Another shade of grey

Time is ticking by and we are moving towards 2013!

Latimer: I’m reminded that with another year biting the dust, I’m another year older. I’m finding grey in my hair these days – that’s a little worrying. Rightly or wrongly, I do get rid of them – but it always shocks me when they return… with friends!

It's BACK!!

It’s BACK!!

And it brought friends!!

And it brought friends!!

Am I at the point now where I should be a little offended, or protective, when people ask ‘what age are you?’

It happened in work recently; “Latimer what age are you?”

I smiled, though warily because it felt like I shouldn’t be telling! “Why?”

The woman asking reached out to my hair (that’s odd, I thought, then I dropped, I knew where this was going!); “You have grey hair!”

I KNOW!! And they're white... actually!

I KNOW!! And they’re white… actually!

“I have a stressful life!” I shot back.

“But you are so young,” she pressed. I narrowed my eyes, well again, this was odd. “You look young on the face,” she added. I don’t know if that was just a cover for the grey hair comment, but I smiled anyway.

“Hopefully that sticks around,” I laughed. Then as I walked away, I located the white hair and yanked it out.

My mother told me children get grey hair too, apparently.

That’s good! Maybe I’m actually Peter Pan so 🙂

 

Happy New Year from MLR, wherever and whenever you are 🙂

Christmas Reading List

Wow, Christmas is here already! How quick was that? Seems like only the other day it was Summer (such as it was here in Ireland!)!

While things wind down and we have a bit of time off, we can relax and finally gorge on… food, yes… but more importantly reading!

Reading copious amounts of books sometimes feels like eating cakes; you wolf them down and then are left thinking; ‘why did I do that?! It’s gone now!’. Of course there’s always another cake during the holidays!

With that in mind, we’ve decided to put together a wee list of books we are planning on gorging on this Christmas!

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Late to the game, we are both going to read Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth – you could say very up and coming – or already up and came, and we are just very late to the show!

Latimer: My understanding of this series – dystopia (buzz word at the moment, like an –omics, ha, science joke), hmm, there’s sure to be a romance in it and hmm, something about lots of factions and fighting. Okay, honestly, I might be going into this one a little blind!

Ridley: I’m looking forward to this one, the reviews have been good and it seems interesting!!

Latimer: I finally bought The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (finally because I think I have been looking at this one for years thinking ‘I must get that book’). The story is; a boy, called Nobody (I like that already), is raised in a graveyard by ghosts. That’s pretty much all I know; I’m looking forward to it! I’ve only read one Gaiman book (which was a co-authorship with Terry Pratchett; Good Omens, a very good book!). I like the humorous writing style of these two authors, so really looking forward to this book (on a side note, I really want to read Gaiman’s Sandman comics… another story that!).

Ah yes, I’m going to give Delirium by Lauren Oliver a go too… All I know; love is a disease and you can’t love people in this dystopia world (I’m not a massive dystopia fan, but seems most of my loot this year is dystopic in origin!). I absolutely hate the cover of this book (the picture is the cover I have); but that aside, I think the book sounds very interesting!

And I will finally… FINALLY read Angelfall by Susan Ee (again dystopia!), which has a massive Ridley Stamp of Approval (RSA) and therefore, I have no doubt, it will be excellent and so, you should definitely seek out this book out if you haven’t read it yet!

Ridley: And why, pray tell, is this not first on your list!? Thoroughly disgusted I am that you haven’t read this yet! (My RSAs usually have Latimer running out to grab the book-and vice versa I might add- though I know she’s been busy….publishing, editing, working, writing, sleeping, eating, drawing…PAH!) *crosses arms with a pout**

Latimer: Also plan to do a spot of manga reading if I can 🙂 (in English, not Japanese!)

Then I have to do a bit of writing (ah, more than a bit really, I’m behind on a few things! Eep! :(). And eating; currently I have located a packet of ‘Irish Shortbread Biscuits’ and am wolfing them down happily (by myself, I glare if anyone touches them!) with tea in my Moomin cup of an evening 🙂 I love Christmas… food food food… yums (we might be having a cheese board this year, I’m excited haha :))

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Yes, the biscuits are shaped like shamrocks, which is a little obvious, but that’s alright they are delicious 🙂

As Christmas ticks on, we’ve been working on editing a short story we wrote; it’s called Temperance (meaning moderation and self-restraint :)) and is a moment in the past of our character, Temperance Levinthal from Legend Unleashed. It’s going to be free and we hope to have it out as soon as it’s fit to be seen! But we can share this with you (cover time…)

Temperance offical cover

 

Ridley: Ah Temperance, we’re working away on this little story, we hope to share it with you in the new year! Fingers crossed you like it!

