GONE, BABY, GONE Dennis Lehane (Avon, $7.99) Paramount optioned the rights to the fourth installment in Lehane’s Patrick Kenzie/Angie Gennaro Boston-based crime series, with plans to develop it as a potential franchise for Ben Affleck.

THE NOTEBOOK Nicholas Sparks (Warner, $12.95) Nick Cassavetes (John Q.) signed on to direct the adaptation of Sparks’ novel about the courtship between a WWII veteran and a woman in a nursing home.

THE BREATHTAKER Alice Blanchard (Warner, scheduled for 2003) John Wells Productions (The West Wing) bought the rights to Blanchard’s unpublished novel about a serial killer who strikes during tornadoes.