What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Camille Di Maio

A long weekend is coming and what better to celebrate than lots of fun authors sharing their gorgeous bags!  To kick off this celebration I have the lovely Camille Di Maio, author of Before the Rain Falls, out now.  Di Maio, not only a beautiful fiction author, was a former real estate agent who left her career in the field to write full time, a choice that is so wonderful for us as readers 🙂  This latest novel intertwines the past, the present, family and love  so perfectly.  It’s sure to be a 2017 hit!

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via Amazon ~

After serving seventy years in prison for the murder of her sister, Eula, Della Lee has finally returned home to the Texas town of Puerto Pesar. She’s free from confinement—and ready to tell her secrets before it’s too late.

She finds a willing audience in journalist Mick Anders, who is reeling after his suspension from a Boston newspaper and in town, reluctantly, to investigate a mysterious portrait of Eula that reportedly sheds tears. He crosses paths with Dr. Paloma Vega, who’s visiting Puerto Pesar with her own mission: to take care of her ailing grandmother and to rescue her rebellious younger sister before something terrible happens. Paloma and Mick have their reasons to be in the hot, parched border town whose name translates as “Port of Regret.” But they don’t anticipate how their lives will be changed forever.

Moving and engrossing, this dual story alternates between Della’s dark ordeals of the 1940s and Paloma and Mick’s present-day search for answers―about roots, family, love, and what is truly important in life.

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

I have been gravitating toward backpacks for a few reasons. They keep my hands free for the all-important tasks of holding hot coffee and wrangling children. I can also carry my laptop in them so that I can write at a moment’s notice. My favorite one is by Orla Kiely. I found it at an airport shop in Belfast Northern Ireland as I waited for a flight to Liverpool. I love its coated canvas material, it’s striking colors, and its ideal size. It’s not a brand often seen in the US, so I also love how unique it is!

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

If I had to choose only one kind of makeup for the rest of my life, it would be mascara.  Loreal is my favorite brand – I get so many compliments on my lashes!  I like Kat Von D liquid eyeliner in blue, which makes my eyes stand out. Erase Paste by Benefit is awesome for the inevitable dark circles and blemishes.  My daughter recently introduced me to beauty blenders and I’m wondering how I went so long without them!  I also keep a spare pare of contact lenses just in case I lose one – I would be lost without them!

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

I have a great little Longchamp bag that is ideal for carrying around mints, lipstick, hair ties, and lipstick. I also like to include one of those round pop-up hair brushes for quick touch-ups.  I have long hair, so it’s a must!

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading an early copy of THE WEIGHT OF LIES by Emily Carpenter on my Kindle. It’s amazing Southern Gothic suspense.  I don’t normally read that genre, but this book might make me a convert.  My Kindle is a must-have piece in my bag.  I use ever spare minute to read. A five-minute wait in a grocery store line can get me through several pages!

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

I always carry pens, business cards with pictures of my books on them, and chocolate lollipops from See’s Candies.  The lollipops are long-lasting and satisfy frequent chocolate cravings!  Of course, my cell phone might as well be surgically attached.  My favorite feature is the camera and I’m amazed at the picture quality that can come from such a small device!  In another life, I would have been a photographer, so I love always having that at the ready.  I do have a super-ugly, utilitarian case, because I broke the glass too many times with the cute ones.

 

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*Many thanks to Camille for chatting with us today!

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Kristy Woodson Harvey

Beach reading is right around the corner, although I am a fan of a beach read all year long, but the time is coming for gorgeous, bright covers and dishy, delicious reads.  One that I have added to my “Must-Haves” for the beach is Slightly South of Simple by the lovely Kristy Woodson Harvey.  I have been a BIG fan of Harvey since day one and this being her third novel, its getting wonderful reviews.  I was so excited Kristy was willing to share her beautiful nude tote filled with all kinds of goodies and basically everything you think a Mom/Author would carry ❤

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via Amazon

From the next “major voice in Southern fiction” (New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand) comes the first in an all-new series chronicling the journeys of three sisters and their mother—and a secret from their past that has the potential to tear them apart and reshape their very definition of what it means to be a family.

