Romance, Rivers, and Serenades, Oh My! by Valerie Comer (and Book Giveaway)

Story Spark: Sweet Serenade

SS-200x300Romance, Rivers, and Serenades, Oh My!


Valerie Comer

Which is my favorite of all the stories I’ve written? The one I just wrote. Always.

So it seems strange to insist that Sweet Serenade really does hold a special spot in my heart when there are nearly a dozen others. Writing this novella sent my memory back over 20 years to a ten-day canoe camping trip we took on the Bowron Lakes Circuit in British Columbia, Canada.

Sure, there were sore muscles every day. Mosquitoes. Rain and perpetually wet gear. Grueling portages across which we had to carry our canoe and gear. Thin mattress pads under our sleeping bags.

But there was also the delight of gliding across glass-smooth lakes. The rush of running rapids. Much wildlife: moose, bears, eagles, and more. The hysterical laughter of loons. The comfort of shoulder massages around evening campfires. The delectable taste of fresh-caught trout.


Bowron Lake CircuitSweet Serenade takes place around the town of Riverbend, fictionally set near where I live in BC. My first thought was to send my characters to the real Bowron Lakes, not that far away, but I soon realized that wouldn’t work well in a 30,000-word novella for various reasons. Instead, both Carly and Reed are avid canoeists who work in tourism—for rival companies.

Carly Thorbergsen is loosely based on a friend my daughter had years ago, a young teen who spent every summer canoe-tripping with her dad, spending the school year in whatever town attracted them at the time. Like my daughter’s friend, Carly was pretty much raised in a canoe and has no real roots.

While Reed Daniels is definitely not a younger version of my husband, I think they’d be good friends in real life. They both passionately love the water. They both play guitar. And they both love watching the northern lights. They’re also quiet, peace-loving guys!

I thoroughly enjoyed writing Carly and Reed’s story, and I hope readers will feel my love of the outdoors through the pages of Sweet Serenade.

What about you? What’s your favorite way to enjoy God’s creation? (See below for giveaway details.)

Valerie-Comer-300x300Meet Valerie

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.

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Where Food Meets Faith…and Fiction and Farm Lit.

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Book Giveaway

To enter the drawing for a copy of Valerie’s book, please leave a comment before Sunday, July 26, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. (Central time). After a random drawing, the winner’s name will be announced on Monday, July 27th.

Thank you for reading the Story Spark behind Valerie’s novella and participating in the giveaway.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete offensive or off-topic comments.

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14 thoughts on “Romance, Rivers, and Serenades, Oh My! by Valerie Comer (and Book Giveaway)

  1. I love to garden and work in my yard. I know mowing the grass sounds like work but this is when I enjoy quiet time to think, meditate and talk to God. Planting, hoeing, and weeding my garden helps me remember that God is my Creator and He also created everything else in this world that I live in. Being outside is the way that I feel closest to God. Thanks for this post and giveaway!

    • I feel closest to God outdoors, too, Connie. Love camping by a mountain creek! I’ve been the Chief Lawn Mower for many years, too. I kind of like going in circles in my yard… (Sometimes I work out plot problems that way!)

    • Hi, Connie. I’ve never been much of a gardener, but I love to walk outside in the morning and pray and think and listen. I agree with you about feeling especially close to God during those times. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  2. Novellas are favorites of mine to read, and to write. And BC is one of my favorite places to visit. Plus, the story sounds intriguing. I would love to win this novella.

    Bonnie Engstrom

  3. I used to travel and saw some beautiful places–New Zealand, Germany, Hawaii. Now I’m staying closer to home. I do love working on the Florida Gulf coast, hunting for sea shells.

    • Terri, it’s my dream to travel to those places. Though there are a lot sites here in the U.S. I want to see, too. After living more than twenty years in Florida, though, I have to say it’s one of my favorite places ever!

    • I spent a few months in South America many MANY years ago. Other than that, I’ve seen a lot of Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest. I love spending time at the ocean!

  4. I was introduced to your books when bookgorilla recommend you to me. I instantly feel in love! As a Christian I know that we need to take care of the world around us, but was unsure of how to approach it. A lot of my coworkers are vegan, but I’m a foodie and have issues with that diet, I have done it for the Daniel’s Fast. When I read your books I realized that I could still be a good steward of the Earth by living substantially. I have changed the companies that I buy my make up and hygiene products from. I am trying to buy locally and doing little changes as I go. I just want you to know how much your books have inspired me and helped me.

    • Katie, thank you so very much for your kind words. I’m grateful you let me know that I have made a difference in your life. If you’re on my email list, I have a letter going out hopefully tomorrow with more information about the next Farm Fresh Romance. I’d be honored if you joined my list, if you haven’t already. Blessings!