Today, before we talk blog posts and blog posts and a giveaway, I wanted to share some more about my plans for The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy. Why? Well, for one thing, people keep announcing that my most recent book is the last book in the series or, with less confidence, that they’re not sure if there is another book coming next.
That’s not their fault. Every book probably feels like a logical place to stop, and I’m also not officially telling people the launch date of book 7 – only that it will be a few years. (In utter honesty, I’m really hoping we’ll either have a baby or adopt some time in the next 5-10 years, and that’s given me wild anxiety about making any long-term plans. I’m a little more confident now that adoption feels the most logical option for us, but … you know. That’s still not super easy to plan on.)
That said, book 7, Time of Grief, is in the works, and I’m so excited to publish it and the rest of the series as soon as I can. 🙂 For now, though, let’s talk about my plans for the rest of the series.
Of course, we’ve got the first four books and a novella published – and another novella (The Knights of Pearlbelle Park) coming this Christmas – but what next?
As you can see, we have four more full-length novels in addition to a couple more novellas. I’m really excited for these, even though it will be a while before they launch.
I of course can’t give spoilers,
unless asked, but here’s some information you will want to know about the next four books in the series:
Book 7: Time of Grief
- Book 7 is going to be great for anyone who held out for Alice and Peter’s relationship/healing/etc.
Because they are so adorkably cute and in love and I’m just … yes, it did take them like five years to figure it out BUT THEY DID and … *weeps* My babies.
- *ahem* We’re being serious here, methinks. Back on track.
- Book 7 will start right after book 6 ended. Actually, a few months before it ended, but basically, when Peter and Alice leave Ivy and Jordy, I start the novel. And it’s great.
- NED IS SO BIG. (And Jackie and Caleb.)
- For real, though. This is an except of the outline:
Ned (15), Caleb (11), Jackie (10), Rebecca (7), Malcolm (13), Ella (11), and Debby (8/9)
- (That’s how I keep track of ages!)
- Also, Nettie and Alice’s relationship, even though it’s only there for like two scenes, is … <3 <3 <3
- And Alice being honest with Claire about EVERYTHING is pretty sweet, too.
You can tell Claire respects her more for it.
- Peter gets dragged into closets a lot in this book. I promise that will make sense and only be moderately strange when you read the book.
- I am in love with Flick’s story in this book even though it’s sort of a short one.
- Characters are going to start deferring to their husband’s in healthy ways, at last, which will displease some and thrill others. Fair warning: Christian book here.
- This is just a series of tragedies, but I’m again so excited about it that I think about it as a happy book???
- Book 7 is purple.
And for this one, I can share a snippet, so let’s do it. (SPOILERS FOR BOOKS 5 AND 6 AND ALL THE BOOKS ACTUALLY. SERIOUSLY. If you want to not know stuff before you read it, stop now.)
A slight indent in his cheek indicated he was biting the side of his mouth. His shoulders moved again, almost a shrug. “I was actually wondering if you’d ever consider adopting.”
Alice’s chest compressed. Adopting? They hadn’t discussed that in years. At first, the idea had been floated around, in the depths of their grief as the longing for a child had gotten particularly acute. However, they’d both decided that it wasn’t a healthy desire—just an ineffective way to try to ease the grief—and tossed it aside. “I didn’t know that was something you were seriously interested in.”
Peter nodded. “More and more, I am, Alice. I want to be a father.” His voice caught, and he again looked away, but then his face turned back to her, and he set his shoulders as he did so, giving her his full attention. She reached across the coach and seized his hands so even an impulse wouldn’t pull him away from her again. “I’ve never made that a secret, but it seems to me that it’s more important now. I believe we would be good parents. I truly do. And though the Lord has not blessed us with children, we both know that there are many orphans in this world who need a loving family. Maybe we can make a difference that way.”
