Languedoc by Angharad Governal

I might have read quit a bit of Uber Xena fan fiction, but I’ve never actually watched an episode of the TV-series or read a classic Xena fic, so I guess I’m not the best choice when it comes to reviewing an uber with tie-in to – what I deem to be – the classic Xena Universe, but by request I’ll give you my thoughts on “Languedoc” by Angharad Governal. If you have knowledge of the Xena Universe, and would like to add to or correct this review please feel free to post a comment.

Languedoc is a former province of France situated in the south, originally a territory independent from the French kingdom. If we can trust Angharad Governal, Languedoc was conquered by the French in 1226 AD, even though the female knight N’Alexandra and her partner the troubadour and noble woman Na Gabrielle did their best to defend the territory.

The story of Na Gabrielle and her knight is uncovered by Brangein Gwenhwyfar or Gwen for short and Sister Augustine at St. Marie d’Ormarc Abbey in France, while Gwen does research at the Abbey library for her PhD in medieval French literature. A research that uncovers not only the history of Languedoc, but also until now unknown tales of Xena, and opens Sister Augustine’s eyes to what she turned her back upon when taking her vows.

This is a story with a little bit of everything – hints to the classic Xena storyline (I think), a bit of a medieval romance of knights and noble women, and a modern day tale of finding love in the most unlikely place, but somehow none of all these layers of the story seems to be explored fully. On the other hand I’ll say that even if we do a fair bit of jumping back and forth in time and between storylines in “Languedoc” the story is well woven together.

All in all this story didn’t really catch my interest, but I’m not sure that I’m the best judge of the quality of the story, as I’m normally not inclined to read medieval romance, drama or classic Xena stories – so please let your fellow readers know if this story has qualities that I’ve overlooked.

Just to prove my self wrong – I’ll mention a couple of fan fic’s with a medieval theme that I’ve come across even if they are not among my bookmarked fic’s – you might like them “Second Son” by A. K. Naten, and “Eagle’s Reach” by an unknown writer.

A Rock for Remembrance by Ali Vali aka A. Valdivia

What makes you happy? Is it the little things in life – like a walk on the beach one Sunday morning under a clear blue sky with a cool wind tossing your hair around, is it going to sleep holding the hand of your loved one – yet again? Maybe it’s something like reaching a goal you’ve set for yourself like doing your five miles run faster than last year or getting the job, the house, the girlfriend or something else that you’ve set your eyes on?

I’m quite sure that there isn’t one thing that makes every one of us happy, but rather millions of different things that can make different people happy. Anyway – if we are to believe the typical alt romantic storyline – we can rest assured that money and prestigious positions won’t guarantee a life of happiness. That’s great since we can’t all be billionaires! There isn’t enough money to go around – at least not after the last couple of years of bank crises.

If you don’t believe me go look up some of these stories to see for yourself! The writers can’t all be wrong – can they?

In “A Rock for Remembrance” by Ali Vali you’ll meet the 35-year-old Julian Lowe the current head tuna (I never heard that one before!) of the Lowe Company – a vast shipping empire. Julian is filthy rich with a job she loves and a grandmother and a loyal staff that loves her to pieces, but as you might have guessed – she is not happy. Julian is missing something in her life that a good friend can’t provide.

It might be a coincident, it might be luck or maybe there really is someone who listens in on our prayers? Anyway when Julian’s friend JJ sends out a late night prayer for someone to come by and love Julian – preferably someone short, blonde and cute – the answer is immediately provided in the form of Summer a little blond – 4-year-old girl! Well if you’re not too specific in you request the delivery might get a bit messed up! You shouldn’t worry though, Summer is a great start to a turn around for Julian, she is cute and lovable, and she will help Julian strike up a connection with another slightly older blond – the lovely kindergarten teacher Kiki who works in the Lowe company’s daycare facility.

Kiki is all you ever wanted; beautiful; warm-hearted, fun and mother to a lovely young boy by the name of Tiger, and if the adults won’t admit that they take an instant liking to each other nothing will hold back the children – Summer and Tiger become best friends in a heartbeat.

If you like to peek into the lives of the filthy rich or how Ali Vali presume that they live their lives, then look no further for your fun.

**SPOILER ALERT** This is a Valentines’ story so rest assured that the women will find a happy ending in each others arms even if they take their time. If you want the living happily ever after ending you’ll have to read both “A Rock for Remembrance” and “..and A Canopy For Happy Endings” and should you want to know even more about the family life of Kiki and Julian you can go for the sequel “Skipping stones“.

I found the stories to have a bit of a humorous tone, but a not too exciting storyline. I’ll give a few points extra though because of the kids. They might be too wise for their age, but they are a nice addition to the storyline as are a number of other supporting characters. It’s nice for once to see the protagonist having a meaningful relationship with someone beside their love interest.

I’ll leave you with a list of stories with likewise riche or successful female protagonists who seems to have a spot of trouble with finding happiness in their lives, but as you know – love conquers all! Most of the stories have been reviewed at this site at an earlier time, so if you want to know a bit about the storylines go look up the reviews.

– “Sheridans Fate” a short story by G. Brooke(review)
– “True Colours” a novel by Karen A. Surtees and PruferBlue (review)
– “Noemi” a novel by Katia N. Ruiz (review)
– “Turning Tides” a novel by A. K. Naten (review)

I also remember a couple of stories by Alex Tryst with filthy rich female protagonists:

– “Adventures of a Super Dyke” (The story is posted in several parts)
– “Love in Photograhps

Turning Tides by A. K. Naten

Sometimes an attraction is all about sex, and sometimes sex is the beginning of something more, if you have the courage to open yourself up to your feelings and to the risk of being turned down, getting hurt or even having your heart broken.

In the case of MJ, attraction and sex is a game, a game of dominance, a game designed to keep feelings at bay and make sure that her heart is kept safe an unharmed, but even the most well designed games can turn bad.

MJ has been playing her games for a long time, and when Alison comes along, she becomes the next half hearted player – drawn to MJ, but never able to accept that she can’t get close to her. Vowing again and again that she will not be lured by MJ’s games, but always unable to resist when MJ starts to play with her mind, heart – and in the end – her body.

Drawing on her last bit of resolve Allison breaks away from MJ by quitting her job at Whitton – the company that MJ runs – and starts her life anew.

For MJ the game turns real bad, when she realizes that she has fallen in love with Allison and that her games have driven Allison away. The question is if MJ can overcome her fears and pursue Allison and offer her the heart that she has won.

“Turning Tides” is a long story that moves along in a slow pace, sometimes taking a little too long to paint the picture of the lives of MJ and Allison. The story would properly have benefited from a sub plot to support the storyline and perhaps a more developed supporting cast of characters. But don’t be put off by this – about halfway the intensity of the storyline picks up, as the feelings between MJ and Allison become stronger, and this is where I got drawn in by the story, which kept me up too late – again!

“Turning Tides” is a captivating story with a lot of pain and angst as MJ and Allison keep getting tangled up in their fears of getting involved, of rejection and whatever else that you can possibly think of – and really all they have to do is to act upon the love and reach out.

There is a short sequel to “Turning Tides” it’s called “Red Tide”, but it doesn’t really add much to the story.