Happy 1989 Release Day!

Obviously we had to do this to celebrate!1544EACD13D3D0There will also be a listening party with baking of cookies. Because bakers gonna bake bake bake bake bake.


long time, no update!

Well, Jen and I have really been neglecting this website of ours — oops! — but we’ve been doing lotsa stuff elsewhere…

Over on Wattpad, we have been posting up a storm: after our Taylor Swift fan fiction Know You Better wrapped up (and we’re at 222,000 reads!!), we kept up the Swift party with an excerpt from our bio on the Fearless One with our version of Cliff Notes, our Swift Notes to Red! But that wasn’t enough! We love the Wattpad community and all the feedback on our stories, so we decided to try something new and awesome: a choose your own adventure style Taylor Swift fan fic — Sweeter than Fiction. We’re only up to chapter three, so there’s still plenty of time to get in on the action and help decide what Taylor will get up to next. We’re having a laugh and a half coming up with wondrous ideas of what fun lurks around the next corner.

While it’s been a while since we blogged about Pretty Little Liars, that doesn’t mean we are not still deeply invested in it. I joined Heroine TV’s Lucia and guest host Tash to talk ALL about the Halloween special and about the first three episodes of the spin-off series, Ravenswood, which I am loving. Tune in here!

And not to be left out in the cold, check out this review of our Mortal Instruments companion guide, Navigating the Shadow World, over at Between Dreams and Reality

Navigating the Shadow World is an indispensable book for all the TMI fans and it’s an excellent companion guide.


And next up on the agenda: Catching Fire! Only two more sleeps…

xo Liv
a.k.a. Jen & Crissy

Talking with Taylor Talk

The super Swifties at the Taylor Talk podcast had me on to talk about Taylor Swift: The Platinum Edition. We also did some tough Taylor trivia, in case you want to really put your knowledge of the Swift One to the test. You can stream the episode on their site or download it on iTunes!

Big thanks to Adam and Taylor Talk for having us on!

We talk TMI on the Ultimate Urban Fantasy Podcast!

Recently Crissy & I chatted about Navigating the Shadow World and the the Shadow World in general on the Ultimate Urban Fantasy Podcast. Archer, Ravynheart and Sherri were awesome hosts and we had a great time. Tune in for a fun discussion on what makes TMI great, being authors & editors, various creatures of the Shadow World, & more!

The Mortal Instruments City of Bones: Review

Looking better in black than the widows of our enemies…

So this Wednesday Crissy & I skipped out of work early (because: priorities!), donned our Shadowhunter gear (despite it being broiling hot — we needed some kind of cooling rune), and runed up to see the long-awaited The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
And what did I think? Well, fantasy adaptation wise, it wasn’t the golden standard of Harry Potter (or at least that’s my golden standard), but it was a solid beginning for the series.

{Minor spoilers ahead!}

Some things that I thought were awesome:

  • Top marks to Lily Collins and Clary and Robert Sheehan as Simon — brava! They just nailed it. Most of the acting was good, in fact, with one notable exception (but we’ll save that for the next list). And I think Jamie Campbell Bower really proved to us Jace is less about the abs and more about the attitude (though he had the abs too!).
  • Everything looked fantastic: the sets (Toronto, you are a sexy Brooklyn), the costumes (although I would have liked to see some hilarious Simon tees), the special effects (that Ravener demon was soooo gross, and also pretty scary!)
  • Pacing: things moved along nicely and the movie covered a lot of ground without ever seeming rushed or too slow.
  • Getting to see Joceyln be all bad-ass Shadowhunter at the beginning was wonderful, since that’s not something we get to see in the book — it’s great to see the amazing Lena Headey let loose before she has to make like Sleeping Beauty for the rest of the film.
  • I loved that Valentine’s demons took the form of ravens — such a clever connection to Huginn and Muninn.
  • Fun fight scenes: loved Isabelle with that flame-spurting pack, especially.

Some things that were not-so-awesome:

  • Godfrey Gao as Magnus: while he did look the part (so handsome!), his delivery was sadly lacking. It was heartbreaking to see the most magnetic character of the series seem so wooden — Magnus’s real magic is how he can charm a room.
  • The script, at points, could have been better. The scene when Jace switches loyalties seemed abrupt (even more abrupt than in the book), as did Clary’s  realization Alec loved Jace, and the ending seemed like they were trying to mash all the important stuff from the end of the book together at the expense of natural interaction between Clary and Jace.
  • Exception to special effects excellence: schmaltzy fake fireflies and plants blooming in the greenhouse. Between that and the booming love anthem, things were getting pretty Disney-fied in there. I mean, it’s the greenhouse scene — it’s romantic enough on its own!
  • The silly floating portal bubbles. Unnecessary.

Some of the adaptation choices were interesting and made sense (sure, Simon doesn’t need to become a rat) although others were less successful (I missed the Renwick smallpox hospital — which was a better place for Jocelyn — and Alaric sacrificing himself for Luke), and some I found really troubling (Clary being an instant rune savant, and then using her powers to bibbity-bobbity-boo her trashed apartment? That totally trivializes her power and is one of those things that could be the easy answer to any future sticky situation, whether its a Valentine showdown or cold food at Taki’s).

So do I hope that we end up with more Mortal movies? By the Angel I do. There’s a great foundation here and it was super fun to have the Sight and see the Shadow World come to life in a whole new way. But I also think there’s room for these movies to be even better — I can’t wait to go to the next opening day.

Happy TMI Movie Day!

Today’s the day! The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones in theatres. Woot!

To celebrate, we have a couple of cool things a-happening:

1 — Our pal Kate at Read the Screen was kind enough to interview Crissy about the book (Jen was trekking in the wilds of Newfoundland at the time; she’s the Sporty Liv to Crissy’s Ginger/Posh hybrid). And Kate’s giving away a copy of our book! Which will sign and personalize and maybe even draw a rune in if you want!

Just comment on this post with your favorite Shadowhunter Chronicles character.

2 — Fan Expo Canada starts tomorrow, and our publisher ECW Press is giving away a TMI prize pack: a Cineplex movie gift card ($25, so you can take a mundane to see TMI), the official movie companion, and a signed copy of Navigating the Shadow World. All you have to do is drop by booth 842 and draw a rune (one of the TMI ones or make up your own!).

Jen will be representing Team Liv at Fan Expo Canada this year, so say hi to her at the ECW booth and check out the panel she’ll be on Sunday at 2:45 p.m.: “So You Want to Write About Horror?” (room 713). She’ll also be happy to sign a book for you, which will be on sale at the ECW booth all weekend long.


Review: The Mortal Instruments City of Bones: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion

16718143The Mortal Instruments City of Bones: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion — wooh, that’s a mouthful! — is a full colour, full of photos companion book to the first of what will hopefully be a six film series. Much like the illustrated movie companions to other major YA franchises like The Hunger Games and Twilight, this book provides a general rundown of the “making of” and is filled with stills from the film. Not as many behind the scenes/making of shots as I would have expected, but the book is fairly short (clocking in at 128 pages total).

The book briefly covers Cassie’s story of writing the series, how key crew got involved (like Harald Zwart), the casting, and the filming. By far, my favorite chapters were those on designing the sets, the props, and costumes and makeup looks. It really feels like they went above and beyond to make sure every detail and choice was thoughtful and extra awesome.

The rest of the material covered was pretty familiar — and maybe that’s because we cover similar ground in our “making of” chapter in Navigating the Shadow World. So for fans new to the series, or more familiar with the books than with the movie, this could be an informative read.

My main complaint with it was it was too short and too cursory. More please! I think, as a fandom, we love detail and in depth/insider reveals and this book, while well written and cracking the odd TMI insider joke (much appreciated!) was too short to really get into things. There were a few script pages with Zwart’s doodles or initial designs and it would be awesome to see more of that stuff. Like Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight director’s notebook type stuff.  Or like that first Twilight illustrated movie companion that went deeper into the filmmaking process.

All in all, a good quick read that will get you even more psyched for TMI: City of Bones!