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71 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
1
1
Review of WOUND  
Review by Julie
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello lauraispracticingpiano !
Welcome to Writing.com! I just finished reading "WOUND, and I'd like to offer you the following comments, both as a reader and writer.


I am reviewing your short story as part of " The Rockin' Review Academy .

*BurstG*Disclaimer: This is just my humble opinion! You know what's right for your story. *BurstG*

*Books3* Overall Impression
I thought this was a sweet story that ended on a satisfying note. It just needs some polishing to be the best it can be.

*Books3* What I Liked
After reading it, what I liked most was that the hotel seemed to be haunted with a good ghost, Jen's grandfather. Finding out at the end that he had kept the music box safe brought a smile to my face. I also appreciated the clear and simple narrative voice. My favorite line was:
the tiny bells ringing distantly, like the bell tower of a church for mice.
That description gave me a good idea of what the music box sounded like and left a pleasant picture in my mind.

*Books3* Setting
The story primarily took place in a hotel in Connecticut. You gave a very good description of the hotel so that I could picture it, and it seemed to be done through the eyes of an eleven-year-old girl. It is said to be haunted, which we find out is true at the end. The black cat, the scary looking old man, and the jammed doorknob combine to make the hotel a little creepy.

*Books3* Plot
The story is about a girl losing her music box at a haunted hotel and then finding it again years later with a note from her grandfather's ghost. It was a nice plot for a short story, and as I said before, I think it ended well. I was expecting something paranormal to happen during the first trip to the hotel, but I was rewarded at the end when the grandfather's ghost left a note. Also, I'm wondering if the part where Jen's father runs back to the hotel before they leave means anything and if it should even be included, or at least explained. I was left wondering if he went back to the room to check for something or it he was just returning the key.

*Books3* Character
I think Jen's character was done well. The young girl of most of the story seems sweet and sentimental. She is described as thinking her grandfather was her favorite person and treasuring the music box he gave her. I could see how much she loved the music box when she searched for it upon arriving at the hotel, wanting to play it, and crying when she realized she had lost it. I felt like the amount of characterization was sufficient for this short story.

I do have a suggestion. It seemed unlikely that an eleven-year-old wouldn't know what a funeral is, especially since her grandfather had passed away three years earlier. And if she didn't know, surely her parents would have explained it to her. Perhaps in the beginning she could be very excited about the hotel and not too sad about her aunt's death because she didn't know her well.

*Books3* Suggestions
When you revise, make sure that you create a new paragraph every time a new character speaks. Keep an eye out for capitalization. For example, in the phrase "my great Aunt," "aunt" should not be capitalized. Also, in the last paragraph, I think you should say "Uncle Ed" instead of just "Uncle" and maybe give an indication that he lived close to Aunt Sue.

*Books3* Final Thoughts
I enjoyed reading this sweet story! If you decide to edit it, I would be glad to read it again if you like. Good job and keep writing!

Write on!
Julie


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2
2
Review by Julie
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This was a really fun story, and I loved the ending! *Smile*
3
3
Review of Arrival of Autumn  
Review by Julie
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello Mina~ !
I just finished reading your poem "Arrival of Autumn and I'd like to offer you my opinion and/or suggestions.


I found your poem while searching for nature poems and was reeled in by the pretty picture.

*BurstG*Every poem is unique and I have a lot to learn about reviewing, so take only the suggestions that you feel are right! *BurstG*

*Quill* First Impression
I was immediately entranced by the image of white flowers falling to the ground in the first line. Your delightful poem made me think of all the joys of autumn.

*Quill* What I Liked
Although I don't like that autumn gets cold and turns into winter, I do enjoy the parts of autumn you talk about in your poem. I can relate to the air feeling new and the season of fall feeling lively. The touch of autumn is on me too!

