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New in Mass-Market Paperback, Wendy Wax’s Ten Beach Road

Wendy Wax‘s Ten Beach Road (my review) is out in mass-market paperback, so for those of you who have missed out on reading this book and have a book-buying budget, now is the time to grab a copy.

I absolutely adored this book and its characters, strong women –Madeline, Nicole, and Avery — who face a financial crisis and rub one another the wrong way but manage to pull it together to restore their only remaining, shared asset, a house.  I loved this book so much for its summer feel, humor, and strong characters that I just had to share it with my mother, who normally reads action thrillers.  She loved it.

I even loved this book so much that it was one of my picks when asked by Women’s World Magazine which summer, feel good books I’d recommend for mother’s day.  (My recommendation made it into their May 14th issue on page 45, if you’re curious).

Here’s an excerpt from Ten Beach Road:

An eternity later, they hobbled out to the backyard just as the sky was beginning to pinken. Bedraggled, they dropped into the beach chairs with a scrape of aluminum against concrete.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been this dirty in my entire life.” Madeline plopped a family-sized container of hummus and triangles of pita bread on the upside down packing box that their Sam’s purchases had been carried in.

“Me, neither.” Avery dropped a bag of Cheez Doodles beside it and swiped the back of her forearm across her forehead, managing to add another streak of dirt to her face.

Nicole set an unopened bottle of Chardonnay on the pool deck next to her bare feet and handed a plastic cup to each of them. “If there was an inch of water in this pool, I’d be in it.” Nicole slumped in her chair. “I think we should make it a top priority.”

“We barely have a working bathroom,” Avery pointed out. “It took me forever to clean the shower and tub up in the hall. There’s pretty much no water pressure. I’d rather have a shower than a swim in a pool.”

“I want both,” Nicole said, lifting the cup to her lips. “It’s not an either/or sort of thing.”

“Well, it is here.” Avery took a long sip of wine as the sun slipped farther toward the Gulf. “Everything’s not going to get done at once, but I will talk to Chase about the schedule and how things should be prioritized.”

Madeline looked ruefully down at herself. Together they could have posed for the illustration of “something the cat dragged in” – even Nicole in her high-end running clothes and her hair pulled back in a glittery clasp. This was only day one; she could hardly imagine what they’d look like after the long, hot summer that lay ahead.

Her arms were so tired that it took real effort to lift even the small plastic cup, but she nonetheless touched it to the others. “Cheers!” she said, and they nodded and repeated the toast. “Will you be able to run your business from here?” she asked Nicole as they contemplated the sinking sun.

Nicole’s cup stopped midway to her lips. In the pass, a boat planed off and gathered speed as it entered the Gulf. “Sure,” she finally said. “Have laptop and cell phone, will match make.” She turned her gaze from the boat that was now disappearing from view to focus on Madeline. “How about you?” Nicole asked. “Can you really leave home for the whole summer?”

Madeline finished the last drops of wine and set her glass on the makeshift cocktail table. “You make it sound like going to camp,” she said in what could only be described as a wistful tone. “I was hoping my husband, Steve, would come down and help for a while.”

“Oh, is he retired?” Avery asked.

Madeline felt her cheeks flush. Nicole raised an eyebrow and poured them all another glassful.

“Not exactly,” Madeline admitted. “He was a financial planner who made the mistake of putting all his clients’ money in Malcolm Dyer’s fund. Along with his family’s.”

Her teeth worried at her bottom lip. She hadn’t meant to say so much. Or sound quite so pathetic.

“He stole my father’s entire estate,” Avery said. “Everything he’d built over a lifetime of hard work went into that thief’s pocket.” She grimaced and shoved her sunglasses back up on top of her head. “I still can’t believe it. Anything short of being drawn and quartered would be far too good for him.”

Madeline saw Nicole shiver slightly. “Are you cold?” The sun had not yet set, but its warmth had diminished.

“No.” Nicole turned her attention to the boat traffic in the pass. A Jet Ski swooped close to the seawall, its plume of seawater peacocking behind it. The rider was big shouldered and solid with jet black hair and heavily muscled arms. Nicole watched idly at first, presumably because he was male and attractive, but straightened in surprise as the rider locked gazes and offered a mock salute before revving his engine and zooming away.

“Do you know that guy?” Madeline asked Nicole, surprised. “He waved at you.”

“No,” Nicole said. “I don’t think he was actually waving at me. He …”

“Yes, he was,” Madeline insisted. “He acted like he knew you.”

“That guy was definitely hunky,” Avery said. “And he was definitely eyeing Nicole.”

“He must have thought I was someone else,” Nicole took a sliver of pita and chewed it intently before changing the topic. “So, how many kids do you have?” she asked Madeline.

“Two,” Madeline said, unsure how much information to share. “My son’s struggling a bit at school; he’s in his freshman year at Vanderbilt,” she said. “And my daughter, well, right before I left she lost her job-she’s a filmmaker- and she came home unexpectedly to live.” She cleared her throat as if that might somehow stop this bad news dump. “That was right after my mother-in-law moved in.”

“Good Lord,” Nicole said. She lifted the bottle, eyed the little that was left, and poured the remaining drops into Madeline’s glass. “No wonder you want to go away to camp.” She smiled with what looked like real sympathy. “Drink up. Girl; I’d run away from home, too, if I had to deal with all that.”

They sat in silence for a few minutes, sipping their wine, as the sun grew larger and brighter. A warm breeze blew gently off the Gulf, stirring the palms and riffling their hair.

“Maybe you should get your daughter to come down and shoot some ‘before’ video for us,” Avery suggested. “That’s actually what led to Hammer and Nail.” She furrowed her brow. “I had no idea what was coming down the pike when I shot that first ten minutes.”

Madeline considered the small blonde. “My mother-in-law seemed to think it was your husband’s show, that he got you on it.”

“A lot of people came to believe that,” Avery said, her tone wry. “Including my ex-husband. But the idea was mine. I’m the one who sold it, and us, to the network.”

They fell silent as the sun burned with a new intensity, shimmering almost white, then turning golden red that tinged the Gulf as it sank smoothly beneath it.

“God, that was beautiful,” Madeline breathed as they all continued to stare out over the Gulf, unable to tear their gazes from the sky and the last painted remnants of daylight. “It makes me feel like anything is possible.”

No one responded, and she supposed she should be grateful that no one trampled on her flight of fancy. The show was over, but Madeline could still feel its power. It moved her in a way her fear and even her resolution and Little Red Henness had not. She raised her now-empty glass to Avery and Nicole. “I propose that we all make a sunset toast. That we each name one good thing that happened today.”

“Good grief,” Nicole said. “Look around you.” She motioned with her empty plastic glass at the neglected house that hunkered behind them, the cracked and empty pool, the detached garage with its broken windows and listing door. “Is your middle name Pollyanna?”

Madeline flushed at the comment, but she didn’t retract her suggestion. “I’m not saying we should pretend everything’s perfect,” she said. “I’m just saying that no matter how bad it is it would be better to dwell on the even slightly positive than the overwhelming negative.”

“You’re serious, aren’t you?” Avery asked. They all still held their empty glasses aloft. “How good a thing does it have to be?”

“That’s up to you.” Madeline said. “I’m not interested in judging; there will be no ‘good enough’ police.”

“Well, that’s a good thing,” Nicole snorted.

“All right, hold on a sec,” Madeline said. She went into the kitchen and retrieved a second bottle of wine from the fridge, grateful that John Franklin had had the power turned on. As she refilled their glasses, she searched for a positive. Nicole was right, it wasn’t an easy task.

“Okay.” She raised her now-full glass and waited for the others to do the same. “I think it’s good that three complete strangers were able to reach an agreement and commit to a course of action.”

They touched glasses and took a sip. Madeline nodded at Avery. “Your turn.”

“Hmmmm, let me think.” She looked out over the seawall at the gathering darkness as the three of them sat in a spill of light from the loggia. A few moments later she raised her glass. “I think it’s good that this house is not going to be torn down. It deserves a facelift and a new life.”

They clinked and drank and turned their gazes to Nicole. Madeline could hardly wait to hear what she would say.

Nicole looked back at the house, then at them. A small smile played around her lips, and Madeline wondered if she was going to tell them to stuff the happy crap or simply refuse to participate. But she raised her glass in their directions and with only a small sigh of resignation said, “It’s a good thing no one saw me in that minivan. I can’t imagine how I’d ever live it down.”

The mass-market paperback release of Ten Beach Road is in advance of the June 26 release of the sequel, Ocean Beach, in which the three lead women — Madeline, Nicole, and Avery — from the previous book are back.  I just knew Wendy Wax was not finished with these characters!

About Ocean Beach:

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 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…

Yes, you’ll want both books.  Don’t forget to follow Wendy on Twitter and Facebook.

To enter to win 1 copy of Ten Beach Road by Wendy Wax you must be a U.S. or Canadian resident.  Leave a comment below by June 1, 2012, at 11:59PM EST to be entered.

If you’ve already read Ten Beach Road, leave a comment telling me why you want to read Ocean Beach to be entered by June 1, 2012 at 11:59PM EST.

  • Ten Beach Road sounds like a great read and I’d love the chance to meet these characters myself!

  • Anita Yancey

    I would love to read Ten Beach Road, and find out the rest of the story for these three ladies. It would make a great summer read. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  • I can’t believe I haven’t read this one yet. Sounds like I’m sure to love it!

    And congrats on being featured in the magazine! I was so happy for you when I saw your name in it!

  • I keep reading good reviews for Ten Beach Road! Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

  • I feel like the only one to not have read a Wendy Wax book! I’ve heard nothing but good things about Ten Beach Road, and it sounds like a perfect summer reading book.

  • Margaret

    Since I am not going to any beach this summer Ten Beach Road would be a wonderful escape. Sounds fantastic, thanks!

    Margaret
    singitm(at)hotmail(dot)com

  • In the summer months I like to grab the beach book, sit out on my deck and pretend I’m somewhere else. I thought I might be the only person that hasn’t read Ten Beach Road! But no, looks like there are a few of us.

  • Carol M

    I haven’t read Ten Beach Road but I would like to. Thank you for the giveaway!

  • Amy

    Yes unfortunately I missed out on this book when it came out so I would love to read it! Great giveaway!

  • Linda B

    I would love to read Ten Beach Road. I enjoy reading about strong women. Thanks for the giveaway.