Legend Unleashed, Keeping Secrets 1, Chapter 12

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Ah! Another Wednesday release! Hope you are all still following along!

To celebrate the release of Unbroken Ties, Keeping Secrets, 2 – check out all the details here – we’re continuing our Legend Unleashed, Keeping Secrets, 1, Wednesday chapter release!

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Check back next Wednesday for the next chapter release (17th September)!!

Synopsis:

“Temperance is satisfied with her ordinary life. Dealing with her eccentric, childlike parents is all the excitement she needs. That changes when Alastair Byron returns home.
After a failed matchmaking attempt by her father, sparks fly between her and Alastair-just not the good kind.
They are forced together though, when they are implicated in a grisly murder. Their search for the truth leads them to a secret world beneath Carwick, filled with werewolves, wizards and other magical faey.
However, uncovering the truth is far more dangerous than they’d ever imagined.
There are secrets within secrets.
Even Alastair may be more than he seems…”

Catch up from the beginning here:

Legend Unleashed Prologue to Chapter 4,

Legend Unleashed Chapter 5,

Legend Unleashed Chapter 6 

Legend Unleashed Chapter 7

Legend Unleashed, Chapter 8 

Legend Unleashed Chapter 9 

Legend Unleashed, Chapter 10

Legend Unleashed, Chapter 11

The newest chapter is: Legend Unleashed, Chapter 12

Please share if you can!

Unbroken Ties is Out!

Unbroken_Ties_DEVIANTARTIt’s here!!

Our new book, Unbroken Ties is now available! It is the second book in our Keeping Secret series. It’s been published in paperback and ebook format. You can get it from Amazon and Smashwords at the moment, with Barnes and Noble, Apple, Sony and Kobo all soon to follow!

We just want to take this time to thank every single person for sticking with us, for all the supportive messages, for asking about the sequel to Legend Unleashed, and for waiting so patiently for it to appear! Our dedication comes straight from the heart, and hopefully says it all for us:

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For those of you who haven’t read the first book, Legend Unleashed, check it out here.

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And here’s the book trailer for the first book to wet your appetite:

Legend Unleashed Free!

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Hi Everybody! Hope you are all set for Christmas (not like Latimer running around like a headless chicken for last minute buys! She lives on the edge!).

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This weekend (21st Dec to 23rd Dec 12 midnight GMT) we are giving our own Christmas pressie (Legend Unleashed) for free!

 

Synopsis:

Temperance is satisfied with her ordinary life. Dealing with her eccentric, childlike parents is all the excitement she needs. That changes when Alastair Byron returns home.
After a failed matchmaking attempt by her father, sparks fly between her and Alastair-just not the good kind.
They are forced together though, when they are implicated in a grisly murder. Their search for the truth leads them to a secret world beneath Carwick, filled with werewolves, wizards and other magical faey.
However, uncovering the truth is far more dangerous than they’d ever imagined.
There are secrets within secrets.
Even Alastair may be more than he seems…

(Download here)

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“……She kept her eyes pinned on Alastair’s back. He flitted through the trees untouched, a dark shadow she could barely see. She was grateful for the light the moon gave. She ducked, trying to mirror his movements only to trip into the bushes. It was almost like he was prowling through the forest, not running away. That’s what she was doing.

Every few minutes he snatched up her arm and veered to the side, obeying some invisible sign. He’d drop his hold on her as soon as he could and rush forward.

When they breached the edge of the forest, she gave a haggard gasp of relief. The snarls around them died away. Her harsh breathing filled her ears. She twisted around in a circle. A ring of trees hemmed them in. They hadn’t left the woods. She took a shuddering gulp of cold air. They’d been herded into a clearing….”

————–

Please let your friends know too!

We’d love to know what everyone thinks of the book 🙂

The Essentials

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This is from Stressed Jenny’s deviantart page (she’s amazing, click to visit it!!)

Latimer: On deviantart I’ve seen people do this really fun ‘tag’ where they draw the contents of their handbags. I thought it would be fun to do the written version of that.

Let’s start with the cruddy bag itself.

Okay, I don’t actually have a handbag per say – I have a Ouicksilver carry ‘parcel’, the size of a trade-paperback book. I have spent the better half of ten years with a backpack – I think I’ll always have one (my laptop will go with me to the grave basically!), and god it’s hard to wear a proper handbag when you’re lugging a backpack around! For me – unfortunately, because I kind of hate it – the Quicksilver bag just kind of works.

So in the handbag department, I am very unfashionable. But I need it, for the carrying of the essentials!

First – the kindle, it goes everywhere with me. I do a lot of commuting so I need stuff to read and the kindle is just so handy. When I got it first I was dubious, but god, it’s a great thing (and it hasn’t curbed my paperback buying!).

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Keys – well I have so many keys (for getting into secret places!) and swipe cards – have you noticed how many people have swipe cards these days? They make me feel all important and stuff (but not when I forget them and get locked out of the lab!).

Lip balms, several, because I have dry lips – yup! Burt’s Bees hand cream that smells like bake well tarts – really, really almond-y, it makes people around me sick or exclaim; ‘Oh what’s that lovely smell!’(It’s so powerful I’m afraid to use it on public transport!)

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My glasses, because I’m blind without them!

Train tickets and money for the bus – exact change because I can’t bear the thought of Dublin Bus getting any more money off me than they should! I’m really, really anal about this – I will hand in a fist of coppers with my head held high, staring down any would-be retorts (when they come, I glare like a mo-fo!)

Wallet and separate card case (you open it and it fans out all your cards) – I thought the card case would be a good buy, you know? That it would lessen the stress of taking cards out of my wallet (which is very annoying and hard sometimes) – but actually it just means I now have an extra wallet and my actual wallet is severely under used… STUPID Latimer!!

Phone – I check my bag non-stop before I leave my house to make sure I have my phone, but… the thing I would really HATE to leave without is…

My iPod!

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I love you iPodo!!!

This item – I have been surgically attached to this since I bought it, in Tokyo (hell yeah! Back when the euro was actual currency, boom, boom) in 2008 – it is an iTouch and 16G. It has done me proud all these years.

It has all my random playlists from down through the years (Disney, J-Pop/K-Pop/C/T-pop, anime playlist) and a ton of indie albums. And, hours and hours, worth of Ricky Gervais’ podcasts and old XFM radio shows; and Smodcast podcasts. I really LOVE listening to podcasts (if you are looking for cheeky laughs, I love Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier’s Smodcast!). Also a really interesting podcast that is SO worth a listen is Welcome to Night Vale (which I happened across on Tumblr!).

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Fan art of Cecil… of Night Vale – it’s such a good show!!

Because the iPod is my major essential item I thought I play this: iPod song game (you put your iPod on shuffle and answer these questions!)

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Playing the game!!

Will I get far in life?

Down to Earth – Wall-E… I think this is pretty positive? I think… yup.

What is the best thing about me?

Walking on a Dream – Empire of the Sun… I like this; ‘never looking down, I’m just in awe of what’s in front of me’ – not always the case, but yeah, I think that’s sometimes true!

How does the world see me?

Below my feet – Mumford and Sons… I love this song, but I don’t know – does this sound good?!

What is good advice?

My Pace – Sun Set Swish… okay, this is in Japanese, but I love this song so much… Okay I had to look this up, but this IS good advice!!

“Time passes, it’s left behind, you mustn’t forget my feelings of impatience, they say that reckless defiance is useless in the end, you mustn’t get up – Offense! Raise your voice in painful times, Offense! Go in the direction that you’re aiming for, I’m not afraid of the big wall, standing tall, I won’t lose my way in this life without answer, keep my pace!”

Where will I live?

Planet of the Apes… Oh no…. Well I already do, crumbs, it means I don’t get to go off world!! This is witchcraft!!

What will my dying words be?

The Pact (I’ll be your fever) – The Villagers… okay, so… is that a warning? ‘This fever that is killing me… it’s gonna get you, now goodbye – the pact, I’ll be your fever!’

Handbag essentials… they keep you sane during the day…. right :)?

