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Morningstar: The Malaise

   (30 reviews)

Kellar has become an island unto himself. That is, until he meets Tobyn, the first shifter who will actually talk to him.

I wanted to challenge myself, so here is another leap for me. My first shifter story. Please bear with me as I take us on a little journey, and keep in mind life and love do work in mysterious ways.

Copyright © 2017 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.

Story Recommendations (23 members)

  • Action Packed 20
  • Addictive/Pacing 22
  • Characters 21
  • Cliffhanger 18
  • Smoldering 12
  • Tearjerker 15
  • Unique 20
  • World Building 19

  • Like 74
  • Love 29

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LitLover

   15 of 15 members found this review helpful 15 / 15 members

It can be really easy to stick with a tried and true story model, and writing shifter stories is no exception:  Find your mate, instantly fall in love, live happily ever after.  I don’t blame authors who use that model.  Why not use it if it works?  With Morningstar Gary explored the shifter genre, but managed to make give us a story that was fresh and new.  There was no ‘insta-love,’ and the characters worked to understand each other and the lives they were building together.  There were twists and turns that will keep you guessing, characters you will love, and characters you will hate.  Heck, I found myself sniping at Tobyn more than once in the beginning of the story.  ;)  It’s hard for me to pinpoint my favourite part of Morningstar, but I think if I had to choose it would be something I love about all of Gary’s stories:  the conversations the leads have with one another.  I love their little moments together… the sharing of their thoughts, even their frustrations and disappointments.  I would highly recommend Morningstar to those who love shifter stories… and even those who don’t.  I think the people who don’t will find themselves pleasantly surprised.

  • Like 4
  • Love 6
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dughlas

   12 of 12 members found this review helpful 12 / 12 members

There are Shifter stories and then there are Shifter stories. Morningstar falls into the later, because it was a labor of love on the part of the author. He wanted this tale to be different not a rehash of the usual tropes and he achieved that. Those of us who know Gary accuse him of being an unrepentant romantic. There is romance here. Most of all there is a growing sense of belonging. To becoming part of something even greater than yourself. I, like many, would love to see additional tales of the wolves of Morningstar. I think after reading you would agree.

  • Like 5
  • Love 5
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ColumbusGuy

   10 of 10 members found this review helpful 10 / 10 members

I can't say much or I'll give things away, but I urge everyone to try this whether they are into Shifter stories or not.  Morningstar is far more than that genre describes--it's first of all about the nature of Love and Family.  We see in both the broad and narrow sense how one can build new bonds to replace those that have been broken either through the actions of others, or one's own choices.

As in all Gary's work, the guiding principle is that for things to work out, communication must be open and honest, coupled with the desire to truly listen and strive for an equitable resolution.  The ears, mind and heart must all be focussed on the same goal.  Self-interest or absorption have no place if Love is to prevail.

Oh...and have some Kleenex at hand!

  • Like 4
  • Love 4
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mogwhy

   10 of 10 members found this review helpful 10 / 10 members

Gary, this was the 4th story i read here add started reading after you started posting so i binged on the 1st 13 chapters in a single session. i kept wanting to see what happened. then every monday. so unique on the shifter story. the characters worked. they made sense, in the story as a whole, there were times i felt like slapping a few :P  the ending was a good ending, sorta. i still would love a second book :glomp: or third or more. many stories to tell and i want to read them all. good job, made my mondays brighter. now off to read it again. and again. well for the 5th time 

  • Like 5
  • Love 1
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Acid07

   9 of 9 members found this review helpful 9 / 9 members

Morningstar was one of the first stories I read on this site and I've come back to it several times.  New readers have the benefit of being able to enjoy it in its entirety, but Morningstar Mondays were a welcome thing to look forward to while it was being written.  It has an enjoyable main character that is capable of impressive feats.  Despite the great things he's capable of, however, his personality is even more impressive.  The antagonists are extreme, but believable in their roles.  The supporting characters and situations that Kellar find himself in are well-written, merging a supernatural feel with realism throughout.  There aren't a ton of shifter stories on here, but this one definitely proved to be a great read (and I'd love to see even more in the universe...hint hint).

  • Like 6
  • Love 1
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Timothy M.

