Open Book with Milly Johnson

 Back from across the pond, I am completely inspired and in love with London! The city, the people and oh the royals! I am thrilled my first Open Book back, is to support Milly Johnson, British fiction author queen! Her latest, The Magnificent Mrs. Mayhew is out now and completely perfect for a cozy fall read ❤ See below for her fabulous responses and make sure to take a look at her back catalog 😉

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via Amazon ~

Milly Johnson, the Queen of Feel-Good Fiction and The Sunday Times bestselling author, is back with a “glorious, heartfelt novel” (Rowan Coleman, New York Times bestselling author) about a woman trying to find her own place in the world, who through love, loss, and the kindness of strangers, discovers everything she needs in a village by the sea.

Behind every successful man is a woman.
Behind the fall of every successful man is usually another woman.

Sophie Mayhew seems to have the perfect life. The glamourous wife of a rising political star who is one step away from the highest position in the government, she matches her husband in looks, pedigree, and money. But he has made some stupid mistakes on his way to the top, and some of those mistakes are just now threatening to emerge. Still, this can all be swept under the rug so long as Sophie the Trophy plays her part in front of the cameras. But the words that tumble out of Sophie’s mouth one morning on the doorstep of their country house are not the words the spin doctors drilled into her head.

Bursting out of the restrictive mold that has been tightening around her since birth, Sophie flees to a small village on the coast, a safe haven from her childhood days, where she intends to be alone. But once there, she finds a community that warms her soul and makes her feel as if she is breathing properly for the first time in her life. Sophie knows she won’t be left in peace for long, though, so she must decide: where does her real future lie?

 

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 What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with?

Stephen King, Catherine Cookson and Henry Viii.  There’s a mixed bunch for you.  I think we’d all have a hoot and some really interesting discussions

Current binge series?

The Staircase.

 Last favorite book?

Exquisite by Sarah Stovell.  I couldn’t put it down.  It’s the story of obsessive lust.

 What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Where is it?

I love cruising in the Mediterranean so much.  That way I get to see a lot of places in two weeks and not just one destination.  I’m particularly fond of the Greek Islands so… a book to read in the sunshine. A red lipstick that doesn’t wear off so I can look glamorous at all times and a dress that is loose fitting – you can’t have anything tight fitting when you’re on a cruise – the food is too hard to resist. 

 Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

US Weekly!

 Last person you sent a text message to?

My son, who is on holiday with his friends.  Just to check in that he’s okay. 

 Book you read that you wished you wrote?

Bridget Jones’ diary. 

 Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer?

I had an amazing English teacher at college who made me love writers I hadn’t really understood that much like Jane Austen.  I didn’t really tell anyone that I wanted to write books then, I didn’t  have the confidence I’d be able to do it, but I wish I had told her because she would have encouraged me, I absolutely know it.  She was fantastic.

 Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?

I need complete silence when I write.  I even wear noise cancelling headphones when there is no one else in the house. 

 Describe your writing space?

It’s a large office with a very old massive desk with lots of drawers in it.  I have wooden shelves full of books all around the room and a rocking chair where one of my cats likes to sleep.  The other one sits on top of the printer. I have things that look like books but aren’t books everywhere – like a coffee table and storage boxes, old tins – my partner, who is an antiques dealer, finds them for me.

 Coffee or tea?

Coffee.  Strong with a dash of milk.

 Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

Yes it’s called ‘The Tent, the Bucket and Me’ by Emma Kennedy.  It’s one of the funniest books I’ve ever read.

 Book that you wished they would make a movie out of?

Mine – Here Come the Girls – it’s about a group of friends who go on a cruise together.

 If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why?

Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles.  It was written on a sunny day and fills me with the feeling that however bad life is, the sunshine is still there behind the clouds.  That’s me – hopeful!

 What/Who inspires you?

Barbara Taylor-Bradford, a woman from Yorkshire who set the world alight with her stories.  I met her a couple of years ago and she was so wise and glamorous and funny.  She made her dream of becoming an author reality – and how!

 Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

Not for me

 Favorite Instagram account?

@auntyacidofficial 

If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be?   

Deep, beautiful red and I’d call it ‘Rebecca’

Current #TBR pile?

Saving lots of books for my holidays.  I love crime and psychological thrillers:  I have Mark Billingham’s ‘Their Little Secret’ at the top and an advance copy of Nicci French’s ‘The Lying Room’ – I’m lucky because as authors we get a lot of free books.

 Best advice you’ve ever received?

‘There is no pot of gold in a comfort zone.’  Sometimes you just need to be brave, feel the fear and go for it.

Follow Milly:

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Open Book with Nicole Meier

Fall is here and new books are one of my most favorite things of this cozy season!  Nothing better than curling up with a good book, hot coffee and fuzzy socks!  I am thrilled to be able to chat with Nicole Meier and celebrate her latest novel, The Second Chance Supper Club.  The perfect fall read, this story is the tale of two sisters, at a crossroads in their lives where they need to rely on one another even if it means risking their already rocky relationship.

Grilled cheese and tomato soup

via Amazon ~

Two estranged sisters reunite in an emotional novel of family, forgiveness, lost hope, and new beginnings.

They had a forever bond, until a sudden tragedy thrust them apart. Now, each at a crossroad in her own life, two sisters’ paths are about to intersect.

Broadcast journalist Julia Frank has it all: a career, an ambitious fiancé, and the hard-won respect of her peers. Until a ruinous decision destroys her reputation, puts her job at risk, and sends her reeling toward the only soul left to turn to: her estranged sister, Ginny.

The owner of a clandestine supper club hidden in the Arizona desert, Ginny Frank has a lot on her plate. The last thing she wants is more drama—or the burden of nursing her younger sister’s wounded ego. But family is family. Besides, Ginny can use the help in more ways than one, and she’s going to make sure Julia pulls her weight.

As a tenuous reunion reopens old wounds, Julia and Ginny have no choice but to confront the pain and betrayals of the past. Will working to keep the secret supper club running be just what they need to find common ground and a path toward forgiveness, or will the increasing stress push them even further apart?

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  1. What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with?  

I love this question! For sure my favorite author, Sue Monk Kidd. Then I would add Oprah and Maria Shriver.

  1. Current binge series? 

Just finished Dead to Me. I’m obsessed.

  1. Last favorite book? 

Where the Crawdads Sing.

  1. What 3 things do you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?

Bathing suit, Kindle, and sun hat.

  1. Where is it? 

Anywhere there’s a tropical beach and a piña colada.

  1. Sunday NYT or US Weekly? 

LA Times! (I’m a West Coast girl).

  1. Last person you sent a text message to? 

My friend, Catherine.

  1. Book you read that you wished you wrote? 

Anything by Kristin Hannah. I loved The Great Alone.

  1. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer? 

Not specifically. But I did get A’s in my college creative writing courses.

  1. 10.Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who? 

Yes, but only acoustic. I can’t do lyrics.

  1. Describe your writing space? 

A pretty, white Pottery Barn desk with bookshelves. It’s tucked into a corner of my bedroom. There’s always a lit candle and sometimes a scattering of chocolate. 

  1. 12.Coffee or tea? 

Coffee in a.m. Tea at bed.

  1. Do you have a favorite book that you gift? 

I recently bought copies of Cheryl Strayed’s “Brave Enough” for my sisters and close friends. I bookmarked specific quotes for each woman.

  1. 14.If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why?

“Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac.

 

  1. What/Who inspires you? 

Right now, I love everything Maria Shriver is doing. She’s brave, spiritual, and not afraid to chase her dreams while lifting others up at the same time.

  1. 16.Bravo reality TV- yes or no? 

Since I’m from So Cal, I do watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. 

  1. Favorite Instagram account? 

Ellen Jewett! Oh my gosh, her art is stunning. 

  1. 18.If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be? 

A good lipstick for The Second Chance Supper Club would be a sorbet color. I’d call it Arizona Sunset.

  1. 19.Current #TBR pile?

I’m currently reading an ARC from my Lake Union sister, Jennifer Gold (it’s good!). Next up is the newest by Jennifer Weiner.

  1. Best advice you’ve ever received? 

Don’t write as if someone is looking over your shoulder. The reader will notice.

 

Follow Nicole:

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Open Book with Louisa Treger

Indian summer anyone? While some temps are dipping we are still seeing that glorious sunshine and with that we can still bask in end of summer releases like Louisa Treger’s latest, The Dragon Lady.  A fictional account of the rebellious and glamorous Lady Virginia Courtauld, this is a must read for historical fiction buffs and readers who love a gal who has gumption!  Lady Virginia would be an inspiration to all women around the world today.  I am thrilled Louisa is my latest Open Book and we can celebrate this fantastic book!

The Dragon Lady Cover Image

via Amazon ~

‘A daring blend of romance, crime and history, and an intelligent exposé of the inherent injustice and consequences of all forms of oppression’ Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions

Opening with the shooting of Lady Virginia ‘Ginie’ Courtauld in her tranquil garden in 1950s Rhodesia, The Dragon Lady tells Ginie’s extraordinary story, so called for the exotic tattoo snaking up her leg. From the glamorous Italian Riviera before the Great War to the Art Deco glory of Eltham Palace in the thirties, and from the secluded Scottish Highlands to segregated Rhodesia in the fifties, the narrative spans enormous cultural and social change. Lady Virginia Courtauld was a boundary-breaking, colourful and unconventional person who rejected the submissive role women were expected to play.

Ostracised by society for being a foreign divorcée at the time of Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson, Ginie and her second husband ,Stephen Courtauld, leave the confines of post-war Britain to forge a new life in Rhodesia, only to find that being progressive liberals during segregation proves mortally dangerous. Many people had reason to dislike Ginie, but who had reason enough to pull the trigger?

Deeply evocative of time and place, The Dragon Lady subtly blends fact and fiction to paint the portrait of an extraordinary woman in an era of great social and cultural change.

Louisa Treger credit Nick Harvey

1.What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with?

Margaret Atwood, Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde.

 

2.Current binge series?

Killing Eve.

 

3. Last favorite book?

Your Duck is my Duck by Deborah Eisenberg

 

4. What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Where is it?

Sunglasses, sun cream, a good book. South Africa, my mother’s homeland.

 

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

I live in London, so neither of the above. The Sunday Times.

 

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

My daughter

 

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels

 

8. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer?

Yes, my second year tutor at university, a wonderful man called David Daniell. His words kept me going through years of rejection of my early work.

 

9. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?

No, because music is too powerful. It’s like a magnet, drawing all   my attention to it.

 

10. Describe your writing space?

It’s an octagonal room with big windows and shelves filled with books. My desk always has piles of papers, my laptop and a large mug of coffee on it. My dog sleeps at my feet while I write.

 

11. Coffee or tea?

Strong coffee

 

12. Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

 

13. Book that you wished they would make a movie out of?

Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels

 

14. If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why?

I will survive by Gloria Gaynor

 

15. What/Who inspires you?

Nature. Great art, be it literature, music or visual art. My children.

 

16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

No

 

17. Favorite Instagram account?

@puppy_unity

 

18. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be? 

I would call a lipstick Wild Rose after Cathy in Wuthering Heights and it would be dusky pink.

 

19. Current #TBR pile?

Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler

Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

 

20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

Your failures teach you more than your successes. It’s how you pick yourself up and carry on after failing that counts.

 

Follow Louisa:

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Open Book with Fiona Davis

First of all, THIS. COVER.  Second, Fiona Davis is a queen of chic historical fiction and Chelsea Girls is no exception.  The stunning Chelsea Hotel and two fierce females looking for stardom during a scary time is all you need to know that Davis can craft a novel like the best of them.  This has hit multiple “Best of Summer” lists and I am thrilled Fiona joined us for Open Book.  When an author lists Nora Ephron for any answers in the Q&A, I know we will hit it off!

Chelsea Girls

via Amazon ~

The bright lights of the theater district, the glamour and danger of 1950s New York, and the wild scene at the iconic Chelsea Hotel come together in a dazzling new novel about a twenty-year friendship that will irrevocably change two women’s lives—from the national bestselling author of The Dollhouse and The Address.

From the dramatic redbrick facade to the sweeping staircase dripping with art, the Chelsea Hotel has long been New York City’s creative oasis for the many artists, writers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, and poets who have called it home—a scene playwright Hazel Riley and actress Maxine Mead are determined to use to their advantage. Yet they soon discover that the greatest obstacle to putting up a show on Broadway has nothing to do with their art, and everything to do with politics. A Red scare is sweeping across America, and Senator Joseph McCarthy has started a witch hunt for Communists, with those in the entertainment industry in the crosshairs. As the pressure builds to name names, it is more than Hazel and Maxine’s Broadway dreams that may suffer as they grapple with the terrible consequences, but also their livelihood, their friendship, and even their freedom.

Spanning from the 1940s to the 1960s, The Chelsea Girls deftly pulls back the curtain on the desperate political pressures of McCarthyism, the complicated bonds of female friendship, and the siren call of the uninhibited Chelsea Hotel

FionaDavis_Credit Deborah Feingold

  1. What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with?

Nora Ephron, Alva Vanderbilt, and Jon Stewart.

 

  1. Current binge series?

 Euphoria. I can’t look away, it’s so haunting.

 

  1. Last favorite book?

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. Fun, frothy, but with an emotional punch.

 

  1. What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Where is it?

Off to a mountain resort to read and hike. I’d include a novel, a swishy dress for a fancy dinner, and a moleskin notebook.

 

  1. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Sunday NYT, with the crossword puzzle.

 

  1. Last person you sent a text message to?

Cynthia – one of my best friends – as we’re coordinating a girls’ weekend in the country.

 

  1. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

Longbourn by Jo Baker

 

  1. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer?

My AP English teacher in high school taught me to love literature and read books with a critical eye.

 

  1. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?

No – pure silence, other than the street noises of New York City.

 

  1. Describe your writing space?

It’s a room in my apartment with a sideways view of the Hudson River. When I’m stuck, I stare out at the water until inspiration strikes.

 

  1. Coffee or tea?

Coffee in the morning (two cups) and tea at four (my parents are English, and that stuck).

 

  1. Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

A favorite book that I was given as a gift and like to buy for others is How Green Was My Valley, about Wales. It’s gorgeous.

 

  1. Book that you wished they would make a movie out of?

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks.

 

  1. If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why?

Dancing Barefoot by Patti Smith. There’s such a sense of freedom in the music and the lyrics.

 

  1. What/Who inspires you?

Lillian Hellman, who fought against the blacklist and the House U-American Activities committee during the McCarthy era, and won.

 

  1. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

Yes – for one show, RHONY. Can’t look away.

 

  1. Favorite Instagram account?

Accidental Icon – she’s a woman with flair who’s unafraid.

 

  1. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be? 

I’d create Daisy Nude from Daisy Jones & the Six.

 

  1. Current #TBR pile?

 The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali

Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

The Floating Feldmans by Elyssa Friedland

 

  1. Best advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t worry too much about striving for perfection – good enough is good enough.

 

Follow Fiona:

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Open Book with Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

 

A royal wedding, Cote d’Azur and Grace Kelly, the most glam of vintage Hollywood are the backdrop to Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb’s latest, Meet Me in Monaco.  It doesn’t get much more beach glam than this book!  I am thrilled H & H are my latest Open Book!

MeetMeInMonacoFINAL

via Amazon ~

“A fragrant French bonbon of a book: love, glamour, perfume, and paparazzi all circling around the wedding of the century…”–Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of THE ALICE NETWORK and THE HUNTRESS.

