A Christmas Gift: Lisa Kleypas Novel To Be Televised This December

The holidays come early for fans of New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas and her Friday Harbor series thanks to the Hallmark Hall of Fame. Yesterday Kleypas revealed on Facebook, that filming for Christmas with Holly, an adaptation of her 2010 novel, Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor has begun. Set to premiere on December 9 on ABC, the movie will star Sean Faris (The Vampire Diaries, Leverage) as Mark Nolan and Eloise Mumford (The River, Lone Star) as his love interest, Maggie Collins.

We couldn’t be more excited to see the on-screen adaptation of the book that RT reviewer Annette called “poignant, heartbreaking and deeply satisfying.” And we’re happy to see this outstanding author follow in the footsteps of Nora Roberts (Lifetime) and Debbie Macomber (Hallmark Channel) as she makes her first foray into the hearts of television viewers. And what’s not to love? Viewers will be touched by the tale of bachelor Mark Nolan as he takes over care of his newly orphaned and traumatized six-year-old niece, Holly. Enter the kind and maternal Maggie. She’s a toy shop owner with a tragic past of her own — she’s a widow who lost her husband to cancer. And as the holidays draw closer, so do these lost souls.

As it’s translated from page to screen, we’re sure that the meaning behind the tale won’t be lost. But it also makes us hopeful that we’ll see some of our other favorite romance novels in a new medium. Here are the web team’s wishful picks for future adaptations:

Morgan: Even knowing how hard it is to film a movie, I can’t feel too sorry for the crew adapting Roberts, Macomber and Kleypas’ stories. These authors are all known for strong characters, great dialogue and interesting plots — which makes their books perfect for the screen. Another author that I feel fits into this group nicely is Victoria Dahl. A little racier than average contemporaries, Dahl’s work, and especially her Start Me Up series, would translate into a movie without a hitch. From Lori, the forward thinking mechanic in Start Me Up to the not-so-plain-Jane in Lead Me On, these modern heroines could hold their own against any current onscreen characters.

Shawna: I’m usually a fan of period dramas, and I love anything produced by the BBC. So naturally my mind started to race through all the Regency romances I’ve read — and loved — throughout the years. But then I stopped and put my movie producer cap on and thought: “What would appeal to today’s audiences?” And then it hit me: Pamela Clare’s action-packed I-Team series. I just recently devoured every single one, and it’s got everything going for it. There are courageous women, hot, protective men (and I mean, hot!), and action scenes that already read like they’ve come straight out of a summer blockbuster. Plus all the characters’ back-stories are compelling and realistic. I’d love, love, love to see them made into film! From Extreme Exposure (Book 1) to Breaking Point (Book 5), they’re all movie-worthy.

Elisa: When I think of made for TV movies, I think of stories that really get the waterworks going, yet leave the viewer with a fuzzy, warm feeling of satisfaction. This news has got me thinking about heartwaring holiday stories, and I believe Melody Carlson’s recent release, The Christmas Pony, would make a perfect film adaptation for the upcoming holiday season. The story is a historical inspirational tale set in 1937, when 8-year-old Lucy Turnbull wishes for a Christmas gift beyond her family’s means — her very own pony. When her mother breaks the news that Lucy’s dream pony will remain just that — a dream — a pair of wayward travelers are welcomed into the Turnbull home, and inspire Lucy to believe that even the most unattainable dreams are within reach.

For more movie and TV news, take a look at our recent coverage that includes an exciting look at a new Agatha Christie adaptation. And stay tuned for September’s coverage of Hollywood happenings.