Sunday, March 19, 2017

Dead Over Heels: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery #sleuthers @hallmarkchannel

Tonight all the cooks in our kitchen will be busy watching DEAD OVER HEELS: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery by Charlaine Harris on the Hallmark Channel! Her True Blood series was wildly successful on HBO, now Aurora Teagarden is appearing in Hallmark movies. And we're thrilled and honored to have her in our kitchen today!

CHARLAINE: I know how lucky I’ve been to have such good experiences with having my work adapted to the small screen. After the first time (“True Blood”), which was a huge learning curve, my expectations became more realistic, and I learned to enjoy what before me, rather than having a peek through rose-covered glasses. Or camera lenses.

Of course, Hallmark is the direct opposite of HBO, and it’s been a very different project for me. I was terrified when “True Blood” came on the air. Now I am much calmer, and I understand it’s not personal if people don’t care for the filmed version; or if people like the television show better than the books. Viewers come to sit in front of their television sets with different expectations, just as readers open a new book with some preconceived notions about what they’re going to find.

What you won’t find is a duplicate of the book. Even very faithful adaptations  (“Game of Thrones” for example) veer away from the writer’s timeline for all kinds of considerations that don’t matter at all to the writer.

I have enjoyed watching the Hallmark productions because I find in many ways, they’re very true to the Aurora Teagarden books. I have a very soft spot in my heart for Aurora, my first series protagonist, and I always will. It’s been a joy writing two more books about her life and mystery-solving.

I know a lot of people (like me!) enjoy having a snack while they’re watching their favorite show, and maybe enjoying a little social media at the same time. So here’s a favorite recipe of mine, given to me by Anne Veach many years ago. It’s the hint of curry that gives this great dip its distinction. Just serve it with your favorite cracker (Ritz Crackers, the classic, are a favorite here).

ChaCha Chicken

1 8-oz. package cream cheese
1 c mayonnaise
2 t curry powder
1 t salt
6 cups chopped chicken
1 8-oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
2/3 c sweetened dried cranberries
1 c salted almond slivers

Whisk together cream cheese and next three ingredients. Stir in chicken (I minced mine in the food processor), pineapple, and cranberries. Spoon into a plastic wrap-lined round cake pan; cover and chill at least 8 hours. Invert and remove wrap. Gently press chopped almonds onto sides of salad, a step I forgot for the shower!

And here’s a sneak peek at the new cover for October’s Aurora book, SLEEP LIKE A BABY. I hope you enjoy it; it’s been so much fun to get back to my writing roots with conventional mysteries.

Enjoy the show!

Thanks so very much for visiting Charlaine! We'll be tweeting throughout the movie--and there will be prizes! Will you join the fun?  Today, Sunday March19 9est/8c! #SLEUTHERS 

And leave your email in a comment to be included in a giveaway for a $25 Visa gift certificate to celebrate the movie, the blog, the author! Hooray!


  1. Charlaine, thrilled to have you here, and lovely to get your perspective about how TV and movies work re: an author's work. Love your attitude! I'm sure this will be a fun and delightful series. Candace is a charming actress! ~ Daryl

  2. I love both TV versions of True Blood and Aurora Teagarden-both quite different! Now that's an understatement! lol.) I generally don't stay up so late, as I have to get up so early for work, so I'm not sure I'll watch tonight-but I don't want to wait to see it at an earlier we'll see. And I only use social media during commercials-I want my full attention on the screen! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Charlaine, I love all your books and the screen adaptations! True Blood is one of my all-time favorite shows, even though it started to veer way off from the books. I'm so excited for Midnight Texas this July and for Dead Over Heels tonight! Thanks for the many hours of entertainment you've given me. :)

  4. I read the books that lead to True Blood, but somehow missed the Aurora Teagarden. When I got the Hallmark Mystery Channel I discovered Aurora! Can't wait to see the new movie and to catch up on the books!

  5. Love Aurora Teagarden. Glad she's back.

  6. I love Hallmark movies and now I get to love yours. Congratulations. Thanks for the insights which I will add to my wish-list. Best wishes for continued successes. (PS: Thanks for the recipe, too.)

  7. Wonderful to see you here, Charlaine. And what a great recipe for (dare I say it?) watching a movie this evening?

  8. My DVR is set to go! In the past I wanted movie adaptations of books to strictly follow the story, but it's different with the Hallmark movies based on the cozies. The movies seem to capture the spirit of the main characters like Aurora, so it's like doubling my pleasure. I can still enjoy the books and now the movies, too! Congrats on the new book, looking forward to that as much as tonight's movie. Thanks for the giveaway and recipe.

  9. Thanks for visiting Charlaine, and for the Cha Cha Chicken recipe. I have enjoyed watching the Aurora Teagarden mysteries on the Hallmark Chanel, and can't wait for tonight's episode. I love the cast!

  10. I've enjoyed both the books and the Hallmark series. Will Aurora end up married as in the books? Had to phrase that carefully. No spoilers.

  11. I love all your books, Charlaine, and will be watching tonight as well. Thanks Maryjane for bringing one of my favourite authors to the kitchen!!

  12. Love your books and the hallmark adaptations for TV. Will be watching tonight.

  13. I admit that I am not familiar with your Aurora Teagarden books. However, it is always great to find something new from an author I really enjoy. And thanks for sharing that recipe, it looks delicious.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

  14. Love to watch Aurora Teagarden. Will she eventually get married? �� In all seriousness, keep them coming. Love these mysteries on Hallmark Movie & Mystery channel.


  15. Her Southern Vampire Series is one of my favorites! I've been enjoying the movies based off her Aurora Teagarden series.

  16. I absolutely <3 the Aurora Teagarden series! It was the first series that I couldn't wait for the next for the next one to come out and was totally heartbroken when there were no more. So happy to hear that there will be another book and can't wait to watch the show! bubs(dot)girl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  17. Congratulations on the debut tonight of the new Aurora Teagarden movie, Dead Over Heels. Great insights into an author's (thrilling and terrifying!) experience of having her books adapted into dramatic works. Cheers for joining us, Charlaine.

  18. I wish I could watch this! Don't have cable though. I'll have to wait until I'm at my folks house to catch up. Love the series though! Read all the books! :) kidisitor(at)

  19. Looking forward to the movie tonight. I'm going to try to watch the entire movie tonight but also going to DVR it too as I may have to run out to pick up my daughter from work.