Monday, December 5, 2016

Winter Wonderland Christmas and #Giveaway

For much of the English-speaking/reading world, Christmas means snow and wintry weather. On this international blog, that’s less true than many places.

I’ve just finished reading An Aussie Summer Christmas by Narelle Atkins, Marion Ueckermann, and four other authors, which reminded me that summer heat, barbecues, and visits to the beach are typical for Christmases in the Southern Hemisphere. Likewise, my son-in-law was born and raised in Chile, and it’s taken him a while to become accustomed to Canadian Christmases and the different traditions we have in a cold-weather climate.

For me, Christmas and winter go hand-in-hand. My goal as an author is to permeate my Christmas stories with some of the following:

• Snow, including winter driving, snowball fights, snow angels, snowmen, and tobogganing parties
• Hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies
• Acquiring and decorating a live pine or fir tree
• Caroling parties
• Sunday school Christmas concerts
• The wonder as seen through the eyes of children
• The story of Jesus’ birth
• Families, friends, and traditions
• Candlelight and fireplaces
• Aromas of cinnamon, ginger, and peppermint

Not every story has room for all of those, of course, even if it includes a northern Christmas! For a Christmas story to be successful, it needs to remind readers of Jesus' birth, tug at the heartstrings, and offer a feel-good nostalgic experience. Do you agree?

More Than a Tiara debuted in 2014 as part of Snowflake Tiara and showed up again in 2015 as part of Home for Christmas. It’s recently released as the first in the Christmas in Montana Romance series, closely followed by Other Than a Halo. Next year will see the release of Better Than a Crown.

About the Christmas in Montana Romance series:
Welcome to Helena, Montana, and fall in love at Christmas! Enjoy the rich heritage and innate charm of Montana’s capitol city in this Christmas romance series celebrating heart-warming stories of love and second chances as Marisa, Bren, and Heather discover love amid the glitz of beauty pageants.

Interested in reading one of my Christmas in Montana Romances and experiencing a northern Christmas for yourself? I’m offering one reader a copy (winner’s choice, e-book only, worldwide). If you'd like to put your name in the hat, please add your email address with your comment before Friday, December 9, 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 foods 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 is a USA Today bestselling author and a two-time Word Award winner. She has been called “a stellar storyteller” as she injects experience laced with humor into her green clean romances. Visit her at


  1. Hi Valerie, I love Christmas stories, and your Christmas stories are near the top of my tbr list. :) Hot chocolate is an all-year favourite treat of mine, irrespective of the weather. I agree with your essential elements for a successful Christmas story.

    1. That's interesting. I'd think your Aussie list would be different from my Canadian one! I'm honored my tales are on your TBR.

  2. I'd love to read one of your Christmas stories! jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com

  3. I've lived in the southern hemisphere for well over a decade now, and I admit that I still miss the cold snowy, sitting in front of a fire atmosphere of Christmas, but I've learned to embrace it even when the weather is sweltering. (At least for the moment.) I think I need to read a few more Christmas stories this year. Yours looks great!

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I know a lot of people live south of the equator, and of the ones north, a lot of them don't get snow, either! Love being Canadian. Although we are getting our Christmas tree today and there is no snow. Definitely very cold, but no snow.