Martin and I found this antique musical Santa snow globe at an old curiosity shoppe.

Christmas Snow Globe 2015

At the time it was a splurge for us—thirty dollars—but how could we resist? Turns out the shop owner had just polished its brass base that very morning before putting it in the shop window. "I knew it would go quickly," he said, chuckling. The shop is gone now. Still, I'm sure he'd be happy to know it's given us many years of joy. Every time I hear its version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," I have to smile.

—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

 

 

Hooray for Hollywood….

TrueHollywood Lies
I love the Southland.

Warm, dry heat. Palm fronds waving lazily in the breeze.

The inevitable celebrity sighting. "Is that….Nah! Can't be! Too  (fill in the blank: tiny/old/young/fat/doesn't look anything like the fantasy I had in mind)…"

I'll be making my way to Los Angeles this weekend, where I'll be hosted by the Los Angeles Romance Authors. Here's the deets, below.

Hey, if want to get into an LA frame of mind, click this link to hear a scat/jazz version of Hooray for Hollywood…

Or if you've got a hankering to talk writerly things, come join us!

 

— Josie

Sun April 15, 2012 / 10am – 12noon
LOS ANGELES, CA
Los Angeles Romance Authors

Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel, 12825 Ventura Blvd, LA CA 91604

Attendance costs $5.00 for members and $10.00 for visitors.
Your first visit is free!

Josie's Workshop: "“Your First Scene, Line, Paragraph: Making a Great First Impression”

If you’re going to sell your novel, capturing the hearts and minds of those who will read it first – your dream agents or editors – is tantamount.

In this workshop, participants will learn:
 

1. 4 Page-Turning Tips Every Story MUST Have
2. The Best Place to Start Your Story, and Why (Believe it or not, it’s may not be where you’ve got it now…)
3. When (and When Not) to Use a Prologue
4. How to Integrate a Backstory without Slowing the Pace of Your Narrative
5. How and When to Balance Dialogue with Narrative

Because these are interactive workshops, prior to the event participants are welcomed to mail Josie the very first scene of a work-in-progress (no more than eight pages, double-spaced) that they feel exemplifies their process.

From what is sent in, she will choose a handful for positive, insightful examples of voice done well.

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

Okay, here are my answers to 2011’s stupidest employee interview questions. A great reminder as to why I prefer to freelance.

5-yearsThis was just too heehaw funny to pass up:

Glassdoor.com, a human resources/job search site, just posted what it calls "the top 25 oddball interview questions of 2011."

Let's face it. In this case, "oddball" is a euphemism for, um…stupid.

Since I won't be applying to any of these places, I figure it's okay to share with you how I would have responded–

Had I shown up drunk or if they'd first injected me with a truth serum.

Hmmm. Not a bad idea.

But not legal to do to applicants, so they'll never know the truth.

I'm guessing they wouldn't want to know it, anyway. Diplomacy and witty repartee before honesty, right?

Writing fiction means my answered are somewhat skewed to the macabre, so I'm sure I wouldn't get hired, anyway.

I'm okay with that–

As long as you guys keep buying my books.

Just saying.

— Josie

1. “How many people are using Facebook in San Francisco at 2:30pm on a Friday?” – view answers. Asked at Google. More Google interview questions.

Me: "Too many. There are just too many lazy people in SF, with too much time on their hands. You're based here, so you know that, first hand. Obviously, they are waaaay overpaid….Um, how much were you offering again?

2. “Just entertain me for five minutes, I’m not going to talk.” – view answers. Asked at Acosta. More Acosta interview questions.

Me: This is where I pull out True Hollywood Lies and read out loud the most erotic scene in it. What can I say? I give great read. And those scenes are…HOT!

3. “If Germans were the tallest people in the world, how would you prove it?” – view answers. Asked at Hewlett-Packard. More Hewlett-Packard interview questions.

Me: "As the whole world knows, Germans keep meticulous records. I would hack into the national academic database and pull up all Physical Education records on 12-grade height measurements, which I would then compare to the same records from countries all over the world. By the way,  I have some swampland in Monterrey that you can pick up at a steal…"

4. “What do you think of garden gnomes?” – view answers. Asked at Trader Joe’s. More Trader Joe’s interview questions.

Me: "Some of my best friends are garden gnomes. By the way, I love your Hawaiian shirt. So do my BFF garden gnomes."

5. “Is your college GPA reflective of your potential?” – view answers. Asked at the Advisory Board. More Advisory Board interview questions.

Me: "Moreso than my bust size — so please quit staring at my chest."

6. “Would Mahatma Gandhi have made a good software engineer?” – view answers. Asked at Deloitte. More Deloitte interview questions.

Me: "Honestly, no. I don't know if you've read up on the Mahatma, but he wasn't a hermitic nerd, and his online gaming scores were abominable. But if his resume hits your desk, you may want to consider him for a Community Manager position. He'll up your Facebook friends considerably."

7. “If you could be #1 employee but have all your coworkers dislike you or you could be #15 employee and have all your coworkers like you, which would you choose?” – view answers. Asked at ADP. More ADP interview questions.

 Me: "Number 1. Because I'm into WINNING. And tiger blood flows through my veins."

8. “How would you cure world hunger?” – view answers. Asked at Amazon.com. More Amazon.com interview questions.

Me: "I'd win the Miss Universe Pageant. Then I'd travel the world, advocating for world peas. And carrots. And mashed potatoes, because they go well together. But no meat. We don't want any more fatties, so I'd be pushing a vegan agenda."

9. “Room, desk and car – which do you clean first?” – view answers. Asked at Pinkberry. More Pinkberry interview questions.

Me: "Teeth."

10. “Does life fascinate you?” – view answers. Asked at Ernst & Young. More Ernst & Young interview questions.

Me: "Yes. Which is why I'm getting the hell out of here, before you hire me and I shoot my brains out."

11. “Given 20 ‘destructible’ light bulbs (which breaks at certain height), and a building with 100 floors, how do you determine the height that the light bulb breaks?” – view answers. Asked at QUALCOMM. More QUALCOMM interview questions.

Me: "Dude! Seriously? Duh. They break the moment they hit the ground. I've got a question for you, too: Who's buried in Grant's Tomb?"

12. “Please spell ‘diverticulitis’.” – view answers. Asked at EMSI Engineering. More EMSI Engineering interview questions.

Me: "If I do, can I use the $25,000 scholarship prize money to pay off my college bills?….Oh! You're not National Geographic, are you?"

13. “Name 5 uses of a stapler without staple pins.” – view answers. Asked at EvaluServe. More EvaluServe interview questions

Me: "Knock out a mugger. Knock out a rapist. Threaten a bank teller. Knock out a pawing first date. Knock out a pawing first boss. Don't worry, I know my way out."

14. “How much money did residents of Dallas/Ft. Worth spend on gasoline in 2008?” – view answers Asked at American Airlines. More American Airlines interview questions.

Me. "Too much. Too many gas guzzling cars, too many people who work in the oil industry to care about global warming, and not enough public awareness of its environmental impact. What fuels do your planes use again?… Yep, I know the way out. Scotty, beam me up."

15. “How would you get an elephant into a refrigerator?” – view answers. Asked at Horizon Group Properties. More Horizon Group Properties interview questions.

Me: "Same as I would a man: kill it, then chop it into steaks. On the way out, I'll leave you a copy of The Housewife Assassin's Handbook. It's got detailed instructions–regarding the man, not the elephant. My heroine, Donna, loves animals–"

16. “You have a bouquet of flowers. All but two are roses, all but two are daisies, and all but two are tulips. How many flowers do you have?” – view answers. Asked at Epic Systems. More Epic Systems interview questions.

Me: "Three. What say I set you up with the HR interviewer at Qualcomm? He likes trick questions, too. I think you two are a match made in heaven."

17. “How many planes are currently flying over Kansas?” – view answers. Asked at Best Buy. More Best Buy interview questions.

Me: "Too many. But there are probably a few terrorists out there with heat-seeking missle launchers to remedy that….Yes, I know. I have an active imagination. And I know my way out, too. By the way, Egghead has better prices on netbooks than you guys."

18. “How many different ways can you get water from a lake at the foot of a mountain, up to the top of the mountain?” – view answers. Asked at Disney Parks & Resorts. More Disney Parks & Resorts interview questions.

 Me: "Listen, Goofy: I'm not trying for a gig in your Imagineering Department. I just want to be Cinderella in the Main Street Electrical Parade. Here, watch me wave and smile–"

19. “What is 37 times 37?” – view answers .Asked at Jane Street Capital. More Jane Street Capital interview questions.

"I'm guessing it's what I'd be making in salary, for one week's work here. So instead, why don't I answer 'What is 100 x 100', which is more in line to what I'd accept?"

20. “If you could be a superhero, what power would you possess?” – view answers. Asked at Rain and Hail Insurance. More Rain and Hail Insurance interview questions.

Me: "The power to be so wealthy that I wouldn't have to go on interviews where people like you ask such stupid questions. Or the power to create world peas. And carrots. With mashed potatoes."

21. “If you were a Microsoft Office program, which one would you be?” – view answersAsked at Summit Racing Equipment. More Summit Racing Equipment interview questions.

Me: "The one that wouldn't get me sued by MicroSoft. By the way, a better question to ask is to name a software program that MicroSoft hasn't been sued for copying."

22. “Pepsi or Coke?” – view answersAsked at United Health Group. More United Health Group interview questions.

Me: "Water. You guys do work in healthcare, right?…Oh, got it! You just bill for healthcare procedures."

23. “Are you exhaling warm air?” – view answers. Asked at Walker Marketing. More Walker Marketing interview questions.

Me: "No. Carbon dioxide. You're a marketing firm, so I don't hold your stupidity against you, but I'd certainly be scratching my head if you were Genentech."

24. “You’re in a row boat, which is in a large tank filled with water. You have an anchor on board, which you throw overboard (the chain is long enough so the anchor rests completely on the bottom of the tank). Does the water level in the tank rise or fall?” – view answers. Asked at Tesla Motors. More Tesla Motors interview questions.

Me: "It stays the same. Okay, let me ask you a question: When will the hovercraft be available, and how many jiggawatts will it need to power it? And is Marty McFly really your CEO? Because that's the rumor–"

25. “How do you feel about those jokers at Congress?” – view answers.Asked at Consolidated Electrical. More Consolidated Electrical interview questions.

Me: "You complete me. Hire me! Please!"

________________________________________

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

 Nook-button    Itunes_01  AmazonKindleButton

I’m not going to let 2012 be my “bad hair day” of years, and you shouldn’t either.

AvedonMartin and I used to think that our best years ended in odd numbers.

In hindsight, I think we'd flip that analogy to fit any year in which we weren't having a great year.

For us — and I guess a lot of you, too — 2011 was a mixed blessing. I'm not an avid baseball fan, but there is something to say about "times up to bat": the more you put it out there, the better chance you'll have of scoring a hit, as opposed to an error.

And every now and then, you also hit it out of the park.

Granted, for Team Brown, there were enough errors for 2011 to turn us around on the assumption that odd years are our best. But we also had our fair share of hits, including the launch of four books. My two were The Baby Planner and The Housewife Assassin's Handbook. Martin's books were Fit in 50 Days, and on the last day of the year, The Ultimate New Year's Resolution Diet.

Not only that, but I saw one of my titles, True Hollywood Lies, achieve the ranking of 411 in Amazon Bestsellers, as well as #9 in Amazon's category of Books/Literature & Fiction/Comic.

On the first day of every new year, Martin starts off by saying,  "It's a new year, and we're still here."

He means this, literally as well as figuratively.

It's an inside joke:

One new year's day, just after we moved to Marin County, we were walking our children into Mill Valley's Old Mill Park when the skies opened up. As the rain poured down, an elderly gentleman, standing in his garage called out, "You can stand here with me, if you want, until it blows over."

We were happy to take him up on his offer.

Standing there, we made small talk. I don't know how the subject of the man's wife came up. I guess it had to do with the fact that we'd just started another new year. With the openess  that only comes with fresh emotional wounds, he said, "Yep, just this past new year's day, as we sat down to breakfast, she said, 'Well, it's a new year, and we're still here.' Then she dropped dead of a heart attack."

What a way to start the year: losing the person you love the most, whom you've spent a lifetime.

Any other issues are miniscule. They are a run in the pantyhose of your life.

To put things in perspective: he hadn't had a bad hair day. He had a bad hair year.

Whenever we're coming off a bad year, or we're trepidacious as to what the new year will bring, we remember that man and the wife he mourned.

And we count our blessings. Here are the ones I cherish most:

– We have great health, as do our children.

– We are still as madly in love today as we were on the day we married.

– We saw many of our far-flung family this year, making new memories even as we remembered the old ones.

– Our friends are loving, appreciative and a joy to be around. If only we could see more of them, more often!

– We love what we do, which is write.

You've got to love the fact that life is just one big tease,

— Josie

*Photo: Uber-model Jean Shrimpton, by Richard Avedon. Talk about helmet hair!

 

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

 Nook-button    Itunes_01  AmazonKindleButton

Time to party like it’s 1961

HepburnParty1
Some day, I'll throw a party like Audrey Hepburn.

You know the kind. Other than that iconic image in Breakfast at Tiffany's,  of her walking down an empty Fifth Avenue too early on a Sunday morning, just staring into the glitziest bling shop in the world, to my mind the very best dialogue in that movie took place in that scene in which the whole world shows up to party in her tiny apartment: stews and runway models, aging lotharios, Hollywood agents, Brazilian playboys, and on-the-make Mad men wearing skinny ties. One guy even has an eye patch, and it isn't a Halloween party. Go figure.

The booze is flowing, the bon mots are flying. And Audrey is magnetic.

We should all be Audrey, at least once in our lives, even if our cigarette holder only blows bubbles.

Of course hers is really lit, which is why, in such a confined space, some woman's hat catches on fire.

My last "big" party was formal– that is to say, filled with too many people not willing to let their hair down, let alone go up in flames. 

That's alright. I've made a few faus pax myself: like the time half the guests ended up in the hospital with food poisoning.

This is why I'm not the chef in our family.

But I'm still a party animal.

Here's wishing you a happy and healthy 2012,

— Josie

TrueHollywood Lies

Buy TRUE HOLLYWOOD LIES in Amazon!

Right now, #9 in Books/Literature & Fiction/Comic

"…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

"Josie Brown does an outstanding job capturing the glitz and glamour of Hollywood living yet illuminating the stark loneliness present beneath the façade.  Filled with good-natured humor and witty repartee…"
–Romance Reader's Connection