Friday, August 30, 2019

Back To School and Work Fall Clothing Finds

Growing up, back to school shopping didn’t mean a big back to school clothing shopping venture since I was lucky enough to have uniforms. Yep, you read that right, I felt lucky and loved my uniform. It made life so much easier in the morning knowing that I didn’t have to think twice about what I put on and instead reached for my plaid uniform skirt, button down, and bucks. Quite honestly the hardest decision that had to be made was whether or not I wanted to wear my hair up or down and if I would wear short or tall socks. We even had practice uniforms for soccer (not cross country though) so even packing my bag for that was EASY. Heading off to college was the first time I had freedom to wear whatever I wanted each day and while that felt nice for a while it made me appreciate growing up with a uniform that much more. 

My love of uniforms aside, I know that this time of year is when a lot of you may be hoping to update your wardrobes with versatile pieces that are school or work appropriate. I decided to put together a collection of cute pieces that would be great to have on hand as you adjust to early mornings for school and work. Unfortunately, the program used to link the products directly in the image is not working, so I've described the products below and have linked them! 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Best Books Released This Summer With Phoebe of Read & Wright

Remember how last week I had an exciting book post coming up? Well saying "I" may have been a bit of a stretch since I'm crossing "start a new book series on the blog" off of my 101 in 1001 list thanks to long time Prep In Your Step reader, Phoebe of Read & Wright! I am thrilled to have another person to talk about books with y'all (really us) and am already looking forward to the recommendations she comes up with for September. Since summer is beginning to wind down, Phoebe is covering the best books released this summer in today's post! 

I am SO excited to be guest posting on Prep in You Step today! I’ve been following Dorothy for years, so it’s kind of surreal to be sharing my words here today. How did you all find Dorothy? I found her blog through a link-up many moons ago, called Blogger Breakfast in Bed. I’d read a lot of blogs by that point, but definitely felt a connection to Dorothy. From our preppy and classic styles to our love of Christmas (my birthday is four days after Dorothy’s!) to our love of reading, I definitely felt a kinship with her. 

Photo Credit: Noelle Fair Photography

Our love of reading is why I’m here today! Over on my blog, Read & Wright, I share book reviews of upcoming releases and a little bit of my life through books! I read a little bit of everything, so I hope this list can help you find your next favorite book. This was a fantastic summer for books, so I’m rounding up the best books that were released that you can still read all year round! 

Light Fiction 

Summer of ‘69 by Elin Hilderbrand:
I LOVE Elin Hilderbrand. Growing up in New England, I’m particularly fond of her books as they all take place on Nantucket. This is one of her best, in my opinion.

One Sentence Synopsis: In the summer of 1969, the country and the Foley-Levin family are in turmoil; war, love, infidelity, and heartbreak surround this blended family as they try to navigate the changing landscape on both a large and small scale. 

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren: 
This was one of my favorites of the summer! It’s a great palate cleanser of a book. If you’ve been reading some heavier topics lately or just need an escape, this is a great one to dive into. A perfect hate-to-love romance that isn’t cheesy or overly steamy. I’m not a fan of fall over your feet romance; I like a believable and relatable storyline. The characters in this one were so fun and I just really enjoyed it! 

One Sentence Synopsis: When an entire wedding is taken out with food poisoning, with the exception of the Maid of Honor (sister of the bride) and Best Man (brother of the groom), Olive and Ethan are the only ones left standing and are tasked with going on the non-refundable honeymoon--even though they can’t stand each other. 

That’s What Frenemies Are For by Sophie Littlefield:
If you love Gossip Girl or the Real Housewives of New York City, I think you’ll definitely enjoy this one. 

Three Sentence Synopsis: Julia is stuck in the city this summer while all her friends head out to the Hamptons, leaving her socially isolated and working out her next scheme to stay on top of the Upper East Side totem pole; enter Flame, a boutique cycling studio where Julia meets her new mentee, Tatum. But Tatum may not be as innocent as she seems, and suddenly Julia is faced with the decision to fall from grace or compromise herself to keep up. 

Montauk by Nicola Harrison: 
For fans of a slower, quieter book. I live in NYC and have been out to Montauk many times so that connection drew me to this story! It’s very cinematic in its writing and has some colorful characters. It’s also a lovely period piece, taking place in 1938. 

One Sentence Synopsis: Beatrice Bordeaux feels like a fraud in the life of luxury she married into; her husband has set them up in Montauk for the summer season, leaving her endless days to get to know the local people and landscape a little too well. 

The Islanders by Meg Mitchell Moore:
Like Elin Hilderbrand’s books, The Islanders is another great beach read that takes place in New England, this time Rhode Island. I found this one to be totally fun, with a little mystery to it. Mystery lite, if you will. One of the characters is a food blogger, and the descriptions of the food made my mouth water!

One Sentence Synopsis: One summer, three people running away from their pasts, and the threat of a storm on a small island off the coast of Rhode Island. 

Heavier Fiction

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane: 
This is definitely going to be one of my favorite books of the year! I simply loved it. It’s a great family drama that spans over 40 years. It deals with a lot of issues families handle quietly, like alcoholism and mental illness. There are some shocking moments and some simple, touching moments. I really enjoyed it. 

One Sentence Synopsis: Two families, one story of the fragility of happiness and the aftermath of unexpected violence. 

Recursion by Blake Crouch: 
This was a book TOTALLY out of my comfort zone, and I am so.glad. I read it! It’s a wild ride, but the writing is just incredible. If you read or saw Dark Matter, this is by the same author! I think I may need to try reading it now! 

One Sentence Synopsis: A new memory disorder is plaguing the nation, causing people to have false memories so strong, they cannot tell what’s real. 

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner:
I think this book is so completely important! It’s definitely heavy and deals with heavy topics, but it’s worth it. This was a book I didn’t want to rush! It’s another one that covers multiple decades and time periods, so it’s a fun passage through time! 

One Sentence Synopsis: Two sisters navigate the trials and tribulations of adolescence, adulthood, and womanhood through the changing landscape of America. 

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead: 
If you read The Underground Railroad and loved it along with the rest of the nation, Colson Whitehead’s latest book is for you. I’ll be waiting patiently for my copy to return to me because this is one I want to hold onto forever! 

One Sentence Synopsis: Based on the true story of Florida’s Dozier School for Boys, The Nickel Boys is a deeply moving and powerful story of segregation and secrecy in America. 

In total transparency, I haven’t read any of these! But I know Dorothy loves a good thriller, so I wanted to include them anyway :) 

The Whisper Man by Alex North: 
This one sounds terrifying but also intriguing. I actually added it to be library holds, and hopefully, when it comes in, I’ll be brave enough for it!  

Synopsis from the publisher: “In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.”

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager:
Synopsis from the publisher: “The next heart-pounding thriller from New York Timesbestselling author Riley Sager follows a young woman whose new job apartment sitting in one of New York’s oldest and most glamorous buildings may cost more than it pays.” 

Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware: 
For fans of The Women in Cabin 10, Ruth Ware is BACK! 
Synopsis from the Publisher: “When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.” 


Three Women by Lisa Taddeo: 
This is a heavy one, but an important one. I had mixed feelings when I first finished it. Fair warning, it does have a graphic description of sexual relations and contains violence against women, so please read with caution! 

One Sentence Synopsis: Lisa Taddeo spent eight years interviewing and spending time with three women, learning their stories; it is an intimate and often difficult story of the perception of female desire. 

Naturally Tan by Tan France: 
If you love Queer Eye, here’s the next Fab Five memoir! Karamo’s came out earlier this year, and Jonathan’s is due out in September, but until then, there’s plenty of time to enjoy Tan’s! 

One Sentence Synopsis: Growing up in a conservative Pakistani family in England, Tan France had to learn how to create a personal style all his own--when it came to his clothes and his attitude.

Phew, still with me?! I love nothing more than helping someone find a new book to fall in love with. There’s something magical about falling into a completely individual story, don’t you think? Soak up the remainder of summer with one of these reads over Labor Day Weekend! 

Don't forget to follow Phoebe's bloginstagram, and Goodreadsaccounts! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

How To Prepare For A Cross-Country Wedding You're In

While I could go off on a tangent about how I can’t believe August is already coming to an end, more than that I can’t believe my brother’s wedding weekend is almost here. He and his fiancé, Shannon, have been engaged since April of 2018 so in my head, the wedding was already far off in the distance. Add to that the fact that it is the last wedding of my summer and here I am in disbelief that I am packing my bags to head to California for it! I am no expert when it comes to weddings although I have learned a thing or two by being in three this summer.

This is my second cross-country wedding and as if packing isn’t a struggle enough for me, figuring out how to carefully pack everything I’ll need for someone else’s big day comes with a bit of added pressure. I have a lot of respect for brides that aren’t able to drive to their wedding location given that that would take me more suitcases than allowed on a single flight. Below I’ve consolidated what I’ve learned so far when it comes to packing for a wedding you’re in that you have to fly to.

All Wedding Event Attire Goes In Your Carry On
Call me paranoid, but there was no way I wasn’t going to have my bridesmaid dress within reach when flying. Since all of the weddings I’m in this summer had dusty blue dresses, I almost brought along a backup dress from one of the other weddings to Sophia’s as a “just in case” option to ease my mind. Yes, that’s dramatic, but after how much planning goes into a wedding, I wanted to make sure nothing I did ruined the bride’s vision. I probably checked to make sure I hadn’t forgotten to put my bridesmaid dress in my rolling carry on (I use and love this one) four times before leaving for the airport.

In addition to packing your bridesmaid dress in your carry on (or in a hang-up bag to hang in the cabin closets) be sure that anything else you could possibly need for wedding-related events are in your carry on as well. For me, that meant my clutch, wedding shoes, rehearsal dinner dress, and rehearsal dinner shoes were all tucked neatly inside. If you don’t know if the hotel has a steamer you can borrow or a friend that’s bringing one, it’s a smart idea to tuck that into your bag as well (with any water emptied, of course).

Pack Extra Hangers
While I know hotels tend to provide hangers, I liked knowing that I wouldn’t have to worry about whether or not there were going to be enough for all of the bridesmaids staying in one room to hang up their dresses. Depending on the number of wedding-related events and the formality of the weekend, you should be able to get away with packing one for your rehearsal dinner dress and one for your bridesmaid dress. Since I’ve brought a carry-on and a checked bag, space and weight weren’t issues.

Finish Your Toast Ahead of Time
Did I do this for the last wedding I was in? Nope. Did I tell myself I’d finish it on the plane there after a long day of work? Yep. Did that happen? Definitely not. It would have been really nice not to have to worry about this at all while celebrating with friends, and I learned my lesson after having to finish Sophia’s the night before and only really practicing it on a couple of friends. I’m pleased to report that my brother’s toast is written, revised, and printed prior to my departure. I don’t particularly love public speaking, so knowing that what I’ve written is complete and allowing myself time to practice helps to ease the nerves.

Put Shoes In Dust Bags
My go-to wedding heels have gotten to the point where they have seen better days. Fortunately, they were very affordable, and my dresses have covered them, so they are still hanging on just fine but aren’t something I want to toss directly into a suitcase without covering first. I save old purse dust bags and ditty bags specifically for this reason (and because I’ve never invested in packing cubes). The idea of shoes touching formal dresses doesn’t leave me very settled so this is an easy fix to avoid somehow accidentally ruining something while packing.

Remove Your Makeup On The Flight (or don’t wear any) & Moisturize
Whenever I fly, my skin tends to get dry and break out. That’s not exactly the best palette for makeup to look great for the big event and photos. Since I went to work before flying to Seattle for the last wedding I was in I had makeup on that I removed in the airport bathroom so that I could moisturize my skin while flying with Summer Friday’s Jet Lag mask.

Since I’m no expert, I’d love to know your other tips as I prepare for taking off tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

August 2019 Favorites

Coming up with favorites for this month was a little bit tricky. I didn’t feel like I had necessarily tried a ton of new items and since I was in town all month, I wasn’t stocking up on much of anything new either. Most of the items that make the cut as favorites for this month are smaller things that I’ve found myself reaching for or using regularly. 

I recently started receiving books from a publisher which has me finally feeling like I’m up-to-date with some of the new releases that are coming out (in case you didn’t know, I’m trying not to buy a single book this year and instead rely on the library). After reading the back cover it sounded like something I would like, and Nell happened to see it in a bookstore not long after and texted me a picture of it saying she thought it would be a book I would read. She was right, and I was already hooked on it. It’s told from two different perspectives which can get confusing but was very clear in the way this one was written. I would put it in the thriller category since it does involve a mystery involving someone’s death, but it had me questioning what happened until the final pages. 

