Saturday, February 21, 2015

TLS Special SNEAK PEEK Feature

The Lemonade Stand has spent years bringing you the best the fandom has to offer, and we are very excited to have the chance to offer you MORE. We've watched stories grow and develop from first post through COMPLETE in The Nursery, and now we're sharing previews of the stories that will soon be your new addiction. 

This month, the talented drotuno, author of the incredible Masen Manor, shares a little detail on her upcoming story Man Behind the Mask with us.

Man Behind the Mask

Summary: What you see isn’t always what you get. By all appearances, Masen lives the life of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. He’s living the dream that has turned into a nightmare because his life - and his reputation - is not his own. There must be more to life than tour buses, groupies, paparazzi, and slimy record producers. AH/ExB/Rated M


I want to thank The Lemonade Stand for their support. Always. When I was asked to provide a sneak peek for this story, I laughed, because this new one was completely done for the fun of it.

Rain Must Fall was intense to write, emotional, not to mention I’ve been going through some stressful “real life” changes with my work schedule and moving and all around just…stuff. And while I always say I’m taking a break, this time I was able to really relax into something. I took my time writing it and didn’t even consider posting until I was about halfway through it. 

My pre-reader, Pamela Stephenson (DrivingEdward), has been asking for a Rock Star Edward for as long as I’ve known her. I just never had the plot. When one finally popped into my head, I wasn’t sure it would work, but it does…at least, I hope it does.

It’s no secret that I love rock music – classic rock, metal, 80s hair bands, etc. I’ve used music before in other fics, but this would be the first time that music and lyrics would play a major part. I didn’t want to imitate any particular group or singer, so Edward and his band, Radiant Eclipse, are sort of a combination of a lot of groups, but a little bit of made-up stuff, too.

I also didn’t want to follow what had been written on this topic before – drugs, women, miscommunication, cheating, angst, heartbreak, etc. If you’ve read anything of mine before, you know I have “rules” I follow, and the subjects of rock-n-roll and bands and relationships tend to break those rules, so I needed to find some sort of middle ground. I know there are fantastic Rockerwards out there with deep, sad topics, but in trying to be unique, I think the plot grew out of that – where what you see isn’t always what you get.

Let’s meet Edward – or Masen, as he’s known around the world:

“Thank you, Seattle! Good night!” I cheered into the mic, reaching down to slap the hands of screaming fans on my way toward the side of the stage.

“Awesome as always, baby brother,” Emmett said with a grin, handing me a towel and a bottle of water. “C’mon. We’ll get you backstage.” He led me through the throngs of people, reaching female hands, and busy crewmen as I wiped sweat from my face and chugged the whole bottle of water. “Damn tight after a few months off, yeah?” he asked, holding my dressing-room door open.

“Yeah,” I rasped, pushing by him for more water.

When there was a knock on the door, Emmett went to tend to it as I fell down onto the sofa. Fuck…live shows were the best part of my life. My heart raced, my adrenaline was still pumping, and I felt like I owned the damn world. It had been months since we’d played a live show, and it would be another few months before we picked back up touring. It was off the stage that shit got…messy.

“Hey, babe,” Emmett sang, letting his wife into the room.

She kissed him and then turned to me. “You have an interview,” she stated without much pause, slipping into the role of Radiant Eclipse’s manager with ease. 


“Aro set it up before talking to me about it. She’s just outside.”

Wincing, I shook my head. “Aw, hell… Who is it?”

“Jessica Stanley from Music Mania Magazine.”

“You’ve got to be kidding!”

“Afraid not, brother-in-law,” she sighed wearily. “I tried to reschedule, but it just won’t work.”

“Fuck.” I raked a hand through my hair. “Can’t Jasper do it?”

“I’m sorry, Edward, but I need you to do this. They want Masen. They want the front man.”

I met her gaze when she used my real name, not the stage name. Only those who truly knew me called me Edward, and I never used it in public.

“Apparently, Aro gave her exclusivity to the first interview since you’ve been home. Hell, yes, she’s gonna want details of the last few months. However, I want you to push the album you guys are about to finish recording, not to mention the tour coming up.” Rose sighed again but smirked at me. “She’s a fan, so use that shit. I saw her out there – front row and center. I’d be surprised if her panties are still intact.”

Snorting into a chuckle, I fell back against the sofa, but I checked to make sure that I had everything I needed for this godforsaken interview.

Rubbing my face, I groaned but then mumbled to her to give me a second. “You stickin’ around for this?” I asked when she walked back toward the door.

“Nah, as much as I’d love to see her face when you do this shit, I have to make a few calls, but if you’re good, I’ll send your girls in to save you,” she teased, which made me laugh. She glanced at her watch. “What do you think? Thirty minutes?”

I nodded to her. “Fair enough.”

This Edward is very special to me, simply because he wrote himself. I had intended for him to be a touch different, but when I sat down to actually start typing, he developed into something unlike some of my past Edwards. And in a very good way, I think. As you can see, there’s more to him than meets the eye. He has a few secrets. He has to put on an act for certain things, and it starts to wear on him.

On the other side of this is Bella, and she turned out to be so much fun to write. We get to know her in Chapter 2, but I wanted you to meet her, so here’s a glimpse of their first meeting:

“Bella. Bella Swan. Now…let me get you another beer, and you can tell me why you look like someone kicked your puppy…”

My eyes stayed locked on the gorgeous girl across from me. Girl. The word made me scoff internally, simply because she had to be somewhere near my own age – mid-twenties – so she wasn’t a girl. But she was, indeed, beautiful. It was natural, too. I’d seen so many fake, surgically enhanced women that taking in Bella Swan’s fresh face was like a deep breath of clean sea air. She was smooth skin, a petite, shapely body, dark-brown eyes, and a small smile quirking up on her face as I simply stared at her.

Snorting, I shook my head. “It’s all bullshit,” I muttered, swallowing the last of my beer in three large gulps, only to set the mug down.

“It usually is,” she agreed.

Grinning down at the bar top, I nodded. “Yeah.” I glanced up when my mug was taken gently from my hand and a new full one took its place.

She went back to stocking bottles and clean mugs and followed that up by wiping down the bar. I forced my eyes to stay on the mug in my hands, not the poor girl who was kind enough to save me from the paps. I was just about to thank her again when the TV’s broadcast caught my ear, if only because I heard my name.

“Radiant Eclipse put on a comeback concert tonight in their hometown of Seattle. Front man and songwriter, Masen, who is only two months out of his stint in rehab, led his group in a performance of their chart-topping, critically acclaimed hits.

“Masen, who was arrested for DUI several months ago, took to the stage tonight in his usual wild manner.”

My eyes narrowed on the TV as they showed parts of that night’s show. We sounded tight, though the video was shaky and most likely someone’s damn phone. They switched from Radiant Eclipse onstage to what looked like the photos that Laurent had snapped in my dressing room with Jessica. The prop bottle of whiskey was in my hand, and I was shirtless and working the poor journalist.

“It seems nothing changes about Masen…”

I’d almost forgotten about Bella, but her cleaning had stopped and suddenly the TV’s sound clicked off, leaving my idiotic face in various places up on the screen in silence. Grimacing, I forced myself to meet her gaze, expecting disgust but only seeing curiosity and maybe a little pity.

“Fun, huh?” I asked before drinking from my beer again.

“If I judged everyone who had problems, I wouldn’t have a business,” she said softly, but it was the sweet blush on her face that made me chuckle.

“Very true, Bella.” I took another drink but glanced at the TV, where they were still talking about me. I saw Heidi and the asshole she was seeing now. I’d had suspicions that she was fucking around with her costar, but seeing it was not as upsetting as I thought it would be, or maybe I felt validated. “And if I believed everything everyone said about me, I’d either be the second coming of Christ…or the Devil himself.”

