Visiting London & thinking about the Infernal Devices

I’ve become somewhat of a TV/book tourist in the years since I started writing with Jen as Liv Spencer, and my own books as Calhoun. New York for Gossip Girl. Covington “Mystic Falls” Georgia for The Vampire Diaries. Iceland for Game of Thrones. (Just kidding on that last one — though admittedly the thought of casually running into Jon Snow did cross my mind….)

I was in London this past week for the London Book Fair — a big to-do where publishers from all around the world convene, show off their upcoming books, chat them up and try to sell them into other territories and languages. It’s very cool to see all the various things people are doing, in the book dept, around the world, and to meet with like-minded folks from halfway across the world. It’s also cool to be walking through the stands at Earls Court and see some Shadowhunters. The movie edition of City of Bones got some nice play at the S&S booth, but it was this poster that stunned me when I walked around the corner and suddenly had the Sight:


(Sorry — didn’t realize how soft the focus was on this until I pulled it off my iPhone. Seems like my Sight is not so crystal clear after all!)

After the fair, I tooled around with my darling friend who’s lived in LDN for the past 10 years, and she took me to the oldest bookshop in London. The bookshop where a certain young Shadowhunter once upon a time bought a copy of A Tale of Two Cities for one Tessa Gray.


Hatchards Piccadilly is a big big store with beautiful staircases up and down, now operated by Waterstones and all fancy like with its By Appointment to Various Royal Persons, operating since 1797. I went up to the Dickens section and picked up a copy of Two Cities, but already owning two copies of it myself I didn’t entirely recreate the Will Herondale moment. Instead I opted for a stunning copy of Dante’s Inferno. So as to be well-read and ready to talk circles of hell and their various temperatures during a daring rescue by a Shadowhunter.

Dante frontDante back

And the full haul of books from my trip. Not too many this time!

And the full haul of books from my trip. Not too many this time!

So many moments from the Infernal Devices to be reminded of while walking around Central London — prime among them having a good look at Blackfriars Bridge and imagining Jem and Tessa on it.

It was perfect timing too: Jen and I are just finishing up the proofread on Navigating the Shadow World, it hits stores and e-shelves on July 1st, and we’re working away on a special free e-book companion reader to the book — more on that soon! — and Clockwork Princess was still fresh in mind. Very cool to walk the streets the Enclave crew would’ve over a century ago. Literary tourism is the best!




YouTube review of Rosewood Confidential

“This was phenomenal, it was so interesting! . . . Definitely check this out if you’re a big Pretty Little Liars fan like me.”

Thanks for this iPhone review, beautyequalshate; seeing your review pop up in our google alert was a great start to the day!

Pretty Little Liars Season 3B So Far…

Crissy here! It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged on Pretty Little Liars, but that does not mean I have not been loving season 3B so far. Some highlights and questions…(with spoilers up to and including “Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Inferno”!)


  • The whole Byron mystery freaked me right out of town. The relationship between Aria and her pops has been such a huge part of the show since the beginning, and the revelation that he saw Ali the night she died was sooooo creepy and felt like such a betrayal. Especially after they finally reconnected! Even though it was great and creepy, the Meredith Is the Crazy One wrap-up was a little unsatisfying, and frankly I still do not entirely trust Byron.
  • Because on PLL, can you really ever trust anyone? Not Toby… I’m glad it didn’t take too too long for Spencer to find out about him, and it is gutting (and totally realistic) to see how destroyed she is by his betrayal. Even if in the end there’s some altruistic reason that he’s on the A Team (and trying to run over Lucas and terrorizing Emily and Paige and Hanna…), I don’t think I could forgive a guy who put me through that.
  • Oh Spencer. She thinks school is pointless! Spencer Hastings! When she tore up that picture of herself — so symbolic! ::tears:: I’m glad she hired the private eye to find A’s lair, rather than going to see Toby (ya, I thought she was texting him…). But not telling the girls that Toby is on the A-Team? Not cool. That just puts your best friends in serious serious danger.
  • Where is Melissa? Meredith’s AWOL in Mystic Falls, and Melissa’s AWOL in Rosewood. I need some Torrey DeVitto onscreen in one of my favorite crazy fictional small towns!
  • Who is Ali’s baby daddy? Is it Wilden? Was she really pregnant? Was she so desperate for money from Byron because she needed money for an abortion?
  • When will we meet the Mysterious Lady in Red who’s pulling the strings of the A-Team? Soon please! And more CeCe. I love her. (Is CeCe the Lady in Red? I’m hoping for a bookish twist instead…)

Is it Tuesday yet??


13 Favorite Things about Pretty Little Liars 3.13, “This Is a Dark Ride”

Happy Halloweeeeen! What better way to celebrate this candy-and-costumes holiday than re-living our favorite parts of last week’s Pretty Little Liars Halloween extravaganza — “This Is a Dark Ride.”

13. The spookified opening credit sequence — loved it last season, and love it this year. PLL tradition!

12. Spencer’s hair. These gifs pretty much say it all. Epic. Even when being blown every which way on that windy, windy train. Troian’s hair is always impressive, but she was flawless in this episode.

11. Creepy blonde ghost girl!! What was the deal with poor little cold tortured ghost child? Was she really there? Or has Ashley gone crazy and somehow just imagined the very same little girl we saw in last season’s Halloween episode in Ali’s creepy story about the twin sisters who fought over their dolls? Are we going down a twin path, PLL?

10. Nothing scarier than creepy masks and this episode had, like, every variety of creepy. Pick your poison! The zombie-baby-doll returned, plus Caleb’s phantom-type mask — also worn by his handsy imposter! — and the masked creeper who drugged Aria and Mona’s freaky homemade mask and that shiny mannequin mask. Make the nightmares end!

9. The flashbacks to the night Ali died! Instead of just giving us a fun but fluffy Halloween episode, we got serious clues. Can we trust what Garrett told Spencer to be true? How scary/awesome was the field hockey stick moment with Ali making Garrett fake her death? Twist!

8. The body bag in the ice. Did not see that coming. And poor Jason.

7. The awkwardness of watching Toby dance to Adam Lambert. Really liked overthinking this moment: like, Toby is all on the A Team and plotting dastardly plans and stuff, but OMG it’s Adam Lambert, better make the floor burn!

6. The twisted allegation that Byron Montgomery was somehow involved in Ali’s death. Ew. And also, yuck. But maybe…? There was certainly a weirdness about Ali’s obsession with Byron’s affair — especially when you consider the whole trash-Byron’s-office thing. Was Ali keeping more secrets about Byron than Aria knew?

5. Mona’s singing the teddybear picnic song. That childhood favorite will never be the same. If there was an award for simultaneously being the creepiest and prettiest singer, Janel Parrish would win. Her asylum-Mona portrayal is perfection.

4. The train! Just totally the perfect setting for the episode. They’re trapped with A; it’s such a classic murder-mystery thing (hello, Agatha Christie!) and a Hitchcock thing; and it’s got that retro allure. If only trains were guaranteed to be A-free . . .

3. Paige beating up A. Last we saw Paige she was the victim needing rescue, so it was satisfying to see her turn the tables. Is it dangerous that Emily’s told her all about A? Answer: of course. it’s A.

2. Ashley’s outfit and how she was just owning it. She’s dating a pastor; she’s a grown-up; she’s spending the night at home handing out candy to the under-10 set — and she’s dressed as a sexy nurse. And looks amazing.

1. Aria in the crate. With Garrett’s corpse. Terrifying. As if that wasn’t enough, girlfriend has to saw the tape off her wrists using a surely rusty nail. Get a tetanus shot, Aria! And post-traumatic stress counselling!

Least favorite part of the episode? Remembering how much Pretty Little Liars is so totally enthralling and then having to wait til the winter for new episodes.

Love from the PLLers for Rosewood Confidential

Remember the time Keegan Allen a.k.a. Toby Frickin Cavanaugh instagrammed/tweeted about our book? We do. We shall never ever forget.

Remember that other time when Andy Reaser, writer on Pretty Little Liars, twitter-surprised us (that’s a thing, right?) with enthusiastic and kind words about Rosewood? We do — because Crissy screen-capped that day-making glory. (Nerd, yes.)


It is a surreal/awesome thing for the people who make Pretty Little Liars to be reading our book about the show — and that folks like Andy and Norman Buckley like the book? It makes our hearts explode. Thankfully not literally.

Signing at Word on the Street Toronto!

Jen braved the rainy day at Word on the Street to sign copies of Taylor Swift: Every Day Is a Fairytale at the First Book Canada booth. First Book provides access to new books for children in need. From their site:

First Book has distributed more than 90 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education by making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis.