Hello, everyone! And welcome to one of the first stops on Miss Kellyn Roth's blog tour for her new (and absolutely darling!) novella, The Lady of the Vineyard. :) Let's jump right in!
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?
Preorder on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KWMARSK#nav-subnav
Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31131157-the-lady-of-the-vineyard
Excerpt (Chapter One):
A little girl, perhaps five or six years old, perched on a low bench sporting rose-printed cushions which sat before a tall window overlooking the London street below. She gazed absently at a lonely moth fluttering against the lamppost.
It was past ten o’clock. She’d promised her mother to be in bed by nine. However, she was not the kind of daughter who trusted her mother, light-headed as she could be, to arrive home safely after a date with her fiancé, Henry Acton.
Judy Collier, short and delicate with sky blue eyes, red-tinged blonde hair, and a turned-up nose, was dressed in her pink pajamas and bunny slippers. These stared up at her as if wondering why they hadn’t been shoved under their mistress’s bed long ago.
The clock ticked the minutes away angrily. It chimed the half-hour with much ado, urging her to hurry to her room and rest her head upon the pillow.
Time passed. Fifteen to eleven.
She rubbed her eyes and adjusted her dolly’s gown. Marilou, a gift from Granny, was almost as big as Judy herself. She had blonde ringlets and blue eyes that clicked shut. The doll was outfitted in a dress that Judy’s mother had sewn in the style of a low-cut, sparkly evening gown just to spite Granny. But Judy was very proud of Marilou, despite the fact that Granny claimed she looked cheap.
As the clock struck eleven, a taxicab disengaged itself from the regular flow of traffic and stopped in front of the apartment house, its shiny black paint glowing in the streetlight. Out stepped a short, broad-shouldered man. He turned and offered his hand to the other occupant of the back seat. She took it and stepped out.
Adele Collier was a dark-haired woman in a gaudy dress of sheer turquoise metallic lame, a glittering, almost iridescent fabric, set here and there with glass beads. Standing at about five foot one, even her fiancé dwarfed her in size. She possessed flashing, obsidian-like eyes and self-curled hair of a slightly lighter hue.
Judy leapt off the sofa and raced around piles of dishes, books, papers, and other arbitrary items that lay about the living room. She hurried past the kitchen door, down the hall, and into her little bedroom across from her mother’s, Marilou bumpity-bumping behind her all the way.
In her bedroom, she carefully closed the door and weaved between various toys and clothes until she got to her bed. She heaved Marilou up onto it first, then rolled in herself. In a minute, they were both carefully tucked in, Judy’s eyes shut, the peaceful look of an innocent baby angel on her rosy face.
Adele unlocked and opened the door to her apartment.
“Can you come in for a minute … have a cup of coffee, maybe, Hal?” she asked her fiancé.
“I’d love to, but it’s dreadfully late, isn’t it?” he asked.
“Just after eleven,” Adele replied, examining a diamond-set wristwatch, her fiancé’s most recent gift to her.
“No … I guess I’d better not,” Henry Acton decided resolutely. “I’ve a busy day tomorrow. You have, too.”
“True,” Adele said, yawning.
“Night, love,” he murmured, bending down to give her a kiss.
“Night!” she called as he turned and walked down the hall. She watched him go, then closed the door, and kicked off her high-heeled shoes. They flew across the room and banged into a wall. Taking off her hat and coat, she walked slowly to her room.
I’m so happy, Adele thought as she began removing makeup and clothing. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy since I was a kid, before all this stuff happened to me. And I’m doing the right thing if it makes me happy. I wouldn’t be happy if I were doing the wrong thing … right?
She shook her head to rid herself of her dismal thoughts. She was happy, and nothing else mattered. Nothing else had ever mattered, and she had been an idiot to try to make anything but her own happiness a priority.
Of course, I’ve got Judy to think about, Adele admitted reluctantly. She didn’t really like to think of herself as a mother. Or as twenty-nine, for that matter. Twenty-nine wasn’t exactly old, but it was almost thirty, and thirty required a certain level of maturity that she wasn’t quite willing to adopt.
She resolutely forced her lips to smile. They weren’t very fine lips, but a bit of rouge fixed that problem quite well. She thought this fault was compensated for, though, by her skin, which was naturally tanned. She would be eternally thankful to her great-grandmother for marrying that rich Italian.
She lay down on her bed, pulled the covers over her head, and almost immediately fell asleep.
Sounds intriguing, huh?
Such a whimsically beautiful and heartwarming story! If you're a lover of historical novellas or 1930s European settings, this is one you won't want to miss. :D
I read this book in an afternoon and I really enjoyed reading Judy and her parents' story. :) The characters were so great!
Judy was a sweet, precious child. I adored her and Troy's relationship (and their first meeting!).
Troy was a nice guy, probably my favorite character, and I loved the way he stood up to Adele.
Adele was the annoying character of the story, but at the same time you kind of had to like her. I, personally, was able to relate to her habits concerning, um, clutter. (Though my mother may consider killing me if I was THAT bad.) :P
For such a young author, Miss Roth's writing is superb. I found no cliches or cringeworthy sentences. And if there were any grammatical errors (I don't think there was any, but I could've missed it/them.) they were minimal.
The one downfall I found in the novella was the lack of biblical content. The book isn't listed as Christian fiction, so I would've been fine with just a clean, historical fiction, except for one thing. There's one mention of Joseph and the Bible at which time we're told Judy does not understand what her father is telling her. So...why isn't it explaining these things to his daughter? Telling her Bible stories?
All in all, this was a sweet, historical novella with a dash of romance. I enjoyed it immensely. ^_^
**I received a free e-ARC from the author in exchange for my honest review.**
Kellyn Roth lives with her parents, two little brothers, incredibly needy cat, and faithful border collie Gidget on a ranch in the country. She's a Christian, country girl, and professional skydiver (yes, we are playing two truths and a lie here). Ever since she could talk, she had a fascination with words, always making up songs and poems. Now a homeschooled highschooler, she spends her spare time (away from the real world) writing novels when she’s not procrastinating or blogging (which is just a higher form of procrastination) at https://kellynroth.wordpress.com/.
Blog Tour Schedule
Thursday (the 8th):
Lana (The Music of Words) ~ author and character interview
Faith Potts (Stories by Firefly) ~ review, book spotlight
Aardvark Magazine (Aardvark) ~ author interview, book spotlight
Friday (the 9th):
Jesseca Wheaton (Whimsical Writings) ~ review, book spotlight
April McLauren (Liv Dreams) ~ author and character interview, book spotlight
Alyssa (Writing Anyone) ~ review
Saturday (the 10th):
Lily (Living By Chapters) ~ review, author and character interview
Grace (The Girl Upstairs) ~ author interview, book spotlight
Selene Silver (Hearth) ~ review, character interview, book spotlight
Katrina (Katrina Creative) ~ author and character interview
Kate (Wandering in Bookland) ~ review, author interview
Sunday (the 11th):
Angela R. Watts (The Peculiar Messenger) ~ review, author interview
J.C. Buchanan (Beyond the Amethyst) ~ review
Daisy Ferrell (Happy Days with Anonymous A) ~ character interview
Monday (the 12th):
Morgan Dusky (Studies in Character) ~ author/character interview
Willowy Whisper (http://willowywhisper.com/) ~ book spotlight
Kate Willis (Once Upon an Ordinary) ~ author interview