*bounces around* Hello, loves! I’m back from vacation and thus can actually get on here with ease again! Did y’all miss me? 😉
Anyway, what’s really more important is that there is currently a beautiful blog tour going on for Kellyn Roth’s books The Dressmaker’s Secret and Ivy Introspective! (Which happen to be the same books I did the cover reveal for a bit ago … And what’s even better is that I get to be a part of it! *throws confetti around* I’m seriously pretty pumped though to be able to ramble about these books to anyone who cares to read this post … Plus I even interviewed the lovely author. So let’s get into that …
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kellyn Roth was born and raised in the country outside a small town in North-Eastern Oregon. Ever since she could talk, she’s had a fascination with words, always coming up with songs, poems, and stories. Now a homeschooled highschooler, she spends her spare time penning historical novels, several of which have been published.
Hello, most Amazing Kellyn Roth and thanks for joining us all on my blog today! I have to congratulate you; you’ve officially published three books! Was one of them easier to write?
The Lady of the Vineyard was easiest to write of all my published books because it was only 15,000 words, and therefore easier. However, of the two (The Dressmaker’s Secret and Ivy Introspective), The Dressmaker’s Secret was decidedly easier to write. Though they were both hard. I frankly have no idea why these stupid books were so hard to write … I loved them and cared for them and they gave me writer’s block and tears.
I know this is asking you to have favoritism but … Do you like either The Dressmaker’s Secret of Ivy Introspective more than the other one?
WHAT?! I can’t pick a favorite between my babies! But … The Dressmaker’s Secret. (That was surprisingly easy, actually …) Still, I think that Ivy Introspective may be the better book.
If you could never write Historical Fiction again what would you do/write instead?
Fairytale retellings/light fantasy or silly contemporary stories or stories about animals. Any of those. I think I’d probably end up writing fantasy with some silly contemporary mixed in. Which is weird, because fantasy isn’t at all like historical fiction … huh.
Orrrrr, maybe I’d time travel back to the 1800s and write a classic or two. 😛
Was there any character that was easier to write in TDS and/or IvIn?
Hmm … well, once I got used to her, Ivy was easy to write. But she wasn’t easy at first, so I guess that doesn’t count.
However, I think I never struggled with the character Violet Angel once I introduced her. She was just fun to write (even if she’s a poor little girl who needs a hug) because of her sarcasm and pessimistic outlook on life (what? That’s very fun for an author … makes us feel clever and superior!).
I think most of my characters were kind of challenging, though. Even sweet Jordy McAllen for IvIn was hard in his own way because I had to figure out how to write a Scottish brogue convincingly!
You took The Dressmaker’s Secret off the market to re-edit it. Do you personally think you improved it significantly with the re-edits?
I really do! I think it’s a much, much better book than it was formerly. I’m very pleased with it. (And hope to never touch it again. Because I am so sick of reading it over and over and over …)
If you could redo just one thing in your writing journey, what, if anything, would you change?
Hmm … I think I’d start out an amazing writer instead of having to continually work for it.
(Sari: Don’t we all? 😛 )
But seriously, I would have liked to have known other writers and authors earlier on in my writing career. I mean, I knew some (you come to mind, Sari), but … I wish I had known more. Specifically some of the ones I know now … I wish I’d met them earlier on and talked to them and stolen all their secrets. 😛
What does success in the writer field look like to you?
Well, being rich and famous, of course!
I think success is one of those things that’s not a black and white “either you’re successful or you aren’t.” Especially in the writer’s field. I mean, obviously you could be a New York Times bestseller and everyone could love your book … but, looking at some of the books that were New York Times bestsellers (see Studio C), that isn’t necessarily a measure of success.
So … I don’t know if I’ll ever be a success. I have ridiculously high and ever rising standards of myself (especially in the writing field) and … I don’t know if I’ll ever get that high. But hopefully I’ll eventually, y’know, come to peace with who I am … as an author and as a person. Or maybe when I published At Her Fingertips I’ll finally feel truly amazing. Just like that. 😛
And finally, any major plans we can look forward to in the future?
I’m still deciding whether to officially announce the release date of At Her Fingertips (which will be sometime next spring/early summer) which is The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book 3. But I do plan on releasing that novel and then possibly Beyond Her Calling (Book 4) later in that same year (or early in the next one). So … yes, there are lots of plans in the future, and we’ll see if I can stop procrastinating and actually accomplish things. 😉
Thanks again for answering mon questions, Kell! I’m super excited for At Her Fingertips and Beyond Her Calling. Probably just to see Alice and Ivy as older people. Cause y’know that’s always fun but … Ahhh! I can’t wait!
Alright … I’ll try to keep rambling to a minimum as there’s still quite a bit left to go for this post! So onto the books …
ABOUT THE DRESSMAKER’S SECRET
After 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?
THE DRESSMAKER’S SECRET REVIEW
**This is a review of the second edition of The Dressmaker’s Secret, published June 2017. **
**I’ve also read the first edition which … will unfortunately color my review a bit? But like … dude bro, these are all still my opinions. I’m just more emotionally invested in the story. 😛 **
This book was bittersweetness from the view of smol curious children all stuffed in the package of a beautiful cover. I’m not even kidding. Like … what shall I even say about this book?
As I’ve said, I did read the original edition (original published edition, that is.) which … will honestly make this hard to review without comparing it to the original so … I’m not actually going to try that hard to. So if you have read the original … this review will make more sense to you? 😛 And if you haven’t … it’ll probably still make sense.*
THE THINGS THAT I MUST NOW MENTION
- THEY’RE SUCH SMOL BEANS. LIKE AAHHHH. Alice is uber cute. And Kirk is excellent. I will be obsessed with Kirk together. #KaliceOrArkAirkLet’sStickWithKalice
- The foreshadoooowwwing. It was so subtle but excellent and it just made the entire book so much better than it was before.
- Actually, the entire book just felt a step up from the original. It was laced together really well and just stuck and made sense.
- My heart is seriously dead, guys.
- There were a few times that I didn’t really enjoy reading a scene just because I felt it didn’t really have a purpose in the plot. I guess I’m kind of just an impatient person? XD I think I prefer it when everything has a purpose, and though the purpose of these scenes was probably character development they still bugged me just a wee bit.
- The characters felt waaay more nicely described. I mean, I actually know what most of them look like now …? So that’s probably a good thing …? XD
- They also felt more developed. I still didn’t really like some of the people who were … probably supposed to be likeable. I felt extremely sorry for Miss Chattoway but I didn’t really like her as a person at all, or really understand where she was coming from in some cases. She felt a wee bit immature and just … yeah.
- ***MASSIVE SPOILERS GUYS I’M NOT EVEN KIDDING IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT DON’T READ THIS AND THE NEXT POINT*** Hazel’s death. Oh my word. It was so stinking sad and beautiful and perfect in this version. Like I’ll admit that I cried when I read the original one but this IS SO MUCH BETTER. It just makes it so sad and beautiful and more meaningful and doesn’t really feel like “oh, we just need to get Hazel out of the way”. Like there was all the foreshadowing and it was all … *screams into the abyss* ***ALRIGHT VERY SORRY FOR THAT SPOILERS FINISHED***
- EVERYTHING WITH DEVELOPMENT IS SO MUCH BETTER AND CHATTOWAY AND AND FORESHADOWING AND LET MY SCREAM INTO THE ABYSS DANG IT.
- I just have a lot of feelings.
- The Christianity was lovely, folks. The thing here is … there’s really not that many good books that have Christianity in them nowadays. This happens to be a lovely book with quite a lot of Christianity in it. I can’t really say if it was preachy or not me happening to … I literally have no idea what people are talking about when they complain about books being preachy. I just have a very high tolerance for whatever it is people are complaining about, I guess. XD
- I did think that the little chickies faith was very sweet though, and Nettie is quite excellent. I think that **MINOR SPOILERS** Miss Chattoway’s transformation was very sweet and I was cheering but I thought it was a bit too … fast and complete, I guess? I’m not sure. The thing was that she went from basically nothing to be like … suuuupper Christian overnight. And after reading Ivy Introspective she stayed that way. I mean, God works in miraculous ways but it would have been cool, I think, to see a more realistic Christian set forth and like … stumbling blocks. *snods* Yes, yes. **END MINOR SPOILERS**
Andddd … that’s about it actually? I honestly think it’s very very much improved from the first draft. *snods*
My rating: ★★★★1/2 stars
Alright, but wait! There’s more! Let’s move on to book two … Ivy Introspective!* *cheers*
*Is it odd at all that I keep typing this “Ivy Inquisitive”? This was the original title of the book and for whatever reason I really can’t get it out of my head …
ABOUT IVY INTROSPECTIVE
Trapped 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 REVIEW
Dang, I’m just getting emotional, which is weird. 😛 Alright, so Ivy Introspective is the sequel to The Dressmaker’s Secret, focusing on 12 year old Ivy as opposed to The Dressmaker’s Secret which had Alice as the main character. This one was naturally, stronger in some points and weaker in others …. I liked it quite a bit more than the original The Dressmaker’s Secret, but probably about equal with the updated one? Anyway …
STUFFS THAT NEED MENTIONING
- The characters are smol beans who need protecting. Let me hug Ivy forever and also I love Violet and she needs more hugs than even Ivy and Posy was beautiful too and the characters give me many feels.
- Although I honestly didn’t like the adult characters all that much?? They infuriated me slightly. Honestly they felt immature and like they were harming the smol beans more than helping them.
- Like I spent about 70% of the book just yelling at all the adults for being insensitive and not understanding and ahhhh.
- I especially don’t care about Christiana. She felt immature and selfish and does she not see that Ivy needs protecting??
- Though seriously, everyone misunderstands all the smol beaaannnnnss. *cries* Even the author. KELL I AM STEALING YOUR CHARACTERS AND PROTECTING THEM FOREVER.
- The plot didn’t really seem … I don’t know. It just didn’t seem. *snods* See, the thing is this book is about …. Ivy. Or it very well should be. I mean it’s called Ivy Introspective so … 😛 But in the actual book … maybe just a bit more than half of it is about Ivy? Like quite a bit is devoted to Posy and Miss Selle and Mr. Parker, plus Christina (*glares*) and just … other characters. They are all connected to Ivy and it definitely isn’t as bad as other books that I’ve read but just saying … If you’re looking for one central plot … it’s not as much? This definitely is a style, though which does come up in other, especially older middle-gradeish children sort of type books. It just bugged me a wee bit.
- Aright, on the characters again (cause I’m mildly obsessed), I thought Mr. Parker was a jerk, but I really liked his sass. Honestly, it was beautiful. I liked Posy much better though. Yes, this is all. I’m honestly sorry that these reviews are mostly me fangirling and … I’m not even sure what this is.
- I also am seriously in love with Kirk and Alice. #KaliceForever, folks.
- Vi is my precious.
- Posy is excellent too. And I’ll deal with the plot not focusing on Ivy just for her. She is excellent.
- My heart … Miss Selle is … aaggghhh.
- I love the McCales. They are excellent and just cool together.
- And Jordy. Jordy is beautiful.
- Basically I just really liked a lot of these charries, man. I’d yell about them all day if I could.
- This is basically fangirling. I am sorry.
- The Christianity in this one was so sweet! Like guys, Ivy is precious. And everything she does is precious. And oh my word I needa hug Vi.
- Except … Parker. Because we all know Parker is a jerk, even if his sass is excellent. I felt his Christianity was … actually, yeah, this was sweet too, but felt a bit more rushed. It was sweet though, and I was cheering but yep.
Em … that’s about it honestly? This was a lovely sequel and I liked all the characters (except the ones I didn’t like). Honestly, it’s a bit too fresh in my mind for me to have coherent thoughts on the subject? I blame vacation and my stupid habit of falling asleep way to easily in the car…
My rating: ★★★★1/2 stars
And that’s almost all except …
Don’t forget the giveaway, loves!
You can enter for lovely stuff by following this link here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cbb544c91/
Be sure to do that soon as it’s closssing very shortly.
Alright. I’m going to end the post here because it’s getting enormous … I’ll see you in Monday with another review (ahhh … I need to read books guys, I’m behind and stressing and it’s not good.) and then on Thursday for a blog tour (what in the world were you thinking when you signed up for this stuff, Sari), so until then …
Have you read the old The Dressmaker’s Secret? Do you enjoy reading historical fiction? What’s your favorite genre? Do you think you might enjoy reading The Dressmaker’s Secret and/or Ivy Introspective? Comment below!