Anita Hughes

Anita Hughes' 5 Fave Vacation Spots

Lake-Como-by-Anita-HughesOur guest today: Anita Hughes Why we love her: Her books are a lovely escape from the daily grind!

Her latest: Lake Como

The scoop: Hallie Elliot has a perfect life. She is an up-and-coming interior designer in one of San Francisco’s most sought after firms, and has just recently become engaged to Peter, a brilliant young journalist. But when she stumbles upon Peter and her boss in what seems to be a compromising position, her trust in her perfect life is shaken.

So Hallie escapes to Lake Como, Italy to spend time with her half-sister, Portia Tesoro, an Italian blueblood dealing with the scandal of a public estrangement from her cheating husband. While staying in the Tesoro villa, Hallie falls in love with the splendor and beauty of Lake Como, and finds work designing the lakeside estate of a reclusive American tech mogul. The caretaker of this beautiful estate is a handsome man named Angus, and Hallie finds herself drawn to his charm and kindness, despite hints of a dark secret in his past.

But just as Hallie is beginning to find her footing on Italian soil, she uncovers a family secret that upends all the truths she’s believed about herself, and calls into question the new life she’s built in Lake Como.

Our thoughts: You'll love this delicious read--our fave of hers so far!

Giveaway: TWO copies! Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win!  We'll choose the winners after 8am on August 11th.

Fun Fact: Anita lives at The fabulous St. Regis resort! #socool

Where to read more about Anita: Her website, Twitter and Facebook.

Anita Hughes' 5 Fave Vacation Spots

20101121_fff_0023-editc1. Lake Como, Italy. I've always been fascinated by Lake Como. It is a magical setting - a gorgeous lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains and grand villas dating back to the eighteenth century. Even though I felt like I was on vacation there when I wrote Lake Como, I'd love to visit again in real life. (I went once, when I was twelve). I'd particularly like to stay at The Villa D'Este which is one of the most famous hotels in the world and a favorite of movie stars and European royalty. And of course if I crossed paths with George Clooney's speedboat, that would be an added perk!

2. Capri, Italy. This is another place I visited when I was a child and absolutely captivated me. Capri is an island off of Naples you reach by ferry. What I love most about it is there are no cars. You wander around the main square without any fears of being run over. I would love to hike up to Anacapri (where Tiberius lived in Roman times), and explore the grottos (underwater caves) in a wooden boat. My favorite hotel is the Quisisana. It is a beautiful white building right on the main square with incredible views and gorgeous interior design.

3. Cannes, France. I guess one could say I'm fascinated by beautiful hotels perched on the water! The Intercontinental-Carlton in Cannes is on the Boulevard Croissette - the site of the annual Cannes Film Festival. It is also across the street from the beach, and the sand is always covered with yellow and white beach umbrellas. The Boulevard Croisette is lined with boutiques representing all the famous fashion houses and the people watching is spectacular!

4. Waikiki Beach. I know most people love the outer islands, but growing up in Australia, whenever we travelled to America we stayed in Honolulu for a few days to break up the flight. I fell in love with Wakiki Beach - the smell of suntan lotion, the tiki torches, the feeling that everyone was on vacation. I have a soft spot for The Royal Hawaiian Hotel - which is still painted pink, and I love the Halekulani - which is right next door and has a wonderful restaurant facing Diamond Harbor called "A Room Without A Key."

5. Laguna Beach, California. I might be partial because I live here, but it is a terrific town. The village center is filled with restaurants and galleries and tourist favorites like The Candy Baron and The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. There are always a few volleyball games going on at Main Beach and the gelato and frozen yogurt selection is fantastic. I am a huge fan of The Montage, The Ritz and The St. Regis, but some of the smaller hotels like The Surf And Sand are also fabulous.

Anita Hughes' 5 Best Evers

MarketStreetToday's guest: Anita Hughes Why we love her: Her books provide the best escape--dive in, read and forget!

Her latest: Market Street (Out today!)

The scoop on it: Cassie Blake seems to lead a charmed life as the heiress to Fenton's, San Francisco's most exclusive department store. But when she discovers her husband, Aidan, a handsome UC Berkeley professor, has had an affair with a student, she flees to the comfort of her best friend Alexis's Presidio Heights mansion, where she wonders if she should give their marriage one more chance.

Whether or not she can forgive Aidan is not the only choice Cassie has to make. Cassie's mother is eager to have her oversee the opening of Fenton's new Food Emporium, which Fenton’s hopes will become San Francisco's hottest gourmet shopping destination. Cassie’s true passion has always been food, not fashion, and Cassie suspects her mother might be trying to lure her into the Fenton's fold by entrusting her with such an exciting opportunity. And then there is James, the architect designing the Emporium, who is quietly falling in love with her…

Giveaway: 2 copies! Just leave a comment to be entered to win. We'll select the winners on Sunday, April 1 after 12pm PST.

Fun Fact: She was born in Sydney, Australia!

Where you can read more about Anita: Her website, Facebook and Twitter.



BEST BOOK:  Old Sins by Penny Vincenzi. Penny Vinenzi is a British author who writes big fat books that move so fast you open the page and you are lost. I admit to having read Old Sins three times (and all her other books) and I can't wait for her new one.

BEST MOVIE: Les Ripoux starring a young Thierry L'Hermitte. It's a French movie about two detectives and was one of Thierry L'Hermitte's early roles. I admit it wasn't the movie as much as his blue eyes and French accent. He went on to star in Le Divorce with Kate Hudson - another of my favorite movies.  I still remember Les Ripoux and I have probably written at least one  male character who bear a resemblance to the male lead!

BEST SONG: The One by Elton John. I remember listening to it, driving from Santa Cruz to San Francisco with the top down and the Pacific glistening. Every time I hear it I can see myself in that car. It was a time when I had few responsibilities and a lot of dreams.

BEST LIFE MOMENT: When you're married with children it is impossible to pick one moment, but there is a time that stands out in my head. I had just arrived at Bard College and didn't know anyone. I enrolled in a class in 20th century Women's Fiction and the first book was The Group by Mary McCarthy. I remember sitting on the grass reading The Group and suddenly not worrying if I made friends. I was reading a great book and getting to sit around a big oval table discussing it with my professor and other students. I knew I was right where I belonged!

BEST ADVICE: I think you receive advice at different times in your life that really resonates with you. The best advice I've had recently is to write the book you want to read next. I love to travel to gorgeous locations but with children in school I don't get the chance. So I set my books in beautiful settings - Laguna Beach, San Francisco, Lake Como, and it's like taking mini vacations when I write each day - I hope my readers feel the same when they read my books!

Thanks, Anita!

Click to win signed books by Sarah Jio, Jane Porter and Anita Hughes!

Helloooooo CLINDers!

We hope 2012 has been treating you well.  We can't begin to tell you how excited we are for 2013-we'll be doing lots of new and exciting things in anticipation of The Toast, as well interviewing a ton of kick-ass authors.  And you know what that means-- a sh*tload of giveaways!

We know many of you come to us through our Facebook page.  However, recently, Facebook has changed some policies and wants pages like ours to PAY them to ensure our posts make it into your FB feed!  This isn't a hoax. (Trust us, we wish it was!)

Wondering why you saw this post come through your feed? We gave in and paid them this one time, and we feel so dirty about it.  *hangs head in shame*

But never fear, there is a way you can make sure you get our notifications in your feed.  And if you're kind enough to do that, we'll make sure not to post a bunch of BS stuff into it, mmmmkay?

To ensure CLIND is in your FB feed:

1. Go to CLIND's Facebook page.

2. Click on the box that says "Liked"

3. Make sure  "Show in news feed" and "Get notifications" have checks next to them.  If they don't, click them.

4. Come back and leave a comment here and let us know you did it. You'll be entered to win a SIGNED copy of either Sarah Jio's Blackberry Winter, Anita Hughes' Monarch Beach or Jane Porter's The Good Woman. We have one copy of each and we will choose winners next Sunday, November 25th after 3pm PST.

