It’s Official: My novel, SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES, Is In Bookstores Now

Secret Lives200 My book hits bookshelves today! It's being published by Simon &
Schuster. I'm thrilled, as you can imagine.

What's the story? I explore the perceptions and deceptions affecting two

Harpers, Lyssa and Ted, are socially entrenched in the tony Silicon Valley town
of Paradise Heights, California, unlike DeeDee and Harry Wilder, who
are admired by all, but politely aloof to their neighbors. Then word
gets out that DeeDee has walked out on Harry and their two children.
Gossip runs rampant through the Heights. Was DeeDee having an affair? Is
it true that Harry is fighting her for everything—even the dog?

Lyssa's friends gossip about the neighbors while ignoring their own
problems: infertility, infidelity, and eating disorders. The truth is,
if the community's “perfect couple,” Harry and DeeDee,  can call it
quits, what does that mean for everyone else?

At least one of the rumors is true: to hold on to his children and his
home, Harry, once a workaholic, realigns his life and becomes a
stay-at-home dad. Touched by his efforts at trial-by-error single
parenting, Lyssa befriends him, never realizing the effect their
relationship will have on her close-knit circle of friends—or its
explosive impact on her own marriage.

Just another fun day in suburbia, right?

You know, writing a book is a lot like birthing a baby. The moment you
realize it's actually going to happen, you fall into a euphoric trance.

Sheer bliss. And nothing can take that away from you…

Except the worry that perhaps something bad will befall it while it's
incubating. For an author, that can be anything from the “I'm not
worthy!” to “Will it find an audience?” to “What do I have to say that is compelling enough to hold someone's attention for 300+ pages?”

When this happens, those deep breathing exercises we learn in Lamaze
classes certainly come in handy.

Well, I'm happy to report that I'm feeling no qualms whatsoever. (Liar,
Liar, pants on fire..)

No, seriously, I mean that. I've been through the birthing experience,
four times: two that were the human kind (Austin and Anna), and another
two that were the novel kind (and Impossibly
and True Hollywood

During that first trimester, reality sets in. There is so much
preparation before the blessed event: outlining a compelling plot;
creating characters that are real–to you, and hopefully future
readers; making sure the dialogue coming out of their mouths is
something someone would actually say–and that others would respond to.
Is it any wonder you feel nauseous?

By the middle trimester, you're in your groove: pages are flowing,
you're heavy with chapter, edits are coming back, but nothing that you
feel throws the plot baby out with the bath water. (Some analogy, huh?)
In fact, you fall into a complacent routine where everything seems

 But by it's delivery date – in this case, TODAY, June 1, 2010 – you are
more than ready to share you bundle of joy with the rest of the world.

Will this book be The Second Coming? I would never presume as much.
(Besides, in the book universe, Harry Potter has already claimed that
title.) Wise parents know that the most they can hope for their
offspring is a long and fruitful life.

And of course, you envision a success future. (Those of us who had
reserved our children's places in their preschools even before they were born know what I mean).

So that my new baby lives a long and healthy life, I'm going to go on
the theory that it takes a village to birth a book. That said, if you're
looking for a great beach read, I think this fits the bill.

Feel free to read this excerpt here on my website. In fact, I'm
running a contest in conjunction with it: just answer the question
correctly, and  I'll put your name in the hat for a shot at a $200 gift
card from Target. The drawing takes place on Thursday, June 10, 2010,
while I'm in Milwaukee, at Boswell Books. If you're based in Milwaukee,
I'd love to meet you there.

Thank you again, dear friends, great fans and new readers, for all your support!



Advance Praise for SECRET


 “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

 “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

 “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

 “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
Josie talks about the book here:

Tome of the Mommy: The Fighting of the Tree

RetroChristmas For some of us, holiday rituals are our happiest memories. For others, they are the flint that sparks our greatest fears.

Perhaps memories of unhappy holidays past haunt us. Or maybe we stress out at the pressure to project "happiness" during this time of year.

If something truly important is bothering us, faking some form of cheeriness isn't going to keep us from gnashing our teeth when another ornament falls and shatters, or when your son yanks a candy cane off your decorated tree —

And the tree tipples over, too.

In my novel, SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES, my heroine, Lyssa Harper, knows her husband, Ted, is angry at her because she refuses to drop her friendship with Harry, one of the neighborhood's stay-at-home dads. She thinks his request is irrational, that he has no reason to be jealous . . .

And yet, it's certainly flattering that he is upset.

But that shouldn't get in the way of the Harpers' annual holiday tree-cutting expedition, should it?

As you'll read in this excerpt, of course it does . . .

Finding the
perfect tree is the Douglas fir is the equivalent of taking down the great
white whale. It must have a thick petticoat of branches rising from the base,
its layers coquettishly shorter albeit in proportion all the way up to its
needled crown. As if projecting his own fears of a thinning pate, Ted cannot
tolerate bald spots between layers. I, on the other hand, abhor crooked bases.
Between three rambunctious kiddies and a clumsy dog the size of a Shetland
pony, our tree can’t have the posture of a tilt-n-whirl. The one thing we both
agree on is that it must stand at least 13 feet tall, so that it is not dwarfed
by the double height of our entryway: the place of honor.

The search for
the tree is a highly charged competition. The winner is the first to be
photographed with it. The photo is then mounted on the first page of this
year’s Christmas photo album, validating a full year of bragging rights.

Tanner is old
enough to carry the bowed safety saw, while Mickey drags the tall PVC pole that
is marked a measuring stick. Every now and then he attempts to pole vault from
one row to another. Olivia is charged with holding the twine that Ted will use
to tie the tree to the sleigh that hauls the tree back to the cashier,
who will ply our children with Christmas cookies, candy canes, and warmed cider
while I peruse the wreaths on display. Eventually I’ll settle on three: one for
the front gate, and two for our doublewide front door.

“Mommy, why not
this one . . .or this one?” Olivia loses all sense of discretion when she’s
within sniffing distance of gingerbread men.

“No, sweetie.
That one is not tall enough, and the other is much too bare on the back side.”

“Hey, Mom! MOM!
OVER HERE!” For this task, Mickey has always had a great sense of focus that consistently
leads him to the right tree. When he was younger, it frustrated him to lose to
his brother. Ted’s way of mitigating it was to lead our youngest son to a
potential winning candidate. Now that Mickey’s developed a connoisseur’s eye,
Ted no longer has to do that.

The tree Mickey
has spotted for us has all the necessary criteria. Ted whistles for Tanner to
trot on over with the saw, but Tanner tries for an end-run. “Wait, wait . .
.what about this one over here? It’s hella taller . . .”

Ted looks down
at his cell phone, for the time. “Nope, we’ve got to call it a day. Warriors
and Lakers tonight, remember?”

“Wait . . .
aren’t we going to decorate the tree when we get home?” Mickey’s look is
incredulous. We all look up and over at Ted.

He knows he's outnumbered.
He smiles weakly. “Sure! Of course! It’s our tradition, right?”

As we head back
to the cashier with our find, I give him a kiss on the cheek. He stops short in
order to draw me to him and give me a real kiss, the kind that should melt away
any lingering doubts about love and fidelity.

His doubts, not

Copyright © 2010 by Josie Brown

Are the holidays a happy time for you, or just more added stress to a life that seems already too flustered, too out of control?

If so, have you figured out why that's the case?

I'd like to hear from you, be it ho ho ho, or boo hoo hoo,


SLHW fauxsmall

  Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives

Simon & Schuster/Downtown Press

(ISBN: 9781439173176)

Look for it in bookstores June 1, 2010

From Amazon

From Barnes & Noble

From Books a Million

From Borders

From Copperfield's

From Your Local Independent Bookstore

From Powell's

Shake Your Booty in Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream and Cake Contest to Win $10,000

BaskinRobbinsDanceContest Remember that old saying "We all sing for ice cream"? Well, now, if you dance, too, you'll have a shot at $10,000 in cash, and $1,000 worth of Baskin
Robbins Ice Cream Cake. All you have to do is grab your video camera
and your kids, and dance for your chance to win in the Baskin Robbins
Ice Cream & Cake Dance Contest!

Entering is easy as cake (and ice cream):

1.Go to the Baskin Robbins Video Contest Page
to download the free Ice Cream and Cake song for your video. (Catchy as all get-out! Trust me on this…)

2.Watch the demo
video to see how the dance is done.

3. Next, grab your camera (and the
kids!) and shake your beautiful booty.

4. Uplink your video, and get your friends and family to vote for you, because that will play a part in
determining the winner.

Put on your dancin' shoes,

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