Friday, August 28, 2009

Love & Money

Bestselling author Michael M. Thomas turns his gimlet eye--not to mention his gift for wicked plot twists--to the bizarre world of today's pop-culture, celebrity economy in his latest, Love and Money.

It's a world that turns on "Stars"--here, a Martha Stewart-like television star who is the keystone of a multi-million dollar television empire, who also promotes a wide range of products, that in turn props up a huge manufacturing industry and a world-wide chain of Wal-Mart stores.

So what would happen if she had one little fling--one wild but solitary sexual adventure--that, if known about, would destroy her wholesome image, not to mention put a lot of people out of work? And what if the person who found out about it was her husband, whose disastrous last film seems to have left him diminished in her eyes? And what if he happens to know the world's best divorce attorney?

The result is a riveting ride through the stuff of our culture-branding and celebrity, fast money and quick burn-outs--and a thoroughly modern take on the eternal battle between morality and expediency. In the deft hands of Michael Thomas, it's a smart, accurate page-turner about the way of the world and how big money really works.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Louis Vuitton: Art, Fashion and Architecture

Louis Vuitton: Art, Fashion and Architecture - pre-order from Amazon now! It will be released at the end of September! 400 pages!

Luxury and art have never been more closely linked than they are in these early years of the twenty-first century. Virtually all the world’s major luxury houses have associated themselves with contemporary art through sponsorships, commissions, or foundations, and these points of exchange nourish the increasingly symbiotic relationship between fashion, art, and other design disciplines. Of all modern luxury brands, Louis Vuitton can claim to maintain the richest and most varied associations with the world of art. Included in this volume are Louis Vuitton’s important collaborations with an elite group of artists, architects, designers, and photographers, such as Jun Aoki, Shigeru Ban, Vanessa Beecroft, Olafur Eliasson, Zaha Hadid, David LaChapelle, Jean Larivière, Annie Leibovitz, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, Stephen Sprouse, James Turrell, Inez Van Lamsweerde, and Vinoodh Matadin. The book is structured as a seductive anthology of the house’s most visible collaborations. Critical essays examine and position Louis Vuitton’s patronage—under the guidance of Artistic Director Marc Jacobs—during one of the most fertile periods of contemporary art and design.

Dominick Dunne: After the Party DVD

Dominick Dunne: After the Party - Hollywood outcast, best-selling author and chronicler of the rich and famous, Dominick Dunne is one of the world's leading journalists and society commentators. This is his story. Vanity Fair Special Correspondent Dominick Dunne has become known the world over for his vociferous championing of the rights of the victim in high-profile murder cases. His powerful commentaries have made compelling reading in Vanity Fair for a quarter of a century. Now, aged 82, Dunne is covering his last murder trial for Vanity Fair - the trial of music producer Phil Spector - and reflects upon his past as a decorated World War II veteran, his rise and spectacular collapse as a Hollywood producer, and his rebirth as the writer we know today. Dunne's mind offers a fascinating insight into the American psyche and its obsession with fame. Featuring Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, Tina Brown, Joan Didion, Griffin Dunne, and New York Post gossip columnist Liz Smith as well as legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans (The Godfather, Chinatown), the film uncovers what lies beneath a life.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Britannia in Brief: The Scoop on All Things British

Britannia in Brief: The Scoop on All Things British -- When it comes to Britain, most Americans don’t know (Union) Jack. Fortunately, now an Anglo-American husband-and-wife team are here to help with a smart, funny, and handy guide that minds the gap between fact and fiction. From Whigs and Windsors to wankers and Wales, this spit-spot-on reference covers all manner of British history, society, culture, language, and everyday life, including

• the class system, title envy, and a thumbnail sketch of British dynasties
• highlights of the social season (yes, they have a social season)
• Parliament, prime ministers, and a wild variety of political parties
• British sports 101, including football (by which we mean soccer), cricket, rugby, snooker, and darts
• answers to the pressing question: What’s on the telly?
• British culinary delights, from Marmite to late-night tikka masala
• odd pronunciations (e.g., how “St. John” becomes “Sin Jun”)
• cockney slang, or why you should never get caught “telling porkies on the dog”
• Londoners’ pride in the Tube and the truth about trainspotting

So whether you’re traveling to England on business or for pleasure, dating a Brit, hoping to comfort a homesick Londoner (whip up a treacle tart, recipe included), or simply curious about life across the pond, Britannia in Brief is the perfect companion.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Love is a Four-Legged Word

Love is a Four-Legged Word

For readers who loved Pug Hill
— a charming romantic comedy debut novel about matchmaking and a millionaire mutt.

