Three Women and a Book Baby

Meet the wonderful women of Redesigning Rose’s dedication. Here I am with my mom (back right), her mother, Granny Down the Street (front right) and my dad’s mother, Granny at the Lake (front left.)

001 (2)Granny and Granny was confusing when my brothers and I were kids so we began adding where they lived after their names to understand who we were talking about.  Thus they were named Granny Down the Street and Granny at the Lake for years, until we lost Granny at the Lake to a short battle with cancer in 2001.

These beautiful ladies have been such an inspiration in my life and with Redesigning Rose having such strong female protagonists, there was no doubt in my mind as to who the book should be dedicated to.

Mom reading RDR

My mom is just pretending here as she’d read and commented on a few of the last drafts of Redesigning Rose. Granny Down the Street, although posing for this picture, is actually reading my book. Mom says it’s probably the first novel she’s read in decades; she’s been a magazine girl for as long as I can remember. I was a little nervous for her to read it with a few steamy bits, but, encouraged by her enjoyment of Sex and the City, I thought it might be okay. I forgot she watched the reruns – heavily edited. So far, though, all she keeps harping about is the swearing. You gotta love a liberal 86 year old Granny.

Granny reading RDR


Redesigning Rose is one month old today so I’ve decided to throw a party and give a book (or two) away in the loot bag! But you won’t win Redesigning Rose – you’ll win my favourite book of 2013! And if my favourite indie read of 2013 is available for the ereader you use, I’ll give you that one too! I kind of feel like Oprah!

How to enter:

I want to see where you’re reading Redesigning Rose this summer. Take a photo wherever you happen to be reading Redesigning Rose and upload  it to Facebook or Twitter. Make sure you tag me so I can find your entry (Facebook: Twitter: @lydialaceby. And please do tell me where you are in the world! Friends and family, new readers and old are eligible – and that’s not old, old, but old in that you ran out and bought my book baby within days or weeks after it was available – thank you again!

If you head on over and ‘like’ my Facebook page, I’ll give you a second entry. Heck, I’ll give you an entry even if you don’t snap yourself reading Redesigning Rose but just like my Facebook page. Twitter, too! Then enter below with the ever fair Rafflecopter (you just need an email address for contact when you win and to select how you entered.)

I’m not disclosing the winning books. You’ll just have to trust me. If you’re new here, I have plenty of book review experience at Novel Escapes. If you’ve already read my pick, I have a couple of others up my sleeve.  No heckling me to reveal my faves. I may crumble under the pressure.

What are you waiting for, get snapping! I can’t wait to see where you’re lounging with Rose!

The nitty-gritty:

Contest is available worldwide.

Deadline for photo upload is midnight, July 31st, 2013.

Click through to Rafflecopter and tell me what you did (photo, Facebook, Twitter, or the kitchen sink).

Ebook users must show the legible cover of Redesigning Rose on their ereaders.

Ebook winner must show proof of purchase.

The winner will be selected at random by Rafflecopter.

E-reader winners will receive ebooks and paperback winners will receive a paperback.

If you prefer to show your furry friend reading and remain faceless, by all means. I live with an internet-phobe, so I get it. I’m still not sure why he married an author, though.

If you already own the books I selected, we’ll discuss some of my runner-ups.

3 ways to enter: upload a photo (one entry per person, per purchase of Redesigning Rose), like me on Facebook and/or like me on Twitter.

Good Luck!

Enter here: A Rafflecopter giveaway

How to Pitch a Book Blogger

I often judge a book before I even lay eyes on its cover.

During the last four years of reading review requests at Novel Escapes, particularly after accepting self-published novels (as well as those who tried to sneak in before we nudged that door open) I noticed a few things, particularly…

Time and effort in a book review pitch almost always translates into a well written and polished novel.

Here are some suggestions on how to create a fabulous review pitch based on what has flown into the Novel Escapes inbox over the years.


  1. Put your title, name, and ‘review request’ or similar in the subject line.
  2. Write all the pertinent information within your email, including your name, a blurb about you, your book title and synopsis, and anything else you think is appropriate.
  3. Keep it short and sweet.
  4. Be professional, yet personal.
  5. Portray your novel’s tone and style within the email.
  6. Personalize the email like you would a job cover letter. Tailor it to each blogger you pitch.
  7. Include a salutation: A blanket “hello” with no names, earns you 1 point. No salutation, 0 points and using our names? Priceless. Using my name, or one of our bloggers or even “Novel Escapes ladies” tells me you’ve researched our site. You know we’re a team of reviewers. Would you go to an interview without researching the company? You would? Okay, then. Off you go. Good luck.
  8. Include a link to your novel on Amazon. This saves me time, which I will heart you for. And don’t think I won’t search your book on Amazon and/or Goodreads if you don’t add the link. I seriously vet every self-published novel that finds its way to our inbox, reading the first chapter of each one to ensure high quality.
  9. Be patient if you do not receive an immediate response. For many of us, book blogging is done in our spare time around jobs and family commitments.
  10. Even if you receive a negative review, an email saying thank you for your time and the thoughtful review or some such comment is nice, but not mandatory. Or comment on the review itself. We love this.


  1. Number one book blogger pet peeve: Pitching your book on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads. This is a serious faux pas. Take the time and pitch properly. For me, personally, if you’re lazy in this regard I might wonder what else you’re being lazy about.
  2. Refrain from emailing your entire novel without acceptance. It gunks up my inbox and makes me grouchy.
  3. Ditto with photos. A PR sheet is fine (and should include your cover anyway.)
  4. Avoid faulty links.
  5. Refrain from asking to review more than one novel in an email. This taunts my organizational skills (this may just be me.)
  6. Don’t sound like Bridget Jones when your novel is serious, and vice versa.
  7. Do not expect an immediate reply – or any reply if we are declining your pitch here at Novel Escapes. Do your research and read the review policy. Check it frequently if you are delaying your review request. They do change from time to time.
  8. Control your irritation if we won’t review your novel. Don’t reply and argue why we should. (Novel Escapes True Story)
  9. Stomp down and crush any thoughts of responding negatively to a negative review. Google Emily Griffin and negative review as an example. Better yet, just don’t even think about it.
  10. Avoid requesting us to review a genre we have no interest in or explicitly state we will not review. This happens more frequently than you would think.
  11. Shove the desire to send multiple emails if you don’t hear back from us within a few days off a cliff.
  12. Do *NOT* state I can just use “this” review if we “don’t have time.” (Novel Escapes True Story)
  13. Don’t expect a review to happen immediately. We are typically booked at least a couple of months in advance.
  14. Avoid mass emails with one sentence and a link to Amazon.
  15. Avoid mass emails. Period.

I don’t often decline novels solely based on a pitch – although I have, particularly those falling in the last two don’ts mentioned. Put some effort into it. First impressions run deep, and you want to grab attention and start off on the right foot. Don’t you?