Books and Looks: Vintage Icons and 2018 picks

Aside from books and beauty I am obsessed and fascinated by old hollywood- actresses, icons, socialites and so on.  I have a huge collection of coffee table books on the subject and love a good non-fiction book about some of these amazing women.  I paired up some of my most anticipated 2018 picks with a few, just a few, of my favorite vintage glamour gals 😉  Happy reading!

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Coming June 26, 2018

via ~ Penguin Random House

In the new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of First Comes Love and Something Borrowed, a woman is forced to choose between her family and her most deeply held values.

Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. Her husband’s tech business is booming, and her adored son, Finch, is bound for Princeton.

Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs. His adored daughter, Lyla, attends Nashville’s most prestigious private high school on a scholarship. But amid the wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in.

Then one devastating photo changes everything. Finch snaps a picture of Lyla passed out at a party, adds a provocative caption, and sends it to a few friends. The photo spreads like wildfire, and before long an already divided community is buzzing with scandal and assigning blame. In the middle of it all, Nina finds herself relating more to Tom’s reaction than to her own husband’s—and facing an impossible choice.

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Jackie and Lee- as classic and chic as an Emily Giffin novel.

 

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Coming March 13, 2018

via~ Penguin Random House

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Angelica Huston- strong, stunning and mysterious-. Bohjalian’s novels through and through.

 

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Coming June 5, 2018

via~ Simon and Schuster

New York Times bestselling author Lauren Weisberger returns with a novel starring one of her favorite characters from The Devil Wears Prada—Emily Charlton, first assistant to Miranda Priestly, now a highly successful image consultant who’s just landed the client of a lifetime.

Welcome to Greenwich, CT, where the lawns and the women are perfectly manicured, the Tito’s and sodas are extra strong, and everyone has something to say about the infamous new neighbor.

Let’s be clear: Emily Charlton, Miranda Priestly’s ex-assistant, does not do the suburbs. She’s working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She’s hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now.

Karolina Hartwell is as A-list as they come. She’s the former face of L’Oreal. A mega-supermodel recognized the world over. And now, the gorgeous wife of the newly elected senator from New York, Graham, who also has his eye on the presidency. It’s all very Kennedy-esque, right down to the public philandering and Karolina’s arrest for a DUI—with a Suburban full of other people’s children.

Miriam is the link between them. Until recently she was a partner at one of Manhattan’s most prestigious law firms. But when Miriam moves to Greenwich and takes time off to spend with her children, she never could have predicted that being stay-at-home mom in an uber-wealthy town could have more pitfalls than a stressful legal career.

Emily, Karolina, and Miriam make an unlikely trio, but they desperately need each other. Together, they’ll navigate the social landmines of life in America’s favorite suburb on steroids, revealing the truths—and the lies—that simmer just below the glittering surface. With her signature biting style, Lauren Weisberger offers a dazzling look into another sexy, over-the-top world, where nothing is as it appears.

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Natalie Wood- charming and bright- all things encompassing Weisberger’s books.

 

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Coming July 3, 2018

via~ Penguin Random House

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Marilyn Monroe- smart, game changing and naturally perfect- Cristina Alger’s collection of books.

 

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Coming July 3, 2018

via~ Penguin Random House 

Have you ever had a secret so gut-wrenching you couldn’t tell anyone, not even the person who shares your bed? Told from the alternating perspectives of a husband and wife who both have something to hide, this incisive novel pulls back the curtain on a seemingly-happy marriage, posing the question: how much do we really know–and how much should we want to know–about the people we love the most?

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Katharine Hepburn- spirited and unique, the excitement I have for The Intermission!

 

 

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Coming May 1, 2018

via ~ Harper Collins

THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF THE SUMMER—SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING SCANDAL’S KERRY WASHINGTON

An addictive psychological thriller about a group of women whose lives become unexpectedly connected when one of their newborns goes missing.

A night out. A few hours of fun. That’s all it was meant to be.

