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Bethenny Frankel appears on The View in July 2011. - Provided courtesy of ABC

Bethenny Frankel signs fiction book deal, talks Skinnygirl cocktail controversy

09/06/2011 by Kristina Lopez

Bethenny Frankel is already a New York Times best-selling author with diet and self-help books like "A Place of Yes" but it seems the Skinnygirl chef is branching out to a new genre and is eager to tackle fiction writing.

The "Bethenny Ever After" star has signed a three-book fiction deal with Touchstone Fireside and is set to release her first fiction book called "Skinny Dipping" next spring, reports USA Today.

"It's about a girl's journey and what she wants, and trying to have it all. It's about the lessons and the people along the way, about naysayers and rising above," Frankel told the newspaper. "There will be a lot of juiciness and people wondering what it's based on and if any of it was influenced by my life."

Prior to starring on her own reality series, Frankel was part of "The Real Housewives of New York" cast for three seasons. She left shortly before the birth of her daughter Bryn and marriage to husband Jason Hoppy but after ending her friendship with cast member Jill Zarin.

Frankel also said she and her husband are open to expanding their family, but not anytime soon. "I'm not pregnant yet. We're not trying. We're not not trying," she said. "We're not having a plan. We're not doing fertility tests or being proactive."

The reality star and author is also a business woman with her own cocktail brand called Skinnygirl. The brand recently came under fire when it was revealed that the brand's Skinnygirl Margarita was pulled from Whole Foods shelves after it was discovered that it contained a potentially carcinogenic preservative, even though it has been labeled as "all natural." The Skinnygirl Margarita, a 100 calorie, ready-to-drink product, was launched in 2009.

In a statement to the New York Post, Whole Foods Market said the product "had been offered in 16 of Whole Foods Market's 310 stores. After discovering that it contains a preservative that does not meet our quality standards, we have had to stop selling it."

Frankel responded to the accusations in the media about the product in a post on Tuesday, September 6, featured on her official blog titled "Setting the Record Straight."

"We would not sell anything that I don't personally drink. I'm a natural foods chef and health is a top priority for me and my family," Frankel wrote in the post. "The Skinnygirl Margarita is made with natural ingredients and its label is consistent with U.S. federal regulations, which is why it is carried in stores nationwide and continues to fly off the shelves."

She adds, "I built my brand on trust and honesty. I don't take lightly obvious attempts to put my integrity in question. I will always answer your questions and concerns directly and truthfully."

Frankel's Skinnygirl spirits brand was bought by Fortune's Beam Global Sprits & Wine unit in March.

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