Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Confessions & Cocktails by Vicki Lesage (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Christmas Confessions & Cocktails by author Vicki Lesage!

Author Guest Post

French Boutiques and Booties 
By Vicki Lesage

Ah, a dream come true: shopping in Paris! The “glitz” and the “glamour”… unless you’ve got a little booty in your trunk. Then it’s more like the “wiggly bits” and the “clamor” as you turn around in the tiny dressing room and knock all the clothes to the floor.

I wouldn’t say I’m big, but my derriere is certainly not as small as those of my French compatriots. I’m a U.S. size 8 but I often wear size XL in French fashions. So shopping isn’t always the dreamy experience I’d like it to be.

One time I was shopping and found this adorable sweater but the large wasn’t large enough. So I headed to the sales counter where the salesgirl told me she could order a different size for me.

“What size will you be needing?” she asked, way more loudly than necessary.

“Um, extra large, please,” I whispered.

“Extra large?” she shouted, as the entire store turned to scope out the extra large lady at the checkout. Me. How embarrassing.

So it was with trepidation that I set out on a recent hunt for a dress for my French sister-in-law’s wedding. I was worried about being the bull in the Parisian clothing shop, bursting seams as I tried on dainty clothing and not finding anything to fit my American-sized booty.

Fortunately, my anxiety was unwarranted. I was met by a lovely shop assistant who helped me in and out of the dresses, and even gave me a pair of snazzy heels to try on, “Otherwise we have no idea the full extent of your beauty in this dress.” Sold!

As I twirled in front of the dressing room mirror, two middle-aged women entered. “That. You must buy that. It looks perfect on you!”

“Thank you,” I replied, feeling my cheeks turn red at the compliment, and also at the fact I’d been caught twirling around the dressing room.

“But here’s another one in the same color. I can’t decide, but I clearly don’t need two dresses in the exact same shade.”

“Well then, I guess you’ll have to try the other one on for us!” They plopped down on a plush suede couch as I changed into the other dress.

“Oh là là! That one is beautiful too. We’re going to have a hard time deciding. Can you try on the first one again?”

And so the afternoon passed, me trying on clothes with total strangers who were throwing compliments all over the place. And the sweet shop assistant who had nothing but smiles and encouraging words for me.

We (because it really was “we” at that point; I no longer had full control over which dress I would be purchasing) finally settled on a dress. One that matched my eyes and flattered my fuller-than-the-average-French-woman figure.

As I left the store, carrier bag in hand, I had a little spring in my step. I’d just been pampered and fawned over in a cute Parisian boutique. Sometimes, life is just too good to be true.

And then I nearly stepped in a huge pile of dog crap.

Back to reality.

But I still had the dress.

About The Author

Bestselling author Vicki Lesage proves daily that raising two French kids isn't as easy as the hype lets on. In her three minutes of spare time per week, she writes, sips bubbly, and prepares for the impending zombie apocalypse. She lives in Paris with her French husband, rambunctious son, and charming daughter, all of whom mercifully don't laugh when she says "au revoir." She penned the Paris Confessions series in between diaper changes and wine refills. She writes about the ups and downs of life in the City of Light at

Author Website

Book Review

Christmas Confessions & Cocktails by Vicki Lesage
Part of the Paris Confessions series
Publisher: Party Girl Press
Publication Date: July 25, 2015
Format: Paperback - 244 pages
               Kindle - 1875 KB
ISBN: 978-1515037576
Genre: Christmas Themed Memoir

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

American-turned-Parisian Vicki tells it like it is, from her crazy Christmases growing up in the Midwest to her even crazier holidays in her new home in France. Bizarre gifts, stomach-turning food, and holiday travel disasters are just some of the tales you'll chuckle at in this installment of the Paris Confessions series.

This Christmas-themed memoir features 25 funny and heartwarming essays, all with a tenuous tie to Christmas, and pairs each with a delicious drink recipe. So grab your martini shaker and get ready for tasty cocktails and hearty laughs this holiday season!

A humorous collection of holiday-inspired stories with Christmas drink recipes

If you're looking for a great read this holiday season, don't miss Christmas Confessions & Cocktails! The 25 stories in this holiday collection take you on an adventure full of Christmas spirit (and spirits, including Christmas cocktail recipes like Christmas Cookie Martini, Peppermintini, and Glitter & Gold). And it makes the perfect Christmas gift!

Book Excerpt:

Years later, I married the love of my life, Mika. It would be hard to find a bad quality about this guy. He’s patient. He’s kind. He’s funny and smart. He’s a wonderful husband and an amazing father.

But he absolutely sucks at killing bugs.

His technique: Grab a paper towel and stomp loudly toward the bug, usually scaring it away before arriving on the scene. If the stupid thing sticks around, it’s only because he’s thinking, “Get a load of this guy and his soft, fluffy paper towel. What’s he planning to do with that? Tuck me in to bed and sing me lullabies? Sounds lovely!”