They call themselves the May Mothers—a group of new moms whose babies were born in the same month. Twice a week, they get together in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for some much-needed adult time.

When the women go out for drinks at the hip neighborhood bar, they want a fun break from their daily routine. But on this hot Fourth of July night, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is taken from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but her fellow moms insisted everything would be fine. Now he is missing. What follows is a heart-pounding race to find Midas, during which secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are destroyed.

Thirteen days. An unexpected twist. The Perfect Mother is a “true page turner.” —B.A. Paris, author of Behind Closed Doors

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Babe Paley- classic and rich- the highest praise for Molloy’s debut novel!

 

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Coming May 15, 2018

via ~ Simon and Schuster

From Jessica Knoll—author of Luckiest Girl Alive, the instant New York Times bestseller and the bestselling debut novel of 2015—comes a blisteringly paced thriller starring two sisters who join the cast of a reality TV series. One won’t make it out alive. So…who did it?

When five hyper-successful women agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers never expect the season will end in murder…

Brett’s the fan favorite. Tattooed and only twenty-seven, the meteoric success of her spin studio—and her recent engagement to her girlfriend—has made her the object of jealousy and vitriol from her castmates.

Kelly, Brett’s older sister and business partner, is the most recent recruit, dismissed as a hanger-on by veteran cast. The golden child growing up, she defers to Brett now—a role which requires her to protect their shocking secret.

Stephanie, the first black cast member and the oldest, is a successful bestselling author of erotic novels. There have long been whispers about her hot, non-working actor-husband and his wandering eye, but this season the focus is on the rift that has opened between her and Brett, former best friends—and resentment soon breeds contempt.

The Favorite Sister explores the invisible barriers that prevent women from rising up the ranks in today’s America—and offers a scathing take on the oft-lionized bonds of sisterhood, and the relentless pressure to stay young, relevant, and salable.

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Twiggy- Iconic.  The name Jess Knoll is building for herself with her writing.

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Andrea Dunlop

I have been a fan of Andrea Dunlop’s since her debut novel, Losing the Light.  I was thrilled to hear of her latest novel, out TODAY, She Regrets Nothing.  Hailed by Booklist as a “Gossip Girl for Grown-Ups”, this is a pre-spring read that will invite you into a luxe, rich and sparkling world.  I am so happy to celebrate Andrea today and take sneak peak into her bag.  Not only is she a fabulous author but she picks good reads too ❤

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via Amazon ~

In the tradition of The Emperor’s Children and The House of Mirth, the forgotten granddaughter of one of New York’s wealthiest men is reunited with her family just as she comes of age—and once she’s had a glimpse of their glittering world, she refuses to let it go without a fight.

When Laila Lawrence becomes an orphan at twenty-three, the sudden loss unexpectedly introduces her to three glamorous cousins from New York who show up unannounced at her mother’s funeral. The three siblings are scions of the wealthy family from which Laila’s father had been estranged long before his own untimely demise ten years before.

Two years later, Laila has left behind her quiet life in Grosse Point, Michigan to move to New York City, landing her smack in the middle of her cousins’ decadent world. As the truth about why Laila’s parents became estranged from the family patriarch becomes clear, Laila grows ever more resolved to claim what’s rightfully hers. Caught between longing for the love of her family and her relentless pursuit of the lifestyle she feels she was unfairly denied, Laila finds herself reawakening a long dead family scandal—not to mention setting off several new ones—as she becomes further enmeshed in the lives and love affairs of her cousins. But will Laila ever, truly, belong in their world? Sly and sexy, She Regrets Nothing is a sharply observed and utterly seductive tale about family, fortune, and fate—and the dark side of wealth.

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What is your bag of choice?

I love Michael Kors and Aimee Kestenberg for my every day, throw-everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-into-them bags. Both brands are super durable, stylish, and are a reasonable splurge. I feel like I beat the crap out of my bags, so I need something that lasts, and I’m not inclined to drop a mortgage payment on a purse. For a cute clutch I love Ted Baker: the details of his stuff have just enough whimsy, not too serious, but also not completely deranged.

 

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

My biggest splurge-y beauty pick is Chanel 99 Rose Petal blush. The artist who did my makeup at my wedding used this on me and I was instantly hooked. In addition to looking good, it also smells fantastic and the packaging makes me feel like a grown up. I don’t wear makeup very often so when I do I want to make it special. After years of wearing liquid foundation, I switched over to Smashbox’s photo finish BB cream, which makes my skin look glow-y even when I’m having a bonkers, insomniac week. In terms of skincare, I love Dr. Brandt’s microdermabrasion exfoliator, even though it’s marketed as an “anti-aging” product which I kind of loathe. I’m in my mid-thirties so I’m now in the demo that gets a whole lot of “you must buy this expensive product right now or become a crone forever” type of advertising which grosses me out. Presumably I’m still beholden to the laws of time and space, and will continue to age at the rate of a normal human woman despite this lovely exfoliator, but it makes my skin feel nice and I like it.

 

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

I love to take sheets masks with me when I travel, as well as mini-bottles of Avene Thermal Spring Water, because I get so dehydrated on planes. I also always have Burt’s Bees chapsticks, which I tend to accidentally leave everywhere. My dog also really enjoys ferreting these out of my bag and eating them, so I go through a lot of them!

 

What are you currently reading?

I just finished a coming-of-age story about a toxic romantic relationship that I think everyone is going to be obsessing about this summer (it’s out June 12th) called Tell Me Lies by debut author Carola Lovering. My editor sent me an early copy and I couldn’t put it down; the central relationship is an extreme example of something many women have experienced so I think it will really resonate with readers. I just started reading Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, which I probably don’t have to tell you anything about because I’m pretty sure I’m the last one on earth who hasn’t read it. But in case you’re also late to the party, it’s the story of a picture perfect progressive suburb in Cleveland where a new arrival mixes things up and basically, the whole town loses their minds. Naturally, I love it already.

 

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

Pens, a mini-journal, and promotional bookmarks for She Regrets Nothing. That last item might sound shameless, but they’re incredibly handy for those off-hand conversations you have with folks who ask what your book is about, where they can find it, etc. Since I love getting bookmarks, I don’t feel bad foisting them on interested parties. My mom is also very into the bookmarks right now, she gives them to all of her friends and when I was out shopping with her the other week, every time we had a salesperson, she was like: Did you give her a bookmark? The proud mom marketing hustle is real.

View More: http://matthewland.pass.us/andrea-headshots

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Elizabeth LaBan

Elizabeth LaBan is here today sharing her fabulous bag and talking all things books and beauty!  Her latest release, Not Perfect, is out now and a must-read for all Mom’s and women who are just trying to keep it together ~ something we can all relate to 😉  Plus, LaBan’s beauty must-have is a tube of lipstick therefore we are soul sisters.

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via Amazon ~

From Elizabeth LaBan, the acclaimed author of The Restaurant Critic’s Wife, comes a captivating and very funny novel about a wife and mother’s fall from grace, and why keeping up appearances is not her biggest secret.

Tabitha Brewer wakes up one morning to find her husband gone, leaving her no way to support herself and their two children, never mind their upscale Philadelphia lifestyle. She’d confess her situation to her friends—if it wasn’t for those dreadful words of warning in his goodbye note: “I’ll tell them what you did.”

Instead, she does her best to keep up appearances, even as months pass and she can barely put food on the table—much less replace a light bulb. While she looks for a job, she lives in fear that someone will see her stuffing toilet paper into her handbag or pinching basil from a neighbor’s window box.

Soon, blindsided by catastrophe, surprised by romance, and stunned by the kindness of a stranger, Tabitha realizes she can’t keep her secrets forever. Sooner or later, someone is bound to figure out that her life is far from perfect.

LaBan what's in my bag

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

My bag of choice is a medium-sized Billabong purse with lots of pockets. This is my second version of the same exact style and I love it! This one is a soft black leather that goes with everything.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

My absolute favorite beauty pick is lipstick by Clinique. It is one of the few things I just love to buy for the sake of buying it, even if I don’t need more at the moment. Walking up to the Clinique counter (generally at the Macy’s in Center City, Philadelphia) and seeing what new colors there are is one of my favorite things to do. I especially love when they have a promotion and offer a small sack of mini cosmetics to go along with my purchase. Some of those mini cosmetics then go right in my purse!

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

Really only two things all the time – and sometimes I run out of the first. I like to have a tiny bottle of hand lotion – usually from a hotel room (cosmetics in a hotel room are another favorite of mine), and also, of course, the lipstick. At any given moment I have three or four different Clinique lipsticks at the bottom of my purse – all in the general berry category (not too pink and not too red), and I just reach in and use whichever one I pull out. On any given day lipstick is likely to be the only make-up I wear. At the beginning of my new novel NOT PERFECT, when Tabitha finds herself without resources, she worries about running out of lipstick and rations it. I imagine she has a beautiful silver tube of Clinique.

What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines)

I just started reading Amanda Stauffer’s new novel called MATCH MADE IN MANHATTAN and I love it. I am doing a book event in Brooklyn in February with her and another author Clarissa Harwood whose IMPOSSIBLE SAINTS just came out (which I loved), and I am so excited to read Amanda’s book. I am about 20 pages in and already hooked. I will definitely wear my best lipstick to that event!

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

I tend to not clean out my bag very often, which suits me well when I play one of those “what is in your purse” games at bridal showers, but one thing I always keep in one of the front pockets is a stack of tickets to the various amusement parks up and down the boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey. Included in that stack are all the free mini-golf games we won the summer before. I carry it all year for two reasons – I know I would forget to pack it for our next trip to Ocean City, and I always love to see it – it reminds me of summer!

Elizabeth LaBan photo credit Andrea Cipriani Mecchi

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Open Book ~ Leslie Cohen

Happy blissful Monday!  I am thrilled to be able to share my next “Open Book” author, Leslie Cohen.  Her debut novel, This Love Story Will Self-Destruct is getting high praise as a People Magazine pick of the week, fabulous write-ups from Bustle and Hello Giggles and Cohen being hailed as a young Nora Ephron- well I am sold.  Read below to learn a few fun tidbits about Cohen.  All I needed to know was she was  Jay-Z fan and Cher Horowitz is an inspiration 😉 #friendgoals.

Cover Image - THIS LOVE STORY WILL SELF DESTRUCT

via Amazon ~

This is the classic tale of boy meets girl: Girl…goes home with someone else.

Meet Eve. She’s a dreamer, a feeler, a careening well of sensitivities who can’t quite keep her feet on the ground, or steer clear of trouble. She’s a laugher, a crier, a quirky and quick-witted bleeding-heart-worrier.

Meet Ben. He’s an engineer, an expert at leveling floors who likes order, structure, and straight lines. He doesn’t opine, he doesn’t ruminate, he doesn’t simmer until he boils over.

So naturally, when the two first cross paths, sparks don’t exactly fly. But then they meet again. And again. And then, finally, they find themselves with a deep yet fragile connection that will change the course of their relationship—possibly forever.

Follow Eve and Ben as they navigate their twenties on a winding journey through first jobs, first dates, and first breakups; through first reunions, first betrayals and, maybe, first love. This is When Harry Met Sally reimagined; a charming tale told from two unapologetically original points of view. With an acerbic edge and heartwarming humor, debut novelist Leslie Cohen takes us on a tour of what life looks like when it doesn’t go according to plan, and explores the complexity, chaos, and comedy in finding a relationship built to last.

Author Photo - Leslie Cohen credit to David Verbitsky

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

Elena Ferrante, whoever that may be

Mindy Kaling

Novak Djokovic

 

Current binge series?

Mad Men

 

Last favorite book?

The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride

 

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

Bathing suit

Sunblock

Xanax

Somewhere coastal

 

Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Sunday NYT. US Weekly is too much drama for me.

 

Last person you sent a text message to?

My friend, Monica. She’s an ER doctor, so I like to text her random questions and keep her on her toes re: imaginary illnesses.

 

Book you read that you wished you wrote?

Us by David Nicholls

 

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

Yes! She was also named Leslie and she was the head of the undergraduate creative writing program at Columbia, where I went to college. She gave me the very special gift of telling me that I had a voice and should become a writer and I gave her the gift of asking 493 follow up questions.

 

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

Yes. Especially when I need to get into a very emotional and somewhat rebellious state of mind. So, Rihanna. Obviously.

 

Describe your writing space?

Desk. Chair. Laptop. No funny business. Mo’ plants mo’ problems.

 

Coffee or tea?

Tea! But I’m in it mainly for the accompanying cookies.

 

Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

I’ve given my friends Vaclav and Lena by Haley Tanner and Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. They are both the sweetest love stories ever.

 

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

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

 

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

Dirt Off Your Shoulder by Jay Z because it’s about being cool and letting things slide and I have absolutely no idea how to do that. It’s strictly aspirational.

 

What/Who inspires you?

My friends. My husband. They’re pretty cute. Oh! And Cher from Clueless.

 

Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

I’m more of a Kardashians/ Bachelor type of girl.

 

Favorite Instagram account?

I follow a puppy in Japan named Ernie and he’s just a small, white fluffball that naps and plays with stuffed animals but I really dig his vibe.

 

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

I think I may be unqualified to answer this question. I may have worn ChapStick at my wedding. Plain ChapStick. Not even Cherry. Don’t tell anyone.

 

Current #TBR pile?

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Letters to Vera by Vladimir Nabokov

 

Best advice you’ve ever received?

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” I didn’t receive this advice, personally, as it was said by Wayne Gretzky, but I acquire most of my wisdom from sports. And the rest from my mother.

 

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Guys. OMG.  This book.  I could just leave it at this but I will give you a little more 🙂  The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is the book you have to read.  It is everything you want in a book.  Suspense, thrills, fabulousness, twists- OH THE  TWISTS- it has it all.  No wonder it was optioned by the folks who brought Girl on the Train to the big screen!  I am over the moon that Greer and Sarah opened their bags and shared their must-have beauty products!

Wife Between Us

via Amazon ~

“A jaw-dropping psychological thriller.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Fiendishly clever…in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. This one will keep you guessing.” –Anita Shreve, New York Times bestselling author of The Stars are Fire

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love.
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing.

Twisted and deliciously chilling, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage – and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

Read between the lies.

A 2018 Indie Next Pick

Praise for The Wife Between Us:

“A clever thriller with masterful twists.” – Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author of The Kept Woman

The Wife Between Us delivers a whip smart, twisty plot in a taut, pacy narrative. It’s terrific and troubling. This is one scary love triangle where you won’t know who to trust. I loved it.” –Gilly Macmillan, New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew

“A twisty, mind-bending novel about marriage and betrayal. A gripping plot and fascinating characters; this book will keep you turning the pages and guessing until the very end. A must-read!” –Lauren Weisberger, New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada

“This amazing story gallops along at breakneck speed, with an ending that smacks you between the eyes and takes your breath away. These authors are destined to become trail blazers in the field of psychological suspense books that explode in your hands!” ―Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault

“Like a house of mirrors, The Wife Between Us kept me guessing around every corner, delving into the complexities of marriage, friendship, and obsession.” ―Javier Ramirez, The Book Table

Greer’s Bag ~

Greer Bag2

What is your bag of choice?

I have more bags than I can count and each one serves a different purpose. My current favorite is a Linde Gallery St. Barth Bag – it’s large enough to hold my laptop, but it’s also super lightweight.  I especially love it because it’s not the obvious choice. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone else with this brand.

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

I always carry three or four moisturizing lipsticks or glosses. My favorite right now is BeautyCounter Lip Sheer in Petal. I read about the brand on Goop and I really like it. It goes on smoothly and smells like summer.

What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines)

I am currently reading Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward.

Any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you 🙂

I always carry my phone because I’m obsessed with podcasts. Some of my favorites are Happier with Gretchen Rubin, Happier in Hollywood, By The Book, It’s Been a Minute and Fresh Air.

Sarah’s Bag ~

Sarah Bag

What is your bag of choice?

I alternate between a few, but I just bought a cute Free People hobo style bag that I can sling across my body or wear over my shoulder. I like the neutral color and the fact that it has a zillion pockets to store everything from my ever-present pen and notebook, to hair bands and earbuds for the gym!

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

When Greer and I did our author photo shoot, the makeup artist introduced me to Make Up For Ever and I’ve used their water-based foundation ever since. It’s so sheer and light, and it’s nice knowing an expert chose my shade (Y305).

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

Trish McEvoy lip gloss in Berry, Nars Radiant Concealer in Custard, and the same mascara I’ve used since college – Maybelline Great Lash in the signature pink and green tube!

What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines)

Psychology Today magazine for inspiration for the new book Greer and I are writing!

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

A pen and notebook, always. But if I’m caught without, I’ve been known to scribble down book ideas in eyeliner on my hand!

 

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*Thanks to St. Martins for the review copy and interview.

Open Book ~ Allison Winn Scotch

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

BMAY final

via Amazon ~

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

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

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

 

AWS credit Kat Tuohy

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

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

 

2. Current binge series?

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

 

3. Last favorite book?

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

 

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

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

 

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

…..uh….US Weekly?? (Shhhh.)

 

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

My husband.

 

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

10. Describe your writing space?

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

 

11. Coffee or tea?

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

14. What/Who inspires you?

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

 

15. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

Nope. Never watched one of them!

 

16. Favorite Instagram account?

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

 

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

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

18. Current #TBR pile?

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

 

19. Best advice you’ve ever received?

Be nice. There is almost never a downside.

 

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Open Book ~ Liv Constantine

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

LastMrsParrish hc final cover

via Amazon ~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Liv Constantine two together, cr Erika Livingston

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

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

Val ~ Eleanor Roosevelt, Edna Ferber and Jane Austen.

 

Current binge series? 

Lynne ~ Scandal – late to the game but loving it

Val ~ The Crown on Netflix

 

Last favorite book? 

Lynne ~ What Alice Forgot by Lianne Moriarty

Val ~ Nutshell by Ian McEwan

 

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

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

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

 

Sunday NYT or US Weekly

Lynne ~ Sunday NYT

Val ~ Sunday NYT

 

Last person you sent a text message to?  

Lynne ~ My sister

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

 

Book you read that you wished you wrote? 

Lynne ~ Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Val ~ Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

 

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

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

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

 

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

Lynne ~ Yes, Mozart

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

 

Describe your writing space?

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

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

 

Coffee or tea?  

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

Val ~ Both

 

Do you have a favorite book that you gift? 

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

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

 

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

Lynne ~ The Art of Racing in Rain

Val ~ Americana by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

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

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

Val ~ Climb Every Mountain by Jordan Smith

 

What/Who inspires you? 

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

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

 

Bravo reality TV- yes or no? 

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

Val ~ A big NO

 

Favorite Instagram account? 

Lynne ~ Golden-Retriever-Lover

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

 

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

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

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

 

Best advice you’ve ever received? 

Lynne ~ Happiness is a choice – my wise mother

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

 

Current TBR List:

Lynne ~

Magpie Murders, Anthony Horowitz

The Blackbird Season, Kate Moretti

The Ex, Alafair Burke

Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay

The Child Finder, Rene Denfield

The Second Sister, Claire Kendal

House of Spies, Daniel Silva

The Emotional Craft of Fiction, Donald Maass

Val ~

Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Sleep No More by P.D.James

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

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

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

 

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