Sunday 7 April 2013

Month of Men Blog Tour: Simon Elkeles shares her dream casting for Leaving Paradise

I'm very excited to be taking part in the Simon & Schuster Month of Men blog tour featuring some of their fantastic new adult authors - Steph Campbell, Jennifer Echols, Simone Elkeles, Abbi Glines and Nicole Williams. The tour is to celebrate all of the fantastic new adult books that these authors have coming out in the UK over the next few months (you can see a list of the books and have a look at the fabulous UK covers in my post here).

I have an absolutely fabulous guest post for you from one of my favourite authors Simone Elkeles that I can't wait to share with you. I absolutely love Simone's Fuentes Brothers trilogy Perfect Chemistry, Rules of Attraction & Chain Reaction (links take you to my reviews) and I also really enjoyed Leaving Paradise (see my review here) when I read it a couple of years ago. Leaving Paradise is being republished in the UK with a gorgeous new cover and Simon & Schuster will be bringing the sequel, Return to Paradise, to the UK for the first time and I can't wait to read it! Have a look at the fab new covers and let me know what you think:

Leaving Paradise:
Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel and hit Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad - her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares - has been cancelled. After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb's free ...if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers.

But despite the horror of their shared history, somehow Caleb and Maggie can't seem to stay away from each other, with the heat and attraction between them becoming undeniable to them both. Feeling like outsiders, they find comfort in each other, they realise that sometimes the person who hurts you most, can be the person who heals you too.

Return to Paradise:
Caleb Becker left Paradise eight months ago, taking with him the secret he promised to take to his grave. If the truth got out, it would ruin everything.

Maggie Armstrong tried to be strong after Caleb broke her heart and disappeared. Somehow, she managed to move on. She's determined to make a new life for herself.

But then Caleb and Maggie are forced together on a summer trip. They try ignoring their passion for each other, but buried feelings resurface. Caleb must face the truth about the night of Maggie's accident, or the secret that destroyed their relationship will forever stand between them.

Visit Simone Ekleles' website for more information

Now please give a huge welcome to Simone as she tells us all about her dream casting for Leaving Paradise if they ever make the series into a movie!


Simone Elkeles

As most of my fans can tell you, having a movie made out of any of my books would be an absolute dream come true! I think any author would say the same and admit that we all like to pretend that we would get to cast the movie for our book.

If I were to get to choose the cast for Leaving Paradise THE MOVIE, this is who I would pick:

Maggie’s Mom: Lauren Graham:

Lauren Graham Paleyfest 2013

Maggie’s mom is super sweet and just wants the best for her daughter. She’s so busy paying attention to Maggie that she doesn’t even notice what’s happening in her own life. I think Lauren Graham did an amazing job playing the mom in the TV show Gilmore Girls, so that’s why I think she would be perfect for this!

Mr. Reynolds: Patrick Dempsey:

Patrick Dempsey

Let’s face it, he’s hot and an amazing actor! I think he’ll be great at being the son for grouchy old Mrs. Reynolds. Plus, he was in this awesome 80s movie when he was teen called “Can’t Buy Me Love.” If you haven’t seen it, you should!

Mrs. Reynolds: Shirley MacLaine:

Shirley MacLaine (2005)

Mrs. Reynolds is such an important part of the story that the actress who plays her has to get her character exactly right! No one plays a strong, wise and slightly cranky lady like Shirley MacLaine!

Kendra: Ashley Benson:

Ashley Benson, 2012

Kendra’s not exactly the villain of the story, but let’s face it, you’re not supposed to like her. Plus, the actress playing her has to be GORGEOUS! I think anyone who has seen Ashley Benson in Pretty Little Liars can agree that Ashley can pull it off on both counts!

Leah: Emma Watson:

Emma Watson GoF Premiere 2

Leah’s definitely a complicated character. Going from being Maggie’s best friend to a total Goth Chick means that she has some serious layers and secrets. After seeing what Emma Watson was able to do in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I know she’s the right girl for the job!

Caleb: Liam Hemsworth:

Liam Hemsworth 2, 2012

Caleb has so many internal struggles, that I would need an actor that could portray that inner monologue. After seeing Liam in The Hunger Games, I really think he would be able to display Caleb’s rough exterior, but still show the compassionate side of him as well! Plus, he’s not bad to look at…. ;)

Maggie: Leighton Meester:

Leighton Meester 2 by David Shankbone cropped

Maggie is beautiful outside and in! As a formerly popular girl turned outcast, she needs to be played by an actress who can take on all of Maggie’s insecurities. Seeing Leighton on Gossip Girl makes me believe she would be able to play through all of Maggie’s insecurities and show her transformation into a stronger person.

There you have it! My dream cast for Leaving Paradise! Now all I need is for someone to actually make the movie! Thanks for hosting me today!


Thanks so much for stopping by with such a fabulous guest post Simone, your dream cast looks great and I think they'd all work really well for the characters as I saw them when I was reading. I love Lauren Graham in Gilmore Girls and think she would be perfect as Maggie and who wouldn't think Liam Hemsworth would make a swoon worthy Caleb!

What do you all think of Simone's choices? Do you agree with her or do you have different actors in mind for some of the characters?

Don't forget to check out the rest of the Month of Men tour posts throughout April, you can find links to all of the posts so far by clicking on the image below.


  1. Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog and for your amazing reviews of my other books!!

  2. Hi Simone, thanks so much for stopping by and for the fabulous guest post! I love your casting for Leaving Paradise and I can't wait to read Return to Paradise :o)



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