Reading Reviews for Playing for Keeps
34 Reviews Found

Review #1, by BookDinosaur Learning From the Best

25th September 2014:

I only just noticed that this had been updated! No wifi does not tickle a pickle. Even I do not understand that joke.

Ahh, how are you so smooth with your flashbacks?! You mentiond tat this was a little flashback-heavy, and you're right, but I've read stories where the flashbacks just interrupt the flow of the story so much but you insert them so perfectly that the whole thing flows as such a lovely piece and yeah how do you do it?? I'm terrified of inserting a flashback into my writing! I love how you managed it, anyway.

Also, this has nothing to do with the story but the ads that line my page are now offering to manufacture pool tables for me, ahah. "Discount pool tables," "Custom pool tables," and "Pool table manufacturers," oh dear. :P

Ugh, the family dynamic between Anne and her dad was so sweet! "Thrush," is a lovely nickname, and the way they interacted showed how well they knew each other and how strong their relationship was. If Portia's on such bad terms with her family now, something must have happened to her dad, because he seemed to be the one holding her in the family and gah no Mallory please prove me wrong. :(

It's sad, but Anne's relationship with her mother seemed realistic as well, the way they just got on each other's nerves and how her mother just wanted her to be a witch and how that in itself made Anne not want to have any magic and yeah it was a sad relationship but a realistic one. I know parents like that myself, and it's always sad - even if the child does what they want - how they have such a strained relationship. D:

It seems so fitting that Anne would show her magic at the pool table! I'm glad it happened that way, it seems so natural.

Your word choice and the way you tell this story was lovely as always, and I can't wait to read more of it! Update soon, Mallory!

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Review #2, by Pixileanin Shooting Star, After Midnight

23rd September 2014:
First off, I don't know why it took me so long to find this story, but I'm here now, and it's favorited so I don't lose track of it.

Secondly, POOL!!

I have never ever read a pool-playing witch before, and being a long-standing fan of the game (even though I have very little affinity towards it – it's a game I love to lose) this first chapter really sucked me in. I loved how you wrapped your character up in all the nuances of the scene and introduced her through her actions. Just fabulous setting and descriptions to lure me in and make me want to stay… except for all the smoke that gets into your clothes and hair, and then makes everything else smell like smoke… yeah, I don't like that bit.

I can tell that this girl loves what she does, even the con part of her job. And yikes! Working for Freddie doesn't seem wise, but really, if she's making good money doing something she loves, who am I to judge? I just hope she's not doing it because Freddie has something hanging over her head. Because that would be bad.

Boy, that man surely did a complete turnaround after she was done with him. I'd say poor guy, but then, it's her job to get the money back, isn't it? Part of what I admire about the style of this piece is that you make your MC so normal, with the itchy sequins and just wanting to get to bed. She has fun at her job, but there's a love of comfort and simple mundane things coming from her too. It makes her genuinely likable and approachable too.

And all the pool action too! But wait! Who is this mysterious person who's been watching in the shadows?? Who could take away her confidence so swiftly like that??

And finally, POOL!

Great first chapter! And congrats on releasing your JulNaNo baby!

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Review #3, by potterfan310 Learning From the Best

20th September 2014:
Hi again!!
600th review is all for you, Anne and James :D

Oh my god, they own Corgi's, for whatever reason I love it! Her just sounds all around awesome as dads go. I'd certainly say she has a better relationship with him that her mother and probably her sister too.

I'm not entirely sure about the rest of the UK, but with me I can't think of one house I know that has a basement. I think some places in London like the big three story Georgian houses might have one and other places in London but apart from that I don't think its a very common thing. But I could be wrong so otherwise ignore me.

Aww bless, that's not the best nickname in the world, especially compared to her sister's. One thing in the flashback at the start you said she was nine, but at the end it said seven? Unless I've just misread it. Her relationship with his dad is Brilliant, I love that he let her watch him play and eventually taught her. I feel like it was their little secret from her mother and sister. ♥

I can totally agree with Anne about rather learning from experience or doing things than books, it's so much better! "though I was only doing elementary work" - Elementary school is called Primary school in the UK, at least that's what I'm assuming when she's on about her homework. The fact she first showed magic when she was with her dad is really adorable, especially as they're so close. I think it just adds to their bond/relationship which I love. The whole scene is just perfect with her dad when she does do her magic, especially after saying she doesn't want to and then she does.

Ooh we have her sister's name; Beatrice, I kind of feel like it's too pretty a name for maybe a not so nice person even though we haven't technically met her in person yet.

I'm a sucka for background stories of OC's as it allows the reader to get to know them better and whilst James is missed (Slightly) in this chapter, I'm so glad that more of her background has come out. Especially how she got into pool with dad.

Aww thank you! You deserve it, this is such a fabulous story and SO original which is why I love it so much. ♥

Soph ♥

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Review #4, by potterfan310 A Drink With the Devil

9th September 2014:
I'm back, haha :p

Bless James, I get the feeling he isn't going to get the hang of pool at all. Unless it's all just a rouse to spend time with Anne, however right now I doubt that but who knows maybe he'll do something like that in the future.

Boy oh boy, James is full of questions isn't he?

I knew it, lol. Her dad is the one whose a muggle! Yes James is a mummy's boy just like I hoped.

I feel for Anne, I do. Having to sit there with James, knowing everything that has happened in their past and having to try and push past it is it any one she's both skeptical that he wants to know her and sarcastic.

James' secret is definitely adding to my curiosity, especially since he admitted he's in gambling trouble and he could go to Azkaban for whatever it is. How is it that he doesn't recognises her?! I love the whole mystery and suspense but it's killing me :p

For having never been in a pub, you've wrote it well! Love that Manny slides the drinks down the bar :D

I honestly can't wait to see how James and Anne's relationship play out. Especially if the truth about what James did to her comes out, or if he remembers. It's going to be very interesting!

Looking forward to the next one.


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Review #5, by BookDinosaur A Drink With the Devil

8th September 2014:
AH HAI MALLORY! And wah, thank you for dedicating this chapter to me! Even though at the time I was shamefully behind reviewing this lovely story. ;) BUT HEY THIS TIME I GOT FIRST REVIEW!! :D

Ahh, James did change his mind about pool! I'm kind of glad, I want them to get along because I ship them already. >:D The way he tried to get to know her after their lesson was so nice, although I haven't forgiven him for torturing poor Annie so much while they were still at Hogwarts. I definitely do understand what you were complaining about in the NaNo cabin though, when you said James was being unnecessarily sweet and turning his personality around, haha!

Aw yay, I'm so glad that her dad was nice to her and that an parent in her life was nice to her because her mum and her sister sound as though they were pretty nasty to poor Annie. It's funny that the guys in the village wouldn't play unless he shot left-handed, I'm surprised nobody in The Snoozing Dog thought to tell that to Annie!

Ooh, and James gets into deeper trouble! Of course it's Freddy making the bet with James, I wonder whether that will cause Annie any trouble later in her work life? :/ I hope Freddy doesn't find out that she's the one tutoring James.

AlthoughAzkaban?? That's harsh, what on earth could James have done to land himself in that kind of trouble? Gosh Mallory, stop with the suspense already! *unhappy* You're too good at this.

One thing I noticed: when Annie said pool is fifty percent skill, thirty percent math, twenty-five percent concentration, and five percent luck,” I don't know whether she meant it or not, but that adds up to 110%. ;) Just thought I'd point it out, although if it was intentional and I missed a joke then feel free to ignore this. :P

Gah, James doesn't have a very good memory, does he? I mean, he knew her and they were in the same year, he should remember Annie. Now I'm all angry at him again, humph. But then gah, he was so cute and awkward at the end of the chapter...I don't know what to make of him, I honestly don't.

Anyway, I loved this chapter, and after catching up on all the ones I missed, I finally get to say update soon! :D

ps. YES FIRST!! :P

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Review #6, by BookDinosaur Ready, Aim, Miss...

8th September 2014:
Hey again! (I ran out of witty greetings, so...a hey is the best you'll get out of me. :P)

Hahaha, Annie can be so cunning! Her lie to Mr Goldblum was very well thought-out and the whole thing about eye contact is so true (I use the technique on teachers to convince them I'm listening...), but at the same time you did bring out the Hufflepuff part in her when she tipped the cabbie because she could sympathise with him and yeah it was just a lovely way to show that not all Puffs are the stereotypical nice people. I also love how you make Hattie a Puff as well, and use her to showcase even more Hufflepuff qualities and yeah you've just done such a great job with their characters!

Ahh, James was so cute with his fear of Muggle transport! And the way he was so determined to learn pool but he didn't think it was a sport and kept insulting it - dearest James, that's only going to make your teacher angry at you. It's like authors insulting validators in their stories: you don't do it, because it's just plain rude.

Aww, Manny seems like such a nice guy! I'm glad that somebody in pool is nice to her rather than just thinking that because she's a girl she can't play pool or something like that. Hannah Longbottom seems lovely as well, it's nice to know that even if her mother's nasty, Annie does have some positive adult figures in her life. :)

Bahaha, while Annie was trying to teach James pool she honestly sounded like McGonagall. Potter, I doubt that you’re in a life-or-death situation. Pool is rarely that intense. I mean, she's giving off direct McGonagall vibes there. ;) What does she mean, she's not a good teacher?! She'd be a great teacher. :P

And good on Annie as well, telling James off when he started acting all spoilt and childish. Tell it to him like it is, Miss Eight! By the way, I absolutely love that nickname for her. It seemed natural enough and not completely weird, and the origin for it was perfect actually I loved it. :)

Your word choices and prose was perfect as usual, and this was such a brill chapter! One to go before I'm all caught up. :D

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Review #7, by BookDinosaur The Woes of Working Retail

8th September 2014:

Wah, this is so amazing I love it! Even though it was only a bit, we got some insight into Annie's family life, and I feel so sorry fr her because it really doesn't seem like she had the happiest time at home. First her sister, now her mum, I really hope her dad was nice to her when she was younger. :(

Gah, and I absolutely loved that little play on words you came up with about Annie's night lessons, haha! Poor girl, so pressured to find a job and when she did find one it wasn't even something she liked.

I really love Annie as a character, she seems so so realistic and just someone who could honestly bump into me one day. Her voice is so defined and her character is brilliant throughout the story and I'm really looking forward to seeing more about how she reacts to the inevitable awful situations that are going to crop up for her here, especially regarding her insecurities. >:D

Ahhh, and we get to see James. :D Ahh, I love how at first he was all smooth and stuff and then with one laugh from her his facade kind of crumbles and he becomes more awkward again. Threatening her was pretty nasty though, and I think that it was a bit of bullying - she did agree to teach him, though, so I'm interested to see how that goes. :D

And why is Tuesday night going to be special? What's so special about The Snoozing Dog? Gah, need to go read more. This was a fab chapter, Mallory!

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Review #8, by BookDinosaur Mint Chocolate Chip Memories

8th September 2014:

I hate having no wifi. :( But on the bright side, I'm here now! I have three hours and a bit left on the internet because this place limits my Internet usage, but I can shoot off a couple of reviews in three hours, right? Right. (APH, NO FAIR!)

Wah, this chapter was amazing! I loved loved loved all the exposition you managed to bring in here, and the chapter never really felt boring or clunky amongst all that background description, which is a brilliant feat, so congrats on that!

Ahh, WE HAVE A NAME! Portia...I don't know, Portia fits her but so does Annie, so you've done a fab job of picking a name there. I feel so bad for her now, though - how on earth could her sister and James bully her enough that she feels ashamed of her own name? It's such an integral part of you and gah that's so mean of them. :(

Ooh yay and we get a Best Friend as well! This chapter is shedding loads of light on things. :D Even though we haven't seen her a lot and this is really our first time meeting her, Hattie already seems like such a real character and person and you've done a brilliant job making her come alive. Her friendship with Annie seems so realistic too, the way they sort of bonded because Hattie took Annie's side and how they got closer from there and how they're so different but alike too - it reminds me of a friend I had before moving, she was the social bird and I was Awkward Potato and she was such a lovely person who was always reaching out to others and someone who you just couldn't hate, that was so so relatable Mallory. :)

The flow throughout this chapter was really good as well, considering that the thing is broken up into several sections it all flowed really smoothly and none of it felt out of place and yeah, this was just such a fab chapter!

I can't badger you to update soon because you have (gah, hate having no wifi) so I'll say off to the next chapter!

ps. Aph, I still maintain that it wasn't fair! I had no wifi...*grumble* :P

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Review #9, by potterfan310 Ready, Aim, Miss...

8th September 2014:
Me again!

They're friendship makes me smile so much! The two of them are brilliant when they're together. A date? Well I guess it is a way, even if it is with James and Anne doesn't really want to be there.

Ahh so she's a half blood? I'm thinking maybe it's her mother who is a witch and her father, a muggle. Since in the previous chapter she said her mother wanted to her have a respectable job.

Aww bless, out of everything James is scared of muggle transport. HA! Your characterisation of him gets better and better, definitely not what I'm used to but I like :D

Good on her, telling James like it is and where to go if he doesn't want to learn. Haha, bless James. I'm definitely intrigued as what will happen between the pair now!

One thing: Most taxi's here are black rather than yellow. London is pretty much full of them, yellow ones are pretty uncommon unless you're thinking of the New York ones?

Looking forward to the next one!

Sophie :)

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Review #10, by potterfan310 The Woes of Working Retail

8th September 2014:
Me again :)

I love Annie, I think every chapter there's something that makes me love her even more.She's such a great character especially as she has so much depth to her and her background. Plus the fact your breaking the house stereotypes such as Hufflepuff's aren't that great academically but having Hattie ace her tests and things :D

The fact it was Freddy who asked her to work for him, definitely adds to my curiosity. Especially as this means he wasn't involved with James and the bullying perhaps?

I'm sensing parent issues with her mother, maybe. The whole wanting to have a good job. I suspect that will come out a bit more as the story goes on.

Oooh yay James! I was wondering when he would pop back up. Haha, I love that he's on the phone to Ginny and that he tells her, he loves her. I really want him to be a mummy's boy :p I am a hundred per cent curious as to why he cannot recognise her at all from Hogwarts, yet he managed from that one night at the Casio?!

I sort of hated James, now I'm loving him a tad more when he came into the shop, the second time. Haha he's pretty clever so far, working out she's 'The Pool Master' as he's dubbed her. Plus it's cute seeing him blush and get flustered. That and he seems ruthless in a way

It's not a huge thing but one thing I picked up on was the use of the word 'fall' when Annie was explaining about Hattie and her results. I'm assuming it's the season and I have no clue if you're American or British, but the UK rarely use the term 'fall' and call it Autumn.

The pub name XD

Onto the next one! Hopefully it shall be their date, I mean meeting :p


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Review #11, by potterfan310 Mint Chocolate Chip Memories

8th September 2014:

Ahh we finally have a name!!! Exciting :D I Actually love it and I think her first name suits her kind of, what with her working in a Casino, don't ask about the logic, lol :p

I am so curious as to what the nickname his sister gave her was? Being bulled is never fun, but poor Annie (I assume she goes by this the most?) for being made fun of for her name.

