Two Binge-Worthy TV Shows Based on Books

It's that time of the week again--Friday! :) Normally, on Fridays I give you a Friday Read pick. But the last two weeks have required me to do things that involve intense concentration (going through copyedits, checking for typos, getting everything ready for By the Hour's release, etc.) So after hours of doing that, my brain can't face more printed words. So, I've been doing some TV binge watching in evenings to give myself a break. And I've found two totally binge-worthy shows to recommend. And bonus, they're both shows based on books!

First, is Big Little Lies on HBO. This series is based on a book by LIane Moriarty. I haven't read the book, but I was intrigued by the premise and the show had a great cast, so I gave it a try. I'm so glad I did. This show is dark and suspenseful, yet it's not hard to recognize people you may know in the characters. The perfectionistic mom who really is trying to hold it together. The couple that every one envies because they seem so in love, but no one really knows what the relationship is like in private. The single mom who's just trying to do best by her kid but has her own demons. So it's relatable in that way. And no character is purely "good" so everyone is very layered. 

What I liked best about the show is that it's a fully contained story in 7 episodes. You get a wrapped up ending and aren't committing to some ongoing series. I really enjoyed it and found the ending satisfying. I also liked that it's very focused on the female characters.

I'm not sure if you can get it regular streaming, but I assume it's on HBO streaming and you can get it on Amazon with a free HBO trial.

Next up is one I mentioned on Monday. I chose the new Netflix show Thirteen Reasons Why for my "watch" portion of April's Read and Watch Challenge. The premise of the show is a high school girl has committed suicide, but she left behind 13 cassette tapes where she narrates her reasons why. The tapes get sent to a certain list of people whom she picked to hear them. So the narrative jumps back and forth in time, showing you everyone before and the main character listening to the tapes in the present. There's a big element of suspense in the show because you don't know how everyone played into the suicide and Clay, the main character listening to the tapes, doesn't know what role he played and is bracing for hearing it on the tapes.

I started this week and am three episodes in, so I can't speak to the whole show yet. But what I can say is that so far, the show is really well done and very compelling. I read the book years ago, so I can't remember the details of the story, which is making this all new to me again. It's definitely one that when one episode ends, I immediately want to click "play next episode". Fair warning, I know this was a YA book but the show does have language and some brief nudity. it's a TV-MA rating, so be aware of that if you have kiddos around.

All right, that's what I've got for you this week. Hope you have a great weekend!

I'm a Double RITA Award Finalist!!!

Just popping in to share my good news. Today is the day romance writers wait by their phones with bated breath, hoping to get a call from the Romance Writers of America (RWA) because today is RITA call day. The RITA is the romance community's equivalent to an Oscar.

I was lucky enough to win one last year for NICE GIRLS DON'T RIDE and this year, I've had two books final!!!! I'm super excited. This never, ever gets old. I'm over the moon.

Off the Clock is a finalist for the Best Erotic Romance of 2016


Wanderlust is a finalist for the Best Mid-Length Contemporary Romance of 2016

I'm so beyond thrilled. And the Wanderlust nomination is extra special to me because Wanderlust is the first romance I ever wrote. I wrote it before I had an agent or book deal, before I wrote Crash Into You (my debut novel) and it lived "under my bed" for years. When I revamped it and Berkley decided to put it out last year, I was so happy to finally see my first book baby out there. I never expected it to get a RITA nomination on top of that. :)

The awards will be given out in July at the RWA national conference so I'll keep you posted. But for now, go check all the finalists. If you're looking to add new books to your TBR pile, this is a great place to start. RITA finalists are judged by other romance writers and we're a picky bunch, so this is a good list to find your new favorite read. I know I'll be buying a bunch of these. :)

Happy reading!