Women readers over 40, live and read passionately.

It is a very quiet Saturday morning in my home. My home is never quiet, so I am slightly concerned, but not concerned enough to wake anyone and trigger the daily noise. Usually, I hear boisterous, sometimes irritating conversations being held by family or there is a constant, artificial noise from a television which I despise. On a normal Saturday, I hear the bell on the washing machine telling me the wash cycle has completed rinsing the delicate garments or I suddenly catch the ice maker in the freezer making cubes. Outside, the crickets are buzzing and the air is slowly moving through the trees. Somehow, these sounds always feel right.

At night, I ask Alexa to play an artist I find relaxing or one I find loud and fast as I am washing dinner dishes and listening to the extremely loud frogs that live in my backyard. In all this normalcy, I hear my home living, but I don’t listen to it. One exceptional sound I’ve come to listen intently to and find peace in is the ringing chimes of the beautiful grandfather clock in the large, empty formal living room. It takes me instantly to the story I am writing. The clock is ornate and large and the sound beautiful, commanding and church-like. In those moments of chiming, I realize my characters all take their place on stage and begin to live. Clara and Alex, Victoria and Max, Claude and Lena reside in a dramatic, rich world that’s somehow regal and yet, slightly dangerous. I know my home is never really quiet and I am not sure I’d want it that way.

In the midst of the beautiful quiet interrupted by clock chimes and characters, I sit with a cup of coffee and decide to write a blog about the purpose of this blog. Why? I owe it to my characters. They require a particular reader. Does this reader exist? I hope so, but question why they would read my insights? Maybe they will relate to my life and my characters? Yet, is ChristinaRealNJ explicit enough to grab the attention of the extravagant, particular reader I am searching for?

I started this blog with the intent to find an audience for my first novel. No, I am not done writing the novel and yes, it’s developing. Sometimes I know the beginning, middle and end. Sometimes I live in this imaginary world and have such a wonderful time, I forget to put it on paper. Yet, my search for an audience remains unfulfilled. I ponder, Where are women over forty who wonder if souls are predestined for one another? Where are the women dragging themselves through perimenopasue and menopause who still enjoy sex, love to flirt and manage to look wonderful? Where are girls drooling over a Gucci handbag and marble kitchen tiles all in one day? Where are the women who are educated through universities and/or life? Where are the career women and housewives or both? I’m looking for the goddesses with a very tight circle of friends who don’t trust easily. Where are the woman who have all the “stuff” women over forty are supposed to have, but really want to run away from home even for a few hours to read a great book with a great cup of coffee in peace? Where are the women who want to hop a plane for a different life in complete terror not knowing what to expect? Are you there? I need all of you. Don’t just hear me roar, listen.

For these reasons and these remarkable women and a few, extraordinary men, I write. I blog to discover who you are because I have an amazing story to tell you.

Definitely Not Your Typical Jersey Girl … 

It’s officially summer in New Jersey and Jersey Girls North and South are dazzling with their copper tans touched with shimmer, fresh hi-lights and the perfect, glittery matching manis/pedis slipped into a pair of Tori Burch sandals. Traditionally, our mothers and grandmothers teach us the art of being fabulous in a rather plain world. To be clear, Jersey Girls are never plain, we shimmer! Also keep in mind that the age range of a Jersey Girl is from birth until death, don’t let the word “girl’ confuse you.

With all this fabulous-ness going on, articles and blogs have already been written, tweets have been posted and Facebook is flooded with pics of Jersey Girls sharing their tans #Summer2018. What I am not thrilled with is the SIMPLE definition of the Jersey Girl. Of course, we are berated due to the over-use of tanning salons, the over-use of neon nail polish and the over-booked and over-priced Jersey Shore motels whose balconies we grace at night, while tipsy and in heels we can’t walk in. Yes, the Jersey Shore has motels, islands have resorts and cities have hotels. Most of our motels date back to the 1950’s and they haven’t changed a thing, literally!

Don’t get me wrong, I love New Jersey and I am a Jersey Girl. But, I have never been SIMPLE and I insist on sitting on a more refined pile of Jersey beach sand with blush nail lacquer and my long locks in a bun with a book in my hand and I sure as hell don’t stay in motels. I’m not old, I just know better. So, here I am, writing was must be told … the truth! Why? How can I possibly introduce you to the protagonist in my first novel, who is a Jersey Girl, if you are assuming the worst? It’s my pleasure and responsibility to guide you to a different, more sophisticated variety of Jersey Girl. Here are the five signs of a “Grown-Up” Jersey Girl:

5) A girl who has mastered the art of having a glowing, tan between her subtle use of a tanning salon and the actual sun. She also realizes this is only acceptable between the months of May through September. After that period, you’re fake and ridiculous.

4) A girl who frequents the nail salon, but whose nails are clean, short and free of neon nail polish and nail art. Unless you’re Adele, no points either!

3) A girl who realizes shore homes are investment properties with fringe benefits possibly five months of the year and not a lifestyle or part of reality television.

2) A girl who is not afraid to have an actual man sit beside her without a gold chain slathered in tanning oil.

1) THIS IS IMPORTANT!!! VACATIONS NO LONGER EQUAL THE JERSEY SHORE, BUT, INCLUDE THE REST OF THE WORLD! The Jersey shore is where you go while waiting for the “real vacation” to happen.

Yes, I have managed to piss off a handful of Jersey Girls with this particular blog, but I’m not worried. These particularly pissed off Jersey Girls are pissed off because they just realized they relate to the stereotype and now need to step up their game to play in my protagonist’s world.


PS … I know I promised an intro to my protagonist in this post, but she’s a little moody tonight since she hasn’t had her mani/pedi this week!

Yes, I am a Jersey Girl!

I have spent too many days this week writing draft after draft of excuses, vehemently denying that I am a “Jersey Girl.” Today, focused in reality, feeling excessively cold in mid-June, missing the sun and the beach, the smell of suntan lotion, the innately comforting feeling of summer expected this time of year especially after a horrific winter, I realize my expectations, at least seasonally, revolve around being born and bred in New Jersey. To think I am not a “Jersey Girl” is absurd. It’s something you inhale at birth along with the smell of ocean air in Wildwood Crest and the chemical smell of the New Jersey Turnpike near Newark Liberty International Airport. I am a “Jersey Girl,” just not a typical “Jersey Girl.”

I am not quite sure what makes a girl “Jersey”, but here I am admitting I possess this magical charm. Each of us is a unique creature, yet, admittedly, “Jersey Girls” possess some of the same characteristics state wide and I have written the top three list!

First, we are loud. Sometimes, when I travel, I am told I have a distinct “Jersey” accent. Funny, since I’ve never heard it, but I know a Long Island girl when I meet her. I also love Southerners, from the South, not South Jersey (a totally different blog post!) and adore their slang, “y’all,” but say it in New Jersey and you will sound like an idiot. However, subtlety is not an art practiced very much in the Garden State. We are mostly a densely populated state and girls need to be heard even if it’s screaming out of the window of our car at some asshole, usually from New York or PA, who cut us off. Truthfully, if it wasn’t for the occasional nasty tone of our voices, the evil eye and resting bitch face, we are charming, but loud. “Jersey Girls” don’t whisper and thank God we don’t have to since texting was invented!

Second, we do have a certain fascination with our hair. I admit to spending hours at the salon with a master colorist to achieve the perfect shade of blonde. My particular shade of blonde is referred to as, “Christina” as it should be. But, let’s face it, big hair is out of style and if anyone is still trying to pull this look off, realize even Jon Bon Jovi cut his fried, frizzy and badly-highlighted crown. The only big 60’s hair acceptable is on top of Adele’s head. Period.

Third, nails are a telltale sign of a “Jersey Girl.” Manicures and pedicures are not an option, but a sign of good hygiene. Wander the streets or malls or boardwalks of New Jersey, especially in the summer, without a pedicure and you will be considered trashy. Yet, take it to another level of nail art and air-brushing and you’re dated or trying to be something you’re not. Short and clean is acceptable. Again, not all of us are trying to be “Stacy’s Mom” or want to be! You don’t have to look your age, just don’t look ridiculous.

Yet, all these superficial traits are not why I named my first Twitter account and this blog, “ChristinaRealNJ.” HERE IS WHERE THE LOUD PART COMES IN SO WE’RE CLEAR:


The “real” part of me is that I do live in a beautiful suburban town located in the midst of all the reality television drama. I have a lovely home I am still perfecting after its purchase two years ago, I definitely have a fetish for designer handbags and I drive an over-priced European car. None of these tidbits about myself make me a novelist or even a writer!

What makes me a writer is that I am writing for the first time in a very long time. As fabulous as I think this blog will be, I started it hoping to find like-minded women (and men) who can appreciate my snarky attitude and give my ideas a chance. Here’s to hoping you will find my lifestyle, my “jersey attitude” and my writing as fascinating and fun as I do.

My next post will be a piece of my WIP (work in progress) where I will introduce you to a very complex woman. Did I mention she’s a “Jersey Girl?”

Simply White

No one explained that blogging is incredibly difficult. Why is there not a warning for someone like myself who is a perfectionist or also known as a professional pain in the ass? It took me many months just to decide on the approximately ten completely different shades of white I painted the interior of my home. Why was I obligated to explain my color palette to my contractor? He actually told me he was waiting for a “wow color” and all he opened were cans of white. Fuck him and his lack of understanding the many shades of white! I actually was reassured by a professional artist that I was correct in noticing the slight, but dramatic differences in white.

I’m not used to having more than 280 characters to write in so forgive my rant about color palettes. But, since I notice and research every detail of a project, how am I ever going to write my first novel?

Yes, that’s what ChristinaRealNJ is about, writing. “ChristinaRealNJ” was born on Twitter and conceived from my dislike of reality television, but nothing is simple with Twitter or reality television. Both are dramatic and flowing with obscene characters, ridiculous statements and witty quotes and neither one qualifies for great writing or as time well spent. Yet, perhaps out of all this nonsense, decent writing can surface. A novel on Twitter is not possible, but giving potential readers a glimpse of a novel is. Sometimes one, 280 character glimpse can draw a reader in to another world they never expected to encounter. Like a fresh coat of white paint, I believe my material is beautiful and fresh and unique. So, now the words come out of the can and are painted on paper. ChristinaRealNJ is where my story literally and figuratively begins, so I’m inviting you on this sadistic adventure with me, called writing. By the way, my favorite shade of white is aptly named “Simply White.”