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Who remembers sneaking into the bathroom to get their fix of The Plan on Christmas Day when it was posted in real time? Yep! So do we 😉 Happy days!
With such great memories buoying us, we’re excited to congratulate Qwen Salsbury as The Plan is published and thank her for telling us about it.
“The story of The Plan took on the form of a journal, which she posted online in “real time” over the Christmas holiday. It was immensely popular and many devoted readers still meet en masse online to read it in real time again each holiday season. Now greatly expanded to nearly double its original length, she believes that this book will be both a fun new read as well as rewarding to those who have already enjoyed the original story.” source: Qwen Salsbury blog.
Now let’s hear from the author…over to you Qwen!
I’ve seen The Plan explained as “romantic comedy meets erotic prose.” It’s a snarky, sexy journal-style narrative with a heroine who, from the onset, I aimed to have be neither damsel in distress nor rescuer. She’s not out to fix anyone, but she might bring out the best in the right person.
The entire story – the spark – came from a conversation with my friend Chantel. We were struck with the notion that none of the stories we were reading featured a sexually assertive female. The kind of gal who might, under the right circumstances, shove the object of her desires against the wall and…go to town. And you’d want to throw her some knee pads and cheer her on.
From back in the days of “Moonlighting,” I’ve always been a fan of the dynamic between couples that bicker and spar and then explode. Distant longing is also a huge draw for me. The movie “Sixteen Candles” has moments that I feel are among the most romantic on film.
The journal format is part of the character. Emma’s internal monologue is where she gets to vent, throw shade, and generally snark her way through the day without jeopardizing her job. Emma is professional and laser-focused on pretty much every aspect of her life, save matters of the heart.
The journal allows for short snippets of the important info she needs to file away. I find it’s important for comedic timing, too. Sometimes for a joke to have impact, it needs to be the end of a scene. Tapping on a few hundred words more to get a traditional chapter length tended to diminish the effect on occasion.
Emma Baker has worked in the same office as Alaric Canon for a year. She noticed him from day one. He hasn’t noticed her in 365.
Canon has a well-deserved reputation for being demanding. He’s so difficult that the office workers have a betting pool for how long his personal assistants will last. Over time, Emma observes him, learns his ways better than anyone else, and wins money on a regular basis to support her shoe habit.
After a year, Emma has had her fill of being invisible to Canon and devises a plan to make him notice her, even for just a moment. Then she can put her little obsession behind her. That plan changes when he fires yet another PA just before a vital business trip. Desperate, Emma’s boss turns to her to fill in. Who better to work for a hot, demanding executive than the woman who has been obsessively cataloguing his every persnickety desire?
Look How You Turned Out by Counselor begins with Bella returning to Forks after a not-so-successful attempt at her first post-college job in Chicago. She went to spread her wings, so to speak, but as we find from almost the very first chapter, she left her heart behind in Forks in the form of her Dad’s Deputy, Edward Cullen.
Edward also happens to be Charlie’s best friend. Both men had their wives walk out on them, and both men were left to raise a child on their own. The thing is, Bella’s had a crush on Edward since she was a teenager, but has always believed that crush to be unrequited. Yet we get little hints in the first few chapters, in the form of quick EPOVs, that though he is over a decade older than Bella, he may not have been as oblivious to her as she’s always believed.
“But her…it got…she got under my skin. Bella poison ivy. A skin rash? Hardly. She was in my blood. She still is.”
Of course, Bella doesn’t know that this is how Edward feels about her – not yet. And so we get a beautiful story of how it feels to find out that the one who holds your heart may possibly want you to hold his too, all in that wonderfully free-spirited prose that only Counselor can manage so well.
“Where in the world did you get the idea I didn’t want you to go? That makes me some kind of…where in the world did you get such an idea?”
“I didn’t. I mean…well…you…did you…”
“Bella you can’t be serious. I have been so careful…”
“Careful? Yes you have. Yes you have been so careful. Why? Why have you needed to be so careful?”
But this is more than just a love story between Edward and Bella. It has some great laughs as well. You see, Bella apparently has a…condition…which makes her first attempts to have intercourse interesting, to say the least.
…But my hand, I’ve lifted it from the bed (still in the hospital), and I’m like squeezing it, like I am opening and closing my fist and he is staring there.
“It shuts up, it gets so tight,” I’m squeezing my fist, open and close, then just closed. “It gets so tight, so tight you can’t get in.”
“Shit,” he whispers. “Can’t say I wouldn’t like a shot at it.”
Beyond just a love story, LHYTO is also a story about taking care of the family you already have while expanding that family to include those you never even allowed yourself to hope would be included. Edward has a nine year-old son named after him, nicknamed Juney, and Juney is a big part of this story, as is the beautiful relationship that develops between him and Bella.
All in all, LHYTO is one of those stories you’ll go back to over and over for that bittersweet feeling the possibility of true love often brings, for laughs, and for that heartwarming look-how-beautiful-this-all-turned-out feeling that only Counselor can provide.
Look How You Turned Out: If I was going to write another story it would be something like this… (Complete)
This past New Year’s Eve, my family and I went on a cruise to Cozumel. Unfortunately, I was sick two out of the four days on our ship, so when Katinki started posting “Ahoy, Love!” a week later, I questioned whether or not I could read it so soon after my own cruise failure. Katinki promised her story is angst-free and full of fluff and sarcasm with some smut thrown in and, considering those are some of my favorite things in the whole world, I decided to jump right in, lingering motion sickness be damned! I mean, just because my vacay was a bust doesn’t mean this Bella and Edward would suffer the same fate, right?
“Ahoy, Love!” had me hooked from the beginning and I craved the daily updates. You get a lot of the story from inside Bella’s head and what a rambling, but hilarious, place to be. Seriously, this girl had me rolling with laughter constantly. Without giving too much away, Bella is practically forced to go on this cruise by her BFF, Alice, and she’s very reluctant to participate in the usual cruise activities, even after the saucy Entertainment Director, Alec, promises to help her find “the boyfriend.”
This Edward is a well-traveled, fuckhawt doctor who’s not ashamed of his love for snorkeling or his tendency to giggle, mostly at Bella. He’s the stuff dreams are made of and everything this Bella needs, even though she worries about what will happen after their cruise is over.
Katinki creates a perfect romantic escape from the real world, including a tropical storm and being seasick. What, that’s not romantic to you? Believe me, I would’ve enjoyed my two days of being nauseous a lot more if I had Edward there to take care of me, just saying!
Seriously, though, this fic is adorable and it’s the perfect story to warm your bones (and other areas) during this crazy winter we’ve been having. But don’t just take my word for it, read this:
How he’s remained single is…beyond me. But knowing that Edward isn’t some manwhore who fucks all the nurses on his wing makes me beyond elated. It’s not like I really thought that or anything…well, okay, maybe in the beginning. But confirmation is…yeah.
“But you do now? Have time to date…” I’m stupid to even ask, but I can’t help myself because I’m clearly stupid over this man.
“I think the answer to that is perfectly obvious,” he says, nodding before he leans in to take my mouth all over again.
Ahoy, Love: One big, white boat, one unfortunate tropical storm, a few too many bottles of booze, and two single thirty-somethings hanging out, maybe falling in love, and trying to not lose their minds amidst the endless rounds of shuffleboard and Bingo. Just a bit of fluffy summer fun to take the bite out of Old Man Winter. (Complete)
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FluffyLiz : Twelve Months by SassyK (Complete) I loved this well-written little AU story set around the early 1900s. It beautifully evokes the deep and crippling loneliness of somewhat non-canon vampire Edward, and how his growing love for widowed Bella helps him find the light.
Ginkgo00: Nova by cupcakeriot (WIP) If you are a sci-fi fan, as well as a Twi-hard, then you’ll adore NOVA by cupcakeriot, Spockward (if someone’s coined this, no infringement intended) is endearing in his controlled, almost vampire-stone-like demeanor. Bella shines as the uber talented Astra – the usual cast of characters, though some are OCC, I especially love “good” James; or at least, the not-so-bad James – Yeah, there’s some angst, but mostly action and adventure, there’s even talk of a sequel, though this just started, something different, though the camaraderie is the same–Check it out!
Jennifer Smith: The Penitent by Counselor (Complete) One of my favorites – completely original story line which is great, so many stories have become similar, it is written extremely well – the imagery created with words alone with an amazing story pulls you in and holds you till the very end – this story is on my list of stories worth re-reading!
SexyRedBoots: Masen Days by purelyamuse (Complete) I defy anyone not to be touched by the beautiful, quiet relationship of Masen and Bella – the gorgeous, troubled skaterboy made me cry but swelled my heart, and of course, it’s by purelyamuse – understated perfect writing.
Veronica: A Pound of Flesh by Jaxon22 (Complete) I know most of you have read this already but I read it for the first time earlier this week and it WRECKED me, I ended up reading it twice and have completely abandoned all my responsibilities and pissed off my family; SO if you haven’t read it, I recommend that you do but make sure you have enough time to devote to PAW and Peaches.
Thanks to Fluffy Liz, Ginkgo00, Jennifer Smith, SexyRedBoots and Veronica.
Edward’s cousin Emmett once told him that the day would come when Edward would see a woman he wanted and would actually have to work for her. Well, it looks like that momentous day may have finally arrived…when Edward spies a beautiful jogger in the park. For the first time in his life, he is the one who’s doing the chasing; in more than one sense of the word. Even though he hasn’t run since his college days, he kits himself out in cool running gear, complete with an iPod and a beanie and takes off running. And as we closely watch Edward’s thighs shape up quite nicely, so too is this story shaping up to be a fine E & B romance.
When he catches up with this sassy, kind, stun-gun toting Bella (what a fabulous oxymoron!) their natural banter, playfulness and honesty soon morphs into an easy friendship…
“You’re incorrigible,” she said, rolling her eyes and jogging up the rest of the stairs. “See you in a while, Beanie.”
“Sounds good, and Bella,” he said, waiting for her to look at him again. “Sorry that I keep looking at your ass.”
She blushed and called him out, teasing him. “No you’re not. You’re just sorry you keep getting caught.”
ericastwilight is a master of drama, angst, suspense and the supernatural, so we noted with interest that Run to You and her previous story The Red Coats, are both beautifully written gentle romances featuring good-hearted endearing Bellas, and we asked her to share her motivation with us.
ericastwilight: Run to You and the other short fic I wrote recently The Red Coats were a way for me to get away from angst-filled reading and writing as of late. Real life is hitting pretty hard and I found myself staring at blank pages more often than usual. These little stories seemed to help. The characters were written in a way that the attraction was there that first moment, but one of them had to work a little to get into his or her heart. And once there, they wanted to stay.
Run to You was actually inspired by this couple I saw running daily on the way to work. He was a newbie and she clearly was not. He went out of his way to talk to her, only be ignored, until one day, I saw her helping him up after he fell. I saw them again, months later, sharing a squirt bottle. From the way they looked at each other, I’m pretty sure they’re more than friends, now. Lol
Relax and read Run to You from the comfort of your armchair, while enjoying Edward and Bella doing all the hard work, and find out if, on this occasion, art truly imitates life.
Run to You: Day after day for a week, he watched her. He wanted to know her, talk to her, and eventually touch her. The problem was he never had to chase. Will he have to run to catch up? (Complete)
Thanks to ericastwilight for sharing her thoughts with us.
The Sinners Are Coming
March 4, 2014
Se7en Stories from
Se7en of the
Will You Follow?
The Sinners can be found on FanFiction
We send huge thanks to Qwen Salsbury, PattyRose and Jiff Simpson for joining us today – and to you for your company.