Open Book with Amy Poeppel

From the stunning, fabulous cover to the addictive title, Amy Poeppel’s Limelight is the one of the hottest reads of spring and must for any beach-read addict.  I was thrilled when she said she would answer Bliss, Beauty and Books “Open Book” questions.  She talked US Weekly, Real Housewives,  bookish beauty and her current TBR pile.  Read on to learn more about Amy and her latest book ❤

LIMELIGHT

via Amazon ~

“Outstanding…A tribute to Broadway, teen celebrity life, and a mother who has now seen it all, this work is tough love at its finest and a great read for those wanting a ride on the wild side.”—Booklist (starred review)

Best New Books You Should Read This Spring—PopSugar

In a smart and funny new novel by the author of the critically acclaimed, “big-hearted, charming” (The Washington Post) Small Admissions, a family’s move to New York City brings surprises and humor as their lives merge with the captivating world of Broadway.

Allison Brinkley—wife, mother, and former unflappable optimist—discovers that a carefully weighed decision to pack up and move her family from suburban Dallas to the glittery chaos of Manhattan may have been more complicated than she and her husband initially thought.

Allison learns that New York is unruly and bewildering, defying the notions she developed from romantic movies and a memorable childhood visit. After a humiliating call from the principal’s office and the loss of the job she was counting on, Allison begins to accept that New York may not suit her after all.

When Allison has a fender-bender, witnessed by a flock of mothers at her son’s new school, she is led to the penthouse apartment of a luxurious Central Park West building and encounters a spoiled, hungover, unsupervised teenager who looks familiar. It doesn’t take long to recognize him as Carter Reid—a famous pop star who has been cast in a new Broadway musical. Through this brush with stardom, Allison embraces a unique and unexpected opportunity that helps her find her way in the heart of Manhattan.

In a book that delivers laughs, warmth, and delightful wish fulfillment, Poeppel dives into celebrity culture and modern motherhood with her trademark “quick-witted and razor-sharp” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Maybe in Another Life) style.

Amy Poeppel

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

 I would love to be in a book club with Michelle Obama and Sarah Silverman, and I’d revive Noel Coward and invite him to join. I’m convinced the four of us would have great chemistry! (Lots of wit to go around!) We would drink cocktails, talk, and have a lot of laughs together, and we would choose terrific books to read.

2. Current binge series?

Barry on HBO! I love it in large part because I’m crazy about Bill Hader. I don’t know how this particular show works so well: it combines the humor of amateur acting classes with the horror of gruesome assassinations. Imagine if Waiting for Guffman and Pulp Fiction had a film baby… Weird, right? But for many reasons (the acting, the writing, the premise), the result is perfection.

 

3. Recent favorite book?

I adored Elinor Lipman’s On Turpentine Lane — it’s fantastically funny, original, and smart.

 

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

Books, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat. You’ll find me on the beach or pool-side.

 

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Please don’t make me choose!!

 

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

I sent a chicken emoji to one of my kids for no particular reason, other than as a way of saying hello.

 

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

Julie Schumacher’s Dear Committee Members. It’s so funny and clever, and I love epistolary novels.

 

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

I had so many fabulous teachers when I was in school, and I feel really grateful about that. From kindergarten through high school, I had English teachers who inspired me, encouraged me, and taught me to think and write. Bob Scanlan, a theater teacher/director I had in college, taught me how to write fast-paced dialogue.

 

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

 Unfortunately, I get way too distracted when I listen to music, especially music with lyrics. I need silence to get any work done.

 

10. Describe your writing space?

My desk is supposed to be my writing space, but it’s always too messy to be used. Instead, I sit on my bed, hunched over my laptop. Not great for the spine but terrific for productivity.

 

11. Coffee or tea?

Coffee!

 

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

 I have given Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons to many of my friends. I first read this lovely book when I was in my early twenties and have always found it has such broad appeal. Ellen is one of the most memorable female characters in fiction.

 

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

 May I name a few? Salvage The Bones by Jesmyn Ward, The Secret History by Donna Tartt, and The Bucket List by Georgia Clark.

 

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

I don’t know what it is about the song And She Was by The Talking Heads, but it feels like my theme song. I’m not an out-of-body experience kind of person, but something about this woman floating above her house and her neighborhood, checking out the world from this awesome perspective, and “moving out in all directions,” strikes me as fun and bizarre. Plus it’s just a great song.

 

15. What/Who inspires you?

Morning people inspire me. I am so impressed by anyone who wakes up and either writes (I’m talking to you, 5am Writers’ Club) or exercises. I am useless for about an hour after the alarm goes off and dysfunctional until I’ve had coffee. Mid-afternoon is a really good time for me.

 

16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

 In phases, that’s a definite yes. I always get hooked on a Real Housewives of Absolutely Anywhere for a whole season, but then I’ll forget to watch it when it comes back on again. So I’ve seen the first season of every Real Housewives show.

 

17. Favorite Instagram account?

 @thecontext for art and style, @bookbaristas for books and the reader’s life, and @henrythecoloradodog for the cutest dog/cat pictures ever.

 

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

I would wear “No Regret Rose” every day, named after Andrea Dunlop’s She Regrets Nothing. It would be a lovely shade of pink, like the cover of the book, and a little sparkly to go well with champagne.

 

19. Current #TBR pile?

Heads Of The Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Another Side of Paradise by Sally Koslow

The Late Bloomers’ Club by Louise Miller

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Eagle & Crane by Suzanne Rindell

 

20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

The best writing advice I’ve received is from Anne Lamott’s book Bird By Bird: “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something — anything — down on paper.”

