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No selecting or voting this time.  Not every author was convinced we'd chosen her best work for the first or second posting.  So, we asked authors to pick their favorite story from those they'd written.  Some of them thought we had chosen their best work already so we linked to the favorite.  Some had stories that were favorites for more sentimental reasons.
Helen Adams
Glimpse of Heaven
I chose Glimpse of Heaven as my favorite self-penned story because it's one of those rare times when everything laid out better than I had hoped for.  It started with a simple dissatisified thought - that Joe had recovered from his blindness much too easily - and blossomed into more genuine character development for Joe and his family than I had ever thought myself capable of providing.
Vickie Batzka
It Was New Year's Eve
Vickie chose one of her earliest stories as her favorite, but she hasn't gotten around telling us why yet.  You'll have to decide for yourself.
Lois B.
Asking a writer to pick her favorite story is like asking a parent to pick her favorite child.  Each one is special in its own way.  That being said, if I had to select one of my stories, I'd pick Vignettes.  As much as I enjoyed writing the love story of Adam Cartwright and his wife, I much prefer writing about Adam Cartwright, husband and father.  In fact, I love thinking and writing about all the Cartwright men as husbands and fathers.  Because they never had the opportunity to play those roles on the television program (with the exception of Joe in the lovely, but tragic "Forever"), it's fun to imagine how they might react in typical domestic situations.  Surely there would be a lot of Ben in them!  But just as surely, they would each bring their own personality into their relationships with their wives and children.  Raised in a "female free" environment, it's entertaining to speculate on these very masculine men and their relationships with the women they have chosen to spend their lives with.  So Vignettes was my first attempt at such speculation, followed by A Cartwright Christmas.  For me, everyday relationship stories are the ones I like best, surpassing adventure and even love stories.
Lissa B.
Love's Labours
Choosing a favorite story is like choosing a favorite child - you can't really do it. All of them represent different parts of you and different points in your life and, like children, all of them start out as one idea and go on to become something surprising and separate unto themselves.  Still, Love's Labours does hold a special place in my heart. Maybe it's because it's a comedy and, as they say, "death is easy, but comedy is hard". Or maybe it's because so many of my favorite Bonanza episodes: Old Sheba, Ponderosa Matador, A Knight to Remember, The Frenchman, The Dowry, The Bank Run - are comedies. Whatever the reason, Love's Labours was a labor of love for me - a tribute to a lot of what I love best about Bonanza.
 Wendy Byrd
Walk Like a Man
The attached story is my favorite (after some debate with myself anyway) but I don't think it's most other people's favorite. Oh well. 
Vicki Christian
Promises and Impossible Dream
[Email Vicki at for these stories.]

As to my favorite, that's hard when they are your own.  I guess at present I'd go for Promises or Impossible DreamDream is my favorite but it is not a true Bonanza  story being only about Adam (or at least 98% and it is NC17 rated as it has an explicit sex scene,  although I do warn e-mail enquirers in advance that it is for over 18's.  [Ed. note:  we have yet to see a true NC-17 Bonanza story.  Authors tend to err on the side of caution; those we've seen have all been R-rated.]

Impossible Dream is a favorite because it is the story I always wanted to write.  I wanted to explain why Adam and Little Joe appear so different when in fact to my eye they have an enormous amount in common.  Adam is the deep thinker, the solemn and slightly withdrawn son, but was he always so?  In his youth was he just as impetuous and fun loving as Little Joe and if he was what made him change? The stories told in Solitary Way and Impossible Dream give my explanation for his adult character.

Promises is a favorite because it explores my fascination with the relationship between Adam and his stepmother, Marie.  As a stepdaughter myself I know how difficult that relationship can be. For an adolescent boy to have a young and beautiful stepmother must have caused all kinds of emotions to come into play.  I also wanted to look at the emotions of Ben when he loses a third wife and perhaps give an explanation of the episode Between Heaven and Earth where he refers to rescuing Joe from the same spot when he was five years old. 

Karen Fedderly
The Murder of Joe Cartwright
I was writing Luck of the Draw and got stuck when Randy suggested we do Murder of Joe Cartwright.  I was a little worried about writing with her, because I wasn't sure I'd be able to portray the Joe she envisioned (gray-haired Joe was something I'd never tried before).  But she not only made it easy, but fun.  I've never enjoyed writing a story more.  I'd consider Luck of the Draw my personal best, but Murder the best writing experience I've ever had.  I think Murder reflects that spirit of fun and friendship even though it has a fairly dark theme.
The Art of the Possible
When asked about her work, Gillian said: " Personally, I think my Art of the Possible is the best story I've written so far, but that's only a personal opinion!"  We asked if she'd like to have it posted on our favorites page to which she responded:  " I didn't say it was my favourite - just my best - an entirely different proposition! I'll have to think about which one is my favourite."  So we're posting The Art of the Possible for now - if Gillian tells us a different story is her favorite, we'll change this posting.
Diana Golding
Carried on the Wind
Carried on the Wind’ is my current favourite as it represents a slight change of direction for me.  Normally my stories are rather dark and well known as ‘suffering Adam’ stories, a title given to them by one of my readers.  Poor Adam does indeed suffer, but I always attempt to make that suffering the catalyst for other actions and emotions which then become the driving force of the story.  So I thought that I would try something lighter.  While in Carried on the Wind Adam has an accident, the seriousness of it is really all in his mind and he recovers quickly.  From then on the story is about his relationship with his rescuer, and I feel that in her I have created a ‘real’ person.  It is easy to write about the Cartwrights, their characters are already formed and all a writer has to do is to use what has gone before.  But to create a new character is a challenge, and I hope that I succeeded.  Also it has a little humour, something that doesn’t come naturally to me and I find difficult to write.
Deborah Grant
Veritas is only the second story that I've written, so it may not remain my favorite. However, from the time I watched Bonanza as a child I was intrigued by Adam's attending an unnamed college back East. I enjoyed the challenge of writing about his experiences attending Harvard and getting to know his grandfather while keeping him connected to his family via letters. (Probably the most fun was writing about Docia, who was the same age I was when I first met Adam, and we had similar reactions to him.)

In Memoriam

Now that I have written more than two stories, I can be more selective in my favorite.  Because "In Memoriam" deals with grief and loss and how each member of the Cartwright family learns to deal with it and move on with his or her life, I was able to reach readers in a way I never have with my earlier stories.  I also feel I did a better job with my characterizations in this story.  Moving the setting back and forth between Queensland, the Ponderosa and Boston was challenging but I think it adds to the story.  On an emotional level, this story was the most difficult to write, but I think it is definitely the best story that I have written.

