Welcome back, Valerie. As an author, I know it takes a lot of people to birth each book. Who were the people involved in the birthing of this book, and what were their contributions?
Sprouts of Love is part of Arcadia Valley Romance, a multi-author Christian contemporary romance series, so I definitely have to give a shout-out to Elizabeth Maddrey, Mary Jane Hathaway, Lee Tobin McClain, Danica Favorite, and Annalisa Daughety. We’ve been brainstorming for well over a year now as we planned out the over-arching series and then each author’s part within it.
We released Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley in January. It’s designed to be a permanent box set containing six novellas, each introducing one author’s three- book mini-series within the big series. From there, we’re releasing one book a month for eighteen months, rotating through the authors. Sprouts of Love is my first full-length novel to release in the AVR series.
Aside from my author group — and especially to Elizabeth Maddrey for daily encouragement and kicks in the backside as needed — I definitely need to give credit to my editor, who always brings out the best in my work.
If you had to completely start over in another place, where would you move, and why?
My husband will retire in about seven years, and we’re talking about this. Both of us love the ocean —
Island, in particular. The big question is whether we could handle
living so far from our grandchildren! When we’re wandering along the Pacific
shoreline, it’s easy to say, “What grandchildren? And besides, they’ll be
teenagers by then and won’t care if we’re around. They’ll be busy with their
And then we return home and feel small arms squishing our necks, and remember, “Oh, those grandchildren! How could we even think about moving away from them?”
Thankfully, we don’t have to make the decision any minute soon, and we can continue heading to the ocean for our ‘fix’ a couple of times a year in the meantime.
If you could only tell aspiring novelists one thing, what would it be?
Plan for success. Or, really, plan at all! Don’t only think about the genres you’re interested in and what success would look like for you. Write down your dreams and goals… and what you think you might need to do to make that happen. You can always change your written plan, but it’s important to have one so you can see where you want to go and how you’ll get there.
You’ve been asked to be in charge of a celebrity cruise. Who would you ask to take part, and why? (AS in what program, singers, etc. [it doesn’t have to be writing related])
Wow, you know how to ask tough questions! Interestingly enough, the only thing that comes to mind would be a conference on the local food movement from a Christian worldview, along with gardening, food preservation, and cooking classes (since that is a passion of mine that comes out in my stories). That sort of thing. I’d invite speakers like Joel Salatin, Wendell Berry, and Matthew Sleeth. The problem is that I’m talking about a group who would consider cruises so environmentally unfriendly the conference would never take place!
Tell us about the featured book.
Single mom Evelyn Felton takes on a third part-time job managing a greenhouse and garden project for Grace Fellowship. Formerly homeless, she’s thrilled to offer truckloads of fresh produce to the
food bank. Arcadia Valley
If only Ben Kujak weren’t running Corinna’s Cupboard singlehandedly, he’d be delighted to be on the receiving end. But Evelyn and her dynamo daughter, Maisie, won’t take no for an answer, even if it means restructuring Ben’s charity.
Soon Ben finds himself wishing they’d transform his personal life, too, but can true love sprout when their pasts collide with the present?
Please give us the first page of the book.
“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
Valley 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.”
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.”
Oh, I like that opening. Where can we find you on the Internet?
You can find me at http://valeriecomer.com. You’ll find links to my social media, my blog, as well as information about all my books and links to them on all platforms. It’s also a great place to sign up for my newsletter, which comes out twice a month and is chock-full of giveaways, cover reveals, information about upcoming releases, and other fun tidbits.
You can also find more information about the entire Arcadia Valley Romance project at http://arcadiavalleyromance.com. Covers, descriptions, buy links, background information, and more!
Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.Sprouts of Love: Garden Grown Romance Book One (Arcadia Valley Romance 5)
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