Sooo freakin' easy, right?

Thanks so much for helping us out.  We just want to make sure you're in the know, because we have some cool sh*t coming up in 2013, including a COMPLETE website makeover.  Don't miss out, yo!

xoxo, L&L

Lit IT Girl: Debut Author Anita Hughes

Today's IT Girl: Anita Hughes Why we love her: We LOVE discovering fab new authors and Anita is no exception!

Her debut: Monarch Beach

The scoop: Anita Hughes' Monarch Beach is an absorbing debut novel about one woman’s journey back to happiness after an affair splinters her perfect marriage and lifewhat it means to be loved, betrayed and to love again.

When Amanda Blick, a young mother and kindhearted San Francisco heiress, finds her gorgeous French chef husband wrapped around his sous-chef, she knows she must flee her life in order to rebuild it. The opportunity falls into her lap when her (very lovable) mother suggests Amanda and her young son, Max, spend the summer with her at the St. Regis Resort in Laguna Beach. With the waves right outside her windows and nothing more to worry about than finding the next relaxing thing to do, Amanda should be having the time of her life—and escaping the drama. But instead, she finds herself faced with a kind, older divorcee who showers her with attention… and she discovers that the road to healing is never simple. This is the sometimes funny, sometimes bitter, but always moving story about the mistakes and discoveries a woman makes when her perfect world is turned upside down.

Our thoughts: We think you'll devour this lovely debut. (And we LOVE that it's set at The St. Regis in Laguna-one of our fave places!)

Giveaway: Five copies! Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win.  We'll choose the winners on Sunday July 8th after Noon PST.

Fun Fact: Although she lives in the States now, Anita was born in Australia!

Where you can read more about Anita: her website, Facebook and Twitter.


1. How many agents did you query before you found "the one"? I queried quite widely - I got addicted to that send button on my email. Many agents requested fulls at the same time, which was fun.

2. What's a line from your "favorite" rejection letter?  MONARCH BEACH started with a much longer title. (I love how titles changes after you finish a novel). One agent wrote "I would never represent a novel with a title that long." I was crushed.

3. What was the hardest part about writing your debut novel? I actually love to write - there is nothing more fun than sitting down at my laptop and writing. I forget everything else (well, not my children or doing the laundry or making dinner) and just write.

4. What is the best/worst advice you received while you were trying to break into the book biz? The best advice was to read the acknowledgments in books I loved. I learned so much - the names of agents, of editors, the team it takes to put a book out. I formed a real appreciation for the comraderie of publishing, and I'm thrilled to be part of it!

5. How did you celebrate your book deal?  My whole family are frozen yogurt fans. We went and got cones of Cake Batter frozen yogurt and then I came home and drooled over shoes online. I didn't buy any yet - it's a long way from the book deal to the release date - but I put several on my wishlist.

6. Who is your writer crush? I have a few - I love Allison Winn Scotch for her novels, her upbeat presence online and her advice to debut authors. I think Jennifer Weiner is fantastic and funny, and I really admire Emily Giffin - she writes wonderful books and knows how to engage her fans.

7. If you were stranded on a desert island and could have only one book, what would it be? I love to read, so one book wouldn't last very long. I would have to say OLD SINS by Penny Vincenzi. Penny is a British author who tells such a good story, you forget where you are.

8. What's on your iPod right now? Will you laugh if I say "One Direction?" My twelve year old daughter put it on there and they are really great.

9. What's your #1 stress reliever? Walking along the beach - the sight of the Pacific on a clear day cures almost every ill!

10. Who/what would you place in the center of the Entertainment Weekly bullseye? Channing Tatum, hands down. He is everywhere right now. He makes very appealing eye candy as well as being funny and smart.

Thanks Anita!  xoxo, L&L