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


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.


Shadow World Book Club free ebook companion

Looking to kill a little time while you wait for August 21st to roll around and City of Bones to hit the big screen? Well, have we got the free ebook for you. 😉


One of our favorite parts of writing Navigating the Shadow World was diving deep into all the literary references that Cassandra Clare makes in The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices for our “Shadow World Book Club” section of our guide to the series. For each Shadowhunter Chronicles book, we wrote a rundown of the literary references Cassie made, putting our English literature degrees to good use!

We thought it would probably be just as interesting for other TMI/TID fans to go back to the source material — to the texts that inspired Cassie as she was writing her epic stories — as it was for us. So we created a free ebook for you! The Shadow World Book Club: Companion Readings to The Mortal Instruments & The Infernal Devices has a curated selection of readings, all of which are mentioned in a TMI or TID book (or sometimes more than one!).

The Shadow World Book Club: Companion Readings to The Mortal Instruments & The Infernal Devices is a curated selection of the poems, plays, and works of fiction that Cassandra Clare quotes from in the Shadowhunter Chronicles. Liv Spencer highlights the specific text used in each volume of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices in this companion reader to Navigating the Shadow World. With selections from HamletA Tale of Two Cities, Tennyson, Dante, and many more!

You can download a free PDF or an ePub file here from our publisher’s website (or for Apple iBookstore people, here’s the link!)



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?


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

TMI Source Reviews Navigating the Shadow World

Way more anxiety inducing than actually writing a book is waiting for the first reactions to it from the Super Experts — and Alyssa from TMI Source is someone Jen and I were excited/nervous to read Navigating the Shadow World. So I cannot overstate how amazing it feels to get a glowing review from her. Jen and I were dancing around like happy crazy people when we read this.

From the review:

Navigating the Shadow WorldI thoroughly enjoyed Navigating the Shadow World. It was more than just a book just summarizing the books we’ve already read, it went deeper into the Shadow World and analyzed characters, relationships and references in the series.

Navigating the Shadow World is a must-read for fans of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles. It delves deep into the world that we know and love while providing commentary on the rich mythology that constitutes the books and the world, as well as taking fans step-by-step through the process of the film adaptation of City of BonesNavigating the Shadow World is anything but mundane.

Read the whole post here, and enter the giveaway to win a copy!

A world of thanks, Alyssa, for being so supportive of the book and for such a kind review!

We’ll just be over here, squeeing with delight.


P.S. I just had a look at Amazon & the book is shipping early! So those of you who pre-ordered, it should be arriving any day now! Hurrah!