“Maybe.” Alice knew little about adoption. It was somewhat of a taboo in her social circles—orphans were looked down on, and even though a lot of them were simply the products of death from various factors, there was the stigma of illegitimacy tainting any association with an adopted child. Alice knew that more than anyone—she was the product of a perverted union, one of violence and great evil. Yet that was not always the case, and even if it were, it wouldn’t be the child’s fault. No one could control their origins—yet it was possibly for origins to control a person, to a certain degree.
“You don’t have to agree.” He tried to lean away from her, as she’d expected, though she wouldn’t let him. “I understand if that’s not something you’d ever be interested in, for any reason. But do consider it, Alice. I admit I’ve never quite shaken the feeling that we ought to have a child. Or many children, honestly. But if that’s not a desire you share, except within specific parameters, I will accept that without questioning and consider you to be the voice of God in my life—my helper, the first person I turn to for guidance and input.”
She nodded, taking his words in and letting them soak into her brain in a way she hadn’t learned to until the last year or so. Peter chose every syllable he spoke so carefully that Alice felt he deserved the return favor of marination.
What would it mean to adopt? How would they go about it? Was it simply the matter of showing up at one of the orphanages that seemed to exist in every large city and putting one’s name forward? She’d heard that some orphanages weren’t even looking to have their children adopted—after all, children could be a useful commodity, especially children no one cared about.
Yet as she looked into Peter’s eyes, saw him struggling to smother his hope and put his trust in her … She shuddered. How could he do that when she had failed him so many times? Yet here he was, trusting her. It was insanity, and it made her want to do things, insane things, grand gestures she didn’t associate with herself.
And she found nothing within her that protested at the idea of adoption. Cowered, yes. She didn’t have enough information, but with the knowledge she possessed, no shadow of doubt was yet able to enter. “I … I am open to the idea.”
His expression lightened, though he worked to control the upwards twitch of his lips. “It wouldn’t be immediate. We’d want to be home and settled. But I know there’s an orphanage or two in Cincinnati.”
Alice pressed her lips together. “The one I know of is Catholic.”
Peter laughed at that, though she didn’t see what was particularly funny about it. “I don’t think a baby’s religion should matter too much as we make a decision.”
“If they ever let us adopt,” Alice pointed out. Though, again, she was unsure what the situation with that orphanage was. Perhaps it wasn’t even the adopting type.
“But we’ll see when we get home, once we’re at peace again. And that’s a long way off. Come on. Let’s pray about it now, and every day, until we hear something. God’s going to figure this out for us, one way or another, Alice.”
Nodding, she bent her head over Peter’s hands, still clasped in her own, and listened to his quiet prayer.
Book 8: Love Once Lost
- If book 7 is one I’m looking forward to, book 8 is one I’m dreading.
- Y’all are gonna be so mad at me. If you’ve read book 6, you can guess some of it, but … yeah. Let’s just say it ain’t pretty, no matter how prepared you are.
- At least it’s not going to be as jarring as going from book 4 to this book without any kind of divider.
- I am thrilled about some things in this story, particularly about how the McAllen family has grown and changed. Of course, you’ll get my series about the McAllen brothers first, but … still. It’s going to be fun.
- “Death by a Thousand Cuts” vibes.
- Book 8 is light pink. Because Ivy is.
I can also share a snippet for book 8 which includes spoilers for previous books AND for a couple in-between books but if you can accept changes in Ivy’s family size … yeah, that’s the spoiler. You are spoiled. Go on and read it.
NOTE: this is a very early draft from about … July 2019? I think? So forgive it. Some details will have changed by the final draft.
“Oh, are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme …” Ivy McAllen hitched her daughter Addy higher on her hip and twirled in a circle in the kitchen until the toddler screamed with laughter. “Remember me to one who lives there. She once was a true love of mine.”
“What’s tha’, Mum?” Molly tugged imperiously at her skirts, and Ivy set her youngest on the floor.
“What’s what, Molly mine?”
