Want Blog Tour

Please welcome Stephanie Lawton, author of Want! She’s stopping by today to share a guest post as part of her Blog Tour by InkSlinger PR.

Want - coverJulianne 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?

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Guest Post by Stephanie Lawton

The importance of setting: This ain’t Kansas, y’all

I started writing Want shortly after we moved from rural northeast Ohio to Mobile, Alabama. Any more Deep South and you’re in the Gulf of Mexico. You wanna talk about culture shock? Holy shrimp and grits, people!
With the differences between Ohio and Mobile in such sharp contrast, I couldn’t help but write everything I noticed into Want, so much so that Mobile feels like another character in the book.
I loved trying to describe all the new things I was experiencing.

What things? Glad you asked:

The weather: Where I grew up, anything above eighty degrees was just insane. In Mobile, eighty degrees is cause to bust out the Old Navy Performance Fleece. Factor in the humidity and this Yankee had her head in the freezer more than she cares to admit.

At one point in Want, Juli says it’s so hot she wants to shave her head. This is not an exaggeration, but it does make it even weirder that she wears long-sleeved shirts in the middle of summer. Hmm …

The accents: Now I know what my Southern friends are going to say: “We don’t have accents! Y’all do!” Oh, yes, you do. And they are lovely. The Mobile accent is a little different than some other Southern ones. It’s not twangy, but more mellow, like New Orleans, and yet it’s not Cajun (think Troy on Swamp People).

Many Southerners drop their contractions (“I do not know.”) when they’re trying to make a point or they get angry. There are two characters in Want who often do this. Random fact: I studied Alabama author Rick Bragg’s speech patterns to get this right.

The scenery: Oh, this is my favorite part of Mobile and the coastal South. It. Is. Gorgeous. Downtown and Midtown are filled with beautiful Greek Revival homes, canopies of live oaks with hanging Spanish moss, and cloudless blue skies.

Just a little further south is Dauphin Island. You may have heard of it during the recent oil spill. Thank goodness its shores weren’t too horribly affected. It’s one of the most gorgeous places on earth—beaches, rocky coves with millions of shells on the shore, and a breathtaking Civil War fort that overlooks it all.

One of my favorite scenes in Want is set on the shores of Dauphin Island. We get to see Juli cut loose for once, though the night doesn’t end quite like she’d hoped. Let’s just say she gets sand in some strange places. *wink, wink*

Stephanie LawtonAuthor Bio: After collecting a couple English degrees in the Midwest, Stephanie Lawton suddenly awoke in the deepest reaches of the Deep South. Culture shock inspired her to write about Mobile, Alabama, her adopted city, and all the ways Southern culture, history and attitudes seduce the unsuspecting.

A lover of all things gothic, she can often be spotted photographing old cemeteries, historic buildings and, ironically, the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast. She also has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles.

On her thirtieth birthday, she mourned (okay bawled) the fact that in no way could she still be considered a “young adult,” so she rebelled by picking up Twilight and promptly fell in love with Young Adult literature.

She has a love/hate relationship with Mardi Gras –where does all that money come from?–and can sneeze 18 times in a row.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Many thanks to Stephanie for stopping today and giving my readers an opportunity to win her book. After this post, I’m even more excited to read WantEnter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win an ebook copy for yourself!

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14 Responses to Blog Tour: Want by Stephanie Lawton

  1. Susan says:

    The Southern setting of Want intrigues me. I’d love to win a copy of this novel. You might say, actually, that I really WANT to win!

  2. casey bennett says:

    Please sign me up

  3. fakesteph
    Twitter: fakesteph

    I used to play piano. I loved it and wish I still played! I tried bass and guitar, but never stuck with it. I can (barely) hold a rhythm on drums. I’m the least musical person in my family.
    fakesteph recently posted..St. Vladimir’s Summer School Week Four: Blood Promise by Richelle MeadMy Profile

  4. HollyB
    Twitter: hmbryan

    Thanks for the guest post and giveaway!! I have been wanting to read “Want” for some time now. I tried to win it on another blog but alas was not so successful 🙁 But yay to A Book and a Latte for having another chance! My in-laws actually live in Mobile, and when I first went to visit there years ago I used to think they were saying “Dolphin Island” 🙂 Sadly I have never played a musical instrument, I am much more of a left-brained girl, but I am simply amazed by people who are so creative and who have such dedication to playing an instrument. I look forward to reading this, I’ve heard such great things! Thanks again.

  5. Kerry says:

    Im from the south and married a yankee – he wants the accent 🙂 I play the piano (not great) but I can play.

    kerryjcj AT verizon DOT net

  6. Nikki says:

    I played the violin until 6th grade. My teacher wasn’t very nice and ruined it for me so I quit =(

  7. Stephanie says:

    Thanks so much for having me! My piano teacher was a bit scary, too, but she couldn’t hold a candle to Isaac, lol!
    Stephanie recently posted..Authors create photo-sharing site, plus random news from writer-landMy Profile

  8. kimbacaffeinate
    Twitter: kimbacaffeinate

    I was raised in NJ, but lived in Florida, and Virginia. I now live in the mid-west and have a weirdly blended accent. I love a southern accent but most of all i like a southerns manners.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted..Sweet Chaos by Misty EvansMy Profile

  9. alicia marie says:

    I used to play the piano, but I made the mistake of quitting when I was younger, so of course now I can’t really play much of anything anymore 😛 I had a teacher that was not the best and I just couldn’t take him anymore!

  10. Laura McLendon says:

    I took Piano lessons when I was a teenager but I haven’t played in many years now.

  11. Leanne Yang says:

    I play piano, and I have been taking lessons for around 10 years now.

  12. Miranda Kavi says:

    This looks all sorts of awesome. I lived all over the US and currently live in the Gulf Coast. Can’t wait to read this book!

  13. I played clarinet in school and took piano lessons. Wish I would have kept up with the piano.
    Susan @ The Book Bag recently posted..On Tour and a Giveaway: Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons by Denise Grover SwankMy Profile

  14. fran/books and beyond says:

    I played clarinet and liked it but would of rather played piano or guitar.
    When I moved to Chicago they said I talked weird because I am from Connecticut. Not NY enough even though I am 1 hour away by car. I have had this book on my tbr for a while now.

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