Friday, March 9, 2012

Winner Review: Sunflower Storyteller Award


Winner Review by shelikesthesound


I have to admit, the moment I clicked on KellanCougar’s profile, I was kind of overwhelmed. She states she’s a slash writer, for the most part, but it was obvious there is more going on than just boy love. Within that impressive list of stories are non canon pairings that would make any lover of fics not starring Bella and Edward squeal with joy. This reader who is trying to branch out from the mainstream Bella and Edward fics? I had no idea where to start.

After pouring through the summaries, I decided on three stories to feature in this review. One is a Bella and Emmett vamp story, another is a heartbreaking tale involving Emmett and Alice, and the last I decided should showcase exactly what the author loves, a slash fic featuring Edward and Carlisle.

Windy Afternoon

Anyone who knows me is aware I love a good angst fic. One shot or multichatper—it doesn’t matter. Anything to feed my addiction for rip-your-heart-out, make-you-fall-to-your-knees-and-sob angst makes me happy. And this one shot did not disappoint.

KellanCougar opens with a description of the beach where Emmett and Alice meet that makes you feel like you’re right there, watching as the first encounter unfolds. She’s taking pictures of the winter sky and surf, and his first thoughts show how much she captivates him.

Screaming seagulls wheeled overhead, and I stood enthralled at the spectacle until my attention was diverted by a flash of reflected light in the distance. I shaded my eyes and squinted a little: binoculars, perhaps? I set off in the direction of the flicker and, as I drew closer, I noticed that, firstly, it came from a camera lens, and, secondly, the camera was in the hands of a girl.


She was completely oblivious to my approach, as she snapped picture after picture, crouched down with her elbows on her knees. I took a moment to observe her, eyeing her worn, brown leather jacket with the open lapels, the dark jeans that clung to her slim legs and curvy butt and flared out over a pair of scuffed brown cowboy boots.


I grinned to myself.


There's just something about cowboy boots on a girl that makes me melt. She's cute as a button.


Her hair was shoulder length and dark, whipping about her face in the wind. She looked at one with nature, as she trained her camera on the cliffs in the distance, the clouds of birds swooping and circling looking for purchase on the wet rocks.


She was breathtaking.

Switching to Alice’s point of view, we see she’s just as enthralled, but she’s also scared. Scared of losing herself in a man after dealing with a horrible past and opening herself up to more heartache. She ends up trusting her instincts and goes with him to a diner. After they talk and get to know each other better, Alice realizes she needs to leave before the storm raging outside gets any worse. Emmett, though, suggests Alice stay with him so she doesn’t have to drive in the bad weather. An internal war begins within Alice, again, questioning his motives. In the end, she relents.

That night, after Emmett offers to give her his bed, she wakes up. What happens next is a powerful connection between these characters, showing just how much Emmett is different from the type of men Alice knows.

We kissed for millennia, and when we broke apart for air, I felt brave enough to ask for what I truly wanted.


"Make love to me, Emmett. Show me how it should feel."


"You really want to?" He looked surprised.


I nodded. "I really do."


His fingers hooked into my panties and drew them down, as he kissed his way down my stomach. As he reached my core I held my breath, not knowing the feel of a man's lips on me there; his tongue ran lightly up and down my wet folds making me gasp and burn, and for a second I was lost in pleasure. However, as his tongue slipped lower I tensed, automatically expecting pain, and he withdrew, circling my clit again and making me sigh. The next time, he changed the sensation by rubbing a wet fingertip through my soft flesh, diverting my attention by drawing one of my nipples into his mouth and suckling it lovingly. When I realised there was a finger inside me, and no pain, I started to move, meeting his hand as a second finger slowly joined the first, as they gently moved in and out.


"Please..." I breathed.


Sliding off his underwear, he lowered himself over me. Gazing into my eyes, he whispered,


"You say stop, we stop. Okay?"


