Open Book ~ Allison Winn Scotch

I have been a huge fan of Allison Winn Scotch‘s forever.  She is one of those writers who never disappoints and has us waiting for her next book at the last page of her latest release.  Not only is she a wonderful author but she is (even though I do not know her personally, we can be Insta friends 😉 ) a fierce and fabulous woman.  Always posting possibility and kindness, you can tell she takes pride in her work and her job as a Mom, something I respect immensely.  I am thrilled to be able to have her on the blog today, the RELEASE day of her latest, Between Me and You.  This is the perfect choice for the winter doldrums or if like Scotch, the Cali sunshine.  Read below to learn a little more about Allison and her dream bookclub.  I am first on the guest list for that, her choices are the best of the best 🙂

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via Amazon ~

From New York Times bestselling author Allison Winn Scotch comes an honest, touching, and funny exploration of falling in and out of love, told from two perspectives—one rewinding history, one moving it forward—and each with bias and regret.

When their paths first cross, Ben Livingston is a fledgling screenwriter on the brink of success; Tatum Connelly is a struggling actress tending bar in a New York City dive. They fall in love, they marry, they become parents, and they think only of the future. But as the years go by, Tatum’s stardom rises while Ben’s fades. In a marriage that bears the fallout of ambition and fame, Ben and Tatum are at a crossroads. Now all they can do is think back…

A life of passion, joy, tragedy, and loss—once shared—becomes one as shifting and unpredictable as a memory. As the pieces of their past come together, as they explore the ways love can bend and break, Ben and Tatum come to see how it all went wrong—and wonder what they can do now to make it all right.

 

AWS credit Kat Tuohy

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

Oh gosh….there are so many to choose from!!! Eek. Ok, Nora Ephron (because she was the greatest), Reese Witherspoon (excellent taste in books, so she’d choose good ones), and…Hillary Clinton? (Because I bet she would bring a lot of snark to the table, especially after some wine.)

 

2. Current binge series?

Ok, this makes me sound totally non-edgy and is not my normal binge watch, but I am burning through The Goldbergs on HULU right now! I am into watching something silly and fun in bed at night these days, and after going through all my usual sitcoms, I ran out of options. I gave this a try, and honestly, every single episode cracks me up. I don’t watch a ton of network stuff anymore, so this is an unexpected delight.

 

3. Last favorite book?

Like everyone else, it has to be Little Fires Everywhere which I just finished this week.

 

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

A passport, my Converse (for walking), my kindle (for the long flight). Paris or Florence, both tied for my favorite cities in the world. Actually, I’m also really looking forward to an African safari one of these days, but those three items still work.

 

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

…..uh….US Weekly?? (Shhhh.)

 

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

My husband.

 

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

I found Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine just so, so, so delightful. It was pitch-perfect in tone, plot and character development, and that’s something I always aspire to.

 

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

Yes, my high school English teacher, Mr. Doelger. He always told me that I could do something more with it, but I never really believed it myself until at least a decade later.

 

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

No, I listen to music before I write. While I’m writing, I need to be in my own head and hear my characters’ voices. But during the writing process, I take a lot of long walks and runs, and always listen to music exclusively to lose myself to my characters while doing so. I tend to make playlists that will spark emotional reactions for me and the characters. This time around, there was a lot of alternative and indie melancholy music playing. That said, the book takes its title from a Brandon Flowers song of the same name, and he was on my playlist non-stop.

 

10. Describe your writing space?

I have a home office that is lovely and light-filled and stacked with books. I can close the door and generally, my kids (and husband) know not to bother for me.

 

11. Coffee or tea?

Both! I have to have coffee in the morning, but I always run cold, so I drink a lot of herbal tea at night.

 

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

No, not particularly. Books are so subjective that if I’m giving one, I try to match the book to the reader.

 

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

The Long Way Around by the Dixie Chicks. A) I just LOVE the song. But B) I love that it is about taking some time to figure yourself out and being ok with that, regardless of how other people perceive you.

 

14. What/Who inspires you?

So many people. Other authors who put out brilliant work. My kids who motivate me to set a good example. Every day people in the news…I feel like these days, there are so many incredible stories of regular folks who are speaking up or doing something extraordinary. I take a lot of inspiration from that.

 

15. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

Nope. Never watched one of them!

 

16. Favorite Instagram account?

I have a few but none of them are celebrity accounts! One of my friends is a back-up singer for The Killers (my favorite band – see above!), and she’s on the road with them right now, so I love seeing her behind the scenes scoop. And I also love, Ashley Spivey’s account – she’s great about posting everything from recipes to workouts to great reads.

 

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

Am I allowed to choose one of my books? If so, I’d call it Time of My Life, and it would be a perfect rich pink that you’d put on for the party of the year. (I am into pinks right now!)

18. Current #TBR pile?

So many, too many! Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate is up next, but my nightstand pile is a mile high.

 

19. Best advice you’ve ever received?

Be nice. There is almost never a downside.

