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.”
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!
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 :))
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…)
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?
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!
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.
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!
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!!
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!! 😛 )
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 writingLegend 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! 🙂
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 🙂
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.
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.
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 :)!!
Latimer 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!’.
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!).
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!
Rain pounded against the patio window, streaking down the glass to pool on the mossy flagstones outside. Latimer made a face out at it.
With a sigh, she swung away to wander around the kitchen, idly flicking open the cookery books and poking at the potted plant in the sink. She paused when there was a series of loud bangs above her head and someone thundered down the stairs.
“Ridley?” She peered out through the white door into the hall. “You’re being a terrible hostess, you know! I had to make my own tea! Any biscuits?”
There was silence.
Latimer hopped out into hall and down to the living room; steam rose up from her cup obscuring her view. When it cleared, she raised an eyebrow at the mess strewn across the floor. She perched on the edge of an armchair and watched Ridley rush around. The other girl was packing a massive bindle with endless pieces of clothing, creased maps, sunglasses, teabags and thick guide books.
She shrugged into a Burberry-style coat, straightening it over her shoulders and making sure the stiff collar was flicked down. Pinning her M. Latimer-Ridley badge to her chest, she patted it and smiled over.
Latimer sipped her tea. “What’cha doing?”
Ridley slipped on a pair of purple ear muffs. She narrowed her eyes on her friend, her lips thinning.
“You’re not ready…why aren’t you ready?” She started flapping her arms. “We have to leave in the next few hours, there’s no time for tea breaks!”
Latimer scoffed. “There’s always time for tea, ole Bean.”
Glaring, the blonde girl tried to fold her arms, but the ballooning sleeves were too thick, instead she just held them in the air and started to tap her foot. Her fancy heeled boots made loud thumps against the wooden floor as little flecks of dirt dropped off them.
“So,” Latimer took another slow sip of her tea. “Where are we going again?”
Ridley’s mouth dropped open. Her ear muffs slipped down onto her forehead, obscuring her view. Momentarily blinded, she flailed in a panic, then shoved them back up.
“What do you mean where are we going?” She spluttered. “On the internet hike!”
“That…” Ridley muttered. She pointed at the table where a large poncho style jacket was folded. “I bought you a coat! I hear when the nights roll in, the internet can get quite cold! Something to do with iCloud cover.”
Latimer crossed her legs and sat back. “You do know it’s only the 25th of November? The first of December isn’t for another week, really. We have plenty of time.”
“Oh…” Ridley slumped down into a chair. Her coat puffed up with the movement, she flattened it down with her hands and leaned forward to glare at her mobile on the coffee table. “Stupid phone, with the wrong date. It’s been reprogrammed, how could this have happened!”
“How indeed…” Latimer hid her grin behind her tea cup.
Ridley shot her a suspicious look, she unzipped her coat and shed the extra layering. It fell like a shell to the floor.
“So…the blog tour isn’t for another few days then…” She pulled off her ear muffs, twisting them around in her hands with a sigh.
“Nope, but when it does happen it should be fun!”
“True…” Ridley pouted, she was quiet for a minute. “Did you make me tea?”
“Yeah,” Latimer said, standing up. “Come along, Ridders, you can show me where you’ve hidden the hobnobs.”
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!
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!
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.