~Partners In Joy~
With instinctive grace and natural ease the affection
between them quietly spins, through sun-lit days and shining seasons and
year after year of tender smiles.
Whether sisters or dearest friends, their lifetimes are joined by the
spirit they share; the gentle fusion of simple love.

-Robert Sexton-

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Story Index

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Chance Encounter by littlespit http://www.academyofbards.org/fanfic/l/littlespit_chanceencounter.html
Gillian a successful writer and Jacqueline a restaurateur have a, yes you guessed it, Chance Encounter of the best kind:}
littlespit writes the budding romance in a way that is Absolutely charming!
In a world that has lost the art of courtship and tends to lean towards vulgar and coarse, this tale is Thoroughly romantic. Genteel, if you will. Deliciously mushy. But not without a bit of heat. I found littlespit's style to be Very readable. You might call this an old-fashioned romance. That is something we need to see more of in this reader's opinion.
Will they make it last?
Will the fates conspire to keep them apart?
Is this friendship too good to be true?
Will something drastic come between them:}
I am not telling, that is for you to read and discover.
I will say...
I loved all the long, wet, intimate kisses.
An exceptional late night phone call<g>
For this reader's sensibilities there was just enough sexual content to titillate but not overwhelm with too much information.
Just a very nice read.
Please don't forget to write the bard and let them know you liked it, and thank them for sharing.

Creative Accounting by Mazrat http://www.academyofbards.org/fanfic/m/mazrat_ca.html
It has been such a long time between recommendations:( But, the draught has ended. Mazrat's "Creative Accounting" is a sweet relief from all the Post Fin Fiction [no matter how well done it is still hard to read, for me]. Classic X&G. FINISHED. Xena and the Gabster, while visiting a town have some monetary discussions, the like of which we have never seen:} X+G=romantic hi-jinx. Fresh, funny and quite well written. A wonderful respite from the Post Fin Blues. Reminding you gently please don't forget to FEED THE BARD

delirium tremens by Vivian Darkbloom http://www.academyofbards.org/halloween/2002/vivdarkbloom_delirium.html

Meet Whitney Morris a character the like of The Valley of the Dolls Neeley O'Hara. She drinks too much and doesn't trust anyone. Her star has fallen in the backlash of blacklisting. We meet her now in the Hollywood of 1960 where she makes a living when sober doing voice overs for advertisements. One in particular will slay you:}

Enter new star Josie Dalton, young innocent starlet to be, or is she.

They meet on the set of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone. Josie is acting in the episode that Whitney's friend is producing. They are drawn together like the proverbial moth to a flame.

Whitney is haunted by sanguinary dreams that will curl your toes. And Vivian writes these scenes with great relish.

Darkbloom has such a command of the english language. The queen of metaphor; she doesn't write she paints.

A section for your consideration:
However, the night-or at least this night-was different; points of moonlight were clustered along the raised ripples of the water like pearls along a seam of silk. It looked inviting. The water, dormant as a corpse, was alive at night, and it beckoned her.

Without a second thought, she stripped and waded in.

The water possessed a swamp-like viscosity and was just cold enough to motivate movement. She glided through the lake and it surrounded her-a million soft, velvet-tipped acupuncture needles penetrating every pore, shifting, embracing, and rebalancing everything within her.

She remembered Madeleine talking about her family's practice of acupuncture. She remembered Madeleine drowning. She remembered it as vividly as if she had really been there, as if it had really happened.

Suddenly, the water seemed to have an undertow that gripped her and pulled her further away from land. She kicked. It held fast. She kicked harder. It held her tighter. She was anchored by a wraith, and the more she struggled the deeper it pulled her into its depths. Her flailing limbs created a sea storm in miniature and the bitter, heavy water sloshed into her gaping mouth. The weight pulled at her and she could no longer keep her head above water.

Go on don't be afraid, go read delirium tremens. Nothing bad can happen to you just reading a story; can it?
And please remember FEED THE BARD that feeds you.

Divine Desecration by Redhawk http://www.academyofbards.org/halloween/redhawk_divine.html
Enter these enchanted woods, ye who dare, and wander through the darkness as one of my favorite bards, D. Jordan Redhawk, takes you on a walk through the realm of fantasy. Don't take a picnic lunch, as there are things much worse than ants to plague you here.  Beth goes looking for something unusual her girlfriend claims to have seen in the woods.  What Beth finds, what she experiences, she could never have imagined.  Or could she?  Or did she?  A warning: these woods are deep and mysterious, and reading D. Jordan Redhawk's story will keep you sleepless in the dark.

Entre Nous by the creative team of Anne Brisk and SX Meagher http://www.academyofbards.org/valentine14/ab_sx_entrenous.html
This beautiful billet-doux to flirtation and fantasy is smart, sassy and sexy and not to be missed. I smiled the whole time I read it, saying, oh yeah, I can SO imagine that.

