What's New January 2009 Patio set covered in snow.

The Bard's Solstice Challenge
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January 31st, 2009

Welcome to another new bard at the Academy, Antonia Matheson!

Grappling With The Girl Next Door by Antonia Matheson [alt/original/unfinished]
Kirstin Hart is a filmmaker working in New York. Trying to move on from her tempestuous but closeted relationship with one of America's most well known anchors, she takes an unusual job in order to raise capital for her first feature. The journey turns out to be a hectic and challenging one for her in many respects. Facing a few of her demons she collides head on with her past, presented in the formidable form of Megan Rogers, someone who knows a thing or two about rocking peoples worlds. Is true love really unconditional? If so she has a hard choice to make, especially when someone is intent on fighting.

January 30th, 2009

Added part 11 (conclusion) of Get Away with Martha Hall by Artemis Callaghan

Added part 11 of Badges and Needles by Warrior Angel

-from BlueFeather Books

Sound the trumpets, blow the horns! From Hell to Breakfast, by Joan Opyr, the long-awaited sequel to Idaho Code, is available to order, now.

Wilhelmina "Bil" Hardy is at loose ends-and in the small college-town of Cowslip, Idaho, that's a mighty short length of rope.

After a long struggle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and an even longer struggle with the law, Bil's brother Sam has died. Bil is devastated, but she has no time grieve. Her sisters, Sarah and Naomi, seem to be dating the same cowboy, but neither knows they're sharing. Her girlfriend Sylvie is having mother troubles. Her role model, lesbian separatist and commune-builder Captain Schwartz, is having ex-husband troubles. And, worst of all, Bil's parents have sold the family home and bought 200 acres on a remote hillside from a notoriously crooked businessman. Bil's mother, Emma, is looking forward to evicting local drug dealer and Sam's erstwhile pot supplier, Jake the Snake, from a run-down shack on the hillside, but someone beats her to it-with a shotgun.

Who killed Jake? What's the unwelcome news from Captain Schwartz's ex-husband? Who is pushy preacher George Knox and what does he want? And, most puzzling of all, what do Bil's sisters see in bow-legged two-timer Buck DeWitt? Bil must answer all of these questions and more while trying to keep her relationship with Sylvie from going AWOL. Holy Cowslip! It's business as unusual for Bil and her crazy Idaho cadre.

If you're lucky enough to be in the area, Joan will be reading and signing at the Seattle Mystery Bookstore on February 14th, Valentine's Day. Hurry up and get your copy of this wonderful book. www.bluefeatherbooks.com

January 29th, 2009

Added part 10 of Get Away with Martha Hall by Artemis Callaghan

January 28th, 2009

Secrets, Lies & Deceptions by Cam Taylor [über/alt/unfinished]
The tale of two sisters living in early medieval England. Lindsey, the sister who hopes for marriage and children of her own to look after, and Kelsey, who has no desire to get married, but hopes for adventure.
Lindsey marries a wealthy landowner and farmer, can she find the happiness she desperately hopes for? Kelsey meets the Prince of England, will she change her mind on marriage?

Stranger Things by Ian K. Hayes [revision]

Added part 9 of Get Away with Martha Hall by Artemis Callaghan

Added part 4 of Winning Touch by Kim Pritekel

January 26th, 2009

The Queen and the Goddess by Adam Chiron [alt/classic/complete]
Revised version Part 1

Added part 8 of Get Away with Martha Hall by Artemis Callaghan

Added part 9 of Just Breathe by S. Lynne

January 25th, 2009

Well, Lyceus by Iseqween [alt/classic/complete]
Emotions provoked at the end of the Season One episode DEATH IN CHAINS lead Xena to reflect on what she�s lost, discovered and gained.

Afterwards by Adam Chiron [alt/classic/complete]
Revised version

Stop Pretending by Syro [alt/original/complete]
High school basketball superstar Gabrielle Stephens has it all. She's beautiful, smart, talented and she's dating the captain of the football team. But when she realizes that she's fallen in love with her best friend instead of her boyfriend, will she continue on with the status quo or will she finally find the courage to stop pretending?

