I love cookbooks that tell a story (and in my case, my cookbook includes many stories).  Angela Carter once said, “Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.”  That is what I hope my book does for everyone who reads it. I hope my stories and recipes bring you untold joy. I hope they stir up happy and heartfelt memories of the past and hope for the future. I hope it provides you with moments of great laughter and emotions that bring forth happy tears. I hope my recipes and stories not only nourish your bellies, but your souls!

After years of dreaming about having a book signing/reading at Quail Ridge Books, the day finally arrived!

Quail Ridge Books and Music is a twenty-four year old award-winning independent bookstore here in Raleigh, NC that provides a wide variety of carefully selected books, events, discussion groups and town hall meetings. QRB specializes in fine literature and nonfiction for adults and children, with particular focus on the South.

Look! That’s me with QRB founder, Nancy Olson. Nancy is just a terrific lady. She’s very passionate and kind. Having a book signing at Nancy’s bookstore, is going to be one of the highlight’s of my year.

“…And wherever Elise is, there’s Food!”

Tony Arnold of Engage Media Relations

I was so happy to bring along some of my favorite recipes from my new cookbook.

There for all of the attendees to enjoy were my Pumpkin Chip Scones, my Orange Vanilla Sugar Cookies, my Blueberry Peach Crumb Cake and My Mom’s Famous Chicken Salad Sandwiches.


At the end of the afternoon someone asked if they could take some cookies home to their children. I, of course, said yes and they responded, “Well, I have seventeen children at home” with a sparkle in their eye. We all just laughed and of course the gentleman only took a couple of cookies. I think I know which recipe he’ll be making first!


The event began with an introduction by the very kind and beautiful Sandra of QRB. Sandra spoke of my horrific speech impediment as a child and of the refuge I found within the walls of my grandmother’s tiny basement kitchen.

At one point during the introduction Sandra referred tome as the-child-who-couldn’t-even-say her-own-name. Some of the folks present who knew me well chuckled! I certainly have made up for those missed years.

For the book reading portion of my signing at Quail Ridge, I chose to read The Murder Mystery Dinner, one of my favorite stories in my book. This story stirs wonderful memories of a visit my parents made to our home in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. A thunderstorm, a fire outside our home, the sound of breaking glass, a frightened group of guests (especially the feline member of our family, Isabel) and then my mother saying in the frightened voice of a little girl, “I don’t think I want to play this anymore” was a wonderful memory/story to share with everyone. The attendees reaction was the assurance I needed. I had made the right choice in choosing that story for this occasion.



[en-kur-ij, -kuhr-] S
verb (used with object), en·cour·aged, en·cour·ag·ing.

1. to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence
2. to stimulate by assistance, approval, etc.
3. to promote, advance, or foster

I enjoyed answering questions and hearing comments after the reading. Founder/Owner, Nancy Olson, began to make a comment on my book. Nancy began telling the folks who came how much she loved my book. She used words like “engrossed” and “well done!” Nancy told of how she read the book cover to cover the same day and of how “she couldn’t put it down!” I could hardly believe my ears. Nancy Olson had said this about my book. How thankful was I to hear these words. That was a moment I will never forget and always treasure.

Let the book signing begin!

Thank you to those who came out to support, not only me and my book, but independent stores like Quail Ridge Books and Music. It is because of passionate people like Nancy Olson that local independent businesses can make a difference in their communities!

Warren, the manager of Quail Ridge Books suggested we trademark my laugh…why would he suggest that? : )










Now, here I am in the back of Quail Ridge Bookstore where authors signed photographs are framed and hung…in the bathroom! Don’t you just love that?









Here is my signed photograph which will be hung on the wall with others like Jan Karon, Natalie Dupree, Paula Deen and Anthony Bourdain!

I mentioned to Warren, the very helpful and kind manager, that I would love to be placed right next to Paula Deen. I am called the “Portuguese Paula Deen” after all! :  – )

What an honor that would be and talk about great company!




Thanks to the great folks at my favorite bookstore! And, Nancy, I adore you! Elise

You Never Cook Alone can be found at Quail Ridge Books and Music in Raleigh, NC, Barnes and Noble in Cary, NC and in North Dartmouth, MA or ordered through Amazon! Many local businesses in my hometown of Fall River have signed copies as well!