St. Patrick’s Day: Books, and food, and stories, oh my!

I love St. Patrick’s Day. :) The food, the traditions, everything about it. I have not participated in all of it, such as green beer or the area St. Patty’s Day fun runs, but I’m right there with the corned beef and cabbage in the crock pot; Irish soda bread; and, for some strange reason, “Freaky Friday”, with Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis.

I can also, very happily, now add Amber Stokes’ “Bellflower” and “Fairy Slippers” to that list! These two short stories, retellings of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Cinderella” respectively, are books 0.5 and 2.5 in her The Heart’s Spring series; “Bellflower” gives unique insight into Rufus, the villain from “Bleeding Heart” (YAY), while “Fairy Slippers” features another familiar face – Zachary Taylor, the mining-town cook.

Even better: this combo is available for only $0.99 right now, and Forget Me Not is available FREE 3/17-3/21. Get your copies of Bellflower: Plus Fairy Slippers, a Bonus Short Story (The Heart’s Spring) and Forget Me Not (The Heart’s Spring) today.

About the Book
“The Heart’s Spring” Short-Story Combo eBook

BELLFLOWER: Short Story Prequel to Forget Me Not

Spring 1880

Annabelle knows only one way of life. Jacob knows only one way to feel secure. When their paths cross in a Western mining town, can they find a way for love to bloom? Discover the story behind two hurting hearts in this short but sweet retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

FAIRY SLIPPERS: Bonus Short Story Companion to Bleeding Heart

Spring 1888

Margaret is fragile. Zachary is tough. Both are lonely. Will a dance in a redwood lumber town bring them together—or drive them apart forever? Discover the continuing story of the cook from Bleeding Heart in this short but sweet retelling of Cinderella.
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About the Author
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 for books as a freelance editor/publicist and self-published author.

My Two Cents:
I immensely enjoyed both stories, for very different reasons. Bellflower is, of course, the perfect insight into a villain’s soul and just the backstory that I wanted to read about for Rufus. It added a great deal of complexity to a character I already enjoy WAY too much!

I also enjoyed reading Jacob and Annabelle’s backstory. They are secondary characters in Forget Me Not, and the extra detail of how they came together and fell in love was a treat.

Fairy Slippers, alternately, is all about Zachary Taylor. I’ll admit that while I’d enjoyed his character in the other Heart’s Spring books, I hadn’t given him much more than a passing glance – until now. I’m sure that part of it is the foodie in me – but I. Loved. This. Guy. And apparently the way to my heart is through MY stomach! ;-)

From the struggles he faces finding butter to cook with (WIN!), to the sweet expressions of frustration (“Oh, flapjacks!”), I was chuckling all the way through the story – full on laughing out loud at some points.

Both Bellflower and Fairy Slippers are quick reads – under an hour total – but chock full of intrigue, history, and, of course, butter. Five stars. :)

In celebration of Fairy Slippers’ first appearance in a published ebook, Amber is giving away a horse & carriage beaded bookmark from Belle on a Budget—so one lucky reader can enjoy a bit of Cinderella charm! The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, and you can enter using the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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One comment

  1. Amber Stokes says:

    Meagan, your review is making me smile wide! :D Of course, you know I’m thrilled you enjoyed Bellflower, as you helped inspire the plot with the addition of Rufus! (Thank you so much for that!) I felt like everything really came together with Rufus’s back story – helping me see why he was so determined to have Sally, and how choices can have such far-reaching consequences. (Joe… </3)

    As for Fairy Slippers, I love that you loved Zachary's character! It was really fun getting into his mindset and going with the whole butter theme, haha. ;) He likes to pretend he's tough stuff with his war experiences, but he's such a big softy… Hehe.

    Thank you for this post – totally brightened my day!

    ~Amber

    P.S. We love St. Patrick's Day, too! My grandpa came over for a dinner of corned beef and cabbage last night (although I kind of skip the cabbage part, LOL), and we had a little mint (read: green) frosted cake for dessert. Tonight my sister has an Irish dance performance, to boot!

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