I’m always excited when someone I know and admire gets one of their books picked up for a movie or TV show, so I was thrilled to see that Lisa Kleypas has a Christmas story on ABC. I contacted her to find out how this all came about.
BV: Lisa, I just saw on Facebook that your Christmas book, Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor, will be a Hallmark movie called Christmas with Holly. How did this come about?
LK: Barbara, I can’t tell you how exciting this has been! When I wrote the story a couple of years ago, I had a special feeling about it—my husband Greg actually said, “You know, this seems like it would be a great Hallmark movie.” I’m not precisely certain how the deal was actually made, only that my agent “put out feelers” and by some incredible stroke of luck it seemed that the story and the timing all worked for Hallmark.
BV: What’s the story about?
LK: It’s about a six year old girl, Holly, who hasn’t spoken since the death of her mother . . . her single uncle Mark has been named as her guardian, and he doesn’t know the first thing about raising a little girl. His two brothers reluctantly pitch in to help take care of her, and over the course of the holiday season, the broken family heals . . . and Mark falls in love with a local toy shop owner.
BV: Could this be made into a series?
LK: If Hallmark wanted to, I would be thrilled!
BV: Did you get to be part of the process (meet the actors, visit the set)?
LK: Unfortunately I couldn’t travel to Nova Scotia while it was being filmed this past summer—I live in Washington State, and I was too busy with family and work to take the time off. But I knew that Hallmark would do a great job with it–they have incredibly high production values, and they hired a great cast, and best of all Allan Arkush (executive producer of Heroes and Crossing Jordan) directed. So much talent.
BV: Were you happy with the outcome? Sometimes the screenplay doesn’t always match up with the books.
LK: I am absolutely thrilled with it! There are some changes of course, to emphasize the themes of family healing and overcoming fear, but as the author Michael Hague has observed, there wouldn’t be much point in making a movie if it were exactly the same as the book. It’s sort of like hearing a new singer interpret a song you’ve enjoyed in the past . . . you enjoy the way someone else can make it their own. I loved the way P’nenah Goldstein, the teleplay writer, kept the humor of the story and even added some cute quirks.
The feeling of the novel and the basic story are definitely in the movie, and it includes some of my favorite scenes as well. (The exploding Thanksgiving turkey scene was fabulous, and the lighted Christmas boat parade was breathtaking) The three brothers are all sexy, and Eloise Mumford, who plays Maggie, is radiant . . . I think you’ll love her in this part as much as I did! The very best part for me, however, is when Maggie is showing the fairy house in the toy store to Holly . . . it looks so much the way I imagined it and it even has the teacup bathtub!
BV: What’s been the feedback from your readers?
LK: They’ve been terrific, as usual . . . very positive and encouraging. And the concerns that have been expressed about not wanting the movie to stray too far from the book have warmed my heart because they seem like affirmations of the storytelling choices I made. I love my readers!
BV: When will it be on television?
LK: December 9 on ABC, and on the Hallmark Channel at various times the week after.
BV: I’m a big fan of your historicals. Any chance they’ll be picked up for a movie? I’d be all in.
LK: Oh, thank you so much Barbara—I would love to see the Wallflowers or the Hathaways in film—wouldn’t it be fun to watch Beatrix with all her pets, or Evie’s elopement to Gretna Green with St. Vincent?
Did you watch? What other Christmas books would you like to see made into movies?
Bottom Line: If you missed it, look for encore showings on the Hallmark Channel December 16, 20, 22 and 23rd.
From Dianna Love:Don’t miss NYT bestseller Dianna Love’s FREE FRIDAY one day giveaway (lasts from Fri noon EST to Sat noon EST) on December 14, 2012 for a Kindle FIRE & signed copy of her new romantic thriller LAST CHANCE TO RUN. Easy to enter – takes half a second – at her “Dianna Love” Facebook page
I have been absolutely giddy the past couple of weeks because Brilliance Audio has been sending me a ton of audio books. Now, I’ve always loved to read real paper books and will continue to do so, but there are times when it’s just not convenient. While driving a car, walking, doing dishes, and late at night when my eyes seem to give out and start watering so I can’t read the print. Today I want to talk about the readers on audio books.
I especially love listening to them with the lights out. It seems to really put me in that time and place and clearly let’s me understand how important the right reader is to a book. I started off with an older book, but new to audio, Jennifer Crusie’sCharlie All Night. Not sure how I missed this book in print because I thought I read them all. It was a contemporary love story about a young woman working as a producer at a radio station and the man who temporarily fills in as a DJ. Since I was focusing on the reader, I’d have to say Aimee Jolson did a fine job. It was clear what was going on and who was saying what. No strange dialects that take me out of the story.
Next up was the historical by Lisa Kleypas, Then Came You. There’s something I find so lovely about a British accent and Lisa’s story was fun, fascinating and exciting to listen to. She has a way with witty dialog and the reader, Rosalyn Landor, nailed it. I was completely enchanted and would definitely listen to it again.
Unfortunately, not so much with the reader for Victoria Alexander’sThe Perfect Mistress. I have been reading Victoria for years and while the story was about everything I love in historicals, the reader, Jennifer Dixon, offered no change in her voice to alert me to which character was talking. I couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman, so I spent a good part of the time thinking, “Wait…who said that??” It was very distracting and a disservice to the book. (Which has a gorgeous cover.)
I’m currently listening to Treachery in Death by Nora Roberts in my car. I already read the book, but I’m now listening to it because this reader, Susan Ericksen, is amazing in defining the characters and when she does Roarke’s Irish lilt, I swoon. It seems I make more car trips just to listen to the book.
At home I’m in the middle of How to Woo a Reluctant Lady by Sabrina Jeffries. Another favorite author, but I find myself somewhat put off by the reader, Sarah Coomes. I’ll admit that I’m no expert when it comes to the different British dialects, but while the story makes the characters out to be well to do, the reader’s voice sounds more Cockney to me. Sort of Eliza Doolittle before her transformation. I find the story fascinating, so I may also read the book later to see if it changes how I liked the book overall.
The best reader ever for me is Jim Dale who does the Harry Potter books. I always know exactly who’s talking. It amazes me how he can come up with a slightly different voice for each character. I read once where he works many hours getting just the right sound for that person. It works wonderfully.
Just like how different people like different books, others could love the audios that just didn’t do it for me or not care for the ones I loved. Once again, while I enjoyed all the stories (so please, read them or listen to them yourselves), I was concentrating on what I thought the reader brought to the table. But I’d love to hear what you think? Do you enjoy audio books? Does the reader matter to you? For authors: Do you listen to your books in audio form? Have you been pleased or disappointed about your books were interpreted (you don’t have to use your name)? Is it like when you have no control over the cover of your book?
A number of my readers are trying the audio books out, so you’ll be seeing their takes in the WW Ladies Book Club Blurbs. Many thanks to Brilliance Audio for making these available.
Bottom Line: My personal preference is unabridged audio. I want to hear every word the author wrote.
It’s hard to believe that Christmas is next month already. For the first time ever, I’m not done Christmas shopping. I usually have everything bought and wrapped by now, but it’s been a crazy year. So I’ve decided, books for everyone. A fun shopping day for me and in the end, everyone wins. Here’s the first wave of Christmas books read by the WW Ladies and next week will feature more.
All I Vant for Christmas features Connor Drake, a very rich and very traditional vampire , is looking for the perfect celebration. Connor hires party planner Jillian Parker to create the mood in his mansion. Jillian has never worked for vampires before but there is always a first time. A Vampire in her Stocking has Vivan Harrison, dedicated assistant to her incredibly handsome boss Sean Spice. When she finds out that her boss is terminally ill, she is devastated. Her friend Angelina decides to change Sean and leave him on her doorstep all wrapped up for Christmas. Vivian needs to find the power to show Sean the ways of the undead. In It’s a Wonderful Bite, Angelina Ricci is looking for a commitment from her boyfriend Ian. After hundreds of years together, she wants the ring, the romance, and the whole package. Angelina lives a dream similar to “It’s a Wonderful Life” and learns the true meaning of Christmas.
My favorite type of holiday reading is in novella form. I especially liked how Heidi weaved all the characters in and out of all three novellas. The one I enjoyed the most was “It’s a Wonderful Bite”. I think everyone would wish to find out what would happen if your past was changed, and see what your future would be like. This book has it all; a little holiday, a little vampire and ALOT of romance!!
Mark Nolan unexpectedly gains custody of his niece Holly when his sister dies. He’s working at making a great life for them both when he meets Maggie Collins, who has just opened a toy store in Friday Harbor.
The magic and wonder Lisa Kleypas manages to infuse her stories with is the kind you want to bottle and keep with you every day!! I hope I’ll get a chance to go back to Friday Harbor soon, and it’s an amazing place.
Jake Finley is the son of the great JR Finley, owner of Finley’s department store. With the holiday season fast approaching, the focus is on the profit of the season. Jake and his father don’t look at the holiday season since tragedy struck them years ago. Holly Larson is focused on her eight year old nephew Gabe, who has seen his own tragedy and is now without his father who has been sent overseas with the Army. Her one wish is to give Gabe a holiday to remember. Enter Mrs. Miracle, or Emily Merkle. Emily’s focus is to help everyone achieve their own miracle for Christmas.
It’s like a modern day Miracle on 34th Street, but with angels in disguise!! I am not at all surprised that the Hallmark Channel made both of the Mrs. Miracle books into made-for-TV movies. I felt like wrapping up in my favorite fuzzy blanket, hot cocoa and cuddle down with the book, and now with the movie!! Double win for everyone!
Stranded at the whistle-stop town of Whisper, Colorado, Claire Collins must spend snow-bound days with a surly artist, but their companionship unexpectedly warms up the holidays for both of them in Hot Whisper by LuAnn McLane. Hot for the Holidays by Susanna Carr has reforming bad girl Rachel wildly tempted by co-worker Justin who would be a delightful holiday gift, but she’s determined to avoid any casual self-destructive affair. Janice Maynard tells a heartwarming story of a woman braving the Alaskan winter to temporarily run a Bed and Breakfast during the holiday season to distract herself from recent sadness and loneliness, and there finding hope for love and companionship, in Hot Arctic Nights.
I usually have trouble reading holiday stories this long before the season even starts, but Wicked Wonderland has charming, romantic stories that quickly made me feel all contentedly warm and mushy, even aside from the delightfully sexy, sensual parts. Only don’t set those aside; they’ll really warm your toes.
Beaufort, South Carolina is the perfect setting for the Christmas holidays with the family at Josie Tatternall’s Bed and Breakfast. As Josie witnesses her close friend’s heart attack, she decides life is too short and calls her three daughters home for the holidays.
There is no Bed and Breakfast big enough for three daughters with different personalities. You certainly can feel that in this book. Josie is a classic southern mother, with a modern twist, which makes her fun to learn about. But I found the surprising romances exceptionally sweet and satisfying by the end.
One week in December by Holly Chamberlin
Read by Heidi
The Rowans’ are gathering for the holidays at the family house in Maine. Becca is on a mission to claim her daughter back, who was adopted by her brother. Even though this revelation would break the family apart, Becca is determined to follow through with her plan despite the challenges from her family.
I felt sad for Becca and her loneliness towards herself and her family. Her wishes for her daughter to be back in her life full time are admirable, but at what cost. The holidays are always a roller coaster, but this family certainly has an even bigger one with the power struggle to reveal the truth. .