Author Interview: Carla Laureano & The Broken Hearts Bakery

Posted April 3, 2023 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Carla Laureano, contemporary, romance / 10 Comments

Carla Laureano Q&A

Delighted today to have Carla Laureano – one of my very fave authors (and the creator of #myJames ♥) – on the blog to chat about her new contemporary romance, The Broken Hearts Bakery!

Carla Laureano

Carla Laureano is the two-time RITA® award-winning author of sixteen books, spanning the genres of contemporary romance and Celtic fantasy. A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked in sales and marketing for more than a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write full-time. In 2022, she founded Sophisticated Fiction to provide editorial, critique, and coaching services to authors of all levels. She currently lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, two sons, and an opinionated tortoiseshell cat named Willow.

You can connect with Carla on her website, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Other Featured Books by Carla Laureano

The Solid Grounds Coffee Company  Under Scottish Stars  Provenance

The Broken Hearts BakeryTHE BROKEN HEARTS BAKERY by Carla Laureano
Haven Ridge #1

GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Clean & Wholesome)
PUBLISHER: Laureano Creative Media LLC
RELEASE DATE: April 10, 2023
PAGES: 305

Fifteen years ago, the town of Haven Ridge failed its most important mandate—to be a sanctuary for heartbroken citizens in need. Now it’s getting a second chance to set things right …

When Gemma left her hometown of Haven Ridge, Colorado, years ago in a cloud of controversy, she swore she would never return. And she’s kept that promise, instead building her reputation as one of LA’s preeminent family law attorneys. But when her lifelong best friend begs her to come stay with her teen stepdaughter, Taylor, while she’s on a business trip, Gemma doesn’t have the heart to refuse. She’ll simply keep a low profile, do her honorary aunt duties, and be gone before anyone knows the difference.

But Haven Ridge seems to have a mind of its own, dragging Gemma unwillingly back into the community she’s tried so hard to leave behind, and she soon finds herself caught up with new friends and old rivalries. When Taylor is the object of an ugly bit of teen bullying that brings back far too many unwelcome memories, Gemma does the only thing she knows how to do: ply her honorary niece with baked goods and words of affirmation. Soon, her temporary digs are ground zero for teenage girls seeking sugar and consolation for shockingly adult problems—which the girls soon dub The Broken Hearts Bakery.

Complicating matters is an unexpected reunion with Gemma’s high school sweetheart, Stephen, who is determined to change her mind about him, the town, and the nature of love itself. Because as it turns out, her niece isn’t the only one nursing a broken heart…


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Hi Carla! Welcome to the blog!

Carla: Cats, because I’m allergic to dogs

Carrie: aww that’s sad 🙁

Carla: Tea

Carrie: agreed. I don’t really like either, but if i have to drink one it will be tea – with lots of sugar lol

Carla: Beach…no, mountains…no, beach! I’d take either.

Carrie: you can’t really go wrong with either!

Q: Your past couple of books have been clean contemporary romance instead of Christian. Why did you decide to make the change?

Carla: I’ve always been on the border of clean and Christian; because my first ten books were with Christian publishers, I naturally chose to write stories that had a clear, if light, spiritual message. But not all the ideas I’ve had neatly fit into the Christian fiction mold, and at times I’ve wanted to tackle issues or write stories that didn’t lend themselves to an overt Christian message. I’m writing those stories now. That doesn’t mean I won’t continue to write Christian fiction in the future, but for now I’m focusing on stories with a positive message to reach readers who might bypass Christian fiction strictly because of the label.

Carrie: So it sounds as if readers who already loved your books will keep loving them – and you may also pick up some new readers who will see the light of Jesus in you because of your interactions ♥

Q: The Broken Hearts Bakery is the first book in the Haven Ridge series. What is the series about?

Carla: The Haven Ridge series is a small-town romance series with a magical realism twist: the town has gotten away from its founding mission to provide a haven for people who needed a fresh start and a community, and as such, it’s slowly dwindling away. The prequel novella, The Brick House Cafe, goes into the history of the town and its goal to rebuild itself by drawing back the people it needs and who in turn need it. Each full length shows how the town draws people together and how the people in it contribute to the new life of the town!

Carrie: you had me at magical realism!!!

Q: The Broken Hearts Bakery deals some heavy subjects. Why did you choose those to write about?

Carla: I’ve witnessed several friends extricate themselves from abusive marriages over the last couple of years and I’ve seen how difficult it was for them to find attorneys who believed them and would take their cases—which is in part how the character of Gemma came about. Likewise, I’m the moms to two teens and hearing the kinds of issues they and their friends are dealing with can be heartbreaking. Over the course of writing, those two things wove together into one of the central messages: that everyone has the right to feel safe and to make their own choices without threat or coercion.

Carrie: such an important message!

Q: Which character in The Broken Hearts Bakery was the easiest to write?

Carla: Gemma’s best friend, Liv! She’s fun and sunny, and while she doesn’t have a ton of page time, she’s still an important character. (It’s a good thing I feel this way, because I get to write her story next!)

Carrie: yay!!!

Q: Why did you choose the professions for your characters that you did?

Carla: With a title like The Broken Hearts Bakery, I asked myself who would be the most unlikely romance novel heroine I could write. Clearly, the answer has to be divorce lawyer! Someone who has seen her share of broken hearts and has good personal and professional reasons not to believe in love. But she had to be someone who secretly wanted to believe in love and didn’t delight in the idea of divorce, hence her determination to only take clients who were being taken advantage of by their spouses.

On the other side, I needed a hero who would be Gemma’s opposite in a lot of ways … who better than a high school literature teacher? I have the greatest respect for teachers and I’ve been so grateful for those who have been a positive force in my children’s lives. A guy who loves books, has a desire to help teens, and believes in true love was the ideal foil for my battered and disenchanted attorney.

Make him the one who helped sour the heroine on love in the first place? Absolute dramatic gold. This is one of my very favorite pairings out of all the heroic couples I’ve written.

Carrie: ahhhh!! I can’t wait to read it!

Q: What is your favorite scene involving Gemma and Stephen?

Carla: I love the Capture the Flag scene where a playful, impulsive gesture turns serious. I’m not giving away anything else because I don’t want to ruin it … but it was one of my beta readers’ favorite parts too.

Carrie: eep!! Seriously can’t wait!

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Carla: I’m planning for the Haven Ridge series to run for at least four books, not including the prequel, so you can expect three more after this one! I’m hoping to finish up the series with a Christmas novel, which will be the first one I’ve ever written.

The next book in the series is The Beacon Street Bookshop, and it will be the story of Gemma’s best friend, Liv, who has been widowed young and is not in any way looking for love again. I’ve been wanting to write a second-chance-after-tragedy story and a bookshop story for ages, so I’m very excited to get to write this one!

What about you? What makes you want to read The Broken Hearts Bakery by Carla Laureano?

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10 responses to “Author Interview: Carla Laureano & The Broken Hearts Bakery

  1. Why do I want to read this book? Because CARLA LAUREANO, that’s why! I would read the phone book (do they still make those?) if Carla wrote it!! 🥰

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