If you were to order your hot drink based on personality... The Solid Grounds Coffee Company by Carla Laureano (Guest Post & Interview) @TyndaleHouse

I LOVED this author's last book, Brunch at Bittersweet Café, and have been so excited
for the next book in this series! Check out a very fun guest post and interview below...

The Solid Grounds Coffee Company
(The Saturday Night Supper Club #3)
By Carla Laureano
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 432 Pages
February 4th 2020 by Tyndale House Publishers


Analyn Sanchez can handle the long hours and arrogant clients that come with her job as a crisis management associate at Denver’s largest publicity firm. The high-powered job, expensive condo, and designer wardrobe are all part of her plan to prove to her family that her life choices haven’t been in vain. But when she’s asked to cover up a client’s misdeeds with serious moral and legal ramifications, she can no longer sacrifice her conscience for her career . . . and the cost is no less than her job.

Ever since a devastating climbing accident in South America eight months ago, and a bad decision that dried up his sponsorships, professional rock climber Bryan Shaw has found himself at similar loose ends. When the opportunity to buy a coffee farm in Colombia arises, he jumps on it—only to discover his wandering ways have left him utterly unprepared to run a business.

When Bryan returns home and offers Ana a role in his company as a solution to both their problems, she’s desperate enough to consider working with the far-too-flippant and far-too-handsome climber, even though he’s the polar opposite of her type A nature. As they delve deeper into the business, however, she begins to suspect there’s much more to Bryan than she’s given him credit for . . . and that sometimes the best plans are the ones you never see coming.

(Affiliate links included.)

Guest Post:
Overheard at the MBTI Café
by Carla Laureano

It seems that there’s only one thing that we book people like more than our hot drinks . . . and that’s personality type quizzes! I love how accurate and entertaining the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is, so I couldn’t help but wonder what I’d hear in line at a fictional MBTI Café. Here’s what the morning rush might sound like.

(Warning, though: this is just for fun. Your local café probably doesn’t offer refunds in the event you don’t like the same drink as your type*!)

INTJ (imaginative, confident, insensitive)—Large, extra-hot, half-caf, soy milk, no-foam latte. Sure, it’s complex, but it’s better to be direct about what you like than be disappointed in the results. Right?

INTP (imaginative, objective, rebellious)—Medium double-strength dirty chai (with decaf espresso shot) . . . off-menu, of course. Because a small isn’t enough, large is overboard, and there’s enough caffeine in a double chai without complicating things with the espresso shot.

ENTJ (efficient, confident, ruthless)—Double espresso, straight up. Why faff around with milk and sugar when we all know it’s liquid productivity we’re after?

ENTP (energetic, original, impractical)—Dirty green-tea chai with full-strength espresso, whipped cream, and a dusting of matcha powder and java chips. Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t. Worst case: it tastes terrible, but it will get the job done. Best case: I’ve invented a new drink that will make me a coffee shop legend!

INFJ (decisive, altruistic, perfectionistic)—Large caffè mocha made from direct-trade espresso, fair-trade cocoa powder, and sustainable palm sugar. Just because I need my caffeine fix doesn’t mean I can’t be aware of its global impact.

INFP (peacemaking, flexible, impractical)—(Ordered an iced latte but got an iced raspberry tea.) It’s okay, though . . . the barista looks overwhelmed, and the raspberry iced tea isn’t moving very quickly. It’s better to drink it quietly than to mess up her day.

ENFJ (reliable, tolerant, indecisive)—Black coffee, please. With room for cream. Or half-and-half. Whatever you have back there. Or maybe almond milk would be better?

ENFP (curious, friendly, prone to overthinking)—What’s the most fun drink you have on the menu? Storm Trooper Frappuccino? Let’s give that a shot. I think. What if I don’t like it? Can I get something else?

ISTJ (honest, practical, judgmental)—Small drip Colombian, black. No, that will be it, thanks. That girl in front of me took long enough for all of us.

ISFJ (supportive, observant, resistant to change)—I’ll take whatever that girl in front of the ISTJ ordered . . . it sounded good. Oh, it was a Storm Trooper Frappuccino? Just my usual, then.

ESFJ (loyal, sensitive, status-conscious)—Pumpkin spice latte, please. How is your day going?

ISTP (optimistic, spontaneous, commitment-averse)—Oh, you’ve got a new item on the menu? Vanilla-lavender honey latte? Sounds weird, but I’ll give it a try. And maybe a small English breakfast tea to go, just in case.

ISFP (charming, artistic, self-doubting)—I’ll try that new latte too! But can you put it in my handmade travel mug? I just finished it last week. Do you like it? I haven’t decided yet. I could probably do better.

ESTP (perceptive, direct, risk-prone)—I’ll take an Ethiopian pour-over, black. Can we try it with twenty-five grams of coffee instead of thirty? And let’s make the water 205 degrees instead of 212. (takes sip) This is much better. Maybe I should open my own coffee shop.

ESFP (aesthetic, witty, easily bored)—Surprise me today. I’ll try anything, as long as it’s pretty enough for Instagram.

*Don’t know your type or want to read more? For this article I summarized the extensive resources at 16 Personalities.

Author Interview

What inspired you to write The Solid Grounds Coffee Company?

When you’re writing a foodie trilogy that centers around a supper club and you’ve already done both your sweet and savory angles, what do you write about? Coffee, of course. I spent a lot of time writing the first two books in my favorite independent coffeehouses, all of which roast their own beans, so I thought it would be fun to give readers a peek into the small-batch artisan coffee movement in Denver.

How do you expect the novel to resonate with your audience? What are you most excited for your readers to experience through reading this story?

As women, we are under so much pressure every day to have it all together and not drop any balls: we should have a perfectly curated wardrobe, home, and career. As Christian women, you would think that we would give ourselves and each other some grace, but instead we just add more things to the checklist: keeping on top of an Instagram-worthy quiet time (complete with cute prayer journal, scented candle, and cup of coffee), fulfilling our families’ expectations, and always being a ready friend. Before we know it, our blessings have become burdens and the things we want to do out of love for other people have secretly become what we have to do to be worthy of love. I think every woman will be able to relate in some way or another to Ana’s journey from perfectionism to grace, and I hope it will begin conversations about the expectations we put on ourselves and other people.
What role does faith play in this story?

In some ways, Bryan Shaw has a larger journey of faith than Ana, because he’s strayed so far from it. We so often think of coming to Jesus—or coming back to Jesus—at the end of the story, but there’s still our past filled with bad decisions and hurtful actions that we have to deal with. This story addresses what it means to be a changed person in the midst of your own mess. How do you reconcile who you are now with who you used to be?

As an author, what did you particularly enjoy about writing this story?

I absolutely love the banter between Ana and Bryan. Because they had been friends for years before the book starts, they’re already comfortable with each other and know a lot of each other’s secrets (which is both good and bad!). But it also makes their romantic interactions really lighthearted and fun. It’s such a contrast to other aspects of their personalities—you can just see how good they are for each other.

You’ve said that Ana is the character you relate to most. Why is that?

I am a type A planner to the core. I have plans on top of plans on top of contingency plans. I’m the one my friends come to for advice, but that’s also a lot of pressure. Over time, I’ve had to learn to hold things a little less tightly and give up control . . . a lesson that Ana has to learn in this book as well.

Ana and Bryan had their little flirtations in previous books in the series, but both of them had reasons for holding back. Why do you think they make a perfect couple?

A woman who has to have everything be perfect matched up with a man who is decidedly not perfect and doesn’t even try to be? It’s classic “opposites attract.” Add in the concerns about ruining their tight-knit little circle à la the TV show Friends, and it’s pretty much a drama gold mine. It’s no secret I like a little angst with my romance, and I think their concerns about how their romance affects their existing relationships and vice versa feel really authentic and true to life.

In this book, we learn more about Ana’s past and how that influences her life today. What do you hope readers learn from this part of Ana’s story?

Without giving anything away, Ana is keeping a pretty big secret from everyone, including her best friends. I hope that readers understand that the people who love them most give that love unconditionally. We don’t need to hide from or edit ourselves for the people who truly deserve our trust.

You are known for doing excellent research for your novels and truly enjoying it. What was your favorite part of researching this novel?

I found the roasting process fascinating. In The Solid Grounds Coffee Company, there are a number of specific details on how coffee beans go from green to drinkable, but it took tons of books and blogs and hours of videos just to glean those few details. I even went through a free coffee-roasting class on YouTube!

That said, I had the most fun researching the dramatic climbing accident in the prologue. It took me a fair amount of research to make sure the scenario was plausible and would hold up to scrutiny by climbers. I hope I succeeded in that goal!

Why did you choose a coffee-roasting business for Bryan?

Bryan has always been my most thoughtful and socially conscious character, even as he’s the most brash and abrupt of the group. I was fascinated by the organizations that help South American farmers convert their crops from coca (cocaine) to coffee, and even more so by the fact that most of them are faith-based. It seemed to be the perfect endeavor for a world-traveling climber trying to turn his life around. But since I couldn’t exactly transport Ana to a coffee farm in Colombia, especially in a series set in Denver, I had to bring the beans—and Bryan—to her. Thus, the Solid Grounds Coffee Company was born.

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to Amazon or my review.)

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.

Are you a fan of this author? What did you think of the guest post and interview? What drink would you be?

No comments

Post a Comment

I love comments! I try to read and reply to them all. Feel free to agree or disagree and generally share your thoughts with me.