Yes, we have a winner in the HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN’S RELATIONSHIP SURVIVAL GUIDE contest!

Woman-with-ereader
Nothing is more fun than contacting someone to tell them, "You've won a prize!"

No joke. I truly feel that way.

Okay, unless it's to say, "You're the sweetest person in the world, and I want you to know I'm thinking about you today."

My contest for The Housewife Assassin's Relationship Survival Guide Contest just ended, and yes, I have reached the winner for the $100 giftcard, to the bookstore of the winner's choice:

She is ConnieVB.

From the bottom of my heart, I'd like to thank her, as well as everyone who entered.

Here's the part where I say, to each and every one of you,  "You're the sweetest person in the world, and I want you to know I'm thinking about you today."

If I could, I would have picked each and every one of you as winners. (Wouldn't that be cool? Note to self: buy more Lotto tickets...)

But to my mind, you're more than that. You're  kind and generous people who have gifted me your time in order to learn about, and appreciate, my stories.

I also want to tell those of you who went for the bonus points that I truly appreciate the fact that you too the time to write  reviews for my Housewife Assassin series.  In fact, it was ConnieVB's sixth entry that was chosen, via RandomResult.com

I've attached the screenshot of her winning entery, here:


HARSG Winner Screenshot
So you see? When a contest invites you to enter as often as possible, go for it, because you never know when it pays off. 

I'm always in awe of those who take the time to post reviews, even when I'm not running a contest. They do so, just because they enjoyed one of my novels. 

I've put it this message in my books, and I mean it: we authors live and die by our reviews. It is the best way of encouraging other readers to try us, to sample us, to buy us, to read us, and hopefully to love us.  

You see, the more you express you love, the more likely it is that we can keep writing books. Every novelist I know works very hard at his or her craft, not as a hobby, but because it pays the rent and puts food on his or her family's table. Would we quit writing if it didn't? 

I hope I never find out the answer to that question. The Housewife Assassin novels and other books in which I can control the prices are only $3.99 for a reason: Not only do I want to write them, I want to make them affordable enough for you to buy them. Some coffee drinks at Starbucks cost more. Here's hoping the enjoyment you get from my books last longer.

It may take you a few days to read a book, but it takes us months–sometimes years–to write them.We do so because our art and craft  drives us.

 At the same time, it is our hope that it also entertains you. 


HA-Vacation-to-Die-For-v2The fifth book in the Housewife Assassin series, The Housewife Assassin's Vacation to Die For, will be out by August 15, 2013
. The moment it launches in the online bookstores, I'll send out my eLetter. If you aren't already on it, please feel free to sign up for it here.

I'll also be launching a redesigned and updated version of my very first novel, True Hollywood Lies. You'll read about my contests for both books in my eLetter, and here on my blog as well as on my website.

 When I wrote ConnieVB to tell her that she'd won, I also asked her to tell me a little about herself, so that I can share it with you. I've done this with each of my contests because, dear readers, when I hear back from you, I can lift my head from my computer screen and know that I've touched someone, in some small way.

Here's how ConnieVB puts it:

"Okay, so when I read the subject of your email my first thought was not me. Then when I read the note it was shut the front door!  LOL

I have loved talking about your books, all of them, not just the housewife series.  They are so much fun to read!  It makes me glad that I finally broke down and bought a kindle and loaded it with free books. :)  I adore books and swore I'd never go electronic.  There is just something about the feeling of a book and turning the pages.  I have a ton of books that I've read but if someone were to open one up now the spine would still crack, I was that careful with them. :)  I'm especially glad that in turn I got to know you.  You're such a sweetheart!

As far as including something about me in your blog…..well, now I'm speechless lol

I love to read but I also enjoy cooking, baking, and stitching.  All the domestic stuff that no one expects from an opinionated feminist like myself. 🙂

In my free time I'm a domestic goddess taking care of my awesome husband, two children, and our two furry kids.

I enjoy theatre, music, movies and hope to see the world one day."

True-Hollywood-Lies-Cover-FinalThere is a lot about ConnieVB that is just like me (except for the domestic goddess part. I've let that be Donna's role. It's easier to write about it than to be it.)

And I'm sure there is a lot about ConnieVB that is like you, too.

If Donna and her stories have done anything for me, it is that it's created a wonderful community of those of us who share a sense of humor, a sense of books, and a sense of life.

I couldn't be happier than to welcome all of you to my world.

Thank you for making me a part of yours, too.

— Josie

Hump Day Haiku: “Kiss Bliss”

Lovers-kiss-park

The urge to kiss her /
Comes in the oddest places/
He always gives in.


The-Candidate-Final4
THE CANDIDATE

Signal Press – eBook

Buy it NOW, on 
Amazon (US)

Amazon (UK)

BN.com (US)

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!


Enter my contest for The Housewife Assassin’s Guide to Gracious Killing

Guide-to-Gracious-Killing-FinalYippee, skippee, the second book in my Housewife Assassin series has launched: 

The Housewife Assassin's Guide to Gracious Killing

Buy it from 

Amazon

Donna and Jack are in to all kinds of trouble–the kind of hot mess that can cause an  international incident:

A nuclear arms summit, hosted by a politically-connected American billionaire industrialist, provides the perfect opportunity for a rogue operative to assassinate of the newly-elected Russian president on US soil. Acme operative Donna Stone's mission:

Seek and exterminate the shooter, before all hell–and World War III–break loose.

Not to mention what happens when Donna files for divorce.

Throw in a couple of off-the-map school field trips and a few naughty neighbors, you've got a whole lot of fun.

To celebrate, I'm doing two things:

First, I've lowered the price of 
The Housewife Assassin's Handbook to 99 cents! 

Also, right now I've got a brand new contest going. 
On Midnight PT, on Sunday, December 15, 2012, 
I'll be drawing the name of some lucky winner 
for a $100 gift card to the bookstore of your choice.

To enter, all you have to do is read the excerpt 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? 

Gift-cardYou 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 either Amazon (1 point) or BN.com (1 point).

– If you've read it, give a review for The Housewife Assassin's Handbook, on Amazon (1 point), on BN.com (1 point), and iTunes Bookstore (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!)

– If' you've read it, give a review to The Housewife Assassin's Guide to Gracious Killing on Amazon (1 point). Soon it will be up on BN.com (1 point), and Apple iTunes Bookstore. So you can do it there, too. 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 bonus action means an additional point! 

Email me with any bonus points, and I'll be sure to include them.

You. Will. Love. It,

— Josie

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

Martin Predicts….

Hillary-Clinton

….that Hillary Clinton will run in 2016.

I think he's right.

But that's a long time off.

Until then we have the dredges of the hillary-ious Texts from Hillary, where we can only imagine how wonderful it would be to have a smart, snarky female POTUS.

A girl can only dream….

What's your guess? Will she be the Democratic nominee?

And if so, will she win?

Mock the vote,

–Josie

 

HAH Hanging Man V2
The Housewife Asassin's Handbook

Buy it today on…
Nook-button    AmazonKindleButton    Itunes_01

 

 

Potential Winners for TRUE HOLLYWOOD LIES Red Carpet Contest!

  TrueHollywood Lies
And that's not all…

Every day between now and February 26, 2012 — the evening of the event — I'll be giving away digital copies of True Hollywood Lies, gifted from Amazon.com
All you  have to do is read the excerpt, then email back to me at MailFromJosie@gmail.com with the correct answer to the question posed.
 
Daily winners will be announced by noon the following day, on my Twitter feed and my Facebook Fan and personal pages!
Even if you don't win that day's prize,all correct entries will be held over for the grand prize drawing of a $25 Amazon gift card.
 
Contest Deadline: Midnight PT, February 26, 2012.

eBook winners will be announced daily.

Grand prize winner will be announced by noon Mon February 27, 2012.

If a movie were made from True Hollywood Lies,
which actor would be perfect for Louis? (1 bonus point). Which actress would be perfect for Hannah? (1 bonus point)

All correct entries are posted here…

Alexandra M
Alli O
Ally R (2/25 winner!)
Amelia M (2/20 winner!)
Anne M
Brenda H. (2/22 winner!)
Cara P (2/21/ winner!)
Chanpreet S
Constance S
Dee C (2/15  winnner!)
Dre B (2/23 winner!)
Hannah M
Heather B (2/19 winner!)
Janna H
Jacqui S
Katy SO
Kit B
Kathryn M (2/18 winner!)
Kimberley M
Laura McL (2/26 winner!)
Lil (2/16 winner!)
 Lydia GG
Maria RB
Marti M
Mary P (2/17 winner!)
Nicole B
Pam VO
Patty S
Rita A
Stacie W
Treva O
Thomasine A (2/24 winner!)
Wanda C

 

Another reason to read TRUE HOLLYWOOD LIES, My red carpet red hot read

Red-carpet-woman
The stars. The scandals. The sex.
 
You'll find it all in my red hot red carpet read, True Hollywood Lies.
And that's not all…

Every day between now and February 26, 2012 — the evening of the event — I'll be giving away digital copies of True Hollywood Lies, gifted from Amazon.com
All you  have to do is read the excerpt, then email back to me at MailFromJosie@gmail.com with the correct answer to the question posed.
 
Daily winners will be announced by noon the following day, on my Twitter feed and my Facebook Fan and personal pages!
Even if you don't win that day's prize,all correct entries will be held over for the grand prize drawing of a $25 Amazon gift card.
 
Contest Deadline: Midnight PT, February 26, 2012.

eBook winners will be announced daily.

Grand prize winner will be announced by noon Mon February 27, 2012.
BONUS POINTS for putting up a review on

Amazon.com (1 bonus point)
BN.com (1 bonus point)
GoodReads.com (1 bonus point)

 
I'll see you on the red carpet!
 –Josie

  TrueHollywood LiesDiversion Books/ ISBN# 13: 9780984515196
Order online today!

Purchase from Amazon

Purchase from Barnes & Noble

Purchase from Sony Link

"…The tone is confessional, the writing laced with venomous humor…"
–The Wall Street Journal

"Brown captures the humor of working for a megalomaniac…[A] well-paced, entertaining story." –Publishers Weekly

"A fine piece of literary work." –New York Post, Page Six

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…
Nook-button    AmazonKindleButton    Itunes_01

Time to spread more cheer! Enter my new contest…

Beautiful-christmas-tree
This year, I've had some blessings I'd like to share:

– THE BABY PLANNER tour was hosted by real baby planners, numerous sponsors, and retail stores all over the country. Thanks to all of you whom I met along the way. You can find a list of them, here…

-  SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES will produced by Jerry Bruckheimer as a new ABC TV series.

– Readers are rediscovering my debut novel, TRUE HOLLYWOOD LIES. In fact, it's ranked below 900 on Amazon.com.

This contest is my way to say thank you. Just  read an excerpt of THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK, answer the question at the end correctly for a chance to win a $25 gift card from the any bookstore, with a personally autographed copy of SECRET LIVES. Two runners -up will also received personalized copies.

The deadline is midnight PT January 15, 2012, For details, go to www.HousewifeAssassinsHandbook.com

Wishing you a wonderful holiday, and a healthy and happy 2012,

–Josie

HAH Hanging Man V2
 Read an excerpt of
THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK 
 Today, on

 Nook-button AmazonKindleButtonItunes_01

 

 

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!

 

You can’t just write a book. You have to promote it, too Here’s why.

Books
I had a great conversation with freelance editor John Rakstraw, which was broadcasted on is Blog Talk Radio show. (Click the icon below. The interview starts about 6 minutes into it.)

One of the topics we touched on was the fact that promoting the book you've written is very important to its success. Why? because there are 180,000 books published each year. How can readers find your book (on the shelf, or online) if they haven't heard of it first?

I truly believe that to stay in the game, authors have to become strong self-promoters. I also believe that, other than editing, the strongest component a publishing house can offer its authors is promotion. Otherwise, why would an author settle for 8-15% of a book's gross profit, when indie publishing (which takes care of online distribution anyway) allows them to hold onto 70% of it?

Listen to internet radio with John Rakestraw Talks on Blog Talk Radio

 

Hope you enjoy what I had to say on it,

 

— 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…


And the winner of my $100 bookstore gift card contest is….

Stacks-of-books Drumroll, please:

Gabby M., Scottsdale, AZ

Here's how I envision lucky Gabby's summer: she's found a cool spot somewhere outside in the early evening. Awarm breeze is flipping the pages of the book she's reading. It is just one of the many that surround her, there in her own private reading space.

If her husband can keep the tots at bay for an hour or two, she can get into some grand mystery, or a heart wrenching trajedy, or some tell-all Hollywood saga.

Or maybe it's The Baby Planner.

In any regard, enjoy, Gabby!

Everyone else: Thanks for joining. My next contest starts later this month, and celebrates The Housewife Assassin's Handbook. Want to get a jump on it? Read this excerpt…

Summer rocks in SO many ways,

–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…

And the GoodReads contest winners are…

Comfortable readI want to thank all 1,048 of you who entered GoodRead's giveaway of five copies of The Baby Planner!

The winners are:

 - Sonia Bond

 - Renee Lippert

 - Susan Fulginiti

 - Nina Renner

 - Alicia Schultz

I hope you love it, and will chat it up to your friends.

For those of you who have not yet read it, I'm proud of the fact that it got some super reviews. Feel free toread an excerpt of it here…

Also feel free to read a excerpt of my just released digital eBook, The Housewife Assassin's Handbook. That contest will be announced soon, on my website.

By the way, I'll be announcing the winner of my contest for a $100 gift card by noon tomorrow, by which time I hope to have reached the winner.

It's a great summer to curl up with a good book (preferably, mine),

–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…


Cool…I mean that, because it is an ice palace: something I could use right about now!

Russi_ice_palace9

Ahhhhhh…. now I feel better!

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…

 

Passing it forward in 2011: Want to earn a free book?

Homemade pies My gal pal (and consumate pie lady) Kristin Isaacson has inspired me to play "Pass if Forward 2011". Here's how it works:

I promise to send something handmade — in my case, my pies can't hold a candle to hers. Instead, I'll give one of my books (of my choosing)– to the first five people who leave a comment. You can do that here in the comment box below, or on my Facebook Fan Page, or my Twitter page.

 In return, the first five must ALSO promise to give something, to five others who comment on their posts–and it, too, has to be handmade.

Great karma, right?

I look forward to passing forward to you!

Happy 2011 for all of us,

–Josie

 

 BabyPlannerCoverIn Bookstores April 5, 2011!
THE BABY PLANNER – A Novel by Josie Brown

(Simon & Schuster/Gallery Books)

ISBN#: 9781439197127

"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

Order your copy today:

From Amazon

 

And the winner is…

 Okay, this was the game plan:

1. Type out the name of every contestant to my Secret Santa Contest –multiple times, if they entered multiple times — and put it in a bag.

CHECK.

2. Take the bag over to my local Barnes & Noble — the Corte Madera, CA store, where, by the way, they still have two autographed copies of my book — so that a bookseller there can pick the winneSanta Gift Bagr.

CHECK.

3. Take along our new Flip camera — and the Hub — so that he could video the actual event.

CHECK.

4. Invite one of the booksellers to do the actual drawing.

Okay, that's where the plan went off the rails.

Like, who knew B&N had a corporate policy that (a) you can't video their booksellers, or (b) use their names, or even (c) photograph them?

However, the bookseller was kind enough to participate in the drawing, and for that we thank her.

And the name she yanked out of the hat?

Melissa A.

So, yes, Melissa, there IS a Santa– with a gift card to your favorite bookstore!

I'll email you for your deets.

To the other contestants, I want to say thank you for letting me know how much you enjoyed the excerpt. I hope the book was on your holiday gift list. If so, and you've got other gift cards to use, here's a list of stores around the country, where you may still find signed copies of SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES.

Here's to a happy and healthy 2011,

–Josie

Josie's Latest 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, Hollywood Wives

“I Want To Be Your Secret Santa” Contest

Secret+santa The best thing about the holidays is giving, not getting. I feel very blessed this year. One way in which I plan to give back is to play Secret Santa for one lucky reader. The prize: a $50 gift card to the book store of your choice.

Here's how it works:

1. Read this excerpt of my latest novel, Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives. The set-up: a holiday potluck at the local country club of my heroine, Lyssa Harper. She's befriended Harry Wilder, a recently separated stay-at-home father, to the consternation–make that envy–of the women who were once her closest friends: Brooke, Tammy, Margot, and Colleen. 

After you read the excerpt, below, everything you do, also listed here, gives you yet another chance to win this gift. For example, you can:

2. Comment below about one character, and how his/her actions made you, smile, laugh, cry, or shake your head in wonder. (earns you 1 chance)

3. Post about my Secret Santa Contest on your Facebook page, this way (1 chance per post, per day):

Want a chance to win a $50 giftcard to your favorite bookstore? Just enter @Josie Brown's Secret Santa Contest: http://bit.ly/fK1Uy3

4. Post about my Secret Santa Contest on your Twitter page, this way (1 chance per post, per day):

Want a chance to win a $50 giftcard to your favorite bookstore? Just enter @JosieBrownCA's Secret Santa Contest: http://bit.ly/fK1Uy3

5. Friend me on my Facebook Fan Page (1 chance)

6. Friend me on my Twitter Page (1 chance)

7. Blog about it! (2 chances)

I'll be keeping a running list of all entrants, here, and updated every evening by Midnight PT of Christmas Day, December 25, 2010, when the contest ends. The winning entry will be chosen out of a Santa hat, by one of my favorite booksellers, sometime on December 26th. That person's nickname will be posted here, and on the Entrants page.

 Good luck, and have a happy merry holiday!

–Josie

 


(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, Hollywood Wives

____________________________________________________________

EXCERPT:

Pot_300 The clubhouse is buzzing with polite laughter and forced cheer. Everyone is there, even the Undesirables. What better way to elicit envy than to open the red velvet rope to the wannabes every now and then?

Crammed onto the tables lining the center of the room are a myriad of leftovers, which are more than the sum total of a few carefully chosen, specifically measured ingredients. While these dishes are served up with pride, they are also leavened with memories both fond and wince-worthy.

I speak for myself. Yesterday left a bittersweet taste in my mouth.

I’m only here to eat up time until Ted and I can talk things out later this evening. Does he have reason to be jealous? Not on Harry’s account. I appreciate Harry’s friendship, and I know this feeling is reciprocated. But let’s face facts: he has never come onto me.

Okay, yeah, I’ll admit it. That disappoints me. It’s not that I’m looking for an affair. I wouldn’t trade the friendship and respect Harry and I share now for that. . .

But hell, if Ted is going to accuse me of it anyway —

Not to mention Tammy and the others on the Heights Women’s League Board.

Just what the hell are they staring at, anyway? Seems they can’t keep their eyes off us.

But of course not. Because they want validation that what they suspect is true.

This is why they assess—make that obsess—over every move we make.

They take note of the way in which Harry hovers over me protectively. How his asides are addressed to me alone. How he scans my face appreciatively.

Then they wait for my reaction. I’m fully aware that, if I dare lean into him, eyebrows will be raised. If, involuntarily, I laugh out loud, they’ll poke each other knowingly. And heaven forefend I should allow my eyes to meet his! If that happened, rumors would race through the room almost as quickly as the children here, who are hopped up on soda, pie and ice cream.

“Hey, you haven’t heard a word I’ve said, have you?” Harry says this as if it were a joke, but the sadness in his eyes is proof he knows he’s right.

“Sure I have. You were—something about . . .Okay, sorry, I give up.” I force a smile onto my lips.

“If I’m boring you, feel free to play with your girlfriends. I won’t be jealous.” He flashes a knowing smile, but I reel in my tendency to punch him in the arm for it. Instead I shake my head. Anything more obvious will give them reason to presume they’re onto something:

That what we have is more than just wishful thinking on their parts.

And on mine.

“Go up to Margot and her court? Thanks, smart ass, but I’ll pass on the honor.” Oddly, that thought is liberating.

“Eventually you’ll have to say something. In a month’s time you’ll be their new queen. Won’t it help if you cozy up to Margot?”

 “You know, I could say the same to you. Shouldn’t you two kiss and make up?”

He derisive guffaw has them all aflutter. “The price is too high.”

Yeah, well I feel the same way.

“Hey, wait here I’m going to see if I can take care of this stain.” I head off to the lavatory, but when I get there, I find the door locked. I hear a weird pounding on the other side, so I wait a few minutes before knocking again.

Tootan Finally it opens. Masha Shriver struts out. Her crass brass locks flares out from her head, like Medusa’s snakes gone wild. Her winter white dress defies gravity. It’s strapless and boasts a neckline that plunges below her navel. Considering the amount of rain we’ve been getting, her deep tan is unexpected, not to mention unusual in color. (For the record, I am of the opinion that bruised papaya is not a good look.)

Masha is not alone. Despite his guilty look, I recognize the man who is still zipping up his pants as he maneuvers past me as one of our friendly neighborhood bankers.

Apparently the Shrivers’ account is paying off with some unexpected dividends.

“Oh . . . I’m sorry. I just needed to . . . You’re Masha, right? I’m Lyssa. I’m a friend of Pete’s.” At a loss for what to do next, I stick out my hand.

Very awkward. Pete’s name does not elicit the response I’d expected. Instead she glares at me, as if I’ve just cursed her firstborn. (Despite the hickey Tanner received the night of the poker game compliments of her daughter Natassia, I don’t feel that would be necessary. It was bound to happen sooner or later.)

“Pete? Ah, LYZZA. Yez, I know of yooouuu!” I don’t know if it’s her Slavic accent that has her slurring her words, or her vodka intake, but I’m willing to guess the latter. The fumes from her breath have me reeling. As she grabs me by the shoulders with both hands and hugs me to her chest, she whispers in my ear: “Streep poker, yez? Not to worry. I not mad. You see, I have ’hobby,’ too! But, hey, not one verd to my Pete, dah?” She pushes me away.

I stumble into the bathroom, bruised from where she held my shoulders. I’m sure I have two contusions on my chest that match whatever nipple armor she’s bearing.

I’ve been marked in another way, too: Thanks to Masha’s spray-on tan, my brand new sweater has been tagged with her fingerprints and a faint V that matches her neckline.

“Damn it! Damn it!” The soup has already dried into a dark, impenetrable shadow, while dabbing at the new stains only spread them into a treacly Orangina.

Stain My new outfit is ruined. Would it help if I bang my head against the wall? Nah. But if I’d die, they’d have an obvious clue for a murder suspect.

Then there’s the issue about Pete. He is a buddy after all. If he were a girlfriend, of course I’d speak up. But what is the mancode about such things?

Harry knows the code. And since I don’t need any more enigmas in my life, tag he’s it.

I find Harry chatting up Biker Mom. When he sees me, he waves me over. Instinctively I glance around to see if Brooke is anywhere around. Oh great, she’s glaring at him from across the room. Between this and my most recent introduction to a supposedly friendly face, I don’t need to a frantic call later from Brooke, calling me a traitor.

Seeing my concern, Harry excuses himself and casually meanders over. “What, you’re not into making new friends?” As he plucks a cookie off a dessert tray, he does a doubletake at the new stains on my sweater. “She promised me a ride in her Maseratti. I was going to ask if you could tag along, but now I don’t know. I mean, what if you stain her seats?”

“Forget the joy ride, Andretti. We have bigger fish to fry. I just caught Masha in the lady’s room with First National Bank of Paradise Heights.” I tilt my head in the direction of Masha’s boyfriend, who is scurrying after her into the clubhouse’s coatroom. Even from where I’m standing I can see a large orange streak on his sweater. He is a marked man. “What’s the protocol? Do we tell Pete?”

“Jesus.” Harry closes his eyes for a moment. And shakes his head. “Yeah, well, I’d want to know. Wouldn’t you?”

“Of course!” Harry was right. Yesterday’s tiff with Ted now seems silly. I can’t wait for him to come home.

Harry tosses the last crumb of cookie into his mouth and wipes his hands. “Well, when you tell him, be gentle—”

“Whoa, whoa, wait . . . who, me? Think again, slick. You’re his closest friend.”

Harry groans. “If I remember correctly, that was your doing.” It takes a while, but he nods. “Okay, but I don’t think this is the time or the place.”

“I leave it to your discretion.” I give him a thumbs-up. “Oh great, Brooke is coming over, I guess to call you a traitor.”

He laughs. “Is that better or worse than an Undesirable? I forget.”

“In your case, it’s one and the same.” I glance around the room for our salvation. It comes in the form of Cal, who is standing uncomfortably beside Bev. True to form, Bev is oblivious to this. She has trapped the Emersons in a corner. No doubt she’s giving them a pitch about a house she knows would be perfect for them, now that they’re pregnant again and will need the extra space.

“Why don’t we save Cal instead? The girls are downright afraid of him, so that should keep them away for while.”

Immediately I move in, tapping Bev lightly on the shoulder. “Hi, Bev! I just want to thank you for putting in that call to the Heights Market regarding the Food Drive. It’s what made the drive an over-the-top success.”

As Bev turns to me to say something, the Emersons see their opportunity and scurry away. I see by the look in her eyes that she’s is tempted to run after them, but realizes this is bad form, even for her. “Oh yeah, hi, Lyssa! Glad I could be of some help. Really, it was Calvin’s idea, but hey, all in the family, right?”

“You know Harry Wilder, right?” I move to the side so that Harry can shake her hand.

“Yes! I mean, of course I know of you—” She looks at him curiously. “—Well, about the . . . you know–”

"My poker games? I hope Cal attending doesn’t interfere –”

Cal? Oh, yes! Not at all! So sweet of you to have him over! But what I meant is that, with the way the divorce is going and all, you’ll probably need this—”

She pulls out a refrigerator magnet. On it is her profile and name, with that patented Bev Bullworth slogan: Great Service, No Bull—

Harry stares down at it. “Thanks . . .I guess.”

“It’s so you’ll remember to call me! You know, when you’re ready to buy your condo.” She expresses just right amount of sympathy. “Cal tells me you’ll want to stay in the neighborhood and keep commuting in, so that you can be close to the kids. You know, one of those new units they’ve built off Main have come available. It isn’t so roomy, granted. But the HOA is very small—”

“Why would I want a condo? I already have a house.” He glares at Cal, who backs away from Bev, horrified. Whatever hole she’s digging for herself, he is not going to jump into it with her.

“Yes, but not for long. You know how these things usually go. DeeDee’s got the natural edge—”

“Is that what you think? That, just because she’s the woman, she’s a better mother than I am a father?”

“Well . . . I . . . No, of course not!” Bev’s backpedalling is insincere despite her cheeriness. “But it never hurts to be prepared, right? Eventually, when the court rules on the situation, you’ll have to give up the ghost—”

I put my hand on Harry’s arm so that he remembers where he is, but he shrugs it off. I’m too late anyway. Slackened jaws, including many stuffed with leftovers, hang open as everyone tunes in on our little drama. Margot smiles triumphantly. To her mind, Harry’s comeuppance–at the hand of Bev Bullworth, no less!—is just dessert.

“Thanks for your concern.” Harry’s words are brittle and empty. “But do me a favor and give it a break, at least until the court ruling. Better yet, here–” He hands her back her magnet. “Save it for the next time you see DeeDee.”

Before she can say anything else, Harry walks off in the direction of the front door. I follow him out, as does Cal.

“Wait, Harry! Look . . .I’m sorry Bev said all those stupid things.” Cal hangs his head. “Sometimes she speaks before she thinks.”

 “She’s just parroting back the party line around here.” Harry shrugs. “Ah, shit, here comes Pete. I guess we should tell him about Tanner’s and Jake’s suspensions.” Harry shifts uneasily, but waves our friend over anyway. “Do you want to do the honors, or shall I?”

“By that long face, maybe he already knows.”

I’m poise to verify this, but Pete brushes me aside. “Anyone seen Masha?”

Harry gives me a warning nudge. He doesn’t have to worry. Since I’ll have to break the news about Tanner and Jake’s tomfoolery, the last thing I’m going to mention is Masha’s, too.

“Damn! She asked me to go home and get her sweater because she felt a chill. I guess she forgot her coat is right here, in the coatroom.” He rushes off down the hall.

Harry and I look at each other, then take off after him, with Cal trailing after us.

But we’re too late. We get there just in time to see him freeze over his wife, who is in a love tussle with the guy who doles out the cash from his trust fund.

In a flash he yanks Masha’s boyfriend up by his hair. What comes off in his hand has Pete turning white. Those who suspected BofPH sports a toupee can now collect on their bets.

Livid, the guy flails back at Pete. Unfortunately for him Pete’s daily workouts give him a leg up. Pete’s lip may be split, but it’s BofPH’s nose that’s pushed out of joint.

Cal and I brace for what Pete might have in store for Masha as he lifts her, naked, out of the coat nest she and her lover made on the floor. Seeing her that way only confirms what I suspected since our run-in: yep, she does indeed have an all-over tan.

At this point a good smack won’t make up for my stained sweater, but I have to admit it would give me some satisfaction. Instead, Pete cradles his wife in his arms. “Did he hurt you? I swear, if he did—”

She shrugs, but the look on her face reflects what we’re all thinking:

You poor, pathetic, fool.

Sad Guy Closing the door behind us, Harry shakes his head in disbelief. “Unbelievable! Now, that’s what I call ’denial.’ Doesn’t he see what’s happening?”

It’s on the tip of my tongue to say “No, because he doesn’t want to” but I keep quiet. What’s the point? I’m guessing we’ve all been there at one time or another.

Even Harry.

Especially Harry.

__________________________________________

Excerpted from Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives by Josie  Brown.

Copyright © 2010 by Josie Brown. Published in June 2010 by Simon & Schuster/Downtown Press. 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 Publisher.

And the winner is…

Winner I love contests.

Winning is one thing. Being the prize is another.

It is such a thrill to give something back to those who appreciate my books.

Those of you who participated in recent contests in which my book Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, was the prize, I thank you for taking the time and effort to do so. Here are the winners, and I thank the following book bloggers for arranging these.

They've got some motley crew of readers, who come from all over the country, and I had a blast looking up some of their cities as the entries came in. For example:

Not Quite Susie Homemaker:

Tethered Mommy / winner: Karen K., Monessen, PA .Who knew Monessen was the hometown of Frances McDormand, one of my favorite actresses of all time? Remember Fargo? "And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper…")

NotQuiteSusieHomemaker / winner: Andrea V., Providence, RI, where the first blood of the American Revolution in the notorious Gaspée Affair of 1772.

Simply Stacie: Linda K, Winchester, CA. Thanks, Stacie, for this great contest. You've got some motley crew of readers! They come from all over the country, and I had a blast looking up some of their cities as the entries came in. For example, did you know that Linda, our winner, lives in a town where a rich crazy lady built a 160-room Victorian mansion? A spiritualist prodded her to do it, after the deaths of her child and husband. There's got to be a story in that, for sure!

Author Leah Stewart's Facebook Fan page: Tiffany D., New Hampshire: A simple mill house, its first opera house was around as early as 1908.

To the victors go the spoils!

—Josie
http://twitter.com/JosieBrownCA

http://www.facebook.com/Josie.Brown.Author.Page 



  Josie's Latest 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, Hollywood Wives

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:

Target Gift Card Contest: And the Winner Is…

Targetshopper
Hey, I picked the winner of my "Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives $200
Target Gift Card Contest" from these names, on  Saturday, June 12 2010,
at Barnes & Noble,  N. Moorland Ave, Brookfield, WI.

 (It was supposed to happen at Boswell Books in Milwaukee, but there
was SUCH madness and mayhem that we forgot to draw….)

Sonia, one of the SWEETEST booksellers in the world, got to draw the
name.  (Frankly, all the booksellers there were sweethearts! Please stop
in and tell them that Josie says hi!

PS: You'll find some autographed
copies of SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES on one of the front
tables…)

The lucky winner:

E. Lerner, Santa Monica, CA

Thanks, the rest of you, for entering!  I'll be sure to keep your
email addies to let you know about my next contest, too.

–Josie

Click here to read an excerpt of" Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives"

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Reality TV Wants YOU! Think You’re Ready for Your Close-Up?

It's always a hoot when I get one of these in my mailbox. 

Alas, I've already had my shot at reality TV (you'll read more about that, come September 2010; though I warn you: it' ain't a pretty tale) so I'm passing this one along to all you single gals.

Lights, camera, action,

— Josie

Red_carpet REALITY TV PILOT IS SEARCHING FOR FUN, FEARLESS SINGLE WOMEN WHO ARE
LOOKING FOR LOVE ONLINE! 

Are you a woman in your 20’s or 30’s who is actively navigating the NYC
online dating scene?

Have you looked for love on match.com or other online dating websites?

Do you and your single girlfriends have enough stories – the good, the
bad and the ugly – to write a book on dating?
 
Are you New York City’s real life Carrie Bradshaw?

If so, we want to hear from you!

Picture Shack Entertainment is now casting fun, fabulous single women
(and their friends!) for a new reality pilot about the good, the bad and
the future happily-ever-afters of the NYC dating scene! We're looking
for that vivacious group of girlfriends who are outgoing, adventurous
and made-for-TV…all those real life Carries, Mirandas, Charlottes and
Samanthas who will let us come along for the ride as they meet, date and
discuss all those potential Mr. Rights!  

If you’re open to new styles of dating and love to meet new people
online while searching for your Mr. Right, please contact us with a
recent photo, as well as a brief description of yourself and your online
dating history. If you have girlfriends who might be right for this
ensemble show, please let us know! 

To apply or get information about the pilot
Please contact:  

Danielle Gervais (Casting Producer)
Call: 646-674-3098
Email: nydatingcasting2@gmail.com

SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY PLEASE



SecretLivesCover200w Josie's
Next Book: Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives

Simon & Schuster/Downtown Press

(ISBN: 9781439173176)

In bookstores June 1, 2010. Order it
TODAY
from:

From Amazon

From Barnes & Noble

From Bigger Books

From Books a Million

From Borders

From Boswell Books

From Copperfield's

From Your
Local Independent Bookstore

From Powell's

TargetGiftCard
Here's your chance to win a $200 gift card from Target!

No
purchase necessary! All you have to do is read an excerpt of Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, and answer the question at the end.



All correct
answers, received between between now and 12 Midnight PT on
June 8,
2010
, will be
entered in the drawing, which takes place at my book tour stop on Thurs
June 10, 2010. CLICK
HERE FOR DETAILS…