Today we’re having tea with Amber Stokes and talking about her debut novel, Bleeding Heart, an Inspirational Historical Romance. We’re sitting at a small wooden table amid the scents of cinnamon, butter and yeast in the Mended Heart Bakery. Please join us as we munch on heart-shaped cookies (with my homemade plum jam in the centers) and sip White Pomegranate tea from the Queen Mary Tea Shop. This tea seems fitting with the colors featured on the enchanting cover of Bleeding Heart, which was designed with Lena Goldfinch. The cover truly evokes the wistful feeling of this story. Please be sure to look for the charming giveaway items (and the entry form) near the end of my post.
About Bleeding Heart:
“Five bleeding hearts. One profound journey.
Sally Clay’s livelihood has been snatched away, but in its place arises an opportunity to escape from her sordid past and an unrelenting, unwanted suitor. Boarding a train with a heartsick rancher and an enigmatic miner, she leaves Virginia City behind and heads to Northern California, waiting for the chance to make right what went wrong three long years before.
But the road to revenge is far from smooth. Sally soon learns that the jagged pieces of a broken heart can far too easily wound the hearts of others – and hers isn’t the only heart that’s broken. Tragedy and fear dog her steps as she flees from the redwood forests to the high desert and back again. Will her bleeding heart ever find a way and a place to heal?
A desperate soiled dove. Three men who come to care for her. One man determined to claim her.
All on a journey that will show them what true love really involves.
Inspirational Historical Romance
To purchase Bleeding Heart: Amazon Purchase Link (Kindle Edition)
This is a fun website with more information about Bleeding Heart.
Many bloggers have included great interviews and reviews about Bleeding Heart. I think you’d enjoy visiting the other blogs. Each one is different, giving a bit more insight into the book.
Blog Tour Page: http://www.bleedingheartnovel.blogspot.com/p/blog-tour.html
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT BLEEDING HEART:
Bleeding Heart, Amber Stokes’ debut historical novel, will take you on an epic journey. You will travel to the old west mining towns of Nevada, to the lumber camps of California and to the landscapes of Oregon. You will experience the journey of developing relationships, both enduring friendships and evolving love. This is not a light inspirational romance. It is a story with shattering heartache, but shows the maturing qualities of love and of faith. To me, this is a story of friendship—those people God puts in our paths to enrich our lives and to encourage our sacrifice for others. I cared for the characters as they struggled with the consequences of their decisions. I’m hoping for future stories of these characters’ continuing lives. Amber Stokes is an author who creates fascinating characters and will deliver more great stories with emotional depth. Wonderful debut novel!
NOW FOR MY CHAT WITH AMBER. I’LL POUR YOU ANOTHER CUP OF TEA AND PLEASE TAKE ANOTHER HEART COOKIE AS WE TALK ABOUT BLEEDING HEART.
SHERIDA: Amber, this is an amazing debut novel! How did you get the glimmer of the idea for Bleeding Heart?
AMBER: When I finished my first book (Forget Me Not – not yet published), I wasn’t ready to face edits, so I decided to just dive into a sequel. The “glimmer” came from a spurned suitor, a prostitute in a short but pivotal scene, and a secondary character who wanted to be involved in another story – all from book 1. I threw them together, tried to incorporate some advice given to me in the form of feedback for book 1 (from my dad and editor, namely), and then let the title I had chosen help guide the story. And that was the start of Bleeding Heart! It ended up taking some rather intense turns from there…
SHERIDA: Interesting that the “sequel” was published before the first book. (And Amber tells us that Forget Me Not will be published and is already listed on Goodreads. Yay!) Amber, you are a very busy person! So tell us, what do you do to keep the “sparkle” while you are writing?
AMBER: I suppose it varies, depending on the writing “season” I’m in! What helped me to keep the sparkle as I came to the end of the first draft of Bleeding Heart was being involved in a writing challenge (Seekerville’s “Speedbo” in March) and doing #1K1Hr sessions with other writers on Twitter (where we try to write 1,000 words in an hour).
What helped me when I was working on completing the first draft of Forget Me Not was sending e-mails to a dear blogging friend with writing updates. Her enthusiastic feedback and encouragement for new scenes truly helped to motivate me.
In both cases, it seems like having goals, both short-term and long-term, really have helped me get stuff done. Imagine that! *wink*
SHERIDA: I agree that writing friends really help keep us motivated. (Seekerville’s Speedbo was great encouragement for my WIP, also.) Beyond family, friends and your writing career, what jewel of a moment has God placed in your path during your life’s journey that you would share with us?
AMBER: My first semester of college, I did something very spontaneous. I was stressed with school work to do, practices for the musical I was in (just a small chorus part – but we still had to know all the group dances and such), and just the newness of being away from home for so long, on my own. So one Sunday night I bought a train ticket. It wasn’t for the destination – I just picked a spot in Washington state (I went to school in Salem, Oregon) that would allow me to have a day trip somewhere and back. While I probably could have been more responsible and picked a weekend date where I wouldn’t miss any classes or practices, I was still blessed by the experience – just me and God, on a train trip to nowhere that turned out to be refreshing, a jewel of a memory that I cherish. It was during that trip that I wrote the poem “Seasons of Humility,” which I ended up choosing as the title for my blog when I started it several months later. That poem has ended up shaping my blog and, to some degree, my business and my writing brand. It’s so cool that God can use little moments in big ways in a person’s life! And those little “jewels” God generously provides can really help us keep a proper perspective on it all, I believe.
SHERIDA: Amber, it is always interesting to hear of those “God moments” we have in our lives. Train travel seems perfect for quiet reflection when we need to enjoy the journey. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and blessings with us today! Bleeding Heart is an amazing debut book. I’m looking forward to Forget Me Not!
About Amber Stokes:
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 her debut novel, Bleeding Heart.
Amber is doing a fun giveaway with the charming items shown in the picture below (plus a signed copy of the print edition of her book when it is available-soon). She picked items representing scene locations mentioned in her book. (The giveaway is for one US resident only.)
“Journey to the West” Giveaway! One U.S. resident (randomly drawn) will receive a signed copy of Bleeding Heart and a collection of items from the story’s settings, handpicked by the author.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you for joining Amber and me for tea today. Hope you enjoyed the additional information about Bleeding Heart. Please leave a comment with your thoughts.
And here is a “shout out” to my dear friend, HH. I’m so pleased you’re enjoying my TUESDAY TEA posts! 🙂
The cookie recipe can be found at www.allrecipes.com and then search for Easy Valentine Sandwich Cookies. (They are yummy cookies!)
The White Pomegranate tea is from www.QueenMaryTea.com. (It’s one of my favorite tea shops.)
I was generously given an e-ARC of Bleeding Heart for my honest review. (Thanks, Amber!)