Friday, April 22, 2011

Romance Novel: The Love Goddess' Cooking School, Author: Melissa Senate

 Something Genuine This Way Comes...

“…I consulted the stones and was overcome with peace, which meant offering the course was the right thing to do, but I had no idea in what way.” from character, Nonna’s, diary in The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate

What I wouldn’t give for something tangible and reliable to help me make tough decisions.

“…she would do anything for a magic wand or her grandmother’s gift of knowing.” The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate

Yep, bring on that wand.

“Just ask for help, she reminded herself…Her grandmother had once told her that one of life’s best lessons was not being afraid to look foolish -- to just ask the question.” The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate

I’m a person who likes to learn. I have learned that you can’t learn if you are convinced you already know something. I generally approach things with the notion that I don’t know nuttin about nuttin. That way I’m open to learn. I am amazed how many people have to know everything. How do they get through life that way?

“I just knew that I liked girls who spoke their minds, said how they felt, were full of ideas.”  The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate

Now that’s a real man…er…real novel character man…er…a sentence that resonates with truth about real men. Yeah, that’s it.

Simon (the real man, see above) speaking regarding a reading Camilla gave Tamara’s sister:
“Fate and fortunes are a funny thing. Tamara, do you think it was fate or did your sister engineer that meeting because she knew it was her fortune?” The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate

It’s an age old question - is it really possible to predict the future or does one make the prediction happen once they’ve heard it? What do you think?

Shimmery sentence alert:
“She headed back into the kitchen and stood in the center of the room and felt as though the air was filled with tiny invisible bubbles of possibility.” The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate

Goosebumps alert:
“When he crossed, he turned and stopped, eyeing her for a moment before holding up his hand and disappearing down the path with her heart.” The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate

Strongly resonating novel truth:
“Leaving would reinforce for Luciana that there was something wrong with her mother, that her mother had to run away. And that she, Luciana, had something to be ashamed of. Which is not true. And so I stayed, hoping by doing so, I’d teach my daughter something important.” The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate

This, dearies, is the real essence, or to use a ten-dollar word, the quintessence, of a novel truth for me. Truth has layers like an onion. One layer of the J,J,J onion is, what I’m doing right now living in rural Kentucky where I’m too allergic to the agri - lawn chemicals to go outside, and I’m too at odds with the belief systems of the general population to make friends and I’m a city girl in a country world, what I’m really doing is standing my ground. Saying to my mother - who is the rock that I crash against to grow stronger- you are not going to drive me out of the lives of my children or grandchildren ever for one moment just because I have different beliefs than you and you think I’m wrong and you’re right. I’m not wrong. I’m strong and smart and my children and grandchildren will know that even though you’d like to crush that truth and me with it.

Again with the resonating truth:
“…mistakes can bring you where you need to be.” The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate

I’ve made so many mistakes I shudder to think where I could be if they weren’t taking me where I need to be.

Been there, done that, learned the lesson, bought the t-shirt. And read the book. A great book. I loved it. It had everything. And foodie porn. And recipes. And loveable arcing characters.

Music mentions: opera, sorry, not my thing, non-specific blues - I can dig the blues. Saw BB King and was blown away - the Killers, no specific song mentioned.

A ten-dollar word that I love: disingenuous - not genuinely sincere or withholding information - when you say it correctly it feels good rolling off your tongue. Get out your mirror and say it several times while watching your mouth move.

While you do that, I’m going to do a bing search and see what else the wonderful Melissa Senate has written.


  1. A wand. I'd love a wand. Sounds like a wonderful book.

  2. Judy, I'm so happy I came across your post--I'm beyond touched that my novel resonated with you and that you found all these truths. This post is an author's dream, I'll tell you. So thank you very much.

    If you email me at with your address, I'll send you a signed copy of my previous book, The Secret of Joy.

    Thanks again, Judy. And stay true, and as I'm sure you will.

    :) Melissa

  3. Okay, hold on, I have to absorb the fact that Melissa just came by Judy's place...

    Right, so now I need to go in search of All Books By Melissa, in order of publication, so as to be Very Prepared!

    Nicely done here, just really nicely done.

  4. I may faint, or cry or something. I'm definitely going to e-mail her. Wow!

  5. What a nice note from the author! But I think I'd feel that way too if I found this posting about my book!

    "I’ve made so many mistakes I shudder to think where I could be if they weren’t taking me where I need to be. " <-- That's a little bit of genius right there, JJJ. As great as the line was in the positive (tip of the hat to the clearly talented Ms Senate whose book is about the make the Betty rounds I'm sure), putting it in the negative really caught my attention. Hrm... Must go blog about it...

  6. "I’ve made so many mistakes I shudder to think where I could be if they weren’t taking me where I need to be."

    Yes. This. And thanks to you for this. As well as the novel recommend - sounds like an excellent read ;-)

  7. I immediately went and ordered this book from the library--it looks amazing.

    And I can tell you as an author, finding a review like this makes your whole day. sometimes your whole week :-)

  8. This is definitely my kind of to the bookshop tomorrow.
    Also, thought you'd like to know, after commenting that I couldn't find the first Janest Evanovich novel anywhere I went in to a used book store yesterday and guess what they had on display? Yep. I grabbed it straight away and will be reading it tonight.

  9. I just ordered the book. How cool to have the author comment on your lovely blog.