Thursday, December 6, 2012

Legend Unleashed by M Latimer-Ridley: Character Interview, Excerpt, Review: RABT Tour Stop

Reading Addiction Blog Tours


I'm  very pleased to welcome Karen Latimer and Rachel Ridley today as they stop in to visit us while on their virtual book tour.  Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you? If so, what was it?


Latimer: When I’d complain that I had too much work to do, or that I was worried about starting the work, my Dad used to say, ‘how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!’ Everything looks hard and insurmountable until you take the first bite; after that, it’s one bite at a time, until you eat the whole thing! 


Ridley:‘Reach for the stars, they’re all yours.’ My favourite English teacher wished me luck for the future with that line as I was leaving primary school. I’ve never forgotten it.


Tell us about your favorite restaurant.


Latimer: At the moment it has to be a Korean restaurant in Dublin called Kimchi/Hophouse. Korean food is so yummy! It’s run by native Koreans, so, I think it must have a proper taste of Korea to it (I don’t know yet!)! I love going there! Sometimes I think me and Ridley are like frequent-flyers there! In fact…I’m getting a hankering to go again!


Ridley: Excellent, when would you like to go Lat? Thursday? :D I always get the same spicy chicken, it burns and burns, but I keep eating it as it’s so tasty! Last time we were there, the Korean song, Gangnam Style (it’s so popular, you surely have heard of it!!) came on, which I thought was absolutely brilliant; to be eating, listening and trying to sing in Korean, in the middle of Dublin, that’s the closest we’ll get to Seoul for the time being! 


What are your favorite TV shows?


Latimer: I have a few; I like The Vampire Diaries, I think they’ve done a great job on that show. I’m a long-time fan of Supernatural; Sam and Dean’s relationship is just brilliant to watch. I really enjoy watching Sons of Anarchy; there are so many twists and turns in that show and I love that it’s from the point of view of people who aren’t good. It’s so well-written. I also enjoy Game of Thrones; I think it’s full of excellent actors and the design of the show is so gritty and dirty. It really has an epic fantasy feel to it. I adore Tyrion Lannister and those White Walkers… wow, looking forward to seeing more of them!


Ridley: I watch Grimm, I love to see how they twist and modernise each of the different Grimm fairy tales. I started watching Community as well, Latimer turned me in the direction of that show. I think it’s hilarious. Also, Idiot Abroad has started back, which I really enjoy watching! I could go on and on, but you’d get bored!!


Where do you dream of traveling to and why?


Latimer: At the moment I would love to go to Korea (see ‘favourite restaurant’ J yummy!). I’ve watched a few too many Korean Dramas; they always leave me wanting to go and explore Korean culture! And, I want to go back to Japan… again! I can’t seem to get Japan out of my system; I’m obsessed! And some day, I want to go back to the South Island of New Zealand, it was one of the most beautiful places I have seen! Just thinking about travelling makes me want to be like Bilbo Baggins, off on an adventure to distant lands… There and Back Again a Latimer’s tale, by Latimer! Haha.


Ridley: Oh to be able to wander the earth and meet all the different walks of life on it, now that would be spectacular! To see the gorillas in the forests of central Africa, the northern lights on the tundra of Iceland. I’d love to hang out again on the bustling streets of Tokyo, eat kimichi in Seoul, dance the night away in colourful costume in Rio and trek across the desert in Egypt as dawn approaches; the great pyramids rising up through a simmering haze out of the sands in front of me. There’s so much to see, so much to do!


When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?


Latimer: Usually I set aside weekend hours for writing, because the week is a little taken up at the moment. I procrastinate a bit then I write for many hours until the natural wind-down. I’m a night-writer (I just had a flashback to Night rider then!). I’ve realized that over the last few years. I’m definitely a more productive writer at night time, which means I go to bed pretty late sometimes!


Ridley: I’m the exact same! I love to write when the world around me starts to settle down and everything goes quiet! I’ve always been a night owl; I’m so much more awake at 11pm than I ever am at 11am!


Tell us about your next release.


Latimer: We are working on the follow-up to Legend Unleashed. We’re having fun working on the last of Temperance’s story. We aim for a release next year. Hopefully, fingers crossed, we will be back in the editing box early next year!


Ridley: And toes crossed!!


Are the names of the characters in your novels important?  How and why?


