Wednesday, June 29, 2016

0 2016 Classics Challenge: Beowulf








WHEN I Discovered This Classic
This book is a re-read for me. I read it once in high school and once more about ten years ago.

WHY I Chose to Read It
It has all the elements of an epic adventure.

WHAT Makes It A Classic
Beowulf is one of the oldest poems out there. It's inspired countless authors and is still taught in schools today.

WHAT I Thought of This Classic
Since this was my third time reading it, you might assume that I love it. I do appreciate it and its historical value and there is some really great action scenes in this poem. However, for me, it's good but not great. (Please don't throw stones.)

WILL It Stay A Classic
Absolutely. It's been around this long, and I can't see it going anywhere.

WHO I’d Recommend It To
English majors.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

0 Dashner Dash Binge Read Google Hangout to discuss The Maze Runner is happening THIS THURSDAY at 8pm EST



Join me and other Maze Runner fans as we discuss The Maze Runner THIS THURSDAY at 8pm EST. Weather you're part of the Dashner Dash Bing Read or just a fan of the books. Here's the link to the hangout: https://plus.google.com/u/2/b/115020835543123360597/events/ce87lst2kgp3f9ctm1qbpcs87p8?_ga=1.84901341.533485282.1467052686



Sunday, June 26, 2016

2 The #DASHNERDASH BINGE READ: The Scorch Trials Plus A Giveaway


I'm so excited to be continuing The Maze Runner series with The Scorch Trials. The Maze Runner left me with so many questions and I hope some of them are answered in this book. In case you're not familiar with the #DASHNERDASH Binge Read, click here to read all about it. But here's the short of it. Counting down to September 27 for the release of The Fever Code, we'll be reading The Maze Runner series on the 27th of each month.

Follow me on Twitter @2readornot2read and/or Facebook as I live tweet my reading progress. Reading will begin at 8:00 a.m. cst on June 27. I hope you can join me. And if you're reading along with the #DASHNERDASH, leave me a comment below or tweet/facebook me because I'd love to know your thoughts on The Scorch Trials.

I hope you're as excited as I am to read the second book in this series. Also, To Read, or Not To Read is giving away a set of autographed Maze Runner books, thanks to Random House Children's Books.

Please read my giveaway policy before entering. This giveaway is restricted to US addresses only. You must be at least 13 years old to enter.



0 Last Week In Review (14)



Last week in review took a small hiatus while I moved. I was going to photograph the gargantuan maze of boxes and stuff, but I forgot. I've been unpacking over the last week, and I'm finally about 75% finished. So yay! Needless to say, I haven't done a lot of bookish things over the last few weeks.


What I'm Reading


I thought I would have more time to listen to this audio book than I actually did. Mainly, because people kept interrupting by asking silly questions like, "Where should I put this?"  and  "Do you know where my ____________ is?" 



I started this book a few days ago. Here's the summary: The Great War is over, and change is in the air, in this novel that brings to life the exciting days of early British radio…and one woman who finds her voice while working alongside the brilliant women and men of the BBC.
London, 1926. American-raised Maisie Musgrave is thrilled to land a job as a secretary at the upstart British Broadcasting Corporation, whose use of radio—still new, strange, and electrifying—is captivating the nation. But the hectic pace, smart young staff, and intimidating bosses only add to Maisie’s insecurity.

Soon, she is seduced by the work—gaining confidence as she arranges broadcasts by the most famous writers, scientists, and politicians in Britain. She is also caught up in a growing conflict between her two bosses, John Reith, the formidable Director-General of the BBC, and Hilda Matheson, the extraordinary director of the hugely popular Talks programming, who each have very different visions of what radio should be. Under Hilda’s tutelage, Maisie discovers her talent, passion, and ambition. But when she unearths a shocking conspiracy, she and Hilda join forces to make their voices heard both on and off the air…and then face the dangerous consequences of telling the truth for a living. 


What I Finished


I surprised myself by actually finishing a book among all the chaos. 


What I'm Watching


I finished watching this series on Hulu for the second time. I love it!

New Books

I got a few new books over the last few weeks while I was packing and unpacking. I'm really excited about them.



And I got a Peculiar tote from Quirk. If you like it, you can enter to win one here.


Reading Challenge Update

Not a lot got done in this area over the last few weeks. But I will be participating in the #DashnerDash on 6/26. We'll be reading the second book: The Scorch TrialsIf you're interested in participating or winning an autographed set of The Maze Runner series, click here.



I hope you've been well and you have a great week. What are you currently reading?


Thursday, June 23, 2016

0 Join the AW Teen Summer Reading Challenge and win books!

Join the AW Teen Summer Reading Challenge and win books!

Who: Everyone who loves reading YA!
What: Read any AW Teen title (full list here: http://www.albertwhitman.com/teen/) and review it anywhere (your blog, Goodreads, Instagram, YouTube—wherever!).
AWTeen_Spring16Titles
When: June 15-August 31, 2016
How: Submit the link to your review here.
You will receive 1 entry for every AW Teen Book you review.
You will receive extra entries for sharing that review on Goodreads, Netgalley, Edelweiss, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or other review sites.
You will receive even more extra entries for following us on our Albert Whitman and AW Teen social media sites!
Albert Whitman Social Media accounts:
Prize: Six AW Teen ’16 titles:
Future Shock (hardcover)
9780807526828 FutureShock
Elena Martinez has hidden her eidetic memory all her life—or so she thinks. When powerful tech giant Aether Corporations selects her for a top-secret project, she can’t say no. All she has to do is participate in a trip to the future, and she’ll be set for life. Elena travels with four other teens with special skills, including Adam, a science prodigy. Soon they find themselves running out of time, and deadly secrets are uncovered. Can Elena and her new friends figure out how to change their futures?
Seventeen-year-old Adam Rhodes is famous, but he’s been in a downward spiral since he lost the girl he loved, Marybeth, who went by the stage name Sunshine. Then, Adam is approached by Dr. Elloran with Project Orpheus, who wants to resurrect Sunshine. As the process sweeps Adam and Marybeth ever closer to reliving the tragedy that destroyed them, Adam must decide how far he’ll go to save her.
Two boys: One is a star athlete and top student with a deep-seated need to prove himself. The other is a chip-on-his-shoulder quarterback who will never settle for second best. When gunshots echo through the halls of Broadmeadow High School, whose finger is on the trigger? This unforgettable novel counts down the twelve months leading up to an explosive moment.
Biggie (paperback)
Biggie in paperback
At an obese 300+ pounds, Henry “Biggie” Abbott prefers classroom success to sports. As Biggie’s junior year begins, the girl of his dreams, Annabelle Rivers, starts flirting with him. He’s been told to follow in his dad’s footsteps and play baseball, but Annabelle might be the one to actually convince him to try.
Girl Last Seen (hardcover)
9780807581414_GirlLastSeenPB
YouTube stars and best friends Kadence and Lauren recently had a major falling-out over Kadence’s boyfriend. Kadence launched her solo career when a nasty throat infection paralyzed Lauren’s vocal cords. And she knows how deceptive Kadence could be sometimes. But nobody believes Lauren when she claims she had nothing to do with Kady’s disappearance.
Hurricane Kiss (hardcover)
9780807534502_HurricaneKissPB
For sixteen-year-old Jillian McKay, the threat of Hurricane Danielle means a long car ride with her neighbors—including River Daughtry, the former star quarterback of Harrison High. The guy who was headed to glory until suddenly he disappeared to a West Texas juvenile detention center. Once cocky and flirtatious, he’s now silent and angry. But their evacuation route is soon gridlocked. As the teens wait out the storm, they confront the past and realize survival is more than just staying alive—it’s about fighting for yourself.
Join the fun and get your read on this summer!

Monday, June 20, 2016

0 Rebecca Maizel's Top Ten Favorite Things About Summer


Top ten favorite summer activities of favorite things about summer. This is absolutely in no particular order.




1. BOOOOOOOOKS! Yay!!! This is, by far, my favorite activity. I am a teacher as well as an author so my academic year is so busy! This summer, I am embarking on The Summer of 100 Books challenge. I made it up so you can join in if you want. The 100 also includes ten picture books (because I love picture books and so, so many good ones have come out recently). I read two graphic novels yesterday, Smile by Raina Telgemeier and That One Summer by Mariko Tamaki. So I’ve only got 98 more to go by Sept 7 (when school starts again). 

2. The beach. One of the best parts about living in Rhode Island are our incredible beaches. 3rd beach in Narragansett, East Beach, and Roger Wheeler Beach are amazing. I can stay for hours reading, eating, and if it’s not FREEZING – swim!

3. Dels. Okay so it’s weird and I will include some images with this post. Because the thing about being from Rhode Island is not just the geographical/landscape beauty, etc., but the food. Rhode Islanders are super proud of their food. We have hot wieners, Italian food to die for, Johnny Cakes, coffee milk, and Awful Awfuls. But nothing quite tops DELS. Nothing beats the frozen lemonade treat after you've been on the beach for hours and head home at the end of an amazing day. 

4. Providence Water Fire. I swear this isn't a ploy for Rhode Island tourism, but this state comes to life during the summer. Basically the city of Providence, lights up the rivers with bonfires. Gondolas ride down the river and there are street performers, street food, food trucks, and they blast incredible music and it’s a great city & state activity. You gotta go to at least two a year.

5. Chatham, Cape Cod. Every year I go to Chatham and stay for a few weeks on the Cape. I've done so since I was born so anyone who has read my last book, Between Us & The Moon, knows how important Chatham and the cape is to me! So the next few will be Cape Cod focused. 

6. The Yellow Umbrella in Chatham, Ma. By far, my favorite bookstore on the cape. They have an incredible amount of used and new books and I spend too much time in this store! I also usually have a book signing there every summer, so if you're on the Cape this summer in July, come check it out!

7. Nauset Beach. One of the best beaches in the universe. Actually any beach on the Cape from Chatham onward will blow your mind. One of the best places on Earth. There is always a seal sighting (maybe some Great Whites too). 

8. Very closely connected to Nauset Beach is its fried food haven, Liam's. Oh Liam’s, how I love thee. How I love your fried onions, fried fish, and chocolate shakes. How I love running all of these miles in the winter and spring so I may eat 372138918 fried clams. That reminds me, I also need a new Liam’s sweatshirt. 

9. Kayaking. In the last 5 years or so I’ve really come to love kayaking here in Rhode Island. I usually go to the kayak center in Wickford, Rhode Island and kayak all around in that area. I don’t own a kayak but it’s fun to paddle around. It’s ironic because I HATE huge boats, but I do like an ocean kayak. 

10. Barbecues. My brother-in-law makes some crazy good barbecue sauces and rubs. I always buy him ingredients and kits around Christmas time but it’s selfish because I really want him to make me excellent food during the summer time. It’s also just a good excuse for me to see my nephew & niece and to spend time with my family.



June 28, 2016; Hardcover $17.99; ISBN: 978-0-0623-2764-2; HarperTeen

A story of second chances from the author of Between Us and the Moon, which Kirkus Reviews called “what first love is meant to be.”

A year ago, Penny Berne was the star of her high school’s theater department, surrounded by a group of misfit friends and falling in love for the first time. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, her new best friend is the most popular girl in school, and her first love, Wes, ignores her. Penny is revered and hated. Then, in a flash, a near-fatal lightning strike leaves Penny with no memory of the past year—or how she went from drama nerd to queen bee. 

As a record number of fireflies light up her town and her life, Penny realizes she may be able to make things right again—and that even if she can’t change the past, she can learn to see the magic where she never could before.

This captivating new novel about first love, second chances, and the power of memory is perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall and Katie Cotugno’s How to Love.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

0 Check out this excerpt from the highly anticipated NINTH CITY BURNING



NINTH CITY BURNING
By J. Patrick Black
Ace Hardcover
ISBN: 9781101991442
$27.00 / 496 pages
September 6, 2016

We never saw them coming. 

Entire cities disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but dust and rubble. When an alien race came to make Earth theirs, they brought with them a weapon we had no way to fight, a universe-altering force known as thelemity. It seemed nothing could stop it—until we discovered we could wield the power too.

Five hundred years later, the Earth is locked in a grinding war of attrition. The talented few capable of bending thelemity to their will are trained in elite military academies, destined for the front lines. Those who refused to support the war have been exiled to the wilds of a ruined Earth.

But the enemy’s tactics are changing, and Earth’s defenders are about to discover this centuries-old war has only just begun. As a terrible new onslaught looms, heroes will rise from unlikely quarters, and fight back.


“Grabbed my attention from the first page—fresh and un-put-downable. An intriguing cocktail of science fiction, fantasy, and military adventure stirred into something new and satisfying.”
—Patricia Briggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fire Touched

“A finely crafted and original science-fantasy epic full of wonder and spectacle. Highly recommended.”
—Anthony Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of The Waking Fire
 
Ninth City Burning is an intense, complex, engrossing story, a tale of multiple lives intersecting…Fans of both fantasy and science-fiction will want to keep an eye out for the next, and the next… “
—Jean Johnson, national bestselling author of The Terrans

J. Patrick Black has worked as a bartender, a small-town lawyer, a homebuilder, and a costumed theme park character, all while living a secret double life as a fiction writer. While fiction is now his profession, he still finds occasion to ply his other trades as well. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he likes to visit the ocean. NINTH CITY BURNING is his first novel. Find out more about J. Patrick Black online at www.jpatrickblack.com







Excerpt

The Valentine War, Earth 500 Years Ago
It starts with the world how it used to be, with countries and billions of people living everywhere. Back then there was no such thing as thelemity, and people built houses and machines sort of like they have in settlements today, but all of that changed when the Valentines came.

The reason we call them the Valentines is that the day they first attacked, February 14 on the old Western Calendar, was called “Valentine’s Day”. We still don’t know what the Valentines call themselves, because we’ve never been able to talk to them. We don’t even know what they look like. People had all sorts of different names for them early in the war, but “Valentine” is the one that ended up being the most popular. It used to mean something totally different, but not many people remember that now.

We never saw them coming. All at once cities just started disappearing. A city would be there, everything totally normal, and then it would be gone, nothing but rubble and a cloud of dust. By the time we figured out we were under attack, half the cities in the world had already been destroyed. We tried to fight back, but the Valentines had thelemity, and our strongest weapons were next to useless. They probably would have killed every single person on the planet, except for one thing: It turned out we could use thelemity too.


Cast of Characters

JAX: A cadet at the Academy and the youngest fontanus in Ninth City. With the ability to harness thelemity, Jax must stand for all citizens during Valentine attacks and act as the only defense between the city and complete destruction.

NAOMI: The youngest sister in the Ochre family, and a member of the nomadic Walker tribe. Naomi longs to be a scout like her older sister, Rae, but her undiscovered gifts will take her down a different path, far away from the life she knows.

RAE: The beautiful, impulsive leader of the Ochre family and a scout for the Walker tribe. Rae’s penchant for bravery and lack of fear plunge her into a new world, where her strength will be tested in ways she never imagined.

TORRO: A factory worker in Settlement 225, which provides supplies and soldiers to the Legion’s war effort. Torro’s uncomplicated life is suddenly disrupted when he finds himself drafted as cannon fodder and shipped away to the horror of the front lines.

VINNEAS: Procurator of the Academy, responsible for every cadet at the school of Grammar and Rhetoric. Part of being Procurator is being prepared for command in combat, but an unwelcome promotion sends him to active duty sooner than he expects.

IMWAY: The top ranked warrior in the Equites Aspirant, the most elite fighting unit in the Academy. Highly skilled in combat, Imway’s power stems from a suit of armor called ‘equus’ and the ego that comes with it stands the chance of ruining any relationship he has.

KIZABEL: The most sought after Artifex—a creator of artifices—at the Academy. Her most recent project violates many rules, and Kizabel faces expulsion or incarceration if caught. But her project will revolutionize equus design, if she can only get it running.

Together, this unlikely group of allies will face a mysterious enemy and a war that has brought their world to the brink of destruction. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

2 Help Quirk Celebrate #5PeculiarYears and Win Big!

I love this series, and I can't wait to see the movie. I'm happy to help Quirk books celebrate #5PeculiarYears 



Quirk Books is super excited to celebrate #5PeculiarYears (especially with the movie coming out this September) and is is running a contest for fans of the series over at http://www.quirkbooks.com/ 5PeculiarYears. All you need to do is submit your Miss Peregrine fan art, cosplay, shelfies, or selfies and use the hashtag: #5PeculiarYears to be entered to win a number of prizes. 


AND THAT'S NOT ALL

The amazing people at Quirk are letting me give away a Peculiar tote on To Read, or Not To Read. This giveaway is open to  US, UK, and Canada. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. Please read our giveaway policy before entering.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

0 A Thousand Soft Kisses Spotlight and Giveaway


A Thousand Salt Kisses
by Josie Demuth

Publication Date: April 2016
Wise Ink Press
Series: Salt Kisses, Book One
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Romance/Mer-Stories
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Beautiful Crystal White is the new girl on the remote Starfish Island. During a party on the mainland, she goes for a midnight swim with other party goers where she meets the handsome, intriguing Llyr amongst the waves.
As she heads back to shore she realizes that he is not behind her and that nobody at the party remembers him. Crystal can't seem to shake Llyr from her mind and returns to the beach in the hope of meeting him again. When she finally does, she realizes there may be more truth to the ramblings of the island folk than she thought.
To add more drama to her life, Crystal's mother and her father are at war over a local power station that is devastating local marine life.
Over a sizzling roller coaster summer, it becomes apparent that all these events are not entirely unrelated and Crystal finds herself both caught up in a deep mystical romance and at the centre of an exploding environmental scandal...

About the Author

03_Josie DemuthJosie is a 31 year-old writer from London. Her Salt Kisses books became popular on Wattpad, and are now also serialised on Radish Fiction. A Thousand Salt Kisses is her third book.
For more information please visit http://www.saltkissesbooks.com/ and https://josiedemuthwriting.wordpress.com/. You can follow author Josie Demuth on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Wattpad.




Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 6
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Thursday, June 9
Excerpt at Brooke Blogs
Friday, June 10
Review at Bibliotica
Monday, June 13
Interview at I Heart Reading
Tuesday, June 14
Spotlight at To Read, Or Not to Read
Wednesday, June 15
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Friday, June 17
Spotlight at AC Reads
Tuesday, June 21
Spotlight at Fiction Conviction Book Blog
Friday, June 24
Spotlight at A Leisure Moment
Monday, June 27
Spotlight at It's a Mad Mad World
Monday, July 4
Review at A Book Drunkard
Tuesday, July 5
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews
Friday, July 8
Blog Tour Wrap Up at Book Junkie Promotions

Giveaway

To enter the giveaway for a signed copy of A THOUSAND SALT KISSES, please see the GLEAM entry form below. Three copies are up for grabs!
Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 8th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER GIVEAWAY!

04_A Thousand Salt Kisses_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

3 Q&A with Wendy Wax Plus a Giveaway

A Q&A WITH SUNSHINE BEACH AUTHOR WENDY WAX

Welcome, Wendy! It’s been two years since we last heard from Ten Beach Road’s Maddie,
Avery and Nikki and I know readers have been looking forward to their return. I think it’s great that they’re back at Bella Flora in Sunshine Beach.

Yes, they’re back in Pass-a-Grille along with Kyra, Dustin, and most of the friends, family and crew of Do Over. They’re determined to figure out how to regain control of the show. Even Nigel, everybody’s favorite Paparazzi is there.  

What’s going on with the show?
The episodes filmed in The House on Mermaid Point haven’t aired yet, but it’s already clear to the
Do Over cast that the footage is far too personal and will and show them at their worst whenever possible. Plus the treatment—miniscule budgets and no approval of editing along with contrived hardships and unnecessary intrusions by the network—all make it impossible for them to produce the sort of program they first imagined and, in Ocean Beach, thought they’d be creating. So this a major turning point. They’re looking for a way to reclaim Do Over and that’s what leads to the discovery of the seemingly abandoned mid-century modern Sunshine Hotel, next door to the Don CeSar and just two miles from Bella Flora.

Is this as complete a renovation as they’ve tackled in earlier books?

Absolutely. However, they’re getting resistance to even starting the project. The owners, two sisters, who inherited the hotel from their grandparents, have left it moldering for decades, unable to agree what to do with it. One sister wants to see it renovated and sold. The other believes that the key to a long ago family tragedy lies in the hotel and doesn’t want it touched.

So they really have their hands full.

With that and more, actually. Even when the cameras begin rolling, complications arise. Maddie’s romance with rock legend William the Wild gets complicated. The paparazzi remain on call 24/7 hoping to catch sight of mega movie star Danielle Deranian or Kyra and his son, Dustin. Nikki’s reluctance to commit to Joe could leave her to face the biggest challenge of her life alone. Even the Sunshine Hotel seems to be against them when the renovation uncovers a decades-old unsolved death and disappearance. Among the many emotional and physical ramifications of hosting a crime scene is that, quite simply, production grinds to a halt. Not a matter of life or death, of course, but it could be the death knell for the women of Ten Beach Road financially.


What else can you tell us about Sunshine Beach?

One of my favorite aspects of the book is the Sunshine Hotel itself and that’s because the inspiration for it came from my own childhood. You may know I’m a native of St. Pete Beach. When I was growing up, my family belonged to The Rellim Hotel and Beach Club on Pass-a-Grille Beach. I spent summer days at The Rellim pursuing my childhood job—fun—back and forth between the pool, in particular the diving board, and the Gulf, stopping occasionally for ice cream and “sun tan lotion.” I loved The Rellim. It opened in 1949 and closed in 1981. Needless to say, it was part of the inspiration for my Sunshine Hotel, giving me a chance to reminisce and to share a bit of what made it so special to me.

Are any other locations inspired by real places in St. Pete Beach? 

