Best Beach Ever by Wendy Wax

Description:  Forced to rent out or lose their beloved Bella Flora after the loss of their renovation-turned-reality-TV show Do Over, Maddie, Nikki, Avery, Kyra, and Bitsy move into cottages at the Sunshine Hotel and Beach Club believing the worst is over. Only to discover just how uncertain their futures really are.

Maddie struggles with the challenges of dating a rock star whose career has come roaring back to life while Nikki faces the daunting realities of mothering twins at forty-seven. Avery buries herself in a tiny home build in an attempt to dodge commitment issues, and Kyra battles to protect her son from the Hollywood world she once dreamed of joining. And Bitsy is about to find out whether the rewards of seeking revenge will outweigh the risks.

Luckily, when the going gets tough, the ladies of Ten Beach Road know that their friendship–tried and tested–can chase away the darkest clouds and let the sun shine in…  (publisher)

My take:  Best Beach Ever is the 6th book in the Ten Beach Road series. I recommend reading the series in order but you could still enjoy this novel if you haven’t.

When we left the ladies of Ten Beach Road in the last installment they were facing financial ruin, heartbreak, and huge life-changing events. They pick up at that point in Best Beach Ever. At this point in the series none of the women are reluctant to share when they feel someone needs to hear their advice – that’s what good friends do, right? From the beginning they supported each other and worked to achieve their common goals and they continue to do so in this novel. I enjoy how Wendy Wax shows strong women working together and learning to pick themselves up when they stumble. You can accomplish a great deal when you have the support of good friends.

Best Beach Ever was an enjoyable read and left me hoping for more in the series. Not all threads were wrapped up at the end so perhaps there will be another book.


Praise for the novels of Wendy Wax

“If you’re a sucker for plucky women who rise to the occasion, this is for you.”—USA Today

 

“Fans of Jane Green and Mary Alice Monroe will adore Wax’s lively characters, witty dialogue, and heartfelt prose.”—Booklist 

 

“Wax’s Florida titles [the Ten Beach Road novels] are terrific for lovers of women’s fiction and family drama, especially if you enjoy a touch of suspense and romance.”—Library Journal 

 

[Wax] writes with breezy wit and keen insight.”—The Atlanta Journal Constitution


 

A Bella Flora Christmas by Wendy Wax

  • Title:  A Bella Flora Christmas
  • Series:  Ten Beach Road #5.5
  • Author:  Wendy Wax
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  November 2017 – Intermix E-book Original
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

Description:  Although their lives have changed since their first desperate renovation of Bella Flora, friends Madeline, Avery, and Nicole have always been there for each other. Now they’re returning to Bella Flora for Christmas—where Maddie’s daughter Kyra isn’t feeling particularly celebratory.
 
Kyra was hoping for a peaceful holiday at Bella Flora—a last gathering before a wealthy, mystery tenant moves into the home she’s been forced to rent out. Instead, she must make a life altering decision by New Year’s — a decision that becomes even more difficult when unexpected guests arrive at Ten Beach Road on Christmas Eve. Now Kyra, Maddie, Avery and Nikki will need to pull together to secure Bella Flora’s future, as well as their own. (publisher)

My take:  If you’re up to date with the Ten Beach Road series this novella will tide you over until the release of Best Thing Ever next May. If you’re not, you’ll get to know the principal characters and a basic idea of how they fit into the storyline of the series. It’s the week before Christmas and all is not calm. Bella Flora, the gorgeous home that brought the women together in the first place, is filling up with Maddie and daughter Kyra’s friends and family.They’ll celebrate the holiday together and then move out so the home can be rented. The rent will help save Bella Flora from going into foreclosure. A Bella Flora Christmas is told from Kyra’s POV which made me feel her anxiety over a decision she has to make by the first of the year. That decision will impact all of her friends – so no pressure there! Since I’ve read the entire series I know the history and cause of her indecision. I expect that thread will carry through the next book. It was fun to find out what was going on in each woman’s life and I’m eager to see the direction Wendy Wax steers them next. Recommended to fans of the Ten Beach Road series.


 

One Good Thing by Wendy Wax

  • Title:  One Good Thing
  • Series:  Ten Beach Road #5
  • Author:  Wendy Wax
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Pages:  432
  • Published:  April 2017 – Berkley Books
  • Source:  Publisher

Description:  Before you can fix it up, you might have to tear it down…
Embroiled in a battle to regain control of their renovation-turned-reality TV show, Do Over, Maddie, Avery, Nikki, and Kyra find themselves holding tight to the frayed ends of their friendship and relationships. 
 
Maddie must face the realities of dating a rock star once again topping the charts and deal with her hapless ex-husband, while Avery is caught up in family drama even as she attempts to transform a tiny cottage into a home for the newly impoverished heiress who helped bankroll their last renovation. Put on bedrest, a hugely pregnant Nikki can’t quite believe love can last, or trust in her own maternal instinct. And Kyra, who has secretly put Bella Flora at risk in an attempt to salvage Do Over, must decide whether to accept a desperately needed bail out from her son’s famous father that comes with far too many strings attached…
 
But friendship is made for times like these, to keep each other—and their dreams—from crumbling. (publisher)

My take:  One Good Thing is the latest book in Wendy Wax’s Ten Beach Road series. The four women – Maddie, Avery, Nikki, and Kyra – are at a crossroads with their Do Over home refurb tv show. They are trapped in a horrible contract with the tv network that took their show and turned it into an embarrassing reality show. They want to find a way out of the contract and maintain control of the show. The odds don’t look good.

Individually each woman is facing life-altering change. They will rely on one another to help get through the challenges. I’ve enjoyed this series so much because it features women of all ages and experience in a realistic and positive way. The Florida setting is so inviting and I love the home refurb storylines. I like the parallel of the women’s lives being improved while they renovate homes.

There were a few unresolved storylines at the conclusion of One Good Thing so I’m hopeful the series will continue. I suppose this novel could stand alone but so much context will be gained if you read from the beginning. Recommended.


Fan favorite and USA Today bestselling author Wendy Wax is known for transporting readers to beautiful seaside locations with her smart, fun and utterly compelling stories. Inspired by her childhood summers and set on the backdrop of St. Petersburg, Florida, Wax’s Ten Beach Road series is equal parts authentic and charming.

Praise for the novels of Wendy Wax

“[Wax] writes with breezy wit and keen insight.”—The Atlanta Journal Constitution 

“If you’re a sucker for plucky women who rise to the occasion, this is for you.”—USA Today

 “Wax offers her trademark form of fiction, the beach read with substance.”—Booklist 

 “Wax really knows how to make a cast of characters come alive.”—RT Book Reviews


About ONE GOOD THING:

In her fifth and most exciting book yet, Wax returns to her Ten Beach Road series with ONE GOOD THING (Berkley Trade Paperback Original; April 25, 2017; $16). Picking up where Sunshine Beach left off, fans of the series will delight in catching up with familiar beloved characters and new readers will have no problem sinking into this witty and heartwarming story about loyalty, friendship and the secrets that test those bonds.

Sure to resonate with readers of Elin Hilderbrand and Jane Green, ONE GOOD THING is a warm and insightful look at love and the bonds of true friendship.


Sunshine Beach by Wendy Wax

  • sunshine beach (6:21) BerkleyTitle:  Sunshine Beach
  • Series:  Ten Beach Road #4
  • Author:  Wendy Wax
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Pages:  432
  • Published:  June 2016 – Berkley
  • Source:  Publisher

Description:  There’s nothing that a fresh coat of paint and a few glasses of wine can’t fix…
 
After losing their life savings in a Ponzi scheme, Maddie, Avery, and Nikki banded together to make the most of what they’ve got left through determination, ingenuity, guts, and a large dose of elbow grease. It’s Maddie’s daughter Kyra who stumbles across a once glorious oceanfront hotel that has fallen into disrepair. The opportunity to renovate this seaside jewel is too good to pass up—especially when they come up with the idea of shooting their own independent television show about the restoration. What could possibly go wrong?
 
Everything. With the cameras rolling, Maddie’s second-chance romance with her all-too-famous new boyfriend gets complicated, Avery struggles with grief over the loss of her mother, and Nikki’s reluctance to commit to the man who loves her could leave her to face the biggest challenge of her life. Even the hotel seems to be against them, when their renovation uncovers a decades-old unsolved murder which just might bring their lives tumbling down all over again… (publisher)

My take:  If you can’t get to the beach this summer you’ll feel like you’re there when reading Sunshine BeachMaddie, Avery, Nikki and Kyra are back together looking for a new renovation project. While on a morning walk Kyra comes across a small, partially hidden, falling-down but perfectly situated hotel and just knows it has potential. When the other women agree they assume their roles and get the wheels of renovation turning. 

Wendy Wax’s novel hit all the marks I’ve come to appreciate in this series: women’s friendship, perseverance when life gets tough, and the ability to get along even when they didn’t always agree. There’s a mystery to solve along the way and the return appearances of all love interests from the previous novels. I enjoyed it all and recommend it to fans of the series and women’s fiction.

This book can stand alone but I recommend reading the series in order because you’ll get a deeper understanding of the growth in each character. Also, I’m the type of person who can get sucked into a HGTV marathon so I loved reading about the project at the center of each novel.

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.

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

 

Audiobook: Ocean Beach by Wendy Wax

  • Ocean BeachTitle:  Ocean Beach
  • Author:  Wendy Wax
  • Narrator:  Amy Rubinate
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Publisher:  October 2013 – Tantor Media
  • Length:  11 hours 50 minutes
  • Source:  Purchased

Synopsis:  Unlikely friends Madeline, Avery, and Nicole have hit some speed bumps in their lives, but when they arrive in Miami’s South Beach neighborhood, they are all hoping for a do-over. Literally. They’ve been hired to bring a once-grand historic house back to its former glory on a new television show called Do-Over. If they can just get this show off the ground, Nikki would get back on her feet financially, Avery could restart her ruined career, and Maddie would have a shot at keeping her family together.

At least, that’s the plan – until the women realize that while having their work broadcast is one thing, having their personal lives play out on TV is another thing entirely. Soon they are struggling to hold themselves, and the project, together. With a decades-old mystery – and the hurricane season – looming, the women are forced to figure out just how they’ll weather life’s storms.  (publisher)

My take: Once again Wendy Wax delivers a novel that, partnered with Amy Rubinate’s narration, thoroughly entertained me. The ladies of Ten Beach Road are back and trying to make a go of renovating another grand Florida home – this time on the Atlantic coast.  They hope to turn the filmed experience into a home-reno show for a cable channel. What they didn’t notice when they signed on for the pilot was the fine print. Every minute will be filmed and the show will be presented as a reality show. Yikes! Couple that aspect with a mystery the homeowner would like to solve and you’ve got the makings of a good story. 

There’s drama in each woman’s personal life too. I won’t go into each one but suffice it to say that the drama moved the plot and at the end of the novel there are enough unwrapped stories to make me think there could be another novel in this series. I’m hoping.

If you enjoyed Ten Beach Road I think you’ll like Ocean Beach. Amy Rubinate’s narration enhanced my enjoyment of the novel.

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)
*  *  *
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:

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

Ocean Beach by Wendy Wax – Spotlight and Giveaway

Wendy Wax introduced Madeline Singer, Avery Lawford and Nicole Grant and their story of friendship, family and triumph in her book Ten Beach Road, which USA Today cited as one of “six that belong in your beach bag.” Now, these three head to Miami in OCEAN BEACH, on sale June 26. There they hope to use the skills they mastered renovating Bella Flora, a dilapidated historic home, to spin straw into gold once again, this time with the cameras rolling for the first season of their reality show, Do Over.

Wax, born and raised in St. Pete Beach, Florida is no stranger to Miami, but hadn’t visited there for years when she began researching OCEAN BEACH. Her first memories of it are from childhood. “When I was little, we stayed at the Fontainebleau Hotel and ate at Wolfie’s,” she says, admitting to a touch of nostalgia for the now closed landmark deli. Today, she knows much more about the city, especially South Beach’s legendary Art Deco structures, one of which inspired the home at the center of the novel.

The Millicent, a once fabulous Art Deco Streamline, and the reality show Do Over have Madeline, Avery and Nicole again donning their tool belts. Madeline’s daughter, Kyra, who created the pilot and sold the program, is at the helm for the first season, and she’s brought her six-month old, Dustin. Avery’s runaway mother, Deirdre, an interior designer, is there, too, as is The Millicent’s owner, show business legend and nonagenarian Max Golden.

Arriving in South Beach, they discover The Millicent in far worse shape than they expected and that the network has added a second camera crew with orders to film not just the renovation, but them, warts and all. With money running low, their private lives in limbo, and their only other source of income, Bella Flora, still unsold, no one is walking away—despite Do Over’s miniscule budget, their tiny salaries, saboteurs in their midst, and their concern that Max has much more riding on the project than reclaiming his home.

Then Dustin’s uber-celebrity father shows up, superstar wife, kids, body guards and entourage in tow and The Millicent becomes the focal point for paparazzi from around the world.

It’s make or break time for their careers—and possibly their friendship.  All in all, not the perfect circumstances for a major renovation.

As she has in the past, Wendy Wax focuses on women and relationships, telling a story of adversity, friendships, family ties, joy and heartbreak, sharing her distinctive voice and leavening the struggles of her protagonists with her trademark honesty, wit and tenderness.

♦  ♦  ♦

Giveaway!

One lucky reader will win a copy of Ocean Beach

Open to US/Canada

Click here for details

Giveaway has ended

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

Guest Post by Wendy Wax, Author of Ten Beach Road

I guess we could call this week Ten Beach Road Week at Bookfan! I’m pleased to share this space with author Wendy Wax. She writes about her latest novel and the inspiration for the setting of Ten Beach Road. Take it away, Wendy!

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The House at the Heart of TEN BEACH ROAD

Wendy Wax

Ten Beach Road, which came out May 3rd, is a story about three strangers who lose almost everything in a Ponzi scheme, except co-ownership in what turns out to be a dilapidated beachfront mansion named Bella Flora.

Madeline Singer, a homemaker who’s celebrating her newly emptied nest right up until the moment it starts filling back up, Avery Lawford an architect and HGTV host who thinks playing ‘Vanna’ to her now ex-husband on their show is the worst thing that can happen until he elbows her out completely, and Nicole Grant, well-known dating guru and matchmaker who’s already battled her way out of poverty once, arrive at Bella Flora planning to put their sole remaining asset up for sale, only to discover just how far from ready this once-fabulous home is.

Caught between a rock-and-a-hard-place choice, they elect to stay on and, with the help of a local (and infuriating) contractor, work to bring Bella Flora back to life, bit by backbreaking bit.

They’re joined over that long sweat soaked summer by Madeline’s unexpectedly pregnant daughter and Avery’s estranged mother, which is a whole lot of estrogen for one house to absorb—especially when the renovation forces them to share a single bathroom and no air conditioning.

I got to tour a number of wonderful homes while trying to imagine Bella Flora and heard some really inspiring stories of both restoration and renovation in the process. I also developed a somewhat unhealthy addiction to HGTV!

In the end I decided to make Bella Flora a Mediterranean-Revival style home, with the foot thick walls, high ceilings and strategically placed balconies and windows that made them so popular in Florida and California in the 1920s.  The Don CeSar Hotel, a fabulous example of this period and style, stands at the northern end of Pass-a-Grille, the Florida beach community where I grew up and not far from the southernmost tip of this barrier island where I placed Bella Flora. Of course, I had to mentally move a condo building to claim Bella Flora’s fabulous view of the pass, where the Gulf of Mexico and the bay meet, but I figure that’s one of the perks of writing fiction.

In the end, this wonderful house became a character in its own right as well as the catalyst that helps Madeline, Avery and Nicole rebuild their own lives.

I’m attaching a few photos of the kinds of details that made Bella Flora so special to me, and I hope, once you’ve read Ten Beach Road, to you as well.

 



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

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

Open to US residents

Click here to fill out form

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Interview: Wendy Wax

The following Q & A is an excerpt from materials provided by the publicist.
TEN BEACH ROAD goes on sale today. More information can be found at www.authorwendywax.com

You grew up in St. Pete Beach and on Pass-a-Grille Beach, yet this is the first time you’ve set a book there? Why TEN BEACH ROAD and not one of your earlier ones?

Actually, Tanya in The Accidental Bestseller got to live in St. Petersburg and on the very last page there are these movie-like blurbs at the end laying out the friends’ futures. Tanya’s rewarded with a home on St. Pete Beach and a sixty foot houseboat. So I guess even two books ago I was nostalgic about life on the water and back on the beach. In Ten Beach Road I put a derelict beachfront mansion at the heart of the story and, frankly, I rarely think ‘beach’ without the words St. Pete or Pass-a-Grille in front of it.

Do you believe that setting plays a more important role in this novel than in other of your books?

Definitely. I could have put Madeline, Avery and Nicole’s sole remaining ‘asset’ anywhere, but I think this particular setting contributes a lot to the story and the protagonists’ friendship and growth. Another setting would have demanded a very different kind of house and a very different experience for the main characters. And, of course, you can’t conjure up a threatening hurricane just anywhere. As much as I believe in the importance of setting, I still tend to be spare in my descriptions of places and people. That’s mostly because, as a reader, I don’t enjoy tons of information about setting or character appearance. I only want the bare bones so that I can envision things myself.

You’re known for exploring the importance of women’s friendships in your work. In Magnolia Wednesdays, Vivi seemed to have to learn how to be a friend. In The Accidental Bestseller, four women may have been guilty of taking the strength of their friendship for granted. In TEN BEACH ROAD you seem to be taking a closer look at issues such as trust, risk taking, honesty, and mother/daughter relationships. Do you agree? Did you start out in this direction? Or did the characters take you there?

I don’t start out with ‘themes’ in mind, but I seem to have some issues that I keep coming back to. In fact, I’ve had a number of interviewers point out that I seem to keep writing about ‘secrets.’ When asked why, I didn’t have an answer, so I now say “that’s a secret.” The mother-daughter relationships in Ten Beach Road were intentional, but I didn’t know how they’d play out until I began writing. Watching a story and characters evolve in unexpected ways is one of my favorite parts of the process. There are a lot of things you simply can’t know or imagine about characters until you’ve spent time with them.

Did your past life as host of the Tampa radio program Desperate and Dateless have anything to do with you choosing matchmaking as Nicole’s high-profile career?

Well, I’d like to say yes but the truth is I was a radio person who ended up hosting Desperate & Dateless back when I was both of those things. Nicole was inspired by an article or two I saw, which led me to a book about a real dating guru/matchmaker. I was kind of fascinated with the idea of making a living that way. I made her a matchmaker to the affluent, because I wanted her rise from poverty to be marked, and the loss of her fortune deeply emotional.

Can you tell us anything about your next book? Setting? Situations? When it may be published?

My next book, currently titled Reality Check, is scheduled for release in June 2012. Two estranged friends living very different lives are about to mix it up in ways they never could have imagined—but I did!

♦ ♦ ♦

Please stop by tomorrow for my review of TEN BEACH ROAD

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