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!
Check back next Wednesday for the next chapter release (3rd Sept)!!
“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…”
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:
For those of you who haven’t read the first book, Legend Unleashed, check it out here.
And here’s the book trailer for the first book to wet your appetite:
We are fan-girls – we get obsessed about anything and everything, very quickly… it’s a curse and gift (sort’a!) that we both share!
When we find something we love, we stand up on virtual rooftops and scream – “watch this! go here! eat this! love this! listen to this! read this!”
We have so many obsessions, big, small, wonderful, weird,… weirder. We accumulate new ones by the month! Like hoarders.
We give an RSA (Ridley Stamp of Approval) or an LSA (Latimer Stamp of Approval) to the things we like best – if one of us gives one, then the other knows it’s something is good!
One of us will ask; “Ah, but does it have an R/LSA?” 🙂
We’ve decided to share one of our R/LSA’s each and every month!
Yes, welcome to *drum roll* —- THING OF THE MONTH! (*boom*)
Latimer’s LSA: For me, it’s a book series!
You know how it goes; you find a series of books you love and you just devour it like it’s chocolate – you ride the book high. And you feel awesome! (that was me, I found a series that had me riding that high!).
That series is The Seven Realms by Cinda Chima Williams (4 books total – I like a good sized series me!). It was recommended by mseregon (who mentioned it on deviantart)!
I’d never heard of it before! So I owe mseregon so much!
The Seven Realms is a good old-fashioned pure fantasy series. It has been a while for me, a long while, since I stepped back into that world!
It made me want to seek out the Belgariad series (by David Eddings)!
I read it so long ago, I hardly remember it – but I remember that I loved it (if that makes any sense!). It’s in my attic somewhere – I went looking, but I had to fight a bird and a massive spider up there, so I got freaked out and ran away screaming!
Anyways, The Seven Realms is a great fun, high-fantasy series, with magic, adventure, romance and mystery! Ah, but beware, with great joy comes sadness – when it ends… argh, you hit the book-low!
Yep, you know the feeling, the ‘what now?!’.
It’s chasing the dragon and getting burned.
Hopefully, by sharing this series, someone will recommend me a new one! But please, chase this dragon… it’s worth the burn!
Ridley’s RSA:My thing of the month isn’t as impressive as Lat’s, I didn’t have a dragon chasing experience, though I plan on it soon as she passes on that series she’s just finished (I know they’ve been bagged up and they’re just now waiting for my grubby hands to get on them, haha).
It has a serious LSA attached, so I’m really looking forward to delving deep and not coming up for air until I’ve devoured each book and have slumped over in a fit of depression where I fully believe that nothing else will ever top them. You know how it is. 🙂
This month I started a new comic book series, Fables. It was not in any way what I expected. Basically all the well known characters from our fairy tales (Snow White, Prince Charming, Red Riding Hood etc) have all been driven out of their magical lands and they’re currently etching out a life in New York city. As you’re a child when you read these stories, I came to the series (without realising I was doing this though) expecting it to be a little like the fairy tales of old, I thought it would be quite light-hearted, little childish, maybe just a new take on the old stories. I was quite wrong. It’s very much for adults, where in the opening pages there is an apartment trashed and covered in blood, then there’s Prince Charming seducing a waitress into paying for his restaurant bill and bringing her home for the night and the Big Bad wolf is an old school smoking Columbo like detective who has a serious crush on Snow White (can you tell I’m already rooting for them to get together?? 😀 ).
It’s an absolutely massive series with something like 133 issues, which is both fantastic – knowing I’ve so much I can work through – but daunting at the same time.
My one gripe with this new reading genre that Latimer and I are trying to break into (she’s doing such a better job of it than I am too!) would be how quickly you go through a comic, I read volume one of Fables in one sitting, so then you’re left sitting there wanting more. With a book you can just sink your teeth into it, and then when you’re left waiting for a sequel you know when you get it, it’s going to be enough to slake your thirst, you’ll get to find out what happens to the characters. Though I suppose the exact same could be said for manga and I still love those too!
We’d love to hear your Thing of the Month, here in the comments, or if you want to post one to your blog – maybe we could make a chain of fan-girls sharing fandoms!
As hoarders we love to collect new obsessions! Hopefully we’ve given you some fun things to check out too! 😀
“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. She 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…”
“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.”
“Impressive.” Latimer said.
Ridley nodded and smiled. “I know.”
“Forget about the glitter though.”
“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.” 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!”
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. 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!”
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. There 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).
They let you borrow scarves and Harry Potter glasses for it as well. We took individual photos and then a joint photo, for the craic!
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!
After our ‘photo shoot’, we wandered into the Harry Potter shop just down from the sign. We 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. It’s just as well I suppose we didn’t end up there all those years ago, I would have been extremely broke afterwards!
Then on to Oxford where we stayed in rooms in Christ Church itself. We 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. Drinking 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). 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).
While 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!
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.