Latimer: Oh a name is everything. I think it’s a very important part of a character. I have found that for us, sometimes a name comes first and that inspires the character. The name places a character somewhere in time, or in a particular way of life, it gives you a feel for the person. Just by reading a name, before I even know anything about a character, I start forming opinions.


Ridley: It’s funny, we have a ‘feel’ for names I think. As Latimer says, sometimes the name comes first and then the character. But if the character is already fleshed out, it can take a while longer for us to find a name to ‘fit’ him or her. It’s like hearing a wrong note being played when a name doesn’t suit a character, where something is ever so slightly off.  


What do you think makes a good story?


Latimer: Characters are important. I love characters with interesting backstories and quirky personalities. Love and the development of relationships are also very important to me; it can’t be too fast or easy J I love reading and writing about budding romances, in the midst of magic, mayhem and adventure!


Ridley: Latimer has pretty much summed it up there, though, moments also make a good story. You got to have some brilliant, really stand out moments. These are the scenes you take away from the book when you’re finished, sometimes they’re the little things too; his expression as he looked at her, the brush of her hand against his, the cheeky smile. It all matters!!


Thank you so much for having us here on your blog Laurie! It was so much fun and we love getting out and visiting our blogging neighbours J

Latimer (Karen) and Ridley (Rachel) are two eccentric best friends with far too many obsessions and a frightening addiction to tea. When they aren't reading stories filled with magic, passion and adventure, they're writing them.

A writing duo for the last nine years, they've always dreamed of sharing their imaginary worlds and quirky characters with others.

While they live in Ireland, they would love to spend their lives travelling the world. But for now, they can be found happily wandering the internet.

Contact Links

Twitter -@mlatimerridley

YA Fantasy
Title: Legend Unleashed
Author: M. Latimer-Ridley
Date Published: 10/26/12
When an infamous criminal is unleashed from his prison, it has consequences for everyone in Carwick. Temperance Levinthal in particular…
Temperance is satisfied with her ordinary life. Dealing with her eccentric, childlike parents is all the excitement she needs. That changes when Alastair Byron returns home.
After a failed matchmaking attempt by her father, sparks fly between her and Alastair-just not the good kind.

They are forced together though, when they are implicated in a grisly murder. Their search for the truth leads them to a secret world beneath Carwick, filled with werewolves, wizards and other magical faey.

However, uncovering the truth is far more dangerous than they’d ever imagined.

There are secrets within secrets.

Even Alastair may be more than he seems…


Amazon UK paperback (Paperback out in 2 weeks)

The phone rang again.
Ted ignored it, fixing his attention on his reflection in the hall mirror. He swept his thick grey hair away from his face and ran a thin hand over the deep wrinkles on his brow. He wondered when he had started to look so old. Narrowing his eyes on the toast crumbs clinging to his uniform jumper, he brushed them off with a rough sweep before straightening his glasses on his crooked nose. He took a deep breath; he shouldn’t keep the man waiting.
He reached out for the still ringing phone.
“Ted Riddlestone,” he announced. “Yes sir. I know it’s four o’clock. I’m leaving my house now, sir.”
He hung up with a beleaguered sigh, buttoning up his thick woollen jacket and reaching for his keys. His fingers knocked against a battered metal lunchbox. There would be hell to pay if he forgot it, like the vitamins he’d almost neglected to take this morning. One missed day could be the death of him. Grabbing his lunchbox, he hurried out the front door without a backward glance.
A gust of frigid morning air swept over him. It was coming close to Christmas now. The weather was worse this year than it had been in a very long time. The chill seeped into his old bones, making him shiver.
He hated winter.
He paused on his gravel driveway, straining up to see the starry sky. That wasn’t quite right. He was afraid of it.
There was a reason.
Every day in winter he travelled to work at this ungodly hour because he had a very important job to do. The mayor even called him daily with reminders to get there on time.
Ted frowned. He knew his job better than anyone. He might not like it, but he would damn well do it. He loved his town and he did his best to protect it.
Carwick was his life. It had been his family’s life for generations. It was the ideal country town; quaint, picturesque, safe. No one ever had to venture into the noisy and polluted cities for anything. They even had a world-renowned university.
It was a town where old families lived and died. The residents were happy and the people never asked difficult questions. They had no reason to. Nothing was amiss in Carwick. It was perfect.
Ted heaved another sigh. It was his job to keep it that way.
The walk to work was short. Down several cobbled streets and he was in the centre of town, on the main road facing the town hall. The shops were still dark; streetlights flickered over the wooden signs above the doors. Milk cartons had been left on the step of the newsagent while the bookshop, Haven, had large delivery boxes piled up outside it.
Ted hurried past them drawing closer to the town hall. The large clock tower at its front dominated the Carwick skyline. He narrowed his eyes at it with a relieved whistle. He’d have plenty of time.
The imposing building was on a steep incline that forced all major roads towards it. It looked like a palace resting on an expanse of well-maintained gardens.
The age of the town hall was hard to place. People had built on top of it, adding and expanding. They never destroyed what had stood there before. That was because of what lay beneath the foundations.
Ted clutched his lunchbox tighter.
The windows on the lower levels were lit. The night-guards and a skeleton staff were already there. Their days also started early during winter.
The car park was dotted with expensive cars. Ted glared over at them. Some of the mayor’s people flitted around the building, supervising him indirectly. He knew what they were doing, no matter how discreet they were.
He straightened up with a grim smile and quickened his pace up the wide steps to the main entrance. Huge granite pillars dwarfed him in their shadows.
Ted reached out to push the buzzer. Before he could, the door jerked open. The old, jowly night-guard stared at him. His cap had been tilted back on his head, showing his sweaty brow. Ted nodded, holding up his lunchbox.
The guard rubbed his meaty hand over his chin.
“Good to see you, Mr Riddlestone.” He stepped back, the loose skin at his neck wobbled.
There was a wide entrance hall beyond him with giant decorated columns and a polished marble floor reflecting the glow from intricate golden lamps and the surveillance screens at the side. A dull drone from metal detectors filled the lifeless silence.
The guard tapped Ted on the arm with his baton, leading him forward. He walked over to a pretty woman scanning the monitors. He touched her hand and she turned, flicking her long auburn hair over her shoulder. The guard smiled, his stomach straining against his tight belt, a large roll of fat spilling out over it. His face looked like it had been drawn by a child; round, no chin, large ears. The only distinguishing part of him was his piercing eyes.
He was without a doubt, a very ugly man. Yet, when he caught the young woman’s gaze, she lit up in appreciation. Ted paled, he hated when they did that, scrambling people’s thoughts and feelings.
“Got to check your stuff, Mr Riddlestone,” the guard told him. He glanced back with a meaningless smile. “Protocol.”
Ted nodded. “Of course.”
The guard pointed to one of the plastic trays on the conveyer belt. Ted dropped his things inside.
The lunchbox went in last, his hand hovering over the cool metal handle. Glancing back, he caught the man’s clear eyes as the belt jerked forward, pulling the plastic tray into the scanner. The guard put his hand on the woman’s shoulder. He started talking and her lips curled in an awed smile. Ted hurried through the metal detector. He looked back to see the woman laughing, oblivious to anything on the screen.
Ted collected his things, the old guard followed him.
“Everything’s all in order, Mr Riddlestone.” His eyes flashed, like a cat’s lit in the headlights of a car.
Ted nodded and climbed the marble staircase. On the gallery, he paused to catch his breath. Stars swam across his vision. He wasn’t as young as he used to be. The ticking of a clock echoed down the corridor. The soft sound rang loud in his sensitive ears. He was attuned to it now. It seemed slower. He was running out of time.
He rushed down the hall to his office and fumbled with the door. He rammed it open with his shoulder. It bounced off the cardboard boxes behind it.
The ticking was loudest here.
His office was like a broom cupboard; small and enclosed. There was a damp smell of mildew and the floorboards creaked, bowing under his weight as if there was nothing to support them underneath. He rounded the table with his metal lunchbox and flipped a switch under his desk. There was metallic clicking behind him and a panel in the wooden floor slid open. Steel steps flicked out one at a time, leading down into the dark.
The ticking echoed up.
A stale draft swept over Ted. He pulled a torch out of his desk drawer and aimed it into the darkness with shaking hands. He clenched his teeth.
The steps creaked under him, it was a deafening racket. Ted could feel the oppressive weight of the town hall bearing down on him. He paused at the bottom and everything suddenly felt wrong. He listened and his eyes widened. Complete silence.
The ticking had stopped.
With his heart hammering in his chest; his breathing became laboured. Bright spots flashed across his vision. If he didn’t try and calm down, he’d black out. He struggled to take a few steps; his legs trembling.
His torchlight darted across the cavernous space. Towering shells of red-brick buildings loomed out of the darkness. Their empty gaping windows seemed to lengthen as he stared at them. A worn road twisted away from him. Parts of the path had been cut through huge mounds of decaying wood, charred stone and rusted metal.
These were the remains of a city belonging to a now scattered race. He had never gotten used to the sight.
In the distance, he heard stones scrape against stones. Ted swallowed a mouthful of stale air.
“Breathe,” he muttered to himself.
He swung his light. It bounced off a fallen wall and highlighted the mangled wheel of a bicycle. He thought he saw a shadow flittering past, but blinked, knowing there was no one else down here.
“There couldn’t be,” he whispered.
He twisted and raced down the dirt street. Above him, the cavern opened up to a great height. White quartz stone embedded in the grey ceiling gleamed back at him, while sharp pointed stalactites hung over his head like teeth in the mouth of a hidden beast. It was like a starless night above his head but this city had never seen the real sky.
Ted skidded to a halt.
A wide black oak grandfather clock towered in front of him. A figure had been chiselled into it; a snarling animal with human hands straining to escape. Roughly carved and splintering in places, it was fused to the ground in a mixture of stone and wood. Numerous white rocks encircled it in a symbolic ring of salt, old magic that was supposed to trap demons inside. Ted knew better. It was only the clock that had the power to do that. During winter, as it reached the solstice, the old prison grew weak. Only Ted and his people could maintain its power as it passed through the dangerous season.
However, the ticking had stopped.
And that meant…
He aimed the torch at the door. The metal lunchbox rattled in his hand.
The door creaked open. Ted felt sweat roll down his temples.
It was empty.
It was empty.
A shadow flickered by him. He kept his eyes on the swinging door. His legs shook. He didn’t want to see. If he didn’t look, it wasn’t there. There was heavy breathing at his back; a growl reverberated through him. Flecks of spittle splattered against his neck. His hair stood on end.
“Impossible,” he whispered.
The torchlight danced in a jerky pattern across the old wood. Another gust of warmth hit his ear, a snort followed by a terrible stench. The lunchbox in his hand dropped. It snapped open and his tools scattered.
He couldn’t fix it now.
Not when he was free.
With a snarl, something slammed into Ted. He slapped to the ground. A bloodcurdling howl echoed throughout the cavern. Claws dug into his back, slicing through the muscles. A piercing scream ripped from his throat. Fangs nicked at his neck; the warm rush of blood blurred his vision and his head was yanked back. A wide jaw snapped down. His glasses flew off and skittered across the ground, blood splattering against the cracked lens.

