Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Josie Brown "kicks" off Thanksgiving, plus a book giveaway

Introduction by Melissa Amster

**Giveaway is now closed**

For some reason, I want to put the word "Downtown" before Josie Brown's name. Maybe this has to do with Downtown Julie Brown on MTV back in the 80s. Saying "Downtown Josie Brown" has a similar feel. Or maybe it's because I associate a downtown area of a city with sophistication and coolness (this association comes from the times my parents would take my sister and me to downtown Chicago when we were kids). Josie possesses these qualities, both in personality and the way she writes. Her writing style is smooth and she focuses on modern topics, even incorporating pop culture. I've enjoyed the books I've read of hers and her latest series, Totlandia, is no exception! I just finished and enjoyed book one (see review) and will be reviewing  book two sometime in the coming weeks.

Besides the Totlandia novel series, Josie is also the author of The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook series. Her novel, Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, will soon be a dramatic series on NBC-TV, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. This is Josie's THIRD visit to Chick Lit Central and we'll gladly have her back many more times! She's such a delight! Today, she's here to tell us her secret tricks to enjoying Thanksgiving (or even the winter holiday) food even more!

You can find Josie on Facebook and Twitter, as well as her website and blog! Visit her websites for Totlandia and The Housewife Assassin's Handbook, as well. (When does she sleep?!?)

Thanks to Coliloquy, we have TWO e-books of Totlandia (book two). And that's not honor of The Housewife Assassin's Handbook breaking the top 100 on Amazon (in the romantic suspense category), Josie is giving away THREE e-books of that, as well! Better yet...both giveaways are open WORLDWIDE! In the meantime, Totlandia book one is FREE for Kindle (today only)!

The Best Thanksgiving Recipes All Have Dirty Little Secrets

We all have our dirty little secrets.

You’ll find a lot of them in my new novel series, Totlandia.

The books, which detail the shenanigans of an exclusive moms-and-tots club based in the posh San Francisco neighborhood of Pacific Heights, are filled with the same joy, angst, and insights we’ve all gained on our journeys as parents.

As with all my books, the Totlandia series is about the family dynamic. Or maybe I as I call it “the family dynamite,” since our most explosive events and memories usually occur in the presence of those we love most: our parents or our children; our spouses or significant others.

That said, it’s no wonder I’ve set the key turning points in Totlandia on the dates we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts: anniversaries, birthdays—

And of course, holidays.

As we all know, holidays are important times for both parents and children. These days and events are when our children are exposed to our traditions. They look forward to seeing the relatives who love and dote on them. They anticipate our excitement about them, even if they don’t yet realize that our fun comes from seeing these experiences through their eyes.

My own favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. In the Totlandia series, this day takes place in Book 2, Winter. Besides having my four heroines, their tots, and their husbands break bread together, secrets will be divulged, promises will be made and broken, an affair will exposed—

Oh, and the turkey gets defrosted, just in time.

Just like at your house at Thanksgiving, am I right?

Okay, now it’s time for my own dirty little secret:

I only cook one meal a year, and it’s on Thanksgiving.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: “No wonder she likes it so much!”

You betcha.

But let me make this clear: this doesn’t mean I’m starving my family to death, or taking them out to eat all the time. It just means my husband is a much better cook than I am.
(Emphasis on the much. And the better. And the cook.)

Besides, I find that my family appreciates me more because it’s such a special occasion (my cooking, not Thanksgiving, per se). Truth be told, they welcome it! In fact, when I’ve suggested I pick up their birthday meals, too, but they quickly say, “Mom, relax! You do too much already. You know, the manis, the pedis, the spa days…”

I love my kids. They know me so well.

The greatest thing about making just one meal a year is that you’ve got 364 days to plan it, to hone the perfect menu, and to put create the best dishes ever.

And since the Melissas have asked me to be your Thanksgiving go-to gal, I will now divulge my one fail-proof recipe tip. It goes across the board, what dish is involved:

Add liquor.

Let me give you some great examples:

For your turkey: Inject it with vodka. Talk about tender!

For your sweet potatoes: a half-cup of Triple Sec will add a citrus zing!

For your walnut or pecan pie: add four cubes of seventy percent (or more) dark chocolate, and a half cup of Bailey’s. Yummy!

For your pumpkin pie: add a half-cup of Amaretto liquor!

Now, enjoy! Oh and remember: don’t eat and drive.

Thanks to Josie for the fun holiday post and for sharing The Housewife Assassin's Handbook with our readers. Thanks to Coliloquy for sharing Totlandia with our readers, as well!

How to win Totlandia (book two) OR The Housewife Assassin's Handbook:

Tell us a secret trick you have for making Thanksgiving or winter holiday food more interesting and exciting. (One entry per person.) Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win.

Giveaway ends November 27th at midnight EST.


Kat said...

I would just add things to it, or make a variation of the same thing.

Na said...

The trick is involving the whole family in the food buying and making. It's fun for everyone to toss out ideas and name favorite. Even better to go shopping for the items and make them. It feels like a team :)


Marilyn Brant said...

Just wanted to say how much I adore Josie Brown's books! And LOL about the alcohol-infusion in the Thanksgiving dishes. I'm so gonna try amaretto in the pumpkin pie this year ;).

Happy Thanksgiving to Josie and to everyone at CLC!!

susieqlaw said...

I add cinnamon and nutmeg to my coffee and tea.

sendsusanmail AT gmail dotcom

Nova said...
Love to add pineapples to sweet potato casserole. And some rum to the cranberry-orange relish!
love the books and covers!

Unknown said...

I add Original Baileys to the gravy (a separate jug than the kids!!!) for my Christmas Turkey ~ delicious!!

Linda Kish said...

I just send my son into the kitchen to cook. He loves to cook and to experiment. It comes out great. For myself, I like to add a touch of cinnamon.

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

My special ingredient in my cutout cookies (or rather my great-grandma's secret ingredient) is sour cream. Makes them melt in your mouth delicious!

BRN2SHOP9 said...

Our trick is that we always go to another family member so we don't have to cook.

I follow via, GFC, Facebook and twitter.

Brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

Heidi B said...

I usually just try to add a few "warm" spices to my food (such as cinnamon).


bn100 said...

Don't have any tricks.

I follow the blog.


Literary Chanteuse said...

As long I add cranberries it looks so festive for any of the dishes. Thanks for the giveaway and Happy Thanksgiving!


The Book Chick said...

My secret is that I allow others to cook it, hahahahaha!


StereoQueenBee said...

Well so far I have planned to make maple syrup mille feuille, caramel eggnog cheesecake and orange & gingerbread cookies.

Jane said...

I added tequila to the cranberry sauce this year!

Melissa said...

Thanks for participating and telling us how you'd spice up your holiday meals. chose from all entries with contact info (one entry per person) and here are our winners:

Heidi B
Bridget O’Neill


Thanks again to Josie and Coliloquy for sharing the books!