48 Hour Fix by D http://www.academyofbards.org/valentine14/d_48hourfix.html
Is a bitchin' "fix" for the overdose of bad karma that FIN was. Aphrodite does her thing with her usual flair, helping her Little Bard Friend and the Warrior Babe find their way back to each other.

Fixing a Betrayal (FIN) by Silence http://www.ausxip.com/fanfic15/fixingabetrayal.html
Passing on a solid recommendation I received. It's post-FIN which I normally won't touch. But, this has such a happy ending I was glad I did. Silence applies a healing salve of prose to a still festering wound. An important person from X&G's past reappears to help a devastated Bard put things right. A wonderful job of Fixing the Betrayal. Solid craftsmanship, and a lot of heart. The ending was *feel-good*!!

Guess Who is Having... a baby by Xfjnky http://www.academyofbards.org/fanfic/x/xfjnky_guesswho.html
A short story about pregnancy, or nine months in the life of bi-polar hormones. Xfjnky, takes on some familiar territory and applies a coat of jazz. What should by all accounts read as derivative; reads as fresh, warm and humorous. With a side dish of mushy. Xfjnky, has written the Bard and her Warrior very nicely indeed. That Mischievious Mighty Aphrodite shows up to tread on our Warrior and Bard's last nerve. I bet you a buttery nipple you will smile after reading this tale.
GUILT by Ali Vali http://www.academyofbards.org/halloween/2002/alivali_guilt.html
Ali Vali has written a wonderfully complex story. It has a little bit of everything in it. Greed. Jealousy. Murder. Finger Paints. Lollipops. Yes, a cornucopia of the human condition;] Enter the twilight zone world of First Assistant District Attorney, Mordecai Sydney O'Shea, her lover Kay Millard and innocent bystanders Blithe Thompson and her son Charlie. In this tale of deceit and murder and playground rides, you won't know who to trust until the last scene unfolds. I could not scroll fast enough through this very well wrought tale.
here is a bit to whet your appetite.......
"Guilt. A one-syllable word that sometimes carries with it the most costly penalty for those that fall within its trap. For Mordecai O'Shea it's always meant victory. One more scumbag off the streets and headed for either life in prison or the needle, and at age thirty five she's piled up more than her share of kills for the justice system. But everyone who knows her is quick to defend her character and tell you about how noble she is - living life by the same code of honor with which she treats the law. You don't cheat, you don't steal, you play by the rules always, and you don't kill."
"Sydney, as her friends know her, has finally chosen to settle down, and settle is how some of those closest to her would define it. For two years she's shared her life and her bed with Kay Millard, an uptown socialite who captured the Assistant DA's attention at one of the cocktail parties always being hosted in one of the mansions along St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana. Petite in stature, but not in personality, Kay put Sydney in her sights much like a lioness with a gazelle that's fallen behind the herd."
"Kay's main problem is that she doesn't live by the same code or rules that Sydney has set for herself. After twenty-four months, she's grown bored with the concept of a committed relationship and with monogamy. What she hasn't grown bored with is the O'Shea family money. As Sydney puts more notches in her gun belt for justice, Kay has started to accumulate her share of notches on other people's bedposts."
"So you ask yourself, is this a story about a love gone wrong where the end is predictable? Come on, we've read this a million times through history. A lover scorned and in the clutches of grief kills the one who has broken their heart. No, this is a different story, one which will explore the true nature of cruelty and of perseverance. In the end we will see how far greed will push one woman, and how far the other is willing to bend her principles in the face of pain. Mordecai is about to learn the lessons that can only be learned in The Twilight Zone."

Ali Vali has outdone herself with this one. In my opinon one of very best efforts to date. Rod Serling is smiling whereever he may be.
Remember to please take a moment and FEED THE BARD.


Halfway to my Heart by Brigid http://ausxip.com/fanfic14/halfwaytomyheart1.html
Very different premise. An Uber duber, I can't explain ya just gotta read it. Finished. Brigid has written a very readable story. There are weak spots, where the story loses momentum, but all in all worth a look-see. An adorable youngster, a troubled older sister. Some disturbing, though not graphic child abuse. I think you could almost put it in a modern day gothic genre.

Ice Hole by Kiera Dellacroix http://www.academyofbards.org/halloween/kiera_icehole1.html
Kiera Dellacroix tricks us to treats and treats us to tricks in her ambitious and satisfying story, "Icehole". Dellacroix mixes and matches an amazing palette of colors for this technicolor story. You may recognize shades of Alien and The Thing and perhaps a bit of Night of the Zombies, but make no mistake, this is no rip-off.  This is an original and gripping mystery / horror / romance. Dellacroix manages to make all three flow effortlessly into a one-of-a-kind story.   Possibly one of the most colorful characters ever written in the Xenaverse is Commander Malory Lovecraft, statuesque and quirky as hell. And with wonderful symmetry the Bard pens Lovecraft's perfect foil in the diminutive and feisty Corky Rivers, M.D.  The story is filled with a wonderful array of protagonists and antagonists.  You will not find a better Halloween-delicious, ghoulish, gross out story.  If you wait till the midnight hour and read by the light of a small lamp, you'll be turning on all the lights in the house before you know it.  Oh, and don't bother with any late night caffeine, the adrenaline rush will be quite sufficient to keep you wide-eyed awake.


If You're Gone by xenickz. http://xenafiction.net/scrolls/xenickz_iyg1.hts
Cole and Beth have the love of lifetime. Will the realities of everyday life wear them and their love down. xenickz, writes what seems almost an essay on how love can sputter and presumably die. She also shows how those hidden embers may just spark to life again. xenicks has written a very readable story. A few language errors. But nothing big enough to mar my enjoyment of this short piece. It has a good rhythm to the story. And again though shortish, you get a real idea of the characters feelings. Go visit with Cole and Beth and when you are done with their story please don't forget to let the bard know how you liked the time you spent with them.

Infinite Possibilities by Cate Swannell http://www.kotb.net/infposs.html or http://www.academyofbards.org/fanfic/c/infposs1.htm
Bard Cate has done it again, mixing romance and action and this time a bit of sci-fi for a recipe that will tickle your reading taste buds. Beware, Bard Cate loves roller-coasters! In fact I think I can hear the echo of a down under cackle of glee each time she leaves us gasping and cursing at the adventures of her heroines. You are gonna love Cass and Lis. 7 of 9 and Capt Janeway are on hand to
lend wonderful support. Be brave, step aboard the Voyager. You will be transported to a world of Infinite Possibilities.

It's All In The Telling by E. Marks we just call her EM:} http://www.academyofbards.org/halloween/2002/emarks_itsallinthetelling.html
For The Academy of Bards Halloween Extravaganza E. Marks has concocted a charming story of childhood and wicked Aunts If you don't identify with Carol and her nieces Katie and Sarah, well you have either never been a child yourself:} or been in charge of a youngster before. It is easy to see that EM relishes taking us all into the story right along with her nieces. I told her I had no idea what was going to happen. She kept me at the edge of my seat. Go on and read E. Marks, It's All In The Telling. And you will find out just that. It is all in the telling and it is at once charming and creepy and crawly!


KICKER'S HEART by Lois Cloarec Hart. http://www.academyofbards.org/valentine14/loischart_kickersheart.html Speaking of romance, I fell in love with this story. Hart writes an endearing and affecting tale of following one's heart. This should have been written on a scroll with quill and ink. The prose is a kind of beautiful calligraphy of storytelling. The irrepressibly tomboyish Kicker is a sparkling gem of a character. Shades of Idgie Threadgoode or perhaps Laura Ingalls Wilder. Miss Madelyn Bristow is easy to visualize in your minds eye. I found the quiet journey they take to find one another in that era, to be believable and without melodrama.

Just honesty.

Another of the many reasons I found "KICKER'S HEART" to be original and fresh is the use of language that is folksy and skillfully done. This romantic and gently unfolding love story will warm your heart. And empty your tear ducts. Trust me it is a kicker! And the characters simply BEG for more of their story to be told. Okay, so it's really this reader who is begging.

Please don't forget to feed the bards generously.

King of the Beach by Cate Swannell http://www.academyofbards.org/fanfic/c/kotb1.html or http://www.kotb.net
I just read up to date on Cate Swannell's King of the Beach. UBER FINISHED. In the uncertain lottery of fan-fiction we have a certain winner here! I loved it. I couldn't scroll fast enough. Cate's well written story takes us on a sea journey in the waters of the South Seas,on board a beautiful yacht. We get to know Cadie the UberG, as she tries to find her way in a difficult relationship. And get to know Jo as she learns to navigate the ways of her heart.

I usually don't buy the instant karma angle, but Cate has written Cadie and Jo's chemistry to perfection. The Bard writes the descriptions of the boat and the scenery and the passengers on it, in interesting detail. You'll feel the saltwater in your hair:}. I think you will find KOTB an involving mixture of romance, mystery and adventure. I am very impressed with this story and the first time bard and cannot wait for more. Cate has a wonderful site set up with lots and lots of visual aids for your viewing enjoyment. At first I thought I was going to find the visual aids annoying on the site:} But I soon found their presence quirky and fun. Go on and take a voyage via Cate Swanell's prose. I wish you Bon Voyage and remember.... FEED THE BARD that feeds YOU.

Küssen Des Banditen by LA Tucker http://www.academyofbards.org/halloween/latucker_kissingbandit.html
LA Tucker brings us a prequel to that delightful romp The Light Fantastic.  "Küssen Des Banditen" is a Halloween treat.  If you dare, accompany the lovable Chloe and her equally lovable best friend Marcy on a hair-raising ride to the dark and ominous corner of Tulip and Maple Streets where Chloe has to fulfill a long-standing bet. Fasten your seatbelts; it's going to be a bumpy ride.

I found myself thinking happily of the end of this story days later.LA Tucker's style is as recognizable as a signature. Impressive.

The Light Fantastic by LA Tucker http://www.academyofbards.org/fanfic/l/latucker_lightfantastic1.html
Just dropping in with another fan fic recommendation. I LUV it. It is fast paced. The dialog is crisp and humorous. The way Tucker blends the hilarious with the dramatic is very deft. The premise is awesomely original. The setting is wonderful. The characters are entertainingly quirky. Tucker draws the characters fully and with depth. The archetypes are in place with the UG/ Chloe and UX/Sara, but aside from the superficial the bard makes them her own. No derivative character background. You know, no dead brothers or deep dark pasts. The sparks fly right off with the leads and is completely engaging. The supporting characters are just that, wonderfully supportive. Tucker doesn't stint on filling them out. I like that. So, as you can see, I really, really, like this story. I think this is probably my favorite story since Madam President. Very, very readable. The scenes of intimacy in my opinion are just tantalizing enough and then the bard lets us kinda fill in the blanks:}. As for technical stuff it is a cleanly written and well put together story. Truly this story is a Delight Fantastic. Reminding you to Please Feed The Bard that feeds you:}

Last Night by Lariel http://www.academyofbards.org/fanfic/l/lariel_night.html
WARNING: Three hankies will be needed. Read only if you are either in a funk already or would like to be in one:] A quick read but it packs an emotional punch. Judith -- Thanks to Steph for finding it and sharing


Make a Wish by Anais http://www.academyofbards.org/halloween/anais_makeawish.html
We have a new bard with their first posted story @ The Academy. It's a promising debut.

Jess, an animal control officer, and her best friend, Andi, find themselves on a rather unusual assignment. All is not what it seems when the women attend a 'mass' at a local church. On Halloween, no less. They soon discover, however, that this is not your usual garden variety church service. Jess and Andi make a hasty escape only to realize that they've lost Andi's treasured locket, an heirloom, and must return to the scene of the....of the what? I won't reveal that :} You must discover this for yourself. Go on I dare you.

Anais writes with a fluid, descriptive style that often times leaves the reader feeling like they're watching a video tape instead of reading a story. Curl up on the sofa to enjoy this short tale. To find out the fate of Andi and Jess head over to The Academy. And after you've read what becomes of them....Please Encourage The Bard.

The Moral of the Story by Xena's Little Bitch http://www.ausxip.com/fanfic15/moral_of_story.htm
Post Fin Finished Being a Post Fin phobic I don't usually read Post Fin. Let me tell you I was most pleasantly surprised with the plot and the skill with which Xena's Little Bitch[Julia Noel Goldman] penned her tale. Go read, be engulfed in laughter. Be charmed. You can spend some time with Ares and Aphrodite. Callisto. And yes, even that lovable dufus Joxer. And for us Gab lovers, not one but two Gabrielles. You will have to read to see how that works:} And of course, Xena Warrior Princess in all her glory. Filled with an amazing amount of plot points from the series. All blended in the story to great effect. The finale of this one does not disappoint. It is a short piece. Go read the evidence for yourself. You be the jury. Oh and don't forget, please, FEED THE BARD. thanks to M for the recommendation

Mulligan by KG MacGregor
Mulligan is Par Excellence! KG follows through with the classy style of a seasoned pro. Her approach to the characters is wonderfully refreshing. Mature protagonists? No way she is gonna make that shot work, I thought. So much for me thinking, double bogey for me: It worked. Very well. I can't imagine KG would ever need a Mulligan for her storytelling efforts:} The only Mulligan here is that I want to read this tender story again. It is like a long swig of ice water after 18 holes of golf, wonderfully refreshing. KG, put on your green jacket.
You are a Master.

Nothing Special by Zuke http://dragonsquillandink.com/original_fiction/nothingspecial.html

Nothing Special? By Gabs Ab's that is not a reflection of the quality of work that Zuke has been sharing with us. This story, Nothing Special is something special:} You knew I was going to say that didn't you.

Nothing Special reads like a black and white movie from the 30's or 40's. With gritty dialog and a biting narrative. And with a sense of fun that Zuke has down to a science. Here is a sample:

"Need a ride?" I asked. The words sounded strange. I felt like I was picking up a hitchhiker instead of a fare-paying passenger. I tried to cover up the awkwardness by flashing what I hoped was an encouraging, friendly smile.

I remembered too late that my ex-girlfriend Pam always told me my encouraging, friendly smile reminded her of a psycho clown. Sure enough, the girl in the green dress gave another little startled jump and looked as if she was about to cry. "I need to get to Monroe and Fifty-First," she said in a hesitant warble.

I wondered for a moment how to respond. "Yeah, I know where that is" seemed mocking and cynical. "All right, babe, hop in" seemed way too macho. I settled for something simple.

