What's the story? I explore the perceptions and deceptions affecting two marriages.
The Harpers, Lyssa and Ted, are socially entrenched in the tony Silicon Valley town of Paradise Heights, California, unlike DeeDee and Harry Wilder, who are admired by all, but politely aloof to their neighbors. Then word gets out that DeeDee has walked out on Harry and their two children. Gossip runs rampant through the Heights. Was DeeDee having an affair? Is it true that Harry is fighting her for everything—even the dog?
Lyssa's friends gossip about the neighbors while ignoring their own problems: infertility, infidelity, and eating disorders. The truth is, if the community's "perfect couple," Harry and DeeDee, can call it quits, what does that mean for everyone else?
At least one of the rumors is true: to hold on to his children and his home, Harry, once a workaholic, realigns his life and becomes a stay-at-home dad. Touched by his efforts at trial-by-error single parenting, Lyssa befriends him, never realizing the effect their relationship will have on her close-knit circle of friends—or its explosive impact on her own marriage.
Just another fun day in suburbia, right?
You know, writing a book is a lot like birthing a baby. The moment you realize it's actually going to happen, you fall into a euphoric trance.
Sheer bliss. And nothing can take that away from you...
Except the worry that perhaps something bad will befall it while it's incubating. For an author, that can be anything from the "I'm not worthy!" to "Will it find an audience?" to "What do I have to say that is compelling enough to hold someone's attention for 300+ pages?"
When this happens, those deep breathing exercises we learn in Lamaze classes certainly come in handy.
Well, I'm happy to report that I'm feeling no qualms whatsoever. (Liar, Liar, pants on fire..)
No, seriously, I mean that. I've been through the birthing experience, four times: two that were the human kind (Austin and Anna), and another two that were the novel kind (and Impossibly Tongue-Tied and True Hollywood Lies).
During that first trimester, reality sets in. There is so much preparation before the blessed event: outlining a compelling plot; creating characters that are real–to you, and hopefully future
readers; making sure the dialogue coming out of their mouths is something someone would actually say–and that others would respond to. Is it any wonder you feel nauseous?
By the middle trimester, you're in your groove: pages are flowing, you're heavy with chapter, edits are coming back, but nothing that you feel throws the plot baby out with the bath water. (Some analogy, huh?) In fact, you fall into a complacent routine where everything seems hunky-dory...
But by it's delivery date – in this case, TODAY, June 1, 2010 – you are more than ready to share you bundle of joy with the rest of the world.
Will this book be The Second Coming? I would never presume as much. (Besides, in the book universe, Harry Potter has already claimed that title.) Wise parents know that the most they can hope for their offspring is a long and fruitful life.
And of course, you envision a success future. (Those of us who had reserved our children's places in their preschools even before they were born know what I mean).
So that my new baby lives a long and healthy life, I'm going to go on the theory that it takes a village to birth a book. That said, if you're looking for a great beach read, I think this fits the bill.
Feel free to read this excerpt here on my website. In fact, I'm running a contest in conjunction with it: just answer the question correctly, and I'll put your name in the hat for a shot at a $200 gift card from Target. The drawing takes place on Thursday, June 10, 2010, while I'm in Milwaukee, at Boswell Books. If you're based in Milwaukee, I'd love to meet you there.
Thank you again, dear friends, great fans and new readers, for all your support!—Josie Brown
Author, SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES
Advance Praise for SECRET
LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES:
"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
"I loved this juicy-as-it-it-is-heartfelt novel about love, marriage, friendship--and sharp, manicured claws. Could not put it down!"—Melissa Senate, author of The Secret of Joy
"Poignant and funny! Josie Brown's protagonist is strong, resilient, and unflinchingly honest: she has all the skills she needs to navigate the 'mean streets' of the gated community of Paradise Heights. A great read!" —Wendy Wax, author Magnolia Wednesdays
“Brown proves that a story with suburban bodies can be just as suspenseful as one with dead bodies! Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives is a probing, entertaining fishbowl of married life in a well-heeled, wayward neighborhood. Loved it!” —Stephanie Bond, author of Body Movers
"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, and the personal growth book, Rinnavation Josie talks about the book here: