Tag Archives: Diana Gabaldon

Outlander to Premiere on Starz: Who Would You Cast?

Barbara Vey -- July 11th, 2013



Diana Gabaldon’s extremely popular Outlander series is set to have16 episodes on Starz in 2014.  Filming will begin in September in Scotland.  I want to go and report on it live.  Since that probably won’t happen, I’m as excited as any fan of the series to see who will be cast as Jamie and Claire.

How popular is this series?  In every survey I’ve ever seen, Jamie and Claire have been in the top 5 most romantic couples.  While Diana readily admits it’s not a “romance” in the definition of the genre, the romance of Claire and Jamie is undeniable.  Since the series is ongoing, not every book ends “Happily ever after” but knowing there’s another book coming does soften the blow.


The biggest problem in going from book to movie (other than the screenplay) is casting the right actors for the parts.  This has proven disastrous in some movies.  One For the Money by Janet Evanovich made a definite wrong turn with Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum.  Everyone knows Stephanie is a train wreck and Heigl couldn’t pull it off.  She’s just too prissy for me.  Now I know everyone had trouble with Tom Cruise playing Jack Reacher.  He was a little height challenged for the part.  Personally, I liked the movie as a movie, but Tom Cruise was not Jack Reacher to me.  The same was true of Mercury Rising.  The boy was supposed to be 14, but the actor was much younger.  And Melanie Griffith in Shining Through was wrong on so many levels.



Sam Heughan


It has been officially announced that Sam Heughan ( a real life Scot) has been cast as Jamie Fraser.  While he may not be known to many Americans, Diana Gabaldon has said, “Oh. My. God. That man is a Scot to the bone and Jamie Fraser to the heart. Having seen Sam Heughan not just act, but be Jamie, I feel immensely grateful to the production team for their painstaking attention to the soul of the story and characters.”  Sounds good to me, but I wouldn’t have minded seeing Chris Hemsworth in another movie.


Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson

Claire is still unknown.  Remember, in the first book Jamie is 22 and Claire, 28.  I think Scarlett Johansson could carry it off.  I also like Rachel Weize and Amy Adams even though they are a little old for the part.  Preferably an unknown British actress might be best.

I just want it to be a good movie.  One that I’ll want to watch more than once.  I always try to keep an open mind because I’ve learned that I am not an expert at casting, but I know what I like in movies and when they represent a beloved book, they better hit the nail on the head.

Who do you like for the parts?  Does it matter to you?

Bottom Line:  Today is Free Slurppee Day at 7-Elevens!


WW Ladies Book Club Blurbs

Barbara Vey -- February 3rd, 2012

Yes, I’m still in Florida enjoying the warm life, but I’ll be going home to real winter on Sunday.  Rats!  At least I have the Silken Sands Conference to look forward to in March in Pensacola, Florida.  Also in March is the 5th Anniversary Bash for Beyond Her Book and time is running out if you want to participate.  Last year we had over 22,600 comments and we’re going to try to break that record this year.  Email me at bvey@publishersweekly.com if you’d like to participate.  Now, here’s the WW Ladies reads of the week.



Vampire in Atlantis by Alyssa Day

Read by Joan

While not a Warrior whose job is to protect the human race, Daniel is a friend of the Warriors and works to have vampires look at humans as other than food. Daniel is tired and ready to walk into the sunlight when he finds himself in Atlantis facing the love he thought lost to him all these eleven thousand years. Serai is one of six maidens that had been encased in glass by an Atlantean high priest, to be awakened when it was their time to wed. However, the Emperor, the magical stone that has kept the maidens safe, is acting erratically as a sorceress tries to obtain it from where it was hidden before Atlantis sank below the sea. Serai and Daniel must find the stone in order to keep Serai and remaining encased maidens from dying, and the Warriors are trying to find Serai after she disappears from Atlantis.

This is the ninth book in a series regarding the handsome Warriors of Poseidon. Though I have not read the other books, I was able to easily follow this fascinating story. I intend to read the previous eight books, and am looking forward to the next book coming out, Heart of Atlantis.




Angels of Darkness by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Meljean Brook, Sharon Shinn

Read by joysann

The fascination with angels creates an opportunity for authors to share what they imagine angels might be, and four favorite authors find worlds of romance for them to inhabit.

