NOTE: I do not update these reports after they are posted so some of the links may not work after a while. If you find a broken link check the title in the alphabetical lists of alternative or general reviews at the end of this report.

[Previous report was for 3/30/99]

Hi guys,

Justice House Publishing has extended the deadline for their short story contest through April 30, 1999. For contest rules, categories, and prizes stop by the HOUSE OF BARDS site at:

A wealth of fanfic below :)


ANGEL MINE by Sharon Bowers
Just about a year ago Xena fanfic readers got their first glimpse of what went on to become one of the finest stories in the genre and one of the most popular uber titles by far - Sharon Bower's incredible LUCIFER RISING. At work on the sequel, Sharon now offers us a preview of what's been happening in the lives of the stunningly beautiful ex-DEA agent, Jude Lucien, and her gutsy partner, reporter Liz Gardener. The story opens with a playful moment of relaxation as the two enjoy a day off testing their baseball skills with friends. It's a deceptively peaceful time which gives little indication of the life and death struggle the two women recently went through or the emotional challenges they've been facing since. Those challenges, however, remain very much in the thoughts of both women as they strive to overcome old demons and lingering fears in hopes of continuing to build the shared future they so desperately want. Jude Lucien and Liz Gardener are two of the most thoroughly well-developed and engaging characters you will ever come across in fiction. Recalling elements of the warrior and bard, the two heroines are unique in their own right with strong personalities and an intense, deeply passionate relationship. Building on that relationship, Sharon offers in this preview an intriguing taste of the hurdles still awaiting them. One for the MUST READ list folks. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! [unfinished] - 10 pgs.

This long-time favorite bard returns with the type of story that first endeared her to her readership - a sweet, SIZZLING little interlude that has the warrior and bard exchanging a very proper morning...greeting ;-) Adept at turning the sexy romp into a tribute to the love between these two characters, B.L. never fails to satisfy. Crush some of that Amazon Ice and enjoy guys. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 5 pgs.

A crossover story featuring characters from XENA and the recent FOX TV series BRIMSTONE as well as references to a number of other current TV shows, this little tale should put a grin on fans of popular television. Part of the BLOOD AND ROSES Altaverse series> which has Gabrielle as the immortal daughter of Bacchus and Xena as the immortal child of Ares, the story begins with Gabrielle on her way to Sunnydale to interview for a teaching job at the High School there when she runs into a mysterious figure at the airport - a woman with a distinct scent and a dark purpose Gabrielle is compelled to learn more about. Her efforts soon reveal the woman as one of 113 souls recently escaped from the bowels of Hell and determined now to make humanity pay for turning its back on the gods that once gave her power. Thinking that she needs to interfere with the vengeful soul's plans, Gabrielle is about to do that when she finds herself face to face with yet another mysterious figure - a stylish man with longish hair who assures the ancient bard that he has matters well in hand then proceeds to introduce Lucifer. Chris does a wonderful job of merging the worlds of XENA and BRIMSTONE, capturing the essence of the characters and excelling in particular with the characterization of that wicked but disarmingly charming devil from BRIMSTONE. With the references to other TV and historical personalities this should be a fun read even for those who didn't follow the BRIMSTONE TV series. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 16 pgs.

THE GUEST by T. Novan
The 30th installment in the RAISING MELOSA SERIES finds Xena and Gabrielle entertaining an unexpected arrival and facing a surprising offer. Setting up an intense new chapter in the lives of our heroines, THE GUEST offers that great sense of domestic peace and tender affection that has made T. Novan's efforts in this series such a hit. DO NOT MISS! - 7 pgs.

An unusual hurt/comfort story that has an injured Gabrielle being championed by a hero of the equine persuasion after she suffers a harrowing accident on her way back from a visit to Poteidaia. Fu does a nice job here shining a well-deserved spotlight on the third member of that Xena team. Lots of angst, suspense and a sweet romance make this one a MUST READ! DO NOT MISS! - 12 pgs.

DESTINY by Heike Straub
In her first fanfic effort Heike brings us a poignant interpretation of the events that could lead to that fateful scene atop a snowy mountain that is now a vision shared by both warrior and bard. With hurt/comfort elements thrown in and a fiercely devoted treatment of the relationship this one definitely holds your attention. - 21 pgs.

The concluding chapter 24 is now available. This talented writer tries her hand at uber fiction this time around, producing a very different, very original contemporary story. Rosalind Olchawski considers herself a fairly ordinary college professor leading a fairly ordinary life - a life so ordinary and so bland, in fact, that recently Rosalind has started to wonder whether she's even capable of feeling that passion others seem to feel. It is a concern that is answered one evening when she accompanies a friend to a club and discovers in the startling blue eyes of a drag king the destiny she had been waiting for. In this final part Rosalind sees the answer to ending the cycle of loss and sacrifice her lover is trapped in and becomes determined to stop it. Very well written, with characterizations that are sensitively done, a twist of the uber theme and an intriguing storyline this one will keep you hitting that page down button. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 183 pgs.

Parts 2-5 are now available. This past year Tonya Muir proved to be among those very rare, very gifted bards who with her first story THE JOURNEY HOME immediately shot into this fandom's list of top writing talents. She has easily solidified that position by continuing to deliver first-class stories. Now with this sequel to her uber tale WITH FALTERING STEPS Tonya brings us what is probably her finest writing accomplishment to date - a novel which to put it simply folks - is a fanfic masterpiece. Set about a year after the initial meeting between Mafia henchwoman Lacey Montgomery and horse trainer Rachel Wilson, the story begins with the two settled down in domestic tranquility, making a life now with each other and Rachel's charming nine year-old Molly. In retirement from a life of crime she is more than happy to have left behind, Lacey nevertheless finds herself sometimes struggling with the challenges of her new family, unaccustomed to either the day to day responsibilities or the depth of emotion her heart now seems capable of. These are challenges, however, which are soon put aside when Lacey and Rachel find themselves dealing with a much greater concern - the knowledge that someone from Lacey's dark past wants the ex-henchwoman - and to get to her they are more than willing to go through friends...and family. In these latest parts Lacey fights to keep her loved ones safe even as the predators stalking them begin to close in. With no weak points whatsoever, this novel's strengths are so many I could go on for several pages. The characterizations are outstanding with two thoroughly endearing, likeable, well-established heroines. The supporting cast - from the sweet, poignantly innocent Molly, to Lacey's youthful, hero-worshiping apprentice, Rico, to the shadowy mob- leader Vinnie. among a number of other memorable characters - are all interesting figures with defining qualities that make them stand out in the reader's mind and that contribute to the plot at every step. The relationship between the two protagonists has been beautifully fleshed out from its beginnings in the first story to a deeply committed, emotionally complex partnership that is compassionate, supportive, fiercely passionate and tenderly romantic all at once. Weaving moments of quiet domesticity with intense confrontations, heart-stopping suspense, fast-paced action and gentle humor, MAKING STRIDES is a remarkable fictional tapestry by one of our most accomplished bards. Certain to become an instant classic, it gets my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! (Note: Review is based on a beta preview of the completed story) - 70 pgs.

Parts 5-6 are now available. Promising new uber tale set in modern day Bath, England which has real estate agent Eden Gallagher getting a very welcomed assignment when a stunning brunette walks into her office looking for a place to rent. Intrigued by the lovely stranger and encouraged by her roommate, Eden decides to try her luck with Victoria Conrad never suspecting that a friend is precisely what her mysterious client might need. In these latest parts, the two friends decide on a little trip. Nice writing and an intriguing scenario in this one. [unfinished] - 9 pgs.

FORGOTTEN WAY by Tragedy88
Chapter 13 is now available. A very different new uber story that begins on a sorrowful note as a young writer living in a desolate old farmhouse contemplates her lonely existence just before experiencing another loss in her life. Shortly afterwards, while on a trip to the nearby town, she happens across a stranger with startling blue eyes who having already earned the animosity of the town's residents, finds herself with nowhere to stay. Thus begins a beautiful friendship as two wandering souls are reunited amidst the pristine beauty of a snowy countryside. In this latest part hatred and prejudice dampen the growing happiness Alex and Dusty are finding with one another. Tragedy mixes here compelling characterizations with modern day challenges and an old mystery in a plot that will keep you hitting that page down key. DO NOT MISS! [unfinished] - 4 pgs.


[Gabrielle] by Xanthe Lavi - (artrwork has no title)
Inspired by the story ANAMNESIS by Chakram-1

For those of you reading this post who are not familiar with the term alternative (alt.), it refers to ADULT stories that add a romantic element to the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle, depicting them as more than just friends.

Happy reading!

Lunacy 8-)