I felt like I could see the images you described. Your title fit in well with the poem, and the alliteration of "arrival" and "autumn" started off the jaunty spirit. I also liked the fall colors you used for the font color, and the leaf at the end. I can tell you're getting into the spirit. *Leaf2O*

*Quill* Favorite Lines
I liked the first three lines the best. They created vibrant pictures of leaves falling like butterflies and grass turning brown.

*Quill* Mechanics
The poem didn't use any punctuation (except for one comma). I felt like this was a viable choice. Lack of punctuation didn't take away from my understanding since each line was a complete thought.

*Quill* Structure
Structure

*Quill* Suggestions
Suggestions

*Quill* Final Thoughts
I really enjoyed reading this, and I think you could make it even better with another edit focusing on clarity and rhyme structure. Thank you for sharing this wonderful poem with us. It has gotten me more excited for autumn!

Write on!
Julie


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4
4
Review of Rebirth  
Review by Julie
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello Angels in my Ear !
I just finished reading your poem "Rebirth and I'd like to offer you my opinion and/or suggestions.


*BurstG*Every poem is unique, so take only the suggestions that you feel are right! *BurstG*

*Quill* First Impression
I thought this was a well-written poem that handled its dark subject deftly. It seemed to be about a woman setting fire to her house with an abusive husband inside. It was well-written and easy to read and understand. I felt happy for the narrator that she was free, but also uncertain of what her future would hold since she had just killed someone. Actually, the poem doesn't say whether she set the fire or not, but I assumed while reading it that she did. It could have also been the case that a fire had started on its own and she escaped while he didn't.

*Quill* What I Liked
I love how you put recognizable words together in unique ways, instead of using uncommon words that force me to stop and look them up in the dictionary. The imagery was great. I can imagine watching the fire and the smoke, and I liked the contrasting descriptions like heat-soothed, burns-kisses, destruction-emancipation. You did a great job of sharing the narrator's reaction to the flames and her feeling about escaping from her abusive husband. Even though killing him in a fire was wrong, the ending of the poem is hopeful -- she feels reborn. That gives a sad contrast: yes, she is free from abuse, but she might be caught for the crime and/or she will have to live with it for the rest of her life. (Although as I said before, whether she set the fire was ambiguous.)

*Quill* Favorite Lines
The burns that scorched my skin
felt like kisses on my cheek

Great description and interesting contrast.

I watched my misery drift away
with the breath of the wind

Wow! What a clear picture! I love how you made her misery tangible.

*Quill* Mechanics
You chose not to use punctuation except at the very end. I think it felt inconsistent that you didn't use any periods until the second-to-last line. In my opinion, it would be better to use them all throughout or not at all. The lines that you capitalized throughout the poem would also make more sense with punctuation.

*Quill* Structure
This was a free-form poem with varying stanza and line lengths. I think you did a great job with the free form. Every word felt purposeful, and the line breaks seemed to be in good places.

*Quill* Suggestions
I don't have any suggestions, except what I said about punctuation.

*Quill* Final Thoughts
I really enjoyed this poem, even with its dark subject. This is a good example of showing emotions rather than listing them out. I was reading an article about poetry which said the worst thing you can do is to start listing out abstract words like love, courage, and fear. Bland words like that have no effect on the reader. This poem displays the narrator's happiness at being free from abuse in creative and memorable ways. I've never heard burns compared to kisses before. *Wink* Thank you for this wonderful read!

Write on!
Julie


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5
5
Review of Annie  
Review by Julie
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (1.0)
Hello carlton607 !
I just finished reading "Annie, and I'd like to offer you the following comments, both as a reader and writer.


I found your piece in the lesson for my review class and have been instructed to review it. *Checkg*

*BurstG*Disclaimer: This is just my humble opinion! You know what's right for your story. *BurstG*


*Books3* Overall Opinion
This story had an interesting idea that could be made into a great piece with some work. You have a rough draft that includes a basic plot and basic characterization and an ending that could be really intriguing once you make some changes.

*Books3* What I Liked
I liked how you included a good amount of conflict, which made me want to keep reading to see how the conflict is resolved. For example, I was interested to know what happened in Annie's past that she was so upset about, and I also wanted to find out if Annie would get more sick. Annie's sickness seemed to be the most important conflict, and you resolved it at the end when Annie died.

I also liked how you included details about Annie and Buster, like Annie's "rosy cheeks," her "blonde hair," and her "sea blue eyes." You did a good job of mixing these details in throughout the story as opposed to putting them in one long paragraph in the beginning.

*Books3* Style, Character, and Plot Observations
Style

Character

Plot

*Books3* Corrections/Suggestions
These are some corrections and suggestions meant to make you story really shine.
Here's a helpful website where you can read articles on grammar and punctuation:
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1/

Spelling Corrections

Grammar and Punctuation Corrections

Description Corrections


*Books3* Final Thoughts
I gave this piece 1 star because there are many areas that could be improved. As I said before, the idea of the story is intriguing, and you could have an excellent piece with a thorough rewrite and attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation. When you write, try reading it out loud to see if it makes sense to you.

If you decide to revise your story, I would be happy to re-read it and send you my comments.

Write on!
Julie


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6
6
Review of Phoebe  
Review by Julie
Rated: E | (5.0)
This will be really encouraging to them! *Heart*
7
7
Review of Pillow Fight  
Review by Julie
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Haha, nice twist ending! I was really getting into the story, thinking, wow, what is Douglas going to do? He never knew his son and must now end his marriage to be with his one true love. At first when I read the second part I thought Douglas and Rachel had gotten together, and then I realized the truth and laughed. Rachael sounded like a real writer, twisting her own life details into a melodramatic story. By the way, you're missing a quote in the paragraph that begins But Rachael, walking with you now, holding your hand,

Great job, I enjoyed it.
8
8
Review of America  
Review by Julie
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello Choconut's In Wonderland! 🍰 !
I just finished reading "America, and I'd like to offer you the following comments, both as a reader and writer.


I'm reviewing your story for our Review class. *Smile*

*BurstG*Disclaimer: This is just my humble opinion! You know what's right for your story. *BurstG*


*Books3* What I Liked
I really enjoyed reading this story. I'm an American, and I love every chance I get to hear about other cultures (or my culture from someone else's eyes). I have never pronounced "pen" as "pin," although I live in the South so I know a lot of people who do!

I liked that you used red and blue font in your story to add American decoration.

I loved the part about chicken and tuna salad! *Laugh* You're so right, it makes no sense. I smiled when I read that paragraph.

*Books3* Style, Character, and Plot Observations
Your style was clear, strong, and refreshing. I had very little trouble reading it, and any difficulty had to do with minor grammatical issues that I discuss below.

All the characters and dialogue were realistic. I adored Poppy. She was every bit as energetic and cute in words as any little kid I've seen. Anna and Kathleen were well defined. I like how you kept Anna in the story even though she wasn't the focus by having her apologize for Poppy or make tea. Kathleen was pleasant and amusing as she told her story.

The plot was complete, and had a beginning, middle, and end. Even though a large part of the story was Kathleen's memories, it didn't feel like she was rambling or going on for too long.

What a great last line! I was satisfied at the end.

*Books3* Corrections/Suggestions

said Anna, as she placed her hands around her daughter’s shoulders.
I think this would flow better if you said:
Anna said as she placed her hands around her daughter's shoulders.

“ So, you’ve got
Extra space after the quotation mark.

The rosy cheeked little girl clambered onto her grandmother’s lap.
It's not absolutely necessary, but you could say "rosy-cheeked" to make the sentence faster to read.

“Grampy?” she said, her honest, blue eyes searching her grandmother’s face for confirmation.
I think you could do without the comma after honest.

“Lots. I’ve got to do a project,” said Poppy, although, it was clear she really didn't know what a project meant.
You can take out the comma after although.

Anna sat the phone on the worn out arm of her mother’s chair
Again, not completely necessary, but using "worn-out" would've been faster to read.

whereas over here, we used words more.
"Used" should be in the present tense, because you just used "tends" earlier in the sentence.

*Books3* Final Thoughts
I know this story is about America. But now I want to hear the things that Grampy Bill had trouble adapting to in the U.K.! Maybe you could do a companion story when Bill is still alive and he tells Poppy the things he finds silly about the culture around him. In fact, this would be a wonderful series of stories if you wanted to keep going. I would sure enjoy reading them.

Write on!
Julie


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9
9
Review of Beach Memories  
Review by Julie
Rated: E | (5.0)
Wow, great job on this poem! I looked up the ZaniLa form, and I might try one myself after reading yours. Reading about your childhood beach memories made me happy. I liked the imagery you used, like "ate fish and chips with gritty hands," "Mum slathering our skin with sun cream," "salty sea breeze."
I liked the color of the font, the title, and the picture. Great job! You should print this and frame it. *Smile*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review by Julie
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello Jace !
I just finished reading "Butterfly Kisses and Baby Bear Hugs, and I'd like to offer you the following comments, both as a reader and writer.


I found your piece purely by chance in your huge portfolio after seeing the clue on the Talent Pond Reviewing Activity. *Smile*

*Burstr* Disclaimer: This is just my humble opinion! You know what's right for your story. *Burstr*

*Crayons9* What I Liked
I enjoyed reading this story. I like how you shortened some words like a child would. All the speech sounded natural. I wanted to keep reading the entire time, and the pace never slacked off or became boring. I like that the paragraphs are short and natural, and that you used description but not too much. I think you tied in the prompt about "Butterfly Kisses" really well, and I enjoyed the mention of Baby Bear hugs. The ending tied up the story nicely and showed the grandfather's affection for his grandson.

*Crayons9* Corrections/Suggestions
Because I'm trying to give a thorough review, here are my suggestions:
"So, Mr. Taylor, what ..." I asked in my best reporter voice.
I think a dash would be better than an ellipsis, to show interruption.

He looked like he really wanted to say something. But he wasn't quite sure he should.
I think it would be better to join these sentences with a comma.

"I dunno," he said. "Maybe cuz ..." He stopped. I waited for him to continue.
"Maybe cuz my daddy's not here with us."

I think there's an extra line break before continue. When I make the page narrower in goes down to the next line.

"Around," he said evasively. Taylor walked over, picked up a yellow squirt gun, and pointed it at an imaginary villain. I waited patiently.
What did you mean by "over"? Over to you? Over to the toy box?

"Silly," Taylor said. "That's whatcha get when your mommy and daddy catch you after chasing you all through the house," he added, like everyone in the world should know.
I don't think "added" is the best word choice here. Which part is he adding? The part that starts with "That's whatcha get"? To me "adding" implies that the part that's being added is a short addition to what was said before, and all that was said before here is "silly." Maybe use "explained" instead.

"Cuz then I could get lots o' money to help my mommy," he said, matter-of-factly.
I personally would delete the comma after "said" to make the sentence smoother.

I liked the adverbs you used to describe Taylor's changing emotions and inflections, but you could consider paring them down by one or two. They get kind of noticeable in the second half of the story, where they are near each other. (defiantly, evasively, angrily, forcefully, triumphantly, matter-of-factly are all near each other.)

*Crayons9* Final Thoughts
This was a wonderful, sweet piece. My suggestions were really nit-picky ones because this story was well written and well edited. I enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing!

