John Denver's hit song "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" talks about the laid-back life on a farm.
With all due respect, John, I don't think we live on the same farm.
It may not be very laid back, but I wouldn't trade my farm life in western Canada for anything. I find it interesting how folks are starting to take notice of farms in recent years as the worldwide economy has destabilized. Maybe some instinct is kicking in that they're very necessary, albeit not as glamorous as country songwriters would have us believe. Without them, where would our food come from?
The reality is that farming is hard work and doesn't pay very well. My husband and I bought a 40-acre farm—very small by rural standards—from his parents in 2000. Both of us work outside jobs to support our lifestyle, because the farm certainly hasn't supported us.
There is still romance. There is satisfaction in sitting back at the end of the day—too tired to rosin up the bow!—but seeing a field of baled hay, or a weeded garden bed, or rows of canned tomatoes in glistening jars. I love the hum of our honeybees as they gorge on a blossoming plum tree, the aroma of a riot of dill, and the rich flavor of a raspberry ripened to perfection 50 feet from my door.
And so I am not surprised by the literary headlines that Farm Lit is the next big thing. With so many living in cities, far removed from the quiet of country life—quiet unless you count the barn swallows in the eaves at the crack of dawn—how folks must hunger for a taste of reality. Of nature. Of watching plants grow. Of getting their hands into the soil, of honest sweat creating rivulets down sore muscles.
There is a blend, a mingling I've tried to portray in Raspberries and Vinegar, the first book in my Farm Fresh Romance series, just out from Choose NOW Publishing.
Jo Shaw is certain that farming sustainably and eating a diet of local foods is the end all and be all, even though she and her friends have zero experience when they buy rundown Green Acres Farm. Zach Nemesek grew up on the property next door and he knows what the women don't. It isn't a simple life. It's a lot of hard work, and he'll be long gone (for the second time) as soon as his dad recovers from a nasty illness and can take over his own fieldwork again.
Jo meets her rural trials head on while dreaming of a hunky farmer, but how could a self-respecting advocate of local food possibly fall for the junk food addicted wannabe-city-boy next door? Is there a chance Zach can, like John Denver, become thankful he's a country boy?
If the idea of Farm Fresh Romance with a dollop of sweet and a dash of zing sounds appealing to you, you're in luck! From August 6-9, anyone who orders a paperback copy of Raspberries and Vinegar can receive the digital versions as a thank you gift. We're also offering a bunch of other fun downloads: digital art, a podcast with interviews about the intersection of food and faith, a video of me making Raspberry Vinegar, and more.
What about you? Do you live on a farm, do you wish you did, or are you happy to be a city girl, thank-you-very-much?
Thanks for visiting with us today Val! For some reason, I'm hungry! I know you're a good friend to Anita Mae and we hope she can pop in from her trek across the wilds of Eastern Canada (it's the spotty internet service that's killing her, not the wilds!)
Have a blast with your new book and this promotion, it sounds like a blast!
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.
A Farm Fresh Romance Series:
A Farm Fresh Romance. This unique farm lit series follows the adventures, romantic and otherwise, of three college graduates who move onto a reclaimed farm where they plan to take the rural area by storm with their sustainable lifestyle and focus on local foods.
Raspberries and Vinegar: A Farm Fresh Romance (1) by Valerie Comer
Sweet and tart Josephine Shaw is on a mission to rid the world of junk food and
chemicals by promoting local foods and sustainability.
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.
Buy Raspberries and Vinegar: (includes links to various stores/versions)
Buy through Choose NOW Publishing: http://www.choosenowpublishing.com/posts/books/raspberries-and-vinegar-farm-fresh-romance/ (includes various links)
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