Indie superstars with Claire Luana + Giveaway (US + International)

Welcome to YA Books Central's "Indie Superstars" column. This event will spotlight the best and brightest of the indie community.

You don’t want to miss out on these talented authors

This week we’re interviewing Claire Luana, author of "The Confectioner’s Chronicles"

Welcome to YABC, Laura!

Melissa A. Craven: The Confectioner’s Guild offer such a unique reading experience for mystery lovers (and lovers of all things confectionary!) What was your inspiration for this amazing world of magical intrigue among the different guilds?

Claire Luana: I love magic systems, so the idea of using magic in different ways has always intrigued me. I also live in Seattle, where foodie culture is huge! People get so into their little niche food world—be it ice cream, or craft cocktails, or goat cheese! I got the idea to blend the two by creating a world where the magical properties of food fall within the container of the guild system. And Maradis was born!  

Melissa: Wren is such a wonderful character with a brilliant sense of humor. But she has a very sad background before magical cupcakes change her life forever. What was your inspiration for her character?

Claire: I wanted a character who was different than the traditional YA fantasy female lead we often see—the capable fearless extrovert who takes the world by storm. I wanted to write a character who had grown small—and had to find a way to conquer her fear and find her way back to taking up space in the world. Giving Wren a sad background was the most logical way to get there, and it felt like the right contrast to all the sugary sweetness!

Melissa: Hale is such a yummy character (see what I did there? Lol) Can you tell us something delicious about him that didn’t end up in the book? (No spoilers of course).  

Claire: I did! This series has birthed so many great food puns JHale actually has his own prequel novella, The Confectioner’s Exile—so for readers who want more Hale, that’d be a great place to start! (Subscribers to my newsletter get this novella for free!) But another secret: the character inspiration for Hale is Chris Hemsworth!

Melissa: Snacks had to be involved in the making of this book. What was your favorite go-to culinary treat for inspiration? 

Claire: I am a definite chocolate fiend, so there was a lot of chocolate consumed! My favorite candy is Cadbury Mini Eggs, but I seriously can’t say no to them, so I’m grateful they’re only around a few times a year! 

Melissa: Are you a baker? Can you share your favorite recipe with us? Or your worst baking disaster if you’re like me and not a genius in the kitchen.

Claire: I am an amateur baker—I love to bake but I feel like the tough recipes never turn out quite right. I had to do a lot of research for the book, especially about how to make candy! I did create/adapt four recipes as a fun giveaway for those who preordered the book, so I’ll share one here! 

Hale’s Coffee Salted Caramels

Ingredients:

1 cup butter

2 ¼ cups packed brown sugar

2 cups light cream

1 cup light-colored corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons instant coffee

¼ teaspoon sea salt and more to garnish

Instructions:

In a saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add brown sugar, light cream, corn syrup, and instant coffee grounds and mix well. Cook over medium-high heat until it boils. Using a candy thermometer, continue to boil at medium heat until the thermometer reaches 250 degrees. Stir throughout. 

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in vanilla and ¼ teaspoon sea salt. Pour the caramel into a 8x8x2 inch baking pan lined with foil. When firm, cut into squares with a buttered knife. Sprinkle with sea salt to garnish.

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, 12thEdition

Melissa:   If you had to give up snacks, drinks or music during the writing process, which would you find most difficult to say goodbye to? (Yes, your book made me hungry lol!)

Claire: Drinks probably! I down a lot of tea while writing. I can’t write with music—I wish I could, but my brain doesn’t work that way. And snacks—I try to limit those, as writing is pretty sedentary! I wasn’t totally successful writing this series though, and I’ve had several readers say the books should come with a warning because of how hungry they make them!

Melissa: Do you prefer audiobooks, physical books, or e-books? Why?

Claire: My first love will always be physical books, if I had to choose, I’d pick a physical book every time. I do love audiobooks to listen to while running or driving, and I love e-books for traveling! So I guess they each have their place in my heart and my life J

Melissa: What is the funniest typo you’ve ever written? Or the one spelling mistake you make everytime. 

Claire: For some reason my word processing program always autocorrects the word “waterskin” as “waterski” which always cracks me up, imagining my fantasy characters hauling a waterski through their desert quest! I’m also a lawyer for my day job, so whenever I mean to write “statue” I end up writing “statute” instead, which is the fancy lawyer word for a law. I haven’t been able to kick that habit!

Melissa: What's the strangest thing you have ever had to research for any your books?