(Aside: Ridley and I are currently working hard getting the follow up to Legend Unleashed, ready for send off to the editors! Can’t wait to show everyone!)

Robin Round #1

PaperArtist_2013-06-30_13-50-42Ridley: A Robin Round actually stems from maths class in secondary school. My teacher used to do ‘Robin Rounds’, he’d skip around the class and fire out hard questions at individual students, giving only seconds for the person to try work it out before he’d shout, ‘next!’. Very rarely did anyone ever get it right when they were the first person asked. I did once, there was an impressed stir throughout the room, I had to duck my head though, knowing full well if anyone really looked at me they’d see my mouth hanging open in surprise and be able to tell I’d just guessed the answer! 🙂

Anywho, the whole point of these quick fire Robin Round (sounds dangerous, ja? It surely, isn’t…) this time is to have a little bit of fun, to scatter a few information crumbs about us (if anyone cares!) and for us to get to know anyone that may be out there and cares to share.*points at you*

I’ve numbered this post, so I’m presuming I’ve the intention of doing more than one of these… do I, Brain? (‘I don’t know Pinky, do you? Never mind though, now it’s time to try take over the world!’…..sometimes I’m ashamed of myself….but not today! 🙂 Pinky and the Brain, if you’ve never watched them, your life is just not complete! Get thee to youtube peeps.)

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SO….Latimer……..we’ll start off slowly….

1. Favourite time of the day?

Latimer: 6pm, the day is more or less over and I know that I can look forward to relaxing 🙂

2. What was your last dream about?

Latimer: I was cycling along the motorway, trying to get home, and fell asleep on the side of the road. When I woke up someone was stealing my bike! What the Dickens?! “Come back with my bike thief!”

3. I have a puffalump, what do you think it is? (I don’t think I’ve ever shown you…and no, it’s not a disease or injury. Don’t google it!)

Latimer: It sounds like what a child might call a boil… hmm, I’m going to say some sort of soft toy… now I look it up… And so it is… They had a name? I think I used to have coats made out of that material when I was in primary school! 

4. If you had all the time and money in the world, where would you be and what would you be doing?

Latimer: Travelling the world and writing – 🙂

5. One of the best things (helpful, inspirational, funny) that someone has ever said to you? (It was me of course, I’m sure…it better have been! Haha….seriously    😛  )

Latimer: Eat the elephant one bite at a time, before you know it, it will be gone! Huzzah! (basically take everything one step at a time). Also, another one; ‘everyone is afraid in the dark, wait until you turn the light on before you start to worry’; I get wound up about the unknown, but you should really wait until you know what’s going on before you start to worry!

6. The first video game you ever played was? And your favourite game now is?

Latimer: my first game was this really, really REALLY old game; it was on an old ass computer, we are talking very pixelated. The game was 2D; think old fashioned snake:It was a box and you had to ‘herd’ a single elephant into the box. I was probably only three or four playing it.

In childhood I used to play a game called Toejam and Earl 2… haha, that game was weirdly brilliant. You played two aliens trying to protect their planet (called Funk-o-tron!) from these humans that had invaded it… You had to trap the humans in jars by.. well pelting them with jars… it was really weird!

My favourite game now… hmm, Kingdom Hearts (I fecking love that series!! SOORA!!)

(Disney and Square Enix… jaysus I died and went to heaven!!)

7. Favourite flavour?

Latimer: RED! Haha. You know me!

8. What actor would you most like to….meet? 🙂

Latimer: I don’t know really… that’s a hard one, while not really an answer you know I would love to go to the BAFTAs one day!

9. Where are you right now? And what’s the weirdest thing in or about the place you’re in?

Latimer: My room *turns around… what is the weirdest thing here, aside from me! mwaha* 

Well these are pretty weird…

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They are the shell from clams, or something, that me and my mam collected on an aboriginal shore walk in Cairns, AUStralia! We ate what was inside and I pocketed the shells. Yep. (Latimer= hoarder and eater of the strange) 

10. If you could send something to your future self, what would it be?

Latimer: future self… oh dear. Hmm. I would send my worries haha. Though future me would be like; ‘damn it! Why you doing that?! I got my own worries!’

