Shame on me for being absent for a whole month -- work and school have been drilling me into the ground. But I'm very excited to be taking part in the Fire & Ice Hop, hosted by a lovely group of ladies that you can find in the link above. Please feel free to peruse the lists they have up to visit the many other blogs that are taking part in the hop, and enter to win many amazing giveaways.
As much as I would have loved to reach out to the author and do a little interview for my post, Cassandra Clare is one in-demand, busy lady. In addition to writing, writing, and writing, she's spent a while in Toronto back in September/October, hanging out with a fabulous -- and may I say very, very good-looking -- cast and watching her book City of Bones come to life for the big screen (August 23 of this year! Get ready!). She's also working on a new Shadowhunter series, co-writing The Bane Chronicles with Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan, co-writing a series with Holly Black, and her next (and last) installment in the Infernal Devices is coming out next month. I don't know how she does it! Plus she's always interacting with the fans over Twitter and Tumblr and is just all-around amazing. Superwoman, if I've ever seen one.
But for my stop, I've chosen to let out my inner fangirl and feature Cassandra's 5th book in the Mortal Instruments: City of Lost Souls. When it comes to the Mortal Instruments and the "ships", as the kids call them these days, I get kind of crazy. Like a One Direction fangirl on crack. The main theme for this Fire & Ice is romance, and boy is there a lot of it in CoLS. Even the cover is romantic, no? I think this is the most relationship-focused book of the whole series thus far. I swear, after I finished this book for the first time, I put it down and immediately took to tumblr to like and reblog all the brilliant fan arts that people have made of these couples like a maniac, too immersed in infatuation to even be embarrassed about it. I'd literally be sitting there clicking away and going "they're so cuuuute!" and "oh my god oh my god oh my god!" "get married and have babies plz!!!1!" ...Yeah.
In lieu of Valentine's Day (no, not Valentine Morgenstern, that'd be frightening), this post will highlight the three core couples with some excerpts of my favourite moments between them. Also, it comes at a perfect time, as the people behind the City of Bones film are holding #ShareMortalLove on Instagram this week, releasing exclusive new character images every day. Exciting, exciting stuff. Some movie tie-ins to give this post a bit of a visual. Then there's a pretty awesome giveaway at the end! So without further ado...
[ Jace Wayland/Lightwood/Morgenstern/Herondale &
Clary Fray/Fairchild/Morgenstern (whew!), aka Clace ]
Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace Wayland & Lily Collins as Clary Fray
Chapter 17: "Valediction", pages 396-398
“Jace,” she said softly.It suddenly seemed insane that there was this much space between them, that she was standing across the room from Jace, and that they weren’t touching. She started toward him, but he held up a hand to ward her off.“Don’t.” His voice cracked. Then his fingers went to the buttons on his shirt, undoing them, one by one. He shrugged the bloodstained garment off his shoulders and let it fall to the ground.Clary stared. Lilith’s rune was still in place, over his heart, but instead of shimmering red-silver it looked as if the hot tip of a poker had been dragged across the skin, charring it. She put her hand up to her own chest involuntarily, her fingers splaying over her heart. She could feel its beating, hard and fast. “Oh.”“Yeah. Oh,” Jace said flatly. “This won’t last, Clary. Me being myself again, I mean. Only as long as this hasn’t healed.”“I—I wondered,” Clary stammered. “Before—while you were sleeping—I thought about cutting the rune like I did when we fought Lilith. But I was afraid Sebastian would feel it.”“He would have.” Jace’s golden eyes were as flat as his voice. “He didn’t feel this because it was made with a pugio—a dagger seethed in angel blood. They’re incredibly rare; I’ve never even seen one in real life before.” He ran his fingers through his hair. “The blade turned to hot ash after it touched me, but it did the damage it needed to do.”“You were in a fight. Was it a demon? Why didn’t Sebastian go with—”“Clary.” Jace’s voice was barely a whisper. “This—it’ll take longer than an ordinary cut to heal… but not forever. And then I’ll be him again.”“How much time? Before you go back to the way you were?”“I don’t know. I just don’t know. But I wanted—I needed to be with you, like this, like myself, for as long as I could.” He held out a hand to her stiffly, as if unsure of its reception. “Do you think you could—”She was already running across the room to him. She threw her arms around his neck. He caught her and swung her up, burying his face in the crook of her neck. She breathed him in like air. He smelled of blood and sweat and ashes and Marks.“It’s you,” she whispered. “It’s really you.”He drew back to look at her. With his free hand he traced her cheekbone gently. She had missed that, his gentleness. It was one of the things that had made her fall in love with him in the first place—realizing that this scarred, sarcastic boy was gentle with the things he loved.“I missed you,” she said. “I missed you so much.”He closed his eyes as if the words hurt. She put her hand to his cheek. He leaned his head into her palm, his hair tickling her knuckles, and she realized his face was wet too.The boy never cried again.“It’s not your fault,” she said. She kissed his cheek with the same tenderness he had showed her. She tasted salt—blood and tears. He still hadn’t spoken, but she could feel the wild beat of his heart against her chest. His arms were tight around her, as if he never meant to let go. She kissed his cheekbone, his jaw, and finally his mouth, a light press of lips on lips.
[ Alec Lightwood & Magnus Bane, aka Malec ]
Kevin Zegers as Alec Lightwood & Godfrey Gao as Magnus Bane
Chapter 21: "Raising Hell", pages 491-493
Alec didn’t remember scrambling down from the top of the stone tomb, or pushing his way across the stony plain among the litter of fallen bodies: dark Shadowhunters, dead and wounded werewolves. His eyes were seeking out only one person. He stumbled and nearly fell; when he looked up, his gaze scanning the field in front of him, he saw Isabelle, kneeling beside Magnus on the stony ground.It felt like there was no air in his lungs. He had never seen Magnus so pale, or so still. There was blood on his leather armor, and blood on the ground beneath him. But it was impossible. Magnus had lived so long. He was permanent. A fixture. In no world Alec’s imagination could conjure did Magnus die before he did.“Alec.” It was Izzy’s voice, swimming up toward him as if through water. “Alec, he’s breathing.”Alec let his own breath out in a shaking gasp. He held a hand out to his sister. “Dagger.”She handed him one silently. She had never paid as much attention as he had in field first aid classes; she had always said runes would do the job. He slit open the front of Magnus’s leather armor and then the shirt beneath it, his teeth gritted. It could be that the armor was all that was holding him together.He peeled back the sides gingerly, surprised at the steadiness of his own hands. There was a good deal of blood, and a wide stab wound under the right side of Magnus’s ribs. But from the rhythm of Magnus’s breathing, it was clear his lungs hadn’t been punctured. Alec yanked off his jacket, wadded it up, and pressed it against the still-bleeding wound.Magnus’s eyes fluttered open. “Ouch,” he said feebly. “Quit leaning on me.”“Raziel,” Alec breathed thankfully. “You’re all right.” He slipped his free hand under Magnus’s head, his thumb stroking Magnus’s bloody cheek. “I thought…”He looked up to glance at his sister before he said anything too embarassing, but she had slipped quietly away.“I saw you fall,” Alec said quietly. He bent down and kissed Magnus lightly on the mouth, not wanting to hurt him. “I thought you were dead.”Magnus smiled crookedly. “What, from that scratch?” He glanced down at the reddening jacket in Alec’s hand. “Okay, a deep scratch. Like, from a really, really big cat.”“Are you delirious?” Alec said.“No.” Magnus’s eyebrows drew together. “Amatis was aiming for my heart, but she didn’t get anything vital. The problem is that the blood loss is sapping my energy and my ability to heal myself.” He took a deep breath that ended in a cough. “Here, give me your hand.” He raised his hand, and Alec twined their fingers together, Magnus’s palm hard against his. “Do you remember, the night of the battle on Valentine’s ship, when I needed some of your strength?”“Do you need it again now?” Alec said. “Because you can have it.”“I always need your strength, Alec,” Magnus said, and closed his eyes as their intertwined fingers began to shine, as if between them they held the light of a star.
[ Simon Lewis & Isabelle Lightwood, aka Sizzy ]
Jemima West as Isabelle Lightwood & Robert Sheehan as Simon Lewis
Chapter 7: "A Sea Change", pages 156-158
He pushed open the door to the first bedroom on the left and stepped inside. It was dark, the lights off; if Simon hadn’t had vampire sight, he probably would have seen only blackness. As it was, he saw the outlines of a wardrobe, chairs with clothes thrown over them, and a bed, covers thrown back. Isabelle was asleep on her side, her black hair fanning out across the pillow.Simon stared. He’d never seen Isabelle sleeping before. She looked younger than she usually did, her face relaxed, her long eyelashes brushing the tops of her cheekbones. Her mouth was slightly open, her feet curled up under her. She was wearing only a T-shirt—his T-shirt, a worn blue tee that said THE LOCH NESS MONSTER ADVENTURE CLUB: FINDING ANSWERS, IGNORING FACTS across the front.Simon closed the door behind him, feeling more disappointed than he had expected. It hadn’t occurred to him that she’d already be asleep. He’d been wanting to talk to her, to hear her voice. He kicked his shoes off and lay down beside her. She certainly took up more real estate on the bed than Clary did. Isabelle was tall, almost his height, although when he put his hand on her shoulder, her bones felt delicate under his touch. He ran his hand down her arm. “Iz?” he said. “Isabelle?”She murmured and turned her face into the pillow. He leaned closer—she smelled like alcohol and rose perfume. Well, that answered that. He had been thinking about pulling her into his arms and kissing her gently, but “Simon Lewis, Molester of Passed-Out Women” wasn’t really the epitaph by which he wanted to be remembered.He lay down flat on his back and stared at the ceiling. Cracked plaster, marked by water stains. Magnus really ought to get someone in here to do something about that. As if sensing his presence, Isabelle rolled sideways against him, her soft cheek against his shoulder. “Simon?” she said groggily.“Yeah.” He touched her face lightly.“You came.” She stretched her arm across his chest, moving so that her head fit against his shoulder. “I didn’t think you would.”His fingers traced patterns on her arm. “Of course I came.”Her next words were muffled against his neck. “Sorry I’m asleep.”He smiled to himself, a little, in the dark. “It’s okay. Even if all you wanted was for me to come here and hold you while you sleep, I would have done it.”He felt her stiffen, and then relax. “Simon?”“Yeah?”“Can you tell me a story?”He blinked. “What kind of story?”“Something where the good guys win and the bad guys lose. And stay dead.”“So, like a fairy tale?” he said. He racked his brain. He knew only the Disney versions of fairy tales, and the first image that came to mind was Ariel in her seashell bra. He’d had a crush on her when he was eight. Not that this seemed like the time to mention it.“No.” The word was an exhaled breath. “We study fairy tales in school. A lot of that magic is real—but, anyway. No, I want something I haven’t heard yet.”“Okay. I’ve got a good one.” Simon stroked Isabelle’s hair, feeling her lashes flutter against his neck as she closed her eyes. “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…”
I'm giving away one (1) hardcover copy of City of Lost Souls signed by Cassandra Clare, one (1) copy of Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Reader, and one (1) necklace -- made by yours truly during one of my many craft binges. The necklace features a mini City of Lost Souls book pendant. By the way, it's not waterproof, so don't like... shower with it on or anything, lol. To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter below (make sure to add all information asked so your entry won't be deleted). The giveaway will close on March 1st at 11:59pm and a winner will be contacted within 48 hours. Good luck!!