Showing posts with label V.C. Andrews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label V.C. Andrews. Show all posts

Thursday, March 24, 2022

[Review] - Becoming My Sister by V.C. Andrews

I have talked about my love for Flowers in the Attic, its three sequels (Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday), and the standalone tale My Sweet Audrina, all written by the late great V.C. Andrews (1923 - 1986), many times over the years on this blog. When it comes to the ghostwritten novels by Andrew Neiderman, my reviews tend to be repetitive because I have to spend two-thirds explaining to readers about the ghostwriter. Since most V.C. Andrews fans already know Mr. Neiderman has been writing under her name for thirty-six years, I'm jumping right into my final thoughts for Becoming My Sister.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

[Review] - The Woman Beyond the Attic: The V.C. Andrews Story

I've started, deleted, and restarted this review multiple times, and finally, I decided not to sugarcoat my thoughts, unlike many other bloggers who also received an ARC copy. Yes, I read a few other reviews before penning my own. It's pretty obvious that either they didn't read the book. Or they gave it a good rating only because they received an ARC. Seriously, where is your integrity? I expect this from mainstream critics but not from bloggers.

As the title, The Woman Beyond the Attic: The V.C. Andrews Story, suggests, this is the real-life story of gothic author V.C. Andrews (1923 - 1986), who wrote the mega-bestseller Flowers in the Attic. Andrew Neiderman wrote the biography, a.k.a. the ghostwriter who keeps churning out new stories under V.C. Andrews's name. Now here comes my first issue with the book - Andrew Neiderman! 

Andrew Neiderman used to be a decent horror writer, but his writing skills have gone downhill in the last ten to fifteen years. Let me rephrase that, Neiderman's writing sucks. Let me repeat myself - I'm not sugarcoating anything.  

The Woman Beyond the Attic begins with a 28-paged preface. Yes, you read that correctly - 28-pages. The biography is only 150 pages! Let me tell you - it's a pain to read. It's not a biography in any sense. Instead, Neiderman complies together public interviews, letters, and information that you can either 'google' or find on Wikipedia. The timeline and facts are disjointed, creating a chaotic mess to follow. I wonder if Andrew Neiderman has ever read a single biography in his life because he doesn't have the know-how to write one.

Repetition! I lost count at how many times Neiderman repeated quotes, stories, and events, word by word. Was Neiderman trying to fill up the word count? Why? Did Neiderman have enough facts to write a full biography, or is Neiderman just a bad writer? You be the judge.

The rest of the book features the supposedly only unfinished novel by V.C. Andrews, The Obsessed. It's roughly 88 pages, minus a few blank pages between chapters, and if the legend is correct, the first draft was around 800 pages. In a letter written in February 1981, V.C. Andrews told her brother that the novel's release date was September 1981. Now, this is where the facts get confusing. If The Obsessed's planned release date was in six months, wouldn't the first or second draft already be completed and in the hands of the editor?  

Long before Flowers in the Attic, V.C. Andrews published the short story, My Uncle on My Wedding Night, under an unknown pseudonym in a pulp-confession magazine. Nobody has ever found a copy, but there is finally evidence that it did exist. In the very back of The Woman Beyond the Attic, there's part of a submission letter to The Do-It-Yourself Romance for a new version of the story, retitled Love's Savage Desire. The first three chapters and the last two chapters are featured.  

Lastly, the poems "Golden Things" and "Regretting" are included at the very end of the book. 

Final Thoughts

I wanted to give Andrew Neiderman the benefit of the doubt and had hoped this biography would be decent. Sadly, that's not the case. It feels half-heartedly written. The overly long preface feels more like a biography than the actual biography. I wished the V.C. Andrews estate and Gallery Books had hired a professional biographer instead of rehiring Andrew Neiderman. Yeah, I get it. Neiderman is the ghostwriter, so he should be the perfect choice to pen V.C. Andrews's biography. Right? Wrong! The last dozen or so ghostwritten titles have been lazy and sloppy. And, Neiderman's streak of horrible writing continues.  

The Woman Beyond the Attic has zero new information about V.C. Andrews that I didn't already know via the internet. The only two things of any interest in this book are the several never-seen-before photos and The Obsessed, but they're not enough for me to recommend the book to other readers.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

[Review] - Out of the Rain by V.C. Andrews

The newest ghostwritten V.C. Andrews novel, Out of the Rain, was published last month by Gallery Books. It's the sequel to "The Umbrella Lady" (here's the link to my review if anyone wants to read it) written by Andrew Neiderman - otherwise known as the ghostwriter. After V.C. Andrews died in 1986, her family and publisher hired Andrew Neiderman (The Devil's Advocate) to write the Flowers in the Attic prequel Garden of Shadows, based on Ms. Andrews' notes, and finish the Casteel series. Since then, Mr. Neiderman has penned each new V.C. Andrews title, who just celebrated his 81st birthday in October.

Friday, February 12, 2021

[Review] - The Umbrella Lady by V. C. Andrews

It's been over 34 years since the death of author V. C. Andrews, but that hasn't stopped her publisher from releasing new books with her name printed on the covers. After her death, the Andrews family picked horror author Andrew Neiderman to complete her unfinished manuscripts and write new stories inspired by her works.

Now available to own from Gallery Books is the newest V. C. Andrews novel - The Umbrella Lady. If my memory serves me right, this novel was supposed to be published a year or so ago but got delayed for some reason, though I could be wrong. And I was under the impression it would be a standalone novel, and as it turns out, it isn't because there's a sneak peek in the back of the book for the sequel - Out of the Rain.

The Umbrella Lady is set in modern times, though you wouldn't know this by glancing at the cover because it features a woman and girl wearing outfits from the 1930s. The story begins with a man leaving his eight-year-old daughter, Saffron Faith Anders, at a train platform. An older woman carrying an umbrella comes to her rescue and invites her to stay at her house until her father returns. With no other option, Saffron accepts the invitation. Her father will come for her soon. Right?

If you have ever read a V. C. Andrews book, you know things are never as they seem. What turns into only a few days turns into years. Young Saffron seeks out to discover why her father left her with a controlling old lady.


Final Thoughts

Let's face the facts: the last few ghostwritten V. C. Andrews books have been stinkers! Many fans, including me, have criticized Andrew Neiderman's storytelling or the lack thereof. The real V. C. Andrews had a natural talent for writing gothic descriptions, which, sadly, has been missing from Neiderman's recent outings.

So, is The Umbrella Lady worth reading?

It's an improvement for Andrew Niederman, if that means anything to anyone. At least it's an original story that doesn't borrow from the past. (FYI: I'm referring to the unnecessary and incoherent Flowers in the Attic prequels.) I read an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy), so I'm not going to nitpick any errors from it. The narration is from the point-of-view of an adult Saffron, who's looking back and telling us the story. Well, at least that's the vibe I am getting from it.

How are the descriptions?

The descriptions are generic at best but better than the recent ghostwritten titles. However, the storytelling is a far cry from the real V. C. Andrews's gothic touch. As a reader, I want to see, feel, and smell the atmosphere. The majority of this tale takes place in or around a house, and for some reason, Neiderman decided not to describe it. Instead of descriptions, the author focused more on dialogue.

Overall, The Umbrella Lady is an intriguing start to a new series. It's far from being perfect, but at least it's not a complete disaster. I could nitpick the crap out of this book, but there's no point in me doing so. I thought the young protagonist was interesting. For the most part, I did enjoy the story. The big twist was predictable. Had it went another way, I wouldn't have liked it as much.

All in all, The Umbrella Lady is a decent read.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Review - Whispering Hearts by V. C. Andrews

I grew up with the original V. C. Andrews novels. My mother, grandmothers, and an aunt read The Dollanganger Family series in the 1980s. During my childhood, I remember everyone gathering together to watch the original Flowers in the Attic film adaptation on a rented VHS, and I also recall everyone being disappointed with it. In the early 2000s, my late grandmother stopped collecting V. C. Andrews books after learning Andrew Neiderman was the ghostwriter. Before inheriting her collection, I first read Flowers in the Attic after finding a hardback at a thrift store. And throughout the rest of the 2000s, I read all of V.C. Andrews's original writings, as well as many of Andrew Neiderman's ghostwritten installments.

Gallery Books
released Whispering Hearts, the long-delayed third installment in the House of Secrets series by V. C. Andrews (or otherwise known as the ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman), in early November. Even though I've been disappointed (and critical) of Neiderman's recent outings, I still wanted to read Whispering Hearts, which serves as a prequel to House of Secrets and Echoes in the Walls.

Whispering Hearts centers on Emma Corey, aka the mother of Fern from previous books. Emma's story begins with her leaving her strict father's home in England and traveling to New York City to become a dancer. Her dreams of becoming a Broadway star quickly turns into tears. Nearly broke, she agrees to be a surrogate mother for Dr. Davenport and his wife, Samantha. They allow her to live with them at the Wyndemere House during the pregnancy.  Sounds simple enough, right?

If you've already read House of Secrets and Echoes in the Walls, then you'll know what happens to Emma. And, no, she never becomes a Broadway dancer. 

Final Thoughts

Well, at least Whispering Hearts is better written than the recent godawful (and unnecessary) Flowers in the Attic prequels. That's not saying much about the ghostwriter, Andrew Neiderman, because he has written many stinkers under the V. C. Andrews name over the last 10+ years.

Whispering Hearts works well as a prequel to the House of Secrets series, but that's if you've read them. If you're a casual reader, then you're going to it think it's dull and full of cliches. The plot of a young woman moving to the big city to become a dancer has been overdone in books and movies. So if you're looking for a fresh plot, then you're going to be disappointed.

The blurb states, "From V. C. Andrews comes unputdownable gothic novel of big city dreams gone wrong." Now there's nothing gothic about the book. Andrew Neiderman lost his gothic edge a long time ago, and "unputdownable" must be a hidden joke. The writing style is generic at best. It's more of a fluff bargain bin read than a gothic thriller. Nothing is thrilling about the story. It's just a melodrama with lots (and I mean lots) of cringy dialogue.

Overall, Whispering Hearts is neither good or bad. For me, it falls in the middle of the road. Yes, it's a step above the recent Flowers in the Attic prequels, but it lands nearly par with the House of Secrets and Echoes in the Walls. If you're one of the diehard V. C. Andrews loyalists who devours anything published under the late author's name, then you might enjoy Whispering Hearts. However, everyone else will see it either as a failed attempt by Andrew Neiderman or another cash grab by the publisher.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Review - Shadows of Foxworth by V.C. Andrews (Andrew Neiderman)

The name V.C. Andrews use to mean something to readers, even long after the real V.C. Andrews’s death. The original Flower in the Attic books (otherwise known as The Dollanganger Family series) were dark and beautifully written masterpieces, minus the prequel, Garden of Shadows, which the ghostwriter, Andrew Neiderman, finished. Despite the series having a beginning and ending, the publishers decided there needed to be side-sequels and more prequels. Instead of hiring a new ghostwriter with Gothic talents, they stuck with the aging Andrew Neiderman, whose writing skills have diminished in recent years. 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Review - Out of the Attic by V.C. Andrews

*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% mine.
Available on Paperback and Kindle!

The newest V.C. Andrews' book, Out of the Attic, was released last week from Gallery Books, which is the 10th book in the Dollanganger Saga/Family series that originally began in 1979 with Flowers in the Attic. That story involved four children being forced to live in an attic by a greedy mother and their crazy grandmother. Toss in a bit of incest into the mix, the novel turned became a bestseller despite being challenged by schools and libraries due to its dark themes. Three sequels were published before V.C. Andrews' death in 1986. A ghostwriter, Andrew Neiderman, was hired to finish writing the prequel novel, Garden of Shadows, and to continue the Casteel series, as well as penning all future V.C. Andrews' titles.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Review - Beneath the Attic by V.C. Andrews

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

"Once upon time, there was four siblings who were forced by their mother to live in their grandparent's attic for nearly 3 ½ years. Thanks to a crazed grandmother, rat poison, and a little bit of incest, the children's experience in the attic was a nightmare."

Does the story sound familiar?

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Fall Reads: Whitefern by V.C. Andrews

Pocket Books; 368 pages; $7.99; Amazon
I believe almost every reader has heard of the author of V.C. Andrews or has read one of her books. Ms. Andrews got the attention of the world when her first "Dollanganger"novel (Flower in the Attic) was published in 1979. Teenagers and some adult readers couldn't get enough of the Gothic novel about four siblings being forced to live in an attic, though many libraries and schools banned the title and it's sequels due to the "taboo" love story.

In 1982, the standalone novel "My Sweet Audrina" was published. It centered on a young girl, Audrina, who was forced to live in her older sister's footsteps (the First Audrina), well, so she thought so. If you've read the book, then you are well aware how the story goes. I'm not going to spoil it for others; however, you can read my review for it here. (The water-down made-for-Lifetime movie aired earlier this year.)

After V.C. Andrews passed away in 1986, her family decided to let a ghostwriter, Andrew Neiderman, finish the books she was working on at the time of her death and to continue writing other novels under her name.

Fast-forward to 2016, Andrew Neiderman is still ghostwriting all V.C Andrews titles; though the Gothic-vibe from the V.C. Andrews' original novels are long gone, with many of the recent releases receiving mixed to negative feedback from diehard fans.The newest V.C. Andrews' release is Whitefern, the long-awaited to sequel to My Sweet Audrina.

(Warning: Spoilers!) Set several years after the ending of My Sweet Audrina, the novel opens up with the death of Audrina's father, Damian Jonathan Adare. She doesn't have much time to mourn as she has to help her autistic sister, Sylvia, deal with their father's death. However, it's more difficult than what she could ever imagined due to Sylvia's odd behavior of sitting in rocking chair in the First Audrina's bedroom, where the young woman claims to hear the voice of their father; telling her that a baby is coming.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Winter Reads: Sage's Eyes by V.C. Andrews

Retail: $7.99; 400 pages
If you're an avid reader of this blog, then there's a good chance that you've seen a few reviews for V.C. Andrews' titles on here. My late grandmother was a big of V.C. Andrews' writings, well, up until she learned that the ghost writer that took over after the author's death in 1986 was in fact a male, Andrew Neiderman. After the that, my grandmother quit reading the books, with the last one in her collection being Willow (book one of the DeBeers series).

I now have all the books in my grandmother's collection. I continued to collect each new installment that is released; I even filled in the gaps by finding the rest of the books in the DeBeers and the Broken Wings series, which were missing from her collection.

While I still haven't read all the titles, my opinion of the ghost writer's writing has been mixed. There have been a few good stories and there has been several horrible entries, mostly due to the lack of a "Gothic" feel in the most recent releases.

Available today from Pocket Books is the standalone novel, Sage's Eyes (978-1451650914), which I had received an ARC copy a few months ago. I didn't care much for the last standalone book, Bittersweet Dreams, so I've been putting this book aside; waiting to the very last minute to read it. To my surprise, it's better written than the last few releases. While I would never call it "Gothic," it's not a bad read.

The plot centers on sixteen-year-old Sage, who from an early age has had a "third eye" gift. She can see things that others cannot as if she has lived a past life. Her adoptive parents have tried to hide her gifts from the outside world. Actually, they have convinced themselves that she just has an active imagination.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Winter Reads: My Sweet Audrina

Retail: $7.99: Pages 560
The Gothic fiction genre has almost completely disappeared, with the exception of Anne Rice and of course the ghostwritten V.C. Andrews novels. While I read my first Anne Rice title during my teenage years, I didn't read my first V.C. Andrews novel (Flowers in the Attic) until I was about twenty-years-old, which I found a few hardcovers at a thrift store. After learning that I was reading the Dollanganger series, my late grandmother gave me her collection of V.C. Andrews books (which she owned all the books up to the first title in the DeBeers series).

Anyway, after I finished reading the Dollanganger series, I read My Sweet Audrina, which was the only published standalone (originally published in 1982) by V.C. Andrews before her death in 1986, and it became one of her most popular titles. The novel has been adapted into a two hour (90-minutes without commercials) that will air on LIFETIME on Saturday, January 9, 2016! To tie-in with the movie's premiere, Pocket Books is re-releasing My Sweet Audrina (ISBN: 978-1501138843) to paperback with all new cover art. There is also a sneak peak at the upcoming sequel, Whitefern, scheduled to be published in July.

I don't reread very many books, but I was definitely wanting to read My Sweet Audrina before the LIFETIME movie premieres as I only recall bits and pieces from the novel. Luckily, I didn't have to hunt down my old hardback copy as Pocket Books nicely sent me an advanced copy of the re-release.

My Sweet Audrina chronicles the life of Audrina Adare from age seven to adulthood. Unlike other girls her age, she isn't allowed to attend school, though her coldblooded cousin Vera is allowed to go school. She spends her days at the Whitefern mansion with her mother, Lucietta and her aunt Ellsbeth (Vera's mother). When her father, Damian, isn't working, he makes her sit in the rocking chair in her deceased older sister's playroom (her name was Audrina too), so she can try to receive the "first and best" Audrina's gifts.

The original Audrina died nine-years before the second Audrina was born, which resulted in Audrina (the second) being shutoff from the outside world. She isn't allowed to have any friends or venture off into the woods (where the older Audrina was raped and murdered). While one would think that Vera would be her best friend, that isn't the case as Vera is extremely hateful to her; constantly jealous of the attention Damian gives Audrina.

Despite Audrina's short-term memory problems, she is well aware to stay away from the woods, but she eventually goes beyond Whitefern, so she can get a look at the teenage boy, Arden Lowe, and his mother, Billie, whom live in a small groundskeeper cottage on her family's property. One glance at Audrina's chameleon hair and Arden was in love with her. The two start out as just friends, but eventually end up getting married when Audrina became of age.

Monday, August 3, 2015

DVD Review: Seeds of Yesterday

Seeds of Yesterday
Director: Shawn Ku
Starring: Rachael Carpani, James Maslow, Jason Lewis
Studio: LionsGate / A&E Home Video
Release Date: July 21, 2015
Retail: $14.98
Running Time: 90 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: Amazon


The final installment in the Dollanganger film series, Seeds of Yesterday, is now available to own on DVD. Directed by Shawn Ku, the film stars Rachael Carpani, James Maslow and Jason Lewis. There are no special features or extras on the single disc. However, it does come a with digital copy.

Based on the fourth installment of the Dollanganger Saga book series by the late Gothic author V.C. Andrews, Seeds Of Yesterday picks up thirteen years after the events of If There Be Thorns. Bart (played by James Maslow) has rebuilt the old Foxworth mansion. He's invited his parents, Chris and Cathy (played by Jason Lewis and Rachael Carpani), his brother, Jory (played by Anthony Konechny), sister-in-law, Melodie (played by Leah Gibson) and his adopted-sister Cindy (played by Sammi Hanratty) to stay at the mansion for his 25th birthday celebration, in which Jory and Melodie were to perform a ballet for the party. Well, that is until it is revealed that Melodie is pregnant, forcing Bart to let Cindy, whom he has always hated, to take her place. Unfortunately, an accident occurs that paralyzes Jory.

While Bart tries to act like nothing is wrong, he actually hates his family due to his parents dark secret (spoiler: Chris and Cathy are siblings). After he learns that his inheritance from his late grandmother will be delayed until his 35th birthday, he takes it out on his family. Bart begins a passionate affair with Melodie, who is extremely unstable. Next, he interferes in Cindy's love life, which causes another strain in their relationship, though he actually has romantic feelings for her.

From left to right: James Maslow ("Bart Foxworth," left), Sammi Hanratty ("Cindy Sheffield," left center), Jason Lewis ("Christopher Sheffield," center) and Rachael Carpani ("Cathy Sheffield," right) star in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's SEEDS OF YESTERDAY

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Review - If There Be Thorns DVD

If There Be Thorns
Director: Nancy Savoca
Starring: Heather Graham, Jason Lewis, Rachel Carpani
Studio: LionsGate
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Retail: $14.98
Running Time: 98 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: Amazon


Now available to own on DVD is the third installment of the made-for-LIFETIME film saga, titled If There Be Thorns. There are no special features or extras on the single disc, but there is a Digital Ultraviolet download code.

Based on the third novel in the Dollanganger Saga by the late Gothic author V.C. Andrews, If There Be Thorns takes place six years after then end of Petals on the Wind, where Chris (played by Jason Lewis) and Cathy (played by Rachael Carpani) Dollanganger are living as man and wife in California along with their sons Jory (played by Jedidiah Goodacre) and Bart (played by Mason Cook). It seems they have finally been able to put their dark past behind them, well, that is until a mysterious woman dressed in black purchases the mansion next door to them.

Bart's thinks he's the outcast of the family. His older brother, Jory, is great at everything and gets praised from their parents all the time. Though Bart has been told to stay away from the mansion next door, his curiosity gets the better of him and he checkouts the new owner a  is a rich widow (played by Heather Graham), whom is living with her butler - John Amos!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Spring Reads: Secret Brother by V.C. Andrews

Secret Brother
The Dollanganger Family Series
by V.C. Andrews
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pub. Date: May 26th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1476792408
Pages: 384
Buy Link: Amazon


In 1979, the Gothic novel Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews was published, causing a slue of backlash from libraries, schools and parents. Despite the taboo incest theme, the story about a four siblings being locked in a bedroom & attic by their mother and grandmother became a worldwide sensation. Three sequels (Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns & Seeds of Yesterday) were later published. Sadly, V.C. Andrews passed away before she could finished the prequel novel Garden of Shadows, but the publishers and Andrews' family picked Andrew Neiderman to ghostwrite the novel, as well as every V.C. Andrews title since then.

Fans thought the series had ended with Garden of Shadows until the semi-sequel Christopher's Diary: Secrets of Foxworth was released last fall and quickly followed by Christopher's Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger, in which a long-distant cousin stumbles upon the diary of Christopher Dollanganger.

Arriving on in bookstores next week is the direct sequel to Flowers in the Attic (or a side-prequel to the Christopher's Diary duo). The novel begins in late October 1960 and centers on sixteen-year-old Clara Sue Sanders, whom, along with her little brother, Willie, has been living with their Grandpa Arnold every since their parents died in a tragic accident. One afternoon, Clara Sue is startled by the commotion outside - a drunk driver had hit her brother and his nanny, Myra. While the paramedics did everything they could, Willie was gone before the ambulance arrived at the hospital.

Grief-stricken, Clara Sue must stay in the waiting room by her grandfather's side while the doctors work on Myra. This is when they learn that young boy had been dropped off at the and left at the hosptial by a stranger. The boy is undernourished and had been poisoned with arsenic. (Sounds familiar, doesn't it?)

Before funeral plans for Willie are even made, Grandpa Arnold is determined to find out whom this little boy is. Due to the arsenic, the boy has neurological damage as well as the loss of motor skills; leaving him unable to communicate and walk. Grandpa Arnold hires a detective to find out who dropped the the boy off, but he finds nothing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Return to Foxworth Hall - A Review Of Christopher's Diary: Secrets of Foxworth

It has been nearly 37 years since the Gothic horror novel Flowers in the Attic written by the late V.C. Andrews was published. While the book was considered "trash" by critics and librarians, readers, especially teenagers, were entranced by the Dollanganger children. The incest storyline between an adolescent brother and sister is still taboo by many libraries, which is why the book and its sequels are still banned in some places around the world.

Three sequels, Petals on the Wind (1980), If There Be Thorns (1981) and Seeds of Yesterday (1984), were released before V.C. Andrews' death in 1986. The prequel novel, Garden of Shadows, was unfinished before her death, resulting in a ghostwriter (Andrew Neiderman) being hired to finish writing it, as well as writing each and every new V.C. Andrews title that followed.

Due to the popularity of the original book, Hollywood soon took notice. In 1987, the film adaptation of Flowers in the Attic was released to negative reviews from critics and fans, mostly due to the incest storyline not being used, as well as other changes, especially the film's ending. The only interesting factor from the movie is V.C. Andrews cameo that was filmed before her death.

The Dollanganger franchise seemed to be dead until a made-for-television version of Flowers in the Attic aired on Lifetime earlier this year. Despite being a watered-down adaptation, the film did use the incest storyline and stayed more faithful than the 1987 version. Though it received mixed-reviews from critics, the TV-movie received high ratings for Lifetime, resulting in a Petals on the Wind going into production within a few weeks. The sequel was also a watered-down-version of the book, but it did well-enough in ratings that Lifetime ordered the adaptations of If There Be Thorn and Seeds of Yesterday, both set to air sometime in 2015.

Being released today is the semi-sequel to the Dollanganger series, titled Christopher's Diary: Secrets of Foxworth written by the ghost author (Andrew Neiderman) under the name V.C. Andrews. The original series is beloved by fans, so entering back into the Dollanganger world is a little risky, especially since the last batch of ghostwritten books have received mixed to negative reaction from fans, mostly due to the way the books are now written, which is aimed towards a teenage audience instead of adults. Plus, the books have been lacking that Gothic feeling that V.C. Andrews was known for.

That being said, I was still interested in reading Christopher's Diary: Secrets of Foxworth, which I
received an advanced galley copy back in late August.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

DVD Review - Petals on the Wind

Petals on the Wind
Director: Karen Moncrieff
Starring: Heather Graham, Rose McIver, Wyatt Nash, Baley Buntain, Nick Searcy Dlyan Bruce, Will Kemp, Whitney Hoy, Ellia English and Ellen Burstyn
Studio: LionsGate Home Entertainment
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Retail: $14.98
Running Time: 90 minutes
Rating: NOT Rated
Buy Link: Amazon


Arriving on DVD on September 16th is the Petals on the Wind based on the classic novel by V.C. Andrews. The film is directed by Karen Moncrieff and stars Heather Graham, Rose McIver, Wyatt Nash, Baley Buntain, Nick Searcy Dlyan Bruce, Will Kemp , Whitney Hoy, Ellia English and Ellen Burstyn. The DVD comes with a Digital Ultraviolet code. There are no extras or special features.

After the success of the made-for-television adaption of Flowers in the Attic back in January, it was no-brainier why Lifetime quickly gave the greenlight for the sequel Petals on the Wind, which made its debut on Lifetime back in May.

Unlike the book of the same name that picks up directly where Flowers in the Attic ended, the film adaption jumps ten years with new actors (Rose Mclver, Wyatt Nash and Bailey Buntain) taking over the roles of Cathy, Christopher and Carrie Dollanganger. Shoving a 450 page book into a 90-minute movie means there are many characters and scenes that had to be cut. Dr. Paul Sheffield, who adopts the children and later has a romantic relationship with Cathy, never appears, as the film opens up with his funeral. Cathy's ballet roommates, Yolanda Lange and April Summers, never appears, as well as Dr. Paul's sister,
Amanda Sheffield (Biddens).

Despite some changes, the main plot is still intact in the film with Cathy wanting revenge for what her mother did to her and her siblings. A few scenes with Carrie shows how she was tormented by her classmates and how her mother ignored her, which all leads to her death (it differs from the book). Then there is a side-story with Christopher dating Whitney Hoy, which isn't in the book.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Review - Petals on the Wind by V.C. Andrews

Petals on the Wind
by V.C. Andrews
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pub. Date: May 20, 2014
Retail: $7.99
ISBN: 978-1476789552
Pages: 448
Buy Link: Paperback

From Fiction to Film: Pick up Petals on the Wind May 20th and watch the movie May 26th!

Petals on the Wind cast: 
Heather Graham as Corrine
Ellen Burstyn as Olivia
Dylan Bruce as Bart
Rose McIver as Young Cathy (played by Kiernan Shipka in Flowers in the Attic)
Wyatt Nash as Christopher (played by Mason Dye in Flowers in the Attic)

Watch the movie trailer below, and tune in to Lifetime on  Monday, May 26th, 9:00 pm ET to watch the World Premier of Petals on the Wind!

Enter To Win: Go to the Pocket Books Facebook page beginning May 20th to enter the sweepstakes for a prize pack of Flowers in the Attic and Petals on the Wind, and the Flowers in the Attic DVD.  Visit right before tuning into Petals on the Wind late May for the sweepstakes giveaway (date to be announced)!


Despite some heavy-duty controversy due to the incest plot of Flowers in the Attic written by V.C. Andrews, the book was a huge success; spawning three sequels and one prequel. Book two in the series, titled Petals on the Wind, was released in 1980, picking up shortly after the first novel left off and covers over fifteen years, from November 1960 to the fall of 1975.

Christopher, Cathy and Carrie Dollanganger barely escaped from their grandparents' attic; leaving their money-craving mother far behind, whom had been putting poison in their powdered donuts, resulting in the death of Carrie's twin brother, Cory. They stole enough money to buy three bus tickets to Florida, but their journey took an unexpected turn with Carrie becomes too ill to travel. Luckily, a mute housekeeper, Henrietta Beech, was on the bus and directs them to her boss, a doctor by the name of Dr. Paul Sheffield.