Open Book with Suzanne Nugent

Beach season is here, although looking a littler different this year, but what remains are beach reads and fictional escapes.  Honestly the only thing that allows me to escape the news and all the dark times right now are books.  Books are the friend you need in a time like this.  I am so thankful that Suzanne Nugent took the time to be my latest Open Book because her book, debut that is,  is a great escape!  Brunch and other Obligations is a wonderful read with friendship, a sprinkle of mystery and of course brunch!  Perfect beach read ❤

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via Amazon ~

The only thing reclusive bookworm Nora, high-powered attorney Christina, and supermom-in-training Leanne ever had in common was their best friend, Molly. When Molly dies, she leaves mysterious gifts and cryptic notes for each of her grieving best friends, along with one final request: that these three mismatched frenemies have brunch together every month for a year.

Filled with heartwrenching scenes and witty prose, Brunch and Other Obligations explores the intricate dynamics of girlhood acquaintances who are forced to reconnect as women. This upbeat novel reminds readers that there’s hope for getting through the hard times in life―with a lot of patience, humor, and a standing brunch date.

 

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

Nora Ephron, Michelle Obama, Carrie Fisher.

 

  1. Current binge series?

    I am re-binging Friends from College. The dynamic in this dysfunctional group of friends makes me cringe and laugh. The writing is honest, clever, and funny. I watched it when it first came out a few years ago and it is worth a second binge.

 

  1. Last favorite book?

    Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

 

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

    I live in a warm climate, so my dream getaways usually involve cozy sweaters. Three things I always pack no matter where I travel: A notebook, a pen, and comfortable shoes.

 

  1. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

    Sunday NYT.

 

  1. Last movie you saw?

    The last movie I saw in the theater before stay-at-home orders was Little Women. At home, I’ve watched a ton of brilliant documentaries and some inspiring and fun movies on Netflix. It might be impressive to list those. But, real talk? The last movie I watched (today) was High School Musical 2. My son just loves it. And I admit: I dig it too.

 

  1. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

    None. If I love a book, I just want to celebrate the author who created this thing that I love.

 

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

    In high school, one of my friends didn’t like writing but I loved it, so I sometimes ghostwrote her essays. Our English teacher revealed that he recognized my “voice” in her essays, even though we tried to disguise our scheme by changing the font. He always encouraged me to keep using my voice.

 

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

    Yes, and it changes depending on what I’m writing. I like listening to movie scores that evoke the genre I’m writing.

 

  1. Describe your writing space.

    My favorite places to write are at the dining room table or in my favorite coffee shop. It’s been tricky in the last few months because my dining room has been occupied by homeschooling and my favorite coffee shop has been closed. But I write anywhere I can. If I have to, I’ll even write in my (parked) car.

 

  1. Tell me your coffee/tea order.

    At home, I like just a plain black decaf coffee. But if I’m feeling fancy at a coffee place, I order an iced decaf almond milk latte. It’s a lot of words to describe one coffee and I feel very extra when I order it.

 

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

    I don’t have a go-to. I try to pick something unique every time I get a book as a gift.

 

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

    Can I say Brunch and Other Obligations? Well. Now I’ve said it.

 

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

    Shining Star by Earth, Wind & Fire. It’s such an optimistic song that just says keep going, you’re being guided. Also… the funky riff at the beginning builds suspense and then there’s this horn blast that’s like “tadaaaaa!” so it would be a great song to play when you enter a room.

                                                                                                                                          

  1. Must have beauty product?

    Sunscreen.

 

  1. Royals- yes or no?  If so, who is your favorite?

    As a writer, I am most interested in the romantic rogue Royals, like Harry and Meghan or Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. I’m fascinated by people who are born into royalty and opt out. As for a favorite… everything Kate Middleton wears is perfection and I love her for it, but ultimately, my favorite Royal is Dairy Queen.

 

  1. Favorite Instagram account?

    I’m brand new to social media! I just joined Instagram (@suznuge) in February and I’m still finding my favorites.

 

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

    Untamed. And it would be just a clear gloss.

 

  1. Current #TBR pile?

    The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett; Fleishmann is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner.

 

  1. Best advice you’ve ever received?

    My Gramma told me: “You should write a book. Just tell it like it is.”

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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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 ❤

9781250301857_FC (2)

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.

 

Gelman author photo (2)

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.

 

Lit Ladies Double Feature: Open Book with Elyssa Friedland and Liz and Lisa

Three of my favorite ladies had book birthdays yesterday and I am thrilled they are on the blog today to celebrate!  Both books are perfect summer reads and their back catalogs are musts as well.  Elyssa Friedland’s latest, The Floating Feldmans is a family comedy/drama on the high seas and is a top pick of summer in multiple outlets.   The fab duo of Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, their latest, The Two Lila Bennetts is a summer thriller with Sliding Door vibes and a top pick as well.  The amount of fun in all of their Open Book responses is too much and these three are the ones that you want to grab a drink with have as your next BFF ❤

Floating Feldmans

via Amazon ~

A family vacation dredges up a boatload of trouble in the next witty, insightful novel from the acclaimed author of The Intermission.

“An irresistible drama filled with humor and heart-tugging emotion about family and what it means to belong. I absolutely adore Friedland’s warm, witty writing!”—Emily Giffin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of All We Ever Wanted

Sink or swim. Or at least that’s what Annette Feldman tells herself when she books a cruise for her entire family. It’s been over a decade since the Feldman clan has spent more than twenty-four hours under the same roof, but Annette is determined to celebrate her seventieth birthday the right way. Just this once, they are going to behave like an actual family.

Too bad her kids didn’t get the memo.

Between the troublesome family secrets, old sibling rivalries, and her two teenage grandkids, Annette’s birthday vacation is looking more and more like the perfect storm. Adrift together on the open seas, the Feldmans will each face the truths they’ve been ignoring—and learn that the people they once thought most likely to sink them are actually the ones who help them stay afloat.

Elyssa.Friedland.Headshot credit Lucia Engstrom

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

-Ernest Hemingway

-Oprah

-Meryl Streep

 

Current binge series?

Wentworth (fictional series on Netflix about a women’s prison in Australia. SOOOOOOOO good!)

 

Last favorite book?

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

 

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

-Bikini

-Many pairs of sunglasses because I always lose them

-Kindle

 

Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Sunday NYT

 

Last person you sent a text message to?

Ali Winter, one of my best friends.

 

Book you read that you wished you wrote?

The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar

 

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

Mr. Baker! I had him twice. Seventh grade and ninth grade. He really pushed my writing.

 

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

-No. I don’t need total quiet and I often have my children around while I write, but for some reason I find music distracting.

 

Describe your writing space?

It’s anywhere my laptop is. That can mean my bed, my desk, a coffee shop, the library, the chaise lounge by my pool. I’m very flexible.

 

Coffee or tea?

Coffee. A ton of it. With almond milk.

 

Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

I like to give cookbooks and photography books. I think taste in novels is so personal and specific I don’t love to give them out as gifts.

 

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

Cutting for Stone.

 

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

Just Another Manic Monday. I’m always overcommitted and frantic and can be disorganized.

 

What/Who inspires you?

Any female CEO. I’m not entrepreneurial and I truly admire that quality

 

Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

No. It just feels too fake to me.

 

Favorite Instagram account?

I love Gary Janetti, who makes fun of the royal family.

 

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

Fifty Shades of Pink. It’s my favorite color and I really want to move on from the Fifty Shades of Grey obsession. Those books just didn’t do it for me.

 

Current #TBR pile?A NOVEL

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

 

Best advice you’ve ever received?

You can’t dance at every wedding. My mom told me that and she’s right. I have to say no to some opportunities. I really struggle with that. I want to do everything and be everywhere.

 

Follow Elyssa:

Twitter

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The Two Lila Bennetts

via Amazon ~

“One fateful decision. Two unexpected endings. A perfect summer read!” —Wendy Walker, bestselling author of The Night Before

Lila Bennett’s bad choices have finally caught up with her. And one of those decisions has split her life in two. Literally.

In one life, she’s taken hostage by someone who appears to be a stranger but knows too much. As she’s trapped in a concrete cell, her kidnapper forces her to face what she’s done or be killed. In an alternate life, she eludes her captor but is hunted by someone who is dismantling her happiness, exposing one secret at a time.

Lila’s decorated career as a criminal defense attorney, her marriage, and her life are on the line. She must make a list of those she’s wronged—both in and out of the courtroom—to determine who is out to get her before it’s too late. But even if she can pinpoint her assailant, will she survive? And if she does, which parts of her life are worth saving, and which parts must die? Because one thing’s for certain—life as Lila Bennett knew it is over.

L&L final headshot

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

 Judy Blume

Elizabeth Gilbert

Cheryl Strayed

Current binge series?

 Liz: I’m re-watching The Office

Lisa: Million Dollar Listing New York

Last favorite book?

 Liz: Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle

Lisa: Recursion by Blake Crouch

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

 Liz: I’m going to Paris! In my bag will be a wonder cloth to keep my face soft and clean, Alastin tinted moisturizer and Violets face serum!

Lisa: My next dream vacation would be to China! In my bag, I will pack at least three books, Sun Bum sunscreen and my new favorite derby hat.

 

Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

 Liz: US Weekly

 Lisa: US Weekly

Last person you sent a text message to?

  To each other! (of course!)

 

Book you read that you wished you wrote?

 Liz: Everything I Never Told you by Celeste Ng

Lisa: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

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

  Liz: In 7th grade—Mrs. Adams!

Lisa: Not that I can remember! But that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. J

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

  Liz: Always! I love moody music! Sia is my favorite.

  Lisa: Yes. I mix it up. Everyone from Kenny Chesney to Lionel Richie

Describe your writing space?

  Liz: My office is light and airy with soft tones. I have a light fixture adorned with glass stars. I love it!

   Lisa: My office has a port hole style window where the light flows in. I have a midcentury modern desk and a white soft chair with gold accents. I am surrounded by books of course, including all of the ones we’ve written. This is a reminder of what we’ve accomplished and how far we want to go.

Coffee or tea?

    Both of us are COFFEE!!!

 

Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

          Liz: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

          Lisa: Eat Pray Love by Liz Gilbert

 

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

          Liz: I recently finished The Seven Days of Us and think it would make a great movie!

          Lisa: The Two Lila Bennetts!  (Too self-promotional?)

 

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

          Liz: Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. I’m generally optimistic and believe the best in people. I don’t ever want to change!

          Lisa: Shake It Off by Taylor Swift. You can’t worry about what people think! You can’t let bad things get you down. Just keep moving forward! Don’t sweat the small stuff. All advice I do my best to live by!

 

What/Who inspires you?

          We inspire each other in so many ways. Being lifelong friends and business partners gives us so many opportunities to be motivated by one another.

 

Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

     Um, YES!

 

Favorite Instagram account?

     There are so many good ones! We love Busy Phillips’ and Reese Witherspoon’s!

 

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

 Red, White & Royal Blue—and it would be a combo of all three colors!

Current #TBR pile?A NOVEL

          Liz: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren, The Library book by Susan Orlean, Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison and The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin.

          Lisa: Whisper Network by Chandler Baker, Evvie Drake Starts over by Linda Holmes, Very Nice by Marcy Dermansky, Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory, Normal People by Sally Rooney, The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess, Happily Ever After by Tif Marcelo and Pretty Guilty Women by Gina Lamanna.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

          Keep writing. No matter what!

 

Follow Liz and Lisa:

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Open Book with David Bell

Summer thrillers are always a yes for me and we have a BB&B favorite and thriller master on the blog today!  David Bell’s latest, Layover, is intense, gripping and not something that should be read during a heatwave 🙂 unless you are holed up in air conditioning- it’s that pulse pounding.  He is my latest Open Book which I am thrilled about because he is the first MALE author to participate- history in the making people!

Layover

via Amazon ~

In this high concept psychological suspense novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Somebody’s Daughter, a chance meeting with a woman in an airport sends a man on a pulse-pounding quest for the truth.

Joshua Fields takes the same flights every week for work, his life a series of departures and arrivals, hotels and airports. During yet another layover, he meets Morgan, a beautiful stranger with whom he feels an immediate connection. When it’s time for their respective flights, Morgan kisses Joshua passionately, lamenting that they’ll never see each other again.

As soon as Morgan disappears in the crowd, Joshua is shocked to see her face on a nearby TV. The reason: Morgan is a missing person.

What follows is a whirlwind, fast-paced journey filled with lies, deceit, and secrets as Joshua tries to discover why Morgan has vanished from her own life. Every time he thinks one mystery is solved, another rears its head—and his worst enemy might be his own assumptions about those around him.

DavidBell2017

 

 

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

–Abraham Lincoln, Sarah Silverman, and John Lennon

 

 

Current binge series? 

 

–“Black Mirror” and “The Handmaid’s Tale”

 

 

Last favorite book? 

 

Soldier, Sailor, Frogman, Spy by Giles Milton. A brilliant history of D-Day.

 

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

–A good book, a bathing suit, and another book

 

Where is it? 

–Someplace with a view of the water

 

 

Sunday NYT or US Weekly? 

 

–Sunday NYT

 

 

Last person you sent a text message to? 

 

–I pretty much only text my wife.

 

 

Book you read that you wished you wrote? 

 

The Three Musketeers. Think of the royalties after 180 years!

 

 

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

 

–Several…but I’ll never forget my high school teachers Mr. Hendrick and Mr. Hussong.

 

 

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

 

–I do…I usually listen to music from the 70s and 80s. As far as music goes, I’m stuck in the past.

 

Describe your writing space? 

–I have a giant former dining room table that looks out a huge window at our front yard and street. I can watch the rabbits play and the joggers go by when I’m supposed to be writing.

 

 

Coffee or tea? 

 

–Definitely tea

 

Do you have a favorite book that you gift? 

–If I know someone wants to write I give them a copy of Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

 

 

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

 

–I like to imagine that the “Star Wars” theme plays whenever I sit down to write. It makes sitting at a computer all day seem much more dramatic than it really is.

 

What/Who inspires you? 

–More than anything I just enjoy the day-to-day process of writing. It begins and ends there. If I didn’t enjoy writing then it wouldn’t be worth doing all the other things associated with a writing career. So I try to remind myself to enjoy the daily work of writing.

 

 

Bravo reality TV- yes or no? 

 

I love “Project Runway,” which started on Bravo. Would I like to see a reality show made of my life? It would be pretty dull…

 

Favorite Instagram account? 

–I love following all the people who post about books and reading on IG. It’s great to see such a vibrant book community online.

 

 

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

 

–I’m a little out of my depth, but how about The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire? Try fitting that on the top of a lipstick tube!

 

 

Current #TBR pile?.

 

–It consists of about five thousand books…but I hope to get to Red Metal by Mark Greaney and Ripley Rawlings, Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle, The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, and Lock Every Door by Riley Sager.

 

Best advice you’ve ever received? 

–My dad once told me, “If you want to be a writer, get out of bed and write.” That about sums it up.

 

Follow David:

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Open Book with Karen Dukess

Another book, another beach day!  Currently dripping in a heatwave over here in Boston and when then happens you escape to a Cape- Cape Cod or Cape Ann so what better than a Cape Cod beach read.  Karen Dukess’ latest release, The Last Book Party is everything you want in a summer read.  Nostalgia, great escapes at the beach and romance.  I am so happy she is on the blog today talking all things Open Book!  Get this book into your beach bag and I promise you won’t be sorry ❤

Last Book Party jacket

via Amazon ~

*A July 2019 Indie Next List Great Read*
*One of Parade’s Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2019*
*An O Magazine Best Beach Read of 2019*
*A New York Post Best Beach Read of 2019*

The Last Book Party is a delight. Reading this story of a young woman trying to find herself while surrounded by the bohemian literary scene during a summer on the Cape in the late ’80s, I found myself nodding along in so many moments and dreading the last page. Karen Dukess has rendered a wonderful world to spend time in.”
―Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six

A propulsive tale of ambition and romance, set in the publishing world of 1980’s New York and the timeless beaches of Cape Cod.

In the summer of 1987, 25-year-old Eve Rosen is an aspiring writer languishing in a low-level assistant job, unable to shake the shadow of growing up with her brilliant brother. With her professional ambitions floundering, Eve jumps at the chance to attend an early summer gathering at the Cape Cod home of famed New Yorker writer Henry Grey and his poet wife, Tillie.

Dazzled by the guests and her burgeoning crush on the hosts’ artistic son, Eve lands a new job as Henry Grey’s research assistant and an invitation to Henry and Tillie’s exclusive and famed “Book Party”― where attendees dress as literary characters. But by the night of the party, Eve discovers uncomfortable truths about her summer entanglements and understands that the literary world she so desperately wanted to be a part of is not at all what it seems.

A page-turning, coming-of-age story, written with a lyrical sense of place and a profound appreciation for the sustaining power of books, Karen Dukess’s The Last Book Party shows what happens when youth and experience collide and what it takes to find your own voice.

 

Dukess author photo c. Nina Subin

 

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

 

Anthony Horowitz, Anita Loos and Jane Austen. With these three in the same room, I probably wouldn’t get a word in, but the conversation would be very lively and would make me laugh a lot.

 

  1. Current binge series?

 

Younger. The parodies of book publishing are brilliant.

 

  1. Last favorite book?

 

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin. 

 

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

 

A big novel that sweeps me away and takes days and days to read, my bicycle, and a comfortable bathing suit that looks fabulous. I’d go to Cape Cod, of course, to Truro – where The Last Book Party is set.

 

  1. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

 

Sunday NYT, starting in this order: the magazine (for puzzles), book review, week in review.

 

  1. Last person you sent a text message to?

 

My sister Linda.

 

  1. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

 

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

 

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

 

The leader of my writing group, the novelist and teacher Steve Lewis, helped me believe that if I kept writing even when I felt lost, I’d discover my story and complete a novel. 

 

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

 

Nope. Silence works best for me.

 

  1. Describe your writing space?

 

I wrote the first draft of The Last Book Party at a lovely café, Patisserie R, in New Rochelle, New York, about a mile from my house. It’s a magical place – it’s tiny, but I always find a table and they don’t care how long I sit there. If I’m not there, I write at home, either in my very cluttered office or at the kitchen table. When I’m in Cape Cod, I write in my mother’s studio, at a desk that looks out on rolling hills and the harbor and bay in the distance.

 

  1. Coffee or tea?

 

Both. Skim latte in the morning and tea anytime thereafter.

 

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

 

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. 

 

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

 

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth.

 

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

 

Have a Little Faith in Me by John Hiatt, because it applies to everything – marriage, friendships, your own doubts and wishes.

 

  1. What/Who inspires you?

 

My husband, for his creativity and can-do attitude. 

 

  1. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

 

No. I have no patience for the way reality shows are edited – too manipulative.

 

  1. Favorite Instagram account?

 

@thewoodenwhaleco, the account of a Cape Cod artist who hand carves incredible wooden whale sculptures. The videos of him at work are mesmerizing.

 

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

 

Marjorie Morningstar – a classic, true red.

 

  1. Current #TBR pile?

 

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett; American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins; The Guest House by Sarah Blake: The Anna Karenina Fix: Life Lessons from Russian Literature by Viv Groskop.

 

  1. Best advice you’ve ever received?

 

“Let the story reveal itself.” It was advice about writing, but it’s good life advice too.

 

Follow Karen:

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Madeleine Henry ~ Double Feature

We have a debut double feature that is the quintessential Bliss, Beauty and Books theme! Bliss- Madeleine Henry, debut author, Yogini.  Beauty- she is my latest Bookish {Beauty} Bag, sharing her love for Bobbi Brown corrector- it’s the bomb.  Books- her debut novel, Breathe in, Cash Out is the latest “it” book of the summer and she also is my latest Open Book so lucky us!  Double feature of the best kind!!! ❤

Breathe In, Cash Out cover

via Amazon ~

In this sizzling debut for fans of The Devil Wears Prada, Wall Street banking analyst Allegra Cobb plans to quit the minute her year-end bonus hits her account, finally pursuing her yoga career full-time. But when she forms an intense relationship with the #InstaFamous guru who may hold the ticket to the life Allegra’s always wanted—she’s not sure if she’ll be able to keep her sanity intact (and her chakras aligned) until bonus day.

Allegra Cobb’s resume: Straight-A Princeton grad, second-year analyst at a top-tier bank, one-time American Yoga National Competition Champion. Allegra Cobb’s reality: Spends twenty-four hours a day changing the colors on bar charts, overusing the word “team,” and daydreaming about quitting the minute her year-end bonus hits her account. She has no interest in the cutthroat banking world—she’s going to launch her very own yoga practice.

But her plan isn’t quite as perfect as the beachfront yoga pictures she double-taps on Instagram. On top of the 100 emails an hour and coworkers already suspicious of her escape plan, Allegra’s hard-driving single father has always expected fiercely high achievement above all else. That his daughter works on Wall Street means everything to him. Still, she marches on, taking it day by extremely caffeinated day.

But after (1) unknowingly sleeping with the man now leading her banking cohort on one of their biggest deals to date and (2) meeting the #blessed yoga guru who might just be her ticket to the life she’s always wanted, it really hits her: her happy-ever-after will be harder to manifest than she thought.

Fast-paced, laugh-out-loud funny, and totally irresistible, this is the story of a fearless young woman determined to center herself in the life she truly wants.

Madeleine Henry Author Photo by Lucy Brown Armstrong

 

What’s in My Bookish {Beauty} Bag?

 

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

I LOVE my Coach crossbody purse. 

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

  • Bisque corrector by Bobbi Brown (to hide undereye circles)
  • Flynn lip color by Tom Ford (bright pink lipstick)

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

  • Corrector & Flynn lip color
  • Extended Play Lash mascara by MAC in black
  • Lip gloss by Bobbi Brown

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

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

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

  • AirPods 
  • Whole Earth Sweetener packets

 

Open Book

  1. What three celebrities/authors/figures, living or dead, would you want to have a book club with?
  • Sjana Elise Earp (yogi)
  • Ocean Vuong
  • Paulo Coelho 

 

  1. Current binge series?

“Portlandia” on Netflix: “The dream of the 90s is alive in Portland… Portland… Portland…”

 

  1. Last favorite book?

The Alchemist 

 

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

Peony sunsuit from LoveShackFancy

Alexia dress from LoveShackFancy

Espadrilles

To the Bahamas  

 

  1. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

NYT for the crossword!

 

  1. Last person you sent a text message to?

My boyfriend

 

  1. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

The Bridges of Madison County

 

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

All of my English teachers! Especially Professor Alfred Guy at Yale 

 

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

No way! Writing takes all of my focus.

 

  1. Describe your writing space?

Three main spaces:

1 – At the kitchen island in my apartment, on a counter-height chair, on my lap top

2 – Lying down on the sofa in my apartment, on my lap top

3 – On walks outside, or in transit on the subway, on my phone

 

  1. Coffee or tea?

 Coffee in the morning, tea at night 

 

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

The Magic Path of Intuition by Florence Scovel Shinn, Introduction by Louise Hay

 

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

Infinite Jest… So I could find out how it ends  

 

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

“I’m Good” by The Mowgli’s because it’s happy!

 

  1. What/Who inspires you?

Being the best version of myself

 

  1. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

No, sorry :/

 

  1. Favorite Instagram account?

@DylanWernerYoga

 

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

Me Before You – bubblegum pink

 

  1. Current #TBR pile?

 Where the Crawdads Sing

Hotbox: Inside Catering, the Food World’s Riskiest Business by Matt Lee and Ted Lee

32 Yolks: From my Mother’s Table to Working the Line by Eric Ripert

 

  1. Best advice you’ve ever received?

“Never give up.” 

 

Follow Madeline:

Instagram

 

 

Open Book with Sandie Jones

Pack up your beach bag and make sure to include a fabulous book!  Over the next few weeks I will be featuring some perfect reads to accompany you poolside or while you are jet setting the beaches of Capri 😉 First up is the second thriller from Sandie Jones, The First Mistake.  Jones, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club alumni, has a unique way of roping you into an addictive thriller and then taking you on hairpin twists and turns, leaving you speechless.  She is my latest Open Book and from the other side of the pond she has some smashing answers ❤

first mistake

via Amazon ~

From Sandie Jones, the author of the Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick andNew York Times bestseller The Other Woman, comes an addictively readable new domestic suspense about a wife, her husband, and the woman who is supposedly her best friend.

THE WIFE: For Alice, life has never been better. With her second husband, she has a successful business, two children, and a beautiful house.

HER HUSBAND: Alice knows that life could have been different if her first husband had lived, but Nathan’s arrival into her life gave her back the happiness she craved.

HER BEST FRIEND: Through the ups and downs of life, from celebratory nights out to comforting each other through loss, Alice knows that with her best friend Beth by her side, they can survive anything together. So when Nathan starts acting strangely, Alice turns to Beth for help. But soon, Alice begins to wonder whether her trust has been misplaced . . .

The first mistake could be her last.

Praise for The Other Woman:

“One of the most twisted and entertaining plots.”―Reese Witherspoon
“A perfect beach read.”―Kristin Hannah
“Whiplash-inducing.”―New York Times Book Review
“Such fun you’ll cheer [Emily’s] chutzpah.”―PEOPLE
“This thriller will hit close to home.”―Refinery29

Sandie Jones-10

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

Robin Williams, as I think his mind worked very differently and he would view a book in a way that I couldn’t possibly comprehend. I’d love to have Michelle Obama on board as she seems such a naturally optimistic and positive person, and I’d invite Shakespeare for a little historical context, and I’d be fascinated to know what he would make of fiction writing today!

 

2. Current binge series?

I am obsessed with Killing Eve, not least because of its incredible female leads, Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer, but its writer is Phoebe Waller-Bridge, an amazing British actress/comedian who has taken TV drama to another level. She also stars in Fleabag, which if you’re after quintessential British humour (at its most naughtiest!) is a must-watch.

 

3. Last favorite book?

The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North. A heart-stopping thriller that reads likes a beautiful love-story of the purest kind.

 

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

Bikini, sunglasses and a good book to read in the Maldives. (I’ll have to buy the suncream there!)

 

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

As a Brit, I’m unfortunately unfamiliar with both, but if the Sunday NYT is similar to our Sunday Times, I’d opt for that.

 

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

My husband, asking him to get some milk on his way home from work!

 

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. It was the first book in a long time that left me open-mouthed, feeling every gamult of emotion, and reigniting my love of reading.

 

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

I wasn’t a very good student, though English was my favourite, but my teacher Mrs Wrin failed to see any potential in me! The biggest supporter of my writing was my nan, who gave me all the encouragement I needed.

 

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

I so want to listen to music, as I think it’s such a romantic idea to write a novel whilst listening to Beethoven, but alas, as soon as I try, my brain stops working and I can’t write a single word. If I was able to though, it would definitely be Elvis.

 

10. Describe your writing space?

I’ve got a lovely room, in my house in London, which overlooks the front garden. It’s not long been done and it has floor to ceiling cabinets in a glossy ebony macassar with a splash of turquoise on cushions. I have pictures of Elvis on the wall and a new whiteboard that I’m supposed to be using to plot, but I actually just like pretending to be a teacher with different coloured pens!

 

11. Coffee or tea?

Tea is the first drink of the day. Coffee from 11am onwards.

 

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

No, I always buy books I think the individual would like, rather than enforce my preferences on anyone!

 

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

I normally wish that a movie wasn’t made out of a book! I love movies, but if I’ve read the book first I’m often disappointed that its interpretation isn’t the same as mine.

 

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

(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. Dirty Dancing came out when I was 17 and the film and the music had a profound effect on me. Now that I’m nearing 50, I feel qualified to be able to look back and say, I really have had the Time of My Life.

 

15. What/Who inspires you?

Nature and music are the two things that get me fired up. They’re both instant mood changers and bring about a whole new mindset.

 

16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

If that’s like our reality TV, then definitely no! I think we’ve reached saturation point and I worry about the effects on the younger generations.

 

17. Favorite Instagram account?

I love @hotpatooties! Dawn O’Porter makes me laugh out loud wherever I am.

 

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

The Other Woman and it would be a smutty bright red

 

19. Current #TBR pile?

Whisper Networks by Chandler Baker, The Girl Next Door by Phoebe Morgan and Night by Night by Jack Jordan

 

20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t take anything too personally. No one thinks about you as much you do.

Follow Sandie:

Open Book with Emily Liebert

Happy July 4th!  It is a summer celebration here today as we celebrate the release of Emily Liebert’s latest, Pretty Revenge!  Cue the fireworks as this is a hands-down must-read for summer- if you have yet to read of Emily’s back catalog, do yourself a favor and spend the summer getting to know this beauty of a writer!  I was lucky enough to meet her a few years back and she is perfection.  If you love a good thriller with sharp twists and turns then this book was made for you!  I am thrilled to be able to support Emily today, Pretty Revenge’s birthday, and after you read her Open Book you will see she is the     type of gal you would love to add to your squad ❤

Pretty Revenge

via Amazon ~

The name of the game is revenge—no matter the cost—in this emotionally charged thriller reminiscent of The Wife Between Us and The Perfect Nanny.

Kerrie O’Malley, jobless and in an unfulfilling relationship, can isolate the singular moment in her life when things veered off course—the night she was irrevocably wronged by someone she looked up to. Eighteen years later, when Kerrie sees the very woman who destroyed her life on television, a fire ignites inside her. The stakes are high. The risks are perilous. But she’ll stop at nothing to achieve the retribution she deserves.

Jordana Pierson is a gilded New Yorker who appears to have it all: wealth, glamour, a successful and handsome husband, and a thriving wedding concierge business. Her record is spotless. Her business is flourishing. No one knows the truth about her and the dark shadows of her past.

No one, that is, except Kerrie.

Exploring just how far someone will go for vengeance, Pretty Revenge is a riveting, compulsively readable novel bursting with twists and turns and plenty of suspense.

 

Emily Liebert credit Kyle Norton

1. What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with? Judy Blume, because she inspired me to write my first book. Candace Bushnell, because…Sex and the City. And Danielle Steel, because her writing process fascinates me.

2. Current binge series? Catastrophe. Funniest show on TV.

 

3. Last favorite book? Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle. She nailed it. The twist is perfection!

 

4. What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Where is it? Paris. Comfortable shoes, flowy dresses, and my appetite.

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly? US Weekly, hands down.

 6. Last person you sent a text message to? One of my closest friends, Emily Rosnick, who’s also the best makeup artist you will ever work with.

 7. Book you read that you wished you wrote? Gone Girl

 8. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer? I’ve had some amazing teachers, but my desire and motivation to write was innate.

 

9. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who? Never. I need silence. 

10. Describe your writing space? I have two. The first is my home office, which I love. The color scheme is gray, purple, and white. I have purple roses, votive candles, a huge custom bulletin board with my initials on it, and a gumball machine with purple and white gumballs. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get work done at home, so I also have an office in the town of Westport, CT, where I live. It isn’t as beautiful but it removes me from the house, which is necessary.

11. Coffee or tea? Hot chocolate. I don’t drink coffee. I know…

 

12. Do you have a favorite book that you gift? Sarah Healy’s House of Wonder

 

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

14. If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why? “Eye of the Tiger”— the lyrics resonate with me and motivate me.

 

15. What/Who inspires you? My husband and my father. They’re both brilliant, successful, and extremely passionate about everything they do.

16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no? HELL YES!

 

17. Favorite Instagram account? Jenn Falik. She does “Better Basics” segments for the Today Show, and I want to buy everything she suggests. 

 

18. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be? Pretty Revenge. Red, just like the KBShimmer nail polish designer for the book.

19. Current #TBR pile? Three Days Missing by Kimberly Belle & The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda, among a million others.

20. Best advice you’ve ever received? Ask for what you want. If you don’t ask, you’ll never receive.

 

Follow Emily:

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Open Book with Amy Mason Doan

Happy Summer Bliss readers!  Beach reading season is officially here and there is so much to share!  I am kicking off my first post of official summer with Amy Mason Doan’s latest sunny gem!  I mean her books have “Summer” in the title, they were made to be read in the sand with an umbrella drink 🙂  We are talking all things “Open Book” and celebrating her latest release, Summer Hours.  She enjoys a good Bravo show (me too!), has a gorgeous literary lipstick shade and picked REO Speedwagon as a theme song for her life- I mean could we love her even more? ❤

SUMMER HOURS final

 via Amazon ~

Commencement meets The Graduate in this sparkling novel about a secret affair, the summer it all unravels, and the reunion a decade later that will be one woman’s happy ending or her biggest mistake.

Becc was the good girl. A dedicated student. Aspiring reporter. Always where she was supposed to be. Until a secret affair with the charming Cal one summer in college cost her everything she held dear: her journalism dreams; her relationship with her best friend, Eric; and her carefully imagined future.

Now, Becc’s past is back front and center as she travels up the scenic California coast to a wedding—with a man she hasn’t seen in a decade. As each mile flies by, Becc can’t help but feel the thrilling push and pull of memories, from infinite nights at beach bonfires and lavish boat parties to secret movie sessions. But the man beside her is not so eager to re-create history. And as the events of that heartbreaking summer come into view, Becc must decide if those dazzling hours they once shared are worth fighting for or if they’re lost forever.

Set in the mid ’90s and 2008, Amy Mason Doan’s Summer Hours is a warmly told novel about the idealism of youth, the seductive power of nostalgia and what happens when you realize you haven’t become the person you’d always promised to be.

“Engaging and nostalgic. Doan’s writing sweeps you away to the high-speed, sun-soaked backdrop of nineties California.” —Helen Hoang, author of The Kiss Quotient

“A beautifully crafted story of love, ambition, and friendship.” —Jamie Brenner, bestselling author of The Forever Summer and Drawing Home

 

Amy Doan_.jpg

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

Dorothy Parker, Michelle Obama, and Lindy West

 

  1. Current binge series? Catastrophe. It’s hysterical.

 

  1. Last favorite book? Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

 

  1. What 3 things do you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  My Kindle, a massive floppy hat, and a personal Slurpee machine.

 

Where is it? A remote hut on the island of Rarotonga.  I stopped there for a couple of nights on my way back to California from New Zealand 20 years ago and I’ve always wanted to return.

 

  1. Sunday NYT or US Weekly? NYT

 

  1. Last person you sent a text message to? My daughter. It was a Deadline article about her favorite singer, Alec Benjamin. We just saw him live.

 

  1. Book you read that you wished you wrote? The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

 

  1. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer? Nope, but my honors English teacher in high school was quite a character. She terrified us. She called herself “a brain farmer” and had us write papers comparing the Bob Geldolf character in Pink Floyd’s The Wall with Pip in Great Expectations. Once she yelled at me in front of the whole class for whispering back to a friend and I was mortified. (I was a pretty shy, well-behaved kid.) So maybe I secretly wanted to prove something to her. Thank you, Mrs. X!

 

  1. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who? I can’t listen to anything with lyrics but I play a sound machine. For THE SUMMER LIST I used “Lapping Lake” and for SUMMER HOURS it was “Pounding Surf.”

 

  1. Describe your writing space? In warm weather I write in a hammock in the backyard. In winter, or when I’m desperate to tune everything out, I write in my daughter’s walk-in closet. I drag a beanbag chair in there, turn out the light, and shut the door.

 

  1. Coffee or tea? Coffee in the morning. Iced tea on warm afternoons.

 

  1. Do you have a favorite book that you gift? Two. A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote and Let’s Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell.

 

  1. Book that you wished they would make a movie out of? Well, one of mine would be lovely! Also –Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner.

 

  1. If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why? Roll With the Changes by REO Speedwagon. It’s sound advice. I’m generally more into soulful acoustic/folk music, but I saw REO Speedwagon live with Styx and Boston once and they shredded.

 

  1. What/Who inspires you? Journalists who risk their lives to get the truth out.

 

  1. Bravo reality TV- yes or no? Yep. I’m obsessed with Below Deck. It’s Upstairs/Downstairs on water. I also watch RHONY (though I miss Carole) and Southern Charm.

 

  1. Favorite Instagram account? @dailyoverview . It shows gorgeous shots of earth from great altitudes. The idea is to give us the sensation of astronauts looking down on earth from space so we think about how beautiful and fragile the planet is.

 

  1. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be? “Catalina Island Crimson.” It’d be the bright red that my SUMMER HOURS main character Becc’s cheeks flush when she has sex for the first time.

 

  1. Current #TBR pile? The Butterfly Girl by Rene Denfeld, The Huntress by Kate Quinn, The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox, You, Me, and The Sea by Meg Donohue, The Castle on Sunset by Shawn Levy, City of Girlsby Elizabeth Gilbert

 

  1. Best advice you’ve ever received? Worry less about what people think of you and more about what you want. I’m working on it!

 

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