Happy Tuesday and welcome to my stop on the The Invention of Sophie Carter blog tour!! I am so excited to be a part of this tour, and I’m even more excited for you to discover what Samantha would do if she spent the day with Sophie and Mariah, plus some interesting facts that didn’t make it into the book! Read on to find out more about the book and author, plus follow the rest of the tour and enter to win a print copy of The Invention of Sophie Carter!
The Invention of Sophie Carter by Samantha Hastings
Published on July 14, 2020 by Swoon Reads
Genres: YA, Historical Fiction, Romance
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1851. Bounced from one begrudging relative to another their whole lives, orphaned identical twins Sophie and Mariah Carter have always relied on each other for love and support, even though the sisters couldn't be more different.
Brash Sophie wants to be an inventor, and demure Mariah wants to be an artist. Both long to visit London for the summer—Sophie to see the Queen’s Great Exhibition and Mariah to study the world’s finest collection of paintings. But when their cantankerous aunt answers their letter pleading for a place to stay, she insists she only has time and room to spare for one of them.
So, Mariah and Sophie hatch a clever scheme: They will travel to London together and take turns playing the part of "Sophie".
At first the plan runs like clockwork. But as the girls avoid getting caught by increasingly narrow margins and two handsome gentlemen—both of whom think they’re falling in love with the real Sophie Carter—enter the equation, the sisters find they don’t have the situation quite as under control as they thought.
With all sorts of delightful Parent Trap-style identical twin hijinks, The Invention of Sophie Carter is the perfect light-and-sweet palate cleanser.
If you could trade lives with any YA character for a day, who would it be and why? What about a week? A month, year, or forever?
Cinder from The Lunar Chronicles, because it would be awesome to live on the moon, have super powers, hang out with Iko, wear crazy dresses, and of course, kiss Kai. I think one moon day (which is much longer than an earth day) would be enough for me.
What would you do if you spent the day with Sophie and Mariah? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
If I hung out with Sophie Carter in London, we would definitely hit up the Science Museum and then the London Eye (Ferris wheel). After that, I would introduce her to my favorite Indian restaurant for some curry and naan.
If I spent the day with Mariah Carter in London, we would start at the art gallery, Tate Britain, and obsess over the Pre-Raphaelite paintings there. Sir John Everett Millais’s “Ophelia” would be her favorite because the model posed for it in a bathtub full of water (https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/millais-ophelia-n01506/story-ophelia). Then we would head over to the National Gallery and look at paintings until we couldn’t stand it anymore. Next, we’d head to Hyde Park and get sandwiches and ice cream at one of the vendors.
If Sophie and Mariah were to hang out with characters from other YA books, who would they be and why?
Mariah Carter would hang out with Charlotte Bronte from My Plain Jane and they would talk at length about how Charlotte improved Jane Eyre’s story by giving her a younger and less manipulative hero.
Sophie Carter would probably want to hang out with Cress from The Lunar Chronicles. They would geek out about technology for hours until Thorne finally left to hang out with Wolf.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
It’s in the Author’s Note, but not in the story itself. Elizabeth Eleanor Siddall makes a cameo with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the reader learns that she’s a model for Pre-Ralphaelite painters. What I didn’t have space to focus on is that she was also a painter and poet in her own right. She even had a patron, John Ruskin. Another historical character that makes a cameo in the book.
Do you have a favorite quote, scene, or moment from The Invention of Sophie Carter?
Favorite quote: “I understand why you like to read—I prefer books to people, too. But I’m not a heroine in one of your novels. Love is not the answer to all of my problems.”
What can I say? I also prefer books to people.
Favorite scene: the hiccupping one (you’ll know it when you read it).
Favorite moment: always a kissing scene #wink.
Were there alternate endings you considered, or did you always know where the story was headed?
Sophie’s ending always stayed the same. But I wrote four different endings for Mariah and had my beta reader’s vote. The one with the most votes is the scene in the book and also my favorite.
Samantha Hastings has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of Reading (Berkshire, England), and the University of North Texas. She met her husband in a turkey sandwich line. They live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she spends most of her time reading, eating popcorn, and chasing her kids. She is the author of THE LAST WORD, THE INVENTION OF SOPHIE CARTER, and A ROYAL CHRISTMAS QUANDARY.