each chapter - you bring the world of Eileen's shop to life and also take care with your descriptions with an excellent combination of practical detail and poetic turns of phrase. The plot is art - I'm envious of your plotting, and it's only the third chapter!

This is the chapter that has cemented my interest in this story and my love of your plotting, characters, writing, everything really. It's a perfect chapter, with just the right amount of suspense, a fantastic construction of atmosphere, descriptions that are cutting at times and beautiful at others. I also particularly like the sense of inevitability that weighs down this chapter, as though the hand of fate is clasped tightly around Eileen at this point. She tries to fight it by wanting Tobias out of her shop as soon as possible, but of course he has to appear again, of course they're drawn together in this almost horrible way. And the whole chapter builds to that final scene very well - the key is the short lull between the scenes with Tobias. It lets the reader drop their guard before the final moment of connection between Tobias and Eileen. By that point, at the end of this chapter, there's no going back - Eileen will marry him.

It's like a fairy tale, in this way, and with the curse that you introduced in the prologue lurking in the background, I think that's the kind of feel you're going for this story. As strong and independent as Eileen is, she's really not in control and can feel herself spiraling toward him with no chance of escape. What interests me is how realistic you make this driving fate - the two scenes are perfectly ordinary; the only earth-shattering takes place inside of Eileen, and she does her best to hide it. The way that you've grounded this story, curse and all, within a realistic, banal world is fascinating - it fills the story with undercurrents, a lurking darkness behind scenes, perfectly set against the contentment Eileen feels about her shop as well as behind the laughter at the party.

And then there's Tobias. Wow! In a few brushstrokes you characterized him better than I've seen before. He's realistic, curmudgeon-like but not a "bad person", just grouchy and impatient with the world that refuses to make things easy for him. Yet he's also very much like his son, both physically and in personality - just like the Professor of the first two books, imposing and displeased by everything. I'm not surprised that his eyes are his most striking feature - so striking as to be the only thing that Eileen notices about his appearance. They're hypnotizing, magical eyes in the body of a Muggle. I wonder what it means - it could be just that he has the eyes of a BrontŽ hero, but I have a feeling that there's more to it, that he's somehow part of the curse. Or am I ascribing too much to the curse's power?

I can't say enough how well-written this chapter is, and how well you've done with the whole story so far. It's wonderful to finally have the chance to read it, and I look forward to seeing what happens next! :D

Author's Response: Hello Susan! I'm sorry for such an extended delay on my response! I'm so exhausted when I get home from teaching every day that I do aimless things like watch Game of Thrones and dream about being a millionaire :P (And I WILL get to yours soon, promise!).

I'm really happy you enjoyed this chapter! You know, I've actually surprised myself. I fantasize about writing things that are very much out-of-this-world, fantasy-driven pieces (I never do these in fanfiction though) - but anyway, I can't quite believe that I went for a such a realistic approach. It's definitely out of my comfort zone and I think that's why it takes me so long to write each chapter. I'm struggle with that mixture you mentioned of descriptions. Glad you like the plot thus far - it simmered in my brain for over a year before I put anything down on paper because I wanted something good, something to keep readers coming back.

"...of course they're drawn together in this almost horrible way." - I really like the way you've described them. There's a real sense of deprivation and anxiety about the entire scenario like they can sense on some level that something is going to happen and it's going to end badly. "Eileen will marry him." - That literally excites me to no end and yet, saddens me so much. I love that even as the writer, they bring these emotions out. I'm so connected to them and that's what I want for my readers.

A fairytale? That's such a compliment, thank you! I never thought of it that way, but you're so intuitive and your insights bring so much to light. I love it! See, Eileen's a study in contrasts. I believe that as humans, we're all about contradictions; she's independent, but she's also fearful and anxious; she thinks she's in control, but nothing is really ever the way she wants it, not truly. I think it makes her most human, showing all these facets of her character.

Oh, Tobias. I love him so much. He is so grumpy and I think it's fantastic. The eyes of a Bronte hero - okay, now that is seriously the compliment of the year and I'm currently showering you with cookies and flowers and hugs! ♥ He is a part of the curse, I will tell you that much; however, his eyes aren't really a crux of the situation (at least, unless I change something :P).

Thank you so much for another wonderful review! I love all of your feedback and observations! ♥

Shelby


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Review #20, by Lululuna By Way of Sorrow

19th October 2013:
Hi darling! Wow, this is such a lovely chapter, though quite emotional at the beginning. The imagery of the graveyard was truly beautiful, and as always I loved the tiny details which go into threading the story together, like when Eileen offers Tobias tea (so, so English) and his factory-roughened hands and the hint that the tea set is seldom used and what that says about how often Eileen has company. Eileen's mixture of wonder and guilt at Tobias' gift, thinking he might have worked overtime to buy them for her, really told the story of being a working class man at that time and brought the relationship even more to life for me.

I love the way the relationship between them is developing, how the strong silent Tobias just shows up at her house, how much she clearly likes him and they have this deeper connection that goes without saying. I hope Eileen is right about Tobias and reading all these thoughts and links correctly! It seemed so typical of him (well, what I know of him) to leave the gift there for her to find and fold up the note into a tiny square instead of writing her a card or something- he's so unconventional and gritty, and I love it.

You've gotten me really curious about what happened to Eileen's family! Something you do so well is build up to these mysteries and facts without giving too much away at a time, but planting the seeds so that the reader stays curious. Poor Eileen, finding all their bodies like that must have been traumatizing, and I'm curious and a little nervous to find out what happened.

Another great chapter my dear! :)

Author's Response: Hi darling! It's so wonderful to see you back. I wrote a great response for this the other day and as I went to post it, my Internet went out. Ah well, it just means I get to read your lovely review again!

I try to keep it very English, you know and keep my Southern culture out of it. That's be a bit ridiculous! :P You noticed his factory-roughened hands? Ah, thank you for noticing all those little details. I work so hard to make sure all the threads work together nicely. I really wanted to show that despite Eileen's magical abilities, they are working class and everything isn't glamorous. It's all very ordinary and real.

Isn't he wonderful? I think he's wonderful! :) I love, LOVE the words that you use to describe him: unconventional and gritty. That's exactly what I'm going for. He needs to be unconventional to fall for Eileen, I think. They don't have one of these relationships that we see so often in the 21st century where it's the constant stream of words and thoughts thrown at each other. They're almost old-fashioned. I'm so glad you appreciate and like how their relationship is developing.

Haha, I almost feel bad for doing that - giving you guys all these hints and details. I'm trying to lace them slowly together, but keep it intriguing too.

Thank you so much for another wonderful review! It means so much! ♥

Shelby


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Review #21, by academica Insidious Lies

19th October 2013:
Hi Shelby!

I do want to make a few comments about chapter six since I didn't get to re-review it. I really loved that you touched on the significance of Christmastime for Eileen. The winter imagery, especially in the cemetery, was just beautiful. I also loved the normalcy in the interaction between Eileen and Tobias - the sense of partnership they share as he helps her is really nice since all we get from canon are hints are unpleasant, possibly even traumatic memories. My original review for that chapter was much more eloquent and detailed, but I'm sure you get the point. Time to move on to the latest update :)

Gosh, I really don't know how to feel about Penelope. On the one hand, I totally understand her wanting to rebel and break free and her tendency to look at everything that's happening to her with a negative lens. The whole engagement ceremony was quite over the top, and you made it clear that the purpose of all this is just to make sure the blood line stays pure and sell the children like commodities to other wealthy families. (I did like how you made it seem like the groom was almost as much a victim as the bride. Was that intentional?) I mean, that whole thing with him making up a plate for her made me feel embarrassed on her behalf. Poor girl.

On the other hand, though, Triamour doesn't seem like that despicable of a person. I could see Penelope falling for him over time if she'd allow herself to do so, and I could also see him being a decent husband, particularly with his comments about liking her wit and wanting her to be herself in private with him (or was that meant to be condescending and I just missed the point?). I get the sense that maybe he doesn't deserve to be hated or to fall victim to her mysterious plans.

Speaking of those plans, I honestly can't fathom what she's going to do. It doesn't seem like she'll have a whole lot of time to herself, but maybe she's got a trick or two up her sleeve. I'm definitely curious to read on and find out more.

Great chapter, as usual!

-Amanda

Author's Response: Hello Amanda!

I'm so, so sorry that it has taken me so long to reply to your review! I do sincerely apologize!

Oh yes, the chapter six fiasco. Haha, I still cringe. Thank you! Christmas is something special for Eileen, even with the hints of all the terrible memories. I really wanted that to shine through. I hope you continue to enjoy the interactions between Eileen and Tobias. While they're not going to fall apart any time soon, they will get worse because I do want to stick to canon toward the tail end of the story.

I love that you're questioning Penelope instead of taking her on blind faith. I think we tend to do that to our main characters, especially if it's from their POV. I would call Penelope an unreliable narrator and so your hesitancy towards her is completely on point. The engagement is a bit ridiculous and exactly how I always pictured it back then. What hints we get from the Malfoys and the Blacks suggests such grandiose measures. Oh yes, definitely intentional. The groom is almost always a victim as well - I'm going to generalize here and say that the men adapt much more quickly that then women.

Yay, someone else who wants to give Triamour a chance! I too think he would be quite a good husband. Of course, we know from chapter one that things don't turn out as they should. Penelope really needs to give him a chance. No, he wasn't condescending, he was being genuine. "I get the sense that maybe he doesn't deserve to be hated or to fall victim to her mysterious plans." - You are so right on the money here. I hate that we hardly ever see the male perspective when it comes to victimization and I want to show that he's no Voldemort - he doesn't deserve scorn when he has done nothing to garner such hatred.

Once you find out what's up her sleeve, I think you'll be disgusted. She's devious!

Thank you so much for another wonderful review! You're too sweet! :)

Shelby


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Review #22, by Lululuna Take These Hands

16th October 2013:
Hi dear! :)

Wow, this was another fantastic chapter. I know I keep saying this but I love the style of writing you emanate for Eileen: it seems so delicate and careful, yet also masking a quiet passion and eloquence. I also love how the "kitchen-sink realism" as my English profs would say comes across: all of the characters are so tangible, human and imperfect, and I can tell how much thought and care you've put into crafting them.

Ok, enough gushing about style and onto the actual chapter! Eileen and Tobias are a really interesting couple. I know you don't want Severus' impression of them in the HP books to cloud judgement, but I think knowing the eventual tragic ending of their marriage makes these early beginnings even more appealing. I love love love Eileen's inner wonderings and confusion over Tobias- she's adorable and totally relateable! I love how she blurts things out without thinking, then chides herself for it, then is grateful once she receives Tobias' answer. I quite like Tobias as well: he's the silent, somber type, yes, but he also seems vulnerable and imperfect and interesting, and I think seeing him and Eileen's interest in each other grow is a lovely thing. I feel like I can really see and sense him in my mind as well while reading this: your descriptions of him, particularly at the end, are a thing of beauty.

You do a really great job of capturing the mood of the era, what with having pie and pints at the pub, the style of dress of the characters. I felt so awkward for Eileen when her hands began hurting on the date- it was such typical bad luck of this pair, what with Tobias choking the first time they meet and everything. But then again, these moments only make me like the story even more. Not all dates are flowers and butterflies, after all, and most relationships outside of fan fiction are far from being ideal.

I'm sorry for taking so long to get here, and I promise to return for the next chapter soon! :)

Author's Response: Ahh, you're back! I do love it when you stop by - makes my day every single time.

You're going to give me the biggest ego in the entire world, I swear. Everything you just said makes me feel so wonderful. I work very hard at creating the "kitchen-sink realism" for this story - every aspect - and so I do like that assurance from genius readers (like yourself) that I'm on the right track. For this novel, I wanted to create a story in which almost everyone can relate.

I say that I don't want you guys to stick to Severus's judgments too closely because I want you guys to give them a chance before it all falls apart. Of course, everyone knows where it is headed, but I just hate that Severus's opinion is the end-all-be-all when it comes to Eileen and Tobias. I love them so much, I'm biased.

Isn't she wonderful? I love her and love writing her. I must do justice to her character and since no one writes her, I like to think of myself as the authority :P

YAY! Someone who likes Tobias! You and I would be BFF in real life, seriously. You understand my heart :D

I do as much research as I can to make sure that it's as accurate as possible. The realism is good though, right? Like you say, most relationships outside of the perfect fanfiction world are so far from ideal, they seem almost cliche. I'm normally a fantasy type of girl, but the realism works so well for this piece.

Anyway, I've rambled! Don't you worry about it - just get here when you can or when you want to! Thank you so much for your feedback. I am always very interested in what you have to say and appreciate it more than you can imagine! :)

Shelby


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Review #23, by DumbledoresArmyOfOne They Bring Me To You

16th October 2013:
Hello again!
I'm sorry I took a dreadfully long time. I sometimes let real life distract me from the fact that I have a review thread. Feel free to give me a nudge over PM if it happens again!

I'm so glad you keep requesting as it gives me an excuse to tell you everything I love about your story :)

I love the snapshot of Eileen at work: so many things, each meticulous and demanding precision, perfectly controlled, simultaneously. It really helps us appreciate Eileen's talent, power and concentration and I think it's a beautiful portrait of her character. My only CC for that paragraph is that you used the word several a couple of times in a row, which sounded a bit odd to me.

Finally the introduction of the mysterious Tobias Snape! The paragraph about his eyes gave me (and Eileen, apparently) shivers. Beautiful description there.

I adore Lorraine! She's so wonderfully cheerful and chirpy and anxious and the contrast against Eileen's slightly melancholy, but content life is fantastic.

One of my favourite things about how this story is written are the pops of colour you write into it. All in all, it's a story that I see in varying shades of grey, perfect for the tone, so it makes the bits of colour: Eileen's cheerful room, Hannah's love for her husband, Lorraine's bouncy hair, seem even more startling and bright.

I'm so intrigued as to what Tobias Snape will be like. I can't help but feel like he walked into Eileen's life and brought a storm along with him.

Another fantastic chapter. Keep doing what you're doing :)
~Gilly

Author's Response: Hello Gilly, darling! No, no, don't you worry about it! You'll find that I'm a very patient woman. I, however, would like to apologize for taking so long to respond to this review.

Yay, I'm glad you like coming back! Sometimes I feel bad because I ask for reviews and don't consider if the reader/reviewer actually likes my story or not.

Thank you so much for noticing that! Eileen is such a complex character and I want that to show through as much as possible without becoming tedious. I put a lot of effort into making her a realistic characters (sometimes I talk about her as if she's real :P). Thank you for pointing that out - those are the kinds of things that escape my notice sometimes.

Ah yes, Tobias, that wonderfully intriguing man. I can't wait for you to see more of him.

Lorraine is fabulous and I love writing her. I like to think of her as a 50s version of Luna. Quirky, but insightful.

You're so perceptive and it makes me so happy that you notice those little pops of color. I put so much time and effort into writing this story and I appreciate it so much when readers appreciate the little things that I do.

Oh he has, don't worry. It will seem all wonderful and dandy, but eventually, there's going to be many, many problems.

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I always love your feedback :)

Shelby


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Review #24, by patronus_charm Insidious Lies

15th October 2013:
Hi Shelby! Just as a prior warning this is a phone review.

I really like how you manipulate our description to make it time appropriate. I'm aware that probably sounds a little odd but your use of nouns and adjectives really reflected the time period and as I don't see that done all that much it's a real joy.

I liked the dialogue a lot in this chapter whether it be Penelope and her mother or the cries of people, I thought it worked really well. It just seemed to be used with effect and with it all being backed up with gestures and facial expressions it often revealed a lot more.

I liked Penelope a lot here. She had a nice indecent spirit and her wanting to refuse her betrothed was interesting and I can't wait to see how that relationship develops.

I liked Triarmour, he just had this nice quality about him and seemed genuine despite Penelope not wanting to marry him. I have a feeling my thoughts might be a little premature so I'll have to wait and see. Anne, however, does seem to be lovely so I can't wait to see more.

Just a few things to look at. Did you mean Cheshire not Chesterhire? As Cheshire is an actual county in England so I got a little confused. Other than I thought it was a great chapter!

-Kiana

Author's Response: Hi Kiana! I'm so, so sorry for the late response! Real life is such a pain, isn't it? :P

No, it doesn't sound odd at all! I'm actually really glad you mentioned it because that means I'm doing my job correctly. I want to make sure that both story lines have separate voices and characteristics because they are about two sets of characters (even if they will eventually be loosely intertwined).

You have no idea how literally ecstatic that makes me. I used to have the hardest time with dialogue, and still do occasionally, so hearing that pretty much makes my life. It means I'm growing as an author -sobs happily-

Isn't it a nice change to see a character with an indecent spirit? I love writing that. It is wonderful to deviate from the norm and yet, have people still like her. She's flawed like all of us.

Yay, someone else who likes Triamour! I think because it's from Penelope's POV (let's consider her an unreliable narrator), a lot of people are quick to dislike him off of the bat. I'm not saying he's a saint, but he's not Voldemort.

Yes, it's supposed to be Cheshire, but it was Chestershire wayyy back in the day so I tried to stay true to form.

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I'm always so happy to hear what you think! :)

Shelby


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Review #25, by adluvshp Insidious Lies

15th October 2013:
Hey! I noticed your status update that this chapter was up and came to take a look! Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed.

I loved reading about Penelope in Chapter 4, and it was great to see her story again here. She is darker than I thought, very interesting, and quite manipulative I think, but I like her character xD I don't know what she's planning - perhaps to give her husband and his family sheer hell after marriage? But I don't know how she'll do that and I am very curious.

As for Triamour, he actually seems like a nice fellow. I was expecting someone haughty and annoying and very unlikeable so Penelope will hate him even more, but he seems to be quite nice so far and I almost want Penelope to forget her plan and just be with him. Though I am not sure if that is ever going to happen, lol. I look forward to seeing more of him.

I also liked how we saw a slightly nicer side of Penelope's mother. For a moment, during the scene when she comes to take Penelope, she genuinely seemed concerned and I liked it as it felt realistic. I also think that she might have hinted at the curse when talking about "Penelope understanding one day" and "if only you knew". That was interesting and makes me wonder how she knows and what she knows and whether she'll be the one to tell her daughter about it one day or if Penelope will have to find it out for herself.

Your descriptions were as always amazing, and I could visualise Penelope's beauty vividly. I also enjoyed the descriptions of the setting, and the way you presented the scenes. I could almost see it all happening in front of my eyes. I am also enjoying your writing style, it is formal and appropriate for the time the chapters are set in (be it Penelope or Eileen's story), and they make for a nice neat read.

I didn't spot any grammar issues either, and the chapter flowed beautifully over all. I don't have any CC for you, which is no surprise since the story is surely progressing awesomely. I'll keep an eye out for the next chapter!

Great job!
10/10
Cheers!
AD
(AditiDraco95)

P.S. Thanks for the little tip about noticing the month and year. I tend to not notice those but I'll keep it in mind from now on xD

Author's Response: Hello Aditi, darling! Thank you so much for stopping by! :)

I'm glad you enjoyed seeing Penelope again. I wasn't sure about writing two different storylines, but I think everyone is really liking it (and so am I!). You are one of the few who has recognized that Penelope is manipulative. And for sheer hell, well, I won't spoil it - just know you're reading the signs very well! Penelope's story is going to go much more quickly than Eileen's, so you will start to connect the pieces soon, I hope.

I love Triamour. I am glad you are giving him a chance and like his character so far. We see everything from Penelope's perspective and to be honest, we should consider her an unreliable narrator.

As humans, we have so many layers and sides to our personalities and identities and so I like exploring many facets of my characters will trying to maintain a sense of cohesion. I think you will find that the "if only you knew" will come out in the most unexpected way. It will be shocking, I hope!

Thank you so much for that! I write the scaffolding of the chapter and then do many revisions so that each is exactly how I want it. I take everything into careful consideration.

Thank you so much for yet another wonderful review! I'm always delighted to hear anything you have to say about my story! Thanks! :)

Shelby


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