 

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Open Book ~ Liv Constantine

Happy New Year BB&B readers!  I hope the holidays were fabulous and you received lots of books and beauty baubles.  I am beyond thrilled to kick 2018 with one of the hottest books and author duos- Liv Constantine authors of The Last Mrs’ Parrish.  Not only was their book getting high praise before it’s book birthday but it was chosen by Reese Witherspoon as her December Book Club pick!  Yes.  That Reese Witherspoon. Liv is made up of two sisters- Val and Lynne.  I can tell you I started this book the 1st of the year and it is completely unputdownable.  I am so happy to be able to take a glimpse into a few of their favorite things with our fist “Open Book” of the year!

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via Amazon ~

THE DECEMBER PICK FOR REESE WITHERSPOON’S HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB

“Filled with envy, deception, and power, it’s a great reading escape. And there is a thrilling twist at the end!!” —Reese Witherspoon

“Will keep you up. In a ‘can’t put it down’ way. It’s ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ with XX chromosomes.”—The Skimm

“Deliciously duplicitous. . . . equally as twisty, spellbinding, and addictive as Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl or Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train.”—Library Journal (starred review)

Some women get everything. Some women get everything they deserve.

Amber Patterson is fed up. She’s tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more—a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted.

To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne—a socialite and philanthropist—and her real-estate mogul husband, Jackson, are a couple straight out of a fairy tale.

Amber’s envy could eat her alive . . . if she didn’t have a plan. Amber uses Daphne’s compassion and caring to insinuate herself into the family’s life—the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. Before long, Amber is Daphne’s closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the Parrishes and their lovely young daughters, and growing closer to Jackson. But a skeleton from her past may undermine everything that Amber has worked towards, and if it is discovered, her well-laid plan may fall to pieces.

With shocking turns and dark secrets that will keep you guessing until the very end, The Last Mrs. Parrish is a fresh, juicy, and utterly addictive thriller from a diabolically imaginative talent.

Liv Constantine two together, cr Erika Livingston

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

Lynne ~ Socrates, Ellen DeGeneres, and Princess Diana. That would be a fascinating and fun discussion.

Val ~ Eleanor Roosevelt, Edna Ferber and Jane Austen.

 

Current binge series? 

Lynne ~ Scandal – late to the game but loving it

Val ~ The Crown on Netflix

 

Last favorite book? 

Lynne ~ What Alice Forgot by Lianne Moriarty

Val ~ Nutshell by Ian McEwan

 

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

Lynne ~ E-reader full of books, bathing suit, and iPhone loaded with music for a three-month cruise of the Mediterranean

Val ~ Bathing suit, sunscreen, and good book. Any beach.

 

Sunday NYT or US Weekly

Lynne ~ Sunday NYT

Val ~ Sunday NYT

 

Last person you sent a text message to?  

Lynne ~ My sister

Val ~ My son in the US while I am visiting in the UK

 

Book you read that you wished you wrote? 

Lynne ~ Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Val ~ Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

 

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

Lynne ~ No, but I had a terrific writing teacher and mentor who helped me to hone my craft and become a better writer.

Val ~ I didn’t. But I had a few who taught me to be a better writer.

 

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

Lynne ~ Yes, Mozart

Val ~ Sometimes. When I do, it’s classical – mostly the big three – Bach, Beethoven and Mozart and lots of Rachmaninoff too.

 

Describe your writing space?

Lynne ~ Over the years, I’ve learned to write wherever I am, I simply put in my earphones, and pull out my laptop. When I’m home, I work in my office which is painted a bright blue and white with bookshelves surrounding my desk.

Val ~ A desk and chair that sits in front of floor to ceiling glass and overlooks a pond and small creek. Directly in front of me is a small garden that has become a gathering place for birds. It’s idyllic.

 

Coffee or tea?  

 Lynne ~  Coffee first thing in the morning, then tea throughout the day.

Val ~ Both

 

Do you have a favorite book that you gift? 

Lynne ~The Element by Ken Robinson. It’s about finding your true passion in life. I’m so lucky to have found mine and feel so strongly that a major key to happiness is finding work that you love.

Val ~ This year I gave copies of The Paper Bag Princess to both of my young granddaughters and to two of my nieces. Otherwise, I don’t really have a favorite book to gift. I try to match the book to the person.

 

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

Lynne ~ The Art of Racing in Rain

Val ~ Americana by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

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

Lynne ~ Break My Stride, by Matthew Wilder because I try to live my life going after my passion, and I try not to let anything get in my way. I also have crazy dreams! And, it’s a great song to work out to.

Val ~ Climb Every Mountain by Jordan Smith

 

What/Who inspires you? 

Lynne ~ Stories about individuals who persevere against all odds to achieve their dreams.

Val ~ My husband, Colin, inspires me. He is committed, disciplined, curious and a lifelong learner.

 

Bravo reality TV- yes or no? 

Lynne ~ No – well sometimes when I’m on the elliptical at the gym

Val ~ A big NO

 

Favorite Instagram account? 

Lynne ~ Golden-Retriever-Lover

Val ~ My daughter in law’s – with photos of my granddaughter

 

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

Lynne ~ A Color You Can’t Refuse – inspired by The Godfather, blood red

Val ~ Smoldering Red Passion after Portrait Of A Lady, by Henry James. It would be deep purple/red.

 

Best advice you’ve ever received? 

Lynne ~ Happiness is a choice – my wise mother

Val ~ Two things: 1) Forgive yourself and don’t look back. It is not the direction you’re going in. 2) Be kind to everyone you meet, because you never know the battles people are fighting.

 

Current TBR List:

Lynne ~

Magpie Murders, Anthony Horowitz

The Blackbird Season, Kate Moretti

The Ex, Alafair Burke

Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay

The Child Finder, Rene Denfield

The Second Sister, Claire Kendal

House of Spies, Daniel Silva

The Emotional Craft of Fiction, Donald Maass

Val ~

Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Sleep No More by P.D.James

Self Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff

Rosalind: A Biography of Shakespeare’s Immortal Heroine by Angela Thirlwell

The Odyssey, a new translation by Emily Wilson, which I am eyeing with some trepidation.

 

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ 2017 Wrap edition feat. Melissa Pimentel, Karma Brown, Stacey Ballis and Alyssa Palombo

This year I had a fabulous time on the blog with so many amazing authors and the “What’s in your {Bookish} Beauty Bag? feature!  I am excited to bring you today a collection of 4 wonderful authors and their bags, all of their books a definite for your winter reading list!  Comment below with your favorite author’s bag of 2017 🙂

Melissa Pimentel

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

Enormous tote bag! I used to be obsessed with  buying cute bags but have now resigned myself to being a crazy bag lady who lugs three books, her gym kit and a snack around with her all the time. Not very glamorous but very practical!

  • What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

I absolutely love this brand called The Ordinary. It was founded by a guy who’d worked in the industry for years and noticed that beauty companies were charging huge amounts for products that were actually cheap to make, so he decided to take matters into his own hands and create an affordable beauty line using the most effective ingredients. I’ve been using a few of the products for about a year now and my skin (which has always been a tricky, fickle beast) has never been better.

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

About sixteen lip balms plus a bold lipstick that I never actually wear (I’ve always wanted to be a bold lipstick person, but I never quite feel like I’m pulling it off).

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

I’ve just finished Tony & Susan, the book that Tom Ford’s film Nocturnal Animals is based on. It’s sooooooo good! I also just bought the September of Elle Magazine in the UK – this is the first issue under the new editor so I’m curious to see what it’s like!

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

I’ve got into this habit of giving myself weekly facials using Korean face masks and am really loving it. It’s nice to carve out a little time every week to just sit back and take care of my skin.

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Karma Brown

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

I prefer a purse (it’s nice to feel like a grown up) but it has to be big enough to fit my MacBook, which goes nearly everywhere with me. I love my Matt & Nat bag because it’s cruelty free AND holds everything I need – including Bandaids and hand sanitizer (I am a mom first), along with multiple lip balms, notepads, gum, earphones (for those loud coffee shops I write in) and everything else I find myself lugging around.

  • What are your top favorite beauty picks?

I’m quite honestly low maintenance when it comes to beauty products (in fact, some might suggest I could try harder), but I do have a small obsession with my Rosebud salve balms and Caudalie Divine Oil.

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

Lipbalm. I have a genuine lipbalm problem.

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

Right now I’m reading THE MOTHERS by Brit Bennett (amazing, amazing, amazing).

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

I almost always have a granola bag in my purse. It’s for hangry emergencies, which happen often when you have a kid

Stacey Ballis

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

 I’m a Fendi baguette girl all the way.  I hate a big purse, I’ll just fill it with heavy crap.  But the baguettes can be fancy or casual, tuck perfectly under the armpit, making them an ideal party bag, since it leaves hands free for eating and drinking!  I’ve been collecting them for years, I think I have six…

  • What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

 I swear by a bunch of stuff that I got addicted to in France, thank goodness a lot of them are now available stateside through Amazon!  Botot toothpaste and mouthwash, BioTherm deodorant, Biafine emulsion for redness and small breakouts, and Nuxe Reve de Miel honey lip balm.  I don’t wear much makeup except for very special fancy occasions, but 95% of my makeup products are Trish McEvoy, I just love their stuff especially brushes, but I always use MAC mascara.

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

I always have lip balm or aquaphor, and I always have hand lotion.  At the moment I’m in love with Tokyo Milk Light hand creme in the Awaken Within scent, which is a lovely blend of citrus and jasmine.

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

I’m currently re-reading the collected works of Jane Austen, both in honor of the 200th anniversary of her death, and for a new project.  I’m also reading Give a Girl a Knife by Amy Thielen.

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

I always have doTerra peppermint beadlets with me.  They are tiny little balls of peppermint essential oil.  You can pop them in your mouth for instant freshening or swallow them whole to settle an upset tummy.  People either love them or hate them…they are very powerful!  Sort of like the punch of two Altoids with no sweetness.  I’m addicted to them, I feel like they are the best at making sure my breath is fresh!

Alyssa Palombo

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  • What is your bag of choice?- purse/tote/backpack and brand that you have?
I never go anywhere without a purse – and I certainly have far too many! I’m not picky about brand, as long as it’s a nice leather (or leather and cloth) bag. I do like Coach and The Sak a lot, and I have a bright pink Kate Spade I carry in the summer.
  • What are your top favorite beauty picks?  
I have naturally (very) curly hair, so I swear by John Frieda’s Frizz-Ease. I recently bought a Revlon Colorstay Crème eye shadow, which stays on much longer, and I really love it.
  • What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?  
Do Chapstick and a hair tie count as beauty products? 🙂 I always have one of each in my bag. I’m not someone who wears makeup every day – just if I’m going out or have an event – so otherwise there’s nothing that I carry with me on a regular basis.
  • What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines)
I just started re-reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – I wanted to re-read it before watching the new show. I haven’t read it since high school, so I’m excited to get into it with the deeper appreciation I’m sure I’ll have as an adult for the issues it presents.
  • And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you 🙂
I always have either a book or my e-reader with me. You never know when you’ll be stuck somewhere and need a book! And I have a Moleskine notebook I carry everywhere, just in case inspiration strikes. I also always have either my big headphones with me, or at least a pair of earbuds. Other than books, music is my big addiction.

Alyssa Palombo_Credit Elizabeth Snyder Photography, LLC

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Kate White

Happy Halloween!  What better to celebrate one of my favorite holidays then with one of my favorite authors, Kate White!  HELLO #fangirling.  Her latest book, in her Bailey Weggins series, Even If It Kills Her is out TODAY!  I discovered Bailey back in 2002 with her first mystery – If Looks Could Kill, and have been obsessed with her since.  Think Nancy Drew but for adults 🙂  She is chic, clever and tough.  Kate was so kind to open her bag for readers today.  I am so happy to chat with her and celebrate her amazing work! I have read all her books and I can’t even name a favorite because that are all that AH-mazing! P.S. What’s Halloween without a treat?  Head over to my Instagram where I have a fabulous giveaway featuring Kate’s new book!

EvenIfItKillsHerFINAL

via Amazon ~

Kate White returns to her New York Times bestselling Bailey Weggins’ Mystery series, with this favorite true-crime journalist turned sleuth’s most chilling case to date.

Bailey Weggins’ great new friend in college, Jillian Lowe, had everything going for her. Pretty, popular, and whip-smart, she lit up any room that she walked into. All of that dramatically changed during her sophomore year, when a neighbor became unhinged and murdered her family. Jillian immediately left school, and ever since, Bailey has felt guilty for not staying in closer contact and being a greater support to her friend.

Now, sixteen years later, Bailey is shocked to see Jillian at her book event, and even more stunned when her still-gorgeous friend approaches her with a case. The man accused of murdering her family is on the brink of being cleared of the crime through new DNA evidence. With the real killer walking free, Jillian is desperate for Bailey’s help to identify him and allow her the closure she yearns for.

As the two women return to Jillian’s childhood town to investigate, it doesn’t take long for their sleuthing to cause shock waves. Someone starts watching their every move. As they uncover deeply-guarded secrets, so shocking that they make Jillian rethink her entire relationship to her family, Bailey and Jillian find themselves in great peril. They must decide just how much they’re willing to risk to finally discover the truth about the Lowe family’s murder.

KW_BlissBeautyBooks

What is your bag of choice?

I carry a small black Prada messenger bag. I love handbags, but I tore my bicep and rotator cuff after years of hoisting roller bags into the overhead compartments on planes, so a small bag is my only option now. But I have to admit that not worrying about keeping a bag positioned on my shoulder provides a wonderful sense of freedom. I highly recommend it.
What are your top beauty picks?  

When I ran Cosmo, my beauty editor taught me the importance of exfoliating for keeping skin youthful, so I use a ton of products that do that (like pads with alpha hydroxy or glycolic acid), and I wear a retinol cream every night. In the daytime, I wear StriVectin Intensive Concentrate for Wrinkles & Stretch Marks (hey, I’m no spring chicken!) and some La Mer lotion over it.

In terms of makeup (which I’ve adored wearing since I was thirteen), I use a mix of pricey and cheap. A makeup artist at the Today show turned me on to L’Oréal’s inexpensive True Match foundation, and I also love Maybelline’s Pumped Up! black mascara and their classic Expert Wear brow pencil.

For other products, I’ll pay more to get the quality I want. I love Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge for cheeks, which I set with Lancôme’s Cedar Rose blush. Right now I’m wearing a MAC cream lipstick, which I top with this fabulous gloss from L’Oréal: 103 Blushing Harmony.

And I’m never without Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream, another product I learned about at Cosmo. The makeup artists we worked with always used it. It’s great for lips, cheeks, cuticles, rough heels, you name it–though I haven’t tried to cook with it yet!.

For hair, I absolutely love Frédéric Fekkai’s PrX Reparatives shampoo and conditioner, both with Argan extract. That ingredient is like some magic potion from the gods and makes my hair feel great. My go-to styling product (for years and years) is Bumble and bumble Thickening Hairspray. My secret weapon? Velcro rollers (though never in public, I swear!). I roll my dry hair with them for an hour after styling and that gives me great volume. Another Today show trick.

Lastly, for scent, I wear patchouli oil. It’s a nice alternative if you are allergic to floral scents like I am.

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

Because my bag is so small, I really have to pare it down. For instance, I carry an extra compact of Lancôme’s Cedar Rose blush, and use it on my eyelids, too, so it serves two purposes. I also rely on a Bobbi Brown foundation stick, which is not only very compact and good for touch-ups, it’s also not a liquid, so there’s no problem with airport security (I travel a lot for business). Wherever possible, I use stuff in tiny packages, like an itty-bitty tube of Kiehl’s hand and body lotion, and the mini jar of Vaseline petroleum jelly. I’ve sometimes felt the urge to adopt that little jar. It’s just so freaking adorable.

And, of course, I have a pad and pen for jotting down notes.

What are you currently reading? 

I generally like to juggle three books at once just to mix it up. 1) A mystery (Help, I’m addicted!) Right now it’s The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dion, which everyone is buzzing about. 2) A literary book or a work of current popular fiction. I’ve just started Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny, which seems really entertaining. 3) Something non-fiction. At the moment, I’m devouring What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton. It’s a fascinating book, and she’s wonderfully blunt in it.

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

I always carry a pen and a little pad in case an idea for one of my mysteries pops into my head. I found this cute little pad on line and couldn’t resist. And I always have the key to my house in Uruguay, where my husband and I live in the winter. I realize it’s a little crazy, but I like knowing that if I ever decide to go there at a moment’s notice, I could get into the house.

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About the Author

Kate White, the former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, is the New York Times bestselling author of five standalone psychological thrillers, The Secrets You Keep, The Wrong Man, Eyes on You, The Sixes, and Hush, as well as six previous Bailey Weggins mysteries. White is also the author of several career books for women, including I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: How to Ask for the Money, Snag the Promotion, and Create the Career You Deserve and The Gutsy Girl’s Handbook (April 2018). She is the editor of The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. She lives in New York City. Read more about her at www.katewhite.com.

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*Thanks to Kate and her publicist for the interview!

 

 

Bliss Pick: The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

With the highly anticipated release of her upcoming book, Judgement Detox, Gabrielle Bernstein’s books are pure bliss and a game changer in your inspirational reads.  I wanted to showcase her last release, The Universe Has Your Back , because it’s a book I am constantly referencing and revisiting- much like all her books.  She speaks from truth and experience making it that much easier to relate and apply to our own lives.  She is also a friend and soul speaker to Oprah.  So if O loves her, its an automatic YES for me!  Read below for a Q&A with Gabby and make sure to grab Judgement Detox in January 2018!

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What inspired you to write The Universe Has Your Back?

 

I’m inspired to write about what I feel my readers need. We’re living in divisive times that call us to rely on faith in the midst of uncertainty. Navigating through life without a faithful path can be scary, especially when there’s so much turmoil in the world. This book is designed to help readers reclaim their power when they’re feeling powerless. Each story and lesson in the book guides readers to release the blocks to what they long for most: happiness, security and clear direction. The lessons help readers relinquish the need to control so they can relax into a sense of certainty and freedom. Readers will learn to stop chasing life and truly live.  

 

What can people expect from this book?

 

When you read this book, you can expect to wake up to your connection to faith and joy. When you understand this connection and recognize it, you’ll  be guided to your true purpose: to be love and spread love. These words can no longer be cute buzz phrases that we post on social media and print on tote bags. These words must be our mission. The happiness, safety and security we long for lies in our commitment to our happiness and joy.

 

How does fear hold us back?

 

Fear creates resistance in our energy. When we are stuck in fear, that resistance blocks us from the natural support of love that is available to us all the time. Throughout the book I refer to this loving support as the energy of the Universe. When we block the energy of the Universe we feel stuck, depressed, sick, weak and alone. When you read the book, the lessons within it will help you release that resistance and surrender your fears so that you can reconnect to the ever-present flow of love and support that is within you.

 

What does faith mean to you?

 

Making the shift from fear to faith gives us a sense of power in a world that all too often makes us feel utterly powerless. When the tragedies of the world seem overwhelming, this book helps guide us back to our power. We need faith now more than ever. When you live with faith you’re trusting in the power of your thoughts and energy to support your experiences. In a faithful state you can suspend disbelief and surrender your fear.

 

What will the reader find in this book that will guide them away from fear and into faith?

 

Each story, meditation and lesson in the book guides readers to release the blocks to the things we all long for most — happiness, security and clear direction. The lessons help readers relinquish the need to control so they can relax into a sense of certainty and freedom.

 

When readers follow this path, they’ll begin to feel a swell of energy move through them. They will find strength when they’re down, synchronicity and support when they’re lost, safety in the face of uncertainty and joy when they are otherwise in pain.

 

What are the lessons you hope readers take away from The Universe Has Your Back?

 

There are many universal lessons throughout the book, but the most important is to choose love. When you learn to lean toward thoughts and feelings of love, then you release all the resistance that blocks the flow of the Universe. The practices in the book will help readers weaken the resistance of fear and strengthen their faith in love. I give clear direction on how to heal fear-based beliefs and transcend limitation and doubt. Most importantly they’ll learn to feel supported and certain no matter what.

 

What was the catalyst for your journey from fear to faith?

 

Throughout my life I’ve experienced trauma, addiction and depression. But I was never willing to stay stuck in suffering. I knew at a very young age that there was a spiritual solution to all my problems. I’ve committed my life to seeking those solutions and strengthening my faith in love. My deepest desire is to be free of fear and dwell in joy. Because I’ve been on my own path of personal growth and spiritual recovery, I can speak to the lessons and healing from a very authentic place. I hope readers will recognize their own stories in mine.

 

How is The Universe Has Your Back different from your previous books?

 

This book is different in that it’s more philosophical. I push the spiritual envelope even more than I have in the past and I’m unapologetic about my faith. I believe we’re living in a time when we must have a spiritual path to survive. That’s why I didn’t hold back. I shared openly about how I transformed my fear and suffering through my spiritual faith so that readers can feel empowered and inspired to dive into their own practice.

 

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Biography

Gabrielle Bernstein has been named “a new thought leader” by Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. She appears regularly as an expert on The Dr. Oz Show, and was named “a new role model” by the New York Times. Gabrielle is the New York Times best-selling author of the books May Cause Miracles and Miracles Now. Her other titles include Add More ~ing to Your Life and Spirit Junkie. In the fall of 2016 she will release her fifth book, The Universe Has Your Back. Gabrielle teamed up with Deepak Chopra to co-host the Guinness Book of World Records largest group meditation.

 

YouTube named Gabrielle one of its 16 YouTube Next Video Bloggers, Mashable named her one of the 11 Must-Follow Twitter Accounts for Inspiration and she’s featured on the Forbes list of 20 Best Branded Women. The Oprah Winfrey Network chose Gabrielle to be part of the “Super Soul 100” list, a dynamic group of 100 trailblazers whose vision and life’s work are bringing a higher level of consciousness to the world. She’s been featured in media outlets such as ELLE, OWN, Kathie Lee & Hoda, The Today Show, Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, The Queen Latifah Show, Anderson Live, Access Hollywood, Marie Claire, Health, SELF, Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan, New York Times, Glamour, Help Desk, the cover of Experience Life Magazine and more. For more on Gabrielle’s work visit GabbyBernstein.com.

 

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*Thanks to Gabrielle’s publicist and publisher who provided the Q&A and assets.

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag?~ Labor Day ed. ~ Christina Julian, Jo Piazza and Mary Kubica

Back to school is here and I have some wonderful Labor Day picks today!  I was so lucky to have not only ONE but THREE fabulous authors open up their bags.  I have a little something for everyone ~ romance, mystery, non-fiction, humor- this list is endless with these three fabulous authors.  Read on to see for yourself ❤

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via Amazon ~

A hysterical dramedy about a woman unhinged and at a crossroad. “Julian’s debut takes an unabashed look at a failed marriage, divorce, and dating under the scrutiny of a less than supportive family.” –former San Francisco Chronicle columnist, Adair Lara.

Here I am, on my knees in front of the Trevi Fountain, hoping like hell the legend is true. That the fountain gives you solace and love by a mere toss of a coin.

Why am I here, exactly? Let’s see…

It started with my parents telling me to get married. Of course, being the good Catholic girl I am, I did.

Needless to say, that marriage nosedived, and my parents weren’t exactly happy about it.

Newly ditched and shamefully disowned, I decided to follow the advice of Babs, a tart-of-a-mentor, who offered me a job in Colorado.

Her advice? Sex…and lots of it.

The temptation of freedom, to do whatever–whoever–I wanted was too damn strong for me to say no.

And that’s how it all started. The men, the sex, the journey…

The dating bender.

Because everybody deserves a do-over

THE DATING BENDER is a hilarious satire about dysfunctional family relationships, women who love the wrong men, and one epic hunt for happiness.

PurseShot2.JPGWhat is your bag of choice?

This Kate Spade tote is hands down my fav for many reasons. First off because it’s pink. My day instantly brightens with one look. I also like how open and unencumbered it is. You can toss things in and out with ease, which for someone as indecisive as me, is a major score. But perhaps why I love this bag the most is because it’s something I would never buy for myself and was lucky enough to receive as a gift from my sister-in-law—the ultimate designer purse whore. She showed me how the “other” half lives and I have to admit, I like it!

What are your top beauty picks?

As a mother of 3-yr-old twins my beauty regime has gone right out the window, along with my sanity ;0). Cetaphil face cleaner is an essential, it washes away the day and night without drying. When I do wear makeup, which isn’t often, I turn to Estee Lauder BB cream and MAC studio fix, which both smooth out my skin tone and if I’m lucky, mask my sleep deprivation. I absolutely love Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar face cream. It feels like butter and gives my dry skin the lift it needs, especially during the scorching hot summers we get in Calistoga.

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

I’m not so sure this constitutes a beauty product but I’m never without Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer. It feels like someone is always sporting a cold in our house so this is my feeble attempt at damage control. I also love the fab scents. Neutrogena Face & Body Stick w/SPF 70, because when I am not writing I’m outside chasing the wild ones! When I’m mixing with the outside world, I try to slap on some lipstick, which is always MAC, because it has amazing staying power. My go-to shade is “Up the Amp” because this gal needs all the lift she can get. The pinkish/purple tint speaks to the girly-girl in me that never quits. And wipes, lots and lots of baby wipes.

What are you currently reading? 

I’m reading a couple books right now. Allison Winn Scotch’s In 20 Years and Emma Straub’s Modern Lovers. As a 40-something I love the notion of flashing back to my free-bird 20-something self. A time when my biggest quandries of the day amounted to deciding between which bar to hop to and whose lips I hoped to smash into next. The fact that these novels bounce seamlessly between these eras with humor, nostalgia, and more than a hint of sarcasm, have kept me up reading way past my bedtime.

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

A big honking key fob. The twins have taken to pillaging through my purse and stashing my keys in places that not even they can remember, so this helps with the hunt. As a debut author, I always have Dating Bender cards at the ready and never leave home without my iPad mini, just in case inspiration strikes. Or for when belting out the Beatles no longer settles the wee-ones. Then there’s the candy stash. Typically Dove dark chocolate and sour gummy bears. I wish I could say this is how I tame the tots, but the reality is I need the quick energy fix more than they ever could.

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Fitness Junkie

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via Amazon ~

Fitness Junkie

A Good Morning America Summer Must-Read! 

From the bestselling authors of The Knockoff, an outrageously funny novel about one woman’s attempt—through clay diets, naked yoga, green juice, and cultish workout classes—to win back her career, save her best friend, and lose thirty pounds.

When Janey Sweet, CEO of a couture wedding dress company, is photographed in the front row of a fashion show eating a bruffin—the delicious lovechild of a brioche and a muffin—her best friend and business partner, Beau, gives her an ultimatum: Lose thirty pounds or lose your job. Sure, Janey has gained some weight since her divorce, and no, her beautifully cut trousers don’t fit like they used to, so Janey throws herself headlong into the world of the fitness revolution, signing up for a shockingly expensive workout pass, baring it all for Free the Nipple yoga, sweating through boot camp classes run by Sri Lankan militants and spinning to the screams of a Lycra-clad instructor with rage issues. At a juice shop she meets Jacob, a cute young guy who takes her dumpster-diving outside Whole Foods on their first date. At a shaman’s tea ceremony she meets Hugh, a silver fox who holds her hand through an ayahuasca hallucination And at a secret exercise studio Janey meets Sara Strong, the wildly popular workout guru whose special dance routine has starlets and wealthy women flocking to her for results that seem too good to be true. As Janey eschews delicious carbs, pays thousands of dollars to charlatans, and is harassed by her very own fitness bracelet, she can’t help but wonder: Did she really need to lose weight in the first place? A hilarious send-up of the health and wellness industry, Fitness Junkie is a glorious romp through the absurd landscape of our weight-obsessed culture.

via Amazon ~

How to Be Married

Everyone tells you marriage is hard, but no one tells you what to do about it.

At age thirty-four, Jo Piazza got her romantic-comedy ending when she met the man of her dreams on a boat in the Galápagos Islands and was engaged three months later. But before long, Jo found herself riddled with questions. How do you make a marriage work in a world where you no longer need to be married? How does an independent, strong-willed feminist become someone’s partner—all the time?

In the tradition of writers such as Nora Ephron and Elizabeth Gilbert, award-winning journalist and nationally bestselling author Jo Piazza writes a provocative memoir of a real first year of marriage that will forever change the way we look at matrimony.

A travel editor constantly on the move, Jo journeys to twenty countries on five continents to figure out what modern marriage means. Throughout this stunning, funny, warm, and wise personal narrative, she gleans wisdom from matrilineal tribeswomen, French ladies who lunch, Orthodox Jewish moms, Swedish stay-at-home dads, polygamous warriors, and Dutch prostitutes.

Written with refreshing candor, elegant prose, astute reporting, and hilarious insight into the human psyche, How to Be Married offers an honest portrait of an utterly charming couple. When life throws more at them than they ever expected—a terrifying health diagnosis, sick parents to care for, unemployment—they ultimately create a fresh understanding of what it means to be equal partners during the good and bad times.

Through their journey, they reveal a framework that will help the rest of us keep our marriages strong, from engagement into the newlywed years and beyond.

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

Mulberry Bayswater and a Mulberry clutch

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

PurO3 ozonated olive oil moisturizer, Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt perfume, Fresh Seaberry face oil.

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

I always carry red lipstick, Mac Russian Red (which feels like a strange name for a color right now), because it makes anyone look less tired, Glossier Invisible Shield sunscreen,

What are you currently reading?

Carolyn Murnicks’s The Hot One (comes out in August), J. Courtney Sullivan Saints for All Occasions and Elizabeth Warren’s This Fight is Our Fight

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

Peanut Butter Cups and an @dopper_official water bottle (t’s pretty much the perfect water bottle…they turn into a portable wine glass too)

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Every Last Lie cover

via Amazon~

New York Times bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL Mary Kubica is back with another exhilarating thriller as a widow’s pursuit of the truth leads her to the darkest corners of the psyche. 

Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon.

Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit.

Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara’s investigation and Nick’s last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.

 

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What is your bag of choice?- purse/tote/backpack and brand that you have?
Depending on where I’m headed and what I plan to do, I carry either a Vera Bradley crossbody bag (the Hipster) or my Ogio tote bag – especially when I need to bring my laptop with me, which is as it’s been much of this summer, always writing on the go.
 
What are your top favorite beauty picks?  
Murad, Clinique, Bobbi Brown
 
What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?  
The only product that I carry around with me all the time is lip gloss (currently Neutrogena’s MoistureShine, though I’m not married to any brand)
 
What are you currently reading?
I’ve just finished ARCs of two exciting suspense novels set to release this year – Wendy Walker’s EMMA IN THE NIGHT (out August 8th) and Krysten Ritter’s BONFIRE (November 7th).  They’re both phenomenal.  Must-reads for anyone who loves a thrill!
 
And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you?
Sunglasses are a necessity – I hate to squint – and my phone!

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Julie Lawson Timmer

It’s feels like fall over here in Boston and there is nothing I love more than crisp air- with sun of course- and a good book!  I was so excited to receive a copy of Julie Lawson Timmer’s latest book, Mrs. Saint and the Detectives and even more thrilled when she opened THE BAG.  When I say THE BAG I mean the bag that I continuously stalk on EBAY.  This Kate Spade bag is everything and since Julie is such an AH-mazing author I wouldn’t expect anything less 🙂  She is sharing her favorites- Bobbi Brown! and her adorable Poppy too!   Read ahead and make sure to add her newest to your must-read list!  Perfect way to end summer ❤

 

Mrs. Saint

via Amazon ~

Critically acclaimed author Julie Lawson Timmer returns with a tale of how community can heal the brokenness in all of us.

Markie, a fortysomething divorcée who has suffered a humiliating and very public fall from marital, financial, and professional grace, moves, along with her teenage son, Jesse, to a new town, hoping to lick her wounds in private. But Markie and Jesse are unable to escape the attention of their new neighbor Mrs. Saint, an irascible, elderly New European woman who takes it upon herself, along with her ragtag group of “defectives,” to identify and fix the flaws in those around her, whether they want her to or not.

What Markie doesn’t realize is that Mrs. Saint has big plans for the divorcée’s broken spirit. Soon, the quirky yet endearing woman recruits Markie to join her eccentric community, a world where both hidden truths and hope unite them. But when Mrs. Saint’s own secrets threaten to unravel their fragile web of healing, it’s up to Markie to mend these wounds and usher in a new era for the “defectives”—one full of second chances and happiness.

bag and dog

 

What is your bag of choice?

I switch day-use bags often, but the one that’s most fun is the Kate Spade All Typed Up bag my husband gave me for Valentine’s one year. It’s not only adorable, but it’s also functional, and big enough to hold my laptop. Almost every time I’m out with it, some small child asks if the keyboard actually works. For weekends, I am in love with my Lululemon All-Day Tote, also gifted to me by my husband. It’s so sleek and has a place for everything.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

I don’t wear much makeup, but when I do, it’s exclusively Bobbi Brown. I love her Skin Foundation Stick, Creamy Concealer, Corrector, and Pot Rouge. Best wrinkle-hiding makeup I’ve found so far! I also love my Michel Mercier no-tangle hairbrushes–I have several, including one I keep one in the shower. This single product has saved me so much time and grief.

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

I am never without lip wear, and I have a little zippered bag in every purse containing an assortment: lip balm (my favorites are ones I get from my dentist. Keeps me going back for regular cleanings!); lip gloss (clear – I use a lot of Neutrogena gloss); and lip color (Bobbi Brown again, and sometimes M.A.C.).

What are you currently reading?

I’m always reading several things at once. Right now, it’s Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout, Beartown by Fredrik Backman, Guerilla Factory: The Making of Special Forces Officers by Tony Schwalm (part of a long-distance book club I’m doing with my 20-year-old son), and Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl (another mom/son book).

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

My iPhone of course–not for social media but because my kids have moved away and texting is our main communication mode now. I am forever snapping photos of things I think they’ll laugh about or like to see. It’s boring, but I also always have Goody hair ties so I can toss my hair into a ponytail at the end of a work day, or if it’s too hot to feel hair on my neck, etc. If my family were to answer this question, they’d say my minpin (Miniature Pinscher) Poppy, a sweet little 8-pound dog whose favorite spot is my lap, and who is the subject of at least half my Instagram posts.

Julie Lawson Timmer

 

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