Blog Tour: The Dressmaker’s Secret & Ivy Introspective by Kellyn Roth + Giveaway!

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Hi everyone! I’m super excited to be helping to open Kellyn’s Roth’s blog tour for her two novels, The Dressmaker’s Secret and Ivy Introspective, books 1 and 2 of The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy!

 

Kellyn previously published The Dressmaker’s Secret, but she’s republishing it with some changes as she releases the second novel on June 24, 2017. So let me tell you a little bit about them! I’ll do a little spotlight on both books and then give you a character spotlight on Jordy McAllen, one of my favorite characters from Ivy Introspective! And then the giveaway, of course!


The Dressmaker’s Secret

The Dressmaker's Secret 1After a revealing conversation with the first children of her age she’s ever met, curious eight-year-old Alice Chattoway realizes that one ought to have a father … and she doesn’t. Having determined that his absence is making her mother unhappy, Alice resolves to find him and create a family for herself.

However, Alice’s mother, Miss Chattoway, is reluctant to answer any questions posed about a man she’d much rather forget. While Alice investigates, Miss Chattoway tries to balance her own spiritual turmoil with her need to be both mother and provider to her daughters.

Will Alice ever unravel her mother’s secrets? Can Miss Chattoway let go of the past to reach for the future?

This novel is narrated by a little girl, but it’s actually about both Alice and her mother, Miss Chattoway. It deals with love, spirituality, and family, which are all awesome themes and so fun to read about. Plus, Alice is so funny. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, then you’ll love reading The Dressmaker’s Secret!

Find The Dressmaker’s Secret on Goodreads

Order The Dressmaker’s Secret on Amazon


Ivy Introspective

Ivy Introspective 1Trapped in a world where she doesn’t belong, twelve-year-old Ivy Knight struggles to keep her head above water as her simplicity is brought to light by her new position as a young lady growing up at Pearlbelle Park.

Worried about their daughter’s inability to fit in, Ivy’s parents decide to send her to McCale House, a boarding school in Scotland for boys and girls like her. However, alone and frightened without her beloved mother, sister, and nurse, Ivy can’t seem to focus.

Will Ivy ever learn what Dr. McCale is trying to teach her? Or will she remain lost in her own mind forever?

Ivy Introspective is a fitting sequel to The Dressmaker’s Secret, though, this time, we get to hear about Alice’s twin sister, Ivy, who was born “simple.” We also get to hear about another young and irresistibly lovable girl, Posy, as she goes to her own boarding school.

I loved reading this novel and getting to know Ivy, with her love for stories and for music! (I can’t help but love characters who love music and stories!) The portrayal of Ivy’s struggles is interesting, and I loved to watch her learn and grow, even to the point where she can help other people! Ivy is so lovely and sweet–you can’t help but love her.

Find Ivy Introspective on Goodreads

Pre-Order Ivy Introspective on Amazon


Character Spotlight: Jordy McAllen

Now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for (or at least the moment I’ve been waiting for!), the spotlight on Jordy McAllen, a minor but awesome character from Ivy Introspective.

I mean, he just somehow decided to be my favorite character in Ivy Introspective (besides Ivy, of course). Have I ever had a favorite character who was only in a few scenes of a book. Nope…until now!

Okay, so first off, he’s Scottish! So not only does he have look awesome, with his cool reddish/auburnish hair and greenish eyes, but he also sounds awesome with his Scottish brogue! It’s so fun to read his parts out loud, and it’s especially fun to say “Ivy” the way he does: “Ay-vee”. Seriously, try it. You’ll be glad you did.

And secondly, he has such an awesome personality! He’s an ESFP, so not only is he optimistic, enthusiastic, and fun to be around, but he also cares deeply about other people! Seriously, I want him to be my friend, too.

For some background on Jordy: he was born to a farmer’s family with five other siblings. At age 12, approximately four years before Ivy Introspective, he decided he wanted to be a doctor. When Jordy met Dr. McCale, he was offered a job as Dr. McCale’s assistant at the McCale House, a boarding school for mentally challenged children. That’s where he meets Ivy!

