Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Saving Jason by EJ Hanagan (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Goddess Fish Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Saving Jason by Author EJ Hanagan!

Author Guest Post

Inspiration For Saving Jason

My debut novel, Saving Jason, depicts the strain that PTSD can cause on a family and relationships. Jason Barnes, the main character, is a combat veteran who suffers from severe PTSD. The story is told from two different perspectives-one is his current girlfriend and the other is his ex-wife. While Jason appears to be a free spirit with an upbeat personality, the reader gains insight to the anguish that silently haunts him. As the story unfolds, Jason’s secrets surface and you learn that there are always different sides to a story and it takes every character in the novel to ultimately save Jason.

Having been in the military myself, I’ve had several friends experience the harsh realities of war and I’ve witnessed firsthand what it can do to a person. Those in combat forces are trained to be strong and always put on a brave face. They signed up to not only defend their country but also their fellow soldiers. Oftentimes even those with severe PTSD won’t admit their pain because that means that they will be taken off of a battlefield that they have built bonds on. In some sense, the combat itself is the easy part for them, but when they come home, it’s another story. They are thrown into a world of normalcy but their minds are still trying to dig through the turmoil of what they experienced in combat. An example of this is the 4th of July. While the rest of the country celebrates the 4th of July with fireworks and some delicious beer, these vets go into hiding as the sound of the blasts in the sky take them right back to the front line. While there are a lot of great organizations out there backing up PTSD education, it still somehow falls under the radar more than it should.

While PTSD has been the result of several wars, and has affected far too many soldiers, it has slipped under the radar because the world has yet to have a firsthand glimpse into how it alters families and relationships. My hope is that Saving Jason will contribute to helping educate the world on this hot topic while also offering a fictional escape for fiction lovers.

About The Author

EJ Hanagan writes women’s fiction with a focus on strong female characters. An emotionally-moving look at PTSD and the intersection of three lives forever changed, Saving Jason is a riveting glimpse into lives intertwined, unexpected friendships, and the ripples we leave without our knowledge.

EJ is a fitness fanatic, obsessive reader and animal lover. She currently lives in a sleepy little beach town just outside of Boston with her husband, their new aughter, and the family’s two giant Newfoundland dogs. After spending four years in the Air Force, she put her fire for fitness to good use and worked as a personal trainer while attending college. EJ credits the amazing, brave people she met in the military for giving her the passion and focus to raise awareness for veterans with PTSD. Her hope is to bring the invisible scars of war to the surface through her writing and community involvement.

You can learn more about EJ, her books, and her charity work at


Book Review

Saving Jason by EJ Hanagan
Publisher: Booktrope
Publication Date: August 29, 2014
Format: Paperback - 220 pages
             Kindle - 988 KB
ISBN: 978-1620155127
Genre: Women's Fiction

BY THE BOOK: Saving Jason

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Book Description:

Jason Barnes is a free spirit. Underneath that fun-loving surface lurks a severe case of PTSD, his personal souvenir from the war on terror. After his young marriage breaks up, he bounces from girlfriend to girlfriend, never allowing himself to get too close, all while maintaining a friendship with his ex-wife, Samantha Colton.

Everything changes when he meets Abby Jacobsen, a smart and sassy artist – but with love comes jealousy, and Abby doesn’t stand for Jason’s cozy friendship with Samantha. Two hours after a heated argument causes Jason to storm out of their apartment, Abby receives a phone call from the intensive care unit of a New Hampshire hospital. The hospital walls close in on Abby and Samantha as they are forced to make tough decisions while trying hard not to kill each other. The two form a rare bond when Emma Jane, Jason’s mom, arrives on the scene. Three weeks after Jason’s accident, Abby is left alone and hovering over a handful of positive pregnancy tests. During her pregnancy, Abby works with Samantha to dig up clues of Jason’s past. As the truth is discovered, their worlds are irreversibly changed.

An emotionally-moving look at PTSD and the intersection of three lives, Saving Jason is a riveting glimpse into unexpected friendships and the ripples we leave without our knowledge.

Book Excerpt:

It seldom rains in southern California, which is why the balmy, wet air had struck me that day as a sign that something was about to go terribly wrong. I wound and dipped along the winding road of Camp Pendleton, taking the turns more slowly than ever before. Although I had driven this route a thousand times in the past two years, I felt the need to go more slowly, to prolong saying goodbye to Jason. As soon as I pulled into the entrance labeled “Location of Departure,” a million emotions invaded me all at once, and the tears began to trickle, ever so gently down my cheeks.

“Alright, this is it.” Jason, far too happy to be going off to war, said as he leaned in for one sweet, subtle goodbye kiss. Opening the back door of our tiny VW Golf, Jason retrieved his pack and hauled it on his back effortlessly as I met him on the passenger side of the car. I remember the sound of the wet, rocky dirt crunching beneath my feet. Knowing Jason all too well, I tried to avoid a sappy emotional goodbye scene. Instead, I gathered a last bit of strength and wrapped my arms around him. Burying my face in his freshly issued desert camouflage uniform, I allowed a few tears to slip out, leaving them behind on his collar as if to send him off with a piece of me.

“I love you. I'll be fine. Remember, this is what I was trained to do. This is what I signed up for.” He enveloped my face in his strong, callused hands.

"Just don't die, okay? Promise me that. Promise me."

"I promise you. I love you always.” I love you always: the four words we so conveniently passed back and forth since we first started dating. The four words that served as a goodbye on all phone calls and somehow managed to cure all our disagreements.

My Book Review:

In her debut novel, Saving Jason, author EJ Hanagan weaves an emotional story about a military vet who suffers from PTSD, and the two women in his life who come together and form an unlikely bond of friendship when he suffers a serious injury.

Military veteran Jason Barnes' returns home with a severe case of PTSD that ultimately wrecks his marriage. Underneath the free-spirit exterior is a man who silently suffers from the anguish and pain from his front line experience abroad. Jason storms out of his apartment after a heated exchange with his girlfriend Abby over his continued friendship with ex-wife Samantha Colton, only to get into an accident with serious injuries that leaves him in a coma. Jason's injuries force the two women in his life to come together and form an unlikely bond that will change their lives forever.

Told in the alternating first person narrative by ex-wife Samantha Colton and current girlfriend Abby Jacobsen, the reader is easily drawn into Jason's story. This is a riveting story of how three lives are unexpectedly interwoven through a tragic condition that affects each of them in different ways, and how they learn to pull together and cope with it. While Samantha and Abby are very different women, they have one thing in common, their shared love for Jason. It is this shared love for Jason that brings them together, and their relationship ultimately evolves into an unlikely and lovely friendship.

Author EJ Hanagan calls upon her past personal military experience and her tireless passion to raise awareness for military veterans with PTSD, to weave a breathtakingly inspirational and realistic story that pulls at the heart strings and stirs the soul. The author provides the reader with a thoughtful and eye-opening insight into the tragic and complex dynamics of PTSD, and the havoc that it causes to the person afflicted, as well as how this disorder affects their relationships with their loved ones.

Saving Jason is a touching and poignant story that takes the reader on a haunting journey where they will experience the full gamut of emotions. This is an amazing story that reads very much like a Nicholas Sparks novel, I could easily see it being made into a Lifetime or Hallmark Channel tv movie.


Contest Giveaway

Win A $50 Starbucks Gift Card

Author EJ Hanagan will be awarding a $50 Starbucks GC to a randomly selected winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

The tour dates can be found here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

Blurb Blitz (promo only):
November 3: Our Wolves Den
November 4: Coffee Books and Art
November 5: Deal Sharing Aunt
November 6: Booklover Sue
November 7: It's Raining Books
November 10: StarAngels' Reviews
November 11: Welcome to My World of Dreams
November 12: Straight from the Library
November 13: Bunny's Review
November 14: Undercover Book Reviews - review

Standard tour (Interviews/Posts):
November 17: Long and Short Reviews
November 18: Jersey Girl Book Reviews - review
November 18: booknerd - review
November 19: The Book Review - review
November 20: Musings and Ramblings
November 20: Untamed Spirit
November 21: Beer, Books and More


  1. Replies
    1. Hi EJ! Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. :)

    2. Thank you Kathleen! I truly appreciate this.

  2. Replies
    1. Hi Rita! Thank you for stopping by and posting your kind comment. :)

    2. Rita, thank you so much! I hope you enjoy the book and if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer!