Lake Union Double Feature ~ What’s in My Bookish (Beauty) Bag? ~ Kathy Cooperman and Kerry Lonsdale

Lake Union is a treasure chest of books and authors.  The publishing company of Amazon, is always producing literary gems and I am lucky to be able to get my hands on them.  I am so excited that two of their fabulous authors ~ Kathy Cooperman and Kerry Lonsdale decided to share not only their gorgeous bags but celebrate their two latest releases!  Both the prefect anecdote for end-of-summeritis 😉

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via Amazon ~

“Lighthearted…You’ll speed through this read.” —Real Simple

Best friends Annie and Sarah need cash—fast. Sarah, a beautiful, successful lawyer, wants nothing more than to have a baby. But balancing IVF treatments with a grueling eighty-hour workweek is no walk in the park. Meanwhile, Annie, a Harvard-grad chemist recently transplanted to Southern California, is cutting coupons to afford her young autistic son’s expensive therapy.

Desperate, the two friends come up with a brilliant plan: they’ll combine Sarah’s looks and Annie’s brains to sell a “luxury” antiaging face cream to the wealthy, fading beauties in Annie’s La Jolla book club. The scheme seems innocent enough, until Annie decides to add a special—and oh-so-illegal—ingredient that could bring their whole operation crashing to the ground.

Hilarious, intelligent, and warm, Crimes Against a Book Club is a delightful look at the lengths women will go to fend for their families and for one another.

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What is your bag of choice?

My bag of choice is a Simply Vera Wang handbag I got at Kohls last year.  It’s like my brain:  roomy, compartmentalized and full of junk.  I love it because it’s practical, but stylish.  My older kids – I have four of these creatures—are getting to a point where they don’t want their mom to embarrass them with her sheer dowdiness.

 

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

I use a mashup of high-end and bargain basement products – whatever works.  I have very dry skin (think tumbleweed) so I need stuff that moisturizes and protects; otherwise, I look like the Crypt Keeper.  My go-tos these days are: Laura Geller’s Spackle Supercharged Primer (moisturizes like nobody’s business), Tarte primer and concealer (takes ten years off my face – I hope), Lancome liquid eyeliner, and Almay multi-coat mascara (cheap, but works great to prevent me from looking like one of those pin-cushion-eyed babies from The Muppets).   Also, since I have frizzy, super thick hair (a Jewfro), I use CHI Shine Infusion hair spray to moisturize and tame my hair.

 

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

Since I live in sunny San Diego, I always carry weapons-grade sunscreen for me and my kids.  I also would never be caught dead without a hairbrush (see Jewfro referenced above) and lipstick.   I use Maybelline Super Stay 24 Hour Color lipstick.  I love bright, red lipstick, but I am too lazy and disorganized to reapply.

 

What are you currently reading?

YOU’LL GROW OUT OF IT by Jessi Klein.  She’s hilarious (writes for Amy Schumer).  She tells on herself with great honesty.  I also read a ton of Simon Brett murder mysteries.

 

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

Emergency chocolate.  And life savers for when the emergency chocolate runs out.  I use candy bribes on my children and myself.

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via Amazon ~

From the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Everything We Keep comes the highly anticipated sequel. Told from one man’s two perspectives, Everything We Left Behindeffortlessly blends suspense, mystery, and romance in an exploration of loss, resilience, and the compelling need to protect the ones we love at all cost.

Two months before his wedding, financial executive James Donato chased his trade-laundering brother Phil to Mexico, only to be lost at sea and presumed dead. Six and a half years later, he emerges from a dissociative fugue state to find he’s been living in Oaxaca as artist Carlos Dominguez, widower and father of two sons, with his sister-in-law Natalya Hayes, a retired professional surfer, helping to keep his life afloat. But his fiancée, Aimee Tierney, the love of his life, has moved on. She’s married and has a child of her own.

Devastated, James and his sons return to California. But Phil is scheduled for release from prison, and he’s determined to find James, who witnessed something in Mexico that could land Phil back in confinement. Under mounting family pressure, James flees with his sons to Kauai, seeking refuge with Natalya. As James begins to unravel the mystery of his fractured identity, danger is never far behind, and Natalya may be the only person he can trust.

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

I have three bags I switch around throughout a week: a red Kate Spade shoulder bag, a saddle-brown Michael Kors bag that looks like a piece of luggage, and the black leather Moda Luxe you caught me with today.

 

What are your top favorite beauty picks? 

bareMinerals is my go-to for all beauty products, from facial lotion to lipstick. It’s the only brand I’ve come across that works for me. It doesn’t dry out my skin or feel too heavy.

 

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

Lipstick! My everyday color is the bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Rise Up. You’ll also find the Mentha Shimmer Tint lip gloss in Bare Mint flavor from Co. Bigelow in that fuzzy leopard print cosmetic bag along with the bareMinerals performance wear powder foundation I use for touchup throughout the day. A new favorite is the invisible glow powder highlighter I received with my last bareMinerals purchase. It was the freebie gift and gives your cheeks and chin that dazzling magazine shimmer you see in ads.

 

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

I prefer to travel light, even around town, so I don’t carry paperbacks. I’ve been a die-hard e-reader since Amazon first launched the Kindle. (I used to own the flagship white brick version.) Right now I’m reading several books on  my Kindle Oasis, a couple of early reads for books publishing in 2018 along with Camille Pagan’s FOREVER IS THE WORST LONG TIME.

 

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

I wouldn’t necessarily call them fun, but I ALWAYS must have my Tory Burch (prescription) Sunglasses and Coach bifocals. (Gah! My poor eyes.) You don’t see it in the photo (because I ate it), but I always carry an RxBar. My favorite is the cocoa and date bar. And thanks to my fair English-Scottish complexion, you’ll always find Supergoop lip balm in SPF 30 and CeraVe Sunscreen face lotion in SFP 50 in my bag.

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Thanks to Kathy and Kerry!

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Liz and Lisa Edition

Guys.  If I am telling you about Liz and Lisa and it’s the first time you have heard of this fabulous duo that you can thank me later.  If not, then you know how ridiculously amazing these two besties turned authors are.  I have decided to not only feature their latest book- The Good Widow but showcase their others as well (see at bottom of interview) because I love them that much!  I am currently into The Good Widow and I am literally bringing it in the car, reading during my morning coffee and stay up way too late to just finish one more page.  I had the lucky fortune of meeting them last summer at a signing and they are exactly how you would picture- kind, inspiring and not to mention gorgeous!  I am beyond thrilled to have them today, sharing their bags 🙂

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via Amazon

Bestselling authors Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke make their suspense debut in this twisty, emotional thriller.

Elementary school teacher Jacqueline “Jacks” Morales’s marriage was far from perfect, but even in its ups and downs it was predictable, familiar. Or at least she thought it was…until two police officers showed up at her door with devastating news. Her husband of eight years, the one who should have been on a business trip to Kansas, had suffered a fatal car accident in Hawaii. And he wasn’t alone.

For Jacks, laying her husband to rest was hard. But it was even harder to think that his final moments belonged to another woman—one who had left behind her own grieving and bewildered fiancé. Nick, just as blindsided by the affair, wants answers. So he suggests that he and Jacks search for the truth together, retracing the doomed lovers’ last days in paradise.

Now, following the twisting path of that fateful road, Jacks is learning that nothing is ever as it seems. Not her marriage. Not her husband. And most certainly not his death…

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What is you bag of choice?

Liz: Right now I’m loving my Lululemon “All Day” tote! I always have a million things going on, and this big ol’ bag hold EVERYTHING! It also washes down easily, for when I spill my smoothie all over it. (Which is often!)

Lisa: I’m currently carrying my Kate Spade tote because I was surprised by Liz and my husband with a trip to San Diego and it doubles as a computer bag/purse.

And, this isn’t just to butter you up, BUT, inside my tote, I have my The Good Widow make-up bag you gave us which I use for my on-the –airplane-must-haves such as pens, hand sanitizer, ibuprofen, ear plugs, ear buds and band aids (you never know when a torn cuticle could strike).

 

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

Liz: I’m a huge fan of the Thelavicos line. The nutrition cream absorbs quickly & doesn’t leave a tacky residue. I have super dry lizard skin and it keeps me hydrated all day, not to mention it’s smoothed out my (gasp!) fine lines and wrinkles! And their Bio Repair wrinkle eye cream is awesome for masking how tired I am! And these products are paraben & gluten free—which is a huge plus!

Lisa: I’m a Burt’s Bees girl. I like their products because they are paraben free and don’t irritate my skin. Plus, they work really well.  Daily, I use the Brightening daily facial cleanser, the brightening tonic, the renewal firming day lotion with SPF 30 and the renewing smoothing eye cream. At night, I slather on the Renewal firming night cream.

 

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

Liz: Lip gloss, lip gloss and more lip gloss! I’m a little obsessed. And also, I never leave the house without my Sun Bum spf lip moisturizer! It has vitamin E and aloe in it, and it protects my lips from the sun! (Not to mention it smells delicious!)

Also—I can’t get enough of Trish McEvoy’s no smudge mascara. For the first time in my life, I can wear mascara on my bottom lashes without looking like I went on a bender the night before. Thanks to author Jane Green for the suggestion!

Lisa: I always have Blistex or some type of moisturizing chap stick. I try to remember to put lip gloss in for those inevitable selfies but often forget! (Thank gawd for filters!)

Another must-have beauty product for me is Laura Mercier concealer #2. I’ve used it for years and, let’s just say it’s as necessary as coffee in the morning!

 

 What are you currently reading? 

Liz: I really love entertainment Weekly and it’s the only magazine I still subscribe to! I’m also currently reading an advanced copy of Taylor Jenkin Reid’s latest: THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO—it’s a must read for the summer!

Lisa: I read a ton of mags. Everything from Inc. to Cooking Light to People. (I might have a magazine subscription addiction.) As for books, I just finished THE ARRANGMENT by Sarah Dunn which is I now consider one of my favorite books. I’m currently reading THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER by Amy E. Reichert and THE DRY by Jane harper. (I’m often reading more than one book at once.) These are VERY different novels, but both fabulous.

 

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

 Liz: A hairbrush! I have really thick hair that gets all tangly while I’m running around. My hair has random blonde hair EVERYWHERE. Le sigh.

 

Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke credit Debbie Friedrich Photography.

Liz and Lisa’s Back catalogue

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via Amazon ~

Two childhood best friends wake up the morning after their twentieth high school reunion to discover that they’ve switched bodies in this hilarious and heartwarming debut by two childhood best friends.

With “a delicious, page-turning premise, and sweet and surprising insights” (New York Timesbestselling author Jen Lancaster), Your Perfect Life perfectly illustrates that old adage: Sometimes, you have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to see what’s in her heart.

Best friends since childhood, Casey and Rachel couldn’t lead more different lives. While workaholic Casey rubs elbows with celebrities daily as the host of Gossip TV and comes home nightly to an empty apartment, stay-at-home mom Rachel juggles an “oops” baby, two fiery teenagers, and a husband who barely seems the man she fell in love with two decades before. After an argument at their twentieth high school reunion, Casey and Rachel throw back shots to get the night back on track. Instead, they get a life-changing hangover.

Waking up in each other’s bodies the next morning, they must figure out how to navigate their altered realities. Rachel is forced to face the broadcasting dreams she gave up when she got pregnant in college, and Casey finally steps out of the spotlight to face the real reason why she’s alone. And they soon discover that they don’t know themselves—or their best friend—nearly as well as they thought they did.

Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke bring their “witty, winning style” (Sarah Pekkanen, author of The Best of Us) to every page of this novel that is sure to please fans of In Her Shoes and The Opposite of MeYour Perfect Life is a story of humor and heart about two best friends, what they didn’t know about each other, and how, by switching lives, each learns to appreciate her own.

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via Amazon ~

What would you do if you could literally rewrite your fate—on Facebook? This heartwarming and hilarious new novel from the authors of Your Perfect Life follows a woman who discovers she can change her life through online status updates.

Kate is a thirty-five-year-old woman who is obsessed with social media. So when her fiancé, Max, breaks things off at their rehearsal dinner—to be with Kate’s close friend and coworker, no less—she goes straight to Facebook to share it with the world. But something’s changed. Suddenly, Kate’s real life starts to mirror whatever she writes in her Facebook status. With all the power at her fingertips, and heartbroken and confused over why Max left her, Kate goes back in time to rewrite their history.

Kate’s two best friends, Jules and Liam, are the only ones who know the truth. In order to convince them she’s really time traveled, Kate offers to use her Facebook status to help improve their lives. But her attempts to help them don’t go exactly as planned, and every effort to get Max back seems to only backfire, causing Kate to wonder if it’s really possible to change her fate.

In The Status of All Things, Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke combine the humor and heart of Sarah Pekkanen and Jennifer Weiner while exploring the pitfalls of posting your entire life on the Internet. They raise the questions: What if you could create your picture-perfect life? Would you be happy? Would you still be you? For anyone who’s ever attempted—or failed—to be their perfect self online, this is a story of wisdom and wit that will leave you with new appreciation for the true status of your life.

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via Amazon ~

If you could repeat one year of your life, what would you do differently? This heartwarming and hilarious novel from the authors of The Status of All Things and Your Perfect Life features three best friends who get the chance to return to the year they turned forty—the year that altered all of their lives, in ways big and small—and also get the opportunity to change their future.

Jessie loves her son Lucas more than anything, but it tears her up inside that he was conceived in an affair that ended her marriage to a man she still loves, a man who just told her he’s getting remarried. This time around, she’s determined to bury the secret of Lucas’ paternity, and to repair the fissures that sent her wandering the first time.

Gabriela regrets that she wasted her most fertile years in hot pursuit of a publishing career. Yes, she’s one of the biggest authors in the world, but maybe what she really wanted to create was a family. With a chance to do it again, she’s focused on convincing her husband, Colin, to give her the baby she desires.

Claire is the only one who has made peace with her past: her twenty-two year old daughter, Emily, is finally on track after the turmoil of adolescence, and she’s recently gotten engaged, with the two carat diamond on her finger to prove it. But if she’s being honest, Claire still fantasizes about her own missed opportunities: a chance to bond with her mother before it was too late, and the possibility of preventing her daughter from years of anguish. Plus, there’s the man who got away—the man who may have been her one true love.

But it doesn’t take long for all three women to learn that re-living a life and making different decisions only leads to new problems and consequences—and that the mistakes they made may, in fact, have been the best choices of all…

 

❤ Thank you Liz and Lisa for sharing your bags and the gift of your AH-mazing books! xx

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Camille Di Maio

A long weekend is coming and what better to celebrate than lots of fun authors sharing their gorgeous bags!  To kick off this celebration I have the lovely Camille Di Maio, author of Before the Rain Falls, out now.  Di Maio, not only a beautiful fiction author, was a former real estate agent who left her career in the field to write full time, a choice that is so wonderful for us as readers 🙂  This latest novel intertwines the past, the present, family and love  so perfectly.  It’s sure to be a 2017 hit!

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via Amazon ~

After serving seventy years in prison for the murder of her sister, Eula, Della Lee has finally returned home to the Texas town of Puerto Pesar. She’s free from confinement—and ready to tell her secrets before it’s too late.

She finds a willing audience in journalist Mick Anders, who is reeling after his suspension from a Boston newspaper and in town, reluctantly, to investigate a mysterious portrait of Eula that reportedly sheds tears. He crosses paths with Dr. Paloma Vega, who’s visiting Puerto Pesar with her own mission: to take care of her ailing grandmother and to rescue her rebellious younger sister before something terrible happens. Paloma and Mick have their reasons to be in the hot, parched border town whose name translates as “Port of Regret.” But they don’t anticipate how their lives will be changed forever.

Moving and engrossing, this dual story alternates between Della’s dark ordeals of the 1940s and Paloma and Mick’s present-day search for answers―about roots, family, love, and what is truly important in life.

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

I have been gravitating toward backpacks for a few reasons. They keep my hands free for the all-important tasks of holding hot coffee and wrangling children. I can also carry my laptop in them so that I can write at a moment’s notice. My favorite one is by Orla Kiely. I found it at an airport shop in Belfast Northern Ireland as I waited for a flight to Liverpool. I love its coated canvas material, it’s striking colors, and its ideal size. It’s not a brand often seen in the US, so I also love how unique it is!

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

If I had to choose only one kind of makeup for the rest of my life, it would be mascara.  Loreal is my favorite brand – I get so many compliments on my lashes!  I like Kat Von D liquid eyeliner in blue, which makes my eyes stand out. Erase Paste by Benefit is awesome for the inevitable dark circles and blemishes.  My daughter recently introduced me to beauty blenders and I’m wondering how I went so long without them!  I also keep a spare pare of contact lenses just in case I lose one – I would be lost without them!

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

I have a great little Longchamp bag that is ideal for carrying around mints, lipstick, hair ties, and lipstick. I also like to include one of those round pop-up hair brushes for quick touch-ups.  I have long hair, so it’s a must!

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading an early copy of THE WEIGHT OF LIES by Emily Carpenter on my Kindle. It’s amazing Southern Gothic suspense.  I don’t normally read that genre, but this book might make me a convert.  My Kindle is a must-have piece in my bag.  I use ever spare minute to read. A five-minute wait in a grocery store line can get me through several pages!

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

I always carry pens, business cards with pictures of my books on them, and chocolate lollipops from See’s Candies.  The lollipops are long-lasting and satisfy frequent chocolate cravings!  Of course, my cell phone might as well be surgically attached.  My favorite feature is the camera and I’m amazed at the picture quality that can come from such a small device!  In another life, I would have been a photographer, so I love always having that at the ready.  I do have a super-ugly, utilitarian case, because I broke the glass too many times with the cute ones.

 

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Follow Camille:

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*Many thanks to Camille for chatting with us today!

Bliss Chat with Allison Winn Scotch

I was so fortunate enough to be able to ask the fabulous Allison Winn Scotch a few questions about In Twenty Years (see last weeks post).  It was my “Poolside Pick” of the week and a fabulous 2016 read.  See below for what she said about her college years as well as some fun facts about herself!

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Bliss Chat with Allison Winn Scotch

  1. I know your years at Penn played a big part in this book.  Are any of the characters or experiences based on real event or people?

Nope! I promise! I had to swear the same thing to a few of my friends too. None of the characters are at all like any of the people I knew there…for me, personally, it’s much harder to cull from real life than it is to make up new worlds and people entirely, so really, I very rarely write based on people or my own experiences. There are certainly some cultural references – like, yes, we did all dance to Prince on the jukebox at our local bar – and things like that, but nothing else is true.

 

  1. There are so many amazing characters in the book.  Who was your favorite to develop?  What storyline challenged you the most?

My favorite to write was probably Lindy. I know that she’s a polarizing character for some readers but for all the reasons she is complicated, that’s why I loved writing her. I struggle much more with characters who aren’t deeply flawed because working through those flaws are really what interests me as a writer…and as a person! To be honest, I didn’t realize how polarizing she would be, because I have so much love for her, until I heard from a few readers. As far as the storyline that challenged me most, it was probably Catherine’s: without giving too much away, I had to find the right balance between her believing that she was a “fraud,” and her actually being one.   

