It’s my pleasure to welcome Laura Trentham to Book Reviews & More by Kathy!
Kathy: Thank you so much for stopping by today. Can you tell us a little about your new release?
When the Stars Come Out is the 5th book in the Cottonbloom series but can be read as a standalone. It’s set in the Louisiana side of Cottonbloom and features Willa Brown, a female mechanic who works at Abbott Brothers Garage and Restoration. She’s hiding from her past and nurturing a crush on Jackson Abbott. Jackson is a broody loner (and twin brother of Wyatt from Leave the Night On) who finally notices Willa as more than his right-hand woman in the garage. It’s both a dream and nightmare situation for Willa who is terrified her past will put Jackson in danger.
Kathy: What was your inspiration for the Cottonbloom series?
The original trilogy was a request from my publisher (St. Martin’s Press) for a “summer series.” They had the release dates already set; they just needed the books! I got out my huge old fashioned paper atlas and flipped through it looking for a setting. I saw the east-west running border between Louisiana and Mississippi and the idea of competing summer festivals across a town split over the state line snapped into my head within seconds. Even before I pitched it to my editor, I knew it was a winner. Sometimes writing feels like bleeding on the page and sometimes it’s pure magic.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite book or author you like to recommend? Do you have a comfort read?
The book I recommend to anyone who’ll listen and give as a gift is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It’s told in letters and takes place in post-WWII England. It’s got a lovely romance and quirky characters and is exceedingly charming. Everyone should read it!
Kathy: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
My degree is in chemical engineering, which I enjoyed before I had kids. I still have my steel-toe boots in case I ever go back (or a friend needs a “situation” taken care of…lol)
Kathy: What project(s) are you currently working on?
I write like I read…I always have several books going at the same time. I’m working on another contemporary romance set in Georgia with a Scottish twist. I’ve got a contemporary gothic thriller set in the mountains of Tennessee brewing. And, lastly, I have the next book in my Regency romance series Spies and Lovers planned! I’m super excited about all of them.
Kathy: I have to confess I am VERY intriguing with the gothic thriller mention-I love them! Thank you so much for chatting with us today.
Title: When the Stars Come Out by Laura Trentham
Cottonbloom Series Book Five
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 320 pages
Cottonbloom. A beautiful, faraway place where a woman can escape her past—and find reason to stay forever in Laura Trentham’s When the Stars Come Out. . .
Willa Brown never planned to stay in Cottonbloom. She was on the way to somewhere else when she landed there and found work at the Abbot brothers’ garage. . .and a sense of comfort and safety that she had never known. The same holds true for Jackson Abbott himself. With one glance in her direction, he can make Willa’s heart melt. But what begins as an unrequited crush turns into something far more powerful than Willa could have ever imagined. . .
Jackson’s most meaningful relationship has always been with his car—and he’s not afraid to admit it. Still, he can’t help but become emotionally entangled with his new star mechanic Willa, who is definitely hiding some dark secrets of her own beneath the hood. Jackson desperately wants Willa to trust him, and to seek protection in his arms. But even as the two slowly surrender to their shared attraction, the danger lurking in Willa’s past remains a stubborn obstacle. Can she open up enough to give them both a chance at having real and lasting love?
Read my review HERE.
“I’m not a damn car.” Anger heated her voice.
“I know that.”
“Do you?” She stopped and he turned to face her. “You haven’t spared a thought about how much you pay me or what I wear or why fall is my favorite season for two years.”
“I know and that’s my bad. I should have been paying more attention to you.”
She made a scoffing sound. That’s exactly what she didn’t need. Everything depended on her staying under the radar. “You want to fix me like I’m some broken-down car. Or fix my problems or whatever. But that’s not how people work. Maybe I’m unfixable.”
Half his face was in shadows from the setting sun. Even in the best of times it was difficult to get a read on his mood, but the roughness in his voice was more pronounced than usual. “I don’t want to fix you. I want to help you. I want you to trust me.”
An award-winning author, Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she was convinced an English degree equated to starvation. She chose the next most logical major—Chemical Engineering—and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years.
She writes sexy, small town contemporaries and smoking hot Regency historicals. KISS ME THAT WAY, Cottonbloom Book 1, won the Stiletto Contest for Best Long Contemporary and finaled in the National Readers Choice Award. THEN HE KISSED ME, Cottonbloom Book 2, was named an Amazon Best Romance of 2016 and was a finalist for the National Excellence for Romance Fiction. TILL I KISSED YOU, Cottonbloom Book 3, is a finalist in the Maggie contest. LEAVE THE NIGHT ON, the latest Cottonbloom book, was named an iBooks Best Book of the Month and a Recommended Read from NPR.
When not lost in a cozy Southern town or Regency England, she’s shuttling kids to soccer, helping with homework, and avoiding the Mt. Everest-sized pile of laundry that is almost as big as the to-be-read pile of books on her nightstand.