I am delighted to welcome one of my favorite people, New York Times bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews! Mary Kay is the queen of the summer read and her newest, Beach Town, is terrific. Read on to find out how you can win a copy.
MY KIND OF BEACH TOWN
By Mary Kay Andrews
Having grown up in Florida and being a life-long Southerner, I spend a lot of time thinking—and writing, about the beach—especially during Atlanta’s interminably rainy, chilly winters. And for the past few winters, I’ve actually run away from home to write at the beach.
In my new novel, BEACH TOWN, movie location scout Greer Hennessy is hired to find the perfect “old school” beach town for a Hollywood blockbuster. The town Greer discovers, Cypress Key, is pretty close to my own idea of heaven. Here, as follows, are my specific requirements for the perfect beach town.
- The beach. It should have an easily accessible public beach. I realize there are rocky beaches, pebbly beaches, even cliffside beaches. But as an East Coast girl—specifically a Gulf Coast girl, I like a smooth, soft, sandy white beach.
- No shoes, no shirt, no problem sums up my philosophy of the perfect beach town dress code. On Tybee Island, where we have a vacation home, there is no place on the island (as far as I know) where you can’t go in shorts and sandals. Many is the time I have been in the IGA, our island grocery store, and spotted customers decked out in pajamas and bare feet. Nobody looks twice. (Except maybe me.)
- Clean, free public bathrooms with showers. Anybody who’s had to beg a beachside shop or restaurant owner for access to their bathrooms, or had to change a stinky diaper in a gas-station parking lot will agree with this.
- Oh yeah. A grocery store. It’s no fun to have to drive all the way back to the mainland for provisions. A grocery store with an in-house deli, like our aforementioned IGA or Shaner’s Land and Sea Market on Pass-a-Grille beach in my hometown of St. Petersburg is best. One quick trip should yield sandwiches, fried chicken, ‘tater salad, fresh fruit and cold drinks for a beachside picnic.
- Friendly locals.
- A dive bar. The beer should be cold and the welcome should be warm. The bartender should know the locals. The waiters should recognize the trouble-makers. There should be a black-and-white television showing late-inning ballgames or grainy old movies. A pool table is optional, but I really must insist upon a jukebox.
- A beachside seafood joint with an outdoor patio to watch sunsets. The Hurricane on Pass-A-Grille comes to mind, as does A.J’s Dockside on Tybee Island. The food should come in those little plastic baskets lined with waxed paper, and the drinks should be tall and frosty.
- Bicycle paths!
- A great breakfast joint, like The Donut Hole on the South Walton Beaches in the Florida panhandle, or Duck Donuts on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
- A cheesy souvenir shop that sells airbrushed T-shirts with obnoxious/suggestive/corny sayings, plus bags of imported-from-the-Philippines seashells, cheap plastic beach toys in neon colors and crappy beach towels that shrink to the size of a band-aid after one washing. They should also have a selection of great beach reads . . . including BEACH TOWN, by Mary Kay Andrews.
About the book
Greer Hennessy needs palm trees.
As a movie location scout, picture-perfect is the name of the game. But her last project literally went up in flames, and her career is on the verge of flaming out. Greer has been given one more chance, if she can find the perfect undiscovered beach hideaway for a big-budget movie. She zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town called Cypress Key. There’s one motel, a marina, a long stretch of pristine beach and an old fishing pier with a community casino-which will be perfect for the film’s explosive climax.
There’s just one problem. Eben Thibadeaux, the town mayor, completely objects to Greer’s plan. A lifelong resident of Cypress Key, Eben wants the town to be revitalized, not commercialized. After a toxic paper plant closed, the bay has only recently been reborn, and Eb has no intention of letting anybody screw with his town again. But Greer has a way of making things happen, regardless of obstacles. And Greer and Eb are way too attracted to each other for either of them to see reason.
Between an ambitious director and his entourage-including a spoiled “It Boy” lead actor-who parachute into town, a conniving local ex-socialite, and a cast of local fangirls and opportunists who catch the movie bug, nothing is going to be the same in Cypress Key. Now Greer is forced to make some hard choices: about the people and the town she’s come to care about, and about her own life. True love is only for the movies, right? Can Greer find a way to be the heroine in her own life story? Told with inimitable heart and humor, Mary Kay Andrews’ Beach Town is the perfect summer destination.
About the author:
Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of the just published Beach Town, Summer Rental, The Fixer-Upper, Deep Dish, Hissy Fit, Savannah Breeze, Savannah Blues, more. A die-hard junker, serial remodeler and self-described decorator in denial, she divides her time between a restored 1920s Craftsman bungalow in Atlanta, and her Tybee Island cottage. For information about renting The Breeze Inn, visit Mermaid Cottages.
To win your own copy of BEACH TOWN by Mary Kay Andrews, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “BEACH TOWN” as the subject.
You must include your U.S. street address in your email.
All entries must be received by May 30, 2015. One (1) name will be drawn from all qualified entries and notified via email. This contest is open to all adults over 18 years of age in the United States only. Your prize will be sent by the publicist.
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5/15 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch