Category Archives: Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight. . . with Valerie Comer

 

Thank you for joining me for this special Author Spotlight!

Valerie Comer is a very favorite author of mine and I’m delighted to share this author spotlight with my readers. . .

 

valcomer farmfiction

 

You’ve come to the right place!

Valerie Comer is a farmer, gardener, and local food enthusiast. She’s also a USA Today bestselling author and two-time Word Award winner of the Farm Fresh Romance series, the Urban Farm Fresh Romance series, the Christmas in Montana Romance series, the Riverbend Romance Novella series, the multi-author Arcadia Valley Romance series… with more stories and series on the horizon. Right here, where food meets faith… and fiction.

Valerie blogs where food meets faith. If you’re interested in God’s perspective on the topic, Valerie extends an invite to you to get to know her and her novels. While she might not have all the answers, exploring the subject is close to her heart — and God’s.

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 four adorable granddaughters.

Recently, Valerie chose to participate in a multi-author series, known as Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley. I’ll let Valerie tell you about this exciting series in her own words. . .

Welcome to Arcadia Valley, Idaho, where a foodie culture and romance grow hand-in-hand. Join my friends and me as we release a book every month set in Arcadia Valley. You’ll enjoy meeting old friends and making new ones as each of the six authors’ books intertwine with the previous stories in this Christian romance series. Get started with Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley and follow along at ArcadiaValleyRomance.com to make sure you don’t miss any installments!

January 2017: Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley
May 2017: Sprouts of Love
November 2017: Rooted in Love
May 2018: Harvest of Love

 

Valerie, thank you for taking time out of your busy day to answer a few questions, so your fans can get to know more about you…

1) Tell us a little about your new book. What is the main storyline?

My upcoming release tells the story of a bookstore manager who falls for a guy who avoids reading. While Harvest of Love is part of the Arcadia Valley Romance series, it can be read as a standalone.

Hot on the heels of a failed relationship, Kenia Akers focuses on her bookstore along with granting her aging grandfather’s desperate desire to get his hands in the dirt through a program at Grace Greenhouse. Reminding herself she’s on the rebound isn’t enough to keep her from falling for the hunky activities coordinator from Granddad’s facility.

Zane Russell is amazed that the fun-loving, pretty bookstore owner is attracted to him, a guy who’s not even in her league. As their relationship deepens, he avoids explaining why he seems allergic to books. Admitting his failures has never been a good move in the past.

Will they find a way to let openness, trust, and acceptance blossom into a harvest of love?

2) What character do you relate to or like best?

That’s like asking me which child or grandchild I love most! It’s impossible to choose one, because each has special, wonderful qualities. My favorite is nearly always the one I’m spending time with at the moment which, right now, is the characters in a Christmas novel to release in October. Recently, I fell a little in love with Zane Russell (Harvest of Love, May, 2018). He harbored a secret from those around him, making him a complex, somewhat tortured hero who sent mixed messages.

3) Did you learn anything new about yourself while writing Harvest of Love?

I always do, even when the heroine is nothing like me. In this case, Kenia Akers is a bookstore manager who comes from a wealthy family and is an extrovert to boot! We don’t have a lot in common, other than that we are both children of God who struggle with insecurities, even though they stem from different sources. I find God has a lot to teach me spiritually through every book I write. Sometimes it feels like a private journal is on public view and being judged by others!

4) How long have you been writing?

I’ve dabbled in writing my entire life, but I didn’t get very far before the summer of 2002, when I landed a job in a small-town flooring shop and found myself with many empty hours at work that needed to be filled. My bosses were totally fine with me setting up a desk in a back corner and writing between customers, phone calls, sales reps, and delivery guys.

In the next ten years, I’d write eleven novels in that corner, final in several writing contests, land an agent, and hold my first published book in my hands. That was Rainbow’s End, published by Barbour in May, 2012, in which my novella Topaz Treasure debuted. It is now out of print.

5) How/when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

It’s always been somewhere in my head. I started dozens of stories as a child, honed my imagination through roleplaying, and both piqued and satiated my curiosity through reading. But I was over 40 when it all came together and I began the process of learning to create characters and stories with complete arcs that others might wish to read.

6) Do you have a special place or atmosphere you like to write in best?

After ten years my bosses at the flooring shop sold the building, and I “retired” to write from home. I set up an office in a spare bedroom upstairs, but found I gravitated more and more to taking my laptop to my living room recliner. Finally I gave up pretending I worked at a desk and gave the room over for grandkids’ visits! I now have a computer that swings in front of my recliner and a lapdesk that holds my keyboard and track pad. I also have a laptop I can use to write away from the living room… but I rarely do.

7) What project are you working on now?

At the moment, I’m writing a Christmas romance, the first book in a new series. I’m not ready to reveal the direction of this new project yet! In 2017 I juggled three series, finishing up the Christmas in Montana series while actively writing on both the Arcadia Valley Romances and the Urban Farm Fresh Romances. With Harvest of Love’s release in May, my part in the multi-author Arcadia Valley Romance series is complete. Three series was too many, but I do enjoy alternating between two story worlds, hence the new series debuting this fall. Hopefully the next Urban Farm Fresh Romance will release in August or September as well. I’m trying not to make promises I can’t keep.

8) What advice would you give a new author?

Write because you love it, because you can’t not write, because God has put stories on your heart that you must share or go crazy. It must be a passion first, because the outcome is not guaranteed. Sure, anyone can self-publish a book these days — every one of my current titles are independently published — but that makes it even harder to stand out since there are so many titles available to readers.

Write the best book you can, then put on your business hat and hire a cover designer and an editor before releasing it. There are many things you can do to draw attention to your book — write blog interviews, pay for advertising, build an email list, be active on social media — but the final results of your marketing efforts are out of your hands and not a measure of your self-worth.

Writing, to me, is first and foremost an act of worship and obedience.

9) How many books have you written and how can we find your book(s)?

I’ve written and published 24 Christian contemporary romance novels. You can find a complete listing by series at http://valeriecomer.com/books.

All titles are available in ebook on Amazon, Kobo, Nook, iBooks, and Google Play. Some are also available on Christian Book Distributors. Most are sold everywhere in paperback, and my two main series are also available in audio.

If you enjoy romantic stories with engaging characters, strong communities, and deep faith, please come visit!

 

Now for a few fun facts…

Favorite vacation spot – Vancouver Island, in BC, Canada. I love the wild Pacific coast and staring out at the ocean, watching for whales

Favorite color – Green, of course!

Favorite food/drink – Too many to count, and it changes season by season depending on what’s fresh from the garden. But I guess I’ll say homemade mocha, being as I have at least one mug every day, no matter the time of year!

Favorite time of year – Whichever one we’re in at the moment. I try to find enjoyment in them all. I’m not fond of the high temperatures in summer, though.

Favorite hobbies – Hanging out with my three young granddaughters. Camping beside a mountain stream. Cooking veggies minutes from the garden.

Favorite holiday – Christmas, at least if both our kids and their families can be home. Family time is the best.

Favorite dessert – I have too many favorites here! The local foodie in me should say fruit cobblers, and I do enjoy them. But… chocolate usually wins.

 

Thank you, Valerie… and God bless you!

You can find Valerie on her WEBSITE, at FACEBOOK, TWITTER, GOODREADS, and AMAZON.

 

Don’t miss my interview with VALERIE COMER…today on Donna’s BookShelf. Tweet this!

 

Interview © 2018 DJ Mynatt

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FEBRUARY 2018 MARATHON | Kelly Irvin

 

 

I am honored to feature  KELLY IRVIN on my bookshelf blog this month

 

 

KELLY has graciously offered to sponsor a surprise giveaway…

 

 

 

     For a chance to win, do the following:

1) follow Kelly on Facebook HERE

2) follow Kelly on Twitter HERE

2) follow Kelly on her website HERE

 

Donna’s BookShelf is featuring Kelly Irvin this month – Tweet this!

 

Now go enter!

And tell all your friends about this contest!

 

 

Blessings!

Marathon © 2018 DJ Mynatt

 

 

Nominating A MOTHER FOR LEAH by Rachel L Miller for an INSPY award!

Join me in nominating this heart-warming book for an INSPY award!  

 

Click on the image to visit nomination page

 

I enjoyed this wonderful story of hope and healing and family togetherness. Rachel has brought Amish romance back to where I feel it belongs.

 I reviewed A Mother for Leah by Rachel L Miller when it was released. You can read that POST for my full review, but I’ve posted a snippet of that review below as well as the blurb for the book itself.

 

I was hooked from the first page…

Rachel L Miller writes with great depth and emotion. Her characters are well-developed and entertaining, and the story will leave you with feelings of love, hope and joy. If you enjoy reading Amish romance stories, you’ll LOVE reading A Mother For Leah.

 

ABOUT A Mother for Leah:

Will Leah Fisher find love because of a buggy accident?

Could love soften her heart so that she is able to see her answered prayers in Naomi Yoder or will she drive a wedge between her father and the only woman he has shown interest in since Elisabeth Fisher’s death?

Leah Fisher lost her mother ten years ago. She is rapidly approaching womanhood and the lack is becoming more difficult every day.

Will she be able to recognize love when it’s right in front of her?

Could love be the key to Leah opening her heart, making room for the woman her father intends to marry… or will she stubbornly cling to the memory of her own mother?

Will Leah be able to let go of her own ideas and realize that God truly does know best for her or will she allow love to slip through her fingers, destroying Samuel Fisher and Naomi Yoder’s happiness at the same time?


I hope you’ll join me in nominating this wonderful debut novel. I feel it deserves to win!

Here is the link again: http://inspys.com/?page_id=1183 

In the meantime, you can connect with Rachel on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and her website: rlmauthor.com

 

 

God bless you!

Review © 2017 DJ Mynatt

COMING SOON… JC Morrows

I have some exciting news to share!

 

First, I have the distinct pleasure of sharing some exciting information about the first book in JC’s upcoming urban fantasy series…

Book 1 of the Andarii Chronicles

TAKEN

   

From the back cover:

 

This is not a story you want to miss; this book, or any book of this series. It’s a story that spans galaxies, involves multiple peoples, and it will reveal a destiny that no one saw coming.

No prophecy brought her here. No ancient oracle foretold her coming. No ancient tablet spoke about the role she is destined to fill. But life and fate brought her where she needs to be to save more than one planet.

 

While we wait for more information, please add this book to your GOODREADS shelf!

 

 

 

And JC has graciously agreed to share with you some hints about other projects, upcoming series, and works-in-process. . .

 

Also slated to release in 2018 is a story about an alien and the one she is connected to. You may have seen updates during November. JC did not win NaNoWriMo this year, but she did get a good start on LINKED – book 1 of the NEW Across the Void series.

She is also busily working on a time travel story, a dragon series and she is co-authoring a story with her daughter Macy.

Exciting things coming.

 

Thank You!
Blessings!

 

Marathon © 2017 DJ Mynatt

MONTHLY AUTHOR FEATURE

 

I hope you have missed the monthly author features as much as I have… Since I cannot commit to monthly features, I’m planning to feature one author for a week (or so) each month.
Next month I’ll be featuring Jill Kemerer…
So check back in mid September… I’ll be featuring most of Jill’s books and we’ll be doing a giveaway!

Happy Reading!!!
God bless you!

 

Donna’s BookShelf
Blogpost © 2017 DJ Mynatt

 

Introducing A MOTHER FOR LEAH by Rachel L Miller

 

 

 

Will Leah Fisher find love because of a buggy accident?
Don’t miss this Sweet Amish Romance about loss, life and new love!

 

Enter to WIN a Favorite Reads Prize pack!

This giveaway is open from August 15th – 30th. One winner will be chosen! Click the image below to enter. The winners will be announced August 31st on the author’s BLOG!

And keep reading below for more about this fantastic book.

 

 


  

BEHIND THE SCENES:

10 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT A Mother for Leah
      THE INFO BELOW CONTAINS SPOILERS!

1. The prologue for A Mother for Leah did not exist in the rough draft. It was added later—then removed at the request of an interested agent, then added back in at the request of the agent Rachel signed with.

2. Initially, Leah was a very unlikeable character. Fortunately, with edits (and the addition of a secondary romance), Leah became the charming, sweet girl we see in the final story.

