Open Book with Rea Frey

We may be saying good bye to summer but it’s not really official until end of September so keep on with the delectable summer reads!  Rea Freys’ debut fiction novel is one for your must-read lists!  Not Her Daughter, already optioned for film, is the perfect read to enjoy by a fire pit on these indian summer nights.  Missing child, unsure mother and successful kidnapper are all the key ingredients in this page-turner.  I was thrilled when Rea answered a few questions for my latest “Open Book”.  She might just be the book BFF I didn’t know I needed 🙂 Very Cavallari, wine and US Weekly and a #tbr pile of some of my favorites- Rea, call me ❤

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via Amazon ~

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

PopSugar – The Summer’s Hottest Books * Refinery 29 – Best Summer Thrillers * US Weekly – Summer’s Best Send-Offs * Parade – 20 Chilling Thrillers by Women to Read This Year * Brit + Co – 15 New Thrillers by Women That Will Give You Chills This Summer * The Zoe Report – 20 Books to Read this Summer * She Reads – New Summer Thrillers to Get Your Heart Racing * Working Mother – 15 Hot New Summer Beach Reads * Culturalist – Top Ten Domestic Thrillers That Will Make You Question Everything * Crime Reads – 5 Debut Crime Novels to Read This August

 

“Brings to mind Jodi Picoult…thought-provoking domestic drama.” – Booklist

“Will make you miss your bedtime, guaranteed.” – Bestselling author Kimberly Belle

Gripping, emotional, and wire-taut, Not Her Daughter raises the question of what it means to be a mother—and how far someone will go to keep a child safe.

Emma Townsend. Five years old. Gray eyes, brown hair. Missing since June.

Emma is lonely. Living with her cruel mother and clueless father, Emma retreats into her own world of quiet and solitude.

Sarah Walker. Successful entrepreneur. Broken-hearted. Kidnapper.

Sarah has never seen a girl so precious as the gray-eyed child in a crowded airport terminal. When a second-chance encounter with Emma presents itself, Sarah takes her—far away from home. But if it’s to rescue a little girl from her damaging mother, is kidnapping wrong?

Amy Townsend. Unhappy wife. Unfit mother. Unsure whether she wants her daughter back.

Amy’s life is a string of disappointments, but her biggest issue is her inability to connect with her daughter. And now Emma is gone without a trace.

As Sarah and Emma avoid the nationwide hunt, they form an unshakeable bond. But what about Emma’s real mother, back at home?

Praise for Not Her Daughter

“The plot twists here are brave, the themes are both poignant and unsettling, and the resolution is deeply resonant. A page-turner with heart!”New York Times bestselling author Kate Moretti

“A cleverly constructed novel that will have you questioning everything you believe about right or wrong.” – New York Times bestselling author Chevy Stevens

“Engrossing and suspenseful, Frey writes her characters with depth and compassion, challenging readers to question their own code of ethics.” Zoje Stage, author of Baby Teeth

“An emotional ride where the line between right and wrong begins to fade…pulls you in from the very first page, and unlike most in its genre, you won’t know how you want it to end until it does.Wendy Walker, author of Emma in the Night

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

Maya Angelou, James Joyce, and Sylvia Plath. Can’t you just imagine that conversation? 

2. Current binge series?

Very Cavallari. It follows Kristin Cavallari on her journey to open her accessory store, Uncommon James. It takes place in Nashville (where I live), and I CAN’T STOP WATCHING IT. 

3. Last favorite book?

Three Days Missing by Kimberly Belle

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

Book, workout clothes, journal. My dream vacation is in the mountains, near water, where I can hike, write, and eat my face off. 

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

I should say NYT, right? Smart people say NYT. But I’m an US WEEKLY gal all the way. It’s my unwind go-to read with a glass of wine and a big old bubble bath. 

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

My husband

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

To Kill a Mockingbird

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

Yes! My father, for starters. He is a magnificent writer, and from the time I was young, he taught me the love of reading (through TV Guides, of all things), writing poetry, and storytelling. My third grade teacher, Mrs. Seard, was instrumental in helping me craft stories. I also had a wonderful AP English teacher in high school, Mrs. Johnson, who let me write to my heart’s content and helped me craft my writing portfolio to submit to college writing programs. I went to Columbia for fiction writing, so, you know, all the teachers there were beyond helpful. 

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

Not always, but if I do, it’s actually Billie Holiday, classical, Son Lux, or a mellow playlist on Spotify. 

10. Describe your writing space?

I actually share a desk with my husband, but he made the desk, so I suppose he can use it too. It’s an eight-foot long slab of wood. I have the left side, he has the right. (He’s a designer, so we are often sketching and writing together, which is nice.) I like a minimalistic space, so I have flowers, my laptop, a stack of advance reader copies, and oh so many pens. 

11. Coffee or tea?

Coffee. I don’t trust tea drinkers…

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

I absolutely love Pam Grout’s books. E2 and E3 are life changers. In terms of writing, Story Genius by Lisa Cron. I have recommended this book more times than I can count! 

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

The Secret History by Donna Tartt 

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

Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley. I love this song. I’ve made love to this song. I’ve cried to this song. I’ve broken up to this song. I got married to this song. It showcases the struggles we all face. It’s romantic, and tragic, and hopeful at the same time, much like life. 

15. What/Who inspires you?

My daughter inspires me every single day. She’s only six years old, but she has it all figured out. (Seriously, children are the best teachers, aren’t they?) She reminds me to step away from my computer, to put the damn phone down, to play, to laugh, and to not take everything so seriously. She literally insists I go jump on the trampoline if I’ve been sitting too long. She’s my hero. 

16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

Nope

17. Favorite Instagram account?

I love Instagram so much, and though I’ve only been on it for a little over a year, I find the “audience” there to be so supportive and authentic. Ironically, my favorite account is a brand new one: @manifesting.through.the.mess, which is all about navigating the mess of motherhood and reclaiming yourself along the way. Elizabeth Pearson is going to do big things, y’all. You should follow her. 

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

You are a Badass: hot pink

19. Current #TBR pile?

Holy shit, my list is like a mile high. (No, really, I can show you.) In no particular order: 

The Darkest Time of Night by Jeremy Finley

Ghosted by Rosie Walsh

The Bucket List by Georgia Clark

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell

Other People’s Houses by Abbi Waxman

When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri

And the list continues…

20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

There is no right time. Now is the right time. 

We live in such an if/then society. We’re scared to take risks, to burst out of the norm, to do what we want when we want. We think there’s a perfect time to do the things we really want. When you get enough money. When you have the steady job. When the kids go to school. When all the shit gets done. When you’re not so tired. But there isn’t any magical time to follow your own path. LIFE is the time, and it’s right now. I think waiting is one of the biggest detriments to being happy and living a more fulfilled life. 

 

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Open Book with Caroline Kepnes

Continuing with my love for the hometown gals today with the one and only Caroline Kepnes!!!!  Dream. Come. True.  Kepnes, born in Cape Cod now living in Cali, latest book Providence is out now!  Currently making like every summer must- read list and best of 2018 books list, continues with her creepy and dark vibe but also intertwines a love story throughout.  You may remember her debut stunner, You, which was praised by none other than thriller master Stephen King.  You was adapted for television and will be premiering in September on Lifetime.  I am so THRILLED, pun intended, that she is my latest Open Book, sharing her love for the New York Housewives, lattes and Judy Blume ❤

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via Amazon ~

“A dark beauty of a book, Providence kept me up at night with characters that made my heart a little bigger.”—Jessica Knoll, New York Times bestselling author of Luckiest Girl Alive

“Part love story, part supernatural thriller and completely engrossing” (People)—from the acclaimed author of You, whose work Stephen King describes as “hypnotic and totally original”

Best friends in small-town New Hampshire, Jon and Chloe share a bond so intense that it borders on the mystical. But before Jon can declare his love for his soul mate, he is kidnapped, his plans for a normal life permanently dashed.

Four years later, Chloe has finally given up hope of ever seeing Jon again. Then, a few months before graduation, Jon reappears. But he is different now: bigger, stronger, and with no memory of the time he was gone. Jon wants to pick up where he and Chloe left off . . . until the horrifying instant he realizes that he possesses strange powers that pose a grave threat to everyone he cares for. Afraid of hurting Chloe, Jon runs away, embarking on a journey for answers.

Meanwhile, in Providence, Rhode Island, healthy college students and townies with no connection to one another are suddenly, inexplicably dropping dead. A troubled detective prone to unexplainable hunches, Charles “Eggs” DeBenedictus suspects there’s a serial killer at work. But when he starts asking questions, Eggs is plunged into a whodunit worthy of his most outlandish obsessions.

In this dazzling new novel—and with an intense, mesmerizing voice—Caroline Kepnes makes keen and powerful observations about human connection and how love and identity can dangerously blur together.

Praise for Providence

Providence is a novel that doesn’t fit into one box—it’s tender and dark, eerie and cool, heartbreaking but also an affirmation of the power of love. Kepnes perfectly captures each character’s struggle and pain in such a unique, unconventional way that every page—every sentence—is a delightful surprise.”—Sara Shepard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars

“Caroline Kepnes is cool right this minute. . . . [Providence is] terrifically conceived and executed. . . . Kepnes has an exhilarating, poppy, unexpected voice.”The New York Times Book Review

“An addictive horror-tinged romance that’ll keep you guessing.”Entertainment Weekly

Caroline Kepnes_credit Courtney Dowling Pugliese_Ace Photography

 

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

 I’m gonna go with all dead because the impossibility of the lively conversation is bittersweet to me. Joan Rivers, Spalding Grey and Patricia Highsmith.

  1. Current binge series?

 I just started Succession because my friend told me about a violent moment involving a can of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce.

  1. Last favorite book?

 Fashion Victim by Amina Akhtar, what a unique, biting out-there and in-there book.

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

 Bathing suit, sneakers & books, Martha’s Vineyard in summer OR snow suit, sneakers & books, Sweden in winter.

  1. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

 Sunday NYT because more and more I don’t recognize so many people in US Weekly!

  1. Last person you sent a text message to?

 Kristina Valentine, friend from home, we just realized we are both here.

  1. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

 Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret.

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

 Mick Carlon, Kathleen Flaherty and Ed O’Toole at Barnstable High School, Meredith Steinbach, Chuck Mee, Tracy Breton at Brown University.

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

 Sometimes. With Providence it was a lot of covers and originals because I was writing about nostalgia, capturing that period between the time in your life when it’s all ahead, and that time when you’re like oh, ok, this is how it worked out. With the draft I just finished, I blasted “Between the Cheats” by Amy Winehouse after most sessions. That’s a haunting, menacing song.

  1. Describe your writing space?

 My sofa is named Corky and my lower back wishes that I would sit at my desk in the ergonomic chair, but you know, such is life. I also write in coffee shops with headphones on. There’s nothing better than realizing you have lost sense of your surroundings because you’re so in the zone. I can write anywhere when it’s in my head. That’s a wonderful thing about the cell phone, the notepad app.

  1. Coffee or tea?

 Latte

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

 Stewart O’Nan’s Last Night at the Lobster

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

 I think it would be a great time to remake “Smooth Talk”, which is based on “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” by Joyce Carol Oates. And I would love to see “The Beloveds” by Maureen Lindley brought to life. Kealan Patrick Burke has a graphic short story in John Carpenter’s Tales for a Halloween Night Volume 3 that is crying out to be adapted too, a divorced father spending time with his daughters, oh God, that could be so well done. I mean the storyboards are already there!

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

 “Nothing Compares 2 U” because of the longing, the love, the soul, the yearning, the soaring, the emotional highs and lows that define my life and what writing is for me.

  1. What/Who inspires you?

 Everything. I’m fascinated by the cultural and psychological impact of technology on our lives, so you seey characters grappling with their emotional hardships that are exacerbated by all this communication and connection.

  1. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

 I watched this week’s episode of Real Housewives of New York four times, so that’s my jam. The women on that show fascinate me and it’s been on for so many years, they’re like family you watch from afar.

  1. Favorite Instagram account?

 @PopCultureDiedin2009 THANK YOU FOR ALL THE GIGGLES AND MIND FUCKS

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

Sleeping Beauties, a glowing, incandescent shade reminiscent of the dress worn by Barbie Magic Moves in the 80s

  1. Current #TBR pile?

 Now reading (and savoring) Foe by Iain Reid, then Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall, How to Get Into Our House and Where We Keep the Money by Panio Gianopolous, Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard, The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder, The Hunger by Whitley Strieber, The Goddesses by Swan Huntley

  1. Best advice you’ve ever received?

Hold onto your real feelings while you make stuff up

 

 

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via Amazon ~

*Soon to be a Lifetime drama series*

Hypnotic and scary.” —Stephen King

“I am RIVETED, AGHAST, AROUSED, you name it. The rare instance when prose and plot are equally delicious.” —Lena Dunham

From debut author Caroline Kepnes comes You, one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Books of 2014, and a brilliant and terrifying novel for the social media age.

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

A terrifying exploration of how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation, debut author Caroline Kepnes delivers a razor-sharp novel for our hyper-connected digital age. You is a compulsively readable page-turner that’s being compared to Gone Girl, American Psycho, and Stephen King’s Misery.

 

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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? ~ 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 🙂

TBBS Cover

 

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.

Author photo small

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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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What’s in my Bookish (Beauty) Bag? ~ Maria Murnane

One thing I love about book blogging is discovering new, fabulous authors like Maria Murnane.  We connected via email and she sent her AH-mazing books my way.  Her latest, Bridges, is out now and is the quintessential female fiction as well as her already popular Waverly Bryson Series.  (Psst, if you have Prime and the Kindle App, the first book is free- you’re welcome.)  Read below to see Maria’s funky tote filled with a fave beauty product of mine- MAC lipstick!

Bridges cover FINAL .jpg

All eight covers Feb 2017.jpg

via Amazon~

From the bestselling author of the Waverly Bryson series.

It’s a piece of news Daphne never expected to hear: Her globe-trotting friend Skylar, who vowed never to get married, is engaged! Time to celebrate in Manhattan—Skylar’s treat, of course. After years scaling the corporate ladder, she can more than afford it.

Daphne arrives in NYC with news of her own—the novel she’s finally finished appears to be going nowhere but the trash bin of every publishing house around. She’s devastated but plans to keep her disappointment under wraps, something that becomes trickier when she sees Skylar’s spectacular apartment. Could her life have been like this if she’d chosen a different path?

What Daphne doesn’t know is she’s not the only one with a secret. Skylar and their friend KC are also holding something back, but what? As the trip unfolds, the truth about each woman emerges, along with tears.

And laughter. And love.

The fun-loving trio readers fell for in Wait for the Rain is together once more. Here’s to the power of friendship!

My purse

What is your bag of choice?
I love tote bags because they are so easy. I don’t care about brands– I bought the one in this photo at a street fair in Vietnam for $7!
 
What are your top favorite beauty picks?  
I love Mac lipstick– my favorite color is Midimauve
 
What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?  
The two products I have with me at all times are lipstick and hand lotion. I have the dryest hands– it is so annoying!
 
What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines)
I’m currently reading a novella called Broken Bay. My friend Andrea Dunlop wrote it!
 
And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you 🙂
This photo shows my staples: my Kindle, my lipstick, my hand lotion, my sunglasses, my business cards, my Altoids, and my mini-purse for money, etc. The only thing missing is my phone, which I needed to take the picture. 🙂

Maria 6

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*Thanks Maria for sharing your bag and the gift of your books!