2017 Fandom Achievement Awards

A Different Forest
Age of Consent 
Awake in the Infinite Cold 
Edward Wallbanger 
Quiet Storm 
Son of a Preacher Man 
tara sue me

- Blinkie by beegurl13 - 

- Tribute by StillDreaming85 -

I first heard of A Different Forest when someone shared their “Fic Dive” in one of the groups on Facebook. I didn’t have a clue what a Fic Dive was, but it sounded interesting, so I quickly went off to investigate. Turns out a Fic Dive is what they call their fanfiction recommendations. The admin, Tarbecca, goes hunting for “treasure” and shares her finds with the site. She posts anything from new stories to new authors and old fandom favorites. It’s a really great way to find new reads. So, if you haven’t checked out the site before and would like some suggestions on what to read next, I definitely recommend checking out the Fic Dive.

Some fanfic authors do post stories on ADF, but you don’t have to post your story there to have it rec’d. They also do author interviews. I was lucky enough to be asked to do one a few years ago. It’s a great way to interact with your readers and also a good way to get to know your favorite authors. You will more than likely find out something about them you didn’t know, as well as their inspiration behind your favorite stories.

ADF has a ton of community-driven posts, as well. They do things like the “What the Fic” thread where they share story updates. It’s also another great way to find recs. Not only that, but it’s a good way to discuss updates with like-minded people.

They have a “Hot Guy Ahead” thread where you can, ahem, see hot guys. I mean, c’mon. Who doesn’t like seeing hot guys after a really stressful day? “The Daily Chew” thread is where you can talk about anything from what fic you’re reading to how great your day is going or how shitty it’s been.

They have so many different threads I couldn’t possibly name them all, but you can definitely find something to pique your interest, whether you want to talk about books, art, or even the latest TV show. They have it all. Honestly, if you don’t believe me, go see for yourself!

The point I’m trying to make is ADF isn’t just another fanfiction rec site. Not that there would be anything wrong with that, but no, they are a community. The site launched in 2009, and since then, they have grown into a site that plays a huge part of our fandom. They bring people together daily, and because of that, I want to say thank you. Thank you for taking time out of your day to offer readers something different. Thank you for keeping this fandom going.   

Here’s the link. Go check it out! www.adifferentforest.net

- Blinkie by beegurl13 - 

- Tribute by Angela Weber Cheney (aka AddictedToFic) -

I wish I could remember exactly when I first read Age of Consent, because it was a game changer in my love for Twilight fanfic.  At the time, I wasn’t on fandom social media, which is funny to think about now. Was there life before the fandom?! When I finally joined Twitter and Facebook in 2012 and started interacting with other fans, I had no problem answering one of the most popular questions asked in the fandom: “What is your favorite story?” However, I always did have a problem articulating why it’s my favorite. So when I was asked to write this tribute, I took the time to really examine my feelings about Age of Consent and how important it has been to me and to the fandom. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity. 

There are so many things that occur in fanfic that we allow, support, and enjoy but are so not okay in real life. The idea of a 26-year-old man having a relationship with an almost-17-year old-girl is probably one of those things. OlderWard became a very popular genre in Twilight fanfic, and I think Age of Consent can take some credit for that. It was written in the early days of TwiFic, and at the time, before some of the really taboo topics were written about, it may have been considered quite risqué. I have recommended this story to countless people, and a few, especially mothers of teenage girls, get squicked out by the topic and don’t even want to read it. But the bottom line is that Age of Consent is a story about true love, sexual discovery, and a beautiful relationship.

One of the things I love most about fic is the fantasy aspect of it. How many times, in whatever stories you love, do you wish you were Bella? What teenage girl wouldn’t just die to get the attention of a sexy, older guy? I always had the hots for older guys when I was a teenager! But I would never have been as bold as Bella, which makes me really admire her.  She is the instigator and aggressor in their relationship. Bella is so wise beyond her years. She is smarter, more confident and competent than the average 17-year-old girl. She’s up on current events and follows politics and pop culture, but she knows her history and can quote poetry and Beatles lyrics like someone far older. She stands up for herself, like I never did as a teen, but is also vulnerable and sometimes insecure, like every girl that age.  I identify with her so much and wish I’d been more like that. 

Edward’s love and respect for Bella, despite that he wants her desperately, is what I love most about him. He wants to take care of her and make all of her firsts special, while she wants to go full steam ahead. He admires how mature, fashionable, and cultured she is while making sure she doesn’t miss important milestones every teenager should experience (Hello! 26-year-old man at prom!).Though he’s had years of sexual experience, he’d never really been in a serious relationship. Bella is his first and only love. Their love stands the test of time. When the story is complete, he is almost 40 years old and still as enamored with his Bella as he ever was. 

The majority of the story takes place during their first summer together, and despite their age difference, they’re just a boy and a girl who fall in love. While they’re nearly ten years apart in age, I feel like Edward and Bella grew up together. littlesecret84 perfectly captures the magic of summertime: going to parties, kissing in the car, and sneaking off to spend as much time together as possible. I can so clearly imagine them on a warm summer night, listening to music, holding hands, and acting like any young couple would as they discover first love.

I love littlesecret84’s writing style! Age of Consent alternates between Bella and Edward’s points of view, and both make you feel like you’re really in their heads. The writing is so honest, genuine, and almost poetic. In most stories that alternate POV, I often like EPOV best, but in Age of Consent, I found BPOV so relatable. I often felt like I was reading her diary. I always try to be present in life’s special moments while trying to store the memory at the same time, knowing I’ll want to look back and remember the feelingI know that when I look back at my life someday, I will remember the stars, his breath on my neck and shoulder, and the pain in the fingers of my right hand as I clutch my iPhone tightly. Terrified, but blissful. This perfectly exemplifies why I love the way this story is written. It’s so natural and authentic and how I’d want to write if I had a fraction of littlesecret84’s talent for storytelling.

As I mentioned, I read Age of Consent before being on social media, and back then, the way I’d find new stories to read would be in author’s notes recommending other fics. I can’t remember how I found it, though I certainly wish I could to thank that writer for leading me to a story that I’ve read about 100 times (no exaggeration!). At the time, I only knew about fanfiction.net, and I thought it was a short story with 12 chapters and about 30,000 words. At the beginning of chapter 12, littlesecret84 indicated she was pulling the rest of the story and the complete version could be found on ADifferentForest.net.  I had no idea what ADF was.  So I searched, created an account, and read the rest of the story there. I never got too involved on ADF, but I definitely found stories there I’d never have known about otherwise. I have to believe Age of Consent brought a lot of people to ADF that may never have found it. It was one of the first stories to post only there in its entirety and the fact littlesecret84 chose ADF as the place to post such a popular story speaks to its importance. That may be Age of Consent’s most significant impact on the fandom.   For me, though, it’s the story I’ll still be re-reading for the next “thirteen, twenty-six, thirty-nine years,” until I’m in a nursing home and insisting the other old ladies read this pervy romance I fell in love with so long ago.

- Blinkie by beegurl13 - 

- Tribute by Sally Hopkinson (aka Alice's White Rabbit) - 

Be aware there may be spoilers ahead. If you haven’t read this fic, which has been around since 2009, I apologize in advance. It is based on several stories/movies: Twilight, How to Be, Flowers for Algernon/Charly, and a very small piece of August Rush. Personally, I hadn’t read Flowers for Algernon nor seen the movie based on the book, Charly, so I went into reading it blindly. I had several people recommend this story, and I just kept putting it off—so many things to read! I finally caved in 2015. I knew it was angsty, and I love angst. I swore it would be a fic I probably wouldn’t re-read, but in preparing to write this tribute, I did the unthinkable—according to several friends—and I devoured it once again. To say it had less of an impact would be a lie. Even though I knew what would transpire, I still bawled my eyes out. Even though this wasn’t my first angst fic, it is the fic I measure all other angst fics against. If someone wants a recommendation for a story that will tear your heart out, this is my go-to fic.

I had my own theories as I was reading it for the first time, but I was so wrong! And it’s hard to talk about this fic without talking about why those of us who love it feel the way we do. This story is not for the faint of heart, those who want everything to be hearts and flowers. This story reaches into your chest and forcibly rips out your heart and then shreds it. But I wouldn’t have it any other way, because the way it is done is with such poetically charged emotions.

The story starts out with Bella moving to Seattle to begin a Master’s program in Psychology along with a job as a research assistant to Dr. Jenks, who has received a large grant to conduct the first human trials of an experimental new drug that was showing promising results in increasing the mental capacity of animals. Edward was the 5000th applicant. When he arrived at Dr. Jenks’ office he hesitated “like a shy toddler afraid to leave the safety of his mother’s legs.” Bella recognizes him as the person she's been searching for since he saved her from being creamed by a bus, leaving only his battered wallet behind. But he doesn’t recognize her. “Her face had fled from his mind like dandelion fronds on the wind.” Dr. Jenks was looking for someone with an IQ of 70 or below. Part of Bella hoped Edward would qualify so he would have a chance at a normal life; the other part of her “ached for the sad, lonely little boy living in a grown man’s body.” As Jasper would later describe Edward, “He was several keys short of a keyboard.”

The way quothme describes things is truly poetic. When Bella meets Rosalie, Edward’s sister, for the first time, she recognizes her from the picture in Edward’s wallet, but she has seen better times. “Time had run a slowly devastating hand across the canvas of her face, like a once-pristine ice sculpture warping oddly the longer it remained on its platform. When she notes how Edward’s employers had probably not even noticed his absence during his treatment, she says, “To them, he was no more than a single fallen apple in an orchard full of other, shinier apples still growing ripe on a limb. They wouldn’t notice if he were trampled underfoot and eaten by worms.

As I’m writing this, there are so many things I could say about this story—things that would describe how Bella and Edward meet, become friends, etc.—but that would tell too much. This is a story that needs to be “felt,” not just read. So, I scrapped what I had already written and decided to write a short “thank you” letter to quothme instead.

Dear quothme,

Thank you for writing a story that makes me smile and makes me snot-sob like no other story has in the eight years I have been reading Twilight fanfiction. Thank you for using your words to paint pictures for your readers. Things like “that mysterious music that was tickling the edges of his brain like the flies in his apartment that he could hear but could never seem to find. Or “When Edward started playing, it was no hurricane of sound. It was a fresh breeze rippling through a hanging garden of clean, sun-soaked laundry. And “Edward warmed up by carefully caressing every key, gathering them together like baby chicks so that none of them would feel left out. He showered them all with finger kisses and coaxed out their absolute best.

Thank you for writing a story that sticks to your ribs like oatmeal on a cold morning; it stays with you long after you are done. Thank you for making me feel things I may not have wanted to feel. Thank you for making me fall in love with this Musicward, who was not perfect but was oh-so loveable, and his Miss Bella. Thank you for showing us that enhanced intelligence or “being smart” isn’t everything, that some gifts can be subtle in the beginning but can explode in a rainbow of music. Thank you for sticking to your storyline even though many readers wouldn’t read such a [SPOILER] tragic love story.

I think this was the first story I read that affected me so intensely that I couldn’t stop thinking about it days after I had finished reading. And it is definitely the only story that I just have to think about the last few lines and tear up immediately years later. Throughout the whole story, the main theme for Edward is “Will Miss Bella hear the music?” So, when you wrote these words—Each night, when Jasper clasps Edward’s shoulder in a silent signal that it’s time to go, Edward lowers his hands, raises his face to the stars peeking through the crack in the heavens, and asks a single question. “Will Miss Bella hear this music?” Each night, Jasper answers honestly, “I think she will, kid. I think she will.” And, somehow, somewhere, she does.—the sobbing begins… again!  

- Blinkie by beegurl13 - 

-  Tribute by marvar -

When I was asked to write a tribute piece about cosmogirl, I realized she reaches beyond the Twilight fandom. We met her through her first story, Retail Therapy, and loved her for close to thirty other swoony stories such as Conversations Over Coffee, What Speaks in Darkness, and Solstice. She's also published a few one-shots for other fandoms and collaborated with other Twi authors. And now she wields her wit on Twitter.

Many of us who started reading and writing Twilight fanfiction in the good old days have migrated over to Twitter, which has moved from a way to promote our stories to us clinging together sobbing over the dumpster fire of our government. (But that's a whole other story. Don't get me started). In the absence of new stories, we've all remained loyal readers of her tweets.  I mean, everyone looks for the pink “I ‘heart’ Cock” avi. We all hope she'll tweet a link for a new chapter or someday (crosses fingers) an original fiction. But until that happens, we'll just enjoy her running commentary on basically everything and book recs. Because we all really just want to read what she writes, even if it's only 140 characters.

But let's travel back to those aforementioned days of primetime Twifanfiction. You know, when Edward was still carrying Bella bridal style and we all wanted lemons in every chapter.

My love affair with cosmogirl began in 2009. We "met" online. I reviewed her story (or she did first—I'm old and don't remember exactly) on Twilighted. Yes, Twilighted. Remember those days? I actually looked up our reviews to research how our fic-marriage began, and I remembered why I stopped going on that site. (My eyes are still strained from that red-and-black layout.) We supported each other at a time when a review was new and rare. Soon we were editing each other's stories, and then we started writing together. We spent a lot of long nights sexting smut scenes after we would totally fuck up a Google doc.

It was glorious, just like Edward's cock.

Besides working with me on Love in My Box and a few other fics, she's also collaborated with Sydney Alice and Jaime Arkin on stories such as Between the Covers and Confessions After Dark, because everyone who talks to her wants to work with her. She's fabulous on her own, but she really brings out the best in her partner.

cosmo is also known for fabulous birthday presents in the form of dirty fics.  I would know, as a frequent recipient of such gems. Hello, Edward in the Afternoon. I remember all of us waiting for that fic to update.

She's given us interesting characters, laughs, and, of course, filthy smut. She loves a strong heroine (usually Bella) and an HEA. (Yes, even the time she killed Edward. No, cosmo, you will never live that down.) She's even written Emmett and Jasper as gay cats, which along with Jingle Bella, is my favorite. You just know that if cosmo is writing the story, it'll be quality stuff. We all await the day when she'll publish the original novel we know she has in her.

Besides being one of the fandom's favorite authors, she's one of the best friends and cheerleaders around. She's my bestest fic-wife ever. And someday, we will enjoy our taco cart whilst wearing kaftans on a tropical beach (I can almost hear "Thank you for Being a Friend" in the background).

Congratulations, cosmogirl, for being one of the Fandom Achievement Award recipients. You deserve all the accolades and more. 

- Blinkie by beegurl13 - 

- Tribute by Karin Kempert Lawson (aka Lovelybrutal) -

It's sunny-warm for November, and I'm sitting on my porch steps, making circles on the ground with the toe of one corduroy low-top, while my two young kids pull grass and chase bugs in the yard.

