Blog Tour, Bonus Scene, and Giveaway: Every Rose: Lynetta Halat

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What do you do when you realize you were foolish enough to throw away true, unconditional love? 

Lorraina Dabney turns her back on her creativity and tumultuous upbringing to embark on a college career that will lead her to law school and to becoming what she values most in life—a controlled, powerful, respected woman. When she stumbles upon her childhood friend's artwork, she feels inspired to reconnect with him and her former self. This onslaught of emotion will send Lorraina in a tale-spin to figure out exactly why she abandoned all that she was, all that she could've been.

Coming from his own chaotic upbringing, Michael falls quickly and deeply in love with Lorraina at a tender age. Even her rejection can't stand in the way of his obsession. When she starts to date other boys, however, Michael finally relents, causing him to spiral further into a world filled with violence, drugs, alcohol, and women. Realizing this lifestyle will only lead to his further estrangement from Lorraina, Michael sets about to turn himself around before going to get his girl. 

Michael Bang will have Lorraina questioning everything.

This bonus scene, from Michael’s POV, takes place outside of the realm of Every Rose. Hear his musings as he is waking up hungover, next to (gasp) another woman, and it's Lorraina's birthday...

 Every Rose Bonus Scene
 “Wake-Up Call”

I wake to my head buzzing in time with her alarm clock. I reach over and snap it off. Looking over at her stretched form beside me, instant regret floods my hungover brain, much like the Jim Beam flooded my dumbass system last night, as I recall just out of hand I’d gotten. Shit! I gotta stop doing this shit!
As if sensing me waging war on myself, Brandy shifts and runs her hand down my chest, stopping to tease me a little. Inwardly, I cringe yet maintain my outward façade. When her lips begin to follow her wandering hand, I grab hold of her hand and her chin swiftly. “I gotta get going, babe,” I hesitate. “Thanks for last night. For, uh, getting me out of there.”
“You know it’s no problem, Mike.” She gives me what she thinks is a seductive grin but all I want to see is a sweet, unassuming one. I drink to get that outta my head. Only problem is that when I sober up it’s there times a billion. “You’re gonna owe Charlie some money, ya know?”
“Yeah, I know. How bad was it?” I do cringe now as I remember trashing Charlie’s jukebox. That damn thing was playing the one fucking song it shouldn’t have been. If I could’ve found the actual piece of shit who pressed play, that would’ve went down a whole different way.
“It was pretty bad. It got stuck on Billy Ray Cyrus.” This causes me to start laughing uncontrollably when I think of all the pissed off wannabe rock stars and badass bikers in that bar. I quickly squelch that as my head starts to pound anew.
“Why that song is on a jukebox in a damn biker bar is beyond me. Seems like I did everybody a favor getting rid of it,” I joke and push her away from me gently as I roll out of bed, slide my jeans on, and move towards her bathroom.
When I emerge, Brandy strides toward me noticeably underdressed. “Sure I can’t convince you to stick around, Mike?” I grab her hands before she has a chance to touch me again.
“Naw, babe. I gotta get to work and all. Raincheck?”
“Where’ve I heard that before?” She turns her head and pouts. I place a quick kiss on her cheek, give her a grin, and hit the door.
I pile in the Jeep, root around for some pills, down ‘em with a leftover Bud Light, and lay my head on the steering wheel for a minute. It really pisses me off that I need these physical releases…booze, partying, fighting, tearing shit up, having sex. That part ticks me off the worst. If it were up to my brain and heart, I wouldn’t be with another girl until I could be with Lorraina. And I will be with Lorraina, I tell myself the gazillionth time. This has been my mantra since I was fifteen-years-old. Some may view this as hopeless—the ultimate exercise in futility—wasting away for her. I know she is going to be mine, though. The alternative is not an option.
She has absolutely no idea, but I’d been keeping tabs on her, which was really nothing new. I’d been waiting and watching from the first time I’d seen that long, curly blonde hair and those electric green eyes that promised loyalty and fierceness and passion. From what I’d heard, she was none of those things now. She was wasting away too. I want to fix that—but how? What reasons had I given her to put her faith in me?
I sit up and rub my head and feel my eyes blur as I come to terms with the fact that all I’d ever shown her was impulsivity, recklessness, and just plain stupidity. She would be home in two years and what would I have to offer her? Shit! Today’s her birthday. No fucking wonder I’d woken more pensive than usual, contemplating life’s fuck-ups and her…my only love. Lorraina was my center, my gravitational pull to this universe. Always had been.
What the hell?! She’s my world and I’d been partying my ass off for the last several years, acting like I had an infinite amount of time. Other than college, I’d completely wasted the last few years. She was twenty today, making me twenty-two. I’d say I was getting sentimental in my old age, but I’d always thought too much. It’s a blessing and a curse. Starting my Jeep up, I head for home.
Wasting away—that phrase hits me again and I immediately start a beat in my head and start forming some lyrics to tie that all together. I tap a rhythm on my steering wheel as I navigate the quiet streets, making a snap decision. I laugh at myself. Let’s face it, do I ever make any other kind of decision?!
Making my way to the tattoo parlor, as I always do when I have some kind of revelation in my life, I know what I have to do. No more women, no more drinking, no more fighting, no more tearing shit up, no more weed…OK, maybe a little bit of weed. Can’t go cold turkey on everything all at once. Wouldn’t want to spontaneously combust. So I’m gonna increase my physical activities to have some kind of release and control. Go to school, go to work, stay my ass out of trouble, out of jail. Make myself the best I can possibly be and wait for Lorraina to finish school and move home. I can do all that.
I hop out of my Jeep and make my way into the tattoo parlor, hoping Brody is here.
“Hey, Mike,” Chris greets me. “What’s up, man?”
“Need some ink, man. I’ve got life-altering decisions that need to be commemorated. Brody here?”
Chris snickers at me. “Aw…shit, man. Yeah, he’s in the back. ‘Bout to take off, I think.”
“This won’t take long. It’s simple. Tell Brody, I’ll dedicate a song to him tomorrow night if he’ll get out here so I can get tatted up,” I joke.
I wait for Brody, sketching out my idea on the pad by the phone. This sketch looks like shit due to the fact that I’ve got the shakes. I better let Brody design this one for me. I snort. He’s gonna shit a brick when I let him do that.
My mood turns sober as I consider the significance of what I’m about to get permanently etched over my heart even though it has been permanently etched in my heart for years. I close my eyes as I send Lorraina my birthday wish. Whatever you’re doing, Lorraina, I wish you all the happiness you can muster out of this life…It won’t be long, babe, and I’ll be the one contributing to your happiness. We’re not gonna let each other waste away.

*Kim's note about excerpt: I loved getting to see Michael have an epiphany and decide to get his life back together for Lorraina and how he ended up with the tattoo...

Lynetta says this is the song playing in Michael's head during this scene.

The Story by 30 Seconds to Mars.

It's funny how life does that to you. You have a plan and dreams and desires. Then, in a flash, all that can change. All that you thought you wanted dissipates and you're left with what you needed. Never knew you needed but, nonetheless, did.

I am kind of at a loss and really affected after reading this book. Some parts were sweet, some were frustrating, some were heartwarming, and some were painful. And I really did not see the twist coming.
Lorraina and Michael were best friends since she was in eighth grade and he was madly in love with her and always knew what he wanted.  He was pushy and she was scared and would never admit to having feelings for him. There were underlying family and personal issues and she always considered him off limits. 

They parted and meet again years later. But a lot has changed. Lorraina has grown up, has had problems to deal with, and realizes what she threw away. And Michael has been working on his own positive life changes. Their reconnection is sweet and heart felt. I enjoyed them together.  They were truly soul mates and helped each other in so many ways. They really were not complete and were unhappy without each other and were truly meant to be. I really liked Michael Bang. He was sincere, passionate, loving, and sure of what he wanted. He did have some demons and tragedies to overcome but he was honest about it. And his love for Lorraina was unwavering and he was not afraid to say it or show it. 

"Lorraina, you had to have known that I was bluffing when I acted like I was over you. I have your initials tattooed on my arm. I have your face tattooed in my brain. I have your soul tattooed in my heart."

"I loved you yesterday.  I love you today.  I'll love you tomorrow....forever."

Lorraina was very skittish and unsure when younger. The more he pushed, the more she pulled away.  She was just not ready to deal with all that Michael wanted of her when she was younger. As an adult, she also had skeletons in her closet and  was more open and willing to share herself and her feelings. Michael inspired her in many ways. 

"Because you were the best friend I'd ever had. Because your intensity scared me. Because I was so young and I wasn't ready...Because I was in love with you."

It is told in present day with flashbacks through her journal entries. I have to say that the build up in the beginning seemed to take awhile to get to their meeting as adults as we were learning so much about the past. I was seriously in such anticipation by the time it finally happened. I had some issues with the dialogue and I am not even sure how to describe them. I guess the young Michael seemed too eloquent at times a when he spoke. But I did really like him and his intensity and his strong feelings that never waned. And Lorraina sometimes seemed to still be a little immature even as adult especially with her sneaking around behavior. However,  in other ways she had grown and was more open.

But the feelings and the needs of this couple were there. They were wonderful, sweet, and passionate  together.  I loved some of the romantic gestures and them relearning about each other. For the most part things were good for them, but they still had a few issues to over come. 

"Something perfect,  flawless made that way through transformation."

But then all of a sudden near the end of the book I was completely blind sided. Seriously, my mouth dropped open. So I am sitting here as I write this not sure what to even think or feel about it now that it is over. 
This book was definitely different and the story itself was beautiful in a lot of ways. There were themes of redemption, faith, true love and tragedy. It will surely be a story and characters that I will not easily forget. 

Thanks to Lynetta Halat for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Lynetta Halat Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads
For as long as she can remember, Lynetta Halat has lived to read and has written countless stories and plays since she was a young girl. A teacher by day and an avid reader and closet writer by night, she has always dreamt of penning books that people could connect with and remember; and her first novel, Every Rose, is the perfect catalyst to launch her into the world of publishing. Her love of the English language prompted her to pursue a master's degree in English from Old Dominion University in Virginia. A self-proclaimed “Coast Girl,” she lives in Mississippi with her adorable husband, two amazing sons, and two loveable dogs. She is currently at work on her second book.

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  1. Beautiful review, Kim! Thank you so much for taking a chance on this newbie!! Here's the song playing in Michael's head..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SOB4M2jydE

  2. Great. I added it to my post! Thanks for doing the fab bonus scene for us.


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