Open Book with Sarah McCoy

I can remember watching the Anne of Green Gables movies on PBS when I was a kid and falling in love with Anne, Matthew and Marilla- a story that is still one of my favorites.  When I heard best-selling author Sarah McCoy was writing Marilla’s story I was beyond excited!  It’s the perfect fall, coastal read that you will want to cozy up by the fire with a hot cider. I am thrilled Sarah is my latest “Open Book” as she is a gal after my own heart- US Weekly, Andy Cohen and Audrey- Hepburn that is- and after reading her “Open Book” you will see McCoy is just as charming.

Marilla_HC

via Amazon ~

A bold, heartfelt tale of life at Green Gables . . . before Anne: A marvelously entertaining and moving historical novel, set in rural Prince Edward Island in the nineteenth century, that imagines the young life of spinster Marilla Cuthbert, and the choices that will open her life to the possibility of heartbreak—and unimaginable greatness.

Plucky and ambitious, Marilla Cuthbert is thirteen years old when her world is turned upside down. Her beloved mother has dies in childbirth, and Marilla suddenly must bear the responsibilities of a farm wife: cooking, sewing, keeping house, and overseeing the day-to-day life of Green Gables with her brother, Matthew and father, Hugh.

In Avonlea—a small, tight-knit farming town on a remote island—life holds few options for farm girls. Her one connection to the wider world is Aunt Elizabeth “Izzy” Johnson, her mother’s sister, who managed to escape from Avonlea to the bustling city of St. Catharines. An opinionated spinster, Aunt Izzy’s talent as a seamstress has allowed her to build a thriving business and make her own way in the world.

Emboldened by her aunt, Marilla dares to venture beyond the safety of Green Gables and discovers new friends and new opportunities. Joining the Ladies Aid Society, she raises funds for an orphanage run by the Sisters of Charity in nearby Nova Scotia that secretly serves as a way station for runaway slaves from America. Her budding romance with John Blythe, the charming son of a neighbor, offers her a possibility of future happiness—Marilla is in no rush to trade one farm life for another. She soon finds herself caught up in the dangerous work of politics, and abolition—jeopardizing all she cherishes, including her bond with her dearest John Blythe. Now Marilla must face a reckoning between her dreams of making a difference in the wider world and the small-town reality of life at Green Gables.

Sarah McCoy Author Photo_credit Emily Martin.jpg

 

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

 Lucy Maud Montgomery, Ann Patchett, Audrey Hepburn. 

2. Current binge series?

“The Great British Baking Show.” They’re all just so nice to each other! 

 3. Last favorite book?

Meg Wolitzer’s The Female Persuasion. 

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

Hair spray, stevia (for tea), and Burt’s Bees Lip Balm in pomegranate. I’d be on my way to the United Kingdom if I had a jet and bags of money.

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

 Oo, I’m a sucker for US Weekly. It’s my guilty pleasure. Sunday NYT makes me feel smugly good about myself—it’s smart reading! But if I just want entertainment, I gobble the gossip rags. 

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

My husband, Doc B. 

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

Circe by Madeline Miller. It’s so, so good. Madeline is a dear friend of mine so when I read Circe, I felt her beautiful spirit in every word. It’s luscious and unforgettable and totally her. 

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

My mother, Dr. Eleane McCoy. Before she retired, she was a career elementary school teacher then a principal. To this day, she is always learning something new and sharing that knowledge with others. She encouraged me to read and write from my earliest recollections.  

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

I write in complete silence. No music, TV, phones, or sounds of any kind. Even the doorbell sets me off, so that has to taped over. My postman knows the deal.  

10. Describe your writing space?

Truthfully, I’ve moved so many times that I’ve come to realize my writing space is really a writing bubble. Inside that bubble is the beat-up desk I’ve been writing on since my first book, my wooden office chair, my MacBook, my magic mouse, and my dog Gilly at my feet. Everything around that has changed but those are the constant elements. Oh—and a window! My desk is always at a window so I can look out to nature. It inspires and soothes me.  

 11. Coffee or tea?

Tea! Heaps of it. 

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

Anne of Green Gables, naturally. 

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

Anything by Kate Morton. Her novels are all so lush… and British! 

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

U2’s “Walk On.” I’ve been a gypsy my whole life. My father was a career army office and then I married an army surgeon. The song resonates and reminds me that I can take love everywhere I go. It never gets left behind. That’s a beautiful, powerful thing. 

 15. What/Who inspires you?

People who aren’t afraid to be raw and let you see that rawness—for good or for bad, no pretenses. Nature, for similar reasons.  

 16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

Are we talking Andy Cohen world? Um, yes. I am obsessed. 

17. Favorite Instagram account?

There’s this British Instagrammer named Jade. Her feed is called @thedarlings_. It’s gorgeous like a modern storybook, only it’s her real life. I’m spellbound by it. 

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

1) “Cavendish Caliente” would be mellow red with hints of gold like the dunes of Cavendish Beach at sunset. 

2) “Southern Pepper Gloss” would be a bright red and shiny slick.  

19. Current #TBR pile?

  My editor suggested I read a novel that released awhile back called Through The Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen. So that’s at the top of my pile. Followed by new releases: Kate Morton’s The Clockmaker’s Daughter, Jodi Picoult’s A Spark of Life, and Becoming by First Lady Michelle Obama. 

20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

One of my dearest mentors told me, “You’ve got to sing your own song, Sarah.” Meaning: I have to live my life without worrying that it isn’t acceptable or traditional or perfect. It’s the singing that matters. 

 

Follow Sarah:

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

Advertisements

Open Book with Nicola Moriarty

Happy October!  I am so excited for Fall!  New books, TV shows and crisp air plus HALLOWEEN!  Big Halloween lovers in this house 🙂  Nothing says October like a good thriller, suspense novel.  Nicola Moriarty’s latest, Those Other Women is the perfect accomplice to your hot apple cider.  It’s  little bit of drama, mixed with a whole lot of vengeance as determined mothers go against each other testing their loyalty and relationships with one another. I was thrilled that Nicola joined us all the way from Australia where she picked a few of my favorite things.  Think- Anna Kendrick, Harry Potter beauty and Liana Moriarty (they are sisters ❤ )!!!

ThoseOtherWomen_HC

via Amazon ~

“A firecracker of a novel…” -Liane Moriarty, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Little Lies

The author of The Fifth Letter takes a laser look at the uneasy relationships between women and the real-world ramifications of online conflicts and social media hostilities in this stunning domestic drama. A story of privilege, unspoken rivalries, and small acts of vengeance with huge repercussions sure to please fans of Sarah Jio and Ruth Ware.

Overwhelmed at the office and reeling from betrayals involving the people she loves, Poppy feels as if her world has tipped sideways. Maybe her colleague, Annalise, is right—Poppy needs to let loose and blow off some steam. What better way to vent than social media?

With Annalise, she creates an invitation-only Facebook group that quickly takes off. Suddenly, Poppy feels like she’s back in control—until someone begins leaking the group’s private posts and stirring up a nasty backlash, shattering her confidence.

Feeling judged by disapproving female colleagues and her own disappointed children, Frankie, too, is careening towards the breaking point. She also knows something shocking about her boss—sensitive knowledge that is tearing her apart.

As things begin to slide disastrously, dangerously out of control, carefully concealed secrets and lies are exposed with devastating consequences—forcing these women to face painful truths about their lives and the things they do to survive.

 

Nicola Moriarty author photo_credit Deasy Photographic.jpg

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

It is SO hard to choose just three, but I’ll have to go with: Charlotte Bronte, Anna Kendrick and Zooey Deschanel.

Current binge series? 

The Originals. (I discovered Vampire Diaries quite late and now that I’ve finished it, I was so excited to discover there was a spin-off series).

Last favorite book? 

I recently read an advance copy of my sister Jaclyn’s new book ‘Gravity is the thing.’ It’s MAGNIFICENT!! Make sure you read it when it comes out, trust me, you’ll love it.

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

Swimmers, sunhat and a good book. Probably the Maldives or really anywhere with crystal clear water, sunshine and sand. 

Sunday NYT or US Weekly? 

Hmm, as I live in Australia this is a hard one to know which one I would read… which one is more fun? Let’s say NYT.

Last person you sent a text message to? 

I was so sure it was going to be my husband but I just checked my phone and it was a group message to all of my sisters organising a get-together for Father’s Day.

Book you read that you wished you wrote? 

The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton. It’s just such a wonderfully magical book that I adored as a child and I’d love to have that entire world inside my head!

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

My Year Five teacher Mrs Walsh read out a children’s story I wrote to my class. It was about a little girl going on an outing with her grandfather and I was so proud and excited. 

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

Absolutely. It helps to put me in the right mood. I listen to The Head and The Heart, The Hilltop Hoods, Weezer, Charles Bradley, Alabama Shakes, The Submarines, Amy Shark, Seeker Lover Keeper, Tash Sultana, Thundamentals, Deathcab for Cutie, The Lumineers, Bliss N Eso, Badly Drawn Boy, 360, Vampie Weekend, The Wombats, Grouplove, Mark Ronson. I should probably stop there, shouldn’t I?

Describe your writing space?

It varies. Sometimes it’s my desk at the office I share with my husband (where he runs his graphic design business), sometimes it’s at home on the couch with a glass of wine, sometimes I sit up at the bar of a café called Youeni and chat to the super friendly hipster staff, sometimes it’s a table at the Mini Espresso Bar, which is next door to my kid’s school where I chat with the super friendly owner named Pete.

Coffee or tea? 

Half strength Cappuccino in the morning, Green or Peppermint tea before bed night.

Do you have a favorite book that you gift? 

I always gift different books – and I do judge a book by its cover, so I pick a beautiful or interesting looking cover when I’m gifting books.

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

The Colours of Madeleine Trilogy by Jaclyn Moriarty. The imagery in these books is spectacular, so it would be amazing to see how they would translate to the screen.

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

Where is my mind? By Pixies. Because I love that song and also because I’m often wondering where I’ve put my mind.

What/Who inspires you? 

Music, my sisters, my husband, my kids, delicious chocolate, good wine, great books.

Bravo reality TV- yes or no? 

Hmm, I don’t have that channel, but I do like some reality shows here in Australia, my favourites are Masterchef, The Block and The Voice.

Favorite Instagram account?

https://www.instagram.com/zongbim/ – absolutely gorgeous photos!

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

How about ‘Butterbeer’ after the Harry Potter books. It could be a nice creamy, neutral shade!

Current #TBR pile? 

I’m about to read my sister Liane’s book Nine Perfect Strangers, due out later this year. I already know I’m going to adore it because I love everything she writes! 

Best advice you’ve ever received?

That it’s okay to want more. 

Basically, I used to think it was a bad thing that I was always looking ahead to what was coming next instead of being satisfied with what I have now. For instance: landing an agent, landing a publisher, your first great review, your first sale, your next book deal, your first overseas book deal… You always think the next step is going to be the one that makes you feel like you’ve made it… but a little while back, my dad pointed out to me that maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe if I felt completely satisfied, I’d stop trying. So, I’ve embraced this advice and I’m going to keep striving for more!

 

Follow Nicola:

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

 

Open Book with Amina Akhtar

Can I just say this book had me at THIS cover.  When I read that this book is a cross between, The Devil Wears Prada and Dexter, I was sold.  Amina Akhtar’s debut has received rave reviews and even though this is her first novel, Akhtar is no novice to writing.  She previously has written for Vogue, Elle, Style.com, the list continues.  I was honored she took the time to chat with me to share her love for coffee, all things horror and Bravo TV- #besties 😉

oFm3CU9Q

via Amazon ~

“Darkly satisfying.”—Martha Stewart Living
“A diabolical page-turner . . . impossible to put down.”—Forbes
“Darkly funny.”—Fashionista
“As awesome as it sounds.”—Book Riot

A thrilling take on the fashion world, #FashionVictim is Dexter meets The Devil Wears Prada.

Fashion editor Anya St. Clair is on the verge of greatness. Her wardrobe is to die for. Her social media is killer. And her career path is littered with the bodies of anyone who got in her way. She’s worked hard to get where she is, but she doesn’t have everything.

Not like Sarah Taft. Anya’s obsession sits one desk away. Beautiful, stylish, and rich, she was born to be a fashion world icon. From her beach-wave blonde hair to her on-trend nail art, she’s a walking editorial spread. And Anya wants to be her friend. Her best friend. Her only friend.

But when Sarah becomes her top competition for a promotion, Anya’s plan to win her friendship goes into overdrive. In order to beat Sarah…she’ll have to become her. Friendly competition may turn fatal, but as they say in fashion: One day you’re in, and the next day you’re dead

GsIPW4qQ

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

Just three? Some mix of Jordan Peele, Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, Caroline Kepnes, and Edward Gorey. I love all things horror, creepy and macabre.

2. Current binge series?

I don’t think I’ve binged on a series properly in a while. I could use some suggestions!

 

3. Last favorite book?

Providence! It’s so good I couldn’t put it down. Caroline’s characters are incredible and real and I love them.

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

My iPad so I can read books without lugging them around, cute shoes I can walk in, and Nars lip pencils. I’d go to London. I love London and it’s been ages since I was able to go back.

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Sunday Styles for sure.

 

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

My friend Daniel who helped get the FV pilot made. (It’s TBD currently.)

 

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

Christodora by Tim Murphy. I don’t wish I wrote it but when I read it, I was almost angry at how good it is. Tim is masterful. After every page I had to stop and marvel at the way he wove his stories and characters.

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

None that stick out but my parents have always been really encouraging. But they also wanted me to be able to support myself, so I went into journalism for most of my career.

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

Not really. If I need to drown out noise I’ll put on some classical music. But anything with words is distracting.

10. Describe your writing space?

I’ll write anywhere I can. I think having worked in digital, you learn to not be so precious about it. You have deadlines, and your cubicle is probably the least inspiring place in the world. But you have to get it done! So for now I write on my bed with my dog next to me. She snores.

11. Coffee or tea?

So much coffee.

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

Yes! Big Magic by Liz Gilbert. If you’re feeling stuck—whether in writing or life—read it. It helps me get out of my head.

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

It’s not out yet but PJ Vernon’s When You Find Me is utterly riveting and incredible. It’s a southern gothic thriller that you’re going to love.

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

She’s Lost Control by Joy Division. It’s been my favorite song since my teen years. Because really, aren’t we all losing control a bit?

15. What/Who inspires you?

My friends. I’ve luckily managed to surround myself with really talented, supportive, and bad ass women and men who go after what they want. They have ideas and the next day they make them reality. It’s incredible to witness.

16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

Of course! We all need guilty pleasures!

17. Favorite Instagram account?

Juniper Foxx! Who doesn’t need photos and videos of animals to brighten their day? Also, the Bloggess’ account is a close second. Fashion wise, Nicolette Mason is someone I am lowkey obsessed with.

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

A Nars pencil in Anya Red. It’d be the perfect shade of blood red.

 

19. Current #TBR pile?

Sister of Mine and The Widow of Malabar Hill are at the top of the pile.

20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t give up. Writing is full of rejection. If you want to write, write. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get that one yes you need to get published. But even if you don’t, keep writing!

 

 

Follow Amina:

Twitter

Instagram

 

Open Book with Caz Frear

Fall is here!  Cue cozy sweaters, fall scents, pumpkins and THRILLERS!  I love to read thrillers in the fall because they are the perfect companion during this ghoulish month.  I mean I love a good thriller all the time but the change of leaves and Halloween vibes that surround us, make a good suspenseful read perfection.  Cue Caz Frear’s debut novel, Sweet Little Lies.  A murder, secrets and a missing girl are what makes this book a must-read but it might make you keep the light on at night 😉  I was thrilled to chat with Caz in my latest “Open Book” where she talks Stevie Nicks, Gwen Stefani and the necessity for a statement red lip- all things that are a must! ❤SweetLittleLies hc c

via Amazon ~

n this gripping debut procedural, a young London policewoman must probe dark secrets buried deep in her own family’s past to solve a murder and a long-ago disappearance.

Your father is a liar. But is he a killer?
Even liars tell the truth . . . sometimes.

Twenty-six-year-old Cat Kinsella overcame a troubled childhood to become a Detective Constable with the Metropolitan Police Force, but she’s never been able to banish these ghosts. When she’s called to the scene of a murder in Islington, not far from the pub her estranged father still runs, she discovers that Alice Lapaine, a young housewife who didn’t get out much, has been found strangled.

Cat and her team immediately suspect Alice’s husband, until she receives a mysterious phone call that links the victim to Maryanne Doyle, a teenage girl who went missing in Ireland eighteen years earlier. The call raises uneasy memories for Cat—her family met Maryanne while on holiday, right before she vanished. Though she was only a child, Cat knew that her charming but dissolute father wasn’t telling the truth when he denied knowing anything about Maryanne or her disappearance. Did her father do something to the teenage girl all those years ago? Could he have harmed Alice now? And how can you trust a liar even if he might be telling the truth?

Determined to close the two cases, Cat rushes headlong into the investigation, crossing ethical lines and trampling professional codes. But in looking into the past, she might not like what she finds. . . .

Caz Frear cr Rebecca Knowles Photography

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

Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac:  Just because I think she’s the coolest woman alive.  I even named my novel after a Fleetwood Mac song (actually that’s a lie, my editor came up with the title but I like to think it was serendipity)

Daniel Day Lewis:  My favourite actor.  He’s incredibly elusive so it would be amazing to be sat right next to him at a bookclub.  And he’s also extremely well-read.

Marian Keyes:  I’m a huge MK fan.  Rachel’s Holiday is definitely up there in my top 10 favourite books ever.  While she’s also extremely well-read, she’s less ‘intense’ than the other two so she’d help keep the mood light!

2. Current binge series?

Peaky Blinders on Netflix.  I’m on the third of four series and I’ll be bereft when it ends!  Can’t believe how late I am to the party though – it started in 2013. 

3. Last favorite book?

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent.  The characterization is superb.  The central character, Cordelia Russell, is a shameless manipulator and borderline narcissist but you can’t help but be enthralled by her.

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

I spent a long weekend in San Francisco a couple of years ago and I’ve been dreaming of going back there ever since.  I’d pack…

  1. Comfortable walking shoes.  I’m a bit of a shoe freak and usually go for style over comfort but SF has so many steep hills and uneven roads that heels are tricky.  And there’s so much to see on foot that it’s a shame to use public transport unless you really have to.
  2. As the song instructs, I’d be sure to bring flowers for my hair ☺ I’m a hippy at heart and I absolutely loved the Haight-Ashbury area.
  3. A pashmina.  You can be warm one minute, cold the next in SF, so it pays to be prepared (I got caught out last time thinking it would be wall-to-wall heat!)

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Mmmm, being a Brit, I’m not overly familiar with either, but as I think US Weekly is more focused towards celebrity gossip, I’d probably go for Sunday NYT.  I’m not a huge celeb gossip fan (although, you know, I’m not immune to it!)

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

My husband – to ask him to pick up milk and a birthday card for a 6-year-old.  My life is so rock and roll ☺

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

In The Woods by Tana French.  It’s a masterclass in everything – plot, prose, suspense and characterization.

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

I was lucky enough to have two – Mrs Spencer (when I was eight) who told me I had ‘something’ and to never give up writing stories, even when I ‘got big’ and Mr Kelly (when I was fourteen).  Mr Kelly used to encourage me to write reviews of everything – books, films, concerts, etc – on top of my standard homework.  He taught me that writing is a muscle and you have to use it every day.
9. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?

No, but I really wish I could!  I need complete silence, sadly.  If I’m editing, I might occasionally put classical music on in the background but very, very low (pointlessly low, really). 
10. Describe your writing space?

A grey chesterfield couch with many cushions and a Jo Malone candle burning close by.  I do have an office which I venture into occasionally but I do my best work on the couch.  I used to write in bed until I realized it was terrible for both posture and sleep!

11. Coffee or tea?

Tea.  I don’t mind coffee but I treat it more like medicine – I’ll force a cup down if I need to sharpen up or stay awake.  I drink tea purely for pleasure.

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

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer.  It’s a novel about mental health and it tells the story of 17-year-old schizophrenic Matt, and the guilt he feels over his younger brother’s death several years ago.  Sounds depressing, right?  It isn’t.  It’s incredibly moving but it’s also funny, sharp and made me laugh out loud (and cry like a baby).  Such clean, unaffected writing too.  I buy it for everyone. 
13. Book that you wished they would make a movie out of?

Mine ☺  Failing that, I’d say Little Deaths by Emma Flint.  It’s the story of a woman accused of murdering her three children in the summer of 1965 and I believe it’s based on a true story.  Not only is it a gripping thriller but it’s also an interesting commentary on how the media portray ‘difficult’ women.  It was only published a couple of years ago so it’s early days, maybe it will be made into a film?

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

‘What You Waiting For?’ – essentially it’s about Gwen Stefani’s fear of making a solo album and the writer’s block she was experiencing at that time.  It is EVERYTHING.  It’s an ode to pushing through self-doubt and fear of other people’s opinions.  It’s a call to arms to every woman who has a fear of standing out, of being who she really is.  I love it and it fires me up every time.  It had a massive impact on me.


15. What/Who inspires you?

Everyone and everything!  Just overhearing a conversation on a bus can inspire a whole new piece of dialogue or sub-plot.  I think ‘inspiration’ is a slightly mystical term as usually there isn’t one single image or one anecdote that quite literally inspires the writing of a 100,000 word novel.  You just start with a character and a dilemma and get writing (or plotting).  I think it’s actually writing, even bad writing, that fuels inspiration, not the other way around.  If you wait for the killer idea or the killer hook to strike, you could be waiting a very long time!
16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

No. No. No. No. No.  On the rare occasion I stumble across reality TV, I want to throw something at the screen.  Although, it depends what you mean by reality TV?  I am partial to a bit of Judge Judy ☺

17. Favorite Instagram account?

I’m relatively new to Instagram so I’m not sure that I’ve got any clear favorites yet, but @crimebythebook is a great account for honest, constructive reviews (and sneak peeks at upcoming releases).  There’s also a UK comedian @russell_kane who really makes me laugh.  His memes and rants are always spot on.
18. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be?  

Kiss Me First and it would be a statement red, maybe fire-engine or blood red.  I have far too many red lipsticks!
19. Current #TBR pile?

Oh wow, it’s toppling over as we speak.  I’m so lucky to be sent lots of proofs to read so I could fill a whole page with the books I’d love to get stuck into asap, but here’s what’s up next…

The Secrets You Hide – Kate Helm (a British debut)

Red Snow – Will Dean

Pieces of Her – Karin Slaughter

Cross Her Heart – Sarah Pinborough


20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

I’m going to refer back to Gwen Stefani and ‘What You Waiting For?’

“Life is short.  You’re capable.”

Follow Caz:

Twitter

Instagram

Open Book with Mary Kubica

I am a HUGE Mary Kubica fan and whenever she has a new release I am thrilled, no pun intended.  Her addictive and twisty thrillers are a must for every bibliophile.  Her latest, When the Lights Go Out, is nothing short of nail biting, page turning suspense- the perfect cure to the end of summer blues.  This book is exactly what you need on a cozy fall evening but be prepared to lose some sleep 😉  Mary was kind enough to chat all things in my latest Open Book ❤

WTLGO cover - 4.26

via Amazon ~

“A twisty, captivating, edge-of-your-seat read.” —Megan Miranda, bestselling author of All the Missing Girls

“Creepy and oh so clever!” —Alice Feeney, bestselling author of Sometimes I Lie

A woman is forced to question her own identity in this riveting and emotionally charged thriller by the blockbuster bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica

Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she’s ever known.

Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie’s mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what she’s only imagined.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman’s split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie’s secret past. Has Jessie’s whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?

 

Mary Kubica credit Sarah Jastre

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

Natalie Babbitt, Stephen King, Maggie O’Farrell 

 

2. Current binge series?

BIG LITTLE LIES (Amazing!)

 

3. Last favorite book?

SOMETHING IN THE WATER by Catherine Steadman

 

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

Gym shoes, sunglasses, camera – hiking in Acadia National Park 

 

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Sunday NYT

 

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

My husband  

 

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP by SJ Watson

 

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

Not one teacher per se, but many teachers who helped ignite that passion for reading and writing that later turned me into a writer 

 

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

Nope, I need things quiet

 

10. Describe your writing space? 

My office is clean and fairly sparse, with gray walls, a desk of my grandmothers that I renovated, bookshelves and a comfy armchair  

 

11. Coffee or tea? 

Coffee

 

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

THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O’Brien

 

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

THE CHILD FINDER by Rene Denfeld 

 

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

Life in the Fast Lane (I rarely have time to sit still and do nothing!)

 

15. What/Who inspires you? 

Nature

 

16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no? 

No

 

17. Favorite Instagram account? 

@farmsanctuary 

 

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

GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT (Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke), and it would be red

19. Current #TBR pile? 

FORGET YOU KNOW ME by Jessica Strawser, HER SECRET SON by Hannah Mary McKinnon and THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER by Kaira Rouda   

 

20. Best advice you’ve ever received? 

Live in the moment 

 

Follow Mary:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

 

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 ❤

unnamed-3

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

unnamed-2

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. 

 

Follow Rea:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

 

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.

AmyBlumenfeldHeadShotWEB

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. 

 

Follow Amy:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter