What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Hannah McKinnon

Who is getting ready for the 4th of July?!?!  I am excited to have the next week off and plan on finishing up some books and jumping into some fabulous beach reads.  I am thrilled to be able to feature Hannah McKinnon’s latest, The Summer House and have her share her BEACH BAG!  Hello.  Quintessential beach read and fabulous author’s beach bag?  Can we say perfect 4th weekend kick off 🙂

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via Amazon ~

When Flossy Merrill summons her children to the beloved family beach house to celebrate their father’s eightieth birthday, both cherished memories and long-kept secrets come to light in this charming and lyrical novel from the author of The Lake Season and Mystic Summer. 

Flossy Merrill has managed to—somewhat begrudgingly—gather her three ungrateful grown children from their dysfunctional lives for a summer reunion at the family’s Rhode Island beach house. Clementine, her youngest child and a young mother of two small children, has caused Flossy the most worry after enduring a tragically life-altering year. But Samuel and his partner Evan are not far behind in their ability to alarm: their prospective adoption search has just taken a heart-wrenching turn. Only Paige, the eldest of the headstrong Merrill clan, is her usual self: arriving precisely on time with her well-adapted teens. Little does her family know that she, too, is facing personal struggles of her own.

No matter. With her family finally congregated under one seaside roof, Flossy is determined to steer her family back on course even as she prepares to reveal the fate of the summer house that everyone has thus far taken for granted: she’s selling it. The Merrill children are both shocked and outraged and each returns to memories of their childhoods at their once beloved summer house—the house where they have not only grown up, but from which they have grown away. With each lost in their respective heartaches, Clementine, Samuel, and Paige will be forced to reconsider what really matters before they all say goodbye to a house that not only defined their summers, but, ultimately, the ways in which they define themselves. Featuring McKinnon’s “sharp and evocative” (Kirkus Reviews) voice, this warm-hearted novel is perfect for fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Mary Alice Monroe.

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What is your bag of choice?

With summer upon us and beach reads on the brain, my go-to beach bag is my Mar Y Sol valencia beach tote. I love the raffia, I love the fact that I can fit everything in it from sunscreen and snacks to books and a beach towel. And for a girl who trends toward earth tones and neutrals, the Madagascar orange color is such a fun pop!

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

Cruelty-free and paraben-free products are important to me. I love to shop Sephora, but as a working mom of two little girls, the local drugstore often has to do. Moisturizer is my number one beauty pick: its amazing what a good one can do. I love Alba Botanica moisturizers with sunscreen. A beauty favorite that I discovered on Cape Cod one summer is Kiss Me in the Garden. I adore their No 04 Lemongrass & Verbena shea butter balm. Locally made, and all natural, it feels indulgent and it smells divine; I use it all over! You can find them online, and they offer a custom blending bar, too.

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

As a fair-haired and sensitive skinned-girl, little blemishes or tired eyes stand out. I love Bobbi Brown Corrector in Porcelain Bisque. A swipe of sheer e.l.f. lipgloss and I’m good to go.

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Wally Lamb’s ‘I’ll Take You There’. I’ve always been a big Wally fan. For summer, nothing beats an Elin Hilderbrand book.

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

My RayBan’s go everywhere with me! Polarized protection for blue eyes and a quick fix to pull your look together. As a mom, my two other must-haves are sunscreen and snacks. Babyganics is a great mineral-based sunscreen for sports and outdoor play. I also keep my bag flush with food- my girls love Annie’s and Honest Kids. We make a solid organic effort, but you’ll find Doritos in there, too! Well, at least the crumbs.

Much as I’m loathe to admit it, the first day of summer is probably the ONLY time my beach bag actually looks this put together! By day two- with kids, pets, and beaches- it’s full of sticky juice containers, sandy granola bar wrappers, and who knows what else. My younger daughter has been known to pop one of our pet chickens in there to carry around. Even she knows the value of a good sized tote!

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Sonja Yoerg

Sonja Yoerg and I have something in common, we are both east coast born girls, so of course I instantly loved that about her.  Her latest release, All the Best People, is sure to be a favorite read of the summer with fabulous reviews.  I was so happy she wanted to share her bag and celebrate her latest release.  I love that she is faithful to her beauty products.  When you find a good lipstick shade you stick to it.  A beauty 101 rule 🙂

 

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via Amazon ~

An intricately crafted story of madness, magic and misfortune across three generations from the author of The Middle of Somewhere and House Broken

Vermont, 1972. Carole LaPorte has a satisfying, ordinary life. She cares for her children, balances the books for the family’s auto shop and laughs when her husband slow dances her across the kitchen floor. Her tragic childhood might have happened to someone else.

But now her mind is playing tricks on her. The accounts won’t reconcile and the murmuring she hears isn’t the television. She ought to seek help, but she’s terrified of being locked away in a mental hospital like her mother, Solange. So Carole hides her symptoms, withdraws from her family and unwittingly sets her eleven-year-old daughter Alison on a desperate search for meaning and power: in Tarot cards, in omens from a nearby river and in a mysterious blue glass box belonging to her grandmother.

An exploration of the power of courage and love to overcome a damning legacy, All the Best People celebrates the search for identity and grace in the most ordinary lives.

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What is your bag of choice?

My current favorite is a Michael Kors hobo I picked up on resale. As soon as I slung it over my shoulder, I knew we’d be friends. When I travel, I carry my Sherpani laptop bag and pack a small red cross-body bag in my roll-on. It packs flat and holds my wallet, Kindle, phone, lipstick, and nothing more.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

My fine curls droop if you look at them sideways but Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle gives them some oomph without leaving them crunchy. On the rare occasion I need to look my best all day, I use a proper foundation (Make Up For Ever) but otherwise I rely on Miracle Skin Transformer Face Spotlight by Sarah McNamara. It’s light, mousse-like, and contains sunscreen—what more can you ask? I’m also a fan of Benefit’s Gimme Brow gel. Even a make-up klutz like me can manage to apply it correctly. I call that a miracle product.

