Today I’m excited to share a fab interview with author Vicki Lesage and an excerpt of her novel Christmas Confession & Cocktails: A Humorous Holiday Memoir with Sassy Drink Recipes. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end!
Christmas Confessions & Cocktails: A Humorous Holiday Memoir with Sassy Drink Recipes by Vicki Lesage
Book Blurb: 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!
Interview with the Author – Vicki Lesage
Author Bio: 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 VickiLesage.com.
1. Would you like to start by introducing yourself?
Sure! I’m an American living in Paris for the past decade who’s had my fair share of ups and downs in the City of Light. I’m married to a Frenchman and we have two adorable, energetic kids who speak better French than I do.
2. Can you give us a brief overview of your latest novel and the inspiration behind it?
I love Christmas and I love cocktails, so this latest installment in my Paris Confessions series was a no-brainer. My previous memoirs are more chronological; in this one all the stories are loosely related to the holidays. It was fun to write a book around a theme instead of a timeline.
3. How long did it take you to write Christmas Confessions & Cocktails? What is your writing process like?
It took me one intense, crazy month. In June I decided I wanted to write it and when I looked at a calendar and worked backwards from Christmas I realized I needed to finish it by mid-July in order to have time to edit, publish, and market it before the holidays. So I made an outline and started a spreadsheet to track my progress. I wrote one chapter per day and edited one chapter per day, and finished that baby in a month!
4. Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
I’m busy publishing OTHER people’s books through my indie pub house, Velvet Morning Press. It’s a lot of fun but it’s a lot of work. I’m also taking a crack at my first chick lit book, but I’m not even going to try to do that in one month!
5. How would you describe your writing style and previous novels to someone that has never read your work before?
Readers often tell me that the style of my books makes them feel like I am sitting right there next to them, chatting over a glass of wine. That’s exactly what I’m going for! I want to offer a glimpse of what it’s really like to live in Paris, all while having a few laughs.
6. Being a writer is a great job but what’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
I used to be a waitress at a pizzeria that was super dirty and gross but I needed the paycheck. I got horrible tips because this mean waitress used to take the entire non-smoking section and I’d be stuck with only two tables in the smoking section. My friends and family always wanted to come up and eat there and leave me nice tips but I was too scared to let them eat the food. Needless to say, I got out of there as soon as I could!
7. What are the things you can’t live without in your wardrobe?
Jeans, tank tops, and knee-high boots (winter) or flip-flops (summer). Add a scarf for flair–I do live in Paris after all–and you’ve pretty much got my year-round uniform!
8. What would we find if we looked in your handbag right now?
One of my kid’s shoes (don’t ask me where the other one is), some super boring insurance paperwork I’m procrastinating on filling out (and I NEVER procrastinate on anything so that tells you how boring it is), and a manuscript to edit for Velvet Morning Press. It’s a pretty big bag.
9. Where is your favorite place in the world?
Cinque Terre, Italy. It’s beautiful and quaint and there’s nothing like it. It’s a series of 5 towns on the Italian coast and you can hike a trail between the towns, stopping off in each one for an espresso or a glass of wine. That’s my kind of hiking!
10. If you could plan the perfect holiday, what would it be?
A relaxing beach house off-season so that I get all the benefits of a gorgeous view without the expectation of going out in the sun. Space for the kids to run around and play while I sit on the deck with a cup of coffee and my laptop. And to make it a REALLY perfect holiday, the chance to drink said cup of coffee before it gets cold.
Excerpt: Christmas Confessions & Cocktails
“Christmas is a few days away!” I said, giddy with excitement. “What kind of cookies do you want to leave out for Santa?”
Mika stared back at me blankly.
“You know… how we leave out milk and cookies for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve?”
Still no clue.
“I know Leo is a bit young but it’s an excuse for us to eat cookies!”
“Sorry,” he said, snapping out of it. “I was confused. In France we leave out carrots and water. For the reindeer.”
No wonder the French are so skinny.
If that was the tradition in the U.S., not only would we have less of an obesity problem, but I might not have ever figured out Santa wasn’t real.
Each Christmas, Stephen and I would faithfully set out cookies and milk, selecting different treats each year so that Santa wouldn’t get bored.
“Should we give him Oreos or Pitter Patters?” I asked my four-year-old brother one holiday season.
He pondered the question with the seriousness it deserved. “We got Oreos last year. What about Chips Ahoy? They’re the yummiest!”
“Yeah! Mommy, can you please buy Chips Ahoy for Santa?” I asked.
Except she didn’t. ’Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a Chips Ahoy was in sight, nor Nestle Tollhouse.
“Mommy, what’s this?” I asked, eyeing the plate of Fig Newtons set out next to a glass of water.
“I thought Santa might want something different this year. He’ll like it, you’ll see.”
Nobody liked Fig Newtons except Mom. And water? Who preferred water with cookies when you had the choice of milk? Except for Mom.
Wait a minute…
At six years old, I wasn’t 100% positive about my assumption. Plus, I didn’t want to sabotage my chance of getting gifts if there really was a Santa Claus. I decided to play along, just to be safe.
The next morning, bountiful presents were packed under the Christmas tree. Whew, Santa had come after all.
But then I discovered a second clue. “Mommy, Santa Claus has the same handwriting as you,” I said, pointing to a gift tag.
“What a coincidence!”
“And he liked Fig Newtons and water, just like you.”
“Well isn’t that funny!”
“Yes, that is funny.” I was on to her but didn’t want to ruin Stephen’s fun.
But he was on to her, too. “Wait a minute, Mommy. Are YOU Santa Claus?”
She was caught red-handed.
If only we had set out carrots and water for the “reindeer,” we kids would have never been the wiser. Because if there’s one thing Mom likes more than Fig Newtons (and one thing even more boring than Fig Newtons), it’s carrot sticks.
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