Monday, August 26, 2013


Today I'm pleased to review Valerie Comer's, Raspberries and Vinegar.  The book is billed as "farm fresh fiction" and it is fresh and funny and definitely farm. There's lots of muck and mice and other things country. The story zips along with engaging characters and unexpected plot twists. Instructors of creative writing often use the metaphor, "get your characters up and tree and throw stones at them." In, Raspberries and Vinegar we do find the heroine up a tree although no stones are involved.

    Summary: Josephine Shaw and two other women, have bought a run-down farm and are determined to restore the land, build a straw-bale house and pursue an earth-friendly lifestyle. Their ambitions reach into the community as well as they try to persuade others to live pesticide-free and buy local.
     Their neighbour, Zachary Nemesek isn't particularly sympathetic, but then, he's only here until he can find a job in the city, treating cats and dogs. He isn't interested in a country veterinarian practice, or sustainable farming. Yet, despite himself, Zach is interested in Jo, if only she weren't so hot-tempered and single-minded in her pursuit of the rural ideal.
       With faith and prayer and a splash of vinegar, Comer takes her readers and her characters on a bumpy ride to happily-ever-after.

    I heartily recommend Raspberries and Vinegar.

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 stories. Raspberries and Vinegar, first in her series A Farm Fresh Romance, released in August, 2013. It may be purchased at Chose Now Publishing
AND Valerie will give away a digital copy to one lucky reader, anywhere in the world. To enter the draw leave your name and e-addy in the comment box. Draw closes on Saturday, Aug 31 with the winner announced on the Sunday Edition.

Alice Valdal is a farm girl herself and bits of farming lore find their way into her writing.   Next week she'll enter her best roses in the Saanich Fair.  She's also a gardener, singer, knitter and servant to her two cats.  For more, visit her web page at 


  1. I really like the idea of Farm Lit -- sounds like a great story! Paula McGrew at

  2. It does sound a fun book. Thanks for the review of it Alice.If you'd like to read an interview with Valerie you will find one on my blog August 1st.

  3. Aw, thank you for the review, Alice!

  4. Hi Paula and Dale,

    It is a fun read and the "farm" part is real! Valerie doesn't pretend that farmers don't get dirty and smelly!

  5. This sounds like such a fun read! And so timely. Will it be available in print? And from Amazon or Book Depository? This sounds like a perfect Christmas stocking stuffer for my horticulture-trained, totally down-to-earth, whole foods daughter. Love to be entered, too. :) SandraOrchard(at)ymail(dot)com Going to share on my FB page...sorry I'm so late!

  6. Sandra, it is already available in print. My publisher has been jumping through the hoops for quite a while and they are currently showing it as "temporarily out of stock" instead of "pre-order" so I guess progress is being made :P

    The Book Depository should be online very shortly after as it's an Amazon company.

  7. Living in a crowded city, Raspberries and Vinegar sound like a total treat! And I get the feeling there is a lot to be learned from it, as well, starting with how to respect our planet and live a healthier lifestyle. It brings me back to my roots, growing up on a small farm in upstate New York with one horse, one stubborn goat, a bunch of chickens, bunnies, cats and dogs and a big garden that produced the freshest fruits and vegetables!

  8. Have to laugh, Sara. I don't think I've ever heard a goat described as sweet, or loving, or, it's always stubborn. Possibly there's a reason for that.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  9. I love your title. This is one book I've been dying to read. Can't wait.

  10. I've already read the first chapter and I loved it! Have already bought it on Kindle and will be devouring it tonight!!!! I'm sooo proud of you Valerie!!!!!!

  11. Congratulations, Valerie! Any comments about the book that I've seen here in Australia have been very positive. Just wish I had an e-reader so I could enter to win a copy!

    1. You can free download a Kindle for PC, Jo-Anne. I did that to read Kathi's book which I won. Lived the book but reading on screen is not my favourite form of reading.