“That book would be such a great movie!” Yeah, maybe. Likely not. It’s something we hear all the time but, truthfully, I don’t care so much about books being turned into movies.
I’m able to separate them in my head. If I truly enjoyed a book, a good movie made from it is a wonderful perk. Even if the movie is a total dud, it won’t take away how much I enjoyed the book.
What I often think about after completing a book is how great it would be if I could spend time with the characters weekly. TV is an important part of my week. Reading is also an important element of my life.
In a time of reboots and spinoffs, Hollywood needs to start looking more to the tremendous fiction out there right now. Here are eight picks that I would like to see on the telly:
1.) Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline
We can’t figure out why more Lisa Scottoline books haven’t been turn into movies and/or TV series. Someone puh-lease get on this. We’d for sure love to see her newest book, Most Wanted (out today) turned into an eight-episode series with an all-star cast a la NBC's The Slap.
Most Wanted explores hot-button issues within the fertility industry within the framework of a masterfully-plotted legal thriller. Christine Nilsson and her husband Marcus desperately want a baby. After years of trying, unable to conceive, they discover that Marcus is infertile.
Working with a highly-respected fertility doctor and clinic, they decide together Christine will use a donor to conceive. Three months pass and Christine is happily pregnant, and saying her final farewells to her beloved colleagues at work.
A chance glimpse of a TV news report results in a shocking revelation — Christine discovers a man arrested for a series of brutal murders is the biological father of the child she is carrying. Yeah, you’re cringing. Did you get a look at the cover?
2.) Danger, Sweetheart by MaryJanice Davidson
Let the wishful casting commence! We’ve got our hearts set on Chace Crawford and Rachel Bilson for a TV version of MaryJanice Davidson’s latest novel, Danger Sweetheart, out in May. There’s a rich city boy, a no-nonsense farm girl and plenty of cowboy boots a knockin’ in Sweetheart, North Dakota.
Blake Tarbell has a town to save. Rich and carefree, Blake is thrown for a curve when his former cocktail waitress mother pleads with him to go back to her roots to save the town she grew up in.
Blake's used to using money to solve his problems, but when he arrives in Sweetheart, North Dakota, this city boy has to trade in his high-priced shoes for a pair of cowboy boots...and he's about to get a little help from the loveliest lady in town...
Natalie Lane's got enough to deal with, keeping her farm up and running. The prettiest gal to ever put on a pair of work gloves, she has no time for well-meaning outsiders trying to help. But when a handsome city slicker rolls into town with nothing but bad farmer's instincts and good intentions, Natalie's heartstrings are pulled.
She's about to teach him a thing or two about how to survive in Sweetheart. He's about to teach her a thing or two about love.
3.) Maroon Rising (A Buck Reilly Adventure) by John H. Cunningham
There are three authors that I usually bring on my annual Maine summer vacations— Allison Winn Scotch (she makes me laugh), Jackie Collins (she’s the Queen), and John H. Cunningham (he’s so entertaining). Cunningham’s action and adventure novels feature protagonist Buck Reilly, a character with lots of faults and a miserable past, but a tantalizing amount of charm. He also has a seaplane, which is pretty cool because it takes him to sexy destinations like St. Barths and Jamaica where Maroon Rising’s story takes place.
In Maroon Rising, which came out late last year, Buck’s back in the treasure hunting business until some old enemies ace him out. Fortunately for Buck, a beautiful University professor with ancient Maroon secrets about the missing riches of captain Henry Morgan lures him back to the chase.
Thrust into turbulent waters where trust is as elusive as the treasure itself, Buck's knocked further off course with the appearance of the love of his life. Buck ricochets from the pirate enclave of Port Royal, once the Wickedest City on Earth, to the Blue Mountains, Golden Eye Resort, white sand beaches and the lush Cockpit Country of Jamaica. Can’t you just see Buck’s adventures as a summer show on TNT or USA?
4.) I Take You: A Novel by Eliza Kennedy
The first two sentences of I Take You’s synopsis sold me instantly: “Meet Lily Wilder: New Yorker, lawyer and Manhattan’s most inappropriate bride-to-be. Lily loves men, a lot, and has no business getting married.”
When I hear that Lily loves men a lot, I can’t help but think of two of my favorite fictional characters ever — Samantha Jones and Bridget Jones. Who is with me?
When Lily meets archaeologist Will — funny, good-looking, and the nicest guy she’s ever dated — and he asks her to marry him, she can’t resist saying yes. Now she’s counting down the days until her wedding, while simultaneously prepping a witness. The witness just happens to be vacationing in the Florida Keys, where she’s planning to tie the knot.
As the wedding approaches, Lily’s nights — and mornings, and afternoons— of booze, laughter, and questionable decisions become a growing reminder that the happiest day of her life might turn out to be her worst mistake yet. After all, not everyone thinks Lily is marriage material.
Her bevy of stepmothers and hellish mother-in-law have plenty to say about her plan to become a Mrs. But, with drink in hand and the help of her best friend, Freddy, Lily plans to defy them all and make it to the altar on her own terms. I Take You is out in paperback this May.
5.) Don't Jump: Sex, Drugs, Rock 'N Roll...And My Fucking Mother by Vicki Abelson
Released in late 2015, Don’t Jump: Sex, Drugs, Rock N Roll...And My Fucking Mother chronicles Andi Stone’s quest to find her place and purpose amidst sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll and celebrity. It's a story of unfulfilled potential, addiction and bad behavior.
Ultimately, it's a story of redemption, told with levity and a wicked sense of fun. It is a story of a good Jewish girl’s redemption told with a wink of the eye, a sly sense of humor and...a toke.
Don't Jump takes us backstage and off-screen with a world famous athlete, rockers, movie stars and some of the biggest names in comedy. A wickedly funny female perspective, it's an inside view from an outsider. From the kings of late night, to America's #1 shock jock, to the top sitcom earners of all time, we glimpse their humanity, previously unexposed.
Protagonist Andi Stone would be great on Showtime, HBO, Netflix, Amazon...just please turn it into Sunday night TV!
6.) Where We Fall by Rochelle B. Weinstein
A trio of deeply flawed yet magnetic characters are at the heart of Rochelle B. Weinstein’s new novel, Where We Fall, out in April. A moving story about courage, healing and the complex ties that bind old lovers and friends are explored in this tome. I love anything old lovers and friends (and enemies), and I pine for the days when we had shows like Sisters, Brothers & Sisters, Melrose Place, Dallas, Gossip Girl, Revenge, etc. that explored the depths of the mind, heart...and loins.
By all accounts, Abby Holden has it all. She’s the mother of a beautiful teenager and the wife of a beloved high school football coach. And all it took to achieve her charmed life was her greatest act of betrayal.
Coach Ryan can coax his team to victory, but he can’t seem to make his wife, Abby, happy. Her struggles with depression have marred their marriage and taken a toll on their daughter, Juliana.
Chasing waterfalls and documenting their beauty has led photographer Lauren Sheppard all around the world. Now it has brought her back home to the mountains of North Carolina — back to the scene of her devastating heartbreak.
For the first time in 17 years, this trio of once inseparable friends find themselves confronting past loves and hurts.
7.) Destiny Lingers by Rolonda Watts
I love the setting of former talk show host and Days of Our Lives alum Rolonda’s Watts’ just released debut romance novel Destiny Lingers. Topsail Island, North Carolina is warm, picturesque, inviting and just about screams Hallmark Channel.
In Destiny Lingers, hard working Destiny believes her life can’t get any better: a gorgeous, thoughtful husband, a stunning historic apartment in Harlem, fun, loving girlfriends and a smokin’ hot career as a broadcast journalist in New York City.
Destiny's life turns upside down when she finds a mysterious red hair in her bed, another one in her sink and a third in her bathtub. Destiny wonders if that gorgeous husband of hers is running around behind her back...with her redheaded best friend, Eve.
Destiny is sent plunging into a nightmarish depression that leads her back to her roots on Topsail Island, North Carolina. When the Island’s handsome police chief, Chase McKenzie reappears in her life, Destiny soon realizes her racially-charged past has surfaced to a more progressive present and opened the door for a second chance at first love.
8.) The Santangelos by Jackie Collins
I'll take a Collins sister on TV any time of the day, any day of the week. I'll take any Santangelo book— really anything ever written by Jackie Collins on any type screen. While I can turn to her many bestselling books any time I need a fix of something sexy, dramatic and shocking, I can't help but feel some pop culture injustice has been committed because this icon has never claimed a night of television in recent years.
The Santangelos, out in paperback in May, is Collins's final novel, an epic family saga filled with love, revenge, passion and one sex-crazed Italian family. Collins takes readers from Beverly Hills to Las Vegas, from London to Rome and on to St. Tropez, bringing us a dynamic novel filled with all of the glitz, drama and scandal that courts this clan of powerhouse characters. Never f**k with a Santangelo. Long live the Lady Boss.
Reporting by Annie Bouza