“Scarborough Fair?” Molly’s curiosity had never been quite as developed as Letty’s, but suddenly she was wanting to know everything under the sun. Ivy sometimes struggled to keep up with the questions, but at least she could handle that one.
“It’s a town in Yorkshire—in England.” She turned to the stove to check the pot which was predictably not boiling. But she knew if she stopped watching for a moment it would. Ah, well.
“Have ye been there?”
Ivy smiled at her child’s brogue. Though to be quite fair, she had a bit of an accent now, too. “I’ve passed through it. Remember, Uncle Charlie is in Yorkshire. Where’s your sister?”
Molly blinked and pointed at Addy. Ivy wasn’t quite sure if she was developing a new sense of sauciness, as that was a Letty or Jordy thing to do.
“Oh, I’ll get out of her.” Molly ran out of the front door screaming her twin’s name, and Ivy returned to the stove.
There! Perfect. Stew boiling, ready to be removed and cooled and consumed. She glanced out the window—it looked out toward the hill over which was the clustering of buildings that was Keefmore, the tiny village in Scotland she called home.
Maybe just another half an hour. She’d wait that long and then feed the children. She could set something aside, so if he did come …
Surely there was a reason. Travel was unpredictable. Even if trains and coaches were on time, he might have missed one. He’d be here—even if he’d promised his arrival time would be late last night and now it had been over eighteen hours since.
Jordy, where are you?
Letty came running in, mud caked up to her knees, with Molly at her heels—thankfully still clean.
“Letty! Heavens, what happened to you?”
“Was exploring th’ burn.” She held out a fist. “Saved ye th’ best rock on purpose.”
Ivy held out her hand and had a wet little stone set in her hand. She turned it over in her fingers and smiled. “That’s lovely, dearest. Come now—I’ll put it here on the counter where I can see it, and we’ll get you cleaned.”
Fifteen minutes and a bucket of lukewarm water later, all three children were seated at the table—her four-and-a-half-year-olds on their chairs and her eighteen-month baby on her lap.
There was no use in waiting any longer, really, not with the food getting cooled. She said a quick prayer and helped the children get their food dished up.
“I thought Da would be here today.” Letty glared at her as if Ivy had kept him at bay somehow. “Ye said.”
“I know I said. I’m sure he’s just running late.” Ivy smiled, though she worried it was a bit tight around the edges. “It’ll be a’right. I promise. Da will be here soon; you know he runs late sometimes.”
Letty nodded slowly and returned her eyes to her bowl.
“Da?” A big grin appeared on Addy’s face, and she pressed her face into Ivy’s shoulder, pleased. Her youngest was the most joyful child of her acquaintance—always smiling and giggling.
“That’s right, Sunshine.” She squeezed Addy close and kissed her forehead. “Da’s coming home soon.”
It had been too long. Ivy had a flexible schedule, really she did, but she couldn’t let her husband just wander around London for three months again. He’d have to make the trips shorter or take her with him. She missed him too much, and the girls could get overwhelming at times.
Yes, next time she would make him promise to visit or take her with him for a bit. That would do. There was no reason he shouldn’t take them along, or drop her off in Kent with her family where he could come down for a few days at a time.
Book 9: Steps Into Grace
- This is the one I know least about, actually, but I have the gist of it. Basically, babies. Babies, babies, babies. And I will not apologize for that.
- It’s blue because I thought that was ironic. #theproblemwithbeingAlice #actuallytheresmorethanoneproblem #butthisisoneofthem
Book 10: A Stronghold of Light
- Violet’s dad dies in this one. Yay.
- Also, Violet comes upon a fortune (related to the above point – it’s a long story).
- McCale House needs funding …
- And I needed hope.
- So here goes.
- Purpley pink felt appropriate.
And … About Those Three Shorts
Which may actually be four.
- The Knights of Pearlbelle Park is coming out this Christmas, and Only a Mother will probably release right before book 8 does.
