The Shore Tour of the new book “Jersey Girls: The Fierce and the Fabulous” made its way to Whimsicality in Spring Lake for a cocktail party and book signing with book authors Marie Moss and Barri Leiner Grant. Laughs, “tawking,” sweet scents, mouth watering desserts and refreshing drinks filled the bed and bath store Friday evening.
About 30 Jersey Girls attended, several with their Jersey Girls photos in hand for entry in the Jersey Girl photo contest where one lady would win a gift basket with $500 of stuff from Whimsicality.
Before the event began, Whimsicality owner Elke Ridge ran around the store making sure everything was in its place. In this already organized, prim and proper shop that resembled an untouchable show room at a fancy high-end retail store -- shiny candy apples, sandwiches of deli meats, pork roll and cheeses, and clusters of blueberries covered in milk chocolate that melted with a touch of the tongue were dropped off by local shops. Malibu Bay Breezes, nick named for the night -- “Jersey Bay Breezes,” and Blueberry Stoli Lemonade which tasted like candy were the refreshments of the evening. Fresh flowers were on display -- colorful sunflowers, roses, lilies and more -- so aromatic that they tickled the senses of passerbyers right out the front door of the store.
Friends of Ridge, people who were walking past the store, and some who read about the event’s happening were the majority of the guests who attended. They shared laughs and enjoyed mingling, telling stories, showing off their Jersey Girl photos, savoring the food, desserts, drink selection and learning about the book.
“I grew up thinking it was a terrific thing to grow up in New Jersey. People were seeing reality TV and it wasn't the big picture of what New Jersey is all about. We’ve been reporting editors and authors and we felt like it was our job to tell the world what Jersey Girls are really all about,” said Marie Moss who is originally from Colonia.
The two Jersey Girls who met when they were working in New York City years ago had an instant connection.
“I was the fashion editor of Seventeen Magazine,” said Moss.
“And I was working in PR,” said Grant.
“We both looked at each other and were like -- you’re from Jersey? said Moss.
“We pitched the idea of a book about Jersey Girls for five years to various publishers. They were not buying it. When the “Jersey Shore” show came on, we finally got the okay to go ahead with the book. We had four-and-a-half months to write it,” said Grant who spent her childhood days growing up in Middletown and Red Bank.
One summer day, Jessica Buccasfusco of Old Bridge, 32, was hanging out at Seaside Beach like she had always done, but on this particular day she was surprised when two strangers -- Moss and Grant had approached her.
“Me and two of my girlfriends came off the beach to eat and Marie came up to me. I thought she was going to ask for directions. She asked me to be in the book. I had just started modeling when they got me,” said Buccasfusco whose primary line of work is in the pharmaceutical sales industry.
“Our motivation was not only to interview famous Jersey Girls but to also give equal time to real Jersey Girls that we met at the boardwalk,” said Moss.
“We got incredible feedback from the book. While we were writing it and doing our research, every Jersey Girl we came across had a story to tell. They told us you have to put this and there and you have to put that in there,” said Grant.
Some highlights of the book include: “Tawk” -- a Jersey Girl glossary of popular Jersey Girl slang and lingo. Do you want sugar in your “cawfee” or “jimmies” on your ice cream? Star -- Jane Krakowski, Olympia Dukakis and Ashley Tisdale, just to name a few -- are all Jersey Girls. Plus, Shore and Eats.
Lisa Hoffman, a personal trainer and security officer in Wall Township was ecstatic to be at the event.
“I was looking for something to do and had read about this event. Being locals, we (a friend who she brought long and she) spent the day walking around (the area). I had a little bit of excitement digging out a photo for the Jersey Girl Photo Contest. And I’m defiantly taking a candy apple to go! The shop is beautiful, stunning, and comfortable. It’s a relaxed space,” said Hoffman.
“The book really describes New Jersey well,” said 17-year-old Emily Frost of Spring Lake who was tempted out to the event when her boss over at the Third Avenue Chocolate Shop in Spring Lake brought the book to her.
Exclusively for Jersey Patch readers, the authors have offered to raffle away three signed books in a random drawing to readers and Tweeters who mention they saw this article on the Manasquan Patch via Twitter handles @ManasquanPatch and @jerseygirlsbook on Twitter.
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