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:

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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:

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Open Book with David Bell

Summer thrillers are always a yes for me and we have a BB&B favorite and thriller master on the blog today!  David Bell’s latest, Layover, is intense, gripping and not something that should be read during a heatwave 🙂 unless you are holed up in air conditioning- it’s that pulse pounding.  He is my latest Open Book which I am thrilled about because he is the first MALE author to participate- history in the making people!

Layover

via Amazon ~

In this high concept psychological suspense novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Somebody’s Daughter, a chance meeting with a woman in an airport sends a man on a pulse-pounding quest for the truth.

Joshua Fields takes the same flights every week for work, his life a series of departures and arrivals, hotels and airports. During yet another layover, he meets Morgan, a beautiful stranger with whom he feels an immediate connection. When it’s time for their respective flights, Morgan kisses Joshua passionately, lamenting that they’ll never see each other again.

As soon as Morgan disappears in the crowd, Joshua is shocked to see her face on a nearby TV. The reason: Morgan is a missing person.

What follows is a whirlwind, fast-paced journey filled with lies, deceit, and secrets as Joshua tries to discover why Morgan has vanished from her own life. Every time he thinks one mystery is solved, another rears its head—and his worst enemy might be his own assumptions about those around him.

DavidBell2017

 

 

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

–Abraham Lincoln, Sarah Silverman, and John Lennon

 

 

Current binge series? 

 

–“Black Mirror” and “The Handmaid’s Tale”

 

 

Last favorite book? 

 

Soldier, Sailor, Frogman, Spy by Giles Milton. A brilliant history of D-Day.

 

What 3 things do you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?

–A good book, a bathing suit, and another book

 

Where is it? 

–Someplace with a view of the water

 

 

Sunday NYT or US Weekly? 

 

–Sunday NYT

 

 

Last person you sent a text message to? 

 

–I pretty much only text my wife.

 

 

Book you read that you wished you wrote? 

 

The Three Musketeers. Think of the royalties after 180 years!

 

 

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

 

–Several…but I’ll never forget my high school teachers Mr. Hendrick and Mr. Hussong.

 

 

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

 

–I do…I usually listen to music from the 70s and 80s. As far as music goes, I’m stuck in the past.

 

Describe your writing space? 

–I have a giant former dining room table that looks out a huge window at our front yard and street. I can watch the rabbits play and the joggers go by when I’m supposed to be writing.

 

 

Coffee or tea? 

 

–Definitely tea

 

Do you have a favorite book that you gift? 

–If I know someone wants to write I give them a copy of Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

 

 

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

 

–I like to imagine that the “Star Wars” theme plays whenever I sit down to write. It makes sitting at a computer all day seem much more dramatic than it really is.

 

What/Who inspires you? 

–More than anything I just enjoy the day-to-day process of writing. It begins and ends there. If I didn’t enjoy writing then it wouldn’t be worth doing all the other things associated with a writing career. So I try to remind myself to enjoy the daily work of writing.

 

 

Bravo reality TV- yes or no? 

 

I love “Project Runway,” which started on Bravo. Would I like to see a reality show made of my life? It would be pretty dull…

 

Favorite Instagram account? 

–I love following all the people who post about books and reading on IG. It’s great to see such a vibrant book community online.

 

 

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

 

–I’m a little out of my depth, but how about The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire? Try fitting that on the top of a lipstick tube!

 

 

Current #TBR pile?.

 

–It consists of about five thousand books…but I hope to get to Red Metal by Mark Greaney and Ripley Rawlings, Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle, The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, and Lock Every Door by Riley Sager.

 

Best advice you’ve ever received? 

–My dad once told me, “If you want to be a writer, get out of bed and write.” That about sums it up.

 

Follow David:

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Open Book with Sandie Jones

Pack up your beach bag and make sure to include a fabulous book!  Over the next few weeks I will be featuring some perfect reads to accompany you poolside or while you are jet setting the beaches of Capri 😉 First up is the second thriller from Sandie Jones, The First Mistake.  Jones, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club alumni, has a unique way of roping you into an addictive thriller and then taking you on hairpin twists and turns, leaving you speechless.  She is my latest Open Book and from the other side of the pond she has some smashing answers ❤

first mistake

via Amazon ~

From Sandie Jones, the author of the Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick andNew York Times bestseller The Other Woman, comes an addictively readable new domestic suspense about a wife, her husband, and the woman who is supposedly her best friend.

THE WIFE: For Alice, life has never been better. With her second husband, she has a successful business, two children, and a beautiful house.

HER HUSBAND: Alice knows that life could have been different if her first husband had lived, but Nathan’s arrival into her life gave her back the happiness she craved.

HER BEST FRIEND: Through the ups and downs of life, from celebratory nights out to comforting each other through loss, Alice knows that with her best friend Beth by her side, they can survive anything together. So when Nathan starts acting strangely, Alice turns to Beth for help. But soon, Alice begins to wonder whether her trust has been misplaced . . .

The first mistake could be her last.

Praise for The Other Woman:

“One of the most twisted and entertaining plots.”―Reese Witherspoon
“A perfect beach read.”―Kristin Hannah
“Whiplash-inducing.”―New York Times Book Review
“Such fun you’ll cheer [Emily’s] chutzpah.”―PEOPLE
“This thriller will hit close to home.”―Refinery29

Sandie Jones-10

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

Robin Williams, as I think his mind worked very differently and he would view a book in a way that I couldn’t possibly comprehend. I’d love to have Michelle Obama on board as she seems such a naturally optimistic and positive person, and I’d invite Shakespeare for a little historical context, and I’d be fascinated to know what he would make of fiction writing today!

 

2. Current binge series?

I am obsessed with Killing Eve, not least because of its incredible female leads, Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer, but its writer is Phoebe Waller-Bridge, an amazing British actress/comedian who has taken TV drama to another level. She also stars in Fleabag, which if you’re after quintessential British humour (at its most naughtiest!) is a must-watch.

 

3. Last favorite book?

The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North. A heart-stopping thriller that reads likes a beautiful love-story of the purest kind.

 

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

Bikini, sunglasses and a good book to read in the Maldives. (I’ll have to buy the suncream there!)

 

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

As a Brit, I’m unfortunately unfamiliar with both, but if the Sunday NYT is similar to our Sunday Times, I’d opt for that.

 

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

My husband, asking him to get some milk on his way home from work!

 

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. It was the first book in a long time that left me open-mouthed, feeling every gamult of emotion, and reigniting my love of reading.

 

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

I wasn’t a very good student, though English was my favourite, but my teacher Mrs Wrin failed to see any potential in me! The biggest supporter of my writing was my nan, who gave me all the encouragement I needed.

 

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

I so want to listen to music, as I think it’s such a romantic idea to write a novel whilst listening to Beethoven, but alas, as soon as I try, my brain stops working and I can’t write a single word. If I was able to though, it would definitely be Elvis.

 

10. Describe your writing space?

I’ve got a lovely room, in my house in London, which overlooks the front garden. It’s not long been done and it has floor to ceiling cabinets in a glossy ebony macassar with a splash of turquoise on cushions. I have pictures of Elvis on the wall and a new whiteboard that I’m supposed to be using to plot, but I actually just like pretending to be a teacher with different coloured pens!

 

11. Coffee or tea?

Tea is the first drink of the day. Coffee from 11am onwards.

 

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

No, I always buy books I think the individual would like, rather than enforce my preferences on anyone!

 

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

I normally wish that a movie wasn’t made out of a book! I love movies, but if I’ve read the book first I’m often disappointed that its interpretation isn’t the same as mine.

 

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

(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. Dirty Dancing came out when I was 17 and the film and the music had a profound effect on me. Now that I’m nearing 50, I feel qualified to be able to look back and say, I really have had the Time of My Life.

 

15. What/Who inspires you?

Nature and music are the two things that get me fired up. They’re both instant mood changers and bring about a whole new mindset.

 

16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

If that’s like our reality TV, then definitely no! I think we’ve reached saturation point and I worry about the effects on the younger generations.

 

17. Favorite Instagram account?

I love @hotpatooties! Dawn O’Porter makes me laugh out loud wherever I am.

 

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

The Other Woman and it would be a smutty bright red

 

19. Current #TBR pile?

Whisper Networks by Chandler Baker, The Girl Next Door by Phoebe Morgan and Night by Night by Jack Jordan

 

20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t take anything too personally. No one thinks about you as much you do.

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Ashley and Leslie Saunders

I was thrilled to chat with Ashley and Leslie Saunders, the fantastic sister writing duo whose debut book, The Rule of One is out now!  They opened their bag for us and shared their beauty favorites and current reads.  If you love a futuristic setting and the unbreakable  bond of sisterhood then their book is a must!

theruleofonecover-1ddd88ae

via Amazon ~

n their world, telling the truth has become the most dangerous crime of all.

In the near-future United States, a one-child policy is ruthlessly enforced. Everyone follows the Rule of One. But Ava Goodwin, daughter of the head of the Texas Family Planning Division, has a secret—one her mother died to keep and her father has helped to hide for her entire life.

She has an identical twin sister, Mira.

For eighteen years Ava and Mira have lived as one, trading places day after day, maintaining an interchangeable existence down to the most telling detail. But when their charade is exposed, their worst nightmare begins. Now they must leave behind the father they love and fight for their lives.

Branded as traitors, hunted as fugitives, and pushed to discover just how far they’ll go in order to stay alive, Ava and Mira rush headlong into a terrifying unknown.

 

unnamed

1. What is your bag of choice?- purse/tote/backpack and brand that you have?

Backpack. We’ve used the same Herschel backpack for years. It’s great for hiking, which we do a lot of, as well as traveling. Perfect for carrying our laptops (a writer’s best friend) and jackets for ice-cold plane cabins (why is it always so cold in planes?!)

2. What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

We love a good moisturizer, Ole Henriksen is our go to. Glam Glow’s mud masks are a favorite of ours. And definitely probiotics for that natural glow and overall skin health.

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

In our carry-on we always have with us chapstick, eyeliner and a light perfecting skin tint from Glossier that we love!

4. What are you currently reading?

Ashley: I’m currently reading a super interesting post-apocalyptic novel called Happy Doomsday by David Sosnowski and Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. I used to be a strictly one-book-at-a-time girl but this year there are just so many books I want to read that I now read multiple at once!

Leslie: I’m currently reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King. I love walking around Los Angeles with a mix of literary Pulitzers and fantasy adventure sagas swirling around in my head, waiting for me on my nightstand until I wind down for the night.

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

We always, and we mean always, have Burt’s Bees in our back pocket. Peppermint, of course.

Saunders-Photo-ShayanAsgharnia-2017

 

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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:

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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.”

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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 

 

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