Summer Blowout

Marshbury Beach Books
Free sample

"Summer Blowout is irresistible!”—Meg Cabot

"Reading Claire Cook might be the most fun you have all summer.—Elin Hilderbrand

"Summer Blowout is primed, like Cook’s previous novel Must Love Dogs…to become a big-screen romantic comedy.”—Booklist

Bella Shaughnessy is addicted to lipstick with names like My Chihuahua Bites and Kiss My Lips, an occupational hazard, since she works as a stylist and makeup artist for her family's small chain of beauty salons in Marshbury, Massachusetts, along with her four half-brothers and -sisters. The owner is her father, Lucky Shaughnessy, a gregarious, three-times-divorced charmer with Donald Trump hair, who is obsessed with all things Italian and still carries a torch for his first wife, Bella's mother. 

After Bella's own marriage flames out spectacularly when her half-sister runs off with her husband, Bella decides she has seen enough of the damage love can do. She makes a vow: no more men. 

Then Bella meets a cute entrepreneur at a college fair, and despite their bickering, they can't seem to stay away from each other. He also gives her a brilliant business idea, one that just might allow her to share her makeup expertise with the world. A small, well-tressed dog finds her way into her life, and her heart, and she decides to chance that, too. When the whole clan heads to Atlanta for a big Southern wedding, sparks fly—in a summer blowout no one will ever forget. 

This hilarious, rambunctious novel is pure Claire Cook: full of juicy conflict and unconditional love.

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About the author

CLAIRE COOK wrote her first novel in her minivan at 45. At 50, she walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the movie adaptation of her second novel, Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. She is now the New York Times bestselling author of 16 books and a sought after reinvention speaker.

If you have a buried dream, take it from Claire, it is NEVER too late!

Claire has reinvented herself once again by turning Must Love Dogs into a series, as well as writing her first nonfiction books, Shine On: How To Grow Awesome Instead of Old and Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (without getting lost along the way), in which she shares everything she's learned on her own journey that might help you in yours.

Be the first to hear about new releases, giveaways, and insider extras at

Connect with Claire at and 

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2 total

Additional Information

Marshbury Beach Books
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Published on
Jun 26, 2014
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Fiction / Contemporary Women
Fiction / Humorous
Fiction / Romance / Clean & Wholesome
Fiction / Romance / Contemporary
Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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New York Times bestseller! Chosen as a best summer read by People, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, and Good Morning America! 

Life's a bit of a beach these days for Ginger Walsh, who finds herself single at 41 and back home living in the family FROG (Finished Room Over Garage). She's hoping for a more fulfilling life as a sea glass artist, but mostly she's babysitting her sister's kids and sharing overnights with Noah, her glassblower boyfriend with commitment issues and a dog Ginger's cat isn't too crazy about. Then a shark movie comes to town, and everyone is clamoring for a close-up. 

"Midlife love, laughter, sibling rivalry and self-discovery . . . Goes down as easy as it sounds."—People 

"A gleefully quirky coming of age story."—Redbook 

"Laugh out loud."—Good Housekeeping

"As always, Cook's delightful way with dialogue and her deft demonstrations of how family members manage to support one another even while driving each other crazy, make reading this book a day at the beach."—Hartford Courant

"A funny page-turner."—Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"Perfect-for-the-beach summer novel. . . a bumpy delight."—Boston Common

 "In this lighthearted, breezy read, Cook displays a wry sense of humor and knows how to write realistic characters."—Library Journal

"Claire Cook has an original voice, a sparkling style, and a window into family life that will make you laugh and cry. Life's a Beach is filled with hilarity, sister love and sister hate, juicy arguments and hard-won reconciliations, but most of all, heart."—Adriana Trigiani

"If I had a sister, I'd want her to be Claire Cook. If I had a summer, I'd want it to be the summer that two sisters stropped their tongues and sparred over everything from fertility to photography to family. And if I could follow up the wry, wacky poignancy of Must Love Dogs with any book, it would be Life's a Beach. Claire Cook is wicked good."—Jacquelyn Mitchard

 "Life's a Beach is a delicious coming-of-age novel—about two forty-something sisters who don't quite manage that feat until it's almost too late. I devoured this slice of family life served up in Claire Cook's inimitably warm and witty style. Tender, touching, and terribly, terribly, funny!"—Mary Kay Andrews

Don't Miss Book 2, The Wildwater Walking Club: Back on Track!

"The Wildwater Walking Club is a quick smart read that will get you thinking about walking, friendship, and making time for the things you love."— 

By the New York Times bestselling author of Must Love Dogs, a fun and inspiring novel about women and friendship—and how even big changes happen one step at a time. 

Join Noreen, Tess and Rosie as they walk and talk, talk and walk, tally their steps, share their secrets, and begin putting their lives back together. You'll be lacing up your own sneakers in no time. 

"Lively and inspiring!"—Hartford Courant 
"A great feel-good story."—Philadelphia Examiner 

After losing her boyfriend and her job in one fell swoop, Noreen has no idea what her next step is. So she puts on a new pair of sneakers and a seriously outdated pair of exercise pants, and walks. Before long she's joined by two neighbors as lost as she is and figures out time flies and fitness is actually fun when you're walking with friends. Throw in a road trip to Seattle for a lavender festival, a career-coaching group that looks like a bad sequel to The Breakfast Club, some terrific romantic comedy twists and turns, a quirky multigenerational cast of supporting characters, and the result is a tribute to female friendship that will inspire you to pick up the phone and call all your old friends—or maybe even start your own walking group. 

Walking Group Guide and Book Club Questions included. 

"Readers who enjoy a celebration of friendship will want to walk the beach alongside the Wildwater trio."—Midwest Book Review 

"The Wildwater Walking Club reminds us of what's important in life - the joy of friendship, the power of a brisk walk, and of course the importance of a good book. I couldn't put it down.—Anisha Lakhani 

"The woman of The Wildwater Walking Club are a delightful trio, full of heart and determination. As they - literally - put one foot in front of the other, the three new friends find unlikely paths that point them toward more fulfilling lives. Their journey left me genuinely inspired (and with the curious urge to go out and buy a clothesline)."—Jean Reynolds Page 

Editorial Reviews

"Helen has weaved a delicately balanced story of intrigue, secrets and passion, which practically melts the pages." -Bare Naked Words

"The love story between Talon and Jade continues in Obsession. An apt title to be sure, because everyone is obsessed. Dear Ms. Helen Hardt, I toss many profanities your way for making me wait. Though I give you my deepest gratitude for building the anticipation of what I’m sure will be an epic culmination to an amazing series. " -Heroes and Heartbreakers

"Talon and Jade's chemistry sizzles and the love scenes will melt your heart and your Kindle." -The Book Sirens

"I am loving this series so freaking much… The story line is one that will have you completely engrossed…" -Wicked Babes Blog

"Helen left my head spinning and my mind racing a mile a minute. I need to know what the secrets are... " -The Book Fairy Reviews


Jade Roberts is in love with Talon Steel but no longer welcome in his home. While she resolves to move on, she still longs for the passion she and Talon shared…and when her boss asks her to dig up information on the Steels, she’s only too happy to comply. Talon and his brothers are hiding something, and Jade is determined to find out what it is.

The moment Talon saw Jade he wanted her, ached for her, craved her…and now his desire has become his obsession. He knows she deserves better than his broken soul, but he can’t stay away from her, and he finally confesses his love. If he and Jade are to have a future, he knows he must make peace with the dark shadows and horrors of his past.

But as Talon begins his journey of healing, Jade uncovers some startling secrets…

Library Journal named Best Staged Plans one of the best Women’s Fiction Books of the year!

"HGTV addicts will drool."—Booklist

“Sandra is a professional home stager based out of the Boston area. Knowledgeable about home design and full of ideas, she somehow can’t manage to get her own house ready for the market, thanks to her slacking-off husband and son. When she gets an offer to stage a boutique hotel in Atlanta, she leaps at the chance to run away and get some distance and perspective. She soon starts to wonder whether her whole life, not just her home, needs a makeover. Fans of HGTV and of Cook’s previous charming fiction (Seven Year Switch; Must Love Dogs) will adore this light, funny read.”—★ STARRED Library Journal review!!

"Ms. Cook's writing only gets better with each new book."—New York Journal of Books 

Sandy Sullivan is a professional home stager who lives and works in the Boston suburbs. So getting rid of her own house and downsizing should be a breeze, right? Well, best staged plans and all, Sandy's husband, Greg, is dragging his feet and their son, Luke, has returned home and moved into the "bat cave" in the basement. Sandy reads them both the riot act and takes a job staging a boutique hotel recently acquired by her best friend's boyfriend. The good news is that she can spend time in Atlanta with her recently married daughter, Shannon. The bad news is that Shannon soon receives a promotion and heads back up to Boston for training, leaving Sandy and her Southern son-in-law, Chance, as reluctant roommates. And Sandy finds herself in another delicate situation when she suspects her best friend's boyfriend may be seeing another woman on the side. Fixing up houses  may turn out to be easier than fixing up lives.

“Conflict between happy family memories and the need to move forward is tempered by a great running gag about reading glasses, realistic relationships with friends and children, and much needed perspective from a stranger in need... Addicts to HGTV marathons will drool over Sandra’s tips for paint samples and thrift-store bargains. Cook’s likable heroine is charming without being silly, and her story is very well paced all the way to a genuinely delightful conclusion.”—Booklist 

“Midlife craziness...crowd-pleaser for empty nesters...charmer...Cook knows the territory of secret longing and snappy dialog.” —Publishers Weekly

“Genuine, deftly drawn characters…[Cook’s] poignancy and sassy humor resonate with readers; her theme of reinvention uplifts and inspires….It’s the perfect companion for an afternoon under a beach umbrella with sand between your toes.” —Savannah Magazine

 “The exuberant and charming Claire Cook is one of the sassiest and funniest creators of contemporary women’s fiction,”—The Times-Picayune

From Claire Cook, New York Times bestselling author of the novel turned romantic comedy movie starring Diane Lane and John Cusack, comes Must Love Dogs: Who Let the Cats In?, Book 5 of the fun and fabulous Must Love Dogs series.

Sarah and John are buying Sarah’s family house, and they’re hoping their relationship will survive it. Sarah’s dad is part of the deal, and so is the litter of kittens they’ve discovered under the front porch. Finding a contractor isn’t as easy as they thought it would be, one of the parents at Bayberry Preschool is driving Sarah crazy, and a big nor’easter is barreling toward town.

The Must Love Dogs series:

Must Love Dogs (#1)
Must Love Dogs: New Leash on Life (#2)
Must Love Dogs: Fetch You Later (#3)
Must Love Dogs: Bark & Roll Forever (#4)
Must Love Dogs: Who Let the Cats In? (#5) 


“Must Love Dogs has already been a major motion picture, and now New York Times bestselling author Claire Cook’s hilarious and heartwarming series is begging to hit the screen again as a miniseries or a sitcom.”—Nancy Carty Lepri, New York Journal of Books

“Reading about how life goes for this wacky marvelously lovable family becomes addictive.”—Pamela Kramer, Examiner 

“Wildly witty"—USA Today

"Cook dishes up plenty of charm."—San Francisco Chronicle

"Funny and pitch perfect."—Chicago Tribune

"A HOOT"—The Boston Globe 

"A hilariously original tale about dating and its place in a modern woman's life."—Book Page

"This utterly charming novel by Cook is a fun read, perfect for whiling away an afternoon on the beach."—Library Journal


"It is the kind of book you will return to again and again, and Claire Cook is the kind of writer you will only want more from.”—Stephanie Burns, Book Perfume

Wondering how to get to that life you really thought you'd be living by now? Finally ready to dig up that buried dream? Still trying to figure out what you want to be when you grow up? Just looking for the perfect tweak to your existing life?

Claire Cook speaks to real women—our fears and obstacles and hopes and desires—and gives us cutting edge tools to get where we want to go. Bursting with inspiration, insider stories, and practical strategies. Filled with humor, heart, encouragement, and great quotes.

You'll hop on a plane with Claire as you figure out the road to your own reinvention. She’ll share her own stories, successes, and failures, as well as those of other reinventors, plus tips for getting a plan, staying on track, pulling together a support system, building your platform in the age of social networking, dealing with the inevitable ups and downs, overcoming perfectionism, and tuning in to your authentic self to propel you toward your goals.

A little bit memoir, a lot inspiration, Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (without getting lost along the way) is real, grounded, and just the book you need to start reinventing your life. 

“Never Too Late is the perfect book for readers who love Claire Cook’s books and wonder how she got to be such a successful author. But the real purpose and accomplishment of the book is the inspiration it provides and the fascinating and amazingly helpful strategies and methods she presents for any women (‘and a few good men’) who really want to achieve what they’ve only dreamed of. The book is about change and opportunity—and how to grab them.”—Pamela Kramer, National Book Reviewer,

“Never Too Late resonated with me on a level that I didn’t expect. Still at this moment, I am reviewing all the notes that I took while reading the book.”—Victoria Colotta, ArtBooksCoffee

“If you need a personal cheerleader to help you along your road to reinvention, then I highly recommend this book.”—Laurie Nerat, Looking on the Sunnyside

“It’s a thought-provoking, inspiring book. If you’ve thought about changing your career and following your passion, Cook’s book just might provide the needed push.”—Lesa’s Book Critiques

From Claire Cook, New York Times bestselling author of the novel turned romantic comedy movie starring Diane Lane and John Cusack, comes Must Love Dogs: A Howliday Tail, Book 6 of the hilarious and heartwarming Must Love Dogs series.


In the charming small beach town of Marshbury, Massachusetts, preschool teacher Sarah has the heartbreak of a messy divorce behind her and the promise of a second chance with John ahead. When she finds out that buying the family house also means hosting the holidays, her only goal is survival. They’ve got a house full of animals and a renovation in full throttle. Sarah’s single and pregnant teaching assistant Polly is staying with them, too, as is her brother Johnny, whose marriage is on the rocks, and Sarah has just been made chair of the Bayberry Preschool holiday performance. Can she and John survive all this?



Must Love Dogs (#1)  
Must Love Dogs: New Leash on Life (#2)  
Must Love Dogs: Fetch You Later (#3) 
Must Love Dogs: Bark & Roll Forever (#4) 
Must Love Dogs: Who Let the Cats In? (#5) 

Must Love Dogs: A Howliday Tail (#6)
Nobody drives you crazier than family, and nobody loves you more.



“Must Love Dogs has already been a major motion picture, and now New York Timesbestselling author Claire Cook’s hilarious and heartwarming series is begging to hit the screen again as a miniseries or a sitcom.”-Nancy Carty Lepri, New York Journal of Books

“Reading about how life goes for this wacky marvelously lovable family becomes addictive.”-Pamela Kramer, Examiner
"Funny and pitch perfect." -Chicago Tribune  
"Wildly witty" -USA Today  
"Cook dishes up plenty of charm." -San Francisco Chronicle  
"A hoot" -The Boston Globe  
"A hilariously original tale about dating and its place in a modern woman's life." –BookPage  
Praise for Claire Cook:  
"Claire Cook (Must Love Dogs) has built a brand writing light-hearted women's fiction blending kernels of the absurd and comedic in compulsively readable combinations." -Shelf Awareness  
"The exuberant and charming Claire Cook is one of the sassiest and funniest creators of contemporary women's fiction." -The Times-Picayune  
"[Cook's] poignancy and sassy humor resonate with readers; her theme of reinvention uplifts and inspires." -Savannah Magazine 

A More Magazine Don’t Miss pick by the New York Times bestselling author of Must Love Dogs. 

"Her quirky voice and sense of humor are as strong as ever." -The Orlando Sentinel 

March Monroe and her daughter Olivia are going to college. March knows that Olivia is going, naturally, since she and her husband have just made their first exorbitant tuition payment. But Olivia doesn’t exactly know the arrangement . . . yet. Imagine Olivia’s surprise when one day she shows up for training at a local radio station and finds out that one of the other interns is . . . her mother. 

"very funny...with plenty of giggles." -The Hartford Courant 

“Cook has a gift for telling an entertaining and funny story that is light enough for a beach read, yet weighty enough to get under your skin and into your heart. Her characters are quirky and inconsistent, good-hearted folks who make mistakes and have regrets, but none of the damage is lasting. Love and forgiveness beat out hate and revenge.” —Patriot Ledger 

“Cook’s ability to make families foibles ring true -- and funny -- ensures a delightful read.”—Library Journal 

“Claire Cook infuses her novels with that sassy kind of off-beat humor that makes you giggle, shake your head, and then keep reading. And isn’t that what you want a beach book to do?” —Florida Today 

“Cook's characters are delightful and quirky, and the storyline is fast paced and lively with just the right touch of humor and romance.” —Fresh Fiction 

“Nobody does the easy-breezy beach read with a lighter hand than Claire Cook.” —Hartford Courant  

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