I truly love the heroines of Totlandia--Jillian, Lorna, Ally and Jade. As I go through the journey of writing their intertwining stories,...moreDear Readers,
I truly love the heroines of Totlandia--Jillian, Lorna, Ally and Jade. As I go through the journey of writing their intertwining stories, each of them becomes a part of me--and yes, there is a part of me in each of them as well.
I want to be as self-assured as Lorna, but I have her insecurities, and sometimes her blind spots, too. The part of me that is successful is Ally, but I've been known to miss out on the personal milestones that make our life journey even sweeter. Like Jade, I've had my own unspeakable shames, and have loved the wrong man at the wrong time. And like Jillian, I've been devastated with loss, but have always been bound and determined to live the life I want, despite of it.
And yes, sometimes I can be as bitchy as Bettina.
I take that back. NO ONE is as bitchy as Bettina!
I hope their stories have resonated with you, and that they've become as real to you, as they are to me.
Thanks for taking the time to discover them. I hope they've made you laugh as much as they have for me. And if you've shed a tear along the way, hey, you're not alone. I cried, too, believe me.
Enjoy this next step of their journey in friendship, family and life.
Josie Brown author, Totlandia / The Onesies, Book IV Summer
Wow. I have to say, I had so much fun with THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S Vacation to Die For! It's the fifth book of the series. Those of you...moreDear Readers,
Wow. I have to say, I had so much fun with THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S Vacation to Die For! It's the fifth book of the series. Those of you who have followed it from the first novel have certain expectations, I I hope I've met them. As with the other books, I've mixed humor with pathos, family with the work of a professional assassin--
And something else: a vacation that is anything but.
We've all been there, right? We take up our boss's offer of a paid vacation in some exotic paradise -- in this case, Fantasy Island -- only to discover that we'll be working all the time.
In Donna's case, that means a hit--or stopping one.
Or perhaps it means tracking down someone the government wants to keep an eye on.
Or being tracked, as prey, in a deadly game of life and death.
With or without children tagging along, so many things can go wrong--and in this case, they do!
I've also introduced two new characters, who I feel you'll enjoy. First, there is Dominic Fleming, a British Acme operative whose shaken and stirred resemblance to James Bond both titillating to every woman who meets him...
Even Donna? Well, yes and no.
And yes, it has repercussions for Donna and Jack.
Then there's financial kingpin, Lee Chiffray, a man whose business dealings seem to crisscross those of the Quorum. Is he just a man in the wrong place -- Fantasy Island -- at the wrong time?
I spent my vacation with this wonderful cast of characters. I hope you'll enjoy the hours you spend with them as well.
Jenna, the heroine of ROCK MY WORLD, is not only a former model and the daughter of a famous rocker, but also the wife of Alex, a musician who's earne...moreJenna, the heroine of ROCK MY WORLD, is not only a former model and the daughter of a famous rocker, but also the wife of Alex, a musician who's earned his chops and is now riding his own wave to fame. The blissful life she's created for him and their teen daughter, Felicity, is her haven --
But that world comes crashing down around her when she discovers that Airika, her closest friend since high school, has been sabotaging her relationships with both her husband and her daughter.
My guilty little pleasure is discovering books that gives me an authentic POV on a sort of glamorous life the rest of us can only dream about. Sharisse Coulter's insider's take on the rock world is that--and much, much more because of the complexity of her characters, who seem to leap from the book's pages. Your heart breaks for Jenna with every betrayal because you get who she is: a woman whose chance to create her own identity beyond those dearest to her is stymied with each twist of fate.
The essence of a compelling page-turner is exactly that: real, and satisfying to the end.
In this second novel of my HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN series, Donna Stone's new neighbors, who are both wealthy and powerful, hold the key to her...moreDear Readers,
In this second novel of my HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN series, Donna Stone's new neighbors, who are both wealthy and powerful, hold the key to her latest mission: saving the new Russian president from assassination on American soil. They also provide an interesting challenge both to her new relationship and her career.
Please let me know how much you enjoyed "The Housewife Assassin's Guide to Gracious Killing" by commenting here.
Dear readers, I hope you enjoy this, the fourth full-length book, in the Housewife Assassin series! As with all the books featuring my heroine, Donna...moreDear readers, I hope you enjoy this, the fourth full-length book, in the Housewife Assassin series! As with all the books featuring my heroine, Donna Stone, life and death (and love) issues are filled with twists and turns.
I had so much fun writing the third novel in my Housewife Assassin series! The holidays are a frenetic time of year as is. When you've go...moreDear Readers,
I had so much fun writing the third novel in my Housewife Assassin series! The holidays are a frenetic time of year as is. When you've got to save the world from a terrorist act, too...well, let's just say Donna has a lot of reasons to be stressed out.
To top it off, her youngest child is teetering away from believing in Santa Claus. This loss of her child's innocence breaks Donna's heart.
Not to mention Jack's ex --and Donna's -- keep intruding into their lives.
In this, the second of my HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN series, Donna Stone* faces some news challenges. What role does her old nemesis -- the international terrorist cell, the Quorum -- play in all of it?
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, before all hell--and World War III--break loose.
Once again, Donna juggles the fate of the world with the challenges of raising a family, and all the trials and tribulations that come with a new relationship. The very last thing she needs is to succomb to the emotions which arise for the husband who deserted her...
[image error]SYNOPSIS: All over Hollywood, men are dialing O—for orgasms. Her steamy naughty talk fills them with lust and longing, and helps them per...more[image error]SYNOPSIS: All over Hollywood, men are dialing O—for orgasms. Her steamy naughty talk fills them with lust and longing, and helps them perform like the studs they claim to be.
In truth, the industry's favorite "erotic phone operatrix" is Nina Harte, a struggling actress who has put her career on hold so that her husband, Nathan, can pursue his own dreams of stardom.
When Nathan's career takes off, so does he, leaving Nina and their four-year-old son, Jake, for his diva costar, Katerina McPherson. Then "Kat 'n' Nat" are crowned the media's newest celebrity sweethearts, and Kat labels Nina an unfit mother in order to win custody of Jake, just so that she can have that highly-coveted celebrity accessory—an adorable child—sans any unsightly stretch marks.
The one person who does care about Nina is Nathan's agent, Sam Godwin. In fact, he's in love with her. And because he has both a heart and a conscience, Sam feels guilty for having put Nat in Kat's path in the first place . . .
So, how will he feel when he learns that Nina and O are one and the same?
For novelists, all of our books are our children. As a parent of nine of them (and counting!), I can honestly say that I don't play favorites, even if one or more has done better than the others.
Until recently, authors shared parenting responsibilities with their publishers. We write the books and in many cases promote them as well, while the publishers edit, create covers, print, distribute and promote the books to bookstores and readers.
Sometimes it's a wonderful collaboration. The book is nurtured by both, and flourishes out in the hard, cold world. But in many cases, the book is neglected by one parent or the other.
Sadly, this was the case with Impossibly Tongue Tied, my second novel. The publisher admitted they had no plans other than to toss the book onto the shelf.
Hearing this broke my heart. At the time I wrote it, I was going through a family crisis, and put all my energy and angst into creating a fun, dark farce on the world of Hollywood fame and celebrity. I cried and laughed the whole time a wrote it. (Sort of like Diane Keaton, as she processed Jack Nicholson out of her system via her play, in Something's Gotta Give.)
From the letters I received from readers, I was happy to hear I'd accomplished my goal.
Thankfully, the publisher only has rights to the book in North America (for now, anyway; my publisher will only release it after I buy all the leftover inventory at a price that is worse than wholesale, and add shipping above that; bookstores get free shipping, whereas the authors do not; go figure).
For those of you who live in other parts of the world, I've created a digital eBook version of Impossibly Tongue Tied, and I've priced it at a very reasonably. In Amazon.uk, you'll only pay £1.96 and throughout the other Amazon online stores, EUR 2,68.
If you enjoy it, please do review it within Amazon (it will be up soon, in the Apple iTunes Bookstore as well) and on GoodReads.com.
READER REVIEW: 5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful surprise June 9, 2011 By Zeph VINE™ VOICE
Like the other reviewers, I'm not going to delve too much into plot. That is because, for this book, less really is more. I wasn't prepared; I grabbed this off the shelf of my local library expecting it to be a light, silly read (come on, its about phone sex operators and Hollywood). I ended up crying twice!
I loved the main character, Nina. The sex scenes were tasteful - not trashy as I was expecting. The character writing was so good I even felt SOME (not much) pity for the cheating bastard here. The ending was wonderfully bittersweet. I only regret three things after reading this book:
1) The evil villainess definitely didn't get taken down enough for my taste. I hated her so much that only jail or being bumped to the C-list could have appeased me.
