Open Bag with Anita Hughes

We have a mix up today.  A little bit Open Book and a little bit Bookish {Beauty} Bag with Anita Hughes.  I am a HUGE fan of Anita’s and thrilled to be able to celebrate her latest release, California Summer.  If you are familiar with her works then you know she has a way of transporting her readers to the glamorous locations that her books take place.  These settings often are their own character within the story and her latest is set against the beautiful backdrop of California.  She is the queen of beach reads and I am thrilled she is on the blog today ❤

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via Amazon ~

“The perfect beach read!” ―Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author of Beach House Reunion.

“Tender and triumphant…California Summer made my heart sing. ―Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author of Between Me and You

Anita Hughes’s California Summer is a charming and beautiful love story about a former Hollywood producer who trades her cast list in for cookbooks in the hopes of following her dreams and finding new love.

Ben and Rosie are Hollywood’s newest director/producer dream team. After hitting it big at Sundance, it seems that their ten years of love and hard work are finally paying off. Rosie is happy making independent films, but Ben wants the A-List celebrity package: a house in Beverly Hills, fancy cars in the driveway, and his name on the biggest blockbusters. He’s willing to do anything, even sleep with the most famous producer in town, to get them.

Rosie is devastated by Ben’s affair, and she decides to take a break from show business. She accepts her best friend’s invitation to spend the summer at her parents’ estate in Montecito. It’s far away from L.A., the perfect place to start over.

In Montecito, Rosie meets a colorful cast of characters including Rachel, who owns a chocolate shop, and Josh, a handsome local who splits his time between surfing and classic cars. Suddenly Rosie has new friends and a new purpose. She starts a business in the village, and her luck seems to be turning around. But Rosie knows all too well that success comes with a price, and the price might be losing love…again.

California Summer is a touching and romantic story about following your dreams but not letting them get in the way of love.

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What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with? Rona Jaffe, Edith Wharton, and Maeve Binchy – three of my favorite authors of all time.

Current binge series? Reruns of the OC.

Last favorite book? The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Lip balm, a sun hat and a book.

Sunday NYT or US Weekly? Sunday NYT’s!

Last person you sent a text message to? My daughter.

Book you read that you wished you wrote? Bridget Jones’ Diary.

Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer? Not really.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who? No, it has to be quiet.

Describe your writing space? The love seat in my bedroom, looking at the bunnies in the garden.

Coffee or tea? Coffee.

Do you have a favorite book that you gift? Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger.

What/Who inspires you? My children.

Bravo reality TV- yes or no? No.

Favorite Instagram account? None.

Current #TBR pile? Another Side of Paradise by Sally Koslow.

What is your bag of choice?- purse/tote/backpack and brand that you have? Anything from Kate Spade.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  Bare Minerals Bronzer, Chanel lip gloss.

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

What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines) Small Admission by Amy Poeppel.

 

Hughes, Anita_CREDIT Sheri Geoffreys

 

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Island in the Sea by Anita Hughes

 

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So I just came back from a trip to Majorca!  Not really, but that is how Island in the Sea by Anita Hughes made me feel!  I felt transported to this beautiful island without having to leave the comfort of my couch!  Not shocking ,as Hughes always manages to write with such description there is no other option but to take yourself there.  I loved this story as I usually do with Hughes’ novels.  It was part love story added with some sun and some fabulous fashion, what more could a girl want!  Back your bathing suit and pour some champagne as Island in the Sea is the perfect getaway.

Judith is a record executive sent to the island of Majorca off the coast of Spain, by her boss Gideon, to make sure hit songwriter Lionel completes his contract.  Lionel, years older than Judith, is at a low point of his career, heartbroken and thinking he doesn’t have any more songs in him.  Judith is frustrated because she knows her job is in jeopardy if she does not return to LA with a new album.  Since Lionel is going to the beat of his own drum, Judith has no option but to explore all that Majorca has to offer.  Here she meets Gabriella, a young, beautiful girl who works at her parents restaurant.  While getting to know Gabriella, Judith discovers she has a voice of an angel and would be the next Beyonce.  But Gabriella is not interested in that life as she wants to settle down and open her own restaurant with her boyfriend.  Gabriella’s grandmother, who also befriends Judith, believes she should follow her singing career as she doesn’t want her to have regrets.  As Judith starts to get comfortable with Lionel and life on the island she meets Henry, a professional tennis player who she could potentially be falling in love with.  As her time starts to come to an end she’s at a crossroads; Will Lionel complete his contract?  IS Henry the one? Will Gabriella change her mind and become the next big thing? And lastly is true love something Judith will find in the magical Majorca?