Romance is for the dogs...

Tom O'Brien is close to making partner at the hottest law firm in San Francisco, provided his newest client doesn't foul things up. Brutus Stoddard is rich and spoiled, craves attention, and drools. The fact that he's a dog doesn't help matters.

Brutus has inherited a multimillion-dollar estate from his late owner, as well as a pretty guardian named Madeline Cartwright, professional chef and the eccentric old man's surrogate granddaughter. Tom finds her—and her culinary creations— irresistible.

If Tom is to get that promotion, he has to maintain the terms of the will. That means keeping both Brutus and Maddy happy. He's trying his hardest to keep the arrangement professional, but with two clients this adorable, Tom's suddenly craving a different kind of partnership altogether.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Italian for Beginners

Italian for Beginners -- Thirty-four-year-old Manhattan accountant Cat Connelly has always lived life on the safe side. But after her little sister gets married, Cat wonders if she has condemned herself to a life of boredom by playing by the rules. She decides to take a chance for once, accepting an invitation to spend a month with an old flame in Italy. But her reunion with the slick and gorgeous Francesco is short-lived, and she finds herself suddenly alone in Rome. Now, she must see if she has the courage to live outside the lines for the first time - and to face a past she never understood. It will take an unexpected friendship with a fiery Italian waitress, a whirlwind Vespa tour of the Eternal City with a handsome stranger, and a surprise encounter with an old acquaintance to show Cat that life doesn't always work out the way you expect, but sometimes you have to have fall in order to fly.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict

Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict -- Laurie Viera Rigler’s debut novel, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, was a hit with fans and critics, and a BookSense and Los Angeles Times bestseller. Its open-to-interpretation ending left readers begging for more—and Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict delivers. While Confessions took twenty-first-century free spirit Courtney Stone into the social confines of Jane Austen’s era, Rude Awakenings tells the parallel story of Jane Mansfield, a gentleman’s daughter from Regency England who inexplicably awakens in Courtney’s overly wired and morally confused L.A. life.

For Jane, the modern world is not wholly disagreeable. Her apartment may be smaller than a dressing closet, but it is fitted up with lights that burn without candles, machines that wash bodies and clothes, and a glossy rectangle in which tiny people perform scenes from her favorite book, Pride and Prejudice. Granted, if she wants to travel she may have to drive a formidable metal carriage, but she may do so without a chaperone. And oh, what places she goes! Public assemblies that pulsate with pounding music. Unbound hair and unrestricted clothing. The freedom to say what she wants when she wants—even to men without a proper introduction.

Jane relishes the privacy, independence, even the power to earn her own money. But how is she to fathom her employer’s incomprehensible dictates about “syncing a BlackBerry” and “rolling a call”? How can she navigate a world in which entire publications are devoted to brides but flirting and kissing and even the sexual act itself raise no matrimonial expectations? Even more bewildering are the memories that are not her own. And the friend named Wes, who is as attractive and confusing to Jane as the man who broke her heart back home. It’s enough to make her wonder if she would be better off in her own time, where at least the rules are clear—that is, if returning is even an option.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Interiors

Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Interiors -- Rachel Ashwell created Shabby Chic: a peaceful, practical way of living that embraces a respect for the things in our lives we hold dear and keeps them at the heart of our homes. Romantic florals reclining against pure white linen, ruffles of muslin skirting a bed base against bleached floorboards, the deep comfort of a simple nest of fluffy towels...This is Rachel Ashwell's signature style that for the past 20 years has been a major influence in our modern lives.

Shabby Chic Interiors--My Rooms, Treasures, and Trinkets, an eclectic book of quirky inspiration, falls into chapters according to location, and begins with Rachel's breathtaking Los Angeles residence. Next, we wander into a photographer's minimalist mountain-top home in the Hollywood hills before heading to the coast and a beautiful Malibu beach cottage. A truly bohemian hideout in southern California is next on the journey, followed by a peek at celebrity homes, including the house that once belonged to Marilyn Monroe. With rooms combining flea-market finds and objects of pure functionality--an elegant French mirror reflecting a painting, a bejeweled metallic candle holder sitting by a cluster of willow-patterned china, a single faded velvet pillow lounging under the twinkle of a vintage chandelier--this book celebrates all that is wonderfully Shabby Chic.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

American Fashion Cookbook

American Fashion Cookbook: 100 Designers' Best Recipes -- Isaac Mizrahis Mushroom Truffle Spaghetti, Carolina Herreras Pommes Toupinel, Mark Eckos Adults Only Chocolate Chip Cookies, Derek Lams Yellowtail Crudo, John Varvatoss Calaloo Soup food can be fashionable too!

