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.

Woot!

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

xo Liv
a.k.a. Jen & Crissy

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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.

xoxo

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!

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. 😉

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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!)

xoxo

 

Book Review: Shadowhunters and Downworlders

13583766Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader, edited by Cassandra Clare

I’m a longtime fan of what Smart Pop Books does with their series of accessible but smart essay collections on awesome pop culture franchises. (A Visitor’s Guide to Mystic Falls? Highly recommended for the TVD watchers among you.) And this book does not disappoint.

The book begins with an introduction by Cassandra Clare, recounting the story of how she came to create the world of the Shadowhunters, which is a fascinating read. I’d heard bits and pieces of the story before, but to read it all in one place and in context is great. What follows is a series of essays by various talented writers on topics ranging from art as weapon, law in the Shadowhunter universe, New York as setting, Simon as Jewish vampire hero, Malec, tattoos, villainy, friendship, and — naturally — incest. While the essays are incredibly thought-provoking and smart, they are never academic or a drag. Entirely a pleasure to read (and especially fun to jump between authorial voices in each essay), Shadowhunters and Downworlders makes you think about The Mortal Instruments series in new and interesting ways — even if you don’t always agree with the argument being made. It’s like being in a room with a bunch of super informed, well spoken friends having great conversations about this beloved series.

The book achieves what Jen and I hope Navigating the Shadow World will for TMI & TID enthusiasts: it takes a beloved subject and casts new light on it, sparking consideration, debate, and probably a re-read or two. (Not that we need much encouragement to pick up the books again!)

Highly recommended! You can read excerpts from the book on Smart Pop Books’ great website.

And, after the jump, a selection of quotations that I found particularly evocative!

Continue reading

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.

xo

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!