About the BookTitle: The Saturday Night Supper Club
Author: Carla Laureano
Genre: Christian fiction/romance fiction
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Denver 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…
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My ThoughtsCharming, witty, and relevant for today … The Saturday Night Supper Club is all that and more. This is the first book by Carla Laureano that I’ve read and I’m instantly a fan of this skilled author’s work.
As you would expect from the book’s description, there’s plenty of food, friendship and romance – but I was delighted to discover a lot more complexity than I expected. The story combines elements of romance and women’s fiction with rich characterization and relevant social issues.
The relevancy of social media gone awry is the catalyst that moves Rachel out of a job she loves into an area of trying to prove her worth as a person. Both Rachel and Alex are extremely appealing lead characters, and rather than what Twitter thinks, Alex sees Rachel as guarded, tough-minded, and determined. As their initial relationship turns into friendship, the romantic tension can be felt and their snappy, witty dialogue is so much fun.
Although Denver’s restaurants and food itself play a big part, this is more of a character-driven story, which I loved, as I’m a simple country cook. Although I didn’t connect with all the foodie stuff, it was fascinating to glimpse behind the scenes into the restaurant world. But those foodies out there will be crazy about this book.
Bottom line: I loved everything about The Saturday Night Supper Club and am eager for the next story in this series.
I was provided a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and Tyndale Fiction. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
About the Author
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 LaureanoI’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.
Rachel Scott McDaniel, February 20
A Baker’s Perspective, February 20
Just Commonly, February 20
Mommynificent, February 21
Among The Reads, February 21
A Greater Yes, February 21
proud to be an autism mom, February 21
Fiction Aficionado, February 22
Quiet Quilter, February 22
The Power of Words, February 23
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, February 23
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, 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
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 26
Splashes of Joy, February 27
Its Storytime with Van Daniker, 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
The Fizzy Pop Collection, March 2
Have A Wonderful Day, March 2
Reader’s Cozy Corner, March 2
Bibliophile Reviews, March 3
Two Points of Interest, March 3
Reading is my Super Power, March 3
Texas Book-aholic, March 4
amandainpa, March 4
Singing Librarian Books, March 4
By The Book, March 5
Neverending Stories, March 5
Pursuing Stacie, March 5
To celebrate her tour, Carla is giving away a grand prize of a $200 Visa Card for the winner and a friend to attend a cooking class!!
Click the image above or the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!