Open Book with Randy Susan Meyers

Boston writers are some of the best and Randy Susan Meyers is no exception.  Her latest, Waisted, tackles women’s body image issues and female empowerment when a group of women join a weight loss camp to find out it is not all it seems.  Meyers, who always so brilliantly takes on issues that are at our forefront, is my latest Open Book and of course she is AH-mazing!  From Nora Ephron (my favorite!) to Dead to Me (it’s a must-binge) to an empowering bookish lip color, Randy is a wonderful author and woman (follow her on SOCIAL!) and my guess would probably be a fabulous coffee date ❤

WAISTED_Cover Image

via Amazon ~

In this provocative, wildly entertaining, and compelling novel, seven women enrolled in an extreme weight loss documentary discover self-love and sisterhood as they enact a daring revenge against the exploitative filmmakers.

Alice and Daphne, both successful and accomplished working mothers, harbor the same secret: obsession with their weight overshadows concerns about their children, husbands, work—and everything else of importance in their lives. Scales terrify them.

Daphne, plump in a family of model-thin women, learned only slimness earns admiration at her mother’s knee. Alice, break-up skinny when she met her husband, risks losing her marriage if she keeps gaining weight.

The two women meet at Waisted. Located in a remote Vermont mansion, the program promises fast, dramatic weight loss, and Alice, Daphne, and five other women are desperate enough to leave behind their families for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The catch? They must agree to always be on camera; afterward, the world will see Waisted: The Documentary.

The women soon discover that the filmmakers have trapped them in a cruel experiment. With each pound lost, they edge deeper into obsession and instability…until they decide to take matters into their own hands.

author social media 2018 color Randy Susan Meyers social media sq-1973

1. What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a
bookclub with? Roxane Gay, Nora Ephron, & Whoopi Goldberg.
2. Current binge series? Dead to Me
3. Last favorite book? Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl
4. What 3 things do you pack in your bag for your dream vacation? Kindle (I couldn’t
possibly pack enough paper books for a vacation.) Airy cotton caftan. Bathing suit.
Where is it? Santorini islands in Greece.
5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly? Sunday NYT
6. Last person you sent a text message to? My BFF
7. Book you read that you wished you wrote? Homegoing by Yaa Gyassi
8. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer? Miss Leanza in 2 nd
grade.
9. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who? I need total silence when writing.
10. Describe your writing space? I write in my family room where I rotate between a comfy stuffed club chair and perfectly worn couch. There I’m surrounded by many pots oforchids, two overgrown Boston ferns, an aloe plant ready to take over the house, and jadeplants. The oriental rug had many shades of red and best of all is a view of my garden (otherwise known as my therapist.)
11. Coffee or tea? Coffee!
12. Do you have a favorite book that you gift? The Unstoppable Ruth Ginsburg: American
Icon
13. If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why?
I Will Survive, because at every worst point in my life I worked to find the strength no
matter how deep I had to dig.
14. What/Who inspires you? Gloria Steinem—because she’s never stopped working for
justice.
15. Bravo reality TV- yes or no? No
16. Favorite Instagram account? @bklynlibrary
17. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what
shade would it be? I’d name the lipstick Determination after The Women of Brewster
Place by Gloria Naylor. The color would be a clear strong shade of cherry.
18. Current #TBR pile? Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11 by Mitchell Zukoff, The Floating
Feldmans by Elyssa Friedland, The Secrets Between Us: A Novel by Thrity Umrigar.
19. Best advice you’ve ever received? My grandmother’s advice to be kind.

 

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Open Book with Wendy Walker

Thrilled, pun actually intended to have Wendy Walker on the blog today!  She is a suspense and thriller extraordinaire who always keeps us guessing and looking behind our shoulder 😉  Her latest, The Night Before, is about two sisters and an online date gone bad- literally the best companion for spring break and beach reading!  Coffee, Fleetwood Mac and Gillian Flynn- Wendy is my spirit animal ❤

NIGHT BEFORE, THE.jpg

via Amazon ~

First dates can be murder.

“Ferociously smart.” ―AJ Finn
“Riveting.” ―Riley Sager
“Addictive.” ―Liv Constantine
“Wonderfully tense.” ―Aimee Molloy
“Irresistible.” ―Mary Kubica
“Impossible to put down.” ―Megan Miranda

Riveting and compulsive, national bestselling author Wendy Walker’s The Night Before “takes you to deep, dark places few thrillers dare to go” as two sisters uncover long-buried secrets when an internet date spirals out of control.

Laura Lochner has never been lucky in love. She falls too hard and too fast, always choosing the wrong men. Devastated by the end of her last relationship, she fled her Wall Street job and New York City apartment for her sister’s home in the Connecticut suburb where they both grew up. Though still haunted by the tragedy that’s defined her entire life, Laura is determined to take one more chance on love with a man she’s met on an Internet dating site.

Rosie Ferro has spent most of her life worrying about her troubled sister. Fearless but fragile, Laura has always walked an emotional tightrope, and Rosie has always been there to catch her. Laura’s return, under mysterious circumstances, has cast a shadow over Rosie’s peaceful life with her husband and young son – a shadow that grows darker as Laura leaves the house for her blind date.

When Laura does not return home the following morning, Rosie fears the worst. She’s not responding to calls or texts, and she’s left no information about the man she planned to meet. As Rosie begins a desperate search to find her sister, she is not just worried about what this man might have done to Laura. She’s worried about what Laura may have done to him…

Wendy-Walker-Headshot_credit Bill Miles

What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a book club with?

Gillian Flynn, because she has a profound understanding of the connection between family history and the dark side of the human psyche. Jane Austen, because she would find us stories with characters like Mr. Darcy (sigh). And Jonathan Franzen, because he would keep us away from the wine and gossip, and into the deeper literary aspects of the books.

Current binge series?

The Handmaid’s Tale, Season 3. Nothing I have watched before or after the very first episode of Season 1 has captivated and moved me like this series. And I could watch Elisabeth Moss sit in a chair making subtle facial expressions for hours.

Last favorite book?

Where the Crawdads Sing. I rarely get to read outside my genre, so this was a real treat. A great story about perseverance and integrity. I also need to give a shout out to my fellow thriller writers with May books: The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine and The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda. I got a sneak peak and they are both fantastic.

What 3 things do you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Where is it?

Pajamas. Bathing suit. Book. I would say great company but that evokes images of people stuffed in suitcases – maybe I should save that for my next novel! Any destination that is quiet and warm, has a cozy bed, a place to run or hike or do yoga, and coffee and wine would do just fine.

Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Oh, please don’t make me choose! Yin and yang – I need both.

Last person you sent a text message to?

My kids – when will you be home, what do you want for dinner, etc. etc.

Book you read that you wished you wrote?

Mystic River by Dennis Lehane. The profound moral issues and character development are what I strive for in every book. This one is near perfection on all fronts.

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

I didn’t actually consider writing until my early thirties. However, when I was a senior in high school, I had a teacher named Mrs. Sundquist who encouraged us to write stories with emotional depth, drawn from personal experiences. This is always the first place I start when I begin to plot a new novel.

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

Never. I need dead quiet. Even a ticking clock will do me in.

Describe your writing space?

I write on my laptop so I can be anywhere that is quiet, warm and inspiring. Sometimes I write at the kitchen table with the door to the back yard wide open. Sometimes I sit in a chaise lounge in front of the fire. Sometimes I stay in my bed, under the covers. It’s all about quiet and comfort!

Coffee or tea?

Coffee, all day long!

Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

I love attending book events for my author friends and gifting signed copies. I think a signed book makes a great gift.

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

Uh, one of mine? Seriously, though, I would have to say All The Light We Cannot See. It has everything a movie needs – drama, atmosphere, history, and emotion. Hollywood – let’s do this!  

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

I have to go with Landslide by Fleetwood Mac. First of all, I used to worship Stevie Nicks. Friends from college will attest to this. For me, this song is about the constant changing of life. No matter how far you go in adjusting and overcoming obstacles, there are always more ahead. It is a reminder to enjoy the journey, because that’s all there really is.

