February 24, 2018

Celebrate Lit Tour + Giveaway: The Saturday Night Supper Club

About the Book  

The Saturday Night Supper Club
by Carla Laureano
Genre: Christian fiction/romance fiction

Release Date: February 6, 2018

The Saturday Night Supper ClubDenver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard Award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back . . . even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.

Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t…

About the Author

Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.


Guest Post from Carla Laureano

I’ve got a confession to make: I have a cooking problem.

It started early and innocently enough, flipping through my mom’s cookbooks and marking things I wanted to try. Making cakes and muffins from a mix. Flipping frozen steak patties. Doctoring canned spaghetti sauce.

It wasn’t long before I got into the hard stuff: muffins from scratch, slow-cooked marinara, cast-iron seared and oven-finished rib eyes. Over the years, I tried to kick the habit numerous times, but every time things got tough, I found myself falling off the wagon and heading back into the kitchen. Even hosting dinner parties. Yes, dear reader, I pulled my hapless friends into my madness. To my shame, I even got some of them hooked with their own addiction.

Before I knew it, my obsessions started creeping into my day job. No longer was it enough to write contemporary romance about normal people who order take-out. No, I had to write chefs and passionate home cooks and describe the food in the books just as lovingly as I did a first kiss. And then the final straw—a book series centered entirely on food and the culinary profession, beginning with The Saturday Night Supper Club.

All joking aside, cooking really is an addiction that I haven’t been able to kick. As a writer, I spend hours locked in my own imagination, creating things out of words and ideas. And while it’s immensely fulfilling, it’s a long, painstaking process that takes months, even years, before I can release the final product into the world. While there’s a large amount of planning and analysis involved in creating a book, the work is still mostly in my head.

Which is why I find cooking to be such a relaxing creative pursuit. Dicing a pile of vegetables into perfectly uniform cubes may take the same concentration and precision, but it’s concrete and measurable. It becomes a personal challenge to do something better than last time, improving by tiny, nearly imperceptible increments. It’s the closest to meditation that my always-on brain ever experiences, clear of all thought except for my activity at the present moment.

And yet, simultaneously, food is ephemeral. Mistakes last only as long as it takes to eat them or toss them directly into the trash can, depending on the nature of the mistake. If a sauce breaks, I toss it and start over. If I burn something, I either cut off the burned part or I order takeout and try again the next day. There’s an element of experimentation and instinct and whimsy that isn’t hampered by the pursuit of perfection. Let’s face it, a mediocre chocolate chip cookie beats a perfect celery stick any day of the week.

It was natural, then, to write a chef heroine who had dedicated her entire life to the pursuit of culinary perfection and explore all the ways that food makes our lives and relationships richer. How it anchors our memories. How we nurture others by feeding them. How a simple meal becomes meaningful not because of the food, but because of the connections we form with others over the dinner table.

In the end, I guess my cooking problem isn’t that much of a problem after all. If you need me, I’ll be in the kitchen.

 Blogstops

Rachel Scott McDaniel, February 20
Just Commonly, February 20
Mommynificent, February 21
Among The Reads, February 21
A Greater Yes, February 21
Fiction Aficionado, February 22
Quiet Quilter, February 22
The Power of Words, February 23
Janices book reviews, February 24
C Jane Read, February 24
Faery Tales Are Real, February 24
All of a Kind Mom, February 25
Inklings and notions, February 25
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 25
Carpe Diem, February 26
Smiling Book Reviews, February 26
Splashes of Joy, February 27
Simple Harvest Reads, February 27 (Guest post from Mindy)
Radiant Light, February 28
Moments Dipped in Ink, February 28
Baker kella, February 28
Pause for Tales, March 1
Book by Book, March 1
Bigreadersite, March 1
amandainpa, March 4
By The Book, March 5
Pursuing Stacie, March 5

 My Review

I have to admit I was a little intimidated going into this book. I'm not much of a foodie or a cook. The only cooking show I've ever watched was MasterChef Jr. (Those kids are adorable and amazing!) But I loved Laureano's MacDonald Family books SO much that I knew I wanted to try this one. I'm so glad I did because it is amazing!

This book definitely fits the swoon-worthy romance category. I absolutely fell in love with Alex from the very beginning and only grew to love him more as the book went on. His commitment to making things right was the first of many things that made him undeniably attractive.

I've always loved strong female characters, so it wasn't hard to love Chef Rachel. I was so inspired by the hard work she put into getting herself to where she was professionally. But I was equally impressed by her spiritual growth. I loved that she was part detail oriented but also very good at adapting when things didn't go perfectly. That was a unique combination you don't find often.

Now for the foodie parts. I'll admit that a lot it was over my head. But I learned a lot of new foodie vocabulary (thanks to my Kindle and hover over definitions!) and it was cool to read about such fancy fare. I enjoyed the scenes with food more than I expected to.

I also appreciated Laureano giving Alex an interesting hobby which also forced me to learn some adventurous vocabulary. The detail with which his climbs were told was amazing. I almost felt like I was there.

The romance in this book was so wonderful. Great kissing scenes and some really great flirting. But as much as I loved the romance and the kissing and flirting I really loved that prayer, journaling, and commitment to God were included as well. I love characters that seek God. This book was filled with wisdom and spiritual growth that really gave the book a depth that made it stand out from some other books I've read lately.

So, all that said...whether you're a foodie or not (like me!) please pick up this book - you won't regret it!

I received an advanced copy of this book from Tyndale through NetGalley. This is my honest review.

Giveaway