I want to whet your appetite for THE CANDIDATE. Here’s the opening scene.


The-Candidate-Final4
THE CANDIDATE

Signal Press – eBook

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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…

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 another excerpt here…

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EXCERPT

December 31st

It was an
unseasonably warm New Year’s Eve, and the throbbing mass of partygoers centered
around the fountain at the Bellagio was for the most part feeling no pain.

One
in particular was especially numb. His captors had made sure of it, doping him
up with a cocktail of drugs—a potent mix of zombie cucumber, scopolamine, and
some botulism thrown in for good measure—that left him too paralyzed to move,
to speak, to cry, let alone to shout out to the crowd that he was, quite
literally, a ticking time bomb.

As
the Bellagio’s famous fountain pulsated to the sensual sounds of Sinatra,
Carlos Rodriguez glared hard at those around him in the hope that someone—anyone—might be able to read the fear in
his eyes, if not for his sake, then for the rest of them. Illuminated in the
hotel’s many roving spotlights, their faces melded into a living collage:
flirting, blowing horns, laughing, and screaming. He tried to scream, too, but
nothing came out. Not a whisper. The drugs ensured that.

Then
there it was:  The countdown.

58…57…56…

The last three
months passed before his eyes, starting with the moment when that emotionless
U.S. Customs official pulled him out of the employee line crawling down the
gangplank of the Carnival Cruise ship on his one night of shore leave in Miami.
If he had assumed that his Venezuelan passport wouldn’t raise any flags with
her, he was wrong. She asked him some seemingly innocuous questions about his purpose
for coming into the country.

His answers,
innocent enough, still landed him in some hot, dusty hellhole.

There, Carlos was
stripped naked, shackled in a fetal position, or made to squat in his own
waste. During the scalding heat of the day, he was given little water to quench
his thirst, and no blanket when the night temperatures dropped to freezing. As
bad as the daily beatings were, the threat of being drowned, tortured, or
bitten by his captors’ hounds of Hell was even worse.

He was no longer
a man, only a number. They called him Catorce—the
number, fourteen, in Spanish.

From the scared
whispers and coded taps he heard from the other young Venezuelaños also isolated in the prison’s catacomb of cells,
Carlos learned that, like him, they had all come from poor remote villages.
None were married or had any immediate family, either back home or here in the
United States.

In time, the capitano of their captors, the human
devil named “Smith,” told them that they were to play very important roles in
the freedom and prosperity of both their old and new countries.

And that was how
they were told that they were to be suicide bombers.

When that
day—today—finally came, the men were taped down front and back with the bombs,
then dressed in nice slacks, collared sweaters and beige cashmere jackets,
their hair lightened and spiked. Yes, now they could easily pass as well-to-do
gringos. Then they were drugged.

Two hours later,
seven vans carrying the human bombs pulled up in front of the seven hotels
hosting Las Vegas’ world famous fireworks: the Flamingo, the MGM Grand, Circus
Circus, Treasure Island, the Venetian and the Bellagio, all the way north to
the Stratosphere.

Only Carlos had
been paired with another bomber: some kid, maybe seventeen or so, who had
entered their hellhole only the day before. His captors called him Trece, the Spanish word for the number
thirteen. Although muscle paralysis had set in quickly, Carlos’s mind was still
alert. He could tell that the boy, Trece, was also trying to fight the effects
of the drugs. The look in his eyes wasn’t terror, but determination.

Señor Smith had
ridden shotgun in their van. When the van reached the Bellagio, Smith roughly
yanked Carlos out the back. After positioning him in the heart of the teeming,
screaming mass of humanity in front of the fountain, he slapped Carlos on his
back and whispered in his ear: “Look at it this way—at least you and the others
will die heroes’ deaths for your new country…” before casually strolling away.

Out of the corner
of his eye, Carlos watched as Smith reappeared with Trece the boy. They moved
in the opposite direction though; deep into Bellagio’s thickening crowd.

What had Smith
called him, a hero? No, Carlos was more like a fantasma…

A ghost who would haunt the United States for years to come.

45…44…43…

At
the thought of that, the tears that could not fall glistened in his eyes.

In
front of him a cluster of unattached women unraveled quickly in order to sidle
up to whatever single men were still around. Any moment now they would bestow
the first kiss of the year on some lucky stranger, one of the joys of being
young and single on this special night—

37…36…35…

One
girl, pretty in pink, her blond hair grazing her bare shoulders, glanced over
at him. By her quizzical look he could tell she’d noticed his tears. She waved
at him. Of course he couldn’t wave back. No matter. Undeterred, she swam
against the deep wave of humanity between them, to his side.

