Raspberries and Vinegar: A Farm Fresh Romance by Valerie Comer

Raspberries and 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.

Excerpt (Chapter 1):

Josephine Shaw gritted her teeth as she jerked the harvest-gold range forward on worn linoleum. There it was again. That incessant scratching could only be from one source. Mice. Of course the old trailer would have the despicable creatures. It’d been vacant for how long? The beam of her flashlight found half a dozen naked newborns sheltered in a nest of insulation and wood chips. A full-grown rodent shot through the gap she’d created and scuttled right over her foot. Jo gasped, nearly dropping the light as she jerked back.

Her roommate, Sierra Riehl, shrieked and danced a fierce jig designed, Jo presumed, to fend off an attacking two-inch-high army.

“Whoa! You’re going to go right through.” A distinct possibility, given the spongy feel to the old trailer’s floor.

Sierra’s gaze tried to capture every inch of space at once, but at least her feet slowed their tempo. “Th-the mouse…”

Jo tried to get her own heart rate under control. “Long gone.” At least, Jo would be if she were in his shoes. If mice wore shoes. Which they didn’t.

“Are you sure?”

What was she, some kind of fortuneteller? Oh, wait. There was still the nest, and somebody would have to deal with it. Didn’t look like Sierra was up for the job. Never mind, Jo could do this herself. “Um. You might not want to look.”

Sierra dug purple manicured fingernails into Jo’s arm, her blue eyes wide. “Why? What’s back there?”

“You don’t want to know.” Jo steered her friend into the living room, empty but for the musty shag carpet. “Just look out the window for a minute. Admire the view. Dream about all the things we’re going to do here at Green Acres. Think about the straw-bale house we’re going to build.” She pointed across the snow-flattened yellow grass to the building site. “Right over there.” Pouring the foundation couldn’t come fast enough. Even spending one night in this disgusting, moldy trailer would be more than ample. Bad enough without the mice, but with them?

Jo shuddered. They weren’t going to get the best of her. She grabbed a dustpan, shoved it hard under the nest and gagged at the stench of feces she’d disturbed. Choking down her bile, she hurried to the door, wrenched it open, and flung the dustpan’s contents…
…right at a set of chest buttons. Scraps of insulation clung to a shearling-lined suede coat right at Jo’s eye level.

Jo froze. What had she done? “Sorry,” she gasped. Her eyes jerked up. For an instant she focused on the shocked brown eyes of a tall guy with a closely cropped beard and mustache. Dark blond hair curled from beneath his tweed newsboy cap. His hand, poised to knock, dropped to his side.
At the same instant, the sound of frantic clawing pulled Jo’s attention down to a Border collie puppy nearly yanking the leash from his master’s hand as he surged at the slug-like blobs. Jo stooped and swept the wiggling mice from the wood-planked porch with her dustpan. “No! You don’t want to eat those.”

The dog rewarded her with two paws on her shoulders and a slurp up her cheek, nearly knocking her over.

Jo stifled a giggle then remembered the guy. The totally hunky man she’d just baptized with rodents.

Oh, no. She could use a do-over of this meeting.


Author Bio

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 her website .

Purchase Info (paperback and digital):

Choose Now Publishing
(includes various links)


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