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Friday, May 16, 2014

Redesigning Rose by Lydia Laceby (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Redesigning Rose by Author Lydia Laceby!

Author Guest Post

Redesigning Rose - Deleted Scene

A Country Drive

I dug the spade deep into the earth, pounding on it with my heel and grunted while carving out a clump of black-eyed Susans.

Ignoring the pull in my hamstrings, I transported it to the other side of the garden where it would now reside.

I pushed Becky’s comments and concern from my mind. This was me. And Frank. I didn’t marry a bully. Frank had apologized repeatedly all week for his behavior and for not telling me about our finances earlier. He’d loaded the dishwasher and turned it on, his keys had managed to find their way to the sideboard, and fresh cut roses had replaced last week’s congratulations bouquet. He was trying.

When he suggested an afternoon drive and dinner I jumped at the opportunity. Some of our best conversations took place in the car with only the open road to look at and each other for company. Without any distractions and our minds clear from the country air, we always reconnected.

“Baby, I’m home.” I heard Frank’s bellow echo from inside the house. I was still out in the garden. How did I lose that much time? He should still be on the golf course.

“Come on. Let’s go,” he hollered.

I strode up to the porch. I heard someone whistling. Frank? Frank never whistled.

He appeared at the door, his head bouncing and his lips puckered. He was whistling. He froze, his lips pursed, when he saw me.

“Aren’t you ready?”

“You’re early.”

He huffed and stormed inside.

What the hell was going on now? I kicked off my muddy crocs and followed him inside.

“I just need a quick shower. If you help put away my gardening stuff out back I can be ready in ten minutes,” I said.

He dropped his keys on the counter. “I wanted to get out of the city before three.”

“Why didn’t you tell me earlier?”

“I sent you a text.”

“Sorry, I left it inside. I don’t want it to get wet or dirty.” It was a lame excuse and only partially true. I didn’t want the beeping, dinging, and ringing interrupting the glorious silence of the garden.

“Whatever. Let’s just go.”

“Shower,” I repeated.

“Fine,” Frank said, stalking upstairs where his office chair moaned against his weight.

I rushed back outside. If I wanted to start this outing on the right foot I needed to hurry. I lugged the potted plants to a sheltered spot beside porch and stacked the tools in the garage before racing upstairs and vaulting into the shower.

Still damp, I threw on mascara, massaged mousse through my wet hair and yanked on black capris and a teal shirt. I grabbed a cardigan and strode to his office.

“That was fast. Let’s go,” Frank said with a watermelon-sized grin. He grabbed my hand and dragged me down the stairs.

What had gotten into him? I patted my purse where I’d stuffed a fresh pair of underwear and our toothbrushes just in case. Our drives frequently led to quaint bed and breakfasts, country inns, or sometimes even larger hotels like the new casino in Niagara Falls, and even though it had been several years since this occurred, I couldn’t help but hope we would end up somewhere overnight. I didn’t care where. We needed distance from the routine and distractions of home, someplace we could relax and relieve the tension of the past month.

“Can you lock up?” Frank asked, stepping outside.

“Can’t you do it? You already have your keys out,” I said, bending over and shoving my feet into strappy sandals. With no response I couldn’t tell if he just didn’t hear me with my head at my ankles or had ignored me. Wanting to keep this day as pleasant as possible I chose to do some ignoring myself.

An unfamiliar electronic ding pierced the quiet neighbourhood as I dug around in my purse for my keys.

I glanced over at the front garden as I rushed down the steps. It would need watering when we get home, I thought, turning to find Frank beaming as he stood in the driveway. He was standing next to a sleek black convertible BMW.

I froze at the top of the driveway and felt my jaw drop all the way to China.

“Do you like it?” he asked, strutting up the car.

I had never seen a grin that wide on his face. Not even on our wedding day.

“Isn’t she gorgeous?” He ran his hand over the sparkling hood.

“You rented it for today? What a treat.” I said, finally finding my voice. I walked around him, biting back a retort about the ridiculous expense for a day trip, especially when he’d just told me the state of our finances last week.

“I bought it,” he said as casually as if he’d bought a sandwich, a new hammer or the latest Fast and Furious DVD.

“What?” I spluttered, my hand lurching back from the handle. That’s why he wanted me to lock the front door. He wanted to watch my reaction. He was waiting for glowing admiration. That’s also why I didn’t hear him come home even though I was outside in the garden. This car sounded different.

“Isn’t it great? We can put the top down and take long drives in the country. You can tie your hair back in your Hermes scarf.

I’ve always wanted a convertible,” he said, a dreamy look on his face. He was oblivious, deep in his teenage fantasy. Or was it a mid-life crisis? He was only thirty eight. Could it happen so young? A Hermes scarf? Who was this man?

“When? When did you buy it?” I managed to ask when he stopped blubbering and my brain caught up with my shock.

“Earlier in the week. It was delivered today.”

“So you didn’t go golfing. That’s why you’re home so early.”

“Yep. I wanted to surprise you. Come on. Let’s go.” * I hesitated. “But what you said about money the other day…”

“I told you it would be fine. Besides, I leased it.”

I hesitated for a moment before climbing in. I refused to make a scene in the driveway, and asking him back into the house to talk would have done just that. I snapped my seatbelt in with a click while Frank fiddled with buttons. The roof started moving.

He reached into the backseat and beamed as he passed me a small box. I snorted. It was a Hermes box.

Frank revved the engine before jamming the car in reverse.

I tossed the box on the floor not even bothering to open it. I preferred to deal with the bird’s nest instead of giving him the satisfaction of wearing it. I took a deep breath and prayed that the winding roads and fresh air would reduce my fury and grease the difficult conversation ahead. I had been cautious about money since Frank had mentioned the financial pressure. I had worried about spending a couple hundred dollars to redo the garden while he went out and bought a new car. He bought a new car. And not just any new car. A BMW. Without consulting me. His wife. And he leased it? That was the most shocking of it all.

About The Author

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.


Book Review

Redesigning Rose by Lydia Laceby
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: June 15, 2013
Format: Paperback - 281 pages
             Kindle - 455 KB
             Nook - 562 KB
ISBN: 0991990218
BNID: 2940148181088
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Redesigning Rose

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in the virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

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.

Book Excerpt:

“Has Frank ever asked you for money?” I asked, my heart revving in my chest like an Indy 500 car.

Mom shook her head, her eyes wide. “Heavens no. What’s going on, Rose?”

My breath whooshed out like a punctured tire. I curled my hand against the wall before pressing it flat and shoving off to kiss her cheek. “I just wanted to make sure you and Frank don’t ever leave me out of the loop if something’s wrong. I saw a talk show the other day. You wouldn’t believe what some families forget to tell each other,” I babbled while waving my hand around.

Mom’s fingers clutched the pearl necklace she had worn for decades and dragged it back and forth on her neck. I ignored her tell-tale worry sign, knowing I couldn’t dispel it. Not now. I needed to figure this out on my own.

I snatched my purse off the floor and yanked open the door. It took every effort not to bolt down the street, but I didn’t dare run. Instead, I kept up appearances by turning back and waving like I always did. Mom raised her hand above her shoulder and wiggled her fingers. I resumed my forced walk, knowing she would stand guard, watching and waiting. The habit that began during my grade school days continued when I moved into a new home with Frank only a few blocks away. She would wander back inside only once I rounded the corner. Rain or shine, snow or sleet, she always saw me off. The only exceptions were illness and vacations when I checked her house.

I stopped.

What if the missing money was for the trip to Paris I’d always wanted? Or something equally benign? But wouldn’t Frank have put a trip on his credit card to accumulate points? And why lie about my mother asking him for money? How could he think I wouldn’t ask her? It was the most absurd excuse–although it definitely worked to distract me from considering a vacation.

I nibbled my lower lip. Was I just grasping for excuses, eager to avoid taking a hard look at my husband?

My Book Review:

In her debut novel, Redesigning Rose, author Lydia Laceby weaves a heartwarming story that follows a woman's journey of self-discovery and transformation.

When Rose Parker discovers her husband Frank's lies and dark secrets, it causes her to question if her marriage was nothing but a lie. Shattered with the realization that her marriage was over, she packs up her belongings and leaves, not knowing where she was going to go. With a little help from Becky, a gardening classmate, and Becky's sexy brother Scott and his best friend Adam, Rose embarks on a journey of self-discovery, and starts to rebuild her life with a little bit of trial and tribulation and romance along the way.

Redesigning Rose is an intriguing story set in Toronto and told in the first person narrative by Rose, who takes the reader along for the ride on her emotional journey of self-discovery and transformation. You can't help but get drawn into Rose's story and feel for her when she is forced to face the reality that she didn't really know who her husband really was, and that her marriage was based on lies and secrets. But even with this heart wrenching discovery, the reader follows Rose as she rebuilds her life and transforms herself into an independent and strong lady with the help and emotional support from her Mom and friends Becky, Scott, and Adam. The story has a nice mixture of heartbreak, loss, humor, inspiration, and romance that takes you on a roller coaster ride where you will experience the gamut of emotions.

Redesigning Rose is an inspirational and uplifting story of one woman's strength, survival, growth, and transformation.


Contest Giveaway

Win A $50 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

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 & 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 23 – Sammy the Bookworm – Excerpt
May 26 – The Book Geek Wears Pajamas – Review & Excerpt


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Samantha! Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event. I really enjoyed reading Redesigning Rose, it is a wonderful debut novel. :)

  2. Thank you, Kathleen, for hosting a stop on the tour and for the fabulous review of Redesigning Rose! I'm so pleased you enjoyed Rose's journey!

    1. Hi Lydia! Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. I loved following Rose's journey! :)

  3. Just checked in at Literary Addicts and discovered a new-to-me author was having a blog tour. Congrats on the release, Lydia. Your book sounds like a wonderful story.

  4. WOW. What terrific coverage of Lydia Laceby's Redesigning Rose! Love the deleted scene and your book review was spot on. Cheers!

    1. Hi Julie! Thank you for stopping by and posting your kind comments. :)