Libraries matter. Here’s how one changed my life.


Imagine my surprise when, one morning, I found myself tagged on one of the social media feeds by a library—The South Texas College Library—regarding a quote I'd once, made about libraries.

And, yes, I meant every word of it.

I grew up in libraries. I lived a block and a half from my elementary school, which kept its library open throughout the summer. That way, children could proudly complete the reading lists handed to them on the last day of school.

During one summer, I checked out every compendium it had of Broadway musicals by year, I read the scripts as if they were books. These massive volumes also had each musical's song lyrics, which I memorized. It didn't matter that I hadn't listened to their soundtracks. I could hear them in my mind.

Fast-forward fifteen years later, when I met the man who would later become my husband. He'd grown up in New York. Even as a pre-teen, he'd been taking the subway to Broadway, to catch shows: mostly musicals.

On many an occasion, he'd serenade me with show tunes. Imagine his surprise when this Georgia Peach, who (at least, back then), had never seen a Broadway show could sing along.

Libraries are my happy place. Now more than ever during this COVID crisis, I miss not being able to go into one. Thank goodness for curbside checkout, caring librarians, and digital book loans.

Libraries open our worlds beyond our physical reach. They open our minds to new ideas. They open our eyes to endless possibilities.

Libraries are where I learned to read.

Reading taught me to love fiction.

Loving fiction helped me learn to write.

Knowing that my books have given you a few hours of joy is my way of sharing my libraries with you.



Got a favorite library? I invite you to post it with a comment. 

Here is one of my favorites: the Mill Valley Library (California), nestled in a grove of redwood trees, with a big homey fireplace, large windows, an outdoor deck, and a wonderful town history room.)

Mill Valley Public Library.jpg

Squeeeee! TOTLANDIA is up on Amazon!

Book 1: The Onesies

 Coliloquy Books / 978-0-9740214-0-9 / eBook

Buy it NOW, on

Buy it NOW, on

Buy the Book App NOW, on

Friendship. Lies. Seduction. Betrayal. 
Welcome to Totlandia.

The salacious secrets of Desperate Housewives meet the aspirational lifestyles of Sex and the City in San Francisco’s most elite mommies group

In this sometimes bittersweet (and always humorous) novel, the friendships among four women who meet in a moms-and-tots playgroup are tested as they address their presumptions, family traumas, love, passion, and the hard realities of parenting their children.

Read an excerpt here…

Author's Q&A here…

Join the TOTLANDIA Facebook Page (Lots of contests and prizes…)

Pregnant Moms at the Oscars: That Winning Glow

Is-Natalie-Portman-Pregnant-Golden-Globe-Awards This year, when Natalie Portman gets her shot at Oscar gold, her very visible baby bump will be there, front and center–

And swathed in some sumptious designer couture.

That ain't no OshKosh B'Gosh.

As it should be.

Portman won the Golden Globe for her terrifying performance in THE BLACK SWAN, and she's considered the frontrunner for the Best Performace by an Actress Academy Award as well. 

Even if she doesn't win, what a memorable experience she'll have, sharing this wonderful accomplishment with your soon-to-be-born child! The paparrazi will capture her pregnancy glow. The gown she chooses will have been perfectly cut to enhance her beauty (if not her bounty). She'll be able to show her child the pictures from that magical night and say, "See, honey? You were there with me, too!"

Pregnancy is no stranger to the Bald Golden Boy. Click here to trod down Oscar history's red carpeted memory lane…



Don't forget to enter the contest for my novel, THE BABY PLANNER  for a chance to win a $100 gift card from you favorite bookstore! 



GLEE Girls Gone Wild : Is the Sexy GQ Photo Shoot a Sour Note?

Gleeksters gone wild GLEE may be corny, but that's part of the fun: a bunch of high school dorks find their inner Britneys, and in the process, show the rest of the school that their too cool to be crammed into lockers.

Part of its corniness is the fact that the actors who play GLEE's leads are cute, not to mention great singers and dancers.

Oh yeah, and for the most part, they're all over twenty-one.

But do the millions of tweens and teens who watch the show realize this?

Parents have to decide that quickly–at least, before the next issue of GQ magazine hits the newstands. A media malestrom has broken out over whether GLEE castmembers Lea Michelle, Corey Monteith and Dianna Agron have the right to be on it, posing suggestively.

GQ is getting a lot of mileage out of the sensual pics. News organizations have been fed the photos and a video of the photo shoot (see below). But the response of parents–and organizations like the Parents Television Council–has run the gamut from dismay to outrage.

Although I'm a parent, I guess I should consider myself lucky. My kids are already young adults, so I can breathe a sigh of relief that the TV idols of their teen years–the gang of the original 90210–waited until they were off the show before breaking character and embarrassing producer Aaron Spelling. (Well, most of them: COUGHSHANNENDOHERTYCOUGH).

 Here's a video on the GLEE girls gone wild:

Now, take my Sunday poll and tell me what you think:


 Hitting a low note,


(ISBN: 9781439173176)

In bookstores June 1, 2010. Order it TODAY!

"Hollywood's got nothing on the cast of characters living in the bedroom community of Paradise Heights, who have the secrets, sex, money and scandal of an OK! Magazine cover story. Josie Brown is a skilled observer whose clever dialogue and feisty style make for truly entertaining reading." –Jackie Collins, Hollywood Wives

So Sad: Killer Strollers

Because my next book, THE BABY PLANNER, deals with a woman whose job includes choosing baby gear for her clients (she also previously worked for a state agency dealing with safety product issues), of course this article caught my eye. Please pass forward to your friends who are in baby- and toddler mode and may want to know about this.

Lookin' out for my peeps,


BabyPlannerCover In Bookstores April 5, 2011!

(Simon & Schuster/Gallery Books)
ISBN#: 978-1439197127


Books a Million

Books Inc.

Powell's Books

Your Local Independent Bookstore


By Dhanya Skariachan Dhanya Skariachan 41 mins ago

NEW YORK, Oct 20 (Reuters Life) – A leading producer of children's products is recalling about 2 million baby strollers sold before 2008 at major U.S. retailers, after four infants died of strangulation.

The news of the recall by Graco Children's Products Inc, of the China-made strollers, comes less than three weeks after Mattel Inc's Fisher-Price recalled some 10 million toys and other items, renewing concerns about safety standards of infant products — a good chunk of which is made in low-cost centers like China.

The latest recall, made along with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, applies to Graco Quattro Tour and MetroLite strollers sold at retailers including Babies R Us, Sears, Target and Wal-Mart between November 2000 and December 2007.

In addition to the four deaths, the CPSC said it was also aware of reports of five infants becoming entrapped, resulting in cuts and bruises, and one having difficulty breathing.

"This recall involves strollers sold as long as 10 years ago, demonstrating the ongoing need for families to remain vigilant about hazardous products lurking in their homes," said Dan Verakis, founder and CEO of, which runs a recall-monitoring service for consumers.

Earlier this year, Graco recalled another 1.5 million strollers after the CPSC received reports of children's fingertips being amputated.


Toy Story 3: Had a ball, bawled like a baby.

Toy-story-3-20080409024802743_640w I saw TOY STORY 3 — and yes, I cried like a baby, even before the good-bye scene at the end.

Martin and I went together to see it. Our kids wouldn't go with us. At this stage of their lives, they'd rather see GROWN-UPS.

Some day they'll grow up, for real. That day happens when they realize that the best movies make you laugh (for all the right reasons — and those reasons aren't potty jokes) and cry.

I love Pixar. They get it right every time. That is the one studio — animation or live action — that understands that the best movies are story-driven. Sure, you're wow'ed by the great animation, which is both colorful and realistic. But what you remember are the characters, and their wonderful dialogue. (Hamm the Pig: "Come on, let's see how much we're going for, on eBay!")

The first TOY STORY movie came out 15 years ago. Hard to believe, isn't it? I remember taking our kids to see it — and being awed by it. Again, by colorful characters who were well-drawn — and by that, I don't just mean by the way in which they lit up the screen, but how they stayed in our hearts. Buzz Lightyear, voiced by Tim Allen, the pompous hero with a heart of gold; the always hysterical Mrs. Potato Head (yes, that's George's mom in SEINFELD, Estelle Harris) and her gruff hubby, Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles, who, frankly, is toned down: for the kiddies, if not for the adults in the audience).

And then there's Tom Hank's Woody. Director John Lasseter got that one so right from the very first film in this trilogy, since Hanks will always be this generation's voice of an American hero.

And aren't our toys our heroes? 

Mine were Chatty Cathy, my bubble-hair-do'ed Barbie, and a purple stuffed bunny who went by the name of (you guessed it) Bunny. Not a day goes by that I don't miss Chatty. She was my BFF, my confidante, the gal pal I went to when I needed a pity party. But when her voice box quit working, she went to the Doll Hospital–

And never came back.

I'd like to think it's just the attic of my mom's house, but, alas, I'm guessing that Doll Hospital looks something like the odious incinerator in TS3.

Bunny is still with me, snuggled with the stuffed animals the kids have discarded. I'm holding all of them for some future generation of grand kids.

As for Bubble Hair-Do'ed Barbie…..gee I wonder how much she'd fetch on eBay?

I feel sorry for the classically pretty. Seems that people only admire them for their looks, not their souls.

And if TOY STORY has taught us just one thing, it's that our toys do have souls.


  Josie's Next Book: Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives


Simon & Schuster/Downtown Press

(ISBN: 9781439173176)

In bookstores June 1, 2010. Order it TODAY!

"Hollywood's got nothing on the cast of characters living in the bedroom community of Paradise Heights, who have the secrets, sex, money and scandal of an OK! Magazine cover story. Josie Brown is a skilled observer whose clever dialogue and feisty style make for truly entertaining reading."

Jackie Collins, bestselling author of Hollywood Wives

Yikes! Children’s Product Recalls: Graco Strollers, Dorel Asia Cribs

Dorel-asia-cribjpg-c95b3d95 Two widely used children products have been recalled. If you have them, stop using them and get repair kits.

First are 635,000 cribs made by Dorel Asia SLR. The drop-side hardware
on the cribs can fail, causing the drop side to detach from the crib.
When the side detaches, it creates a space in which an infant or
toddler can become entrapped and suffocate or strangle.

CPSC and Dorel
Asia received a report of the death of a 6-month-old from Cedar Rapids,
Iowa, who became entrapped and strangled in a crib after the drop-side
hardware broke. The recalled cribs also pose a serious entrapment and
strangulation hazard when a slat is damaged.

Second, Graco Children’s Products is recalling 1.5 million Passage,
Alano and Spree strollers.
Some styles of the products have hinges on
the canopy that could cut and/or amputate a child’s fingertip when the
canopy is opened or closed.

For more info, click here…

BestSLHW Josie' s Next Book: Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives

Simon & Schuster/Downtown Press

(ISBN: 9781439173176)

Look for it in bookstores June 1, 2010

From Bigger Books

From Books a Million