Sunday, December 7, 2014

Holiday author interview with Valerie Comer of Snowflake Tiara

"Whether you have already seen the first of the season's snow or are still awaiting its arrival, you'll want to curl up with a cup of cocoa as you enjoy these two sweet tales." ~Sarah, 4-star customer review on

If you haven't already guessed from Sarah's review on, today we're talking about Christmas stories! Actually, two Christmas stories in one book called Snowflake Tiara written by Angela Breidenbach and Valerie Comer.

We're going to focus on Valerie's novella called More than A Tiara. Valerie will share information about the writing process, the Christmastime story setting, the characters and she will also talk about collaborating with Angela to write this book.

Most fun of all is the news of what's in it for you-- a free book! :) Valerie is willing to give away one free e-book of Snowflake Tiara to the lucky winner! Here's how you can qualify to win: After reading Valerie's interview, answer her question at the end. You must include your e-mail address with your answer in the comment section in order to enter the contest because we need to contact you if you're the winner so you can receive your free e-book! :) 

The contest starts today, Dec. 7 and will end Sunday, Dec. 21. I will announce the winner on Monday, Dec. 22 so if you're the winner, you'll have time to read your book before Christmas Day! :)

Now read on to Valerie's holiday author interview (questions from Alexis in bold, answers by Valerie not in bold)...

Alexis: Why is your latest release (2014) titled Snowflake Tiara, Two Christmas Romances 125 Years Apart? What type of book is it—a novel or novella or another category?

Valerie: The title is Snowflake Tiara, and the remainder is a quick description of the contents. It is a collection of two long novellas.

Who is Angela Breidenbach? Did you two write this book together? Or are there two separate stories, one written by each of you, in Snowflake Tiara?

I should be really good at introducing Angela by now! She visited recently and we did several events together at which she was the main speaker and I was her sidekick. She is pretty awesome, frankly! She's Mrs. Montana 2009, a sought-after speaker, and an author as well as a pageant and life coach.

Can you speak for Angela and tell my readers why she wrote The Debutante Queen which is the first story in Snowflake Tiara?

Angela is passionate about volunteering and believes we can make the world a better place by pitching in. She's a pageant queen herself and knows how much light pageantry can shine on worthy organizations, so the combination is a natural one for her. She set her main character, Calista, on a quest to help the children abandoned at the last stop of the Orphan Train in Helena, Montana, in 1889.

Who is your favorite character in your story? Explain why and include details on their character traits.

I protest. This isn't a fair question! I like all the characters. Well, except for the one who… Never mind. Hmm. I'll go with Bren Haddock. She's a good friend of the heroine, a single mom who's been kicked in the teeth by life, but she's determined to make a better life for her two young kids. I loved her spirit and was thrilled to find I could help in her quest in some small ways.

Are your leading ladies in both stories related? Is there any connection between the first story by Angela and the second story by you? If so, please explain.

There's a lot of connection between the tales. My heroine, Marisa, is the triple-great granddaughter of Angela's heroine, Calista. They have a similar passion for helping children. Angie and I had a great time working back and forth while planning, writing, and editing, to tie the two stories together on numerous levels. The most obvious is that both of them compete in the Miss Snowflake Pageant in their time periods.

Why did you write More Than a Tiara? What is it about and how does it tie in with Angela’s story? Explain the concept.

More Than a Tiara is set 125 years after The Debutante Queen with ties back in numerous ways. I'd have to say I wrote it because God had things to teach me. I was born into a very traditional Mennonite family, and I can assure you beauty pageants were not on my radar growing up. Through knowing Angela and writing this story, God showed me how beautiful I am to Him. I think this little snippet from Jases's point-of-view may explain some of it:

How much time did you spend writing More Than a Tiara? How did you research for creating your holiday story world?

This story is about half the length of my other books, but it took at least as long to write. I struggled with the story line, and it took me a while to figure out what the problem was. I usually interview my characters, create a few notes and ideas for a story, and jump in. More Than a Tiara required a more rigid structure because the second half (about the spot where I usually swing out into no-man's-land as a seat-of-the-pants writer) took place during the beauty pageant with defined events and expectations. Once I realized the issue, I found ways to work through and around it, but I'd been stuck at that point for several weeks.

What was your favorite part of writing More Than a Tiara?

The children, hands down. I mentioned Bren earlier. Her kids are 8 and 6 and were a delight to write, especially once I'd added in the hero's niece (6) and nephew (4). There is nothing like child-like wonder at winter and Christmas!

Which character in More Than a Tiara do you relate to the most? Why?

That's a tough one. Because Marisa has been a super model and is now competing in a pageant, I identified with her less than I usually do with my heroines. Still, I gave her some of my passions to run with, and that helped a lot. She simply had a very different angle of pursuit of our mutual passions than I do as a middle-aged wife of a farmer and beekeeper!

Does Snowflake Tiara have a happy ending?

Definitely. It was fun to bring it all the way around to add a bonus closure to The Debutante Queen as well in the final scenes.

What do you hope your readers will take away from reading More Than a Tiara?

So many things! I hope they'll see again the wonder of Christmas. I hope they'll revel in their beauty and value in God's eyes. And I hope they'll consider the value of good, healthy food every day…and how to provide that for folks less fortunate.

Complete this sentence: My favorite Christmastime memory is _______________________because____________________.

My favorite Christmastime memory is spending the day after Christmas at my grandmother's house every year when I was growing up because my cousins and I had so much fun together.

Alexis: Thank you for the interview, Valerie! Please leave a question for my readers to answer which will qualify them to enter the book giveaway contest to win an e-book from you.

Valerie: What organization embodies your passions so much that you'll spend precious time volunteering to help them meet their agendas?

Author 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.

Connect with Valerie:

Info and buy links for Valerie's books at various online stores:
Raspberries and Vinegar: A Farm Fresh Romance (Farm Lit) by Valerie Comer
Wild Mint Tea: A Farm Fresh Romance (Farm Lit) by Valerie Comer
Sweetened with Honey: A Farm Fresh Romance (Farm Lit) by Valerie Comer
Snowflake Tiara: 2-in-1 Christmas Collection by Angela Breidenbach, Valerie Comer

Buy Snowflake Tiara
Amazon, KindleiBooksNookKobo

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