Bliss Pick: The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

With the highly anticipated release of her upcoming book, Judgement Detox, Gabrielle Bernstein’s books are pure bliss and a game changer in your inspirational reads.  I wanted to showcase her last release, The Universe Has Your Back , because it’s a book I am constantly referencing and revisiting- much like all her books.  She speaks from truth and experience making it that much easier to relate and apply to our own lives.  She is also a friend and soul speaker to Oprah.  So if O loves her, its an automatic YES for me!  Read below for a Q&A with Gabby and make sure to grab Judgement Detox in January 2018!

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What inspired you to write The Universe Has Your Back?

 

I’m inspired to write about what I feel my readers need. We’re living in divisive times that call us to rely on faith in the midst of uncertainty. Navigating through life without a faithful path can be scary, especially when there’s so much turmoil in the world. This book is designed to help readers reclaim their power when they’re feeling powerless. Each story and lesson in the book guides readers to release the blocks to what they long for most: happiness, security and clear direction. The lessons help readers relinquish the need to control so they can relax into a sense of certainty and freedom. Readers will learn to stop chasing life and truly live.  

 

What can people expect from this book?

 

When you read this book, you can expect to wake up to your connection to faith and joy. When you understand this connection and recognize it, you’ll  be guided to your true purpose: to be love and spread love. These words can no longer be cute buzz phrases that we post on social media and print on tote bags. These words must be our mission. The happiness, safety and security we long for lies in our commitment to our happiness and joy.

 

How does fear hold us back?

 

Fear creates resistance in our energy. When we are stuck in fear, that resistance blocks us from the natural support of love that is available to us all the time. Throughout the book I refer to this loving support as the energy of the Universe. When we block the energy of the Universe we feel stuck, depressed, sick, weak and alone. When you read the book, the lessons within it will help you release that resistance and surrender your fears so that you can reconnect to the ever-present flow of love and support that is within you.

 

What does faith mean to you?

 

Making the shift from fear to faith gives us a sense of power in a world that all too often makes us feel utterly powerless. When the tragedies of the world seem overwhelming, this book helps guide us back to our power. We need faith now more than ever. When you live with faith you’re trusting in the power of your thoughts and energy to support your experiences. In a faithful state you can suspend disbelief and surrender your fear.

 

What will the reader find in this book that will guide them away from fear and into faith?

 

Each story, meditation and lesson in the book guides readers to release the blocks to the things we all long for most — happiness, security and clear direction. The lessons help readers relinquish the need to control so they can relax into a sense of certainty and freedom.

 

When readers follow this path, they’ll begin to feel a swell of energy move through them. They will find strength when they’re down, synchronicity and support when they’re lost, safety in the face of uncertainty and joy when they are otherwise in pain.

 

What are the lessons you hope readers take away from The Universe Has Your Back?

 

There are many universal lessons throughout the book, but the most important is to choose love. When you learn to lean toward thoughts and feelings of love, then you release all the resistance that blocks the flow of the Universe. The practices in the book will help readers weaken the resistance of fear and strengthen their faith in love. I give clear direction on how to heal fear-based beliefs and transcend limitation and doubt. Most importantly they’ll learn to feel supported and certain no matter what.

 

What was the catalyst for your journey from fear to faith?

 

Throughout my life I’ve experienced trauma, addiction and depression. But I was never willing to stay stuck in suffering. I knew at a very young age that there was a spiritual solution to all my problems. I’ve committed my life to seeking those solutions and strengthening my faith in love. My deepest desire is to be free of fear and dwell in joy. Because I’ve been on my own path of personal growth and spiritual recovery, I can speak to the lessons and healing from a very authentic place. I hope readers will recognize their own stories in mine.

 

How is The Universe Has Your Back different from your previous books?

 

This book is different in that it’s more philosophical. I push the spiritual envelope even more than I have in the past and I’m unapologetic about my faith. I believe we’re living in a time when we must have a spiritual path to survive. That’s why I didn’t hold back. I shared openly about how I transformed my fear and suffering through my spiritual faith so that readers can feel empowered and inspired to dive into their own practice.

 

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Biography

Gabrielle Bernstein has been named “a new thought leader” by Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. She appears regularly as an expert on The Dr. Oz Show, and was named “a new role model” by the New York Times. Gabrielle is the New York Times best-selling author of the books May Cause Miracles and Miracles Now. Her other titles include Add More ~ing to Your Life and Spirit Junkie. In the fall of 2016 she will release her fifth book, The Universe Has Your Back. Gabrielle teamed up with Deepak Chopra to co-host the Guinness Book of World Records largest group meditation.

 

YouTube named Gabrielle one of its 16 YouTube Next Video Bloggers, Mashable named her one of the 11 Must-Follow Twitter Accounts for Inspiration and she’s featured on the Forbes list of 20 Best Branded Women. The Oprah Winfrey Network chose Gabrielle to be part of the “Super Soul 100” list, a dynamic group of 100 trailblazers whose vision and life’s work are bringing a higher level of consciousness to the world. She’s been featured in media outlets such as ELLE, OWN, Kathie Lee & Hoda, The Today Show, Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, The Queen Latifah Show, Anderson Live, Access Hollywood, Marie Claire, Health, SELF, Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan, New York Times, Glamour, Help Desk, the cover of Experience Life Magazine and more. For more on Gabrielle’s work visit GabbyBernstein.com.

 

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*Thanks to Gabrielle’s publicist and publisher who provided the Q&A and assets.

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ October Ed. with Kate Moretti

October is here.  A month filled with suspense, mystery and thrills.  If you are looking for just that, then the newly released novel by Kate Moretti, The Blackbird Season, is just what you need!  Know for her unputdownable reads, Moretti’s list of novels are filled with twists, turns and surprises, an absolute must for any reader.   I was so excited that she opened her bag for us and validate the fact that yes, mascara is always a must in case of a lash emergency 🙂

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via Amazon ~

“Exceptional…a deliciously sinister glimpse into the duplicity of small-town lives and the ease with which people turn on each other when tragedy comes calling. Moretti’s tale of jealousy and obsession is nothing less than dark magic. Witchery indeed.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Known for novels featuring “great pacing and true surprises” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) and “nerve-shattering suspense” (Heather Gudenkauf, New York Time bestselling author), New York Times bestselling author Kate Moretti’s latest is the story of a scandal-torn Pennsylvania town and the aftermath of a troubled girl gone missing.

“Where did they come from? Why did they fall? The question would be asked a thousand times…

Until, of course, more important question arose, at which time everyone promptly forgot that a thousand birds fell on the town of Mount Oanoke at all.”

In a quiet Pennsylvania town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community.

Beloved baseball coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alecia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the many reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a wayward student, Lucia Hamm, in front of a sleazy motel. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are engaged in an affair, throwing the town into an uproar…and leaving Alecia to wonder if her husband has a second life.

And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only to have one suspect: Nate.

Nate’s coworker and sole supporter, Bridget Harris, Lucia’s creative writing teacher, is determined to prove his innocence. She has Lucia’s class journal, and while some of the entries appear particularly damning to Nate’s case, others just don’t add up. Bridget knows the key to Nate’s exoneration and the truth of Lucia’s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of that journal.

Told from the alternating points of view of Alecia, Nate, Lucia, and Bridget, The Blackbird Season is a haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense, filled with Kate Moretti’s signature “chillingly satisfying” (Publishers Weekly) twists and turns.

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What is your bag of choice?

I’m not really a brand person. I tend to pick up whatever I’m in the mood for at the moment, but it always has to be big with a lot of space for things my kids hand me on the go – birthday party favors and currently, fidget spinners. I like function and design. I have no idea what brand my bag is but it has a ton of pockets and the black and white flowers go with absolutely everything. I hate changing purses so I try to make it functional and pretty. I think I got this at a flea market. It’s starting to wear and fray and I refuse to throw it out.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

I’m a plain jane! I don’t wear make-up every day, only for events and dinners, etc. I love BB cream and I’ve tried a ton of them but my favorite is Cover Girl. I know! I’ve tried MAC and Smashbox and even Tarte, but I keep coming back to the good old Cover Girl. It goes on like lotion and doesn’t cake. I have dry skin and I actually mix it with moisturizer in the morning. I also have a ten year love affair with Bare Minerals. The bronzer is amazing and it makes my skin glow. I’ve recently become addicted to Elf. It’s so cheap but has the consistency of an expensive make-up. I find I can try out different colors and I’ve even started to *slightly* highlight using their cream highlighter. Considering I was thirty-five when I learned how to apply eyeliner, I’ve made great strides!

 

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

EOS chapstick, mostly mint but really any kind. My trusty BB cream. Mascara for lash emergencies.

What you are currently reading?

I just got an ARC of Cathy Lamb’s NO PLACE I’D RATHER BE in the mail. I read twenty pages this morning before I started working and was sorely tempted to call the whole day a wash. Cathy writes the most amazing real life characters.

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

A spare pair of earrings! I am constantly losing earrings and I’ve used my spare set of silver hoops more times than I can count. Headphones with a mic so I can talk hands-free while I walk or drive. I sit in a lot of stand-still Philadelphia traffic and find myself dictating story ideas or even whole scenes while at a dead stop, staring at miles of red breaklights.

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Kaira Rouda

Kaira Rouda is one of my favorite authors.  The Goodbye Year was one of my favorite picks of 2016- a must read if you haven’t.  When I heard about her latest, Best Day Ever coming out, I knew this would be a hit.  A suspenseful thriller just in time for the most frightful time of year.  I was so excited when she opened up her stunning Gucci bag for readers and shared her fabulous beauty picks and chilling current reads.

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In the bestselling, page-turning vein of The Couple Next Door and The Dinner, Kaira Rouda weaves a gripping, tautly suspenseful tale of deception and betrayal dark enough to destroy a marriage…or a life.

“I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, and I am bursting with confidence. Today will be everything I’ve promised her…and more…”

Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?

Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion.

Praise for Best Day Ever

“An unreliable and chillingly unrepentant narrator.” —Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia and The Outliers

“Highly entertaining and truly surprising!” —Kate Moretti, New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year

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What is your bag of choice?

Thanks so much for asking me, Courtney! The funny thing is, if I can get away with it, I don’t carry a purse at all. You’ll see me running around town with a wallet and my keys. BUT I do know purses are necessary most of the time so each year I’ll splurge on one. This year, I was in the mood for red, something to compliment BEST DAY EVER’s cover, so this is my bag for this season. Just don’t expect to see me with it very often.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

Living in Southern California means slathering on sunscreen each morning, and then reapplying throughout the day. I love Colore Science Suncanny powder for an added layer of protection, and of course, my sunglasses and a hat. Burt’s Bee lip color and lip gloss are also favorites. My favorite powder is La Prarie, and it lasts forever. I’d be lost with out a hair tie. I wish I’d invented them. They are in my purse, on my wrist, in my pants pockets – everywhere! And you’ll see my change purse, for parking meter change and if you aren’t familiar with FEED, it’s a fabulous company creating products that help feed the world. I’m a big fan of brands who give back, and FEED is a great example. (www.feedprojects.com)

What do you always carry on for beauty products for travel?

The items I mentioned above, plus I love the LA Fresh line of healthy sanitizers and hand cream in convenient packages. EmergenC packets – at least two – raspberry flavor just in case I sense people are sick around me – or if I feel it coming on. Oh, and a travel size toothbrush and toothpaste. I’m a tooth-brushing fanatic. And I try to have an inspirational, calming magazine for travel. I love yoga, and Yoga Journal magazine is great zen and inspiration.

What are you currently reading?

There are so many good books to choose from this fall! At the moment, I’m reading my friend J.T. Ellison’s Lie to Me. It’s so good. I’ve been on a psychological suspense reading kick lately and I’m loving it. There are so many different great books to pick up and read to scare your self before sleep. 😉

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

My husband decided to run for congress, so I’m always handing out bumper stickers and answering questions about his campaign. It’s been a wonderful experience, for the most part and I’m so proud of him. With my new novel BEST DAY EVER just out, I keep my black sharpie with me, just in case I’m near a bookstore and I can pop in and sign stock. I love talking to booksellers. Their passion for reading and sharing books with their customers is what keeps us authors able to do what we love.

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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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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.

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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.

 

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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!

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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 ❤

 

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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.

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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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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Nicole Waggoner

I have been a huge Nicole Waggoner fan since the first Circus of Women book, Center Ring.  She is a fellow beauty lover so we instantly clicked plus our love of books.  I was so thrilled to be able to take a peak at the second novel in the trilogy, The Act, before readers.  If you look closely at the end I may or may not be mentioned in the acknowledgements 😉  I was thrilled when Nicole shared her bag with me.  Read on because she has some great beauty must-haves and you will see she is more than just a fabulous author she is a beauty aficionado too!

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via Amazon ~

The romance, the heartbreaks, the revelations, the friendship: THE ACT brings it all back and more as the sassy and stylish sisterfriends of CENTER RING face new challenges and old demons. Norah, Cami, Leila, Kate, and Ellie will need each other more than ever in this highly anticipated next installment of The Circus of Women Trilogy.

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What is your bag of choice?
Hello! Thank you for inviting me to talk bags, beauty, and books today! In the summer, I prefer small shoulder bags. I am currently carrying a Kate Spade Hobo in “Pebble”. Isn’t that a precious name for a color? It’s a light, airy, pinkish-tan. My briefcase is a McKlein in Mint. I highly recommend the McKlein to any woman who travels for work. It has been a dream and snaps right on to my carry on!
What are your top favorite beauty picks?  
I am fanatical about sunscreen. I use Elta MD every day. It is light, wears well under primer and make up, and never clogs my pores! Currently, I am using Naked skin foundation. I love its silky texture and the way it blurs light to improve my complexion…especially in pictures 🙂  Ofra is my very favorite eyeshadow and highlighter. Every pigment is gorgeous and makes eyes POP! My BFF recently gave me a set of LipSense lipstick and I was immediately hooked. Carmel Apple and Aussie Rose are my go to colors, but I have amassed quite the rainbow of shades!  Isn’t it great when a product outperforms your expectations?  Last, but not least, I have to rave about Stilla eyeliner. I was hesitant to try it because, well, I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler and didn’t want to wear Charlie Brown’s Chevron on each eyelid for twelve hours. Thankfully, the tip is superfine and hugs the lash line effortlessly. Stilla is so smudge-proof that I even used it to draw (somewhat poorly) Malificient eyes on my five-year-old for Halloween. I pair it with Better Than Sex Mascara and bash about my day, allergy eyes and all, with no traces of the dreaded raccoon bags. Before I found this product, I hadn’t worn mascara on my lower lashes since a short-lived Kate Moss phase in the 90s.
What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products? 
Sunscreen. Again. Both mine and my children’s for reapplication. We live in Oklahoma and spend a ton of time outdoors. I also carry matcha powder with me to mix into water and teas. Everyone else in my house thinks it tastes like feet, but I adore it. My daughter’s Beanie Boos travel in small herds and I am sure to have at least one in my bag at all times. This one is named Grayson because she has heard so many women comment on my ‘Patrick Grayson’ character at events, etc., and she quote “wanted a kind name that started with ‘G’. He is a boy giraffe and boy giraffes should always be nice to girl giraffes. If they’re not, the girl giraffes should run away super fast like a cheetah.” I usually have Prisma colors and table conversation cards as well. Other than that, I always keep a Sharpie handy to sign books. Every time we go to Target or Barnes and Noble, I always sign the copies on the shelf. I adore Indie bookstores and do the same in OKC. There are, unfortunately, none where I live.  I came across a signed copy of Austen’s Persuasion in a used bookstore once and have never forgotten the thrill! CVCBB Beach Wave spray is another bag staple for me. I swear it’s the only way I am surviving the “mullet phase” of growing out a pixie. My adorable make up bags from Bliss, Beauty, and Books ride in every bag I carry! I beam every time I open them! Thank you, again, for being so thoughtful! I carry journals in my briefcase, purse, and gym bag. I also keep one on my nightstand.  I have to write plot ideas down immediately or I will forget as soon as one of my little loves says ‘Mommy.”
What are you currently reading?
I am currently listening to Jane Green’s The Sunshine Sisters and reading In This Moment by Karma Brown. Lift and Seperate by Marilyn  (check spelling) is on deck, along with Donna Everheart’s The Education of Dixie Dupree.
And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you?
Hand Sanitizer, Band-Aides, Mini Toothbrushes, Bookmarks, and collapsible reusable shopping bags with theatre quotes like “The play is THE thing.”

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