"OK," I replied, carefully keeping my face neutral so I didn't send her screaming down the street.

She took another step closer to the car and examined me for a moment. I was straining to maintain my blank face. It kind of hurt.

"I don't have any money," she said when I seemed to pass further scrutiny. "I can't pay you. I left...I mean my purse...it was in her car...my cash and cards..."

Now she did start to cry. I watched as tears filled her eyes. They shimmered in the streetlight, and she brushed them away with the back of her hand.

"Someone stole your purse?" I asked, trying to piece together the broken words.

"No!" she cried. She took a deep breath, and then said in a calmer tone, "No. We had an argument and she stormed off. She didn't know I left my purse in her car. It was my stupid mistake. She'll realize eventually." She paused and wiped more tears from her face.

"I'll call her tomorrow," she added, sounding like it was the last thing she wanted to do.

Now, you need to picture my brain for a minute. This is what it looks like: an enormous, dark, empty room. Like the high school gym with the lights out. And there are these big, neon signs. They float in the middle of the room and flash messages. At this particular moment, they were flashing these messages: She can't pay you. Her ass is fantastic. You'll lose money. She will be very, very thankful if you give her a free ride. I bet she looks great soaking wet. Well, what do you think I did?

To know what she did I recommend that you catch the cab headed to fan fiction lane and find out for yourself. And above all don't forget to tip the Cabby Zuke for this delcious cab ride!


Pillow Talk by Claire Withercross http://www.academyofbards.org/fanfic/c/clairew_pillow.html
Hey you, yeah you voracious fan-fic reader. Come over here and let me whisper a little something in your ear. Howza about I direct you to one cutie-patootie of a story. Yeah that's the ticket. I found this little gem and at no cost to you, except for Feeding the Bard that is, I thought I would share the wealth:} A sweet and original X&G tale. Prepare to giggle. It is called Pillow Talk by Claire Witherspoon I got a feeling you are gonna say to yourself; self, oh my gawd...Been there Done that ... as you read. http://www.aschweb.com/xenaeyes/fan-fiction/CWPillowTalk.html

The Purest Love by Seana James http://www.academyofbards.org/fanfic/s/seanajames_purestlove.html
Get ready to read it and weep. And laugh. And sigh! This fan-fic, Finished, Classic X&G, is a smart, sexy and literate story by Seana James. If this were a movie it would be considered a *feel-good* flick. It is titled The Purest Love and it is pure reading entertainment!

Quality Dying Time by Temora at The Royal Academy of Bards http://www.academyofbards.org/fanfic/t/temora_qualitydyingtime.html
Read this one friends. Find your reading list and put this one at the top. It is riveting. Startling. Hurt/Comfort in the extreme but with a jaw-clenching twist. An antagonist like none other I have ever seen in Xena/Gab FF. You won't want to skip one bit of dialog. It is Totally compelling. It is Very intelligent. It is Wonderfully literate. If this one doesn't twang your heartstrings, you need to get new strings:} Don't miss this one. FEED THE BARDS

The Rift or Sappho Was a Right-On Surfer Chick by Anima http://www.altfic.com/subtextfic/Xena/anima/rift1_2.htm
Xena and Gabrielle, still hurting in the aftermath of the rift, take a holiday on Lesbos in an attempt to find the heart of their friendship again. Aphrodite, who like really digs Sappho is on hand and places a wisp of a spell on Gabrielle, which leads to a bit of Aphrodite like behavior by our favorite Bard. Throw in a mis-directed whammy by Cupid and we get a very lustful bard who decides some pre-mycenene hot monkey sex is just the thing for a holiday. Add in some cris-crossed love vibes and a surfer lesbian and you have the spell for a lot of fun. You will also find some serious soul searching and some very nice moments between X&G. Very warm hearted and quite a good examination of the Warrior and Bard's complex relationship. I found Anima's blending of the serious with the light-hearted to be very deft. Oh and a very hungover Xena invents something we all probably use on a regular basis in the modern world:} You'll never-ever listen to a certain song by the beach boys in the same way again.

Scream by Medora MacD http://www.academyofbards.org/halloween/medora_scream.html
I have finally found the "Happy" in Halloween and you can too. Get yourself over to The Academy of Bards and read the one and only Medora MacD's idea of practically perfectly punctuated prose:} Not only that, but you will meet some wonderful characters, and I do mean "characters."

Meet Shelley, a talented poet, who finds herself on a mission at this Halloween party. Her target is Althea, one "thuddingly" gorgeous publishing executive with a well-hidden, ah, for lack of a better word, fetish. What exactly that is I can't reveal, you must discover this for yourself. The gist of the matter is that Shelley makes a bet with Althea that she can make her do something by the stroke of midnight. Again, my dear readers, I cannot reveal any more to you but, needless to say, the results of the bet are hilarious hi-jinks.

