Friday, July 6, 2012

A Peek Into A Blogger's Book Life: Interview 1- Amber Stokes

For the month of July, I've decided to do something a little out of the ordinary (at least, for this blog:). Each Friday, I'll introduce you to a wonderful person I've met on the Blogosphere and, hopefully, you'll enjoy the fun questions I've asked them concerning books. Hopefully, you'll also join in on the discussion we'll be having at the end of each interview.

Okay, on this first interview we'll get a peek into Amber Stokes "book life." Hope you enjoy it!


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Welcome to the CBRB, Amber! I’m so glad to have you here! What is your favorite genre?

Thank you so much for inviting me! It’s an honor to be here. =)

Generally, my favorite genre to read and to write is Christian Historical Romance. I’m glad I’m not limited to reading just one genre, though!

What is your all time favorite book?

Well, as cliché as it probably sounds, I really do have to say that my all time favorite book is the Bible. God’s word to us, full of the guidance and wisdom and grace that we need – it just can’t get any better than that!

As far as choosing a favorite fiction book, this really is a crazy-hard decision! I can tell you at least one of my favorites: The Redemption by MaryLu Tyndall. Historical romance with pirate flair first caught my attention in elementary school, when I read the “Buccaneers” series by Linda Lee Chaikin. Adventure and romance and purpose – I loved it! And then reading “The Legacy of the King’s Pirates” series by MaryLu Tyndall in high school… Talk about great books!

What character has stood the test of time?


Sherlock Holmes. OK, I’m definitely thinking of his character as it’s been portrayed not just in the stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, but in the new BBC modern-day television series. I love how unique and quirky and legendary his character is, and how he continues to fascinate us in the 21st century. I’ve been inspired to read some more of the original stories because of how much I love the BBC series!

What was the most boring book you've read?


Can I choose a book that I never finished? Because I know Moby Dick is a classic, but that book just goes on and on. In a blog post author Jonathan Rogers wrote that “Moby Dick is a book about whaling.” [Here’s the link to that blog post: http://jonathan-rogers.com/?p=1520.] Studying it for a literature class to try and find the symbolism and all that… Yeah, I just don’t know. I’m sure there’s some there. But it seems to be mostly a book about whaling with lots and lots of details regarding the subject!

Another book that seems to go on and on that I never finished? Great Expectations. (OK, I really shouldn’t be sharing this since I was an English major in college – but not every book is going to capture everyone’s attention, you know?)

What book has had the most BANG! ending?


One Christian fiction book that has a literal “BANG!” ending is Pompeii: City on Fire by T. L. Higley. I’m not a huge fan of volcanoes. (I seriously dislike the movie Dante’s Peak!) But I AM a huge fan of Higley’s work – and this book is another great one that brought a tear to my eye at the powerful ending.

A couple of vampire books that have kind of intense endings are the classic Dracula by Bram Stoker (I really did like this classic, LOL!) and Plain Fear: Forsaken by Leanna Ellis . (Leanna Ellis is a Christian author, but this vampire book is written for a secular audience, just to clarify.)

I also have to throw a YA fantasy series in here: the “Phantom Island” series by Krissi Dallas. All three books – Windchaser, Windfall, and Watercrossing (with more to come!) – have great, albeit sometimes frustrating, endings!

Which character has disgusted you the most?


Charity in A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman. I love that book, and it’s so emotionally absorbing that it’s easy to get super-frustrated with Charity and her shenanigans!!

Which character has been the Villain of Villains?


Hmmm… I could go with Iago in Othello or the two hateful daughters in King Lear (both plays by Shakespeare) – or even Moriarty, since I brought up Sherlock Holmes earlier. ;) But as far as Christian fiction goes, I’ll say the villains in Treasures of the North by Tracie Peterson and Snow Angel by Jamie Carie. I read Treasures of the North when I was younger, and that villain’s treachery adds a lot of suspense to the book – and makes the romance all the sweeter. Kind of the same thing in Snow Angel, actually. Books where the villain is completely obsessive and actively pursuing the heroine, which then causes the hero to shine all the brighter due to his true, sacrificing love… What can I say? I just really love a good romance story!

Okay, a really fun question: If you could choose one character to be your husband who would you choose?

Oh, that IS a fun question! Although it’s difficult to narrow it down, LOL! There are a few heroes that especially stand out to me: Jesse from Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond, Robert Cranwell from Chateau of Echoes by Siri Mitchell, Captain Merrick from The Redemption by MaryLu Tyndall, and Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (I confess I saw the PBS Masterpiece movie before I read the book, so I picture Henry looking like JJ Field). Jesse embodies tenderness and patience; Cranwell stands out to me as a mature, well-rounded, sweet, caring man; Captain Merrick is unswervingly loyal and incredibly dashing/charming; and Henry is intelligent and has a great sense of humor.

So… Can I get a man that has all of these traits?? ;) Of course, I think I’m also slightly biased toward my own characters in the works I’m writing. Maybe, if it’s the Lord’s will, I’ll get to introduce ya’ll to some of my heroes someday!

Last question: what is the ideal Christian fiction novel?


I think the ideal Christian fiction novel is one that has great characters – flawed but ultimately inspiring – and a great storyline with plenty of action and humor and romance (if it fits in the genre, of course!). But, most importantly, it should have an overall theme (usually emphasized through some specific element or scene) that inspires or challenges or encourages the reader to think more deeply about God’s truths, to embrace His promises, and to grow in godly characteristics (i.e.: understanding, patience, love, hope). Really, everything just has to come together into a well-written story that is authentic (that is, not “preachy”) and moving and powerful in its reminder of what it is to be human and how much we need God. It’s a tall order, for sure, but we ARE talking ideals here!

Thank you again for this opportunity to share my thoughts about books with you and your readers! You can learn more about me at my blog, “Seasons of Humility,” and on Twitter (@SeasonsHumility). [Link to my blog: http://seasonsofhumility.blogspot.com/]


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Okay, readers, it's your turn now. Today's question is, "What is your all time favorite book?" I'm eager to see your answers! Mine is- for now- For Time and Eternity by Allison Pittman. A PHENOMENAL story! So, what's yours? Do any of you share the same one(s) as Amber and I?

P.S. Amber is graciously offering a $10 Amazon gift-card to one blessed person who joins in on  the discussion. God willing, I'll announce the winner next Friday on the second post of this "A Peek Into A Blogger's Book Life" series.

20 comments:

  1. Thank you so much, Aizess, for hosting me here! :) The questions were really fun to answer, and this is a lovely place to be featured!

    God bless!

    ~Amber

    P.S. I haven't read For Time and Eternity, but I've heard good things about that series!

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  2. How fun to see this interview with Amber on here! Great getting to know your literary tastes a bit better ; -) I loved reading Sir Conan Doyle's stories in High School

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    1. Aww, thank you, Casey! :) I appreciate you stopping by!

      And yes, Doyle's stories are great, aren't they? :)

      ~Amber

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  3. Loved learning more about you, Amber! And Robert - I agree. Siri's Chateau of Echoes was the first book I reviewed when I started my blog. Glad you loved it, too :) Thanks for hosting, Aizess

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    1. Thank you, Rel!

      Ah, yes, about Robert Cranwell - glad you agree! ;) Isn't Chateau of Echoes such a great book?? I loved it! I got it from Casey through a book swap. ((Waving to Casey!))

      Thank you so much for stopping by, Rel! I know you're one super busy blogger, so that means a lot to me!

      ~Amber

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  4. Amber, you are the coolest!! So glad you were hosted on here as I love reading your blog - not just topics about books but about life too. And thanks for mentioning Phantom Island!! :) I have to say my favorite book (because it was always my fiction book that got the most re-reads) was an old Sweet Valley Twins book - a Christmas special one - where the twins received magical boy dolls for the Christmas and got sucked into a fantastical journey of romance and magic! Makes sense, I suppose, since I ended up writing my own series with similar themes later in life... LOL. And I'm glad to see some Christian fiction recommends since that is a genre I don't read much at all. (However, I'm with you, Amber - my Bible gets read the most and is my FAVORITE of all time.) :) Keep writing, girl!

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    1. Aww, Krissi, that's such a sweet compliment coming from someone as awesome as you!! :) I'm thrilled that you enjoy reading my blog!

      That Sweet Valley Twins book sounds great and definitely up your alley, LOL! Glad I could share some recommendations with you (I can share more if you ever want more!), and thank you for sharing your thoughts here, too! I'm blessed that you stopped by. :)

      Hoping to do some more #wordwars with ya'll soon - the last few days with learning to drive have been rather bumpy emotionally, LOL! And I really, really want to re-read the "Phantom Island" series again soon!! Summer is the perfect time to do it, so I hope within the next week I'll get on that!

      ~Amber

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  5. Amber! Very cool interview, my friend! I enjoyed reading your answers and have to agree with you when you said The Redemption was one of your favorites because it's one of mine too! Oh, and I could definitely see myself with a guy that has the traits you described in Merrick ;) I think if I could take MaryLu's Captain Merrick AND a little bit of Captain Rafe, Laura's Red Shirt AND a little bit of Colonel McLinn, Tamera's Marshal Wyatt Caradon and, last but certainly not least, Karen's Levi Grant, and roll them all together - I would have my dream man... *SIGH*

    Okay, back to reality! Lol ;) I loved that you chose the Bible - it's my favorite, too :)

    Amber, this interview was fun and I'm so glad you got to do it!!

    Aizess, our girl Amber certainly is wonderful and a great blessing to all who meet her! Thank you for hosting her here :)

    Blessings to you both!
    Amanda

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    1. So good to see you here, my friend! :) I'm glad you enjoyed the interview, and I'm glad we're agreed on The Redemption!!

      The dream man you describe sounds pretty wonderful, too! ;) I love Red Shirt!! And Captain Rafe... If you like him, I think you might like Morgan from Veil of Pearls... :) And Levi Grant - he's soooo sweet!! *Sigh* indeed!

      Thank you for your kindness and encouragement! I'm so grateful for your friendship! :) (And I could definitely say the same about you being a great blessing!!)

      ~Amber

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  6. Fun interview! I'm so with you on the Bible being my favorite book! It's the only book I can count on for absolute truth - always. But as for fiction, well, my favorite would probably be Uncharted by Angela Hunt. That was the most thought-provoking story I have ever read. While I love a good romance, the books that really catch my attention are the ones that let me learn some practical spiritual truth, or that kind of whack me upside the head a little with something I've been neglecting!

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    1. Thank you! :) And yes - I agree about the Bible!

      Uncharted sounds like an intriguing book! I looked it up on Goodreads, and that synopsis does catch my interest. :)

      I love your description of the books that catch your attention! Thanks for sharing!

      ~Amber

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  7. All time favorite book....that is hard...I have had so many favorites. I have some though that I re-read on a yearly basis....Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is one of those. Another one would be Celia Garth by Gwen Bristow.

    And I am with on Great Expectations....that book is awful!!! However, I actually enjoyed Moby Dick and read it more than once. martha(at)lclink(dot)com

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    1. Oh, I love Redeeming Love! That's a powerful book - one I should probably re-read sometime. :)

      Glad I'm not the only one who didn't quite get into Great Expectations. ;) Although I did see it as a play at Corban University, and I enjoyed it that way! And that's awesome that you liked Moby Dick! I should have devoted more time to reading it... But you have to admit it's a long book! ;)

      ~Amber

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  8. I vote for the Bible, too, as my favorite book. Maybe that is because it is actually 66 books in 1! Could it be considered the original anthology? Not only is it full of great stories, but it also is God's living word and is full of His love. Love supreme, suspense, encouragement, wisdom, poetry, wickedness---showing there is truly nothing new under the sun, and revelation of Who the winner is in the end...what more could one ask for in a book?

    As for Great Expectations, I had an English teacher who told the class that if you don't read any other book that Great Expectations is the one you must read.

    It would be too hard for me to pick another book besides the Bible as a favorite because there are many excellent books.

    I am glad I took the time to visit for a bit and meet up with Amber. Those were some great interview questions, Aizess!

    Blessings, Janice jsmithg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. That's a neat way of thinking about it - 66 books in 1, the best anthology ever! :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the Bible - that's so true that you couldn't ask for more in a book!

      And thank you for sharing your thoughts about Great Expectations, as well. :) Like some of my other required reading for classes, I probably should have invested more time in it! From seeing the play and reading some of it, however, I can see that it does have its merit. :)

      Didn't Aizess ask some fun questions?? I really enjoyed answering them - and I appreciate getting to meet you through your comment!

      ~Amber

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  9. Great interview!! I've never read Moby Dick or Great Expectations, but just looking at those VERY thick books already begins to bore me! :-P

    My all time favorite SERIES would be, without a doubt, Lisa Bergren's River of Time series. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!!!!!

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    1. Thank you, Katie!

      Hahaha, yes, I know the feeling! ;) Some classics are intimidating in their thickness! But I really did enjoy my Lit classes at Corban - they were awesome, overall! :)

      I'm not TOO surprised by your favorite series choice. ;) You must be Lisa's biggest fan!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      ~Amber

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  10. I have so many favorite books and authors but my all-time fav would probably be The River of Time Series by Lisa T. Bergren. Those are just EPIC!

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    1. Ah, another "River of Time" fan! ;) That is a pretty epic and intriguing series!

      Thanks for leaving a comment! :)

      ~Amber

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  11. For any person possibly checking back in: Katie McCurdy is the winner of the $10 Amazon.com gift card!! :)

    Congrats, Katie, and thank you again to everyone who left a comment!

    ~Amber

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