Sunday, November 24, 2013

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Better by S. Walden

~ Synopsis ~

Their relationship has been exposed, and now their lives are changed forever.

For Cadence Miller, the fast track to adulthood proves intimidating and frustrating. She’s a little girl lost—abandoned by her parents and uncertain of her future. She doesn’t think she “fits” anywhere. She’s eighteen. She wants to be older. And the result is both comical and heartbreaking.

Mark Connelly will do anything to provide Cadence a stable, loving home---to be her protector.  But he's just as broken and lost, and his heart won't let go of his past so easily.  He knows he must share his secret with Cadence.  And he hopes his revelation won't tear them apart.  He hopes it will draw them closer, and make their love better.

Good by S. Walden

Buy Links
~ Our Review ~
 3.5 Star Review by Jessica
Better is the second and final book in S. Walden’s Too Good series. It picks up where the first book, Good, left off. Mark and Cadence’s relationship is now out in the open and they must face what that means for them and adjust to living together and navigating a new life as a couple. Mark also has a secret he has been keeping from Cadence and that secret, and the aftermath of its revelation, are a major focus of this book.
Because I love you. Madly. You’ve infiltrated my brain. Driven me crazy.”
I’ve been looking forward to this book and really wanted to love it. I was so disappointed to find that I didn’t. My main issue with the book was Cadence. I understand that the author wanted to highlight the age difference between her and Mark and how their ages and experiences impact how they approach various situations. However, Cadence seems unusually immature for her age and her actions and words were like nails on a chalkboard to me. She frequently screams things when she is upset (which is often) and her “alter ego” was exceedingly unpleasant. Her personality is so grating that it was difficult for me to grasp why Mark is willing to risk and sacrifice so much to be with her.
Would that make you feel better? Because I need anything in the world right now to make you feel better.”
I have to say, I was also bothered by the frequent references to Cadence’s size. Now, I get that she’s petite. I’m vertically challenged myself, so that’s not a biggie. However, there are many instances where Mark describes her as “tiny” and as having a tiny voice, tiny hands, etc. When the reader is already grappling with a significant age different between the two characters, it just seems sort of creepy and makes Cadence appear even more childlike.
S. Walden is undeniably a gifted writer. Her phrasing is often lyrical and her cast of supporting characters, especially Dylan, Oliver, and Mrs. Connelly, add an extra dimension to the story. I particularly love her dialogue between Mark and Dylan; their friendship comes across as very “real.” I have a soft spot for Mark; although his devotion to Cadence doesn’t make total sense to me, he is consistently supportive and loving, and that makes him attractive.
I want to find a new, better place with you.”
If you enjoyed Good, the first book in the Too Good series, it is definitely worth it to give Better a try to see where Mark and Cadence end up. The epilogue was a highlight for me and I felt satisfied with the wrap-up to the series. I just wish overall the book had been…better.

~ Cocktails and Characters ~


Cranberry Martini
1 oz vodka
1/2 oz Cointreau orange liqueur
3 oz cranberry juice*
chopped ice
lemon slice, for zing and garnish


    1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker.

    2. Add ice so that the shaker is about a third full (ice plus ingredients).

    3. Shake for 20 seconds.

    4. Strain into a cocktail glass.

    5. Squeeze a couple of drops from the lemon slice into the glass, then garnish the side of the cocktail glass with the slice of lemon.

Why this Drink?

Cadence is the perfect mixture of sweet and tarty: good spirit mixed with sarcasm.

I quickly slid into a bench occupied by a young girl who huffed and smashed herself against the window.
That’s probably a good idea,” I said to her. “Bad decisions tend to be contagious.”


Harvey Wallbanger


1 ounce vodka

1/2 ounce Galliano

4 ounces Orange Juice

Fill a frosty highball glass with ice, then pour the vodka and orange juice over it, then float the Galliano on top.

Why this Drink?

Here’s your perfect throwback drink created in 1952. It exudes the hipster vibe. Totally Mark.

“Is it the clothes?”

“The clothes. Do I give off an independent vibe?” he asked, pushing his hand through his hair. It was sexy the way he did it, like he was slightly nervous but not altogether self-conscious. That’s the first time I ever saw Mr. Connelly act that way. Did I make him slightly nervous? I wouldn’t dare entertain the idea.




Jalapeno Passion Fruit Margarita


1 ounce jalapeño syrup (see below)

2 ounces tequila

1 ounce passion fruit juice

1 ounce fresh lime juice

Sugar and salt the rim of a cocktail glass.


  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.

  2. Shake and strain into your favorite glass.
  3. Garnish with lime.

  4. Jalapeno Syrup
You'll need 1 jalapeno pepper, diced, 1/4 cup suger, and 1/4 cup water.

In a small pan, combine the jalapenos, sugar, and water. Boil, then reduce heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Strain the syrup.

Why this Drink?

Avery is one sarcastic, tough chick with a spicy attitude. And a jalapeno passion margarita is one tough, spicy drink. I’m not sure if it’s sarcastic, though.

“No, fuck you, you little bitch. Start answering your fucking phone when people call you!”




Shirley Temple

8 oz Club soda (or 7-Up)
1 oz Grenadine syrup
1 Orange slice
1 Red maraschino cherry


Mix soda and grenadine syrup. Serve in tall glass with straw, garnished with orange and maraschino.

Why this Drink?

I don’t think this one needs much explanation. Would Gracie ever drink alcohol? Probably not. Is she sweet like a Shirley Temple? To everyone else but Cadence, yes. Is she annoying like Shirley Temple? Depends whether you think Shirley Temple is annoying.

“At least I’m a better Christian than you! I’ve never taken drugs! I’ve never robbed someone!”

~ Author Bio ~


S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. Her dreams include raising chickens and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast (chickens included). When she's not writing, she's thinking about it.

She loves her fans and loves to hear from them. Email her at and follow her blog at where you can get up-to-date information on her current projects.

Twitter: @swaldenauthor



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