Veronica DeMessina is a Los Angeles based DIVA who owns nearly a whole block of businesses in Sherman Oaks, CA. It all started with her day spa Treats for the Face. ( I met her when a friend raved so much about her bikini waxes that I had try it!) Her waxes are so amazing that the hair actually grows back thinner. No wonder Britney Spears, Ashley Tisdale and other celebs are always in there!
Then Veronica opened a boutique next door and then a Mexican restaurant next to that. They are all connected and you can literally sit around eating, drinking and getting primped all day.... genius idea. I love Veronica's back story. She literally started with nothing. She was a young single mother who washed cars for a $1 a piece when she first moved to the US from Mexico a decade ago...now she's a very successful business woman. I am impressed with Veronica and so is Bravo's Tabatha Coffey...which is why Tabatha recently paid her a visit for her show "Tabatha Takes Over"
Below is the one that will make you cry. Her life-story is incredible.
Jo Piazza is having a stellar month. Not only is she the new Executive Editor of In Touch and Life & Style Magazines but her debut novel, Love Rehab just hit stores. She tells DWD Founder Zoe Alexander the scoop on her new book.
Zoe : What made you write Love Rehab? Was this based on a relationship you had?
Jo: I had no idea that I even had a novel in me. I began batting this idea around five years ago and one day when I was on vacation I decided to just sit down and see what happened if I started writing something that didn’t come from reporting. As a journalist I can’t tell you how terrifying that was. But all the cliches that people say about writing fiction are true. It takes on a life of its own.
I don’t think anyone was more surprised than my publisher. I went in to take a meeting about the next non-fiction book I was working on and kind of sheepishly told them I wrote a novel. I don’t think they expected it to be good enough to publish, but they loved it.
I was horrible at breakups in my twenties, as were all of my girlfriends. I remember one of them calling me five times a day to ask me whether I thought her ex was still thinking about her. When I stopped taking her calls I got the idea for this book. We all handle breakups with our own strain of crazy.
At the same time I had a good friend who was going to Alcoholics Anonymous and like Sophie in the book I got the idea that women would be better off if they had a support group outside their friends and family to help them deal with their love lives.
Zoe: There is actually '12 Step' for people who are co-dependent. Was that something you checked out when you were writing the book or something you had heard about?
Jo: I did a ton of research into Alcoholics Anonymous, various codependency treatments and different kinds of love and sex addiction. I also interviewed Dr. Helen Fisher who studies the chemistry of the brain when it goes through love and infatuation. I was kindof a science nerd for awhile during the research phase.
Zoe: You mentioned that you were originally going to write another non-fiction book to follow Celebrity Inc., what made you switch gears?
I am in the middle of working on a book about Catholic nuns. It is nonfiction about the amazing things that nuns have accomplished in the past 100 years that may seem counterintuitive to the stereotypes of nuns portrayed in the media. I worked on Love Rehab when I was having writer's block working on that.
Zoe: You are offering a lot of dating advice now that you have this book... is that a space you see yourself moving into? Does Dr. Joyce Brothers or whomever the reigning love advice person is need to watch their back?
Jo: I wrote the book to make women laugh and to give them a starting point to talk about what they have personally gone through with their bad relationships. I don't think I am qualified to give advice like the great Dr. Joyce Brothers.
Zoe What's your Love Rehab checklist. If you want to get over a relationship quickly what are the steps?
Jo: There are rules that the ladies of Love Rehab follow that I think are super helpful.
Rule 1: Staging a dramatic outburst never leads to a grand gesture.
Rule 2: Reality dating shows are not reality. Don’t drink that Kool-Aid.
Rule 3: Stop the drunk booty call. It is never, ever attractive.
Rule 4: Never mix social media and relationships, until he puts a ring on it…then maybe.
Rule 5: Thou shalt not believe the myths of the romantic comedy. Thou may only indulge for the snappy dialogue.
Rule 6: Stop picturing your wedding day on a first date, or in Trader Joe’s, or after a drunk guy at a bar sends you a text message.
Rule 7: Sometimes things just end, and that has to be OK. You don’t always [sometimes it is justified] have to be a “see you next Tuesday” about.
Zoe: What's next for you and Love Rehab? What can fans expect from this book idea. It seems ripe for additional products.
Jo: We built an amazing website, www.getloverehab.com that lets women share their stories and gives them the tools to start their own Love Rehab. We are also talking to different producers about developing the book into a television series or a movie.
Last month DIVAS WHO DINE began a series of intimate members-only events in Beverly Hills and New York City showcasing a select group of favorite products, services and haunts of the DIVAS. It’s something I’ve been toying around with in my mind for a while. The smaller groups are an attempt to help coax some of our shy members off of their work hamster-wheels to meet other members and connect everyone with some of our favorite brands, up close and personally. Truthfully, it was also to force myself to try some of the new things that I always think I want try with DWD but never get around to because I don't want to mess with the mojo we already have.
So when Skinnygirl Cocktail saw the synergy and offered to join in on the series and treat the DIVAS to cocktails to celebrate the release of their new flavors Skinnygirl Moscato, Skinnygirl Sweet n' Tart Grapefruit Margarita, Skinnygirl White Cherry Vodka and Skinnygirl Mojito. (Tastes great, less calories, everything is already mixed. Just add ice. Love it!) DIVAS and Skinnygirl Cocktails are like peanut butter and jelly. I was like: “Oh this could be big. I know the ladies will love this. ”
In Los Angeles, I invited a
very small group of DIVAS to Epione in Beverly Hills to meet renowned cosmetic surgeon-to-the-stars Dr. Simon Ourian. Simon does beautiful work that is so subtle that no one can tell you have had anything done. You just look like you just returned from the best vacation ever. His secret? He's a talented sculptor. Check him out in action:
In Los Angeles, the DIVAS who attended were: (right to left) Shira Lazar (Host of "What's Trending"), Megan O'Brien (beauty blogger for www.megsmakeup.com), Johanna Piazza (Executive Editor of In Touch and Life and Style Magazines) Debbie Emery (writer for Radar Online), Laura Lilly (fashion blogger for www.lauralilly.net) Carly Steel (on-air reporter for TV Guide Network, CNN).
In NYC, the DIVAS celebrated the release of Vanity Fair writer/Author Nancy Jo Sales' new book, The Bling Ring with a DIVA Luncheon at Bread and Tulips. Nancy Jo regaled us with behind-the-scenes stories of what it took to write the article that led to the book deal which led to the movie that Sofia Coppola is directing based on the book.
Next month, Johanna Piazza, author and Executive Editor of In Touch and Life & Style Magazines joins the DIVAS in NYC to talk about her new book, Love Rehab. Plus you can talk to her about how you can get your clients in her magazines. Contact us if you would like to receive an invitation.
Skinnygirl White Cherry Vodka is a hit with the DIVAS. The recipe below is now one of our Friday night after-work faves. Want more recipes? Go here for more DIVA-approved Skinnygirl recipes. Seriously, if you aren't drinking Skinnygirls yet... you should be! They are one-stop shopping for all of your adult beverage needs and everything tastes Ah-mazing!
Skinnygirl White Cherry Cola
1.5 oz Skinnygirl White Cherry Vodka
3 oz Diet cola
Mix vodka and diet cola over ice. Add cherries as a garnish.
What is love?
on who you ask and when you ask them it's either the best thing ever or mental illness at its
worst. If you or someone you know has had the heebie-jeebies over love gone wrong, you will love the new book Love Rehab
by Jo Piazza. Jo lays it all bare. We are talking cyber-stalking, drive-bys,
drunken text messaging and all the things that are unbecoming of a DIVA but happens anyway.
Jo and I have known
each other for about ten years and this book is a departure from the
normal fair that she writes. We worked together as gossip columnists at
the NY Daily News . We even took a wild press trip together to Istanbul... which unbeknownst to
me at the time would be my last international tour of mayhem and
debauchery before I settled down, got married and had a baby. She
actually gave me my first-ever Ambien so I could sleep on the plane. Yeah, Jo's like a girl scout...always prepared!
I've watched Jo transform from a young woman fresh out of Columbia
J-School into an author and now the Executive Editor of In Touch/ Life & Style Magazines.
Jo has always seemed so calm and composed under the worst deadline
pressures and pretty much remained even-keeled during the entire year we
spent endlessly covering "Bennifer" and their eventual demise. So when
she told me about the book, I wondered how in the
heck she would know about the folly that besets a young woman who is
crazy in love like the main character in her book
Love Rehab. The great
thing is Jo writes with such hilarity that the protagonist becomes a
hero instead a zero to the reader even when she's acting like a total
lunatic. The book is basically about a girl (Sophie) who is so
spun-out over getting dumped by her boyfriend that she decides she needs
a 12 Step Program for love so she can return to a somewhat normal
existence or at least muster the inner strength needed to change out of the holey Juicy Couture sweatpants she's relegated herself to since her
boyfriend left her.
was recently in Los Angeles for work and came along on the DIVA Beverly
Hills bar crawl from Epione Center to
Villa Blanca and after a couple of Skinnygirl Moscatos she told me the
inside scoop about how the book came together and how she's had a few
sessions in Love Rehab herself. Here's the full interview
If you would like to meet Jo, discuss Love Rehab, talk about your misadventures in love or simply dine with the DIVAS and ask Jo how to get your clients into In Touch and Life & Style Magazines, you can email email@example.com to RSVP for our next luncheon.
RATING: The DIVAS APPROVE and highly recommend you add Love Rehab to your summer reading schedule.