Nicole: I am thrilled to have author Carla Laureano join us today at Inkwell Inspirations to discuss her latest contemporary romance novel, The Solid Grounds Coffee Company, which was chosen as the February book club selection for the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Facebook Group. Carla Laureano recently led a live Facebook chat in the Avid Readers Group to discuss her book with the members of the group.
Carla, thank you so much for joining us today!
Carla: Thanks so much for the invitation!
Nicole: I loved reading The Solid Grounds Coffee Company. It was actually the first book of yours that I have read! Now I want to go back and read the rest of the series. I really enjoyed the strong bond of friendship that Rachel, Ana, and Melody share in the novel and all of the food and coffee references. Now I need to ask you…what is your favorite coffee house drink? I am more of a hot chocolate girl myself, but I love the smell of coffee.
Carla: Ooh, that’s a tough one. It really depends on where I am. Usually it’s some sort of latte, with decaf espresso and coconut or almond milk. I really like the Brown Sugar & Rosemary latte at my local independent coffee house, and right now I’m a little bit obsessed with the Smoked Butterscotch Latte at Starbucks (though I order mine with almond milk and half the sweetener). I like flavored stuff, I just don’t like all the sugar.
Nicole: The Solid Grounds Coffee Company is a beautiful story of new beginnings, friendship, and finding love. What message or inspiration do you hope that people will get from reading The Solid Grounds Coffee Company?
Carla: We all make mistakes, and I think we have the tendency to go one of two ways: either lock down on our behavior and our image so we never do it again or consider ourselves hopeless, neither of which are healthy. I’m betting that every reader can find bits of themselves in Bryan and Ana and their struggles to come to terms with their pasts, and I’m hoping that they come away with an understanding that our mistakes don’t have to define us. It’s what we do afterwards that makes us who we are.
Nicole: I love being a member of the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Facebook group and participating in so many wonderful discussions within the group. As a reader, I get to share my love of Christian fiction with the other members in the group, and I have discovered so many new-to-me authors who have become must-read authors. From an author’s perspective, what do you like best about participating in the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Facebook Group, and what has been your favorite part of having The Solid Grounds Coffee Company as the book club selection this month?
Carla: I like the chance to take off my author hat and talk books as a reader, but I really love how positive the group is in general. With very few exceptions, all the members just want to discuss how much they love Christian fiction and share their new favorites! I belong to a lot of book groups on Facebook, but none of them are as appreciative of Christian fiction and just overall cheery as Avid Readers. A lot of that has to do with the administrators’ hard work to keep the tone friendly and inclusive, which is not an easy thing with over twelve thousand members.
The book club was especially fun because I love doing live chats, I just don’t have the time to do them as frequently as I like. And I appreciated the opportunity to get my books in front of readers who may not have heard of me yet. With all the great fiction out there, it’s hard to keep track of new releases.
Nicole: I noticed your author bio stated that you wrote one of your series as C. E. Laureano. What made you decide to write under a different version of your name for that series? I am always fascinated by pseudonyms, especially when an author chooses a first and last name that is completely different from their given name.
Carla: At the time I started publishing, I was writing both fantasy and contemporary romance simultaneously. My publishers were a little concerned there might be some confusion from readers who bought the book online and didn’t realize what they were getting. I chose C. E. Laureano for the Song of Seare Trilogy because my books would be shelved together in the bookstore and library, but it was enough of a distinction to know that they were separate genres. Now that I’m a little more established, I don’t think it’s such a big deal. In fact, I recently got my rights back to the series, and I will be republishing them as Carla Laureano next year. Hopefully that will help readers find them more easily, since so few people are aware that I write fantasy as well as contemporary romance!
Nicole: Can you share any information about your future releases and/or your current work in progress?
Carla: I’m thrilled to say that the final volume in the MacDonald Family series, Under Scottish Stars, is set to be released in July after a five year wait! (Whew! I’m grateful everyone has hung in for that one!) Then in summer/fall 2021, I will be releasing a stand-alone novel called Provenance, about a young woman who, after having been abandoned by her mother and raised in foster care, learns she’s inherited a historic home from a grandmother she never knew existed. It was a great opportunity to explore how our relationships with our parents and the people of authority in our lives influence our relationship with God…and it also let me geek out over historic architecture and my favorite Colorado mountain towns.
Nicole: Wow, Provenance sounds amazing! I can’t wait to read both of your upcoming books. Carla, thank you again for joining us today! This has been a pleasure to chat with you!
Carla: Thanks again for having me, Nicole! It’s always my pleasure, for sure!
The Solid Grounds Coffee Company by Carla Laureano is the perfect book for coffee lovers and gourmet food lovers everywhere. Even though this is the third book in Carla Laureano’s Supper Club series, it can be read as a standalone novel since the author includes the necessary background information about the characters. In fact, this is the first novel that I have ever read by Carla Laureano. However, since the three close female friends, Rachel, Melody, and Ana, all play a role throughout the series, I plan to go back and read the earlier books in the series to get the full details of how the supper club was originally formed and how the women met their significant others.
In The Solid Grounds Coffee Company, Analyn Sanchez, a crisis management associate, is put on leave when she refuses to comprise her morals to save the reputation of one of her clients. Her friend Bryan Shaw, a professional rock climber, finds himself also without a job and unexpectedly buys a coffee farm. Could starting a coffee business be the solution to both of their problems?
Along with the developing romantic relationship in The Solid Grounds Coffee Company, the novel takes readers to the heart of coffee production and makes them feel like they are part of the experience. Fans of The Saturday Night Supper Club will love this third installment of the series as coffee and good food come together for a satisfying experience. Readers will want to enjoy their favorite coffee house drink while reading this book. The Solid Grounds Coffee Company is recommended for readers of contemporary romance.
*I purchased a copy of this book and was under no obligation to write a review. All opinions expressed are mine.
Analyn Sanchez can handle the long hours and arrogant clients that come with her job as a crisis management associate at Denver’s largest publicity firm. The high-powered job, expensive condo, and designer wardrobe are all part of her plan to prove to her family that her life choices haven’t been in vain. But when she’s asked to cover up a client’s misdeeds with serious moral and legal ramifications, she can no longer sacrifice her conscience for her career . . . and the cost is no less than her job.
Ever since a devastating climbing accident in South America eight months ago, and a bad decision that dried up his sponsorships, professional rock climber Bryan Shaw has found himself at similar loose ends. When the opportunity to buy a coffee farm in Colombia arises, he jumps on it—only to discover his wandering ways have left him utterly unprepared to run a business.
When Bryan returns home and offers Ana a role in his company as a solution to both their problems, she’s desperate enough to consider working with the far-too-flippant and far-too-handsome climber, even though he’s the polar opposite of her type A nature. As they delve deeper into the business, however, she begins to suspect there’s much more to Bryan than she’s given him credit for . . . and that sometimes the best plans are the ones you never see coming.
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy The Solid Grounds Coffee Company at Amazon
Buy The Solid Grounds Coffee Company at Christianbook.com
Carla Laureano is the two-time RITA Award–winning author of Five Days in Skye, London Tides, and the Saturday Night Supper Club series. She is also the author of 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.
Google Plus: gplus.to/CarlaLaureanoAuthor
The Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Facebook Group is a wonderful discussion group for book enthusiasts to talk about what Christian fiction books they are reading. Participation in the group is the perfect way to discover many new Christian fiction authors and books. The group is comprised of numerous Christian fiction authors and readers and is very well moderated. Any readers or authors interested in joining the group can click on the following link and answer a few questions to be added. The questions are easy and are meant to keep out spammers. https://www.facebook.com/groups/AvidChristFicReaders/