Thursday, August 19, 2010

Guest Author: Josie Brown + Contest

Josie Brown, author of Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, has been kind enough to stop by Reading with Tequila to tell us about Emotional Affairs.

The Emotional Affair: Is It Cheating?

Despite being in a serious monogamous relationship, you have a close friend of the opposite sex with whom you share mutual respect and can talk to, with more honesty than anyone else in your life.

Then there is that all too obvious attraction you both feel. The chemistry can’t be denied.

But you haven’t acted on it. At least, not yet . . .

Admit it: you’re conducting an emotional affair.

In a nutshell, that’s the plot of my latest novel, Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives.

The creative process for every book is different. For me, that’s part of the fun of writing. In Secret Lives, I enjoyed developing the relationship between my heroine, Lyssa Harper, and her neighbor, Harry Wilder, because I wanted to see just how far I could take their emotional affair—

Before it became physical . . .

Or one of them walked away.

Sorry no spoiler alerts needed. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens.

Before they meet, Harry’s pending divorce is fodder for Lyssa’s friends—and, admittedly, for Lyssa, too. That is, until a chance encounter with Harry on a playground allows her to see this usually cold and private man in a vulnerable moment: he actually breaks down and tells her, a complete stranger, about his resolve to hang onto his home life with his children, as opposed to relinquishing custody of them to DeeDee, the wife who walked out on him. (You can read that chapter here…)

Lyssa takes him under her wing, and in the process they develop a friendship. Their kids, too, are friends, so hanging out becomes part of Lyssa and Harry’s daily routine.

As they grow closer and Harry works through his hurt over his wife’s desertion, Lyssa can’t help but compare him to her own husband, Ted, who has the same workaholic tendencies affected Harry’s marriage.

But one way in which Ted and Harry don’t compare: Harry regrets that he lost his wife because he didn’t fulfill her emotional needs, whereas Ted has already admitted to Lyssa that he can never give her the one thing she needs from him: emotional closeness.

But unlike DeeDee, Lyssa is unwilling to leave her marriage over her differences with Ted. Her own parents’ divorce—and her father’s desertion—devastated her. That’s why she’d never do the same to her children, no matter how unfulfilled she is in her marriage.

As Lyssa’s friendship with Harry deepens, so does the attraction between them. Its basis is mutual respect and appreciation: two important facets of any relationship. In romance, however, you also need attraction and passion…

They share this, too—even if, for longest time, she is unable to admit this to herself.

Their closeness becomes a bone of contention with her so-called friends and her husband. But she steadfastly refuses to desert Harry, Despite the rumors being spread about them or her husband’s jealousy, she feels she has a right to enjoy his company because neither of them has succumbed to their mutual attraction.

What do you think? Is she right to test the limits of their friendship this way?

Have you ever had an emotional affair? How long did it last, and how did it end (or has it)?

Comment below on your thoughts about emotional affairs, and you’ll have a chance to win a free copy of Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives.

After doing so, Part 2 of your entry is to go to my website [] and read this excerpt, then answer this question: What is the name of Harry’s daughter?

Remember to do both! Then email the correct answer, along with your snail mail in case you win, to Put “Emotional Affair Contest” in the subject line.

All correct answers will be entered in the drawing between now and 12 midnight PT, September 1, 2010.

Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives is Josie’s third novel. You can follower her on Facebook as well as Twitter.

About the Author

Josie's latest novel, SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES (Simon & Schuster), is a Target Emerging Authors pick for Summer 2010.

Her other novels are True Hollywood Lies (HarperCollins) and Impossibly Tongue-Tied (HarperCollins).

As a journalist, Josie's celebrity interviews and relationships trends articles have been featured in Los Angeles Times Syndicate International, Redbook and Complete Woman magazines, as well as AOL, Yahoo,,, and 

About the Book

Suburbia is a jungle, filled with lots of vicious creatures.

Take the Paradise Heights Women’s League board. Lyssa Harper should have warned golden-haired DILF du jour Harry Wilder what he was getting into when she invited him to meet the mommies who run their suburban, gated community. At least he brought cupcakes. Since meeting the former Master-of-the-Universe turned stay-at-home single dad, Lyssa has been his domestic Sherpa, teaching him the ins and outs of suburban life. She just didn’t realize her friends would show up at his house unannounced with casseroles, leopard-print bikini briefs, and plans to rearrange his kitchen cabinets.

The truth is, if Harry and his wife, the neighborhood’s "perfect couple," can call it quits, what does that mean for everyone else? Lyssa’s husband, Ted, is a great father, but he pays her Pilates-pumped momtourage more attention than he does his own wife. Her friends gossip about the neighbors while ignoring their own problems: infertility, infidelity, and eating disorders.

When Harry sets boundaries with his new fan club, he is exiled from the neighborhood’s in-clique. But Lyssa refuses to snub him. What she never expects is the explosive impact her ongoing friendship with Harry will have on her close-knit pals—and on her marriage.

Reading with Tequila's review of Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives


  1. I have never had an emotional affair, but if I was unhappy in my marriage, but had decided to stay in it anyway, I can see where this could easily happen. The thing is, if you've decided to stay in your marriage, what good does it do to get closer to another man - you are just torturing yourself with what you can't have.

    jen at delux dot com

  2. I think it is still cheating. I know it's hard to control one's emotions, but we aren't animals, and if a commitment is already made, that's where you should be committing your time and emotion.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com