   9 of 9 members found this review helpful 9 / 9 members

I am a fan of shifter stories, and I think I have read most of the ones posted on GA. Some of them follow the same general pattern, others forge new paths, and both kinds can be awesome and well-written. But I have to admit few of them have captivated and intrigued me the way Morningstar did. There was romance, suspense, action, mystery, and so many unexpected twists and turns to keep us entertained from the very first to the very last word.

It is impossible to write anything specific about the story without spoilers, so all I'll say is that Kellar will always be my hero for his integrity, determination and compassion. I know I shall return to this story again and again and enjoy the journey anew. I recommend this beautiful and well-crafted tale to all readers, whether you are partial to shape-shifting stories or not.

  • Like 4
  • Love 5
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donjr101

   7 of 7 members found this review helpful 7 / 7 members

Headstall, I loved this story I hope you continue it I would love to read how the guys' life continues. Thanks for the awesome work

  • Like 4
  • Love 1
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Peter J. Gee

   6 of 6 members found this review helpful 6 / 6 members

I was not a shifter story reader and I had by-passed the Title a few times. One day I opened the story and was hooked completely, I did not get to the stage of Morningstar Monday's as I was a late comer. I agree with all the previous comments and cannot find else to add. Waiting for book 2, but no hurry, I'll keep re-reading.:2thumbs::read::great:

  • Like 3
  • Love 1
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FlowersBite

   6 of 6 members found this review helpful 6 / 6 members

I really loved this story, I  don't usually read ongoing stories however when I first started reading this it was not completed but was so good I just had to keep reading and waiting for updates! 

  • Like 2
  • Love 1
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FanLit

· Edited by FanLit

   5 of 5 members found this review helpful 5 / 5 members

This story was recommended to me in a conversation where I said I like my romance stories between earthbound people, ☺️.  I gave it a try because I'm already a fan of other work by Headstall.  

The story, tho about shifters, could have easily been about any other flesh and blood character dealing with the challenges of love, loneliness and belonging.  I became caught up in the story, the travails of the shifters and their packs was just another wonderful flavor to the story.

This tale of those not quite human moved me deeply and made me hopeful about humanity, actually.  It was a touching reminder that love is timeless and that no man is an island.  I'm still not sold on the "alt/fantasy genre" but I love this story.  

 

  • Like 2
  • Love 4
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wenmale64

   5 of 5 members found this review helpful 5 / 5 members

I am a late reader of this story as I tend to prefer completed stories. Gary, you have outdone yourself with this wonderful tale.  While it is based on shifters, it is really a story of discovery, suspense, love and mystery. It could even have been created without shifters if you took a bit of mystical license.  Gary, you have an amazing talent for writing a captivating story that draws in the reader and and makes them feel as if they are part of the story. That is how I felt. Your ability to add emotion and detail to your scenes make a picture out of words. I like your writing style and really want more, even if it does not include Kellar and Tobyn. Please keep adding to your story list so we can keep enjoying your art. I do not reread stories often, but I am sure this will be one of the few that I look forward to reliving in the future.  To those of you that shy away from shifter and fantasy stories, please  give Gary a chance. You will be hooked with the first chapter or two.....

  • Like 2
  • Love 2
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Caz Pedroso

   5 of 5 members found this review helpful 5 / 5 members

I love shifter stories and so I jumped into this story as soon as Gary started posting it. 

 

The first chapters introduce you to Keller and show the poor young man finding out in the worst way that he is actually a shifter. 

 

The story follows the young man as he meets up with other shifters and slowly learns about them and himself. 

 

I love Gary's writing, because just when you're sure you know what is going to happen next he throws the reader a curveball that opens up a whole new avenue you hadn't thought of. He keeps the reader on their toes and always gives more with each chapter. 

 

The malaise Kellers new pack is suffering from seems to have no visible cause and therefore no cure. But, Keller brings new skills to the pack and new discovery are made with each new chapter. 

  • Like 4
  • Love 1
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LD Stratton

   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

Up front and blunt: I don't care for stories about werewolves, vampires, shifters, other worlds and that ilk. Others may enjoy said genre, I do not.  That said I loved "Morningstar: The Malaise".  I was fully prepared to read a few chapters the lay it aside but the author writes beautifully, engaging the reader in the personal lives of the characters he created. There is depth to the characters, beauty in the writing, creating a draw that takes you from one chapter to the next. I highly advise reading other stories written by this author. 

Response from the author:

Thanks, LD, for this marvelous review! I'm glad you gave it a chance, and pleased you felt this way about it. I am immensely proud of Morningstar, and I hope others will heed your recommendation. :hug: 

  • Like 2
  • Love 1
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Normischell

   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

This story is so amazing and a total rollercoaster of emotions from start to finish. It is an experience akin to The Neverending Story where you are journeying along with the characters and experience what they do. This will definitely be a friend I revisit often. 

  • Like 3
  • Love 2
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citycommuter

   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

This is a lovely story that's easy to get lost into - the writing and dialogue is believable and enthralling. We're taken on a journey alongside our loveable protagonists as they sort their feelings for each other and shine light into darkness. I'm fortunate to have stumbled upon this story after it was completed - I marathoned it over 3 days. It's satisfying to see everything come together. I'd love to see another story, but I'm content having experienced this journey you've given us the opportunity to enjoy.

  • Like 2
  • Love 2
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Gyrefalcon

   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

Great story! Are you planning on letting us know what happens with everyone in a sequel? Great characters and a very entertaining story. And best of all, you did the amazing thing of putting together a complete story while still leaving so many places you can take it.

So, about that sequel... Please? 😄

Response from the author:

Thanks, Gyrefalcon!

I appreciate the kind review. And yes, there is still a lot of story to tell even though I told the story I wanted to. Morningstar took a tremendous amount of effort, as well as a lot of time from start to finish. Any sequel has to live up to the original, and that will require quite a commitment from yours truly. I've learned not to make promises, but my intention is to tackle another story 'someday' about the wolves of Morningstar. God willing. :) 

Cheers, and thanks again for sharing your wonderful thoughts. Cheers! Gary.

  • Like 2
  • Love 1
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Jasmine94

   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

This story revolves around Keller, and Tobyn. It is a truly a beautiful story of shifters. Let this wonderful author carry you on this journey and I assure you, you're not going to be disappointed. Read as things unfold for Keller and his journey to falling in love and finding answers that changes his life. And there's cute side characters that I especially enjoyed reading about. Thanks Gary for this beautiful story. One of the best I've ever read.

Response from the author:

Thank you so much for the kind words, Jasmine. I truly enjoyed all your wonderful comments, and appreciate you leaving such a positive review of Morningstar. Cheers!

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
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patrickjason

   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

This is one of the better stories anywhere.  I just got through reading it for the fifth time.  Hey Gary?  It wouldn't hurt my feelings if you wrote a sequel.  :hug:

Response from the author:

Hey, Patrick! Five times! Wow... that's awesome. Thanks for being so kind as to leave such a great review. As far as a sequel, there is one in my head. :)  Cheers... Gary....

  • Like 3
  • Love 3
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SnowBear

   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

I absolutely loved this story, it's probably my fifth time reading it, and definitely not the last time. This story takes place almost in my backyard and the familiarity enables me to really immerse myself in each chapter like I'm actually there. For someone who doesn't specialize in were-creature stories, headstall really knocked this one out of the park and i recommend it to anyone looking for a good read they just can't put down. 

Response from the author:

Thanks, SnowBear! I loved hearing you've read this story so many times. I must confess it is my guilty pleasure, and I'm in the process of reading along with another reader now. It's great too that you are familiar with the locale. There is no place I've found quite like Northern Ontario. So much wildness and beauty, it seemed the perfect place for the wolves of Morningstar to live. :) Cheers, and thanks again for recommending this to others. 

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
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Daramatis

   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

What an uplifting story!  I don't have as much time to read for pleasure as I'd like so a story has to be good to keep me 'turning the pages', and this was fantastic!  I'm so lucky to come to it when it's complete as I had the luxury of devouring it with no anxious wait for the next chapter.  When reality has so much darkness, Headstall's stories are cozy duvets of escapism that warm and comfort the soul.

Morningstar is such a well developed world, subtly uncovered and expanded throughout the story with amazing twists and turns that kept me wanting to know more.  Having finished it, I still want, need to know more!

The characters are all so well drawn, so deep, vivid, alive.  Hopes and dreams, scars and prejudices, loves and losses, the bruises of lives lived are wonderfully, emotionally explored.  These characters are people, most of whom I'd love to meet, some not so much!  ;)

Romance, emotion, love, identity, family, belonging and loss are core elements beautifully woven throughout; I could feel the depth of emotions the characters were experiencing, such is the magic of the writing.

Loved every chapter.

Thank you for sharing this with us.

Mark  

 

Response from the author:

Wow! Thank you, Mark. Every word of this review invigorates me as a writer. These characters are very real to me in my head, but I'd love to meet them in real life too. :) 

I can't imagine anyone reading this truly encouraging review and not wanting to start turning pages, and I will be forever grateful for your kind words of approval for this story. I was tremendously diligent of the details when I wrote this, and Morningstar will always be dear to my heart. Long live Morningstar! Cheers! :hug:  

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
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islandboy

   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

I am in awe! Your writing is so good. --Wonderful imagination and really fine style, too. This was a very nice variation on the shifter story genre. It would be great if you continued with this story. There are so many details to follow up on (in another book?). I really like how you develop your characters. They seem to have real depth. I also like the way you create challenging situations in your stories and then your characters solve them. I have enjoyed your long works and your short ones , too. Thank you so much.

Response from the author:

Thanks, islandboy! I never tire of hearing new readers' thoughts on Morningstar. Your words are very kind, and they do help push me toward writing the next book about the wolves of Morningstar. No one will be more disappointed than me if I don't eventually take up the challenge of it. I appreciate the support your review sends, and I hope other readers will be encouraged to take the same journey, whether they like shifter stories or not. Cheers! Gary.... 

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
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astone2292

   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

I've been reading were-creature stories since my freshman year in college and this story has toppled my favorites. The author's ability to dismantle, what I thought to be, a set-in-stone formation within this genre and rebuild it, is phenomenal. I look at this story and think, "Oh, so this is what a were-creature story is supposed to look like." Character creation is spotless and I fell in love with Kellar and Tobyn the moment they hit the scene. The dialogue was addictive, to say the least. Every word was placed in a natural way and together, they created each scene absolutely perfectly. 

For those who want to see a REAL shapeshifter story, this is it. As some reviews have stated, I can only pray to the earth mother for a sequel. There were a few subtle mentions throughout the story that has me hoping for a reappearance of some kind, but I imagine I'll be floored no matter what happens. Thank you for this wonderful story, Headstall!

Response from the author:

Wow! Thanks, A! I saw from the story reactions you were reading this, and wondered what you would think. I couldn't ask for a better review... and the fact you are a fan of the genre who also writes it, makes this all the sweeter. I find the reaction to this story humbling. Right from the beginning, with 'Morningstar Mondays' as they came to be known, the support has been incredible. I can't begin to express what your kind words mean to me, but I'm pretty sure they'll will help convince new readers to give this story a chance... and that's what I want most as the creator of this world. Again, I thank you. Cheers! Gary....

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
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Nana Atuwa

   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

This is a story that opens your eyes to new things that let's you believe in soulmates that there is a special person for everyone and don't close yourself off you will meet them when u least expect so enjoy

Response from the author:

Thanks, Nana, for the great review! I appreciate your enthusiastic support of this story, and hope someday I can fulfill readers' wishes for a Book Two. Cheers! 

  • Like 2
  • Love 1
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Guest034229

· Edited by Bard Simpson

   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

Morningstar was one of my first Shifter stories. Numerous Shifter stories later, it's only now that I realise: I was drinking Champagne at the time.

This entire Shifter world: its' mysteries, ethos and traditions, must have been painstakingly put together by the author.

Only then did he release such a wonderful protagonist in the form of Kellar and gave him such an incredibly rich set of people to meet, love and care for. Romanticists will not be disappointed.

It's not all plain sailing. There are numerous challenges to be overcome, mysteries to be solved and those, that will need to be confronted.

But miss this and you've only yourself to blame 😘

Response from the author:

Champagne? What a wonderful thing to say, and to hear! I'm so pleased you found my take on the shifter genre worthy, Bard. Yes, it was a lot of hard work, but it quickly became a labor of love with each weekly posting, and words like these make the diligent effort to get it right, worthwhile. I am extremely proud of this story, and I am humbled by your validation. Cheers... G....

  • Like 1
  • Love 3
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jimkev68

   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

i keep reading it over and over. i really love it 

Response from the author:

Thank you for leaving a review of Morningstar, jimkev68. It is greatly appreciated by this author. It's wonderful to hear you read it again and again. You just made my day. :) Cheers... Gary....

  • Like 3
  • Love 1
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