Lit Ladies Double Feature: Open Book with Elyssa Friedland and Liz and Lisa

Three of my favorite ladies had book birthdays yesterday and I am thrilled they are on the blog today to celebrate!  Both books are perfect summer reads and their back catalogs are musts as well.  Elyssa Friedland’s latest, The Floating Feldmans is a family comedy/drama on the high seas and is a top pick of summer in multiple outlets.   The fab duo of Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, their latest, The Two Lila Bennetts is a summer thriller with Sliding Door vibes and a top pick as well.  The amount of fun in all of their Open Book responses is too much and these three are the ones that you want to grab a drink with have as your next BFF ❤

Floating Feldmans

via Amazon ~

A family vacation dredges up a boatload of trouble in the next witty, insightful novel from the acclaimed author of The Intermission.

“An irresistible drama filled with humor and heart-tugging emotion about family and what it means to belong. I absolutely adore Friedland’s warm, witty writing!”—Emily Giffin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of All We Ever Wanted

Sink or swim. Or at least that’s what Annette Feldman tells herself when she books a cruise for her entire family. It’s been over a decade since the Feldman clan has spent more than twenty-four hours under the same roof, but Annette is determined to celebrate her seventieth birthday the right way. Just this once, they are going to behave like an actual family.

Too bad her kids didn’t get the memo.

Between the troublesome family secrets, old sibling rivalries, and her two teenage grandkids, Annette’s birthday vacation is looking more and more like the perfect storm. Adrift together on the open seas, the Feldmans will each face the truths they’ve been ignoring—and learn that the people they once thought most likely to sink them are actually the ones who help them stay afloat.

Elyssa.Friedland.Headshot credit Lucia Engstrom

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

-Ernest Hemingway

-Oprah

-Meryl Streep

 

Current binge series?

Wentworth (fictional series on Netflix about a women’s prison in Australia. SOOOOOOOO good!)

 

Last favorite book?

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

 

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

-Bikini

-Many pairs of sunglasses because I always lose them

-Kindle

 

Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Sunday NYT

 

Last person you sent a text message to?

Ali Winter, one of my best friends.

 

Book you read that you wished you wrote?

The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar

 

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

Mr. Baker! I had him twice. Seventh grade and ninth grade. He really pushed my writing.

 

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

-No. I don’t need total quiet and I often have my children around while I write, but for some reason I find music distracting.

 

Describe your writing space?

It’s anywhere my laptop is. That can mean my bed, my desk, a coffee shop, the library, the chaise lounge by my pool. I’m very flexible.

 

Coffee or tea?

Coffee. A ton of it. With almond milk.

 

Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

I like to give cookbooks and photography books. I think taste in novels is so personal and specific I don’t love to give them out as gifts.

 

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

Cutting for Stone.

 

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

Just Another Manic Monday. I’m always overcommitted and frantic and can be disorganized.

 

What/Who inspires you?

Any female CEO. I’m not entrepreneurial and I truly admire that quality

 

Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

No. It just feels too fake to me.

 

Favorite Instagram account?

I love Gary Janetti, who makes fun of the royal family.

 

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

Fifty Shades of Pink. It’s my favorite color and I really want to move on from the Fifty Shades of Grey obsession. Those books just didn’t do it for me.

 

Current #TBR pile?A NOVEL

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

 

Best advice you’ve ever received?

You can’t dance at every wedding. My mom told me that and she’s right. I have to say no to some opportunities. I really struggle with that. I want to do everything and be everywhere.

 

Follow Elyssa:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

 

The Two Lila Bennetts

via Amazon ~

“One fateful decision. Two unexpected endings. A perfect summer read!” —Wendy Walker, bestselling author of The Night Before

Lila Bennett’s bad choices have finally caught up with her. And one of those decisions has split her life in two. Literally.

In one life, she’s taken hostage by someone who appears to be a stranger but knows too much. As she’s trapped in a concrete cell, her kidnapper forces her to face what she’s done or be killed. In an alternate life, she eludes her captor but is hunted by someone who is dismantling her happiness, exposing one secret at a time.

Lila’s decorated career as a criminal defense attorney, her marriage, and her life are on the line. She must make a list of those she’s wronged—both in and out of the courtroom—to determine who is out to get her before it’s too late. But even if she can pinpoint her assailant, will she survive? And if she does, which parts of her life are worth saving, and which parts must die? Because one thing’s for certain—life as Lila Bennett knew it is over.

L&L final headshot

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

 Judy Blume

Elizabeth Gilbert

Cheryl Strayed

Current binge series?

 Liz: I’m re-watching The Office

Lisa: Million Dollar Listing New York

Last favorite book?

 Liz: Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle

Lisa: Recursion by Blake Crouch

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

 Liz: I’m going to Paris! In my bag will be a wonder cloth to keep my face soft and clean, Alastin tinted moisturizer and Violets face serum!

Lisa: My next dream vacation would be to China! In my bag, I will pack at least three books, Sun Bum sunscreen and my new favorite derby hat.

 

Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

 Liz: US Weekly

 Lisa: US Weekly

Last person you sent a text message to?

  To each other! (of course!)

 

Book you read that you wished you wrote?

 Liz: Everything I Never Told you by Celeste Ng

Lisa: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

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

  Liz: In 7th grade—Mrs. Adams!

Lisa: Not that I can remember! But that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. J

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

  Liz: Always! I love moody music! Sia is my favorite.

  Lisa: Yes. I mix it up. Everyone from Kenny Chesney to Lionel Richie

Describe your writing space?

  Liz: My office is light and airy with soft tones. I have a light fixture adorned with glass stars. I love it!

   Lisa: My office has a port hole style window where the light flows in. I have a midcentury modern desk and a white soft chair with gold accents. I am surrounded by books of course, including all of the ones we’ve written. This is a reminder of what we’ve accomplished and how far we want to go.

Coffee or tea?

    Both of us are COFFEE!!!

 

Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

          Liz: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

          Lisa: Eat Pray Love by Liz Gilbert

 

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

          Liz: I recently finished The Seven Days of Us and think it would make a great movie!

          Lisa: The Two Lila Bennetts!  (Too self-promotional?)

 

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

          Liz: Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. I’m generally optimistic and believe the best in people. I don’t ever want to change!

          Lisa: Shake It Off by Taylor Swift. You can’t worry about what people think! You can’t let bad things get you down. Just keep moving forward! Don’t sweat the small stuff. All advice I do my best to live by!

 

What/Who inspires you?

          We inspire each other in so many ways. Being lifelong friends and business partners gives us so many opportunities to be motivated by one another.

 

Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

     Um, YES!

 

Favorite Instagram account?

     There are so many good ones! We love Busy Phillips’ and Reese Witherspoon’s!

 

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

 Red, White & Royal Blue—and it would be a combo of all three colors!

Current #TBR pile?A NOVEL

          Liz: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren, The Library book by Susan Orlean, Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison and The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin.

          Lisa: Whisper Network by Chandler Baker, Evvie Drake Starts over by Linda Holmes, Very Nice by Marcy Dermansky, Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory, Normal People by Sally Rooney, The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess, Happily Ever After by Tif Marcelo and Pretty Guilty Women by Gina Lamanna.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

          Keep writing. No matter what!

 

Follow Liz and Lisa:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Open Book with Emily Liebert

Happy July 4th!  It is a summer celebration here today as we celebrate the release of Emily Liebert’s latest, Pretty Revenge!  Cue the fireworks as this is a hands-down must-read for summer- if you have yet to read of Emily’s back catalog, do yourself a favor and spend the summer getting to know this beauty of a writer!  I was lucky enough to meet her a few years back and she is perfection.  If you love a good thriller with sharp twists and turns then this book was made for you!  I am thrilled to be able to support Emily today, Pretty Revenge’s birthday, and after you read her Open Book you will see she is the     type of gal you would love to add to your squad ❤

Pretty Revenge

via Amazon ~

The name of the game is revenge—no matter the cost—in this emotionally charged thriller reminiscent of The Wife Between Us and The Perfect Nanny.

Kerrie O’Malley, jobless and in an unfulfilling relationship, can isolate the singular moment in her life when things veered off course—the night she was irrevocably wronged by someone she looked up to. Eighteen years later, when Kerrie sees the very woman who destroyed her life on television, a fire ignites inside her. The stakes are high. The risks are perilous. But she’ll stop at nothing to achieve the retribution she deserves.

Jordana Pierson is a gilded New Yorker who appears to have it all: wealth, glamour, a successful and handsome husband, and a thriving wedding concierge business. Her record is spotless. Her business is flourishing. No one knows the truth about her and the dark shadows of her past.

No one, that is, except Kerrie.

Exploring just how far someone will go for vengeance, Pretty Revenge is a riveting, compulsively readable novel bursting with twists and turns and plenty of suspense.

 

Emily Liebert credit Kyle Norton

1. What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with? Judy Blume, because she inspired me to write my first book. Candace Bushnell, because…Sex and the City. And Danielle Steel, because her writing process fascinates me.

2. Current binge series? Catastrophe. Funniest show on TV.

 

3. Last favorite book? Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle. She nailed it. The twist is perfection!

 

4. What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Where is it? Paris. Comfortable shoes, flowy dresses, and my appetite.

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly? US Weekly, hands down.

 6. Last person you sent a text message to? One of my closest friends, Emily Rosnick, who’s also the best makeup artist you will ever work with.

 7. Book you read that you wished you wrote? Gone Girl

 8. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer? I’ve had some amazing teachers, but my desire and motivation to write was innate.

 

9. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who? Never. I need silence. 

10. Describe your writing space? I have two. The first is my home office, which I love. The color scheme is gray, purple, and white. I have purple roses, votive candles, a huge custom bulletin board with my initials on it, and a gumball machine with purple and white gumballs. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get work done at home, so I also have an office in the town of Westport, CT, where I live. It isn’t as beautiful but it removes me from the house, which is necessary.

11. Coffee or tea? Hot chocolate. I don’t drink coffee. I know…

 

12. Do you have a favorite book that you gift? Sarah Healy’s House of Wonder

 

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

14. If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why? “Eye of the Tiger”— the lyrics resonate with me and motivate me.

 

15. What/Who inspires you? My husband and my father. They’re both brilliant, successful, and extremely passionate about everything they do.

16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no? HELL YES!

 

17. Favorite Instagram account? Jenn Falik. She does “Better Basics” segments for the Today Show, and I want to buy everything she suggests. 

 

18. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be? Pretty Revenge. Red, just like the KBShimmer nail polish designer for the book.

19. Current #TBR pile? Three Days Missing by Kimberly Belle & The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda, among a million others.

20. Best advice you’ve ever received? Ask for what you want. If you don’t ask, you’ll never receive.

 

Follow Emily:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Debut of The BLISS List

 

ZEivpSFQ

I love a change of season as it is a fresh start to so many things anew.  I especially love fall and am excited for many new books, television shows and of course beauty products!  Every few months I am going to be curating a list of a few my favorite things and wanted to share them with YOU alas The Bliss List.  Kind of like Oprah Favorite things, if you will 🙂  We all know I am a book, beauty and pop culture enthusiast and I love being able to share my faves with you!   I would love to hear from you too!  Let me know what you are crushing on or binging watching or reading, I want to know so comment below ❤

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Chilling-Adventures-of-Sabrina

 

 

Honey Company Magic Organic Face Oil

Unknown

 

This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Phillips

isbn9780751575248

 

ban.do Starbucks FALL collaboration

Starbucks-Bando-US-Collection-Fall-2018

 

I’ll Be There For You by Kelsey Miller

lgcover.9781335928283

 

This is Us

This-Is-Us-Annie-Leibovitz-key-art

 

Modern Monarchy by Chris Jackson

9780847864287

 

Beautycounter Girls’ Night Lipstick

product-images-2080-imgs-bc_cil_girls_night_web_image_1_1_

Busy Tonight 

 

 

Funko POP! The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

35720_Royals_TheDukeandDuchessofSussex_POP_2pk_GLAM

 

Honest Company Creme’ Cheek Blush

qxpqgQrr

 

Coming soon a special Holiday Bliss List!  Thanks for reading and make sure to FOLLOW ME over at Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, xx!

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Kate White

Happy Halloween!  What better to celebrate one of my favorite holidays then with one of my favorite authors, Kate White!  HELLO #fangirling.  Her latest book, in her Bailey Weggins series, Even If It Kills Her is out TODAY!  I discovered Bailey back in 2002 with her first mystery – If Looks Could Kill, and have been obsessed with her since.  Think Nancy Drew but for adults 🙂  She is chic, clever and tough.  Kate was so kind to open her bag for readers today.  I am so happy to chat with her and celebrate her amazing work! I have read all her books and I can’t even name a favorite because that are all that AH-mazing! P.S. What’s Halloween without a treat?  Head over to my Instagram where I have a fabulous giveaway featuring Kate’s new book!

EvenIfItKillsHerFINAL

via Amazon ~

Kate White returns to her New York Times bestselling Bailey Weggins’ Mystery series, with this favorite true-crime journalist turned sleuth’s most chilling case to date.

Bailey Weggins’ great new friend in college, Jillian Lowe, had everything going for her. Pretty, popular, and whip-smart, she lit up any room that she walked into. All of that dramatically changed during her sophomore year, when a neighbor became unhinged and murdered her family. Jillian immediately left school, and ever since, Bailey has felt guilty for not staying in closer contact and being a greater support to her friend.

Now, sixteen years later, Bailey is shocked to see Jillian at her book event, and even more stunned when her still-gorgeous friend approaches her with a case. The man accused of murdering her family is on the brink of being cleared of the crime through new DNA evidence. With the real killer walking free, Jillian is desperate for Bailey’s help to identify him and allow her the closure she yearns for.

As the two women return to Jillian’s childhood town to investigate, it doesn’t take long for their sleuthing to cause shock waves. Someone starts watching their every move. As they uncover deeply-guarded secrets, so shocking that they make Jillian rethink her entire relationship to her family, Bailey and Jillian find themselves in great peril. They must decide just how much they’re willing to risk to finally discover the truth about the Lowe family’s murder.

KW_BlissBeautyBooks

What is your bag of choice?

I carry a small black Prada messenger bag. I love handbags, but I tore my bicep and rotator cuff after years of hoisting roller bags into the overhead compartments on planes, so a small bag is my only option now. But I have to admit that not worrying about keeping a bag positioned on my shoulder provides a wonderful sense of freedom. I highly recommend it.
What are your top beauty picks?  

When I ran Cosmo, my beauty editor taught me the importance of exfoliating for keeping skin youthful, so I use a ton of products that do that (like pads with alpha hydroxy or glycolic acid), and I wear a retinol cream every night. In the daytime, I wear StriVectin Intensive Concentrate for Wrinkles & Stretch Marks (hey, I’m no spring chicken!) and some La Mer lotion over it.

In terms of makeup (which I’ve adored wearing since I was thirteen), I use a mix of pricey and cheap. A makeup artist at the Today show turned me on to L’Oréal’s inexpensive True Match foundation, and I also love Maybelline’s Pumped Up! black mascara and their classic Expert Wear brow pencil.

For other products, I’ll pay more to get the quality I want. I love Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge for cheeks, which I set with Lancôme’s Cedar Rose blush. Right now I’m wearing a MAC cream lipstick, which I top with this fabulous gloss from L’Oréal: 103 Blushing Harmony.

And I’m never without Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream, another product I learned about at Cosmo. The makeup artists we worked with always used it. It’s great for lips, cheeks, cuticles, rough heels, you name it–though I haven’t tried to cook with it yet!.

For hair, I absolutely love Frédéric Fekkai’s PrX Reparatives shampoo and conditioner, both with Argan extract. That ingredient is like some magic potion from the gods and makes my hair feel great. My go-to styling product (for years and years) is Bumble and bumble Thickening Hairspray. My secret weapon? Velcro rollers (though never in public, I swear!). I roll my dry hair with them for an hour after styling and that gives me great volume. Another Today show trick.

Lastly, for scent, I wear patchouli oil. It’s a nice alternative if you are allergic to floral scents like I am.

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

Because my bag is so small, I really have to pare it down. For instance, I carry an extra compact of Lancôme’s Cedar Rose blush, and use it on my eyelids, too, so it serves two purposes. I also rely on a Bobbi Brown foundation stick, which is not only very compact and good for touch-ups, it’s also not a liquid, so there’s no problem with airport security (I travel a lot for business). Wherever possible, I use stuff in tiny packages, like an itty-bitty tube of Kiehl’s hand and body lotion, and the mini jar of Vaseline petroleum jelly. I’ve sometimes felt the urge to adopt that little jar. It’s just so freaking adorable.

And, of course, I have a pad and pen for jotting down notes.

What are you currently reading? 

I generally like to juggle three books at once just to mix it up. 1) A mystery (Help, I’m addicted!) Right now it’s The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dion, which everyone is buzzing about. 2) A literary book or a work of current popular fiction. I’ve just started Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny, which seems really entertaining. 3) Something non-fiction. At the moment, I’m devouring What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton. It’s a fascinating book, and she’s wonderfully blunt in it.

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

I always carry a pen and a little pad in case an idea for one of my mysteries pops into my head. I found this cute little pad on line and couldn’t resist. And I always have the key to my house in Uruguay, where my husband and I live in the winter. I realize it’s a little crazy, but I like knowing that if I ever decide to go there at a moment’s notice, I could get into the house.

kate-1

About the Author

Kate White, the former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, is the New York Times bestselling author of five standalone psychological thrillers, The Secrets You Keep, The Wrong Man, Eyes on You, The Sixes, and Hush, as well as six previous Bailey Weggins mysteries. White is also the author of several career books for women, including I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: How to Ask for the Money, Snag the Promotion, and Create the Career You Deserve and The Gutsy Girl’s Handbook (April 2018). She is the editor of The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. She lives in New York City. Read more about her at www.katewhite.com.

Follow Kate:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

*Thanks to Kate and her publicist for the interview!

 

 

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Liz and Lisa Edition

Guys.  If I am telling you about Liz and Lisa and it’s the first time you have heard of this fabulous duo that you can thank me later.  If not, then you know how ridiculously amazing these two besties turned authors are.  I have decided to not only feature their latest book- The Good Widow but showcase their others as well (see at bottom of interview) because I love them that much!  I am currently into The Good Widow and I am literally bringing it in the car, reading during my morning coffee and stay up way too late to just finish one more page.  I had the lucky fortune of meeting them last summer at a signing and they are exactly how you would picture- kind, inspiring and not to mention gorgeous!  I am beyond thrilled to have them today, sharing their bags 🙂

The Good Widow_300dpi

via Amazon

Bestselling authors Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke make their suspense debut in this twisty, emotional thriller.

Elementary school teacher Jacqueline “Jacks” Morales’s marriage was far from perfect, but even in its ups and downs it was predictable, familiar. Or at least she thought it was…until two police officers showed up at her door with devastating news. Her husband of eight years, the one who should have been on a business trip to Kansas, had suffered a fatal car accident in Hawaii. And he wasn’t alone.

For Jacks, laying her husband to rest was hard. But it was even harder to think that his final moments belonged to another woman—one who had left behind her own grieving and bewildered fiancé. Nick, just as blindsided by the affair, wants answers. So he suggests that he and Jacks search for the truth together, retracing the doomed lovers’ last days in paradise.

Now, following the twisting path of that fateful road, Jacks is learning that nothing is ever as it seems. Not her marriage. Not her husband. And most certainly not his death…

Lisa's tote

Lizs_tote

What is you bag of choice?

Liz: Right now I’m loving my Lululemon “All Day” tote! I always have a million things going on, and this big ol’ bag hold EVERYTHING! It also washes down easily, for when I spill my smoothie all over it. (Which is often!)

Lisa: I’m currently carrying my Kate Spade tote because I was surprised by Liz and my husband with a trip to San Diego and it doubles as a computer bag/purse.

And, this isn’t just to butter you up, BUT, inside my tote, I have my The Good Widow make-up bag you gave us which I use for my on-the –airplane-must-haves such as pens, hand sanitizer, ibuprofen, ear plugs, ear buds and band aids (you never know when a torn cuticle could strike).

 

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

Liz: I’m a huge fan of the Thelavicos line. The nutrition cream absorbs quickly & doesn’t leave a tacky residue. I have super dry lizard skin and it keeps me hydrated all day, not to mention it’s smoothed out my (gasp!) fine lines and wrinkles! And their Bio Repair wrinkle eye cream is awesome for masking how tired I am! And these products are paraben & gluten free—which is a huge plus!

Lisa: I’m a Burt’s Bees girl. I like their products because they are paraben free and don’t irritate my skin. Plus, they work really well.  Daily, I use the Brightening daily facial cleanser, the brightening tonic, the renewal firming day lotion with SPF 30 and the renewing smoothing eye cream. At night, I slather on the Renewal firming night cream.

 

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

Liz: Lip gloss, lip gloss and more lip gloss! I’m a little obsessed. And also, I never leave the house without my Sun Bum spf lip moisturizer! It has vitamin E and aloe in it, and it protects my lips from the sun! (Not to mention it smells delicious!)

Also—I can’t get enough of Trish McEvoy’s no smudge mascara. For the first time in my life, I can wear mascara on my bottom lashes without looking like I went on a bender the night before. Thanks to author Jane Green for the suggestion!

Lisa: I always have Blistex or some type of moisturizing chap stick. I try to remember to put lip gloss in for those inevitable selfies but often forget! (Thank gawd for filters!)

Another must-have beauty product for me is Laura Mercier concealer #2. I’ve used it for years and, let’s just say it’s as necessary as coffee in the morning!

 

 What are you currently reading? 

Liz: I really love entertainment Weekly and it’s the only magazine I still subscribe to! I’m also currently reading an advanced copy of Taylor Jenkin Reid’s latest: THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO—it’s a must read for the summer!

Lisa: I read a ton of mags. Everything from Inc. to Cooking Light to People. (I might have a magazine subscription addiction.) As for books, I just finished THE ARRANGMENT by Sarah Dunn which is I now consider one of my favorite books. I’m currently reading THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER by Amy E. Reichert and THE DRY by Jane harper. (I’m often reading more than one book at once.) These are VERY different novels, but both fabulous.

 

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

 Liz: A hairbrush! I have really thick hair that gets all tangly while I’m running around. My hair has random blonde hair EVERYWHERE. Le sigh.

 

Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke credit Debbie Friedrich Photography.

Liz and Lisa’s Back catalogue

your-perfect-life-9781476730578_hr

via Amazon ~

Two childhood best friends wake up the morning after their twentieth high school reunion to discover that they’ve switched bodies in this hilarious and heartwarming debut by two childhood best friends.

With “a delicious, page-turning premise, and sweet and surprising insights” (New York Timesbestselling author Jen Lancaster), Your Perfect Life perfectly illustrates that old adage: Sometimes, you have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to see what’s in her heart.

Best friends since childhood, Casey and Rachel couldn’t lead more different lives. While workaholic Casey rubs elbows with celebrities daily as the host of Gossip TV and comes home nightly to an empty apartment, stay-at-home mom Rachel juggles an “oops” baby, two fiery teenagers, and a husband who barely seems the man she fell in love with two decades before. After an argument at their twentieth high school reunion, Casey and Rachel throw back shots to get the night back on track. Instead, they get a life-changing hangover.

Waking up in each other’s bodies the next morning, they must figure out how to navigate their altered realities. Rachel is forced to face the broadcasting dreams she gave up when she got pregnant in college, and Casey finally steps out of the spotlight to face the real reason why she’s alone. And they soon discover that they don’t know themselves—or their best friend—nearly as well as they thought they did.

Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke bring their “witty, winning style” (Sarah Pekkanen, author of The Best of Us) to every page of this novel that is sure to please fans of In Her Shoes and The Opposite of MeYour Perfect Life is a story of humor and heart about two best friends, what they didn’t know about each other, and how, by switching lives, each learns to appreciate her own.

the-status-of-all-things-9781476763415_hr

via Amazon ~

What would you do if you could literally rewrite your fate—on Facebook? This heartwarming and hilarious new novel from the authors of Your Perfect Life follows a woman who discovers she can change her life through online status updates.

Kate is a thirty-five-year-old woman who is obsessed with social media. So when her fiancé, Max, breaks things off at their rehearsal dinner—to be with Kate’s close friend and coworker, no less—she goes straight to Facebook to share it with the world. But something’s changed. Suddenly, Kate’s real life starts to mirror whatever she writes in her Facebook status. With all the power at her fingertips, and heartbroken and confused over why Max left her, Kate goes back in time to rewrite their history.

Kate’s two best friends, Jules and Liam, are the only ones who know the truth. In order to convince them she’s really time traveled, Kate offers to use her Facebook status to help improve their lives. But her attempts to help them don’t go exactly as planned, and every effort to get Max back seems to only backfire, causing Kate to wonder if it’s really possible to change her fate.

In The Status of All Things, Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke combine the humor and heart of Sarah Pekkanen and Jennifer Weiner while exploring the pitfalls of posting your entire life on the Internet. They raise the questions: What if you could create your picture-perfect life? Would you be happy? Would you still be you? For anyone who’s ever attempted—or failed—to be their perfect self online, this is a story of wisdom and wit that will leave you with new appreciation for the true status of your life.

the-year-we-turned-forty-9781476763446_hr

via Amazon ~

If you could repeat one year of your life, what would you do differently? This heartwarming and hilarious novel from the authors of The Status of All Things and Your Perfect Life features three best friends who get the chance to return to the year they turned forty—the year that altered all of their lives, in ways big and small—and also get the opportunity to change their future.

Jessie loves her son Lucas more than anything, but it tears her up inside that he was conceived in an affair that ended her marriage to a man she still loves, a man who just told her he’s getting remarried. This time around, she’s determined to bury the secret of Lucas’ paternity, and to repair the fissures that sent her wandering the first time.

Gabriela regrets that she wasted her most fertile years in hot pursuit of a publishing career. Yes, she’s one of the biggest authors in the world, but maybe what she really wanted to create was a family. With a chance to do it again, she’s focused on convincing her husband, Colin, to give her the baby she desires.

Claire is the only one who has made peace with her past: her twenty-two year old daughter, Emily, is finally on track after the turmoil of adolescence, and she’s recently gotten engaged, with the two carat diamond on her finger to prove it. But if she’s being honest, Claire still fantasizes about her own missed opportunities: a chance to bond with her mother before it was too late, and the possibility of preventing her daughter from years of anguish. Plus, there’s the man who got away—the man who may have been her one true love.

But it doesn’t take long for all three women to learn that re-living a life and making different decisions only leads to new problems and consequences—and that the mistakes they made may, in fact, have been the best choices of all…

 

❤ Thank you Liz and Lisa for sharing your bags and the gift of your AH-mazing books! xx

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Michelle Gable

Coming off Mother’s Day weekend I thought it was fitting to feature a fabulous female author who also is a mom.  Michelle Gable captured me as a fan with her 2016 release I’ll See You in Paris (just releases in paperback!).  I loved her rich, intricate stories and ability to take me away through her writing.  Fast forward to today and her latest release, The Book of Summer.  Can we say beach reading at it’s finest?  This is sure to be a hit and I can’t wait to jump in and enjoy with the sand between my toes and the smell of sweet, salt air.  I was so thrilled Michelle wanted to join in on the books and beauty and share her bag with me.

Book of Summer, The

via Amazon

The ocean, the wild roses on the dunes and the stunning Cliff House, perched atop a bluff in Sconset, Nantucket. Inside the faded pages of the Cliff House guest book live the spellbinding stories of its female inhabitants: from Ruby, a bright-eyed newlywed on the eve of World War II to her granddaughter Bess, who returns to the beautiful summer estate.

For the first time in four years, physician Bess Codman visits the compound her great-grandparents built almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea. Bess must now put aside her complicated memories in order to pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave. It’s not just memories of her family home Bess must face though, but also an old love that might hold new possibilities.

In the midst of packing Bess rediscovers the forgotten family guest book. Bess’s grandmother and primary keeper of the book, Ruby, always said Cliff House was a house of women, and by the very last day of the very last summer at Cliff House, Bess will understand the truth of her grandmother’s words in ways she never imagined.

BBB-tote

BBB-inside tote

I’m a purse girl, but my favorite is the Longchamp “Le Pliage” nylon tote in navy, because when in doubt, navy blue. What I love about this bag, other than its size, is that it’s not too fancy for the softball fields (my daughters play year-round), but it’s still appropriate if I don’t have time to swap it out before meeting my tennis buddies at The Wine Loft.

In my tote is a spiral notebook (I write all my first drafts in pencil) and whatever book I’m reading at the time, which is currently All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg. Right now I’m trying to finish my fourth novel and whenever I’m deep in a draft, I’m a very distracted, impatient, and critical reader. Attenberg’s latest is the perfect antidote to my frazzled mind. It’s hilarious, fast, smartly written, and brimming with heart. As I’ve said to my girls a hundred times: “always bring a book with you.”

Almost important as reading and writing material are my sunglasses and hat (or visor) to protect against the San Diego sun. The current version is red, to match my girls’ team color and also because I had to burn all of my Chargers gear when they betrayed me by moving to Los Angeles. I also must carry snacks (personal favorite: RX Bars) because I’m always hungry.

Inside my tote is a fun, black and gold pouch—a Target find—which holds the rest of my essentials, including pencils for writing, sharpies for book signing, a Tide To Go pen, earbuds, and aspirin for air travel, a necessity due to my history with blood clots. My Shiseido sun protection stick and Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm in Zinnia or Red Dahlia are all the makeup I need on hectic days, or while traveling.

My skin gets oily by the end of the day so I’m a fan of blotting papers, but a toilet seat cover works just as well (seriously!) Pro tip: blot while still in the stall otherwise a coworker might find you standing at the sink, rubbing a seat cover all over your face. She will in no way believe this is a legitimate “beauty hack.”

Now, I know what you’re thinking and I’m also curious as to why a long-haired writer who plays tennis, works out daily, and attends multiple sporting events per week has exactly no brush or hair ties in her bag. Apparently, in addition to being softball and volleyball players, my daughters are also thieves.

Michelle 278_credit Joanna DeGeneres

Follow Michelle:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

❤ Thanks Michelle for sharing your bag with us and taking the time to chat!

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 🙂

Dinner Party, The.jpg

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 ❤