Alice takes off the next day because of reasons beyond her control, leaving Emmett behind. She promises to come back, once things are finished. I won’t reveal the end, but I can say with conviction the author was able to deliver the heartbreak in spades. This is a wonderful and painful romantic tale I urge you to read.

No Turning Back

I’d never read a Bella and Emmett story before, but I ended up falling in love with this completed multi-chapter fic.

KellanCougar takes canon Twilight vampires and turns the story on its head. Instead of Edward noticing her, it’s Emmett. That seems similar to the original story, right? Yeah, not even close. Rosalie is still Emmett’s wife, and he and Bella start out as friends.

An ultimatum forces Rosalie and Emmett apart, giving Emmett the chance to explore the reasons why he wants Bella around, why he let her in on their secret, and why he can’t let her go.

I looked at her steadily. Her brown eyes widened as her pupils darkened. I found this automatic response very erotic, but made no further move toward her. "What else do you like about me?" I repeated.


"Emmett ... what do ... what are you... saying?" She was staring deep into my golden eyes, transfixed, and I noticed that her lips had parted slightly as her breathing accelerated.


"Bella, I ... like you. I find myself waiting for your visits and I'm disappointed if I don't see you every day. Truth is I miss you when I'm here alone. And before you ask ..." I touched my thumb to her mouth gently to deter speech, "I have felt alone for quite some time."


After his declaration, Emmett does the one thing it takes Edward four books to do in Twilight and makes Bella his. That first lemon shows just how much passion and longing the pair having been holding on to, and ignoring, while Rosalie was still in the picture.

Through Emmett, Bella, and Edward’s eyes, we see the couple grow and form a strong bond as the story progresses. Each touch, laugh, and intimate moment show the reader exactly how meant to be these two are, making you question what Emmett saw in Rosalie in the first place. However, Rose does not go quietly into the night like we hope. We see inside her head when she comes back to mend things with her estranged husband, not knowing things have changed.

I was shocked when he stepped away from the door, ostensibly to allow me in but looking for all the world as if he wanted to avoid actual physical contact with me. This from the man who usually phoned or texted me every hour we were apart just to tell me that he missed me.

Still mad, sweetheart?

I stepped into the house, removing my coat and hanging it up. The house was eerily silent and I guessed the others still hadn't returned from their travels. No sign of Edward, or ...her. My lip curled at the thought of the human. Her scent still tainted the air, so I guessed she had not stopped coming over. I'll soon change that. I stepped through into the living room and sat down on the couch, patting the seat next to me in a bid to entice him closer. He stood in the doorway, resolute, arms folded. This was going to be harder than I thought.

Any minute now he'll crack, and I'll be rewarded with that dimpled smile that I love; he'll wrap me in his arms, swearing never to let me go again.

Nothing.

How the complicated love triangle is resolved will surprise you. The author takes this complex, very human problem and shows how giving into what you really want can affect not only the ones involved but everyone around them, as well. The story is a must read for anyone who loves non canon pairings or is just thinking about reading them.

Learning to Fly

Out of all of the stories I read, this Edward/Carlisle slash WIP was my favorite. It had everything: angst, drama, my preference for Edward in any pairing, and lots and lots of twists.

The story starts with Edward. He’s a bartender who lusts after a certain customer who only comes in on Wednesday nights, and that confuses him. He has a girlfriend, but he can’t help the overwhelming attraction he feels toward the man who stops by once a week.

In Carlisle’s point of view, we find out the feeling is mutual. He takes a chance and invites the gorgeous bartender he can’t stay away from back to his place. They talk, they kiss, and Edward decides he wants Carlisle. KellanCougar takes what could have been just another meaningless sex scene in a slash story and turns it into a merging of souls.

"Ever since I first saw you in the bar. Seeing you there made me... want something I'd never even considered before."

"And now?" I felt concern that he might be regretting this little adventure, that I might have overstepped a boundary.

His glittering eyes met mine as his hand brushed my straining cock through the fabric.

"And now I want more, Carlisle - much more."

With a groan of willing surrender I fell back, pulling him to me as I felt him assume control. His kiss was searing as he plundered my mouth, sucking my lip into his mouth and running his tongue along it. As his lips found my throat my head fell back, loving the feel of his hot kisses along my jaw as they moved upward. When he reached my ear, I felt his tongue on the outer shell before it slipped inside, my whole body shuddering at the intensity of sensation. When he plunged in deeper, crudely tongue fucking my ear, I cried out his name raggedly as my chest heaved with the strain. His breath on my damp skin was driving me to the point of insanity.

And then he whispered something that almost tipped me over.

What transpires after their first encounter is nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. The author throws enough twists and turns into the story to keep the reader engaged and unsettled. I wanted to cry, scream, and beat a few characters to a pulp as I read each word. What I never did, though, was question the love these characters have for each other.

Slowing to a stop at the lights, I looked over at him sitting next to me, flushed with embarrassment.

"Well, if it helps, I can tell you that purple suits you very, very well."

The lights went green and seeing the little restaurant up ahead I slowed and pulled in, easing the car into an empty space. As I switched off the engine and unfastened my seatbelt, I looked over at him.

"In fact, right now you look like Christmas morning to me. The best gift I could ever ask for."

I stroked his freshly shaven jaw with the backs of my fingers and he leaned into me. We kissed, breaking away before it could become heated once more.

At the core of this story is a love that defies all logic. Forget that the main characters are men. Forget that the story is slash. Love despite everything life throws at you is something we can all relate to, and I think this story will appeal to any of you who love not knowing what is going to happen next.

KellanCougar has proven over and over she’s a writer who has mastered diversity. She is able to take different pairings, different subjects, and different plots and mold them into something amazing. I am honored to have had the chance to read these stories, and I advise you to check them out. Your new favorite may be waiting for the chance to be read.

7 comments:

  1. Love KellanCougar she is an amazing author,Windy Afternoon makes me cry everytime I read it , its wonderful.
    Learning to Fly is like a breath of fresh air there is no need for constant lemons because when she dlivers they are intense and sometimes mind blowing.

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  2. I love KellanCougar. I have had the opportunity to interview her myself and she is a lovely person and a fantastic storyteller. I adore Learning To Fly and every chapter is wonderful. I am so thrilled she won this award and can only hope more in the fandom take notice and give her and the other nominees a shot as you never know where a great story will come from!

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  3. I love and always have loved KellanCougar's work she has such passion for her writing and her stories are so gripping that you just want to keep reading. I personally did that with Learning To Fly I got so engrossed with the story that when I got to where she was up too I was going to hassel her for more cause I didnt want to stop reading.

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  4. Love you twifey you are so talented and you're stories are magic. I'm so proud of you and everything you accomplished.

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  5. I absolutely adore KellanCougar. She has so much talent and passion for her writing. Every story she writes she totally throws all she has into it. There is no skipping on the details with this girl. Her stories have you on the edge of your seat and panting for more as you read. I am totally and completely excited for her as she deserves this award more than anyone I know.
    KellanCougar... I love you more.

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  6. KellanCougar is one of my favorite authors. Every story is poignant and exciting. The plots keep you guessing and craving more, not just wanting more. I squeal every time I get a new chapter. She is an amazing author who deserves many more nominations for her amazing work.

    I love you hun!!

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  7. The thing about KellanCougar is you can't just read her stories once! I love her quirky mix of couples (Alice & Emmett, Emmett & Jasper)and takes you on an emotional journey in every fic. There is always laughs,tears and heart ache and it's great to read stories that don't gaurantee a happy ending. Cougar's stories alway make me cry and have me droping everthing the minute she updates! I look forward to her future work (another update of Rescue Me cougar ;) and seeing her win many more awards for her unique and captivating writing. ~Tel81

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