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 🙂

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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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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Barbara Taylor Bradford

She is one of the best selling authors around.  Her latest novel to hit her Cavendon Hall series is out now, Secrets of Cavendon.  Barbara Taylor Bradford is British writing royalty and I am thrilled to have her on the blog today.  Her taste in bags is as regal and stunning as she.  Hello Hermes!  I can promise you if love a sweeping, British saga then you will adore the Cavendon Hall series.

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via Amazon ~

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford, comes a striking, breathtaking saga featuring the aristocratic Inghams and the Swann family, who have loyally served them for generations.

It’s the summer of 1949, and things have run smoothly at Cavendon Hall for years, with very few quarrels, dramas, or upsets between the two families. But since the end of World War II, changes have arrived at Cavendon. A new generation is at the helm, and also at the forefront of new scandal and intrigue. With romance, betrayal, heartbreak, and possible murder threatening to tear them apart, the Inghams and Swanns will have to find a way to come together and protect each other in the face of threats they never could have predicted.

Told with Bradford’s inimitable deftness of prose and a beloved cast of characters, Secrets of Cavendon is a captivating novel that will draw readers in and grip them until the very last page.

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

 

I definitely prefer a handbag although I do carry a tote from time to time when I travel. Currently, I’m carrying an Hermès Kelly bag that’s about 15 years old and is burgundy, green, and navy. I have about 12 Kelly bags. I’ve been carrying a Kelly bag long before anyone paid attention.

 

  • What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

 

For perfumes, I love Fracas by Robert Piguet and 24, Faubourg by Hermès.

 

In terms of skincare, Deborah Mitchell Black Bee Venom Mask is great for small wrinkles. I also like Eucerin’s Hyaluron Filler.

 

I like Clinique’s Take the Day Off Cleanser. I also prefer their eye makeup and eye makeup remover.

 

For lipstick, Guerlain.

 

I used Estée Lauder pressed power.

 

I keep a scarf around the handle of my bag like the French.

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

 

Always dark sunglasses (Gucci) and red lipstick (Guerlain)—my armor against the world. The Guerlain lipstick has a mirror, which is great. My Taurus zodiac compact powder by Estée Lauder, which was given to me as a gift by Hollywood journalist Jeanne Wolf (not pictured as it’s with my other makeup currently).

 

A notecard holder with custom stationary and some pens—one is mini Louis Vuitton pen given to me by Kathie Lee Gifford.

 

A leather heart keychain given to me by my husband Bob Bradfrod.

 

Kleenex.

 

A business card holder.

 

Two pouches—one with credit cards and one with money.

 

Reading glasses.

 

I don’t carry any books with me. I do most of my reading at home.

 

My iPhone (not pictured as it’s being charged!)

 

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

I’m currently reading Jack the Ripper by Gyles Brandreth and How to Be a Victorian: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide of Victorian Life by Ruth Goodman. This is for research. My new series takes place in Victorian London.

Back to the Workhouse-Barbara Taylor Bradford

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

BARBARA TAYLOR BRADFORD was born and raised in England where she began her writing career as a journalist. She has written thirty international bestsellers. Secrets of Cavendon is her thirty-second novel. In 2007 Queen Elizabeth awarded her the OBE (Order of the British Empire) for her literary achievements. A Woman of Substance, her first book, has sold more than 32 million copies. She lives in New York with her husband of 54 years, TV and film producer Robert Bradford. Visit barbarataylorbradford.com.  

 

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Open Book ~ Brenda Janowitz

 

open book graphic - white background-13Happy December!  This is a month of bliss with the holidays and spreading cheer!  I am so excited to launch my new feature, “Open Book” on the blog TODAY.  I am always working to create new things for my readers as well as find a way to showcase authors and books in a cool and fun way.  “Open Book” is another way like “What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag?” to learn about authors and the fun stuff we want to know about them.  To me they are celebrities so I am always just as excited as you to read about them and connect.  First up is one of my favorite authors and people.  She is basically the Academy for Books, sharing her book “nominations” lists every season on Popsugar.  Not only does she have amazing taste in books but she is an even more AH-mazing author.  I am so thrilled to have the one, the only ~ BRENDA JANOWITZ kick off my “Open Book” series and believe me you will be dying to have her in your bestie rolodex at the end 😉

 

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

If you’re going to have a celebrity bookclub, the first person you need to invite is Oprah, of course, because she has great taste in books. I’d also love to have Sheryl Sandberg, because I was obsessed with Option B and I just love the way she looks at the world. And speaking of wonderful outlooks on the world, I’d have to have Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I love her books,  I love her worldview, and I’m just crazy about her TED talks. 
Fawning all over each of your guests is totally allowed at this bookclub, right?!
 
2. Current binge series?
Just finished Stranger Things 2 and it was even better than the first season!
 
3. Last favorite book?
 
There are just too many to name! I recently put out my PopSugar Best Winter Reads, so that’s a start:
4. What 3 things do you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Where is it?
It’s usually three books! 
But I also like to have lip balm and sunscreen with me wherever I go. I’d love to fly to Hawaii again— it’s where my husband and I had our honeymoon and I can’t wait to return.
 
5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Both! Does a girl have to choose?!
 
6. Last person you sent a text message to?
My mom.
 
7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. 
8. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer?
I’m not sure if there was just one, but I was always fortunate to have wonderful teachers throughout my education who inspired me, and encouraged me to do the things I dreamed about.
 
9. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?
 
I don’t. I can’t. I get so into the lyrics of the music I’m listening to that I can’t do both.
10. Describe your writing space?
I usually work in my office, on my desktop computer. Writers are always posting pictures of their desks on Instagram, and I always die of jealousy, because mine is a mess. I’d like to say it’s controlled chaos, but it’s not. It’s honestly just a mess! I’ve got notebooks with notes and book ideas, I’ve got advanced copies of books that I’m reading for various PopSugar lists, and I’ve got piles of kid stuff that needs attending to. Not ideal, but it works!
11. Coffee or tea?
Coffee.
 
12. Do you have a favorite book that you gift?
I love giving books as a gift! I tend to gift whatever books have just come out, and I try very hard to fit the right book with the right person.
 
13. Book that you wished they would make a movie out of?
The Inn at Lake Devine by Elinor Lipman. That book is an all time favorite of mine.
 
14. If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why?
Run the World (Girls) by Beyonce 
It’s inspiring, it’s empowering, and it motivates you to tackle your day like a boss. After all, who runs the world? Girls!
 
15. What/Who inspires you?
Everyone I meet and everything I see inspires me in some way. What I write truly reflects what I see in the world, what I think of the world, so nearly everything I touch and that touches me has an effect.
 
16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?
Is there an option for: HELL YEAH!?
 
17. Favorite Instagram account?
I love bookstagram accounts (obvs!) and yours is the best! (Also obvious!)
 
18. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be? 
Ooh! I’m such a sucker for a good lipstick shade. I’m presently obsessed with neutrals, hot pink, and glitter. So, my shade would be a nude base with a shimmer of hot pink. Throw in a touch of glittery shine, and I think we’ve got something special! I’d have to call it: Brave New World. Was there ever a better book title than that?!
19. Current #TBR pile?
Right now, I’m working on my PopSugar Spring Reads list, so it’s all about spring over here!
 
20. Best advice you’ve ever received?
“You fail only if you stop writing.” — Ray Bradbury.
I love this quote because it’s a quote about writing, but it’s also a quote about life.
Brenda Janowitz_credit Hy Goldberg
Dinner Party, The

Beauty and the Small Screen- Fall 2017 ed.

I’ve decided, because Fall TV is such a big event, to list a few of my favorite past and present TV shows that have had some epic beauty moments.  I am a huge TV fan, although I do not have so much time to sit, watch and relax with two little ones- Hello- Netflix, binge watch 🙂  From some oldies to current binge-worthy, I am sharing some of my favorite shows with a favorite fall beauty products that are reminiscent of that show .  Chime in,  in the comments section, for any shows or beauty products that you love or recommend!

Beverly Hills 90210

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From 90’s hair to bold make-up 90210 was a dream for any teen in the 90’s.  I even had a 90210 club ❤

My pick to join the gang at West Bev: a bold red lip- perfect for fall.

Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Color

 

Bobbi Brown new lipstick launch

Credit: Bobbi Brown

 

 

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Let’s face it Mary Richards was everything.  The friend you wanted and the girl you wanted to be.  Hello, “She could turn the world on with her smile!”.

My pick to get your news desk beauty: a smooth black gel eyeliner.

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner

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Pretty Little Liars

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Not only do I love this show but I loved the book series as well.  Not only were the Liars fashion forward but took on some fabulous beauty looks as well.

My pick to be a liar until the end: a nude shimmer highlighter.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector

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Sex and the City

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Hands down one of the best television shows of all time.  Friendship, love, girl power and fashion are just a few of my favorite things about this show.  You could relate to everyone and can re-watch the episodes time and time again.

My pick to accompany your favorite pair of Manolos: a rich navy hue for the perfect mani/pedi.

Essie Dressed to the Nineties

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Friends

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Til’ this day I stop every time I see a repeat.  They never get old and seem to get funnier the second and third time around.  Need I say more?

My pick for Central Perk beauty: Drybar Charcoal Shampoo and Conditioner.

Drybar Clarifying Shampoo and Conditioner

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Saved by the Bell

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I mean how could you not love the gang from Bayside.  One of my first TV memories and still will find myself watching on Hulu or TBS.  What can I say, Zack and Kelly forever!

My pick to be part of Hot Sundae: a cream pink blush.

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge- Pale Pink

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Gossip Girl

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Again not only a fab show but a ridiculously good book series as well.  Team Serena or Team Blair?  Loved them both.

My pick for the Upper East Side crew: the perfect face mask.

Beautycounter No. 2 Plumping Facial Mask

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Dynasty

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Dynasty had it all.  Look at this picture.  What more could you want?  Diamonds, fathers, cat fights and big hair- Dynasty set the bar high for glam and scandal on the small screen.

My pick worth of the Carrington’s- the perfect top coat lip gloss.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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Actually binge watching this now and obsessed.  I now know why it hits all the “Best Shows of all Time” lists.  SMG is everything and her beauty never suffered when she was slaying.

My pick to slay all day: BB cream.

Bobbi Brown BB Cream

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Charlie’s Angels

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Beauty, brains and kick a$$.  Love it all.  Wish we had the girls here now, taking down our current state of affairs.  Charlie for president?

My pick to fight forces: Dry Shampoo

Kristen Ess Style Reviving Dry Shampoo

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag?~ Labor Day ed. ~ Christina Julian, Jo Piazza and Mary Kubica

Back to school is here and I have some wonderful Labor Day picks today!  I was so lucky to have not only ONE but THREE fabulous authors open up their bags.  I have a little something for everyone ~ romance, mystery, non-fiction, humor- this list is endless with these three fabulous authors.  Read on to see for yourself ❤

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via Amazon ~

A hysterical dramedy about a woman unhinged and at a crossroad. “Julian’s debut takes an unabashed look at a failed marriage, divorce, and dating under the scrutiny of a less than supportive family.” –former San Francisco Chronicle columnist, Adair Lara.

Here I am, on my knees in front of the Trevi Fountain, hoping like hell the legend is true. That the fountain gives you solace and love by a mere toss of a coin.

Why am I here, exactly? Let’s see…

It started with my parents telling me to get married. Of course, being the good Catholic girl I am, I did.

Needless to say, that marriage nosedived, and my parents weren’t exactly happy about it.

Newly ditched and shamefully disowned, I decided to follow the advice of Babs, a tart-of-a-mentor, who offered me a job in Colorado.

Her advice? Sex…and lots of it.

The temptation of freedom, to do whatever–whoever–I wanted was too damn strong for me to say no.

And that’s how it all started. The men, the sex, the journey…

The dating bender.

Because everybody deserves a do-over

THE DATING BENDER is a hilarious satire about dysfunctional family relationships, women who love the wrong men, and one epic hunt for happiness.

PurseShot2.JPGWhat is your bag of choice?

This Kate Spade tote is hands down my fav for many reasons. First off because it’s pink. My day instantly brightens with one look. I also like how open and unencumbered it is. You can toss things in and out with ease, which for someone as indecisive as me, is a major score. But perhaps why I love this bag the most is because it’s something I would never buy for myself and was lucky enough to receive as a gift from my sister-in-law—the ultimate designer purse whore. She showed me how the “other” half lives and I have to admit, I like it!

What are your top beauty picks?

As a mother of 3-yr-old twins my beauty regime has gone right out the window, along with my sanity ;0). Cetaphil face cleaner is an essential, it washes away the day and night without drying. When I do wear makeup, which isn’t often, I turn to Estee Lauder BB cream and MAC studio fix, which both smooth out my skin tone and if I’m lucky, mask my sleep deprivation. I absolutely love Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar face cream. It feels like butter and gives my dry skin the lift it needs, especially during the scorching hot summers we get in Calistoga.

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

I’m not so sure this constitutes a beauty product but I’m never without Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer. It feels like someone is always sporting a cold in our house so this is my feeble attempt at damage control. I also love the fab scents. Neutrogena Face & Body Stick w/SPF 70, because when I am not writing I’m outside chasing the wild ones! When I’m mixing with the outside world, I try to slap on some lipstick, which is always MAC, because it has amazing staying power. My go-to shade is “Up the Amp” because this gal needs all the lift she can get. The pinkish/purple tint speaks to the girly-girl in me that never quits. And wipes, lots and lots of baby wipes.

What are you currently reading? 

I’m reading a couple books right now. Allison Winn Scotch’s In 20 Years and Emma Straub’s Modern Lovers. As a 40-something I love the notion of flashing back to my free-bird 20-something self. A time when my biggest quandries of the day amounted to deciding between which bar to hop to and whose lips I hoped to smash into next. The fact that these novels bounce seamlessly between these eras with humor, nostalgia, and more than a hint of sarcasm, have kept me up reading way past my bedtime.

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

A big honking key fob. The twins have taken to pillaging through my purse and stashing my keys in places that not even they can remember, so this helps with the hunt. As a debut author, I always have Dating Bender cards at the ready and never leave home without my iPad mini, just in case inspiration strikes. Or for when belting out the Beatles no longer settles the wee-ones. Then there’s the candy stash. Typically Dove dark chocolate and sour gummy bears. I wish I could say this is how I tame the tots, but the reality is I need the quick energy fix more than they ever could.

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Fitness Junkie

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via Amazon ~

Fitness Junkie

A Good Morning America Summer Must-Read! 

From the bestselling authors of The Knockoff, an outrageously funny novel about one woman’s attempt—through clay diets, naked yoga, green juice, and cultish workout classes—to win back her career, save her best friend, and lose thirty pounds.

When Janey Sweet, CEO of a couture wedding dress company, is photographed in the front row of a fashion show eating a bruffin—the delicious lovechild of a brioche and a muffin—her best friend and business partner, Beau, gives her an ultimatum: Lose thirty pounds or lose your job. Sure, Janey has gained some weight since her divorce, and no, her beautifully cut trousers don’t fit like they used to, so Janey throws herself headlong into the world of the fitness revolution, signing up for a shockingly expensive workout pass, baring it all for Free the Nipple yoga, sweating through boot camp classes run by Sri Lankan militants and spinning to the screams of a Lycra-clad instructor with rage issues. At a juice shop she meets Jacob, a cute young guy who takes her dumpster-diving outside Whole Foods on their first date. At a shaman’s tea ceremony she meets Hugh, a silver fox who holds her hand through an ayahuasca hallucination And at a secret exercise studio Janey meets Sara Strong, the wildly popular workout guru whose special dance routine has starlets and wealthy women flocking to her for results that seem too good to be true. As Janey eschews delicious carbs, pays thousands of dollars to charlatans, and is harassed by her very own fitness bracelet, she can’t help but wonder: Did she really need to lose weight in the first place? A hilarious send-up of the health and wellness industry, Fitness Junkie is a glorious romp through the absurd landscape of our weight-obsessed culture.

via Amazon ~

How to Be Married

Everyone tells you marriage is hard, but no one tells you what to do about it.

At age thirty-four, Jo Piazza got her romantic-comedy ending when she met the man of her dreams on a boat in the Galápagos Islands and was engaged three months later. But before long, Jo found herself riddled with questions. How do you make a marriage work in a world where you no longer need to be married? How does an independent, strong-willed feminist become someone’s partner—all the time?

In the tradition of writers such as Nora Ephron and Elizabeth Gilbert, award-winning journalist and nationally bestselling author Jo Piazza writes a provocative memoir of a real first year of marriage that will forever change the way we look at matrimony.

A travel editor constantly on the move, Jo journeys to twenty countries on five continents to figure out what modern marriage means. Throughout this stunning, funny, warm, and wise personal narrative, she gleans wisdom from matrilineal tribeswomen, French ladies who lunch, Orthodox Jewish moms, Swedish stay-at-home dads, polygamous warriors, and Dutch prostitutes.

Written with refreshing candor, elegant prose, astute reporting, and hilarious insight into the human psyche, How to Be Married offers an honest portrait of an utterly charming couple. When life throws more at them than they ever expected—a terrifying health diagnosis, sick parents to care for, unemployment—they ultimately create a fresh understanding of what it means to be equal partners during the good and bad times.

Through their journey, they reveal a framework that will help the rest of us keep our marriages strong, from engagement into the newlywed years and beyond.

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

Mulberry Bayswater and a Mulberry clutch

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

PurO3 ozonated olive oil moisturizer, Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt perfume, Fresh Seaberry face oil.

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

I always carry red lipstick, Mac Russian Red (which feels like a strange name for a color right now), because it makes anyone look less tired, Glossier Invisible Shield sunscreen,

What are you currently reading?

Carolyn Murnicks’s The Hot One (comes out in August), J. Courtney Sullivan Saints for All Occasions and Elizabeth Warren’s This Fight is Our Fight

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

Peanut Butter Cups and an @dopper_official water bottle (t’s pretty much the perfect water bottle…they turn into a portable wine glass too)

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Every Last Lie cover

via Amazon~

New York Times bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL Mary Kubica is back with another exhilarating thriller as a widow’s pursuit of the truth leads her to the darkest corners of the psyche. 

Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon.

Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit.

Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara’s investigation and Nick’s last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.

 

Kubica - Bliss, Beauty, Books

What is your bag of choice?- purse/tote/backpack and brand that you have?
Depending on where I’m headed and what I plan to do, I carry either a Vera Bradley crossbody bag (the Hipster) or my Ogio tote bag – especially when I need to bring my laptop with me, which is as it’s been much of this summer, always writing on the go.
 
What are your top favorite beauty picks?  
Murad, Clinique, Bobbi Brown
 
What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?  
The only product that I carry around with me all the time is lip gloss (currently Neutrogena’s MoistureShine, though I’m not married to any brand)
 
What are you currently reading?
I’ve just finished ARCs of two exciting suspense novels set to release this year – Wendy Walker’s EMMA IN THE NIGHT (out August 8th) and Krysten Ritter’s BONFIRE (November 7th).  They’re both phenomenal.  Must-reads for anyone who loves a thrill!
 
And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you?
Sunglasses are a necessity – I hate to squint – and my phone!

Mary Kubica-21

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Julie Lawson Timmer

It’s feels like fall over here in Boston and there is nothing I love more than crisp air- with sun of course- and a good book!  I was so excited to receive a copy of Julie Lawson Timmer’s latest book, Mrs. Saint and the Detectives and even more thrilled when she opened THE BAG.  When I say THE BAG I mean the bag that I continuously stalk on EBAY.  This Kate Spade bag is everything and since Julie is such an AH-mazing author I wouldn’t expect anything less 🙂  She is sharing her favorites- Bobbi Brown! and her adorable Poppy too!   Read ahead and make sure to add her newest to your must-read list!  Perfect way to end summer ❤

 

Mrs. Saint

via Amazon ~

Critically acclaimed author Julie Lawson Timmer returns with a tale of how community can heal the brokenness in all of us.

Markie, a fortysomething divorcée who has suffered a humiliating and very public fall from marital, financial, and professional grace, moves, along with her teenage son, Jesse, to a new town, hoping to lick her wounds in private. But Markie and Jesse are unable to escape the attention of their new neighbor Mrs. Saint, an irascible, elderly New European woman who takes it upon herself, along with her ragtag group of “defectives,” to identify and fix the flaws in those around her, whether they want her to or not.

What Markie doesn’t realize is that Mrs. Saint has big plans for the divorcée’s broken spirit. Soon, the quirky yet endearing woman recruits Markie to join her eccentric community, a world where both hidden truths and hope unite them. But when Mrs. Saint’s own secrets threaten to unravel their fragile web of healing, it’s up to Markie to mend these wounds and usher in a new era for the “defectives”—one full of second chances and happiness.

bag and dog

 

What is your bag of choice?

I switch day-use bags often, but the one that’s most fun is the Kate Spade All Typed Up bag my husband gave me for Valentine’s one year. It’s not only adorable, but it’s also functional, and big enough to hold my laptop. Almost every time I’m out with it, some small child asks if the keyboard actually works. For weekends, I am in love with my Lululemon All-Day Tote, also gifted to me by my husband. It’s so sleek and has a place for everything.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

I don’t wear much makeup, but when I do, it’s exclusively Bobbi Brown. I love her Skin Foundation Stick, Creamy Concealer, Corrector, and Pot Rouge. Best wrinkle-hiding makeup I’ve found so far! I also love my Michel Mercier no-tangle hairbrushes–I have several, including one I keep one in the shower. This single product has saved me so much time and grief.

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

I am never without lip wear, and I have a little zippered bag in every purse containing an assortment: lip balm (my favorites are ones I get from my dentist. Keeps me going back for regular cleanings!); lip gloss (clear – I use a lot of Neutrogena gloss); and lip color (Bobbi Brown again, and sometimes M.A.C.).

What are you currently reading?

I’m always reading several things at once. Right now, it’s Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout, Beartown by Fredrik Backman, Guerilla Factory: The Making of Special Forces Officers by Tony Schwalm (part of a long-distance book club I’m doing with my 20-year-old son), and Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl (another mom/son book).

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

My iPhone of course–not for social media but because my kids have moved away and texting is our main communication mode now. I am forever snapping photos of things I think they’ll laugh about or like to see. It’s boring, but I also always have Goody hair ties so I can toss my hair into a ponytail at the end of a work day, or if it’s too hot to feel hair on my neck, etc. If my family were to answer this question, they’d say my minpin (Miniature Pinscher) Poppy, a sweet little 8-pound dog whose favorite spot is my lap, and who is the subject of at least half my Instagram posts.

Julie Lawson Timmer

 

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Fiona Davis

After I read Fiona Davis‘, The Dollhouse, I knew she would be one of those authors where I would stalk when her next book came out!  And it is here, The Address,  A must for your pre-fall TBR, this book has been getting amazing accolades from reviewers and was named a must read from People and Redbook.  I am thrilled she stopped by to share her boho-chic Tory Burch tote with us!  Clearly Fiona is as fabulous as the gals featured on her book covers.

TheAddress Cover FINAL

via Amazon ~

Fiona Davis, author of The Dollhouse, returns with a compelling novel about the thin lines between love and loss, success and ruin, passion and madness, all hidden behind the walls of The Dakota—New York City’s most famous residence.

After a failed apprenticeship, working her way up to head housekeeper of a posh London hotel is more than Sara Smythe ever thought she’d make of herself. But when a chance encounter with Theodore Camden, one of the architects of the grand New York apartment house The Dakota, leads to a job offer, her world is suddenly awash in possibility—no mean feat for a servant in 1884. The opportunity to move to America, where a person can rise above one’s station. The opportunity to be the female manager of The Dakota, which promises to be the greatest apartment house in the world. And the opportunity to see more of Theo, who understands Sara like no one else…and is living in The Dakota with his wife and three young children.

In 1985, Bailey Camden is desperate for new opportunities. Fresh out of rehab, the former party girl and interior designer is homeless, jobless, and penniless. Two generations ago, Bailey’s grandfather was the ward of famed architect Theodore Camden. But the absence of a genetic connection means Bailey won’t see a dime of the Camden family’s substantial estate. Instead, her “cousin” Melinda—Camden’s biological great-granddaughter—will inherit almost everything. So when Melinda offers to let Bailey oversee the renovation of her lavish Dakota apartment, Bailey jumps at the chance, despite her dislike of Melinda’s vision. The renovation will take away all the character and history of the apartment Theodore Camden himself lived in…and died in, after suffering multiple stab wounds by a madwoman named Sara Smythe, a former Dakota employee who had previously spent seven months in an insane asylum on Blackwell’s Island.

One hundred years apart, Sara and Bailey are both tempted by and struggle against the golden excess of their respective ages—for Sara, the opulence of a world ruled by the Astors and Vanderbilts; for Bailey, the free-flowing drinks and cocaine in the nightclubs of New York City—and take refuge and solace in the Upper West Side’s gilded fortress. But a building with a history as rich—and often tragic—as The Dakota’s can’t hold its secrets forever, and what Bailey discovers in its basement could turn everything she thought she knew about Theodore Camden—and the woman who killed him—on its head.

With rich historical detail, nuanced characters, and gorgeous prose, Fiona Davis once again delivers a compulsively readable novel that peels back the layers of not only a famed institution, but the lives—and lies—of the beating hearts within.

BlissBeautyDAVIS

 

What is your bag of choice?

I bought a Tory Burch suede fringe messenger bag several years ago and it’s been a perennial fave of mine. It goes from late summer to fall beautifully and is big enough to carry a book for reading on the subway.

 

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

One of my good friends started a skin care line called Violets Are Blue after having breast cancer, and I love knowing that the products are safe and natural. Her deodorant (with lemongrass and tea tree oil) is terrific. To add some bounce to my super-fine hair, I use drybar’s Mai Tai Spritzer, followed by Chaser Shine Cream.

 

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

I like to layer Fresh Sugar Petal tinted lip gloss, which has SPF 15, on top of Violets Are Blue lip balm. Never leave home without those two essentials. And I swear by EltaMD sunscreen. It has a light tint, so I don’t need foundation, and is the only product that doesn’t freak out my sensitive skin.

 

What are you currently reading?

I was lucky enough to get my hands on an early copy of The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin, which is about magic, science, and fate. I look forward to the release of Tom Perrotta’s Mrs. Fletcher as I’ll buy anything he writes. As for magazines, I adore Real Simple and The New Yorker – two ends of the spectrum but I look forward to each new issue equally. One read that wowed me this summer was The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase. It was my favorite genre: a mash-up of historical fiction and mystery.

 

And any other fun items that you always have with you?

Grether’s Pastilles, an evil eye keychain that was passed out as swag after a book club, and a small notebook – I’m old school when it comes to writing lists.

 

Fiona Davis high res

 

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