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Tag Archives | books

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Kevin Costner snags new adventure series book deal

Actor/director/producer, Kevin Costner, reportedly has a new book series deal with Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books. The first book in the adventure series, “The Explorers Guild, Volume One: Passage to Shambhala,” is set for release in 2014. Costner told’s Mike Fleming he feels “… the book has the sweep of adventure classics he grew up reading, including “Arabian Nights” and “The Red Badge Of Courage.” Costner hopes the book will connect with young and adult lovers of adventure and lead to a movie based on it.... Read More →

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cover of Michelle Obama's new book on gardening

Michelle Obama’s new book on gardening in America

First Lady Michelle Obama’s passion for healthy eating and gardening are well known. Mrs. Obama shares those passions in her first-ever book , “American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America.” Released by Crown Publishing yesterday, the book is already in the top ten of best selling books on Barnes and Noble and Amazon websites. The book is a behind the scenes look at the development of the White House kitchen garden beginning in April of... Read More →

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Book cover for Ricki Lake's new book "Never say never"

Ricki Lake’s new book hits store shelves

Actress and TV talk show host, Ricki Lake, has had plenty of life drama. In her new memoir, “Never say never: Finding a life that fits,” Lake shares the lessons learned from a painful childhood, weight issues, divorce, and the struggle to find a comfort level in her own skin. “Never say never” hit stores last week. Lake is out and about promoting her new book with TV appearances as well as stops in stores. Tonight at 7 p.m., she’ll be at the Barnes & Noble... Read More →

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Think like A Man movie poster

“Think Like a Man” Number 1 at the box office

A surprise at the domestic box office. The big sci-fi hit, “The Hunger Games” got kicked to the curb this weekend by romantic comedy, “Think Like a Man.” After four consecutive weeks in the number one spot, “The Hunger Games” got dethroned by “Think Like a Man, ” which pulled in $33.6 million on its debut weekend, according to the final figures released today. “Think Like a Man” was produced on a small budget of $12 million. “Think like a Man” is based on... Read More →

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Fifty Shades of Grey book cover

Major Hollywood book to film rights deal for “Fifty Shades of Grey”

Who says romance doesn’t sell in Hollywood? “Fifty Shades of Grey,” a bestselling erotic romance novel trilogy, with BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism) elements, reportedly has sold to Universal Pictures and Focus Features. The X-rated book series was inspired by the hugely popular “Twilight” book saga and is written by British author E. L. James. The romance is about a female college student and a young intriguing billionaire who has some dark sexual desires. The  other two novels in the series are... Read More →

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Actress lands another book deal

  Actress Jenny McCarthy isn’t above showing off her body or book smarts. The former Playboy model is the author of a number of bestsellers including, “Life Laughs”, “Baby Laughs,” Belly Laughs,” and “Love, Lust & Faking It.” Also, McCarthy has written serious books about autism including,  “Louder than Words: A mother’s journey in healing autism. ” Now McCarthy, is going back to her comedic roots with a new book, “Sinner: Confessions of a Recovering Catholic.” The book industry site, Galleycat, has a post today about the new deal... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Author Sue Ann Jaffarian reacts with a smile to while chatting with writers after a workshop at the Buena Vista libarary in Burbank September 17, 2011

A Look back: A writer’s workshop on how to get an agent

Multi-talented author and Media City Groove guest blogger, Sue Ann Jaffarian, conducted a very informative writer’s workshop called, “Turning Agent Woes Into Agent Wows,” at the Buena Vista library here in Burbank last month. Forty-to-fifty writers showed up for the September 17 workshop. Many spent most of the time scribbling notes as Sue Ann covered the agent search from manuscript preparation to how to write the kind of e-mail query that will catch an agent’s attention. Also, Sue Ann shared some tips on where to find agents on the Internet and what to ask... Read More →

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"Terminator" movie poster

Celebrity book deals: Courtney Love & Arnold Schwarzenegger

Catching up on some celebrity book deals. Rocker Courtney Love has signed a deal with HarperCollins for a “tell-all” memior, according to the publishing  site Galleycat. Love’s untitled memior reportedly will be a no-holds-barred telling of her life from ” childhood to the present day.” Love was married to deceased rock legend, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. Love has had success with her band, Hole, but also personal problems and trouble with drugs in her later years. Also Galleycat is reporting the autobiography of  Arnold Schwarzenegger... Read More →

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Photo: Cover fof new short story, "Where's Your Daddy?" by Sue Ann Jaffarian

A Writer’s View: Short stories a hot writer’s market

Since I was a kid, I have loved short stories.  Amongst my favorites were “The Ransom of Red Chief” and “The Gift of the Magi,” both by O. Henry, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, and “The Telltale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe. They packed fun, poignancy and terror in just a few short pages, providing word for word a powerful punch. Short fiction has always been with us, but in the past few years it has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity.  When print magazines and online e-zines, always a... Read More →

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"The Help" movie poster

“The Help” gets promoted to top spot at box office

“The Help” got a boost to number one at the domestic box office with a weekend estimate of $20 million. The comedy-drama is about a young southern white woman and her relationship with the black “help” during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Emma Stone, Viola Davis, and Octavia Spencer star. “The Help” is based on the 2009 bestselling novel of the same title by Kathryn Stockett. The film’s budget, $25 million. In two weeks, it has made around $71 million and is getting some Oscar buzz as... Read More →

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cover of novel "Dollhouse" by Kardashians

Kardashian sisters’ new novel coming out

The Kardashian sisters, Kim, Kourtney, and Khloé are about to become published novelists. That’s right. The reality show divas have written a novel and it’s called “Dollhouse,” according to the publishing industry website, Galleycat. A fan of the sisters came up with the title and reportedly is featured in the book, which hits store shelves this November first. More here.

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Photo courtesy author Cheryl Holt

A Writer’s View: “New York Times bestselling author dishes on the dramatic changes in the publishing industry”

New York Times bestselling author dishes on the dramatic changes in  the publishing industry I always considered myself to be the walking, talking success story of American publishing.  I’m a lawyer, and at age 40, I had two babies back to back.  Suddenly, I was a stay-at-home mom and trying to figure out how to replace the income I relinquished due to this life change. I decided to start writing novels.  I didn’t know anything about writing books or about the publishing industry.  I simply forged ahead, armed with a steely... Read More →

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Jane Austen’s unfinished manuscript sells for $1.6 million

British author Jane Austen is a superstar in the literary world.  Only six of Austen’s novels were published: “Emma,” “Sense & Sensibility,” “Mansfield Park,” “Northanger Abbey,” “Pride & Prejudice, ” and “Persuasion.”  Austen died on July 18, 1817 at the age of 41, but  the writer still has plenty of buzz these days. Her novels have been the inspiration for movies, TV series, and other books. Austen is as popular as ever.  Last week, an unfinished manuscript by Austen sold at auction for $1.6 million. The handwritten draft of... Read More →

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movie poster for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2"

Entertainment bits

Final Harry Potter movie breaking records The end is near for the zillions of Harry Potter movie fans. The eighth and final installment in the Potter film series opens tomorrow at midnight. All ready, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2” is breaking records for movie screens and ticket sales.  Nikki Finke has the scoop over on Jaycee Dugard’s book sells 175,000 copies 1st day The 18-year kidnap ordeal of Jaycee Dugard has really grabbed public interest. Dugard’s interview with... Read More →

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Rebecca Forster's latest novel, "Beyond Malice," is a digital release only.

A Writer’s View: Am I An Author Idiot?

Am I An Author Idiot?  Working with a freelance editor I face each new project with a combination of angst and self pity, positive I will never write a decent book again much less publish one. After 23 published novels, one indie and two scripts (one in development) you’d think I’d be over all that. I’m not. Enter, my freelance editor Jenny Jensen*. I work with her because she is in my corner and because I sell more often when I do. Still, I have to wonder, why can’t I edit myself?... Read More →

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Matrix Reloaded movie poster

ShowBiz Bits

Movie star’s poetry book published The star of the “Matrix”  sci-fi action movie trilogy, Keanu Reeves, is now a published author  or  should I say poet.  The  actor ‘s new book of poetry is called, “Ode to Happiness.”   The  price , 55 bucks.  More on Galleycat. Rewind! Lindsay Lohan in court again Living on the edge actress, Lindsay Lohan, gets another break in court today. Lohan tested positive for alcohol, but a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge ruled it was not a violation of her probation. Details on Lohan’s latest court drama over on... Read More →

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Photo: Cover of "Bound by Blood" by Amanda Ashley due to hit book stores in October 2011

A Writer’s View: Why are we so in love with vampires?

Guest blogger today is Amanda Ashley/Madeline Baker. A California author in love with writing historical romance, time travel, fantasy romance, vampire romance and whatever strikes her fancy. She has written over 70 books since selling her first novel,”Reckless Heart”, after getting 31 rejections. Her books have appeared on various bestseller lists, including The New York Times and USA Today. Why are we so in love with vampires? I think the answer is obvious! Think Damon and Stefan Salvatore from “The Vampires Diaries”. I am totally mesmerized by Damon, who has the most beautiful,... Read More →

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movie poster "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strange Tides"

“Pirates 4” captures huge haul at box office

“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strange Tides” sailed right to the top of the box office on its opening weekend. The fourth installment in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie series earned an estimated $90.1 million to easily become the number one flick in the country. This bountiful debut clearly shows movie audiences are willing to throw down some money at theaters to see sequels. “Pirates 4” stars Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz,  Ian McShane, and Geoffrey Rush in a plot based on the book, “On... Read More →

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movie poster "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strange Tides"

“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strange Tides” opening tomorrow

The big summer movies are rolling into theaters. Tomorrow, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strange Tides,” opens in the U.S.  The fantasy adventure is the fourth installment in the “Pirates of the Caribbean”  film series. The movie is based on the book from 1987, “On Strange Tides,” by Tim Powers. Today over on the publishing site Galleycat, Powers talks about his fantasy  book, how it got optioned by Disney, and more here.

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Disney Studios in Burbank

Protesters arrested at the Walt Disney lot in Burbank

Two protesters, dressed as Minnie and Mickey Mouse, chained themselves to a gate at the Walt Disney Studios today, according to the Los Angeles Times. The costumed activists reportedly were protesting because of a fiber in Disney’s children’s books, which they say is from endangered Indonesian rain forests. Updated: 2:15 p.m. A short while ago, Burbank Police sent out a press release about the incident saying four demonstrators were arrested at Disney this morning.  The cops arrived at the entertainment company on south Buena Vista Boulevard around 7 a.m. The police along with... Read More →

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book cover of "Heaven is for Real: A little Boyis Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back"

Movie deal for bestseller “Heaven is for Real”

Another bestselling book is headed to the big screen. Sony Pictures has bought screen rights to “Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of his His Trip to Heaven and Back,” according to This book claims to be the true adventures of a four-year -old boy who leaves his body during emergency surgery and takes a trip to heaven. Colton Burpo comments on the doctors in the operating room, his parents in the waiting area, and heaven; where he meets biblical characters and some relatives... Read More →

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