Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Books I Love that Became Films or TV Shows

Today's topic: Books I Love that Became Films or TV Shows

It's a general consensus with readers that the book is always better than the movie. Typically, I agree. But, there are some instances where the movie is just as good as the book, maybe for different reasons. Sometimes, things get changed, which I know upsets readers, but the movie and television format is different than the novel. Instead of arguing which is better, I just accept entertainment for what it is...a great story in whatever format suits it.

This is a list of books that I love that became movies or televisions that I enjoyed.

The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris ---> 
First published 2001

True Blood on HBO (2008 - 2014) 
Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammel, 
Ryan Kwanten, Tara Thornton, Alexander Skarsgard, Kristin Bauer van Straten

301082Image result for True Blood season 1 cover

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon ----> 
First published 1991

Outlander on Starz (2014 - Present) 
Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe

10964Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in Outlander (2014)

A Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin 
First published 1996 --->

A Game of Thrones on HBO (2011-2019)
Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, 
Kit Harrington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams,
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

985873Image result for game of thrones Season 1 poster

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
First published 1954 --->

The Lord of the Rings 
The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) 
The Two Towers (2002)
The Return of the King (2003)
Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom,
Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, Sean Bean, Liv Tyler,
Billy Boyd, Viggo Mortensen, Dominic Monaghan,
John Rhys-Davies, Christopher Lee, Andy Serkis,
Hugo Weaving, Ian Holm

33Liv Tyler, Sean Bean, Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, and John Rhys-Davies in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
First published 1937 --->

The Hobbit 
An Unexpected Journey (2012)
The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Ken Scott, Graham MacTavish,
William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Dean O'Gorman,
Aidan Turner, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow,
Adam Brown, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee,
Andy Serkis, Sylvester McCoy, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch 

5907Martin Freeman in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
First published 1997 --->

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson,
Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon,
Tom Felton, Warwick Davis, Julie Walters, Matthew Lewis,
Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham-Carter

3Robbie Coltrane, Richard Harris, Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Taylor, and Emma Watson in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
First published 1847 --->

Jane Eyre (1997)
Ciaran Hinds, Samantha Morton

10210Ciarán Hinds and Samantha Morton in Jane Eyre (1997)

Emma by Jane Austen 
First published 1815 --->

Emma (1996)
Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeremy Northam, Toni Collette,
Alan Cummings, Greta Scacchi, Ewan MacGregor

 6969Gwyneth Paltrow in Emma (1996)

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
First Published 1811 --->

Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Gemma Jones,
Alan Rickman, Robert Hardy, Elizabeth Spriggs

14935Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet in Sense and Sensibility (1995)

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens 
First published 1843--->

A Christmas Carol (1999)
Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Joel Grey, Desmond Barrit,
Ian McNeice, Elizabeth Spriggs, Bernard Lloyd, 
Saskia Reeves, Laura Fraser, Annette Badland

232573A Christmas Carol (1999)

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell 
First published 1936

Gone With the Wind (1939)
Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Hattie McDaniel,
Olivia de Havilland, Leslie Howard

12986475Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind (1939)

The Princess Bride by William Goldman
First published  --->

The Princess Bride (1987)
Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin,
Chris Sarandon, Wallace Shawn, Christopher Guest,
Peter Falk, Andre the Giant

21787Cary Elwes and Robin Wright in The Princess Bride (1987)

Dracula by Bram Stoker 
First Published 1897 --->

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves,
Richard E. Grant, Billy Campbell, Sadie Frost, Tom Waits

118074Dracula (1992)

And I know this hasn't been released yet, but the announcement was recently made that Julia Quinn's The Bridgertons will be made into a series to be produced by Netflix. If the TV series is as good as the books, then I'm going to love it!

The Bridgertons by Julia Quinn
First published 2000


I hope you found something interesting to read or watch! Until next time!

 Happy Reading!

I write sensual paranormal and historical romances. Interested in learning more about my stories? Sign-up for my newsletter where you'll learn about my new book releases, updates on my works-in-progress, writing tips, book reviews, contests, and other fun book-related info!

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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Pre-Order Fire & Ice #pnr #paranormalromance #fantasy

Fire and Ice… they are two of the most powerful elements known to man.
From the tiniest of sparks to a blazing inferno, fire is an intense energy that can consume anything in its path.
Ice is it’s unrelenting and frigid counterpart that can startle your senses and make you shiver.
When put together, you’ll find a force that is stronger than anything you’ll ever encounter.
If you love the paranormal and can’t get enough of romance, then this set is exactly what you need in your library.
With mythical creatures, vampires, shapeshifters, and supernatural of all kinds, you’re sure to find something that will awaken your senses and set your soul on fire as you tremble with delight.

Pre-order your copy today!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Favorite TV Shows

Today's topic: Favorite TV Shows and Why

Oh, this is a fun one! I could talk for days about television shows. Not that I'm addicted, but I do love watching TV. And there are more great shows out there now than ever before!

As a writer, I don't watch television or movies for only the pleasure, but I study these shows to strengthen my writing craft. I watch how the actors portray the emotions their characters are experiencing, from a quizzically raised eyebrow to a simple hand gesture. I listen to the dialogue, how it is structured, how it is spoken and word choice. And I study the plots and character development from the beginning of a show or series to the end. There's a lot a writer can learn from watching TV.

Okay, so that's out of the way, let's get to the good stuff!

(in no particular order)


Dark Shadows
Gothic Soap Opera Drama airing from 1966 - 1971
6 Seasons
1,225 episodes

This is probably the show that influenced me the most in shaping my creative life. My mother was a fan during the original airing of the show back in the '60s. She, like many others, ran home from school everyday so she could watch it.

In the '80s, it was picked up for syndication and after supper my mom and my brother and I would sit in the living room to watch two episodes from 7-8pm.

I was so hooked on this show. The suspense was mind boggling for a little girl. I remember constantly asking my mother after each episode ended on a nail-biting cliffhanger, "What happens next?"

She would never tell me. I'd have to wait until the next day to find out. (These are days way before Netflix binging!)

Dark Shadows centered around the Collins family, a wealthy and eccentric family who lived in Collinsport, Maine. It began as a simple gothic show filled with suspense, but became hugely popular with the introduction of the nearly 200 year-old vampire, Barnabas Collins. The show featured many supernatural storylines including witches, werewolves, ghosts, zombies, warlocks, and time travel.

I had so many favorite characters on this show. Barnabas because he was a vampire, at first evil but soon he became the good guy. Quentin, first a ghost, and also we discovered he was cursed to become a werewolf when Barnabas went back in time to find out why he haunted Collinwood. Tom Jennings was a descendant of Quentin's and also cursed to become a werewolf. Angelique, the witch, who terrorized Barnabas and his family, all because she was madly in love. Maggie and Joe were my favorite couple. I loved them together.

So many great memories of this show, and I will admit, this has influenced my writing. I write about witches, vampires and werewolves. They're my favorite supernatural creatures!

Supernatural Drama airing from 2005 to present
14 Seasons (15 will be the last Season)
307 episodes (and counting)

Which leads me to my adulthood supernatural addiction. Oh, Dean! I mean, oh, my! Several years ago, many memes were circulating the internet about SuperWhoLock. I didn't understand what that meant, but eventually I discovered it was a mash-up word describing fans of Supernatural, Doctor Who and Sherlock. Well, I gave Doctor Who and Sherlock a try (as I'll explain later), so I figured I'd might as well check out this Supernatural show that everyone was talking about.

My little Dark Shadows heart was in supernatural Heaven by episode two. The first episode introduced the brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester and the search for their father who went missing on a "hunting" trip. As we discover, their mother was killed by a demon when Sam and Dean were children and their father, John Winchester, has been hunting the thing that killed her ever since.

And so begins an epic saga that has lasted for 14+ seasons. This show has everything a fan of the supernatural could dream of. Two extremely handsome and sexy brothers who are knee-deep in a world of blood, knives, guns, curses and death, filled with ghosts, demons, angels, vampires, werewolves, witches, zombies, Leviathans, evil clowns, a phoenix, the Four Horsemen, God and his sister, the Darkness as well as other Gods and Goddesses. And the list goes on!

Each episode alone is highly addicting, but the overall story arc and the development of these characters is what is really fascinating. It's a story about family and friendship and the lengths that two brothers and an angel will go through to save the world and each other.

I'll tell you that some of the episodes, especially in the first season were downright scary. And the cliffhanger at the end of Season 1! When that moment happened, while I was lounging on my sofa, I sat straight up and cried out in shock.

Thank Chuck for Netflix Binge Watching! I don't think I would've have been able to cope waiting so many month to watch the next season.

Doctor Who
Science Fiction airing from 1963-1989
A film in 1996
Continued airing from 2005-Present
37 Seasons
851 Episodes

My uncle was a Doctor Who fan and I remember watching a few episodes with Tom Baker with him when he came home to visit during his days enlisted in the Army. I remember distinctly Tom Baker's ridiculously long scarf and wondered when I was a kid, how did he not trip constantly over that thing?

I didn't get hooked on this show until it's new incarnation in 2005. It was actually a little later that I began watching. Matt Smith was already the Doctor, but I started with Christopher Eccleston's first episode, Rose.

I first thought it was cheesy. It was weird. I didn't quite understand why everyone was crazy about this show. But, I was curious enough to watch the second episode. It wasn't until the third episode that I was hooked. When Rose and the Doctor went back in time and met Charles Dickens and the ghosts who turned out to be an alien species, I was in total love! This was what I wanted to see!

The man could time travel! And not just to the future or distant worlds like I had thought from my memories of Tom Baker. He could travel back in time, too. Oh, yeah. Now we're talking. I would love to travel back in time and the Doctor soon became my hero.

The Doctor is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. He travels through time and space in the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) a spaceship he stole and has been running every since. He typically travels with companions which fuels his joy in experiencing new adventures. It's filled with timey-wimey wibbly-wobbly stuff. It's a fun, exciting show that ignites the imagination of the viewer. And it's a family show, made with children in mind, although some of the episodes are downright terrifying!

Are you my mummy? 

I am completely addicted to this alien and his constantly evolving storyline. Oh, yeah. Another thing. He's kinda immortal. He has this thing that happens when he's close to dying.

He regenerates.

That's a neat trick that the writers came up with during the First Doctor's reign. William Hartnell, who played the First Doctor, was having health issues, so instead of cancelling the show or replacing him outright with another actor, they devised the regeneration so they could recast the Doctor as many times as they wanted. This kept the show going for decades.

A view of the London skyline, with the word "Sherlock" in black letters

Crime Drama airing from 2010-2017
4 Seasons
13 Episodes

 Once I got caught up with Doctor Who, I moved onto Sherlock. I was a little doubtful that I'd enjoy this version of my favorite mystery detective. I had read several Sherlock novels and short stories in my early 20s. I became addicted to reading the stories, so I eventually bought the entire collection by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

I'd watch several different versions of Sherlock such as the movies starring Basil Rathbone and the newer ones with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law. When I was a teenager, my favorite Sherlock movie came in the version of the Young Sherlock Holmes which I thought was very enjoyable.

I knew nothing about Benedict Cumberbatch or Martin Freeman. Also, this version of Sherlock was set in present-day London, which I had trouble envisioning.

Oh, how wrong I was to doubt the creative genius of Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss! Each episode is really like a mini-movie. From the very first, A Study in Pink, I was enthralled. These were characters I fell instantly in love with and the storyline was engaging and mysterious. I was solving the mystery along with Sherlock and Watson, trying to figure out who did it. It was entertaining and fun!

And, again, we had these amazing and shock inducing cliffhangers at the end of each series! The kind that left you crying for days and days. I was lucky to binge watch, but eventually I got caught up and had to wait.

And I'm waiting again. Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss have both said they have not said good-bye to Sherlock and Watson. They foresee more mysteries for them to solve in the future. It's just a matter of when.

Science Fiction airing from 1999-2003
4 Seasons
88 Episodes

I've talked about Farscape on my blog before, so you can check out that post about naming my baby girl. It's an amazing science fiction show about how an astronaut/scientist, John Crichton, takes an experimental spacecraft into orbit and inadvertantly creates a wormhole in which he is sucked into, shooting him across the universe to a place where he encounters aliens of all types and shapes and he must learn to survive and find a way back home. It's a compelling drama with interesting characters and storylines. It's really a fantastic show that ended way too early.

The word "Firefly" against a parchment background written in a golden illuminated flowing cursive script

Space Western Drama aired in 2002
1 Season
14 Episodes

Sorry! I'm so sorry!

Another show that ended way too soon was Firefly. This show was about a diverse cast of characters trying to survive in a space after a horrible Civil War. They live on a ship called Serenity. The dynamic between these characters keeps the drama and suspense at the addiction level. Each episode, you learn something new about one of them, their backstory and history and their goals for the future. It was a great show that should have been allowed to continue telling stories.

The Walking Dead 2010 logo.svg

The Walking Dead
Horror Drama airing from 2010-Present
9 Seasons
131 Episodes (and counting)

My husband introduced me to this terrifying television series. I was never a huge fan of zombies. I mean, I watched the Romero movies, but I was more interested in vampires and such. The dead coming back to life? Not my thing.

This show doesn't focus so much on the zombies, but on the survivors. I was well and truly terrified by watching it. I seriously couldn't believe they let this kind of show on TV! The make-up and special effects were amazing. And no one is safe on this show. Anyone can die and any time. And they did! I've watched in tears as some of my favorite characters were killed off and then had to watch The Talking Dead to mourn them.

I'm so grateful for The Talking Dead. It's therapy after watching all that terror, fear, agony and heartbreak. Chris Hardwick, the host, walks viewers through the events of each Walking Dead episode and there are interviews with the actors as well as cool information about the creation of the show and special effects.

I wish some other shows had a therapy show afterward.

Honorable Mentions:

Star Trek
Star Trek: Next Generation
Penny Dreadful
Game of Thrones
True Blood
Law & Order

Reality TV

I'm not a huge fan of Reality TV, but there are, of course, some shows that are compelling to watch. These are some of my favorites.

Ghost Hunters logo.jpg

Ghost Hunters
Paranormal Reality Series airing from 2004-2016
11 Seasons
217 Episodes
13 Specials

I went to a Romance Writer's Conference in Connecticut one year and was excited to see they had a workshop with two paranormal investigators. As you might understand by now, ghosts thrilled me and I was eager to hear what these guys had to say. Two men who were employed as plumbers during the day and investigated haunted houses at night. It was interesting to listen as they explained what they did and the things they experienced. Not much frightens me, but I'll admit that some of the stuff they talked about, some of the events they investigated were scary. The talk of demon and ghost possession was spooky. I believed and experienced hauntings myself, but demons?

Anyway, I checked under my bed at the hotel room that night.

A few months (years?) later, as I was watching (probably Farscape) on the Syfy channel, I saw a commercial advertising a new show called Ghost Hunters. To my surprise, I recognized the two lead investigators on the show.

Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson. The same two men who I met at the conference! Remembering their discussion about ghosts and paranormal activity, I knew I just had to watch the show and sure enough, I loved it. I watched every single episode as well as the eventual spin-off, Ghost Hunters International.

File:Josh Gates.jpg

Anything with Josh Gates

We all have our celebrity crushes, right? Well, aside from Jensen Ackles and Gerard Butler, Josh Gates is mine. He is handsome, comical, adventurous and loves to travel. And he wears a Fedora! A killer combination. What more could a girl ask for in a guy?

I've watched Destination Truth and Expedition Unknown in which he hunts monsters and supernatural creatures.

There's a theme in my life, right?

Honorable Mentions:

Passport to Europe
Ghost Adventures
Dirty Jobs
Deadliest Catch 

Wow! This list ended up being way longer than I intended, but there are just so many great shows out there. I hope you found something that might entertain you!

Until next time!

 Happy Reading!

I write sensual paranormal and historical romances. Interested in learning more about my stories? Sign-up for my newsletter where you'll learn about my new book releases, updates on my works-in-progress, writing tips, book reviews, contests, and other fun book-related info!

You can Follow me on ...