(Irvine, CA)—Are the “Real Housewives” a true portrayal of these women or just a Hollywood contrivance?

A magnet for women, “The Real Housewives” series captivates viewers with its enticing temptation to identify with the ladies allegedly enjoying successful marriages and a fairy-tale, champagne-and-caviar existence. But what’s the skinny behind the slick facade? Is their reality really real?

Judy Joseph Hamlin, in her new tell-all book, "From Riches to Happiness," answers the question by pulling back the curtain on her own personal experience as an affluent Orange County housewife—warts and all.

Recounting her own wedded nightmare barricaded in an unhappy marriage, Ms. Hamlin debunks the myths of “The Housewives” and reveals the reality behind the mansions, lingering lunches, well coiffed hairdos, designer clothing, glittering jewels, face jobs, capped teeth, exclusive parties, expensive cars and luxury vacations.

“‘The Real Housewives’ is a confected recipe in which a gallon of Hollywood is blended with a pinch of reality,” says Ms. Hamlin. “With a diet like this, your brain could die from malnutrition.”

Agreeing with researchers who characterize “The Real Housewives” phenomenon as a study in “hyper-authenticity,” Ms. Hamlin’s book provides the refreshing perspective of a real Orange County housewife struggling to climb out from a miserable marriage. Her gutsy decision to divorce offers an opportunity to rebuild a new life, personally and professionally, as a single mom.

“I think it will be helpful for many women in the real world to get the lowdown on the real ‘Real Housewives’,” says Ms. Hamlin. “Women should be ever mindful of the toxic side effects from being interned in a tear-stained, stressful and physically harmful bad marriage—no matter how wealthy the partners might be.”

According to media reports, here is the reality behind some of “The Real Housewives”:

* Sonja Morgan, “Real Housewife of New York,” arrested for DUI; financial problems
* Camille Grammar, “Real Housewife of Beverly Hills,” divorced; fighting for kids
* Teresa Giudice, “Real Housewife of New Jersey,” filed for bankruptcy
* Tamra Barney, “Real Housewife of Orange County,” divorced
* Peggy Tanous, “Real Housewife of Orange County,” faces foreclosure
* Danielle Staub, “Real Housewife of New Jersey,” problems with IRS
* Luann de Lesseps, “Real Housewife of New York,” divorced
* Taylor Armstrong, “Real Housewife of New York,” separated
* Vicki Gunvalson, “Real Housewife of Orange County,” filed for divorce

“Like many women, I, too, was seduced by The Real Housewives of Orange County when it aired on Bravo TV,” says Ms. Hamlin. “But based on my own painful experience, I now know money truly can’t buy happiness. I never really knew how miserable I was until I ended my ‘Housewives’-style marriage and started living my own wonderful life.”

Author's Bio: 

About the author:
Judy Joseph Hamlin, a former Orange County housewife, earned a master’s degree in special education. She is a teacher in Newport Beach, California. This is her first book.

For more information, please contact Judy Joseph Hamlin at judy@judyjosephhamlin.com or visit www.judyjosephhamlin.com.

"From Riches to Happiness" is available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

("From Riches to Happiness" by Judy Joseph Hamlin; ISBN: 0615310362; 5½” x 8½”; 84 pages; paperback: $7.95; e-book: $2.99; Sunriver Pub)