People Magazine

5 Things Liz & Lisa Didn't Know About...Hyatt Bass

We first heard about debut author Hyatt Bass  (btw, what a great name!) when Allison Winn Scotch tweeted about her last year. With an endorsement from one of our favorite authors, we snatched up The Embers immediately and also started following @HyattBass on Twitter (when we tweeted her, she tweeted back!).  And from the first page, Hyatt's novel was incredibly satisfying. Her writing is engaging and real. As is the story of Emily whose engagement makes her take a difficult look at how her family has been torn apart since her brother passed away. The story moves between past and present over the course of sixteen years and is told from the perspectives of Emily, her father and mother as they all come to face the many buried secrets in the family.

The Embers is out in paperback today. And if you leave a comment here, you know what that means! A chance to win a copy of this fantastic novel. We say it's perfect timing for the holiday weekend!

So here she is.... the fabulous Hyatt Bass! (And PS: If she wasn't already fabulous enough... guess who she's married to? The writer of the hilarious movie, Date Night!)

1) The Embers actually started out as a screenplay (I’d written & directed a film, 75 Degrees In July).  When the script for The Embers didn’t work, I had a crazy idea to try writing it as a novel.  Ironically, the book is now out to filmmakers, and I think it would make a great film.

2) My son (5 at the time) had a melt-down when he found out People magazine had chosen The Embers as one of its “Get Set For Summer” books of 2009 but had excluded his “book.”  Who saved the day?  My filmmaker husband of course, writer of Date Night and Shrek Forever After, who offered to make a movie of our son’s book with his Flip camera.  I wrote this essay about it at The Daily Beast.

3) My great passion outside of my work and my family is The New York Women's Foundation.  I also met up with women’s funds all over the country during my book tour, and it was one of the most rewarding parts of publication.

4) Until I was 18, I wanted to be a professional ballet dancer. I decided to go to college instead, but I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to take that other path.

5) Before our children were born, my husband and I used to take each other on birthday road-trips to surprise destinations. The hotel in The Embers is based on a combination of places we visited this way.

To find out more about the incredibly talented Hyatt Bass, visit her website.


25 Things Liz & Lisa want to know about Beth Harbison

BethHarbisonPhoto_(credit_Paige_Harbison)We make no secret of the fact we have MAJUH crushes on a few, select, Chick Lit writers! So imagine how starstruck we've been when so many of our absolute fav's have candidly answered our hard-hitting questions in our 25 Things Liz And Lisa Want To Know series! So far, we've learned that Megan Crane once worked as a customer service rep, that Allison Winn Scotch's secret talent is singing and Jennifer Weiner crushes on Sarah Silverman. Emily Giffin revealed that she can't live without Starbucks and Sarah Pekkanen admitted she's done some of her writing at a table at Chuck E  Cheese!

And now we're proud to add another incredibly talented and funny Chick Lit author into the 25 Qs mix! (Anyone who calls Chick Lit the "beaujolais Nouveau of literature" is our kind of gal!)  Most recently, BETH HARBISON absolutely rocked our socks with HOPE IN A JAR. (Lisa devoured it in one day and immediately told Liz to stop everything she was doing and read it too!)  People Magazine called it Chick Lit with heart and soul and we couldn't agree more. Beth's previous books, SHOE ADDICTS ANONYMOUS, SECRETS OF A SHOE ADDICT and her contribution to the collection of short stories, AFTERBIRTH (stories you won't read in PARENTS magazine), are all must-reads too!
We're excited to announce that we have FIVE copies of Beth's latest book, HOPE IN A JAR, to give away! To become the proud owner of this fabulous novel, all you have to do is become a fan of on Facebook and leave a comment about the beauty product you absolutely cannot live without. (Lisa can't leave the house without putting Laura Mercier Secret Concealer on the set of "luggage under her eyes" and Liz isn't human until she slathers Dermalogica Super Rich Repair on her "lizard-like skin!")

So, without further adieu...*Cue drum roll*

Chick Lit is Not Dead presents.... 25 Things Liz and Lisa want to know about Beth Harbison!
1.  Inside my purse, you'll discover: credit cards, Nars Dolce Vita lipstick, one of those little magnifying glasses with a light that I can never find when I need it, gum, a broken MAC compact, a stun gun.
2.  My secret talent is: roller skating
3.  If stranded on an island, the five things I could not live without are: soap, sunscreen, my Kindle, wireless internet, and, I don't know, some sort of boat?
4.  On my nightstand you'll find: water from last night, Lego, a book I haven't read, a People Magazine I'm halfway through, and ear plugs so I don't have to kill my husband for snoring and keeping me up.
5.  When I grew up, I wanted to be: famous!  Like, a famous actress, revered by all.  What happened?!
6.  My worst job: at an office where they didn't appear to need me so there was never anything to do except TRY to look busy, which was nearly impossible -- it was a banner day when someone wanted filing done.
7.  My comfort food: macaroni and cheese with a crispy Ritz top.
8.  The location where I write: my office at home.
9.  Three songs on my IPOD's most played list: Careful (Guster), Viva la Vida (Coldplay), Party in the USA (Miley Cyrus) (don't judge me!)
10. If I was on the cover of US Weekly , my headline would read: Writer Discovers Stun Gun Cure for Husband's Snoring and Restless Legs.
11. The three books that make me think of my childhood: The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart; Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne; any Trixie Belden book.
12. My favorite Chick Flick: French Kiss or Only You (Robert Downey Jr. one)
13. My favorite Chick Lit book: Twenties Girl, Sophie Kinsella
14. My "must see" TV: Real Housewives of absolutely anywhere; True Blood; The Office
15. My Starbucks order: this time of year it's the Caramel Apple Cider
16. My favorite curse word: Fuck
17. My celebrity man crush: Jon Bon Jovi.  Man, I need a new one.
18. My celebrity girl crush: Paula Deen
19. My writer crush: Quinn Cummings
20. My last meal before execution: Icebox Cake (Nabisco famous chocolate wafers and whipped cream)
21. Three words to summarize my book: Friends, 80's, men
22. It took me ______to write my book: 6-7 months
23. My book's original title: it was always HOPE IN A JAR
24. Right now, I'm working on: ONE TEQUILA SHOT AWAY (from Making a Mix Tape and Driving Past His House)
25. Chick Lit is alive & kicking because: it is the beaujolais Nouveau of literature - fresh, new, always current, meant to intoxicate not to make you think or cry, though sometimes it does all three.
To read even more about the awesome Beth Harbison, head on over to!

From Hunk to Junk by Liz & Lisa

You know how something so good....can also be so bad? Like juicy gossip or an episode of Rock of Love.

Or a one night stand.... The night before, he's tall, dark and handsome. The next morning, you wish it was still dark because he's just tall.

Or your college crush....In college, he's gorgeous with a six pack. On Facebook, he's balding and the victim of drinking far too many six packs.

Or even our favorite celebrity man candy. In one movie, he can be so freakin' sweet and in the next, so very, very sour. It's amazing how a hair piece and twenty pounds can transform People's Sexiest Man Alive from totally HOT to totally NOT. From HUNK to JUNK. From LUST to BUST. Well, you get the idea...

So here's our list of actors who've played characters that TURN US ON...that we'd love to end up on the casting couch with *wink* *wink*... But who've also played characters that TURN US OFF--because they thought it would be A-OK to look ugly so they could win an Academy Award or some bullshit like that!


#1. Patrick Dempsey


HELL YEAH! Robert Philip in Enchanted.

After drooling over him every Thursday night on Grey's (and always secretly hoping those scrubs would somehow just fall off already), I was ecstatic to discover McDreamy was headed to the silver screen. Now, I'm not normally a movie theatre-goer, but for 70 feet of Mc Dreamy, I made DAMN SURE my four-year-old and I were there on opening weekend. I swooned as he saved Giselle from falling off the billboard and held my breath when he bent down for the "true love kiss."  In fact, I was boning out over my Prince Charming fantasy so much that I even gave him a pass for the awkward singing and dancing scene in the park and the lame ass royal outfit he wore to the ball. Honorable Mention: Thomas Bailey in Made of Honor--Because I'm with Lisa on the whole guy chasing down a girl at the end of a movie thing.

cant-buy-me-love_lHELL TO THE NO! Ronald Miller in Can't buy me Love.

The hair!  The clothes! The lawnmower!  I'm sorry but you'd have to pay me a lot more than $1000 to let Ronald Miller mow my lawn. (if you know what I'm sayin')  And let's face it, even after the makeover, "totally geek to totally chic" was a bit of a stretch. It should have taken a lot more than ripping the sleeves off his bad shirt and rubbing mousse through his moppy hair for Cindy Mancini to ditch Bobby! Okay so maybe Ronald gets points for liking her poetry and washing her convertible Volkswagen Rabbit, but at the end of the day, he was still Lawnboy. (Um, no, I wasn't a mean girl or anything!) Honorable Mention: Randy Bodek in Loverboy. Cougar bait?  Really? Not buying it.

#2. Matt Damon


HELL YEAH! Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy & Bourne Ultimatum

He's a complete hottie in all three, but the first one is my fav because it was when I was watching it that I realized I was in love with him. My heart was racing through the entire movie and let's just say it wasn't from the non-stop action :)  I was drooling all over myself as I lusted for this man without a past!  I mean, how convenient! A hot guy that kicks ass, speaks multiple languages and has zero emotional baggage.  The perfect man! Honorable Mention: Ocean's Eleven, Twelve & Thirteen.  Exception: The fake nose he wore in Thirteen.  Bad.  Very bad.

mv5bmja0ntg0nzu0ml5bml5banbnxkftztywmtg0mjc2_v1_cr580243243_ss100_1HELL TO THE NO! Tom Ripley in The Talented Mr. Ripley

I want to go on record and state that I did NOT want to see this movie.  I made a strong case for Deuce Bigalow:Male Gigolo but was overruled by my husband's extended family.  So I told myself it was going to be okay because Matt Damon was in it.  He's hot, right?  NOT! For the next two hours, I was blinded by his milky white skin and almost gagged at the site of him prancing around in his banana hammock.  I don't care that they were in Europe.  It was still wrong.Honorable Mention: Bob Tenor in Stuck On You.  Two words: Siamese. Twins.

