About the Book:
Prequel to Bleeding Heart
Old hurts, new betrayals, and a love that survives them all…
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?
Inspirational Historical Romance
Book Website: http://forgetmenotnovel.blogspot.com/
Series Blog: http://theheartsspringseries.blogspot.com/
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.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about you.
A: Thank you so much for having me here! I’m a somewhat recent college grad (well, if going on two years can be considered “recent”!) who decided to return home with her degree in English and pursue her passion through freelance editing and self-publishing. To be honest, I’m still trying to figure things out and find the ever-elusive balance between doing what I love and learning little by little how to survive in this crazy world of adulthood. It’s an adventure. 😉
Q: Why did you choose to pursue the art of writing?
A: I grew up loving stories – from my mom reading to me as a little girl, to discovering the delights of chapter books and Christian fiction in elementary school. I guess that love for reading translated into a love for writing. I wrote a lot of poetry, and at one point I had aspirations to work for Hallmark and write their greeting card messages. 😉 I enjoyed giving poems to my family for special occasions, and their positive feedback and support meant so much.
In middle school I started thinking about writing a book. I attempted to write some contemporary stuff, which was pretty much just my daydreams on paper, LOL. At some point in early high school, I believe, the idea for Forget Me Not was born, which was sort of the “serious” turning point. I majored in English at Corban University and self-published my debut, Bleeding Heart, about one year after graduation. My writing journey has been a huge part of my life, and I feel blessed to have had my passion nurtured and to have been given opportunities to grow in it.
Q: What was the inspiration for Forget Me Not?
A: That’s a tough question to answer. It’s a very personal story, full of my emotions and fears and longings through the years. While it’s definitely a work of fiction, there are some similar situations and hopes I’ve experienced tucked into Elizabeth’s story.
On a more light-hearted note, movies like The Journey of Natty Gann (which I’m offering a copy of in the tour-wide giveaway!) inspired me, as well as visiting Virginia City, Nevada. I guess it all fueled my love of history and my desire to bring it to life in a romantic story of my own. 🙂
Q: What kept you going throughout the writing process?
A: I really believe it had to be God. I worked on the story off and on (very seldom) starting sometime in high school, and didn’t finish the first draft until my second year of college. It was the story of my heart from the time the idea first hit me, and it just stuck. It was the project I knew I wanted to complete.
I don’t tend to write very long things (and Forget Me Not as it is today attests to that!), so actually getting the novel done was a marvel. But people came into my life that encouraged/helped me either directly or indirectly—people like Amanda Stanley, a dear friend I met through blogging who let me send bits of the story to her as I wrote the latter half, and whose kind words and interest motivated me to finally finish the first draft. So it was the people who came alongside me, as well as the story itself—something that I really needed to work through and something I really needed to tell.
Q: Is there a singular character that really touched your heart and why?
A: Elizabeth (the heroine) is certainly dear to me, as I poured a lot of myself into her. (I seem to say that about a lot of my characters…) What I find interesting, though, is how much of Forget Me Not is really David’s story. As I was getting ready to approach rewrites, I even considered having Parts 1 and 3 be entirely (or almost entirely) in his POV. Initially, and perhaps even still, Elizabeth was the character I most associated with…but the theme of the story is most poignantly tied in with David’s character. There’s something about him and his journey—his struggle with feeling forgotten, facing his fears, learning to let go and to wait—that tugs at my heart.
Q: Can we expect to hear more from these characters in the near future?
A: Actually, the one neat thing about me publishing this series out of order is that the sequel (Bleeding Heart) is already available! 😉 It doesn’t feature Elizabeth and David, but it does feature some secondary characters from the book. And one of the secondary characters from both books will return in Book3 (Morning Glory), which I hope to release this summer!
Q: How has this story touched your life?
A: In so many ways! Writing the story allowed me to work through some of my thoughts and emotions. 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.
Beyond the story itself, working on the project was an exercise in patience and endurance. When I thought the story was ready nearly three years ago, I learned it wasn’t the right season, so I had to set it aside but still not completely give up on it. And even though this story wasn’t the first book I published, it’s characters have led to the creation of a series and launched me into the crazy but rewarding world of self-publishing. No matter how my writing might grow and change in years to come, Lord willing, I believe this story will always hold a very special place in my heart.
You can read my review for this beautiful story.
An “Unforgettable Journey” Giveaway!
Enter for the chance to win an epic entertainment package that includes a signed paperback copy of Forget Me Not, The Journey of Natty Gann on DVD, and “Barton Hollow” by The Civil Wars on CD.
The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.