Sunday, November 25, 2012

Meet the Poll-What we're reading in TLS this week:

Each week we share with you what we are reading and enjoying. The following made the top of our lists last week. Please help us determine which 5 of these will be featured as fics of the week, next week, by choosing FIVE from the poll on the right!

An American Vampire in Chicago by Just4Ale-rec'd by Penelope Griva
Bella is a business school student when she meets Edward, a PhD student. Is this handsome stranger too good to be true? AU/Vampires/Humans. My vamps are slightly different from SM's.
Rated: Fiction M

Barefoot in Texas by Planetblue-rec'd by Evilnat
I watch her jumping, prancing, her hands empty but taking pictures. Her feet bare on the hot Texas earth. Everything in my life that was planned to a T just whirled away in a ruffled skirt.
Rated: Fiction M

Bronze by Mothlights-rec'd by Rochelle Allison
Edward is a rebellious newborn lashing out at those who try to help him. At his wit's end, Carlisle asks Isabella, the woman who was once his mentor, to take Edward in until his bloodlust cools. ExB Very AU - Rated: Fiction M

Carpe Noctem & Fiat Lux by Queenofgrey-rec'd by Rochelle Allison
Endless midnight brings about a desire for morning, a longing for something more. Dark & light. Push & pull. Crash & burn. When Edward collides with Bella, it's up to them to find the balance, if the night doesn't consume them first. AU. Rated: Fiction M

Daedalus in Exile by EZRocksAngel-rec'd by Rochelle Allison
After leaving Forks, Edward follows a path of weakness and isolation while eventually seeking redemption from the only person who can absolve him. Alternate Universe, B/E
Rated: Fiction M

Darkness Consumes Me by MidnightLove87-rec'd by Cutestkidsmom
With a flick of my wrist I can keep you alive or kill you. But it's always my choice. Remember that! Dexterward ;-) Suspense/Horror Rated: Fiction M

Dead Confederates by GoldenMeadow-rec'd by Evilnat
Sultry, scary, Southern Gothic. A good ol' vamp with bad intentions, Eddie lives large as ever on the down-low, down South. Always under his skin, Bella's just sass in a frosty glass.  AU/M Rated: M

Follow the Sun by MissWinkles-rec'd by Evilnat
Sometimes you have to stop thinking with your head and listen to your heart, follow which way the wind blows and dream with abandon. Because tomorrow is a brand new day, and who knows what it will bring. E/B. Fluffy as fuck, with some sweet salty love. Rated: Fiction M

From Innocence to Experience by Thallium81-rec'd by Rochelle Allison
Bella was perfectly content with life in Forks until she lost her best friend Alice. Now a dark figure lurks in the shadows. Bella suspects that Edward knows more than he is letting on, but how can she solve the mystery if he keeps avoiding her? AU/Canon Rated: Fiction M

In Your Room by LayAtHomeMom-rec'd by Evilnat
After years of bedroom boredom with Missionary Mike, can Bella find the sexual salvation she's seeking in the arms of campus hottie, Edward Cullen? Rated M for Edward's dirty mouth, Bella's inner whore, embarrassing situations and lemons galore. Rated: Fiction M

Isle Esme by Vixen1836-rec'd by Rochelle Allison
For True Edward Fans. A look at the first night on Isle Esme through Edward's eyes. RATED M FOR ELOQUENT, EDWARDIAN LEMONS. CANON. EPOV. Rated: Fiction M

Mud, Sweat & Beers by SparrowNotes24-rec'd by Cutestkidsmom
Boot camp in the freezing winter sounds like hell on earth, but is there anything that would make it bearable? Bring on the sexy soldiers! A little bit of fun. All Human
Rated: Fiction M

No Place Like Home by Tellingmelies-rec'd by Six Dlbfive
Edward is forced to leave his playboy life behind in Chicago and come home to Washington, but will he change his ways or risk losing everything? All human, cannon couples, OOC.
Rated: Fiction M

Shelter by Moirae-rec'd by Missus T
Bella never made it to Forks, never met Edward, never fell in love. As a student at Emerson College, she is passionate, smart, and desperately lonely. Until someone catches the scent of his singer on the air. Rated: Fiction M

To Serve, Honor and Love by MrsEdwardCullenP-rec'd by Six Dlbfive/Nic
Staff Sergeant, Bella Swan, never suspected that in a world half away from her own, while fighting for the right for freedom of others that she'd fall in love with the only person who she could be denied. "We can't do this," I said brokenly. AH. B/E POV. Rated: Fiction M

The Hole Shot by Foreveraddicted-rec'd by Rose Arcadia
Bella Swan still woke up everyday. She went to work. She went out with her boyfriend. She kept breathing. Kept moving. But her heart? It doesn't beat, doesn't feel anything but pain. Anything but that hole that Edward Cullen left there five years ago. Rated: Fiction M

The Life Aquatic by Coldplaywhore-rec'd by Agrutle/Edmazing
Life happens when you least expect it, and puts you on a course that you never planned, into a future you never even imagined that you wanted. This is the story of girl meets boy, meets boy... aka, his son. Rated: Fiction M

The Night We Met by Mamasutra-rec'd by Six Dlbfive
Edward Cullen was a struggling writer who could not find his inspriation until she appeared in the form of girl that brought out the passion in him as well as the words that had so painfully eluded him. Every story has a happy ending and he could have lived his if only he had written the right words. A journey of love lost and love found. Rated: Fiction M

Under the Master's Kilt by Ladyeire3-rec'd by Jenny McGary Leonard
One stumble on the ancient cobblestones of Edinburgh will change Bella's life forever. A drabble prompted by some amazing women...and it all started with the love of a man in a kilt. AH/AU
Rated: Fiction M

We Move Through It: Life by HelliesWorld-rec'd by Rose Arcadia
Edward and Bella are in their 30s, raising a family and moving through 'life'. Enjoying & hating each bump and turn in the journey. It is about the moments in life that can make or break us.
Rated: Fiction M

Saturday, November 24, 2012

TLS Fics of the Week 11/19 - 11/25/2012: The Fab Five are up!


Out of the Mouths of Babes by  Edward's Eternal
Dr. Edward Cullen loves his job, but  lives for his daughter. When her little world explodes he will do anything to  piece it back together. But could the solution also bring him the happiness he  didn't realize he was missing? Rated: Fiction M

Reviewed by: Trina Smith-Patterson AKA Smusic

Out of the Mouths of Babes, is the latest story by Edward’s Eternal who gave us Awaken, Snowbound and Simply Coffee.  It is also a prime example of her brilliance as a Fanfiction author.  Edward’s Eternal has a knack for telling a story, setting a scene and character development.  Each story has original characters, a great nemesis, and always, always overwhelming love for our favorite couple.  This story is no different.