The back story about the two of them, I love. I feel like they both have mutual hate for their names too :p Like them there are major differences between me and my oldest/bestest friend which makes me relate a lot more. I also love that they are both Hufflepuff's rather than any other house.

I can so totally relate to Annie, bless her. I love her so much as a character already!

Ahh so many questions. I'm ever more curious as to Annie's background, especially everything that went down with James. I could be wrong but I'm guessing that maybe Annie has changed her appearance maybe, which is why James doesn't recognise her.

Off to the next one!!


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Review #12, by rosiful Ready, Aim, Miss...

8th September 2014:
I really like this story so far! I'm already hooked and looking forward to future updates!

I am beyond curious as to what will happen when James finds out who she really is..

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Review #13, by Chivalrous Ready, Aim, Miss...

6th September 2014:
I love this! Your word choice is on point and I adore Anne. Please post soon. xx Chivalrous

Author's Response: Aw, you're so sweet! :)

Don't worry--chapter six is in the queue and it should be out within the next few days. I would love for you to keep reading, and I'd love to hear your thoughts about it as well!

Thanks so much!


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Review #14, by Paddlewaddle Ready, Aim, Miss...

5th September 2014:
This story has got me pretty hooked... but one question... why is the main pairings/ship listed as Scorose when they seem to have very little to do with this story? :S I'm not sure if they come into this story later, or whether it was just a mistake...

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks so much for your review! I'm so glad that I've got you hooked on my story! :D

In answer to your question: No, Rose/Scorpius is not going to be a very major ship in this story. However, they will make an appearance in much later chapters, so I listed them because of that. Never fear! And their relationship might surprise you if you stick around long enough (I hope so, at least!).

Thanks so much for your review! It totally made my day to know that you like my story so far. :)


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Review #15, by True Author Shooting Star, After Midnight

4th September 2014:
Wow, nothing excites me more than a real good mystery with just the right atmosphere. :D And let me say that the way you set this all up is just PERFECT.

The casino, an attractive girl and the pool table? That's a brilliant set up for a mystery novel. And you described it all using just the right words. You haven't revealed much about the plot or about your main character, but this chapter certainly lures the reader to the next. :)

Great job! Will be back to find out more! Was here for the Ravenclaw review battle. :)


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Review #16, by Rumpelstiltskin Shooting Star, After Midnight

2nd September 2014:
Hey there :).

The first, and most obvious, element that I love is the atmosphere that the story conveys. I love that 50s, Monroe-era feel that this is giving off. The way that you've tied in the casino-life with the wizarding world is very entertaining. In fact, this era is actually very enticing for me, so I was very excited from the beginning.

The main character, of course, fits perfectly into this setting. Dancing on stage, and hustling games of pool -- she just emphasizes that atmosphere in this that I love so much. And she can really play well (meaning that she's perfect for hustling). I kind of feel bad for the guy that she tricks, but, hey, it's all the more fun. I also really enjoyed that she acknowledged herself as a showoff ;).

This was really well written, and I love the mystery in the end of this chapter. I wonder who is lurking in the shadows, and if her night being over was referring to more pool, or something else.

Great job, and thanks for the swap!


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Review #17, by Lululuna Mint Chocolate Chip Memories

2nd September 2014:
Yay, she has a name!! Well, she's gone by a few different names, by the sounds of things. It makes me so sad that she was bullied to the extent that she hates and is ashamed of something as genuine as her name - it's just awful. Right now I'm hoping that she never forgives James and just gets some solid revenge on him, frankly. He seems horrible, though I suppose that people do grow up and change.

I liked all the backstory with Hattie and the roots of their friendship, though one detail I thought was great was how Hattie did have other friends and how Annie felt neglected and jealous when she did. It fits well with Hattie's personality that she could have multiple friends at once, and I thought Annie's feelings of jealousy made her more relatable. As confident as she is when playing pool, she clearly has a lot of faults, like not being good at magic and being so shy and closed off from others.

I love mint chocolate chip ice cream as well! It's the best flavour other than MAYBE blueberry.

I'm still loving this, and even though you've answered some questions I'm still longing for answers. What happened with her sister? What exactly did James do and why doesn't he recognize her? What's the wager with Freddy? Guess I'll have to just keep reading!! :D

Author's Response: Yep, a name at last! Her first name (in my opinion) is a bit stuffy and old-fashioned, so Annie is definitely the preferred name. But the bullying didn't help--I mean, Portia is a perfectly good name, but if people are going to turn it into a joke, it isn't so good anymore. She may or may not forgive James in the future, but right now she still hates him. (Although he HAS changed... But she doesn't know that yet.)

Thank you! Hattie is definitely a social butterfly, unlike Annie, and that can lead to some jealousy. But at the end of the day, they're still best friends. I'm so glad that Annie's characteristics and actions make her seem relatable--I really didn't want to create an OC that was too "perfect." Flawed characters are the best characters!

Mint chocolate chip is my second favorite kind of ice cream. My first favorite is Blueberry Pomegranate Dark Chocolate Chunk. (Yes, that is a thing, and it is beautiful!)

Thanks for loving it, and for giving me some stellar reviews! There are many questions that still must be answered, but it may take the whole novel to answer them. Don't worry, you'll find out the wager soon, and all the reasons why James is an idiot, and et cetera.


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Review #18, by Lululuna A Face From the Past

2nd September 2014:
Back again! :D

Ahh, I knew it was James since you mentioned his hazel eyes. :P Hehe. Gah, he seems like such a fascinating character but I dislike him because the main character (what's HER name?!!) hates him and has clearly held a grudge which I don't blame her for. At first I thought that he maybe physically abused her while at Hogwarts and felt really sad, but emotional bullying is still quite awful as well.

I liked how much emphasis was put on the power of names in this chapter. The impact of James' name and how much it defines him, to the extent that he'll do anything to protect it. The narrator's name and how it could be turned against her and how if he knew it, it would turn the power back to him: it's fascinating, and reminds me a bit of fairy tales where knowing somebody's name gives power.

I love, once again, how there's a contrast between her body and her spirit. I loved the line about her spirit not being able to break like glass in contrast to her body being only the surface: it seems like her body protects her spirit, guarding her false exterior from her true interior. She's so interesting, and I love all the literary contrasts of her character.

So it sounds like James and Freddy made some sort of wager? Sneaky underworld casino Freddy is really exciting to me as well, I hope we get to meet him at some point. :P

Another great chapter, Mallory!! :D I'll for sure be back sooner rather than later.

Author's Response: Woo! Hi again!

Yep, I tried to put in some clues about his identity, since the MC still remains shrouded in mystery. :) But you'd be surprised at what people guessed after his appearance in chapter one! He is completely and utterly reprehensible in this chapter, and I hate him too. But character development will happen, and things might change. Nope, I still didn't reveal her name in this chapter, haha, but at least I revealed (sort of) what the relationship between James and the MC is.

Names are so powerful! I drew that theme from magic and how the slightest mispronunciation of a spell can lead to disastrous results. And I'm sure that there's some lore about how revealing your true name can give someone else the power to destroy you. (Rumpelstiltskin, for instance.) Fairy tales were DEFINITELY an inspiration. :D

She's a walking contradiction, almost to the point of annoyance sometimes! It's difficult to balance out what I mean with what I write, and sometimes her spirit is more vulnerable than she would like it to be. I'm glad that you think she's interesting! :D

Yes, a wager! Freddy will certainly show up in future chapters, but he and James are not on good terms at all. Interesting cousin relationships are fun to write!

Thanks once again!


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Review #19, by Lululuna Shooting Star, After Midnight

2nd September 2014:
Hi Mallory!!! :)

Wow, this story is so unique and cool! First of all, I completely fell in love with the first paragraph. The writing and the descriptions of the casino are both beautiful and poetic but also have this... almost tough, gritty quality to it, as if there's darkness and decay lurking underneath all the glitz and glamour.

At first I wasn't sure how I felt about the main character not being named, but I think it worked in building up the mystery and really making me want to read the next chapter. Although I have no clue who she is and what her story is I love what we've got of her so far: how clever and sly she is, how she manipulates men while being disgusted by their need to subordinate her even though this allows her to dupe them. She seems to both lean on and resent her sensuality and sexual power over him, which carries some really interesting messages about gender roles in society and how women function and confront these gender roles. I'm excited to read more about this and how the character both uses and abuses her gendered sexuality.

This positioning of the next gen characters like Freddy gives a new maturity and dark side to the wizarding world and their regular portrayals in fanfiction. Coupled with your beautiful writing, I'm looking forward to reading more of this story and learning more about the casino and the mysterious characters! :) Great job, lovely!! :)

Author's Response: Hi Jenna! Thank you so much for doing a review swap with me! :D

Thank you! The first paragraph is actually one of my favorite paragraphs that I've ever written, haha. I really like the contrast between glitzy things and the dark underbelly that lurks underneath, so it was fun to write that paragraph with so many gritty contrasts. :D

I have this habit of not reveal my main character's name until a little farther into the story (which can get old, I understand). But my character's name holds a lot of significance for this story, so I thought that it would work to leave readers in the dark about her name, at least for a little while. Don't worry, her story will unfold as things progress! I've been thinking/reading/learning a lot about gender roles and women's sexuality lately, so this chapter is sort of a reflection of that--ish. It was a bit difficult to balance her femininity with her own personal strengths, but it is definitely becoming a curious experiment for me!

Freddy... heeheehee. He definitely plays a substantial role in my MC's life, and he's definitely got a dark side. I haven't written much of him yet, but I'm super excited for all the ideas I have in my head. :)

Thank you so much for this review, and all the ones after it!


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Review #20, by Aphoride The Woes of Working Retail

26th August 2014:
Hi Mallory! :) As soon as I saw this I had to stop by - ah, I'm so addicted to this story, haha.

