For this week’s FanFiction Fridays I am very pleased to be able to offer you a Guest Review Week post , entitled “The Inspirational Isabella” written by the lovely Gingerandgreen, author of the enchanting historical fic Plight Thee My Troth.
The Inspirational Isabella
When I began thinking about the kinds of stories I wanted to recommend on RA, a definite theme emerged. I like such a range of fics, but my favourites tend to be those with a Bella who is unusually brilliant in some way.
Even though I narrowed down my theme, it was still extraordinarily difficult to select a small number to tell you about. I hope I have a range here with something for everyone. If not, PM me and I’ll find you another – that’s a promise.
My first rec is an apparently little known WIP story by i-was-broken. Cold Case File is a detective story written in the classic style of Raymond Chandler, or more relevantly, Sara Paretsky. The brilliant Bella of the story is a lonely police detective trying to solve the spate of murders committed in Rochester, NY. The only thing the corpses have in common is the manner of their demise; and a complete and bewildering lack of evidence. Naturally, the clever Twific reader immediately suspects a vampire, and guess which family of vampires currently live in town? That’s right – chance quickly leads Bella to an encounter with the Cullen family, leaving her suspicious and unsettled. There is something about these other-worldly people who remind her of her painful past. And there is something in particular about the one called Edward that she just can’t put her finger on…
“The hot guy looked anything but hot as he stared me down from across the café. He looked positively furious. Evil. His gaze was cold, his brow furrowed in intensity, and lips curled back to reveal bright, white teeth. His chest heaved from breathlessness.
The newspaper was still clenched in his hand.
What the fuck?
I pressed my back further against the counter, too fearful to turn away. Behind me the machines whirred loudly, brewing coffee and frothing milk. The barista disappeared in a billow of steam. She didn’t hear me gasp.
He suddenly looked inhuman standing perfectly still, only his chest heaving. I couldn’t fathom what was wrong with him. Was he mentally disturbed? Having some sort of fit or seizure?
The sound of my pulse thundered in my ears, and my breathing was ragged. My shoulders trembled and my arms shook. My service gun was at home on my shelf, but my father’s old snub nose .38 took up permanent residence in my purse—which was on the counter behind me. I had a weapon. I could defend myself.
But I was frozen.
My training was forgotten. I was not a cop—I was a scared girl suffering from long-repressed post-traumatic stress disorder.”
The crazy thing about this wonderfully crafted piece of classic art, is that at the time of writing and 12 chapters in, this story has 266 reviews. The author is a student who doesn’t update when she has exams or deadlines (sensible girl), but who is determined to deliver her tale as frequently as possible. Do yourself a favour: go read it. You won’t regret it.
Summary for Cold Case File: “Bella is investigating a rash of serial killings in Rochester, NY when Edward Cullen crosses her path and raises her suspicion. Is there more to Edward than meets the eye? Can Bella fight her attraction to a man who might be her suspect?
Twilight – Rated: M – English – Mystery/Romance – Chapters: 12 – Words: 60,953 – Reviews: 266 – Updated: 12-18-11 – Published: 10-20-10 – Bella & Edward”
My second inspiring Isabella is Denverpopcorn‘s spider aficionado in SOUL (Sketches Of Ultimate Love). Although this WIP story is all Edward, the Bella he finally encounters – his soul-mate, the woman he has been holding on to his virginity for – is one helluva woman. One of very few experts in her field, she is fighting for her place in academia, while studying the mating habits of the scariest arachnids around. Edward’s a boxer and a writer; he is reminiscent of the heroes found in John Irving’s work (anyone remember The World According to Garp? I know, I’m showing my age!). He is so finely drawn you will fall in love with Edward Cullen all over again. Only a brilliant Bella could be good enough to capture the heart of this beautiful boy:
“Suddenly, I imagined us together, like every other newlywed romanced by the white billowing waterfalls. I imagined her by my side, teasing each other, laughing, lovesick. I imagined a wedding night, and the two of us wrapped up in our limbs, her mouth on me, and her lips a beautiful circle around my cock.
Her lips around my cock. Jesus.
The wayward thought punched my insides and my chest stuttered a beat, frightened, like waking up from a trembling nightmare. I wanted to shake that sentence out of my head. I walked to the other side of the bridge, away from her, before she noticed my fright. I held my breath, terrorized by my fantasy. I knew it was this night that brought it on. I knew that she and I were only, and would always only, be friends. She may be perfect on the outside, golden hair and skin the color of buttermilk, a body that I jerked off to just once, on the night we met, but never since.
I was a virgin, but I wasn’t a dead virgin.
But we didn’t have the connection. There was no getting in Rosalie’s soul. Her gaze was missing the full measure of her hopes and dreams. It mirrored my own.
I startled when she appeared beside me. She gave me a reassuring smile. It was calm where we stood. I focused on the lights tracing the Canadian border. She turned to me, blissfully ignorant of my rogue fantasy. Her face was drawn and tired. I didn’t want her to be sad.
The wind blew up a great mist out of nowhere. She gulped up a big wet breath, held it for a few beats, and let it go.
“You’ll find her.”
I laughed. She was having random thoughts, too. “What?”
“Your girl, your one and only, your star. You know. Her.”
I knew whom she meant. It caught me off guard; we didn’t talk about soul mates often. Rose would never admit it, but I think a part of her held out for her own mate, too.
“You think so?”
“I know so. A guy like you just doesn’t go through all of this and not get everything he deserves. You’re too good not to get the girl.”
“It just…it has to happen. I can’t shake it, like…like she’s too real in my head for her to be a faceless dream.” While Rose nodded her head, I had a terrible urge to keep justifying myself. I didn’t need to, but I was about to embark on a new journey, and I didn’t want to be wrong in this. I had to ask. I hated doubt, but I had to form the words and get them out…”
Summary for SOUL: “Meet Edward Cullen, boy next door, dreamer, and self-proclaimed virgin. Take a journey with him as he heads out in search of The One. AH. EPOV, E/B.
Twilight – Rated: M – English – Drama/Romance – Chapters: 10 – Words: 87,765 – Reviews: 1256 – Updated: 12-2-11 – Published: 4-22-11 – Edward & Bella”
My final inspirational Isabella is written by a woman whose style and intelligence make her one of the sexiest authors in the fandom, WriteOnTime. Many of you are probably already reading Breaking News, but because she has just posted the epilogue, I thought those of you who wait for a fic to complete would like a heads-up.
Breaking News’ Bella is an anchor woman on national news, one who has worked her way up to the media spotlight the very hard way. (No! Not that hard way! The difficult – oh, never mind). She is tough, smart, witty and sure as hell isn’t going to fall in love with her on-air partner, the highly obnoxious Edward Cullen. Uh-uh, no way.
Oh, he’s so hot. And when you get to know him, he’s compassionate and dedicated and all of the very best things we associate with our favourite hero. Yes, including good in bed, goes without saying.
This story is fresh, exciting, challenging, heart-wrenching and educational without condescension:
“ “I miss him, too,” Kathy said as she handed me an unsolicited cup of coffee. “I’ll beat the crap out of him if he does something stupid. Don’t ever tell him I said that, though.” I couldn’t even pretend to respond to that in any casual way, and she raised her eyebrows at me. “He’ll be fine. He’s one of those guys, you know.”
At five o’clock, my cell phone buzzed.
“Let me tell you something,” Tanya’s voice assaulted me without preamble. “I never travel with him like this again. Is like sitting on pin cushion. He is scared to talk to you. Please, Bella, for me, say something to him.”
“I don’t know what to say.”
She tutted into the phone. “You don’t think I know that? I know that. Tell him what you have for lunch. Tell him you are stealing all his pens. Tell him anything. I’m handing him this phone now.”
Before I could tell her to wait a moment until I could gather my thoughts, Edward was breathing in my ear.
“Hey,” he said, his raw voice turning the simple word into a host of doubts and discomfort.
“How was the flight? Where are you?”
“Fine, except for the fact that Tanya was sitting next to me. We’re in Tbilisi, waiting for our ride to Grozny. It’s, uh, a little more than 100 miles from here, but we’ll have to take the scenic route to avoid any Imperial entanglements, and the roads are pretty bad.”
“Did you have dinner?”
He laughed, easing some of the unbearable tension between us. “I can’t believe you just asked me that. What’s next: am I wearing a scarf? Yes, I had dinner, if you want to call some really suspicious offal stew dinner.”
“Don’t laugh at me. I don’t know what I’m supposed to say to you,” I snapped.
“I’m sorry. I hate that you’re so worried. I hate that I’m the reason for it.”
“Yeah, well.” The words were grumpy, but I knew that he understood there was more fear than anger behind them.
“They don’t have much in the way of souvenirs in Grozny, but if you like, I’ll bring you a team Terek soccer jersey.”
“I’m doing this, and then I’m coming back. Just watch me.”
“You’d better,” I choked, unable to maintain any toughness at the thought of an alternate ending.
“Hey now,” he murmured. “None of that. You’re acting like you’ve forgotten exactly how amazing I am at this stuff. Cut it out before you hurt my feelings.”
He didn’t need my doubts on top of his, and the very last thing I wanted to do was distract him from the task at hand. I struggled to find a lighter tone and managed a wobbly sketch of a laugh.
“Egomaniac. Just for that, I’m tempted to not tell you the very important thing I was going to tell you.” ”
Summary for Breaking News: “Two network news anchors. One desk. In a race to get the story, love might become the headline – if they don’t kill each other first. AU/AH Canon Couples, smart people, particle physics, and tap dancing.
Twilight – Rated: M – English – Romance/Humor – Chapters: 26 – Words: 180,098 – Reviews: 6505 – Updated: 1-3-12 – Published: 10-5-09 – Edward & Bella – Complete”
Well, if there wasn’t an inspirational Isabella there to tempt you, I have others. An Empress on an alien planet? A building inspector? Would a social worker float your boat? Or a rescue dog handler? You see how hard it was for me to – oh, right, I mean difficult, okay? Not hard. Hush now, I have to go and write some more Lordward, and he’s very hard indeed..
Wow, what a lovely and informative post, I am very intrigued by these Inspirational Isabella recs, as I have not read any of them and they all sound great and I love getting new recs! I would like to say a huge heart-felt THANK YOU to Gingerandgreen for preparing this wonderful Guest Review Week post! It was very much appreciated.
Next week RA ladies, we are going to have our RA FFF Best of 2011 List post. Thank you to everyone who sent in their favourites and nominations. I have the lists almost complete and I’m in the process of compiling the banners and links to have it all ready to post for next Friday. Also, there were so many great recs that I may end up including an Honourable Mentions List too. *giggles* I love FanFiction! 😀