Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Author's Casting Call, episode 39: Sarah Sundin casts THROUGH WATERS DEEP

Today on The Author's Casting Call we welcome Casting Director (and author!) Sarah Sundin who has graciously "shown" us her characters from her newest release, Through Waters Deep.

Here's a little about the book, 
from publisher Revell:

Click on the title below to order
Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin at Amazon
It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges--and dangers--await them.

Sarah Sundin takes readers to the tense months before the US entered WWII. Readers will encounter German U-boats and torpedoes, along with the explosive power of true love, in this hopeful and romantic story

Casting Through Waters Deep
by Sarah Sundin, special for EIR
Click on the names of the actors for links to a picture, via Pinterest
& make sure you follow Serena's Author's Casting Call at EIR board 
for links back to all previous episodes of this feature!

I’m one of the strange authors nowadays who doesn’t “cast” celebrities in my novels. The characters are fully formed in my imagination, and it’s difficult for me to find real people who look like the characters in my mind. For Through Waters Deep, I’m thrilled with the book cover! The models have just the right look for Jim and Mary. But choosing the cover models would be cheating, wouldn’t it?

For Mary Stirling, I might cast classic movie actress Teresa Wright. Mary has dark hair and light blue eyes, and like Teresa Wright, she has the same quiet, glowing, unaffected beauty.

Jim Avery is tougher to cast. Many people have noted a resemblance between the cover model and actor Ryan Reynolds, but the actor doesn’t have Jim’s open, smiling, eager look.

If you watch the behind-the-scenes video of the cover photo shoot, you’ll see why I really would cheat and cast both models in the movie. They’re simply perfect!

Find more inspiration for Through Waters Deep on my novel board on Pinterest:

SARAH SUNDIN is the author of seven historical novels, including Through Waters Deep (Revell, August 2015). Her novella in Where Treetops Glisten is a 2015 Carol Award finalist. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school.

Connect with Sarah on Social Media:

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Megan Reviews THE HEART OF BETRAYAL by Mary E. Pearson

This Book: The Heart of Betrayal
Series: The Remnant Chronicles (Book 2)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) 
Released: July 7, 2015

About the book (from the publisher):

Click here to find this book on Amazon 

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia's erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there's Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.

Megan’s Thoughts:

Awesome Book #1

= High Expectations for Book #2

That can be a scary combination.

The Heart of Betrayal held the top spot in my ‘I must have you on the very moment you release’ list for my TBR 2015 pile. Why all the hype? It all started because of a jaw dropping moment in the first book of The Remnant Chronicles series: A Kiss of Deception. (click HERE for Megan's Review of A Kiss of Deception)

I knew Mary E. Pearson would have another twist, and she didn’t fail me. But it was different this time around. Instead of one giant plot surprise, I found a series of tiny details, each building upon themselves, revealing more of the characters, more of their world, more of their past, and more of my love for this story.

High Expectations for Book 2: Met!

So as you guessed, The Beauty of Darkness, Book #3 is already inching its way up my 2016 list.

I do predict that my reader’s heart may get broken in the future, but only because I’m Team Kaden. Anyone else?

Fans of Mary Weber's Storm Siren Trilogy will devour this series.

Story: 4.98 Stars
Content: Edgy for Mainstream. (Mild Language, Reference to Sex, Created Religion/Gifts)

MEGAN BESING adores stories with happily-ever-afters. Her own YA writings have received many awards, including being a current finalist in ACFW’s 2015 Genesis contest. She lives in the Hoosier state with her husband and children, where she enjoysan unhealthy love of vanilla cokes. Visit her online at

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Megan Reviews Take and Give (Haven Seekers, book 3) by Amanda G. Stevens

Take and Give: A Novel (Haven Seekers Book 3)
by Amanda G. Stevens

Publisher: David C. Cook
Publication Date: August 15, 2015
About the book (from the publisher):
Austin Delvecchio has tried to use his Constabulary resources to track down his missing girlfriend Violet. He finds a stranger instead, held illegally and mistreated. Rescuing the man will make Austin's boss an enemy, but ignoring the situation will mean the man's death.

Lee Vaughn has lost the most important person in her life. She continues his work her way, providing black market medical assistance to Christians and allowing fugitive Violet to live with her. Then she learns what really happened to Marcus, and the danger following him leaves them all with only one option: to flee.

To make it to freedom, all four will have to rely on their traveling companions. But that's not easy when confronting past hurts, fear, and distrust.
Megan’s Thoughts:

LOVED! My favorite book in this series so far.

All my beloved characters are back—and together. (I do believe Violet is still my #1.) Sure they’re running and hiding for their lives, but the suspense plays out in all the right places. Take and Give holds the most spiritual content out of all the Haven Seekers stories to date. It was well-written, believable, needed, and well-received. The building of love and recovering of relationships satisfied my need for romance. And Austin… for as badly as I should have him stay firmly in the ‘bad guy’ category, I can’t. I’m rooting for him, determined that he’ll get it and get the girl too. (Hint-hint, Ms. Stevens.)

Take and Give should not be overlooked.

A must read (after you read books #1 and #2 first, of course.)

Story: 5 Stars
Content: Edgy

MEGAN BESING adores stories with happily-ever-afters. Her own YA writings have received many awards, including being a current finalist in ACFW’s 2015 Genesis contest. She lives in the Hoosier state with her husband and children, where she enjoysan unhealthy love of vanilla cokes. Visit her online at

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Author's Casting Call, episode 38: Carrie Stuart Parks casts THE BONES WILL SPEAK

This week we welcome Casting Director (and author!) Carrie Stuart Parks to The Author's Casting Call. Beyond her casting duties *wink* and her work as an author,Carrie is a renowned forensics artist, trained by the FBI. Her thriller The Bones Will Speak released August 11. 

About the book (from publisher Thomas Nelson):
Click on the title below for the Amazon link to
The Bones Will Speak by Carrie Stuart Parks
A killer with a penchant for torture has taken notice of forensic expert Gwen Marcey . . . and her daughter.
When Gwen Marcey’s dog comes home with a human skull and then leads her to a cabin in the woods near her Montana home, she realizes there’s a serial killer in her community. And when she finds a tortured young girl clinging to life on the cabin floor, she knows this killer is a lunatic.
Yet what unsettles Gwen most is that the victim looks uncannily like her daughter.
The search for the torturer leads back in time to a neo-Nazi bombing in Washington state—a bombing with only one connection to Montana: Gwen. The group has a race-not-grace model of salvation . . . and they’ve marked Gwen as a race traitor.
When it becomes clear that the killer has a score to settle, Gwen finds herself in a battle against time. She will have to use all of her forensic skills to find the killer before he can carry out his threat to destroy her—and the only family she has left.

Casting The Bones Will Speak
by Carrie Stuart Parks, special for EIR
(Click on the actor's name for a picture of that actor
for some eye-candy links back to all previous episodes of this feature!)
How delightful to be able to “cast” my book! I’ve thought about it for some time—ever since HarperCollins told me my books were chosen to be shopped around the TV and movie industry. I do want to pick from the “A” list (hey, I’m not paying their salaries, so why not!)

Gwen Marcey (Sandra Bullock) Honest, spunky, brave, resourceful, and with a sense of humor.

Aynslee Marcey (Saxon Sharbino) Self-centered, but gutsy and with a big heart.

Robert Marcey (Leonardo DiCaprio) …hey, nobody mentioned budget…smooth, total narcissist, famous author.

Beth Noble (Anne Hathaway) This could be any age actress, but Anne can be intense, funny, obsessive, and a good friend.

Sheriff Dave Moore (Tom Hanks) Likable, honest, straight shooter.

Deputy Andre Arceneaux  (Gary Sinise) You’d need to ratty him up (think Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump) and add tats, but a good guy.

