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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

From Page to Picture

The 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel

While watching a movie that has been adapted from a book, have you ever wondered what the author thinks of the film? Do they approve of the choice of actors? Are they displeased/pleased with the deletion of scenes? Dialogue alterations? Are they happy with the musical score? How much say did the author have in any of these choices?

The movie version of Stephen King's The Dark Half  led me to decide not to watch movie versions of books I'd read. The screen versions of Stephen King's books cannot do justice to his creepy, angst filled, psychologically wacky characters. In one interview with King he said he was disappointed with how Stanley Kubrick directed The Shining, that Kubrick "just couldn't grasp the sheer inhuman evil of The Overlook Hotel."  He also didn't like Jack Nicholson’s performance. In the book, Jack Torrance didn't go crazy until he got to the hotel and King felt that Nicholson made the character crazy right from the start. I don't recall that detail but I do remember not wanting to turn lights out at night after reading a chapter of The Shining, and cringing over Nicholson's maniacal acting skills. (or maybe he wasn't acting!)

I admit to breaking my book-but-not the-movie rule, several times actually. As with the 1985 film version of Out of Africa. I'd read Isak Dinesen's memoir, pen name used by Danish author Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke, (1885 –1962), years before the film and was so taken by her writing I had to see the movie. Hollywood's depiction of the grandeur of Kenya would likely be the closest I'd ever get to that country.

Out of Africa is a multifaceted romance;  the baroness loved Africa, she loved her farm and the native tribes and she dearly loved big game hunter, Denys Finch Hatton. It's a gorgeous movie that aptly and beautifully supports Ms. Dinesen's book. And the musical score is simply breathtaking. All in all, the film is an excellent screen adaptation of a book.
Some of the other book-and-movie pairings I broke my rule for are below. They're "rated" from:
Should've Stuck To My Rule (!) to I Could Sit Through This Again (!!!!)

~  To Kill A Mockingbird !!!!
~  the Twilight series   !!
Misery  (S. King)  !!!!
~  Papillon !!!!
Jane Eyre !!, !!! and !!!! 

     (there have been several  film versions since the first in 1943 with Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine)
~ at least one of the 21 film versions of Jane Austen's six most well known novels (that's got to be a movie
               adaptation record) ! to !!!!

Jane Austen....would she approve of how directors and producers transformed her novels into films or be a naysayer of their works?



~ films adapted from Shakespeare's works that keep to his time period and dialogue 
        rate a !!! and !!!!  The  1993 version of Much Ado About Nothing is my favorite.
~ Of Mice and Men.......1939
!! and 1992 !!!

~ A Christmas Carol; not a fan of the film versions I've seen, but the 1984 television version with George C. Scott as Scrooge gets a !!

Outlander, Diana Gabaldon's first book in her Outlander series, now a TV series, is one I read back when it was released in 1991. I watched one episode and probably won't watch another.The acting just didn't captivate me enough to be a fan of this series.

One of my favorite films of 2014 is Divergent. I've been told it accurately follows the book, which must make Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent Series, very happy. I'd surely do a happy dance if one of my books made it to the screen, just as I'd written it! 

Any favorite books-made-into-movies of your own? Any that deserve no more than a ! ?

Monday, September 1, 2014

One of My Favorites

Sweet-SalvationSweet Salvation is a full length, over 100k word novel, and is the 3rd book in Nicole Morgan’s Navy SEAL series, Sweet Awakenings

Falling in love with his best friend wasn’t what Rex had intended, but it seemed that when it came to Shelby all bets were off. After a rocky start, the two fall in love, completely unaware of the danger that lurks in the distance. Plagued with nightmares, Shelby begins to remember memories of abuse she suffered as a teenager, which were long ago buried and forgotten. Dealing with the pain of her past brings her and Rex closer together.

Someone else wants Shelby for himself though and is determined to get her by any means necessary. As he sets his plan into motion, the question of who will survive and who will be destroyed remains unanswered as a surprise from Shelby’s past may be the key to finding Sweet Salvation.

