Need a last minute gift, especially for friends and family at a distance? Extend the holiday magic into the new year by preordering Oath of the Brotherhood and send them one of these downloadable and printable gift announcements!
Oath of the Brotherhood is filled with peril, mystery, and magic at every turn in a world reminiscent of ancient Ireland, sure to delight teen and adult fans of fantasy fiction alike! Preorder the book in print or e-book at your favorite retailer below…
Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you’ve just discovered the hunt, be sure to start at Stop #1, and collect the clues through all the stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 5 grand prizes!
- The hunt BEGINS on 10/15 at noon MST with Stop #1 at LisaTawnBergren.com
- Hunt through our loop using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer)
- There is NO RUSH to complete the hunt–you have all weekend (until Sunday 10/18 at midnight MST)! So take your time, reading the unique posts along the way; our hope is that you discover new authors/new books and learn new things about them.
- Submit your entry for the grand prizes by collecting the CLUE on each author’s scavenger hunt post and submitting your answer in the Rafflecopter form at the final stop, back on Lisa’s site. Many authors are offering additional prizes along the way!
I’m Carla Laureano, and if you don’t know me, I’m the author of a dozen books in the genres of contemporary romance and Celtic fantasy, with more to come! You can find out more about me, my work, and my many varied interests at this site, or on social media at Facebook, Instagram, or BookBub. Today, I’m talking about contemporary romance series, the MacDonald Family Trilogy, of which the third book in the series, Under Scottish Stars, has just released! Here’s what it’s about:
Recently widowed Serena MacDonald Stewart focuses on her children to the exclusion of her career, her artistic pursuits, and her sanity. When her brothers ask her to oversee the family guest house on the Isle of Skye, it might be her chance to dust off her long-ignored business skills and make a new start. But her hopes for a smooth transition are dashed when the current hotel manager, Malcolm Blake, turns out to be irritating, condescending . . . and incredibly attractive.
Malcolm Blake gave up everything—his home, his girlfriend, and his career—to return to Skye and raise his late sister’s teenage daughter. With few job opportunities available on the island, he signs on as the manager of the MacDonald family hotel, which he’s soon running successfully without interference from the owners. That is, until Serena shows up, challenging his authority as manager… and his conviction that there’s nothing missing from his new life on Skye.
Before long, Serena and Malcolm have to admit the spark between them doesn’t come from mere irritation, but as single parents, there is more than just their own hearts on the line. Will their commitments to family be the thing that draws them together… or the only thing that could keep them apart?
Anyone who knows me knows that I truly adore the enemies-to-more trope, because it’s such a good excuse to have sparks between the main characters really fly! Which means, as you might guess, that Under Scottish Stars is a pretty sexy book. But there’s another good reason for that, and I bet it isn’t what you think…
Under Scottish Stars Is a Sexy Book . . . and That’s a Good Thing
When you think of Christian fiction, you think of stories that are sweet, heartwarming, sometimes even life-changing. The one word that doesn’t usually come to mind, at least not immediately, is sexy.
When I began writing the MacDonald Family series over seven years ago, I wanted to write books that captured the overpowering sensation of attraction at the beginning of a relationship and the wonderful, confusing emotions those days encompassed. And that had to include the idea of S-E-X.
Shocking, I know, for a Christian writer to purposely set out to write about those topics, but the more I heard about books being passed to teen girls and unmarried women because they were considered “safe,” the more concerned I became about the message we were sending. As a girl growing up in a Christian household and obeying Biblical laws on relationships, I was surprised by how… not chaste… my first adult relationships felt. Even if we weren’t doing anything that was actually wrong, those dating experiences in no way matched the sweet and often tepid relationships I read about in romance novels.
So when I started writing Christian romance myself, I wanted to acknowledge sexual temptation without portraying it in a way that was ugly or shameful. After all, God created the very idea of sex, and it’s neither realistic nor helpful to portray sexuality as something that can be flicked on and off like a light switch. At best, it leaves women unprepared for marital relationships. At worst, it injects shame into natural desires, which then follow them long after the wedding is over. Either way, we’re doing young Christians no favor by pretending sexual feelings don’t exist until they say I do.
The MacDonald Family series, then, is a purposefully sexy series, because it explores intense romantic relationships in a way that acknowledges reality while still maintaining a Godly worldview. Under Scottish Stars takes a particularly frank look at the subject, because Serena has been recently widowed with two children. Giving her an inexperienced, virginal outlook on life would not only be inauthentic, but in my opinion, harmful. So many times women feel that because they’re no longer a virgin, their sexual choices don’t matter, even though the emotional and psychological consequences are just as real. So it was important to me to have Serena acknowledge her intense physical attraction to Malcolm while maintaining boundaries between them. Feelings are neutral—it’s how we choose to act on them that makes the difference.
I encourage you to try out the series yourself if you’re looking for a romantic, realistic read with a swoon-worthy hero and a Christian message about relationships… and don’t forget to enter the giveaway below to win a copy of your very own! Thanks for visiting and enjoy the rest of your scavenger hunt!
HERE’S THE STOP #17 BASICS:
But wait! Before you go, I’m offering a special giveaway to this year’s Scavenger Hunters. Simply enter in the widget below, and three winners will receive their choice of any one of my MacDonald Family or Supper Club books! All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter (current subscribers will be entered if you click “done”). Additional entries for following me on Facebook, Instagram, and BookBub!
If some of you are scratching your head and asking “What’s Oath of the Brotherhood?” you’re likely not alone. A lot of people don’t know that I started my writing career by writing epic fantasy under the name C.E. Laureano! I’m pleased to announce that, several years after the initial 2014 release, the Song of Seare series being repackaged and reissued by Enclave Publishing in a special, limited edition hardcover, under my full name, Carla Laureano.
Even though I’ve spent the last few years focusing on contemporary romance, fantasy always holds a special place in my heart and remains my go-to escape read…and I don’t know about you, but after 2020, I can certainly use an escape!
Without further ado, I’m happy to reveal the brand new cover for book one, Oath of the Brotherhood, coming January 2021.
Isn’t it lovely? I’m thrilled with the work that the cover designer did in giving it a new look while still capturing the magic and the Celtic flavor of the original. Here’s what the story is about:
When evil threatens, who will find the faith to fight it?
In an island kingdom where the Old Ways hold fast and a man’s worth lies entirely in his skill with the sword, Conor Mac Nir is a musician and a follower of a forbidden faith—problematic for any man, but disastrous for the son of the king.
When Conor is sent away to a neighboring kingdom to secure a treaty, he learns that his ability with the harp is a talent that traces back to the magical foundations of a once-united Seare. But his newfound home is soon placed in peril, entangling Conor in a plot that has been unfolding since long before his birth.
Only by leaving both kingdoms behind and committing himself to an ancient warrior brotherhood can Conor discover the part he’s meant to play in Seare’s future. But is he willing to sacrifice everything—including the woman he loves—to follow the path his God has laid before him?
Stay tuned for more info, updates, and giveaways as we get closer to the release early next year!
Whew! Did you ever think we were going to get here? If you are anything like me, it felt like this day would never come… five long years of waiting for the conclusion of the final book in the MacDonald Family trilogy. Of course, I didn’t think I was going to be trying to launch a book in the middle of a pandemic, which does put a damper on things… but I can’t deny that books have become an even bigger part of our lives (and will become even bigger as we realized there isn’t anything new but reality television to watch…)
All that aside, it does feel like an appropriate time to be launching Under Scottish Stars, which to me is the most “real life” of the three books. Serena MacDonald Stewart has already experienced marriage and motherhood, and she’s realized that life is a lot more than sweep-you-off-your-feet romance. Malcolm Blake has learned that sometimes family responsibility trumps hard-fought dreams. Which of course means that falling for the literal guy/girl next door is the last thing on their minds… and the exact thing they never knew they needed.
I can’t wait for you to experience Serena and Malcolm’s story and revisit your favorites from Five Days in Skye and London Tides. And I hope that for you, as it has been for me, this final story is more than worth the wait!