Named one of InStyle‘s best books to put in your totebag for the summer!

Named one of Popsugar’s best books to put in your beachbag this summer and one of the best books of July!

Set in the 1950s against the backdrop of Grace Kelly’s whirlwind romance and unforgettable wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco, New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb take the reader on an evocative sun-drenched journey along the Côte d’Azur in this page-turning novel of passion, fate and second chances…

Movie stars and paparazzi flock to Cannes for the glamorous film festival, but Grace Kelly, the biggest star of all, wants only to escape from the flash-bulbs. When struggling perfumer Sophie Duval shelters Miss Kelly in her boutique to fend off a persistent British press photographer, James Henderson, a bond is forged between the two women and sets in motion a chain of events that stretches across thirty years of friendship, love, and tragedy.

James Henderson cannot forget his brief encounter with Sophie Duval. Despite his guilt at being away from his daughter, he takes an assignment to cover the wedding of the century, sailing with Grace Kelly’s wedding party on the SS Constitution from New York. In Monaco, as wedding fever soars and passions and tempers escalate, James and Sophie—like Princess Grace—must ultimately decide what they are prepared to give up for love.

Heather Webb author photo

Hazel Gaynor author photo

 

1. What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with?

Hazel: Thor, Iron Man, and Captain Marvel.

Heather: Robert Deniro, Meryl Streep, and Emma Stone

2. Current binge series?

Hazel: I really don’t have one, although I am waiting for Season 3 of The Crown.

Heather: Jane the Virgin! It’s hilarious. I, too, am waiting for Season 3 of The Crown, and the Downton Abbey movie!

3. Last favorite book?

Hazel: Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts.

Heather: The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms

4. What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Where is it?

Hazel: Gloves. Hat. Walking boots. We are going to stay in the Ice Hotel in Sweden and then to see the Northern Lights.

Heather: Lonely Planet guide book, comfy shoes, sunglasses. We’re going all over Italy, baby! It’s a place I’ve never been and I’m dying to get there.

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Hazel: Twitter!

Heather: Digital subscription to NYT! 

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

Hazel: I rarely send text messages now. I use WhatsApp. The last message I sent was to my sister in England.

Heather: Texts are free in the U.S. so I text away. My mom is the latest person.

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

Hazel: Practically every book I read I wish I’d written! Most recently, I read The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis – in which the three Bronte sisters are amateur detectives. It’s wonderful and I wish I’d written it!

Heather: Ooo, Hazel’s suggestion sounds good! I wish I’d written The Light We Lost by Jill Santopalo.

8. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer?

Hazel: She didn’t encourage me to be a writer (I didn’t even know ordinary people like me could become writers!), but I had an amazing English Literature teacher who definitely encouraged my love of literature and the written word.

Heather:  My high school English teacher, Mrs. Terris, helped me enter a couple of state and national essay contests when I was a junior and senior. I won three of them to my utter shock and excitement! But she never really pushed me to write books. That came much later.

9. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?

Hazel: No. I listen to the sound of the neighbour’s dog yapping!

Heather: Sometimes and if so, it tends to be instrumental mostly so it doesn’t distract me. Cafe del Mar style ambient stuff or I love classical music, opera, movie soundtracks are a particular fav.

10. Describe your writing space?

Hazel: I write in a lovely bright attic conversion, which is also used as the kids playroom, guest bedroom, and storage room. It’s a bit cluttered and chaotic, but I love it, and am very grateful to have it (I wrote my first two books at the kitchen table!) I commute upstairs every morning and write while the boys are at school!

Heather: I have a large bedroom (and live in a tiny little place) so I have a desk in my room, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. And yes, the draw to the bed is strong! 

11. Coffee or tea?

Hazel: Barry’s Irish tea first thing in the morning. Coffee mid morning. Espresso martini after hours!

Heather:  Both! I tend to like coffee first thing and tea in the afternoons or evenings. 

12. Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

Hazel: A new favourite book to gift is Miss Marley by Becca Mascull. It’s a gorgeous companion novel to A Christmas Carol.

Heather: Shel Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic for children, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert for my creative and writerly friends, and whatever my latest obsession is for adults.

13. Book that you wished they would make a movie out of?

Hazel: Meet Me in Monaco!

Heather: Meet Me in Monaco! And also Last Christmas in Paris would be perfect for an amazing BBC series! 

 

14. If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why?

Hazel: This is an impossible question to answer, but it would probably be Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, from Monty Python’s The Life of Brian!

 

Heather: How about a musician instead? I’m going to say Lindsey Stirling because she’s a classical violin player who combines innovative pieces to dubstep and other electronic beats. A sort of old world meets new, with lots of fun. That’s how I like to think of myself and my life.

15. What/Who inspires you?

Hazel: My friends, other writers, and my 99 year old grandma!

Heather:  Artists of all kinds. I’m a bit of an art hound. I wish I had the money to be an amateur collector and act as someone’s patron. Also brilliant authors, my friends. My husband!

16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

Hazel: Probably not!

Heather: Nope. (In my 20s, a little, but never much a TV head)

 

17. Favorite Instagram account?

Hazel: I have a few! My friend and crime writer, @CathRyanHoward, @bloomandwild (letterbox flowers), and @hellosunshine for wonderful bookish positivity!

Heather: Comedian @celestebarber, incredible seamstress and costume designer @virtuouscourtesan, and French pastry chef @cedricgrolet!

 

18. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be? 

Hazel: ‘Last Christmas in Paris’. It would be Santa-suit red, and packaged in a gorgeous rose gold case. Ooh la la!

Heather: I mean, I have nothing more to say after that answer. I’d buy up a whole case of Last Christmas in Paris!

 

19. Current #TBR pile?

Hazel: I’ll take the top three! The Tattooist of Auchswitz (Heather Morris), The Last Year of the War (Susan Meissner), The Moon in the Palace (Weina dai Randal).

Heather: Dracul by Dacre Stoker and JD Barker, The White Rose by Kip Wilson, and Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen

20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

Hazel: Always have a bottle of champagne in the fridge. I can’t remember who said it, but it’s excellent advice!

Heather: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!

 

Follow Hazel:

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Follow Heather:

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Double Feature ~ Hannah Orenstein

Another summer DOUBLE feature this time with Hannah Orenstein!  Her latest Love at First Like is out now and the perfect summer rom com read!  I love a gal who loves lipstick, Bravo and Reese!  Read below for her fun, fabulous responses ❤

Love at First Like Cover

via Amazon ~

Named a Best Book of Summer by Glamour, BuzzFeed, Cosmopolitan, and many more!

From the author of Playing with Matches, the rollicking tale of a young jewelry shop owner who accidentally leads her Instagram followers to believe that she’s engaged—and then decides to keep up the ruse.

Eliza Roth and her sister Sophie co-own a jewelry shop in Brooklyn. One night, after learning of an ex’s engagement, Eliza accidentally posts a photo of herself wearing a diamond ring on that finger to her Instagram account beloved by 100,000 followers. Sales skyrocket, press rolls in, and Eliza learns that her personal life is good for business. So she has a choice: continue the ruse or clear up the misunderstanding. With mounting financial pressure, Eliza sets off to find a fake fiancé.

Fellow entrepreneur Blake seems like the perfect match on paper. And in real life he shows promise, too. He would be perfect, if only Eliza didn’t feel also drawn to someone else. But Blake doesn’t know Eliza is “engaged”; Sophie asks Eliza for an impossible sum of money; and Eliza’s lies start to spiral out of control. She can either stay engaged online or fall in love in real life.

Written with singular charm and style, Love at First Like is for anyone growing up and settling down in the digital age.

Hannah Orenstein Author Photo by Elyssa Maxx Goodman

 

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~

What is your bag of choice?- purse/tote/backpack and brand that you have?

Currently, I’m carrying a bright turquoise, quilted leather bag that I bought while on vacation with two of my best friends in Venice. It always reminds me of that trip and I love that it matches the cover of Love at First Like!

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

I’m obsessed with Bite lipstick. The color is so saturated and the formula never dries out your skin. Sour Cherry is a really fun, punchy red, and Sweet Cream is my go-to for a neutral with pink undertones. 

What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?  

Chapstick and two tubes of Bite lipstick!

What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines)

The Roxy Letters by Mary Pauline Lowry, out in 2020. The narrator has more voice and personality than the last 30 people I’ve spoken to combined. I love Roxy. 

And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you 🙂

I try to travel super light (who likes to lug around a million things?). But I always have sentimental jewelry on me: the diamond pendant I bought myself to celebrate my first book, a ruby ring that belonged to my great-grandmother, a silver ring that my sister and I both wear daily, and a bracelet I made earlier this summer at Brooklyn Charm — it has a charm in the shape of Maine, which is where I spend time with my family. Clearly, my love of jewelry inspired Eliza’s profession in Love at First Like

Open Book ~

What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a book club with?

Reese Witherspoon, Jasmine Guillory, and Dana Schwartz!

Current binge series?

I’m finally catching up on Suits in a Meghan Markle-inspired binge.  

 Last favorite book?

I had to put down Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston every few pages to internally fangirl over the flirty banter between the son of the first female president and the prince of England. Such a charming, swoonworthy, uplifting story with so many memorable characters!

What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Where is it?

I’d head to Greece to sunbathe on the beach, explore ancient sites, and of course, eat well! I’d want a stack of books, a leopard-print bikini, and WiFi… so my cat-sitter can send me photos of my cat, Eloise. 

Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

One of my favorite weekend routines is catching up on the New York Times‘ Real Estate section on Saturdays and Styles section on Sundays.  

Last person you sent a text message to?

I sent my boyfriend two photos of an adorable baby cow I spotted on Twitter — the cow is lounging in a bathtub in one and wrapped in a fluffy towel in the other. We’ll see if I can convince him to let us get one. 

Book you read that you wished you wrote?

I’d want to time-travel back to 1973 and write Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying 

Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer?

Yes! Thank you to Rob Flaggert at Needham High School, who encouraged me to pursue journalism.  

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?

Music with lyrics trips me up, so I tend to go for ambient electronic playlists or really intense classical symphonies, depending on the scene. 

Describe your writing space?

 My kitchen table or couch, surrounded by 100 cups of coffee. I have to hide my phone to avoid distractions. 

Coffee or tea?

 Coffee! 

Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

 No, but that sounds like a lovely idea! The last book I gave as a gift was Educated by Tara Westover. 

Book that you wished they would make a movie out of?

 Andrea Dunlop’s She Regrets Nothing and We Came Here To Forget would be ridiculously excellent movies. 

If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why?

I’ve always listened to KT Tunstall’s “Suddenly I See” from The Devil Wears Prada during major moments in my career as a writer and editor. It still gives me butterflies. 

What/Who inspires you?

I’ve met so many wonderful people through the book world — authors, readers, and more — and I find their energy inspiring. It’s hard to leave a book signing or author support group (they exist!) and not want to scribble down another idea. 

Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

 Let me say this as a girl who has eaten goat cheese balls in the alley behind SUR: Yes.

Favorite Instagram account?

@moomoi makes the most gorgeous art that combines fashion illustration and actual flowers. Definitely a fave!

If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be?

Sex and the City would be fun, right? I’m picturing it as a soft pink — perfect to pair with a naked dress and Manolos. 

Current #TBR pile?

Next up: Breathe In, Cash Out by Madeleine Henry. 

Best advice you’ve ever received?

From my first boss, E. Jean Carroll: “Fortune favors the bold.” It inspires me to take risks. 

 

Follow Hannah:

Twitter

Instagram

 

Open Book with Laurie Gelman

Attention all Mom’s!  You know school is just around that corner and that means lunches, homework, school politics!  Laurie Gelman is back again with You’ve Been Volunteered, another chapter for her heroine Jen Dixon!  Jen is the girl we all want to be “Mom” besties with and this book is the perfect anecdote to the back to school blues.  I am psyched Laurie took the time to be my latest Open Book!  When you see her Celeb Book Club picks, you will understand that really no explanation is necessary ❤

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via Amazon ~

In the eagerly anticipated follow-up to Laurie Gelman’s “irreverent and hilarious” (The New York Post) hit Class Mom, brash, lovable Jen Dixon is back with a new class and her work cut out for her

If you’ve ever been a room parent or school volunteer, Jen Dixon is your hero. She says what every class mom is really thinking, whether in her notoriously frank emails or standup-worthy interactions with the micromanaging PTA President and the gamut of difficult parents. Luckily, she has the charm and wit to get away with it―most of the time. Jen is sassier than ever but dealing with a whole new set of challenges, in the world of parental politics and at home.

She’s been roped into room-parenting yet again, for her son Max’s third grade class, but as her husband buries himself in work, her older daughters navigate adulthood, and Jen’s own aging parents start to need some parenting themselves, Jen gets pulled in more directions than any one mom, or superhero, can handle.

Refreshingly down-to-earth and brimming with warmth, Dixon’s next chapter will keep you turning the pages to find out what’s really going on under the veneer of polite parent interactions, and have you laughing along with her the whole way.

 

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1. What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with? Tina Fey, Norah Ephron and Phyllis Diller. I don’t believe an explanation is necessary.

 

2. Current binge series? Broadchurch!! Three seasons in five days.

 

3. Last favorite book? The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

 

4. What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Where is it?

 My Kindle, my favorite sun hat and sunscreen so I can enjoy my vacation on a remote, beautiful beach where it’s always sunny but never too hot. If you know of a place like that, please tell me!

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly? After the week I’ve had? US Weekly Baby.

 

6. Last person you sent a text message to? My daughter confirming I will pick her up in front of the movie theatre. My other job is Uber driver.

 

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote? The Nightingale By Kristin Hannah

 

8. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer? Yes, my high school journalism teacher, Jane Rowe not only encouraged me to write, but she also gave me my first writing job at her family’s local golf magazine. My fiction writing came much later and absolutely no one encouraged me to do that!

 

9. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who? I generally don’t listen to music, but if I do I just ask Pandora to play classical music. Listening to lyrics messes  me up.

 

10. Describe your writing space? It changes. In the summer I find writing on a quiet beach very inspiring. But I also like to write in shared workspace places like Spacious because I feel less alone. Writing can be a lonely business.

 

11. Coffee or tea? Tea. English Breakfast in the morning and iced green tea from Starbucks in the afternoon.

 

12. Do you have a favorite book that you gift? I love to give Time and Again by Jack Finney and The House On The Strand by Daphne DuMaurier. They are my two favorite time travel books.

 

13. Book that you wished they would make a movie out of? I spend most of my time wishing they wouldn’t turn books into films…except mine of course. If anyone wants to do that, I’m all for it!

 

14. If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why?

Feeling Good by Nina Simone. Its slow, soulful beat and jazzy trumpets make me feel like a total badass in some sort of action movie. And, the title is a nice thing to always aspire to.

15. What/Who inspires you? Any woman of a certain age who is brave enough to try something new. They give me courage every day to do the same.

 

16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

No! The only Bravo show I watch is “What What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.” He’s my spirit animal.

17. Favorite Instagram account?

@AnimalsDoingThings. It makes me laugh every time.

18. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be? 

I would make a lipstick duo called Pride and Prejudice. Pride would be a light pinky beige shade and prejudice a darker purple.

19. Current #TBR pile?

The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Disclaimers, The Year Of Needy Girls

 

20. Best advice you’ve ever received? Keep your eye on the prize, but don’t let it stop you from enjoying the journey.