Donovan Circus

Celebrate BURNED with a Book Signing at Viva La Cupcake!

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I’ll just go ahead and put it out there: You’re a liar if you don’t like cupcakes. I’m excited to announce Viva La Cupcake will be hosting my second book signing, this time to celebrate the release of BURNED. Each year for Earth Day, Grandin Village closes off the road, shops open up their doors, small businesses set up tents and table, and people are encouraged to walk along the street and talk to all the vendors. I’ll be right on the corner in front of the cupcake shop, so I’m pretty stoked!

Viva La Cupcake makes all kinds of amazing flavors (including gluten/sugar free by request). My favorite is by far the Black and White which is like a Hostess cupcake, though the S’mores, Apple Cobbler, and Blueberry always get me jazzed up, too. At my last book signing at Viva, Pennie (the owner) was kind enough to make themed cupcakes – cotton candy for the circus!

Readers will be able to buy paperback copies of all 3 of my books and since it’s Earth Day, I’ll have a QR code ready for the ebook versions, too! Each purchase (paperback or Kindle) will be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card! I’ll also have some bookmarks and other fun things at the table. If you’re in the Roanoke or surrounding area, I hope you stop by to say hello!

Liz Long Book Signing at Viva La Cupcake
Come celebrate with me!

Character Inspiration: Donovan Circus Lookalikes (Gabriel)

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We’re still going with the celebrity lookalikes for Donovan Circus characters. You can see other lookalikes at the following links for: Lucy SullivanSheffield DonovanFelix Hardy (Gifted) – Medved (Burned).

Today, however, we’re taking a closer look at Gabriel Knight, the bad boy turned reluctant hero. He’s an Empath, which means he can read other people’s emotions. He’s powerful too, in ways and reasons I won’t go into so that they’re a surprise if you ever want to read the series.

Gabriel also happens to be a love interest for our heroine, Lucy, and he’s that cocky type who makes no secret of going after what he wants. The only problem? He drives Lucy crazy, because his personality is both secretive and smarmy, his sarcasm constantly on the surface. He knows he’s hot and it makes him that much more fun to write. Honestly, Gabriel is one of my favorite characters to write because while I love his personality, his backstory really pushes him in becoming a more well-rounded man. Again, I don’t want to give everything away in case you want to read about him yourself, but there is so much more to him than meets the eye. He is the way he is for particular reasons and while he hasn’t always made the best choices (meaning he can be incredibly selfish), he’s doing what he can to make up for his mistakes.

So, let’s get started!

Jason Dohring
Jason Dohring

Jason Dohring is actually a huge inspiration behind Gabriel’s character. I started writing Gabriel long before I ever watched it, but Jason’s portrayal as Logan Echolls on Veronica Mars is spot on. Much like Logan Echolls, Gabriel comes off as a bit of a jerk, but when you peel back the layers and begin to understand what makes him tick, you grow to love him (at least that’s what my readers tell me!). The chemistry between Veronica and Logan is also inspiration, as the dialogue between them is very much Lucy and Gabriel. He’s arrogant and smarmy, sure, but he’s also more passionate and caring than he ever lets on. 

gabriel3
Luke Mitchell

The moment I saw Luke Mitchell appear on the CW’s The Tomorrow People in his leather jacket and mysterious background, I knew he’d make a great Gabriel. At 28, Luke Mitchell is the perfect age to play him, too. He’s got the look down, with tousled blond hair and just enough scruff to be sexy. I have no doubt he could play arrogant, as he’s definitely got the smartass yet intense personality that comes with being a lone wolf. 

Alex Pettyfer
Alex Pettyfer

Alex Pettyfer definitely looks like Gabriel. I mean, just look at that profile! He’s ridiculously hot, right? There’s a quietness about him that fits with Gabriel’s softer side – in his alone time when he’s avoiding people’s emotions, he tends to take long walks or hide in his camper to read (as opposed to hanging with the boys playing video games).

Garrett Hedlund
Garrett Hedlund

I’m cheating a little because I’ve had only 3 choices for each of my previous lookalikes, but the moment I saw this photo of Garrett Hedlund, I knew I had to include him on the Gabriel list. The blue eyes, the shaggy hair, the scruff, the soulful look…yeah. This guy could totally be Gabriel. He’s beautiful! 

So what do you think, any of these guys strike your fancy to play your favorite loner Empath? Or is there someone else tall, blond, and handsome you have in mind?

Book Trailer: GIFTED, A Donovan Circus Novel

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Told you there’d be another book trailer soon! If you have a minute (a minute and eleven seconds to be exact), I’d love for you to check out my new book trailer for the first book in the Donovan Circus Series, GIFTED. Original music by Jason Long (yep, my husband. Badass, right?).

Character Inspiration: Donovan Circus Lookalikes (Felix)

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In case you’ve missed my previous posts, we’re taking a look at my celebrity lookalikes for Donovan Circus characters. It’s been so fun! I spend a lot of time on Pinterest looking at food  or nerdy things, but I also like scanning through the celebrity pictures because it helps give me inspiration for characters. You can see the celebrity lookalikes for Lucy Sullivan here, Sheffield Donovan here, or Medved here.

Since I’ve covered the three biggest characters from BURNED, I thought I’d choose a bigger character from BURNED to look at today.

Dr. Felix James Hardy is my first villain from GIFTED. He’s quite the puzzle, as he is a human scientist with incredible knowledge about the gifted world. After an accident in the lab, he becomes obsessed with becoming gifted himself. The real problem, however, is that he tells Lucy the truth about her father, things that Sheffield never really planned to share with her. Felix might be a little crazy, but he’s one of the few willing to tell Lucy exactly how it is and what to expect, leaving her wondering who to trust.

I’ve explained a lot of his backstory in this post in case you want to know what makes him tick, so I won’t go into all the details again, but just know that he didn’t always start out as the bad guy. In fact, he’s the farthest thing from your typical bad guy.

He’s unusual, nonthreatening, a small, wiry nerd. In fact, he was bullied for most of his life, lending to the idea that no one would ever guess him to be as dangerous and evil as he really is. But scary villains don’t need to be super buff all the time. He relies on his brilliant mind, which can sometimes be even more dangerous than muscle.

Andrew Scott
Andrew Scott

Andrew Scott is my ideal Felix J. Hardy. He just looks the part; put a pair of wire-rimmed glasses on him and he’s perfect. You’ve seen him play Moriarty in Sherlock, sure, but I think Scott could do an amazing job playing that fine line of villain and victim. One minute he can be soft and unassuming, almost sympathetic, but then a mood swing shows his true psychopathic nature. Plus Scott looks whip-smart, which Felix certainly is, and could play that nerdy looking scientist who wants nothing more than to become gifted by his own hand. 

Steve Carell. Photograph: Eric Charbonneau/Invision
Steve Carell. Photograph: Eric Charbonneau/Invision

Steve Carell also looks very much like how I envision Felix (and he’s at the right age), plus I’d love to see if he could pull off the angry villain. Carell has that soft-spoken personality that fits with Felix’s bullied victim side and I know he could pull off that sly attitude that makes Lucy question everything she knows. 

Simon Pegg
Simon Pegg

Simon Pegg is another one who I’d love to see play a villain, just because I’ve never seen it before. Pegg is the right age and build, a guy that looks a bit of an unassuming, quiet nerd but could easily turn into a rage monster at the wrong word. I think Pegg could really pull off the “is he or isn’t he?” part of the character, leading people to think he might not be as bad as rumors make him out to be. 

So there you have it, my picks for Dr. Felix J. Hardy from GIFTED. Which of the three are your favorite, or do you envision someone else to play the part?