Beth Sabatino
The Count of Tuscany, Ch 1-10

This is like nothing I have ever read, and believe me...I have read a LOT.

This concept of the Volturi coming for Edward even though he feels like he has "wiped the slate clean" is fascinating. I love that you have thrown in the abduction of Seth as well, and how Aro learns of and uses the block Seth has on Alice to leave the Cullens blind. I think this is the most "real" the Volturi have felt to me. They have personalities beyond the stereotypes of their characters. There are jokers and fascination and even an ounce of compassion in places not seen before.

Then let's just say that Edward's punishment. Wow! I could feel the claustrophobia of the situation. I even walked outside after reading Chapter 9 and took a couple of deep breaths.

You have masterfully played this latest chapter. As soon as I realized he was in the room, I knew where you were going after the set-up in 9, and almost applauded out loud.

I cannot WAIT to read more!
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Beth Sabatino
Every so often, I like to read through to see how others are reacting to an exciting, or turning point, chapter in a story I am reading. Most people write about their reactions to a characters decisions or the emotions evoked by what they have just read. Some are gracious and thankful for another page in a journey they are on with the author and the characters.

These reactions are all what an author wants to hear. They want to know that you love/hate their characters. They want to know when the decisions are/aren't the ones that you would have made in their shoes. These types of comments let them know you are in this with them. That you see yourselves in this world, or you don't. They all show that you care. This makes it all worth the time they are taking out of their lives to share this bit of themselves through their story telling. It is what helps them find the time and motivation for that next chapter.

Here is where I step out of my usual shoes, and get a little ranty.

The link at the bottom of the page says, "Review this Chapter". It does not say "Criticize this person's update schedule", "Attack them personally for not writing the story YOU want", or anything along those lines. Nothing should ever be said about the author themselves. This is a venue for discussing the FREE story you are reading. These are real people with real lives and real feelings. They have jobs, kids, families, and yes, sometimes, vacations.

Before you hit that submit button, look at what you have written. In anyway are you attacking the author and not the characters? Is there any critique on the frequency of updates? (It's OK to jokingly ask for the next update tomorrow. That shows that you are excited or eager. Those make us smile.)

In the end, if you can't find something constructive to say, just say "Thank-you" or writing nothing at all.
Beth Sabatino
It all started back in March of 2009, when a favorite link from manyafandom led me to a little story called Over the Top. I never would have guessed when I left my first review after catching up in the story (to Chapter 7) that I had found my lobster.

EJ Santry
2009-03-06 . chapter 7
Huge thanks to manyafandom for pointing me in the direction of your story! I love a broken Edward needing reformation. And who doesn't want to be transformed by Jasper's healing touch? I think this time apart will be good for Edward and hopefully he will return ready to make steps towards something he has never experienced. A relationship.

P.S. That diner scene has my stomach growling. Did you have to describe the food so deliviously? ;-)

A few weeks later, I received this:

EJ Santry,

The following review has been submitted to: Diseased Affair Chapter: 3

From: starfish422 ( )
Reply URL:

I'm getting drawn in to this story!! Looking forward to continuing. :)

We quickly started swapping emails not just about our stories, but about life. A friendship was quickly forming. Katie was not only friendly, but I admired her steadfast ideals and warm heart.

On November 2009, I first got to lay eyes and my greedy arms around my Katie.

From Niagara Falls

She was even more wonderful in person, and our conversations and even our silences that weekend were as easy as they ever were online. That weekend cemented the fact that this was a lifetime friend.

I enjoyed spending time with Katie again last fall when she came to visit me, and am lucky enough to have not one, but two visits with her this year.

Katie, love, you are my best, my only, my lobster. I love you and hope you have a wonderful birthday!

P.S. Real present is to be bought when I see you in person. Nice, new bras for the new boobs. :)
Beth Sabatino
Home Ice Advantage, o/s

I love this one shot! So often people try to play off a scene or an introduction as a one-shot, but you gave the full arc of a story with this one. I love that Bella is a season ticket holding hockey fan! Obviously this is not a story about your Pens, because they have hardly needed rebuilding years. My hubs and I used to drive over a couple times of year to the Igloo before we got our Blue Jackets. :)

Back to the story! I love that it is a gradual build. He spots her, and it is an almost shy flirtation composed of glances and soft smiles and speculative friends. The kiss at the end was perfect, because it was the moment. There was great energy from the win building up to the second he strides up to her at the bar.

Very well done!
Beth Sabatino
Sincerely, Sergent Masen, Ch. 1-15

I am really enjoying this story so far. I love letter writing, and was thrilled to see it was such a big part of this story. I like that you have a confident, and athletically inclined Bella. She is not trying to be anything other than the age she is. That age when you are on the cusp of adulthood.

She has a good heart, but it will be interesting how the next four weeks play out being that she is still, legally, taboo. I almost hope that you keep them friends for now, and let anything more than that develop at it's own pace. I would be fine if this relationship spends years as friends as he finishes up his tour and she starts college. But this is your story. :)

Just a friendly note that there are the occasional grammatical errors that might dissuade people from continuing your story, which I think is a shame. A pre-reader or beta would pick out those few bugs.

Looking forward to the next chapter!
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Beth Sabatino
Overtime by Dreamrider

I greatly enjoyed this story. This was recommended to me by two people when I was searching out Hockeywards after watching the All Star Skill Challenge last weekend. :)

You grew Bella nicely from someone oblivious to the game to someone who has found the magic and excitement of the sport. That it isn't just about sticks and pucks, but the inclusion and combined energy you get watch and cheering with 15K people. Especially in big games, it almost pulses.

I liked your Edward in this one. He is the first one to fall unabashedly. He wants her, and pursues and often begs. It is fun to see him be the irrational one and Bella the beacon of practicality.

This is exactly what I was looking for when I put out the call for recommendations. Very well done!
Beth Sabatino
Through the Flames, Ch. 1-37

I began this story on Saturday, and needless to say...there went my weekend. I happy surrendered it to you and this story.

Being an expert or even closely affiliated with any of the professions you touch upon in this story, I can't help but feel, or at least hope, that you are. I love the detail you have given in explaining their lives. Not just the emotions they evoke, but the details of routine and life for the men and women we encounter in the firehouse, hospital, EMTs, and physical therapy. You show each one of these professions such respect...respect they deserve. There are so people who do have a calling deep in their bones. Whether it be to save and protect lives, write, mother, etc. It is just THERE for some people.

I love your Bella. She is steadfast and big hearted. She is not a pushover and isn't afraid to call Edward out while at the same time comforting while pushing him forward. Despite the fact that this man saved her life, she doesn't have the hero worship. She sees him for what he is, a man. A fallible, needing man.

Your Edward is also quickly becoming a favorite. He is confused and lost and angry. I cannot imagine having all that defines you teetering on the edge of disappearing. When someone who has done everything "right", suddenly faces the fact that it isn't enough. You set him up so well as someone who has worked so hard. He is financially secure, and even a little less so by being so generous to his family (to a fault). His life is his job. Once injured, he is now faced that his career/life might be over, and that his financial generosity has left him vulnerable of losing his house, which in this case I think is rather a metaphor for his hopes. Hopes of a future and family.

Things seem to be moving toward the optimistic lately, though. Edward is making strides in recovery. He is financially stable at the moment, though not ideally. And most importantly, he and Bella have admitted to the feelings they have been holding back. I love the pace you have given the two of them. They both have so much more going on, that they needed this time. Time for strangers to become friends, and for friends to realize that they have been lovers all along.

I can't wait to see how you bring this one home!
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