From the very first chapter, you are in love with Edward, your heart is breaking for his daughter and you want to grab the pitchforks to hunt down his “soon-to-be” ex-wife, Tanya.  Tanya is a piece of work.  Although it is true that not all women have maternal instinct, however you would expect that there would be some sort of affection for your own child. We do not get this with Tanya. She reveals herself as a selfish, abhorrent, vindictive…“Skank”, (for want of a better word) right from the beginning:
Tanya was sitting on the couch waiting for me. I felt my stomach clench as I looked between the suitcases and her.
"Going somewhere?" I asked as calmly as I could.
"I'm leaving you, Edward. I'm done." Her voice was cold and angry and her eyes were devoid of any emotion. "Done?" I asked confused. She stood up. "Yes," she snapped. "Done with this farce of a marriage. Done pretending to be a happy little family…” “We're just Emma's parents…She's been your priority since the moment I told you I was pregnant…"I should never have told you I was pregnant. I should have had the abortion and kept it to myself."
I stared in horror at the woman before me. That she could say she wished our daughter didn't exist was appalling. It sounded as if she was actually jealous of her own child. A sudden thought hit me. "You aren't taking my daughter away from me," I informed her, my voice clipped and angry.
She laughed and rolled her eyes. "I have no intention of taking her with me. I don't want her Edward. I never did… "Keep your voice down! You are going to wake her up!" She shook off my arms. "I. Don't. Care…I don't love you. I don't love Emma."
Emma, who must have woken to the sound of her parents arguing, was there to witness this declaration from Tanya. As she cried for her mother, who just walks away without looking back, Edward tries to comfort his daughter. Emma whispers “Mommy”.  That is the last thing Emma says. Two months after Tanya left, Edward decides to move back to his hometown to be closer to family.  Right away, Edward’s Eternal has pulled the reader into this story.

No Edward’s Eternal story would be complete without a blue-eyed Bella who is not your typical canon Bella. In Out of the Mouths of Babes, she is the owner and operator of Busy Bees Daycare, that Emma will attend. So many times, in so many stories, Bella and Edward experience that “love at first site” meeting, however, in this story, it was more “dense at first sight”.  Edward mistakenly confuses Bella as a young, not too bright girl working at the day care.  With this, a very “who’s on first” conversation you may find in an Abbott and Costello movie brings a little comic relief:
B: "Can I help you?
E: "I'm looking for the person in charge. Ms. Swan, I believe."
B: "Yes?"
E: "I would like to speak with her, if she's here."
B: "You are..."
E:  I shook my head. "Edward Cullen. Look, I don't have an appointment but if it's possible I
     would like to see her for a moment if she can spare the time."
     She looked at me briefly, her brow furrowed.
     I stared back at her. Did she not understand me? I wanted to speak to her boss.
     "Could you get her for me, please? I would like to speak with her." I asked again slowly,
      although I could hear a slight impatient tone in my voice. Maybe she was simple?
     She sighed quietly and stepped forward, her hand outstretched.
B:  "You are." She repeated deliberately.
E:  I blinked and looked at her. "I am what?"  I watched her bite her lip, regarding me quietly.
B:  "Let me rephrase that Mr. Cullen. You are speaking to Ms. Swan. That's me. I am Bella Swan."

She later gives us this scene in Bella’s POV, which makes it that much more fun!

After that awkward beginning, Bella quickly turns the situation around and shows what a very strong, loving and beautiful woman she is. Edward and Emma are quickly developing feelings for the “Queen Bee”, and so are we.  She is confident in all aspects of her life except when it comes to her own happiness.  Bella has a very painful past, and does not believe that she is worthy of having someone loving her.  She shelters her heart and does not trust the male attention she receives.  

One night, after taking an impromptu nap in one of Bella’s beanbag chairs (more with that beanbag later), Edward invites Bella to dinner, and she cautiously accepts.  The attraction becomes obvious; however, after a first kiss that takes your breath away, Bella tries to distance herself from Edward.  Much to Edward’s disappointment, they agree to be friends; it’s all that Bella thinks she can offer.

Everything comes down to her past and the pain that she has had to endure since she was 18 years old.  After a few failed relationships, Bella has stopped trying.  Her ex-fiancĂ© made her feel like less than a woman and her subsequent relationship didn’t respect her or her feelings.  Edward however knows that she is someone worth fighting for; finally ready to trust again, she opens up to him, and exposes us to one of the most painful stories you will ever read.  Edward’s reaction and words gives her hope again.  He knew just what to say to let her know that he is "all in" and will give 110% to her:

"I'm falling for you, Bella. What I feel for you is way more than I have ever felt for a friend." "I think I already know what I'd be giving up not having you in my life." "We're not done here, Bella. If I have my way, we're not done by a long shot."

Even with them falling in love, not everything goes smoothly to the HEA. There is an HEA in the end, but there are a few speed bumps along the way. One was being Edward’s inability to find a filter when he is over-worked or overwhelmed.  In chapter 19, there is a major development in Emma’s recovery, but an over-worked, hungry and frustrated Edward never allows Bella to explain.  He lashes out because he thinks she made a major decision for Emma without discussing it with him, and uses his words to hurt her in a way that no one else could.  He realizes what he has done right away, but is it too little too late?  Emma gets very emotional and inconsolable, which makes Edward feel even more like an ass.  This chapter and a few after that come with strong tissue warnings… One reason being, we get to hear Emma’s voice for the first time:
The saddest sigh emitted from her lips as she shook her head again. I felt a small fissure begin to crack in my heart at the unhappy sound.
"Emma?" I whispered. "Show Daddy what you need. Please, Baby girl."
And then it happened. I watched in utter horror as tears gathered in her eyes and began to drip down her chubby cheeks. Immediately, I reached down and lifted her into my arms, rocking her, the shock almost overwhelming. She hadn't shed a tear since the day Tanya walked out. Not once. I cooed softly into her ear, telling her how much I loved her, what a good, brave girl she was, but the words didn't soothe her. Her tiny body shook with the force of her sobs and I could feel my own tears welling up at the sound of her pain. I had no idea what to do, or how to stop this.
I pulled back, looking into her unhappy face. "Tell Daddy, baby. Tell him what you need. Daddy will make it better. I promise."
Little arms circled my neck and I pulled her close. Nothing prepared me for what happened next.
Close to my ear. Raspy, soft and shaking, but I heard it. A whisper.
The softest, tiniest, most painful sound in the world.
Emma spoke.

Cue the tears!  Bella does come running and gives Emma the comfort she needs and Edward finally listens and learns the events of the day.  Bella does forgive him, but not without first letting him know how he hurt her.  He will do it again, but she doesn’t let him get away with it. She tells him to get help, which he does through a brilliant member of the hospital’s Stress Management team.

