Thursday, November 7, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Heart Breaths by K.K. Hendin

RELEASE DATE: November 5, 2013

After a tragedy nearly ripped 21 year old Madeline Darlington-Gray’s life in half, she's spent the past three years trying to put the pieces back together. But pieces never just fit back together, and when she's betrayed by those she trusts, everything crumbles. Shoving everything she owns into the trunk of her car, Maddie drives south, trying to run from her past.

Eno, North Carolina seems like the perfect place to hide. Working at a local café is light years from Maddie's Manhattan existence and for the first time in a while, she's finding her family. There's Grandma, the café owner; Samantha, the hairstylist next door with plans to make Maddie's life unsuck and Noie, the three year old girl who's stolen Maddie's heart.

And then there’s Gabriel Mendez, Noie’s single dad. He’s intrigued Maddie since the first time she met him, and while he has his own secrets, he wants more from her than just friendship. But the past never stays past, and all too soon, Maddie realizes she can't hide from hers. If she can't put the pieces of her shattered life together this time, she'll have no hope for a future.

A future she desperately wants.

Get it here: Amazon


:sniffle: I have to stop reading books with so many feels because this amount of tears over a book can not be healthy. I'm not even someone who will cry this easy so when I say a book made me cry, I consider that a credit to how awesome it really turned out. The story of Maddie Darlington-Gray was so heart breaking that I couldn't possibly hold it together throughout the whole story. However, the little ray of sunshine came in the form one adorable little girl named Noie and her tall, dark and handsome father Gabriel. The whole town of Eno, North Carolina is really to be credited with how much Maddie's life turns around in the pages of Heart Breaths and is a shining example of how people should be treated, no matter the hardships they have endured in the past.

Maddie herself is such a strong and beautiful character that you almost didn't need all the other amazing characters around her, but I am so happy the author made them so amazing! Coming from a rich and affluent family, it was so jarringly brutal the way her family treated her from the time she got pregnant at fifteen all the way through the end of this book. The amount of grief and heartache that Maddie had to suffer through was hard to read about and her amount of self esteem is rock bottom low but coming to Eno and meeting these people really started to break down that hard wall she has around her heart and you saw her start to heal because of them.

I say start to heal because she obviously has a long road ahead of her to get over all the horrible things that happened in the past but it gave you the warm and fuzzies to see that transition start to happen and not just with Maddie either. Gabe has his own scars to get over and I can not wait to see how the two of them together can lean on one another to do just that, it's just going to take and hopefully another book to get there! This story was inspiring and uplifting right along with being heartbreaking and tear-jerking, and when a book can balance those two categories well, it shines brighter than most things I have read. I encourage you to take this journey with Maddie and dive into a book that just maybe teach you something about inner strength and the will to keep on living- My Opinion- Buy it!

About the author:
KK Hendin's real life ambition is to become a pink fluffy unicorn who dances with rainbows. But the schooling for that is all sorts of complicated, so until that gets sorted out, she'll just write. Preferably things with angst and love. And things that require chocolate.
She spends way too much time on Twitter, and rambles on occasion over at

Check her out:

Ever wonder what the author is thinking when they write all these touching love stories? Well, KK Hendin did me the honor of answering one question: What are the Top Ten things that inspired you while writing Heart Breaths?

  1. The Outer Banks, North Carolina: where the book is set. Winter in North Carolina is a desolate and magical experience. I would go back in a heartbeat.
  2. Toddlers: Noie is one of the main characters in HEART BREATHS. While I wasn’t teaching while I wrote the first draft of HEART BREATHS, I do teach preschool now, and have in the past. Writing Noie was combining the cutest parts of all my previous students.
  3. Coffee: Writer’s elixir :) There are some people who go out with their friends to get cocktails, but with our schedules, my friends and I go out for coffee. Some of my happiest moments with my friends are spent with a cup of coffee in my hand. Parts of HEART BREATHS were written in coffee shops, though not one nearly as fabulous as Grandma Evelyn’s.
  4. Music: Music is a big part of Maddie’s life- and the songs that are important to her in the book are songs that mean a lot to me, too. And just like Maddie, any time I hear the song “For Good”, I tear up. It’s one of my favorite friendship songs.
  5. Quiet: Not just external quiet, but quiet in your head. To go somewhere where you can hear yourself think, which is something Maddie did by moving down to North Carolina. It’s a little scary, turning off all distractions and just letting yourself listen to you, but it’s incredibly freeing.
  6. All things Southern: I’m not Southern, but I have a weakness for all things Southern- the people, the accents, the cities and towns there, country music… A lot of my HEART BREATHS playlist is country music. Fun KK fact: I had been listening to country music for a while before I convinced my siblings that it is more than Betsy the cow and girlfriends leaving with the trucks and such. To annoy them when they mocked my music, I used to play “Get Rhythm” by Johnny Cash. Because I could.
  7. My Friends: Maddie’s relationship with Sam, Mary Elizabeth and Hannah is partially taken from things that have happened with my friends. And yes, they are just as wonderful and weird as the girls are- if not more. *tackle hugs BFFs*We’ve never gone to a Honky Tonk, though… God only knows what would happen if we did… ;)
  8. Beaches: I actually went to school a few blocks away from the beach, and have spent many many hours sitting in the sand, watching the waves crash and watching the world turn. I didn’t write any of HEART BREATHS at the beach, though- my poor laptop never would have survived the sand.
  9. History: I am a history nerd. I love history for the same reason I love people watching- other people, regardless of when and where they lived, fascinate me. Incorporating OBX’s local history was entirely self-indulgent, because the story of The Lost Colony has fascinated me.
  10. Love: I am a hopeless romantic, I know. But the power of love-and more accurately, the courage it takes to take the plunge to love is one of the most beautiful things. *pats heart*


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