About author, 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.
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Describe your writing style in five sentences: The writer in me is kind of at a loss for words with this one. Can I say five words instead of sentences? Humorous. Concise. Fun. Romantic and Readable.
Salty or sweet? Salty! But I do love a good combo of the two, peanut butter and chocolate being one of my favorites!
How did you come up with the title of “Redesigning Rose?” I wanted gardening to come into play in some way because there is a strong gardening theme in the book, and I wanted some form of renewal and growth portrayed because the main character, Rose, goes through a massive change and stage of renewal and growth. One day when I was playing with title words – I had several pages of ideas – I stumbled upon Redesigning Rose and it stuck. I had only intended it to be my working title, but as the novel progressed it seemed to fit it more and more, so I decided to keep it.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer? When I was eleven or twelve. I began writing a soap opera. Apparently I knew everything there was to know about love. Ha!
At what time of day do you work the best? Mid-day. But I try to cram it in whenever I can.
Do you have a writing ritual? Not particularly. Lately I’ve been writing on Fridays because I now have it off, and weekends. I started writing on my subway commute this week. I’m kind of all over the place at the moment.
Which term do you like the best, “chick lit” or “women’s fiction”? I like them both. I’ve always liked the term chick lit because I think it’s fun and catchy and cute. I’m not sure I’d categorize Redesigning Rose as chick lit though because everyone has their own definition of the term and some might think that makes it light and fluffy, and while it is to a certain degree with humor in others it’s quite serious.
What is the one book that you could read more than once? I’ve read Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett at least ten times. It’s my absolute favorite book and I was pleasantly surprised when I enjoyed the mini-series when it was finally made as well. Usually books made into movies never turn out well for me.
How did you celebrate when “Redesigning Rose” was published? If I remember correctly there was lots of Prosecco involved and my hubby brought me home flowers, the bubbly and some chocolate. It was a great night, and I can’t wait to do it again!
If you weren’t an author, you’d be a…: Detective or auditor. I’m a stickler for detail and adherence to the rules. I notice the odd and unusual and can figure out cause and effect like nobody’s business. It’s my specialty.
What is the best advice you’ve been given? To give a firm handshake.
What are you working on right now? My current work-in-progress is a about a heroine who has an unusual way of dealing with conflict. One day her method implodes and every angry and annoyed thought she’s ever had is exposed to the very people she’s been keeping them from turning her life upside down.
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Blurb of “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.
Frank looked the same. He hadn’t grown two heads or horns and his face wasn’t green. He didn’t look like a monster, he looked like a man. Like the man I fell in love with, the man who’d taken my heart. And then stomped on it.
I stood in the foyer and shifted my weight from foot to foot. Frank dragged a hand through his dark hair, the same gesture he had made when he’d first asked me out that frigid, rainy November day. We had bumped into each other, or rather the unruly umbrellas we both wielded against raging winds and sideways sleet did, while we both sought shelter under a toy store awning. We flattened ourselves against the display window, full of Christmas decorations and gift ideas, and thrust our umbrellas out to create a shield.
“Do you think we can risk getting to the coffee shop without drowning, or should we stay here and risk becoming icebergs?” he said, pointing to the water pooling at our feet.
My teeth chattered as I laughed. He was so handsome, and after we chatted easily over hot chocolate, saying “no” wasn’t an option when he ran his hand through his hair and asked me to meet him for dinner the following evening.
It felt like centuries ago.
He plucked at the side of his glasses and raised them.
“You’re wearing your glasses?” I said, surprised because he avoided them like they were the same wedgie-inducing instruments of his youth. Frank had to be freshly shaved, contact-lens wearing, and impeccably dressed at all times. He was a thousand times worse than a woman primping before a casual dinner, let alone a special event.
He shrugged. Either he had lost a contact, didn’t care about my presence, or wanted me to think he was comfortable, that we were comfortable. I couldn’t decipher which.
I released a long sigh.
“I’m so sorry, Rose. I don’t know what I was thinking. I should have told you. About the money, about everything.” His face flamed crimson. We both knew what “everything” meant. And we both knew he would never have admitted that, even with his saying it now.
“It’s over,” I said, shocking myself with the absolute finality my voice carried.
“But we can work on it. We can get counseling. Don’t give up on us,” he pleaded, reaching his hand out.
I flinched and yanked my arm to my side. I looked away and noticed a paper-wrapped bouquet on the kitchen counter.
Frank’s eyes trailed mine.
I strode down the hall and stopped. The kitchen sparkled. The dishwasher hummed. My houseplants hadn’t shriveled. Had he hired a cleaning lady? There was no way he did this himself.
Frank picked up the bouquet. “I’m really sorry, Rose. I got your favorite flowers.”
I shoved the package away. My eyes landed on another item cluttering the counter.
A Tiffany’s box. And it was far from tiny. The more substantial the gift, the more colossal the transgression.
Frank picked up the package and held it out with a wide grin and slight shrug of his shoulders.
I smacked the box out of his hand, turned, and stalked back down the hall. Frank’s guilt gift squealed across the ceramic tiles before bouncing off the wall with a thud.
“Rose? Rose, wait,” he said, jogging to catch up to me.
I whipped around. “I need to come back and get some more things. Maybe this weekend. I’ll leave the key in the mailbox. It would be better if you weren’t here.”
“Did you ever even love me, Frank?”
Hurt flickered across his face. And then fear. “I did. I still do. Please, Rose. Don’t do this. I need you. I love you.”
I stared at him for a moment before speaking. “I don’t believe you.”
I wrenched open the door and stumbled to the driveway. The sound of our front door slamming echoed down the street. I lurched to the truck and snatched at the door handle, terrified of an untimely encounter with a neighbor. My sweaty fingers slipped.
“Shit. Fuck,” I swore like Becky was inadvertently teaching me to while I hopped around flicking my wrist. I’d hacked off half of my index fingernail. Across the street, Mrs. Mendleson’s lilacs wiggled. I froze, petrified she would saunter over and comment on my absence. I sneaked a peek while reattempting the handle. Emerald eyes and black bangs.
“Becky,” I hissed.
“Just thought I’d go for a walk,” she said, rushing over and pushing me around to the passenger side. She shoved me up into the seat and buckled me in. I slumped forward and moaned the entire way home while Becky rubbed my back.
Frank didn’t even bother coming outside.
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