Emma continues to make progress and talks to almost everyone except Edward.  Though happy for his daughter, this breaks his heart.  Bella finally presses Emma to explain why and what she learns breaks our hearts as well.  I will not give that information here, however, you should read that on you own and I fear it can take away from the story.  Just know that, by this point, you need a whole box of tissues.

Out of the Mouths of Babes makes the reader run the whole gambit of emotions.  There are sad times, hopeful times, happy times, sexy times (makes you want to get a beanbag chair for yourself) and comic relief.  This comes mainly from Jacob Black.  It is very common for authors to write Jake as the bad guy in stories, but here, he delivers some of the funniest scenes:

"I love these hospital benefit dinners. Great food, free booze, lots of pretty ladies to choose from. A chance to replenish my phone list; if you know what I mean. Always a good time for the Jakester," he grinned, waggling his eyebrows.

"Edward. Have you gotten involved with someone at Emma's daycare?”  "Dude, did you make a move on that little Swan chick? Didn't you know?"
Fear gripped me. "Didn't I know what?"
Jake stood and laid a comforting hand on my shoulder. "I hate to tell you this, Edward. But, you need to know so you can stop mooning over someone you can never have." "Edward. Bella Swan is gay."  "She told me so herself."  “…I asked her out. When she said no, I asked her why."

"You asked her why she was saying no? You didn't just accept no for no?"

"Dude… the chicks never say no to me. I mean, have you seen me? I am a great catch. I was curious. And, the little chick told me why. I respect her for that. I didn't bother her anymore."

Later, when realized that Bella and Edward were a couple:

"She's not gay?"
"You're sure?"
"She just said that 'cause she didn't want to go out with me?"
"I don't think that's ever happened to me before. Everyone wants to go out with me. I mean, dude; look at me."

I felt my laughter beginning to bubble up.

He looked me up and down. "No offense dude, but really…she likes you?"
My lips twitched. "She does."
"Huh. Maybe her eyes need to get checked,"

I shrugged, now biting my lip.

"Like I said no offense. It's just…" his voice trailed off.
"None taken," I assured him. "Everyone is attracted to something different, right?"
"Everyone is always attracted to me. That's just the way it is, Edward," he huffed.

I couldn't stop it. I started to laugh. He looked at me as if I was crazy and then shook his head.

"I think the two of you are made for each other. Both of you are a little off."

I clapped him on the back.

"You're right, Jake, we are made for each other. Thanks for noticing."
He rolled his eyes as he walked out of the locker room. "Seriously, Edward. It made so much more sense when she was gay."

There is one final tissue warning at the end of the story. This warning, as with all others is justified. Although it comes from a very sad situation, in my opinion, the outcome is a thing of beauty.  Only a brilliant author such as Edward’s Eternal can bring us beauty from tragedy.  I don’t want to scare you, so I will let you know that, although affected by the sad situation, Edward, Bella and Emma are all fine and get their HEA.  Together:

"You need sleep," she whispered.
"I need you more."
"I'm yours, Edward. All in. Always."

Out of the Mouths of Babes is a very personal story for Edward’s Eternal and she makes it a personal story for her readers as well.  Once you start reading it, I challenge you to put it down.  In one of my reviews, I told Edward’s Eternal that this story would have over 6000 reviews.  I am happy that my prediction was wrong. As of today, it has over 7200 reviews.  It is worthy of all the attention, and Edward’s Eternal is worthy of all the accolades!

Wisp by Cris
Edward wins more than he bargained for  at what was supposed to be a friendly poker game. AH. Rated: Fiction  M

Work of Art by Abstract Way
Brilliant artist Edward is celebrated in the art world, but are trappings  of fame also destroying him? In the lust filled world of art-whores &  predators, feisty Bella knocks him off his pedestal. Will he realize that she  alone has the power to heal him? Rated: Fiction M

Drumsticks and Penalty Kicks by Les16
He still watches her. She still plays the drums. They just do it together.  Drummer Girl and Creeper learn to love, trust, and grow together.  Sequel/Continuation to "Watching Her". AH.  Rated: Fiction M

Branching Inward by LifeInTheSnow
He's a brilliant, sensual, tactile artist with a huge personality and love  for least, he used to be. She's a shrewd historian, content to observe  from a distance...until now. At Newcoven College in Clearwater, OH, no secret is  safe. All Human. Rated: Fiction M

Thursday, November 15, 2012

TLS Staff Fic Pick of the Week- Check out Evilnat's pick this week:

We’re lucky in our fandom that we have so much variety to choose from.  When it was time for me to write my staff pick I think I spent longer trying to decide on what story to feature than anything else.  Up until the last minute I had a short-list of four stories that I wanted to write about and about ten that I could have added to the list.  So, I finally decided to go with something a little different and a lot compelling.  And the fact that it updated while I was trying to decide didn’t hurt.

Beneath This Sky by Bedelia is a sci-fi, supernatural mystery.  Bedelia’s writing is excellent, never quite giving too much away and keeping us engrossed with every word.  It has a dark atmosphere that clouds the story, almost as though there’s a layer of grime over the world that you just want to search through to find all the answers.  I can’t even describe how it makes me feel, I’m just desperate for Bella to succeed and for things to sort themselves out nicely (especially after that prologue!!).

With her eyes clenched shut, she swallowed the sob that fought to rise in her chest. "I've been such a fool, haven't I? All this time... Did you ever love me at all?"

Reaching out with his free hand, he grabbed her arm and pulled her to a stop in the shadows. "Love you?" he whispered, his head dipping as if he wanted to kiss her. Instead, he slid his fingers under her chin and brushed his thumb over her cheek, where tears should have been. "How can you doubt it?"

"How can I not?"

His lips moved closer—almost near enough to taste—but he jerked back at the last second. Always the portrait of restraint. One of these days she would make him let go. She would drag him into the storm and watch as he spun out of control. Touching his forehead to hers, he spoke the words that had hung over them, unacknowledged, for far too long.

"I destroyed the world for you."

The premise of the story is time travel.  Nineteen years ago there was a freaky storm, called the Surge, which changed the world as we knew it, randomly pulling people through time.  As a result the world has become almost post-apocalyptic.  Storms similar to this Surge are still occurring and there are people from all over time moving around randomly.

There’s a crazy school of belief that people have been deliberately causing these storms and time travelling on purpose, and so a gang, known as Raiders, try to police the situation by hunting down travelers and incarcerating them or even worse executing them.  Raiders seem to be more like a vigilante group than anything and are seen as a threat to pretty much everyone.

All time travelers seem to inevitably get a disease that eventually kills them called Margaret Brown Syndrome.  Bella is part of a secret group who are trying to find out what causes the storms.  She works part-time in a lab, run by vampires, trying to find a cure to Margaret Brown Syndrome with help from her werewolf friend’s blood. Bella’s friend from high school, Jessica, was a victim of a storm, and as such is ten years younger than her, having skipped ahead through time.  She has the disease and her health is deteriorating.

The vampires Bella works with haven’t revealed their secret, yet she is aware of what they are.  Having spent time with werewolves she’s familiar with the world of the supernatural, and she often muses about whether they suspect she knows what they are.  The vampires are trying to track when these storms occur and find out why, and eventually try and stop them.

Not for the first time, Bella wondered if the vampires downstairs suspected her of knowing what they were. Just because Jake wasn't supposed to tell her about them, it didn't mean they would believe he hadn't. Rosalie had to know. She barely bothered to conceal the way she gave away all of their food. Their secret hovered in every room of the old barn, as big as Jake and forever unacknowledged.

Donning her apron, Bella shoved thoughts of illness and supernatural beings from her head. This part of the day was hers alone. While Jessica slept—safe and within easy reach—Bella lost herself in stirring, baking, and sautĂ©ing. She measured peace in tablespoons, meditated through a cloud of flour.

As Bella piled Tupperware care packages for the wolves into the freezer, Jessica whimpered in her sleep. If she continued to get worse, Bella would have to ask Rosalie for help. She couldn't watch her friend fade into a shadow, not when she knew.

Once she made that request, would Jake ever speak to her again?

Finally, there’s Edward, who arrives at the lab with some other vampires at the end of the first chapter.  He’s a mechanic of sorts, who befriends Bella through a mutual love of baking.  There’s a lot left to unfold about their friendship, but it’s there always kinda underneath it all.  They have a lot in common, both being humans who work around vampires, but Bella is guarded, there is a lot of history we’re still learning from her.

Edward's hands told the story of his profession. Years of engine grease had settled into the lines, creating a map of repaired machines. Another story began at his wrists, swirling up to his elbows in bright patches of color. The pictures etched into his skin spoke a language Bella didn't yet know. As his hand hovered in the air between them, her gaze traced his tattoos: a frayed rope, a seashell, a city skyline, a pair of initials, a bird in flight.

It’s a twisty tale, believe me, I’ve found it hard trying to write something without giving too much away.  I haven’t even mentioned how amazing I think the canon themes woven through the storyline are or how much I am dying to get to the parts that are going to lead us to the prologue.

Beneath This Sky by Bedelia will literally keep you thinking.  It is planned out to perfection, never quite giving the whole story and making you crave the next update.  If it weren’t for the Twilight traits it could be a novel all in itself, there is so much to take in and yet always something new to learn.

I promise, if you’re looking for something different you’ll find it in Beneath This Sky.

Nat (evilnat)

PS: if you’re wondering what other stories were on my short-list, come find me and I’ll tell ya! :o)

Welcome To TLS Nursery!

Welcome to TLS Nursery! Here we nurture all of the newborn storiesstories published within the last 30 days or sothat we love! Everything in our nursery has been read and approved by a fewor a lotof the TLS ladies and we think you will enjoy cuddling up to these babies as well.

There are some amazing stories to check out this month! Remember to leave these amazing ladies some love, and let them know TLS sent you.


Barefoot in Texas by planetblue
I watch her jumping, prancing, her hands empty but taking pictures. Her feet bare on the hot Texas earth. Everything in my life that was planned to a T just whirled away in a ruffled skirt. 

These Vacant Bones by struckatthesky
His darkness, the same darkness in me, was right there in his eyes. No one else notices the shadows that make toothy smiles uncomfortable. They only see brightness. Edward's light is as dull as mine, but in worlds like ours, that dimness is the center of our universe. (AH, M, ExB) 

Roar Like a Lion by counselor
1936, Edward and Jasper work as loggers. They work hard and play harder. Bella and Jacob come to the camp to open the school. Problem is the unmarried men have a great time running off the teachers. When Edward sees Bella a roar starts to build inside. She's everything he can't stand. And he's pretty despicable. Trouble. 

The Life Aquatic by coldplaywhore
Life happens when you least expect it, and puts you on a course that you never planned, into a future you never even imagined that you wanted. This is the story of girl meets boy, meets boy... aka, his son. Rated M

Complicated by LyricalKris
High school relationships are always more complicated than they should be. Usually, those complications are made up of the drama that is teenage life. Sometimes... it's really complicated. Edward and Bella were already there before the surprise of their young lives threw them into a life they weren't remotely prepared for.

Harkham's Case by Scarlettplay
AH, OOC. B/E. "If it's not Asperger's, then what is it?" Bella asked. Alice paused before answering, "We don't know what he has. He was the first documented case. For now, he's called Harkham's Case number one." Bella smiled as a tear leaked out. "Okay." But nothing was. This changed everything. Rated M for adult content even though it starts out in high school. 

The Gap by capitalab
Their first encounter is brief, minute, insignificant, forgettable. At least it should be. Edward and Bella live very different lives, but a chance encounter forces them to reexamine everything they thought they wanted.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

TLS Fics of the Week 11/12-11/18/2012

Rise by Rochelle Allison
Bella is a bad boy's girl, living a life she no longer wants. She's trapped, until one of the things that keeps her confined - her bodyguard - becomes the very thing that could set her free.

Review by Melissa Duncan Jones

“Bella is a bad boy's girl, living a life she no longer wants. She's trapped, until one of the things that keeps her confined - her bodyguard - becomes the very thing that could set her free.”

Oooo, with a summary like this, plus knowing it’s by Rochelle Allison, I was intrigued right away. Is Edward the bad boy? Because if so, then yes, please.  I always love a good “bad boy” Edward.  Or, is Edward the bodyguard? Then even more “yes please!”  I mean, who didn’t love Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard? Put Edward in that role, with Ro’s writing, and yowza!  So, my thoughts when this alert hit my inbox? Let’s get started, immediately!

As we quickly discover, our bad boy is not Edward. Alec is, and thank God, because the “bad boy” in this story is not a “bad boy” in the traditional FF sense of the word. You know what I mean, how sometimes Edward is a “bad boy” but still has redeeming qualities -- on top of being hot, of course. Welp, not this “bad boy.” Alec is a complete asshole. He’s a nasty piece of work who deserves everything he gets. He’s lives an unappealing life of crime, he’s a controlling douche, and he hits girls. So yeah, you get the picture.

Anyway, with the epicness of Alec’s assholeishness, how could it be believable that Bella is his girl?  Well, that brings us to one of the many great attributes of this story, and about Ro - - it IS believable, because Ro does not write one-dimensional characters.  She gives us characters who are real, with flaws as well as gifts, and that’s what makes her, and her stories, amongst the “greats” in our fandom.  The same holds true for Alec and Bella - - he may be a “bad boy” now, but wasn’t always.  He and Bella share a long history, and they once were very much in love.  And Ro gives us the depth of that background which hooks us readers, line and sinker.