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.The 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. All 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. 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.
Latimer: It’s very strange to think on this, but I have – sort of – a long history with Peter Jackson.
He made a movie called ‘Bad Taste’ many, many years ago. When I was a very, very small Latimer, I often saw the cover of this movie in an old video shop in our little town. It was back in the VHS days to put it in perspective.
I have the cover image of Bad Taste imprinted in my mind; really weird white alien-type creature in a black suit giving the finger.
And… I remember watching it, a little, when my older siblings rented it. It’s a dark comedy; but not really when you are a kid; it’s actually a nightmare that plagued me for many nights afterward!
I never thought then that I would come to love Peter Jackson so much!
Myself and Ridley have a long tradition of going to see Lord of the Rings.
It was a sad thing to realise that the first movie is now 11yrs old! And I guess, so its Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Honestly, I haven’t thought about Middle-Earth in a long time. I started to forget how much I loved it. I remembered I loved it, but I didn’t feel that love anymore. Time passed, obsessions came and went, as they do.
So, when they announced Hobbit; I wasn’t very interested.
When they released the trailer, I didn’t think much of it and when they said, it’ll be three movies, I rolled my eyes. It’s true. Sounds harsh, but don’t get me wrong, time had just passed, and well, I didn’t care so much anymore.
When I sat down in the cinema; which was more or less empty, I thought back on how myself and Ridley used to arrive early to a packed cinema in the Lord of the Rings days; we would queue;we would get jumpy, trying to organize everyone; myself and Ridley would race for the best seats, glancing back to make sure the rest of our fellowship had made it.
This time it was just me and Ridley and the cinema was pretty empty. And, we had 3D glasses (that’s new too, and not sure I’m sold on it at all).
Then it started. Then I started to remember…
The music; the props; New Zealand… I smiled; I had missed middle-earth! It was wonderful to be back.
So although I was apathetic before, I’m now really happy to be back in Middle-Earth and I’m looking forward to travelling more with Thorin Oakenshield’s company! 🙂
What’s out you asked? Our book, Legend Unleashed! We’ve pushed the button!
It’s available now, as an e-book, see the links below if you’re interested!
The paperback will follow on soon enough, we’re just waiting on the proof copy to arrive in the post so we can look over it and make sure there are no issues.
It’s been such a steep learning curve, but really worth it! It was fantastic that we had full control over every part of the process. It’s also been hard work though, with long hours put in and full ‘bookwork’ weekends, so don’t let anyone fool you into thinking self-publishing is an easy task! We finished writing the book many many many months ago. In the time since we’d typed ‘the end’, we’ve spent the rest of our days editing, agonising, formatting, fist shaking, commissioning our cover design, smiling, book trailers, grinning and that was just the start!
In the past, we’ve been asked how the two of go about writing a book together (we’re also fascinated by how other writing duos work together, so we love these explanations. Skip down through this part if you don’t care though!!) We always start with a single idea, whether it’s a scene, a ‘what if’ scenario, or a character. We seem to have plenty of these knocking around! More often than not, it’s a character. After this comes the fun part, world building! We love this, picking character names, places and plotting the story.
We let our imaginations run free scribbling it all down on an A4 pad as we sip on endless cups of tea; what would happen if we…? If he did this….? If she went there…? Wouldn’t it be great if…? If you read this part, what would you want him to do…? It’s the ultimate freedom, we just run wild! After this, we tease out any issues, then we divide them into chapter summaries. Each summary has bullet points, information taken from the plot and any extras we think of as we’re going along, with exactly what we need to have happen. Then these summaries get divided out, we get two chapters each at a time and usually one of us starts the book and the other ends it. This gives us the chance to experience at least part of the book as readers, rather than just the authors. We give each other constant feedback after each chapter stint. In this way, we’ve written six books together, Legend Unleashed is our fifth book and the most polished. So we decided to bite the bullet and self-publish it.
So far it’s been a great decision! Has it been the same for others who have followed the same path? We’d love to hear their tales!
We’re staring into the dark void, not knowing what’s to come, but either way we look forward to what the future might bring!
Latimer and Ridley: The clock is ticking down to our publishing date! Soon!!
Following on from the prologue in our last post, which if you haven’t read you can find it here, this week we’re posting chapters one and two of our book, Legend Unleashed! We hope you like them! We’d love all and any feedback. Stay tuned, as more chapters will follow these in the next couple of weeks. We’ve also created another shorter teaser trailer, with new scenes in it, which will be released later in the week!
For those of you who prefer our rambling posts on random things than our current ones (we know not everyone is interested in all things bookie!), we will get back to those!!
The Bram Stoker festival is coming up soon, which we will both be attending and we’ll report back! We’re also going to a small gig by the band, Bastille, this week (our excellent friend Orbie says they’re on the up and up, one to watch! It’s great to be ‘in the know’ about these things!! Haha 😀 )
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! 🙂
Also finished and coming soon is our book trailer! Stay tuned!