Friday, May 22, 2015

Guest Post & #Giveaway with Carla Laureano!

Last week's winner of Pepper Basham's book is Tammy Cordery!
I'm totally stoked to have Carla with us today on the blog! Her book is the first book I ever read on my Kindle. I read it the week my husband was missioning it off in Guatemala. Perfect time for a romance about a hunky International hero. Made me excited to have Nate come home all tan and heroic for serving out of country. It was a relaxing, fun read, Five Days in Skye, and who doesn't like to be transported to Scotland? ME ME ME!!!

So we chatted with Carla this week and here's what she had to share:

1. What inspired your story idea?

The idea to write a celebrity chef came about because of too much time spent watching Food Network and a slight crush on Curtis Stone. I thought how strange it would be to go from being a somewhat anonymous chef who simply loved to cook to a household name (and face). The setting came afterward, once I established that my heroine was an overworked businesswoman who was reevaluating her life choices. I’d gone through much of the same transformation while my husband and I traveled through Scotland, and so it made sense to set her epiphany on the Isle of Skye, the same place I had mine.

2. What is your favorite characteristic about your story’s hero and heroine?
I love how loosely James holds his fame and fortune. He’s very driven and successful, but he possesses humility and a sense of wonder. He’s worked hard, but family is more important to him than success.

As for Andrea, I admire her perseverance. She’s gotten somewhat of a raw deal in her past, but she refuses to be a victim and has made a pretty incredible life for herself.

3. Please tell us about the spiritual theme of your story you hope every reader is challenged by:

No matter what you’ve done or how far you’ve strayed, God is always waiting for you with open arms. There is nowhere far enough to outrun his love.

4. Jaime & Anne are coffee addicts. Erica & Gabrielle are tea lovers. What about you? Coffee or Tea?

Both! I’m a recovering caffeine addict, though, so I have to keep my intake very low. I typically start my morning with a cup of decaf or half-caf, and then I drink herbal tea for the rest of the day. I have an entire cabinet devoted to my mugs, coffee, and tea. I guess that’s how you know you’re a real aficionado—when you keep drinking it, even without the caffeine!

5. Favorite historical movie? Or mini-series?

Oh, that’s so hard. Gone With the Wind, The Quiet Man, Lawrence of Arabia, Chariots of Fire, The Young Victoria… there’s so many, I couldn’t choose. I also have a secret love for not-quite-historical epics like Gladiator and King Arthur. I choose to overlook historical inaccuracies when it’s an engaging story.

6. While Jaime loves to take selfies, and Erica & Gabrielle love museums, Anne loves Pinterest and food pics. Share a food pic, a favorite family recipe, or link us to your latest pin on Pinterest.
I love Pinterest and food pics too! How about my favorite food-related pin? I adore Middle Eastern and North African flavors, and dishes like Moroccan Lentil Stew with Raisins are my go-to for quick and healthy weeknight meals. (This one also happens to be gluten-free.)

7. Always wanted to be an author? Or surprised your path led you to publish?

I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember. I wrote my first short story when I was seven, and my first (awful) novel at sixteen. I started writing seriously for publication in college, but it took another fifteen years to get an agent and a book contract. I’m a great example of what can happen if you work hard and stick to it. It’s still hard to believe that I’m about to release my fourth novel.

8. Favorite century to read? To write? To watch on TV or in a movie?

At this very moment, I prefer 20th and 21st century settings, but that hasn’t always been the case and it changes depending on my mood. Medieval and Renaissance Europe, Early America, 18th and 19th century China…I won’t turn down a great story, no matter where or when it’s set.

9. Favorite heroine of all time, and why?

Again with the hard questions! I’d have to say Jane Eyre. She was a revolutionary character for the time: an independent, strong-minded feminist in an age where women had few choices. I like to think she’s one of the templates for our current historical romance heroines who defy convention, and in doing so, earn their happily-ever-afters.

MAN! What a fun interview!! Carla's favorite all-time heroine is mine too: JANE EYRE! Love that woman. And Gladiator??? Carla, we need a weekend getaway. I'm so with you on that movie. 

So readers, here are some other great facts about Carla! She is the author of the RITA® award-winning romance Five Days in Skye as well as the Celtic fantasy series The Song of Seare (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.

Connect with Carla: Web | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest 


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Jaime Wright -

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional

Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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  1. Thanks so much for having me! I'm thinking we need a Jane Eyre/Gladiator watching weekend...what do you say?

  2. Great interview with Carla! Ladies, have a fabulous weekend! I can't wait to read Five Days in Skye!

  3. I so LOVE this book! Oh James... my dear yummy dreamy James. Since I already have a copy of the book, I will just be here in a James-induced swoon until someone needs me :)

    1. Confession: he's a hard hero to follow up. Thanks for dropping by. :)

  4. I too read Five Days in Skye on my Kindle and loved it! Can't wait to read this next story.


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