3. The name of Leah’s father’s love interest changed four times before the author settled on Naomi.

4. A Mother for Leah is book 1 in a series. At the moment, there are three books proposed and contracted.

5. There is a companion series proposed, though it has not been finalized at this time.

6. A Mother for Leah takes place in upstate New York and, though Windy Gap is a fictional community that the author created, there are “real” Amish settlements in the area that inspired this novel and several others.

7. Leah is mentioned briefly in Naomi Miller‘s Lemon Tart Mystery – book 3 of her Amish Sweet Shop Mystery series. And yes, before you ask, a crossover has been discussed with the authors

8. The shop in Windy Gap named Sew Sweet is not a misspelling. It is an intentional play on words because the neighboring shops “Sew Sweet” and “SewNice” are owned by quirky sisters who thought it was a clever marketing ploy that customers would enjoy.

9. A Mother for Leah was written during Rachel’s very first NaNoWriMo session. (Yes, she won)

10. Rachel was introduced to Amish fiction (as a reader) and to the idea of writing Amish fiction—by her mother

 

Today I am reviewing A Mother for Leah by Rachel L Miller. 

I was hooked from the first page…

I could easily picture a little girl, standing on her porch, then rushing through the pouring rain to the waiting buggy… I’ve lost both parents and both sisters and I’m the last family member, so I’m sure you’ll understand when I cried buckets at the funeral. The rain falling on the big, black umbrella seemed totally appropriate.

Ten years pass and Samuel Fisher has remained single, albeit a difficult thing to do in his Amish community. Even after ten years, Leah is still missing her mother, while caring for her father and brothers. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll let you read it and discover what happens when Leah’s father decides it’s time to search for a wife.

Rachel L Miller writes with great depth and emotion. Her characters are well-developed and entertaining, and the story will leave you with feelings of love, hope and joy. If you enjoy reading Amish romance stories, you’ll LOVE reading A Mother For Leah.

A Mother For Leah is the first book in the Windy Gap Wishes series… I’m thrilled to help promote this awesome book — and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

 

ABOUT A Mother for Leah:

Will Leah Fisher find love because of a buggy accident?

Could love soften her heart so that she is able to see her answered prayers in Naomi Yoder or will she drive a wedge between her father and the only woman he has shown interest in since Elisabeth Fisher’s death?

Leah Fisher lost her mother ten years ago. She is rapidly approaching womanhood and the lack is becoming more difficult every day.

Will she be able to recognize love when it’s right in front of her?

Could love be the key to Leah opening her heart, making room for the woman her father intends to marry… or will she stubbornly cling to the memory of her own mother?

Will Leah be able to let go of her own ideas and realize that God truly does know best for her or will she allow love to slip through her fingers, destroying Samuel Fisher and Naomi Yoder’s happiness at the same time?

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel L Miller writes sweet Amish romance with a focus on faith, family and friendship.

She feels very strongly that God has led her to live a simpler lifestyle – thus her deep kinship with the plain people. She enjoys spending time with her family and doing fun, simple things like swimming, making sun tea, sitting outside watching the sunrise or listening to rain fall on the tin roof.

Rachel enjoys writing Amish fiction and hopes that the purity of her stories will allow God’s message to shine through more clearly. She also writes Contemporary Inspirational Romance – and with all of her stories she focuses on presenting romance the way God intended it to be.

Readers can connect with Rachel on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and her website: rlmauthor.com

 

 

THANK YOU for your participation!

God bless you!

Review © 2017 DJ Mynatt

A Plain Widow | Diane Craver Tour

About the Book

Book: A Plain Widow

Author: Diane Craver

Genre: Amish romance

Release Date: March 10, 2017

Molly Ebersol’s life changes in a few minutes when an arsonist torches their barn. Her husband, Caleb, rushes inside the burning barn to save his horses. Although Amish firefighter, Jonathan Mast, tries to save Caleb, he fails. Suddenly Molly becomes a widow.

A month later, an anonymous person gives money to cover the lumber and food expenses for the barn raising. One late night more money is left for Molly on the porch. The fire investigator wonders if the arsonist feels guilt about Caleb’s death and is responsible for the money gifts.

During the continued investigation, it’s learned that Caleb had secrets he kept from Molly. She is crushed by what Caleb did before meeting her. How could the love of her life kept his English past from her?

Her new neighbor, Jonathan, helps her to make the difficult transition from wife to widow. Although Molly develops feelings for Jonathan, can she ever trust him to be truthful to her? She isn’t sure she can fall in love again. Her trust in relationships is shattered because of Caleb’s past actions.

About the Author

Diane grew up on a farm outside Findlay, Ohio, and she often acted out characters from her own stories in the backyard. In high school she would read during classes and hide a novel in front of her in a propped up textbook. After Diane graduated from the Ohio State University, she became a schoolteacher and play director.

She met her husband while teaching at an orphanage, and they married three years later. Diane says that it took her that long to convince him she was the one for him! While raising their family in southwestern Ohio, she started writing nonfiction and was published. Later, Diane decided it would be a nice escape to write fiction. They were blessed with five daughters and one son. Two daughters were born with Down syndrome and live at home. Their other children live close by. Diane has four adorable grandchildren. Her favorite vacation is going to the beach with the whole family.

Non-fiction articles of Diane’s have been published in Woman’s World Weekly, The Catholic Telegraph, Virtue, Down Syndrome Today, WritersWeekly.com, and other publications. Several of Diane’s books have been a reviewer’s top pick from Night Owl Reviews as well as receiving 5 star reviews and A Joyful Break (Dreams of Plain Daughters) received the CTRR Reviewer’s Recommend Award from Coffee Time Romance and More.

Diane gives thanks daily to God for all her blessings.

Guest Post from Diane Craver

Back in 2012, when I told our adult children I had written my first Amish book, they looked surprised. In the past I had written contemporary Christian romance, but I had never mentioned anything about researching the Amish faith for my future books. My great-grandfather was a Mennonite minister, but I never knew him. My mother shared stories about his faith and his strictness in raising children. With many similarities between my great-grandfather’s faith and the Amish beliefs, I was drawn to learn more about the Plain life.

Another influence came from my father. While growing up in Findlay, Ohio, my father respected and enjoyed talking with the Amish from Kenton, Ohio. As a farmer, he used both work horses (something he had in common with his Amish acquaintances) and a tractor. In my book, A PLAIN WIDOW, my character, Jonathan Mast, is from Kenton. Unfortunately, my children never knew my father, but they learned how precious he was to me from reading my book, A GIFT FOREVER.

Now several books later, I am still writing Amish fiction. I feel blessed that God directed me on this writing path. A wonderful aspect of writing in this genre is finding Amish recipes to prepare in my kitchen. One of my favorite recipes is also my character Molly’s specialty in my new release. This Amish recipe is an easy bread to make and takes around twenty minutes to prepare.

Delicious Amish Cinnamon Bread

(Makes 2 loaves)

Batter:

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 cups buttermilk or 2 cups milk plus 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice

4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

Cinnamon/sugar mixture:

2/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Cream together butter, 2 cups of sugar, and eggs. Add milk, flour, and baking soda. Put 1/2 of batter (or a little less) into greased loaf pans. (Basically pour 1/4 of the total batter into each pan.)

Mix in separate bowl the 2/3 cup of sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle 3/4 of cinnamon mixture on top of the 1/2 batter in each pan. Add remaining batter to pans; sprinkle with last of cinnamon topping. Swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 min. Or until toothpick tester is clean.

Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan.

Blog Stops

April 20: Bibliophile Reviews

April 20: Lighthouse Academy

April 21: A Reader’s Brain

April 21: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

April 22: cherylbbookblog

April 23: Donna’s Bookshelf

April 24: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

April 25: Pause for Tales

April 25: Bigreadersite

April 26: Moments Dipped in Ink

April 27: A Baker’s Perspective

April 28: Christian Bookaholic

April 29: Just Commonly

April 30: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

April 30: A Greater Yes

May 1: Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting

May 1: Splashes of Joy

May 2: Karen Sue Hadley

May 2: my site/autism mom

May 3: A Simply Enchanted Life

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Diane is giving away:

GRAND PRIZE: Diane is giving away a set of the Dream of Plain Daughters Series (4 book series) and a $20 Amazon gift card. If the winner is outside of the US, ebooks will be substituted.

RUNNER-UP: A copy of AMISH BABY SNATCHED, the first book in The Bishop’s Daughters Series and a $10 Amazon gift card.

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b54a

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