Valerie Comer – Romantic Destination – Part 3 of 3

Shannon here: Contemporary author, Valerie Comer shares her romantic trip to Alaska. Every time you comment on any blog dated May 7 – 11, your name goes in the drawing for a copy of Rainbow’s End, a 4 in 1 novella collection including Valerie’s, Topaz Treasures. Deadline: May 19th, 11:59 pm, central time. Here’s Valerie:

Alaska Bound

I never suspected one day I’d come home from work to hear my husband say, “Let’s go on a cruise!” We both value our elbow space, which is one reason we live on a farm, and anything I’d heard about cruise ships made me think they’d be packed bow-to-stern with bodies. How would either of us be comfortable in a situation like that?

Jim was raised on the North Coast of BC, Canada, just south of the Alaskan panhandle. For years we’d talked about making the journey from our home in southeastern BC so he could show me his favorite childhood haunts, but the thought of all that driving always pushed the concept to the back burner. Now he and his sister had concocted a plan–go to Alaska with Norwegian Cruise Lines to celebrate our 30th anniversary and his sister and brother-in-law’s 25th. Why NCL? Because they stop in Prince Rupert, BC, for six hours, just long enough to see the sights.

And oh, yes, it would also be nice to visit Alaska. Even if it meant sharing a cruise ship with hundreds of other people.

We embarked on our cruise from Seattle on a lovely June day in 2010, and quickly realized that many of our fellow cruisers were content to stay inside in the less-than-summery weather. Whether they spent their time in the casinos, spas, or lounges, we never figured out. On sea days we walked the promenade deck in near solitude with binoculars and camera, rewarded by glimpses of at least one whale a day, though we soon lost count of actual numbers. On shore days, for the most part, we headed away from the flood of passengers washing ashore like a tidal wave, seeking out hiking trails and less frequented holes-in-the-wall.

The final shore day was spent in Prince Rupert, where a family friend met us at the docks and chauffeured us around then treated us to a home-cooked salmon dinner. How wonderful to walk the railway tracks along the waterfront, watching dozens of bald eagles, smelling the tidal pools, and hearing the waves slurp in. Most of all, watching my husband as he roamed the harbor of his childhood and tried to bring me along with him.

Back on the cruise ship, we sprang for a special dinner our last night at sea in honor of our anniversary. Later, out on deck, we watched the whales come near one last time.

The vacation we’d never dreamed of taking became the romantic idyll we’ll never forget.

About Valerie: 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 grows much of her own food and is active in the local food movement as well as her church. She only hopes her imaginary friends enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, gardening and geocaching with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters. Learn more:  http://valeriecomer.com,

About the book: Rainbow’s End (4-in-1 collection published by Barbour, May 1, 2012) 

Join a geocaching adventure in the spectacular Lake of the Ozarks wilderness, with Lyssa, the reluctant volunteer whose former nemesis is now her chief sponsor; Madison, a city girl paired with an outdoorsy guy who gets on her very last nerve; cautious Reagan, who meets an equally cautious guy; and Hadley, who doesn’t know enough about guys to realize she’s met a womanizer. Will they find the treasure they’re looking for … or something else entirely?

“Topaz Treasure” (first novella in Rainbow’s End) by Valerie Comer 

Closet believer Lyssa Quinn steps out of her comfort zone to help coordinate the Rainbow’s End geocaching hunt her church is using as an outreach event. She’s not expecting her former humanities prof–young, handsome, anti-Christian Kirk Kennedy–to be at the Lake of the Ozarks at all, let along in a position to provide sponsorship to the treasure hunt. How can she trust someone who once shredded her best friend’s faith?

Kirk’s treasure hunt takes him down a path he hadn’t intended as he searches for opportunities to connect with Lyssa and her intriguing sparkle. How can he convince Lyssa there is more than one kind of treasure? And can she remind him of the greatest prize of all? 

Purchase Rainbow’s End:

Come back May 14th for historical romance author, Lorna Seilstad.

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