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.

Know You Better Giveaway!

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We’re still madly writing our Red fan fiction, Taylor Swift: Know You Better, over on Wattpad. We’ve reached track 8, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” and we’re celebrating the halfway point by offering a contest for our amazing Wattpad readers! So if you’re a Wattpadder, head over and enter — you could win a copy of Taylor Swift: The Platinum Edition and a cameo in a future story! (Plus you get to see everyone’s favourite lyrics in the comments, which is super fun.)

And while we’re talking fanfic and the awesomeness of our readers, take a few minutes to watch this awesome trailer that Hilda Therese made for Know You Better. ❤ ❤ ❤

Navigating the Shadow World Is Out!

You guys, it’s official: Navigating the Shadow World has been released and is out in the world! Ain’t she pretty?

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I was at a fancy short-story award ceremony (I’m wearing Swifty-red lipstick for the occasion) when I laid eyed on Navigating the Shadow World for the first time. I think I can safely speak for all of Team Liv when I say this was the most ambitious of our books to date. So many references! So many rules! So many words to read and to write! Doing the worlds of Ms. Cassandra Clare justice was a task of angelic proportions, and we hope we were able to! Let us know what you think if give it a read! It’s available at all your favourite book dispensaries, like Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Barnes and Noble, Chapters-Indigo, or find a copy at your local indie bookstore via Indiebound.

IMG_2406Now when do we get our parabatai tattoos, Crissy?

xo Jen

Being Taylor

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So after spending months researching and writing Taylor Swift: The Platinum Edition, Team Liv was feeling pretty expert on all-things-Taylor. But there were certain things we could never know, and sometimes imagined. Since we weren’t quite ready to stop writing about our girl, we decided to try something new: writing Swifty fanfiction, and sharing our flights of fancy with everyone. Because what could be more fun than imagining what it would be like to live the life of the Swift One?

Since our Swift Notes chapter meant we spent a lot of time thinking about the individual songs on Red, we decided to riff on that in our fiction and imagine the scenarios that inspired the songs or what it was like for Taylor to write them. Taylor Swift: Know You Better, the title for our collective Swifty speculation, will be made up of one story for every track on Red.

We publish a new story every Friday, and you can read our stories behind the first three tracks of Red over on Wattpad! Let us know how you like them! Want more romance, more behind-the-scenes on the tour, or more Meredith? We aim to please.