Monday, July 18, 2011

Slash Guest Author Rec - bmango

First of all, I’d like to say thank you to naelany and the rest of the TwiSlash ladies for the invite to write a recommendation. I may have gone a little overboard. *sheepish smile* Next, I have to warn people, due to the fact that ALL of the slashy fics I’ve been reading lately have already been rec’d, I’ve picked a small selection of fics (mostly het) that have me completely hooked.

Now, I have to admit that since I’ve been in this fandom a couple years (Has it been that long really? Feels like just yesterday...but I digress), I’ve had this kind of feeling recently that I’ve read it all. Almost every pairing, all the relationship drama, all the mistakes, miscommunications and misinterpretations. I started looking for things that were different - different scenarios, characters, universes, worlds, anything. And several fics have stuck out. A couple true fantasy fics (Return to My Side by IngenueFic and Dreamscape Book 1: The Return by katinki) or canon stories that are very AU (Yesternight by Pastiche Pen and The Music of the Night by theladyingrey42) have captured my interest and are linked and discussed below.

But first, I’ve also become hooked by spy-thriller-type stories. In this latter category is a riveting story, Gone Baby Gone by OhMyWord (who also wrote the con man story, The Confidence Man) that keeps you on the edge of your seat from the first two sentences.

Isabella Dwyer died on January 9th at 8:37p.m.

Bella Swan was born one hour, twenty minutes later.

And after 13 chapters, I’m still holding on for dear life on this heart-stopping roller coaster, swept up in the story of Bella, an innocent, head-strong woman in the wrong place at the wrong time and now on the run. As the story continues, more clues are given to Bella (and hence the readers) as she tries to stay one step ahead of her pursuers. Luckily, during one attempted escape, she meets Edward, the unwitting accomplice in the oldest trick in the book.

She glanced over her shoulder, but at what, Edward couldn't determine. She muttered an expletive under her breath and then grabbed the front of his t-shirt. "Please," she said.


"Just, please."

And then she swung them around faster than he could react, if he'd wanted to, and kissed him.

He braced his hands on the brick to keep from falling into her, his mind reeling, his mouth willing, but still. He'd seen this in a movie once, or a television show or something, but he couldn't remember the title. It had been a distraction, or a way to hide, or…

Turns out they both can’t remember the title of that movie, but that doesn’t really matter, because the ploy does actually work. She attempts to leave him, but well, he’s Edward, so he doesn’t really take ‘no’ or ‘go away’ for an answer. And then he steps into the alley and comes face to face with... Well, I wouldn’t want to spoil it. I think you’ll have to read for yourself.  :)

Every chapter is well-written and OhMyWord does a fantastic job with the pacing and dialogue - making the reader ( want to race ahead to find out what happens next while simultaneously not want to miss a single word. I would recommend this to anyone who likes the thriller genre with an Edward/Bella twist.

In the true fantasy story category, Return to My Side by IngenueFic (which has already been recommended on this site) is a truly superb mix of canon vampires and the Greek gods covering all of the major plot issues in the Twilight series (yes...the entire series). The writing is impeccable and the legends and myths woven into the Twilight stories are expertly done. I also love that it’s fairly canon with a big twist and I’m still hoping and praying that Isabella and Edward can make it through all the obstacles in their path. Below is a small taste of what I’m talking about.

He is the one I have been unknowingly searching for all my years on this Earth. He holds a power that I believe can take me to places I have only visited in my dreams, but that can also kill me, can bring me to my demise. He is my savior but he is also my murderer.

Without thinking, I reach for the chain that rests against my neck. The thin strand of metal is warm against my skin and my fingers play with the pendant that dangles preciously from it. The one reminder of home, of who I truly am, is there, encased in a small glass teardrop. The pomegranate seed is small and deep red, but it holds much more than anyone could ever guess. The words my parents once told me, a long time ago it seems, echo through my mind and I know – I know – that I have found the person I want to share this seed with. I can't though, I won't, because he is not mine, can never be mine.

