New Season, New Contest, and a New Series!

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EXTRACURRICULAR – BOOK 1 RELEASE DATE: JUNE 28, 2019. PRE-ORDER NOW!

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Happy Almost Summer to You!

Now that San Francisco's monsoon rains have finally let up, Martin and I have been taking long walks every day. It's great to see flowers in bloom again!

The tulip trees were first, then the daffodils, followed by ice plant and calla lilies. Birds of Paradise seem to hang in there pretty much all year long, as do roses—always a pleasure to see.

Only one thing makes me happier than Spring—and that's BOOKS!
My next series, EXTRACURRICULAR, takes place over two generations and three episodic books.

It's a story about love, lust, and parents behaving badly when it comes to cheating on college entrance exams.

It may sound like a plot ripped from the headlines. Ironically, this was a story I began writing eight years ago…

So yeah, it's been on my mind for quite some time.

If you loved Totlandia or Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, this is definitely the series for you!
The first novel in this series of three books launches on 
Friday, June 28, 2019—
Just in time for the July 4th Weekend.

And of course, to celebrate the heat AND a sizzling new book to read, 
I'm having a launch contest for Extracurricular – Book 1.

You can read about it below. I do hope you'll enter.
In fact, you'll have 6 chances to win.
Enjoy your summer—AND Extracurricular!
—Josie

Prizes

THE PRIZES

5 Contestants Will Win:

:A $10 Gift Card from the bookstore of your choice;

: An autographed copy of my novel, The Baby Planner (trade paperback); and

: A digital eBook of any one of my books (currently published, or a future title).

A 6th Contestant will be drawn as the Grand Prize Winner, and will Receive:

: A $50 Gift Card from the bookstore of your choice;

: A signed trade paperback copy of The Baby Planner;

A signed trade paperback copy of Extracurricular Book 1;

: An signed hardcover copy of The Housewife Assassin's Handbook;

: A digital eBook of one of my books—your choice! (currently published, or a future title);

: A jute tote bag sporting the Housewife Assassin logo—great for the beach or the store! And

: A stoneware ruffled pie dish from Crate + Barrel.

Talk about a fun bunch of prizes!

The contest ends Midnight Pacific Time on Midnight, Sunday, August 4, 2019

Talk about a fun bunch of prizes!

AND YOU CAN EARN BONUS POINTS!

Enter the Contest

Pregnant Moms at the Oscars: That Winning Glow

Is-Natalie-Portman-Pregnant-Golden-Globe-Awards This year, when Natalie Portman gets her shot at Oscar gold, her very visible baby bump will be there, front and center–

And swathed in some sumptious designer couture.

That ain't no OshKosh B'Gosh.

As it should be.

Portman won the Golden Globe for her terrifying performance in THE BLACK SWAN, and she's considered the frontrunner for the Best Performace by an Actress Academy Award as well. 

Even if she doesn't win, what a memorable experience she'll have, sharing this wonderful accomplishment with your soon-to-be-born child! The paparrazi will capture her pregnancy glow. The gown she chooses will have been perfectly cut to enhance her beauty (if not her bounty). She'll be able to show her child the pictures from that magical night and say, "See, honey? You were there with me, too!"

Pregnancy is no stranger to the Bald Golden Boy. Click here to trod down Oscar history's red carpeted memory lane…

 

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Don't forget to enter the contest for my novel, THE BABY PLANNER  for a chance to win a $100 gift card from you favorite bookstore! 

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Pregnant Moms at the Oscars: Winning Glows

Czj Graceful, glowing, and nine months pregnant, Catherine Zeta-Jones won her Best Supporting Oscar for her role in the bawdy musical, Chicago.

Her flowing gown, black and low-cut with beaded straps, was complimented with a beautiful pare of pink coral earrings from Fred Leighton. The actress's speech included the admission that “My hormones are way too out of control to be dealing with this!”

We felt for you, CZJ (and would have gladly traded places for the night…)

 

 

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Don't forget to enter the contest for my novel, THE BABY PLANNER  for a chance to win a $100 gift card from you favorite bookstore!  

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Pregnant Moms at the Oscars: Winning Glows

Evamariesaint In 1955, Eva Marie Saint wasn't about to let her pregnancy (with her first child, Darrell, whom she delivered two days later) keep her from attending the Academy Awards in order to accept the Oscar for her performance in On the Waterfront.

The gossip columnists of the day weren't cruel enough to diss her for her obvious baby bump. Instead they latched onto this off-the-cuff remark in her acceptance speech: “I think I may have the baby right here!”

Louella Parson called it “tasteless,” whereas Hedda Hopper blamed Saint for “cheapening the ceremony.”