January 24th, 2009

Loves Lost and Found by Gravitystar [classic/alt/complete]
After the events of 'Return of Callisto', Xena and Gabrielle head back to Poteidaia. Xena soon decides she cannot continue on with Gabrielle feeling the way she does, and plans to leave…

January 22nd, 2009

Added part 7 of Get Away with Martha Hall by Artemis Callaghan

January 21st, 2009

Bittersweet Season by Powerbab [original/alt/complete]
Hayln Wilson is tired of the fast lane and wants out. She decides to leave it all behind for the wild of Alaska not knowing what's in store for her. Come along on an adventure of endurance and hardship and love.

January 20th, 2009

Goddess' Dream, Bard's Nightmare by TraceGem [classic/alt/unfinished]
Post FIN, Gabrielle has been struggling for over two summers the loss of her warrior and tracks down the help from one of the gods, only for Xena to return not as she left…. RATING: NC-17

Added part 6 of Get Away with Martha Hall by Artemis Callaghan

January 18th, 2009

The Cabin by Elaine Kinney [alt/original/complete]
Dana Hamilton is having a house-warming party to celebrate the completion of her new vacation home. She has invited friends, family, and - at the urging of her best friend Millie - her ex-girlfriend Bree and Bree's new girlfriend. Will the party be a disaster, or a chance at redemption?

January 17th, 2009

Welcome to another new bard at the Academy, Cap'n Cat!

Janice's Solstice Carol by Cap'n Cat [alt/Janie & Mel/complete]
Mel has been busy with holiday preparations, but Janice's Solstice spirit seems to be swimming in the camp latrine. Perhaps an ancient friend can knock some sense into her fedora-ed head...

Journey of Discovery by Korkyra [alt/classic/complete]
Xena and Gabrielle have to deal with Xena's heritage, a bard's festival and sick Amazons as well as Gabrielle finally giving birth.

Added part 5 of Get Away with Martha Hall by Artemis Callaghan

January 14th, 2009

Added part 4 of Get Away with Martha Hall by Artemis Callaghan

-from BlueFeather Books

Blue Feather Books' first new release of 2009 is here! Accidental Rebels, a novel by debut author Kelly Sinclair, is available to order now. It's the summer of 1989, and in the small Texas town of Tantona, to be openly gay is to be notorious. But three closeted women are about to shake things up.

Mandy, a young reporter, is hung up on God and women. Librarian Tina is eager to ditch old personal dramas, and rocker Cat is struggling to get her band off the ground.

Unanticipated connections bring the women together... and then there's Sherron, a reckless blonde who becomes the talk of the town.

When secrets come doused in Texas barbecue sauce, all the ingredients are present for a surprising and spicy mix.

Don't wait to get your copy of this exciting, original novel!

And... Stay tuned for further announcements, because coming up next is the highly anticipated From Hell to Breakfast, by Joan Opyr!

January 12th, 2009

From Cheyne
Thank you. The response to this story has been overwhelming. I really had no idea it was going to touch such a nerve in so many people. So, here goes:

I would like to thank everyone who read and voted for Requiem in the recent Bard Challenge #20. The enormous response I have received regarding this story has been extraordinarily heartfelt and thoughtful. It clearly struck a deep chord in many. Requiem was not a story written from personal experience and my sincerest condolences to those who have had the circumstances told in Requiem happen to them. Thank you to Royal Academy of Bards for posting the photo that inspired the story and thank you again to all who have taken the time to email me your profound personal stories and positive feedback. Cheyne

A new bard joins us today! Welcome, Kay Bowring!

Her First Bow by Kay Bowring [alt/original/unfinished]
This original romantic detective novel entitled Her First Bow is set in London in the 1920's and features two main characters who are original, but at the same time will ring a bell for many readers.  Is there a malevolent mind behind the trail of blood, murder and mayhem that follows them through their adventures and if so, who is it?  Will this bring our two heroines together or force them apart? … The characters were first introduced in the prologue entitled “A Sea Change” which you can find in the Original Stories section of my website at http://web.mac.com/kbowring I hope you enjoy the first two parts of “Her First Bow"” - the next thrilling instalment coming soon...

