Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews' 5 Firsts & Lasts

Christmas Bliss book coverToday's guest: Mary Kay Andrews Why we love her: Because she's Mary Kay Andrews! The best!

Her latest: Christmas Bliss

The scoop: ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and Savannah was breezy

But there's trouble afoot - and it's heading toward Weezie.

Seems BeBe’s been holding a big secret back

that would make Santa’s reindeer stop dead in their tracks.

Can these two best friends wriggle out of these twists?

Will they do it in time to ensure CHRISTMAS BLISS?

Our thoughts: Such a warm and cozy winter read--it feels like a blanket you wrap around yourself to keep warm during the cold weather!

Mary_Kay_Andrews_giveawayGiveaway: One copy of Christmas Bliss, a signed bookplate, a bookmark, a set of recipe cards and an ornament! (US only.) Just leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll select the winner on Sunday, December 1 after 12 pm PST.

Where you can read more about Mary Kay Andrews: Her website, Facebook and Twitter.







Mary Kay Andrews author photoFIRST KISS: Hmm. I must have been a late bloomer, because the first one I recall was from my high school boyfriend. He was a sailing instructor and almost always had a blob of zinc oxide on his nose. He was very sweet—until he dumped me and broke my teenaged heart. I still think of him when I get a whiff of Brut aftershave.

LAST KISS: From my starter husband—of 37 years. After all these years he still revs my rockets.

FIRST BOOK: Probably a big Golden Book edition of SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. It was wrapped up as a Christmas gift, but I found it early, slipped it out of the wrapping paper, read it and put it back. I remember being entranced with the castaway’s tree house, which started me on a life-long affair with houses—of all kinds.

LAST BOOK: MOONRISE, by Cassandra King, a contemporary re-telling of Daphne DuMaurier’s REBECCA, which is one of my favorite novels ever. Come to think of it, Moonrise, a spooky old mansion in Highlands, N.C.,  is Cassandra’s version of DuMaurier’s Manderley. See—still obsessed with houses after all these years.

FIRST RISK I TOOK: Going off to college to a school in a faraway state, that I’d never laid eyes on, where I didn’t know a soul. It was my 18-year-old attempt at independence. I was miserable at first, missing my then boyfriend, later husband, but I eventually made friends and discovered I liked being out on my own.

LAST RISK I TOOK: Leaving my long-time publisher and beloved editor. I’m a totally risk averse type, and hate change.  I agonized over the decision for weeks, and had many sleepless nights, but in the end, it was one of the wisest decisions I’ve ever made.

HELL YA MOMENT: First: Finally getting my driver’s license at the ripe old age of 21—my driver’s ed instructor terrorized me so badly I was probably the only kid in my high school graduating class to have to hitch a ride to school with my baby sister. When I finally did get my license—the summer before college graduation, I realized I loved being in the driver’s seat—literally and figuratively.

LAST HELL YA MOMENT: Figuring out how to add contacts to my new iPhone.

AHA MOMENT: Realizing I was in charge of my own success—or failure. And that if I didn’t believe in me, nobody else would either.


Thanks, Mary Kay!


Mary Kay Andrews' 5 Do's and a Do-Over

We're beyond excited to have the fabulous New York Times bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews on CLIND today! *cue bells, whistles and music*

Her latest novel (this is her eighth!), Summer Rental is the perfect beach read that we suggest you snap up immediately before summer ends. Because we don't know about you, but we're clinging to summer as long as possible! Just read the description of Summer Rental and you'll be wanting more...

Sometimes, when you need a change in your life, the tide just happens to pull you in the right direction….

Ellis, Julia, and Dorie. Best friends since Catholic grade school, they now find themselves, in their mid-thirties, at the crossroads of life and love. Ellis, recently fired from a job she gave everything to, is rudderless and now beginning to question the choices she’s made over the past decade of her life. Julia—whose caustic wit covers up her wounds–has a man who loves her and is offering her the world, but she can’t hide from how deeply insecure she feels about her looks, her brains, her life.  And Dorie has just been shockingly betrayed by the man she loved and trusted the most in the world…though this is just the tip of the iceberg of her problems and secrets. A month in North Carolina’s Outer Banks is just what they each of them needs.

Ty Bazemore is their landlord, though he’s hanging on to the rambling old beach house by a thin thread. After an inauspicious first meeting with Ellis, the two find themselves disturbingly attracted to one another, even as Ty is about to lose everything he’s ever cared about.

Maryn Shackleford is a stranger, and a woman on the run. Maryn needs just a few things in life: no questions, a good hiding place, and a new identity.  Ellis, Julia, and Dorie can provide what Maryn wants; can they also provide what she needs?

Five people questioning everything they ever thought they knew about life. Five people on a journey that will uncover their secrets and point them on the path to forgiveness. Five people who each need a sea change, and one month in a summer rental that might just give it to them.

We told you it's a great novel! Just leave a comment for a chance to win one of five copies! We'll randomly select the winner after 6pm EST on Sunday, August 28th.


1. Dream big. Your reach should always exceed your grasp. Don’t hang around waiting for your ship to come in. Swim out and drag that sucker back to the dock!

2. Invest in your dream. Whether your dream is to start your own business, leave your day job, become a painter, or write the great American novel, you’ll need the proper tools. I didn’t have a computer at home when I started writing my first book, and I had to sneak back to the newspaper I worked for to use their computer, until I talked my husband into buying me my first home computer. Now, I don’t hesitate to budget money that will further my career, whether it’s buying a decent digital camera to use for blogging, or hiring a marketing professional to help spread the word about my books. Mama always said you have to spend money to make money.

3. Follow your passion, and figure out a way to make a living doing that. When I started college, my father wanted me to get a teaching degree, so I’d “have something to fall back on.” I stubbornly insisted on getting a journalism degree. I never expected to make any money at writing, but I knew I’d at least enjoy the work. And when journalism became drudgery, I made the jump to fiction, again, following my passion. I’ve never regretted any day I spent writing.

4. Be flexible. If you bump up against a brick wall in your career, back up and find a new path. I was heart-broken when I finally figured out my 14-year journalism career was going nowhere. It wasn’t until I sold my first book that I discovered I hadn’t failed at journalism at all---I’d just had a really long internship as a novelist. Now, I wouldn’t take anything for the lessons I learned as a big city newspaper reporter.

5. Be nice! You’ll always catch more flies with honey than vinegar. So say pretty please. Admit when you’re wrong, and keep it quiet when it turns out you were right. It’s just as easy as it is to make a friend as it is to make an enemy, so why not make a friend? And always, always, write thank you notes.


I wish I’d had more time with my parents. My mom has been gone almost seven years, my dad died five years ago. In what turned out to be the last years of their lives, I was so focused on my children and my career, I didn’t get to spend quality time with them. Now I so wish that I’d asked them more questions, listened more closely to their answers, and let them know how much I appreciated all the sacrifices they made for me and my siblings.

To learn more about Mary Kay Andrews, visit her website, stop by her Facebook page or follow her on Twitter. (Or all of the above!)

Thanks, Mary Kay!


Liz & Lisa