J. Alleyn Winchester

Virginia Beach

Dad's bedtime stories inspired my love of storytelling! Dualistic/Omnist Pagan & FtM Trans Man. Check Patreon for more content. No review swaps at this time.

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A Nostalgic Read

I must applaud this book for reminding me of the vampire romances I used to read in high school. The primal descriptions are intensely captivating, and the characters' haunting pasts make their longing to escape into something disapproving realistic and relatable. I recommend this kind of story to anyone that likes a good Dracula, forbidden romance. It was a pleasant taste of nostalgia for me.

My only gripe is in technicalities that are making the style suffer. I would recommend a grammar check in a word processor - like Microsoft Word or Google Docs - to straighten out the tense and spelling. Take it one chapter at a time, but that's the only revision I can think to tell you. Well done otherwise!

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Lion Shifter so far...

First and foremost, this story has amazing bones! You have set up a great foundation and characters to play with, and I'm curious to see what happens after these two chapters. That being said, I noticed a lot of run on sentences. This is easily fixed though, and its common in early drafts. Can't wait to have Mr. Tiger's Eye come back!

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An Epic-Inspired Pantheon Adventure

I first started this book as a selenophile, craving a new Moon deity story. What I discovered was an epic that would make the poets of the great myths raise their gourds in praise of another storyteller among their ranks! I thank the author from the depths of my heart for producing a story that filled me with a level of awe I haven't known since I stumbled across the tales of Selene & Endymion, Helios & the Sun Chariot, and other Ancient Greek verses as a child. This is the level Epic Fantasy writers should reach for!

Not only do we observe the growth of a new world, but the divinity that gave it life struggle to place faith in their own creation after the fall of their last. Some hope for betterment. Others steep with unforgiving grudges. Then, there is one that finds herself inspired by the world below, and I fell in love with the Moon all over again. As a reader that holds a close connection to the celestial body, Serafinn won my heart from the beginning. I implore any lover of mythic epics to read this book and follow this world of gods and human evolution! I only hope the author is as proud of their craft as I!

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What an Opportunity!

I know you submitted this for feedback, but I want others to see how touching this piece really is. There something special about how siblings support one another, even when their interests couldn't be more different. When the protagonist pushes her own feelings aside, she is rewarded with joy and love from her family. I always enjoy stories like this because there's just too much drama out there. These little diamonds deserve to shine, too!

As I mentioned in another one of your pieces, your tone and plot are great. I think proofreading and some technical editing is all you need to make these book babies perfect. The most effective editing platform I've worked with is Grammarly, but you need to have a good grasp of tense to make such it does throw you off. Keep up the good work, pal! I've got a fan in me!

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New Age Poe Material

Reminiscent of grief-stricken works of classic horror, the author has captured in a mere chapter a transition from desperate grief to a resolved goal. I was fascinated with how one-sided the conversation was, presenting the question of whether someone is really talking back or not. The subtle echoes of madness are the root of the classic horror I love. Thank you for giving me a taste of what I used to love about this genre again!

With some proofreading for a few grammatical hiccups, this would be an easy All-Star 5 for me! I would love to see a continuation of this character - if you ever get the inspiration that is. Well done!

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Fey and Wild

This poem brought me back to reads with my father as a child. He loved the Arthurian legends, and I could just hear his voice as I read over these enchanting words. Well done! I was awestruck as the majestic events playing out and emotional at the fate of the Lady. I highly recommend this to anyone that appreciates the poetic storytelling of the classics!

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First Draft Wrinkles

While the story seems interesting, there are several bumps that need to be evened out to carry the reader through the plot. As the book is in its infancy, there's plenty of time to sort them out. The characters are believable enough, but if the narrative keeps jumping around, it doesn't do them much to connect with.

Consistency seems to be the biggest challenge. From perspective to description, the author has to maintain a steady narrative, or the reader will just keep getting lost. The first-person and third-person perspective are both used correctly, but using both is jarring to read. Either would work well for this story, but the author needs to decide on one and proceed from there. Also, the author needs to consider the environment they are writing in to establish a connection to the readers' senses, like remembering what actions make sense for underwater versus above. I really think that once these details are remedied, both the writing style and technical writing rating would improve for me.

Again, this is a first draft, so these issues are understandable. However, they need to be addressed to improve the overall reading experience.

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Caught up in her feelings

Primal is a take on real people living in a world next to us, but not with us. This woman - trying to live a life driven by her passions - is forced to reevaluate herself, and not a moment too soon! As fanciful as this other world she never dreamed she could be a part of is, there is danger and adventure waiting to begin.