Angel’s Wolf by Nalini Singh – though nearly broken in a brutal abduction, recovering Guild vampire Noel begins to recover his self-respect when he is sent to Louisiana to the court of the beautiful angel Nimra who rules there, to find her attempted murderer.

Alphas: Origins by Ilona Andrews tells a riveting tale about a young widowed mother slipping into an unknown world where unusual powerful beings battle to protect humanity, and her vital part in that war.

Nocturne by Sharon Shinn returns to Samaria where a young woman, though in hiding from them herself, finds and helps a crippled angel languishing in the attic of a mansion.

Ascension by Meljean Brook – While the Guardian Marc Revoire continues his tasks protecting humans from demons, Radha joins him in an investigation to, if for no other reason, see if she can brighten up the guardian’s somber world.

These stories read well as stand-alones, and are utterly captivating. Three introduced me to romantic fantasy series that I’m now intent on starting from their beginnings and getting lost in their worlds.




Secrets of the Lost Summer by Carla Neggers

Read by Michelle

Dylan McCafferty receives a note from a woman he’s never met, Olivia frost, that his property in New England needs some TLC.  Dylan’s life is in California and doesn’t know he owns this property.  His father died two years before and never told him about this purchase.  Dylan decides to investigate more about this mysterious property.  Meanwhile Olivia Frost is busily transforming her historic property into a getaway retreat.  As the two lives converge they find, love, jewels and a woman’s past an intriguing aphrodisiac.

A well written novel in which Carla Neggers transformers her characters with each turn of the page.  I found her descriptions of life in Knight’s Bridge so intriguing that I would love to find myself somewhere so idyllic.




Justice in June by Barbara Levenson

Read by Heidi

Criminal defense attorney Mary Magruder Katz has her hands full in Miami. She has two of the toughest cases of her career, her family who is worried she is spreading herself too thin and isn’t taking care of herself, and her hot boyfriend Carlos. Mary is risking her own safety while trying to free Luis Corona, who is a suspected terrorist AND trying to keep Judge Liz Maxwell from going to jail for letting drug cases slide through the system. Mary will fight to the end for her clients, but someone is trying to stop them before they even go to trial. Now, Mary’s boyfriend is in hot water too. June will be a true challenge for Mary, all the way to the end.

One of my favorite things about suspenseful novels is when there is a little humor mixed in on the side. I imagined Mary rushing around in the heat of June in Miami, and juggling all her responsibilities, but knowing she just wanted to lay in bed with her hot boyfriend. Then add in a little mystery solving, and you have a fun book to keep you warm.




Immortal Champion by Lisa Hendrix

Read by Stacey

A member of a Viking band cursed by a villainous sorceress,Gunnar is quite aware that the noblewoman he rescues from a fire cannot be the one for him. But fate has other plans. Will she be the one to break his curse?

I loved seeing this story though Gunnar’s head. But I also adored Eleanor,her strength and the fact that Lisa Hendrixlet her intellectual brilliance shine through. Because the hero is an immortal,the action is allowed to take place over an extended period of time,but the way that the story is written,I found myself glued to every single page. I cannot WAIT for Torvald’s tale.




The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon

Listened to by joysann

Lord John Grey investigates the allegations of corruption by a senior officer, and a vital clue is written in Gaelic. He turns to the only Gaelic speaker he can trust – his Scottish rebellion prisoner, Jamie Fraser. Jamie accompanies Lord John to Ireland where the dangerous investigation leads, creating an opportunity for the two men to begin the friendship that will last decades.

Being an enthusiast for the Outlander series and its characters, I’ve enjoyed the Lord John stories a great deal. Since the relationship between these two men is vital, it’s a pleasure to witness the pieces of their interactions that build that all important trust and loyalty. I always listen to Diana Gabaldon’s books, with their wonderful narrators, and this book gave me no less pleasure than any of the others I so enjoy.


Bottom Line:  Today is Bubble Gum Day started in 2006 by children’s book author Ruth Spiro.  I want Double Bubble.

Drive By Videos From RWA

Barbara Vey -- July 6th, 2011

Here’s a few videos from RWA and there are a couple more to come.  I did Drive By Videos of Meg Cabot, Diana Gabaldon (had trouble pronouncing her name…duh!) at the Literacy Signing and Kate Pearce, who was supposed to be interviewed at RT but I had a problem with the video camera (really a problem with the camera operator).  Thanks for being so patient Kate!


Bottom Line:  Just a heads up, tomorrow is Chocolate Day, so you have time to stock up and celebrate right.

Finishing the Unreadable Book

Barbara Vey -- February 9th, 2011

I am currently reading a book I’m having a hard time getting into.  I’ve already read over 100 pages and it’s taken me 2 weeks.  I’m trying to stick to it because I feel like maybe it’s me and not the book.  Feeling frustrated, I threw it out on Twitter by saying, “Fighting my way through a book & feel awful about it. A book should grab you & make you not want to do anything else but finish it.”

Proving the power of Twitter, Dan Blank retweeted what I said and one of his followers contacted me.  Porter Anderson asked, “With all respect, I wonder if the reader doesn’t share some responsibility to weather a difficult passage? Isn’t it a dialogue?”

Having a dialog

Having a dialog

This got me thinking about a dialogue between an author and the reader.  As a reader, I always thought it was one sided.  The author wrote for me and I really didn’t have any obligation to the author other than to enjoy the book.  Even though I’ve always tried to finish all the books I started, I’ve found that now that I received so many to read and write about, I’m a little pickier about what I spend my time reading.

I always try to give new authors a look and a chance to prove themselves to me.  While it’s not possible for me to love every book I read, I always try  to keep an open mind.  I’ve always subscribed to the theory that there is a reader for every book and offer the books I can’t finish to another reader to enjoy.  Sometimes it works for the best, sometimes it doesn’t.

I can remember starting Outlander by Diana Gabaldon four times before I finally got into it and then I was hooked.  It remains one of my favorites.  I’m grateful for all the good things said about it that made me try time and time again.

While I’m struggling with this book, I’ll keep at it.  I may slip a book in between, but I really have high hopes for this author.  I’ll keep the dialog open and hope to find the diamond in the rough, but how far is enough  before it’s ok to give up?  Are there any books that you had to start several times before finally finishing and then were glad you did? Or do you just feel like you’re time to too valuable to waste on something you aren’t enjoying?

Bottom Line: “When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place.” ~ Unknown

How Much Time Do You Give A Book?

Barbara Vey -- July 20th, 2010

I always was the kind of person who had to finish any book I started.  It didn’t matter how bad it was, if I picked it out to read, I had to make it to the bitter end.  I mean, it could always get better, couldn’t it?

Well, those days are over.  With the amount of books I receive daily and knowing how many enjoyable novels are out there, I don’t want to waste my time with a book that I don’t enjoy.  It’s not fair to me as a reader and it’s really not fair to the author.  I just may not be the right fit for the kind of book they wrote.  Or I could just be having a bad day and not be in the mood for that type of story.  And if I muddle my way through the thing feeling like a slug, I’m sure not going to recommend it to anyone.

I’ve struggled with this for a while and I’ve had friends tell me they’ll give a book 50 pages to hook them and others who have a designated amount of chapters before they give up.  Now I just read until it becomes uncomfortable and then I’ll put the book aside.  Sometimes I’ll just let it sit a week or so and then pick it up again because maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for that genre that day and this time around it just clicks.

This happened to me with Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  I started that book no less than six time because everyone told me how wonderful it was.  When I finally took the time, with no interruptions, I found it to be an amazing read.  Unfortunately, that never worked with me and The Lovely Bones (which I did eventually finish because it was for a book club).

I bring this subject up today because I recently read a review blog site that gave a negative review to a book that the reader admitted to reading only 10 pages of.  Really?  It’s possible to judge a whole book in just 10 pages?  That’s like judging a person after 10 minutes, or a movie after 10 pages of script, or a blog after one post.  While I may not finish a book, I would never consider myself an expert enough to write a full blown review guessing what may be coming along further in the book.  I certainly feel that anyone can stop reading whenever they want, my issue is the posting of a negative review without the benefit of the whole story.

This is why I’m so grateful to all the WW Ladies.  Everyone brings a different perspective and life experiences to their reading which only goes to benefit the authors who send their books in.  So, if I find I “just can’t get into” a book, there’s usually a couple of anxious readers ready to pick up story and give it the respect it deserves.

Now you tell me, how many pages do you give a book to snag you into the story?  If you didn’t care for it, do you still pass it on to someone else who you know will like that kind of tale?  Do you just put it aside to try another day?  Or do you just chuck it and consider it a bad choice?

Bottom Line A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. ~ Chinese proverb