Wednesday 18 February 2015

Books You'd Like to See Made into Movies

I listen to the radio a lot in the car and lately it seems I can't tune in without hearing something about 50 Shades of Grey. Yes, I know it's a massively popular book and I can see why the movie is such a big deal, but the level of hysteria is ridiculous. A group of women even set upon a man with their fists in a cinema recently because he dared to speak during the showing. Where did this happen? In Scotland, of course...

I think even EL James's staunch supporters could admit that her writing hardly ranks up there with the likes of Shakespeare. Or perhaps the quality of the prose isn't what they're reading for. Whatever, I'm sure many of us could think of books that are more deserving of the Hollywood treatment (don't even get me started on Twilight!) So I thought I'd offer my own suggestion and feel free to add your own in the comments.

Two first-class thrillers I've read in recent times are The Mistaken and Leverage by the fantastic Nancy S. Thompson. The writing is so visual and I could see the white-knuckle action unfolding in my mind's eye all the way along, so adapting them would be an obvious choice. The books follow Tyler Karras's descent into violent chaos, as the death of his wife plunges him into a grief-stricken journey of retribution that lands him in deep trouble with the Russian Mafia along with innocent bystander Hannah Maguire and, later, her son Conner.

I even have actors lined up to portray the two leads. Eric Bana would be a great choice for Tyler as he is rough and tough enough for the role while also having a softer side. During the books, Ty frequently flips between these two sides of his personality. Also, Bana comes from Australia and has played American roles. Ty was born in London but grew up in Australia before moving to San Francisco, so he has something of a hybrid accent. Bana would be well equipped to take this on.

Main female character Hannah is feisty and refuses to give up even in the most dire of situations. I'm pretty sure she is described as red-haired, or at least this is how I always pictured her. Alyson Hannigan would be a great pick to portray her after her kick-ass role in Buffy.

Conner would need to be a young, handsome upcoming star and I'm, um, not too up on those. Any suggestions?

What books do you think deserve a movie treatment? Who would star in them?

Friday 13 February 2015

One Good Catch cover reveal and The Great Time Lock Disaster launch

Looks like Friday the 13th is lucky for some because I've got some excellent news to share from two wonderful writers.

First up is the cover reveal for Heather M Gardner's new novel, One Good Catch.

  One Good Catch

A Maguire’s Corner novel

Title: One Good Catch
Author: Heather M. Gardner
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs
Release Date: March 13, 2015

Ignoring a recent trauma that is affecting her everyday life, ER Doctor Kate Maguire engages in some high risk activities, but putting herself in these dangerous situations isn’t enough to feed her edginess. She needs something more. When her brother’s high school best friend comes back to town, it’s her chance for a ‘no strings attached’ fling with the man who still headlines in all her best dreams.

Rhys MacGrath’s days of one-night-stands are long over. The pro-football player might be side-lined at rehab for a shoulder injury, but that doesn’t mean he can’t admire and desire the all-grown-up, so-damn-hot, version of the tomboy he once knew. His sudden interest in Kate might be aggravating his best friend, who doesn’t approve, but it’s her indifference that’s driving Rhys crazy.

Everything heats up when Kate’s nosy nature sets her in the line of fire of an arsonist forcing them to deal with more than just the sparks igniting between them.


Heather M. Gardner's love of books began on the hand-woven rugs of her small town library where her mother worked. There she had a never-ending supply of stories to read at her fingertips. As a teen, her favorite genres to curl up with were romance and mysteries. When she started to create her own stories, they were the perfect fit.

Heather resides in New York with her best friend who is also her husband, plus her talented and handsome son. She is currently owned by four stray cats. Heather's a full-time mom, works part-time from home, a chocolate enthusiast, coffee junkie, cat addict, book hoarder and fluent in sarcasm.

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Twitter: @hmgardner

Goodreads: HMGardner 

Facebook: HeatherWritesRomance Bottom of Form

Next we have C. Lee McKenzie's new book, The Great Time Lock Disaster.


There's nothing’s more dangerous than a wizard-in-training. And Pete Riley, has just proven it. He's worked a bad time spell--a very bad time spell.

No YouTube, no smoothies, no Manga. Not ever again. Not unless Pete figures out how to reverse his spell and free Weasel and him from Victorian England. 

He has until the next full moon. Only a few days.

Tick. Tock.

Here’s how the story starts, and it only gets worse.

One minute the clock was tick-tocking
on the mantel and the next it was a
smoldering mess.

“No,”˘Ć░üHarriet shouted. Then she braced
one hand on her desk and covered her eyes
with the other.

Pete froze, not blinking, not breathing,
but waiting to see if Harriet would point one
of her long, bony fingers at him and turn
him into a turnip or something slimy.

To celebrate the launch of The Great Time Lock Disaster I'm giving 20 eBooks away. Hope you'll jump in to the copter and go for a ride!

Usually, C. Lee takes on modern issues that today's teens face in their daily lives. Her first young adult novel, Sliding on the Edge, which dealt with cutting and suicide was published in 2009. Her second, titled The Princess of Las Pulgas, dealing with a family who loses everything and must rebuild their lives came out in 2010. Double Negative (2014) was her third young adult novel. Researching it turned her into a literacy advocate. Her fourth YA, Sudden Secrets came out in December 2014. 

When she really want to have FUN, she writes middle grade books. Alligators Overhead and The Great Time Lock Disaster are now available.


Hope everyone has a great weekend and Valentine's Day. Do these new offerings take your fancy?

Wednesday 4 February 2015

IWSG - Time Management, and Please Help Prince

It's time for another entry for the Insecure Writers' Support Group, where writers can share their doubts and insecurities with no fear of ridicule. Go here to sign up and find other participants and please visit our excellent co-hosts for February, Gwen Gardner, Dolorah, Sarah Foster, and M. Pax.

Lately I have been reading several posts by well-loved blogger friends announcing that due to time constraints they would need to sacrifice some aspect of their writer selves - blogging, writing, Facebooking etc - even if only on a temporary basis. This is quite a saddening state of affairs, but I know what they mean. In the month of January I didn't get much "writing" writing done, in terms of putting new made up things on a page. Okay, I've done some editing and some freelance writing, but some of this is procrastinating working on the final part of my series. I need to pull my socks up and get down to it. Maybe it is stage fright of coming up with a really good finale. Anyway, my time management problem is compounded by being a little bit stuck, but that will not be the case for everyone.

I think what to bear in mind is that if you're going to sacrifice anything, it shouldn't be writing. That's kind of the bare bones of what we do and how we define ourselves. But sacrifice marketing? We all know that even the most sublime stories need a bit of a push if they are not to languish, forgotten. We would probably be better off writing solely for ourselves if we didn't support our own work.

So the answer is to keep up both of these pursuits, but how can this be done? A lot of marketing can be labour intensive, like scheduling and writing posts for a blog tour, and you might need to take a week off writing your WIP to focus on that. But that's okay, if you're doing things like character posts and interviews it's still creative writing, and you will probably end up learning even more about your characters. And it's well worth making posts unique and engaging because a handful of buy links repeated time and again is a turn-off.

Other marketing pursuits can be done in odd moments, such as sending your book off to a reviewer, or setting up a giveaway on Goodreads. Something I haven't done yet, but which sounds worthwhile, is dropping in on forums and other venues that focus on your genre. It was Christine Rains who pointed out to me the importance of reaching out to your intended audience.

Something which tends to divide opinion is Facebook. I haven't set up an author page on there, but as there tend to be shorter posts it might be more time efficient than a blog. After reading this excellent post from Chrys Fey, I'm now giving it much more consideration than I did before.

Do you have any time management tips?

On another note, I'd like to ask for some help for a special little pup if you can manage it. This guy was
adopted from Spain, from the same rescue as our dog Tobi, but the family who adopted him have found themselves faced with an exorbitant medical bill through no fault of their own. Please follow the link below to my wife's Crowdfunder page, and if you can spare anything to help Prince it would be hugely appreciated.

Please Help Pay Prince's Fees