What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Rosie Nixon

Being royally obsessed I am a huge fan of Hello! Magazine and when I discovered their  editor-in-chief was writing a novel I was sold.  Rosie Nixon is just as fabulous as her characters, Amber and Mona in her debut, The Stylist.  A little Devil Wears Prada with a sprinkle of the red carpet and hollywood glam this book is the perfect read to kick off all the glitz of New York Fashion week!  I was beyond thrilled when Rosie opened her Stella McCartney bag for me and shared her must-have beauty items and no one knows beauty better than her- its Hello! magazine people!!! ❤

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via Amazon ~

In the tradition of The Devil Wears Prada comes Rosie Nixon’s debut novel, which follows a young woman who is thrown into the fast-paced world of fashion and glamour as she’s forced to navigate the treacherous Hollywood red carpets…while finding a fairytale love of her own.

“A stylish, fun read, I absolutely loved it!”—Jackie Collins

Amber Green loves working at Smith’s, London’s ultra-exclusive boutique frequented by everyone who’s anyone, including Mona Armstrong, the stylist to the stars. She is fierce, demanding, and can make or break a career with a snap of her manicured nails.

When Mona’s latest assistant walks out and with awards season arriving faster than you can say “Rodeo Drive”, Amber finds herself agreeing to work for one of the most infamous—and volatile—women in Hollywood. And the stars aren’t much better. Amber’s life is turned inside out as she becomes familiar with all Hollywood has to offer, on and off the red carpet.

As she begins to enjoy life in the dressing rooms of the hottest stars, Amber discovers she’s the one in the spotlight when she catches the attention of two very different men. But Mona’s behavior is growing increasingly erratic and unless Amber can out-style everyone in Hollywood, she’s in danger of being Mona’s latest fashion victim.

Bookish Beauty Bag

What is your bag of choice?

Stella McCartney metallic shoulder bag. This has been my go-to day-into-evening bag for months now – I love the slightly rock chick edge and it looks as great with jeans as with an LBD or even a gown. I admire Stella’s standpoint on sustainable fashion and how she has pioneered using new alternative materials to leather and fur.  

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

I’ve been a big fan of Benefit for years and particularly like their mascaras and bronzers – a quick pop of Sugarbomb on my cheeks and I’m instantly perked up! I recently discovered Dolce & Gabbana make-up and it’s great quality, I also love By Terry make-up.

For skincare, I’m a Murad girl, I wear their entire range – the City Skin Age Defence SPF 50 is my favourite, I have quite fair skin and always wear a high SPF. Shu Uemura beauty products are gorgeous and effective too. As I get older, I pay more attention to the science of skincare – the right products really can make a big difference in slowing the ageing process. I’m lucky that I work in an industry (magazines) where it’s important to keep on top of the latest beauty brands and trends.

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

Always a benefit Bal Gal BANG! mascara in black, Benefit Sugarbomb, Dolce & Gabbana ‘Isabella’ lipstick which is like a cross between a lipbalm and a lipstick, although I often wear Maybelline SuperStay 24 Colour lipstick in Rose Dust because it doesn’t come off when I kiss my children! I generally carry a small purse, and I’m quite low maintenance, so there isn’t room for much else beauty-wise!

What are you currently reading?

I nearly always have my nose in a newspaper or the pages of HELLO! magazine, of which I am editor-in-chief. Reading magazines is part of my job and very much in my blood. I read novels for escapism. I’m currently reading The Image Of You by Adele Parks, who is a friend as well as a brilliant author. And I recently loved The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo. I only wish I had more time to curl up with a book.

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

Always my iPhone X – I will fly into a panic if I’ve left home without it. I love my limited edition HELLO! phone case, which was created by CHAOS as part of a fashion project I spearheaded celebrating HELLO!’s 30th Birthday in May.

I also have sunglasses with me – I have quite an addiction to sunglasses, just like my central character Mona Armstrong  – my current favourites are by Ralph Lauren, but I switch them up depending on my mood and what I’m wearing. I can go from Ray-Bans one day, to mirrored Le Specs or classic Pradas the next. It’s all about the accessories, darling! (Just ask Amber Green…) 

items in bag: Lulu Guinness purse, Barkleys peppermints, Dolce & Gabbana lipstick,  Benefit mascara, Ralph Lauren sunglasses, HELLO! x CHAOS phone case, iPhone X

Rosie Nixon author photo

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Open Book with Rea Frey

We may be saying good bye to summer but it’s not really official until end of September so keep on with the delectable summer reads!  Rea Freys’ debut fiction novel is one for your must-read lists!  Not Her Daughter, already optioned for film, is the perfect read to enjoy by a fire pit on these indian summer nights.  Missing child, unsure mother and successful kidnapper are all the key ingredients in this page-turner.  I was thrilled when Rea answered a few questions for my latest “Open Book”.  She might just be the book BFF I didn’t know I needed 🙂 Very Cavallari, wine and US Weekly and a #tbr pile of some of my favorites- Rea, call me ❤

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via Amazon ~

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

PopSugar – The Summer’s Hottest Books * Refinery 29 – Best Summer Thrillers * US Weekly – Summer’s Best Send-Offs * Parade – 20 Chilling Thrillers by Women to Read This Year * Brit + Co – 15 New Thrillers by Women That Will Give You Chills This Summer * The Zoe Report – 20 Books to Read this Summer * She Reads – New Summer Thrillers to Get Your Heart Racing * Working Mother – 15 Hot New Summer Beach Reads * Culturalist – Top Ten Domestic Thrillers That Will Make You Question Everything * Crime Reads – 5 Debut Crime Novels to Read This August

 

“Brings to mind Jodi Picoult…thought-provoking domestic drama.” – Booklist

“Will make you miss your bedtime, guaranteed.” – Bestselling author Kimberly Belle

Gripping, emotional, and wire-taut, Not Her Daughter raises the question of what it means to be a mother—and how far someone will go to keep a child safe.

Emma Townsend. Five years old. Gray eyes, brown hair. Missing since June.

Emma is lonely. Living with her cruel mother and clueless father, Emma retreats into her own world of quiet and solitude.

Sarah Walker. Successful entrepreneur. Broken-hearted. Kidnapper.

Sarah has never seen a girl so precious as the gray-eyed child in a crowded airport terminal. When a second-chance encounter with Emma presents itself, Sarah takes her—far away from home. But if it’s to rescue a little girl from her damaging mother, is kidnapping wrong?

Amy Townsend. Unhappy wife. Unfit mother. Unsure whether she wants her daughter back.

Amy’s life is a string of disappointments, but her biggest issue is her inability to connect with her daughter. And now Emma is gone without a trace.

As Sarah and Emma avoid the nationwide hunt, they form an unshakeable bond. But what about Emma’s real mother, back at home?

Praise for Not Her Daughter

“The plot twists here are brave, the themes are both poignant and unsettling, and the resolution is deeply resonant. A page-turner with heart!”New York Times bestselling author Kate Moretti

“A cleverly constructed novel that will have you questioning everything you believe about right or wrong.” – New York Times bestselling author Chevy Stevens

“Engrossing and suspenseful, Frey writes her characters with depth and compassion, challenging readers to question their own code of ethics.” Zoje Stage, author of Baby Teeth

“An emotional ride where the line between right and wrong begins to fade…pulls you in from the very first page, and unlike most in its genre, you won’t know how you want it to end until it does.Wendy Walker, author of Emma in the Night

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

Maya Angelou, James Joyce, and Sylvia Plath. Can’t you just imagine that conversation? 

2. Current binge series?

Very Cavallari. It follows Kristin Cavallari on her journey to open her accessory store, Uncommon James. It takes place in Nashville (where I live), and I CAN’T STOP WATCHING IT. 

3. Last favorite book?

Three Days Missing by Kimberly Belle

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

Book, workout clothes, journal. My dream vacation is in the mountains, near water, where I can hike, write, and eat my face off. 

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

I should say NYT, right? Smart people say NYT. But I’m an US WEEKLY gal all the way. It’s my unwind go-to read with a glass of wine and a big old bubble bath. 

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

My husband

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

To Kill a Mockingbird

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

Yes! My father, for starters. He is a magnificent writer, and from the time I was young, he taught me the love of reading (through TV Guides, of all things), writing poetry, and storytelling. My third grade teacher, Mrs. Seard, was instrumental in helping me craft stories. I also had a wonderful AP English teacher in high school, Mrs. Johnson, who let me write to my heart’s content and helped me craft my writing portfolio to submit to college writing programs. I went to Columbia for fiction writing, so, you know, all the teachers there were beyond helpful. 

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

Not always, but if I do, it’s actually Billie Holiday, classical, Son Lux, or a mellow playlist on Spotify. 

10. Describe your writing space?

I actually share a desk with my husband, but he made the desk, so I suppose he can use it too. It’s an eight-foot long slab of wood. I have the left side, he has the right. (He’s a designer, so we are often sketching and writing together, which is nice.) I like a minimalistic space, so I have flowers, my laptop, a stack of advance reader copies, and oh so many pens. 

11. Coffee or tea?

Coffee. I don’t trust tea drinkers…

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

I absolutely love Pam Grout’s books. E2 and E3 are life changers. In terms of writing, Story Genius by Lisa Cron. I have recommended this book more times than I can count! 

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

The Secret History by Donna Tartt 

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

Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley. I love this song. I’ve made love to this song. I’ve cried to this song. I’ve broken up to this song. I got married to this song. It showcases the struggles we all face. It’s romantic, and tragic, and hopeful at the same time, much like life. 

15. What/Who inspires you?

My daughter inspires me every single day. She’s only six years old, but she has it all figured out. (Seriously, children are the best teachers, aren’t they?) She reminds me to step away from my computer, to put the damn phone down, to play, to laugh, and to not take everything so seriously. She literally insists I go jump on the trampoline if I’ve been sitting too long. She’s my hero. 

16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

Nope

17. Favorite Instagram account?

I love Instagram so much, and though I’ve only been on it for a little over a year, I find the “audience” there to be so supportive and authentic. Ironically, my favorite account is a brand new one: @manifesting.through.the.mess, which is all about navigating the mess of motherhood and reclaiming yourself along the way. Elizabeth Pearson is going to do big things, y’all. You should follow her. 

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

You are a Badass: hot pink

19. Current #TBR pile?

Holy shit, my list is like a mile high. (No, really, I can show you.) In no particular order: 

The Darkest Time of Night by Jeremy Finley

Ghosted by Rosie Walsh

The Bucket List by Georgia Clark

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell

Other People’s Houses by Abbi Waxman

When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri

And the list continues…

20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

There is no right time. Now is the right time. 

We live in such an if/then society. We’re scared to take risks, to burst out of the norm, to do what we want when we want. We think there’s a perfect time to do the things we really want. When you get enough money. When you have the steady job. When the kids go to school. When all the shit gets done. When you’re not so tired. But there isn’t any magical time to follow your own path. LIFE is the time, and it’s right now. I think waiting is one of the biggest detriments to being happy and living a more fulfilled life. 

 

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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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Open Book with Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

Two summers ago, fully pregnant, I had the good fortune of meeting Liz and Lisa while they were on tour.  They are exactly how you would picture them- fun, bubbly, sparkly, gorgeous and vivacious- basically the gals you want in your squad.  I am always thrilled to support them and read their literary gems.  I love having them on the blog and am excited to share their “Open Book” answers.  They have picked the perfect book to lipstick shade, shared their current reads and really live by the best motto- read below and see why they truly are the book besties dreams are made of ❤

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via Amazon ~

From the bestselling authors of The Good Widow comes a chilling novel of psychological suspense that will make you think twice about what your best friend may be hiding…

For estranged friends Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren, it’s time to heal the old wounds between them. Where better to repair those severed ties than on a girls’ getaway to the beautiful paradise of Tulum, Mexico? But even after they’re reunited, no one is being completely honest about the past or the secrets they’re hiding. When Ashley disappears on their girls’ night out, Natalie and Lauren have to try to piece together their hazy memories to figure out what could have happened to her, while also reconciling their feelings of guilt over their last moments together.

Was Ashley with the man she’d met only days before? Did she pack up and leave? Was she kidnapped? Or worse—could Natalie or Lauren have snapped under the weight of her own lies?

As the clock ticks, hour by hour, Natalie and Lauren’s search rushes headlong into growing suspicion and dread. Maybe their secrets run deeper and more dangerous than one of them is willing—or too afraid—to admit.

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

Elizabeth Gilbert, Judy Blume and Barack Obama

  1. Current binge series?

Lisa is binging Seven Seconds on Netflix and Liz is binging Dietland on AMC. 

  1. Last favorite book?

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier and Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone 

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

Books (Does that count as one? Lol), bathing suit and birkenstocks.

Grand Cayman! Together! 

  1. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

US Weekly! 

  1. Last person you sent a text message to?

Lisa–my husband

Liz–Lisa!

  1. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

You by Caroline Kepnes 

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

Lisa didn’t have a teacher. It was her mom who encouraged her. Liz had so many teachers that encouraged her—it would be impossible to choose just one! 

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

YES! Lisa listens to Kenny Chesney and various other country artists. Liz loves Sia and plays her on repeat! 

  1. Describe your writing space?

Lisa has a loft, hidden away from the rest of the house with sweeping views of the treelined streets below. Liz has a tranquil office that relaxes her. 

  1. Coffee or tea?

Coffee for both of us! 

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

Lisa enjoys gifting Eat Pray Love. Liz loves to gift The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. 

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

Ours! The Good Widow or Girls’ Night Out! 

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

Don’t Worry, Be Happy for Lisa. So much easier said than done! For Liz: Girls Just Want to Have Fun! 

  1. What/Who inspires you?

Hard workers—people that hustle to get to the top. 

  1. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

Yes! We love Million Dollar Listing–any city!

  1. Favorite Instagram account?

We love @vilmairisblog and also @thesatoproject, a really cool organization that saved dogs in Puerto Rico. 

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

Double Life. It would be that perfect shade of red and would go with The Good Widow

  1. Current #TBR pile?

Lisa has The Subway Girls by Susie Schnall, An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, Our House by Louise Candish. Liz is reading The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang and Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier. 

  1. Best advice you’ve ever received?

Never give up. And we won’t!

 

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ M.J. Rose

Tiffany’s, romance, the Jazz Age and a historical mystery are all the ingredients to M.J. Rose’s latest, Tiffany Blues which of course makes it the perfect beach read.  It’s the magical escape to a time that was enchanting and lively.  I was lucky enough to have M.J. share her vintage Gucci and Louis Vuitton with me which were equally as enchanting.  This is a woman who appreciates a beautiful, vintage bags and knows the history about them too 🙂

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via Amazon~

Everything looked more beautiful through the stained glass… except her past.

“A lush, romantic historical mystery…a heroine to root for.” –Kristin Hannah, NYTbestselling author of The Nightingale

NYT bestselling author, M. J. Rose crafts a dazzling Jazz Age jewel–a novel of ambition, betrayal, and passion.

New York, 1924. Twenty‑four‑year‑old Jenny Bell has escaped her past… her hard-hearted stepfather, murder, and the dank hallways of Canada’s notorious Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women where she spent 2 years.

Now as one of a dozen burgeoning artists invited to Louis Comfort Tiffany’s prestigious artists’ colony. Gifted and determined, Jenny vows to avoid distractions and romantic entanglements and take full advantage of the many wonders to be found at Laurelton Hall.

But Jenny’s can’t help but be inextricably drawn to Oliver, Tiffany’s charismatic grandson.

As the summer shimmers on, and the competition between the artists grows fierce as they vie for a spot at Tiffany’s New York gallery, a series of suspicious and disturbing occurrences suggest someone knows enough about Jenny’s childhood trauma to expose her.

Supported by her closest friend Minx Deering, a seemingly carefree socialite yet dedicated sculptor, and Oliver, Jenny pushes her demons aside. Between stolen kisses and stolen jewels, the champagne flows and the jazz plays on until one moonless night when Jenny’s past and present are thrown together in a desperate moment, that will threaten her promising future, her love, her friendships, and her very life.

“Fascinating…an enchanting glimpse of Jazz Age New York.” –Christina Baker Kline, #1 NYT bestselling author of Orphan Train and A Piece of the World

 

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What is your bag of choice?

I’m obsessed with bags. Vintage bags. New bags. My great grandmother’s bags. Bags I buy that are impractical but that I can just look at in my closet and be happy about.

But my favorite everyday bag is this Gucci Jackie O that I bought to celebrate a book contract I signed in 2009. I have had it repaired 3 times.

The Jackie was originally called the ‘Constance’ but was re-named in honor of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis after she was photographed several times wearing the bag while working as a consulting editor at publishing firm Doubleday. I had loved the bag for years but Gucci had stopped making it and then in 2009 they started to reissue it.

 

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

Too many. I carry around enough product so that if I got stranded in a blizzard in a New York hotel room without any luggage I could completely be dinner party ready. From Caudalie Beauty Elixir- a really refreshing spray to my Chanel light blue eye pencil to use on the inside bottom lid. And perfume. Always a small spray bottle of my go to perfume. Une Rose by Fredrick Malle. Given my name probably it won’t surprise you that I am addicted to rose perfumes. And this is my favorite. It’s the only perfume that when I’m wearing it – everyone from cab drivers to bank tellers – ask me what I’m wearing.

 

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

The Glass Ocean. A wonderful novel by Lauren Willig, Beatriz Williams and Karen White. I’ve read all their individual books as well as the last novel they wrote together, The Forgotten Room and was enchanted.

 

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

My notebook (bought in Paris 15 years ago in my favorite green color and a pen from the same trip). Even if don’t open it. It’s like a talisman for me.

And the dog tags from all my beloved dogs are on my keychain.

And my wallet – it’s my mom’s Louis Vuitton wallet. She died 21 years ago and I’ve been using it ever since.

 
MJRB&W

 

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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 ❤

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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 Susie Orman Schnall

There is no shortage of fierce, female driven beach reads this year.  A the top of this list is the gorgeous Susie Orman Schnall’s latest, The Subway Girls.  A historical read with beauty, ambition and two determined woman is all that is within this gem of a read.  I was thrilled when Susie agreed to be my latest “Open Book”.  She is just as fabulous as her two main characters.  Perfect lipstick selection, stellar dream book club picks and a delectable TBR stack.  She is beyond!

The Subway Girls COVER

via Amazon ~

From the author of The Balance Project comes a dual-timeline narrative featuring a 1949 Miss Subways contestant and a modern-day advertising executive whose careers and lives intersect.

“Schnall has written a book that is smart and timely…Feels perfect for fans of Beatriz Williams and Liza Klaussmann.” —Taylor Jenkins Reid, acclaimed author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

“A fast-paced, clever novel filled with romantic possibilities, high-stakes decisions, and harsh realities. Perfect for fans of Fiona Davis’s The Dollhouse, this engrossing tale highlights the role that ambition, sexism, and true love will forever play in women’s lives.” —Amy Poeppel, author of Small Admissions

In 1949, dutiful and ambitious Charlotte’s dream of a career in advertising is shattered when her father demands she help out with the family business. Meanwhile, Charlotte is swept into the glamorous world of the Miss Subways beauty contest, which promises irresistible opportunities with its Park Avenue luster and local fame status. But when her new friend—the intriguing and gorgeous fellow-participant Rose—does something unforgivable, Charlotte must make a heart-wrenching decision that will change the lives of those around her forever.

Nearly 70 years later, outspoken advertising executive Olivia is pitching the NYC subways account in a last ditch effort to save her job at an advertising agency. When the charismatic boss she’s secretly in love with pits her against her misogynistic nemesis, Olivia’s urgent search for the winning strategy leads her to the historic Miss Subways campaign. As the pitch date closes in on her, Olivia finds herself dealing with a broken heart, an unlikely new love interest, and an unexpected personal connection to Miss Subways that could save her job—and her future.

The Subway Girls is the charming story of two strong women, a generation apart, who find themselves up against the same eternal struggle to find an impossible balance between love, happiness, and ambition.

SusieOrmanSchnall

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

Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, and Barack Obama.

2. Current binge series?

 Just finished binging Good Girls Revolt. I’m so sad there won’t be a season 2. And I can’t wait until the next seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale and Big Little Lies are released.

3. Last favorite book?

My favorite three I’ve read recently are Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

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

1. A bag full of good books (that just counts as one thing!) 2. Cozy sweats. 3. Dark chocolate and English breakfast tea. Then I’ll gather all of those things on a beautiful porch of a beautiful house overlooking a beautiful sea.

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

 Sunday NYT. (And the crossword.)

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

 My middle son. About the geometry compass he needs for school 😉

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

 The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

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

 Not particularly. But I have an English professor from college, Al Filreis, who once read an essay I wrote out loud in class. I had taken a lot of risks with it and I almost didn’t turn it in. When he read it aloud, I felt an unbelievable sense of pride and it made me feel so validated. We still keep in touch.

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

 No. Has to be really quiet. I get distracted easily.

10. Describe your writing space?

 I have an office off my bedroom. It’s got this gorgeous crazy floral wallpaper, a big desk with lots of room to spread out all my notes, cozy chairs, and lots of book shelf space. And a big window to look out of when I can’t figure out what to write next. I love having my own space.

11. Coffee or tea?

 Rishi English breakfast tea.

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

 Not one in particular but I do love sending books to people unexpectedly if one has come up in conversation or if I think they’ll like it.

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

 Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.

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

 My favorite song is If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out by Cat Stevens. It’s just so uplifting and has so much potential! “You can do what you want 

The opportunity’s on

And if you can find a new way

You can do it today”

15. What/Who inspires you?

Women today! My goodness, women are killing it. I love the ambition, and bravery, and outspokenness that is all over the place today. It makes me want to spread my wings and soar.

16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

 Of course! In doses.

17. Favorite Instagram account?

 Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. She can go from posting something inspiring and motivational and then the next day it will be something hilarious. She’s incredibly authentic. You should definitely follow her. @sarablakely

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

Eat Pray Love. A flattering glowy pink that you can use when you eat, pray, love, and everything in between. I need the items in my life to multitask!

19. Current #TBR pile?

 Humongous! Highlights: The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine, Americanah by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett, Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue, Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. It just keeps growing…

20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

Done is better than perfect – Sheryl Sandberg says that in Lean In.

 

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*Thanks to BookSparks for facilitating this interview.