Upper YA - Women's Fiction
Date Published: 1/21/2013
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, resurrecting past hurts and revealing old secrets. It also pits against one another the two men who vie 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 lead to more bad choices as a young adult, Sam finds herself at a crossroads, 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 one's self is damn near impossible.
Visit old friends in this harrowing sequel to Desert Rice, in which award-winning author Angela Scott brings back the characters so many readers have loved.
Read an excerpt:
I catapulted myself at Carson the moment he walked in the door—a wild, crazy woman. My fists pummeled his chest. He just stood there and accepted my onslaught of violence.
"You shouldn't have left me alone with her! You said you'd only be gone an hour!"
"Sam, I tried to hurry—"
I pushed him and then pushed him again. "You should have taken her with you!"
He dropped his armload of groceries on the floor and the broken eggs seeped through the brown paper bag. He took hold of me and shook me violently by the shoulders, as if that would snap me out of my insanity, but it only infuriated me further.
"Let go of me!"
"Not until you calm down!"
I struggled to free myself from his grasp, but Carson pinned me to the wall and held me there.
"Get your hands off me!" But he wouldn't release me.
"Knock it off, Sam! Settle down."
"Settle down! You left me here with her! You said she would sleep, but she didn't. She wouldn't stop crying. I didn't know what to do!"
"Maybe if you held her more and faked some interest in your own baby, then maybe you would!"
He released his hands from me as though I were poisonous, shook his head, and knelt to pick up the spilled groceries. Distaste and disappointment coated his face. He didn't like me any better than I liked myself.
"Hannah deserves better than this," he mumbled, something we both agreed on.
I lowered myself to the floor in a heap and wrapped my arms around my legs. "I'm sorry." Tears fell down my face. "I didn't know what to do. She just wouldn't stop crying. I'm sorry!"
His hands froze midway in their pursuit to clean up the mess at his feet, and he looked at me, really looked at me. "Where's the baby, Sam?"
Desert Rice was one of the best books I read back in 2012. I knew a sequel was coming, so I couldn't wait to jump aboard this blog tour when it came to be. Sam's story had come to a satisfying close, but I still wanted to know that she was going to be okay. I worried about her, and what the lasting effects of all of her trauma would be.
Sam has come a long way in the past several years. But she still has a long way to go. She has never been able to come to terms with her rape and her mother's death. I honestly don't know how anyone could. She thinks that she is doing much better, but a chance encounter with a naked man in the desert serves to change her life even more. It also adds to all of the confusion that she already has in her life. Reading the book, I honestly wasn't sure which way I wanted her to go for a while.
In addition to her confusion between Carson and Turner, decisions that she made in her past have come back to bite her in the behind. She made decisions on her brother's behalf that she had no right to make. He finds out the truth, thus causing another rift in her life. Without giving away what happens, she encounters yet another severely traumatic event that contributes to another downward spiral. It's hard to know if she is ever going to come out of it.
Yet again, Sam has pulled at my heartstrings. I want to leap into the pages and find a way to protect her and to help her. But now she is an adult who needs to come to terms with a lot of things. I want to push her, the way that her parents push her, to guide her to finally fixing herself.
I know that Angela Scott has said that she thought this was going to be the end of the story. She ends it in a way that leaves a lot open to interpretation regarding the truth. It could go either way. At the same time, it could also be a way of leaving the story open for a third book. I wouldn't be opposed to reading even more about Sam. Just sayin'!
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.