Ten Beach Road

Book 1, Ten Beach Road Series


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Three women find an unexpected sisterhood in this perfect beach read from the USA Today bestselling author of Best Beach Ever.

Madeline, Avery, and Nikki are strangers to each other, but they have one thing in common. They each wake up one morning to discover that their life savings have vanished along with their trusted financial manager—leaving them with nothing but co-ownership of a ramshackle beachfront house.

Madeline Singer is a homemaker coping with empty-nest syndrome and an unemployed husband. Avery Lawford is an architect, or was, until she somehow became the sidekick on her ex-husband’s TV show. And professional matchmaker Nikki Grant is trying to recover from her biggest mistake…

Throwing caution to the wind, the three women take on the challenge of restoring the historic beach house to its former glory. But just as they begin to reinvent themselves and discover the power of friendship, their secrets threaten to tear down their trust and destroy their lives a second time…

“Wax (The Accidental Bestseller) keeps the plot twists coming… great escape reading, perfect for the beach.” Library Journal

“The sexual magnetism between the bickering Chase and Avery, and a secret that Nicole keeps from her newfound friends, add dramatic tension . . . showcasing three women who rise above their shattered realities with grace, determination, and a little elbow grease.” Publishers Weekly

“Share with your mom, sisters, daughters, gal pals. Easy reading that still illuminates the ties of family and friendship . . . Ten Beach Road makes for diverting reading.” –Nancy Pate, On A Clear Day I Can Read Forever

“When three women lose their life savings to a Ponzi scheme, all that’s left is their co-ownership of Bella Flora, a 1920s Mediterranean Revival that’s pink outside and a wreck inside . . . it’s a summer of self-discovery and rebuilding–in more ways than one.” Access Atlanta

“This is a perfect beach read story of three women taking charge of their own lives and destinies to pull themselves out of bad situations and focus on a new life path. Friendship between women is celebrated and will make you cheer in this uplifting book.” Parkersburg (WV) News and Sentinel

“I just adored this book and the writing . . . it is the perfect book for sitting on the beach with something cold to drink and never wanting to get up until you are finished. It is the perfect length to last all day . . . this would also make a wonderful book club selection since there are many dynamics that can be explored.” –BookHounds

“Ten Beach Road is the perfect beach read . . . a nice selection for your next book club . . . a perfect ten in my book!” –Cheryl’s Book Nook

“I LOVED this book . . . I didn’t want the story to end.  Even though I wanted to see what would happen, that satisfaction would come at the price of losing these friendships.  For by this time, I felt as though these women were part of my own friendship circle.  This book earned five stars from me.” –Curl Up and Read

“Funny, heart-breaking, romantic, and so much more, Ten Beach Road is a superb read . . . this story about recovery and restoration on so many levels is just delightful!” –Crystal Book Reviews

“Ten Beach Road is a compelling story of friendship, finding yourself and love . . . full of warmth and humor . . . [Wendy] does a fabulous job . . . if you read one book this summer, read Ten Beach Road!!” –Minding Spot

“This book had me longing for a sunset, a margarita, and a great friend to share it with. The novel provides emotional layers of each of the characters and delivers their motivations and fears with subtle precision. For your summer beach-read list, this makes the top 10.” –A Novel Menagerie

“Wendy Wax understands the most difficult of dilemmas regarding family, secrets, undying passion, and inner turmoil, and that makes her stand out as a writer . . . the perfect summer beach read . . . a complicated story that brings the lives of three prominent women together, and changes them forever . . . you feel like the characters are your own mother, your own sister, your own best friend. And by the end, you wish they actually were.” –Romancing the Book

“TEN BEACH ROAD is a story about renovating a home and a life . . . the strength of the story comes in the friendship that develops between the women and how they encourage and challenge each other. Ms. Wax has written a lovely story that recognizes the power of the female spirit, while being fun, emotional, and a little romantic.” –Fresh Fiction

“This is the beach read of the season!  TEN BEACH ROAD by mega-talented Wendy Wax is a timely tale . . . a steamy cauldron of emotions, discovery and trust . . . just when I thought I knew where the story was headed, a surprising twist made me gasp . . . a plot based on events straight from today’s headlines . . . masterfully brought together by the creative genius of Wendy Wax.” –Single Titles

“Interesting and entertaining . . . Wendy Wax tells a good story! . . . throw it in the beach bag and lather up with the sunscreen because you won’t want to stop reading.” –Book Fan

“There is something for everyone to identify with in this book . . . these were women that I could like . . . if you like stories of small towns, friendship, family and trials and tribulations (or if you like the works of  Karen White), give this one a try . . . it’s a solid story, and a fine read!” –Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World

“I love stories where strong, determined women band together to preserve family life and values. Ten Beach Road has that in spades. Bravo to Wendy Wax for continuing to highlight women of character in her books.” –Chick Lit Club

“Since The Accidental Bestseller, we’ve been hooked on Wendy’s writing . . . and with Ten Beach Road she wowed us again . . . a powerful novel about friendship, trust and love.” –Chick Lit is Not Dead

“This is, so far, my favorite Wendy Wax novel . . . it’s a fun read that keeps you interested in the story the entire way through.  Perfect for this summer season coming up” –Dew on the Kudzu

“Wow! Wendy Wax has earned herself a spot at the top of my awesome authors list! . . . she really blew me away with her characters, her wit, and her plot line . . . a wonderful book . . . grab a copy of this 5 star, humorous, yet fulfilling story of hope and friendship . . . you’ll lose yourself amongst the pages.” –Reviews by Molly

“LOVED it! Couldn’t put it down til I knew how it would all turn out . . . another great summer read.” –Romancing the Book

“A great beach read.  What more could you ask for?  You’ve got a lot of tension, a ‘pull yourself up by the bootstraps’ situation, some great human relationships and a few hunky guys . . . I really enjoyed it . . . the bottom line . . . great beach read or an afternoon in the back yard hammock with a glass of your favorite wine.” –Teresa’s Reading Corner

“When I see a new Wendy Wax book out, I know that I am going to have another addition to my shelf, one that is guaranteed to deliver what it promises and to let me slip seamlessly into the world in the pages for a few hours . . . the main characters are delightful…secondary characters are just as well drawn and appealing . . . an engrossing read.” –Book N Around

“Wendy Wax has done it again! I thoroughly enjoyed Ten Beach Road and all of her colorful and strong willed characters. Wax consistently brings characters of essence and natural ability to her novels . . . a wonderful job telling the individual stories of Madeline, Avery and Nikki . . . it was addictive . . . a beautiful story of friendship, courage and devotion.” –A Cozy Reader’s Corner

“A satisfying and enjoyable read . . . that will strike a note with most female readers.” –One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

“A fast-paced, optimistic beach read . . . [the] focus of this novel is friendship, independence, and tenacity.  A lovely multi-generational sub-plot runs throughout . . . satisfying details about the transformation of the mansion along the way . . . I enjoyed it.” –Book Club Classic!

“A wonderful book that would make the perfect beach read! . . . It’s fun, funny, touching and dramatic. I was hooked from the start . . . I VERY highly recommend this book! It is beautifully written . . . the characters will win your heart and will stay with you even after you’ve finished the book.” –Life in Review

“It’s about feelings and learning and self-discovery and romance . . . a great beach book . . . I recommend that you pick up a copy and take it on vacation.” –Book Hooked Rug

“I greatly admire [Wendy Wax] for her ability to create such amazing women who triumph in the aftermath of personal tragedies . . . when I hit the last page I was sad that it was over . . . I’m crossing my fingers that she is considering setting another book in Pass-a-Grille so we know what becomes of Avery, Madeline, and Nicole–and especially Bella Flora, which has just as much personality as the women who breathed the life back into her.” –Simply Stacie


March 2009
Wall Street Weekly

Malcolm Dyer Joins Bernie Madoff on Most Hated List

NEW YORK—Federal investigators raided the offices of Malcolm Dyer, head of Synergy Investments in New York City this morning. Dyer is suspected of conducting an elaborate Ponzi scheme, similar to that employed by Mr. Madoff, and of bilking some three hundred clients of more than three hundred million dollars. Investors, who believed their money was being put in bank-secured CDs with double-digit yields, were, in fact, funding Mr. Dyer’s lavish lifestyle, which included a private jet, a seventy-eight-foot motor yacht, and homes in Westchester, Palm Springs, Palm Beach, Florida’s Gulf Coast, and the Caribbean island where the alleged securitizing bank was allegedly located.

For at least five years, investors did receive the promised returns, which were apparently paid out of successive investors’ deposits, rather than the nonexistent CDs. When clients, faced with a faltering economy and plummeting stock prices, requested their principal back, the scheme was uncovered.

Although investigators have seized records and frozen all of Mr. Dyer’s known accounts and assets, the majority of the missing money is assumed to be offshore. Dyer’s whereabouts are unknown


Though she was careful not to show it, Madeline Singer did not fall apart when her youngest child left for college. In the Atlanta suburb where she lived, women wilted all around her. Tears fell. Antidepressants were prescribed.

Her friends, lost and adrift, no longer recognized themselves without children to care for. A collective amnesia descended, wiping out all the memories of teenaged angst and acts of hostility that had preceded their children’s departures, much as the remembered pain of childbirth had been washed away once the newborn was placed in their arms.

Madeline kept waiting for the emptiness of her nest to smite her. She loved her children and had loved being a stay-at-home mother, but while she waited for the crushing blow, she took care of all the things that she’d never found time for while Kyra and Andrew were still at home. Throughout that fall while her friends went for therapy, shared long liquid lunches, and did furtive drive-bys and drop-ins to the high school where they’d logged so many volunteer hours, Madeline happily responded to her children’s phone calls and texts, but she also put twenty years’ worth of pictures into photo albums. Then she cleaned out the basement storage unit and each successive floor of their house, purging and sorting until the clutter that had always threatened to consume them was finally and completely vanquished.

After that she threw herself into the holidays and the mad rush of shopping and cooking and entertaining, trying her best not to let the free-falling economy dampen the family festivities. Andrew came home from Vanderbilt and Kyra, fresh out of Berkeley’s film school and two months into her first feature film shoot, arrived in the first flush of adulthood and once again became the center of the known universe.

Pushing aside daydreams of the projects she’d undertake once they were gone again, Madeline fed her children and their friends, made herself available when their friends weren’t, and didn’t even react to the fact that she was barely an appendage to their lives. Steve, who loved the trappings of a family Christmas with the ferocity of an only child, seemed worried and distracted, but when she raised the subject he found a way to change or avoid it.

While basting the turkey on Christmas Day, Madeline realized that she was more than ready for her husband to go back to the office and for her children to go back to their new lives so that she could finally begin her own.

Discussion Guide

Download a printable discussion guide for Ten Beach Road.

Discussion Questions

1. At the very start of the novel, Madeline’s world is crashing down around her—an empty nest, the shocking news of her mother-in-law’s accident and move, Steve’s unemployment, and her daughter’s pregnancy. How does this set the stage for the rest of what Madeline undergoes in the book? Do these challenges force her to become more adaptive, stronger? Do you think she did the right thing by leaving her husband and Edna behind during a complicated and emotionally volatile situation?

2. Could you relate to Madeline’s frustration at the slow economy—or Steve’s reluctance to act and crushing depression? What would you have done in Maddie’s position? How does Maddie resist the temptation to let everything fall to pieces?

3. How does Malcolm Dyer’s Ponzi scheme frame the events of the book? How does this crisis tie the characters together?

4. Which woman’s struggles—Madeline’s, Avery’s, or Nicole’s—did you identify with the most? What does Bella Flora mean to each of them, and how does this change over the course of the novel?

5. Do you think Nicole had an ethical obligation to share her information on Malcolm with the authorities? Even after he destroyed her livelihood and wiped out her life savings, why does she hesitate? What changes in Nicole’s heart about helping bring her brother to justice? What influences her decision, or trumps her protective sibling nature?

6. How would you describe Avery and Deirdre’s relationship? How is it similar to that of Kyra and Maddie’s? How do these mother-daughter relationships evolve over the course of their stay at Bella Flora? What are the catalyst events?

7. Each woman finds herself at a breakthrough point as the renovation comes to a close, where she finds she is able to speak her deepest feelings and act more boldly. What are these moments for each, and what are the ramifications?

8. Were you shocked by Deirdre’s ulterior motives and her role as the publicity leak? Did you hope that she would have a change of heart and work to reconcile with her daughter?

9. Do you think the women were right to be outraged and to exile Nicole after learning the truth about her relationship to Malcolm and her lack of disclosure? How would you have reacted? When do you think an appropriate time would have been to share this information—and how do you think it would have affected the bond the women felt?

10. Were you surprised by Daniel Deranian’s sudden appearance? Do you think Kyra made the right choice? What led to her decision? How does Maddie’s attitude influence this?

11. What motivated Steve’s appearance at Bella Flora, his reformed behavior, and pledge to wellness? Could you have forgiven such bad behavior in a time of family crisis?

12. How do you think the second set of renovations will go at Bella Flora? How will the lessons learned over the summer set the team up?