And now, some of my books for this Christmas include…

Seraphina, I’ve had my eye on this one for a bit. I just love the old school, sketchy cover. I’ve been on the YA train for so long, it’ll be good to get back to my fantasy roots with this! There are dragons in this world that can shape shift into humans…intriguing, no?

seraphina

Again, more fantasy, another one on my list to get, Shadow and Bone. I can’t wait!! Our friend on deviantart, mseregon, also recommended this! She gave us loads of fantastic ideas for our next book too! 

The main character is whisked off to a royal court after it’s discovered that she has dormant powers. There’s also a bit of a possible love interest in her best friend too. So yes please!

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I loved the first book in this series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor, her world building is just beautiful. Prague is such a fantastic setting for her book. And there was a great mystery woven throughout it, so really looking forward to what’s going to happen in this next instalment as there was a bit of a cliff hanger in the last one. I was left going (O_O) at the end! Haha.
days of blood and starlight
 
In The Assassin’s Curse, there is, obviously, a curse! It forces the two main characters together. There’s a possible love triangle (i think) and better yet, pirates! How could you not want to read this? Plus the cover is beautiful. I’m a sucker for a good cover!
TheAssassin'sCurse-72dpi

So finally everybody, have a lovely Christmas and New Year (if we don’t see you before then!)!

Enjoy your reading time, and let us know if you come across any book gems!!

MLR 🙂

An Unexpected Feeling

Last week we went to see The Hobbit.

Latimer: It’s very strange to think on this, but I have – sort of – a long history with Peter Jackson.

He made a movie called ‘Bad Taste’ many, many years ago. When I was a very, very small Latimer, I often saw the cover of this movie in an old video shop in our little town. It was back in the VHS days to put it in perspective.

I have the cover image of Bad Taste imprinted in my mind; really weird white alien-type creature in a black suit giving the finger.

This still scares me!!! WAHHHH!!!!

And… I remember watching it, a little, when my older siblings rented it. It’s a dark comedy; but not really when you are a kid; it’s actually a nightmare that plagued me for many nights afterward!

I never thought then that I would come to love Peter Jackson so much!

Myself and Ridley have a long tradition of going to see Lord of the Rings.

It was a sad thing to realise that the first movie is now 11yrs old! And I guess, so its Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Honestly, I haven’t thought about Middle-Earth in a long time. I started to forget how much I loved it. I remembered I loved it, but I didn’t feel that love anymore. Time passed, obsessions came and went, as they do.

So, when they announced Hobbit; I wasn’t very interested.

When they released the trailer, I didn’t think much of it and when they said, it’ll be three movies, I rolled my eyes. It’s true. Sounds harsh, but don’t get me wrong, time had just passed, and well, I didn’t care so much anymore.

When I sat down in the cinema; which was more or less empty, I thought back on how myself and Ridley used to arrive early to a packed cinema in the Lord of the Rings days; we would queue;we would get jumpy, trying to organize everyone; myself and Ridley would race for the best seats, glancing back to make sure the rest of our fellowship had made it.

This time it was just me and Ridley and the cinema was pretty empty. And, we had 3D glasses (that’s new too, and not sure I’m sold on it at all).

Then it started. Then I started to remember…

The music; the props; New Zealand… I smiled; I had missed middle-earth! It was wonderful to be back.

So although I was apathetic before, I’m now really happy to be back in Middle-Earth and I’m looking forward to travelling more with Thorin Oakenshield’s company! 🙂

Our Giveaway is almost at an end! Don’t forget to click and enter the LEGEND UNLEASHED GIVEAWAY! It ends on the 22nd!

Interview Time

Check out this great interview that we did with our twitter buddy, James T Kelly. We answer all the questions you could ever have been wondering about us (or not, perhaps you want to know our favourite food or colour or the shampoo we use to wash our hair…we don’t answer that,  it would have been slightly creepy….sorry…. but just comment and we will tell you!! 😛 )

http://jamestkelly.com/interview-with-m-latimer-ridley/

If you get a chance why not check out James on twitter, @realjtk, he’s always up for a great chat! 😀

Magical Moments

You may not know this, but it is a truth, universally acknowledged, that we are fan-girls of the highest order! We search high and low for the ‘squee’; which can be defined as

“The battle-cry of a rabid fan-girl” or more specifically; “To express joy of something”. It’s a happy fuzzy feeling 🙂

The thing that makes us ‘squee’ the most are little relationship moments in stories 🙂

We love, well… love!

For us, love is key to young adult (YA) and urban fantasy (UF) stories. The development of characters and their relationships, a string of moments, is what makes our hearts soar as readers.

When it came to writing Legend Unleashed, we took what we had learned and tried our hardest to develop character relationships that would make our fan-girl selves happy!

Relationship moments are magnificent really; in reality and fiction! They can make you sigh with happiness, recoil in fear or sob with disappointment. And they are the wonderful, glittery glue that sticks a YA story together.

We wanted to share some of our favourite ‘book relationship’ moments!

1.)    Power; the men usually have too much of it (physically, magically or intellectually)! They’re dangerous. But their great power comes at a price; fear. If the girl is afraid, it unsettles the men. We realise they would never hurt her but the fact that the girl believes they could, upsets the men! 🙂

The Awakening: Book 2 in The Darkest Power Trilogy  by Kelley Armstrong

The Awakening: Book 2 in The Darkest Power Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong

 A favourite example of ours comes from Kelley Armstrong’s YA series, The Darkest Powers. The werewolf character, Derek, saves the girl, Chloe, when she is attacked by several knife-wielding youths. His display of strength is so intense that it leaves Chloe afraid of him. He is left mumbling that she must know he would never hurt her. It matters that she shouldn’t be afraid of him.

2.)    Jealousy; there is always a rival for the girl’s attention. And there is no reason for the men to be jealous, unless they care for the girl! That’s how we know 🙂

Cybeles Secret by Juliet Marillier

Cybeles Secret by Juliet Marillier

 This can be wonderfully seen in Juliet Marillier’s YA book, Cybele’s Secret. Got to say we really love Wildwood Dancing and Cybele’s Secret (two really lovely books).

Set in Istanbul (which is a very exotic location for a story, really adds atmosphere); there are two men vying for Paula’s hand; Stoyan, the warrior and Duarte, the dashing, intelligent, pirate. Stoyan is jealous of Duarte’s ability to arouse Paula’s passion for reading and learning, to talk to her about the things she loves most. Stoyan, by comparison, cannot read or write. It causes him to become easily embarrassed, frustrated and angry.

3.)    Tenderness; even when spurned the men can show great kindness to the girl that makes us all swoon. Who better to inspire, than Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

 Mr Darcy is surely the best literary man!

Even when Elizabeth Bennet has completely rejected him (and basically told him off, in a great, and terrible, way… we often wonder, could we have said no to Mr Darcy in the first place? Miss Bennet you are a stronger woman than Latimer or Ridley!!); Mr Darcy does everything in his power to make sure Mr Wickham marries Lydia Bennet (saving the Bennet family honour). His love for Elizabeth makes him compassionate (and we realise how much he cares for her!).

4.)    Urgency; as the relationship hits its highest points, there is a sense of urgency. Some terrible thing has happen to the characters and there is a struggle, which might endanger the girl.

The Realms of the Gods, Book 4 in The Immortals Series by Tamora Pierce

The Realms of the Gods, Book 4 in The Immortals Series by Tamora Pierce

This is beautifully shown in Tamora Pierce’s YA series, The Immortals Series, after Numair and Daine are torn apart from each other by magical stone monsters. When Numair fights his way back to the cliff edge, where they were separated, he is completely inconsolable. He destroys everything in his path to get to her.

It’s the moments that make the story – they are wonderful to read and create! We hope you can find favourite moments in Legend Unleashed too and that it makes your inner (or outer!) fan-girl or boy smile!

If you have any favourite moments let us know!! The hunt for magical moments is never-ending for a fan-girl :)!!

Don’t forget to click and enter the LEGEND UNLEASHED GIVEAWAY, It’s still on! Ends a few days before Christmas!

Happiness Curve

IMGLatimer and I have a happiness curve. Well, it should be a happiness slope really. It goes from the lofty level of the thrilled ‘Huzzah’ and plummets down to the blue depths of the ‘Bleugh’. We thought we were great, making up the name, ‘happiness curve’ but after a quick Google search, it turns out it’s already in existence…darn it. But! This is our version, and it’s a little different.

While both ends represent happiness in the usual curve, with ours, one end is total happiness and the other is…not. Both points are so extreme, only sounds can truly express them. There are, of course, little steps along the sloping road, the ‘that was epic!’ the ‘yay, yay!’, the ‘oh noo!’ and the ‘why me!’.

 happiness curve

Throughout the process of our book being published, Latimer and I have swung from both extremes, pinged and ponged from one to the other. From when we finished writing it with premature ‘huzzahs’ to the double synchronised ‘bleughs’ as we forced ourselves to format, ‘one more time’.

Despite this though, skating up and down the slope has to be one of the most exhilarating and fun experiences that we’ve had in our short lives. We’ve had the ecstatic arrival of our book cover, where we spent over a week frequently wandering around staring at the image with dopey smiles while bumping into people, poles, bins and getting tangled in dog leads. To the following week where we nursed the resulting bruises, and started the brain-hurting job of teasing out the tangles within our manuscript.

But publishing is not the only place you’ll find happiness curves; there are those that occur within a really good book, well mini ones anyway. Actually, it is always more of a happiness squiggle. Once sucked into another world, you can roll along through moments of sqwee-ing, jealousy, danger, action and sadness. It can often be like a rollercoaster. This fantastic ride is something we’ve always strived to achieve in our own writing. So we hope you enjoy the skating along the happiness squiggle within our book, Legend Unleashed (which you could win in our new giveaway, see below!).

Huzzah!! Free things! 😀

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Don’t forget to click and enter the LEGEND UNLEASHED GIVEAWAY, ah go on, you know you want to. Click it! Haha. 😀

Do you have a happiness curve, squiggle, line or circle? We love to hear about all your different shapes and where you are on them!

Giveaway

We’ve off on our blog tour, in the mean time, here’s a great giveaway!

LEGEND UNLEASHED GIVEAWAY

While you’re here, if you’re free, why not follow along on our tour!

You can use our portkeys (otherwise known as linkys!) or apparate if you are of age!!

Virtual Book Tour December 1 – December 15
December 1 – Reading Addiction Blog Tours – Meet and Greet
December 2 – Paulette’s Papers – Guest Post/PROMO
December 3 – My Cozie Corner Review
December 4 – Little Book Star – PROMO
December 5 – Read Review Smile – Review
December 6 – Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – Review/Interview
December 7 – Pure Textuality – Guest Post/PROMO
December 8 – Fuonlyknew – Review/PROMO (Thank you to Laura for having us and letting us do a giveaway! :))
December 10 – A Dream Within a Dream – Review
December 11 – Magical Manuscripts – Review
December 12 – Rolling With the Moments
December 15 – James T Kelly – Interview (Thank you to James for letting us gate-crash his blog for an interview!)
December 17- Magical Manuscript Interview – Interview (Return to Magical Manuscripts for a belated interview – thank you to Sandy for having us again! Hope we didn’t wreck the place :))

Internet Hiking

Latimer and Ridley are off on a wintry adventure!! :)

Latimer and Ridley are off on a wintry adventure!! 🙂

Latimer and Ridley are wrapping up warm this December (got cool new winter fashion and everything!).We’re leaving our internet camp to go trekking across the webs to visit other blogs! HUZZAH!
We’ll have guest posts, promotions, interviews and reviews. It will to be interesting! We’ll make new friends, say hello to people and (terrifyingly) find out what people think of ‘The Book’.
If you won’t get a chance to wander with us, make sure to stay tuned here anyway, as we’ll have our own little give away! Yay, free things! 😀 They’ll be purdy things too, even we don’t own these yet, though we want to!
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Virtual Book Tour December 1 – December 15
December 1 – Reading Addiction Blog Tours – Meet and Greet
December 2 – Paulette’s Papers – Guest Post/PROMO
December 3 – My Cozie Corner Review
December 4 – Little Book Star – PROMO
December 5 – Read Review Smile – Review
December 6 – Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – Review/Interview
December 7 – Pure Textuality – Guest Post/PROMO
December 8 – Fuonlyknew – Review/PROMO (Thank you to Laura for having us and letting us do a giveaway! :))
December 10 – A Dream Within a Dream – Review
December 11 – Magical Manuscripts – Review
December 12 – Rolling With the Moments
December 15 – James T Kelly – Interview (Thank you to James for letting us gate-crash his blog for an interview!)
December 17- Magical Manuscript Interview – Interview (Return to Magical Manuscripts for a belated interview – thank you to Sandy for having us again! Hope we didn’t wreck the place :))
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If you’ve just tuned in and don’t know what the fudge we’re going on about; what is this ‘The Book’? Why must you warble on so?
Well here’s a quick introduction:
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Now go here to read the first few chapters! If you’re still interested! 😀