• Oooh, a talking she-dragon with feathers and that’s the size of a Siberian dwarf hamster. (I have a Siberian dwarf hamster, by the way. Her name is Honey; she’s completely deaf and totally adorable.) I wonder how our little dragon feels about potentially being put in a cage. I foresee that not going well.

    I foresaw them having the sex wrong,…[Read more]

  • I like how the power is introduced. Car drawn. Car won. It’s enough to let the reader see that first time and see how it started but also subtle enough that the character can easily believe it’s just an eerie coincidence.

    It’s an easy read, appropriate for the adolescents who are your target audience. Most of the sentences, though, are about…[Read more]

  • I enjoy the narrator’s voice: she’s smart, stressed, snarky… Her panic attack inspired vertigo is beautifully detailed, especially how the carpet becomes a pool and her past comes rushing back. It’s like she’s in two worlds at once, but you managed to keep the two worlds separate. Well done.

    Her past with Kale (My goodness, what an…[Read more]

  • I like the character of the detective Jon–his need for coffee, his bluntness at the crime scene, his backstory regarding his father’s murder. The backstory with his father’s murder is revealed a bit abruptly perhaps. His boss doesn’t reference it, but he does. Maybe if the boss subtly references Jon’s “side job” interfering with his focus or…[Read more]

  • The scene has a sense of urgency about it–some solid tension as the character’s work to figure out where the missing people are. We learn, too, that Rue and Mack aren’t the only one’s missing. Was Danny mentioned in the last scene? I don’t remember him.

    We also get a glimpse into Fliss and Tom’s past. I assume she’s the friend he was reading…[Read more]

  • I did recognize the setting as London but only because I’ve been there and recognized the street names. Clarifying that would probably help the reader better imagine the scene.

    I like Magali’s snide remark to the posh trust fund girl, and it seems fitting that she soon after is having a beer with the man in question. A few of the references,…[Read more]

  • I enjoy how the fantastic elements interweave with the realistic so the special powers just seem like an ordinary thing. I enjoy, too, how the family seems so loving and ordinary even though they clearly aren’t that ordinary.

    The first paragraph has the narrator speaking directly to the audience. That’s a great technique, and I think using it…[Read more]

  • Engaging read. I like the backstory with Sylvie–the idea that she’s dropped out of college but without her parents being aware. How opportune that she’s inherited the house! I like, too, that her mother assumes the house won’t be much, but judging by location, that’s far from true. I’m surprised the Sylvie wasn’t more surprised.

    The references…[Read more]

  • My favorite line: “In the end, she decided to be excited.” So true. It is often a decision that must be made rather than an emotion that just naturally comes.

    Although the scene is full of the mundane details of travel, the scene itself is not mundane. We get a deeper glimpse into their relationship as husband and wife, the alpacas are…[Read more]

  • I adore Rebecca because I relate to her so well–the anxiety-ridden instructor who likes carrot cake and drinks coffee even when it’s bad. It’s like me on paper (or a computer screen). I adore that she’s told the matter at her former job is urgent and she answers that by prioritizing celebrating with Kirabo rather than running in. I honestly don’t…[Read more]

  • I was an adult in 1998… Oh my goodness. Too early.

    Why won’t this site let me edit comments?? I click edit and it takes me to the home screen. Ugh.

  • I don’t think our ages are too far apart. I was an adult in 2018, a young adult but an adult. We went in 2016. Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa, and Pompeii. Such an awesome trip.

  • Solid point. I meant broken Italian because English was interspersed, but broken English makes more sense. I’ll make a note to change that. Thanks!

  • What year was your Springsteen concern? They must really love that man.

  • That could work. I know it’s awkward to use his POV when he’s far from being a main character, but I wanted to show JD’s impact on others. Going through Amanda could work. I’ll try that. Thank you!

  • The sheriff watched John Doe through the two-way mirror, wishing he didn’t have to enter the room and without understanding why he felt so reluctant. Despite a long career in law enforcement, he’d never placed muc […]

    • Astrid replied 6 days ago

      Hi Elizabeth,
      This scene is superb, you’re off to a good start. I love your descriptions and the uneasiness your MC feels is palpable as if it were me. I like the idea that the team eases up on protocol, which shows it takes place in a small far off town.
      I’m hooked and look forward to the next scene. ~ Astrid

    • Great scene! You build the tension well, and the characterization comes through. I wasn’t sure the Sheriff would uncuff an unknown, but that just speaks to my lack of police procedure. Your writing is strong. Just the words needed to lead the reader, not so many that they get bogged down. I’m in the room with these people. Super nice job!

    • Hi Elizabeth
      If you’ll let me make this observation, I think you don’t have to put this scene in the POV of the officer – we never see him again in the story. Perhaps it might enhance the function of the scene if you integrate that with the debriefing of Dr Gotts a bit later. He can tell her about his interrogation – because then it wouldn’t just be him analysing the interaction with JD for himself, he would’ve processed it and would be giving Amanda his version of events, and with her in the scene there may be even more opportunity for creating conflict and tension. What do you think?

      • That could work. I know it’s awkward to use his POV when he’s far from being a main character, but I wanted to show JD’s impact on others. Going through Amanda could work. I’ll try that. Thank you!

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      This flowed so nicely! I didn’t have to work to understand what was happening; loved the pace.


  • It had been our last trip abroad, doctor prescribed as a “healthy distraction,” but out of sight, out of mind doesn’t work with pain. It’s the absence that hurts and absence is omnipresent. 

    Knowing we’d pro […]

    • Jacqie replied 6 days ago

      Beautifully drawn descriptions, and lovely dialogue. I love that we are taken back in time to when she is young, and everything is so visual. I feel like I have just spent actual time in Rome – thank you

    • Elizabeth!
      My husband and I were in Italy…Florence for us…and had the same issue with traffic FOR A SPRINGSTEEN CONCERT!
      He probably goes there every year for all I know! This was a fun scene for me…the plaza at the Pantheon is one of my favorites.
      I’d have bought the trinkets, too.

    • I already commented on Georgina’s post how much this week’s posts remind me how much I miss flying. I even miss having to debark in the middle of a runway down flimsy staircases and being sardined into a bus, the busride then seeming longer than the flight itself. Oh, I also miss train rides in Europe.
      I love how Annaliese can’t escape her Americanness. Her valiant efforts to speak Italian is not appreciated and Bruce Springsteen himself has followed her to Italy.
      Her insistance to find the cheapest ticket had me rooting for her. Who doesn’t love a bargain?
      I also love the premise where Annaliese relives her life through memories prompted by books.
      You wrote: ‘The driver prattled on in broken Italian’. Did you perhaps mean ‘broken English’? How would Annaliese know how good the driver’s Italian is?

      • Solid point. I meant broken Italian because English was interspersed, but broken English makes more sense. I’ll make a note to change that. Thanks!

    • Hi Elizabeth
      I enjoyed getting to know Annalise better through this snippet into her past. It’s a lovely yesteryear scene, and so beautifully told. You give the reader a little more to go on, but not too much. It works well. I look forward to next week

  • But I love to love Curtis more. 🙂

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Elizabeth Strehl

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