Blog readers, I can’t tell you how excited I am to host Lydia Laceby during her whirlwind Redesigning Rose CLP Blog Tour around the book blogosphere.
I’ve followed Lydia’s work as a book blogger for some time and I recommend reading a novel written by a book blogger because the author-blogger usually has a keen sense of the genre in which she writes – having read and reviewed so wide and deep as a book blogger. Trust me, you’re in good hands with Lydia and you’re going to love Redesigning Rose.
Today, I dish up an author interview AND a book review. Lydia’s dishing up a very generous prize package: a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card. (Details at the bottom of this post!)
About Redesigning Rose
Rose Parker’s husband has been lying. About everything. When a conversation with her husband triggers questions, Rose Parker uncovers alarming answers that shatter her perfect life. But it is only when she shoves her belongings in her SUV and drives off that Rose realizes just how far from perfect her life actually was. She has nowhere to turn.
While debating between distressing sleeping arrangements–her mother’s house full of questions or a hotel room with too much solitude–Rose bumps into an acquaintance from her gardening class and allows bubbly, exuberant Becky to indulge her in a wild night full of whiskey, weeping, and whispered confidences. Suddenly, Rose has a new friend, a roof over her head, and two gorgeous men moving her out of her marital home.
As Rose struggles to settle into her new life, she remains determined to comprehend her past. And with time and distance and especially wine, comes knowledge. Frank wasn’t the only one lying to her. Rose was lying to herself.
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My Review of Redesigning Rose
Um, okay, whatsup with Frank? Folks, Rose’s husband is a dud and we learn this early in the novel. Rose, the protagonist, certainly deserves better. My reaction to reading about Frank? I immediately felt protective of Rose and there lies the beautiful open to this novel: a protagonist the reader wants to protect and wants to see transformed over the course of the novel.
Don’t get me wrong. Rose isn’t a victim. Rose is a strong woman who stumbles. Rose is an honest portrayal of a woman who has been deceived, wronged, and disappointed by someone she trusted. Come on, people. If what happened to Rose happened to you, you’d stumble. You’d need a Becky (a great friend) and you’d need a garden (or similar outlet) and you’d need to touch base with your roots (family/mother/daughter relationships) and you’d benefit from the attention of not one, but two hot love interests.
What does Rose need to do over the course of this novel? Rose needs to face reality. Rose needs a companion and sidekick to not only offer support but to lighten her load. Rose needs to break from an unhealthy relationship and Rose needs to rebuild a relationship that has been injured. Rose needs to get her groove back.
Enter Becky. Great secondary character. Both Becky and Rose need each other for different reasons and their story arcs develop in interesting ways. Enter Rose’s mother and the fostering of family ties. Love might be around the corner for Rose and this storyline unfolds in sweet ways over the course of the novel.
For Rose, like most of us, life is both good and bad. Life is scary and triumphant. Life kicks you in the butt and challenges you to pick yourself up and get on with it.
Lovers of contemporary women’s fiction will love Redesigning Rose. It has all the ingredients, all the nuances and delicacies expected of a great read. Highly recommended. Loved it.
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My Interview with Lydia Laceby
Question from Julie: I love your fiction book blog, Novel Escapes. How do you balance being both a book blogger and a writer?
Lydia’s Response: I was actually not balancing them very well at all and have recently had to give up book blogging. I’m still involved behind the scenes at Novel Escapes, but not in the same capacity as I was previously. Between working four days a week, marketing Redesigning Rose, writing Book Two, trying to have a social life, and sleeping (I need a ridiculous amount of sleep) I was getting behind on everything, particularly book blogging and writing my second book. Something had to give, so my lovely book blogging partner, sister-in-law, and BFF, Kathryn, has taken over now that her children are a little older and more self-sufficient.
Question from Julie: Do you remember the moment when the story idea for Redesigning Rose came to you? Did it come to you all at once or did it evolve over time?
Lydia’s Response: Redesigning Rose definitely evolved over time. I had no plan when I sat down other than the general topic I wanted to write about. I’m constantly surprised at what flies from my fingers onto the screen when there isn’t even a spark of that thought before it appears. With Redesigning Rose, I mulled and debated each draft during long walks, long hot showers, and short cleaning spurts. All of these are activities that seem to unblock me when something isn’t working with the plot or characters or when it all just needs to ferment before I pick it up again and begin making changes. Oh, the changes! Redesigning Rose went through thirteen drafts. And that’s not including the twenty-five or so that the first chapter underwent!
Question from Julie: Describe your writing process. Do you outline? Write during certain times of the day? Drink coffee/tea/wine? Who’s at your feet? A dog? A kitty-cat?
Lydia’s Response: I’m not much of a plotter so no outlines for me. This often means I subject myself to multiple drafts though – see question #2. I’m often at my desk with a cup of tea or coffee. If I’m on the subway I try to cram myself into a corner seat with my iPad so I have a bit more space and try to ignore those around me. I’m usually wiped at night so can’t write then. I’m more of a mid-morning and afternoon writer (after I’ve played about on the interwebs for a while) which kind of makes it hard with the day job. No pets at the moment curling up with me. I do, however, have a ground floor window I stare out, watching the birds and squirrels and even Barney the Backyard Bunny who resides under the deck in our yard.
Question from Julie: I love your book cover. What can you tell us about its development? Did it take a long time or did you know right away what you were looking for?
Lydia’s Response: I surfed stock images for hours and stumbled across the image of my cover in its virgin form. I loved it but kept looking because we were thinking of creating one from scratch – my girlfriend is a graphic designer and she is responsible for the gorgeous final image! We had a completely different concept, but the image haunted me. I kept going back to it because it felt so perfect. And with Jane’s alterations, I couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out!
Question from Julie: Are you working on Book #2? Anything you can tell us?
Lydia’s Response: Book Two is about a woman who has an unusual way of dealing with conflict that comes back to haunt her and sends shockwaves throughout her life at a time when she thought things couldn’t get any worse.
About Lydia Laceby Lydia Laceby is a co-founder of the fiction book blog, Novel Escapes. Since 2009, she has read and reviewed as much women’s fiction as humanly possible while designing, organizing and expanding the blog from two reviewers to seven. In her spare time, she knits cute baby hats, would pick cheese over chocolate, and longs for the days she was able to cheat on her allergy free diet. Lydia began her career writing a soap opera at the tender age of thirteen. It never aired. Redesigning Rose is her first novel.
Connect with Lydia on these social media sites:
— Writer Julie Valerie (@Julie_Valerie) May 15, 2014
Special thank you to CLP Blog Tours for the organization of this blog tour. Connect with Lydia’s blog tour page on CLP Blog Tours HERE.
View Lydia’s Redesigning Rose Blog Tour Page.
April 28 – Chick Lit Goddess – Q&A & Excerpt
April 30 – Change the Word – Q&A & Excerpt
May 2 – Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
May 6 – Chick Lit Plus – Novel Spotlight
May 8 – Crooks on Books – Review
May 9 – Karen’s Korner – Review
May 14 – Sweets Books – Excerpt
May 14 – Eat Write Love – Novel Spotlight & Q&A
May 15 – Julie Valerie’s Book Blog – Review & Q&A
May 16 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
May 19 – Fiction Dreams – Q&A
May 20 – Little Whimsy Books – Review, Q&A & Excerpt
May 21 – Book Reviews and More by Kathy – Review
May 21 – Books à la Mode – Excerpt & Giveaway
May 22 – Books in the Burbs – Review & Excerpt
May 26 – The Book Geek Wears Pajamas – Review & Excerpt
Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card: a Rafflecopter giveaway