Have you ever met a ninja? Well guess what? Amber is one. She might not describe it as that, but if you have any kind of belt in Jujitsu, that’s ninja status in my book. But besides that, there’s lots of awesomeness to Amber and I’m excited to have her stop by Books and Beverages for her blog tour to chat a little about her latest release Forget Me Not!
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?
1. Tell us more about the inspiration for this book. Did you always plan on having a prequel or was it something that came out of writing Bleeding Heart?
The prequel actually came first—I’m just publishing the series out of order, LOL! Forget Me Not was the first novel I ever finished. I was in college when I completed the first draft, and I thought it was amazing and ready to be queried. Turned out it needed more work than I was ready to face at the time, so I turned my attention to writing a sequel… And when I finished the sequel, the timing felt right. So I edited and published Bleeding Heart before I came around to editing Forget Me Not.
I think it all comes back to my “publisher’s” name, Seasons of a Story. The two books were in different seasons at different times, and I was in different seasons in my own life story when I finished each one. So that’s why Forget Me Not is now being promoted as a prequel!
As for the inspiration for the book, it came from different places: a revelation in my own life, a fascination with a place my family and I visited (Virginia City, NV), my own fears and longings, and my love of romantic journeys.
2. How was writing Forget Me Not different from Bleeding Heart?
The first draft of Forget Me Not was written over maybe about a 5-year period, while it was about a 2-year period for Bleeding Heart. Both came together at the end with some extra motivation: for Forget Me Not, it was a dear friend I’d met through blogging who let me send
her new scenes each week and encouraged me; for Bleeding Heart, it was participating in a writing challenge hosted by Seekerville called “Speedbo” (takes place in March, where you try to finish whatever manuscript you’re working on—I’m thinking I’ll need to participate this year for Book 3!).
There were some similarities in the writing process in that, while I have vague ideas of where I want things to go, I’m very much a “pantser” who lets the characters lead the way. Both were written without any real deadlines, so I just wrote in fits and starts. I guess the main difference came in the rewriting. I certainly had to edit Bleeding Heart (and I hired an editor and proofreader), but I left most of the scenes and storyline intact. Forget Me Not required more of an overhaul, because when I first started writing the book, I was a young teen just figuring out the story, so there was a lot of back-story dumping and plot elements that needed to be reworked. I ended up completely rewriting most of Part 1 this past December.
3. What’s something you hope readers come away with after reading this?
I hope readers take away a reassurance that God never forgets them, that He is at work for our good even when things are dark and difficult.
Sooo…I’m also kicking off a new blogger interview series and Amber was so kind to join in!
1. How long have you blogged? It will be four years this March—and it’s been an awesome adventure so far!
2. What’s your favorite genre (or at least one of them)? Historical romance. (Surprising, I know. ;))
3. What are you currently reading? At the time I’m responding to these interview questions, I’m reading The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen and Gentle Persuasion (Harlequin Heartwarming) by Cerella Sechrist.
4. What’s another blog you enjoy? (Doesn’t have to be book related) There are so many fabulous blogs out there! Just to name a couple, though, I really enjoy visiting StoryMonster (she doesn’t post super often, but I love seeing the latest humorous stories she’s drawn—and on a side note, her book Entwined is amazing!!), as well as Dreaming Under the Same Moon (not only does Rissi have great content, but everything is presented in such a lovely way!)
5. What’s something you enjoy outside of reading?
Besides writing books and editing books and publicizing books? 😉 Well, I love watching movies and spending time with my family (our current obsession is Mario Kart). And my aunt taught me how to knit hats this last fall, so I’ve had fun with that!
1. What is something about your life right now that you would have never imagined 5 years ago?
Being self-published! Five years ago I was a senior in high school… So I was still figuring out where I wanted to go to college and what I would wear to prom. 😉 Even while I was in college, though, and I finished my first draft of Forget Me Not, my plan was to send out query letters and land an agent or editor. I don’t even think I considered self-publishing to be an option. It wasn’t until I graduated from college and became a beta reader for the amazingly awesome Lena Goldfinch that the possibility of self-publishing my own work became not only real, but thrilling.
2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
The thing is, I’m not sure that even if I had the chance to do things over, I wouldn’t still end up doing things the way I had…but I wish I had spent even more time with my grandma and not been so afraid of facing and resolving issues within the family. I realized this last fall that things were going to change after my grandpa had a stroke and went to the hospital, but I had no idea I was going to lose my grandma so soon. I just wish we could have done more to make things comfortable and less stressful for her in her last years.
3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
There have been some big things that were really exciting for me: getting my black belt in Jujitsu after twelve years of classes and training, being valedictorian of my high school class, graduating with my bachelor’s degree, and publishing my first book. I cherish those milestones, for sure. But I think the happiest moments in my life have been the little things: solo train rides, canoeing under the stars with my mom, getting asked to dance, sitting and talking with my grandma, and all the moments I felt God’s presence in both good times and bad.
4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
To be honest, I sort of feel like I’m in that “next generation,” as I’m still trying to figure out how to be an adult and what I’m supposed to do to survive without letting my passions die, you know? I have a lot of things still left to learn, myself! But to those who are coming up after me, I would say keep the trials of life in perspective, don’t be afraid to try seemingly “big” or difficult things, strive for quality in all that you do, take the time to build relationships, and live your life, the one that’s God given you and guiding you in. And for all those Charlie Brown fans out there who might know what I’m talking about, I’ll add, “Feed your dog whenever he’s hungry.” 😉 (Not that I have a dog, but I’m sure it applies to cats, too!)
Where can we find you on the world wide web?
Twitter | Google + | Goodreads |Pinterest | Shelfari | LinkedIn
Seasons of Humility | The Borrowed Book blog (Mondays) | Editing Through the Seasons (business website)
Thank you so much Amber for stopping by! Be sure to say hello in the comments! And don’t miss out on the giveaway below!
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.