Daisy Jones and the Six (not pictured)
Another book I LOVED this month was Daisy Jones and the Six. I had heard so many people rave about it that I added it to my Libby app to listen to. It’s not my typical genre as it is a bit documentary-like and I was surprised I enjoyed listening to it given how frequently it switches narratives to tell the story. It is so well written and convincing as a documentary-style book that I had to google whether or not Daisy Jones and the Six were actually a band. I am admittedly TERRIBLE when it comes to pop culture, but I’d also like to think that that speaks more to the authors’ writing ability than my band knowledge. Reese Witherspoon is producing the book into an Amazon miniseries that I’m already looking forward to. If you’ve got nothing to do for 24 hours, consider this your solution! 

My dad is going to see this and laugh at me given how hard of a time I give him about his reusable k-cup pods when I’m home. In my defense, the grounds do seep through when using the ones he has, but that is not the case with the reusable one I purchased. While I still have premade K-cup pods, I figured that slowly switching to a reusable version filled with my favorite coffee (and a taste of my hometown) would be a small way to help the environment. I think I need to get my dad this version (and better coffee grounds to put inside) so he truly sees the difference in how no grounds fall through it. 

With so many weddings this summer, it feels like my fingers and toes have remained covered in light pink polish. Since I had most of August off from the wedding circuit, I mixed it up a bit by reaching for Essie’s Virgin Snow, which is a really pretty light blue polish. This would be equally as pretty in the summer as it is now if you’re looking to stray from your typical color choice. 

Part of my job includes requesting products from brands for photoshoots we have. Our team has worked with Dixie Design (the cutest online stationery shop that’s based out of Birmingham) a number of times to feature products and this notepad from the tassel collection was something we wanted to include. Usually, when requesting a sample, we are just sent a few pieces with a made-up name, so I was very surprised when the package came in from them with my name across a collection of 100 pieces. I don’t know if it was a miscommunication or they didn’t have samples made, but I felt guilty and spoiled at the same time. As a lover of pretty paper goods, I have adored writing notes on the stationery sent and to-do lists on the notepad featured! 

A tried-and-true favorite that I didn’t know I wanted until I received it! My Michele watch is definitely one of my most worn jewelry items and gets a surprising number of compliments (usually from guys which I find odd) on top of keeping me timely. I have had mine for two years and think I love it even more now than when I first got it. I almost feel naked when I forget to put it on in the morning. It’s certainly an investment piece, and given how much use I get out of it I’d say it’s worth every penny.

My hair and I have been in a bit of a battle this month since it’s so hot and humid that I feel like just about all I can do with it is wear it in a ponytail. I use a decent bit of heat on my hair to style it how I like it and know that I need to be better about using a heat protectant spray. I finally remembered to pick one up when I was at the store and opted for this one because it smells amazing and has keratin, which is supposed to be really good for your hair. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s very affordable! 

Mounted TV (not pictured)
Y’all it took a year, but we finally mounted the TV in our living room. I use the term “we” loosely since it was all thanks to our friend Fraser, but it seriously feels like I new space because of this. Now we just need to get a cord hider and taller piece of furniture for underneath to really finish our living room. Once we do, I’ll FINALLY share the space with y’all. 

May Designs for Target Planner (same style, different color also love this one)
I like to keep a separate planner for my blog work and regular work but didn’t want to invest in something expensive for blog organization. I was looking at Target and happened upon the one pictured that was done in collaboration with May Designs and Blue Sky. I couldn’t find this color online but have linked the same format, which I hope will be perfect for organizing my ideas and to-dos for all things related to Prep In Your Step.

What did y’all love this month? I’m hoping to do a video version of my favorites next month so stay tuned! 

Monday, August 26, 2019

Step Into My Week 8.26

For my last Step Into My Week post, I did a really great job of writing out what I did each day at the end of the day, which made for a comprehensive post. I meant to do that this past week but failed so I have to rely on my to-do lists as an attempt to rehash what I’ve been up to. Maybe this week I’ll try to get back in the swing of writing down things about my day as it’s happening. I will say that last week flew by. It seemed to take no time at all for Thursday to come around.