But enough of Alec.  Let’s get onto the main attraction:  Edward.  Although Edward isn’t Edward here.  Instead, he’s Masen, and he is the bodyguard Alec hires for Bella.  I mentioned Alec lives on the fringe of society, right?  Well, Bella is his girl, so by extension, his nefarious activities put her in danger.  And because of the potential danger, and because Alec is a possessive prick, he all but imprisons Bella in their home, only giving her permission to leave when escorted by said Masen/Edward.  And as you can imagine, with words like ‘imprison,” “asshole Alec” and “once in love,” Bella is one unhappy girl.

But, in true Edward (or here, Masen) fashion, it’s Masen/Edward to the rescue.  Of course, the attraction between Masen/Edward and Bella is immediate, but they neither do, nor can they do, anything about it, in fear for their lives (insert “Alec is a controlling bastard” here).  But, in true Masen/Edward & Bella fashion, and in Ro’s magical and realistic way, the attraction blossoms into a force neither can indefinitely ignore. 

And, because this is Ro we are talking about, the story of these two falling in love is compelling and lovely.  As we get to know Masen/Edward, we find ourselves wondering if he really is what he claims to be, or is there more to him?  If there is more, how much more, and how will “more” that affect the future we are dying for Bella to have with him?  How can they even have a future, with Alec in the picture?  As a reader, you can’t help but hope for the very best, but fear for the worst.
But, this is exactly what is so exciting about Rise - - this fic contains all the things we love about Ro, but it adds a sense of intrigue, fear and danger that is reminiscent of Volition.  We also feel the despair and hopelessness of Bella, and how, through her growing friendship-turned-secret relationship with Masen/Edward, complete with (you know it) smoldering lemons, Bella starts to feel, and eventually live, again.  And this, my dear friends, is exactly what I love about Ro - - her message of hope, the journeys and ultimate happiness of her characters, and how we feel every emotion of her characters along the way- - you feel as if you are actually there, living the drama as it unfolds in print in front of you.  And believe me, you will feel everything in Rise.

If I could sum up this story in one blip from this fic, this is it:  “I'm understanding, also, how hard it was for him to tell me the truth. How dangerous, and maybe how foolish. Love makes fools of us all, though.”  I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all been made fools by love, which is why we all connect to Ro so well.  So if this blip doesn’t grab you, well, there just isn’t any hope for you and you need to leave, immediately.

The bottom line?  Rise is a must read.  Absolutely.  Completely.  And while you are at it, you must read everything, and I mean everything, that Ro has ever written.  She’s an amazingly talented writer, but, even more importantly, she’s an amazingly beautiful person.  The first Ro story I read, after months of lurking anonymously in TwiFicLand, was Air.  I was so blown away, I created a profile on FFN simply so I could send her a review (which was, obviously, my first FF review).  And you know what?  She responded back!  I was giddy, because my fangirl-writer-crush communicated with me!  And she was so humble, gracious and genuinely thankful.  And as I gradually get to know her more, my suspicions that she is the “real deal” have been confirmed.   In one word, Ro is . . . fantastic.

Anyone who has had the pleasure of coming into contact with Ro knows exactly what I mean.  And for those of you who haven’t, well, I suggest you remedy that immediately.  She’s Rochelle Allison on Facebook and @roglows on Twitter, and she’s (in her own words) really chatty.  Get on that, because she will enrich your life.   Indeed, both her fellow writers, and her fans, are all in agreement about how beloved she is:

YellowGlue:  “I love glowbaby.  She's open and honest, and has been such a good friend to me. She's one of my favorite people in the fandom.  She's a dearheart and a friend.”

Counselor:  Rochelle understands the man/woman thing so well. Her heroes are always warrior types who know how to love. Her heroines are feminine but with distinctive identity. She has an authority in her scenes in her ability to put you there and keep you there. You're never jarred out due to faulty research or something that doesn't ring true. In addition to being one of the great talents in the fanfiction world, she is a generous soul. She is an amazing encourager to those tip-toeing into the writing scene in this world of ours. That same generosity anchors her writing. The really amazing writers with the indefinable something manage to put their own substance in what they write, in such a way the reader recognizes their willingness to be vulnerable and their honesty. The readers can relate to writing like that and Rochelle delivers on all layers.”

TheFicChick:  “I think she’s brilliant. I spent quite a bit of time lurking in the "Twilight" fanfiction world before I threw my hat into the ring, and one of the first stories I remember reading and being really struck by was Rochelle Allison's "Curtains." Her language drew me in first and her story was close behind, sucking me in entirely with its complex yet so humanly simple and honest plot. "Rise" has been no different, and I am completely in awe of the vivid pictures she is able to paint with just a few words. The line "I'm thawing, and it hurts" absolutely crushed me in the best possible way, as do her stories on the whole. I am in awe of her writing, her talent, and the yarns she weaves.

BelieveItOrNot:  “Rochelle consistently creates such strong, well-rounded characters whose introspection will make you think. They feel very real, like people I could know or have known, and I always continue reading, not only to find out "what happens next," but because I care about the characters and I want to see how they grow. Never heavy-handed or self-indulgent, her prose flows from sentence to sentence so smoothly I often forget I'm reading. On top of being a beautiful writer, she's also a beautiful, kind-hearted, supportive person. She has a ton of positivity inside her that becomes more and more apparent as you get to know her. Sometimes I wonder how she keeps it so positive. Thank you, Ro, for being an active part of this fandom, sharing your stories, and inviting us into your mind.”

NicFFWhisperer:  “Ro is amazing and good and kind and one of the rare gems in this fandom. All her writing is quality, ya know? You just can't go wrong with her. She was one of my first author crushes and I was super stoked when she came to FB and I was able to get to know her. She's genuine and sweet and amazing and I just love her. She ALWAYS has a positive thought, saying, etc to give too. Just a sacred soul and I love that about her.  She leaves the best love [on fics written by others].”

Runtagua:  “Rochelle's work makes you feel like you are in it, like you're a part of it. Her characters are so real, so genuine, that it's easy to imagine that they're your best friends. With Bellas that are never too fussy and whiny, and Edwards that are always so real, just the right amount of swoony and cocky, these never-over-the-top characters grip you and draw you in so fully that you never want the adventure to end.  In real life, Rochelle is genuine and warm, witty and silly, caring and sweet - the kind of person we all aspire to be. ILY, girl. You know this. xx runtagua~”

So Ro:  WE FREAKIN’ LOVE YOU!!!   Thank you for being a part of our lives.  xoxoxoxo

The Weight of Words by georgeygirl
Bella is finishing her undergraduate English degree at U of T. PhD candidate Edward is her new TA. Shakespeare brings them together while a strict anti-fraternizing policy keeps them apart. Recommended for readers who enjoy the Bard, love a romantic Edward and appreciate UST. Rated M for language, literature and lemons.

