From Granny Panties To Thongs

granny pants

We do not grow up planning for life as a widow, or the isolation that we’ll feel after losing our life companion, friend, and lover. Most of us grow up prepping for fairytale lives stocked with immortal health, and eternal love. We daydream of raising children, spoiling grandchildren, and traveling after we retire. Then, without warning, and without a back-up plan,

John Lennon said it best, “Life is what happens while we’re making other plans.”

In a collection of true stories that are relatable, and at times quite humorous, this emotionally charged book recounts the experiences of widows who sought love again. They share everything from meeting men to the first time under the sheets.  Many went on to recapture the excitement of their adolescent years.  The women interviewed, expressed how much they would have cherished having a book like this.  They are unanimous in their desire to inspire ALL women when they feel ready to get out there again.  “We want to give women permission to find a new passage, and confirm that there can be different ways to love.”   

The idea for “From Granny Panties to Thongs” was born almost 15 years ago.  Penny Burke’s father had passed away, and when she went to buy her mother a book with a positive message, she couldn’t find anything on the market that wasn’t about grieving.  The idea to write the book was shelved in the back seat of her minivan until she met Joan Dunn, just two short summers ago.  Joan had lost her own father and was helping her mother navigate through the mourning after.  Joan and Penny recognized that widows were craving a book that would empower them to seek love and romance again. 

“Penny and I are overwhelmed by the positive feedback that we’re hearing from our readers,” says Dunn.  We are getting letters from widows, divorcees, singles, and even the adult children of widows.  People tell us that they are staying up half the night to read, because they can’t put the book down. One woman said that she laughed so hard, her daughter came in the room to see what was happening.  Another woman, married for 40 years, said that she will never take her husband for granted again. Our favorite response is from a widow who was at the one year mark of her husband’s death. She said that the book renewed her energy, made her smile, and gave her hope.  There seems to be a piece of every woman in these honest and provocative stories.” 

Our brains are suddenly consumed with how desirable we will be to the opposite sex, and we pray they won’t notice our physical imperfections.  We flood the gyms, stock up on razors, shove whitening strips in our mouths, analyze our wardrobe in disgust, and begin hurling our once favorite undergarments into the trash can.  We are thrown back to the days of inexperienced adolescence.”                                                                                                                                                           

From Granny Panties to Thongs features fabulous women over 50, and it helps knock down some of the walls that stand in the way of moving forward.   The reality is – as long as we are alive – so are our libidos.

This book will touch all women.  For Mother’s Day, we hope you will consider buying it for yourself, your mom or a close friend.  The book is $16.95 and may be ordered on or

Feel free to contact the authors: Joan Dunn: and Penny Burke:

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Penny Burke and Joan Dunn

Penny Burke and Joan Dunn

Penny…is a native New Yorker, attended SUNY Albany and University of Miami School of Law. While my parents were vacationing in Alaska, my father suffered a fatal heart attack. I had a seven month son at home the night my mother called to tell my sisters and I to board a plane to Anchorage. We arrived just in time to say goodbye. Dad couldn’t speak, but we know that he heard us telling him how much we loved him. The flight home was eerie. Mom was in shock, and we sat quietly, knowing that dad was not on the plane – but underneath. Her journey was initially difficult. My father had been the wind beneath her wings and she missed the routine of married life. His death left a hole in all of our lives, but hers was the largest. When she began dating, the idea for this book was born. There were no references available for an “inside view” of dating after widowhood, and my mother wanted to find love again. I took on the role of cheerleader, and saw her to the finish line. Ten years ago I had the privilege of marrying my mother to her beloved Mel. Between a family and a full time career as an attorney, the book idea was shelved. One evening while out for cocktails with friends, I sat next to a woman I had never met before. Her name was Joanie, and she had lost her father only weeks before. During our conversation she mentioned to me that she was a writer and had begun writing her first novel. Somewhere between the chips and salsa and a margarita – a lifelong friendship began. That night we toasted to co-authoring From Granny Panties to Thongs. Joanie…is a native Pittsburgher and a graduate of Penn State University.

The first time I met Penny was shortly after my dad passed away. My mother was adjusting to life as a widow, and I was adjusting to life without my father – an amazing man whose mere presence could light a room. Penny and I took an instant liking to one another, and struck up a fast friendship. I have always been involved in writing, and was in the process of weighing some options. When Penny shared her “shelved” idea, I said to count me in! Although our circumstances differed, we had the world in common. We began talking to widowed women, of all ages, and chronicled their experiences of dating and moving forward. They spoke candidly about being the single one at the dinner table, a desire to date, a longing for love and intimacy, and the obstacles that sometimes stood in their way. It was thrilling to hear how some had recaptured the excitement of their adolescent years. What struck me the most was their eagerness to be part of this book. They were unanimous in their desire to empower other women. Although I’m not a widow, I have learned a lot from these ladies. My own life has gone through some twists and turns, and ultimately new beginnings. Writing this book, has been a life changing experience for me, and I’m certain that our fathers put us together two years ago. As one of the women in the book said, “There really can be a beautiful side to tragedy.” 

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