The Accidental Bestseller

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Once upon a time four aspiring authors met at their very first writers' conference. Ten years later they're still friends, survivors of the ultra-competitive New York publishing world. Mallory St. James is a workaholic whose bestsellers support a lavish lifestyle. Tanya Mason is a single mother juggling two jobs, two kids, and too many deadlines. Faye Truett is the wife of a famous televangelist and the author of inspirational romances: no one would ever guess her explosive secret. Kendall Aims's once-promising ...

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The Accidental Bestseller

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Overview

Once upon a time four aspiring authors met at their very first writers' conference. Ten years later they're still friends, survivors of the ultra-competitive New York publishing world. Mallory St. James is a workaholic whose bestsellers support a lavish lifestyle. Tanya Mason is a single mother juggling two jobs, two kids, and too many deadlines. Faye Truett is the wife of a famous televangelist and the author of inspirational romances: no one would ever guess her explosive secret. Kendall Aims's once-promising career is on the skids-and so is her marriage. Her sales are dismal, her new editor detests her work-and her husband is cheating. Barely able to think, let alone meet her final deadline, Kendall holes up in a mountain cabin to confront a blank page and a blanker future. But her friends won't let her face this trial alone. Together they collaborate on a novel using their own lives as fodder, assuming no one will ever discover the truth behind their words.

No one is more surprised than they are when the book becomes a runaway bestseller. But with success comes scrutiny and scandal...as these four best friends suddenly realize how little they've truly known each other.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Wax (Single in Suburbia) offers a warm, triumphant tale of female friendship and the lessons learned when life doesn't turn out as planned. At age 45, Kendall Aims is seasoned but shadowed in her writing career-counting on the famed Zelda Award to validate her work and her life. When she fails to win the award, she loses her publishing contract, then goes home to realize that she may lose her marriage. In the midst of all this disappointment, Kendall is told that she's contractually obligated to write one more book. Her friends Mallory, Tanya, and Faye, all writers with varying degrees of personal and professional success, rally together and help her complete the novel. Because they all passionately agreed to make this an anonymous endeavor, they cathartically share secrets they wouldn't have under their actual names. Little do they know that this joint venture will be such a success-and such a fiasco. Wax sheds insight on the writer/reader relationship and nurtures this invisible bond throughout. Sure to appeal to fans of women's fiction and aspiring writers.
—Anne M. Miskewitch

From the Publisher
"Wax sheds insight on the writer/reader relationship and nurtures this invisible bond throughout. Sure to appeal to fans of women's fiction and aspiring writers." —-Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780515148077
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/25/2010
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Wendy Wax

Wendy Wax is the author of seven previous novels. A former broadcaster, she lives in the Atlanta suburbs with her husband and two teenage sons, who have turned her into the shortest member of their family.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

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(11)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Accidental Bestseller

    Wendy Wax has written a book chockful of interesting characters -- from Kendall, the empty nester who leaves the conference early only to find that her husband is having an affair; to Tanya, my favorite character, the hopeful trailer park dweller who hopes to write her way to a better life; to Mallory (whom I didn't care for so much) who appears to be patterned on Judith Krantz with her romantic clothes, fistful of bestsellers and seemingly perfect life. Finally, there's Faye Truett, the pastor's wife who writes "inspirationals" and the lowly editorial assistant who is much wiser and more savvy than her uninspired boss, Plain Jane. In some ways, the whole premise and set-up reminded me a bit of David Lodge's books about academia, in which there are a number of memorable characters whose stories intersect, weaving back and forth between them.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    Loved it and the characters!

    I have read Wendy's newer books (Ocean Drive and Ten Beach Road-which I enjoyed); however, missed this one and could not put it down. I lived in Atlanta for 17 yrs, so always nice to hear from Atlanta author - read about the familiar places and things in the area and North Georgia (which I love the mountains) as it definitely gets the creative juices flowing as loved Dillard, Clayton, Highlands, Cashiers and Big Canoe.

    She has a way of bringing BFFs to a new level. I particularly loved the publishing and writing aspect (as I was a publisher for many years in Atlanta and NY-for commercial real estate and finance), so the editing and publishing was great as there is always lots of drama and deadlines; however, would love to be an inspired writer (only write for websites, design, and articles, blogs), but always an inspiration for a novel one day!

    The characters were raw, and full of personality and you fall in love with each one of them, as hard to pick a favorite. Great writing - would love to see a sequel here-look forward to reading some of Wendy's older books! Highly recommend!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Truth Changes Everything!

    It's a dog-eat dog out there in the publishing world! Success can come and go in a whiff of hot or cold air, and an author must deal with the vicissitudes of a very unpredictable trade. Every author's nightmare is losing the Muse, the days hen not one word will come, no matter how disciplined a writer may be in insisting on writing for a certain time every day, so many hours, so many words, whatever it is!

    So we meet Mallory St. James, a well-known successful writer who seems to have it all in the bag and is helping her friend, Kendall Aim, write her last book for a publishing company determined to dump her because of declining sales. Add to that a revelation from a family member that will add to the devastation. But that's what true friends are for, especially when those friends are all relatively successful writers.

    The other two friends are Tanya Mason, working two jobs for two children and an alcoholic mother who is not a very nice lady for sure, and Faye Truett, a preacher's wife, who sees her writing success as an extension of his ministry with her beloved inspirational novels. Are all the men in writer's world so selfish or are there a few out there waiting to truly appreciate the person behind the bestseller?

    When these three friends come to Kendall 's aim, not only do they create a unique, riveting story but all secrets are out and the really astounding story of each gradually emerges, along with some spicy romance along the way!

    The Accidental Bestseller is a sure-fire, summer bestseller that readers will love and other writers will pore over with more identification than most readers will ever know. Are bestseller's accidental? You decide with this one - this reviewer is calling it a summer romp to be seen by many pools and beaches this year!

    Great story, Wendy Wax!!!

    Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on May 28, 2010

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2011

    sex

    With titles like Leave it to Cleavage what better way to sell her latest book than to advertise the obvious taboo world of her craft?



    Speaking to a majority female crowd at the Margaret Mitchell House on June 2, Wendy Wax shares her thoughts of her latest book, The Accidental Best Seller. With her real family in tow, she was careful not to talk too much about S.E.X (spelling out each letter loudly). Heaven forbid her children would know anything about that. As comedian Chris Rock states in a bit about his parents, "I know my parents are cool once, I'm here! They had some loving in them."



    Candidly speaking about the writing process, Wax is constantly working on her books. "When you have a 400 page project due, you got to work on it a little everyday, break it down" exclaims Wax. Being a natural morning person, Wax does most of her writing early in the morning. Most of her books center on women dealing with a life changing issue. Fortunately Wax sends the characters a life line made up of a circle of friends that help her protagonist deal with life's endless stream of challenges.



    Wax kidded that one of the reasons she chose to go to the University of Georgia was her love of Gone with the Wind. "Most of my female leads are a modern Scarlet, except for the lack of a Civil War or other southern icons", confessed Wax.



    The Accidental Best Seller, centers on the premise of a writer, Keller Aims, who is tapped out of the creative process. Aims is simply spent and cannot write. Quickly to the rescue come her three best friends, who happen to be writers, to help save the day. Full of suspense, S.E.X., and twist this book should be on the top of your summer's reading list.



    In concluding her remarks Wax recognize her strong writer's support group that were in the audience that night and stated that her inspiration is other writers. "Only writers understand the solitary world of being a writer, I celebrate them." shared Wax.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    Unusual premise

    Loved the inventive story in this book. Great characters, interesting premise. Great story of friendship and support.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013

    Loved it!

    This is the one to read!

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  • Posted September 5, 2012

    Boring

    This book is too drawn out and goes on and on about the same stuff. I gave it a chance and 3/4 into it decided not a good read. I like a page turner and this is not one. It truly is an "accidental" reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2012

    Back to the library.

    Too much to pay for a book that was published over 3 years ago. I realize this section is for reviews, but this is ridiculous. I love my NOOK. I don't understand the increase. Perhaps it is a result of ebooks becoming available at the public library?
    Not in my town.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 5, 2010

    Bestseller it is Not

    I wanted to like it and there were parts when I really did, but overall I found it predictable and uninspired.

    I think the "book within a book" made it worse, because the book the women were writing was THIS BOOK. And I just couldn't believe that this would ever be a bestseller.

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  • Posted March 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    NOT A BESTSELLER

    After reading so many wonderful reviews of this book, and the book being on my TBR list for a while, and being an avid reader and wanting to read about authors, I really wanted to like this book but I didn't. It was too slow and I only got to page 100 after only 4 days and didn't finish it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    Great Read

    Loved the book. It is all about frienships, marriage and a little lying. It is about those who help you through tough times and the secrets we all keep from each other.

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  • Posted July 27, 2009

    Four strong women.

    The Accidental Bookseller is a delightful read, following four authors, friends, and survivors. After ten years of friendship the four combine their efforts and pen a bestseller partially based on their lives.

    Mallory, Faye, and Tanya have successful writing careers; however, Kendall is struggling with her career and her life. Her publisher is threatening to drop her. Her husband is cheating on her. She escapes to a mountain cabin. She tries to concentrate on writing but finds it impossible. Mallory, Faye and Tanya will not let their friend flounder. They rush to rescue her. Each author writes chapters for a character based on her own life. They reveal deep secrets never suspecting that anyone would find out they had collaborated on the book.

    The maelstrom that follows harms their careers and personal lives.

    Wendy Wax is brilliant! She offers readers a fast-paced novel that will keep readers turning pages. The Accidental Bookseller is a delightful, entertaining read. The characters are exquisite. Wax successfully gives each character their own unique voice. The characters make this book. Wax adds just the right amount of humor. This is a must read!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2009

    Too predictable

    I knew from the beginning that the collaboration was going to fall apart. Good for a fast summer read, but that is all.

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  • Posted June 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    www.Booksandchat.com says: A mustread for anyone who loves books and the process of creating them.

    The Accidental Bestseller by Wendy Wax

    Wow! Just wow! I just this moment finished this book and I'd like to say to Ms Wax BRAVO! If you are a published author, you will appreciate the insiders look at some of the quirks of the industry and perhaps you will even recognize someone you've had to deal with in the past. If you are a pre-published writer, you may appreciate the look into what other authors have to do to get over those dry spells. If you are simply a book lover like me you will appreciate everything about this book. And if you are a woman, you will appreciate the author's views on best friends who will help you out when life seems to be too much; no matter what it costs them. And in this book they all have the potential of loosing it all.


    Years ago four women from varied back rounds met at a writer's conference and formed a bond. None of them had been published, but they sure hoped to be one day. Well that "one day" happened for all of them. Each woman writing a different style of books: Faye writing Inspirational Romances, Tanya writing contemporary romances books for a Harlequin-esque company called Masque; Mallory striking, confident and very prolific with her novels. Yet as successful as they are on the surface, each one holds a secret close to their hearts. And then there is Kendell.

    Kendell is having problems in the literary world and has tumbled into mid-listdom, not only that, a new book deadline is quickly approaching with nothing yet written, and to add insult to injury her husband has left her for a younger woman.

    Kendell is the main protagonist of this book, or is she really? We find her escaping to the mountains to lick her wounds. And of course Kendell's BFF's come to help her through this rocky time and hope to kick-start the creative juices that seem to be missing from Kendell's messed up life. I won't spoil anything for you more than has been already, but a plan is hatched, goes into effect and they collaborate on a novel using their own lives and unfortunately their own writing voices.

    What no one would fathom is the book becomes "The Accidental Bestseller" (literally) and true to life - what may go well one minute, collapses the next.

    We learn the secrets behind each of the masks each one wears and I found my stomach in knots praying that this would work out well for at least some of them in the end. But I'll leave that up to you to find out.

    Very fast paced, deeply absorbing, well plotted and written. It has finely drawn characters that you can imagine as your own bet friends. Do not by any means mistake this as a "chick-lit" genre book, it most certainly is not. This book is unique and a breath of fresh air . Something that you will not regret spending your hard earned book buying dollars on. I know that I haven't.

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  • Posted May 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    entertaining contemporary fiction

    A decade ago Kendall Aims, Mallory St. James, Faye Truett and Tanya Mason attended a wannabe writer's conference and became friends. Still BFFs, each has gone down differing paths. Mallory has become a bestselling author whose husband feels they have no relationship as she is too busy for him. Faye writes inspirational romances as expected of the wife of a televangelist. Tanya is a failed author who works two jobs while raising two kids as a single mom. Kendall is falling off the cliff as her writing career has tanked with falling sales and a new editor who wants to dump her; her marriage is in worse shape than her vocation.

    She needs a hit rather quickly to meet the deadline for the final book on her contract. Her three BFFs join with her to write a book about their lives. Each assumes no one will tie fiction with fact. To the surprise of all, the book becomes a bestseller racing up all the charts. However each of the BFFs fear scandal as readers, fans, and the media dig deep into each character.

    The key to this entertaining contemporary fiction is that each of the four BFFs come across as genuine real people but with differing personalities, desires and fears. Character driven as the quartet learn how simpler it is to convert personal truisms into fiction as proven by THE ACCIDENTAL BESTSELLER, fans will enjoy the importance of friendship.

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 17, 2012

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    Posted February 2, 2010

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    Posted January 17, 2010

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