On the set interview with Nicholas Sparks #TheBestofMe

Back in May, I had the honor of joining a select group of bloggers in visiting the New Orleans set of Nicholas Sparks’ latest movie; The Best Of Me – based on his novel of the same name. The movie was on it’s last day of filming, taking place on one beautiful southern plantation.


The home owner was also on set, sharing that the plantation had been in their family since 1876, and that it’s mostly been re-done over the years, but they kept as much as they could. Like the shutters and big high windows, and they have big crown moldings and beautiful floor..

Having read “The Best of Me” before my visit, I felt the locations were almost as important to the story as each character. Judging from what I saw of this plantation, the movie version is getting it right. Not surprising at all – seeing as Nicholas Sparks is very present on set, overseeing each detail.


We as a group had the pleasure of sitting for an open Q&A with Nicholas Sparks, and conversing with him several times throughout our day on set. Below are a few of the highlights.

Blogger: Has the success of your movies changed the way you write your next book? Do you picture the movie?

Mr. Nicholas Sparks: Yes and no. There’s two parts to writing a novel, really, if you break it down. You have the thinking of the story–the period prior to writing. And then you have the moments when you write. So, when you’re thinking of a story, yes, I do take sometimes the film into account, not necessarily my own, but other films as well, for instance.
And that’s just so that I can be original. I don’t want to do something that feels unoriginal. So, it’s got be original for both a novel and original for film, and so you want to do that.

Blogger: Differences between the book and movie?
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: Differences–.
Blogger: –And are you okay with them?
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: Yes.
Blogger: Do you have a say?
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: Yes, the differences between the book and the movie–of course there are always differences. You know, film is a very different medium, in general.
So, because they’re different mediums, you have to kind of go into the whole project knowing that some things work better on film than they do in books. And some things conversely work better in books than they do on film…

Blogger: You said briefly that the inspiration for the story was something–an experience you had, like, when–.
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: –Personal.
Blogger: Yes, it’s a personal experience. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: I was in my 40s when I wrote The Best Me, and I think the 40s are a very interesting period of peoples’ lives. It’s like, if you’re in your 20s and your 30s, you kind of believe that your dreams can come true. You’ll meet the right guy, or you’ll be famous, or whatever your dreams are. I’ll have the house with the white picket–it doesn’t matter what they are. I’ll have kids, or whatever. Okay. So, you go through your 20s and 30s, and there’s a part of you that just knows it’s still–you still got a shot here. Well, in your 50s, 60s, and 70s, you kind of reach a point where you’re looking back and say, well, maybe they didn’t all come true, right.. I’m never going to be an astronaut.


Blogger: I guess it’s the acknowledgments or right before the book, you said that this was a really hard book for you to write.
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: Yes.
Blogger: So, was that because of the topic or because of the writing?
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: No, no, no. It was a really challenging book because I worked exceedingly hard on it, and it was originally structured a little bit like Nights in Rodanthe. So, it was Amanda, and then she’s looking back on these events of maybe two or three years earlier. And you tell this story. And then the last part of the book, I unwound the story, right? I didn’t know how to do it the other way. And so, my editor read the novel and she said, that doesn’t work. You need to keep this story linear without a flashback. And the reason I didn’t do it linear in the first place was because I didn’t know how to do it in the first place. And the real challenge was, if you’re running parallel stories, you’ve got a Dawson story going on, and then you’ve got an Amanda story going on. In the Dawson story, it was tremendously fast-paced. He’s seeing something, he’s taken off running, there’s bad guys chasing, there’s fights, it’s a lot of just, wow, page-turning excitement. Amanda’s story, conversely, was sitting in a hospital. If anyone has ever sat in a hospital when you’re really, really worried about whoever you’re there for and really, really worried, what does time do?
Bloggers: Stops.
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: Stops.

When asked about sad endings:

Mr. Nicholas Sparks: I tend to do that in a lot of my novels, right?
Blogger: Yes.

Mr. Nicholas Sparks: What is the purpose of literature? What is the purpose of any particular genre? What’s the purpose of a horror novel? To scare you. Okay. What’s the purpose of a thriller novel? To thrill you. What’s the purpose of a romance novel, which is not what I do? To allow you flights into romantic fantasy. What is the purpose of a mystery? To uncover who done it, right? They all have purposes. What’s the purpose of what I do? The purpose of what I do is to move the reader through the entire range of human emotion. So, that includes love, but you should also feel Amanda’s confusion. You should feel Dawson’s struggle. You should feel the frustration, the choice. You should feel what they’re going through, so that by the time you close the cover, you’re not thrilled or scared, and it wasn’t necessarily just a straight romantic fantasy.

You kind of feel as if you lived–.

Blogger: –Yes.
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: –A full life between the covers. And so, you have to cover all of the emotions of life, because if you leave one out, then it’s fantasy. It doesn’t really feel real. So, unfortunately, in case you’re not aware, sadness will be part of all of your lives. It’s just hard–.

Blogger: Where do you get your inspiration for the characters?
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: Inspiration can come from anywhere. They’ve been drawn from people that I know, from stories. But, generally, there are bits in people–every character–you search for their voice, and then their voice helps to define them. So, the inspiration is not in one fell swoop. It’s usually in more like bits and pieces, like maybe she’s quiet. And then you do the voice and say, well, maybe she’s even quieter than I thought, or maybe she talks more. And little by little, they come to life.

Blogger: At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer? Or when you knew you were a writer?
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: Totally different. If you ask my college roommates, they’ll say when I was 19 to 20, because I’d written a novel between my freshman and sophomore years of college. I lived with a group of guys, still good friends, and they say, oh, you talked about being a writer all the time. So, they would say, he knew when he was 20 that that’s what he was going to do. Part of me said, there’s no way I’ll ever make a living at doing that. So, it might have been more of a want than anything that was based in reality. I majored in business finance. I mean, you know? So, I guess then it was probably into halfway through Message in a Bottle that I knew I could be a writer, because you didn’t know if The Notebook was a fluke, and you had to know if you could do it a second time. So, it was somewhere around 1990. If The Notebook–I sold it in ’95. Probably somewhere in the spring of ’97. So, right around then.


Based on the bestselling novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they’ve never forgotten, but soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today. Spanning decades, this epic love story captures the enduring power of our first true love, and the wrenching choices we face when confronted with elusive second chances.

In theaters October 17th!

Stay social with The Best of Me!

Follow on  Facebook: http://Facebook.com/bestofmemovie
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/bestofmemovie
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/BestofMeMovie/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/BestOfMeMovie
Tumblr: http://thebestofmemovie.tumblr.com/

Nicholas Sparks on the set of the Best Of Me

Watch for more about my “The Best of Me” set visit to be posted soon, including interviews with James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Liana Liberato, Luke Bracey.

I am working with Relativity Media, and Big Honcho Media on promotion of this film. Travel, food and lodging were provided in exchange for my coverage. All opinions expressed are still honest and my own.

Amy Dunne is missing. Her Pinterest page has been found. #GoneGirl #Giveaway


Gone Girl’s Amy Dunne has a Pinterest account you can explore. In the upcoming movie thriller Gone Girl by David Fincher, ‘Amazing Amy’ Dunne (Rosamund Pike) has gone missing and all eyes are on her husband Nick (Ben Affleck.). As evidence mounts and speculation rises, Amy’s past is coming into focus on Pinterest. What was she like? What were her interests? Did she leave any clues?


Explore for yourself at http://bit.ly/AmyDunne.

About the film

Directed by David Fincher and based upon the global bestseller by Gillian Flynn – unearths the secrets at the heart of a modern marriage. On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?

Release: October 3, 2014
Director: David Fincher
Screenplay by: Gillian Flynn, based upon the novel written by Gillian Flynn
Produced by: Arnon Milchan, Joshua Donen, Reese Witherspoon, Ceán Chaffin
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry

Official Website | Facebook |Twitter | Google+ | #GoneGirl


I’m really looking forward to seeing this movie. I’m about half way through the book, and LOVING it. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out on screen. Judging from the talented people behind and in-front of the camera, I’m betting it’s going to be really good.

Enter to win!

One lucky Five Dollar Shake reader will win the movie tie-in edition of the book and $25 Visa gift card to see the movie when it opens. Enter to win by using the widget below. You’ll need a valid email address to enter. One winner will be chosen and contacted by email on October 1st. Winner must be 18+ and living in the U.S. No PO Boxes.

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FTC Disclosure: Information was provided as part of an ongoing relationship in which free products and compensation are often received. All opinions expressed are honest and my own. Sponsor to handle all prizing.

A Look back @ Rose Byrne, Enter to win a #NeighborsMovie Blu-ray Combo Pack


Rose Byrne has developed into one of Hollywood’s most versatile actresses. The Australian beauty has played numerous roles, from her goody-too shoes portrayal of Helen in Bridesmaids, to her roles in horror films like 28 Weeks Later and Insidious, she has shown the ability to effortlessly transition from one character to the next.

In Neighbors, Rose Byrne plays Kelly, the loving wife to Mac (Seth Rogen) and mother to their adorable baby Stella (Elise & Zoey Vargas). While it’s Rogen that’s typically known for his comedic chops, Rose more than holds her own in the film, often stealing scenes from the rest of the hilariously funny cast. The great thing about Rose playing Kelly, is that she gets to break the typical Mom and wife mold seen in most raunchy comedies. Instead of being the responsible adult who always looks to straighten out her kids and goofball husband, she’s often taking part and even playing a leading role in the debauchery that takes place in the film.

In celebration of the DVD & Blu-ray release of Neighbors on September 23rd, we take a look back at the moments that made Rose Byrne our girl crush.

One of the most memorable scenes from 2011 comedy hit Bridesmaids is the scene in which Annie and Helen are giving toast speeches at Lillian’s cocktail reception to celebrate her upcoming wedding. Annie & Helen trade off giving increasingly ridiculous toasts to the bride, in an effort to out-do one another. The fact that Byrne is able to hold her one, and even one-up the ever-funny Kristen Wig served as a testament to just how funny she could be.

2011’s X-Men: First Class served as a rejuvenating entry for the X-Men film franchise. The introduction of new characters, along with a new era and setting helped to reinvigorate the franchise. Much of the success if then film can be attributed to the stellar cast that assembled to bring the iconic comicbook characters to life. Rose Byrne plays the role of Dr. Moira MacTaggart, a genetics doctor who is willing to do whatever it takes to get answers. In what is one of the risqué scenes of her career, she smoothly and seductively works a room of politicians in nothing but lingerie. Her persistence pays off, as she is able to sneak away from the party and get the answers she needs.

Rose Byrne plays Scarlet, an Army doctor helping to rebuild Europe after the outbreak of the Rage Virus in 2007’s zombie film, 28 Weeks Later. The follow up film to Danny Boyle’s classic 28 Days Later is viewed as one of the better horror sequels of all time. A large reason the film being so widely loved is the on-screen charisma of Rose, as well as the break out performance of Jeremy Renner as Sergeant Doyle. Amidst the chaos of the zombie outbreak in the film, Scarlet shows she’s a tough cookie as she disposes of an infected soldier with a well timed headshot. This is hardly the first time Rose has handled a gun, as you will see in the next entry.

Rose Byrne became a household name with her portrayal of Ellen Parsons in FX’s hit series, Damages. Despite acting alongside one of Hollywood’s most iconic actresses in Glenn Close, Rose had a number of outstanding scenes that proved to audiences that she had one of a kind talent. While her character at times was that of a victim in the show, there wasn’t a more powerful scene than when she took a stand against domestic violence and protected her mother from her father, offering to shoot him in any limb he preferred. Her pointing a gun at him and emphatically telling him to “get the f*ck out” was one of the most talked about scenes from the show.

BD_Neighbors_OCard_2D - Resized

Good fences aren’t nearly enough to keep things neighborly when a non-stop rager breaks out in the suburbs next door to sleep-deprived new parents in the comedy blockbuster, Neighbors, available on DIGITAL HD August 12, 2014 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. The outrageously funny comedy will arrive on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack including Blu-ray™, DVD, Digital HD with UltraViolet™ and On Demand September 23, 2014. Both the Digital HD and Blu-ray™ include a never-before-seen uproarious Alternate Opening that Yahoo! Movies’ Kevin Polowy hails as “explosively funny.” The Alternate Opening reveals just how the boys of Delta Psi Beta came to suburbia. The Neighbors Blu-ray™ Combo Pack will also include additional bonus features including a Gag Reel, Line-O-Rama, Behind The Scenes interviews and more.

By all appearances, new parents Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly Radner (Rose Byrne) are living the American Dream – complete with an adorable baby girl and a beautiful new starter home in the suburbs. Still, the early-thirtysomethings want to believe they have a modicum of coolness left within them. So when they discover that their new next-door neighbors are none other than dozens of Delta Psi Beta fraternity brothers led by charismatic president Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron), they try to make the best of an awkward situation. But when the frat’s parties grow increasingly more epic, both sides of the property line begin to fend for their turf. The neighbors’ relentless sabotage escalates into outrageous one-upmanship, beginning a Greek war for the ages. Also stars Dave Franco and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.

Enter to Win!

One Five Dollar Shake reader will win a Neighbors Blu-ray Combo Pack. Enter to win by using the widget below. You’ll need a valid email address to enter. One winner will be chosen and contacted by email on October 3rd. Winner must be 18+ and live within the U.S. or Canada. No PO Boxes.

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FTC Disclosure: Information was provided as part of an ongoing relationship in which free products and compensation are often received. All opinions expressed are honest and my own. Sponsor to handle all prizing.

“This is Where I Leave You” New TV spot & Prize Pack giveaway #TIWILY

A couple of weeks ago I shared the movie poster, trailer and book club information for “This is Where I Leave You”. Now I have a fun new TV spot and prize package giveaway to share with my readers.

About the film:
When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide—driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.

Check out this new TV spot!

This Is Where I Leave You stars Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard and Jane Fonda
Based on the novel “This Is Where I Leave You” by Jonathan Tropper.


As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I’m planning to read this book. It’s now next on my list! I’m also really looking forward to seeing the movie.

This is Where I Leave You in theaters September 19!

Visit the official website
Like This is Where I Leave You on Facebook

Enter to win!
One Five Dollar Shake reader will win a This is Where I Leave You Prize Package.


Prize package Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures includes:

  • $25 Visa gift card to see the film in theaters
  • Tote & Mug

Enter to win by using the widget below. You’ll need a valid email address to enter. One winner will be chosen and contacted by email on October 1st. Winner must be 18+ and live within the U.S. No PO boxes please.

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FTC Disclosure: Information was provided as part of an ongoing relationship in which free products and compensation are often received. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.

New DVD & Blu-ray Coupons

Print them now while you can. The closer we get to the holiday’s (yes, I said holiday’s) the more sales we’ll see.

$3.00 off Nothing Left to Fear, No One Lives Movie $5.00 off Spartacus Seasons 1-4 Blu-ray™ or dvd $3.00 off Words & Pictures on DVD or Blu-ray

The Maze Runner featurette & prize pack giveaway #MazeRunner

A couple of weeks ago I shared the trailer for The Maze Runner, in theaters September 19th. This week I have a fun featurette and giveaway to share with my readers.

Meet the Gladers

About the film:
When Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape. Based upon the best-selling novel by James Dashner.

Rated: PG-13
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee
Directed By: Wes Ball
Produced By: Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen

Get Social with The Maze Runner!

Visit the Official Website
Like ‘The Maze Runner’ on Facebook
Follow @MazeRunnerMovie on Twitter
Follow on Google+, Instagram, YouTube

The Maze Runner will be in theaters September 19th.

Enter to win!

One Five Dollar Shake reader will win a The Maze Runner prize pack.


Prize Pack courtesy of 20th Century Fox includes:

  • $25 Visa gift card to see the film in theaters
  • Copy of the book (movie tie-in cover)
  • Money Maze

Enter to win by using the widget below. You’ll need a valid email address to enter. One winner will be chosen and contacted by email on October 1st. Winner must be 18+ and live within the U.S. No PO boxes please.

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FTC Disclosure: Information was provided as part of an ongoing relationship in which free products and compensation are often received. All opinions expressed are honest and my own. Sponsor to handle all prizing.

Bruce Campbell bringing ‘The Evil Dead’ to TV


Three decades ago the book “The Evil Dead” was developed into a cult movie classic, which was followed by two sequels and a 2013 reboot, now the franchise will return as a TV series.

The original movie’s writer and director, Sam Raimi, made the announcement at San Diego Comic-Con. Along with his brother Ivan Raimi, the two plan to write the series with original star, Bruce Campbell.

More exciting for horror fans is the fact that Campbell confirmed to a fan on Twitter that he intended to star in the series, or at least “that’s the plan.”

Campbell made an appearance in the 2013 Evil Dead reboot in a scene after the credits, lifting his head from the darkness and saying his classic line from The Evil Dead II, “Groovy,” after a voice-over recited this portentous line from the first film: “I have seen the dark shadows moving in the woods and I have no doubt that whatever I have resurrected through this book is sure to come calling for me.” That the cameo spun the rumors of Campbell’s return to the film series, though currently no other film sequels appear to be in the works.

I’m not only a fan of The Evil Dead franchise, but of pretty much all things Bruce. So, it’s a sure thing that I’ll be watching. What about you? If it happens, will you watch?

Life of Crime, in theaters, on demand & on iTunes now! #Giveaway #LifeofCrime

When a pair of low-level criminals kidnap the wife of a corrupt real-estate developer, they get both more and less than they bargained for in Life of Crime, a dark caper comedy based on legendary author Elmore Leonard’s novel The Switch. Starring Jennifer Aniston, John Hawkes, yasiin bey, Mark Boone Junior, Isla Fisher, Will Forte and Tim Robbins, Life of Crime is packed with the outrageously eccentric characters, black comedy and unexpected twists that earned Leonard a reputation as one of America’s sharpest and funniest crime writers.

life_of_crime_movie poster

Mickey Dawson (Jennifer Aniston), the wife of crooked real-estate developer Frank Dawson (Tim Robbins), is kidnapped by two common criminals (yasiin bey and Jon Hawkes), who intend to hold her for a $1 million ransom and extort her husband with inside information about his illegal business dealings. But Frank, who is holed up in the Bahamas with his mistress, decides he’d rather not get his wife back, setting off a sequence of double-crosses and plot twists that could only come from the mind of master storyteller Elmore Leonard.

You can see Life of Crime now, playing in theaters, on demand and iTunes, as of August 29th!

Check out the fun Blog App & Watch the action packed new trailer for Life Of Crime.

One Five Dollar Shake reader will win a $15 Fandango gift card! Enter to win by using the widget below. One winner will be chosen and contacted by email on 9/24/14.

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The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please. Five Dollar Shake is working with Life Of Crime, all assets included within this blog post were delivered to promote the film.

Each household is only eligible to win $15 Fandango Gift Card via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

7 Things on Sunday

Seven things I’ve done over the past seven days.


1. Was sad to see True Blood come to an end.
2. Took my daughter, and granddaughter to the movies to see Maleficent, again.
3. Hosted a fun get together with family and friends at our house.
4. Laughed until we both cried over geeky, hashtag jokes while watching Batman with my daughter.
5. Enjoyed a fun overnight visit with old friends.
6. Watched my husband teach our teenage daughter how to shoot a gun.
7. Did a little riffle shooting with them, and then shot my first pistol.

Strawberry Shortcake Berry Best Friends Free Coloring Sheet & DVD + Digital Giveaway @FHEInsiders

It’s friends first for Strawberry Shortcake and her favorite gal pals in Berry Best Friends! When Orange Blossom’s general store overflows with a new line of fruits and veggies, she tries to handle all of the details without any help from others, and, as a result, she’s exhausted! Strawberry is excited to be building a new marketplace, but has a tough time learning how to graciously say, “no, thank you.” Both soon learn that talking about what you need is the berry best thing to do. When the BFFs form a new band called Strawberry and the Sweet Beats, they’re all jazzed to head out on the road…except for Orange, who is afraid to admit that she doesn’t want to leave home. Once she tells her friends how she feels, she’s ready to set out for a rockin’ good time!


Available on DVD September 16, 2014!

DVD Special Features

  • Printable Coloring Page
  • Bonus Digital Copy of Berry Best Friends
  • Bonus Digital Copy of Strawberry Shortcake: The Sweet Dreams Movie (for limited time)

I also have the below coloring sheet to share with my readers. Fun for any sweet Strawberry Shortcake fan!

FOX 1270 SS Berry Best Friends Coloroing Sheet_FM

Enter to Win!

One lucky Five Dollar Shake reader will win a free copy Strawberry Shortcake- Berry Best Friends on DVD + Digital!
Enter to win by using the widget below. You’ll need a valid email address to enter. One winner will be chosen and contacted by email on 9/19/14. Winner must 18+ and living in the U.S. or Canada.

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FTC Disclosure: I am a Fox Home Entertainment Insider. I receive free products and other benefits as part of this partnership. All opinions expressed are still honest and my own. This post contains no affiliate links