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Fun Friday: Books We’d Love to See on Film

Friday, September 25, 2009

fun-friday.jpg

I debated back and forth on whether to do this topic or another “You Might Be a Writer If…” post—but after the, ahem, lively discussion on yesterday’s post, I just couldn’t get the juices flowing to come up with more than a couple. (But maybe next week . . .)

Instead, I decided to stick with the topic I’d thought of last week. Favorite books I’d love to see put on the big screen (okay, the TV screen would be okay, too). And then, of course, I’ll want you to share yours.
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White Jade by Willo Davis RobertsWhite Jade by Willo Davis Roberts.
Though this book, published by Doubleday in 1975, was intended for adult readers, it really is more of a YA book (and a very tame one by today’s secular fiction standards), with a heroine who’s barely twenty years old and the story written in her first-person point of view. It’s written in the Gothic style and incorporates many of the wonderful elements of traditional Gothics, but in a New World, Victorian-era setting. The teaser line on the front cover reads: “She came to a place of mist and menace where even kisses tasted of terror.” The back-cover blurb doesn’t do the story justice, so I’ve written a new one:

      Someone is trying to kill her for a fortune she didn’t know she possessed.
      In 1885, following the death of her missionary parents, twenty-year-old Cecelia Jade Cummings has risked her life, and that of her crippled younger brother, to get from China to their only remaining relative—the grandfather she’s never met. But when she arrives in Eureka, California, she learns her grandfather is dying in a house filled with distant relatives who not only resent Cecelia’s presence but who may want her dead, too.

      Cecelia doesn’t know whom she can trust: Cousin Lawrie, who wants nothing more than to be left to his music and art; Cousin Edward whose overtures and insinuations make her dread his company; or Cousin Shea, whose presence holds her spellbound with a mixture of fascination and fear. But when her grandfather takes a turn for the worst, Cecelia is forced to make a decision that seals her fate—and could spell her doom, especially when he reveals with his last breath he’s written a new will. Now, someone is trying to kill her . . . and all evidence points to the man she’s starting to love.

Can’t you just see this on Hallmark or Lifetime? I discovered this book when I was about sixteen years old because two of my favorite romance novels (YA, from the Sunfire series) were written by WDR: Victoria and Caroline. So I looked her up at the public library in Las Cruces and they had White Jade. And to this day, it remains one of my favorite books.
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The O’Malley Series by Dee Henderson
Actually, I could see this as a TV series featuring all of these characters and their “heroic” jobs—Kate, the police hostage negotiator; Marcus, the U.S. Marshal, Lisa, the forensic pathologist; Jack, the firefighter; Rachel, the trauma psychologist; Stephen, the paramedic; and Jennifer, the pediatric doctor. And then there are all of their romantic partners including an FBI agent and an assistant to a state senator—who decides she might want to pursue a political career; along with the different murders and crimes they come together as a family to solve.
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MIMiss Invisible by Laura Jensen Walker
Y’all know that I don’t read much chick lit. But the few chick-lits I’ve read by LJW usually start out with me thinking, Get out of my head, already! by the end of the first page. No more so than with this stand-alone romantic comedy.

      A feast of romance and laughter featuring a delightful and courageous heroine that you can relate to no matter what your size.

      Convinced that her larger size relegates her to wallflower status, Freddie Heinz hides behind the wedding cakes she creates as a professional baker. But life is about to change for Miss Invisible.

      First of all, Freddie’s found a new friend who encourages her to come out of her shell. Then Hal, the cute veternarian, starts showing interest in the woman behind the delightful cakes. And when Freddie decides to break every rule in the “big girl’s” book and find out who she really is, life gets even more exciting—and hilarious.

      Cinderella, look out! Miss Invisible is becoming the belle of the ball—and having a ball in the process. Because when you finally find God’s call for your life, any size is the right size—and love can see what the rest of the world passes by.

Read my review of MI here.
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Now it’s your turn. Go take a tour of your bookshelves and come back with some books you’d love to see made into movies.

18 Comments
  1. Friday, September 25, 2009 8:15 am

    The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers.

    Actually most of Francine’s books could translate well to the movies. Its sad that The Last Sin – Eater is the only one that has made it.

    I agree about the O’Malley series! It would make for an awesome series. I’ve even wished that I could write the scripts….. LOL

    The Trixie Belden series – series of teen detective mysteries. Nancy Drew has had her day (over and over again) – Trixie should too!

    The Immortal by Angela Hunt

    Ok, those are the ones off the top of my head. There are others that I would love to see as movies, but I just don’t have time right now to remember them all :)

  2. Friday, September 25, 2009 8:44 am

    Here’s a couple:

    The Mark of the Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers
    Chateau of Echoes by Siri Mitchell
    The Gresham Chronicles by Lawana Blackwell (these books would make a wonderful television series!)