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Anita Hughes always ceases to suck me into her novels and that is the best possible thing 🙂 Her settings are so real and her character stories are so addicting.  You become part of the story as the reader. and really what more can you ask for as a bookworm.  This book is the perfect appetizer for the upcoming beach read season.  Stay tuned as Hughes has another novel coming out soon, Santorini Sunsets which is sure to be just as delectable.  I was so excited to be able to ask Hughes a few questions about her writing as well as some fun facts about Anita herself.  See below!

 

Bliss Chat with Anita Hughes

 

1.  I literally felt like I just took a trip to Majorca!  You always have a way of transporting the reader to your exotic destinations.   What is your process/method into getting so in detail with your locations?  Have you traveled to any of them?
One of my favorite things about writing is describing the locations because I also feel like I’m right there! I have traveled to most of them but I refresh my memory by immersing myself on the internet – I study images and look up hotels and restaurants. I even spend a lot of time on menus!
2.  The book centered around the music business.  Who are your favorite artists and did you listen to lots of different songs while writing this novel to inspire you?
 
I’m a fan of Coldplay and Muse and I’m enjoying Twenty One Pilots. I walk for forty-five minutes every day – to the beach – and I always listen to Spotify. The song that inspired me to write ISLAND IN THE SEA is The Girl From Ipanema. It is an old Bossa Nova song and it is the second most recorded song in pop music history. I love the Frank Sinatra version – it makes me feel summery.
 
3.  I loved the relationship between Judith and Gabriella.  Were you secretly routing for Gabriella to pursue her music career or did you know she would follow her heart for love?
 
I knew Gabriella would follow her heart. She is so happy in Majorca, and love and family are the most important things to her.
4. I know you live in CA.  Have you ever encountered people like Lionel and Gideon in your career?
 
I haven’t encountered them specifically, but I imagine they are lurking around Hollywood!
5.  As a writer, where is your favorite place to write?
 
My favorite place (and the only place I write) is on the love seat in my bedroom. It looks out on our garden and on the golf course. It is very peaceful and our garden is often full of bunnies!
6. Name 3 blissful things that you can’t live without?
 
The beach, frozen yogurt, books.
7. What is the first thing you do when you complete a book?
 
I usually walk to the beach, it is a great way to relax and unwind.
8. What was the last book that you read?
 
The Nest, by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. It was terrific.
9. While on tour what is a must-have beauty product in your make-up bag?
 
Lipgloss! My lips always get dry from talking.
10. Are you looking forward to any books that are coming out in 2016?
 
There are so many great books coming out this year! I am looking forward to Lauren Weisberger’s new novel, THE SINGLES GAME and Emily Giffin’s FIRST COMES LOVE.
*Thank you to St.Martin’s Press for sending a copy for review.

French Coast by Anita Hughes

Cover of French Coast

Cover of French Coast out April 7, 2015

I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of Anita Hughes newest book French Coast.  It was the perfect read to get me out of this dreadful winter that we had here in Boston and ready for summer!  it was my first read of Hughes and I was not disappointed.   Her style of writing captured me from the first page to last, literally transporting me to the scenes of the Cannes, France.  Without giving any spoilers the book starts in sunny San Francisco with its main character Serena who works for Vogue magazine. She has an amazing life here – amazing boyfriend, dream job, wonderful parents and a wardrobe to die for.  When work calls and offers her a career changing assignment Serena knows she must go taking her to the French coast.  Sand, sun, glamour and food to make your mouth water are the setting when she arrives and little does she know every aspect of her life is about to change.  Hughes describes everything with the utmost detail making it hard for you to take your self away from the book.  I actually felt like I was there, shopping the streets of France and walking with the warm sand through my toes.

French Coast was a light, fun read that is sure to keep fashionistas alike entertained and engaged.  I will definitely be looking for more of Anita’s book as I can see she has an eye for fashion, glamour and fine detail.  French Coast is one book that for sure should be in your beach bag this summer!  Happy reading!

Author Anita Hughes

Author Anita Hughes

Beauty looks inspired by French Coast:

Beautycounter Cleansing Balm:

Whether your frolicking around the coast of France or catching rays on the East coast this part cleanser/part overnight mask,aka a mini facelift in a jar) is sure to keep your sun-kissed skin hydrated, plump and glowing.

Beautycounter Enrich Body Butter:

A must have for pre and post beach trips.  This rich body butter helps to give your skin an extra dose of moisture without that greasy feel.

Beautycounter Matte Bronzer:

Can’t get that sun-kissed glow like Serena?  No worries, this matte bronzer can achieve that bronzed look in seconds.  A bronzer that is shimmer free, meaning no end of the day shine, that also has antioxidant benefits!

Beautycounter Lip Sheer (multiple shades):

Protect your pout with a boost of hydration and give it a little color with this must have Lip sheer that will take you from the beach to cocktails!  My French coast color pick, CORAL!

Let me know if you read French Coast and what you think below or if you have another pick for the beach please share!