Finding Sunshine by anhanninen
Surrounded by darkness after a vicious attack almost ended her life, Bella starts over, hoping to find the sunshine she so desperately misses. She finds it when she least expects in a young, carefree doctor. Life isn't a fairytale, though, and to get to where they belong, obstacles have to be climbed and fears have to be faced.

OPERATION:Break the Dawn by Katinki 
An experimental weapon, one of the most lethal chemicals ever created, has been stolen. Its final destination is unknown, but there's no doubt the powerful faction behind the theft is intent on one thing: War. But they didn't count on a fight. A team of Marines, led by Capt. Edward Cullen and accompanied by Spec. Dr. Isabella Swan, isn't about to let the world go up in flames. AH.

When You Least Expect It by Kare831
A broken man hires a broken single mother as his personal chef. As time wears on, she becomes so much more. A tale of what happens when you least expect it.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Meet The Poll 11/ 4-10/ 2012

Here's a list of fics we're reading and loving on this week. Reread your faves, find new loves, or both, and VOTE! Happy reading, folks. 

A Life Less Ordinary by CullensTwiMistress-rec'd by Six Dlbfive
Bella is a single mom not really looking for anything. But once it's sitting right in front of her, will she be able to make her move and realize she deserves it? AH; BxE; BPOV.
Rated: Fiction M

Addicted to You by  Suchasaddeparting-rec'd by Maryann Liberatore
Bella and Edward are in a treacherous love affair. Can they workout their differences or will they tear each other apart? AH! Rated: Fiction M

Black Diamond by Dishie-rec'd by Maryann Liberatore
The black diamond slopes of Lake Tahoe are just what Bella needs to start living her life again after a painful breakup left a hole in her heart that work couldn't fill. Will a handsome and charming skier also prove that her heart is ready for love too? Rated: Fiction M

Branching Inward by LifeInTheSnow-rec'd by Evilnat
He's a brilliant, sensual, tactile artist with a huge personality and love for least, he used to be. She's a shrewd historian, content to observe from a distance...until now. At Newcoven College in Clearwater, OH, no secret is safe. All Human. Rated: Fiction M 

Breaking News by WriteOnTime-rec'd by Marica Pinton
Two network news anchors. One desk. In a race to get the story, love might become the headline - if they don't kill each other first. AU/AH Canon Couples, smart people, particle physics, and tap dancing. Rated: Fiction M

Dear Bella, by  Wytchwmn75-rec'd by Jenny McGary Leonard
After being betrayed by the man she thought she loved, Bella vowed to never let anyone in again. Until she met Edward Cullen. Is he truly the perfect man for her, or will he break her heart beyond repair? BxE,AH/AU,OOC,Rated M Rated: Fiction M

Drumsticks and Penalty Kicks by Les16-rec'd by PrettyKittyff
He still watches her. She still plays the drums. They just do it together. Drummer Girl and Creeper learn to love, trust, and grow together. Sequel/Continuation to "Watching Her". AH.
Rated: Fiction M

It Begins Like This by Iambeagle-rec'd by Nic/Vampshavelaws
A story about long-distance love. It begins with 'Then' and ends with 'Now'.
Rated: Fiction M

My Chiropractor Roomie by ZenOne-rec'd by Nic
Bella's back hurts,can her new roommate Edward the chiropractor help her? Will they behave? Or are they naughty to the bone? Rated: Fiction M 

One Wild Night by Bee1982-rec'd by Nic
At the roll of the dice, Edward wins what he has been dreaming of for the last two years. A night with his mob boss's son's girlfriend, sexy pole dancer Isabella Swan. Just what will happen in one night full of passion and lust? Rated: Fiction M

Out of the Mouths of Babes by Edward's Eternal-rec'd by Agrutle
Dr. Edward Cullen loves his job, but lives for his daughter. When her little world explodes he will do anything to piece it back together. But could the solution also bring him the happiness he didn't realize he was missing? Rated: Fiction M

Politics and Prejudices by Damsell-rec'd by FFaddward CMasen
Bella Swan, speech writer to Senator Cullen is new to politics & D.C. Edward Masen, Chief of Staff to Senator Volturi having grown up surrounded by politics is jaded by it all. Can Bella survive this new world & can Edward overcome his prejudices? AH Rated: Fiction M

Push by xXKiwiCullenXx-rec'd by Evilnat
Inspired by "Push" by Matchbox 20. I remained in my hiding place taking in the older motorcycle, his messy wind blown bronze hair, leather jacket, worn jeans, biker boots and white t-shirt. He was a like a modern day James Dean. Canon/AH/Lang/Lemons Rated: Fiction M 

The Hood by Lawn Girl-rec'd by Edmazing
Bella's crush on quiet Edward Cullen seems to be one sided. But when they start hanging out will things change or does it all stay in The Hood? My entry for the Twi-High Contest - now continued! Rated: Fiction M

This Is Who I Am by PattyRose-rec'd by Six Dlbfive
Edward Cullen, successful business exec/playboy/all around bad boy. Bella Swan, divorced mom/graphic artist/unwilling to trust her heart to the likes of someone like Edward again. Will she give him a chance? Does he even deserve one? AH, AU ExB Rated: Fiction M

To Destroy by Walkingwithgiants-rec'd by Edmazing
In the words of Abe Lincoln, "The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend." Bella works for a man that makes her teeth grind. "My boss is an asshole," she cried.
Rated: Fiction M 

Twelve Months by SassyK-rec'd by Twilover76
Twelve months is nothing when you've spent decades walking the earth, existing, searching; twelve months is everything when your search has come to an end. One year in the life of a gentle soul and the woman who recasts his world. Rated: Fiction M

Undeniable Consumption by DarkAngelEm54-rec'd by Rose Arcadia
Her parents betrayed her, life gave her another chance. Forced into a marriage she did not want, she suffered while he rebelled. She hated him from the moment she laid eyes on him, he fought to keep his emotions in check. Their love is a slow burn, hindered by egos and hurtful words and torturous actions."Hurt me back" he said "Count on it" I replied coldly. Future lemons. OCC/AH
Rated: Fiction M 

Wisp by Cris-rec'd by Nic/Susan Q Susan
Edward wins more than he bargained for at what was supposed to be a friendly poker game. AH. Rated: Fiction M

Work of Art by Abstract Way-rec'd by Evilnat
Brilliant artist Edward is celebrated in the art world, but are trappings of fame also destroying him? In the lust filled world of art-whores & predators, feisty Bella knocks him off his pedestal. Will he realize that she alone has the power to heal him? Rated: Fiction M

Saturday, November 10, 2012

TLS Staff Fic Pick of the Week! Check out which story Lynn is loving on:

Lynn Pepper's Staff Fic Pick of the Week:

Prism by Anna Faze
A father and daughter, bound by blood and torn apart by secrets. There are a hundred versions of the truth, it all depends which way the light shines. AU.