The second fantasy story I have to mention (which katinki says she plans to complete) is Dreamscapes Book 1: The Return. From the first few paragraphs, it seems like a normal start to a story - Bella on a plane heading to somewhere normal - Forks. But then the unexpected happens.

The descent was fast – too fast – and the captain's words were garbled over the roar of engines and the wind. I wrapped my arms around my torso, trying to contain my screams and shaking frame. Outside the window, clouds whipped by in blurs of wispy white, and even though I tried not to look, I could see desert sand and ancient plateaus reaching upward to grab us.

I was going to die.

Alone and afraid, I was going to die.

I clenched my eyes shut and prayed for green, for copper, for the last beautiful image I could recall. My hearted pounded against my ribcage and I felt myself slipping back toward unconsciousness. I couldn't decide which was better – knowing or not knowing.

Just before impact, as blackness consumed me, a soft, sure voice whispered in my ear, "Don't be afraid, Isabella. I will never let you die."

Suddenly, you are drawn into this alternate world of magic and possibilities, of Bella’s power and uniqueness and Edward’s undying, everlasting love for her. As always, the writing is perfect, the characterizations are strong and the imagery is breathtaking. Although it’s only a few chapters in, things are starting to get very interesting and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Lastly, there are those almost canon stories that are placed in a different time or space. The first story, the recently completed Yesternight by Pastiche Pen, is the only slash story in this list and has been recommended on this site previously. The story involves Carlisle and Edward, soon after Edward’s change, deciding to take a trip to Mexico. And who do they run into there? Well, none other than Maria and her army, which includes a slightly talented, extremely sexy smart-mouth named Jasper. The writing is amazing (as always) and the original characters that she incorporated into the story (Millie has to be one of my favorite characters ever) are well-done and add much more spice to the tale. And the tension, oh my lord, the sexual tension is through the roof. Let me demonstrate with this little excerpt from a sparring match between Jasper and Edward.

Their bodies were perfectly aligned. Jasper's leaner body was shivering against his, and the tension. The press and press-back between their lower bodies was growing more deliberate. Edward grabbed Jasper's shoulders—held on for dear life—when Jasper rolled his hips up. They both groaned, pushing harder together, starting to rock against the dip in the floor.

Edward had a hand fisted in Jasper's hair and the other pulling on his hip, when Jasper bent to lick his neck.

He froze when he heard the clapping. Two sets of hands.

Even so, it was an even greater shock when the soft tongue disappeared from his neck, and he felt Jasper's teeth take its place. He heard Jasper practically yell at him through his thoughts: Round over.

My final recommendation is another completed canon piece in an alternate universe. The story, The Music of the Night by theladyingrey42, was written as an FGB piece and incorporates aspects of The Phantom of the Opera, the music and the man/monster dilemma, into the Twilight story. The largest alternate universe part is that Edward doesn’t go back after he leaves Carlisle and Esme and has a career in theater, which is where he meets the invisible Bella. I love this Edward because, although he is tortured and emo, he doesn’t resist his urges to be with Bella - doesn’t deny himself everything. Perhaps this is a little more Phantom-esque, but it works perfectly within the canon structure. The snippet below is when they first meet from Bella’s perspective.

Slowly, she closes her eyes, letting herself drift on the whirl of notes, crescendoing higher and higher, until finally there is a long pause.

And then one voice.

One singular, perfect, heart-broken voice.

Bella's eyes snap open, trying to identify the source of the music that seems to have filled her entire body with warm sound and pure emotion. Only, when she looks up, it is clear that only one person could have made that sound.

One man.

And he is looking right at her.

In that moment, Bella feels something shifting beneath her feet, like some part of her recognizes a part of someone else. Like some part of her is really seen.

And I know I told Naelany that I am not very wordy, but apparently I was wrong (at least in this case). It’s just so much fun to rave about the stories and authors that I adore so much. I hope that you find something in this list that piques your interest and please give these amazing writers a little love if you read their stories. Also, I hope that they may inspire others to write “different” genres or characters or universes and give me more to enjoy!

Until next time, love and smooches, bmango

No comments: