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.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Help Me Move On by Angie Hemmings (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Bewitching Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Help Me Move On by Author Angie Hemmings!

Author Guest Post

My Dream Cast For Help Me Move On

I’m Angie Hemmings, the author of Help Me Move On, and today’s focus is on the cast I came up with when writing Help Me Move On. The cast came first and let me just say it took a while before I knew I had the right cast. When I’m writing I have to be able to see them and I ended up with a collage of these characters who went from actors that I would get when I googled a certain characteristic. It’s strange how excited I would get when I finally figured out who would be who in this cast but here we go…

Ally(Allison) Dunn

Ally isn’t just your ordinary leading lady, she’s made mistakes that haunt her and she’s not just stronger than you think but she’s smarter than you’ll give her credit for. Like the fact she’s a better shot than most men and she can take down a man twice her size without the slightest effort.

Isaiah Atwood

Dream character doesn’t do this man justice. He’s calm and calculating, he’s too smart for his own good and all you’ll want to do is break him. Yes, I said break him. Break that perfectly calm exterior and get some real emotion to come out. Isaiah was so frustrating a character, so dark that I ended up with this series. It’s because I wanted Isaiah’s story to continue that this series exists and believe me when I say it only gets better because there are 3 Atwood men and they’ll each have a book!

Colton Walker

Who doesn’t want a sexy fireman as a boyfriend? Laid back, carefree, and strong enough to handle the mess that is Ally Walker. Colton can manage to cause her heartbeat to jump, her breath to halt, and all from walking in the room. He’s got longer brown hair that you want to run your fingers through and this scruff on his face like he didn’t want to bother shaving that morning. I don’t know though, calling Colton Walker sexy doesn’t really do him justice...I mean the man runs into burning buildings to save people!

Eric Thomas

Oh Eric...the fallen soldier who is everything Ally thought she would ever want. I opted for this specific picture simply because he’s hot. I mean lets be real here, it’s a romance novel so of course Ally’s going to be with a very hot man and Eric was exactly that. Eric is really a mystery because there are so many unanswered questions with his death. Now, a funny thing about Eric is I thought of this actor one day when an old episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer came on. Yeah I’m old school I suppose because I loved that show so of course I’d pick him as Ally’s first love.

Sadie Thomas

You’re going to probably love Sadie one minute and then you’ll hate her the next. She’s Ally’s best friend but she’s also Eric’s sister and I’ve put this girl through hell. She has the worst luck, the girl who gets new tires and then a flat on the way home. She’s gorgious but her insecurities lead her to not always being the nicest person. You know...the pretty girl who’s mean to everyone because she can. In Help Me Move On we see the early progression of Sadie’s development, her transition from being this carefree girl to finding what she thinks is her first love. I almost feel bad for Sadie because everything she thinks is right for her is the furthest from it.

Nate Lane

In Help Me Move On we meet Nate for the first time. He’s Colton’s best friend and he’s also Sadie’s love interest...for the moment at least. Nate’s just like Colton, a southern boy to the core and it’s through him that Sadie will begin a downward spiral. The only question left will be can she come back from the fall she’s about to take?

There you have it.

My dream cast for Help Me Move On, as used while I was writing and as I imagine every single time I reread this book. I’ve plastered these pictures on my desktop and my bedroom wall which my husband found comical but you have to do what works right?

About The Author

Angie Hemmings is a self-proclaimed romance addict. Her love for romance began at an early age but after years of reading romance novels she found herself wanting more which led to her first novel. She's originally from Mount Airy, a small town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and she loves the art behind creating a new story. Getting lost in the romance, the struggle between her characters is what makes Angie Hemmings continue her work and writing is what she loves.


Book Review

Help Me Move On by Angie Hemmings
Book 1: The Southern Ties Series
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: December 8, 2014
Format: Paperback - 251 pages
             Kindle - 660 KB
ISBN: 978-1502871800
Genre: Romance

BUY THE BOOK: Help Me Move On

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Bewitching Book Tours.

Book Description: 

Ally Dunn is a small town girl with big dreams planning a wedding that would never happen. Ally’s life revolved around being Eric’s wife…until she watched his best friend Isaiah step off that plane, his arm in a sling and Eric's casket behind him. Her grief consumed her, their last conversation not one filled with love but an argument over her favorite flower. He knew her favorite flower, he was just busy…fighting for his country. Isaiah made a promise to Eric, he would keep Ally safe even if that meant saving her from herself. Isaiah takes Ally away when her grief becomes too much but their return brings about something she never expected.

When Ally meets Colton Walker she knows her life will never be the same. She never planned to move on from Eric, the mere idea of moving on would send her into a panic. How do you move on from the man you loved, the man who shared your dreams, who made your heart feel whole? But Colton doesn’t push her, he doesn’t pressure her, he gives her everything she ever needed and he does it effortlessly.

Falling in love with Colton was like taking her next breath; she didn’t have to think about because it came naturally…only a cloud hangs over Ally. Isaiah trains her in Krav Maga, Eric trained her in gunfire. Colton sees all of this, asking the one question she can’t answer, why? Why would a woman who lives in such a small town need to know such aggressive self-defense? Isaiah vows to keep her safe, going so far as to track her every move…but why?

Surviving Eric’s death almost killed Ally, the hole in her heart never truly healed until Colton. Falling in love with Colton was easy, fighting for her life when everything she thought she knew was wrong…that was a completely different story.

Book Excerpt: my name’s Angie Hemmings and I’m the author of Help Me Move On, a book that takes place in the small town of Pilot Mountain. Today I wanted to give you an excerpt from the book that I still love. When I was writing this section I actually spent a lot of time in Pilot Mountain State Park to get a better feel for the area, for where Ally ran after she was attacked. Pilot Mountain is a very unique mountain but I think it’s beautiful which is why I chose a picture of the mountain as the cover for Help Me Move On. In the excerpt I’m providing we follow Ally on a day that started like any other day. All throughout Help Me Move On we watch as Ally tries to move past the death of her fiancè and we also watch her struggle with the black cloud that seems to hang over her. She knows that she’s in danger, she just doesn’t understand why and in this excerpt we start to see the reality of what is happening around her.


The long dry days brought about a wildfire that ravaged the hillside of Pilot Mountain State Park, taking up more of Colton's time than she would have preferred. He spent his time working with not only other counties but the state as they started control burns in an attempt to stop the devastating destruction of the state park.

She could see the smoke from the fires standing on her front porch, living close enough to the park that Isaiah had started trying to talk her and her grandmother into staying with him at his townhouse, convinced that they weren't safe in their house. The smell from the smoke lingered around the house, her grandmother burning sugar cookie scented tarts constantly in an attempt to keep the smoke smell from taking over their house.

"You don't have to come over," Ally held the phone to her ear, watching the smoke rise from around the edges of the mountain. She had pulled her hair up in a loose bun, wearing a bright blue, sleeveless summer dress that complimented her brown eyes and tan skin perfectly.

"You shouldn't be alone, not with the fires like they are," Isaiah said on the other end of the line.

Ally had just come home from a long day, the doctor and Sadie both not bothering to show up had left her with twice the patient load and not nearly enough help. She had skipped lunch just to get through the patients already scheduled for that day. Still, she was happy running the office.

"I could probably run to Colton if I wanted to. I promise you I'm fine." Ally unlocked the front door, the cool air from inside rushing out as she stepped in, closing the door behind her. "Honestly I just wanna take a shower and go to bed." She started to enter her alarm code, but the alarm had been turned off.

That's odd.

The run they had taken that morning had done a number on Ally. She had taken a fall in the woods, now the proud owner of two skinned knees and a bruised shoulder from Isaiah's attack. He took teaching her Krav Maga to a whole new level. But when she flipped him on the ground that morning, her fist stopping right before she broke his nose...made it all worth while. She loved it when she was able to beat him at his own game.

"Tomorrow I want you taking it easy, no running," Isaiah began, "you took a pretty good fall this morning."

She dropped her bag on the chair by the door, walking towards the kitchen. She could hear him walking around his townhouse, the sound of a baseball game in the background.

"I know," Ally said, turning to walk back towards her grandmothers room after finding the kitchen empty. "Just admit it, you need a day off to recover from me kicking your butt." Ally laughed, opening the door to an empty bedroom. She turned around heading up the stairs, her grandmother probably still out at the club. Since the summer started her grandmother had started attending an almost nightly bridge game with a few of her friends at the club. Ally tried telling her grandmother that she didn't want her staying away just because Ally was dating again, but she seemed determined to give Ally her "alone time," as she had put it.

"You did okay with that throw but it could be better," Isaiah said, although Ally knew for a fact he had to be sore.

"Come on over," She said with a laugh, opening the door to her room. "I'll kick your butt any day."

Ally walked into her room and stopped, the room nothing like she had left it that morning. Papers were thrown all over the floor from her desk, the bed stripped of its covers and everything scattered throughout her room.

"What the hell?"

A shot of pain ran through her head the moment a lamp hitting her from behind, her legs giving way from the impact. She cried out in pain when she landed on the hard floor, feeling the gash with her fingers as blood began to seep from the wound.

Ally lifted her head only to see a hand, pale and wrinkled laying lifelessly from behind the side of her bed. "No," she breathed, crawling forward and confronting what she feared the most.

Laying there by her bed was her grandmother's body.

She could hear the heavy footsteps behind her, rough hands jerking her body around, a man standing above her dressed in all black. She watched him reaching down and picking up her phone, hearing Isaiah yelling something into the phone before the man dropped the phone back to the ground, the steel heel of his boot crushing the phone.

"Whatever you want...just take it and leave us alone," Ally cried, looking back to where her grandmother lay.

The man reached down, grabbing Ally by her shoulders and jerking her up like a rag doll, slamming her down onto the purple seat that sat at the foot of her bed.

"Where is he Allison?" His voice was deep and hoarse, like he had spent his entire life chain smoking. He grabbed her arms, squeezing her with enough force to make her cry out in pain.

"Who are you talking about," she cried out.

"You know who," he said angrily, lifting his hand to strike her. He brought his hand down hard...but he did just as most men did and he underestimated her.

She grabbed his hand before he could strike, stabbing him in the eyes with her fingers and jumping to her feet, her knee jamming into the his groin. He yelled as he fell to the ground, Ally kicking his stomach with all the strength she could muster. She ran to her grandmothers side, feeling for her pulse and finding it weak and thready.

"Grandma," Ally cried, shaking her unconscious body, but her grandmother was out cold. Ally stood up, the man in black getting to his feet, pulling from his pocket a white zip tie. Ally shook her head, grabbing the small lamp by her beside and throwing it at his head. "You've messed with the wrong girl psycho."

The man lunged at Ally, but she dodged his attack delivering the perfect elbow strike to the back of his head knocking the man to the floor. She ran out of the room, only to stop at the top of the stairs. She looked down to see three men at the foot of her stairs...all dressed as the man now laying on the ground in her bedroom. They jumped into action, running up the stairs while Ally ran back into her room slamming the door shut. She ran into her bathroom, locking the door behind her and running to open the smaller window above her tub. She heard her bedroom door being knocked in as she crawled out the window. Her body fell against the hot tin roof, pulling her legs from the window when the door to her bathroom was kicked in, a man grabbing at her legs. She kicked at the man with all her might, breaking his hold and sliding down the roof towards the edge, praying to God she didn't break her ankle with the fall she was about to take. Holding onto the edge of the roof she dropped down, her dress ripping against one of the bushes in her grandmothers flower bed when she landed. She climbed out of the flower bed just as one of the men came out of the house.

"I got her," the man yelled, starting towards Ally.

She never looked back, sprinting towards the woods with the man following behind her. There were woods all around her property, the land nothing but hills and valleys. She ran through the woods like she had many times before, only she knew exactly where she was headed. She could hear her attacker, catching up with her.

She knew these woods well, running down the hill that led to the creek. She made it to the creek before he caught up to her, grabbing her arm and jerking her around, throwing her to the ground by the edge of the creek, sand covering her back and legs. Her feet laying in the creek bed, the cold water from the creek soaking her shoes as the man climbed on top of her.

"Stop fighting me," the man growled.

"LET ME GO!" She screamed at the man, twisting her body and throwing her elbow up into his stomach. He slapped her face before she could block him, cursing at her as he pulled out a white plastic tie.

Ally was still screaming, fighting to crawl away from his hold when she was able to grab one of the rocks lying on the creek bed. Holding it in her hand Ally went to smash it against his head, hitting his arm when he blocked her attack. The pain in his arm gave her the distraction she needed and she pushed him off her body, getting back to her feet only to start running up the hill and away from the creek.

She was closer now.

The smoke now thicker as she entered the controlled burn area. Her shoes were soaked like her dress, covered in both sand and blood. The throbbing in her head begged her to stop...but the adrenaline kept her going. It was later in the day, but the sun was still up, the trees casting shadows as she ran through the woods. The ground had already been burned from the fire that Colton had set, the trees charred but still standing.

Ally came upon an embankment, sliding down without a seconds thought, her skin screaming as the rocks and twigs scratched at her bare legs. She heard the gun go off, wood splintering from a tree beside her, but she knew better than to stop. She kept running, changing directions each time the gun fired.

She came to a clearing, finally reaching the burned area that was now just a charred wasteland. She looked back only long enough to see two men now behind her, both gaining on her as she ran.

She made it over another hill, the recently burned ground hot against the bottom of her feet and smoke still rising from the ground. She saw Colton's group ahead of her, but knew they couldn't hear her. She ran down the hill, gravity helping to pull her forward, her strength starting to leave her. She had run more than eight miles in the woods. Colton was at the bottom of the hill, surrounded by a group of men; all dressed in the yellow firemen gear and working on the controlled fire they were using to control the wildfires that were consuming the park.


She was screaming his name when the men grabbed her. They threw her to the ground, knocking the breath out of her already exhausted body. She looked down the hill screaming Colton's name until one of the men hit her with his fist, tying her wrists with the zip ties to keep her from hitting them again. They looked down the hill and she knew Colton had heard her.

"Where is he Allison," the man asked angrily, slapping her face with the back of his hand. He grabbed her shoulders, Ally crying out in pain as he shook her body violently. He pulled the gun from behind his back, pressing the barrel against her forehead. "Tell"

"Come on," the other man said to the man on top of her, tugging at his arm. "You know the rules man."

The man got up cursed at the other man, jerking Ally to her feet. "I'm not leaving her," the man spit at the other man before pressing the gun into her chest.

Ally was covered in dirt, her hands now bound and bleeding from the plastic biting the skin of her wrists, a gash above her eye, her cheek with another gash and her arms and legs covered in scratches. She looked at the man in black, sucking in a deep breath and spitting in his face as she grabbed at his mask.


The other man in black turned, running away and leaving Ally alone with the man who had attacked her. He stood there, his gun pressed to her chest.

"I know he's contacting you Allison."


She heard a motor from behind her, the man looking down at her with the blackest eyes she had ever seen.

"This isn't over," he spoke….

I’m including a link to the Pilot Mountain State Parks website where you can get a closer look at the mountain that started The Southern Ties Series. I think the setting is important when you look at the characters and how the story develops. In almost every book that I’ve read that’s actually made an impression on me it’s the setting that I picture. With Fifty Shades of Grey we see the Seattle skyline, with the Twilight Series it’s the mountains and coastline of Washington State. So with Help Me Move On my idea was to see Pilot Mountain.

My Book Review:

Help Me Move On is an intriguing romance story with a touch of mystery and suspense that follows a woman's journey to move on with her life after the military death of her fiance.

Set in the small town Pilot Mountain, NC, Ally Dunn was busy planning her wedding to Eric Thomas when he is unexpectedly killed while serving in the military. Ally struggles with the grief of losing Eric, but his best friend Isaiah Atwood has promised to keep her safe. Eric had taught Ally how to use a gun, and Isaiah teaches her self-defense ... but why would she need that in a small Southern town?

When Ally meets firefighter Colton Walker, sparks fly and a romantic relationship develops, one that she didn't think she'd have again after losing Eric. As Ally falls in love with Colton, her life gets complicated when dark secrets surface and danger is around the corner. Can Colton help Ally move on ... even when her life is in danger?

Help Me Move On was an interesting multi-layered and complicated romance story that easily drew me into Ally's story. The story takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride as they follow Ally's journey of moving on with her life after the death of her fiance. From unbearable grief to finding new love to deep secrets that puts Ally's life in danger, Help Me Move On has an intriguing mixture of heartache, romance, mystery, suspense, and danger that easily keeps the reader engaged and guessing what would happen next between Ally, Isaiah, and Colton.

I really enjoyed reading this multi-layered storyline, the mixture of romance and danger kept my interest, and when you add in the small town Southern setting and a cast of realistic characters who provided enough dramatic and spicy interactions that kept me turning the pages and wanting more, than you know that Help Me Move On will certainly whet the reader's appetite to read the future books in The Southern Ties Series.


Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

February 2 Guest Blog
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

February 3 Spotlight
Queen of All She Reads 

February 4 Spotlight
3 Partners in shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! 

February 6 Spotlight
The Bookish & The Romantic 

February 9 Interview
Books Direct 

February 10 Spotlight
Romantic Reads and Such 

February 11 Interview
Author Karen Swart

February 12 Character Interview
Eclipse Reviews 

February 13 Spotlight
Jody's Book Reviews, Giveaways & Tours 

February 16 Spotlight
Deb Sanders 

February 17 Interview
More Romance Please

February 18 Spotlight
Celebrating Authors 

February 19 Spotlight Books and Tales 

February 20 Guest blog and Review
Jersey Girl Book Reviews 

February 23 Review
Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock

February 24 Spotlight
A Night's Dream of Books 

February 25 Interview
Roxanne’s Realm 

February 26 Spotlight
Penny Writes 

February 27 Interview
happy tails and tales 

March 2 Spotlight and Review
Inner Goddess

No comments:

Post a Comment