Literary Couples

What makes the perfect couple? Everyone has their own idea, and that’s fine. Personally, I tend to root for the couple whose love overcomes obstacles. Couples who won’t let anything get in their way or beat their love down. Couples who make the impossible possible. Here is a list of my top six favorite literary couples (most of which also happen to be movie couples).

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Romeo and Juliet – The ultimate star-crossed lovers. Talk about family feuds. Romeo and Juliet didn’t let tradition or society keep them apart. Sure, they ended up dying for their love (sorry, spoiler alert?), but we can’t all have a happy ending. Not if Shakespeare’s the writer, anyway.

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Wesley and Buttercup (Princess Bride) – Probably my favorite literary couple. He loved her long before she even noticed him, never gave up on her, came back to claim his love, died for her (well, only mostly dead, according to Miracle Max), then fought for her, just so they could be together again. Why don’t guys today do that anymore?

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Ginny and Harry – Behind every great wizard is a kick-ass witch who loves him. I adored this match, even if it wasn’t very evident in the first couple books. It’s one of those couplings that grow on you, then stick like glue.

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Henry and Clare (The Time Traveler’s Wife) – I loved this couple in a way that was entirely new to me. Reading this book, I knew they had to inevitably get together. But as I got immersed in the difficulties and obstacles they endured—and, come on, who doesn’t hate battling with time, of all things—I found myself cheering them on and wishing they could just catch a break.

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[Photo source: Maggie Stiefvater via http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketcopy/2011/07/stiefvater-forever-sam-and-grace.html]

Grace and Sam (Shiver) – I have a soft spot for Maggie Stiefvater’s way with words. And the way she wrote Grace and Sam made me fall in love with them as couple and hope that they could stay together despite the odds.

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Sookie and Eric (Southern Vampire series/True Blood) – In book four, Dead to the World, when Sookie takes care of amnesia-inflicted Eric, something about the coupling just clicked with me. I still have a few books left in the series to read, so my opinion may or may not change, but for now, I’m Team Eric.

What about you? Who are your favorite literary couples?

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The love of story


24140_669I have loved story from as far back as I can remember. I was a very early reader (3 yrs old) and my mother never could say no to me when I wanted a book. She’s a book lover too and she instilled the love of story in me from the very beginning. One of my early memories of being her bed while she read me stories from Wind in the Willows – I loved all the animals and their adventures.

So I figure most people are going to talk about books because well, we’re writers and that’s where stories live, in the pages of books. With that in mind I want to take a slightly different angle and talk about my literary love and how it manifests itself in a different medium….music.

100_2299Now I’m a Texas girl so it’s not really a huge surprise that I’m fond of country music. But I really don’t think it’s the twang or the trucks or the cowboys that works for me though the cowboys don’t hurt… In any case, the primary reason I love country music is because no one can tell a story better in three and a half minutes than a country song. Consider the song “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” from the 70’s, it tells a complete story about a murder trial. It’s a fascinating song. Or what about Taylor Swift’s “Teardrops on My Guitar” all about a girl in love with her best friend. Hell, any of Taylor Swift’s songs tell a great story. Say what you will about her dating life, the girl can write a good story and do it with a catchy tune to boot!

You can find good stories outside of country music, it seems all the 70’s rock bands had great story songs, “Hotel California,” “Stairway to Heaven,” and even “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Stories told in a mere moments. Stories that evoke emotions, make you care about what happens to the characters. It’s fascinating, the art of song writing. It’s a skill I greatly admire and envy.

So how about you? Are you a fan of story music or do you just like to groove to your tunes? 

On the Edge of a New Year; A Maelstrom of Resolutions Beckons…

In this house, we lived, and we died…the two of us, we traversed these halls with our feet, gracing the bookshelves with our fingertips; we serenaded the sun through each passing season. Together, you and I, a seamless attraction whirling around with no visible center. Why would this wall, this invisible piece of injustice dare divide us now…why now when all we’ve ever done is neglect time itself?

There couldn’t be a verb, an adjective, a noun, a pronoun profound enough to literarily liberate the emotion, the feeling, the thought and power felt below my feet as I turned onto that forested bypass, leaving the city and suburbs of my post-adolescence behind. It was freedom without a flag, pestilence without a cure; both likewise and subverted. And in lighting the spliff held gingerly between my aged, wrinkled and dilapidated lips, my destiny was prolonged only for the better. If the night were thicker, I might cast myself into an ocean of doubt. If my headlights were any dimmer I might exalt myself under the most rude of Kings. It seemed that the only obstacle on the start of my journey was merely the wind; backward and pressing it was, as the Autumn always presumed it to be. And I felt as though I might be a kite without a string, a hook without bait; yes, the only deceit at my fingertips being the dirt beneath their fingernails. This journey of mine, wherever it took me, would be my last…

As I hold this glass close to my heart, the condensation soaks through this mosaic-kissed tundra my fingerprints masquerade behind, just as your stare once delved its way deep into the void where my soul once subsisted. The setting sun, if it could be labeled as such, reminds me this is only one end and only one beginning; a sequence not unfamiliar to myself nor you and yet a flavor of a taste I’d soon rather forget. There won’t be a return to be had, a turn-around or a way back once I raise this glass; this one final toast I dedicate to the years you’ve been a friend to me, and a lover to the years and years in tow following soon after.

“As a counselor of the weather behind these eyes,
as an emotion-gambling tempest to elude,
you’ve given me naught but a star to wish upon,
naught but a train to chase,
naught but a whisper to ascend and eternally a fear to face…..”

Here’s to one final flight, one last ascension, a rebellious apotheosis;
for the one thing a new year never brings is the promise of a lie and the forgiveness of those not who have fallen, but have been taken. This is not as selfish as an oath made between the faithful, nor as colorless as a promise kept between friends; no…this is the only purpose I am suitable for, this is the only ultimatum these tears can touch. When we meet again, this terrible form I have become will be like that of glass, and you will see that I can do more than merely aspire to transcend above this mortal coil. Until then, may the dreams you exist within find their way swiftly into this kinesthetically-cursed desolation that I have subconsciously sewn in your absence.

In This House, We Lived, and We Died, is a story about a man, aged and lost, in mind, body, and spirit, whose last quest takes him into the deepest abysses, across the sharpest precipices, and through the darkest abscesses of his soul so that he may collect the shattered and sunken remains of his all-but vanquished memory. A sort of Spiritual Epic in the same way "What Dreams May Come" inspires to alter life dispositions, and in the same way "Fight Club" aspires to inspire with violent psychological psithurism, "In This House, We Lived, and We Died" aims to break all the rules of the literary journey and set a new tone for the world of imagination.Release Date: Late 2013

In This House, We Lived, and We Died, is a story about a man, aged and lost, in mind, body, and spirit, whose last quest takes him into the deepest abysses, across the sharpest precipices, and through the darkest abscesses of his soul so that he may collect the shattered and sunken remains of his all-but vanquished memory. A sort of Spiritual Epic in the same way “What Dreams May Come” inspires to alter life dispositions, and in the same way “Fight Club” aspires to inspire with violent psychological psithurism, “In This House, We Lived, and We Died” aims to break all the rules of the literary journey and set a new tone for the world of imagination.
Release Date: Late 2013

Bold Resolutions, Involving Danger, a Secret Gift of Visions, and a Legend Come to Life

Annalisia:

I don’t know of these resolutions of which you speak, but I do know something about resolve. I have resolved to don the plain cloak of a washerwoman & leave these palace walls. From the moment I enter the city, I’ll no longer be Annalisia, but simply Anna, a girl.

I’ll search for my missing cloth maiden, who has been taken. It should have been me after all, a mistake on the part of that man, il mostro, who boarded our royal vessel, and nearly killed two of my guards. (For who else but a monster would do such a thing?)

And I will use my gift of visions, no matter the danger to myself, and even though my grandmother, the queen, has forbidden it–even though I love her dearly and long for nothing more than to please her.

But I will never, under no circumstances, allow myself to lose my heart to Jovanni Septimus, even if he is a Legend come to life.

AIRE, by Lena Goldfinch

Coming Spring 2013
(Click image to add on Goodreads)

Resolutions from a Noble Knight, and his Rogue of a Squire.

Michael: ‘Twas my idea to coin resolutions for the coming year.

“’’Tis like a compass for the heart,” I told Fisk. “To set our minds and will on course for whatever endeavors we undertake.”

“If you don’t have a destination, then a compass doesn’t do you much good.”

But Fisk looked interested, despite his words, mayhap because writing would be involved. If we had the money for paper and ink, and enough time in one place to settle to it, I think Fisk might undertake some literary task. But this needed only a scrap of paper and a few moments. And it might encourage both of us to become better men, in the year ahead.

“Well, I’m doing it.” I told him. “You can suit yourself.”

I took up the pen and wrote:

To make the world a better place, for my having been in it.
To show kindness and honor to all who cross my path, to give aid to those in need, and pursue justice where I may.
And to that end, we shall pursue this Jack Bannister, who is a great villain (despite having once been Fisk’s teacher) and who may lead us to a villain even greater than he.

Then I tore what I had written off the paper and thrust my words into the candle flame. I managed to drop it to the hearth before my fingers burned. Then I pushed the remainder of the paper toward Fisk.

“Your turn.”

Fisk: If I wrote something down, he’d get off my back. So I wrote.

To keep Michael alive.
To keep him from chasing after Jack.

Because if I could do the second, the first might be reasonably easy. Well, at least possible. If I couldn’t keep him from going after Jack, I’d be lucky to get myself out alive, much less him. And Jack. And all the innocent bystanders, too.

It’s not easy being Michael’s squire.

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The Knight & Rogue Series, YA fantasy by Hilari Bell: The Last Knight, Rogue’s Home, Player’s Ruse. Thieves’ War, coming in 2013

Ember’s New Year’s Eve

There’s no holiday decorations up in the Tesla Institute. There’s been no pause in training or exchanging of silly gifts. I wouldn’t even know what day it is, if not for Ethan and his contagious enthusiasm knocking on my door.
“What are rules for, if not to be broken?” he asks with a devious grin.
I don’t know what to say to that, so I let him drag me off in the middle of the night. I’m still in my soft grey sweatpants and burgundy tank top. My dark hair is coiled into a bun at the top of my head, stray tendrils escaping wildly as we weave through the desolate corridors. It isn’t the first time he’s done this, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
Outside the Institute the island is deserted. The only sound is the roll and crash of waves hitting shore. I rub the goosebumps off my arms.
I hear the shrill whistle of the firework before I see it.  In the distance the sky erupts in a riot of color. Ethan drapes an arm over my shoulder and we watch until the last rocket explodes in the sky.
“Happy New Year, Ember,” he whispers.
I huff. “Isn’t that a bit redundant, coming from a time traveler?”
Turning to look at him, I see the grin hasn’t left his face. “Maybe.” He looks back to the sky, which has grown dark again. “Are you going to make a resolution?”
I press my mouth into a thin line. “Seems like a silly idea, seeing as I might not make it through the Trials, much less the whole year.”
 “Don’t think like that. The Trials are going to be a snap.” He nudges me, “Besides, Good things are coming our way. I can feel it.”
I follow his gaze across the horizon. The air stirs, blowing through my hair and making me shiver. A feeling of unease sets firmly in my belly.
“Something’s coming, that’s for sure.”
* * *
Extracted_cover_120Welcome to the war.
The Tesla Institute is a premier academy that trains young time travelers called Rifters. Created by Nicola Tesla, the Institute seeks special individuals who can help preserve the time stream against those who try to alter it.
The Hollows are a rogue band of Rifters who tear through time with little care for the consequences. Armed with their own group of lost teens–their …only desire to find Tesla and put an end to his corruption of the time stream.
Torn between them are Lex and Ember, two Rifters with no memories of their life before joining the time war.
When Lex’s girlfriend dies during a mission, the only way he can save her is to retrieve the Dox, a piece of tech which allows Rifters to re-enter their own timeline without collapsing the time stream. But the Dox is hidden deep within the Telsa Institute, which means Lex must go into the enemy camp. It’s there he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them both comes flooding back.
Now armed with the truth of who they are, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them both…again.
* * * *
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Paul Harrison’s Anti-New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions? What universe are you from? January was months ago. I have a lot of other things to worry about besides the resolutions nobody keeps. You don’t believe me? I am myself indifferent honest, but I’m not acting this time. Here, maybe this will make you happy:

1. Convince Yvonne, the girl I’ve loved forever, to stop praying and go on a date with me.
2. Cut down on the Shakespeare references no one else understands. Except for the romantic poetry parts–Yvonne likes those.
3. Finish my pre-University courses–well, that’s what my parents–I mean, my dad– would want me to say.

But these are the ones that really matter now:

  1. Get the guilty party — I don’t dare name him here–to confess my mom’s death was no accident.
  2. Meet Sean Lyon, the man I was cloned from, even if I have to visit the TwenCen universe to do it.
  3. Save Sean from his own impending murder.
  4. Figure out why the head of the time travelers is so interested in me.
  5. Do all this while making sure the wormhole connecting my universe with the TwenCen one doesn’t collapse.

If we’re both in the same universe next year, feel free to ask me how well I did. Now leave me alone; I have a part to rehearse.

Do you recognize the Shakespeare reference above? The first commenter to correctly identify what it is and where it’s from will win a free e-book of Lyon’s Legacy, the first book in the Catalyst Chronicles series.

Twinned Universes (Catalyst Chronicles, Book Two), coming Spring 2013:

Paul Harrison always wanted to play Hamlet, but he never expected he’d live the role first.

In the aftermath of a family tragedy on 21st century Earth, Paul discovers he’s the clone of Sean Lyon, his great-great-grandfather and a famous TwenCen musician. Suspecting his mother’s death was no accident, Paul comes up with a plan to trick the answers out of the great-uncle who had him cloned. But in order to make his plan work, Paul needs help from Sean himself—and Sean’s time is running out in the TwenCen universe next door. Although Paul’s family lives on the spaceship that travels between the universes, he’s never been allowed on TwenCen Earth. Now, with the help of his friends, his disguise-creating holoprojectors, and a quantum quirk, Paul must make his way to Sean while evading other time travelers who fear he’ll change the history of the TwenCen universe. If Paul is to achieve justice, he must not only risk his own life, but the wormhole connecting the universes. “To be or not to be” was a simple question in comparison….