Open Bag with Anita Hughes

We have a mix up today.  A little bit Open Book and a little bit Bookish {Beauty} Bag with Anita Hughes.  I am a HUGE fan of Anita’s and thrilled to be able to celebrate her latest release, California Summer.  If you are familiar with her works then you know she has a way of transporting her readers to the glamorous locations that her books take place.  These settings often are their own character within the story and her latest is set against the beautiful backdrop of California.  She is the queen of beach reads and I am thrilled she is on the blog today ❤

California Summer_cover image

via Amazon ~

“The perfect beach read!” ―Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author of Beach House Reunion.

“Tender and triumphant…California Summer made my heart sing. ―Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author of Between Me and You

Anita Hughes’s California Summer is a charming and beautiful love story about a former Hollywood producer who trades her cast list in for cookbooks in the hopes of following her dreams and finding new love.

Ben and Rosie are Hollywood’s newest director/producer dream team. After hitting it big at Sundance, it seems that their ten years of love and hard work are finally paying off. Rosie is happy making independent films, but Ben wants the A-List celebrity package: a house in Beverly Hills, fancy cars in the driveway, and his name on the biggest blockbusters. He’s willing to do anything, even sleep with the most famous producer in town, to get them.

Rosie is devastated by Ben’s affair, and she decides to take a break from show business. She accepts her best friend’s invitation to spend the summer at her parents’ estate in Montecito. It’s far away from L.A., the perfect place to start over.

In Montecito, Rosie meets a colorful cast of characters including Rachel, who owns a chocolate shop, and Josh, a handsome local who splits his time between surfing and classic cars. Suddenly Rosie has new friends and a new purpose. She starts a business in the village, and her luck seems to be turning around. But Rosie knows all too well that success comes with a price, and the price might be losing love…again.

California Summer is a touching and romantic story about following your dreams but not letting them get in the way of love.

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What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with? Rona Jaffe, Edith Wharton, and Maeve Binchy – three of my favorite authors of all time.

Current binge series? Reruns of the OC.

Last favorite book? The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Lip balm, a sun hat and a book.

Sunday NYT or US Weekly? Sunday NYT’s!

Last person you sent a text message to? My daughter.

Book you read that you wished you wrote? Bridget Jones’ Diary.

Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer? Not really.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who? No, it has to be quiet.

Describe your writing space? The love seat in my bedroom, looking at the bunnies in the garden.

Coffee or tea? Coffee.

Do you have a favorite book that you gift? Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger.

What/Who inspires you? My children.

Bravo reality TV- yes or no? No.

Favorite Instagram account? None.

Current #TBR pile? Another Side of Paradise by Sally Koslow.

What is your bag of choice?- purse/tote/backpack and brand that you have? Anything from Kate Spade.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  Bare Minerals Bronzer, Chanel lip gloss.

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

What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines) Small Admission by Amy Poeppel.

 

Hughes, Anita_CREDIT Sheri Geoffreys

 

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Open Book with Michelle Gable

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

SUMMER I MET JACK_FINAL

via Amazon ~

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

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

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

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

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

 

Michelle 278_credit Joanna DeGeneres

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

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

2. Current binge series?

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

3. Last favorite book?

Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

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

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

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

Neither. People Magazine and/or Entertainment Weekly. 

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

My good friend and doubles partner, Erin.  

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

Gloria by Keith Maillard

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

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

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

Never.   

10. Describe your writing space?

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

11. Coffee or tea?

Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 15. What/Who inspires you?

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

 16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

No—although I do like Bethenny Frankel.  

17. Favorite Instagram account?

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

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

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

19. Current #TBR pile?

The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara

A Theory of Love by Margaret Bradham Thornton

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

 20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

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

 

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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.

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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:

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Sally Hepworth

I have been a huge fan of Sally Hepworth’s for a while now.  She has a way of writing and storytelling that instantly grabs you and its hard to put down her books.  I mean thats exactly what you want in an author, right?  Then I promise you, Sally is your girl.  Her newest novel, The Family Next Door, out NOW, is being compared to Big Little Lies and has a domestic suspense flavor to it.  I am thrilled to be able to celebrate her and this book today on the blog!  I mean from her author photo she can rock a red lip like no other so of course we already know she is super fabulous 😉

 

Cover Image- Family Next Door

via Amazon ~

America’s next favorite Australian author!

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

Small, perfect towns often hold the deepest secrets.

From the outside, Essie’s life looks idyllic: a loving husband, a beautiful house in a good neighborhood, and a nearby mother who dotes on her grandchildren. But few of Essie’s friends know her secret shame: that in a moment of maternal despair, she once walked away from her newborn, asleep in her carriage in a park. Disaster was avoided and Essie got better, but she still fears what lurks inside her, even as her daughter gets older and she has a second baby.

When a new woman named Isabelle moves in next door to Essie, she is an immediate object of curiosity in the neighborhood. Why single, when everyone else is married with children? Why renting, when everyone else owns? What mysterious job does she have? And why is she so fascinated with Essie? As the two women grow closer and Essie’s friends voice their disapproval, it starts to become clear that Isabelle’s choice of neighborhood was no accident. And that her presence threatens to bring shocking secrets to light.

The Family Next Door is Sally Hepworth at her very best: at once a deeply moving portrait of family drama and a compelling suburban mystery that will keep you hooked until the very last page.

Bag

What is your bag of choice?

A tote! Currently I’m carrying a tote made of white neoprene (wetsuit material), that I love because it is machine washable, and fits all my stuff–currently my laptop, my planner, my wallet, a pencil case, phone, a novel, sunglasses, sunscreen, a set of headphones and about 27 pens. The tote is a brand called Punch, and I was gifted it for Christmas. I will use it every day until it falls apart and then immediately order another.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

Red lipstick, red lipstick and more red lipstick. Did I mention red lipstick? I have no beauty picks because there is nothing else one actually needs.

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

I’ve always thought of sunscreen as the best possible beauty product and I always carry that. But that’s it! I put on my long-last red lippy in the morning, but I don’t re-apply it, or any other make up during the day, or carry anything with me.

What are you currently reading?

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F#*k. It’s really, really good. I recently finished The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain (which I adored) and highly recommend.

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

I live in Australia and would look like my purse (if it were leather), if I didn’t carry sunscreen with me and constantly reapply it. And a hat! You will usually find both in my bag!

Sally Hepworth Headshot_highest res_credit Mrs. Smart Photography

Follow Sally:

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What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Guys. OMG.  This book.  I could just leave it at this but I will give you a little more 🙂  The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is the book you have to read.  It is everything you want in a book.  Suspense, thrills, fabulousness, twists- OH THE  TWISTS- it has it all.  No wonder it was optioned by the folks who brought Girl on the Train to the big screen!  I am over the moon that Greer and Sarah opened their bags and shared their must-have beauty products!

Wife Between Us

via Amazon ~

“A jaw-dropping psychological thriller.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Fiendishly clever…in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. This one will keep you guessing.” –Anita Shreve, New York Times bestselling author of The Stars are Fire

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love.
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing.

Twisted and deliciously chilling, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage – and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

Read between the lies.

A 2018 Indie Next Pick

Praise for The Wife Between Us:

“A clever thriller with masterful twists.” – Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author of The Kept Woman

The Wife Between Us delivers a whip smart, twisty plot in a taut, pacy narrative. It’s terrific and troubling. This is one scary love triangle where you won’t know who to trust. I loved it.” –Gilly Macmillan, New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew

“A twisty, mind-bending novel about marriage and betrayal. A gripping plot and fascinating characters; this book will keep you turning the pages and guessing until the very end. A must-read!” –Lauren Weisberger, New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada

“This amazing story gallops along at breakneck speed, with an ending that smacks you between the eyes and takes your breath away. These authors are destined to become trail blazers in the field of psychological suspense books that explode in your hands!” ―Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault

“Like a house of mirrors, The Wife Between Us kept me guessing around every corner, delving into the complexities of marriage, friendship, and obsession.” ―Javier Ramirez, The Book Table

Greer’s Bag ~

Greer Bag2

What is your bag of choice?

I have more bags than I can count and each one serves a different purpose. My current favorite is a Linde Gallery St. Barth Bag – it’s large enough to hold my laptop, but it’s also super lightweight.  I especially love it because it’s not the obvious choice. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone else with this brand.

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

I always carry three or four moisturizing lipsticks or glosses. My favorite right now is BeautyCounter Lip Sheer in Petal. I read about the brand on Goop and I really like it. It goes on smoothly and smells like summer.

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

I am currently reading Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward.

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

I always carry my phone because I’m obsessed with podcasts. Some of my favorites are Happier with Gretchen Rubin, Happier in Hollywood, By The Book, It’s Been a Minute and Fresh Air.

Sarah’s Bag ~

Sarah Bag

What is your bag of choice?

I alternate between a few, but I just bought a cute Free People hobo style bag that I can sling across my body or wear over my shoulder. I like the neutral color and the fact that it has a zillion pockets to store everything from my ever-present pen and notebook, to hair bands and earbuds for the gym!

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

When Greer and I did our author photo shoot, the makeup artist introduced me to Make Up For Ever and I’ve used their water-based foundation ever since. It’s so sheer and light, and it’s nice knowing an expert chose my shade (Y305).

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

Trish McEvoy lip gloss in Berry, Nars Radiant Concealer in Custard, and the same mascara I’ve used since college – Maybelline Great Lash in the signature pink and green tube!

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

Psychology Today magazine for inspiration for the new book Greer and I are writing!

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

A pen and notebook, always. But if I’m caught without, I’ve been known to scribble down book ideas in eyeliner on my hand!

