Wednesday, 27 August 2014

BLOG TOUR EXCERPT/GUEST POST ~ LEMON DROPS AND LOVE by ANGELA STEVENS



Lemon Drops & Love
By: Angela Stevens
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Lemon Drops And Love has a ‘Sleeping With The Enemy’ vibe. When a broken woman escapes her abusive boyfriend, she falls into the arms of her hockey player crush, only to find that love and sex have a price: revenge and terror.



For years, Jude loved Maya from afar. When she falls into his arms at his sister’s wedding, Jude decides he’s waited long enough. But it’s complicated. Maya’s no longer the carefree, self-assured woman he once knew. Frightened, vulnerable, her confidence crushed, Maya is unable to see a way out of an abusive relationship. But Jude Holland is not going to stand back and watch this happen. After rescuing her from Carl’s clutches, he plans to stay and pick up the pieces.
But getting rid of Carl is harder than anyone imagined. Carl’s sociopathic tendencies know no boundaries. Determined to take back what is his, hatred consumes him. With all rationality gone, Carl is prepared to go to monstrous lengths to destroy what he once loved. Driven by envy and hate, he sets out to destroy Maya. If he can’t have her, then he is damn sure no one else will have her either.


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Jude couldn’t believe his luck when Maya spun around and came crashing into him. After spotting her outside, he'd followed her in; his progress hindered as he tried to navigate across a yard packed with partygoers. As he fought his way through the kitchen, he thought she was going to slip away yet again. It seemed all day long he'd been trying
to speak to her but she was a whirling dervish spinning here, there, and everywhere. Organizing photos, straightening buttonholes, helping elderly aunts into cars and goodness knows what else.
Every time he came within five feet of her, she twirled around and headed off in the opposite direction, intent on some errand or mission of mercy. But now here she was in his arms.
She’s still all hair, he thought.
He never understood how anyone so small could have so much of it. It was so damn sexy; it always made him want to run his fingers through it. Those curls had a mind of their own. Even now they were escaping here and there from the barrette.



GUEST POST ~ WHAT INSPIRES A CHARACTER

This is a tricky question as my characters seem to pop out of thin air and land fully formed on the page. Before I even begin writing, they are incredibly vivid to me. I have seen them in my dreams so many times, I begin to think they are real people. Usually, they arrive opinionated and think they are in charge.  I have trouble keeping them in order, as sometimes their personalities are so temperamental that we end up wrestling. 

This was a particular issue in writing the follow up book to Lemon Drops and Love. In Iced Cold Mint Juleps, Ash and London do not see eye to eye and proved to be very strong willed. If truth be told, I am still not sure I have them where I want them, even though the first draft is finished. 

Jude Holland, the hero of Lemon Drops And Love, was much better behaved. He has been an old friend for quite some time as he represents all the ideals I like to find in a man. In fact, he is my ultimate book boyfriend and as a consequence could not possibly exist! If I really analyze him, he has traits borrowed from a variety of sources. His tattoos and dark hair are unequivocally, Adam Levine. His slight ineptness possibly came from Hugh Grant. His physique, toughness, and Hockey playing skills definitely are from several of the hockey players on the Washington Capitals Team (maybe Brooks Laich crossed with Mike Green and a dash of Troy Brouwer) - I am a rabid fan! 

Maya on the other hand has more of the traits I would like to possess myself. Physically, she has a few features that are inherited from myself. Across my books I don't have a lot of female characters but I do tend to lean towards petite brunettes, possibly because I am one myself. I never based her looks are anyone in particular. in fact, I would have a real tough time selecting an actress to play her. Her character, however, was subconsciously based on strong women I have known in my life and I would love to emanate. They are people who have had low points in their lives and picked themselves up with dignity and poise. Despite their lot, they have never given up. Maya is like that, strong, independent, with a good heart. 

Carl Frasier is an amalgamation of despicable human beings I have either seen on TV, read in books or had the misfortune to have met in real life. When I wrote him, I already knew I wanted him to have sociopathic tendencies. I did do a lot of research into this condition so I could portray him more accurately. Carl was very difficult to write as it is a fine line between making him horrendous and believable and turning him into a cartoon villain. In some of the earlier drafts of Lemon Drops And Love, he was a little over done. In the later versions of the story his character went through a lot of finessing. I was lucky enough to have a lot of male readers who read some earlier drafts, who were very helpful in relaying stories of men they had known through their jobs or in passing that had similar traits to Carl Frasier. They were fantastic at telling me when to reign in some of the traits and when others felt real. 

Carl was also difficult to write because I wanted to spend some time in his head. He has a warped look on life and a strong sense of entitlement. At times I wanted him to justify why he behaved as he did. This is hard when a characters behavior is so abhorrent and you can see no justification whatsoever! There was quite a lot of emotional turmoil over writing some of his more sordid and violent scenes.

So in general, there was never one inspiration for any of the characters in Lemon Drops And LoveHowever, before I could progress with any of them, I had to have their name right straight away. 

Across my six books I have scores of characters -- easily fifty or more. I have only had trouble with 2 of them. Both times I had difficulty developing their characters until I got their name correct. For some reason the character's name is ultra important to me. Once that was in place, I was then able to hear their voices. They have to speak to me with a strong distinctive voice and it's that voice that dictates their traits and attitudes as the story progresses.

Occasionally a character takes me by surprise. In The Wolf You Feed, the first book of my YA urban fantasy trilogy,which will be released in late Fall, I had an interesting experience. A fairly minor character, Hania, started out in a small supporting role but he developed into such a cool character that he wrote himself into a main part. In book two, Hold On, he took off. By book three, An Unbreakable Will, he was vying for position with my protagonist. Now the trilogy is complete, he is still not done. Hania is worming his way into a spin off book that I am planning to write at the end of the year. For some reason, I am not been able to shake Hania off. He is one of my favorite characters I have created so far and bizarrely, I have no idea where he came from.


    
Angela Stevens is the author of the contemporary adult romance novel Lemon Drops and Love. She also writes YA fantasies and Children's books under the pen name of A.D. Stevens
Angela is British born but moved to Virginia, USA eight years ago. Always a keen traveler, she has enjoyed spending time living outside of her native country. She is an ex-teacher and the mother of two children. When empty nest syndrome threatened, Angela turned to writing novels to fill her growing free time. As her hobby grew she found storytelling began to fill her waking hours.
Her recently released novel, Lemon Drops and Love grew out of her voracious appetite for reading. After one particularly momentous year, when she consumed over one hundred paper backs, Angela decided to attempt her own first novel.
Her debut novel is set in her local town and the setting for her love story was partly inspired by her passion for ice hockey. She discovered her love of the sport when she first moved to America. A rabid Washington Capitals fan, Angela can often be found 'rocking the red' at the Verizon center supporting her beloved team.

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Website ~ Facebook ~Twitter: @AngelaStevens13





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