Welcome to another post filled with wondrous stories! Some older, some newer and there is sure to be a story here to capture your heart, just like they have captured ours. First off this week, we have the super-talented and generous EdwardsEternal chatting about the equally amazing Drotuno!
When The Ihoff Sisters asked me to talk a bit about Deb Drotuno’s A Few Tables Away, I was honored and I jumped at the chance to talk about one of my favorite authors.
I can’t say this is my favorite story of hers—because all of her works are my favorites. So I will say this is my favorite of hers—right now.
Deb and I are not only both authors, but friends, and we often bounce ideas off each other and we have been known to share chapters and stories with each other, ahem, frequently.
When she first talked about this idea, I knew it would be amazing, which is nothing unusual for her. Drotuno has a way of conjuring up images in our minds, making the characters so real and solid, it’s as if they’re part of our lives. Her writing style is vivid, detailed and complete. Words flow like water from a fast moving stream that carry you along with the current, and it’s a ride you never want to end.
This is a different Edward for her. In this story he is vulnerable one, not Bella. He is not weak in any sense; he is a survivor. But he is shy, hesitant and his self-esteem is basically nil—he has never fit it, and he never expects to. His past is laced with sadness and rejection, the main source coming from the one person who should deflect it, not cause it. He is so shy and withdrawn he never notices the attention he garners, preferring to keep to himself and apply his mind to his studies. In order to find some peace, he moves across country, intending on concentrating only on school, and nothing more. He spends his free time studying, alone in the library.
Except for the day he sees her. That girl. Someone, to him, who is unattainable.
He notices everything about her, and begins to read what she reads, trying, in some small way, of having a connection with her. He is so infatuated, he writes her a letter he never intends for her to see, pouring out his thoughts.
But meet they do, and to his shock, he discovers not only has she noticed him as well, but she is everything he could have hoped for, and then some.
This Bella is strong, protective, smart and funny. Her adoration of him knows no bounds. One of my favorite lines is when she informs her father “she is keeping him.”
Deb has added a whole cast of characters to love… and hate. Bella’s family is well adjusted and happy, including a funny Aunt Jane and cousin Jasper who appear a lot. They welcome Edward warmly, giving him a glimpse of what family life should be like—something he hasn’t known in a very long time—if ever. Edward’s family is torn apart and fragmented, and his father…well, let’s say I have never wanted a Carlisle to die as painfully as possible as much as I want that to happen to this one. He uses words like weapons, and denies his children the one thing they need the most—love. His constant threats belittle and keep them all under his thumb, and his brand of punishment make Cinderella look like she was having a day at the spa.
This is a story of finding love, learning to let go and coming to terms with the past. And because it’s by Drotuno, it’s fabulous. I highly recommend it.
Summary: Edward spent most of his life trying to be invisible until he got to college. All alone, 3000 miles from home, there’s only one person he wishes would see him. His Library Girl, just a few tables away. Rated M ~ Romance/Hurt/Comfort ~ Bella/Edward ~ Work-in-Progress
Condemned to Us (Not Such A Bad Thing) written by cruiz107 (author of the fabulous Make Me or Break Me) captured me instantly and I didn’t move until I had feverishly read all current nine chapters, and I will confess that I have actually re-read those nine chapters, just in case I missed something the first time with all that feverish reading 😉
Bella and Emmett are best friends in this story and their relationship, while not perfect, is so heart-warming and leaves you with that feeling that all girls really should have an “Emmett” in their lives. What complicates Bella’s life is that she is hopelessly in love with Emmett’s older brother Edward. Unfortunately for Bella, Edward doesn’t seem to see her that way at all, until one fateful night…
Suffice to say, drama unfolds and I’m not ashamed to admit this story had me reaching for the Kleenex. Bella is a real battler in this story and you can’t help but feel a bit protective of her. Yes, she makes a few mistakes – who doesn’t – but she’s very real and I just love her.
I’m not going to say too much about Edward at the moment, as he is firmly on my shit list. But I hold out high hopes for him.
All I can say now is…bring on chapter ten!!!
Summary: “Don’t act like it’s a bad thing to fall in love with me. ‘Cause you might look around and find your dreams come true, with me Spent all your time and your money just to find out that my love was free.” Bella’s selfish decision will tie Edward to her for at least eighteen years, but some people refuse to be bound. Rated: M ~ English ~ Drama ~ Work in Progress
Most of the time we just know that despite circumstances colluding against them, Bella and Edward simply belong together. Maybe that’s the big rule that many fanfic readers live by…but it’s not always a straightforward journey!
Take Mortissues‘ Edward and Bella in Dissonance, they meet while she’s in college; her roommate is dating his older brother, he’s a wonderfully charming player and…I’ll let Bella explain:
You could sort of understand how he got away with it. He was absolutely gorgeous. Deep green eyes, smooth skin, full lips, wide shoulders, wicked abs, long legs, biteable ass, ludicrously attractive yet ill behaved bronze hair. He was also funny, charming, kind and attentive. He might have been smiling at every other female in a fifty mile radius when he was talking to you, but boy did you know you were being talked to.
He made little old me more popular than I should have been, all the girls wanted to be friends with Edward’s one and only ‘platonic’ female friend.
He spent our years at college, while Rose and Emmett were falling in love and defiling every horizontal surface, good naturedly trying to get into my panties.
I may have let him a time or two.
You only live once after all and even my natural inhibitions were surprisingly easy to overcome when it came to Edward Cullen. Besides, if you’d seen him in those days, frankly it would have been rude not to.
You get the picture? Yeah. He’s all kinds of dangerous. She seriously deserves both our sympathy and our envy! But, our heroine does not mope. Oh no. She’s a great friend, and a fabulous success to boot. Once she is taken in to the Cullen fold, they don’t let her go and she enjoys life with gusto. Quickly rising to dizzy corporate heights in her career, leading a luxurious and glamorous lifestyle. But there, always in the background, grounding her, are the Cullens. And Edward.
What we get with Mortissues‘ delightful writing and storytelling, is a great cast of characters. They’re fun and real. Flawed and frustrating. But eminently likeable.
That’s part of the problem though, no matter what they do, it’s impossible not to love them and want the very best for them. Which brings us full circle.
We know Edward and Bella belong together, the question is, do they? You’re just going to have to read.
Summary: I haven’t so much made a success of myself as simply fallen through the cracks in my life and somehow landed buttered side up. I am toast. The fifty percent lucky slice that you rescue from your kitchen counter and shove in your mouth as you run out the door, breathless and late, to start your new day. Rated: M ~ English ~ Romance ~ Bella/Edward ~ Complete
Collectively, here at The International House of FanFic, we have read literally thousands of fanfics. Stories with great plots and writing, sagas with great drama and angst, fics full of wonderful characters, tales with that “Cullen Family Magic” and stories showcasing that once-in-a-lifetime ‘Bella and Edward’ love.
The one thing we all agree on, it’s that the amount of stories out there that have all these elements are rare…and that is why today we wanted to tell you about a story that we feel has all these elements, plus a little extra.
Take The Ice by BellaMarie117 was published in 2010 (oh my gosh – where did that five years go??) and it is most likely that most of you have read it, but we still want to celebrate this fantastic story.
When we meet Bella in the first chapter of Take The Ice, she is battered and bruised emotionally, and by the one person who should have been protecting her from hurt, her mother – Renee. But while waiting at an airport baggage carousel, her life is about to change. Dramatically. There she meets a gorgeous green-eyed man who will become her destiny and salvation in so many ways. She just doesn’t know it yet *winks*
As Alice says later in the story – Bella’s heart recognizes Edward straight away, but her brain needs to catch up, and once you understand Bella’s history, boy, is there a good reason for that! So, if you love a slow burn, this is the story for you!
Edward isn’t the only Cullen who falls in love with Bella – all the Cullens fall in love with her, but particularly Esme, and we would go as far to say that this story has the most beautiful Esme/Bella relationship we’ve read. Watching Esme turning into a protective Mama-Bear is quite a treat!!
Even though this story is a considerable 425K words in length, it seems to speed by and being with Bella while she overcomes her demons and triumphs is heart-warming. It is one of those stories that makes you sigh with delight. To finish off, we will leave you with what Bella says to Edward after a nasty brush with a certain Jacob Black…
I want to be possessed, but only by you. I want to be taken, but only by you. So take me…”
She is a wise woman, this Bella… *runs to re-read*
Summary: Competitive figure skater Bella Swan meets NHL hockey player Edward Cullen. Bella’s Olympic dreams are crushed by injury. Can he help her find the strength to take the ice again? Will they find love and friendship in the meantime? Rated M ~ Romance ~ Bella/Edward ~ Complete
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From EdwardsBae ~ The Cannabean Betrothal by ItzMegan73: I’ve just been on vacation and rediscovered the world of The Cannabean Betrothal, it was even better than I remembered and a classic that everyone should read at least twice.
Summary: Edward has immersed himself in the Cannabean way to ward off the hurt of a life-changing experience; but an unexpected betrothal teaches him how little he knows about life. There is no abuse in this story. Rated: M ~ English ~ Drama/Romance ~ Bella/Edward ~ Complete
From Allie ~ Shaky Ground by LatteLemon: It doesn’t happen all the time so when it does, it makes me so happy. You know those certain stories that seem so real, that just speak to you? That you savor every chapter? One of my most favorite WIP right now is Shaky Ground by LatteLemon. Edward is a rock star, I mean, a real rock star and Bella helps make children’s dreams come true. And she’s damn good at it. They meet and…just go give it some love. You will not be disappointed.
Summary: Rock ‘n’ roll is sexuality personified. It is attitude. It is all the things that your parents told you not to do. It’s the freedom to express yourself. It’s being alive. Only multi-platinum, award-winning rocker Edward Cullen is anything but until he meets Bella Swan. A collaboration fic from LatteCoug and Carson1 in celebration of MizzezPattinson’s graduation. Rated: M ~ Edward/Bella ~ Work in Progress
From SarahS ~ The Alpha’s Prerogative by taoist elf: Don’t get me wrong, I love Edward/Bella fics, but sometimes it’s great to stumble across absolutely amazing fics with other leads. I have read this so many times since first discovering it last year. The writing is beautiful and the story well-crafted. You have to read it, it’s fabulous and although the pairing is unexpected, it works brilliantly. It really is perfect.
Summary: Imprinting, marriage and mating. Duty, choice and need. What do these things have to do with love? In the midst of a failing marriage and strained imprint, Bella is about to find out. It’s complicated, when is it ever not? Bella/Sam some Paul. No poly anything. Rated: M ~ Angst/Romance ~ Bella/Sam ~ Complete
FicSister thanks to EdwardsBae, Allie and SarahS this week, we loved hearing from you!
When Emma Matthews was posted as the sample entry for the Meet the Mate Contest, the writing style was a little familiar, and may have had this reader pondering if the author was, in fact, the delightful and talented Anton M (aka Mav).
As one of the hosts, it made sense that she wouldn’t enter. But as a gripping, must-read, want-more kind of story, it totally fitted her style. Score one to us! Actually, it’s great for the fandom as her writing is fabulous.
We’re huge fans. Diary of an Ugly Girl, one of her completed fics, is impossible not to love. It’s a refreshing story about a truly unique teen, who not only finds her place in the world after being treated dreadfully (understatement!), but also finds a way to love and heal the people around her. To say Bella is strong and inspirational trivialises her. She’s just more.
Mav‘s most recent work in progress, Alaska, has one of my all-time favourite Edwards. He’s such a well-drawn characterisation, and so compelling…I desperately want him to be real. It’s very close to completion and a must-read. The scenery is breathtaking, transporting the reader into Edward’s native homeland and has characters that steal the readers’ hearts. Truly beautiful *sigh*. You have to read it if you’re not already on board.
So, back to Emma Matthews…it’s such a joy to know that Mav has agreed to continue the story. One chapter was never going to be enough!
However, this one is quite the mystery. Criminals, witnesses, conspiracies and doubts all abound. It already has readers questioning motives, pondering and analysing behaviour. It’s going to be great fun to read along. If you’re a WiP-hoor, hit that button now and follow. If you’re committed to complete fics, you’re going to have to be patient and watch the rest of us gasp with every update. In the meantime, catch up with her other fics, you won’t be disappointed.
Summary: Isabella has been cooperating with the DEA under her father’s nose. A video footage reveals her involvement, her brother murders their father, and she agrees to be a key witness in federal criminal cases against an ex-judge, a congressman, and an array of criminals, including her brother. Rated: M ~ English ~ Suspense/Romance ~ Edward/Bella ~ Work in Progress
There’s no getting around it, this Edward really does start off as a prize d*ck, he’s selfish, sleeps around and only his Mom can tug at his heart strings…but he is funny! Arrogant, ruthlessly honest, without filter and in posession of bad-boy charm!
It only takes a couple of chapters before we see his world flip on it’s axis, when the ghost of one-night-stands past pops up with a car seat carrying his daughter and relinquishing her rights as her mother.
While his family is happy to support and help, they really do step back and encourage Edward to take responsibility for Sofia, his Little One.
Written with such charm, Edward retains his character-even if he does try to temper his language!-and makes me giggle with his frustration and joy as he embraces fatherhood.
Luckily, his new neighbour Bella, is often on hand to guide him through some minor disasters and bumbling attempts to do the right thing. The relationship with Bella is sweet and refreshing as she watches the guy who had countless women trouping out of his apartment transform to a doting daddy. She gets to see beneath the cocky exterior and quickly becomes an integral part of Edward and Sofia’s life.
Fatherhood, Formula, and Other F Words is a tale of growing up, taking responsibility and becoming more. I recognised so many ridiculous situations and the rollercoaster emotions of being a new parent, it made me laugh and made my ovaries explode regularly! Seeing a bad-boy ruled by a toothless grin and a girl next door really does melt my heart!
Anhanninen gets the balance spot on in every way, it’s a heartwarming story and the humour is effortless.
The sequel, A Few More F Words is also complete and the fun continues…if you haven’t read them yet, don’t add them to your TBR list, do yourself a favor and indulge immediately!
Summary: When man-whore, foul-mouthed Edward’s life takes an unexpected turn, he’s left with a baby to raise. With the help of a friendly neighbor, he learns sometimes the unexpected could be the best thing that’s ever happened. Rated: M ~ Romance/Humor ~ Edward & Bella ~ Complete
We’d like to thank the gorgeous Edward’sEternal for joining us again today… and our lovely readers for their recommendations too!
Hope you’ve found a new -or old- treasure to lose yourself in!
Until next time,