Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blessed Tragedy blog tour: review & giveaway

Maddie Neumann died the day she pulled away from her parents' house determined to make her dreams come true. She wasn't the perfect little princess she'd been raised to be, all she wanted to do was rock. Everything Maddie was tucked away in a box to allow for her re-birth as Rain Maxwell; a badass rocker who answered to no one and lived by her own set of rules.
Rain's world is shattered with one phone call from her estranged family. No sooner does she get home than everything she thought she knew about her life starts changing.

Colton Bradford knew there was something special about Rain the moment they first met. Unfortunately, she had a hard and fast rule about dating a bandmate so he was stuck in the friends zone. When Rain is going through her own personal hell, will Colton finally be able to make her see how he feels and convince her to take a chance on love?

Available on Amazon  

Some writers can tell you what book piqued their interest in writing a book of their own. I can’t. Other authors tell you the name of a teacher who influenced and encouraged them to write. The only English teacher I can remember probably does deserve some of the credit for my success because she was one of the hardest teachers I ever had. Honestly, I don’t know why I write; all I know is it’s one of two things I can do that makes me feel completely free.
The first “official” writing I did was as a fifteen year old high school sophomore. My dad was part of an APAzine and, for whatever reason, I started guest writing on his zine. That led to me getting a zine of my own in the Turbo Charged Party Animal APA. Rope the Moon (named after the John Michael Montgomery song and a nod to my dad’s influence on me) was the ramblings of a child in a world of adults.

I was held to a high standard because most of the contributors were my dad’s age. They were somewhat hesitant to allow a kid in, but they voted me in after those guest contributions. To this day, I feel blessed to consider some of those members friends.

Sometime after high school, life got in the way of my dreams. They keyboard was dusty. Looking back, that’s also when I felt my most restless. After my daughter was born, I started my first blog, More Than Mom, as a way to vent about my struggle to hold onto the identity I’d owned for 27 years.

In 2006, I heard about NaNoWriMo for the first time. I jumped in with the enthusiasm of anyone who’s never tried to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. It was a damn good story. Did I mention I’d never written anything of that length before? Yeah, that’s important because it means I never lost a work in progress of that length before. It was November 14th and I was over 24,000 words when my hard drive failed. And with the loss of my manuscript, I lost the drive to write for a while.

In 2012, I attempted NaNoWriMo again, this time saving in so many places I’m sure I’ll be finding partial copies of Bent everywhere until the day I die. The thing they don’t tell you with NaNo? When you hit 50,000 words, that doesn’t mean you’re done writing! So, I kept writing until I was done. And then I edited. And edited some more. Deleted a bunch of scenes, added others in. Had some trusted friends and mentors read it and then tweaked it some more.

In January 2013, I made the single scariest click of my mouse that I will ever make. I published Bent. It’s been a whirlwind year and it keeps picking up pace but I’ve never before felt so blessed to be where I am!

I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to email me at hbheinzer@gmail.com with questions, comments or even a good joke!
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When I need a break from paranormal and fantasy, I check out contemporary romances (YA, NA or adult). One of my absolute favorite type of romance features musicians so when I read the synopsis for Blessed Tragedy, I knew it would be my kind of story. It was.

Rain aka Maddie has escaped her mundane life for something more fulfilling and exciting--to live her dream. She's the lead singer of a rock band and the only girl. Pretty sweet gig. Colton is a guitarist (along with his band mates Jon and Travis) and he's had a thing for Rain ever since she joined the band five years ago. When Rain learns her mother has passed away, she heads home with mixed feelings. Her family (now just her dad and three older brothers) hasn't supported her career decision since she took off. At home, she discovers no one called her as her mother lay dying. Can she forgive her family for that?

Going home is a common theme in movies and books. In Blessed Tragedy, going home is the start of an avalanche for Rain, a twenty five year old successful rocker. Lack of communication, distrust, acceptance--they all play a role in her story. Dealing with leaks to the press, an old boyfriend, brothers she didn't really know, and her own lack of understanding she can't do it all on her own are just some of the revelations she endures. Besides her real family, Rain also has to contend with her band family and their rigorous traveling schedule. She's fighting feelings for Colton, jealousy of their manager Tanya's relationship with the dreamy guitarist, wanting to become more productive in the songwriting, while coping with the lose of her mother proves to be too much for her. 

Rain lashes out, over indulges, runs her mouth and makes for an intriguing if frustrating character. It took time for me to like her. At twenty five I expected her to be mature. I did understand where she was coming from and soon found myself in her corner. She has fought to keep the real her (Maddie) from the celebrity her (Rain) for so long that she lost who she is. This story is her journey.

There's music, family drama, band drama, couple drama, and much more. There were times the pacing slowed down due to too much exposition over Rain's emotional outbursts or thoughts. There were aspects of the story I wanted to see and not be told about (like how she joined the group). Also, for a story about musicians, I would have loved to have seen some lyrics and more of the songwriting at Colton's house. The concerts seemed glossed over instead of really digging in to convey the excitement and adrenaline of a live performance. What did Rain and Colton sing about in their acoustic song? I thought some parts seemed repetitive (thoughts repeated) and a few sentences sounded awkward, taking me out of the moment so I could reread it. 

As for the character, Rain grew on me as did Colton and the rest of his band. Rain's hotheadedness landed her in many situations and I was glad to see her actually begin to learn from her mistakes. Her transformation from a splintered personality into acceptance that it's okay to keep some of her old self as her career takes off was insightful. There are plenty of others to blame for some of her problems and they do step up to the plate over time. Over all, I enjoyed Blessed Tragedy and look forward to reading Colton's story in Blessed Fate.

Rating: 3.5

Cover comment:
I like it.

Book source:
I received a promotional copy in return for my honest review.

Find the complete list here

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  1. Love the new cover. And I absolutely love this book. I can't wait for the next one. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  2. I enjoy stories where the characters make mistakes but learn from them and become stronger people.

  3. Absolutely LOVE Colton!!! *swoon*

  4. What a great cover. I really enjoy contemporaries, especially those who have musicians!!