Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Diane Kelly's "Death, Taxes, and Peach Sangria"

Diane Kelly is a former state assistant attorney general who spent much of her career fighting, or inadvertently working for, white-collar criminals. A recipient of the 2009 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award for Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements, she has received more than two dozen RWA chapter awards. Kelly’s fiction, tax and humor pieces have appeared in True Love Magazine, Writer’s Digest Yearbook, Romance Writers Report, Byline Magazine, and other publications.

The recently released Death, Taxes, and Peach Sangria is the 4th novel in her Death and Taxes series.

Here Kelly dreamcasts an adaptation of the series:
My Death and Taxes series stars rookie Special Agent Tara Holloway, a criminal investigator for the IRS who goes after white-collar criminals. Tara is smart and sassy, and sexy in her own tough chick way. A recovering redneck, she grew up in a small east Texas town where her daddy gave her her first weapon - a pink Daisy BB gun - at a very young age. She’s a veritable sharpshooter who, after several violent run-ins with tax cheats, has become known as the Annie Oakley of the IRS.

I’ve always thought that Emma Stone’s character in Zombieland is similar to Tara. Capable, competent, no-nonsense. Emma Stone would be perfect to play Tara, even if Emma’s breasts exceed Tara’s by a cup or two. Yep, Tara’s cups do not runneth over. As for Tara’s gun nut father, Tommy Lee Jones would be cast in that role. Her petite, longsuffering mother would be played by Debra Jo Rupp, who played Kitty on That 70’s Show.

Tara’s primary partner, Eddie Bardin, is a black man who finds her country ways a little hokey, but tolerates them. He’s a good mentor and, with their complementary skills, the two make an awesome team. I see Blair Underwood playing Eddie. I also see Blair in my dreams every night, but that’s a different story...

Tara’s boss, Lu “The Lobo” Lobozinski, is not only in her sixties, but she’s stuck in the sixties. She wears her hair swept up in a strawberry-blond beehive, along with go-go boots and groovy 1960’s couture. Though she’s a chain-smoking, order-barking hard ass, she clearly has affection for her agents and they return the sentiment. Kathy Bates would be absolutely perfect for the role of Lu.

Along for the ride is Tara’s boyfriend, Brett, a landscape designer with sandy hair and a sweet, relatively naive disposition. I see Bradley Cooper playing Brett. Of course Brett is challenged fairly early on in the series by a tough agent named Nick who seems perhaps better suited for Tara. Nick would be played by Val Kilmer.

In book #1, Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure, Tara teams up with a Latina DEA agent named Christina Marquez to pursue a sleazy ice cream truck driver who’s selling drugs off his truck. I can easily see David Spade playing the role of drug dealer “Joe Cool” Cullen. Jessica Alba would be great as Christina. The other villain in this book is a con artist running a foreign currency exchange scam. I could see Ray Wise, the man who played the devil in Reaper, as the villain. He plays manipulative schemers so well!

Given that my books pair action, humor, and romance, they’d translate well to the screen. Several of my reviewers and readers have mentioned how much they’d love to see the books as a TV series or full-length film. I’ve got my fingers crossed that Hollywood will take notice!
Learn more about the book and author at Diane Kelly's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue