lady lantsov

United States

WtW's "cool cousin you see once a year, but the conversation you guys were having... picks up where it left off without missing a beat" (rosi)

Daughter of God

jr in HS
sporadically here

Message to Readers

hey y'all! Much thanks to:
Stone of Jade
Aisha Shaikh
tas (yellowbrickrd)
I think I forgot Aisha last time... I'm so sorry! Anyway, I really cannot express how much ALL of you have helped me. <3

The Things Which Can Happen in a Bookstore

November 13, 2020

      He was starving. Deprived. He needed books like a heroin junkie needed a hit.
    Never had he felt so desperate for black typeface on paper. For those written enchantments. For the inexplicable warmth that emanated from the pages, reminding him who he was and giving life to dreams of who he might become.
    His legs changed from walking to jogging without consulting him first. White Converse thudded against leaf shadows on the sidewalk. Books for the Soul felt infinitely far. Would his paper-and-ink lifeline stretch—stretch—and—snap
    A quarter mile from his own house, and he seriously doubted he’d make it. It wasn’t his physical abilities that he questioned; he was a runner. His mental and emotional states, however, needed a swig of that life-giving water: books. And possibly an iced latte.
    Tag breathed a sigh of relief when he saw the bookstore's rough-cut wooden sign dangling in the distance. Rays of July morning sun glistened across the hand painted letters. Brooks would know what he needed. Most days, he ventured into Books for the Soul with no specific title in mind, but Brooks Felmar—assistant manager, shelver, best friend—always found the right book.
    Tag peered through the window before stepping into his second home. Instead of bells on the door, like any other store, a cacophony of bagpipes and harmonica greeted him. As the recording ended, a potpourri of aromas enveloped Tag. Coffee. Cinnamon tea. Chocolate chip cookies. Musty pages. Lemon cleaner. Tag shook off the nostalgia and was about to search for Brooks when he emerged from the cafe section, grinning.
    “Montag Croftrow. Where. Have. You. Been? School ended weeks ago!" he exclaimed. "And I know that varsity soccer workouts don’t start until August," he added. 
    "Just busy.” Tag shrugged. "And no one calls me Montag but my grandmother."
    "Busy. Mhm. So, Tag, what's up?" Brooks wrapped an arm around Tag's shoulders, grinning down at him. His other hand snaked around and jabbed Tag in the ribs. Brooks’ nickname for Tag had emerged years ago—during a game of tag. From there on, Montag ceased to exist. He was always Tag. 
    Brooks let Tag trail behind him without complaint, advising him on breaking curfew, trigonometry, homecoming dances and everything in between. When Tag turned fifteen, the six year gap became less insurmountable, and they evolved into something closer than brothers. 
    Tag cut to the point. “I need a book. Now.” 
    “C'mon, don’t you want to pour out your conflicted teenage heart to me? It’s been at least a month since our last therapy session,” Brooks mocked. Tag ducked out of Brooks’ arm. Although they had pulled more than one all-nighter in conversation, Tag didn’t want to start a long heart-to-heart. 
    “I told you, I need a book. Preferably a thick one.” Tag cursed how his tone dissolved into pleading.
    "My, my, aren't we desperate?"
    “Brooks. Please. You know what it’s like when you need—”
    “The right book. Yeah, I understand.” Brooks sighed; his gaze—storms hovering between blue and gray—turned solemn and businesslike. 
    “What do you have?” Tag knew he sounded idiotic like this, but the hunger for a story gnawed at him. Insatiable.
    “There’s a new collection in the RUU. Arrived at the crack of dawn today.” RUU—a room filled with Rare, Unusual, and Unique books—was one of many acronyms for sections of the bookstore.
    “A crate of twenty-five?”
    “Ten this time.”
    “What were you doing here at the crack of dawn?” Tag wondered, inching toward the stairs.
    “Couldn’t sleep. Besides, I’m implementing a new organization system.”
    “Have you looked through the books yet?” Tag was already at the top of the curved landing, eyeing the second floor.
    “Nope, it’s all yours to discover. And the girl’s.”
    “A girl?” Tag’s foot hovered over the next step. Brooks smirked.
    “Maybe you’ll get your first girlfriend since, what, sophomore year? This girl was striking, I’ll give her that. You know I can’t help but notice everything about everyone. Tall, around your age. Her hair… it was dark with unusual highlights, kind of russet and gold. Like streaks of fire and sunlight.” He paused, contemplating. “You know, that's straight up poetry. Anyway, I think you should find her.”
    “You're turning into a gen-yoo-wine poet,” Tag noted. Beneath the banter, the steady thrum of necessity bored into him.
    Books. Books. Books, insisted the shelves. But a whisper of girl joined the cadence as Tag's curiosity swelled.
    "Yeah, I’ll be the next Tennyson or Wordsworth,” laughed Brooks. “Before I get back to work” —he gestured toward three unopened book crates beside the register counter—“let me grab your latte. I figured you’d need it when I saw you running.” Brooks hurried to the cafe and returned bearing an iced latte. Where would he be without Brooks?
    “Thank goodness for friends and iced lattes, right?” said Brooks as Tag took a sip and nodded with approval.
    “And books.”
    “And books,” he heard Brooks agree. But Tag could wait no longer, throwing a hasty “thanks” over his shoulder as he flew up the second flight of stairs. He stood, almost reverently, outside of the RUU with latte spillage on his hand.
  The RUU exerted a curious magnetism for Tag. Added to the fact that the dark-haired girl had piqued his interest, and a herd of wild stallions couldn't have dragged him away. He wiped a latte-covered hand on his stained jeans and pushed open the warped door. Creeeaaak
    The low bookcases wound around in a dizzying oval. Particles of dust drifted above an armchair and a sofa, illuminated by the morning sun that beamed through a single window. Ten leather-bound volumes, ornate and meticulously crafted, were spread on a paisley rug that lay at the foot of the sofa.
    Tag stared ravenously at two identical books. Centered on their mahogany covers was an intricate symbol, shining within a gold circle. Tag snatched one of the copies just as the second book disappeared.
    Into the hands of a girl with fire and sunlight in her hair.
Update as of 11.13.20: Ok... at the suggestion of maryse (whose username I adore, btw), I cut an entire character: Elly. The more I considered it, the more I realized she wasn't necessary in this excerpt. I'm keeping her in my original, though. It allowed me to add more details to Tag and the bookstore and explore characters more. Lots of minor edits! Word Count: 995
Update as of 11.10.20: I CUT DOWN THE WORDS!!! TO 998! GUYS! I'M IN HISTORY CLASS TRYING NOT TO FREAK OUT! EEEEE!!! (can you tell i'm a wee bit excited?)
Update as of 11.9.20: unfortunately, the expert review limit has been reached, but I've cut to 1065 words!!!
Update as of 11.7.20: I can't edit anymore right now. I've cut down at 1240 words, but it's still 240 too many. *bangs head against desk* I'm also going to look at some different sections of this story (because I have more on the google doc) and see if I might change which part I submit. 
Update as of 11.6.20: after 2 peer reviews, I've changed several things, but it still way exceeds the word limit at 1651 words. GRRRR. Much thanks to Stone of Jade and BizzleWrites!
11.4.20: This is a very rough draft... but I've loved this idea for a long time. It's been sitting in my drive for a while, and I realized I could just pull it and use it here. I know it exceeds the word limit. I'm working on it.
The inspiration for this was originally from Pinterest, but that actually isn't even mentioned in this excerpt yet. It was the idea of a book where the main character falls in love with the reader. The book mentioned here is that book, written directly to the reader. If you'd like a transcript of that pin, message me in the comments and I'll copy and paste it in a reply. It's a fascinating idea. I decided to put a story within a story here, but unfortunately, I'm already exceeding the word limit...
I'll cut more eventually, but I just wanted to publish it for now. I'll also release another excerpt of a different section so you guys can help me decide which to submit. This piece starts from the beginning. It's chapter 1 of part 1.
Review for Review!

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  • ~madeline~

    Re: Okay yeah... Gisela is soooo great!!! She just somehow has this delusion that she's doing what needs to be done for Keefe and for everyone. Like you said, layered and wonderful.
    For some reason, I don't really find Fintan or Vespera to be very compelling. Like they're evil and I feel bad for Fintan, but I want to see those layers of good and bad and I don't really see that in them. Ruy definitely make me curious. Brant honestly makes me depressed, but I really want him to turn back at some point(Also can we talk about how I legit called that Brant was a pyrokinetic from like the beginning of Everblaze... Kinda obvious lol)...
    Of Riordan's books, the main one I've read is PJO. I haven't read Kane Chronicles, but I really want to. I need to put it on hold at the library. I'm currently listening for Trials of Apollo... Can I just say it literally makes me laugh every other word.... It's literally the best. I re-read PJO recently, at first I was like... This writing is so juvenile... and then I realized that was kind of his point. Like its absolutely hilarious... And it does mature as it goes on to HOO. Percabeth is literally THE BEST!! Like, I love Shannon Messenger, but I also love the way pjo makes gives them a stable relationship... Like there isn't drama about this relationship, and ajgjgajisj... It's so great. Also Percy is one of the best protagonists ever.
    Glimmer... Now she HAS to be someone we know or Sophie/her friends know or else she wouldn't have to hide. But I legit can't think of anyone... You? I don't think I read Tam's short story... Can I find it on the website?
    Here's a good HP question... Do you think Snape is good or bad?

    about 1 year ago
  • ~madeline~

    Re: Aww, Thank you so much!!!
    I definitely think an unheard of ability make sense. Especially if it's elemental. I feel like there are a lot of elements that have weird powers... (Begin mini rant: I lovvveeee her names for literally everything and the way even her elf names are like not exactly 'normal' is so great!! Her naming ability is great!! End mini rant) I also think it could be like a combination of a few abilities. My only other thought is to mention the fact that one time Keefe said that his mom had him tested to be a vanisher... twice. So I think it has something to do with that, but I don't think that it's all that it is...
    Favorite villain... i'd have to say Alvar... For the reason that I'm a cruel reader and I like emotional drama. Alvar is definitely one of those emotionally polarizing characters... You? Also, you said you like Riordan.... Favorite book series by him? I haven't read them all, just a couple XD

    about 1 year ago
  • ~madeline~

    Re: I knowww!! But now I kinda wished I would have waited just a little longer so that I don't have to wait for this and book 9 XD... I guess I agree about Fintan... I guess Gethen makes the most sense, but I still somehow don't think it's him. Idk why, I just don't feel like it is... lol. I do kinda want it to be someone bad, maybe it's one of the neverseen that we don't really know their identity. That could be a fun twist... Yeah, identical twins do have identical genes, but I don't think that necessarily means that it's not him. They had seperate personalities, and if I recall right, (I could be wrong) but I think that what he said to Sophie was something like 'oh no, i couldn't do that'. Idk, I can't rememnber, but I remember when I looked back I was like, oh that doesn't necessarily mean he isn't it. IDK...
    I also want to know what Keefe's powers are sooo bad... I decided I'm not going to read the excerpt cause it would be legit torture, but if it's not in the excerpt I would love to hear your theories :)

    about 1 year ago
  • Minvra

    Re: Sure! Think you can check out "A Dream to Remember"?

    about 1 year ago
  • ~madeline~

    Re: I totally agree that her Dad is less obvious... Tho I wasn't really guessing cause I didn't discover this series until this summer so I got to read them all at once. I think Gethen is a possiblity, but I feel like Forkle said something about her parents not having the same abilities. I've never really heard this theory, but I've been wondering about Fintan recently... Like maybe before he was bad...? I agree not Tiergan... It has to be someone that would cause a problem if people found out... Another theory I've had is to make it Mr. Forkle... Now hear me out, Forkle did say that he wasn't her dad, but at the time he said that, there were two of him. So the other one could have been her dad then the one who said he wasn't. IDK... I don't think that it's someone we don't know cause Shannon is too good to have such an important character not introduced by the eighth book. But there aren't any theories that seem plausible... There a couple that are possible, but I literally can't think of a character that checks all the boxes perfectly. I have a feeling its a character that literally no one wouldthink about... Maybe someone who's dead. IDK.... I mean, I guess it could be Alvar but isn't he a little.... young? And yeah, I hate that Alden was such a jerk in that excerpt cause he's so great otherwise. He just wants the best for Fitz but I feel like he doesn't care if it's at the cost of Keefe's happiness. I also don't think it's Cassisus... Idk, why but I don't think it is. I kinda want it to be Fintan ngl. Like that would be such a great opportunity for character development of Sophie's part XD.... I'm so cruel lol

    about 1 year ago
  • ~madeline~

    Re: YEESSSSS!!! I do agree that Sophie isn't going to be able to really make a decision cause she's too kind hearted. However, I've heard the thought that she likes Fitz in her head and Keefe in her heart. Or if her unmatchable status isn't revoked Fitz night not be willing to do that to his family though I'm not sure if I would like that. I do think some kind of sacrifice might happen at some point tho it makes me sad if it's Fitz because he may or may not be one of my book crushes...... But we're not going to talk about that. XD. I agree all the characters are amazing!!! Biana's one of my favs cause she's most like me (according to my friend). I do love them all so much tho... Kinda a torturous question lol. Like Sanford great, Elwins one of my tops, but then Ro and Alden... I think Shannon Messenger does an AMAZING job with her side characters.... Who do you think Sophie's dad is? Any ideas?

    about 1 year ago
  • midnight.summerrose

    Wow!!! This is amazing!! :)

    about 1 year ago
  • Stone of Jade

    THIS IS SO GOOD! I do agree about Elly but please keep her in the original!! I love her name haha.I am so so proud of you for cutting it down so much. I don't think i could have ever done that. BUT YOU DID and it is STILL AMAZING!!! Can't wait to maybe read the whole story sometime??
    ^^^*not so subtle hint* XD
    tanks for telling me and thanks for the shoutout ;)

    about 1 year ago
  • mirkat

    re: oh yess thanks so sos so much for that name spelling suggestion i just might have to do that! and thank you XD <3

    about 1 year ago
  • ~madeline~

    Re: YES!!! please fangirl with me XD... So originally I was fitzphie... But I think right now I'm more Sokeefe... WBU? I'm totally reading that excerpt... Tho I kinda also don't want to because then like I'm going to be even more excited for 8.5 to come out.... Ahhh... I'm so mad cause it comes out literally three days after my birthday. Who's your favorite KOTLC character??

    about 1 year ago
  • lochnessie ❀

    it just keeps getting better!

    about 1 year ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Re: Awww thank you! I'm sure yours are great just in different ways.

    about 1 year ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Re: <3

    about 1 year ago