Write on!
Julie


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11
11
Review of Gaia  
Review by Julie
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
This was very nice. It's something that takes your full concentration to read, in fact it's almost like a meditation. There are many deep thoughts in here, like "Home is one of the most real of all things." I enjoyed the descriptions of nature. By the way, you spelled a baby deer two ways: "fawn" and "faun." *Smile* Thanks for sharing this.
12
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Review of One Word  
Review by Julie
Rated: E | (5.0)
This was a great poem, Rachel. I can relate to the way a bad childhood can haunt you at any time. I especially liked the beginning:

One word
Is all it takes
One inflection placed

That really flowed well, and I liked the half rhyme of takes and placed. Great job!
13
13
Review of God, Who Are You?  
Review by Julie
Rated: E | (5.0)
Thank you for this poem, it really encouraged me.
14
14
Review of Her First Time  
Review by Julie
Rated: E | (5.0)
I admit, I jumped to conclusions on this one. *BigSmile* Well done!
15
15
Review by Julie
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
Hello AuthorS !
I just finished reading "The Devil's Empire: Chapter 2, and I'd like to offer you the following comments, both as a reader and writer.


I recently made a new review template, so this review will be a bit more organized than the review of your first chapter!

*Burstr* Disclaimer: This is just my humble opinion! You know what's right for your story. *Burstr*

*Crayons9*What I Liked
You included many details, and I can fully imagine the scene. Words like "turquoise" and "muscular" make it come alive. We got information about Leti and Maurice's relationship, and about the history of the characters. The details of the characters and the world are well thought-out. You did a good job of dispersing background information with action and dialogue.

*Crayons9*Style, Character, and Plot Observations
I learned a lot about Leti: she is loyal to her husband, and loves him even though he frustrates her and has been distant to her lately. She hurt her sister and feels guilty about it, and she dearly loves her children. I don't see any flaws in her character yet.

We learned some more about Maurice: he doesn't usually drink a lot, except when he's troubled, and from the alcohol content of this and the previous chapter he's really troubled. He chose Leti over her sister. He loves his children but is willing to think of the greater good. He makes irresponsible decisions and allows Tulus to clean up after him. I get the feeling that overall he is responsible, but sometimes does stupid things.

This chapter was dedicated more to character descriptions and information than plot development, which is fine. At the end is a hint that the plot will move along in the next chapter, when Maurice makes his decision.

Stylistically, it's a little bloated. It needs a good edit to chop the unnecessary dialogue tags and extra words. The good thing is that it's descriptive, and overall there is a balance of long and short sentences, which helps it flow nicely.

*Crayons9*Corrections/Suggestions

I think this is a rough draft, so I won't go into every typo and grammar mistake. Here are some representative parts:

his bare chest and face glistering under the moon’s light with perspiration.
A mistype of "glistening." Also, change the order of the words to make the meaning clearer: "his bare chest glistening with perspiration under the moon's light."

Leti saw him take a small sip out of the silver chalice in his hand, and again she worried. She had taken their lovemaking as a sign that he had returned to her, but soon as they finished he reached for the jug and poured himself a cup.
I found this part confusing. I think it's saying that they had made love earlier, and now Leti is thinking about it. When I read it I thought that they made love right after he drank out of the chalice. Make this clearer with something like "as soon as they had finished earlier."

You're fitting lots of different thoughts and ideas into your paragraphs. I don't think this is necessarily bad, if they are Leti's train of thought, but the paragraphs get too long sometimes and I keep losing my place. I think you should break them up some more, while at the same time cutting out anything superfluous.

So lost in thought was her husband that he had not even noticed the winter chill coming in from the open balcony.
I was a startled to read that the air outside was cold, since you hadn't mentioned it earlier. As I read the next sentence about Leti covering herself with the blanket, I realized that the night is slowly becoming colder, and the king hasn't noticed it. Say something like, "had not even noticed that the night had become colder."

In the section where they talk about the children going to the colony, I think there are too many phrases like "her husband finished" and "the King finished."

Leti knew this must be hard for Maurice as well, though he seldom shows it, he really does love the children. Particularly Maritzio, a truth that has always pained Darien terribly. But Maurice and Maritzio were so similar, wild and brave. And after the accident Darien had become a careful boy, much to his mother’s happiness. Maurice had been so worried for Darien, and so furious with Enas who he blamed for the fall. They were just children playing, but Maurice did not understand, he only cared that the crown prince remain safe from then on. Poor Enas was never the same after that day. Though he now seemed to have left the sword playing to Maritizio and taken a different path himself. Reading all afternoon, and visiting the church each morning. Nothing would please Letitzia more than Enas following in her family’s tradition of the second-born sons to join The Faith. When Enas expressed his religious interests on his last name day it took everyone by surprise, especially Maurice. The King was always hard on their children, but she knew he loved them.
I'm counting three children here: Darien, eldest, Enas, second, and Maritzio, third. It was confusing to figure this out, however, because you talked about all three in rapid succession.

As you are revising, go through it carefully to fix the changes in tense and grammar and punctuation errors.

*Crayons9*Final Thoughts
I gave this piece 3 stars because it was a decent rough draft. It's a good follow-up from your first chapter, and sets the next one up nicely. Great job, and keep writing!

Write on!
Julie


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16
16
Review by Julie
Rated: E | (5.0)
Great poll! I wish I could have had the pleasure of selecting from the variety of options you have provided, but alas, anything and everything, including music, distracts me from writing. *Frown*
17
17
Review of The Flawed Gods  
Review by Julie
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello J. Thayne !
I just finished reading "The Flawed Gods, and I'd like to offer you the following comments.


I found your piece on The Shameless Plug Page and chose to review it because your title and description made me interested. And your picture is cool.

*Burstr* Disclaimer: This is just my humble opinion! You know what's right for your story. *Burstr*

*Crayons9*What I Liked
Full disclosure: I am not your target audience. I tend to read things with a lighter and more whimsical tone. But I read this story and enjoyed it, due to your solid style: varied, descriptive language, good dialogue, and hints of back story skillfully woven in throughout. I thought the premise was intriguing. You dropped in clues about the identity of the main character, and I was interested to learn what his personality and powers were like. There aren't any long impassable passages where I wanted to rip my eyes out and just eat the words rather than read them. (That made more sense in my head.) You opened us up with mystery: who is Elsie, and why are her words in italics? (Is she the equivalence of Tony Stark's Jarvis?) Who is this guy that doesn't have a heart and needs to save people but whines about it being hard? And then a scene where we see the whiner in action, and he kicks ass. And then off we are to visit an important character. Already in the middle of an adventure!

*Crayons9*Style, Character, and Plot Observations
I said it all in the section about what I liked, but I also appreciate that there is potential for development of J'on's character. He's not just an ice-cold superhero; he actually has feelings.

*Crayons9*Suggestions/Corrections
About your title: Will there be more gods? If you're waiting to reveal them then it's fine, but if it's just this one then maybe you should make "Gods" singular.

Another thing: your first sentence needs more oomph. "Circumstances" is such a vague word. Give us something to sink our proverbial teeth into.

I could see the edges of the field-grass swaying in my peripheral vision as I stared blankly at the plump white clouds that moved with stately lethargy across the pastel sky. The ocean waves, hundreds of feet below me, lent a soft white-noise to drown out extraneous thoughts as they crashed upon the cliff faces.
By the time I got to the ends of both of these sentences, I lost interest and skipped my eyes forward.

Some typos:
So when she responded, I know that's not true. Tell me, J'on. It was exactly what the self-pitying, selfish part of me needed to hear.
I think you need a comma after J'on.

I sat up, hands moving to cradle my forehead. "I'm not a leader Elsie. I'm just not...capable of that."
Definitely need one after leader.

Hidden algorithms kick in that begin triangulating it's source based on volume, wind-speed and direction, and apparent distance.
You thought you were getting away with something, didn't you? (Just kidding. *Wink*)

Her purse is snatched away by one of the men, while another roughly pulls at her hair while fondling her breast.
One too many whiles for my taste.

It was enough, "From whom?"
I think you meant to use a period after enough.

*Crayons9*Final Thoughts
This is really, really good. Like book good. I hope you continue writing it. If you get writer's block then take a break, but try to return later! Great job!

Write on!
Julie


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18
18
Review of Dreamcatcher  
Review by Julie
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Oh no!!! The nightmares have escaped! This made me laugh out loud *Wink*
19
19
Review by Julie
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
As promised, here is my review of your first chapter. *Smile* Everything is just my opinion and you can take my advice or leave it. *Quill*
First off: I liked it. *Smile* You've laid out a nice opening and given us a few mysteries and future conflicts to keep us interested. I'm wondering whether Tolus is honest or conniving, and I want to see what choices Maurice will make in the future about the city, his children, and his past affair. The descriptions are good, and you haven't drowned us in details. The advice I want to give you is mostly about style and how to add that extra oomph to your chapter.

I like the revision you made to the beginning, about the king walking in the gardens and being summoned by Tolus. Let's look at the first line:
The King had been enjoying his afternoon walk through the palace gardens when word was brought to him.

This grabbed my attention, causing me to wonder what the word was about, but try tightening it up and adding detail. For example:
The King was enjoying his afternoon walk through the palace gardens when a young squire ran up behind him.

That gives my mind an extra detail to hook onto.

Try to avoid extra words as much as possible, like "the King had been enjoying" and "the young squire had said." In my opinion it's better to just say "was" or "said" if you can.

Make every word count. Consider this section:
...he was greeted by a warm smile and a slow bow. “My King,” Tolus said with affection.


This is shorter and still gets the point across.
...he was greeted by a slow bow. "My King," Tolus said warmly.


*Quill**Quill**Quill*

Remember punctuation with quotations: if you're continuing the sentence, use a comma and a lowercase letter. The lowercase letter is true even if the quotation ends in a question mark or an exclamation point.
“Your Majesty, a letter has arrived from Zaphirose in the New Lands.” Said Tolus Solientell, as he handed the letter to King Maurice.


The punctuation should be (and notice how I changed the end of the sentence):
“Your Majesty, a letter has arrived from Zaphirose in the New Lands,” said Tolus Solientell, handing the letter to King Maurice.


About that last quote I changed: "as he handed the letter" is not bad. You could do it either way. But if you use "as he handed the letter," I think you shouldn't use the comma before "as." It flows better without it in this case.

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Maurice threw the letter down on his desk without looking at it and walked to the large window at the end of his work chamber. Of course that’s what this is about. The room is one of the most intimate in the palace, finely decorated with expensive woods, metals and stones. Surrounded by bookcases the entire length of the wall. Everything from the tiles on the floor to the murals on the roof decorated with delicate rose patterns.


Maurice is thinking the second sentence but there is nothing to tell us that. Also the verb tense suddenly flipped to present tense and the last two sentences don't have verbs. Here's how this paragraph could be revised:

Maurice tossed the letter onto his desk without looking at it and walked to the large window at the end of his work chamber. Of course that's what this is about, he steamed. The room, one of the most intimate in the palace, was finely decorated with expensive wood, metal, and stone. Large mahogany bookshelves lined the walls, housing dusty tomes of religious practices and military strategy. Most alluring were the delicate rose patterns that graced everything from the polished floor tiles to the swirling murals on the ceiling. Maurice loved this room most of all, but today its charm could do nothing for his mood.


That might be way too much detail, but notice how I provided little hooks like "housing dusty tomes" and "swirling murals on the ceiling." I aimed for an evocative description of the room, which means to provide just enough detail to get your reader to fill in the blanks. Also I thought it would be nice to end the paragraph with Maurice's feeling about the room, since we started out with him.

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in a voice so calm the King could feel his shoulders relax into his chair.

Great imagery!

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The letter sat on the large dark wooden desk in the back of the room surrounded by papers and stamps.


We could make this sparkle a little more by saying:
The letter vanished in the clutter of papers and stamps on the large wooden desk.

You get the idea.

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You used the word "kid" once; I think "child" would sound more appropriate in this context. Also, I don't think they would have used contractions like "you've" and "wouldn't."

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In general, I think you are using too many adverbs after verbs, e.g., "The King asked sarcastically," "The King said incredulously," "Tolus stated abruptly," "Tolus said hastily." It gets a little repetitive. Don't get rid of all of them, but find other ways to accomplish the same thing, such as verb choice ("interrupted," "scoffed") or just using the word "said" alone. This has been a revelation for me recently, that you can use just plain old said, and if you do it right the reader doesn't even notice. Steven King talks about it here .

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Experiment with a dialogue exchange that does not include any dialogue tags. For instance, this one:
“Alright, you’ve given me much to consider Tolus. Of course, I have to think about this properly as well as consult with the Queen and the rest of the roundtable.” The King stated.

“Of course your majesty, I understand completely. This is a great decision. Though I must insist that it be a quick one, before the city falls to irreparable chaos.” Tolus responded.

Or:
“Yes your Grace, I hope you manage some rest tonight, and may The Eye of The God watch over you.” Tolus responded as he rose from his chair.

“You as well,” Maurice responded.

Write a rapid-fire exchange every now and then to vary the pace and hold interest.

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I don't have any suggestions yet for your characters. I'm on pins and needles to see the true nature of Tolus. My overall advice is to chop all unnecessary words and garnish descriptions with delicate rose petals. *Pthb* Good job! *CastleLeft*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Finding Meat  
Review by Julie
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I really liked reading this! *Smile* I was interested the whole time, and I like seeing the action from the eyes of a zombie. I liked hearing the primal urges in her head making her want to get to the food and eat. It looks like it might be continued, so I would love to read the next part! Some small punctuation suggestions:

Sometimes there is a comma where there shouldn't be, for example,

"It was just something, that had to be done." There wouldn't usually be a comma here.

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And also make sure to use commas when ending a quotation in this example:

”It's been three days.” she mumbled

-should be-

"It's been three days," she mumbled

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One more thing *Smile* If the sentence after a quotation is not continuing the sentence (not saying he said), capitalize the first letter.

”I could eat... That.” she slowly limped towards the feast

-should be-

"I could eat... That." She slowly limped towards the feast

Great job! *Smile*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Julie
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This was really funny. *Smile*
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Review of Song  
Review by Julie
Rated: E | (4.0)
This was very sweet. I liked the idea of a song being a fragrant tune. I hadn't thought about it like that!
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Review by Julie
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is a really deep poem. I recognized many things that I have felt before. This poem really described the awful cruelty that people impose upon others, and the way that we much march through it. This part was insightful and ties into what I've been thinking about lately: "I am a lover of the sublime and the rudimentary way in which all of us manage to survive." We just have to keep on going. The last part made me feel hopeful that I can make it past the haters in my life. There are layers of deep meaning in here which I will need to read multiple times to unravel.
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Review by Julie
Rated: E | (4.0)
Wow, what a dramatic story. I was interested to the very end. I'm glad your daughter made it through that episode, and you did a great job retelling it! I felt like I was with you the whole time it was happening. And you weaved it together into a story. Great job!
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Review by Julie
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is so sweet! I felt engaged in the whole story. The part about hiding behind the fish tank was funny, and how you wouldn't let your co-worker talk to him. What was really great about this story is that I felt your emotions during the whole thing, from your initial excitement to your panic, to your confidence in your true love for him, and to the moment where you talked to him and he responded in a flirty way! Also it's unique that you used second person, it gave the piece a more personal feel. I liked the use of "front and center" as a connection to the military. I can't wait to read Part 2!
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