The story is written so well you will feel like you are at the Halloween party with them. Believe me when I tell you that Medora MacD's "The Scream" is just that, an all out, don't drink near the keyboard, scream fest of laughter although. I don't think this is what Mr. Munch had in mind. Perhaps he should have:}

Second Chances by Lynne Norris http://www.academyofbards.org/authors/lynne_norris.html
Uber FINISHED. The setting is a hospital. The leads are the new resident UberG and her head honcho on staff UberX. If you liked Revan's Second Soul you will love this one. Her characterizations are very well written. You get to know them quite thoroughly. Her descriptive prose is very good. The gradual build up of the friendship is very nicely done. Some extremely emotional parts that some may find upsetting. The medical jargon and procedures are not overdone. I found them to be interesting and exciting the way she wrote them. Just a solid piece of storytelling. I'd give it 5 naked Gabrielle's out of 5:} It is about a 2 hour read through. Scrolling and taking email breaks and ice cream breaks and getting up to replay the Lyre Lyre CD etc. Well worth the time!

Shaken By KG MacGregor http://www.academyofbards.org/fanfic/k/kgmacgregor_shaken1.html
Shaken by KG MacGregor is a 7.9 on the Richter scale of excellent first time, or anytime, writing efforts. KG grabs you in the first moments with a clear, concise writing style. Characters drawn crisply and with verve and a sense of humor that is wonderfully refreshing. I don't know how many times I laughed aloud at these two wonderful characters and their repartee. Or clenched my teeth at the angst, or found myself with real tears in my eyes at a beautifully written tender scene. You will be shaken by the exciting parts. And you will wait anxiously for the aftershocks, each and every one, as the story unfolds.

Anna and Lily meet under dramatic circumstances. These circumstances lend themselves to a singular bond between the two women. Can it survive Anna and Lily coming from different social circles, and family backgrounds? That I cannot tell you. But KG MacGregor can, and in wonderful storytelling style, KG does just that. thanks very much to MK, my pal for pointing me in Shaken's direction. Remember please to feed the bard that Feeds you:}

Something I Said by Denic
Absopositootly, undeniably, by Gab's abs, star spangled good reading!
What a delightful story.
Connor, a young women afflicted with Tourette's Syndrome has a very difficult time in life. Often picked on by those who don't understand her situation. On one such occasion she is rescued by a lovely women we later learn is named Ellison.
The road to friendship for these two loveably imperfect, insecure individuals is perilous and very rocky, and filled with very colorful language, thanks to Connor's Tourette's and Ellison's flair for cursing.
I loved every foul-mouthed, tears falling, mushy moment.
Refreshing and original.
Denic gives us a real relationship, with real getting to know you, getting to know all about you, growing pains.We also get to know an older character, Elmer is a sweetie. I really appreciated the older friend character. A nicely unique supporting character. Connor and Elmer's friendship is heartwarming and beautiful.
The travails these three oh so likable characters go through in "Something I Said" by Denic are comical, yes, but with a side of real humanity that makes us care. Very well done on Denic's part to make that work.
"Something I Said" is a well rounded story. Good beginning, the middle never sags and the ending is satisfying.
A big thank you from this reader, for no long drawn out, over done sex scenes. So painfully repetitious in Xenaverse fan-fic.
This story is a bright, particular gem. I was simply swept up and carried away.
One of the best stories I have ever read in the Xenaverse.
And that's no shit!!!!
There are some typos in the last chapters that need to be cleaned up, but other than that, precious, yes, simply precious!
Feed the Bard...don't make me cuss you<G> I learned some doozies recently.

Soul Vessels by Linda Crist http://www.academyofbards.org/halloween/lindacrist_vessels.html
"My soul is an enchanted Boat,
Which, like a sleeping swan, doth float
Upon the silver waves of thy sweet singing;
And thine doth like an Angel sit
Beside the helm conducting it,
Whilst all the winds with melody are ringing.

Linda Crist revisits her charming characters, Kennedy and Carson from her wonderful novel The Bluest Eyes In Texas, for this Halloween treat.  "Soul Vessels" charts a relaxing, fun-filled day at the beach with our favorite duo from Texas. Relaxing? Maybe. Fun-filled? Maybe not.  Come along with Kennedy and Carson as they spend a lovely day at a secluded beach.

Are they really the only inhabitants?  Marshmallow roasts; ghost stories and gentle loving are all woven into a tapestry of storytelling that will leave you with a sense of timelessness and voices prophetic, whispering to us that when we love, we will never be alone.

Starry Sky by Bibbit http://www.altfic.com/subtextfic/Xena/bibbit/starrysky1.htm
I came across a well written and involving story while labeling a bunch of floppies. An uber. It is a different tilt, I think on the strong UberX and the I need protecting UberG. Lots of depth to the character development. A nice bit of flashback storytelling as well. Not the most technically sound piece, but it has umph:} Anyway give it a try. I think it will not disappoint. I noticed when I went looking for the url that she has a couple other stories at Pink Rabbit. Remember please to FEED THE BARD that feeds your obsession. Judith BardNutcase

Tattoo of a ..... by LD http://heartbrkn.0catch.com/tattoo_pt1.htm
UNFINISHED Classic X&G. LD tells me she has been working on this story for over a year. It is her first FF attempt and in my opinion is an extremely good one. She spins her own characterizations of our favorite Warrior and Bard. Gabrielle is a wildcat and Xena doesn't stand a chance of ignoring her:} So, if you are brave and read UNFINISHED stories check this one out and then take a moment and send some encouragement to the bard.

Tell Me Series by Verrath http://home.arcor.de/stephp/Verrath/index.htm?index_main.htm
Not in the mood for an angst ridden, romantic affair. A thrilling detective story bores you. Even a PWP ain't what you are looking for tonight Go and be delighted, go and be a child again..read Verrath's Sina and Gabby Tell Me series. Genre: Youthful Uber

I have to tell you how special I find Verrath's work. It is simply delightful. This bard's imagination is a thing of beauty. I got up early one morning went online and there was Slave Camp. Needless to say my day started with a grin. Wardrobe Warrior is another winner in the Tell Me Series! Simply a delight to read.

Verrath paints such a vivid portrait of our favorite pint-sized duo. I could almost smell the dust in the attic. I always smile when I read The Adventures of Sina and Gabby. I was like Sina as a child, I didn't think that I would ever learn to love reading. Weelllll, thank goodness I learned to love it as much as Gabby:}

This series has to be one of the most unique in the Xenaverse. I think BL Miller needs to have an award for the antithesis of the Ice Awards because Verraths' stories should be recognized for their spirit of fun and homage to the child in all of us.

This Is a First Time Story by Temorahttp://www.academyofbards.org/fanfic/t/temora_tiafts.html
You say you haven't read a really good classic Xena and Gabrielle story in a long time. All the Xena and Gabrielle stories have just dried up. Well for the truly discerning fan fiction reader, the drought has ended. Temora has captured the essence of our favorite Warrior and Bard's relationship in one of the sweetest stories I have ever read. Please don't let the title fool you, this is not like any other First Time story. This one is in a class all by itself. If you don't smile the whole time you are reading it, I will have to assume it is because your jaw is wired shut. Temora's vision of the W&B will make you smirk in recognition of all the *signs*, commonly called subtext:}, that she reveals to us in delicious scene after scene. If this were a Broadway Musical revue it would be The Best Of Xena and Gabrielle Though the story is relatively short, Temora has packed it full of humorous moments, poignant moments and wonderfully revealing moments. You will say to yourself a half dozen times or more...Oh man she has that aspect SO right on target. "This Is a First Time Story" is absolutely enchanting. Just a small sample of what is waiting for you@.........

"You see?" inquired Xena, waving a hand at the trees. "Do you see?"

Gabrielle glanced warily around; there was nothing but them and the darkness. "Xena, what am I supposed to be looking for?"

Xena came very close to her. "The monsters," she whispered, slow, heavy blinks displaying her vividly red eyelids. "They mostly come at night, you know. D'you see them?"

Gabrielle was a little worried now, and she took both the warrior's hands in her own.

"No," she said quietly, "I don't. Do you?" "No," said Xena, and did something that turned Gabrielle red with shock (and that Xena would also turn crimson upon remembering the next day) - put her arms around the bard and held her close, desperately. She mumbled into red-golden hair, "It's because of you, doncha know? When you're not with me, they come. Wherever you aren't, there are monsters. Stay."

Gabrielle wrapped her arms tightly around the warrior and drew in a deep breath, fighting back her tears. "Xena, of course I'm going to stay. Of course I will. Not just now. Always."

Judith BardNutcase Come on Baby Dance, Dance, Dance!

To The Love Of My Life by Linda Crist
A visit with Kennedy and Carson that is:

Treasure of Serpent's Isle by Inyx http://www.academyofbards.org/fanfic/i/inyx_treasure.html
I simply have to recommend a story to you. FINISHED. Uber. A wonderfully readable story filled with adventure. You will experience shipwrecks and pirates and wild cats. Buried treasure. Beautiful tropical islands. Follow Nico [UberG] and Riley [UberX] as they each travel life's adventurous paths. Paths which lead them inexorably towards their destiny...each other. I just loved it. Inxy left us a little bit wanting with the ending. I honestly think with a little imagination on the reader's part, you can fill in the gaps quite well. And check out the rest of Inyx's work.


Uber Is As Uber Does by Celine http://www.xenafanfiction.com/beyond/uber_is.htm
A silly, short story by Celine. I found it to be downright cute.

Unmasked Hearts by Missy Good http://www.academyofbards.org/halloween/missy_unmaskedhearts.html
We all have several pairs of jeans in the closet but one pair is our favorite. There is no particular reason, really, they just are. When you go to your closet and all the jeans are hanging there, you push the others aside and reach for *that* pair of jeans because you know they are going to fit the best. You know that you can relax in them just a skosh better than all the rest, that it is sometimes even comforting to wear *those* jeans. Well, that is what Missy Good's Halloween visit with Dar and Kerry, "Unmasked Hearts" is like, your very favorite pair of jeans. Go put your feet up, get comfortable, relax and enjoy!


Well, If You Hum a Few Bars by Zuke http://www.ausxip.com/fanfic22/well_if_you_hum_a_few_bars.htm
Uber-Doober FINISHED If this work was a musical composition it would be described as a scherzando. We are looking at 2 dancing naked Gabrielles out of three. It is wonderfully original.

Zuke's rapid fire tempo of dialog is as smooth as Miss Ella singing a Cole Porter song.. The characters are written with a style that just makes them seem so very real, it is like you are walking right there with them. Just like singing along with your favorite tune. The plot is such that I don't really want to reveal much, because part of the originality is in the premise. Part humoresque, part appassionato.

So I have to leave that vague, because I don't want to ruin it for you. Suffice it to say this is a honest to goodness uber-doober. Gabrielle is a wise-cracking, rarely gets a break in life, lovable character.

Xena is her usual stoic self but with a side of "nurturing" presence in this one. The familiar "stuff" is a lot of fun to read and recognize. Most of these shining moments come as this karmic Gabrielle tries to remember the good times.

Some of the realizations that Gabrielle comes to about life and stuff and what GOD should do for people in the afterlife are gut bustingly funny. I have to mention there are allusions to FIN. And I also have to say... Damn Straight Gab you tell her:} I admit the ending is not quite what I was expecting but after putting aside my expectations of what should happen and letting Zuke tell the story:} I can say it works. Go read the music between the lines in Well, If You Hum A Few Bars and you'll be humming a happy tune.

And they do sorta get to ride off into the sunset together:}

What Mother Never Told Me by the very talented Leslie Ann Miller.
<pretend that is a blinking warning sign, blood red letters>
An absolutely charming story, with a novel premise.
Set some 20 years after FIN.
An irrepressibly likable character, is 15 year old Thalia, the daughter
of the
reclusive innkeeper of Amphipolis.
Thalia's joy de vivre will instantly remind you of
a certain warrior-bard we all know and love.
The mix of humor Leslie has written is very nicely done.
The story reads very briskly and entertainingly.
You are going to see some old friends.
Virgil. Beowulf. Sarah. Homer.
A Shade named Xena.
Thalia is kidnapped while attending The Athens Academy of Bards.
Her abductors take her far from home.
Along the way she will learn the truth about some of her past.
The story is at 5 chapters now. Those chapters already have a lot of story telling going on:}
I will be harra, I mean feeding the bard to ask for more, please!
If you find yourself liking this as much as I did, I implore you to please write the bard and encourage her to finish this wonderful tale.

Winged Goddess by Cath, Bard http://www.amazontrails.com/xena/wingedgoddess.htm
This is a thoroughly delightful story. Cath, Bard writes from the Bard's viewpoint as she examines where her journeys with Xena have brought her. Gabrielle wonders if she has lost her muse on her path to becoming a warrior. Can she find that part of her again? The author tells the tale with nice insight into the dichotomy that Gabrielle's life has become, a struggle to be everything she can be, without losing the best parts of her self.

Warrior and Bard.

Friend and Lover.

Cath, Bard's telling of the gentle intimacies of daily life and love is wonderful. A simple, well-told story, "Winged Goddess" is a welcome change from big battles and bad Xena/good Xena. There is an Amazon love triangle that is a refreshing plot idea. Xena and Gabrielle do a bit of *Dolly Levi* matchmaking in the Amazon village. The title of the story is a lovely "Story within a Story." Best of all, it has a happy ending:} I had a very nice time reading this story and so will you. Thanks to EM for sharing her find with me.

Do the Bard thing, friends, and tell Cath how you liked her story.

An insightful examination of where our favorite characters heads are at, just before the gods start hunting them down. As Temora has shown us before she has a way with telling a story. Temora doesn't simply write the character of Gabrielle she ROC's:} her! . On their way to Poteidaia, a trip Gabrielle is making partly for duty's sake, and frankly not looking forward to. Having changed so much while traveling with the WP, Gabrielle is struggling to find herself. Yes, to find her path. Temora excels at writing the thought processes of Gabrielle as she struggles, and at Xena's perspective as she tries to find a way to understand and to help her friend. One scene is just divine, as Xena "discusses" her concerns with baby Eve. While the two friends are working things through, there are antagonists lurking about plotting them harm. An old family friend will help Gabrielle to see things with clarity. There is a very well done action scene, but the heart of this is Temora's in depth and thoughtful protrayals of Gabrielle and Xena. If I were smarter I could better express how smart Temora writes this story. It is just very intelligent and I reiterate insightful.

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