What can I say, I love me some good old fashioned vampire fics and I love my vampires to have a little more darkness to them too.  So when choosing my staff pic of the week, I had one story in mind; Prism by Anna Faze.

This story is told from both Bella and Charlie’s POVs.  In this alternate universe, Charlie and the wolves work as a team to defeat vampires that threaten their small part of the world.   It begins as Bella and her mother are moving back to Forks to be with Charlie after living their entire lives far removed from the Pacific Northwest.  It becomes clear that they had moved away in order to protect Bella from the Swan curse.  I don’t want to spoil it by giving too much away; it really is a story you have to read to appreciate.  The mystery gets revealed piece by piece.

Eventually we meet Edward and just like canon, the call of Bella’s blood is stronger than any other human’s.  He has to acclimate himself to her presence.  It takes him some time to be able to be around her and then finally to touch her.  Their dynamic is very intense.   While this Edward would do anything to protect Bella, he has an edge that makes him sexier than canon.

“"What?" he says. "What is it that you want to know?"
"Everything," I whisper. "I want to know everything about you, all of your secrets, and I want you to know mine."
"Intimacy," he breathes. "You want intimacy. Such a dangerous thing to want from me."
 “"Why me?"
The smile vanishes in a heartbeat and his eyes begin to darken. I don't think he'll answer, but instead of moving away, he moves closer. He crosses the distance between us, his lean frame loose and easy, at odds with the dark expression on his face. He stops just inches away, and I breathe deeply as he leans in to whisper in my ear, closer than he has been since that day in Port Angeles.
"You're a very unlucky girl, Bella. The gods have finally taken pity on me. They've designed you exactly for me," he whispers, his cool breath like a winter chill on my skin. "Everything about you invites me in. I am bewitched and bewildered." He pulls away slightly, far enough that I can see his eyes, gleaming black, hypnotic and wild. "I know how this ends for you, Bella, and still I cannot stay away."”
Edward knows from Alice one thing, that Bella becomes one of them but she isn’t quite ready to leave her family behind.  She must reconcile her very intense feelings for Edward with her desire not to become a monster and yet still find out what exactly her father is hiding from her.  There is more than one mystery and I cannot wait for it all to start coming together.

Anna really does a fantastic job weaving the tale of Charlie in with Bella’s all the while not giving everything away.  I love how we get to hear in Charlie’s own words just how much he loves his family.  We get to know him on a level we never got from Stephanie Meyer.   It evolves at a pace that leaves you begging for more.  The writing flows like poetry with some fantastic imagery as well.

Please go give this story the love it deserves.  I promise you won’t regret it.

XO Lynn Pepper

Thursday, November 8, 2012

TLS Fics of the Week 11/5 - 11/11/2012: The Fab Five are up!

Blood & Glory by Drotuno
The definition of a mercenary is a soldier for hire. His crew are trained fighting machines. Hers are smart PIs. What happens when they need each other to survive? Canon couples. AH/AU. Rated M for lots of reasons, including violence and lemons. Rated: Fiction M

Reviewed by: Jenrar

There are many “—wards” to Edward Cullen: Daddyward, Copward, Vampward, Mobward, Geekward, and Tattward among others... But if you utter the name Mercward around a good number of Twi Fic readers, their hearts will skip a beat, their eyelashes will flutter, and they'll need to change a certain article of clothing. Why? Because to those readers, in which I count myself, Mercward means the Edward from Drotuno's Gravity series. Blood & Glory is fic number one in that series, and it's the story that I fell in love with my first mercenary Edward. He is tough—almost hardened by life—but he is loyal and smart and sexy-as all-hell. And underneath that tough exterior lies a vulnerable man who wants to be loved for something other than what's on the outside. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

Here's the summary: The definition of a mercenary is a soldier for hire. His crew are trained fighting machines. Hers are smart PIs. What happens when they need each other to survive?

That last one is the perfect line to describe not only the story, but the whole Gravity series, as well. Edward has become disenchanted with his life as a former soldier turned mercenary. He's become hard to the point that no one but his team and his father can get close—and even those relationships aren't perfect. But when he meets Bella, she becomes a balm to his soul and helps him realize there is something inside him that is worth getting to know and love. As for Bella, she goes through something so horrendous and so scary that it nearly breaks her. Edward, her rescuer, is the one she turns to and the only one that can help her heal. Of course, their relationship isn't always smooth sailing. They both have tempers and can get under each other's skin like no one's business, but underneath it all, even at the beginning, there's attraction and fire. Take this, one of my favorite scenes:

We threw ourselves into running down each flight, and we both came to a standstill when we heard a door slam above us.

"Why'd you take your earpiece out?" I snapped, looking up the stairs and then back down to her.

"I couldn't hear Marshall telling me about the case, Edward. I'm sorry," she panted from our trek down the first five floors, looking up at me.

"Well, maybe if you weren't flirting with every man in there..." I snapped, knowing that was wrong but pushing her to keep going when we heard another door slam above us. "Just...go!"

"Fuck you, Edward," she snapped, turning the corner. "Make sure you tell Tanya hello from me when you call her."

"I'm not calling her," I said in shock but grimaced when Bella's hand grabbed my wrist, pulling our hands up between us. Tanya's slip of paper was still crushed in my grip.

"I heard Jasper," she snorted, rolling her eyes.

I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't take that look of disgust when I didn't deserve it. I pushed her against the wall, panting above her. "Really? Do you want to go there, Isabella?" I sneered, reaching into the pocket that Liam had so kindly tucked his business card in.

Bella gasped when my hand reached inside of her pocket, and I pulled out the card and held it between our faces.

"He gives me work," she whispered, but it didn't quite sound convincing to me. "He uses Gravity for divorce cases..."

"Try again," I growled low, stepping closer. "You're a single girl now. Jake's gone..."

"No," she groaned, shaking her head. "It's not like that, Edward. Sometimes, a woman has to flirt in the business world. Unlike you, where you'd take a second look at anything that smiles your way."

Bella's eyes were dark with her temper, and it didn't help that I was in her face. Her fists were balled up at her sides.

I held up Tanya's phone number, shredding it into a dozen pieces and letting them flutter to the stairwell floor. "I wasn't going to call her."

"I don't care," Bella growled, trying to push past me, but I held firm. "Do what you want."

What I wanted was to kiss Bella senseless. What I wanted was to run the fuck away from her as quickly as possible. What I wanted was to breathe in that sweet and floral scent that wafted in through my bedroom window at the beach house. There was a pull that I was feeling, and it wasn't deniable any more. I wanted her.

"You think you have me figured out, Bella. You don't," I whispered, stepping even closer to her so that our bodies were flush. "If you're the jealous one, just say it," I purred, leaning even closer so that my nose grazed across her cheek.

Bella's breathing sped up, but she didn't move. "I'm not jealous," she said, but it sounded awfully weak to me.

