COVER REVEAL: Nicole Waggoner’s The Act

OMG!  Happy Friday!  I am so excited to be able to share the new, absolutely stunning cover to The Act, the follow-up to Nicole Waggoner’s Center Ring, both part of The Circus of Women Triology.

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How beautiful is this cover?  Nicole is one of the most fabulous and sweetest author’s I know (via social media) and has gotten wonderful accolades for Center Ring.  Personally I think it would make a the perfect holiday gift 🙂  Stay tuned to the blog for a fun book and beauty giveaway featuring The Act!  You might just be a lucky winner who gets an early sneak peek!

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Strong is the New Beautiful by Lindsey Vonn

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Nowadays we are encouraging and seeing so many STRONG WOMEN!  Whether it be politics :), careers, education, the list goes on- we are seeing so many amazing females supporting and praising one another.  One thing that is always in the media is body image.  Raising a daughter of my own, I am always conscious about this topic.  More and more celebrities, sports figures and designers are coming forth embracing all sizes and shapes.  It’s so refreshing to see that a size o or 2 is not the norm and that we are all beautiful in our own way.  I was so excited to receive a copy of Lindsey Vonn‘s new book, Strong is the New Beautiful.  An Olympic athlete, role model for girls and stunning women she writes a part memoir, part food guide and exercise manual that is all about empowering women.  I loved this book so much and will continue to use this as a reference for healthy choices, inspiration and motivation as I come off my maternity leave.  I am always looking for ways to improve my eating and make exercise fun.  What I love about this book most was Vonn shares her favorite recipes, workouts, playlist and go-to everyday routines as well as opening herself up to the personal struggles she endured to get where she is today.

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I am excited to try some of her recipes as well as incorporate her work out favorites into my exercise regime.  If you are looking for an empowering read from a kick-ass women this is it! I also recommend this book as a great gift for teen girls as Vonn shares so many positive messages about body image and self-esteem.  This book is the epitome of a BLISSFUL read.  Enjoy and stay strong and beautiful!

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via Goodreads ~

Lessons in strength, fitness, food, and attitude from the popular world champion skier and beauty icon—Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn.

Olympic Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn wants women to stop thinking about “losing weight fast,” and instead focus on loving their bodies for what they are and what they can do. Lindsey is a small-town Minnesota girl at heart turned world-champion skier, but that didn’t come without hard work. In Strong Is the New Beautiful, Lindsey lays out the never-before-seen training routines and her overall philosophy that have helped her become the best female skier in the world—tailored for women of all shapes and sizes. Lindsey backs up her fitness program with advice on what to eat and how to work out, and kicks readers into high-gear, helping bolster their self-confidence and build a better body image, with the tips and tricks she’s learned as a pro.

This is Lindsey’s regimen, and she encourages people to take from it what will work for them. She bounced back from injury not by doing every single thing a trainer said, but instead, by thinking about the fitness plan that would work for her, and eating the right foods that would make her feel and get healthy. In Strong Is the New Beautiful, she interweaves her training and diet regimen with compelling stories of her life growing up in the heartland, her love of skiing, the challenges she’s faced—including injuries, illness, and depression—and her secrets to wellness, fitness, and recovery.

Supported by cutting-edge science and the latest studies on health and exercise, filled with routines even those hitting the bunny hill of working out can master, and illustrated with dozens of workout shots and photos from Lindsey’s own collection, Strong Is the New Beautiful will inspire and motivate you–whether you’re an aspiring athlete, want to get back into shape, or are eager to up your game—to make your body stronger than ever before, inside and out.
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Thanks to Harper Collins for sending a copy for review.

BLISS and BEAUTY giveaway! featuring Bliss by Shay Mitchell and Michaela Blaney

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I am a HUGE Pretty Little Liars fan so of course I was thrilled to see one of the stars, Shay Mitchell, write a book.  Not only that but it was titled Bliss, I am a little partial to that word 😉  Shay co-wrote the book with her bestie Michaela Blaney,which when writing with a friend always makes for a dishy read.  I am so thrilled to be able to giveaway two copies of the book, now out in paperback, one for you and one for YOUR bestie as well as a beauty treat for you both!  Just comment below on this post- tell me what you love about your bestie 🙂 AND follow me on Facebook or Instagram!  Winner will be picked next week and is open to US residents only. Happy, bliss-filled reading and good luck! xo

About the book via Goodreads ~

Sophia Marcus, 21, has already mapped out every aspect of her glamorous life as a Hollywood actor on her vision board. But her life right now in Toronto is anything but exciting. Attending fruitless auditions during the day and working at a douche-y club at night, Sophia is starting to feel like she’s going nowhere…slowly.

Demi Michaels, Sophia’s best friend, didn’t go to college after high school. Short of ideas for her own future, she puts her energy into building the perfect relationship with an older man. And when that relationship crashes and burns, Demi is left to pick up the pieces.

Sophia’s friend (and Demi’s frenemy) Leandra Hunting doesn’t give a crap about hard work or a loving relationship. She has other plans for her future. After college graduation, Leandra sets out to travel the world in the yachts, planes and limos of ridiculously wealthy men. Will any of them be able to show her what love really means–if she can take off her Chanel sunglasses long enough to see it?

Set in the exotic, intoxicating worlds of Hollywood, Thailand, and London, Bliss paints a relatable portrait of life in your early twenties with equal parts optimism and fear, hope and disappointment, expectation and reality. It’s the Age of Uncertainty when you can count on nothing, but, if you’re lucky enough to have one truly great friend, you can survive just about anything.

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Shay Mitchell (right):

SHAY MITCHELL, 28, is a Canadian actress and star of the ABC family drama Pretty Little Liars. In addition to acting and running her lifestyle blog amoreandvita.com, Shay works with the Free the Children Foundation, an organization that fights exploitation of children around the world; The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention organization, and the NOH8 Campaign for marriage and gender equality.

Michaela Blaney (left):

MICHAELA BLANEY, 28, is an American and Canadian marketing professional. She is the co-founder of amoreandvita.com, a lifestyle blog with 75,000+ subscribers.

Shay and Michaela both live in LA. Bliss is their first novel.

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*Thanks to St.Martin’s Press for providing copies for the giveaway!

The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis

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The cover alone of The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis sold me.  It’s stunning.  But not only was the cover amazing the story was even better!  This was a wonderful debut book by Davis.  It had some glitz and glamour with a dash of mystery and murder.  Hello perfect read.  If you are looking for a cozy read this fall this book is IT!  Read on below for my thoughts as well as my “Bliss Chat” with Fiona.  She was gracious enough to answer a few of my questions about this wonderful book and fabulous setting of the Barbizon Hotel!

The book centers around Darby who is a new NYC resident in the 1950’s wanting to make a life for herself and lives at the Barbizon Hotel.  A women’s only residence, where the girls are trying to make a living and stand on their own two feet.  Starting off on the wrong foot, Darby befriends Esme, a risky maid who is a jazz singer by night.  Engulfed in the beauty and excitement of the city Darby is influenced by Esme to take chances she normally wouldn’t take.  Fast forward to Rose, prest day, who now lives in what was the Barbizon.  Fascinated by a woman whose face is covered and scarred she decides to investigate who she is and what her story is.  The woman is not one to talk so Rose has to piece together the puzzle by talking with other residents of the Barbizon.  The mystery starts to unfold and Davis captures the essence of this magical hotel all the while hooking the reader in a murder-mystery.

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Bliss Chat with Fiona Davis

1.The Barbizon is so glamorous and magical.  What drew you to this location for the book?

For decades, the Barbizon Hotel for Women was the go-to residence for cultured young ladies to live while they worked or studied in New York City. Many ex-guests went on to great fame, including Grace Kelly, Joan Crawford, Sylvia Plath, and Liza Minnelli, as well as writers like Eudora Welty and Joan Didion. When it went condo in 2005, a dozen or so of the long-time residents of the hotel still living there were moved into rent-controlled apartments on the fourth floor. It occurred to me that the building would make a great setting for a novel, with an interesting mix of old-school glamour and modern luxury.

 2. What did you do in terms of research for the book?  Did you talk with anyone that resided there or worked there?

I read through old issues of women’s magazines from the early 1950s to get an idea of what life was like back then, and was drawn into the fashions, the expectations, and the political climate. I also interviewed a number of women who’d live in the hotel in the 50s and 60s to find out what it was like. I learned all kinds of gems, including the fact that although men weren’t allowed beyond the public areas (even the elevator operators were female), the guests snuck them up all the time.

3. I love that it was a murder mystery mixed with fabulous female characters.  What drew you to this idea?

I adore a great mystery – Agatha Christie hooked me as a kid and today I’m drawn to the suspenseful plots of authors like Clare Mackintosh and Tana French. So I made the modern-day heroine a journalist, who starts digging into a tragedy that involved one of the fourth-floor residents back in 1952. The interweaving of the clues and red herrings made my head spin at times, but I enjoyed every minute.

 4. I know you were an actress which is so fabulous!  Can you tell us a little more about that and did that life have a little inspiration in your book as so many actresses frequented The Barbizon?

I had a wonderful time in my twenties acting in New York City, as I was lucky enough to get involved with a theater company that put on masterful shows by playwrights like Jean Genet and Shakespeare. For the book, I wanted to describe what it’s like to step out on a stage in front of an audience. Instead of acting, I used the setting of a downtown jazz club and made my 1952 heroine, Darby, get up and sing. I think that was one of my favorite scenes to write and edit.

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

I have a great home office, but when I need to avoid distractions, I head to the New York Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. There’s something about the long walk across the plaza, past the Henry Moore sculpture, that settles my head and puts me in the right frame of mind to crank out a scene or two.

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

A massage once a month, a glass of Chardonnay after a long day of writing, and a morning run in the park with my best friend.

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

Road trip! I’m wrapping up the first draft of my next book, and plan on heading to Cape Cod for a fall weekend with friends. Can’t wait.

 8. What was the last book that you read?

I mentor a sixth-grader who introduced me to Newbery Medal-winner The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, by Christopher Paul Curtis. It describes a fictional family in 1963, when a bomb in the Sixteenth Avenue Baptist Church killed four girls, and is an uncanny depiction of family dynamics, as well as heartbreaking.

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

Violets are Blue Facial Serum, which is great for transitioning from summer to fall; Fresh Sugar lip gloss in petal; and Kerastase V.I.P. Volume in Powder, which makes my baby-fine hair look way thicker than it actually is.

 10. Are you looking forward to any books that are coming out in 2016/17?

You bet: Zadie Smith’s Swing Time (out in November), Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel (December) Jamie Brenner’s The Forever Summer (April 2017)

 

 

GIVEAWAY ~ A Sparking Novel and Dazzling Manicure

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Hi book beauties!  I am back with another amazing novel and beauty giveaway.  This week I am so excited to be able to feature Hazel Gaynor’s new book The Girl From Savoy as well as the perfect kit to a flawless summer manicure from Julep.  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Head over to my Instagram page to see how to enter!  Good luck 🙂

 

The Girl From Savoy by Hazel Gaynor via Goodreads

Presenting a dazzling new historical novel … The Girl From The Savoy is as sparkling as champagne and as thrilling as the era itself.

Sometimes life gives you cotton stockings. Sometimes it gives you a Chanel gown …

Dolly Lane is a dreamer; a downtrodden maid who longs to dance on the London stage, but her life has been fractured by the Great War. Memories of the soldier she loved, of secret shame and profound loss, by turns pull her back and spur her on to make a better life.

When she finds employment as a chambermaid at London’s grandest hotel, The Savoy, Dolly takes a step closer to the glittering lives of the Bright Young Things who thrive on champagne, jazz and rebellion. Right now, she must exist on the fringes of power, wealth and glamor—she must remain invisible and unimportant.

But her fortunes take an unexpected turn when she responds to a struggling songwriter’s advertisement for a ‘muse’ and finds herself thrust into London’s exhilarating theatre scene and into the lives of celebrated actress, Loretta May, and her brother, Perry. Loretta and Perry may have the life Dolly aspires to, but they too are searching for something.

Now, at the precipice of the life she has and the one she longs for, the girl from The Savoy must make difficult choices: between two men; between two classes, between everything she knows and everything she dreams of. A brighter future is tantalizingly close—but can a girl like Dolly ever truly leave her past behind?

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I have 3 beautiful polish shades as well as some tools to perfect the most amazing manicure thanks to Julep!

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Welcome to Julep

We believe everyday looks and trying new trends should be easy, effortless, and inspiring—reinforcing founder Jane Park’s philosophy that beauty should do more than make you look good, it should make you feel good, too.

A *HOT* Summer Read and a *BEAUTY* Giveaway

Summer: perfect beach read and stunning mani/pedi, sounds good to me!  I am here to deliver readers.  Not only do I have a HOT summer read (also recommend by Reese Witherspoon) but I also have the perfect mani/pedi set from Julep.  Up first is Kimberly McCreight’s newest, The Outliers.  Already optioned by Reese Witherspoon’s production company, this book has been getting high praises!

via Goodreads

The Outliers

Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself.

This time it’s different, though. Instead of telling Wylie where she is, Cassie sends cryptic clues. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie sent him to help. Trusting the guy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice: she has to ignore her gut instinct and go with him.

But figuring out where Cassie is goes from difficult to dangerous, fast. As Wylie and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine, Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is really wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? And could finding her be only the beginning?

 

Kimberly McCreight by Beowulf Sheehan

The writer Kimberly McCreight (USA), photographed June 12, 2014, New York, New York. Photograph © Beowulf Sheehan mail@beowulfsheehan.com.

 

via Reese Witherspoon’s Instagram

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“I could not put down this thriller by Kimberly McCreight about a teenage girl who sets off on a mission to save her best friend, uncovering secrets and betrayal as she slowly realizes something more sinister is at work … 😱 #TheOutliers #RWBookClub#Thriller

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I am also so excited to be able to giveaway some amazing mani/pedi tools and shades to one lucky follower pas well as a copy of The Outliers.  To enter, open to US residents only, just head over to my Instagram and FOLLOW me and comment on the post there or here.

 

A little about Julep’s founder Jane Park.

“I started Julep with a vision that beauty can be
a fun and fearless experience for all women.
Whether your look is big and loud, or quietly proud,
all that matters is that you’re trying it. And having fun with it!”

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Fabulous Book and Beauty Giveaway with The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

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In celebration of one of my MOST favorite 2015 releases, The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza, I am giving away a  brand new copy of the book and the new Lengthening Mascara by Beautycounter.  Both released this past week!  Almost one year ago I posted my love for the book and its hard cover release.  I am reposting that post for you to see how much I adored Imogen and the world of The Knockoff.  Basically the perfect beach read if there ever was one.  I also am so excited about this new, amazing mascara from Beautycounter that was years in the making!  It truly works and provides lush, long lashes.  Both up for grabs for all my blissful readers.  To see how to enter please head over to my Facebook page here and you can find all the rules!

 

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Originally Posted June 5, 2015

I just finished The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza and I DID. NOT. WANT. IT. TO. END! 😦  It was the exact thing I needed since The Devil Wears Prada!  Please oh please let there be a sequel!  This was another debut novel for me and I was so, completely in love with this book!  The plot, the characters and the fashion will have you flipping the pages at lightening speed.  This book also marks the first in my “Blissful Beach Bag” picks!

The story centers around Imogen who is the head of Glossy magazine, a fabulous high fashion magazine in New york City.  Imogen is returning back to work after leaving on medical leave due to cancer.  Upon her return her former assistant Eve is at the forefront, ready to take Glossy into the digital and tech age.  Imogen, open to the possibility and change for the magazine, is taken aback by Eve and the woman she has become.  Eve who was her perky, fun assistant is now a snarky, condescending, “B-School” grad who is heading up the digital change for the magazine.  A seasoned fashion and magazine professional, Imogen is thrown into the world of Tweets and Facebook posts, something she doesn’t really know much about.  This is exactly the achilles heel Eve is looking for.  Imogen looks like the novice as Eve takes the lead and turns Glossy into a fashion and magazine nightmare.  Luckily for Imogen, her years of the fashion world come to her rescue when she needs them most.

Sykes and Piazza take you into a world of tech and fashion- two things that are always on the rise.  I loved Imogen from the start and was #teamImogen the whole way through.  I love books that have a heroine at the center who you are cheering for at every word.  I also loved the theme of career and family and creating balance, something most woman deal with.  It is not easy but at the end of the day you do what is best for you and your family and right there you are successful.  I am hoping either for a sequel to this book or promise that Sykes and Piazza will team up again.  They are the perfect duo to kick off beach season and my “Blissful Beach Bag” picks!  Happy BEACH reading!

 

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From Beautycounter:

Years in the making, our breakthrough mascara delivers dramatic length and definition, plus the confidence of safer beauty provided by our unparalleled Ingredient Selection Process. Conditions lashes while you wear it, with organic oils and shea butter. The easy-control precision brush ensures clean application without smudging, clumping, or flaking. Color: soft black.

Women aged 26-59 experienced the following:

  • 94% reported defined and lengthened lashes
  • 97% reported mascara was easily buildable
  • 94% reported mascara did not clump on lashes
  • 94% reported mascara gave lashes ultimate definition
  • 91% reported would refer mascara to a friend

*Results based on a self-assessment consumer perception study of 32 women, immediately after first application.

 

*Thanks to Anchor books for providing a copy for giveaway.