11. What pops into your mind when you hear the words:

Pink- Dolls                               Glue- Art

Tree- Elves!                             Cup- Tea

Pen- Drawing!                          Puddle- Jemima Puddleduck haha

12. A portal opened right now, you didn’t know where it ended up or if you could come back, would you walk through it?

Latimer: Argh… no! I can’t take the chance, sure if I ended up in Hogwarts that’s great but if I ended up in Nightmare before Christmas Hallow’een Town I don’t know what I would do (cry… a lot)

13. What super power would you love?

Latimer: Teleportion! Do you see how I can pick a power? Ridley never plays this game right!

14. Batman, Superman or Spiderman?

Latimer: Batman; the hero that Gotham needs but doesn’t deserve… or needs right now, but doesn’t have… or something, he’s awesome!

15. Vampire vs werewolves?

Latimer: there was a time it would have been vampires, but no you have swayed me through the years Pidley… it would have to be werewolves!

16. If you had to choose between thunderstorm or snowstorm?

Latimer: Ohh, I like the after look of a snowstorm, but I pick thunderstorm… so dramatic and sitting in the dark (cos the lights usually seem to go) and seeing the lightning and hearing the thunder… oh too cool for school, yea!

17. An unusual pet hate of yours?

Latimer: People walking too slowly in front of me – is that unusual? I really hate it…

18. You’re reading a book, the one thing you’d love to find in it is?

Latimer: Characters I love. A bit quirky, or just interesting.

19. Favourite soundtrack?

Latimer: Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring

20. You’re only allowed one: films, books or music, which would you choose?

Latimer: are we talking infinite amounts here? Hmmm…Books then!

21. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Latimer: By the sea

Antrim coast – glorious

22. The best thing you’ve done or read or seen in the last year is?

Latimer: Publishing the book 🙂 and going to Japan again 🙂 (technically last year… hmm, well going on holidays and publishing the other book will still be this year too!!)

23. The creepiest thing ever would be…?

Latimer: Zombie Apocalypse! AHHH!!!

24. You see a camera crew filming in front of you on the street, what do you do?

Latimer: walk around it! *inches close and whispers fearfully* cameras steal your sooouuuulll!!

25. I’m sure I’ll be getting a question or two now…or maybe a new game will be a-foot! We shall see. Did you like the questions Latimer?

Latimer: That was fun… I promise a Pidley Wren Wround in the near future!

Why not share your answers to the questions above with us, we’d love to read them!!

In the Blink of an Eye

 
What do you mean... wasn't it?!
What do you mean… wasn’t it?!

Latimer: I don’t want to alarm anyone, but the 90s wasn’t 10 years ago… No, seriously, the naughties really did have its first decade… 3 years ago…

From time-to-time, I remember this and get scared.

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This post is where I float in the ether of feeling old because of a youtube video!

Recently I’ve learned there comes a point in life where you start to feel a real, proper, disconnect with younger people. It’s inevitable and normal, but when you start to notice it, it does take a minute to orientate yourself (in between screaming; ‘what happened to us!’).

I know I’m not that old, not really, but technology and entertainment moves so fast that if you take a break, you come back and realise that the craze you experienced what seemed like yesterday, was in fact another generation ago…

Let me show you – look at this youtube video; it’s one of the ‘kid’s react to…’ videos – about The Hobbit trailer. Listen to the people behind the camera asking the kids; ‘what age were you when lord of the rings came out?’…

Although I knew it already, the full force of being closer in age to the people behind the camera than those in front hit me. Usually my people are the ones in front, but now they are the ones making the shows.

I nearly choked on my tea. The kids were… 1 year old… not born… NOT BORN when Lord of the Rings came out? What?! (They don’t remember a world before Lord of the Rings!) I was older than they are now when I first saw Lord of the Rings.

My head is spinning at this point – this series just doesn’t feel like it was that long ago!

Then I realised that even most of the ‘youtubers’ are actually, I blush… younger than me. In some ways I don’t feel as old as them, but then I think I suffer from distorted perceptions of my place in time and space!

This post in some ways harks back to the fact that last week was my birthday…I am now 27! There! Oh I said it.

When I went to get my haircut at the weekend, the hairdresser mentioned dye to me and initially I smiled thinking ‘sure, that’s cool, I was thinking of flaming red or something’ then a few moments into the conversation she mentions my Dorian’s (my code for the greys) and that’s why she was talking dye…

 Again I am forced to say in my mind; look I have very dark hair, those Dorian’s have nowhere to hide…. And they aren’t Dorian’s – they’re Gandalf the White’s actually… argh!

There are lately lots of things to remind me of my passage far away from teenager-hood (okay it was a long time ago at this point– but still!).

I look at my dog for example. He’s managed to live far longer than anyone could have expected, but even he’s starting to show the strain of age… you know intolerance to the younger generation and general exhaustion..

My poor dog Levi, sweetest creature in all of creation - FACT
My poor dog Levi, sweetest creature in all of creation – FACT

He’s 17 years old.

He’s older than the kids in the youtube video.

Let’s put it this way, my dog remembers Lord of the Rings… 

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Forging Magic

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“I’ve finished it!” Ridley skipped into the room, waving a thick folded piece of cream paper. Purple glitter tumbled out from the folds in the page to flutter down into her hair, making her look like a giant demented pixie. ID-10022438She jumped to a stop beside Latimer, who ignored her. The only sound in the room was Latimer furiously tapping away at her keyboard. Ridley rocked on her heels and waited. When the other girl was finished typing her sentence, she peered up over her glasses. Her wary expression was highlighted by the glow from her computer screen. With a sigh, she took a fortifying swig of her tea, while Ridley smiled at her and nodded, urging her to ask.

“What’s finished?” Latimer said, setting her cup down on the table with a dull clunk.

Ridley’s grin widened. She thrust the sparkling page at her and the tinsel bits scattered everywhere. Latimer’s hand shot out to close down her laptop and prevent the pieces from falling into it. Shaking her head, she took the page and prised it open, then groaned at the avalanche of glitter that slid off the smooth paper and landed in her lap. A huge swell of lavender perfume rose up from it.

“I got tired of waiting, so I stopped…waiting that is, and I started making instead,” Ridley said, twirling around the room. “I figure my letter isn’t coming, that or my owl got really lost…I wonder…do you think something happened to it?” Her face fell and she stopped spinning to stretch back and squint out the window. Hulking grey storm clouds lumbered by overhead. “Poor owl…”ID-10084553

“What are you – is this gold leaf?” Latimer said, leaning closer to stare at the ornate writing at the top of the page.

“Yep, I figured they’d do it right, especially on their invitation letters.”

Dear Ridley, we are pleased to announce you have been accepted into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry…you forged this!” Latimer’s head swung up and she scowled. She shook the letter, part of it creasing under her thumbnail. “Where’s mine?”

“Yours?” Ridley frowned, reaching forward to carefully extract the letter from her friend’s grip. She tried to smooth out the crinkles with her fingertips. She averted her eyes, refusing to glance up and tried to hide her smile. “Why would I have one for you?”

Latimer scoffed, pointing at her. “You don’t expect me to believe that you’d be happy to go to Hogwarts on your own?”

“Of course I would!” The other girl stuck her chin up in the air. “You’re very presumptuous to think I’d spend my time making one for you, it takes-”

“Hand it over.” Latimer smirked, thrusting her hand out between them. “I just know you’re lying when you start using words like presumptuous.” There was pause; she wiggled her fingers.

“Fine.” Ridley reached round to her back pocket and tugged out a heavy envelope.

“Thank you!” Latimer said, hugging it to her chest. “What’s brought this on?”

“Don’t wrinkle it!” Ridley said. She waited until the letter was placed on the table before answering. “Well we’re going to England. Where we’ll be in both London and Oxford, if we can just find a door, just one entrance into Diagon Alley or platform nine and three quarters, I’m pretty certain my papers are good enough to fool anyone once we’re in. In your packet there, you’ll find your letter, a train ticket, bank statements for Gringotts and a few other handy bits and bobs.”20130405_1087

“Impressive.” Latimer said.

Ridley nodded and smiled. “I know.”

“Forget about the glitter though.”

“What! Why?”

“Because…” Latimer grimaced, she tried to brush it off her legs but it just collected in her shoes and stuck to her palms. Another wave of lavender fragrance was released with the movement. She sneezed and held her hands up; the little purple pieces sparkled in the light. “It’s a Pandora’s plastic bottle of twinkling chaos! It was only invented to look pretty when it’s locked away, but you should never release it.”

“I think glitter is fun!” Ridley raised her arms and clapped her hands, a small cloud of purple shiny bits puffed up into the air from her fingers. “Dumbledore would have agreed I’m sure.”ID-100100592 Laughing and dancing beneath the falling particles, she accidently inhaled a few of them and started coughing. Latimer jumped forward and began whacking her between the shoulder blades.

“Hack them all up, Ridders!”

“All I can smell is lavender!” she cried out, her eyes and nose started streaming. She bent over and clutched the edge of the desk. “I think I’m allergic. They’re trying to kill me!”

Latimer nodded, still clapping her on the back. “What did I say? They’re evil in a bottle.”

“Tea!” Ridley wheezed, she grabbed the cup up from the table and washed down the last of the glitter. Taking deep breaths, she glared down at the tiny glinting choking hazards on the wooden floor. “I think you’re right Lat, we’ll forget about them.”

Latimer crossed her arms. She waited until the blond haired girl was upright and breathing normally again. “So…you have a plan then?”

“Our best bet is the train I think.”

