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London Tides Launch Celebration Giveaway

Posted in Contest, London Tides, News, Romance | 19 comments

London Tides Launch Celebration Giveaway

I’m so thrilled to announce the arrival of the second book in my MacDonald Family Trilogy, London Tides. To celebrate, I’m kicking off a month-long giveaway for some great books and prizes, starting now! Here’s how it’s going to work: THE PRIZES June 22: Five (5) randomly selected winners will receive an autographed copy of London Tides. June 29: Three (3) randomly selected winners will receive an autographed copy of London Tides  and a coffee mug from the Royal Doulton Charlene Mullen City Scape collection. July 6: Two (2) randomly selected winners will receive an autographed copy of London Tides and a selection of imported English tea time goodies July 15: ONE (1) GRAND PRIZE WINNER will win a giant gift bag including an autographed copy of London Tides, the London 360 and Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment coffee table books, London-themed bookmarks, a Charlene Mullen for Royal Doulton mug, a selection of English tea time goodies, all packed in a canvas market tote. The best part? Even if you win one of the early prizes, you’re still eligible for the grand prize drawing at the end. So don’t forget to keep entering! HOW TO ENTER The giveaway widget below gives you a bunch of different ways to earn entries. Some of these entries are a one time thing (liking my Facebook page or signing up for the newsletter) but the Facebook shares and tweets can be done every day, so the more times you participate, the more chances you have to win! And don’t forget to hashtag all your posts with #LondonTides so I can share/retweet them. THE FINE PRINT Winners will be notified by email, and you will have 72 hours to respond and claim your prize. Prizes can only be shipped to a US mailing address. (That means if you’re not a US resident, but you have a US address or PO box, you can still win.)...

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Spine Poetry Challenge

Posted in Contest, London Tides, News | 1 comment

Spine Poetry Challenge

Filling out the marketing packet was moving along nicely until I came to this entry: “Title and subtitle suggestions (5 to 10 or more if you’re on a roll).” Wait, what? Five to ten possible titles for my book? It took me six months to come up with the suggested title for this book, and you want me to come up with more? I stared at the computer screen for an hour, thinking on possible variations of the one I’d already submitted. Finally, I gave up, and with a little hint of humor that I hoped would not be misinterpreted by the marketing team, I wrote: “Unfortunately, I’m not rolling at all. I’ll keep working on it.” To my great relief, the team loved the original title that I’d submitted for my second book: London Tides. Because the first book in the MacDonald Family trilogy was called Five Days in Skye, I’d wanted to include location names in the other two books. Why Tides, though, when London is a big city? For one thing, my hero, Ian MacDonald is an ex-championship sport rower, and the center of London rowing culture is the section of the River Thames called the Tideway. Most people don’t know that because the Thames Estuary flows into the North Sea, there’s a long stretch that’s subject to tidal flow–up to 24 feet difference between low and high tide! Additionally, in London Tides, water is used repeatedly as a metaphor. The idea of going against life’s tides or with them surfaces within the text a number of times. The book also includes themes of spiritual rebirth, so the water symbolism is a subtle reflection of baptism, even where it’s not expressed directly. Here’s just a little sneak peak of some of the lines that brought about the final title: Elsewhere in the city, where the shadows fell early between buildings, streetlights winked on in clusters, little bright spots in the steadily darkening evening. The river churned around a handful of sightseeing boats and pleasure vessels, the tide about to ebb again. She imagined the vessels that were floating leisurely with the tide now having to rev their engines, put more power into just staying at the same speed. It was a fine metaphor for her life. Just when she thought things were flowing in her direction, the tide changed, and she had to work harder and harder just to stay still. Now that we’ve talked about my title, it’s fun for you to have fun with some others! Take our Spine Poetry Challenge, running from May 4 to May 15, 2015. The task: Simple. Grab your favorite books and create a “poem” or loose “limerick” from the titles. Something as simple as: All your favorite authors in one stack Similar titles Similar spine colors for a lovely mosaic Titles that when placed in a stack tell a simple story or rhyme All of one author’s books in one stack IMPORTANT: Be sure to post a link to your spine poetry in the PromoSimple form for your entry to be counted! Ready for step two? Take a picture and post it on social media, tagging one or all of our authors: @PepperBasham, @KCambronAuthor, @CarlaLaureano, @BethVogt, @CathWest Want extra credit? Visit each of the blogs (listed here: )...

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CHRISTIAN FICTION SCAVENGER HUNT: STOP #2 (PURPLE TEAM)

Posted in Contest, Guest Bloggers, News, Romance | 12 comments

Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! I am a part of TEAM PURPLE, and this is Stop #2. If you’re just joining us, there are two loops—pink and purple—and they begin at Lisa Bergren’s site and Robin Hatcher’s site for stop #1 for either stream. If you complete either the pink loop or purple loop, you can enter for a Kindle Paperwhite and the 17 autographed books from that loop (by having the Secret Word clues together). If you complete BOTH loops, you can enter for the Grand Prize of a Kindle Fire HDX and ALL 34 autographed books (by adding up all the Secret Numbers). So write everything down as you go—if you run out of time, you can return to it later. The Hunt begins at NOON Mountain time on April 16 and ends at MIDNIGHT Mountain time on April 19, 2015, so you have 3.5 days to complete all 34 stops, enter all individual, pink, purple, and Grand Prize contests and maximize your chances for a prize! Winners will be announced on April 20, 2015. ALSO, please don’t use Internet Explorer to navigate through the loops. Some web sites won’t show up using IE. Please use Chrome or Firefox—they’re better anyway! I’m so excited to introduce you to my guest for the Scavenger Hunt, Jody Hedlund. Beloved equally for her wonderfully detailed and romantic historical novels and her inside-look-at-publishing blog, Jody is the author of a dozen (!) best-selling novels and novellas. Without further ado, it’s my pleasure to hand over the blog reins to Jody… About Jody Jody Hedlund is a best-selling and award-winning author who loves fairy- tales and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI with her husband and five children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading.     About An Uncertain Choice Due to her parents’ promise at her birth, Lady Rosemarie has been prepared to become a nun on the day she turns eighteen. Then, a month before her birthday, a friend of her father’s enters the kingdom and proclaims her parents’ will left a second choice–if Rosemarie can marry before the eve of her eighteenth year, she will be exempt from the ancient vow. Before long, Rosemarie is presented with the three most handsome and brave knights in the land. But when the competition for her heart seemingly results in a knight playing foul, she begins to wonder if the convent is the best place after all. If only one of the knights–the one who appears the most guilty–had not already captured her heart. Find An Uncertain Choice at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook.com   And here’s her EXCLUSIVE content, that you’ll only find in this hunt! Nowadays we’ve become a fast-paced culture. We rush to work. We run through the drive-through for fast food. We race from one activity to the next. And we hardly stop to breathe. Unfortunately with such a fast pace, we’ve become an impatient culture. We want everything to happen right away. We want overnight shipping. We want instant video streaming. And we demand the highest speed internet. Can it also be said that we also expect that love should come quickly and easily? Do too many...

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Cover (and Title) Reveal

Posted in London Tides, News, Romance | 21 comments

Cover (and Title) Reveal

I’ve gotten a lot of questions lately about when the next MacDonald Family romance will be coming out, and I’m thrilled to finally have all the information, plus a cover reveal, today! So without further ado, Book Two in the MacDonald Family Series: London Tides, releasing on June 1, 2015. What is it about? Well, I’m glad you asked! Here’s a quick summary of the story while back cover copy is being finalized: Grace Brennan is the rare female in an exclusive group of photojournalists capturing conflicts around the world. But the death of her mentor in the field reveals the danger of her career. She returns to London to rekindle the spark with the only man she ever loved–Scottish businessman, Ian MacDonald. Years ago, he sacrificed his dreams of Olympic gold for Grace, only for her to vanish. Are life’s tides finally bringing them back together? This is really one of those “stories of my heart,” because I love Grace, what she stands for, and her struggles to find her faith in the midst of both a broken world and her broken life. I can’t wait to share Grace and Ian’s story with you! It just became available for preorder on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and ChristianBook.com, so pop on over to one of these retailers and reserve your copy today!...

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WINNERS! Release Celebration Giveaway

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WINNERS! Release Celebration Giveaway

And we have winners!!! Thank you to everyone who entered. If your name wasn’t drawn, never fear. If you signed up for my newsletter, I will be drawing and announcing one name to receive an autographed book or gift card each quarter… so don’t forget to check your inbox! And the winners are: THIRD PRIZE Autographed copy of Oath of the Brotherhood* Janelle Leonard SECOND PRIZE $20 Starbucks gift card Autographed copy of Oath of the Brotherhood* Lisa Medeiros GRAND PRIZE Handcrafted, genuine leather Moleskine notebook cover from Oberon Designs (of course, with the legendary Moleskine notebook inside!) Matching ribbon and silver Celtic knot bookmark Rustic mug for your favorite choice of beverage Autographed copy of Oath of the Brotherhood* Julie Lawrence Please contact me at carla [at] carlalaureano [dot] com with your mailing address to claim your prize. *If you already own Oath of the Brotherhood, please let me know. You will instead receive a certificate for a copy of the second book in the series, Beneath the Forsaken City, to be released in February 2015. Thank you again for entering, and happy summer...

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RWA 2014 Recap… and A Gold Stowaway

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RWA 2014 Recap… and A Gold Stowaway

Fresh back from the 2014 RWA national conference in San Antonio, Texas… with some unexpected carry-on luggage, a few new friends, and a sleep deficit that will take me well into September to make up for. But let me back up. For those of you who are curious about all the events that take place at RWA, here were some of my highlights. “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing I flew into San Antonio on Wednesday, the same day as the literacy autographing, so I may have prayed incessantly for an on-time flight and good weather. Call me a little paranoid, but after being delayed for almost four hours on my way to ACFW last year, I wasn’t feeling all that trusting of weather or airlines. But thank the Lord, the flight took off on time, landed on time with all luggage intact and present. Enough time to check in, get lunch, pick up the books that had been overnighted to my hotel after the first shipment of books were lost, and then over to the literacy booksigning at the conference hotel! To say it was a madhouse would be an understatement. Five hundred authors and check out lines that wrapped several times around the hallway. But, in the end, RWA raised something like $57,000 for local literacy charities. RITA/Golden Heart Finalist Reception On Friday afternoon, RWA held a lovely champagne reception for the RITA and Golden Heart award finalists at the Marriott Riverwalk, complete with chocolate fountain (don’t all writers love chocolate?) There we had a chance to mingle with other finalists and the RWA board, and we received our finalist certificates. I also had the chance to record a hilarious selfie video with fellow finalist Lizbeth Selvig. I’m stalking her YouTube channel, waiting for it to come out. I really should have taken more pictures… RITA/Golden Heart Awards Ceremony To say I was nervous about the ceremony was an understatement. However, the emcee, Simone Elkeles was absolutely brilliant–funny, polished, and entertaining. The fact I remember this says something, because I remember almost nothing of that night through my nerves. I didn’t even remember to have a friend snap a picture of the screen when the finalists were being announced! And then those words that I had convinced myself I wouldn’t be hearing: “And the RITA goes to… Five Days in Skye, by Carla Laureano.” I somehow managed to get up on stage, freezing like a deer in the headlights along the way. I vaguely remember Victoria Alexander telling me, “Well, come here and get your award!” I took it, think I hugged her, went to the podium… babbled on a bit before realizing I really needed to read my speech because my brain wasn’t working clearly enough to remember what I wanted to say… managed to get off stage without falling down the stairs in four inch heels, and then had my picture taken by the conference photographer. I then endeavored to get lost on the way back to my table, thanks to a combination of nerves, brain deadness, and being half-blind from the stage lights. When I finally collapsed back into my seat, I think there might have been hugs from my friends. There were definitely congratulatory text messages and tweets on my phone (thanks, everyone for the Twitter...

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Cover Reveal: Beneath the Forsaken City

Posted in Fantasy, News | 12 comments

Cover Reveal: Beneath the Forsaken City

It’s that time… cover reveal time! I’m excited to show the cover that amazing designer Kirk DouPounce has designed for the second book in the Song of Seare series, Beneath the Forsaken City. I love how he captured the darker tone and increased danger of the second book in the series while keeping with the look of the first cover. Beneath the Forsaken City releases in February 2015. In the meantime, have you read the first book in the series, Oath of the Brotherhood? You can buy it at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |...

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Where On The Web is Carla Laureano?

Posted in Fantasy, News, Song of Seare, Speculative Fiction | 1 comment

I may be showing my age with the Carmen Sandiego reference, but I have been somewhat AWOL from my blog lately… for good reason. Book launches tend to be a flurry of interviews and guest blog posts, so I’ve been spending time elsewhere on the web. If you’d like to join some of my gracious web hosts, here are a couple of my recent stops:   Check out the review for Oath of the Brotherhood and a fun interview on the background of the story!     I was thrilled to write this month’s “For Writers” column about fact in fiction– with a peek into how my ancient Seareann society differs from authentic Irish history. Plus, I received a lovely recommendation and review from USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog, along with my awesome fellow author Travis Thrasher. Read it here. Want to win a copy of Oath of the Brotherhood?   Goodreads is giving away five copies. Click here to enter the giveaway. (Closes May 31, 2014)...

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2014 Christy Awards Finalists Announced!

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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 Wingate (Tyndale House Publishers) Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish (Thomas Nelson, Harper Collins Christian Publishing)   Contemporary Romance/Suspense Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group) Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck (Zondervan, Harper Collins Christian Publishing) Rosemary Cottage by Colleen Coble (Thomas Nelson, Harper Collins Christian Publishing) Vanished by Irene Hannon (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)   Contemporary Series Firefly Island by Lisa Wingate (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group) Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel by Melody Carlson (B&H Publishing Group) Take a Chance on Me by Susan May Warren (Tyndale House Publishers)   Historical All for a Story by Allison Pittman (Tyndale House Publishers) Burning Sky by Lori Benton (WaterBrook MultnomahPublishing Group) Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group)   Historical Romance Harvest of Gold by Tessa Afshar (River North, from Moody Publishing) Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group) Under a Blackberry Moon by Serena B. Miller (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)   Suspense Dark Justice by Brandilyn Collins (B&H Publishing Group) Outlaw by Ted Dekker (FaithWords, a division of Hachette Book Group) Singularity by Steven James (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)   First Novel Burning Sky by Lori Benton (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group) A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group) Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay (Thomas Nelson, Harper Collins Christian Publishing)   Visionary A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group) Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group) Numb by John W. Otte (Marcher Lord Press)        ...

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And the Winners Are…

Posted in Contest, News, 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 note that books will be coming directly from the authors who contributed to the giveaway. Thanks again! And check back later this week for more fun news and the potential for another really cool prize. (What can I say? I just like giving stuff...

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