Ha. Today, we'd all be cooing our congratulations at the screen for her double triumphs.

 

 

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Don't forget to enter the contest for my novel, THE BABY PLANNER  for a chance to win a $100 gift card from you favorite bookstore! .

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Pregnant Moms at the Oscars: Winning Glows

Merylstreep In 1983,  Meryl Streep kept her sixth-month baby bump from the public (she was carrying her actress daughter, Mamie Gummer) with this slimming shimmering pleated gown.

What brought home the gold that matched ensemble was her role in Sophie's Choice.

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Pregnant Moms at the Oscars: Winning Glows

Cateblanchett Among the blessings to be counted in 2008, Cate Blanchett had two Academy Awards (Best Actress for Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and Best Supporting Actress for I'm Not There) and baby makes three. Her dark blue satin dress was designed  Dries Van Noten gown, which she wore with stilettoes, oversized jewelry by Lorraine Schwartz bling, and a Roger Vivier clutch.

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Tucson Tragedy: It’s Time for Comprehensive Universal Mental Health

Jared-Lee-Loughner The despair felt by the parents of the mentally ill — especially those whose illnesses, such as schizophrenia, manifest into anger and has caused them to do physical harm to others — is unfathomable by the rest of us.

These are not bad parents. They are people who love their children, and have done their best to get medical attention for their offspring, despite the expense (psychopharmaceutical drugs can be as much as $100 a pill, even if needed daily), and the stress of all the red tape traps devised by our American health insurance system–not to mention the lack of comprehensive medical care for the mentally ill, once the financial hurdles have been jumped. 

Below is an excerpt for the Mother Lode column in the New York Times, in which several parents with mentally ill children who have done similar acts give their perspectives on the Tucson, Arizona killing rampage that injured fourteen, including U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and killed six others.

We can't take healthcare off the table now. In so many ways, our lives depend on our society — and elected officials — addressing this topic, and moving forward on workable answers.

 

I've also included a video, from PBS's NewsHour, on the Tucson and the missed opportunities to prevent it by assessing Laughner's mental health situation. Sadly, Laughner was putting his intentions out there with YouTube videos.

The irony: Arizona had cut $65 million from its mental health social services budget since 2008.

Knowledge is power,

–Josie

 

 

MOTHERLODE / Adventures in Parenting / New York Times

January 11, 2011, 3:31 pm

A Killer’s Parents

By LISA BELKIN
A photograph of Jared L. Loughner released by the Pima County Sheriff’s Office.Pima County Sheriff’s OfficeA photograph of Jared L. Loughner released by the Pima County Sheriff’s Office.

With Jared Lee Loughner’s unhinged grin staring out from so many Web sites and newspapers today, parents of troubled young adults are stepping forward, giving glimpses into the pain and impotence that comes when your child has mental illness.

In Chicago, the longtime local CBS news anchor Bill Kurtis shared all that and more with viewers last night, talking publicly for the first time about his son Scott, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and who died in 2009 when he was 38.

In unscripted comments coming after a report on the reasons authorities don’t take action against bizarre behavior before it turns threatening, Kurtis talked of how his son heard voices and suffered from hallucinations, but was not violent. The turn toward violence in the mentally ill, however, can be unpredictable, Kurtis said. “I was told my son went nonviolent, and he was no danger,” he said. “But 10 percent of the crimes are committed by mentally ill people who do turn violent.”

After the newscast Kurtis told the blogger Robert Federer that he decided to speak out because Loughner’s story seemed so familiar. “I never wanted to exploit Scott and the illness, and always thought that if he wanted it to go public, he should be able to make the decision and talk about it,” Kurtis said. “We’d been living with this for so long that when I heard some of the witnesses and observers who came forward Saturday [to describe Loughner], I felt this was the perfect time. In schizophrenia, they say people seem to come in and out. So they can look normal and function normally and go in and buy a gun.”

One can only imagine that Kurtis is putting himself in the shoes of Loughner’s parents and wondering “what if?” That is definitely what Jeannette Halton-Tiggs is doing, and she wrote about it today over on The Daily Beast.

In a column titled “Mother of a Monster,” she describes to columnist Mansfield Frazier how her son, Timothy Halton Jr. was sentenced to life in prison for shooting a police officer.

As she says:

…in truth my Timmy is not, and never was, a monster… what he was cursed to be is one of the literally millions of hopelessly and irrevocably mentally ill individuals in the world today. He suffers from a severe form of paranoid schizophrenia that renders him incapable of controlling his thoughts, emotions or actions when, for a variety of reasons — some beyond his control — he is off his medications. And I did everything humanly possible within my power to keep him on a treatment regimen, but, alas, to no avail.

The reality is, no one can be as deranged as my son, or as Jared Loughner apparently is, without many people being aware of his deteriorating mental condition — yet seemingly no one moved to force him into treatment. The burning question following a mind-boggling incident of this kind should be: “Why do we, as a society, allow known dangerously mentally ill individuals to make their own decisions in regard to receiving treatment?”

There is a powerful contingent of folks in the mental-health care delivery field in this country who posit that no one should be compelled to be treated for their illness unless, and until, they harm someone. This, in itself, is insane … and dangerous to boot. I screamed at the top of my lungs that my son was one day going to hurt someone, or himself, but no one in a position of authority to avert the tragedy would listen or do anything.

That is mostly because Timmy turned 18 and his mother lost legal authority to control whether he took his medicines or was hospitalized or even monitored. Halton-Tiggs cites data which show that “more than 40,000 dangerously mentally ill individuals are roaming America’s streets on any given day, untreated.”

All those individuals are someone’s child.

As Halton-Tiggs concludes: “I’m pretty sure I know what Loughner’s family is going though. The guilt, the shame, the sense of despair.”

Statistics mean that tens of thousands of other parents out there fear one day knowing those feelings as well.

(c) 2010 New York Times.

Wow! Victoria Beckham is pregnant with her fourth child.

Victoria beckham is pregnant Posh Spice has a bun in the oven. The big question now is if she's carrying it high, or low.

Supposedly a high baby indicates a girl. And after three boys (isn't that half a soccer team?) Mrs. Beckham deserves a little sugar in her life.

Until she knows for certain, it's anyone's guess, though. The UK Times's answer for more spilling ink (or pixels) on the subject is to drag out some old wives' tales as to how to tell a baby's gender. Okay, I'll bite. Did you know that:

1 – A high one means it's a girl. In direct correlation, a low baby bump means it's a boy.

2 – if the unborn baby's heart rate is above 140, it's a girl… if it's under that figure, it's a boy. (Scientists pooh-pooh this one).

3 – If Victoria's cravings are sweet, its girl; sour means boy. (Another one that have the medical establishment rolling in the aisles.)

4 – If David also puts on weight, a girl is on the way.

5 – If Victoria's face gets plump, it's a girl.

6 – A larger left breast means it's a girl. (Hmmmm….how would plastic surgery affect that one?)

7 – Being in New Age California, my friend Bonnie regularly dangles a mystical pendant over the mother-to-be's palm or belly, and watches its movements. If it moves back and forth, it's a boy, whereas movement round and round means a girl.

8 – If Victoria picks up a spare key from the thin end it's a girl.

9 – Finally: women have good instincts about which they're carrying. In fact, one study found that 71 per cent of mothers-to-be correctly guessed the gender of their baby.

The Hub can do better than that. Thus far he's been right 21 out of 20 times.

The birth he missed? Our daughter's, of course. He claimed he didn't see any pigtails, and that threw him off.

How about you? Have you found any old baby gender wives tales to work? If so, I'd like to hear it.

It's a girl,

–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 / Amazon Kindle

From Barnes & Noble / 

From Books a Million

From Books Inc.

From Borders

From Your Local Independent Bookstore

From Powell's


Thanks, Multnomah County Public Library, for putting me on your shelves.

Multnomah fallsMultnomah County (OR) Library has nine copies of SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES on its shelves, and I feel honored that it does.

It's doubly sweet to me when the library is based in one of the most environmentally awe-inspiring places on earth.

If you have not yet visited Multonomah, County, you're missing some eye candy. It is home to the spectacular falls that carry the county's name, as well as the famed Columbia River Gorge.

It is county seat is Portland, OR.

My husband and I discovered Multnomah County late this summer. After a reading in the Seattle Area, we took to the road to play there (its only a couple of hours away) because Multnomah Falls was on our bucket list.

Every drop lives up to its reputation for breathtaking beauty.

That night and the next we hung in Portland, the county seat and one of the most laid-back food-tastic cities in the country. The restaurants we tried were innovative and reasonably priced. We tried Davis Street Tavern and Clyde Common.  Both: To. Die. For.

Of course, no stop in Portland is complete without also perusing the famed Powell's Bookstore. Yes, it had a few copies of SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES–among the multitude of others in its block-to-block-to-block-to-block humongous store! Not to mention its technical bookstore, and academic branch…

It was mid-September, and yes it was drizzling…but that didn't stop us from walks to the riverfront. We weren't the only one. It was also the weekend of Portland's Race for the Cure. Seeing so many pink ribbons makes your heart swell.

Portland truly is a city with a big heart,

–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 / Amazon Kindle

From Barnes & Noble / 

From Books a Million

From Books Inc.

From Borders

From Your Local Independent Bookstore

From Powell's


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