Hello and welcome! We are thrilled to celebrate the completion of Tip of the Spear with Robsmyyummy Cabanaboy. For those of you who haven’t followed it as a WIP, take the weekend off and lose yourself in Spearward and Clementine – for those who have, enjoy the last chapter!
Congratulations on a wonderful fic Yummy!
I’d love to congratulate the FicSisters on the wonderful success of their new blog and extend a heartfelt thank you for inviting me to come on over and “pitch” my latest story, Tip of the Spear.
As far as inspiration goes, I knew I always wanted to write a “MarineCorpsWard” story. I’m the proud wife of a Major in the United States Marine Corps, and though my life is not one that many would choose because of the sacrifices and risks which walk hand-in-hand, I wouldn’t have it any other way. People often say, “Write what you know,”— and I absolutely know the Marine Corps and the complexities that come with being a military spouse.
I wasn’t sure what angle to take at first, but then I got to thinking about love and loss and what it’s like to get an unexpected knock at your door. I get nauseated even considering that very real possibility, and my heart aches knowing so many spouses and parents have answered such house calls. Then, I reminded myself that volunteers, complete strangers have to bolster, steel themselves to walk up to a door and deliver the worst news possible. I can’t even begin to imagine what must go through their head, knowing the burden they shoulder…what those final moments are like, prior to breaking a stranger’s or family’s heart.
I step out of the government vehicle, straighten my cover so that it’s sitting centered and low on my head and pull down tightly on my Alpha jacket.
There’s no room for error. No excuse for having one ribbon out of place. It’s the least I can do for this family and their world— the one I’m about to destroy.
I walk sharply to the door with the chaplain close behind.
A dog is barking as I approach and my stomach lurches in that final moment.
After getting a nod from the chaplain, I ring the doorbell.
The door, with its Christmas wreath so fragrant and festive, is mocking my reason for being here. This season will no longer hold joy for this family.
“Yes?” The woman’s voice trembles because she already knows. Her hold tightens around the toddler in her arms, who reaches for the colorful ribbons on my chest.
“Mrs. Matthews.” It’s a statement, rather than a question. I already know I have the right house, the right person.
Even though she’s wishing I was all wrong…and ultimately, I wish that, too.
“Ma’am, the Commandant of the Marine Corps regrets to inform you that your husband, Corporal Paul Matthews, was killed in combat yesterday in Iraq.”
Her face drains of its color as she stumbles a step backwards, leaning down to put her baby on the floor.
I steady my nerves and ensure my shoulders are straight as I attempt to continue my speech as best I can, even though she’s not listening…
My husband is a trained Casualty Assistance Calls Officer (CACO), who also happens to be preparing to transfer into the Navy to be a Chaplain. Sadly enough, he’ll always have to be either one of the two people at the door delivering the devastation. For Tip of the Spear, I wanted to focus on what Edward’s life would be like if he only ever brought the worst news to people. If he only ever saw the tragic endings of relationships…why would he ever bother to pursue love and commitment for himself? Knowing that in his line of work—with the bullets and bombs flying— there’s never any guarantee that you’ll come home, it wouldn’t seem worth it to him; he’d rather save everyone the extra tears. If you don’t get close enough to be truly invested, then nobody will be left heartbroken, right?
Very early in the story, Bella experiences two tragedies back to back, but she eventually takes a different stance on life and love.
I won’t gloss over my circumstances. My losses were beyond difficult. I’ve been medicated. I’ve had therapy. I’m in a better place now, and I know I need to live my life to the fullest, because the only other option to me is to just not bother getting out of bed in the morning.
After everything I’ve been through, I see most things very black and white these days, especially when it comes to living. I’ve chosen to wake up every day and know I have three lives to live for, not just my own. I believe it would dishonor the memories of Mike and our son if I spent any more time paralyzed by grief. I don’t even think I fear anything anymore. I’ve been through the fire and I believe I’m stronger and perhaps better for it.
I loved my boys…I still love them, and I miss them greatly. But when the clouds allow sunlight to stream down in beams and I walk from the shadows into those patches of light, I know they’re with me. When a ladybug lands on my shoulder, when a hummingbird hovers near my zinnias in the backyard, that’s when I know they’re sending me signs. It fills my soul to know I have the two best guardian angels looking out for me.
So what happens when these two souls, who approach life so differently, come together? Set the stage on the spectacular islands of Hawaii, throw in a few tropical drinks and a handful of endearing side characters, and all the elements for a story with the perfect combination of love and drama, peppered with laughs along the way is at your fingertips.
My desire is to pierce your heart in the best way with my latest story. Just as a sharp knife would, or a pointy barb from a thorn, or perhaps even a tip of a spear.
I’ve posted the final chapter today, but there will be an epilogue as well as one outtake in the next several weeks.
Tip of the Spear: The “tip of the spear” – in the military, they are the front line; the initial attack that draws first blood. As a CACO in the United States Marine Corps, Capt. Masen delivers that leading blow, too. He’s often faced with handling the collateral damage this life can bring. He’s accepted that love & commitment aren’t for him…until she opens the door. M Romance/Drama ExB (Complete)
Three of our current favourite WIPs are romantic historical dramas that coincidentally all originated as one-shots. For Edwards to make you swoon, look no further!
Four Days in July, set in 1863, was a winning entry in the Age of Edward 2013 contest and is now expanded as A Southern Gentleman.
It’s well-known Mrs. Brownloe possesses a talent for telling her tales through interesting times and places in history, and her use of a wealth of seemingly insignificant detail and historical accuracy brings this story to life in a most charming manner.
She presents us with a delightful Miss Swan, forged into a strong woman by the dire circumstances she finds herself in, and Edward, a handsome, kind gentleman who feels a duty of care towards her. Join them as they face a challenging future with honesty and sincerity and hopefully something more…
He lay down next to her and raised up on his elbow to look down into her eyes. His look softened and he raised a hand to caress her face. “May I love you, Mrs. Cullen?”
“I hope you will, Mr. Cullen.” She said this with all the sincerity she could muster. She knew he was speaking of the physical consummation of their marriage, but what she so earnestly meant, so deeply and hopefully desired, was that he’d love her as he promised this afternoon, at all times, in all ways, forevermore.
“Well, then, this is how it begins…” And he brushed his hand down to her breast as he bent down to again kiss her lips.
With a thrill in her heart, she thought mayhap he meant it just the way she did.
We thought so too!
We asked Mrs. Brownloe to share why she chose this time and place.
I’ve always loved history and have spent many a happy hour tramping around historical sites and absorbing their magic. I’ve always been particularly interested in cultural history – how people lived, what they did, what the typical day was for them.
About twelve years ago, my husband, son and myself went to Pennsylvania for our annual summer vacation. We spent a day touring Gettysburg and it left a huge impression on me. It was such a combination of tragedy, awe, and honor.
When I was younger, I used to think I’d love to have lived in another time, but now I realize I’d miss my hot water showers a little too much. It’s still great to imagine, though.
A Southern Gentleman: Honor, duty and gentility were the guiding principles of a southern gentleman. So, there was only one thing to do when Edward discovered the truth of something that happened long ago, something he was honor-bound to repair if it took him the rest of his life.
MrsBrownloe can be found on: FanFiction
There is no doubt Hopesparkles is adept at waving her pen to magically bring her readers back in time, as proven by A Hope Renewed, set in the Regency era, which was her first foray into fanfiction. This time she brings us to the American Frontier and Settlerward, with her expanded Age of Edward entry, He Came Along.
Bella and her father set off to Oklahoma with hope for the future; tragedy and sad misfortune befall them on the road, and Bella is left destitute and alone. Enter Edward to rescue the damsel in distress, and this is where it gets interesting: Bella is a stronger woman than either of them realise, and this dashing Doctorward has met his match.
“You’re as stubborn as a mule, Bella. Fine. If that’s the only way I can guarantee a roof over your head and food in your stomach, then you can have your way. For now.”
Read this engaging story to see how Edward’s life was set on a new road when she came along.
We asked Hopesparkles to tell us the inspiration behind her characters.
I was born and raised in Oklahoma, so I grew up knowing about the unique way that land was settled. My grandmother would tell me stories about her parents staking a land claim during the Land Run of 1889. My great grandmother, like many women that settled in what was then called “Indian Territory”, was strong and industrious. The normal rules of society that were placed on women were very relaxed because of the harsh conditions, and they became true pioneers for generations of women and families to come. I wanted to write these characters, that we love so much, into a setting that was personal and precious to me.
He Came Along: This was going to be a fresh start; a new beginning, in a far off place. But what happened that night, on a dark road near Maxwell changed everything for Bella.
Hopesparkles can be found on: FanFiction
You Belong to Me, Emmamama88’s third literary venture into the past, is set in America during the Korean War era, and she sets the tone of the times beautifully. The late 1940’s to early 1950’s were a time of conservatism, adjustment and new influences. Throw the Irish-American Swans, the Italian-American Colonnas, and army life into the melting pot and it makes for a lovely story of romantic and family love that will touch your hearts. You Belong to Me will hit close to home for many of you, cause you to reminisce, and make you long to be courted in the old-fashioned way. It’s enchanting!
On Saturday evening, I was dressed and waiting in the parlor when Ed arrived, although Pop wouldn’t let me answer the door.
“Hello Mr. Swan, I’m here for Bella.” I heard Ed’s voice sound from the porch.
“So she tells me,” Pop answered in a gruff tone, “well, I suppose you should come in then.”
“Thanks very much,” Ed answered as he crossed the threshold and removed his hat.
We smiled at one another as I walked over to stand beside him, fastening my coat as I did, and hoping we could make a quick escape. “These are for you,” he said in almost a whisper while handing me a bouquet of pansies. Tasteful and understated, just like him.
Edward is that…and a lot more besides. Swoon!
We asked Emmamama88 to share her very personal story inspiration…
“You Belong to Me” takes place just as the Korean War is beginning. It was born from the idea of using a couple of elements from my parents’ own courtship as the basis for a story. I’ve always thought that the way they met, and their later separation, would make a great movie; all the elements are there: romance, drama, humor and even some angst. As I got into writing the story for the Christmas Wishes Compilation, and especially now with the expanded edition that I’m posting on Fanfic, I have been compelled to share more and more of actual events than was ever my intention at the start. As I’ve realized, this story could not be told any other way. It’s been a real treat to share this bit of family history, and characters whose real life counterparts are so very near and dear to my heart.
You Belong to Me: Army Sergeant Edward Colonna returns home after six years overseas, only to find the love of his life in one, Isabella Swan. Can their love survive the test of time when he is sent away again?
Want everyone to know your current or most-loved fic ever? Then give us a One Liner via the submission form!
ladycea: Stranger Than Fiction by MasenVixen (Complete) This is a beautiful story, told beautifully – it’s like a grown-up and very creative alternative to New Moon – as the author says she wanted to give Bella a chance to grow up, get her shit together and put Edward through the paces. LOL ~ 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. AU M Romance/Angst BxE
MaiaFicFan: Diary of an Ugly Girl by Anton M (WIP) Every long chapter has me running the gamut of emotions, Bella’s sassiness makes me laugh, Edward’s gentleness makes me swoon, the challenges they find themselves facing make me cry – it’s such a lovely story, with layers and layers and stories interweaved, told in the form of Bella’s diary where she often scolds her brother, Emmett, for reading all her secrets. ~ Follow Bella as she grows from a bullied little girl into a sassy young woman. After all, it’s not about what you’re looking at, it’s about what you see. An unorthodox story about best friends and their journey. M Humor/Angst/Friendship/
MsSexyRedBoots: Ride or Die by MidnightLove87 (WIP) I get so cross about the situation Edward finds himself in, I hate Aro with a vengeance, but Edward is tough, resilient and strong and my heart absolutely aches for him-in amongst the hot and dirty motorbike races, when I’d like to offer to shower him down and massage his aching muscles! ~ Edward has a choice, ride or die. But he’s at the end of his moto career, where his body can’t take much more. Will he ride, and if so, at what consequence? Motoward/Bella M Romance/Drama
RobbieElise: My new favorite fave: Fate Interrupted by drotuno. (Complete) This story has such believable characters, well, for fictional supernaturals. The Edward/Bella interactions are beautiful (and incredibly erotic!) Her Edward is just more of everything we love about him, and her Carlisle! And Esme…Alice…oh! You have to read this, it has everything a Twilight-lover loves about fanfic! Drotuno is an exceptionally talented author! ~ What if Edward never returned to Carlisle after his “rebellious” phase? What if he and Bella were always meant to be? How do you pledge yourself to your mate if your life isn’t yours to begin with? AU ExB Vampires…Rated M
RobIsMyEdward: Denver Paranormal Society by Ericastwilight. (WIP) I love mysteries and all things supernatural-ghosts, ghouls, psychics, angels and the afterlife so Denver Paranormal Society gives me everything I want -and more – with an Edward who has gone through terrible grief and a Bella who can bring him peace, but at what cost? ~ Sequel to She Speaks Fear and Truth. Follow Edward’s team, and Bella, the newest ghost-hunting member. With Bella’s abilities will it only bring Edward’s team to more harm? Their relationship is put to the ultimate test. M Paranormal/Romance BxE
Many thanks to ladycea, MaiaFicFan, MsSexyRedBoots, RobbieElise and RobIsMyEdward for sharing with us!
We asked Fallingsnow Winter to tell us why she was moved by katinki’s An Angry Man.
I tend to lean more towards an angry, nasty, mean Edward when reading and there is a reason for that – I know in my heart that something horrible had to have happened to make him like that, and then I need to read more and see how he is redeemed.
This grief-stricken Edward is on a path of self-destruction, and watching him destroy himself is incredibly heart-wrenching.
We then meet Bella who also tortures herself for what has happened in her life. Two wounded souls looking for some kind of relief find some sort of peace with each other while doing the simplest of things, like painting the house.
Little by little they cling to each other and find some sort of peace. But what they really can’t see is just how much they have in common and how good they are for each other.
Katinki is a powerful storyteller – she makes you feel like you’re right there with the characters on their journey.
An Angry Man: Edward is a bitter, angry man, a man suffering the sins of his past. An emotional & physical recluse, he pushes everyone away. That is, until Bella, a mysterious woman with her own demons, moves in and forces him to face himself. AH. M Hurt/Comfort/Romance ExB (Complete)
Sunflowersongs hints at the sense of fun she instills in White Shadows, and the delights that lie ahead with her author note from Chapter 1: First, Edward is a knight and about the cockiest bastard you’ll ever meet. Second, there’s a fair maiden in need of rescue. And third…did I mention Edward is a knight? Oh yes! We hear you sunflowersongs, but let’s hear from Edward…
Being the only son and heir to Castle Sunhaven of the Amber Isle, First Knight to King Alfred, the reigning tournament champion five years running, the man nicknamed “Slayer” by those he’d fought against…I held a certain attraction, a certain fascination to women. But then perhaps my face and body- and being well endowed- had something to do with it as well.
Perhaps Edward, perhaps! LOL
Isabella of Ostburn is the fair maiden in need of protection and Edward of Sunhaven is just the man knight for the task. The seemingly simple remit of guarding Bella with his life, leads to discovering love, a daring adventure with loyal friends, bad guys and gory battles, and growing into the man he was destined to be.
Sunflowersongs also tells us this captivating story of fantasy and romance is “not set anywhere real, so there’s no historical accuracy to mess up, and the fictional medieval rules are my own in this land of Oaklea.” White Shadows is refreshing and unique, with some unexpected canon characteristics and interesting parallels to the original Twilight – not to forget the smoldering from Cockyward! 😉
White Shadows ~ Edward’s a knight. Bella’s a fair maiden in need of a protector. An arranged marriage, a run for freedom, a change of heart, a choice to be made. Lots of adventure, some humor, and a cocky Edward. M Fantasy/Romance ExB (Complete)
Sunflowersongs can be found on: FanFiction
Do you remember reading Cinderella as a young girl and that feeling of happiness and warmth when Cinders was swept off her feet? Enchanted is a sweet, romantic one-shot set in the whimsical setting of a masked ball. The very place young girls dream about meeting their very own Prince Charming, or in our case, our very own Edward. Perhaps for this hard-working, lovely, gentle Bella, fairytales do come true. Sigh!
Pandora’s Box is Heavy told us:
I was antiquing with my mother about a year ago and stumbled upon a crushed velvet masquerade mask and the idea for the oneshot just came to me instantly. Cinderbella sort of named herself…
Enchanted: “And, after all, what is a lie? ‘Tis but the truth in a masquerade.” – Alexander Pope M Mystery/Romance
Pandora’s Box Is Heavy can be found on: FanFiction
The voting is now open in the First Time Fumbles Contest!
Thanks to Robsmyyummy Cabanaboy for sharing her special moment with us, thanks to Fallingsnow Winters for joining us, and thanks to you for spending time with us.