 

Follow Amy:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

 

*Thanks to Kathleen Carter Communications for setting up this interview and a review copy of the book!*

Advertisements

Open Book ~ Peter Swanson

If you are a mystery and thriller enthusiast like me then of course you know Peter Swanson.  Reminiscent of a Hitchcockian thriller, his books are addictive and unputdownable.  My first Swanson novel was The Kind Worth Killing and it was the perfect cat and mouse chase that made me a solidifed fan.  His latest, All the Beautiful Lies is out now and a perfect spring break companion! I recently picked it in my top April picks for Shereads.com! Read below for his must-have travel items, recent reads and perfect song choice to describe his life.

All Beautiful Lies_final[2]

via Amazon ~

From the acclaimed author of Her Every Fear and The Kind Worth Killing comes a diabolically clever tale of obsession, revenge, and cold-blooded murder—a sly and brilliant guessing game of a novel in the vein of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Patricia Highsmith.

Harry Ackerson has always considered his stepmother Alice to be sexy and beautiful, in an “otherworldly” way. She has always been kind and attentive, if a little aloof in the last few years.

Days before his college graduation, Alice calls with shocking news. His father is dead and the police think it’s suicide. Devastated, Harry returns to his father’s home in Maine. There, he and Alice will help each other pick up of the pieces of their lives and uncover what happened to his father.

Shortly after he arrives, Harry meets a mysterious young woman named Grace McGowan. Though she claims to be new to the area, Harry begins to suspect that Grace may not be a complete stranger to his family. But she isn’t the only attractive woman taking an interest in Harry. The sensual Alice is also growing closer, coming on to him in an enticing, clearly sexual way.

Mesmerized by these two women, Harry finds himself falling deeper under their spell. Yet the closer he gets to them, the more isolated he feels, disoriented by a growing fear that both women are hiding dangerous—even deadly—secrets . . . and that neither one is telling the truth.

Peter Swanson Author Photo

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

Agatha Christie, Ira Levin, and Stephen King

Current binge series?

Babylon Berlin

Last favorite book?

You Were Never Really Here by Jonathan Ames

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

Walking shoes, books, a flask for whiskey. The English countryside.

Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Sunday Times

Last person you sent a text message to? 

My Goddaughter Meghan.

Book you read that you wished you wrote?

I recently read Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz and was very jealous.

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

I do. Mrs. Heffernan from 11th grade English. She read one of my short stories out loud. Embarrassing at the time, but it changed me.

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

I always listen to film soundtracks while I write. Lately I’ve been listening to Jonny Greenwood’s score for Phantom Thread.

Describe your writing space?

A small office with a cluttered desk. I write on the sofa with my cat next to me.

Coffee or tea?

Coffee

Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

I’ve given Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis to quite a few people.

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

I’d love to see a great film version of The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

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

Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered. I’m in one of those states, usually bewildered, all the time.

What/Who inspires you?

Stephen King inspires me as a writer. Despite his success he never mails it in.

Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

Definite no.

Favorite Instagram account?

Amanda Seyfried, who only publishes pictures of her dog.

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

Darker than Amber is the name of one of my favorite books by John D. MacDonald.

Current #TBR pile?

Providence by Caroline Kepnes, The Wife by Alafair Burke, The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same,” by Rudyard Kipling is a line I think about frequently.

 

Follow Peter:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

 

 

 

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Jessica Strawser

Jessica Strawser is not only the editor-at-large for Writer’s Digest, the must have publication for all writers, she is also new force  in the thriller book game.  Her debut novel, Almost Missed You was a Barnes and Noble 2017 book pick and her latest release, Not That I Could Tell is popping up on booklists everywhere.  And she has impeccable timing, who doesn’t love a great thriller for Spring break!  I am so excited she shared her tote with me featuring her favorite beauty items and go-to snack so she doesn’t get HANGRY. Don’t we all 😉

NOT THAT I COULD TELL

via Amazon ~

An innocent night of fun takes a shocking turn in Not That I Could Tell, the next page-turner from Jessica Strawser.

When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.

By Monday morning, one of them is gone.

Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce―and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her―and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions―especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.

As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors―and to ask how well anyone reallyknows anyone else.

IMG_20180227_083615

What is your bag of choice?

I used to drag a boring, standard-issue laptop bag to conferences and book festivals, until I stumbled across this stylish Vera Wang that can stand in for a purse as well. It has just the right pouches to keep everything I need sorted, plus a padded sleeve for my Macbook. And it’s so versatile—it has yet to clash with a single dress or outfit—I can take it straight from the podium to cocktail hour without looking out of place. I get compliments on it everywhere I go.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

Years ago, I went to the eye doctor for some annoying irritation around my eyes, only to learn that I was having a “stress response” to my makeup. It wasn’t an allergy, exactly, but it might as well have been. He recommended I switch to Almay, because their products are designed for people with similar sensitivities, and I haven’t had an issue since! I love their mineral sheer eye shadows, though I do sometimes wish the colors weren’t so limited. (If you’re reading this, Almay, more purples, please!)

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

I’m pretty minimalist, to be honest: lip balm (any kind, really), powder foundation (Neutrogena is my favorite), and hand wipes are the only things I really mind being caught without (though when I am, I do really, really mind). Then again, I always end up carrying so much of my kids’ stuff around in my purse, there’s barely room for my own!

What are you currently reading?

I have been so looking forward to the new memoir I Am, I Am, I Am by one of my favorite novelists, Maggie O’Farrell. It’s about her seventeen brushes with death, and though we’ve never met, I’m wholeheartedly glad that she survived every one.

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

I always try to have a granola bar or a pack of peanut butter crackers along, just in case. (I tell myself I’m bringing it for the kids, but who am I kidding? They inherited their ability to get hangry in a snap from me.)

Follow Jessica:

Facebook

Twitter