Before we revisit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Rainbow's End, featuring Cara Putman, is:
faithhopecherrytea@ . . .
And the winner of the signed copy of Bees in the Butterfly Garden, by Maureen Lang, is:
Now let's meet novelist Valerie Comer, author of the novella, Topaz Treasure, in the collection, Rainbow's End (Barbour, May 2012).
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 church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, gardening and geocaching with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.
Please tell us five random things we might not know about you.
-- I didn't live in the same house as a television set until I was 25.
-- My dad wrote poetry, mostly somewhat rhyming "letters" to his daughters detailing life back home after they'd moved out.
-- My husband and I have moved 13 times in 32 years, and we've lived in the same house for the past 12 years. Think how fun the first 20 years were.
-- I spent 3 months in Bolivia a long time ago.
-- My favorite vacation so far has been an Alaskan cruise. So shocked my husband--he of the large personal bubble--suggested it!
I'm hoping to do an Alaskan cruise next year, too! I've always wanted to make that trip!
Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Topaz Treasure.
It's an interesting group of strangers who show up for the first annual Rainbow's End geocache hunt, and the spectacular scenery along the bluffs of the Lake of the Ozarks is just one reason.
Lyssa Quinn volunteers at the Rainbow's End geocaching hunt hoping to find the nerve to point folks to the true treasure found in Jesus. She's not expecting her former prof to be there, too.
Kirk Kennedy's treasure hunt takes him down a path he hadn't intended when he is captivated by Lyssa's intriguing sparkle. Can he convince Lyssa that there is more than one kind of treasure? Can Lyssa remind him of the greatest prize of all?
What is it about Lyssa that will make your readers care about her?
Lyssa is real. She's a Christian who finds it difficult to share her faith. Not everyone is a confident and vocal believer. I know I'm not. I had to come to grips with the fact that while I definitely need more boldness, it's also okay to realize the body of Christ is not made up of only mouths.
If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?
Is this where I say that the two photos pinned to my bulletin board while writing were of (a younger) Kirk Cameron . . .
. . . and Brooke Langton? You do need to be careful googling images of Brooke, though. Just sayin'.
I appreciate that warning, Valerie. I decided against searching for that picture while at the office.
Whom do you consider a fascinating fictional character?
I'm not sure if you're asking for a specific character or generalities, so I'm going with the second. What makes a memorable character for me is someone who has conflict within him or herself that I can identify with. While external conflict such as personality clashes or something bigger than any of them (like a forest fire) can be great plot devices, I need a reason to care what's going on inside of the character as well, or it's easy to set the book down and forget to pick it back up.
What is the last book you read that you would recommend?
I recently read A Bride's Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer. While my favorite genre is contemporary romance, this Civil-War-aftermath novel drew me in quickly. Diana created some endearing characters and gave them great conflict and lines. I especially loved the heroine's younger sister, Angel, who's blind and gets away with saying a lot of things others might have been thinking!
What are you working on now?
At the moment I seem to be in a season of proposal writing. Hopefully something will land soon, and I can get deeper into a story than just a few chapters before switching gears.
Where else can readers find you online?
The book is available at fine book stores and for online purchase via the following buttons:
Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?
If the church is Christ's body, what part do you see yourself called to be? How does that work out in your daily life?
Thank you, Valerie, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Valerie has offered to give a copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, June 14. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Valerie's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.
Be sure to check out my interview with Sandra Byrd, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of each post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book.
And I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.
Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.