This month, PHS editor Ali Williams is talking about the books that she's convinced would make the best Hallmark movies!
With the Hallmark Channel recently announcing the fact that it's accepting submissions for 'wholesome or “sweet” romance novels and cozy mystery novels of around 65,000 – 85,000 words in length', it got me thinking about my favourite Hallmark movies.
One of our PHS columnists - Teri Wilson - has been lucky enough to have two of her novels adapted for screen by Hallmark, and she's spoken to us about the process before!
But it also made me think about all of the books that I'm convinced would make the perfect Hallmark movies - and add something different to the channel's current lineup.
So today I'm sharing with you some sweet - primarily small-town-based - romances that I think Hallmark should be snapping up right now!
Insert Groom Here - K. M. Jackson
Her: Eva Ward, suddenly jilted bride-to-be
Him: Aidan Walker, the cameraman who captured her meltdown
Their Story: Eva Ward has won a lavish wedding on the nation’s hottest morning show and can’t wait to kick off her happily-ever-after in style. Too bad her fiancé backs out on-air—and cameraman Aidan Walker makes sure her private meltdown goes viral, down to the last couch-kicking moment. The only way Eva can save face and keep her perfect nuptial plans on track is to star in a new “find-a-groom” reality segment. But finding Mr. Right in one month means ignoring her handsome new producer—none other than Aidan himself—and getting their instant, exasperating attraction out of her system…
Eva soon finds there’s a lot more to Aidan than freewheeling charm. But one glimpse of his caring side can’t make up for off-camera politics, Aidan’s own secrets—or Eva’s fear that they’re too different to ever trust each other. So it’s time for her to flip this script, write twists no one will see coming—and risk her heart to get the real thing…
Matinees with Miriam - Vicki Essex
Her: Miriam Bateman, owner of the Crown Theatre
Him: Shane Patel, a condo developer who's got his eye on her theatre
Their Story: Shane Patel has a way with people—a skill that's made him a success in the condo development business. But his charms are proving useless on Miriam Bateman. The Crown Theater is the key to his company's latest project. It also happens to be Miriam's home and her grandfather's legacy. She's made it clear that it's not for sale.
Despite the frustration, Shane's enjoying trying to win Miriam over. And the best part of his day becomes watching old movies with her. When Miriam's plans to reopen the theater threaten his project, though, Shane has a tough decision to make: his career or Miriam.
Marathon Cowboys - Sarah Black
Him: Jesse Clayton, untameable artist, devoted to his grandfather
Him: Lorenzo Maryboy, former Marine turned cartoonist
Their Story: Jesse Clayton loves painting, his cowboy grandfather, and his life as an artist with a wild abandon that leaves scorch marks on everything he touches. Budding Navajo cartoonist Lorenzo Maryboy is a hard-working former Marine: staunch, brave, and honorable. Chance brings them together on the road to Marathon, Texas, and passion flares.
Just as always, Jesse puts his art ahead of everything. He betrays their growing trust, and that Lorenzo can’t forgive. But Jesse’s found something he loves more than his art, and what he does to win Lorenzo’s forgiveness is far more dangerous than either man understands.
One Summer Night - Caridad Pineiro
Her: Maggie Sinclair, feisty, struggling business owner
Him: Owen Pierce, her neighbour and the son of her family's ultimate enemy
Their Story: Maggie Sinclair has tried everything to save her family's business, including mortgaging their beloved beach house on the Jersey shore. But now, she's out of options.
The Sinclair and Pierce families have been neighbors and enemies for almost thirty years. That hasn't stopped Owen Pierce from crushing on Maggie, and he's determined to invest in her success. Now he has to convince her that he's more than just trouble with a capital T...
Trinity Falls - Regina Hart
Her: Megan McCloud, independent woman and proud owner of Books & Bakery
Him: Ean Fever, burnt out lawyer recently returned to his hometown
Their Story: Ean Fever is burned out by the hectic pace of New York City and his cutthroat law career. Longing for a sense of community, he’s returned to his hometown of Trinity Falls, Ohio. Maybe he can even help save the Town Center from greedy developers looking to destroy its small businesses—like Books & Bakery, owned by Megan McCloud. Megan was once an awkward girl next door, but Ean discovers she's grown into a strong-willed, beautiful woman...
Megan isn't the only strong-willed McCloud. Her cousin, Ramona, is the town mayor. And as usual, Ramona is trying to take away what Megan wants most. As teenagers, that meant Ean. Now Ramona wants to take away her business. But Megan has learned how to fight. And she soon realizes that Ean is ready to fight with her—and for her. Because when Ean finds himself falling for the woman who’s adored him all along, he'll have to convince her that he's not leaving again. At least not without her.
Thaw - Elyse Springer
Her: Abigail, contented asexual librarian, whose library is under threat
Her: Gabrielle Levesque, supermodel, ice queen and sweetheart
Their Story: Abigail is content with her quiet life as a librarian. But when she’s invited to a high-profile charity auction, she finds herself dancing with one of the most beautiful women she’s ever met. Abby’s sure she’ll never see her again, but then Gabrielle calls and asks her on a date. And soon after, another.
Supermodel Gabrielle Levesque has a reputation as the Ice Queen—cold and untouchable—except she warms up whenever she’s with Abby.
Only Abby isn’t interested in the heat between them; she’s asexual, and she’s worried that admitting as much to Gabrielle might spell the end of their blooming romance.
