Thursday, October 17, 2013

Exclusive First Teaser - Unforeseen Heartbeat (Second Chances #2)

I know I've been holding out on you guys for a while, but now that I'm about 1/4 of the way finished with Unforeseen Heartbeat, the second installment of the Second Chances series, I think it's time to share a teaser!

Tabby's Tantalizing Reviews was kind enough to feature me in an Author Spotlight today, and they were lucky enough to receive the very first teaser from Unforeseen Heartbeat. Enjoy!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Review for Pulling Me Under by Rebecca Berto

Title: Pulling Me Under
Author: Rebecca Berto
Series: Pulling Me Under #1
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Suspense
Age Group: Adult
Cover Designed by: Berto Designs

Paul was Katie’s rock for thirteen years, but then she watched him die.

By day, she is left with her daughter Ella’s questions about where Daddy went, and at night she's consumed with nightmares of the moment he died. It isn’t long before Katie’s mother hints that her volatile lifestyle and developing drinking habits are no way to raise a little girl.

Through it all, her and Paul’s best friend, Liam is there. Grieving the death of both husband and friend, the time they spend together seems more intimate these days, and Katie soon stumbles into taboo territory: Liam might be in love with her.

Torn between Liam’s feelings and losing Ella, one night Katie runs.

Air. Space. Thinking time. That's what she thinks she's getting when she stumbles upon that party. In the morning, in a strange bed, she can’t remember the night before.

Pulling Me Under is raw in its brutality of love and pain, with slow-building suspense to a heart-stopping conclusion.

Purchase Pulling Me Under:
Amazon US | Amazon International | Barnes & Noble 

Download the prequel novella, Precise, for FREE!

   Ella’s school-dress buttons and collar change color. They’re business-shirt blue and only three buttons are done up because Paul was lifeless, gone, by the time I got to him but Paul’s not really here and maybe Ella is. Maybe I’m not here, either.
   I dig my nails into the laminate until I want to scream from the pressure of my bending nails. Okay, so I’m still here.
   “What did I do?” Ella’s voice breaks, and it sounds as if she chokes on her last word.
   Ella deserves a mother who will pull her into her chest at times like this and cry about how sad they both are. I haven’t cried since before Paul’s death.
   At twenty-nine, I shouldn’t be waking up every day to this. I’d once thought widows only existed when people were old. Sure, I still have the brown hair with some type of wave to it, but I’m a shell with rotting insides.
   Paul’s bloody body, dotted with partially digested chunks of his breakfast is suddenly in front of me. Then his dead body multiplies, replicating behind me, to my left, right. He is a cage. I am the prisoner. His blood stains the floor red, causing my breath to stagger. My head spins seeing the sickening chunks and lifeless body of the man I would have given my life for.
   My daughter’s sobs fade, as if I’m being sucked away into a tunnel. The gray walls churn as if I’m in a kaleidoscope. Fire truck red and kryptonite green color blurs together to a spot in the distance. The end of the house is gone, replaced with a tunnel sucking me out of the kitchen. The choking, sobbing sound across the counter fades further.
   Suddenly, the kitchen fades to an image of my closet. Last night, I found Ella there, her fingers skimming along the circle she made of Paul’s ties. For minutes, I stood behind her in the doorway of my closet. It had been the first time in my master bedroom in months.
   Ella bopped on her knees, her feet tucked away under her bum. She’d laid out all of her favorite colors. One with Disney’s Tasmanian Devil printed on it, another in Cadbury purple. Ten or more lay around the circle. Her favorite tie had a pink and blue swirl twisting down its length, right in front of her knees.
   She stroked each tie once, her voice a steady hum. When she brushed the swirly tie, her hum reached a staccato and stopped. She picked it up in the same manner as she would her favorite doll and stroked it against her chest.
   Outside, the Melbourne rain had climaxed from gentle taps on the windows to angry thumps, making me jump.
   “Oh, Daddy,” Ella mumbled. “Can I really have it?”
   A flash of me from months ago rushed to her side, knowing to fold her legs and prop her in my lap as we sat together. That version of me plucked all her fingers, and Ella chuckled and snorted simultaneously.
   Instead? I said, “No. Ella. Out.”
   Ella spun around at the same time as a clap of lighting shook the carpet under our feet. She squealed and clamped her arms by her side, her back ramrod straight. “I want the swirly one. M—my doll needs it.”
   I held myself up on the doorjamb of the closet, my arm against the wall easily blocking out the bed and the far side of the room where no one had scrubbed out the stain. “No more. You’re not allowed in here. No one is.” My lip shook almost too much to choke out words. “How could you . . . do this? You know how naughty . . . it is to . . . to come here.”
   Even I couldn’t go in the master bedroom. Haven’t since what happened until now.
   The crumpled sheets can’t be moved. I leave the stains. Everything must remain the same. I don’t straighten my hair anymore, or sleep with a pile of pillows, or wear my comfortable jeans. No one can be in here so nothing will change.
   What if Ella found the box under the bed? If she went through it?
   Not yet. Maybe not ever. I promised myself that I wouldn’t look under the bed. There’s too much finality in looking through that box.
   Shaking my mind back to present-time I think, I know too much.
   I hate.
   I hate Paul for leaving me to fend against Mom when he knows I can’t do it by myself.
   I hate him for being selfish and thinking that I can live without him.
   Most of all, I hate me for hating him, since it’s my fault he isn’t here now.
   Ella? She wants to know. Something. Will he come back? Does he love her?
   My mom used to say things like, “It’s your fault, Katie. You hear me, Katie? You ruined my tummy, Katie.” Then she would come close enough to smell the fear coating my skin. Always, I’d gasp and try to run away. She’d grab me and yank me back by my flimsy wrist. Her voice was low and steady. Low so I wouldn’t get lost in her hysteria; steady so my mind would store this information forever.
   “You killed your brothers and sisters. They didn’t make it out of my belly because you jinxed me. You know that, right?”
   Now, in this kitchen, Ella smells a lot like that fear.