Caroline Murphy swore she’d never set foot back in the small Southern town of Peachtree Bluff; she was a New York girl born and bred and the worst day of her life was when, in the wake of her father’s death, her mother selfishly forced her to move—during her senior year of high school, no less—back to that hick-infested rat trap where she’d spent her childhood summers. But now that her marriage to a New York high society heir has fallen apart in a very public, very embarrassing fashion, a pregnant Caroline decides to escape the gossipmongers with her nine-year-old daughter and head home to her mother, Ansley.

Ansley has always put her three daughters first, especially when she found out that her late husband, despite what he had always promised, left her with next to nothing. Now the proud owner of a charming waterfront design business and finally standing on her own two feet, Ansley welcomes Caroline and her brood back with open arms. But when her second daughter Sloane, whose military husband is overseas, and youngest daughter and successful actress Emerson join the fray, Ansley begins to feel like the piece of herself she had finally found might be slipping from her grasp. Even more discomfiting, when someone from her past reappears in Ansley’s life, the secret she’s harbored from her daughters their entire lives might finally be forced into the open.

Exploring the powerful bonds between sisters and mothers and daughters, this engaging novel is filled with Southern charm, emotional drama, and plenty of heart.

 

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From Kristy:  Thank you so, so much, Courtney, for having me to wonderful Bliss, Beauty & Books to share what’s in my bag. I am so grateful for all of your support of my writing career. I’d be nowhere without book lovers! I can’t wait to share with your readers a peek inside my inner sanctum aka my purse. (Can you still call it that when it’s the size of a small child?) Now I want to know from Bliss, Beauty & Books readers: If you could only have three things in your bag, what would they be? 
What is your bag of choice?
Tote all the way although, seriously, with all the stuff I have, I may have to switch over to a backpack any day now! Right now I have a Saint Laurent tote that I love. The best thing about it is that it’s reversible, and I can’t believe it but I managed to carry it all winter on the black side side without ruining the tan leather side. But miracles happen, so now I can carry it this spring too! 
What are your top favorite beauty picks?
I love Bare Minerals foundation in the summer, but, in the winter, I switch to Origins foundation because my skin is too dry for powder. I use Mineral Fusion bronzer and blush that I pick up at Whole Foods. I love organic Argan oil and, now that summer is here, Kiss My Face spray sunscreen. I also really love Emi Jay hair ties. They are amazing and actually allow me to wear my hair in a ponytail and then take it down. 
What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?
I’ve always wanted to be that girl who touches up her face in the bathroom, but, alas, I’m just not. In my purse I usually just carry chapstick and a lipgloss or two, which I rarely use. Burt’s Bees and Origins are my favorite brands for all of the above. In the summer I also carry a mineral powder sunscreen stick. 
What are you currently reading?
I read every magazine. Well not every magazine, but most of them. My favorites are Yoga Journal, Traditional Home, Town and Country, Vogue, Women’s Health, Our State, Garden & Gun… I could go on! I’m actually finally reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, which I am LOVING. I know. I’m the only person on the planet who hasn’t read it yet… But I have to read the book before I watch the show!
Any other fun item/must-have that you always carry with you 🙂
I always have bookmarks in my bag and a copy of my latest book just in case I need to give one out at a moment’s notice. My hubby is a dentist, so I carry around toothbrushes for my son and me and I chew lots of cinnamon xylitol gum. I’m a gum addict, and this one is actually supposed to be good for your teeth. I always have crayons and some books for my kiddo. Hearing him read is the greatest thing that’s ever happened!  And I am a big fan of a simple, Moleskine planner. That’s where I keep all my important dates. Also, hand sanitizer, usually a few varieties. I am on airplanes a lot so I always use the real live Purell when I’m traveling. Otherwise, I try to use an organic/herbal substitute. And OF COURSE, I always have the beautiful bag that my fabulous friend Courtney Marzilli made for me! It is one of my most favorite accessories, and I get so many comments about it because I’m always pulling it out to retrieve my pens, hair ties, lip gloss, hand sanitizer (san hanitizer, as my preschooler says) or some other essential. I love, love, love it!
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*Thanks to the beautiful Kristy for sharing her bag and giving us the gift of her wonderful books!

