Cry of the Wolf [A Harry Potter (Marauders) FanFic]

I don’t like to use the term “amateur writer”, because the fact of the matter is that if you write, you’re a writer. Full stop. But to go at it from a logical standpoint, yes, I’m an amateur. My stuff is self-published, hard to find, and (although well-reviewed) isn’t exactly overwhelming me in sales.

Why do I bring this up? Well, because being an “amateur” of a sort means that it makes it that much more heartwarming when I get attention on something I’ve written, even if that something is a piece that can never be traditionally published in any manner.

The piece, in question, is a fanfiction that I wrote over a decade-and-a-half ago. At the time I was big into Harry Potter (still a fan, it’s just been overtaken by other fandoms since) and had been introduced to the fanfiction world by a friend. I’d already known what fanfiction was, of course, but I’d never before come across any “slash fics”, which my friend thought I would love given my adoration for a couple of particular characters: Sirius Black and Remus Lupin.

Long story short, I read a lot of slash fics (basically, homosexual pairings) centered on these two characters, loved some, hated others, and decided I could do the characters justice myself. What resulted was later edited a bit to clean up my (at the time) messy wording and a plot hole or two, and the final story was uploaded to FanFiction.net. It was never a breakaway hit on the site or anything, but I was surprised by the attention I did get. Every comment basically boiled down to “I love this so much!” and “I need more!”, and for years afterwards I would get random email notifications to let me know that there was a new comment. Literally, I just got one of those emails a month ago. The story has been up (in it’s edited form) on that site for eleven years (more for the pre-edits), and I’m still getting random comments from people who love it.

That kind of thing is really great for a writer’s soul, let me tell you.

So it was only logical that I decided to move Cry of the Wolf over to my An Archive of Our Own account. It’s been there now for two weeks, has over 800 hits, 63 kudos, and a handful of absolutely lovely comments.

The story follows the Marauders during their schooldays at Hogwarts, specifically Remus, who is tortured by the fact that he’s not only a werewolf, but also happens to be head-over-heels in love with his best friend, Sirius. Cue a ton of beautiful support from James and Lily, and some extremely painful misunderstandings. It’s angst and fluff from before I really, honestly understood what either were, and was one of my first real experiences with torturing the ever-loving hell out of my characters because I’m a crazy woman.

So if you’re a Potterhead, or a fanfic junkie in general, please give it a read and let me know what you think! Remember, I literally thrive on your love. ^_~

Book Review: “Bonfire” by Krysten Ritter [SPOILER-FREE]

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It’s been a while since I’ve written a book review, which is a sin since I’ve actually been reading a good bit lately. So I thought I’d dive back into it with one of my favorite books of 2019 so far, and that is Krysten Ritter’s debut, Bonfire.

Wait…Krysten Ritter as in “Jessica Jones”?

Before I get into the actual review, I feel the need to address the fact that, yes, the author of this book is also the actress who portrays “Jessica Jones” in the Marvel series of the same name. I don’t bring this up because I think it should matter who, specifically, the author is. I bring it up because while I was reading the book I had absolutely no idea. It just never occurred to me when I saw the name “Krysten Ritter” on the front of the book that it was the same “Krysten Ritter” who is an actress. After all, it’s not as though there are no other Krysten Ritters in the world.

So, that’s just an extra little bit of info that may (or may not) affect how you feel about my review. I had no idea who the author was, and therefore had no bias one way or the other as to whether her book would be any good. Just the way it should be, in my opinion!

The Plot:

Bonfire’s narrator, Abby Williams, works with environmental law and has been placed in a bit of an awkward position. She will be investigating Optimal Plastics, the company which is the beating heart of her hometown of Barrens, Indiana. It’s a sticky situation to begin with, without adding in the fact that Abby doesn’t exactly have fond memories of the town and the people there she grew up with. And just in case that wasn’t enough to be dealing with, emotionally, she soon begins to uncover a strange scandal involving a classmate who ran away from home immediately following graduation. Where all this will lead is down a rabbit-hole of declining mental and emotional stability the further Abby presses on.

First Impressions:

I’m going to be perfectly honest: upon first picking up this book I wasn’t sure if it was something I was going to be able to enjoy because it’s so different from the kind of thing I normally read. I tend to focus on supernatural and fantasy stuff, whereas Bonfire is very much focused in the realm of reality. Most of what I read is third-person, past tense, and Bonfire is first-person, present-tense. I’m sure these seem like small, insignificant things when concerning a well-written story, but I do tend to be picky. So when I began reading, it was with a sense of concern.

Second Impressions:

Luckily, my first impressions/concern were complete and absolute nonsense.

I very quickly got used to the present-tense style of storytelling, and before I knew it I’d fallen in love with Abby as a character. What’s wonderful about her is that she’s an incredibly complex character. She’s very clearly the “good guy” in the context of this story, but she has plenty of failings as well, as we soon learn. Expanding upon that, some of her failings are very clearly of her own making, while others are very clearly the result of a less-than-stellar childhood.

This aspect of Abby also makes her very easy for me to relate to. My own childhood may not have been as rough as what Abby describes, but I can definitely understand quite a lot of what she’s gone through, such as bullying and unhealthy relationships.

To put it simply, Abby is the kind of character you can absolutely imagine being a real person. She is absolutely believable and makes you feel like someone you could have grown up with yourself.

The Plot Thickens:

As the story moves on, we become engrossed in lots of twists and turns that, quite frankly, will break your mind. Abby, because of the emotional roller-coaster she exists on, is an unreliable narrator who regularly spins us off in confusing directions. It is rather difficult at times to tell what is really happening, and what is all in Abby’s head. Chapter by chapter little bits of information are mixed into her investigation, and we’re never quite sure what is really happening in the background. Oftentimes throughout the book I found myself thinking that I knew how things were going to turn out, only to have something get flipped around on me a few pages later. In the end some things did turn out how I was expecting, but not before I’d been fooled into changing my mind half a dozen or more times. In other words, I was definitely kept on my toes with this book.

Final Thoughts:

It’s difficult to say too much about a book like Bonfire without ruining the suspense and intrigue, so I’ve kept things very vague. But the fact of the matter is that within the first few chapters I was completely hooked and desperate to know what was going to happen next. I ended up being completely engrossed and I devoured the book as quickly as I was able because I needed to know how things turned out in the end.

Ritter’s debut novel was a breakaway hit, at least in my opinion. Her ability to tell a story has been cemented with this first publication, and I’m going to be very interested to see what she comes up with next.

I highly recommend this book and would love to hear what other readers think about it. Let me know in the comment section, or add me on Goodreads: Tracey Lynn Tobin!


Want to check out Bonfire for yourself? Click right here to order!
Already read it? Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comment section below!

Goals 2019: Week 16 in Review

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Hey everyone! So it’s time for another…

Hold up. *checks watch; checks calendar* W-what day is it?

DAMMIT TRACEY, WHAT THE HELL?!

Okay, so apparently it’s Thursday, and yeah…I’m not even sure when or how that happened. I swear, these days it feels like I’m living in some kind of wormhole where time and the passage of it mean nothing. Where am I? WHEN am I? It’s all a great, unsolvable mystery.

Moving on from the wibbly-wobbly timey-whimey stuff that’s got me all a mess, let’s just go ahead and take a look at last week’s nonsense, shall we?


Goal #1: Write half a million words.

I’m doing an absolutely awesome job at not turning my failures around when it comes to writing. I thought I was doing okay last week, but by the end of it I’d only managed to wrack together 3088 words of the 12905 Pacemaker.press wanted me to write. That’s pretty shit, to be perfectly blunt about it, but at least it’s better than the previous few weeks, so I’ve got that going for me. If I can keep moving forward and get a little more done per week, maybe I’ll actually manage to accomplish something.

I’m not gonna hold my breath, though.

  • Goal #1a: Write at least a quarter million fictional words.  One good thing is that of those 3088 words, 1800 of them were fictional ones. Go me! I spent a little bit of time last week working on the Final Fantasy fic, and I threw a few words at Nowhere to Run, so there was that. I’m hoping to do some more work on both of those today, actually, right after I finish this post. So let’s move on so I can get this post finished!

Goal #2: Read at least 50 books.

I finally finished up Pet Sematary over the weekend, so I was able to mark that one down on Goodreads. Without getting too deep into it, it’s an awesome book, but also exceptionally depressing. I’m gonna have to move on to something a little more upbeat for the next book, I think. That said, I’ll probably read Junji Ito’s Fragments of Horror first, because clearly I have a problem.

Goal #3: Build my social media communities…EVERYWHERE!

Guys, this has been SO HARD lately! The main problem is the fact that I’ve been spending so much time working, and since I deal with customers I can’t be taking my phone out and tweeting whenever I feel like it. The weather has also been very cold and rainy, so I haven’t been able to take any cool photos for Instagram (I’m SO sick of shooting toy-on-a-solid-background pics). Result? Very little.

For week 16:

  • The YouTube channel gained 2 subscribers
  • The YouTube Twitter account went up 2 followers
  • The YouTube Instagram account went down 3 followers
  • The Snapchat account’s score stayed the same
  • The Author Twitter account stayed the same
  • The Author Instagram account gained 5 followers

I can’t complain too much because nothing took a nosedive or anything like that. but one of these days I’d definitely like to see another one of those “all increases” weeks.

Goal #4: Play more (proper) video games. 

There hasn’t been a lot of gaming in my life the past week-and-a-half or so. I played a bit of missy’s new Kirby game with her on the Switch, and had a few family Smash Bros battles, and I played one stage of Rush of Blood on the PSVR while my parents were visiting, but that’s pretty much it. I really need to sit down and just PLAY something some night, but every time I have the opportunity, honestly, I feel guilty because there’s plenty else I SHOULD be doing instead. I definitely have a bit of a “if I’m relaxing, I’m failing” complex.

Goal #5: Put more time, focus, and energy into the YouTube channel.

As you’ve likely become used to, there’s not much to report here this week. What I will say, however, is that the break will be coming to an end soon. I was hoping it would be today, but the rainy weather has the basement absolutely freezing, so it might be a few more days. Either way, it’s going to happen soon. I’ve got things to film, things I want to film, so it’s time to get back into it. Hey ho, let’s go!


So that’s it, short and sweet. And you know what? There’s no sense in dragging this post out when I could be doing other things, so let’s just go ahead and end it now, okay? Okay. Thanks! ❤

How was your week? Did you accomplish any goals? Make any new ones? Do anything else that made you feel awesome and accomplished? Feel free to share in the comments!

Halloween Starts Early with The 13 Dunny Series! They Glow in the Dark! (Full Case Unboxing)

Anyone who knows the Tobins knows that we LOVE Halloween and generally start thinking about it long before most people have even considered the possibility that summer might be waning. So of course we were super-excited when Entertainment Earth sent us a full case of “The 13” Dunny series blind boxes from Kid Robot!

This series was designed by toy-master Brandt Peters, who created a group of 13 crazy characters (and one chase) featuring ghosts, ghouls, and psychos of all types. They’re fun, creepy little figures that are perfect for any horror-and-Halloween lover, AND they ALL glow in the dark! How awesome is that?! Check out the vid for our unboxing, check the description box for a link to where you can order them for yourself, and be sure to leave a comment letting us know which ones are your favorites! Trust me, it’ll be difficult to pick just one!

Viewer Mail from Zachary Lemire!

We’re always humbled when we receive mail from a viewer, and it is so awesome and so much fun to look through what people though to send us! Zachary wanted to send a few (haha…a “few”) items that he thought we would like, and he definitely wasn’t wrong! There was some awesome stuff in this huge box, including items from Funko and Jada Metals, some comics and fun smaller items, and even some stuff for the little one! Check it out!