Published with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and with a foreword by Martha Stewart, American Fashion Cookbook is a chic object containing recipes and original illustrations by more than 100 American designers. Brimming with color, flavor, and personality, here are the fashion communitys favorite dishes and preparation tips. From the flirtatiousness of Strawberry Shortcake to the minimalism of Chocolate Ganache to the zip of Andalusian Gazpacho, here are all the recipes a stylish soul needs to whip up a tasteful brunch, a romantic dinner, or simply prepare comfort food, in a collectible volume. Blank culinary-themed Proustian questionnaires that can be filled out by the hostess and guests appear at the back of the book a fashionable hors d uvre or digestivo sure to add spice to any occasion!

The Psycho Ex Game

The Psycho Ex GameIn this collaborative effort, the authors explore the anxiety of personal interaction versus the safety of e-mailing and the dubious trustworthiness of cyber friendships. With her characteristic sharp-witted angst, former David Letterman writer, humorist and novelist Markoe (It's My F—-ing Birthday) alternates chapters with music veteran Prieboy, who is perhaps less witty, but twice as angsty. Hip 40-somethings Lisa Roberty and Grant Repka are, respectively, a television writer and rock 'n' roller in L.A. After a brief and slightly awkward introduction backstage at his Tommy! (Lee!): The Musical, they begin an e-mail correspondence. At first it's just friendly and benign, but after a while they begin comparing scars acquired on the battlefield of love. Grant shares horrifying stories of his doomed relationship with a heroin addict, while Lisa, unaware that she's writing to Grant and his Pamela Anderson–esque girlfriend Winnie, reveals years of emotional abuse inflicted by her very famous ex, Hollywood A-lister Nick Blake. Markoe's misery is less comical than in her previous novel ("Love relationships seemed to be the place where perfectly nice men went to become nightmarish monsters"), and Lisa seems a derivative of Birthday's unnamed protagonist, with whom she shares a crazy mother and love of sake. Prieboy's prose is darker and more poetic ("Like my mouth was a tiny, festive pink-and-white theater where my monologues died and clown act bombed"), and their styles complement each other nicely. Unfortunately, the concept is more compelling than the finished product, a shame since these two are talented storytellers.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Slippery Year

The Slippery Year -- “We are all so curious. Hungry for the truth. If only we could ask the questions we really want to ask of each other and get the real answers. Like how many times a month do you have sex? What prescription drugs are you on? Are you happy? Really happy? Happy enough?”

For anybody who has ever wondered privately Is this all there is, Melanie Gideon’s poignant, hilarious, exuberant meditation, The Slippery Year, chronicles a year in which she confronts both the fantasies of her receding youth and the realities of midlife with a husband, a child, and a dog (one of whom runs away). She reflects on the exigencies of domesticity--the need for a household catastrophe plan, the fainting spell occasioned by the departure of her nine-year-old son for camp, the mattress wars, and the carpool line. With tenderness, unsparing honesty, and uproarious wit, Gideon brings us back again and again to the sweetness of ordinary pleasures and to life’s most enduring satisfactions. She captures perfectly that moment right before everything changes and the things we have loved forever begin to fall away for the first time.

The Slippery Year is the story of a woman’s quest to reignite passion, beauty, and mystery and discover if “happily ever after” is a possibility after all.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Easy on the Eyes

Easy on the Eyes -- At 38, Tiana Tomlinson has made it. America adores her as one of the anchors of America Tonight, a top-rated nightly entertainment and news program. But even with the trappings that come with her elite lifestyle, she feels empty. Tina desperately misses her late husband Keith, who died several years before. And in a business that thrives on youth, Tina is getting the message that her age is starting to show and certain measures must be taken if she wants to remain in the spotlight. It doesn't help that at every turn she has to deal with her adversary—the devilishly handsome, plastic surgeon to the stars, Michael Sullivan. But a trip away from the Hollywood madness has consequences that could affect the rest of her life.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Spin: A Novel

