[Blog Tour & Interview] Desert Flower by Angela Scott

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In Angela Scott's novel, Desert Flower, Sam Haggert must figure out what she wants from life as the world keeps throwing twists her way that she can't control. Two men who love her, a mistake that haunts her, and a choice that might end her. But as more people get caught up in the whirlwind that is Sam, she has to think about what is best for everyone and stop thinking about herself.


REVIEW




Title: Desert Flower
Author: Angela Scott
Publish Date: January 24, 2013
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Pages: 216
Buy the Book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
Rating: ★★★★

Bodies have a canny way of finding Samantha Jean Haggert. The first, the dead body of her mama. The second, a naked man in the middle of the Arizona desert. For Sam, dealing with one dead body in her lifetime is more than unfair. Two, is downright cruel.

Seven years after running from West Virginia, Sam's now a young woman of nineteen, trying to put the pieces of her life together with the help of her family—Jacob, Boone, and Laura. But the naked man in the desert spirals her world out of control, resurfacing past hurts, revealing old secrets, and pitting her between two men who via for her heart. Carson, her friend, her first kiss, and the one man who knows everything about her past and loves her despite it. And Turner, the stranger who knows nothing, but who excites and frustrates her all at once.

When bad choices made as a child leads to more bad choices as a young adult, Sam finds herself at a crossroads and is forced to face her demons head on if she plans to have any future at all—with Carson, with Turner, or with anyone. But fixing the wrongs of the past takes time, and learning to forgive herself is damn near impossible.

The book was addicting to say the least. I'll admit that I didn't plan on reading it as fast as I did but once I picked it up, it was impossible to put it down. This whole story is an emotional roller coaster that sometimes I wanted to get off and pretend I'd never experienced it in the first place. But I am glad that I finished it because it really was a great read, just an extremely emotional one. ... Authors should not enjoy making readers cry but it's stories like this that make me believe they do. I guess I can understand that though, the power to evoke emotions proves how powerful a story really is.

Desert Flower by Angela Scott is a continuation of the story of Sam, a girl broken by her past, from her previous book, Desert Rice. But now Sam is all grown up and facing the fate of becoming an adult in a world that she fears because of her past. A chance encounter with a man in the desert leads to a series of events that turn her world upside down and make her doubt everything she has ever believed. She begins to trust this man, Turner, with things that she hasn't trusted anyone with before and she finds herself pulling away from the man, Carson, who helped her through her past. Is she making the right choice or is she going down the wrong path, one that will certainly lead to her demise? But no choice is easy and instead of making one, she hides from it until fate makes it impossible for her to ignore all of the choices that she's made. Once it's too late to turn back, what will she do? Will she make a choice? Will it be the right one? How many people will get hurt along the way?

Sam, the main character, was really easy to relate with in the beginning and if anything, she deserved at least a small amount of pity on my part. I know that I wouldn't be strong enough to deal with what she went through and still function like a normal person or even slightly normal. In that sense, I am in awe of her. She deserves praise for her strength but sadly, she is also very weak. Her need to hide from reality, to know things with a large amount of certainty, leads to a great amount of selfishness. It is her great character flaw. She doesn't think before she acts and she forgets that her actions influence other people. By the time she learns this lesson, so much time has passed and so much hurt has been accrued by those who love her that some relationships might not be repairable. I think her character has more growth in this story than any other character in any other book I've read for awhile and that's saying something. Because of her choices, she is stretched to her limits and by the end of the story, she has learned her lesson and taken responsibility for her choices. Maybe then she can be happy.

Turner and Carson are the love interests of this story. I hate to say that I picked a favorite but when there are two guys, I kind of have to pick a favorite and I root for them through the story. Needless to say, I was heartbroken by the end of the story but I understood why everything happened the way it did. Anyway, onto the characters since I am not mentioning my favorite. Read the book and you'll know who. Turner is introduced at the beginning of the story and he manages to get under Sam's skin in no time. He has this confident air about him that seems to irritate her even when he does nothing but there is also a sweetness to him that manages to keep her from killing him constantly. It is a relationship that is filled with passion and hope for the future. He wants her to be happy and he just wants her, is that so wrong? Carson has been with her the longest and seen her through the worst of her life. He wants to be what brings about the best in her life, he wants to be the man that has a family with her, and he wants to be the man that she loves with all her heart. But she is uncertain about their relationship. She doesn't know how she feels about him outside of friendship and she doesn't know if she is ready for any commitment, especially with him. He makes her feel adored and cared about and yet, she can't help but feel unworthy of him.

Sam's family is perhaps the brightest spot of this whole story. There is something about a family that sticks together through the horrible parts of life and it was nice to see that there are flaws in that family. Sometimes they purposefully hurt each other, testing the strength of their relationships but they always seem to find their way back to each other. Boone and Laura are her adoptive parents. They are her greatest supporters, her biggest advocates, and they know everything about her. For a girl who hides herself away behind her secrets, she has a bond with them that is unwavering and no matter what happens, she knows they have her back. I am honestly jealous of that sort of relationship because I know that I'll at least never have that with my dad. Her relationship with her brother, Jacob, is heart-wrenching to say the least. After being through so much together, they still have the traits of siblings. They hurt each other, sometimes without meaning to, and underneath it all, they still love each other. They have each other's backs through whatever happens even when they act like they don't. Now, that is a relationship I can understand. It kind of reminds me of my brother's relationship with me except it isn't so violate.

I do love this story with all its ups and downs. I hate the heartache but love the characters. It is the stories like this one that make you want to shake the characters until they realize their mistakes. It's stories like this that make you realize why your life is so good. It's stories like this that make you grateful.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I hear voices. Tiny fictional people sit on my shoulders and whisper their stories in my ear. Instead of medicating myself, I decided to pick up a pen, write down everything those voices tell me, and turn it into a book. I'm not crazy. I'm an author. For the most part, I write contemporary Young Adult novels. However, through a writing exercise that spiraled out of control, I found myself writing about zombies terrorizing the Wild Wild West--and loving it. My zombies don't sparkle, and they definitely don't cuddle. At least, I wouldn't suggest it.

I live on the benches of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains with two lovely children, one teenager, and a very patient husband. I graduated from Utah State University with a B.A. degree in English, not because of my love for the written word, but because it was the only major that didn't require math. I can't spell, and grammar is my arch nemesis. But they gave me the degree, and there are no take backs.

As a child, I never sucked on a pacifier; I chewed on a pencil. I've been writing that long. It has only been the past few years that I've pursued it professionally, forged relationships with other like-minded individuals, and determined to make a career out of it. 

You can subscribe and follow me on my website, where I blog obsessively about my writing process and post updates on my current works. I'm also on Twitter and Facebook, but be forewarned, I tweet and post more than a normal person.

Website: www.angelascottauthor.com
Twitter: @whimsywriting
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AngelaScottWriter

INTERVIEW



  1. I know a lot of authors hate the question about what inspired them to write a story but I’m always curious. So here’s my question: what led to your interest in writing the story?

Originally, this story was supposed to be something else entirely different than what it turned out to be. I'm a pantser not a plotter, so when Sam sat on shoulders, whispering her story in my ear, I had to write what she wanted. It was her story, not mine. I know that sounds weird, but I have no other way in which to explain it. Some of the scenes were quite difficult for me to write, but that's where the story went. Once Desert Rice was finished, she continued to whisper until Desert Flower was written. She just wouldn't let me be.

  1. Are there any messages in the story that you want the readers to grasp by the time they finish the book?

I think I would love readers first to realize that these things, as horrible as they are, do happen in our world. They're happening right now. But I also want readers to recognize that despite huge and horrible trials in life, people can overcome and find happiness. Life can be good.

  1. Now, I am going to ask a question that typically isn’t a favorable question. I’m going to ask you to pick favorites. Who is your favorite character to write and why? Which character do you relate the most to?

There is no question (and it's no secret) that Sam is my favorite character. I've never felt more emotionally invested in a character than her. Her spunk, her bluntness, reminds me a bit of me. So there's a part of me in her, for sure.

  1. The process of creating characters seems to be very complex and different for each writer. Did you base any of your characters off of people you know in real life? Did you have them go through similar experiences that people you know or you have gone through?

I have only once based a character off someone I know. She doesn't know it and I surely can't tell her that Sam's mother has a lot of her same traits. This isn't a compliment to her (yes, there are real life people like this in the world) who make horrendous decisions). I didn't think anyone would pick up on it, but her daughter did read it and actually told me not to let her mother read Desert Rice because of that.  Other than that, no, my characters are not based on real people. It's just easier not to do that.

  1. What was your favorite scene to write? I’ve always liked that authors seem to never favor the same type of scenes. Some are all for the action and suspense scenes while others prefer the complex, deep, and emotional scenes. Which type of scenes do you prefer to write?

I love writing the deep, emotional scenes for sure. I pour myself into them and I truly hope that is reflected in the page. They're hard to write, but I love them.

  1. Most authors place a lot of value on pre-writing rituals to help them prepare for writing different scenes and getting into a character’s mind. Do you have any?

My biggest ritual would have to be the use of music. If I have a tough, depressing, sad scene, then I will find the saddest song to listen to and then play it over and over and over so I stay in that frame of mind while I write. I do the same thing with intense, action packed scenes too. One of my favorite songs to listen to for those kinds of scenes is TITANIUM. That's a good one for sure.

  1. What books have influenced your life the most? Or rather what characters have made the biggest impact on you?

That is a toughie. I read everything. But the books that I enjoy the most, the ones I find myself most invested in, are ones where the characters struggle but they're strong. I love the book Moloka'i because the female character is relatable and goes through a lot of development and growing up.

As a kid, I loved the book , Are You There God, It's Me Margaret. I will always remember that book.

  1. Because I’m a huge fan of reading and love different authors because of their different writing styles, I’m curious about whether you have that same experience. I like certain ways that authors word things and it seems to influence the way I write. Do you have any authors that you would consider influential on your writing?

Every author is influential on my writing. Every one of them. Sometimes those things I've learned are for my improvement, things I want to strive for. Other times, there are things that make me shudder and think, "Don't EVER do that." But I do learn a little something from every book I read. I don't know that any one author has shaped my writing. It's a combination of many.

  1. Are there any new books that have come out or are coming out that have caught your attention?

Hmm...this is embarrassing to say, but I've actually been so busy the past several months writing, that I really don't even know what is coming out right now. That's so bad, I know. I love to read and I know that I need to set aside more time to do it. It's vastly important for a writer to read.
There is one book that has caught my eye, simply because I have a love with Paris. I went there last year to celebrate my birthday and fell in love with the city. I can't get enough of it. So Paris by Edward Rutherford has my attention.

  1. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?  

You're always going to suck as a writer. Frank and downright mean, right? But it's true. And once you believe you don't suck anymore, then you need to step away from writing and no longer do it. Because no matter how much you learn, how much you grow, how great you might think your writing is, there is always, always, room to improve. Keep learning, keep writing, keep creating, but never ever think you're done learning. Be humble and continue to improve and improve and improve…

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

March 14 - RABT Reviews

About the author

Bailee is the type of person you would expect to find with her nose buried in a book or a notebook and a pencil in hand. She loves reading and she loves reviewing the books she reads. This is certainly becoming a passion of hers.

1 comment :

  1. i like you reviews on Desert safari. You have very good thoughts. i ilke that there are still good writers alive Dubai Desert Safari

    ReplyDelete