Looking at the to-do list I had for Monday is a little overwhelming given that all of the blanks were completely filled out. I started the week how I usually do by responding to any missed emails and engaging with posts that went up over the weekend on our social media platforms. I had to organize and prepare our complimentary copies to go out, which takes a good bit of time but it was a nice break from looking at the computer screen. In addition to those things, I worked on social copy for the week, completed the resources for our French special issue, and packaged up boxes to be returned since a shoot had wrapped. After work, I went to the Y before coming home to shower and catch up on the phone with Nell and then working on some behind the scenes blog work.  

Tuesday ended up being one of those days where a lot of miscellaneous things came up that needed to be taken care of. I had to work on some expense reports, send out the complimentary issue copies that I had prepared the day before, and schedule in the social posts I had planned. I worked through most of the resources for Southern Lady’s November/December issue and ended up spending most of the afternoon wrapping presents for another Christmas shoot we had on Thursday. After work, I went to the Y and got in a long bike ride, which felt productive. I came home and showered before heating up my dinner and watching the previous episode of Bachelor In Paradise. 

On Wednesday, I worked through some copy that needed to be routed and finished up the expense reports I had started the previous days. I ended up having to run an errand for a stylist first thing that morning, which was fun but took more time than I thought it was going to. I got back to the office before lunch and was able to continue getting things done before I ate and had to finish up wrapping presents and preparing for the shoot the following day. After work, I came home to finish up the remains of a blog project with an approaching deadline and didn’t stop working until close to 9:00. I had every intention of going for a run, but given that it was raining that was easy to skip. I watched the episode I had missed of Bachelor in Paradise and got in bed and stayed up later than I meant to reading. 

I knew Thursday was going to be a bit of a whirlwind given that the shoot we were at was for a cover and was an hour away. We arrived at the location a little before 10:00 and were able to set up the home to look like Christmas relatively quickly. We were able to tweak as needed and get the final shot before 3:00 which was impressive. I really love the styling aspect of shoots and am lucky to get to work with such a great group of people who allow me to help with this while showing me the ropes. The homeowner snapped a bunch of behind the scenes shots that I thought it would be fun to share as a glimpse into what the average day on set can look like. We made the hour drive back to Birmingham and unloaded the van in time to call it a day. I went home and went for a run (also stepped in an ant bed) before my roommate, and I had a movie night on the couch.



I went to Starbucks before work on Friday and was incredibly productive in the 30 minutes I was there. Then it was off to work where I knew I’d have a binder to tackle. Binders always take me 2-3 hours to get through so that ended up being how I spent most of my Friday. I got off at noon and headed home before it started to rain. The combination of the weather, friends being out of town, and a lack of plans put me in a bit of a 24-hour funk. I tried to distract myself by finishing my book and going ahead and tackling the errands I knew I needed to run for the week ahead. I was able to get some work done while watching tv and ultimately got in bed early and fell asleep watching Gilmore Girls. 

Saturday morning, I got a bit more work done before heading out of the house for a while to make some returns and meet my friend Allie for lunch. The weather was still kind of crummy, so I used that as an excuse not to do much of anything and watch more Gilmore Girls while doing laundry. I don’t know what it is about fall approaching, but I tend to get in such a Gilmore Girls kick this time of year. Later in the afternoon, a friend invited me to go to a concert, so I got ready for that and met up with that group of friends at Dread River Distillery for a drink before we the show started. I didn’t really know what to expect from the concert given that it was an Eagles cover band and I don’t think I could’ve named a single Eagles song before attending (in my defense, I knew the words to a lot of the songs but not necessarily the names). The four of us that went were by far the youngest people there (and even the ladies in the restroom called out the other girl I was with and I for bringing down the average age), and it was an eye-opening experience to go to a concert where everyone was seated. It ended up being fun nonetheless, and for the last couple of songs, everyone was standing up and dancing, which felt more typical for a concert. After the concert ended, we went to a few different bars downtown before ending the night with a couple of games of pool at a bar in Lakeview. I was exhausted by the end of the night and was more than ready to go home and fall asleep. 

I slept in on Sunday and had a very slow morning given that the weather was pretty gloomy. I was able to get most of my meal prepping for the week done before 1:00, which felt like an accomplishment. I spent the rest of the afternoon working on blog photos, planning for upcoming posts, and catching up with people on the phone. I was showered and in bed pretty early and I think I fell asleep well before 9:00.

I’ll be working hard the next couple of days to get everything squared away to leave town on Thursday morning for my brother’s wedding. Fingers crossed I finish up his toast today so that I can start practicing! I hope that y’all have a nice start to your week.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Saturday Shopping vol. 22

Hello! It has been a bit since an updated Saturday Shopping post, and I had the most fun putting it together. Before long these will be filled with sweaters and fall clothing, but I couldn't quite switch gears from summer just yet when it's still so hot outside. Unfortunately since the program I use to link items has been experiencing issues I've had to link everything beneath the image. Hopefully this will be fixed soon so that shopping will be easier for y'all in the future. 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Books I Read This Summer

One summer and eighteen books later I guess you could consider me a bit of a nerd or a reader at the very least. I used to never have time for pleasure reading, so I guess I am just doing my best to make up for lost time. It also helps that my library card comes with a free audiobook listening app which allows me to listen to some of the books I've had on my to-read list. I think I've told all of my friends about the Libby app (some have even asked if they are paying me to talk about it, haha) and I know I've mentioned it on here before but if you missed me raving about it, then today's your lucky day because here I go again. All you have to do to access the Libby app is put in your library card, and you have access to a whole library of e-books and audiobooks. Some you have to put on hold and wait to receive an email saying it is available, but with an extensive library of books, I'd be shocked if you couldn't find something to read right away.

Because of my obsession with this app, I figured I should probably split this list of books I've read into two categories; read and listened to. I know I've physically read a few other books, but since I checked them out from the library, I can't remember exactly what they are. I am going to do my best to keep up with that a bit better so that I can share a more comprehensive list the next time I update y' all on what I've read.

Most of the books I read and listened to were thrillers, but there are some outside of the genre as well. I went ahead and included the Amazon synopsis of each book below the title in case you're interested in finding out more about each book. I wish I could remember my own personal thoughts on each of them, but at this point, a lot of them are running together. I did include my top picks at the end of this post though! And, if you've missed book blog posts (RIP Novels with Nell) then stay tuned next week for something exciting!


A city of antebellum architecture, picturesque parks, and cobblestone streets, Savannah moves at a graceful pace. But for Harper McClain, the timeless beauty and culture that distinguishes her home’s Southern heritage vanishes during the dark and dangerous nights. She wouldn’t have it any other way. Not even finding her mother brutally murdered in their home when she was twelve has made her love Savannah any less.
Her mother’s killer was never found, and that unsolved murder left Harper with an obsession that drove her to become one of the best crime reporters in the state of Georgia. She spends her nights with the police, searching for criminals. Her latest investigation takes her to the scene of a homicide where the details are hauntingly familiar: a young girl being led from the scene by a detective, a female victim naked and stabbed multiple times in the kitchen, and no traces of any evidence pointing towards a suspect. 
Harper has seen all of this before in her own life. The similarities between the murder of Marie Whitney and her own mother’s death lead her to believe they’re both victims of the same killer. At last, she has the chance to find the murderer who’s eluded justice for fifteen years and make sure another little girl isn’t forever haunted by a senseless act of violence―even if it puts Harper in the killer’s cross-hairs…

For a woman, being killed by someone who claims to love her is the most ordinary murder of all.
With its antebellum houses and ancient oak trees draped in a veil of Spanish moss, Savannah’s graceful downtown is famous around the world. When a woman is killed in the heart of that affluent district, the shock is felt throughout the city. But for crime reporter Harper McClain, this story is personal. The corpse has a familiar face.
Only twenty-four years old, Naomi Scott was just getting started. A law student, tending bar to make ends meet, she wanted to change the world. Instead, her life ended in the dead of night at the hands of an unseen gunman. There are no witnesses to the crime. The police have three suspects: Scott’s boyfriend, who has a criminal past he claims he’s put behind him, her boss, who stalked another young bartender two years ago, and the district attorney’s son, who Naomi dated until their relationship ended in acrimony. All three men claim to love her. Could one of them be her killer?
With the whole city demanding answers, Harper unravels a tangled story of obsession and jealousy. But the pressures on her go beyond the murder. The newspaper is facing more layoffs. Her boss fears both their jobs are on the line. And Harper begins to realize that someone is watching her every move. Someone familiar and very dangerous.
Someone who told her to run before it’s too late…

Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. 

Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.

Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.

Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenaged girl, happy and thriving.

Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.

At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.

Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.
In the lucrative world of finance, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are at the top of their game. They’ve mastered the art of the deal and celebrate their success in style―but a life of extreme luxury always comes at a cost.
Invited to participate in an escape room challenge as a team-building exercise, the ferociously competitive co-workers crowd into the elevator of a high-rise building, eager to prove themselves. But when the lights go off and the doors stay shut, it quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary competition: they’re caught in a dangerous game of survival.
Trapped in the dark, the colleagues must put aside their bitter rivalries and work together to solve cryptic clues to break free. But as the game begins to reveal the team’s darkest secrets, they realize there’s a price to be paid for the terrible deeds they committed in their ruthless climb up the corporate ladder. As tempers fray, and the clues turn deadly, they must solve one final chilling puzzle: which one of them will kill in order to survive?

Listened To:

American Bex Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister Lacey was always the romantic, the one who daydreamed of being a princess. But it's adventure-seeking Bex who goes to Oxford and meets dreamy Nick across the hall - and Bex who finds herself accidentally in love with the heir to the British throne. 

Nick is wonderful, but he comes with unimaginable baggage: a complicated family, hysterical tabloids tracking his every move, and a public that expected its future king to marry a Brit. On the eve of the most talked-about wedding of the century, Bex looks back on how much she's had to give up for true love... and exactly whose heart she may yet have to break.

Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.

And then she was gone.

Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?

Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.
More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that's cruelly ripped open when Claire's husband is killed.
The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.

A chance to run a B&B in snowy, remote Vermont—it’s an offer Kira Danner can’t resist after six soul-crushing years of working as a lawyer in Florida. As Kira and her husband, Peter, step into a brand new life, she quells her fears about living with the B&B’s co-owners: Peter’s sexy, irresponsible brother Rand, and Rand’s wife, Alyssa…who is essentially a stranger.

For her part, Alyssa sees taking over the B&B as the latest in a string of adventures. Plus, a quiet place might help her recover from the news that she can’t bear children. But the idyllic town proves to be anything but serene: Within weeks, the sisters-in-law are scrambling to prepare for their first big booking—a winter wedding—and soon a shy, mysterious woman comes to work for them. Dawn Zukoski is hiding something; that much is clear. But what the sisters-in-law don't realize is that Dawn is also hiding from someone…

Relatable and dynamic, Catching Air delves deeply into the vital relationships that give shape to women’s lives.

As the founder of the lifestyle website and CEO of her own media company, Rachel Hollis developed an immense online community by sharing tips for better living while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own life. Now, in this challenging and inspiring new book, Rachel exposes the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we’ve told ourselves so often we don’t even hear them anymore.
With painful honesty and fearless humor, Rachel unpacks and examines the falsehoods that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them. In the process, she encourages, entertains, and even kicks a little butt, all to convince you to do whatever it takes to get real and become the joyous, confident woman you were meant to be.
With unflinching faith and rock-hard tenacity, Girl, Wash Your Face shows you how to live with passion and hustle--and how to give yourself grace without giving up.


As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that's bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn't exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there's a moment of pure magic...and then her bus drives away.

Certain they're fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn't find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they "reunite" at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It's Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

As editor in chief of Glossy magazine, Imogen Tate is queen of the fashion world … until Eve, her conniving twenty-something former assistant, returns from business school with plans to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job, and re-launch Glossy as an app.

Suddenly, the Louboutin is on the other foot; Imogen may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she doesn’t know Facebook from Foursquare and once got her phone stuck in Japanese for three days. But Imogen will do anything to reclaim her kingdom—even if it means channeling her inner millennial and going head to head with a social-media monster.

Looking to earn some easy cash, Jessica Farris agrees to be a test subject in a psychological study about ethics and morality. But as the study moves from the exam room to the real world, the line between what is real and what is one of Dr. Shields’s experiments blurs.
Dr. Shields seems to know what Jess is thinking… and what she’s hiding.
Jessica’s behavior will not only be monitored, but manipulated. 
Caught in a web of attraction, deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.
From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, An Anonymous Girl will keep you riveted through the last shocking twist.

The stunning new novel from the international #1 bestselling author—a searing, spellbinding blend of cold-case thriller and psychological suspense.
Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father—Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney—devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.
Twenty-eight years later, Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself—the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again—and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized—Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever . . .
Iris and Will have been married for seven years, and life is as close to perfect as it can be. But on the morning Will flies out for a business trip to Florida, Iris's happy world comes to an abrupt halt: another plane headed for Seattle has crashed into a field, killing everyone on board and, according to the airline, Will was one of the passengers. 
Grief stricken and confused, Iris is convinced it all must be a huge misunderstanding. Why did Will lie about where he was going? And what else has he lied about? As Iris sets off on a desperate quest to uncover what her husband was keeping from her, the answers she finds shock her to her very core.

Karen and Tom Krupp are happy—they’ve got a lovely home in upstate New York, they’re practically newlyweds, and they have no kids to interrupt their comfortable life together. But one day, Tom returns home to find Karen has vanished—her car’s gone and it seems she left in a rush. She even left her purse—complete with phone and ID—behind.

There's a knock on the door—the police are there to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident, and lost control as she sped through the worst part of town.

The accident has left Karen with a concussion and a few scrapes.  Still, she’s mostly okay—except that she can’t remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. The cops think her memory loss is highly convenient, and they suspect she was up to no good. 

Karen returns home with Tom, determined to heal and move on with her life. Then she realizes something’s been moved. Something’s not quite right. Someone’s been in her house. And the police won't stop asking questions.

Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They’re driving along the highway when Finn decides to stop at a service station to use the restroom. He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone―never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story.
Ten years later Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Their shared grief over what happened to Layla drew them close and now they intend to remain together. Still, there’s something about Ellen that Finn has never fully understood. His heart wants to believe that she is the one for him...even though a sixth sense tells him not to trust her.
Then, not long before he and Ellen are to be married, Finn gets a phone call. Someone from his past has seen Layla―hiding in plain sight. There are other odd occurrences: Long-lost items from Layla’s past that keep turning up around Finn and Ellen’s house. Emails from strangers who seem to know too much. Secret messages, clues, warnings. If Layla is alive―and on Finn’s trail―what does she want? And how much does she know?
A tour de force of psychological suspense, Bring Me Back will have you questioning everything and everyone until its stunning climax.

Everyone knows DAISY JONES & THE SIX, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ’n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

Up Next:

Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.

As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.

One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…

In Lisa Jewell’s latest brilliant “bone-chilling suspense” (People) no one is who they seem—and everyone is hiding something. Who has been murdered—and who would have wanted one of their neighbors dead? As “Jewell teases out her twisty plot at just the right pace” (Booklist, starred review), you will be kept guessing until the startling revelation on the very last page.

Zane Bigelow grew up in a beautiful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Strangers and even Zane’s own aunt across the lake see his parents as a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, making appearances at their children’s ballet recitals and baseball games. Only Zane and his sister know the truth, until one brutal night finally reveals cracks in the facade, and Zane escapes for college without a thought of looking back...
Years later, Zane returns to his hometown determined to reconnect with the place and people that mean so much to him, despite the painful memories. As he resumes life in the colorful town, he meets a gifted landscape artist named Darby, who is on the run from ghosts of her own. 
Together they will have to teach each other what it means to face the past, and stand up for the ones they love.

It's winter in the Catskills and Mitchell's Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing--maybe even romantic--weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery.

So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity--and all contact with the outside world--the guests settle in and try to make the best of it.

Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead--it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic. 

Within the snowed-in paradise, something--or someone--is picking off the guests one by one. And there's nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm--and one another.

From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, she knew she wasn’t the wife Diana had envisioned for her perfect son. Exquisitely polite, friendly, and always generous, Diana nonetheless kept Lucy at arm’s length despite her desperate attempts to win her over. And as a pillar in the community, an advocate for female refugees, and a woman happily married for decades, no one had a bad word to say about Diana…except Lucy.
That was five years ago. 
Now, Diana is dead, a suicide note found near her body claiming that she longer wanted to live because of the cancer wreaking havoc inside her body. 
But the autopsy finds no cancer. 
It does find traces of poison, and evidence of suffocation. 
Who could possibly want Diana dead? Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her children, and their spouses? And what does it mean that Lucy isn’t exactly sad she’s gone?
Fractured relationships and deep family secrets grow more compelling with every page in this twisty, captivating new novel from Sally Hepworth.

My Top Recommendations:

The Echo Killing and A Beautiful Corpse

The Escape Room

Daisy Jones and the Six

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