I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Come to Skye and Meet Carla Laureano's Celebrity Chef...

By Patricia Bradley

Today we have Carla Laureano on the Ponderer’s blog. Her debut romance novel, Five Days in Skye, was released by David C Cook in June 2013.

 If you haven’t read Five Days in Skye, you are missing not only a great book, but the exquisite feeling that you are in Scotland. Skye to be exact. Like I said yesterday on my blog, when I finished Carla’s book, traveling to Scotland went on my bucket list!

A little about Five Days in Skye from the back cover blurb:
Hospitality consultant Andrea Sullivan has one last chance to snag a high-profile client or she'll have to kiss her dreams of promotion good-bye. When she's sent to meet Scottish celebrity chef James MacDonald on the Isle of Skye, she just wants to finish her work as efficiently as possible. Yet her client is not the opportunistic womanizer he portrays himself to be, and her attraction to him soon dredges up memories she'd rather leave buried. For James, renovating the family hotel is a fulfillment of his late father's dreams. When his hired consultant turns out to be beautiful, intelligent, and completely unimpressed by his public persona, he makes it his mission to win her over. He just never expects to fall under her spell.


Soon, both Andrea and James must face the reality that God may have a far different purpose for their lives—and that five days in Skye will forever change their outlook on life and love.

Yesterday I interviewed Andrea on my blog, so today, it's only fair that I interview James.

Pat: When you first met Andrea, did you have an ulterior motive for not immediately revealing who you were?

James: Ulterior is a bit strong... let’s just say that I’ve never quite outgrown my mischievous streak, and finding out what she really thought about me was too good an opportunity to pass up. Besides, Andrea is stunning when she’s irritated. Why would I deprive myself of that pleasure?

Pat: Interesting. You also didn’t try to correct her impression that you were a playboy.

James: Mmm. Right. That probably wasn’t my shining moment. But in my defense, neither of us were exactly looking for a relationship when we met, and she was so confident she knew what kind of man I was. Had I told her the truth, she wouldn’t have believed me. Some things one just needs to find out for one’s self.

Pat: I noticed that you drove a battered green Subaru and that you wore a serviceable but not expensive watch. You could easily afford a Rolex, so why didn’t you have one?

James: Are you saying my two thousand pound Breitling doesn’t impress you? I think it’s rather nice. *slides up his sleeve to admire it* But in answer to what I think you’re asking, I’ve worked hard to get where I am today. I’ve earned the right to please myself rather than live up to others’ expectations. I don’t need to prove I’m successful by what I wear or what I drive.

Pat: Good point. In the book, you were a celebrity chef. What made you want to be a chef?

James: When my parents got divorced, our aunt Muriel came to live with us. Those first few months especially were difficult, and it probably won’t surprise anyone that I got up to a fair bit of mischief. She started teaching me how to cook as a way to keep me occupied. I realized fairly quickly that not only was I good at it, but I enjoyed it. I went to business school because it was what Mother expected of me, but I couldn’t make a career of it. I’m simply not suited to office work.

The celebrity part happened by accident. A BBC producer fell in love with my food at The Hart and the Hound and asked to speak with me. A couple weeks later, she proposed a cooking show and the rest is, as they say, history.

Pat: How did a celebrity chef get involved in helping high-risk kids?

James: I was fortunate. Had I not had Aunt Muriel and my father, had our financial situation been different, I might have ended up in as much trouble as those kids. Cooking was an outlet at a time when I desperately needed one, and I wanted to pass on that opportunity. I began my cooking program for secondary school drop-outs about five years ago, and all but a handful have graduated and gone on to work in the industry. In fact, one of them just began culinary school, and another one is working as a saucier in my Knightsbridge restaurant.

Pat: One last question. What attracted you to Andrea?

James: *grins* You mean besides the obvious? Well, she’s intelligent, she’s witty, and she isn’t afraid to speak her mind. That might be a negative for some men, but I get so much flattery as a celebrity, I never know what’s the truth and what’s just a stroke to my ego. Andrea is genuine, and that is a rare quality.

I hope this piques your interest in Five Days in Skye. It's one of the best books I've read this year. And like I said earlier, reading it has whetted my appetite to see Scotland. Check out Carla's pictures of her beautiful setting here.

Comment question: Have you ever been to Skye or Scotland and if not, is it on your bucket list?

Leave a comment and be entered in a drawing for Five Days in Skye. Leave another comment on my blog and be entered twice. One lucky commentor will be drawn so be sure and leave your email address.

Author Biography:
Carla Laureano earned a degree in English from Pepperdine University in 1997. Since then, she has been a professional marketer, copywriter, and martial arts instructor, but her first love is telling stories that cause readers to look at their world and their faith in new ways.
Carla is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). Her debut romance novel, Five Days in Skye, was released by David C Cook in June 2013. The first volume of her three-book young adult fantasy series, The Song of Seare, is due out from NavPress in May 2014.

She lives with her husband, two sons, and a menagerie of small pets in Denver, Colorado.

Five Days in Skye can be purchase at: AmazonBarnes and NobleChristian Books,comiTunesVyrsoBookshout!,and  eChristian.
She lives with her husband, two sons, and a menagerie of small pets in Denver, Colorado.
Connect with Laura at:

29 comments:

  1. How fun to get to know James a little better. Thanks for sharing, Pat and Carla! I've never been to Scotland, and yes, I'd love to visit sometime. I definitely want to see Skye!

    Carla, your story sounds wonderful!

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    1. Hey Jeanne. Thanks for stopping by. And maybe we can go to Scotland together!

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    2. Thanks, Jeanne! I think the Scottish tourist board is probably going to make me an honorary spokesperson, because you'll definitely want to visit after you read it! :)

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  2. Pat, I loved this interview. I definitely want to read James' story and have to scoot over to your blog for Andrea's side of the story.

    Carla, Scotland is already on my bucket list. Now, your novel is going to the top of my Christmas wish list. Thanks for the fun interview!

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    1. Thanks so much, Roxanne! Writing it made me want to go back desperately. It's research, right??? I hope you enjoy the book!

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  3. Scotland has been on my bucket list for ages. This novel sounds like an excellent read, and I'm adding it to my reading list right now.

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    1. You'll love it Renee! So glad you stopped by.

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    2. Thanks, Renee! You're so sweet...I hope you enjoy the book!

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  4. Just added Scotland to my bucket list as well. Looking forward to Carla's "good read." As an aside, Pat, when are we making plane reservations for Scotland?

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    1. Anytime! Would love to go there.

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    2. Hmm... sounds like a good excuse to arrange a group tour to me! :)

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  5. Oh how much fun is this! Love the interview, how clever ;) So need to add this book to my reading list. Thanks Pat for sharing and bringing Carla to my attention.

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    1. Hey Ginger! Yes, you need to add it to your reading list for sure. Or, maybe you'll win it. Did you check out the interview with her heroine? Leave a comment there and you'll be entered twice.

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    2. Thanks for stopping by, Ginger! James is definitely a fun interviewee. Good luck in the drawing!

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  6. Oban, Scotland, w/ its sparkling blue salt sea and wheeling birds, is where you board steamers for Skye. I've stood there w/ friends three times and gazed longingly into the distance. This great book may get me there sooner than my travel itinerary. I'm looking forward to reading. Thanks, Pat & Carla.

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    1. Dee, I so wish I'd been with you when you visited Scotland!

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  7. Pat, Loved the interview! It really peaks my interest at reading the book. As far as going to Scotland, no. If there were one place outside of the US, it would be Tuscany.

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    1. Thanks, Jennie. The book is great. Tuscany is another place on my bucket list. :-)

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    2. Jennie, one side of my family is from Italy, so that's definitely on my list too!

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  8. I have always wanted to go to Scotland. I think it is a very pretty country. It is very much on my bucket list. Maybe one day we could go together. I found it very interesting on how you were able to interview James. I can't wait to read the book

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    1. I would love for us to go to Scotland together, Carole. Right after we go to Hawaii. :-)

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  9. I'd love to visit Scotland. Or Ireland. Or Wales. I've been to England, but would love to return. Let's start saving for an international trip!

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    1. That's a great idea, Johnnie! So much fun.

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    2. Can I come too, Johnnie? I've actually been to all four places, and they're all brilliant in their own way. Time for a tour of the UK and Ireland methinks!

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  10. I'm getting over here late, but just had to say I adored Carla's book! Scotland...a chef...witty banter...so many of my favorite things in one book. :)

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    1. It was wasn't it, Melissa.

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    2. Ah, you're so sweet, Melissa. Thanks for saying so!

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  11. Pat, would love to take you w/ to any/all of those places :) My public library only has Carla's new book as an e-book. I'll be lobbying for them to buy a hold-in-your-hand paper version, still my favorite.

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  12. Maybe you will win it, Dee! I know you'll love it.

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