Open Book with Nicola Moriarty

Happy October!  I am so excited for Fall!  New books, TV shows and crisp air plus HALLOWEEN!  Big Halloween lovers in this house 🙂  Nothing says October like a good thriller, suspense novel.  Nicola Moriarty’s latest, Those Other Women is the perfect accomplice to your hot apple cider.  It’s  little bit of drama, mixed with a whole lot of vengeance as determined mothers go against each other testing their loyalty and relationships with one another. I was thrilled that Nicola joined us all the way from Australia where she picked a few of my favorite things.  Think- Anna Kendrick, Harry Potter beauty and Liana Moriarty (they are sisters ❤ )!!!

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via Amazon ~

“A firecracker of a novel…” -Liane Moriarty, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Little Lies

The author of The Fifth Letter takes a laser look at the uneasy relationships between women and the real-world ramifications of online conflicts and social media hostilities in this stunning domestic drama. A story of privilege, unspoken rivalries, and small acts of vengeance with huge repercussions sure to please fans of Sarah Jio and Ruth Ware.

Overwhelmed at the office and reeling from betrayals involving the people she loves, Poppy feels as if her world has tipped sideways. Maybe her colleague, Annalise, is right—Poppy needs to let loose and blow off some steam. What better way to vent than social media?

With Annalise, she creates an invitation-only Facebook group that quickly takes off. Suddenly, Poppy feels like she’s back in control—until someone begins leaking the group’s private posts and stirring up a nasty backlash, shattering her confidence.

Feeling judged by disapproving female colleagues and her own disappointed children, Frankie, too, is careening towards the breaking point. She also knows something shocking about her boss—sensitive knowledge that is tearing her apart.

As things begin to slide disastrously, dangerously out of control, carefully concealed secrets and lies are exposed with devastating consequences—forcing these women to face painful truths about their lives and the things they do to survive.

 

Nicola Moriarty author photo_credit Deasy Photographic.jpg

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

It is SO hard to choose just three, but I’ll have to go with: Charlotte Bronte, Anna Kendrick and Zooey Deschanel.

Current binge series? 

The Originals. (I discovered Vampire Diaries quite late and now that I’ve finished it, I was so excited to discover there was a spin-off series).

Last favorite book? 

I recently read an advance copy of my sister Jaclyn’s new book ‘Gravity is the thing.’ It’s MAGNIFICENT!! Make sure you read it when it comes out, trust me, you’ll love it.

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

Swimmers, sunhat and a good book. Probably the Maldives or really anywhere with crystal clear water, sunshine and sand. 

Sunday NYT or US Weekly? 

Hmm, as I live in Australia this is a hard one to know which one I would read… which one is more fun? Let’s say NYT.

Last person you sent a text message to? 

I was so sure it was going to be my husband but I just checked my phone and it was a group message to all of my sisters organising a get-together for Father’s Day.

Book you read that you wished you wrote? 

The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton. It’s just such a wonderfully magical book that I adored as a child and I’d love to have that entire world inside my head!

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

My Year Five teacher Mrs Walsh read out a children’s story I wrote to my class. It was about a little girl going on an outing with her grandfather and I was so proud and excited. 

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

Absolutely. It helps to put me in the right mood. I listen to The Head and The Heart, The Hilltop Hoods, Weezer, Charles Bradley, Alabama Shakes, The Submarines, Amy Shark, Seeker Lover Keeper, Tash Sultana, Thundamentals, Deathcab for Cutie, The Lumineers, Bliss N Eso, Badly Drawn Boy, 360, Vampie Weekend, The Wombats, Grouplove, Mark Ronson. I should probably stop there, shouldn’t I?

Describe your writing space?

It varies. Sometimes it’s my desk at the office I share with my husband (where he runs his graphic design business), sometimes it’s at home on the couch with a glass of wine, sometimes I sit up at the bar of a café called Youeni and chat to the super friendly hipster staff, sometimes it’s a table at the Mini Espresso Bar, which is next door to my kid’s school where I chat with the super friendly owner named Pete.

Coffee or tea? 

Half strength Cappuccino in the morning, Green or Peppermint tea before bed night.

Do you have a favorite book that you gift? 

I always gift different books – and I do judge a book by its cover, so I pick a beautiful or interesting looking cover when I’m gifting books.

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

The Colours of Madeleine Trilogy by Jaclyn Moriarty. The imagery in these books is spectacular, so it would be amazing to see how they would translate to the screen.

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

Where is my mind? By Pixies. Because I love that song and also because I’m often wondering where I’ve put my mind.

What/Who inspires you? 

Music, my sisters, my husband, my kids, delicious chocolate, good wine, great books.

Bravo reality TV- yes or no? 

Hmm, I don’t have that channel, but I do like some reality shows here in Australia, my favourites are Masterchef, The Block and The Voice.

Favorite Instagram account?

https://www.instagram.com/zongbim/ – absolutely gorgeous photos!

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

How about ‘Butterbeer’ after the Harry Potter books. It could be a nice creamy, neutral shade!

Current #TBR pile? 

I’m about to read my sister Liane’s book Nine Perfect Strangers, due out later this year. I already know I’m going to adore it because I love everything she writes! 

Best advice you’ve ever received?

That it’s okay to want more. 

Basically, I used to think it was a bad thing that I was always looking ahead to what was coming next instead of being satisfied with what I have now. For instance: landing an agent, landing a publisher, your first great review, your first sale, your next book deal, your first overseas book deal… You always think the next step is going to be the one that makes you feel like you’ve made it… but a little while back, my dad pointed out to me that maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe if I felt completely satisfied, I’d stop trying. So, I’ve embraced this advice and I’m going to keep striving for more!

 

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Open Book with Amina Akhtar

Can I just say this book had me at THIS cover.  When I read that this book is a cross between, The Devil Wears Prada and Dexter, I was sold.  Amina Akhtar’s debut has received rave reviews and even though this is her first novel, Akhtar is no novice to writing.  She previously has written for Vogue, Elle, Style.com, the list continues.  I was honored she took the time to chat with me to share her love for coffee, all things horror and Bravo TV- #besties 😉

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via Amazon ~

“Darkly satisfying.”—Martha Stewart Living
“A diabolical page-turner . . . impossible to put down.”—Forbes
“Darkly funny.”—Fashionista
“As awesome as it sounds.”—Book Riot

A thrilling take on the fashion world, #FashionVictim is Dexter meets The Devil Wears Prada.

Fashion editor Anya St. Clair is on the verge of greatness. Her wardrobe is to die for. Her social media is killer. And her career path is littered with the bodies of anyone who got in her way. She’s worked hard to get where she is, but she doesn’t have everything.

Not like Sarah Taft. Anya’s obsession sits one desk away. Beautiful, stylish, and rich, she was born to be a fashion world icon. From her beach-wave blonde hair to her on-trend nail art, she’s a walking editorial spread. And Anya wants to be her friend. Her best friend. Her only friend.

But when Sarah becomes her top competition for a promotion, Anya’s plan to win her friendship goes into overdrive. In order to beat Sarah…she’ll have to become her. Friendly competition may turn fatal, but as they say in fashion: One day you’re in, and the next day you’re dead

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

Just three? Some mix of Jordan Peele, Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, Caroline Kepnes, and Edward Gorey. I love all things horror, creepy and macabre.

2. Current binge series?

I don’t think I’ve binged on a series properly in a while. I could use some suggestions!

 

3. Last favorite book?

Providence! It’s so good I couldn’t put it down. Caroline’s characters are incredible and real and I love them.

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

My iPad so I can read books without lugging them around, cute shoes I can walk in, and Nars lip pencils. I’d go to London. I love London and it’s been ages since I was able to go back.

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Sunday Styles for sure.

 

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

My friend Daniel who helped get the FV pilot made. (It’s TBD currently.)

 

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

Christodora by Tim Murphy. I don’t wish I wrote it but when I read it, I was almost angry at how good it is. Tim is masterful. After every page I had to stop and marvel at the way he wove his stories and characters.

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

None that stick out but my parents have always been really encouraging. But they also wanted me to be able to support myself, so I went into journalism for most of my career.

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

Not really. If I need to drown out noise I’ll put on some classical music. But anything with words is distracting.

10. Describe your writing space?

I’ll write anywhere I can. I think having worked in digital, you learn to not be so precious about it. You have deadlines, and your cubicle is probably the least inspiring place in the world. But you have to get it done! So for now I write on my bed with my dog next to me. She snores.

11. Coffee or tea?

So much coffee.

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

Yes! Big Magic by Liz Gilbert. If you’re feeling stuck—whether in writing or life—read it. It helps me get out of my head.

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

It’s not out yet but PJ Vernon’s When You Find Me is utterly riveting and incredible. It’s a southern gothic thriller that you’re going to love.

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

She’s Lost Control by Joy Division. It’s been my favorite song since my teen years. Because really, aren’t we all losing control a bit?

15. What/Who inspires you?

My friends. I’ve luckily managed to surround myself with really talented, supportive, and bad ass women and men who go after what they want. They have ideas and the next day they make them reality. It’s incredible to witness.

16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

Of course! We all need guilty pleasures!

17. Favorite Instagram account?

Juniper Foxx! Who doesn’t need photos and videos of animals to brighten their day? Also, the Bloggess’ account is a close second. Fashion wise, Nicolette Mason is someone I am lowkey obsessed with.

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

A Nars pencil in Anya Red. It’d be the perfect shade of blood red.

 

19. Current #TBR pile?

Sister of Mine and The Widow of Malabar Hill are at the top of the pile.

20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t give up. Writing is full of rejection. If you want to write, write. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get that one yes you need to get published. But even if you don’t, keep writing!

 

 

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Open Book with Caz Frear

Fall is here!  Cue cozy sweaters, fall scents, pumpkins and THRILLERS!  I love to read thrillers in the fall because they are the perfect companion during this ghoulish month.  I mean I love a good thriller all the time but the change of leaves and Halloween vibes that surround us, make a good suspenseful read perfection.  Cue Caz Frear’s debut novel, Sweet Little Lies.  A murder, secrets and a missing girl are what makes this book a must-read but it might make you keep the light on at night 😉  I was thrilled to chat with Caz in my latest “Open Book” where she talks Stevie Nicks, Gwen Stefani and the necessity for a statement red lip- all things that are a must! ❤SweetLittleLies hc c

via Amazon ~

n this gripping debut procedural, a young London policewoman must probe dark secrets buried deep in her own family’s past to solve a murder and a long-ago disappearance.

Your father is a liar. But is he a killer?
Even liars tell the truth . . . sometimes.

Twenty-six-year-old Cat Kinsella overcame a troubled childhood to become a Detective Constable with the Metropolitan Police Force, but she’s never been able to banish these ghosts. When she’s called to the scene of a murder in Islington, not far from the pub her estranged father still runs, she discovers that Alice Lapaine, a young housewife who didn’t get out much, has been found strangled.

Cat and her team immediately suspect Alice’s husband, until she receives a mysterious phone call that links the victim to Maryanne Doyle, a teenage girl who went missing in Ireland eighteen years earlier. The call raises uneasy memories for Cat—her family met Maryanne while on holiday, right before she vanished. Though she was only a child, Cat knew that her charming but dissolute father wasn’t telling the truth when he denied knowing anything about Maryanne or her disappearance. Did her father do something to the teenage girl all those years ago? Could he have harmed Alice now? And how can you trust a liar even if he might be telling the truth?

Determined to close the two cases, Cat rushes headlong into the investigation, crossing ethical lines and trampling professional codes. But in looking into the past, she might not like what she finds. . . .

Caz Frear cr Rebecca Knowles Photography

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

Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac:  Just because I think she’s the coolest woman alive.  I even named my novel after a Fleetwood Mac song (actually that’s a lie, my editor came up with the title but I like to think it was serendipity)

Daniel Day Lewis:  My favourite actor.  He’s incredibly elusive so it would be amazing to be sat right next to him at a bookclub.  And he’s also extremely well-read.

Marian Keyes:  I’m a huge MK fan.  Rachel’s Holiday is definitely up there in my top 10 favourite books ever.  While she’s also extremely well-read, she’s less ‘intense’ than the other two so she’d help keep the mood light!

2. Current binge series?

Peaky Blinders on Netflix.  I’m on the third of four series and I’ll be bereft when it ends!  Can’t believe how late I am to the party though – it started in 2013. 

3. Last favorite book?

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent.  The characterization is superb.  The central character, Cordelia Russell, is a shameless manipulator and borderline narcissist but you can’t help but be enthralled by her.

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

I spent a long weekend in San Francisco a couple of years ago and I’ve been dreaming of going back there ever since.  I’d pack…

  1. Comfortable walking shoes.  I’m a bit of a shoe freak and usually go for style over comfort but SF has so many steep hills and uneven roads that heels are tricky.  And there’s so much to see on foot that it’s a shame to use public transport unless you really have to.
  2. As the song instructs, I’d be sure to bring flowers for my hair ☺ I’m a hippy at heart and I absolutely loved the Haight-Ashbury area.
  3. A pashmina.  You can be warm one minute, cold the next in SF, so it pays to be prepared (I got caught out last time thinking it would be wall-to-wall heat!)

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Mmmm, being a Brit, I’m not overly familiar with either, but as I think US Weekly is more focused towards celebrity gossip, I’d probably go for Sunday NYT.  I’m not a huge celeb gossip fan (although, you know, I’m not immune to it!)

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

My husband – to ask him to pick up milk and a birthday card for a 6-year-old.  My life is so rock and roll ☺

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

In The Woods by Tana French.  It’s a masterclass in everything – plot, prose, suspense and characterization.

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

I was lucky enough to have two – Mrs Spencer (when I was eight) who told me I had ‘something’ and to never give up writing stories, even when I ‘got big’ and Mr Kelly (when I was fourteen).  Mr Kelly used to encourage me to write reviews of everything – books, films, concerts, etc – on top of my standard homework.  He taught me that writing is a muscle and you have to use it every day.
9. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?

No, but I really wish I could!  I need complete silence, sadly.  If I’m editing, I might occasionally put classical music on in the background but very, very low (pointlessly low, really). 
10. Describe your writing space?

A grey chesterfield couch with many cushions and a Jo Malone candle burning close by.  I do have an office which I venture into occasionally but I do my best work on the couch.  I used to write in bed until I realized it was terrible for both posture and sleep!

11. Coffee or tea?

Tea.  I don’t mind coffee but I treat it more like medicine – I’ll force a cup down if I need to sharpen up or stay awake.  I drink tea purely for pleasure.

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

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer.  It’s a novel about mental health and it tells the story of 17-year-old schizophrenic Matt, and the guilt he feels over his younger brother’s death several years ago.  Sounds depressing, right?  It isn’t.  It’s incredibly moving but it’s also funny, sharp and made me laugh out loud (and cry like a baby).  Such clean, unaffected writing too.  I buy it for everyone. 
13. Book that you wished they would make a movie out of?

Mine ☺  Failing that, I’d say Little Deaths by Emma Flint.  It’s the story of a woman accused of murdering her three children in the summer of 1965 and I believe it’s based on a true story.  Not only is it a gripping thriller but it’s also an interesting commentary on how the media portray ‘difficult’ women.  It was only published a couple of years ago so it’s early days, maybe it will be made into a film?

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

‘What You Waiting For?’ – essentially it’s about Gwen Stefani’s fear of making a solo album and the writer’s block she was experiencing at that time.  It is EVERYTHING.  It’s an ode to pushing through self-doubt and fear of other people’s opinions.  It’s a call to arms to every woman who has a fear of standing out, of being who she really is.  I love it and it fires me up every time.  It had a massive impact on me.


15. What/Who inspires you?

Everyone and everything!  Just overhearing a conversation on a bus can inspire a whole new piece of dialogue or sub-plot.  I think ‘inspiration’ is a slightly mystical term as usually there isn’t one single image or one anecdote that quite literally inspires the writing of a 100,000 word novel.  You just start with a character and a dilemma and get writing (or plotting).  I think it’s actually writing, even bad writing, that fuels inspiration, not the other way around.  If you wait for the killer idea or the killer hook to strike, you could be waiting a very long time!
16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

No. No. No. No. No.  On the rare occasion I stumble across reality TV, I want to throw something at the screen.  Although, it depends what you mean by reality TV?  I am partial to a bit of Judge Judy ☺

17. Favorite Instagram account?

I’m relatively new to Instagram so I’m not sure that I’ve got any clear favorites yet, but @crimebythebook is a great account for honest, constructive reviews (and sneak peeks at upcoming releases).  There’s also a UK comedian @russell_kane who really makes me laugh.  His memes and rants are always spot on.
18. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be?  

Kiss Me First and it would be a statement red, maybe fire-engine or blood red.  I have far too many red lipsticks!
19. Current #TBR pile?

Oh wow, it’s toppling over as we speak.  I’m so lucky to be sent lots of proofs to read so I could fill a whole page with the books I’d love to get stuck into asap, but here’s what’s up next…

The Secrets You Hide – Kate Helm (a British debut)

Red Snow – Will Dean

Pieces of Her – Karin Slaughter

Cross Her Heart – Sarah Pinborough


20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

I’m going to refer back to Gwen Stefani and ‘What You Waiting For?’

“Life is short.  You’re capable.”

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Blissful Beauty- Skin Nation with Michelle Stafford

You all know I love a fabulous beauty product and with the change of season it’s crucial to change up your products and regime.  I was lucky enough to receive a bundle from Michelle Stafford- Soap Opera Goddess and Queen :)- from her line Skin Nation.  And I can tell you- I LOVE IT!  It’s a safe, natural line that PERFORMS.  Once I researched a little more about her line I wanted to talk to Michelle because I thought the story about Skin Nation was fantastic.  She created this line after her sister was diagnosed with cancer and realized that the skin care industry is un-regulated with its ingredients and formulations- so much toxicity.  I loved this about Michelle- not only is she a established actress but she is a beauty GAME- CHANGER.  Read below for my chat with Michelle ❤

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1. I know that Skin Nation was born due to your sister being diagnosed with Stage-3 Breast cancer.  Give me a little background into why you chose skin care as your mission?

Well, when my sister was diagnosed i started studying up on everything toxic. I had figured when she got well i would help her change her eating habits. Eat healthier. So i had to do it first. that lead me to find out how many horrible toxins were in our Skin Care. I also knew that women were not aware of this. I wanted to create something to help women from the inside out. I wanted to help men too! Let’s not forget about the men!

2. What is the biggest shock about the beauty industry you discovered in your research for Skin Nation?

So much! It seems to be a not very, how should i say this, above board industry. There are some shady companies. But i know if there was a new thing that say…dog poop was making women look younger women would be putting it on their skin. Honestly, women will do anything to look younger. I really REALLY wanted to give women a healthy way

3. Did you have any mentors during the building of Skin Nation? If so, what was their best advice?

I did not. On the contrary. Nobody helped me. People even tried to stop me.

4. What kind of research do while planning out your line?  How do you decide what products to have?

I listen to my customers. That is key. I call them on the phone personally.

5. Career moms would love to know- How do you balance motherhood, Skin Nation and General Hospital?

I don’t. I fail at this every day

6. Best beauty tip/secret you’ve received?

It’s super boring, but true. Water and no sun. No smoking as well.

7. What is your morning ritual (beauty, kids, work, etc)?

4 8oz glasses of water upon rising then jasmine pearl green tea

8. Name 3 of your beauty inspirations?

My mom my mom my mom.

9.  Are you a reader and if so last great book you read?

I wish i were! I honestly have no time. I wish i were.

10. What beauty advice would you give to your daughter in 10 years?

She will be 18 in 10 years. believe me, she will give me the advice.

11. If you could name a lipstick after one of your soap characters who would you choose and why?

Oh wow, give me a minute on this one

12. Top 3 favorite make-up products?

Urban Decay Ultra flair lashes. Urban Decay Naked palettes, MAC Spice lip pencil

13. Any beauty tips/advice for a mom on-the-go?

I have a “5 minute make up” that i do on my “Skin Nation Sundays” it’s on my facebook “therealstafford”

14. I am sure you love them all but what are your top 3 favorite skin nation products?

The “Miracle Potion”, “Refresh Face Wash”,  Tie between the “Ultra Glow” and the “Super Sexy Firming Cream”

15. Lastly, fill me in on how your sister is doing 🙂

She is amazing!!! Over 5 years Cancer Free!! Miracles happen!!

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*Thanks to Michelle for taking time to chat with me!

 

Open Book with Amy Blumenfeld

As we wind down these final days of summer there is still PLENTY of beach reading time!  Amy Blumenfeld’s debut novel, The Cast is the perfect choice to beat the end of summer scaries- P.S. that is a real thing 😉  It has got friendship, drama, heart and a complex cast of unforgettable characters. I was thrilled to ask her a few questions for my latest Open Book.  I have to say- her vacation spot is on my bucket list, her lipstick choice needs to be a reality and her life advice is something I always forget but is so true!  Thanks for sharing Amy ❤

THECASTfor Amazon

via Amazon ~

Twenty-five years ago, a group of ninth graders produced a Saturday Night Live–style videotape to cheer up their ailing friend. The show’s running time was only ninety minutes, but it had a lasting impact: Becca laughed her way through recovery, and the group—Jordana, Seth, Holly, and Lex—became her supporting cast for life.

On the silver anniversary of Becca Night Live, the friends reunite over the Fourth of July to celebrate Becca’s good health—but nothing goes as planned. The happy holiday card facades everyone’s been hiding behind quickly crumble and give way to an unforgettable three days filled with complex moral dilemmas and life-altering choices. Through humor, drama, and the alternating perspectives of five characters, The Cast explores the power of forgiveness, the importance of authenticity, and the immeasurable value of deep, enduring friendships to buoy us when life plays out differently than expected.

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

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Robin Williams, Oprah

Current binge series? 

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and 

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman

Last favorite book?

The Book of Separation by Tova Mirvis and Limelight by Amy Poeppel. Very different books, but equally engrossing. 

What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Where is it? London. A good book, tickets to a West End show, and the key to the Kensington townhouse I’ll be renting so that I can pretend I’m a local.

Sunday NYT or US Weekly? 

Sunday NYT

Last person you sent a text message to? 

My husband

Book you read that you wished you wrote? 

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

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

I did not have a teacher who encouraged me to become a writer but I did have a professor in graduate school who suggested I turn my master’s project into a book. Although it was a very circuitous route, The Cast is what eventually blossomed from the seed he planted all those years ago.

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

No. The characters in my head make enough noise!

Describe your writing space? 

As soon as my daughter is off to school I make a mug of tea and sit down at the dining room table with my computer. By the time she gets home, my laptop and I have usually relocated to a sofa, an area rug on the floor, my bed, or if the weather is nice, a spot outdoors. 

Coffee or tea? 

Though I love the aroma of a coffee shop, I’m definitely a tea person.

Do you have a favorite book that you gift? 

For kids, I like to give My Book About Me by Dr. Seuss. For adults, it’s all based on the recipient. I match the book to the person.

If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why? Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel. First, because I am a huge Billy Joel fan – my first big concert as a kid was seeing him play at Yankee Stadium. Second, I believe in the importance of authenticity and gravitate to people who stay true to themselves. 

What/Who inspires you? My parents, husband, brother, and daughter. 

Bravo reality TV- yes or no? No

Favorite Instagram account? It’s a tie between Jennifer Garner and my 20-something-year-old nieces living in Chicago. 

If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be? Great Expectations. It would be a nude shade with a little shimmer.

Current #TBR pile? Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer, The Subway Girls by Susie Orman Schnall, Beauty in the Broken Places by Alison Pataki, The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Best advice you’ve ever received? One step at a time. No matter how great or small the goal, I find this to be the most practical piece of advice I’ve ever received. I apply this to nearly everything I do – from packing a lunchbox to hosting a party to writing a book. This is what I keep in the back of my mind and it tends to get me to the finish line. 

 

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Elyssa Friedland

Books are basically the chicest accessory you can have and its even better when the author writing these books is just as chic.  Elyssa Friedland is just that author.  She first graced our TBR’s with her debut novel, Love and Miss Communication and her latest, The Intermission has been getting high praise and making all the “Best of Summer” lists.  The Intermission takes on the subject of how well do we really know the person we are sleeping next to?  Elyssa was so kind to share her fabulous bag and accessories with me as well as introducing me to a beauty line I had never heard of!  Oh be still my books and beauty heart ❤

Intermission cover jpg

via Amazon ~

A HelloGiggles Best New Release
A PopSugar Best Book of July
A BookBub Editor’s Pick
A SheReads Best Book of Summer
A GoodReads Buzzy New Release
A Mind Body Green Best Book of July
A PureWow Best Beach Read of Summer 2018

Have you ever had a secret so gut-wrenching you couldn’t tell anyone, not even the person who shares your bed?

Told from the alternating perspectives of a husband and wife who both have something to hide, this incisive novel pulls back the curtain on a seemingly-happy marriage, posing the question: how much do we really know–and how much should we want to know–about the people we love the most?

After five long years, the unshakable confidence Cass Coyne felt as a bride is gone. Her husband, Jonathan, on the other hand, is still smitten. It’s true that the quirks he once found charming in his wife–her high standards, her refusal to clean the dishes–are beginning to grate. But for him, these are minor challenges in a healthy relationship.

So it comes as a complete shock to Jonathan when Cass suddenly requests a marital “intermission”: a six-month separation during which they’ll decide if the comfortable life they’ve built is still the one they both want.

Aside from a monthly custodial exchange of their beloved dog, contact will be limited. But as the months pass, they begin to see that calculated silences just like these have helped to drive them apart–and that it may finally be time to confront the blistering secrets they’ve been avoiding.

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What is your bag of choice?

The Mansur Gavriel leather bucket bag. I have it in black and tan. It can be worn cross body, on one shoulder and sometimes I tie the strap to make it shorter and wear it in the crook of my elbow. I hate bags with lots of compartments and zippers. I just want one big receptacle for my stuff.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

Youngblood is my favorite makeup brand. It’s organic and the color selection is very cool. The lipstick is long-lasting and I swear by the shade Just Pink. I also love Laura Geller black mascara. It thickens and lengthens but doesn’t make me look like a stripper. Giorgio Armani is my brand of choice for foundation. 

 

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

Wallet, phone and sunglasses are typically all I take with me. Sometimes a lipstick if I remember. I’m a relatively no frills person and am totally comfortable going out during the day without makeup. That will probably change as I get older but I’m hoping to ride this au natural thing through my thirties. The sunglasses are an absolute requirement, even in the winter. I think I have light sensitivity (or maybe I just like being able to pretend I don’t see people on the street I don’t feel like talking to!). 

 

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

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang on my Kindle and I’m listening to The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand. Both are excellent and I’m not just saying that. 

 

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

My ear buds for my iPhone because I am always listening to a book on Audible. If I forget them, I’m one unhappy camper. 

Elyssa.Friedland. credit Lucia Engstrom

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Open Book with Caroline Kepnes

Continuing with my love for the hometown gals today with the one and only Caroline Kepnes!!!!  Dream. Come. True.  Kepnes, born in Cape Cod now living in Cali, latest book Providence is out now!  Currently making like every summer must- read list and best of 2018 books list, continues with her creepy and dark vibe but also intertwines a love story throughout.  You may remember her debut stunner, You, which was praised by none other than thriller master Stephen King.  You was adapted for television and will be premiering in September on Lifetime.  I am so THRILLED, pun intended, that she is my latest Open Book, sharing her love for the New York Housewives, lattes and Judy Blume ❤

Jacket_PROVIDENCE

via Amazon ~

“A dark beauty of a book, Providence kept me up at night with characters that made my heart a little bigger.”—Jessica Knoll, New York Times bestselling author of Luckiest Girl Alive

“Part love story, part supernatural thriller and completely engrossing” (People)—from the acclaimed author of You, whose work Stephen King describes as “hypnotic and totally original”

Best friends in small-town New Hampshire, Jon and Chloe share a bond so intense that it borders on the mystical. But before Jon can declare his love for his soul mate, he is kidnapped, his plans for a normal life permanently dashed.

Four years later, Chloe has finally given up hope of ever seeing Jon again. Then, a few months before graduation, Jon reappears. But he is different now: bigger, stronger, and with no memory of the time he was gone. Jon wants to pick up where he and Chloe left off . . . until the horrifying instant he realizes that he possesses strange powers that pose a grave threat to everyone he cares for. Afraid of hurting Chloe, Jon runs away, embarking on a journey for answers.

Meanwhile, in Providence, Rhode Island, healthy college students and townies with no connection to one another are suddenly, inexplicably dropping dead. A troubled detective prone to unexplainable hunches, Charles “Eggs” DeBenedictus suspects there’s a serial killer at work. But when he starts asking questions, Eggs is plunged into a whodunit worthy of his most outlandish obsessions.

In this dazzling new novel—and with an intense, mesmerizing voice—Caroline Kepnes makes keen and powerful observations about human connection and how love and identity can dangerously blur together.

Praise for Providence

Providence is a novel that doesn’t fit into one box—it’s tender and dark, eerie and cool, heartbreaking but also an affirmation of the power of love. Kepnes perfectly captures each character’s struggle and pain in such a unique, unconventional way that every page—every sentence—is a delightful surprise.”—Sara Shepard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars

“Caroline Kepnes is cool right this minute. . . . [Providence is] terrifically conceived and executed. . . . Kepnes has an exhilarating, poppy, unexpected voice.”The New York Times Book Review

“An addictive horror-tinged romance that’ll keep you guessing.”Entertainment Weekly

Caroline Kepnes_credit Courtney Dowling Pugliese_Ace Photography

 

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

 I’m gonna go with all dead because the impossibility of the lively conversation is bittersweet to me. Joan Rivers, Spalding Grey and Patricia Highsmith.

  1. Current binge series?

 I just started Succession because my friend told me about a violent moment involving a can of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce.

  1. Last favorite book?

 Fashion Victim by Amina Akhtar, what a unique, biting out-there and in-there book.

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

 Bathing suit, sneakers & books, Martha’s Vineyard in summer OR snow suit, sneakers & books, Sweden in winter.

  1. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

 Sunday NYT because more and more I don’t recognize so many people in US Weekly!

  1. Last person you sent a text message to?

 Kristina Valentine, friend from home, we just realized we are both here.

  1. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

 Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret.

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

 Mick Carlon, Kathleen Flaherty and Ed O’Toole at Barnstable High School, Meredith Steinbach, Chuck Mee, Tracy Breton at Brown University.

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

 Sometimes. With Providence it was a lot of covers and originals because I was writing about nostalgia, capturing that period between the time in your life when it’s all ahead, and that time when you’re like oh, ok, this is how it worked out. With the draft I just finished, I blasted “Between the Cheats” by Amy Winehouse after most sessions. That’s a haunting, menacing song.

  1. Describe your writing space?

 My sofa is named Corky and my lower back wishes that I would sit at my desk in the ergonomic chair, but you know, such is life. I also write in coffee shops with headphones on. There’s nothing better than realizing you have lost sense of your surroundings because you’re so in the zone. I can write anywhere when it’s in my head. That’s a wonderful thing about the cell phone, the notepad app.

  1. Coffee or tea?

 Latte

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

 Stewart O’Nan’s Last Night at the Lobster

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

 I think it would be a great time to remake “Smooth Talk”, which is based on “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” by Joyce Carol Oates. And I would love to see “The Beloveds” by Maureen Lindley brought to life. Kealan Patrick Burke has a graphic short story in John Carpenter’s Tales for a Halloween Night Volume 3 that is crying out to be adapted too, a divorced father spending time with his daughters, oh God, that could be so well done. I mean the storyboards are already there!

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

 “Nothing Compares 2 U” because of the longing, the love, the soul, the yearning, the soaring, the emotional highs and lows that define my life and what writing is for me.

  1. What/Who inspires you?

 Everything. I’m fascinated by the cultural and psychological impact of technology on our lives, so you seey characters grappling with their emotional hardships that are exacerbated by all this communication and connection.

  1. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

 I watched this week’s episode of Real Housewives of New York four times, so that’s my jam. The women on that show fascinate me and it’s been on for so many years, they’re like family you watch from afar.

  1. Favorite Instagram account?

 @PopCultureDiedin2009 THANK YOU FOR ALL THE GIGGLES AND MIND FUCKS

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

Sleeping Beauties, a glowing, incandescent shade reminiscent of the dress worn by Barbie Magic Moves in the 80s

  1. Current #TBR pile?

 Now reading (and savoring) Foe by Iain Reid, then Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall, How to Get Into Our House and Where We Keep the Money by Panio Gianopolous, Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard, The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder, The Hunger by Whitley Strieber, The Goddesses by Swan Huntley

  1. Best advice you’ve ever received?

Hold onto your real feelings while you make stuff up

 

 

you-9781982103101_hr

via Amazon ~

*Soon to be a Lifetime drama series*

Hypnotic and scary.” —Stephen King

“I am RIVETED, AGHAST, AROUSED, you name it. The rare instance when prose and plot are equally delicious.” —Lena Dunham

From debut author Caroline Kepnes comes You, one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Books of 2014, and a brilliant and terrifying novel for the social media age.

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

A terrifying exploration of how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation, debut author Caroline Kepnes delivers a razor-sharp novel for our hyper-connected digital age. You is a compulsively readable page-turner that’s being compared to Gone Girl, American Psycho, and Stephen King’s Misery.

 

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