Thursday, December 1, 2022

Samantha Vérant is the spice of a book giveaway

Photo by Elvire Vérant
Today we are pleased to welcome Samantha Vérant back to CLC. Her latest novel, The Spice Master at Bistro Exotique, releases on December 6th and we are so excited for you to read it soon. Thanks to Berkley, we have one copy to share with a lucky reader!

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

Kate Jenkins has finally achieved her lifelong dream: after years of studying to be a chef and meticulous financial planning, she is just about to open her very own restaurant. Bistro Exotique is set to be the most chic spot in Paris, if Kate has anything to do with it – until it all goes wrong. Within a matter of days, a series of catastrophes derail Kate’s plans, and all her staff quits.

But just as Kate is down on her luck, she meets Garrance, the self-proclaimed Spice Master of Paris. And this chance encounter may be just the thing to jumpstart Kate’s new business. Garrance establishes a partnership between Kate and her moody, yet totally sexy, son, who also happens to be a chef. Sparks fly in and out of the kitchen, and that’s before Garrance gifts Kate some of her rare herbs and spices. When Kate and her customers taste the dishes infused with Garrance’s spices, they are whisked away on their wildest fantasies. Is a taste of magic enough to turn Kate’s new venture into a dream come true?

"The Spice Master of Bistro Exotique is a romantic and culinary delight, from its delicious start to its tantalizing finish! In Samantha Vérant’s signature style, mouthwatering recipes are woven into a steamy rom-com, resulting in a story that will leave you sated and smiling and deeply satisfied. With a gorgeous Parisian setting, mouthwatering recipes, and two hilarious and worthy protagonists, Vérant knocks it out of the park with this laugh-out-loud funny romantic comedy.”
—Lori Nelson Spielman, bestselling author of The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany

"The Spice Master at Bistro Exotique is a Parisian delight! Samantha Vérant has created an enchanting novel with a sprinkle of magic that will leave readers incredibly satisfied. We highly recommend you treat yourself to this delicious story!"
—Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke, authors of How To Save A Life

What is something you've learned from writing your previous novels that you would apply to Spice Master?
Bringing more flavors into my stories–whether I’m writing about food, the place/places, or the characters. With that said, I had a lot of fun with this book, whether creating quirky characters or recipes. Nuances– every recipe, every person has them and it is so much fun exploring the seasonings.

What were the biggest rewards and challenges with writing Spice Master?
The challenge with writing Spice Master was coming up with recipes for the book (in the prose and actual recipes), finding the spices (thanks, Google), ordering them, and testing the recipes. I mean, if you have a book called Spice Master, you need spices! The reward (after a few failed, but eatable, attempts) was coming up with recipes my family loved. I’m now a huge fan of urfa biber flakes and grains of paradise.

If Spice Master were made into a movie, which songs would be on the soundtrack?
In addition to any music created by Hang Massive (my protagonist’s eccentric mom plays a hang drum), I refer to the following artists/songs in the manuscript:

"All About the Bass" by Meghan Trainor
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift
"Prayer in C" by Lilly Wood and the Prick
"Shape of You," "Perfect," and "Shivers" by Ed Sheeran
"I Got Sunshine" by Avery Sunshine
"Pour Moi La Vie Va Commencer" by Johnny Hallyday
"Run the World (Girls)" by Beyonce

Voilà! We have a play list!

What are your favorite spices to use when you're cooking?
I use a lot of ginger, turmeric, and fresh ground pepper. Thanks to my research and recipe testing for this book, urfa biber flakes are now on this list too.

Which TV series are you currently binge watching?
The latest season of Dead to Me, Extraordinary Attorney Woo, and The Watcher.

If we were to visit you, what are some places you would take us to see?
If I were to meet you in Paris I’d take you to the 10th arrondissement and show you some of the places that inspired Spice Master. Should you come to Toulouse, where I live, I’d take you into the city for a tour, then the following day we’d take off for Albi, Cordes-sur-Ciel, voted one of the most beautiful towns in France, and we’d hit some more beautiful villages on La Route des Bastides. If there was time, it might be fun to head up to a château in Gaillac for a wine tasting, to Carcassonne with its famous medieval citadel for a little French history, or to the Pyrenees for a hike. It would depend on what you would like to do! At the end of our day, I’d definitely cook for you…adding in spices to your taste, of course.

Thanks to Samantha for chatting 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

Giveaway ends December 6th at midnight EST.

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Listen to this book on Speechify!


Suburban prep said...

I use ginger and nutmeg and allspice and cinnamon a lot in baking this time of year especially.

traveler said...

My favorite spice is basil.

Rita Wray said...

I like dill and parsley. I use cardamom for baking.

Bonnie K. said...

I use a lot of spices. I guess the one I use quite a bit is the chili powder.

satkins said...

I use a lot of different spices-what I use the most is fresh garlic

diannekc said...

I use fresh garlic or a roasted garlic and herb spice blend.

Mary Preston said...

Garlic, but it's a herb.

Mary Patricia Bird said...

I honestly don't do a lot of cooking. At Christmas time Cinnamon is a staple.

bn100 said...