Gift Giving

ID-10037232Ridley: So it’s a bit early to be talking about Christmas (well actually never too early in my book!), but I have to say it’s my absolute favourite time of the year. I mean, when do we have such an absolutely fantastic combination of being able to eat loads of chocolate and at the same time give presents? Like, you have Easter, which is great for the chocolate side of things, and then there’s birthdays for the presents, but Christmas is like Easter and a Birthday smushed together! (and obviously I know the whole point of Christmas isn’t just presents and food, but work with me on this!)
Anyway, I love getting presents for people that suits them, it’s fun to see their faces when they open up something they’ve always wanted or least expected and never knew they wanted. So, while it’s still early, I have begun to look for the unusual presents you can only get online and that can take awhile to get here once ordered. In the interest of helping others with their present searching (cause I’m nice like that), here are some of the best things I’ve found for sale on my favourite craft site, Etsy.com (and yes, it is a case that I’ve been just sharing all my internet procrastinating haunts, but they’re good!!)

lacravatteduchien

Absolutely beautiful and colourful handmade jewellery. They’re a little like stain glass, aren’t they?

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nicoledebruin

Have a charm bracelet or want to start one? Here’s some Christmas charms! So dainty!

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PaperMatthew

Paper sculpture, so brilliant, there’s real craft gone into these. Usually the actually sculptures are a little expensive for my wallet, which no doubt reflects the skill and amount of time that’s put into them, but they currently have a sale on, and you can pick prints of the sculptures too.

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asherjasper

Handmade wool and felt toys! So unique, and you can get custom ones made for you!!

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Kreativlink

I absolutely adore unusual notebooks and journals, here some beautiful and unique ones!

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majalin

Some really cute artwork and designs. Mind, there’s loads of fantastic artists on both etsy and on deviantart, maybe if you wanted something unusual for that special someone, why not think about supporting some of these unknown but absolutely fantastic artists?

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And everyone, just to get you into the Christmas spirit, here’s the new John Lewis Christmas ad. It really almost brought a tear to my eye. Absolutely stunning!!

 

 

Manga and Me

I'm a manga nut and I'm okay!!
I’m a manga nut and I’m okay!!

Latimer: I’m a bit of a manga nut.

I really adore them. They are also the means through which I’ve developed, rightly or wrongly, my view of Japanese, and to some degree Korean, culture!

I’m a fangirl, so I love shoujo – the girly manga! I love the ones set in schools; the drama between the school president and the yankee, or the shy girl and the cool guy.

In Korean ‘shoujo’ manhwa there’s always (ALWAYS) a jjang (leader of the gang), in the story. Sometimes it’s the girl, and sometimes it’s the boy. So again, I know I’m misguided, but I just assume in every Korean high-school there are warring factions of gangs, and everyone can fight and kick-ass! And everyone is angry… so angry!

I wouldn’t be able to hide my disappointment if I turned up (very randomly) at a Korean high-school and I wasn’t caught in a show-down between two rival gangs from opposing schools. Even though I don’t speak the language, I’d know… I’d just know what was going on. I’d know the first jjang had kissed the other jjang’s sister, or belittled her… and I’d stand there fists waving in the air screaming.

“Oh it’s on! FIGHTING”

Then if I ended up at a Japanese high-school, I’d be looking for the yankee (the bad boy, delinquent) and the bookish girl – or the tsundere (initially cold character who shows their good side in time – a staple of the shoujo!) school president and the silly, but kind-hearted girl… and I’d be chuckling to myself thinking; “Oh how is this going to turn out!”

It's Yank-mee!! Nani TEME!!
It’s Yank-mee!! Nani TEME!!

Ah, manga (and manhwa), you really distort reality for me (but in a way that makes me so happy)! Reading them is a roller-coaster ride of emotions!

Pandora Hearts, confuses me, makes me gasp in awe, then confuses me again…

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Naruto always makes me emotional – it’s the best manga for making you empathize with the baddies, because they were good once… or they have these tear-inducing back-stories…

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Kamisama Hajimemashita makes my fangirl squee – such a lovely romance story! 

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Tomoe is a Kitsune (fox) demon – not a vampire (though it looks that way here!) …. Anyway, I’m off on Cloud Squee!

Anything by Minami Maki will make me laugh and wait desperately for the next chapter; her stories and artwork are sweet and cute and hilarious…

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Then, recently (and as it’s a week for pets!), I came across this webcomic (they seem to be v.popular in Korean – at least to my untrained eye). It’s called My Young Cat and My Old Dog (by Cho) and it is… wonderful…

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If you have a pet, it will make you cry.

At times the issue/episode/chapter is about the young playful pet and all the silly things they do. Then at times it’s about the old pet, who isn’t quite as fast as they used to be, or sleeps more than they used to. It’s those one’s that grab your heart and squeeze the feels out, leaving you gasping and in tears (I am an emotional being!).

I'm 16 years old 1 im 16 I'm 16 years old 2I have an old, old dog, and those episodes make me pause and think of him 😦

Well, but there’s lots of joy to be had in the series too, things that make you remember how wonderful your pet is. How selfless and how they love you unconditionally; they love you for you, no other reason and we love them too..

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Ah, manga and manhwa, you give me so many different feelings – and I love you for it 🙂

Legend Unleashed Artwork

They’re soooo beautiful!! *gasp*

We are so unbelievably happy to share some Legend Unleashed artwork with you! We have been in contact with some fabulous artists. They read our book and we commissioned them to do some artwork for us! The resulting images left us walking on air for days!

Legend Unleashed is part of the Young Adult and Urban fantasy genres, so plenty of romance, adventure and magic (and werewolves :))… these images capture this perfectly and we couldn’t be happier with them!

I’m Alastair Byron (the first meeting, ahhh… squee overload!) by mseregon

This piece was done by the wonderfully talented meseregon (please check out her artwork she is just amazing and she was an absolute pleasure to work with! http://mseregon.deviantart.com/). The soft colouring really captures the wintry atmosphere and Temperance’s expression is priceless! It really catches the moment perfectly!

Character sketches for Temperance and Alastair (Legend Unleashed by MLR). Artwork by palnk
The Legend is Unleashed, tick-tock, tick-tock (artwork by palnk)

These two pieces were done by the amazingly talented palnk (please check out her artwork, her pieces are lovely  http://palnk.deviantart.com/). She was a lovely person to work with also. The first image shows various events in the first few chapters as well as some initial character designs. The main picture shows Temperance and Alastair against the backdrop of Carwick, magic and werewolves! What more could you want? Both of the characters look amazing.

Book Cover Unleashed!

We are absolutely thrilled to share the cover for our new book with you!

It’s called (as you can see!); Legend Unleashed.

On the back of the book we have the blurb:

“Temperance Levinthal is in danger. She’s been dragged in Alastair Byron’s deadly world. Before she met him, everything was normal. Now she’s fleeing from werewolves, fighting wizards and finding that some secrets are best left untold.”

Our cover artist, Collette was absolutely fantastic! She’s an industrial designer, working in Australia and she also happens to be the sister of one of our best friends. It really is a case if you just look around you and ask, you already know some amazing people who are more than willing to help when you start to chase your dreams.

We provided Collette with a brief (perhaps one that was a little too detailed and long!! Haha…) on what we wanted in terms of colour scheme, images and our over all general idea for the cover. We’ll be the first to admit, we’re both perfectionists and hard to please at times, but we were delighted when this winged it’s way into our inbox. She even gave us quite a number of options to choose from, after much debate between us though, we decided the above cover was the one for us, it was our cover. We’ll show you some of the other options below though!

Sometimes it’s a pity you can’t use every option, isn’t it?

Ridley: We really wanted a black and white theme (as you can see). I’ve always found black and white very striking. A cover like that has never failed to make me double back and pick it up (or click on it, if I’m online). Having done its job to stop me and tempt me, it’s then the blurb’s duty to hook me into buying! So unfortunately, I do judge a book by its cover, I like pretty things, so sue me! Haha! I can’t wait to hold this book in my hands and then slide it, pride of place, onto my bookshelf. It will be a fantastic day. Even if no one else ever buys it, I’ll be extremely proud of all we’ve achieved! It’s an exciting time to be a writer….

Latimer: We love silhouettes, this will become a theme I think 🙂 This is certainly a very exciting time for us. We’ve spent years writing and it almost seems unreal to now be standing where we are, pushing our own machine forward, so to speak! It really is a great time to be a writer.

Also, if you are interested in hiring Collette to do your own book cover, we can pass on your query to her! Just sent us an email. We’d be delighted to share her with the world, she’s fantastic at what she does and extremely helpful! She listens to what you want and makes it a reality. 

You’d be hard pressed to find a better designer!

Thanks again Collette! 🙂

MLR

Also finished and coming soon is our book trailer! Stay tuned!