Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Samantha Vérant cooks up a great story...plus a book giveaway

Today we are thrilled to have Samantha Vérant with us to celebrate the publication of her latest novel, The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux. Just from e-mailing with Samantha, we can tell that she is a total sweetheart. We hope you will enjoy getting to know her as much as we have. Thanks to Berkley, we have an a print copy and an e-book (NetGalley) of The Secret French Recipes to give away!

Samantha Vérant is a travel addict, a self-professed oenophile, and a determined, if occasionally unconventional, at home French chef. She lives in southwestern France, where she's married to a sexy French rocket scientist she met in 1989 (but ignored for twenty years), a stepmom to two incredible kids, and the adoptive mother to a ridiculously adorable French cat. When she’s not trekking from Provence to the Pyrénées or embracing her inner Julia Child, Sam is making her best effort to relearn those dreaded conjugations. (Bio courtesy of Samantha's website.)

Visit Samantha online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

A disgraced chef rediscovers her passion for food and her roots in this stunning novel rich in culture and full of delectable recipes.

French-born American chef Sophie Valroux had one dream: to be part of the one percent of female chefs running a Michelin-starred restaurant. From spending summers with her grandmother, who taught her the power of cooking and food, to attending the Culinary Institute of America, Sophie finds herself on the cusp of getting everything she's dreamed of.

Until her career goes up in flames.

Sabotaged by a fellow chef, Sophie is fired, leaving her reputation ruined and confidence shaken. To add fuel to the fire, Sophie learns that her grandmother has suffered a stroke and takes the red-eye to France. There, Sophie discovers the simple home she remembers from her childhood is now a luxurious château, complete with two restaurants and a vineyard. As Sophie tries to reestablish herself in the kitchen, she comes to understand the lengths people will go to for success and love, and how dreams can change.
(Courtesy of Amazon.)

What is a favorite compliment you have received for your writing?
We authors are told not to check our reviews, but I do. For me, it’s like checking in on your baby and books have a really long gestational period. With that said, a reviewer from the advance copy of THE SECRET FRENCH RECIPES OF SOPHIE VALROUX called the writing “delightful, passionate, and fierce” and mentioned the many layers to the story. Another reviewer could smell and picture the scenery and scents. And quite a few people have warned: “do not read this book when hungry.” All of these compliments tell me I’m doing something right. And that truly makes me happy and fills me with inspiration.

How are you similar to or different from Sophie?
I’ve made the move from writing memoir to fiction and I write what I know. There is a lot of Sophie in me. She tries to come off as strong, although not at her weakest point. She’s a klutz. She has an open heart and loves to cook to nourish the people around her. With her, I suppose I created an alter ego or fantasy. Sure, I may be married to a sexy Frenchman, but I didn’t inherit a massive château.

If The Secret French Recipes were made into a movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?
I Googled hot French actors to cast Rémi, the love interest. The research was fun and I discovered Sébastian Dupuis. Sophie was a bit harder to find. She needed to be fierce and beautiful with long black hair and green eyes. Megan Fox kept popping up…and then I found Gal Gadot, who played Wonder Woman. As for Grand-mère Odette: hands down Catherine Deneuve.

What is the last book you read that you would recommend?
The last book I read was WITH OR WITHOUT YOU by Caroline Leavitt and I adored it. I’ve also been reading a lot of debut authors, members of a group I’m in. There have been so many amazing reads and I could go on and on. During confinement, I read and reviewed over 30 amazing books––all noted on Goodreads.

What is your go-to dessert recipe?
Any kind of fruit crumble or, lately, chocolate truffles.

What is something you have learned about yourself during this pandemic?
Aside from that I can make sourdough bread from scratch, I’ve learned how important connecting to/with people is–– and not just over Zoom. I really miss my family. Unfortunately, thanks to the pandemic, I don’t know when I’ll be able to travel back to the U.S. Alas, along with my husband and kids, I have a large network of friends in France and we do our best to keep each other’s spirits up.

Thanks to Samantha for visiting with us and to Berkley for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends September 13th at midnight EST.


Melissa said...

I'm a huge fan of haricot verts!

susieqlaw said...


traveler said...


Shannon Godfrey said...

I haven’t had the pleasure of tasting many French dishes but I do love crepes! Sweet and savory ones!

aggie56 said...

Croissants are my favorite

Suburban prep said...

I love Vichyssoise.

diannekc said...


bn100 said...

no fav

Mary Preston said...

Wine and cheese and crusty bread

Nancy said...

I am a fan of assorted French baked goods.

allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Bonnie K. said...

I really enjoy eating ratatouille during the summer months with home grown tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers.

rubynreba said...


Shannon S said...

Being an introvert isn't a horrible thing!