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It’s always a pleasure to have Valerie Comer visit! Her stories are not only set in a beautiful part of the country, but they also offer encouragement and a taste of what could be. Her latest, Memories of Mist, is book three in her Urban Farm Fresh Romance series. (She has also shared Secrets of Sunbeams and Butterflies on Breezes, if you missed those!) Before we hear more about Memories of Mist, let’s take a quick look at the story itself.
(This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. You can see my full disclosure policy here.)
Single mom Adriana Diaz isn’t about to let the new teacher derail the PTA’s hard work in securing a greenhouse and garden area for Bridgeview Elementary School, but taking matters into her own hands turns awkward when she realizes her attraction to the teacher.
Pro-level conflict-avoider Myles Sheridan finds himself against an entire community with his reluctance to incorporate gardening into his classes. The only thing that could make his situation worse is falling in love with the ringleader, whose child is his most difficult student and whose husband had died a hero.
How can Myles compete with the man from Adriana’s memories? He’s not the material champions are made of. Or is he?
Welcome back, Valerie! This sounds like another wonderful story! Do you have a favorite character from Memories of Mist? Why is this character your favorite?
I love the heroine’s two children: Sam (8) and Violet (7). Sam is a studious, obedient boy with a great sense of humor, and Violet is an opinionated and not-always-lovable little girl. I enjoyed writing the interactions between the children, between the children and their mom, Adriana, and between the children and everyone else!
Kids can add such a fun dynamic to a story. Do you have personal experience with any of the events in your story, and if so, could you share about that?
I’ve never been a single mom or the driving force behind my kids’ school’s PTA. I’ve never been a second grade teacher reluctantly dragged into the PTA’s programming. But I did meet a little girl on the playground about a year and a half ago that begged to be recreated as a character, and thus became Violet.
On our eldest granddaughter’s sixth birthday, my husband and I picked her up from school, took her to the bakery for a treat, and then to the playground where she had our undivided attention for a while. It would have lasted longer except for another little girl who’d never heard of personal space and didn’t have a shy bone in her body! As our granddaughter slid down the slide, the other little girl stood planted at the bottom, leaning in and talking to her. Climbing the rope ladder? The other child was at the top, peering down, chattering away. On the swing? The other child was… you get the picture. Our grandchild ceased having a good time very quickly!
But her grandmother had found a new character. An extroverted, socially clueless, slightly obnoxious child who became bigger than life as Violet Diaz!
Oh goodness. At least you were able to redeem the experience in some way. I wonder if your granddaughter will remember that little girl when she reads your books when she’s older? 😉 What do you hope your readers take away from this novel?
Myles Sheridan, the hero of Memories of Mist, is a man who really likes all his ducks in a row. He’s arranged his life to avoid conflict, not recognizing how much fun and just plain good stuff he’s avoiding along with it. When he discovers that Adriana’s former husband died saving an old lady from a house fire, he knows he can’t compete with the man in Adriana’s memories. Myles isn’t hero material… and does he even want to be?
How do you define a hero… I love that! Do you have a favorite verse? Why is that one important to you?
I have quite a few favorite verses, but one really stood out to me as I wrote Memories of Mist, and that’s Romans 5:8: Jesus is the ultimate hero who “demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (NKJV) What more could any hero do for us than deliver us before we even knew we needed rescuing?
So true! Can you give any hints about what you’re working on now?
My head and heart are in Helena, Montana, working on Better Than a Crown, the final Christmas in Montana Romance, due to release in September:
Always a princess, never the queen.
Heather Francis has been a runner-up in 27 beauty contests since she was a child. Now coaching girls for the third annual Miss Snowflake competition, how can she teach them to be winners when she’s never experienced it herself?
A product of the foster care system, Levi Esteban is the executive chef for the Grizzly Gulch Resort in Helena, Montana. A boy who was never good enough, he tries to ignore that many of the upcoming Christmas festivities he’s cooking for are pageantry themed. Beauty is only skin deep. If he were looking for love — and he’s not — it wouldn’t be in this venue.
But when Heather and Levi are thrown together to pull off the pageant, they’re inexplicably drawn to each other. Is there something better than a crown in their future?
That sounds like it could get into some interesting heart issues—ones many of us could probably relate to! Thanks for taking the time to share with us today, Valerie!
Your turn! Let’s talk about kids as secondary characters. Do you enjoy discovering a child as an important secondary character? Why or why not?
More about Valerie:
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.
Valerie is a USA Today bestselling author and a two-time Word Award winner. She writes engaging characters, strong communities, and deep faith laced with humor into her green clean romances.
Also by Valerie:
Promise of Peppermint (prequel)
Will fear choke out a second chance at love?
When Wade Roper discovers the woman who fled from his proposal four years before now lives in his new neighborhood, he believes God is offering a second chance to win her love. He vows to take it as slow as she needs but, this time, he won’t let her get away.
Rebekah Jackson’s fears run deep since a traumatic incident in her youth. If perfect love casts out fear, then what she’d felt for Wade couldn’t have been love. Seeing him again brings all her longings and fears back to the surface. Can she put her trust in him and in the God who loves them both? Because, while second chances are rare, third chances are all but unheard of.
Secrets of Sunbeams (book one)
Good fences make good neighbors… especially if your neighbor is a goat.
Eden Andrusek knows she should have fixed her fence last week. It’s too bad her runaway goat makes a less-than-ideal first impression on her new neighbor, who turns out to be cute, brilliant… and a little uptight.
Solar architect Jacob Riehl is furious when he returns outside to find a goat eating his presentation. As someone who likes everything in its place, he has little sympathy for a farm animal in the city or its tattooed owner, but there’s something about the lovely Eden that captures his attention.
What will it take to win over a man whose only pet was a goldfish? And how long can Jacob and Eden go without addressing the goat in the room?
Butterflies on Breezes (book two)
Like a butterfly on a summer breeze, love rarely lands where it’s expected.
Working for her dad’s landscaping business stifles Linnea Ranta. When she’s invited to design and build a community garden with an intriguing master carpenter, she seizes the chance to unfurl her wings, but at what expense to her heart?
Logan Dermott eases back his flirting when he senses Linnea’s fragility, but she has more backbone than he suspected. As they work together, Logan finds he’s falling for her, but it may be too late to win her love.
Will Linnea break free of her chrysalis and fly away before Logan realizes what he almost had?
Memories of Mist Giveaway:
Valerie has graciously offered to give away a digital copy of Memories of Mist to one winner, anywhere in the world. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.