The sweetest giggle met my ears, and I grinned her way, shrugging a shoulder. Sweet God, she was stunning when she smiled. It took over her whole face and caused the most adorable scrunch in the middle of her nose. Suddenly, I just needed her to know something.

“Not everything you see is…the truth,” I sighed, waving a dismissive hand toward the infernal TV.

Bella studied my face, draping a white towel over her shoulder. She took the remote and turned the television off. “Well, if you want to talk about it…” She smiled so sweetly. “They say your bartender is better than a therapist.”

Laughing, I shook my head. “My therapist was bought and paid for by people that simply needed me out of rehab in order to continue my job. I’m a fucking dancing monkey.”

“I doubt that,” she countered, leaning a hip on the other side of the bar. “The dancing monkey part, anyway. However, I’m only the cost of a few beers, for which you are paying this time.” She stepped around the bar, and my eyes followed her as she flipped off the “OPEN” sign and clicked the lock on the front door. “Now you can’t be interrupted.”

These two make me smile – and for completely different reasons. I hope everyone else enjoys them, too. The story will go live tomorrow – Sunday, the 22nd – and will probably follow my usual twice-a-week posting schedule.


Don't forget to pop drotuno on alert so you don't miss out!

♥ Kim 

Monday, February 16, 2015

What we're reading in TLS this week:

Happy Monday everyone! We have had a recent boom in fic writing which makes us at TLS very happy. With the end of the May to December Romance Contest, we hope that trend continues. We have brought you some new recs to check out and we've had a few discussions about some older fics that stole our hearts as well. We've included those for your reading enjoyment. Take a peek and let us know what you loved. Be sure to tell the writer where you saw them recommended. Enjoy!

♥ Nic & Six

Angel Wings by MsSailorman-rec'd by Midnight Cougar
"'Jesus, Bella' Alice shouted at me. I blinked repeatedly. I couldn't help myself. He'd been leaning over the dishwasher to put his coffee mug away and my eyes just . . . slipped. It wasn't my fault. His ass was just so . . . so . . . perfect. Round, taut, wrapped in denim. Yummy." Bella is infatuated with her best friend's father and his extraordinary rear. Rated M

Artful Maneuvers by Planetblue-rec'd by Nic
I needed to figure out who Edward Cullen was before he figured out me. Rated M

Break Statement by Winterhorses-rec'd by MariahajilE
Hunger, food, guilt, failure, hunger, binge, purge. Repeat. A routine that becomes a life that becomes an infinite loop with no imaginable end, with no way to break free. Except one. It's a foregone conclusion for her, a matter of time, a question of when. She's ready for it to be now. A green-eyed stranger is the only thing that stands between her and the escape she longs for. Rated M

Break the Skin by Ta Paixao-rec'd by Midnight Cougar
Returning to Washington from a deployment, Sgt. Edward Cullen isn't ready to go home to face his family and estranged fiancé. Instead, he crashes with Sgt. Jacob Black and his childhood best friend, Bella. He knew this was a bad idea. Rated M

Burn by Compass54-rec'd by Layathomemom
"I'm going up to see that bastard right now and ask him if he feels good about what he's done! I might even punch him for the hell of it!" Uh oh, and now their offices are going to be right next to each other! She wants nothing to do with him. He thinks she's wonderful. Danger and mystery will bring these two together so their love can ignite. Rated M

Casual Observer of a Secret Admirer by shouldbecleaning-rec'd by Midnight Cougar
Isabella Swan thought she was invisible at school. At least she had been since the accident with Tyler's van. But now someone is leaving notes in her locker, signed Your Secret Admirer. Rated M

Elemental by TallulahBelle-rec'd by Maplestyle
When the Swans return to their birthplace, Bella learns she is no ordinary teenager, and Forks is no ordinary town. Can she fulfill her destiny with the powerful Edward Cullen, or will the dark forces that threaten their families destroy them all? Rated M

Fly Away Home by LyricalKris-rec'd by Cappricorn75
Because her own life was so devoid of it, Bella always wanted to protect sweetness and innocence in other people. Maybe that was what drew her to Edward, a strange, socially awkward, but very sweet man. She couldn't know the secret he held-that he wasn't what he seemed, and she was the one being protected. Rated M

Masen Boys by Jdifrans1-rec'd by Nic
Is there anything better than watching three hot guys building a block foundation? Bella and Rose don't think so - that is until drinks after work lead them to meet the Masens face to face. Rated M

Private Intentions by Greye Granger-rec'd by Nic
When PI Bella Swan is hired by Mrs. Tanya Cullen to investigate her husband, Bella quickly learns that maybe she is investigating the wrong person. Maybe her husband has been running from something or someone...will Bella find out what lies beneath the twisted and terrifying past of Edward Cullen? Rated M

Somewhere Between Nothing and Everything by Myotherlife-rec'd by Nic
Federal prosecutor Bella Swan is already standing on the precipice of a dark abyss when her world is thrown into madness. Struggling for a lifeline, the reemergence of a man she vowed never to trust again will change everything. Life and death. Love and hate. In the middle of obscurity, what is the cost of redemption? Rated M

The Imprint by Kat097-rec'd by Edmazing
In a world where imprinting is the norm and to think of resisting it is to face social disgrace, Bella Swan finds herself facing the dilemma of whether she should follow her instincts or her beliefs. Rated M

This Girl's Life by Staceleo-rec'd by Nic
Flannels, candy necklaces, Nirvana and a desire for independence for a girl on the cusp of adulthood. He was the mystery that drew her in and the possibility of happiness or sorrow depending on his whims. Inspired by My So-Called Life. Rated M

We Were Here by lola-pops -rec'd by EveryFreakingBody!!!
Upon waking, there's a brief, blissful period in which you don't yet recall the sins of the night before, but eventually, you have to open your eyes. I'm Bella Swan, seventeen years old, cheerleader. This morning I woke up in the wrong bed. Rated M

You Came Too Early by Elliania-rec'd by EveryFreakingBody!!
Edward and Bella married too young and for all the wrong reasons, so no one acted surprised when their marriage crumbled down. Two kids and five years later, events force them to live under the same roof for a while. Will they realize what they lost? Rated M

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Love Letters

Inhale love. Exhale gratitude.

TLS would like to thank all of the participating authors for the beautiful love letters. We appreciate you sharing your heartfelt words to brighten the days of others and are thankful for your help spreading the love.

From our hearts to yours - Happy Valentine's Day, Twific Fandom.

Dearest Counselor,

This is both a love letter and a heartfelt note of apology. I like to fancy myself both your best and probably your worst fan.

Ask me what I am reading at any given moment and in the top two will be, “Whatever story Counselor is writing right now.” Ask me my favorite fanfiction author and the answer is Counselor. Ask me which authors make it into my top five favorites of all time, and I will answer you, truthfully, “Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Harper Lee, Counselor, and Leif Enger.”

I am known for showing up in the Facebook group for your fics and making long, rambling comments on the raw honesty of your prose, the mirror you hold up to both our strongest and our lowest selves in the characters you write, and generally lamenting the fact that I cannot hope to compare, ever, though I am so happy to get every update despite the feelings of inadequacy and awe they usually inspire.

I am, however, a terrible reviewer. I’m trying to do better about giving you well-deserved feedback. I know that the thousands of reviews you receive are a treasure to you because you often say so, and somewhat like my grandmother, I do not think you would ever lie to me, or to any of your other readers. I tend to forget you have other readers, though. I feel like you write just for me. This is a mark of the best, I think, this ability to make us forget that a story is between anyone but ourselves and the pages that hold it.

That’s where this whole love letter gets a bit awkward and perhaps a bit fan club-idol scary. I can count the times we have interacted via the interwebs on one hand. You, like the effortlessly wonderful Ms. Lee, like to keep your private self, well, private. I respect that. I can’t help, as I read your stories of love and hope and heartache and redemption and flawed, beautiful humanity, wanting to really know you. I wish I could invite you out to my house in the hills of Tennessee and offer you some iced tea and a slice of hummingbird cake so that I might sit at your knee and soak up some of that ability you have to see so much. You must notice everything. From the shoelaces of a girl in the ’60s to the heartache of loving a man who may father someone else’s children, to the way an old man’s story was once a young man’s life, you notice, and like a machine, you somehow churn this out to us in wisdom and sex and blood and words.

I think, as usual, you said it best:

This was my home. And all of those who had met inside of me, laying down their stories, laying down their brokenness and their love, they were the thunder in my heart. And now…in this life…for my time on this earth…I was theirs.

Wherever you may make your mark, whatever may come, I see you as mine, Counselor, as do so many in this fandom that are blessed by your words. You’re our thunder, and we’re so lucky to “know” you this way.

Thank you.


Dear IngenueFic aka WritingFicariously,

I remember the first time we met like it was yesterday. We spent hours traveling through the perilous desert while smashed into the backseat of a Ford Focus. When you started talking about Twific, I knew we were meant to be. I was new to the fandom then and didn’t know anyone, let alone an author! You immediately skyrocketed to the top of the list of cool people I knew.

Back in real life we were separated by over 1,000 miles, but the distance between us was no match for GChat.

We spent hours when we should have been working talking about the more important things in life, such as fic and Rob and the upcoming Twilight movies and lots of other srsbsns things. Then one day you asked me to pre-read one of your chapters. One became two, and then two became an entire story, and ZOMG I was so excited that you wanted my input. Little old me! I was over the moon.

When I posted my first story, you were there for me as well. You taught me so much about writing when I really didn’t know anything at all. Sometimes I dreaded sending stuff to you because I knew it was awful (and other times I thought it was good when it wasn’t), but you always gave me great advice and helped me be the best writer I could be. It’s been years since you’ve been my beta, but I can still hear your voice in my head.

Sometimes when I’m stuck I ask myself, what would Mary tell me to do? And I’m sure half the time you wouldn’t tell me to do it, but that is totally not the point. The point is you are always on my mind when I write. In a non-creepy way. Anyway, I digress.

Your writing has always inspired me. Whether you wrote something fluffy or angsty or sexy, I hung on your every word. That’s the kind of author I aspire to be. At times I think I got my evil streak from you, because you wrote Watch Me Burn and even though I’ve begged for a futuretake YOU WON’T FIX IT. WHY WON’T YOU FIX IT? WHY MUST YOU HURT ME SO? I remember what we talked about in California last fall *nudge nudge wink wink* and I want you to know that whether you write more fic or something original, I cannot wait to read it. So get on that.

Because I miss your words.

Thank you for being an inspiration, and most importantly, thank you for being my friend. Okay that’s enough sappy crap. I’m gonna go shower it away; you go write me something.

Your luffer,
ooza aka Jibs

Dear Planetblue,

Like a true fan, I knew of you before I knew you.  When pictures of moustaches that I (thankfully) hadn’t seen since my disco-and-amber-tint-glasses-filled childhood began to pop up on Facebook, I wondered who this Planetblue chick was and what the hell she was thinking giving the perfect and beautiful Edward Cullen such hideous facial hair.  So I opened up chapter one of Deviant.  And then I got it.  Manchu forever, baby!

Time and again, you weave brilliant, descriptive, enticing stories.  A talent, a gift, whatever name you call it by, you have it:  The ability to pull readers along on the ride your characters take, whether it’s in a stolen car or a purple camper or a Bugatti.  We loved the art “thief”, the eyeliner-wearing/weapon-brandishing teenager, and the good guy struggling to find himself underneath his parents’ expectations.  We lusted after your Angel of Death and wanted a happy ending to what might have been an unhappy tale…  and you delivered it.

Your Bellas are no less fascinating and varied – smart, sly, kinda damaged, free-spirited.  They are the best of us, and sometimes the worst of us, but every time written with an appreciation of who they are.  It’s that appreciation that endears them to us, and, of course, to Edward.  In this fandom, Bellas are often tolerated more than liked.  But yours, my friend, are worthy of every bit of love thrown their way.  Whether we want to be them, meet them, hang out with them or protect them, we love them.

Creating a story isn’t easy.  It can be maddening to painstakingly make sure every scene and every relationship is built the way you want.  Crafting a great, layered story and plotting it out so that it unfolds seamlessly from beginning to end is even tougher.  And yet you do it in a way that feels effortless to the reader.  The personalities of your characters stay true throughout, but they learn and grow from what they experience, just like real people.  It’s a joy to read them in every incarnation.  Each one has a different voice, a vernacular of his or her own.  Not every writer is capable of that.  So take a bow, pat yourself on the back – or better yet, raise a glass of something good to yourself.

And, by the way, you totally nail the guy’s point of view.  Every.  Fucking.  Time.

While I love your stories and adore your storytelling, the main reason for this love letter is the 3-D you.  I was fairly intimidated by the thought of meeting so many people in Nashville.  I practically clung to Six’s leg as we walked into the restaurant to meet your group that first night last summer.  But, immediately, you (and CarrieZM and Layathomemom, who each deserve their own love letter!), were friendly and welcoming and fun.  Sitting in that big, square booth eating, drinking and trying to shout over the music was the perfect introduction to the weekend, and I had a legit girl crush (on all three of you) in no time.

Aside from your obvious talent, one of the things I love most about you is the way you encourage and support others.  In a fandom where it’s sometimes every woman for herself, you are open, thoughtful, and gracious.  You recognize that this place is big enough for everyone, and you celebrate other writers instead of feeling threatened by them.  You appreciate your readers, and have absolute devotion to your friends.  It’s easy to understand why so many people love you:  dimples and Squiggy.  Kidding, kidding.  It’s the good heart, the quick wit, the no-nonsense delivery, the perspective you have on the world and your willingness to share it.  You’ve made me think – and think differently. 

So, whether you’re posting stories or pictures of Squiggy or pictures of hunky men, I’m in for the long haul.  Happy Valentine’s Day. 

With much love,
jayhawkbb ~ xo

Dear Tricycle of Awesomeness,

When I started reading fanfic, I had no idea that it would change my entire life. Not only did it inspire me to write but it connected me to people I would never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. The Trike is and always will be my favorite collaboration ever.

It’s not easy to write. The more I do it, the more I realize this is true. Know what’s even harder than writing? Writing with someone else.

Know what’s harder than writing with someone else? Writing with more than one someone elses.

Know what’s easy? Writing with you two. You both have such amazing gifts of wit and creativity. Your styles are so different but your hearts are the same. The heart is where you both write from and it’s so clear when I read your words that you leave a piece of yourselves on that page. Must be why I love your words so much.

There is a Light by Belladonnacullen will be my favorite fic of forever. Getting to melt my characters with those characters was one of the best experiencing in my writing career. I still imagine Alec and Little One making a life together somewhere in the world! Not only does your writing inspire me, your friendship makes me smile. I love your sense of humor and your level headedness. I admire your compassion and your quiet strength.

Then there is FictionFreak95 aka JoFicFreak aka JR Richardson aka just Jo. I can’t put into words what it was like when the author of The Dick popped up in my Facebook group and started gushing about my story. You wrote Edward Cullen, Dick for Hire. Are you even aware of what a big deal you are?

Of course not because that’s what I love about you, Jo. You are the most down-to-earth, humble, amazing, hilarious, soft-hearted, dirty-talking, incredible human I have the pleasure to call friend. I am in awe of everything you do. You are so brave even though I know you would try to argue with me about that. Brave doesn’t mean fearless, it means you’re willing to take a risk in the face of fear and you have done that time and time again. One book on my shelf with your name on the cover and one soon-to-be right next to it proves it is true.

