Open Book with Camille Di Maio

Any time Camille Di Maio writes one of her historical fiction gems they are a must for your reading wish list.  Her latest, The Way of Beauty is out now and is the story of two unlikely friends who are connected by a past and present love.  I was thrilled to chat with Camille again, she was featured last year in “What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag”,   and today she is talking Reese Witherspoon, coffee and Beatriz Williams, three of my favorite things ❤

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Hearts and dreams evolve in the shadow of the once-magnificent Penn Station.

Vera Keller, the daughter of German immigrants in turn-of-the-century New York City, finds her life upended when the man she loves becomes engaged to another woman. But Angelo Bellavia has also inadvertently opened up Vera’s life to unexpected possibilities. Angelo’s new wife, Pearl, the wealthy daughter of a clothing manufacturer, has defied her family’s expectations by devoting herself to the suffrage movement. In Pearl, Vera finds an unexpected dear friend…and a stirring new cause of her own. But when Pearl’s selfless work pulls her farther from Angelo and their son, the life Vera craved is suddenly within her reach—if her conscience will allow her to take it.

Her choice will define not only her future but also that of her daughter, Alice.

Vera and Alice—a generation and a world apart—are bound by the same passionate drive to fulfill their dreams. As first mother and then daughter come of age in a city that is changing as rapidly as its skyline, they’ll each discover that love is the only constant.

 

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  1. What three celebrities/authors/figures – living or dead – would you want to have a book club with? I would love to meet with Agatha Christie and ask her how she writes her amazing stories. I have read every single Poirot book and have never – ever – figured it out. Reese Witherspoon, so we could talk about all my favorite subjects – books, movies, parenting, clothes, and living in the south. And Rebecca Ryman, because she wrote my favorite book of all time – Olivia and Jai.
  2. Current binge series? I can’t wait to start Season 2 of Victoria. I’m waiting for my daughter to come home for spring break so that we can binge it to our hearts’ content!
  3. Last favorite book? I just finished reading an early copy of Three Days Missing by Kimberly Belle, and it’s the kind that had me putting things off so that I could read “just one more chapter.” Ha – I ended up finishing it in one day.
  4. What three things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation? 1. Always a book (or ten). 2. A sarong, because of course, there will be a beach. 3. Postcard stamps, because I LOVE sending snail mail.
  5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly? Us Weekly. Magazines are escapism for me.
  6. Last person you sent a text message to? My daughter in college. We keep in touch every day.
  7. Book you read that you wished you wrote? Olivia and Jai. It almost kept me from writing. It was a debut book and it was so so good. It intimidated me for a very long time.
  8. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer? My mom was my greatest encourager when I was growing up. She drilled me in vocabulary and believed I could do it even when I doubted.
  9. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who? If I listen to music, it is classical. I get focused on lyrics otherwise and it distracts me.
  10. Describe your writing space. With four kids and a husband who works from home, I do my best work out of the house. I love going to the library or my local Barnes and Noble, breathing in the literary air.
  11. Coffee or tea? Coffee. Cappuccinos to be precise!
  12. Do you have a favorite book that you gift? I have favorite authors that I gift frequently – Kate Morton and Beatriz Williams.
  13. If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why? “Another Day in Paradise” by Phil Vassar. It is about being grateful for all the distractions – the laundry, the bills to pay, the phone ringing, the kids needing you. Because that is really paradise, even if we don’t realize it in the moment.
  14. What/who inspires you? People who have an ethereal quality to them inspire me. They seem to have a peace that transcends the challenges of the day.
  15. Bravo reality tv – yes or no? No. I always wonder how much is scripted or manipulated and I prefer just a well-written story instead. This isn’t Bravo, but as far as reality tv goes, I love Shark Tank.
  16. Favorite Instagram account? Book Barista has such lovely posts about books and libraries and all things literary.
  17. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be? Best Day Ever, named after a book by Kaira Rouda. The cover is a deep red. It would make a great, daring lipstick.
  18. Current #TBR pile? Are you kidding me? I have a whole TBR house. If I live to be a thousand years old, I will never finish them all, and I will certainly bring more in than.
  19. Best advice you’ve ever received? It’s more of a quote: “Let no one come to you without leaving better or happier.” Saint (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta. I try to live this every day.

 

About Camille 

Camille Di Maio always dreamed of being a writer, and those dreams came to fruition with her bestselling debut novel, The Memory of Us, and her second novel, Before the Rain Falls. In addition to writing women’s fiction, she buys too many baked goods at farmers’ markets, unashamedly belts out Broadway tunes when the mood strikes, and regularly faces her fear of flying to indulge in her passion for travel.

She and her husband homeschool their four children and lead an award-winning real estate team in San Antonio, Texas. They split their time between Texas and Virginia. Connect with Camille at camilledimaio.com.

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Janna King

I am on a role with fabulous books to pack up in that beach bag!  Janna King’s new novel, The Seasonaires is the quintessential book to accompany a spring cocktail.  There is nothing like a read that is stylish, sexy, murderous and greedy- all the ingredients that make up this sparkling debut.  I was thrilled when she opened up her ridiculously amazing bag filled with a bounty of beauty must-haves.

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via Amazon ~

For a twenty-something, there is no summer job better than being a seasonaire. No responsibilities, college is barely a thought, and you’re surrounded by glamorous, beautiful people.  Intoxicating and seemingly carefree, what could possibly go wrong?

An idyllic Nantucket summer begins like a dream for scrappy Mia from South Boston; Presley, a gorgeous Southern beauty queen; Cole, a handsome introvert; Jade, the sultry daughter of a model and music mogul; J.P., an energetic young designer; and Grant, a playful party-boy.

Tese six are working as seasonaires―influential brand ambassadors―for the clothing line Lyndon Wyld. But like all things that look too good to be true, the darkness lurking underneath slowly rises to the surface.

Lyndon Wyld, the chic tigress who owns the eponymous business, rules their daily life by curating their every move, which the seasonaires are obligated to post on social media for their growing throngs of followers. Corporate greed, professional rivalries, and personal conflicts mix with sex, drugs, and the naiveté of youth, exploding in a murder that sullies their catalog-perfect lives.

The Seasonaires is a fresh and stylish debut that perfectly captures today’s zeitgeist, promising to thrill until the very last page.

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

My AllSaints bucket bag is the perfect size, though revealing what’s inside, it seems like a bottomless clown bag. When I carry my laptop, which is 90% of the time, my Urban Outfitters faux leather reversible tote will also hold my bag. And since my novel is about seasonaires in summer, I’ll mention my beach tote pick: Mar Y Sol’s Montauk (colorful pom-poms, smushes into my suitcase and is fair trade).

 

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

Neutrogena Healthy Defense Moisturizer (with SPF, of course), Cetaphil liquid face soap, Benefit Benetint Cheek and Lip Stain, and Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara in Extreme Black. It’s the only mascara that doesn’t irritate my eyes. More importantly, it won’t run when I cry because I cry about pretty much everything⎯happy, sad and in between⎯yet it comes off with just soap and water. I’m learning to use liquid eyeliner and the results are very entertaining, like a 4-year-old drew on my face. For my hair, Moroccan Oil Hair Treatment and DevaCurl Super Creme. I was an 80’s perm girl until a stylist showed me I have naturally wavy hair. I’m not sure if I should be embarrassed or proud of the fact that I don’t own a brush or comb. As a sucker for anything with an amazing scent, I love Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter and Philosophy Fresh Cream perfume (okay, so I smell a little bit like a bakery). I could live in a Lush store.

 

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

Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick (I’ve used this since I was in college), CO Bigelow Vanillamint Supreme 2x Lip Shine & Breath Freshener (I’m a multi-tasker), Systane Ultra Eyedrops for my dry writer eyes, Eurcerin Moisturizing Creme for my dry writer hands, a snag-free hairband for messy, high buns (the higher the better), and Saje Peppermint Halo Headache Relief, because there’s nothing beautiful about a painful mind-splitter.

 

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

Vanity Fair, In Style, Vulture, The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F#*ck by Mark Manson (though I still give far too many), and From Cradle to Stage by Virginia Hanlon Grohl, mother of Foo Fighters Dave Grohl (because my daughter is in a band and #lifegoals: rock-mom).

 

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

My iPhone (I’m always one text/goofy Bitmoji away from my two kids who have been away at college), my dreaded progressive glasses and sunglasses (I finally treated myself to fancies by Dita and Oliver Goldsmith), Purell, Band-Aids, a pen I can never find, Orbit gum, my keys (with myriad keys and fobs⎯my kids always said they could hear me coming), my dad’s handkerchief (he passed away a year ago), a mini pack of Kleenex (I don’t actually use the handkerchief), my “trust” ceramic rock, chewed gum (see above) wrapped in a receipt I will discover I need later, and two notes from my kids from when they were little. Do I sound obsessed with my kids? Guilty as charged.

