My Sister’s Keeper by Mavis Applewater

I’ve read the name Mavis Applewater on a few message boards but had never read any of her stuff. Until a friend recommended My Sister’s Keeper. She just told me that there was some angst, a bit of religion, and good writing. Well, that was enough for me.

I don’t want to give away too much but the story involves Jenny and Lizzie, aka Sister Rachel. They grew up together and shared most of their “firsts” with each other. When Lizzie is shipped off to a convent school by her fanatical mother, the women are separated for more than a decade. Lizzie’s return to Boston opens old wounds for both women. But I shouldn’t really say more.

I truly enjoyed the storyline and the characters were complex and believable. There were story arcs that never really went anywhere and I would have like to have had a bit more depth to the religion aspect but, overall, this was a well written, touching story.

Oh, and I wanted to mention that the cover art used on the pdafiction version was very nice. One of the best things about getting fiction at is that many of the compiled stories have cover art. And some of it is REALLY good. So here’s a shout out to Calli of Calli’s Creations. She seems to do most of them and I sometimes find myself going back to the cover art while I’m in the middle of a story so I can see her interpretation of the characters and emotion.

(Mavis Applewater had her work taken down from PDA Fiction but it is still available at The Royal Academy of Bards)

Ok, go read.

Accidental Love by B. L. Miller

Veronica “Ronnie” Cartwright seems to have it all: money, mansion, and cars. But the executive doesn’t have anyone to share it with. Rose Grayson has nothing and no one. An accident brings them together and a secret threatens to tear them apart.

This story was much better than I thought it would be after reading the first few pages. I thought it was going to be very predictable but it was a bit different from what I thought it would be. I do think that it may have been better the way I had it figured out but I suppose if I could write a story like that, I’d be an author instead of a reviewer.

There was plenty of family drama, tension, growing love, and just enough sex. The first sex scene, in particular, was pretty hot. I am a bit hormonal right now, so that could account for my cynicism regarding the plot and excitement regarding the sex. Who can say? What I can tell you is that this is definitely worth the read.

This has also been published as a print novel.

Blind by Jayliwood

This was the first human Twilight fan fic that I read and I have to say it is still one of my favorites. The author, Jayliwood, has won several awards for this fic and others and I really enjoy her story lines and writing. She has the perfect balance of believable sex and romance scenes along with just enough angst to keep you on the edge of your seat.

The premise of the story is that Bella and Edward are both college students in Louisiana but Edward is blind. Bella is the first girl that treats him as a normal person and they soon fall for each other. Bella is roommates with Alice and Edward with Jasper, which is nice way to keep the couples in cannon. Rosalie and Emmett are also a couple and it’s refreshing to have a story where Rosalie isn’t a raging bitch. Renee is a bitch, which is all I can say without giving too much of the storyline away. While I think the author did a great job with Bella’s character she really captured Edward’s character the best. Some fan fics come off with Edward being too whiney. There is a big difference between whiney and angst-filled and some fan fics are way off base with Edwards personality. The sex scenes are amazing and give you flutters without being hardcore porn-like some fan fics I’ve read.

The only downside to the fic, if I had to pick one, would be the grammar. When she has a beta look over her chapters they are fine but when she doesn’t the grammar and spelling is pretty bad. However, aren’t we all like that? I know I am when I write.

Unconquered by Pallas

This Conqueror story begins with Xena surrendering herself to an Amazon outpost. Gabrielle, who by then lives with the Amazons after being forced by Xena to watch her husband and sister burn to death, demands vengence. She travels with Ephiny and a contingent of sisters to bring Xena back from the outpost for her trial. She plans to murder Xena before she reaches the main Amazon camp to be judged.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t finish this one. I got about a third of the way through and just couldn’t go any further. The mechanics of the writing were fine, good even. But I found the story and the execution of the plot just unbelievable. I wanted to feel it but I just couldn’t. Gabrielle, in less than five minutes of actually meeting with Xena, begins to have conflicting feelings toward the Conqueror. Ephiny asks her if she’s in love with her, explaining how close the emotional strength of love and hate is. The supposed connection between Xena and Gabrielle felt very forced to me and, with that and the storyline, I just had to stop.

This is the first fic I’ve tried to read by this author but I did grab another one so I’ll see if I have the same issues with that one or if this was a fluke. And, it may just be me. I found this on someone else’s recommendations page so I know at least one person liked it enough to list.

Wade Out by Pearcey

I stumbled upon Pearcey’s Bad Girls site after I had exhausted all the more well known avenues for BG fics. I copied and pasted every finished Bad Girls story on the site and enjoyed most of them. The ones not by Pearcey were not as enjoyable, in my opinion, but when you’re desperate for your fix, well, you know…

“Wade Out” is my favorite by this author. The story begins at the 10 year anniversary of Nikki being released from Larkhall. She’s single and miserable and she’s never gotten over Helen. The story seems to follow canon through the end of series one and has Helen leaving Larkhall after the tabloids get ahold of a story linking her romantically to an inmate. They don’t see each other after that. Until fate steps in, that is.

Helen still works for the Home Office and Nikki owns a successful garden center. Many of our favs from the show are there along with some new, original characters. My favorite of these is Del Sheddy, Helen’s cousin and Nikki’s former cellmate. Del is introduced with more depth in Pearcey’s story “Helen’s Return” although these two stories are not related.

All in all, I love this story. It has a “feel good” plot and plenty of humor, which is just as important to me as angst. Not necessarily in the same story, though.

Nice Girls Don’t by Telanu (aka Somniesperus)

This reviewer is just as clueless in questions of fashion as Andrea Sachs. And still… this story makes me want to learn all about it.

Or, let’s put it this way – Somniesperus is the reason the movie The Devil Wears Prada is worth seeing (well, her and Meryl Streep, of course). Telanu aka Somniesperus has written many more stories in this universe but if you haven’t checked the fandom yet, this story would be a perfect way in.

The general premise, in short: Miranda Priestly is all powerful dictator/editor of the fashion magazine Runway. Andrea Sachs is her newly hired, fashion-wise clueless assistant.

The Nice Girls Don’t is an AU in the usual sense that the storyline departs from the movie to make the subtext the main-text. It’s a Miranda/Andy love story, of course. It’s also a poignant study of human character. It’s mature writing at its finest (and no, I do not mean it like that!): the characters are wonderfully flawed. They are weak, and they are strong; they are mean, and they are nice; they are hopeless, they are powerful, they are cruel, and in the end, so very engaging. The writing is seamless, perfectly executed. Never pathetic, never over the top. Somniesperus does not take the easy way out, her stories are about facing the fears and the consequences. No formulas here, no worn out phrases or used up metaphors.

Not to get too metaphysical about it – the story is, of course, hot as hell.

Is it our love for power games and strong women (and a distinct lack of those in hit movies)? Is it the archetypal teacher fantasy? In any case, Miranda Priestly in hands of this writer seems far more dangerous than Xena the Conqueror. And twice as hot 🙂

For one, she doesn’t even raise her voice and all her minions tremble in their fancy Manolo Blahniks…