Thursday, May 16, 2013

Book Tour for Broken:Secrets in Madison Falls by Rachel Hanna (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Today I bring to you a gutwrenching read that proves the healing power of love.  Broken: Secrets in Madison Falls by Rachel Hanna is a novella with a novel feel.  So keep reading to get a more in-depth look into this book and visit the other blogs hosting this tour to learn even more tidbits about this novella.  Don't forget to fill out the form below for your chance to win some great goodies......

How Do You Give a Novella a Full-Sized Book Feel?
As an author who regularly writes novellas, I am well aware that there are some things I have to do in order to make sure that my readers get a great experience every time. While full-length novels are popular, some readers like a novella because it allows them to stay fully immersed in a story and read it from start to finish in a day or two. But, novella writing can be tricky for a couple of reasons.  For one, sometimes it can be hard to get all of the story into a novella. For myself, if the story needs more words, it gets more words. I don't purposely stick in the novella range. However, I think all too often authors are so focused on word counts that they protract a story too long and bore their readers. My books are as long as the story needs to be. Another possible complication with a novella is character development. It is crucial to have great character development whether you are writing a short story, novella or full sized novel. Readers need to know, like and understand the characters. Most importantly, they need to care what happens to the characters. They need to be invested in the characters. To give a novella a full-sized book feel, I concentrate on character development a lot. I also pay close attention to the story arc, meaning that I still aim to put the same amount of conflict and resolution into a novella as I do a novel. The process is the same, but the word count might be a little lower. In the end, the goal is to make sure the reader connects with the characters and the story, but that they feel a sense of resolution at the end!

When twenty-four year old Bella Clay experiences yet another major loss in her life, she is forced to come home and become a young, single mother to her seven year old nephew. No one in the small town of Madison Falls knows just how damaged she is, and they certainly don't know her dirty little secret about where she's been for the last two years.
Grant Brady is the local hunk who works as the elementary school PE and history teacher. When he takes an interest in helping Bella start over in Madison Falls, she tries to push him away afraid that he will find out her dark secrets. What she doesn't know is that Grant has a secret of his own.
Will love prevail or will one or both of them run for the hills out of fear?


Desiree fell to her knees in the dingy bathroom. Her eyes glazed over with tears as her stomach churned into a sea of nausea. She was sure she had blacked out for a moment before she vomited into the toilet that was thankfully close to her. Falling apart was not something she was accustomed to doing. She had always been the protector when it came to Lori, but now the one person she swore she would always protect was gone. Just like her Mom.  
Gathering her things, she put on her clothes and swung open the door to the bathroom. Brushing past Nathan and Derek, she headed for the door. Getting to her car was her only concern at that point as tunnel vision took her over.
“Desiree, where in the hell do you think you’re going?” Nathan called to her as she grabbed the handle to leave.
“I have an emergency,” she said gritting her teeth. It should have been obvious that her eyes were swollen and red from crying, and her supposedly waterproof mascara was cascading down her sunken cheeks.
“I don’t give a damn about your so-called emergency, Desiree. You signed a contract…” he started to say as he grabbed her arm tightly.
“Let go of me, Nathan, or I swear to God I will kill you right here and now,” she growled at him as she stared him down nose-to-nose. After a pause, he loosened his grip, and she jerked her arm away as she ran out the door.
“You will never work in this town again!” he yelled behind her.
“Good!” she yelled back as she slammed the door on her VW Bug and sped out of the parking lot.

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Though this is a novella, Broken: Secrets in Madison Falls, is a story full of emotional highs and lows with a fully fleshed-out romance amidst the healing power of love and redemption.  The author realistically displays the sense of family that comes from small town living and the ability to start over that it provides.  

Bella's life has been one of emotional pain ever since the death of her mother when she was young and she and her sister were sent from one foster home to the next.  As the older sister she set herself up as the protector, the one to take the pain so her sister would be kept safe.  Years of untold physical, sexual, and emotional abuse has created an adult afraid to love, unwilling to open her heart for fear of being hurt yet again.  It's made her a bit cold and guarded with her true feelings only surfacing in relation to her sister.  With the death of her sister she's left picking up the pieces yet again when she's made guardian of her nephew, Ethan.  Leaving the world of porn behind, which she worked in to financially support Ethan and her sister, she comes to this small town not expecting much but getting so much more than she expected.  Bella is a hard hearted character who's been through more than anyone should in her short lifetime.  Doing things she never wanted to do, selling her soul along with her body, makes for an unconventional heroine but she's definitely one in my book.

Grant too has been hurt, by an ex-wife who cheated on him with his friend.  It's caused him to shut off his heart, but when he meets Bella he's drawn to her and together they'll heal each other.  Grant is a true white knight in that he's supportive of Bella and encourages her to open her heart and mind.  He never judges her as she expects him to do, even when it's clear he knows everything about her.  He shows her that she's desrving of love and that she needs to love herself just as much as he loves her.  He's a father figure for Ethan and a friend and lover to Bella and I absolutely adored him and couldn't have picked a better man to help Bella heal.

Ms. Hanna portrayed small town life with its colorful characters and sense of closeness beautifully.  It's in this close knit caring environment that Bella can finally move beyond her past.  She really can start again.  Being able to see things through both Bella and Grant's minds made for an even more emotional story as their pain was made even more clear.  Thus, their mutual healing was even more satisfying.  The author brings forth some intriguing twists regarding Bella's past and ultimately wraps up everything in a nice and happy bow.  Ms. Hanna has created a memorable novella and I look forward to what she can create in a longer format.

My rating for this is an A.

*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.


Rachel Hanna is a best-selling author of romance novellas and novels. She lives outside of Atlanta with her husband, three cool kids, two crazy dogs and one very snooty outdoor cat. She loves to write, read, spend time with family and embarrass her kids as much as possible.
She also LOVES to connect with her readers through various social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, so be sure to check out her website for ways to connect!

Twitter: @RachelHannaBook


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  1. I like novellas too, especially if they are part of a series. I think it's a great way to flesh out secondary characters introduced in a full length novel. Also a great way to sample a new-to-me author's work.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  2. Thank you for the review, the book sounds very compelling.


  3. Wonderful review. This sounds like an exceptional story. Loved the excerpt

  4. I think that is key - That the "books are as long as the story needs to be."

    Thank you for your review.