2) 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. It was amazing. (less)
The idea for TOTLANDIA came to me during my tour for THE BABY PLANNER. All over the country, real baby planners hosted reading parties, w...moreDear Readers,
The idea for TOTLANDIA came to me during my tour for THE BABY PLANNER. All over the country, real baby planners hosted reading parties, where I met many of the readers who were members of moms-and-tots groups. It was a joy to watch these sweet, wonderful women (and their children) laugh and play together.
I realized what I was watching was the start of some life-long friendships.
In TOTLANDIA, four women--Lorna, Ally, Jillian, and Jade--forge new friendships in the most awkward of situations: they are competing for membership in San Francisco's very exclusive Pacific Heights Moms & Tots Club. And not just any club! Admission is the first step on their child's journey to the best schools and all the right life-long connections.
At least, this is what they think...
But acceptance comes with a price. Each of them must withhold some truth about herself in order to meet the club's strict (and sometimes unspoken) membership criteria.
Why does it seem that life is a never-ending version of high school? PHM&T is no exception. The right pedigree or your husband's business connections may get you through the door, but the tiniest misstep will get you snubbed, perhaps even exiled. From Day One, its unrelenting "applications committee" has Jillian, Ally, Jade and Lorna jumping through hoops.
Is the club's membership worth the toll it takes on these women, their children, and the men they love?
Parenting is an arduous, but rewarding, journey. While on this path, we meet others going through the same experiences, at the same stage of life. The joys and pain, triumphs and tragedies we face together are what make--or break--our closest relationships.
If we are lucky, we accept the reality that our greatest expectations can't come from, and for, our children, but ourselves.
This is the first of four books that follow my four heroines during "the Onesies," their inaugural year in the club, when their children are one year old.
Upcoming books--to be released in four episodes each year--will mirror my heroines' experiences through subsequent years in the club: the Twosies, Threesies, Foursies, and Fivesies.
As their children mature, so will Jade, Ally, Lorna, and Jillian. Sadly, there will be times in which they grow apart, just as this has happened to you and the friends dearest to you.
Conflict strengthens relationships. Reconciliation comes only with trust and love. This, too, will be a part of their story.
I hope you enjoy your journey with them, and with me.
Every desperate housewife would love an alias.The heroine of my latest novel, Donna Stone has one, and it's government sanctioned. Oh sur...moreDear Readers,
Every desperate housewife would love an alias.The heroine of my latest novel, Donna Stone has one, and it's government sanctioned. Oh sure, you need to be ruthless to take on Russian mafia bosses, rogue dictators, and terrorists set on destroying the world. But it takes real killer instincts to survive suburbia. Try juggling the fifth grade phone tree during a shootout with skinhead arms dealers, or driving carpool while being chased by Chinese double agents.
Donna's life wasn't always this complicated. Five years earlier she was just another woman with two preschoolers, a baby bump, and an adoring husband: Carl, with whom she lived happily ever after in a McMansion in the Orange County, California community of Hilldale. But Donna's life was changed forever the night she delivered her baby:
Carl's car blew up on the way to the hospital.
Turns out Carl was a "hard man"—an assassin—for the black ops organization known as Acme Industries. The hit on Carl was carried out by the Quorum, a terrorist cell he was tracking. The Quorum's motto: "Show me the money." Governments and corporations do as they're told—or suffer bloody consequences.
Carl left something behind that the Quorum wants badly. To protect herself and avenge Carl's death, Donna joined Acme. Whereas her hostessing skills rival Martha Stewart's, her marksmanship is second to none.
A good thing, too, because the Quorum has planted a sleeper cell in Hilldale. For Donna, that's too close for comfort. Will she be able to save her family before the Quorum blows up Los Angeles?
Acme's way of flushing out the Quorum is by "bringing Carl back from the dead." But terrorism makes strange bedfellows--and brings new meaning to that old adage "Honey, I'm home…"
I had a very insightful interview with Allison Pearson. She is not only a fabulous writer (I THINK I LOVE YOU is just as wonderful as I DON'T KNOW HOW...moreI had a very insightful interview with Allison Pearson. She is not only a fabulous writer (I THINK I LOVE YOU is just as wonderful as I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT.)but also forthcoming as to her writing process. Feel free to read it here:
Publishers Weekly: "Josie Brown takes baby mania to its illogical, hysterical extreme in this bubbly romp. Thirty-seven-year-old Katie's biological cl...morePublishers Weekly: "Josie Brown takes baby mania to its illogical, hysterical extreme in this bubbly romp. Thirty-seven-year-old Katie's biological clock is ticking like a time bomb, and she turns her baby obsession into a wildly successful consultant gig planning nurseries for pregnant women too rich, clueless, bedridden, or busy to do the task themselves.
