Top 5 Villains

Latimer musing over her Top 5's (kawaii artwork inspired by Miss Wah)
Latimer musing over her Top 5’s (kawaii artwork inspired by Miss Wah)

Latimer: Another one of the Top 5 posts! This time, dangerous villainous villains!

The series comes from the archive of the ‘Top 5 Wednesday’ Tag. This Tag was started by Lainey on Goodreads; here’s the link if you want to check it out: Lainey!

This is a complete list of everyone partaking in the Tag if you want to check them out.

1. The Joker by DC comics

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DC’s the Joker has to be a top villain. No one knows his origin story, he never tells the truth. He’s absolutely crazy, but he’s also incredibly intelligent. He has no loyalties and yet can somehow manipulate those around him to do anything he wants. But the Joker is completely bananas, and as interesting and mysterious as I find him, he’s a villain I’d never want to meet!

2. Dracula by Bram Stoker

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I couldn’t stomach the original Dracula from Bram Stoker. He made me want to hit him with a shovel; the way he manipulated Mina and basically killed Lucy. It really annoys me now when I look at the screen versions of Dracula; he wasn’t sexy, or a fallen hero, he was an absolute narcissistic, megalomaniac. No tears shed when he died… and now I can’t really look at Dracula the same way anymore.

3. Hannibal Lector by Thomas Harris

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Hannibal Lector is a strange one. I always feel like I’m on his side in a way, which it not a comforting thought. I want him to get away, escape and survive (which is bad). He’s an amazing villain, I have a weird soft spot for him; I like him, but he’s a cannibal and a murder, and he’s scary. I’d never want to be in the same room as him. I haven’t watched the TV show, but I’ve seen the finale of season 2; Mad’s Mikkelsen is an amazing Hannibal. I’m still amazed by the vicious intelligence of the character. He worm’s his way inside people’s heads then destroys them.

4. Mr Wickham by Jane Austen

What an absolute arse...
What an absolute arse…

I’ve said it before; I’m a massive Pride and Prejudice fan.

Mr Wickham is the quintessential ‘arsehole villain’. He’s not scary and he’s not powerful, he’s just such an unbelievable jackass. He’s a Jane Austen villain. He’s the sort of guy that if you met him you’d punch him in the nose. Of course, I wouldn’t be afraid to be alone with him, because in a lot of ways, I’d love the opportunity to punch him in the nose.

5. King Joffrery Barathon the First of his Name by GRR Martin

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What a little pain in the ass this guy is. Brilliantly portrayed by Jack Gleeson (he’s an amazing actor, and he’s Irish, by default I’m almost programmed to love him as an actor!).

Joffrery has killed too many people I loved. He’s  malicious, vindictive and stupid – the issue here is when a villain is stupid and has power, his acts of violence are like a bull in a china shop, it’s impossible to predict who will suffer. What a fecker!

Latimer watches… Death Comes to Pemberly

No, not Denny!! Please not Denny!!
No, not Denny!! Please not Denny!!

‘Death comes to Pemberly… This is the story of how I died… Who am I? I’m Denny… What do you mean ‘Denny who?’? You know… Lydia said my name once – no? Okay, so I told Elizabeth that Wickham wasn’t coming to the Netherfield ball because of a certain person…? Yeah, that Denny!’

Latimer: Okay admission time, I have a major addiction to Pride and Prejudice (P&P).

How can you not have a P&P addiction?
How can you not have a P&P addiction?

Yup…! I also have a minor addiction to Pride and Prejudice variations and sequels.. ahem, yes…

Basically these (variations really) are self-published stories where people use the P&P the storyline but tweek it; for example, say there’s a storm after Darcy proposes to Elizabeth for the first time and he gets stranded at the parsonage and the story just continues onward, with parts changing due to that incident… yup.

The reason I like them, is because I love Darcy and Elizabeth. As long as Darcy and Elizabeth fall in love, then it’s all good.

My love of all things P&P meant I was really happy to see a three-part drama, ‘Death comes to Pemberly’ advertised on BBC over Christmas. It’s a P&P sequel (not quite a variation, but someone’s take on ‘what happened next’). It’s a murder mystery story. We meet the characters six years after P&P. Darcy and Elizabeth are hosting the annual Pemberly ball and Wickham and Lydia (not actually invited) arrive in Pemberly causing all sorts of trouble.

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On the way to Pemberly, Wickham and Corporal Denny (Denny NOoo!) have a fight in the carriage as it clip-clops through Pemberly forest. Denny jumps out of the carriage and angrily storms into the forest, Wickham following after him. Denny is then found dead in the woods with Wickham as the prime suspect.

These were roughly my thoughts on watching the series…

  • Denny… Denny… who… oh yeah, Denny… *ahem, yes of course*
  • Wickham, you are a perpetual arsehole!
  • Lydia… the impossible girl, ha
The Impossible Lydia... see what I did there!
The Impossible Lydia… see what I did there!
  • Why does Elizabeth continue to call Mr Darcy… ‘Darcy’? Not even Mr Darcy, just Darcy… hmm.
  • Is their son, young Fitzwilliam (original) going to speak at all in this? (no not really)
  • Matthew Rhys is a fine Mr Darcy (and a fine Russian spy – when is The American’s starting back?!)
  • Death Comes to Pemberley4497DCEFE63EC75E2FD7BC1CFB56BEMiss Elizabeth doesn’t have very many gowns considering Darcy’s 10,000 a year, what’s going on?
  • Someone online said; “why is Elizabeth wearing a Georgian shoe buckle in her hair?”, now all I can see is a shoe buckle every time she turns around!
  • Out loud I’m saying; “Mr Darcy don’t go being an arsehole again and ruining your relationship with Elizabeth (again)!”; (in my head though: “Mwhaha, yesss, be an arsehole again, hehe… excellent…”)
  • There’s some fan-service, which would have made Austen blush *hehe*
  • Ah, it’s over, what can we watch now?

This was a fun period drama that fills the period drama void!

I love the BBC P&P with Colin Firth (its epic)… but you know *whispering for fear of being attacked by inner fan-girl*… it might now be time for the BBC to make another adaptation of P&P!

There is always room in the world for another …. always!

 

Ridley’s Grilling-Part 1

Time for Questions!
Time for Questions!

Latimer: This week Ridley gets grilled with questions with too many caveats!

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Ridley: My grilling…do I smell something burning!? Well here goes…!

1.Let’s break the ice (because it will get so involved later!)

A favourite book  – why? Pride and Prejudice, just because no matter how many books come and go, and how many I’ve become obsessed over and loved, nothing really every reaches P&P’s pedestal to knock it off. Though Persuasion has always been a close second.
imagesA favourite movie – why? Technically I have two favourite movies, Hot Fuzz and Zoolander, no matter how many times I’ve watched them, and it’s been a lot, I still laugh at all the same jokes. If you quote anything from either of these movies, or you get my random mutterings of things like ‘Mer-man,*cough* Mer-man’, then I’m pretty certain we could instantly become great friends. 😀 
Zoolander-Quote-zoolander-17583454-350-250Surely I’m not the only person who absolutely loves these? Also, I (am ashamed to admit) have not seen The World’s End yet, I’ve heard it’s good, so it could possibly become another top contender. Stay tuned!
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Comfort food that you love:  Chocolate, particularly Cadbury’s and anything with caramel, oh and I adore Reese’s peanut butter cups. I will readily say I’m probably addicted to the sugary goodness, add in a hot cup of tea and it’s heaven! Though, the last few weeks, I’ve banned myself from eating anything sugary (or basically fun), which includes Cadbury’s. Sad times. 😀 

cadbury2Currently what are you’re listening to: Hmm, right at this moment? Phantom radio on the television, it has a good oldie playing! Anyone remember this one? Loved this song when I was younger.

After that, this song has really caught my attention.I think it’s more the video, I sit there trying to work it out. I know it’s based on Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, but the ending confusts me something awful. Explanations are most welcome (though I suppose I could google it!).

Current/recent obsession: Not so much an obsession, but my new show is (or was) Orange is the New Black, I watched the whole series, I finished it Friday night with mixed thoughts. An interesting take on prison, really loved seeing why and how each of the characters ended up in jail.
2521756For some of them, it was really purely just wrong place and wrong time, or just one small wrong decision, other times it was wandering down a dark road from where there was really no return. I did start to really not like the main character, Piper, by the end of it though. Despite starting out looking like she was angelic and good and just didn’t belong in prison compared to the hardened criminals in there, the character developments were so fantastic we ended up seeing that a lot of the other inmates had far more good in them, were less selfish and more caring than she turned out to be. Looks can be deceiving! But that’s just my take! I look forward to season two to see what happens. (Netflix really has revolutionised my life, how could you ever be bored with it? (or get any work done with it!))

2. What was the very first profession you wanted to be when you were a wee nipper?

Ridley: Like you Lat, I wanted to be an archaeologist for the longest time, but I think when Jurassic Park came out it switched to ‘dinosaur digging up’ (a palaeontologist). Then I become obsessed with Egypt and I settled on becoming an Egyptologist. After a time I realised though if I did become one there’d be a lot crawling around in dirty spaces, hot sand, hot sun, sunburn, blistering, dust, dry throat, scorpions, beetles…and very low likelihood of ever finding anything, so one or two of those things might have turned me off the idea. Now I just feed the small Egyptologist-wannabe in me by watching the Discovery channel, with this guy, Zahi Hawass presenting

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(he turns up in everything and anything to do with Egypt…it could have been me you know, he obviously just had less of a fear of bugs…*sigh*)
3. You are shipped to a desert island with no internet – you must stay  for 2 months – you have food and clothes and all the necessaries, but you can only take two items to really pass the time – what do you take?

Ridley: A notepad and a pencil.ID-10048428 I was going to say a pen, but could you imagine how frustrating that would be running out of ink half way through the first month!? I’d have to go fishing for a squid and try and steal some of its ink or something. But with a notepad and pencil, you can draw, you can write (imagine all the work you’d get done), you can start a little diary, with the paper you could make origami friends to keep you company and then play little paper games (of some type, I’m sure before I go to the island, I’ll have looked up all the games there are to play with a piece of paper). Though…do I have a little knife to sharpen my pencil if it breaks? O_O ….I’m sure I do, she does say ‘all necessaries’, that leaves a lot of things open, maybe I can bring my phone as well, though somehow I don’t think there’d be any sockets for charging it in the palm trees. 😦

4. I can tell you for 100% that one of the following is real, which one do you want to be real (and why)?

  • Ghosts (Ridley: NO! We’ve already discussed this…*shiver*)
  • Werewolves and shapeshifters (Ridley: I’m thinking this one is my choice, mainly (and being selfish here) as all the rest, even if they’re real, I can’t really become part of the world-unless that’s part of it becoming real, can i suddenly be one of these things??- anyway assuming that’s not the case, at least if shapeshifters and werewolves were real, I could join them- werewolf love bite anyone? Haha…)
  • Hogwarts and magic (Ridley: ah…if only, but if it was real, I still wouldn’t be apart of it, I’m too old for my letter. I’m possibly a Squib though! 😀 )
  • The Doctor and all that world (Ridley: Be so hard to pin him down, it would become a very unhealthy search for him on my part. So probably best not…)
  • Angels and Demons, and demon and angel hunters (Ridley: So cool. I imagine they’d wear cool boots and leather jackets. And moody striking frowns. They’d never want me tagging along asking questions and grinning like a fool.)
  • Superheroes, mutants, X-men and Batman etc. (Ridley: All special people in groups of which I would not be a member, see option B for further explanations. Though if I thought I could become a superhero if this world was real…then possibly this one…god this question is too hard, and now I’m not playing the game right, changing and adding rules, Latimer is going to rap me on my knuckles. RUN! :D)

5. Well, it’s ghosts that are real for this question. Now, you have a choice… hehe…(Ridley: I dread seeing that ‘hehe’ it sends shivers of horror and unease through me…)

  • Spend 1.5 months in a one bed, really filthy hotel, with no internet access and a shared toilet that has never been cleaned and will never be cleaned. The location of the hotel is nowhere exciting, and you have to stay there too. You can’t get internet anywhere in the town
  • Spend 1 week in Mary King’s Close and 1 week in the Vaults. The alleged ghosts are definitely real (but they can’t physically hurt you). You will have blankets and you can choose where to sleep – but it must be in both places, you can’t hang around the visitor stairwells or anything!

You can leave both places at 9AM everyday but must return at 7PM.

ID-10061531Ridley: I think it would have to be ‘B’, you know me too well, that last line in ‘A’ got me. It was a hard choice, don’t like the idea of not sleep for a week due to all the bumps in the night I’d end up hearing. I was actually verging on picking ‘A’ but then no internet anywhere in town either? So cruel, that was the final straw – oh no, not the horrible bathroom, no no, it was limiting of my computers ability to check facebook, email and google…good to know I’ve my priorities right!! 😀

That was part 1, part 2 will come along….eventually!! By the by, join in if you want, we’d love to hear your answers!!

Latimer: Hope you guys liked Ridley’s grilling – hehe 🙂

Period Dramas

Latimer down the rabbithole

Latimer: “Argh…” I blink, staring bleary eyed at a person I know, but can’t remember. The obsession fire has dulled my senses.

“Are you okay?” they ask, raising a dubious eyebrow. They kick at my leg, forcing me to scramble up onto my feet.

“That is…” I wave my hands at them, my fingers threading the air. I start to remember who they are. “I think truly… pray some tea!”

“Oh jezz, it’s happened again hasn’t it!” She shakes her head and sighs.

“Ridley my old friend, pray some tea… I feel very ill!”

“I’ll make you the tea, but really you need to let go of all those BBC period dramas – you have to let go Latimer!”

“……”

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This all started with my kindle.

Yes, my kindle… and some 10 pride and prejudice variations that I have amassed like a hoarder, over the last few months.

It was inevitable that I’d get an urge to watch the actual Pride and Prejudice TV adaptions. I sat down and watched the 2005 movie – and it resulted in this comic thing…because my love for P&P overflowed!!

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And, one thing led to another, before I knew what I was doing, I was putting the Colin Firth P&P DVD into my laptop (note: yes, it is a truth universally acknowledged that all women are born with a copy of this series :)).

Ah, no you won't... it's why we love you so!
Ah, no you won’t… it’s why we love you!

I think if I tried to express in words, how much I love this series it would just come out as; “Ohhh Mr Darcy” and you’d know what I meant! 

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I’ve come to the conclusion that, to me, Mr Darcy is the ultimate man of any series – I think he might be the perfect literary man and the romance with Elizabeth and him; ah, it’s the most well done and most loved in my heart of hearts.

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I sashayed back into Austen, thinking; “Pride and Prejudice, that was fun, I shall be off again now…” but no – I ended up finding the 2009 BBC adaption of Emma – well more like it found me, as if it knew… “Hello there, would you like to watch me?” (and this started a massive chain reaction of drama watching!)

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The only Emma adaption I’ve ever seen was the movie, and I did like it, but didn’t love it. This 2009 BBC series was really good though – and Johnny Lee Miller (Mr Knightley) was lovely 🙂

When the series was over, I thought, “more! I want more!”. Yes, by this point on the obsession scale I am almost lost to coherent thought, like a kid hopped up on sugar. My high led me to the North and South BBC series (based on the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell)…

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Oh my god… this was brilliant!

Brilliant… Richard Armitage (Mr Thornton)… haha, how could I not love it (I can’t help but focus on the men, I mean they are a central theme to these period dramas!)! I don’t want to say anything much about this one – you should just go watch it, blissfully unaware of anything that will happen, it’s just so good.

And after that the journey went ever on an on – 

Little Dorrit (BBC series – very good, recommend this as much for the mystery as the romance! The father and uncle are so sweet, and pitiful and silly… my heart bled for them, really did)

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Mansfield Park (ITV movie – my main thought, Fanny is a very unfortunate name, very unfortunate!)

Northanger Abby (ITV movie – It’s a bit of an odd Austen story – but the ending was very sweet… – just look, Henry’s a lovely Austen man!!)

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Sense and Sensibility (2008 BBC series –  I’m not a fan of Sense and Sensibility but this was a very nicely done series)

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I started to think, that the country life of a period drama was a very sweet one – with all these ladies of leisure, painting, reading, drinking copious amounts of tea and walking to the ‘parsonage’ down glorious sunny country lanes.

I started to admire it all, thinking it looked blissful. Then (as if to test me) the power went in our house (because a relay station exploded, or something!) leaving me standing around for two hours admiring the calm and peace of the warm sunny evening, reading from my kindle.

Then, I got bored and ran around screaming; “where is the power! Where is it! I want power! I want tea!”

When it finally came back, I did a little dance and song about, “power” and how it’s awesome.

So much for my dreamy wistful side – still, it’s so much fun to be lost in period dramas – truly; I highly recommend it 🙂

Any suggestions are more than welcome (I’m running out of dramas! Is Downton Abbey any good?!)!

Artist Spotlight: mseregon

deviantid_by_mseregon-d55ou3dOne of our favourite artists on deviantart, mseregon, is current creating a new series of drawings which we’ve been following! We pop over often to see what new image has been uploaded. What is this series I hear you ask? It’s a brilliant idea, she’s drawing women who are main characters in various fantastic novels that she’s read. Fan art is such a fantastic way to express and share your feelings with others about a particular book and to extend your time in the world of the characters. So this series is fan art at it’s finest.

Ridley: I just love the way mseregon picks one colour per character and implements it in various parts of the picture, simplistic but very beautiful and effective! It’s also given me more of an appreciate for how many brilliant, strong female main characters there are now in literature. I don’t know why, but when I was much younger, I seemed to find it hard to find books without male leads. Not so now!!

Latimer: I’ve really been enjoying this series so much! mseregon has such a wealth of book knowledge behind her; she’s always picking such great characters to draw! Every time she uploads a new image I’m over in her gallery 🙂 The one colour per character really works so well, very graphic (I can’t wait for the next images!!). 

Here we’ve been given permission to share her pictures with you. Each image has a link to it’s place on her gallery so if you’d like to you can pop over to see more, leave a comment or just tell her how great she is! 🙂

First up we’ve Katniss from the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. If you haven’t read these books, definitely check them out!  A great series and the reason behind the new popularity in dystopian novels at the moment!

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Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Our favourite novel with one of the best independent, smart female main characters ever, and not to mention the ultimate fictional crush that can be found in the swoon-worthy Mr Darcy! Elizabeth’s dress is adorable in this and the colour is so pretty.

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Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre 🙂 by Charlotte Bronte. There is something very beautiful about Jane’s plainness.  The grey-blue really suits the character of Jane. This picture conjures up a great image of such a strong character. Makes us want to delve back into Charlotte’s world!

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Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. With her dramatic blue hair in the book, it is the absolutely perfect colour to have picked for her picture. Her laid back pose in this is just brilliant. The book by Laini is a real page turner, some really magical world building to be found in it too.

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Tris from Divergent by Veronica Roth. Now we are both ashamed to say we haven’t read these books yet! They are on our list!! This picture definitely peeks our interest, if we hadn’t already bought the books, we would be a-buying after this. Tris looks like one kick-ass character!

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Sookie from The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris. Everyone knows Sookie by now, even if you haven’t read the books you’ve surely seen True Blood, with the  handsome Eric Northman?

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Tessa from The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. If you are currently clueless as to who this is and have never heard of Cassandra Clare, for shame! Get thee to a bookshop, or Amazon! I would recommend City of Bones as your first venture into the Shadowhunter Chronicles.

The purple is really spectacular in this and it’s very similar to how I’ve pictured Tessa too!

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Alina from Shadow and Bone of The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo. Honestly can’t say too much about this yet, it’s one of the next books on the reading list… really can’t wait, it looks like a fantastic story!! Alina looks brilliant in her regal gown 🙂

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Claire Fraser from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. The frills of her dress and her hair are brilliant. Again….Outlander is a series that we need to check out, mseregon is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to book ideas!

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And finally, Temperance from Legend Unleashed by M. Latimer-Ridley…. yes, us! Wow. We were surprised and so happy when one of the next images in the series was our Temperance Levinthal! Look at her, the pose really captures her nonchalant personality!

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This isn’t the end of the series, not yet! mseregon has a few more images up her sleeve, we’ll be certain to follow along until the end!

Look up at them all, they’re so pretty!

If you want to keep up-to-date on mseregon’s works or get some really brilliant book suggestions: you can follow her on twitter, tumblr or deviantart!

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!