Jo and Marie, thank you for letting me be your third wheel. Thank you for all the laughter and some of the tears. Thank you for being in my life and being my Trike.

Troublefollows/Amy :)

Dear Windy (Windchymes),

            Where to even start? I've known of your writing since 2009, when I discovered Blood Lines. It was my very first AU fic and I still remember the enormity of my fascination with the story you'd created. I was obviously already in love with the character of Edward Cullen, but you cemented something for me with that story. You painted a richer, deeper character. And you continue to do so with each new story you post. All of your Edwards remain, for me, more 'human' than any AH I've read since. And Your Bella. Ah, your Bellas. Her canon character lacked a strength and wisdom that always kind of bugged me, but you always fill in those holes for me. Your Isabella always has just a little bit more umph. Reading your work is like turning off the world for a short while. You never resort to gratuitous drama or extreme plot devices. I'm held by the hand and guided from chapter to chapter by the thoughtfulness of your tone and the emotions you conjure. I feel a genuine pulse of emotion beneath your words. You care for the characters, and that endears them to the reader far more efficiently than the actual words ever could.

In short, I would read your adaptation of the McDonald's menu. Please never stop creating.

As if that wasn't enough already, you've been a wonderful friend to me. Always thoughtful, kind, and humble to all the (probably) creepy fangirling I tend to hurl your way. I wish you so much success and happiness in all that you do. Now, I know you're going to get all shy and modest about this letter, but that's okay. There's not enough of that in the world. Take it anyway, woman. You're amazing.

All of my love, admiration, appreciation, and sincere gratitude for what you've brought to my life,


Dear yellowglue (aka littlegreyache) (aka Sarah Elizabeth), beautiful dreamer, sunshine swirl, empress of the sacred and profane,


is not

a love letter.


are a love letter.

Let (v) : to free from or as if from confinement; to allow or permit to enter, pass, or leave.

You let love come through you like a prism does sunlight, turning it into a spectrum of luscious color so pure, and vivid, and heart-pounding, eye-watering beautiful, we can't help but try to run our fingers through it.

It feels effortless to readers, but I can assure you, anyone who writes understands that it is not.

For some, writing is just a matter of fantasizing on paper. But that couldn't be farther from the way you work. The voices you write choose you. You see where they walk, hear what they think. You feel everything they go through, and this is why your stories go miles beyond basic literature, embracing us in a deeply engrossing experience rather than a casual pastime. Loading even simple moments with rich details and subtle associations calls all of ourselves into reading it, much the same way that you put all of yourself into creating it. To skim a yellowglue story is to sprint through the Louvre.

This is not a love letter. Because the skillful way you use music throughout your writing inspires and illuminates in such a way, anything written about you could be nothing less than a love song.

Including lyrics in your titles and chapter names, in dialogue and as backdrop, you invite readers to become part of the moment. The songs you plant within us linger like a powder burn, and while they offer a private place to feel closer to characters we've loved, they also arm a trip wire for emotion. When readers are in their car and Jar of Hearts or Cruel and Beautiful World begin to play, it's nearly impossible not to think of Trouble and Bliss. When Tulips by Bloc Party shuffles on, we're dancing in that dark club next to Ballerina Girl and her guardian. With careful and intuitive use of music, the soul that you put into your words crawls off the page, down our arms to our thumbs, slipping into mp3 players and phones and climbing along twisted wires into our ears, anchoring your visions of love in the deep places of our hearts that only sounds can find.

This is not a love letter, and you are not a writer.

You are an artist whose medium is words, and love, and the sea and the sky and the wild untouched darkness inside each one of us. Your medium is starlight, and bitter shadow, and every shade of red a beating heart can hold. Your medium is finding the exquisite in the everyday, tracing its fragile edges with your soft, careful little fingertips, and finding ways to write down all of the colors of the natural magic that is the exchange of love.

For all their power, words feel short when I attempt to write my thankfulness for all you've given us. From the radiant intensity of first love's affection, to the blinding urgency of mortal terror, the cold valley of loneliness and the heady thrill of losing yourself, you've walked through it, shared it all with us in lyrical cadence, and kept giving us more.

Thank you for smooshes, twirls, beeps and squeeps, nicknames that we carry between our lungs, and music that we carry inside of them. Thank you for contagious exuberance, insupressible honesty, tumblr-bombs, bon-matins, and being irreplaceable you, every day. Thank you last but not least for all the kind guidance and feedback you've given to so many writers in this fandom, myself included. Making time to offer thoughtful help and encouragement to others proves that you don't just write love.

You live it.

And I want to live it with you.

You're still the song I can't stop singing.

I love you so truly, so deeply, and so forever, my little punk rock pixie.



Dear WriteOnTime,

I do love no [fic-writer] in the world so well as you – is that not strange?

Six years ago, I was spinning my wheels in that “I’ve-read-all-of-the-books-but-there-has-to-be-more” rut that seems to lead so many into this wonderfully chaotic fanfiction bubble. And, as so many did before me, I found my way to the fic-world and, mercifully, very early on, to your wonderful words. It’s a shame, in some ways, that I found your magic as early as I did, because few stories since have intrigued my mind and gripped my heart the ways yours (particularly “Breaking News”) did.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read “Breaking News” and “The Port Angeles Players” – the tally rivals the number of times I’ve read my favorite books, watched my favorite movies. I’ve tried, in every reread since the first, to put my finger on the true magic of your stories, and even now, years after the first time, I’m still in awe.

You write smart Edwards and, even more importantly, smart Bellas. Your Bellas, to quote – well, you – are “tart, and pithy, and sexy as fuck.” No lip-biting, self-doubting, oh-just-grow-a-spine-already protagonists here. Your Bellas are girls I’d want to be friends with – funky, original, savvy. Your Edwards, meanwhile, are sexy without being caricatures, commanding without being domineering, and – the sexiest thing of all – respectful of and dare I say awestruck by the intelligence of your Bellas. And that, when we get down to it, is the most wonderful thing about your stories: the intelligence. Of the plots, of the language, of the dialogue, of the characters. The banter is the best kind of intellectual foreplay; the smarts of your story are the sexy, so much so that the actual sexy? It’s gravy. The parry-and-thrust of your dialogue is pitch perfect, the subtlety of character revelations the most seamless kind of brushstrokes.

“Breaking News” is what I come back to when I need to read something real. Something that makes me feel, makes me think. Something that titillates my cerebral juices while also appealing to that sappy side that fell in love with Twilight to begin with. If I amassed a pile of my favorite pieces of artwork – books, songs, movies, paintings, plays – this work of fanfiction would be damn near the top of that heaping pile.

And outside your writing? You’re a class act. A smart cookie. YOU are tart, pithy, and talented as fuck, and the wonderful words you’ve put out there make the world a smarter, sexier, more wonderful place to be.

My love for your particular brand of genius knows no bounds.

 Dearest TKegl,

There’s fan fiction.  And then there’s FAN FICTION.  Stories that overlapped or intertwined with the originals and made them something new.  Stories that reinvent and reinterpret, becoming as beloved as the work that inspired it.

Careful weavings from the same colorful strands that composed the stories that made us hunger for more. Those threads are twisted and rewoven, making the tapestry brilliant in a new way.

That’s the kind of fan fiction you wrote.

Your work was my first encounter with exceptional fan fiction.  I found you by accident, before I knew about the fandom and the fansites.  I was hunting through mediocre to adequate stories, searching for more, more, more Twilight.  But I still wanted GOOD Twilight.

In my search I encountered a variety of fun stories that took Twilight to an expanded level.  But it was you who took it deeper.  You showed me what fan fiction could be.

You showed me that it could be anything.  And it could be better than the original.  It could right wrongs, heal wounds, answer prayers, light the darkness, give closure, and open doors.  It could take a world we all wanted to spend more time in and make it a universe. It could reinvent and redefine and reshape canon.  It could be wacky or silly or sexy, but always comforting.

It could be original.

You were fresh and new with every story you shared.

I love how you care for your readers and the source material.  I appreciate your meticulous research and your respect for the story and the characters in it.  You're deliberate about your craft.

You’re not only a beautiful writer and talented artist, you’re also a caring participant in the fandom, and a generous spirit.

You give of your talent in so many ways.  With words and graphics and participation in fandom contests and events.  You’re a presence here.  A great one. With a great smile.

Your leap into original fiction was graceful and your work continues to make me say, “Just one more chapter and then I’ll go to sleep.”  The More trilogy, YA novels and short stories demonstrate your ability to tell great stories in multiple genres, in various ways.

I don’t know you that well.  I just know that I’m grateful to have found your stories, that they opened the door to a world of exceptional fic I didn’t know what out there.  I remember many times reading your work into the wee hours, staring at my phone and thinking, “Wow.  What talent.  What heart. What a great story.”

What an author.

Thank you!


What an incredible outpouring of love we’ve seen this past week! We are blessed to have so many talented writers in this fandom, and each and every one deserves a love letter. So to all writers not singled out, we want to remind you how much you are loved and appreciated. Thank you for being courageous enough to share your words. Your memorable characters and unforgettable story lines leave a mark on us long after you hit complete. We put you on alert, we favorite you, announce your updates, share passages, and flail. You make us think and wonder where you will take us next. Even if you haven’t been around in a while, please don’t doubt; we miss you. We long for more. It doesn’t matter if you have a few hundred reviews or if you have thousands, YOU still play an integral part of keeping this fandom alive. After reading all the wonderful love letters and swooning over entries in the May to December Romance contest, we’d say there’s a pretty strong pulse at the moment!

Anyway, we just wanted to make sure you feel the love we have for you. Again, thank you and Happy Valentine’s Day!

TLS admins

Friday, February 13, 2015

Love Letters

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, love is in the air here at The Lemonade Stand. So we asked a group of authors to choose an author they love – someone who moves them, be it through their words or uplifting presence in our fandom – and write them a love letter. Due to the overwhelming positive response, we will be posting these daily, from now until Valentine's Day! 


Tropic of Virgo was one of the earliest loves I found in the world of Twilight fanfiction. I discovered it as a work-in-progress, counted the minutes and days between updates, and knew that it would always hold a special place in my heart. Throughout the years, my love for your story has lived on and even grown. This tale is a perfect reminder of how vexing and daunting those teenage years can be. Put simply, high school is hell. What I love most about ToV is the way the characters are sometimes their own worst enemies. That’s how it is. Mean girls and cliques are awful, yes. But self-doubt and the struggle to really find one’s self are universal rites of passage during the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

Edward is, by all accounts, king of the school, but we’re given an inside peek at his insecurity when it comes to the new girl, Bella. She has his heart long before either of them realizes it, and watching him come to terms with that is one of my favorite pieces of the story. Once he figures it out, he’s lost, and that’s putting it mildly. He’s as awkward, unsure, and human as the other teenage boys in the world.

Bella. Wow. This Bella is one of my all-time favorites. She’s shy and unsure of herself, as well, but she never lets Edward or anyone else treat her like a doormat. She’s gracious under fire when the mean girls attack but still manages to bite back in her own way. Watching her come into her own is like travelling back in time to my own teenage struggles. Pride, love, boys… It’s all such a mess when we’re young, and this story captures it perfectly.

Aside from the romance, there’s the added twist of their online personalities leaning on each other and forging a friendship with words Edward and Bella can’t quite manage to each other in person. Anonymity is freedom.

Waiting for them to discover that added layer of their relationship is a bonus of the journey. It’s a genius twist that leaves no room for doubt once the truth is out there.

On top of the budding romance and the joy of watching Edward and Bella navigate their feelings, there is a touch of mystery, a real struggle with the band, bad guys and girls, and yes, a touch of heartache. When that brown ribbon hits the ground, my heart does, too. This is one story that makes me hurt for both of them. Instead of anger, there’s frustration and a desperate need for them to get it together.

When they do, it’s beautiful. I could go on and on – about the music, the story, the way it makes me feel every time I reread it (which is often)… Instead, I’ll just say thank you. Thank you for sharing them with us. I’m eternally grateful.


Dear Plummy,

May I call you Twanza? I’ve known and loved you even when you were merely Twanza. I remember it well, toeing cautiously into my first non-canon pairing fic. It was Neverending Math Equation and I won’t lie… I was scared. But you set it in Brooklyn so I was intrigued and decided to trust you. What a good choice that was. And what an amazing story… gritty and real, nuanced and atmospheric. It was one of the first fics I read that wasn’t just entertaining, hot, or swoony. It was good. Like, books I paid money for in bookstores weren’t as good as this Twilight fan fic I was reading for free. It was a revelation.

And then came Pressed For Time, your brilliant, complicated co-authored story. Once again, you didn’t shy from the issues. You told a thorny story about multi-dimensional characters that made me think and feel.

You followed that up with the glorious, dreamy, smart Love in Idleness. When I read the first chapter, I saw pictures in my head. I wanted to step inside, look around and paint it, which is the highest compliment I can pay a writer. And oh, did it make me swoon.  There were so many lovely, small moments, so exquisite, so perfectly and succinctly described that I remember them to this day, and will probably always remember them. And I will always wish I had a Mote app on my phone.

And how much did I love The Shipyard? Such a perfect blend of storytelling and history, and it was a worthy tribute to Moby Dick, which I know you love. Just like in your contemporary stories, you effortlessly evoked a time and a place so well I felt like I lived there.

Even The Babysitter, a seemingly-simple story about feelings developing where they shouldn’t, became something more in your capable hands. You even did the unthinkable—you BROKE THEM UP in the last chapter. But I wasn’t scared. Because you brought them back together just the way they were meant to be. It was the best kind of grown-up, satisfying ending I could have hoped for.

Let me conclude my valentine’s to you by saying “thank you”. Thank you for the time you’ve spent crafting these amazing stories to share with us. I know firsthand how busy your life is and how you labor over your writing. And with nothing to gain from it, you wrote perfect stories just for us. Really, you’ve been giving us valentine’s for years. Now I’m just giving one back!

Happy Valentine’s Day, Plummy!


Dear Staceleo,

How I love thee! Let me count the ways...

I know, it's super cheesy, but it's Valentine's Day! And I do love you, so I figured it was appropriate. Now, look, I'm going to be fair and honest, because I think it's the best policy: I'm not good at these little nuggets. Love isn't, perhaps, my forte. I find it terribly difficult to express myself without sounding like a overdone cliché or Hallmark card, but I'm going to try... even if there is a woman looking over my shoulder in this public space, trying her hardest to witness history in the making.

Mind your own business, lady! I'm writing letters over here to profess my love.


So, when I was asked to participate in this, I knew exactly who I wanted to write about. I don't know if it's because I haven't told you how much I appreciate you, or if this is my chance to ask for your number and not be super weird about it?? (refer to Mad TV's: Can I Get Your Number? Skit) But, seriously, I wanted to write about you because I think you're a wonderful person and you deserve to be told so. I wish I could give you my eyes or my heart (or whichever body that wouldn't gross you out, maybe?) so you can understand how special and how cherished you are in this fandom, how it wouldn't be the same without you. I wish I could give you all the love you deserve, but it's too big a job for one person. You deserve a million times one-hundred souls to make yours. I really appreciate how you're always so supportive of others. You're always there offering your tidbits of laughter or advice, and I wish I could give that back to you when you need it most.