Janna King

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*Thanks to Kathleen Carter for coordinating the interview and a review copy of the book.*

 

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Rochelle Weinstein

I am always on the look out for that perfect spring/summer read.  When I heard about Rochelle Weinstein’s latest, Somebody’s Daughter I knew I had to add it to my #tbr pile.  Weinstein, a best-selling author, visits a current theme when a young girls indiscretion goes viral and the aftershocks effect a whole family.  This one is a MUST-read people.  Also a perfect Mother’s Day gift for all our mama readers out there.  Thanks Rochelle for your gift of books and sharing your bag with us ❤

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via Amazon ~

From USA Today bestselling author Rochelle B. Weinstein comes an emotional novel for mothers, daughters, and anyone who has ever felt imperfect.

Emma and Bobby Ross enjoy a charmed life on the shores of Miami Beach. They are a model family with a successful business, an uncomplicated marriage, and two blessedly typical twin daughters, Zoe and Lily. They are established members of a tight-knit community.

Then, on the night of the girls’ fifteenth birthday party, they learn of Zoe’s heartbreaking mistake—a private and humiliating indiscretion that goes viral and thrusts her and her family into the center of a shocking public scandal.

As the family’s core is shattered by disgrace, judgment, and retribution, the fallout takes its toll. But for Emma, the shame runs deeper. Her daughter’s reckless behavior has stirred memories of her own secrets that could break a marriage and family forever.

 

What is your bag of choice?

Hi! Thanks for inviting me to talk about books, bags and beauty! My girlfriends laugh at me because I’ve never been one to spend on bags. Comfort and practicality have always been my rule of thumb. Right now, I’m toting around a black Hermes over-the-shoulder bag that I purchased at a secondhand store in mint condition. It’s the perfect, slim size and forces me to de-clutter, keeping only the necessities. Come spring and summer my bags are almost always casual and fun like this camel-colored fringed Jennifer Haley. I rarely follow the trends, choosing styles that suit my fashion and lifestyle.

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

I’m not your typical *girl*. I grew up as the tomboy with older brothers, and watching football is where I’ve “blushed” my cheeks. BUT, I am a girl, so there are the essentials I can’t live without. Cover Girl 490 is my go-to lip color. They’ve discontinued it, but I’ve stockpiled about a dozen. It’s subtle and moist and keeps me from eating my lipstick for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For nighttime, Chanel 61 Rouge Coco Shine has just enough color to say I haven’t tried too hard. I can’t live without my Origins rejuvenating hand cream. I purchased this recently in Boston while visiting colleges with our twin sons. The saleswoman promised me deliciously soft hands “that look years younger” and the lotion doesn’t disappoint. Tweezers and manicure scissors! When I’m stopped at a light, and the Florida sun is streaming through the windows, these tools make for great quick tune-ups. Stray hairs, an eyebrow, etc. And then there is my beloved Dr. Hauschka’s lip care stick. The very best for dry lips which you can tell, I have issues in that department. Writing this, I’m realizing how I desperately need to step up my make-up game.

What are you currently reading?

The month isn’t complete without my Vanity Fair magazine. I have a backlog of New Yorker magazines which I hope to get to soon. And as an author, I always enjoy Writer’s Digest. Right now, I’m enjoying Jamie Brenner’s The Husband Hour which releases 4/24 and listening to Just Between Us by Rebecca Drake. I recently finished the trifecta of domestic suspense: The Woman in The Window, The Last Mrs. Parrish, and The Wife Between Us. I also LOVED Laurie Frankel’s This Is How It Always Is.

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

I don’t leave home without my SmilePik. It’s like lipstick with a hidden toothpick. I have bottles of EO sweet orange hand sanitizer in every bag in my house. A note pad for jotting down scenes, plot ideas, or other musings. And I always have fun bags to transport my crap from bag to bag. It makes for an easy, simplified transition and I’m all about simplicity.

 

 

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About the Author

Rochelle B. Weinstein is an author, speaker, and former entertainment industry executive. Her novels include What We Leave Behind, The Mourning After, Where We Fall, and Somebody’s Daughter. She recently completed her fifth novel, This Is Not How It Ends, an epic love story set in the Florida Keys. She lives in Miami, Florida with her husband and twin sons. For more, visit rochelleweinstein.com.

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