WHO: Brooke Burke.
WHAT: Signing her book, "The Naked Mom."
WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 1.
WHERE: Bookends, 211 E. Ridgewood Ave., Ridgewood; 201-445-0726 or book-ends.com.
HOW MUCH: Free with purchase of book ($25.95).
Brooke Burke — "Dancing With the Stars" co-host (and past celebrity winner), mother of four, co-CEO of the popular modernmom.com website and author of a new book called "The Naked Mom" — has an expression to describe how she navigates her jampacked life:
Dancing through the chaos.
"I really wanted to name the book 'Dancing Through Chaos,' because for me, it was about finding a way to maneuver through a crazy life, find your own rhythm and do it with grace," says Burke, on the telephone to promote her book signing in Ridgewood this week. "There is so much action going on at my home. Raising a blended family is beyond challenging every day. … But you know, I dance through it. So, I wanted to name the book that, but we went with 'The Naked Mom' instead, because it's sort of parts of me that no one has seen before."
The cover of the book — subtitled "A Modern Mom's Fearless Revelations, Savvy Advice and Soulful Reflections" — shows the former swimsuit model sitting on the floor, nude, though posed in a way to reveal nothing.
Inside the book, though, Burke bares quite a bit of soul. She is candid about her eldest's anger over her divorce from celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Garth Fisher ("Extreme Makeover"), the father of her two older daughters, as well as the friction between that daughter and Burke's "soul mate," actor David Charvet ("Baywatch"), the father of her two younger children.
Burke even shares her "Worst Mommy Moment" (which involved her absent-mindedly leaving a sleeping baby in a parked car while she grabbed coffee with friends).
"I think most celebrities are very guarded, and for me, I made the commitment, if I was going to share my stories to do it 100 percent honestly," says Burke, who is likewise open about her life on her mod ernmom.com blog.
"I never really wanted to write a guide or a how-to. I wanted to just share my experiences and hope that it will inspire other women to give themselves a break, to not lose themselves in the process [of being a wife and mother], to know that nothing is perfect, that it's hard for everybody, even if your life looks perfect from the outside looking in." Burke, who lives with her family in the Los Angeles area, is also frank about the early personality clashes between her and Derek Hough, her professional dance partner on Season 7 of "DWTS" — as well as how doing the show changed her life.
"I had no idea, like most celebrities who sign on, what I was getting myself into," Burke says. "I learned so much about myself. I learned how to think like an athlete, I learned my most valuable lesson in what it takes to be dedicated and to put in endless hours and challenge yourself and scare yourself and do something that you never thought you could do. … And then, the fact that I won was just a huge bonus, a huge accomplishment."
In one especially fun section, 39-year-old Burke describes how her "glam squad" gets her camera-ready for "DWTS" — "a process that requires an entire day and the skills of hair and makeup artists," Burke says, and includes being spray tanned, having eyelashes glued on one by one, and up to five hairpieces "strategically" clipped to her head.
"Everybody thinks it's just this perfect glamorous life and we look the way that people see us on the magazine covers and in the press, and the truth of the matter is that I run around in my sweats, in a ponytail, with no makeup on, in my sneakers," says Burke. "I'm raising four kids, I'm driving carpool, I'm picking up friends, I'm cooking dinner, I'm shopping for groceries. It's a really normal down-to-earth life, which [is] how I want to raise my family.
"So, I needed to let people know what it really takes to get ready for those on-camera glamorous moments. … I drive to work in my sweats and a ponytail and I come home looking like a princess."