Jordy is so awesome, it’s almost worth reading the book just for him. I say “almost” because he only stars in a few short scenes, to my sorrow… But guess what? He’ll be back in Beyond Her Calling (book four)! I’m probably way too excited about that…but I don’t really care! I can’t wait!


Giveaway!

Enter into this giveaway for a chance to win a paperback copy of both The Dressmaker’s Secret and Ivy Introspective! (U.S. only.) Or, if you don’t live in the U.S., you can enter the second giveaway for an ebook copy of both books!

Enter the giveaway here!


Continue on the blog tour

The blog tour for The Dressmaker’s Secret and Ivy Introspective continues from the 20th through the 30th. You can follow along with this schedule and see all the awesome posts that are planned–and find some new blogs and blogging friends along the way!


let’s talk!

Are you excited for Kellyn’s new releases? Will you be following along/participating in her blog tour? And do you adore Jordy as well? What accent is your favorite to talk in? (I like to read Scottish/Irish out loud, but I can’t do it on my own. I can sort of do an Australian accent, and then another accent that probably isn’t even from a real country…) And…how has your summer been so far? Do you have any fun plans?

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Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

 

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I’ve been thinking a lot about this subject over the past fourteen days of the month. I mentioned in my January Dares post that one of my writing-related goals was to get a lot of different opinions on self-publishing vs. traditional publishing…and also to do some research of my own. Not just to know about it, but so that I could hopefully decide which one I want to do.

I still have several people to ask, and so there may be a part two of this at the end of the month, but today I was thinking about it a lot and looking through different websites and trying to pinpoint what exactly my goal was, and you know what I found out?

Self-publishing isn’t the easy way out.

Okay, yes, you can write a novel and put it on CreateSpace with minimal effort, but making an actual career out of self-publishing? It’s hard. Way hard. When you traditionally publish, the choices are left out of your hands. You don’t have to worry about talking to libraries and bookstores and managing how much your book is priced, and all of that, because the publishing company takes care of it.

But then you lose control, which seems to be the main reason that authors choose self-publishing. That’s why it’s hard–it’s an entrepreneurship, where you deal with the repercussions if your book doesn’t sell out; you have to be the one to make the hard decisions; you have to be the one to revise your book; you have to be the one to do every single little thing.

And that’s the reason traditional publishing is so wonderful, as well. Because all you have to really do is write and revise and have an online presence, and write some more. And if that’s all you want, then that’s great.

I still don’t know which I want to do.

I love the idea of self-publishing and being able to market my own book. I love that I can write what I want, when I want. I love that I reserve all the rights. I love that I’m the one who can be in control.

When I was younger, I created my own massage business around the house (mainly geared toward my dad and mom), which led to my older brother also creating his own, competing massage business, which I responded to with a ferocious increase in marketing.

I liked getting paid, but, more than that, I loved convincing people to buy from me. I loved creating little massage cards that I could print out and cut out in nice little stacks. I loved making posters exclaiming about me giving the massaged person an M&M or a skittle for every minute they were massaged. I loved marking down star ratings of my massages (though I can’t say I reacted well to the not-so-good ones) and calculating the overall rating of my business. I loved creating specials where people could buy certain things from me and get something else free. I even created a newsletter partnered with my brother’s business, with my dad as the editor, to inform my parents of important massaging information.

All this points to me choosing self-publishing, and I admit that today, looking through all of the options that were open to me, the same sort of excited feeling washed over me…but I’m also terrified.

I’m terrified of having to do things I’ve never done before, and, yeah, you still have to do that with traditional publishing, but I’m terrified of the idea of having to do it on my own.

I love to improve myself, but there are times when I feel so alone trying to do it on my own, and I desperately want someone there to help me, to give me advice, and to carry me through those hard times.

That’s why traditional publishing is so tempting. It’s so safe, so easy, but it’s also stagnant to me. I want to query so I can be rejected, I want to query so I can be accepted and know that my writing really is good enough, but I don’t know if I actually want to be traditionally published.

The choice is obvious; I know it is. I know you can see it–if self-publishing is going to be hard but rewarding for me, then that’s the road to take, isn’t it? I can see it, too, but that doesn’t mean I’m not afraid. Even though I know I have years and years ahead of me, and that I can change my mind, and that I could even do both if I wanted to, something seems so final about saying that I’ve decided to self-publish.

Gah. I need to stop doubting myself, but I’ll wait until the end of the month–part two of this, probably. Until then…if you have any opinions/advice/good places to learn about either type of publishing, please comment below and let me know!

The Lady of the Vineyard Blog Tour + Character & Author Interview

This is an exciting post because I get to be one of the blogs that opens the blog tour for The Lady of the Vineyard, a novella by Kellyn Roth, who you may know from her blog, ReveriesYou also may have noticed her from the rather long comment chains we tend to make responding to each other’s posts.

Kellyn is a homeschooled author and she’s already self-published one novel, The Dressmaker’s Secret, which is a historical fiction novel. BUT that is not what our post is about. This post is about The Lady of the Vineyard, which…is also a historical fiction novel.

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and can I just take a moment to flail at you about how a cover I made is going to be on a published book? *MUCH FLAILING*

By now I’m sure you’re absolutely dying to hear the synopsis of the book, so no more waiting, I’ll just give it to you:

Judy has lived with her egocentric mother since her parents divorced when she was a baby. When her father, Troy Kee, shows up at her sixth birthday party and whisks her away to his vineyard in France, Judy is more than happy to go with him. But Adele, Judy’s mother, isn’t quite ready to give up her daughter. Can Judy forgive Adele? More importantly, can Troy?

The Lady of the Vineyard tells an amazing story of change, growth, and love, and it’s going to be published on September 10th–in two days! But if you don’t want to wait that long, you can preorder the Kindle version on Amazon.

And now, to the fun stuff! I was able to interview both a character from and the author of The Lady of the Vineyard for the blog tour, and so I chose to interview Judy, the serious six-year-old girl this story is about.


Interview with Judy

Did you ever think about your father much before the story began?
No, I guess not. I knew he was somewhere … but nobody ever talked about him. I mean, Aunt Lola did sometimes, but she didn’t visit all that often.
What is your favorite thing about your mother? Your father?
My favorite thing about my mother is that she is beautiful. My favorite thing about my father is that he is wonderful.
Would you rather spend time with other people, or on your own?
I’d usually rather spend time with other people, but I like being with Daddy a lot.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
I don’t think I have one yet.
What do you want, more than anything else in the world?
I just want to stay in one place and have everything be the same. I don’t want things to change all the time anymore.

But change is fabulous and that is what this story is about–how hard change can be…and then how amazing the results can become! Isn’t that awesome?

Afterward, I got to interview Kellyn Roth, the author of The Lady of the Vineyard, about…well, author-y things!


Interview with Kellyn Roth

What inspired the characters in The Lady of the Vineyard?
I think for once I made character to fit a story instead of visa-versa. 🙂 Of course, they ended up jumping off the pages eventually, but y’know, their basic personalities were pre-determined.
Who really encouraged and inspired you to publish?
My friends, especially my friend Bailey, were always encouraging me too, and then NaNoWriMo (YWP, of course) is so awesome for encouraging young writers to write and write and write! But I think mostly if helped a lot to get my blog set up and feel like I was official.
What book(s) are you currently working on?
Ivy Introspective (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book 2) is really what I need to focus on what now … but I’m also plotting out At Her Fingertips (Book 3). And … writing random bits of writing based on every plot bunny I can catch.
What was the biggest thing you learned while writing The Lady of the Vineyard?
The Prohibition didn’t happen in England. Or France. XD
Not really. But that’s a hard thing to pinpoint. I suppose one of the things I learned is that oftentimes my philosophical rambles don’t make sense – at least not outside of my head – and it’s sometimes better just to do something that actually makes sense.
And … that didn’t make sense. 😛
What is the best part of writing and being an author?
Being able to control everyone. *evil laughter*


Be sure to head on over to Reveries and congratulate Kellyn on the publishing of her novella and to check out the rest of her blog tour! And if you’re looking for a short and sweet story to read, The Lady of the Vineyard is just the book for you.