“So it’s off to platform nine and three quarters!”20130405_605

~~~

“Ridley?”

They pushed the trolley forward, closing their eyes just as they reached the wall and then suddenly, they were through. White steam billowed out from the large black chimney of the train; it swirled around them, obscuring everything and leaving only large purplish shapes and shadows to hint at what was there. Laughter, voices and music drifted to them from all directions. As the mist started to clear, a large black engine emerged from the thickest of the cloud. A sharp whistle pierced the air.images (3) Students in Hogwarts robes bumped past the two girls who huddled to the side and stared around with open mouths. They side stepped away from the crowd, avoiding the large wooden trunks that trailed after people, each one with familiars perched on the edge. Latimer and Ridley grinned at each other and clutching their envelopes, they lunged forward.

Ridley! Wake up! We’re here.”

Ridley’s eyes flew open and she glanced around. “Ah nuts.”

They were nowhere near the gleaming engine of the Hogwarts train; instead she was almost blinded by the blue and yellow colour scheme that had been slapped on everything throughout the cabin of the plane. The intercom crackled overhead as they taxied towards the docking bay at the airport.

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to London. We hope you had a nice time on your flight with us. We have arrived on time to Gatwick airport.” Trumpets and music blared out; celebrating the fact they’re arrived as scheduled. Ridley shuttered and touched her throat; glad the flight crew had no access to glitter or confetti.

Latimer grinned over. “Let our adventure begin!”

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Ridley: And did it ever begin! We wandered all over Oxford and as Latimer mentioned in our previous post, we stayed in Christ Church. For a lot of the holiday it really was Harry Potter themed. Before we took a bus to Oxford, we popped over to Kings Cross train station. 20130405_619There we waited in line for around twenty minutes to get our picture taken at the wall where they’ve set up the platform nine and three quarters sign (and a fake trolley with suitcases).

20130405_607They let you borrow scarves and Harry Potter glasses for it as well. We took individual photos and then a joint photo, for the craic!

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While I did worry a little bit that we were probably too old to be in the crowd queuing to get this done, when I glanced behind me, there were quite a few women older than us there (and only women actually now that I think of it! No men!) waiting to have their picture taken. Not that I cared really- never let embarrassment stop you from doing something you love or really want to do, in the end it will always be something you regret if you let your red cheeks guide you!! So Latimer and I snatched up our Slytherin scarves (Slytherin were just misunderstood you know, we firmly believe we could have infiltrated them and brought them over to the good side. ‘Draco, come with us, escape snakeface!’) and we posed to the best of our abilities! I had my suitcase with me (not on purpose, I’m not that sad, yet, we’d just literally arrived off the plane and this was just a little detour), so I incorporated that into the picture, it was Latimer’s brilliant idea!20130405_1053

After our ‘photo shoot’, we wandered into the Harry Potter shop just down from the sign. 20130405_610We both couldn’t help thinking that when we were younger, in the height of our Harry Potter fangirling, we would have given anything to visit there. They had amazing things for sale.20130405_61620130405_105520130405_106120130405_105720130405_1062 It’s just as well I suppose we didn’t end up there all those years ago, I would have been extremely broke afterwards!20130405_105920130405_61120130405_1060

Then on to Oxford where we stayed in rooms in Christ Church itself.  20130405_624We were allowed to have breakfast, from 8am to 9am, in the Great Hall; my god that was an experience of a life time. Both mornings we were there, we arrived promptly at 8 and didn’t leave until 9, we made sure to spend the full hour there. 20130324_092211Drinking tea, eating sausages and corn flakes, discussing life, humming the Harry Potter theme tune softly (and not so softly), all under the giant oak rafters (as Latimer said, it was like we were sitting under the inverted hull of a great wooden ship).20130405_98520130405_982 People were reading their newspapers, or discussing all sorts literary things (we were there during the Oxford Literary festival, we caught the tail end of it, so there were writers and literary people staying in the college too and we had breakfast with them all surrounding us). 20130405_989

20130405_98620130324_09124220130405_981While they continued to discuss high-brow, intellectual topics (which were interesting, I won’t say they weren’t), I gazed around, wide eyed and kept imagining owls flying in through the windows and circling above me. It made me very happy.

Randomly over toast, I ended up chatting with a retired classics professor; he was visiting a friend who lived in the college. He told me about how in his time as a researcher, he’d studied Latin wax tablets and Egyptian papyrus scrolls-you can imagine how much my eyes gleamed at that and how impressed I was!20130405_978

After breakfast on our last day, we wandered around the room, studying the portraits and as we were ‘residential guests’ we were allowed up at the top table (you were allowed eat there too, but no matter how early we arrived, the seats were always taken!). We took loads of pictures! Of course.20130405_100120130405_1005

It was such a privilege to able to wander the grounds. On Saturday night, after a dusting of snow had covered everything, we stood in the large courtyard at the heart of Christ Church.20130405_65520130405_67220130405_96820130405_95620130405_949The fountain in the centre bubbled away and the church bell started to toll. We were completely alone, though there was a murmur of voices coming from the Great Hall, where an official dinner, part of the festival we guessed, was being held and dull light shone out through the stained glass windows lining the long room. 20130405_105120130324_091142All the wrought iron lamps around the courtyard were lit and the gates were closed to the public. We paused on the flagstones, we were absolutely frozen, our feet and hands were numb, but the world stilled and we just marvelled at the beauty of an absolutely perfect moment.20130405_974 Then there was a cough behind us, as someone hurried down the stone stairs to join us outside and we started forward again in search of warmth and a cup of tea.

No wonder so many magical books have been set in such a wonderland.

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Find more of our Oxford Tales here 🙂

 Through an Oxford Shaped Looking Glass (Alice’s Christ Church :))

– Time for Tea! 🙂

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!

Temperance: The Short Story

Temperance offical cover

Here’s a short story with characters from our young adult fantasy book, Legend Unleashed. Hope you like it and we’d love to hear what you think!

Temperance Levinthal is the main character in the novel, Legend Unleashed by M. Latimer-Ridley, which is set fourteen years after this story.

“There are moments within our lives that define us.
In this short story we witness some of these events in the life of eight year old Temperance Levinthal, when she is forced to face school yard bullies, town gossips and a mother, devastated by circumstance.”

TEMPERANCE SHORT STORY

You can download this free short story for your ereader here in the most popular formats, such as Epub and Mobi.  We’ll hopefully adding a link to Amazon too when it’s up! 😀

Find out more about Legend Unleashed.