Friday, February 7, 2014

Forget Me Not by Amber Stokes BLOG TOUR, GUEST POST, REVIEW


Prequel to Bleeding Heart

Old hurts, new betrayals, and a love that survives them all...


Summer 1885

A startling revelation sends Elizabeth Lawson escaping into a stormy night - and tosses her into the arms of a young mountain man with secrets of his own. When he offers to take her to the Nevada mining town where her long-lost brother lives, she accepts. Suspicions and uncertainties are pushed aside as she struggles to forge a future for herself by meeting her past.

David has been hiding from his painful memories for years. The solitude and wildness of the Rocky Mountains are challenge and comfort enough for him - until Elizabeth's arrival. Fueled by anger and a sense of obligation, he strives to take control of his new situation...only to find control slipping from his grasp with each new emotion Elizabeth evokes in him.

When their journey leads them on unexpected paths, can two lonely hearts find the strength to remember the good amid the heartbreak?



  
About the Author:

Amber Stokes has a Bachelor of Science degree in English and a passion for the written word -
from blogging to writing poetry, short stories, and novels. After her brief time at college in Oregon, she is now back home among the redwoods of Northern California, living life one day at a time and pursuing her passion via freelance editing and self-publishing.
 






My Favorite Pastime Review:

From the very beginning I found myself turning page after page! I literally hated to leave the story that Amber has created! Each time I picked it up, because sadly this reader cannot read 24/7, I would once again be caught up in the setting and the characters lives. Amber truly has a gift for drawing the reader into her story and making it come alive amongst the pages. I loved David and Elizabeth’s story. If you have read Amber’s first published novel Bleeding Heart you will remember who they are. From that novel I wasn’t a fan of either character(David or Elizabeth), but now reading their story they were definitely destined to be together! I found Forget Me Not to be a tad bit lighter than Bleeding Heart which doesn’t translate into less drama or heartbreak, but was more of an introduction into some of the characters that we have already met in Bleeding Heart. David and Elizabeth are two hurting souls whose lives have been intertwined for many years and who are destined to be together for many more. Forget Me Not is the definite must-read prequel to Bleeding Heart. I have to also say that I am a definite fan of Amber’s writing and look forward to more books in her Heart’s Spring series.


 
GUEST POST:

A HERO FOR THE JOURNEY
By Amber Stokes

The Journey of Natty Gann is just what the title claims—it’s the story of one girl’s journey. The movie is about Natty and the challenges she faces on her quest to find the father who was forced to leave her behind for a time while he looked for work states away during the Great Depression. I find her adventures intriguing and thrilling, and the conclusion of it all incredibly touching.

And yet, there’s another particular element that especially endears the movie to me—the reason that, despite the language and violence, I fell in love with the story as a young teen. (Read: enamored, slightly obsessed, goofy-smile happy). His name is Harry.

Harry is a young hobo who meets up with Natty while riding the rails. He’s not in the movie nearly as much as I’d like, and yet, that makes the latter scenes with him that much sweeter. Here’s why I think Harry is hero-material... (Note that there are some spoilers to follow.)

~ He can’t help but be helpful. When Harry first meets Natty, he thinks she’s too na├»ve to be out roaming on her own. He scoffs at her attempts to act tough. Yet, even though he’s obviously shaking his head at her, he’s the one who steps up to help her get onto the train...the one who tells the other guys to leave her alone...the one who gives her tips on how to survive. A hero may have reservations about people and certainly won’t make perfect choices all the time, but he makes the effort to reach out and help the heroine (and others).

~ He takes risks and makes sacrifices. When Harry meets up with Natty again later on in the movie, he makes a great show of his reluctance to do anything for Natty. But she never even has to actually ask him for anything before he offers his food, then offers his protection as a travel companion. He watches out for her and, while being occasionally pushy, doesn’t pressure her. A hero is willing to do what’s best for the heroine, even if it means his own discomfort or peril.

~ He knowingly (and unknowingly) shares his heart. Harry’s sweetness shines through his gruffness/toughness when he takes the time to make himself vulnerable—sharing his story, voicing his desire to have her join him on the  next leg of his journey. And then there are the moments when he’s not trying, but his care and affection are obvious: a smile, a look, an arm around her... A hero’s heart for the heroine is obvious in the things he does and in the things he never realizes he’s doing.

I’d like to think these are some of the same characteristics that make David, the hero of Forget Me Not, hero-material, as well. After all, I know I was quite influenced by this movie at a young age. ;) David loves his life in the mountains, but he can’t help but make the effort to assist Elizabeth on her quest. Along the way, dangers arise and sacrifices must be made. And David allows himself to be vulnerable (at least some of the time) through his words and displays of affection.

One of the things my proofreader noted about Bellflower, the short story prequel to Forget Me Not, is that the hero asks instead of demands. I think Harry and David show that quality, too—a love that gives freedom rather than forces reciprocation.

Does that make these fictional heroes perfect? Ummm...no. They mess up—sometimes in big ways. But the heroines do, too. There’s a lot a heroine can learn with a hero along for the journey (and vice versa). And, of course, a romantic heart like mine loves a good hero joining the adventure. ;)

What do you believe makes a hero especially “swoon-worthy”? 

GIVEAWAY:

If you’d like a chance to “meet” Harry and see The Journey of Natty Gann for yourself, Amber is giving away a DVD copy during the blog tour! Be sure to enter the drawing via the Rafflecopter form below (U.S. residents only, please). 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the BLOG TOUR PAGE for more blogs hosting reviews, interviews and guest posts. 

10 comments:

  1. Your review is so encouraging, Julie! I'm so happy you loved David and Elizabeth's story. :) As I mentioned in my interview with Amber yesterday on The Wonderings of One Person:

    "I believe Bleeding Heart was a way for me to say, 'Thy will be done,' to God—to face the facts of a bleeding heart and still see God working in it and through it, and to see His offer of hope when it’s not what I expect it to look like. Forget Me Not, on the other hand, was an expression of my longings and a belief that God does give good things to His children. Writing the story allowed me to face my fears (forgetting and being forgotten being terrifying ones), and helped me to see that we shouldn’t forget the good of the past nor lose hope for good in the future. The story showed me that we all need understanding, and if we lose our way, reconciliation doesn’t have to be so far."

    (Hope you don't mind me just quoting my response!)

    Anyway, I really appreciate your review, and the chance to share about one of my fictional crushes here (two, if you count David!). ;) Thank you so much!

    ~Amber

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    1. Thanks for sharing Amber! I love it when an author tells what they themselves have gained or learned through writing a book. Loved the book, loved the post and am now looking forward to reading BELLFLOWER soon. Have a happy day!

      Julie

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  2. Great reviews! :) I'm convinced Amber's first book needs to be my next read.

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    1. Thanks Juju! I would suggest that now that both FORGET ME NOT and BLEEDING HEART are out that you start with FORGET ME NOT. Also hop on over to Amber's blog and sign up for her newsletter and get a copy of BELLFLOWER which is a short story about another character that we meet in BLEEDING HEART. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      Julie

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    2. Aww, that's very kind of you, Juju! :) From the order I wrote the books and readers' comments, I agree with Julie that if you could read Forget Me Not first, that would probably be best - but hopefully you'll enjoy them in whatever order you read them. :)

      I appreciate your kindness!

      ~Amber

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  3. In response to Amber's request to share an "incredible journey" in our life I just wanted to say isn't LIFE one big incredible journey? Never knowing where God is going to take us each day can be scary but we can rest in the assurance that he always has our best interest in his heart. An incredible journey in my life I have shared before was moving away from family to live half the country away from them. I never thought I would be happy away from family. Sure I miss them terribly, but God has provided us with a wonderful church family and wonderful friends. And now that our girls are grown up and my husband is retired this is our home and I'm hanging onto it until the Lord tells us it is time to move on again...after all, He didn't do such a bad job the last time ;)

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    1. So true, Julie!

      And thank you so much for sharing your experience. It is wonderful how God provides for us and turns things we're scared of into blessings in the end. :)

      ~Amber

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  4. Hi Julie, What a great review of Amber's book Forget Me Not. I really enjoyed it also and found myself turning those pages. smile Thanks for your wonderful support and for featuring another great read.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Sandra!

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    2. I'm so glad, Sandra, and I'm grateful for your kind support, as well. :)

      ~Amber

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