WHAT: Signing her new book, "skinnydipping"
WHEN: 7 p.m. Wednesday
WHERE: Bookends, 211 E. Ridgewood Ave., Ridgewood; 201-445-0726; book-ends.com
HOW MUCH: Free with purchase of book ($25)
If the newest chapter of Bethenny Frankel's life had a title, it might be this: "Bethenny Ever Evolving."
The plucky, straight-talking reality star will not only launch her own daytime talk show next month, but she has a new book out — and, unlike her three previous bestsellers, "skinnydipping" is not in the how-to genre. It's a novel about a young woman who finds her real calling (and potential true love) after appearing on a reality show. Sound familiar?
"I think it's a great palate cleanser after having done reality TV for eight seasons and written three books on how to get what you want and how to lose weight and how to cook," Frankel says, adding confidently, "It's a really great, fun, exciting summer read."
The fictional competition show that heroine Faith Brightstone appears on, "Domestic Goddess" — helmed by the perfectionist Sybil Hunter — bears a strong resemblance to "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart." In 2005, Frankel was first runner-up on that show, which led to a three-season stint as a star of Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New York City" and two Bravo spinoff series — "Bethenny Getting Married?" and "Bethenny Ever After…," now in its third season. She also created Skinnygirl cocktails, the cornerstone of her empire.
"The book is inspired by a lot of things that have happened in my life," Frankel says on the phone.
"Nothing's exactly literal, but you can kind of use it like a puzzle and extract what you think."
While both she and Faith share a "quick-tongue and a quick wit," Frankel, 41, says that Faith is "a little more independent and certain" than she was in her 20s. "Her name is perfect, 'cause she really just has faith."
It was her publisher who suggested she try writing fiction, and Frankel says she took to it immediately. "My husband would say to me, 'You are loving this,' " she says, adding that co-author Eve Adamson was "story structurer."
The fictional Faith, an aspiring actress just out of college, moves to Los Angeles and works at a variety of production and personal assistant jobs. (Frankel was once a chef and chauffeur for Paris and Nicky Hilton, and a production assistant on "Saved by the Bell.")
Ultimately realizing she'd rather be herself than play somebody else, Faith moves back to New York City, starts a muffin business, lands on the reality show — and wins raves for her pink lemonade mojito.
And the handsome guy she'd made a fleeting connection with in a bar before starting "Domestic Goddess" winds up being connected to that show.
In real life, Frankel's on-screen bickering with husband Jason Hoppy have led to rumors that their marriage is in trouble. Are they doing OK?
"Yeah, I mean, we have our moments, but we're in a marriage. We're committed. We're together," Frankel says.
On May 20, they and 2-year-old daughter Bryn will temporarily relocate to L.A., where "Bethenny" will shoot. The talk show, launching June 11, will get a six-week trial run on New York's WNYW and five other Fox-owned stations.
"It's going to be a no-holds-barred, honest, fun talk show," says Frankel, adding that while it will show a little "behind-the-scenes reality" of her life, "It's gonna be such a relief, so great not to be focusing on my life and my marriage."