Claire: Varieties of goats that existed in 11th Century England? My newest series is an Arthurian Legend retelling, so there was a lot of research into old-timey medieval stuff! Luckily, my co-writer, Jesikah Sundin, is a researcher extraordinaire, so she did most of the heavy lifting!

Melissa:  For those just starting this series, can you give us a hint into what’s next for Wren?

Claire: It gets a lot harder before it gets easier! The second book in the series introduces a new guild member and a new mystery Wren has to solve. Tensions heat up between the guilds and the king, and the romance heats up between some of the main characters, too!

Melissa:  Here at YABC, we think indie authors are pretty spectacular. What advice would you give to anyone who is considering indie-publishing?

Claire: Make friends! The indie author community is one of the best parts of being an indie author (besides our readers, of course!). You can get such fantastic advice and support from other authors and writers during every stage of the journey. Writing can feel like a solitary endeavor, especially when you are writing and publishing your first book, so having friends who understand is key! 

Melissa:   What are you working on now?

Claire: I am finishing editing a stand-alone paranormal romance called Orion’s Kiss, which will be featured exclusively in the Cursed Lands box set, releasing in May. I’m also plotting out a new 10-book fantasy series (eek!) that will take me through the next several years. But I’m super excited about the idea and the world!  

Meet Claire

Claire Luana grew up reading everything she could get her hands on and writing every chance she could. Eventually, adulthood won out, and she turned her writing talents to more scholarly pursuits, going to work as a commercial litigation attorney. 

While continuing to practice law, Claire decided to return to her roots and try her hand once again at creative writing. She has written and published the Moonburner Cycle, the Confectioner Chronicles, and the Knights of Caerleon trilogy, co-written with Jesikah Sundin. 

She lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband and two dogs. In her (little) remaining spare time, she loves to hike, travel, binge-watch CW shows, and of course, fall into a good book.

A magic cupcake. A culinary killer. The perfect recipe for murder. 

Wren knew her sweet treats could work wonders, but she never knew they could work magic. She barely has time to wrap her head around the stunning revelation when the head of the prestigious Confectioner’s Guild falls down dead before her. Poisoned by hercupcake.

Now facing murder charges in a magical world she doesn’t understand, Wren must discover the true killer or face the headsman’s axe. With the help of a handsome inspector and several new friends, Wren just might manage to learn the ropes, master her new powers, and find out who framed her. But when their search for clues leads to a deep-rooted conspiracy that goes all the way to the top, she realizes that the guild master isn’t the only one at risk of death by chocolate.

If Wren can’t bring the powerful culprit to justice, she and her friends will meet a bittersweet end.

The Confectioner’s Guildis a delicious YA fantasy mystery. If you like spunky chefs and twisty mysteries with a drizzle of romance, then Claire Luana’s scrumptious tale is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Website | Facebook | Twitter |Instagram | Goodreads | 

BookBub | Amazon

 

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS*

One winner will receive a signed copy of The Confectioner’s Guild(Claire Luana) ~ 

Four winners will receive a signed Confectioner's Guild poster 

(US and International)

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Featured Review: Beyond A Darkened Shore (Jessica ...
Author Of The Week: Chat with Joanna Hathaway (Dar...

Related Posts

 

Comments 17

Already Registered? Login Here
Irma Jurejevčič on Wednesday, 20 February 2019 10:41

I love the cover. I've seen this model on a couple of covers and I really like her facea nd the way she shown her emotions. The synopsys though - killer! I'm so excited to read it.

0
I love the cover. I've seen this model on a couple of covers and I really like her facea nd the way she shown her emotions. The synopsys though - killer! I'm so excited to read it.
noelle salsido on Wednesday, 20 February 2019 17:16

LOVE the cover

0
LOVE the cover
Danielle Hammelef on Sunday, 24 February 2019 13:23

The cover is beautiful and the synopsis sounds magical and suspenseful.

0
The cover is beautiful and the synopsis sounds magical and suspenseful.
Debra Branigan on Monday, 25 February 2019 18:50

This book sounds great and the cover is delicious!

0
This book sounds great and the cover is delicious!
Zoe on Wednesday, 27 February 2019 07:49

Love the cover, and I love the colours. This book sounds like a lot of fun.

0
Love the cover, and I love the colours. This book sounds like a lot of fun.
Artemis Giote on Thursday, 28 February 2019 11:45

Beautiful cover ♥
A magic cupcake. A culinary killer. The perfect recipe for murder. I love the sound of that!!!

0
Beautiful cover ♥ A magic cupcake. A culinary killer. The perfect recipe for murder. I love the sound of that!!!
Julie Holden on Thursday, 28 February 2019 23:09

Love tho colors on the cover & the story sounds like it would be a cute read!

0
Love tho colors on the cover & the story sounds like it would be a cute read!

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Cousins
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of One...
A Curse of Roses
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Based on Portuguese legend, this #OwnVoices historical fantasy is an...
I Don't Want to Wash my Hands!
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
From beloved children's author and illustrator Tony Ross, comes a...
Dance Like a Leaf
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
As her grandmother's health declines, a young girl begins to...
The Bitterwine Oath
 
3.3 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
San Solano, Texas, is a quaint town known for...
Sing Like No One's Listening
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A moving YA debut about a talented young singer...
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first book in an epic and romantic YA...
The Good Girls
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
One of Us Is Lying meets Sadie in this...
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Iduna harbors a dark secret. On the surface,...
The Camelot Betrayal
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Every summer, they say goodbye. Dorit goes to Tel Aviv...
Incredible Animals
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this illustrated guide, discover fascinating and unusual information about...
Special Delivery
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A lovely book to share with children in an expecting...
Eyelike Stickers: Trains
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hundreds of irresistible, reusable, and collectible stickers to mix, match,...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
It is twenty years since the events of La Belle...
Winter Light
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
WINTER LIGHT is the story of 15-year-old Mary Donahue...

Latest Member Reviews

The Cousins
 
5.0
"THE COUSINS is a highly devourable and engaging family drama/mystery. The Story family is very wealthy, running a bunch of..."
Golden Curse (The True Story of Rapunzel)
 
5.0
"This beautiful story is highly enjoyable. The writing flows easily, and the characters feel relatable. The main conflict was interesting..."
The Raven and the Dove
 
4.0
"An intriguing tale of forbidden love as two young lovers fight to stay together. Well written and entertaining. ..."
The Devil's Apprentice
 
4.5
"This was actually a pretty interesting story. At first I really wasn't sure how it was going to go so..."
A Curse of Roses
 
3.7
"A CURSE OF ROSES is an intriguing YA historical fantasy based on a Portuguese legend. The book tackles themes of..."
Speechless
 
4.7
"this story is amazing! i have a project for honors english 10, and this is a great story to chose..."
I Don't Want to Wash my Hands!
 
3.0
"I DON'T WANT TO WASH MY HANDS is a picture book about the need for frequent hand washing. The little..."
Dance Like a Leaf
 
5.0
"DANCE LIKE A LEAF is a beautiful book about grief and loss of a loved one. A young girl loves..."
The Bitterwine Oath
 
3.3
"THE BITTERWINE OATH is a YA fantasy and light horror read. Nat is the descendent of the girl who put..."
Heart Sister
 
4.8
"The story: When Emmitt’s twin sister Minnie dies in a tragic accident, it cripples not only him..."
Incredible Animals
 
5.0
"INCREDIBLE ANIMALS is a fascinating collection of animals by special skills, including clever camouflage, devoted parents (such as penguins), and..."
Special Delivery
 
4.0
"SPECIAL DELIVERY is a delightfully silly picture book. A little duck is eagerly awaiting the delivery of her baby brother...."
Eyelike Stickers: Trains
 
5.0
"EYELIKE STICKERS: TRAINS is an unbelievably cool collection of stickers. These 400 stickers include many photographs of trains, as well..."
 
4.3
"If your expecting the same type of books that you’ve been reading in this series, you’d be wrong. This whole..."
The Kinder Poison
 
5.0
"From start to finish I absolutely adored this story. The opening scene was so much fun to read while Zahru..."
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
"HEIRESS APPARENTLY is a YA rom-com with deep themes that make it such an engaging and captivating read. Gemma is..."
The Good Girls
 
4.0
"THE GOOD GIRLS is an enthralling read. The book begins after the disappearance and seeming murder of the police chief's..."
All our Hidden Gifts
 
4.0
"Maeve finds a pack of tarot cards while cleaning out a closet at her school. What starts off as curiosity,..."
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
"DANGEROUS SECRETS: THE STORY OF IDUNA AND AGNARR is a great MG/YA fantasy romance. Based on Frozen, this book tells..."
Hot British Boyfriend
 
4.0
"When Ellie is completely humiliated by her best friend an crush, she decides the best way to escape her jeering..."