Valerie Frankel's
Palace of Love

Magazines Articles

"Do Worry to Be Happy," Self, April 2013

"How to Be Bad," Good Housekeeping, April 2013

"The Yearning Curve," Martha Stewart Whole Living, February 2013

"Why I Hate Talking to Strangers," Self, December 2012

"Letting Loose," Coastal Living, March 2012

"Secrets of the World's Healthiest Women, " Health, January 2012

"When Good Kids Have Bad Friends," Good Housekeeping, January 2012

"Help Your Kids Find Their Passion," Good Housekeeping, November 2011

"What Your Teen Isn't Telling You," Good Housekeeping, July 2011

"The Thin Crowd," Allure, June 2011

"That Settles It," Self, November 2010

"Betrayed by My DNA," Self, October 2010

"Can't Wait," Self, March 2010

"Sex and the Recession," Self, January 2010

"Sex and the Internet Survey," Self, November 2009

"You Gotta Have Friends," Self, October, 2009

"I Hate You, Mom!" Good Housekeeping, October 2009

"Can't Complain," Good Housekeeping, September 2009

"Split Personality Sex," Self, April 2009

"Think Like a Thin Person," Good Housekeeping, March 2009

"Sex Cure," Self, Self, November 2008

"The Perfect Fit," Prevention, October 2008

"Happiness for Two," Good Housekeeping, October 2008

"Are My Kids Too Busy?" Parenting, September 2008

"Thin Is the New Happy Book Excerpt," Self, September 2008

"Master Class: Fight Style," Self, May 2008

"Kids and Money," Parenting, March 2008

"My Happy Number," Self, February 2008

"The Sex Diet," Self, December 2007

"Shared Sex Fantasies," Self, November 2007

"The Secret Is Everywhere," Good Housekeeping, October 2007

"Shallow Val," Self, August 2007

"Be A Better Woman for Fun and Profit," Self, March 2007

"Q&A with The Feminine Mistake author Leslie Bennetts," Self, April 2007

"I Posed Nude," Self, February 2007 (INCLUDES THE ACTUAL NAKED PORTRAIT!!)

"Inside the Mind of the Chronic Dieter," Self, November 2006

"Decorate Your Life," Hallmark Magazine (premiere issue), September 2006

"Roundtable: Parenting In the News," Nick Jr. July 2006

"How Not To Be Cheap," Self, March 2006

"5 Parenting Myths," Parenting, February 2006

"The Day I Met Cindy Crawford," Self, February 2006

"How To Dump A Boy," CosmoGIRL!, April 2006

"Foreplay Survey," Glamour, January 2006

"The One Before," Marie Claire, July 2005

"Sexperts Asked and Answered," Glamour. April 2005

"The D-V-Ds of S-E-X," Self, April 2005.

"Sex and Body Image," Self. February 2005

"Readers Cry Out for More: The Sex Survey," More magazine, February 2005

"Sex Gets Better After Age 30," Self, November 2004

"How to Make Your Child More Grateful," Parenting, November 2004

"The Two-Apartment Marriage," O magazine, November 2004

FYI: I've listed only the articles I've written since I started blogging. If you're looking for articles published before September 2004, email me and I'll track them down for you. Also, I forget sometimes to post announcements. If you're looking for an article and don't see it listed, I apologize for the oversight. Please email and I'll send the piece and post the listing. THANKS!

Books (Under My Own Name)

Four of a Kind (2012)
Besides the fact that their kids all attend the same fashionable Brooklyn Heights private school, Bess, Robin, Carla, and Alicia have little in common. Thrown together on the tony school’s Diversity Committee, the women impulsively turn their awkward first meeting into a boisterous game of poker. Instead of betting with chips or pocket change, however, they play for intimate secrets about their lives.

As the Diversity Commitee meetings become a highly anticipated monthly ritual, the new friends reveal more with each game. Picture-perfect housewife Bess struggles to relate to her surly teenage daughter and judgmental mother. Robin, a single mom, grapples with the truth concerning her child’s real father. Carla, an ambitious doctor, attempts to balance the colossal demands of her family with her dream of owning her own private practice. And to distract herself from her troubled marriage, shy copywriter Alicia fantasizes about an attractive younger colleague.

Putting all their cards on the table, the four women grow to rely on one another, bracing for one final showdown.Four women who'd otherwise have nothing to do with each other, join for a bogus 'Diversity Committee" school meeting, and wind up playing poker. Instead of playing for money, they play for secrets. Before long, these four women know EVERYTHING about each other's lives, and strong—not always smooth—friendships are formed. "Instantly addicting," RT Book Reviews. "Engrossing!"—Publishers Weekly. "Friggin' awesome!"—Snooki (she does say that a lot Not about this book, but WHATEVER)

It's Hard Not to Hate You (2011)
From the author of THIN IS THE NEW HAPPY comes a hilarious new memoir about embracing your Inner Hater. In the midst of a health and career crisis, Valerie uncorks years of pent up rage, and discovers you don't have to be happy to be happy. You don’t have to love everyone else to like yourself. And that your Bitchy Twin might just be your funniest, most valuable and honest ally.

“The hate in you has got to come out.” After being advised to reduce stress by her doctor, humorist Valerie Frankel realized the biggest source of pressure in her life was maintaining an unflappable easing-going persona. After years of glossing over the negative, Frankel goes on a mission of emotional honesty, vowing to let herself feel and express all the toxic emotions she’d long suppressed or denied: jealousy, rage, greed, envy, impatience, regret. Frankel reveals her personal History of Hate, from mean girls in junior high, selfish boyfriends in her twenties and old professional rivals. Hate stomps through her current life, too, with snobby neighbors, rude cell phone talkers, scary doctors and helicopter moms. Regarding her husband, she asks, “How Do I Hate You? Let Me Count the Ways.” (FYI: There are three.) By the end of her authentic emotional experience, Frankel concludes that toxic emotions are actually good for you. The positive thinkers, aka, The Secret crowd, have it backwards. Trying to ward off negativity was what’d been causing Frankel’s career stagnation, as well as her health and personal problems. With the guidance of celebrity friends like Joan Rivers and psychic Mary T. Browne, Frankel now uses anger, jealousy and impatience as tools to be a better, balanced and deeper person. IT'S HARD NOT TO HATE YOU sends the message that there are no wrong emotions, only wrong ways of dealing with them.

Thin Is the New Happy (2008)
“Val Frankel is a woman of amazing insight. . . . Read this, weep, and heal.”

—Stacy London, cohost of What Not to Wear

You’ve heard the phrase “the mirror is not your friend.” For Valerie Frankel, the mirror was so much more than “not a friend.” It was the mean girl who stole her lunch money, bitch-slapped her in the ladies’ room, and cut the hair off her Barbie.

If you’re like 99.9 percent of women, the war you wage with yourself over your body image begins at the ripe age of eight, and the skirmishes are fought for the next eight decades. Sometimes you don’t even know when you’ve won. (How many of us have taken out a photo from high school and thought, “Hey! I looked great—why didn’t I know it?”) This book is for anyone who has spent most of her life on—or thinking about being on—a diet. It’s for anyone who ever wished for candlelight in dressing rooms. It’s for anyone who has ever owned a pair of “fat pants.” In short, this book is for anyone who ever felt good or bad about themselves based on how they look.

Valerie Frankel, like most women, has spent most of her conscious life on a diet, thinking about a diet, ignoring a diet, or failing on a diet. At age eleven, her mother put Val on her first weight-loss program. As a teen, she was enrolled in Weight Watchers (for which she invented creative ditching methods). As a young woman, her world felt right only when she was able to zip a certain pair of jeans. Not wanting to pass this legacy on to her own daughters, Valerie set out to cleanse herself of her obsession. Thin Is the New Happy is the true story of one woman’s quest to exorcise her bad body-image demons, to uncover the truths behind what put them there, and to learn how to truly love herself. It’s a poignant, hilarious, and all-out honest account of one woman’s struggle with body image—the filter through which she’s always seen the world—and the way she ultimately overcame it.

Fringe Benefits (2008)

You can take the girl out of Brooklyn—or can you?

Waitressing at an exclusive tennis and squash club isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Just ask Adora Benet. For as long as she can remember, summer has meant European vacations and sleepaway camp. But this summer is different. While her friends scatter the globe for adventures of their own, Dora finds herself stuck in Brooklyn, learning the true meaning of a dollar.

Fortunately for this working girl, there are fringe benefits that come with the territory: cool older friends who really know how to party, for one thing. And an unexpected gig at a veterinarian’s office with a totally hot doctor. Soon Dora’s boring summer turns into her first taste of real life. But with all these new responsibilities and thrilling relationships, freedom can get a little scary sometimes…

American Fringe (2008)
Spring has arrived, and everything's coming up roses. Not only is Adora Benet madly in love with Nate, she's landed her own teen advice column in he local paper. When her response to an anonymous letter-writer prompts a senator to run for president, Adora's column becomes the headlines. The media frenzy introduces Dora to the candidate's charming son, Toby, whose larger-than-life personality is distracting her from Nate, just when things are heating up.

Despite her newfound celebrity, Adora the advice queen can't help her friends, Eli and Liza, patch things up. Maybe the cute barista at the local coffee shop can do his part by serving Eli a spring fling that will make her forget all her troubles...

Fringe Girl in Love (2007)
Part Two of the Fringe Girl series for NAL. Dora battles some personal demons, as well as a real life gorgeous blonde substitute teacher who's got her eyes on Noel. Along the way, Dora makes out with Liza's college brother, runs away to Bermuda, plays a part in a couple of break ups and lends a hand at a couple fixups. Everyone in Dora's life falls in and/or out of love in this romantic, sexy, heart thumper.

I Take This Man (2007)
My sixth book for Avon, and possibly my last chick lit novel. The story starts on Penny's wedding day. Her groom, Bram, sends her note, saying he can't go through with it. Penny's mom, Esther, in her maternal rage, clobbers Bram with a champagne bottle and kidnaps him. She locks in him the attic at her mansion in Short Hares, New Jersey, where she hides him from Penny, Bram's sexy father, Keith. Romance, hyjinx, road trips and a few trips to the famous Short Hares Mall ensue.

Fringe Girl: The Revolution Starts Now (2006)
Well, this is the book I'd dreamed about writing since I was 16 myself. Adora Benet is on the fringe of the social world at her high school in posh Brooklyn Heights. She's not among the top tier Ruling Class. Nor is she among the bottom rung Teeming Masses. She's a Fringe Dweller, hanging on by a thread to her precarious status. After enduring one last humiliation at the hands of Ruling Classer Sondra Fortune (who loves to keep Fringe Dwellers in their place), Adora decided to stage a bloodless revolution to overthrow the power elite and re-write Brownstone social history. Power to the people! She topples the Ruling Class! Along the way, she enjoys the spoils of victory and makes out with a hot marathon runner and a sexy techno-prankster. But, as Dora soon finds out, it's one thing to lead a revolution, and another to sit in the lofty seat of power.

Hex and the Single Girl (2006)
Emma runs a matchmaking company called The Good Witch, refering to herself and her unusual skill. She is the world's only documented telegraphopathist, meaning, she can put pictures into people's heads by touching them. Her clients, well-to-do woman, give her sexy photos to implant into the men they desire. Emma stalks them around New York, putting dirty images into their heads. The men think that if they're thinking about a woman in her underwear all the time, they must be in love. It all goes wrong for Emma when she sets out, on behalf of a new client, to work on Liam Dearborn, artist/software millionaire/most eligible bachelor in town, who has mental powers of his own, and sends Emma's super senses into overdrive. Can she play with his mind while craving his body?

