Book Tours: Starter Day Party for Reluctant Cassandra


I’m hosting the starter day party for the tour for Southern women’s fiction “Reluctant Cassandra”. The tour runs from May 18 to June 1. Enjoy visiting all the tour stops!

Tour Schedule

May 18th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

May 18th: Book Excerpt @ The Bookdragon

May 19th: Promo Post @ Nat’s Book Nook

May 21st: Book Excerpt @ The Single Librarian

May 22nd : Book Review @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

May 25th: Promo Post @ I’m an Eclectic Reader

May 28th: Author Interview @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

May 29th: Book Excerpt @ Books are Forever

May 30th: Book Review @ I Heart Reading

June 1st: Promo Post @ Indy Book Fairy

About The Book

ReluctantCassandraTitle: Reluctant Cassandra

Author: Ellen Smith

Genre: Southern Women’s Fiction

Nothing much changes in historic Eagle Valley, Virginia. That’s a good thing for Arden McCrae. It’s easier to manage her visions of the future when there isn’t much to see. Arden would rather stay buried in the cool certainty that comes with stories of the past. Fortunately, running the local antique store and keeping up with the Eagle Valley Historical Society gives her plenty of history to hide behind.

When her aging parents are forced to sell their farm to pay for medical care, Arden sees big changes ahead. The sale threatens the historic status of Eagle Valley, and Arden’s own store is in peril. Meanwhile, her father’s rapidly advancing Alzheimer’s keeps him locked in a heartbreaking past. The rest of the McCrae family is left to make difficult decisions for the days to come.

The future that nobody wants is descending fast, and Arden must face the visions she’s always avoided. Soon, her town is divided over their historic status and her family is shattered by her father’s declining health. Arden will have to choose whether to fight to preserve the past or learn to embrace the future.


Author Bio

EllenSMithEllen Smith is a freelance writer and editor, forging ahead into the world of fiction writing. When she isn’t fiddling with sentence structure or analyzing plot devices, she can be found reading, sewing, or avoiding housework. She lives with her family near Washington, D.C.



Twitter: @EllenSmithWrite


Book Review: Want by Stephanie Lawton

13432648Title: Want
Author: Stephanie Lawton
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: June 7th, 2012
Publisher: InkSpell Publishing
Rating: 5 stars
Website | Purchase from Publisher | Goodreads
Review copy provided by the publisher.

Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche.
Julianne can’t understand why Isaac suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it before she inherits her mother’s madness. Isaac knows he must resist his attraction to a student ten years his junior, but loneliness and jealousy threaten his resolve.
Their indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball—the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite—forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past.
Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?

Want is a rollercoaster of emotions. Trust me, you don’t want to read this book while you’re on the train back home, and a myriad of strangers is glancing at you and wondering why the heck your face looks like you’re experiencing a bazillion emotions at once. A powerful and strong novel, filled with a wide variety of characters, strong emotions against a southern setting, this is young adult contemporary romance at its best. You don’t want to miss out on this book, believe me.

The main character, Julianne, lives and breathes music. I would go as far as to say that not only is it her greatest passion, it’s also the only thing keeping her alive. Why? Well, because Julianne’s family is about as dysfunctional as a family can get. Her mother is abusive, and this abuse causes Julianne to start hurting herself. Her father chooses to ignore the abuse and most of the problems going on in their family, only adding to Julianne’s despair. Her only solace is music. But when her music teacher grows ill, it looks like Julianne is on the verge of losing absolutely everything, including her music.

But fortunately, her teacher’s talented nephew Isaac becomes Julianne’s new teacher. But it soon becomes clear that Isaac is perhaps just as troubled as Julianne is. He carries with him a lot of secrets and mysteries. He’s the epitome of the proverbial “hot and cold” male: he draws Julianne closer, and then pushes her away. Sometimes he opens up a little, then he closes himself entirely from the outside world. He’s also roughly ten years older than she is, which puts them in an almost impossible position.

While Julianne’s relationship with Isaac is tumultuous to say the least, the reader is quickly thrown into a love triangle. Now, I’m not usually a big fan of love triangles. Alright, who am I kidding…I LOVE love triangles. It’s my secret passion. But not all of them are equally well done. I have to admit that the love triangle in Want is miles above most young adult love triangles. It’s also a very close call, which only shows how good of a writer Stephanie Lawton is. It’s very difficult to write a love triangle without giving away the ‘endgame’ relationship too soon. Mrs. Lawton definitely succeeds in this department – I was biting my nails all the way to the end, hoping, pleading, begging that Julianne would pick the ‘right’ guy.

The second potential love interest for Julianne is Dave, a typical gentleman, and the only one who’s there for Julianne in her time of need. The kind of friend you can always rely on. I loved him as a character. He is the stability Julianne needs in her life, the shoulder to lean on when it all gets too much.

Want is a must-read novel for fans of contemporary romance in general – even people who aren’t a big fan of young adult novels: this book has enough mature concepts to appeal to a mature audience as well. It’s definitely not for younger YA readers, because it contains some very dark and depressing themes. I can’t wait to read more by this author, and I recommend everyone who enjoys a good romance novel that will keep you glued to your seat, to try out Want. I guarantee you’ll be amazed.