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Brenda Janowitz

Her books are amazing.  Her Popsugar lists are what I call the “Oscar Nominations” of books.  She’s fabulous and we are getting a peak into her gorgeous bag ~ today I have the lovely Brenda Janowitz sharing her Bookish {Beauty} Bag.  Her most recent novel, “The Dinner Party” is out now and was one of my top 2016 reads and an US Weekly “Standout Spring Novel”.  I do not know Brenda personally but I like to think someday we will meet for a glass of rose’ and chat all things books, beauty and pop culture aka everything that is BLISS 🙂

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via Amazon

This Passover Seder is not just any Passover Seder. Yes, there will be a quick service and then a festive meal afterwards, but this night is different from all other nights. This will be the night the Golds of Greenwich meet the Rothschilds of New York City.

The Rothschilds are the stuff of legends. They control banks, own vineyards in Napa, diamond mines in Africa, and even an organic farm somewhere in the Midwest that produces the most popular Romaine lettuce consumed in this country. And now, Sylvia Gold’s daughter is dating one of them.

When Sylvia finds out that her youngest of three is going to bring her new boyfriend to the Seder, she’s giddy. When she finds out that his parents are coming, too, she darn near faints. Making a good impression is all she thinks about. Well, almost. She still has to consider her other daughter, Sarah, who’ll be coming with her less than appropriate beau and his overly dramatic Italian mother. But the drama won’t stop there. Because despite the food and the wine, despite the new linen and the fresh flowers, the holidays are about family.

In Brenda Janowitz’s The Dinner Party, long forgotten memories come to the surface. Old grievances play out. And Sylvia Gold has to learn how to let her family go.

Brenda's Bag

What is your bag of choice?

I always carry a huge tote with me. Let’s face it: I’m a mom. I need lots of stuff!

I carry the LV Never Full, which my husband bought me for my first Mother’s Day as a mom. I think all moms need a bag that is “never full” but the truth is, sometimes it really is full. (Sorry, Louis!) In addition to the basics—my wallet, phone, makeup case, and sunglasses—I always pack it with stuff for the kids—crayons, lollipops—along with my own work stuff—postcards with my book titles listed, Sharpies in case of an impromptu signing. (You’d be surprised.) I never leave home without a book (or my reading glasses!) and I usually bring along a scarf wherever I go.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

I’m obsessed with makeup. Just check my Sephora account! Right now, a favorite is the Nars multiple. I use the South Beach as a bronzer and then put the Orgasm right over that. I love how it makes me look so dewy and fresh. (I do look dewy and fresh, don’t I?) And the best part? You can take it with you and use it on any other part of your face—even your lips!

I’m also pretty obsessed with perfume. (Again, just ask Sephora.) I’m so in love with Chanel’s new formulation of its iconic No 5 perfume. It’s called No 5 L’Eau and it is absolutely delicious. Who doesn’t want to smell absolutely delicious?!

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

I always (and I mean always!) carry lip balm. No matter the season, you can be sure that I have chapped lips. I’m obsessed with cult favorite Rosebud balm. First of all, it’s only six bucks. What other product could you possibly get for six bucks?! Second of all, it’s a salve, so that means you can use it on your dry lips, your dry hands, and even minor cuts and burns.

And without fail, I’ve always got concealer. As a busy working mom, I need all the help I can get!

What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines)
I’m always reading one season ahead from everyone else, and I read most books in galley form in anticipation of my PopSugar seasonal roundups. It’s almost spring, but right now, I’m reading for summer, which I’m really excited about. I’ve got Jane Green’s The Summer Sisters in my bag right now, which I can’t wait to read after doing an excerpt with Jane on PopSugar. (Link: https://www.popsugar.com/love/Excerpt-From-Jane-Green-Novel-Sunshine-Sisters-43302166)

I also love magazines. I’m a huge fan of People, US Weekly, and Entertainment Weekly.

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

I could never go anywhere without my phone. It’s my lifeline! But I also seem to find my kids’ toys at the bottom of my bag, too. There are lizards, toy cars, you name it. 

And since I’m always on the go, I love my Moleskine notebooks. I’m often asked how I have the time to write when I’m always running around with the kids. And the answer is: I don’t! I make the time. 

Whenever I have an idea, I don’t wait—I just jot it down. Sometimes, I’ll even write an entire chapter of a book in my Moleskine notebook while my kids are off at their activities. (Hey, I didn’t say it was easy!)

And last but certainly not least, I never leave home without my (totally gorgeous and amazing) personalized make-up case, which was made for me by my favorite book and beauty blogger (that’s you!)! I’m completely obsessed with it, and I get endless compliments whenever I take it out. Of course, I would never risk getting it dirty by putting actual make-up in the make-up case, so I use it to hold my author postcards and signing pens. What?! Sometimes a make-up case is too pretty to take a risk!

Brenda Janowitz_credit Hy Goldberg

Bio:

Brenda is the author of five novels, including THE DINNER PARTY (St. Martin’s April 2016). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Salon, the New York Post, Publisher’s Weekly, PopSugar, Mom.me, Hello Giggles, Writer’s Digest Magazine, WritersDigest.com, and xojane. You can find Brenda on her website, www.brendajanowitz.com, and on Facebook and Twitter at @BrendaJanowitz.

Brenda attended Cornell University and Hofstra Law School, where she was a member of the Law Review. Upon graduation from Hofstra, worked for the law firm Kaye Scholer, LLP, and did a federal clerkship with the Honorable Marilyn Dolan Go, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York.

Social media:
Website: www.brendajanowitz.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brendaJanowitz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaJanowitz

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brendajanowitzwriter/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/brendajanowitz/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/241404.Brenda_Janowitz

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/brenda-janowitz

Praise for THE DINNER PARTY:

“With an impeccable eye for detail, Janowitz skillfully creates scenarios and relationships so authentic that they’re simultaneously hilarious and cringe-worthy. Equally compelling is the cast of emotionally complex, nuanced characters who are lovable even at their most exasperating … [T]his novel delivers poignant universal truths about familial love and conflict in story that will have readers eagerly turning every delicious page. Thoroughly kosher.” – Kirkus Review

“THE DINNER PARTY is everything a reader wants in a novel: guests with a knack for inspired conversation and family drama swirling both above and below the table. A truly entertaining read!” – Elin Hilderbrand, author of THE RUMOR

You think your family is chock full of quirky personalities? Pull up a chair for a holiday meal with the Golds of Greenwich! The vibe is hilarious with a side of heartfelt (but never corny); and the guests are as relatable as they are occasionally appalling. Brenda Janowitz works the room with sensitivity and humor. Thanks to her consummate hostessing, The Dinner Party is a satisfying, delicious meal that sticks with you long after it’s over. –Elisabeth Egan, author of A WINDOW OPENS

“In her funny and smart novel, THE DINNER PARTY,  Brenda Janowitz tells a story of transformation and hilarity. With an acute eye for complicated family dynamics, Janowitz takes us inside the hearts and minds of her characters at a holiday dinner. In great bursts of laughter and solemnity, we meet and love family members who are all trying to find their way both in the world and also in their family. As with any good dinner party, it’s a pleasure spending time at Janowitz’s table.” – Patti Callahan Henry, author of THE IDEA OF LOVE

“Don’t miss a seat at this table! Brenda Janowitz’s THE DINNER PARTY charms and delights with a story of the time-honored struggles between parents and grown children, husbands and wives, and brothers and sisters as unconditional love bumps up against unmet expectations. Laugh-out-loud funny with the biggest heart, you will fall in love with this family.” – Jamie Brenner, author of THE WEDDING SISTERS

“[The Dinner Party] skewers family distinctions, revealing how each member is vital to the functioning of the whole … readers who enjoy tales of family dynamics will devour this title.”  – Library Journal

*Thanks to Brenda for her time and all she does for the book world ❤

 

 

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag?- Abby Fabiaschi

Happy SPRING!  It was so fun to share my first Bookish {Beauty} Bag post that I decided to share a BONUS post today!  Typically I will feature these once a week but if I get more participation I will be featuring more during the week 🙂  If any readers or authors have thoughts, ideas or would like to participate please contact me via email.

This is the happiest of Mondays not only because its SPRING but because we get a sneak peak into Abby Fabiaschi’s bag, author of the amazing I Liked My Life, which I had the privilege to read and review (see previous post).  Thanks for sharing your bag with us Abby- your wallet is everything and your make-up game is strong 🙂

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via Amazon

A story from debut author Abby Fabiaschi that is “as absorbing as it is illuminating, and as witty as it is heartbreaking.”

Maddy is a devoted stay-at-home wife and mother, host of excellent parties, giver of thoughtful gifts, and bestower of a searingly perceptive piece of advice or two. She is the cornerstone of her family, a true matriarch…until she commits suicide, leaving her husband Brady and teenage daughter Eve heartbroken and reeling, wondering what happened. How could the exuberant, exacting woman they loved disappear so abruptly, seemingly without reason, from their lives? How they can possibly continue without her? As they sift through details of her last days, trying to understand the woman they thought they knew, Brady and Eve are forced to come to terms with unsettling truths.

Maddy, however, isn’t ready to leave her family forever. Watching from beyond, she tries to find the perfect replacement for herself. Along comes Rory: pretty, caring, and spontaneous, with just the right bit of edge…but who also harbors a tragedy of her own. Will the mystery of Maddy ever come to rest? And can her family make peace with their history and begin to heal?

 

Bliss Beauty pic

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

Like many moms, I have a duel bag identity: day-to-day I carry an un-stainable large, charcoal Longchamp bag that fits everything I need, plus an extra layer of warm clothes for the kids and whatever prizes or shells or art work they create and collect during the day. When I get an adult night, I bust out a Chanel clutch my mother bought me for my thirtieth birthday. 


What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

After years of spending too much money on a beauty routine, an esthetician suggested Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub for a cleanser, Witch Hazel as toner, and Cetaphil Face & Body for a light, matte moisturizer. All in, it’s about twenty bucks and my skin has never looked better. I do still splurge on makeup though: Trish McEvoy’s BB Instant Solutions is a light, liquid tint with SPF that’s worth its price tag, and Lancome’s 24 Hour Long Wear Foundation is great for TV and bright lights. I often layer them, using the BB as a primer.


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

As I add years, more and more! For lips, Clinque’s Chubby Sticks and whatever-brand-is-on-sale-at-CVS gloss. For foundation touch-ups, I use Lancome pressed powder and Giorgio Armani’s bronzer. Oh, and Lancome eye cream. By the end of the day I now get these lovely dark rings that require attention.


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

Yesterday I started a novel titled The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano. I bought it months ago and can’t recall who recommended it, but I’m hooked. I’m also jazzed for two books on pre-order from my favorite two writers: March 21st Lisa See’s next novel comes out: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane and April 25th Elizabeth Strout’s Anything is Possible will be available. That’s my idea of a perfect spring lineup.
And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you 🙂

A giant Nalgene of water and Rolos. Because, in case you missed it, a Rolo a day keeps the doctor away.

Abby Fabiaschi credit Nina Subin

 

*Thanks to Abby for your time!  Visit her on her: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook page!

 

 

 

 

Bliss Chat with Allison Winn Scotch

I was so fortunate enough to be able to ask the fabulous Allison Winn Scotch a few questions about In Twenty Years (see last weeks post).  It was my “Poolside Pick” of the week and a fabulous 2016 read.  See below for what she said about her college years as well as some fun facts about herself!

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Bliss Chat with Allison Winn Scotch

  1. I know your years at Penn played a big part in this book.  Are any of the characters or experiences based on real event or people?

Nope! I promise! I had to swear the same thing to a few of my friends too. None of the characters are at all like any of the people I knew there…for me, personally, it’s much harder to cull from real life than it is to make up new worlds and people entirely, so really, I very rarely write based on people or my own experiences. There are certainly some cultural references – like, yes, we did all dance to Prince on the jukebox at our local bar – and things like that, but nothing else is true.

 

  1. There are so many amazing characters in the book.  Who was your favorite to develop?  What storyline challenged you the most?

My favorite to write was probably Lindy. I know that she’s a polarizing character for some readers but for all the reasons she is complicated, that’s why I loved writing her. I struggle much more with characters who aren’t deeply flawed because working through those flaws are really what interests me as a writer…and as a person! To be honest, I didn’t realize how polarizing she would be, because I have so much love for her, until I heard from a few readers. As far as the storyline that challenged me most, it was probably Catherine’s: without giving too much away, I had to find the right balance between her believing that she was a “fraud,” and her actually being one.   

 

  1. What was your most favorite part of your college experience?  Least favorite?

I think, looking back, it was just that moment in time when everything felt possible, if that makes sense. Obviously the freedoms that come with no longer living at home and for me, at least, getting my crap together…in high school, I was a pretty good student but I didn’t work as hard as I should have. In college, I learned what it meant to self-motivate and take ownership not just of my work but of my relationships and friendships and all of that. I felt, as these characters did, invincible. My least favorite? Hmmm, I had a lot of romantic ups and downs, and I remember by my senior year, really feeling a bit claustrophobic and being ready to move on to something new. Though, looking back, I really do idealize those four years and mostly remember them with nothing but fondness.

 

  1. What would be your advice or thoughts to your own children about their college experience when the time comes?

Gosh, I just want them to find the school and place that makes them happy, that allows them to explore all aspects of themselves so that they can become fully-formed individuals. I really believe in giving my kids freedom and independence, so I hope that by the time they hit college, they’ll be able to truly take flight, whether it’s by studying abroad or pursuing an unexpected major or…just whatever seems to light their fire.

 

  1. As a writer, where is your favorite place to write?

Boring answer, but it’s my home office. I am SUCH a creature of habit, and I really struggle to write anywhere else. My office has these beautiful high ceilings and huge bay windows and my dogs like to come in and snuggle at my feet. It’s just the right fit to motivate me.

 

  1. Name 3 blissful things that you can’t live without?

My children (obviously!), my bed (splurge on nice sheets, it makes all the difference!!), my coffeemaker (nothing fancy but it’s still my favorite way to start the morning).

 

  1. What is the first thing you do when you complete a book?

Probably tweet about it! LOL. That or immediately email it to my agent. I like to just get it off my desk and send it out into the world so it’s someone else’s thing to deal with. I am very much an “out of sight, out of mind,” person, so I like to put it out of mind for a while and just be relieved that it’s complete.

 

  1. What was the last book that you read?

I have about 30 pages left of Before the Fall: I’ve very much enjoyed it, and as soon as I’m done with this interview, I’m gonna go sink into my couch and finish it.

 

  1. While on tour what is a must-have beauty product in your make-up bag?

A make-up artist friend just turned me on to La Bella Donna products. Their undereye concealer is really fantastic – weightless but completely great coverage. They also have a mineral blush which brings me back from looking half-dead.

 

  1. Are you looking forward to any books that are coming out in 2016?

Well, I think everyone is looking forward to Liane Moriarty’s newest, Truly, Madly, Guilty. That will be up next for me!