Actually, let me tell you this... I was watching inspirational videos on YouTube the other day (because I don't know, why not?) and one of them had the quote:

“Our deepest fear is not that we're inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we're powerful beyond measure.”

It's the beginning of a paragraph from Marianne Williamson's A Return To Love. And while the initial statement is powerful all it's own, a couple of sentences further there's this:

“We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

I feel this is so much like you, and how I feel about your written words. How it seems so effortless for you to take on such stories. You've written forty-seven on! Forty-seven! You beast!!! It takes incredibly courage and talent to write so many and post them for the world to see. I remember reading Curve Ball and laughing my ass off because your humor doesn't have to be obvious. It doesn't have to wave a hand or be in the reader's face. It's subtle and smart, character driven, just how I like 'em. Bella was sassy and witty. Edward was a love struck “kid” following her around because he couldn't get enough of what she was dishing out. She reminded me of you, actually. And I feel, to some degree, like Edward following you around in wonder. Wow. This is turning out to be a creep fest where I'm concerned. I'm just trying to make it sweet, and it's just coming out like Dahmer. Simultaneously, I'm dredging my hands in lotion like Buffalo Bill's victims because of this dry winter air.

See. Man. I'm going to stop. I've just... gah. I fucking love you, okay? Everybody fucking loves you because you have red hair, you're beautiful, and write super funny fic. You give us support when we need it the most, even when we think we don't. You're awesome, Staceleo!


Your creepy friend who hearts you,

Dear Kim/VampiresHaveLaws,

So in preparation for this letter, I found our very first messages, and I got all mushy and sentimental. It really wasn’t that long ago, but a lot has changed in that time. During these past few months, you’ve been the best cheerleader and teacher, and most exciting of all, you let me read a story you’d written. And it was fabulous.

I’m so excited about this letter because you’re always saying the sweetest, most uplifting things to me and now, I can (hopefully) do the same for you!

I admit, when you first became my beta, I hadn’t read any of your work, and that was only because I had this stupid rule that I wouldn’t read anything while I was writing. But since I write most of the time, I was never reading and slowly, that rule fell away. Then you just casually mention this story you’re writing, and I was too curious to pass it up. Thankfully, you let me read it, and OH.MY.GOSH it was amazing.

After reading only the first chapter, I realized you aren’t just a precious person and freaking awesome beta, you’re also a fantastic writer. I’m super snobby/picky about what I think is good, too, but when I read this story, I was seriously blown away. Your writing is gorgeous and poetic and heartbreaking and absolutely everything I love. It seriously needs to be published for the rest of the world to flail over, too!

So, by now, you hopefully realize how much I adore this story of yours (and how crazy-talented you are), but most importantly, you’re just a great person. I so wish there wasn’t an ocean separating us because I’d love to meet you! You’re just hilarious and so very positive. I can’t tell you how many times you’ve made me laugh out loud, either with the gifs you leave as comments or the hysterical things you say.

You’ve walked me through so much and have helped me grow as a writer, and you do so in such a kind way. You really have a great way with people, and you have a gift as a writer and as an editor. You’re amazing, crazy-talented, and I’m so very glad we “met.”



The idea of writing a love letter or Valentine to someone other than a significant other feels strange.  But then I recall those years of my childhood where we exchanged candied hearts and little cut-out cards with our fellow classmates.  But then I remember how a few people got more Valentines than others, or maybe some got none at all.  So I want to begin this letter by saying that if I could write this letter to all of the authors to whom I truly adore, I'd never sleep.  The list is endless, but because I could only choose one, I chose Rochelle Allison.  The following is why.

Firstly, let's talk about how crazy talented she is, okay?  Every one of her stories is fantabulous.  Just magical. She draws you in and brings you back to a time where you used to live or wish you once had.  Her Edwards are usually exquisite, but not perfect.  And her Bellas are "us" -- the women who read her stories.  Varied from beautiful, insecure, smart, naive, confident, and clueless...sometimes all within the span of one story.  That's the beauty of Rochelle.  How she can weave a story, get us to relate to her characters, fall in love with them, and watch them grow and learn before our eyes.  And, often, VERY OFTEN, we learn many things about ourselves in the process. I could give a very long-winded post about my favorite stories of hers, so I'll try to name just a few and why. "With of Without You": -- Interestingly relevant to me right now, but E&B of the past come together in the future and are forced to deal with issues that were once thought dealt with. Probably not her most popular, but definitely my face. "Curtains" -- Again, strangely relevant to me...right now.  Just read it and fall in love. "Air" -- This Edward...GAH.  I'm pretty sure he exists in real life based on Rochelle's convos.  But goodness girl....HAWT! "Volition" -- Just a very well-written story, and surprisingly not as political people might think. Like I said, I could go on and on. You'd think that for as talented and as beautiful as she is (inside and out), people would naturally hate her.  Out of jealousy, spite, or whatever.  But it's impossible to get to know this woman and not love her.  She exudes an energy of genuineness and peace.  She truly cares.  I've met her multiple times now, and each time, she has been the most gracious with me (and others), even when my spirit isn't that welcoming. (Rare for me.)  Rochelle is a calming and accepting one.  A true gift to the this world and this fandom.  I'm honored to be a fellow writer in this fandom with her, but more importantly, I'm honored to be her friend.

I love you, Rochelle.  Truly.

Perry Maxwell xoxo

My dearest Amanda (Raggdolly),

I discovered fanfiction some time in 2010. I don’t remember the date. I couldn’t tell you the first fic I read. I remember general things, like how I wouldn’t read all human stories in the beginning and how out of character stories confused the heck out of me. I had a hard time wrapping my head around a goth Alice, or a bad boy Edward. The more I read, however, the more adventurous I became. A while later I joined a site called A Different Forest, and that’s when the dam broke. I read the summary for a little story called Lions Eat Lambs and I was so very intrigued. I clicked on the link and fell in love with you and your writing.

I love horror. While most my friends were reading Sweet Valley High, I was reading books by John Saul, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King. I thought there were rules about fanfiction. I thought certain lines were never to be crossed. Edward was never the bad guy. Bella was always a pushover. And happily ever afters were a guarantee. You showed me that none of those things were true. You opened up a whole new world for me. I was consumed by Lions Eat Lambs. The video you made with the story is STILL in my youtube video favorites.

Then you started Kingdom of Rust. I felt tortured. I felt like you had a personal mission to drive me insane. Mind you at this point we’d never said a word to one another, but in my head, you were out to get me with your suspense. I dreamed about that story. I talked about it to anyone who would listen. I begged the apocalyptic writing gods for updates. And when it completed it was everything I could have hoped for.

Fast forward to House of The Horde. You laid the foundation. You planted a million seeds of how the story could go. You ruined me. Then you stopped updating. I tried to be patient. I really did. But as we both know, I failed at patience. You didn’t know me. I was terrible at reviewing. I was a little more than crazy. I started sending you random private messages. Some were begging, some were encouraging, some were bargaining. I think I went through some sort of twelve step withdrawal program from the loss of your words. I offered to help you. I felt ridiculous because I admired and looked up to you so much, but I was desperate for the rest of that story so I left my dignity at the door.

Then one day you replied to my crazy PM’s and accepted my help. I thought I was being punked to be honest. When I realized you were serious, I wondered if I was really the crazy one. But then something amazing happened; I got to know you as a person. And I loved you even more. You are one of the most incredible women I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. You supported, encouraged, and stood by me when I took the terrifying step of following in your steps and venturing to the dark side. You are an amazing, beautiful person inside and out and I am honored to call you my friend. I wish the very best for you. The world is so deprived that they don’t have the privilege of knowing your beautiful mind. My wish is that you break through your walls and share your words with the world. It would be a brighter place to travel to the dark side with you. I love you to the moon and back. To the gates of hell and beyond. I can’t wait for all the great things you’re going to do. I can’t wait to say, I remember her when.

All my love,
Liv (Livie79)

Dear MrsSpaceCowboy (Nin),

I don’t remember exactly when you came into my life, but I do remember how. I’d heard rumblings of this story I just had to read. I was constantly seeing the “SO good” and “OMG. I can’t take the pain!” posts all over Facebook and Twitter. At first, my cynical self wondered if this story was one of the many stories people flailed over that wasn’t worth the fuss. But one a night, a couple of weeks later, I sprawled across my couch and finally sat down to find out what the big deal was.

Chapter one.

The Give Away Girl.

I surfaced I-don’t-know-how-many hours and close to thirty chapters later with my heart in a million pieces and a need to stalk you, to beg you to post the next chapter before my head exploded, because I needed to know whether Edward and Bella were going to be okay. I needed to know how you could drag my emotions from one end of the spectrum to other so easily. I needed to know how you’re able to house such an enormous talent without falling over all the time.

While I waited for the next chapter to go up, I found (read: stalked) you on Twitter, and after what I’m sure was an embarrassing introduction on my part, we became friends. It’s become a friendship that’s also been a salvation. But we’ll come back to that. First up is the talent, because Lord Jesus, do you have a lot of it.

The first true test of my fangirl self-control in our friendship happened not too long after marathoning The Give Away Girl, when you asked me to beta a little something you’d written for The Heart of the Country Contest. That little something was Down Home, and to this day, it remains my favorite of the fics you’ve written. It contains all of the essential elements for the perfect fic: angst, comedy, caliente schmexy times, and a beautiful love story. What makes it different from every other fic, though, is your ability to make it so real, to make it seem as if we’re actually there to witness everything we’re reading. Also, it has a kickass Bella and the dreamiest Edward I’ve ever read. Seriously. I was in danger of drowning in my own drool most of the time.

You followed up that masterpiece with another one, Rest My Soul. This one was a kick in the ass to my feels and to the feels of all who read it. You gave us these beautifully damaged characters and allowed us to watch them heal before our very eyes. We learned about Fintan and Kevin, pondered over delicious descriptions of tattoos and piercings, and ached for Carlisle. Mack was the curveball we didn’t know we’d always wanted, and the heart attack you gave us with chapter 20’s cliffie was almost too much to bear. But it was all worth it to be able to take in this amazing story of loss and love and moving forward.

What’s next? Well, let’s just say that the original fiction world needs to invest in diapers, because it’s going to shit itself when it gets a hold of what you have to offer.

It’s been two years since we first “met,” and being able to call you my best friend is one of my greatest fandom achievements. In you, I’ve found a mellow soul, a fangirl, a radio, a shoulder to cry on, a compassionate heart, a no bullshit-taking queen, a devoted and loving mother and wife, a breath of fresh air, and a wonderful friend. You’re such an asset to this fandom, sweet Maurice, and the fact that you don’t even know it makes me love you more. You’re special beyond words. Always remember that.


Dear Lila (allihavetodoisdream),

You are, without a doubt, one of the sweetest, most talented writers I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know in this fandom. It’s rare I have an emotional response to a story like I did with Hollywood. I was instantly smitten with your style, your characterisations—this unique twist you’d brought to an otherwise overlooked character. Bella, even when telling a story, usually takes the back-burner to that green-eyed, messy-haired boy. And I get it, because who doesn’t love Edward? And while your Edwards ruin my life constantly, it’s your ability to write the most unique and complex Bellas that makes you stand out from the crowd. When people talk about that mysterious *it*—you have it in spades, L. It’s one of the many reasons I pounced on you like an animal to ask if you had or would like a beta. I’d never ever messaged someone I didn’t know like that before. I was so nervous, but I couldn’t silence the voice in my head that was shouting at me, “You have to work with this girl!” I was so lucky when you said yes. (Oh my God, this totally sounds as though I proposed. Hahahaha.)

You finished up Hollywood, and I went off and mourned. And then Dark Paradise came along… and I was speechless. In that short amount of time, you’d kicked your writing up another gear. I remember you being all, “Kim, it’s such a mess, but I started this new story and I don’t know if I should continue it…” which then led to me calling you crazy because it was anything but a mess. I was blown away all over again, and was like, “Is this girl real?” I know age should never be a factor, but the fact you are so young, and writing like this? It excites me beyond belief, because that means you’re only going to continue growing.

Then a few weeks ago, you introduced me to Kiss the Sky, and God, this story—it’s your best to date. It could easily be sitting in my bookcase in my office. It should be sitting in my bookcase in my office. Your writing has improved again, which leads me to say, quite confidently: You’re going to the biggest deal one day, Lila. If you don’t end up with a book out there in the world, with your name stamped all over it, there’s a problem. I know you won’t believe any of this because you have such a low opinion of your talent, but it’s the truth. I want you to believe in yourself like I believe in you. I’m going to be the biggest bug and keep repeating it to you until you gain more confidence. And I know there isn’t a huge difference between our ages, but I feel like the proudest mum. You are kind and funny and an inspirational individual. I have never once heard you say one negative word about anyone. That’s the kind of honest-to-good person you are. You are a perfect role model for all ages and an amazing friend and I couldn't love you more. 

Go conquer the world, L, because it’s there for you to take.

Kim (VampiresHaveLaws) xx

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Love Letters

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, love is in the air here at The Lemonade Stand. So we asked a group of authors to choose an author they love – someone who moves them, be it through their words or uplifting presence in our fandom – and write them a love letter. Due to the overwhelming positive response, we will be posting these daily, from now until Valentine's Day! 

Dearest Shay, (Savage729)

It’s hard to put into words just how much you and your stories mean to me. I’ve stressed over this love letter for many days now, afraid it won’t fully convey the adoration I have for you, but I’ll give it my best try.

I was still new to the Twilight fandom when I first started seeing mentions of you on Twitter. Actually, they weren’t about you, they were about Carlisle and how everyone wanted him dead. In my naivety, I couldn’t fathom reading something that would make me hate Carlisle Cullen but, after a while, I couldn’t resist any longer.

Reading “Offside” completely rocked my world. I’d never read a Carlisle or an Edward like that and I easily became hooked. It didn’t take long to understand why everyone brought out their marked-for-Carlisle pitchforks with every update and, soon, I had my very own pitchfork to add to the hunt.

The way you create and write your characters blows me away. Each one is different, flawed but strong, and most importantly, real. The same can be said about your stories. Every plot is unique and fascinating and makes me thirst for more. Never in my life would I have predicted falling for a caveman named “Ehd” or a character on the Autism Spectrum who’s OCD tendencies cause him to poke a fish-shaped birthmark on Bella’s shoulder.

What fun it’d be to observe you working your magic! Let’s get together again soon, so I can pick your brain, okay? I’ll bring the Fireball.

I remember watching a clip of Michael Sheen doing a dramatic reading of a Twilight fanfic on VH1 and thinking, “How ridiculous. I’d never read a story like that!” It was months later that I started reading “Unexpected Circumstances” and realized it was the story Michael was reading from! I’d never been happier to eat crow than in that moment because that fic quickly became (and still is) one of my all-time favorite stories! I read it for a second time last weekend to get some inspiration for this letter and fell in love with it all over again.

I mean, who doesn’t enjoy reading about Jessica being drawn and quartered?!

“Surviving Bella”, “Temp My Tongue”, “Not What She Seems”, “Caged”…the list goes on and on with your amazing fics and now, you’re a published author! The Evan Arden series, “Savaged”, “Alarm”, just to name a few, are all amazing books. I couldn’t be more proud of you as a friend and as a fan.

After all this gushing about your stories, I have to say, what I love the most about you is how you are in “real life”. You’re always welcoming, gracious, and kind to your fans and you’re a fucking hoot to party with. I greatly appreciate how eager you are to offer advice, as well, as chocolate cake shots to everyone you meet. Thank you for being a kick-ass original, who isn’t afraid to take risks and push buttons in order to make people feel for, understand, and accept characters and plots that are outside of the norm.

Shay Savage, you’re a true genius and an inspiration.

Jiff Simpson

P.S. I’d also like to thank you for sharing The Savage Trainer with us. He’s…very pretty. :-)

Dear The Black Arrow,

It feels strange writing a love letter to someone who doesn’t know you.  I like to think of it not as creepy stalking, but more as following in that good old Valentine’s tradition of sending a card to someone you admire and only signing it if you have the courage to…  We’ll see how I fare on that last bit.

And what has prompted me to take the scary step in writing this letter?  Well, it all started with these words:

“Throughout time, as long as humans have loved, they have believed in soul mates.”

When I read those words I didn’t know the effect your story would have on me. 

I had been introduced to the Twilight fandom by friends who should have known better.  They kindly directed me to the more (ahem) salacious stories the fandom had to offer.  The Blessing and The Curse though was the first story I read that stopped me short.  It had a genuinely ingenious take on the Twilight story.  It kept some of the elements from the novels but skillfully twisted them, placing them firmly in a very real, all human world.  Your Bella and Edward were compelling.  Their relationship complex, and at the heart of their story was the constant sense that they truly were meant for one another; not unlike Cathy and Heathcliff.  And there again, another clever nod to the Twilight books.

All of these things were enough to keep me reading, but the thing that arrested me the most was your beautifully crafted words.  They conveyed joy, hope and pleasure alongside regret, fear and sadness.  They captured the heartbreak of death and the elation of love – a difficult balance to navigate at the best of times, but something that you made seem effortless.

I’ve been back to read your story many times.  Every time I do it reminds me not to be jealous of your words, but to be inspired by them.  They didn’t just entertain, but encouraged me to start my own writing, and through that my world opened up and became Technicolor.  I’ve met some incredible people through fandom and made some truly wonderful friendships all over the world.  I can even be found lurking on Twitter, something I would never have contemplated Pre-Twilight-Fandom.  All of these things have enriched my life.

So you see, for me, your words have had a butterfly effect.  And so that is why I will proudly sign my love letter to you and The Blessing and The Curse.

With admiration and thanks,
Emmanuelle Nathan

Dearest Chocaholic123,

Some might say fate brought us to Fanfiction within a few days of each other, perhaps it was—with a little bit of Fifty thrown in too.

It only took a random conversation around nipples for us to know we were meant to be. We clicked straight away with the same dodgy sense of humour and love of writing. It was love at first type.

The result has been days filled of laughter, late night chats and long distance journeys. We quickly become best friends through our writing, and shared every part of our lives together—babies, Bunny, bicycle-obsessed husbands, and book deals—to name a few. I wouldn't be where I am today without you by my side, listening to me waffle on, holding my hand, and making me laugh.

One of the best parts of being your right hand girl is that I'm lucky enough to roll around in your words before anyone else gets the chance. I discovered your amazing ability to weave a story in the gritty world of car manufacturing and hot union reps. Now, we've travelled all over the world, through every perfectly crafted emotion, and have ended up with my favourite rock star dad and Love in London—with so much more to come.

I have adored every word. You blow me away each and every time you tell me you've written something new.  I'm so proud to watch your talent grow and be recognised by more and more people. You're the brightest superstar. But what makes you irreplaceable is how you shine on everyone around you.

You're the kindest person and your generosity and support is boundless for anyone lucky enough to be in your company. I don't know what I did before you were in my life, but it was certainly less colourful. I love you with every corner of my heart. And I can't wait to see what the next Fifty years will bring us.

Your other half always,

Dear Cosmogirl7481,

Has it really been almost six years since we bonded over reviews we exchanged on Twilighted? By the way, remember Twilighted? So many fic friendships were formed   there.

Including our love affair.

I wish I remembered my password so I could read our first interaction with each other.From that first review and response we hit it off and have never looked back. I truly value our friendship that goes deeper than just Edward and Bella and cock. Though, it's about those things too.

Over the years, it's been my joy and honor to call you my co-writer, my beta, and most importantly,  my biggest supporter in all things. You have been there when others have not. You're there even though you're across the country from me.

Some of my best memories are of late nights writing LiMB with you, and you making me write smut. I never would have had the confidence without you. Also, texting crazy plot ideas back and forth has been a blast.

My birthdays also have been so special due to all the wonderful fics you've written in my honor. I know the fandom thanks you for those and all the wonderful, serious, funny, gut-punching, sexy stories you've shared with all of us.

We've loved them all, even that time you killed Edward. (You will never live that down.) You have a way of making stories dirty and sexy but still fun and romantic.  Who else would write Jasper and Emmett as gay cats?

I know you still have plenty of stories to tell, and we're all waiting to read them.

I will always be your biggest fan and fic wife. Let me know when you're ready to chuck all this and run away with me to the Bahamas. The taco cart is waiting.

With much love,

To WildHeartAstrid,

I’m writing you this letter to thank you. Having the opportunity to speak with you about your passion for writing and your excitement to grow has given me inspiration that I am infinitely grateful for. You are just embarking on this crazy path of writing FanFiction, and I couldn’t be more excited to watch you mature as a writer and to support you along the way.

You share the same passion that I have, and the dedication and enthusiasm that you have inspires me to remember why I write. Witnessing your leap into FanFiction reminds me of when I uploaded my first story, and reignites my zeal for this passion of mine; reminding me why it is so important to me in the first place.

Most importantly, your passion and yearning to produce a story of your own has encouraged me to always remember that I do this for the fun and joy that it brings me. I am five years into my own adventure of writing, but at the end of the day, I do it for the same reasons you do. We are cut from the same cloth, and meeting you through this fandom and our shared passion is just an example of one of the many rewards that I gain through this.

I speculate that there are three things you must possess to be a successful writer; a natural aptitude, a passion for the craft, and a longing to constantly produce better work. I believe you have all three, and as long as you continue to love what you’re doing, the possibilities of where you can take your passion are endless. I’ve told you before and I’ll never stop reminding you, as long as you keep writing, you keep growing.

Thank you for supporting me, encouraging me, and inspiring me. You’re a beautiful person, and I can’t wait to see the places you go.

Your fan,

Dear LolaShoes

The nice ladies at TLS asked me to write a Valentine’s Day Love Letter to an author that I adore or who has inspired me in some way and I chose you.

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

Your awesome stories,

I used to view.

Yours are among the first Twifics I ever read and they have left an impression on me.  Long after I’ve forgotten the words I still retain vivid mental pictures of some of the scenes and a warm invisible cloak of the feelings the stories engendered.

I can still see and laugh at Aro in his trainers.  Bella giving Edward her damp panties while they car shopped.  The pole dancing lesson and stripper shoes.  The room decorated with intimate photos of them and how he understood the reason she’d created it.  The Opera.  The honeymoon on Isle Esme and Bella waving her bikini clad butt in Edward’s face.  Training with Jasper after her change.  Bella’s gift and her falling in love with human food.  Bonding with the family.

What a sense of family you created, how I envied them and how I loved that your writing didn’t make me feel like an outsider looking in.  It sometimes felt like the warmth emanating from the story was heating my cheeks through the computer screen.

And then there was the heat between Bella and Edward.  From Stephanie Meyer to Scorchio!  Mercy but there was a lot of sex in your stories!

And the Love Days.  Oh LolaShoes, how I loved your Love Days!  They were like being slowly yet pleasurably turned inside out.  I could feel the pull between them and get stuck in the gooey syrupy sweetness of it. 

Sigh . . .

Non Creepy Love,