Sunday, February 9, 2014

Conclusion of the Forget Me Not Blog Tour!

This has been a fun week (and sort of a crazy month)! I'm always so blessed by those who are willing to help me spread the word about my writing. It was wonderful being able to share behind-the-scenes info on my writing and publishing journey, talk about some great shows/movies (like Bonanza and The Journey of Natty Gann), and read all the thoughtful reviews for Forget Me Not. But before I get to the acknowledgements, I've got a winner announcement and an update!

(I'm including some quote pics from Forget Me Not throughout the post. The pics are ones I took in Virginia City, Nevada and edited via PicMonkey. If you've read Forget Me Not, do feel free to share a favorite quote in the comments section, if you have one! I'd love to hear what lines stood out to you.)


Winner!

I was very excited when I decided on the giveaway prizes for this tour. Besides a signed paperback copy of Forget Me Not once it's available, I ordered a DVD copy of The Journey of Natty Gann and "Barton Hollow" by The Civil Wars on CD. The movie is near and dear to my heart, as it includes one of my fictional crushes, and it very much made an impression on my teenage self. I'm in love with "journeys"! Plus, the music is gorgeous, the ending is really touching, and there are trains. Can't go wrong there! As for the CD, a couple of the songs from there are included on the Forget Me Not "soundtrack" (I mean, you can't get a more fitting song than one titled "Forget Me Not"!). Plus, I realized that there are actually a few more songs on this CD version than the MP3 album I have - sweet!

All that to say, even if you weren't the winner, I do hope you'll check out The Journey of Natty Gann (keeping in mind that there is some language and violence) and "Barton Hollow," as I love both! And, of course, I'd love it if you picked up a copy of Forget Me Not, too. ;)

And the winner is...

AMBER M!

Congratulations, Amber! (Sounds like I'm congratulating myself, LOL.) Be on the lookout for my e-mail. I hope you enjoy your "unforgettable journey" prize package!


Update

You might have already seen this yesterday, but I signed up for DOOM - a NaNoWriMo-ish challenge to write 50,000 words in two months. My goal is to have the first draft of Morning Glory completed by May. I've already started researching, brainstorming, and working on some pieces to include in the story, but I think I better start getting some actual writing done. ;) You can track my progress via the StoryToolz widget in the sidebar!

What else? Well, I'll hopefully be sharing another companion short story this spring - Fairy Slippers, which is about Zachary Taylor after Bleeding Heart. So I'll be busy the next few months writing and editing and all that jazz! Hoping I can find a good balance between working on this series and keeping up with my freelance business, reading/reviewing, working for my dad, and other aspects of my life. And then after I wrap up this series (at least for the time being), I hope to share with you about another project in a different genre that I want to pursue...

Want to stay in the loop about all of my writing and publishing adventures? I'd love to have you follow "The Heart's Spring" series blog and sign up for my author newsletter! I'm sure you'll still hear the basics here, but you'll get all the sneak peeks, extras, and compiled news via those two outlets. Hope to see you there!


Acknowledgements

Special thanks to Melanie, Miranda, Lydia, Brooke, Meagan, Molly, Kara, Rissi, Alyssa, Rachel, Jamie, Grace, Rachelle, Tammy, Jillian, Faye, Abbi, Audrey, Amber, Grace, Julie, Sherida, Carissa, and Anne Elisabeth. There would've been no blog tour without you - but more than that, there would be little or no buzz or excitement or support for my books in the blogosphere without you. I'm so grateful for each of you! Thank you for all you do to encourage me and share my books with others. ♥

(If you want to revisit any of the interviews, guest posts, or reviews, you can find links archived on the Forget Me Not site.)

The fun is far from over! Beyond my writing projects, I also have several publicity projects for clients coming soon. You can check out the blog tour pages for two of them (upper right, below header). And of course there should be reviews, life updates, and more headed your way... So stay tuned, old followers and new! A new season is upon us.

10 comments:

Cindy V said...

Congratulation again, Amber, for such a fantastic accomplishment! Here's hoping you'll have many more books to come! I wish you every success with Forget Me Not.

Buckley Bergdorf said...

Holy Catnip, Aunt Amber, us cats sure like the train picture. Every Christmas our Mom puts a little train in her "It's a Wonderful Life" village. Bogey and I like to jump into the village and push that train around. It's so much fun. Hope you have just as much fun with your new book. We're hard at work on book number three here. Whew. Wish we could get our Mom to type more . . .

hannah1318 said...

"Forgotten. The word came on bursts of air like the pulsing smoke of a departing train. The feeling of being left behind was never assuaged."

I loved how you opened the book with such vivid word pictures. I really empathized with David through out the book

Amber Stokes said...

Cindy,

Thank you so much for the kind words! *Hugs* Wishing you all kinds of success with your awesome books, as well! :)

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Buckley,

Thanks so much! I LOVE trains! That was a pic from our last family trip to Virginia City, Nevada, although I enhanced the color and such when I added the quote. :)

And that's so neat! My uncle generally puts up an "It's a Wonderful" life village in my grandparents' home around Christmastime, as well. Bet you and Bogey do have a lot of fun with that. ;)

Excited to hear you're hard at work on Book 3! Can't wait to hear more! :)

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Hannah,

So glad to hear you liked the opening! That line was adapted from one in the first draft:

"The soft wind blew steadily, like the pulse of the smoke from a train engine, forcing him to realize how stationary he was."

In the first draft, the story started with David at his cabin - a prologue with a bunch of back story that was followed by several chapters of Elizabeth's life in Kansas (I decided to move her to Colorado in the final version, though!) before the river scene, which was also a bit different. Yeah, Part 1 of the first draft definitely needed some help. ;) But I wanted to keep that line in some form or fashion - the idea of it, anyway - as I recall one of my blogging friends who read the first draft commented on it. There was some imagery I wanted to make sure I incorporated in the final draft. :)

And as much as I sympathized with Elizabeth and poured a lot of myself into her, it really is just as much David's story, isn't it? In some ways, it's even more his story, in terms of the theme and how it all begins and ends... I'm so happy you empathized with him, as he's dear to my heart, being my first real hero and all. :)

~Amber

Rissi said...

Congrats to Amber M. for the giveaway win. SO fun.

Best of luck to YOU Amber with this new challenge you've entered to get a first Morning Glory draft written. Hope all goes well with this. Thanks for all the hard work and heart you've put into these stories and for sharing them with us - we're honored to be a small part of creating buzz for this series. :)

Amber Stokes said...

Rissi,

Always fun announcing winners and sending out the prize packages! :)

Thank you so much for the kind words and encouragement, dear friend. You are so sweet to thank me - I'm grateful for you and all you do to help create that buzz! *Hugs*

~Amber

Sherida Stewart said...

Amber, the pictures with quotes are beautiful!

My favorite take-away passage from Forget Me Not: “Should we ever forget those we’ve loved? Maybe our paths will never cross with them again, but can’t we still be grateful for the depth they added to our lives?” She shrugged. “Surely God allowed us to love them for a reason. Right?" It is special to know this is one of your favorites.

Thank you for including me in your blog tour. Wishing you great success and progress as you write Morning Glory.

Congratulations to Amber M!

Amber Stokes said...

Sherida,

Thank you so much! The pictures were edited in PicMonkey, so the colors were enhanced for a couple of them. But still. ;) Virginia City really does have its own sort of beauty!

I'm so glad you liked that passage. :) And thank you for being a part of the tour, and for your encouragement! Looking forward to sharing Morning Glory in the not-too-distant future, Lord willing!

~Amber