Guest Posts

Wednesday’s Wanderer: Author Valerie Comer

Why do you enjoy reading Amish fiction?

Shh. Don’t tell Sarah, but I don’t read a lot of it. But I’ve read enough to guess at a few reasons. You enjoy:

  • The slower pace
  • The community spirit
  • The life that revolves around the seasons
  • The focus on family rather than money or “getting ahead”
  • The direct relationship between working hard and having all you need

Most of us wouldn’t actually want to live like the Amish. We don’t want to wear simple dresses, kapps, and aprons or rely on horses and buggies. We’d miss our cars, our computers, and our packed closets!

In reality, we’d like to pick and choose the parts that suit us from the plain lifestyle. At our house, we call it simple instead of plain. It’s how we live, and how the characters in my Farm Fresh Romance series live, too.

A group of young women buy a farm in the Idaho panhandle, intending to grow their own food. Their Mr. Rights have not shown up yet, and the women aren’t putting their dreams of sustainable living on hold any longer. It’s a romance series, so you can guess what happens next!

  • Breaking ground with the Farm Fresh Romance series, RASPBERRIES AND VINEGAR finds Josephine Shaw and her friends renovating a dilapidated farm with their sights set on more than just their own property. Transforming the town with their sustainable lifestyle and focus on local foods is met with more resistance than they expected, especially by temporary neighbor, Zachary Nemesek. Jo needs to learn that a little sweet makes the tart more tasty.
  • The second tale in the Farm Fresh Romance series, WILD MINT TEA, finds chef Claire Halford hosting weddings at Green Acres Farm, but the first bride comes with a globe-trotting brother. Noel Kenzie’s reforestation company provides him the means to enjoy life. This is no time for him to settle down… or Claire to spread her wings.
  • SWEETENED WITH HONEY, the third story in the Farm Fresh Romance series, finds beekeeper Sierra Riehl hopeful to catch the eye of widower Gabriel Rubachuk, knowing he must first face the past. Yet as he begins to embrace hope and fall in love with her, reality changes. Sierra begins to suspect she can’t give Gabe what he deserves, and their budding romance fizzles. But how can she trust him with her devastating secret?

I call this series a mash-up between contemporary romance and farm lit ( because the backdrop of Green Acres Farm plays a large role in each of the stories. Dandelions for Dinner, the fourth of six projected books, is due to release in March, 2015.

You’ll find rural living, farming, vegetable gardens, food processing, and from-scratch cooking and baking in the Farm Fresh Romance books. You’ll find a simpler lifestyle but not, as I can personally attest, an easier one.

How do I know? My husband and I have a small farm not far from northern Idaho. We’ve done a lot of things with our forty acres over the years. We’ve raised every kind of farm animal you can think of: cows, sheep, pigs, chickens and an occasional goat, horse and goose. We grow as much of our own food as time and climate allow, including a large vegetable garden, from which I fill many canning jars. We have our own hazelnuts and walnuts as well as strawberries, raspberries and plums. And our bees bring in enough honey for our family and local sales.

Why do we bother? Real food, fresh food, organic food is important to us. We’re thankful we can help make it affordable and possible for our three young granddaughters and their parents to have the most nutritious food possible.

Through the Farm Fresh Romance books, I invite you into my lives. My real one exists just outside my office (my window overlooks my vegetable garden, currently awaiting our first snowfall). The imaginary one exists inside my head and is peopled with a wide variety of my favorite people. I’m so thankful God has given me the creativity, the ability, and the calling to share this imaginary world with you.

Won’t you come visit Green Acres Farm in the pages of the Farm Fresh Romance series?

Valerie-ComerValerie 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.

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