What/Who inspires you?

My children, always. I am meticulous about preserving the memories of their lives – videos, photos, artwork from 1st Grade. I am constantly curating and editing, and so I have frequent reminders of the various stages of their lives and how miraculous they are. It is so easy to stagnate when we settle into adult life, and to accept this stagnation. My children inspire me to keep dreaming and striving and changing.

Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

Not really, BUT I have to admit to being pulled back into The Bachelorette/Bachelor series with some of my friends. It’s a total guilty pleasure and a much-needed respite from the dark dramas I am typically drawn to. And, let’s be honest – they seem somewhat scripted to me, which makes it even more fun as a writer to guess where the producers will take things.

Favorite Instagram account?

Binchcity. It’s the account of a young college woman, and the daughter of a very old friend. She is hilarious and honest and keeps me in touch with my younger reader base.

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

Eat, Pray, Love – vermilion red, and the kind that won’t wear off with continued use 🙂

Current #TBR pile?

A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

Best advice you’ve ever received?

One of the therapists who helped me with a book gave me the best advice I have ever received. She said that almost every reaction we have is influenced by events which occurred in childhood when our brains were still developing. I am not a fan of self-help one-liners, but change your thoughts, change your life is all about understanding this connection between past experiences and current perceptions. Being able to wrangle our emotions is not an easy task, but it has very powerful results!

 

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Open Book with Sally Hepworth

Thrilled to have the legendary and most fabulous Sally Hepworth on the blog today!  I adore her and her books (she has been a past Bookish Beauty gal) and am honored to be celebrating the book birthday of her latest novel, The Mother-In-Law.  Read below about this domestic thriller that is perfect for your spring break as well as Sally’s dream book club (its AMAZE), latest reads and favorite Insta account 🙂

MOTHER IN LAW

via Amazon ~

A twisty, compelling new novel about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in death…

From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, she knew she wasn’t the wife Diana had envisioned for her perfect son. Exquisitely polite, friendly, and always generous, Diana nonetheless kept Lucy at arm’s length despite her desperate attempts to win her over. And as a pillar in the community, an advocate for female refugees, and a woman happily married for decades, no one had a bad word to say about Diana…except Lucy.

That was five years ago.

Now, Diana is dead, a suicide note found near her body claiming that she longer wanted to live because of the cancer wreaking havoc inside her body.

But the autopsy finds no cancer.

It does find traces of poison, and evidence of suffocation.

Who could possibly want Diana dead? Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her children, and their spouses? And what does it mean that Lucy isn’t exactly sad she’s gone?

Fractured relationships and deep family secrets grow more compelling with every page in this twisty, captivating new novel from Sally Hepworth.

Praise for Sally Hepworth:

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

“Hepworth deftly keeps the reader turning pages and looking for clues, all the while building multilayered characters and carefully doling out bits of their motivations.” ―Booklist

Sally Hepworth Headshot_highest res_credit Mrs. Smart Photography.jpg

 

What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a book club with?

Oprah, Ellen Degeneres, Reese Witherspoon – can you even imagine this book club?

Current binge series?

I have been bingeing on books! (The Silent Patient, Daisy Jones and the Six, An Anonymous Girl)

Last favorite book?

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. And The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer.

What 3 things do you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Where is it?

I am a homebody. My dream vacation would be a week at home alone, so no packing required!

Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Neither! I read books!

Last person you sent a text message to?

My friend, Ange, who reminded me that it was school photos today (thank goodness as my daughter’s hair looked like a bird’s nest).

Book you read that you wished you wrote?

Where the Crawdads Sing.

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

Yes. My third and seventh grade English teachers were both incredibly encouraging.

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

No. I work at the library so I listen to the quiet chatter of people in the aisles, or people asking librarians for recommendations. Best music in the world.

Describe your writing space?

I write at the library, so I have a little desk that faces a window that looks out onto a parking lot. Not especially inspiring, but it stops me from getting distracted.

Coffee or tea?

Coffee.

Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

I tend to choose specific books that I think certain people would like, so it’s different for everyone. Though I will say, I’ve bought Where the Crawdads Sing for several people lately.

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

Where the Crawdads Sing. And Reese Witherspoon IS making a movie out of it. YAY!

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

I’ve Done All The Dumb Things by Paul Kelly

What/Who inspires you?

Women. Especially young women. My daughters inspire me. It is such a wonderful time to be a woman right now, and I’m excited about what the next generation will achieve for feminism.

Bravo reality TV – yes or no?

I’m not sure what this is?

Favorite Instagram account?

Dr. Pimple Popper.

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

The Other Woman.

Current #TBR pile?

Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

Do yoga, read books, and have as many children as you can afford (from my Mum).

 

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Open Book with Lea Geller

If you are looking for a laugh-out loud novel with a heroine who you will be cheering for, then Trophy Life is it and I am so thrilled to have Lea Geller on the blog as my latest Open Book!  Her dazzling and hilarious debut novel, out now, is really the most perfect accessory to accompany you on #SpringBreak.  Nora Ephron, Gatsby and Springsteen, yup, enough said.  Read below ❤

Geller_TrophyLife_FT

via Amazon ~

A refreshingly honest, laugh-out-loud novel about losing the life you always wanted…and finding the life you were meant to have.

For the last ten years, Agnes Parsons’s biggest challenge has been juggling yoga classes and lunch dates. Her Santa Monica house staff takes care of everything, leaving Agnes to focus on her trophy-wife responsibilities: look perfect, adore her older husband, and wear terribly expensive (if uncomfortable) underwear.

When her husband disappears, leaving Agnes and their infant daughter with no money, no home, and no staff, she is forced to move across the country, where she lands a job teaching at an all-boys boarding school in the Bronx. So long, organic quinoa bowls and sunshine-filled California life. Hello, processed food, pest-infested house, and twelve-year-old-boy humor—all day, every day.

But it’s in this place of second chances (and giant bugs), where Agnes is unexpectedly forced to take care of herself and her daughter, where she finds out the kind of woman she can be. Ultimately, she has to decide if she prefers the woman and mother she has become…or the trophy life she left behind.

Authentic and sharply witty, Trophy Life is proof that granny panties and mom coats might not be the answer to everything; they’re simply comfortable (if slightly unattractive) reminders of what happens when one life ends…and real life begins.

 

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

Nora Ephron, Tina Fey and Bruce Springsteen, just so I could finally meet him.

 

 

Current binge series?

I am currently binging the Israeli show Shtisl on Netflix.

 

 

Last favorite book?

I was blown away by The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai. I loved it so much, I read the final page and started all over again.

 

 

What 3 things do you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Where is it?

Packing: For reasons which will be immediately clear, for any vacation I pack travels packets of Miralax and Metamucil, and I never travel without an eye mask because I am a terrible sleeper anywhere, but especially in a strange bed. I don’t like being landlocked, so any good vacation has to involve a body of water – can be the beach or a big city with a river running through it.

Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

NYT. Each time I read US Weekly, I know fewer and fewer of the celebrities, which just make feels old. Reading the NYT makes me feel like a spring chicken.  

 

 

Last person you sent a text message to?

Probably to my husband, asking him what time he was going to be home. And then one five minutes later asking again.

 

 

Book you read that you wished you wrote?

Pretty much anything by Ian McEwan, but mostly Atonement, which is a book I read yearly. I feel the same way about Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.

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

 

Yes, I had several – most notable was my high school English teacher Judith Beiner who told to write, write, and then write some more.

 

 

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

Yes. It really depends on my mood. Right now I’m listening to a lot of Duke Ellington and the Killers.

Describe your writing space?

 

My home office is completely uninsulated so I can only use it for six months a year, at most. Right now, I’m writing at my dining room table. If I write anywhere near my bed, I end up napping. I have been known to take mid-day catnaps on the couch; but those don’t count.

 

Coffee or tea?

 

Both. Usually black coffee until midday and the black tea with milk.

Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

Depends on the recipient, but The Most of Nora Ephron is a great gift.

 

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

 

Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen. If I could only listen to one song for the rest of time, that would be it.

What/Who inspires you?

The small details and muddiness of everyday life and the things that happen to all of us that nobody likes to talk about. Those inspire me to write.

 

Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

 

No, which may explain why I don’t know anyone in Us Weekly anymore.

 

Favorite Instagram account?

@LondonIsPink which is pictures of London buildings with pink door, parks with pink trees, or city streets with a random pink car parked. It’s a beautiful collection.

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

 

Probably Gatsby and it would be the color of champagne.

Current #TBR pile?

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

In John Irving’s The Hotel Hampshire, a father gives his children the advice, “Keep passing the open windows.” I love that advice, that when times are tough, keep putting one foot in front of the other, and move forward.

 

 

About the author

Lea Geller is a recovering lawyer who lives in New York with her husband and children. She began her writing career by blogging about her adventures in the trenches of parenting, and got the idea for Trophy Life when her two sons were in middle school.

When Lea’s not eavesdropping on her children, she can be found running, drinking diner coffee, and occasionally teaching middle-school English. She enjoys embarrassing her family by posting pictures of her vegetable garden on Instagram (#IgrewDinner). You can follow her at https://www.leageller.com/.

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Jane Healey

I love a fabulous local author and love even more when they write about the Ah-mazing city of Boston!  The Beantown Girls, by Jane Healey, is about three best friends who volunteer for the Red Cross during WWll.  Out now, this historical fiction gem is a must for your reading list!  Read below to see what is on Jane’s Must-Have beauty list with a sneak peek into her timeless Rebecca Minkoff bag 🙂

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via Amazon ~

A novel of love, courage, and danger unfolds as World War II’s brightest heroines—the best of friends—take on the front lines.

1944: Fiona Denning has her entire future planned out. She’ll work in city hall, marry her fiancé when he returns from the war, and settle down in the Boston suburbs. But when her fiancé is reported missing after being shot down in Germany, Fiona’s long-held plans are shattered.

Determined to learn her fiancé’s fate, Fiona leaves Boston to volunteer overseas as a Red Cross Clubmobile girl, recruiting her two best friends to come along. There’s the outspoken Viviana, who is more than happy to quit her secretarial job for a taste of adventure. Then there’s Dottie, a shy music teacher whose melodious talents are sure to bring heart and hope to the boys on the front lines.

Chosen for their inner strength and outer charm, the trio isn’t prepared for the daunting challenges of war. But through it all come new friendships and romances, unforeseen dangers, and unexpected dreams. As the three friends begin to understand the real reasons they all came to the front, their courage and camaraderie will see them through some of the best and worst times of their lives.

 

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What is your bag of choice?

I love my Rebecca Minkoff Mini Julian Backpack. It’s really versatile and has a bunch
of pockets.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

I live in New England and in the winter my face needs all the moisture it can get. I
can’t live without Olehenriksen’s Truth Serum and Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. And I
love Bareminerals Complexion Rescue tinted moisturizer with SPF and use that year
round.  I’m not a big lipstick person but I love a good lip gloss and my favorite Buxom Full-On Plumping Lip Polish Gloss. I have it in multiple shades.  My eyes are really sensitive and I have to be careful what I use. I’ve found the eyeliner and mascara combo that works best for me is Clinique’s Quickliner for Eyes Intense in Chocolate, and LOC Love of Color One and Done Shadow Stick in Champagne Problems.

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

I always carry a good eye cream and concealer, especially for long flights. My
favorite eye cream is Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream and my tried and true
concealer is MAC’s Mineralize Concealer. I also bring an exfoliator, Olehenriksen
Transforming Walnut Scrub, because air travel can do such a number on your skin.

What are you currently reading?

My 12yo daughter is a total introvert, so I’m currently reading Quiet Power: The
Secret Strengths of Introverts. It’s a guide for kids and teens from Susan Cain, the
author who wrote of the worldwide bestselling book Quiet: The Power of Introverts
in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. It’s really fascinating and it’s given me such a
great perspective on my daughter’s personality.

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

I have a small vintage compact mirror that I bought in London with a picture of a
cartoon cat on the front. I also always have an ultrafine black Sharpie pen and sticky
notes – sometimes I write story ideas that come to me when I’m driving, etc. but
often it’s just reminders to pick up the dry cleaning or something!

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Lindsay Emory

You know I love a royal and I love a Louis Vuitton just as much so when Lindsay Emory opened her LV and shared her latest novel, The Royal Runaway, I knew she’d be my kinda gal 😉  Read below about her beauty faves and planner obsession- I spy what looks like a Vuitton planner cover, OH MY! ❤

RoyalRunaway_4-4

via Amazon ~

For fans of The Princess Diaries and The Royal We comes a fun and daring novel about a modern-day princess who teams up with a spy to find out what happened to the fiancé who left her at the altar—and who just might get her own fairytale in the process.

Princess Theodora Isabella Victoria of Drieden of the Royal House Laurent is so over this princess thing.

After her fiancé jilted her on their wedding day, she’s finally back home after spending four months in exile—aka it’s back to press conferences, public appearances, and putting on a show for the Driedish nation as the perfect princess they expect her to be. But Thea’s sick of duty. After all, that’s what got her into this mess in the first place.

So when she sneaks out of the palace and meets a sexy Scot named Nick in a local bar, she relishes the chance to be a normal woman for a change. But just as she thinks she’s found her Prince Charming for the night, he reveals his intentions are less than honorable: he’s the brother of her former fiancé, a British spy, and he’s not above blackmail. As Thea reluctantly joins forces with Nick to find out what happened the day her fiancé disappeared, together they discover a secret that could destroy a centuries-old monarchy and change life as they know it.

Funny, fast-paced, and full of more twists and turns than the castle Thea lives in, The Royal Runaway is a fresh romantic comedy that will leave you cheering for the modern-day royal who chucks the rulebook aside to create her own happily-ever-after.

 

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What is your bag of choice?- purse/tote/backpack and brand that you have?
I’m a “purse enthusiast”  so I can’t pick a favorite – they all have a special role to play in my life. But one of my all-time favorites is this Speedy Bandoliere 30 in Damier Ebene by Louis Vuitton. I bought it while visiting my sister, who was living in Paris at the time. I hadn’t planned this purchase at all, but we went in the store and I tried it on and it was love. It’s waterproof, lightweight and goes with everything and – maybe even better – it was a good deal. With the exchange rate and the VAT refund, I got it for more than a third off U.S. retail.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  
I’m going to sound super boring, but skin care is key. My top three skin care must-haves are a great sunscreen (I like the Japanese Biore ones), a vitamin C serum (I’m trying a new one from The Ordinary now) and a retinoid (which my dermatologist prescribes.)

For makeup, I love the versatility of a Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick and the ease and durability of a Laura Mercier caviar stick, which is a cream eyeshadow stick that really lasts all day on my, um, let’s call them, dewy eyelids.

What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?  
I always have a lip gloss of some kind because I need something that can be put on without too much fuss when I’m on the go. Also Boscia blotting papers because Texas.

What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines)
I just finished Ilona Andrews’ latest, Iron and Magic, which was so wonderful it sent me into a deep depression because the next one in the series won’t be out until 2019. It’s the best/worst kind of torture for a reader!

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

I am a huge planner girl. I’m currently obsessed with my Hobonichi Cousin combined with a Micron 01 ultra fine pen. Using these two things together keep me sane. Also, I carry packets of True Lemon to add to my iced water (another beauty tip – hydrate!) and a rollerball filled with my homemade essential oil blend of lavender, peppermint and lemon. It’s supposed to be for allergies and headaches, but I add extra peppermint and on a hot Texas day, it’s delightful on the back of my neck.

 

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Open Book with Michelle Gable

I have been a huge an of Michelle Gable’s since I first read, I’ll See You in Paris.  She has a way with her storytelling that transports you.  I was thrilled to hear that she was going to be writing about John F. Kennedy in her latest, The Summer I Met Jack.  I am a Kennedy enthusiast and always love a story that I do not know much about cue this book and the quintessential New England summer read.  I am so excited to have Michelle back on the blog to day in my latest “Open Book” feature and if you like Flashdance then you will LOVE Michelle- see below ❤

SUMMER I MET JACK_FINAL

via Amazon ~

“[The Summer I Met Jack] offers an alternate Kennedy family history that will leave readers wondering whether America knew the real JFK at all.” —Kirkus Reviews

New York Times bestselling author imagines the affair between John F. Kennedy and Alicia Corning Clark – and the child they may have had.

Based on a real story – in 1950, a young, beautiful Polish refugee arrives in Hyannisport, Massachusetts to work as a maid for one of the wealthiest families in America. Alicia is at once dazzled by the large and charismatic family, in particular the oldest son, a rising politician named Jack.

Alicia and Jack are soon engaged, but his domineering father forbids the marriage. And so, Alicia trades Hyannisport for Hollywood, and eventually Rome. She dates famous actors and athletes and royalty, including Gary Cooper, Kirk Douglas, and Katharine Hepburn, all the while staying close with Jack. A decade after they meet, on the eve of Jack’s inauguration as the thirty-fifth President of the United States, the two must confront what they mean to each other.

The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable is based on the fascinating real life of Alicia Corning Clark, a woman who J. Edgar Hoover insisted was paid by the Kennedys to keep quiet, not only about her romance with Jack Kennedy, but also a baby they may have had together.

 

Michelle 278_credit Joanna DeGeneres

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

JFK, Tim Ferriss, and Oprah. A dream book club could never be complete without her!

2. Current binge series?

I’m not really a binger, but the most recent series I watched was the One Day at a Time reboot.

3. Last favorite book?

Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

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

Bikini, linen dress, and a book. Two places I’ve been dying to see are Portugal and Isla Holbox in Mexico.  

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Neither. People Magazine and/or Entertainment Weekly. 

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

My good friend and doubles partner, Erin.  

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

Gloria by Keith Maillard

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

I was an accounting major (you know, like most aspiring authors), but took creative writing classes as electives. One professor said I was “selling out” by going into finance. I was like, “if by ‘selling out’ you mean, ‘pay my rent,’ then you are correct.” Maybe that’s not encouragement, exactly? When I was younger, the support definitely came from my dad.

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

Never.   

10. Describe your writing space?

We recently turned our daughters’ former playroom into my office and it’s a great space. It’s at the top of the stairs, with a sliding barn door and windows that open onto the stairwell. It is gray with pops of blue and has white built-in cabinets and dark walnut floors lied diagonally. The desk is huge and there are three distinct work spaces, so my girls can do their homework with me, if they want.

11. Coffee or tea?

Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.

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

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed

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

Amazon made a pilot for The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer and I loved it. I kept waiting for the rest of the series, but it never came. I wish they’d finish!

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

This is embarrassing but the first song that popped into my head was What a Feeling by Irene Cara from the movie Flashdance. It reminds me so much of my childhood and I sing it to the girls all the time. I love the lines “Take your passion, and make it happen…” I was trying to convince my youngest daughter to use it for her “walk up” song this summer at the national playoffs for softball, but she was unmoved by my pleas.

 15. What/Who inspires you?

Other writers inspire me for sure—whether they write novels, or scripts, or something else. If I’m stuck, reading something always helps.

 16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

No—although I do like Bethenny Frankel.  

17. Favorite Instagram account?

That’s a tough one! Probably @celestebarber or @travelandleisure

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

I recently read and loved Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood. It comes out in August and is about the true story that inspired Nabokov’s Lolita. I’m sure there are many shades of “Lolita” out there already, so I’d call it “Sally” after Sally Horner, the real girl behind the book. It’d either have to be very light pink, to reflect her innocence, or a garish, glittery fuchsia, something a young girl would think was pretty just because it was so loud.

19. Current #TBR pile?

The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara

A Theory of Love by Margaret Bradham Thornton

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

 20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

“If it’s not a ‘hell yes,’ then it’s a ‘no.’” This helps me prioritize and reminds me not to say yes to things out of obligation, especially when I’m on deadline, or about to go on tour!

 

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