Even grieving widower Seth, who works with Katie's child-shy husband, Alex, on a demanding new business venture, needs Katie's services to help him manage his perplexing new role as a single dad. But what begins as a light foray into Bugaboo country turns into something bigger than a satire of status-obsessed Bay Area yummy mummies as Brown takes a dark look at the fears of parenthood and family, with Katie's heartbreaking longing for a child unveiling a disturbing reality about her marriage and family. Still, the message from the somber realities is one full of hope: love makes a family, commitment keeps it together."
Dear Readers, Every now and then, a novelist’s muse will play the proverbial stork and deliver a wonderful little bundle of joy in the form of story concept that that is fully formed, from beginning to end. That happened to me, with this, my latest novel, THE BABY PLANNER.
My heroine, Katie Johnson, is married to Alex, who is, overall, a great guy: good looking, financially successful, great in bed . . . yep, the full package . . . Except for one thing: he’s fighting her tooth and nail about having children.
This is a sore spot with her. She has just turned thirty-seven, and already her younger sisters have three kids between them--and one is pregnant again.
When Katie gets laid off from her job as a state product safety advocate, she puts her knowledge of consumer products to good use in a new career: as a baby planner.
At first Katie envisions her job as all fun and games, that it's cross between a wedding planner and a personal shopper: a concierge for moms. Or, as she puts it, a "momcierge," since she'll help her clients arrange their nurseries, turn them onto the safest baby gear, plan their baby showers, get them into the best toddler playgroups, find them reliable au pairs, you name it.
And since the success of her marriage to husband Alex depends on controlling her own urges toward motherhood, it allows her to live vicariously through her clients.
But Katie soon finds herself playing a very different role in their lives: that of a caring friend who helps them overcome any paralyzing fears they have about protecting their babies--and for that matter, their marriages.
There is a lot of humor in this book, but in writing about Katie and her pregnant clients I also had the opportunity to explore the many serious issues that come up in the process of parenting: sibling rivalry, adoption, surrogacy, single parenting, infertility, infidelity--
Even how a new parent grieves the death of a spouse. All of these topics merit a story the reflects the fears, the tears and the joys of this life passage.
Click over to my website: (http://www.josiebrown.com) to enjoy this excerpt of THE BABY PLANNER. And from Feb 10 - June 19, 2011, I'll be running a contest there, where your correct entry, emailed to me at BabyPlannerNovel@gmail.com, makes you eligible to win the prize: a $100 gift card to your favorite bookstore.
Thank you for putting it on your must-read list,
--Josie Brown (Simon & Schuster/Gallery Books) ISBN#: 9781439197127(less)
I consider myself a John le Carre aficionado, and this is, hands down, my favorite thus far.
We anticipate that his espionage and political threads are...moreI consider myself a John le Carre aficionado, and this is, hands down, my favorite thus far.
We anticipate that his espionage and political threads are strong and tightly drawn. However, what is the true joy of this novel is the emotional depth of le Carre's hero, Jonathan. Driven by retribution and revenge, we get a man (as opposed to an automaton) with heart and soul as well as the obligatory skills of a spy.
In THE NIGHT MANAGER, le Carre's prose is poetry, as exemplified when Jonathan, caught in an act of espionage, makes love to the anti-heroine (whom he covets, but thus far has never touched) by telling her: "I'm obsessed by you. I can't get you out of my head. I don't mean I'm in love with you. I sleep with you, I wake up with you, I can't clean my teeth without cleaning yours as well and most of the time I'm quarreling with you. There's no logic to it, there's no pleasure to it. I haven't heard you express a single thought worth a damn, and most of what you say is affected bilge. Yet every time I think of something funny, I need you to laugh at it, and when I'm low it's you I need to cheer me up. I don't know who you are, if you're anyone at all. Or whether you're here for the beer or because you're wildly in love with Roper. And I'm sure you don't know either. I think you're a total mess. but that doesn't put me off. Not at all. It makes me indignant, it makes me a fool it makes me want to wring your neck. But that's just part of the package."
Trust me, it works. And if you don't get it, then seriously, you just don't get le Carre. (less)