Character Spotlight ~ Amber Stokes’ five bleeding hearts



Meet five wounded souls in

Amber Stokes’

historical romance

Bleeding Hearts


The Story

Five bleeding hearts. One profound journey.

Summer 1886

Sally Clay’s livelihood has been snatched away, but in its place arises an opportunity to escape from her sordid past and an unrelenting, unwanted suitor. Boarding a train with a heartsick rancher and an enigmatic miner, she leaves Virginia City behind and heads to Northern California, waiting for the chance to make right what went wrong three long years before.

But the road to revenge is far from smooth. Sally soon learns that the jagged pieces of a broken heart can far too easily wound the hearts of others – and hers isn’t the only heart that’s broken. Tragedy and fear dog her steps as she flees from the redwood forests to the high desert and back again. Will her bleeding heart ever find a way and a place to heal?

A desperate soiled dove. Three men who come to care for her. One man determined to claim her.

All on a journey that will show them what true love really involves.

Enjoy meeting Sally, Joe, Myghal, Seth, & Rufus

The tagline for Bleeding Heart is: “Five bleeding hearts. One profound journey.” So, if it’s not too much, I’d love to introduce you to those five bleeding hearts…

Brief physical description

Sally: Short and a bit curvy, with wavy blond hair and blue eyes. 20 years old at the start of the story.Sally from Cover for Character Spotlight

Joe: Medium build, with dirty-blond hair and a moustache. 23 years old.

Myghal: A redheaded Cornish man, tall and thin. 33 years old.

Seth: Joe’s older brother – a bit darker in countenance and hair color than Joe. 35 years old.

Rufus: Tall, with brown hair and hazel eyes. 44 years old.


Sally: The girl on the cover fits really well, except for the eye color. Also, Jodie Foster as Annabelle Bransford in the movie Maverick, although a bit younger (and no southern accent!).

Joe Clifton (Miles Tuck)


Joe: Scott Bairstow as Miles Tuck in Tuck Everlasting – not just in looks, but also in his gruffness and his broken heart.

Myghal: Michael Mahonen as Gus Pike in the Road to Avonlea series, but with red hair. I know this isn’t a super-close fit, but it’s more his wisdom, joviality, and fiddle-playing that remind me of Myghal.

Seth: John Newton as Cody Cullen in The Christmas Card. The dark hair, the serious demeanor, and the quiet strength of this character match Seth’s character.

Rufus: Frank Converse as Morgan Harris in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel. Refined, used to getting his own way, strong in personality, and rather handsome in a mature way.

Strengths and weaknesses 

Sally: Resilient – a survivor – but also very sensitive. (One reviewer called her a “fragile soul,” and I think that describes her well. But she still finds the courage to move forward.)

Joe: Outwardly, he’s very gruff and quick to pick an emotional fight. Inwardly, he cares deeply.

Myghal Tamblyn (Gus Pike)


Myghal: Thoughtful, wise, and willing to have fun. He’s often content to fade into the background, though.

Seth: He has his vices, and he doesn’t like change. When he’s tested, though, he’s able to embrace growth.

Rufus: Physically strong – a fighter in various senses of the word, who doesn’t back down from a challenge. His weakness? Sally (or anything that he can’t have).

Quirk (if any) 

Sally: She tosses her hair and falls back on flirting when the situation calls for it. Oh, and she sleepwalks…

Joe: Rubbing his moustache – I guess that sort of counts as a quirk. *wink*

Myghal: He has a very poetic soul, and he loves to play his fiddle. And his accent? It’s a little mixed-up, LOL. Some Irish from his mother, and some “western” he’s picked up since coming to America.

Seth Clifton (Cody Cullen)


Seth: He likes to smoke his pipe or a cigar in the evening.

Rufus: Everything is in “war” terms to him – including love – ever since the Confederates lost the War Between the States.

Your inspiration for the character 

Most of these characters were secondary characters in my first manuscript, Forget Me Not (which has not yet been published – but that might be one of my next projects!). Sally had a very brief scene in that book, but I wanted to explore her story more in Bleeding Heart. I ended up pouring a lot of my own emotions and questions into her. Joe was the spurned suitor from the first book, so I wanted to give him another experience with love. Myghal was introduced in the first book after I visited an archaeological site in Virginia City, where I learned that one of the highest streets back in the day (the city is built on a hillside) used to be where the Cornish miners lived. Had to include a Cornish character after that! But he’s definitely taken on a life of his own. *wink* And Seth (originally named John – but yeah, I had way too many J-names, LOL) was a rather somber character from book 1 with a Jewish wife. Since he runs the ranch he and Joe grew up on, he had to return in this book.

Rufus O'Daniel (Morgan Harris)


Rufus is a new character, inspired by the silver barons of the Comstock Lode and by a “definition” of love I wanted to explore.

Background to the story

Bleeding Heart was partly inspired by characters from my first book that needed their own stories. It was also inspired by my fascination with the American West and a logging town that’s faded back into the woods – all that’s left are some signs about the town along a trail and the remnants of a couple of buildings. And it was inspired by some of my own uncertainties and questions about heartbreak and love, things that I wanted to work through and explore.

Thanks Amber!

Relz Reviewz Extras
Review of Bleeding Heart
Amber’s Author Alert
Visit Amber’s blog
Visit the Bleeding Heart website
Buy Bleeding Heart at Amazon

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9 Responses to Character Spotlight ~ Amber Stokes’ five bleeding hearts

  1. Yay! A character spotlight on Amber’s sweet characters. Well done Rel and Amber. :)

    …and yay for the actor’s the characters resemble. Love most of them. 😉

  2. It’s truly an honor to see my characters featured on your blog, Rel. I always love your character spotlights, and it’s surreal to have one done for my debut. Thank you for introducing your readers to my bleeding hearts!


  3. I can tell I’d like Rufus (loved Morgan in Anne!). This was a fun spotlight and I’ve downloaded a sample on my Kindle, Amber–your writing is great! Looking forward to having time to read more!

    • Oh, Rufus… He certainly could have had some things going for him if he didn’t choose the route of a villain! I hope Rel doesn’t mind me saying this, but the one actor-pick she didn’t really agree with was his, LOL. I could totally see where it would be hard to look past the good charms of Morgan Harris’s character to see the connection! I love Morgan Harris, too. And I guess it was a bit of a stretch to connect him…but here’s what I wrote Rel in an e-mail:

      “I guess when I was thinking of actors to compare the characters to, I went not just for physical appearance, but also for a certain character they portrayed in a movie I’ve seen. Rufus is definitely not as gentlemanly as Morgan – but, if he was a kinder soul, his attitude and demeanor might share some similarities.”

      So…yeah, Rufus isn’t like Morgan in many ways, but there was enough in his demeanor and faults for me to try to make the connection. 😉

      Another fun fact about Rufus: My parents think my choice for his last name is hilarious because it reminds them of Pappy O’Daniel (from O Brother, Where Art Thou?) LOL.

      Anywho, I’m really glad you enjoyed the spotlight, and I’m touched by your compliment! Thank you so much for reading, my self-pubbing friend!


    • Heather Day Gilbert » Thanks for dropping by Heather – will be finishing off your story soon!

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