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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 30 May 2017 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – PROMISE OF PEPPERMINT BY VALERIE COMER

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – PROMISE OF PEPPERMINT BY VALERIE COMER

                                                                             

 

Destroying the stranglehold of the past. For some it’s impossible. Will it be impossible for Rebekah Jackson or will she have the strength and courage to free herself? To allow love in her scarred heart? Will she accept Wade back into her life?

 

Rebekah’s rejection crushed Wade Roper four years ago. Now they’re in the same town and his love for her is rekindled. But what can he offer her if she won’t tell him what haunts her?

 

Ms. Comer has taken an horrific and traumatic incident and written a very real story—with her delightful and whimsical story-telling touch. The depth of Rebekah’s wound is in no way downplayed, nor the depth of Wade’s love—or the healing power of Father’s love.

Ms. Comer has a gift for weaving her charming stories with very real and sometimes devastating events of life. She offers a story that resonates with readers, and offers them the hope that is only found in Father’s Word and His Truth. Promise of Peppermint, and all of her stories, are modern day parables.

 

 

I received a free copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

Valerie Comer is a USA Today bestselling author and a two-time Word Award winner who writes where food meets faith and fiction. She has been called “a stellar storyteller” as she injects experience laced with humor into her green clean romances.

Valerie’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for her stories of contemporary Christian romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie grows much of her own food and is active in the local foods movement as well as her church. She only hopes her imaginary friends enjoy their happily-ever-afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Join Valerie at http://valeriecomer.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter and follow her on social media. You can also find her blogging at http://inspyromance.com

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Promise of Peppermint, Valerie Comer, Urban Farm Fresh Romance, Secrets of Sunbeams, Butterflies on Breezes

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 25 May 2017 – CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – VALERIE COMER

CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – VALERIE COMER

“I’ve always been interested in real food from scratch–gardening, canning, bread-baking, beekeeping, and more–but my conviction has increased dramatically since God has given me three delightful granddaughters.”

 “I’m Valerie Comer, and I’m a teacher at writers’ conferences and retreats with a number of popular topics. … Picture of what it entails to write a story. . .from beginning to end.”

 

rem:  Hullo Valerie, and welcome to my nest. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

VALERIE:  I was born and raised in the central Canadian province of Manitoba, but have lived in British Columbia all my adult life. My husband and I have two kids and four granddaughters, thankfully all within a two-hour drive of the 40-acre farm we’ve lived on for the past 17 years. After working in retail, I’m delighted to be a full-time author working from home! Of course, that feeds my workaholic tendencies as well, so there’s that.

 

rem:  Forty acres!!! That’s a lotta farm!! 😉  Coffee or tea? Sweet or un? Flavored or not?

VALERIE:  Coffee. Sweetened if mocha, but only cream if ‘straight.’

rem:  mmm, mocha! (got peppermint) What’s your favorite recent discovery?

VALERIE:  Dictation! I’m trading in typos for dictatos and trying to preserve my hands and wrists while I’m at it.

rem:  Preserve, like figs and plums?? Do you use sarcasm?

VALERIE:  Yes, it is my native tongue, and I am fluent in it.

rem:  Which is why we understand one another so well. What is the first thing you notice about people?

VALERIE:  Their eyes. Not the color, so much, but the focus and clarity. They are indeed windows to the soul!

rem:  Shuttered or open to the sun! Favorite season? Why?

VALERIE:  Anything but summer! I don’t do heat well at all. Even though I’m a gardener, I kind of like winter because there’s no pressure to do any yard work!

rem:  Now, THAT made me chuckle! Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

VALERIE:  1 Thessalonians :11-12 (NLT)

Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.
Why is it a favorite? Because a productive life is simply doing what’s in front of you, working with your hands, not being flashy or uppity. The rewards will come, one way or another.

 

rem:  So simple yet so eloquent. What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

VALERIE:  It impacts me in more ways than I dreamed it would, honestly. It seems to be a form of journaling at times, when the story is mirroring my own spiritual walk. Emails from readers who’re drawn closer to Jesus through the characters’ journeys often bring tears to my eyes. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this opportunity to make a difference.

rem:  Truly amazing, isn’t it, when we have such profound impact on total strangers! When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?  

VALERIE:  My pet peeve is too much telling, especially if it’s repetitive. Get on with the story already, why don’t you! What makes a story un-put-downable? If I’m immediately intrigued by the characters —  what they’re doing, what they’re saying — and if I feel the writer has a good grasp of pacing, I’m in.

rem:  I agree, repeating and saying things over and over are unnecessary and waste of words….. Which is more important: plot or characters?

VALERIE:  What is one without the other? Great characters doing nothing are just as boring as an intriguing plot with cookie-cutter characters. Yawn.

rem:  Good point. Then again, maybe the character IS a cookie-cutter, literally – a baker!!  tee hee hee What would you do if you weren’t writing?

VALERIE:  Is this a ‘thing?’ Really? I seem to be a workaholic.

rem:  What do you munch on while you write?

VALERIE:  I rarely have food beside me. It’s more likely to be a mug of homemade mocha followed by a mug of coffee. One cup fuels about 1000 words!

 

rem:  That’s some good mileage there. Tell us a little about your writing journey.

VALERIE:  I began writing about fifteen years ago. After a while I began entering writing contests and finaling in them. I also attended some writing conferences and took online courses and workshops. In 2011, I sold my first work, a novella, to Barbour and got an agent. Two years later, we parted ways and I tested out a small press. In 2014 I regained my book rights and jumped into indie publishing with both feet and have since published about 20 titles in total, including 8 novellas. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to finally write full-time!

rem:  Valerie, you’re amazing – I can’t keep up with you!! What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

VALERIE:  I write first thing in the morning, usually in my recliner on my swing-arm computer with that first cup of mocha, sometimes at my laptop in another part of the house (still with that mocha), and sometimes dictating into a voice recorder on my morning walk (sadly dry). I’m working on dictation being the normal process but that hasn’t become habit yet. My goal is 10,000 words a week of first draft unless we’re on vacation or the family is visiting. In the afternoons and evenings I’ll do editing, formatting, publishing, marketing, water cooler chat, and studying. I did mention the workaholic bit, right?

rem:  No wonder you’re so productive – you write all over the place! (you workaholic you) What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

VALERIE:  Comparing myself (or my books/sales) to more successful authors. I remind myself that I’m writing as an act of worship to God and doing my best, and the results aren’t in my hands.

rem:  Wise words, comparison does nothing but incur defeat. Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

VALERIE:  Creation, by far. My goal is to tell it right the first time!

rem:  I detect a hint of perfectionism with that workaholicism… What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

VALERIE:  God, the Creator, made us in His image. This includes being creators, too! (rem: yes and amen!) I absolutely love the idea that these words I string together to tell a story have never been used in this way before. That somewhere, from the unknown recesses of my mind, characters and scenes and stories emerge that didn’t exist. Something from nothing. It’s really amazing!

rem:  Indeed, unfathomable. What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would you recommend not doing?

VALERIE:

Do:

  1. Hone your own writing voice
  2. Decide whether it is to be a business or hobby and make choices based on that
  3. Learn from those who have gone before you

Don’t

1: Be in a hurry to publish

2: Brush aside advice and well-meant criticism

3: Equate book sales with God’s love to you

 

rem:  How do you choose your characters’ names?

VALERIE:  I often look on baby name sites for names that were popular the decade my character was born. Still, the name has to fit. He or she may try on a few names and, once the right one clicks, it’s like the character comes to life right in front of me.

rem:  Ooohh, I love when that happens! Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

VALERIE:  Nope, and I don’t even try anymore. I tend to do a lot of setting and character work in advance, more in conjunction with the series than with the individual books. I have some general theme ideas in mind and, of course, I know the guy and girl will get together in the end. I write romance, after all! But the journey unfolds in front of me like it does for a reader. Every day is a question of what happens next, which helps me remember I need God in the process.

rem:  Best definition of a pantzer I think I’ve seen! How many books have you written and which was your first one?

VALERIE:  Sprouts of Love is my 20th published book, including novellas! I’ve also written eight other novels, most of which (all of which?) are unlikely to ever see the light of day. Trust me, that’s a blessing for readers. Apprenticeship work doesn’t need to be shared with the world.

rem:  They, uh, learning curve writing, eh? Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

VALERIE:  Sprouts of Love is part of a multi-author series of foodie contemporary romances set in (fictional) Arcadia Valley, Idaho. The other authors and I released a six-novella collection entitled Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley in January, each introducing our part of the world and the series we’re writing in it. Sprouts of Love kicks off my three-book series within the world, and my current project is the next book, Rooted in Love, to be released in November.

rem:  What is your favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

VALERIE:  I love this book and the series so much it’s hard to describe. Working as a group in the same world has been a blast, and the glimpses of each other’s characters we are mixing in is definitely a big part of the fun. My favorite characters so far are the kids in the series. Maisie (age ten) and Evan and Oliver (age six) were introduced in Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley. In Sprouts of Love, Maisie’s mom, Evelyn, finds her happily-ever-after amid a tsunami of vegetables. Rooted in Love will see the twins’ dad find love.

rem:  Please give us the first page of the book.

VALERIE:

You’re Evelyn Felton?”

Whatever that was all about. The man blocking the entrance to Corinna’s Cupboard couldn’t be a minute over twenty-five, but that didn’t stop him from acting like he owned the place. Eyebrows raised, he appraised her from steely blue eyes.

What had she ever done to him? Nothing. She’d never seen him before… had she? Evelyn stiffened her back and kept the smile in place. “Yes, I’m Evelyn, and I’m here to meet with Ben Kujak about donating garden-grown produce. Is he in?”

Silence reigned for several heartbeats.

Had she asked such a difficult question? The building this charity operated just north of Arcadia Valley’s Main Street wasn’t that big. If Mr. Kujak wasn’t stocking shelves or applying for grants, he likely wasn’t on the premises.

The upstart chewed his lip then nodded, stepping aside. “With a name like Evelyn, I was expecting someone older.”  (rem: :-O )

He had to be kidding. Her name wasn’t Matilda or Ethel. Evelyn tightened her grip on her messenger bag and raised her eyebrows. “I’m not sure what that’s supposed to mean. You haven’t answered my question. Is Mr. Kujak available? If not, when’s a good time to meet him?”

Muscles rippled the length of his arm as he stretched out his hand. “I’m Ben. Come on in.”

“I, um…” She blinked and shook his hand briskly. “Hi.” Nobody had told her the man who’d worked miracles starting a charity from nothing was little more than a kid. Scratch that. Definitely not a child, not with how attractive he looked in those cargo shorts and gray T-shirt. Not with his light brown hair matching the stubble that graced his cheeks and chin.

Evelyn shook her head and took a deep breath. “Like you, I thought I was meeting with someone older.”

 

rem:  Well then, they’re off to a smashing start, aren’t they? What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with? 

VALERIE:  My stories tend to have aspects of farm and food, but the main themes most readers identify with are the characters’ struggles to belong, to find hope, and to grow in their spiritual life. In Sprouts of Love, both Evelyn and Ben deal with forgiving parents who had wronged them. Don’t we all struggle to forgive?

rem:  That’s not the one that trips me so much, but there is a plethora of others… Where can we find you online?

VALERIE:

http://valeriecomer.com

http://arcadiavalleyromance.com

http://inspyromance.com

http://twitter.com/valeriecomer

http://facebook.com/valeriecomer.author

https://www.pinterest.com/valeriecomer/garden-grown-romances-set-in-arcadia-valley-idaho/

https://www.pinterest.com/valeriecomer/arcadia-valley-romance/

 

rem:  Valerie, thank you so much for chatting with us at my little nest today!

VALERIE:  Thanks for inviting me over! It’s been fun to visit.

 

“Farm lit is any literature that embraces the life of modern-day “new” farmers.  … Many a riveting tale, from romance to women’s fiction to suspense—and beyond—can be told amid rows of corn or in the cow byre.”

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Valerie Comer, Farm Fresh Romance, Arcadia Valley, Urban Farm Fresh

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TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – BUTTERFLIES ON BREEZES

by VALERIE COMER

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BOOK REVIEW – BERRY ON TOP by VALERIE COMER

 

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Seems Logan Dermott’s carefree ways aren’t so carefree anymore. Has love finally clipped his wings? Or has love finally set him free to fly?

 

Linnea Ranta on the other hand, is freer than she’s ever been, testing her wings and gaining confidence she never had before.

 

What can two such opposite people have in common? As their shared interest bonds them together in more than casual acquaintance or passing friendship, both Linnea and Logan struggle with emerging feelings of love. And neither of them knows quite what to do  with it. Neither of is sure they can trust their heart. Can Logan trust his heart when all he’s ever known is broken promises? And running away from heartache? Can Linnea trust love when all she’s known is controlling, manipulative love? Can they trust each other—and God—that love this time is genuine and real?

 

 

Ms. Comer has once again created a delightful story world with real life struggles, and real life failures. With enviable skill, she has woven intense issues into her charming story. She has put issues this reviewer is well familiar with, and told a story of love triumphing over the deepest heart wounds. In a roller coaster of emotions, Ms. Comer has conveyed the Father’s love stronger than an absent father, stronger than   an overbearing father. And Ms. Comer has written a story of damaged hearts mended.

 

 

 

I received a free copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own volition, The opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

 

6136j5uhtrl-_ux250_Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary Christian romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie grows much of her own food and is active in the local foods movement as well as her church. She only hopes her imaginary friends enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Her debut novel, Raspberries and Vinegar: A Farm Fresh Romance, won the 2014 Word Guild Award for best contemporary romance by a Canadian author. She injects experience laced with humor into her tales of farm living in this farm lit series that includes Wild Mint Tea, Sweetened with Honey and Dandelions for Dinner. Valerie also writes fantasy as Valerie R Comer.

Find out where food meets faith and fiction at http://valeriecomer.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter, or like her on Facebook.

 

Connect with Valerie at:

http://valeriecomer.com/

https://www.facebook.com/valeriecomer.author

https://twitter.com/valeriecomer

https://www.pinterest.com/valeriecomer/

https://www.youtube.com/user/valerierco

 

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Butterflies on Breezes, Tuesday Reviews-Day, Book Review, Valerie Comer, Urban Farm Fresh Romans, Secrets of Sunbeams

 

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