You can purchase Sweet Salvation for 50% off the cover price for a limited time at: at only $3.50


“Rex? Is there something wrong? You’re so quiet.” She gave him a triumphant smile. “Penny for your thoughts.” She continued to taunt him as she walked toward the bed.

He stared at her. She did it! He couldn’t believe it. She had shaved all the hairs from her sweet, succulent pussy. All that stood in between him and her glistening, swollen flesh was her smooth, creamy skin. “Jesus, baby. You are so damn gorgeous. Come over here and let me taste you.”

She laughed. “Rex, did you forget the rules? I’m in charge right now. You do as I say, not the other way around.”

He threw his head back in frustration. He wanted so badly to touch her there and to taste her. He brought his head back up when he felt the bed move. She was getting on top of him but not the way that he would expect. She was facing the other direction. He was ready to bless her for her ingenuity when he found himself wanting to curse her. She had purposely positioned herself right in front of him, but just barely out of reach. His tongue darted out but couldn’t reach her. She was at least six inches away from his mouth. And the sight. Jesus, the sight of her was amazing.

She raised her bottom up higher and sank her mouth down on top of him. It happened so fast he hadn’t been expecting it. He let out a groan as she took him deep and fast, clasping her lips tightly around his shaft.

For more on the Sweet Awakenings Series, please visit Nicole’s website:


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Guest Blog: Lily Harlem: Writing M/M and Menage Romances

Hi, thanks for inviting me to Romance Books 4 Us, it’s great to be here. This last few years I’ve been reading and writing within various erotic romance sub-genres. Some I never thought I’d go near, others that have tempted me but I just never got round to it. Anyways, it’s been fun!

One of the biggest changes in my reading and writing material has been male/male erotic romance. I started off reading some really great man love books and then decided to have a go at writing a few myself. I suppose my first dally was with The Glass Knot which is about a married gay couple who allow a woman into their relationship. There were definite differences with the sex scenes (obviously) but I found that the love and respect and romance between the two men was no different to writing about a man and a woman, which of course it isn’t, it was just the first time I’d put pen to paper (or rather fingers to keyboard) about that subject. Also I kind of used a safety net, or rather my comfort zone, as The Glass Knot is ménage a trois my absolute favourite type of novel to write. I adore the dynamics and the complications that can arise between the characters. Also the situations and complexities that are born make for great conflict and resolution and three in a bed – wow, what’s not to love about that?

My first true male/male novel is High-Sticked, the 5th book in my Hot Ice Series. These books are all standalone reads which made it perfect for one of my players to skate out of the closet and into the arms of a male lover. I really enjoyed writing Todd and Matthews story, set in New York City (I’d just visited from the UK so it was fresh in my mind). It follows the struggle of a professional gay athlete and the nation’s media frenzy around his love life. It’s had great reviews and certainly will heat up any ereader. Gay athletes, particularly in the NHL seems to be something that always has an undercurrent of interest bubbling away when I look at the US media so it was/is pretty topical too.

I’ve since written more male/male, buoyed on by the positive reactions of readers and reviewers. Who Dares Wins is a short military ménage a trois which is riding high in the Amazon charts and I have Dark Warrior and Caught on Camera coming out early 2015 with Totally Bound – watch out for them! Dark Warrior is also something new within itself, this is a mixed race relationship, and the two men couldn’t be more different. One is an English doctor doing charity work in Africa and the other a Kenyan tribal warrior! I loved writing it, so much fun and a great setting on the vast, wild plains beneath Mount Kilimanjaro.

BDSM, or rather, more risky, harder BDSM, is also something I’ve dabbled with along with my co-author Natalie Dae – we write under the name Harlem Dae. Writing together we felt able to push boundaries, explore edgier sexual acts and create characters that were really out of the box. The Sexy as Hell Trilogy has been a great success for us and we certainly found our own limitations and learned a lot from and about each other. You can read more about my experiences with co-authoring here. Sexy as Hell isn’t for the faint of heart but if you like dark romance and eye-wateringly hot sex than it’s well worth checking out the box set which comes with three bonus spin-off stories about the secondary characters. That was new too, writing about secondary characters. We found that with the trilogy being the length that it is, these characters had unanswered questions about their lives. We’d got to know them, as will a reader, and they needed their own resolution. So far so good and they seem very popular as a wind down after the intensity of Victor and Zara’s story.

Paranormal isn’t something I’d tried before either. I’d seen shows, True Blood and watched Twilight, and decided to just go for it. Bite Mark will be out soon at Ellora’s Cave and has a sequel Claw Mark. It’s vampires and shifters and is adrenaline-infused and exciting. The plot swirled around in my head and I really got my teeth into it – excuse the pun – I can’t wait for it to hit the shelves. Bite Mark is set in London, it’s creepy, foggy and based around Smithfield Meat Market an area I know well from my younger years. I don’t think that’s something that will ever change, using places I’ve spent time in as locations for my novels, even it it’s just a springboard for the rest of the story.

So what’s next? It’s hard to know and I never say never. Sci-fi? Mmm, that’s not my thing to watch or read but maybe. Dystopian fantasy, steam punk? Again, maybe one day a fantastical plot will jump out at me. I’ve just written a short Viking story, that was fun and I enjoyed the research, also one about some bad ass bikers. I’m not sure what’s on the table next, or rather in my head, I guess that’s the beauty of being a writer – you just have to wait and see where your imagination takes you, but one thing is for sure, it will be romantic, fun, steamy and everyone will have a great time – in the end!

Lily Harlem’s latest release is The Silk Tie. It’s already getting great 5* reviews.

"Let's just say the steam-factor on this book is a 10, on a scale of 1-5. The dang thing mighta crashed my iPad it was so freaking hot. I loved every dirty second of it. Recommend to all lovers of M/M romance, and ménage."

"Oh please you must read this story. If you like to read a fantabulouse threesome story this would be it. This would be a great time to start reading Lily’s books."

"This book had me on a emotional rollercoaster hoping for the HEA but definitely a ride I didn't want to get off until the end. If you love Erotic M/F/M books this definitely one you don't want to miss."

"If you enjoyed The Glass Knot you'll LOVE The Silk Tie."

Professional life in the City of London is tough going which is why my husband Gabe and I live by the motto work hard and play hard. So when something, or rather someone, comes along that changes how he wants to play I’m intrigued by our sexy new game.

But there's always private sides to the ones you love, and in this case new thoughts and desires are stealing Gabe’s dreams. It’s not until I meet Brent—gorgeous and sophisticated yet soul-achingly alone—that I begin to understand the complex layers of Gabe’s needs and exactly what I have to do.

But I’m not afraid; in fact the idea of two men turns me the hell on. In a whirlwind of romance, fear, desire and a new cresting wave of passion we open up to each other, testing the water for one weekend only. Or is it? Will we ever be the same again? Can Gabe and I survive our decision to let a third into our bed? Can Brent just walk away and, more importantly, will we let him?

Lily Harlem lives in the UK and is an award-winning author of contemporary erotic romance. She writes for publishers on both sides of the Atlantic including Ellora's Cave, HarperCollins, Totally Bound, Xcite and Sweetmeats Press. Her HOT ICE series regularly receives high praise and industry nominations.

Before turning her hand to writing Lily Harlem worked as a trauma nurse and her latest HarperCollins release, Confessions of a Naughty Night Nurse, draws on her many experiences while nursing in London. Lily also self-publishes and The Glass Knot and Scored have been blessed with many 5* reviews since their release in 2012.

Her latest novel, Breathe You In, is a super-sexy romance with a twist that will not only heat you up but stay with you for years to come. Breathe You In was named a USA Today Reviewer’s Recommended Read of 2013.

Lily also co-authors with Natalie Dae and publishes under the name Harlem Dae - check out the Sexy as Hell Box Set Trilogy available exclusively on Amazon - The Novice, The Player and The Vixen - and That Filthy Book which has been hailed as a novel 'every woman should read'.

One thing you can be sure of, whatever book you pick up by Ms Harlem, is it will be wildly romantic and down-and-dirty sexy. Enjoy!

Lily Harlem Links

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Little Team Building

I'm at an odd stage in my career. While it has been wonderful to see my business grow, it's also been a little scary. Some days I feel as if I've been pulled in numerous directions, and I'm sure a lot of you, both writers and readers, can relate.

One thing I've learned over the past several weeks, is that no one can do everything on their own. We all need a little help sometimes, especially when things start to become overwhelming. Whether it is family, friends or coworkers, a good support system is crucial for not only helping you succeed, but keeping your sanity and humor. :)

Over the past few months, I've been working hard to put a support team in place to help me with my writing career. I feel blessed to be at a stage where I'm able to do this, especially after seven years of doing everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) myself. I'm happy to report that most of these relationships have already started to bear fruit.

Recently, I've gotten all of my self-publishing backlist up on Google Play and itunes, and I'm starting to put many books into print. I've released more audiobooks, and got my backlist up on Authorgraph. I'm also in the process of overhauling and growing my street team. If it wasn't for my administrative assistants, I never would have accomplished so much in so little time. I'm truly thankful for thier help, and hope that with them I'll be able to grow my business in ways that I have only been able to dream about before.

My support team isn't complete, but I'm working on it. At the end of the day, having people help with all of my administrative, financial and legal tasks will free up my time to do more of what I love most -- and what readers expect of me -- writing great books.

Who is your biggest supporter? You know, that one person you go to and can trust when times are tough. Tell me about it in the comments section. I'd love to hear from you!

~ ~ ~ Latest Release ~ ~ ~


Girl, Interrupted meets Beautiful Disaster in this thrilling and sexy debut novel, in which a college student learns her perfect life is a lie and finds new love where she least expects it—a mental institution. 

Now available from the following vendors:

ibooks             BAM.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Cops Are Heroes

3rd in the series
1st book in the Riverboat Mysteries

2nd in the series
Author, Sandra K. Marshall is the author of The Riverboat Mysteries set in the Midwest.
Author's like to write stories using cops as heroes.  It is a very dangerous job, but they have been in the news in a very negative way lately.  Police officers go through extensive training, and it's ongoing.  They have to get so many hours in every year, and there are classes that are mandatory for all law enforcement.

Officers in class
For instance, police officers are required to take classes on recognizing an autistic person and learning what to do when they meet them.  Another thing they're dealing with is mentally ill people who are committing suicide by cop.  This is something that happens more frequently than anyone hears about.  Not only that there are hundreds of cops who commit suicide because they can't deal with what they have done.  No one wants to kill someone especially a police officer.  Their job is to protect you. 

There are bad cops, too, and you don't often read about them in books.  Those who write stories using cops as heroes need to dig deeper because there are so many more layers to these men and women than usually appears in the media. 

These people suffer from their actions just like all of us. Have you ever read or written a story using a cop as a hero, or bad guy?
You may find me at these sites:
Twitter @AuthSKMarshall

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Guest Blog: Lynda Bailey: Writing Techno-colored Kink from a Vanilla Perspective

I want to extend a really big THANK YOU to the crew at Romancebooks4us for hosting me today. Leave a comment for the chance to win a $10 gift card.

Anyone who knows me knows I write contemporary romance for a reason. I loathe research. While some writers go ga-ga over research, for me it’s in the same category as a tax audit and dental visit. Me no like.

But as an erotic romance author, it seemed a natural segue for me to progress into writing BDSM romances – which meant coming face-to-face with my archenemy, my nemesis, my Waterloo…research. (And no, I’m not talking about the kind of research that had me tied up in a dungeon with whips and chains and floggers – oh my! Really, I’m not…

For Shattered Trust I wanted to do some honest-to-goodness research versus flying by the seat of my pants. Why? Because there are real people who live this lifestyle and I did not want to offend them. (Just ask any Regency author the penalty for getting historical details about clothing or transportation wrong. It can be worse than death.)

So, how does a vanilla (aka, someone not in the kink/leather lifestyle) author go about doing research involving BDSM without having to – ahem – do the research? The first thing I did was read BDSM romances by other authors – and NOT 50 Shades. A few of my personal favorites are Delilah Devlin, Lavender Day and Lily Rede. But, as with historical writers, taking what you read in someone else’s fictional book doesn’t make it so. But reading non-fiction BDSM books does. My ‘go-to’ non-fiction books are BDSM, The Naked Truth, by Dr. Charley Ferrer and The Ultimate Guide to Kink by Tristan Taormino.

Then there’s the research I did by Googling kink toys/equipment which gave me ideas of what various floggers, spanking benches and St. Andrews crosses actually look like. However, all the reading and Googling wasn’t helping me get into the emotion of what transpires during a scene. For that I needed a personal connection to the lifestyle.

Enter *Kim.*

Kim and I share a mutual friend who introduced us. Kim’s a “bottom” in the local leather community and was more than willing to help navigate me the uncharted kink waters. She answered my questions, showed me some of her Top’s favorite toys and agreed to be a beta reader for Shattered Trust. (She also turned out to be an amazing line editor!)

I took every scrap of her advice to heart. If Kim said something wasn’t right, I changed or at least modified it. One example was when Kate (heroine) scoffed at Liam’s (hero) compliment of her body. Originally, I had Liam “punish” Kate by spanking her. Kim pointed out a Top/Dominant wouldn’t set their bottom/submissive up to fail like that. She suggested turning the scene around so Kate got rewarded by being spanked. So instead of it being a punishment, it became a “fun”ishment.

Without question Kim helped to make Shattered Trust a deeper, richer, truer portrayal of a D/s relationship, and I’m extraordinarily grateful for her assistance. I’m also looking forward to working with Kim in the future, given that Shattered Trust is the first book in my Trustworthy Texas trilogy…

So what about you? If you’re a vanilla author like me, just how far would you go to get the kink right in your story? Inquiring minds want to know, don’tcha know… *wink* Remember to leave a comment for the chance to win a $10 gift card. Thanks again to Romancebooks4us for letting me hang out today!

Learning to love is the easy part...

As a young woman, Kate Landry trusted the wrong man, and she paid dearly for her naiveté. Alone, pregnant and destitute, she survived by the sheer force of her will. Now forty-two, Kate has made a good living for herself and her daughter as the owner of the Bluebird Saloon. But she’s forgotten how to live. That is until he comes into her bar…

Liam St. James loved a girl once. And only once. After an accident paralyzed her, she didn’t trust he would continue to love her. Brokenhearted, Liam left and soon discovered a world where women did trust him—to be their sexual Dominant. He plays out the scenes masterfully, but the unexpected request from the stoic bar owner will pose his greatest challenge yet…

Kate and Liam embark on a journey to uncover repressed urges and, in the process, they discover new desires. They also fall in love with one another. But when you’ve been shattered as badly as they have by mistrust, deceit and abuse, loving is easy. Trusting is harder, if not impossible, especially when the heart is involved…

Buy Links:   Amazon   B&N

Lynda grew up loving stories, especially romances. For her the only thing better than reading a romance is writing one. That and drinking red wine while eating dark chocolate.

Her romances are full of passion, with heat levels that range from hot to sizzling! She’s proud to have been a 2010 finalist in the prestigious Golden Heart®. Please join her for laughter and love, and where the good guys always win in the end.

Lynda lives in Reno with my husband of thirty+ years and two pampered pooches. You can visit her at Or drop an email at

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