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.
Her latest novella is JILTED a Clean Contemporary Romance.
It was truly a pleasure to interview Carla and find out more about her upcoming projects in 2016:
Q: How does it feel to be starting a new collection of books?
Carla: Both exciting and odd! I think it’s a bit like starting a new job. You’re excited about the potential and all the new experiences, but you’re leaving behind something beloved and familiar. I enjoyed writing the MacDonald Family series with its UK setting, so it feels different to be writing Americans again.
Q: What was/or where did you get your inspiration for this book?
Carla: It will come as no surprise that I’m a bit of a foodie, so I wanted to write another chef, this time a female. I think I might have been influenced by the sudden cold turn of our weather, too, because I chose the sunniest, most tropical, and most exotic-sounding place I could think of for the setting—Belize. I’m not sure where the plot came from: it arrived fully formed, and I wrote it in a couple of weeks. It doesn’t always happen like that for me, but I love it when it does.
Q: What aspect/part of this book did you enjoy researching the most and why?
Carla: Shocker—the food! Because Bethany is a chef and she wants Derek to experience the true flavors of Belize, I spent a lot of time researching traditional dishes, street food, the best restaurants in the areas they travel to. I’ve amassed quite a collection of recipes to try some day. Fortunately, I’m familiar with the flavors of Central America and the Caribbean, so I didn’t actually have to cook all of them to be able to describe them. (My family might not have minded if I had, though.)
Q: Which character in this book is your favourite?
Carla: I love Bethany, which is probably a given since I chose to make her the focus of the story. She’s experienced heartbreak but deep down still remains hopeful about love. I admire that about her. I would like to be that resilient myself!
Q: Which character in this book do you relate to the most?
Carla: Bethany’s best friend and sous chef, Mariska. I don’t relate to her serial dating habits, though I can definitely be a bubbly extrovert at times, but she’s the one who always tells her friend the thing she needs to hear. Many times, I fill that role for my own friends. You’ll get a little sympathy from me, but mostly you’ll get a whole lot of practical advice. Just call me the Human Reality Check!
Q: Which character do you relate to least?
Carla: Believe it or not, Derek! I’m not sure I could recover from being left at the altar so quickly. He takes change in stride with remarkable calm, both in his personal and professional life. I definitely tend to be more emotional about things (at least initially, and then it’s time to give myself a reality check!)
Q: What are you going to be working on next? Is this novella part of a series, collection? What can readers expect?
Carla: Jilted is the first novella in my new Discovered by Love series, which will be a collection of short, clean contemporary romances about people who aren’t looking for love…but it discovers them anyway. I’m currently offering this as an exclusive e-book on my website—free to subscribers!
My third and final volume in the MacDonald Family series, Under Scottish Stars, will be released in June 2017. Stay tuned (or better yet, sign up for my newsletter! Hint, hint!) for news on future inspirational romance novels.
Carla Laureano: I love hearing from readers. Track me down at any of the social media outlets below or by email at carla(at)carlalaureano(dot)com.
Bethany Hall is hiding out on a remote private island off the coast of Belize, creating romantic meals for the rich and the privileged. But when her client Derek Moretti’s bride jilts him at the altar, he’s left with a bitter view on love, a $30,000 a week bungalow, and for the first time in his life, nowhere else to be.
After Derek overhears his beautiful personal chef talking about how he dodged a bullet when his bridezilla left him, he begins to think that maybe she’s right. He convinces Bethany to act as his personal tour guide for the remainder of his trip, but neither expect that their purely platonic arrangement could shake their preconceptions about love.
Could Derek have been in the right place at the right time…just with the wrong woman?