Monday, February 2, 2015

Guest Blog: Help Me Move On by Angie Hemmings


My name is Angie Hemmings and I write romance novels.  I write what I want to read and to say I'm an avid reader really doesn't do it justice.  I love to pick up a book and be drawn in by the characters and the story that leads them down this path whether its finding love or fighting for the right to love. 

Today I'm not talking about me but rather Ally and the music that inspired the first half of Help Me Move On.

Ally Walker is not just any leading lady she's the girl you went to school with, the girl you were probably best friends with and she's anything but perfect.  When we first meet Ally a song plays, a song that I can hear as I read that first chapter.  Angel, by Sara McLachlan played pretty much on repeat that first chapter as we watch Ally walking to the grave where her fiancé is about to be laid to rest.  She never realized how far she had strayed, how focused she had become on the materistic possessions that led her to a fight with the man she loved…until she lost him.  The casket is brought through the rain as a town mourns the loss of a hero and all the while Ally sits in that green covered chair forced to remember the mistakes that led to that last fight.  The guns fire and her heart breaks, the casket lowers into the ground and she feels apart of herself dying.

How do you move on from loosing your first and only love?

It's a question that Ally can't find an answer to and yet she has Isaiah, her fiancé's best friend sent to her by Eric to help her.  Isaiah becomes her best friend, her confidant, any need that she has he feels but at the end of the day he isn't Eric.  He takes her away to Uganda to fulfill a dream she had shared with Eric and he held her when she cried, but that hole in her heart was never filled.  When they come back from Uganda the next song begins.

Breathe Again, by Sara Bareilles plays as Ally looks up at her home, climbing from Isaiah's car she runs up the stairs and into the house she grew up in, the house she shares with her grandma and in that moment we know…everything's about to change.  The moment she steps into her house the air is different, her heart skipping its beat and her breath coming to a stop when he follows her grandma into the room.

Colton Walker is not what she expected to find in her living room when she first comes home and from the moment he touches her hand she can feel something she had never felt before…even with Eric.  Eric was her first love, he was everything she thought she would ever need or want but when she meets Colton it's like she's breathing again, like she's waking up from this horrible nightmare that had become her life and when she opens her eyes she's looking at this man with longer brown hair and blue eyes that manage to see right through her. 

The next time Ally sees Colton is at a welcome home party, a party when the next pivotal moment takes place and when we hear the song that is the central theme to Help Me Move On.  Ally lives in a small town in the south and as anyone from the south knows, we all love a good party, and Ally is no different.  Ally loves to dance and she loves to have fun with her friends but when the next song begins to play she realizes just how alone she really is.

Holding Out For A Hero, as sung by Ella Mae Bowen begins to play and that hole in her heart begins to ache, watching her friends pairing off and knowing she's alone.  She starts to leave that dance floor only to feel that same pull she felt the first day she met Colton Walker.  When he pulls her into his arms its like she's coming home all over again, that ache in her chest not so all consuming.  As strong and independent as Ally may be she's still a woman and she wants what all women want, she wants to be loved, to have that person who completes you on every level.  It doesn't make you weak to want that, to want a love that completely overtakes everything that you ever thought you knew, a love that doesn't just heal a broken heart but changes your entire life.  When she looks into the eyes of Colton Walker she knows he's going to change her life and as the song plays she realizes that moving on isn't necessarily a bad thing but that maybe she just needs help.

Now, Ally's strength is something that I love about her.  She's not your everyday girl, she's strong and she can protect herself.  She trains in Krav Maga and her trainer, Isaiah, is anything but easy when it comes to preparing her.  It's almost as though he's preparing her for war the way he literally attacks her and forces her to fight her way free.  Ally's life is simple really, she goes to work and she comes home to her grandma but as her relationship with Colton develops more and more questions are asked and they're questions she can't answer…questions Isaiah won't answer.  Questions like why does a girl from Pilot Mountain, a town where many people still leave their front doors unlocked, need to know such a details form of self defense?

Ignore the elephant in the room, it's easier to do that than actually face the truth.

I know many people, including myself who have done just that and Ally does as well, only ignoring the danger that seems to hang over her comes back to haunt her the day she walks into her home to find everything has changed.  To have to fight for you life, to have to leave someone that you love behind knowing it was the only way to save their life is not an easy thing for her to do…but she does.  She runs, she fights, and when she thinks all is lost, when the fight has left her she finds him.

The last song that I'll be discussing today still makes me cry when I listen to it.  To have to fight for your life, to be covered in bruises and cuts from a battle that you didn't ask for, a battle unprovoked, she finds herself with the one man who can take it all away.  Standing in his bathroom, her dress is torn and dirty, her feet covered in sand and pebbles from the creek we watch the last straw fall and the song begins.

Be Still, by The Fray plays as Ally's strength crumbles.  It isn't Isaiah that comforts her as she falls apart, it isn't Isaiah who calms the panic attack that threatens to overcome her but rather it's Colton.  It's Colton's hands who run along her arms, her waist, her legs.  Colton's arms that pull her into the shower and Colton's love that wraps around her as he washes away the dirt and blood from a fight she never saw coming.  Ally realizes in this moment, as this song plays, her true feelings for Colton Walker and this realization is a turning point in her life.

Little does she know falling in love could cause a firestorm to erupt in her life.

Help Me Move On
The Southern Ties Series
Book 1 
Angie Hemmings 

Genre: Romance      
ISBN: 978-1502871800 

Number of pages: 248 
Word Count: 81079 

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.

Available at Amazon
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. 


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