There is nothing I love more than a fabulous bag and a fabulous book! Liza Nash Taylor has both. A fabulous new novel, Etiquette for Runaways, which is a historical fiction delight and a Zadig and Voltaire bag chicer than most. She is my latest double feature and I am so grateful to be able to celebrate her new book! Books, like Liza’s, make a great escape! ❤
A sweeping Jazz Age tale of regret, ambition, and redemption inspired by true events, including the Great Moonshine Conspiracy Trial of 1935 and Josephine Baker’s 1925 Paris debut in Le Revue Nègre
1924. May Marshall is determined to spend the dog days of summer in self-imposed exile at her father’s farm in Keswick, Virginia. Following a naive dalliance that led to heartbreak and her expulsion from Mary Baldwin College, May returns home with a shameful secret only to find her father’s orchard is now the site of a lucrative moonshining enterprise. Despite warnings from the one man she trusts—her childhood friend Byrd—she joins her father’s illegal business. When authorities close in and her father, Henry, is arrested, May goes on the run.
May arrives in New York City, determined to reinvent herself as May Valentine and succeed on her own terms, following her mother’s footsteps as a costume designer. The Jazz Age city glitters with both opportunity and the darker temptations of cocaine and nightlife. From a start mending sheets at the famed Biltmore Hotel, May falls into a position designing costumes for a newly formed troupe of African American entertainers bound for Paris. Reveling in her good fortune, May will do anything for the chance to go abroad, and the lines between right and wrong begin to blur. When Byrd shows up in New York, intent upon taking May back home, she pushes him, and her past, away.
In Paris, May’s run of luck comes to a screeching halt, spiraling her into darkness as she unravels a painful secret about her past. May must make a choice: surrender to failure and addiction, or face the truth and make amends to those she has wronged. But first, she must find self-forgiveness before she can try to reclaim what her heart craves most.
OPEN BOOK ~
- What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a book
club with? Josephine Baker, Truman Capote, Tina Fey.
- Current binge series? Schitt’s Creek.
- Last favorite book? The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi.
- What 3 things do you pack in your bag for your dream vacation? Super comfy jammies from Johnny Was, Caddis reading/anti-blue light glasses, my travel Veuve
Clicquot champagne stopper.
- Where is it? Paris.
- Sunday NYT or US Weekly? NYT, and do not touch that crossword puzzle.
- Last person you sent a text message to? My daughter.
- Book you read that you wished you wrote? Where the Crawdads Sing.(Hello! 100 weeks on the bestseller list!)
- Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer? Connie May Fowler.
- Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who? Depends on what I’m writing, usually something of the era, or something moody to set a scene.
- Describe your writing space? I’m nomadic and seasonal. In warm weather I’m usually on my porch with my dogs at my feet. Otherwise, I’m in a 1928 bunkhouse with no plumbing. There’s a window heater/AC that blows either tepid, mildew-smelling air or warm mildew-smelling air. I have made peace with the mice, except when they get into my knitting yarn. Then, it’s war.
- Coffee or tea? Nespresso purple capsules with steamed skim milk, or I get testy.
- Do you have a favorite book that you gift? Um, lately? My own.
- If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and
why? I can’t pick just one, but for right now, “Get Ready for This”, by 2 Unlimited.
- What/Who inspires you? Right this minute? Kamala Harris!
- Bravo reality TV- yes or no? No.
- Favorite Instagram account? @botanicaetcetera
- If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be? Great Sexpectations. A dusty, frosted, iridescent ecru with hints of
- Current #TBR pile? HAMNET, by Maggie O’Farrell, THE WRONG KIND OF
WOMAN by Sarah McCraw Crow (ARC), SISTER DEAR by Hannah Mary McKinnon, THE FIRST TO LIE by Hank Phillippi Ryan, DEATH ON TUCKERNUCK by Francine Mathews.
- Best advice you’ve ever received? My mother told me, “They’re not looking at YOU! “Which she meant in a kind way, to say that people are more self-involved than we think, so we shouldn’t worry about projecting what they’re thinking about us.
WHAT’S IN MY BOOKISH BEAUTY BAG~
- • What is your bag of choice?- purse/tote/backpack and brand that you have?
Well, I’m going to give answers that are pre-COVID, so as not to not have to confess that I never switched my winter bag to spring OR summer this year, because now I only carry my wallet, but I love bags with very subtle branding. My go-to city bag is a black leather purse with lots of zippers and hardware by Zadig & Voltaire.
• What are your top favorite beauty picks?
Chanel and Bobbi Brown for makeup, except that they discontinued two of my faves.
Yes, there IS still a customer for gray eyebrow pencil! Mario Badescu toner, SKII
(though it smells like gym socks), Claus Porto bath soap.
Clairol Shimmer Lights purple shampoo, to brighten my silver hair.
• What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?
Biafine lip balm, Chanel presses powder compact. For flying, Caudalie grape water
spray, with a sleep mask and Marvis cinnamon toothpaste.
• What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines)?
GREEN DOLPHIN STREET by Elizabeth Goudge. I got a 1944 copy on eBay. I love old
books. I’m listening to THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD by Zora Neale Hurston,
for the umpteenth time. The late Ruby Dee narrates, and it is my #1 audiobook of all
time. I named a character Janie, after Janie Starks.
Follow Liza ~