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Morningstar: The Malaise

   (38 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 (34 members)

  • Action Packed 28
  • Addictive/Pacing 33
  • Characters 32
  • Chills 2
  • Cliffhanger 23
  • Compelling 3
  • Feel-Good 5
  • Humor 3
  • Smoldering 16
  • Tearjerker 24
  • Unique 29
  • World Building 27

  • Like 75
  • Love 40
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agni

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

I am very honest to say that at the start of first 2 chapters, i don't feel any liking for Keller. I thought that this story got lot of recommendation, so it must be some different. I forced to read 3rd chapter. That's when i kind of get addicted. I finally know why so many people likes it.

If you are interested in wolf fantasy, it is one of best. After reading, you will get full spiritual satisfaction.

Response from the author:

Thanks, agni, for the wonderful review. I'm really glad you stuck with it and didn't give up. Yeah, Kellar sure does grow on a person. He was fascinating to write... as was his journey. Again, I thank you for caring enough to leave this review. I am incredibly proud of this story. Oh, and I love that you find spiritual satisfaction in it... I do too. There are some social undertones I tried to be subtle about. Cheers!

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
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Albert1434

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

I dont know how it is that I didn't write a review for this great story which I have read 5 times!

The dialogue is just prefect and well written and rich with color! The settings are written are great and wonderful to read:yes: If you love a good romance you will find it here. I have shed more then a few tears over this great story! I would tell everyone that this is one hell of a good ride. These are not Werewolf's they are shifter's. And one great mystery I think you will enjoy! Give it a go and you will not be disappointed!

Response from the author:

I don't think I realized you hadn't reviewed this, Albert. It still amazes me you've read this five times now. I can't ask for any better testament than that. I think you might love this story as much as I do, and I certainly appreciate all the support you've given it over the years, and the kind words you express with this review. I hope other readers will hear your words and give Morningstar a chance. Thank you, my friend! Cheers!  

  • Love 2
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Pascal

· Edited by Pascal

   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members
Hands down, in my opinion, Morningstar: The Malaise belongs in almost every top ten list for this site. Romance? Yes. Fantasy? Yes. Action/Adventure? Yes. Relationship? Yes. Comedy? Yes dear. Mystery? Yes. Thriller/Suspense? Yes. World Building? Yes. I could go on for many more genres.
 
This story goes going from sad to romantic, from dramatic to sexy/hot, from tearful to joyful, all in the matter of a few paragraphs. While it is fast paced most of the time, character building never takes a backseat to action. Every single action by Kellar or Tobyn feels natural and organic, every secondary character has their purpose and role they fill perfectly.
 
Morningstar: The Malaise is beautifully written by an expert author. The backstory of the pack, but also of the whole were-community, gets unravelled slowly but steadily. It's almost a waste that the whole backstory and world-building is limited to this one book. Maybe one day Headstall will decide to write book two - I doubt anyone would mind.
 
On top of all of that, and maybe it's just me, a lot of things that happen in the world of Morningstar between the hunters and the shifters reminds me of struggles LGBT people face in the real world.
 
Thank you, Headstall, for this book!

Response from the author:

Wow! Thank you, Pascal! :D  First of all, thank you for seeing the parallels to our struggles. There is social commentary throughout the entire book, but I tried to keep it subtle. 

Writing a mystery is difficult, so your words are great confirmation for me. I have never worked harder on something creative in my life, and quite honestly lived in fear I wasn't up for the job. It was a surprise when the story began to nibble at the corners of my brain, but I am so glad I ran with it. I wanted to write a different kind of shifter story, and judging by reader reaction, I believe I have achieved that... and as much as I want to write a Book Two, the challenge of matching the original scares the hell out of me. It is still in my plans though. :) 

I keep reading this review and am blown away by your kind and encouraging words. Thank you, my friend. Reviews tend to bring me new readers, and I am very thankful for this. Cheers!

  • Love 2
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Darryl62

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

Stories such as this I have avoided as they seemed too outlandish for my tastes, but the GA site recommended it and after reading the synopsis and a few reviews I took a chance.  I am so glad that I did! Excellent writing from the author had me gripped by the end of the first chapter and I devoured the book in a week. I see that the author has written in other styles and genres and based upon "Morningstar" will read more. I left a note in the comments that I would pay to read more of this world and I have even looked for that, but to no avail. So pleased that it was NOT set in the USA and that lovely Canada got a look in. Book two could even involve the dreaded Covid 19 and if it affects the pack..

A Kiwi in Australia 

Response from the author:

Thanks, Darryl! It's not the first time I've heard from a reader who avoided this kind of genre before reading this, and to tell you the truth, I never thought I would ever write a 'shifter' story. But, this has turned out to be a blessing for me, and I'm glad the story took over my brain. It made perfect sense to me to have it set in Canada, my vast and still wild home. The fact this story has connected with so many readers who normally wouldn't read anything paranormal gives me great pride. This was my first time writing a mystery as well, and I'm still surprised I pulled it off without screwing up. :)  Thanks again, my friend, and I hope your kind recommendation will encourage more to take the plunge into the world of the wolves of Morningstar. Cheers! 

  • Like 2
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raven1

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

I was wary of reading a new werewolf story, but I have high regard for the writer and a friend who highly recommended this story. I started reading...and could not stop.

So many werewolf stories are the same. The protagonist fights his wolf/turning/disease or some other stereotypical plot.  This definitely isn't one of those.  Headstall didn't even write a werewolf story.  This is a wonderful love story and mystery, but the protagonists aren't diseased double personalities fighting their wolves.  These are humans who can shift from human to wolf. 