Unfortunately, there is so much thought and not enough environment to immerse into, making the story more emotional than adventurous. I believe if the author could reel in the overwhelming reactions and share more sensory information the character is experiencing the story's flow would improve. There isn't much movement displayed, and I often wasn't sure where I was because the character didn't think about it. I also got lost multiple times with what was going on: a busted lightbulb she never heard breaking, a lightning strike without any visual description, etc. The first-person perspective is solely dependent upon what the character perceives around them, so it's important to describe what they are experiencing outside of their head as well as inside.

That being said, the pace is too slow for MY liking in a fantasy story. The first two chapters alone could have been condensed to one, and I would have been more engaged to begin with. If we are focusing so intensely on the protagonist's romantic feelings about her breakup, it's not really surprising that this is going to lead into a spontaneous - albeit reckless - one next. Her negative opinion of a group of men she's about to run into just sounds like she's describing her next bad decision in love. This follows a romance-driven formula, and if this was not the author's intention, the focus should be reevaluated on what could be edited down to speed up the story to reach more action and conflict. I honestly believe this has incredible potential as a romantic fantasy novel, using this introspective approach, but if the aim is a dark fantasy with a revenge twist, they should consider revisiting their description and pacing.

All in all, not a bad read. It just isn't for everyone.

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Fascinating World

My favorite part of this book is the universe the author created. Oftentimes, I see Fantasy world-building fall to the wayside for the sake of presenting the stakes of the plot. While conflict is how we transverse a story, we cannot truly submerse without a world to escape into. Scorned Love has a great backdrop of history and culture that I believe is the shining star. We wouldn't connect with Lucinda's struggles so intimately if not for the effort on the author's behalf to paint such a vivid array of diversity in this universe. It isn't just a werewolf story. It's a real fantasy journey!

My only critic is that the shifting of tense and perspective seems to hinder the author's writing style. Truthfully, if this were revised, it would be an easy full-5 star from me!

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A Tale for the Depths

As a lover of myth-based stories, this is a lovely adaptation from its source material. The use of mythology to paint the backdrop of this world is spectacular, and I find it all too easy to immerse into the environment - above and below the waves. The characters are honest and beautifully flawed, making them hauntingly real in some dark places. No story about the sea is complete without darkness in both places. I am whole-heartedly invested in this merman's emotional struggle, and I can't wait to see his path unfold as the young woman's has. The plot is engaging and rich with conflict, making this an easy 5-star in my book!

While the transitions and pacing are a bit choppy, my biggest concern lies in grammar and spelling. Having looked at both versions of this draft on Inkitt and Wattpad, I understand it is in its infancy, so I'll try not to be too harsh. However, there are several homonyms or similar sounding words being misused. I don't normally recommend using automated grammar checkers, but Grammarly is the best one I've heard of. Once those are addressed, the reading flow will improve drastically.

I hope that helps, and I look forward to more chapters in the future! You've turned me onto merfolk stories!

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An Epic in the Making

I can definitely see the inspiration going into this book. While 'end of the world' and dystopian themes are hardly new, the characters are fresh and realistic. Instead of the gray angst clouds of other similar stories, they laugh and live like they plan on winning this fight. I like that, and that sets this plot at an easy 5 star for me.

The author's vision is conveyed well enough, but that's where I would point out the biggest struggle in fiction. When writing action, it's easy to get caught up in the energy and write in a blitz. I had to reread several times to understand what was going on. While I completely understand first drafts are a hot mess, I would caution about focusing on description, so your reader doesn't get lost. If you want others to see what you do, sometimes, you have to slow down. Just because the action is quick doesn't mean the words have to be. By all means, though, get the ideas down, so you can flesh them out later.

I hope that helps! There's a great foundation as far as world-building and mechanics here, so keep going!

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Intriguing story

I don't normally care for first person perspective books, but I will say that this POV is well written. The description of what Selene observes is exactly how I would imagine a person processing it. Great starting draft.

There were grammatical issues that made it a bit difficult to follow, but for a first draft, that's to be expected. However, I would recommend revisiting transitions after you finish writing. It's always best to finish laying the foundation before building up the details. The book is off to a good start though. Keep at it!

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Paranormal Agency Book 1 The Soulless

Thus far, the story is fascinating! The characters are very real and honest. The only trouble I've faced is the paragraphs. Having dialogue start in the middle of a paragraph makes me back up to see if I missed something. I find it better to start a new line when dialogue begins, even if it's just a sentance. That could just be my old habits from English class though. Other than that, it's just some little things, like a spelling error or missing comma, that come to mind.

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