Darynda Jones divulges her “Charley Davidson Dream Cast” + A Giveaway!!!

by Maryse on May 20, 2015 · 70 comments

in Fun Author Tidbits

You guys!!! To celebrate the FABULOUS Darynda Jones’ latest release, she thought she’d let us into her own little “behind the books” tidbits. Have you ever wondered how SHE saw he own characters? Who they look like, to her? Well, wonder know more, she’s here with the goods!!!

Author Darynda Jones & Maryse at the 2015 RT Book Lovers Convention.

I know SO many of you right here love this series like CRAZY. I hear it’s hilarious, unputdownable and the alpha-male in this one, swoon worthy, and I am SO going to read it. In fact, I met her last weekend at RT2015!!!

Tami: I recommend the Grave series by Darynda Jones. Smart witty banter, with HOT alpha Reyes.

Martiza: Reyes . He is my book boyfriend. I just can’t get enough of him.

Diana: Darynda Jones also has my come on get your next book out barometer seriously tripping.

Katie: love love love these books. Especially since it is book number 6 and she is still keeping the series going well. It isn’t the same thing over and over like some series can become.

Jeannie: The Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones is hysterical. It’s about a woman who is the Grim Reaper (not a spoiler, you know that from the first page), and a private investigator. There is also a very mysterious alpha male, and you know a little more about him in each book. A very fun series, I definitely recommend it.

Sara: …to choose a favorite today, I would say First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones. It was the most fun I had ever had reading.

PLUS! She’s having a giveaway right here on our blog for one lucky commenter below!!!

Ready for her guest post? Let’s welcome Darynda!!! :D


Okay, I admit, I do love dream casting the Charley Davidson series. Every time I see an actor or actress that I feel could be one of my characters, I write down the name. So, as you can imagine, my casting choices change quite often, but my latest choices have stuck with me for a while. Here is where I am at the moment.


Being a female PI and the only grim reaper this side of Mars can wreak havoc on a girl’s social life. A good sense of humor is a must, and as such, an actor’s sense of comedic timing is a must. Charley is saucy and sweet, hardheaded and hard working, and never passes up an opportunity to punk her best friend, Cookie. She doesn’t take her role as the grim reaper so seriously she can’t have a little fun. As such, I can totally see Emmy Rossum in the role of Charley. She is adorable and can be sweet, serious, sassy, and sarcastic, the staples of Charley’s personality. Emmy is comfortable in her own skin and it shows. She is everything I’d want in an on-screen Charley Davidson.


I set the bar pretty high for Reyes, the dark, brooding hero in the Charley series. He is the ultimate bad boy, the son of the most villainous being ever created, forged in the fires of hell, born of sin and degradation and unimaginable beauty. (His dad was the most beautiful angel in heaven, after all. The guy is dripping with sensuality.)

But what makes him so appealing in the long run, besides the sensuality thing or the fact that his eyes shimmer like a moonlit ocean, is his total, unmitigated devotion to Charley. He risks life and limb for her. Fights demons for her. Severs spines for her. (He does that.) And, yes, he’s bad. He hasn’t always been the best BF material. But redemption is a powerful elixir.

I recently discovered someone who I think embodies all that is Reyes Farrow, a Cuban-born actor named William Levy. If you have seen the movie Addicted, you will understand why I chose him. If you haven’t, I recommend it. Or at least watch the trailer, because day-um. I set the bar high and Levy meets it in every way.


Cookie is very often my readers’ favorite character. She is fun, guileless, and has Charley’s back no matter what. They are besties through thick, thin, and everything in between. Casting Cookie has always been a no-brainer for me because I based her on an actress, something I rarely do. But Cookie is 100% Melissa McCarthy. She has such an amazing presence on screen and, of course, her comedic timing is spot on. She would be absolutely perfect.


Uncle Bob, Charley’s paternal uncle, is a detective for the Albuquerque Police Department. He is lovable, artless, and flawed. He may not always be the best uncle, but he is the friend and ally Charley needs on her side. He risks a lot for her and she, in turn, helps him solve cases using her supernatural connections. Those aren’t always the most reliable, however, and when Charley’s escapades get her into hot water, Uncle Bob is there to save the day. My choice for Uncle Bob is an actor who played a very similar character on the CW’s hit show Supernatural: Jim Beaver. He is genuine, frank, and unstudied, much like Charley’s favorite uncle. (Okay, he’s her only uncle.)


Garrett Swopes is a colleague of Charley’s, a skip tracer who often helps her with cases, or, just as often, helps her out of tight situations. (She gets into those a lot.) He has become a tried and trusted friend. He also has great abs, smoky gray eyes, and great abs. As a skilled bounty hunter, Garrett has proven himself several times over. And he puts up with Charley’s shenanigans, a trait that earns him a place in the Scooby gang. Did I mention he has great abs? This was a tough choice, but my vote for Garrett goes to the incredibly talented and handsome Michael Ealy. I just think he would be perfect.

So, dear readers, who would you cast in these roles? Do you agree or disagree with my choices?

Let us know below in the comments!! :D

Now for the giveaway:


One (1) winner receives:

  • A branded coffee mug;
  • plus the complete Charley Davidson series!

How to enter for a chance to win? Just leave a comment below (and to make it more fun, if you’ve read the series tell me your favorite spoiler-free part, OR let us know if you agree with Darynda’s dream cast), and by 10pm EST, Sunday May 24th 2015, I will randomly select ONE winner for the prize above.

The winner will be contacted and will have 48hrs to respond with a mailing address, so if you are picked, do not delay or you will lose your chance. This book will be sent to the winners directly by St. Martin’s Press.

Giveaway open to US addresses only, although all are welcome to comment!


Sign up for my weekly newsletter

{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy L.R. May 20, 2015 at 2:15 PM

I LOVE this series SO MUCH! It’s actually one of my favorites!
Favorite spoiler free parts? Man, there are so scenes I love and they’re sort of spoilery so I’ll say this, I love when Quentin & Donovan are introduced.

I agree with the casting except Reyes, I feel like he should have a darker feel to him.

Thanks for the giveaway! :)

Laura May 20, 2015 at 2:16 PM

Can’t wait to read these.

Mindi May 20, 2015 at 2:20 PM

I haven’t read this series, but it is on my TBR list. And just from the choices–I want to start reading ASAP–good visuals!!

Tessa May 20, 2015 at 2:30 PM

Especially seeing Mellisa McCarthy choice. She’d be awesome. Especially sitting at the computer abashedly playing Spider solitaire. *grins*

The only change would be Jeff Bridges as Uncle Bob. I think he’d pull it off, and have everyone laughing at the same time.

One honest thing, though. I’ve yet to see an actor that matches the Reyes in my head. I don’t think anyone is that hot in real life. :P

Tessa May 20, 2015 at 2:33 PM

Oh, and favorite scene. Any with Becky. That little girl is a trip.

Michelle May 20, 2015 at 2:34 PM

Have not read any, cannot wait!

Alison May 20, 2015 at 2:36 PM

Love this series! Can’t wait to read the newest one!

Alicia May 20, 2015 at 2:46 PM

Love her choices for Charley and Cookie, but not sure about Reyes.

Tessa May 20, 2015 at 2:57 PM

Michelle, as your book twin, I demand you read the first one! *grins*

Ela May 20, 2015 at 3:24 PM

I love love love this series as much as my B.O.B. if not at times more!!!!!! I like the characters, although I have to agree that I pictured Reyes a bit “darker” but William’s hawtness will suffice just fine until such a specimen is found! I love this quote from Seventh Grave and No Body:

“An hour later, Cookie, Lacey, and I sat in the graveyard, watching a slave demon who looked like a nineteen-year-old kid–a very well-built nineteen-year-old kid–dig up a grave shirtless, his wide shoulders shimmering in the moonlight.

“I’m going to hell,” Cookie said, unable to rip her gaze off him.

“Well, if you go, there are probably others who look like that. It might not be such a bad place.”

“I want to have his demon babies,” Lacey said”
― Darynda Jones, Seventh Grave and No Body

Tina May 20, 2015 at 3:24 PM

Melissa McCarthy….I need to read these now.

Heather Taczy May 20, 2015 at 3:37 PM

I can’t wait to get the scoop on Mr. Wong!!! And I see Reyes more as Ben Robson (Vikings) but still all great choices.

Mollie W May 20, 2015 at 3:56 PM

I love thus series and the dream cast sounds perfect!!
Thanks for the awesome giveaway, cannot wait to read Eighth Grave After Dark!!

lori May 20, 2015 at 4:23 PM

I can so see these as the characters!
I would have to say mr. wong in 8th grave may have been one of my favorite surprise parts

AngieG May 20, 2015 at 4:40 PM

Thanks for a chance to win! Sounds like a fun series!

MichelleS May 20, 2015 at 5:01 PM

Need to check out this series STAT – you know me and PNR can get a little nutso sometimes.

Staci May 20, 2015 at 6:45 PM

Love these books and can’t just pick one scene!

bev May 20, 2015 at 6:56 PM

Tessa, I’m stealing the Jeff Bridges suggestion. Because, Jeff Bridges. Agree with Melissa McCarthy. Not sure about William Levy. But I only know him from Dancing with the Stars. Definitely handsome but maybe if we can add some of Javier Bardem’s edge and intensity.

maxima Salcedo May 20, 2015 at 6:58 PM

Would love to win! And she knows her characters, so yes I agree.

Joy F May 20, 2015 at 8:19 PM

I love who she picked for Cookie and Uncle Bob. I do not picture Reyes like the guy she picked but he’s good. Charley was so-so. I love this series.

Tessa May 20, 2015 at 8:29 PM

Forgot to put, I’m not going to be in the contest. I have all but the last book (first buy next month!). I just love the series too much for words. *grins*

bn100 May 20, 2015 at 8:50 PM

haven’t read it, so no idea about the cast

Janie McGaugh May 20, 2015 at 9:44 PM

I wouldn’t have thought of Melissa McCarthy as Cookie, but I think she’d be great. The others all look good, too, though I’m not so sure of Emmy Rossum as Charley. I don’t know who I’d put in her place, though. Sandra Bullock, when she was younger, would have been great in the part.

Kim L May 20, 2015 at 10:23 PM

OMG I LOVE LOVE LOVE this series, I <3 Reyes!!!! My favorite quote:“My fore-parts, as you so ineloquently put it, have names.”

I pointed to my right breast. “This is Danger.” Then my left. “And this is Will Robinson. I would appreciate it if you addressed them accordingly.”
After a long pause in which he took the time to blink several times, he asked, “You named your breasts?”
I turned my back to him with a shrug. “I named my ovaries, too, but they don’t get out as much.
Darynda Jones, First Grave on the Right
So good!!!

Jennifer May 20, 2015 at 10:53 PM

Great series! I love it, recommended to a co worker and she generally reads the books ahead of me because she gets them from the library, I want to OWN them so I wait until the original price goes down and then snatch them up! I love the flashback scene when Charley first met Reyes as a kid, and then she went back to the apartment building to find the picture in the wall of what his step dad did to him…so amazing the suffering he went through to be born to be with Charley…. * swoon*

LisaE May 21, 2015 at 12:15 AM

Was just thinking about starting this series right before I saw this giveaway !It’s a sign I tell you!!!!!:D

Janet W. May 21, 2015 at 5:54 AM

I have not read this series yet. After hearing the delicious descriptions of the characters here, I am downloading the first book to get a look at this Reyes! And I love Melissa McCarthy so I know I’ll love the BFF, Cookie.

Ooooo, now I’m excited.

Diane F. May 21, 2015 at 6:02 AM

Can’t wait to read this series! Thanks for the giveaway!

Maria Malaveci May 21, 2015 at 6:26 AM

They sound like amazing reads! Thanks so much for the chance ♥

Natasha May 21, 2015 at 7:03 AM

Love these casting choices. I’ve been a fan for Charley Davidson for years. SO excited that you featured her Maryse! I hope you love reading them. R.A.F. was my first book boyfriend I where really “got” that term!

jenn May 21, 2015 at 7:30 AM

These are next on my list!!!!!! Thanks for the giveaway

Andrea May 21, 2015 at 8:45 AM

I have just started into the world of Charley and friends. I am on the second book now. I am in love already! Charley is such a fun character. I love her witty comments :) she is my kind of Grimm…..

Thank you so much for the chance :)

Allie May 21, 2015 at 10:19 AM

I have not read this series, but always wanted to!! I always have room for more fabulous books on my bookshelf!

Lacey Thach May 21, 2015 at 1:17 PM

I love the choice for Charley!! I’m not sure who I’d choose for Reyes though, it’s hard to find someone who matches up to him!

Sandi josephs May 21, 2015 at 1:21 PM

It is really hard to pick a favorite part in the series so I will just say that I don’t think I have ever laughed so much reading any series. And I have to agree with another persons comment, I don’t think any actor could ever be as hot as Reyes is in my head :)

Dinah S. May 21, 2015 at 1:40 PM

Did anyone watch One for the Money? I always thought that Daniel Sunjata (who played Ranger) would make an awesome Reyes. P.S. I love the idea of Michael Ealy as Swopes.

Shane May 21, 2015 at 4:07 PM

I haven’t read this series as yet but I got the first one after reading all these positive comments…Maryse, you are so tiny and pretty…. Love all the pics… When I am on FB, I feel like I know you personally since I am always commenting on your blog. Don’t mind me, lol….

Nicole O May 21, 2015 at 4:57 PM

You must read this series! It’s right up your alley (Charley would add something crude here lol). I love Jones’ picks for her characters, they’d totally work. Best Spoiler free moment? The banter. Oh, the banter. Read ASAP!

Kris S May 21, 2015 at 7:28 PM

Ooh, I don’t think I could pick a favorite moment! There are too many! This series is fantastic. I think Jones’s picks for her characters are spot-on, especially since they’re her characters! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

Kim Perry May 21, 2015 at 7:36 PM

I love the dream cast!! I’m always looking forward to the next Charley adventure!

Krystal Marin May 21, 2015 at 7:38 PM

Love this series !!!! It is one I constantly listen to over and over again. I totally love Charley’s and Cookie’s personality. Love the mystery and the sarcasm.

Maryse May 21, 2015 at 9:02 PM

Thank you Shane!!! And I love that you comment! I look forward to them, in fact! :D *big squeeeeezy hug*

Brenda Rogers May 21, 2015 at 10:18 PM

I just recently discovered this series. This is the first supernatural series I have read in years and loved. I jus started on book 1.5. Can’t wait to get to book 8 that was just released!

Niki May 22, 2015 at 1:40 AM

So jealous you got to meet Darynda!!! Hmmm favorite part…Can’t decide!!! Charley is hilarious and I love how each chapter has a super funny saying that are on t-shirts or quotes from her like: “Never knock on deaths door. Ring the doorbell and Run. He totally hates that.” :)

Michelle S you so need to read these!! You too Maryse;)

Doris L May 22, 2015 at 7:48 AM

Love this series! Agree with Darynda about her choice of actors. Doing a reread before I start book 8.

ashley May 22, 2015 at 8:22 PM

This series is like crack to me! Love these books! I have always pictured Melissa McCarthy in my head while reading the series!!!! So glad that Darynda Jones agrees

Noelle May 22, 2015 at 9:19 PM

This is one of my favorite series. I recently reread all the books in preparation for book 8. Darynda is one of my favorite authors! I can’t put her books down. Her writing is so humerously sarcastic and witty with the perfect mix of mystery and love story. Darynda keeps you laughing out loud while making sure you wonder what kind of crazy antics is Charley going to get in next. And Reyes…fan girl sigh..:what a great protective, sexy, sensual alpha male. Reyes is definitely at the top of the list of best sexy alpha book love interests. Who wouldn’t love a man forged in the fires of hell and born of sin.
So favorite non-spoiler moments are the crazy names charley names her body parts and the inanimate things around her. Misery the cherry red jeep (not the emotion), her breasts Danger and Will Robinson, her ovaries Beam me up and Scotty, Barbara her brain, her divan David Beckham. I also love how she purposely tries to get a rise out of people, she just can’t help herself. And the internal dialog and ADD are very comedic. Highly recommend these books!!! You won’t be disappointed!!!

Dawn M May 22, 2015 at 9:35 PM

Looks like I need to check this series out. It sounds like a great read for sure. Thanks for a chance to win! Love finding new series to read!

Ash May 23, 2015 at 8:12 AM

This series is so so fun! My favorite thing about Charley is how she names inanimate objects! I have that obsession too. ;) coffee maker= Jerome; tea maker=Oliver. I could go on and on! Love the casting choices!

Erika May 23, 2015 at 9:35 PM

This series has been on my list to read for a long time! Very excited to read it soon and would LOVE to win a copy! Thank you!

