Tuesday, July 7, 2020

5 Reasons Why the Third MacDonald Novel was Worth Waiting For

Let's give a hearty Seekerville welcome to guest Carla Laureano! She is sharing five reasons why the third novel of The MacDonald Family Trilogy was worth waiting for plus a giveaway opportunity for commenters!

Five Reasons Why the Third MacDonald Novel Was Worth Waiting For by Carla Laureano

Publishing isn’t a smooth process on the best of days but rarely does a book go through as many changes and delays as Under Scottish Stars, the final book in my MacDonald Family Trilogy. It was initially scheduled to be released in June 2016, but the original publisher was in the process of closing down its fiction line. At the same time, I signed a contract with Tyndale House, who saw the opportunity to bring the entire series over and release the book themselves.

That came with an entirely new set of challenges, from repackaging and re-releasing the first two books in the series to redesigning covers and interiors, a multiyear process. But at long last, Under Scottish Stars has made it into readers’ hands, a full four years after its initial intended release. Which begs the question: was it worth the wait?

You might guess that I’m biased, so of course I’m going to say yes. But I can say that this is my favorite of the three MacDonald Family books, and there are five reasons it may be a contender for readers’ favorite as well.

1. Malcolm Blake gives James MacDonald a run for his money in the hero department.

James MacDonald from Five Days in Skye seems to be a perennial hero favorite among my readers, and really, I can’t blame them. James is handsome, charming, rich, can cook like nobody’s business, and he’s a celebrity. But for those who like their book boyfriends a little more down-to-earth (but no less sexy), Malcolm fits the bill. His roots are humbler and his wardrobe far less flashy, but he’s intelligent, caring, and secretly a little nerdy. Oh, and did I mention he’s a boxer? Case closed.



2. Serena MacDonald Stewart is a heroine we can all relate to.

We can’t all be high-powered businesswomen like Andrea from Five Days in Skye or globetrotting photojournalists like Grace in London Tides, but we can probably all relate to Serena: single mum and unintentional collector of many bad dates. She’s just trying to get over the trauma of a not-so-great marriage that ended in tragedy, raise well-adjusted kids, and do right by the family business. If that means her own wants and desires, including her passion for art, fall by the wayside, so be it. (Sound like anyone you know?)

3. We finally get closure on what happens to the other characters in the series.

When I write a series, I’ve been asked why I don’t write epilogues to the earlier books, and that’s because the stories of the first couples always carry through to the last book. Wonder what happened to James and Andrea after they said “I do” in book two? Wonder if Grace and Ian were ever able to overcome their bicontinental lifestyle and rocky beginnings? Under Scottish Stars addresses all that and more along the way, with a really sweet epilogue that makes me feel satisfied that I’ve delivered everyone their happily-ever-afters. (Because come on, we all know there will be a happily ever after, we just don’t know how we’re going to get there . . . it’s the best part about romance novels.)


4. This book is an ode to the difficult, humbling, and worthwhile job of motherhood, especially single motherhood.

I don’t often read single-parent romances, and when I do, the kids are usually an afterthought. I wanted to do something completely different with Under Scottish Stars and give a realistic look into what it’s like to parent young children . . . and what it would be like to consider bringing a new man into their lives, with all of the worry and responsibility that entails. Single non-parents need not worry—there’s plenty of toe-tingling romance present . . . because motherhood doesn’t mean an end to romance. There is nothing more attractive than seeing your partner become a good father.

5. Even after five years, I still get weekly (sometimes angry) messages asking about this book’s release.

Not joking. Since London Tides, I’ve answered weekly messages about the expected release of this book and have been accused of everything from holding it back to be cruel to holding it back to make more money. (I still haven’t figured out how that last one works.) But honestly . . . if the love of the first two books has endured long enough to still generate that much anticipation and angst, you can’t not read it. Right?

All kidding aside, I’m thrilled to finally get the third MacDonald book into the hands of readers, and I hope they love it as much as I do. It’s a little bit nerve-wracking to release a book that is as highly anticipated as this book has been, because once it’s released to the world, it no longer belongs to me. If nothing else, the release of this book five years after it was written shows the full breadth of perseverance and determination that’s required by publishing. I’m just happy to have both industry partners and readers who were willing to go along for the ride.


Let us know if you're one of the many fans eagerly anticipating the final book of The MacDonald Family Trilogy! One fortunate commenter will win a copy of Under Scottish Stars! (US only)


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.

Visit her website and connect with Carla on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

81 comments:

  1. Yes! I am thrilled that this long-awaited book is here! I'm so glad that you managed to keep it moving forward through all the difficulties along the way. Congratulations on your release!

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    1. Thanks, Heidi! It was definitely an exercise in patience, and I am not a patient person... which may be exactly why it had to be that way. :D

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  2. Hi Carla! I'm certainly intrigued by this trilogy. Thank you for the post! :-)

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    1. Thank you, Rachel! I hope you enjoy it if you decide to give it a whirl!

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  4. Congratulations! This sounds like a great series. Thank you for sharing.

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  5. Yes! Ever since Five Days in Skye, I have been waiting for this final chapter! I love the characters in the first two, so I know this will be a great finale. The only sad thing will be arriving at the last page!

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    1. I felt the same way...hard to let go after so long, but I'm so glad to finally have put out a satisfying conclusion to the series! It was like a favorite TV show that got unexpectedly cancelled before finishing the main story arc. :)

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  6. I am interested! The books I have read by you were so good so I would be interested in any of your books.

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  7. Love this series! Can't wait to start book3!

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    1. Yay! I think this might be my favorite one of the batch, actually.

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  8. Congratulations on the release of your book! I am currently reading Five days in Skye. I cannot wait to read the second and third books in this series.

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  9. This is a new series for me to read. They sound really excellent.

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    1. Thanks for your willingness to give it a try, Danielle! I hope you enjoy them!

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  10. I have not read the first book in the series. I will be taking it off my TBR now.

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    1. I think you'll definitely want to start with Five Days in Skye if you don't want spoilers.

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  11. So excited this book is finally out! Have been waiting (somewhat patiently) for this day. Can't wait to see how the story ends.

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    1. I have not been patient at all! LOL But thank you for hanging in there with me!

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  12. Hi Carla:
    When does your series take place? Is it a 13th century, Braveheart, family saga or is it a contemporary? Do you now have cover art for the three books? And did you ever consider publishing the third book as an Indy without delay? I believe some of the Seeker authors have done this…and thankfully so.

    BTW: I was set to go to Pepperdine because they had a trimester system which was wonderful. However, I ended up in Santa Barbara which had double summer sessions. Did they have trimesters when you attended?

    Vince

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    1. Hi Vince. This is a contemporary romance series... you can see all the cover art for the series on my website or Amazon. I didn't consider publishing it as an indie because the rights were already sold to my first publisher, who then sold the rights to Tyndale. In order for me to self-publish it, I would have had to get the rights back, which was unlikely to happen.

      And yes, they had the trimester system when I attended Pepperdine (still do to my knowledge, though I haven't checked). It's much more like the English system, which was great, because it let me finish my degree in three years instead of four. Though I really wouldn't recommend an English degree in 3 years... that was PAINFUL.

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  13. Hi, Carla! Welcome back!

    It's so funny that you still get mail about that third book! (Not funny that it's angry, of course.) :) And what a great idea not to do epilogues. You pull the readers to the next book, which is a great thing to do!

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    1. Hi Missy! Thanks for the welcome back! I always love the chance to visit Seekerville.

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  14. Congratulations! You gave me something to think about with this. I am plotting the last two books of my first trilogy, and live the idea of including the previous characters in the epilogue of the final book. I hope your readers love what sounds to be an amazing story!

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    1. Thanks, Amy! I think series epilogues including all the characters are my favorites to write... and readers have told me that they really enjoy them.

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  15. One of those people who messaged you through your website to check on the release date at some point a couple years ago=)

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    1. Thanks for hanging in there, Patty! Feels like forever, doesn't it?

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  16. Happy Book Birthday, Carla! I'm looking forward to reading this trilogy.

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  17. Yes, I’ve been eagerly waiting! I was NOT one of those angry readers who sent Carla weekly emails, though 🙃
    A hero to rival Jaime?!?! I need to push this book WAY UP on my TBR list!

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    1. Haha! Some of the hard core James fans are still holdouts, but Malcolm is my pick for favorite hero. :)

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  18. Hi, Carla! I absolutely loved Five Days in Skye! I am looking forward to sharing in Serena's story.

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  19. Welcome, Carla. This book series sounds great and I'm glad you were finally able to publish it. I'm sorry so many readers got angry about it, though. I loved your Saturday Night Supper Club series but just realized I haven't read the third book in the series yet, so I must do that. My book group read the first two.

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    1. Thanks for your/your book group's support and enthusiasm, Sandy! I understand their frustration... I've been hanging on for a book three in a series for EIGHT years. lol

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  20. I've absolutely loved the first one and can't wait to read the next two <3 thanks for the chance to win them!

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  21. Congratulations on your new book!

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  22. Oh my! I've heard so many great things about this book and series, and now I'm even more excited to read it! Thanks for the intriguing post and chance to win!

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  23. I'm ready to read it. Thanks for the chance.

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  24. Really looking forward to reading this book.

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  25. never read this series

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  26. I read the first two books several years ago after I kept hearing about James and how wonderful he was. I'm sure Under Scottish Stars will be worth the wait. It will be fun to go back to Skye.
    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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  27. Never read SARAHTAYLOR601973(at)YAHOO(dot)COM

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  28. Super excited for this series! Haven’t read any yet.

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    1. I hope you enjoy if you decide to pick them up!

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  29. I love everything about Scotland!! And I love Carla’s writing so this book is bound to be a win win!

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  30. I’ve only read Five Days in Skye, but I can’t wait to have the time to catch up on all of the MacDonald family! mylittlebirdiebooks [at] gmail [dot] com

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  31. I probably should start from the first book ;)

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  32. Would enjoy reading this series! Vivian Furbay jtandviv (at) q (dot) com

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  33. Yay! Congrats on the release. I loved the first book of the series and will be happy to get my hands on the rest.

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  34. I have not read any of your books yet, you’re a new-to-me author. But I’ve heard great things about this series and can’t want to read it.

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  35. Hi, sounds like a great book.

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  36. New author for me. Gorgeous cover!

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  37. I've thoroughly enjoyed the first two in this series, and so, YES---I'm a reader that's been looking forward to this book for a long time! :) Can't wait to read it!

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