Open Book ~ Liv Constantine

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

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via Amazon ~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Liv Constantine two together, cr Erika Livingston

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

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

Val ~ Eleanor Roosevelt, Edna Ferber and Jane Austen.

 

Current binge series? 

Lynne ~ Scandal – late to the game but loving it

Val ~ The Crown on Netflix

 

Last favorite book? 

Lynne ~ What Alice Forgot by Lianne Moriarty

Val ~ Nutshell by Ian McEwan

 

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

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

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

 

Sunday NYT or US Weekly

Lynne ~ Sunday NYT

Val ~ Sunday NYT

 

Last person you sent a text message to?  

Lynne ~ My sister

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

 

Book you read that you wished you wrote? 

Lynne ~ Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Val ~ Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

 

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

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

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

 

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

Lynne ~ Yes, Mozart

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

 

Describe your writing space?

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

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

 

Coffee or tea?  

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

Val ~ Both

 

Do you have a favorite book that you gift? 

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

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

 

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

Lynne ~ The Art of Racing in Rain

Val ~ Americana by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

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

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

Val ~ Climb Every Mountain by Jordan Smith

 

What/Who inspires you? 

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

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

 

Bravo reality TV- yes or no? 

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

Val ~ A big NO

 

Favorite Instagram account? 

Lynne ~ Golden-Retriever-Lover

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

 

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

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

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

 

Best advice you’ve ever received? 

Lynne ~ Happiness is a choice – my wise mother

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

 

Current TBR List:

Lynne ~

Magpie Murders, Anthony Horowitz

The Blackbird Season, Kate Moretti

The Ex, Alafair Burke

Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay

The Child Finder, Rene Denfield

The Second Sister, Claire Kendal

House of Spies, Daniel Silva

The Emotional Craft of Fiction, Donald Maass

Val ~

Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Sleep No More by P.D.James

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

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

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

 

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

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

Melissa Pimentel

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

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

  • What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Karma Brown

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

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

  • What are your top favorite beauty picks?

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

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

Lipbalm. I have a genuine lipbalm problem.

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

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

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

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

Stacey Ballis

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

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

  • What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alyssa Palombo

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

Alyssa Palombo_Credit Elizabeth Snyder Photography, LLC

Bliss Pick: The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

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

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What inspired you to write The Universe Has Your Back?

 

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

 

What can people expect from this book?

 

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

 

How does fear hold us back?

 

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

 

What does faith mean to you?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Biography

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

 

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

 

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

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Kaira Rouda

Kaira Rouda is one of my favorite authors.  The Goodbye Year was one of my favorite picks of 2016- a must read if you haven’t.  When I heard about her latest, Best Day Ever coming out, I knew this would be a hit.  A suspenseful thriller just in time for the most frightful time of year.  I was so excited when she opened up her stunning Gucci bag for readers and shared her fabulous beauty picks and chilling current reads.

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via Amazon ~

In the bestselling, page-turning vein of The Couple Next Door and The Dinner, Kaira Rouda weaves a gripping, tautly suspenseful tale of deception and betrayal dark enough to destroy a marriage…or a life.

“I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, and I am bursting with confidence. Today will be everything I’ve promised her…and more…”

Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?

Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion.

Praise for Best Day Ever

“An unreliable and chillingly unrepentant narrator.” —Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia and The Outliers

“Highly entertaining and truly surprising!” —Kate Moretti, New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year

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What is your bag of choice?

Thanks so much for asking me, Courtney! The funny thing is, if I can get away with it, I don’t carry a purse at all. You’ll see me running around town with a wallet and my keys. BUT I do know purses are necessary most of the time so each year I’ll splurge on one. This year, I was in the mood for red, something to compliment BEST DAY EVER’s cover, so this is my bag for this season. Just don’t expect to see me with it very often.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

Living in Southern California means slathering on sunscreen each morning, and then reapplying throughout the day. I love Colore Science Suncanny powder for an added layer of protection, and of course, my sunglasses and a hat. Burt’s Bee lip color and lip gloss are also favorites. My favorite powder is La Prarie, and it lasts forever. I’d be lost with out a hair tie. I wish I’d invented them. They are in my purse, on my wrist, in my pants pockets – everywhere! And you’ll see my change purse, for parking meter change and if you aren’t familiar with FEED, it’s a fabulous company creating products that help feed the world. I’m a big fan of brands who give back, and FEED is a great example. (www.feedprojects.com)

What do you always carry on for beauty products for travel?

The items I mentioned above, plus I love the LA Fresh line of healthy sanitizers and hand cream in convenient packages. EmergenC packets – at least two – raspberry flavor just in case I sense people are sick around me – or if I feel it coming on. Oh, and a travel size toothbrush and toothpaste. I’m a tooth-brushing fanatic. And I try to have an inspirational, calming magazine for travel. I love yoga, and Yoga Journal magazine is great zen and inspiration.

What are you currently reading?

There are so many good books to choose from this fall! At the moment, I’m reading my friend J.T. Ellison’s Lie to Me. It’s so good. I’ve been on a psychological suspense reading kick lately and I’m loving it. There are so many different great books to pick up and read to scare your self before sleep. 😉

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

My husband decided to run for congress, so I’m always handing out bumper stickers and answering questions about his campaign. It’s been a wonderful experience, for the most part and I’m so proud of him. With my new novel BEST DAY EVER just out, I keep my black sharpie with me, just in case I’m near a bookstore and I can pop in and sign stock. I love talking to booksellers. Their passion for reading and sharing books with their customers is what keeps us authors able to do what we love.

Kaira headshot 2016

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Nicole Waggoner

I have been a huge Nicole Waggoner fan since the first Circus of Women book, Center Ring.  She is a fellow beauty lover so we instantly clicked plus our love of books.  I was so thrilled to be able to take a peak at the second novel in the trilogy, The Act, before readers.  If you look closely at the end I may or may not be mentioned in the acknowledgements 😉  I was thrilled when Nicole shared her bag with me.  Read on because she has some great beauty must-haves and you will see she is more than just a fabulous author she is a beauty aficionado too!

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via Amazon ~

The romance, the heartbreaks, the revelations, the friendship: THE ACT brings it all back and more as the sassy and stylish sisterfriends of CENTER RING face new challenges and old demons. Norah, Cami, Leila, Kate, and Ellie will need each other more than ever in this highly anticipated next installment of The Circus of Women Trilogy.

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What is your bag of choice?
Hello! Thank you for inviting me to talk bags, beauty, and books today! In the summer, I prefer small shoulder bags. I am currently carrying a Kate Spade Hobo in “Pebble”. Isn’t that a precious name for a color? It’s a light, airy, pinkish-tan. My briefcase is a McKlein in Mint. I highly recommend the McKlein to any woman who travels for work. It has been a dream and snaps right on to my carry on!
What are your top favorite beauty picks?  
I am fanatical about sunscreen. I use Elta MD every day. It is light, wears well under primer and make up, and never clogs my pores! Currently, I am using Naked skin foundation. I love its silky texture and the way it blurs light to improve my complexion…especially in pictures 🙂  Ofra is my very favorite eyeshadow and highlighter. Every pigment is gorgeous and makes eyes POP! My BFF recently gave me a set of LipSense lipstick and I was immediately hooked. Carmel Apple and Aussie Rose are my go to colors, but I have amassed quite the rainbow of shades!  Isn’t it great when a product outperforms your expectations?  Last, but not least, I have to rave about Stilla eyeliner. I was hesitant to try it because, well, I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler and didn’t want to wear Charlie Brown’s Chevron on each eyelid for twelve hours. Thankfully, the tip is superfine and hugs the lash line effortlessly. Stilla is so smudge-proof that I even used it to draw (somewhat poorly) Malificient eyes on my five-year-old for Halloween. I pair it with Better Than Sex Mascara and bash about my day, allergy eyes and all, with no traces of the dreaded raccoon bags. Before I found this product, I hadn’t worn mascara on my lower lashes since a short-lived Kate Moss phase in the 90s.
What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products? 
Sunscreen. Again. Both mine and my children’s for reapplication. We live in Oklahoma and spend a ton of time outdoors. I also carry matcha powder with me to mix into water and teas. Everyone else in my house thinks it tastes like feet, but I adore it. My daughter’s Beanie Boos travel in small herds and I am sure to have at least one in my bag at all times. This one is named Grayson because she has heard so many women comment on my ‘Patrick Grayson’ character at events, etc., and she quote “wanted a kind name that started with ‘G’. He is a boy giraffe and boy giraffes should always be nice to girl giraffes. If they’re not, the girl giraffes should run away super fast like a cheetah.” I usually have Prisma colors and table conversation cards as well. Other than that, I always keep a Sharpie handy to sign books. Every time we go to Target or Barnes and Noble, I always sign the copies on the shelf. I adore Indie bookstores and do the same in OKC. There are, unfortunately, none where I live.  I came across a signed copy of Austen’s Persuasion in a used bookstore once and have never forgotten the thrill! CVCBB Beach Wave spray is another bag staple for me. I swear it’s the only way I am surviving the “mullet phase” of growing out a pixie. My adorable make up bags from Bliss, Beauty, and Books ride in every bag I carry! I beam every time I open them! Thank you, again, for being so thoughtful! I carry journals in my briefcase, purse, and gym bag. I also keep one on my nightstand.  I have to write plot ideas down immediately or I will forget as soon as one of my little loves says ‘Mommy.”
What are you currently reading?
I am currently listening to Jane Green’s The Sunshine Sisters and reading In This Moment by Karma Brown. Lift and Seperate by Marilyn  (check spelling) is on deck, along with Donna Everheart’s The Education of Dixie Dupree.
And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you?
Hand Sanitizer, Band-Aides, Mini Toothbrushes, Bookmarks, and collapsible reusable shopping bags with theatre quotes like “The play is THE thing.”

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg

You all know I love a fabulous female author and when that fabulous female author is a New England gal, well then we were meant to be fairy book sisters.  I was so thrilled to receive a wonderful package from Jeanne early on in her book promotions and then to have her be part of the Booksparks Summer Reading Challenge, well that was icing on the cake!!!  Eden is the perfect end of summer or beginning of fall read.  You will be able to escape back to the beach with this family drama or snuggle in a cozy sweater and endure this rich saga.  This is Jeanne’s debut novel and for sure the start of more wonderful books to come.  Lucky us ❤

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via Amazon~

Becca Meister Fitzpatrick―wife, mother, grandmother, and pillar of the community―is the dutiful steward of her family’s iconic summer tradition . . . until she discovers her recently deceased husband squandered their nest egg. As she struggles to accept that this is likely her last season in Long Harbor, Becca is inspired by her granddaughter’s boldness in the face of impending single-motherhood, and summons the courage to reveal a secret she was forced to bury long ago: the existence of a daughter she gave up fifty years ago. The question now is how her other daughter, Rachel―with whom Becca has always had a strained relationship―will react.

Eden is the account of the days leading up to the Fourth of July weekend, as Becca prepares to disclose her secret and her son and brothers conspire to put the estate on the market, interwoven with the century-old history of Becca’s family―her parents’ beginnings and ascent into affluence, and her mother’s own secret struggles in the grand home her father named “Eden.”

 

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What is your bag of choice?

I really like classic handbags, not floppy ones, but those with a little bit of structure.  I can carry papers and books as easily as the must haves without things getting creased or crumpled.  I’ve been using a Miu Miu bag this spring.

I like my bag to be deep so that I can stash some leggings and work out top at the bottom.  These days I’ve been having to squeeze in short work outs at the gym.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

I started using Rodan & Fields beauty products last December when a friend of mine became a distributor. They are fantastic.  The multi-function eye cream has decreased the puffiness around my eyes.  Their most amazing product, however, is the Lash Boost.  I put it on my eyelids before bed and now my eye lashes are so full and lush, I barely need to wear mascara.

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

I always carry hand cream – living in a cold environment, my hands dry out easily.  I like to have moisturizer on nearby at all times, especially scented with lavender or grapefruit.  It not only brings my skin back to life, but the scent can sort of wake me up.  I also like to have lip-gloss on hand as well as a hairbrush and a big clip.  I never know when my hair is going to feel like a windswept mess and I might need to put it up on top of my head.

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett.  Annie is an instructor at Grub Street in Boston where I have found an inspiring community of writers.  This debut novel is heartbreaking and funny at the same time.  The protagonist is a quirky, young girl named Elvis.  The language is sparse and poignant.  I highly recommend it for lovers of contemporary fiction.

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

Haha… when my kids were young, I’d always be able to find some sort of snack in my purse.  But there’s a poem I like by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers that begins “Keep a poem in your pocket and a picture in your head, and you’ll never feel lonely….” I’ve taken that to heart and carry a book, a paperback for those times when I’m waiting for an appointment (I’ve been going to the dentist quite often in the last year!)  I also carry a small moleskin journal I use to write down interesting observations or snippets of conversation.  Sometimes I’ll hear a word and want to write it down for future use. But lately, I’ve been jotting down notes on my phone and carrying ear buds in order to listen to audiobooks.  This evolution of my life condensing onto my phone feels efficient, however, I can’t help but feel that I’m losing something at the same time.

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Lake Union Double Feature ~ What’s in My Bookish (Beauty) Bag? ~ Kathy Cooperman and Kerry Lonsdale

Lake Union is a treasure chest of books and authors.  The publishing company of Amazon, is always producing literary gems and I am lucky to be able to get my hands on them.  I am so excited that two of their fabulous authors ~ Kathy Cooperman and Kerry Lonsdale decided to share not only their gorgeous bags but celebrate their two latest releases!  Both the prefect anecdote for end-of-summeritis 😉

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via Amazon ~

“Lighthearted…You’ll speed through this read.” —Real Simple

Best friends Annie and Sarah need cash—fast. Sarah, a beautiful, successful lawyer, wants nothing more than to have a baby. But balancing IVF treatments with a grueling eighty-hour workweek is no walk in the park. Meanwhile, Annie, a Harvard-grad chemist recently transplanted to Southern California, is cutting coupons to afford her young autistic son’s expensive therapy.

Desperate, the two friends come up with a brilliant plan: they’ll combine Sarah’s looks and Annie’s brains to sell a “luxury” antiaging face cream to the wealthy, fading beauties in Annie’s La Jolla book club. The scheme seems innocent enough, until Annie decides to add a special—and oh-so-illegal—ingredient that could bring their whole operation crashing to the ground.

Hilarious, intelligent, and warm, Crimes Against a Book Club is a delightful look at the lengths women will go to fend for their families and for one another.

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What is your bag of choice?

My bag of choice is a Simply Vera Wang handbag I got at Kohls last year.  It’s like my brain:  roomy, compartmentalized and full of junk.  I love it because it’s practical, but stylish.  My older kids – I have four of these creatures—are getting to a point where they don’t want their mom to embarrass them with her sheer dowdiness.

 

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

I use a mashup of high-end and bargain basement products – whatever works.  I have very dry skin (think tumbleweed) so I need stuff that moisturizes and protects; otherwise, I look like the Crypt Keeper.  My go-tos these days are: Laura Geller’s Spackle Supercharged Primer (moisturizes like nobody’s business), Tarte primer and concealer (takes ten years off my face – I hope), Lancome liquid eyeliner, and Almay multi-coat mascara (cheap, but works great to prevent me from looking like one of those pin-cushion-eyed babies from The Muppets).   Also, since I have frizzy, super thick hair (a Jewfro), I use CHI Shine Infusion hair spray to moisturize and tame my hair.

 

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

Since I live in sunny San Diego, I always carry weapons-grade sunscreen for me and my kids.  I also would never be caught dead without a hairbrush (see Jewfro referenced above) and lipstick.   I use Maybelline Super Stay 24 Hour Color lipstick.  I love bright, red lipstick, but I am too lazy and disorganized to reapply.

 

What are you currently reading?

YOU’LL GROW OUT OF IT by Jessi Klein.  She’s hilarious (writes for Amy Schumer).  She tells on herself with great honesty.  I also read a ton of Simon Brett murder mysteries.

 

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

Emergency chocolate.  And life savers for when the emergency chocolate runs out.  I use candy bribes on my children and myself.

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via Amazon ~

From the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Everything We Keep comes the highly anticipated sequel. Told from one man’s two perspectives, Everything We Left Behindeffortlessly blends suspense, mystery, and romance in an exploration of loss, resilience, and the compelling need to protect the ones we love at all cost.

Two months before his wedding, financial executive James Donato chased his trade-laundering brother Phil to Mexico, only to be lost at sea and presumed dead. Six and a half years later, he emerges from a dissociative fugue state to find he’s been living in Oaxaca as artist Carlos Dominguez, widower and father of two sons, with his sister-in-law Natalya Hayes, a retired professional surfer, helping to keep his life afloat. But his fiancée, Aimee Tierney, the love of his life, has moved on. She’s married and has a child of her own.

Devastated, James and his sons return to California. But Phil is scheduled for release from prison, and he’s determined to find James, who witnessed something in Mexico that could land Phil back in confinement. Under mounting family pressure, James flees with his sons to Kauai, seeking refuge with Natalya. As James begins to unravel the mystery of his fractured identity, danger is never far behind, and Natalya may be the only person he can trust.

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

I have three bags I switch around throughout a week: a red Kate Spade shoulder bag, a saddle-brown Michael Kors bag that looks like a piece of luggage, and the black leather Moda Luxe you caught me with today.

 

What are your top favorite beauty picks? 

bareMinerals is my go-to for all beauty products, from facial lotion to lipstick. It’s the only brand I’ve come across that works for me. It doesn’t dry out my skin or feel too heavy.

 

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

Lipstick! My everyday color is the bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Rise Up. You’ll also find the Mentha Shimmer Tint lip gloss in Bare Mint flavor from Co. Bigelow in that fuzzy leopard print cosmetic bag along with the bareMinerals performance wear powder foundation I use for touchup throughout the day. A new favorite is the invisible glow powder highlighter I received with my last bareMinerals purchase. It was the freebie gift and gives your cheeks and chin that dazzling magazine shimmer you see in ads.

 

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

I prefer to travel light, even around town, so I don’t carry paperbacks. I’ve been a die-hard e-reader since Amazon first launched the Kindle. (I used to own the flagship white brick version.) Right now I’m reading several books on  my Kindle Oasis, a couple of early reads for books publishing in 2018 along with Camille Pagan’s FOREVER IS THE WORST LONG TIME.

 

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

I wouldn’t necessarily call them fun, but I ALWAYS must have my Tory Burch (prescription) Sunglasses and Coach bifocals. (Gah! My poor eyes.) You don’t see it in the photo (because I ate it), but I always carry an RxBar. My favorite is the cocoa and date bar. And thanks to my fair English-Scottish complexion, you’ll always find Supergoop lip balm in SPF 30 and CeraVe Sunscreen face lotion in SFP 50 in my bag.

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Thanks to Kathy and Kerry!