*Waves* hello to our friends all over the world! You keep amazing us…thanks for being here.
Our post today brings an array of great reads. Enjoy!
When I started writing Counsel, I set out to create a story with substance. I wanted to disprove the often-held misconception that today’s romantic novels are ‘fluff’, that women who read them do so primarily for the sexual content, and that plot lines don’t matter much. Mostly, I wanted to tell an absorbing tale, with characters readers come to care about, hopefully, long after they’ve read the last chapter.
I want, always, for readers to know my protagonists, not just become acquainted with them. The most fascinating aspect of writing for me is how, once I’ve created their backstories, the characters dictate the way their stories should be told. Counsel was no different, my incarnations of Edward and Bella, even supporting characters, like Jon Holmes, who I’d first envisaged as overweight and jaded, influenced how I portrayed them.
Edward’s desire for justice, borne out of his pitiful childhood, the reason he became a prosecutor, is integral to his character, in the same way his deep love for his adopted family is. To gloss over either, would not have done his character or the story justice.
The courtroom scenes became not only central to the plot line, but essential to knowing and understanding the complexity of the man, to understand how the seemingly arrogant prosecutor who’d said, “ I own this place. This is my stage, I’m the lead actor, and I play my role brilliantly. All the hours of sifting through evidence, applying the law and building my case ends here, in this place, on this stage,” is the same man, when he finally falls in love, is capable of showing vulnerability.
“I love you with every fibre of my being; my heart is no longer mine. It stopped being that from the moment I gave myself to you. It’s yours, Darling, everything I am, everything I own is yours; and today, I’ll proudly and publicly acknowledge that fact.
The most challenging, yet rewarding aspect has been the research, that I, an Australian, had to do on the American legal system to create authentic courtroom scenes. I hope that in the end, I’ve managed, in some small part, to achieve what I’d set out to do; tell a captivating story, whilst proving that romantic fiction can have it all; meaty story and plot lines, engaging characters, drama, romance, sex and love.
The characters of young Edward and Bella refused to remain unheard. What started out as one story turned into three. Cygnet, Bella’s story told from the age of seven, includes her telling of the events in Counsel, while Lost depicts Edward’s life from age seven to the time he becomes a prosecutor.
I hope you enjoy.
Shenda Paul (aka FoolForEdward on FanFiction)
Summary: Set to try a case, involving former friend, state senator Jasper Whitlock, prosecutor Edward Cullen finds not only his friendship, but also his self control tested, as he fights his attraction to Isabella Swan, paid escort to the senator and key witness in the case. Will the men’s friendship survive; will he succumb to his attraction, despite his abhorrence of her profession? The answers to these questions can be found in Edward’s dramatic tale, told both in and out of the courtroom. Romance/Drama Rated MA Edward, Bella
An Italian Winter is based on the very first idea I had when, thanks to the encouragement of my friend and fellow writer Camilla, I tried to write a Twilight fanfiction.
The plot is loosely based on my favorite play by Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest.
The story is set in Italy, in Tuscany, where I’ve lived for many years. Writing An Italian Winter gave me the opportunity to “visit” (and hopefully, to show to the readers) many places that hold a special meaning to me. I put many of my passions into that story: teaching (Bella is a young teacher), music (Scott Joplin), and research. There are many flashbacks in the story, and each of them gave me the opportunity to do a lot of research.
The main theme in An Italian Winter is truth — and its importance. This story shows that lies — even with good intentions — can ruin people and relationships.
Another theme I wanted to cover with this fic is forgiveness. When they first meet and become friends, Edward and Bella already have their secrets and their sorrow. The backstory of each of them is very, very different — one is a vampire, the other is a human — but they will both have to learn that sometimes the most difficult challenge can be forgiving yourself.
I developed a special relationship with those characters, and I’m very glad that so many readers sent me positive messages. I cried when I wrote the last chapter, because I didn’t want to let the story go. For every writer, and for every reader, the moment when you have to close the book after you’ve reached the final page is a bitter-sweet one. But I believe it’s never a “farewell”: the characters will stay with you as long as you continue to think and dream about them.
Summary: Edward’s rebellion began for a reason; it still holds true and brought him to Italy. His life’s been predicated on revenge for decades; forgiveness seems impossible. When he meets Bella, only a winter separates him from his last prey and his own destruction. AU/vampires. Drama/Romance Rated: M Edward & Bella Complete
Back in early 2012, when I had a brand-new Kindle and very itchy fingers, I stumbled on an ebook called Hearts in Darkness, by a writer I’d not heard of before. It was one of the first ebooks I read, and I was immediately hooked on Laura Kaye’s writing. Her heroines are smart and sassy, her heroes strong and alpha, and the connection between them is always palpable enough to make my heart swoon.