A
burly red-haired man, watching the exchange, glared hard at Carlos. The fact
that he didn’t respond irritated the man, like a red flag waved at a moody
bull. He grabbed the women’s arm, she tried to shake him off, but he shoved
passed her, hell bent on reaching Carlos first.

Her
boyfriend perhaps, determined to win her back? Que lastima! Perhaps the lovers could
make amends in heaven, because in a mere twenty-two seconds, the bomb strapped
to Carlos’ chest would blow all of them to pieces…

 

(c) 2013 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).

 

Read another excerpt here…

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Great line in The Housewife Assassin’s Guide to Gracious Killing

He presses the zipper into my skin as he inches it up, ever so slowly. When he is 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?

On sale October 2012.
Get on my eLetter list, so that you'll be the first to know when…

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 Cover: ClickTwiceDesign.com

In the meantime, read

 

HAH-Hanging-Man-New-BlueThe Housewife Assassin's Handbook

Murder. Suspense. Sex. And some handy household tips.

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"This is a super sexy and fun read that you shouldn't miss!"
–Mary Jacobs, Bookhounds

Time to play “Revenge”…

 

Revenge
Which character best exemplifies your ability to survive in the Hamptons, and why?

All comments, emailed to me at MailFromJosie@gmail.com prior to midnight PT on Wednesday March  29, 2012, will be entered in my contest for a copy of my book, THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK.

Okay, here are your choices…and good luck!

— Josie

 

HAH Hanging Man V2

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The Housewife Asassin's Handbook

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1. Fake Emily (real Amanda)
I never forget a slight. Especially one that put me in detention.

2. Fake Amanda (real Emily)
I'm loyal, no matter how many lies you tell me.

3. Victoria Grayson
I'll save myself, no matter how many lies it takes.

4. Charlotte Grayson
When the shite flies, I look for a crutch: drinks, drugs, what ev….But I'm cute and young, so I'll recover!

5. Nolan Ross
I'm snarky, but I'm also smart and loyal, so everyone cuts me some slack.

6. Daniel Grayson
I'm clueless, but I'm also rich and cute, so everyone cuts me some slack.

7. Conrad Grayson
I'm a douche, but I'm also rich and hold all the purse strings, so everyone cuts me some slack.

8. Jack Porter
I'm in love with some little girl I haven't seen since before puberty, but I'm the only guy in this show with cojones, so everyone cuts me some slack.

9. Satoshi Takeda
I'm the only one in this show with money, brains, and real tae kwon do skills. So I must be on the wrong show…

Murder. Suspense. Sex. Need I say more?

GunsandRoses_800px
COMING NEXT WEEK! 
 
GUNS AND ROSES 
 A Murder She Writes Anthology
 
I'm honored to be part of a group of ten female novelists write about murder and mayhem. If you haven't discovered us already, come on over to MurderSheWrites.com, where we blog about our characters, our crazy lives, and the business of writing.
 
We are pleased to announce the first ever Murder She Writes anthology, Guns and Roses, a collection of ten never-before published short stories and novellas.
 
This book — over 150,000 words — will be available next week, in digital format, for Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple iPad, and via Smashwords…
 
For just $4.99!

This was my very first anthology, and I was thrilled to be asked to join in one the fun. I learned that each of my co-bloggers are hard writing, hardworking, solution-solving, cross-the-I's-and-dot-the-T's  businesswomen.
 
Their reputations are proof that they are also among the best writers of our generation.
 
In Guns and Roses,  you'll find romance, suspense, passion, danger–
 
And a whole lot of fun.
 
Ranging in length from 10,000 to 25,000 words, each of these stories and novellas are complete tale of suspense and romance — not samplers or excerpts or reissues. They have been written exclusively for this collection
 
Here's just a taste of what you'll be getting….
 
The Housewife Assassin’s Bloody Valentine
by Josie Brown
What is CIA contract assassin Donna Stone’s idea of a Valentine’s Day getaway? Certainly not orchestrating a jailbreak out of a Mexican prison for a notorious drug lord. But because he has intel as to the whereabouts of an international terrorist organization planning a Valentine’s massacre, there will be no intimate dinner for two or couples massage for Donna and her ops leader, Jack Craig. Just plenty of sun, surf, submarines, sharks… oh yeah, and sex.
 
Dead Flowers
by Lori Armstrong
Cynical, bad girl PI Julie Collins isn’t the hearts and flowers type, especially not after she’s spent the last few weeks spying on cheating spouses. So when Julie suspects her man, Martinez, may be stepping out on her, she sees red and decides to take matters into her own hands. Let’s just hope Cupid’s Bow gets to Martinez  before Julie does.
 
Above Reproach
by Allison Brennan
Sex crimes detective Selena Black knows high-powered government attorney Greg Keller is the River City Rapist; proving it is another matter. Keller enjoys the cat and mouse game with the blonde detective, and makes sure she knows she’s exactly his type. As every possible avenue of investigation is shut down by the courts or her boss, Selena realizes that if someone doesn’t do something to stop Keller, more women will suffer–and she may be next.
 
Bobbie Faye’s Whacked Out, No Good, Really Sucky, Hot Mess of a Wedding
by Toni McGee Causey
Bobbie Faye Sumrall, Cajun Contraband Days Queen, gun expert, and ultimate professional in being in the wrong place at the wrong time, absolutely positively does not want to go through with the ridiculous wedding that Trevor’s forcing her to agree to, but she soon finds out she has more important things to worry about–like surviving the plot to make her disappear when she’s set up as a fall guy for the theft of a priceless religious icon. And that’s the good news.
 
Blood and Roses
by Sylvia Day
When insurance investigator Anastasia Miller sets out to retrieve the rose-hued pink diamonds stolen in a recent heist, she finds herself working alongside former flame, deputy U.S. Marshal Jake Monroe — the man she loved enough to leave behind.
 
Nightfall
by Laura Griffin
Stranded on an icy road as darkness falls, Holly Henriksen knows she is in trouble. A charming stranger stops to help and Holly decides to trust him, but soon finds out he is harboring a deadly secret.
 
King of Hearts (A Rough Rider Short Story)
by Lorelei James
Deputy Cam McKay is devastated after dealing with a Valentine’s Day murder/suicide in his small county. Will allowing his family to see the dark past that haunts him, help heal him?
 
A Punishing Night
by Sophie Littlefield
Detective Joe Bashir returns to his alma mater to investigate the stabbing death of a male college student. Rumors of date rape and fraternity hazing complicate a sensitive case as Joe tries to balance the demands of the investigation with caring for his elderly father. Help – and possibly romance – come from an unexpected source.

Pick Your Poison (A Bullet Catchers Novella)
by Roxanne St. Claire
Benjamin Youngblood’s only chance to prove he’s worthy of being a Bullet Catcher is to find and stop an assassin.  On probation from the elite security force, Ben has to rely on instinct and brains…and one feisty flower farmer.  When Callie Parrish discovers her entire crop of rare black roses has been stolen, she’d partner with the devil himself to recoup her loss.  It doesn’t take her long to realize she’s done just that…and the road to hell is paved with poisonous petals and deadly kisses.
 
Resisting Rebel 
by Karin Tabke
For Detective Cash Cantrell, hunting down a University serial killer is as routine as strapping on his gun each morning.  Until he comes face to face with meddlesome coed, Rebel Yell Culpepper. He doesn’t know if he should arrest her or kiss her, but one thing Cash knows for sure, Rebel is key to finding the murderer, and the killer knows it too…
 
More highlights next week, folks. Until then, stop on over at MURDERSHEWRITES.com. All week long we'll be running contests, including gifting free copies of Guns and Roses — for those who leave comments!

— Josie

HAH Hanging Man V2

Author,
The Housewife Asassin's Handbook

Buy it today on…
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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!

 

Book Trailer Smash: Chronicle Book’s MIETTE

Miette Book Dontcha just love it when a book trailer hits it out of the park?

I fell in love with this trailer from Chronicle Books, for Miette: Recipes from San Francisco's Most Charming Pastry Shop, by Meg Ray, who is also the shop's owner.

In voiceover,  Meg talks about how she fell in love with pastries (you could say she saw the light….of sweetness) and how she approaches the recipes for the cakes and other sweets that have been a big hit in her shop.

This personable approach, along with a whimsical soundtrack and some warm cinematography, are an enticing way to introduce readers to a really sweet book.

 

Pun intended,

–Josie

HAH Hanging Man V2

THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK
Murder. Suspense. Sex. 
And some handy household tips.

Signal Press – Digital eBook 

ORDER NOW,  from

Amazon.com

BarnesAndNoble.com

Also in in the Apple iBookstore!

Enter The Housewife Assassin's Handbook Contest to win free movie tickets to AMC theaters, or another theater near you! 

I'm giving away $50 in Fandango Bucks
to some lucky winner who likes thriller movies as much as romantic suspense!

CLICK HERE TO READ THE CONTEST RULES…