Friday, August 17, 2012

Blog Tour: "Desert Rice" by Angela Scott Book Excerpt/Guest Post/Giveaway (Ends 9/16) WW


YA Contemporary
Title: Desert Rice
Author: Angela Scott

Date Published: 8/13/12

Samantha Jean Haggert is a beautiful twelve-year-old girl—but no one knows it. All they see is an awkward boy in a baseball cap and baggy pants. Sam’s not thrilled with the idea of hiding her identity, but it’s all part of her older brother’s plan to keep Sam safe from male attention and hidden from the law. Fifteen-year-old Jacob will stop at nothing to protect his sister, including concealing the death of the one person who should have protected them in the first place—their mother.

Sam and Jacob try to outrun their past by stealing the family car and traveling from West Virginia to Arizona, but the adult world proves mighty difficult to navigate, especially for two kids on their own. Trusting adults has never been an option; no adult has ever given them a good reason. But when Sam meets “Jesus”—who smells an awful lot like a horse—in the park, life takes a different turn. He saved her once, and may be willing to save Sam and her brother again, if only they admit what took place that fateful day in West Virginia. The problem? Sam doesn’t remember, and Jacob isn’t talking. 

Buy the book:

Excerpt 2:

We stopped in a remote town outside of Kansas City, and while Jacob added a few dollars of gas to the car, I went inside the convenience store to use the restroom. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary, but when I returned to the car, Jacob kept glancing around, and his hands shook even though the sun hung high in the midday sky.
"We need to go. Get in the car."
His jitteriness made me nervous. I couldn't see anything around that should, but I climbed into the car as he'd told me to. He reached across and locked my door, and I tensed and sat rigid in my seat.
"What's going on?"
"Not now." He started the car and we pulled onto the highway.
He kept looking into the rearview mirror every few seconds, so I turned in my seat and glanced behind us, too. I didn't see a thing. No one followed us.
"Is it the police?"
He didn't say anything, but pressed on the gas to make the car go faster. I continued to watch behind us, but after awhile I gave up and turned back around in my seat. I'd no idea why he acted the way he did.
"You're scaring me." I watched my brother's profile. "What's going on?"
"We're going to have to cut your hair."
That took me by surprise, and I struggled to understand what one thing had to do with the other. "What are you talking about?"
"Didn't you see how those guys back there looked at you?" He turned and glanced at me before staring ahead again.
"What guys?" I had no idea what he was talking about.
"The ones sitting outside the gas station. They watched you the whole time."
"You mean the guys with the motorcycles?" A couple of bikers parked outside the convenience store hadn't appeared to be doing much of anything, just sitting there. I'd hardly noticed them at all.
He nodded. "They watched everything you did."
"I didn't see them watching me."
He sneered. "That doesn't surprise me. You don't notice anything."
"So what," I argued. "So they were watching me. What's the big deal? Why do I have to cut my hair?"
Jacob breathed deeply and then released it. "Because you didn't see the way they looked at you." He kept driving onward. "Sam, don't you have any better clothes than this?" He tugged on my tank shirt. "You've got to get rid of this and those cutoff shorts too. You're attracting the wrong kind of attention."
"I'm not trying to attract any attention. I'm not doing anything—"
"It's not you, Sam," he interrupted. "It's those perverts that I'm worried about. You're growing up and men are starting to look."
Why would men be looking at a twelve-year-old girl? A chill ran down my spine, and I shivered while looking back out the rear window again. No one followed behind us.
I slumped back down in my seat. "So, why do I have to cut my hair?"
He stared at me and then looked away. "Because, Sam, the best way to keep you safe is to make you look like you're my brother."

 Author Bio
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 find me at 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.
Twitter - @whimsywriting

Meeting Deadlines and Keeping your Sanity at the Same Time
 (Guest Post by the Author)

I'm actually writing this post at the same time that I have two deadlines looming over my head. The first is for a short story to be included in a YA Anthology. The deadline is September 1st and I haven't even typed one word of it. The second is for my novel Survivor Roundup due to be released at the end of November, but to have that come to fruition I need to have it done and handed over to my editors by the first part of September as well. But…the book has no ending. I still need to write one. September is coming fast.
Ahhh, the joy of deadlines. They're a necessary evil. Without deadlines, nothing would ever get done. Because believe me, procrastinating is easy and writing a book is hard. I can easily find a million other things to do than actually sit down at my laptop and write, especially when the writing comes painfully slow. That's not fun. Youtube cat videos are fun.
Just the word DEADLINE sounds so…awful. I mean, it has the word dead in it. That can't be good.
For me, it's all about attitude. If we look at deadlines as evil and impossible to meet, we will begin to begrudge them and we won't perform to our best ability, ultimately leading us to miss the deadline. So instead of looking at it as a foe, we need view deadlines differently. We don't want to take them lightly, defiantly not, but  if we can change our attitude, embrace the deadline as a friend, or a helper, then the whole idea of a deadline becomes easier.
Because what are deadlines for anyway? To help us achieve our goals and attain our dreams. Maybe we should change the name from DEADLINE to GOAL LINE. Doesn't that sound better?
Some tips to meet the goal line:
1)      Embrace it, but in that process make sure it's realistic. Most often times deadlines are broken because we didn’t block out enough time or provide ourselves with a buffer to account for mistakes that will happen or problems that may pop up. An insane deadline WILL make you insane. That is a given. Don't do that to yourself.
2)      Break your project down into smaller steps with smaller goal lines. If the whole novel is to be complete by say, September 1st, then do little bite size chunks between now and then, whatever those goals may be—write 2,000 words a day for example. Like they say, Q: "How do you eat an elephant?" A: One bite at a time.
3)      Reward yourself. I love this tip. Pats on the back are nice, but a new purse or a pair of shoes is awesome! Do whatever it takes to meet those goals. You met your 2k for the day?  Treat yourself to something special—an ice-cream, a movie, a walk in the park (always good to relax your mind and get your creative juices flowing). Rewards work great for little kids, but they work miracles for writers.
4)      Form a cheerleading group. Tell your friends and family about your deadline and have them help and encourage you to meet it. When you get your friends and family on board, it will be easier to miss a family function or turn down a lunch date. They will understand.
5)      Lastly, don't be so hard on yourself. Commit to your deadlines, but refuse to allow it to destroy you. So you missed the deadline, life happens, take a deep breath, review what happened, and then create a new goal line and try again. It's okay.
Now I'm off to meet my goal lines. Wish me luck. I hope I write my 2k today because that new pair of pumps in the store window display is calling to me.  
There will be a giveaway of an e-book of Desert Rice.  Be sure to enter the rafflecopter below by September 16.  It is open worldwide!  And if you wish to follow the entire blog tour, click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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