Susan Grote
The Fourth Wife I think The Fourth Wife is my favorite story because I was able to blend comedy and drama into one tale, something I haven't able to do very successfully in other stories. The story opens with Joe and Hoss getting caught up in one of their crazy schemes, but then moves to a more serious series of events. I'm very pleased that I was able to depict both the comedy aspects of Bonanza as well as dramatic features into one story.
Jenny Guttridge
A Gunfighting Man
Every author's favourite story is the one they're currently working on. But I must confess to a soft spot for A Gunfighting Man.
Julie Jurkovich
All the King's Horses
My favorite story of what I’ve written?  I guess I’d have to say All the King’s Horses, though I waffle between that and Andromeda.  I like King’s Horses because I think it does accurately portray Adam’s dilemma between his (the white man’s) lifestyle and the usurping by the white man of the tribal lands of the Indians, accompanied by the destruction of the Native American way of life.  He was truly caught between the two lifestyles, and had to make peace as best he could with both sides – something that couldn’t be done to anyone’s satisfaction, including his own.  With Andromeda, I suppose I like it because the families that the time traveler encounters (the Cartwrights and the other family – gee, these are my stories, you’d think I’d know who I wrote about!) help him through his own dilemma that he’s facing:  the loss of his handicapped son, and the horrors he learned about in the Nazi prison camps
The Lion Cub
The story I am submitting is called The Lion Cub.   I enjoyed writing this because it not only involved the close bonds of kinship between the brothers, but also showed the hard work that was involved  in a cattleman's life.   I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  One of my readers said that it reminded her so much of her own sons' struggles to prove to the rest of the family he was an adult.   When readers can feel a personal involvement with a story then I really feel that I have written something halfway near decent.
Gwynne Logan
Wall of Darkness
I have tried in Wall of Darkness to represent Adam at his finest.  It was my aim to show him overcoming adversity logically and rationally without a lot of histrionics.  I think Adam's character would let him joke and support other family members while trying quietly to heal his own deep inner wound.  I have reworked this story several times, and hope that it reads smoothly in this version.  I am very grateful to Best of the West for allowing me to include the adult level scene between Adam and Sherry.  I do feel it adds to the story. 
Susan Lynch
With Brothers Like These
 With Brothers Like These is a comedy that Liz and I wrote together and submitted to the Bonanarchy fanzine where it was published last year.   Many readers told us it was the best story we'd written and actually, I thought it was my best also .
Kathryn M.
The Contest
When I get feedback on my work, it's funny how the ones I really like and think will be well received get less positive reaction than the ones I am not thrilled with.  In any event, I'm attaching The Contest as my favorite
Kate M.Teal
The Threshold
[The Threshold showcases the friendship between Joe and an original character named Shey which had its rocky start in Kate's story Betrayal and is developed through Chaos, Ringgold, Encounter at Oxbow and Kinship, all of which have been requested for future posting on this site. ]  Kate says:  Why is this my favorite story?  I have always enjoyed the relationship between Joe and Shey, and I feel this story showcases all aspects of their unusual friendship to its fullest.  I’ve been contacted by many readers since this was originally posted to the web, and people either love it or hate it.  I left many readers scratching their heads, saying “huh?” with this one, but for me it’s the defining Joe and Shey story.  Hope you enjoy!
Kate Pitts
There are More Things . . .
You do have the story of mine I'm most proud of, One in One Hundred Thirty but my favourite story is attached. It's one of the few of my own stories that I re-read from time to time. It's a young Cartwright story and I confess I have Adam call Joe 'buddy' in it, but hopefully it's not too sentimental.   I hadn't written anything in ages when Susan Grote issued a challenge on the Bonanarchy list for a story for Halloween back in 2000. Her challenge got me writing again, as the idea for this ghost story within a ghost story suggested itself. It's a favourite of mine as it was one of those rare and wonderful stories that almost write themselves. I enjoy writing supernatural stories and with this one I got to use a little local history as well. 
Puchi Ann
A Dream Deferred
A Dream Deferred, Book One of the Heritage of Honor series, remains my favorite story, although I believe some of my later writing is stronger.  I came to love the character of Inger as I wrote about her, and the scene in which the dying mother nurses the infant Hoss one final time continues to move me whenever I read it.  That and the fascination with the pioneer trail that developed through researching this story make it, for me, an enduring favorite.
Randy S.
Griff & the Irish Dancer
It's pretty pretentious of me to even have a favorite because I've written so little Bonanza fanfic and most has been cross-overs to other series.   I had the most fun writing Murder of Joe Cartwright with Karen Fedderly and that would be my best purely Bonanza story - but I have to give her a lot of the credit for it.  I'm choosing Griff and the Irish Dancer as my favorite because it was my first attempt to write in first person POV [no doubt inspired by Karen's anthology story "Through a Glass Darkly"]  It was one of those stories that just wrote itself, yet I still like it on review over a year later.  It was started as a challenge story but ended up not meeting the criteria of the challenge - because like I said, it wrote itself.
Joan Sattler
The Accused
Joan noted that although there is nothing graphic in this story is does deal with an adult theme.
Becky Sims
Actually, my favorite of my stories -- The Cat Hunter -- isn't finished yet, lol.  I'm not sure why I like it best, but every time I go back to work on it, I'm just really pleased with how it's turning out.  As for stories I've completed, I like different stories for different reasons.  The Battle was very difficult to write, in terms of structure and research, so I'm happy it turned out the way I wanted.  I didn't want to irritate those who know a bit about the Civil War, so a lot of effort went into detail.  It was also difficult to write emotionally.  I try very hard to put myself in each character's head, and in this story -- as well as in Promises -- that's not always a nice place to be.   If you're surprised that Promises is not my favorite, that's why.  I've tied myself in knots writing it, so I can't say it's been a pleasant experience.  Hopefully when I finish Part 4, I'll be able to get myself, along with Adam, back on an even keel.  The Death of Adam Cartwright was also emotionally tough to write.  I did it in one day and shot down an entire box of kleenex, but finished it with a tremendous sense of accomplishment (and a headache). It was an idea -- an image -- that just wouldn't let go of me until I wrote it down.  A couple others I particularly like -- I'm happy with how The Song turned out.  It's in the same universe as The Battle, and I had a black woman send an email thanking me for it, which meant a lot.  I also enjoyed writing The Shootout, though it had its logistical challenges as well, but one of the best parts was how Adam kept appearing over my left shoulder with his kibbitzing as I was writing.  If you've never had that happen to you, well, it's pretty weird, but really fun. (He was really ticked off that the rustlers kept hauling him all over the Sierras when he didn't feel well, lol.)

[Ed.Note: Becky has promised to let us post The Cat Hunter when she finishes it.  She is doing a few minor revisions on The Battle after which we will post it.    She's sending parts two and three of Promises for May and promises to send us part four when it's done.  We've asked for The Song also.]

The Tahoe Ladies
Because the Tahoe Ladies are a writing "conglomerate" not a single author, we had them choose one story per author.   In the end, they chose stories that best represented each author: Katie - Chores Becca - From the Heart Pammie - Civilized Little War   Irish - Phoenix Rising. Coyote - The Favor Coyote is the newest Tahoe and says that her real favorite is one she had no part in writing - Takin' Charge.]  The reasons for each choice is posted with the story.
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We take a page to tip our hats to good authors and/or stories not posted here.
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Ponderosa Fanfic