Spin -- Taylor Green is a corn-fed young man from the Midwest who stumbles into New York without a clue, a contact, or a proper wardrobe. Through true serendipity (or possibly misfortune), he is hired by the outrageous, Jennifer Weinstein, the sleepless city’s most notorious public relations diva. Quickly morphed into her most trusted assistant and confidante, Taylor is sucked into a whirlwind of restaurant openings, gossip columnists, and fashion shows. Suddenly Taylor is in the core of a world he never knew existed, a world of sex, greed, power, and fame, that's ruled by Jennie Weinstein herself. Under Jennie’s guidance, Taylor quickly discovers that there isn’t a catastrophe, betrayal, or person that can’t be spun to suit the client’s needs. The perks are sweet: rubbing elbows (and other appendages) with big-name celebrities, the sudden opening of velvet ropes, and thousands of dollars worth of free designer duds. But like all swag, it comes at a price, and Taylor struggles to balance his own definition of sanity with that of Jennie’s drug-fuelled, high-intensity world.

The stakes only get higher as Taylor rapidly climbs New York's social ladder and Jennie's assignments become increasingly bizarre. Finally, when his relentless pursuit of “spin” threatens to spin his own life totally out of control, Taylor is forced to decide whether the cutthroat ends of a top public relations business justify the diabolical and often hilarious means to a successful career.

Funny, sexy, and irresistibly dishy, Spin is a shocking look behind the scenes of the glittering celebrity world.

About the Author: Robert Rave, a former New York City-based publicist, has worked on numerous public relations campaigns and high profile special events in the lifestyle, fashion, nightlife and entertainment industries. After retiring from the business of “spin,” Robert is writing full-time and currently resides in Los Angeles. Spin is his first novel.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The First Family: Terror, Extortion, Revenge, Murder, and the Birth of the American Mafia

The First Family: Terror, Extortion, Revenge, Murder, and the Birth of the American Mafia --
Decades before the Five Families emerged and more than half a century before Mario Puzo wrote The Godfather, Giuseppe Morello and his family controlled all manner of crime in New York City. Bestselling historian Dash presents an enthralling account of this little-known boss of bosses, dubbed the Clutch Hand because of his deformed arm. Arriving with his family from Corleone, Sicily, in 1892, Morello soon set up a successful operation counterfeiting American and Canadian bills. His empire expanded to include extorting local businesses, insurance scams and kidnappings. The Mafia—a term that Dash underscores was used by outsiders, not members—was in its infancy when Morello came to America, but by the time he was gunned down in 1930, families had cropped up in all five boroughs and in cities across the country. Dash depicts the balance between loyalty and betrayal as an ever-changing dance and nimbly catalogues the endless gruesome murders committed in the name of revenge and honor. Readers may think they know the mob, but Morello's ruthless rule makes even the fictional Tony Soprano look tame.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

That Old Cape Magic

That Old Cape Magic -- Griffin has been tooling around for nearly a year with his father’s ashes in the trunk, but his mother is very much alive and not shy about calling on his cell phone. She does so as he drives down to Cape Cod, where he and his wife, Joy, will celebrate the marriage of their daughter Laura’s best friend. For Griffin this is akin to driving into the past, since he took his childhood summer vacations here, his parents’ respite from the hated Midwest. And the Cape is where he and Joy honeymooned, in the course of which they drafted the Great Truro Accord, a plan for their lives together that’s now thirty years old and has largely come true. He’d left screenwriting and Los Angeles behind for the sort of New England college his snobby academic parents had always aspired to in vain; they’d moved into an old house full of character; and they’d started a family. Check, check and check.

But be careful what you pray for, especially if you manage to achieve it. By the end of this perfectly lovely weekend, the past has so thoroughly swamped the present that the future suddenly hangs in the balance. And when, a year later, a far more important wedding takes place, their beloved Laura’s, on the coast of Maine, Griffin’s chauffeuring two urns of ashes as he contends once more with Joy and her large, unruly family, and both he and she have brought dates along. How in the world could this have happened?

That Old Cape Magic is a novel of deep introspection and every family feeling imaginable, with a middle-aged man confronting his parents and their failed marriage, his own troubled one, his daughter’s new life and, finally, what it was he thought he wanted and what in fact he has. The storytelling is flawless throughout, moments of great comedy and even hilarity alternating with others of rueful understanding and heart-stopping sadness, and its ending is at once surprising, uplifting and unlike anything this Pulitzer Prize winner has ever written.