 

Follow Greer and Sarah:

Facebook ~ Greer , Sarah

Twitter ~ Greer , Sarah

Instagram ~ Greer, Sarah

 

*Thanks to St. Martins for the review copy and interview.

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag?- Abby Fabiaschi

Happy SPRING!  It was so fun to share my first Bookish {Beauty} Bag post that I decided to share a BONUS post today!  Typically I will feature these once a week but if I get more participation I will be featuring more during the week 🙂  If any readers or authors have thoughts, ideas or would like to participate please contact me via email.

This is the happiest of Mondays not only because its SPRING but because we get a sneak peak into Abby Fabiaschi’s bag, author of the amazing I Liked My Life, which I had the privilege to read and review (see previous post).  Thanks for sharing your bag with us Abby- your wallet is everything and your make-up game is strong 🙂

I LIKED MY LIFE_jacket art

 

via Amazon

A story from debut author Abby Fabiaschi that is “as absorbing as it is illuminating, and as witty as it is heartbreaking.”

Maddy is a devoted stay-at-home wife and mother, host of excellent parties, giver of thoughtful gifts, and bestower of a searingly perceptive piece of advice or two. She is the cornerstone of her family, a true matriarch…until she commits suicide, leaving her husband Brady and teenage daughter Eve heartbroken and reeling, wondering what happened. How could the exuberant, exacting woman they loved disappear so abruptly, seemingly without reason, from their lives? How they can possibly continue without her? As they sift through details of her last days, trying to understand the woman they thought they knew, Brady and Eve are forced to come to terms with unsettling truths.

Maddy, however, isn’t ready to leave her family forever. Watching from beyond, she tries to find the perfect replacement for herself. Along comes Rory: pretty, caring, and spontaneous, with just the right bit of edge…but who also harbors a tragedy of her own. Will the mystery of Maddy ever come to rest? And can her family make peace with their history and begin to heal?

 

Bliss Beauty pic

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

Like many moms, I have a duel bag identity: day-to-day I carry an un-stainable large, charcoal Longchamp bag that fits everything I need, plus an extra layer of warm clothes for the kids and whatever prizes or shells or art work they create and collect during the day. When I get an adult night, I bust out a Chanel clutch my mother bought me for my thirtieth birthday. 


What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

After years of spending too much money on a beauty routine, an esthetician suggested Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub for a cleanser, Witch Hazel as toner, and Cetaphil Face & Body for a light, matte moisturizer. All in, it’s about twenty bucks and my skin has never looked better. I do still splurge on makeup though: Trish McEvoy’s BB Instant Solutions is a light, liquid tint with SPF that’s worth its price tag, and Lancome’s 24 Hour Long Wear Foundation is great for TV and bright lights. I often layer them, using the BB as a primer.


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

As I add years, more and more! For lips, Clinque’s Chubby Sticks and whatever-brand-is-on-sale-at-CVS gloss. For foundation touch-ups, I use Lancome pressed powder and Giorgio Armani’s bronzer. Oh, and Lancome eye cream. By the end of the day I now get these lovely dark rings that require attention.


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

Yesterday I started a novel titled The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano. I bought it months ago and can’t recall who recommended it, but I’m hooked. I’m also jazzed for two books on pre-order from my favorite two writers: March 21st Lisa See’s next novel comes out: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane and April 25th Elizabeth Strout’s Anything is Possible will be available. That’s my idea of a perfect spring lineup.
And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you 🙂

A giant Nalgene of water and Rolos. Because, in case you missed it, a Rolo a day keeps the doctor away.

Abby Fabiaschi credit Nina Subin

 

*Thanks to Abby for your time!  Visit her on her: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook page!

 

 

 

 

I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi

9781250084880

It’s a new year and I have started my reading list for 2017!  With that, I have also revived my blog which has been “sleeping” for the last few months as being a mom of two is quite the challenge.  I wish I had been sleeping too, buuuuuut  I know sleep and I will meet again some day, lol!  To start off the reading year I just finished up Abby Fabiaschi’s I Liked My Life.  Set in a town just right next door to where I live, Wellesley, MA, it’s a beautiful story about a mother, Maddy, who commits suicide and leaves her daughter and husband to pick up the pieces and start their life over with out her.  Each chapter is narrated by each character experiencing life without her including Maddy herself.  What I can say is not only do you get a heartbreaking story about a family who is suffering without a mother and wife but a shocking twist as well which is one of the best ingredients you can add to a story.  I loved it.  I thought the writing was thoughtful and the story was unique.  If this is the type of stories stored in Fabiashi’s mind we are all in for a treat as she will have lots to share in the literary world!  This is a phenomenal debut and Abby should be on your favorite authors list after this gem. It is definitely one to add to your 2017 list!

 

fabiaschi-abby

 

*Thanks to St.Martin’s Press for sending a copy for review to Bliss, Beauty and Books.