Hump Day Haiku: “The Bald Guy”

Baldmandating

I date a bald guy/

The great news: he's not a creep/

My friends say, "Clone him!"

— Josie

#MadMen creator Matthew Weiner discusses the latest episode (#9, “The Better Half”)

MadMenSeason6__Poster
I love this illustration for Mad Men. It's the type of illustration you'd find for ads from that mid-60s era.

Notice that Don Draper is both coming and going. I like that the artist has captured his duplicity, his wanderlust, and the fact that there are other Don Drapers out there. 

There are other Don Drapers inside of Don Draper.

I also hate the fact that this is the last season of Mad Men. I'm sure the show's actors realize it's a career high for them, thanks to all the elements that make a show great: the direction, the period detail via set design and costumes, and of course the writing. Writer-Producer Matthew Weiner has created an ensemble of characters who faults and foibles ring true as the catapault through life in an era some of us remember all too nostalgically. Six years ago, as watched the first episode with my son, I remember him commenting, “Wow, the men were really cruel to the women who worked with them.”

Yes, to a great extent, barbaric.

Truly, it set the tone of what was to come.

We love these characters,and we also hate them.

In other words, we feel for them. 

It's why it's great television, and why it's sublime storytelling.

Check out the show's creator, Matthew Weiner, discussing the latest episode (9, “The Better Half”).

— Josie

 


HA-RSG-Final-V2
To celebrate the launch of 
The Housewife Assassin's Relationship Survival Guide
I'm giving away a $100 gift card
 to the bookstore of your choice!

Click here for details…

 

 

 

 


Love this opening number, in SMASH

Smash-1-02-katharine-mcphee-channels-marilyn-monroe-performs-original-song

I know it's de riguer to diss SMASH this season, but I've got to tell you, I loved the opening musical number on SMASH (week of March 3, 2013).

Tell me if you don't agree that it was a blast. It's called "Public Relations."

Yeah, I can picture this on Broadway…

–Josie




 

We have a homeless guy in our apartment building’s boiler room.

Homeless-teen

Turns out the guy has picked the lock, and made it his home: bedroll, pictures, personal items.

This breaks my heart. I can only imagine what it's like to have to sleep on a cold concrete floor every night, let alone  park bench or a sidewalk. At the same time, should something happen in that boiler room. it affects the whole building, and the tennants in it.

We will change the lock on the boiler room door to a deadbolt, perhaps put a gate in the passageway leading to it as well.

But first we will also box up his belongings.  I will put a few bucks in an envelope, along with a note explaining why he needs to move on. 

Like most homeless, he's not on the street (or in the boiler room) by choice. He's there because, somewhere along the line, he's had a fall from grace. Maybe mental health issues are involved. If so, I truly feel for him, because the governmental safety net for the mentally ill is broken in too many ways.

He is someone's son. Perhaps, someone's brother, father, or uncle or nephew.

He cannot deal with his problems. And his family is probably brokenhearted about it andworried about him, but also weary of the burden of carrying him.

Out of sight, but truly out of mind? We all know that's not the case.

He is the ghost of failure: not his own, but ours, as a society.

He is one of us.

We need to fix it. Whether we want to believe so or not, it is a reflection on each of us

— Josie

From the bottom of my heart, thanks for all the praise.


IHEARTU

Every now and again, I'll run across a reader review that makes me proud of the fact that I've stuck it out as a novelist. Here are a few examples.

I just want to say to those of you who have read me and passed along a few kind words about my book: thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I try to write books I would love to read myself, with characters who grab at my heartstrings, too. Knowing that you're along for the right makes it just that much sweeter.

 

— Josie

 

Baby Planner Low ResAbout The Baby Planner:

"Such a great book, found myself not wanting to put it down. I wasn't me anymore, i became the character. I felt what she felt. her pain, her heartache,her longing and her success. I look forward to seeing what else Josie Brown has written." –M,  New Zealand.

 

 

 


Totlandia5_2About Totlandia, The Onesies, Fall (Book 1)

"I first discovered Josie when I read "True Hollywood Lies" (which I could not put down). I'm not a mom but I picked up the Totlandia series because I love Josie's writing and Totlandia definitely does NOT disappoint. It's a good, fun read – the dialogue is entertaining and funny and the characters are relatable, most are likable, and all have a depth to them that is hard to accomplish in a page turner. I definitely find myself having favorites. For anyone worried about the reviews saying that the book ends without resolution, I completely disagree. There is resolution – as one mom does get cut. And there's a little teaser at the end of Book One which only makes me want to read Book Two that much more." — J.K.

and

"I read the first book which was gifted to me…then immediately bought the other 2 books. I couldn't put them down! One review I read said these are better than crack and she was right! I am completely frustrated that I have to wait 3 months for the next one to come out….but that is part of the allure, I guess. Josie has a way of leaving you hanging so you just HAVE TO KNOW what happens next to the characters. Josie Brown has quickly become one of my favorite authors so I am devouring everything she has written. Highly recommend this series, whether you are a mom or not." — A.Z.

 


Guide-to-Gracious-Killing-FinalThe Housewife Assassin's Guide to Gracious Killing
(The Housewife Assassin Series, Book 2)

"I truly enjoyed reading this book. I didn't want to put it down. I found myself thinking about the story when I wasn't reading it, anticipating the next time I'd get back to it. It was funny and engaging." — V

and

"A good writer makes for ease of reading. Fast paced action breaks the mundane day to day life to a whole new level. I laughed, cried and laughed some more. Great read to bring a lighter mood into our hurried world." — D.M., TN

 

 


ITT 200About Impossibly Tongue-Tied

"About a half hour after finishing this book (10 min ago), I came to the realization that this wonderful book took another layer of shine off of movies and Hollywood. People will do some pretty nasty things for fame and the public will still give it to them. Now, it will be hard not to look at acclaimed actresses and wonder if their sweet personalities aren't also an act. Or if my favorite Hollywood heart-throb is cheating on his girlfriend/wife. I would have given this book 6 stars if the author had just provided one or two actors/actresses with sweet and loyal this in the book. Because, like many of my generation, I may not be ready to face what Hollywood has become.
3) The ending was really romantic but I still wish that the author had given us more of a peek into what Nina's future life holds professionally speaking.

I'm sorry for the rant but if you're still reading, this book was worth the disillusionment about Hollywood."  - Z., Florida

 

 

Hump Day Haiku: “Fashion Week”

FashionWeek2013

Oh my God…I'm here!

Why is she front row center? /

This collection sucks.

Today is a play day (sort of). Which means a trek through Golden Gate Park.

Goldengatepark

In many ways, San Francisco is a wonderland. One locale in the city that is always on parade is Golden Gate Park, which runs three miles east to west, and half a mile north to south. Its 1,017 acres make it 20 percent larger than New York's Central Park. 

Our park ends at the Ocean, so I'd say that's another wonderful advantage. It's far side ends in the Haight, which is why it was once a hippy haven ("Once"? Frankly, it still is. Everything changes, and stays the same).

GGParkNorthWindmill2We'll park at one end, and meander through it, down to the other. In the meantime, we'll pass the archery field, the Frisbee Golf grove, merry-go-rounds, drumming circles,  roller blade dancers, both The DeYoung Fine Arts Museum and the California Academy of Sciences, the first home of the San Francisco 49ers (Kezar Stadium) and several lakes (Stowe, for rowers; Spreckels, for those who are running their minature yachts, or sailing their miniature sail boats), not to mention a herd of buffalos. groves of picnickers, and a windmill or two.

Our own favorite passtime is discovering the wooded nooks and crannies; serene groves where one can lose oneself  in a good book, while lolling on a blanket, or sprawling on one of the many benches that you'll come across.

The park was concieved in the 1870s, and hosted several public expositions, of which some of its historic buildings remain (the flower conservatory,and its renowned Japanese Tea Garden are but two).

Strybing_Arboretum_trailAnd to think the park might have never happened, had San Francisco's silver barons gotten their way: they lobbied hard for a race track!

 

Now, go out and discover something new,

— Josie

 

 

Below, the architecturally renowned California Academy of Sciences


CAAcademyScience

Nashville’s “Pour Me Something Stronger” has lyrics that hit a high note.

I unabashedly love the ABC TV show, Nashville.

I love that the personalities are big, voices are great, the songs have heart, and the writing has soul.

An example: in the latest episode (February 27, 2013) pop tart Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) throws a suprise birthday party for her lead guitarist, Deacon Claybourne (Charles Eston, and  former lover of her rival, Rayna Jaymes, played by Connie Britton).

It's to be Nashville's party of the year.

It's also an emotional make-good: on a party her mother was to throw for Juliette's nineth birthday, but was too coked up to do so. Her mother's relapse into addiction at the party is a bittersweet reminder to Juliette that all of life's events is the equivialent to a game of Chutes and Ladders. 

No matter who you are, or how far you've come, you can always slip back into failure.

True friends and caring family prop you up again.

The video above is of Connie Britton singing a song that is all about that.

It all starts with the writing,

— Josie

 

PS: In regard to true love and family, I've just released Book 3, the latest in my Totlandia series. But you'll want to try Book 1 first. And lucky you! It's now priced at 99 cents!

Here's a synopsis:

 

Totlandia5_2

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

Book 1: The Onesies/Fall

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

Buy it now…

Amazon.com (eBook)

Amazon.com (App)

BN.com (eBook)

 BN.com (App)

Read a synopsis here…

The Pacific
Heights Moms & Tots Club is the most exclusive children’s playgroup in all
of San Francisco. For the city’s ultra-competitive elite, the club’s ten annual
spots are the ultimate parenting prize.

In a world of power and prestige, no one has more the club’s founder, Bettina
Connaught Cross. And as every mom in Pacific
Heights knows, you simply
cannot cross her
.

Bettina adheres
to strict membership rules: Moms only. No single parents or working mothers
allowed. Membership is an arduous commitment. And there’s no room in the club
for scandal, bad behavior, or imperfection…from tots or their moms.

Not everyone
is PHM&TC
material, which is why this year the admissions process for the Pacific Heights
Moms & Tots Club is more rigorous than ever, pitting prospective members
against each other to prove their mettle.

But four of
the six candidates vying for the remaining four slots have secrets that would
knock them out of the running. Jade is a former stripper and porn actress, who
has been absent for most of her son’s life. Jillian’s husband cleaned out their
joint accounts and left her for his pregnant assistant. Ally never even had a
husband—just a sperm donor—and she has a high-ranking corporate job. And Lorna
fears that her son may have special needs… just the excuse her sister-in-law,
Bettina, needs to deny her entry to the club.

Can these
hopeful moms keep up appearances long enough to outlast the competition? Or
will their chances—and their private lives—go up in flames?

Totlandia is a five-book series that follows our heroines starting in “The
Onesies,” their inaugural year in the club. Upcoming books—to be released in
four episodes each year—will follow subsequent years: the Twosies, Threesies,
Foursies, and Fivesies.

Okay, here were my favorite Oscars dresses…

 
Sexiest-Dresses-Oscars-2013

So many dresses, so little time to review every fold, hue, cut, and designer
making us ooooh and ahhhh during Sunday's Oscars 2013 presentation…

But I'll try my best. Okay, here were my favorites:

Halle Berry in a glitzy Marchesa gown…

Jessica Chastain in a copper, Art Deco-inspired gown by Armani Privé…

And  Naomi Watts is also in an Armani Privé gown,
in a glitzy silver with an intriguing cut-out.

 

Also…

Amy-adams-vanity-fair-oscars-party-2013-03

Amy Adams in gray fringed Oscar de la Renta…

 

Charlize2

 

Charlize Theron wore a peplum-waisted Dior Haute Couture gown…

 

JLaw

And Jennifer Lawrence's Dior Haute Couture
pink blush gown, with voluminous train.

 

All beautiful, don't you think?

 

I'm soooo inspired, I'm off to get my own little princess a gown!

 

— Josie

 

Character Quote from Michael Scott, in The Office

Scott

 

"Would I rather be feared or loved?
Easy. Both.

I want people to be afraid of how much they love me." 

 

@TheOffice

@JosieBrownCA

 

Last weekend, San Francisco’s Chinese New Year Parade was PERFECT.

SF-chinese-new-year-parade

 The synchronized dragons.

The stiltwalkers.

The elaborate masks and costumes.

And of course, the looks on the children's faces:
both those in the parade, and those wishing they'll be in the next one,
taking part in all the fun.

The parade gods blessed us with clear skies and a full moon on a balmy night.

Bliss,

— Josie

 

Chinese-new-year-celebrations_0

 

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Chinese+New+Year+201219

Novelist Eileen Goudge introduced me to Capitola’s historic, colorful beach villas.

Capitola
Had I known how beautiful this little seaside town was, I would have come here sooner.

Believe it or not, it is renowned as the oldest beach resort on the West Coast. Its name mimicks that of a heroine in a novel dating back to the 1867: The Hidden Hand, by E.D.E.N. Southworth.

If you guessed E.D.E.N. was a woman, you're right. To get published back then, many women wrote under pseudonyms, which could be taken for men's names, and gain an audience.

The villas, shown above, are the very first condominums. Go figure. Wish I owned one now. They overlook Monterrey Bay, scanning it from its north shore. The old Capitola Pier is still standing, and far enough out to fish from it.

The day we were there with novelist Eileen Goudge, a seal was frolicking in the surf.

Thank goodness Eileen and I can use our real names. Her books, wonderful tales of contemporary women who have had a fall from grace but find redemption, are tightly plotted. My favorite is Woman in Red.

But hey Eileen writes so prolifically, you'll have several others to read afterward.

 

— Josie

Bitch Creek? Love the name.

 BitchCreek

 

It actually exists somewhere. Go figure.

Glad it caught this brewer's imagination.

Makes you wonder about the woman whom the creek was named after. 

And who named it for her.

Yep, there's a story there, somewhere.

In any regard, I hope they're talking about me, when they tout 

"Extra Special Brown".

–Josie

Thanks, Vee, whomever you are, for loving The Housewife Assassin series!

Guide-to-Gracious-Killing-FinalThis is what a reader said about The Housewife Assassin's Guide to Gracious Killing  (Book 2) on Amazon:

 

"I truly enjoyed reading this book. I didn't want to put it down. I found myself thinking about the story when I wasn't reading it, anticipating the next time I'd get back to it. It was funny and engaging."

— Vee

 

Thank you, Vee, whomever you are! It made my day. We authors live and die by our reviews. It's how other readers find books that may resonate with them.

So thank you, too, for championing books you love (mine, and those of others).

— Josie

Read an excerpt here…

Admit it. You once owned one.

Hair dryer

And she wonders why she now needs a hip operation.

Life in the 1960s.
Do you really want to go back there?

Nah. Didn't think so.

 

— Josie

And the winner is…

Queen-for-a-day

I want to thank all of you who entered THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK's Very Merry Contest, I interrupted what I'm sure was a very healthy (aHEM!) lunch of my author pal, Karin Tabke, do the blind pick for the winning numbers —

So feel free to invite her to your  "Why didn't you pick me?" pity party, and pelt her with banana peels.

Okay, here they are:

Grand Prize Winner:  LizzyMA
$25 Gift card to the bookstore of your choice, plus one of these back- listed books (True Hollywood Lies, Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, or  The Baby Planner:

Runners Up: Pam W., and June M
You will one of these back- listed books (True Hollywood Lies, Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, or  The Baby Planner:

Thank you all, for playing!

And thank you, those who wrote me to tell me how much you loved the excerpt for THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK.

— More contests (and new novel releases) to follow,

: )

HAH Hanging Man V2
— Josie Brown

Author,
The Housewife Asassin's Handbook

Buy it today on…
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