Since those first heady days, Laura’s star has been firmly in the ascendant. From her Hearts of the Anemoi and Hero series, to her recent Hard Ink (Avon) releases, it’s no wonder J.R. Ward (of Black Dagger Brotherhood fame) marked her out as ‘A Great New Author.’
Laura’s recent release, Dare to Resist is part of the Wedding Dare series, a sequence of stories by five acclaimed romance authors. The series follows a group of friends as they search for love, but each book can be read as a standalone—indeed Dare to Resist is the first of the series I’ve read, though it definitely won’t be my last!
It tells the story of Kady Dresco—a software coder who has been disappointed by love—and Colton Brooks—her professional rival who just happens to be her brother’s best friend. From the start we learn there’s history between Kady and Colton; a hook-up that ended badly, causing difficulties between them, illustrated by the snarky banter and asides they share. Following a storm in a desert town—where they’re both been invited to pitch for a project by the US Army—the airport is closed and the two of them are thrown together, having to share the last empty motel room in town. And though they both think they can get through this one night unscathed, as the hours pass by it becomes obvious that their mutual attraction has never disappeared, in fact it only grows stronger and hotter.
I love the way Kaye’s writing always pulls me in, making me devour this hot little story in one memorable train journey. The sex is hot, the romance sweet, and the hero and heroine perfectly characterized. I haven’t yet read a Laura Kaye story I haven’t adored, and this book is no exception.
*FicSister note ~ Laura may be known to many of you as LauraACullen*
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Pa Trizia: Dodge and Burn by Abstract Way ~ That story is in my top ten of all time favorites. This Bella combines all aspects of an artist that I want to bring out in myself… finding her completion in the relationship with a musician is like my dream come true. Brilliant writing and peeks into the world of art makes this book such a satisfying experience.
Summary: He assumed Isabella Swan was eccentric, yet that very fact intrigued him. He hadn’t dealt with a compelling person, sensible or colorful in quite a while. She just seemed ripe with possibilities to be anything but mundane. Romance/Angst Rated: M Edward, Bella Complete
Summary:Fic On The Fly: Edward, let me introduce you to Bella, a not so starry-eyed college student who really doesn’t want anything to do with you. Except for maybe to stab you. Starts out kinda canon, then takes a sharp left at a library in Seattle. Some Romance plus some Drama plus some Comedy equals a “Romantic Dramedy”. Or something like that. Either way…fun. Rated: M Edward, Bella Complete
Summary: Taste of Innocence: Edward Cullen longs to taste the blood of an innocent. He meets Bella Swan. Will desire for her override desire for her blood, or will he take both? Humor/Romance Rated: M Edward, Bella Complete
Our thanks, once again for great reader recs! You guys are amazing.
This week hugs go to Pa Trizia and RobbieElise!
Former Champion boxer now CEO of Brandon & Cullen Agencies New York, Edward Cullen, has his hands full running his father’s successful company. Apparently now, though, he also has to be a father to his previously estranged teenage daughter, Lillian, a.k.a. Lily. And while his PA Isabella Swan is feisty, mouthy, funny, and an all-around pain in his ass, she has a heart of gold and, we think, she knows exactly what this “Bossman” needs in his life…
Bossman had a vein on the side of his head that looked as if it would pop any second. “Why do you think he rang?” He sighed again, to clear out all his pent up rage. “Lillian is doing something in New York this summer – don’t ask what, I couldn’t give a fuck – and they need me to find a place for her to stay.”
“Lily’s coming? Aw, I’ve always wanted to meet her!” “Isabella, whose side are you on?”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said, sarcasm thick in my voice. “I thought you would like having your daughter come to stay.”
“She’s not staying with me! I haven’t seen her since she was seven years old; I don’t know anything about the kid.”
“How can you be so heartless to a poor little girl?” “She’s fourteen; not a little girl. We’re getting off topic now.” He looked me straight in the eyes. “I need you to find her a hotel to stay in for the duration of her stay – I don’t care where and I don’t care how much. Just get it sorted, is that clear?”
The smile on my face couldn’t have been more fake.
You think I’m allowing a vulnerable teenage girl to roam New York on her own? You have another thing coming, Bossman.
Get ready for one helluva wake up call.
Yep, and a wake up call is exactly what she delivered. At only 4 chapters, updating every Monday, we can already see that “Backbone Bella” is ready to put her Bossman back in the ring…of life.
“Winners are simply willing to do what losers won’t.”
Take a ringside seat for White Collar Boxing by RosieRathbone.
Summary: White Collar Boxing : Retired boxer-turned CEO, Edward Cullen, is about to face his biggest challenge yet when he is landed with his teenage daughter for the summer. With the help of his feisty PA, Bella, maybe they can find something to bond over? AH OOC. Humor/Romance Rated M
When Anton M started posting a new story soon after completing Diary of an Ugly Girl, this FicSister was determined to dive right in and savour every word of Alaska as soon as each new chapter published. However, RL got in the way. Darn it! So, every week the chapters piled in, and it soon became a fic that may need to be complete before reading…Anton M’s regular updating schedule had run away from reading time. Until one chilly, autumnal Sunday…
OMG!!! *swoon* *giggle* *gasp* *heartfail* *sob* *grin*
Yes. It’s THAT good! Seriously, Anton M throws the reader right into the middle of an adventure worthy of a nineteen-twenties hero. Except, it’s Edward’s daily reality. Raised in a beautiful wilderness, Edward doesn’t spare many words, but when he does, it’s worth listening; no matter what language he’s speaking! Bella, chatty, snarky, brave and kind sees a kindred spirit, sees beyond the big, brave, handsome exterior, and appreciates Edward’s vulnerability and quiet demeanour.
When they meet – we cannot tell you how, it’s just…yeah, but a big part of their history- it’s in the city, where Edward has found himself out of place. However, when we meet them both, it’s years later and Bella is in his own territory. While there are obstacles to overcome, and misunderstandings to clear up, there is a deep, shared affection. The beauty of the friendship and the words left unspoken leap off the page as vividly as the abiding majesty of their surroundings. It’s a story of two people discovering each other, properly, recognising their similarities, despite their differences. It’s charming and written with the gentle humour we’ve come to expect from Anton M.
“She sets her legs on either side of his hips which tautens their sleeping bags, and presses her chest against his as tightly as she can. She pokes and rubs his face, and when he opens his eyes, he looks at her with tenderness she’s sure she’s imagining. His cheekbones feel freezing, and when she presses her cheek flat against his short beard, breathing in his ear, she’s sure he’s boiling because no human could feel this cold. It’s the kind of freezing when you start to confuse heat and cold, and if she is confusing it, his sense of hot and cold must’ve gone haywire.
She focuses on his rapid heartbeat to divert her attention, but then suddenly, his arms are on her back, and flat palms, although freezing and probably numb as ever, slide up and down her spine. His shivering grows more violent.”
Regulary updated, if you’re looking for a fic fix every week, then wrap up warmly and join us. If you’re into completed fics, put it on alert. This gem sparkles like the Alaskan snow!
Summary: Alaska: For two years, Bella’s had a cotton candy romance going on with her taciturn best friend. In her head. So after catching bits and pieces of Edward’s unusual upbringing, Bella pays a visit to Alaska. Updated around three times a week. AH Humor/Adventure, M Bella, Edward WiP
When I was asked to be a judge in the Texts From Last Night Twific Contest, I was delighted to take part. The brainchild of hosts Geekchic12 and Lellabeth, and based on the website and twitter account of the same name, the TFLN contest laid out prompts that were both hilarious and funny, and I knew the resulting stories were going to be amazing.
And amazing they were. I read them all, along with my fellow judges, with a smile on my face and my heart in my mouth. They were funny, touching and heart-breaking all at the same time, and it was really hard to choose a favourite.
However, no matter how much I protested Geeky and Lellabeth insisted I should, so I pulled up my big-girl panties and re-read the stories, and one of them really jumped out.
The Corporate Ladder Theory by miairii tells the story of an Edward who wakes up in bed with a raging hangover and a huge hole where his memory of the previous night should be. We learn—along with Edward—exactly what happened through texts he exchanged with his friend Emmett, the previous night, and Edward’s own recollections of his boss, and the way he’s been trailing after her like a devoted puppy.
I’d like to say more, but to do so would give away the story, and this is really one you should read for yourself. Suffice to say that all is not as it seems, and as Edward’s memory slowly returns, he’s shocked by the biggest surprise.
Of course, this wasn’t the only fantastic story in the contest. The public favourite was Wish upon a Star by kr2009. It tells the story of a visit to Disneyland, a sexy Snow White and an Edward who discovers that dreams really do come true.
C26 by Miss January—which won the public vote—is set in a campsite, where Edward, Emmett and Jasper discover that being double-booked doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
In total there were eleven entries, and each one of them was entertaining, keeping my eyes glued to the page and my iPad stuck in my hands. I loved the creative way the writers used the prompts, creating unique stories that will stay in my head for a while to come. If you haven’t read these stories already, make sure you stop by the contest fanfiction page at TFLN Twific Contest, where you will find all these stories plus a bonus ‘prize’—flashes written by the staff and judges, all based on Text From Last Night prompts.
Thank you to the fabulous Shenda Paul aka FoolForEdward, the lovely Raum and our very own delicious Chocaholic123 aka Carrie!
Thanks for being here, you all keep it fun! *mwah*