 

  1. What was your most favorite part of your college experience?  Least favorite?

I think, looking back, it was just that moment in time when everything felt possible, if that makes sense. Obviously the freedoms that come with no longer living at home and for me, at least, getting my crap together…in high school, I was a pretty good student but I didn’t work as hard as I should have. In college, I learned what it meant to self-motivate and take ownership not just of my work but of my relationships and friendships and all of that. I felt, as these characters did, invincible. My least favorite? Hmmm, I had a lot of romantic ups and downs, and I remember by my senior year, really feeling a bit claustrophobic and being ready to move on to something new. Though, looking back, I really do idealize those four years and mostly remember them with nothing but fondness.

 

  1. What would be your advice or thoughts to your own children about their college experience when the time comes?

Gosh, I just want them to find the school and place that makes them happy, that allows them to explore all aspects of themselves so that they can become fully-formed individuals. I really believe in giving my kids freedom and independence, so I hope that by the time they hit college, they’ll be able to truly take flight, whether it’s by studying abroad or pursuing an unexpected major or…just whatever seems to light their fire.

 

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

Boring answer, but it’s my home office. I am SUCH a creature of habit, and I really struggle to write anywhere else. My office has these beautiful high ceilings and huge bay windows and my dogs like to come in and snuggle at my feet. It’s just the right fit to motivate me.

 

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

My children (obviously!), my bed (splurge on nice sheets, it makes all the difference!!), my coffeemaker (nothing fancy but it’s still my favorite way to start the morning).

 

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

Probably tweet about it! LOL. That or immediately email it to my agent. I like to just get it off my desk and send it out into the world so it’s someone else’s thing to deal with. I am very much an “out of sight, out of mind,” person, so I like to put it out of mind for a while and just be relieved that it’s complete.

 

  1. What was the last book that you read?

I have about 30 pages left of Before the Fall: I’ve very much enjoyed it, and as soon as I’m done with this interview, I’m gonna go sink into my couch and finish it.

 

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

A make-up artist friend just turned me on to La Bella Donna products. Their undereye concealer is really fantastic – weightless but completely great coverage. They also have a mineral blush which brings me back from looking half-dead.

 

  1. Are you looking forward to any books that are coming out in 2016?

Well, I think everyone is looking forward to Liane Moriarty’s newest, Truly, Madly, Guilty. That will be up next for me!

 

In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch

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The summer books just keep getting better and the weather keeps getting hotter!  I was so excited to receive a copy of Allison Winn Scotch’sAllison Winn Scotch’s newest book, In Twenty Years.  Think the movie The Big Chill.  A wonderful, complex novel of a group of friends who reunite after their college graduation, twenty years later.  There is nothing I love more than a novel centered around a group of friends, especially an eclectic group and this was nothing short of that.  Winn, who is one of my favorite authors and really people because if you love Tim Riggins you are a friend of mine (you must follow her on Facebook to see her amazing posts about Felicity, Friday Night Lights and all things pop culture 🙂 ), knocks it out of the park with a book that is funny, emotional and real.  The characters, all completely different, are the outcome of what we all feel when we reunite with old friends- joy, envy, compassion and love.  Take my word for it, In Twenty Years will keep you turning the pages.

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In Twenty Years is a densely woven story, which I do not want to give too much away, and multi layered due to its rich characters and thorough plot.  A group of college friends reunite at the calling of their recently deceased friend thanks to a request in her will.  All at different points in their lives they gather together at their college house bringing baggage, secrets and confessions.  Told through alternating chapters for each character, the story is hard to resist as every page captures the essence of this group of friends and has revelations that will keep you guessing.  Winn Scotch, again tells a story that is unique yet captivating for the reader, something she does again and again with her books.  Get this book, grab a cocktail and settle into the sand.  In Twenty Years is my “Poolside Pick”of the week!  This book will bring you lots of BLISS 🙂

 

*Thanks to Lake Union for sending Bliss, Beauty and Books a review copy.