Please join me in welcoming Carla Laureano – one of my very fave people (and authors) – to the blog today to chat about her new book Provenance!
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Tyndale House
RELEASE DATE: August 3, 2021
From two-time RITA Award–winning author Carla Laureano comes a story of romance, transformation, and the beauty of belonging.
Los Angeles interior designer and former foster kid Kendall Green is in high demand, both for her impeccable eye and for her uncanny ability to uncover the provenance of any piece. But for all her success, skyrocketing costs have put her California home and her business in jeopardy. Then an unexpected inheritance provides a timely solution: a grandmother she never knew has left her a group of historic properties in a tiny Colorado town on the edge of ruin.
To young, untried mayor Gabriel Brandt, Jasper Lake is more than another small town—it’s the place that saved his life. Now, seeing the town slowly wither and die, he’s desperate to restore it to its former glory. Unfortunately, his vision is at odds with a local developer who wants to see the town razed and rebuilt as a summer resort. He’s sure that he can enlist the granddaughter of one of its most prominent former citizens to his cause—until he meets Kendall and realizes that not only does she know nothing of her own history, she has no interest in reviving a place that once abandoned her.
In order to save his beloved town, Gabe must first help Kendall unravel the truth of her own provenance—and Kendall must learn that in order to embrace the future, sometimes you have to start with the past.
Exploring Real-Life Community Issues in Fiction
by Carla Laureano, author of Provenance
I love small-town fiction. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles that itself had a population of over seventy-five thousand, or maybe it’s just because small towns carry the connotation of a slower pace of life, away from the pressures and inconveniences of the city. It was partly that lure that brought me and my husband from the LA area to a then-quiet suburb of Denver, Colorado, over sixteen years ago.
But those idyllic books are often a fantasy—they don’t talk about what happens as the realities of the outside world too often encroach on rural values. It’s a frequent debate here in Colorado, where we’ve experienced a 15 to 20 percent population growth each decade, accelerating rapidly in the last few years. Arguments over responsible development and gentrification in the cities is a regular feature of public discourse; towns that were sleepy havens on the outskirts of the city are now bustling commercial enclaves.
But there’s another debate here that gets less attention: what happens to the people in the mountain towns whose families have lived on the same properties for generations now that wealthy transplants have begun to snap up picturesque properties to use as vacation homes and Airbnbs? What happens when the workforce—which is heavily biased toward service industries in the mountains—can no longer afford to live anywhere near the resorts they keep running with their labor and instead must either commute fifty miles or live in barracks-like staff housing?
That was the angle I took when I wrote my new novel, Provenance. Idyllic Jasper Lake is only one step away from being turned into a summer resort that will irrevocably change the character of the mountain town. Its young, inexperienced mayor Gabriel Brandt’s mission to stop it—and his only hope is to convince newcomer Kendall Green not to sell her newly inherited land to a developer . . . even though she desperately needs the money to save her own home in California.
Rural revitalization may seem like an unlikely topic for a small-town romance—after all, the thing we love about the genre is the ability to escape our urban realities. But relationships aren’t without their conflicts and compromises, and the struggle to save a mountain town—where the right thing isn’t always obvious—is the perfect reflection of the struggle of the characters to choose the right direction for their own lives.
I hope that more authors consider incorporating real-life community issues into their fiction, small-town or otherwise. Because growth never occurs without struggle and tribulation, and victory—both in life and in relationships—is all the sweeter when it is hard-won.
Carla Laureano is the two–time RITA Award–winning author of the MacDonald Family Trilogy, the Supper Club series, and Provenance. 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.
Tyndale is offering a print copy of Provenance to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read Provenance by Carla Laureano?