Open Book ~ Allison Winn Scotch

I have been a huge fan of Allison Winn Scotch‘s forever.  She is one of those writers who never disappoints and has us waiting for her next book at the last page of her latest release.  Not only is she a wonderful author but she is (even though I do not know her personally, we can be Insta friends 😉 ) a fierce and fabulous woman.  Always posting possibility and kindness, you can tell she takes pride in her work and her job as a Mom, something I respect immensely.  I am thrilled to be able to have her on the blog today, the RELEASE day of her latest, Between Me and You.  This is the perfect choice for the winter doldrums or if like Scotch, the Cali sunshine.  Read below to learn a little more about Allison and her dream bookclub.  I am first on the guest list for that, her choices are the best of the best 🙂

BMAY final

via Amazon ~

From New York Times bestselling author Allison Winn Scotch comes an honest, touching, and funny exploration of falling in and out of love, told from two perspectives—one rewinding history, one moving it forward—and each with bias and regret.

When their paths first cross, Ben Livingston is a fledgling screenwriter on the brink of success; Tatum Connelly is a struggling actress tending bar in a New York City dive. They fall in love, they marry, they become parents, and they think only of the future. But as the years go by, Tatum’s stardom rises while Ben’s fades. In a marriage that bears the fallout of ambition and fame, Ben and Tatum are at a crossroads. Now all they can do is think back…

A life of passion, joy, tragedy, and loss—once shared—becomes one as shifting and unpredictable as a memory. As the pieces of their past come together, as they explore the ways love can bend and break, Ben and Tatum come to see how it all went wrong—and wonder what they can do now to make it all right.

 

AWS credit Kat Tuohy

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

Oh gosh….there are so many to choose from!!! Eek. Ok, Nora Ephron (because she was the greatest), Reese Witherspoon (excellent taste in books, so she’d choose good ones), and…Hillary Clinton? (Because I bet she would bring a lot of snark to the table, especially after some wine.)

 

2. Current binge series?

Ok, this makes me sound totally non-edgy and is not my normal binge watch, but I am burning through The Goldbergs on HULU right now! I am into watching something silly and fun in bed at night these days, and after going through all my usual sitcoms, I ran out of options. I gave this a try, and honestly, every single episode cracks me up. I don’t watch a ton of network stuff anymore, so this is an unexpected delight.

 

3. Last favorite book?

Like everyone else, it has to be Little Fires Everywhere which I just finished this week.

 

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

A passport, my Converse (for walking), my kindle (for the long flight). Paris or Florence, both tied for my favorite cities in the world. Actually, I’m also really looking forward to an African safari one of these days, but those three items still work.

 

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

…..uh….US Weekly?? (Shhhh.)

 

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

My husband.

 

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

I found Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine just so, so, so delightful. It was pitch-perfect in tone, plot and character development, and that’s something I always aspire to.

 

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

Yes, my high school English teacher, Mr. Doelger. He always told me that I could do something more with it, but I never really believed it myself until at least a decade later.

 

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

No, I listen to music before I write. While I’m writing, I need to be in my own head and hear my characters’ voices. But during the writing process, I take a lot of long walks and runs, and always listen to music exclusively to lose myself to my characters while doing so. I tend to make playlists that will spark emotional reactions for me and the characters. This time around, there was a lot of alternative and indie melancholy music playing. That said, the book takes its title from a Brandon Flowers song of the same name, and he was on my playlist non-stop.

 

10. Describe your writing space?

I have a home office that is lovely and light-filled and stacked with books. I can close the door and generally, my kids (and husband) know not to bother for me.

 

11. Coffee or tea?

Both! I have to have coffee in the morning, but I always run cold, so I drink a lot of herbal tea at night.

 

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

No, not particularly. Books are so subjective that if I’m giving one, I try to match the book to the reader.

 

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

The Long Way Around by the Dixie Chicks. A) I just LOVE the song. But B) I love that it is about taking some time to figure yourself out and being ok with that, regardless of how other people perceive you.

 

14. What/Who inspires you?

So many people. Other authors who put out brilliant work. My kids who motivate me to set a good example. Every day people in the news…I feel like these days, there are so many incredible stories of regular folks who are speaking up or doing something extraordinary. I take a lot of inspiration from that.

 

15. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

Nope. Never watched one of them!

 

16. Favorite Instagram account?

I have a few but none of them are celebrity accounts! One of my friends is a back-up singer for The Killers (my favorite band – see above!), and she’s on the road with them right now, so I love seeing her behind the scenes scoop. And I also love, Ashley Spivey’s account – she’s great about posting everything from recipes to workouts to great reads.

 

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

Am I allowed to choose one of my books? If so, I’d call it Time of My Life, and it would be a perfect rich pink that you’d put on for the party of the year. (I am into pinks right now!)

18. Current #TBR pile?

So many, too many! Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate is up next, but my nightstand pile is a mile high.

 

19. Best advice you’ve ever received?

Be nice. There is almost never a downside.

 

Follow Allison!

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Open Book ~ Liv Constantine

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

LastMrsParrish hc final cover

via Amazon ~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Liv Constantine two together, cr Erika Livingston

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

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

Val ~ Eleanor Roosevelt, Edna Ferber and Jane Austen.

 

Current binge series? 

Lynne ~ Scandal – late to the game but loving it

Val ~ The Crown on Netflix

 

Last favorite book? 

Lynne ~ What Alice Forgot by Lianne Moriarty

Val ~ Nutshell by Ian McEwan

 

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

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

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

 

Sunday NYT or US Weekly

Lynne ~ Sunday NYT

Val ~ Sunday NYT

 

Last person you sent a text message to?  

Lynne ~ My sister

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

 

Book you read that you wished you wrote? 

Lynne ~ Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Val ~ Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

 

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

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

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

 

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

Lynne ~ Yes, Mozart

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

 

Describe your writing space?

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

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

 

Coffee or tea?  

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

Val ~ Both

 

Do you have a favorite book that you gift? 

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

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

 

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

Lynne ~ The Art of Racing in Rain

Val ~ Americana by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

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

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

Val ~ Climb Every Mountain by Jordan Smith

 

What/Who inspires you? 

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

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

 

Bravo reality TV- yes or no? 

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

Val ~ A big NO

 

Favorite Instagram account? 

Lynne ~ Golden-Retriever-Lover

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

 

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

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

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

 

Best advice you’ve ever received? 

Lynne ~ Happiness is a choice – my wise mother

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

 

Current TBR List:

Lynne ~

Magpie Murders, Anthony Horowitz

The Blackbird Season, Kate Moretti

The Ex, Alafair Burke

Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay

The Child Finder, Rene Denfield

The Second Sister, Claire Kendal

House of Spies, Daniel Silva

The Emotional Craft of Fiction, Donald Maass

Val ~

Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Sleep No More by P.D.James

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

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

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

 

Follow Liv:

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Open Book ~ Brenda Janowitz

 

open book graphic - white background-13Happy December!  This is a month of bliss with the holidays and spreading cheer!  I am so excited to launch my new feature, “Open Book” on the blog TODAY.  I am always working to create new things for my readers as well as find a way to showcase authors and books in a cool and fun way.  “Open Book” is another way like “What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag?” to learn about authors and the fun stuff we want to know about them.  To me they are celebrities so I am always just as excited as you to read about them and connect.  First up is one of my favorite authors and people.  She is basically the Academy for Books, sharing her book “nominations” lists every season on Popsugar.  Not only does she have amazing taste in books but she is an even more AH-mazing author.  I am so thrilled to have the one, the only ~ BRENDA JANOWITZ kick off my “Open Book” series and believe me you will be dying to have her in your bestie rolodex at the end 😉

 

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

If you’re going to have a celebrity bookclub, the first person you need to invite is Oprah, of course, because she has great taste in books. I’d also love to have Sheryl Sandberg, because I was obsessed with Option B and I just love the way she looks at the world. And speaking of wonderful outlooks on the world, I’d have to have Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I love her books,  I love her worldview, and I’m just crazy about her TED talks. 
Fawning all over each of your guests is totally allowed at this bookclub, right?!
 
2. Current binge series?
Just finished Stranger Things 2 and it was even better than the first season!
 
3. Last favorite book?
 
There are just too many to name! I recently put out my PopSugar Best Winter Reads, so that’s a start:
4. What 3 things do you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Where is it?
It’s usually three books! 
But I also like to have lip balm and sunscreen with me wherever I go. I’d love to fly to Hawaii again— it’s where my husband and I had our honeymoon and I can’t wait to return.
 
5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Both! Does a girl have to choose?!
 
6. Last person you sent a text message to?
My mom.
 
7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. 
8. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer?
I’m not sure if there was just one, but I was always fortunate to have wonderful teachers throughout my education who inspired me, and encouraged me to do the things I dreamed about.
 
9. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?
 
I don’t. I can’t. I get so into the lyrics of the music I’m listening to that I can’t do both.
10. Describe your writing space?
I usually work in my office, on my desktop computer. Writers are always posting pictures of their desks on Instagram, and I always die of jealousy, because mine is a mess. I’d like to say it’s controlled chaos, but it’s not. It’s honestly just a mess! I’ve got notebooks with notes and book ideas, I’ve got advanced copies of books that I’m reading for various PopSugar lists, and I’ve got piles of kid stuff that needs attending to. Not ideal, but it works!
11. Coffee or tea?
Coffee.
 
12. Do you have a favorite book that you gift?
I love giving books as a gift! I tend to gift whatever books have just come out, and I try very hard to fit the right book with the right person.
 
13. Book that you wished they would make a movie out of?
The Inn at Lake Devine by Elinor Lipman. That book is an all time favorite of mine.
 
14. If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why?
Run the World (Girls) by Beyonce 
It’s inspiring, it’s empowering, and it motivates you to tackle your day like a boss. After all, who runs the world? Girls!
 
15. What/Who inspires you?
Everyone I meet and everything I see inspires me in some way. What I write truly reflects what I see in the world, what I think of the world, so nearly everything I touch and that touches me has an effect.
 
16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?
Is there an option for: HELL YEAH!?
 
17. Favorite Instagram account?
I love bookstagram accounts (obvs!) and yours is the best! (Also obvious!)
 
18. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be? 
Ooh! I’m such a sucker for a good lipstick shade. I’m presently obsessed with neutrals, hot pink, and glitter. So, my shade would be a nude base with a shimmer of hot pink. Throw in a touch of glittery shine, and I think we’ve got something special! I’d have to call it: Brave New World. Was there ever a better book title than that?!
19. Current #TBR pile?
Right now, I’m working on my PopSugar Spring Reads list, so it’s all about spring over here!
 
20. Best advice you’ve ever received?
“You fail only if you stop writing.” — Ray Bradbury.
I love this quote because it’s a quote about writing, but it’s also a quote about life.
Brenda Janowitz_credit Hy Goldberg
Dinner Party, The