The Peer Review Page — Read/Review Submitted Work Here

You are invited to select work from this menu by clicking on the author name or the title of the piece.  This will take you to a page displaying the author’s submission, with a comment box available at the end for your feedback.

All work shown is “as is,” with no editing from this end.  Copyright remains the property of the author; duplication or distribution of any kind without permission from the author is a violation of copyright law.

Your thoughtful, value-adding comments are appreciated.  You are invited to submit your work for Peer Review, as well (Click HERE for the Submissions Page).

April 28. 2012

Title:  Mad Science

Author:  Derek Tumacder

Genre: gaslamp/steampunk/fantasy

word count: 1007

Slugline:  Welcome to Metroburg, the capital of Europa, where steampunk and magic come together.   A Metroburg Periodical is a glimpse into that city.

Author comment:  This is the first time I’ve put my work out there for others to review other than family and friends.  Please give constructive criticism on anything and everything.  Please pay particular attention to sentence construction/style, characterization and context.  These are what I am looking to improve most on.  Thank you.


November 24, 2011

AUTHOR: Steve Theme

TITLE: “Asphalt Sanctuary

GENRE: Memoir

SYNOPSIS:  While hitchhiking 6,000 miles alone, a teenager filled with resentment is pulled into an unintentional, yet unavoidable, spiritual adventure.


October 18, 2011

AUTHOR: Darren Stephenson

TITLE: “Strategem

GENRE: Action/Thriller (novel, partial)

SYNOPSIS: What if you received a phone call from someone saying they had your family and if you didn’t turn yourself into the police for a murder you didn’t commit, they would be killed? Would you play along, hire a lawyer, and hope for their release? Or would you risk their lives and tell the truth?

COMMENT/ISSUES: I’m not sure… I guess, moving into the novel, my main concern is characterization. I’m not sure if that’s so much of an issue in this, the first few chapters. But, I may be wrong. This, being, the intro, I’m more interested in know if people want to keep reading. Or whether they’re bored by what they’ve read. If I get people wanting to continue reading, then I’m been successful. If not, then it’s back to the drawing board. Or, time to take up a new hobby like taxidermy, or something.


AUTHOR:  Sharon B.

TITLE:  “Jack Dare’s American Freefall

GENRE:  Legal Suspense novel (partial)

SYNOPSIS/LOGLINE:  An idealistic young attorney resigns his small-town law practice to pursue a future in 1970s boomtown Houston and becomes the target of revenge — ultimately standing trial for a crime he did not commit. A mysterious tale of murder, mental illness, love, loss, ruin and reclamation.

COMMENT: A question for readers: Would you read more if you could?


AUTHOR:  Evonne Biggins

TITLE:  “Gray Stones & Blue Fireflies

GENRE:  Short story (partial)

COMMENT:  This story won second place at the IWL Conference last year… hope you like it, let me know.


October 10, 2011

AUTHOR:  Brandon Pilcher

TITLE:  “Fighting For Food” (short story)

GENRE:  Fantasy

LOGLINE:  A human warrior must fight for elves so he can feed his tribe, but he experiences a conflict of consciences…


September 28, 2011

Author: Evonne M. Biggins

Title: “The Perfect Shade of Gray

Genre: Contemporary Teen

Logline/Synopsis: Reenie’s dad ran off before she was born, her grandma recently passed away, and her mom’s moving them to a resort lodge in the mountains. Ree must leave her only friend and her beloved cat. She longs to be a writer, to attend the same school the whole year, to hang out with friends in the cafeteria–all not-happening experiences for a fifteen-year-old girl who has never lived like most kids.

While juggling her mom’s job-hopping, beer-drinking, and boyfriend-collecting issues, Ree searches for her antique desk that holds her journal which harbors her dark emotions and secrets. She wants to know who the mysterious soot-head kid at the mountain man rendezvous is because he says he knows her, but how can that be?

Above all, Ree wants to belong.


September 26, 2011

AUTHOR:  Lake Lopez

TITLE:  “Sinister (first 5000 words) — a new chapter of this novel appears weekly on Lake’s website (Larry’s note: I love the subtitle/slugline he uses for his site).

GENRE:  Really scary horror.

LOGLINE (more like a synopsis in this case):

1985, Manitou, Colorado: Anthony and Garren come from different worlds, but that hasn’t stopped them from growing up best friends. Now, on the verge of high school graduation, Anthony longs to escape the path his mother set out for him and build a life around music. Garren, always the misfit, always the loser, just wants to escape.The boys are together when Garren finds her, his first love – a dilapidated guitar that used to be red. Her neck is twisted, her pick-ups are corroded and parts of her look ready to splinter. But for Garren it’s love at first sight. Soon, both boys learn that this is no ordinary guitar.Anthony realizes it the first time he touches her, brushing the spider web pattern of cracks in her body, and hears a wicked melody scorch his soul. The addictive music is nothing, however, compared to what happens when Garren gives her strings and makes her sing. Anthony watches his friend’s musical skills grow, as if by magic, along with his obsession with the guitar. Not even Tory, a beautiful girl who adores him, can pry the guitar out of his hands – or his heart.Then people begin to die and Anthony must face the terrifying truth, that the guitar has a purpose and it’s one for more sinister than could ever be imagined…

THE PROBLEM: 5,000 words is a lot. Every reader knows whether or not they’re going to stay with the story far before they reach the 5,000 words mark. So what I’d like to know is whether or not the story grabs a reader around the throat and makes them want more… I know the horror genre isn’t everybody’s thing, but a compelling conflict can overcome that and, I want to know, if I’ve done my job right.


September 12, 2011

AUTHOR:  Simone Bellenoit

TITLE:  “Pink-Striped Socks

GENRE:  Short Story (fiction)

SYNOPSIS:  When there is light, there is dark. When there is laughter, there is pain. When there is smoke, there is fire. And when there is fire, there’s Olivia.

ISSUES:  A friend said there should be more foreshadowing involved in the beginning, and I would absolutely like to know if others agree. Ideas for a catchier title in general would be the bee’s knees, too.


September 10, 2011

AUTHOR:  Frederick Fuller

TITLE:  “For the Heart’s Treasure

GENRE:  Romantic Adult Contemporary

SYNOPSIS:  What if a damaged woman marries a man who is sweet, kind and a Lothario? Themes: Extreme opposites, love against backdrop of Great Depression. Hook: sex!


September 3, 2011

AUTHOR:  Jason B. Reed

TITLE:  “Opposable Thumb” (novel parital)

GENRE: adult fantasy

SYNOPSIS/ISSUES: Synopsis: A young stallion seeks the help of an ancient beast in order to get revenge on the humans that killed his parents. I aimed for this to be an adventure story, with magic and monsters and maybe just a bit of mystery. What I hope to achieve by submitting these scenes here on Peer Review is to find out if my writing has any chance of being published. Also, I am currently living in Romania, so English is not my native tongue. I would very much like to find out if I’m expressing myself correctly. I’m sure there are grammar issues and I’m sure I’ve missed some and i would like to know what they are. Any help is very appreciated, thank you.


September 8, 2011

AUTHOR: J Fairfield Perry

TITLE: “Warning: Say No or Die

GENRE: novel (partial) 

LOGLINE:  “The battle continues on our own streets. We must take this drug-driven civil war to the killing fields … outside our borders.” Agent Montgomery Childers. (believed to be missing in action.)


September 1, 2011

AUTHOR:  Nancy

TITLE:  “The Findings

GENRE: Political thriller

SYNOPSIS:  Hamilton Langley uncovers  illicit arms trading at the American Embassy in the Congo and leads his dysfunctional team of government analysts into a jungle of danger and intrigue.

ISSUE:  Are the conflicts/set-up in my new opening engaging enough to keep people reading to page 30 for the inciting moment?  Two people I trust said—start your story earlier;  I need to know more about the team and the job. That advice-taken delayed my inciting moment—when the team finally visits the dam site and is attacked by the Shandundu tribe because of an Embassy cover-up.


August 31, 2011

AUTHOR:  B.J. Culver

TITLE:  “The Two-Headed Rat” (first three chapters of a novel)

GENRE: YA/Middle Grade (9 – 12 year olds, younger if advanced readers)

SYNOPSIS/LOGLINE: When evicted from his home for not conforming, Tom, a young rat, grows up quickly.  Fearful but productive adventures help him find his own destiny.


August 30, 2011

AUTHOR: Michael Moller

TITLE:  “God Complex

GENRE:  Comic Fantasy (novel, first chapter)

SYNOPSIS: After the creator of the universe becomes trapped inside an eccentric winemaker’s body, a shy winery employee must save the world from destruction by incompetence.

ISSUES:  This first chapter is a hook meant to foreshadow the first plot point occurring around the twenty-five percent mark.  I’m hoping to learn if it holds the reader’s attention, if the dark humor tone comes across, and how the overall voice feels. All comments are appreciated.


August 23, 2011

AUTHOR:  Melinda Jones

TITLE: “Try To Say No

GENRE: Adult contemporary fiction

SYNOPSIS/LOGLINE: She should say no. But she won’t.


AUTHOR: Lois Hudson

TITLE: “The Tenth Month

GENRE: Adult Contemporary/Speculative Edge

PREMISE/SYNOPSIS:  What if God closed the womb to get the world’s attention because of our cavalier attitudes toward life?


AUTHOR:   Olga Oliver

TITLE:  “Lizbeth’s Journey” (Mainstream, partial novel)

GENRE:  Mainstream

SYNOPSIS:  What if three secrets are unlocked and give Lizbeth Kelleye her real self.


August 21, 2011

AUTHOR: Jennifer Vaughn

TITLE: “When the Demons Come” (WIP)

GENRE: Mainstream commercial fiction

SYNOPSIS/LOGLINE: Lyla Chandler is pregnant. But when the doctor tells her there’s something very unique about her pregnancy, it becomes the perfect way to escape a nightmare.


August 20, 2011

AUTHOR: Jennifer Vaughn

TITLE: “Echo Valley

GENRE: Adult contemporary mainstream fiction

SYNOPSIS/LOGINE: Single mother hairdresser Bo Carmichael becomes an unacceptable risk when she unwittingly catches a leading presidential candidate in a compromising position.


August 19, 2011

AUTHOR: Luisa Perkins

TITLE: “The Desolate

GENRE: YA/Fanatasy (novel partial)

SYNOPSIS/LOGLINE: Out-of-body experiences? Cool–until your life gets stolen while you’re gone.


August 18, 2011 

AUTHOR: Fiona Mackenzie

TITLE: “Watching Chinooks

GENRE: Women’s short fiction

DESCRIPTION: a story told against a military setting


August 15, 2011

AUTHOR: Martha Pound Miller

TITLE: “Virgin of the Desert”

GENRE: Fiction/novel partial/thriller

SYNOPSIS: When young Sparrow Thibault takes a swim in an Arizona canal, she is struck by lightning and begins hearing a voice in her head: “You are pregnant and will soon give birth to the next messiah.”


AUTHOR: David Monroe

TITLE: “The Get Back Job” (partial)

GENRE: Modern crime noir

SYNOPSIS:  Jocko Myles got outta-the-life of being a bounty hunter for the Mob.  But when sex-slave traffickers’ start kidnapping girls – Jocko goes on the hunt again.


AUTHOR: Jennifer Blanchard (

TITLE: “In the Pouring Rain” (short story)

GENRE: romance

SYNOPSIS:  What if you discovered your new girlfriend’s mom is a woman you not only dated in the past, but are actually still in love with her? 

AUTHOR QUESTIONS/ISSUES (how you can help): Do the flashbacks work or do they make it hard to follow the story? Is the plot believable?


AUTHOR: Donna Lodge

TITLE: “Canary”

GENRE: Short story (fantasy/fiction)

SYNOPSIS:  What if a dead coal-miner believes he can save his son from danger by warning him while he dreams?



8 Responses to The Peer Review Page — Read/Review Submitted Work Here

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  2. Howard Diamond

    Re: In the Pouring Rain by Jennifer Blanchard

    The plot is definitely believable. Whacky things sometimes happen via coincidence. The problem was not the flashbacks. The problem for me was that there was some difficulty telling who was talking in response to someone who had just spoken. It took a while and I had to reread a portion to be able to guess who it was.

    I am a sucker for a happy ending. The short story would work as the core idea of a screenplay.

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