Blog Tour & Review | Red Dirt Road by Annie Rose Welch

November 11, 2013 | 2013, annie rose welch, blog tour, review / 0 Comments

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About Red Dirt Road

The Saving Angels Series continues…

A new cast is introduced, while journeys already taken start to merge with the present, leading you down the old Red Dirt Road.

Death has always seemed just one step behind Layla Hill, taking almost everyone she’s ever loved. After she loses the love of her life, Layla vows to never love again—how could she, when she’s a death magnet?

Trying to outrun fate traveling with her uncle Willie and his band, Layla meets Michael Roberts, a beautiful Irish boxer as gentle on the piano as he is brutal in the ring. He proves as relentless in life, fighting for a place in her world even as she pushes him away, trying to protect him from her killer tendencies.

But neither foresees the sinister presence waiting for Layla at the end of the Red Dirt Road.Review

OK .. OK .. OK!
Where to begin?! Let me start with how nervous I was to read this book, after reading the first book in the series, Marigny Street. With the way that book ended, I was left confused, wanting more, and quite heart-broken. And when I found the next book wasn’t going to be a continuation of the main characters in the first book, I was slightly devastated. Even though I heard there would be connections (more on that later) in this book, I felt somewhat better. BUT, with all of that being said, I wasn’t too eager to jump into Red Dirt Road… I wanted to take a little mental break because my heart was having trouble settling what I learned about book two.
Now that you heard my little bit about that, I did love this book, so very much! It is said that it could be read as a standalone, but I disagree, I think everyone should read Marigny Street before they dive into this one. Trust me, you’ll want to, you’ll just miss the connections completely and possibly be confused. The story was very different from the first one and the characters are very easy to love.
Layla … when does my heart not break for a character?! It definitely did for her and all of the losses she has suffered. She has so much healing to do and Michael helps her get there. Just like me, she can be a moody one and it change rather quickly. She’s just “sunshine & rainbows”. She thinks that death will always come those she love, so she constantly fights to stay clear of Michael. She cares about him too much, to lose him.

What is there to say about Michael? Literally, there’s so much, I don’t even know where to start! He’s a fierce, yet a gentle man. And a boxer, what’s not to love about this guy?! Don’t worry, there’s more to love about this guy. He genuinely cares about Layla and yes, the whole “love at first sight” concept, happened for the both of them. But the feeling is really strong and quite believable. He has a constant need to protect Layla, no matter how hard she tries to push him away. And she will just have to accept that!I loved all the other characters as well, they’re like their own little family and it’s funny, when they’re altogether. My favorite would have to be Madam Catalina, who was Layla’s fill-in grandmother and “spiritual advisor” (sure, why not? She just knows things!). And I would love to get a reading done by her and learn what my “mothering flower” is! That whole aspect was extremely intriguing and I loved what it did for the story.

I just want to take a brief moment to discuss something. There’s a part in the book, where he talks about boxing and why he does it. I was so in awe of the way it was described, almost like it’s a form of art. And most would never see it like that.  Annie, you did an amazing job writing that. I have no idea what actual boxers think of their sport, but I love the way you described it. All I ever think about, is the brutality of it is, and pain. For Michael, it’s something completely different. And I wish, I could share that whole little dialogue, but I want to everyone to experience it for themselves.
The ending … I definitely won’t give it away, but I was seriously walking on egg shells with anxiety, hoping it wouldn’t be the same as the first book. That would have seriously killed me … I was like, “I can’t go through another heartbreak so soon”. THANKFULLY, that wasn’t the case! THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I don’t think what I just said gives anything away, you’ll see!
I love this book and I really encourage everyone to read this series, I definitely can’t wait for the next book to come and see how the previous characters will show up!

Meet the Author

Born and raised in New Orleans, Annie has a habit of shortening her words and telling long stories. She speaks with a southern flair and cooks with it too. At the tender age of twenty- one, she hitched up her wagons (took her first plane ride) and moved out west to the big shake (California). Her writing career began one sleepless night when she imagined a gorgeous woman and a man with maniacal hair floating above her like lightening bugs falling from the sky. Curious about them, their story, and why they were floating around in her head, she sat down and penned (typed) her first novel, Marigny Street. A dream come true for her, she hasn’t stopped writing since. She loves a damn good love story, always has, no matter what the genre. She is particularly moved by imperfect love that in its own unique way is perfect, the notion of love at first sight, soul mates, and things that are generally out of the norm.

When she’s not writing she enjoys dabbling in photography and finding new, inspirational music to add to her collection. She currently (still) resides in the big shake (although her southern roots are calling her home) with her husband, daughter, and their two peculiar dogs, Boudreaux and Tabasco (who, call her crazy, bark with an accent).


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Red Dirt Road Dream Cast

Layla Hill/Maggie Grace
Layla was and will always be very special to me. I heard her before I imagined her. I could hear her deep, soulful voice (think Faith Hill meets Mavis Staples.). And as I got to know her, I fell for her childish sense of humor, her bravery, and her resiliency. After everything she had been through, what amazed me the most about her was her strength. Layla was powerful in ways that she never truly understood. I admired her, and as I got to know her better and took her journey with her, I wanted nothing more than for her to have the happy ending she deserved. I craved that for her. She was an inspiration to me, and to this day, when I feel my own life is not going as planned, I think of her. Somehow my day doesn’t seem as bad. I will always remember the youthful vibrancy I felt when I was writing her story. And that’s why I felt Maggie Grace would be the perfect choice to play Layla. There’s something about her that makes you think of sunshine and rainbows, but on the other hand, she seems like she could be tougher than nails.
Michael Roberts/ Scott Eastwood
Ahh, Michael. The Irish boxer who is just as magical on the piano as he is in the ring. I didn’t know what to expect from him at first. It’s a gorgeous phenomenon when the characters you hear in your head start to take physical form in your thoughts. In the beginning Michael was very quiet. At one point, I feared that I wouldn’t be able to finish the story because all those feelings he had for Layla were hidden away. I could feel them, but he was keeping silent. It wasn’t until the story started to unfold that his feelings, little by little, started to emerge and become louder with each turning page. That’s why I chose Scott Eastwood. He seems like a real man’s man. He’s a bit Dirty Harry (and yes, the man who played that iconic role is his father), but on the other hand, he seems like he could do something awesome in the kitchen if need be. He seems to have the potential to play it all. And that’s why I fell in love with Michael. Not only was he strong and almost indestructible, but he didn’t feel any less of a man because he was also gentle and loving.
Lizzy Gaines/ Julianne Hough:
Layla’s best friend and the perk in her day. Julianne Hough seemed like a no-brainer to me. It’s not in my nature to model characters after actors; most of my characters are shaped by… well, everyday people. So when I pick the actors I’d choose to portray them, I try to choose by personality. And there is something bouncy and energetic and vibrant about her—the same with Lizzy.
Andrew O’Doyle/ Garrett Hedlund
Michael’s best friend and Lizzy’s better half. Andrew balanced Lizzy’s extreme springy side. He is rugged and country and something about Garrett Hedlund screams that to me.
Seamus Rock/ Chris Owen:
Oh, Seamus. He’s tall and lanky and has fire-red hair and the shitest of luck when it comes to finding love. I thought of a million red-haired actors that could portray him, but when I came across Chris Owens (the actor, not the burlesque dancer from the New Orleans French Quarter), I thought he’d be the perfect Seamus. I think the hair and smirk say it all, don’t you?


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