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2014 Christy Awards Finalists Announced!

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Looking for new reading material? The 2014 Christy Award finalists were announced yesterday, honoring the best of the best in Christian fiction. Okay, I’ll admit to feeling slightly smug over the fact that many of these wonderful authors have been recent guests on this blog, but I’m so pleased for everyone who was nominated. Be sure to click through the links for author interviews and reviews for many of these great books!   Contemporary Every Waking Moment by Chris Fabry (Tyndale House Publishers) The Prayer Box by Lisa...

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Breaking the (Writing) Rules

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Writers' Workshop | 1 comment

Breaking the (Writing) Rules

You know the saying: Rules are made to be broken. And if you’ve been around the writing business for more than fifteen minutes, you probably have a whole host of them in your head. What you may not know is that the rules are far less cut and dried than you might think. Don’t get me wrong. Rules are important. The English language is based on rules. If everyone slapped together words into a sentence according to their own whims, communication would be near impossible. The subject/verb/object structure is the simplest method of constructing a...

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Why I Abandon A Fantasy Series

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Fantasy, Speculative Fiction | 4 comments

Why I Abandon A Fantasy Series

Confession time, courtesy of Season 4 of Game of Thrones, otherwise known as “the part of the story I don’t remember very well or didn’t read at all”–I am a fantasy series abandoner. I know a lot of readers who, once they’ve invested themselves in the first book or two of a series, will hang on until the bitter end. But I’m not one of those. My reading time is too limited to waste on something that doesn’t absolutely knock my socks off, or didn’t deliver on its promises on the first, second, or third book. Cases in point: 1) Robert...

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Interview With Author Elizabeth Byler Younts

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in Author Interviews, Inspiration, Interviews, Romance | 3 comments

Interview With Author Elizabeth Byler Younts

I am so excited to welcome my guest today, friend and fellow RWA RITA Award double nominee, Elizabeth Byler Younts. Elizabeth is author of the Amish historical novel, Promise to Return. Carla: First of all, congratulations! I am really excited to be nominated alongside you in two categories in the RITA contest! Since there’s only the two of us in inspirational, I’ve had this image of us like the last two Miss America contestants, holding hands while we wait for the results, but I’ll probably be too busy breathing into a...

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“I Quit” and Other Lies I Tell Myself

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Inspiration, Writing Life | 2 comments

“I Quit” and Other Lies I Tell Myself

I had a truly awful week last week. The kind they make Dilbert cartoons and snarky memes about. The kind that makes you want to crawl back into bed, pull the covers over your head, and rethink your entire life. The kids were in horrible moods, everything went wrong at home, and even the good things happening in my career came along with a load of really crummy problems. Oh, and did I mention that I have a book due in three weeks? The third book in a series which is trying my patience? A book that I’ve rewritten completely once, and in part at...

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Interview With Author Lisa T. Bergren

Posted by on Apr 4, 2014 in Author Interviews, Fantasy, Interviews, Speculative Fiction | 0 comments

Interview With Author Lisa T. Bergren

Anyone who has known me for more than thirty second probably knows that Lisa Bergren is one of my favorite authors. YA, historical, romance, dystopian… I don’t care what it is, I’ll read it. So I’m really excited to be able to welcome her today to talk about her newest book, Remnants: Season of Wonder. I was fortunate enough to snag an ARC of this gem and actually just finished it yesterday… what a ride! Carla: Welcome, Lisa. Can you tell us a little about your book? Lisa: Remnants: Season of Wonder is a...

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Interview With Author Regina Jennings

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in Author Interviews, Interviews, Romance | 0 comments

Interview With Author Regina Jennings

Please join me in welcoming my friend and fellow author, Regina Jennings, to my blog today! I met Regina at the ACFW conference in 2012 outside the appointment area, just minutes before I was scheduled to pitch Five Days in Skye to the editor who would eventually buy my book. She listened to my opening, asked me a few questions, and within minutes had helped me craft a better and more exciting hook. I like to say I owe a little of that book’s sale to her and that fortuitous meeting! So it’s a great thrill to be hosting her on my...

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And the Winners Are…

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Contest, Romance, Speculative Fiction | 0 comments

And the Winners Are…

It’s a good day for book lovers, because my winter giveaways are now closed and winners have been selected! The winner of the Winter Warm-Up Giveaway is Katherine V.!   The winner of the Spectacular Spec-Fic Giveaway is Allen P.!   Thanks to everyone who entered and showed love to my wonderful line-up of guests. If you’re the winner listed above, please contact me at carla [at] carlalaureano [dot] com by Friday, April 4th to claim your prize. Please include your shipping address and specify a name for autographing. Also...

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Awards News and Giveaways, Oh My!

Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 in Romance | 0 comments

Awards News and Giveaways, Oh My!

Forgive me my absence on the blog for the past couple of days. Part of it was a regularly scheduled maintenance outage as I updated some design elements on my site (more structural changes to come soon.) But the bigger part of it was because gathering my concentration lately has been a bit like herding a room full of kittens. Because my debut novel, Five Days in Skye, double-finaled in RWA’s Rita Awards, in both the inspirational and first novel categories. I finally understand that saying, “Knock me over with a feather.” It...

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Guest Post: Writing the Romantic Suspense Novel, by Lisa Carter

Posted by on Mar 24, 2014 in Guest Bloggers, Romance, Writers' Workshop | 0 comments

Guest Post: Writing the Romantic Suspense Novel, by Lisa Carter

1. The essence of any story is conflict and the tension produced by unmet desires. Conflict and tension are ratcheted higher in romantic suspense with life and death stakes. 2. Questions for the plotting process—What do my main characters want? What goes wrong? What’s at stake? What can I do to make it worse? 3. The point of view (POV) is usually confined to hero and heroine. And sometimes the third POV of the antagonist. Either hero or heroine will have the largest block of story time—ultimately, his or her story of discovery and...

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