    I might come up with more when I get home.

  3. Friday, September 25, 2009 11:57 am

    I agree that Dee Henderson’s books would make an awesome series.

    I’d love to see Claudia Mair Burney’s Amanda Brown series in film. Also Randy Alcorn’s Deadline, Dominion, and Deception books.

  4. Sylvia M. permalink
    Friday, September 25, 2009 11:57 am

    Besides Kaye’s books which would make fantastic films here are a few that I would recommend.

    The Cheney Duvall, M.D. series by Gilbert and Lynn Morris

    First off I have to say The Cheney Duvall, M.D. series by Gilbert and Lynn Morris must be put into film. It’s perfect for the long British period drama type even though it’s American. We need more of those over here on this side of the pond. An unforgettable cast of characters that show up in all the books. There are eight books in the first series and each book will need to be at least two hours long. They are fabulous books set in post Civil War.

    Go here to read a book synopsis of each novel.

    http://www.angelfire.com/mo/blondgirl/cheney.html

    Go here to read descriptions of the cast of characters.

    http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Lights/4738/characters.html

    Celia Garth by Gwen Bristow

    http://andilynn.wordpress.com/2009/05/12/good-reads-celia-garth-by-gwen-bristow/

    Celia Garth is a story about a twenty-year old girl who wanted things to happen to her.

    Celia lived in Charleston, South Carolina , during the American Revolution. She had blond hair and brown eyes and a sassy face, and she worked in a fashionable dressmaking shop.

    Things did happen to Celia, but not as she planned. The king’s army captured Charleston. The ravisher Tarleton swept through the Carolina countryside in a wave of blood, fire and debauchery. Caught up in the ruin were Celia and her friends–the merry minded Darren; Jimmy, whose love for Celia brought her into his tragedy; the fascinating Vivian, five times married; Godfrey, rich and powerful who met disaster because he could control anything in town but the weather; the gay [not in today's sense of the word] daredevil Luke.

    Most people thought the Revolution was lost. Many Americans, like Celia’s handsome cousin Roy, joined the king’s side. Then out of the swamps appeared Francis Marion.

    Marion was a little man. Marion was also crippled. But as Luke said of him, “When that man’s leading a charge, he looks nine feet tall.”

    In the dressmaking shop, Celia became a spy for Marion. She sewed, she smiled sweetly, and in secret she risked her life sending information to this man that the king’s whole army could not catch, the mighty little man to whom Tarleton angrily gave the name “Swamp Fox.”

    The Heirloom by Maryann Minatra

    Set during World War I.

    http://www.christianbook.com/3-heirloom-maryann-minatra/9781596810129/pd/810129?event=1001NREL%7C2050708%7C1001

    Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer

    Need I say more? It’s Heyer! Someone needs to start doing her books on film. This one is my favorite!

    http://www.geocities.com/Athens/8889/Devil.html

    The Mitford Books by Jan Karon

    These books would make great weekly segments like The Andy Griffith Show, etc.

    Finding Father Christmas and Engaging Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn would make wonderful Christmas, Hallmark films if they were actully filmed in Enlgand with English and American actors.

    Also, by Robin Jones Gunn, is The Glenbrooke Series. These would make great two hour films.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Glenbrooke-Series/lm/2D9KLSAJJ5PR3

    • Friday, September 25, 2009 12:21 pm

      I absolutely LOVE the Cheney Duvall series! Your comment brought back some good memories. Those books are LONG overdue for a re-read, but with the state of my TBR pile as it is who knows when that’s likely to happen. I used to have such a crush on Shiloh. :)

      And good call on Heyer…I’ve always found it puzzling that her books were never picked up for films or miniseries…they are so funny! The Devil’s Cub is a great example.

      • Saturday, September 26, 2009 9:45 pm

        These are actually some of the first Christian books that I read back when I was about 13 or 14!!! Wow! It is still one of my favorite series.’ It would be an awesome show…but maybe a bit too much like Dr. Quinn??!!

  5. Friday, September 25, 2009 12:03 pm

    Kirby Larson’s Hattie Big Sky would make a great movie, through probably more in the made-for-TV vein than theatrical release. It’s one of my favorite children’s historicals and shows an era I’ve never seen before: homesteading in eastern Montana during WWI.

  6. Friday, September 25, 2009 12:04 pm

    I realized at about 3 a.m. that I should have posted the reason why I’ve been thinking about this topic. I picked up the novel Practical Magic at the library earlier this week because I like the movie so much (you know, the one with Sandra Bullock, Aidan Quinn, and Nicole Kidman) and wanted to see how the book and movie compared.

    So far, the movie version is winning by a LONG shot. The book is mostly “told narrative” instead of an active story. The author (Alice Hoffman) likes to go off on long tangents of backstory while in the middle of what could have been an active scene. And there are some significant changes the filmmakers made that make the story hang together better . . . in the book, Sally just falls in love with her first husband–the Aunts don’t place a love spell on them (though, I’m only about 1/3 into the book—maybe that’s revealed later). Sally’s daughters are 13 and 16, and in a fit of anger over how the aunts were raising her daughters—after Sally spent a year basically in bed after her husband’s death—Sally took them and moved to Long Island. Oh, and so far, I haven’t run across the idea that their ancestress, Maria, put a curse on the subsequent generations that if they fell in love with a man, he would die.

    In short, I think the filmmakers did a much better job putting together a coherent story with much stronger plot-lines and character motivations than what are in the book!

  7. Friday, September 25, 2009 1:28 pm

    An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott! It’s WAY better than Little Women.

  8. Friday, September 25, 2009 2:16 pm

    My favorite book of all time, The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare, would be wonderful as a movie. It’s all dark and brooding, and Kit, the heroine, stands out with flashes of color all the time. Visually it would be so stunning. Not to mention an amazing story!

    Also, I’d love to see more of Meg Cabot’s YA books as movies. The Princess Diaries are adorable, but there are so many cute stories from her. I especially loved All-American Girl and Jinx.

    And of course, who can forget about Gilbert Morris’s Appomatox Saga. It always felt a little incomplete at the end, but the sweeping family saga is AMAZING! I’d love to see a miniseries out of those books.

    Great suggestion, Kaye. Thanks for letting us dream up some movies we’d like to see. :)

    • Saturday, September 26, 2009 1:09 pm

      The first two Princess Diaries books are movies. From Disney starring Anne Hathaway. I love the first one. The second one is so-so. I like it only because Julie Andrews sings again!

  9. Friday, September 25, 2009 11:30 pm

    You’re so right about the O’Malley series.

    Vienna Prelude by Bodie Thoene. Actually the whole series would make a great mini-series, kind of like that WWII one that was done in the late ’80s (I think).

    Athol Dickson’s Winter Haven. Love that book. It’s a contemporary Gothic suspense. Really good.

    Christina Berry’s The Familiar Stranger.

    And whoever said Chateau of Echoes–I second that.

    • Friday, September 25, 2009 11:46 pm

      I have to second the Thoene books…those would make a FANTASTIC miniseries!

  10. Friday, September 25, 2009 11:59 pm

    This is a tough question. So many books (even my own) play like movies in my head.

    The Witch of Blackbird Pond would be a great movie, Liz. I’m surprized it hasn’t been done yet.

    Here are some others that would be movie worthy:
    Breathe by Lisa T. Bergren
    The Veil by Diane Noble
    The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent
    Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

  11. Saturday, September 26, 2009 5:53 am

    The O’Malley series would be great!! :) And I agree with the Mitford series too.

    Right now I’m reading a series by Phillip Gulley – the Harmony series and think they would be wonderful too.

    Another one I read recently – Farraday Road by Ace Collins would be full of mystery and drama too!

    Other than that, a lot of my favorites are in movie form right now…I think. I’d go double check my shelves…but the house is so quiet and everyone is sleeping. :)

    Jolanthe

  12. Jess permalink
    Saturday, September 26, 2009 1:15 pm

    Oh, man…Willo Davis Roberts made me think of “The View from the Cherry Tree.” I’ve read that book fairly regularly since I was about nine–or maybe younger. I just remember thinking of the 11-year-old prote as being “an older kid.” I’ll have to check out White Jade.

  13. Jess permalink
    Saturday, September 26, 2009 1:58 pm

    Rachel, I liked “An Old-Fashioned Girl,” but I thought she was totally too good for the guy she ended up with. (trying not to spoil it) I wanted a prince (or at least a Marquis) to come and take her away!

  14. Saturday, September 26, 2009 9:53 pm

    Okay I know, I know there are tons of vampire movies/tv shows out there but I’d love to see The Immortality Bites series byMichelle Rowen made into a series…simply because they’re not all dark and dreary like say Vampire Diaries but are more like chick lit! I’d also love to see Tamera Alexander’s Fountain Creek chronicles (especially Rekindled) made into movies (I could definitely see these on Hallmark channel)! There are so many more! I read waaayyyy too many books that I want made into movies. I’d be here all night! Great Fun Friday :-)

    XOXO~ Renee

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