I lovelovelove Anne. She's such a real character - and I know I keep saying this, but it's so true. She just seems like someone I could genuinely meet in real life and I love that! I love how she had the parent issues - with her mother wanting perfection, and a 'respectable' job and being a conwoman doesn't really cut it... and Anne having to keep up the facade with the shop job, despite it all. Pretty unfair on her, you know, having to work two jobs just so her mum can say 'oh, she does this'... that said, I loved the sass she had and the little sort of pun/joke thing about the night classes - that was so good! So clever, as well! :D It also kinda shows that the persona she has in the Shooting Star isn't totally not her, as well, that she isn't always so self-conscious as she is in the shop.

I loved the discussion of house stereotypes as well - how most people assumed Hufflepuffs weren't very bright and always cheerful and things. It was such a strangely thoughtful, deep sort of statement to make, which says so much about the character.

Her boss is so... rude! I feel a bit sorry for him, with the forced early retirement and all, it must be hard, but there's no real reason for him to be so, kinda, rude to her about things... and always presume she isn't working... I mean, if he thinks she's rubbish at the job, why is she still there? Ah well, hopefully he's not so bad, really! :P

James, James, James. I was really, really hoping he turned up in this chapter, coz it was about time he found her and started putting things together (though he still doesn't seem to have any clue as to who she is regarding The Ghost of Hogwarts Past situation) :P Gah, he's so funny! I love how he tries to be all smooth and then it sort of breaks and he gets flustered and things... it's such a oddly sweet trait for him to have. Though the threat to stick his hand to the counter so she'd have to stay there with him until she agreed was pretty mean - especially when he knew her boss wouldn't let her go, as well. But I guess with the blackmail and the bet and all, he must be pretty desperate. Mm... not sure whether I feel sorry or not for him yet... we'll see ;)

Your writing, as always, is gorgeous. Your word choice is amazing and Anne's voice is so clear, it's lovely! :)

Also, that's totally her nickname now - The Pool Master :D

Great chapter, of course, and I look forward to the next one! :D (Also, you updated this so fast... like wha? :P)

Aph xx

Author's Response: Hi again! :D

Thank you so much! I'm so glad that Annie seems real to you, because that was my intention! I wanted her to be relatable, and she has her share of problems just like everybody else. Parent issues happen all the time, and the antagonism she gets from her mother is another reason why she is the way she is. Haha, the night class thing was one of my favorite snarky things to write! In this chapter, she's a little less suave/sophisticated/sassy, but she's still got that slight undertone of sass that I hope will never go away. And she's gotten pretty good at pretending to be someone she isn't when she's in the casino, so when she's in the shop, things are a little bit different.

YAY! I wanted to write a Hufflepuff character, but I didn't want her to be a "typical Hufflepuff." Hufflepuffs are super cool, and although I'm a Ravenclaw, I wanted to show my appreciation for the House of the Badger. Annie is awfully snarky and devious and such, but she's a Hufflepuff for good reason. There are many facets to people's characters, and I couldn't just limit her to a stereotype!

Yeah, Barry is a bit rude. I kept laughing about how lazy he is though. He yells at Annie, but he actually knows that she does a good job in the shop. He's just stuck between the glory days of his Quidditch career and the impending doom of Old Age and Falling Out of the Public Eye. He's a funny guy.

Yes, James! I love to write him for some reason. :) He DID need to find her, but he isn't going to figure things out any time soon. He recognizes Annie from the casino, but his memory of her at Hogwarts is VERY different from his impression of her in the present day. It's a bit strange that he doesn't remember, but it'll all turn out in the end, I promise! Yes, he gave me lots of trouble with his wavering between suave and bumbly. I just don't know what to do with his sometimes... And the Sticking Charm threat was pretty mean, but it ended up being quite effective... :)

I don't think that you should feel sorry for James. Yet. Or ever. Depends on how you look at it. :D

Thank you so very much!!! The queue was short, so I figured that I would go ahead and update. :)


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Review #21, by Dirigible_Plums The Woes of Working Retail

26th August 2014:
It's different from what I usually see to be honest so I think I'm gonna stick around :P

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks for stopping in to tell me that! I hope that you keep reading and that it stays interesting enough for you! :)


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Review #22, by Aphoride Mint Chocolate Chip Memories

24th August 2014:
FIRST REVIEW, FIRST REVIEW, FIRST REVIEW! :D (I really hope this is the first review, haha)

Okay, so I'm really, really falling in love with this story. It's just... addictive. Ironic it's set in a casino, haha.

*coughs* Anyway, I loved this chapter - the exposition back to the past, showing her being bullied by James Potter, revealing her name (poor girl...), introducing The Best Friend... it's just so good. And, you know, flashbacks can be awkward things to lug around (I'm so bad at them, haha) but you just manage them so well. They seem to fit in so easily and so naturally - as did all of the different sections. It just flowed, despite the breaks, and it was so, so lovely to read.

Portia (Annie? I'm assuming Annie is preferred) is such a wonderful character. I loved the development of her here, with the bullying and her optimism that it was a one-off incident with The Ghost of Hogwarts Past, and how she's fairly relaxed in spite of it happening. I like that - not everyone remains really worked up about things, you know? And it shows a nice, softer side to her after the casino chapters.

Side note: one of my sisters has a friend called Portia. She doesn't use her first name, either :P I couldn't help but think of her when reading this.

Hattie seems such a great character, too. I loved the little insights into her, and how she seems like such a genuinely nice person. You know, that person in school you just can't hate at all... that one. Her. :P Yeah, I love that - some people are just like that, reaching out to others who are upset and helping them and taking their side. I also liked how she seems a little bit... neurotic, I guess? :P With the flailing of arms and all... their friendship was just so real, though, the way you wrote it - it was just obvious they were best friends. So good!

As always, your word choice is amazing. I really loved 'nebulous' and how you used the more childish kinda vocabulary for when they were eleven years old - 'big, dumb meanie'. It's little things like that which really make something come alive, and it was just so, so good. I keep saying that, but it's true! The details in here as well, are amazing, like the story about the magic marker dragonpox spots (I kinda wanna know that story now! :P) and the mint chocolate ice cream (which was also such lovely description!)...

Your writing is so good. And so many cliffhanger-type things. So many questions! I really wanna know what happens when she sees James next! Does he come to the casino again? How does he persuade her? What will Hattie think of that? Gah, this hasn't been the most action-packed chapter, but it didn't need to be, because the mystery and the curiosity is still there.

So yeah, I still love this story, and, as always, I want you to update already :P (Sorry? ;D)

Aph xx

p.s. haha, Emily! First review! :D Yay! *cheers* (Sorry... :P)

Author's Response: Hahaha, shame on me for taking my sweet time in responding to this brilliant review. :)

Addictive? I can work with that! I'm so glad that you're enjoying it, because I really admire your writing and it makes me super happy that you like mine, too! :D

Thank you so much! I struggled a bit with the flashbacks--it's so hard to figure out what needs to be put in and what could be left out, but I ended up going with the barest minimum of information that I could without being super vague about it. And I had to introduce Hattie and OF COURSE reveal my MC's name! (It's about time, right?)

Yeah, Annie is definitely preferred by my character, especially since Portia carries such awful significance for her (which will be revealed... eventually). She is definitely more relaxed after her encounter with James, but I would like to think that she's still a bit shaken by it. She tries to cover it up, though, because everything she's been through has taught her (in a way) to hide what she's actually feeling. Sort of. (Maybe I'm being too explain-y. Sorry!)

Ugh, your poor sister's friend! Portia is quite an interesting name--rather archaic, but I think that if my name were Portia, I would rebel.

Hattie is so sweet. I love writing her, just because she IS the one that everyone loves. She knows how to comfort people, but she's also easily excitable and slightly neurotic--what Healer isn't? :D

Thank you! Words are so awesome. I love adding in interesting vocabulary because it gives my story a cool vibe (I'd like to think). Yeah, I'm sure that I called people "big dumb meanies" when I was eleven, so it seemed to be a fitting insult. Hahaha, there's no real story behind the magic marker dragon pox, but it might make a good one-shot. ;) Mint chocolate chip ice cream is the bestest. Definitely.

THANK YOU SO MUCH OMG. I love cliffhanger-type things and questions, as you can tell, so you'll just have to read on to find out! I rather enjoyed writing this because of its actionlessness. It was a nice break from the slight intensity of the previous chapters. :D

Thank you so, so much! And yes, you got the first review! Hooray! :)


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Review #23, by milominderbinder Shooting Star, After Midnight

20th August 2014:
Hiya! I'm here from the Ravenclaw review battle!

Wow, I REALLY loved this. I pretty much just chose the most recent thing on your author's page to review without thinking about it, so the awesomeness of this kind of took me by surprise!

This is such an original idea, which is something that you don't find so much in next gen stories. I had never even thought of the possibility of a wizarding casino before!

You captured the atmosphere perfectly. It all felt so tense, glamorous somehow with with a dark side. Your description of the game was great - sometimes when describing a game like this people slip into, like, 'and then i hit the ball and then i hit another ball and then i won', but you wrote it in such an interesting way, you could really feel the weight of each shot, and were eager to see the outcome.

I also love how your character uses her femininity against the guy. That'll teach him to get cocky just because she's a woman! She totally played it up right to the end, which I think is great. Women using misogyny to their advantage is always amazing to me, ahaha.

Overall I loved this, and I love your writing style! Well done!


Author's Response: Hey! Thanks for your review!

Yes, this is my most recent project, and it's going to be quite a long-lasting one! I'm so glad you chose it--it's definitely different from anything I've ever written before, so I love feedback on it. :D

Ooh, yes! A wizarding casino is quite a surprising idea for me as well. I literally grinned for five minutes when I figured it out--I had no idea that I could come up with something that would exist outside of the typical stereotypes of Next Gen (which is an era I love, but the stereotypes can become awfully dull).

Thank you so much! The darker side of things is what I love the most, so I like that you picked up on it. I was channeling some inner-Gatsby there--a glitzy party scene with some crazy undercurrents of intensity (I hope!). Oh yes, I did my best to avoid the mere description of the action during the game. I wanted to pour all the emotion that I could into the game, and yes, each shot was super important!

My character is quite feminine--but not necessarily always by choice and this does not mean that she is weak by any means! With the drunken man, I really wanted to pit that sort of everyday misogyny against a form of resistance/rebellion, except I exaggerated the two as much as I could. It was so fun to write!

Thanks again for your amazing review!


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Review #24, by Veritaserum27 Shooting Star, After Midnight

18th August 2014:

I'm here for the BvB! This is such a great concept for a story - and you executed it soo well!

Things that were awesome: I really love the idea of a Wizarding Casino. I can't imagine how you came up with this, but it is positively brilliant! You're descriptions at the beginning really drew me in and I was instantly engrossed in the scene and the story. I'm interested to know more about this main character, who she is and how she came upon this "career." I wonder if she is a character from canon or an entirely new character. Hmmm.

Things that were really, really awesome: The description of the actual game of pool was amazing. I was able to follow it easily and you built up the scene with the description of each shot. I also really loved the nuances. For example, the fact that the main character seemed to describe the fact that she was always completely in control of the situation - which seemed to fit her personality, but she works for Freddy Weasley - so she isn't entirely in control, since she apparently must answer to him. I loved that you kept his personality enigmatic. We aren't sure just yet if Freddy is friend or foe.

I caught one typo - this line reads:

The one that remained was the most crucial, and he leered at me as he angles his body in the perfect position to knock it home.

I think you might mean 'angled' instead of 'angles.' Other than that, I didn't see any other typos or errors.

I also loved the cliffhanger. It was the perfect end to this first chapter. Great job - so excited to hear that you have several chapters waiting to go. Great job with such an original idea!


Author's Response: Hi! Thanks so much for your review!

The idea of a Wizarding Casino just struck me one day. I wanted to incorporate pool into the Wizarding World, and a pub was just too boring. So I went a step further to get that glitzy, alcohol-fuelled, Gatsby-esque feel, which manifested itself in the form of a casino. :) I'm so glad you were drawn in by my descriptions! That was my biggest concentration for this chapter, because the characters have the whole entire story to be characterized and explored. It takes a good first impression to draw people in. :D

Really really awesome?! Thanks so much! You're so lovely. :) I tried my hardest to infuse the pool game with excitement and interest, to make it seem less boring than "He took a shot. I took a shot." I wanted their characters to come through, but only just enough so that you could see how the scene was going to play out. :D Yes, she's in control while also being not-at-all in control--her job is a testament to that fact. I think it's sort of become a theme for her throughout the story: she has control, or at least the appearance of control, but in some situations, she loses it.

Agggh, typo! Thanks so much for pointing that out! This story was originally written in present tense, but the dynamic didn't agree with later chapters, so I had to change it all. I guess I missed one. I shall fix it!

Cliffhangers are the BEST. I enjoyed writing it!

Thank you so very much for this fabulous review!


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Review #25, by potterfan310 A Face From the Past

13th August 2014:

Oooh it was JAMES!! YAY! I have a huge soft spot for James Sirius but right now I want to shake him. It's so sad that he has no recollection of her after playing a huge part in her life, at Hogwarts I'm guessing? I feel for her so much, having once been in a similar position.

The way she kept her cool around him was perfect and their interactions were very interesting.

One thing I absolutely adore are your descriptions! They are literally perfect and I have a scene set out in my head from them.

My my James is just a tad arrogant isn't he. Such a shame that he has a pretty face but not so pretty personality.

HA! I love her revenge on her, so perfect. She is definitely headstrong and I love her personality so much. But the one thing which is killing me, is that we don't know her name!!!

Having to ask her for help makes James seem a little harmless but if his past with the girl is anything, I think it's going to come back to haunt him. I am so curious about this bet he has made and why he specifically chose her to help him to learn pool. So it's one of his cousins whose bet against him, hmm I want to say Freddie since he is the girls boss but then again it could easily be one of the others.

I think I'm in love with this because its so unusual and pretty much one hundred per cent such a unique story and I can't wait to see how it all plays out. Whether we will indeed find out her name and whether she will help James or not.

Looking forward to the next one!

Sophie :)

Author's Response: Hello!

Yep, it's old Jamesie!! I've always had a huge crush on Albus Potter (for no reason), but for this story, it just seemed right to write about James. He's a bit of an idiot, and as seen through the eyes of my MC, he's a bit of a devil. He did play a huge part in her Hogwarts days, but all of that will come later. :) Ooh, that sucks that you've been in a similar situation, but I hope that this is no longer the case for you anymore.

Yep, she's a cool character (or so I'd like to think!). She's just a little bit snarky and totally unwilling to put up with James's nonsense. I'm so glad you love my descriptions! I always try to set the scene so that you can picture it in your head. It's so good to read that my attempts are working!

He is so arrogant. And also not arrogant, because he's got to humble himself to ask her to teach him how to play pool! He's quite an interesting character to write. :)

Yep--she is unnamed until the next chapter! Mwahahaha! I love her revenge on him, too. She's going to show him that he can't always get what he wants from everyone.

James is not harmless--but his past will definitely play a large part in the story! The bet will come to light in later chapters, but I can tell you that he only chose the MC because he happened to be hanging around the Shooting Star and noticed her beating the other guy at his own game. :) Freddy... You may or may not be correct. He has a lot of cousins, after all!

Oooh, you're in love with my story?! That's so sweet of you! :D :D :D Gah, your reviews always make my day!


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