Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Snowflake Tiara... in Kenya?

My most recent book, Snowflake Tiara, co-written with Angela Breidenbach, released a few weeks ago. It contains a pair of Christmas romances not only set firmly in Montana, USA, but also meant to highlight Montana's 125th year of statehood as well as the 150th anniversary of its capital city, Helena.

Please don't make me turn in my Canadian card!

Admittedly, it seems very strange to showcase Helena, Montana, as thoroughly as I did in my contemporary novella, More Than a Tiara. While my story hinges on Angela's historical novella (set in 1889 as Montana becomes a state), its purpose is to spread awareness of needs in a far greater capacity.

One thing Angela's character and mine have in common is their compassion for children in need. In 1889, Helena was the last stop for the Orphan Train. Any unclaimed children were dropped off here. When Calista meets a mistreated six-year-old indentured servant from a brothel, Calista knows she must do something, not only for little Lea, but for all the children she sees on the streets.

Fast-forward 125 years. Calista's 3x great-granddaughter, Marisa, also has a heart of compassion for kids. This was primed during her years of modeling shoots in glamorous locations, like the beaches of Kenya, where she became acquainted with missionaries working among the Masai. Now that she's back on the family farm near Helena, Marisa and her mother open part of their property to young moms on social assistance, teaching them to grow and process some of their own food. At her core, Marisa has been challenged to meet the needs of children.

It's a sad fact that there are kids without nutritious food to eat all over this planet. Without safety. Without nurturing and love. And, in many cases, without people who care. It's so easy to be overwhelmed by all the need. I know. I'm there, hardly knowing where to start, knowing the problem is too huge for me. But not too big for God.

A vintage postcard from my father's collection

Snowflake Tiara is a pair of long novellas with a wintery Christmas setting. You'll enjoy cocoa and gingerbread cookies, sledding and skating parties, decorations and Christmas trees, and harps, penny whistles, and flutes playing Away in a Manger and other carols.

But throughout both tales of beauty, talent, and pageantry, you'll be reminded of children around the globe whose needs are much more basic. Like the little Lord Jesus, many little ones have no crib for a bed. The prayer in Away in a Manger asks God to bless all the dear children in His tender care. It's my prayer, too.

How can we help? This is my question for you today. I'm offering one ebook copy of Snowflake Tiara to someone who replies by comment before the end of the month. This isn't a competition or a "look at me and what charities I'm involved in" request. I'd like a thoughtful discussion of the topic.

The story's tagline? Is all about the children.

What if you were caught doing something good, but the man you loved didn't see it that way?

The Debutante Queen by Angela Breidenbach ~ 1889 (Helena, MT): Calista Blythe enters the first Miss Snowflake Pageant celebrating Montana statehood to expose the plight of street urchins. But if her hidden indentured orphan is discovered, Calista’s reputation and her budding romance with pageant organizer, Albert Shanahan, could both unravel. Will love or law prevail?

More Than a Tiara by Valerie Comer ~ 2014 (Helena, MT): Marisa Hiller’s interest in competing in Miss Snowflake Pageant for the city of Helena’s 150th anniversary is at zip zero zilch when she discovers the official photographer is Jase Mackie. Can Jase make amends for past mistakes and offer her, not only a tiara, but a partner in her crusade to help needy children and families?

Interested in reading Snowflake Tiara? I'm offering one reader a digital copy, your choice of mobi (for Kindle) or epub (for most other ereaders). If you'd like to put your name in the hat, please add your email address with your comment no later than Tuesday, September 30, replacing @ with (at) and .com with (dot) com.

"Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws."

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 food movement as well as their 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. Her debut novel, Raspberries and Vinegar: A Farm Fresh Romance, was awarded Best Contemporary Romance published in 2013 by The Word Guild.


  1. Congratulations on your new book! I love how you tied it into a global issue.

  2. I'm fascinated the way you two worked on this. And in two time periods...unique idea.
    We love working with children in Thailand and giving out John's Gospels in Thai. Through our interpreter, Somchai Soonthornturasuk, we visit primary, high, and college age children. We know if they find Jesus as their Savior, He will help them in any future problems they may face.

    ritagal at optusnet dot com dot au

    If I am fortunate enough to get chosen I'd love this on my Kindle

  3. Congratulations on your new release! I have the novellas in my electronic tbr queue and I'm looking forward to reading them. I'm fascinated by the historical and contemporary family and humanitarian connections between the stories.

  4. Working with Angela on this was a pleasure. The ideas and tie-ins ping-ponged back and forth rapidly, which was so awesome!

  5. You've got me excited for Christmas already! I love the history woven into the stories.

  6. Working together meant really being aware of actual places and events in history and what they are today. Between maps, train tours, and fact checks we had so many Google+ Hangout video calls we completely lost count. And Valerie had a trip or two down from Canada ;)

  7. I loved hearing the story behind the story, and the issues you've raised are so real and so important. Right now, all I can do is pray.