#3. Matthew Perry


HELL YEAH! Alex Whitman in Fools Rush In

I know, he isn't your typical A-lister hottie. But I've probably seen this movie thirty times and STILL get choked up every time he professes his love to Isabel at the Hoover Dam. And each time I watch, I'm still so jealous of EE-SUH-BELL and her sassy accent that I kind of hope the ending will change and he'll ditch her!  Then, he and I will live happily ever in the tract home development in Las Vegas.  Hey, maybe it's not realistic that I'd want a hot guy to knock me up on a one night stand and have to live in 150 degree heat 9 months out of the year, but this is Chandler Bing people! Need I say more? Honorable Mention: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip A jaded, funny guy with major issues?  I'm in!

celebrities sundance 220108

mperryHELL TO THE NO! Seasons 9 and 10 of Friends

My man really packed on the pounds season 9 after he quit those pain pills.  And although I was happy about his newfound sobriety, I just wasn't getting those butterflies in my stomach anymore while watching my Must See TV. Then, just as I convinced myself that bloated was the new black, he went totally 'rexic on me in season ten! Suddenly, I was in love with a yo-yo pill popper and that was so. not. hot.  Honorable Mention: Guest appearance on the old school Beverly Hills, 90210.  In his defense, no one looked good in 1991.

Lisa's Picks

#1. Brad Pitt


HELL YEAH!--Tristan Ludlow in Legends of the Fall

I'm normally into a more clean cut look, but when Tristan pulls up in his wagon, with his long blonde hair and five o'clock shadow, I'm sure I'm having the same naughty thoughts as Sussanah. "I've gotta get me a piece o' that." And then Susasanah takes one look at her boring, virgin fiancee' and you know she's saying to herself, "I am with the wrong bruthuh!" When she finally does get Tristan into the sac, I have to admit, I feel jealous of the lucky bee-yotch! BTW--for a chance to feel those abs, I also would've overlooked the crazy bear nightmares and the attempted knife stabbing in the bed.  Honorable Mention: Oceans Eleven, Twelve & Thirteen


HELL TO THE NO!-- Benjamin Button in Benjamin Button

Then Brad had to go and get all old and wrinkly and short and wrinkly. And the thought of having sex with him now, even though I know somewhere in there, he's still Brad Pitt, is unimaginable. Even when he transforms into his hot self mid-way through the epic, I'm already scarred by the old, wrinkly-ness that went on for far too much of the movie if you ask me. Where, oh where, did the two-time People's Sexiest Man Alive winner go? Honorable Mentions: Zero. He's never looked bad in anything else.

#2. George Clooney


HELL YEAH!--Danny Ocean in Ocean's Eleven, Twleve and Thirteen

Ahhh Danny Ocean, you are so freakin' hot and sexy (and did I mention, sexy?) in these movies that I'd do you six ways to Sunday in that Bellagio penthouse suite. Honorable Mention: Bruce Wayne & Batman in Batman & Robin- cuz every girl fantasizes about a man in "uniform"!


HELL TO THE NO!-- Everett in Oh Brother Where Art Thou?

Oh Brother, where art George Clooney? I never even saw the movie because the idea of him looking like this was just too upsetting. Gone was the Armani suit and the f**k me now grin. In its place, a long, dirty beard and love of weird music? Unless I was feeling some sort of homeless man fantasy, I'd have to pass on--this. Honorable mention: Bob Barnes in Syriana (Hello 55 lb pot belly).

#3 Will Smith


HELL YEAH! Alex "Hitch" Hitchens in Hitch

I have a major crush on Will Smith. In fact, he's one of the celebrities on "my allowed to have sex with" list. I got him and Matt got Heidi Klum. Well, we both wanted Heidi Klum, but in the end, Matt won :) Anywhoo, I digress. I'm in lust with BOTH Hitches. The smooth-talkin guy who sends Sara Melas the walkie talkie when she won't give him her phone number AND the bumbling idiot who knocks her out with the jet ski and tracks down a long lost relative who turns out to be a serial killer. Because no matter what he does, he's still smokin' hot and sexy as all hell. And, let's face it girls, it's a total turn on when a man's not afraid to chase a woman's car down the street to tell her he loves her! (Cuz you know that happens all the time in real life!) Honorable Mention: Bad Boys 1 & 2 & Enemy of The State and every movie where he wears a wife beater or shows us his bare chest. Thank you God for creating this gorgeous man!


HELL TO THE NO! Will Smith in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

It was a real stretch for me to find a movie that Will Smith did NOT look hot in. As you can see, I had to go back almost twenty years to when he was on TV as the Fresh Prince and hung out with his friend DJ Jazzy Jeff. I can safely say I would not have done the deed with this version of my beloved Will. (Even though I did really love his song, "Parents Just Don't Understand"!) And regarding the questionable choice of overalls, I'd prefer to believe he was merely a victim of bad early 90's fashion--just like all of us. Honorable Mention: Hitch--during the allergic reaction.

xoxo Liz & Lisa