Monday, October 27, 2014

Total Eclipse of Good Judgment

In school, I was teacher's pet. I'm pretty sure everyone hated me, not for my gorgeous good looks (hello, braces for three years) but because my hand was ALWAYS. IN. THE. AIR. Pick me! Pick me!

Want me to learn differential equations? Got it. Passé composé in French class? Oui, oui, but of course! In-depth analysis of Greek mythology? Child's play.

But there are two things I'll never learn:
1. How to turn on our TV
2. How to stop at the right number of drinks to avoid a hangover

I thought once I had kids I would magically never be hungover again. Um, no. I certainly don't drink as often but when I do, all bets are off.

And now the hangover is eleventy billion times worse because, kids. No matter how crappy you feel, they still need to eat, pee, and bang on every pot and pan in the house.

The last time I went out on the town I promised myself I'd behave. I promised I'd avoid a hangover. I promised I'd learned my lesson from all the previous times.

Article on BLUNTmoms

Do you think I kept my promise? Read my article, Total Eclipse of Good Judgment, on BLUNTmoms to find out!

Vicki Lesage, Author

Monday, October 20, 2014

Why French Women Don’t Shave

You know the myth that French women don’t shave their armpits? Turns out it’s true, for three reasons:

Why French Women Don't Shave Their Armpits
  1. They do laser hair removal instead
  2. They don’t know the word for armpits
  3. OK, fine, the rest of them actually do shave their armpits
In my case, I opted for laser hair removal at a chic medical office off the Champs Elysées. What ensued was a painful, embarrassing, confusing rendez-vous involving armpits and “underlegs.” I’m still not sure I know what "underlegs" are.

Want to find out just how embarrassing? Want to learn what an “underleg” is? Check out my guest post on When Crazy Meets Exhaustion: "Oversharing: Parisian Laser Hair Removal".

Vicki Lesage, Author

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Velvet Morning Press

What do you do when you want to be part of an anthology but don't want to be at someone else's mercy? You create your own.

What do you do when you think a happy medium should exist between traditional publishers and self-publishing? You launch your own.

Say hello to Velvet Morning Press.
Founded by fellow author Adria J. Cimino and me, Velvet Morning Press aims to discover new writing talent and launch their careers. Higher royalties than the "big guys", more support than self-publishing. Read more about Velvet Morning Press.

Check out pieces from our official launch:
Announcing Velvet Morning Press, an interview on The Book Wheel
Get Published with Velvet Morning Press, an interview with Creatrice Mondial
How to Conquer Challenges Facing New Writers" on Mom's Small Victories
What Makes Velvet Morning Press Different, an interview on France Book Tours
Why Being "Stuck in the Middle" is Good For Authors on The Steadfast Reader

Vicki Lesage, Author

Monday, October 13, 2014

Start Me Up

When I got put on bed rest I thought it was a one-way ticket to blubber town. Marooned on the couch all day, I was only allowed to leave my plush island to go to the bathroom. So of course I cheated and drank loads of water in order to have a legitimate excuse to pee 100 times a day. Take THAT, doctors! Wait, what's that you say? Water is good for me? Bwah.

Anywho, I surprisingly didn't gain much weight during my pregnancy. So when my svelte form waddled to the hospital to deliver Little Miss Stella, I was sure I'd walk out of there the supermodel I was always meant to be.

Yeah right. I somehow managed to GAIN weight after my little princess was born. It might have had something to do with all the French vanilla ice cream I ate (here, it's just called vanilla).

But about a month before I returned to work and squeezed into my pre-baby office attire, I cranked it into high gear. Out came the Wii and the Zumba belt. All I can say is, thank god we don't have downstairs neighbors in our apartment because I sounded like a drunken rhinoceros as I stomped danced around my living room.

Article on Mamalode
Coordinated, I am not. Cheered on by my baby, I am. Talk like Yoda, I do.

To get the full story of my Return to Zumba, check out my article on Mamalode. And feel free to leave a comment. I'll even give you a sample: "You'll always look like a supermodel to me! Keep on rockin' it, you crazy rhinoceros, you."

Vicki Lesage, Author

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Seven Letters From Paris

Despite having married Monsieur Perfect, I don't often gush about the romantic side of Paris. It would cut into my complaining time too much. But sometimes it's nice to unwind - with a glass or three of wine, of course - over a romantic story.

Enter Samantha Vérant's Seven Letters from Paris. It's not your typical love story. Yeah, she met a Frenchie that set her pulse racing, but she left him in the dust and didn't resume their relationship until 20 years later. Talk about a heartbreaker! And talk about a story I couldn't wait to hear the rest of.

Seven Letters From Paris Blog Tour

Samantha is here with me today to answer a few questions about her life and her memoir.

Your story is so romantic - rekindling a romance after all these years, and with a French guy nonetheless. Being married to a Frenchman myself, I sometimes feel like I'm in a movie. Do you ever feel like a walking cliché? And do you care?

There are many days where I feel like a walking cliché. And an American girl falling in love with a Frenchman at a café could be one of the biggest clichés of them all. (Then again, I dumped Jean-Luc on a train platform at Gare de Lyon and we didn’t reconnect until twenty-years later.)

Sometimes, I also feel like I’m starring in a movie, specifically a Lucille Ball-like comedy, which makes Jean-Luc my French Desi Arnaz. I think it all has to do with the American girl marrying a foreigner–all the language mishaps, miscommunications, and daily mistakes. Do I care if I'm a cliché? No. I’ve learned to laugh at myself. Which means I laugh a lot.

If you'd never gone to France in the first place, your life would have likely turned out very differently. Had you considered living anywhere else besides France?

My parents moved around quite a bit when I was younger–from Chicago to Boston to London to Virginia to Tucson to California, then back to Virginia again. Every time I flew home for the holidays, it seemed, I came home to a new room and a new house. Now, my parents call southern California their home and my mother refuses to move ever again. With that said, I never set out to live to France; I landed here, thanks to falling in love with Jean-Luc. Now, there is no place in this crazy world of ours I’d rather be... and I think all of my parents' moves prepared me to deal with big changes.

If Seven Letters From Paris were a drink, what would it be?

My book would have to be an American sized glass of red wine. Just like a glass (fine, make it a bottle), Seven Letters From Paris is a bit “complex” at times and comes with a very satisfying “finish.” A “lively” story, a reader can savor the pages or enjoy it in one sitting. Cheers!

When is the next time you're coming to Paris? We definitely need to have a glass (or three) of wine!

Can you believe it? I’ve been living in France for nearly five years and I’ve yet to make it Paris, save for the airport. Wouldn’t it be utterly romantic if Jean-Luc and I retraced the steps we took when we met way back when in 1989? I hope to make this happen soon. Then, I could meet up with you for that glass (or three of American pours) of wine with you. I’ll keep you posted! Of course, you and yours can always come down to Toulouse. Jean-Luc is not only a wonderful husband–he’s an EXCELLENT tour guide. The spare room is ready. No reservations required–just an advance notice!

Thanks for stopping by, Samantha! I'm going to start looking into a trip to Toulouse... In the meantime, I recommend everyone check out Seven Letters From Paris, available now. And be sure to stop by her Facebook event for giveaways, behind-the-scenes looks, and tons more great stuff!

Watch the book trailer:

About Seven Letters From Paris

Twenty years, seven letters, and one long-lost love of a lifetime At age 40, Samantha Vérant’s life is falling apart - she’s jobless, in debt, and feeling stuck... until she stumbles upon seven old love letters from Jean-Luc, the sexy Frenchman she’d met in Paris when she was 19. With a quick Google search, she finds him, and both are quick to realize that the passion they felt 20 years prior hasn’t faded with time and distance. Samantha knows that jetting off to France to reconnect with a man she only knew for one sun-drenched, passion-filled day is crazy - but it’s the kind of crazy she’s been waiting for her whole life.

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository  | Indie Bound | Target | Walmart

About Samantha Verant

Samantha Verant
Photo credit: Stephen Fisch
Samantha Vérant is a travel addict, a self-professed oenophile, and a determined, if occasionally unconventional, French chef. She lives in southwestern France, where she's able to explore all of her passions, and where she's married to a sexy French rocket scientist she met in 1989, but ignored for twenty years.

Connect with Samantha: Web | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
Vicki Lesage, Author