Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Control. Possess. Seduce. Contest

Control. Possess. Seduce.

• Control: the power to influence or direct people's behavior or the course of events.

• Possess: have as belonging to one; own.

• Seduce: entice into sexual activity, attract powerfully.

Nicffwhisperer & CarrieZM are thrilled to announce the
 Control. Possess. Seduce. Contest for Twilight fanfiction!!

Give us an Edward with one of these characteristics or maybe all three! This is not a BDSM Contest, but a dominant male contest. We want strong, intense, all encompassing Edwards.

Entries are being accepted starting January 7, 2016. This is an Anonymous contest.

Follow us on Fanfiction to find out the details:
Come follow us on Twitter:  @CPSffContest
Come follow us on Tumblr:
Come join our facebook group filled with picspiration for writers & readers:

Length: 3,000 to 15,000 words
Genre: Any genre.
Rating: M only. Readers, judges, and participants MUST be over 18.
Pairing: Edward/Bella ~ONLY~

Number of Entries: 2 single entries per author, plus 1 collaboration allowed.

Continuations: After voting is completed & the winners have been announced, you’re free to continue your one-shot. All submissions will be validated upon receipt to make sure rules have been followed and to check a base level of quality. Betas MUST be used.

Bring the sizzle, the dirty, and the seduction. Write us an Edward we just can't forget!

Have questions?

PM the Contest FF site

Monday, December 21, 2015

What we're reading in TLS this week ~ The Classics

In our last post of 2015, we wanted to bring you a list of what TLS considers cult classics in the Twilight fandom.  A "your fandom card may be pulled" if you haven't read them sort of thing. You may have even jumped on a bandwagon or two while reading and obsessing over them at the time! To be a cult classic in this fandom, these are the stories that stay with you long after "The End". While many of our classic favs have been pulled, all fics considered for this list are still available to read on a website. We hope that you will enjoy this list of cult classics long after 2015 ends.

Have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season!

♥ Nic & Six

A Compendium of Thoughts by ItIsRaining
After Edward is struck with a serious illness, Bella offers to give him a ride to school every day. His musings on life are priceless and unique. Based in its entirety on a true story.
Rated M

A Rough Start by ItzMegan73
Overnight irresponsible Edward goes from bachelor to father of a 5 yr old. Meanwhile responsible, prepared Bella begins her first job as Kindergarten teacher at Forks Elementary. When irresponsible meets the epitome of responsible, sparks will fly! Rated M

Air by Rochelle Allison
Edward and Bella meet at a summer barbeque. A story about - what else - falling for someone, hard. Rated M

Alphabet Weekends by the-glory-days
Bored with their dismal love lives, best friends Edward and Bella come up with the idea of exploring the world of sex using the alphabet for the next twenty-six weekends. What happens when things go from two friends having fun to something serious? Rated M

An Undefined Affair by jayhawkbb
Bella, recovering from a broken heart, meets Edward, who isolates himself emotionally. Their attraction is immediate, but can they be friends and lovers - without the love? Rated M

Art After Five by Sleepyvalentina
Bella Swan had life figured out until she met sixteen-year-old Edward Cullen. A few months and an intense emotional connection later, she finds herself on a journey toward self acceptance while questioning everything she'd previously accepted as true. Rated M

Awake in the Infinite Cold by quothme
Sometimes the fruit is forbidden for a reason. A mélange of Twilight and How to Be, with an Artward who so carefully and so softly sneaks under her skin and into her soul. Rated M

Bella Swan: Kidnapper by Kambria Rain
Um. Hi. I don’t really know how to say this, but I have your kids with me, and I was thinking maybe you would like them back. So yeah… call me. Rated M

Beyond Time by TKegl
After the Cullens leave Forks, a twist of fate lands Bella in Chicago in 1918. She thinks it's a second chance to build a life with Edward, but when she finds him, he's not quite what she expected. Can Bella create the future she's hoping for? Rated 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. Rated M

Cabin Fever by Coldplaywhore
Trying to hide from their separate lives in Seattle and Los Angeles, Edward and Bella accidently end up at a cabin together for two weeks leading up to Christmas. They can't stand each other, but will that mutual hate eventually lead to more? Lemons Rated M

Constant Bearing, Decreasing Range by Beegurl13
Two consenting adults. One wants more. What happens when the other doesn't, and never will? Is there such thing as true love in the real world? And will they see what's coming before it's too late? Rated M

Cracks in the Pavement by VampiresHaveLaws
Life is never perfect, the cracks always appear. "My Polaroid would show the face of a girl who has forgotten how to truly smile." Even the strongest of dreams can fail to become enough. Rated M

Dear Isabella by wtvoc
He said "always". She wasn't so sure. Rated M

Departures by TheFicChick
Every day for the rest of my life, I will wonder how kissing a virtual stranger goodbye could have felt like a hello. Rated M

Deviant by Planetblue
He pissed me off and then he turned me on. Spectacularly. Rated M

Do Over by Tkegl
Every Christmas Eve, Edward Cullen sits in a bar and regrets the decision he made ten years earlier that tore Bella from him. But when he gets a second chance to right that wrong, it's not quite what he expected. Rated M

Dusty by YellowBella
Se loves him. He loves her crazy. She's a hopeless romantic. He's just hopeless. She's afraid to let go. He won't let her. A story about a silly girl in love with a foolish boy. Here, forever is a lie. Rated M

Edward in the Afternoon by Cosmogirl7481
My birthday present for Marvar: A boy meets girl story with sweltering heat, iced coffee and lots of sex... ExB, AH and OOC because no one is a virgin. Rated M

Elemental by TallulahBelle
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

Expectations and Other Moving Pieces by chrometurtle
Everything I had done in my life seemed to lead up to this moment. The moment when I found myself bound inextricably to a man I didn’t love, trapped in a life I didn’t want. And if I left him, I would be entirely alone. Rated M

Faking It by Spanglemaker9
Half of Hollywood's most famous couples are faking it. That's how Bella Swan's publicist convinces her to pretend to date troubled Hollywood bad boy Edward Cullen. And she'll do anything for her band and her music. Rated M

Firefly in Summer by Primary Colors
Edward finds himself back in the little beach town of his childhood when he inherits the local bar from his uncle. The elusive, pretty girl next door has killer legs, a sketchbook and secrets that are slowly eating her alive. Rated M

For the Summer by camoozle
Every year Bella waits for the 'Pay Checks' to roll into her sleepy river town and every year Edward's hers, just for the summer. Rated M

Gravity Series 1: 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? Rated M

High Fidelity by IReen Weiss
Damaged Edward, damaged Bella. Two sides of the same scarred coin. When one side is up, the other is down. Language and lots of it. Lemons eventually. It's a slow burn, slow and painful. Mature. Lots of random pop culture references. Rated M

Hit by Destiny by ocdmess
Bella wants to die, and almost gets her wish fulfilled when she gets hit by a shiny Volvo. She is left with serious injuries, and the only thing keeping her from dying is the person who hit her. Rated M

Maybe I’m Falling for You by Coldplaywhore
Edward and Bella meet one cloudy May morning at their neighborhood coffee bar. Little do they know that they have actually been conversing for several months under assumed names. Collaboration between CPW and FLB11. Rated M

Mutually Assured Destruction by Jandco
I've plucked the line "You're my brand of heroin" and applied it to an all human universe. No drug use. Rated M

Osa Bella by Myg
Bella is a school counselor, but Edward is a vampire posing as a student. Will Bella defy her head and follow her heart? Or will she conquer her desire and do what she believes is right? Rated M

Outbound by Aftrnoondlight
Two beautiful souls humbly traveling life's lonely path, until fate suddenly shows her hand. Will Edward and Bella surrender willingly... A tender, romantic tale of love and life in the clouds. Rated M

Paper CutOuts bytwistedcoincidence
Bella prefers the virtual to the actual, but feels herself being tugged from the safety of her online realm into the world of a rough edged Edward. This time she'll write her own story. Collab with astilbe13. Rated M

Pocket Change by aWhiteBlankPage
I know of three kinds of change: the kind that jangles around in your pocket, the kind that happens slowly, every moment of every day, and the kind that blows you away in an instant. Rated M

Practice to Deceive by Livie79
I saw her today. I wasn't impressed. But he wanted her, and that was enough for me. She was just collateral damage. Rated M

Ride by Kris Salvador
Bella wanted to fulfill a fantasy - to be groped inside a crowded train. She gets her wish and more, when a sex-starved ex-convict decides she's fair game.  Rated M

Scotch, Gin, and the New Girl by Wtvoc
Les Liaisons Dangereuses, je crois. We were Cruel Intentions. We are Gossip Girls. We do not care. At all. Rated M

Son of a Preacher Man by LaViePastiche
The wild son of a famous televangelist, Jasper likes to love ‘em and leave ‘em. Will he meet his match in Bella, who’s in love with his sister’s boyfriend Edward? And what happens when Edward finally notices her?  Rated M

Starry Eyed Inside by Rochelle Allison
High School Fictional. No one sends Bella into a tailspin quite like Edward Cullen... but can she make him hers? The ups and downs and all arounds. Rated M

Stay by Crimsonmarie
As an actor, Edward Cullen is surrounded by people that he couldn't
really care less about. What happens when he buys a house in the middle of
nowhere and meets his new neighbors? Rated M

Stranger Than Fiction by MasenVixen
Six years after Edward left, Bella's written a bestselling book about a girl and the vampire who loves her. Edward returns to her, hell-bent on recapturing the happily ever after that he destroyed. Rated M

Summer of Salt by lola-pops
The heat wave lingers. Sweet, savory and slick. Jasper, Rose and I wade through the humid days, content in our relative isolation. We spend June through August at our family lake property, and this summer is like any other. Until it's not. Rated M

The Age of Consent by Littlesecret84
Bella's summer internship turns interesting when Charlie arranges for Edward to drive her to and from the courthouse. As they talk and get to know each other, the sexual attraction Bella feels from the beginning evolves into something more. Adult stuff. Rated M

The Art Teacher by Spanglemaker9
He gave me art and words and passion and life, but all I wanted was him. Rated M

The Best I Ever Had by WhatsMyNomDePlume
Sex between friends complicates everything. Bella knows this. But she has no idea how much more Edward is going to complicate things. Rated M

The Blessing and the Curse by The Black Arrow
By pretending she is falling for Edward, Bella is fulfilling Esme's dying wish. But sexy, possessive Edward can read her mind. Will she ever get into his? Can Bella forget the pain of her teenage years, and can she resist his relentless seduction? Rated M

The Cannabean Betrothal by ItzMegan73
Edward has immersed himself in the Cannabean way to ward off the hurt of a life-changing experience; but an unexpected betrothal teaches him how little he knows about life. Rated M

The Consequences of Miracles by Travis Birkenstock
Sometimes, the miracles we plead for come at a terrible price. Rated M

The Cullen Legacy by pattyrose
Legacy - A gift; sometimes unknowingly bestowed. Bella met Edward in a London pub, never imagining where each would be 7 years later: he a Congressman fueled by ever-growing political ambition, she the woman with an explosive secret that can end all his dreams. But Bella might soon find that revenge isn't all it's cracked up to be, and that Edward may harbor his own dark secrets. Rated M

The Ex Factor by AngelAtTwilight
Edward & Bella are exes. 4 years later, fate gives them a new hand by reuniting them together in their father's joint cabin, with the assistance of their clashing friends. How will it end? Hmm.Rated M

The Give Away Girl by MrsSpaceCowboy
Honor student Bella Swan has mastered the arts...of manipulating her divorced parents, rolling the perfect joint, and faking an orgasm. Who wouldn't want to keep a girl like her? An unconventional coming of age tale for Gen Xer Bella. Rated M

The List by LauraACullen
Four weeks before her wedding to Edward, Bella is frustrated. She knows there's little-to-no chance of getting him to bend his rules and boundaries now, but there's no harm in fantasizing about what could happen later. So she begins compiling a list. Rated M

The Teenage Angst Brigade by Jandco
This story has been inspired by the books, of course, and also employs a concept from the movie Normal Adolescent Behavior. Rated M

The Tutor by ItzMegan73
New student Bella Swan needs to break out of her shy
exterior and her guidance counselor has the answer: tutoring. And Bella is too
new to know she shouldn’t want to tutor Edward Cullen. Rated M

There is a Light by belladonnacullen
This was 1987; before the Internet, before Twitter, before Facebook – this was back when it was still possible for people not to know about things: big things - like bands, and little things - like G-spots. Rated M

This Is Not My Life by IsaKassees
Follow Bella as she tries to survive a madman's abduction and keep a stranger's child from succumbing to his wild fantasies, and follow Edward as he tries to stay sane searching for his daughter taken right before his eyes. Rated M

Tides of Fate by SparklingTwilight
After four years in a bad relationship, and two years of
depressed seclusion, Alice and Rosalie drag best friend Bella on a tropical
vacation designed by fate. Rated M

Tropic of Virgo by
He's a young but jaded musician writing lyrics for his band, and she's a naive, frustrated poet looking to break out of her shell; their words collide online. What happens when they meet in high school, unaware of their literary connection? Rated M

Unexpected Circumstances by Savage7289
When a knight from another kingdom wins his choice of bride, he claims the handmaid instead of the princess. Isabella finds herself married and tossed into the middle of political schemes. What happens when she can't give him the one thing he must have? Rated M

Volition by Rochelle Allison
It's Belfast, N.Ireland and the year is 1972. Bella's worried about her brother and his best friend, Edward, and their dangerous involvement in the Irish Republican Army. Is it really wise to fall in love with a rebel? Rated M

War of the Roses by edwardandbellabelong2gether
What do you do when you find out the one person who should never betray you...has? When Edward & Bella have trouble conceiving and he turns to someone else for comfort...will she ever be able to forgive him? Rated M

We Come to Life Beneath the Stars by Lillybellis
As Bella Swan starts over with hopes of finding her future, Edward Cullen is hanging on desperately to his past. She's treading water, and he's a corporate golden boy. They share an office, but few words...until one night changes everything. Rated M

We Were Here by lola-pops
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

Wide Awake by AngstGoddess
"Edward and Bella have dark pasts that leave them severely emotionally scarred, with nightmares that force them to stay awake. They meet and begin to form a bond during the night hours. Rated M

With Teeth by TaluluBlue
Edward is a 27-year old alcoholic/addict struggling with his recovery. Bella is a 23-year-old who's moved back home after college. This fic chronicles how they meet, fall in love, and struggle with the complexities of their relationship.Rated M

Monday, December 7, 2015

What we're reading in TLS this week ~ Holiday Edition

Can you believe how close we are to the holidays? We are giving you some real holiday treats this time! Some are classics and some are just beginning but all are sure to put you in the holiday mood. We hope you enjoy these TLS approved selections and will leave the authors some love, letting them know where you saw their story recommended.

♥ Nic & Six

A Christmas Partnership by Lost In Fanfiction
What happens when Bella resorts to unusual methods to catch the attention of Edward, a shy and slightly oblivious co-worker? Rated M

banner by CullensTwiMistress

A Home for the Holidays by CullensTwiMistress
Bella's roommate, Kate, offers her a place to stay during Christmas break. Unfortunately for Bella, Kate's dad is kind of hot. Attraction, UST, and a meddling daughter may just bring these two together. Rated M

A Snowfall Kind of Love by TheFicChick
There's one thing on my grown-up Christmas list, and while it includes a number of specifics in varying degrees of dirtiness, it really all boils to the one thing I've wanted for a year and a half: a do-gooder with unruly hair and a Mister Rogers sweater, and a lifetime of nights that would land me squarely on the naughty list. Rated M

 banner by FallingSnow Winter 

A Sprinkling of Sugar by Edward's Eternal
Edward Cullen is a busy executive, who lives for only one thing—his company. His gruff attitude and rigid ways are what make him a success. There is no room for fun or distractions. An unwanted trip close to the holidays, brings 3 huge distractions into his life—a chatty teenager, a tiny, lisping angel, and most importantly—one small, determined woman. How will he handle them? Rated M

banner by Kyla713

All I Want For Christmas by Kyla713
Bella's five year old son makes a Christmas wish she'd never expected, and sets her entire world spinning. Written for the Fandom for Preemies compilation. AH. Rated M

banner by DizzyMissLizzie

Christmas With the Cullens by BlueIsSoul
Ever since she can remember, Bella Swan has spent her Christmas with the Cullens. This Christmas its time to sort out those Edward related "complications". But what happens when Edward has a new introduction to make? Rating: Mature Pairing: EB, AH  Rated M

banner by Tkegl

Do Over by Tkegl
Every Christmas Eve, Edward Cullen sits in a bar and regrets the decision he made ten years earlier that tore Bella from him. But when he gets a second chance to right that wrong, it's not quite what he expected. Rated M

Gate 19 by iambeagle
After finding out her flight from Denver to Seattle has been cancelled, Bella accepts a ride from a stranger who is also hoping to get home for Christmas. ExB Christmas fluff, y'all. Rated M

banner maker unknown

Here We Are, As In Olden Days by Rinabina
Bella and Edward have been friends forever but ruth be told, it's always been a little more than that. A holiday collection of the history of Bella and Edward - Past, present and future. E/B AU AH Mostly fluff Rated M

banner by Jaime Arkins

In Every Life (A Little Snow Must Fall) by cosmogirl7481
Life happens. It passes us by in fleeting moments filled with unexpected encounters. It gives us choices to say and do the right thing. And chances to make it better, even when our choices were wrong. A short holiday story. Rated M

Memories of Christmas Past by Eternally Addicted
Bella and Edward dated in high school.Tragedy occurs forcing her to move away from Forks. Six years later another tragedy brings her back. What happens when on Christmas Eve with the Cullens, she sees Edward for the time since she broke his heart. Rated M

banner by Lolypop82

Merry Textmas by DH78
Bella is forced to tackle the crowds on Black Friday with her best friend, Angela. Can a random text message from a wrong number change the course of her day and her life? Banter galore! Rated M

Mistletoe and You by Harperpitt
Two little girls become instant friends, and their single parents are thrown into the game. Will their bruised hearts merge? AH, Christmas shortie. Rated: Fiction M

banner by AllyVera

Operation: Merry Christmas by nicnicd
When Bella, alone for Christmas, bumps into a shy and quiet coed outside of her dorm will her negative outlook on the Holidays change? My submission to the Twilight Gift Exchange on LJ. Rated M

Scrooge by kitchmill
Ever the Scrooge, Edward Cullen has no interest in celebrating Christmas. Will his attitude change when he finds a young woman down on her luck? Rated M

banner maker unknown

The Naughty Elf by Twilly
Santa believes there's no such thing as a bad elf. Bella's been fired from nearly every toy shop. How can Santa get her in the right position when everything out of her mouth is so very dirty? Santa, elves, chocolate starfish and phasing reindeer. Rated M

banner by Mina Rivera

The Red Coats by Ericastwilight
She loves the holidays. He loathes them. As new neighbors, they have to learn to tolerate each other. The problem for Edward is that she's irresistible in red. Can she bring the Grinch around in time to save him from a lonely New Year? Rated M

The Spirit of Christmas by RosieRathbone
"Bah, humbug", the famous words of Mr. Scrooge, and this year stubborn Ebenezer is coming in the form of Edward Cullen who lives in regret and no longer experiences the same thrill of the holidays like he used to. But with a little help he is determined to change what went wrong and start again. After all, 'tis the season to be jolly. Rated M

banner by Jaime Arkins

The Twelve Days of Christmas by Pattyrose
On Christmas Eve, Edward Masen meets his girlfriend Rosalie's younger sister. The twelve days of Christmas will sure be interesting. Rated M

banner by Jaime Arkins

Willow by Aftrnoondlight
First place winner in A Christmas to Remember contest - A quaint small town. A horse named Willow. Two lonely lovers. These are the ingredients of a DIVINE holiday romance. Rated M

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Grammar Gratitude Day Seven

Dear Iris,

I know you don’t like it when I shower you with sappy love and affection, so I’m going to try to keep it together.

But I love you a lot. So have mercy on me.

When I first came back to the fandom in January after being away for years, I pretty much knew no one. My first Facebook friend was LayAtHomeMom. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and you and Lay both completely fall into that category. Not only was I lucky enough for Lay to offer to pre-read for me, but I was lucky enough that she convinced you to take me on and beta for me. I’m very aware that you probably didn’t know what you were getting into with me, comma splicer extraordinaire, but you are exactly the type of beta I needed.

I don’t know how you always know what I need, but you do. You know when I need to be left alone to stew on my words. You know when I need to be pushed. You always have the right words of advice and encouragement.

You know when I need to be coddled, but you always know when I need to be yelled at. You listen to me spill out all my concerns, fears, and hang-ups, and you know when all I need is a signature Iris “SHUT UP, HOOKER.” Those are the moments I love the most, when you tell me you want to slap the shit out of me for doubting myself, but follow it up with hearts and “but ily” because it comes from the best possible place; a place of genuine belief in me.

THAT is the most important and most special thing you do for me. It’s not in fixing my horrific grammar (though that’s pretty great), it’s believing in me. It’s encouraging me to be the best I can possibly be and pushing me when I have those moments that I don’t believe in myself.

I’m just a tiny part of a massive fandom that you do so much for, but know that you’ve enhanced my experiences here tenfold. So from someone who struggles with feelings of inadequacy, thank you for making me feelings like just being ME is enough.

I can’t wait to smother you with hugs.

With my deepest, mushiest, gooiest love,

J Ray

You’d think that two people living in two different parts of the country wouldn’t have much in common.

This is true of me and my beta, Michelle Renker Rhodes (right now, she’s probably reading this and cringing while muttering, “my beta, Michelle, and I” to herself). She’s a sweet southern gal, and I’m a hardy city chick.

Yet Michelle and I first bonded over my story, “Thief of Hearts,” which I initially wrote without a beta. She’d comment on every single chapter, and having been a college lit professor, she’d give me all this constructive advice. Then, one day, I was like, “Hey, do you want to be my beta?” And she was like, “Yeah!”

And that’s how our beautiful relationship blossomed!

Seriously though, it has worked out beautifully. Through this Writer-Beta relationship of ours, we’ve grown into much more than just two heifers (one of Michelle’s favorite words) bonding over “Twific.” We’ve become great friends. We’ve found that we have so much in common, from children around the same ages and stages to husbands we love but who drive us both batty, to an almost irrational fear of lice (long story), and most importantly, to a possibly even more irrational love of sweets.

Michelle is my girl, and her role as my beta is almost secondary at this point. We’re there for each other when the world pisses us off, and we reach out to each other when “Pentatonix” is performing (She loves them. Me: meh).

But while I put up with her love for Pentatonix, she puts up with my constant misuse of commas, my knack for repeating the same mistakes chapter after chapter, and my habit of sending her chapters for review twelve hours before posting time. I believe it all evens out.

So no, we’re not always perfect. Our families keep us busy, and things slip by. But we’re having fun, and most importantly, we’ve found a good friend. That’s what matters.

Patty Rosa

The date was January 19, 2012.

The message was from Songster.

She was recommending a quality Scotch for the first story I’d ever written.  Because, in ignorance, I had called Maker’s Mark “Scotch.”  It’s Bourbon.

I had no idea.  I drink Vodka.

But Scotch seemed smart, manly, sexy.  (Really sexy - I went on to write practically a whole story about Bourbon and Scotch, high on my new knowledge.)

But on that gray day in January, all I knew was that the validator for the Age of Edward contest had reached out to correct me in the most gracious way.  I was timid and unsure.  I’d been “in the fandom” for all of about a month—gobbling up my first favorite stories by TKegl, Patty Rosa, and Kharizzmatik.  I didn’t know anyone.  No one knew me.

I had no idea the depth and breadth of the Twi Fic community.  I didn’t realize the kind of friend I’d just made.

Songster wasn’t my first beta.  Originally I worked with the big-hearted, super-sassy Dragonfly336 from Indie Fic Pimp.  I was on chapter six of High Fidelity—having fun (but not grammatically correct fun) when Dragonfly336 responded to my beta request.  She was my rock through that story.  She was my life-coach when I was unsure of myself, and my Twilight expert when my novice-ness left me stuck.  Her laugh was contagious.  She was awesome.  But as I started to try Original Fic—and Dragonfly336 began to fade from the fandom—another editor emerged.

Songster had been quietly encouraging my writing since the beginning.  Our friendship had gone from Scotch to Scots as we swooned over Jamie Fraser and the Outlander series. I never would have gotten through The Fiery Cross without her holding my hand.  In 2013 she invited me to participate in my favorite contest: Age of Edward—after which I swore I’d never do it again.  (I’m currently eating my words on that one… mmm tasty tasty words.)

But most importantly, she’s become my writing coach.  She’s taught me what a gerund is and how to use them appropriately (as opposed to every other sentence).  She’s taught me about passive and active voice.  She advocates the Oxford comma and inserts en-dashes when I overlook them.  She shares her insights and makes me laugh.  She rewrites the end of my stories when my macabre ending leaves her needing an HEA.  She signs her emails with a hug and a kiss… every time.  Like she knows I need it.

I’ve been so lucky to be able to work with such gifted people.  I’ve come a long way since my first story - and a lot of that is because of Songster.  I miss you.


~IReen aka Aja

I have an incredible beta named Hadley Hemingway. I don't need to know how any other writer\beta relationships work to understand how lucky I am. Though we live in different hemispheres, 8,500 miles apart, and have only spoken a handful of times on the phone, we have connected. We’re similar in all sorts of ways. We have many things in common.

LayAtHomeMom knew this when she fixed us up. We started a friendship from that introduction, sending marathon emails, because that’s what Hadley is like. She’s open and open-minded, interested and interesting, engaging, humble and, most of all, caring.

We talked less about the story that Lay had been pre-reading and more about our everyday lives. It was easy, like old friends who hadn’t spoken in a while, and I’m a foreigner, so that was a very big deal. As we started to work together, I recognized the times she allowed my quirks through unedited and the times she straightened up my ordinary. She identified things that were invisible to me.

Hadley has the ability to suggest, rather than take over or coerce, a quality that helps her excel at what she does. She makes me focus and think about significant words and the way I place them together, but I never feel like she’s being negative. Instead, she’s forever encouraging. I call her “delicately ruthless”.

Receiving a notification that she has started working on the doc is exciting because I’m always thrilled to see what she will come up with. Sometimes, when there are very few changes, I’m quite disappointed, but I think she’s training me. I’m just not aware of it happening.

Occasionally a comment in the doc will contain the single word, “WHUT!” It makes me cackle with laughter, very aware that I’m using uniquely Australian words.

I especially like the way she asks me to explain why I’m heading in a certain direction and her advice during these forays in invaluable. She rarely stops me, but she protects me from being trampled under a backlash, tempering my words so they won’t offend. Hadley gives me the confidence to enter the fray, ready for a barrage of unknown reviews.

My bet is she just sprinkles magic dust over a chapter, stands back and watches for the bits that sparkle and draw her attention. I don’t know why I think that, either. Maybe it’s because of the red shoes or the many mystical images she posts. I do see a fairly tale in Hadley Hemingway.

She doesn’t know it, but in my mind, she is “Haderley”, another thing I don’t understand, but it has something to do with her importance in my life. She needs a more personal nickname than her usual moniker. Haderley is the person I send my vents to when it’s too crippling to tell anyone else, because she will take a few moments to listen and offer real words of support. The fact that I trust her with my truths is the biggest compliment I can give her.

Since the initial story stumbled (wholly because of me) we’ve done six others together. I cannot believe it's so many or that she has put up with me for so long. She drops images on my wall, reminding me there’s still one unfinished and that the day will come when she will polish it into something acceptable to upload. Haderley won’t let me forget that I must find the ending, and I will, because now it’s for her.

It’s not in me to gush words in public. I’m too private for that, but this lady, Hadley Hemingway, makes me feel an outpouring of love. And a whole lotta gratitude.

She should know this song, and hopefully, she will get my meaning from this snippet.

“That is why all the girls in town follow you around.

Just like me, they long to be… close to you.”

Luffs Haderley!

xo Compass

Dear Ankita,

I just wrote this for a contest. Submissions are due tomorrow. Do you have time to look over it for me?

Just kidding! Although, I do kind of wish I could see your face every time I send you one of those emails. Do you ever think, “This girl is crazy!” If so, I don’t blame you.

When I was invited to participate in this event, I got to thinking…

If I could build the perfect Beta, she would have a superb grasp of grammar and punctuation. She would be well-read, with an extensive vocabulary, not just modern usage, but more archaic terminology, too. She would take joy in reading, but not be passive about it, always knowing when to start a dialogue that helps me see my own characters from a new perspective.

She would place equal emphasis on praise and constructive criticism. And if the entire story needs to be dismantled and reassembled, she won’t flinch away from telling me so. (Yes, I’m think of ROI. That first draft really was an unholy mess, wasn’t it?!?)

She would be a mind-reader, able to decipher my emotional flailing about my latest project, cut right through the mess and identify the exact lines or paragraphs that need to be improved or expanded. When I send back a second draft that is twice as long as the first, she would review it with the same attention and thoroughness as if she was seeing the words for the first time.

Finally, she would share her honest thoughts and feelings about the characters, content and readability openly, making me a better reader, a better writer, a better human.

Lucky for me, I’ve already found the perfect Beta. For that, I owe you about a bazillion hugs!

Thank you, Ankita! (Ninkita)

Maggie Chambers (NewTwilightFan)

This is an open letter to my beta.

Dear Iris,

There's so much I want to say, but it's hard for me to find the right words. I've been through a lot of betas and editors in all my stories. Sometimes, things were fine and we parted ways as friends. Other times, I've been dropped without warning from my betas, abandoned if you will, or my stories spoken badly--from these 'betas' who I'd trusted with my heart--and I had to fire.

Writing is the soul of me. It's the core of who I am. It hurts deeply when someone I trust stomps all over that.

Needless to say, time after time of bad connections, I was hesitant to let anyone beta for me ever again.

I've turned down people, who I adore and know well, who were willing to help, but couldn't allow myself to risk my heart again. It never felt right and I was convinced that I had bad luck with betas.

So, I just continued to edit my own work and hope what I'd learned over the years with grammar was good enough.

Then you came along.

And the funny part is, I didn't think twice about having you as my beta. The second you offered, I jumped at the chance. It was instinctual. Maybe I've always admired you and the authors you beta for, whatever the case may be, I have no regrets about that decision.

You're efficient, understanding, and honest. You make my words better. It's magic.

I told you once before, which you didn't believe me, but with a simple period here, or a comma there, and even just a little adjustment in a sentence, makes all the difference. It's insane.

How you're able to read my mind and capture my voice with your knowledge and beta skills is beyond me.

You've been a blessing. Truly. I'm so honored you wanted to work with me and beta SoCal.

Trusting my story in your hands is the best thing I could've ever done for myself and my readers.

You're amazing, and I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you!

Hopefully, this doesn't have too many grammar errors and you're not pulling your hair out. I just couldn't send this to you for you to beta... (for obvious reasons).

Your biggest fan,

LOCA (KrazyK85)

TLS would like to thank all the participating authors for sharing their heartfelt words with us this past week. We are proud to have honored these ladies who do so much time consuming work out of the goodness of their hearts. Special thanks to SueBee Beta Fairy who so graciously gave us her words for the amazing introduction of this special feature.

TLS Admins