 

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

I always have Clinique lipstick in Bamboo Pink or Very Berry. I started using the brand twenty years ago and can’t think of a reason to change. When I was in San Francisco on my last book tour, I picked up 80 Acres Blood Orange hand cream made with olive oil. It’s exactly the right weight and smells delicious.

What are you currently reading?

One More Day by Kelly Simmons and Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister. I also have started Jessica’s Strawser’s Almost Missed You on my Kindle and am listening to A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles on my phone. I’m normally a terrible multitasker; I’m easily distracted and must write in silence but somehow have no problem keeping track of four books at once.

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

A tiny portable shopping bag. This red one is from Envirobags and has travelled around the world with me for years, holding everything from extra clothes to gifts to impromptu picnic fare. While traveling in the Pyrenees, I used it to collect wild blackberries!

Sonja Yoerg Author Photo credit to Sandy Payne Photography

 

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Deb Caletti Edition

Deb Caletti is a writer for all readers.  Her back catalog of books has a little something for everyone: drama, suspense, love and friendship.  I am so happy to be able to feature her today and have her share her bag with us.  Her latest novel, out now, What’s Become of Her is a little bit love mixed with a whole lot of suspense.  It’s a must for your beach bag this summer and if you haven’t read her before I have included some of her others sure to be the best accomplice on vacation or in the sun and sand 😉

What's Become of Her

via Amazon ~

From National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti comes an emotionally riveting story of a woman falling for a man who may be hiding a dangerous secret—perfect for readers of Jodi Picoult and Kristin Hannah.

“Guilty people keep secrets.”

Isabelle Austen returns to her hometown on a small, isolated Pacific Northwest island to take over the family tourism business after the death of her mother, a disapproving parent and a hard woman to love. Feeling lost, Isabelle is also struggling with a recent divorce and wondering if she’ll ever come into her own. Then her life takes a surprising turn: The mysterious Henry North arrives on Parrish Island, steps off a seaplane, and changes Isabelle’s world forever. From the beginning, their relationship is heady and intense—then Isabelle learns of Henry’s disturbing past, involving the death of a fiancée and the disappearance of a wife. Suddenly Isabelle is caught between love and suspicion, paranoia and passion, as she searches for the truth she may not want to find—and is swept into a dangerous game she may not survive.

Praise for What’s Become of Her

“A darkly enchanting romance sinks into a thrilling cat-and-mouse game.”Kirkus Reviews

“Caletti elevates reader discomfort to the maximum in this nuanced suspense novel. . . . The plot builds to a surprising and well-developed conclusion.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“As Caletti combines literary fiction with suspense, she keeps readers guessing until the last page.”Booklist

“This is a lush, suspenseful read set in a sleepy seaside town, with both main characters using the locale (and each other) as a means to escape. Caletti’s strengths are all on display: the novel is carefully paced, the prose excellent, and the characters (and their ghosts and demons) are realistic and strikingly drawn. Each person’s motivations and reliability as a narrator are weighed and considered over the course of the novel, with expectations upended and reevaluated constantly. The build to the climax is relentless, tense and satisfying.”RT Book Reviews

“This is a fast-paced read, with exceptional moments of suspense.”—The Book Review

Praise for the novels of Deb Caletti

“Striking . . . well-written, strongly characterized and emotionally complex fiction.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review), on He’s Gone

“Caletti once again combines interesting characters, pitch-perfect dialogue, and an intriguing plot to tell a deeply memorable story. Her latest is a thoughtful exploration of love and marriage and the power of family and friendship to help along the way.”Booklist, on The Secrets She Keeps

Deb Caletti - What's In My Bag photo

What is your bag of choice?

This bag is The Sak’s Indio Leather Hobo.  I love any bag or satchel with leather that looks like a saddle, a baseball mitt, or an old library reading chair.  Leather with a history.  This bag has a cheerful, fun fabric inside, too.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

*Güd’s Blood Orange Flower lotion – My favorite fragrance.  Refreshing, and delicious-smelling.

*Eos’s Vanilla Mint lip balm – Yum!

*E.l.f. Lip Exfoliator – A terrific find (and a super bargain), it’s like a sugar scrub for your lips.

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

I’m a Clinique woman all the way, so I carry one of their little compacts, their Nearly Violet lipstick, and their awesome Airbrush Concealer.  Also, a sample size of my favorite perfume, Clinique’s Happy.  I believe in finding happiness everywhere you can, even in a sweet little bottle with an orange cap.

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m catching up with a short-story collection, “There’s Something I Want You To Do,” from one of my favorite writers, Charles Baxter.  My husband and I are also on a Jo Nesbø kick.  I have to read ahead of him, because he’s really bad at Reader Rule Number One: Don’t Get Excited And Tell Stuff You Shouldn’t.

 

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

*My library card!

*The super-handy Anker iPhone charger case.  It’s a bit heavy for me for everyday use, but I pop my phone into it when I anticipate taking lots of photos, using Google Maps, or heading anywhere battery draining, like on a mountain hike.

*Promo postcards of my books.

*Scünci hair bands.  First order of business after an event: put the hair up in a ponytail.

*A notepad and my favorite pens. This is an adorable fabric-covered one from World Market.  Pens: Uni-ball Roller.  If a good idea comes and I’m not able to type it in somewhere, these save me from drastic measures like writing on grocery receipts with a lipstick.

Caletti - Author Photo - credit Susan Doupé

via Amazon:

The Secrets She Keeps ~

From bestselling author Deb Caletti comes a beautiful and profound novel of three women coming to terms with love and marriage—sure to move and delight fans of Kristin Hannah, Liane Moriarty, and Anna Quindlen.
 
“You don’t grow up on a divorce ranch and not learn to take a vow seriously.”

When Callie McBride finds a woman’s phone number written on a scrap of paper her husband has thrown away, she thinks that her marriage is over. Callie flees to Nevada and her Aunt Nash’s Tamarosa Ranch, where she’s shocked to see that the place of so many happy childhood memories is in disrepair. Worse, Aunt Nash is acting bizarrely—hoarding stacks of old photographs, burying a book in the yard, and railing against Kit Covey, a handsome government park ranger who piques Callie’s interest.

But Aunt Nash may prove to be saner than she seems once Callie pulls back the curtain on Tamarosa’s heyday—the 1940s and ’50s, when high-society and Hollywood women ventured to the ranch for quickie divorces and found a unique sisterhood—and uncovers a secret promise Nash made to her true love. Callie will come to see is that no life is ever ordinary. No story of love is, either.

 

Essential Maps for the Lost ~

From beloved author and National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti comes a fresh and luminous novel about the grief that can tear us apart and the people who can make us whole again.

There are many ways to be lost.

Sometimes people want to be lost. Madison—Mads to everyone who knows her—is trying her best to escape herself during one last summer away from a mother who needs more from her than she can give, and from a future that has been decided by everyone but her.

Sometimes the lost do the unimaginable, like the woman, the body, Mads collides with in the middle of the water on a traumatic morning that changes everything.

And sometimes the lost are the ones left behind, like the son of the woman in the water, Billy Youngwolf Floyd. Billy is struggling to find his way through each day in the shadow of grief. His one comfort is the map he carries in his pocket, out of his favorite book The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

When three lives (and one special, shared book) collide, strange things happen. Things like questions and coincidences and secrets, lots of secrets. Things like falling in love. But can two lost people telling so many lies find their way through tragedy to each other…and to solid ground?

 

He’s Gone ~ 

“What do you think happened to your husband, Mrs. Keller?”
 
The Sunday morning starts like any other, aside from the slight hangover. Dani Keller wakes up on her Seattle houseboat, a headache building behind her eyes from the wine she drank at a party the night before. But on this particular Sunday morning, she’s surprised to see that her husband, Ian, is not home. As the hours pass, Dani fills her day with small things. But still, Ian does not return. Irritation shifts to worry, worry slides almost imperceptibly into panic. And then, like a relentless blackness, the terrible realization hits Dani: He’s gone.

As the police work methodically through all the logical explanations—he’s hurt, he’s run off, he’s been killed—Dani searches frantically for a clue as to whether Ian is in fact dead or alive. And, slowly, she unpacks their relationship, holding each moment up to the light: from its intense, adulterous beginning, to the grandeur of their new love, to the difficulties of forever. She examines all the sins she can—and cannot—remember. As the days pass, Dani will plumb the depths of her conscience, turning over and revealing the darkest of her secrets in order to discover the hard truth—about herself, her husband, and their lives together.

*Thanks Deb for sharing your bag!  Find Deb here: www.debcaletti.com

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Taylor Jenkins Reid

To say I love Taylor Jenkins Reid would be an understatement.  After my first book that I read of hers, she was automatically solidified onto my favorite authors list.  I can’t say one books is better than the other, all of her books are fantastic.  Like run out and get now fantastic.  Her writing is the type of writing where you can’t peel yourself away from it.  Her newest book, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was released this week and is getting RAVE reviews.  I was so excited that Taylor opened her bag up to us as I know she is a busy new mama 🙂  Read on below and do yourself a favor and grab ANY of her books now!  You can thank me later ❤

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via Amazon ~

“Riveting, heart-wrenching, and full of Old Hollywood glamour, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is one of the most captivating reads of 2017.” –Buzzfeed

“The epic adventures Evelyn creates over the course of a lifetime will leave every reader mesmerized. This wildly addictive journey of a reclusive Hollywood starlet and her tumultuous Tinseltown journey comes with unexpected twists and the most satisfying of drama.” —PopSugar

In this entrancing novel “that speaks to the Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor in us all” (Kirkus Reviews), a legendary film actress reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

“Heartbreaking, yet beautiful” (Jamie Blynn, Us Weekly), The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is “Tinseltown drama at its finest” (Redbook): a mesmerizing journey through the splendor of old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it costs—to face the truth.

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What is your bag of choice?

I have a Kate Spade black nylon backpack. A friend of mine always used a backpack purse and I thought it was so cool, I stole the look from her. Now, I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to a regular bag for every day use.

 

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

The very best thing I have in my makeup kit right now is Sephora’s airbrush foundation. I’m obsessed with foundation. I’ve tried them all. Airbrush is hands-down the way to go and Sephora’s is reasonably priced but absolutely fantastic.

 

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

Vaseline. Every day, all the time. Nothing better. It’s lip gloss, it’s moisturizer, and it’s eye make-up remover.

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and it is devastating and superb.

 

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

It’s not super fun, I guess, but I take great pride in being the person who always has ibruprofen. No one ever has to suffer through a headache if I’m there! Least of all myself.

 

TJR author photo 2017 (C) Scott Witter

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*Thanks to Taylor for sharing her bag with us!

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? National Rose’ Day Edition featuring: Colleen Oakley, Holly Brown and Orly Konig

Well it’s summer and the season of Rose’!  What better than to celebrate with crisp wine and a refreshing read.  I have three amazing authors today in celebration and I think their latest books will pair perfectly with this pink summer water.  We have a little something for everyone- suspense, drama, love- it’s all here today.  There is nothing better than a beautiful summer evening, relaxing on the deck with a glass wine and great book.  These three authors- Colleen Oakley, Holly Brown and Orly Konig, have written something for everyone and do not disappoint.  I loved being able to take a peak into their bags!

Colleen Oakley ~ Close Enough to Touch

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via Amazon ~

Can you miss something you never had?

Jubilee Jenkins is no ordinary librarian. With a rare allergy to human touch, any skin-to-skin contact could literally kill her. But after retreating into solitude for nearly ten years, Jubilee’s decided to brave the world again, despite the risks. Armed with a pair of gloves, long sleeves, and her trusty bicycle, she finally ventures out the front door—and into her future.

Eric Keegan has troubles of his own. With his daughter from a failed marriage no longer speaking to him, and his brilliant, if psychologically troubled, adopted son attempting telekinesis, Eric’s struggling to figure out how his life got so off course, and how to be the dad—and man—he wants so desperately to be. So when an encounter over the check-out desk at the local library entangles his life with that of a beautiful—albeit eccentric—woman, he finds himself wanting nothing more than to be near her.

A “heart-wrenching and humorous” (Publishers Weekly) love story for anyone who’s ever wanted something—or someone—just out of reach, Colleen Oakley’s Close Enough to Touch will delight fans of Jojo Moyes’s One Plus One and Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project.

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What is your bag of choice?

It’s a huge NY&Co. leather tote that I grabbed as a last-minute purchase before a flight to, coincidentally, New York. Being a mom of four, it fits everything I could possibly need, and I don’t worry about it getting banged up because it was on sale, for like, $20.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

Neutrogena Naturals Multi-Vitamin Nourishing Night Cream

Great Lash mascara

Victoria Secret Satin lip gloss (color: Indulgence)

Avon Ultra Luxury Brow Liner in Blonde

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

Lip gloss— I have about 586402986821 tubes in my purse at any given time.

What are you currently reading?

The Mind at Night— research for the novel I’m working on.

And I just finished Lincoln in the Bardo. I didn’t think it could possibly live up to the hype, but it did. Funny, poignant, touching— I loved it.

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

Well, they’re not fun items, but they are must-haves— diapers and tissues. #momlife

colleen headshot final

 

Holly Brown ~ This is Not Over

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via Amazon ~

You’ll have your deposit within seven business days, just like it says on Getaway.com. I’ve put through a refund to your credit card for the full amount, minus $200 to replace the stained sheets…

Miranda

When 30-year-old Dawn reads Miranda’s email, she sees red. People have always told Dawn she’s beautiful, and she just hopes they don’t see beneath—to how she grew up, to what she’s always tried to outrun. She revels in her getaways with her perfect (maybe too perfect) husband, the occasional long weekend in luxurious homes, temporarily inhabiting other people’s privileged lives. Miranda’s email strikes a nerve, with its lying intimation that Dawn is so dirty you need to throw out her sheets.

Beware of your “host”

I wouldn’t have left a review at all, if I didn’t feel it was my civic duty to warn others…

57-year-old Miranda thought she’d seen it all, but she can’t believe her eyes when she reads Dawn’s review. She’s a doctor’s wife but she needs that rental money, desperately. People might think her life is privileged, but they don’t know what’s really going on. They don’t know about her son. She won’t take this threat to her livelihood—to her very life—lying down.

Two very different women with this in common: Each harbors her own secret, her own reason why she can’t just let this go. Neither can yield, not before they’ve dredged up all that’s hidden, even if it has the power to shatter all they’ve built.

This is not over.

This is so not over.

 

 

My backpack

What is your bag of choice?

This is the laptop backpack that came with my trusty Lenovo ThinkPad. I take my Targus everywhere with me. It’s far from fancy but has those wide straps so my back never hurts. Let’s just say it gets the job done.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

I love Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm. That’s Red Dahlia in the picture, though I also love Hibiscus and Rose. It’s like your lip color on steroids (but organic, all natural steroids.) I don’t really carry any other beauty products with me on an ordinary day, except for my travel-sized toothbrush and Tom’s Maine toothpaste. Fresh breath is beautiful, in my opinion.

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

I just got back from the fantastic Southwest Florida Reading Festival so the contents of my carry-on are fresh in my mind. (You’ll note the logo on the note pad in the picture. Yes, I’m old school–lots of paper in my backpack, including the schedule book that I would be lost without.) My carry-on had Neova Day Therapy, which has copper peptides to beat back aging; Meladerm cream, which has been working wonders on some hyper pigmentation and sun damage; Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker foundation, which goes on white and then turns, chameleon-like, into your exact skin color; Lavilin deodorant, the only all-natural product I’ve found that actually keeps you smelling sweet, even in the Florida humidity; and Living Proof products to tame my frizz.

What are you currently reading?

That’s my e-reader, in the picture, which is Barnes & Noble’s Nook. (My five-year-old daughter did the decorating on its case, with a sticker from the oh-so-chic Doc McStuffins collections.) My Nook’s always got at least ten options to choose from, since I like to jump around from fiction to non. Right now, I’m tearing through Maria Semple’s “Today Will Be Different.” She’s a comedy master, as anyone who’s read “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” knows. Next up will be a memoir, though I haven’t yet decided which one.
And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you 🙂

I’m addicted to Think Thin bars. The creamy peanut butter flavor’s the best, and they have a ton of protein. They’re my salvation when I don’t have time for an actual meal.

Holly Brown ap1

 

Orly König ~ The Distance Home

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via Amazon ~

Sixteen years ago, a tragic accident cost Emma Metz her two best friends―one human and one equine. Now, following her father’s death, Emma has reluctantly returned to the Maryland hometown she’d left under a cloud of guilt.

Sorting through her father’s affairs, Emma uncovers a history of lies tying her broken family to the one place she thought she could never return―her girlhood sanctuary, Jumping Frog Farm.

Emma finds herself drawn back to the stable after all these years. It’s easy to win forgiveness from a horse, but less so from her former friend Jillian, their once strong bond destroyed by secrets and betrayals. But despite Jillian’s cold reception, for the first time in years, Emma feels at home.

To exorcise the past, Emma will have to release her guilt, embrace an uncertain future, and trust again in the healing power of horses.

Orly Konig’s The Distance Home is a powerful and sparkling women’s fiction debut novel of second chances, friendship, and healing.

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What is your bag of choice?

My spring go-to bag is this Tory Burch tote. It’s large enough to carry most of what I need or think I’ll need, but small enough to manage my tendency for schlepping far more than I actually need.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

Years ago while visiting my in-laws in the south of France, I was introduced to the Vichy products. Now every time I use one of the creams, I’m transported back to that amazing trip. It’s my daily vacation in a jar. ☺

What do you always carry in your bag for beauty products?

Lipstick is the one beauty product I always have with me. I’ve never been a huge make-up gal and since making the switch to working from home, I’m even worse. But I feel naked without my Dior lipstick!

And Climber’s Hand Repair Balm. It’s non-greasy and does wonders on calluses.

What are you currently reading?

I’m judging the Women’s Fiction Writers Association Star contest so those three books (all published in 2016) are at the top of my reading priority list at the moment. I’m also reading an ARC of Becoming Bonnie (releasing May 9) by fellow debut and Forge author Jenni L. Walsh.

Any other fun items/must-haves that you always have with you?

Must haves – my dateplanner because I’m old fashioned with my lists. It’s got plenty of extra pages to jot down book notes and keep my various writing projects organized. My coffee addiction is well known. I’ve recently discovered these coffee candies and I can’t imagine how I’ve lived without them.

I always have a Kleenex packet or three handy, and some sort of hair clip or band. Eye glass cleaning sheets are a must because I’m horrible at putting my fingers on the lenses and, at least once a day, I end up with a kitty nose print smudge as well.

I finally learned to carry cards about my book with me. Now when someone asks, I feel like a legit author. ☺

Orly Konig_Lauren Ackil Photography

 

*Thanks to all the ladies for taking the time to chat with us today!

 

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Liz and Lisa Edition

Guys.  If I am telling you about Liz and Lisa and it’s the first time you have heard of this fabulous duo that you can thank me later.  If not, then you know how ridiculously amazing these two besties turned authors are.  I have decided to not only feature their latest book- The Good Widow but showcase their others as well (see at bottom of interview) because I love them that much!  I am currently into The Good Widow and I am literally bringing it in the car, reading during my morning coffee and stay up way too late to just finish one more page.  I had the lucky fortune of meeting them last summer at a signing and they are exactly how you would picture- kind, inspiring and not to mention gorgeous!  I am beyond thrilled to have them today, sharing their bags 🙂

The Good Widow_300dpi

via Amazon

Bestselling authors Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke make their suspense debut in this twisty, emotional thriller.

Elementary school teacher Jacqueline “Jacks” Morales’s marriage was far from perfect, but even in its ups and downs it was predictable, familiar. Or at least she thought it was…until two police officers showed up at her door with devastating news. Her husband of eight years, the one who should have been on a business trip to Kansas, had suffered a fatal car accident in Hawaii. And he wasn’t alone.

For Jacks, laying her husband to rest was hard. But it was even harder to think that his final moments belonged to another woman—one who had left behind her own grieving and bewildered fiancé. Nick, just as blindsided by the affair, wants answers. So he suggests that he and Jacks search for the truth together, retracing the doomed lovers’ last days in paradise.

Now, following the twisting path of that fateful road, Jacks is learning that nothing is ever as it seems. Not her marriage. Not her husband. And most certainly not his death…

Lisa's tote

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What is you bag of choice?

Liz: Right now I’m loving my Lululemon “All Day” tote! I always have a million things going on, and this big ol’ bag hold EVERYTHING! It also washes down easily, for when I spill my smoothie all over it. (Which is often!)

Lisa: I’m currently carrying my Kate Spade tote because I was surprised by Liz and my husband with a trip to San Diego and it doubles as a computer bag/purse.

And, this isn’t just to butter you up, BUT, inside my tote, I have my The Good Widow make-up bag you gave us which I use for my on-the –airplane-must-haves such as pens, hand sanitizer, ibuprofen, ear plugs, ear buds and band aids (you never know when a torn cuticle could strike).

 

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

Liz: I’m a huge fan of the Thelavicos line. The nutrition cream absorbs quickly & doesn’t leave a tacky residue. I have super dry lizard skin and it keeps me hydrated all day, not to mention it’s smoothed out my (gasp!) fine lines and wrinkles! And their Bio Repair wrinkle eye cream is awesome for masking how tired I am! And these products are paraben & gluten free—which is a huge plus!

Lisa: I’m a Burt’s Bees girl. I like their products because they are paraben free and don’t irritate my skin. Plus, they work really well.  Daily, I use the Brightening daily facial cleanser, the brightening tonic, the renewal firming day lotion with SPF 30 and the renewing smoothing eye cream. At night, I slather on the Renewal firming night cream.

 

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

Liz: Lip gloss, lip gloss and more lip gloss! I’m a little obsessed. And also, I never leave the house without my Sun Bum spf lip moisturizer! It has vitamin E and aloe in it, and it protects my lips from the sun! (Not to mention it smells delicious!)

Also—I can’t get enough of Trish McEvoy’s no smudge mascara. For the first time in my life, I can wear mascara on my bottom lashes without looking like I went on a bender the night before. Thanks to author Jane Green for the suggestion!

Lisa: I always have Blistex or some type of moisturizing chap stick. I try to remember to put lip gloss in for those inevitable selfies but often forget! (Thank gawd for filters!)

Another must-have beauty product for me is Laura Mercier concealer #2. I’ve used it for years and, let’s just say it’s as necessary as coffee in the morning!

 

 What are you currently reading? 

Liz: I really love entertainment Weekly and it’s the only magazine I still subscribe to! I’m also currently reading an advanced copy of Taylor Jenkin Reid’s latest: THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO—it’s a must read for the summer!

Lisa: I read a ton of mags. Everything from Inc. to Cooking Light to People. (I might have a magazine subscription addiction.) As for books, I just finished THE ARRANGMENT by Sarah Dunn which is I now consider one of my favorite books. I’m currently reading THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER by Amy E. Reichert and THE DRY by Jane harper. (I’m often reading more than one book at once.) These are VERY different novels, but both fabulous.

 

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

 Liz: A hairbrush! I have really thick hair that gets all tangly while I’m running around. My hair has random blonde hair EVERYWHERE. Le sigh.

 

Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke credit Debbie Friedrich Photography.

Liz and Lisa’s Back catalogue

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via Amazon ~

Two childhood best friends wake up the morning after their twentieth high school reunion to discover that they’ve switched bodies in this hilarious and heartwarming debut by two childhood best friends.

With “a delicious, page-turning premise, and sweet and surprising insights” (New York Timesbestselling author Jen Lancaster), Your Perfect Life perfectly illustrates that old adage: Sometimes, you have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to see what’s in her heart.

Best friends since childhood, Casey and Rachel couldn’t lead more different lives. While workaholic Casey rubs elbows with celebrities daily as the host of Gossip TV and comes home nightly to an empty apartment, stay-at-home mom Rachel juggles an “oops” baby, two fiery teenagers, and a husband who barely seems the man she fell in love with two decades before. After an argument at their twentieth high school reunion, Casey and Rachel throw back shots to get the night back on track. Instead, they get a life-changing hangover.

Waking up in each other’s bodies the next morning, they must figure out how to navigate their altered realities. Rachel is forced to face the broadcasting dreams she gave up when she got pregnant in college, and Casey finally steps out of the spotlight to face the real reason why she’s alone. And they soon discover that they don’t know themselves—or their best friend—nearly as well as they thought they did.

Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke bring their “witty, winning style” (Sarah Pekkanen, author of The Best of Us) to every page of this novel that is sure to please fans of In Her Shoes and The Opposite of MeYour Perfect Life is a story of humor and heart about two best friends, what they didn’t know about each other, and how, by switching lives, each learns to appreciate her own.

the-status-of-all-things-9781476763415_hr

via Amazon ~

What would you do if you could literally rewrite your fate—on Facebook? This heartwarming and hilarious new novel from the authors of Your Perfect Life follows a woman who discovers she can change her life through online status updates.

Kate is a thirty-five-year-old woman who is obsessed with social media. So when her fiancé, Max, breaks things off at their rehearsal dinner—to be with Kate’s close friend and coworker, no less—she goes straight to Facebook to share it with the world. But something’s changed. Suddenly, Kate’s real life starts to mirror whatever she writes in her Facebook status. With all the power at her fingertips, and heartbroken and confused over why Max left her, Kate goes back in time to rewrite their history.

Kate’s two best friends, Jules and Liam, are the only ones who know the truth. In order to convince them she’s really time traveled, Kate offers to use her Facebook status to help improve their lives. But her attempts to help them don’t go exactly as planned, and every effort to get Max back seems to only backfire, causing Kate to wonder if it’s really possible to change her fate.

In The Status of All Things, Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke combine the humor and heart of Sarah Pekkanen and Jennifer Weiner while exploring the pitfalls of posting your entire life on the Internet. They raise the questions: What if you could create your picture-perfect life? Would you be happy? Would you still be you? For anyone who’s ever attempted—or failed—to be their perfect self online, this is a story of wisdom and wit that will leave you with new appreciation for the true status of your life.

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via Amazon ~

If you could repeat one year of your life, what would you do differently? This heartwarming and hilarious novel from the authors of The Status of All Things and Your Perfect Life features three best friends who get the chance to return to the year they turned forty—the year that altered all of their lives, in ways big and small—and also get the opportunity to change their future.

Jessie loves her son Lucas more than anything, but it tears her up inside that he was conceived in an affair that ended her marriage to a man she still loves, a man who just told her he’s getting remarried. This time around, she’s determined to bury the secret of Lucas’ paternity, and to repair the fissures that sent her wandering the first time.

Gabriela regrets that she wasted her most fertile years in hot pursuit of a publishing career. Yes, she’s one of the biggest authors in the world, but maybe what she really wanted to create was a family. With a chance to do it again, she’s focused on convincing her husband, Colin, to give her the baby she desires.

Claire is the only one who has made peace with her past: her twenty-two year old daughter, Emily, is finally on track after the turmoil of adolescence, and she’s recently gotten engaged, with the two carat diamond on her finger to prove it. But if she’s being honest, Claire still fantasizes about her own missed opportunities: a chance to bond with her mother before it was too late, and the possibility of preventing her daughter from years of anguish. Plus, there’s the man who got away—the man who may have been her one true love.

But it doesn’t take long for all three women to learn that re-living a life and making different decisions only leads to new problems and consequences—and that the mistakes they made may, in fact, have been the best choices of all…

 

❤ Thank you Liz and Lisa for sharing your bags and the gift of your AH-mazing books! xx

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ ‘Must-Reads for Vacation Edition’ with Kimberly McCreight, Sadeqa Johnson and Amy E. Reichert

To get us started for the summer season what better than a few picks that are perfect to pack into your carry on and crack open while vacationing!  Today I have three fabulous authors with books that have a little something for everyone.  Craving some secrets and betrayal then Kimberly McCreight‘s, The Scattering is a perfect choice.  Looking for some drama with a sprinkle of friendship and love then grab Sadeqa Johnson‘s, And Then There Was Me.  And last, if you love a heartwarming novel that has all the feels then Amy E. Reichert‘s, The Simplicity of Cider is a winner.  All three authors are on the blog today opening up their bags and chatting all things beauty and books.

Scattering HC C

via Amazon ~

New York Times bestselling author Kimberly McCreight raises the stakes in the second book of the heart-pounding Outliers trilogy, a uniquely speculative story about secrets, betrayal, and a world where one small group of people are blessed—or cursed—with an incredible power.

Wylie may have escaped the camp in Maine, but she is far from safe. The best way for her to protect herself is to understand her ability, fast. But after spending a lifetime trying to ignore her own feelings, giving in to her ability to read other peoples’ emotions is as difficult as it is dangerous.

And Wylie isn’t the only one at risk. Ever since they returned home, Jasper has been spiraling, wracked with guilt over what happened to Cassie. After all they’ve been through together, Wylie and Jasper would do anything for each other, but she doesn’t know if their bond is strong enough to overcome demons from the past.

It is amid this uncertainty and fear that Wylie finds herself confronted with a choice. She was willing to do whatever it took to help Cassie, but is she prepared to go to the same extremes to help complete strangers . . . even if they are just like her?

BBB bag

What is your bag of choice?

In fairness (to myself), I really have two. Because I live in Brooklyn and daily walk a long distance to the Brooklyn Writers Space with my computer, I wear a backpack (don’t judge me, my children already do). It’s from Brooklyn Industries. But when I go out, my favorite bag is a silver clutch handmade out of pull-tabs from soda cans that I bought at an outdoor market in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, which is a town in the South of France.

Writers live a very extreme public-private dichotomy. We are underworld mole people for months on end, where our hair goes unbrushed and we no longer recall what makeup is, only to suddenly find ourselves out on a book tour trying to remember how to walk in high heels. The good news is the novelty makes getting dressed up a lot more fun.

As for all my makeup recommendations below, my dark secret is that I am CLUELESS about such things. But I have my very dear friend Elena, from college, who has always been my personal makeup consultant. Without her, I wouldn’t know anything.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

I am obsessed with all masks and other facial products. Everyone should go run and buy Perricone MD Chloro Plasma Purifying Mask, Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Moisturizing Cream Mask, and the Sephora Collection Eye Masks (all kinds are great). You can do it all in fifteen minutes once a week and it is amazing. Also, Dior Flash Luminizer Radiance Booster Pen makes all dark circles vanish in two seconds.

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

I always carry Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Black Violet and YSL Gloss Volupté (in a color I will never find again because the label is gone), plus Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream. Also, spare earrings and hairbands. That way if I need to go somewhere unexpectedly, I can put my hair up, throw some earrings and lip gloss on, and maybe look halfway presentable.

What are you currently reading?

I always have a New Yorker with me and it is always old because I have a subscription and I am always behind on reading. I am also reading Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein (because, yes, I have a thirteen-year-old) and The Gypsy Moth Summer by Julia Fierro, a stunningly gorgeous novel which is out in June.

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

I always have sunglasses, glasses, wireless headphones, and every charger known to man, as well as gum (usually in five varieties) and countless, countless Band-Aids (I am not sure why). I also have two dozen pens: I think I live in fear of wanting to write something down and not being able to. Oh yes, and my computer. My beloved (and lightweight) MacBook Air that I never leave home without. And last but not least I have a significant collection of lucky charms: a small box of lucky pennies I found, a magic lantern and frog—almost all courtesy of my daughters. Except the pennies. I will dive over people to pick one up. Heads only, of course.

Kimberly McCreight by Beowulf Sheehan

 

And Then There Was Me_COVER

via Amazon ~

Bea and Awilda have been best friends from the moment Awilda threw her fourteen year-old self across Bea’s twin-sized bed as if they had known each other forever. Bubbly, adventurous Awilda taught sheltered, shy Bea how to dress, wear her hair and what to do with boys. She even introduced Bea to her husband, Lonnie, in college, who pledged to take good care of her for the rest of their lives. But philanderer Lonnie breaks that promise over and over again, leaving Bea to wrestle with her self-esteem and long time secret addiction.

Recently Lonnie has plopped the family in a New Jersey upper class suburb, which lacks the diversity that Bea craves but has the school district and zip code envy that Lonnie wants. The demands of carrying a third child and fitting into this new environment while pretending that her husband is not cheating on her again, is more than she can handle. And just when she thinks things can’t get any worst, the ultimate deception snaps the little thread that was holding her life together and all comes tumbling down.

Sadeqa Johnson’s And Then There Was Me is the story of love and friendship, heartache and betrayal. It’s the journey of a woman stripped down to her lowest point and needing to find the will to press on.

SJ_Bag_1

What is your bag of choice?

I carry a Celine tote that is tough and durable. I can drop things in it and if something spills it wipes out easily. It was a Christmas gift from my husband. He buys all of my bags because he has way better taste than me. It’s a big bag so things are always sloshing around. Of course I carry the basics, keys (sometimes), a wallet that has a magnet so that I can attach my phone, a gratitude journal that dubs as a place to jot notes of any kind, Tic Tacs, phone charger, lip gloss, lots of loose change, Petco gift card (we just rescued a pit bull named Penny who has become the love of my life), and snacks. Always a granola bar, nuts and goldfish. With three kids someone is always hungry. When I’m on my A game I have a sharpie for those impromptu books I get to sign but I never have the stuff I need like postcards, book marks or business cards. I need to do better.

 

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

I love natural care products. I often wear my hair in a wash and go style, so my must have leave-in conditioner is Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castrol Oil. That stuff is the truth! It leaves my hair shiny and full of body. I also like the Shea Moisture 100% Pure Argan Oil for a shine boost and to help control my frizz. I am the low-maintenance mom who runs around town barefaced with just a little lip gloss, the Sephora brand works fine. When I take the ten minutes to put on my face it is with a Nars Seychelles tinted moisturizer. It gives me that sun-kissed, just been to the beach, healthy look that I love. I top that with a liquid eye liner and Nars blush in Orgasm. When I am really painting the town pink, it’s all about the Ruby Woo matte lipstick from MAC. Fiery red lips always make it look like it’s my birthday even when it’s not. I’ve tried several high end mascaras but I always end up going back to Maybelline Great Lash in the pink and green bottle. Can’t help what works.

 

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

Baby wipes are a staple in my bag. They are the best invention since sliced bread and work for every situation. My little one needs her mouth cleaned before she gets on the school bus, the middle Diva needs a wipe down in between school and gymnastics practice, and my son always needs food dabbed from his shirt. Baby wipes are my lifeline. I personally need lip gloss. My lip gloss is popping for every occasion; the grocery story, school functions, the gym, and even when I’m running a half marathon — lip gloss is a must. I’m so obsessed that I keep a tube in every bag. When I was little my mother never let me leave the house without putting on my earrings so as a grown woman I never do. If by chance I forget, there is an extra pair of oversized silver hoops stashed in my bag because they go with everything.

 

What are you currently reading?

I am reading Anita Shreves’ The Pilot’s Wife. I know I’m late but it’s been on my list forever. I also just finished Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, man talk about a book I wished I had written. On the go I like to flip through Runner and Yoga magazine, the articles motivate me to step up my workout game.

 

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

I’ve taken to carrying my laptop in my bag because with three busy kids I am an unpaid chauffer. I spend hours in the car waiting so I’ve just recently started writing in the car. Don’t judge me. It gets the job done, and you be surprised at where the imagination can travel sitting in front of a soccer field.

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via Amazon~

Fall in love with The Simplicity of Cider, the charming new novel about a prickly but gifted cider-maker whose quiet life is interrupted by the arrival of a handsome man and his young son at her family’s careworn orchard by the author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and Luck, Love & Lemon Pie.

Focused and unassuming fifth generation cider-maker Sanna Lund has one desire: to live a simple, quiet life on her family’s apple orchard in Door County, Wisconsin. Although her business is struggling, Sanna remains fiercely devoted to the orchard, despite her brother’s attempts to convince their aging father to sell the land.

Single dad Isaac Banks has spent years trying to shield his son Sebastian from his troubled mother. Fleeing heartbreak at home, Isaac packed up their lives and the two headed out on an adventure, driving across the country. Chance—or fate—led them straight to Sanna’s orchard.

Isaac’s helping hands are much appreciated at the apple farm, even more when Sanna’s father is injured in an accident. As Sanna’s formerly simple life becomes increasingly complicated, she finds solace in unexpected places—friendship with young Sebastian and something more deliciously complex with Isaac—until an outside threat infiltrates the farm.

From the warm and funny Amy E. Reichert, The Simplicity of Cider is a charming love story with a touch of magic, perfect for fans of Sarah Addison Allen and Gayle Forman.

amy reichert

What is your bag of choice?

I received a gorgeous Kate Spade purse as a gift for my debut from a very dear friend. I use it everyday. Ever since, I love Kate Spade bags, though I have yet to buy one—though I do have my eye on a few.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

I swear by Jeffree Star’s matte liquid lip. I get more compliments when I wear it. My favorite shade is Gemini, with All Shook as a close second.

I love my Beauty Blender. I’ve tried a few knock offs, but they never give the same finish. I’m still searching for a less expensive option, so if you have a recommendation, I’m all ears.

Eucerin’s Aquaphor—I feel like this solves all my cracked lip/heel/elbow problems.

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

I don’t do a lot of touch ups on the road, but I always have a lip gloss of some kind. Currently, I have an IT lip stick and a Manna lip gloss. I also keep a pack of hair bands in my purse because I will eventually put my hair up and I need to be prepared since I always lose them.

What are you currently reading?

Every week I read Entertainment Weekly and The Week magazine—they keep me up-to-date on everything important from politics and pop culture. Plus The Week has a crossword and sudoku puzzle in each issue that I always try to complete. This time of year, I keep a few magazines in my purse to page through while at my son’s baseball games or my daughter’s lacrosse games. As for books, I’m currently reading THE ORPHAN’S TALE by Pam Jenoff—it’s amazing!

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

I always have my Costco card—you never know when you’re going to need 20 pounds of potatoes. Then there is the stack of Scoopie tokens from Culver’s, a Midwestern fast food restaurant. They come on kids meals and you turn them in for free scoops of frozen custard or more free kids meals. I have an embarrassing number of them.

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*Thanks to the ladies for taking the time to open their bags and for the gift of their books.