Hello, reader friends! Author friend Carla Laureano is joining us for a quick chat in honor of her latest release Under Scottish Stars (the final book of beloved series The MacDonald Family Trilogy)!
about the author
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.
What inspired you to write Under Scottish Stars?
C: Serena played a small part in the first two books in the MacDonald Family series, and even as I wrote them, I knew there was far more to her than the harried mum that she appears to be. I wrote this book a couple of short years after I was getting started in my writing career after several years away from full-time work, and I was struggling with many of the ideas that I explore in the book: finding an identity away from the needs of my children and justifying my desire for a creative life when it sometimes took me away from domestic duties.
B: She’s an immediately captivating and relatable character. I definitely wanted to be her friend from the start!
What role does faith play in this story?
C: All the books in this series in some way have to do with being hurt by people we trust, whether it be a family member, a romantic partner, or the church. So subsequently, all of the books explore how those hurts impact the way we relate to God. In Serena’s case, she has to come to grips with the question of why God allowed so many painful experiences into her life when she had done everything “right.”
B: That’s tough! I’m so glad we can glean wisdom from fiction. It’s a sneaky way God gets my attention (often)!
As an author, what did you particularly enjoy about writing this story?
C: Without a doubt, the interaction between Serena and Malcolm. Their relationship starts out antagonistic, changes to flirtatious, and eventually melts into a really sweet, heartwarming romance. I had so much fun any time the two of them were on the page together.
B: Eeep! Can’t wait!
What was the most challenging part of writing this story?
C: Not being a single parent myself, I had to delve deep into what it would feel like if something happened to my husband and how I would deal with the idea of starting over in a new relationship. How would my kids react? Not necessarily topics I wanted to dwell on, but Serena’s uncertainty and concern for her children became very real to me. Single-parent romances where the kids’ feelings feel like an afterthought never ring true to me; to someone who has lost their partner and their children’s parent, they’re of primary importance. That concern colors the entire dating and falling-in-love experience.
B: God bless all the single parents. What a tough road.
What did you enjoy most about the research for this story?
C: There’s a lot of astronomy, art, and Greek myth in this book. I geeked out over all of it and had great fun weaving it all together. I love when I can learn new and interesting things in the course of researching characters’ interests.
B: What interesting elements! Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Carla!
about the book
Under Scottish Stars by Carla Laureano (The MacDonald Family Trilogy book 3)
Recently widowed Serena MacDonald Stewart focuses on her children to the exclusion of her career, her art, and her sanity. When her brothers ask her to oversee the family guest house on the Isle of Skye, it’s a 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 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 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 is more than mere irritation. But as single parents, there’s more on the line than their own hearts. Will their commitment to family be the thing that draws them together or the only thing that could keep them apart?
Thanks to the publisher, we have a print copy of Under Scottish Stars for one fortunate Faithfully Bookish reader!
US only | ends 7/14 | complete giveaway rules
Join our chat by sharing your thoughts in the comments plus head over to Seekerville and/or JustRead’s The MacDonald Family Trilogy Bookstagram Tour for more chances to win!
I adored Five Days in Sky and I am looking forward to reading London Tides and Under Scottish Stars by Carla Laureano! I’ll be sure to share a series review once I finish!
Are you adding The MacDonald Family Trilogy to your tbr, reader friends?