A Chat with Beth Kendrick

beth-kendrickI don’t even remember when or where I first met my friend, Beth Kendrick.  I am thinking it was a tea at RWA’s annual conference, hosted by John Charles, the former RWA Librarian of the Year.  It may have been sooner.  I know I’d read her chick lit/women’s fiction books before I’d ever met her and loved her fresh, fun, flirty stories that always end happily, leaving you happy.

Over the years Beth and I have been able to meet up at conferences, and in Arizona (for tea again!  with John Charles!), and Hawaii, when she brought her mom and son out to play with us a year ago on Oahu.  We’ve spoken to librarians together and talked out plot problems and what makes an alpha an alpha.  And now my lovely friend has a brand new release, just out yesterday and I convinced her she had to come share here on my JaneBlog, to talk about Cure for the Common Breakup (which features a nice blurb by me on the front cover!)

Beth, let’s talk about the new book.  What led you to write this story?

Louis L’Amour wrote, “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” That quote has gotten me through some dark times in my own life, and it provided the first spark of inspiration for this story.

Those of you who read my last book, “The Week Before the Wedding”, may remember Summer Benson, Emily’s wild-child maid of honor. Summer was truly a gift from the writing gods– spontaneous, whip-smart, and hilarious, with an “I regret nothing!” attitude—and it was obvious that she needed her own book. I decided I’d brainstorm some brilliant ideas for her story…right after I went on vacation in Bethany Beach, Delaware. Of course, it turns out that writers’ brains never truly go on vacation. After three days of “not working” at the beach, I had an idea for the new book–and by miraculous coincidence, it was set on the Delaware shore!

This book goes out to every woman who’s had her heart broken and has rallied with her girlfriends to hold on to humor, hope, and faith that life will go on. That laughter will heal. That love—in all its many forms—will prevail. Oh, and also, there’s a ton of classic breakup songs and fancy beach houses and a swoon-worthy “designated rebound guy”.  Because, you know. Priorities.

Does music play a role in your writing process?  If so, do you create a special playlist for every book you write?

The town of Black Dog Bay has a bar called the Whinery, which, in accordance with the whole “bounce back from your breakup” theme, offers a playlist that includes every breakup song you could ever want. My Facebook fans helped to compile the list and there’s a little something for everyone, from country to pop to classic R&B. Here’s a sampling of what’s on tap:

“Divorce Song” by Liz Phair, “Fist City” by Loretta Lynn, “Breakin’ Dishes” by Rhianna, “Needle in a Haystack” by the Vevelettes, “Here’s A Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)” by Travis Tritt, “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon, and the Iris DeMent classic “God Will Forgive You (But I Won’t)”. I tried to put in a little something for everyone!

Did you do a lot of research while writing this book?

I’m a research junkie; I love getting little peeks into other careers and lifestyles. For this book, I interviewed a flight attendant because it was important to me to depict Summer’s job as more than the cultural cliché we have of flight attendants. My “source” (aka my friend Kimberly), who’s been working at a major airline for over a decade, told fascinating stories about the places she’s been and the people she’s worked with, and she also added some great little details, like the fact that it really bothers her that uniform regulations require that she wear black pantyhose with navy skirts. You’re just not going to get that kind of information from a Google search.

Oh, and I also went to the Delaware shore for a week and hung out with my family, eating ice cream and boardwalk fries and sipping wine. All in the name of research. These are the sacrifices I make for my art!

Welcome to Black Dog Bay, a tiny seaside town in Delaware known as “the best place in America to bounce back from your breakup.” Home to the Better Off Bed-and-Breakfast, the Eat Your Heart Out bakery, and the Whinery bar, Black Dog Bay offers a haven for the suddenly single.
Flight attendant Summer Benson lives by two rules: Don’t stay with the same man for too long and never stay in one place. She’s about to break rule number one by accepting her boyfriend’s proposal—then disaster strikes and her world is shattered in an instant.
Summer heads to Black Dog Bay, where the locals welcome her. Even Hattie Huntington, the town’s oldest, richest, and meanest resident, likes her enough to give her a job. Then there’s Dutch Jansen, the rugged, stoic mayor, who’s the opposite of her type. She probably shouldn’t be kissing him. She definitely shouldn’t be falling in love.
After a lifetime of globe-trotting, Summer has finally found a home. But Hattie has old scores to settle and a hidden agenda for her newest employee. Summer finds herself faced with an impossible choice: Leave Black Dog Bay behind forever, or stay with the ones she loves and cost them everything….

What are you working on next?

I just finished the first draft of “New Uses for Old Boyfriends”, which is also set in Black Dog Bay. (I’m never leaving the Whinery. Fact.) It’s about a recent divorcee who goes back to her hometown after her father dies…only to find financial disaster, a grieving mother in total denial, and a passel of ex-boyfriends—all with different agendas–awaiting her.

Name 3 books you hope to read soon:

“The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion, “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand (although I hear this will give me shark nightmares for weeks), and “Keep Calm and Carry a Big Drink” by Kim Gruenenfelder

Title and author of the latest book you read?

Hands down, the best perk of being a writer is having other writers for friends. I just read volunteered (read: begged) to be a “beta reader” for my buddy Kresley Cole, who writes super dark and steamy paranormal romances. She caved and let me take a peek at a draft of her upcoming release, “Dark Skye” (to be published August 5) and OMG soooo good. I can’t wait to read the final version.

Name 5 words that fit your personality according to you.  And 5 words that fit your personality according to your best friend.

According to me: Resilient, positive, tenacious, dog-crazy, bubbly

According to my friend Chandra (bear in mind that my new book is dedicated to her, so she may be EVER SO SLIGHTLY BIASED): Smart, witty, tenacious, curious, loving

We both listed “tenacious”. Translation: Beth Kendrick is as stubborn as a mule.

Beth Kendrick is the author of ten women’s fiction novels, including Cure for the Common Breakup and Nearlyweds, which was made into a Hallmark Channel original movie. She grew up in New England, went to college in the Midwest, and headed to grad school in California, where she earned her PhD in psychology. She now lives in Arizona with two red rescue mutts. Her favorite breakup songs include One Trick Pony’s “The Bride” and Icona Pop’s “I Love It”.

For more information, please visit her website: www.BethKendrick.com or connect with her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BethKendrickBooks


Thank you, Beth, for sharing with us today, and readers, I have a special special Beth Kendrick giveaway that includes copies of some of Beth’s backlist, a Starbucks drink card, and lots of treats all tucked into a Jane Porter tote bag.  For a chance to win the Beth Prize, let me know how you would suggest getting over a bad break up, or a broken heart!  Contest ends Monday May 13th, with the winner announced Tuesday morning!


  1. Finding something you are passionate about and had been putting off and throw yourself into it. hang with friends and lots of chocolate!

  2. Why that’s a silly question! We all know what the answer is don’t we ladies. Take surfing lessons in Hawaii… hehe Sorry, couldn’t help myself. 🙂

  3. If it was a bad break up I would probably go on exotic week long cruise. Not that bad of a break up a shopping trip for new shoes and purse. 🙂

  4. Spend time with your BFFs! Not only will they distract you, but they won’t let you get away with anything, LOL!

  5. Spend some girl time with your closest friends doing whatever it is that makes you feel carefree and happy.

  6. They can be sisters of the heart or not, but those women in your life are who you turn to for recovery… along with some chocolate and maybe some wine [or a lot of whine!!]

  7. Spend some time taking care of yourself, pampering yourself, remembering how to love yourself and reminding yourself that you’re worth loving. Too many women focus so much on the man in their life that they forget to love themselves, and when the man is gone, she is lost.

  8. Love Beth’s books! I say “talk it out” with someone who will listen when your heart has been broken. Last summer, my 17 year old daughter had her heart broken and for two nights she wanted me to stay in her room with her when she had trouble sleeping. It isn’t often that she “needs” me so I was happy to give up good sleep in my own bed.

  9. well since i was hurt by all my exs after being sad, reading books, listening to country music, being with my family i realized that they were’nt right for me and that i didn’t need anyone that doesn’t need or want me.

  10. Spending time with my best friend of 22 years, reading, seeing my kids, and the occasional DQ Blizzard. 🙂

  11. A long binge consisting of BFFs, chick flicks, snacks of all sorts and romance novels, definitely romance novels.

    The chick flicks & romance novels will restore your faith in love and of course BFFs to cry and snack with!

  12. My immediate answer is ice cream 🙂
    And a happy ever after movie or book.
    Love your books, Beth, I have read a few and a few more is on my bookshelf ready to be read.

  13. It’s been so long! I would suggest a night out with the girls w/ dancing and alcohol. or maybe a week at the spa? that could cure all sorts of ills 🙂

  14. To be honest chocolate comes to mind! We girls need our chocolate after all! But, seriously, the best way I have found is to work through the heartache, we all experience this sometime in our life. And, I have found that having your best girls to talk to, chocolate to nourish you, and a few good romance movies, along with some good romance to read, makes you remember you have to kiss a lot of frogs before finding your PRINCE! Great giveaway, congratulations to Beth, as always Jane you are AWESOME!

  15. Stay busy, find something you really enjoy doing and stay at it. If you are busy you don’t have time to think about the bad things in your life.

  16. Friends, chocolate and keeping busy, maybe with something new to work on…and read, nothing is better than a good book!

  17. Reading one great book after another. I love the titles of your books. They definitely make me want to pick them up.

  18. Since TIME is the biggest healer…keep busy cleaning things that have been way overdue like closets, get into however many good books it takes and do things with friends to keep the social time busy. It’s all good and it works…not just with breakups but other life situations.

  19. I wish I knew the answer to the question because every breakup I ever had, I was left devastated and depressed.

  20. Nice to see you here Beth, I have enjoyed other books you have written. And, I just finished The Rosie Project and loved it. If you enjoy The Big Bang Theory TV show, you should definitely read The Rosie Project. As for break ups, good friends can help in those crisis times. What would we do without our girlfriends and also best guy buds.

  21. Tequila makes you forget for awhile. I would start with that and friends make everything better!

  22. I know chocolate is the classic answer as a cure for stress, troubles and even heartache, but my cure all would be ice cream. I also suggest movies with friends, those books you haven’t had time to read and perhaps learning a new craft. Keep busy and try not to dwell on that relationship that just didn’t work!

  23. My answer for all rough situations is good coffee and dark chocolate. I would also say keeping too busy to think about it would help but I do not have much experience here so don’t hold me to it!

  24. A good friend with a sympathetic ear is always nice, but not always reliable. People are busy now with their own lives and issues. I got through tough times by working out to make my self feel better, and finding a new interest to try to help me focus and stay positive. Finding something that made me happy helped keep the focus going in the right direction. Writing in a journal is always something that helped me through those tough times too.

  25. For me I would say some girl time with a sappy chick flick, some brownies, and a few glasses of wine.

  26. All of these sound really good. I would have to say when I was in college and had my heart broken, my first move was to call my buddies. Then we would grab chips and salsa. As hard as it is having your heart broken, everything is easier with friends…no.matter.what.the.storm.

  27. I’d put on some music, find a book to read and curl up in a chair. If I can’t focus enough, then I catch up on some recorded tv shows.

  28. I would say find something new to do and stay as busy as you can! Hang out with people who lift your spirits!

  29. The last time I had a major break-up, which was a very long time ago, I decided to get involved in volunteering in a local organization. It kept me busy and my mind off the louse. It didn’t hurt that I met my husband while engaged in this activity. Ice cream & girl friends are also big helps.

  30. Hi ladies,

    For me going through a divorce that took 2 years, I worked quite a bit, had time with family and read a lot of romance books. Romance books are my go to for ……… just fill in the blank.

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  31. dark chocolate and a girls night out–at least you’d feel good for a few hours and motivated to make some changes

  32. Keeping yourself busy, spend time with those you love and like to be around, spend time with people who make you laugh, eat chocolate, and keep moving forward.

  33. Volunteer for something you want to help with. Helping others is a great way to focus on others plus it gives you a good feeling, knowing that you did something good.

  34. hi! I use to eat for I thought I’d feel better but since I’m going thru a bad divorce and its been a rough road, and few set backs, I’ve been working a lot and walking out my frustrations and taking time for myself, instead of eating my way through this rough patch. I can fir into my size 10-6 pants and feel so good about myself, and I have been reading a lot too! and alittle chocolate with a nice cup of coffee isn’t all bad!

  35. Love Beth’s books!

    Surround yourself with family and friends who love and support you and will help you through the breakup.

  36. Friends and family is usually a great idea.
    Chocolate is good, in moderation. A good book is usually great and then exercise could be a great idea to relieve the stress.

  37. Cry…use up that box of kleenex, get it out of your system and then move on to bigger and better things.

    Really like Beth’s books!

  38. Go on vacation that you’ve always dreamed about and be sure to converse with others at restaurants and during tours, hikes, and shopping. Live Life!

  39. Thanks everyone for making Beth so welcome and for checking out her books!

    Our winner is –

    #11 Danielle Peck!

    Danielle, please share your mailing info via email and this prize will be on its way to you soon!

    much love to all!

  40. It may seem odd to some, but for me, nothing lifts my spirits quicker than getting a trowel in my hand and digging up weeds in my flower beds or just the yard itself. I read a saying recently that says:

    Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.

    It works. You will start thinking about the flowers, birds chirping, butterflies floating by, and troubles just float away, too.

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