You dropped everyone.
Is it lonely at the top?
You choose what you lose.
You dropped everyone.
Is it lonely at the top?
You choose what you lose.
Here's a taste of the dirty dealings in my steamy political thriller, THE CANDIDATE.
Enjoy, and TGIF,
knows about ‘Flamingo.’” Talbot abhorred making eye contact with anyone, but
this time, so that Smith would have no misunderstanding about his anxiety over
the issue, he made sure to meet the other man’s eyes in the rear view mirror
when he broke that bit of news.
Smith’s eyes did not go wide, nor did they narrow. He didn’t even blink, let
alone give the limo’s steering wheel an involuntary smack in frustration. If
there was any reaction at all, perhaps it was the ghost of a smile that, for
just one brief second, shadowed his lips.
Then again, maybe Talbot imagined that.
he was impressed with Smith’s nonchalance under stress. This time, though,
there was too much at stake, and he wanted Smith to commiserate with him; to
feel his pain, so to speak. Hell, for once—just once!— he wished the man would
act like a human being, not the cold, calculating sociopathic killer he was.
“So, what are we going to do about it?”
kept his eyes on Talbot, ostensibly as reassurance that he was all ears, but
actually so that the vice president wouldn’t notice his finger slipping behind
the rear view mirror. Talbot had heaved himself into the car and blurted it out
so fast that for once, Smith hadn’t had time to activate the digital recorder
first. “That depends. How do you know for sure that Mansfield knows anything?”
twerp, Paul Twist. He’s angling for U.S. Attorney General, once I get elected.
Thinks I owe it to him, considering his Judas routine.” Talbot shook his head
stuff has been pretty reliable thus far. Go ahead and string him along until I
can track down his source.” Frankly Smith hoped Talbot would grant the kid his
wish. It gave him a hard-on just thinking he could have one over on the head
honcho in the Justice Department, particularly one who obviously had his own
mole buried somewhere within the bowels of the Pentagon. “It means there’s a
leak in your organization.”
makes you think the leak is on my side? It could be one of your cutthroats.”
‘cutthroats’ are pros who know how to keep their mouths shut. It’s power
players like you who feel the need to let someone know what you’re up to, if
only to stroke your own egos—or to save your own asses.” Smith let that sink
in. “In any event, I guess we have a little problem.”
this ‘we’ shit? It’s your problem, not mine.” Talbot poked Smith’s headrest to
make his point. “And it’s fucking humongous. So fix it. And fast. I don’t doubt
for a second that Mansfield plans to use it against me. Against all of us.
Besides losing the nomination, I can be tried for treason! Just remember—if the
old men and I go down, so do you.”
you ordering me to exterminate Mansfield?”
do I have to spell it out for you?” Talbot’s shout certainly left no doubt of
his intentions, either live or digitized. “You know, accidents happen to
everyone. Even presidential candidates. Only don’t make it a public
assassination. The goal is to get rid of the problem, not make the man a
© 2013 Josie Brown. All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Author.
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Seduction and intrigue are rampant on the campaign trail when a political campaign adviser discovers that Washington's power broker elite have embroiled his presidential candidate in a plot involving an act of terrorism on US soil…
Democratic political campaign consultant Ben Brinker can’t remember the last time he was excited by a candidate’s vision. He feels he’s lost his way, both emotionally and professionally. Worst yet, his show-me-the-money policy seems to have finally caught up with him. Two of his recent clients have been disgraced in one way or another: a senator is caught in lurid sex scandal, and a congressman is indicted in a kickback scandal. In no time at all the political pundits are calling Ben a "candidate cooler." Now Ben is desperate for any campaign gig he can get.
As luck would have it, Andrew Harris Mansfield, the charismatic junior senator from North Carolina and former Marine pilot, asks Ben if he wants to run his soon-to-be-announced campaign for president.
Little does Ben know what's in store for Andrew, or their country–
Nor does he realize that the key to saving both have been placed in his hands.
My husband, Martin, isn't one of those men who must have the latest/greatest in technology. Nor must he demonstrate his manliness with boy toys that are always the biggest, and therefore presumed the best (phallically speaking).
Which brings me to the death of Scotty–an appropriate topic, now that the latest Star Trek Movie ("Into Darkness") is in movie theaters.
No, I don't mean Scotty, the good ship Enterprise's engineer (thank goodness, because I really really love love love Simon Pegg in the role).
I mean Martin's cell phone, a relic he calls "Scotty," as a quaint reference to the phasers carried by the Star Trek crew. You see, his phone is that tiny.
And it ispossibly as old as the original TV show itself.
Okay, certainly it's not THAT old. Besides, back then there were no cell phones, not to mention the first ones were attached to suitcases, so that would defeat his purpose of carrying the tiniest phone he could find.
In fact, his current cell is so tiny that texting on it (yes, at least it allows him to text, but only predictively) is a tribulation, despite his opposable-thumb dexterity. (He's right up there with the apes and chimps, so my mother was wrong about him.)
And the darn thing certainly ain't "smart." He can't get The Internets, and the pictures it takes look like they were pulled out of an elephant's ass.
Bottom line: Scotty is dying.
It's showing its wonkiness by asking to "Please Insert Sim Card" when it already has one. Or sometimes the screen goes white (yes, at least, originally it was in color). Other times, the message shows appears upside down.
"Honey, Scotty is dying," I tell him in a soothing tone.
"But I hate the new phones! They're too big," he whines "Much too bulky for a man to carry in his pocket."
"Too bad," I respond. "It's dying. That's okay. It lived long and prospered. But if you're waiting for another cell the size of a Star Trek phaser gun, youve got another thing coming. If you need something to carry it in, I'll lend you one of my purses."
Needless to say, this is not the answer he's looking for.
If he could, he'd wait it out, until cells got small again. Until then, he's still got to reach out and touch someone with something that receives messages that aren't smoke signals, so down to the Verizon store we go.
Speaking of dying, I've got a great excerpt for you today. It comes from Book 2 of The Housewife Assassin series, Guide to Gracious Killing. In it, my heroine, Donna Stone, is charged with protecting the Russian president from assassins while he's the guest of an American billionaire. Of course, both an assassin and the billionaire make their appearance at exactly the wrong time: while Donna is trying to take a shower.
I’ve just clicked on the dryer again, when
there’s another knock on the door. I crack it open to find a maid standing
there, with an armful of towels. “Shall I take them into the bathroom, Madame?”
Her accent is slightly British, which is par for the course around here.
“No, that’s okay. I’ll take them.”
She smiles and hands them to me.
That’s when I see it—a small tattoo of a wolf on
her left arm.
Her eyes follow mine. She senses I know who she
Her arm comes up toward my face. I block it with
my forearm, then kick her in the gut. She falls back, slamming into the
dresser. This stuns her, but just for a second. She reaches behind her and
yanks the dryer from the electrical socket. In no time at all, she’s got the
cord wrapped around both her wrists and arms.
“You won’t stop me from killing him.” Her vow is
soft, but deadly. “With what he’s done to others like me? That pig does not
deserve to live!”
“Trust me I get it. But it’s not happening here,
We both know I can’t talk her out of her mission
anymore than she can talk me out of mine: to save Asimov’s sorry ass.
We circle each other warily, assessing each
other’s weaknesses: She’s got more bulk than me, but she’s also slower. I’m
taller, too. Best yet, I’m now up against the dresser. Obviously, she considers
this a weakness because she charges me.
Even with the cord wrapped around my neck, all
it takes is one squirt of my spray cologne in her eyes to blind her.
She stumbles into the bathroom, dragging me with
her into the shower, where she turns on the water, full force. She’s hoping to
wash the sting out of her eyes.
What she doesn’t count on is my ability to kick
her into the shower.
She bangs her head against the marble wall.
Before she comes to her senses, I untangle myself from the cord, plug the dryer
into an electrical socket, and throw it into the tub.
Wolverine’s death mask stare and the smell of
her frying skin sends me gagging from the room followed by a shower of sparks
as the electrical system shorts out.
I shut the bathroom door, then lay down on the
bed to catch my breath.
This time when there’s a tap on the door, I
throw it open, to let Jack in.
But no. It’s Jonah Breck.
I pull my robe tightly around me. “My husband is
out right now.”
He smirks. “I know, dear. That’s why I’m here.
Don’t worry, we’ve got all the time in the world. He’s with the Japanese
defense minister, who is somewhat long-winded.” From behind him, he pulls a
bottle of Tattinger’s and two champagne glasses. “I presume you’re finding your
accommodations to your liking.”
“In all honesty, there’s a short in the
bathroom’s electrical system—”
Before I can say another word, he has backed me
onto the bed. When my robe falls open, he whips the sash out from around me.
Before I know it, he’s flipped me onto my stomach.
“I could use that drink right now,” I gasp, as
he binds my wrists with the sash.
“We’ll celebrate afterward.” I hear him fumbling
with his zipper. “You will, anyway. Trust me, I’ll have you begging for more.”
I struggle and try to sweet talk him some sense
into him, but no use. He’s got me pinned. I’ve just about given up any hope of
the Calvary coming when there is a sharp knock on the door.
“Mrs. Stone?” Both Breck and I recognize
Edwina’s voice. “Mrs. Stone, your daughter requests you come immediately.”
“Answer her.” Breck’s hot breath sears my ear.
I shout, “I’ll—I’ll be right there.”
“I’ll have to escort you. The girls are eating
in the south wing media room tonight, and with security as tight as it is… Well,
you can just imagine.”
Breck mutters a curse as he rolls off me. Even
as he unties me with one hand, the other gently follows the curve of my ass—
When he smacks it hard, I swallow the urge to
“A love tap. There’s more where that came from.
You’ll love the tour of my dungeon.”
He’s got a dungeon? His corporate bio doesn’t
mention a sadistic streak, but yeah, okay, makes sense.
I leap up and grab my dress, which is hanging
over the chair.
Breck smiles as I struggle into it. “Allow me to
zip you up.”
I suppress a shudder at the thought of his hands
anywhere on me. Instead, I nod.
He presses the zipper into my skin as he inches
it up, ever so slowly. When he’s done, I feel his lips grazing my neck. They
linger there as he breathes in the scent of my skin, sweat, and disgust.
How I long to smash that champagne bottle over
my host’s head, but seriously, what kind of guest would that make me?
And besides, I can’t deal with the disposal of
two dead bodies tonight.
Before I leave, I flip off Elvis Costello.
I can just imagine Ryan and Arnie’s shock and
awe at seeing Breck slithering out of the room.
I don’t even want to think about Jack’s
Let alone what he’ll say about the fried maid in
the shower. I guess I have a lot of explaining to do.
c) 2012 Josie Brown. All rights reserved. This excerpt may not be resold or redistributed without prior written permission from Josie Brown or Signal Press Books (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Signal Press / In bookstores now!
Having your characters grow — and fall in love — is a delicate choreography for an novelist. I enjoyed putting Donna Stone, the heroine of The Housewife Assassin's Handbook, into the arms of Jack Craig, her black ops mission partner.
He truly is the spy who loves her.
A lot that happens in this scene hints as to what is to come in the other books in the series.
Right now, it's also #7 on Amazon Kindle's Romantic Suspense/Mystery list, as well as #15 under Mysteries & Thrillers/Women Sleuths. To see why, go ahead and download it. The book is free right now, in the online bookstores listed below.
No, not that table…
But yes, the hostess at the Sand Dollar seats
Jack and me at the last table on the deck: the one closest to the surf.
The one that was Carl’s favorite.
To cover up my jitters, I order a mojito along
with the seared ahi.
“Double that order,” Jack tells our waitress.
We are silent as we stare out at the ocean. Our
drinks don’t come until the sun is melting into the horizon. As the last rays
of the day splay across the waves, the rum warms me and loosens my tongue.
Still, I’m lucid enough to keep the topic on him. “You have no accent. Where
are you from?”
“I grew up in Washington state.” He crushes the
mint in the bottom of his drink with a swizzle stick. “The Orcas Islands.”
“I hear it’s beautiful there.”
“It is. But I don’t see myself going back.”
He stares out at the ocean. “There is no one to
go home to.”
For some reason I’m glad to hear it. That makes
me a bitch, I guess. And yet, I’ve got to ask, “You never married?”
“What is this, an interrogation? Am I about to
be snatched?” To mock me, he glances over his shoulder.
“We’re getting to know each other, remember?
Besides, if I wanted to make you talk, there are easier ways than extraordinary
rendition.” This mojito is strong. I can’t tell if I’m charming him with a Mona
Lisa smile or leering like some sort of mad clown.
He leans back. “Okay, yeah, sure. You get a
question, and then I get one.”
“So, you want to know about any attachments,
right?” He chews on his swizzle stick. “Only one that was ever serious. But
it’s over now.”
“So you’re divorced.”
His wince is quickly covered over by a shrug.
“Things… just didn’t work out. Our lives are too complicated.”
“You’re telling me.” Whatever is left in my
drink is gone in one quick swallow. “Like Carl, were you recruited out of the
He nods. “Marine Corps. I served in Somalia,
then Iraq.” His lips curdle into a grimace. “Now I’m an international man of
“So you enjoy this gig.”
“I wouldn’t say that.” As he reaches for his
napkin, his hand grazes mine. It sends a shiver up my spine. “But others tell
me I’m good at it.”
“Yeah, you’ve got great buzz, that’s for sure.”
I don’t have to tell him that the dish on his bedroom technique is just as
notable. The telltale sign is that all the female double agents beg to be
interrogated by him.
“Your rep is quite impressive, too.”
“I do what’s needed to get the bad guys.”
“That’s why you’re on this mission, Donna.” He
pauses, but his eyes don’t waver away from mine. “Okay, it’s my turn now. Do
you still love him?”
His question takes me by surprise. I’m choking
down my drink.
He gets up to slap me on the back. (Seriously,
does that really work?)
I shoo him away. I don’t want to be touched.
At least, not when I’m thinking about Carl. I
have too much respect for him.
But I can’t say that to him. So instead I
murmur, “Yes. I still love him.”
Jack says nothing, but his eyes deepen with
sadness. I can only presume that this is out of respect for Carl. I would never
assume that he is attracted to me.
Okay, I’ll admit it: he’s hot. Maybe that’s
because he’s the first man who has reminded me of Carl.
But no man will ever make me forget Carl.
That’s why I feel comfortable saying “Yeah,
sure…” when he asks me if I want to dance.
The live band is playing a very sultry version of
“At Last.” The lead singer, a woman named Andree Belle, has a husky murmur,
perfect for lyrics oozing with lust and innuendo.
Jack holds me lightly but firmly in his arms. We
move as if we’re floating. I could attribute this to a mojito high, but why not
give credit where it’s due? What I saw him doing with Penelope at the
father-daughter dance was just a warm-up. His hands and hips maneuver me slyly,
cajoling me into a wanton frenzy, willing me to mirror his moves.
Our bodies fit together snugly.
Maybe a bit too snugly, if in fact he isn’t
I’m used to seducing and then killing men when
they are at their most vulnerable. Tonight, though, it is me who is fighting
the urge to surrender.
I thank God he’s not a mark.
Even as I think that, even as he holds me near—
He ruins everything when he whispers in my ear,
“Didn’t you hate him for lying to you?”
The love tango reeling in my heart goes flat
before breaking off. I should be breathing, but I can’t.
Hate? Did I hate Carl?
Yes, of course I hated him.
For lying to me.
For leaving me.
For not loving me enough to quit Acme.
When, finally, I find my voice, what comes out
is barely a whisper. “Why would you ask such a thing?”
“Because I would, too, if I’d been betrayed like
I stumble to our chairs, grab my sweater, and
head for the car.
He stays long enough to pay the bill for the ahi
we never got to eat.
(c) 2011 Josie Brown. All rights reserved. This excerpt may not be resold or redistributed without prior written permission from Josie Brown or Signal Press Books (email@example.com).
The Housewife Assassin's Handbook
(Book 1) Signal Press
FREE! Apple iTunes Bookstore
So Do. It. NOW.
Just read the excerpt of my novel, The Housewife Assassin's Guide to Gracious Killing, here, then answer this question:
What is the name of the song Prince Harry is dancing to, and who sings it?
All correct answers, must be emailed to be at MailFromJosie@gmail.com to be automatically be entered.
And guess what?
You can add bonus points! Each point equals an extra entry for you. Here's how:
– Click the "Like" button for The Housewife Assassin's Handbook, on Amazon (1 point).
(If you haven't read it already, you're in luck! It's only 99 cents, during this contest period!)
– And after you've read it, too, give a review to The Housewife Assassin's Guide to Gracious Killing on Amazon (1 point). Also, be sure to put up a review on Goodreads.com (1 point).
– If you haven't done so already, sign up for my eLetter (1 point). If your name is already in my eLetter list, you'll automatically get a bonus point, as soon as you correctly answer the question above.
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Remember: each of these bonus actions mean an additional point!
Email me at MailFromJosie@gmail.com with any bonus points, and I'll be sure to include them.
By New Year's Eve, this could be YOU (because we both know you think you look like here, anyway…)
You. Will. Love. It,
*Cover design: Andrew Brown, ClickTwiceDesign.com. Thanks, Andy, for another great cover!
James Tupper is heading to NBC.
The Revenge and Grey's Anatomy alum has joined the network's Jerry Bruckheimer drama pilot The Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.
Based on the Josie Brown book of the same name, the pilot is described as thriller and dramatic soap about the lingering aftermath of a murder. Off the Map's Martin Hendersonwill star as Kyle Dunn, a former flight surgeon and astronaut who returns from a long absence to find something is different about the life he left behind.
Tupper will play Richard Deaver, a likable and fun guy who moves to town with his wife and daughter to open a real estate business, but underneath his nice exterior is a troubled and dangerous personality.
From Warner Bros. Television, Bruckheimer will executive produce alongside Sascha Penn, Jonathan Littman and KristieAnne Reed. Penn will write the pilot.
Entourage's Perry Reeves and Rent's Jesse L. Martin will co-star in the drama.
Repped by ICM Partners, Untitled Entertainment and Jackoway Tyerman, Tupper's credits also include Mercy and Men in Trees.
The prize is awesome: $50 in Fandango Bucks, so that you can have a few movie date nights on me.
Here's what you have to do:
2. Now, answer this question: What is the name of Penelope's son?
EMAIL YOUR ANSWER TO: HousewifeAssassinsHandbook@gmail.com along with your name and snail mail address.
All correct entries must be recieved no later than midnight PT, October 31, 2011. Winners will be announced November 2, 2011, here on this site.
3. BONUS POINTS for friending THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK on:
- Facebook 5 points!
– Twitter 5 points!
- Sign up for Donna's Daily Killer Tip. 5 points!
Seattle always has sunshine when I come to town. Seattle readers — and expectant moms, for whom my latest novel will surely resonate — I hope you'll join me at my parents party for THE BABY PLANNER. Lots of raffle prizes, samples, and coupons. Here are the details:
Date: Thurs, June 2, 2011, 11am
Location: Planet Happy Toys / 2914 NE 55th Street, Seattle, 98105
Tel #: 206.729.0154
RSVP to: BabyPlannerSeattle@gmail.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=206163599396291
Planet Happy Toys is throwing the ultimate parent party. Hosted by ItsaBelly-Seattle baby planner Windy Gossett to celebrate the launch of author Josie Brown’s latest novel entitled (appropriately enough) The Baby Planner (Simon & Schuster).
Brown will read from the book. Afterward Gossett will discuss tips on buying safe and non toxic baby products.
LOCAL SPONSOR: ItsaBelly, National Baby Planning & Maternity Concierge Services
THERE WILL ALSO BE GIVEAWAYS FROM:
– Sprout Organic Baby Food
– Kiwi Magazine, for Growing Families the Natural and Organic Way
– EcoStoreUSA, maker of Eco-Safe Cleansing Products
– Spiffies, maker of Infant Dental and Teething Wipes
– Organic Mother's Milk Tea, from www.TraditionalMedicinals.com
– ArtBellies.com, Making Your Work in Progress a Work of Art
– Gift bag from PrinceLionheart.com
– Maclaren Beginning Skin Care, safe non toxic!
– And a special Itsabelly gift basket, which includes:
ATTENDEES WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE ENTERED INTO CONTESTS FOR:
– A set of Wonder Bumpers, the #1 doctor-recommended crib-safe bedding from http://www.GoMamaGoDesigns.com
– A gift from The Happiest Baby on the Block
– A gift from Beth Duris, Shaklee Distributor–
– A copy of The First 8 Days of Being a Mom
– A $100 gift card to their favorite bookstore, courtesy Josie Brown. The drawing will be done on 6/22/11.
RSVP strongly Advised! We look forward to seeing you there!
"Brown (Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives) takes baby mania to its illogical, hysterical extreme in this bubbly romp…But what begins as a light foray into Bugaboo country turns into something bigger than a satire of status-obsessed Bay Area yummy mummies as Brown takes a dark look at the fears of parenthood and family, with Katie's heartbreaking longing for a child unveiling a disturbing reality about her marriage and family. Still, the message from the somber realities is one full of hope: love makes a family, commitment keeps it together." –Publishers Weekly
I'm honored to have this fabulous review in the book publishing industry's trade magazine,PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Brown (Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives) takes baby mania to its illogical, hysterical extreme in this bubbly romp. Thirty-seven-year-old Katie's biological clock is ticking like a time bomb, and she turns her baby obsession into a wildly successful consultant gig planning nurseries for pregnant women too rich, clueless, bedridden, or busy to do the task themselves. Even grieving widower Seth, who works with Katie's child-shy husband, Alex, on a demanding new business venture, needs Katie's services to help him manage his perplexing new role as a single dad. But what begins as yet another vanilla chick lit foray into Bugaboo country turns into something bigger than a satire of status-obsessed Bay Area yummy mummies as Brown takes a dark look at the fears of parenthood and family, with Katie's heartbreaking longing for a child unveiling a disturbing reality about her marriage and family. Still, the message from the somber realities is one full of hope: love makes a family, commitment keeps it together. (Apr. 2011)
Want to read an excerpt? Click here. You can also enter my contest, for a $100 gift card to the bookstore of your choice.
Enjoy and good luck!
I have mine, now you have a chance to have yours, too,