What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Camille Di Maio

A long weekend is coming and what better to celebrate than lots of fun authors sharing their gorgeous bags!  To kick off this celebration I have the lovely Camille Di Maio, author of Before the Rain Falls, out now.  Di Maio, not only a beautiful fiction author, was a former real estate agent who left her career in the field to write full time, a choice that is so wonderful for us as readers 🙂  This latest novel intertwines the past, the present, family and love  so perfectly.  It’s sure to be a 2017 hit!

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via Amazon ~

After serving seventy years in prison for the murder of her sister, Eula, Della Lee has finally returned home to the Texas town of Puerto Pesar. She’s free from confinement—and ready to tell her secrets before it’s too late.

She finds a willing audience in journalist Mick Anders, who is reeling after his suspension from a Boston newspaper and in town, reluctantly, to investigate a mysterious portrait of Eula that reportedly sheds tears. He crosses paths with Dr. Paloma Vega, who’s visiting Puerto Pesar with her own mission: to take care of her ailing grandmother and to rescue her rebellious younger sister before something terrible happens. Paloma and Mick have their reasons to be in the hot, parched border town whose name translates as “Port of Regret.” But they don’t anticipate how their lives will be changed forever.

Moving and engrossing, this dual story alternates between Della’s dark ordeals of the 1940s and Paloma and Mick’s present-day search for answers―about roots, family, love, and what is truly important in life.

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

I have been gravitating toward backpacks for a few reasons. They keep my hands free for the all-important tasks of holding hot coffee and wrangling children. I can also carry my laptop in them so that I can write at a moment’s notice. My favorite one is by Orla Kiely. I found it at an airport shop in Belfast Northern Ireland as I waited for a flight to Liverpool. I love its coated canvas material, it’s striking colors, and its ideal size. It’s not a brand often seen in the US, so I also love how unique it is!

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

If I had to choose only one kind of makeup for the rest of my life, it would be mascara.  Loreal is my favorite brand – I get so many compliments on my lashes!  I like Kat Von D liquid eyeliner in blue, which makes my eyes stand out. Erase Paste by Benefit is awesome for the inevitable dark circles and blemishes.  My daughter recently introduced me to beauty blenders and I’m wondering how I went so long without them!  I also keep a spare pare of contact lenses just in case I lose one – I would be lost without them!

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

I have a great little Longchamp bag that is ideal for carrying around mints, lipstick, hair ties, and lipstick. I also like to include one of those round pop-up hair brushes for quick touch-ups.  I have long hair, so it’s a must!

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading an early copy of THE WEIGHT OF LIES by Emily Carpenter on my Kindle. It’s amazing Southern Gothic suspense.  I don’t normally read that genre, but this book might make me a convert.  My Kindle is a must-have piece in my bag.  I use ever spare minute to read. A five-minute wait in a grocery store line can get me through several pages!

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

I always carry pens, business cards with pictures of my books on them, and chocolate lollipops from See’s Candies.  The lollipops are long-lasting and satisfy frequent chocolate cravings!  Of course, my cell phone might as well be surgically attached.  My favorite feature is the camera and I’m amazed at the picture quality that can come from such a small device!  In another life, I would have been a photographer, so I love always having that at the ready.  I do have a super-ugly, utilitarian case, because I broke the glass too many times with the cute ones.

 

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Follow Camille:

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*Many thanks to Camille for chatting with us today!

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Michelle Gable

Coming off Mother’s Day weekend I thought it was fitting to feature a fabulous female author who also is a mom.  Michelle Gable captured me as a fan with her 2016 release I’ll See You in Paris (just releases in paperback!).  I loved her rich, intricate stories and ability to take me away through her writing.  Fast forward to today and her latest release, The Book of Summer.  Can we say beach reading at it’s finest?  This is sure to be a hit and I can’t wait to jump in and enjoy with the sand between my toes and the smell of sweet, salt air.  I was so thrilled Michelle wanted to join in on the books and beauty and share her bag with me.

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via Amazon

The ocean, the wild roses on the dunes and the stunning Cliff House, perched atop a bluff in Sconset, Nantucket. Inside the faded pages of the Cliff House guest book live the spellbinding stories of its female inhabitants: from Ruby, a bright-eyed newlywed on the eve of World War II to her granddaughter Bess, who returns to the beautiful summer estate.

For the first time in four years, physician Bess Codman visits the compound her great-grandparents built almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea. Bess must now put aside her complicated memories in order to pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave. It’s not just memories of her family home Bess must face though, but also an old love that might hold new possibilities.

In the midst of packing Bess rediscovers the forgotten family guest book. Bess’s grandmother and primary keeper of the book, Ruby, always said Cliff House was a house of women, and by the very last day of the very last summer at Cliff House, Bess will understand the truth of her grandmother’s words in ways she never imagined.

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I’m a purse girl, but my favorite is the Longchamp “Le Pliage” nylon tote in navy, because when in doubt, navy blue. What I love about this bag, other than its size, is that it’s not too fancy for the softball fields (my daughters play year-round), but it’s still appropriate if I don’t have time to swap it out before meeting my tennis buddies at The Wine Loft.

In my tote is a spiral notebook (I write all my first drafts in pencil) and whatever book I’m reading at the time, which is currently All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg. Right now I’m trying to finish my fourth novel and whenever I’m deep in a draft, I’m a very distracted, impatient, and critical reader. Attenberg’s latest is the perfect antidote to my frazzled mind. It’s hilarious, fast, smartly written, and brimming with heart. As I’ve said to my girls a hundred times: “always bring a book with you.”

Almost important as reading and writing material are my sunglasses and hat (or visor) to protect against the San Diego sun. The current version is red, to match my girls’ team color and also because I had to burn all of my Chargers gear when they betrayed me by moving to Los Angeles. I also must carry snacks (personal favorite: RX Bars) because I’m always hungry.

Inside my tote is a fun, black and gold pouch—a Target find—which holds the rest of my essentials, including pencils for writing, sharpies for book signing, a Tide To Go pen, earbuds, and aspirin for air travel, a necessity due to my history with blood clots. My Shiseido sun protection stick and Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm in Zinnia or Red Dahlia are all the makeup I need on hectic days, or while traveling.

My skin gets oily by the end of the day so I’m a fan of blotting papers, but a toilet seat cover works just as well (seriously!) Pro tip: blot while still in the stall otherwise a coworker might find you standing at the sink, rubbing a seat cover all over your face. She will in no way believe this is a legitimate “beauty hack.”

Now, I know what you’re thinking and I’m also curious as to why a long-haired writer who plays tennis, works out daily, and attends multiple sporting events per week has exactly no brush or hair ties in her bag. Apparently, in addition to being softball and volleyball players, my daughters are also thieves.

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❤ Thanks Michelle for sharing your bag with us and taking the time to chat!

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Jamie Brenner

Jamie Brenner is not only a fabulous author but she is a former beauty insider as well who shares the same love for beauty products, so basically my kind of gal.  I am currently reading and loving her newest, The Forever Summer, OUT TODAY!  It is the perfect “Pre-Summer” book cocktail.  I mean the cover alone is stunning and makes me long for salty beach hair and a golden tan.  I was thrilled when Jamie shared her chic black tote that has some amazing beauty products and believe me you will want to listen to her beauty recommendations as she is an expert ❤

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via Amazon

Marin Bishop has always played by the rules, and it’s paid off: on the cusp of thirty she has a handsome fiancé, a prestigious Manhattan legal career, and her father’s hard-won admiration. But with one careless mistake at work, Marin suddenly finds herself unemployed and alone. Before she can summon the courage to tell her parents, a young woman appears, claiming to be Marin’s half-sister. Seeking answers, Marin agrees to join her on a soul-searching journey to Cape Cod, to meet the family she didn’t even know she had.

As the summer unfolds at her grandmother’s beachside B&B, it becomes clear that her half-sister’s existence is just the first in a series of truths that will shake Marin’s beliefs–in love, and in her own identity–to the core. Filled with shocking revelations, heartfelt romance, and resilient women banding together against the most unexpected twists of fate, THE FOREVER SUMMER is an emotionally resonant page-turner, and a delicious escape for any season.

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What is your bag of choice?

I always carry a purse. I found an amazing Cleo & Patek bag on sale in SoHo and it’s huge and easily fits all of my beauty products, laptop, and a book. I don’t like changing bags so I will carry the same bag every day and night endlessly unless I’m going somewhere really fancy and I’m forced to switch to an evening bag that is inevitably too small. And every time I switch bags I forget to bring something I need.

 

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

Laura Mercier matte translucent powder

Trish McAvoy gel eyeliner in Deep Aubergine

Nars lipstick in Shanghai Express

Organic lip balm from Violets Are Blue.

Zoya nail polish because it’s free of the harsher chemicals in other brands.

 

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

I always carry my The Forever Summer cosmetics bag, of course! And it’s filled with enough make-up to cover the “What if” occurrence of getting caught in rains storm, all make-up washed away, and I have to start over from scratch. This has, of yet, never happened. But I believe in being prepared. So, I have my concealer, eyeliner, lipstick and translucent powder at all times. And moisturizer. And lip balm.

 

What are you currently reading?

An early copy of The Awkward Age by Francesca Segal and a biography of Peggy Guggenheim

 

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

I always have a hat. In the winter, it’s a knit hat from Free People. (And by winter, I mean any day under forty-five degrees.) In the summer, I carry a baseball hat to shield my face from the sun. Also in the summer I have this little fan device that plugs into my iPhone. It’s a lifesaver when stuck on a subway car with broken air-conditioning ☺

 

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Follow Jamie here:

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Instagram ~ @JamieBrennerAuthor

 

*Thanks Jamie for the wonderful interview 🙂

*Guest Blogger Carilyn Platt for Bookworming Tonight*~ Results May Vary by Bethany Chase

As I am still caught up in all things newborn my TBR list is moving at a snail’s pace.  Thankfully I have my book-sister from another mister 🙂 Carilyn Platt from Bookworming Tonight who has the same exact taste in books as me and just an all around amazing gal!  I am so LUCKY to have her guest blog for me today as there are some books I want to give some love too before summer comes to a close!  If you have yet to check out her blog then you are missing out!  She frequently posts about the hottest reads and is always on point with her reviews.  She read Results May Vary by the fabulous Bethany Chase and shared her love for the book and thoughts below!  This is Chase’s second novel and once again is getting amazing praise.  Chase was called “a great new voice in fiction” by Emily Giffin.  If Ms. Giffin gives her stamp of approval then you know Chase is in a class of her own 😉

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Results May Vary by Bethany Chase 

 

First let me just say how honored I am to be guest-blogging for one of my favorite book bloggers. She is on maternity leave, and naturally still reading, but I know she needs a rest and nothing makes me happier than to help her out as a reading assistant.

I read Bethany Chase’s RESULTS MAY VARY and it was full of twists and turns. And, scandal, in-laws, sisters, not so much parents, romance, and, work, work, work. The novel opens with Caroline, a curator at an art museum, who is at a photographer’s gallery opening, with her husband and as she is admiring one of his pieces, she gasps as she recognizes that one of the subjects in an image is none other than her husband – in a comprising position with another man.

The story follows Caroline as her life unravels, how can she trust her husband, how she leans on her best friend, a guy who she went to college with, sharing the information with her younger sister, colleagues and what next. Where there is one lie, perhaps there are others. Who can she trust.

Does art imitate life? An artist friend’s work seems to mimic what is going on in Caroline’s life and the world around her. Have we all been in a maze at some point, trying to find our way?

Words of wisdom learned on the internet from the character you least expect it: “People can only give you what they have.” I hope this is not a spoiler and you will forget this as soon as you read it and most definitely before you start the book. It will absolutely be a takeaway after you read the book.

I love a novel that is intricately woven and you can’t wait to turn the next page because you are so invested in each character and can’t wait to find out what they are going to do next. While there is heartbreak in RESULTS MAY VARY there is also hope.

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Bethany Chase

 

About Carilyn Platt:

For the Love of Bookworms

By day, I’m a publicist, a mom and a wife. By night, I’m a mom and a wife, and a bookworm too. I look forward to sharing my love of books with you, sweet book lovers. When you find an eye cream or a terrific concealer, please do let me know, because these dark circles are getting harder to cover up. The books just keep getting better and sometimes, this bookworm can’t put her books down to get enough sleep. I know, I know. 

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Thanks so much Carilyn for taking the time to stop by Bliss, Beauty and Books !  Stay tuned readers as Ms. Bookworming Tonight will be guest blogging again and please visit her page and show her some bookish love!

 

 

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware ~ “Beach Bites”

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Another quick post from me about an absolutely creepy thriller that kept me turning the pages even though I am completely sleep deprived 🙂  Ruth Ware, author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, took me to sea in The Woman In Cabin 10.  A cruise trip gone wrong for the main character Lo.  She is sent on assignment onto a gorgeous cruise ship.  While aboard she meets a young woman who is in the cabin next door.  She needs a quick beauty rescue and has quite an abrupt interaction with this woman which seemed odd to Lo.  That evening she hears a thud and sees a blood stain on the side of the boat.  When she goes to see if everything is ok with her neighbor she discovers she is gone.  As the book develops Lo is tested as the rest of the ship never recalls seeing this women making Lo as well as everyone else question her sanity.  But she is sure she this woman exists and will stop at nothing to prove it.

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This book, like Ware’s debut, is a phenomenal thriller.  Ware is excellent at what she does and how she captures the essence of a good mystery is on point.  I highly suggest both novels as you will become an instant fan of hers.  What’s even more exciting is In a Dark, Dark Wood is coming to the big screen!  Not only do I love a good thriller but I love a thriller motion picture even more!

*Thanks to Gallery Books for sending a copy for review.

The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen

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As I am counting down the days until my little arrival I have to cram in as many books as I can!  I am SO glad I picked Sarah Pekkanen’s newest, The Perfect Neighbors.  Reminiscent of Desperate Housewives, one of my favorite shows, the book is the perfect blend of drama, mystery, gossip and friendship.  The best type of summer read that you can’t put down, The Perfect Neighbors is my “Poolside Pick” for this week!

The book takes place in beautiful Newport Cove, a picture perfect neighborhood where the sun is always shining and neighbors are there to help one another.  Kelli is a newly working mom, who stayed at home for years with her kids, and is now in real estate.  Wanting to feel appreciated and beautiful she starts to take to her boss who is handsome and reciprocates this little work crush.  Gigi is a mom of two girls where one is on the outs with her, typical teenage behavior.  She wants to rekindle the relationship they once had but she can’t do it alone as her husband is running for Congress and he is always tied up.  Tessa, the newest neighbor to move to the Cove is friendly enough but always on edge as she is running from something with a secret in her back pocket.  Looking for a fresh start, Tessa isn’t sure how much longer she can fool everyone into thinking she is leading a perfect life.  But who really is?  A picture perfect setting and life behind close doors can be anything you want it to be or can it?

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Pekkanen’s latest is a page-turning, delicious book that kept me guessing each chapter.  The scene she set and the characters she created were intriguing and mysterious.  I love a dishy read with an almost thriller type twist and Pekkanen wrote this perfectly.  I can’t wait to jump into her back catalog and read some of her other novels because if it is anything like this book then it is sure to be fantastic.  Absolutely add this one to to your summer list, you won’t regret it!

 

*Thanks to Atria books for sending Bliss, Beauty and Books a review copy.

 

 

Bliss Chat with Allison Winn Scotch

I was so fortunate enough to be able to ask the fabulous Allison Winn Scotch a few questions about In Twenty Years (see last weeks post).  It was my “Poolside Pick” of the week and a fabulous 2016 read.  See below for what she said about her college years as well as some fun facts about herself!

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Bliss Chat with Allison Winn Scotch

  1. I know your years at Penn played a big part in this book.  Are any of the characters or experiences based on real event or people?

Nope! I promise! I had to swear the same thing to a few of my friends too. None of the characters are at all like any of the people I knew there…for me, personally, it’s much harder to cull from real life than it is to make up new worlds and people entirely, so really, I very rarely write based on people or my own experiences. There are certainly some cultural references – like, yes, we did all dance to Prince on the jukebox at our local bar – and things like that, but nothing else is true.

 

  1. There are so many amazing characters in the book.  Who was your favorite to develop?  What storyline challenged you the most?

My favorite to write was probably Lindy. I know that she’s a polarizing character for some readers but for all the reasons she is complicated, that’s why I loved writing her. I struggle much more with characters who aren’t deeply flawed because working through those flaws are really what interests me as a writer…and as a person! To be honest, I didn’t realize how polarizing she would be, because I have so much love for her, until I heard from a few readers. As far as the storyline that challenged me most, it was probably Catherine’s: without giving too much away, I had to find the right balance between her believing that she was a “fraud,” and her actually being one.   

 

  1. What was your most favorite part of your college experience?  Least favorite?

I think, looking back, it was just that moment in time when everything felt possible, if that makes sense. Obviously the freedoms that come with no longer living at home and for me, at least, getting my crap together…in high school, I was a pretty good student but I didn’t work as hard as I should have. In college, I learned what it meant to self-motivate and take ownership not just of my work but of my relationships and friendships and all of that. I felt, as these characters did, invincible. My least favorite? Hmmm, I had a lot of romantic ups and downs, and I remember by my senior year, really feeling a bit claustrophobic and being ready to move on to something new. Though, looking back, I really do idealize those four years and mostly remember them with nothing but fondness.

 

  1. What would be your advice or thoughts to your own children about their college experience when the time comes?

Gosh, I just want them to find the school and place that makes them happy, that allows them to explore all aspects of themselves so that they can become fully-formed individuals. I really believe in giving my kids freedom and independence, so I hope that by the time they hit college, they’ll be able to truly take flight, whether it’s by studying abroad or pursuing an unexpected major or…just whatever seems to light their fire.

 

  1. As a writer, where is your favorite place to write?

Boring answer, but it’s my home office. I am SUCH a creature of habit, and I really struggle to write anywhere else. My office has these beautiful high ceilings and huge bay windows and my dogs like to come in and snuggle at my feet. It’s just the right fit to motivate me.

 

  1. Name 3 blissful things that you can’t live without?

My children (obviously!), my bed (splurge on nice sheets, it makes all the difference!!), my coffeemaker (nothing fancy but it’s still my favorite way to start the morning).

 

  1. What is the first thing you do when you complete a book?

Probably tweet about it! LOL. That or immediately email it to my agent. I like to just get it off my desk and send it out into the world so it’s someone else’s thing to deal with. I am very much an “out of sight, out of mind,” person, so I like to put it out of mind for a while and just be relieved that it’s complete.

 

  1. What was the last book that you read?

I have about 30 pages left of Before the Fall: I’ve very much enjoyed it, and as soon as I’m done with this interview, I’m gonna go sink into my couch and finish it.

 

  1. While on tour what is a must-have beauty product in your make-up bag?

A make-up artist friend just turned me on to La Bella Donna products. Their undereye concealer is really fantastic – weightless but completely great coverage. They also have a mineral blush which brings me back from looking half-dead.

 

  1. Are you looking forward to any books that are coming out in 2016?

Well, I think everyone is looking forward to Liane Moriarty’s newest, Truly, Madly, Guilty. That will be up next for me!