They’re two different women from two very different worlds, but Abby knows she can love Gabrielle. Her passion for books, travel, and theater prove there’s more to the Ice Queen than meets the eye. But they’ll have to overcome Abby’s fears—and Gabrielle’s own threatening secrets—in order to find their way to love.
Forever's Promise - Farrah Rochon
Her: Shayla Kirkland, coffee shop owner and aunt extraordinaire
Him: Xavier Wright, the E. R. doctor with the broken heart
Their Story: After tragedy brings her home to Louisiana, all Shayla Kirkland wants is to reconnect with her family. Between helping care for her nieces and running her recently opened coffee shop, there's no time for romance. Until the workaholic entrepreneur meets Xavier Wright, the hunky E.R. doctor who has the local females waiting in line.
The sleepy town is the perfect transition place for Xavier to heal others while trying to mend his own heart. Falling for the owner of Gauthier's hottest new hangout isn't part of his short-term goals—even if the passion Shayla's arousing in him is impossible to resist. But how will Xavier offer her forever, if he plans to leave as soon as his work is done?
Imaginary Lines - Allison Parr
Her: Tamar Rosenfeld, small town girl turned New York reporter
Him: Abraham Krasner, the linebacker who's regretting his rejection of her
Their Story: Tamar Rosenfeld has been in love with New York Leopards linebacker Abraham Krasner since they were twelve years old. She'd always considered it destiny that they'd end up together…until Abe was drafted and she professed her feelings in a moment of blind excitement. The sting of his rejection was like nothing she'd ever felt before, and it's nothing she'll ever forget.
Older and wiser, Tamar has landed a dream job as a reporter for one of New York's premier athletic websites. Determined to stop being the safe, boring girl she's felt like for most of her life, Tamar makes a list of all the things she wants to do and see in her new city, and Getting Over Abraham is priority number one.
But destiny has finally chosen to interfere. Just as Tamar's decided to move on, Abe's realized she's the only woman for him. When he confides the truth, Tamar has to decide if she can put her crush behind her, or take a chance on the very man who's been holding her back all these years.
Say You Need Me - Kayla Perrin
Her: Serena Childs, librarian who's just been swindled by her dream man
Him: Darrell Montford, the twin brother of the louse who stole from her and broke her heart
Their Story: "Mr. Right" was wrong! Lovelorn librarian Serena Childs was destroyed when Cecil Montford—the fine–looking charmer she thought was "The One"—snuck out of her life with her savings and a priceless diamond necklace. And now he's dining in plain view at a local restaurant only two weeks later! But it's not until she has the man arrested that Serena discovers he's not Cecil at all—but the lowlife thief's equally hot twin brother, Darrell.
The lady can't believe the two are actually related. Where Cecil was lowdown, Darrell's loyal and honest . . . and as tempting a dark dreamboat as her lips have ever ached to kiss. Darrell's eager to help Serena get back the jewels—and the heart—his no–good twin stole from her. But how can she trust someone with the same heavenly face that gave her hell—even when the angel tells her he wants to love her for a lifetime?
Love on Her Terms - Jennifer Lohmann
Her: Mina Clements, HIV-positive graphic novelist
Him: Levi Pardo, the widower handyman next door
Their Story: Mina Clements wants to grab life with both hands. With a fixer-upper and a fresh start in Montana, the graphic novelist is ready to do just that. Plus, having handsome handyman Levi Pardo next door could be a bonus… But even though sparks sizzle when Levi helps with her renovations, the widower’s in no hurry to fall in love again.
Still, he’s much more than the neighbour who looks good swinging a hammer. He’s a man she wants to trust with her biggest secret—one that can either bring them closer or wreck the new beginning they both need.
Coffee Boy - Austin Chant
Him: Kieron Mullur, trans man adjusting to the pressures of working on a political campaign
Him: Seth Harker, the campaign strategist who' also his supervisor
Their Story: After graduation, Kieran expected to go straight into a career of flipping burgers—only to be offered the internship of his dreams at a political campaign. But the pressure of being an out trans man in the workplace quickly sucks the joy out of things, as does Seth, the humorless campaign strategist who watches his every move.
Soon, the only upside to the job is that Seth has a painful crush on their painfully straight boss, and Kieran has a front row seat to the drama. But when Seth proves to be as respectful and supportive as he is prickly, Kieran develops an awkward crush of his own—one which Seth is far too prim and proper to ever reciprocate.
Lighting the Flames - Sarah Wendell
Her: Genevieve, recently back from a graduate fellowship overseas
Him: Jeremy Gold, her mortician best friend with a quirky sense of humour
Their Story: Genevieve and Jeremy have known each other since they were seven, and have been summertime best friends at Camp Meira, a Jewish overnight camp in the mountains. As campers, and then as staff, their friendship was a constant, something neither wanted to change, no matter how tempting those changes might be.
Then, last year, with little warning, Jeremy left camp early. After that summer, Gen left the country on a graduate fellowship.
Now, a little over a year since they were last at Meira, Gen and Jeremy are back together to help run a special Winter Camp during Hanukkah. Any water under the bridge is frozen this time of year, and with so much left unspoken and unexplained, this week may be their chance to rekindle their friendship, or turn it into something new.
For more information about Ali and her writing, editing and academic projects, check out her shiny new website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.