Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews

  • BeachTownTitle:  Beach Town
  • Author:  Mary Kay Andrews
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  May 2015 – St. Martin’s Press
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  Greer Hennessy is a movie location scout who needs to find an old school Florida beach town. What she’s found so far are planned beach communities that look far too sanitized and Disney-fied. Then she comes upon Cypress Key – a small seaside town that time seems to have forgotten. She also finds the mayor of Cypress Key who makes her heart skip a beat.

Eben Thibadeaux is a jack-of-all-trades as well as the mayor of Cypress Key. He is willing to work with the Hollywood group but wants to save a historical building that the director would like to blow up for the shoot. And that’s just a small part of the difficulties that arise during the production. He also has family issues to take care of.

Greer is forced to face her past when her estranged father contacts her. He happens to live an hour away from Cypress Key. Is everything she’d been told about him the truth? How far will she open her heart to new possibilities? Mary Kay Andrews’ heroine had me equally frustrated and sympathetic throughout the novel but, in typical MKA style, I was satisfied with her growth by the end of the book.

Beach Town is an entertaining novel. It has drama, romance, conflict and a Florida beach town setting. For me, it hit all the marks of a fun beach read.

Q and A with Mary Kay Andrews – US Giveaway BEACH TOWN

NEWmarykayandrewsQ&A with Mary Kay Andrews  (provided by the publicist)

New York Times bestselling author of BEACH TOWN

http://marykayandrews.com/the-books/books-by-mary-kay-andrews/beach-town/

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Q: The main character in Beach Town, Greer Hennessey, is a movie location scout. What made you choose to write about Hollywood and the movie business?.

A: I’m the nerd still sitting in a darkened theatre waiting for the location credits to roll at the end of every movie. I’ve always been a big movie buff—and I’m always as intrigued by the real settings of films as I am with the film itself. Also, my daughter Katie issues filming permits for some of the dozens and dozens of film, television and advertising shoots that take place every year in our town.

 

Q: What research did you do into the movie business and the various roles on a movie set when writing Beach Town?

A: I actually went out to L.A. to research the places where Greer lived and worked. I took the Paramount Studio tour, visited a movie costume house, and shadowed a film location scout during a shoot in Atlanta. I interviewed three location managers and the hair and make-up artist who became the inspiration for CeeJay in the book.

 

Q: Is Cypress Key a real place? If not, is it based on any place particular?

A: Cypress Key is based on the real, charming Florida town of Cedar Key. I fictionalized the town heavily in the book which is why I didn’t call it Cedar Key.

 

Q: How did you settle on the FL Gulf Coast as the setting for Beach Town?

A: I wanted a sleepy, virtually untouched town for the setting of the book—which the fictional movie producer Bryce Levy describes as “a cross between the town in Jaws and Body Heat. Most of the East Coast is so heavily developed, I thought the Florida Gulf Coast was virtually the last frontier. Just as Greer does in Beach Town I started looking for my setting in the Panhandle, in Panama City Beach, and then worked my way down the coast until I discovered Cedar Key.

 

Q: Did you run away from home again when writing this novel? Where did you go this time? 

A: I actually ran away to Cedar Key, FL! The first time I stayed in a tiny tourist motel somewhat like a mini version of the fictional Silver Sands Motel in the book. The second time when I came back I rented a tiny cottage overlooking the Gulf. I find “embedding” myself in the inspiration setting helps put me in the world of the book when I’m writing. But the largest portion of the book got written at our Tybee Island vacation home, Ebbtide, which is named after a beach house in an earlier novel, Summer Rental.

 

BeachTownQ: In Beach Town, Eb Thibadeaux is the mayor, town engineer, and owner of the grocery store, motel, and boat yard. What or who inspired this small-town Jack-of-all-trades? Have you known folks like Eb?

A: I’ve lived in a couple small towns where it seems that a small number of people take responsibility for making things run. In my own town in the Atlanta area, years ago the city manager was also the chief of police. Eb is purely a product of my imagination, but I wanted Eb to be the kind of person who sees what needs to be done, then rolls up his sleeves and makes it happen. He’s an entrepreneur as well as a do-gooder.

 

Q: There is a dachshund in Beach Town. How did you select this breed? Tell us about your own pets.

A: I liked the idea of having an outdoorsman like Eb having a small rescue dog—because Eb is a rescuer. And dachshunds just strike me as funny. Golden retrievers are the Heidi Klums of the dog world—and dachshunds are the Amy Poehlers. Our own dogs are English Setters—bird dogs, although the only thing they hunt these days are hand-outs around the supper table.

 

Q: What qualities make up the ideal beach town for you?

A: I love an old-school feeling. No high-rise condo towers, no fast-food joints. Just a couple of narrow, sandy roads where families meander down to the beach or ride bikes to the ice cream shop, rows of beat-up wooden cottages, a couple of good hang-out type restaurants with ice-cold beer and good seafood, and of course the beach—preferably wide with sugar white sand.

 

Q: What is your all-time favorite beach town and why? 

A: I suppose the beach town I grew up near—Pass-A-Grille, in St. Pete Beach, FL is my all-time favorite. It’s where my siblings and I learned to jump into the waves from my father’s broad, sunburnt shoulders, where my teenaged girlfriends and I hung out summers, slathered in baby oil and iodine, and where I went “parking” with my very first boyfriend, necking in the front seat of his mother’s Dodge Valiant. It’s also where I got very drunk on under-aged purchased beer the weekend of high-school graduation—with my now-husband.

 

Q: What can you tell us about your next book? 

A: It’s set on an imaginary barrier island off the coast of North Carolina, and I’m actually considering throwing a murder into the plot, just to keep things interesting.


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BeachTown


Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews

Save the Date

  • Title:  Save the Date
  • Author:  Mary Kay Andrews
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction; Contemporary Romance
  • Published:  June 2014 – St. Martin’s Press
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  A Savannah florist is about to score the wedding of a lifetime—one that will solidify her career as the go-to-girl for society nuptials. Ironically, Cara Kryzik doesn’t believe in love, even though she creates beautiful flower arrangements to celebrate them. But when the bride goes missing and the wedding is in jeopardy, Cara must find the bride and figure out what she believes in.  Maybe love really does exist outside of fairy tales after all. Told with Mary Kay Andrews’ trademark wit and keen eye for detail, mark your calendars for Save the Date!  (publisher)

My take:  I enjoy Mary Kay Andrews’ novels. I like her wit and eye for detail as mentioned in the synopsis. If you’re not fond of detailed descriptions be ready for a book heavy with wedding flowers and house restoration details. Me? I enjoyed reading about it all.

I also liked Cara and Jack’s story. They had chemistry but are they willing to give in and risk their hearts for a chance at love? There’s a bit of mystery in the disappearance of the bride of the wedding that will solve all of Cara’s financial problems. She has to find that bride! And something is up with Cara’s assistant at the shop.

Will Cara ever catch a break? You’ll have to read to find out. Save the Date is the perfect book to take to the beach this summer.

Spotlight/Giveaway (US): Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews

Save the Date

ABOUT THE BOOK
With her trademark wit and gift for storytelling, Andrews delivers the perfect bouquet of intrigue and romance when Savannah florist Cara Kryzik lands the wedding of the season. Brooke Trapnell and Harris Strayhorn, part of Savannah’s high society, hire Cara to be their wedding planner for their July wedding at Cabin Creek, the Strayhorn plantation in the South Carolina low country. Cara kicks into high gear, relieved she will finally be able to pay off the debt she owes her father. With only six weeks to plan the wedding, Cara, along with her dependable assistant Bert, is determined to solidify her career as the go-to-girl for society nuptials.

In the midst of all the planning, Cara finds herself falling for Jack Finnerty, the “dognapper” who accidently steals her golden doodle Poppy when she runs out the door one hot summer morning. Recently divorced, Cara no longer believes in love and is focused on keeping her stressed-out clients happy. Until the chic new florist from Charleston, Cullen Kane, decides to open up shop in Savannah and do whatever it takes to destroy her business, and in the process, her relationship with Jack. And when the bride goes missing putting the wedding in jeopardy, Cara must find her and figure out whether love really does exist outside of fairy tales after all.

 PRE-ORDER: 

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mka-author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of 22 novels including Ladies’ Night, Christmas Bliss, Spring Fever, Summer Rental, The Fixer Upper, Deep Dish, Blue Christmas, Savannah Breeze, Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies, and Savannah Blues.

 

PRAISE FOR LADIES’ NIGHT (now out in paperback)
“Bestseller Andrews is at the top f her game, delivering a smart, funny, perfect-for-summer read with a hopeful heart.”–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Her newest novel offers another engaging and satisfying tale of life, loss, and love.” —Booklist

“Andrews presents a delightful novel…A wonderful blend of action, repartee and offbeat characters in a just-plain-fun story. Humorous and witty, and as entertaining as a good night out.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Mary Kay Andrews’ novels have become a summer staple like a new pair of sandals. The New York Times bestselling author returns with the perfectly mixed cocktail of romance, mystery and comedy…” —Raleigh News & Observer

“This is her best book yet, and it combines all of the strengths we have come to expect from this audacious and beguiling author.” —Huffington Post

“Mary Kay Andrews blends heartache and hilarity in a story line filled with surprises.” —Southern Living

“A court-ordered therapy session is the site of the action in Andrews’s zesty, amusing latest…” —People

“If there were a literary genre dedicated to great beach books, the novels of Mary Kay Andrews would set its standard for excellence.” —Cape Gazette

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Christmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews

christmas bliss

  • Title:  Christmas Bliss
  • Series:  #4 Savannah series
  • Author:  Mary Kay Andrews
  • Genre:  Chick Lit; Christmas
  • Published:  October 2013 – St. Martin’s Press
  • Source:  Publisher (via Lisa – thanks, Lisa!)

My take: I’m blaming the time of year for it taking me almost 2 weeks to get through the first few chapters. Once I had time I found it difficult to put the book down! 

Weezie Foley’s wedding plans are in full swing and her BFF BeBe’s first baby is due in a few weeks. When Weezie’s fiancé Daniel comes down with a bad cold while he’s in NYC being a guest chef at a four star restaurant, she drops everything and flies from Savannah to New York to give him some TLC (and see the city and all it has to offer). When Daniel shares some news that could be life changing for them both she gets a little nervous. Meanwhile, BeBe is in full-nesting mode when the father-to-be takes what he promises will be his last charter fishing client out for a day. When he doesn’t return at the promised time BeBe gets worried.

So, you can see there’s a lot going on in this book. Like I said, once I had time to sit and actually read for a while I was on board for the roller coaster ride that Christmas Bliss is. It was cute, entertaining and gave me a few laughs – typical Mary Kay Andrews.

Recommended to fans of the author and the series. I enjoyed seeing what Weezie and friends were up to and hope there’ll be more adventures to come.  Christmas Bliss is part of the Savannah series but it can stand on its own.