Top Ten Tuesday: Book–>Movie Adaptations

Hello readers! I’ve decided I would like to participate in the “Top 10 Tuesday” trend suggested by The Broke and the Bookish on this blog. So each Tuesday, barring other pressing news I’d need to post instead, I will post a top-10 list right here on this blog.

Today, I am going to list my top 10 personal favorite book-to-movie/television adaptations. You will notice the sci-fi/fantasy theme (except for #9). Not all of these movies perfectly mimic the books; some I think were even better (but some, worse–but not bad enough to exclude them from the list). Also, I only chose adaptations where I’ve read at least part of the book and seen at least part of the movie/series; I’ll specify where I haven’t finished. Read on and let me know what you think–what would YOU add or take off of this list?

1. Beauty and the Beast/Tangled (Rapunzel)/The Little Mermaid

Beauty and the Beast (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

OK, so I may be cheating a bit with this first one, but there’s a good reason I lumped them all together: they’re all semi-dark fairy tales adapted into Disney movies done well. In each case, I much prefer the movie to the original fairy tale, but perhaps it’s unfair that I saw the movies before reading the tales (I know, I know, but I couldn’t even read yet when two of them came out). I think part of this preference is because each of the movies are adapted for a modern audience, whereas the fairy tales were written for centuries past, with all of its societal influence–recall my “no book is an island” explanation. So while both the written tales and the movies seek to teach lessons, they are different lessons, even if the stories are almost the same. I think Disney did a great job with making happy endings for each of these that don’t diminish the suffering and growth the characters went through–it almost reinforces the good lessons by saying “do good and you will receive good.” One of these original tales has an ending so, so sad that I couldn’t get all the way through it, though I’ve read about it (I won’t spoil it for you, in case you haven’t read them). Plus all the heroines are way more kick-butt in the Disney versions, which you know I love. This is why I will forever be a Disney princess.

2. The Lord of the Rings (+ The Hobbit)

The Lord of the Rings trilogy (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

You already know my love for this story is intense. I did see the LOTR movies before I read the books–and actually, reading them is a project I began several times in high school and still haven’t finished, and I can feel your eyes burning like Sauron while reading this, but rest assured they are on my to-finish-soon list. I did finish The Hobbit, and I’m a big fan of what Peter Jackson has done so far. This epic story of good vs. evil is so lush and complex that it will forever be a hallmark in my mind and the mind of literary (and cinematic) canons everywhere. I was not a fan of earlier film adaptations, but I love Jackson’s rendition, for all the flack he gets. (Again, adapting an older story for a modern audience requires some changes–and again, I will never be against making females more kick-butt.)

3. Stardust

Stardust (2007) Poster

Stardust (image courtesy of imdb.com)

Stardust has always been described as a fairy tale for adults. It was a book written by Neil Gaiman before it was made into a movie, with the shortest time gap for adaptation so far on this list. In fact, Gaiman had a lot of input on the project. You can read an awesome interview about it here. Although he’s written scripts before, he had a specific screenwriter for this movie–and she had to be female, he said, to have the right touch. (An interesting quirk about Gaiman is that he ascribes a gender to all of his works; Stardust is a female book, he says, but it does appeal to all.) And while I LOVE Gaiman–one of my top 3 favorite authors of all time–I have to say I preferred the movie in this case. Gaiman did a fantastic job of writing in a true fairy tale style, but I think an inherent problem of that style is faraway narrative distance. I didn’t connect with the characters as much in the book as the movie, although I did enjoy the extra details and lore included in the book that weren’t in the movie. Also, I felt like the movie focused more on the love story, which is extremely appealing to a romantic sap like me. ❤ But Neil, if you’re reading this, I still love you the mostest, especially for The Graveyard Book and Neverwhere, and your accent.

4. Phantom of the Opera

Phantom of the Opera (photo courtesy of matineedeals.com)

There is nothing I don’t love about this movie adaptation–the costumes, the music, the scenery, the acting–it’s perfect. This is a case where I like the movie WAY better than the book, and I like it as much as the musical, which is nearly identical. The book came first, written by Gaston Leroux in 1910 as a horror story. It seems I’m not alone in my preference, because the book did not do well for a long time. It was pure horror and very little romance, and the heroine was much too weak. She’s the only one on this list who wouldn’t qualify as a strong female character, at least in the book (and it’d still be a stretch for the movie). While she is still manipulated in the musical and movie, I can forgive her because of her growth and passion, and because it’s kind of hard not to be manipulated by a psychopath, especially one who sings to you so dreamily and gives you roses, all while wearing a tuxedo.

5. Harry Potter

Harry Potter (images courtesy of the Harry Potter Wiki)

Harry Potter was such a special experience for my generation,  because we grew up with Harry as the books and movies came out. The books and movies taught us all about courage, friendship, and love. Despite small discrepancies, I thought the movies were very faithful to the books. More had to be left out later in the series, because the books got longer, but still, the ideas and main events were preserved. I love both the books and the movies, and I’d like to reread the whole book series as an adult and see what it’s like from that perspective. J.K. Rowling opened up a whole world for writers and readers alike, and her magic extended beyond the pages and made kids want to read again. The movies had that power, too, compelling fans to read the books to see what they’d missed.

6. The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (2012) Poster

The Hunger Games (image courtesy of imdb.com)

The Hunger Games is another mostly faithful book-to-movie adaptation. The rest of the movies aren’t out yet, but based on the first one (and the INTENSE trailer for the second one), I think they will not only be faithful but excellent. Some books read like movies, and this series is one of them. This made the violent parts a little gruesome to get through, but more than anything else I’ve ever read, all the violence had a purpose, and it was sobering. The first movie did a great job of balancing the theme of it with making it PG-13 enough for younger viewers to sit through; it will be interesting to see how they navigate that for the future movies, since, as series go, it will only get MORE INTENSE. The Hunger Games introduced me to the dystopia genre of books, which is one of my very favorite. The movies made me realize it was already one of my favorite cinematic genres, although I’ve seen more that did it wrong than right. THG has set the bar very high, and it’s made big steps in legitimizing YA books/movies for adults–not one I’d recommend for younger than high school. Oh, and BTW,  Katniss (in both the books and movie) is the ultimate strong female character–physically strong, emotionally responsive, and imperfect. She’s a great role model for women of all ages.

7. The Mortal Instruments

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013) Poster

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (image courtesy of imdb.com)

This first movie just came out, and I almost need to see it again to finalize how I feel about it. I love the book series, as I’ve mentioned, and the movie was fascinating and very cool. Most of it was pretty faithful, up until a certain point where it started pulling in elements from future books, so let’s just say I was glad to be done with book 3 (of 6) before I saw the movie. I can understand some of the changes, but not all, at least without having seen any of the future movies. This is definitely one I’d recommend reading before seeing, but it’s still on the list because I know I really liked both versions. When I watch the movie again, I will try to watch it as a movie, not as a comparison to the book. What both got right was development of the primary characters, which is one of the main draws to this series. They are all complex, believable, and at the end of the day, lovable in their own ways. Both also did a fantastic job of portraying the world–it actually helped to see it on the big screen to tie all the elements together visually.

8. Dune

Dune (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

This book series and TV miniseries has been one of my favorites since the beginning of high school. Like LOTR, it has a sweeping story about good vs. evil with a complex universe. And like LOTR, this is the only adaptation I like; the earlier one is soooo trippy, even for a universe where people get powers from a drug. Of course, these universes differ, and Dune has always been strictly sci-fi, whereas LOTR is strictly fantasy. I’ve read 2/3 of the Dune series and none of the other posthumous publications based on Herbert’s works; this is another to-finish series on my bookshelf. This miniseries adaptation was very faithful to the books, and it did a good job with pacing, scenery, acting, etc.

9. Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones (image from GoT Wiki)

This one made it on the list mostly out of speculation. I must confess, I’ve only read a small bit of the first book of the series. I was holding off watching the series till I finished the books, but I couldn’t resist any longer. A few friends have recommended watching the series first because it helps you keep the characters straight to see them visually (though it’s still difficult, because there are a billion of them). I’m only 6 episodes in, but I’m already on the path to obsession. I think about it when I’m not watching it, and when I am watching I forget to watch the clock. It’s high fantasy in some ways like LOTR, but with more rated-R+ content and less magic. From what I’ve read so far, it’s a great adaptation, and I can’t wait to finish both versions (no rush,  George R. R. Martin).

10. Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice (1995) Poster

Pride and Prejudice, BBC miniseries (photo courtesy of imdb.com)

This is the only one on the list that isn’t sci-fi/fantasy, but I love it just as much. Oh, do I love it. Austen is one of my top writing, life, and humor influences; she’s one of those authors who’s changed my life in immeasurable ways. I can’t imagine many other books that have been adapted as much as this one, and I can’t imagine any book that fans would be more defensive of. That being said, the BBC version is well-loved by diehard fans of the book, and deservedly so–it is the closest book-to-screen match I have ever seen. The dialogue is verbatim in many parts. Settle yourself down for six hours of wit, romance, and eye candy (Mr. Firth, I’m talking about you), or escape in the pages/your own mind to the rural England of the nineteenth century–it’s up to you, because you’ll get the same experience either way. Elizabeth Bennet is an SFC of the Regency Era, convincing girls to be strong in their own rights rather than rely on the opinions and actions of others.

I hope you enjoyed the list! What do you think is missing? Let me know what your favorite book-to-screen adaptations are.

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An Epic Kind of Night: “Lord of the Rings” at the Ravinia Festival

Happy Friday, readers! I wanted to tell you about the amazing daddy-daughter date I had last night. ❤

My dad and me pre-concert; cannot contain the excitement!

My excitement often overwhelms any hope of being photogenic in pictures, but such is the curse of a fangirl. (See my confession in my last post.)

Every morning I work, I wake up to Chicago’s classical music station, WFMT, on my radio alarm clock. Earlier this week, I heard an advertisement for an event at the Ravinia Festival: the Chicago Symphony Orchestra would be playing Howard Shore’s soundtrack while screening The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Whoa! Was early-morning grogginess causing auditory hallucinations? Could this meld of my favorite things actually be taking place?

Was there some kind of planetary alignment I was unaware of? (Illustration by EvilOverseer on deviantart)

After checking on their website, I realized it was true!

I’ve been going to the Ravinia Festival with my family since I was little. We’ve seen many fantastic performances there. Ravinia is a unique concert experience, open during the summer near Chicago, where you can hear the music inside their pavilion or out on the lawn. Both options have their merits: The lawn enables you to have a picnic and be more immersed in nature; Ravinia’s sprawling grounds are surrounded by huge trees, which provide a great platform for cicadas and birds to chime in. Inside the pavilion, you get to see the orchestra/performance, and you can hear the music directly, as opposed to amplified through speakers, both of which are difficult on the lawn.

The outside experience at Ravinia

The inside experience at Ravinia

By the time I’d heard about the performance, the pavilion seats were already sold out, so that made the choice easy. I knew immediately whom I would ask to go with me: my dad! We have always geeked out about Lord of the Rings together, texting each other quotes during the day, making important life decisions based on what the characters would do, etc.

You Shall Not Pass gravy meme

My dad also happens to be my classical music buddy, the one who always listens to it, critiques it, and goes to see the concerts with me. So it was a perfect arrangement.

For something this epic, obviously, I had to go all-out.

Boromir knows.

In high school, one of my best friends Kara also frequently obsessed about LOTR with me, to the extent that we made iron-on shirts for our favorite LOTR races. I chose Hobbits, and she chose elves.

I <3 Hobbits shirt

We had to cut out and iron on each letter individually. So worth it.

We had to cut out and iron on each letter individually. So worth it.

I got stopped many times at the concert by people wanting to know about my shirt; I was proud to say my friend and I had made them. You see, I know how much work goes into making clothing/accessories, and I take it as a compliment when people ask me if I’ve made something. Unfortunately, not everyone does, as I learned at the opening night of the Lyric Opera when I asked a lady if she’d made her hat. It had the extreme opposite effect; whoops.

I topped off the shirt with this necklace:

Arwen’s Evenstar

which the ticket guy complimented, as he handed me my ticket, wearing this ring:

Aragorn’s Ring of Barahir

at which point I knew we were entering a festival with other LOTR superfans. This was confirmed when we saw someone dressed in a Gandalf costume. 🙂

When we walked in 1.5 hours prior to the performance, believe it or not, the lawn was already packed. We lucked out in finding a prime spot for viewing, the screen only slightly obstructed by a light pole. Ravinia had fogged for bugs beforehand, which was very nice; we both escaped the night with 0 bug bites, which is positively unheard of for us.

One surprising element I found very fun was the pre-concert entertainment. On the screen, they displayed a live Twitter feed of people Tweeting @RaviniaFestival. This was a great touch, since so many people were there so far in advance of the concert. It was also great marketing, IMHO, because they got tons of new followers and looked super popular with people mass-Tweeting them for hours.

The @RaviniaFestival #LOTR Twitter Stream

Everyone tried to out-humor each other, and many were quite clever. Some particular gems I enjoyed were: “One does not simply park into @RaviniaFestival. Its black gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. #LOTR” and “Every time Legolas or Gimli says a number, take that many shots. #drinkinggame”

Mine didn’t make it onto the wall, but I did feel honored that @ChicagoSymphony (Orchestra) “favorited” it: “It’s feeling more crowded than Helm’s Deep here!” with this picture, which was only part of the front lawn section:

To make the night even more fantastic, there was a Lou Malnati’s pizzeria five minutes from the park, which just so happens to be our favorite food ever. My dad and I picked up a veggie pizza for a picnic on our way there.

Ambrosia: Lou Malnati’s veggie pizza

with carrot cake we bought at the festival for dessert. Another favorite!

When the screen changed and the orchestra started playing, everyone cheered and clapped, followed by audience silence–nice. I have to say the audience was wonderful, with no jeering, cursing, or drunken debauchery. The most disruptive it ever got was to whoop whenever Gandalf kicked butt, which we were all doing mentally, anyway.

The set-up was done quite well. The dialogue was toned down and captioned so that the music took the forefront, which was a really neat experience. The performance was flawless–perfectly in time and in tune, with heaps of passion from the orchestra, choirs, and vocal soloist. Even though I own the soundtracks and have listened to them countless times, it almost felt like hearing the music for the first time when I saw the visual scenes the songs matched. The regular movie version plays the music more quietly in the background so that the dialogue takes precedent–makes sense–so you don’t notice the music as much. Shore’s soundtrack is so fantastic that it is standalone, but having the meld of the two together was pretty magical. It was like having insight into the composer and the director’s heads.

It was also neat being an audience member looking in. My high school orchestra played parts of this soundtrack once for a “Pops Concert” we did every year, and it felt so awesome to play violin in this epic music. Combining my love for the story and music with the “performance high” (mentioned in this post) of playing wonderful music on a favorite instrument–it was sublime. Hearing what something like that sounds like on the outside was a different kind of wonderful, too. For the next concert, I definitely want to try to get a pavilion seat, because part of what I love about concerts is seeing the energy of the musicians. I actually found out afterwards that one of my friends from my writing program at DePaul, Angel Barrette Underhill (no relation to Frodo’s pseudonym), was singing in the choir, and that Kara was in the audience, too! What a small world. 🙂

I hope you have a fabulous and epic weekend, readers. In closing this post, let me share the best part of this daddy-daughter date:

Royal Baby: Named! + David Litwack Novel Publicity Blog Tour Day 3–”Along the Watchtower” Excerpt

“What’s in a name?” Juliet famously asks Romeo. Well, if you’re a household in fair Verona, I can’t tell you. But if you’re the newest prince of England, the answer is a lot. According to The Globe and Mail, speculation over the new prince’s name was so hotly debated that bookies accepted tens of thousands of pounds in bets. Luckily, today’s announcement was anything but star-crossed–unless your bet was wrong, that is.

Prince George Alexander Louis. (Photo from USA Today; click image for full article and video.)

The name didn’t come as a total shock for most people (except the one who bet they would copy the newest Kardashian baby with “North”…really?). In fact, all of the names have great historical significance, although they did break the tradition of the previous two generations by streamlining the name from four to three.

Shocked or not, people around the world have not been quiet about their opinions. Traffic peaked on Monday, but it’s still going strong. MailOnline reported on Monday (the day of the royal birth) that it was one of the busiest days ever for social media, with #RoyalBaby as the top trend in the UK and one of the top in the world. With bandwidth well-spent, a massive 487 million Twitter users took part in the discussion internationally, with the UK only comprising 41% of that number.

Will the world’s fascination decrescendo, now that we have a name for the prince? Time will tell, but something tells me I don’t think so, at least not all the way. As I mentioned in my blog post about the royal birth and the media’s response, Kate & Will have millions of avid fans all over the world–and why not? They’re great role models and kind people. I would think an addition to their family will receive equal attention. Although this would disappoint some exasperated Tweeters, I think perhaps their requests to “Stop talking about the #RoyalBaby” are futile, in that they are actually perpetuating the trending hashtag. 😉 Regardless, I predict an exponential increase in “George” as a baby name. Perhaps the royal baby will now be the first “George” who comes to mind, as opposed to these pop culture paradigms:

So why were so many people not surprised about the names? Call it ESP or historical trends, but the three names have been popular throughout the family’s history. Although–or perhaps, because–Kate & Will are famously discreet about such things, many sites have postulated sources for the names. The most common hypothesis, which is indeed my favorite, is that “George” came both from being the patron saint of England and also the current Queen Elizabeth II’s father, George VI, whom you may recall from that brilliant movie, The King’s Speech. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. It is an evocative, inspiring film that gives great insight into this monarch’s life and the British monarchy in general. It shows the painful struggle of a disability hindering a person’s very ability to communicate in public, hiding the wit and intelligence the country demands. More importantly, it shows how perseverance and loving support can overcome such a disability, and how the courage to do what is right is what makes history.

Speaking of disability and courage, let’s talk some more about David Litwack’s Along the Watchtower for day three of his whirlwind blog tour. For the first two days, I posted an interview with and a guest post by the author. Tonight, I will share an excerpt from this book as well as the book’s trailer.

As I mentioned last night, I haven’t gotten a chance to read this book yet, but the trailer, interview, and guest post got me interested. After reading the excerpt, I’m really intrigued. So far, I only see two links between the two narrations–the name, and a kind woman. I have a feeling those links will be very important throughout the novel. From reading the guest post, I know that the main character is actually the same person in both worlds, but it’s interesting to see how even the narration style is different. I guess if you’re going to escape into a fantasy world, you might as well escape all the way, even with vocabulary. I think it’s pretty unique. Is this something you’ve seen before, as a reader? Is it something you’ve tried before, as a writer? Let me know what you think in the comments, and as with the rest of this week, scroll to the bottom to see how to win prizes!

 Excerpt from Along the Watchtower

Please enjoy this gripping excerpt from Along the Watchtower by David Litwack. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $650 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

Becky 

On the ground floor, the center of the hospital opened into a small courtyard, an insecure space with too many places for insurgents to hide. I took a quick breath and tensed.

“Wait up, Ralph.”

“It’s okay, Freddie. You’re safe here.”

“Give me a minute. It’s my first time out.”

I surveyed the perimeter. A few benches. A flower garden dominated by hydrangeas, but not like the softball-sized blossoms my mom used to grow. These were small and paler than the Cape Cod variety, which were a blue that could compete with the sky.

At once, I could see my mom, hands buried in the hydrangeas, grooming her flowers—one of the few memories I could bear to recall. Me and my brothers in the driveway shooting hoops. Mom telling us to keep the ball out of her garden. She was happy then, surrounded by her family, her garden, and the ocean.

I looked past the hydrangeas to find purple asters and some lilies too. But no roses. For some reason, I’d been hoping for roses.

Despite the nice day, the courtyard was deserted, except for a woman about my age who sat on a wooden bench, finishing up a brown-bag lunch. Her eyes were closed and her head tipped back to take in the sun, making her appear to be dreaming. Sitting alone on the bench, her face seemed framed by flowers.

When she heard us coming, she sat up, straightened her scrubs, and smiled.

“Hey, Ralph. What do you have there? Another victim for me?”

“Becky,” Ralph said. “What’s up? This is Freddie, Lt. Williams, our newest patient. We’re trying to bring him back from the dead. Freddie, meet Becky Marshall, one of our physical therapists.”

I nodded a greeting to her, not much in the mood for small talk. She tilted her head to one side as if evaluating me. Then she gave me the kind of look that said we’d met before, if not in this world than in another, and that she intended to make a difference in my life.

“Is he ready for me?”

“Soon. If he’s assigned to you.”

My attention was drawn to a soda can on the bench next to her. I’d seen too many IEDs in soda cans.

She caught me fixating on it and grinned.

“Just my diet Pepsi, Freddie. See?”

She chugged what was left and tossed the can into a nearby trash basket. Then she crumpled the bag into a ball and to show off, stepped off exactly five paces and shot the bag into the basket in a perfect arc.

“Nice shot,” I said.

“I make that shot every time.”

“Yeah, right.”

She came close enough that our knees were almost touching and hovered over me, sizing me up.

“You’ll be mine,” she said finally. “I can tell. I get all the hard cases.”

As she walked away, light on her feet like a dancer, I fumbled for the wheel of the chair, trying to spin it around so I could watch her go. But Ralph had set the brake.

The Gardener

The white butterfly fluttered before her face. When she saw it, she reached out a hand and at once it landed on the curve of her wrist.

“Now there’s a fine omen for you,” she said. “Light knows we need one these days.” She whispered some words and the butterfly flew off across the courtyard and out over the castle wall.

A fine omen? Perhaps. But I’d learned to be wary. I stepped forward, scuffling my boots to make noise. She ignored my presence. Not until I was a pace away did she turn.

It was hard to say if she was beautiful or even pretty. Soil from the garden had splattered her cheeks and marked her forehead with a splotch that looked like a raven. A muddied apron hid her shape. But I took note of a glint in her gray-green eyes, as if the flowers had conspired to lend their color. And her mouth was a crescent moon upturned on its side.

The corners of the crescent twitched when she saw me but only for an instant. Then she went back to her work as if I were invisible. Her hands cradled each bloom as she sliced off the heads with a small knife.

“Are you spirit or demon?” I demanded.

She made no answer.

I drew my sword, relieved it slipped so easily from its scabbard, and stretched it in her direction. She watched the point from the corner of her eye but kept her head down and continued to work. Finally, I nudged her with the tip.

She let out a yelp. Only then did I realize I’d thrust too hard, and the blade had slit her garment. I backed off at once, ready to apologize, but then recalled my encounter with the assassin. I poked again, more gently this time.

“Why do you keep doing that?” she said.

“To see if you’re real.”

She stood and faced me, feet set wide and planted squarely on the ground.

“Why shouldn’t I be real?”

She was tall for a girl, her head rising above my chin, and had a bearing unlike a servant. When I continued to challenge her, she reached out and eased the point of my sword to one side.

“Would you put that silly thing away?”

I began to back off, then remembered the circumstance and held firm. “Why didn’t you say anything when I first approached you?”

“Because we servants aren’t supposed to talk to you royals.” She lowered her gaze and turned back to the flowers. “I’m sorry . . . Milord.”

“What’s your name?”

“Rebecca.”

“Rebecca. My name is Frederick.”

She paled and then bent in a deep curtsy, her brashness collapsing into two whispered words. “The dauphin.”  . . .

I wandered in a circle, hands folded behind my back, and inspected the flowers, unsure of what else to say. Then a thought occurred to me.

“Do you have roses in this garden?”

“No roses, Milord. I have asters and hydrangeas. Some fall crocus. And climbing the wall to the watchtower, sweet autumn clematis. A bit of monkshood underneath and tulips in the spring. But no roses.”

I must have looked disappointed. She came closer and reached out, but not enough to touch me.

“It must be lonely, Milord, a terrible burden. Every morning as I walk from my village to the gardens, I see the darkening clouds and wonder where my strength will come from. Then I remember. The dauphin will protect us. Save Him Oh Goddess, I pray. If only I could do something to help.”

I mumbled a thank you and turned to go, but stopped when I saw her examining her damaged apron.

“Are you here every day?”

“No, Milord, I have other gardens as well.”

“Come tomorrow, and I’ll bring you a new apron to replace the one I tore.”

She curtsied more deeply this time.

“I’d be so grateful, Milord, but I have nothing to give in return.”

“No need.”

“Ah, wait.” She took her small knife and clipped off a bulging blossom at the stem and handed it to me. “Now place it in water the first chance you get.”

I accepted the gift and admired her through its petals.

“Thank you,” I said. “Tomorrow at noon.”

As I walked away, I glanced over my shoulder to get one last look at the gardener. She was back at her work, resuming her song and snipping away, so light of hand and foot. As she blew away a curl that had drifted across her face, the summer dress rustled against her skin. I inhaled the scent of the flower and thought I caught the sun peeking through the clouds over Golgoreth.

And for the first time since my father died, goddesses seemed possible.

Watchtower Tour BadgeAs part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, both Along the Watchtower and There Comes a Prophet by David Litwack are on sale this week. What’s more, by purchasing either or both of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.

The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $650 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:

  1. Pick up Along the Watchtower at its discounted price of $2.99 on Amazon
  2. Get There Comes a Prophet at its discounted price of 99 cents
  3. Enter the Rafflecopter contest below
  4. Visit the featured social media events
  5. Leave a comment on my blog for a chance at a $100 prize.

Along the Watchtower tells of a tragic warrior lost in two worlds; a woman who may be his only way back from Hell. Get it on AmazonBarnes & Noble, or iTunes.

There Comes a Prophet A thousand years ago the Darkness came—a time of violence and social collapse. Nathaniel has grown up in their world of limits, longing for something more. For what are we without dreams? Get it on AmazonBarnes & Noble, or iTunes.

David Litwack, the once and future writer, explores the blurry line between reality and the fantastic. Visit David on his websiteTwitterFacebook, or GoodReads.