Danielle June 30, 2015 at 10:38 PM

Oh my goodness! Im addicted and I need a fix! Please if anyone is up to date like I am and patiently waiting for Charley and the gang to return next year..are there any authors (other than the obvious Stephanie Plumb and Stookie Stackhouse books).. that are similar to her writing?? Thank you

Jen May 18, 2016 at 5:14 PM

Whenever I need to step up get shit done, I channel my inner Charlie Davidson! She’s my hero!

Brittaney Stewart May 21, 2016 at 4:36 PM

I absolutely love Charlie’s attitude. No matter what’s going on she always tries to maintain a positive up beat bad ass quirkiness that almost never falters in the face of danger or just fumbling to put the pieces together, and Reyes and Charlie’s love is off the charters adorable and enviable. Total definition of doing it right/ dating your best friend.

Christina September 9, 2016 at 10:01 PM

I absolutely love this series is my favorite so I booked so far. All of the characters and it’s hilarious. I can’t wait until 11th book comes out!

Kenya Simpson October 27, 2016 at 2:52 PM

When does the HBO series come out? I CAN’T WAIT!

Ana Berta December 10, 2016 at 3:43 AM

I just days here’s this series this spring. I wish j could have been part of this giveaway. My two cents, Bob Robson is good as mentioned above but Eduardo Verástegui is a beautiful man. Very fitting for the role of Reyes. Check him out.

Alicia Catlos February 1, 2017 at 5:00 PM

I have the Audible editions and every time a new book comes out I start back at the beginning and listen all the way through. Good thing audio files never wear out.

Karen Jenkins March 23, 2017 at 6:45 PM

I just started this series 12 days ago and I am already starting book 9!! This has been a great series. Love the choices for characters

Jessica March 30, 2017 at 9:09 PM

Yes, always pictured Cookie as Melissa! For Swopes though, I picture Jesse Williams (guy from Grey’s Anatomy).

Bronwyn Mulqueen June 17, 2017 at 4:58 PM

I agree 100% on your choices for the characters especially Jim Beaver for the role of Uncle Bob

Karina Van Baast June 22, 2017 at 11:54 PM

I think garret should be Ricky Whittle (American Gods). Anyone else?? Lol

Kamia Johnson June 24, 2017 at 7:13 AM

I love this series. I see Kat Dennings as Charley, whenever I am reading your wonderful books. Even with The audio books and Lorelei reading, I picture Kat Denning. I agree with the rest of your dream cast though.

Marina July 27, 2017 at 8:46 AM

I discovered the series a week ago. I am on book 6 now and cannot get enough. Love all the T-shirt sayings, all the main character and always unexpected plot❤️❤️❤️

Mini August 14, 2017 at 12:39 AM

I love this series. I think Hritik Roshan (from DHOOM 2 movie) will be best for Reyes Ferrow’s character.

Gwen November 13, 2017 at 5:01 PM

Love love love LOVE these books….. but I seriously feel Jason Momoa has always been who I picture as Reyes Farrow…. I can’t even picture anyone else. I always pictured Adrianne Palicki as Charley. Lainie Kazan as cookie. I do agree with the choice for Uncle bob being Jim Beaver. I’m also good with her choice for Garrett Swopes as well.

Judith L schumacher April 25, 2018 at 8:32 PM

All good casting but Jason Momoa as Reyes!

Gigi August 15, 2018 at 7:46 AM

For Reyes – James Lastovic
Dark and hot

Jennifer October 11, 2018 at 6:40 PM

One of my absolute favorite series!! I recommend to everyone and my daughter is waiting for the next release as well.
I can see Sara Hyland as Charley. (I’m not familiar with Emmy) Definitely Melissa McCarthy as Cookie. I nominate Tanner Buchanan as Osh. 100% agree with Michael Ealy for Garrett but I’m having a hard time with both Uncle Bob and Reyes.

Melissa November 2, 2018 at 5:36 PM

I know this is an old post, but I wanted to put my two cent in….
-Kathleen McPhee as Charlotte/Charley
-Carly Jibson as Cookie
-Landry Bender as Amber
-Gerald McRaney as Uncle Bob
-Isaiah Mustafa as Garret Swopes

I’m having a hard time with Reyes. I found this model but couldn’t find his name.

Melissa November 2, 2018 at 5:43 PM

Also wanted to include:
Avan Jogia as Osh
Ryan Kelley as Taft
Elden Henson as Rocket

Leave a Comment


Notify me of followup comments to this post via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Previous post:

Next post: