Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Prelude to Christmas: Valerie's story about angel halos and hope

Welcome Valerie Comer to the blog. She lives in Canada and is a USA Today Bestselling Author! Yes, my dears, you are in for a treat! Valerie is visiting us today to talk about her Christmas story, Other Than a Halo. It's the second book in her series, "Christmas in Montana Romance". See the cover of her book below this line. Isn't it creative? 

Here's the blurb for Valerie's book, Other Than a Halo:

Even though she's a new woman in Christ, single mom Bren Haddock was no angel as a teen. Now managing the Hiller Farm for a CSA, life is good until a friend offers to enter her daughter into the Little Miss Snowflake Pageant. Old insecurities flare when she meets the intriguing head of marketing for the pageant.

Rob Santoro isn't so sure about handling the pageant portfolio until he meets Bren. Soon he's fallen for her and her two kids, but when a Thanksgiving adventure goes awry, he's left wondering how to love a woman who refuses to be loved.

What will it take for Bren to retire her tarnished halo and move into a fulfilling, forgiven future?

Fill out the book giveaway contest entry form on this Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to WIN a copy of Valerie's book: 

Interview with Valerie Comer, author of Other Than a Halo:

Alexis: What a clever title for a Christmas story! How did you create it?

Valerie: Thanks! This is the sequel to a Christmas story I wrote two years ago called More Than a Tiara. The working title had been different, but these words popped out of the text as the perfect title. When thinking about a sequel, I thought it would be fun to use a matching format, so Other Than a Halo was born. The story came from the title, actually. I have one more book to go in this series, because I have one more title. Better Than a Crown will release in the fall of 2017. I’m hoping the title will, once again, trigger the story when it comes time to write it!

Alexis: Your story’s heroine Bren Haddock was trouble as a teen. How is she now as a grown adult who decided to follow Jesus Christ?

Valerie: She’s still a bit rough around the edges. She’s had to do everything on her own and fend for her kids, and she’s single-minded in following through. Sometimes she forgets that Jesus did more than save her. He also delights in her.

Alexis: Bren works as the manager of Hiller Farm for a CSA. Describe to our readers what that means.

Valerie: CSA stands for community-supported agriculture. Generally, this means that urbanites can ‘subscribe’ to a farm or group of farms. They pay a fee for the entire growing season and, in exchange, receive a bin of fresh produce every week — whatever is in season. In Other Than a Halo, Bren manages one of the grower farms. She starts plants in her greenhouse then grows and harvests the crops she’s promised to the Tomah CSA. She’s paid for her produce and labor from the subscription fees.

Alexis: It looks like Bren loves her life until old insecurities rise. Tell us about that situation.

Valerie: Bren is very aware of the fact that she didn’t finish high school and that her kids don’t have a dad. To Bren’s amazement, she finds herself friends with Marisa Hiller (the former model and winner of the Miss Snowflake Pageant in book one, More Than a Tiara) and wealthy event planner Kristen O’Brien. So Bren is always holding herself aloof, barely daring to believe these friendships are genuine.

Alexis: How old are Bren’s children? Who is their father? Why aren’t they together? Give us details on Bren’s backstory.

Valerie: Bren’s son, Davy, is nine, and her daughter, Lila, is seven. Both were results of poor choices on Bren’s part, and neither man wished to step up to the plate as responsible dads. That’s really all the backstory I feel free to divulge!

Alexis: Rob Santoro is the hero of your story. What makes him the hero? Talk about his personality, looks and tell us why he has a heart for Bren.

Valerie: Rob is possibly my favorite of all the heroes I’ve written in over a dozen published romance novels. He may come in second to Noel Kenzie of Wild Mint Tea, but then again, he might not. I love him because he is gentle while being all guy. He sees Bren’s insecurities from the beginning, and he knows they can’t casually date and then drift apart or it will devastate her further. If he’s even going to start, he needs to be ready to go the distance. Rob does a good job of showing Bren how valuable she is—not just to him, but to God.

Alexis: Describe Rob and Bren’s meet-cute. What made it memorable?

Valerie: Bren and Rob meet in the first chapter. They’re introduced by Bren’s friend Kristen, who happens to be married to Rob’s boss. Kristen wants to sign Bren’s daughter up for a Little Miss Pageant, and Rob is the man at the marketing agency in charge of pageant promotion. You can read the first chapter here: http://valeriecomer.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Halo-ch-1.pdf

Alexis: Why did you choose to set this story at Christmastime?

Valerie: It’s set at Christmas because Bren was too busy running a market garden throughout the rest of the year to have a romance! More seriously, I’d planned on a Christmas series, so began the writing with that in mind from the beginning.

Alexis: What do you want your readers to remember most about this book?

Valerie: I want readers to remember that God offers us not only salvation, but a seat of honor at His table. Jesus’ sacrifice covers everything and then some. We don’t need to worry about whether our haloes are tarnished or shiny.

Alexis: Complete this sentence: My most fun time in writing this book was ____________________because__________________________.

Valerie: My most fun time in writing this book was when Bren was getting ready for their first date because all her insecurity showed…but in a fun way.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Valerie!

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 food movement as well as their 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 is a USA Today bestselling author and a two-time Word Award winner. She has been called “a stellar storyteller” as she injects experience laced with humor into her green clean romances. Visit her at ValerieComer.com.

Buy Valerie's book, Other Than a Halo:

Connect with Valerie: 
Visit Valerie's official website, valeriecomer.com to connect with her on social media, read her blog, and explore her many links. You may also subscribe to Valerie's email newsletter and receive a free Christmas short story called Peppermint Kisses.


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