Reluctant Cassandra – Southern Fiction Debut

Ellen Smith’s debut novel, Reluctant Cassandra, is not to be missed. The story is told with an ease and grace that makes it hard to put down, even though the subject matter tears at the heart strings. There cannot be anything more painful than losing a family member to a disease that takes their mind, but not their body. Not to mention, the added struggle of dealing with a community that feels they have been wronged.

Check out the tidbit below and be sure to add this title to your summer reading list!

Coming June 2015

Reluctant Cassandra Small

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.

EllenSmithAuthor Photo

About the Author:

Ellen 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.


And a little more…


What inspired you to write this novel?

In some of my favorite parts of Virginia, the landscape is slowly changing from “mostly farms” to “mostly houses.” A few of the stories I’ve heard over the years left me very sympathetic to the family that had to sell, and also sympathetic to the surrounding area that would be drastically impacted by the change. The idea for Reluctant Cassandra was inspired by this conflict.

What particular rules of thumb do you follow when it comes to writing?
My day job is writing and editing education materials, so when I switch gears to work on fiction, I try to have a totally different outlook. In my nonfiction work, I’m very structured and analytical. When I’m working on a story, I want to have fun and see where my imagination takes me.

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