No and that’s because actually I just highjack most of them whole and put them in the book. Many of the places I send my Ten Beach Road characters are real, though not all were around when I was still living there. Most of those I include are places I enjoy going to and it’s fun to share them with readers. The Paradise Grille, which used to be a concession stand, the historic Don CeSar and The Wharf Restaurant are among those mentioned in Sunset Beach. In fact, I’ll be doing a Sunset Book Signing at the Paradise Grille in June. It and my other southeast book tour dates and stops are on the Events & Appearances page at authorwendywax.com.


Anything else you’d like to share with readers? 

Yes! There a fabulous downloadable Sunshine Beach Book Club Kit available and I just love it. Everyone’s invited to check it out. It includes the “Wax Family Never Fail (cross my heart!) Egg Souffle” recipe that Maddie makes. It’s as close to a Cheez Doodle as anyone’s willing to give Avery first thing in the morning. It also includes my memories of “The Beach I Grew Up On” and pics of the real mid-century hotel that inspired Sunshine Beach, along with discussion questions. Oh, and just to remind everyone that book news, updates and giveaways can also be found on Facebook and Twitter and there’s a newsletter sign up on my site, as well. And that my USA Today bestseller, A Week at the Lake, will be published in mass market for the first time on Tuesday, June 28th . Thanks for giving me a chance to share Sunshine Beach with you and your readers!


About Sunshine Beach

USA Today bestselling  author and “beach read queen”* Wendy Wax was already well-known for her contemporary women’s fiction, including The Accidental Bestseller, when she decided to set her novel Ten Beach Road in St. Pete Beach, Florida, where she was born and raised.  It was the first time she’d set one of her books in her home state. Little did she know she’d be doing so again in the near future. Indeed, Ten Beach Road’s main characters, Maddie, Avery and Nicole, struck a chord with readers that resonated long after they closed the pages of the book.  So, when Wendy realized a new story was beginning to take shape around them, reader demand and her own enthusiasm for her protagonists was irresistible. She put aside her latest work in progress and Ocean Beach was born.

Heralded by as USA Today as “one of six books that belong in your beach bag,” Ten Beach Road introduced Maddie, Avery and Nicole, victims of a Ponzi scheme, just as they were deeded Bella Flora, a crumbling Mediterranean-Revival ruin on  Pass-a-Grille Beach, in lieu of their vanished life savings. At that time, all the reluctant DIYers dared hope was that renovating and selling the mansion would make them solvent.  They never imagined they’d end up starring in their own reality show, Do Over, strapping on their tool belts again in South Beach at the Art Deco Streamline home of an elderly comedian in Ocean Beach and, in Islamorada, making over the private island home of a rock legend in The House on Mermaid Point.

In Sunshine Beach they return to where it all started, back in their ---and Wendy’s---old stomping grounds, St. Pete Beach, where the success of their new project, a nearby mid-century modern beachside hotel left vacant for decades, will make or break their television careers and their finances.

It’s no coincidence that the location of Sunshine Beach’s Sunshine Hotel approximates that of The Rellim, the St. Pete Beach hotel and beach club on Pass-a-Grille established in 1941 and owned for years by friends of Wendy’s parents, the Millers.  “Moms played cards and the children, well, romped,” she says. “Long, hot summer days were spent eating ice cream sandwiches and racing across the sand between the hotel’s freshwater pool and the salty gulf.”  Memories of those days remain vivid for Wendy and, while her Sunshine Hotel differs in very many ways from The Rellim, which closed in 1981, she made it a point to imbue it with the spirit of those earlier days.

Kudos abound for Wendy’s writing, not simply for her Ten Beach Road titles, but for her other books, including A Week at the Lake, While We Were Watching Downton Abbey and Magnolia Wednesdays. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says she “writes with breezy wit and keen insight into family relations.”  Her work, which has been compared to that of Jennifer Weiner** and Karen Joy Fowler*** has been featured in national media such as USA Today, Ladies’ Home Journal, CNN online and Woman’s World.

Wendy currently splits her time between Atlanta, where she has lived for almost twenty years, and New York City. When not writing, she visits with readers at bookstores and book events, reads, enjoys her and her husband’s newly empty nest and catches up with her sons on the serendipitous occasions when everyone ends up in the same place at the same time.

*CNN.com (Meet the Beach Read Queens) **St. Petersburg Times ***Deseret News

Giveaway

I have a copy of Sunshine Beach to give away to a lucky reader. Giveaway open to US addresses only. You must be at least 17 years to enter. Please read our giveaway policy before entering. 



 

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