The Girlfriend Curse (2005)
Peg Silver is the hero (hate heroine, as if a character's heroism is mitigated by her gender). She's been dumped, mistreated, by seven men in her serial monogamy and realizes that they've all married the next woman they slept with. She's got the Curse of the Last Girlfriend hanging over her head, and she moves from NYC to the town of Manshire, Vermont, to shed it. Winds up joining adult emotional education program/retreat called Inward Bound (I make lots of double-entrendre dirty jokes about the name), to find out where she'd gone wrong in her romantic past. Meets hotties, fools around, shovels shit, hikes, bikes, does country things, fish-out-of-water hilarity.

The Not-So-Perfect Man (2004)
Interwoven lives. One review described the book as such. I liked that. It was a trick to get all the plot lines to depend and develop based on what was happening in each sister's life at the moment. Also, the book spans a year. A goodly time frame for romantic adventures to unfold.

The Accidental Virgin (2003)
My best-seller to date. Re: the movie, Heather Graham has renewed the option for the third year in a row. From what reports dribble in, she and her producers are trying to get some money together. If anyone has several million to spare and would like to spend it on a cool movie, please let me know ASAP.

Smart Vs. Pretty (2000)
A hybrid, or a bridge novel, you could call it. It'd written four mystery novels before trying Smart vs. Pretty. This was before the household use of the phrase "chick-lit," mind you. Anyway, I couldn't quite let go of having a murder in my story. Some readers were confused by that plot development, expecting a novel about the relationship between two sisters (one smart, one pretty). And there's plenty of that. And plenty of romance, too.

For Your Amusement

Four women who'd otherwise have nothing to do with each other, join for a bogus 'Diversity Committee" school meeting, and wind up playing poker. Instead of playing for money, they play for secrets. Before long, these four women know EVERYTHING about each other's lives, and strong—not always smooth—friendships are formed. "Instantly addicting," RT Book Reviews. "Engrossing!"—Publishers Weekly. "Friggin' awesome!"—Snooki (she does say that a lot Not about this book, but WHATEVER)
Book #4 in the Fringe Girl series
Book #3 in the Fringe Girl series
Adora Benet is back. In the second of the series, true love doesn't runs smooth for Dora and Noel. Hurdles: a seductive substitute teacher, jealousy, a hot college boy.
A bride, a groom, her mother, and his father. Sex, kidnapping, wedding cake and a cabana with a towel warmer. Who could ask for anything more?
Adora Benet is on the fringe until she leads a revolution that turns her school's social hierarchy upside down.
Emma Hutch has the sexth sense. She sees naked people. Not that she minds...
"Wickedly entertaining."—People "Draws laughs."—EW First chapter, reviews, reading group questions
Three sisters, as many romantic plights
Stacy has a week to get laid or she becomes a virgin again. CAN SHE DO IT?
Smart sister, pretty sister, a murder mystery, a few hot guys, lots of caffeinated humor, and recipes
NEW!! CLICK FOR READERS GROUP GUIDE (Subversive Version) and AUTHOR Q&A Chronicle of my efforts to "get the hate out." Warning: If you love snobby neighbors, NYT bestselling debut novelists, loud cell phone talkers, social butterflies, scary doctors, bratty kids on airplanes, this memoir will OFFEND YOU with its OBNOXIOUS DENUNCIATIONS AND CONSTANT CURSING. Don't say I didn't warn you. "Refreshing! Entertaining! Funny! Warm!"—PW "Hilarious! Helpful, hard-won insight!"—Kirkus
The story of my life as a diet addict, and how I eventually overcame my compulsion to count carbs. People magazine: "Funny! Satisfying!" Kirkus: "Witty! Candid!"
Blog Archive
Freshly Killed
Axed by Parenting, 6/05