- The untitled one … remains to be seen. I’m not sure how it’ll fit in. I actually have two separate ideas, and if things go well with both of them, it may just develop into four, and basically, I have a problem.
And because I can’t help myself, let’s talk about spin-offs.
Some of you already know this, but I will likely be starting with a little series called The Hilton Legacy. The first one takes place right after book 5 starts (and ends … the timeline is giving me a massive headache lol because of a giant timeskip situation).
But if that doesn’t go well (it may or it may not), I may start with The McAllen Brothers. Because the first one takes place right after book 6 ends. Also, it’s super cute and has a border collie so … *shrug*
As for the standalones, Before a Fall comes directly after The Hilton Legacy, whenever that may be, and Cincinnati won’t be coming out until after book 7. (Based on timeline stuff, the Hilton stories need to come out before book 7 and the McAllen stories need to come out before book 8, so yup. That’s how it be.)
Meanwhile, Once a Stratton and Thou, My Soul’s Glory are probably gonna be like 2030. I’m not even joking. They’re prequels! About Peter’s mother and Alice’s mother, respectively. (Take that how you will.)
K&L will come out after all that (^). You won’t be able to guess what it stands for because it’s based on the cutesy nicknames the main characters have for each other, so. *shrug* I’ll tell you later, I guess.
Some time when I am an old woman, I will write these.
It’s so frustrating because I know the plots of every single one of these stories, but I can’t share anything! It’s going to be fun, though. I promise. And a little less dramatic.
These are … legitimately light-hearted? Really?
No betrayal, very little death (some death though), and I only cover two world wars and the Great Depression. Practically cheerful stuff. (First one will start in like 1900, though, so there’s that relatively peaceful era of suffragettes and labor union uprisings and prohibition rallies and … yeah. I’ll be in America about half the time and in Scotland some of it but I’ll also get down to the South Pacific in one book.)
Basically, I wanted to tell you about these because I want you to know I’m never going to wrap this up, but do know that I will be working on other projects in the meantime. Entirely unrelated projects. I sincerely mean it when I say I will be an old woman when I work on these.
But let’s move on because y’all ought to be bored by now.
ABOUT THE BOOK
And they lived … well, happily ever after.
A year into a blissfully happy marriage, Violet Angel admits to a dose of skepticism. She’s not married, granted—but as the closest friend of the bride and groom, she feels she has a perspective no one but the people directly involved could have. There’s no such thing as a happy ending, and it’s only a matter of time before the castle in the sky plummets to earth.
If only Violet were always wrong instead of just mostly wrong. Ivy McAllen doesn’t believe she and her new husband are out of the honeymoon period—if they are, she isn’t going to admit it to herself—but there are certainly areas of adjustment that she hadn’t expected.
Changes at the village of Keefmore and in Ivy’s life lead to complications, and Violet spirals further and further from reality. When a castle in the sky turns out to be more cloud than stronghold, finding a foothold proves more than a little difficult.
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE
Wednesday, October 12th
Thursday, October 13th
Friday, October 14th
Saturday, October 15th (RELEASE DAY!)
Sunday, October 16th
Monday, October 17th
Tuesday, October 18th
Wednesday, October 19th
A Post About The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy by Kellyn Roth @ Lilacs and Reveries (YOU ARE HERE, TECHNICALLY)
Thursday, October 20th
Friday, October 21st
Saturday, October 22nd
Review by Hannah Killian @ The Writerly Worm
Wrapup (which will publish in the evening!) by Kellyn Roth @ Lilacs and Reveries
I’d also like to share:
AFTER OUR CASTLE: CELEBRATE LIT TOUR
Reviews Thus Far Were On:
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 18
lakesidelivingsite, October 19
Losing the Busyness, October 19
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 20
Texas Book-aholic, October 21
Are you enjoying these little wrapup posts? What do you think of my many plans for book-ing? (Am I crazy? Yes. But determined.) Have you entered the giveaway yet?