My Review

4 Stars

I enjoyed this book mainly for its originality and strong characters – particularly Temperance, a young woman who must struggle to fit in.  She is vigilant about taking her medications and suppressing certain odd characteristics.  Her peculiar parents keep her busy, as well. When Alastair, an attractive young man, moves into town, her well-intentioned father plays matchmaker.  Sparks fly between the pair, as they tend to disagree often and loudly. An escaped prisoner and a murder put the whole town in danger and on alert.  Temperance befriends a sordid looking, smelly fellow, and soon the three become embroiled in a deadly quest for answers.
This fast-paced tale easily captured my imagination, and I read quickly in order to find out what would happen next.  There are plenty of humorous scenes to break up the tension and keep this book from becoming morose.  I loved the strange cast of characters.  They grew on me as they navigated their world and interacted with each other. The structure, plotting, and characterizations are tightly woven throughout.  Written particularly for the young adult reader, it should also appeal to a much broader demographic, as well.
A complimentary copy of this book was given to me in return for my honest review.

Reviewed by  Laurie-J


Virtual Book Tour December 1 - December 15

December 1 - Reading Addiction Blog Tours - Meet and Greet

December 2 - Paulette's Papers - Guest Post/PROMO

December 3 - My Cozie Corner- Review

December 4 - Little Book Star - PROMO

December 5 - Read Review Smile - Review

December 6 - Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - Review/Interview

December 7 - Pure Textuality - Guest Post/PROMO

December 10 - A Dream Within a Dream - Review

December 11 - Magical Manuscripts - Review/Interview

December 12 - Rolling With the Moments - Review/Guest Post

December 13 - Steph in Wonderland - Review

December 14 - A Soul Unsung - PROMO

December 15 - Fiction Prediction - Interview/PROMO

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks a million for having us over to visit your blog! It's been fun!! :D