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.


 

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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.

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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