Tim Hawkins, DVM (Tom Cruise) Good looking, smooth, professional.

Mattie Banks: I blank on this one. She just has to look like Aynslee and be the same age.

Wes Bailor (Johnny Depp) Famous artist, shapeshifter type, can’t decide if you even like him.


CARRIE STUART PARKS is an internationally known forensic art instructor as well as FBI trained, Certified Forensic Artist. She worked for the North Idaho Regional Crime Lab for years before going freelance. A winner of numerous awards for her innovative teaching methods and general career excellence, she is also a signature member of the Idaho Watercolor Society. She was mentored in her writing by NYT best-selling author Frank Peretti.

Connect with Carrie Stuart Parks
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Thursday, August 06, 2015

The Author's Casting Call, episode 37: Jess Evander Casts SAVING YESTERDAY (TimeShifters, book 1)

I am excited to welcome Casting Director (and author!) Jess Evander to The Author's Casting Call at EIR! Her TimeShifters series has become something of an obsession for me. Saving Yesterday (book 1) and Capturing Today (book 2) are JUST. SO. GOOD. Both are available now and I'm totally drooling for book 3, y'all. Not even joking. Although I "know" in my head what her characters look like, I am STOKED to see who she would cast in a movie version of these books.
 So let's get to it, shall we?

But first...

(from publisher Phantom Ship Press)
Click on the title below to find
SAVING YESTERDAY by Jess Evander at Amazon
Her blood holds secrets she never knew existed.
Despite the fact that she acts as a parent to her alcoholic father, Gabby Creed feels pretty normal. But her life is turned upside-down on her seventeenth birthday when a bracelet appears on her wrist and sucks her back through time.
Turns out she’s not even a little bit normal. She’s a Shifter—a protector of humans and of history itself. And she’s not alone. The other Shifters believe Gabby is special, even more special than the mysterious Michael Pace. Oh, and the Shades—seriously creepy creatures who feed off of human despair—are determined to capture her.
It’s all a lot to absorb. So Gabby’s grateful to have Michael as her Trainer—or she would be if she could get her rebellious heart under control. Then again, if the rumors about her blood are true, saving yesterday will be the least of her worries.
Casting Saving Yesterday
by Jess Evander, special for EIR

Thank you so much for having me on EIR today! I’m such a fan of the Casting Call segment because—confession—I am more than slightly obsessive about casting my books before I start writing. In fact, this is a pivotal part of my brainstorming process. My mind won’t allow me to put words on the page until I have a solid picture of every character in the story. Once I have a sense of a character I’ll scour the internet for a picture to match them. I usually end up printing out my cast and hanging them in my writing area (and setting the hero or heroine as my computer screen picture!)
Characters come first for me (long before I know the plot) and in the case of my TimeShifters series the entire idea started with Michael Pace. He strolled into my thoughts eight years ago, fully fleshed out with a backstory. I saw him so clearly, which is funny because the entire series is told from Gabby’s point of view.
Click on the actor’s names to see pictures of who Jess has envisioned as her characters.
Gabby Creed (Selena Gomez) is seventeen and has long black hair. She’s petite and needed to be of Spanish descent. Though small, Gabby isn’t someone who can be shoved around. She possesses a quick wit and isn’t afraid to stand against opposition. Add to the mix that she’s trained in self-defense and is fiercely loyal to those she calls friends and finding someone to match her became a tall order, then I finally found the perfect image of Selena Gomez that fits how I see Gabby.
Michael Pace (Josh Hutcherson) is a bit of a wounded hero—he’s selfless, but sometimes for the wrong reasons. He has dark, mocha hair, kind, hazel eyes, and a dimple that appears on only one cheek. Michael is kind and quick to smile, but tends to draw inward when challenged. When Gabby first sees him she can’t place his age because he looks like a mixture of man and boy. Michael’s lean, but packs a lot of strength at the same time. I knew right away that Michael could only ever be one actor for me—Josh Hutcherson (and this was BEFORE Hunger Games). Michael and Josh even share a similar personality (I have watched WAY too many J-Hutch interviews online…for the sake of research).
Secondary Characters—
Aaron Creed (Billy Burke) is Gabby’s father. He’s a flannel wearing, working class man who struggles with alcoholism but loves Gabby very much. He’s made some poor choices in order to do what he thinks he needs to do to protect Gabby from becoming a Shifter. When we first meet Aaron, he’s a very broken man. I always pictured him as Billy Burke’s portray of Charlie, Bella’s dad in the Twilight movies.  
Porter Jensen (William Moseley) is Gabby’s Pairing—her childhood best friend who she’s been told she’s destined to marry. Porter is athletic and charming. He’s a favorite with the other girls at their high school. Porter’s blond and has a great smile. He’s always been actor William Moseley in my head, William is best known for playing Peter in the Narnia series.
Lark Anderson (Dakota Fanning) becomes Gabby’s best friend once she becomes a Shifter even though Gabby initially pegs Lark as a blonde cheerleader type. Lark has large, china doll eyes, but I’d never challenge her to a fight…though she be tiny, that girl is fierce! Dakota Fanning looks exactly how I pictured Lark.
Donovan Anderson (Mark Pellegrino) is the aloof leader of the Shifters and also Lark’s father. He has the same white-blond hair as his daughter, but he doesn’t share her easy going personality. Donovan is standoffish and Gabby’s afraid of him. I cast Mark Pellegrino in the roll not only because he physically resembles Donovan, but also because I enjoyed his portrayal of Jacob (the god-like character) on the television show LOST. The characters of Jacob and Donovan share many similarities.
Darnell (Tyson Beckford) serves as the main medic for the Shifters. Gabby isn’t quick to trust people, but she finds she trusts Darnell easily. He is the type of man who holds his tongue until he has something impactful to say. Darnell is an African American who is very muscular and has a shaved head, model Tyson Beckford fits him perfectly.
Last but not least, dear, sweet Eugene (Topher Grace). Michael describes Eugene as the resident computer whiz for the Shifters, but he’s so much more than that. Eugene is brilliant. He’s an inventor and understands science more than any other Shifter. He believes in Gabby and encourages her when she feels like everyone else has abandoned her. Darnell is Eugene’s best friend, however the two are physical opposites. Eugene is scrawny and his glasses are forever smudged. I had a hard time casting Eugene until I remembered Topher Grace as Pete Monash in the movie Win a Date with Tad Hamilton. Pete looks just like how I picture Eugene!
If you’re interested in finding out more about the world of TimeShifters and meeting other characters, please visit my TimeShifters Pinterest Board.
Here's a little about book 2, Capturing Today... available now!
Click on the title below to find
CAPTURING TODAY by Jess Evander at Amazon
Her blood makes her a target. 
A year ago Gabby Creed discovered she’s a Shifter—a protector of not only humans, but history itself. Shocked to learn her mother may still be alive, Gabby vows to use her shifting abilities to track down the truth, hoping to bring her mom home before her father’s depression deepens beyond the point of no return. The only problem? Gabby's not shifting. The Shifters discourage her from searching for her mother. So when a Shade—the natural enemy of all Shifters—follows through on a promise, Gabby’s left wondering who she can trust. The Shifters who have been her friends? Or the Shades who are ready to give her answers? She might be able to sort through her confusion if she wasn’t also battling her feelings for her Trainer, Michael Pace. But making choices about her mom, the Shades, and Michael might prove too much to handle. Perhaps capturing today means letting go of past hopes. If only she can.

Jess Evander is the young adult pen name of multi-published author, Jessica Keller. She holds degrees in both Communications and Biblical Studies. Jessica lives in the Midwest and believes there is never a wrong time to eat cake.
Connect with Jess through her Newsletter, Website, Facebook, Amazon Page, Pinterest, and on Twitter.


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