Today, I’m sharing reviews, blurbs, a guest blog, and interview with author Amber Miller. Feel free to join us, and learn a bit…
Hello! My name is Tiffany Stockton, but I publish under Amber Miller (a combination of my middle and maiden names). Margaret invited me here as a guest to be part of my 3-week blog tour promoting my first 2 books. I have to admit that coming up with topics to discuss without any leads or ideas isn’t easy. But with this blog, the title sparks ideas all their own.
There are definite times when my creativity can make me mad, and not in the “angry” sense of the word. Rather, it can take over my life and my focus until the ideas swimming in my head refuse to go away until they’re given a voice. And speaking of voices, as an author, I’ve always got them speaking to me. I hear them everywhere I go, and at times, they are difficult to ignore. It’s because of this that I’ve been considered a little ‘odd’ to those who are not writers or who aren’t creative and don’t understand.
But that’s all right. I don’t mind. As long as what I do brings joy to others through the creative process and the end result of books or stories that readers can treasure long after they read the last page, it’s all worth it to me.
For those of you who fall into the creative category, don’t let those non-creative folks steer you down a different path. You’ve been given a special gift, and that gift needs to be put to good use. Whether it’s writing, playing music, singing, drawing, designing, imagining or so many other options, don’t lose sight of your goals. Trust me. It’s more than worthwhile in the end.
Thanks, Margaret, for having me here. And thank you for spotlighting my books and me on this tour. Be blessed in your own “creative madness.” 🙂
rating: 5 of 5 stars
Amber Miller has a great work in this book. The story is just what it needs to be. Starting out with a tragedy that allows one to get their back up and spout all their reasons for not trusting in the Lord and to go through a process of healing and really seeing what the Lord is trying to do for them is so hard to put into words, and she did it. Reading this story of Raelene makes you take the time to look at what is going on in your own life. For me it makes me think about the comparison to English life of Jane Austen-types and the farmers in the early colonies. So many times I gripe about what strife I have, but in the end really none of it does compare to what God provides. Like Gustaf, God sits by silently waiting for us to open our eyes while we continually break his heart over and over again. This story had everything that it needed, and I’m so glad that I crossed over it in my life.
Tour Book title: Promises, Promises
Publisher: Barbour/Heartsong Presents
Release date: February 2008 through Heartsong Presents;
July 2008 to bookstores and online retailers
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Delaware Brides, book 1
Has God forsaken Raelene?
What kind of God would take a girl’s family and leave her alone in a wild land where women have no voice? When Gustaf Hanssen promises Raelene’s dying father that he will take care of her, he finds himself bound to her happiness, her success, and her well-being in ways he never imagined. To keep his word, must Gustaf really oversee all of Raelene’s affairs, find her a husband, and maintain her farm, while she does nothing but scorn him? Can God reach through Raelene’s pain and self-centeredness and give her the love that awaits, if only she will accept His will?
Innocence paired with wisdom beyond her years–
With these traits, Elanna Hanssen unwittingly captures the attentions of Major Madison Scott. Her honest desire to understand the war fascinates him, and he resolves to get to know this perspicacious young lady better. When he is called away to fight the French and the Indians, they begin a correspondence, cautiously baring their hearts to one another. Elanna has never known emotions like these before, but she is drawn to the integrity she sees in her major. When a writer for the first newspaper in the colony questions the major’s credentials and activities, however, will she allow her heart or her head to rule? Can true love grow over such distance and around such obstacles?
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Amber Miller is a talented and imaginative author who lives with her husband in beautiful Colorado Springs. They don’t have any children yet, but they do have a vivacious puppy named Roxie, who is half Border Collie and half Flat-Haired Retriever. Already nearing 65 pounds, she keeps them on their toes. And with her penchant for rising at 6am on the dot, Roxie is giving Amber and her husband a good taste of what it’s like to be parents. Amber has sold four books to the Heartsong Presents line of Barbour Publishing with the promise of two more before the end of the year. She is currently pursuing an expansion into trade-length historical fiction as well. Other writing credits include several writing articles for various publications, five short stories with Romancing the Christian Heart, and nine contributions to the book, 101 Ways to Romance Your Marriage. A born-again Christian since the age of seven, her faith in Christ has often sustained her through difficult experiences. She seeks to share that with others through her writing.
Read more about her at her web site: www.ambermiller.com.
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MJAC: Why did you choose the locale of Delaware for your story?
I spent about 25 years of my life living there. Throughout that time, I learned a lot about the significance of that little state. Too often, Delaware gets skipped in history books. Everyone knows about Philadelphia, Williamsburg, Valley Forge. But, not many know how critical Delaware was during the early start of the United States. I wanted to bring that out in a series of books. Plus, when I pitched the idea to Jim Peterson, he said in all 12 years (at the time) of the Heartsong Presents book club, no one had submitted a proposal with a Delaware setting. I knew I had a unique location, and I capitalized on that.
MJAC: My husband has Swedish ancestry, and it is difficult for me to know much about them. What made you choose that lineage for your characters and how did you know the right words to use?
The choice for ancestry was decided for me by the heritage of the people who settled Delaware. It was founded by the Dutch, then conquered by the Swedish, taken by the British, followed by the Swedish and back to the British again around the turn of the 18th century. Even though the British were in control at the time of my book, there were still families and communities of Swedes scattered throughout the area that’s now called Delaware.
There is a lot of rich Swedish history still evident in small areas of Delaware today, along with the town names that have remained. Making my hero Swedish and my heroine’s mother Swedish seemed a natural choice. As for the words, I researched the speech patterns through diaries and journals as well as direct translation of common phrases when I used specific complete sentences. Before long, I was so engrossed in Gustaf’s speech that it flowed seamlessly. It was a lot of fun to write.
I’m flattered that folks are loving the “real” sense of Gustaf’s speech and the genuine portrayal of the characters in Promises, Promises. That’s one of the highest compliments readers can give to a historical fiction author, or any author who portrays characters from a specific ancestry. Thank you! 🙂
MJAC: Losing one’s parents is an incredibly difficult circumstance. Why did you choose that to be the opening from the story? And what do you think you learned about yourself in writing it?
Having the immediate loss set the stage for Raelene blaming God and turning her back on Him. Wondering where God is when we hurt is a common question almost everyone has at some point in their lives. Had Raelene not been left alone, I don’t believe her pain would have been felt quite so strongly.
As for what I learned about myself? It was realizing that I have also asked the same questions Raelene has. Although I’ve never fully turned my back on God, I have had moments of doubt and frustration and even anger. Platitudes from other believers didn’t do anything for me. I needed evidence and I needed it shown to me. Having Gustaf demonstrate God’s presence and love and steadfastness, pushing through Raelene’s pain helped bring that out in the story,
MJAC: At times in this story, your main characters were so frustrated with each other. How well do you believe the non-spoken frustrations work toward our good in marital relationships versus the spoken to the heart?
At times, it’s best to remain quiet about frustrations, especially if they are miniscule and a direct result of a personal issue that can be solved by changing ourselves. But when an issue is something bigger than that, it needs to be spoken and brought to light so it can heal. Marriage is all about communication as well as give and take. It’s about learning to live together and accepting each other for who we are and where we are while gently encouraging each other to grow. There is no room for bitterness, resentment or long-term anger. If you allow any of those to fester, you’ll have a much bigger problem on your hands.
Amber Miller (writing as) – Author; Barbour Publishing
Web Designer – Eagle Designs (www.eagle-designs.com)
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE
July 7 – Margaret Daley (bio)
July 7 – Dawn Kinzer at From Dawn til Dusk, Musings of a Night Owl
July 8 – Donna Moore at Write by Faith
July 8 – Kim Woodhouse at God’s Grace, Love & Forgiveness
July 9 – Margaret Daley (interview)
July 9 – Amy Riley at The Friendly Book Nook
July 10 – Jenny Blake at Come Meet AusJenny
July 11 – Rose McCauley
July 11 – Shauna Sturge at The Coffee Stop ; Long and Short Reviews
July 12 – Carolyn Strawder at Quiet Time with Carolyn
July 14-19 – CAN! blog spotlight
July 14 – Martha Rogers at Martha Writes
July 15 – Leslie Sowell at A Little Bit of Sunlight
July 16 – Novel Journey / Novel Reviews
July 16 – CFBA blog tour date (various blogs)
July 17 – Eileen Astels at A Christian Romance Writer’s Journey
July 17 – Cheryl Wyatt at Squirrel’s Treehouse
July 17 – CFBA blog tour date (various blogs)
July 18 – Cara Putman at Cara’s Musings
July 18 – Tyora Moody at CB Reviews
July 18 – CFBA blog tour date (various blogs)
July 19 – Stacy Johnson at Vader’s Mom
July 21 – Camy Tang at Camy’s Loft
July 21 – Jennifer AlLee at Musings on This, That & The Other Thing –
July 21 – Trish Perry (interview)
July 22 – Cindy Woodsmall at the Plain Talk Blog
July 23 – Delia Latham at The Melody Within (review/interview)
July 24 – Margaret Chind at Creative Madness
July 25 – Delia Latham at The Melody Within (guest blogger)
July 25 – Christa Allan at Fictionary
July 26 – Paula Moldenhauer at Grace Reign