Friday, December 05, 2014

SWEETENED WITH HONEY - Valerie Comer - One Free Ebook

Bio: Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily-ever-afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters. Valerie writes Farm Lit where food meets faith, injecting experience laced with humor into her award-winning Farm Fresh Romance stories.

Welcome back, Valerie. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?      
Oh, this is so true, Lena. I'm so amazed and blessed, and I'm so excited as I look into 2015. In the past year, I've had the privilege of independently re-publishing two novels from my previous publisher plus three original novels. In 2015, I expect to release three more novels as well as several novellas. It's so much fun to write again! 

Tell us a little about your family.    
My husband and I have been married for 34 years. We live on a small farm in western Canada where we grow much of our own food. I'm especially excited about this because we can help provide real food, nutritious food, organic food for our three little granddaughters (and their parents, LOL).

Our son lives in a mobile home on our farm with his wife and their little girl, and it's such a delight to see them nearly every day. My daughter's family lives only 90 miles away, but the two mountain passes between make it seem further! My daughter is my cover designer, which is another thrill for me.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?       
Yes and no. I've always read a lot. Since I began writing, my reading time has fluctuated, but I usually read fiction for an hour or so before bed. I love my genre, contemporary romance, and love discovering fresh new voices. I'm reading more consistently than I used to, and I have my Kindle to thank for that. Living in a rural area meant I didn't always have access to the books I wanted to read. Now that's not an issue.

What are you working on right now?        
These days I'm finishing up Dandelions for Dinner, which will release in early March. It's the fourth book in my Farm Fresh Romance series. I expect to write and release the fifth and sixth books in the series in 2015, as well, so I'm keeping busy!

What outside interests do you have?          
I’m a true introvert and, since my job left me two years ago, have become a fulltime author and freelancer. My vegetable garden and my family are my two major non-writing interests! My husband and I enjoy traveling in western Canada and camping beside the ocean or mountain streams. This time of year we're snuggling down for cold weather, though. I hope we have enough snow this winter for snowshoeing. Getting outside and moving around is vital for both my physical energy and mental energy.

How do you choose your settings for each book? 
The Farm Fresh Romance series is set in northern Idaho, which is not far from where I live in Canada. I chose it because I needed a climate and growing season familiar to me for the farming aspects of the series. When I began the books, I was writing for traditional publishing houses that didn't want to see Canadian-set books. The series I'm eyeing for 2016 will likely be set on Vancouver Island, off Canada's west coast.

Oh, I’m so glad. I love books with foreign settings. I know the US is foreign for you, but Canada is foreign for me. If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
My dad, I think. He died in 1998, a few years before I began writing, and I believe he'd have been very proud of me and interested in my progress. He enjoyed writing, too, but no one could read his handwriting. He wrote a lot of poetry. I'd love to compare notes with him as the woman I am today rather than who I was back then.

I so understand. I’d choose my mother who died when I was 7. I’d love to know her as a woman. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels? 
I wish I'd learned to trust my instincts sooner. I lived under the mistaken impression far too long that a writer was either a plotter or a seat-of-the-pants writer. I couldn’t do either, and it was extremely frustrating. I've since learned that it's a spectrum and that I fall very close to the middle. I need to know certain things about my story in advance, and then I need to jump in and trust the process. There's been much less deep revision to do in the past several years, and my stories hold together so much better. How did I not figure this out five years earlier? It's a mystery.

Me, too. I’m closer to the seat-of-the- pants side of the spectrum though. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?         
I find it interesting how much God teaches me through the novels I write. It's like He has some master plan or something. ;) But the characters in my current novel need a large dose of self-forgiveness and hope, and I'm finding myself challenged through their problems and conversations.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?         
1. Write another book. Don’t just write proposals, even if you're aiming for traditional publication. Write the whole thing. Write in a series. Keep in practice.
2. Grow your newsletter subscriber list. It's your most important tool. Send letters regularly. Create a giveaway for your subscribers that can be delivered to them automatically when they sign up. I recently changed up my giveaway to a short story that lands between the second and third books in my series. Peppermint Kisses is only available to subscribers. It seems to be quite effective. J
3. Create a business plan. Figure out how many books you can write in a certain time period and what marketing you can do. Lay your schedule out on one giant calendar, and push yourself a little.
And a bonus #4: Ask God to show you where He wants you every day. Let Him guide your imagination and fingers! 

Very good advice. Tell us about the featured book.
 Sweetened with Honey: A Farm Fresh Romance 3  
Gabriel Rubachuk returns to Galena Landing, Idaho, once the setting of a charmed life before an accident killed his pregnant wife. Will he embrace hope for a new life or escape once again?

Beekeeper Sierra Riehl has spent three years helping to keep Gabe’s health food store afloat while he worked with orphans in Romania. Now he’s back, but it looks like he might bolt. Can she hold him still long enough to spark a romance? But Sierra’s hope falters when she begins to suspect she can’t give Gabe the life he deserves.

Is new love sweet enough to overcome the pain of the past and the uncertainty of the future?

Please give us the first page of the book.    
Sierra Riehl had done a lot of strange things while studying natural medicine, but this seemed right up there with applying leeches to let blood. Straight out of medieval times.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” She set the jar containing two honeybees on the table in her naturopathy office.

“I think so.” Her friend eyed the bees crawling up the side of the glass. “I’ve read a lot of reports that say stings really help. My rheumatoid arthritis seems worse every day.”

“I know. That’s the only reason I’m agreeing.” Probably not what she should say out loud — and not what she would, if Doreen Klimpton’s symptoms hadn’t taken over so quickly. Her once-vibrant friend had shrunk in on herself in recent months.

“Where are you going to apply it?” Doreen kept her eyes on the jar as she settled her bony frame in the reclining chair. “Are you going to sting me twice?” Her thin fingers gripped the armrests.

“Maybe.” Sierra slipped a lab coat over her lilac dress. “I plan to start with one as a test. If things go well, we can do a second one. Or not, as you wish.”

Doreen nodded. “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” She took a deep breath. “Getting stung on purpose.”

Sierra couldn’t, either. Yet, since she’d taken up apiculture, she kept hearing old beekeepers say they never had arthritis. The venom from the many stings they inevitably incurred in the line of duty kept their joints at ease. Unprovable at the moment, but she’d be glad of the side benefit as she aged, no doubt. She’d never expected her boss to test the theory.

Doreen closed her eyes. “Do it already. The anticipation must be worse than the sting.”

Interesting. How can readers find you on the Internet?   
My home base is . Once there, you can sign up for my newsletter, follow my blog, find out where food meets faith, or connect with me on social media. Oh, and find out more about my books, of course.

Thanks so much for inviting me over, Lena. It's always a pleasure chatting with you and your readers.

And it's a great pleasure to have you here, Valerie.

Readers, here is a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Sweetened with Honey (A Farm Fresh Romance Book 3)

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

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The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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Susan Johnson said...

This sounds like a very interesting book. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.
Susan in Texas

Valerie Comer said...

Hi Susan! My readers tell me this is their favorite so far in the series. And, although it is definitely part of a series, it can be read alone, too. :)

Deanna Stevens said...

old beekeepers say they never had arthritis. I don't know if I'd be so brave as to try getting stung on purpose..
Deanna, Nebraska

Valerie Comer said...

I'll let you in on a secret, Deanna. I'm not that brave, either, but then I react badly. Not life-threateningly by any stretch, but I get a humungous hot hard red bump that lasts for up to two weeks.

And yes, we are beekeepers!

Mary Preston said...

Such an interesting beginning. Now I am curious to see how it works.

Mary P


apple blossom said...

sounds like a good book thanks for the chance to win
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

Love the first page! Sounds like an interesting good book. Thanks for the chance to win!

Beth Gillihan in Montana

sm said...

Farm fresh romance is a new idea to me and your book sounds interesting. Sounds like you are a homesteader up there in Canada. sm wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Wyndy said...

So glad to see a new book from Valerie Comer. I enjoyed the last one I read.

Wyndy Callahan
wyndyc at

Charlotte Kay said...

Another new author for me!!!
Having been raised as a farm girl, this book will bring back a lot of memories placing myself in the setting!!!! How exciting!
Thanks for the chance to win this book!

Many Blessings and Smiles :) :) :)
Charlotte Kay, Georgia

Valerie Comer said...

Thank you, Mary, Apple Blossom, and Beth!

SM, we don't feel much like homesteaders as such, but my family and I do live on a 40-acre farm in Canada (incidentally, the same size as the farm in the Farm Fresh Romance books!

Wyndy! Thank you! I'm so glad you've enjoyed my other books. Readers tell me Sweetened with Honey is the best one yet.

Charlotte, from one farm girl to another, great to meet you!