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Josh Schwartz & Stephanie Savage To Develop ‘Calendar Girl’ Books As Cable TV Series

A decade after adapting Cecily von Ziegesar Gossip Girl book series into the successful CW show, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage are taking on the Calendar Girl book series. ABC Signature, ABC Studios’ cable division, has optioned Audrey Carlan’s steamy 12-book series for Schwartz and Savage’s studio-based Fake Empire to develop for television.

Calendar Girl Volume 1Launched last year by Waterhouse Press, Calendar Girl — tipped by USA Today as “the next Fifty Shades” — follows lead character Mia Saunders, who becomes a high-priced adult escort in order to pay off the gambling debts of her father. Each of the 12 books takes place in a different city with a new client during a different month of the year.

Fake Empire founders Schwartz and Savage will executive produce the project, which is out to writers. The company’s head executive Lis Rowinski will co-executive produce Calendar Girl, which was brought in by Fake Empire creative exec Lynley Bird.

Waterhouse Press launched the book series in e-format, with 2 million units sold, 1.7 million since January 1, 2016 alone. It is also available in a hard-copy format.

In addition to Gossip Girl, which she developed with Schwartz, Savage also adapted the bestselling Astronaut Wives Club by author Lily Koppel as an event series for ABC.

On the feature side, through their overall deal with Universal Pictures, Schwartz and Savage are adapting and producing Monster High, based on Mattel’s billion dollar franchise. They are repped by WME.

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Calendar Girl Series by Audrey Carlan


Mia Saunders just barely escaped a paltry life back home in Las Vegas until she gets the call that her Father has been beaten to within an inch of his life for not paying his gambling debt. Problem is, the lone shark is her lousy, ruthless ex-boyfriend. Another guy in a long line of men she’d fallen head over heels for. Not anymore. Mia’s mission is simple. Serve as a high-priced escort for her Aunt’s company and pay monthly against her Father’s bad debt. A month with a rich man who she doesn’t have to sleep with if she doesn’t want to? Easy money. At least that’s the way it was supposed to go.

My thoughts:

Calendar Girl is a series of twelve novellas which tell the story of Mia as she becomes an Exquisite Escort to pay off her father’s debt. The plan is to spend a month with each man, so there is one novella for each month of the year.

I started the series on a Saturday and finished the next Friday, so it certainly kept me turning the pages. Mia is an engaging character, and she certainly got up to some interesting adventures. Twists galore kept me guessing, and by May I couldn’t make up my mind who I wanted more – a hot surfer, a delicious artist, or a sexy Samoan. Mia knows who she wants, even if it takes her a while to admit it to herself.

While the book is about an escort and the sex certainly is filthy, the series isn’t just about one girl banging one dude after another – there is actually a plot, and it’s an engaging one. As well as Mia, I loved the variety of people she met on her travels, and how they all came together through the year to work together.

Overall, I loved the series, and I’d recommend it. However, there were two points in the book where Mia made decisions which were so unbelievable they came across as a plot device, and one particular point where she seemed incredibly dense. Not huge issues in themselves, as long as you’re prepared to suspend disbelief a little – I don’t mind this but I can see how some people might dislike it. The other thing that grated a little was the editing (I do tend to hold traditionally published bestsellers to a higher standard than other books). There were definite issues with tenses and a fair few typos. Again, once I was immersed in the story I skipped over these, but if you get annoyed every time you see an error, these aren’t the books for you.

But if you’re looking for a bit of escapism and a wickedly entertaining story, why not give these books a try?



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Is 'Calendar Girl' the next 'Fifty Shades'?

'January: Calendar Girl,' the first book in an erotic series by Audrey Carlan.

Move over, E.L. James.

A new erotica series is steaming up USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list.

Audrey Carlan’s lusty, 12-book Calendar Girl series centers on Mia Saunders, who starts working for Exquisite Escorts as “high-priced arm candy” - $100,000 for a month of her company.

Perhaps we shouldn’t judge her. It’s all for a cause: To come up with a million bucks to pay off her father’s gambling debt. She has one year to do it.

Each book is set in a different month and a different city, with a different “client.”

Oh, and this is on Amazon: “Warning: This book is designed for audiences 18+ due to language and graphic sexual content.”

Perhaps such language – or maybe the $2.99 e-book price tag – is what’s attracting readers.

The first book, January: Calendar Girl Book 1, will move up to No. 5 on USA TODAY’s list on Thursday. (January made its first appearance on USA TODAY's list last Thursday, at No. 6.)

Book Reviews and Best Selling Lists -

Five of the series' titles will be in the top 50 this Thursday (runner-up, book, 2, February, will be No. 14) and all 12 will be in the top 150.

Who is Audrey Carlan? A California mom!

On her web site, she writes that she “has been married to the love of her life for over 12 years and has two young children that live up to their title of ‘Monster Madness’ on a daily basis. When she’s not writing, sipping wine with her ‘soul sisters,’ or doing yoga, she can be found with her nose stuck in a book or her Kindle. A hot, smutty, romantic book to be exact!” She’s also the author of the Falling Series and the Trinity Trilogy.

Carlan originally published the Calendar Girl series herself early last year. The rights were bought by Waterhouse Press, a small Florida-based publisher that specializes in romances. Waterhouse has “rebranded” the books and given them new, more sedate jackets, and their marketing efforts have paid off.

'Calendar Girl' author Audrey Carlan.

“We were looking for our next author, saw the (Calendar Girl) series online and took a look. We loved them and saw how hot they were,” says Waterhouse marketing director Shayla Fereshetian, who adds that 450,000 copies of the 12 books have sold. More than enough to make best-seller lists, but still a long, long way to go before this naughty Girl matches the mega-sales of James' Fifty Shades of Grey series, with 125 million copies sold worldwide.

Waterhouse is also publishing four paperback bundled volumes of the Calendar Girl series, with three books included in each. (By the way, romance fans, Fereshetian says Mia finds her “happily ever after.”)

The next question: Could a powerhouse New York publisher come panting after Calendar Girl? It happened with James, who was catapulted into the stratosphere when Knopf/Vintage, one of the most venerated mainstream publishers in the United States, picked up the S&M Fifty Shades series.

But Fereshetian says Waterhouse has no intention of relinquishing the rights. Can the (Lifetime?) movie be far behind?

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Calendar Girl - Official Trailer (Summit Entertainment) HD


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