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The Accidental Bestseller


The Accidental Bestseller

When author Kendall Aims doesn’t win the writing award she's set her heart on, her life starts falling apart. Her editor, the heartless Jane, informs Kendall that she will publish one more book with her publisher and then her career at their publishing house will be finished, essentially ending Kendall’s career. Next, Cal, Kendall's husband, tells her that their marriage is over --- and when the young real estate agent shows up to put their house on the market, Kendall realizes this person is Cal's new girlfriend. Devastated, Kendall heads for a well-deserved pity party at the mountain home she inherited from her grandmother.

Luckily, Kendall has the love and support of her three best friends --- Mallory St. James, Faye Truett and Tanya Mason --- who are also authors. Mallory is a bestselling workaholic. Faye, the wife of a well-known religious personality, is a writer of inspirational fiction. Single mom Tanya writes mainstream romances while holding down two minimum-wage jobs. What Kendall doesn't know about her friends is that Faye and Mallory each harbor deep secrets that inform much of their personalities. Readers follow each of the authors, as well as the story of Lacy, editorial assistant to Kendall's mean and moody editor, Jane. Lacy has been handed the responsibility of Kendall's next book, which is destined to be a dud with an extremely limited print run, no publicity and a recycled cover.

Kendall is so depressed that she can't even think about beginning the book she must produce soon. When her friends rally around her, it lifts her spirits but doesn't help her writer's block. She procrastinates with compulsive house repair projects, and sinks deeper into author lethargy…until Mallory, Faye and Tanya come up with an amazing plan (as well as a brilliant premise for THE ACCIDENTAL BESTSELLER): They will write Kendall’s book together. Each will write about a character similar to herself, and the plot will be about four authors collaborating on a book.

The three friends choose to ghostwrite their parts; Kendall will be the supposed author of the whole project. Mallory and Faye have secret reasons to keep their part in the project completely mum. Even Tanya has a good legal reason not to let anyone know she's involved. Anyway, no one is worried because Kendall’s book has no publisher backing and will be published only to fade away without fanfare, right? And, for that very reason, it doesn't matter if some of the women's deep, dark, closely guarded secrets are written into that book. However, as readers can deduce from the title, sometimes things don't go according to plan. In the meantime, in a clever and amusing ploy, the romance writer is entangled in a possible romance; the inspirational writer longs for redemption; and the bestselling author must come to terms with the past that has actually caused her to become a bestselling author.

THE ACCIDENTAL BESTSELLER is enormously entertaining. The plot is surprisingly unpredictable as we follow the lives of the characters, experience the publishing business behind the scenes, and wonder if there could be any way THE ACCIDENTAL BESTSELLER, like the novel in it, could actually be ghostwritten by Wendy Wax plus three author friends (!). While the plot is filled to bursting with subplots and characters (it was a total kick seeing a cameo appearance by’s own Carol Fitzgerald), Wax handles them with ease, threading stories together into a compelling whole. She also manages to maintain and build suspense to the end of the book --- and then wraps it up with a well-executed, surprising and satisfying resolution.

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon ( on December 22, 2010

The Accidental Bestseller
by Wendy Wax

  • Publication Date: June 2, 2009
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade
  • ISBN-10: 0425227677
  • ISBN-13: 9780425227671