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My favourite Psychological Thriller Book-To-Film Adaptations By Sam Carrington

Sam Carrington By James HuntleyOn the book tour for Sam Carrington’s new book called ‘One Little Lie, Sam talks about her favourite book to film adaptations.

I chose to write in the psychological thriller/crime genre because I am fascinated by the human mind and love nothing more than exploring the darker side of our nature. So, it probably goes without saying that I also love watching psychological films! I have hundreds of DVDs and can watch my favourite films again and again. (Weirdly, I have only ever re-read one book so far in my life – and that was To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – but don’t tell anyone).

I do still consider myself to be a ‘book person’, though, and if a book has been made into a film, I have generally much preferred the book. It’s still my dream that one of my novels will be adapted for the screen someday – I can only imagine how amazing it must be to witness your characters truly coming to life. With each book I’ve written, I’ve had a ‘dream cast’ in my head who would, in my opinion, be the best at playing each of my characters.

But, despite usually favouring the book, I have enjoyed some film adaptations immensely. Here, in order of preference, are my top five:

Shutter Island – is a best-selling novel by Dennis Lehane published by HarperCollins in April 2003. It became an American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo Dicaprio in 2010. I loved the twists and turns in this movie and that ending was a real ‘wow’ moment!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – is the first book in the trilogy known as the Millennium series written by the late Stieg Larsson and published in Sweden in 2005. It became a Swedish thriller in 2009 and was also a Hollywood film adaptation in 2011. I watched both versions and much preferred the Swedish one. Lisbeth Salander was one of the most original characters I’d read about and I wondered how well she’d be played. I think her brilliant, yet damaged character, transferred well to the screen and Noomi Rapace did a stellar job and even looked just as I’d imagined Lisbeth to look.

Gone Girl – is a psychological thriller by Gillian Flynn. It was published by Crown Publishing group in June 2012. The film was released in 2014 directed by David Fincher and written by Gillian Flynn, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. I enjoyed the book, although it did take me a while to get into it – but I actually liked the film more! (Now, THAT doesn’t happen very often). I thought Amy’s character was well portrayed by Pike, she captured her disturbing nature perfectly. Of course, having read the book first, I knew the twist – but it didn’t stop my enjoyment of the film and there was a scene that even I found shocking! The ending has been discussed a lot by readers of the novel – and was somewhat controversial. But I like that.

The Girl on the Train – is a psychological thriller novel by Paula Hawkins, published by Doubleday in the UK in 2015. The film was released in 2016 with Emily Blunt taking the lead role of Rachel, and although the location changed from England to the USA (which I think was a shame) I was pleasantly surprised with the how the film managed to stick quite closely to the book.

Along Came a Spider – the first novel in James Patterson’s series about forensic psychologist Alex Cross was first published in 1993. It was adapted into a film in 2001, starring Morgan Freeman as Cross. The film received very mixed reviews, mainly due to the fact it failed to include some of the key plot points from the book. However, as film adaptations go I thought it was a good one and it kept me interested from the outset. And anyway, can Morgan Freeman ever do a bad film?

You can buy One Little Lie from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 6th September 2018.

The New Girl Book Tour – Extract

The New GirlSit back and enjoy an thriliing extract from Ingrid Alexandra’s chilling new book called ‘The New Girl’.

The wine is cool and crisp as it passes my lips and, after a couple more sips, the familiar warmth curls in my stomach like a cat settling in for the night. Humming a catchy tune I heard on the radio, I flip through the mail.

An estate agent advertisement, the electricity bill and a letter, the one with the brown stain on it, addressed to someone named Sophia Gates. It’s the second time this person’s mail has arrived here; Sophia Gates must have been the previous tenant. I toss the letter into the recycling, take a long pull of wine and then pause, rubbing a finger along my lips.

I knew someone named Sophia once. Or Sophie, maybe. I think for a moment but my mind’s cloudy, and I can’t remember anyone specific. It’s probably no one important, yet I have that feeling I get at times, like I’m supposed to remember something but there’s a brick wall in my mind and my thoughts stop there. A blank space, as I’ve come to call it.

My wine’s nearly gone and no one’s home yet, so I top up my glass with a bottle from the laundry. I go to my room, sit at my desk and flip open my laptop. I check my email, trawl through my newsfeed. Without planning to, I google the name Sophia Gates. Images, Facebook pages and LinkedIn accounts pop up, but I don’t recognise anyone. I’m being stupid, paranoid as usual. It must just be a coincidence.

‘Any mail?’ Cat’s voice calls from the kitchen, startling me. I hadn’t heard the door.

‘On the coffee table!’ I tell her, gulping a mouthful before hiding the glass under the desk.

Just a short taster, that really leaves you wanting more.

You can buy The New Girl from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 4th October 2018.

The Lost Sister Book Tour – Extract

The Lost SisterToday’s book tour features an extract from Tracy Buchanan’s new book called ‘The Lost Sister’.

Mike shot me a disapproving glance. ‘Fruit or nothing,’ he said, grabbing his car keys. He gave Becky a kiss on the head then waved at me before letting himself out. There was once a time when he’d kiss me before leaving for work.

Not now though.

Should that have made me feel sad? Well I didn’t. I felt nothing. When I was sure he was gone, I went to the cupboard and got some chocolate flavoured cereal out, winking at a giggling Becky. ‘You have to be quick though, we have to leave for school soon.’

Five minutes later, we walked to Becky’s school. It was a breezy day, still warm though, the skies blue, the sun bright, the sea glimmering in the distance. People were either walking to work or coming back from dropping kids off, dressed in shorts and T-shirts, sandals and flip-flops.

The school lay at the bottom of a hill, five minutes’ walk from our new-build house. As I passed the newsagent, I noticed the headline: UK’s Economy at Historic Low. I peered towards where Mike worked with Greg at a large
financial advice firm in town.

There had been rumours of redundancies the year before but nothing had come of it. What if Mike was made redundant now?

Would I have to go back to working full-time again?

The thought sent a dart of fear through me.

Better if they made me redundant from my senior copywriter job. It wasn’t like I was pulling in much on my three-day salary anyway.

I put my sunglasses on, pulling up the straps of my silky red vest top to cover my bra straps, my black skirt skimming the back of my knees. Everyone else around me was wearing pastel colours, but I liked to be bold: blood reds and stark blacks, azure blues and emerald greens. I had earrings to match, necklaces sometimes too.

You can buy The Lost Sister from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 20th September 2018.

Top 5 Tips for Creating You Own Cut Flower Garden By Vanessa Carnevale

The Memories Of UsOn the book tour for Vanessa Carnevale’s new book called ‘The Memories Of Us, she talks about creating her own cut flower garden and tips to making it a success.

While researching flowers for ‘The Memories of Us’, I set about creating my own cut flower garden in my own backyard. I pulled up all the veggies in my veggie patch and replaced it with flowers. I created garden beds for roses, peonies, dahlias, sweet peas and most of the varieties that Gracie cultivates at Summerhill. Here’s how you can go about creating your own mini flower farm.

Make a list of your favourite varieties
Start by making a list of flowers you love and the kind of colours you’d like to see in your garden or flower arrangements. You may like to plant several plants of the same variety so you can harvest multiple stems at the one time.

Some great cut flower varieties include: dahlias, peonies, ranunculus, sweet peas, hybrid tea roses, tulips, daffodils and gerberas.

Beside your list, make a note of when the sowing time is for seeds or bulbs, along with another column for the time you can expect your flowers to appear in the garden. You may not be able to order all the seeds or tubers at the same time, so it pays to keep track and add them to your garden as you go. For example, dahlias will come into bloom over the summer, peonies have only a short flowering window of around three weeks, and roses will last over a period of several months. If you can ensure you’re planting a range of flower varieties, you can be assured you’ll have a nice range of blooms to pick for as long as possible.

Don’t forget to plant filler foliage! Dusty miller, hypericum berries and seeded eucalyptus make great filler foliage. Bulking up an arrangement with greenery makes flowers look even more stunning in a vase or bouquet.

Decide on perennials versus annuals
When planning you’re cutting garden you may like to like to take into account how many perennials and annuals you’ll be planting. Bell flowers, asters and foxgloves are great examples of perennials that will grow back each year.

Stagger planting windows
Once you’ve made your list, plot out on a calendar, when you can look at planting each flower variety in your garden.

Decide where to plant your flowers
Deciding where to plant your flowers will depend on how much room you have. Raised beds and pots are a great option if you have limited space.

Keep your garden healthy
Be sure to adequately water and fertilise your garden. Don’t be afraid to cut flowers and when you do, be sure to cut stems a little longer than you’ll need them so you can recut when you arrange them in a vase.

You can buy The Memories of Us from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

In Appreciation Of The Bonkbuster By Kat French

Claire AllanOn the final day of the book tour for Kat French’s new book called ‘A Summer Scandal’, we talk about the great authors of the bonkbusters.

Every year I write a summer book; this year my release is called ‘A Summer Scandal’, about a girl who unexpectedly inherits a pier in a south coast town she’s never heard of and packs her bags for a summer of adventure. I love writing a proper sizzler of a book – for me, a good beach read needs to turn up the heat! I’m hugely inspired by lots of writers, but I’d like to focus particularly on a genre that holds a special place in my heart – the bonkbuster! Bonkbusters, named affectionately as a mash up of a blockbuster and bonking, never go out of fashion. Fabulously over the top, they fizz with sex and scandal and absolute beach appeal; here are three of the most legendary authors in this genre.

Jackie Collins – The Queen.
Sadly no longer with us, Jackie was the queen of the genre by a long chalk. I think I’ve read every book she ever released, a steady diet of glitzy, glamorous scandal from the age of about fifteen! Thirty-two novels, more than five hundred million books sold and translated into forty languages – what incredible stats! I can’t imagine any one will ever topple Jackie’s crown, she oozed glamour in real life and seemed to live an LA lifestyle right off the pages of one of her racy novels. She lifted the lid on Hollywood and gave us all a peep behind the curtain. We salute you with champagne, Jackie.

A Summmer Scandal

Jilly Cooper
What Jackie is to LA, Jilly is to the rolling English countryside. Her Rutshire Chronicles (‘Riders’, ‘Rivals’, Polo, etc.) are a delicious thrill, full of adultery and scandal set amongst the British upper-class Polo and foxhunting crowd. Huge, heavy books that you read slowly so as not to get to the end too soon, and the ultimate sexy anti-hero in Rupert Campbell Black. Often loathsome but as sexy as they come, he is the poster boy of all things bonkbuster.

Shirley Conran.
I read ‘Lace’ at a rather impressionable age, and it has stayed with me ever since! I doubt there is a romance writer alive who doesn’t envy the line “Which one of you bitches is my mother?” – it’s a twisty tale of revenge and revelations set in the sixties and seventies, and is as much a story of four women’s friendship and self discovery as it is about Lily’s search for her mother. Anyone who has read Lace will never look at a goldfish in the same way again…

You can buy A Summer Scandal from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.