I want to do it. You know I want to, I Twitter DM yellowglue on my Galaxy S, the one where the keyboard slides out. I just don't want to mess anything up. I'm flattered to be asked, but I've never been a beta for a regularly updating story before, and this one promised to be big. Sex, drugs, innocence, debauchery, teenage rebellion, capital-A angst on a long timeline. True love, truly fucked up. My own personal brand of heroin. But can I keep up? Am I ready for this?

She reassures: You just 'get it' better than anyone else I can think of.

Summoning up all my courage, I type out three words that will literally change my life forever.

I. Am. In.

She replies: It's going to be a good thing.

Back in 2011, I don't think either of the authors, yellowglue and TeamSmella23, writing together under the name YellowBella, could have known just how good a thing Dusty was going to be.

Looking back six years later, it's hard to pick out what made Dusty so unforgettable. It worked on the same levels that most Twific does but went deeper into them. It explored the ache of the teenage years but started farther back, digging into issues of identity, friendship, and the bewildering magic of growing up. Stephenie Meyer's inspiration led many fic Edwards to desert Bella. Instead of once, Dusty does it to Bliss again and again, and we're never sure if he'll come back, or when, or in what state.  We're never sure what he did while he was gone.

Canon Edwards are well-known for their brooding self-loathing, but Dusty's manifests into more than the standard guilt and self-denial we're used to. Blown pupils, paranoia, helpless fits of rage, and an apparent indifference to the destruction of his own life are the bitter fruits of addiction, a taste many of us know all too well. Plenty of fics bring in memorable OCs, but Dusty's had a twist. She wasn't actually a person. Cocaine was a character all her own, with lines between the lines. Blow was the side bitch we all loved to hate, whispering persuasion too sickly-sweet to ignore. Dusty's infidelities with actual girls paled in comparison to his betrayals with white powder.

Fandom clichés can be fun, but the authors had way more fun smashing them. Ally wouldn't go clothes shopping if you paid her, Esme was definitely not the perfect mom, babies couldn't have been farther from Rosalie's mind, and Renee was not only present, but deeply invested in her role as a parent. Edward traded in blazing green eyes for sky-beautiful blue, and Bella's chestnut waves were infamously strawberry blonde. These seemingly small details gave them extra latitude to be themselves, allowing Dusty and Bliss to become so much more than cookie-cutter characters to us, as well.

As captivating as their tear-jerking, heart-rending, boundary-pushing love is, the real star of Dusty could well be the friendships. Petey and Dusty were there for each other through everything, from baseball practice, to car crashes, to blackout after blackout after blackout. Whether smoking a joint in the '64 or taking care of the ones who should have taken care of them, these two boys can say more to each other in a look than they could with words. Bliss and Ally's relationship, similarly, was better than the best of friends. We watched them share everything, from banana popsicles to clothes and shoes, weekend-long sleepovers to dreams for their future. They spent more time together than apart, complemented each other's style, and knew all each other's secrets … mostly.

The seemingly simple contrast between Innocents and Delinquents, between sugar-sweet Bliss and reckless bad-boy Dusty, reverses as their story unfolds. Princess-baby is a liar too, and Trouble has the best heart. The Sluts weren't all bad, and the families weren't all good. This theme of duality, the double-sidedness in everything, was echoed in the readers' responses to it. The fandom was firmly in one camp or another: you either loved Dusty with wild devotion or you wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. Many of us would fervently anticipate each update but then send out a breathless, flailing, all-caps string of tweets about being too scared to read it.

With details rich enough to revel in, Dusty's depth came in unexpected places. From black hoodie cotton to brand new dresses, from “Love is what we make it,” to “Lie. Lie. Lie.”, baseball cleats to snow boots, bonfires at the beach to busted headlights, from “Do you want me to get my mom for you?” to “Did you bring your fucking crayons?”, Dusty was more absorbing, more engaging, more real, because even while it dealt with big issues, it was the little details that added up to a world. Figure in the gorgeous visuals and banners contributed by so many talented friends, and the song lyrics that lit up each chapter like fireflies, and it's no wonder we needed a support group. The ending, highly anticipated as it was, was still tough to be ready for. We white-knuckled together through the fist-fight and held our breaths through heaving sobs on the lawn. Their tears were our tears, their broken hearts broke ours, and when “Hello” finally came, all of our lungs tightened in fear, hope, and uncertainty. We were all on Team Love.

Try as I might, there's no way to sum up the reasons why Dusty earned this Fandom Achievement Award. Swag and Sway have meant far too much to far too many of us to reduce their impact to just a few lines. Maybe it's because some of us had a Dusty. Maybe it's because some of us were Dusty. Maybe consuming, co-dependent love just captures our imagination like fireworks on a summer night. It has been a visceral, transformative experience to be so closely connected to their story, and I can never adequately express my gratitude to the authors for trusting me to beta their incredible work and to all of you for reading it and sharing in this amazing, emotional experience together. Fandoms change, relationships fall apart, but Dusty remains, at home on FFN in its original form, here for you when you need it, full of a love unashamed to be exactly what it is.

Fucked up, real, and beautiful.

Just like we all are. 

Edward Wallbanger

- Blinkie by beegurl13 - 

- Tribute by Nina Bocci (aka Ninapolitan) –

I’m almost certain I have the very first message feathersmmmm sent me somewhere in my fandom email. I can only imagine what it said. Probably something about Rob, because if you know her at all, you know he was something she talked about. Often. Still does.

While I don’t remember specifics about that first email, or the thousands that came afterward, I remember she somehow convinced me to not only read her first story, I Love LA, but to also become lifelong besties with her.

Edward Wallbanger was different than I Love LA in many ways. It wasn’t RPF but AU, which was really taking the fandom by storm. This idea where regular old humans replace vampires and werewolves created some of the most memorable fics. I think all of us remember them fondly, and once we began really chatting about all of them, it opened up a whole new world (go ahead and start singing; you know you want to). Also, I was along for the ride as a pre-reader/beta-reader, which afforded me the option of reading it before anyone else. What power that was! Then to see people’s reactions to it in real time? Well, that was part of the fun.

Wallbanger was a story that mobilized a great deal of the fandom that was still skeptically dipping their toes into the AU pond. I think the comedy was what drew people in. People wanted to laugh, and Alice delivered ten-fold.

These characters were relatable in a way that made it special. Here are twenty-somethings, not teenagers as was canon, and they’re were living, working, and banging their way through San Francisco, not Forks. The fandom loved it, shared it, and eventually bought it as a published work, which I believe was a true testament to the power of the Banger. He was translated into different languages, because above all things, people just wanted to find a funny, heartwarming story to sink their teeth into (see what I did there?).

What was incredible about Wallbanger was how quotable it was, and still is. I’ve read countless reviews—both fic and based on the published version—that simply illustrate just how easily the dialogue slips off the tongue. It embodied what it meant to have cheeky best friends you bantered with, guy friends you shot the shit with, and that one guy you’d drop everything for.

You can still probably say to someone that read it, “He was still hard...” and they’ll blush and then fangirl scream over the line. Who would have thought a little fic titled Wallbanger would have become the juggernaut that it did?

Here we are, how many years later, and people are still talking about it. They’re reading it again and sharing it with friends of all ages, because it’s something that translates to almost any age group. I think as a newly 40-something, I can say I still laugh at it the same way my 23-year-old nieces did when I gifted them a copy of it.

Wallbanger will go down in the fandom history books as one of the funniest and irreverent tales. Whether you liked it, loved it, or never read it, I guarantee you’ve heard of it. Not many people can say that.

- Blinkie by beegurl13 - 

-  Tribute by Christina Hobbs - 

When I was asked to write a little something on LolaShoes and her contribution to fic and fandom, I thought, “Are you kidding?” Lo is sort of my favorite topic—second only to Sephora and Harry Styles’ dimples. I can talk about her all day. But as I sat down and actually tried to put my thoughts into words, I realized I didn’t even know where to start.

I first met Lo in 2009. She was organizing a panel on fanworks (spreading the fandom love, even then) for San Diego Comic Con and invited me to join. I basically loved her at first sight, but it wasn’t until I got home and searched for her stories that I realized how insanely talented she was.

My first Lolashoes fic was an EPOV one-shot that takes place during Breaking Dawn. Where the book ends with “…pulled us both into deeper water,” Lo (church hands!) filled in the dots. And whew! What dots they were!

I remember sobbing my eyes out as I read Lo’s version of their first time and what it meant for Edward to finally trust himself. There was always something missing for me, and she eloquently filled in the blanks. After finishing it, I immediately searched out her trilogy (Let Your Light Shine/A Life Extraordinary/This Hungry World) and devoured it in a matter of days. I emerged bleary eyed, tearstained, and blushing, realizing that, while I adored the original books, Lo gave Edward something I wasn’t sure we found on the original page: pure, unadulterated happiness.

Lo gave Edward his Bliss.  
Lo gave the fandom Love Days, a term many of us still use today.
Lo wrote one of my favorite moments in any fic ever: a tiny line in My Yes, My No, where Bella replaces her last name with Edward’s and literally brings him to his knees. I still gush to her about this line.

I reread My Yes, My No recently and was blown away all over again because she really is that good. Told in alternating timelines, My Yes, My No tells two different versions of the time after New Moon, one where Bella instantly forgives Edward and one where she doesn’t. In the My No version, Edward tells her he couldn’t truly leave her in the woods and hid in the branches overhead until she was found. To this day, I still find myself shouting, “He’s in the tree!” during that scene.

Not only did Lo write nearly a million words of fic in a year—a pace that hasn’t slowed much, I assure you—she also beta’d, preread, reviewed, and helped raise over $750,000 for children’s cancer research during Fandom Gives Back. And even now, with twenty-three books under her belt, Lo still holds the fandom belief that writing is a collaborative effort, reading query letters and offering advice for fandom friends, and being the greatest cheerleader anyone could hope for.

Lo isn’t just my coauthor; she’s also my best friend. She hasn’t just written some of my favorite fics; she’s the author of many of my favorite words. Period. She’s my person and the other half of my brain, and I’ll forever be grateful to the fandom for bringing us together.

- Blinkie by beegurl13 - 

- Tribute by la_geologia (aka Belle Clementine) -

When I was first asked to write this tribute for the Fandom Achievement Award, I kind of freaked out. I'm not very good with words, and nothing I could think of seemed quite enough to pay tribute to the brilliance that is Quiet Storm by SexyLexiCullen. I'm sure I've read well over a thousand fics, and Quiet Storm sits at the top of that list. The characters, the storyline, the writing, and the place it holds in the heart of this fandom... It's one of the special ones—one of the ones I feel so lucky to have read and breathed and loved and cried with and laughed with over the last eight or so years since it was published. Though there are definitely plenty of other mafia stories out there, there is nothing quite like Quiet Storm and its sequels, Weather the Storm and Riders on the Storm. Lexi masterfully takes us on one of the wildest rides this fandom has ever seen. It's rare to find a story that is as funny as it is violent, as irreverent as it is romantic, but Quiet Storm is truly the full package. It's got everything: humor, action, angst, friendship, romance, crazy hot lemons, and, maybe most importantly of all, extremely well-developed characters. Granted, the Skip can be out of his mind intense and his beloved Bebella is a little loony, but gosh dang it, we love them for it all the more. And truly, this is where Lexi's talent really shines—her ability to write these characters and create this world in such a way that it just seems so real. Her writing style is completely unique; Quiet Storm was like nothing else I had ever read before, and I was hooked from chapter one just based on that alone. I remember starting the story and thinking, "YES! This is how people actually talk!" and it's through that spectacularly written dialogue that she truly brings the characters and scenes to life. I can hear their voices in my head, their inflections, their speech patterns... It's like I know them; they feel so real to me sometimes. And yet, as lost as you are in the story, Lexi's voice as an author comes through so clearly. She tells her stories exactly the way she wants to tell them, and I couldn't respect her more for it. While Quiet Storm has one of the strongest, smartest, funniest Bellas ever written and Edward is swoony as hell and loves her so freaking much, these characters are not perfect. Not even close.

He grinned at me, nodding his head. "No, now I get it...Like father like daughter...You think I'm some common thug--hustling and shit."

I laughed. "You're such an asshole..."

"Yeah, I'm a lot of things." He brought his voice down low, and started to play with my hair again.

I smacked his hand away. "Stop touching me--"

He yanked me back into his arms again. "Never." He squeezed me so tight again.

"Get off--" I tried pushing him, which just made him squeeze the tightest he could.

"You want to know who I am?" He asked.

I continued to squirm in his arms. "You're hurting me." I whispered.

"I'm the deadliest thing Brooklyn has ever seen. I have no remorse for the things I do." He whispered. "I'm the youngest underboss there ever was, and I am part of the largest organized crime family in New York--"

"I know that. Edward, I can't breathe." I rasped out, still trying to get away. "I didn't mean--I wasn't going to say who you are fucking--"

"Ahh..." He nodded. "You meant who the person of interest is?" He asked, raising an eyebrow.

I swallowed, nodding my head. "You don't have to tell who you're going to kill--just where you'll be..." I stopped talking, realizing that I was probably the stupidest bitch to ever walk the planet.

When I was first trying to figure out what to write here, trying to sum up my feelings about how amazing Quiet Storm is, I started asking myself all kinds of questions about what made the story so special: why does it stand out, and where does it fit in within the TwiFic universe? It definitely doesn't fit the model set by so many other fan favorites; there's no hero and heroine, no big trauma in anyone's past, no brooding, no self-loathing, no pining, no redemption. No, I think what's so special and so much fun about Quiet Storm is that Lexi unapologetically takes us on a very different kind of journey. At its core, the Storm series, with all its drama and humor, aims to answer a pair of very familiar questions: what if Edward isn't the hero? What if he's the bad guy? And with that, one of our favorite, most ruthless Mobwards was born.

The chemistry between Edward and Bella is instant and undeniably intense, but that love and passion can be all-consuming and explosive—violent, even—and in a mess of insecurities, awkwardness, and constant power struggles, sometimes it's like they love each other beyond all sanity, and that can, at times, be gut-wrenching to read. They would die for each other; they would kill for each other. And they do.

"...he jiggled the handle, and I knew this was it. I couldn't falter in my movements. I couldn't hesitate or freeze because once I did, he'd kill me.

Time stood still as the door slowly opened and I raised my weapon."

But still, through all the turmoil and violence, every time Edward squeezes the shit out of his Bebella, his moosh-monster, every time he bites her nose, I fall a little bit more in love with him, our Mr. FuckHot PussyLips. We laughed with these characters, we cried with them, and we rooted for their successes and giggled at their silliness. I feel like we fell in love right along with them. From every time Edward tells Bella he loves her…

"I think I loved you from Bebella."

…to Bella being so stinking cute and crazy during her pregnancy:

"The look in his eyes was so intense, it made a shiver run down my spine. He was looking at me, how I look at mozzarella cheese, and that turned me on something fierce."

There are just sweeter, more special moments in this fic than I can count, and I'm so eternally grateful for every single one of them. Undoubtedly one of the most well-known works within the fandom, Quiet Storm has been so deeply treasured by the TwiFic community, and me personally, since it was first published, and even after all these years, it's still just as beloved as it ever was. Its audience continues to grow, and that's saying a lot considering that it hasn't even been on fanfiction.net in its entirety since before it completed several years ago. But people are still rec'ing it, people are still reading it, and they're falling in love with Skip and Bebella just like we did way back in the day. You can't mention Mobward on Facebook without a million people immediately flailing over the brilliance that is the Storm series and deservedly so! It's a classic, but also with every re-read, it’s just as fresh and funny and exciting as it was the first time you read it. I've gone back to this story more times than I can count, and yet, every time I re-read it, I find myself completely on the edge of my seat or snorting over something hilarious. Even though I should know exactly what's coming next, I find myself shaking my head and thinking, "I can't believe I didn't remember that part!" Although, if you're familiar with the series, you know just how wonderfully long it is! That baby is a freaking beast, and for me, that's a huge part of what's so much fun about it. There's so much going on that, every time I revisit it, it feels completely fresh and I find something new to love and enjoy. Not only does Quiet Storm hold up after all this time, but as I change and grow, with every re-read, I seem to appreciate it more and more.

I was lucky enough to meet Lexi in Philadelphia at the TwiFic Meetup in 2015, and other than me fangirling all over her like a crazy person, I felt so lucky to talk to her and see what an absolute sweetheart she is. I was also able to recognize where so much of her characters and the world she wrote came from. Yes, she's a true New Yorker, but more than that, she has Bella's big heart and her silly, quirky sense of humor; she embodies Edward's curious, mischievous nature. That experience made me appreciate not only her writing, but everything about the Storm series so much more, and I will be forever grateful to Lexi for sharing her incredible talent with us and letting us get to know these familiar characters in a completely new way.

Quiet Storm, and TwiFic in general, came into my life at a point when I really needed a friend, and as much as I love my fandom friends—and I truly do—it's the fic that will always be my first love. These stories have always been there for me; my companions when I just need something, a distraction, an escape, a reason to laugh, a really good cry... Quiet Storm is one of those stories for me that truly feels like one of my best friends, one of those constant, ride-or-die friends who will always be there no matter what. Thank you, Lexi, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing this incredible work with us. I couldn't be more grateful. Quiet Storm is a true original, and let's face it; it’s the ultimate Mobward. If you haven't read it yet, I strongly urge you to give it a try. You're going to love it "more than there are stars in the sky."


- Blinkie by beegurl13 - 

- Tribute by beegurl13 - 

Like many people in the fandom, I'm an Edward-and-Bella kinda girl. I only read stories where they're in love and together. I avoid stories with other pairings at all costs, because I'm firmly and happily aboard the good ship E&B. Only one story has ever tempted me to abandon that ship.  It's been eight years since the story was marked complete, and yet, the vast majority of the fandom knows it, loves it, and rereads it on a regular basis. Maybe LaViePastiche didn't know what she was creating when she wrote it. Or maybe she did. Either way, Son of a Preacher Man is one of the greatest fanfics in the Twilight fandom.

The story is told from three perspectives: Jasper Hale, Bella Swan, and Edward Cullen. Telling a story from so many points of view can sometimes be a tricky minefield for many authors, but that's not the case for LaViePastiche. Where many authors cause a story to feel redundant because the same scenes are told in multiple views, LaViePastiche is able to skim over details, adding important thoughts and insights on key things, while advancing the storyline with ease. She actually leaves me wishing I could read every chapter from every point of view, a feat rarely achieved by other authors.

Jasper Hale is the bad-boy son of a famous televangelist minister intent on distancing himself from his “perfect” father by drinking and sexing his way through life.  Having that life uprooted when his father moves the ministry from Texas to Arizona doesn't help matters. While clearly a thorn in his father's side, Jasper spends as much time as he can with as many different ladies as he can.  For Jasper, it's all a game, and he's always up for a challenge. The only constant woman in his life is Pearl, his '65 Ford Mustang Fastback, with a dual overhead cam engine, a restored black leather interior, and a silver cross hanging from the rearview mirror. She's the only lady he has eyes for... until he meets Bella Swan, that is.

A junior at St. Mary's Catholic School, Bella Swan has spent the last few years harboring a pretty severe crush on the big man on campus, Edward Cullen. Though he's never given her the time of day, she can't help but fall for Edward's all-American good looks, smarts, and broodiness. The first time she's ever tempted to glance at another boy is when Jasper approaches her and her friends, flipping her world upside down with his Southern drawl, sweet smiles, and sensual touches.  She's blindsided by him, and even though everyone warns her about him, she can't help but give him the benefit of the doubt. She knows she intrigues him, and she enjoys his attention, as well as the other things he does to her. She thinks she's smart enough to avoid getting caught up in his games, but is she? 

Edward Cullen is the senior soccer star at St. Mary's who happens to be dating Jasper's younger sister, the bombshell Rosalie Hale. Edward's coasting through his life, not noticing or caring about much aside from getting out of high school and off to Julliard. Nothing means anything to him until one afternoon when he hears Jasper mention Bella Swan, a name he seems to remember hearing at school. It's then that his interest is piqued, and he can't stop himself from finding out all he can about the girl Jasper affectionately refers to as “Brown Eyes.” He's quick to befriend her, hoping to save her from Jasper's wicked web, but is that the only reason he wants her away from Jasper? Or could it be he's finally starting to care about something? Or someone?

Son of a Preacher Man doesn't disappoint in any way. It's hot. It's angsty. It's sweet. It's funny. It's sad. It's everything a good fanfiction story should be. It's got raging teenage hormones, angry parents, mediocre karaoke, and love triangles. There are hot cars, hotter temperatures, and the hottest boys doing the hottest things in the hottest moments you can imagine. It's got Catholic schoolgirl uniforms, desert bonfire parties, topless backseat makeouts, and public betrayal on so many different levels. Maybe it's the fact that it takes place in my backyard that makes me love it. Or maybe it's the fact that LaViePastiche created a world where nothing is as it seems. It might even be the fact that Jasper Hale is finally written as a complex, misunderstood character that is desperately looking for one true thing in his life. Regardless of why, Son of a Preacher Man is a story that sticks with me, no matter how many other stories I read. It's the one story that makes me think, “Maybe Bella shouldn't end up with Edward, and that would be okay.” It's the story that makes me love Edward all the more, because as good a character as Jasper is, Edward's even better. It's a story that makes me happy Bella is a real girl, with real emotions, and with real options. And every time that last chapter hits, as Van Morrison's song “Brown Eyed Girl” is playing in the background and Jasper is smiling his sweet Southern boy smile, I think to myself—yet again—maybe I'll be okay hopping off that Edward and Bella ship. Maybe...

- Blinkie by beegurl13 - 

-  Tribute by Pamela Lorraine -

I slowly came into the fandom by pure accident. As I was looking for a Team Edward shirt for the New Moon premiere, I saw an ad for Twilight fanfiction at the bottom of an Amazon page. Curious, I clicked on it and discovered a whole new world. Through this world, not only did I discover many different genres of stories involving our beloved Edward and Bella, but I began to meet many wonderful people and authors I’ve grown to admire and become friends with. One of those authors kindly took me under her wing and showed me the ropes, and when I mean the ropes, I mean she gave me a full lesson in all things fanfiction, which included a list of all the classics that I must read. On this list contained three short-titled stories that completely stood out to me: The Submissive, The Dominant, and The Training by tara sue me.

At first, I insisted this wasn't my cup of tea, but I was simply told to read and to trust. I was only used to Edward being a vampire. Reading Edward as human was new to me and beyond my vision of what I knew him to be. What I discovered was that these stories were beautifully well-written, highly researched, and told a story that was nothing like I had ever read. Edward was sexy, strong, controlling, and human in ways I never thought he could be. My eyes were open to so many possibilities of a human Edward, and it made me crave reading him all the more. I gobbled up the stories and wished, at the time, that there were more stories like this Edward. What I also found was a huge tara sue me following within the fandom. Not only was she beloved, but she was approachable, friendly, and extremely thankful for all the attention she garnered and for the fans she had made. One thing tara truly is is extremely grateful.

tara sue me opened a door in this fandom that had never been opened before. The attention the trilogy brought to the fandom was overwhelming and exciting. Her masterful storytelling captured the attention of the fandom. EL James herself had been a fan of tara's trilogy, and she went on to write her own fanfic Masters of the Universe, which she subsequently published as 50 Shades of Grey. What people may or may not realize is that tara herself is the trailblazer of this genre within the fanfiction world.

tara published her first book, The Submissive, on June 4, 2013 and subsequently published The Dominant and The Submissive later in the year. The trilogy became an international phenomenon! She became a New York Time best-selling author and, over the years, has gone on to publish thirteen more successful books in the genre, including The Exhibitionist, The Master, The Collar, The Master Professor, The Flirtation, and, as of early 2018, Headmaster. tara has much to be proud of and has accomplished so much in such a short amount of time.

Today, you can find and meet tara at romance book signings throughout the US. I was honored to meet her twice in 2017. She was super sweet and extremely approachable. We were able to chat at great length. What I can share with y'all is that tara told me that she is writing a new series in a new genre. I'm extremely excited for her about it. She said she feels she was born to write, that the success she has had has made the opportunity possible! Her success continues to pave the way for many fanfic and future writers. She is always one to lend support and always remembers where it all began. tara sue me continues to be one to watch in the book world. Congratulations, tara! You deserve this fabulous achievement! You make the fandom proud. We wish you much continued success for many, many years to come!
age o

No comments:

Post a Comment