Open Book with Jennifer Robson

Devoted followers of Bliss, Beauty and Books know that I am royally obsessed and literally love all things royal ~ old and new.  When I heard about Jennifer’s book, I knew it would be a true gem and was thrilled receive an early copy.  For the fashion lover to the most fabulous anglophiles, The Gown is a must for your 2019 TBR pile.  As always books are chic but books about the royals may just be the chicest ❤

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via Amazon ~

One of December’s most anticipated reads from InStyle, HelloGiggles, Hypable, Bookbub, and Bookriot!

One of Real Simple’s Best Historical Fiction novels of the year!

 

The Gown is marvelous and moving, a vivid portrait of female self-reliance in a world racked by the cost of war.”–Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

From the internationally bestselling author of Somewhere in France comes an enthralling historical novel about one of the most famous wedding dresses of the twentieth century—Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown—and the fascinating women who made it.

“Millions will welcome this joyous event as a flash of color on the long road we have to travel.”

—Sir Winston Churchill on the news of Princess Elizabeth’s forthcoming wedding

London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown.

Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? And what was her Nan’s connection to the celebrated textile artist and holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin?

With The Gown, Jennifer Robson takes us inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, she introduces readers to three unforgettable heroines, their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its pages, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love.

 

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

I’ve just started work on a book about Hollywood in the early 1950s, so let’s say Judy Garland, Gloria Grahame, and Betty Grable.

 

Current binge series?

The Crown. I couldn’t let myself watch it while I was writing The Gown, so now I’m all in. Even my husband is hooked!

 

Last favorite book?

The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley. I read an early ARC and gobbled it up in an overnight binge read. So, so good.

 

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

An e-reader, because of stupid baggage restrictions and the cost of lugging 15 books on holiday. An enormous hat, so I can hide under the brim and read all day. A swimsuit that covers up my anxiety areas but is (miraculously) comfortable.

 

Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Sunday NYT. I ration out the sections over the course of the weekend like they’re pieces of chocolate.

 

Last person you sent a text message to?

My sister. Our daily check-in.

 

Book you read that you wished you wrote?

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Not for the supernatural parts – for the descriptions of doing research at Oxford. She captured it perfectly, and she managed to make it interesting to read about. (At least I found those parts interesting!)

 

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

In my sophomore year at King’s University College I had the most amazing English professor, Lorraine DiCicco. She was such a tough marker, and she had such high expectations, that I bent over backwards to please her – and along the way I learned a lot about the craft of writing. I met up with Lorraine again last year and was finally able to thank her.

 

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

 Only classical music, only instrumental, and typically from the general era I’m writing about. I listened to a lot of Elgar when I was writing my World War One books.

 

Describe your writing space? 

I have a small room at the back of my house, and it has just enough space for a desk and a row of bookcases and a ratty old Ikea Poang chair. I sit in the chair with my laptop balanced on my knees, and I watch the birds and squirrels in my back garden, and sometimes I even get a bit of writing done, too.

 

Coffee or tea?

 Despite the amount of tea-drinking that goes on in my books, coffee is the fuel that keeps me going.

 

Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird

 

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

The Hole in the Middle by my friend Kate Hilton. It’s about a thousand times more engaging than the romcoms Netflix keeps making, and there’s a twist at the end that’s incredibly surprising and satisfying.

 

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

“Winter Birds” by Ray LaMontagne, because it’s a poem set to music, and his words remind me why I want to write: “And though all these things will change / The memories will remain” is what I set out to do when I create my stories.

 

What/Who inspires you? 

People who defend the powerless and voiceless, even when they know it will lead to their personal ruin.

 

Bravo reality TV – yes or no?

Hard no. The only reality TV I can watch without an anxiety attack are the baking shows. The Great Canadian Baking Show is my current fave.

 

Favorite Instagram account? 

drinkingwithchickens – Kate Richards mixes level-11 Instagramming skills with the funniest pictures ever (mainly of her chickens giving her cranky looks). And her cocktail recipes are sensational.

 

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

Miriam, after one of the heroines in The Gown, and it would be the perfect shade of bright coral red without any blue undertones.

 

Current #TBR pile? 

Right now I have two piles: one of ARCs, and next to it an even higher stack of history books that jumped into my hands at the bookstore. I hate when that happens.

 

Best advice you’ve ever received? 

“Just write the book, Jen.” From my sister, sometime in early 2008, after I’d sent her the bazillionth outline for a book that eventually becameSomewhere in France. If she hadn’t been such a hard-ass I’d probably still be fussing with that outline.

 

Follow Jennifer:

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Debut of The BLISS List

 

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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

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Honey Company Magic Organic Face Oil

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This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Phillips

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ban.do Starbucks FALL collaboration

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I’ll Be There For You by Kelsey Miller

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This is Us

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Modern Monarchy by Chris Jackson

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Beautycounter Girls’ Night Lipstick

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Busy Tonight 

 

 

Funko POP! The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

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Honest Company Creme’ Cheek Blush

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

*Happy Anniversary Will and Kate!*

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In honor of Will and Kate’s 5th wedding anniversary today, I have decided to pay homage to a few fabulous books about the duo.  I am royally obsessed and have been since I purchased a heart donut at Dunkin’ Donuts on the day of their wedding.  Since their nuptials I have been collecting different memorabilia as well as books and magazines.  One day I hope to visit London but for now I can live vicariously through the amazing photos and travels that the duke and duchess take.  See below for some of my “royal favorites”!

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  1. Game of Crowns Elizabeth, Camilla, Kate, and the Throne by Christopher Andersen is the most recent release and addition to my royal favorites.  Andersen, a seasoned writer with multiple New York Times bestsellers takes on the story of  the relationship between Elizabeth, Camilla and Kate.

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From Simon and Schuster:

“The #1 New York Times bestselling author of William and Kate and The Day Diana Died takes a compulsively readable look into the relationships and rivalries of Queen Elizabeth, Camilla Parker Bowles, and Kate Middleton.

One has been famous longer than anyone on the planet—a wily stateswoman and an enduring symbol of a fading institution. One is the great-granddaughter of a king’s mistress and a celebrated homewrecker who survived a firestorm of scorn to marry her lover and replace her arch rival, a beloved twentieth-century figure. One is a beautiful commoner, the university-educated daughter of a self-made entrepreneur, a fashion idol, and wife and mother to two future kings.

Master biographer Christopher Andersen takes readers behind palace walls to examine the surprising similarities and stark differences among three remarkable women—Queen Elizabeth; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; and Princess Kate. Andersen reveals what transpires within the royal family away from the public’s prying eyes; how the women actually feel about each other; how they differ as lovers, wives, and mothers; and how they are reshaping the landscape of the monarchy in this addictive read that will shock even those who are spellbound by the royal palace.” 

 

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2. People Magazine Princess Kate: Royal Mom, Future Queen

A fabulous collection of all things Kate with updated photos and articles.  Out on newsstands now!

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3. Kate The Future Queen by Katie Nicholl

Nicholl is a royal expert and this book is on the top of my list for favorites.  It recently was updated with new information and cover!

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From Weinstein books:

“From the bestselling author of William and Harry and renowned Royal Family news correspondent Katie Nicholl, comes the timely trade paperback edition of Kate: The Future Queen, the first in-depth biography of Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, now updated with more behind-the-scenes details on Kate’s first year as a mother, and her second pregnancy.

Katie Nicholl, bestselling author and royal correspondent for The Mail on Sunday, gives an inside look into the life of the future Queen of England, Kate Middleton. Since becoming Duchess Catherine of Cambridge in 2011, Middleton has captivated royals fans around the world and now, Nicholl delivers the story of her early life, first romances, and love with Prince William. Nicholl will reveal new details on Middleton’s initiation into royal life and, of course, her first pregnancy.”

 

4. Kate’s Style by Caroline Jones

A beautiful compilation of photos of the Duchess and her elegant and fabulous style.

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From Barrons Educational Books:

“The moment Kate Middleton stepped in front of the camera with her then fiancé Prince William to announce their engagement, a style icon was born. The electric blue Issa dress she wore on that day sold out in just 24 hours and sparked an international trend in “little blue dresses.” Classic and ladylike, yet fresh and youthful, the Duchess of Cambridge’s style has been like a breath of fresh air in a world that seemed to have forgotten the undeniable appeal of dressing like a lady. 

Now, author and lifestyle writer Caroline Jones captures that elusive style and tells us just how to create it in our own wardrobes. In Kate’s Style, Jones offers a range of tools for achieving the Duchess’s celebrated look. Readers will find—

  • A visual timeline of Kate’s outfits—from her days at university to recent royal tours and red carpet appearances
  • A directory of her favorite retailers and designers
  • A fabulous collection of full page photos showcasing Kate’s most iconic outfits, complete with pointers on how to recreate the look. 

Kate’s Style, is the essential guide for Kate addicts and fashion lovers alike.” 

 

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5. The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

A fun, dishy read by the “fuggirls” who are royal obsessed and literally have the best royal Instagram posts here and here!

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From Hachette Book Group:

“Now in paperback, the beloved novel and New York Times Summer Reading List pick hailed as “hysterical” by Entertainment Weekly‘s Must List, and “so fun and dishy” by People.

American Bex Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister Lacey was always the romantic, the one who daydreamed of being a princess, but it’s adventure-seeking Bex who goes to Oxford and meets dreamy Nick across the hall-and Bex who finds herself accidentally in love with the heir to the British throne. Nick is wonderful, but he comes with unimaginable baggage: a complicated family, hysterical tabloids tracking his every move, and a public that expected its future king to marry a Brit. On the eve of the most talked-about wedding of the century, Bex looks back on how much she’s had to give up for true love… and exactly whose heart she may yet have to break.”

 

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  • Thanks to Gallery books for sending Game of Thrones for a spotlight feature.