Always by Sarah Jio

Always by Sarah Jio was the first book I read of hers and it certainly will not be the last.  I loved this book.  The story, the characters, the setting and time were all perfection.  Always is part drama, part romance all set against the 90’s music scene, a time that I loved and loved reading about.  If you want a book that will suck you in within the first few paragraphs this is it.  Plus, I love the Sarah’s connection the the premise of the book, make sure you read at the end as it’s a good little author tidbit, not to be missed.

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Cade and Kailey are former loves who had separated years ago.  Kailey is currently engaged to Ryan and planning wedding.  After a nice dinner Kailey sees a homeless man outside the restaurant.  She notices the stare and the eyes.  Cade.  She can not comprehend that this was once the man that she loved.  What happened to him?  Why is he in this place?  Told from alternating points in Kailey’s life, we find out how Cade and Kailey met as well as their fall out.  Will she recover the first true love of her life or will she walk down the isle with the man of her dreams?

Sarah Jio © Nina Subin

Highly recommend this book!  If you love a good romance with an ending you didn’t expect then this is it.  It would be the perfect companion for Spring Break, trust me.

*Thanks to Random House for sending a copy for review.

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!

 

 

 

 

The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle

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Wow.  I just finished my first Kimberly Belle novel and let me say it was fabulous!  The Marriage Lie is twisty and deceitful with a superb ending.  I love a thriller and this was just what I was looking for.  Belle writes a novel that grabs you from chapter one and keeps you guessing literally until the last page.  It was fast paced and the perfect appetizer to launch us into our spring reads!

Belle author credit Sherri Innis

The Marriage Lie centers around Iris who is notified that her husband, Will, was involved in a plane crash and is dead.  The plane was heading to Seattle and there were no survivors.  But how could that be?  Iris was under the impression Will was heading to Florida for work?  Why would he lie?  Where was he going?  This tragic event catapults Iris to start piecing together the truth.  What she soon finds out is Will was not the person she thought he was and the people who she thinks she can trust aren’t all they are cracked up to be either.

I am so looking forward to Belle’s next novel after this gem.  The writing was crisp and the story flowed with thrills and chills.  As I said before, we are upon the spring/summer reads releases and as well all know they are the perfect companion to a sunny day or a rosy glass of rose’.  This book is nothing short of that.  Although we may still be in the doldrums of winter, grab a drink and get cozy as this is a wintery “beach-read” that will get you excited for all that is to come!

 

*Thanks to Mira books for sending a copy for review to Bliss, Beauty and Books.

 

I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi

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It’s a new year and I have started my reading list for 2017!  With that, I have also revived my blog which has been “sleeping” for the last few months as being a mom of two is quite the challenge.  I wish I had been sleeping too, buuuuuut  I know sleep and I will meet again some day, lol!  To start off the reading year I just finished up Abby Fabiaschi’s I Liked My Life.  Set in a town just right next door to where I live, Wellesley, MA, it’s a beautiful story about a mother, Maddy, who commits suicide and leaves her daughter and husband to pick up the pieces and start their life over with out her.  Each chapter is narrated by each character experiencing life without her including Maddy herself.  What I can say is not only do you get a heartbreaking story about a family who is suffering without a mother and wife but a shocking twist as well which is one of the best ingredients you can add to a story.  I loved it.  I thought the writing was thoughtful and the story was unique.  If this is the type of stories stored in Fabiashi’s mind we are all in for a treat as she will have lots to share in the literary world!  This is a phenomenal debut and Abby should be on your favorite authors list after this gem. It is definitely one to add to your 2017 list!

 

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*Thanks to St.Martin’s Press for sending a copy for review to Bliss, Beauty and Books.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

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All I have to say is WOW about this book.  I can’t really sum up my feelings about Jodi Picoult’s, Small Great Things, except that everyone needs to read it especially due to the events over the past few days.  I have been a huge fan of Jodi’s for years but I have to say this is her best.  Taking on race and prejudice- her voice, this topic and these issues are what need to be heard and discussed.  We are in a time where uniting and love are crucial.  It took me a month to read this book, my longest in a while, and yes this could be due to sleepless nights, thanks kids, but mostly the fact that this was heavy stuff.  I could only read small bits at a time and then digest it slowly.  Picoult did her research and really presented this story with an open, honest heart and tangible emotion.  I can’t talk enough about how life changing this book was to me.  Thank you Jodi for bringing this issue to the center and aiding us in starting the conversation.  There is so much work to be done but love will continue to TRUMP HATE and together we will always RISE above.

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Fab Fall Reads~ Lauren Graham Edition

So I was late to the Gilmore Girls party.  I know, shocking, as I am a huge fan of the old CW and love all things pop culture.  I finally caved and started to binge the series on Netflix.  OMG.  I am in love with this show.  I think I love it more now then I would have then because I am a mom.  I love Lorelai Gilmore and the relationship between her and Rory.  Lauren Graham is amazing in this role (sidenote: never watched Parenthood either so that is my next series).  Having now jumped on this bandwagon, I can say I am super excited about the revival!  I love Fuller House so I am sure Netflix will do it justice.  Not only is Graham an amazing actress but she is an author too!  Fiction and soon to be non-fiction author, triple threat!!!  Her first book Someday, Someday Maybe was fiction and hit the NYT bestseller list.  It tells the story about an struggling actress who is trying to find herself.  Her newest book, a memoir, Talking as Fast as I Can comes out next month to coincide with the revival.  Read below about each book- full reviews to come and share in the comments if you are a GG fan as well 🙂

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via Goodreads~

In her first work of nonfiction, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood recounts her experiences on Gilmore Girls—the first and second time—and shares stories about life, love, and working in Hollywood. This collection of essays is written in the intimate, hilarious, and down-to earth voice that made her novel, Someday Someday Maybe, a New York Times bestseller.

“This book contains some stories from my life: the awkward growing up years, the confusing dating years, the fulfilling working years, and what it was like to be asked to play one of my favorite characters again. You probably think I’m talking about my incredible achievement as Dolly in Hello, Dolly! as a Langley High School junior, a performance my dad called “you’re so much taller than the other kids.” But no! I’m talking about Lorelai Gilmore, who, back in 2008, I wasn’t sure I’d ever see again. Also included: tales of living on a houseboat, meeting guys at awards shows, and that time I was asked to be a butt model. A hint: all three made me seasick.”—Lauren Graham

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via Goodreads ~

Franny Banks is a struggling actress in New York City, with just six months left of the three year deadline she gave herself to succeed. But so far, all she has to show for her efforts is a single line in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters and a degrading waitressing job. She lives in Brooklyn with two roommates-Jane, her best friend from college, and Dan, a sci-fi writer, who is very definitely not boyfriend material-and is struggling with her feelings for a suspiciously charming guy in her acting class, all while trying to find a hair-product cocktail that actually works.

Meanwhile, she dreams of doing “important” work, but only ever seems to get auditions for dishwashing liquid and peanut butter commercials. It’s hard to tell if she’ll run out of time or money first, but either way, failure would mean facing the fact that she has absolutely no skills to make it in the real world. Her father wants her to come home and teach, her agent won’t call her back, and her classmate Penelope, who seems supportive, might just turn out to be her toughest competition yet.

Someday, Someday, Maybe is a funny and charming debut about finding yourself, finding love, and, most difficult of all, finding an acting job.

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