What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Jessica Strawser

Jessica Strawser is not only the editor-at-large for Writer’s Digest, the must have publication for all writers, she is also new force  in the thriller book game.  Her debut novel, Almost Missed You was a Barnes and Noble 2017 book pick and her latest release, Not That I Could Tell is popping up on booklists everywhere.  And she has impeccable timing, who doesn’t love a great thriller for Spring break!  I am so excited she shared her tote with me featuring her favorite beauty items and go-to snack so she doesn’t get HANGRY. Don’t we all 😉

NOT THAT I COULD TELL

via Amazon ~

An innocent night of fun takes a shocking turn in Not That I Could Tell, the next page-turner from Jessica Strawser.

When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.

By Monday morning, one of them is gone.

Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce―and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her―and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions―especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.

As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors―and to ask how well anyone reallyknows anyone else.

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What is your bag of choice?

I used to drag a boring, standard-issue laptop bag to conferences and book festivals, until I stumbled across this stylish Vera Wang that can stand in for a purse as well. It has just the right pouches to keep everything I need sorted, plus a padded sleeve for my Macbook. And it’s so versatile—it has yet to clash with a single dress or outfit—I can take it straight from the podium to cocktail hour without looking out of place. I get compliments on it everywhere I go.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

Years ago, I went to the eye doctor for some annoying irritation around my eyes, only to learn that I was having a “stress response” to my makeup. It wasn’t an allergy, exactly, but it might as well have been. He recommended I switch to Almay, because their products are designed for people with similar sensitivities, and I haven’t had an issue since! I love their mineral sheer eye shadows, though I do sometimes wish the colors weren’t so limited. (If you’re reading this, Almay, more purples, please!)

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

I’m pretty minimalist, to be honest: lip balm (any kind, really), powder foundation (Neutrogena is my favorite), and hand wipes are the only things I really mind being caught without (though when I am, I do really, really mind). Then again, I always end up carrying so much of my kids’ stuff around in my purse, there’s barely room for my own!

What are you currently reading?

I have been so looking forward to the new memoir I Am, I Am, I Am by one of my favorite novelists, Maggie O’Farrell. It’s about her seventeen brushes with death, and though we’ve never met, I’m wholeheartedly glad that she survived every one.

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

I always try to have a granola bar or a pack of peanut butter crackers along, just in case. (I tell myself I’m bringing it for the kids, but who am I kidding? They inherited their ability to get hangry in a snap from me.)

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Sally Hepworth

I have been a huge fan of Sally Hepworth’s for a while now.  She has a way of writing and storytelling that instantly grabs you and its hard to put down her books.  I mean thats exactly what you want in an author, right?  Then I promise you, Sally is your girl.  Her newest novel, The Family Next Door, out NOW, is being compared to Big Little Lies and has a domestic suspense flavor to it.  I am thrilled to be able to celebrate her and this book today on the blog!  I mean from her author photo she can rock a red lip like no other so of course we already know she is super fabulous 😉

 

Cover Image- Family Next Door

via Amazon ~

America’s next favorite Australian author!

“With jaw-dropping discoveries and realistic consequences, this novel is not to be missed. Perfect for lovers of Big Little Lies.” ―Library Journal, starred review

Small, perfect towns often hold the deepest secrets.

From the outside, Essie’s life looks idyllic: a loving husband, a beautiful house in a good neighborhood, and a nearby mother who dotes on her grandchildren. But few of Essie’s friends know her secret shame: that in a moment of maternal despair, she once walked away from her newborn, asleep in her carriage in a park. Disaster was avoided and Essie got better, but she still fears what lurks inside her, even as her daughter gets older and she has a second baby.

When a new woman named Isabelle moves in next door to Essie, she is an immediate object of curiosity in the neighborhood. Why single, when everyone else is married with children? Why renting, when everyone else owns? What mysterious job does she have? And why is she so fascinated with Essie? As the two women grow closer and Essie’s friends voice their disapproval, it starts to become clear that Isabelle’s choice of neighborhood was no accident. And that her presence threatens to bring shocking secrets to light.

The Family Next Door is Sally Hepworth at her very best: at once a deeply moving portrait of family drama and a compelling suburban mystery that will keep you hooked until the very last page.

Bag

What is your bag of choice?

A tote! Currently I’m carrying a tote made of white neoprene (wetsuit material), that I love because it is machine washable, and fits all my stuff–currently my laptop, my planner, my wallet, a pencil case, phone, a novel, sunglasses, sunscreen, a set of headphones and about 27 pens. The tote is a brand called Punch, and I was gifted it for Christmas. I will use it every day until it falls apart and then immediately order another.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

Red lipstick, red lipstick and more red lipstick. Did I mention red lipstick? I have no beauty picks because there is nothing else one actually needs.

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

I’ve always thought of sunscreen as the best possible beauty product and I always carry that. But that’s it! I put on my long-last red lippy in the morning, but I don’t re-apply it, or any other make up during the day, or carry anything with me.

What are you currently reading?

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F#*k. It’s really, really good. I recently finished The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain (which I adored) and highly recommend.

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

I live in Australia and would look like my purse (if it were leather), if I didn’t carry sunscreen with me and constantly reapply it. And a hat! You will usually find both in my bag!

Sally Hepworth Headshot_highest res_credit Mrs. Smart Photography

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Open Book ~ Alafair Burke

I am thrilled to have one of the best crime writers, Alafair Burke, on the blog today!  Her latest release, The Wife has been on all the top 2018 Must Read lists (EW, Washington Post, O Magazine) and was acquired by Amazon for film adaptation and Alafair is writing the script!  You all know I love a good page to screen collab!  Read below to see her dream book club- which is SO` good, her current reads and theme song for her life- one of my favorites 😉
WifeThefinal, 1.16.2018.jpg

via Amazon ~

His Scandal
Her Secret

From New York Times bestselling author Alafair Burke, a stunning domestic thriller in the vein of Behind Closed Doors and The Woman in Cabin 10—in which a woman must make the impossible choice between defending her husband and saving herself.

When Angela met Jason Powell while catering a dinner party in East Hampton, she assumed their romance would be a short-lived fling, like so many relationships between locals and summer visitors. To her surprise, Jason, a brilliant economics professor at NYU, had other plans, and they married the following summer. For Angela, the marriage turned out to be a chance to reboot her life. She and her son were finally able to move out of her mother’s home to Manhattan, where no one knew about her tragic past.

Six years later, thanks to a bestselling book and a growing media career, Jason has become a cultural lightning rod, placing Angela near the spotlight she worked so carefully to avoid. When a college intern makes an accusation against Jason, and another woman, Kerry Lynch, comes forward with an even more troubling allegation, their perfect life begins to unravel. Jason insists he is innocent, and Angela believes him. But when Kerry disappears, Angela is forced to take a closer look—at both the man she married and the women she chose not to believe.

This much-anticipated follow-up to Burke’s Edgar-nominated The Ex asks how far a wife will go to protect the man she loves: Will she stand by his side, even if he drags her down with him?

Alafair Burke, cr Deborah Copaken KoganWhat three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with?

Sue Grafton, Kristen Bell, and Michelle Obama
 Current binge series?

The Crown

 Last favorite book?

 Favorite to me means exactly that.  My favorite book—still—is The Hours by Michael Cunningham

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

Swimsuit, laptop, and hat.  My favorite place is Anguilla.

 Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Times.

 Last person you sent a text message to?

My husband, Sean.

 Book you read that you wished you wrote?

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

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

I had a 9th grade English teacher who had us journal in class.  It’s absolutely criminal that I don’t remember her name.

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

No music for me.  Background noise is fine, but I don’t intentionally inject sound.

 Describe your writing space?

I have a home office in two different places, one large, one small.  But I also write in hotels, on planes, in coffee shops, and on beaches.

 Coffee or tea?

Tea.  Iced.

 Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

No. Book taste is too subjective.  I only give books when I know for certain that it’s a good match for the person.

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

THE WIFE.  I’m writing the screenplay now for Amazon Studios.
 If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why? 

Got to Be Real by Cheryl Lynn.  Because it’s all got to be real, and that song always makes me happy.

What/Who inspires you?

Anyone who has a natural talent and puts hard work behind it.  I don’t cry at much, but when I see a truly magnificent performance of any kind—acting, singing, sports, any accomplishment—I’ve been known to lose it.

 Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

No, no, no.

 Favorite Instagram account?

gvbiscuitsandbath  It’s my dogs’ daycare account.  So many cute NYC dogs.

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

Sunburn, named after Laura Lippman’s new book.  A big, bold orangey red.

Current #TBR pile?

 Bonfire by Krysten Ritter; The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine.  And I’m excited for Michael Koryta’s new book, How it Happened, but I don’t have a galley yet (hint, hint, MK).
Best advice you’ve ever received?

Writing is a job, so treat it like one

 

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Andrea Dunlop

I have been a fan of Andrea Dunlop’s since her debut novel, Losing the Light.  I was thrilled to hear of her latest novel, out TODAY, She Regrets Nothing.  Hailed by Booklist as a “Gossip Girl for Grown-Ups”, this is a pre-spring read that will invite you into a luxe, rich and sparkling world.  I am so happy to celebrate Andrea today and take sneak peak into her bag.  Not only is she a fabulous author but she picks good reads too ❤

SheRegretsNothing_Cover Image

via Amazon ~

In the tradition of The Emperor’s Children and The House of Mirth, the forgotten granddaughter of one of New York’s wealthiest men is reunited with her family just as she comes of age—and once she’s had a glimpse of their glittering world, she refuses to let it go without a fight.

When Laila Lawrence becomes an orphan at twenty-three, the sudden loss unexpectedly introduces her to three glamorous cousins from New York who show up unannounced at her mother’s funeral. The three siblings are scions of the wealthy family from which Laila’s father had been estranged long before his own untimely demise ten years before.

Two years later, Laila has left behind her quiet life in Grosse Point, Michigan to move to New York City, landing her smack in the middle of her cousins’ decadent world. As the truth about why Laila’s parents became estranged from the family patriarch becomes clear, Laila grows ever more resolved to claim what’s rightfully hers. Caught between longing for the love of her family and her relentless pursuit of the lifestyle she feels she was unfairly denied, Laila finds herself reawakening a long dead family scandal—not to mention setting off several new ones—as she becomes further enmeshed in the lives and love affairs of her cousins. But will Laila ever, truly, belong in their world? Sly and sexy, She Regrets Nothing is a sharply observed and utterly seductive tale about family, fortune, and fate—and the dark side of wealth.

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What is your bag of choice?

I love Michael Kors and Aimee Kestenberg for my every day, throw-everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-into-them bags. Both brands are super durable, stylish, and are a reasonable splurge. I feel like I beat the crap out of my bags, so I need something that lasts, and I’m not inclined to drop a mortgage payment on a purse. For a cute clutch I love Ted Baker: the details of his stuff have just enough whimsy, not too serious, but also not completely deranged.

 

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

My biggest splurge-y beauty pick is Chanel 99 Rose Petal blush. The artist who did my makeup at my wedding used this on me and I was instantly hooked. In addition to looking good, it also smells fantastic and the packaging makes me feel like a grown up. I don’t wear makeup very often so when I do I want to make it special. After years of wearing liquid foundation, I switched over to Smashbox’s photo finish BB cream, which makes my skin look glow-y even when I’m having a bonkers, insomniac week. In terms of skincare, I love Dr. Brandt’s microdermabrasion exfoliator, even though it’s marketed as an “anti-aging” product which I kind of loathe. I’m in my mid-thirties so I’m now in the demo that gets a whole lot of “you must buy this expensive product right now or become a crone forever” type of advertising which grosses me out. Presumably I’m still beholden to the laws of time and space, and will continue to age at the rate of a normal human woman despite this lovely exfoliator, but it makes my skin feel nice and I like it.

 

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

I love to take sheets masks with me when I travel, as well as mini-bottles of Avene Thermal Spring Water, because I get so dehydrated on planes. I also always have Burt’s Bees chapsticks, which I tend to accidentally leave everywhere. My dog also really enjoys ferreting these out of my bag and eating them, so I go through a lot of them!

 

What are you currently reading?

I just finished a coming-of-age story about a toxic romantic relationship that I think everyone is going to be obsessing about this summer (it’s out June 12th) called Tell Me Lies by debut author Carola Lovering. My editor sent me an early copy and I couldn’t put it down; the central relationship is an extreme example of something many women have experienced so I think it will really resonate with readers. I just started reading Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, which I probably don’t have to tell you anything about because I’m pretty sure I’m the last one on earth who hasn’t read it. But in case you’re also late to the party, it’s the story of a picture perfect progressive suburb in Cleveland where a new arrival mixes things up and basically, the whole town loses their minds. Naturally, I love it already.

 

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

Pens, a mini-journal, and promotional bookmarks for She Regrets Nothing. That last item might sound shameless, but they’re incredibly handy for those off-hand conversations you have with folks who ask what your book is about, where they can find it, etc. Since I love getting bookmarks, I don’t feel bad foisting them on interested parties. My mom is also very into the bookmarks right now, she gives them to all of her friends and when I was out shopping with her the other week, every time we had a salesperson, she was like: Did you give her a bookmark? The proud mom marketing hustle is real.

View More: http://matthewland.pass.us/andrea-headshots

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Elizabeth LaBan

Elizabeth LaBan is here today sharing her fabulous bag and talking all things books and beauty!  Her latest release, Not Perfect, is out now and a must-read for all Mom’s and women who are just trying to keep it together ~ something we can all relate to 😉  Plus, LaBan’s beauty must-have is a tube of lipstick therefore we are soul sisters.

Not Perfect_300dpi.jpg

via Amazon ~

From Elizabeth LaBan, the acclaimed author of The Restaurant Critic’s Wife, comes a captivating and very funny novel about a wife and mother’s fall from grace, and why keeping up appearances is not her biggest secret.

Tabitha Brewer wakes up one morning to find her husband gone, leaving her no way to support herself and their two children, never mind their upscale Philadelphia lifestyle. She’d confess her situation to her friends—if it wasn’t for those dreadful words of warning in his goodbye note: “I’ll tell them what you did.”

Instead, she does her best to keep up appearances, even as months pass and she can barely put food on the table—much less replace a light bulb. While she looks for a job, she lives in fear that someone will see her stuffing toilet paper into her handbag or pinching basil from a neighbor’s window box.

Soon, blindsided by catastrophe, surprised by romance, and stunned by the kindness of a stranger, Tabitha realizes she can’t keep her secrets forever. Sooner or later, someone is bound to figure out that her life is far from perfect.

LaBan what's in my bag

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

My bag of choice is a medium-sized Billabong purse with lots of pockets. This is my second version of the same exact style and I love it! This one is a soft black leather that goes with everything.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

My absolute favorite beauty pick is lipstick by Clinique. It is one of the few things I just love to buy for the sake of buying it, even if I don’t need more at the moment. Walking up to the Clinique counter (generally at the Macy’s in Center City, Philadelphia) and seeing what new colors there are is one of my favorite things to do. I especially love when they have a promotion and offer a small sack of mini cosmetics to go along with my purchase. Some of those mini cosmetics then go right in my purse!

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

Really only two things all the time – and sometimes I run out of the first. I like to have a tiny bottle of hand lotion – usually from a hotel room (cosmetics in a hotel room are another favorite of mine), and also, of course, the lipstick. At any given moment I have three or four different Clinique lipsticks at the bottom of my purse – all in the general berry category (not too pink and not too red), and I just reach in and use whichever one I pull out. On any given day lipstick is likely to be the only make-up I wear. At the beginning of my new novel NOT PERFECT, when Tabitha finds herself without resources, she worries about running out of lipstick and rations it. I imagine she has a beautiful silver tube of Clinique.

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

I just started reading Amanda Stauffer’s new novel called MATCH MADE IN MANHATTAN and I love it. I am doing a book event in Brooklyn in February with her and another author Clarissa Harwood whose IMPOSSIBLE SAINTS just came out (which I loved), and I am so excited to read Amanda’s book. I am about 20 pages in and already hooked. I will definitely wear my best lipstick to that event!

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

I tend to not clean out my bag very often, which suits me well when I play one of those “what is in your purse” games at bridal showers, but one thing I always keep in one of the front pockets is a stack of tickets to the various amusement parks up and down the boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey. Included in that stack are all the free mini-golf games we won the summer before. I carry it all year for two reasons – I know I would forget to pack it for our next trip to Ocean City, and I always love to see it – it reminds me of summer!

Elizabeth LaBan photo credit Andrea Cipriani Mecchi

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Open Book ~ Leslie Cohen

Happy blissful Monday!  I am thrilled to be able to share my next “Open Book” author, Leslie Cohen.  Her debut novel, This Love Story Will Self-Destruct is getting high praise as a People Magazine pick of the week, fabulous write-ups from Bustle and Hello Giggles and Cohen being hailed as a young Nora Ephron- well I am sold.  Read below to learn a few fun tidbits about Cohen.  All I needed to know was she was  Jay-Z fan and Cher Horowitz is an inspiration 😉 #friendgoals.

Cover Image - THIS LOVE STORY WILL SELF DESTRUCT

via Amazon ~

This is the classic tale of boy meets girl: Girl…goes home with someone else.

Meet Eve. She’s a dreamer, a feeler, a careening well of sensitivities who can’t quite keep her feet on the ground, or steer clear of trouble. She’s a laugher, a crier, a quirky and quick-witted bleeding-heart-worrier.

Meet Ben. He’s an engineer, an expert at leveling floors who likes order, structure, and straight lines. He doesn’t opine, he doesn’t ruminate, he doesn’t simmer until he boils over.

So naturally, when the two first cross paths, sparks don’t exactly fly. But then they meet again. And again. And then, finally, they find themselves with a deep yet fragile connection that will change the course of their relationship—possibly forever.

Follow Eve and Ben as they navigate their twenties on a winding journey through first jobs, first dates, and first breakups; through first reunions, first betrayals and, maybe, first love. This is When Harry Met Sally reimagined; a charming tale told from two unapologetically original points of view. With an acerbic edge and heartwarming humor, debut novelist Leslie Cohen takes us on a tour of what life looks like when it doesn’t go according to plan, and explores the complexity, chaos, and comedy in finding a relationship built to last.

Author Photo - Leslie Cohen credit to David Verbitsky

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

Elena Ferrante, whoever that may be

Mindy Kaling

Novak Djokovic

 

Current binge series?

Mad Men

 

Last favorite book?

The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride

 

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

Bathing suit

Sunblock

Xanax

Somewhere coastal

 

Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Sunday NYT. US Weekly is too much drama for me.

 

Last person you sent a text message to?

My friend, Monica. She’s an ER doctor, so I like to text her random questions and keep her on her toes re: imaginary illnesses.

 

Book you read that you wished you wrote?

Us by David Nicholls

 

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

Yes! She was also named Leslie and she was the head of the undergraduate creative writing program at Columbia, where I went to college. She gave me the very special gift of telling me that I had a voice and should become a writer and I gave her the gift of asking 493 follow up questions.

 

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

Yes. Especially when I need to get into a very emotional and somewhat rebellious state of mind. So, Rihanna. Obviously.

 

Describe your writing space?

Desk. Chair. Laptop. No funny business. Mo’ plants mo’ problems.

 

Coffee or tea?

Tea! But I’m in it mainly for the accompanying cookies.

 

Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

I’ve given my friends Vaclav and Lena by Haley Tanner and Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. They are both the sweetest love stories ever.

 

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

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

 

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

Dirt Off Your Shoulder by Jay Z because it’s about being cool and letting things slide and I have absolutely no idea how to do that. It’s strictly aspirational.

 

What/Who inspires you?

My friends. My husband. They’re pretty cute. Oh! And Cher from Clueless.

 

Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

I’m more of a Kardashians/ Bachelor type of girl.

 

Favorite Instagram account?

I follow a puppy in Japan named Ernie and he’s just a small, white fluffball that naps and plays with stuffed animals but I really dig his vibe.

 

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

I think I may be unqualified to answer this question. I may have worn ChapStick at my wedding. Plain ChapStick. Not even Cherry. Don’t tell anyone.

 

Current #TBR pile?

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Letters to Vera by Vladimir Nabokov

 

Best advice you’ve ever received?

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” I didn’t receive this advice, personally, as it was said by Wayne Gretzky, but I acquire most of my wisdom from sports. And the rest from my mother.

 

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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 🙂

BMAY final

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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