Blog Tour: A Week at the Lake by Wendy Wax

  • A Week at the Lake (Berkley - Schulhafer) 6:23Title:  A Week at the Lake
  • Author:  Wendy Wax
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  June 2015 – Berkley
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  Longtime friends Emma, Serena and Mackenzie haven’t seen each other in five years but plan to meet for a week at Emma’s lake home to catch up. Emma has her own reasons for inviting her friends. She just hopes their bond remain intact once those reasons are known. But on the day they are to meet in NYC for the drive upstate to the lake one of them is in a terrible accident that changes their plans.

Wendy Wax is back with a novel about three friends and how events, secrets and lies can change lives even when done with the best of intentions. I thought the main characters were interesting and, on some level, relatable. Each of the three friends has made choices in life that are beginning to show less than desirable results. They’ll find out if it’s too late to change course.

I loved the lake house setting and the mostly relaxed feeling I had when reading those scenes. What resonated most for me was the theme of forgiveness and all that comes with it. A Week at the Lake is a perfect summer read – or one to make you feel like it’s summer! Recommended to fans of the author and women’s fiction.

Spotlight/US Giveaway: At the Corner of King Street by Mary Ellen Taylor

At the Corner of King Street (5:5 Berkley)

Mary Ellen Taylor moves down the street from her Union Street Bakery and stops AT THE CORNER OF KING STREET in her new novel, the Old Town Alexandria-set story of a woman trying to leave her past and family behind to embrace the new life and love she’s found at a Virginia vineyard. AT THE CORNER OF KING STREET is a Berkley trade paperback original.

Addie Morgan grew up in the shadow of her family’s curse, the mental illness that haunts the women of each generation and has claimed both her mother and sister. Settled in her new, stable and happy life with a man she loves, Addie wants nothing more than to be free of the pain and loss of the past. Reality, harsh and swift, intrudes when her Aunt Grace, who provided a safe haven for the girls during part of their childhoods, shows up determined to bring Addie back to Alexandria to solve the latest family crisis. Janet, Addie’s sister, who’s already abandoned her seven-year old son, has just given birth to a baby girl and is hospitalized, unable to care for herself let alone her baby.

Determined to make quick work of the problem and return to her own life, Addie’s arrival in Alexandria is greeted by more complications. Janet needs weeks of treatment; Grace’s health is failing and so is her salvage business; social services is having trouble placing “Baby Morgan” in a foster home; Janet’s ex, Zeb, accuses Addie of trying to cut and run just like her sister; and her nephew wants to see his mother and hold his half-sister. They’re all looking to Addie, who, woefully unprepared to deal with an infant, now has one to care for 24/7 while trying to keep her job and hold on to her fiancé, who knows nothing about her family’s checkered past.

Interspersed with journal entries from Alexandria’s earliest days, the story gives readers insight into events in the past that paved the way to the story’s troubled present. Meanwhile, the plot unfolds to reveal the discovery of centuries old “witch bottles,” hints to bonds that may tie Addie and her family to a heritage they never expected.

In AT THE CORNER OF KING STREET, Mary Ellen Taylor presents a tale of family and self-discovery interwoven with voices from the past in a contemporary novel of adversity, hard choices and the power of truth.

At the Corner of King Street

Now on Sale – At your Local Bookstore or online

AtCornerKingStreet_280

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US Giveaway

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At the Corner of King Street (5:5 Berkley)


The House on Mermaid Point by Wendy Wax

the house on mermaid point

  • Title:  The House on Mermaid Point
  • Author:  Wendy Wax
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Published:  July 2014 – Berkley Trade
  • Source:  Publicist

Synopsis:  Maddie, Avery, and Nikki first got to know one another—perhaps all too well—while desperately restoring a beachfront mansion to its former grandeur. Now they’re putting that experience to professional use. But their latest project has presented some challenges they couldn’t have dreamed up in their wildest fantasies—although the house does belong to a man who actually was Maddie’s wildest fantasy once . . .

Rock-and-roll legend “William the Wild” Hightower may be past his prime, estranged from his family, and creatively blocked, but he’s still worshiped by fans—which is why he guards his privacy on his own island in the Florida Keys. He’s not thrilled about letting this crew turn his piece of paradise into a bed-and-breakfast for a reality show . . . though he is intrigued by Maddie. Hard as that is for her to believe as a newly single woman who can barely manage a dog paddle in the dating pool.

But whether it’s an unexpected flirtation with a bona fide rock star, a strained mother-daughter relationship, or a sudden tragedy, these women are in it together. The only thing that might drive them apart is being trapped on a houseboat with one bathroom . . .  (publisher)

My take:  The synopsis tells you everything you need to know – especially if this is your first experience with Wendy Wax’s  Florida renovation series. I’m not sure if there’s a name for this series.

I loved The House on Mermaid Point. The women find themselves intrigued and challenged by the new project on the private island. They’re all getting along better than ever which helps when it comes to tackling the renovation as well as personal issues. With each renovation project the women have experienced personal growth and become more confident.

In this book, Madeline shines as she overcomes her shyness and reaches out to help the owner of the island, William. But will she be glad she took the chance? Deirdre and Avery (mother and daughter) are getting along better than they’d ever thought possible. Maddy’s grown daughter Kyra and her toddler son, Dustin, continue to try to ignore the paparazzi who hound them in hopes of getting photos. Dustin’s father is a famous film star that Kyra met on a movie project. Nicole is still in love with Joe but, given her two failed marriages, doesn’t want to marry him.

On top of all they’re going through they are expected to reno the buildings on the island in a few short months – the hottest months of the year. I loved how Wendy Wax brought the women back together and through the project. Their television show is titled Do Over – and, to a certain extent, that’s what each of the characters is doing with her life. The House on Mermaid Point is an entertaining novel that packs an emotional punch and left me hoping for another Florida project for the women ASAP.

If you haven’t read the previous novels in the series: Ten Beach Road; Ocean Beach; Christmas at the Beach (a novella) you won’t be lost in this book but I recommend reading them in order.

Q and A with Wendy Wax, author of The House on Mermaid Point

the house on mermaid pointQ: Wendy, thanks for joining us and sharing news of your new novel THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT. So many readers are delighted to have a chance to be back with Maddie, Avery and Nicole, the characters you introduced in TEN BEACH ROAD a few years ago. Was it difficult to get back into their lives?

A:  You know, I thought it would be. I was still so caught up in the fun of WHILE WE WERE WATCHING DOWNTON ABBEY and readers’ response to it, that I began to question whether I’d be feeling “at home” with the reassembled ensemble as I had when I wrote OCEAN BEACH. As it turned out, I found myself immediately at ease when I started that first chapter and looking forward to finding out how they would tackle the challenges I knew were coming. I know it helped that I had already spent time with them while writing my holiday novella, CHRISTMAS AT THE BEACH.

Q:  Has a lot changed for the women of TEN BEACH ROAD since OCEAN BEACH?

A:  There have been some big life changes, but the characters are still friends, still taking things one renovation at a time. The cast of “regulars” has gotten bigger as characters from the first book have become more involved from one book to the next and become known to readers. Mermaid Point becomes host to the entire Do Over cast and crew – some with small roles and others central to the plot. You’ll find everyone from Kyra, Dustin and Deirdre to Chase, Joe, Troy and everybody’s favorite, charming network executive Lisa Hogan, who once again claims the element of surprise as her ace in the hole.

Q:  For those who are just now discovering the novels these characters share, will you give us some background?

A:  You bet. Readers first met Maddie, Nicole and Avery when the three were deeded ownership of Bella Flora, a crumbling wendy waxhistoric home on Florida’s Pass-a-Grille Beach, in TEN BEACH ROAD. At that time,  all they dared hope was that renovating and selling it would let them rebuild their lives and the bank accounts drained by a Ponzi scheme. They had no idea they’d end up living together for the next two summers, hammers in hand, starring in their own DIY reality television show, Do Over. Indeed, in their second book, OCEAN BEACH, the women – still in desperate straits financially – headed to Miami’s South Beach, with another project and cameras rolling to film their first season. In THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT, the show is about to make its on-air debut even as they film their second season. This time they’re in the Florida Keys where they’re expected to turn Mermaid Point, the private island of aging, down on his luck rock legend William Hightower, into a bed-and-breakfast. Against his wishes, of course.

Q:  Rock ‘n roll and renovation? How did you arrive at that combo?

A:  It started with again needing a character who, to begin with, could afford the sort of house that would make an interesting television setting. So I started thinking celebrity. Then, during my early research, I fell in love with the Florida Keys. I was headed to Key West when I was shown a private island in Islamorada that I just had to have. Then I needed a really high-profile, extremely wealthy – at least at one time – mega star. Lots of musicians lived and partied in the Keys and before I knew it, I was thinking about some of my favorite bands and Southern rocker William “Wild Will” Hightower was born.

Q:  Who are some of your favorites?

A:  The Allman Brothers, Lynrd Skynrd, Wet Willie… It was a kick revisiting those times and walking down my own memory lane helped me imagine Hightower’s music being just as magical as that of the musicians I followed and the wild ride that is part of his past. I may have had a bit too much fun with the musical memories called up during the writing. I actually ended up trying my hand at a ballad, Mermaid in You, one of the songs for which my mythical Hightower became famous. As part of the release of THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT, I touched base with two young musicians who are sons of a friend. Their group is the 10th Concession and they’re well-known in the southeastern US. They looked at my lyrics and, while I was quickly demoted from writer to co-writer, they worked with me, created the music and now the song has been recorded. It has its live performance debut along with the book on June 30th and will be available as a free download. I hope you’ll check it out. Info will be posted at authorwendywax.com as we get closer to the date.

Q:  What’s next?

A:  I am happily up to my neck in a new book. But I’m still debating so many different ideas that I don’t want to share too much yet. Lots keep changing. It is, however, set in Manhattan and at New York’s Lake George. More to come… As always, I’ll be sharing more book news on my site, on Facebook and other places. I hope everyone will visit with me in those spots. Also, appearances for and the latest about THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT will be shared online along with giveaways and other updates.

Q:  Thank you, Wendy.

A:  Thank you! I appreciate being able to share THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT with you and visitors to your site.

_____

Wendy’s website

Connect with Wendy on Facebook

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_____

the house on mermaid point

THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT

Wendy Wax

A Berkley Trade Paperback Original/Fiction

On Sale 7-1-14   $15 ($17 Canada)

978-0-425-26332-7

  Q&A provided by Joan Schulhafer Publishing and Media Consulting

The Mermaid in You – video

National bestselling author Wendy Wax teams with Tampa musicians Ian and Evan Koteles of 10th Concession to write and produce The Mermaid in You, inspired by her new novel The House on Mermaid Point.

Wendy Wax didn’t set out to be a songwriter, but William Hightower, the leading man in her new work of contemporary women’s fiction, THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT, wouldn’t let her rest until she did. The character, an aging, down on his luck southern rock legend, just didn’t seem complete until his famous ballad, Mermaid in You, was written and produced. “It turned out that creatively, even though the book was off to the publisher, I wasn’t quite finished with Will. Once I gave him the song of his lost love, he was whole.”

Wendy, who admittedly can’t carry a tune, reached out to musically inclined relatives for advice on her lyrics and was rewarded with a Google link on song writing.  As she was about to give up an Atlanta friend recommended her professional musician sons, Ian and Evan Koteles whose popular group 10th Concession performs at venues throughout Florida and much of the southeast.  Wendy, who lives in Atlanta and Ian and Evan, based in Tampa, teamed up and collaborated long-distance. Lyrics were tweaked, music was written and beginning Wednesday, June 25th Mermaid in You is officially available as an MP3 download, free in the first three months following the July 1st release of THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT.

the house on mermaid point

 

Spotlight/My take: Christmas at the Beach by Wendy Wax

Readers embraced the characters of Wendy’ Wax’s highly praised  Ten Beach Road, which USA Today cited as “one of six books that belong in your beach bag. In 2012 they hailed their return in  Ocean Beach. Now, with Christmas at the Beach, Wax’s first e-original and her first novella, she brings back the women of Bella Flora in an all-new holiday novella.

Christmas at the Beach (novella)

  • Title: Christmas at the Beach: A Ten Beach Road Novella
  • Author: Wendy Wax
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction; Christmas
  • Published:  October 2013 – Penguin Group
  • Source:  Publisher
 Synopsis:          When Madeline Singer, Avery Lawford and Nicole Grant were deeded ownership of a crumbling historic home on Pass-a-Grille Beach, all they dared hope was that renovating and selling it would let them rebuild their lives and the bank accounts drained by a Ponzi scheme.   Together, they returned the house, Bella Flora, to its earlier glory.  Along the way, they forged friendships, discovered unexpected truths about themselves and each other, and gave birth to a DIY reality television show, Do Over.
            Though Christmas at the Beach  brings readers up-to-date on these well-loved characters and sets the stage for Wax’s next novel, The House on Mermaid’s Point, its focus is 24-hours at Bella Flora, where friends and family are gathered for their first and last Christmas at the recently sold property. There’s plenty to celebrate. In addition to being back together, Do Over is going into a second season, family rifts are healing, and it’s Dustin’s first Christmas.
            Dustin is the child of Madeline’s daughter Kyra and of married–not to her–superstar actor Daniel Deranian. Kyra’s hope that the visit will include respite from the paparazzi that hound them is quickly dashed, but Bella Flora nonetheless provides a haven.  It’s going to be a wonderful holiday. Or it would be if a string of bad news hadn’t begun trickling in.  And if they hadn’t learned that their beloved Bella Flora’s buyer is the absolutely last person who should ever own her.
            In Christmas at the Beach  Wax once again reaches out to readers with her trademark sense of humor,  insights into relationships and the celebration of friendship they anticipate with each new book. (publisher)
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My take:  Christmas at the Beach sets up the next novel  in Wendy Wax’s entertaining series which is expected in 2014. The cast of characters find out the location of their next reno project. Along with that we get brief updates of the women of Ten Beach Road and Ocean Beach. There are changes coming!
Wendy Wax packed a lot into her novella which made me excited to read the next book in the series: The House on Mermaid Point   – there’s a preview included. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Madeline, Avery, Nicole, Deirdre and Kyra.
An added bonus is the inclusion of the first two chapters of While They Were Watching Downton Abbey – Wax’s most recent stand alone novel. I really enjoyed that book!
 
About Wendy Wax

            Award-winning author Wendy Wax’s work, including While We Were Watching Downton AbbeyOcean Beach and Ten Beach Road, has been highly praised. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says she “writes with breezy wit and keen insight into wendy waxfamily relations.” Her novels have been featured in national publications such as USA Today andWoman’s World, and online at sites such as On A Clear Day You Can Read ForeverLuxury Reading, and Book Reporter.
            The author of nine novels and a novella, Wendy’s work has been sold to publishers in fifteen countries, including the U.K. where While We Were Watching Downton Abbey was recently published. Her novel, Hostile Makeover, was excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine.
            She is now at work on her next book, The House on Mermaid Point. On sale in July 2014, it reintroduces characters from Ten Beach Road (St. Pete Beach) and Ocean Beach (Miami), and sets them loose in the Florida Keys.
            A native of St. Pete Beach, Florida, Wendy and her family have lived in Atlanta for sixteen years.
Buy links:

French Roast by Ava Miles

French Roast

  • Title:  French Roast – Dare Valley series, #2
  • Author:  Ava Miles
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Published:  August 2013 – CreateSpace
  • Source:  Joan Schulhafer Publishing & Media Consulting

Synopsis:  Small-town biz wiz Jill Hale has been in love with her childhood best friend Brian McConnell for as long as she can remember. A falling out led to years of estrangement, but when Brian returns to Dare Valley after trying to make it big as a chef in New York City, Jill’s determined to make amends. She’s convinced that starting a restaurant together will be the perfect win-win situation, allowing her and Brian to work together and play together.

After a series of missteps sliced and diced Brian’s career in the Big Apple, he came home to regroup and find himself. He’s convinced that reestablishing his connection with Jill, the girl who got away, will put his life back on track. And when she approaches him with her plan for going into business together, he’s certain it’s the one way he can have it all—his dream job and his dream girl.

Jill and Brian are falling for each other all over again when Brian’s ex sashays into town, intent on sabotaging their reunion. Add in a mysterious investor who’s determined to get Jill on board with his project, and the bond between the couple is tested to the limit. Will their second chance at love implode, or will they find their own recipe for a happy ending? (publisher)

My take:  French Roast is book #2 in the Dare Valley series. I haven’t read Nora Roberts Land (the first book) yet but never felt lost because Ava Miles did a good job of catching the reader up on key events and relationships from that book.

In French Roast BFFs Jill and Brian have a second chance at love and a possibility of working together. Brian is a talented chef who wants to open a restaurant in Dare Valley and Jill has the business sense to make it a success. But if Brian’s ex,  a beautiful and sophisticated French chef, has anything to say about it that won’t happen.  Jill has another work possibility as well. A mysterious businessman who wants to open a controversial business in the small Colorado town thinks Jill is the only person who can convince the town council to allow it. But why is he so secretive?

Brian and Jill are extremely busy but are determined to make their personal relationship work. The trouble is they seem to sabotage themselves at every turn. This frustrated me so much! They’d say one thing and then behave in a questionable way. I really didn’t know how these two would end up. They had good physical chemistry but, honestly, there were a few times I thought they needed couples therapy if their relationship was going to move forward.

I enjoyed Miles’ writing. Her engaging story and characters kept me turning the pages. It’s a contemporary romance so readers should expect some love scenes which were, at times, too detailed for my reading tastes. I liked many of the secondary characters who helped move the plot and eventually set up the third book – and I look forward to reading it!

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Author information:   www.avamiles.com    Facebook    twitter

Having worked as an apprentice chef in a restaurant popular with celebrities, politicos, and other journalistic ava-author photo-color-high_resluminaries, and as a private chef while in graduate school, Ava had no lack of inspiration as she dealt with the foodie aspects tied to FRENCH ROAST and the restaurant central to her plot. 

Born and raised in the Midwest, where her family’s newspaper is located, Ava went on to earn an undergraduate degree in writing and advanced degrees in political science and conflict management. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Washington Romance Writers. She is also part of an unofficial group that regularly convenes a writing retreat at Nora Roberts’ restored Inn Boonsboro in western Maryland. Having left behind the “day job,” which took her, literally, all over the world, she  now writes full-time in the peace and quiet of her northern Virginia porch-swinging-friendly community. (from the author’s website)

Wendy Wax Book Club Giveaway – Ten Beach Road

 

ENDS OCTOBER 31 AT MIDNIGHT

READ PINKTM WITH THE WENDY WAX BOOK CLUB GIVEAWAY!

♦  ♦  ♦

Wendy is offering one book club the opportunity to receive 10 copies of the READ PINK ™ edition of TEN BEACH ROAD for their group and a visit with Wendy at an upcoming meeting via Skype or by phone. The winning club will be chosen at random. Please be prepared to share your group’s name and some history about your group. Enter

Spotlight on HOME BY NIGHTFALL by Alexis Harrington

HOME BY NIGHTFALL returns readers to the small Oregon town of Powell Springs, the setting of Harrington’s highly praised Home by Morning, which introduced the Braddock family and others in the town struggling on the home front at the end of WWI as the flu pandemic rages around the world. There, Susannah Braddock has made peace with the loss of her soldier husband, Riley, who died in France. She’s been looking after Riley’s father and running the family’s horse farm with the help of hired hand Tanner Grenfell.  When their turns to love, they marry, committing their lives to running the farm and raising Tanner’s two young nephews.

Their happiness is short lived.  Two years after being reported dead, Riley Braddock returns home, shell-shocked and with no memory of his life before the war. All he can remember is Veronique, the French woman who rescued him and nursed him back to health. Plagued by memories and nightmares of the War, he has returned to a life and a wife he no longer knows. The joy his family is not enough to heal his wounds. For Susannah,  the best intentions of her brother and sister-in-law and the outright resentment  and animosity of the old man she’s cared for of her the irascible old man she tries to care only bring more anguish as she is torn between her love for Tanner and her loyalty to Riley.

Once again, Alexis Harrington presents a story of individuals facing extraordinary circumstances and the healing power of love.

♦  ♦  ♦

Historical novelist Alexis Harrington has entertained readers since her first book was published in 1994. She has been spinning tales of characters and situations that include mail order brides, the Yukon Gold Rush, seafaring, ranching, and protagonists heading west ever since.  Her latest, HOME BY NIGHTFALL was published July 3, 2012. It follows Home by Morning the first of her books published as an e-book and print original.

Since that first novel, Homeward Hearts, was published Alexis has written and published twelve more books, all historical romances. They include Homeward HeartsA Light for My LoveA Taste of HeavenDesperate Hearts, and Harper’s Bride, originally published by New American Library (NAL).  Her novels Allie’s MoonMontana Born and BredThe Bridal Veil and The Irish Bride were published by St. Martin’s Press.  Alexis self-published Home by Morning, which was then acquired along with HOME BY NIGHTFALL by Montlake Romance.

Alexis lives in the Pacific Northwest near the Columbia River within ten miles of her old high school.  She has numerous pets, including three chickens.  In addition to being a writer for the past twenty years, she makes jewelry, is a fine needlework artist specializing in embroidery, thread crochet and sewing. She enjoys cooking, reading, entertaining, and decorating, and is a lover of all things Victorian. She is currently at work on her next book.

www.alexisharrington.com

HOME BY NIGHTFALL

Alexis Harrington

Montlake Romance/Fiction/eBook and Trade Paperback/Original

On sale 7-3-12/$3.99 e-book ● $12.95

ISBN-10: 1612182062  978-1612182063

 


Ten Beach Road by Wendy Wax – Giveaway

Last year I read and reviewed Ten Beach Road by Wendy Wax. You can read my review here. The mass market paperback edition came out this week. To celebrate I have a copy to give away to one of my readers (US/Canada). Click here for details. (giveaway has ended)  

Here’s what people had to say about Ten Beach Road

“If you loved Jennifer Weiner’s Fly Away Home…then try Ten Beach Road

[a] warm, wry novel.”

—Collette Bancroft, St. Petersburg Times

 

“Share with your mom, sisters, daughters, gal pals.”

–Nancy Pate, On A Clear Day I Can Read Forever

 

“[This] dynamic, fast-paced story is a loving tribute to friendship and the power of the female spirit.”

Las Vegas Review-Journal

“Friendship between women is celebrated and will make you cheer in this uplifting book.”

—Parkersburg (WV) News and Sentinel

 

“Recognizes the power of the female spirit, while being unemotional, and a little romantic.”

—Fresh Fiction

 “Great escape reading, perfect for the beach.”Library Journal

“Full of laughter, heartache, secrets, loyalty, and courage… run out and pick up a copy!”

—Night Owl Reviews

“Intriguing…I found her insight into human nature to resonate.”–Rundpinne

“Vivid…You can almost smell the salty air…the challenges and determination of these women is undeniable… [each] made for a very compelling heroine.”—LuxuryReading

 

“Funny, heartbreaking, romantic and so much more…This story about recovery and

restoration on so many levels is just delightful.”—The Best Reviews

 ♦  ♦  ♦

To learn more about the author and her books check out these links: 

www.authorwendywax.com

facebook.com/AuthorWendyWax

@Wendy_Wax

TEN BEACH ROAD

A Jove Mass Market Reprint/Fiction                              A Berkley Trade Paperback/Fiction

$7.99 ($8.99 Canada)/978-0-515-15066-7                      $15.00 ($17.50 Canada)/978-0-425-24086-1

Ten Beach Road by Wendy Wax

Title:  Ten Beach Road

Author:  Wendy Wax

Genre:  Fiction

About:  Three women, strangers to each other, receive the news that their life savings is gone. Their trusted financial advisors invested their money in what turned out to be a Ponzi scheme and the person who stole their money is nowhere to be found. But all is not lost. The women find that each owns a third of a dilapidated beachfront mansion. They meet in Florida to rehab the place and put it on the market.

My thoughts:  Ten Beach Road is the story of how three women lose everything and against all odds hope to land on their feet emotionally, financially and with their self-respect intact.

Madeline’s nest is empty and she’s ready to enjoy life with her husband. The shocking financial news is just a drop in the bucket compared to what he tells her.

Avery, a well-known tv personality, is used to people leaving her but she’s worked hard for her money and now that she’s lost that too – well, it’s almost too much.

Nicole, a successful matchmaker, grew up in abject poverty. She and her brother vowed they’d never be poor again but she finds herself back at square one.

All three have secrets they don’t want the others to know. Some of the secrets are people who start to show up at the mansion and add a lot to the story. Situations arise that show the women at their best and worst.

Given the timely topic I thought Ten Beach Road was an interesting and entertaining look at how three people handle themselves at a time of great financial loss. As serious as that sounds, I looked forward to reading more of the book each time I picked it up. Wendy Wax tells a good story!

Recommend?  Yes, throw it in the beach bag and lather up with the sunscreen because you won’t want to stop reading.

Source:  Joan Schulhafer Publishing & Media Consulting

* * *

Giveaway of one finished copy (courtesy of the publicist!)

Open to US residents

Click here to fill out form

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Falling Home by Karen White

Title: Falling Home

Author: Karen White

Genre: Fiction

About: Cassie Madison has been living in New York for fifteen years.  When her estranged sister calls with the news that their father is dying she packs up and goes home to Walton, Georgia.

Descriptive Words: Family relationships, love, acceptance, forgiveness.

Thoughts: I loved the small town Georgia setting of Falling Home.  Karen White’s minor characters (citizens of Walton) are warm and caring.  I could envision the places and the people.  The reason I mention all that is because a subplot of the novel is the wish of a few to modernize the town. Some feel if they don’t update with national chain stores, McMansions, etc. people will leave and the town will die. The local doctor, Sam Parker, is intent on seeing that doesn’t happen.  At least, not like the proposed plan.

Cassie, her sister Harriet, and Sam were classmates while growing up.  Turns out, Sam always had a crush on Cassie.  When she returns he makes his feelings for her known.  Cassie is resistant and constantly reminds people that she is engaged to a man in New York and doesn’t intend to stay after her father’s estate is settled. She’s still upset that her sister married the boy she loved when she was in high school and really doesn’t want to stick around to see them and their five children living happily ever after.  But things don’t go as Cassie planned.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel even though through much of it I was annoyed by Cassie.  At times she seemed to be perfectly happy wallowing in her self-pity which I found tedious. But, that aside, I really liked Falling Home. The strong characters, setting, and plot come together for a satisfying novel. I’ve heard there’s a sequel in the works and I can’t wait to read it!  I think Karen White is a terrific storyteller and I’ve added the rest of her novels to my reading list.

Source: From Joy Strazza of Joan Schulhafer Publishing & Media Consulting.

Why I Chose: I’ve always meant to read one of Karen White’s novels so when an arc of her updated Falling Home arrived at my house I added it to my reading list. This book was originally published in 2002.

Recommend? Yes, I liked the family drama and the southern setting.

Rating: 4/ 5 stars

Magnolia Wednesdays by Wendy Wax

Magnolia Wednesdays
Back of the book:
At forty-one, Vivian Armstrong Gray spent most of her life fighting to make it in investigative journalism, only to have it crumble after a bullet lodges in her backside during an expose. As if the humiliation of being the butt of everyone’s jokes isn’t enough, Vivi learns that she’s pregnant, jobless, and very hormonal. Maybe that explains why she actually says “yes” to a dreadful job covering suburban living back home in Georgia, a column she can only bear to write incognito.

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Magnolia Wednesdays is an entertaining novel that at times had me feeling exasperated by Vivi and other times wanting to give her a consoling hug. Vivian is clearly hormonal. Her sister Melanie invites her to live in her home after Vivi loses her job and finds out she’s pregnant. Melanie and her two children are still mourning the death of her husband (two years earlier). Vivi welcomes the chance to help her sister with the kids and also at Melanie’s dance studio. Melanie is only too happy to accept the help. Some of the things Vivi finds herself doing are carpool, volunteering at their school, and teaching her nephew to drive. These activities conveniently give her material for her new column Postcards From Suburbia.

At the Magnolia Ballroom and Dance Studio Vivi meets Ruth who spends most days helping Melanie around the studio. Ruth refuses to cut Vivi any slack. She knows Vivi was not around for Melanie when her husband died. Ruth is also very unhappy that her husband refuses to retire and spend more time with her. They’re in their seventies and she’d like to enjoy the golden years together.

In addition to their behind the scene duties, Ruth and Vivi agree to help Melanie by taking a belly dance class on Wednesday nights. Angela, a young woman who managed to lose a great deal of weight a few years earlier, is also in the Wednesday night class. Angela is engaged to a wonderful man who met her after she lost weight. She’s very insecure and feels he will think differently about her if he finds out about how she used to look. She doesn’t seem to be enjoying what should be an exciting time in her life.

So there are three main story lines. I found the first two (Vivi and Ruth) more interesting than Angela’s but I think Wendy Wax did a great job pulling everything together. There are a couple of twists along the way and an ending that made me smile.

Review copy from Joan Schulhafer Publishing & Media Consulting

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Magnolia Wednesdays – on sale March 2, 2010
Berkley Books




When She Flew by Jennie Shortridge


When She Flew


Jennie Shortridge is one of those authors who is an automatic buy for me. Her writing is beautiful and absorbing. I lose myself in her books. I love that.

When She Flew is the story of a police officer who is part of a team who search for and find a father and daughter living in the Oregon forest. The father is an Iraq War vet, unable to find work due to a war injury, keeping his thirteen year old daughter safe the best way he can. The police officer knows that the legal system’s way of helping the girl is not really in her best interest so she takes matters into her own hands.

I liked several characters in the book, especially Lindy – the young girl, Jess – the police officer, and Chris – another officer. It seems that almost everyone in the book has good intentions and yet a different way to do the “right thing”. Their perspectives are believable. I thought each character was interesting and I wonder if the author had a tough time editing stories of the various police officers. There was enough information about them that I actually was interested in knowing more about them.

I don’t want to say more about the novel except that it is one that will stay with me for a long time. When She Flew would be a great book club selection.

Review copy from Joan Schulhafer Publishing & Media Consulting