Family Tree by Akiela Xal [alt/classic/complete]
This is the sequel to Future's Past. The new godlings take a trip to Mount Olympus and discover that Hera's “Family Tree” has a few surprise additions.

Added part 10 of Badges and Needles by Warriorangel

Added part 3 of Get Away with Martha Hall by Artemis Callaghan

January 11th, 2009

As I Am by Iseqween [alt/classic/complete]
Based on her near-fatal experiences in the third episode DREAMWORKER, Gabrielle questions which has more value � her “blood innocence” or the weapons Xena warned her against wielding.

January 8th, 2009

Just Another Day For Xena by Bardaholic [classic X&G/general/complete]
A slave girl that Xena & Gabrielle saved reflects on all that the Warrior Princess and the Bard were able to achieve in one day. *Very short story.

The Way You Look Tonight by Bardaholic [alt/über/complete]
Love at first sight during a party on a cruise ship, Titanic II.

-from OZ

I have finished forwarding (to the appropriate bards) all the wonderful emails that readers sent to the FEED THE BARDS list. Since Yahoo did not forward the email addresses of the senders, several Bards have asked me to convey their gratitude to the reader feeders for their feedback. It is greatly appreciated.

NOW, if you haven't fed your Bards yet...whatcha waitin' for? 85 stories for your reading pleasure. They gave their time and talent during the busy holiday season...take a few minutes and let them know you appreciate the efforts.

-from Erin O'Reilly

If you are in the Austin, Texas area on Saturday the 10th, I will be at Genuine Joe Coffeehouse, 2001 West Anderson Lane, between 2:00 and 5:00 doing a reading and signing books. This is in association with the Sapphic Reading Group of Austin and The Book Woman bookstore.

Intaglio's Del Robertson along with Frankie Jones, Stacia Seaman, Kelly Sinclair, Carsen Taite and Peggy Herring will also be in attendance.

I hope to see you there,


January 7th, 2009

Added part 2 of Get Away with Martha Hall by Artemis Callaghan

January 5th, 2009

Book Announcement from KG MacGregor --

I'm excited to announce that Worth Every Step is now available for pre-order from Bella Books, and will ship on January 13. If you've been reading online fiction for a while, you'll recognize the story as The Road from Kilimanjaro, which I posted here at the Academy several years ago. I've made some important changes in this book version, including deeper characterizations of Mary Kate & Addison, loads of additional scenes, and a new, expanded ending. If you order directly from Bella Books, they'll include an autographed postcard of this gorgeous cover. Please visit my website, www.kgmacgregor.com, for the synopsis, some background info on the story, and the Prologue.

Get Away With Martha Hall by Artemis Callaghan [alt/original/unfinished]
Lauren Ray and Martha Hall were childhood best friends, but haven't seen each other for nine years. When Martha, now a successful and popular television presenter, returns expectedly to their home town, it acts as a catalyst in both their lives.

Like You by Iseqween [alt/classic/complete]
Takes place between the early first season episodes CHARIOTS OF WAR and DREAMWORKER, shortly before Gabrielle sneaks off to practice with Xena's sword and buy the breast dagger Xena confiscates and turns into her own signature concealed weapon.

Stranger Things by Ian Hayes [alt/Über/complete]
Two women meet under mundane, unsurprising circumstances. Uncommon events thrust them together into an oddly familiar situation. As they become acquainted coincidences shower them, some of which they notice, some they don�t. Is it all just the fickle hand of fate at work, or something more determined?

January 4th, 2009

A new bard joins us today! Welcome Sarah!
My Guardian Angel by Bardaholic [gen/classic/complete/post FIN]
Continuing on from the very end of AFIN, written from Gabrielle's point of view. Xena comforts her friend from the other side.

Have Mercy on Me by Spheeris [alt/classic/complete]
The image Xena has of herself is faltering again & again.

She Keeps It Quiet by Spheeris [alt/classic/complete]
She may be possessed by a demon, but Gabrielle knows that this fantasy is hers alone.

The Hymn by Spheeris [alt/classic/complete]
Gabrielle does not fear the end for she has found love.

Watch Me Fall by Spheeris [alt/classic/complete]
Xena is left with a handful of flowers and a heart full of pain.

Love Without Sex by Spheeris [alt/classic/complete]
After a day of fighting and saving, Gabrielle wants a little more from Xena.

I forgot to welcome Elaine as a new bard! Good to have you, Elaine!
Added part 4 (conclusion) of A Charmed Life by Elaine Kinney [alt/über/complete]

January 3rd, 2009

The Summer of Autumn by CXW [alt/über/complete]
This is the Summer of...Autumn, a young girl that we can all relate to. Just graduating from high school, Autumn is ecstatic for her summer, and impending first year at University. Her summer quickly livens up when everything she thought she knew about herself ends up being a lie. Confused about her sexuality and what love really is she meets and falls in love with her new neighbor, Charity. Can the laws and rules that come between the two break their bond, can they hold onto their love?

And y'all said it couldn't be done.

How am I supposed to write a story in only 1000 words?
Well, we have 85 examples. <.g.>

How am I supposed to pick just one winner?
Somehow, y'all managed to do just that. We have a clear winner.

As always, BIG THANKS to the Bards who competed and participated. We can't have these challenges without you.
BIG THANKS to the readers who read and voted and are now going to feed their little hearts out, right?

First of all...I want to offer kudos to The Bard Of New Mexico...who turned in a story for every picture. That's 20 stories, folks. AWESOME.

Secondly...thanks to Cheyne, D and Pinky & the Brain for their non-competing 'just for fun and reader entertainment' entries. Cheyne's and D's are based on characters from prior stories...so please, if you haven't read the originals...whatcha waiting for? The links are provided with their stories...check them out. We aren't really sure where P&tB's story came from and after reading it, decided not to ask. <.bg.>

Now onto the winners...

Honorable Mentions go to:
Story 1A-All I Want For Christmas Is... by Spheeris1
Who, btw, also wrote 7 other story entries. WOW!
Story 10A-Cold Nose, Warm Heart by McFluffy

The reader's choice for Best Story is:
Story 7B-Requiem by Cheyne
This is Cheyne's first challenge and what a way to start. <.g.>
Cheyne also provided 2 non-competing stories for the challenge.

What is truly interesting is the fact these three stories are sooooooooooo different in subject and tone.

Now the other winner...no we didn't forget. EVIL J and I are still in shock..no, make that SHOCK that someone was able to pretty much out-evil think us and solve what we thought was an impossible PUNzle. Actually, your answers made more sense than ours. LOL Our winner, who will receive a very special prize from the EVIL duo in addition to the normal <.snort.> Academy prizes...was CarolW.

Carol? I'm not sure if you should be happy you won or scared that you can actually EVIL think like J and I. Oh and we extend an invitation for you to join the EVIL duo next year in creating the Solstice PUNzle. The Academy bestows upon you the title of Honorary EVIL Munchkin and all rights heretofore. We'll even give you dungeon...ahem...basement office space.

EXCELLENT JOB EVERYONE! See y'all for the Summer Challenge.

I will be contacting all the winners privately to get info for their prizes. Also, in the next few days I will be forwarding all the feedback that came to the FTB list to the appropriate Bards.

January 2nd, 2009

The Other Woman by Geonn Cannon [alt/über/complete]
Michelle inadvertantly sees the woman she loves out with someone else.

Added Part 3 of Winning Touch by Kim Pritekel [alt/über/incomplete]

Added Part 3 of A Charmed Life by Elaine Kinney [alt/über/complete, posted in parts]

It's so cool I'm nearly speechless. These are the great writers that are gracing our new format. You can actually turn the pages of our e-zine now.

The Worst of It by Bryn Greenwood
In the Morning by Amelia Beamer
Blackbirds and Blossoms by S.V. Green
Does the Butch Come With the Recipe? by Cheri Crystal
In Every Port by Geonn Cannon
Life of Anais by Brigitte Green

Don't miss the newly revised January 2009 Khimairal Ink issue!
Happy Reading!



January 1st, 2009

Airships That Pass in the Night by Linda Christ
This is a Kennedy and Carson short story, two characters first introduced in "The Bluest Eyes in Texas." It is set twenty years in the future. Kennedy Nocona is now Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and Carson Garrett Nocona is a successful film producer.

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