"Liar," I growled, pulling back to look her in the eyes, but she was staring at the wall behind me. "I'll admit that I've had my needs, and they've been taken care of, but I wasn't going to call Tanya..."

"I so don't fucking care," Bella snapped, but she stood her ground, looking up at me. "What's the matter? Tall, busty, blondes aren't your type, pretty boy?"

"Actually, they aren't," I seethed, slamming my palms against the wall on either side of her head. "You drive me crazy, Bella. Why can't you do what you're told? Why can't you follow the plan?"

"I couldn't hear the lawyer. It wasn't out of malice...and I don't answer to you. No one controls me," she growled, placing her hands against my chest, but I wouldn't budge.

"While I'm responsible for your safety, you do fucking answer to me. Hell, you could use some control," I told her with a voice that sounded husky and needy, and I hated it. "Your buddy Liam is more than willing to try. Loved your ass, he did – stared at it the whole time you walked in front of him."

"I can't help it if they look," she hissed, pushing at me. "Tell me, does it make you feel like a god when you get ogled, Edward? Does it build your ego when you've got Mickey jealous, Makenna staring, and Tanya licking her chops for just a taste of you?"

I closed my eyes and shook my head because I just hadn't seen any of that shit. How had she?

"How does your head fit through the door, GI Joe?" Bella asked, pushing at me, but I wasn't moving.

"Shut up," I barked, shaking my head at her. "You don't know anything..."

"Make me, or let's go, Edward," she challenged, and I was done.

I was done because she was fucking panting and pissed off. She was gorgeous and practically shocking me with her hands on my chest. She was shaking and breathless, and she smelled like fucking heaven – like flowers and sugar and all fucking warm, sexy girl.

My mouth dove for hers, and it was angry and commanding, but as soon as I felt her relax into the kiss, I knew it was all over. I'd thought that pulling her out of that fucking dungeon had ruined me, but actually tasting her was a different level of torture altogether. She slipped her hands up my chest, gripping my hair hard, and I couldn't stop the groan that rumbled through my body.

My own hands, which were completely out of my control, pushed off the wall and grabbed her. One shot to her waist, pulling her hips flush to mine, and the other moved to the base of her neck, turning her head to finally let me slide my tongue in.

A whimper gushed against my cheek out of Bella, and she grasped my hair harder. I found myself leaning into her, pressing her into the wall of that stairwell, completely and stupidly oblivious that we should be getting our asses out of that goddamn building.

I massaged her tongue with mine, knowing I was most likely going to regret this action, but I couldn't stop myself. She was so fucking frustrating and beautiful and wild, and I wanted to tame her, but I was slipping ever-so-much more away from what was right and falling right into what I wanted. And her body fit against mine so perfectly that I was about to lose my mind completely.

The door on the level above us slammed, and we both jumped. I took two quick steps away from her, running a hand through my hair nervously.

"Feel better?" she whispered, diving for the stairs quickly.

"Shut you up, didn't it?" I snarked back, shaking my head to clear it.

"Fuck you, Edward," she spit out, taking the next level down.

"You wish, sweetness," I growled, rolling my eyes.

But one of the things I love most about all of Drotuno's stories, including Blood & Glory, is the way she writes her side characters—not only the other “Cullens,” but her original characters, as well. They are so well-rounded, interesting, and there's always something just different enough from anything else I've ever read that I can't help but fall in love. Take Alice, from Blood & Glory. She's a genius with computers, hyper, and loyal and loving to a fault. Here's the first real introduction to Alice (which I loved) in this story:

With a few touches to the screen, he made a call that was loud and clear on speakerphone. It rang a few times before a mumbling but rather fast-talking girl answered.

"Bells, don't you dare renege on an early weekend, you cow! Mack said you gave us today off," she said quickly, shuffling around on the other end of the line.

"Alice, I'm sorry, but it's not Isabella. This is Carlisle Cullen," he said.

There was a squeak and a loud thump on the other end. "Shit, Mr. Cullen, I'm sorry...hey, this is Bella's phone," she growled. "What the hell?"

"I need your help, Alice," my father said, trying to keep a calm voice. "I was supposed to meet Bella, but all I found was a note to call you..."

"Oh-shit, oh-shit, oh-shit," she chanted, and it sounded like she was running. "Give me a sec. Tell me, Mr. Cullen...was her phone taken apart when you got there?"

"Yes, and her gun," he told her, looking around the room. "And call me Carlisle. I have a feeling we're gonna be talking a lot."

"Fuck, fuck, fuck," she chanted. "If she took apart her phone, then she's wearing the GPS chip I gave her..."

"Thank fuck," I growled, thinking that we may be finding Bella sooner than I'd expected after seeing the room.

"Not so fast," she sighed, typing furiously on the other end. "I have to decrypt it and then take the passwords off of it. You'll have to give me time. I'm not at the office."

"We don't have time," Carlisle growled. "She's been taken, Alice."

"Oh, damn! The first twenty-four to forty-eight hours are critical. I know, I know, I know... Ninety-five percent of kidnappers kill their targets within that time frame," she muttered, but it wasn't like she was talking to us; it was like she was just quoting facts to keep her mind focused. "I need...a few hours. Please."

Alice is just one of the great characters in this story. All of Drotuno's characters are fun in their own ways, from the downright scary and creepy to the sweet and innocent.

I urge you, if you haven't read this series, to start with Blood & Glory and read until you've finished them all. Whether you're a fan of all-human stories or not, this one will grab you from minute one, and by the end, you'll love it just as much as I do. Once you finish Blood & Glory, don't forget to check out the others in the series, as well: Sin & Innocence and Smoke & Mirrors. As Drotuno's friend and beta, I may be biased, but her Gravity series has everything you could want in an all-human fic: drama, angst, fluff, lemons, love, swoony-romance, humor... Please, take a minute and try it out. I promise, you won't be sorry.

– Jenny

Conversations Over Coffee by Cosmogirl7481
Conversations over coffee. Sometimes when you meet "the one," falling is easy – as simple as talking. Effortless. You just have to find the words. AH Rated: Fiction M

Beneath the Undertow by Aftrnoondlight
Dreams past, circumstance and sacrifice... young Edward and Bella bravely smile through the tears on life's complicated path. A short journey of pure and true devotion... of choosing love above all else. EPOV M for Language & Lemons Rated: Fiction M

The Real Life of E A Masen by  Vancouver-Canuck-Girl
Edward Cullen - to most, he's a boring book editor but he's really an elusive romance novelist with an erotic flair. When he's not writing porn, I mean romance, he's just a guy who's married to his high school sweetheart and father of three teens. Rated: M

Que Sera, Sera by Livie79
Isabella's life was nothing more than a series of unfortunate events since the day she was born. For her, monsters are real, love is the fantasy, and fate is a cruel mistress. The future's not ours, to see...what will be, will be. AH ExB Rated: Fiction M