What’s in my Bookish “BEACH” Bag? ~ Elizabeth Klehfoth

All These Beautiful Strangers was getting major buzz before it even hit shelves.  Tapped as the potential next Gone Girl and optioned by Bruna Papandrea’s Made Up Stories for development, this debut novel by Elizabeth Klehfoth is a thrilling page-turner that deals with elite boarding schools, missing family members, and a mysterious secret society.  I was thrilled when Elizabeth shared her beach bag with us and let us know her must-haves and current reads.  Keep your eye on her readers, I see many great things from Miss Klehfoth ❤

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via Amazon ~

“This is going to be big.” –Entertainment Weekly

“Juicy, clever, and beguiling.”- Cecily von Ziegsar, author of the Gossip Girl novels

A young woman haunted by a family tragedy is caught up in a dangerous web of lies and deception involving a secret society in this highly charged, addictive psychological thriller that combines the dishy gamesmanship of Gossip Girl with the murky atmosphere of The Secret History.

One summer day, Grace Fairchild, the beautiful young wife of real estate mogul Alistair Calloway, vanished from the family’s lake house without a trace, leaving behind her seven-year old daughter, Charlie, and a slew of unanswered questions.

Years later, seventeen-year-old Charlie still struggles with the dark legacy of her family name and the mystery surrounding her mother. Determined to finally let go of the past, she throws herself into life at Knollwood, the prestigious New England school she attends. Charlie quickly becomes friends with Knollwood’s “it” crowd.

Charlie has also been tapped by the A’s—the school’s elite secret society well known for terrorizing the faculty, administration, and their enemies. To become a member of the A’s, Charlie must play The Game, a semester-long, diabolical high-stakes scavenger hunt that will jeopardize her friendships, her reputation, even her place at Knollwood.

As the dark events of past and present converge, Charlie begins to fear that she may not survive the terrible truth about her family, her school, and her own life.

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What is your bag of choice for the beach?

I have a simple Nautilux striped canvas tote that fits my beach towel and essentials.

What do you always carry in your beach bag for beauty products?

I keep things pretty simple in terms of beauty products when I head to the beach. I always pack my Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm–it contains Vitamin E and peppermint oil, so my lips always feel moisturized and fresh, and my GlamGlow Mega Illuminating Moisturizer for my face, which is great for dry skin and also enhances my complexion with a nice glow.  Sunblock is a must.  I use Equate Sport Sunscreen SPF 30, because it gives me good coverage and doesn’t leave my skin feeling oily. I also pack a couple of black elastic hair ties so I can keep my hair up and off my face.  

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

For every day, I use Origins Checks and Balances face wash, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream (it’s the only body lotion where I can be 100% sure I won’t break out), CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 foundation, CoverGirl Clean powder, Almay Gel Smooth Liner in black, Almay Intense I-Color Everyday Neutrals eye shadow for blue eyes (I love these palettes!  They really make my eyes pop and I never get creases), and CoverGirl Full Lash Bloom mascara in black.  For nighttime, I’m obsessed with Origins High-Potency Night-a-Mins Mineral-Enriched Renewal Cream.  It smells faintly of oranges and I always wake up with my skin feeling smooth and soft.  

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading The High Season by Judy Blundell.  It’s an engrossing tale that follows three women in the town of Orient, located on the North Fork of Long Island, for one summer.  Ruthie Beamish is a fortysomething woman who lives in Orient year-round, but who must rent out her house during the summer in order to keep it.  Jem is Ruthie’s 15-year old daughter, who’s juggling a falling-out with the popular girls at school and a crush on the handsome and troublesome son of the tenant renting her house for the summer.  And then there’s Doe, a young woman who’s trying to make her way in the world despite a troubled past by rubbing elbows (and snapping Instagram shots) of the well-to-do in the Hamptons.  This poignant story explores the dividing line between the have and the have-nots, is full of laugh-out-loud lines and heartbreak, and is all about second chances, finding yourself, and new beginnings.  It’s a must-read for the beach this summer.

Any other fun item/must-have that you always have in your beach bag?

In addition to my beach read, I always pack my iPhone and headphones so I can listen to music while I veg, a fluffy beach towel, and my crystal rose and calico Raen sunglasses.

Elizabeth Klehfoth Author Photo

 

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Open Book with Susie Orman Schnall

There is no shortage of fierce, female driven beach reads this year.  A the top of this list is the gorgeous Susie Orman Schnall’s latest, The Subway Girls.  A historical read with beauty, ambition and two determined woman is all that is within this gem of a read.  I was thrilled when Susie agreed to be my latest “Open Book”.  She is just as fabulous as her two main characters.  Perfect lipstick selection, stellar dream book club picks and a delectable TBR stack.  She is beyond!

The Subway Girls COVER

via Amazon ~

From the author of The Balance Project comes a dual-timeline narrative featuring a 1949 Miss Subways contestant and a modern-day advertising executive whose careers and lives intersect.

“Schnall has written a book that is smart and timely…Feels perfect for fans of Beatriz Williams and Liza Klaussmann.” —Taylor Jenkins Reid, acclaimed author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

“A fast-paced, clever novel filled with romantic possibilities, high-stakes decisions, and harsh realities. Perfect for fans of Fiona Davis’s The Dollhouse, this engrossing tale highlights the role that ambition, sexism, and true love will forever play in women’s lives.” —Amy Poeppel, author of Small Admissions

In 1949, dutiful and ambitious Charlotte’s dream of a career in advertising is shattered when her father demands she help out with the family business. Meanwhile, Charlotte is swept into the glamorous world of the Miss Subways beauty contest, which promises irresistible opportunities with its Park Avenue luster and local fame status. But when her new friend—the intriguing and gorgeous fellow-participant Rose—does something unforgivable, Charlotte must make a heart-wrenching decision that will change the lives of those around her forever.

Nearly 70 years later, outspoken advertising executive Olivia is pitching the NYC subways account in a last ditch effort to save her job at an advertising agency. When the charismatic boss she’s secretly in love with pits her against her misogynistic nemesis, Olivia’s urgent search for the winning strategy leads her to the historic Miss Subways campaign. As the pitch date closes in on her, Olivia finds herself dealing with a broken heart, an unlikely new love interest, and an unexpected personal connection to Miss Subways that could save her job—and her future.

The Subway Girls is the charming story of two strong women, a generation apart, who find themselves up against the same eternal struggle to find an impossible balance between love, happiness, and ambition.

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

Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, and Barack Obama.

2. Current binge series?

 Just finished binging Good Girls Revolt. I’m so sad there won’t be a season 2. And I can’t wait until the next seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale and Big Little Lies are released.

3. Last favorite book?

My favorite three I’ve read recently are Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

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

1. A bag full of good books (that just counts as one thing!) 2. Cozy sweats. 3. Dark chocolate and English breakfast tea. Then I’ll gather all of those things on a beautiful porch of a beautiful house overlooking a beautiful sea.

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

 Sunday NYT. (And the crossword.)

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

 My middle son. About the geometry compass he needs for school 😉

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

 The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

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

 Not particularly. But I have an English professor from college, Al Filreis, who once read an essay I wrote out loud in class. I had taken a lot of risks with it and I almost didn’t turn it in. When he read it aloud, I felt an unbelievable sense of pride and it made me feel so validated. We still keep in touch.

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

 No. Has to be really quiet. I get distracted easily.

10. Describe your writing space?

 I have an office off my bedroom. It’s got this gorgeous crazy floral wallpaper, a big desk with lots of room to spread out all my notes, cozy chairs, and lots of book shelf space. And a big window to look out of when I can’t figure out what to write next. I love having my own space.

11. Coffee or tea?

 Rishi English breakfast tea.

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

 Not one in particular but I do love sending books to people unexpectedly if one has come up in conversation or if I think they’ll like it.

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

 Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.

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

 My favorite song is If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out by Cat Stevens. It’s just so uplifting and has so much potential! “You can do what you want 

The opportunity’s on

And if you can find a new way

You can do it today”

15. What/Who inspires you?

Women today! My goodness, women are killing it. I love the ambition, and bravery, and outspokenness that is all over the place today. It makes me want to spread my wings and soar.

16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

 Of course! In doses.

17. Favorite Instagram account?

 Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. She can go from posting something inspiring and motivational and then the next day it will be something hilarious. She’s incredibly authentic. You should definitely follow her. @sarablakely

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

Eat Pray Love. A flattering glowy pink that you can use when you eat, pray, love, and everything in between. I need the items in my life to multitask!

19. Current #TBR pile?

 Humongous! Highlights: The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine, Americanah by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett, Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue, Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. It just keeps growing…

20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

Done is better than perfect – Sheryl Sandberg says that in Lean In.

 

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*Thanks to BookSparks for facilitating this interview.

 

Open Book and a Beauty Bonus Round ~ with Jenna Blum

We have an extra special, extra fabulous guest today who is a sparkly Boston gal whose latest gem of a read is out now!!!!  Drumroll and marquis lights please….Jenna Blum is in the house and we have a special “Open Book” today!  The Lost Family is a non-negotiable for your summer reading list.  It is set over 3 decades, told from multiple perspectives and filled with love, loss and hope.  I am so thrilled to have Jenna on the blog and to support such a wonderful local author ❤

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via Amazon ~

The Lost Family is an extraordinary read, the kind of book that makes you sob and smile, the kind that gives you hope…. It is compassionate, masterful and disturbingly contemporary.”—Tatiana de Rosnay, bestselling author of Sarah’s Key

The New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us creates a vivid portrait of marriage, family, and the haunting grief of World War II in this emotionally charged, beautifully rendered story that spans a generation, from the 1960s to the 1980s.

In 1965 Manhattan, patrons flock to Masha’s to savor its brisket bourguignon and impeccable service and to admire its dashing owner and head chef Peter Rashkin. With his movie-star good looks and tragic past, Peter, a survivor of Auschwitz, is the most eligible bachelor in town. But Peter does not care for the parade of eligible women who come to the restaurant hoping to catch his eye. He has resigned himself to a solitary life. Running Masha’s consumes him, as does his terrible guilt over surviving the horrors of the Nazi death camp while his wife, Masha—the restaurant’s namesake—and two young daughters perished.

Then exquisitely beautiful June Bouquet, an up-and-coming young model, appears at the restaurant, piercing Peter’s guard. Though she is twenty years his junior, the two begin a passionate, whirlwind courtship. When June unexpectedly becomes pregnant, Peter proposes, believing that beginning a new family with the woman he loves will allow him to let go of the horror of the past. But over the next twenty years, the indelible sadness of those memories will overshadow Peter, June, and their daughter Elsbeth, transforming them in shocking, heartbreaking, and unexpected ways.

Jenna Blum artfully brings to the page a husband devastated by a grief he cannot name, a frustrated wife struggling to compete with a ghost she cannot banish, and a daughter sensitive to the pain of both her own family and another lost before she was born. Spanning three cinematic decades, The Lost Family is a charming, funny, and elegantly bittersweet study of the repercussions of loss and love.

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

Hemingway, Frederick Douglass, Obama.

 

2. Current binge series?

The Handmaid’s Tale. I wish Season 3 would begin way before April 2019–we may be living in Gilead by then.

 

3. Last favorite book?

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

 

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

Book, iPad, snacks. A beach anywhere!

 

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

NYT always.

 

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

My dear friend Stephanie Ebbert at the Boston Globe, who writes on gender issues.

 

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

The Stand by Stephen King.

 

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

Yes! Mr. Laskowich at Watchung School in Montclair, NJ, who read to us each day for 1/2 hour before lunch. Mr. Phillip Stern at Glenfield Middle School in Montclair, who didn’t mind when I wrote a whole novel about him in 7th grade (I had a major crush).

 

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

Never. Music to me is a language and it competes with the language in my head.

 

10. Describe your writing space?

It’s usually covered with images from the book I’m working on. Black Lab Woodrow snoring on bed because he finds writing very boring.

 

11. Coffee or tea?

COFFEE

 

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

I generally give newly published books by friends to help them get out into the world.

 

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

Mine! 🙂 (Those Who Save Us, my first book, is under option. I’d love The Lost Family to become a movie as well—or a series on HBO, SHOWTIME, Hulu, Amazon Prime….)

 

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

Free To Be You & Me, because I believe in the sanctity of personal choice and respect.

 

15. What/Who inspires you?

Injustice inspires me to try & do something about it. Also the Obamas.

 

16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

Nope!

 

17. Favorite Instagram account?

My dear friend writer/ yoga guru Sara DiVello. Selma Blair. Reese Witherspoon’s book club.

 

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

Those Who Save Us and it’d be blood red.

 

19. Current #TBR pile?

So much! I actually have a TBR ottoman. I’m traveling on book tour for The Lost Family right now so I’ll have to do this from memory. Many chef memoirs, continuing research for my next book. Anthony Bourdain. Curtis Sittenfeld short stories. Julian Barnes.

 

20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

“Jen, do your best.” My dad.

 
 
BONUS SECTION*
 
1. Favorite place to shop in Boston? Anthropologie!
2. Biggest fashion splurge? Anthropologie! 
3. Beauty must-haves? Anthropologie! Also concealer, waterproof mascara & eyeliner. I wear cat-eyes to the gym because I’m from Jersey originally and that’s what we do.
4. What do you carry in your purse for beauty products? Matte lipstick from Revlon that would stay on during a nuclear winter.
5. What type of purse/bag do you carry? Normally, I don’t—I have a Coach wristlet but I like to travel light. When traveling for book events, a Coach tote bag. 
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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Sally Hepworth

I have been a huge fan of Sally Hepworth’s for a while now.  She has a way of writing and storytelling that instantly grabs you and its hard to put down her books.  I mean thats exactly what you want in an author, right?  Then I promise you, Sally is your girl.  Her newest novel, The Family Next Door, out NOW, is being compared to Big Little Lies and has a domestic suspense flavor to it.  I am thrilled to be able to celebrate her and this book today on the blog!  I mean from her author photo she can rock a red lip like no other so of course we already know she is super fabulous 😉

 

Cover Image- Family Next Door

via Amazon ~

America’s next favorite Australian author!

“With jaw-dropping discoveries and realistic consequences, this novel is not to be missed. Perfect for lovers of Big Little Lies.” ―Library Journal, starred review

Small, perfect towns often hold the deepest secrets.

From the outside, Essie’s life looks idyllic: a loving husband, a beautiful house in a good neighborhood, and a nearby mother who dotes on her grandchildren. But few of Essie’s friends know her secret shame: that in a moment of maternal despair, she once walked away from her newborn, asleep in her carriage in a park. Disaster was avoided and Essie got better, but she still fears what lurks inside her, even as her daughter gets older and she has a second baby.

When a new woman named Isabelle moves in next door to Essie, she is an immediate object of curiosity in the neighborhood. Why single, when everyone else is married with children? Why renting, when everyone else owns? What mysterious job does she have? And why is she so fascinated with Essie? As the two women grow closer and Essie’s friends voice their disapproval, it starts to become clear that Isabelle’s choice of neighborhood was no accident. And that her presence threatens to bring shocking secrets to light.

The Family Next Door is Sally Hepworth at her very best: at once a deeply moving portrait of family drama and a compelling suburban mystery that will keep you hooked until the very last page.

Bag

What is your bag of choice?

A tote! Currently I’m carrying a tote made of white neoprene (wetsuit material), that I love because it is machine washable, and fits all my stuff–currently my laptop, my planner, my wallet, a pencil case, phone, a novel, sunglasses, sunscreen, a set of headphones and about 27 pens. The tote is a brand called Punch, and I was gifted it for Christmas. I will use it every day until it falls apart and then immediately order another.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

Red lipstick, red lipstick and more red lipstick. Did I mention red lipstick? I have no beauty picks because there is nothing else one actually needs.

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

I’ve always thought of sunscreen as the best possible beauty product and I always carry that. But that’s it! I put on my long-last red lippy in the morning, but I don’t re-apply it, or any other make up during the day, or carry anything with me.

What are you currently reading?

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F#*k. It’s really, really good. I recently finished The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain (which I adored) and highly recommend.

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

I live in Australia and would look like my purse (if it were leather), if I didn’t carry sunscreen with me and constantly reapply it. And a hat! You will usually find both in my bag!

Sally Hepworth Headshot_highest res_credit Mrs. Smart Photography

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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.

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.

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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.

Not Perfect_300dpi.jpg

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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