My Top 5 favourite TV series based on books.

One of my ambitions as an author is to have my work on screen; I mean who wouldn’t? So, as my work hasn’t been picked up by a lovely TV producer (yet) here’s my top 5 TV shows based on books.


10964Outlander:
I just binged watched this time travel romance series based on the books by Diana Gabaldon. Gritty and sometimes gruesome, this gem of a series sweeps the viewer into an amazing story filled with hunky highlanders, sadistic soldiers and with just a hint of witches and magic. My only gripe is that the heroine, Claire is not as strong as 301082she could be and makes a lot of fundamental mistakes that kind of annoyed me.

True Blood: Although not on your screens anymore, this vampire extravaganza is
definitely worth a watch. They took just enough liberties from the novels to make it interesting for readers and had some truly gorgeous vampires and rugged werewolves in there. Ended with a fizzle rather than a bang (just like the book series!) but hey, sometimes that happens.

13496Game of Thrones: I’m certainly not alone with this one! You really can’t ask for much more in one series: frosted zombies, dragons that are just as cute huge as they were when they were hatchlings, killer knights, mythical magic, and warring factions where there is both good and bad on every side. I’m so looking forward to the next season coming back in April, although we are now getting to the stage where the TV series will be overtaking the books, it will be interesting to see what will h30071appen here.

The Walking Dead: Based on some amazing graphic novels, the Walking Dead has me hooked on their undead and post-apocalyptic anarchy. There was a bit of a lull in the middle (around season 3), and if I’m honest, it almost lost me – but now I’m counting the days till the new season resumes in February. They have some great characters and don’t seem afraid to kill them off either! Edge of your seat stuff!

656War & Peace: Featured on the BBC here in the UK, I have a great feeling about this Tolstoy classic. Sweeping drama drenched with lavish settings, costumes and an amazing cast. It has the potential to take the viewer by the hand and lead them through a turbulent time in history and introduce a whole new generation to this masterpiece of literature.

 
Happy watching, and remember to let me know if you are watching any gems yourself. Nicx

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Book Review: Midnight Crossroads by Charlaine Harris

Midnight CrossroadSynopsis:

 From Charlaine Harris, the bestselling author who created Sookie Stackhouse and her world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, comes a darker locale—populated by more strangers than friends. But then, that’s how the locals prefer it…

Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).

Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth…

My Review:

So, I’ve read a lot of Charlaine Harris. Her Sookie Stackhouse series was amazing (apart from the last one – don’t get me started there!) and I simply adored her Harper Connelly (brilliant from start to finish) So I was excited to get a chance to read this new book.

Midnight Crossroads gives us some of the secondary characters from the other series, and I was overjoyed to find Manfred there – a particular fav of mine from the Harper Connelly’s adventures, who I think was an incredible character and continued to be so during his stay in Midnight Crossroads.

From a writer’s perspective, it took a while to get into the story, everyone had to be introduced and the town of Midnight Crossroads is almost a character in itself (a lovely touch) But once it got going it was very engrossing. And what a great idea to move your less-used characters into a town together, it kind of ties all her literary worlds into one – fab idea!

As long as you don’t come to it thinking you’re getting an out and out paranormal mystery, but more along the lines of the Lily Bard and Aurora Teagarden books, then you’ll be thoroughly pleased.

The front cover is perfect for the book, it features the town and has some attractive colours in there – although as it’s a Charlaine Harris, it’ll be found relatively easily regardless.

Overall, I’d give Midnight Crossroads 4 out 5 stars – I still don’t completely forgive her for what she did to the Sookie series, but this does go some way to bend the bridges.

Book Review: A Vampire’s Saving Embrace by Darlene Kuncytes

A_Vampires_Saving_Embrace_Kuncytes_(6)Synopsis:

Abigail Montgomery was happy with her life. She was independent, strong, and had managed on her own for a very long time. That was, until the dark, handsome Desmond LaGrange showed up at the bar where she worked. How could she know that this mysterious man would end up saving her from the evil that she didn’t even know existed? And why was she so drawn to him? Why did he make her body heat with just a simple look? Desmond LaGrange was fighting a past he was trying hard to forget. But when he sees the beautiful Abby working behind the bar – something deep inside compels him to get closer. The only question is why? And when he saves her from danger – can he resist the strong pull between them to let her go when the time comes? Or will the passion that she ignites in him be his end?

About the Author:

Darlene Kuncytes was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. She has enjoyed writing ever since she can remember, and has always had a love for romance. “A Vampire’s Saving Embrace” is her first novella, of what will hopefully be many more. She has always loved the supernatural with a touch of suspense – not to mention the allure of finding one’s soul mate.

She loves hearing from her fans- so be sure to drop her a line.

My Review:

I must admit that I found the book a relaxing read. It went from A to B nicely and gave the reader characters that belonged in the world they existed in. There was a healthy dose of romance, that wasn’t tainted with too much adult sizzle.

From a writer’s perspective I found that there were some ‘show don’t tell’ moments that could have been easily ironed out in the editing process. Some info dumps too, that could have been cleared away – however they didn’t harm the story much for readers, although were a little frustrating as an author to read, as they are so easily fixed.

I didn’t find any new adages to the vampire mythos and this story did echo the typical paranormal romance book. Though, now Charlaine Harris has put Sookie Stackhouse out to pasture, we need something to fill the gap.

I’d give A Vampire’s Embrace 3 out of 5 stars. If you like vampire stories – you’ll love this.

A Vampires Saving Embrace Banner 450 x 169

My top ten book list

My own over-stuffed book shelf.

My top ten books.

As I’ve mentioned before, you really can’t be a decent writer if you’re not an avid reader, so in that spirit, I’m listing my top ten recently read books – but don’t worry, although there are brief descriptions there are no spoilers.

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins.

Ok, this really counts as three books, but I devoured them so fast that it felt like just the one. Dystopian, political, gruesome (in places) sad (in places) and above all written expertly well – if you haven’t already read them, ask Santa for this trilogy.

Warm Bodies – Isaac Marion

First person from the zombie’s point of view – need I saw more? Ok, a little more…it has a loose Romeo & Juliet storyline. Is funny and poignant. The film of this will be out next year, so read the book first – just in case the film doesn’t do it justice.

Dark Fever – Karen Marie Moning

Evil alien-like Fae creatures are forcing their way into our world and only one American Southern Belle has the power to stop them! Very Buffy-like in it’s concept and the whole series is thoroughly enjoyable – would love to see this made into a TV series.

Deadlocked – Charlaine Harris

The latest instalment of the Sookie Stackhouse series. I read this in a day! I usually do with the books in this series. It got some mixed reviews about it being overly complicated but, if you love and know the characters the whole thing just gets more intriguing – I was uncertain about the love interest by the end though (read it and you’ll see what I mean)

Incarnation – Emma Cornwall

Taking the point of view of Lucy in Dracula, this Steam Punk story gives us an alternate version of the events that inspired Bram Stoker. Well written and great escapism – although it did take some liberties every now and then.

What’s a Ghoul to Do – Victoria Laurie

I usually find it hard to read ghost stories, but with its fun characters and great premise this one really took me by surprise – A ghost busting psychic detective story which straddles both paranormal and crime novels. Lots of books in the series, so I’m looking forward to working my through to see what MJ Holiday does next.

Masque of the Red Death – Bethany Griffin

A great alternate history steam punk novel that kick starts a trilogy. Interesting concept and compelling characters that really do develop through the book. Manages to paint both a bleak and vivid picture of an alternate Victorian society. Eagerly awaiting the next instalment, which Bethany assures us is under way.

Kitty’s Big Trouble – Carrie Vaughn

I’m a big fan of the Kitty books. She’s a werewolf and a radio show host – what more can you ask for? I like the way the author has developed the character and my particular favourite of this series is ‘Kitty and the House of Horrors’ which was like a supernatural big brother. Big Trouble doesn’t disappoint and, if you haven’t read them, put them all on your Christmas wish list.

Morganville Vampires – Last Breath – Rachel Caine

I bought the Morganville Vampire series a while ago and quickly devoured them. The newest ones are a little jarring though, as the POV switches between characters – which I tend not to like – but the characters themselves are fully fleshed out and the vampire lore in these books is fantastic (I could have written ‘fangtastic’ but I didn’t) My favourite character is Myrnin – a flamboyant fluffy bunny slipper wearing mad scientist vampire, who you never know whether to trust.

The Goddess Test – Aimee Carter

We’ve been saturated with vampires, werewolves and zombies so a book about the Greek Gods is a refreshing twist. Great themes in this one and lots of parallels with mythology. It’s a lovely written YA book that captures you from the very beginning. The ending was quite obvious, but sometimes that’s a nice comfy feeling.

What have been your favourite reads this year?