Farm Lit, a Genre for Your Inner Country Girl

Before we dive into this week’s feature novel, a hearty “hurrah!” for Clash of the Titles’s 
2013 LAUREL AWARD
winning novel, Veil of Pearls.

Congratulations to Author MaryLu Tyndall for a job well done!
Stay tuned for a full-length feature on this fantastic book.

AND NOW…


Raspberries and Vinegar
by Valerie Comer
Sweet Like Raspberries ~ Tart Like Vinegar

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Josephine Shaw: complex, yet singleminded. A tiny woman with big ideas and, some would say, a mouth to match. But what does she really know about sustainable living as it relates to the real world? After all, she and her two friends are new to farming.

Zachary Nemesek is back only until his dad recovers enough to work his own land again. When Zach discovers three helpless females have taken up residence at the old farm next door, he expects trouble. But a mouse invasion proves Jo has everything under control. Is there anything she can’t handle? And surely there’s something sweet beneath all that tart.

PURCHASE

Q&A WITH VALERIE:

Q: Where did the idea for Raspberries and Vinegar come from?
A: There’s a huge interest these days in food issues, and many 20-somethings dream of having a small farm and growing their own food. As a long-time farmer myself, I wondered what it would look like to have idealistic urban young people tackle a farming environment. And the whole Farm Fresh Romance series was born!

Q: They say to write what you know. What do you know about growing food?
A: My husband and I both grew up with moms who had large gardens and cooked from scratch because of financial necessity. Having the same need in our early years, we followed in their footsteps, but we soon came to understand that our food was healthier and tastier than what many families ate. Now we are beekeepers and own a small farm. We grow most of our own meat and vegetables, and source a great deal of our fruit and grain locally. This means a large garden and an intimate knowledge of processing food for winter via canning, dehydrating, and freezing.

Q: Why do you call this novel Farm Lit?
A: Farm Lit has been getting a lot of attention lately as today’s answer to Chick Lit. In the current economic atmosphere, women’s minds are turning from shoes and handbags to gourmet food and farm-to-table restaurants. Farm Lit http://farmlit.com is any literature that embraces the life of modern-day “new” farmers. These stories can be fiction or memoir, and most often include city-bred heroines who head for an idealized rural existence and (often) find the man of their dreams riding a tractor rather than a horse or a motorbike. As such, Raspberries and Vinegar fits the bill perfectly!

WHAT COTT VOTERS HAD TO SAY ABOUT THE BOOK:

* Raspberries and Vinegar–Wonderful title and I look forward to reading it. Bless you.
* Valerie, always a great job.
* I look for feel-good reads with wholesome challenges and real, yet admirable characters. Raspberries and Vinegar seems to have it all!
* I chose Raspberries and Vinegar by Valerie Comer because it’s her debut book as well as the debut book for ChooseNow Publishing. I’m very interested to see what all the hoopla is about.
* I like Valerie Comer’s originality with her genre. There’s a freshness about it!

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:
Don’t pick up Raspberries and Vinegar and expect the same old blah-blah love story, because you won’t get that. What you will get is a well-written, enjoyable, emotional tale that will pull you into the beginning of a series I predict you’ll look forward to following as much as I do. Romance, locally sourced foods and interesting, complicated characters all make this a page turner.
~B. Nault

Valerie Comer’s Raspberries & Vinegar is a sweet and sassy story that made me laugh out loud, get teary-eyed, and sigh with pleasure at the ending. There’s Josephine, a spunky heroine with a heart for her friends, the earth, and the handsome vet next door. And there’s Zachary, a veterinarian who cares about animals, his sweet and confused grandmother, and the spunky new neighbor, Josephine.
~Stacy M.

Until I read this book, I’d never heard of “farmlit,” and didn’t know what to expect. Romantic, fun, with refreshing values, and small town atmosphere, readers will enjoy this romp on the farm!
~Tara

Each December I pick my favorite reads of the year and right now Raspberries and Vinegar is a top contender. If you love strong characters, a great message, a clean romance and the country, this book is for you.
~J. Arduini

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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 characters enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters.

Valerie writes Farm Lit with the voice of experience laced with humor. Raspberries and Vinegar, first in her series A Farm Fresh Romance, released August 1, 2013. Visit her at http://valeriecomer.com.

The ultimate literary challenge, where authors battle and readers judge.

September Clash Champion and Laurel Finalists, Announced!


This week, COTT announces TWO great events!
September’s Clash Winner
and the 2013 Laurel Finalists.

We’ll start with the Clash.
And the winner is….


The Pastor’s Wife Wears Biker Boots

by Author Karla Akins
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Pastor’s wife, Kirstie Donovan, lives life in a fishbowl, so when she hops on the back of a bright pink motorcycle, tongues start to wag at the conservative, century-old First Independent Christian Community Church of Eels Falls. 
Kirstie loves roaring down a road less traveled by most women over forty, but she’s not just riding her bike for the fun of it. Kirstie has a ministry. However, certain church members have secrets to hide, and when God uses Kirstie’s ministry to fill the pews with leather-clad, tattooed bikers, those secrets could be exposed…and some will stop at nothing to hide the truth. 
Join Kirstie and her motorcycle “gang”—two church matrons and a mouthy, gum-smacking non-church member—as they discover that road-toughened bikers are quite capable of ministering to others, and faith is fortified in the most unexpected ways.
PURCHASE:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Karla Akins is a pastor’s wife who rides her own motorcycle. She is the mother of four boys and one step-daughter, and grandmother of five. She lives in North Manchester with her husband who is the pastor of Christian Fellowship Church, her twin teenage boys with autism, mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s and three rambunctious dogs. Karla and her husband have been in ministry together for 30 years.

AND NOW FOR THE LAUREL FINALISTS!
The entries have been read and the scores have been tabulated. Our unique panel of judges, comprised strictly of readers, has determined our three finalists. And they are…

Ruth Reid’s “An Angel by Her Side”
MaryLu Tyndall’s “Veil of Pearls”
Delia Latham’s “Gypsy’s Game”

Congratulations to all three!!

Thanks you to all our Laurel entrants for participating—the panel enjoyed reading all of your excerpts! 

The three finaling submissions will be returned to the same panel of judges for a final vote. The winner will be announced on October 18, 2013.