Mika’s “plan” is to gently cover the area the spider is occupying, and to—I don’t know—just hope the spider crawls into the paper towel’s pillowy folds, leading itself to death? Of course the spider darts away each time and now Mika’s just wasted a paper towel.

“You have to smash it. With force,” I said, with all the knowledge of a backseat driver. “The paper towel is just to protect your fingers from the carnage. You actually need to kill it with your hand.”

He gave me a look like, “Holy hell, who did I marry?”

I gave him a look back like, “You better kill the next one or you won’t stay married for long.”

One week later, I was minding my own business (so, ending world hunger or spending too much time on Facebook) and I heard a loud SMACK in the kitchen.

“Check this out,” Mika said, entering the living room with a smile on his face and a dark smear on a paper towel.

Ah, my technique worked.


This doesn’t solve my mom’s problem, though. My newly-trained bug-killing husband was thousands of miles from St. Louis. My step-dad, Doug, will take care of any insect problem, but what does my mom do if he’s not there? She would never kill an intruder herself, but she can’t stay frozen in one spot all weekend.

Enter the best Christmas present ever, courtesy of SkyMall: the bug vacuum.

I’d traveled home for Thanksgiving one year, opting for the cheaper international fares for that time period compared to Christmas. After reading the in-flight magazine cover to cover (or at least taking the Mensa quiz to feel smart), I perused the SkyMall catalogue.

Have you ever looked in that thing? I wanted to buy everything on every page! And I nearly did.

Toy gun that shoots marshmallows? Perfect for my trigger-happy, sweets-loving brother. (Bonus: New way to play fetch with Chopper.)

A glass display case for children’s artwork where you slide in their new artwork while cleverly hiding their previous masterpieces so that you don’t have a house full of scribbles? Perfect for my colleague who has two adorable, prolific, artistic children.

Collapsible silicone wine glasses that you can—get this—fold up and tuck in to your back pocket so you’re ready for any occasion? I might just have to get those for myself.

A bug vacuum with extendable arm and a circular shield to trap the bug before being sucked away to get zapped by a jolt of electricity go live on a farm in the country? Perfect for my easily-spooked arachnaphobic mother. She talks smack about bugs, but can’t handle actually smacking any.

Bonus gift: A battery-operated bug-zapping tennis racket for the flying critters. Plus it counts as exercise because it has “tennis” in the name.

I filled out the order form and dropped it in the mail when I landed. Christmas shopping had never been so easy.

Bug vacuum: $64.95

Battery-operated bug-zapping tennis racket: $16.95

Living in a bug-free house: Priceless

My Book Review:

Christmas Confessions & Cocktails is an entertaining seasonal Christmas themed collection of twenty-five memoir snippets with accompanying cocktail recipes that will definitely get the reader in the holiday spirit!

Author Vicki Lesage, an American expatriate living in Paris, France with her husband Mika and children Leo and Stella, weaves a humorous Christmas collection of memoir short stories from her childhood in St. Louis, Missouri, and from her current family home in Paris.

Written in a sassy style, Vicki gives the reader a glimpse into her family with hilarious snippets of her family's Christmas traditions (gift giving and regifting, family holiday trips, etc) interwoven with mishaps and trials and tribulations that provides plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. At the end of each memoir snippet is a cocktail recipe that ties into each snippet's theme. Just to whet your whistle ... here is a sample teaser of the cocktail recipes that you will find in this delightful book:

* Christmas Cosmo
* Chocolate Chip Cookie Martini
* Glitter & Gold
* The Bonsai
* Lucky Charm
* After Midnight
* Cinnamon Cider Sensation

Christmas Confessions & Cocktails is a fast paced and thoroughly entertaining holiday book that can be read in a day. As the reader gets a glimpse into the author's life, you can't help but take a walk down memory lane of your own family's holiday traditions and the craziness that comes with it. This sweet holiday memoir will conjure up the magic and spirit of Christmas that will leave a smile on your face!


Contest Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

December 7 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
December 8 – A Southern Girls Bookshelf– Excerpt
December 8 - Chick Lit Goddess – Q&A & Excerpt
December 8 – Living Life With Joy – Q&A & Excerpt
December 9 – Readsalot – Excerpt
December 10 – Around the World in Books – Novel Spotlight
December 11 – Caroline Fardig – Excerpt
December 11 – Granny Loves to Read – Review
December 15 – Whispering Stories – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
December 16 – Love Chick Lit – Review
December 16 – My Pretty Little Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
December 16 – One Book At a Time – Review,  Guest Post & Excerpt
December 16 – LeighAnderson Romance – Q&A, Guest Post & Excerpt
December 17 – Book Lover in Florida – Review & Excerpt
December 18 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
December 18 – A Page To Turn – Review


  1. Thanks for having me on your blog! So glad you enjoyed the book. Happy holidays!

    1. Hi Vicki! Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. I really enjoyed reading Christmas Confessions & Cocktails ... especially the yummy cocktail recipes! ;)