Headstall writes all his stories as a labor of love with great skill and care for details.  His plot is often full of surprises, but the clues are all there carefully placed. I gleefully congratulated myself when one of my predictions was correct, and slapped my forehead when I was surprised thinking "Why did I miss that?  I had all those clues!"  

Headstall is a talented writer with a great team of beta and editor to support him.  His books are wonderfully written and extremely addictive.  This is a must read! Of course I have said the same for almost all of his other great books.  I do guarantee you will love this story, and the world he has created.  

  • Like 1
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VBlew

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

This is an amazing world of wonderful shapeshifters, which is a genre that I am now hooked on. It a love story, and a healing story for a lot of people in the story. The world it is set in is fraught with suspense, and intrigue. The main characters are very compelling to draw you into their lives. I was so enthralled, I read the entire thing in 3 nights, which I don't recommend.. pace yourself this is an epic story. Beautifully written, and the landscape so well described that I was transported out of my reality into this amazing world created by the author.

Response from the author:

Sorry for the delay in responding. Thank you so much, VBlew! Your review makes me happy. Your words are kind and encouraging, and will help get new readers to give this story a chance, I'm sure. I'm so glad to hear you feel the way you do about it. It truly was a labor of love. Cheers! 

  • Like 1
  • Love 4
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My_Pretty_Kitty_Kat

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

Every couple of months I am drawn back to Morningstar because it is such a well written, compelling story. I am one of many patiently waiting for the next installment of Kellar’s journey.

Reader beware- you will be drawn in and find it hard to put down but it will be worth every moment spent reading.

Response from the author:

Every couple of months? That's wonderful to hear, My_Pretty_Kitty_Kat! Thank you for leaving such a great testament to the story... these reviews are so vital in getting new readers to take a chance on a genre they might not care for. Being so proud of Morningstar, I wish for everyone to read it. Cheers!

  • Like 3
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Dyaus

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

Greatly written romantic werewolf novel. it has a lot of very moving moments who ask for a handkerchief. Really enjoyable and woth the time dedicated to read it!

Response from the author:

Thanks, Dyaus! I appreciate you reading Morningstar and leaving such a wonderful review. These reviews don't just make me happy... they tend to bring me new readers, and for that I am thankful. It was a wonderful experience at the time, posting and interacting with the readers, and I love any excuse to return to it. Cheers! Gary....

  • Like 3
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SnowBear

   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 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 2
  • Love 2
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Daramatis

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

   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 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 2
  • Love 1
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astone2292

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

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

I love this story.  Just when I thought I had things figured out Gary threw a curve or two and kept me right on the edge of my seat.  I laughed, cried, shook my fist, and ultimately stayed up way past my bedtime because I couldn't quit reading. The characters share real emotions and I found it easy to connect with the story through their triumphs and tribulations. If you're in the mood for a fresh take on shifters this is the story for you.

Response from the author:

Thanks, belisima! The curveballs in this story kept me on my toes throughout, and keeping everything straight without tipping my hand was a terrifying challenge for me, but the end result was worth it. When all was said and done, I breathed a sigh of relief that I didn't screw it up. :) I found new respect for mysteries, that's for sure. Thanks for making my week, and I hope this wonderful review spurs others to take up "Morningstar: The Malaise". Cheers! G.

  • Like 1
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Story Reader

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

I love these kind of stories. I love the antics, the histories, the love, even the heartaches, but most of all I love to read about how they all come together as a family just like this family that GA has! Please let us read Book 2 and don't keep us in suspense!

Response from the author:

Thank you so much for the wonderful review, Sherye! All I can tell you is I will try to pick up this story again. There's much still to be told. In the meantime, I hope your review brings new readers. Morningstar is a wonderful place....

  • Like 1
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IanDaniels

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

Another fantastic story! When I saw it tagged with were-creatures I was going to skip over it, that theme has been soooo over done by others. I’m so glad I didn’t; it was a base for the story, but the character development and flow of he story felt so natural. Thank you earth-mother for bringing us this story. 😁

Response from the author:

Thank you, Ian, for the wonderful review. I never tire of coming back to this story when a new reader takes it on and expresses how they feel about it. I'm very proud of my take on the shifter genre, and I'm very proud of my shifters. They still live within my head, and I am thankful to the earth mother too. :)  Cheers!

  • Like 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 3
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LD Stratton

   5 of 5 members found this review helpful 5 / 5 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
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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 3
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bjorde

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

Only gets better with re-reading and re-re-reading and ... well you see where I'm going.  Best shifter story I've read.  Would love more, especially with all the threads you left hanging.  Quite understand if you've moved on though.

Response from the author:

Thank you, bjorde, for the high praise. I love when people read this again and again. I'm glad you'd like to see another book. I hope someday to tackle it. :) Cheers... Gary....

  • Like 3
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Sussins

   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 3
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Guest034229

· Edited by Bard Simpson

   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 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
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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 4
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sammcm2014

   3 of 4 members found this review helpful 3 / 4 members

A wonderful story filled with so many emotions!

 

I look forward to future installments!!!

Response from the author:

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing Morningstar: The Malaise, sammcm2014. This is a story I am most proud of, and I hope to someday continue the journey of the shifters of Morningstar. Follow me on my story page... https://gayauthors.org/author/headstall/ ... for future updates. Cheers... Gary....

  • Like 5
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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 5
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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 4
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