Extracurricular Excerpt: The Sting

ExtraOnTapeBestTw2

I started writing Extracurricular eight years ago. As luck would have it, the recent college admissions cheating scandal made it a timely book to be launch this summer.

The scandal also gave me the impetus to expand the story into a three-book series. Whereas it was always going to be about about the consequence of a young lust that morphed into a three-year obsession and a twenty-two year-old secret, what sets its revelation in motion is a private school's involvement with the same illegal activities we're reading about now. 

As in real life, in this novel series, a few over-anxious parents will ruin not only their own lives, but that of the ones the loves they love most: their almost-adult children whose lives they feel they most micromanage as opposed to letting their children grow and mature through their own life experiences.

In the meantime, the reputations of school are also tarnished.

The excerpt above takes place during the middle of an FBI sting operation. In order to lessen her own jail sentence, a cooperating witness, nicknamed “Maleficent” by the agents because of imperious attitude, is recording two clients who interested in her “special attention” college counseling services.

Does it make it more palatable to readers that they are just as despicable as her? Throughout the book, that won't always be the case.

In Extracurricular, ego, desperation, insecurity, shame, lies, and lust play equal parts in 

Read the excerpt here, and then enter my contest, which has LOTS of goodies to win…

Extracurricular-Kindle

Extracurricular / Book 1

Signal Press (Release Date: June 28, 2019)
BOOK 1 of an Episodic Series of 3 Books
Digital ISBN:978-1-970093-00-1
Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-1-970093-02-5

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It's your child's senior year. 
A private high school's reputation is at stake.
A math teacher refuses to grade his final exams on a curve. 
Students have only one more shot at the SAT before college applications are due. 
And a few desperate parents with much more money than brains are willing to do anything to get their children into Ivy League colleges.

And Audrey's dirty little secret will soon be the downfall of everyone and everything she holds dear: love, family, friends, and her private high school alma mater.

In EXTRACURRICULAR, a dark family secret leads to a college admissions cheating scandal at a private school, setting off a crisis of conscience for the parents, teachers, administrator and the students involved—and a catharsis for one couple about their marriage.

Debra Webb’s THE SECRETS WE BURY – Author Provocateur Podcast

ap DebWeb 1000 copy 2Podbean  SoundCloud 1632 ApplePodcasts

Today's guest is the prolific suspense novelist Debra Webb, a USA-Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author with over one hundred and fifty books to her name.

Debra’s latest novel, THE SECRETS WE BURY, is the first in a new romantic suspense series whose protagonist, Dr. Rowan Dupont—formally Nashville Police Department’s forensic psychologist—also happens to be an undertaker’s daughter.

Rowan, who comes from the small town of Winchester TN, is haunted by the mysterious drowning death of her twin sister. Between her mother’s subsequent suicide and the recent murder of her father, returning to Winchester to run the funeral home feels fitting—even if it leaves her vulnerable to an obsessive serial killer.

Debra and I not only discussed her plotting and how her own past affects her writing, she also has sage advice to authors just starting out: “If what you write is what readers want to read, don't deviate from what works best for them—and for you.” 

Free Friday Book Excerpt: The Hitman gets his orders in THE CANDIDATE

TheCandidateFinal5Here's a taste of the dirty dealings in my steamy political thriller,  THE CANDIDATE.

Enjoy, and TGIF,

–Josie

 

EXCERPT

 

“Mansfield
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.

Nothing.
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.

Usually
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?”

Smith
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?”

“That
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
in disgust.

“His
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.”

“What
makes you think the leak is on my side? It could be one of your cutthroats.”

“My
‘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.”

“What’s
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.”

“Are
you ordering me to exterminate Mansfield?”

“What,
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
martyr.”

© 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.

 


TheCandidateFinal5THE CANDIDATE

Signal Press – eBook

Only $3.99! Buy it on

Amazon.com (US)

Amazon.co.uk (UK)

BN.com

 

Read another excerpt here…

Enter THE CANDIDATE'S Contest for a $100 Gift Card!

 


Hump Day Haiku: Take a Crack at That

 

Love our place, except/
The re-do from hell, next door/
Can be heard AND seen(!!!)

 

— Josie

 


The-Candidate-FinalCheck out my latest novel, THE CANDIDATE

Signal Press – eBook

Buy it NOW, on 
Amazon (US)

Amazon (UK)

In all online bookstores June 15, 2013!

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…

SYNOPSIS

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.

Read an excerpt here…

Enter THE CANDIDATE'S Contest for a $100 Gift Card!

______________________________________


TGIF Excerpt: Scotty is dying. Time for Martin to cross the bridge into the 21st Century.

KirkWithPhaser
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.

Awkward.

 
HAH-2-Book-Set (4)Enjoy it. And if you do, feel free to buy it. 

In fact, if you haven't yet read Book 1, The Housewife Assassin's Handbook you can get it free right now, either by itself, or along with Book 2, in The Housewife Assassin's Killer 2-Book Set.

 

EXCERPT

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
is.

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,
or now.”

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.”

Promises, promises.

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
cry out.

“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
reaction.

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 (info@signaleditorial.com).

 


Guide-to-Gracious-Killing-FinalThe Housewife Assassin's 
Guide to Gracious Killing 
(Book 2) Only $3.99! 

Signal Press / In bookstores now!

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A great scene in THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN’S HANDBOOK: Donna and Jack’s first date.

RomanticDinner2

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.

— Josie

EXCERPT

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.”

“Why not?”

He stares out at the ocean. “There is no one to
go home to.”

Ah.

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.”

“Fair enough.”

“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
military?”

He nods. “Marine Corps. I served in Somalia,
then Iraq.” His lips curdle into a grimace. “Now I’m an international man of
mystery.”

“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
packing heat.

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
that.”

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 (info@signaleditorial.com).

 


HAH-Hanging-Man-Oct-5-2012

The Housewife Assassin's Handbook
(Book 1) 
Signal Press  

FREE!  AmazonKindleButton

FREE!  Logo_kobo

FREE! Apple iTunes Bookstore

 99 cents! Nook-button


You’ve only got until MIDNIGHT PDT to enter my contest for a $100 bookstore giftcard!

Gift-card

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.

I'll be posting the potential winners here…

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).

– After you've read it, give a review for The Housewife Assassin's Handbook, on Amazon (1 point). Also, you can review it on Goodreads.com (1 point). 

(If you haven't read it already, you're in luck! It's only 99 cents, during this contest period!)

Guide-to-Gracious-Killing-Final– 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.

– Friend me on Facebook (1 point) at http://www.Facebook.com/josiebrownauthor

– Friend me on Twitter (1 point) at http://twitter.com/JosieBrownCA

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,

— Josie

*Cover design: Andrew Brown, ClickTwiceDesign.com. Thanks, Andy, for another great cover!

 

REVENGE’s James Tupper is another new cast member in the TV show based on my novel, SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES

This just in, from Hollywood Reporter! Love it! — Josie

'Revenge's' James Tupper Joins NBC's 'Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives' Pilot (Exclusive)

6:28 PM PDT 10/10/2012 by Lesley Goldberg

The "Grey's Anatomy" alum will play Richard Deaver, a family man with a secret troubled and dangerous personality.

James Tupper Portrait - P 2011

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 WivesThe Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.

STORY: NBC Pilot 'Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives' Finds Lead in Martin Henderson

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.

STORY: Jerry Bruckheimer Soapy Thriller Gets Pilot Order at NBC

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'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.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit

 


OUR EDITOR RECOMMENDS

 

Have you entered THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN’S HANDBOOK Contest?

Fandango BucksThe 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:

1. Read the excerpt here.

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!

 

HAH Hanging Man V2 See you at the movies!

 

Seattle Parents! Join Us for THE BABY PLANNER Novel Party!

BabyPlannerEviteTighter(2)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:

"Itsabelly's Guide to Going Green with Baby" book

The Mommy Hook

Thinkbaby Bottles

– Wysi Wipes

NoseFrida Snot Sucker

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.

AND YOU'LL RECEIVE COUPONS FROM:
Minted Custom Invitations  - The Eco Breast Pump  - Beaba USA Bloomin’ Belly Soaps

RSVP strongly Advised! We look forward to seeing you there!

— Josie

"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

 

Thanks, Publishers Weekly, for Loving THE BABY PLANNER

I'm honored to have this fabulous review in the book publishing industry's trade magazine,PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.

What a great way to start a Monday!
The Baby Planner

Josie Brown. S&S/Gallery, $15 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-4391-9712-7

 

 

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,

— Josie

Win a $100 Gift Card to Your Favorite Bookstore!

Stack of books See that smile? See that stack of books? This woman could be you!

All you have to do is read this excerpt of THE BABY PLANNER, and email the following, to BabyPlannerNovel@gmail.com

– The correct answer;

– Your name, snail mail address so I can send the gift card to you, if you're my lucky winner; and

– A "nickname" for you, that will be posted on the "Possible Winners" page;

Entries close on Midnight Pacific Time, Father's Day, June 19, 2011.

The winner will be drawn from all correct entries the next day, from my favorite bookstore (Books, Inc., 2251 Chestnut Street, San Francisco) and posted on my website. I'll also email the winner to get the name of their favorite bookstore.

Bonus Points when you do this:

Bonus Point+1: Friend me on Facebook, at 
http://www.facebook.com/Josie.Brown.Author.Page, and/or

 

Bonus Point+1: Friend me on Twitter, at
http://twitter.com/JosieBrownCA

 

Additional Bonus Points for doing this, as often as once a day:

Bonus Point+2: Send a friend to this page, and they email back with the correct answer and their pertinent info, along with this line: "(Your Name) invited me to enter your contest."

 

Bonus Point+2: Tweet or FB up this statement:

I <3 the excerpt of @JosieBrownCA's #BabyPlannerNovel! Read it here 4 a chance 2 win $100 bookstore giftcard: http://tinyurl.com/6enlweq

 

  

NOW IT'S YOUR TURN TO READ THE EXCERPT HERE…AND GOOD LUCK!

Baby Planner 600w

"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 and Poor Little Bitch Girl

"The Baby Planner is as a delight.  I wondered, as I was reading it, how I every managed without a baby planner, and by the end I wondered how I ever managed without its author, Josie Brown." 
—Eileen Goudge, New York Times bestselling author of Once in a Blue Moon

"I loved this juicy-as-it-it-is-heartfelt novel about love, marriage, friendship and sharp, manicured claws. Could not put it down!"
—Melissa Senate, author of The Secret of Joy

"Poignant and funny! Josie Brown's protagonist is strong, resilient, and unflinchingly honest: she has all the skills she needs to navigate the 'mean streets' of the gated community of Paradise Heights. A great read!" 
—Wendy Wax, author Magnolia Wednesdays

“Brown proves that a story with suburban bodies can be just as suspenseful as one with dead bodies! Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives is a probing, entertaining fishbowl of married life in a well-heeled, wayward neighborhood. Loved it!”  
—Stephanie Bond, author of Body Movers series

"I loved it! Josie Brown captures the highs and lows of love, lust and marriage with heartwrenching  pathos. I'm recommending it to all my friends as the perfect beach read!"

Lisa Rinna, actress, and author of the novel, Starlit,  
and the personal growth book, Rinnavation

 

Art from the Heart: Poolside Gossip by Slim Aarons

Poolside GossipSuch irony! This could have easily been the setting for SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES, had I had written it 40 years ago.

(And of course, I would have been hailed a child prodigy…make that an embryonic one….Oh, hush, those of you who know my real age…!)

Ran across this photo in the June 2010 issue of Vanity Fair. Of course, I had to look it up immediately! Turns out it is a photograph by Slim Aarons called Poolside Gossip. (But of course!)

Was it posed? From the description, I'm guessing not. The lovely lady on the right is art dealer Joseph Linsk's wife, Nelda. She is talking to a woman with the most delicious name (not to mention perfect mid-century sunning ensemble), Helen Dzo Dzo. Another guest, Lita Baron, approaches, fruity cocktail in hand. (You can click onto the photo to make it larger…)

The lacquered coiffures on the women are priceless. And Lita is is full-chested, her high-heeled legs exquisite under the peek-a-boo lace beach cover-up. Yep, she could pass for a former Playboy Bunnie.

So, what's your guess, will Nelda and Helen change the engrossing topic of their discussion before she gets them? Feel free to comment below.

Note to self: Next book will have more intriguing names!

Let's pretend we know what they're saying,

—Josie

http://twitter.com/JosieBrownCA

http://www.facebook.com/josiebrownauthor


Secret-Lives400w  Josie's novel, Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, is soon to be a dramatic TV series on ABC, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

(Simon & Schuster)

(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 and Poor Little Bitch Girl

Great contest for SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES ! Hop over to (Not Quite) Susie Homemaker!

Autographed copy Authors always love it when others appreciate their books.

No doubt about it I've got a certain fondness for the book bloggstress (Not Quite) Susie Homemaker. She really got to the heart of my novel, SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES, and I so greatly appreciate that — and let her know with a thank you email.

And since she made it clear to her readers that, sorry, this was a book she wanted to hang onto, I offered to send her one for herself, and autograph it; as well as another for one of you, if she ran a contest on her site.

She agreed. In fact, it's a pretty awesome contest: Just comment on her site, and you get one entry. However, if you go to your local Barnes & Noble, Borders, or Target and shoot a quick snap of my book and send it to her, you get 10 – yep, count 'em, 10! — entries.

Oh yeah, and my kid will come over and do yard work for you….

Nope, don't get your hopes up! Just kidding….(he won't do it in my yard, either. There is a reason why we're known as the scary house on the block….)

So, get on over to Target, B&N or Borders, so that I can write something sweet in your book!

I <3 Susie,

—Josie

http://twitter.com/JosieBrownCA





Secret-Lives400w
 
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 and Poor Little Bitch Girl

Order your copy from:

Suicidal Moms: No One Who Knew Them Can RIP

Momsandsons  Yet another mom has taken her own life—and that of the person most precious to her: her child.

In this case, it was a 51-year-old divorced woman, Judith Elizabeth Williams from Walnut Creek, California. She owned a business that was failing, like so many others in this economy. Her financial situation may have been the tipping point, but it wasn't the only factor that robbed this mom of her ability to see the senselessness of her act, which took place at dusk, on the highest point in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mount Diablo.

Apparently she'd been depressed for years. Perhaps she had never sought the treatment she needed. I guess we'll never know.

He 15-year-old son, Adam, had accompanied her up the mountain. She'd already done away with the family pets, although he may have not known that yet.

Even if he had, would a teen have recognized that act as a symptom of suicidal depression?

Even if he had, would he have known who he could go to?

Would he have known to seek help for her, or would he have been too embarrassed about his mom's issues? As we all know, teens are very sensitive of what others think of them, and of their families. 

I cry when I hear of these sorts of incidents. I feel sorry ––no, angry ––that a child's life has been snuffed out for no other reason than selfishness on his parent's part. She may have not seen her place here on this Earth, but obviously he did, and by all accounts (including the article enclosed here, from the San Francisco Chronicle) Adam lived his life to the fullest.

He deserved to live it on his terms, not hers.

That said, I also feel pity and sadness that yet another mother did not have the support she needed to see beyond her emotional pain. To get the medical help she needed.

And the mother in me feels shame. Women, she was one of us. She didn't have our attitude, our faith in ourselves, or our ability to project ourselves beyond our fears.

But she was still one of us.

I wish her peace.

—Josie

Mom kills son atop Mt. Diablo, then shoots self

Thursday, July 23, 2009

(07-22) 16:33 PDT WALNUT CREEK

First, Judith Elizabeth Williams took her two cats to the shelter. Then
she brought the family dog to the veterinarian, had it euthanized, and
wrote a suicide note.

Then, investigators say, the 51-year-old Walnut Creek woman got in
the car with her 16-year-old son, Adam Findley Williams, and drove up
Mount Diablo. Near the top of the 3,849-foot peak, at a lookout with
panoramic views of the Bay Area, she shot the teenager to death with a
.357 handgun and turned the gun on herself, authorities said Wednesday.

Judith Williams was having custody disagreements with her
ex-husband, who had remarried, and was having money problems, said
Contra Costa County sheriff's Capt. Dan Terry. Those "were the primary
motivating" reasons behind the murder-suicide Friday, he said.

However, Adam Williams' father, Jim Williams, said custody of their
son wasn't an issue. Although his ex-wife had financial difficulties,
he said, she also suffered from mental problems.

"His mom was such an angry person – she took offense to things very
easily," Jim Williams said. He said he hadn't sought custody of Adam
after his 1996 divorce because "I didn't want to provoke her."

Nevertheless, Judith Williams had never made any threats to harm her
son, who was a student at Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek, her
ex-husband said.

"She loved him and wouldn't do him any harm," Jim Williams said. "When this happened, we were absolutely shocked."

Judith Williams clearly planned the murder-suicide, authorities
said. She had disposed of the family pets in the two days before she
died, and left behind a long suicide note in her Blackwood Drive home.

It "implied this was what she was doing and that she was taking her son with her," Terry said.

State Parks police officers found the bodies about 10 p.m. Friday at
a lookout point on Summit Road, which leads to the top of Mount Diablo.
Authorities withheld news of the deaths while they investigated the
circumstances.

Adam Williams' body was found near the edge of the viewing area. His
mother was found a few feet away on a park bench. Their car was in the
parking lot.

Investigators determined that Judith Williams shot her son in the
chest and head before shooting herself in the head, Terry said.

The gun was registered to Judith Williams, authorities said. The
weapon appeared new, but it was not immediately clear when she had
obtained it, Terry said.

Adam Williams would have been a junior in the fall at Las Lomas
High, where he was a member of the track and cross country teams.

"All he ever wanted was for people to accept him and love him and
try to help people as much as he possibly could," his father said. "It
sounds trite, but he was just a great, great kid. He took a lot of
personal pride in his capabilities."

He was "absolutely fearless" and loved to try new things, including tackling a "ropes course" in Lake Tahoe, his father said.

Judith Williams filed for divorce from Jim Williams in 1996, and
issues were litigated until at least 2001, according to Contra Costa
County Superior Court records.

She filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in 1999, and her debts were discharged, federal court records show.

E-mail Henry K. Lee at hlee@sfchronicle.com.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/07/23/BAIT18TB26.DTL

© 2009 Hearst Communications Inc.