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 7/2/97]

Hey guys!

A HAPPY FOURTH to everyone! First, a reminder that the SECOND XENITE BARD CONTEST is now in full swing. Early submissions have been posted and are awaiting your perusal! Submission will be accepted through July 14th with the voting scheduled to end July 20th. There are now seven stories and several poems available. The URL for the contest site is:

Now, for tonight I'm reporting on two great new alt. stories.


WELL OF SIGHS by Ella Quince
This story is absolutely FANTASTIC!! One of the best alt. tales I've read to date. Exceedingly well-written with a very well-crafted plot and a structure incorporating contrasting view-points that really adds to the narrative. The story has Xena and Gabrielle finding an abandoned well just as the bard is trying to remember an old tale about the Well of Sighs. Recalling a crucial part of that story she calls out a desperate warning but it is to late as she sees the warrior's lips already wet from the water just taken. A moment later Gabrielle finds herself alone not with her best friend of two years but with a very dangerous warlord - the Warrior Princess reborn who cannot remember her, cannot remember the good she's done, and wants only to rebuild her lost army. Determined to somehow retrieve Xena's memory, the bard steadfastedly remains with the warlord, ignoring the abuse, ignoring the cruelty that is Xena fully immersed in darkness but one thing Gabrielle cannot ignore - the calling in her heart to what this new, sensual warrior offers. It is a vulnerability the Warrior Princess knows she can exploit - a truth which will make the bard waver in her quest to return things to what they were, wondering if she could ever once again bury the feelings awakened in her heart. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

ANGER IS MY SHIELD by Jamie Boughen
The Warrior Bard's newest tale is an emotional and sometimes heart-wrenching exploration of Xena's psyche. As the story begins Xena and the bard are summoned to the Amazon Nation where Ephiny and her warriors are at a loss as to how to explain the mysterious disappearance of several Amazons. Xena starts investigating, never letting on about the inner struggle she herself is in - a struggle to contain the raging emotions still haunting her despite having abandoned the life of a warlord - a struggle she will eventually loose plummeting her heart into a dark place where even Gabrielle may not be able to reach it.

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 Gabby, depicting them as more than just friends.

Happy reading!

Lunacy 8-)