Carla Laureano has graciously offered to give away a copy of her new release (US ONLY). You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends February 23, 2018. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you and pass on your information.)
Q&A with Carla...
Q: What is something your readers would be surprised to know about you?
A: I’m definitely a city girl, but I’ve got some serious DIY chops. I’ve painted the entire house interior by myself, despite the fact I’m afraid of heights and hate being up on a ladder. My husband and I also remodeled our kitchen with my dad’s help in 2016. We assembled and installed cabinets, tiled the backsplash, did wiring, plumbing, you name it. The only thing we had professionally installed were the countertops. After doing that, I feel like I can do just about anything, so I’m constantly looking for home improvement projects, especially ones that involve power tools. Next up is a refresh for the hall/kids’/guest bathroom. It so desperately needs it; I just need to find the free time to work on it.
Q: We painted out house before we moved in, and that was enough for me, lol! I really enjoyed the painting, far more than I expected. Along those same lines, what household item can you not live without?
A: I have two messy school-age boys, so vacuum cleaner immediately comes to mind. But that’s not really a fun answer, so I’m going to say my Vitamix. I had to wait almost ten years to buy one, and I love that thing beyond what’s reasonable to feel for an appliance.
Q: Ha! I've never tried that. Perhaps I'll have to give it a go. What are some of the books in your TBR pile?
A: I’ve got so many! I’m still trying to catch up on books that I’ve missed over the last couple of years. Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh, The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry, The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck, and The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley are four of them. But there’s at least a dozen more staring at me in judgment on the shelf of my nightstand, not to mention everything loaded on my e-reader.
Q: Oh, I hear you! My pile is huge, as well. You definitely listed some great books. I hope you find time to read them this year. Do you have any specific rituals for when you work? This could be anything, such as music, a particular snack, a specific pen you use, or an article of clothing you need to wear.
A: Not really. The closest I come is the fact I need a drink nearby, but that’s more practical than ritual. I don’t like to give myself excuses to get up, especially when the work is not going well. Sometimes it’s tea or coffee or just my ubiquitous glass water bottle. (I seriously walk around the house with it, take it into stores, carry it in my car. Denver is dry!) I do like to have noise-canceling headphones when I’m working somewhere other than my office, but again, that’s more of a practical thing.
Q: I like to have a drink nearby, as well, so I understand. What project are you currently working on?
A: I’m currently doing content edits on the second book in the Supper Club series, Brunch at Bittersweet Café. For readers who have already read The Saturday Night Supper Club, this is pastry chef Melody’s story! As soon as I’m finished with this, I’m diving into the first draft of the as-yet-untitled book three of this series.
Q: Yay! Something to look forward to! Finally, what advice do you have for new writers?
A: Don’t start stressing over publication now. Fall in love with language and story. Hone your craft. Try out different techniques. Play with points-of-view and styles and structures. Give yourself room to fail and try again. If you’re already thinking about audience and marketing and sales, you’ll hamper your creativity. For now, just play. The rest will still be there when you’re ready, I promise. It took me fifteen years of writing novels before I got published, and I don’t regret that apprenticeship for one second. It was the best preparation for a professional writing career that I could have asked for.
Great advice! Thanks so much, Carla. I'm sure my readers will enjoy getting to know you a bit better.
If you are a foodie, this is a book you need to check out. (It’s enjoyable for non-foodies, as well!)
Denver chef Rachel Bishop is smack dab in the middle of a social media campaign that seems designed to ruin her image. Despite being a James Beard Award winner and having a fine-dining restaurant, she now finds herself out of business, trying to figure out what to do with her life. Alex Kanin never expected his article to develop a life of its own. While sending Rachel’s career into a tailspin, his own career is revived. He didn’t intend for things to turn out as they did, and he wants to do what he can to make things up to Rachel and repair the damage done by his words. Will Alex be able to keep things on a professional level? Will Rachel even accept his help?
Laureano’s latest (the first in a new series) has flawed yet resilient characters, making their search for identity, God’s plans, etc. relatable. The descriptions will leave the reader feeling like they are a part of the story … and hungry! Non-foodies will not be lost, as the author does a wonderful job of explaining things about the food industry. It’s nice to have the social media aspect and the impact our words have on others highlighted in this story, as it is something to keep in mind when doing anything online.
The Christian message is woven throughout the story, so it does not overwhelm the reader. The social media aspect keeps things relevant to today’s culture as it highlights the importance of not making judgments before knowing all the facts. Some parts near the end seemed to wrap up a bit abruptly, but perhaps they will be addressed in another book.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.
Carla Laureano is the RITA Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.
Where you can find her online...