Rebecca Berto is an Amazon bestselling author. She is also a freelance editor.

She writes stories that are full of heart. She gets a thrill when her readers are emotional reading her stories, and gets even more of a kick when they tell her so. She’s strangely imaginative, spends too much time on her computer, and is certifiably crazy when she works on her fiction.

Rebecca Berto lives in Melbourne, Australia with her boyfriend and their doggy.

My Review

What would you do if one day you came home to find your husband's lifeless body on your bedroom floor?

Four months after Paul's death, Katie finds solace in sleeping pills and Johnny Walker.  Soon she is spiraling out of control and losing her grip on reality. She often dreams of the day she found Paul surrounded by his own blood and vomit, but is unaware is she is even awake or sleeping. She even goes as far as to blame herself for killing him. That first week after his death hasn't ended for her, and she feels a constant disconnect. Katie avoids anything that triggers the painful reminder of that day. She refuses to enter the master bedroom where she found Paul, only allowing herself to sleep in the spare bedroom. She has pushed away everyone in her life: her friends, family, and even her six-year-old daughter, Ella. She knows she hasn't been the best mom, but she refuses to let her parents take Ella away from her and puts on a mask that everything is fine.

When Katie's mother, Rochelle, confronts her at a birthday party, Katie finds herself running away from her problems again and ends up at a party for her childhood friend's older brother, Brent. While there, she blacks out and wakes up the next morning in an unfamiliar bed, with her dress torn and an painful ache between her legs, but she is unable to piece together the events of what had happened the night before to lead up to this.

Liam, Brent's brother and Katie's best friend, tries to help Katie confront her issues, but pushes her away even further when he expresses his true feelings for her. Liam refuses to let Katie run off again, and when he explains to her how he has coped with the loss of Paul, she realizes she is not the only one suffering and that her and Liam are not so different after all. Sometimes it is easier to admit you have a problem and seek help when someone close to you is dealing with the same issues. 

Katie finally begins to remember bits and pieces of what happened the night of the party, but will she be able to deal with the repercussions of what had happened and seek help or will she continue to spiral further, drowning into the issues that have been plaguing her and continue to push everyone away?

I loved the synopsis for Pulling Me Under, and the storyline drew me in immediately. From the very beginning you could see that Katie has an inner battle with the way she's coping with her husband's death. Rebecca Berto did a great job of depicting how Katie's thought process jumped around and her struggle dealing with every day things in her life, including being a mom. At times I seriously just wanted to slap Katie for how she was behaving and scream at her to put her daughter first, but at the same time I felt for her and thought to myself, if I had been in the same situation I might have turned to the same outlets to deal with the pain as well.

I didn't see the end coming at all. Throughout the book I was trying to guess who was responsible for what happened to Katie at the party. Every time Katie had any recollection of that night, I immediately went with her gut instinct of who might have been, but I was so far off. I like that it kept things suspenseful, even right up to the very end.

There were a few things I didn't like about the book. There were a lot of parts that I felt were over-stretched and dragged on, and I found myself skimming over a few pages. I didn't really feel a connection between Katie and Liam, even after they grew closer. I wanted to so badly, and I knew he was the perfect one for her to lean on and help carry the burden, since they were both struggling, but for me, the feelings between them just weren't there. My biggest bugaboo was that the entire book was written in the first person from Katies's POV. . .EXCEPT part 2. Part 2 was written in the third person, and I just felt like it didn't flow with the rest of the book. I think it might have been better to to go back and forth between Katie and Brent's POV in the first person (but that's just my opinion).

Overall, I did enjoy the book. It was emotional and drew on several heart-wrenching issues that I think a lot of readers can relate to. Kudos to Ms. Berto!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Deleted Scene From Relinquishing Liberty - Shayne's POV

Since you guys are amazeballs and helped me reached 50 reviews on Amazon, as a treat, I am sharing a scene from Relinquishing Liberty that wasn't included in the book. This is from Shayne's point of view. Enjoy!

When Shayne and Liberty Meet - Shayne's POV

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Review for Embrace by S.E. Hall and Giveaway!

Synopsis of Embrace by S.E. Hall:

Evan Allen is a handsome, athletic, southern gentleman who now attends Georgia Southern University for no good reason.

After what he expected to be the romantic gesture of the century, Evan is looking at no friends, a year of ineligibility on the football team, and no girl.

He's starting over alone and doesn't know quite how to proceed. Certain members of The Crew refuse to let him face things by himself, taking him under their wing, and it doesn't take the ladies long to notice him, either. 

Sometimes life doesn't go as you had planned. Sometimes it goes better.

Embrace it.

Embrace, the second book in the Evolve Series by S.E. Hall, follows the characters from her debut New Adult romance, Emerge

Excerpt from Embrace by S.E. Hall



“Zach, don’t say my name,” I choke out, storming across the lot as fast as my shaking legs will carry me.

“What’s wrong? Where’d you-“ his voice comes loud and worried through the phone.

“Don’t say that!” I interrupt, God, how embarrassing. “Can you walk away from everyone and talk to me for a minute? Where no one can hear you.” 

My voice is nasally and obnoxious, getting on my own nerves.

“Yeah Mom, hang on.” Zach- not a great actor. “Okay Laney, I’m by myself now,” he whispers.

“I’m sorry I bailed on practice, and I’m sorry to bug you now, but I need a Zach of infinite wisdom fix real bad right about now.”

“Let’s pretend I don’t already know what’s up your ass and you go ahead. It’ll give you a chance to vent.”

Alright, so that almost makes me grin.

“Basically, he just hung on that bitch in front of me just to piss me off, and it worked! Seriously? I don’t do that shit to him! Nothing I did was to purposely hurt him. How long did I absolutely torture myself NOT to hurt him Zach, huh? A long ass time!” I come up for air, waiting for him to tell me how right I am while I climb in my truck.

“Laney, you know I love you, right?”

This can’t be good.


“Then you know it’s with love when I say this.” Dramatic pause that makes my skin crawl. “Get over yourself! I don’t care if he fucked her on the field and asked you to film it. You may not have meant to, but you destroyed that kid. He’s here with no friends, no girl and a new team. Sound familiar? He’s just trying to put one foot in front of the other every day, just like you did. You got your happily ever after, so back the fuck off and let him try to find his.”

Well then. Zach-1. Laney-0.

It hurts, not even gonna pretend it doesn’t, but his words are honest…and absolutely dead on. It angers me at myself for being the cause of such sad, but true words, describing the crushing of my Evan. It’s a lot to think on and I have to do that now, before I cruise right out of control.

“You’re right Zach. That’s why I call you. I’ll always get the straight-up what I need to hear. Thanks.”

“I luv ya Laney. Don’t be mad at me, but much like yourself, don’t ask for my advice if you don’t want it.”

I chuckle, “God, if that isn’t the truth. You’re harsh, but right. I’m not mad, I swear. Now go coach! I’ll talk to ya later.”

“Later Laney.”

I hang up and stare out my windshield, pondering. Zach is right, I’m being a selfish bitch.


I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Embrace by S.E. Hall, and I'm finding it hard to put into words how I feel about the book because. . .IT WAS JUST THAT GOOD!

I really enjoyed reading the first book in the Evolve Series, Emerge, where we first meet all of the characters. Laney is an athletic, southern tomboy with a quick wit that comes in handy when deflecting others and keeping her guard up. Laney and Evan have been friends for years, but things change between them their senior year of high school when they admit their feelings for one another. When the time comes for them to leave for college, they are forced to go their separate ways. . .something they have never had to face before. Some say distance makes the heart grow fonder, but in this case, Laney's heart grows fonder for another. When Dane enters her life, the chemistry in undeniable, and he helps her break out of her shell, allowing her to open up to him in ways she never imagined.

Now, let me just say that throughout Emerge, I was Team Evan all the way. . .after reading Embrace, my feelings were reaffirmed!

Poor Evan. After transferring schools and giving up a scholarship, he shows up at Georgia Southern University hoping to make things work out with Laney. What he wasn't expecting was to get slapped in the face with Laney's unreciprocated feelings. Sawyer (oh how I love Sawyer!) takes Evan under his wing and tries to help him move on from Laney, but it proves to be difficult when Laney and Dane flaunt their relationship in front of him. Laney, too, is finding it difficult to remain friends with Evan when they are barely on speaking terms. When the least likely of characters reappears, quickly befriending Evan, the rift between Laney and Evan threatens to grow. Will Evan continue to pine after Laney or will he find that special someone to pick up the pieces of his tattered heart?

The whole Crew returns for the second installment of the Evolve Series, and you will be left in tears of laughter, heartache and joy. S.E. Hall has quickly become one of my favorite authors, with her relatable characters, beautiful style of writing and sarcastic sense of humor. I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend this book! (Be sure to pick up a copy of Emerge before you read Embrace!)

Favorite Quote:

“I love her, and she loves me back. Not because I’m around, or like a buddy, she loves me. Told me she’s dying to fill up your house with spoiled little grandbabies,” I smile. 
“Evan Mitchell!” she tries to act mad, but really, she’s holding babies in her mind’s eye as we speak.
“I’m gonna marry her one day and she’s gonna marry me right back. And we’re gonna fornicate, often, until we’re too old to do it without throwing a hip out. I’m careful, so is she, but if you want us there, then know I’m holding that girl in my arms all night, every night. Say yes or accept me staying here, please?” I give her the ole’ Evan one sided grin, then really see if I can embarrass her. “I’d never let you hear us.”

About S.E Hall

S.E.Hall resides in Arkansas with her husband of 17 years and 3 beautiful daughters. When not in the stands watching her ladies play softball, she enjoys reading YA and NA romance.




Purchase Links:


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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Current Giveaways/Auctions

Hey guys! Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been pushing along with Unforeseen Heartbeat (Second Chances #2) and helping a few other authors with beta reading and reading ARCs of their books. Starting this Friday I will begin posting reviews on my blog, and first up is Emerge by S.E. Hall. Her writing seriously blows me away, so I was beyond excited to be a part of her blog tour.

I've also been a part of several giveaways recently, so if you'd like a chance to win an ebook copy of Relinquishing Liberty or some signed swag, the links will be posted below. :)

Author Dawn Martens - 2,000 Likes Giveaway!

Romance Novel Releases - 1,000 Likes Giveaway!

Author K.A. Robinson - 9,000 Likes Giveaway!

Fight Cancer With Books Auction!