Divas, Fifty, and E.L. James

May 9, 2012

Well, May 7, 2012 was quite a day, my friends. Quite a day. My girl, Jessica, and I made the drive from Westchester, NY to Farmingdale, LI to the Divamoms Book Club Luncheon with E.L. James, at Carlyle on the Green. The event was organized by Lyss Stern, founder of Divalysscious Moms (www.divamoms.com).

As Jess and I were walking toward the waiting line, an older gentleman (around 70 years of age), who just got off the golf course, said to us, “I’ve never seen so many women in one place. If I had known what was going on, I would have bought a ticket.”

We chuckled. And, as we walked past him, I offered, “You should have. We want you guys to learn a thing or two.”

He bantered back, “You know, you’re never too old to learn.” I turned around and gave him a friendly wave. Jess shook her head and muttered, “You’re crazy.” That seems to be the general consensus lately.

Some of you may be shocked by this, but we were actually 30 minutes early. It was a good thing too, because there were 400 women at this event.

Here we are waiting:

Great hair weather day.

So, you know how it is…you’re waiting on a long line for a while, people are standing a little too close, they listen to your conversation, and all of a sudden you’re “sharing” with some stranger. Well, that’s how it was for Jess and I that morning. A group of nosy ladies behind us got wind that we came from Westchester, and the comments started flying. We didn’t know who to answer first:

“No, it didn’t take that long to get here. Something like 54 minutes.”

“Yes, we know there’s another luncheon on 5/11 in Westchester, but I can’t go to that one.”

“Yes, we know it’s still far.”

“Well, I also wanted to meet Logan Levkoff, Ph.D., and hear her speak.”

But, one thing the line did provide was entertainment. Jess leaned into me and whispered, “It’s like The Rocky Horror Picture Show out here.” A lady in front of us held on tightly to her box of English Breakfast Tea. Ana’s preferred brand. Toward the front of the line, a bunch of ladies donned silver “Fifty Shades Darker” eye masks along with silver neck-ties. And, we noticed a group of women clutching white t-shirts with “Laters Baby” emblazoned on the front.

Damn! I should have brought a lighter to hold up during E.L.’s podium time. Totally kidding.

All in all, the line was a good time. Take a look:

Only about half of the visible line to get into the Divamoms Book Club Luncheon with EL James! Craziness.


We finally made it through the doors, and look at who hovered over the doorway:

That's right...Charlie Tango!


We moved further inside, and were treated to fun and flirty “Fifty” sayings covering the two opposing mirrored walls in the entryway.

Such a great touch (get it?)....you know I love my puns.


I’m always inspired by amazing women, and Lyss Stern happens to be one of them.  Not only is she an author and the founder of Divalysscious Moms, but she happens to have mad party-throwing skills. Lyss is also so fun, vivacious and warm that you can’t help but have a good time. She was great at getting the crowd going, both while waiting outside, and sitting inside. I absolutely love her!

Here I am with Lyss Stern, one fabulous "Goddess," who rocked some killer high heels, and my new friend.


There were two speakers before E.L. James came out. First up, Kristen James, Fitness and Wellness expert, and creator of The 50 Shapes Workout. The workout is designed to enhance sex lives and targets those key areas responsible. Kristen was inspired by Anastasia’s “workouts” in the “Fifty” books.

Next up, Logan Levkoff, Ph.D., renowned sexologist, and one kick-ass woman. She is smart, articulate and on-it. And, she did a wonderful job of connecting the widespread phenomenon that is Fifty Shades of Grey with the fast-moving undercurrent of female empowerment, sexual identity, and plain old sexual enjoyment (whether real or fantasy.) In Logan’s words, “We are all sex Goddesses.” And, doesn’t that just about sum it all up?!

And, then it was time for E.L. James, herself, to step up to the podium. She was humble, kind and a little “cheeky” (pun totally intended). We had a short Q&A session with the author, and here’s a little taste (the answers sound a lot better with E.L.’s charming British accent, so try to imagine it when reading below):

Q: Mountain Hideaway or Beach House?

A: Beach House. Every time. Preferably, with a cabana boy, and a cabinet full of booze.

Q: Handcuffs or Silk Tie?

A: Silk Tie. Handcuffs are really, really painful. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Q: What are your favorite types of books to read?

A: Well, I like love stories, which is why I decided to write one. But, I like mysteries and suspense. But, really love stories.

Here’s Lyss bringing the microphone to E.L. James so she can give her above answers:

I know. Not my best photo. But, I wasn't in a good spot. It's the best I could do.


Now, of course, we were all there for E.L. James, but let me tell you, there was a lot going on at this thing. Jess and I walked down the hall before we got on line for the book signing, and were amazed by all the product available for purchase. Darling Designs New York, created the “Laters Baby” collection, and featured this adorable diamond neck-tie necklace. I was told by their rep that they also gifted one to E.L. James.

What do you think?

A diamond tie necklace for the submissive in your life. Only, this Mother's Day. All major credit cards accepted.


The next table over, was filled with the ultimate of intimate accessories, the vibrator.  Lots of vibrators. Rechargeable, and touch screen vibrators, all named after beloved flowers. There’s the Rose, Lilac, Lotus, Daisy…well, you get the idea. Joy of Moi (cute name) is a family run business that started three years ago, and they launched online (www.joyofmoi.com) about a year ago.

Here’s a member of the J-O-M family, showcasing the Lotus, which costs $100 (there was a 10% discount offered at the event). Don’t get sticker-shock. For that price, you also get your own travel size companion. Cool.

Hey, if you owned one of these, you'd be smiling like this too.


They also had the ever popular photo take-away. And, who who was I to say no to that? So, here we are posing:

I put my drink down. Jessie just had to hang onto hers.


Then, the real fun began. We got on line (yes, another one), to await E.L.’s signature. However, before I got on the book-signing line, I had to get on the book-buying line. Yes. I had to BUY the books. I originally downloaded Fifty on my IPad, so I had to purchase the trilogy in paperback. And, I wasn’t the only one making “double” purchases. There was a lovely girl standing behind me, Gabby, who forgot her books at home and decided to buy another set so E.L. could sign them. Mania, I tell you. Pure mania.

Once, back on the book-signing line, I made a new friend. Fellow blogger Cynthia Litman, www.mommaspearls.com. We talked. We bonded. She gave me her card. Jess yelled at me for not having my own cards made, so I could reciprocate. And, then we took more pictures.

Me and my new friend, Cynthia, a blogger, radio personality, entertainment lawyer, and Mom. Jeesh. I better start doing something. Visit her at www.mommaspearls.com.


And, then I was up. The moment I’ve been waiting for. Jess and I had been discussing whether or not I should show E.L. my casting picks (you guys know how crazy I’ve been about the movie casting), and Jess decided I shouldn’t leave with any regrets. So what do you think I did? Do you think I behaved in a calm, cool and reserved manner? Do you think I just gave some gratuitous compliments got my books signed and went happily on my way?

Not a chance in hell.

I’ll just let the picture speak for itself:

I couldn't help myself. I had to do it. I told her Chris Evans needed to play Christian. Mission accomplished. I'm not messing around people.

Everyone can relax now. It’s over. She was actually really great. We chatted a little. I told her how I’ve been spreading the Fifty gospel since November. She had great eye-contact. I don’t want you to think I just shoved my IPad in her face with a big pic of Chris Evans. I casually approached the subject, with, “So, how much control do you have over the movie casting?”

E.L. answered, “Well, it’s going to be collaborative.”

“Really? Well, I actually did a whole blog post about the movie’s casting, which I sent to you, but I have to show you who needs to be Christian,” I offered with controlled excitement. (Okay, it was barely controlled excitement, but whatever.)

I showed her my man. And, she gave a little, “Oh my.” Uh huh. That’s right. Then she said she can’t comment any further. Damn. At least, I got Chris in front of her.

What a high. I had a blast with my girl Jess, made some new friends, got to show E.L. my pick for Christian Grey, now I own personally signed copies of the Fifty trilogy, and, most importantly, have memories to last a lifetime. How will I ever top this?

Oh, who are we kidding…there’s always something waiting in the wings!


What do you think of my day and have you ever gone to a book signing?



{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kim May 9, 2012 at 1:44 am

Sounds amazing. Sorry I missed this adventure with you. Glad you went and did what you wanted to do. Hope Chris wins the role!!! I’m sure you walked away with many souvenirs but I so don’t need to discuss further. All I can say is you are truly a dedicated fifty shades lover who got most of Scarsdale, ny involved in this trilogy. What’s next???

2 Sharon May 9, 2012 at 1:57 am

Love you and can’t wait for Thurs. You know I’ll come up with something!!! 😉
It was a lot of fun!!

3 Jessica May 9, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Love you, and loved our day. You captured it perfectly!!

4 jgerstenblatt May 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Sounds like a blast! Going on Friday with some friends. Thanks for the preview. 😉

5 Sharon May 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Have fun!

6 Hilary May 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm


I hope you stayed away from the sex toys. If I remember correctly, you have an abundant supply left over from your 35th birthday! LOL! So glad you enjoyed your day. Sounds awesome!!!

7 Sharon May 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Haha! Oh Hilary don’t you know you can never have enough! And, 35 was 5 years ago…now they have all sorts of advanced technology. 😉
Love you girlie!!!

8 Randy Rastello-McManus May 21, 2012 at 3:22 am

We LOVE this blog! Thank you for the kind words and we have you linked from our website! xo! all the best 🙂

9 Sharon May 25, 2012 at 1:51 am

Thanks Randy!!!!!! I really appreciate YOUR kind words!!!

I’ve taken a little break, but i’ll be back to posting this weekend…so, keep checking!


10 Cakes Jagla August 8, 2012 at 6:28 am

What an event that was! I was a good time. I simply can not wait for the movie. Girl, you are HYSTERICAL! I love this blog. 🙂

11 Darling Designs of New York September 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Thank you for the mention and the photo. It was a fun time at the Fifty Shades of Grey event and I hope to see you again, soon.

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